Friday, April 04, 2014

Fri Apr 4th Todays News

Reading takes skill. It is not a natural behaviour, it is learned. It is good for parents to read to their young. It doesn't matter what is read, the more one reads, the better they get. Comics are good, as are ebooks. Some like biographies, others fiction. I think it is difficult to love a car manual, but I know people that do. You can get it wrong with a book, but if you take time, it all makes sense. I read the Lord of the Rings for the first time when I was in year 10. In one weekend. I could not put the book down. I could not read it word for word, JRR Tolkein used too many ridiculous words. I skimmed it in large swathes. The story took hold. I read it again and again after that, slowing down and savouring certain bits. But I had not known that Shelob was a spider until I saw the movie some twenty years later. I'd missed detail. But because the text remained, I could find it. It isn't embarrassing to misread a book. 

A conversation can be unforgiving as a format. Last night, valued contributor Van Tran was discussing immigration. JT joined in. They had anecdotes about refugee life. JT commented it was sad that some people exploit the misery. Van mimicked and mocked the Green Idiot position which illogically hates Mr Abbott "I hate Abbott, therefore his policies suck." Van was replying to JT's comment. He wrote "Hear Hear John Tran" indicating that he had read what JT had written. Then he posted his example of what those who exploit such tragedy say in their illogical way. "I hate Abbott, therefore his policies suck." Enter Baz. Precisely why Baz does not get it is not known, but he is offended by Van's comment, and takes him to task for it. Only, Van has not written what Baz accuses him of writing. If Baz had read a book, he would not appear so silly now. Instead, he entered a conversation and wilfully refuses to understand what he is commenting on. 

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

Happy birthday and many happy returns Rachel Julia and Mandy Mclean. Born on the same day, across the years, along with .. Grumpy Cat!

Union thugs pay for bully boy tactics

Piers Akerman – Thursday, April 03, 2014 (6:44pm)

SHOCKED unionists in the building industry are just discovering they can no longer expect to be protected from the full weight of the law by compliant union-friendly Labor governments in Canberra. The union thugs are being chased down, prosecuted, fined — and in a new twist — actually being made to pay up.

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Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (6:22pm)

“I find the site of these orange lifeboats being bought by our govt, insulting & repulsive in the extreme!” screamsKiera.
Why, dear? Not enough dead bodies in them?


Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (6:12am)

Greens politician David Shoebridge and his socialist friend Bruce Knobloch grade my performance at Saturday’sStupidfest
Columnist Tim Blair spent last Saturday at an activist training day initiated by The Greens NSW. The sole purpose of his attendance was to write a typically cynical rant rubbishing the content of the day and the people attending it. 
Well, it sure wasn’t for the food. 
The pride with which he confesses his inability to comprehend the speakers is a recurring theme in conservative writing. 
Is it really? I didn’t know my personal comprehension issues were that widely covered. 
Blair comes from a world where the person you disagree with is to be mocked, not understood and certainly not engaged with. 
I’m actually from Werribee, where one or two community members show disagreement in slightly less subtle ways. As for “engagement”, I spoke with Wendy, Aidan, Jenna, Hugh and Gary, plus probably four or five others. If we were any more “engaged”, we’d be shacked up like a bunch of Mormons. 
His vehement attack reflects a dislike of activism generally among right wing commentators, which appears here as an attack on grassroots organising. 
One of the most successful recent examples of grassroots organising, as I discussed with my fellow students on Saturday, was the Liberal membership uprising that led to the removal of Malcolm Turnbull as party leader. I supported it. Activism rules! 
Just like the newspaper in which these comments are printed, these commentators do not like the community sorting facts from spin, imagining a more democratic future and using their resources to try to bring it closer. 
“Imagining a more democratic future.” Easy – where Greens can’t boss us around from the fringes. 
It’s understandable that the right has become frustrated. You only have to remember the minuscule turnout of “outraged” citizens in their “convoy of no confidence” to get an idea of the hurt they are feeling. It is hard to image the emotional pain of a tabloid editor who has spilled litres of ink and wasted millions of dollars of valuable copy to get a dud convoy, only to see a relatively decentralised grouping organise large turnouts for March in March Australia-wide. 
So far as I can tell, this was the only piece I wrote ahead of the anti-carbon tax protest. By the way, who’s attacking activism now? 
But to give Tim Blair some credit, he put on his Sunday best and engaged in at least one of the exercises at Saturday’s workshop. When asked to describe his conception of power he responded, “power is when I vote against The Greens”. That the Opinion Editor and Columnist of a national daily newspaper is so fixated on a party that is currently neither in Opposition nor in Government is remarkable. 
But you were in power, through the Greens’ ruinous liaison with Labor. And people need to be reminded how that all worked out. (Incidentally, I haven’t been the opinion editor for some years and the Daily Telegraph is a state newspaper.) 
The use of corporate power to keep Greens out of Parliaments and activists off the streets is a daily fact of life in this part of the planet. Why aren’t we listening to the media establishment pushing these lines? 
You evidently are. 
So who was at Saturday’s activist’s workshop? Telling the story of the attendees would have been a much more interesting thing to write and read about, but understanding the event was never part of Tim Blair’s intention. 
I’d have been more upset if I’d turned up as a trainee activist wanting to learn about protesting. The course taught exactly nothing about practical activism. You people don’t even know how to talk to your own supporters. 
We’re pleased to say that feedback from the day has been uniformly positive. Except, that is, for one man in his late forties, wearing a shabby shirt and scuffed ethics, who probably shouldn’t have wasted his Saturday with us. 
I’ll have you know, sir, that shirt cost more than $11 – and was therefore one of the most expensive garments in the room. Also, you are a shameful ageist. 
The Greens will host future activist training days, of course. We wonder who else from the “usual suspects” of Murdoch’s opinion-makers will want to come along. 
We’re sending Cthulhu. Don’t offer the vegan lunch.


Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (6:08am)

What do Hannibal’s rock-cracking techniques and starting a Formula One engine have in common?
(No comments will be published today until we have a correct answer.)


Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (6:00am)

That’s shootin’
A British sniper in Afghanistan killed six insurgents with a single bullet after hitting the trigger switch of a suicide bomber whose device then exploded …
The 20-year-old marksman, a Lance Corporal in the Coldstream Guards, hit his target from 930 yards (850 metres) away, killing the suicide bomber and five others around him caught in the blast. 
(Via Alan R.M. Jones)


Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (5:06am)

Bill Shorten accidentally says something slightly supportive of Israel. Labor scrambles to correct their leader’s terrible error.


Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (4:29am)

Among the collection at 30 Brilliant Test Answers From Smartass Kids:


(Via Waxing Gibberish) 


Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (4:22am)

It’s never a good idea, 27 years on, to look up former housemates.


Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (4:18am)

The Flannery Effect turns out to be kinda useless, as John Roskam observes: 
That’s what happens when you leave Tim Flannery in charge of something. Greg Combet’s promise back in February 2011 that the Climate Commission would “build the consensus required to move to a clean energy future” hasn’t quite worked out that way.
The results released on Tuesday this week of an IPA commissioned poll of 1,059 Australians’ attitude to climate change proves that’s another $5m of taxpayers’ money down the drain.
There’s been almost no change in the last 4 years in what Australians think of climate change … 
There may have been some extra change, however, in Flannery’s bank account.


Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (4:00am)

Just another routine decapitation in Britain. On related issues, here’s Pat Condell:

(Via Peter B. and Robert E.) 


Tim Blair – Thursday, April 03, 2014 (6:19pm)

Joe Hildebrand is one of the least terrible people I know, yet we’re somehow still close friends. He is a kind and decent man. Even one or two of his former Telegraph editors like him.
Yesterday Joe endured ridiculous criticism following a television discussion with Melbourne woman Rosie Batty, whose son was murdered in February. People should know exactly how that discussion evolved

Vote Greens in WA, winks the ABC

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (3:48pm)

Guess which party in the WA Senate vote has the support of the ABC’s 7.30?
Here it talks to a Liberal;
CLAIRE MOODIE: Liberal candidate Linda Reynolds is ...  third on the ticket and it’s a seat the Liberals are at risk of losing.

Well what do you think of Tony Abbott’s knights and dames policy?

LINDA REYNOLDS, LIBERAL CANDIDATE: Look, the real issues here in WA are - is the economy and it’s stopping the boats and it is a team here to fight for the better deal for WA. So ...
CLAIRE MOODIE: But what do you think of that policy?
LINDA REYNOLDS: Personally, I’m supportive of it, but that is not the real issue here for this election. People here know that it is about the economy, it’s about stopping and keeping the boats stopped.
CLAIRE MOODIE: Linda Reynolds isn’t the only candidates reluctant to stray from the main message.
Here 7.30 talks to Labor’s lead candidate, and, true, it is equally tough on him (albeit with more cause to be so)::
CLAIRE MOODIE: But Labor’s campaign’s been dogged by claims that it’s trying to hide its lead Senate candidate’s union links. Joe Bullock isn’t keen to answer questions, especially on allegations that he’s been running a slush funds to ensure his chosen candidates are elected to state and local governments.
What about these claims of a slush fund in the Weekend Australian over the weekend?
JOE BULLOCK, LABOR CANDIDATE: Oh, well, look, there have been allegations made by people who didn’t want to be named. I don’t want to comment on those further. (Turning to the person to his left) Have we got to go and see the principal?
No bias detectable?
Well, here is how 7.30 introduced the Greens’ candidate, and, please, keep your applause until the end:

SCOTT LUDLAM, GREENS SENATOR: The reason the whole country’s watching this contest is that there’s a national balance-of-power Senate seat in play that we can either keep here in WA or it might be bought by Clive Palmer or it might go to a Liberal backbencher who will just toe the Abbott line. ...
(In the Senate) ... Mr Prime Minister, at your next press conference, we invite you to leave your excruciatingly boring three-word slogans at home.
CLAIRE MOODIE: It may have been delivered to a near-empty Senate, but this speech by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam’s received over 800,000 hits on YouTube. The Greens claim the video prompted an army of volunteer campaigners to come forward and donations totalling $100,000.
SCOTT LUDLAM: Look, if we don’t win, the Abbott Government will have a clear run to dismantling the Clean Energy Act, we’ll lose the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, we will probably lose the Renewable Energy Target.

Rudd explained

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (2:54pm)

Why so much went wrong under Kevin Rudd:

WORRIED industry figures who warned Kevin Rudd’s staffers about the home insulation scheme were told not to disagree “with a PM who is rating 73 per cent in the opinion polls”.
Industry representative Kevin Herbert ... worked with the Australian Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers’ Association in 2009 and represented the body at a government-run meeting on February 18, 2009, two weeks after Mr Rudd announced the $2.8 billion economic stimulus scheme.
He said insulation industry officials raised concerns at the meeting about the haste of the rollout, the illogical use of foil insulation, and electrocution deaths in a similar scheme in New Zealand.
Mr Herbert said one bureaucrat turned to Andrew Wilson, who was with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and asked whether the scheme would still go ahead.
He said Mr Wilson said: “You can’t disagree with a PM who is rating 73 per cent in the opinion polls”...\
Mr Wilson gave evidence yesterday and denied making such comments. 

The Opposite Party

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (2:25pm)

From Melbourne University, more evidence that the Socialist Alliance recruits people both unable and unwilling to think for themselves:

Their conference and their grievance.
Next lesson from Uncle Andrew: children, believe all Marx says. Gulags are good. Freedom bad. Revolutions don’t eat their children.
(Thanks to reader Matthew.) 

The shooters need to be publicly identified and discussed

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (2:20pm)

This is extremely disturbing:
A man who was targeted in a shooting in Sydney’s west on Thursday night is a member of an anti-Islamic extremist group.
Nathan Abela, 24, was not shot but suffered a minor injury to his shoulder when he dived to evade up to six bullets that were fired at his apartment in Greystanes…
Mr Abela is a member of an anti-Islamic group, which says its aim is “standing up against Islam now, not when its (sic) too late"…
Police said the investigation into the shooting was in its early stages, but they believed it was a targeted attack.
A NSW Police spokeswoman would not comment on whether police believed Mr Abela’s involvement in the anti-Islamic group was linked to the shooting.

I don’t know if the shooting is linked to his involvement with the group, but let’s see if he’s now blamed for inciting the violence that the group warns against.
Meanwhile, a decapitation in Britain.
Four days ago this video was posted by a Perth Muslim group warning Abela had made himself a “target”.
I am not saying there is a link between this video and the shooting, and certainly not between the hothead and the shooter. Who knows who did the shooting, and whether it was by Muslims. It could even have been done by people wanting to discredit Muslims. But surely this kind of talk is playing with fire. 

On the Bolt Report on Sunday

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (11:09am)

On the show on Sunday – Network 10 at 10am and 4pm....
The end of the world is nigh on a joke.
Labor’s Andrew Leigh on the economy and the WA Senate result.
The wonderful Niki Savva and former Keating Minister Gary Johns.
Lots of chat about WA, Palmer and controversies faced by both Labor and the Liberals.
And on NewsWatch Rowan Dean cuts loose. I wouldn’t watch if were Mark Scott. 

Australia’s greatest journalist told to shut up

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (10:51am)

How sweet it used to be between Clive Palmer and the ABC’s Tony Jones:
JONES: Clive Palmer, we have to leave it there. Thanks very much for joining us.
PALMER: It’s a pleasure, Tony. You’re the greatest journalist in Australia. God bless you.
I think the love affair is now over, broken by Jones’ global warming religion:

TONY JONES: So, I’m just asking you this because this research that I’m talking about’s based on - what? - 309 scientists concluded from 70 countries and the summary for the policymakers has to be agreed line-by-line by 115 countries. I mean, that’s the sort of consensus that you’re rejecting here.
CLIVE PALMER: Well I think it’s a - camels were designed by a committee. With so many people, you’re really not going to get anything worthwhile. You need to have a proper report with people that can do something. But, look, I’m just talking about ...
TONY JONES: Sorry, I’ve got to interrupt you there. A proper report by who exactly?
CLIVE PALMER: I don’t want to be interrupted. Well, I haven’t made my point.
TONY JONES: Well, I’m sorry, every now and then ...
CLIVE PALMER: “Well, I’m sorry.” Why don’t you shut up for a while and let me finish?
TONY JONES: Every now and then - every now and then ...
CLIVE PALMER: Why don’t you just keep quiet while - why don’t you just keep quiet and let me finish what I’m saying? “Every now and then,” come on, we’ll have a fight if you want to. But why don’t you just shut up while I’ll can say what I want to say?
And I think Palmer actually won the debate with Jones and his ally, alarmist Ross Garnaut. 

Margaret, why didn’t you invite me? Mark, why did you say no?

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (10:37am)

Margaret Simons, head of Melbourne University’s journalism course, introduces ABC boss Mark Scott by noting that News Corp people had declined to debate him.
Funny, I didn’t get an invitation. Nor did Simons mention I’d invited Scott to put his case on The Bolt Report and he has refused.
(Thanks to reader John.) 

Attard slimes Abbott for CNN

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (10:23am)

CNN readers would probably conclude from former ABC host Monica Attard’s piece that it was Tony Abbott, not Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, who lured 1100 boat people to their deaths and locked thousands in detention centres. Or that the real cruelty lay in wanting to stop that deadly trade, not in callously enabling it:

Coming after years of hardline railing against the number of asylum seekers landing on to Australia’s shores, with many perishing en route, the government’s attitude seemed hard, even callous. Many Australians were shocked and held candlelit vigils around the country.
If Australians see the beginnings, perhaps even evidence of a different leader with Abbott’s deep, heartfelt concern for the souls who boarded MH370 in Kuala Lumpar on route to Beijing, there’s little chance this will wipe the memory of a leader who has shown little mercy to asylum seekers — some of them children — languishing in Australia’s version of Guantanamo Bay.
What a cartoonish article. What a primitive set of moral values.
(Thanks to readers Shauno and Baden.) 

The University of WA should show it is serious in investigating Lewandowsky’s silly paper

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (10:01am)

The allegations against Professor Stephan Lewandowsky (who denies them):
The issue with Lewandowsky is unscientific and unethical behavior by creating an advance conclusion (all climate skeptics are conspiracy nutters) followed by attempts to hide his association with the study to people who were polled, selective distribution of the poll, mainly to websites who are advocates of climate action, then outright mocking of the very people who was supposedly studying, then actually writing in his own conclusions to an ethics investigation that was supposed to be done independently.

Jo Nova described the paper as the worst she’d seen:
The paper is titled:

NASA faked the moon landing — Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science”
Lewandowsky, S., Oberauer, K., & Gignac, C. E. (in press) Psychological Science
Faked the Moon landing? Not only do skeptics agree that the moon landing was real, two skeptics actually went to the moon and took photos (that’ll be Harrison Schmidt and Buzz Aldrin). Since many guys with years of top NASA service are skeptics too why doesn’t Lewandowsky ask them if they faked it? This is where cumulative nonsense takes us: the golden path to cosmic inanity.
Serious questions quickly emerged about Lewandowsky’s methodology and conclusions. He may even have been duped by a couple of trolls.
In response to complaints and requests for explanations, the University of Western Australia actually got Lewandowsky to investigate himself:
Under UWA policies, if they receive an allegation of research misconduct, the “Designated Person” (DVCR Owens) is supposed to “conduct a preliminary assessment of the allegation” to determine whether “the substance of the allegation, if proven, would amount to research misconduct; and whether a prima facie case of research misconduct exists”. The Designated Person is required to maintain records of their investigation.
UWA documents show that no such investigation took place in response to complaints by me and others about Lewandowsky’s failure to properly inform the University about the scope of changes to the Understanding Statistical Trends protocol. These changes included the introduction of deception/active concealment of skeptic bloggers…
Most remarkably, the widely-cited key conclusions of the “investigation” – “We have considered the issues raised by Mr McIntyre in his letter to the Editor of Psychological Science dated 12 October and found them to be baseless. The research reported in the above paper was conducted in compliance with all applicable ethical guidelines” – were not written by an investigator or university official but ghostwritten by Lewandowsky himself and signed by DVCR Owens within minutes of receipt from Lewandowsky.
Now more examples of the University seeming to cover for Lewandowsky. This looks extremely bad for the university and its commitment to open inquiry into global warming.
Lewandowsky may well have a good defence to the allegations against him. Best to hear them all laid out, and for the university to independently judge if they stack up.
(Thanks to reader Susie.) 

If Palmer is too busy to be an MP he should quit

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (9:53am)

When Clive Palmer claims he represents the voters of Fairfax in Parliament, what does he actually mean?
Clive Palmer says he is now an MP and not a businessman but in his first six months he has shown up for only four out of 97 votes in parliament
Mr Palmer, who is in Perth campaigning for the Senate election, said he was too busy working to attend parliament.
(Thanks to reader Baden.) 

How hate speech laws are used to kill serious debates

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (9:14am)

Free speech

Michael Sexton SC says the Racial Discrimination Act actually risks making it too dangerous to debate certain political issues - as I have found:
To go back to the example of the Armenians and the Turkish regime of 1916: if some members of the Turkish community could demonstrate that they were offended or insulted by this allegation of the genocide, it would be necessary for the publisher to demonstrate that their view was put forward reasonably and in good faith. This may not seem so difficult in a case about events in 1915. But what about questions of modern history, where there is no real consensus among commentators? What about a statement that the Palestinians’ refusal to negotiate has prevented any settlement in the Middle East? Or that the Israelis’ refusal to surrender illegally occupied land is the real bar to any resolution? Or that the Sri Lankan majority has condoned war crimes against Tamils in the north of the country? Or that some Tamils engaged in a campaign of terrorism against the Sri Lankan government?
The reasonability or otherwise of these views is hardly something that can be sensibly litigated in the Federal Court. But this is precisely what can happen under section 18C in its present terms. The section is obviously of no use in dealing with crude, one-off, verbal abuse. It is much likelier to be used — and has already been used — to attack controversial pieces of journalism or historical writing. This is just one of the reasons its present terms are totally unsatisfactory and need drastic surgery.

An example of exactly this risk under NSW laws:
Tom Switzer, Australian Financial Review, December 23, 1998: 

THE moral of this story is simply this: the Palestinians cannot be trusted in the peace process. Contrary to the accepted wisdom, it is the Palestinians—not the Netanyahu government—who are the true culprits in derailing efforts to reach an agreement over Gaza and the West Bank. Add to this that Mr Yasser Arafat uses Western aid not, as it is intended, for the poor of Gaza, but to build luxury flats for his military and bureaucratic elite, and it would appear that the Palestinians remain vicious thugs who show no serious willingness to comply with agreements.
Administrative Decisions Tribunal of NSW anti-discrimination ruling on AFR July 24, 2000:

THESE proceedings concern a complaint of racial vilification made by Mr Ali Kazak against The Australian Financial Review. Mr Kazak alleges that an article written by Tom Switzer published on 23 December 1998, contravenes s20C of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (the Act). The article as a whole paints an extremely negative picture of the Palestinian people and an extremely positive picture of the Israeli people and their government. The language used suggests that the Palestinians, unlike the Israelis, are unworthy and undeserving of support because, at least in relation to the peace process, they are hypocritical, untrustworthy, blameworthy and viscous[sic] . . . ..The complaint is substantiated.
Another example, this disgraceful one from France:
Bernard Lewis, the British-born historian of Islamic religion and culture ... remains an emeritus professor at Princeton to this day…
Lewis explicitly argued that, although the Turks massacred countless Armenians, there is no evidence that they operated according to a centralized policy of genocide, and that calling the killings that had the effect of diminishing the uniqueness of the Jewish Holocaust.
Lewis’ revisionism on the Armenian question led to his being charged and tried in France for denial a genocide, a crime there, and in the mid-1990s, he was ordered by a French court to pay one franc in damages after losing a case. 
In Switzerland another example of how a valid opinion can be defined as a “factual error” and made an excuse to suppress free speech:
Perinçek – at the time chairman of the Turkish Workers’ Party – had described the Armenian genocide as “an international lie”. He had particularly insisted that whatever massacres had taken place did not meet the definition of genocide under international law.
The Swiss courts found Perinçek guilty of racial discrimination, ruling that the Armenian genocide, like the Jewish genocide, was a proven historical fact. The Swiss courts found that Perinçek’s motives for denying that the Ottoman Empire had perpetrated the crime of genocide against the Armenian people were of a racist tendency and did not contribute to any historical debate.
In Sweden, a different kind of example of the use of “hate speech” laws to stifle debate:
A Swedish pastor who preached a sermon on the Biblical prohibitions against homosexual behavior is waiting to see if the Supreme Court of Sweden will send him to jail for six months for doing so.
Ake Green, the pastor of a small-town Pentecostal church, ...  was sentenced to a month in jail last year by a district court.
From France again, in February:
French Muslims are taking satirical paper Charlie Hebdo to court for blasphemy over a front page insulting the Koran. In a separate case, a right-wing MP is being sued for accusing young Muslims of anti-Semitism…
The paper’s premises were firebombed in 2011 after it published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
A Muslim legal defence group brought the case over a front page headlined “The Koran is sh..”....
A hearing has also been set for the 7 April, this time in the southern town of Nîmes, for a case against former decentralisation minister Claude Goasguen that accuses him of “offending the honour and dignity of the Muslim community”, in the words of lawyer Khadija Aoudia, acting for one of France’s two major Muslim associations, the CFCM.
Speaking to a gala organised by a pro-Israel group, KKL, Goasguen claimed that the history of the Holocaust could no longer be taught in French schools “because people are so scared of the reaction of young Muslims who have been drugged in the mosques”.
Anti-Semitic slogans were chanted on a recent “Day of Rage” protest that brought together Catholic fundamentalists, far-right groups and supporters of comedian Dieudonné, some of whom are young Muslims.
In Turkey last year:
A Turkish court has convicted pianist and composer Fazil Say of blasphemy and inciting hatred over a series of comments he made on Twitter last year.
The musician was given a suspended 10-month jail term…
In one message he retweeted a verse from a poem by Omar Khayyám in which the 11th-century Persian poet attacks pious hypocrisy: “You say rivers of wine flow in heaven, is heaven a tavern to you? You say two huris [companions] await each believer there, is heaven a brothel to you?” In other tweets, he made fun of a muezzin (a caller to prayer) and certain religious practices.
In Italy:
Oriana Fallaci ... was a successful war correspondent and interviewer… After 9/11, Fallaci wrote a 14,000 word article for Corriere Della Serra:
“You ask me about the contrast between the two cultures? Well, to be honest, it annoys me even to talk about two cultures, to put them on the same plane,” Fallaci wrote. “Let’s be honest. Our cathedrals are more beautiful than the mosques and the synagogues.” ...
Corriere’s publishing arm, Rizzoli, turned the article into a book, La Rabbia e l’Orgoglio (The Rage and the Pride), and within little over a month it had sold 700,000 copies…
Adel Smith, president of the Muslim Union of Italy, sued Fallaci on 8 April 2004,claiming that her book The Force of Reason advocated hate against Islam and Muslims, sometimes by allegedly distorting real historical facts and inventing others. In May 2005, judge Armando Grasso ruled that she should face trial over the accusations.
Note: some of those cases were eventually overturned on appeal, but consider the stress, cost and chilling effect on debate. The laws allow the harassment and persecution of people with unfashionable, new or challenging views.
Again, I am astonished that Jewish leaders cannot see how our own race-hate laws will be turned against them, and that free speech is the greatest friend of their highly articulate community and those of us who defend it.
Patricia Karvelas:

JOHN Moriarty ... Aboriginal artist, activist and businessman ... [is] backing moves by Attorney-General George Brandis to replace section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act even if it allows some “nasty” things to be aired in public. He believes laws that prohibit speech are more hurtful than helpful to indigenous people…
“...I believe that we should maintain free speech — some will bounce back in people’s faces, but of course someone can be nasty, but some of it, if it is accurate and pertinent, I think we should hear it."… Mr Moriarty said there should be “open discussions on Aboriginal issues both between black and white” and “among Aboriginal people as well”.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Amazing the rule is still there. But this can only be the start

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (8:59am)

That’s it?
BILL Shorten plans to reform Labor’s relationship with unions, overhaul the party’s national conference and flag changes to candidate preselections. 

The Labor leader has been meeting and phoning MPs, party officials and union leaders to canvass reforms. He wants to abolish the rule that party members and candidates must be union members, and will announce his plans in Melbourne on Monday.

Don’t use Firefox. Who knows what other opinions Mozilla will suppress

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (8:42am)

If Eich has supported the other side of this very important debate, he’d still have his job. Conclusion: the Left is the now natural home of the truly intolerant and the enemies of free speech:
Brendan Eich has stepped down as CEO of Mozilla, a company he cofounded, following significant criticism for his earlier support of a legal measure banning gay marriage…
Eich ... took over as the non-profit company’s CEO on March 24. Shortly after, a number of Mozilla employees publicly urged Eich to step down from the role, in reaction to a donation he made to the Proposition 8 effort, which sought to ban same-sex marriage in California in 2008…
The tipping point, however, appeared to come on Monday when OkCupid posted a notice to anyone using Firefox, a Mozilla product, urging them to switch browsers. “Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples,” OkCupid wrote in the notice. “We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid."…
Eich emphasized that his personal beliefs outside the office are not relevant inside the office… “They leave them at the door when they come to work on the Mozilla mission.”
Just two days later, however, Eich and Mozilla decided otherwise…

Then came the Mozilla statement, full of the weaselly yes-but-no equivocation of the Left, which wants the kudos of being for free speech but still wants it denied for others:
We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves…
Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard…
We have employees with a wide diversity of views. Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public. This is meant to distinguish Mozilla from most organizations and hold us to a higher standard. But this time we failed to listen, to engage, and to be guided by our community.
While painful, the events of the last week show exactly why we need the web. So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better.
Eich did “engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better” and Mozilla then forced him out. Hypocrites.
Don’t use Firefox. It might one day not let you link to conversations Mozilla doesn’t like.
(Thanks to reader Helen.)  

Warmists panic. Reach for muzzles

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (8:35am)

If sceptics weren’t so damn convincing warmists wouldn’t be so desperate to shut them up:

Ministers who question the majority view among scientists about climate change should “shut up” and instead repeat the Government line on the issue, according to MPs.
The BBC should also give less airtime to climate sceptics and its editors should seek special clearance to interview them, according to the Commons Science and Technology Committee. Andrew Miller, the committee’s Labour chairman, said that appearances on radio and television by climate sceptics such as Lord Lawson of Blaby, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, should be accompanied by “health warnings”.

Labor’s top Senate candidate admits: Labor full of “mad” people

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (8:10am)

There are some things to like about Joe Bullock, but why vote for his party when even he is against it?
BILL Shorten is standing by his lead Senate candidate in Western Australia, Joe Bullock, after revel­ations the union boss admitted he had voted against Labor and described the ALP as an untrustworthy party full of “mad” members.
In an extraordinary speech to a Perth function ... the right-wing union boss said Labor needed conservatives such as him in parliament or it would follow “every weird lefty trend that you can ­imagine”.
Mr Bullock praised Tony ­Abbott as “potentially a very good prime minister” ...
He also launched a stinging ­attack on his ALP running-mate in tomorrow’s critical Senate election, Louise Pratt, describing her as a “poster child” for causes such as gay marriage and ­accusing her of canvassing votes against him.
Bullock unplugged:
Maybe Shorten is exactly right:
Earlier this week, Mr Shorten described Mr Bullock as “exactly” the sort of person Labor needed to represent workers in parliament.

Sinodinos stumbles

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (8:00am)

The first paragraph seems to be much more definite than the quotes in the story seem to suggest, but this is a poor look and hurts Sinodinos’s reputation:
FORMER assistant treasurer Arthur Sinodinos has admitted he knew a company he once chaired was giving money to the Liberal Party, despite telling the Senate last year the donations had never been raised at board level…
In a personal explanation to the Senate in February last year he did not disclose his knowledge of donations to the Liberal Party, instead saying donations were a matter for management and had never been raised at board level.
Yesterday, he was asked [in ICAC] if he was saying he did know that AWH was making money available to the Liberal Party to be attending events. He replied: “Well, I would have seen people from functions there, yes.”
He said he knew “nothing in precise terms” about donations. When asked what “precise terms” meant, he said: “Well, I couldn’t quote amounts at you or over what period.”
“You deny knowing the company of which you were deputy chairman was donating to the party of which you were treasurer?” he was asked.
After first replying it wasn’t discussed at board level, Senator Sinodinos said: “Yes"…
Senator Sinodinos ... did not know some of the events that were taking place at the company when he was its chairman.
He did not know about the $168,00 spent on a corporate box at Stadium Australia or the $159,000 paid to his Liberal Party friend Paul Nicolaou’s consultancy, even though he was Liberal party treasurer and Mr Nicolaou was head of the party’s fundraising arm. And he did not know the Obeid family had loaned the company or its chief executive $400,000 to pay its staff and tax obligations.
He also did not know about the $183,000 that went to a company called Eightbyfive, which ICAC is investigating as a suspected Liberal Party slush fund.
In fact, Sinodinos did not tell ICAC he knew of the donations:

GEOFFREY WATSON [counsel assisting ICAC]: “Did you know in your capacity as Liberal Party treasurer that Australian Water Holdings was making donations to the Liberal Party?”
ARTHUR SINODINOS...: “Not that I can recollect at the time.”
















=== Posts from last year ===
4 her, so she sees how I see her


Justin going for extra large jumps in his extra large pants! ✊ #team9lives #9livesparkour #sydney #pyrmont #parkour #freerunning #filmmaking

TRUE LOVE ..(A Doctor's note) Must Read n share :)

It was approximately 8.30 a.m. on a busy morning when an elderly gentleman in his eighties arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He stated that he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9.00 a.m.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat. I knew it would take more than an hour before someone would to able to attend to him. I saw him check his watch anxi...ously for the time and decided to evaluate his wound since I was not busy with another patient.

On examination, the wound was well healed. Hence, I talked to one of the doctors to get the supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

We began to engage in a conversation while I was taking care of his wound. I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment later as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no and said that he needed to go to the nursing home to have breakfast with his wife.

I inquired about her health. He told me that she had been in the nursing home for a while as she was a victim of Alzheimer's disease. I probed further and asked if she would be upset if he was slightly late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was and she had not been able to recognize him since five years ago.
I asked him in surprise, "And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?"
He smiled as he patted my hand and said, "She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is."

I had to hold back my tears as he left.
I had goose bumps on my arm, and I thought, "That is the kind of love I want in my life."

True love is neither physical nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.


A return to the bridge called Bixby. Last time I was there, it was a moonlit night… tonight it was fog and darkness. I was only able to get this one picture. The rest turned out close to black at the same exact settings. — at Bixby Bridge - Big Sur.




I took a ton of photos here. This is just a quick preview. — at Big Sur California.

April 2, 2013 - Photo of the Day - A fantastic day of chasing yesterday in the Texas panhandle. This is one of my favorite shots of the chase from just southeast of Quanah, Texas. This storm had 2" hail and tried a few times to produce a tornado, but could never quite get it together. See it bigger: 



North Star last night over Flagler Beach, FL.

126 stacked exposures
25 seconds (52 min total)
ISO 2000




lol, "corrected by good men with rifles"



Israel Bashing Fiction Creator of the week, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, spends so much time demonising Israel and defaming the only Jewish State in the world by false allegations of Apartheid, that he forgets to minister to those Palestinian Christians who have been persecuted by Hamas , other Islamists and to those Christians continually persecuted in the Arab worlds such as Saudi Arabia.



Miss Doris Day
Pillow Talk (1959)

NEVER MIND THE FACTS - Cyclones are not increasing.

The pro-carbon tax alarmists have been out in force again this week, claiming “extreme weather events are become more frequent and severe”.

The only problem is that the empirical evidence on cyclones does not support this.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology's own website rebutts the alarmist statements of Mr. Flannery's Climate Commission:

“Trends in tropical cyclone activity in the Australian region (south of equator; 105 - 160°E) show that the total number of cyclones has DECREASED in recent decades. However, the number of stronger cyclones (minimum central pressure less than 970 hPa) has NOT declined. " [nor have the increased].

The Bureau then produce the attached chart, which mysteriously finishes in 2005.

If this chart included the cyclone data for 2006 to 2011, it would show that Australia has been very fortunate in that we’ve had LESS serve cyclones in recent years (2 in 2010, 4 in 2009, 3 in 2008 and 3 in 2007) - a fact that doesn't fit with the alarmist mantra.

Australia will experience serve cyclones again, like Cyclone Tracy that destroyed Darwin in 1974 - and the even more devasting Cyclone Mahia that hit northern Qld in 1899 that caused a tsunami estimated at 14.6m that swept 5km inland and killed over 400 people.

So should we spend tens of billions of dollars, and wreck the economy, hoping delay any global warming by a few days - or should we instead spend that money preparing to deal with the inevitable cyclones that our history tells us will strike again ?

And can we have this debate with misleading and alarmist falsehoods.

Links of Interest;
Tropical Cyclone Trends

Cyclone Mahina 1899

Decline in Hurricanes in US




All kidding about Gerald the Giraffe aside,

It was great to be able to speak with the owners and staff at East Hills Child Care Centre yesterday about the issues they are currently experiencing under this Labor Government. 

The huge increase in paperwork that has been dumped on the staff is actually taking staff away from the task of looking after the kids. 

It was good to be able to give them the hope that a Coalition Government plans to ask the productivity commission to complete an urgent inquiry into the industry and we will work with the industry to deliver affordable and flexible childcare for every family in Hughes and across Australia.

The National Bird Of India

People try to pin me down as to what kind of photographer I am… one who does night time photography, or light painter… perhaps a landscape, or maybe seascape… city scape, rural, urban, or storm chasing photographer. A portrait artist or a sometimes residential, and/or wedding photographer… sometimes instructor...

Here's what I am… a hummingbird photographer!




Marilyn Monroe....the worlds biggest icon! Her tummy isn't tightly toned, her thighs touch, her arms aren't skinny, she has stretch marks and her boobs aren't perky. She is known as one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL women in history. 



Rape has become endemic in South Africa, so a medical technician named Sonette Ehlers developed a product that immediately gathered national attention there. Ehlers had never forgotten a rape victim telling her forlornly, “If only I had teeth down there.”
Some time afterward, a man came into the hospital where Ehlers works in excruciating pain because his penis was stuck in his pants zipper.
Ehlers merged those images and came up with a product she called Rapex. It resembles a tube, with barbs inside. The woman inserts it like a tampon, with an applicator, and any man who tries to rape the woman impales himself on the barbs and must go to an emergency room to have the Rapex removed.
When critics complained that it was a medieval punishment, Ehlers replied tersely, “A medieval device for a medieval deed.”
- Half the Sky, Nicholas Kristof



April 4Children's Day in Hong Kong and Taiwan
Astley's Ampitheatre




Holidays and observances[edit]

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” - Hebrews 12:2
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"They took Jesus, and led him away."
John 19:16
He had been all night in agony, he had spent the early morning at the hall of Caiaphas, he had been hurried from Caiaphas to Pilate, from Pilate to Herod, and from Herod back again to Pilate; he had, therefore, but little strength left, and yet neither refreshment nor rest were permitted him. They were eager for his blood, and therefore led him out to die, loaded with the cross. O dolorous procession! Well may Salem's daughters weep. My soul, do thou weep also.
What learn we here as we see our blessed Lord led forth? Do we not perceive that truth which was set forth in shadow by the scapegoat? Did not the high-priest bring the scapegoat, and put both his hands upon its head, confessing the sins of the people, that thus those sins might be laid upon the goat, and cease from the people? Then the goat was led away by a fit man into the wilderness, and it carried away the sins of the people, so that if they were sought for they could not be found. Now we see Jesus brought before the priests and rulers, who pronounce him guilty; God himself imputes our sins to him, "the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all;" "He was made sin for us;" and, as the substitute for our guilt, bearing our sin upon his shoulders, represented by the cross; we see the great Scapegoat led away by the appointed officers of justice. Beloved, can you feel assured that he carried your sin? As you look at the cross upon his shoulders, does it represent your sin? There is one way by which you can tell whether he carried your sin or not. Have you laid your hand upon his head, confessed your sin, and trusted in him? Then your sin lies not on you; it has all been transferred by blessed imputation to Christ, and he bears it on his shoulder as a load heavier than the cross.
Let not the picture vanish till you have rejoiced in your own deliverance, and adored the loving Redeemer upon whom your iniquities were laid.


"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
Isaiah 53:6
Here a confession of sin common to all the elect people of God. They have all fallen, and therefore, in common chorus, they all say, from the first who entered heaven to the last who shall enter there, "All we like sheep have gone astray." The confession, while thus unanimous, is also special and particular: "We have turned every one to his own way." There is a peculiar sinfulness about every one of the individuals; all are sinful, but each one with some special aggravation not found in his fellow. It is the mark of genuine repentance that while it naturally associates itself with other penitents, it also takes up a position of loneliness. "We have turned every one to his own way," is a confession that each man had sinned against light peculiar to himself, or sinned with an aggravation which he could not perceive in others. This confession is unreserved; there is not a word to detract from its force, nor a syllable by way of excuse. The confession is a giving up of all pleas of self-righteousness. It is the declaration of men who are consciously guilty--guilty with aggravations, guilty without excuse: they stand with their weapons of rebellion broken in pieces, and cry, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way." Yet we hear no dolorous wailings attending this confession of sin; for the next sentence makes it almost a song. "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." It is the most grievous sentence of the three, but it overflows with comfort. Strange is it that where misery was concentrated mercy reigned; where sorrow reached her climax weary souls find rest. The Saviour bruised is the healing of bruised hearts. See how the lowliest penitence gives place to assured confidence through simply gazing at Christ on the cross!

Today's reading: Judges 19-21, Luke 7:31-50 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Judges 19-21

A Levite and His Concubine
In those days Israel had no king.
Now a Levite who lived in a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. 2 But she was unfaithful to him. She left him and went back to her parents' home in Bethlehem, Judah. After she had been there four months, 3 her husband went to her to persuade her to return. He had with him his servant and two donkeys. She took him into her parents' home, and when her father saw him, he gladly welcomed him. 4 His father-in-law, the woman's father, prevailed on him to stay; so he remained with him three days, eating and drinking, and sleeping there....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 7:31-50

The Faith of the Centurion
31 Jesus went on to say, "To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:
"'We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not cry.'
33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' 34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' 35 But wisdom is proved right by all her children...."
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:

Mark 13-14
Tuesday: Mark 15-16
Wednesday: Luke 1-3
Thursday: Luke 4-6
Friday: Luke 7-9
Saturday: Luke 10-12

Have a blessed Sunday!

Knowing Him - An Easter Devotional


It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
What a bold claim! Because Christ came, because he lived a perfect life and died the death that should have been ours, because he rose from the dead on the third day, we can be free! Free from what? One can think of all the things that put the human soul in bondage. Fear of death? Yes! Jesus went there, and came through the other side, and said we could join him. Sin? Yes! God wants us to be free from the task-master that is sin. He wants us to be liberated from our own limitations, our obsessions, addictions, and bondage. Evil? Yes! We can be free from the power of the Evil One as we come to believe that Jesus stomped on his head ( Genesis 3:15) and that Satan’s power can never rival God’s.
The cross of Christ frees us from spiritual diversions that do not move us closer to God. It tears down temples and rituals and regimens. It nullifies self-righteousness and spiritual pride. The apostle Paul says in this verse that the effects of the crucifixion of Jesus, this once-for-all antidote for our spiritual disease, is his work, and his grace.
So the choice is this–hang onto the notion that we are to perform well and hope that God gives us a reward for a job well done, or come to the crucified Jesus, be humbled by him, and let his work set us free.
Ponder This: What is it that is limiting your freedom today? And how might this apply to you: “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free”?


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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