Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Wed Mar 5th Todays News

I have been asked to more succinctly describe my issues. There are two specific things I am standing up for. The first is a child abuser and apparent pedophile. I saw them inappropriately touching school children in 1992. When children reported other things to me, I referred it. I was transferred from two schools over that and it has claimed my teaching career. I have done no wrong in reporting it. 

The second thing relates to the 2002 death of school child Hamidur Rahman. I warned his school a year before he died of the seriousness of the allergy. I had been unfairly dismissed from that school a year before he died. Had I been listened to, Hamidur might be alive today. There was a cover up preventing my testimony reaching the coroner's court. Subsequently, I have been persecuted by those involved in the boy's death. The ALP are involved in the cover up. 

I have been denied natural justice, I have no avenue of appeal. I was declared partially disabled but not supported by my equal opportunity employer. I have been silenced by entrenched corruption involving the media. I have clean hands and may speak on the issue. 

For twenty two years I have been responsibly addressing an issue, and I cannot carry on. I am petitioning the NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell to remedy my distress. I leave it up to him if he chooses to address the issue. Regardless of your opinion of conservative government, the issue is pressing. Please sign my petition at http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/nsw-premier-barry-o-farrell-remedy-the-persecution-of-dd-ball?
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns Timothy Ly andRumble Pictures. Born on the same day (Across the years?). Tim's friendship is a great blessing for me. He walked by today .. wearing a brand new birthday shirt! Woah!
Matches
Despatches
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Gender shouldn’t define a career

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, March 04, 2014 (10:14pm)

THE hypocrisy of Labor dispatching its Emily’s List sweethearts Penny Wong and Catherine King to tear down one of the few women in the Abbott ministry made last week’s Senate Estimates hearings compulsory viewing.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Gender shouldn’t define a career'
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DRIVIN’ TOO FAST, LIKE I SHOULDN’T DO

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 04, 2014 (7:25pm)

Not something that anybody really needs to see in their rear-vision mirror:

image

The officer was remarkably forgiving, all things considered. Following a background check and a friendly conversation about highway driving techniques, he let me off with a warning. Readers are invited to guess the exact speed at which I was apprehended. First correct call wins a Hello Kitty cigarette lighter (genuine prize). 
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IDENTIFY THESE WRECKS

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 04, 2014 (7:00pm)

Located among a grand collection off the highway from Arizona to Las Vegas:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'IDENTIFY THESE WRECKS'
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WAY TO PARK

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 04, 2014 (6:11pm)

That’s some smooth manoeuverin’:

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SHE CAN SEE THE FUTURE FROM 2008

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 04, 2014 (3:44pm)

It’s not saying much, but Sarah Palin knows more than Barack Obama
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin warned that if Senator Barack Obama were elected president, his “indecision” and “moral equivalence” may encourage Russia’s Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine …
For those comments, she was mocked by the high-brow Foreign Policy magazine and its editor Blake Hounshell, who now is one of the editors of Politico magazine … nobody seems to be laughing at or dismissing those comments now.
Hounshell wrote then that Palin’s comments were “strange” and “this is an extremely far-fetched scenario.” 
Further from Mike Miller
Incidentally, Palin has been consistently ridiculed for saying “I can see Russia from my house,” which she never said. What a tragedy that, as both Palin and Romney correctly feared, Ukrainians can now see Russians from their homes. 
(Via Waxing Gibberish) 
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Trolls beware

Andrew Bolt March 05 2014 (12:46pm)

Will this start to clean up the Twitter sewer, or are the grounds being prepared for my retirement fund?
A FORMER high school student has been ordered to pay $105,000 to a teacher for writing defamatory remarks about her on social media.
Former Orange High School student Andrew Farley, 20, made “false allegations” about music teacher Christine Mickle on Twitter and Facebook in 2012, a year after he had left school…
It is believed to be the country’s first Twitter defamation case to proceed to trial.
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Labor isn’t saving Qantas jobs but killing them

Andrew Bolt March 05 2014 (11:19am)

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is selling moonshine in opposing changes to the Qantas Sale Act:
I loathe the false patriotism of those people opposite who say, “We’re trying to free Qantas.” No, you’re not; you’re trying to kill Qantas. There is no freedom in unemployment. There is no freedom in not fighting for Australian jobs.
Labor is pretending that the Qantas Sale Act, which bans Qantas from shifting maintenance work to cheaper options overseas, actually saves jobs:
ANTHONY ALBANESE (Labor transport spokesman): ... And to simply see Qantas broken up and to see jobs exported overseas is not something that I support.
But if the Qantas Sale Act protects Australian jobs, why has Qantas just announced 5000 workers must be sacked? Plainly the Act isn’t saving jobs but killing them.
By locking Qantas into high costs Labor is risking the jobs it claims to be saving. The airline simply won’t survive - not without getting taxpayers to subsidise the $100,000-a -year average salaries of its staff.
Would Labor really be so keen to stop the changes and stop Qantas from cutting costs if the airline wasn’t heavily unionised, paying staff way above market rates, and if those unions did not include the very unions which produced powerbrokers Bill Shorten (the AWU) and Stephen Conroy (the Transport Workers Union)?
Many of the other arguments Labor runs are simply deceitful, sprinkled with the cheapest patriotic dust:
SARAH FERGUSON: Now why won’t you support a repeal of that - of the Qantas Sale Act that allows for majority foreign ownership?…
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Because it is in the Australian national interest to have an Australian carrier… I’m talking about the role when Australians, for example, have found themselves in difficulty, in Cairo, in Beirut or in Bangkok, Qantas have been there to assist in the evacuation of Australians.
SARAH FERGUSON: But Virgin have also done the same thing and committed to do exactly the same thing, so what’s the difference?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well the difference is in terms of Qantas, the role that they play as our national carrier, the role that they play in terms of - air services agreements of course have to be between nation states, so it has to be for international, it has to be 51 per cent Australian-owned… It is in the national interest to have the Flying Kangaroo. It’s in the interests of our tourism industry. It’s in the interests of jobs here in Australia.
SARAH FERGUSON: And yet all of those things are what Virgin does. Virgin delivers tourists to Australia, Virgin said that they would rescue Australians in difficulty.
Laura Tingle further exposes Labor’s fake patriotism:
It would be a surprise to many Australians to discover, amid all the heat about Qantas Airways and the danger of losing “the” national carrier, Australia already has two… (B)oth Qantas and Virgin are designated national carriers for Australia…
National carrier status gives both airlines a lucrative asset on their books: the right to access flight routes in other countries in return for other airlines getting access to Australian routes.
UPDATE
Experts warn against what Labor wants instead for Qantas:
EXPERT advisers warned federal cabinet against giving Qantas a $3 billion debt guarantee in the lead-up to Monday night’s decision on the airline’s future…
The independent analysis found the company was fundamentally sound and needed the repeal of the ownership regime more than the unprecedented aid of a commonwealth guarantee over its debt....  PricewaterhouseCoopers, corporate advisers Pottinger and legal firm DLA Piper all warned of risks to taxpayers from the company’s plea for a “standby debt facility” backed by Canberra…
Bill Shorten kept up Labor’s demand that the government offer Qantas a debt guarantee… 
Janet Albrechtsen:
When Ansett faced commercial death, the best then AWU boss Shorten could do was demand government money and organise protest walks through the streets of Melbourne. In a case of bad history repeating itself, just as unions did nothing to make the highly unionised Ansett a more viable, more competitive airline to stop it going bust 12 years ago, unions have offered nothing to save Qantas today.
UPDATE
Not asking much, are they?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has revealed that Qantas asked the Government for a $3 billion unsecured loan, but says Cabinet rejected the request because the airline does not need it…
The Government says the company had also asked for a debt guarantee.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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General fires back at hostile ABC

Andrew Bolt March 05 2014 (10:28am)

The Chief of the Defence Force fires back at an ABC which seems at war with our military, having already accused it of torturing boat people:
The story titled Navy gang rape victim breaks silence in search for treatment that aired on the ABC’s 7.30 program on 27 February 2014 and appears on the program’s website, contains significant factual errors.
The story relies on the journalist’s assertion that the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (DART) is part of Defence and speaks for Defence. This is wrong. The DART was established by the previous Government – not by the Department of Defence – in response to the DLA Piper Review. Even the most perfunctory research would have found that the DART is administered by the Attorney General’s Department to ensure it remains completely independent from the Department of Defence.
The story then draws from findings of the DART, yet because the DART’s independence was not determined by the journalist ...  those findings are falsely attributed to Defence. Of most concern are the claims made by the journalist that “…the Defence Department no longer disputes the incident took place…” and that “…by the Defence Department’s own admission [name withheld] case has been mismanaged”. Defence is not the source of these statements…
It is important to understand that the DART assesses claims on the basis of ‘plausibility’, while Defence and DVA are required to apply a different standard of proof in dealing with such matters as per the obligations of the applicable legislation… The difference between the tests of proof was drawn to the journalist’s attention by Defence before the story aired…
The journalist also wrongly referred to the “Navy Skype sex scandal”. This was not a Navy incident. The ABC’s disregard for accuracy in favour of sensationalism works to undermine the community’s trust and respect for the men and women of the ADF.
General David Hurley, AC, DSC
Chief of the Defence Force
(Thanks to reader G Dub.) 
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Sack the tribunal for being unfair to real workers

Andrew Bolt March 05 2014 (10:15am)

What is in the water at the NSW Administrative Appeals Tribunal?
Only after a hugely expensive legal battle was this ludicrous tribunal decision overturned last year:


The Federal Government employee, who cannot be named, was injured in 2007 when a light fitting was dislodged and fell on her as she was having sex with a man.
The incident took place in a motel room in a country town in New South Wales, where the woman, aged in her 30s, and another employee had travelled for work.
Her employer had booked her into the motel room. The woman said the light hit her in the face, injuring her nose, mouth and a tooth and also causing a psychiatric adjustment disorder…

The Government’s workplace safety body, ComCare, initially accepted her compensation claim, but it was later revoked and the decision was also upheld by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Now the tribunal has come up with this:
Centrelink employee Jenny Pettiford has been off work for 2½ years with anxiety disorder since a meeting in 2011 where managers told her working hours of 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, were ‘’not negotiable’’.
But the Administrative Appeals Tribunal sitting in Sydney has backed Ms Pettiford’s claim for workers’ compensation, ruling that Centrelink acted ‘’unreasonably’’ when it told her she would have to work the same hours as most of her colleagues at the Mudgee office.
The tribunal’s decision leaves the taxpayer liable to pay Ms Pettiford’s full wages for her first 10 months off work and 75 per cent of her salary for the remainder of her absence, which could be until retirement age, as well as medical expenses…
Ms Pettiford, herself a psychologist, worked as a job capacity assessor at Centrelink in Mudgee ... , mostly [on] a four-days-a-week roster starting at 7am and leaving at 4pm.
Ms Pettiford’s bosses were unhappy with the arrangement, which left the Centrelink office without a psychologist one day each week, but it allowed Ms Pettiford to ride to work with her husband from the couple’s out-of-town property.
Previous attempts to resolve the impasse had failed and in 2010, the public servant had launched bullying allegations against her boss Paul Nugent after the two disagreed about her working hours. A workplace investigator found there had been no bullying or harassment.
After the meeting of August 30, 2011, Ms Pettiford went home, did not return to work, and lodged a claim for workers’ compensation citing anxiety and depressive disorder.
Absolutely outrageous. Think of the people working 9 to 5 who have to pay for this indulgence. That has to add to their own stress.
(Thanks to readers Noel and MickStar.) 
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Warmists scare up gullible clients for Buffett

Andrew Bolt March 05 2014 (9:44am)

Billionaire Warren Buffet loves what warming alarmists are doing for his re-insurance business:
The public has the impression, because there has been so much talk about climate, that the events of the last ten years have been unusual. …They haven’t. We’ve been remarkably free of hurricanes in the last five years. If you’ve been writing hurricane insurance it’s been all profit....
So far the effects of climate change, if any, have not affected… the insurance market. It has made no difference. I calculate the probabilities in terms of catastrophes no differently than a few years ago… that may change in ten years....
I love apocalyptic predictions, because … they probably do affect rates… Writing US hurricane insurance has been very profitable in the last five or six years… now the rates have come down and we’re not writing much, if anything, on hurricanes in the US at all. 
(Thanks to reader Another Ian.) 
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Abbott vs the green faith: forests are for man

Andrew Bolt March 05 2014 (8:14am)

Culture wars, The green movement

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is blocked by the Senate from doing much, but he’s now using his pulpit to challenge the stale pieties of the Left.
Last night he took on the pantheism of the green movement in a tremendous speech to the Forest Works dinner - one that will buy him a lot of shocked criticism from the journalists who most need shocking:
My carpenter granddad recruited me to help build a workbench for the new family home when I was in year seven. He joined me in building a timber canoe which I paddled around the Lane Cove River National Park in year eight ... and for my sixteenth birthday when I was in year ten he gave me a toolset which, until just a couple of years ago when it was lost in a flash flood at home, was still the tools which I used around the house…
I can’t say that having a shipwright grandfather made me a craftsman ...  but I did learn to appreciate the value of timber and the importance of working with one’s hands.
I came to appreciate the forest wasn’t just a place of beauty, but it was a source of resources; of the ultimate renewable resource, of the ultimate biodegradable resource.
So when I look out at an audience such as this this evening, when I look out tonight at an audience of people who work with timber, who work in forests, I don’t see people who are environmental bandits, I see people who are the ultimate conservationists. That’s what I see and I want to salute you. I salute you as people who love the natural world, as people who love what Mother Nature gives us and who want to husband it for the long-term best interests of humanity.
I want to say this: we will never build a strong economy by trashing our environment, but we will never help our environment by trashing the economy either.  You understand - what I regret to say not everyone does – that it is possible to combine respect for the environment and respect for nature with healthy private business.
Man and the environment are meant for each other. The last thing we do – the last thing we should want – if we want to genuinely improve our environment is to want to ban men and women from enjoying it, is to ban men and women from making the most of it and that’s what you do. You intelligently make the most of the good things that God has given us.
So my friends, when I say that I want Australia to be open for business, I mean open for business for the forestry industry…
Greg Hunt [is] an Environment Minister who appreciates that the environment is meant for man and not just the other way around…
We don’t support, as a Government and as a Coalition, further lockouts of our forests. We just don’t support it. We have quite enough National Parks, we have quite enough locked up forests already. In fact, in an important respect, we have too much locked up forest.
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Channel Seven should be ashamed of itself

Andrew Bolt March 05 2014 (8:03am)

Channel Seven should be ashamed of itself.  It is not only openly trying to help Schapelle Corby and her family evade our laws against people profiting from their crimes - in this case by paying for an interview.
It is also putting Corby at severe risk of being jailed again. Or worse:
INDONESIAN authorities insist Schapelle Corby tried to take her own life twice, despite denials from the drug smuggler’s family…
Bali parole board boss Sunar Agus says he visited her on Monday night at the home of her sister Mercedes and brother-in-law Wayan Widyartha, and found her “unstable mentally’’…
“She tried to kill herself, she took a knife, but her family immediately prevented her.’…

He believes Corby thought the officers were there to take her back to prison. She was also distressed about the media attention…
Indonesian Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin warned she may be sent back to jail.
“There is a probability that her parole will be reconsidered,” he said.
Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin today repeated his earlier promise to carefully review the parole board’s report on the [Channel Seven] program [in which Corby was shown and her sister Mercedes interviewed] before deciding whether it had crossed the line by causing community unease…
Speaking to Indonesian newspaper, Kompas, Mr Symasuddin referred to the increasing political and domestic pressure he is facing after granting Corby’s parole and then watching as her sister Mercedes did a TV interview.
UPDATE
Reader Stephen Dawson, a former policeman, puts me straight:
Have a look through the Proceeds of Crime Act, in particular Part 2-5. You will see that there is no offence, neither criminal nor civil, in someone paying money for the story of their crime. Nor, indeed, for that person seeking payment for the story. The Proceeds of Crime legislation simply, with regard to literary proceeds, sets up an administrative/legal process by which such payments can be recovered.
Since the receipt of literary proceeds is not an offence, the payer cannot be considered to be an accessory to the non-crime.
In short: anyone is free to pay anyone else for the memoirs of their crime sprees. The Act merely allows the government to seize the moneys, after the fact, if it so desires. So far as I can see, there is not even a mechanism for restraining the payer from making the payment. The search warrant would have been issued under s.225 of the Act for a search to find ‘evidential material’ (defined in s.339 as including evidence relating to ‘literary proceeds’. 
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The retribalising of Australia

Andrew Bolt March 05 2014 (7:31am)

The goodwill has been there - and the misty-eyed reporting, too, reassuring us we’re not really importing ethnic strife. From the ABC two years ago:

CHRIS UHLMANN, PRESENTER: Thursday night used to spell trouble in Blacktown west of Sydney. It’s a melting pot of dozens of nationalities, including a large refugee population… Now with some community support and a dose of common sense, Blacktown’s becoming a safer place to live…

TRACY BOWDEN, REPORTER: ... When Mark Wright took over as the local area [police] commander in 2008, one of the first things he discovered was that Thursday night was fight night.

(CCTV footage of adolescent kids fighting)
MARK WRIGHT: It wasn’t uncommon here to have up to 2000 kids in and around the precinct here. A lot of these people were actually coming here for the purpose of fighting…
HARRY BEVITT: We were all scared. We had gangs jumping the counter in the night time and stealing whatever that wasn’t bolted down - drinks, machinery, knives…

TRACY BOWDEN: One of the most visible groups in the Blacktown community are the Sudanese. John Garang came to Australia 7 years ago and says cultural differences were behind much of the unrest here.
JOHN GARANG, BLACKTOWN RESIDENT: There were lot of problems because youth from different communities and in particular African youths with the Pacific Islanders community - and also the mainstream youth because when we first entered the country, people thought, you know, “These people, where did they come from?…
(Local football game with police and Sudanese community members)
MARK WRIGHT: ... The more they see us together, the more they see cops running around a paddock laughing, having a bit of fun, that’s really important and it really sends a strong image and a strong signal…
TRACY BOWDEN: Gradually, things started to change. Fight night is now a thing of the past ...
HARRY BEVII: The gangs have gone....
TRACY BOWDEN: Mark Wright has become something of a local identity around Blacktown and his program is now being looked at by police and community groups in other areas facing similar challenges. 
Today:
Family and friends of a 14 year-old girl allegedly gang-raped in a western Sydney park ... have pointed the finger at an African gang operating in the Blacktown area.
Police continue to hose down reports of retaliatory violence but an African youth was attacked by a group in Blacktown two weeks ago and was hospitalised with severe groin injuries. Community leaders say the attack was related to the Doonside assault last month…
The victim has told police she was walking through Bill Colbourne Reserve about 11pm on February 8 when she was assaulted by up to six men, whom she described as being of African appearance and in their early 20s.
A 16 year-old youth who goes to the same high school as the victim, turned himself in to Blacktown police days later ... He claimed to be a member of Blackdanna, a self-proclaimed ‘’alliance of all niggas’’ in the Blacktown area who share photos of drugs, knives and graffiti online and wear black bandannas…
The victim’s brother had previously singled out Blackdanna members as the perpetrators… ‘’How would they like it if I dis it to there sister and said f--- It [sic],’’ he posted online on February 28.
A young African boy responded by posting his address and taunting the brother and his friends to come fight him, saying ‘’get who ever you want i will blow they f---kin head of [sic]’’ and ‘’come to doony i will get a girl to flog ya’’. 
It is true police have at least ensured there is no “wall of silence” in investigating the rape. Progress has been made. But it is also clear that a significant number of sons of African refugees are adopting a “race"-based gangsta identity, pushing them into inevitable conflict with other low-skilled immigrant groups which have a strong ethnic identity themselves. We are retribalising, and the symbol of this decline is the official flying of the flag of the Aboriginal “race”. 
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Obama gives Ukraine cash, Russia gives Ukraine bill

Andrew Bolt March 05 2014 (7:18am)

The USA rushes to help Ukraine to ... pay its Russian invaders:
Vladimir Putin said he sees no immediate need to invade eastern Ukraine as the Obama administration prepares $1 billion in loan guarantees for the cash-strapped nation…
The U.S. and Europe, which have decried Russian military activity in Crimea, are racing to seal aid to help the new government in Kiev avoid bankruptcy. Russia is also staking its own claim, saying Ukraine owes state-controlled energy giant OAO Gazprom $2 billion.
It’s not a cut-and-dried issue, though:
Putin claims extremists orchestrated a coup to dislodge President Viktor Yanukovych and says Russian speakers in Ukraine’s east and south need protection.... Crimea was given to Ukraine by Russia in 1954 by then-Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. People who identified themselves as ethnic Russian comprise 59 percent of Crimea’s population of about 2 million, with 24 percent Ukrainian and 12 percent Tatar, according to 2001 census data. Russians make up 17 percent of Ukraine’s entire population of 45 million. 
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It’s not that Russia spends more on its military

Andrew Bolt March 05 2014 (7:08am)

Samuel J at the Cat compares:

In 2012, the US military spending was 4.2 times that of China and 7.4 times that of Russia.
The problem with US weakness against Russia and Syria is not due to Obama’s cuts in military spending. It is in political will - and a loss of cultural support for the exercise of US might.
UPDATE
Iran laughs at Obama’s threats:
“The low-IQ US president and his country’s Secretary of State John Kerry speak of the effectiveness of ‘the US options on the table’ on Iran while this phrase is mocked at and has become a joke among the Iranian nation, especially the children,” General Masoud Jazayeri said, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.
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If even Green can’t admit he’s of the Left, denial really is a problem in the ABC

Andrew Bolt March 04 2014 (3:04pm)

ABC host Jonathan Green really does think we cannot tell he’s one of the ABC’s wall-to-wall Leftists:
How does Greg Sheridan have any clue what my politics are? We’ve never met. Never had a conversation. Beyond parody.
But beyond parody is Green’s assumption that no one can tell his cookie-cutter Leftism. Gerard Henderson, taking one for the team, wades through Green’s latest book to cite example after example of the clues the clueless Green fancies escaped the laughing world’s attention. One example particularly confirms Green’s astonishing lack of self-awareness - which Tim Blair has already highlighted with another instance to much amusement:
Page 67. JG reflects:

After Rudd’s return, no one called our prime minister a bitch or a witch, criticised the prime ministerial dress sense.
This from Jonathan Green who, writing in The Drum on 23 January 2014 criticised the Prime Minister’s choice of ties – declaring that he would never regard Tony Abbott as “a prime minister of intelligence, independent thought and creative intellectual flexibility” while “he keeps wearing those blue ties”. Green overlooks the fact that, during the 2013 election, Julia Gillard devoted almost an entire speech to criticising the tie colour choice of many of the Coalition’s leadership.
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Gillard wins no votes in Western stunt

Piers Akerman – Tuesday, March 05, 2013 (3:44am)

JULIA Gillard’s visit to Western Sydney is backfiring.
Residents have scorned the stunt, photographers have zoomed in on her hotel’s sign Novote(l), and Opposition leader Tony Abbott says Sydney’s west is the Liberal Party’s “new heartland”.
It’s not an idle boast.
An automated Seven News/ReachTEL poll has found Western Sydney voters would prefer Abbott as Prime Minister over Gillard or her nemesis, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
The poll of 1615 voters found that 39.2 per cent of voters would choose Abbott, followed by Rudd at 26 per cent, Malcolm Turnbull at 22.1 per cent, and Gillard at just 13.2 per cent.
Rudd had a clear lead over Gillard of 74.5 per cent to 25.5 per cent - if voters are forced to choose between the two.
Gillard looks like an uneasy foreigner as she continues her safari into the deepest West and it didn’t help that her luggage was marked “Prime Minister’s overseas visit”.
Did someone mention how isolated Canberra is from the rest of the country?
Gillard has avoided the natives and focusing only on handpicked audiences at carefully staged events.
The Daily Telegraph’s Gemma Jones reports today that in the first two days of her choreographed western Sydney blitz, Gillard has only met with Labor supporters or people who have benefited from her government.
After rallying Labor faithful at Parramatta on Sunday, she visited the Western Sydney Wanderers players at training, a year after the government gave $8 million to develop football in western Sydney.
She then visited Ability Options, an employment assistance provider for people with disabilities in Seven Hills which is funded by the federal and state governments.
Angry residents from a nearby street, who face seeing their homes bulldozed because of a Blacktown Council proposal to acquire 360 properties for a park, were stunned to find the Prime Minister in the neighbourhood after they had asked to meet with her.
But they were blocked from speaking with her though Gillard promised to use her visit to “immerse myself, talk to people in the community, work out what’s on their mind as well as talk to them about the government’s programs and plans”.
Abbott, who has made more than 50 visits to the area, cruised through and delivered a few sharp retorts to Gillard’s patronising remarks about her Western Sydney sojourn before flying to Melbourne.
“Being from the west should never be viewed as being second-rate,” he said.
“No one has said that western Sydney is second-rate but Labor has treated western Sydney as second-rate by taking it for granted for so long.”
He also rejected Labor’s claims that families would be worse off under a Coalition government, saying he would cut government spending before taking money from families.
By nightfall, even Gillard’s hurriedly concocted highway funding plan was in tatters.
Not that she has the money anyway.
The hotel sign says it all.
This stunt may cost Labor votes, not win desperately needed hearts.
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Not a crumb from the PM’s table for locals

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, March 05, 2013 (7:04pm)

THE insider-outsider divide in politics is rarely so starkly defined as it has been by Prime Minister Julia Gillard moving her campaign roadshow, if not her government, to Rooty Hill RSL. 
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Let them eat cake

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, March 05, 2013 (12:15pm)

image
Sky presenter Paul Murray captured the Prime Minister sneaking through the Rooty Hill RSL bistro Monday night for a closed door dinner in a private dining room with a group of women he said looked just like her and were wearing the same glasses.
He wasn’t far wrong.
The chosen few handpicked by Julia Gillard to feast on vegetarian tarte tatin and Alaskan King Crab in the RSL’s private Zest Wok n’ Grill dining room were mummy bloggers, many of whom hadpreviously dined with the PM at Kirribilli house in December, and none of whom appear to live anywhere near Rooty Hill.
They later posted photos and wrote blogs about their high time, sequestered away from the great unwashed of Rooty Hill in the bistro outside.
image
One such lucky out of town dinner guest was “Mrs Woog” of woogsworld ("Making the most out of the mundane” is her motto), who posted the photo above of the elegant table setting and this one, below, of the PM’s Roasted Chicken Supreme, Potato Gratin and Sun-dried Tomato Jus selection.
image
Another dinner guest was Eden Riley of edenland, an apparent prime ministerial doppelgänger who posted on twitter the photo at the top of this post of herself with the PM.
As for the locals outside? Let them eat cake.
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Flannery stokes fears even as temperatures refuse to rise

Andrew BoltMARCH052013(5:04pm)

Professor Tim Flannery yesterday implicitly admitted what Trade Minister Craig Emerson won’t - that the main temperature measures show no statistically significant warming of the world for some 16 years: 
LEIGH SALES: We know that, say, if you look back over the past 50 years there’s clear evidence of global warming… But there were figured released I think late last year that showed that there’d been a plateau for about the past 15 or so years…

image
But here is Flannery’s excuse: 
TIM FLANNERY: ... but there has been no plateau....  90 per cent of the heat that is trapped by the greenhouse gases goes into the ocean, and you look at the whole of the Earth, we’re seeing a very strong warming trend....

LEIGH SALES: The figures that were released last year I think that are the combined Meteorological Office in Britain figures with the East Anglia University, their climate unit, don’t they show that the pace of climate change has slowed in recent times? I’m not saying there’s no climate change, I’m just say that the pace has slowed.

TIM FLANNERY: Sure. Look, the figures you’re referring to are a four-year forecast the Met Bureau does and they revise that four-year forecast every year. Now last year they just revised it down a built. The warming trend was still there… The heat imbalance is still there. The heat has to go somewhere.
Uh, really, Tim? Here are the sea surface temperature figures for the past decade: 
image
... they should be useful for monitoring signs of ocean surface warming, which appears to have stalled since at least the early 2000’s.
Sadly, Sales did not ask Flannery, now flogging a disgracefully alarmist report on our “Angry Summer”, to account for his previous dud prediction that global warming would stop rivers from flooding and dams from filling.
The report by Flannery’s commission claims, largely on the basis of a single two-week heat wave:
Yet global temperatures have not risen for 16 years. What’s more, Professor Ole Humlum’s summary of world temperature data suggests Flannery’s Climate Commission in hyping Australia’s “Angry Summer” is engaged in the most outrageous cherry picking to fuel warming hysteria: 
General: On average, global air temperatures were near the 1998-2006 average, although with big regional differences…

The Southern Hemisphere was mainly at or below average 1998-2006 conditions. The only important exceptions to this is represented by southern Africa and Australia, which experienced temperatures above the 1998-2006 average. The Antarctic continent was near or slightly above the temperature average.

The global oceanic heat content has been rather stable since 2003/2004 
All this suggests that the heat wave in late January and early February was not climate but weather.
The Climate Commission deserves to be abolished immediately.
UPDATE
image
Notalotofpeopleknowthat exposes the outrageous cherry-picking by the Climate Commission to produce its “Angry Summer” report, with its claim that we have just had “our hottest summer”.
First, some context. In fact, the whole of 2012 was cooler than many previous years:
Meanwhile 2012 ranked only 39th warmest since 1910.
Second, individual states did not have their hottest summers at all:
image
Why did Flannery and his Climate Commission give none of this context? Why did they not note a three-year fall in warming in Australia, and focus instead on three weeks of weather?
Sack the Climate Commission.
(Thanks to readers Penny and Philip.)
===

Privatise the ABC if it cannot keep its bias under control

Andrew BoltMARCH052013(4:11pm)

This pro-Labor shock-jockery from the taxpayer-funded “impartial” ABC is utterly unacceptable:
That’s the introduction to a report on The World Today, ostensibly a current affairs show.
UPDATE
Channel 10’s Paul Bongiorno verbals Coalition spokesman Scott Morrison on ABC Breakfast this morning, and is not corrected by host Fran Kelly (from 3:28):
Of course we do know [Tony Abbott] stoutly defended [immigration spokesman] Scott Morrison, who thought that asylum seekers who are on bridging visas should be tagged the same way as sex offenders.
Morrison said or suggested no such thing. The closest anyone in the Opposition came to saying anything of the kind was Opposition frontbencher Eric Abetz - who actually rejected a suggestion, put to him by a journalist, that asylum seekers be put on a register like sex offenders. No mention of tagging at all.
Bongiorno has ascribed to Morrison a view not expressed by him or any other Liberal, and done so on the basis of a misquote of someone else. And Fran Kelly seemingly could not even spot the slander.
UPDATE
Another example, from last night’s Q&A
JULIE BISHOP: Tony, you mentioned that in the recent Italian elections there was a comedian who had stood for Parliament although he is not in the Parliament. Today I was at the Australian Indonesia dialogue here in Sydney and a comedian in Indonesia has been elected to the Parliament in Megawati’s party and so this, I think, is a trend happening around the world.

TONY JONES: You’ve got Cory Bernadi.
===

Latham doesn’t get free speech at all

Andrew BoltMARCH052013(3:55pm)

Mark Latham simply does not understand that being free to speak does not mean others must be obliged to listen.
Here’s some of his defence at having sneered that Coalition frontbencher Andrew Robb, who has recovered from depression, is “disturbed”:
And the mother of all hypocrisy: Australia’s self-appointed guardian of free speech, Andrew Bolt, said my article should have been censored and questioned whether the AFR should retain me as a commentator. This confirms one of the golden rules of Australian public life: when Bolt talks about free speech, it is free speech for himself, not others. His instincts are dictatorial, not libertarian.
Let me try to explain this to Latham in small, simple words.
I am not saying he should be dragged before the courts for his crude and cruel attack. He should not be brought before the Press Council or any Finkelstein-like Inquisition. The Government should pass no laws against him nor seek to punish his publisher with an inquiry into the “hate media”. Latham should be free to say whatever hateful thing he likes, and he likes plenty. I defend Mark Latham’s right to speak.
The Financial Review, on the other hand, should be equally free to publish who it likes and to not publish who it doesn’t. It should be perfectly free to publish vile abuse from a fundamentally unserious man with two chips on both shoulders. That’s its free choice. My advice, however, is that a paper that publishes swill soon becomes regarded as swill itself. It becomes tainted by association. And then, of course, its credibility may fall and sales may drop.
Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism. Indeed, it is critical the two operate together, or else the totalitarians among us would scream even louder that the market has failed and Big Daddy must come in with a Press Police, or whatever Steve Conroy plans to call it.
So, no hypocrisy, Mark. I am merely wondering why the Financial Review puts its reputation in the hands of someone so abusive, And, in this case, so clueless. And, indeed, so hypocritical. Remember this contribution you once made to Parliament, on the death of Greg Wilton?
“Some of our media image is based on being tough and uncompromising. Some of our self-image as a group is based on a feeling of invincibility. But in the end we hurt, we suffer and we can be depressed just like anyone else. I truly hope that, as members gather here, if we can make one contribution and learn lessons from Greg’s passing, it will be to give stronger, more intense and more fruitful attention to this crisis in our society of depressive illness and suicide.”
But, please, abuse away. And know that when the regulators come for you, no one will be louder in your defence than I.
UPDATE
Anthony Dillon has a far more serious take on free speech - and on the mounting attacks waged by this government against speech that “offends”:
On the wall of an office I used to occupy was a sign that read: “Offence is never given. It is only ever taken. And when it is offered and graciously refused, any offence intended returns to the one who offered it.” As a part-Aboriginal Australian who has often been referred to as a “coconut” (brown on the outside but …), this advice has kept a smile in my face over the years. It has always been my intention that my fellow Australians (both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal) can keep the smiles on their faces and not be dependent on others for their happiness and emotional well-being. To make others responsible for your happiness and well-being is disempowering. And let’s not forget who the most disempowered group of people in Australia are.

For those who remain unconvinced that we do have a choice in how we respond to the actions of others, or feel it is just too hard, consider the experience and wisdom of Victor Frankl. He was a prisoner in the Nazi death camps who had the following insight based on his experiences:

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.

In the freedom-of-speech debate, let’s not be foolish and let being offended prevent necessary discussions from taking place. Silencing people will imprison us all. 
===

Sack Flannery

Andrew BoltMARCH052013(2:22pm)

John McLean dissects the latest alarmist claptrap from Tim Flannery’s Climate Commission, which preposterously claims that a two-week heat wave in Australia and heavy rain afterwards is evidence of global warming: 
As with most Climate Commission reports, it’s instructive to look at pertinent facts that were omitted.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s report ”Special Climate Statement 43 – extreme Heat in January 2013” describes the meteorological situation in detail, commencing with the rainfall being below average in southern Australia. Certain warmists seem reluctant to tell you that less rainfall means less surface moisture to evaporate and more heat energy available to heat the ground surface…

The climate statement goes on to describe multiples instances of winds drawing very warm air from central Australia onto south-western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales…
It then went on to say:
“Beginning on the 15th, a surface based low pressure system formed over central Queensland and began moving to the northwest in the ensuing days. At the middle levels of the atmosphere the monsoon trough began shifting south to meet the surface low. This caused the onset of the North Australian Monsoon on the 17th of January. This came about three weeks later than usual, but still within the standard deviation of the monsoon timing.”
In a nutshell, the heatwaves were caused by warm conditions in central Australia, a monsoon running late, and winds distributing the warm air. I wonder which part the Climate Commission believes is under the influence of human activity. And perhaps it could also explain why heatwaves have been irregular over the last 16 years, when average global temperatures have been flat, and why Australia’s recent heatwaves came at the end of the three coolest years of the last eleven?…
The Climate Commission’s report goes on to do some arm-waving over January bushfires, especially in New South Wales. Again the Bureau of Meteorology’s monthly weather review for NSW sets the record straight.
“The combination of very dry conditions during recent months as well as the severe January heatwave resulted in widespread bushfire activity across the state. Total Fire Bans were declared on eight days, with Catastrophic fire danger ratings observed for the first time since December 2009. In many cases these fires were ignited by dry lightning strikes, associated with surface troughs which failed to cause significant rain on the 8th and 12th/13th.”
It’s a pity that the report doesn’t tell us whether it was the hot, dry weather or the lightning strikes that were caused by human activity.
The Climate Commission goes on to talk about extreme rainfall and floods in Queensland and northern NSW. If nothing else you have to admire its chutzpah, given that, just a few years ago, the commission’s head, Tim Flannery, predicted such a dire reduction in rainfall that Anna Bligh’s Queensland was inspired to build a gold-plated desalination plant…

It’s not until page 8, when the readers have been well and truly pressured into conceding their role as despicable humans in all this climatic mischief, that they are told the fading ex-tropical cyclone Oswald was the major source of all that excess precipitation. Did you cause that tropical cyclone? I don’t think I did.
Tim Flannery and his Climate Commission should be sacked. Immediately.
(Thanks to reader Steve.)
===

Is this what less “gold-plating” looks like?

Andrew BoltMARCH052013(1:53pm)

PM:  I will have the Council of Australian Governments meeting at the end of this week, and I will be taking there a plan to make a difference; a plan to make sure that families pay $250 less per year for electricity than they would if we just let the current system run.

And it’s about addressing the real drivers of high power prices – the overinvestment, the so-called gold-plating of the network..

I think people can understand gold-plating really easily. What it means is there’s an overinvestment in the poles and wires, and under the current market design – the rules for electricity – there’s actually a perverse incentive for companies to keep investing, keep investing, keep investing – and passing all of those costs on to consumers. Indeed, there’s been around about $11 billion of investment for the peak loads on four days a year.
Now to Victoria, where 10,000 people who were affected by the deadly Black Saturday bushfires are taking the power company to court, alleging it didn’t do enough to make its powerlines safe.

One hundred and nineteen of the 173 people who died in the fires four years ago, were killed by the Kilmore East fire which destroyed more than 1200 homes…

SIMON LAUDER:  The Royal Commission into the Black Saturday bushfires found the Kilmore East blaze was sparked when a 43-year-old power line owned and operated by SP AusNet snapped, igniting the grass underneath.

The fire burned across 125,000 hectares, killing 119 people and destroying 1,242 homes. The commission found the line failure was partly caused by a component which hadn’t been fitted properly and the power kept coming through after the line failed.
Yes, Gillard was talking more about “over-investment” to guarantee power supply just when we need it most - on the hottest days. But she did also complain about not enough investment in “poles and wires”.
Time we had ti made clear what the consequences of this new drive would be, other than to draw attention away from the utterly pointless imposition of what’s effectively a 10 per cent carbon tax on power prices.
More people dying in heat waves, as the power failes? More sweltering in summer?  Still higher power costs on hotter days? More bushfires?
===

Helping the HSU mates

Andrew BoltMARCH052013(1:00pm)

I’d have thought the Health Services Union was the last union Gillard had to help:

The funding, redirected from other aged-care programs, will come with conditions that give three big unions - United Voice, the Australian Nurses Federation and the troubled Health Services Union - a new way to build membership and trigger wage claims…

Delayed by several months amid industry divisions, the Aged Care Workforce Compact will give money to most aged-care providers only if they sign up to enterprise bargaining agreements to set industrial conditions.
UPDATE
A grateful HSU sends yet more of its members’ money to Labor, according to the party’s declaration of donations last financial year:
image
I’m surprised there was any more members’ money left for Labor to feast on.
UPDATE
I am advised that an Age item I linked to earlier involving an alleged debt to an alleged prostitute is soon to be the subject of legal action against that paper. In the circumstances, and heaving heard more details of the case from one of the parties, I have removed that link.The Age may well have been very unfair to the poor bloke involved.
(Thanks to reader Brett.)
===

How the Greens used the ABC for a Dorothy Dixer

Andrew BoltMARCH052013(12:58pm)

How did the ABC’s Q&A manage to single out a question from a Greens candidate for the 2013 election out of all the questions submitted for a panel including Greens leader Christine Milne?
JAMES HARRISON: My question is to Julie Bishop. Your leader, Tony Abbott, has continually questioned the validity of credible scientists from around the world who present us with compelling evidence that climate change is happening and that the overwhelmingly likely cause is human pollution. Right now, Australia is experiencing more extreme weather events like bushfires, floods and cyclones. Right now, Australia is experiencing its hottest summer ever recorded. A price on carbon was introduced in Australia in July last year. Does your Party propose to abolish this effective legislation simply because it’s not your policy?
Your taxes, Greens propaganda.
(Thanks to reader stu. Note: it wasn’t the ABC who inserted in the clip the questioner’s political links.)
UPDATE
James Harrison tells Michael Smith he should have told Q&A he was a Greens candidate, but produces an email showing he did identify himself as a Greens party member.
Why didn’t Q&A identify him as such when putting his hostile question to Julie Bishop?
UPDATE
Reader sammi:
Tony Jones also did not correct or allow Julie Bishop to correct the woman who claimed her new teeth (and hair!?!) were due to Labor. This woman obviously is so poorly informed that she does not know that “The Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme was introduced by the former coalition government. The current Leader of the Opposition was its effective architect, overseer and introducer. It provides up to $4,250 in Medicare dental benefits over two years for eligible patients with a chronic health condition. The (Labor) government has said it will replace this scheme with its own dental scheme but its proposal for adults does not begin until 1 July 2014.” Greg Hunt, Hansard, October 10, 2012

This woman also said she hated Tony Abbott - the very man who was responsible for the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme she got her teeth under. It is frightful that such poorly informed people are able to vote and even more frightening and disgusting that what she said on Q&A;was allowed to stand unchallenged.
UPDATE
The question
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I’m a single parent too. I have two autistic kids. Even these teeth come from Labor. I had cancer because of the stress of raising autistic kids under the Howard Government under Abbott as Health Minister. I’ve had such a difference to my life because of Labor. I’m better off because casual work and raised tax thresholds mean I actually can go to work but basically even this hair comes from Labor. It’s a Labor makeover and I loathe Abbott. I loathe him deeply.
Reader Michael notes Labor in December cancelled the program this Abbott-hater claims gave her her teeth.
===

Flannery denies what he actually said

Andrew BoltMARCH052013(12:16pm)

I didn’t see Tim Flannery being questioned by Karl Sefanovic on the Today show this morning, but many readers say he denied saying our dams would never again fill. [UPDATE: No, he didn’t, says another reader. See update below.]
Reader Carolyn:
Just listened to Flannery on the Today Show. He says he was misquoted and did not say the “dams will never fill”. He now states he said “MAY never fill”. Karl Stefanovic questioned him on it at the end of the segment and he “confirmed” he was misquoted! Such gall.

Reader Wildfly:

This morning on the channel 9 Today Show Flannery claimed he did not say that dams would not fill, despite his exact word being quoted to him.
Let’s check whether Flannery was indeed misquoted and whether he said the dams “may” not fill again.
Here is Tim Flannery on Landline in 2007:
PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: We’re already seeing the initial impacts and they include a decline in the winter rainfall zone across southern Australia, which is clearly an impact of climate change, but also a decrease in run-off. Although we’re getting say a 20 per cent decrease in rainfall in some areas of Australia, that’s translating to a 60 per cent decrease in the run-off into the dams and rivers. That’s because the soil is warmer because of global warming and the plants are under more stress and therefore using more moisture. Soeven the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems, and that’s a real worry for the people in the bush. If that trend continues then I think we’re going to have serious problems, particularly for irrigation.
Flannery again in 2007:
Over the past 50 years southern Australia has lost about 20 per cent of its rainfall, and one cause is almost certainly global warming. Similar losses have been experienced in eastern Australia, and although the science is less certain it is probable that global warming is behind these losses too. But by far the most dangerous trend is the decline in the flow of Australian rivers: it has fallen by around 70 per cent in recent decades, so dams no longer fill even when it does rain 
Here is Flannery “clarifying” his comments last year - by confirming them:
As the soil warms up more of the rain that falls evaporates and less goes into the dams and the point that I was trying to make was that even the rain that was falling then previously that was able to fill the dams in future wouldn’t do that.
No, Flannery was not misquoted. He made a false prediction and should retract and apologise.
(if anyone can dig out a clip of Flannery on Today, I would be grateful.)
UPDATE
Reader Paul says the earlier readers I quoted misheard:
Karl was referring to Flannery’s comments in 2005 in regard to the Warragamba Dam…

[Flannery misled] Karl this morning, saying he used the words “at risk of...”

He didn’t use the word ‘risk’. Read below:
Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery in 2005:
“But since 1998 particularly, we’ve seen just drought, drought, drought, and particularly regions like Sydney and the Warragamba catchment – if you look at the Warragamba catchment figures, since ‘98, the water has been in virtual freefall, and they’ve got about two years of supply left, but something will need to change in order to see the catchment start accumulating water again…. So when the models start confirming what you’re observing on the ground, then there’s some fairly strong basis for believing that we’re understanding what’s causing these weather shifts and these rainfall declines, and they do seem to be of a permanent nature…” 
i don’t know if Flannery should be denying this, either. Apologising would be better.
===

Jeb Bush hints at 2016

Andrew BoltMARCH052013(11:42am)

Some say Jeb is the most talented of all the Bush clan - and, no, that is not a backhanded compliment:
Bush said he wouldn’t rule out a run in 2016, “but I won’t declare today either.”

===

Even Gillard’s xenophobia is fake

Andrew BoltMARCH052013(9:07am)

Labor is allowed to say what Liberals may not:
A defiant Julia Gillard has used her own life story to identify with the ­residents of western Sydney and vowed to make their job security her top priority, saying“foreigners’’ should go to the back of the queue.
Julia Gillard, The Australian online yesterday: 
WE inherited from the previous government a 457 temporary foreign worker visa program that was totally out of control.

Immigration Department statistics:

NUMBER of primary and secondary 457 visa grants in 2007-08: 110,570
Number of primary and secondary 457 visa grants in 2011-12: 125,070
UPDATE

Mr Abbott has accused the prime minister of demonising foreigners with a crackdown on the 457 temporary foreign worker visa program.

He said trying to turn people against them was the last thing Ms Gillard should be doing, especially in western Sydney.
People on 457 visas who have come to Australia “the right way” were the best possible migrants, the opposition leader said.
Ms Gillard hit back on Tuesday, saying Mr Abbott’s words rang hollow.

“This is the man, who in the run-up to 2010 campaign and almost every day since has been out in the community ... trying to raise fear,” she told Sky News, citing Mr Abbott’s use of terms such as “peaceful invasion” to describe a surge in arrivals of asylum seekers by boats.
UPDATE
The Prime Minister, who has presided over the biggest yearly increase in 457 visa approvals in the past 15 years, blamed the former Howard government for leaving a working visa system “riddled with rorts”.

She said people were complaining about missing out on jobs to foreign workers but was unable to provide examples of where this had occurred.
UPDATE
Ms Gillard’s media director John McTernan, a British citizen, is on a 457 category visa, while her deputy-chief of staff Tom Bentley was also born in the UK.

Top secret security clearances are normally only available to Australian citizens.

It’s understood the requirement was waived in Mr McTernan’s case.
UPDATE
Language, please:
Asked whether he was on a 457 visa, Mr McTernan, who was former British PM Tony Blair’s director of political operations, responded to ABC News Online: “Hardly f**king relevant”.

He later confirmed he was on a 457 visa, having originally been granted one under the former Howard government.
(Thanks to reader Gab.)
===

Who is this “we” that hates Abbott?

Andrew BoltMARCH052013(8:13am)


In his controversial Quarterly Essay in September, titled ‘’Political Animal’’, David Marr did not completely write off Abbott’s chances of winning the coming election. But he did begin his piece with the comment: “Australia doesn’t want Tony Abbott; we never have.” Some months later, when responding to comments on the essay, Marr wrote: “The numbers are going the wrong way for Abbott.”

Marr’s analysis overlooks Abbott’s 2010 success in forcing a first-term government to minority status. There is almost unanimity in opinion polls that the Abbott-led Coalition is likely to prevail in the election.
... it is mere hyperbole to suggest that all Australians do not want Abbott to be prime minister. Moreover, the numbers are heading in Abbott’s direction.

Hostility to Abbott is partly personal, partly political and based among inner-city intelligentsia in Sydney and Melbourne, quite a few of whom are Greens voters. It finds strongest expression at the ABC - which still does not have one conservative presenter, producer or editor on any of its prime products - and in the publications of Black Inc.
===

Gillard’s Potemkin West

Andrew BoltMARCH052013(7:54am)

image
IN the first two days of her stage-managed western Sydney blitz, Julia Gillard has only met with Labor supporters or people who have benefited from her government.

... the Prime Minister found only friendly turf again after rallying Labor faithful at Parramatta on Sunday.

Her day started with a visit to Western Sydney Wanderers players at training, a year after the government gave $8 million to develop football in western Sydney.
After blitzing morning TV and radio shows, Ms Gillard visited Ability Options, an employment assistance provider for people with disabilities in Seven Hills which is funded by the federal and state governments…

Ms Gillard’s clothes arrived at Rooty Hill RSL, where she is staying, marked “Prime Minister’s overseas visit”.
UPDATE
So what better place to hold her first press conference of the visit than on a traffic island next to the M7 Motorway…

The Prime Minister, travelling from Seven Hills to Eastern Creek in her Comcar, trailed a caravan of ministers, local MPs, political staffers, reporters, camera operators and boom mike operators, at least 90 per cent of whom were imported from the national capital.

The only real people within shouting distance were the poor folk in high visibility vests trying manfully to direct the cars disgorging out-of-towners.
UPDATE
image
Reader TdeF complains:
That was a terrible slur on the great Grigory Potemkin, one created by his political enemies. Grigory created the Ukraine and the Russian fleet expelling the remnants of the Golden Horde and securing the Caucuses. Catherine II only visited once. For Catherine, it was a Royal visit to a far flung realm and she had the same luggage tags and fawning entourage as Julia.
And so it is little wonder that some in the west were baffled by Julia Gillard’s attempt to woo them by assuring them they were not second-rate citizens - it had never occurred to them that they were.

It’s a bit like going up to a perfectly healthy person in the street and telling them that despite what others might say it’s not true that they have cancer. They’re not exactly going to find it reassuring.

And so, as I was wandering the endless floor of the RSL proper, a bloke in a hi-vis shirt at the bar called out my name.
“You see?” he says. “We in the west watch Q&A too.”

He then goes on to say that the paper hasn’t been doing enough to hold the Prime Minister to account. I tell him he is the first person I have ever met who thinks The Telegraph has been too soft on the Gillard government.
Hildebrand’s mate sounds like a blog reader: 
He’s as Strine and working-class as you could want. He should’ve been voting Labor since he was a twinkle in his daddy’s eye. Now it seems he wants them destroyed.

He says we should do a report card on the Prime Minister, starting with her pledges here during the last campaign and the string of broken promises since.

Then, with a wicked grin, he says he reckons Stephen Conroy has us by the balls.
===

Sydney’s shootings won’t be stopped by fighting gangs

Andrew BoltMARCH052013(7:51am)

Sure, fight gangs with a new federal anti-gangs task force, as now promised by the Gillard Government.
But I am less convinced that the task force will do much about a problem singled out by the Prime Minister in announcing her new task force:
Even though we have seen general reductions in gun crime, we have certainly seen increases in shootings in public places. Most particularly when we look at the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, we see that over the past 15 years, shootings in public places have soared.

Former NSW detective Tim Priest is surely right to say many of these shootings have more to do with ethnic factors than with organised crime gangs:
I fail to see just how this initiative is actually going to stop random drive-by shootings that are not connected to gangs. There is evidence in Sydney thatsome of the shootings are more about culture and how some in our community deal with personal offence, rather than being gang related.
Turf wars between motorcycle gangs and other organised criminal groups are behind some of the incidents, say police. But they also warn that young men without gang links have begun arming themselves to resolve disputes with roots as petty as an argument between two women in a supermarket…

New South Wales police announced a new initiative to address gun crime, which the police commissioner, Andrew Scipione, described as the state’s “number one problem”. But news that it will be led by the force’s Middle Eastern organised crime squad sparked anger in the Muslim community…

Keysar Trad, spokesman for the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, said the squad’s new assignment implied the problem was confined to one ethnic group when incidents have been also lined to Serbian and Samoan organised crime, as well as gangs or individuals with no particular affiliations…
Nick Kaldas, the deputy police commissioner of New South Wales, told Fairfax Media: “We are seeing guns used to settle the most trivial matters. Small debts, arguments over women, domestic tensions, road rage and minor property disputes.”

One shooting incident took place following an argument about Syrian politics in a hairdressing salon; another after one man complimented another’s wife at a wedding.
A task force on the links between immigration and crime might be just as useful as a task force on gangs, if not more so. But, of course, that would be too rude… 
UPDATE
Yoni Bashan says Julia Gillard is simply setting up a small new task force to do what existing ones do already:

Second, even with new strike teams, the paltry 70 investigators promised by the PM’s office is a drop in the ocean. The NSW Middle Eastern organised crime squad has double that strength to focus on a single ethnic group and it still has its hands full.

How can 70 investigators, spread over every criminal gang nationwide (outlaw bikies alone comprise about 40 groups), achieve meaningful results?…
But most damning of all is that we already have a perfectly good implement to do this job. Instead of being a taskforce, though, it is known as a “fusion centre”.

Run by the Australian Crime Commission, it is based on the same concept and performs a virtually identical role… Funnily enough, it, too, has special “strike teams” ...
===

How to tame the anti-human rights commission

Andrew BoltMARCH052013(7:19am)

Nick Cater makes an optimistic prediction - that the disturbing attacks on free speech proposed by the Gillard Government, to the cheers of so many closet totalitarians of the Left, have instead provoked a mighty resistance: 
Incongruously, hidden in the middle of the list [of attributes the Government wanted to protect from offence and insult], is the protected right of political opinion, which caught the eye of the opinionated George Brandis when the Human Rights Commission’s new chairwoman, Gillian Triggs, turned up to help the Senate with its inquiries recently. Did it mean that the Human Rights Commission had woken up at last to the need to defend free speech?

Nope. Not a chance, as Triggs explained to senators: “We would like to make the point that not all political opinion is protected. The right is not absolute; it is subject to certain constraints.”

If you can hold that subversive thought in your head, no problem; indeed thinking has the full protection of the law. Try not to blurt it out, however, because Triggs warns that if public order or the maintenance of a civilised workplace is threatened “decision makers will have to put limits”.
Uh, oh. Decision makers, limits. Brandis picked her up: “Should the capacity to express unwelcome political opinions - unwelcome to their auditor - be constrained?”
“I believe it can be, and ought to be, constrained, where the behaviour ultimately becomes harassment - if you want to use that word,” replied the professor. “We may get it wrong; the courts may get it wrong. But I think the critical point is to accept that nobody is there objecting to the holding of the political view; the objection is to the effect of that political view or the manner in which it is delivered.”

There is a danger of speaking too soon, but the Bolt case, and Roxon’s doomed bill, sinking under the weight of its own absurdity, may well go down as the catalyst for a revolt that stopped the expansion of the human rightism in its tracks.
What business is any of this for some judge or tribunal member, anyway? What business is it for some government-appointment activist or bureaucrat to determine whose views are right and who should have expressed themselves in a better way?
Let all this be determined in the cacophanous market of free speech.
It should be a grand Liberal project to abolish human rights tribunals dedicated to denying a human right as basic as free speech.
I accept that Liberals are too frightened and too unprepared for such a cultural war, and plan a much smaller battle to simply “reform” the Australian Human Rights Commission by, say, appointing a Free Speech Commissioner or Freedom Commissioner.
Such an effort will fail, or, if successful initially, will eventually lead to even worse under a new and more punitive government. Inevitably a “free speech commissioner” will, as the AHRC is now, be more concerned to determine the limits of free speech than to expand them. The power of such commissioners will come from the same source that makes too many of the worst bureaucracies mighty in their own eyes: the power to say no.
So here is a compromise for a new Coalition government that will be short of money, anyway - a compromise that will let it dodge the argument until it feels more confident.
I note this in Cater’s piece: 
Autonomous extra-parliamentary bodies look cute when they’re little, but they tend to turn ugly when fully grown. The Human Rights Commission, as it is now known, had a budget of $27.5 million last year, and let’s not forget its little cousins: the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW; the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland; the Equal Opportunities Commission of Western Australia, the NT Anti-Discrimination Commission; the Office of the Anti-Discrimination Commission (Tasmania); the South Australia Equal Opportunity Commission; the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission; and the ACT Human Rights Commission...
That strikes me many human rights bodies too many. An Abbott Government could argue for some amalgamation - to devolve all functions of the federal human rights bodies to the states. No more Australian Human Rights Council. Sure, that leaves a small gap of checking our conformity with international covenants, but I think the Attorney-General’s department could handle that safely. Don’t you? And it’s not as if there isn’t an army of human rights lawyers and activist groups already doing the AHRC’s nagging for free.
So there. Scrap the AHRC. Devolve its functions to the state bodies, closer to the people. Save money. And make us more free.
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4 her

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Stop Wildlife Crime - It's Dead Serious.
"In 50 years of conservation, we have never seen wildlife crime on such a scale. Wildlife crime is now the most urgent threat to three of the world’s best-loved species—elephants, rhinos and tigers."

I AM NOT MEDICINE
"At least one rhino is killed every day due to the mistaken belief that rhino horn can cure diseases. The main market is now in Vietnam where there is a newly emerged belief that rhino horn cures cancer. Rhino horn is also used in other traditional Asian medicine to treat a variety of ailments including fever and various blood disorders. It is also used by wealthy Asian as a cure for hangovers."

I AM NOT A TRINKET
"Tens of thousands of elephants are killed every year for their ivory tusks. In 1989, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) banned the international trade in ivory. However, there are still some thriving but unregulated domestic ivory markets in a number of countries, which fuel an illegal international trade."

I AM NOT A RUG
"Every part of the tiger—from whisker to tail—is traded in illegal wildlife markets. Poaching is the most immediate threat to wild tigers. In relentless demand, their parts are used for traditional medicine, folk remedies, and increasingly as a status symbol among wealthy Asians."

Information directly from WWFhttp://bit.ly/WH4SMk
© Martin Harvey / WWF-Canon

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PUBLIC POLICY CORRUPTED

The government may now have resorted to union conscription for aged care workers, as it is reported that commonwealth funding for aged care providers would be tied to union based enterprise bargaining agreements.

This proposal amounts to a direct intervention in the private sector by the commonwealth to seek a favourable outcome for a vested interest – the union movement.

Unions represent only 13 percent of the private sector workforce, which is where most aged care is provided.

Aged care providers may have to conscript workers who are in unions in order to qualify for funds. This is even though the vast majority of workers choose not to be in unions.

The union that does cover many aged care workers, the Health Services Union, is mired in corruption. How will funding be handled so that aged care providers do not force their workers to be members of such a union until it is cleaned up?

The Fair Work Act prohibits most forms of discrimination against workers. The promised aged care funding is likely to discriminate against the many aged care workers who are not in unions.

This is an unprecedented move that has the potential to spill into other areas of government purchasing.

In fact the proposal is to use public funding to prop up incumbent unions in the aged care sector.

This is a reactionary proposal that should be dropped.

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Summer Desert — with Daniel Frank Katz atStrawberry Fields.
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Oklahoma
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PHOTO OF THE DAY: goes to Martin Rietze who took this INCREDIBLE lightning photo within the lava bombs on Sakura Island in Japan, recently. WOW!!!! You have got to be kidding me.

For more of Martin's incredible photos from this expedition, check out his website here:http://mrietze.com/web13/japan13.htm

Help us take it to the next level with Tornado Chasers, Season 2013 by pledging on our Kickstarter campaign.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tornadochasers/tornado-chasers

We want to bring to you the most extreme, highest quality storm chasing reality series ever to hit TV or the internet, and we can't do it without your help.

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GEOGRAPHIC PRICE DISCRIMINATION

Today on radio 2GB, Alan Jones interviewed ACCC Chairman Rod Simms, and he referred extensively to a submission that I made to the ACCC’s Grocery Inquiry back in 2008, detailing a case study of how the anti-competitive practice of Geographic Price Discrimination is used to eliminate low prices and protect the existing supermarket duopoly from competition.

I detailed how for a basket of 28 everyday fruit and vegetables, that Woolworths were charging between 51% and 402% higher prices at Greystanes than they were charging for the same items in Fairfield which is less than 4km away.

They slashed prices Fairfield to drive a smaller more efficient competitor from the market, and when this small competitor had been driven to ruin and closed down - they jacked the prices back up, resulting in less consumer choice and higher prices.

At the time I called on then Competition Minister, and member for the local area Mr. Chris Bowen to protect his constituents and all Australian consumers from falling victim to the evil of Geographic Price Discrimination, a practice that adds to inflationary pressures across the nation and resulted in Australia holding the shameful title of having the developed world’s highest rate of inflation.

Other than the farce of Grocerywatch Mr Bowen did nothing. No wonder that that latest polls are showing a 20% swing against Mr Bowen, and he looks like being voted out of parliament at the next election. He's had his chance and failed.

Following is a link to the interview between Jones & Simms

http://www.2gb.com/article/rod-sims

And following is a link to my submission to the ACCC
http://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/230%20(late%2013%20June)%20-%20Southern%20Sydney%20Retailers%20Association%20(sub.11)%20(7%20pages).pdf.

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March 5Ash Wednesday in Western Christianity (2014); Learn From Lei Feng Day in China; St Piran's Day in Cornwall, United Kingdom
Gloster Meteor
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Events[edit]

Births[edit]

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Holidays and observances[edit]

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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”” - Joshua 1:9
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
March 4: Morning
"My grace is sufficient for thee." - 2 Corinthians 12:9
If none of God's saints were poor and tried, we should not know half so well the consolations of divine grace. When we find the wanderer who has not where to lay his head, who yet can say, "Still will I trust in the Lord;" when we see the pauper starving on bread and water, who still glories in Jesus; when we see the bereaved widow overwhelmed in affliction, and yet having faith in Christ, oh! what honour it reflects on the gospel. God's grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers. Saints bear up under every discouragement, believing that all things work together for their good, and that out of apparent evils a real blessing shall ultimately spring--that their God will either work a deliverance for them speedily, or most assuredly support them in the trouble, as long as he is pleased to keep them in it. This patience of the saints proves the power of divine grace. There is a lighthouse out at sea: it is a calm night--I cannot tell whether the edifice is firm; the tempest must rage about it, and then I shall know whether it will stand. So with the Spirit's work: if it were not on many occasions surrounded with tempestuous waters, we should not know that it was true and strong; if the winds did not blow upon it, we should not know how firm and secure it was. The master-works of God are those men who stand in the midst of difficulties, stedfast, unmoveable,--

"Calm mid the bewildering cry,
Confident of victory."

He who would glorify his God must set his account upon meeting with many trials. No man can be illustrious before the Lord unless his conflicts be many. If then, yours be a much-tried path, rejoice in it, because you will the better show forth the all-sufficient grace of God. As for his failing you, never dream of it--hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until now, should be trusted to the end.
Evening
"They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house." - Psalm 36:8
Sheba's queen was amazed at the sumptuousness of Solomon's table. She lost all heart when she saw the provision of a single day; and she marvelled equally at the company of servants who were feasted at the royal board. But what is this to the hospitalities of the God of grace? Ten thousand thousand of his people are daily fed; hungry and thirsty, they bring large appetites with them to the banquet, but not one of them returns unsatisfied; there is enough for each, enough for all, enough for evermore. Though the host that feed at Jehovah's table is countless as the stars of heaven, yet each one has his portion of meat. Think how much grace one saint requires, so much that nothing but the Infinite could supply him for one day; and yet the Lord spreads his table, not for one, but many saints, not for one day, but for many years; not for many years only, but for generation after generation. Observe the full feasting spoken of in the text, the guests at mercy's banquet are satisfied, nay, more "abundantly satisfied;" and that not with ordinary fare, but with fatness, the peculiar fatness of God's own house; and such feasting is guaranteed by a faithful promise to all those children of men who put their trust under the shadow of Jehovah's wings. I once thought if I might but get the broken meat at God's back door of grace I should be satisfied; like the woman who said, "The dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from the master's table;" but no child of God is ever served with scraps and leavings; like Mephibosheth, they all eat from the king's own table. In matters of grace, we all have Benjamin's mess--we all have ten times more than we could have expected, and though our necessities are great, yet are we often amazed at the marvellous plenty of grace which God gives us experimentally to enjoy.
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Ezra, Ezrah 
[Ĕz'ră] - help or my helper.
1. The head of one of the twenty-two courses of priests that came up from exile with Zerubbabel and Jeshua (Neh. 10:2-8; 12:1, 13). Probably the Azariah of Ezra 7:1.

2. A descendant of Judah through Caleb (1 Chron. 4:17).

3. The famous scribe and priest descended from Hilkiah the high priest (Ezra 7:1-25).
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Today's reading: Numbers 29-31, Mark 9:1-29 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Numbers 29-31

The Festival of Trumpets
1 "'On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets. 2 As an aroma pleasing to the LORD, offer a burnt offering of one young bull, one ram and seven male lambs a year old, all without defect....

Today's New Testament reading: Mark 9:1-29

1 And he said to them, "Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power."
The Transfiguration
2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4 And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus....
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Easter is coming!

On Ash Wednesday next week, we begin the official countdown to the most important day in the Christian calendar. We think there's no better time to renew your focus on Jesus Christ, so Bible Gateway has put together two new free devotional tools for Lent:
  • Read through the Gospels during LentHave you ever read through the entire story of Jesus' life, ministry, and resurrection? This daily email Bible reading plan walks you through each of the four Gospel accounts. Whether you've read the Gospels a hundred times or have never experienced the story, this is a great way to get to know the Savior we celebrate at Easter. Sign up for our Lent Gospel reading plan.
  • Lent DevotionsScripture readings, devotionals insights, and Easter prayers, sent several times a week to your inbox. These Easter devotional emails will keep you focused on Jesus throughout each week. Sign up for our Lent email devotions.
Both of these email newsletters are free and run from Ash Wednesday (March 9) through Easter (April 24). Take advantage of these devotional tools to help you keep your eyes on Easter--visit the links above to sign up now! (And keep an eye on our blog for more exciting Easter resources in the coming weeks.)

Wishing you a reflective Lent and a blessed Easter,

The Bible Gateway team


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