Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wed Apr 30th Todays News

It is Consumer Protection day in Thailand, and so time to think of injustice. On this day in 311, the persecution of Christians by Romans ended. Now it was their turn. Lions would go hungry, academics like Hypatia were harshly treated for maintaining different lifestyles. It is said Disraeili remarked that two thousand years of Christian love has left Jews feeling nervous. But then many Christians would dispute what was done in their name, nowadays we have a policy separating church and state in the West. Note, Israel as a Jewish state, having embraced that within a democratic, pluralistic model is legitimate as a modern government, while many Islamic states fail the test of pluralism or separation of church and state. 

On this day in 1315 Enguerrand de Marigny was hung on the public gallows at Montfaucon. He had been an effective first minister for his king, but when his king died, jealous courtiers conspired to have him hung on charges of witchcraft. In 1513 Edmund de la Pole, Yorkist pretender to the English throne, was executed on the orders of Henry VIII. Henry VII had accepted Edmund as prisoner on terms of not executing him, but left instructions in his will that his son should. Edmund's crime was to be born to the wrong family. On this day in 1863, three thousand Mexican soldiers laid siege to sixty five French Legionaries. Mexico won. Just. On this day in 1945, Hitler took his life many years too late for millions of innocent victims. 1975, Saigon fell days after the US stopped supporting her. China kept funding the North. The peace community had won and many millions would flee tyranny. 
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For twenty two years I have been responsibly addressing an issue, and I cannot carry on. I am petitioning the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott 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 https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/tony-abbott-remedy-the-persecution-of-dd-ball
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns William Phanthana and to all those born on this day, across the years 
Matches
Despatches
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The high price of illegal drugs

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, April 29, 2014 (7:06pm)

YOU only have to look back at the tragic life of Ryan Tandy to see the cost of a society which is too permissive about illicit drugs.
Illicit drugs are so named because it is against the law to consume them.
But go to any nightclub on Saturday night and you will see white powder disappearing up noses in the worst Wolf of Wall Street tradition.
For all the panic about alcohol, we’re drinking less than we have in almost a decade.
And Generation Y is almost teetotal compared to its elders. Yet, when it comes to illegal drugs, they are fiends. All our restrictions on drinking, and the effective decriminalisation of drugs, has driven young people to make a logical decision.
It’s cheaper and in many ways more socially acceptable now to get high on drugs rather than alcohol.
After John Howard brought in his Tough on Drugs policies in 1997, drug use plummeted for the first time in decades.
Fewer young people experimented and those who did were older.
Labor abandoned the policy and today Australia is an international drug hotspot.
The Australian Crime Commission this week said we are one of the most lucrative drug markets for organised crime.
The value of drug seizures jumped by more than $1 billion last year, with crystal methylamphetamine, aka ice, “emerging as a pandemic akin to the issue of crack cocaine in the United States”.
If anything constitutes the “greatest moral challenge” of our times, illegal drugs are it. 
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LABOR HERALD

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 30, 2014 (3:19pm)

Fed up with all the right-wing views being pushed by the ABC, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, SBS, Crikey and the Guardian, Labor’s national secretary seeks to launch the ALP’s own news service
George Wright said they were seeking donations — and an editor — to get the new online Labor Herald off the ground …
“We don’t get the big corporate donations the Liberal Party gets and we need to hire someone experienced as an editor so we can do this properly,” the National Secretary argued.
Their job would be to write both “useful and interesting” articles on issues like the Commission on Audit and cuts to pensions, he said, for a salary of about $95,000 a year …
“We’ll send a daily bulletin out to everyone who signs up so you can get up to date information on what’s happening each day. A bit like Labor’s own Crikey.” 
How would anyone tell the difference? Readers are invited to suggest appropriate appointments for this bold new venture.
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THE W-WORD

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 30, 2014 (12:37pm)

Modern feminists are so tough! And edgy! And sweary!
It’s strange, though. Show them one man carrying a sign with “witch” on it and they turn into the Concerned Baptist Ladies’ League of 1921.
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SEAM TEAM

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 30, 2014 (12:16pm)

Richard Neville. Film makers from Adelaide. Old ABC types. And, of course, Alan Jones.
The anti-mining movement is just a big Blair’s Law party.
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IAN ROSS

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 30, 2014 (11:45am)

Former Seven Network newsreader Ian Ross, a dignified and straightforward presenter, has died at 73.
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SINK ART

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 30, 2014 (11:28am)

Some women are appalled by shaving scum in the bathroom sink. Others see an opportunity for artistic expression:

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The ABC not friendly enough for Labor?

Andrew Bolt April 30 2014 (5:58pm)

Labor wants any money you still have left after its excesses:
LABOR’s National Secretary has written to supporters asking them to reach into their pockets so the party can create its “own news service”, just like Crikey. 

George Wright said they were seeking donations — and an editor — to get the new online Labor Herald off the ground…

“I believe it’s really important that we do this. We need our own news and we need a place where we can hear each other’s views.”
But why should Labor pay for what Fairfax, the Guardian and the ABC - let alone Crikey - will do for free?
Reader offer staffing tips:

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Another night of Sydney shootings

Andrew Bolt April 30 2014 (3:46pm)

Parts of Sydney now seem to have the disorder we’d expect in a Beirut:
Five people, including two teenagers, escaped injury in a drive-by shooting in Sydney’s south-west on Tuesday night that police believe may be linked to another shooting on the same night in a nearby suburb.
What have we done to this country? Was it necessary?
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I do not know who police are looking for in these latest shootings so leap to no conclusions about their ethnicity.
Unrelated, then, is this comparison, provided by reader Sasha:
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The link to the interactive graphic on shootings here
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So much for the ABC’s China deal

Andrew Bolt April 30 2014 (9:51am)

Did the ABC try to bluff the Government out of stripping the Australia Network from it in the Budget:
THE ABC has been forced to delay signing its “historic agreement” to broadcast content into China after admitting the deal was yet to receive regulatory­ ­approval.
A signing ceremony in Shanghai, which was due to be held this Sunday between ABC executives and the Shanghai Media Group to finalise a memorandum of understanding between the two broadcasters, has been pushed back to early June and could now be held in ­Sydney…
The Australian revealed this week that the industry supervisory agency, the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film and TV, was unaware of the proposed deal despite the ABC’s announcement last week that it would be “formalised” and signed in Shanghai on May 4…

A spokeswoman for the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film and TV said the regulatory body had yet to receive any formal application from either the ABC or SMG, which was required for the deal to proceed… “It is impossible for us to express ‘support’ without getting formal application documents...”
The ABC said on April 17 that ABC International and the ­Australia Network had “struck an international multi-platform media co-operation arrangement supported by the Shanghai ­Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film and TV”.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Tim Wilson: yes, our laws against free speech are broken

Andrew Bolt April 30 2014 (9:37am)

Tim Wilson on the need to reform our laws against free speech:


Recently, the head of the Prime Minister’s indigenous council, Warren Mundine, criticised the proposed changes, but recognised “there is no doubt we need to amend the act and make sure it’s focused”.
The NSW Rabbinical Council acknowledged the laws make it hard for rabbis to “get up and make a pronouncement on certain moral issues (because they) … might insult (someone)”.
Similarly, Jewish community leader Mark Leibler has said “there is a possibility of working out a solution which will be a ­sensible compromise” while ­arguing for minimal change.
The question is not if the law should be changed, but how.
UPDATE
How many on the Left have betrayed principle for advantage in this debate?
ABC1’s Q & A, Monday: 
VAN Badham: Is it so important to the future of Australia that a handful of extremists are given a position by which they can belittle, humiliate, denigrate, vilify, harass and intimidate people who exist within minority communities or traditionally oppressed ethnic communities? ... As a journalist, I do not feel that my free speech is limited by my obligation to show respect and decency to diversity in my community?
Respect. Badham tweets, April 21:

JESUS, people: IF ENVIRONMENTALISTS WERE AUTHORITARIAN THE F..KING PLANET WOULDN’T BE *DYING*.
Respect. Badham tweets, April 5:

SOME totally batshit-bananaland trolling from Liberal party twatkvists on #wavotes …
Badham tweets, March 25:

DEAR Tony Abbott, If you wish to redesign Australia into a bloody aristocracy, I personally will start to build the guillotine. X Van.
Badham, ABC1’s Q & A, Monday:

TODAY is international day of ­remembrance for the Holocaust and I want everybody to consider what the day of remembrance means in the context of a potential future scenario where those protections are gone and what that means to the families of Holocaust survivors and everybody who was touched by institutional racism.
Respect? Badham tweets, December 18:
SO how’s everyone feeling about a right-wing party like the LNP moving to make anti-Semitism perfectly legal? Does that ever turn out well ... You know, last time we have a failed artist from (sic) the Right telling people it was OK to hate Jews… #TimWilson …
Alan Dershowitz, The Australian, April 2:
DEMOCRACY can endure the coarsening and painful effects of ­bigoted speech. It cannot survive a regime of governmental censorship.
UPDATE
Mark Steyn:
In Australia, they’re trying to get rid of Section 18c. The Aussie campaign is not going well.
What’s going on? Well, in the western world today, there are far more lobby groups for censorship - under polite euphemisms such as “diversity”, “human rights”, “hate speech” - than there are for freedom of expression.
If you attempt to roll back a law like Section 18c, you’ll be opposed by the aboriginal lobby, the Muslim lobby, the Jewish lobby, the LGBT lobby, the higher-education lobby.... And you’ll be supported by ...hardly anyone, save for me and Andrew Bolt and the usual suspects.
Support Mark Steyn’s battle against Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann. Go here.
(Thanks to reader handjive.) 
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This would be a broken promise, and the pain would be severe

Andrew Bolt April 30 2014 (9:36am)

Tony Abbott cannot afford to break a promise. Not after he brought down Julia Gillard for doing just that, and not now when trust in politicians has been so tarnished:
Senior Liberals have described plans for a possible deficit tax in the budget as “electoral suicide”. Some talked of a party-room revolt and one warned the Prime Minister Tony Abbott would wear the broken promise as “a crown of thorns” if the government decided to go through with it.
The figure, part of Mr Abbott’s ministerial team, spoke on condition of anonymity, arguing the suggestion of a tax was one that could come to “haunt” Mr Abbott’s entire prime ministership.
I worry that this is Tony’s Gillard moment, when she announced the carbon tax,” said the senior Liberal.
The Herald Sun hears the same anger over a plan to break a promise::
Coalition backbenchers are in open rebellion about the new tax, which they say breaks Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s pre-election promises of “tax cuts without new taxes” and “no nasty surprises"…
“Everyone’s just in shock,’’ one Liberal MP told the Herald Sun… “It’s both a surprise, and the idea that we’re not going to get pinged for breaking a promise is just ludicrous.’’…
But the tax will not be as extreme as we reported, with the first $80,000 that people earn not subject to it.
A person on $80,000 would therefore not pay any extra, while a person on $100,000 would pay an additional $200 income tax, and someone earning $150,000 would pay $700 more.
The income tax rate would rise by 2 per cent (45c to 47c) for all earnings above $180,000, meaning a person earning $200,000 would pay $1400 more.
These rates do not include the Medicare levy or the disability care levy, which when included would see the top earners taxed at 49c in the dollar.
The Australian:
IT is a safe bet that the Audit Commission’s recommendations to fix the budget deficit, due for release tomorrow, will not include hiking income tax. With such vast scope for sensible savings, lifting one of the most damaging and penal taxes would have been last on the commissioners’ wishlist. So it is deeply troubling, and puzzling, that the Abbott government appears poised to announce a temporary deficit levy in its first, emblematic budget…
Revenue isn’t the problem. The government’s own figures show tax receipts are projected to gallop ahead by almost 6 per cent a year over the next three years — what most businesses would consider a bonanza. Cutting spending and lifting taxes are not economically equivalent ways to engineer a budget surplus. Higher taxes hurt the incentive to work, offend individuals’ rights to the fruits of their labour, encourage costly avoidance and prop up distortionary and feckless government programs. Spending cuts do the opposite.
If the economic case for lifting income tax for a few years to fix a long-term problem is weak, the political case is risky at best. Let’s not mince words: the Prime Minister promised in opposition to introduce no new taxes, and a levy is obviously another word for a tax.
The Government believes the tax is needed to show the rich are also pulling their weight. But the rich already pull their weight and much more:
The fifth of taxpayers who earned more than $80,000 a year in the 2011 financial year paid 62 per cent of all income tax. The top 10 per cent — with taxable incomes of more than $105,500 — paid 46 per cent. And bracket creep boosts their burden every year.... Let’s not forget that the Medicare Levy is due to rise by 0.5 percentage points to 2 per cent on July 1 to help pay for Labor’s disability insurance scheme, which is not due to be operational for another five years. The top marginal tax rate could be about to rise to 49 per cent, and the second top rate to 40 per cent, making Australia’s already very progressive tax system even more so. 
But Terry McCrann says the debt levy does not break an explicit promise and does tackle a real problem:
Please show me the video where Abbott, or Hockey, said explicitly, in the election campaign: there will be no increase — not even a temporary increase — in the income tax under a government I lead…
Abbott and Hockey ... have focused most of their efforts to get the budget back to the black and to cap the debt created by Rudd, Gillard and Swan in just six years of fiscal irresponsibility and sheer mayhem to a still-thumping $350 billion or so, on the spending side.
But it is entirely reasonable and indeed arguably mandatory — those to both the left and the right, take note — to ask high income earners to make a direct, temporary contribution.
A few sharks have been jumped when we have Shorten and Bowen joining hands with Milne to demand that people earning $200,000, $500,000, and more, should be saved from a tax hike.
I do think this video [from 5:53] shows Abbott making what 95 per cent of voters would take to be a promise not to hike taxes:
What you’ll get under us are tax cuts without new taxes.
UPDATE
Paul Kelly says Tony Abbott ruled out too many spending cuts before the election so now may break one that will kill him:
Abbott’s excuse is that a temporary levy does not constitute a broken promise. The public won’t buy that. A tax is a tax is a tax. And Abbott’s pledge to cut taxes down the track is just that — down the track.
The further risk is that Abbott compromises his policy pledge to reform the spending side of the budget…
Last week, Hockey argued, yet again, that Australia has “a serious spending problem"… The audit commission report, Hockey says, reveals the need for “substantial spending restraint”. He provided the exact numbers — spending in real terms must be limited to 1.75 per cent annually for a decade. It is a crippling objective and compares with Labor’s equivalent figure of 3.7 per cent annually over six years…
Resort to a levy shows immediate structural savings are either too hard or too blatant a breach of election promises.
That’s right — having declared a budget crisis on the spending side, Abbott feels unable to really tackle it.
UPDATE
A tax on more than the “rich”:
… new modelling reveals 2.3 million families are likely to be hit by the proposed deficit tax. The new impost would collect about $2.2bn a year, according to a study by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling at the University of Canberra…
Although the levy is yet to be finalised and could be heavily modified in the face of fierce criticism, the combined ­effect of the levy and hidden tax rises would increase the burden on individual taxpayers by $51bn over four years based on NATSEM and Deloitte Access Economics modelling…
The new reliance on revenue gains, rather than spending cuts alone, to end the deficits contrasts with Mr Abbott’s attacks on Julia Gillard’s budget strategy last May, when he declared: “The problem is not a revenue problem, the problem is a spending problem.”
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Workers pay so Labor candidates may play

Andrew Bolt April 30 2014 (9:31am)

What good did this union ever do for the workers whose pockets it looted? Is the union movement just a giant ATM for the big players?
Health Services Union boss turned whistleblower Kathy Jackson ran a secretive union slush fund that used up to $300,000 in members’ money to help support the political and factional campaigns of her allies, including those from other unions.
Internal union banking records reveal $284,000 was transferred with Ms Jackson’s authorisation from her union’s main account into the “National Health Development Account” between 2003 and 2010.
Fairfax Media has confirmed that some of these funds were used to support Ms Jackson’s political allies, including officials from the Australian Workers Union, which was previously headed by federal opposition leader Bill Shorten…
Leaked union records also show how Ms Jackson’s branch of the HSU made a $5000 donation in 2010 to senior Victorian Labor MP Marlene Kairouz and described it in a financial report as a payment to a charity.
When regulator Fair Work Australia queried this payment with the HSU later in 2010, the union changed its description of it to a “fee for service”.
The $5000 was deposited in an ANZ bank account in the name of ‘AB Hinc’ - a Latin term which means ‘from here on’ - and which was an election fund controlled by Ms Kairouz.
Fairfax Media has confirmed the ‘AB Hinc’ account was never declared to the Australian Electoral Commission....
Fairfax Media is not suggesting Ms Jackson ever used members’ funds in a criminal fashion or for personal expenditure.
Ms Jackson declined to answer specific questions about the NHDA… However, she provided a broad statement saying she never used money from the fund “for my own private benefit or for payment to third parties unless such payment was conscientiously believed by me and and relevant others to serve the legitimate political purposes of the union”.
“I say that I have done nothing in relation to the fund that is criminal or that was not in the best interests of the union as I genuinely believed them to be.”
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The Grange wasn’t from someone O’Farrell barely knew

Andrew Bolt April 30 2014 (9:03am)

That bottle of Grange gains more context:
DISGRACED Liberal fundraiser Nick Di Girolamo signed off on a party candidate with Barry O’Farrell’s knowledge, according to an email from Chris Hartcher, a former minister now accused of corruption.
Mr Hartcher reveals in the email, tendered at ICAC yesterday, he escorted the lobbyist Scott Farlow to meet Mr Di Girolamo, the Australian Water Holdings boss, and Mr Di Girolamo had offered to help fundraise for him…
On January 27, 2009, Mr Hartcher emails: “Dear Barry, As previously discussed, Nick Di Girolamo, president of the Italian Chamber of Commerce, met with Scott Farlow. The meeting was at Nick’s ­office on Friday 23 January. I also attended.
“Nick was impressed with Scott. He authorised me to tell you that he would be happy to see Scott as candidate for Drummoyne, if he was preselected. He assured me he would arrange for coverage in La Fiamma and also assist with introducing Scott in the Drummoyne Italian community and with fundraising.”
Mr O’Farrell replies an hour later: “Good. Thx.”
This level of influence and contact wasn’t what O’Farrell suggested a couple of months ago:
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has revealed he has met controversial Liberal identity Nick Di Girolamo at 10 functions or events since becoming Premier, including at Wests Tigers football matches, despite telling Parliament only last week he ”can’t remember the last time I spoke to [him]”.
I know and am involved with lots of people I don't know well. They might even give me gifts. Bolt is overstating things here before it has been established that it is justified to do so. All that we know so far is that influence peddlers have made exchanges without it being established it was quid pro quo. But we know the ALP have had quid pro quo without penalty - ed
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What Budget emergency, says Shorten the spender

Andrew Bolt April 30 2014 (8:52am)

Tony Abbott is struggling with trying to fix the Budget disaster left by Labor.
Meanwhile Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is confirming that a Labor Government would just make things worse, refusing to even acknowledge we have a problem:
They have woken up to the Liberals’ fake “Budget emergency’’…
Everyone knows the Liberals desperately want this to be seen as a brave Budget but there is nothing brave about slugging ordinary Australians with an increase in their income tax.
There is nothing brave about forcing pensioners to wait longer for less.
There is nothing brave about taking money from Australian families who feel like they are losing the battle with the cost of living.
Whatever my criticisms of some of Abbott’s proposals he is already ahead of Shorten in that he knows the Budget deficits Labor left us must be reined in.
Shorten gives no sign at all of Labor having learned from its disastrous six years. He is suggesting a Shorten Government would just give us more of the same. 
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How many reminders do Jews need: the Left is not your friend. Observe John Kerry

Andrew Bolt April 30 2014 (8:23am)

US Secretary of State John Kerry is an idiot. Trouble is, he’s an idiot with power:
In a private meeting with senior international officials Friday, Kerry said that if the Israelis and Palestinians can’t achieve a two-state solution, Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state with second-class citizens.”
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Selling Wikipedia

Andrew Bolt April 30 2014 (7:49am)

An encyclopaedia salesman knocks on the door of Nigel Scott:
‘I have the largest and most comprehensive encyclopaedia the world has ever seen’, he says.
‘Tell me about it!’
‘It has more editors and more entries than any other encyclopaedia ever. Most of the contributors are anonymous and no entry is ever finished. It is constantly changing. Any entry may be different each time you go back to it. Celebrities and companies pay PR agencies to edit entries. Controversial topics are often the subject of edit wars that can go on for years and involve scores of editors. Pranksters and jokers may change entries and insert bogus facts. Whole entries about events that never happened may be created. Other entries will disappear without notice. Experts may be banned from editing subjects that they are leading authorities on, because they are cited as primary sources. University academics and teachers warn their students to exercise extreme caution when using it. Nothing in it can be relied on. You will never know whether anything you read in it is true or not. Are you interested?’
It is not a primary source, but it is a source. It is hysteria to say that Wikipedia has no more substance than an IPCC article. - ed
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Abbott makes his leave scheme more saleable

Andrew Bolt April 30 2014 (7:22am)

I still wonder why taxpayers (via a levy on business) must pay a woman six months’ salary to have a baby, but this cut is politically important:
TONY Abbott has dropped the controversial threshold for his paid parental leave scheme from $150,000 to $100,000 for the sake of “equity and simplicity’’, bringing his signature project in line with his new welfare limit…
Mr Abbott’s switch to lower the threshold, relayed to colleagues 10 days ago, means the maximum payment will be capped at $50,000, instead of $75,000…
Mr Abbott [yesterday] defended the principle of the PPL scheme being a workforce entitlement, arguing: “Why should public servants in Canberra get paid their full wage when they take parental leave and the shop assistants and factory workers of Victoria not get the same deal and if we get our wage when we take holiday and sick pay and long service leave, why shouldn’t we get our wage when we take parental leave?..’’
Ten days ago, Mr Abbott put to the Coalition’s expenditure review committee that a pragmatic and realistic decision had to be made in relation to the PPL since it was seen as a government benefit, although funded by a business levy. As such, it should be brought into line with the government’s decision to set a $100,000 income threshold for welfare and family payments.
The razor gang decision to reduce the income threshold by $50,000 will not result in significant savings in the scheme, likely to cost up to $5.5bn a year when fully implemented, with only 2 per cent of women earning more than $100,000 being of child-bearing age. The Greens have said they would vote for the policy if the threshold was reduced to $100,000.
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So-called billionaire Clive Palmer is so-called hero

Andrew Bolt April 30 2014 (7:18am)

Shameless. And people vote for this guy:

IT is a tale of derring-do that certainly deserves a “Good Samaritan of the Year” award.
Defying the risks — including a potential term of imprisonment — Clive Palmer and his helicopter swoop in to rescue staff stranded on a roof during the devastating Queensland floods of 2011.
“In true Clive fashion, he risked jail time to fly in and save his staff,” the citation reads. “On his way out of the area, he ­noticed other people stranded on roof tops and in danger of being swept away. That day he saved a further 16 families disregarding his own civil liberties.”
But the problem is, the founder of the Palmer United Party was nowhere near his helicopter as it flew over the floods west of Brisbane that dreadful day; he was safely tucked up in one of his luxury homes.
And the Good Samaritan of the Year award, which he said he was “honoured” to win at a ceremony he attended in Canberra last month, came from a charity wholly controlled by one of his political aspirants, PUP Senate candidate Wayne Slattery.
But suspend your cynicism. The ties between Mr Palmer, who leads the PUP, and Mr Slattery, who wants to run for the PUP again, had “nothing to do” with the resources tycoon winning the award. “It’s not at all a conflict of interest because I had nothing to do with the selection of the winners — I purposely put myself at arm’s length from the selection panel due to my relationship with Clive,’’ Mr Slattery told The Australian yesterday.
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Sterling banned for life

Andrew Bolt April 30 2014 (7:13am)

Tough stuff:
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday Clippers owner Donald Sterling will be suspended for life and fined $2.5 million following racist remarks he made in a recorded audio clip.
Silver spoke to the press at an 11 a.m. news conference from New York, stating he will “do everything in my power” to force the sale of the Clippers.
“The hateful opinions voiced by that man are those of Mr. Sterling. The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful. That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage,” Silver said. “I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers association or the NBA. Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices, he may not be present at any Clippers facility, and he may not participate in any business or decisions involving the team.”
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The circle of life
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"Which is faith in God and His works." <-- finish="" full="" p="" quote.="" the="" to="">===


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=== Posts from last year ===

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Larry Pickering
JULIA'S IMAGINARY FRIEND
by Paul Zanetti

Imagine an imbecile called John. John votes Labor.

John has been in the same job for the past 20 years. For the period in 2003 – 2007 every year his employer gave him a sizable bonus. Then in 2007 Labor was elected to government.

His employer told John he was now worried about the business. Labor always made such a mess of things.

In his bones, John knew his bonuses wouldn’t last.

The bonuses stopped.

John was told he could expect a pay rise if things were still good. Things got worse.

The bonuses stopped. John had to take a pay cut to help the business survive.

What is John’s rational reaction?

John didn’t want to cut back on the Friday and Saturday nights with the boys, spending on his hotted up car, holidays in Bali, weekends on the Gold Coast each month, the flash threads, latest smart phone, addiction to online shopping, recreational drugs, online poker machines...

Of course not.

A rational response would be to go to the bank and to borrow, to get through the tough times to preserve his lifestyle.

John went to the bank.

He explained his predicament to the loans officer.

After security marched John out of the building, John thought long and hard about his situation.

John realised this wasn’t his fault. It was everybody else’s fault. Why should he have to moderate his lifestyle? After all, he votes Labor and therefore he has ‘entitlements’. He has ‘rights’.

John’s solution was to vote for Labor again.

When John lost his job, he knew things would be ok because Julia promised John she would raise taxes to pay for his unemployment welfare.

Companies were taxed. Families were taxed.

Businesses struggled under the burden. Families could not make ends meet.

Nobody could afford to pay the taxes. The government went broke and stopped paying welfare.

What is John’s natural reaction?

John turned to crime. He was hoping his experience in robbing innocent hard working people would get him some experience so that he could join a union to become an official and then enter politics. .

John had a plan. John will be ok because Julia said so. And Julia has been there too. She understands.

If only the whole world had more Johns and Julias

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Wanka (Huanca) is a indigenous from Peru. It is also a language, a tribe, a dance. Lots of bands in southamerica have names starting with Wanca, Wanka or Huanca ty HL
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The World's Strongest Men in Brazil. Not many people make me feel small. They make me feel like Danny DeVito.
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Bizarre four-legged creatures that resembled demonic dogs and predated dinosaurs branched out shortly after an extinction that wiped out most of life on land, according to a new study.http://oak.ctx.ly/r/4io7

Below, the pig-size Dicynodon was part of a large, dominant group of plant eaters found across the southern hemisphere until the mass extinction event weakened their numbers so that newly emerging herbivores could compete.
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Reasons to LOVE Doctor Who, Vincent and The Doctor. Enough Said
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I get the affirmation .. but I feel the image might be different were you to try this at home .. - ed
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American Paintings – The Forgotten Man (w/Video)

http://independentfilmnewsandmedia.com/american-paintings-forgotten-man/

Why did I paint this? Like many Americans I feel shock at the direction our country is heading. There is a great polarizing effect taking place in America today. There are many who swoon over Obama’s policies of redistribution of wealth. What will the government give me?
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A PREJUDICIAL PRESS Larry Pickering

I was brought up in a Press whose motto was “publish and be damned”, but the legend of the intrepid reporter died with Alan Reid.

Now, unabashed bias is just one nail in the cross of the Press’s own crucifixion. It’s bloody shameful.

There are numerous examples but my opinion pieces are short so I will just highlight a couple:

What if one of Tony Abbott’s front benchers, and Leader of Opposition Business in the House, was caught in a Thai brothel in his own electorate? Mmmm, can you imagine the uproar?

Well, Christopher Pyne’s opposite number in Government, Anthony Albanese, was caught doing exactly that. Not a murmer from the Press, no questions for Mr Albanese, not even a hint of concern or interest.

What if Tony Abbott himself was found to be under Major Fraud Squad investigation while contesting a Federal election? Whoa! Hold page one!

The media in an indignant rage would be permanently camped outside his home. A cacophony of demands that he stand down pending the outcome would be spewing from every column.

Investigative journos would be outdoing each other unearthing his sordid past and interviewing his old school friends.

Others would be asking how someone with Abbott’s past could possibly deign to aspire to Prime Minister.

Well, the media DID ask that question, they DID research Abbott’s past and they unearthed a left winger who said he punched a wall, 32 years ago. The left winger didn’t actually see it but she believed it was true. Wow!

What IS on record about Gillard is that she IS under investigation by a Major Fraud Squad.

She WAS involved in the fraud and laundering of over one million dollars from a major union.

She was sacked from a major Labor law firm for blatant illegalities.

She can no longer practise as a lawyer and she has lied her way to the top with the assistance of the very union she stole from.

The union predictably has refused to prefer charges because it was only their members’ money and Gillard had become its anointed tool to unseat the hated Rudd.

So, the simple fact is that two politicians are now facing off to determine the next Prime Minister of this country:

One is a crook with a sordid past and under investigation by the Victorian Major Fraud Squad, the other, it is said, may have punched a wall three decades ago.

And there ladies and gentlemen lies the stinking carcass of a Press you once relied on as a fearless, unbiased news source.

It’s a damned disgrace!

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awesome Doctor Who themed cupcakes, Just Don't Blink! Blink and Yum!
(www.regalikitchen.com)
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This morning, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed and killed a 31-year-old Israeli man near Ariel. The victim was a husband and a father of five children. Security forces on the ground neutralized the attacker. For terrorists, everyone is a target. Get the facts out to your friends.
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I try to share that God is loving and not punitive .. this doesn't help - ed
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If you are going to watch Doctor Who, this is how to do it!
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April 30Children's Day in Mexico; Consumer Protection Day in Thailand
Remnant of SN 1006
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“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.” - Job 19:25
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Thou art my hope in the day of evil."
Jeremiah 17:17
The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine; he has his seasons of darkness and of storm. True, it is written in God's Word, "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace;" and it is a great truth, that religion is calculated to give a man happiness below as well as bliss above; but experience tells us that if the course of the just be "As the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day," yet sometimes that light is eclipsed. At certain periods clouds cover the believer's sun, and he walks in darkness and sees no light. There are many who have rejoiced in the presence of God for a season; they have basked in the sunshine in the earlier stages of their Christian career; they have walked along the "green pastures" by the side of the "still waters," but suddenly they find the glorious sky is clouded; instead of the Land of Goshen they have to tread the sandy desert; in the place of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to their taste, and they say, "Surely, if I were a child of God, this would not happen." Oh! say not so, thou who art walking in darkness. The best of God's saints must drink the wormwood; the dearest of his children must bear the cross. No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his harp from the willows. Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb, but now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God's full-grown children. We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ. The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.

Evening

"The Lord taketh pleasure in his people."
Psalm 149:4
How comprehensive is the love of Jesus! There is no part of his people's interests which he does not consider, and there is nothing which concerns their welfare which is not important to him. Not merely does he think of you, believer, as an immortal being, but as a mortal being too. Do not deny it or doubt it: "The very hairs of your head are all numbered." "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way." It were a sad thing for us if this mantle of love did not cover all our concerns, for what mischief might be wrought to us in that part of our business which did not come under our gracious Lord's inspection! Believer, rest assured that the heart of Jesus cares about your meaner affairs. The breadth of his tender love is such that you may resort to him in all matters; for in all your afflictions he is afflicted, and like as a father pitieth his children, so doth he pity you. The meanest interests of all his saints are all borne upon the broad bosom of the Son of God. Oh, what a heart is his, that doth not merely comprehend the persons of his people, but comprehends also the diverse and innumerable concerns of all those persons! Dost thou think, O Christian, that thou canst measure the love of Christ? Think of what his love has brought thee--justification, adoption, sanctification, eternal life! The riches of his goodness are unsearchable; thou shalt never be able to tell them out or even conceive them. Oh, the breadth of the love of Christ! Shall such a love as this have half our hearts? Shall it have a cold love in return? Shall Jesus' marvellous lovingkindness and tender care meet with but faint response and tardy acknowledgment? O my soul, tune thy harp to a glad song of thanksgiving! Go to thy rest rejoicing, for thou art no desolate wanderer, but a beloved child, watched over, cared for, supplied, and defended by thy Lord.
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Ichabod

[Ĭ'chabŏd] - the glory is not, where is the glory or ingloriousThe posthumous son of Phinehas and grandson of Eli. His name commemorated a tragic crisis in Israel's history, namely, the great slaughter of the people, including Hophni and Phinehas, and the capture of the Ark by the Philistines. Such terrible calamity resulted in Eli's death at ninety-eight. The wife of Phinehas was so shocked over the dread news that when her child was born she called him Ichabod saying, "The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken" ( 1 Sam. 4:21, 22).

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Today's reading: 1 Kings 6-7, Luke 20:27-47 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Kings 6-7

Solomon Builds the Temple
In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the LORD.
2 The temple that King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high. 3 The portico at the front of the main hall of the temple extended the width of the temple, that is twenty cubits, and projected ten cubits from the front of the temple. 4 He made narrow windows high up in the temple walls. 5 Against the walls of the main hall and inner sanctuary he built a structure around the building, in which there were side rooms. 6 The lowest floor was five cubits wide, the middle floor six cubits and the third floor seven. He made offset ledges around the outside of the temple so that nothing would be inserted into the temple walls.

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 20:27-47

The Resurrection and Marriage
27 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. 28 "Teacher," they said, "Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. 30 The second 31 and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?"

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