Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Tue Feb 4th Todays News

Frustration today as a partnership I suggested was smoked by a nice guy without a clue. It is really important that people are able to say 'no' when putting across a business concept. There are hurdles to anything and they need to be crossed the right way. I wanted to involve Woolworths with an email subscription service. I want to create a local film production studio. So I wanted local Woolworths to partner me. I have the right material and target audience, what I want from Woolworths is for them to sign up my email from their subscription service which they run .. giving me very quick exposure and giving them targeted advertising to people that read articles, not the prepubescent kids who watch tv today who aren't yet allowed on the 'net .. noting modern kids don't watch much tv these days. The issues are my production standards .. can I produce material which doesn't harm the Woolworths name by association? Can I be independent and be seen to be independent of Woolworths? Part of my answer to those questions is to do with my name and history. But the Woolworths guy I spoke with today wasn't willing to allow me to extend to answering those doubts. He wasn't the right person to approach, although he was in the right position had he been the right person. 

Modern story telling/writing is vastly improved on twenty years ago. Babylon 5 introduced story arcs in a very sophisticated way. They covered all five seasons, as well as some which were peculiar to a single episode. Often, an episode has two separate threads which are likely opposites (thesis, antithesis leads to synthesis). Blue Bloods Episode 65 "Devil's Breath" has one thread which caused me to laugh. A prostitute and lap dancer was targeting out of town (NYC is the setting) visitors with scopolamine (aka "Devil's Breath") which caused her victims to forget things after following her suggestions to give her their money and credit cards. It was stressed victims lost their short term memory. What made me laugh a lot, was that she worked at a venue called 'Scores.' Kevin Rudd may forget things, but he will never be forgotten. 
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns David Dung Trieu and Benjamin Legrand. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
Matches
Despatches
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Citizens fighting in Syria threaten our security

Piers Akerman – Monday, February 03, 2014 (7:01pm)

THE federal government is exploring the possibility of stripping Australian jihadists fighting in Syria of their citizenship.  Discussion on possible measures has begun between Attorney-General George Brandis and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison but no submission has yet been made to Cabinet.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Citizens fighting in Syria threaten our security'
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“PAUL BARRY BROKE MY HEART”

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 04, 2014 (3:03pm)

The ABC host’s terrible confession shatters Twitter leftoids.
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DENOUNCED BY DAVE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 04, 2014 (2:41pm)

Fun on Sydney community radio. The best bit is when David Marr tells me I’m not a journalist. 
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LOSING JASPER

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 04, 2014 (2:32pm)

Achingly sad but beautifully written. Our Minnesota mate James Lileks farewells his dog Jasper.
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SARAH IN THE TELE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 04, 2014 (2:13am)

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young sends a note to the Daily Telegraph
I am writing to comment on the article printed in the Daily Telegraph on Monday, 3 February 2014.
To set the record straight, my line of questioning was in regard to the Channel 7 program ‘Border Security’ and the same channel’s new reality show ‘Coastwatch Oz’. I was simply pointing out the fact that the government is promoting and publicising the activities of border security operations on the one hand while, on the other hand, refusing to answer questions about illegal operations it is undertaking on the high seas.
It was Mike Pezzullo, CEO of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, who raised the television program ‘Sea Patrol’, about which I made no reference.
While I know it’s unlikely that the Daily Telegraph columnist will check his facts with me in the future, I will continue to point out the dangerous and secretive nature of this government’s policies. 
Keep it up, Sarah. Continue exposing secret television shows, or whatever it is you think you’re doing. It’s working a treat.
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BEATS EARLY NORTHERN FEUDALISM

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 04, 2014 (2:09am)

Guardian headline so fantastically self-ridiculing that even the article’s author disowns it:

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Readers are invited to compose their own Guardian-style headline linking anything to “late western capitalism”. Also, I need to find out what “late western capitalism” is.
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TURNBURN

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 04, 2014 (1:39am)

Mushy Malcolm finds a spine: 
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has issued a thinly veiled warning to the ABC to correct and apologise for errors, as senior cabinet figures voiced outrage and backbenchers seethed over the broadcaster’s handling of claims that asylum-seekers were deliberately burnt by defence personnel …
Mr Turnbull, who faced criticism from Coalition colleagues over his defence last week of the ABC, yesterday toughened his stance, warning that along with independence, the ABC also had statutory requirements for accuracy and impartiality.
He called on the national broadcaster to correct and apologise for incorrect reporting.
“The parliament has given the ABC editorial independence by law,” Mr Turnbull told The Australian. “The same law has also required the ABC be accurate and impartial in its news and current affairs reporting ‘according to the recognised standards of objective journalism’. 
It always takes Turnbull a few days. His instincts aren’t great. Speaking of folk who need some time, even Media Watchdoubts the ABC’s torture stories: 
The ABC over-reached, by essentially endorsing the allegations of Navy mistreatment on radio, TV and online throughout the day.
Because even if the [Indonesian] police did back the asylum seekers’ claims, there was no way of knowing they were true …
We believe the ABC should have been far more cautious, given the evidence it had, and given it was making such a big call against the Navy. 
And then the show returned to its usual News-fear.
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COW CORNER

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 04, 2014 (1:23am)

In Vanessa Badham’s world, cricketers wear jerseys:

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Or maybe she means these jerseys. Clearly, cricket is a very different game in Van Land. Probably they bowl cheese toasties
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GREAT MOMENTS IN EGYPTIAN TELEVISION

Tim Blair – Monday, February 03, 2014 (11:42pm)

It begins with a dispute about vinegar:



The woman under attack is Egyptian TV personality Noha Abdeen, star of a prank show that apparently pits unknowing Egyptian citizens against the wily Abdeen, masquerading as a kitchen rival in some sort of mock cooking contest. Her role, so far as I can tell, is to goad and taunt the unwitting women until they reach breaking point. She’s very good at her job. Afterwards, when the prank is revealed, all is usually well. Even the program featuring the clip above concluded with laughter. Sometimes, however, it all ends in tears
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Sharman Stone owes Abbott a sorry for this verballing

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (3:54pm)

Sharman Stone, not Tony Abbott, is the one not telling the facts here - and is disloyal to boot:

Liberal MP Sharman Stone has launched an extraordinary attack on Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey, accusing them of “lying” in defending their decision not to give $25 million to fruit processor SPC Ardmona…
Dr Stone, whose Goulburn Valley electorate takes in SPC Ardmona, told ABC radio on Tuesday that her colleagues were misleading the public by saying workplace conditions were to blame.
Asked whether she thought Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey are ‘’actually, really lying when they’re saying it’s about this issue (the workplace agreement)’’, Dr Stone responded: ‘’Well they’re not speaking the reality.’’
Asked if that constituted ‘’lying’’, Dr Stone said: “It’s not the truth, that’s right, it’s lying.’’
What they said was, we’re not going to help because it is the amazing wages and conditions that have knocked this company for six.”
And again:
LEXI METHERELL: So, by ignoring reality, do you mean that the Prime Minister and Eric Abetz are lying?
SHARMAN STONE: Well you could use that word if you like, but what they explained as the reason for not supporting SPCA, which was basically awards and conditions, was about focusing on unions. It wasn’t about the realities of the last standing fruit preserving industry… Perhaps it’s a distraction from the facts, which would require some government action… Like abolishing the carbon tax, that hasn’t happened yet. 
In fact, Tony Abbott did not make the simplistic argument Stone claims - that the workplace conditions were “basically” what had “knocked this company for six” and were “the reason for not supporting SPC” with a a $25 million handout:
This is a restructure – a necessary restructure – that Coca-Cola Amatil, as the owner of SPC Ardmona has been prepared to embark upon and I think it’s very important now that Coca-Cola complete the restructuring ...
It is very important that they complete the renegotiation of the enterprise bargaining agreement. The existing agreement contains conditions and provisions which are well in excess of the award: there are wet allowances, there are loadings, there are extensive provisions to cash out sick leave, there are extremely generous redundancy provisions well in excess of the award…
Coca-Cola Amatil is… a $9 billion business by market capitalisation. In the last six months for which has been reported, their pre-tax profit was just a whisker under $300 million, just for six months… So, this is a very, very strong business and I think this is a business which well and truly has the resources to ensure that SPC Ardmona is in a strong position to restructure ...
Coca-Cola have done a lot to restructure the business already. They’ve put a lot of money in, they’ve changed the management, they have new product lines that they are beginning to roll out, they have done a lot of work with some of their customers, both domestically and abroad. So, the restructure is underway, but there’s a lot more that needs to be done and it should be done by the business. It’s not really the Government’s job…
Likewise with Industry Minister Eric Abetz. He mentioned the over-award pay and conditions at SPC Ardmona as just one of the cost factors harming the operation, and just one of the reasons for refusing it a handout:
SPC Ardmona is a business that has the potential, even on Coca-Cola Amatil’s figures, of returning a profit. What they need to do is have a look at some of their cost structures and help themselves in, clearly, difficult circumstances. But they can do that. And the parent company clearly has the wherewithal to be able to undertake the renewal that SPC Ardmona needs…
Look, the conditions of the workers were, regrettably, over generous. One example is the ‘shiny tin’ allowance for forklift drivers… And might I also add, if we could remove the carbon tax and other imposts it would make the viability of SPC Ardmona even better.
UPDATE
SPC Ardmona corrects claims Abbott and Abetz did not actually make (sick leave paid out each year, rather than on redundancy). It ignores ones they or others did make (five days training leave for each of the eight shop stewards; the bright can allowance) and plays down its generous above-award conditions, from five rostered days off a year to allowances and above-award pay and redundancy pay-outs. They also claim the overtime paid is minimal without discussing whether lower overtime rates would in fact allow the plant to operate more flexibly.
The point remains: a company and workers who have not done everything to save their own business cannot expect taxpayers to save it for them. And this is just one factor in denying them a grant.
As for some of the company’s other complaints about tough trading conditions and unfair competition, fine. But I am struck that SPC Ardmona, whose parent company is run by David Gonski, so connected to Labor and Therese Rain, never got around to mentioning Labor’s carbon tax.
UPDATE
This pay deal last December does not sound to me like a deal struck to save a company from going under:
SPC ARDMONA workers will receive pay rises totalling 5 per cent over 10 months, with wage rises awarded to designated team leaders increasing to 8.5 per cent.
The deal between SPC and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union saw workers receive an initial 2.5 per cent pay rise in March this year which was backdated two months. The second 2.5 per cent increase will be paid from January 1.
Under the deal, which expires next June, 12 team leaders will receive two additional increases totalling 3.5 per cent…
The annual base salary for a production employee on the highest classification will be $61,308 from next month.
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And not a drop to drink without a certificate

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (2:26pm)

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Reader Andrew is astonished:
I work in the food and beverage industry in South Australia, and just thought I would forward you on this bizarre and ridiculous junk that I spend many hours attending to every week. I have just been informed that I need to be registered to provide drinking water to patrons.
Astonishing. Just read all the questions on that form at the link.  Bureaucrats are tougher on people who’d give you water than on people who’d let you thirst.
Let us now rewrite St John’s Gospel in the manner now preferred by the South Australian Department of Health:
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. Besides, I have not filled in my Application for Registration as a Drinking Water Provider.
10 Jesus wept.
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How the Left celebrates all diversity but yours

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (1:50pm)

A far-Left council in western Melbourne created a “Go West” campaign to make everyone feel appreciated and included:
As part of Midsumma 2010, Hobsons Bay City Council hosted a GLBTIQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer) Forum… The Forum, along with a successful arts event featuring GLBTIQ artists from the region, were held under the GO WEST logo which was newly created for Midsumma events being held by the Council…
The Forum clearly demonstrates the Council’s vision of “Working together to achieve a vibrant and sustainable community that celebrates diversity ...”
The council’s celebration of diversity, however, does not extend to celebrating the diversity of Australians who chose Tony Abbott as their Prime Minister, to judge by the T-shirt of the man who paraded the council’s slogan at the Gay Pride march in Melbourne last weekend:
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A ratepayer, Matthew Dale, writes to his own Wyndham City Council, which joined the Go West campaign:
As a tax payer I take absolute offence to the following image of the person who carried the ‘go west’ banner along Fitzroy st for the Pride March, for the taxes that I pay fund the go west initiative and no doubt the cost of printing the banner itself. As a supporter of gay rights and marriage equality I find it unnecessary to bring any hate or anger to pride march, which is intended to celebrate the diversity and rich culture of Melbourne’s gay community…

I would like to see your council address this matter by publicly withdrawing support for the “F..k Tony Abbott” movement and I also feel that it would be appropriate to publicly apologise to the office of the Hon. Tony Abbott for allowing your volunteer, employee or supporter (photographed above) to publicly promote your government funded initiative while wearing such an offensive tshirt. If you are not to withdraw support for the movement itself and apologise for allowing your volunteer, employee or supporter to lead your publicly funded initiative as it participated in the 2014 Midsumma pride march, as a tax payer I would take this as an endorsement directly by your council.
And as we’ve often had occasion to ask, imagine the media uproar if something similarly crude and offensive had been directed at Julia Gillard.
But with Abbott the “compassionate” Left bares its fangs. Believe it or not, but “F… Abbott” T-shirts were actually produced by an Age columnist and promoted by the newspaper itself.   
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10 years on, where’s the warming? Where’s the sorry?

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (1:12pm)

Global warming - dud predictions

What Britain’s Met Office predicted in 2007:
By 2014 we’re predicting it will be 0.3 degrees warmer than 2004 [red dot on graphics below], and just to put that into context the warming over the past century and a half has only been 0.7 degrees, globally, there have been bigger changes locally but globally the warming is 0.7 degrees. So 0.3 degrees over the next ten years is pretty significant. And half the years after 2009 are predicted to be hotter than 1998 which was the previous record. So these are very strong statements about what will happen over the next ten years, so again I think this illustrates we can already see signs of climate change but over the next ten years we are expecting to see quite significant changes occurring. 
What actually happened:
With none of the fanfare that accompanied their prediction of the global temperature for the forthcoming year the Met Office has quietly released the global temperature for 2013. It will come as no surprise after the 2013 temperatures released by NASA and NOAA that it shows the global temperature standstill – now at 17 years – continues. Once again the Met Office predicted the following year would be considerably warmer than it turned out to be. There is something seriously wrong with the Met Office’s forecasts. 
I really think we’re owed an apology or at least an explanation:
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(Via the Global Warming Policy Foundation.)
UPDATE
No, the ABC isn’t biased. It just by pure fluke keeps writing absolute nonsense in support of global warming alarmism:
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Its later correction is marginally better - this time correctly reporting a warmist made a stupid claim about a tree suddenly suffering from a warming that hasn’t actually occurred for 17 years:
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The unembroidered facts about this tree:
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More plain facts:
Darwin experienced tides of 8.08m on Sunday, the highest tides for at least three years, the Bureau of Meteorology said.
King tides, when the sun, earth and moon are in alignment, usually happen twice each year in Darwin but the current king tide has been stronger than normal because of onshore winds and lower atmospheric pressure associated with a monsoon trough…
Rainy, windy weather also caused trees to fall down.
But, no, some scaremonger can’t resist the opportunity to scream “global warming!”
(Thanks to readers Dave and Wade.) 
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How Turney sailed into record ice and saw only warming

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (12:58pm)

Global warming - dud predictions

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Remember how Professor Chris Turney’s Ship of Fools continued to protest that global warming was melting the sea ice everywhere except, by sheer coincidence, where they’d been trapped?
Sea ice is disappearing due to climate change, but here ice is building up.
Guess those warmists picked a bad time to tell us global warming was melting Antarctica:
Antarctic sea ice extent continues to break records. Extent at 31st January, of 4.540 million sq km, beat the previous record set in 2008. This is 26% higher than the climatological average for this date of 3.598 million sq km. 
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The ultimate Guardian

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (12:50pm)

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Shorten defends rotten unions from a royal commission

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (10:04am)

Bill Shorten, the former union boss who unions helped to install as Labor leader, is digging himself a hole. Remember these comments when the inevitable inquiry digs up what it inevitably will:
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has labelled a royal commission into union corruption a political witch-hunt, while warning he would take a zero-tolerance approach to union corruption… Mr Shorten suggested the Abbott government had undermined the work of law enforcement agencies by pushing for a royal commission.
Andrew Goldsmith, strategic professor of Criminology, Law School, Flinders University, disagrees:

Union and opposition calls for legal processes to take their normal course in dealing with these types of allegations appear naive. They advocate the pursuit of “rotten apples”. This is a discredited approach to corruption analysis…
While criminal law retains an important role in attacking corruption, police investigation and prosecutions alone rarely dent the structures and cultures that sustain corruption…
A royal commission is better resourced than standing agencies to undertake a root and branch examination… A royal commission that takes a systemic approach to the examination of the issues, rather than one mainly driven by criminal law standards, is less likely to look like a witch-hunt against either corporate or union interests. It is more likely to secure co-operation from otherwise reluctant sources holding important information about corruption and intimidation.
Of course, the danger for Labor is that a royal commission might well discover that one of the “structures and cultures that sustain corruption” has been Labor governments too weak to stand up to rotten unions.
(Thanks to reader Peter.) 
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Voldemort was a climate sceptic. Abbott, too

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (9:52am)

Warmist Michael Mazengarb explains why he resigned from the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator following the election of the Abbott government:
What would the wizards and witches in the Ministry of Magic have thought and done when Voldemort revived his quest for power? Did they have their own version of the APS Values or Code of Conduct? Did they instruct officials to remain apolitical and to serve the government/Dark Lord of The Day?
This man was once paid by us to help the “design and implementation of Australia’s renewable energy and climate change policies”.
(Via Catallaxy Files.) 
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Which saboteur slashed Victoria’s power?

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (9:44am)

We need to hear a lot, lot more about this astonishing bastardry:

Police say a fire at the Yallourn power station in Gippsland in June last year was caused by an act of sabotage

Three generators were knocked out at the plant which supplies a quarter of Victoria’s energy. It came in the middle of a bitter industrial dispute between the power station operator Energy Australia and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).
The fire coincided with Energy Australia’s decision to lock CFMEU members out of the site indefinitely… The CFMEU has ...denied any involvement.
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Human Rights Commission gives Coalition the grilling it spared Labor when children drowned

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (9:24am)

As I noted yesterday, the Human Rights Commission, if it were truly unbiased and worried about the children of asylum seekers, should have held an inquiry when Labor was luring scores of children to their deaths at sea and filling our detention centres with its reckless policies.
Er, ah, stutters the commission, caught out again:

THE Australian Human Rights Commission should have considered an inquiry into asylum-seeker children in detention under the former Labor government when numbers were actually rising, the commission’s president has admitted.
Gillian Triggs said she accepted criticism that the timing of the commission’s current inquiry, announced yesterday, was off by about “two or three years”—but blamed her predecessor and the election year for the delay.
Professor Triggs also acknowledged the political nature of the move, saying that, having held off launching an inquiry during Labor’s final period in government and the early months of the Abbott administration, it was “now time to start using the influence we have"…
The commission’s first report into child detention in Australia noted a peak of 842 children held under the Howard government in September 2001. That number was passed under the Gillard government in November 2010, when 883 children were in detention. It passed 1000 for the first time under Labor in January 2011 and reached a high of almost 2000 last July, two months before the federal election. It is estimated there are about 1028 children in asylum detention in Australia and Nauru.
Realising its timing was off by about “two or three years”, the commission should have called off this new inquiry. Lives are being saved and the detention centres emptied by Abbott.
Sounds like partisan politics again from the Human Rights Commissions, thinking our rights are more endangered by conservatives. 
Once again, evidence that scrapping the Commission would save millions without disadvantaging the country a jot.

UPDATE
Sev Ozdowski, former Human Rights Commissioner responsible for the 2001 inquiry:
Certainly the repetition of my inquiry is the highest form of flattery but timing is very odd. When the boats were arriving in large numbers and Labor was at its peak of cruelty towards the boat arrivals AHRC almost did not see the problem and the newly appointed Children Rights Commissioner was proclaiming that her jurisdiction is limited to domestic matters.
(Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill, BbqTalk, Dave, Earnestlad and many others.) 
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Helping Paul Barry. Why the ABC is bigger than we’d allow any Murdoch

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (8:28am)

Media Watch host Paul Barry last night threatened to put an ABC critic in his place for warning the ABC was too big for our health:
When the Prime Minister finally joined the chorus last week the ABC’s enemies and detractors put the boot in again.
But the big question is: will this be the end of it? ... And the answer is, No. Or not if News Corp and Andrew Bolt have their way. 
“ANDREW BOLT: The ABC is just too big for a state-funded, government-beholden, media outlet. It runs an empire so vast, across so many platforms, that no private media operator is even allowed to do that. — 2GB, Nights with Steve Price, 29th January, 2014”
We’ll come back to that issue in another program and to the charge that ABC News Online makes life impossible for its commercial rivals.
Let me put Barry on the right path.
Here are just some of the limits put on private media companies, as explained on the parliamentary website:
Television
A person must not control television broadcasting licences whose combined licence area exceeds 75 per cent of the population of Australia, or more than one licence within a licence area (section 53)…
Radio
A person must not be in a position to control more than two licences in the same licence area (section 54)…

Cross-Media Control

Under section 60 a person must not control: 

- a commercial television broadcasting licence and a commercial radio broadcasting licence having the same licence area
- a commercial television broadcasting licence and a newspaper associated with that licence area
- or a commercial radio broadcasting licence and newspaper associated with that licence area.
But the vast state-owned ABC can do what no private media company may.
Unlike commercial media companies, the ABC can and does “control television broadcasting licences whose combined licence area exceeds 75 per cent of the population of Australia”. The ABC’s service is available to 98 per cent of the Australian population.
Unlike commercial media companies, the ABC can and does “control more than two [radio] licences in the same licence area”. In Melbourne, for instance, it has five - Radio National, 774, Classic FM, Triple J and NewsRadio.
Unlike commercial media companies, the ABC can and does have “a commercial television broadcasting licence and a commercial radio broadcasting licence having the same licence area”.
What’s more, the ABC with The Drum and its extensive on-line news site is now effectively engaged in the modern form of newspaper publishing. Private newspaper publishers are banned from doing what the ABC now in reality does:  they may not simultaneously hold “a commercial television broadcasting licence and a newspaper associated with that licence area”, or “a commercial radio broadcasting licence and newspaper associated with that licence area”.
I repeat: no private media outlet is permitted the reach and multiple platforms the ABC now enjoys.  Why is the ABC allowed a reach we’ve agreed is too dangerous for any other media outlet? After all, it is no less partisan.
As for squeezing out commercial rivals, the ABC now publishes free on line the same kind of news and views that Fairfax newspapers must sell to the same kind of audience if it is to survive. Consider already the collapse of Politifact, which had to compete against a free ABC rival. As Politifact’s founder sighed:
We don’t have the budget the ABC does and tax payers funding…
Consider also the collapse of the Global Mail (although, true, it was a bad product propped up by a donor now backing the Guardian Australia). There will be more. Fairfax newspapers, for instance, are not predicted to last much longer in print form.
And the ABC will grow ever more dominant. Such a state-run behemoth is a danger in a democracy. Even at its most benign, when such a big player is so closed-shop Left it will stifle debate.
I wonder what Liberals think this means for their causes and their future, let alone for their country. 
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Media Watch admits ABC wrong on “torture” story. Slams ABC’s critics

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (8:13am)

Media

The ABC’s appalling reporting of the navy’s alleged torture of boat people is too much even for the ABC’s Media Watch:

We believe the ABC should have been far more cautious, given the evidence it had, and given it was making such a big call against the Navy… It now seems the burns occurred in a scuffle with the Navy. And were not deliberately inflicted by Navy personnel. We believe ABC News got it wrong. And if so ... it needs to admit it, to find out how the mistake was made, and to make sure it will not happen again.
How the mistake was made? Host Paul Barry refuses to accept the obvious conclusion that this too-eager willingness to believe the improbable worst of the navy and Abbott’s border policies is just one more evidence of the ABC’s bias. Consider the context - a record of frantic ABC campaigning against those very policies - and, of course, a refusal to apologise now for a gross error of judgment.
And so Barry skips on to mocking not the ABC but its critics. He runs for the umpteenth time his tired anti-Murdoch vendetta, and even stoops to commissioning a cartoon of me to belittle the very people who, in calling out the ABC over its torture story, were actually right.
Astonishing. Call out the ABC and you’ll be attacked by the ABC even when the ABC admits you were right. So childish.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.)  
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Shock. Abbott does not provoke a war over the boats

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (7:22am)

Greg Sheridan on the success that the ABC and Fairfax neither predicted nor wish to credit:
IT is surely remarkable that the Indonesian military has declared that it is moving naval assets to the south of its archipelago for the specific purpose of combating people-smuggling…
So, given that this has been a chief aim of Australian bilateral diplomacy for years, and that it has now been achieved, the Abbott government must surely be basking in the praise of Australian commentators. Well, not exactly.
First, a lot of commentators are determined that the Abbott government can do nothing effective or right in foreign policy....  [T]hese folks have long ardently wished for ... a full blown crisis between Canberra and Jakarta…
Over the last week or so, the Indonesians have clearly wound down their rhetoric and response, seemingly for three key reasons. One, the response is incident-driven; if there are no boats, there are no incidents. Two, the Indonesians recognise that it is in their interests if the boat trade stops, even if they disagree with how the Abbott government is stopping it. Three, the Abbott government’s steadiness of policy here has made it clear that complaining about the policy won’t have any effect.
This issue has a long way to run and it is inherently unpredictable. But so far we know for sure that the boats have stopped and no serious or permanent damage has been done to the relationship with Indonesia. That, surely, is a good outcome.
But once it was the wisdom of the Left to state as fact that Abbott was a bumbler whose boat policy would do nothing but risk confrontation with Indonesia.
Adjunct professor Colin Brown:
Australia achieves nothing from this policy, except straining the relationship with Indonesia.
Kevin Rudd:
Prime Minister Mr Rudd said the opposition’s plan to turn back asylum-seeker boats risked “some sort of conflict with Indonesia"… Mr Rudd suggested the opposition’s boats policy could lead to a naval showdown.
Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek:

Over the past several weeks, many have looked on shocked as the Abbott government has turned Australia’s once strong relationship with Indonesia sour.
Professor Damien Kingsbury:
Given that Indonesia is very unlikely to agree to such a policy [to turn back boats], if Abbott becomes prime minister after the next election, it is likely that he will continue to avoid it. To do otherwise would be to plunge Australia-Indonesia relations back to the lowest of their previous depths. Wrecking a very strong and important bilateral relationship is not what any Australian prime minister would desire.
Richard Ackland, Sydney Morning Herald columnist:
Best way for [Indonesian President] SBY to respond to spying is to open the spigot on refugees. Put 50,000 on boats, point them at Oz. Goodbye Abbott.
John Menadue in the ABC’s The Drum:

Could we do more to offend the Indonesians? ...  In the ‘war’ on boat arrivals, the Abbott Government has ignored the collateral damage it has done to our relations with Indonesia.
The Age, November 2013:
The government’s cornerstone policy of ‘’stopping the boats’’ is fast unravelling… This would be laughable if it were not so serious… The continuing heavy-handed approach is damaging the bilateral relationship… We suspect the Coalition knew all along that its policy of turning back boats was fraught with difficulty...
Comedian Ben Eltham Ben Eltham, not a professional comedian:
This is madness. Australia is risking a critical relationship with a good neighbour for no other reason than cheap domestic politics. Operation Sovereign Borders is dangerous, potentially illegal, and obviously offensive to our key partner in the region… The Abbott government appears entirely willing to damage Australia’s national interests for the sake of “stopping the boats”
Former diplomat Bruce Haigh:
Australia has a problem. Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison have taken Australia down a path from which there are only two outcomes: further aggression and confrontation with Indonesia or retreat.
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Is the ABC really biased, Tony Jones asks his four panellists of the Left

Andrew Bolt February 03 2014 (10:06pm)

Q&A Leftist host Tony Jones asks his panel tonight to discuss whether the ABC really is biased.
Tanya Plibersek, Labor’s deputy leader, says no, and what about that rotten Abbott.
Akmal Saleh, billed as a comedian, says Murdoch’s papers are the real disgrace and Abbott is a clown.
Cassandra Goldie, head of Australian Council of Social Service, says the ABC is really, really important and gives voice to the voiceless.
Ray Martin, the journalist and urger of republicanism and “reconciliation”, says the ABC is wonderful and those Liberals have always been whingeing about bias at the ABC.  Gosh one silly Liberal PM was even suspiciousn about his red tie.
So far, then, five people of the Left, including Jones, and speaking to the loud cheers of a very vocally Left audience.
Against all that are just Murdoch journalist Nick Cater and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.
Two against five.
Really, did Tony Jones seriously think he could ask such a question about ABC bias without us noticing that his choice of panellists had (yet again) given the answer?
UPDATE
I’m going to bed. Plibersek is at her interrupting, hectoring and abusive worst, and not even Cater and Joyce have corrected Jones’ claim that The Australian’s alleged campaign against the ABC could be influenced by what Jones said was parent company News Corp’s play for a $225 million contract to deliver the Australia Network, which Labor gave to the ABC against the judgement an independent panel. That was “a lot” of money to influence News, Jones said, suggesting this could be why The Australian was attacking the ABC’s hold on the Australia Network.
Attention Jones: first, it seems there won’t actually be an Australia Network at all, given the Government’s cost-cutting plans. The prospect of News Corp ever earning a dollar from the rights to run the network seem remote.
Second, News Corp wasn’t the bidder for the contract. Sky News was. Sky News is two-thirds owned by the Seven and Nine networks, with Britain’s BSkyB owning the last third. Just 39 per cent of BSkyB is owned by a Murdoch entity, 21st Century Fox.  Which all means that in the unlikely event that Sky News got the Australia Network, a Murdoch company would have just 13 per cent of the action - or less than $30 million, not $225 million.
And, really, questioning a motive before you address an argument is a shoddy way to argue. Nick Cater was very right to protest, while Plibersek next to him mugged like a clown.  
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Pastor Rick Warren
LIVE ONLINE NOW: I am teaching on the 7 spiritual habits for reducing stress from Psalm 23. Join us! Watch here-http://bit.ly/ZvjGI9
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Pray this for YOUR CITY: "I'll heal your city, restoring it to health. I'll heal the people in it and I'll bring peace and security" Jeremiah 33:6
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MADU Odiokwu Pastorvin
Father, today I come to You with an attitude of faith and expectancy. You said that if I ask anything according to Your will, it will be done. So I thank You for Your goodness and faithfulness in my life and I believe for big things in 2014 in Jesus’ name! Amen.
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Ask Him Whatever You Want.

He says,“Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.”(Psalm 2:8, NIV)
Not only does He want to meet our needs, He wants us to be in a position to reach out and help meet the needs of others, too.

When we pray and ask God for something, it opens a supernatural door. Our faith gives God something to work with. Faith is what pleases Him. Faith moves mountains. Did you know that it pleases God when we pray bold prayers and ask Him for big things? God loves it when we step outside of the realm of the possible and totally believe what He can do. With God, all things are possible!

Today, I encourage you to get bold with your prayers. Ask God for big things. Believe that He is working behind the scenes on your behalf. Put your faith to work because God is faithful. He has big things in store for you, and He says, ask Me.God bless you.
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PRAY.
Father,I thank You for a new day and a new thing coming my way. Thank You for choosing me and using me for Your purposes. I set my love on You today knowing that You have something new in store for me this year in Jesus’ name. Amen
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Something New Is Coming Your Way.
The Scripture says,“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun. Do you not see it?”(Isaiah 43:19)

I believe this new thing is going to be far greater than you’ve ever seen before. It’s going to be bigger than you imagined. It’s going to be more rewarding than you thought possible. Receive it by faith and declare, “Yes, God, this is for me today. I’m not going to get stuck where I am. I know You’re a big God, and You have something new coming my way!” I receive it,in Jesus Name,Amen.
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Father,I thank You for Your faithfulness and strength at work in my life today. I choose to consider Your ability over my circumstance.I choose to wait on your promises. I choose to trust You and give You praise, honor and glory, now and always in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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A lesson For Us.
Abraham, who is known as our father in the faith, had many obstacles coming against the promise of God in his life. God told him that he would be “the father of many nations.” Abraham was over 90 years old before he ever saw that promise begin to come to pass. This scripture tells us that He didn’t consider his body. He didn’t think and meditate on all the reasons why he couldn’t be the father of many nations. No, he considered and thought about the strength and ability of God! He thought about God’s faithfulness and gave praise and glory to Him. The faith that Abraham exercised opened the door for God to do mighty things in and through Him.

The Scripture says,“And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body...he did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform" (Romans 4:19–21, NKJV).Today, what are you believing God for? Does it seem impossible? Has it taken a long time? Consider your God. Consider His Word. Consider His faithfulness. Just like Abraham, you’ll grow strong in faith as you give glory to God. Trust Him today and experience the victory He has in store for you tomorrow.God bless you.
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Father,I thank You for cleansing me and making me new. Thank You for making me the righteousness of God in Christ. Help me to fully understand this so I can walk in the fullness of the blessing You have prepared for me in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.(2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV)

Not only did Jesus pay for the punishment for your sins, the Bible says He actually became sin. He took sin upon Himself and into His being so that you could take God’s righteousness upon yourself and into your being. It’s the great exchange.If you’ve accepted Jesus today, then you are the righteousness of God. That means you are one with Him and an extension of His virtue.Meditate on this truth and let Him set you free.Amen.
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God is enough for you. God alone.
If I have everything my heart would desire, and have not Him, I have nothing.
If I have Him and nothing more, I have everything.My heart must be convinced of this. Only then can I live in peace.Otherwise, there will always be something else I need urgently, desperately.And this lack, will forever drive me to distraction and destroy my rightful peace and rest,my quietness and confidence in the Lord.He is enough for you.You are blessed.
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Bust of Septimius Severus
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“But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” -Psalm 59:16
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
February 3: Morning
"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors." - Romans 8:12
As God's creatures, we are all debtors to him: to obey him with all our body, and soul, and strength. Having broken his commandments, as we all have, we are debtors to his justice, and we owe to him a vast amount which we are not able to pay. But of the Christian it can be said that he does not owe God's justice anything, for Christ has paid the debt his people owed; for this reason the believer owes the more to love. I am a debtor to God's grace and forgiving mercy; but I am no debtor to his justice, for he will never accuse me of a debt already paid. Christ said, "It is finished!" and by that he meant, that whatever his people owed was wiped away forever from the book of remembrance. Christ, to the uttermost, has satisfied divine justice; the account is settled; the handwriting is nailed to the cross; the receipt is given, and we are debtors to God's justice no longer. But then, because we are not debtors to our Lord in that sense, we become ten times more debtors to God than we should have been otherwise. Christian, pause and ponder for a moment. What a debtor thou art to divine sovereignty! How much thou owest to his disinterested love, for he gave his own Son that he might die for thee. Consider how much you owe to his forgiving grace, that after ten thousand affronts he loves you as infinitely as ever. Consider what you owe to his power; how he has raised you from your death in sin; how he has preserved your spiritual life; how he has kept you from falling; and how, though a thousand enemies have beset your path, you have been able to hold on your way. Consider what you owe to his immutability. Though you have changed a thousand times, he has not changed once. Thou art as deep in debt as thou canst be to every attribute of God. To God thou owest thyself, and all thou hast--yield thyself as a living sacrifice, it is but thy reasonable service.
Evening
"Tell me ... where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon." - Song of Solomon 1:7
These words express the desire of the believer after Christ, and his longing for present communion with him. Where doest thou feed thy flock? In thy house? I will go, if I may find thee there. In private prayer? Then I will pray without ceasing. In the Word? Then I will read it diligently. In thine ordinances? Then I will walk in them with all my heart. Tell me where thou feedest, for wherever thou standest as the Shepherd, there will I lie down as a sheep; for none but thyself can supply my need. I cannot be satisfied to be apart from thee. My soul hungers and thirsts for the refreshment of thy presence. "Where dost thou make thy flock to rest at noon?" for whether at dawn or at noon, my only rest must be where thou art and thy beloved flock. My soul's rest must be a grace-given rest, and can only be found in thee. Where is the shadow of that rock? Why should I not repose beneath it? "Why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?" Thou hast companions--why should I not be one? Satan tells me I am unworthy; but I always was unworthy, and yet thou hast long loved me; and therefore my unworthiness cannot be a bar to my having fellowship with thee now. It is true I am weak in faith, and prone to fall, but my very feebleness is the reason why I should always be where thou feedest thy flock, that I may be strengthened, and preserved in safety beside the still waters. Why should I turn aside? There is no reason why I should, but there are a thousand reasons why I should not, for Jesus beckons me to come. If he withdrew himself a little, it is but to make me prize his presence more. Now that I am grieved and distressed at being away from him, he will lead me yet again to that sheltered nook where the lambs of his fold are sheltered from the burning sun.
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Aquila 
[Ăq'uĭlă] - eagle.
A Jew whom Paul found at Corinth on his arrival from Athens (Acts 18:2, 18, 26Rom. 16:31 Cor. 16:192 Tim. 4:19).
The Man Who Is Always Linked with His Wife
A characteristic feature of Aquila and Priscilla is that their names are always mentioned together. In the truest sense they were "no more twain but one." They were one in their common interest in Christ, and all they accomplished together in the name of the Lord was the result of that perfect unity of spiritual nature, of purpose and of aim.
I. By occupation they were tent-makers. Perhaps it was because Paul followed the same trade that he was attracted to them when he went to Corinth from Athens.
II. By their oneness in spiritual things they were hospitable. Being in full sympathy with Paul's message they willingly received him unto their house, and he remained with them for a year and a half. What blessed times of fellowship the three of them must have had!
III. By their faithfulness they encouraged the saints. Paul tells us that these two devoted people were willing to "lay down their own necks" for the apostle. What they did for Paul earned the gratitude of all the churches.
IV. By their spiritual insight, Apollos and many other saints were helped. They had a "church in their house" and because of their spiritual quality and knowledge of Scripture many were blessed.
A fact that cannot escape our notice is that Priscilla is usually named first in the references to Aquila and herself. Perhaps this most "noble Roman lady" became a Christian before her husband. Maybe she was a more active worker than her husband! Chrysostom says that it was Priscilla's careful expositions of the way of God that proved so helpful to Apollos. Together, Aquila and Priscilla are a pertinent example for Christian husbands and wives.
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Today's reading: Exodus 31-33, Matthew 22:1-22 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Exodus 31-32

Bezalel and Oholiab
Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 "See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills-- 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5 to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts....

Today's New Testament reading: Matthew 22:1-22

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
4 "Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet....'


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