Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tue Feb 18th Todays News

Mr Bolt, I am addressing this to you. I need your help. Firstly, let me apologise for shamelessly using your name to gain followers. I have tried hard to keep the page open, free and virtuous. I aim for the quirky, and sometimes get the weird. I aim for the off beat, but sometimes get the off colour. I guess you can't get critical thinking by demanding it or enforcing it. Some have taken to begging for moderators to ban people for politely saying what others don't like. I have taken to deleting comments without explanation, because the nasty ones know they can complain about the explanations and get FB to ban administration. I had not known there was a lunar right in Australian politics before I began moderating this page. But it exists, in all of its' dumb, shameless glory. I am not in agreement with you on all issues all the time, but respect our differences of opinion.

We have interacted before, years ago, on your site, but I'm not holding you to remember it. What I'm asking for now is related to what I was asking for then. Only, I'm desperate. I have testimony before the Royal Commission into institutional responses to Pedophilia. The Royal Commission has accepted my testimony, but given it a low priority. They will not investigate it further, but will include it in their report, in years to come. However, my reason for making that submission has made powerful enemies within Australian Government and public service. I have been issued a death threat from a mafia type hit man who is serving time. I have had my citizenship denied, and evidence of it illegally destroyed by a Premier of NSW. I have been abused at my workplace for being fat, and been declared partially disabled, accused of being too fat to teach Mathematics. I am fat, so the charge is hard for me to dismiss. When my students became targeted by my abusers, I resigned from teaching to speak out publicly. That was in 2007. I tried to time it so my complaint was heard after the NSW election and before the Australian one, so as to not intrude into the political cycle. But the ALP panicked, and have smeared me badly, so that no one will report my complaints, and no one will say why. There is no legal impediment for me to work, but no one will hire a teacher who has been political and conservative. I recently lost my library I have been building since I learned to read. About $50k worth of books, videos, CDs and DVDs. Soon I will have to sell my home. Unless there is a remedy for my issues. But the Royal Commission don't view it as important to give me a remedy. I must petition for one. I can't petition the Royal Commission, that isn't their job. But there are those whose job it would be to act on my testimony. The NSW Dept of Ed. The Premier of NSW. The NSW Police. The Federal Police. The attorney General's office of either NSW or Australia. Or the Prime Minister. I've not yet set up the petition. But I am asking for help. Would you help me, Mr Bolt? 
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Hatches
Matches
Despatches
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Law upheld

Andrew Bolt February 18 2014 (4:52pm)

It is reassuring to know that not even Channel Seven is above the law. Less reassuring is that some Liberal Minister is apologising for that inconvenience:

SEVEN’S commercial director Bruce McWilliam says a senior Abbott government minister regretted the raid at his network this morning over a Schapelle Corby deal.
He is furious more than 20 Australian Federal Police officers barged into the offices of Channel Seven at Pyrmont and New Idea to examine their paperwork and correspondence with the Corby family.
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What does Labor say now about Craig Thomson and the money it gave him?

Andrew Bolt February 18 2014 (4:37pm)


  August 2011:

Mrs BRONWYN BISHOP (Mackellar) (15:26): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer the Prime Minister to her statement that she retains complete confidence in the member for Dobell but that she had not undertaken a thorough investigation into the allegations surrounding that member. Has she now conducted an investigation of her own into the allegations surrounding the member for Dobell and is she satisfied that her confidence in the member for Dobell is warranted?
Ms GILLARD (Lalor—Prime Minister) (15:27): I thank the member for the question. It gives me the opportunity to say I have complete confidence in the member for Dobell. I think he is doing a fine job representing the people of his constituency in this place and raising their concerns in this parliament, as is appropriate for a local member. I look forward to him continuing to do that job for a very long, long, long time to come.
June 2012:
THE NSW Labor Party paid almost $350,000 in legal costs for Craig Thomson before the troubled MP was suspended from the party in May.
Today:
FORMER Labor MP Craig Thomson has been found guilty of defrauding the Health Services Union during his time as national secretary.
Melbourne magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg today ruled Mr Thomson had dishonestly obtained a financial advantage by using his union credit card to pay for prostitutes.
Labor has been soft on union corruption. The links between Labor and the union movement need to be investigated by the royal commission into the union movement.
PS: Has anyone ever met such a brazen, shameless liar?

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The first sign of hope I’ve seen from North Korea

Andrew Bolt February 18 2014 (10:12am)


Four Corners last night showed a brilliant documentary on North Korea. That it is a murderous tyranny capable of the most appalling cruelty is no secret. But what was startling - at least for me - was the secret footage it showed of North Korean civilians defying authority. Here is a clip from the documentary, and below is the relevant part of the script - the part that gives hope:
NARRATOR: Behind closed doors, even members of the North Korean elite have voiced unhappiness with the regime, like this businesswoman filmed at a private lunch.
[subtitles]
1st MAN: All we’re saying is give us some basic rights, right? We don’t have any.
WOMAN: It’s not like that in China. In China, they’ve got freedom of speech, you know. They went through the Cultural Revolution.
2ndWOMAN: We North Koreans are wise and very loyal. An uprising is still something we don’t understand.
1st MAN: But even that’s only to a certain point.
WOMAN: There can’t be a rebellion. They’ll kill everyone ruthlessly. Yes, ruthlessly. The problem here is that one in three people will secretly report you. That’s the problem. That’s how they do it.
2ndMAN: Let’s just drink up. There’s no use talking about it.
NARRATOR: The cynicism about their leaders comes partly from radical change in the way people make a living.
JIRO ISHIMARU: [through interpreter] Looking at footage shot inside North Korea, we can see that a huge number of people have started doing business with each other. This used to be illegal, and anyone caught buying or selling for personal gain was severely punished.
NARRATOR: Illegal markets first began to appear when the state stopped being able to feed its people during the famine. Today the state tolerates them, but people are pushing the limits of private enterprise. This woman is running an illegal private bus service. An army officer tries to stop her from picking up passengers.
WOMAN: [subtitles] If you’re an officer, where are your stars then? Let me see them then. Let me see your stars then. Where are your stars if you’re an officer? Let me see your stars. Where are your stars if you’re an officer?
OFFICER: Hey! Hey! Hey!
WOMAN: Hey! Hey! Hey! You bastard! You’re an ass-[deleted]!
JIRO ISHIMARU: [through interpreter] People’s willingness to confront or ignore authority has become more and more common. People around the world have this image of North Koreans as being brainwashed, but that’s very mistaken. Often now, when North Koreans are challenged for infringing a certain law, as long as the offense is not political, they don’t hesitate to protest if they believe the law to be irrational.
NARRATOR: Until recently, it was illegal for women to wear pants. Soldiers are arguing with this woman about breaking the dress code.
WOMAN IN PANTS: [subtitles] Don’t hit me! Why are you hitting me?
OFFICER: [subtitles] Stop it, bitch!
WOMAN IN PANTS: [subtitles] Watch your mouth. Don’t call me a bitch!
NARRATOR: The soldiers put an armband on her to mark her offense.
WOMAN IN PANTS: [subtitles] Those people are wearing trousers.
NARRATOR: But before long, she rips it off, and a senior officer steps in.
[subtitles]
SENIOR OFFICER: You’re not going to be quiet?
FEMALE OFFICER: You’re saying you don’t deserve this? Watch your mouth! Don’t call me a bitch.
SENIOR OFFICER: Please stop it.
WOMAN IN PANTS: Why aren’t you telling off those people wearing trousers? I’m so annoyed.
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Now Alcoa closes, too. Labor’s subsidies fail and its carbon tax kills

Andrew Bolt February 18 2014 (9:04am)

Yesterday:
Alcoa says no decision has been made to shut its aluminium smelter at Geelong, and will tell employees if the Point Henry plant will continue to operate by the end of March.
Today:
ALCOA will today announce the closure of its Point Henry aluminium smelter near Geelong, endangering 1200 jobs ...
That decision has now been announced. It’s another terrible blow to Geelong and to the Victorian Government, already struggling with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.
Note: an aluminium smelter produces what is rightly described as ”congealed electricity”. Our high power prices make such a smelter, and an old one at that, simply unaffordable.
UPDATE
More proof that governments just throw money away when they try to subsidise a dying industry (with, no coincidence, a highly unionised workforce). From June 2012:
The Australian and Victorian Governments will invest in a restructure of Alcoa’s Point Henry aluminium smelter in Geelong with more than $40 million in assistance to help ensure its economic sustainability and support more than 500 local jobs…
The Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, said the $40 million in Federal funding recognised the challenges to the aluminium sector from the high Australian dollar and low world aluminium prices.
So how stupid was Labor to give subsidies with the one hand, but then take a carbon tax with the other? From 2012:

MORE than 300 jobs are set to be lost as a Norwegian company plans to shut its aluminium smelter in the NSW Hunter Valley.
Norsk Hydro will shut down its Kurri Kurri plant, as low metals prices and the strong Australian dollar impact its profitability, the company said today… A subsequent review of the plant has revealed ...  its long-term viability would be negatively affected by increasing energy costs and the carbon tax, Norsk Hydro said.
In fact, Labor fully expected and planned for its carbon tax to kill aluminium plants such as Alcoa’s, which is also battling a high dollar, ageing technology and low international prices:
Deloitte Access Economics in its report to the Victoria Government last September cites Treasury modelling showing Gillard’s tax will savage the aluminium industry:

The climate change scenarios modelled in this report are based around the Commonwealth Treasury modelling of the Government’s Clean Energy Future proposal… Specifically, aluminium output is projected to decrease by about 31% by 2020…
The Australian Aluminium Council last year warned how devastating the tax would be:

This imposes a carbon cost on Australian aluminium producers of at least $60 per tonne of aluminium compared to only $8 per tonne in China.… This is putting jobs in Gladstone, Geelong, Hunter Valley, Portland, Tasmania and Western Australia on the line when no other country is exposing their industry to the same risks.
Alcoa to the Gillard Government last October:
Given the extraordinary electricity intensity of aluminium smelting and limitations of supply opportunities in Victoria, Alcoa has no flexibility to obtain its long term power needs from anywhere other than Victorian brown coal-fired generators… This situation will impact the future economic viability of these two smelters ...
UPDATE
Former Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery tells the ABC this morning that the closure of Alcoa is just a “cost” of saving us from having a “filthy planet”.
Green policies mean longer job queues. The AWU members at Alcoa should demand their union explain why it backed the Labor carbon tax that’s helped cost their jobs. Remember this promise?
Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes has warned the Government that ”if one job is gone, our support [for the carbon tax] is gone”.
Labor is still using its Senate numbers to help the Greens stop the Abbott Government from axeing the carbon tax.
UPDATE
Treasury three years ago modelled the effects of the Gillard Government’s “Strong Growth, Low Pollution” policies - including the carbon tax - and found the aluminium industry’s output would fall by two thirds by 2050:
image
Green activists can put their feet up. They won’t need to do this again:

Climate change protestors halted production for approximately three hours today, in Australia’s largest aluminium smelter.
UPDATE
Reader StevenM:
I have long argued that aluminium is the clearest example of the stupidity of the carbon tax. The bauxite will now be shipped overseas to be refined. This will increase the amount shipped seven fold, using seven times the amount of fuel. The bunker fuel burned by large ships is the dirtiest fuel there is.The aluminium will now be refined in the cheapest country available. Cheap power is dirty power - much worse than using Australian power. Emissions can only rise as a result of the counter productive carbon tax.
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Two more stories on AM on Abbott’s (successful) border policies

Andrew Bolt February 18 2014 (8:47am)

Boat people policy

As I said yesterday, never has the ABC been so obsessed with boat people policy than now, when the Liberals are succeeding where Labor disastrously failed.
Today again. The ABC’s AM leads with not one but two stories questioning the Abbott Government’s policies.  
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What Scott did next

Andrew Bolt February 18 2014 (8:32am)

Scott Morrison has performed even better as Immigration Minister than I predicted. It is astonishing that no boats have arrived in more than eight weeks, despite some Indonesian authorities’ refusal to cooperate. Morrison has also smartened his media presentation, and his performance on Insiders on Sunday was faultless.
Yes, there is still much to do before the Government can claimed the boats have indeed stopped. The sailing season is still to come. The boat people in detention still need to be sent back home or resettled. But this is a very good start, and a very good job advertisement for Morrison, who is emerging as a potential Liberal leader (behind Joe Hockey). I suspect Tony Abbott would also be comfortable with Morrison’s brand of politics.
Morrison would still need to prove himself in another portfolio or two to widen his experience and demonstrate this success with the boats was no fluke.
So where would a canny Prime Minister - keen to nurture talent, promote his agenda and confound his enemies - next place Morrison? Where could a capable and articulate conservative be employed with great profit?
I look at the ABC and cannot help thinking what tremendous good a Morrison could achieve that a Malcolm Turnbull won’t.... 
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Climate scientist attacks alarmists who blame England’s floods on warming

Andrew Bolt February 18 2014 (7:57am)

image
It has taken years, but finally some warmist scientists are publicly contradicting their more alarmist colleagues:
One of the Met Office’s most senior experts yesterday made a dramatic intervention in the climate change debate by insisting there is no link between the storms that have battered Britain and global warming.
Mat Collins, a Professor in climate systems at Exeter University, said the storms have been driven by the jet stream – the high-speed current of air that girdles the globe – which has been ‘stuck’ further south than usual.
Professor Collins told The Mail on Sunday: ‘There is no evidence that global warming can cause the jet stream to get stuck in the way it has this winter. If this is due to climate change, it is outside our knowledge.’…
Prof Collins is also a senior adviser – a ‘co-ordinating lead author’ – for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). His statement appears to contradict Met Office chief scientist Dame Julia Slingo.
Last weekend, she said ‘all the evidence suggests that climate change has a role to play’ in the storms.
Actually, Big Government seems more to blame. Via Jo Nova:
Christopher Booker explains in The Spectator that it’s not global warming that caused such ghastly floods in the UK, but incompetence and a Green EU wetland plan. He lives near Somerset, (SW England) so he started investigating the rising water six weeks ago — which has now become widespread inundation there, with damages estimated at over £100 million…
In the Spectator he writes that before 1996, local groups of farmers and engineers managed the drains, but in 1996 the EA (Environmental Agency) took over. Regular dredging stopped happening, the pumping stations were neglected (or stopped...), and the local drainage boards found it hard to get anything done with the EA red tape.
Then things got worse. In 2002, “the Baroness Young of Old Scone, a Labour peeress, became the agency’s new chief executive”. As Booker goes on to note, she used to run the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Natural England, not that that’s a bad thing per se, just that she had different aims to the people who lived there. The locals saw what was coming, they feared that the river had become choked and silted, they wanted control back. Instead, what they got was some parts of Somerset suddenly “returned to wetland” — but that, it seems, was kinda the goal.
Booker and Richard North pored through documents and found remarkable quotes.  According to the Baroness, the cheapest way to get a wetland was to “stop drainage” and let “nature take its course”.
Which it now has.
The worst thing about the green religion is that is has been a Trojan Horse for the return of unreason.
UPDATE
James Delingpole nails 10 lies about the floods. The highlights:
1. This is the wettest winter since records began. 
No it’s not. As Paul Homewood reveals at his website Not A Lot Of People Know That, it was considerably wetter between November 1929 and January 1930. Yes, this January was wet, but it still only ranks as the sixteenth wettest month since records began in 1766…
3. Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson should resign.

No, he shouldn’t. Paterson is one of the few politicians to have shown any integrity in this crisis. Unlike his Conservative colleagues David Cameron and Philip Hammond he has not sought to curry easy favour with the green lobby by blaming the floods on ‘climate change’. He was the first senior politician to visit the Somerset Levels and grasp the truth about the problem: that the floods were a direct consequence of Environmental Agency and European Union policy…
8. Dredging the rivers wouldn’t have made much difference anyway.

Yes, of course, that’s what environmental apologists would like you to believe… But of course they’re talking rubbish. The only way floodwater can escape is out to sea: hence the need for keeping the conduits for such a process - our rivers - as free-flowing as possible i.e. with regular dredging.
For clear visual evidence of what has gone wrong over the years, have a look at the before and after pictures of the River Parrett unearthed by Richard North at his Eureferendum blog.
The old black and white one shows the river to be wide and free-flowing. The more recent colour one shows how badly the banks have been allowed to silt up…
image
Delingpole deals with the last lie superbly:
10. “Lessons will be learned.”

No they won’t. Which is the main reason I wanted to write this list: as a handy reminder of all the things that the government, the liberal-left MSM, the greenies and the rest are going to do their damnedest to make us forget as quickly as possible. The fact - and this cannot be restated often enough - is that these floods are a man-made disaster. But the man-made element has nothing whatsoever to do with anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Rather it is the result of deliberate policy, initiated by the UN (Agenda 21), the European Union and its amen corner the Environment Agency, designed to create wildlife habitats at the expense of humans.
(Thanks to many readers, including Dave and Kathleen.)                      
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Sceptic Dick Warburton, out and proud but still misunderstood

Andrew Bolt February 18 2014 (7:44am)

Dick Warburton, who will lead the Abbott Government’s review of the renewable energy target, is a man of reason and some courage:

I am not a denier of climate change… I am a sceptic that man-made carbon dioxide is creating global warming.
(Warburton has today clarified that he means he is sceptical that man-made carbon dioxide is the major cause of global warming.)
Excellent, but this distinction is too much for a sub-editor at The Australian:
image
Now let’s see if Warburton will ask the bottom-line question: how much difference does the renewable energy target make to the global temperature.
UPDATE
Burchell Wilson of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry exposes the scam to the ABC’s 7.30, albeit without noting it will do nothing stop a global warming that actually stopped 16 years ago:
Look, the problem with the Renewable Energy Target is it’s imposing a cost of $1.6 billion across the economy. It amounts to about five per cent of household energy costs now and that’s just going to mushroom over time… [T]he cost of the RET to average households is around $102 per annum…
It’s costing up to $525 per tonne to abate carbon under the renewable energy target. There are low-cost alternatives available and, effectively, we’re undermining our emissions reduction effort by persisting with the Renewable Energy Target…
Look, the Renewable Energy Target is - it’s corporate welfare on a massive scale directed towards the renewable sector.
Wilson also scoffs at the Left’s outrage at the appointment of Warburton and Brian Fisher to review the RET:
SARAH FERGUSON: Dick Warburton is a self-avowed sceptic. His views on the subjects are well known. Is he an appropriate person to be leading this review?
BURCHELL WILSON: Absolutely. Dick led the charge against Australia having the highest carbon tax in the world. You’ll realise that Australians per capita pay $380 per head under the carbon tax, whereas Europeans under the ETS, they’re paying about $1.50…
SARAH FERGUSON: We’ve also got Brian Fisher, who has a long history of being opposed to pricing mechanisms in this area. It does sound as though the outcome of the review is to some extent preordained?
BURCHELL WILSON: Brian Fisher is a first-rate economist, one of the best in the country… [He] will ...  tell you ... the Renewable Energy Target is high-cost, it’s inefficient as a means of abating carbon, and if that’s your primary objective with respect to the RET, then we should scrap it altogether.
Reason is returning.
(Thanks to reader Turtle of WA.) 
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How many billions are we prepared to give Qantas’s creditors?

Andrew Bolt February 18 2014 (7:29am)

Uh oh:

The federal government is leaning towards a two-pronged response to Qantas Airways of a debt guarantee to provide short-term relief and pushing Parliament over the longer term to repeal the Qantas Sale Act that keeps the company Australian controlled…
Providing a debt guarantee is now viewed within government as inevitable, even though there remains a deep reluctance to expose taxpayers to any liability…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott sought to increase the pressure on Monday by warning Labor that the future of Qantas was at stake if ultimately the opposition did now allow Parliament to repeal the 1992 Qantas Sale Act.
Judith Sloan warns:

(T)he provision of a government guarantee ... may seem like a cheap round because the company will pay a fee for the guarantee. But there is always the chance that, if the company’s performance does not lift, it will default on its borrowings and the taxpayer will be left holding the baby…
Labor should come clean about its refusal to allow the Qantas Sale Act to be rescinded. This is the least costly means of helping the company and the one that should be pursued with great vigour at this point.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill. Thanks to reader Michael for pointing out my confusion of creditors with debtors. Fixed now.) 
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Tim Wilson ready to fight George Brandis

Andrew Bolt February 18 2014 (7:14am)

Free speech

Good news. Tim Wilson, the new Human Rights Commissioner, signals that he will fight the Attorney-General who appointed him:
More immediately, the federal government has flagged reforms to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act to remove unnecessary restrictions on free speech that offends, insults, humiliates or intimidates people on the basis of their race, colour or national or ethnic origin.
There are diverse views on whether section 18C should be left alone, modestly changed or fully repealed. I will be arguing for its full repeal on the grounds it conflicts with other human rights and therefore does not meet the threshold for restricting speech.

Wilson says he opposes the restrictions on speech that “offends, insults, humiliates or intimidates”.  Brandis has hinted that he opposes only the restrictions on speech that offends and insults.
Wilson is right, and Brandis has a fight. 
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Conservatives outnumbered on Q&A, but the Left outgunned

Andrew Bolt February 18 2014 (6:47am)

Terrific performance by Professor Jim Allan on Q&A last night, attacking the carbon tax, mocking our award system and putting the rude, ill-informed and inarticulate Voice of Youf in her place. (By the way, why does host Tony Jones produce one token Muslim after another, but never a token Buddhist?) Allan’s defence of political debate against the Voice of Youf’s demand for a Kumbayah approach to global warming was superb.
Heather Ridout once again reminds us what a disgrace it was for the Australian Industry Group to have her lead it. Here she was prattling on about “the science” of global warming as if it were monolithic and proved the wisdom of having an emission trading system which does virtually nothing to change the climate, but which sure hurts business. Here she was praising the awards system that strangles small business, and apparently defending the subsidies to big car makers that the Productivity Commission reported were a drag on the economy. Her attempts to chip Allan for raising the US as a counter-example were pathetic.
Tony Burke is a fine street-fighter in a terrible cause, but I was struck by how many points the often-underrated Eric Abetz took off him, particularly over the renewable energy target. Few Ministers would be as in control of their brief as Abetz, and none make fewer mistakes. 
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Abbott Government vs the bureaucrats

Andrew Bolt February 18 2014 (6:38am)

Nick Cater on the triumph of crusading bureaucrats against the elected government of the people:

In December, at a forum of health ministers from Australia and New Zealand, assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash made it clear that she was sceptical about a plan to place a health star rating on the front of food packets.
She was concerned that the Regulatory Impact Statement, requested by the Office of Best Practice and Regulation in the middle of last year, had not been produced. Nash ordered the department to calculate both costs and benefits and to report back to the forum in June…
Kathy Dennis, the assistant secretary in charge of the Healthy Living and Food Policy branch, decided to press ahead anyway.
Two weeks ago, the department launched a website, http://www.healthstarrating.com.au, explaining the forthcoming health star rating system that the minister had yet to approve.
A ministerial adviser contacted Dennis expressing the minister’s concern, but the website remained in place. Nash’s chief of staff, Alastair Furnival, called Dennis to reinforce the message. Dennis stuck to her guns.
The minister was obliged to take the matter to the acting head of the department, Mark Booth. On Booth’s instructions, the website was taken down and Dennis was moved to other duties…

The mutiny at [the Department of Health] is not an isolated case… Across the board, from the Climate Change Commission to the ABC, the Human Rights Commission and even Infrastructure Australia, all are openly hostile to the popularly elected government.
But asserting the authority of the Minister has been pushed. Furnival was slimed in Left-wing newspapers as having a sinister conflict of interest, having in his past worked for food companies, and he has been forced to resign. Hope the journalists are happy. 
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Liberals silence some of their best with kindness

Andrew Bolt February 18 2014 (6:23am)

I’m worried that some of the Liberals’ most effective cultural warriors are being put out to lush pastures when there are great battles to win:
Former foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer is set to be named high commissioner to London in a move that would cut short the term of the Labor appointee Mike Rann…
Victoria’s erstwhile Labor premier Steve Bracks was blocked on the eve of his departure for the United Nations post in New York, shortly after the Coalition came to power last year. He has since been replaced by the former Howard finance minister Nick Minchin in a move criticised as jobs for the boys. 
Note, by the way, the Age writer harrumphing about “jobs for the boys” after having been perfectly happy with the appointment by Labor of the Labor politicians these Liberals replace. 
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This free blog passes on the subsidised ABC’s story on newspapers having trouble selling copies

Andrew Bolt February 18 2014 (6:00am)

Media

Media Watch on the future of newspapers. As in, there’s a future?
Audit Bureau of Circulation figures for the last 3 months of 2013 show another huge fall ... with Fairfax Media’s The Age and Sydney Morning Herald down by a shocking 17% from the same period of 2012.
News Corp’s Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph fared slightly better, but still fell 12%, after even bigger falls in the previous quarter…
In absolute terms the Herald and Age are now selling not much more than 130,000 copies each a day.
Meanwhile, the mighty Herald Sun has sunk below 400,000 and the Daily Telegraph below 300,000…
But ... the news on advertising revenue is even worse… Fairfax Media’s 2013 results show that print advertising revenue for its two big Metro mastheads—the Herald and the Age—fell by 25% last financial year, or by almost exactly $100 million…
Fairfax has shed some 2,000 jobs , announced the closure of its two biggest printing plants, shut down magazines, moved to a tabloid format and got rid of some its best-known writers .
On the plus side, the Age and Herald have put up paywalls on their popular websites… Last year Fairfax’s digital ad revenue rose by only $5.5 million, while its print ad revenue fell $100 million, or almost 20 times as much. 
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Abbott cleans up after Labor’s spies. Shorten blames him for the broken glass

Andrew Bolt February 17 2014 (7:40pm)

Labor sure dropped the Abbott Government into the Indonesian soup:
THE Abbott government faces a fresh test of its relationship with Jakarta amid new allegations an Australian intelligence agency spied on Indonesia last year and passed the information it gathered to the US. 

In the latest damaging leak of top-secret information from former US security analyst Edward Snowden, The New York Times says an Australian intelligence agency spied on a US law firm representing Indonesia in a trade dispute with the US.

The report is expected to add to the ongoing tensions with Jakarta over the Coalition’s strategy for stopping asylum-seeker boats at sea and revelations last year that the Australian Signals Directorate, formerly the Defence Signals Directorate, listened to the phone conversations of Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and associates, including his wife.
While the earlier eavesdropping claims concerned events under the Rudd Labor government in 2009, the new document refers to activity under way just a year ago, in February last year, under the term of the Gillard government.
Will Labor take any of the blame?
No, no shame at all from Labor leader Bill Shorten, a minister in both the Rudd and Gillard governments:
I am concerned that in the course of five and a half months, Tony Abbott has taken our relationship with Indonesia from hero to zero. 
What a fraud. 
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Statue of Dedan Kimathi
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Events[edit]

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Holidays and observances[edit]

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“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” - Romans 8:35,37
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
February 17: Morning
"Isaac dwelt by the well Lahai-roi." - Genesis 25:11
Hagar had once found deliverance there and Ishmael had drank from the water so graciously revealed by the God who liveth and seeth the sons of men; but this was a merely casual visit, such as worldlings pay to the Lord in times of need, when it serves their turn. They cry to him in trouble, but forsake him in prosperity. Isaac dwelt there, and made the well of the living and all-seeing God his constant source of supply. The usual tenor of a man's life, the dwelling of his soul, is the true test of his state. Perhaps the providential visitation experienced by Hagar struck Isaac's mind, and led him to revere the place; its mystical name endeared it to him; his frequent musings by its brim at eventide made him familiar with the well; his meeting Rebecca there had made his spirit feel at home near the spot; but best of all, the fact that he there enjoyed fellowship with the living God, had made him select that hallowed ground for his dwelling. Let us learn to live in the presence of the living God; let us pray the Holy Spirit that this day, and every other day, we may feel, "Thou God seest me." May the Lord Jehovah be as a well to us, delightful, comforting, unfailing, springing up unto eternal life. The bottle of the creature cracks and dries up, but the well of the Creator never fails; happy is he who dwells at the well, and so has abundant and constant supplies near at hand. The Lord has been a sure helper to others: his name is Shaddai, God All-sufficient; our hearts have often had most delightful intercourse with him; through him our soul has found her glorious Husband, the Lord Jesus; and in him this day we live, and move, and have our being; let us, then, dwell in closest fellowship with him. Glorious Lord, constrain us that we may never leave thee, but dwell by the well of the living God.
Evening
"Whereas the Lord was there." - Ezekiel 35:10
Edom's princes saw the whole country left desolate, and counted upon its easy conquest; but there was one great difficulty in their way--quite unknown to them--"The Lord was there;" and in his presence lay the special security of the chosen land. Whatever may be the machinations and devices of the enemies of God's people, there is still the same effectual barrier to thwart their design. The saints are God's heritage, and he is in the midst of them, and will protect his own. What comfort this assurance yields us in our troubles and spiritual conflicts! We are constantly opposed, and yet perpetually preserved! How often Satan shoots his arrows against our faith, but our faith defies the power of hell's fiery darts; they are not only turned aside, but they are quenched upon its shield, for "the Lord is there." Our good works are the subjects of Satan's attacks. A saint never yet had a virtue or a grace which was not the target for hellish bullets: whether it was hope bright and sparkling, or love warm and fervent, or patience all-enduring, or zeal flaming like coals of fire, the old enemy of everything that is good has tried to destroy it. The only reason why anything virtuous or lovely survives in us is this, "the Lord is there."

If the Lord be with us through life, we need not fear for our dying confidence; for when we come to die, we shall find that "the Lord is there;" where the billows are most tempestuous, and the water is most chill, we shall feel the bottom, and know that it is good: our feet shall stand upon the Rock of Ages when time is passing away. Beloved, from the first of a Christian's life to the last, the only reason why he does not perish is because "the Lord is there." When the God of everlasting love shall change and leave his elect to perish, then may the Church of God be destroyed; but not till then, because it is written, Jehovah Shammah, "The Lord is there."
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Thaddaeus 
[Thăddae'us] - breast, one that praises or man of heart.
One of the twelve apostles of Christ (Matt. 10:3Mark 3:18), also called Labbeus, or Lebbeus, and sometimes identified as Jude, who wrote the epistle bearing his name. This apostle then, was known by three names, two of which were terms of endearment used toward him from early days. In this least known among the apostles, we have a man who discovered that love is the secret of obedience and that obedience is the secret of blessedness.
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Today's reading: Leviticus 21-22, Matthew 28 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Leviticus 21-22

Rules for Priests
1 The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: 'A priest must not make himself ceremonially unclean for any of his people who die, 2 except for a close relative, such as his mother or father, his son or daughter, his brother, 3 or an unmarried sister who is dependent on him since she has no husband--for her he may make himself unclean. 4 He must not make himself unclean for people related to him by marriage, and so defile himself....

Today's New Testament reading: Matthew 28

Jesus Has Risen
1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men....



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