Saturday, May 03, 2014

Sat May 3rd Todays News

Another historical and special mention to birthday girl Mary Hopkin (1950). Those were the Days was one of my favourite songs as a child. If you loved Blade Runner, remember, she was on the sound track. Her vocals were a tad higher and fuller than birthday boy Frankie Valli (1934), but she was born in Wales and I was raised in New Jersey. Also, special mention to David James Ball, born on this day in '59. Dave produces synth pop. I told my friends I did too, but my wife said "No dear, you fart"

Studying is not the same as understanding. That was driven home to me a few decades ago when a young senator Natasha Stott Despoja tortuously pronounced birthday boy's Niccolò Machiavelli's (1469) name. It should be pronounced [nikkoˈlɔ makjaˈvɛlli]. But Natasha went for the Matchyvelly direction. The poor guy's life's work has been diminished and abused for too long. No need to mistreat his name. Maybe it is a South Australian thing? Some say a strong prince is preferable to a weak one justifies brutality by thesis of The Prince, but that is a terrible diminution made by intellectual lightweights like Adolf Hitler. The Prince addresses the issue, but you need to read the work to find how. Reading is not the same as studying and admiring from a fan point of view .. of Adolf Hitler. But the left seem well sympathetic to such creatures as Adolf. I side with the innocent peoples. But then Shakespeare noted with his character Biron in Loves Labours Lost 

"So study evermore is overshot: While it doth study to have what it would It doth forget to do the thing it should, And when it hath the thing it hunteth most, 'Tis won as towns with fire, so won, so lost."

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 Angela Mandic. Born the same date as, in 1913, Raja Harishchandra, the first feature length Indian film was made. It didn't take off as the dancing wasn't enhanced with sound until later. Have you thought about movies?
Matches
Despatches
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HIDING BEHIND CHILDREN

Tim Blair – Saturday, May 03, 2014 (4:04pm)

Judging by these photographs, the ABC produces nothing but shows for poor little stupid children. This is astandard propaganda tactic for dishonest pro-ABC types. By the way, if they’re really so in love with Bananas in Pyjamas, why aren’t they demanding new episodes?
UPDATE. The best sign at today’s “yay for stealing our money and handing it to rich white people” rallies: 
The ABC gives life to those who care. 
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LESS FUNDING, BETTER RADIO

Tim Blair – Saturday, May 03, 2014 (4:01pm)

More goodness from the Commission of Audit report: 
The Commonwealth Government already provides over $1 billion per annum to the operation of the public broadcasters. There is a limited rationale for the Commonwealth to also subsidise community radio services. Continued government funding of this area does not meet the Report’s principles of good governance. 
Community radio stations should get out in their communities and seek funding from community businesses. This might give the stations a greater connection with their communities and also increase their awareness of communityissues – like, for example, the difficulty of employing weekend staff under current penalty rates. Federal funding puts barriers between community radio and actual communities.
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HAVE A COW, MAN

Tim Blair – Saturday, May 03, 2014 (2:43pm)

I invented this yesterday. It’s basically a steak sandwich, except all the primary components are doubled – two steaks, two slice of bacon, two slabs of cheese:

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Goes well with two bottles of wine.
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LOOK AFTER THEM YOURSELF

Tim Blair – Saturday, May 03, 2014 (12:42pm)

“Why is nobody looking after my wife?” asks a British Muslim. “Why is nobody looking after my family?”
He asks this while he’s busy killing people in Syria.
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The Bolt Report tomorrow

Andrew Bolt May 03 2014 (5:16pm)

On Channel 10 at 10am and 4pm.
Abbott’s deficit tax. Sacrifice or suicide?
My guest: Amanda Vanstone, former Howard Government minister and member of the Commission of Audit.
The panel: Michael Kroger and Cassandra Wilkinson.
NewsWatch: Rowan Dean.
So much to discuss: destroying the handout mentality, the deficit tax and growing corruptions scandals. Plus:  the menace of Clive Palmer’s money and the arrest of a man who quoted Churchill in public.
And this: is Labor’s what-budget-crisis? strategy clever politics or a reckless betrayal of the national interest?
Your Say and more.
The videos appear here.
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Ukraine closer to civil war

Andrew Bolt May 03 2014 (5:08pm)


This is geting extremely serious:
THE United States is condemning as “unacceptable” violence on the bloodiest day since Kiev’s Western-backed government took power, urging both Ukraine and Russia to restore order.
More than 30 people have died in a “criminal” blaze in Ukraine’s southern city of Odessa after a day of violent clashes between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian militants.
Ukraine’s interior ministry gave a toll of at least 31 dead, revising down an earlier tally of 38 killed.
Ethnic wars tend to be savage. 
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Trust the public, not the judges, to fight real racists

Andrew Bolt May 03 2014 (1:49pm)


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Jeremy Sammut in The Spectator says the LA Clippers scandal isn’t the only example that proves the public is all the defence we need against real racists:
When Attorney-General George Brandis told the Senate in March this year that ‘people do have a right to be bigots’, his comments were seized upon by opponents of the Abbott government’s plan to reform section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Across the Twittersphere, Brandis’s ‘gaffe’ was seen to confirm the malicious intent behind the proposed changes to the RDA. Here was proof, we were told, that removing the ability of a person or a group of people to take legal action against speech that ‘offends, insults, humiliates or intimidates’ on the basis of race would license racist speech and unleash the streak of prejudice thought to perpetually run through the Australian character.
The assumption is that the law as it currently stands is the only thing restraining racial hatred and keeping public discourse civil in Australia. What defenders of section 18C ignore is that social sanctions exist to enforce culturally accepted standards of behaviour. A truly civil society has ways of self-regulating and condemning ugly racial speech without resort to the lawyers and apparatchiks of the Human Rights Commission…
Witness the reaction last year when Eddie McGuire, multimedia personality and president of AFL club Collingwood, made a racially tinged and off-colour remark about the current Australian of the Year, indigenous footballer Adam Goodes. The powerful and influential McGuire was castigated by virtually every media outlet in the land and forced to make a grovelling apology explaining how terrible racism is and how he was not a racist. Rather than showing that Australia is a racist country that needs to regulate free speech to stamp racism out, this incident demonstrated how serious contemporary Australia is about self-regulating racism out of our society. 
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Scrap the Human Rights Commission. Save our liberties and save $25 million, too

Andrew Bolt May 03 2014 (12:24pm)

Free speech

Brendan O’Neill suggests another budget cut that would actually leave us better off:
IMAGINE if there were a women’s rights organisation that said women should stay in the kitchen…
Well, it is no more weird than having a human rights commission that has devoted itself not to the expansion of freedom but to the strangling of it…
Australia’s Human Rights Commission must be one of the worst cases of Orwellian doublespeak in the modern world. It has the word rights in its name yet in practice this vast bureaucratic outfit that is funded by government to the tune of $25 million a year does far more to thwart freedom than it does to promote it…
Anyone with a reasonable grasp of the English language might expect an organisation such as the HRC to defend something such as freedom of speech, the most important of all rights.
This is the right on which every other right we enjoy is built. Without the freedom to speak our minds, publish our ideas and hawk our ideologies, everything from the right to vote to artistic rights becomes meaningless, ­impossible even.
So does this group of well-paid, well-fed rights defenders defend the foundational right of people to say what lurks in our minds and hearts? Nope… They’re forever reminding folk their right to free speech can be rescinded if they say anything too outrageous or risky or threatening to public morals.
So in the debate about section 18C, in this key ideological clash over whether the state should have the authority to tell individuals what they can think and say, most of the HRC has come down on the side of the state control rather than the individual liberty. 
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How Labor lavished dollars on the ABC

Andrew Bolt May 03 2014 (12:12pm)

Wow. Labor sure looked after the media outlets that looked after Labor.
From the audit commission’s report:
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Source: Australian Government, 2013.

Note: The decrease in the ABC’s 2016-17 funding is due to terminating measures relating to news content and digital delivery funding.
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Terry McCrann:  Abbott’s deficit tax does not break any promise

Andrew Bolt May 03 2014 (10:38am)

Did I go too far in claiming Tony Abbott had promised no new taxes - like his planned deficit levy?
Here are some of the committments Abbott gave on tax before the election:
- There is one fundamental message that we want to go out from this place to every nook and cranny of our country: There should be no new tax collection without an election.
- Our objective can be stated quite simply and quite clearly. It is lower taxes, better services, more opportunities to work and, above all else, stronger borders.”

- What you’ll get under us are tax cuts without new taxes.
- The only party which is going to increase taxes after the election is the Labor Party.
- TONY ABBOTT: We are about reducing taxes, not increasing taxes. We are about getting rid of taxes, not imposing new taxes. QUESTION: Is that a promise? ABBOTT: This is my whole reason for being in politics, in the Parliament. 
Reading each carefully, I concede that Abbott could argue he didn’t actually make a categorical promise not to give us this debt tax. He could argue this tax is just a levy, or it’s not exactly new, or he was stating aims rather than promises, or he meant taxes overall wouldn’t rise, given the carbon tax would be scrapped (which it hasn’t yet been, actually).  He could argue all that but would, of course, talk for hours without convincing anyone. He’d look tricky. 
The fact is that the vast majority of Australians would have taken such statements, in toto, to be a guarantee that there would not be a new tax or a rise in the existing ones. And perception is everything.
But commentators are more free - in fact have a duty - to examine whether Abbott truly did make a promise and whether the debt tax would break it.
Terry MCrann is one who insists no promise would, technically, be broken with a debt tax:

I’m still waiting for the killer Gillard-like grab.
You know the one: it has Tony Abbott (or Hockey) saying in the election campaign, ‘‘There will be no increase in personal tax rates (even temporarily) under a government I lead (or serve in)”.
It must exist because almost every one of Paul Keating’s pet shop parrots has been squawking “broken promise, broken promise’’ through the week — that Abbott had broken his pledge, blandly claimed to be “no tax increases”.
Fine, show me the quote that promised that. Because none of the various quotes which have been promoted to claim that Abbott had broken a specific election promise, do any such thing.
The Coalition’s formal election policy document “Real Solutions” said: “We pledge to the families of Australia that we will never make your lives harder by imposing unnecessary new taxes.”
Apart from that not insignificant qualifying word “unnecessary”, this is not a new tax, it’s an increase in the existing personal tax.
Most of the attacks on the deficit levy/tax have pompously asserted that it’s a tax, not a levy. OK, it’s a tax; it’s an increase in an existing tax, and so does not contradict the policy commitment.
This is not an exercise in splitting hairs, because the context of all Abbott’s commitments on tax, running right through the last term of government and more specifically in the election campaign, was built on two things.
First was the attack on the Gillard government’s carbon tax — not just as a broken promise, but as the imposition of an additional, big and unnecessary tax.
So when he was promising no new taxes, he was very specifically promising no repeats of the carbon tax exercise, not that the existing tax rates and system would be frozen in fiscal aspic for all time.
But secondly, that the then-opposition’s ambition — and pledge — was to reduce the tax burden. This underwrote his assertions that taxes would always be lower under a Coalition government than under a Labor one.
Within this there was a subsidiary theme, the promise not to increase one tax to pay for a cut in another tax. That was a specific promise not to pull a thimble-and pea trick, self-evidently not relevant to a temporary revenue-raising — not revenue-shifting — tax increase.
The most specific commitment he gave on a number of occasions in the campaign was: “There will be no overall increase in the tax burden whatsoever.”
Bingo! Well, actually no. He was promising no increase in the overall tax burden. As he was promising to abolish the carbon tax, that allows him to increase other taxes by $4 billion a year, and meet that promise. The deficit levy/tax will raise $2.5bn a year, and only for four years.
McCrann makes a good case but I am not yet convinced. First, this certainly is sold as a new tax - a “deficit levy” - and just because it’s tacked onto the existing tax scales does not make it seem less new.
Second, yes, the total tax burden would indeed fall if the carbon tax is repealed. But it hasn’t been. As things stand, the deficit tax would be more likely to get through the Senate (if it gets through at all) before any repeal of the carbon tax. The tax burden would then rise, not fall.
I really cannot see how you could convince voters that this tax rise isn’t at odds with this claim:
The only party which is going to increase taxes after the election is the Labor Party.
Argue the technical definitions all you like. But the voters will know what they think they heard - and that they were intended to think it.
All that said, McCrann has convinced me Abbott has not lied. But he has not convinced me that a deficit tax isn’t a breach of faith. 
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Labor created this crisis. Labor now stops Abbott’s fix

Andrew Bolt May 03 2014 (10:09am)

Sure, criticise some of the things the Abbott Government is doing to fix Labor’s mess.
But reserve your contempt for the rank Labor opportunists who pretend there’s nothing there to fix.

Paul Kelly:

(B)usiness-as-usual projections show ... the budget stays in deficit for a decade and beyond. This may be based on conservative forecasts but conservative forecasts are necessary after years of forecasting failure on the optimistic side…
Labor, the Greens and the Palmer United Party deny outright any budget problem or say it is exaggerated…
ALP leader Bill Shorten attacks the “deficit levy”, slams the audit report on both pensions and healthcare, pretends there is no structural spending problem and can hardly believe the free kicks Abbott is giving him…
The prospect ... of deadlock in the parliament is real. Abbott’s opponents refuse to legislate the measures for which he has a mandate. What prospect they will legislate measures for which he had no mandate or that violate his mandate?
Frankly, the adjustment task may prove too hard. We need to consider this possibility. That would consign Australia as a permanent deficit and second-rate country, accumulating more debt annually, locked in a polarised conflict, unable to agree on a way forward, fiddling with phony reforms, pretending it has no budget problem while sinking incrementally into a torpor certain to be punctured at some point by a real crisis and recession where the solutions will be far more painful for the community. Is this the sort of nation we want to be? This is the issue staring us in the face.
We can and should blame Labor and the Greens for this looming disaster. But what does it say about the voters who reward them for their deceit and stupidity?
Oh, and their hypocrisy as they appeal to the worst sentiments of the voters:
26 April:
BILL Shorten ... said the party must turn its back on class warfare rhetoric and policies, and described an “us versus them” approach to politics as unhealthy.
2 May:
“This [Commission of Audit] report is a plan to make sure that families get less while millionaires get more,” the Opposition Leader said.
Amanda Vanstone, a member of the audit commission and my guest on The Bolt Report tomorrow:
Nobody should kid themselves that we are in the position of successive deficits and the likely continuation thereof by some mere stroke of misfortune. Nor is it just the previous government’s wasteful response to the global financial crisis…
The design of the national disability insurance scheme and its response to the Gonski recommendations could be called criminally irresponsible in their budgetary impact. The ... disability scheme ... governance structure is a joke… A board answerable to no one in particular and with unlimited access to funds is something out of a handbook entitled ‘’How to create a disaster”.
To hold yourself out as a hero by promising you can deliver on a package you know is riddled with risk is a cheap form of government. To do that to people with disabilities is beneath contempt....
Labor thinks more money can fix everything. More money spent unwisely is money wasted.
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Google removes ads for anti-abortion services

Andrew Bolt May 03 2014 (9:49am)

I don’t want women fooled but this kind of censorship could easily cross a line:
Bowing to pressure from abortion-rights groups, Google is removing advertisements from its site for “crisis pregnancy centers” that discourage people from having abortions.
NARAL Pro-Choice America had pushed for Google to take down the ads, arguing they violated the Web giant’s advertising policy.
“Anyone looking for abortion services should be able to depend on their search engine to provide them with accurate resources,” NARAL President Ilyse Hogue said in a statement. “Anything less is aiding and abetting ideologically driven groups with a calculated campaign to lie to and shame women making one of the most important decisions of our lives.”
National Right to Life Committee President Carol Tobias, though, said ... “Google is waging a war on women by limiting knowledge of the options and services available to women...”
Abortion-rights groups say that the crisis centers, which advertise free counseling, operate under innocuous names in order to convince women not to have an abortion…
(Thanks to reader Gab.) 
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Krauthammer: Obama’s Benghazi memo like Nixon tapes

Andrew Bolt May 03 2014 (9:21am)


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On the lying White House memo on Benghazi that has just surfaced:


The discovery, over a year after the September 11, 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, of an e-mail from a White House political operative that shows him suggesting that former United Nations ambassador Susan Rice underscore that the attack was a reaction to an Internet video is, according to Charles Krauthammer, like the discovery of the Nixon tapes that blew open the Watergate scandal in 1973.
“It’s to me the equivalent of what was discovered with the Nixon tapes,” Krauthammer said ...
But Barack Obama got away with it for long enough to win re-election…  
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Howard’s tax cuts weren’t wasted. It’s the money government keeps that goes walkies

Andrew Bolt May 03 2014 (8:46am)

Peter Hartcher is right to accuse the Howard Government of being spendthrifts, but he is wrong to include its tax cuts as evidence of it:
The net result was epic profligacy. The Treasury reported that the mining boom and a robust economy delivered windfall gains of $334 billion in between the 2004-05 budget and the 2007 election. Of that, the Howard government spent, or gave away in tax cuts, a stunning 94 per cent of the windfall, according to the Treasury.
On Friday, Joe Hockey, to his credit, acknowledged the Howard government’s profligacy. ABC radio’s Chris Uhlmann put it to the Treasurer that, as a minister in the Howard government, he was responsible for boosting handouts to families: “So, you take responsibility for that?”
Hockey: “Yeah, I fully do.”
Tax cuts are very different from handouts. Tax cuts leave the money in the hands of those who earned it, to make their own investments as they see fit. In contrast, handouts, funded by taxes, make that money the government’s and turn millions of earners into dependents. The handouts still might end up in the hands of those who paid for them (minus huge handling fees) but they are changed from being money earned by the individual to money given by the government. That changes not just the nature of the money but the relationship of the citizen to the government - and for the worse.
I received some of those tax cuts Hatcher decries as waste. They helped me to afford private schooling for my children and more super for me and my wife, to make us less dependent on taxpayers in old age. I do not consider this “epic profligacy”.
And there’s one more reason I am glad of those tax cuts. I’ve seen what Kevin Rudd did with the money that was left - splashing it on free insulation, the NBN white elephant, grants to dud geothermal and wave energy schemes, the rort-riddled school halls splurge, and countless billions more. You want “epic profligacy”? Check first what governments do with the taxes it keeps. 
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Could have been worse

Andrew Bolt May 03 2014 (8:40am)

Gay Alcorn’s profile of me is not completely sympathetic, but she is at least fair. And at times the fault is mine for letting the criticism get to me so much, and saying so. I also wish I spoke in taut sentences, rather than try to fill each with a hundred ideas and qualifications and associations. This is why I always thought writing suited me more than talking. Editing is my friend.
At least Nicosia gets a good rap. It has far and away the best tarama dip I’ve ever tasted, and the takeaway last night was yet again terrific.
UPDATE
Reader Ancient Marriner says the article has a mistake:
“It singles out particular people based on who their descendants were.”
Descendants? Shouldn’t that be ‘ancestors’?
True, but a few trivial mistakes isn’t good reason to damn an article or opinion. My eldest son thought this one good. 
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Pay the young to learn, but not to loaf

Andrew Bolt May 03 2014 (8:29am)

Young Australians shouldn’t quit schooling or training if they’ve got no job - or, if they do, the rest of us shouldn’t have to pay them:

TOUGH new “learn or earn” rules that will deprive all people younger than 25 from receiving the general unemployment payment and push them onto the lower-paying Youth Allowance are set to be unveiled in the federal budget…
The government will pitch the change as a measure to force young people into training for “real jobs”.
Currently, young people can apply for Newstart, which pays $510 a fortnight, when they turn 22. Until then, they can receive Youth Allowance, the full rate of which is $414 a fortnight…
The latest figures, from March, reveal that the number of ... Youth Allowance recipients rose 6.8 per cent, from 106,244 to 113,456.
Under the “earn or learn” welfare crackdown, school-leavers could also face a six-month waiting period before they can apply for Youth Allowance.
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Are slush funds just a NSW problem?

Andrew Bolt May 03 2014 (8:19am)

The NSW Liberals seem appalling - although we are, of course, yet to hear Gallacher’s side:
NSW Premier Mike Baird’s government is in crisis after Police Minister Michael Galla­cher became the latest casualty of a corruption scandal over illegal donations paid by building developers to the Liberal Party.
Mr Gallacher was forced to resign yesterday after allegations made in the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption that he was involved in a sham business scheme to disguise donations from developers, banned since 2009…
The government was already reeling after the resignation last month of Barry O’Farrell as premier, forced out when his emphatic denials to ICAC that he ever received a $3000 gift of wine were proved false.
Another Liberal minister, NSW central coast MP Chris Hartcher, resigned last year when his links to a sham company called Eightbyfive first came to light and prompted the current ICAC investigation.
The Abbott Government will not want to be tainted by the slush fund scandals now devastating its NSW branch, but:
Federal Liberal MP Karen McNamara ... [has] been drawn into a widening corruption scandal after an inquiry heard Ms McNamara did not declare tens of thousands of dollars in donations to the last state election campaign.
Hollie Hughes, a member of the NSW Liberal Party state executive, told the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Friday that Ms McNamara had boasted that she had raised $80,000 to $100,000 for Central Coast MP Darren Webber’s successful 2011 campaign for the state seat of Wyong.
Ms Hughes thought the figure was “extraordinarily high” and, when she checked with Liberal Party head office, she was told that just $11,082 had been declared to the NSW Election Funding Authority. Ms McNamara, who was Mr Webber’s campaign manager before she entered federal parliament, signed the declaration in August 2011…
Giving evidence on Friday, Ms McNamara said that Mr Webber and his fellow Central Coast MP Chris Spence had told her that funding was being “centralised” through Terrigal, which meant only a small amount of funds had actually gone through the Wyong account which needed to be declared.
Ms McNamara, who won the Federal seat of Dobell from disgraced former Labor MP Craig Thomson, denied being involved in an electoral fraud. 
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A breast squeeze from a gay man isn’t so bad

Andrew Bolt May 03 2014 (7:54am)

How many breasts could a heterosexual man squeeze at work before he’s sacked?
Answer: one should just about do it.
Next question: how many breasts can a gay man - and a public servant - squeeze and still keep his job?
Answer: 45-year-old public servant Andrew McCaskill groped five women at the Downing Centre Courts Christmas party and here’s what happened when one woman and a male colleague complained:
Together they approached the senior manager, Craig Cooke, to complain…
Cooke assured them both, saying “That’s OK. We’re gay.” As he said this, he reached out to Ms I’s breasts for a squeeze, holding his hand there briefly before reaching over to touch Ms G’s breast. Shocked, the male colleague cried: “You can’t touch there."…

Cooke was Ms G’s direct line manager and she didn’t think it was right that he had felt her up, especially at the moment she was complaining to him about being felt up.
The department investigated the matter… McCaskill admitted everything, said he was gay, drunk, had acted in “good humour”, and showed genuine remorse. Cooke denied everything.
Twelve long months after the party, the investigation concluded. McCaskill, who had groped five women, was dismissed. Cooke, who had groped only two, was demoted. McCaskill appealed, citing inconsistent treatment, and won reinstatement.
Grace Collier calls this “a lesson on double standards”. I’m less sure: I accept a gay man squeezing a breast may well be offensive, but is far less threatening.
UPDATE
Many angry readers tell me I’m wrong. For instance:
The Silent Majority:
Andrew, I don’t often dissagree with you but you are completely wrong on this one. It’s an immediate dismissal slam dunk in the private sector, regardless of one’s sexual preference (as it should be). I suspect what saved this guy was his public sector role. It’s completely abhorent behaviour.
Ben:

Really Andrew? You’re wrong on this one. A person should ONLY touch another person around their sexual parts with consent… ANY other touching is way out of line.
Correllio:
This is your blind spot Andrew. Your utter blind spot and double standard. How dare you suggest that a gay man - whether known after the fact as here or otherwise -feeling up a woman is less threatening. Who are you to tell a woman who can touch their body? How dare you play down the utter humiliation of a woman being man handled by anyone?
Can I just point out two things. I didn’t say touching a woman’s breast without consent was fine and I don’t believe it is. Let’s not be so absolutist about this. I said only that being touched by a gay man would be less threatening than being touched by a straight man. Both are offensive, but one is also threatening. Maybe that’s why only one of the five women who were touched complained.
Second, what I’ve said has plenty of analogies. A wog joke said by a racist is more offensive than one said by Vince Colosimo - because it is more threatening. The “nigger” word is vile when said by a white supremacist but (unfortunately) widely accepted when sung by a black rapper - again, because it is less threatening. Intention makes a lot of difference when assessing an insult. Not recognising that difference is silly and denies a human reality. 
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Tax the rich, again and again

Andrew Bolt May 03 2014 (7:40am)

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Hit the rich first? We do already:
ONLY a fraction of Australians pay more in taxes than they pocket in taxpayer benefits over a lifetime — yet Tony Abbott’s debt tax will punish these very people.
The median Australian household ... pays $348 in taxes each week — yet claws back $103 in welfare payments plus $359 worth of government services in the form of free or subsidised healthcare, education and childcare.
The wealthiest Australians, in contrast, pay an average of $1029 a week in taxes and use $249 worth of government services. The poorest pay $106 a week in taxes — including the GST — but receive $890 in government payments and services…
The wealthiest 1 per cent of Australians pay 17 per cent of the nation’s income taxes.
The debt tax is to prove the rich will also pay their share of the budget pain. And for the same reason:

THE federal government will clamp down on the Life Gold Pass for retired politicians as part of a campaign to show voters that “everyone” will share the pain of returning the budget to surplus.
The government has been embarrassed by revelations that former Coalition ministers used taxpayer-funded, business-class airfares to travel to holiday homes in Broome, the Whitsundays and Lord Howe Island.
While the scheme costs just $1.27 million, sources told The Weekend Australian the perk made it harder to sell tough budget measures such as means tests and co-payments when ex-MPs and their family were enjoying free trips paid for by taxpayers.
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Abbott stops boat, boat stops Abbott

Andrew Bolt May 03 2014 (7:36am)

Unfortunate:
THE latest interception of an asylum-seeker boat has forced Tony Abbott to abandon a plan to fly to Bali for what was intended to be a bridge-building meeting with Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Dr Yudhoyono last month invited the Prime Minister and nine other leaders to join him at the Asia-Pacific Open Government Partnership conference on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Weekend Australian understands that a patrol vessel involved in Operation Sovereign Borders had intercepted an asylum vessel between Java and Australia and was yesterday in the process of turning it around or towing it back to Indonesia.
Such turnbacks have been greeted with anger in the Indonesian media and that raised concerns in Canberra that Mr Abbott’s arrival would embarrass Dr Yudhoyono and wipe out any benefits to either country from the meeting.
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G’day my fellow Australian,
This excellent Commission of Audit combined with a determined Coalition Government strategy to finally start the death wheel rolling on this destructive “age of entitlement”, that successive a Socialist Governments have engineered in Australia for the last 5 decades, is the best news I have heard in a very long time. The national & foreign debt is way out of control, Government spending is unsustainable and as we become more & more unable to afford the infrastructure & services that we need for this ever ageing society, then there is certainly no time like the present to kill the virus that is the entitlement mentality. Thanks to the usual suspects in government, this fiscal challenge must now effect us all, rich, not so rich and the poor. The same arsonists that are now blocking the way of the fire fighters are also the ones who are hypocritically decrying the Coalition for wanting to not only introduce a LML (Labor’s Mismanagement Levy) which will result in the bigger end of town paying even more than they do. Remember that 75% of annual taxation is paid by 10% of the people….THE WEALTHY. I was never employed by a poor man!
I say get in there Tony Abbott & Joe Hockey, get in there and do just what the people voted for you to do. Bring on this much needed tough Budget and destroy Labor/Green’s debt, kill the Marxist entitlement mentality, to ensure that our children, grandchildren and their children do not have to financially struggle and except a lesser standard of life because they have to pay for the one that we take for granted now!
Godspeed
Zeg
Freelance Editorial Cartoonist/Caricaturist
0414293765
(Be my guest to forward this email and cartoon and feel free to post on your blog or webpage)
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=== Posts from Last Year ===
4 her, so she sees how I see her
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Meanwhile in Torchwood
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You might be experiencing a dark chapter right now, but it's not your whole book! Hold on to the next chapter it will get brighter.. Even if it get more darker as Jesus did say that in this world we will have many troubles, but take heart "I have overcome the world!!" Holly
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Semper Fi
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God does not use your past to Judge your future, Moses was a murderer, but God still used him to deliver the people of Israel, you might come from a poor family background, but God does not determine your future by your present, he's after what he can use you to achieve. He sees what others don't see, others might see you as nobody today, but God sees you as somebody tomorrow, if you believe in God He will change your life and even use you to change the history of your family in Jesus' name. Holly
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Julia Gillard has a habit of underestimating the Opposition - and the Australian electorate. It stems from an inbuilt arrogance that she knows best. 

In her latest cynical tactic she thought she had Abbott in a corner, believing a fiscally responsible coalition would oppose a massive spend on an NDIS. She punted such an emotional issue would wedge Abbott. She called his bluff. 

What she hasn't observed is his growing maturity as a politician.

Abbott didn't oppose her. He opted for bipartisanship.

Abbott has Gillard's measure, and upped the ante. He threw down the gauntlet to the PM to take the NDIS out of the election campaign and to get it established now.

He even agreed to (temporary) support of her medicare levy, with the promise to voters the NDIS levy will be dropped as soon as the coalition gets the budget back to surplus - something Labor is incapable of doing.

Slam dunk!

Who wedged who?

Realising she'd been outmaneuvered, Gillard announced to the media she will introduce the NDIS legislation into the parliament as soon as possible, but repeatedly stated it was Tony Abbott's 'change of mind' that got the NDIS up. She rammed home three times Abbott had 'changed his mind' in an attempt to mock him.

She didn't mention that she'd changed her mind on a medicare levy increase, having promised as recently as two weeks ago, "There will be no medicare levy for the NDIS under a government I lead".

Still, it was nice in her pique of indignation to give all credit to Abbott for the NDIS.

How the heck does she manage to keep doing this to herself?

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Subhas Chandra Bose
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Events[edit]

The Third of May 1808 by Francisco de Goya, depicting the execution of Madrid citizens on that date by French forces during the Peninsular War

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

Holidays and observances[edit]

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“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” - 1 John 5:14-15
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world."
John 17:15
It is a sweet and blessed event which will occur to all believers in God's own time--the going home to be with Jesus. In a few more years the Lord's soldiers, who are now fighting "the good fight of faith" will have done with conflict, and have entered into the joy of their Lord. But although Christ prays that his people may eventually be with him where he is, he does not ask that they may be taken at once away from this world to heaven. He wishes them to stay here. Yet how frequently does the wearied pilgrim put up the prayer, "O that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away and be at rest;" but Christ does not pray like that, he leaves us in his Father's hands, until, like shocks of corn fully ripe, we shall each be gathered into our Master's garner. Jesus does not plead for our instant removal by death, for to abide in the flesh is needful for others if not profitable for ourselves. He asks that we may be kept from evil, but he never asks for us to be admitted to the inheritance in glory till we are of full age. Christians often want to die when they have any trouble. Ask them why, and they tell you, "Because we would be with the Lord." We fear it is not so much because they are longing to be with the Lord, as because they desire to get rid of their troubles; else they would feel the same wish to die at other times when not under the pressure of trial. They want to go home, not so much for the Saviour's company, as to be at rest. Now it is quite right to desire to depart if we can do it in the same spirit that Paul did, because to be with Christ is far better, but the wish to escape from trouble is a selfish one. Rather let your care and wish be to glorify God by your life here as long as he pleases, even though it be in the midst of toil, and conflict, and suffering, and leave him to say when "it is enough."

Evening

"These all died in faith."
Hebrews 11:13
Behold the epitaph of all those blessed saints who fell asleep before the coming of our Lord! It matters nothing how else they died, whether of old age, or by violent means; this one point, in which they all agree, is the most worthy of record, "they all died in faith." In faith they lived--it was their comfort, their guide, their motive and their support; and in the same spiritual grace they died, ending their life-song in the sweet strain in which they had so long continued. They did not die resting in the flesh or upon their own attainments; they made no advance from their first way of acceptance with God, but held to the way of faith to the end. Faith is as precious to die by as to live by.
Dying in faith has distinct reference to the past. They believed the promises which had gone before, and were assured that their sins were blotted out through the mercy of God. Dying in faith has to do with the present. These saints were confident of their acceptance with God, they enjoyed the beams of his love, and rested in his faithfulness. Dying in faith looks into the future. They fell asleep, affirming that the Messiah would surely come, and that when he would in the last days appear upon the earth, they would rise from their graves to behold him. To them the pains of death were but the birth-pangs of a better state. Take courage, my soul, as thou readest this epitaph. Thy course, through grace, is one of faith, and sight seldom cheers thee; this has also been the pathway of the brightest and the best. Faith was the orbit in which these stars of the first magnitude moved all the time of their shining here; and happy art thou that it is thine. Look anew tonight to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith, and thank Him for giving thee like precious faith with souls now in glory.
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Salome

The Woman Whose Dancing Meant Death

Scripture References-Matthew 14:6-11Mark 6:22-28
Name Meaning-Salome is the feminine form of Solomon, and according to Wilkinson, is the Greek form in shalom meaning "peace." Cruden, however, says that Salome implies, "very shady," which is truer of the debased character of the daughter of Herodias-which was indeed shady, morally. The New Testament does not name her. It is Josephus the Jewish historian who identifies her as Salome.
Family Connections-She was the daughter of Herodias by her first husband, Herod Philip, a son of Herod the Great. Josephus tells us that Salome was married first to Philip the tetrarch, and afterward to Aristobulus, king of Chalcis, the grandson of Herod, and brother of Agrippa.
For King Herod's birthday, Salome entertained him and his friends with a dance. Her dance was far from demure, though. To please her stepfather, she slipped into something slinky and weaved her way around the men. Kitto, the eminent expositor tells us that, "In the age of Herod, dancing was exceedingly rare and almost unheard of, and therefore the condescension of Salome, who volunteered to honour that monarch's birthday by exhibiting her handsome person as she led the mazy dance in the saloons of Machaerus, felt it to be a compliment that merited the highest reward."
Made happy by her dance, the king offered to indulge Salome and grant her one request. Salome, on her own, may have wished for any number of things-perhaps a feather bed or a new pair of sandals or a easel and a set of paints. But with her scheming mother Herodias at her side, Salome asked for something terrible. Herodias, aware of the king's naïve generosity, suggested to Salome that she ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. A adolescent girl would surely have recoiled at the thought, and yet she approached the king with this request. Regretting his offer, the king, who was fond of John, kept his promise and had the prophet executed.
Though Salome's participation in this wickedness was perhaps at first unwitting, by the end she too was complicit. Her story reminds us that it is easy to acquiesce to evil when we're not vigilant. Had she even been wrapped up in herself and selfishly asked for a new summer dress, neither would John have been killed nor would Herod have lost his kingdom. We must be alert to the casualness with which evil enters and to guard against it. In this case, the honorable act is not to "honor" one's mother. We ought to honor authority by doing what is faithful and good
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Jehoiakim

[Jēhoi'a kĭm] - jehovah sets upThe name given by Pharaoh-nechoh to Eliakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, whom he made king instead of Jehoahaz. His reign of eleven years is not favorably viewed by Jeremiah (2 Kings 23:34-36; 24:1-6, 19; 1 Chron. 3:15, 16; 2 Chron. 36:4-8; Jer. 1:3; 22:18, 24).

The Man Who Was a Frivolous Egotist

Jehoiakim lacked moral sense and religious appreciation and was a man after the mold of his grandfather Manasseh. He took no interest in the reforms for which his father had worked. With his approval many heathen practices of Manasseh's reign were resumed.
The burning of the roll containing the sacred Word of God was the most remarkable scene in the history of this evil king who had no regard for God and no respect for the rights of others. He severely oppressed the people of Judah in order to maintain the pomp and extravagance of his court. Such a flagrant rejection of all that was godly and just brought Jeremiah out into the open, and he addressed the king in no uncertain terms. The king's doom was predicted. At last he was put to death by Nebuchadnezzar, and his body was left to decay, unburied, beyond the gates of Jerusalem. When we come to the line of our Saviour's ancestors there is a blank where a name should have been. "Josias," so we read (Matt. 1:11), (not Jehoiakim) begat Jechonias. The name is gone - taken out of the book of generations.
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Today's reading: 1 Kings 12-13, Luke 22:1-30 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Kings 12-13

Israel Rebels Against Rehoboam
Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. 2 When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt. 3 So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: 4 "Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you...."

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 22:1-30

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
1 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2 and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present....


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