Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wed Feb 25th 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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Mr Abbott is on his feet doing a brilliant job but being assaulted by shadows. Mr Abbott's speech on Monday regarding essential security issues Australia faces has been dismissed and sidelined by the media focused on the flags that stood behind him. The press have not been diverted by flags in the past. Not when Obama stood in front of multiple flags, not when Rudd did so. But consider the actual issues raised by Mr Abbott which the press sidelined and which the ALP failed to address in parliament by playing dumb games. Australia faces savage totalitarian jihadism from criminals, mentally ill and ALP supported scum trying to come to Australia without basic vetting. Security forces have advised the PM of what needs to be done for them to work effectively. ASIO is investigating more than 400 potential terror cells which are deemed more dangerous than the Lindt Cafe killer. The number of terrorism related arrests is growing quickly. The number of terrorist threats has doubled in a year. More than 110 Australians have gone to fight with the ISIL death cult and 30 have returned having been trained in jihadism. Most of the jihadists leaving Australian shores have been on welfare. One can tell how effective Mr Abbott's speech was by the way terrorist advocates like Hizb ut-Tahrir have attacked it. They said “continues the disingenuous approach of western states of seeking to alter the ­victim-aggressor paradigm”.

Mr Morrison has stood on his feet today at the National Press Club lunch, talking about Welfare reform which is needed. He spoke of structural reform, not penny pinching, but questions by the media were nasty penny pinching types. It is telling the ALP are engaged in misrepresenting the reforms. Headlines suggest the reforms will leave people on welfare worse off, which is not true. But the need to fix the budget is important. Mr Morrison is not avoiding hard work, or tough choices. But the press and ALP are avoiding reality. 

Irrelevant Hollywood showcased in Oscars with best picture going to the intense navel gazing of Birdman but not the more worthy American Sniper or Boyhood. Opinion is subjective, but a film about Hollywood should never trump the subject matter of either rival, given the execution of both was also superior. The calculated insult to conservatives did not end there. Joan Rivers who passed during the year was not memorialised. She was a conservative, although that never impeded her performances. 

Irrelevant AGW hysteric resigns after being caught failing to worship his religion of AGW hysteria. Pachauri has been accused of sexual harassment. His resignation letter admitted his belief in AGW theory was religious in nature, not scientific. 
2014
Before the world had heard of the best known Australian of all time, Community Channel aka Natalie Tyler Tran, there was another celebrity the world knew as Australian. Today, the most known Australian in the world, easily identifiable with her friendly false "Hi!" and ethnic Vietnamese features is a twenty something girl who has the heart and soul of Jane Austen. She rules at youtube. But on this day thirteen years ago, we lost the icon known as Donald George Bradman. Both personages are exceptional, leaving one proud to be Australian. Don was a talented, gifted cricketer, an excellent administrator and a generous philanthropist. The love of his life, Jesse, remained his wife from marriage to death. He lived under a fierce public glare. Everyone seems to have a family connection with a Don story. My grandmother remembers him walking down a street with his boy, and being strict. A former colleague of mine tells a story of his father being in a cafe, and the Don was reading a paper. It is ok to die old, surrounded by loved ones, and he managed it. Our Don Bradman. 

The first African American US President is Obama. The first African American congressman was a GOP man, Hiram Rhodes Revels. Obama is like the person who stood for nothing, falling for anything. Hiram was a man of substance. Born free, Hiram was an early organiser of coloured regiments in the civil war. He was chaplain to a regiment. After politics, he became a college president, lecturing in philosophy. He warned US Grant of the carpet baggers who assumed the black vote, which was GOP until FDR exploited it for the Dems. 

There are such things as cultural assets. They build the community. Making the members of the community resilient in times of strife. I won't give up, because Don Bradman wouldn't. So Don is a cultural asset. There is a modern movement which disparages cultural assets and corrodes community values. It promotes a minority over the community. The thinking is wrong. Minorities are important. But the community is more important. If you build the community, the minority will be well cared for. It is similar with economic thought. If you build wealth, the poor can become affluent. Something to think about on the day that we lost The Don, and in which we elected a good man.
Historical perspectives on this day 
In 138, the Roman emperor Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius, effectively making him his successor. 493, Odoacer surrendered Ravenna after a 3-year siege and agreed to a mediated peace with Theoderic the Great. 628, Khosrau II was overthrown by his son Kavadh II. 1336, 4,000 defenders of Pilėnai committed mass suicide rather than be taken captive by the Teutonic Knights. 1631, François de Bassompierre, a French courtier, was arrested on Richelieu's orders. 1797, Colonel William Tate and his force of 1000–1500 soldiers surrendered after the Last invasion of Britain.

In 1821, Greek War of Independence: Alexander Ypsilantis issued a proclamation at Iași, announcing that he had "the support of a great power" (i.e. Russia). 1831, Battle of Olszynka Grochowska, part of Polish November Uprising against Russian Empire. 1836, Samuel Colt was granted a United States patent for the Colt revolver. 1843, Provisional Cession of the Hawaiian or Sandwich Islands established by Lord George Paulet. 1848, Provisional government in revolutionary France, by Louis Blanc's motion, guaranteed workers' rights. 1856, a Peace conference opened in Paris after the Crimean War. 1866, miners in Calaveras County, California, discovered what is now called the Calaveras Skull - human remains that supposedly indicated that man, mastodons, and elephants had co-existed. 1870, Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Mississippi, was sworn into the United States Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in the U.S. Congress. 1875, Guangxu Emperor of Qing dynasty China began his reign, under Empress Dowager Cixi's regency.

In 1901, J. P. Morgan incorporated the United States Steel Corporation. 1912, Marie-Adélaïde, the eldest of six daughters of Guillaume IV, became the first reigning Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. 1916, World War I: the Germans captured Fort Douaumont during the Battle of Verdun. 1919, Oregon placed a one cent per U.S. gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first U.S. state to levy a gasoline tax. 1921, Tbilisi, capital of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, was occupied by Bolshevist Russia. 1928, Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, D.C. became the first holder of a broadcast license for television from the Federal Radio Commission. 1932, Adolf Hitler obtained German citizenship by naturalization, which allowed him to run in the 1932 election for Reichspräsident. 1933, the USS Ranger is launched. It is the first US Navy ship to be built solely as an aircraft carrier.

In 1941, February strike: In occupied Amsterdam, a general strike was declared in response to increasing anti-Jewish measures instituted by the Nazis. 1945, World War II: Turkey declared war on Germany. 1947, the State of Prussia ceased to exist. 1948, the Communist Party took control of government in Czechoslovakia and the period of the Third Republic ended. 1951, the first Pan American Games were held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 1954, Gamal Abdel Nasser was made premier of Egypt. 1956, in his speech On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences, Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union denounced the cult of personality of Joseph Stalin.

In 1964, North Korean Prime Minister Kim Il-sung called for the removal of feudalistic land ownership aimed at turning all cooperative farms into state-run ones. Also 1964, U.S. Air Force launched a satellite employing a US Air Force Atlas/Agena combination from Point Arguello (LC-2-3) in California and from Cape Kennedy in Florida. 1968, Vietnam War: 135 unarmed citizens of Hà My village in South Vietnam's Quảng Nam Province were killed and buried en masse by South Korean troops in what would come to be known as the Hà My massacre. 1971, the first unit of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, the first commercial nuclear power station in Canada, went online. 1980, the government of Suriname was overthrown by a military coup which was initiated by the bombing of the police station from an army ship off the coast of the nation's capital, Paramaribo 1986, People Power Revolution: President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos fled the nation after 20 years of rule; Corazon Aquino became the Philippines' first woman president. 1987, Southern Methodist University's football program was the first college football program to receive the death penalty by the NCAA's Committee on Infractions. It was revealed that athletic officials and school administrators had knowledge of a "slush fund" used to make illegal payments to the school's football players as far back as 1981.

In 1991, Gulf War: An Iraqi scud missile hit an American military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia killing 28 U.S. Army Reservists from Pennsylvania. Also 1991, the Warsaw Pact was declared disbanded. 1992, Khojaly massacre: about 613 civilians were killed by Armenian armed forces during the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakhregion of Azerbaijan. 1994, Mosque of Abraham massacre: In the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron, Baruch Goldstein opened fire with an automatic rifle, killing 29 Palestinian worshippers and injuring 125 more before being subdued and beaten to death by survivors. 1997, Yi Han-yong, North Korean defector was murdered by unidentified assailants in Bundang, South Korea. 2009, members of the Bangladesh Rifles mutinied at their headquarters in Pilkhana, Dhaka, Bangladesh, resulting in 74 deaths, including more than 50 army officials.
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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/4124406September https://www.createspace.com/5106914October 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 Peter CollierWilliam Quach and Joel Watson. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
Edvard Beneš
Ignore the Papal bull. Colt may not be trustworthy, but Colt repeats. Communists or Soviets was a hard choice. Avoid war. Don't be a sitting government. let's party. 
Matches
Hatches
Despatches
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2015
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Lefties flag they’re flush with hatred

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (12:39am)

FOR some people, the Prime Minister’s ­national security ­address on Monday was all about the flags. “How many flags do you need?” went the insta-headlines, as Twitter and puerile media outlets whipped themselves into a lather because there were a few Australian flags arrayed behind Tony ­Abbott when he spoke at the Australian Federal Police headquarters in Canberra.

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Out-of-touch Hollywood just gave us the Bird(man)

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (12:40am)

OSCAR, you disappoint me. The Academy Awards have always been my favourite TV event, for all the corny jokes and terrible songs.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Out-of-touch Hollywood just gave us the Bird(man)'
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CAREER ENDER FOR RAJENDRA

Tim Blair – Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (3:26pm)

Pervy author and cricket fan Rajendra Pachauri quits his leadership of the IPCC: 
After facing allegations of sexual harassment, Dr Rajendra K Pachauri has stepped down as Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change with effect from Tuesday. The Energy and Resources Institute also announced that Dr Pachauri, who is its director general, has proceeded on leave for the time being.
A spokesperson for Dr Pachauri issued a statement that he has informed the IPCC that he has resigned from his position effective today. Dr. Pachauri is also a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change. He was elected to the first of two terms as Chair of the IPCC in April 2002 and had been scheduled to complete his second term in October. 
As Mark Steyn notes, Pachauri’s resignation letter gives the game away: 
For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma. 
Do read on.
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UPDATED: About that “unilateral invasion of Iraq”. Claim collapses

Andrew Bolt February 25 2015 (1:00pm)

John Lyons’ claim, run on high rotation by news services and still treated by the ABC as recently as yesterday as possibly true:
TONY Abbott suggested a unilateral invasion of Iraq, with 3500 Australian ground troops to confront the Islamic State terrorist group.
Flanked by his chief of staff, Peta Credlin, in a meeting in ­Canberra on November 25, the Prime Minister ...  raised the idea with Australia’s leading military planners.
I have already noted how Lyons himself backed off the original claim - of Abbott proposing a “unilateral invasion” - by conceding Iraq’s permission would have been sought. I have also noted that US troops in the area had already been doubled to 3000, making “unilateral” looking even sillier.
Today at a Senate estimates hearing the story is even more comprehensively trashed, to the point where The Australian must surely correct the record. Giving evidence are two men who were at that “meeting” (in fact a dinner), Defence department secretary Dennis Richardson and Chief of Defence Force Mark Binskin, in fact our “top military planner”:
STEPHEN CONROY:
Before I move on to our deployments in Afghanistan [inaudible] reports in The Weekend Australian on Saturday. A well-known journalist, long in the business, John Lyons, reported that the Prime Minister suggested a unilateral version of Iraq with 3,500 Australian ground troops. The article says that he raised it first with his staff at a meeting on November 25th last year when Australian forces were already in Iraq helping train the ISF, I think he called it, and then with Australia’s leading military planners. So at the staff meeting or possibly at dinner – I’m not sure, I’ve seen reports of a dinner – were either of you at the staff meeting and/ or dinner where this is alleged to have happen?
DENNIS RICHARDSON:
I certainly wasn’t at any meeting with staff on that day.
STEPHEN CONROY:
Were you at the meeting where this happened?
DENNIS RICHARDSON:
Well I suppose my difficulty is this: Senator, I’ve never been involved in any meeting formally or informally with the Prime Minister at which he has raised the idea of a unilateral invasion of Iraq with 3,500 Australian ground troops. I was certainly at a dinner in the Prime Minister’s suite on the evening of the 25th of November, but my difficulty there is that no idea like that was ever put on the table.
MARK BINSKIN:
I was at the same dinner.
STEPHEN CONROY:
Oh were you?
MARK BINSKIN:
I was at the same dinner. I’m the lead military planner, by the way… But The Australian came out the other day and said I was not present at the discussions supposedly alluded to.
STEPHEN CONROY:
So, Mr Richardson was present, you were present at exactly the same dinner…
MARK BINSKIN:
We were together…
STEPHEN CONROY:
It’s a long thin table?
MARK BINSKIN:
The acoustics are ok!
STEPHEN CONROY:
[inaudible]
DENNIS RICHARDSON:
Let me put… this report came out on Saturday. From the beginning, I was puzzled by it. The CDF and myself spoke on the Saturday morning because we were both equally puzzled. The CDF checked with his senior people. We all remained very puzzled and we made some comments on the weekend. Following a reiteration of the claim on Monday morning by the journalist, the CDF and myself put out a clear and unambiguous statement on Monday in which we said that on Saturday 21st February The Weekend Australian reported that the Prime Minister had raised with, quote, ‘Australia’s leading military planners’ the idea of, quote, ‘a unilateral invasion of Iraq with 3,500 Australian ground troops to confront the Islamic State terrorist group’. The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshall Mark Binskin and the Secretary of the Department of Defence, Dennis Richardson, advise that this claim is false, quote, ‘At no point has the Prime Minister raised that idea with the ADF and/or the Department of Defence formally or informally directly or indirectly’. We can’t be more unambiguous and as I said on the weekend, which I would stand by, it if piffle.
STEPHEN CONROY:
Thank you, Secretary. I got the sense of the word, Mr Richardson, but I just want to go through the alleged events and who was commenting [inaudible]. So, it wasn’t a meeting, it was a dinner? Was it a dinner after a meeting?
DENNIS RICHARDSON:
I don’t know. I don’t know whether the dinner that the CDF and I went to…
STEPHEN CONROY:
No, I’m seeking to know what the status of that dinner was. Was it after a meeting or were you just having a gathering or were you just invited over for dinner?
DENNIS RICHARDSON:
It was a dinner for the visiting head of the US Air Force, General Welch, and I just can’t relate the two things, because the article on the Saturday refers to a meeting. We were at a dinner. You normally don’t refer to a dinner as a meeting. I mean, you can, but…
STEPHEN CONROY:
I think you’re being a little semantic now, Mr Richardson.
DENNIS RICHARDSON:
No, no I’m not. But even if it is the same thing, the problem I have is this: that there was no such suggestion raised or discussed, so I very strongly stand by the statement that the claim is false.

UPDATE
The rest of the evidence given today Richardson and Binskin is even more damning of Lyons’ report (see transcript below).
In his report, Lyons claimed Abbott “raised the idea” of a “unilateral invasion of Iraq” with “Australia’s leading military planners” at a “meeting” and “the military officials were stunned”.
Richardson says Binskin and the Chief of the Air Force were the only two Australian military at the dinner - not a “meeting” - and none heard what Lyons claimed they did. Richardson and Binskin said Lyons had not called them to check his claim.
The two men say they cannot Abbott ever suggesting any unilateral invasion of Iraq. As Richardson put it:
...as the CDF and myself have said, he has never raised that idea with the ADF or the Department of Defence formally or informally, directly or indirectly… I can say here that I’m not aware of the Prime Minister ever having raised an idea with Australia’s leading military planners of a unilateral invasion of Iraq with one Australian soldier or 1,000 Australian soldiers or any number in between. So, I’m not trying to play around with the number of 3,500. I can’t be more frank. As far as the CDF and I are concerned, this claim is false.
So every single one of the “top military planners” Lyons says were “stunned” by Abbott’s proposal denies hearing any such thing, then or ever. Abbott denies saying such a thing. The claim is inherently incredible. Lyons himself even destroys his own case, admitting that this “unilateral invasion of Iraq” would have only occurred with Iraq’s permission. Lyons didn’t check his claim with at least two of the “top military planners” he says heard Abbott’s proposal. He wrongly claims one of them wasn’t at the meeting. Sorry, dinner.
The Australian has been let down by Lyons and should apologise for running such a false report, and one so damaging to a Prime Minister fighting for his political life.
And what of all the reporters, comedians, talkback hosts and FM presenters who reported this claim as fact, or at least probably true? Will they acknowledge now it is false?
Ha ha ha.
UPDATE
No, not a ”unilateral invasion of Iraq”, but an increase of soldiers - with full Iraqi support - to fight one of the most evil forces seen in our lifetime:
Sources have told the ABC that a commitment of additional Australian troops to Iraq, likely to number in the hundreds, is imminent.
It is understood they will be part of a joint mission with New Zealand to train Iraqi soldiers.
New Zealand’s prime minister John Key announced on Tuesday the deployment of 143 Kiwi personnel to Iraq.
In an address to the New Zealand parliament, Mr Key told his countrymen the deployment would be alongside Australian soldiers.
“This is likely to be a joint training mission with Australia, although it won’t be badged an ANZAC force,” he said.
UPDATE
Watch Key’s fiery address to Parliament and his devastating attack on Labor:
This is the time to stand up and be counted. Get some guts and join the right side.
(Thanks to reader Lew.)
UPDATE
More trashing of the Lyons claims:

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Abbott blamed for the fear that Islamists incite

Andrew Bolt February 25 2015 (11:54am)

From the home page of today’s Age:
image
Yes, The Age blames Tony Abbott - of course! - for alleged attacks on Muslim women:
The verbal abuse of women in headscarves is on the rise in Melbourne, say Muslim women, with some being shoved and spat on while walking…
These cases of abuse reportedly spike during and after events that reflect negatively on the Islamic community, such as the Sydney Lindt Cafe siege and recent debate about banning the burqa.
Community advocate and lawyer Lydia Shelly accused Prime Minister Tony Abbott of encouraging attacks with “inflammatory statements” made during Monday’s national security statement suggesting Muslim leaders may not “mean it” when they speak out against extremism.
“If the rhetoric continues [from] the Prime Minister and people in positions of power it’s going to be very difficult and perhaps unsafe for ... Muslim women to fully participate in Australian public life,” she warned.
But wait. Let’s not skip so lightly over that sole hint - the reference to the Lindt cafe siege - that the abuse of Muslims (to be deplored) might actually be triggered not by Abbott’s anti-terrorism policies but by Islamist terrorism itself.
Ask yourself what The Age has not: what is more likely to incite hostility to Muslims here?
Is it:
A. An Islamist attack on a Sydney cafe that leaves two dead; Australian Islamists in Syria beheading people; Islamists in Syria ordering Australian Muslims to kill us; an Islamist stabbing two Melbourne police; Australian jihadists warning that a “thousand bombs” here will just prove Muslims are right to be angry; and Australian jihadists serving and supporting an Islamist army now slaughtering civilians, killing gays, raping women, beheading Christians and crucifying infidels.
Or:
B. Tony Abbott asking Muslim leaders to do more to help him keep Australians safe?
There is something sick about this criticism. Dangerous about these times.
(Thanks to reader Andrew S.)
UPDATE
Assimilation services in Sweden seem very keen to have newcomers assimilate with ISIS instead:
The Swedish government has been forced shut down an assimilation guide service after discovering that several aides may have been trying to recruit newly arrived immigrants to ISIS.
The assimilation guides, a service provided by the Swedish state job agency, have been accused of taking bribes from migrant job-seekers and making ‘recruitment attempts to militant fighting groups’.
The state job agency, Arbetsformedlingen, has fired the entire network of assimilation guides with immediate effect following the reports.
The BBC is finally taking the problem seriously. No more excuses:
(Thanks to readers Owen and Tim.) 
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Age goes the full Abbott-Abbott-Abbott

Andrew Bolt February 25 2015 (11:47am)

From the home page of today’s anti-Abbott-Abbott-Abbott Age, in full campaigning mode:
image
Defending the untenable bias of Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs, playing the gender card to defend Triggs, beating up a Labor red herring about an alleged “bribe”, accusing Abbott of encouraging attacks on Muslims and beating up claims of Liberal MPs attacking Abbott.
This is hysterical. I wonder why a single Liberal voter would buy a paper so committed to presenting only one side of a debate.
UPDATE
Reader Phillip:
If you want to see some more examples of ABC bias and Abbott hatred go to iView and watch last nights The Drum. Bruce Haigh accused Mr Abbott and Senator Brandis of being misogynists because of their comments about Gillian Triggs. I would think this is grounds for legal action… It beggars belief that this man was once a senior diplomat.
The Drum also showed selective bits from Senate Estimates not showing Senator Brandis explanation of why he has lost confidence in Prof Triggs with respect to her lack of impartiality… They did not show Prof Triggs’ comments on Sovereign Borders which is further proof of her lack of impartiality.
The show also spent considerable time on the latest leak from the the Liberal Party and I do not believe one person on the panel was qualified to comment apart from Helen Coonan. It is interesting that the left members of the panel think it OK for Prof Triggs to operate without impartiality but it is not OK for two senior members of the Liberal Party to be married. Would they be so critical if both these people were a same sex couple?
UPDATE
ABC TV news last night refused to detail the Abbott Government’s case against Triggs - why it concluded she was biased and had lost its confidence. 7.30 also omitted the facts which damn Triggs.
It continued this morning:
image
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The Greens win! Leader gives worst political interview ever

Andrew Bolt February 25 2015 (11:40am)


British Greens leader Natalie Bennett gives the worst political interview I have ever heard:

During her time on air, Ms Bennett repeatedly fell into laps of silence and had coughing fits as she was questioned by Nick Ferrari on LBC Radio.
The Australian-born politician was asked how her party would fund the building of 500,000 new social rented homes.
When challenged several times on the subject, Ms Bennett appeared to flounder and said: “Erm ... well ... that’s part of the whole costing.”
The host then moved on to ask about the overall cost of building the homes, to which Ms Bennett again appeared not to know the answer.
“Right, well, that’s, erm ... you’ve got a total cost ... erm ... that we’re ... that will be spelt out in our manifesto,” she said.
Mr Ferrari ...  then questioned: “So you don’t know?”
Ms Bennett replied: “No. Well ... er."…
After a few seconds, the party leader gave a figure of £2.7 billion for the total cost of building the homes.
But Mr Ferrari then quizzed: “Five hundred thousand homes, £2.7 billion - what are they made of, plywood?”
After a long pause, Ms Bennett said: “Um ... At a cost of 60k per home…
“What we are talking about, what we want to see is the possibility of homes being built.”
Mr Ferrari asked: “How are you going to pay for the land?”
Following another silent pause, the politician started coughing and confessed to having a cold.
Mr Ferrari then continued to press: “I’m terribly sorry to hear that ... You don’t actually know what this is going to cost, do you?”
She then came up with a figure of “£6 billion a year”, but seemed unclear what it related to.
That story doesn’t do full justice to the sheer horror of the interview.
The Greens in Australia might seem similarly stupid if they agreed to be interviewed by journalists who weren’t as sympathetic as the ABC.
UPDATE
Incredibly, Bennett’s day only got worse:

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A birthday party

Andrew Bolt February 25 2015 (9:20am)

image
Glenn Buratti was turning six:
“From the minute he woke up that day he wanted to know how many minutes until his friends came. None of the kids’ parents RSVP’d, but I was still holding on to the hope that some of them would show up. It never crossed my mind that it would be zero,” his mom, Ashlee Buratti said.
Glenn’s eyes filled with tears when she finally told him that his classmates weren’t coming.
“He’s really sensitive,” Ashlee said, adding that Glenn has epilepsy and a mild form of autism.
When the birthday boy retreated into play with his older sister, Ashlee took a few minutes to process her frustration on Facebook. Her post on Osceola Rants Raves & Reviews List, a locally run page with more than 10,000 members, changed everything.
Read on. Nicest thing you’ll read all day.
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Alleged transcript: beheading ordered in Sydney

Andrew Bolt February 25 2015 (8:07am)

From a hearing yesterday:
TERROR suspect Omarjan Azari was urged to “pick a random ­unbeliever” and kill them before covering them in the Islamic State flag, a court heard yesterday.
In opposing Azari’s release on bail, Central Local Court was told the chilling details of a phone call that police claimed took place ­between Azari and Australian IS kingpin Mohammad Baryalei, who is believed to have since been killed in Syria…
“What you guys need to do is pick any random unbeliever,” it is alleged Baryalei said. “Yeah,” Azari replied. “Finish him, finish her ... put the flag of the state in the background.”
The court heard Baryalei said it would serve as a message: “As you kill our people, we will also kill your people one by one”.
It is alleged Baryalei also considered “a backpacker, tourist, American, French or British, like that’s even better"…
The court alleged Azari was “furthering Mr Baryalei’s terror aspirations” and it was further submitted that the former Kings Cross bouncer wanted “heavy, heavy-duty boys with perfect faith”, to which Azari replied: “No worries, Allah willing"…
Steven Boland, the barrister for Azari, ... said ... any accusation he had been planning to behead someone in a public place was “made up”.
Some aggressive supporters outside the court are concerning:

(No comments.) 
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NSW Labor campaigns to beggar the state to feed union mates

Andrew Bolt February 25 2015 (8:00am)

Paul Kelly is rightly aghast that the NSW Labor party is campaigning against the privatisation of the state’s electricity assets, meant to help pay for critical new infrastructure:
How mad is it that the ALP as a party dedicated to improved living standards is reduced to hugging poles and wires? In their hearts many ALP figures know this is a fraud.
Former NSW premier Morris Iemma, staying out of this campaign, favours the sell-off. Iemma was destroyed by the unions and party when, as premier, he tried to sell the retailers and lease the generators. Who was backing Iemma? Paul Keating, of course.
In truth, this issue is a deal-breaker for the unions. Labor is trapped by its structural ties to the unions, the anti-privatisation culture of progressive politics and the desperate hope that populist hostility to privatisation will save its lowly fortunes at the ballot box.
The scare campaign will be ferocious. Conducted in the name of the people, the real purpose is to retain union privileges and de facto management control of state enterprise.
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If someone dies, blame the Greens

Andrew Bolt February 25 2015 (7:35am)


  Janet Albrechtsen:
When Australians die at the hands of terrorists, no one blames the Greens. It’s the role of the government to keep us safe. But if you draw taxpayer-funded wages and call yourself a senator, it’s high time you were held accountable for undermining our safety in the modern age of terrorism.
Proving their dangerously ill­og­ical consistency, Ludlum said on Monday that all 10 Greens senators would vote against the government’s planned metadata retention bill. Next time the Greens straddle their moral high horse about civil liberties, remember these people, put into the Senate to represent us, are offering the greatest protection to those who would kill us.
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Harassment claims too hot for IPCC chief

Andrew Bolt February 25 2015 (7:22am)

The climate has got very heated for the IPCC chief:
RAJANDRA Pachauri has stood down as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and been admitted to hospital as details of his ­alleged sexual harassment of a junior employee were tended to a Delhi court.
... the woman at the centre of the allegations has started recording her statement in camera. According to Indian media, the lawyer for the alleged victim said the instances of sexual harassment “were so many that she will resume recording her statement tomorrow also”.
Lawyers for Dr Pachauri describe the complaint as “false, baseless and motivated”.
UPDATE
Pachauri resigns.
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A healthy union wouldn’t protect a thug

Andrew Bolt February 25 2015 (7:12am)

A culture of thuggery:
ACTU secretary Dave Oliver was railing against the Abbott government, accusing it of trying to “damage the branding of our movement and besmirch our reputation"…
Addressing the Maritime Union of Australia state conference in Western Australia yesterday, Mr Oliver strongly endorsed the tactics of the militant union, praising controversial WA secretary and Labor Party powerbroker Christy Cain for “giving the bosses the shits” and “energising” his members who have secured big pay rises on the wharves.
But his staunch defence of the MUA came just minutes before one of the union’s members physically assaulted a journalist from The Australian, who had been invited to cover the conference in Fremantle.
The member — whom MUA leaders last night declined to identify — approached WA chief reporter Andrew Burrell during Mr Oliver’s speech and ordered him to leave the meeting, claiming the media were not allowed to be present. When Burrell said he had been invited to cover the event by the MUA, the man said: “I’m a f..king member here, mate. We can throw you out any time we want.”
He then knocked the journalist off his chair, pushed him to the ground and grabbed him as he lay on the floor, before being pulled away by fellow members.
Alerted to the incident, Mr Cain demanded The Australian’s photographer Colin Murty hand over the camera’s memory card, but Murty refused. Mr Cain then ordered the reporter and photographer to leave.
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=== Posts from last year ===


from Michael S Moore
Maria Tran did a great job in her part of the Indie film Maximum Choppage: Round 2 (An Australian TV series is being made as we speak!) and returns with the graceful JuJu Chan in a really fun short film that just left me wanting to see more of these two Hit Girls, Pixie and Charlie, since they fight with each other nearly as much as they fight their targets. The humor was spot on, and the fights were just the right amounts of awesome fun. Maria Tran is a talented martial artist and filmmaker, and here doth purport better things to come from her, and JuJu Chan was amazing as well. A fun, martial arts fueled romp from Maria and Company in the land down under! So when can we see Pixie and Charlie again?
Also, the Guerilla Scope opening was terrific!
Enjoy!
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BORING BRIT BOOTED

Tim Blair – Monday, February 24, 2014 (7:03pm)

A curious media experiment ends
Piers Morgan has revealed that his CNN talk show is set to end within a matter of weeks after failing to attract the size of audience that the network had hoped for its coveted 9 p.m. time slot.
Three years after taking over for Larry King, ratings for Piers Morgan Live have not matched rivals such as Fox News and MSNBC causing network president Jeffrey Zucker to decide to pull the plug on the British journalist.
‘It’s been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings,’ Morgan told The New York Times.
Plans for a replacement are underway, but Morgan and the network are in talks about him remaining on the air in a different role. 
Good luck with that.
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THREE GOOD THINGS IN THE US

Tim Blair – Monday, February 24, 2014 (7:59pm)

An ingenious rap edit:



Dale Earnhardt Jr’s reaction after winning the Daytona 500:

image

And my attempt to drown an SUV, soon to take place in a Montana lake:

image
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Labor apologises for a smear. Senator Conroy promptly smears again

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (7:09pm)

Labor today voted for a motion apologising for former Labor MP Craig Thomson’s used of parliamentary privilege to smear innocent people. Yet on the very same day Senator Steve Conroy abuses that privilege all over again:
Senator Conroy then referenced a quote from the movie A Few Good Men, asking General Campbell: “Can’t we handle the truth?” 
He referred to Lt Gen Campbell as the character in the movie, Colonel Jessup, who utters the line: “You can’t handle the truth.”
“I mean seriously. You can’t tell us the truth,” Senator Conroy continued.
“You can’t tell the Australian public the truth because you might upset an international neighbour.
“That’s called a political cover-up. That’s a political cover-up. You’re engaged in a political cover-up.”
Committee chairman and Liberal Senator Ian Macdonald said Senator Conroy was bullying a witness and asked him to apologise.
He refused and Lt Gen Campbell responded.
“I just would like to put on the public record I take extreme offence at that statement you’ve made,” the military commander said.
Conroy later withdrew his disgraceful smear, but not until he’d got out his poison.
How shameful. 
===

Jacqui Lambie challenges boss Clive Palmer

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (6:29pm)

Jacqui Lambie, one of Clive Palmer’s two Senator-elects, is angry with Palmer’s performance on Q&A last night and warns he should not count on her support.
Here is what upset the Lambie, a former soldier:
HENRY LAWTON:  James Brown, the Australian military analyst and himself a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, he’s recently released a book where he’s questioned how taxpayers can justify spending $325 million on the ANZAC centenary while there is a lack of support for veterans returning from the wars of the last 20 years… So my real question is what is the right balance between spending on commemoration of war and helping those veterans who so badly need our help right now?… 
CLIVE PALMER: Well, I think it’s well spent because I think we need to remember who we are, where we come from and what our nation stands for so we can be positive about the future. But there’s no question that all political parties of all Governments have deserted our veterans and they are not getting the same fair go that they should get and I think that needs to be looked at too.
Innocuous, I thought, but Lambie got cross in an email to supporters for veterans’ rights:
From: Jacqui Lambie [mailto:xxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, 25 February 2014 4:14 AM
To: 

After Palmers responses about our Veterans last night and the way he tapped danced I can assure each and everyone of you he is skating on thin ice with Jacqui Lambie. Please pass through 
I asked Lambie to explain, and received this response:
Hi Andrew - I am concerned with what Clive didn’t say on Q&A 
Firstly I have already made it clear to Clive that none of the PUP should be going to the centenary of ANZAC next year. There are too many politicians and their entourage going on tax payers money. This money should be paid forward to the War Widows, wounded diggers and their families.
Secondly the PUP put out the most comprehensive Veterans Affairs Policy ever written in political history at last years Federal Election. The top of that policy list means that the party will fight for the full 207,000 Vets and entitlement holders who should be given fair indexation of their pensions etc and to show goodwill to these men and women the PUP will fight for back pay for them, because we believe they have earned it
The Liberals policy only fairly indexes 56,000, meaning 151,000 Vets and their Families miss out The Liberals also refuse to back pay the Vets and their Families who have been completely ripped off for the past 20 years by both Labor and the Libs.
Clive had the perfect opportunity to make the Australian people aware of these facts, plus failed to put all political parties on warning when it comes to the serious issue of the suicide and attempted suicide rates of the men and women who are prepared to fight and die for this bloody country.
I promised 2 things before the Federal Election, firstly I would stand my ground and secondly i would fight like hell when it comes to the economic state of emergency that my beautiful Tasmania is in, and against the collateral damage that Veterans Affairs has become.
I don’t care which party they belong to or what position they hold in parliament, I will hold them accountable. Sometimes unfortunately even political leaders, including my own need a wake up call when justified.
There has already been conflict between myself and Palmer, he like me is big enough to take it.That is democracy. In Clive’s defense he has made it quite clear he would never attach puppet strings to anyone representing the PUP, nor has he tried.
In the best interest of the nation Clive and I want what is best for all Australians, we are both aiming for the same outcomes, sometimes we use different methods of achieving the results required, that’s all. 
I believe any parliamentarian who is not big enough to question their own political leader when warranted should not be given the honour of holding a political seat.
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Warning to Michael Mann: apologise for your lie or risk facing from me what you’ve done to Steyn

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (3:43pm)

Open and shut case. Michael Mann is a liar:
image
Normally I do not sue, but this seems to me a special case.
Mann, the climate alarmist who gave the world his dodgy ”hockey stick”, is now suing sceptic Mark Steyn for mocking him and his lawyers have produced  deceptive legal documents in his defence.
Mann has published an outright lie that defames me, and should face the same punishment he wishes to mete out on Steyn for mere mockery.
I do not lie and Murdoch does not pay me to do so. Nor has Mann singled out a single “lie” I’m alleged to have committed.
In fact, Mann is so reckless with the facts that his tweet  links to an obvious parody Twitter account run by one of my critics, clearly believing that it’s actually mine.
Advice, please?
UPDATE
I have sent Mann the following email:
Dr Mann:
I note your publication of the following defamatory tweet: 
image

You have published an outright lie that defames me.

I do not lie and am not paid by Rupert Murdoch to lie. You have not identified in your tweet a single example of an alleged lie, which suggests you simply made up this defamatory claim.
Indeed, you were so reckless with the facts that your tweet links to an obvious parody Twitter account run by one of my critics which you have clearly believed is mine.
Your other link is to the website of a warmist journalist who for years was a Murdoch columnist, too, writing on climate change. Was he, too, paid by “villainous” Rupert Murdoch to “lie to public”?
I’ve since learned that you last year retweeted another defamatory comment: “No other media organisation in any other civilised nation would employ #AndrewBolt as a journalist”.
As it turns out, that, too, is incorrect. I am not only employed by News Corp but by Australia’s Network 10 and Macquarie Radio Network, where I host a weekly television show and co-host a daily radio show respectively. I have also appeared as a commentator on other media outlets, including the state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Al Jazeera, the BBC and Canadian radio stations. I am very confident I would be able to find work as a journalist in another “civilised nation”.
I note this because repeated defamations under Australia’s law is evidence of malice – and your history of defaming me shows a complete disregard for the facts.
It is appalling that you could be so reckless, so spiteful, so destructive and so ill-informed. I have long doubted the rigor and the conclusions of your work as a climate scientist and often deplored the way you conduct debate, but even I had never before today considered publically calling you a liar. 
I demand you delete your tweet and issue a public apology on the same Twitter account within 24 hours. Failure to do so will not only cast doubt on your commitment to truth in debates on global warming, but expose you to legal action.
UPDATE
Mann gives a very grudging “not necessarily” apology for his brazen lie (and follows it up elsewhere with a string of insults):
image
Too late. His mask has slipped. What else has he repeated - whether “science” or personal calumnies - that was false and motivated by spite or self-protection?
Steve McIntyre suggests one more.
UPDATE
Now, how to get Mann to apologise for his “hockey stick” as well? 
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Flannery blames global warming for the floods he’d first predicted were gone forever

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (2:56pm)

Former Chief Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery in 2007:
 
We’re already seeing the initial impacts [of man-made global warming] and they include a decline in the winter rainfall zone across southern Australia, which is clearly an impact of climate change, but also a decrease in run-off. Although we’re getting say a 20 per cent decrease in rainfall in some areas of Australia, that’s translating to a 60 per cent decrease in the run-off into the dams and rivers. That’s because the soil is warmer because of global warming and the plants are under more stress and therefore using more moisture. So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems, and that’s a real worry for the people in the bush.
Tim Flannery yesterday:


To return to heavy rainfall and flooding, we have seen a real change in Australia, along with heat waves, in terms of rainfall and flooding. And just to remind people this comes with an economic cost, that’s Brisbane a couple of years ago (reference to a presentation slide). I still remember paying my flood levy, it should be known as the first climate change tax that we paid in this country. The Queensland floods in December 2010 was the wettest December on record in Queensland. Floods broke river height records at over 100 observation stations. And again just think of that graphic with normal distribution of the weather and how it has shifted where we’re going into that area now of record breaking events.
Flannery predicted global warming would give us fewer floods, now he says we’re getting more.
Even more brazen is his claim that the flood levy to pay for the 2010 Queensland flood was in fact “the first climate change tax”.
What a con. Flannery, the former Climate Change Chief Commissioner, is blaming the 2010 Queensland flood on climate change when his own Climate Commission has already admitted it wasn’t:
Commissioner Will Steffen wrote in the May report The Critical Decade: “The floods across eastern Australia in 2010 and early 2011 were the consequence of a very strong La Nina event and not the result of climate change.” 
Why do people believe a word this alarmist says?
UPDATE
Another wild Flannery claim from yesterday’s lecture:
Half of the Great Barrier Reef is already destroyed. If we don’t redouble our efforts to reduce carbon pollution, heat and acid will destroy the rest by century’s end. 
(Thanks to reader Peter H.) 
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What on earth is the Morrison scandal? Where is this “gulag”?

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (1:56pm)

Less scandalous by the minute.
The Immigration Department secretary, Martin Bowles, was grilled by Greens and Labor Senators today in Senate Estimates and gave evidence perfectly consistent with that of Minister Scott Morrison.
First, the detainees started a riot which was always likely to be dangerous. We’ve already seen pictures of detainees, some masked, throwing rocks at security guards and/or police. Bowles said the PNG police deployed their dog squad around the fences at 7pm. At 9.45pm the fences were torn down, and at midnight the centre staff had to be pulled out for their safety. Warning shots had to be fired.
Bowles then made clear - repeatedly - that the situation was fluid and facts hard to pin down. He noted a couple of times that Morrison in his Tuesday afternoon press conference put doubt on the claim he’d made that morning about the dead asylum seeker suffering his injury outside the centre. Bowles said Morrison repeated his clarification the next day.
Asked when, before Morrison’s further clarification on Saturday evening, Bowles first heard internally that centre staff were possibly involved in injuring the detainees, Bowles replied it was that Saturday.
And again I have to ask: so what? Morrison made a mistake which he quickly flagged might be a mistake and fully corrected over the following few days.
What on earth is the scandal here? The information is out and being fully debated. No cover up at all.
The only proper point of debate is the standard of care and control at the facility and the political responsibility for it. This searching for some dark conspiracy is paranoid.
And this kind of lurid exaggeration is unbecoming of senior political reporters:
PAUL BONGIORNO [on ABC National Breakfast with Fran Kelly]: 
In his original news conference, the Minister actually blamed the victims for their injuries, including the dead man and it took him a week to row away from all of this. This demonising of asylum seekers is part of the armoury and many people in Australia find it disgusting. The other point is that while the Minister pointed out yesterday in Parliament that Papua New Guinea law applies in this detention centre – in this gulag really – that we’re the ones who fund it, we’re the ones who set it up, we’re the ones who agreed to the terms.  So, from that point of view it’s hard to see how the Australian Government – and particularly the Australian Minister – haven’t got a case to answer. 
Bongiorno’s cheap shot not only wildly exaggerates the alleged harshness at Manus - from which detainees can escape simply by going home - but diminishes the true horror of the real gulag and trashes the memory of its victims:
The Gulag—the vast array of Soviet concentration camps—was a system of repression and punishment whose rationalized evil and institutionalized inhumanity were rivaled only by the Holocaust.... In 1929, Stalin personally decided to expand the camp system, both to use forced labor to accelerate Soviet industrialization and to exploit the natural resources of the country’s barely habitable far northern regions… From 1929 until the death of Stalin in 1953, some 18 million people passed through this massive system. Of these 18 million, it is estimated that 4.5 million never returned. 
Bongiorno should also have added that, politically speaking, the “we” he indicts includes the Labor party which funded the Manus centre, set it up and agreed to its terms - and it is therefore “hard to see how [Labor politicians] haven’t got a case to answer.”
But Labor are now concerned about the big issues:
Labor senator Lisa Singh is concerned about gay detainees on Manus. PNG law prohibits sexual relations between men.
Why wasn’t this is an issue for Labor before the Coalition took over its centre?
UPDATE
Bottom line:
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Where was the outrage then? So why the outrage now? 
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One word to separate them

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (12:01pm)

The Sydney Morning Herald reports a drama at a spelling bee:
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One way to separate the two contestants would be to ask them to spell “separate”. If either were a Herald reporter, they’d be knocked out.
(Thanks to reader Jeremy.) 
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Qantas to be freed - but not if this reckless Senate can prevent it

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (10:30am)

No mention of the debt guarantee, which I hope is off the table:
The federal government will move swiftly to amend the Qantas Sale Act in order to lift the foreign ownership restrictions on the airline and abolish requirements that it keeps the majority of its maintenance and other facilities in Australia. 
With the airline to announce on Thursday a large six-month loss, plans to shed thousands of jobs and a restructure the airline’s operations, all; to save $2 billion over three years, Transport Minister Warren Truss said it was time the airline competed on a level playing field…
The Qantas Sale Act, a consequence of the privatisation of the airline in 1992, limits foreign ownership of Qantas to 49 per cent, ­foreign airlines from holding more than a 35 per cent stake and any single foreign ­shareholder to 25 per cent.
It requires the airline keep the bulk of its maintenance, catering, flight ­operations and training ­facilities for its international services in Australia. 
Amending the Sale Act sets up a major political battle with the Senate, both current and new, unlikely to support the move.
The Senate looks like the castle of populists where good policy will be wrecked as the economy continues to lag. Qantas to remain crippled, the carbon tax still in place, the mining tax still in place…
The kind of exchange which defines the problem:
Mr Hockey refused to comment on whether the government would be upset about changes to routes and services. 
“I’m not going to micro-design flight paths over Australia,” he said.
Yet there will be countless voters and their panderers in politics who believe he should.  
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Save the Reef from Brown and his oily mates

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (10:09am)

Bob Brown leads a bunch of polluters - and, worse, polluters of the seas near the Great Barrier Reef:
A FAULTY switch and instruction manuals written entirely in Japanese have been blamed in court for why a ship owned by conservation group Sea Shepherd dropped up to 500 litres of diesel into the Trinity InletThe environmental organisation, whose Australian arm is chaired by former politician Bob Brown, yesterday pleaded guilty to the marine pollution offence in the Cairns Magistrates Court.
(Thanks to reader Stu.) 
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Our new target should be renewed intelligence. This green one is mad

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (9:47am)

Global warming - general

The Renewable Energy Target was meant to help stop the planet from warming. No one has every explained what difference – if any at all – it would actually make.
And only now are we asking what it will actually cost, too. Judith Sloan warns:
Apologists for the RET will make the claim that the extent to which the RET has contributed to higher electricity prices is small - 3-5 per cent. 
This claim is contentious. It should be noted that the estimate only covers the cost of complying with the RET and does not include the change to wholesale electricity prices.
According to my calculation, and depending on the assumptions made about the cost differential of renewable energy over conventional energy, by 2020 electricity prices will be 25-40 per cent higher than would be the case had the RET not been in place.
This impact on prices is enough to cause considerable pressure on many households, leading to so-called “energy poverty”. 
It is also more than high enough to drive many energy-intensive businesses to the wall or to relocate offshore...
One day people will marvel - horrified - that a generation of Australians could have done something so pointless at such huge expense. 
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Abbott’s apology is a stunt, yet one sorry must be said

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (9:45am)

Fixing an injustice, but designed more to expose Labor’s defence of the scoundrel Thomson: 
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott will today call on the parliament to issue an unprecedented apology on behalf of all MPs to the people accused of corruption by the convicted fraudster and disgraced former Labor MP Craig Thomson… 
The motion will call for the parliament to issue a statement of regret for Thomson’s speech, to “apologise to those individuals named in the speech against which egregious falsehoods were made; and the members of the Health Services Union, some of the lowest paid workers in Australia, for the spending by Mr Craig Thomson of $267,721.65 of union members’ funds on his re-election campaign and further private expenditure not authorised by the union.”
It is likely the apology would also be extended to Mr Abbott for Thomson’s claim during the speech that he was “unfit to be an MP”. 
The former HSU officials covered in the apology would include Kathy Jackson and HSU official Marco Bolano.
There are reasons to attack this as the stunt this largely is. It is certainly not for Parliament to apologise for what Craig Thomson did as a corrupt union official, or to apologise for having a bad opinion of Abbott.  This is way out of order.
But there is an argument for having Parliament apologise for having been used to smear innocent people – specifically Jackson and Bolano, who deserve to have their reputations restored.
I’m less impressed, though, by the objection from the ABC’s Fran Kelly this morning that this apology would diminish the apology to the “stolen generations”.
Interesting: Kelly defends an apology for mythical “stolen generation” policies that is issued by politicians who knew they were safely free from any responsibility, anyway.
In contrast, she is attacking an apology for a very real offence that is issued by politicians who include those who defended the colleague responsible and thus gave his lies more weight.
It seems apologies must only be issued by politicians apologising for anyone else but themselves.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Newspoll: Labor ahead, Shorten gains

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (9:20am)

I think this Newspoll overstates the Labor lead and Shorten’s popularity. That said, the Manus riot and the false information passed on by the Immigration Minister has made the Government look bad, and talk of (necessary) changes to Medicare and the age pension will have many voters skittish: 
[Labor] remains ahead on 54 points to 46 and would win government if a poll was held now. 
In another blow for the government, the Newspoll also shows an increasing confidence in Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, who trails Tony Abbott by just one point as preferred prime minister.
The Government had a slow start and is taking dangerously long to embark on the reforms needed to turn the economy around. That gives it less time to show the gain for all the pain before the next election.
Of course, it’s easy to say that when the Greens and Labor still have a lock on the Senate until July.
UPDATE
This, too, will be blamed on the Government: 
QANTAS is gearing up to axe 5000 jobs and sell its terminal at MelbourneAirport to prove to the Abbott Government it can make the tough business decisions required to obtain federal assistance. 
The airline may also take the razor to its budget offshoot Jetstar, slashing jobs and routes, as it lobbies the Government to provide it with a lifesaving debt guarantee.
The economy needs chemotherapy. The Government better get cracking so that public won’t still feel nauseous come the election, and can actually see signs of health returning.
UPDATE
What is depressing is that the Government seems to be suffering simply for talking about cutting a spending which desperately needs cutting:
HEALTH and education are being targeted for reform as Tony Abbott vows to slow the rate of growth in both spending areas to meet his promise to put the budget back on track for a surplus… 
“We will keep our pre-election commitments to maintain health spending and school spending, but must reduce the rate of spending growth in the longer term if debt is to be paid off and good schools and hospitals are to be sustainable for the longer term,” Mr Abbott said… An independent review by the Parliamentary Budget Office in December found health spending had been rising 4.8 per cent a year after inflation while education was up 5 per cent a year over a decade. That compared with GDP growth of 3 per cent.
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A climate of oppression

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (8:58am)

Free speech

 We’ve seen the same authoritarian breed here:
Charles Krauthammer says it right up front in his Washington Post column: “I’m not a global warming believer. I’m not a global warming denier.” 
He does, however, challenge the notion that the science on climate change is settled and says those who insist otherwise are engaged in “a crude attempt to silence critics and delegitimize debate.”
How ironic, then, that some environmental activists launched a petition urging the Post not to publish Krauthammer’s column on Friday…
Brad Johnson (@ClimateBrad), the editor of HillHeat.com and a former Think Progress staffer, boasted on Twitter that 110,000 people had urged the newspaper “to stop publishing climate lies” like the Krauthammer piece…
When it comes to free speech, Krauthammer says, “they don’t even hide it anymore. Now they proudly want certain arguments banished from discourse. The next step is book burning. So the question of the day is: Can you light a Kindle? 
“Is there anything more anti-scientific than scientific truths being determined by petition and demonstration?”
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Fairfax accuses Morrison of hiding until Saturday what he’d revealed on Tuesday

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (8:00am)

Boat people policy

Fairfax’s Mark Kenny misrepresents Scott Morrison to make him look sneaky:
Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed he knew a week ago his initial statements about a fatal brawl at the immigration detention facility on Manus Island were likely to have been wrong but has refused to say why he waited to correct the record until Saturday night.... 
Under attack in Parliament over comments last Tuesday morning, which appeared to lay the blame for the violence at the detention centre on rampaging asylum seekers for pushing through the perimeter fence, Mr Morrison revealed he was told later that day that he had been given unreliable information. He said his initial claim that the death and much of the violence had taken place outside the centre was not correct. As the day progressed he was advised there were alternative versions of what happened, putting in doubt many details. Yet it took five days for the evidence to mount to the point that he deemed it necessary to ‘’correct the record’’.
In fact within hours of that Tuesday press conference Morrison held another - also on Tuesday - in which he himself cast doubt on what he’d just said about where the dead man had been injured:
Secondly, in terms of the man who died, he had a head injury and at this stage it is not possible to give any further detail on that, including now, based on subsequent reports, where this may have taken place… Where physically this took place based on the information I have received this afternoon, that is a matter where there are some conflicting reports… 
Journalist: What are the conflicting reports?
Minister Morrison: Well the reports are conflicting on where the individual might have been at the time.
Journalist: Either inside or outside. 
Minister Morrison: I am saying that there are conflicting reports and when I have a full picture on where the individual might have been but that could be some time to determine because we anticipate that would be the subject of a police investigation… 
It is true that Morrison did wait until Saturday to say he had conflicting reports about where the other detainees had been injured, too. But his correction of the main point being debated was issued within hours, and Kenny should have said so.
In any event, I struggle to see what the outrage is about. Morrison passed on bad information on Tuesday morning. By that afternoon, he warned that a key claim he’d made was not reliable, On Saturday he corrected the record more fully. On Sunday he explained more of the background. He also announced an independent inquiry to establish the facts.
Exactly what is the scandal here? It seems to me there’s a lynch mob on the rampage desperate for any excuse to hang Morrison for stopping the boats.
That said, the handling of the riot seems to have been a disaster, which reflects badly on the Government - but not just the Government. After all, this was a riot started by the detainees at a centre created by Labor, involving staff hired by Labor to stop boats lured by Labor - and the Abbott Government had already organised for new security personnel to take over this week.
If there is to be blame for this, let’s start with blaming Labor.
But the critics of Morrison are, for the most part, hypocrites. Where was their outrage over the 1100 people lured to their deaths under Labor?
Where was Kenny’s outrage at Labor’s refusal for months and months to even admit people were drowning under its policies? From 2009:
Last week I warned that at least 25 boat people had died this year in trying to sail here, after the Government weakened our laws on illegal arrivals… 
On Friday Nationals leader Warren Truss repeated my point, goading the Government into a furious response.
Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard savaged Truss for his “vile slur”, which she said was one of the most “dangerous”, “irresponsible” and “despicable” she’d heard in politics.
She falsely claimed Truss had blamed the Government for “causing” these 25 deaths, and on Channel 9 added this: ”There is no evidence to support this figure.
Pardon? No evidence? 
Hypocrites.
UPDATE
What really infuriates Morrison’s critics:
AUSTRALIA has reportedly sent a group of asylum-seekers back to Indonesia in a lifeboat, in the latest “turn-back” by the Abbott government. 
No boats have arrived for 68 days. Not since the Rudd Government scrapped the Howard Government’s border laws has there been such a pause in arrivals.
And guess what: there have also been no drownings.
How many lives has Morrison saved?
UPDATE
Morrison also confirmed last Wednesday that his initial information seemed mistaken:
Mr Morrison said at his first press conference on the incident in Darwin last Tuesday that the death of 23-year-old Iranian man Reza Berati happened outside the facility… 
Mr Morrison held a press conference several hours later and revealed there were “conflicting reports” on where the incident happened… The next day he told Sydney radio station 2GB he was unsure whether the death had taken place inside or outside the detention centre. Asked whether the incident took place inside the detention centre, Mr Morrison said: “No, we don’t know, and that’s what I said yesterday at the press conference”. 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Labor could drown in all this slush, once exposed

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (7:35am)

Former Labor minister Gary Johns is right to praise former HSU official Kathy Jackson as the heroine who could finally snap the rancid bond between unions and Labor:
According to Ian Temby QC in his July 2012 report into the administration of HSU east, Jackson was the main source of the allegations against both Thomson and Williamson, both frauds against the union they served… 
In an interview on radio 2GB on October 16 last year, Jackson recalled a 2011 HSU council meeting at Darling Harbour. “There would have been 900 delegates ... I kid you not ... This is after I went to the police ... (Michael) Williamson got a standing ovation ... they played the Rocky theme when he walked in ... there were people heckling me and screaming at me and (fellow HSU whistleblower) Marco Bolano ... that I was a traitor to the movement ... people were calling out ‘Judas’ from the crowd ... this went for four hours.”
That’s courage, and now many Labor figures have cause to fear the new royal commission into union corruption:
Jackson will be the one, along with Julia Gillard and her inadvertent sanctifying of union slush funds, who will destroy the union movement’s political patronage machine. Dyson Heydon, former justice of the High Court, will inquire into the “slush funds” of at least five trade unions: the Australian Workers Union, the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, the Electrical Trades Union, the Health Services Union, and the Transport Workers Union…

There are a swag of trade unionists in the parliament, or who have recently left, who worked for these unions. These unions support any numbers of members directly or through their faction. Bill Shorten, formerly of the AWU, will spend the course of the inquiry worrying about the future of a trade union-based Labor Party.

Others may feel the same. Stephen Conroy, the former communications minister, was an organiser with the TWU, as were senators David Feeney of Victoria and Alex Gallacher of South Australia. Former senator Stephen Hutchins is a former TWU state secretary and national president and Joe Tripodi, a former minister in NSW, was a TWU official. Senator Kate Lundy was an organiser for the CFMEU. Senator Gavin Marshall of Victoria was an assistant state secretary with the ETU. These members may have no business at all with the inquiry into union slush funds, nor is there any suggestion of wrongdoing, but each will be nervous their former union’s financial and political affairs will be investigated in great detail. 
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Rome gains Pell, and we lose

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (6:52am)

Great for him and useful for his church, but it’s a loss for Australia:
POPE Francis has appointed Australia’s Cardinal George Pell to one of the church’s most senior jobs in Rome. 
Cardinal Pell’s new position, as Prefect for the Economy for the Holy See and the Vatican, ranks on a par with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, an Italian, second behind the Pope in the church’s hierarchy.
Cardinal Pell, who has been spending increasing amounts of time in Rome, will relocate there before the end of next month. All sections of the Vatican curia will be answerable to him for financial and administrative matters, regardless of which other cardinal prefects they report to on other matters.
No Australian cardinal has been appointed to such a senior Vatican role before. Cardinal Pell’s departure will leave a vast gap in Australian public life… 
Alleged corruption within the Vatican bank and the shambolic state of the Vatican’s finances have been major concerns to senior cardinals and others in the church for years.
Pell revitalised the church here, and tempered the disastrous Leftism of many of the clerics who’d seized the spokesmen roles. Much now depends on the calibre of his successor:
Attention will now turn to Cardinal Pell’s replacement in Sydney. Parramatta’s Bishop Anthony Fisher is regarded by Sydney priests as the frontrunner. Brisbane’s Archbishop Mark Coleridge is also seen as a contender, with Bishop Bill Wright of Maitland-Newcastle a rank outsider. The rector of Sydney’s seminary, Anthony Percy, is also tipped for promotion to the episcopal ranks.
Coleridge is a thoughtful and highly articulate man well able to sell his faith and the church, even through the heckling of an ABC debate. He’s more agreeable in debate than Pell, without seeming - at least to me, and at least for now - to be less firm on doctrine. Indeed, he’s capable of writing a brisk letter to the Church’s most ignorant critics.
The other candidates I don’t know and can’t comment. But here’s a stirring article by Fisher on same-sex marriage.
No, Fisher isn’t shy of the bracing analysis of atheism:
In his Easter address, he said Christianity has proved to be both vulnerable and hardy in the last century. 
“Last century we tried godlessness on a grand scale and the effects were devastating: Nazism, Stalinism, Pol Pot-ery, mass murder, abortion and broken relationships - all promoted by state-imposed atheism,” he said. “[It’s] the illusion that we can build a better life without God.”
Pell looks like leaving a legacy that - luckily - won’t be reversed. 
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We hire people this sensitive?

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (6:45am)

From the Canberra Times, the paper of choice for the nation’s public servants:
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs offered counselling to its 2000 mostly Canberra-based staff the day after The Canberra Times revealed the hard line the Abbott government would take to this year’s pay talks for the nation’s 165,000 federal public servants.
The government is expected to begin with a position of 0 per cent pay rises with any upwards movement to be traded off against entitlements and conditions, such as sick and carers’ leave…
In his message to workers, Veterans’ Affairs human resources boss Roger Winzenberg said “local media” had “speculated” about the bargaining position… 
“If you are feeling anxious as a result of the media reports, I encourage you to talk to your manager or utilise the services of our EAP provider, Davidson Trahaire Corpsych,” he wrote.
(Thanks to reader Noel.) 
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Why is Labor killing SPC?

Andrew Bolt February 25 2014 (12:06am)

When Labor’s pro-worker preaching collides with Labor’s Big Nanny law-making....
Remember Labor’s confected fury when the Abbott Government refused to give SPC Ardmona $25 million of taxpayer’s money? Here’s Tanya Plibersek and Kim Carr:
The Abbott Government has today decided to send thousands of Australian jobs overseas and shutdown another key manufacturing sector… 
Tony Abbott himself said the first rule of government is to do no harm. Today his government has done great harm to the people of the Goulburn Valley and the future of Australia’s manufacturing industry.  
Here is some of what SPC Ardmona produces:
SPC, Ardmona, and Goulburn Valley Gold labels represent all your favourite fruit, tomato and juice products, from snack pack to catering sizes. 
Here’s what the ACT Government announced on Friday:
The ACT government will ban the sale of fruit juice and soft drink in vending machines at Canberra public schools by the end of this school term…

During its 2012 election campaign, ACT Labor vowed to phase out sugary drinks in primary schools by 2017 by offering incentives for primary schools that agreed to stop selling fruit juice and soft drink. 
Reader Paul:
Federal Labor is shedding tears over a company being asked to stand on its own two feet and make products people want to buy, yet ACT Labor is actually stopping people from buying those very same products.
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Holly Sarah Nguyen
3. Sensitive and reflective
You are comfortable spending hours alone with your thoughts and rarely become bored. You dislike superficiality; you'd rather be alone than have to suffer through small talk. Your relationships with your friends are very strong, which gives you the inner tranquility and harmony that you require. You love deeply but if someone betrays you it is next to impossible to forgive. You are an old soul, someone who has lived many times before and has seen it all. All you crave now is simplicity and the chance to focus your attention on a meaningful existence. 
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Often the rich are rich through no virtue of their own. Some poor are poor because of their own behaviours. But, overwhelmingly, most of the poor in the west are poor because of left wing politics crushing opportunity. It might not have happened in a clear causal example but the venomous anti capitalism of the left has been long term and consistent. There is an overstated fear of corrupt conservatives abusing their trust. That can happen. But a lefty being competent with the economy is much rarer.- ed
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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” - Jeremiah 29:11-13
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
February 24: Morning
"I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing." - Ezekiel 34:26
Here is sovereign mercy--"I will give them the shower in its season." Is it not sovereign, divine mercy?--for who can say, "I will give them showers," except God? There is only one voice which can speak to the clouds, and bid them beget the rain. Who sendeth down the rain upon the earth? Who scattereth the showers upon the green herb? Do not I, the Lord? So grace is the gift of God, and is not to be created by man. It is also needed grace. What would the ground do without showers? You may break the clods, you may sow your seeds, but what can you do without the rain? As absolutely needful is the divine blessing. In vain you labour, until God the plenteous shower bestows, and sends salvation down. Then, it is plenteous grace. "I will send them showers." It does not say, "I will send them drops," but "showers." So it is with grace. If God gives a blessing, he usually gives it in such a measure that there is not room enough to receive it. Plenteous grace! Ah! we want plenteous grace to keep us humble, to make us prayerful, to make us holy; plenteous grace to make us zealous, to preserve us through this life, and at last to land us in heaven. We cannot do without saturating showers of grace. Again, it is seasonable grace. "I will cause the shower to come down in his season." What is thy season this morning? Is it the season of drought? Then that is the season for showers. Is it a season of great heaviness and black clouds? Then that is the season for showers. "As thy days so shall thy strength be." And here is a varied blessing. "I will give thee showers of blessing." The word is in the plural. All kinds of blessings God will send. All God's blessings go together, like links in a golden chain. If he gives converting grace, he will also give comforting grace. He will send "showers of blessing." Look up today, O parched plant, and open thy leaves and flowers for a heavenly watering.
Evening
"O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy upon Jerusalem? ... And the Lord answered the angel ... with good words and comfortable words." - Zechariah 1:12-13
What a sweet answer to an anxious enquiry! This night let us rejoice in it. O Zion, there are good things in store for thee; thy time of travail shall soon be over; thy children shall be brought forth; thy captivity shall end. Bear patiently the rod for a season, and under the darkness still trust in God, for his love burneth towards thee. God loves the church with a love too deep for human imagination: he loves her with all his infinite heart. Therefore let her sons be of good courage; she cannot be far from prosperity to whom God speaketh "good words and comfortable words." What these comfortable words are the prophet goes on to tell us: "I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy." The Lord loves his church so much that he cannot bear that she should go astray to others; and when she has done so, he cannot endure that she should suffer too much or too heavily. He will not have his enemies afflict her: he is displeased with them because they increase her misery. When God seems most to leave his church, his heart is warm towards her. History shows that whenever God uses a rod to chasten his servants, he always breaks it afterwards, as if he loathed the rod which gave his children pain. "Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him." God hath not forgotten us because he smites--his blows are no evidences of want of love. If this is true of his church collectively, it is of necessity true also of each individual member. You may fear that the Lord has passed you by, but it is not so: he who counts the stars, and calls them by their names, is in no danger of forgetting his own children. He knows your case as thoroughly as if you were the only creature he ever made, or the only saint he ever loved. Approach him and be at peace.
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Abihail 
[Ăbihā'il] - father of might.
1. A Levite, father of Zuriel, the chief of the Merarites in the time of Moses (Num. 3:35).

2. The head of a family of the tribe of Gad (1 Chron. 5:14).

3. The father of Esther, the niece of Mordecai who became Queen of Persia in the place of Vashti (Esther 2:15; 9:29).
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Today's reading: Numbers 7-8, Mark 4:21-41 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Numbers 7-8

Offerings at the Dedication of the Tabernacle
When Moses finished setting up the tabernacle, he anointed and consecrated it and all its furnishings. He also anointed and consecrated the altar and all its utensils. 2 Then the leaders of Israel, the heads of families who were the tribal leaders in charge of those who were counted, made offerings. 3They brought as their gifts before the LORD six covered carts and twelve oxen--an ox from each leader and a cart from every two. These they presented before the tabernacle....

Today's New Testament reading: Mark 4:21-41

A Lamp on a Stand
21 He said to them, "Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don't you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear...."

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