Monday, April 14, 2014

Mon Apr 14th Todays News

On this truly remarkable day in history, much stands out, but it is an obscure thing I wish to focus on. The hijacking of the "Achille Lauro" was a terrorist act. Leon Klinghoffer, 69, a disabled appliance manufacturer was on holiday with his wife of 36 years. It was an anniversary. Leon's wife, Maralyn, had terminal colon cancer. The ship was sailing from Egypt to Israel. While in Egypt, four PLO terrorists seized the ship and sailed to Syria. The Syrian government heard the demands that Israel release 50 killers and refused permission for the terrorists to dock the ship. In retaliation, the terrorists chose Leon, who was Jewish, and shot him in the head and in the gut, and threw his body overboard. They later blamed the death on Maralyn, saying she killed her husband for his insurance money. From Port Said (Egypt), the terrorists were granted safe passage to Tunisia, but Ronald Reagan ordered a US jet to force the terrorists to land in transit in Italy, where they were arrested. Italians let one, negotiator Abu Abbas, to flee to Yugoslavia. It is apparent now that Democrats would never have done it, and opposed the US doing it, but when the US invaded Iraq, they arrested fugitive Abu Abbas on this day in 2003. Maralyn had died 4 months after her husband. PLO took responsibility for the hijacking, and paid a small amount in reparation, much less than the aid they are still given. Abu died a year later, in custody from heart failure. His heart had never worked well. It is worth contrasting the demands of the PLO in '85 with the demands of Obama on Israel for peace. Not different, after adjusting for inflation. 

Not much is known about Bussa. He was born in Africa in the 18th century, or early nineteenth century. He may have been Igbo or Akan in nationality. Loved by family, but stolen from them by slavers, he was transported to Barbados. Records show a slave named "Bussa" worked at Bayley's Plantation as a ranger at about the time of the rebellion. The freedom of movement would have been helpful. Along with Washington Franklyn and Nanny Grigg, Bussa waited for the British house of assembly to decide on a slavery bill. When they failed to favourably address the issue, in 1816, Bussa led a revolt of over 400. Bussa was killed during the uprising. Years later, Britain ended their part of the slave trade. It was finally made illegal to own slaves in UK in 2010. 

Tonight is also the annual celebration of Passover. Celebrating the time that God's chosen people were freed from slavery. May all my Jewish friends and family live up to their promise.

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 Faten Dablan and Bling ForBabesBorn on the same day as Rachel B .. last year. The same day John Wilkes Booth fatally shot Abraham Lincoln. A tragedy, and yet, maybe some of that spirit .. Many congrats Peter and Suzie, loving parents of Rachel


Tim Blair – Monday, April 14, 2014 (12:48pm)

ABC managing director Mark Scott apologises to Chris Kenny: 
I wish to apologise to Mr Chris Kenny for the controversial ‘The Hamster Decides’ skit run by ABC-TV in September last year …
I have come to the view with the Director of Television that the ABC should not have put the skit to air …
As a consequence, I would like to apologise to Mr Kenny for the ABC having put the skit to air, his depiction in the skit and because it was triggered by his criticism of the ABC. I am sorry for the distress this incident has caused him and his family. I have also called Mr Kenny today to convey this apology and put it in writing to him.
While I had been waiting for internal and ACMA review processes to be completed before issuing this statement, I now believe that was a mistake and I regret the delay in making this apology. 
UPDATE. Chaser boy Julian Morrow isn’t happy.


Tim Blair – Monday, April 14, 2014 (12:39pm)

March 27-29:  Climate change worrier Natalie Tran joins a celebrity chorus calling for people to observe Earth Hour’s message all year round: 
Don’t forget to switch off your lights at 8.30pm tomorrow for #earthhour and this year it’s lights out for the reef! 
April 7: Climate change worrier Natalie Tran announces she’s flying overseas to watch a car race: 
Just booked tickets to my first f1 later this year. Very excited! 
You’re killing the planet, Natalie.


Tim Blair – Monday, April 14, 2014 (11:54am)

University of Canberra researcher Michael Jensen discovers why so many March in March protesters were upset with Tony Abbott: 
“It wasn’t a specific policy issue, but something about his style, his way of interacting and presenting himself to the Australian public,” he said. 
Seven Network boss Kerry Stokes saw another side to the Prime Minister during last week’s Asian trade tour – a side that wins comparisons with Abbott’s predecessor: 
“We had a prime minister who spoke Mandarin and our relationship tanked in six months,” Mr Stokes said.
“Now we have a PM who speaks people and we have a new relationship in six months.” 


Tim Blair – Monday, April 14, 2014 (11:48am)

Let’s take another look at the Sydney Morning Herald‘s $10,000 dream holiday offer: 
Discover the mind-bending contradictions of the old Cuba of the politically dominant Fidel Castro, revolutionary hero come global T-shirt icon Che Guevarra and literary giant Ernest Hemingway.
Get up close and personal with the locals that make up the melange of Communism, the saucy Tropicana night-spot and the world-renowned sounds of the Buena Vista Salsa Club. 
Dan Lewis writes: “You’d think that even if ‘one of Australia’s most enduring and respected journalistic figures, George Negus’ couldn’t, at least one of the commies at the SMH would know how to spell ‘Che Guevara’.”
And reader WCWC observes that Cuba’s celebrated Buena Vista Social Club has become the Buena Vista Salsa Club. Perhaps the SMH’s ten-grand dupes aren’t destined for Cuba at all. Instead, they’re headed for some sort of mock Cuba set up outside Yass. Here’s another fascinating SMH reader deal: a $100,000 atlas.


Tim Blair – Monday, April 14, 2014 (2:57am)

For those keeping count, the death toll related to solar power in Bangladesh’s Sirajganj district exceeds the death toll related to nuclear power in Fukushima.
(Via Gavin A.) 


Tim Blair – Monday, April 14, 2014 (2:46am)

Mark Steyn charts a generational decline.

Mark Scott apologises to Chris Kenny. Admits it’s too late

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (3:59pm)

The timing of this apology suggests panic - or an intervention from the ABC board:
THE ABC’s managing director Mark Scott has apologised to journalist Chris Kenny for a sketch broadcast on the ABC depicting Kenny having sex with a dog.
In a statement issued on the ABC’s website, Mr Scott stated his previous reticence to apologise on behalf of the public broadcaster while waiting for “internal and ACMA review processes to be completed” was a “mistake"…
Mr Scott also said he had called Kenny today and put the apology in writing to him.
Mr Scott reiterated his previous statement that the sketch broadcast on ‘The Hamster Decides’ from The Chaser team was “tasteless and undergraduate"…
The NSW Supreme Court last month allowed Kenny to sue the public broadcaster, ruling a segment that labelled him a “Dog F..ker” was capable of defaming him by implying he was a contemptible and disgusting person. The case can proceed to a full jury trial.
Kenny’s appeal is against the court ruling that no reasonable viewer would have thought Kenny actually had sex with a dog because the image — a photoshopped image of the ABC critic with a caption “Chris Dog F..ker Kenny” was “clearly concocted"…
The Chaser team was unwilling to comment although its executive producer Julian Morrow (@julesmorrow) tweeted a similar photoshopped image on the social media platform Twitter depicting Mr Scott doing the same to a hamster, a reference to The Chaser’s program ‘The Hamster Decides’.
The timing is important. Scott should have apologised the instant the ABC ran that foul image of Kenny. It says something about about the slide in the culture of the ABC and the rise of its rank political partisanship that Scott not only failed to see the ABC had crossed the line but ignored advice that an apology would avert a defamation action.
And now that Scott has apologised he’s essentially signaled the ABC has no real defence to the defamation case Kenny indeed launched. At the very minimum the ABC is up for Kenny’s legal costs as well as its own in a case it should never have defended.
So why the sudden cave-in?
I do not know, but I can guess. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the ABC’s best friend in Cabinet, has recently warned board members to do their duty and maintain ABC standards and fix its bias.
In today’s Australian former ABC chairman Maurice Newman is highly critical of the ABC’s refusal to apologise to Kenny, and he too urged the board to assert control.
And there are the Budget cuts to come…
The ABC’s statement:
I wish to apologise to Mr Chris Kenny for the controversial ‘The Hamster Decides’ skit run by ABC-TV in September last year.
At the time of broadcast, I described the skit as tasteless and undergraduate, but noted that it raised questions about the nature of satire and the boundaries of free speech afforded to satirists, comedians and cartoonists.
The audience of The Chaser expect fierce, robust and irreverent satire. Final decision-making on what goes to air, however, rests with the ABC.
There are different matters at stake here: whether the ABC should have made the editorial decision to broadcast the skit and, separately, whether broadcasting such a skit was within the ABC’s editorial guidelines for satire and offence. Mr Kenny’s decision to take legal action on the grounds of defamation is also a separate matter.
Notwithstanding any ACMA finding however, I have come to the view with the Director of Television that the ABC should not have put the skit to air.
Having reviewed the issue, in my opinion it falls short of the quality demanded by our audience and normally delivered by our programming. While Mr Kenny is a strong and persistent critic of the ABC, and can expect to be a subject of satire, the depiction of him was very strong in the context of the satirical point attempted.
As a consequence, I would like to apologise to Mr Kenny for the ABC having put the skit to air, his depiction in the skit and because it was triggered by his criticism of the ABC. I am sorry for the distress this incident has caused him and his family. I have also called Mr Kenny today to convey this apology and put it in writing to him.
While I had been waiting for internal and ACMA review processes to be completed before issuing this statement, I now believe that was a mistake and I regret the delay in making this apology.
— Mark Scott, Managing Director
My one quibble with the statement as it stands is that Scott suggests the ABC, a huge state-funded monolith with a statutory duty to be balanced, actually has a right to use that massive state power to personally attack its critics. As Scott says:  “Mr Kenny is a strong and persistent critic of the ABC, and can expect to be a subject of satire ...”
From a private media organisation that position would be correct. But from a state media organisation - and the biggest in the country - those fighting words amount to Scott endorsing an abuse of state power.
A few things about ABC host Julian Morrow’s childish - and misleading - response to his boss’s decision. First, I note he merely tweeted this doctored picture of Scott, and didn’t actually get the ABC to broadcast it into hundreds of thousands of homes, as was done to Kenny. Second, he used a picture of a cartoonishly outsized hamster to soften the insult, as opposed to a picture of a very real dog, as was done to Kenny. Third, he did not call Scott a “”, as was done to Kenny. Fourth, he says he “respectfully” disagrees with Scott, to further soften the insult - when the insult to Kenny, in contrast, lacked any semblance of respect, with the doctored picture of him dropped in a pool to the mocking laughter of the studio audience. I’ll consider Morrow’s response serious if he actually makes it as hostile, vicious, demeaning and public as Chaser’s attack on Kenny.
I am also struck by this part of Scott’s apology:
While I had been waiting for internal and ACMA review processes to be completed before issuing this statement, I now believe that was a mistake and I regret the delay in making this apology.
The ABC’s attack on Kenny occurred last September.
In October the ABC had already officially considered and dismissed nearly 200 viewer complaints, announcing:
Audience and Consumer Affairs are satisfied the broadcast was in keeping with the ABC’s editorial standards for harm and offence...
So only now, more than six months after the broadcast and five months after the ABC’s Audience and Consumer Affairs brushed off complainants, does Scott apologise, saying he’s been “waiting for internal and ACMA review processes to be completed before issuing this statement”.
How long does a simple review of a grotesque insult take? It took me no more than an instant to know the ABC had crossed a line. How come it took Scott six months and “internal ... review processes”?
One thing is already clear: the ABC’s Audience and Consumer Affairs doesn’t know s..t from sawdust and should be sacked. How many other dodgy decisions has it made to protect the ABC? 

Abbott shows he’s the diplomat that scoffing Labor leaders never were

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (3:35pm)

Terry McCrann:
TONY Abbott’s sweep through Asia has been an extraordinary triumph on an impressive number of levels — the personal, the policy substance and, most critically, the diplomatic.
It’s arguably a triumph unequalled by any previous Australian prime minister. In barely a fortnight, he’s sealed major trade deals with two of our three biggest customers, and almost certainly locked in a deal with the third — the biggest, China…
The more important point was the success the Prime Minister achieved in broadening and deepening our relationships with all three countries. He did so with an extremely sophisticated and effective mix of rugged assertion of our values, softened by smooth diplomacy and basic realism.
He did so, again, in stunning, embarrassing, contrast to his two predecessors…
The one thing that absolutely cannot be denied is the way Abbott’s success has destroyed utterly the meme Labor attempted to pin him with as some blundering ideological hick.
That by characterising Japan — openly, honestly, and not only correctly but appropriately — as our best friend in Asia, he had blundered into upsetting our biggest customer, China.
But not only did Abbott have a seamlessly positive visit to Japan — coming straight after we had rubbed their noses in the whaling loss of face in the International Court of Justice — but he was able to move just as seamlessly on to China....
We should also not forget the country that Abbott passed over on his way north. Indonesia.
Remember how turn back the boats was Abbott’s first great “blunder”? ... Funny how the boats have been successively turned back, and “new ones” also sent back for some months now with nary a peep of complaint out of Indonesia.
Despite no doubt the frenzied best efforts of Fairfax and the ABC to find someone, anyone, over there to complain.
Again, it would suggest the policy clarity and firmness of the Abbott government is reaping rewards. We have a Prime Minister who really is winning — openly recognising — friends and influencing (important) people in Asia.
Tony Abbott took 600 business leaders with him on his tour of Japan, South Korea and China. It was a political masterstroke, to judge from the reviews.
Channel 7 boss Kerry Stokes:
We had a prime minister who spoke Mandarin and our relationship tanked in six months… Now we have a PM who speaks people and we have a new relationship in six months.
Crown Resorts chairman James Packer:

From the perspective of trade and business investment, the trip was extremely beneficial for Australia. The Prime Minister and trade minister Andrew Robb have done an outstanding job. They have set a benchmark for future governments.
CSL CEO Peter Perreault:
He was genuine and engaging with the foreign leaders and has established a great new start for Australia in north Asia.
Tad Watroba, executive director of Hancock Prospecting:
Tony handled himself very well and came across as a genuine bloke. There was a visible difference from the previous leadership.
Packer again:
I think the truth is Australia’s relationships with China, Japan, India and Indonesia all went backwards over the last five years… When you go round and lecture people — I think you’d know who I’m talking about — some people don’t take it that well.  

On 2GB tonight - ABC says sorry too late. Carr has a tanty. Palmer’s magic explained

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (3:15pm)

On with Steve Price from 8pm. Listen live here. Talkback:  131 873. 
Listen to all past shows here.

Here is where you can hear past Big Guns chats with Graham Richardson that I have on Ben Fordham’s 2GB show every Monday after 4.30pm. 

Negus goes to Cuba: hasta la salsa, Che Who-vara!

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (3:05pm)

George Negus, ageing Leftist, is taking readers to the countries of his collapsed dreams. The stress must explain certain errors in his pitch

Neil and O’Neill. UPDATE: And Michaels, too

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (8:52am)

A coup for The Spectator - and a good sign that the Coalition is actively encouraging non-ABC and non-Left media voices:
Joe Hockey, with Spectator publisher Andrew Neil
The ‘world’s greatest treasurer’ Wayne Swan bequeathed a whopping national debt and federal deficit. How will his successor tackle these challenges in his first budget on May 13?
Join the federal Treasurer Joe Hockey and Andrew Neil, publisher of The Spectator and BBC politics host, on Wednesday 23 April at the Doltone House Hyde Park (formerly Tattersalls club), Level 3, 181 Elizabeth Street, Sydney
To book, go here.
Another event worth noting - with Brendan O’Neill:
Nannies, Nudgers & Naggers: The New Enemies of Freedom

Where:  Society Restaurant
23 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Is it a top-down Orwellian “boot on the human face” that is squashing our once cherished civil liberties, or is the greater problem today the public’s fear of being free? Is our freedom being taken from us by the authorities, or is it being undermined through our own failure to exercise it? An open debate on how we can boost human freedom.
Brendan O’Neill is the editor of spiked, the magazine that wants to make history as well as report it, and is a columnist for he Big Issue in London and The Australian. He also blogs for the Daily Telegraph and has written for a variety of publications in both Europe and America. He is the author of Can I Recycle My Granny And 39 Other Eco-Dilemmas, and he is currently researching a book on snobbery.
Book at the link. Don’t wait too long about it: Brendan’s Sydney event is sold out.
And for sceptics and the no-longer-quite-so-sure, Dr Patrick Michaels is giving talks for the IPA in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane from April 29:

The IPA is delighted to be welcoming internationally renowned scientist Dr Patrick Michaels for a tour of Australia in April and May. Patrick is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C., and formerly a professor at the University of Virginia. He’s the author of many important books on climate change, including Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media and Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know which he co-authored.
Patrick’s visit to Australia will come at a vital time in the debate about climate change, as the parliament prepares to repeal the carbon tax, reviews the Renewable Energy Target and considers other expensive measures to supposedly tackle global warming, like direct action.
Michaels’ intinerary:
Perth - Tuesday 29 April
Melbourne - Thursday 1 May
Sydney - Monday 5 May
Brisbane - Tuesday 6 May
For more information - and to book - go here.  

How selfish Carr made Abbott look a leader

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (8:47am)

Political things, Politics - Carr

BOB Carr last week did Tony Abbott a huge favour. Labor’s former foreign minister finally made the Prime Minister seem a real leader.
Carr’s new book, Diary of a Foreign Minister, didn’t just make Abbott look good by confirming modern Labor’s essential triviality and selfishness.
Carr also released it just as Abbott staged a triumphant tour of Asia that showed him to be everything that Carr and his two Lilliputian prime ministers, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd, were not.

Carr helped make Abbott’s tour a turning point — the moment when Abbott fixed his last big weakness, his inability to seem prime ministerial.
Consider. Carr as foreign minister achieved virtually nothing of practical good to the taxpayers who sent him and wife Helena around the globe in business class. Yet in his book, he whinges that we didn’t fly him first class. He whinges about the airline food. He whinges that he didn’t get free pyjamas. He whinges that his opera video wasn’t subtitled.
Diplomatic cables reveal yet more whinges — Carr’s demand that diplomats “avoid early morning or late evening meetings” when arranging his visits, and schedule instead “visits to important cultural or historic sites”.
How the poor man suffered for Australia. And what did the noble Carr bring back for us, boasting that “I soar above the mundane and serve my country”?
(Read full column here.)   

Time for a thousand cuts

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (8:29am)

We have a problem:

THE budget faces continuing deficits of about $30 billion a year from 2016-17 onwards in the absence of spending cuts, as tax revenue is likely to remain weak.
An analysis by consulting firm Macroeconomics shows that the ... this year’s deficit is likely to be $41bn, considerably better than the $47bn deficit foreshadowed in the government’s mid-year budget update issued just before Christmas. For the next two years, Macroeconomics forecasts deficits of $32bn and $26bn, broadly in line with Treasury’s estimates, however the softness of revenue will push the deficit back out to $30bn in the following year and the firm sees no further improvement to 2027-28....
By 2017-18, the budget will start feeling the impact of spending commitments made under the previous Labor government, including the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the reforms to school funding… [Macroeconomics director Dr Stephen] Anthony said Joe Hockey should seek initial savings of about 1 per cent of GDP or $16bn to put the budget back onto a sustainable trajectory.
But here’s a (small) saving:
TAXPAYERS’ funds that were allocated for developing workforce skills and boosting productivity have been used to train unionists in union organising and membership recruitment techniques. A certificate course in “Unionism and Industrial Relations” has been delivered under government-funded training schemes offering education in less contentious areas such as worker health and safety, as well as claims and rehabilitation management…
The course was developed in 2009 by Innovation and Business Skills Australia, one of 11 federal government-funded “industry skills councils”.
There must be a thousand similar savings to make in all that Labor pork.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

1984 Newspeak: My articles banned, the Sheik’s lecture not

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (8:15am)

I’ve argued that people of various ethnic ancestries had a choice to identify with one, all or none of those ancestries themselves, and we should actually treat each other as individuals, race irrelevant.
Two of those articles were banned under our race hate laws, with the judge ruling I’d made factual error in saying the fair-complexioned Aborigines I mentioned had such a choice.
I thought I was arguing against racism. And, stupid me, I thought these race hate laws were meant to stop real racists. But:
POLICE say they will not act against a radical preacher who publicly prayed for the slaughter of Hindus and Buddhists, leaving him free to spread his messages of hatred.
A sermon videotaped in South Australia last year also showed Sheikh Sharif Hussein accusing Australian troops, whom he called “crusader pigs”, of helping to rape tens of thousands of women in Iraq, but SA police say he has broken no laws…
According to a translation of the Arabic video, published by the US-based Middle East Media Research Institute, the sheikh publicly prayed: “Oh Allah, count the Buddhists and the Hindus one by one. Oh Allah, count them and kill them to the very last one”.
A police investigation was launched after The Advertiser last year revealed details of one lecture recording, believed to have been delivered, in part, at the Islamic Da’wah Centre of SA, in Torrensville…
A South Australia Police spokesman said the matter had been investigated and that “in this instance, no criminal offending occurred and no charges (were) laid. No further comment will be made on this matter."…
It is not known if Sheik Hussein has preached in SA since the video went public last year. His friends have claimed the video was heavily edited and misrepresented him, while he has declined to comment.
(Thanks to readers Barry and Chriss.) 

Ukraine sends troops to remove Russian pawns

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (8:03am)

Something like this worked for Hitler in Czechoslovakia:
The Ukrainian government on Sunday for the first time sent in its security services to confront armed pro-Russian militants in the country’s east, defying warnings from Russia as commandos engaged in gunfights with men who had set up roadblocks and stormed a Ukrainian police station in Slovyansk, Ukrainian officials said.
At least one officer was killed in the operation, and several were injured, as were four locals, the officials said.
...the central government in Kiev has turned to force to try to restore its authority in the east, a course of action that the Russian government has repeatedly warned against. With tens of thousands of Russian troops massed along Ukraine’s eastern border near Donetsk, Western leaders have worried that Moscow might use unrest in Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking areas as a pretext for an invasion — even though the violence had been solely caused by the pro-Russian side.

There is a Jewish lobby, but that’s not the one that drove Carr

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (7:57am)

Culture wars, Politics - Carr, Politics - federal

FORMER foreign minister Bob Carr is not wrong: there is a Jewish lobby. But it’s not the lobby that worries me.
Carr last week outraged Jews by attacking Melbourne’s “Israel lobby” for its “very unhealthy” influence on prime minister Julia Gillard.
Carr accused it of trying “to block the Foreign Minister of Australia through their influence with the Prime Minister’s office from even making the most routine criticism of Israeli settlement policy”.

True, there is a Jewish lobby, just as there are other ethnic and religious lobbies. True also, it’s more organised than most, and richer.
But also true is that many supporters of Israel — like Gillard, like me — reach their opinions on the arguments, not as quo for Jewish quids.
We see a democracy threatened by terrorism, an open society challenged by closed ones.
Carr also leaves out a critical fact, making the Jewish lobby seem unique and even sinister.
See, he actually defeated the “Israel lobby” in 2012 by warning Labor MPs of a more powerful lobby — the Muslim one.
(Read full article here.

Carr’s gossip is great. But the breach of principle not

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (7:31am)

Former Labor speechwriter Troy Bramston said conservatives should welcome Bob Carr’s Diaries of a Foreign Minister:
Carr savages Gillard’s “blunders” and “disasters”. He documents how his confidence in her was slowly “destroyed”. He urged Gillard to resign the prime ministership, given that she was so ­unpopular, and thought her “selfish” for not doing so.
Then there’s Rudd — “the least bad alternative” — breezily walking into Carr’s office one day “with the air of a conspiring ­cardinal … purse-lipped, choirboy hair, speak­ing in that sinister monotone”.
He lashes policies on asylum-seekers, education, carbon pricing, budget management and the “stupid” media regulations. He bemoans the inability to sell a message as a “huckster” would, rails against “poor” processes and laments the absence of political “canniness"…
The Liberals misjudged their response. Rather than condemn the book for “betraying confi­dences” — many people gave Carr approval to divulge talks — they should have praised it ­because Carr affirms their criticisms of Labor. Some conservative commentators, clutching their Liberal talking points, echoed these attacks. 
Bramston’s belief that conservatives worrying about the betrayal of confidences are merely “clutching their Liberal talking points” and missing the real opportunity the book gives to attack Labor actually demonstrates one of the problems with modern Labor.
It is actually Bramston who misses the point. The reason some conservatives have actually criticised Carr for betraying his colleagues is that we actually value concepts such as duty, confidentiality and good governance. We put them above mere partisan advantage.
Former minister Amanda Vanstone explains the point:
...what is fundamentally in the public interest is that government runs cohesively and efficiently. That simply cannot happen if members of the team cannot exchange confidences. With the risk that a confidence will be broken, less information is exchanged and the decision-making process is damaged.
You and I want ministerial colleagues to put it all on the table and, in our interest, come to a decision. A tell-tale in the room messes that up… How would you feel if you told an MP something in confidence and then read the perhaps lurid details in the paper shortly thereafter?
To share insights into another person may be critical to getting that person on board with a new and fundamentally important policy change. No one will do that if they think their shared insight is just fodder for a book.
This not a “Liberal talking point”, Troy. It is a principle. 

Costing more to stop what isn’t happening

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (7:17am)

Graham Lloyd says the IPCC’s once simple message - repent for the end of the world is nigh - is now hopelessly muddled by falling confidence and rising costs:
Release of the fifth assessment report in December was muddled by confusion over why global average surface temperatures had not risen for more than a decade despite strong growth in carbon dioxide emissions. After years of denial, the IPCC report finally acknowledged the “hiatus” and put forward a number of possible explanations, including natural climate variability and increased ocean heat.
Further debate followed the release last month of the working group two report into climate change “impact and adaptation”, which estimated global annual economic losses for additional temperature increases of 2C at between 0.2 and 2.0 per cent of income.
This was much lower than many had expected, given the 5 to 20 per cent estimated by Lord Stern in his advice to the British government. Today’s IPCC report shows the cost of acting to reduce carbon emissions to keep warming below 2C could be as high as 11 per cent of global consumption by the end of the century. The political reality is that Australia has taken climate change off the G20 agenda, ­Europe is scrapping its subsidies for renewables and Germany is turning back to coal.

Palmer gains from the voters’ demand for the authentic

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (7:10am)

Henry Ergas says Clive Palmer isn’t going away unless his money goes first:
Even if “Palmer United” can stand ­together until the next election, minor parties are skilled at ulti­mately hanging apart. But unlike Pauline Hanson, Palmer is both well-resourced and an experienced political operative. Unless his business fails, he could be there for the long term.
It would therefore be a mistake for Tony Abbott to count on the PUP’s demise. Instead, the best way to marginalise Palmer’s sound and fury is to restore the trust Labor did so much to tarnish. If voters choose a buffoon, it is ­because they prefer the ridiculous to the hypocritical, the frankly ­absurd to the smugly dishonest.
Only responsible government, that delivers what it promises, and promises no more than governments can deliver, will reverse that loss of faith.

And Jews still think the Left will help?

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (7:05am)


Does the ABC board watch the ABC?

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (6:47am)

Is the ABC board doing its duty - not least to ensure the taxpayer-funded broadcaster is fair and balanced?

FORMER ABC chairman Maurice Newman has questioned what action the ABC board took over several recent controversies, including The Hamster Decides’ skit depicting The Australian’s Chris Kenny as a “dog f. ker”, saying its broadcast was “astonishing” and warranted an apology…
“I think, quite seriously, there are things at the margin you might what to defend, but why you would want to defend that I have no idea,’’ he said yesterday.
“Maybe because you don’t like Chris Kenny’s politics I suppose, but it’s just wrong..."…
The former chairman ... [said] the “board must have satisfied themselves that there’s nothing to see here”.
“When we had the Snowden affair, the broadcast of The Guardian allegations of phone-tapping of the Indonesian Presidents’ wife, the board seemed to acquiesce on that [as well],’’ he said.
So don’t expect tears over what’s coming:
FORMER ABC chairmen Maurice Newman and Donald McDonald say that the public broad­caster should accept there are going to be cuts in the federal budget…
Mr McDonald, ABC chairman from 1996 to 2006, said there was no “sacred level” of public broadcasting…
“I believe the government is well disposed to the services the ABC provides but, like everybody else, the ABC will have to live within its means,” he said.
Mr Newman, who followed him as chairman from 2006 to 2012, agreed, saying “there’s no doubt the budget is in disrepair” and “we’re all going to have to share in the heavy lifting"…
The federal government decided on an “efficiency review” despite Tony Abbott’s election-eve promise that the broadcaster would be left untouched.

Nielsen poll: Labor way ahead

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (6:37am)

Exactly not what I expected, and the very high Greens vote suggests the poll isn’t accurate - or repeatable:
The latest Australian Financial Review/Nielsen poll shows Labor leading the Coalition by 52 per cent to 48 per cent…
While Tony Abbott was perceived to have had a good last week in Asia talking free trade, the poll shows almost all the Coalition’s fall in support came in rural and regional Australia....
Nielsen poll director John ­Stirton said it could be indicative of ­anxiety over increased foreign investment and reduced protectionism…
The Coalition’s primary vote fell 4 points to 40 per cent, Labor’s primary vote fell 1 point to 34 per cent, while the Greens’ vote shot up 5 points to 17 per cent, driven in part by a large boost in support in Western Australia…
The Coalition’s two-party-preferred vote fell 10 points outside the capitals.
(Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill and Michael.) 

























=== Posts from Last Year ===
4 her, so she may see how I see her



Monday April 15th is The Day of Remembrance for Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism (Yom Hazikaron).
23,085 soldiers have fallen protecting Israel.

The Sea of Galilee, in Northern Israel, figures prominently in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.

Be honest, you would try to break the glass too... it is a piñata .. - ed



This guy reading the newspaper on the subway is Keanu Reeves.

He is from a problematic family. His father was arrested when he was 12 for drug dealing and his mother was a stripper. His family moved to Canada and there he had several step dads.

He watched his girlfriend die. They were about to get married, and she died in a car accident. And also before that she had lost her baby. Since then Keanu avoids serious relationships and having kids.

He's one of the only Hollywood stars without a Mansion. He said: 'I live in a flat, I have everything that I need at anytime, why choose an empty house?'

One of his best friends died by overdose, he was River Phoenix (Joaquin Phoenix's brother). Almost in the same year Keanu's father was arrested again.

His younger sister had leukemia. Today she is cured, and he donated 70% of his gains from the movie Matrix to Hospitals that treat leukemia.

In one of his birthdays, he got to a little candy shop and bought him a cake, and started eating alone. If a fan walked by he would talk to them and offer some of the cake.

He doesn't have bodyguards, and he doesn't wear fancy clothes.

When they asked him about 'Sad Keanu', he replied: 'You need to be happy to live, I don't.'"

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato


sad attempt at analysis, giving a bureaucrat's view that cheapens life, dismisses injustice and promotes corruption .. naturally it endorses ALP 'compassion'

How many have to die from bad policy before it becomes a problem? How many will pay family savings to pirate people smugglers to sidestep a cheaper legal alternative before it can be admitted opening the borders was a mistake? I could be wrong, but I don't feel the issue is about number but the enormity of the unfolding tragedy since the Pacific Solution was lifted. The situation was entirely predictable and was predicted by many that have since been ignored. Equity isn't supposed to be a life and death issue. Personally, I want Australia to be a big nation. I like migrants and want more. I welcome refugees. But this tragedy seems to be entirely political for some, and very personal to others. And the disconnect is entirely with the current federal Australian government.







Gateway to the West: Daniel Boone Leading the Settlers Through the Cumberland Gap – 1775

David Wright is lauded as the premier artist of the American frontier. And his painting certainly depicts the hopes, fears and dreams of the pioneers as they journeyed through the nation’s first doorway to the west.

The Obamas release their 2012 tax return -- Neil Cavuto says it looks a lot like the ones from Mitt Romney that he criticized >>


If ever there was more evidence that the Labor Party are completely unfit to govern, just take the recent comments of Simon Crean.

Crean said of Gillard; 

He complete trashed Gillard’s method of governing;

And Crean is right. Gillard and Labor are NOT governing in the best interests of the nation - for them, it’s all about tomorrow’s headline.

And on Rudd, Crean said Rudd was; “JUST AS ARROGANT”

And remember, these are not statements made by a Liberal supporter, or even a journalist – they are made by a CURRENT LABOR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, someone that has been a senior member of both Rudd's and Gillard’s Cabinets.

Labor are a complete rabble, hopelessly divided and completely dysfunctional - Can anyone argue for another 3 years of this with a straight face, for a house divided cannot stand.

This divided & dysfunctional deadwood; Gillard, Rudd, Crean, Swan, Emerson, Bowen, Combet, Bob Carr, Conroy, etc, etc, etc - all need to be the cleaned out at the election which can't come soon enough. Labor need a long, long time in opposition to sort themselves out.

'shares' and 'likes' always appreciated.


The Peacock Room.

Castello di Sammezzano in Reggello, Tuscany, Italy.

don't hesitate. temporise.
"Patience is not the ability to wait, but how you act while waiting"


רה"מ בנימין נתניהו ורעייתו גב' שרה נתניהו עלו אמש לקברו של יוני נתניהו ז"ל לקראת יום הזיכרון לחללי מערכות ישראל שיחל מחר בערב. 

יוני נתניהו ז''ל נהרג במהלך מבצע אנטבה, והוא בעל עיטור המופת ממלחמת יום הכיפורים.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife Mrs. Sarah Netanyahu visited the grave of Yoni Netanyahu of blessed memory in anticipation of Memorial Day for those who fell in Israel's battle that will commence tomorrow evening. Yoni Netanyahu, the recipient of the Order of Valor during the Yom Kippur War, was killed in the course of Operation Entebbe

Amputees often suffer from a phenomenon known as phantom limb syndrome, but researchers now say that non-amputees can also be made to feel phantom limbs, and even pain.

The brain can be so convinced that an invisible hand is part of the body that people sweat when the "hand" is threatened with a knife.

::: (\_(\
*: (=’ :’) :* like
•.. (,(”)(”)¤°.¸¸.•´¯`»
See More

This stunning wallpaper shows Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. Voyageurs is a water-based park where you must take to the water to fully experience its lakes, islands and shorelines.

During the years of 2007-2011, Maggie Smith continued to film the final Harry Potter movies, all while battling breast cancer. During the filming of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood prince, she had shingles and was forced to wear a wig in order to continue filming.

On the subject, Smith said, “If there’s work to do I’ll do it. I’ve still got to stagger through the last Harry Potter. The cancer was hideous. It takes the wind out of your sails and I don’t know what the future holds, if anything"

Immense respect for the courage that she has shown.

Settling in before tomorrow's class at the SF Zoo— at Holiday Inn San Francisco.



Researchers are using advanced sequencing and powerful supercomputers to uncover origin of common algae.

Using these new tools, researchers are trying to answer a number of basic questions about diatom evolution: How has the organism moved from a single site to every body of water in the world? And how have some species developed the ability to produce prodigious amounts of snot?

Biden Charges Secret Service $26,400 to rent from him on his property while they protect him!! Click LIKE if you think Joe Biden ought to instead pay the Secret Service to protect him! Check out the story here:


Labor’s announcement to provide grants for crime prevention from proceeds of crime funds is a direct lift from the Coalition’s Plan For Safer Streets announced in October 2012.

If Labor can’t even control our borders, then how can they control street crime in our suburbs?

I don't gamble .. but .. the white one .. - ed

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
"It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.
I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.
I want to re-assure you, that I'm not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said " it's me."

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
It's possible for me, to be so near you everyday.
To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."
You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew...
In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning
and say "good-night, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.
I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.

Be patient, live your journey out...then come home to be with me.


April 14Fast of the Firstborn begins at dawn and Passover begins at sunset (Judaism, 2014); Cambodian New YearTamil New Year, andother New Year festivals in Asia (2014); Day of the Georgian languagein Georgia (1978)
Gnassingbé Eyadéma




Holidays and observances[edit]

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” - Romans 3:23-24
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me."
Song of Solomon 1:13
Myrrh may well be chosen as the type of Jesus on account of its preciousness, its perfume, its pleasantness, its healing, preserving, disinfecting qualities, and its connection with sacrifice. But why is he compared to "a bundle of myrrh"? First, for plenty. He is not a drop of it, he is a casket full. He is not a sprig or flower of it, but a whole bundle. There is enough in Christ for all my necessities; let me not be slow to avail myself of him. Our well-beloved is compared to a "bundle" again, for variety: for there is in Christ not only the one thing needful, but in "him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily;" everything needful is in him. Take Jesus in his different characters, and you will see a marvellous variety--Prophet, Priest, King, Husband, Friend, Shepherd. Consider him in his life, death, resurrection, ascension, second advent; view him in his virtue, gentleness, courage, self-denial, love, faithfulness, truth, righteousness--everywhere he is a bundle of preciousness. He is a "bundle of myrrh" for preservation--not loose myrrh to be dropped on the floor or trodden on, but myrrh tied up, myrrh to be stored in a casket. We must value him as our best treasure; we must prize his words and his ordinances; and we must keep our thoughts of him and knowledge of him as under lock and key, lest the devil should steal anything from us. Moreover, Jesus is a "bundle of myrrh" for speciality; the emblem suggests the idea of distinguishing, discriminating grace. From before the foundation of the world, he was set apart for his people; and he gives forth his perfume only to those who understand how to enter into communion with him, to have close dealings with him. Oh! blessed people whom the Lord hath admitted into his secrets, and for whom he sets himself apart. Oh! choice and happy who are thus made to say, "A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me."


"And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him."
Leviticus 1:4
Our Lord's being made "sin for us" is set forth here by the very significant transfer of sin to the bullock, which was made by the elders of the people. The laying of the hand was not a mere touch of contact, for in some other places of Scripture the original word has the meaning of leaning heavily, as in the expression, "thy wrath lieth hard upon me" (Psalm 88:7). Surely this is the very essence and nature of faith, which doth not only bring us into contact with the great Substitute, but teaches us to lean upon him with all the burden of our guilt. Jehovah made to meet upon the head of the Substitute all the offences of his covenant people, but each one of the chosen is brought personally to ratify this solemn covenant act, when by grace he is enabled by faith to lay his hand upon the head of the "Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world." Believer, do you remember that rapturous day when you first realized pardon through Jesus the sin-bearer? Can you not make glad confession, and join with the writer in saying, "My soul recalls her day of deliverance with delight. Laden with guilt and full of fears, I saw my Saviour as my Substitute, and I laid my hand upon him; oh! how timidly at first, but courage grew and confidence was confirmed until I leaned my soul entirely upon him; and now it is my unceasing joy to know that my sins are no longer imputed to me, but laid on him, and like the debts of the wounded traveller, Jesus, like the good Samaritan, has said of all my future sinfulness, Set that to my account.'" Blessed discovery! Eternal solace of a grateful heart!
"My numerous sins transferr'd to him,
Shall never more be found,
Lost in his blood's atoning stream,
Where every crime is drown'd!"
[Ä€'să] - physician.
1. The third king of Judah who succeeded Abijah. He was the great-grandson of Solomon (1 Kings 152 Chron. 14-16). He was an ancestor of Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:7, 8).
The Man Who Was Good and Right
Asa is a marvel. In spite of the fact that his father was a sinful man and his mother a heathen woman, he yet shines forth as one of Judah's most godly kings. He is praised for his religious zeal which led him to reform the worship of the people. Because of his devotion to God he deposed his idolatrous mother - an astonishing act for an oriental.
Asa's heart toward God was like David's and such was the secret of his godliness in a foul environment. He is spoken of as doing "that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord, his God." Some people are presumptuous enough to settle what is good and right in their own eyes. Asa, however, did not invent a goodness or righteousness he could adapt to his own convenience and ambition. He only wanted what was good and right in God's sight.
I. Asa prayed before battle. He did not shrink from war with the Ethiopians. Before meeting the foe he met God. "Lord, it is nothing with Thee to help."
II. Asa began upon a good foundation. It took courage and Asa "took courage, and put away the abominable idols." Our idols of fortune, fashion, popularity, self-indulgence, must be severely dealt with if we desire God's best. We can only be right with God and with one another when we are right about our little gods, and man-made idols.
III. Asa was victorious. Being right with God, Asa was honored of Him. His foes surrendered for they saw that his God was with him.
IV. Asa was impartial. The grandeur of this good king is seen in that he would not even allow his mother to keep an idol. So he ruthlessly destroyed the little royal shrine. What was wrong for the subject was also wrong for the queen. Thus horrible abominations had to be abolished. No wonder when Asa died, his people sorely missed and mourned him!
2. A Levite, son of Elkanah and head of a family of Netophathites (1 Chron. 9:16).

Today's reading: 1 Samuel 22-24, Luke 12:1-31 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Samuel 22-24

David at Adullam and Mizpah
1 David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father's household heard about it, they went down to him there. 2 All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.
3 From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, "Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you until I learn what God will do for me?" 4 So he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David was in the stronghold....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 12:1-31

Warnings and Encouragements
1 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
4 "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows....
Today's Prayer

O Almighty God, who alone can order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men: help us to love what you command, and desire what you promise. Among the world's many distractions, may our hearts be surely fixed where true joy is found, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. -adapted from the Book of Common Prayer

Today's Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34

31 "The days are coming," declares the LORD,
"when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,"
declares the LORD.
33 "This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time," declares the LORD.
"I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, 'Know the LORD,'
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,"
declares the LORD.
"For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more."

Today's Quote

"I slew him--this right hand struck the dagger to his heart. My deeds slew Christ. Alas! I slew my best beloved; I killed him who loved me with an everlasting love. Oh eyes, why do you refuse to weep when you see Jesus' body mangled and torn? Give vent to your sorrow, Christians, for you have good reason to do so." - adapted from "The Tomb of Jesus" by Charles Spurgeon

Something to Think About

The Spurgeon quote above echoes the sentiments of the famous Easter hymn "Ah, Holy Jesus" in claiming that we, today, bear responsibility for Jesus' death. Is this true? How so?

Today's Lent reading: John 5-6 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
The Healing at the Pool
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie--the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"
7 "Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."
8 Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked....
Knowing Him - An Easter Devotional


“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. (John 12:27-33)
In that last week of Jesus’ life on earth he taught one day about an event of the cosmos about to happen. The day of his death would not just be a martyrdom, but “the time for judgment.” By a great divine act the Evil One himself would be driven out, and by being “lifted up from the earth,” Jesus would draw people to himself.
Jesus said that sometimes death results in new life. Like a seed buried in the soil, soon to erupt into life, so would his demise be the brief prelude before life would burst out upon the human scene. It would be like that dark moment in a theater when all the lights go dim, all voices hushed, before the curtain comes up, the lights bathe the stage and we see what the playwright really has in mind.
This would not be easy–Jesus knew that. Showing his real humanity, Jesus told his disciples that his heart was troubled, but he also told the Father: “glorify your name!”
That’s all that was needed. Soon, the disciples would be having their last supper with Jesus, and in the meantime, a little while to think about seeds in the ground.
Ponder This: How would you like God to be glorified in your life?


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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