Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tue Mar 11th Todays News

Sometimes, history repeats itself. On this day in 222, Emperor Elagabalus is assassinated, along with his mother, Julia Soaemias, by the Praetorian Guard during a revolt. Their mutilated bodies are dragged through the streets of Rome before being thrown into the Tiber. On this day, pop star Justin Bieber is having his march 6 deposition shown to the world. His casual dismissal of his Australian fans will no doubt be exciting for his female fans. Much as the four year reign of Elagubalus featured insane sexual indulgence over sensible administration. In the end, his own grandmother set him up. Bieber is young and irresponsible too. He can afford to be, at the moment. It is doubtful Justin has family that will intervene for him. But the issue is wider. It has nothing to do with Bieber, but is related to Australian politics. What populist indulgence will Australia accept from the ALP? We will be able to see some of it when Tasmania, South Australia and West Australia have their state or federal senate elections. 

On this day in 1702 in England, the first national daily newspaper was published. And it is sad to mark the fall in standards. Today, we have newspapers that promote censorship of free speech because it is too hard for them to judge what is right, and they want government to do it. But as the recent Bolt case illustrated, the judgements are inappropriate and arbitrary, rather than liberating. Some claim Bolt was convicted of things he wasn't. But the law won't let him defend himself with the truth. Another instance was proclaimed of the use of the law to force FaceBook to close down antisemitic sites. I know that this claim is an over reach, and I believe that in fact there have been pro Israeli sites that have also been shut down. Certainly, articles have been removed without natural justice principles being applied. Accounts are banned by the same standards which applied in witch trials in times past. 

It is not only censorship which has been promoted by those cut by it, Channel 9's Sixty Minutes Program did an article on Fukushima. One fact which was not mentioned is that no one died from the nuclear accident, and no one is sick from it. Making it not as bad as Chernobyl, which in turn has been overstated. 
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns Philip Tran and Mick Doan. Born on the same day, across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you. They are like an energy bar and banana for breakfast.
Matches
Despatches
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CATCHING UP

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 11, 2014 (11:16am)

It’s only taken a decade or so, but Media Watch has finally noticed one example of alarmist nonsense about climate change. Good for them.
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Green calls Abbott “racist”. ABC reporter applauds

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (11:52am)

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam last week gave a speech calling the Prime Minister a “racist” and a “homophobe”.
ABC reporter Alison Caldwell approves:
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And still ABC boss Mark Scott refuses to admit his staff are biased to the Left. Still he claims:
I don’t know how our journalists vote. I don’t know what their personal views are.
Now he does.
UPDATE
Lots of fun as Caldwell defends herself. It seems she’s just a fan of good writing - of sorts:
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Strange, though, that Caldwell says she was praising only the writing of Ludlam’s viciously abusive speech.
In fact she’d praised his “delivery” of the speech and its “impact”. In an earlier tweet she even praised its “tone”:

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She also tweeted that his anti-Abbott rant even demonstrated Ludlam to be a man of “substance” and “considered”:
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Caldwell also retweeted ecstatic praise of the speech, especially its most abusive parts, along with a message of support for the Greens:

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In fact, this speech of hate made Caldwell finally feel inspired by the politics she’s been covering for the ABC:

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But now Caldwell says she was just praising Ludlam’s “writing”?
Please. At least have the courage of your Greens convictions.
UPDATE
Remember how Caldwell didn’t mention the elephant on the ice when she rang the Ship of Fools – that warmists were trapped in the ice they’d sworn was melting away?

Remember her sympathetic interview of people keen on shackling our free speech?

Coincidence? 
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Don’t mention the man on the stolen passport is … er, not Asian. No, not white, either

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (10:59am)

Fear of seeming racist has the Sydney Morning Herald’s headline writer using hints and guess-agains rather than say plainly that one of the men who used stolen passports on the missing Malaysian flight was black:
Missing Malaysia Airlines jet: Passenger with stolen passport ‘non-Asian’ who looks like Mario Balotelli

Same bizarre circumlocution in the story itself:
Malaysian authorities have identified one of the two men who used stolen passports to board the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, the nation’s inspector general of police told local media on Monday, as international search teams continued to look - so far unsuccessfully - for wreckage from the jet.
“I can confirm that he is not a Malaysian, but cannot divulge which country he is from yet,” Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar told the Star, a major Malaysian newspaper. He added that the man is also not from Xinjiang, China - a northwestern province of the mainland home to minority Uighurs. Uighur separatists have been blamed for a knifing rampage in southwestern China this month that left 29 dead.
Civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman declined to confirm this, but said they were of “non-Asian” appearance, adding that authorities were looking at the possibility the men were connected to a stolen passport syndicate.
Asked by a reporter what they looked like “roughly,” he said: “Do you know of a footballer by the name of (Mario) Balotelli? He is an Italian. Do you know how he looks like?”
A reporter then asked, “Is he black?” and the aviation chief replied, “Yes.”
This anti-racism racism will one day kill us.
If the man with the stolen passport looked like a Deep South redneck, would that have been in the fifth paragraph or the first?
UPDATE
News Ltd’s reporter thinks the Malaysia aviation chief didn’t actually give the straight answer assumed there:

Asked if they looked African, Mr Rahman would not comment except to point out that footballer Mario Balotelli was Italian but was not Italian looking.
UPDATE
Astonishing in these days when even nuns get searched before flights:

A top terrorism expert says the use of stolen passports on flight MH370 ‘’eerily’’ resembles a 1994 attack on a Philippines flight by an al-Qaeda-linked hijacker and represents a ‘’massive security failure’’…

Ramzi Yousef, who was later convicted in connection with the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing, planted a bomb on a Philippine Airlines flight in 1994, killing one passenger but failing to bring down the plane.

He used a stolen Italian passport - a similar situation to the stolen Italian and Austrian passports used by two passengers in boarding the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
UPDATE
The plane hasn’t even been found, so we don’t know what happened to it. Was it blown up by terrorists? An anti-aircraft missile? Was it landed somewhere? Was it the victim of a catastrophic systems failure that knocked out all engines and communications at the same time? So everything is speculation.
That said:
The police in Pattaya said the tickets were bought not by the passengers themselves but by an Iranian man known to the police only as Mr Ali.
Supachai Phuikaewkhum, the chief of police in Pattaya, said ... Mr Ali called the agency from an Iranian telephone number and asked for the cheapest fares available from Kuala Lumpur to two separate destinations in Europe.

UPDATE
Adding to the puzzle:

Based on what he’s heard, Captain Cox believes it’s increasingly clear that the plane somehow veered from its normal flight path. He said that after the plane disappeared from radar, it must have been “intact and flew for some period of time. Beyond that, it’s all speculation.” If it had exploded midair along its normal flight path, “we would have found it by now.”
UPDATE
The men on false passports may well have nothing at all to do with the plane going missing:
THE mystery men travelling on missing Flight MH370 with stolen passports are reportedly Iranians looking for a fresh life in Europe. A BBC Persia reporter has told London’s Daily Telegraph how the men bought fake passports because they were “looking for a place to settle"…
(The) Financial Times reported their tickets had been arranged for by an Iranian known only as “Mr Ali"… A friend of Mr Ali’s paid cash for the tickets.
Benjaporn Krutnait, owner of the Grand Horizon travel agency in Thailand, said she had known the Iranian for about three years and he had booked tickets through her agency before. There is no evidence Mr Ali knew the two men were traveling on stolen passports and, according to NBC News, he has come forward to authorities after learning they were under suspicion. He is currently believed to be in Iran.
I don’t know what this means, if it’s true. Do any communications experts reading this know?
Several family members told [Malaysia Airlines commercial director Hugh] Dunleavy that passengers’ mobile phones were ringing, although no one picked up. Mr Dunleavy said MAS was also trying the mobile phones of the crew members, and that they also rang.
(Thanks to reader Baden.) 
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Clive Palmer is not a joke. That is the danger

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (10:55am)

Peter Reith does something rare - he takes Clive Palmer seriously. All the more reason to worry:
In elections in Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania, Palmer will be spending millions to persuade voters to vote for him even though he is not a candidate anywhere… He is entitled to spend his own money, he’s entitled to be ambitious, but his lack of democratic instincts and his populist policies, especially to spend billions of dollars by printing money, do not deserve support…
(S)tarting with more ferries between Tasmania and the mainland ... (H)is claim that his ferry service will be like the ferries that cross the English Channel is odd. There is a big difference between crossing the 38-kilometre Channel and making the 392-kilometre trip across Bass Strait. On top of that, Palmer will not say where the money will come from for his ferry scheme.
Worse still, in WA Palmer has advocated more GST funds should be returned to that state, which means fewer dollars for places like Tasmania. Telling one story in one state and a different story elsewhere is too cute by far…
And then there is his plan to abolish higher education fees. Once again he offers no answer to the question of how he can pay for his plan. The truth is that he has no answer and he demonstrates once again that populism is his principal modus operandi…
His most irresponsible policy is that the government should be turning on the printing presses to the tune of $70 billion...At a time when economic reform and fiscal responsibility is more important than ever, Palmer is a man out of his depth and drowning in his own ego.
The danger, though, is that Australia will drown in his ego, too.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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How many bad apples does Shorten think make a rotten union barrel?

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (9:10am)

Politics - federal

Bill Shorten in 2012:
I don’t think that a few rotten eggs, a few rotten apples should be allowed to describe the whole of the labour movement in Australia.
Craig Thomson, Michael Williamson, the AWU slush fund scandal, the CFMEU corruption allegations… Just how many bad apples does it take before we reject the whole barrel?
Today:
THE Employee Ombudsman in South Australia has been arrested and charged with 67 counts of fraud allegedly committed while he was a union boss representing some of the country’s lowest paid workers.
Stephen Brennan, former South Australian and Tasmanian branch secretary for the national textile union, was arrested last Thursday over 35 counts of falsifying accounts and 32 counts of dishonest dealing with documents.
Police made the arrest after the union reported alleged misuse of union funds last year. It claimed up to $180,000 had been defrauded from members between 1999 and 2004....
Mr Brennan, who was secretary of the SA branch from 1991 until it merged with the NSW branch in 2006, denied the allegations when first raised by the union last year…
The South Australian Labor government appointed Mr Brennan to the role of Employee Ombudsman on $140,000 a year in 2006 when his term with the textile union concluded, and has continued to pay his salary since he stood down from his position last May pending the outcome of police and Fair Work Commission investigations.
Brennan says he’s innocent. 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Marcia Langton’s vilification: no law against this kind of abuse

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (9:07am)

Free speech, The politics of race

Two years ago Marcia Langton gave me a private apology for foul public smear:
Professor Marcia Langton recently apologised to me privately for publicly claiming in an Age article I believed in a “master race” and “racial hygiene”.
That false and foul claim was made in response to a Federal Court declaring unlawful columns in which I actually argued the very opposite - that we should not divide ourselves by “race”, and especially not by trivial inflections of it. Why couldn’t we simply judge each other as individuals?
I am yet to get from Langton the public apology I was led to believe was coming for that extraordinary smear, and instead now find myself bracketed by her with Pauline Hanson. But this time I am at least grateful that Langton concedes I indeed had a point in articles I cannot by law apparently republish or substantially repeat...
I never got that public apology.
Instead, last night on Q&A Langton again vilified me as a racist, to the applause and sniggers of some in the audience. Talking of articles in “the Bolt case”, in which I was taken to court and ordered not to repeat what I’d written, Langton claimed they just racially abused people. She claimed one person, Misty Jenkins, had been racially abused by me so badly- had been so bullied - that she withdrew from the Aboriginal community. We needed laws against this kind of thing, she claimed.
The facts:
None of the articles in “the Bolt case” mentioned Misty Jenkins. Not one - neither those banned nor those cleared. It is not legally safe for me to even link to them to prove it, but maybe you can find them for yourself.
I have mentioned Jenkins in one paragraph in one blog post in listing examples of the Leftist bias of a Melbourne University alumni publication - a paragraph essentially repeated days later in a newspaper column on the same subject. That article appeared in 2008 (a year before my since-banned articles).  It is too dangerous now for me to repeat that paragraph without first getting my lawyer’s opinion, but you may find it by Googling my name and Jenkins’.
See if it matches what Langton said of me last night. See if there is a single word of abuse, and if you find that word, feel free to quote it back at me.
See if my comment is of the kind that should be banned by our laws. Ask yourself whether what I have said of Misty Jenkins comes remotely close in offensiveness to what Langton has twice falsely said about me.
And consider a point I have made several times: that the law being defended seems designed not to protect people from abuse but ideas from challenge.
It strikes me that Langton is not at all fussy in labeling people as “racist” - a cheap-shot and plain nasty way to dodge arguments. She’s accused Germaine Greer, for instance, of racism:
RACISM and the highly evolved strategies that some white Australians use to dismiss, obstruct and trivialise Aboriginal people are like a virus: just when you think you have inoculated yourself against it, another version of the attack hits you when you are unprepared. Germaine Greer’s astonishing attack on me in her slight essay, On Rage, struck me as one of these mutant attacks.
It is a cleverly disguised but nonetheless racist attack on Aboriginal people.
She’s done it to Tim Flannery:
ABORIGINAL academic Marcia Langton has accused former Australian of the year Tim Flannery of holding a racist belief that indigenous Australians are ‘’enemies of nature’’.
How quick she’s been to play the racism card:

[Prominent Labor lawyer Josh] Bornstein tweeted, “Tim Flannery is racist and all black fellas are budding mining magnates. Did I get that right, Marcia Langton?”
Professor Langton replied: “No stupid, you didn’t.”
After he commented on her “mild and unimaginative abuse”, the Melbourne University professor snapped back, ”Doodums. Did the nig nog speak back? ...”
The politics of race is a cancer on free speech and debate.
UPDATE
Reader Turtle of WA did see racism on show on Q&A last night:

Lisa Wilkinson singled out George Brandis for being a ‘white able bodied heterosexual male’, and suggested that this might explain his lack of ‘sympathy’. So Lisa feels it is right to pathologise a person for belonging to the one group in society without special victim status, white, straight males. What a joke.
Today’s anti-racists have become what they say they oppose. 
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Obama always wanted the US military tamed. Now it is

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (8:52am)


Today we learn the origins of Barack Obama’s weakness - and now America’s:
IN 1983, an idealistic student of political science at Columbia University in New York penned an article for the university magazine railing against the “war mentality” of America and “the relentless, often silent spread of militarism in the country”.
President Ronald Reagan was a hostage to the “twisted logic of the Cold War”, he wrote, and was “playing into the Russians’ hands” rather than “shifting America off the dead-end track” and pursuing the proper goal of a “nuclear-free world”.
A quarter of a century later, the author - Barack Obama - was elected to the White House. While due allowance should be made for the callow scribblings of any student, there have been striking echoes of Obama’s youthful suspicion of American power during his five years as President.
Remember Obama declaring last August that Syria would cross a “red line” if it used chemical weapons - and then did nothing when it did?
He was outmanoeuvred by Vladimir Putin of Russia, who had conjured up a peace plan in which Assad’s stockpile of chemical weapons would be traded for a US undertaking not to use force. Obama had shown that his own words about a “red line” meant nothing.
The US President explained that he had a “deeply held preference for peaceful solutions”. “America is not the world’s policeman,” he declared. “Terrible things happen across the globe and it is beyond our means to right every wrong.”
True, but a vacuum is being created - and being filled by leaders with far fewer scruples about using force:
Russians flooded out of their bases in Crimea and occupied the pro-Russian region in southeastern Ukraine.
Reluctant to characterise the Russian military push - a flagrant breach of Ukraine’s sovereignty and international law - as a hostile action, the Obama administration chose to term it an “uncontested arrival”, the most startling US foreign policy euphemism since the “war on terror” was renamed an “overseas contingency operation"…
Volker believes Obama will not change. “You have seen a lot of this and you’re going to see more. Russia, Syria, the Egyptian generals, (Hamid) Karzai in Afghanistan, Iran within Iraq, the Shi’ite government of Iraq, Hezbollah - you can keep rattling them off. Everyone is reacting to this weakness.”
China might seize the Senkaku, also known as the Diayou, islands from Japan; Iran might judge that the cost of acquiring a nuclear weapon would be bearable; North Korea might flex its muscles; Assad’s Syria has no obvious need to come to the table.
(Thanks to reader watty.) 
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Desperate warmists now try the smallpox scare

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (8:23am)

Global warming - propaganda

Brendan O’Neill, editor of the online magazine spiked, on the green authoritarians’ search for new ways to make us believe the unbelievable and desire the undesirable:
The executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, has said scientists and UN officials should stop using “weirdo words” when talking about climate change… Ms Figueres says climate-change folk are “just not communicating properly"…
All sorts of green groups have come up with communication strategies to address what they view as the public’s apathy ... on all matters climatic. Some of the strategies are gob-droppingly patronising.
One, titled Communicating Climate Change to Mass Public Audiences, published by the Climate Change Advisory Group, says the masses ... will experience “painful emotions of grief for a society that must undergo changes” and they might even adopt “maladaptive coping strategies”, such as “denial of responsibility, blaming others, or becoming apathetic”. And it falls to the eco-enlightened to help the moronic masses through these feelings and encourage them to shift towards “pro-environmental behaviour"…
It’s not surprising that greenies are racking their brains over how best to communicate with the public, because even though they’ve been banging on about climate-change disaster for 20-plus years now, most people just aren’t interested…
But has the public really tuned out from eco matters because it doesn’t understand them, because it is perplexed by “expert discourse”? I don’t think so. I think the reason people are switching off from the enviro-agenda is because they disagree with it… Environmentalism is, by its own admission, a campaign against the public and our historic desire for more things and freedom.
Hmm. So how do warmists cut through now to really scare the morons?  Well, like this:

… scientists fear that smallpox, which was eradicated in 1979, could re-emerge from the most unlikely of places – defrosting corpses.
A handful of experts fear that bodies infected with the disease, which are defrosting in Siberia - having become exposed from melting frost – could potentially begin a cycle of infection, should a person make contact with the remains…
The work shows that viruses can survive being locked up in the permafrost for extremely long periods, France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) said in a press statement.
‘It has important implications for public-health risks in connection with exploiting mineral or energy resources in Arctic Circle regions that are becoming more and more accessible through global warming,’ it said.
Pathetic. Truly pathetic.
(Thanks to reader Penny.) 
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And they wonder why there’s so few of us left to defend Israel

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (7:20am)

I understand Israel’s frustration. But who in the West wants to sound racist these days by criticising poor Palestinians or Iranians? With the laws we have against free speech - laws foolishly backed by Jewish community leaders - who dares?
Benjamin Netanyahu accused the West of failing to condemn Iran’s involvement in an intercepted weapons shipment on Monday because it wanted to delude itself that the country’s leaders had changed course.
Standing beside an array of rockets, mortars and bullets seized from a ship that sailed from Iran, the Israeli prime minister said the international community was guilty of “hypocrisy” for failing to speak out while loudly denouncing Israel for continued settlement building.
“At most I heard a few faint condemnations of Iran from the international community,” he said
“In contrast if we build a balcony in Jerusalem we hear harsh condemnation from the international community.”
Mr Netanyahu was speaking at a naval base in the southern Israeli port of Eilat, where the arms haul was ceremoniously showcased in an event intended to draw the maximum propaganda value from the seizure of a merchant vessel on March 5 that Israel says was carrying supplies destined for Palestinians militants in Gaza.
Remember this?
Last December [1998] the Australian Financial Review (AFR) printed an article by Opinion Page writer Tom Switzer, titled “With friends like Palestinians, who needs enemies?” in which Mr Switzer wrote that the Palestinian people “cannot be trusted” and describes them as “terrorists” and “vicious thugs” who show “no serious willingness to comply with agreements"…
The Head of the General Palestinian Delegation to Australia and Ambassador of Palestine to Vanuatu, Mr Ali Kazak described the article as highly inflammatory and racially stereotyped and demanded that the Financial Review print an apology. While the AFR’s editor Colleen Ryan, apologised privately to Mr Kazak, the newspaper refused to make a public apology. Mr Kazak took his complaint to the Press Council.
In their ruling the Council said that “the article was certainly vituperative but it was published as a clearly marked opinion piece” and dismissed the complaint.
Remember the next step in this punishment by process?
Administrative Decisions Tribunal of NSW anti-discrimination ruling on AFR July 24, 2000:
THESE proceedings concern a complaint of racial vilification made by Mr Ali Kazak against The Australian Financial Review. Mr Kazak alleges that an article written by Tom Switzer published on 23 December 1998, contravenes s20C of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (the Act). The article as a whole paints an extremely negative picture of the Palestinian people and an extremely positive picture of the Israeli people and their government. The language used suggests that the Palestinians, unlike the Israelis, are unworthy and undeserving of support because, at least in relation to the peace process, they are hypocritical, untrustworthy, blameworthy and viscous[sic] . . . ..In our view, based on these considerations, the ordinary reasonable reader would be incited to hatred or serious contempt of the Palestinians by reading the Switzer article. The article uses brief and one sided “factual” information to justify extremely negative generalisations about the Palestinians. It paints them as inferior to the Israelis in the sense that all the features attributed to the Palestinians are negative, while those attributed to the Israelis are consistently positive. It negates the worth and value of the Palestinian people in the peace process. The effect is to incite an ordinary reasonable reader to hate or despise Palestinians, to view them with contempt and to see them as inferior to the Israelis… The complaint is substantiated.
The finding was eventually overturned on appeal (with virtually no media coverage). But think of the legal costs. The stress. The time. And think of the chilling effect. Would you have the money, time and heart to fight such battles just to express an opinion - and, in my opinion, a correct one on the obstacles Israel faces to find security? Would you have the support of your boss or shareholders?
Would you want to risk having all this controversy used to smear you and to try to silence you in other fora? From 2012:
It’s an attitude perfectly illustrated by an event being put on at the University of New South Wales by the United Nations Society… They have four speakers: three white, all men. One of them is Tom Switzer.
Readers will know I am not a fan of Switzer… Now, you might think that someone who has very publicly been found guilty of inciting ordinary reasonable readers to hate or despise Jews, gay people, or Indigenous Australians – to view them with contempt and to see them as inferior – might not be welcome at such an event. Given that such organisations like to play it safe, one would not expect them to court the controversy and outrage that would be expected if their speaker were a renowned anti-Semite.
But saying such things about Palestinians is just considered an unpleasant side issue.
The UNSW UN Society explained that 

as it stands, given that the topic of the Q & A is not in relation to the apparent comments made by Mr. Switzer, and whilst we understand the wariness that has been expressed as regards such strong comments being made, it is not generally the policy of the UNSW UN Society to remove speakers should they have strong opinions on any topic.
You see, racial vilification of Jews is anti-Semitism. But racial vilification of Palestinians is merely ‘strong comments’ or ‘strong opinions’ on another topic. 
No doubt other organisations shunned Switzer rather than court controversy, even though Switzer is actually a highly intelligent, informed and principled man. The lepers bell has been rung, and we have many people too weak to defend free speech and defy those using the scream of “racist” not to defend the weak but to shut down debate.
The Jewish community leaders now fighting to keep the kind of laws used against Switzer - and me - do not know what damage they do not just to free speech, long the truest defence of Jews, but to the best defenders of their community.
Peter Wertheim, please, please, think again.
You wonder why so few journalists speak in Israel’s defence? Now ask yourself why you work so hard to defeat the laws used to silence those few who do. 
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Any room for a sceptic in Radio National’s party for apocalyptics?

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (7:02am)

Radio National Breakfast - another of those ABC programs that boss Mark Scott cannot tell is biased - throws a party for apocalyptics:


FRAN Kelly: Now the winners of our Gold and the Incas challenge … Your task was to imagine an artwork that represents the lost world of 20th-century Australia … Our ACT winner … wrote, my artwork would be a hologram explaining the genius of 20th-century Australia and why it became a lost world … the final hologram would depict David Karoly who warned about the catastrophic potential of unchecked climate change.
Robyn Williams: And so to Queensland, and our winner ... can see a film with … the next major extinction event … the Barrier Reef. A complete film recording of the whole Barrier Reef … that, like Wagner’s Ring Cycle, goes for hours … It is Australia’s treasure worth more than coal that we are squandering.
Kelly: The Ring Cycle. Ambitious. I like that. Go for it, think big.
Cut & Paste then crashes the party by romping through some facts about the reef and other green scares.
If Robyn Williams, the ABC’s chief science presenter, does make that film I do hope there’s room for a clip of his most astonishing prediction:
Andrew Bolt: I’m telling you, there’s a lot of fear out there. So what I do is, when I see an outlandish claim being made...so Tim Flannery suggesting rising seas this next century eight stories high, Professor Mike Archer, dean of engineering at the University of NSW…
Robyn Williams: Dean of science.
Andrew Bolt: Dean of science...suggesting rising seas this next century of up to 100 metres, or Al Gore six metres. When I see things like that I know these are false. You mentioned the IPCC report; that suggests, at worst on best scenarios, 59 centimetres.
Robyn Williams: Well, whether you take the surge or whether you take the actual average rise are different things.
Andrew Bolt: I ask you, Robyn, 100 metres in the next century...do you really think that?
Robyn Williams: It is possible, yes. The increase of melting that they’ve noticed in Greenland and the amount that we’ve seen from the western part of Antarctica, if those increases of three times the expected rate continue, it will be huge.
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Next time a company begs for handouts? Can it

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (6:40am)

So why did this company - with the backing of Labor and local “Liberal” Sharman Stone - ask the Abbott Government for a $25 million handout from taxpayers?
SPC Ardmona has landed a company-changing $70 million contract with Woolworths just weeks after warnings the federal government’s decision to deny the troubled fruit and tomato processor a $25m bailout could force it to close and cost hundreds of jobs…
Under the new contract, SPC will supply all of Woolworths’ home-brand processed fruit products and Australian canned tomatoes for the next five years.
The deal reverses SPC’s falling sales, saves local Goulburn Valley jobs and virtually assures the ability to remain financially viable until at least 2020.
We’ve been played for mugs. So how many other pet employers - also with highly unionised workplaces - did Labor want to reward with handouts they didn’t actually need? 
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Newspoll: Labor “loses” huge lead

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (6:22am)

Politics - polls

I don’t think Labor has taken a big poll hit in the past fortnight - but only because I never believed the last poll, claiming a huge Labor lead:
BILL Shorten and the Labor Party have gone backwards in public support during the two weeks when 5000 job losses at Qantas and the Coalition’s refusal to grant the national carrier a debt guarantee dominated politics…
According to the latest Newspoll survey, ... primary vote support for the Coalition rose from 39 to 41 per cent in the past two weeks and Labor’s fell from 39 to 35 per cent.
Support for the Greens and others was virtually unchanged on 11 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.
Based on preference flows at the election last September, the two-party preferred vote is now 51 to 49 per cent in favour of Labor. Two weeks ago Labor led 54 to 46 per cent…
Satisfaction with Mr Shorten last weekend was 33 per cent, just one point above his lowest rating of 32 per cent, in the first Newspoll survey in October just after he became leader.
Labor is still doing better than it deserves on its performance. Or put it this way: if Labor is only just in front even after the closing of Holden, Mitsubishi and Alcoa plants and the laying off of 5000 Qantas workers, then the party clearly isn’t seen as offering much of an answer.
And guess what? It isn’t. That old “hand our pet bosses and union mates more subsidies” stuff just doesn’t cut it any more. It never worked economically, and now it’s not doing that much politically.
UPDATE
I’m not actually against some centralising of messaging, although some latitude must also be given to the most trusted. But a leader attempting it must have authority, tact and judgment:
Labor MPs are unhappy with the centralisation of power under leader Bill Shorten.
Mr Shorten appears to have acknowledged angst in ALP ranks caused by the centralised policy and media units. He has appointed veteran media strategist Eamonn Fitzpatrick to shake up operations and protect his most vulnerable flank - relations with the NSW Right…
Mr Shorten’s media unit has been a particular source of frustration for MPs. All media releases and press conference transcripts from the shadow ministry are sent out centrally. Shadow ministers are still required to transcribe releases but must then wait for approval from the leader’s office, resulting in many releases being sent out late and falling outside the media cycle…
The Opposition Leader has allocated himself 30 of the 89 staff granted to the opposition shadow ministry. The 29 other members of the shadow ministry receive the 59 remaining staff. The leader’s office also plays a key role in determining which MPs appear on the ABC and Sky’s 24-hour news channels, as well as on the parliamentary doors, though this arrangement is similar to when the Coalition was in opposition.
Mind you, there is one exception - and I have been a fortunate beneficiary:
At least one shadow minster, Mr Shorten’s vanquished leadership rival Anthony Albanese, does not seek approval for his contact with the media.
UPDATE
Peter Smith:

(N)ot even the true believers will stick with this union throwback for very long…
“Get out of the way” was a devastatingly effective charge on Shorten by Abbott in the Parliament. It hit home, as shown by Shorten echoing the same words incoherently. And why wouldn’t it? Shorten is leading his party to oppose every measure to improve the competitiveness, and therefore the job-creating ability, of the Australian economy. Most perversely this includes the carbon tax, specifically ruled out by Gillard before the 2010 election and which Abbott promised to abolish at the 2013 election. How divorced from reality and the wishes of the electorate can you possibly get?
You can almost read the doubting minds of those around Shorten (‘Oh, God, not another dud!’) as he stumbles his way inarticulately from one indecipherable remark to another. The government should “get out of the way” of Qantas. What sense does that make? None! ‘Patriotism is the last refuges of scoundrels’ – ‘cheese eating surrender monkeys’ – have their provenance but are spewed out without spottable connectivity to the debate at hand.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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How dare Liz Hayes beat up the Fukushima scare like this?

Andrew Bolt March 10 2014 (5:30pm)

Anti-nuclear hysterics

Liz Hayes of 60 Minutes gives us another disgraceful example of enviro-porn - the kind of green scaremongering that kills more people than it saves.
Watch her truly irresponsible report on three years after the Fukushima nuclear reactor incident. Note the following:
- Helen Caldicott, the anti-nuclear hysteric, is introduced as merely a “paediatrician” and falsely billed as a “nuclear expert”.
- Caldicott’s past alarmism is not mentioned, not least her unforgivable fear mongering at the time of the emergency:
Then let’s have veteran nuclear hysteric Helen Caldicott, who warned on 3AW that the Fukushima reactor could blow (a scenario ruled out by nuclear experts). This, she wailed, meant “hundreds of thousands of Japanese will be dying within two weeks of acute radiation illness”, with countless more later suffering an “epidemic” of cancers.
- Hayes fails to find a single example of anyone at all in Japan - not even the workers at the emergency - suffering ill-health as a consequence of the emergency. Not one - despite clearly hunting for atrocity stories and following a woman having her child given a health check: “Today, the news is good.”
- Hayes shows Caldicott claiming Japan is now so unsafe that athletes should not go to the 2020 Olympics. Hayes fails to mention the truth, as established by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic Radiation last year: that no evidence is likely to emerge of any radiation illness from the incident, even among the most heavily exposed workers who were at the plant. As UNSCEAR said:
Radiation exposure following the nuclear accident at Fukushima-Daiichi did not cause any immediate health effects. It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and the vast majority of workers,” concluded the 60 th session of ... UNSCEAR…
On the whole, the exposure of the Japanese population was low, or very low, leading to correspondingly low risks of health effects later in life....
No radiation-related deaths or acute effects have been observed among nearly 25,000 workers (including TEPCO employees and contractors) involved at the accident site.
Given the small number of highly exposed workers, it is unlikely that excess cases of thyroid cancer due to radiation exposure would be detectable. Special health examinations will be given to workers with exposures above 100 mSv including annual monitoring of the thyroid, stomach, large intestine and lung for cancer as a means to monitor for potential late radiation-related health effects at the individual level.
The assessment also concluded that although the rate of exposures may have exceeded the levels for the onset of effects on plants and animals several times in the first few months following the accident, any effects are expected to be transient in nature, given their short duration. 
- Hayes reports scary claims that the “whole world” is being contaminated by the fallout, including the US. What she fails to add is that any contamination we might conceivably get will not affect us:
Carl-Magnus Larsson, chair of the UN’s Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation ... [and] CEO of Australia’s nuclear safety agency ... [says this] is not about to produce a race of sea monsters.
“The radioactivity is also being transported over very long distances with the ocean currents, but will at the same time be diluted to levels where there is no concern for harmful effects on sea life or for using, for example, the beaches along the North American west coast for recreational purposes."…
But according to a talk presented by Malcolm Crick, secretary of the UN’s Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, “there were no radiation-related deaths or acute diseases among the general public and workers [in Japan]"…
“The first thing that people don’t realise is that radiation is natural. We are exposed to radiation from outer space… that radiation is there, it provides us with a background exposure as we live on this planet,” he said.
- Hayes repeatedly warns Fukushima could turn out as terrible as the Chernobyl disaster without adding that Chernobyl was beaten up just like Hayes is now beating up Fukushima:
Peter Garrett also thundered on the danger of things nuclear, and was the man who, when president of the Australian Conservation Foundation, claimed the Chernobyl nuclear explosion in 1986 “caused the deaths of more than 30,000 people”.
In fact, the known death toll of that explosion of a badly designed reactor is not 30,000, but just 65.
That’s the assessment of the Chernobyl Forum, which represents Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, as well as all relevant United Nations agencies, including the World Health Organisation and International Atomic Energy Agency.

In 2005, the Forum concluded, after reviewing all studies, there “was no demonstrated increase in the incidence of solid cancers or leukemia due to radiation in the most affected populations”, and no “clear and convincing evidence for a radiation-induced increase in general population mortality”.
And if you’re still clinging to some other Fukushima scare, please check it against this list of hoaxes before bothering me with it.
But I said that Hayes’ reckless scaremongering is the kind of thing likely to kill more people than it could possibly save. It’s true. Radiation scare-mongers risk scaring people to death:
Just ask the thousands of evacuees recently told by the Belarus government that, oops, we made a mistake, there wasn’t really any risk [from Chernobyl] and you can go back to your homes. No matter that a generation of their lives were destroyed, that about 10,000 died from suicide, depression and alcoholism because the fear was far more devastating than the event itself, using even the most pessimistic pro-LNT estimates. During the first year after the Chernobyl accident, the average dose to inhabitants in Northern Europe was 4.5 mrem (0.045 mSv), i.e., less than 2% of the average global annual natural dose 240 mrem/yr (2.4 mSv/year). This was not worth destroying these people’s lives. And it is exactly the same as eating a bag of potato chips a day.
So it’s all about LNT, the Linear No-Threshold Dose hypothesis, a supposition that all radiation is deadly and there is no dose below which harmful effects will not occur. Double the dose, double the cancers. Of course, this isn’t true. The millions of nuclear workers that have been monitored closely for 50 years have no higher cancer mortality than the general population but have had several to ten times the average dose.
How many Fukushima residents are being scared to death by the likes of Hayes and Caldicott? Allowing even for hyperbole...:
The Fukushima evacuees have more than three times the national average of mental illness. And just two weeks ago it was revealed stress-related deaths among the evacuees had topped the actual death toll of 1,600 from the earthquake and tsunami.
And never forget these victims of the scaremongers:

The IAEA estimated that European women from as far away as Italy and Greece sought more than 200,000 extra abortions after the explosion, so sure were they from all the fear-mongering that their babies would be deformed.
Added the Chernobyl Forum: “Persistent myths and misconceptions about the threat of radiation have resulted on paralysing fatalism among residents of affected areas.”
How Hayes promoted her report:
Oh, Liz:  notice how people have made safe lives in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Wondered why?  
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=== Posts from last year ===

GREENS BURNED

Tim Blair – Monday, March 11, 2013 (1:08am)

Former Greens leader Bob Brown routinely hailed every one of his party’s election performances as a brilliant victory. Too bad Bob wasn’t around during the weekend: 
As Colin Barnett’s minority Liberal government was returned with a huge majority, the four per cent swing away from the Greens was even more violent than those that turned away from Labor.
The Greens only hope of representation in WA’s lower house is in the Kimberley, where local candidate Chris Maher and his opposition to the James Price Point gas project mobilised support.
But across the rest of the state, the Greens vote plummeted, with the party predicted to hold just two seats in the Upper House as counting concludes. 
Current Greens senior henchlady Christine Milne offers this spin: 
Ms Milne said rather than take her party’s savaging in WA as a sign of decline, she said voters should see it as a warning as what could happen at the federal polling booths in September.
“I think the message out of WA is that is essential that we keep the Greens holding the balance of power in the federal parliament,” Ms Milne said …
“It is absolutely critical people see the march of the conservatives across the country and see it for what it is – a retreat to the past, to the last century.” 
The Greens hate the last century. They prefer previous centuries.
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NO ROOM FOR CATHY

Tim Blair – Monday, March 11, 2013 (1:06am)

Ineffective SMH cartoonist Cathy Wilcox is even less effective in tabloid format: 
my cartoon on the NSW Environment Minister ignoring climate science, which didn’t fit in the compact newspaper. 
Still, at least the Prime Minister is happy: 
With this new compact format, the delicate task of unfolding those huge broadsheet pages and the occasional wrestle with them will become a memory. 
She’s had a tough life.
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BROWN LEAVES TOWN

Tim Blair – Monday, March 11, 2013 (1:04am)

Prior to Saturday’s vote, former Colin Barnett adviser Darren Brown considered the seat of Swan Hills: 
If Labor doesn’t win this seat, I’m leaving town. 
The latest Swan Hills counting indicates a 1.7 per cent swing to the Liberals
The Swan Hills area, the focus of some of the key campaign issues including the Ellenbrook rail line and Perth-to-Darwin Highway, seems certain to remain firmly in the grip of Liberal Frank Alban. 
Further pre-election pondering from Darren, whose new address is yet to be announced: 
I’m predicting a Labor government with a one-seat majority. 
Brown’s call may yet be surpassed by this line from 2007
The Liberal Party will never again win a federal election.
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Eddie not my fault, says Carr

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(12:52pm)


Former Labor premiers Bob Carr and Morris Iemma have gone to war over who was responsible for the rise of Eddie Obeid amid warnings that corruption hearings involving the notorious powerbroker will have dire consequences for the party at the federal election.

Senator Carr, now the Foreign Affairs Minister, has accused Mr Iemma, his successor as premier, of a serious error by allowing Mr Obeid ‘’special status’’ in his government.

‘’I’m sure that Morris Iemma, a very decent - decent and honest figure - would reflect that it was a cardinal mistake to allow Obeid that special status and privilege,’’ Senator Carr says in comments that will go to air on Monday night on the ABC program Four Corners…

Mr Iemma rejected Mr Carr’s assessment, insisting he had no special access. ‘’He had a status all right: cabinet minister, conferred on him by Bob Carr,’’ Mr Iemma said of Mr Obeid.

‘’I don’t know what special status he’s referring to. He was a cabinet minister in Bob’s government. He was a backbencher in my government.’’
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Call me anything but that

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(11:52am)

 Free speech
One of those words was deemed so offensive that the guilty woman was convicted:
The conviction is now overturned. Australian honor almost restored.
(Thanks to reader Waxing Gibberish.)
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Flannery’s rainforest scare contradicted

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(9:48am)

 Global warming - dud predictions
Professor Tim Flannery late last year said “rainforests are also being stressed by the warming, with many species at their limits of temperature tolerance andfacing increased risk of extinction‘’ as the government’s Climate Commission unveiled its 14th report on global warming.

But the new international research, led by the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, used 22 sophisticated climate modelling computer systems and programs incorporating plant biology to explore the response of tropical forests in the Americas, Africa and Asia to greenhouse-gas-induced climate change.
“A number of previous analyses have investigated potential vulnerability of tropical forests under climate change. Some ... suggest that anthropogenically induced climate change across Amazonia could cause catastrophic losses of forest cover and biomass - die-back,’’ their peer-reviewed report, published in the respected journal Nature Geoscience, says.
“We find the possibility of climate-induced damage to tropical rainforests in the period to year 2100 ... might be lower than some earlier studies.’’…

The research says rainforests would not be destroyed by 2100 even under computer modelling which factored in a “business as usual’’ scenario where industry does not cut its greenhouse gas emissions.
Sack the Climate Commission now.
(Thanks to Wesley61.) 
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Getting the Insiders running

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(9:41am)

Barrie Cassidy grills Scott Morrison with 21 questions on ABC1’s Insiders, March 3: 
BARRIE Cassidy: Now Scott Morrison, how do you plan to notify residents when asylum-seekers move into the neighbourhood, how do you do that? How will you do it? How will you notify that asylum-seekers move into the neighbourhood? Is it a letter-box drop, how do you do it? . . . Is that when the letter-box drop comes in? Why do residents then need to know? Why do they need to know? What sets asylum-seekers apart? Why do they need to know they’re living next door to an asylum-seeker? . . . Are you not overreacting to one case of an alleged indecent assault?
Morrison: I think the overreaction is on the hysteria to my comments.

Only 12 leisurely questions for Brendan O’Connor. ABC1’s Insiders yesterday: 
BARRIE Cassidy: Beyond the anecdotal, are you able to give us any documented evidence to support the need for a tightening of the scheme? . . .
Brendan O’Connor: As I said during the last two weeks, there are over 100 sanctions already . . .
Cassidy: . . . So are you saying then that employers are bringing these people in so that they can employ them on reduced wages?
O’Connor: I’m saying we don’t have sufficient protections in place to ensure that this scheme is used for the purposes it was constructed.
Cassidy: Now it’s true, isn’t it though, that companies involved in this face a real compliance hassle from now on?
O’Connor: Well let me just say, let me tell you the lethal cocktail I’m witnessing . . .
Cassidy: OK, in Victoria, where you are right now, of course, did the Liberals in Victoria give you a lesson on how to change leaders in a bloodless way?
O’Connor: (Laughs) Well, it’s been only a few days.
UPDATE
Reader Tony is curious:

When talking about JG’s western Sydney “campaign” Barrie said (from 4:55): 
Thankfully in many respects that week is behind us because it was just getting....out of...it was ridiculous, some of the attention that was given to us.

Who did he mean by “us”?
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Real Tony rises above the 60 Minutes jibes

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(9:37am)



60 Minutes’
 Liz Hayes tries to dub Tony Abbott the “new Tony” and claims this “changed” one is a “hard act ... to sell” even for his “gay sister”.
Note how Hayes evokes “women” as a collective with the same hostile views of Abbott and same wariness of Catholicism.
I’d say Abbott and the women who love him deal with Hayes very well. What’s “new” is Abbott’s seeming assuredness.
It seems Abbott’s unfortunate comments three years on feeling “threatened” by gays was somewhat misinterpreted by critics, including me:

Supported by his lesbian sister, her partner, his wife Margie and his daughters, Mr Abbott said that when he claimed three years ago during a television interview that he felt ‘’a bit threatened’’ by homosexuals, he had been trying to guard a family secret.
He had only just been told by his sister she was a lesbian. 

‘’Now I couldn’t talk about that then because it was deeply personal and deeply private,’’ he said. ‘’But certainly they were very tough times for our family, hence my comment, because the cohesion of our family was threatened at that time. But I’m pleased to say we’re all in a better space now than we were then.’’
UPDATE
Abbott was “threatened” then as ABC Melbourne listeners on talkback seem threatened today to hear Abbott is actually thoughtful and compassionate. The bile being tipped over him this morning comes from people clearly frightened that their belief in the monstrosity of the Liberals is being threatened, and that voters might warm to a nice guy. One caller even likened him to a wife-basher.
Anyone doubting the ABC has developed an overwhelmingly Leftist audience should run the tape. (Mind you, presenter Rafael Epstein, filling in for Jon Faine, was scrupulously fair.) 
UPDATE
Liz Hayes had an odd habit of thinking all women hold her views on Abbott, Christianity, abortion and Gillard’s deceitful speech. Is it that she’s never met anyone in her social circle not of the Left? From ”Extra Minutes - reporter discussion”: 
Tony Abbott is Catholic.  And on all of his upbringing has been conservative with Catholic views and that’s informed a lot of his thinking, and some would argue, decision-making… And that’s what we’re frightened of as women, that he’s going to tell me how I’m going to conduct my life and what control I’m allowed to have over my body.  There the things that’s I think he’s having to hurdle.  And that’s where Julia Gillard punched him in the gizzards frankly over whether he was a misogynist or a sexist.  And he has given them some ammunition.  He has said some fairly unpleasant things over in the past… Do we trust him?
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Don’t mention Labor’s losing under Gillard

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(9:32am)

Don’t mention the war:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard was reported to be furious about the Defence Minister’s comment in the wake of the WA wipeout, which follows worse Labor floggings in Queensland and NSW…
In saying Labor had plenty to work on before the federal poll, Mr Smith said: “There’s no doubt we have been a drag on Mark (McGowan) and there’s no doubt we haven’t been helpful.”

UPDATE: 
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has denied dressing down Cabinet Minister Stephen Smith after his comments at the weekend that federal Labor had been partly to blame for the party’s savage loss in the WA elections.
Back to the story:
One Gillard supporter said “Smith’s comments were not helpful at all,” noting Kevin Rudd supporters had seized on the comments.

“It’s that sort of thing that could ignite the whole thing,” the MP said.
That could be a good thing for Labor, give the Gallaxy polls assessment of Gillad’s current strategy:


The results confirm Labor strategists’ fears, that the mini-campaign may have done more harm than good...
Labor’s brand has’not been worth much lately:
What could the federal Liberals do with the kind of ammunition already used by state Liberals?:
While politicians from both major parties said local priorities dominated the election, they noted that state Liberals also campaigned on federal issues including the mining tax, carbon tax, division of the GST and increased flow of asylum-seekers.
UPDATE
But she said the overwhelming sentiment from doorstops and shopping centres in Labor’s heartland was that voters supported state Labor but not federal Labor and Julia Gillard…

“It’s pretty simple and it’s pretty brutal and they are saying they don’t like Julia Gillard and they don’t believe her,” she told ABC television…

“...Labor voters have said we don’t accept her as our leader. If we do not take note of this, there is going to be an absolute massacre in the federal election,” she said.
(Thanks to reader Tony.) 
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How dare this government muzzle journalists?

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(9:31am)

I’m glad Fairfax has joined a crusade for free speech that for too long has been allowed to seem merely News Ltd protecting itself from a vindictive government: 


‘’We are united in opposing new regulation and legislative changes that affect our ability to report and investigate as well as invest and compete in a digital and multi-platform media economy,’’ said a letter sent to Senator Conroy by The Newspaper Works, an industry group representing all major print media companies, including Fairfax Media and News Ltd.

‘’New regulations that inhibit the media will severely undermine our sector’s ability to uncover and report on matters about which the public has a right to know...”
Where on earth is the evidence that the media needs taming? And that the good of the muzzle outweighs the harm?
(Thanks to reader Frances.) 
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Claim: police asking about Gillard’s role

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(9:15am)

Reader Peter points out this line I missed in a piece on Friday by Hedley Thomas: 
The Australian is aware that detectives have questioned witnesses about Ms Gillard’s role in witnessing a power of attorney document for Mr Blewitt for the purchase of a Fitzroy terrace house with embezzled funds, and in providing advice to set up the Workplace Reform Association.
That may seem to contradict Gillard’s contradiction:
Ms Gillard cautioned a Sydney radio broadcaster, 2GB’s Ben Fordham, after he raised the Victoria Police investigation. Fordham said: “I’m not talking about political drama, I’m talking about a police investigation that is currently going on, now you concede that money . . .”

Ms Gillard replied that he should be careful, saying of the investigation: “That’s got nothing to do with me.”

Victoria Police has consistently refused to confirm or deny to journalists whether the Prime Minister is a “person of interest” but Ms Gillard said she knew she had been excluded from consideration.
Of course, Gillard insists she did nothing wrong, witnessed documents properly, did not know of her boyfriend’s scams and did not profit from them.
UPDATE
The Consumers and Taxpayers Association announces:
BOB KERNOHAN (former AWU president) will be the keynote speaker at the ROTTEN TO THE CORE rally in Canberra on the NEW DATE of 12th March at noon.
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Who ticked “admit” on the Hamzy box?

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(12:07am)



POLICE are bracing for an escalation in gangland violence after a matriarch of the infamous Hamzy crime family was shot four times at her front door yesterday.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal the woman, an aunt to Supermax prison inmate Bassam Hamzy, was shot at point blank range in the legs as she opened the front door of her unit ...
Police have unofficially linked the shooting with another that occurred 20 minutes later, also in Auburn, when shots were fired at the house next door to that of convicted drug dealer Hakan Goktas, 39…

The two shootings took place hours before revelations emerged in yesterday’s The Sunday Telegraph that police were left shocked and angered after a senior member of the BFL gang [of which Hamzy is a member] was granted bail last week over a kneecapping at Bass Hill on February 9 this year.
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Two years ago, Japan was hit by an earthquake and a tsunami unprecedented in history. The tragedy took more than 20,000 lives. 

Following this disaster, the IDF sent a delegation of doctors to help the survivors. Now, two years later, we remember the victims.
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Now this is a sunset. Amazing capture by Hirsty Photography, well done mate.
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The egg hunt is on, find the 8 golden eggs! — with seceret eggcoool eggggeggspicey egg,Denver LouisEgg 3egg 2 and egg 1
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China
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4 Her
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4 her .. so she knows how I see her
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Contrary to early expectations, the closest friendship among the competitors of this season’s Israel’s Master Chef was formed between Elinor Rahamim, a Jewish settler from Tekoah from an Israeli settlement in the northern Judean hills in the West Bank and Salma Fayumi, a Muslim nurse from Kfar Qasm.
http://sizedoesntmatter.com/peace/a-c-t-for-peace-co-existence-on-the-set-of-master-chef-israel/
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Monument to the victims of the 11 March 2004 Madrid train bombings in Alcalá de Henares
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Events[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

Holidays and observances[edit]

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“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” - 1 Peter 3:15
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
March 10: Morning
"In my prosperity I said I shall never be moved." - Psalm 30:6
"Moab settled on his lees, he hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel." Give a man wealth; let his ships bring home continually rich freights; let the winds and waves appear to be his servants to bear his vessels across the bosom of the mighty deep; let his lands yield abundantly: let the weather be propitious to his crops; let uninterrupted success attend him; let him stand among men as a successful merchant; let him enjoy continued health; allow him with braced nerve and brilliant eye to march through the world, and live happily; give him the buoyant spirit; let him have the song perpetually on his lips; let his eye be ever sparkling with joy--and the natural consequence of such an easy state to any man, let him be the best Christian who ever breathed, will be presumption; even David said, "I shall never be moved;" and we are not better than David, nor half so good. Brother, beware of the smooth places of the way; if you are treading them, or if the way be rough, thank God for it. If God should always rock us in the cradle of prosperity; if we were always dandled on the knees of fortune; if we had not some stain on the alabaster pillar; if there were not a few clouds in the sky; if we had not some bitter drops in the wine of this life, we should become intoxicated with pleasure, we should dream "we stand;" and stand we should, but it would be upon a pinnacle; like the man asleep upon the mast, each moment we should be in jeopardy.

We bless God, then, for our afflictions; we thank him for our changes; we extol his name for losses of property; for we feel that had he not chastened us thus, we might have become too secure. Continued worldly prosperity is a fiery trial.

"Afflictions, though they seem severe,
In mercy oft are sent."
Evening
"Man ... is of few days, and full of trouble." - Job 14:1
It may be of great service to us, before we fall asleep, to remember this mournful fact, for it may lead us to set loose by earthly things. There is nothing very pleasant in the recollection that we are not above the shafts of adversity, but it may humble us and prevent our boasting like the Psalmist in our morning's portion. "My mountain standeth firm: I shall never be moved." It may stay us from taking too deep root in this soil from which we are so soon to be transplanted into the heavenly garden. Let us recollect the frail tenure upon which we hold our temporal mercies. If we would remember that all the trees of earth are marked for the woodman's axe, we should not be so ready to build our nests in them. We should love, but we should love with the love which expects death, and which reckons upon separations. Our dear relations are but loaned to us, and the hour when we must return them to the lender's hand may be even at the door. The like is certainly true of our worldly goods. Do not riches take to themselves wings and fly away? Our health is equally precarious. Frail flowers of the field, we must not reckon upon blooming forever. There is a time appointed for weakness and sickness, when we shall have to glorify God by suffering, and not by earnest activity. There is no single point in which we can hope to escape from the sharp arrows of affliction; out of our few days there is not one secure from sorrow. Man's life is a cask full of bitter wine; he who looks for joy in it had better seek for honey in an ocean of brine. Beloved reader, set not your affections upon things of earth: but seek those things which are above, for here the moth devoureth, and the thief breaketh through, but there all joys are perpetual and eternal. The path of trouble is the way home. Lord, make this thought a pillow for many a weary head!
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Zalmon, Salmon 
[Zăl'mŏn, Săl'mŏn] - shady or ascent.
An Ahohite, one of David's mighty men (2 Sam. 23:28), who is also called Ilai in 1 Chronicles 11:29. Zalmon is likewise the name of a wooded mountain area near Shechem (Judg. 9:48Ps. 68:14).
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Today's reading: Deuteronomy 10-12, Mark 12:1-27 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Deuteronomy 10-12

Tablets Like the First Ones
1 At that time the LORD said to me, "Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain. Also make a wooden ark.2 I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Then you are to put them in the ark."
3 So I made the ark out of acacia wood and chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hands....

Today's New Testament reading: Mark 12:1-27

The Parable of the Tenants
1 Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed....

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Today's Lent reading: Matthew 4-6 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written:
"'He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone....'"



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