Friday, April 11, 2014

Fri Apr 11th Todays News

We live in a secular society and that means the way we recognise and address evil is different to what we would do if we were not secular but religiously defined. We are secular, but individuals may not be. But our administrators still act for everyone, not tribal sects. It is ok to pray in Parliament, it is also ok to think before one acts. But not everyone does. On this day in 1554, Thomas Wyatt was beheaded before being quartered and his body parts distributed and staked as an example of what happens to those who commit treason. He was Catholic but disliked Spain, and Queen Mary was marrying a Spanish man. Thomas did not feel the alliance was in the public interest, and with four thousand men marched around England saying so, before he was captured and executed. 

Consider how hard it is to know, in secular terms, if Oscar Pistorious had acted right in killing his girlfriend by shooting through a closed door bullets that were hollow points. His alarm hadn't gone off. He was sharing a house with his girlfriend. He claims he heard a noise in the bath room and so shot his girlfriend. He isn't noted for his humbleness or thoughtfulness. He is an elite athlete used to earning a lot of money for doing tricks. So shaky was the prosecution's case, he was granted bail while organising his defence. Maybe he does scream like a girl. Maybe he is sorry for what he has done. Anyone that fires hollow points at an unseen person (or cat) does not deserve freedom imho. 

In 1981, there were riots in Brixton UK and salient points can be drawn to other incidents, like the Cronulla Riot, or Redfern riot in Australia years later. The major excuse given was that a fire in Lambeth which tragically took the lives of African ethnic youths had allegedly not been investigated appropriately by police. But, it was the early days of the long term Thatcher administration and a radicalised mainstream media had incited unrest and inflamed disaffection. There was no reason for the widespread rioting, merely high unemployment related to the previous Labour government policy. It doesn't matter if a government is overtly religious on Christian lines, or secular with Christian values, people can be incited to riot and do absurd actions, and it is hard for the public to know right from wrong. 

It doesn't require government to tell people what is right or wrong. Adults should act responsibly. It is the role of administration to act when people don't act responsibly. Maybe Wyatt was treated harshly, but it was certainly just. So far, the same cannot be said of Oscar Pistorious. 

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 to those born on this day, along with
Matches
Despatches
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No discom-Bob-ulation here

Piers Akerman – Thursday, April 10, 2014 (7:36pm)

BOB “Bridget” Carr has written the political comic of the year. His Diary Of A Foreign Minister will probably never sell as many copies as John Howard’s best-selling biography Lazarus Rising but it will certainly win the prize for historical revisionism, egotism and wackiness.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'No discom-Bob-ulation here'
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DON’T ASK, DON’T KILL

Tim Blair – Friday, April 11, 2014 (1:18am)

Smoking is terrible for your health, but it’s better than being stabbed, shot, bashed or axed. Let’s examine several cases of cigarette request violence, beginning six years ago in Manchester
A man was left fighting for his life after being beaten up by a gang of yobs after he rejected a request for a cigarette. 
The deceased was approached by the suspect and asked for a cigarette. The deceased was not in possession of a cigarette and when he failed to meet the demands of the suspect, he was consequently stabbed once in the chest and died on the scene. 
A man was assaulted in an ‘unprovoked assault’ after he told two men he did not have a cigarette. 
A man has been stabbed with a screwdriver moments after he gave his attacker a cigarette. 
According to police, a 23-year-old woman was approached by another woman and asked for a cigarette around 3:15 a.m.
The woman told the stranger she had cigarettes in her car, which was parked on Hargrave Street.
When she went to get one for her, a man appeared and attacked her and stole her car keys. 
The victim got off work at about 4 AM and walked to his car on 14th and E. Jefferson St, where two men approached him and asked for a cigarette.
As the victim was reaching for a cigarette, one of the suspects pulled out a handgun, pointed it at the victim’s head, and demanded the victim’s car keys. 
The boy, 17, refused to share his cigarette with his now deceased brother, Busani Moyo, 22. Busani apparently was unhappy with his younger brother’s response and slapped him twice, according to the police.
Seething with anger and a hurt ego, the boy rushed home and armed himself with an axe. 
A man was stabbed, knocked out and robbed Tuesday afternoon by a stranger who asked for a cigarette. 
The incident began with a small number of youths asking a guest for a cigarette earlier in the night … 
Cigarette request violence (CRV) is a global issue. I call for urgent UN action.
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MODERN FAITH

Tim Blair – Friday, April 11, 2014 (12:56am)

“Are global warming alarmists just a conglomerate of eco radicals and third world grifters?” asks Bruce McQuain. No, of course they aren’t. They’re also teachers, infesting education systems worldwide. Further on our era’s madness from Christopher Booker
When future generations come to look back on the alarm over global warming that seized the world towards the end of the 20th century, much will puzzle them as to how such a scare could have arisen. They will wonder why there was such a panic over a 0.4 per cent rise in global temperatures between 1975 and 1998, when similar rises between 1860 and 1880 and 1910 and 1940 had given no cause for concern. They will see these modest rises as just part of a general warming that began at the start of the 19th century, as the world emerged from the Little Ice Age, when the Earth had grown cooler for 400 years.
They will be struck by the extent to which this scare relied on the projections of computer models, which then proved to be hopelessly wrong when, in the years after 1998, their predicted rise in temperature came virtually to a halt. But in particular they will be amazed by the almost religious reverence accorded to that strange body, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which by then will be recognised as having never really been a scientific body at all, but a political pressure group. 
In happier news, here’s a $1 billion carbon dioxide pipeline: 
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. today announced it will build and operate a new, 213-mile, 16-inch diameter pipeline to transport carbon dioxide (CO2) from the company’s St. Johns source field in Apache County, Ariz., to the Kinder Morgan-operated Cortez Pipeline in Torrance County, N.M. 
(Via Lank)
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SIX LANES OF STIMULUS

Tim Blair – Thursday, April 10, 2014 (11:52pm)

Big government, needlessly big roads. Mark Steyn reveals an example of pointless overspending in Vermont:



(Via John H.)
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In defence of Bob Carr

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (10:19am)

Greg Sheridan rightly notes that Bob Carr is being attacked in part for sending himself up, which is actually a bit unfair. And he notes that in Carr’s book are some insights or arguments worth having.
First, he gives a frightening account of the man who Labor had lead this country:
Gillard ... tells him Rudd “had kept going to Israel, driving (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu mad proposing a batty peace plan and promising to commit Australian troops to patrolling borders”.
Carr’s comment: “I quickly agreed this was nuts.’’…
Carr recounts the No 2 official at the commonwealth secretariat complaining of Rudd’s rudeness, with Rudd telling him: “If I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it.’’
He also details a number of Australian officials describing extremely aggressive body language from Rudd in encounters with Japanese and Singaporean foreign ministers. These are all quite devastating revelations for Rudd.
Sheridan notes:
I think at times Carr is a little too sensitive about Beijing’s allegedly hurt feelings. And he takes up the foreign minister’s role having absorbed a certain amount of the pro-China, anti-American zeitgeist promoted in different ways by Paul Keating, Malcolm Fraser and academic Hugh White.
But reality keeps intruding and Carr is far too smart to ignore reality. He sends an email to Kim Beazley, our ambassador in Washington, retailing an argument that Australia has got too close to the US. One of the best things in the book is Beazley’s cable in reply, printed in full.
Beazley points out not only that the US is getting more deeply engaged in Asia, partly as a response to the persuasive arguments put to it by Labor governments, but also that Australian governments have shrewdly used the alliance to leverage Australia’s distinctive interests and policy objectives across the board.
Carr, for all his faults, sees the folly of the China-first crowd:
Keating launches Hugh White’s book on the US and China. He’s half right — but to talk about us giving China strategic space? What does that mean, strategic space?
Does he endorse White’s view, for example, that Japan should move out of its alliance with the US? And South Korea as well? That Vietnam should accept Chinese dominance? Well, that’s strategic space.
Beijing would relish this discussion in Australia. After all, the Chinese want to see us disoriented over our bilateral relationship.
I form the view that we should not react. The basics are good, we trade, we talk: the metrics are healthy, as our Ambassador put it to me. The pro-China lobby are over-egging the pudding.
They want to make us fidgety and defensive about our China policy. Make us anxious. That’s not the way to respond.  
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The Bolt Report on Sunday

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (9:10am)

On the show on Sunday – Network 10 at 10am and 4pm....
Just when Labor was wondering what made it unelectable, along comes Bob Carr.
Employment Minister Eric Abetz on what Labor has to fear from the royal commission into union corruption.
The panel: Janet Albrechtson and Cassandra Wilkinson on Abbott’s excellent Asian adventure - and more.
On NewsWatch: Gerard Henderson on a scandal that press gallery heavies wouldn’t report, and on an expert the ABC is only too glad to give oxygen.
Plus another green dream sinks and Marxists look to me for inspiration.  True! 

The videos of the shows appear here.
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Labor’s great NBN fiasco. The ABC should care more

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (8:57am)

First it was Clive Palmer telling him to shut up. Now it’s the Communications Minister telling ABC host Tony Jones he’s a socialist or something:

MALCOLM TURNBULL: No. Look, this - the NBN is not a commercial project. It is the most - the single most expensive, irrational project of the Labor government. It should never have been undertaken in the way it is. It is completely non-commercial.
TONY JONES: “So let’s keep it going,” says Malcolm Turnbull.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: No, no - well the problem that we’ve got - the problem that we’ve got is is that if we were to pull the pin on it completely, we would lose at least - we’d write off at least $15 billion, probably more and have nothing to show for it. So, Labor has left us with a shocking mess. The best thing we can do is to complete the project as quickly and cost effectively as possible.
TONY JONES: Alright. If you can ...
MALCOLM TURNBULL: And that’s the - and that is the - you know, now, can I just say this to you?: the way Labor went about the NBN was unique in the world. No other country did anything as mad as this. And ...
TONY JONES: Yes, but we have heard this argument before (inaudible) ...
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Yeah, but you don’t care about it because it’s the taxpayers’ money. - that’s the thing.
TONY JONES: That’s not at all true.
UPDATE
NBN head Ziggy Switkowski tells the ABC this morning the NBN is losing $1.5 billion a year and he’d never have designed it as Labor did. 
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One of these men is from the party claiming to represent workers

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (8:34am)

How former foreign minister Bob Carr travelled:
In other extracts already dubbed “Bridget Carr’s Diary”, the exercised-obsessed former NSW premier ...  laments travelling in business class during a trans-Atlantic flight.
“Business class. No edible food. No airline pyjamas,” Mr Carr notes. “I lie in my tailored suit.” ...
On another flight, he was particularly savage: “Eating plastic — no ceramic — food, passengers lying in cribs, packed in business class, a design that owes a lot to the trans-Atlantic slave trade ...” Occasionally an airline would upgrade Mr Carr and wife Helena, but even this good fortune had a gloomy response.
“Pathetic that the public service rules reduce me to that, an upgrade for a middle-power foreign minister,” he wrote…
A Singapore Airlines executive responds to his complaint about first class entertainment: “Please accept my sincere apology if any part of our first class in-flight offering fell below your expectations. Specifically, I have taken note of the lack of English subtitles for the Wagner opera Siegfried.”
How Prime Minister Tony Abbott travels:
Mr Abbott and his family travelled economy on a flight from Sydney to Paris, which normally takes a gruelling 24 hours in total. His office did not apparently publicise his decision, but his presence at the back of the plane emerged after a fellow passenger broadcast the news on social media…

Mr Abbott, wearing a blue polo shirt, was travelling with his wife and two younger daughters during the Christmas holidays to Paris to spend a week with his eldest daughter, Louise, who is living in Switzerland. He reportedly rejected an offer of an upgrade.
(Thanks to reader Wade.) 
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Carr waited a year to be shocked by Gillard’s media war

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (8:23am)

Piers Akerman notes it took a convenient year for Bob Carr to find what passes for his free speech principles and end his support for Julia Gillard:
His Diary Of A Foreign Minister ...  reveals that three months before Gillard’s prime ministership was ended last June, he wrote. “The media package, and how it was adopted, has destroyed any confidence I could have in her office and instincts…
“We are committed to a wholesale war with the newspapers. In that pre-election phase when we should be friends with all."…
Carr has attempted to hoodwink readers of his book into the belief he suddenly became aware of an anti-media agenda and that he was righteously appalled at this attack — more for reasons of political pragmatism than any defence of freedom of the press.
Let’s be perfectly clear, Gillard was at war with the media — particularly the non-government and truly independent News Corp print media — a year earlier than Carr’s moment of enlightenment…
Gillard fired the first salvo in August 2011 when she started calling John Hartigan, the then chairman and CEO of News Ltd, to complain about the coverage her dysfunctional government was receiving from various columnists, notably Andrew Bolt and Glenn Milne, both of whom had made references to the brewing controversy about Gillard’s relationship with former AWU boss Bruce Wilson…
Chris Mitchell, The Australian’s editor-in chief, who was asked to ring Gillard over a column written by Milne, said later he had been on the end of verbal sprays from Paul Keating but “they were nothing compared to this”.
Less than a month later Gillard and her communications minister, Stephen “Red Underpants” Conroy, gave former federal court judge Ray Finkelstein a loaded brief to inquire into the media industry’s regulatory framework.
Predictably, Finkelstein’s central recommendation the following February was for government-controlled regulation of news reporting.
Yet if you believe Carr — a former ABC and Bulletin journalist — he was apparently oblivious of Gillard’s fatwa against the media until well after he had accepted his trophy foreign minister’s job.
I won’t forget those who failed to resist - or even collaborated - on that wicked government’s attack on the media. They were prepared to sell out something very precious. 
UPDATE
But Martin Ferguson seems more forgiving of Carr’s account - and likewise damns the Gillard Government in which he served:

ONE of the most respected members of the Gillard government, former resource minister Martin Ferguson, ... said he first learned communications policy was to be discussed after a lobbyist from a major media company approached him on the footpath outside a Melbourne restaurant the night before cabinet was due to meet.
“I said, ‘It’s news to me. I’m a cabinet minister and I can tell you there is a cabinet meeting tomorrow morning but there’s one item and that’s not the item,’ ‘’ Mr Ferguson told The Australian ­yesterday…
Then, 10-15 minutes before the meeting was due to start, an amended agenda was circulated.
“There were about three very sizeable documents on the table for each of us which went to the communications policy submissions and material,’’ Mr Ferguson said of the meeting…
In March 2013, Ms Gillard announced a suite of media reforms including a new public interest test for significant mergers and a public interest media advocate empowered to declare self-regulating media bodies capable of overseeing news outlets…
Mr Ferguson said then-communications minister Stephen Conroy read a detailed statement and Ms Gillard, who chaired the meeting, also spoke to the ­proposals.
“But (she) made it very clear to cabinet that, they (the media companies) can have it or leave it. We’re not making any amendments, we’re not negotiating,’’ Mr Ferguson said…
“I suppose [Carr] also, having previously chaired cabinet, saw the absolute dysfunctional nature of the cabinet process that day to suit the prime minister and a ­couple of ministers.
“The rest of the cabinet was just treated with contempt in terms of, ‘Oh well, we’re going to do this and we’re going to ram it through today’.’’ 
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So who will pay for those pensions? How?

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (8:07am)

Anyone attacking Joe Hockey should first tell us how they would find $93 billion:
JOE Hockey has intensified speculation the government will raise the retirement age or crackdown on eligibility for the Age Pension
In a speech in Washington, the Treasurer said that over the next decade spending on the Age Pension was projected to increase by about 70 per cent as the population aged…

Mr Hockey said between 2010 and 2050 the number of people of working age to support people over the age of 65 in Australia would almost halve.
“This will inevitably have an impact on the affordability of healthcare, aged care, pensions, and discounted services.’’
He said the IMF had identified that Australia’s increased healthcare and pension spending alone, based on current ­settings, would mean an extra $93 billion of government spending a year by 2030.
Mr Hockey said to pay for the growth the government would need to raise the equivalent of the existing company tax.
This is a test of Labor, and this morning on ABC radio frontbencher Jenny Macklin failed it. It cannot keep presenting itself as the party that’s all spend and no save. It cannot merely attack the Abbott Government for wanting to tackle a cost blowout - much of it does to Labor - without proposing credible solutions of its own. 
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Finding the real Abbott in Asia

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (7:33am)

I can’t remember the last time an Australian Prime Minister turned a foreign trip into such valuable political capital.
Tony Abbott has give his swing through Asia an intensely practical dimension, sealing a deal with Japan that will help farmers as well as consumers. He’s also used it to showcase himself as a man Asian leaders take seriously and treat warmly - addressing a perceived weakness at home, where suspicions have long lingered that he isn’t prime ministerial. And, of course, there have been no mistakes.
What’s more, Abbott has brought with him 600 business leaders, a great opportunity for him to network as well as for them to do business. Some of those businessmen - notably James Packer - have loudly contrasted his success with the poor performance of his Labor predecessors, especially Kevin Rudd.
Meanwhile, Abbott has had that contrast heavily underlined at the very same time by another former Labor foreign minister, Bob Carr. Carr has just released memoirs revealing himself to have been little better than a tourist, demanding pyjamas in business class and subtitles on his opera videos as he flitted around the world seeming more intent on getting material for his book than business for Australians.
All in all, a mould-breaking visit by Abbott. I think this is a turning point in Abbott’s attempts to present himself as a prime minister of authority.
Indeed, today comes this concession from the Sydney Morning Herald’s Mark Kenny, normally a critic:
Concern on these things is reasonable, but the heightened fear among the wonks was that “stop-the-boats-Tony” might lack the temperament for international diplomacy.
But Abbott has spent a political career surprising those who under-estimate the power of his intelligence, his people skills (funnily enough), and perhaps most importantly, his directness.
Kenny should name names. Those who under-estimated Abbott - often spitefully and deliberately - included many Canberra journalists. How often did I hear this jeering from the ABC’s Annabel Crabb, who actually prided herself on coining a catchphrase that painted Abbott as the very opposite of what he always was. From 2009:
After the most wild and disordered week imaginable in conservative politics, the Liberal Party has staggered forth, somewhat to its own surprise, having adopted Tony “People Skills” Abbott as its federal parliamentary leader…
Mr Abbott rarely minces his words; he is candid, provocative, and a proper conservative who does not adjust his views to account for what he judges to be the fancy of his audience… Mr Abbott’s popular image is well-established - a political bruiser of the right wing, a muscular hard-line Catholic with a tendency to let his religious views colour his political activities… Just like anyone who is interesting in politics, People Skills has a fabulous show-reel of howlers.
The real Tony Abbott is not like that and has never been like that in the years I’ve known him. The more that Australians see the real Abbott, the more they will warm to him. 
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Egypt shamed. Free Greste now

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (7:25am)

On this stupid “evidence” Australian reporter Peter Greste has been held in an Egyptian jail for more than 100 days:
The court on Thursday studied prosecution charges that the defendants had misrepresented Egypt’s political crisis in their [Al Jazeera English] broadcasts.
To show alleged manipulation, footage was aired from the British channel Sky News’s Arabic affiliate, apparently found on a computer in the home of Al Jazeera producer and defendant Baher Mohamed.
It included a Sky News Arabia report on tourism in Egypt, with a horse munching on fodder in a stable in one scene.
The court was also shown seemingly random pictures found in the possession of Greste, including one of his elderly parents…
Judge Mohamed Nagi Rushdy dismissed footage found in Greste’s possession of a Kenyan official giving a news conference after a militant attack in Nairobi, where Greste was based.
‘This has nothing to do with the case,’ he told the prosecutors.
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Blog reader is the best male opera singer of the year

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (6:58am)


Blog reader Stuart Skelton gets what he deserves:
AUSTRALIAN heroic tenor Stuart Skelton has been named male singer of the year at the second International Opera Awards in London…
Skelton was given the top gong for his performance in Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes at the English National Opera (ENO).
Stuart really has a great heroic tenor voice - and so warm.  He did a terrific Siegmund for the State Opera of South Australia that was recorded by Melba Recordings.
The other big winner:
The female singer of the year award went to German soprano Diana Damrau.
Not surprised. I’ve twice heard the magnificent Damrau live - once at this very concert:
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Stop global warming. Avoid baked beans

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (6:47am)

Global warming - propaganda

Global warmism is driving believers mad. From Britain’s House of Lords:
Labour’s Viscount Simon asked: “In a programme some months ago on the BBC, it was stated that this country has the largest production and consumption of baked beans in the world.
“Can the noble Baroness say whether this affects the calculation of global warming by the Government as a result of the smelly emission resulting therefrom?”
[Climate change minister] Baroness Verma described the Viscount’s question as “so different”, but said that he raised “an important point” and appeared to suggest that people should moderate their consumption of the product.
(Thanks to readers Seth, Jan and Tony.) 
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The word is out: no boat can reach Australia

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (6:36am)

Turning back the boats has worked. Wonder why Labor refused to even consider it?:


Four men - two from Bangladesh and two from Afghanistan - were caught last month by the Indonesian immigration department in Jayapura, West Papua, on their way to get a boat to New Zealand.
Their capture appears to have stalled, for the time being, a plot to send up to 100 people…
One of the men in custody, Bangladeshi Mohammad Saiful Islam Tanu .... [said:] “The Australian government already is closed [the way] because every boat going to Australia comes back to Indonesia. So many people say it’s impossible. Now we not try to go to Australia ... And [a people smuggler] Mr Jafar told me, ‘You can go to New Zealand from Papua’.
“… Jafar said you go to New Zealand [and after] only one month and you can take citizenship, and after that you can try [to go to] a big country, every other country.”
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Insulation removed from Rudd’s disaster

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (6:12am)

The inquiry into the Rudd Government’s insulation disaster is revealing all the shambles you’d expect from a government led by a megalomaniac, heading people just following orders:

A SENIOR bureaucrat claims he repeatedly warned his superiors about the fatal risks of Kevin Rudd’s insulation scheme months before four installers died.
Former assistant director of the Environment Department William Kimber told the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program that ...  his warnings were delivered verbally, in meetings and privately, and possibly also in emails, and were taken ­seriously.
At this point, commissioner Ian Hanger QC warned Mr Kimber .... “Be careful to be accurate.”
No such warning emails from Mr Kimber have been tendered to the royal commission…
Mr Kimber was also asked about a May 2009 Canberra meeting with industry figures. Another witness has previously told the commission an insulation business owner told Mr Kimber at that meeting, “You’re going to kill people”.
Mr Kimber allegedly replied: “It’s all about jobs ... we expect there may be injuries ... we expect houses to burn down.”
Mr Kimber denied yesterday that the exchange had occurred, despite admitting he had no “specific recollection” of the meeting. 
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Labor lacks room for a Bullock. UPDATE: Richo backs Bullock

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (5:55am)

Is this the start of a Labor split?:

FEDERAL Labor is standing by its controversial senator-elect Joe Bullock after the left-wing union that installed him at the top of the ALP’s West Australian Senate ticket said he had betrayed the party and should resign…
United Voice’s state secretary, Carolyn Smith, described Mr Bullock as unfit to represent Labor, citing his remarks about the sexuality of Senate running-mate Louise Pratt and his description of Labor members as “mad"…
Mr Bullock said he still believed the ALP would not survive without the trade union movement. “I don’t feel as if I’ve betrayed the party at all. In fact I think I’m a voice of truth,” he told The Australian…
Perth MP Alannah MacTiernan called on Mr Bullock to consider his position, saying his comments had possibly cost Labor a second Senate seat...
A Labor led by the “progressives” strikes me as hostile to the values of traditional working class representatives such as Bullock, who would be a far better fit with Tony Abbott-style conservatives. And the thing about “progressives” is that they don’t do that sharing and live-and-let-live thing very well.
UPDATE
Former Labor Minister Graham Richardson agrees with Joe Bullock on his central criticism of Labor:

The one thing Bullock got right in his speech last November was this: “The problem the Labor Party has is this: when the Labor Party says to voters, ‘Trust us, we have your interests at heart’, the voters don’t trust them. And the voters are right. The Labor Party haven’t demonstrated that they are capable of being trusted with looking after the interests of working people and their families...”
Labor has to at least begin the process of regaining that trust. And it is worth noting that the low votes Labor has recorded in recent elections were not due to the way its Senate candidates were selected. The issue is confidence; economic confidence at that. The results in Queensland, NSW, Tasmania and the federal election suggest to me that the punters out there are most reluctant to allow Labor to mind the till. Labor has a reputation for being a big-spending lot and running up debt....
When Labor’s vote had descended to the very low 30s under Gillard, I urged ... her to dump the ridiculously high carbon price of $23 ... I urged her to do something big about electricity prices because it was unconscionable for a Labor government to sit back passively while battlers could not afford to turn the heater on in winter or the airconditioner in summer.
Yet Labor still defends that pointless and damaging tax, pretending instead that fixing its membership rules is the answer. Complete nonsense.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Emergency in first class: Carr’s pants on fire

Andrew Bolt April 10 2014 (8:04pm)

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Me too?
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=== Posts from last year ===
4 her, so she know how I see her




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Embryonic dinosaurs kicked and wiggled in the egg, a new discovery of a baby-dino-bone bed suggests. http://oak.ctx.ly/r/3twl

The bones are among the oldest dinosaur-embryo fossils ever found.
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The creepy little chapel in the fog…. yep, those are cows you see in the background, but Migueland I couldn't see them…we heard them walking around nearby however and we were sort of freaking out in the dark of night. The camera of coarse reveals what the eyes could not see. The beauty of night photography. — in Nicasio, CA.
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Bed bugs could one day be captured using artificial surfaces that mimic bean leaves, researchers say. http://oak.ctx.ly/r/3tvg

Here, a close up of the legs of a bed bug being ensnared by hook-like structures on the surface of a bean leaf.
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Change Your Thinking

It will take just 37 seconds to read this and change your thinking..

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.

His bed was next to the room's only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end.

They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation..

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and colour of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man could not hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.

She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.


She said, 'Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.'

Epilogue:

There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.
If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.
'Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present .'

The origin of this letter is unknown, but please pass it on.

Reminds me of the PM or Obama staring out the window .. or Swan looking at the budget .. -ed

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California Stormin'

Been going through my image library and using my new post production skills on select pictures
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Unforgettable John Wayne by Ronald Reagan

http://independentfilmnewsandmedia.com/unforgettable-john-wayne-by-ronald-reagan/

“I looked over the audience, realizing that there were few willing to be publicly identified as opponents of the far left. Then I saw Duke and said, “Why I believe John Wayne made the motion.” I heard his strong voice reply, “I sure as hell did!” The meeting and the radicals’ campaign was over.” ~ Ronald Reagan
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The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
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Events[edit]

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Holidays and observances[edit]

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“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” - Romans 5:6-8
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Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening

Morning

"The place which is called Calvary."
Luke 23:33
The hill of comfort is the hill of Calvary; the house of consolation is built with the wood of the cross; the temple of heavenly blessing is founded upon the riven rock--riven by the spear which pierced his side. No scene in sacred history ever gladdens the soul like Calvary's tragedy.
"Is it not strange, the darkest hour
That ever dawned on sinful earth,
Should touch the heart with softer power,
For comfort, than an angel's mirth?
That to the Cross the mourner's eye should turn,
Sooner than where the stars of Bethlehem burn?"
Light springs from the midday-midnight of Golgotha, and every herb of the field blooms sweetly beneath the shadow of the once accursed tree. In that place of thirst, grace hath dug a fountain which ever gusheth with waters pure as crystal, each drop capable of alleviating the woes of mankind. You who have had your seasons of conflict, will confess that it was not at Olivet that you ever found comfort, not on the hill of Sinai, nor on Tabor; but Gethsemane, Gabbatha, and Golgotha have been a means of comfort to you. The bitter herbs of Gethsemane have often taken away the bitters of your life; the scourge of Gabbatha has often scourged away your cares, and the groans of Calvary have put all other groans to flight. Thus Calvary yields us comfort rare and rich. We never should have known Christ's love in all its heights and depths if he had not died; nor could we guess the Father's deep affection if he had not given his Son to die. The common mercies we enjoy all sing of love, just as the sea-shell, when we put it to our ears, whispers of the deep sea whence it came; but if we desire to hear the ocean itself, we must not look at every-day blessings, but at the transactions of the crucifixion. He who would know love, let him retire to Calvary and see the Man of sorrows die.

Evening

"For there stood by me this night the angel of God."
Acts 27:23
Tempest and long darkness, coupled with imminent risk of shipwreck, had brought the crew of the vessel into a sad case; one man alone among them remained perfectly calm, and by his word the rest were reassured. Paul was the only man who had heart enough to say, "Sirs, be of good cheer." There were veteran Roman legionaries on board, and brave old mariners, and yet their poor Jewish prisoner had more spirit than they all. He had a secret Friend who kept his courage up. The Lord Jesus despatched a heavenly messenger to whisper words of consolation in the ear of his faithful servant; therefore he wore a shining countenance, and spake like a man at ease.
If we fear the Lord, we may look for timely interpositions when our case is at its worst. Angels are not kept from us by storms, or hindered by darkness. Seraphs think it no humiliation to visit the poorest of the heavenly family. If angel's visits are few and far between at ordinary times, they shall be frequent in our nights of tempest and tossing. Friends may drop from us when we are under pressure, but our intercourse with the inhabitants of the angelic world shall be more abundant; and in the strength of love-words, brought to us from the throne by the way of Jacob's ladder, we shall be strong to do exploits. Dear reader, is this an hour of distress with you? then ask for peculiar help. Jesus is the angel of the covenant, and if his presence be now earnestly sought, it will not be denied. What that presence brings in heart-cheer those remember who, like Paul, have had the angel of God standing by them in a night of storm, when anchors would no longer hold, and rocks were nigh.
"O angel of my God, be near,
Amid the darkness hush my fear;
Loud roars the wild tempestuous sea,
Thy presence, Lord, shall comfort me."
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Today's reading: 1 Samuel 15-16, Luke 10:25-42 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Samuel 15-16

The LORD Rejects Saul as King
1 Samuel said to Saul, "I am the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the LORD. 2This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys....'"

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 10:25-42

The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
26 "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
27 He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
28 "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
30 In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead....
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There is no new Lent reading today; today is a catch-up day. If you've kept up with the daily readings so far, congratulations! If you've fallen behind, here are the readings from the last week in case you want to go back and catch up:

Monday: 
Luke 13-14
Tuesday: Luke 15-16
Wednesday: Luke 17-18
Thursday: Luke 19-20
Friday: Luke 21-22
Saturday: Luke 23-24

Have a blessed Sunday!
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Knowing Him - An Easter Devotional

ONLY GOD COULD

[Christ] is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation–if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. (Colossians 1:17-23)
Anselm, writing in the eleventh century, raised a question: why did God become man? This is the enigma of Christ. His answer went like this: only man should pay the penalty for his sin (because sin is, after all, a mess that human beings have made), but only God could. A prophet dying on a cross would at most be a martyr and a model. But if Jesus Christ was really human, and also divine, his sacrifice had a human face on it, but it is a divine offering.
That is why a passage like Colossians 1 is so important. It speaks both of the person of Christ, and his work on our behalf. Regarding his person, “he is the image of the invisible God,” and “by him all things were created,” and “all God’s fullness” dwelt in Jesus.
And so, because of who he was, he was able to reconcile to God all things “by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
On that most violent of all days in human history, God was reaching out to those who were alienated from him and at enmity with him. He offered us reconciliation so we could end up “holy in his sight, without blemish, and free from accusation.” Only God could do that.
Ponder This: What is something about yourself that you know only God could change?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Resources

About The Author - Mel Lawrenz serves as minister at large for Elmbrook Church and leads The Brook Network. Having been in pastoral ministry for thirty years, the last decade as senior pastor of Elmbrook, Mel seeks to help Christian leaders engage with each other. Mel is the author of eleven books, the most recent for church leaders, Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement.


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