Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tue Feb 17th Todays News

On Bolt Report an ongoing policy is that any Islam post can only be on the pinned leader. Normal rules apply in that if it is merely foul and abusive it will be deleted. Otherwise comments are welcome.  
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Political division is as old as politics. Solon, from Athens (circa 600 BC), made a contribution to legislation, but it is not now known what his contributions were or precisely what they meant. It is said that he tried to legislate against moral decline. Just as with similar attempts today, he failed. People need more than legislation to be good. Which is why it is important to maintain cultural assets. In 1801 on this day, the young US Democracy had a difficult choice to make when the vote did not specify a President. The two opponents of Jefferson and Burr were chosen, with Jefferson being President and Burr being Vice President. It was the height for both of them. Jefferson got a second term, but Burr duelled with and killed a political opponent, Alexander Hamilton and did not contest a second term. Both Jefferson and Burr were part of what would later be the political division dominated by the Democrat Party. They made choices that were sincere but empty. Opposing slavery but maintaining slaves. Wanting independence but not being prudent with money. Taking credit for extraordinary blessings which had nothing to do with policy (Louisiana Purchase). Supporting France, including revolutionary France, at the expense of good relations with the UK. 

Yet Jefferson and Adams, both bitter political opponents, were friends. It is important to not be ruled by hate, even while disagreeing with opponents. The hatred ABC journalists have for conservative politicians is apparent, and it is important the conservative doesn't fall for the trap of being too strident while being assertive. Scott Morrison is showing himself a master of balance and poise while under assault. Turnbull is too likely to 'go native' and be what the haters want. Mr Abbott has had to wear the damage too often, without being as assertive as Morrison. Once the public see that the haters are mastered, and not intimidated, then they will embrace the conservative as a narrow majority did in the Howard years of government. But division of the type Turnbull offers will skewer and water down support, as happened to end the Howard government. The Howard government prospered with very ambitious and talented ministers. It also foundered with division. But the one constant still present is the hatred of the ABC journalist for any conservative. 

Greyhound racing has come under investigation inAustralia with many of the most prominent members of the sport caught in live baiting of their animals. The sport should survive, but those involved must be banned forever from the sport, and serve any time for any crime they committed in torturing and killing animals. One hopes it hadn't extended to people. 
2014
How long will racist opposition to helping Aboriginal families continue? Indefinitely if Greens MP David Shoebridge has his way. The stolen generation is a dangerous myth which has, in recent years, prevented help from going to those who need it most. The mortality statistics alone are telling. The problem is not culture or race, the problem is disadvantage and racists are obstructing the standard of care that would be automatic for a child of any other heritage. Marijuana is a dangerous drug. It has no positives from moderate use as alcohol does for adults. The tragedy of the Luke Batty murder is clearly related to marijuana use. It is important the drug is not legalised for public consumption. More on both issues from Miranda Devine are linked and posted.

Today is the birthday of Horace-Bénédict de Saussure. He worked in the Swiss Alps and created the basis of geology that underpinned Darwin's theory of Evolution. He also created an insulated glass box which captured sunlight, that underpinned todays AGW hysteria. Banjo Patterson was born on this day.  He was one of Australia's greatest lyric poets. Young people might ask if he was greater than Michael Hutchence. He is. AB Devilliers celebrates a birthday today, illustrating great people can also be losers. Giordano Bruno was the inspiration for 2GB. Molière is inspiration for anyone that breathes or loves. Both passed on this day. For me, the day is significant for the 1963 birth of my brother.
Historical perspectives on this day 
In 364, Roman Emperor Jovian died after a reign of eight months. He was found dead in his tent at Tyana(Asia Minor) en route back to Constantinople in suspicious circumstances. 1370, Northern Crusades: Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Teutonic Knights met in the Battle of Rudau. 1411, Following the successful campaigns during the Ottoman Interregnum, Musa Çelebi, one of the sons of Bayezid I, became Sultan with the support of Mircea I of Wallachia. 1500, Duke Friedrich and Duke Johann attempted to subdue the peasantry of Dithmarschen, Denmark, in the Battle of Hemmingstedt. 1600, the philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned alive, for heresy, at Campo de' Fiori in Rome. 1621, Myles Standish was appointed as first commander of the English Plymouth Colony in North America. 1753, in Sweden February 17 is followed by March 1 as the country moved from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.

In 1801, an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr was resolved when Jefferson was elected President of the United States and Burr Vice President by the United States House of Representatives. 1814, War of the Sixth Coalition: The Battle of Mormans. 1819, the United States House of Representatives passed the Missouri Compromise for the first time. 1838, Weenen massacre: Hundreds of Voortrekkers along the Blaukraans River, Natal were killed by Zulus. 1854, The United Kingdom recognised the independence of the Orange Free State. 1863, a group of citizens of Geneva founded an International Committee for Relief to the Wounded, which later became known as the International Committee of the Red Cross. 1864, American Civil War: The H. L. Hunley became the first submarine to engage and sink a warship, the USS Housatonic. 1865, American Civil War: Columbia, South Carolina, was burned as Confederate forces fled from advancing Union forces. 1871, the victorious Prussian Army paraded through Paris, France after the end of the Siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War.

In 1904, Madama Butterfly received its première at La Scala in Milan. 1913, the Armory Show opened in New York City, displaying works of artists who were to become some of the most influential painters of the early 20th century. 1933, the Blaine Act ended Prohibition in the United States. Also 1933, Newsweek magazine was first published. 1944, World War II: The Battle of Eniwetok Atoll began. The battle ended in an American victory on February 22. Also 1944, World War II: Operation Hailstone began. U.S. naval air, surface, and submarine attack against Truk Lagoon, Japan's main base in the central Pacific, in support of the Eniwetok invasion. 1949, Chaim Weizmann began his term as the first President of Israel.

In 1959, Project Vanguard: Vanguard 2 – The first weather satellite was launched to measure cloud-cover distribution. 1964, in Wesberry v. Sanders the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that congressional districts had to be approximately equal in population. In 1964, Gabonese president Leon M'ba was toppled by a coup and his rival, Jean-Hilaire Aubame, was installed in his place. 1965, Project Ranger: The Ranger 8 probe launched on its mission to photograph the Mare Tranquillitatis region of the Moon in preparation for the manned Apollo missions. Mare Tranquillitatis or the "Sea of Tranquility" would become the site chosen for the Apollo 11 lunar landing. 1968, in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opened. 1972, Cumulative sales of the Volkswagen Beetle exceed those of the Ford Model-T. 1974, Robert K. Preston, a disgruntled U.S. Army private, buzzed the White House in a stolen helicopter. 1978, the Troubles: The Provisional IRA detonated an incendiary bomb at the La Mon restaurant, near Belfast, killing 12 and seriously injuring 30. 1979, the Sino-Vietnamese War began.

In 1980, Mount Everest, 1st Winter Ascent by Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy. 1992, Nagorno-Karabakh War: Armenian troops massacre more than 20 Azerbaijani civilians in the village of Qaradağlı. 1995, the Cenepa War between Peru and Ecuador ended on a cease-fire brokered by the UN. 1996, in Philadelphia, world champion Garry Kasparov beat the Deep Blue supercomputer in a chess match. Also 1996, NASA's Discovery Program began as the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft lifted off on the first mission ever to orbit and land on an asteroid, 433 Eros. 2003, the London congestion charge was introduced. 2006, a massive mudslide occurred in Southern Leyte, Philippines; the official death toll was set at 1,126. 2008, Kosovo declared independence as the Republic of Kosovo. 2011, Libyan protests began. In Bahrain, security forces launched a deadly pre-dawn raid on protesters in Pearl Roundabout in Manama, the day was locally known as Bloody Thursday.
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This column welcomes feedback and criticism. The column is not made up but based on the days events and articles which are then placed in the feed. So they may not have an apparent cohesion they would have had were they made up.
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Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with August https://www.createspace.com/4124406October https://www.createspace.com/5106951, or at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482020262/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_dVHPub0MQKDZ4  The kindle version is cheaper, but the soft back version allows the purchase of a kindle version for just $3.99 more. 
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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

Or the US President at
https://www.change.org/p/barack-obama-change-this-injustice#
or
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/change-injustice-faced-david-daniel-ball-after-he-reported-bungled-pedophile-investigation-and/b8mxPWtJ or http://wh.gov/ilXYR

Mr Ball, I will not sign your petition as it will do no good, but I will share your message and ask as many of friends who read it, to share it also. Let us see if we cannot use the power of the internet to spread the word of these infamous killings. As a father and a former soldier, I cannot, could not, justify ignoring this appalling action by the perpetrators, whoever they may; I thank you Douglas. You are wrong about the petition. Signing it is as worthless and meaningless an act as voting. A stand up guy would know that. - ed

Lorraine Allen Hider I signed the petition ages ago David, with pleasure, nobody knows what it's like until they've been there. Keep heart David take care.


I have begun a bulletin board (http://theconservativevoice.freeforums.netwhich will allow greater latitude for members to post and interact. It is not subject to FB policy and so greater range is allowed in posts. Also there are private members rooms in which nothing is censored, except abuse. All welcome, registration is free.
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Happy birthday and many happy returns J S Ball,Bobaom ThaicorianderPhath CarolineLina MaMichelle DoLouis Pham  and Christopher Jattan. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
Chaim Weizmann
You are on display. The sun is at the centre. Our art is avant-garde and modern. You are the first. Our raid is pre dawn. Let's party. 
Matches
Hatches
Despatches
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2015
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HELP A CONFUZZLED FAIRFAXER

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 17, 2015 (4:41am)

Fairfax’s Michael Gordon wants the Prime Minister to answer some questions
When Tony Abbott rises in Parliament to make his statement on national security next Monday, he should begin by answering the grave questions raised in his provocative weekend video.
A starting point would be to justify the claim that, “all too often”, we have been “played for mugs” by bad people who wish us harm. What is the evidence?
The Prime Minister should explain who these people are and how they have been given “the benefit of the doubt” on our borders, in decisions on residency and citizenship, at Centrelink and in the courts. 
Gordon seems only aware of: 
… one tragic example of systemic failure: Man Haron Monis, the murderer behind the Martin Place siege, who arrived on a business visa before applying for, and receiving, refugee status in 2001. 
Readers are invited to assist Gordon, who appears to lack internet access, by uncovering further cases of “systemic failure”. Such as Captain Emad. And Khaled Sharrouf. And Omar Halaby. There may possibly be one or twoothers.
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THE LOUDEST SILENCE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 17, 2015 (3:19am)

This endorsement should disqualify Malcolm Turnbull from ever becoming Prime Minister:

image

A highlight from Turnbull’s Q & A appearance: when he delivered an incredibly overblown and plainly rehearsed piece to camera pleading with the Indonesian government to overrule death sentences – “it is a sign of the strongest love, the greatest mercy” – for two Australian heroin smugglers. Turnbull’s anticipation of applause from his core Q & Aconstituency was screamingly evident. 
Alas for Malcolm, nobody responded.
UPDATE. Van Onselen doesn’t know how editorials work. Or how to spell.
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THEY PROMISED THERE WOULD BE NO SNOW

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 17, 2015 (3:05am)

Somewhere under all of that global warming is reader Smike’s Chevy Astro:

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SPICED GIRLS

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 17, 2015 (12:03am)

From last week, an impressive demonstration of capsicum spray’s efficiency in lowering ambient noise at educational facilities:

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Never again? A Jew tries to walk in Paris

Andrew Bolt February 17 2015 (4:25pm)

Sick results:
A journalist decided to test how safe the streets of Paris are for Jews - by wearing a religious skullcap and filming the public’s reaction using a hidden camera.
Zvika Klein, a reporter for Jewish news outlet NRG, silently walked in the city for ten hours wearing a kippah - also known as a yarmulke - on his head and a tzitzit (knotted ritual tassels).
Is the metric really so crude, that the more Muslims enter a country, the less safe are Jews within it? And what of the Left, which has done so much to licence Jew-hatred under the guise of “anti-Zionism”?
(Thanks to reader Jennifer.) 
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Tony Abbott: bad sales pitch, but a good product

Andrew Bolt February 17 2015 (4:13pm)

Terry McCrann brings the debate back to policy - and to results:
TONY Abbott has been a very good Prime Minister, leading a competent and indeed effective Government, where it really counts — delivering good policy and good outcomes in the best interests of Australia overall and of individual Australians…

It is important to keep stating, because the ABC and the Fairfax media won’t, that PM Abbott, his ministers and his Government, have delivered — fully delivered — on two of the three big and critically important policies taken to the voters at the last election.
They were the promise to abolish Julia Gillard’s carbon tax ... [and] to stop Gillard’s and Kevin Rudd’s boats…
The boats went to absolutely core issues of our national sovereignty. The carbon tax was the single most destructive policy ever visited on our economy…
The PM, Treasurer Joe Hockey and the Government have failed on the third big promise — fixing the Budget… It tried to bring the Budget back to surplus — in the process, arguably breaking other, much lesser election promises, but was prevented from delivering by the Senate…
Beyond the big three, the Government has been extraordinarily effective across a whole range of policy fronts… Abbott and his trade minister, Andrew Robb, sealed big trade agreements with our three biggest trade partners — China, Japan and South Korea…
The failures of Abbott, his ministers and his Government, such as they have been, have been broken — more accurately, attempted broken — peripheral promises and gaffes; some real but mostly imagined or created by Fairfax and the ABC, and including such absolutely incidental matters like Prince Philip’s knighthood.
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Vendetta morality: academic Jenna Price and modern tribalism

Andrew Bolt February 17 2015 (3:25pm)

Gillian Triggs, president of the Human Rights Commission, supervised and ran an inquiry into children in detention that seemed to many observers to be a disgraceful kangaroo court.
Everything about it - its suspicious timing, its apparently pre-determined outcome, its badgering of witnesses, its misrepresentation of evidence, its chairman’s false assertions, its verballing of the Immigration Minister, its indifference to the deadly consequences of its recommendations - shrieked bias and set-up. Documents now suggest it was designed from the start to be part of a campaign against the successful policies adopted by the Government.
Triggs’ astonishing behaviour has totally delegitimised the report, and thus wasted huge amounts of taxpayers’ money. It also raised justified suspicions about the bias of all the commission’s work.
Yet Jenna Price, a journalism academic (yes! true!), somehow manages to conclude from this disaster that of all the HRC commissioners who must pay for this disaster it is ... Tim Wilson, the HRC’s lone libertarian. She wants him sacked, presumably under the old vendetta code of tribal warfare - that if you kill one of mine, I kill one of yours:

There is one human rights commissioner who should get the sack. And it’s not president Gillian Triggs, a former dean of law at the University of Sydney, who has come under sustained attack from the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his News Ltd cheer squad since the Wednesday launch of her report on children in detention…
Nope, the person who should be removed from the job is Tim Wilson, Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner…
He was quick to distance himself from authorship but when I asked him what he thought about the attacks on his boss, he said he would make no comment either on the record or off the record. He told me to ring the commission’s media team. They had, he said, the “freedom” to work on Sundays.
Since Wilson was not going to spring to the defence of his boss, I thought it best to let the media team rest, since for me, at least, there would be nothing on or off the record… Tim Wilson, who could show some leadership among conservatives by standing up for what’s right, rather than what’s Right, is strangely silent
This partisan piece of spite from Price is truly astonishing, and an insight into the mindless tribalism of the Left. It is tragic that this is what passes for serious political analysis today in academia and the Fairfax media.
Incidentally, Price’s rant also reveals the dangerous contempt so many of the Left have for free speech - even the teachers of tomorrow’s journalists:
I don’t actually recall who dubbed [Wilson] the “Freedom Commissioner” but that’s clearly a joke since the only freedom that appears to grind his gears is the one which says we can all go around saying whatever the hell we like about each other.
That is not actually Wilson’s position, which suggests that Price either does not understand this critical debate over one of our central freedoms or refuses to report it accurately.
Then there’s the hypocrisy. She implies that Wilson’s type of free speech is terrible because it just lets people be rude - to “go around saying whatever the hell we like about each other”. Yet Price seems to think being rude is perfectly acceptable when it’s directed at people who don’t share her brand of far-Left politics.
In fact, in this very same article Price abuses Wilson (falsely, given he’s actually a libertarian) as “someone from the right” and one of those “neoconjobbers”.  Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop are “phonies, faux moderates”. The Atttorney-General is “George ‘right to be a bigot’ Brandis”. 
This is playground stuff. 
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Being badgered by an ABC host? Learn from Scott Morrison

Andrew Bolt February 17 2015 (12:17pm)

Many Liberal MPs, federal and state, struggle to overcome the hostility and bias of ABC presenters during interviews.
I’d suggest they gently but firmly call it out. Name it. Destroy an aggressive interviewer’s pretence that they’re just asking questions, without agenda. Warn the listeners, gently but firmly:
“Well, the argument you are putting to me is Labor’s...”
“Well, that’s what the Greens would say, but ...”
“That may be your point of view, but ...”
“That sounds a statement, not a question, but let me answer it ...”
“That sounds like an accusation, not a question, but here’s why I think you are wrong ...”
“I can tell how passionate you are about this, but I am just as passionate...”
“This is a difficult and emotional issue, that won’t be solved by making extreme statements...”
“That is a very hostile question, but I would like a genuine discussion about a very important issue...”
“I understand your point of view on this, but let me explain mine...”
“There are arguments on both sides, and you have just put yours. Let me now put mine...”
“You’ve asked me to answer, so let me respond...”
“I know opponents of what we’re doing doing like this answer, but I’d like you to give me time to finish it because it is important...”
“I didn’t interrupt you when you were putting your opinion, or question, so please don’t interrupt me when I give my side of the story...”
“This is too important an issue for slogans...”
“I don’t mind being questioned at all, that’s why I’m here, but you’re now heckling...”
And always keep calm. Contrast the interviewer’s passion and unfairness with your own calm and composure. And, of course, only fall back on this technique if the interviewer has crossed a line. Don’t be the first to declare war.
Examples?
Liberal MPs could do well to listen to Victorian Liberal leader Matthew Guy, for instance, dealing with the ABC’s Jon Faine.
But the man who has truly perfected this technique of calling it out is federal Social Services Minister Scott Morrison. Early on, it is true, he fought back against the haters such as David Marr with too much aggression and too often sounded arrogant. But he listened, learned and is now a model to his colleagues.
Two recent examples worth studying. Morrison’s interview with Michael Brissenden and, today, with Fran Kelly.
Some journalists are today oohing and aahing over Malcolm Turnbull’s presentation on Q&A last night, but Turnbull was before largely friendly questioners, delighted when he subtly attacked his own. That doesn’t help a Liberal in front of a hostile ABC interviewer and trying to defend Liberals or Liberal policy.
POSTSCRIPT:
And, yes, I do take my own advice, although it’s for you to decide whether it works:
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From the Murdoch papers, with love to Turnbull

Andrew Bolt February 17 2015 (11:48am)

Critics of Murdoch newspapers like to pretend they are as uniformly pro-Abbott and anti-Labor as the ABC is uniformly anti-Abbott and pro-Labor.
They further argue that a Leftist ABC is needed to “balance” that wickedly conservative Murdoch empire.
Yet Murdoch’s News Corp hires plenty of journalists - particularly in our on-line divisions - whose leanings appear to be in perfect alignment with the ABC agenda. There is a diversity there completely missing in the ABC.
Today, for instance, News Corp published this extraordinary paen to the Abbott-stalking Malcolm Turnbull:

.... Malcolm Turnbull has come out positively prime ministerial ...his signature wit and grin ... had the Twitter world a-twitter with praise ...  smooth-talking ... sounded almost regal ... almost prime ministerial ... Not one to be plagued by gaffes ... smooth turn of phrase ... staring directly into the hearts and souls of Indonesian officials ... cheekily referred to Tony Abbott as “the captain” who made another “captain’s pick” ... ... cleverly dropped a line about his time as Opposition Leader… asked how he would restore faith in politics, the Communications Minister flagged — yes, communication — and a return to a more bipartisan government ...  his vision of good governance ... emphasised honesty and clarity ... Amen.
The one tiny note of criticism? Liberals, take note - it was when Turnbull defended Abbott’s greatest policy successes, saving lives and money, while defending our borders:

Mr Turnbull attempted to focus on the welfare of children, but ended up bogged down by an argument about numbers — how many children in detention during this government’s time versus how many during Labor’s reign.
These guys will tear into Turnbull if, as leader, he still leads a recognisably Liberal government.
But back to the point: can the ABC show us any examples of its journalists defending Abbott with the same passion as the collective damns him? Murdoch papers have the diversity. Why doesn’t the ABC? 
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ABC, Fairfax, Twitter cheer Turnbull as he taunts Abbott

Andrew Bolt February 17 2015 (11:30am)

This Fairfax report of an ABC presentation of Malcolm Turnbull destabilising Tony Abbott before an appreciative Twitter audience neatly captures the forces that are willing Abbott to fail. And none wish conservatives well:

Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull has done little to allay leadership speculation after carefully deflecting questions in a coy appearance on ABC’s Q&A.
The one-time leader of the Liberal party, who was tipped to replace Prime Minister Tony Abbott if a leadership spill came to fruition last week, delivered a thinly-veiled criticism of the sacking of Chief Whip Philip Ruddock and refused to say whether he would step up to the plate if the leader’s position became vacant…
...fellow panellists seemed happy to listen as Mr Turnbull dominated air time to discuss leadership speculation, the controversial Human Rights Commission report into children in detention and the nation’s debt crisis.
His appearance drew widespread applause from the show’s rabid Twitter following, who didn’t miss his less-than-subtle criticisms of the Prime Minister.
Mr Turnbull said he didn’t agree with Tony Abbott’s decision to sack Mr Ruddock, who he said was well-loved, well-respected and highly esteemed by all of the Liberal party.
“… But to say I was very sad to see the announcement, I think, well, it was Tony’s call so he’s the one who has to explain it. But I just want to say I think Philip Ruddock is a great Liberal, a great parliamentarian and it was a very sad day for us all."…
Mr Turnbull described it as a “captain’s call”, a cheeky reference to the autonomous decision-making that nearly ended Mr Abbott’s prime ministership...
Memo to Liberals: it really is about Malcolm.
UPDATE
“He wasn’t disloyal to the Prime Minister,” declares Michelle Grattan on the ABC this morning, while pointing out Turnbull had at the same time made clear his disagreements with Abbott.
Painting false in fair colours.
UPDATE
The truth is that Turnbull falsely accused the Prime Minister of making a high-handed “captain’s call” and should apologise:
TONY Abbott’s decision to sack Philip Ruddock as chief whip and replace him with Scott Buchholz was not a “captain’s pick” but instead a suggestion by maverick Queensland MP Warren Entsch.
Mr Entsch, who is the MP for Leichhardt in northern Queensland confirmed to News Corp Australia he had presented the idea to the Prime Minister last week.
“I told him that the whip’s office wasn’t working and there needed to be changes,” Mr Entsch said.
“Philip is a great guy and has lots to offer the party but when he was whip the pastoral care that is required of that office just wasn’t there
“The office wasn’t warm and engaging like it should be. You couldn’t go there and chew the fat.”
Many MPs have vented their anger over Mr Abbott’s decision to sack Mr Ruddock, however Mr Entsch — who is chairman of the Northern Australia committee — said he believed the move to install Mr Buchholz as chief whip and Abbott loyalist Andrew Nikolic as one of the deputy whips would “serve him well"…
“It’s about who can do the job best.
“No doubt this would have been an incredibly difficult decision for Tony (Abbott) to make but it shows that he is willing to change and do what is best for the future of the party.”
Note: Entsch agitated for the leadership spill.
The Ruddock sacking is perfectly explicable, but is being exploited by Abbott enemies. Worst is the media which tried to tear down Ruddock as a heartless monster when he was a firm and excellent Immigration Minister, yet now weep crocodile tears for a man portrayed as saintly.
There is a two-part strategy at work here. First the Left wishes to give the Liberal leadership to one of their own. And then it will destroy his government. That way conservatives will not just lose government but their party.
UPDATE
Liberal (sic) MP Andrew Laming is angry that Entsch should dare to defend Abbott’s decision to replace Ruddock. Here he responds to a Liberal asking him to apologise for previously attacking Abbott over the move and suggesting he was on a frolic of his own:
You are kidding right.
Warren was the previous whip prior to Phillip’s appointment and has a conflict of interest.
Andrew
How many Liberals is Laming determined to trash in his manic campaign against Abbott? Did the Liberals who preselected him really want a wrecker?
Here are just some of the many attacks Laming has launched lately on his own side. How many Labor backbenchers have been this effective in damaging the Abbott Government?
(Thanks to readers dds and John.) 
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Queensland will soon be reminded just what Labor was like. UPDATE: Victoria, too?

Andrew Bolt February 17 2015 (11:26am)

The new Queensland Labor Government should be a warning to voters with very short memories of past Labor chaos.
Warning one:
It was possible to detect a slight air of bewilderment on Annastacia Palaszczuk’s face as she fronted the state Labor caucus in Brisbane on Sunday…
(I)t is far from clear, perhaps even to her, what she intends do with the job she has just been given. Labor has retaken government with an empty offering, with nothing in its grab bag campaign of anti-privatisation slogans and piecemeal spending announcements that might indicate to Ms Palaszczuk – or anyone else – where she might start governing a state beset with problems on all sides…
Economics is not Ms Palaczszuk’s strong card – she stumbled over the GST rate on the campaign trail…
The debt is the largest of any state, mounting towards $80 billion, or 150 per cent of government revenues. With the $37 billion asset sales program now history, there is no obvious way of making serious inroads, and watchful ratings agencies will be alert to any signs of it now creeping upwards…
Meanwhile, the government will just hope it can grow its way out of debt, but that will be hard from here. The coal industry in Queensland is teetering on the brink, with half of the state’s coal being exported at a loss. It would only take one more regulatory impost or uncertainty, from a government likely to be prone to green group pressure, for foreign mine investors to shut up shop. The Newman government’s plan to create jobs revolved around funding infrastructure in the new Galilee Basin coal region. Labor has ruled that out, but as with so many things, it has not put anything in its place.
Warning two:
The Courier-Mail on the new Queensland ministry, yesterday: 
YVETTE D’Ath will be Attorney-General.
Finding of parliamentary privileges committee (chairwoman D’Ath) over allegations Craig Thomson misled parliament and failed to declare details of his finances on the pecuniary interests register, Hansard, August 20, 2012:

THE committee has concluded that there are no grounds for it to take further actions.
UPDATE
Victoria’s new Labor Government makes a huge spending promise, still unfunded:
DANIEL Andrews has staked his credibility as Victorian Premier on getting construction of an $11 billion Melbourne metro rail line under way ­before the next election.
In a massive public transport gamble, the new Premier pledged yesterday that major work on the 9km tunnel to connect South Yarra and North Melbourne, and relieve rail network pressure, will begin in 2018.
This is despite no secure funding for the project, and comes as he faces a backlash for exposing taxpayers to a compensation payout of up to $1.1 billion for snubbing the East West Link contract.
So Andrews has no funding secured, no offer of help from the Federal Government, no private funds promised, no business case yet written and no deal yet with the East West Link contractors to work out how much compensation he owes them for scrapping their project. Wow.
Dr Alan Davies, a principal of economic and planning consultancy Pollard Davies Consultants, sums up the pesky little details that could add up to disaster:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Queensland will soon be reminded just what Labor was like. UPDATE: Victoria, too?'
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Labor’s highway to decline

Andrew Bolt February 17 2015 (8:42am)

Labor is risking our future in its desperation for power. Nick Cater:
Medicare costs $19bn a year and costs are rising at 7.1 per cent a year. When Andrew Leigh, Labor’s assistant Treasury spokes­man, tells us “this notion of a crisis in Medicare is just a fabrication by the government”, the man is talking through his hat.
The aged pension costs us $40bn and is rising at 6.2 per cent a year. We spend $14bn on hospitals and the cost is rising by 10.4 per cent a year. On and on it goes. Schools: $13bn, rising at 9.2 per cent a year. Higher education: $7.1bn, rising at 5.8 per cent…
On Sunday ... Paul Kelly tried to establish what the incoming Labor treasurer’s first budget might look like ... [on] Australian Agenda on Sky News… “Presumably Labor will look for savings in the big areas: health, education and welfare. Can you just confirm that for us?
[Chris] Bowen: “Well, Paul, I’ve said … the Labor Party will be considering expenditure items …”

Kelly: “So that includes health, education and welfare?”
Bowen: “Well, obviously health and education will be better off under a Labor government than … under (the Liberals).”
Well obviously, because Labor ... has become the party of the public sector, harvesting the grievances of those who spend other people’s money in ever larger amounts…
Last week the ABC’s Barrie Cassidy put it to the Opposition Leader that he presented as “a blank sheet of paper”. “Well it’s not right,” said Shorten, “and what we are doing is we’re working on our ideas … Slashing, burning, cutting, sacking public servants, this country can’t shrink its way to its future.”
[Tony] Shepherd, meanwhile, writes that achieving a modest surplus of 1 per cent within 10 years requires annual savings of $65bn… Do Shorten and Bowen have any idea where savings of that magnitude could come from?
Incidentally, this was also the model for Victorian Labor’s election victory over a more prudent Liberal Party - buy off the public servants by promising them more jobs and pay. And that, in turn, means funding more government projects to give them things to do, with the vast cost passed on to taxpayers struggling with their own bills and falling standards of living.
A highway to decline.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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The Academy of Science is too over-heated

Andrew Bolt February 17 2015 (7:38am)

Garth Paltridge, former CSIRO chief research scientist and director of the Antarctic ­ Co-operative Research Centre, exposes more of the cherry-picking that’s given us the great global warming scare:
THE Australian Academy of Science has released a new document, The Science of Climate Change, aimed at the man and woman in the street. It was prepared on behalf of the academy by leading lights of the global warming establishment. Some day the academy may come to regret the arrangement…
For instance, it does not say ... that all the mainstream climate models have overestimated the general upward trend of global temperature for the past 30 or more years by a factor (on average) of at least two. Nothing is said about the distinct possibility that the models include feedback processes that amplify far too much the effect of increased atmospheric carbon ­dioxide.
Instead, the document talks about an apparent pause in global warming since 2001. It attributes the pause to some temporary fluctuation in the internal behaviour of the ocean. It does not mention that for many years climate scientists have deliberately played down the contribution of natural oceanic fluctuations to the rise or fall of global temperature. The possibility of naturally induced rises seriously weakens the overall story of human influence....
The document mentions that ­long-term regional rainfall predictions are uncertain. It doesn’t say that they are probably nonsense. The various model forecasts of the average Australian rainfall for the end of the century range from a doubling to a halving of the ­present 450mm a year. It smacks of cherry-picking to display a map of the output from one particular model that indicates a future ­reduction in rainfall for most of Australia of the order of 20 per cent.
There has been a goodly amount of arbitrary selection (of data, statistical technique and display) in an illustration of the distribution of the change in observed rainfall over Australia in the past 100 years. The southeast and southwest of the continent are shown as a sea of red, suggesting there has been a frightening decrease across the period. No mention is made that a more traditional presentation of the data gives an entirely different picture.
In the southwest, the recent annual average rainfall has simply returned to something close to its value for the 15 or so years before about 1905. In most of the southeast, there has been no statistically significant change at any time. 
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Obama’s ghastly legacy in Libya

Andrew Bolt February 17 2015 (7:24am)

Barack Obama, cheered on by Kevin Rudd, sent in jets to destroy the Gaddafi regime. The US effectively operated as the air force of its jihadist enemies.
Now the horror in Libya has forced Egypt to send in its own jets to fight the real enemy there:

Egypt says it has bombed Islamic State targets in Libya, hours after the militants released video of apparent beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians…
Libya has been in chaos since 2011 and the overthrow of its then-leader, Col Muammar Gaddafi.
Since then, numerous militia groups have battled for control. It has two rival governments, one based in Tripoli and the other in Tobruk.
Meanwhile, the eastern city of Benghazi - where the 2011 revolution began - is largely in the hands of militant fighters, some with links to al-Qaeda.
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Forgetful O’Farrell

Andrew Bolt February 17 2015 (5:32am)

It’s amazing that Barry O’Farrell remembered to turn up to work as Premier:
Former NSW premer Barry O’Farrell was bought a $1195 Mont Blanc luxury pen by a company in the bidding for major construction contracts in Sydney – according to its records – but the outgoing politician says he has no memory of receiving the gift and it has never been declared on the parliamentary register of interest as required by law.
The mystery over the pen comes a year after Mr O’Farrell was forced to resign the premiership after failing to declare his receipt of a $3000 bottle of 1959 Grange Hermitage wine. He blamed that failure on a “massive memory fail”.
UPDATE
Readers in comments below are more sceptical about the story:
Reader Shocked:
Meanwhile in other news leading up to the NSW election, the perpetrators of the massive misuse of public funds from LABOR continue to be free with no formal charges laid. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have not been recovered...., making the donation scandal seem somewhat less significant, despite its prominence in the media.
Reader Alan of Sydney:
This story is not about O’Farrell. It’s about keeping a corruption narrative going to harm Mike Baird.It is Fairfax after all. ALWAYS check the motive before the story.
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ABC audit admits bias. When will the ABC address it?

Andrew Bolt February 16 2015 (8:00pm)

Why is that every time the ABC admits bias - or nearly - that it’s a bias to the Left? When will it address the cause?
One of the ABC’s most acclaimed journalists, Sarah Ferguson, was so hostile towards Treasurer Joe Hockey in an interview last year that she breached the broadcaster’s bias guidelines, an ABC-commissioned editorial review has found…
Colleen Ryan, a former editor of The Australian Financial Review, singles out the interview for criticism in an audit of ABC TV’s budget coverage. In the audit Ms Ryan said the interview showed how “perceptions of bias could be inflamed unnecessarily” and that Ms Ferguson did not appear to show the Treasurer enough respect…
Ms Ryan singles out three points of the interview for criticism, starting with Ms Ferguson’s first question to Mr Hockey.
“Now, you’ve just delivered that budget,” Ms Ferguson said. “It’s a budget with a new tax, with levies, with co-payments. Is it liberating for a politician to decide election promises don’t matter?
Ms Ryan found the question was factually correct but said its tone made the Treasurer seem “under attack"…
Ms Ferguson later told Mr Hockey that she had asked a “yes or no question”. She then said: “I don’t need to teach you, Treasurer, what a tax is. You know that a co-payment, a levy and a tax are all taxes by any other name.” ...

The audit also finds that Lateline host Emma Alberici would have given the impression of bias by asking a Coalition MP: “Do you think voters are really stupid and can’t recognise a lie when they see one?” ...
A 7.30 Tasmania story on welfare cuts was also singled out for being “overwhelmingly negative” to the government. ABC panel program The Drum also erred in an episode by giving two spots to two “obviously Labor panellists” – former Labor speechwriter Michael Cooney and Saturday Paper columnist Mike Seccombe. 
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Wait .. I get it .. but .. Well, I am a hypocrite ..
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=== Posts from last year ===

Intervention was needed

Miranda Devine – Sunday, February 16, 2014 (11:49pm)

NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge is a disgrace. His spurious claim that welfare authorities are creating a new Stolen Generation has the potential to set back the cause of protecting Aboriginal children from an epidemic of sexual assault and abuse.
Last week, Shoebridge organised a protest with a group of Aboriginal women from Gunnedah complaining about grandchildren who have been removed, and brandishing placards: “Sorry means you don’t do it again”.
But anyone who knows the history of child protection in this country remembers the wilful reluctance of authorities to remove Aboriginal children from homes where they were neglected or physically and sexually abused. Once the Stolen Generation panic began, they were terrified of being accused of stealing children. So they condemned them to hell on earth. Indigenous children were left to endure situations no white child had to. Social workers were determined to keep “families” together — even if they were dysfunctional and substance-abusing homes.
The situation only began to change in NSW in recent years, under the Labor minister Linda Burney, who is Aboriginal.
Today, 6000 Aboriginal children are in out-of-home care. Tragically, through a generational cycle of welfare dependency, and the ready availability of drugs, alcohol and porn, there are indigenous communities so dysfunctional that every social norm has been trashed. In Bourke, the rate of child sexual assault is 10 times the NSW average.
While details of the case in Gunnedah that Shoebridge has recklessly inserted himself into cannot be divulged publicly, the eastern suburbs barrister should have known there were good reasons to remove not one, but four children from one mother, and not to place them with the grandmother.
But he never asked Community Services Minister Pru Goward for a briefing.
Instead, he staged a protest for the media, which, apart from the ABC and SBS, gave him short shrift.
Considering it costs as much as $950,000 per child to provide intensive foster care, it’s hardly something the government takes lightly. It is not done, as Shoebridge’s protesters suggest, because mum doesn’t have enough food in her cupboard.
As Goward put it, before we can stop removing Aboriginal children, “We also need to see rates of domestic violence, alcohol abuse and child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities come down too, so we can be sure that Aboriginal children are safe.”
Instead the Left wants to perpetuate their misery.
Marijuana is not benign
WHAT can usefully be said about the devastating death of 11-year-old Luke Batty at the hands of his deranged father at cricket training last week?
Luke’s mother Rosie said it all, and her grace and forgiveness were humbling.
She said people would judge her, but no one does, except as a loving mother who tried to allow her boy limited contact with a troubled father.
But it is well worth noting that Greg Anderson had a marijuana habit, which
has been proven to cause psychosis in susceptible people.
You can’t blame marijuana for this tragedy, but at the same time, it is not a benign drug.
It stands to reason that the less it is available, the fewer psychoses it will induce
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THE ABBOTT EFFECT

Tim Blair – Sunday, February 16, 2014 (6:56pm)

Al Gore brings destructive cold whenever he talks about global warming. On the other hand, we have Australia’s Prime Minister
Tony Abbott arrived in the NSW outback town of Bourke today to talk drought — but instead brought more rain with him than the district has seen for two years.
As a thunderstorm pelted down on the shearing shed of 40,000-hectare Jandra station, the Prime Minister promised local farmers his government wanted to do more help them cope with the current drought …
Jandra station owner Phillip Ridge welcomed Mr Abbott as a rainmaker.
“If I had known what he would bring, I’d have asked him here months ago,” Mr Ridge said, as giant rain puddles, a sea of red mud and rows of bogged cars collected outside. 
Hail the rainbringer!
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CARPETBAG COLLISION

Tim Blair – Sunday, February 16, 2014 (6:51pm)

A rare moment of disagreement with Peter Phelps and agreement with the ABC’s Mark Colvin. At issue is the magnificence of the carpetbag steak.
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Abbott asks sceptic to review useless green energy target. Will he ask the tough question?

Andrew Bolt February 17 2014 (2:34pm)

Global warming - general

The Abbott Government today announced a review into the renewable energy target, which requires electricity companies to get 20 per cent of our power from renewable sources by 2020.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt today said the cost to consumers of the scheme - which forces us to use expensive wind and solar power to save the planet from overheating - was “minor”. We’ll see. Let’s add also the price of subsidising this green power.
The good news? The review will be led by rationalist Dick Warburton, the distinguished businessman and former Reserve Bank board member.
Warburton was one of the few business leaders with the guts three years ago to warn that Labor’s carbon tax was a folly:
“It seems quite wrong to be going ahead with this when the rest of the world are actually pulling out of carbon taxes and (emissions trading schemes),” Mr Warburton told ABC Radio. 
“As long as there is going to be a tax of this nature on manufacturing, which is not comparable to any other countries in which manufacturing is carried out, that has to be a disadvantage. “It is a disadvantage that gradually would lead to probable loss of jobs and plant closures.”
Five years ago, when global warming hysteria had cowed almost every doubter into silence, Warburton warned: 
I believe there’s been an appalling lack of debate on the two key issues in this whole area. One issue is being the cause, what is the cause of the climate change? There’s no doubt there is climate change. To say that there’s not you’d be living in fool’s paradise. 
On the cause there’s huge debate about whether carbon dioxide is the main cause.... [T]he science is not settled...
But here is the bad news. In announcing the review, neither Hunt nor Industry Minister Ian McFarlane suggested it would answer the most basic question of all.
How much difference does the Renewable Energy Target actually make to the world’s temperature? Is it 0.0001 degrees or much less? Is the gain really worth the pain?
It is astonishing - a fraud against taxpayers - that even modelling of the effects of the RET done for the Climate Change Authority failed to answer that question. It is as if the warmist bureaucrats and politicians do not want you to know the RET is actually useless. All symbol, no action.
All the other questions - whether this is the best way to achieve our emissions target, are we overshooting that target anyway - are just fiddling until this most fundamental question is answered first.
Does the Renewable Energy Target make a blind bit of difference to our climate, and, if not, why on earth do we have it?
UPDATE
Reader Jack puts it more colloquially:
Free country. If you want your renewable energy you can have it. But why should I pay for your fantasy?
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ABC obsessed with boat policies only now they work

Andrew Bolt February 17 2014 (8:08am)

Boat people policyMedia

It is June 22, 2012. About 60 boat people a day are arriving illegally, and dozens more have just drowned at sea, lured to their deaths by Labor’s weak laws.
Here are the questions asked by the ABC of Jason Clare, the Labor Minister presiding over this disaster:
SABRA LANE: Mr Clare, good morning and welcome to AM. What is the latest? What can you tell us about the rescue operation for these people? 
SABRA LANE: You’ve got two navy vessels there now. You’ve got a number of merchant ships there as well. You’re expecting more boats to join the location this morning?
SABRA LANE: And the weather prospects there, is that good for these people who are in the water?
SABRA LANE: You’ve just given a chronology of when Australia first learnt that this boat was in distress, it appears it called Australian authorities 10pm Tuesday night, but that there was no location and Australia told Indonesia that there was a boat in distress. It appears that Wednesday morning very early, 1.30 in the morning, that you were alerted to its location. What happened then?
SABRA LANE: A surveillance aircraft saw it on Wednesday afternoon and it appeared to be not in distress at that point. But you’ve said that you received more calls yesterday morning which alerted you to the fact that this boat was in trouble. What were the nature of those calls?
SABRA LANE: There are reports that Indonesian authorities say that they were first alerted to this on Sunday and that they were quite confused, saying that they received a number of telegrams from Australia and that they believed that there were two boats out there in distress.
SABRA LANE: Minister, the Australian Christian lobby says it’s time for both major political parties to put aside their differences on this issue, to stop playing politics and to sit down and devise a bipartisan solution. 
SABRA LANE: Minister, thanks for joining us this morning. 
Note the ABC’s almost complete lack of interest in Labor’s responsibility for luring yet more people to their deaths. Note the ABC’s failure to ask a single question about the inhumanity of Labor’s laws, given these consequences. Note the absence of any sign of hostility to the Minister presiding over these catastrophic policies.
It is June 10, 2013. Nearly  90 boat people are now landing every day, and dozens more have just drowned. lured to their deaths by Labor’s weak laws. ABC PM raises the issue of the day:
ASHLEY HALL: The Customs and Border Protection Service has intercepted another suspected asylum seeker boat carrying 30 people off Christmas Island. It follows the decision to call off the search for survivors of another boat that sunk off the island at the weekend. 
Customs also decided not to try to recover bodies from that boat, to allow it to respond to others that may need help. One expert on the law of the sea says there is no obligation under international law to recover the dead from the water. 
Notice the ABC’s complete lack of anger at Labor’s catastrophic laws. Note the complete lack of anger at the ghastly consequences - a death toll now above 1000.
It is February 16, 2014. No boat has arrived for more than eight weeks. No one has drowned. The new Abbott Government’s policies to stop the boats, stop the drownings and gradually empty the detention centres are clearly working.
Here are the questions the ABC’s  Insiders asks of Scott Morrison, the Minister presiding over this success:
BARRIE CASSIDY: How many Australian naval ships entered Indonesian territorial waters in December and January?

BARRIE CASSIDY: Do you know the answer to the question? 

BARRIE CASSIDY: Why can’t you tell us now?

BARRIE CASSIDY: But why would that piece of information be in any way, why would it compromise the Government’s position?

BARRIE CASSIDY: How much of that report then will be released?

BARRIE CASSIDY: Will it explain how it happened and why it happened?

BARRIE CASSIDY: And it will explain how it happened?

BARRIE CASSIDY: Will the unclassified section of that report explain to the Australian people how this happened, why it happened and why it won’t happen again?

BARRIE CASSIDY: And then we can back that judgment.  The Indonesian Navy report argued the incursions may have been intentional, said in this era, navigation equipment is very sophisticated.

BARRIE CASSIDY: What’s false about that?

BARRIE CASSIDY: And what satisfied you of that?

BARRIE CASSIDY: There is a suspicion clearly in Indonesia that it was intentional. How will you disabuse them of that notion?

BARRIE CASSIDY: And do you think based on what you already know they will be satisfied with what you have to say, that without question, it was not intentional?

BARRIE CASSIDY: The Indonesian Navy report that I referred to had a photograph of burn wounds on a hand and it said, and this is the quote, “Resulting from being forced to hold onto the ship’s engine by the Australian Navy.” Does it concern you that an official Indonesian Navy report would make such an assertion?

BARRIE CASSIDY:  Can you though dismiss just as lightly a report from the Indonesian Navy as you can a report from an asylum seeker?

BARRIE CASSIDY: How again will you disabuse the Indonesian Navy of their notion?
BARRIE CASSIDY: And you’ve established the facts, of course, without speaking to the person who made the allegations?
BARRIE CASSIDY: But you describe it as a normal process, wouldn’t a normal process, as part of that wouldn’t you talk to the person making the allegations?

BARRIE CASSIDY: What are the factors at work there? Clearly it’s the monsoon season, that’s one factor. How much credit would you give to the previous Government over its PNG (Papua New Guinea) solution?

BARRIE CASSIDY: But the PNG solution wasn’t in place this time last year.

BARRIE CASSIDY: The Indonesian Foreign Minister has, talking about the turn-back strategy, quote, “It threatens the negotiation of a code of conduct designed to repair the relationship.” Clearly he’s offended by the policy.
BARRIE CASSIDY: You are being true to yourself and true to your policy, as you say, but nevertheless it does seem to be offending the Indonesians, to the point where they’re now going to raise this issue with the US Secretary of State, John Kerry.

BARRIE CASSIDY: What do you think John Kerry would do about it anyway, even if he does regard it as a global issue?
BARRIE CASSIDY: And the other issue that they seem to displease them is the lifeboats issue and they say that that’s more severe than towing back boats; “We strongly protest.”
BARRIE CASSIDY: So you will go on utilising these lifeboats?

BARRIE CASSIDY: Well we’ve seen a video of those lifeboats.

BARRIE CASSIDY: Three days ago an Indian student took his own life at a detention centre in Melbourne. He was in that centre because he overstayed his visa. Could that have been avoided?

BARRIE CASSIDY: Is there a better way to deal with a student who overstays his visa?

BARRIE CASSIDY: So you’re saying there are factors at work here that go beyond the sort of conditions and stresses that come with being in a detention centre?

BARRIE CASSIDY: OK. Now on Friday at a Senate hearing there were 16 denominations, churches, who talked about the Government’s position on the migration act. You want to change it to give you more discretionary powers. Now they said, they say that would allow you to play God.

BARRIE CASSIDY: A former minister though, Chris Evans, said that it gave him too much power, the workload was too great and the churches are saying the taskforce, that if the minister gets it wrong there could be dire consequences for the individual.

BARRIE CASSIDY: Now just finally a report in The Australian yesterday, the Government is considering spending $3 billion to buy giant unmanned drones to patrol the borders that would be used, at least in part, to track asylum seekers and illegal fishermen. Is that under consideration?
BARRIE CASSIDY: If you were to invest that sort of money though in unmanned drones that would suggest you’d think this problem is going to be around for a long time yet?
On ABC AM and Radio National Breakfast this morning there is more extensive questioning of the Abbott Government’s successful policies - how they are offending Indonesia, how there are reported escapes from the Manus Island detention centre, how it’s mean to have people in detention there, how we need to resettle them, how PNG won’t accept any boat people as permanent residents, how we are sending unaccompanied children to Nauru.
It is impossible not to see a bias here. The ABC seemed indifferent about Labor policies which brought in more than 50,000 illegal immigrants, lured more than 1100 to their deaths, filled detention centres to overcrowding and cost Australians perhaps $10 billion. It seemed very unwilling to hold Labor responsible for the terrible consequences of its policies.
Yet the ABC seems obsessed with - and hostile to - the Coalition’s successful policies, which have stopped the boats and the drownings. It seems to take offence on Indonesia’s behalf and gives massive coverage to any grievance or claim of cruelty. 
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How to destroy a hypocrite in two minutes

Andrew Bolt February 17 2014 (8:03am)

 Wow. And all done in just two minutes:
Karl Rove demolished former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland on Fox News Sunday this morning in the course of responding to Strickland’s critique of Governor Christie and Bridgegate. Rove precisely demonstrated Strickland to be a critically flawed messenger of the Democratic Party talking points on Christie. Though it’s rare to find a Democrat shamed into silence — they have so much margin for error provided by their media enablers — I would be surprised if Strickland undertakes this particular mission again.
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No, Gillard did not get tough on crooked unions

Andrew Bolt February 17 2014 (7:32am)

Henry Ergas doesn’t believe Julia Gillard’s latest claims of having been tough on union corruption:
Gillard’s contention is simply this: that she bears no responsibility for the industrial lawlessness which flourished under Labor. 
As regards the building industry laws, she merely implemented changes retired judge Murray Wilcox had recommended. Far from doing “virtually nothing to police (the unions’) internal governance”, as I had written, she not only retained the relevant provisions of Work Choices in the Fair Work Act, but strengthened them in 2012. And rather than trample on freedom of association, her legislation provides “more effective remedies in relation to breaches (of that freedom) than ever before”.
Each of these assertions is incorrect, misses the point or both. I accept that the Wilcox review recommended that the Howard government’s building industry laws be modified. But even the review concluded that significant lawlessness remained and that strong powers were required to prevent it persisting.
Faced with that finding, a government which genuinely believed that (as Gillard had said) the industry needed “hard-edged compliance (with) no tolerance at all for lawlessness” would have monitored those changes to ensure they did not, in Wilcox’s words, “impede investigations of significant contraventions”.
Instead, as the lawlessness spread, Gillard made further changes, not recommended by Wilcox, preventing the regulator pursuing matters once the parties to a dispute had reached an agreement, regardless of the tactics by which that agreement had been secured.
The consequences were entirely predictable: the thuggery escalated dramatically, as extracting an agreement, even by extreme means, now provided far-reaching protection from the law.
With Labor then standing by as the building union was found guilty of 30 counts of contempt in the Grocon dispute alone, Gillard’s protestations of innocence can hardly be taken seriously. Gillard’s claims with respect to policing unions’ governance are no more convincing. 
Yes, the Fair Work Act kept the relevant provisions of Work Choices; but Gillard’s appointments to the Fair Work Commission, and the way the commission was then managed, guaranteed they would never be effectively enforced, as the Health Services Union scandal shows. 
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University is the last refuge of the Marxist

Andrew Bolt February 17 2014 (7:24am)

Culture warsPolitical things

 MARXISTS murdered millions and wrecked every country they’ve led. Yet 25 years after the Berlin Wall’s fall, they still cling to power in Australia’s universities.

Amazing. Yes, our universities are the last refuge of the Marxist — of people such as Victoria University politics lecturer Max Lane, recently on the executive council of the Revolutionary Socialist Party.
Lane is now with the Socialist Alternative, which urges “the smashing of the capitalist state apparatus”, including the “dismantling” of “parliaments, courts, the armed forces and police”.
Its followers “reject Australian patriotism” and “oppose all immigration controls”, and Lane last week dutifully sent a letter to the Jakarta Post to warn its Indonesian readers our immigration minister is actually a pirate who kills innocent people.
(Read full article here.
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The lesson of beautiful New Zealand

Andrew Bolt February 17 2014 (7:19am)

image
I COULD live here, I thought last month, as I drove through one of the world’s most beautiful countries. One day, I had a beach of seals to my left and snowy mountains to my right. Another, a ferry took me through a deep sound as glorious as any in Norway.

But I can’t live in lovely New Zealand, for much the same reason an astonishing 650,000 New Zealanders live here instead, leaving just 4.4 million back home.
See, a country that can’t give its young a future has no future itself. And having also just inspected the dead canary called Tasmania, I’m desperate we learn that lesson.
Sure, New Zealand isn’t a basket case. It’s growing, and its unemployment rate is only a bit over ours. It’s bigger problem is that it is small and remote, and without two pieces of luck that saved us — coal and iron ore.
But the point remains. New Zealand, with wages and houses smaller than ours, is Australia if we don’t change our culture.
(Read full article here.)   
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Shorten falls so far that Labor will listen for a splash

Andrew Bolt February 17 2014 (5:55am)

Politics - polls

The public has picked Bill Shorten for a union hack:
The Abbott government has regained the lead in the latest Fairfax-Nielsen opinion poll for the first time in two months, helped by a sharp drop in support for Bill Shorten’s performance and a Labor primary vote lurching back into the low 30s… 
Labor’s share of the primary vote has also fallen by 4 points to be just 33 per cent… On a two-party-preferred basis, the Coalition now leads the ALP by four percentage points - 52 per cent to 48
After several weeks in which the Coalition government has successfully linked industrial relations reform, union power, and corruption allegations in the building industry in national debate, Mr Shorten’s personal approval has slumped by an unusually decisive 11 points…

Mr Shorten, who favours the more focused use of existing law enforcement authorities to address union corruption, strongly opposed the royal commission [into union corruption], prompting Mr Abbott to accuse him of ‘’running a protection racket for a protection racket’’....
As the incumbent prime minister, Mr Abbott enjoys a 10 point lead over the Opposition Leader as preferred prime minister, 49 per cent to 39 per cent… 
The number of people approving of [Shorten’s] performance fell from 51 per cent in the Fairfax-Nielsen poll of November 21-23, to be just 40 per cent now ...
Shorten is in deep strife. He is being seen for the public for exactly what he’s been so far - a creature of unions which many voters now suspect of abusing power. He is a former union boss known to have helped depose the last two Labor prime ministers. He himself became Labor leader only because the union-influenced party machine convinced enough Labor MPs to back him over Anthony Albanese, the choice of 60 per cent of Labor’s members. In government, Shorten changed the law to favour union power. As leader, he now opposes a royal commission to examine the excesses of union power, including corruption.
This will only get worse. The royal commission into union corruption will look hard at Shorten’s old union.  Shorten was not in charge at the time the AWU scandal involving Julia Gillard took place, but did he do enough later to expose the truth? Did he block attempts to bring the guilty to account? (Shorten denies the allegation. Gillard insists she did nothing wrong.) Then there are serious questions about links between Labor and unions that could have encouraged Labor governments to go soft on union lawlessness, not least by scrapping the Australian Building and Construction Commission two years ago. Police meanwhile are expected to announce whether they will charge anyone as a result of their own inquiries into the AWU scandal.
Shorten could shake off this tag of union hack if he’d shown policy courage and imagination. Instead, he’s shown a cheap populism and defended stale policies. He’s still defending the carbon tax, for heaven’s sake. He’s attacking every spending cut, including ones Labor in government itself proposed, when even the drinkers in the John Curtin Hotel know in their hearts the belt needs tightening. This rank opportunism marries only too well with Shorten’s inability to communicate sincerity, and an apparently patronising verbal tic that has this husband of a former governor-general’s daughter pronounced “with” as “wiv” as though he came from Sunshine High rather than Xavier College.
The Government is now convinced it has Shorten’s measure. He’s got rattier at the despatch box in Parliament, and was even desperate enough last week to hint Tony Abbott wasn’t sincere in his obvious commitment to Aboriginal advancement.
That said, the Government also has challenges. It has made tough decisions on corporate handouts and has an even tougher budget to come. The economy is very sluggish. The Senate is a log-jam now, and the new Senate in July will be tricky to deal with. The ABC is on the attack.
But Abbott, after a slow start, seems to have found his voice and his message, and will increasingly seem Prime Ministerial. Commentators have forgotten how much John Howard improved as a leader over his first term, and I suspect Abbott, always a quick study, will do no less.  
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“For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” - 1 John 3:11
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
February 16: Morning
"I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content." - Philippians 4:11
These words show us that contentment is not a natural propensity of man. "Ill weeds grow apace." Covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth: and so, we need not teach men to complain; they complain fast enough without any education. But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener's care. Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated; it will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be specially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us. Paul says, "I have learned ... to be content;" as much as to say, he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain to the mystery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he had learned, and then broke down. And when at last he had attained unto it, and could say, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content," he was an old, grey-headed man, upon the borders of the grave--a poor prisoner shut up in Nero's dungeon at Rome. We might well be willing to endure Paul's infirmities, and share the cold dungeon with him, if we too might by any means attain unto his good degree. Do not indulge the notion that you can be contented without learning, or learn without discipline. It is not a power that may be exercised naturally, but a science to be acquired gradually. We know this from experience. Brother, hush that murmur, natural though it be, and continue a diligent pupil in the College of Content.
Evening
"Thy good Spirit." - Nehemiah 9:20
Common, too common is the sin of forgetting the Holy Spirit. This is folly and ingratitude. He deserves well at our hands, for he is good, supremely good. As God, he is good essentially. He shares in the threefold ascription of Holy, holy, holy, which ascends to the Triune Jehovah. Unmixed purity and truth, and grace is he. He is good benevolently, tenderly bearing with our waywardness, striving with our rebellious wills; quickening us from our death in sin, and then training us for the skies as a loving nurse fosters her child. How generous, forgiving, and tender is this patient Spirit of God. He is good operatively. All his works are good in the most eminent degree: he suggests good thoughts, prompts good actions, reveals good truths, applies good promises, assists in good attainments, and leads to good results. There is no spiritual good in all the world of which he is not the author and sustainer, and heaven itself will owe the perfect character of its redeemed inhabitants to his work. He is good officially; whether as Comforter, Instructor, Guide, Sanctifier, Quickener, or Intercessor, he fulfils his office well, and each work is fraught with the highest good to the church of God. They who yield to his influences become good, they who obey his impulses do good, they who live under his power receive good. Let us then act towards so good a person according to the dictates of gratitude. Let us revere his person, and adore him as God over all, blessed forever; let us own his power, and our need of him by waiting upon him in all our holy enterprises; let us hourly seek his aid, and never grieve him; and let us speak to his praise whenever occasion occurs. The church will never prosper until more reverently it believes in the Holy Ghost. He is so good and kind, that it is sad indeed that he should be grieved by slights and negligences.
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Lot 
[Lŏt] - concealed or myrrh.
The son of Haran, Abraham's brother, who accompanied Abraham from Mesopotamia to Canaan (Gen. 11:27, 31; 12:4; 13:1).
The Man with a Worldly Mind
We deem it necessary to spend a little time with this character because we believe Lot to be a representative man. Perhaps there is no Bible figure who represents so many men of today as Lot of Sodom. Where you can find one Abraham, one Daniel or one Joshua you will find a thousand Lots.
Lot started out well. But he acquired riches and with his wealth came trouble. He and his uncle, Abraham, came out of Egypt with great possessions. Then came the strife among the herdsmen of both men. Lot could not pick a quarrel with his uncle, so he separated from him and made the greatest mistake of his life in doing so. If determined to have the well-watered plain, Lot should have asked Abraham to choose for him. But no, when he lifted up his eyes and saw the fruitful land, his decision was made.
The moments of solemn, decisive choice reveal the character of the two men involved. Lot's choice was a bad and selfish one, ending in disaster. Abraham's choice was lofty, unworldly, superior to all petty consideration. Although, as elder of the two, he had the undisputable right to precedence in the choice, Abraham behaved like the high-minded, noble-hearted gentleman he was and so left the choice to Lot. The meanness of Lot is seen in that he took the best. The crisis of that moment was decided by the tenor of Lot's life. In spite of his general righteousness, Lot must have had a vein of great selfishness within.
In one of his unique speeches - The Subject of Salaries - Benjamin Franklin said, "There are two passions which have a powerful influence in the affairs of men. These are Ambition and Avarice: the love of power and the love of money. Separately, each of these has great force in prompting man to action; but when united in view of the same object they have in many minds the most violent effects." It was thus that Lot became "a bad lot." In his choice ambition and avarice became one. Points to ponder are:
I. His wealth (Gen. 13:5). Lot had a house - Abraham was content with a tent (Gen. 18:1; 19:3). Lot was no pilgrim (Heb. 11:13).
II. His choice (Gen. 13:10, 11). Lot was guided by selfishness, and pitching his tent toward Sodom was soon living in it (Gen. 14:12).
III. His righteous soul (2 Pet. 2:8). Lot did many things that were inconsistent with his true character and that were dishonoring to God. He sat down with the ungodly. Yet he showed some good qualities. He entertained the angels - believed their message - endeavored to restrain the wicked Sodomites. His good, however, was mixed with evil.
IV. His loss (Gen. 19:17-28). Lot narrowly escaped judgment. He lost everything, his wife was turned into a pillar of salt, he lost his wealth, he sacrificed his influence, for the people of Sodom despised him, his relatives mocked him, his two daughters shamed him. Lot offered no prayer for Sodom and manifested no desire for the salvation of its people. His only concern was for his own safety, and angels delivered him.
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Today's reading: Leviticus 19-20, Matthew 27:51-66 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Leviticus 19-20

Various Laws
The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.
3 "'Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the LORD your God.
4 "'Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the LORD your God.

Today's New Testament reading: Matthew 27:51-66

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus' resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!"

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