Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tue Apr 14th 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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The former chauffeur of Rene Rivkin, who had been convicted of the murder of his girlfriend, before having the finding overturned on a technicality, is suing the NSW Government for millions of dollars in compensation. One hopes he fails. The NSW people did not prosecute him with malice, but with due diligence. However, to be fair, he should not have today for his incarceration. Unless he got privileges. Meanwhile, in the US, a boy has gone on trial for the killing of an Australian Pro Baseball player. And it is worth comparing it to police shootings that have been highlighted. Police are trained and can make a mistake. They are licensed to use deadly force. Generally, it is dumb to resist arrest as one may be killed while police are doing their duty. By way of contrast, a young man has been gunned down while exercising on a street by joy riding youths who were armed and allegedly killed from boredom.

On this remarkable day in history, 43BC, an inconclusive battle saw Mark Antony win against Pansa, but lose against Hirtius. It was soon after the assassination of Julius and Brutus was temporarily allied with Octavian for the Roman Republic. It didn't last. In 69, Vitellius defeated Emperor Otho, and the destabilisation in Rome following the suicide of Nero would result in the decisive action the next year. In 70, Titus, son of Emperor Vespasian, surrounded and sieged Jerusalem. It would result in a change of history, dispersing Jews throughout Rome, destroying the Temple, the heroic tragedy of Masada, and the political issue facing the world today with a monstrous xenophobic regime being supported by the UN over the democracy of Israel. In 966, Pagan king of Polans married Dobrowa of Bohemia and the Christian girl got him to convert, creating the land now called Poland. In 1294, Temür, grandson of Kublai, was elected Khagan of the Mongols and Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty with the reigning titles Oljeitu and Chengzong. In 1699, Khalsa: The Sikh religion was formalised as the Khalsa - the brotherhood of Warrior-Saints - by Guru Gobind Singh in Northern India, in accordance with the Nanakshahi calendar. In 1775, the first abolition society in North America was established. The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage was organised in PhiladelphiaPennsylvania by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.

In 1860, the first Pony Express rider reached San Francisco. The pony riders carried additionally, along with the mail, a small personal bible. In 1865, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was shot in Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth (died April 15th). Also 1865, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward and his family were attacked in his home by Lewis Powell. The attack that killed Lincoln was coordinated by people familiar with political rhetoric spoken against Lincoln. Democrats have a lot to answer for with their rhetoric not being rooted in reality. Words have power, and had their words been temperate and aimed at political policy, Lincoln may well not have been assassinated. Lincoln wasn't the first, nor the last, to be killed by assassin. But he may have been the best. In 1881, the Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight was fought in El Paso, Texas. Pity it wasn't video taped. In 1906, the Azusa Street Revival opened and would launch Pentecostalism as a worldwide movement. In 1909, Turkey committed an atrocity against Armenians in Cilicia. In 1912, Clive Palmer's favourite boat hit an iceberg at 23:40 in the North Atlantic. The Captain of the Titanic had tried to set a speed record. Had he competed with Mary Rose? In 1941, Rommel attacked Tobruk. In 1956, in Chicago, video tape was shown for the first time. In 1969, US Academy Awards failed to distinguish between the best actress, Hepburn, and a big nose. In 1986, Reagan ordered a bombing raid on Libya after they had bombed a West German Disco. The result was Libya would back flip and give up on direct terror attacks. In 2003, U.S. troops in Baghdad captured Abu Abbas, leader of the Palestinian group that killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner the MS Achille Lauro in 1985. Also 2003, the genome project completed (99%) mapping human DNA. In 2007, over 200,000 campaigned against the candidacy of current Turkish PM, the bigot Erdogan. 

I do not know them well, They are just north of Mombassa in Kenya, a little inland from the East coast. A poor (not wealthy) primary school in a community struggling against alcoholism and poverty. Yet still achieving. http://sunrisepedagogical.wix.com/spca
"If you find someone who can donate to us please here is our postal address," 68-40223 Kadongo Kenya cellphone 254710703891
2014
On this truly remarkable day in history, much stands out, but it is an obscure thing I wish to focus on. The hijacking of the "Achille Lauro" was a terrorist act. Leon Klinghoffer, 69, a disabled appliance manufacturer was on holiday with his wife of 36 years. It was an anniversary. Leon's wife, Maralyn, had terminal colon cancer. The ship was sailing from Egypt to Israel. While in Egypt, four PLO terrorists seized the ship and sailed to Syria. The Syrian government heard the demands that Israel release 50 killers and refused permission for the terrorists to dock the ship. In retaliation, the terrorists chose Leon, who was Jewish, and shot him in the head and in the gut, and threw his body overboard. They later blamed the death on Maralyn, saying she killed her husband for his insurance money. From Port Said (Egypt), the terrorists were granted safe passage to Tunisia, but Ronald Reagan ordered a US jet to force the terrorists to land in transit in Italy, where they were arrested. Italians let one, negotiator Abu Abbas, to flee to Yugoslavia. It is apparent now that Democrats would never have done it, and opposed the US doing it, but when the US invaded Iraq, they arrested fugitive Abu Abbas on this day in 2003. Maralyn had died 4 months after her husband. PLO took responsibility for the hijacking, and paid a small amount in reparation, much less than the aid they are still given. Abu died a year later, in custody from heart failure. His heart had never worked well. It is worth contrasting the demands of the PLO in '85 with the demands of Obama on Israel for peace. Not different, after adjusting for inflation. 

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



Tonight is also the annual celebration of Passover. Celebrating the time that God's chosen people were freed from slavery. May all my Jewish friends and family live up to their promise.
Historical perspectives on this day 
In 43BC, Battle of Forum Gallorum: Mark Antony, besieged Caesar's assassin Decimus Brutus in Mutina, defeated the forces of the consul Pansa, but was then immediately defeated by the army of the other consul, Hirtius. 69, Vitellius, commander of the Rhine armies, defeated Emperor Otho in the Battle of Bedriacum and seized the throne. 70, Siege of Jerusalem: Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, surrounded the Jewish capital, with four Roman legions. 193, Septimius Severus was proclaimed Roman Emperor by the army in Illyricum (in the Balkans). 966, after his marriage to the Christian Dobrawa of Bohemia, the pagan ruler of the Polans, Mieszko I, converted to Christianity, an event considered to be the founding of the Polish state. 1028, Henry III, son of Conrad, was elected king of the Germans.

In 1205, Battle of Adrianople between Bulgarians and Crusaders. 1294, Temür, grandson of Kublai, was elected Khagan of the Mongols and Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty with the reigning titles Oljeitu and Chengzong. 1341, Sack of Saluzzo (Italy) by Italian-Angevine troops under Manfred V of Saluzzo. 1434, the foundation stone of Cathedral St. Peter and St. Paul in Nantes, France was laid. 1471, in England, the Yorkists under Edward IV defeated the Lancastrians under the Earl of Warwick at the Battle of Barnet; the Earl was killed and Edward IV resumed the throne. 1639, Imperial forces were defeated by the Swedes at the Battle of Chemnitz. The Swedish victory prolonged the Thirty Years' War and allowed them to advance into Bohemia. 1699, Khalsa: The Sikh religion was formalised as the Khalsa - the brotherhood of Warrior-Saints - by Guru Gobind Singh in Northern India, in accordance with the Nanakshahi calendar. 1715, the Yamasee War began in South Carolina. 1775, the first abolition society in North America was established. The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage was organised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.

In 1816, Bussa, a slave in British-ruled Barbados, led a slave rebellion and was killed. For this, he is remembered as the first national hero of Barbados. 1828, Noah Webster copyrighted the first edition of his dictionary. 1846, the Donner Party of pioneers departed Springfield, Illinois, for California, on what would become a year-long journey of hardship, cannibalism, and survival. 1849, Hungary declared itself independent of Austria with Lajos Kossuth as its leader. 1860, the first Pony Express rider reached San Francisco. The pony riders carried additionally, along with the mail, a small personal bible. 1865, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was shot in Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth (died April 15th). Also 1865, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward and his family were attacked in his home by Lewis Powell. 1881, the Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight was fought in El Paso, Texas. 1890, the Pan-American Union was founded by the First International Conference of American States in Washington, D.C. 1894, the first ever commercial motion picture house opened in New York City using ten Kinetoscopes, a device for peep-show viewing of films.

In 1906, the Azusa Street Revival opened and would launch Pentecostalism as a worldwide movement. 1909, a massacre was organised by Ottoman Empire against Armenian population of Cilicia. 1912, the British passenger liner RMS Titanic hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic at 23:40 (sinks morning of April 15th). 1927, the first Volvo car premiered in Gothenburg, Sweden. 1928, the Bremen, a German Junkers W33 type aircraft, reached Greenly Island, Canada - the first successful transatlantic aeroplane flight from east to west. 1931, the Spanish Cortes deposed King Alfonso XIII and proclaimed the Second Spanish Republic. Also 1931, first edition of the Highway Code published in Great Britain. 1935, "Black Sunday Storm", the worst dust storm of the U.S. Dust Bowl. 1939, The Grapes of Wrath, by American author John Steinbeck was first published by the Viking Press. 1940, World War II: Royal Marines landed in Namsos, Norway in preparation for a larger force to arrive two days later. 1941, World War II: German general Erwin Rommel attacked Tobruk. 1942, Malta received the George Cross for its gallantry. The George Cross was given by King George VI himself and was now an emblem on the Maltese national flag. 1944, Bombay Explosion: A massive explosion in Bombay harbor killed 300 and caused economic damage valued then at 20 million pounds. 1945, Osijek, Croatia, was liberated from fascist occupation.

In 1956, in Chicago, videotape was first demonstrated. 1958, the Soviet satellite Sputnik 2 fell from orbit after a mission duration of 162 days. 1967, Gnassingbé Eyadéma overthrew President of Togo Nicolas Grunitzky and installed himself as the new president, a title he would hold for the next 38 years. 1969, at the U.S. Academy Awards there was a tie for the Academy Award for Best Actress between Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand. 1978, 1978 Tbilisi Demonstrations: Thousands of Georgians demonstrated against Soviet attempts to change the constitutional status of the Georgian language. 1981, STS-1 – The first operational space shuttle, Columbia (OV-102) completed its first test flight. 1986, in retaliation for the April 5 bombing in West Berlin that killed two U.S. servicemen, U.S. president Ronald Reagan ordered major bombing raids against Libya, killing 60 people. Also 1986, the heaviest hailstones ever recorded (1 kilogram (2.2 lb)) fell on the Gopalganj district of Bangladesh, killing 92. 1988, the USS Samuel B. Roberts struck a mine in the Persian Gulf during Operation Earnest Will. Also 1988, in a United Nations ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland, the Soviet Union signed an agreement pledging to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

In 1991, the Republic of Georgia introduced the post of President after its declaration of independence from the Soviet Union. 1994, in a U.S. friendly fire incident during Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq, two United States Air Force aircraft mistakenly shot-down two United States Army helicopters, killing 26 people. 1999, NATO mistakenly bombed a convoy of ethnic Albanian refugees – Yugoslav officials said 75 people were killed. Also 1999, a severe hailstorm struck Sydney, Australia causing A$2.3 billion in insured damages, the most costly natural disaster in Australian history. 2002, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez returned to office two days after being ousted and arrested by the country's military. 2003, the Human Genome Project was completed with 99% of the human genome sequenced to an accuracy of 99.99%. Also 2003, U.S. troops in Baghdad captured Abu Abbas, leader of the Palestinian group that killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner the MS Achille Lauro in 1985. 2005, the Oregon Supreme Court nullified marriage licenses issued to gay couples a year earlier by Multnomah County. 2007, At least 200,000 demonstrators in Ankara, Turkey, protested against the possible candidacy of incumbent Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 2010, Nearly 2,700 were killed in a magnitude 6.9 earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai, China. 2014, Twin bomb blasts in Abuja, Nigeria, killed at least 75 people and injured 141 others.
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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 Faten Dablan and Otto KephliskiBorn on the same day as Rachel B .. last year. The same day John Wilkes Booth fatally shot Abraham Lincoln. A tragedy, and yet, maybe some of that spirit .. Many congrats Peter and Suzie, loving parents of Rachel
Deaths
John Wilkes Booth
Snape has Hogwarts. Mieszko got the better deal. My Captain was shot. It was dusty, I was thirsty. Hail the king. Let's party. 
Matches
Hatches
Despatches
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2015
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SHE BUMPED INTO QUILLS

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 14, 2015 (3:01am)

Journalism academic Wendy Bacon rejoices in Newtown’s Greens-voting diversity:

image

Bacon reports: “He told me that property prices do make it hard for people to live in Newtown but he likes to spend time in Newtown because everybody can feel that they are accepted whatever their identity.” In his case, as a standard-issue white middle-class hippie. Keep going, Wendy: 
Newtown is the most densely populated electorate in NSW. 
She sure got that right. Newtown is full of dense types, including long-time resident Bacon, a veteran journalism instructor whose piece includes these lines: 
My intention is this blog post … 
And: 
To started my investigation by reading … 
Most journalists begin their investigative careers by first learning how to construct basic sentences.
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NEVER EVER EVER

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 14, 2015 (2:16am)

“Bride to be?” asks eternally-upset former Fairfax columnist Catherine Deveny. “No man would EVER be described as a ‘groom to be’.”
Catherine really ought to run a Google news search from time to time.
(Via Mike M.) 
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Essential: Government recovers to 48 to 52

Andrew Bolt April 14 2015 (4:51pm)

Essential Media’s poll narrows back to 48 to 52, against the Coalition. That strikes me as closer to reality than Newspoll’s 49 to 51.  The Abbott Government has recovered and is refocussed on the economy, but more needs to be done.
For a start, the Budget needs to be good and well sold, but the tax debate so far suggests the Government struggles to impose its preferred story. Abbott needs to develop a strong social policy narrative and a moral dimension. Some successes with the Senate need to be announced. And I am very concerned that Tony Nutt still has not been confirmed to join the Abbott office as the critical counterweight to Peta Credlin.
(Thanks to reader Michael.) 
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ABC didn’t check the halal certification closely enough

Andrew Bolt April 14 2015 (4:00pm)

Interesting background from the ABC’s Fact Check about a halal certification process which should actually be done here by the Federal Government, as the Indonesian Government will now do in Indonesia:

Fact check: Does halal certification fund terrorism?

Few food manufacturers who sell halal-certified foods in Australia or for export, or the organisations that certify them, were willing to tell Fact Check how much they pay, or are paid, for certification…
The Byron Bay Cookie Company said its annual halal certification fee was around $1,500 a year…
Hasan Tanrikut, a halal supervisor from the Global Halal Trade Centre Pty Ltd told Fact Check that certifications of abattoirs for example, which are done four times a year, cost approximately $2,000 to $3,000 per audit. He said halal certification of meat was charged at 25 cents per carton exported…
Halal certification recognition is controlled in Indonesia by the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI - The Indonesian Council of Ulama)… Only six of the AGAHP organisations in Australia are approved by MUI to certify Australian exports going to Indonesia.
In late 2014, the Indonesian government introduced new legislation ...  with the Government taking responsibility for administering the halal product guarantee via a new agency, which then submits its results to the MUI…
For Australian food exported to Saudi Arabia, the Muslim World League, based in Saudi Arabia, is responsible for deciding which companies are permitted to certify halal food for their market.
Amjad Mehboob from the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils Inc (AFIC), now known as Muslims Australia, one of six Australian organisations authorised to certify halal food for the Saudi Arabian market, said AFIC ... does not pay a fee to the Muslim World League for this recognition.
Saad Al-Shumaimry, director of the Muslim World League for Australia and New Zealand told Fact Check that his organisation did not charge local certification companies fees for endorsing their halal certification status.
Gaafar Mohammed, a senior auditor and meat inspector with the Islamic Co-ordinating Council of Victoria (ICCV) told Fact Check the company did not pay any fees to overseas organisations for their certification recognition…
According to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission register, the Supreme Islamic Council of Halal Meat in Australia Inc (SICHMA) is a large charity with revenue over $1 million, but no financial reports are available on ... how much comes from halal certification.
The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils Inc (AFIC) ... earned an income of $2.8 million in 2012, of which $647,722 came from halal certification fees, after expenses…
A spokesman for the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) - the government body that monitors money laundering and terrorism - told Fact Check that it had no information to indicate there are links to terrorism financing from halal certification fees…

Muhammad Khan, CEO of Halal Australia, said profits did not go towards supporting any terrorist activities… Dr Kahn said Halal Australia donates some of its profits to Islamic schools and mosques as part of its broader community engagement program, which includes donations to children’s hospitals and the Cancer Council Australia…

“We are mindful of responsibility to the poor and destitute in the community… here as well as in overseas countries [and we donate] through the proper channels, for example Muslim Aid, Islamic Relief...,” he said…
The Islamic Co-ordinating Council of Victoria (ICCV), a private company, claims to be “the major Islamic organisation responsible for the certification, monitoring, and supervision of Halal food exports from Australia”.
Gaafar Mohammed says ICCV is a community-based organisation that is partnered with 11 Australian mosques.
“We don’t fund the mosques, but we take care of their expenses, like electricity, water, things like that,” he said…
Muslims Australia (AFIC), the peak national body representing Islam and Muslims, ... [in] its financial report for 2012 shows it donated $150,000, part of which funded an imam’s salary, and financially supported five Islamic colleges around Australia…
The verdict… While the proceeds of halal certification do fund Islamic organisations, Fact Check could find no evidence that this money has ever flowed to terrorist groups.
I’m not sure many Australians think their purchase of food should include donations to mosques.
And the ABC curiously failed to mention past controversies surrounding two of the charities named as receiving money collected through halal certification.
About Muslim Aid:
2008A SYDNEY charity that admitted channelling aid through an Islamic organisation banned in Australia for its alleged terror links was yesterday raided by the federal police...The police action was prompted by The Australian’s revelations this month about the charity’s connection to Interpal, a humanitarian network proscribed by Australia and the US.
About Islamic Relief:
2014: Islamic Relief, a Birmingham-based charity that works in 44 countries, said an internal inquiry had not revealed any evidence to corroborate Israel’s claim that it should not be allowed to work in the West Bank because it had been collecting money for Hamas and its offices were run by terror operatives.
Other allegations against Islamic Relief are made here.
The charities may well be as completely innocent as they say, but the ABC should at least have mentioned the allegations and explained why it believed the denials.
(Thanks to reader Brett.) 
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Gift to unions costs another Labor leader too much

Andrew Bolt April 14 2015 (2:48pm)

Another Labor leader brought down by Labor’s union links:
Northern Territory Labor leader Delia Lawrie has the support of only two other members of caucus and will almost certainly face a leadership challenge tomorrow, the ABC understands…

Labor MLA Ken Vowles said this morning he was prepared to challenge for the party’s leadership…
In early April, the NT Supreme Court found Ms Lawrie had deliberately undermined the conduct of the inquiry into the gifting of the $3 million Stella Maris site in Darwin to Unions NT by the former Labor government.
Kevin Rudd’s final gift to Labor works its poison:
The ABC understands Delia Lawrie has the support of two members, deputy leader Gerry McCarthy and Natasha Fyles…
The ABC understands the challengers have been trying to woo Mr McCarthy so that Ms Laurie would be less likely able to use party membership support to stay on as leader.
Under rules advocated by former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd, the decision to elect a new leader rests with caucus and party members…
If a challenger holds five votes against Ms Lawrie’s three - herself included - the challenger would also need around 38 per cent of the party votes.
If Ms Lawrie lost one more vote in caucus, the challenger would only need 25 per cent support from the party membership. 
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The legal side of the debate

Andrew Bolt April 14 2015 (1:55pm)

Melbourne-born journalist Rachael Hocking complains about me in a fascinating article. Legal advice, unfortunately, suggests it is too dangerous for me to respond, which is obscene and unhealthy.  The discussion could have been very fruitful, given some things Hocking says.
UPDATE
Another story from the battle against the new racial division of Australia, this from Brian Roberts, who’s been Adjunct Professor at James Cook University’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences:
I have been an academic in Australia for 40 years. I grew up in close association with the Xhosa tribe of South Africa, the land of my birth, and lectured for many years on sustainable tribal homelands. The simplistic Australian model of Guilty Whites/Innocent Blacks struck me decades ago as a real brake on mature debate about alternative futures for self-identifying Aboriginals…
In August, 2012, I ... was moved to air my concerns in ... the National Indigenous Times in August, 2012...: 

It has been my privilege to guide and examine post-graduates from several universities here and overseas for nearly half a century. In recent years, the increasing numbers of Indigenous theses have been both important and heartening. Understandably, most of these have been on the history, identity, justice experience and well-being of Indigenous peoples… However, it is time for supervisors to encourage Indigenous post-grads to select thesis topics other than the ‘poor fellow me’ genre. Thus while it was important for the early PhDs to contribute to pride and identity in the face of injustice and discrimination, the cosy mutual back-scratching among a small group of supervisors and examiners is damaging intellectual rigour and academic respect.
The most serious shortcomings are seen in those theses in which the supervisor has mistakenly accepted the ‘this is your life’-type hard luck story as appropriate intellectual content for doctoral examination. This autobiographical material may well be suitable for booksellers but it devalues intellectual standards of original thought, balanced literature review and objective deductive conclusions. While some disciplines, notably in the arts and humanities, have always accepted qualitative research, when this moves to acceptance of subjective analysis, autobiography and personal attack, the reputation of Indigenous intellectuals is devalued…
In its issue of September 5, 2012, the wrath of four Indigenous PhDs erupted: Gracelyn Smallwood (JCU), Noritta Morseu-Diop (UQ), Rosemary van den Berg (Curtin) and Chris Sarra (QUT). Their anger was aimed at me, and I was labelled a racist…
I was taken aback by this unexpected vilification… At the risk of over-analysing the original letter and its response, the following comments (below) from Smallwood ...is both informative and illustrative of the orchestrated oversensitivity to the letter that was, somehow, perceived as racist....

‘ This bloke needs to go back to South Africa instead of coming over here and running our people down … his bizarre comment on our brilliant scholars is setting back our reconciliation process by decades. Our university is known for its work on reconciliation … and now it will also be known for this bigot who calls himself a professor. He ought to be ashamed of himself. I’ll bring these racist remarks he’s made to the attention of the Vice Chancellor and ask that his tenure be reviewed… It’s not for a non-Indigenous academic to tell [me] or other Indigenous students in pursuit of academic excellence what to study. You really have to laugh at this old bigot who feels the need to engage in something he knows nothing about.
In [Smallwood’s] response, my suggestions are interpreted as ‘running our people down’ – a strange twist to what was actually intended, which was to urge the raising of academic standards… In her view, not only should the author be ashamed of himself, but the Vice Chancellor should review his tenure (‘unispeak’ for sack)....
This puerile refusal to face the music of grown-up rationality not only damages the image of the intelligentsia but deprives the whole mob of productive open-mindedness.
Smallwood’s advice that I ‘might learn to stay out of Indigenous affairs …’ reflects the gravity of attempts to bully outsiders out of the public square, particularly if they disagree with cherished beliefs. Why most other academics retreated from the Aboriginal futures debate was simply answered by Prof. Colin Tatz more than two decades ago: they fear being branded as racists. This refusal to debate contested values ... is perhaps the most damaging aspect of the contemporary non-debate. It will continue to derail the attempts to contest ideas, by those open-minded Indigenous spokespersons who recognise the futility of the on-going, opaque, closed-shop mentality…

(No comments. Thanks to readers A, Andrew and Matt.) 
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Art bought in a dream

Andrew Bolt April 14 2015 (11:29am)

Sigh. If I had the money at Sotheby’s next auction:
image
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Costello warns Abbott: cut taxes

Andrew Bolt April 14 2015 (11:14am)

Former federal Treasurer Peter Costello demands the Abbott Government get serious about cutting spending:
WHEN the government released its discussion paper on tax it said “lower, simpler, fairer”. Ever since we have been flooded with demands for taxes that are higher, more complicated, and less economic.
Treasurer Hockey has foreshadowed a new bank tax. Assistant Treasurer Frydenberg wants more tax from multinationals. Labor’s Senator Dastayari wants more tax from the miners. The Greens’ Senator Milne wants more tax from News Corporation. Labor wants higher tax on superannuation. Possibly, so too, does the Liberal Party…
None of the above proposals is for lower tax. None would make our tax system simpler… This is not a conversation about fairer tax. It is about more tax…
Higher taxes on a slower economy won’t do nearly as much as lower rates on a growing economy. We get a lot of envy talk about the need for new taxes but very little effort to think through the consequences for jobs and growth…
Remember the Abbott government has already increased the top marginal tax rate to its highest level in 25 years. That did nothing for the economy. It made no difference to the budget deficit. It didn’t persuade the big government advocates to support a reduction in spending. It didn’t appease the envy industry. All it did was sharpen their appetite for more tax rises…
The government does have a tax problem. It is that there has been no adjustment to the tax thresholds for five years. Inflation is taking every ­Australian into higher average tax rates… To get action, the government needs to restart the conversation about getting taxes down, not up.
UPDATE
Treasurer Joe Hockey this morning says Costello is “wrong”:
I really wish that I had the tax revenue that Peter Costello had when we were last in government because if we had the same level of tax collections I’d be collecting an extra $25 billion today,” Mr Hockey told Sky News
The ABC’s Frank Kelly and commentator Paul Bongiorno agree.
In fact, last year’s Budget papers show that in the last full year Costello was Treasurer he had revenues of $272 billion. Hockey’s Budget counted on revenues of $401 billion.
The real problem? Spending in that time went up from $253 billion to a then expected $409 billion:
image
UPDATE
Professor Sinclair Davidson presents the case against Hockey in graphic terms, using MYEFO statistics on government revenue under the past three treasurers:
image
Australia does not have a revenue problem, Australian governments have a spending problem. 
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ABC misleads. No, it’s not more dangerous to be a woman

Andrew Bolt April 14 2015 (9:14am)

Murder is terrible no matter who the victim. And no matter what their gender.
But the ABC’s 7.30 last night implied murder was a big issue only when women were killed. It also misleadingly suggested most murder victims were women:
LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: This statistic is a source of profound shame for our nation: every week, two Australian women are killed by violence - that’s 31 so far this year…
Now, around Australia, as more and more people become aware of the extent of violence against women in every suburb and town, there are growing calls for action…
TRACY BOWDEN: This one story of a life cut short is sad and shocking enough, but it’s one in a grim toll. Stephanie Scott was the 30th woman to be killed by violence in Australia this year. That’s two deaths a week. The toll reached 31 on the weekend as Queensland Police investigated the suspected murder of a woman in Townsville.
MICHAEL ROWAN, GRIFFITH LOCAL AREA COMMANDER: The vast majority of victims of violence are women. Domestic homicides are women. I’m not saying it doesn’t occur to men, but you can’t go against the statistics…
TANYA PLIBERSEK: We have a responsibility to every Australian woman to, as a community, as a country, say that if she’s just going about her daily life, she deserves to be able to live free from fear and free from violence. 
I accept that Rowan misspoke, meaning to refer only to victims of domestic violence rather than victims of all forms of violence. But his slip was not properly clarified, and in the context of the report served to suggest that women are the main victims of murder.
The truth is very different. From an Australian Institute of Criminology report released this year:
Males continue to be overrepresented as victims of homicide. Of the 511 homicide victims in 2010–11 and 2011–12, 328 were male (64%) and 182 were female (36%...).
Another imbalance that the ABC never campaigns on:
Of the homicide victims in 2010–12, 85 were identified as Indigenous Australians—56 males and 28 females. The rate of Indigenous homicide victimisation was close to four times higher
As for domestic violence:
The proportion of domestic homicides has continued to fall, reaching a historic low in recent years.
The hidden victims:
1 third of people killed in domestic violence are male.
Children are also killed in domestic violence, nearly half by their mother.
Domestic violence is terrible. The issue is now the cause du jour. But let’s keep some context here. It is still more dangerous to be a man. 
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Hillary matches Obama for mad global warming stories

Andrew Bolt April 14 2015 (8:48am)

Global warming - propaganda

First we had President Barack Obama’s idiotic explanation for why he became a crusader against global warming:
President Obama said in an interview broadcast Wednesday that his push to address climate change has been partly influenced by a frightening moment when his daughter Malia had an asthma attack as a 4-year-old.
“What I can relate to is the fear a parent has, when your 4-year-old daughter comes up to you and says, ‘Daddy, I’m having trouble breathing.’ The fright you feel is terrible,” the president said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Wednesday.
“And if we can make sure that our responses to the environment are reducing those incidents, that’s something that I think every parent would wish for.”
In fact, warmer weather is better for asthma than cold. In fact, the world’s atmosphere has not actually warmed for 17 years. In fact, Obama’s smoking would make his daughter’s asthma worse.
Now Hillary Clinton, Obama’s putative successor, gives an equally idiotic explanation for becoming a warming alarmist:
In her book ‘Hard Choices’, published last year, Clinton ... [said] she became aware of the impacts of rising temperatures on US ecosystems after a visit to Alaska in 2005 she said, where she saw dying trees and forest fires.
“...I met lifelong participants in dogsled races who told me they no longer even needed to wear gloves.”
So what did last month’s Iditarod dogsled race in Alaska teach Clinton?:

With overnight temperatures approaching 40 below in Huslia, veteran Willow musher Jonrowe said she suffered what looks to be the harshest frostbite of her career on her fingers while mushing toward the village checkpoint. Jonrowe said she has six frostbitten fingers.
If world leaders offer such patently absurd reasons for believing the warming scare, can there really be any strong science behind it?
(Thanks to reader Mark M.) 
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The ABC is out of control: yesterday’s examples

Andrew Bolt April 14 2015 (8:30am)

The ABC, our biggest media organisation, is required by law to be balanced. It now openly flouting that law to campaign against conservatives generally and Tony Abbott specifically.
Professor James Allan:
(T)his morning I’m driving to work and what does the ABC [NewsRadio] report? Yes, that’s right, today’s political polls.
Now stop me if my memory is faulty here, but all through the horror years of the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd fiascos, and on through the Abbott versus Shorten match-up since 2013, I do not recall a single instance of the following: Newspoll shows Labor doing well and some other poll shows Labor doing badly, so the ABC leads off by pointing to the other poll first and down-playing Newspoll. I can’t remember that ever happening. No, when Newspoll showed Labor doing well you could almost sense the excitement and barely constrained celebrations in the billion-dollar-a-year, taxpayer-subsidised sheltered workshop that is ‘our’ ABC.
But what about this morning, April 13? Well, wouldn’t you know that Newspoll is out today and shows Mr. Abbott and the Coalition closing the gap to 49-51, with Mr. Shorten’s favourability, to put it kindly, somewhat in decline. On the other hand, a Fairfax IPSOS poll shows Labor increasing its lead to 54-46. So let me ask you this: which poll do you guess the ABC’s rolling news radio station lead its bulletins with?…
The reporter led with the Fairfax poll, also making a few derogatory remarks about the government while noting that Treasurer Joe Hockey’s favourability has plunged in the Fairfax pollsters’ estimation. After reporting the good news for Labor, there was a cursory mention of the Newspoll result, but with this explicitly stated caveat (to calm down the lefty true believers) that ‘…this still leaves Labor in a winning position.’…
By the way, how is that quest going to hire one, single, solitary person with a right-of-centre political background for any of the main ABC current affairs TV shows...?
I heard Paul Bongiorno on the ABC’s Radio National Breakfast likewise base his daily anti-Abbott diatribe on the IPSOS poll rather than the findings of the more established Newspoll.
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill offers another example:
7.30 last night devoted two segments - 5:32 and 4:07 - to a Democrat declaring their candidacy for the US presidency.
7.30’s previous coverage of the two Republicans who have so far officially declared their candidacy? Zip. One of the two declared Republican candidates (Paul) did manage a few seconds of air time (4:43 to 4:47) during the first segment on Clinton.
UPDATE
Has the ABC yet apologised for screening a clip of a “comic” calling a Abbott a “dumb c...”? Has it disciplined the staff who screened this pre-recorded clip? Or is this now standard operating vilification from Mark Scott’s minions?
Where is the chairman to impose some standards? Where is the board? Is this the ABC’s contribution to our culture?  
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Warming at last to a debate

Andrew Bolt April 14 2015 (7:58am)

Media Watch host Paul Barry on Channel 7’s report on a cruise:
So should the network have put both sides of the story? Well, call us old fashioned but we think it should. Viewers deserve it.
Great!
But Paul Barry’s commitment to telling both sides of a story oddly enough breaks down when it comes to the far more serious issue of global warming.
UPDATE
Christopher Monckton lists the enemies of free speech when in comes to global warming - the academics, activists and journalists who want sceptics silenced, arrested, jailed, banned or even executed. Australia’s Margo Kingston is among them.
(Thanks to reader smiff.) 
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Dreaming ourselves back to the caves

Andrew Bolt April 14 2015 (7:51am)

New Age beliefs make you sicker and poorer:
STEINER schools in northern NSW are promoting the choice of parents to reject immunisation as the percentage of unvaccinated children in a town there almost eclipses war-torn South Sudan.
Three major north coast Steiner schools — including one in anti-vaccination hot spot Mullumbimby — support the Steiner movement’s controversial “anthroposophy” spiritual teachings…
The Rudolf Steiner book centre in Sydney also promotes books on immunisation, including The Vaccination Dilemma… “In their first five years of life, children are expected to undergo 37 doses of 11 different vaccines, yet relatively few parents are aware of the risks of chronic disease, injury or death that some vaccines can present,” the book says.
There have been measles and whooping cough outbreaks at Steiner schools overseas, while the Orana Steiner School in the ACT had a measles outbreak in 2011.
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Dan Andrews’ Victoria: international embarrassment

Andrew Bolt April 14 2015 (7:02am)

The Andrews Government has made Victoria an international embarrassment by ripping up a big contract - made worse by the fact that the contract is for a much-needed road and the compensation will cost plenty:
The governments of France and Spain have confirmed they have made direct complaints to the Victorian government over its treatment of the tenderers — Bouygues and Acciona — for the state’s East West Link toll road project.
French ambassador Christophe Lecourtier and the Spanish embassy made a joint protest to the Andrews Labor government over the cancellation of the project…
The complaints come amid claims new Premier Daniel Andrews’s cancellation of the project — and the government’s subsequent threats to pass legislation to nullify any bid for compensation — have created a sovereign risk issue in Victoria that will deter future investment.
Federal Trade Minister Andrew Robb said last month that he had been approached by international investors at a forum in Hong Kong, and during his travels in other countries, concerned about sovereign risk in Australia after the contract cancellation…
Drawn-out negotiations over the level of compensation payable to the consortium are rumoured to be moving closer to a settlement, with expectations of a $500 million-plus payout, despite pre-election comments from Mr Andrews that no compensation would be paid.
Half a billion dollars spent simply to NOT build a needed road? Even Joan Kirner would not have done something so mad. 
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Wiping Madonna

Andrew Bolt April 14 2015 (12:13am)

Not a gentlemanly reaction from Drake, but there’s no call for a gentleman to show any sensitivity when he’s been sexually assaulted so shamelessly. 
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=== Posts from last year ===

SORRY DAY

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

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

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

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

PM SPEAKS PEOPLE

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

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

SMH SALSA CLUB

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

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

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

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

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

Mark Steyn charts a generational decline.
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Mark Scott apologises to Chris Kenny. Admits it’s too late

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (3:59pm)

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

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

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (3:35pm)

Terry McCrann:
TONY Abbott’s sweep through Asia has been an extraordinary triumph on an impressive number of levels — the personal, the policy substance and, most critically, the diplomatic. 
It’s arguably a triumph unequalled by any previous Australian prime minister. In barely a fortnight, he’s sealed major trade deals with two of our three biggest customers, and almost certainly locked in a deal with the third — the biggest, China…
The more important point was the success the Prime Minister achieved in broadening and deepening our relationships with all three countries. He did so with an extremely sophisticated and effective mix of rugged assertion of our values, softened by smooth diplomacy and basic realism.
He did so, again, in stunning, embarrassing, contrast to his two predecessors…
The one thing that absolutely cannot be denied is the way Abbott’s success has destroyed utterly the meme Labor attempted to pin him with as some blundering ideological hick.
That by characterising Japan — openly, honestly, and not only correctly but appropriately — as our best friend in Asia, he had blundered into upsetting our biggest customer, China.
But not only did Abbott have a seamlessly positive visit to Japan — coming straight after we had rubbed their noses in the whaling loss of face in the International Court of Justice — but he was able to move just as seamlessly on to China....
We should also not forget the country that Abbott passed over on his way north. Indonesia.
Remember how turn back the boats was Abbott’s first great “blunder”? ... Funny how the boats have been successively turned back, and “new ones” also sent back for some months now with nary a peep of complaint out of Indonesia.
Despite no doubt the frenzied best efforts of Fairfax and the ABC to find someone, anyone, over there to complain. 
Again, it would suggest the policy clarity and firmness of the Abbott government is reaping rewards. We have a Prime Minister who really is winning — openly recognising — friends and influencing (important) people in Asia.
UPDATE
Tony Abbott took 600 business leaders with him on his tour of Japan, South Korea and China. It was a political masterstroke, to judge from the reviews.
Channel 7 boss Kerry Stokes:
We had a prime minister who spoke Mandarin and our relationship tanked in six months… Now we have a PM who speaks people and we have a new relationship in six months. 
Crown Resorts chairman James Packer:
From the perspective of trade and business investment, the trip was extremely beneficial for Australia. The Prime Minister and trade minister Andrew Robb have done an outstanding job. They have set a benchmark for future governments. 
CSL CEO Peter Perreault:
He was genuine and engaging with the foreign leaders and has established a great new start for Australia in north Asia. 
Tad Watroba, executive director of Hancock Prospecting:
Tony handled himself very well and came across as a genuine bloke. There was a visible difference from the previous leadership. 
Packer again:
I think the truth is Australia’s relationships with China, Japan, India and Indonesia all went backwards over the last five years… When you go round and lecture people — I think you’d know who I’m talking about — some people don’t take it that well.  
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On 2GB tonight - ABC says sorry too late. Carr has a tanty. Palmer’s magic explained

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (3:15pm)

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

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

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

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (3:05pm)

George Negus, ageing Leftist, is taking readers to the countries of his collapsed dreams. The stress must explain certain errors in his pitch
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Neil and O’Neill. UPDATE: And Michaels, too

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (8:52am)


image
A coup for The Spectator - and a good sign that the Coalition is actively encouraging non-ABC and non-Left media voices:
GET READY FOR THE COALITION’S FIRST BUDGET 
Joe Hockey, with Spectator publisher Andrew Neil 
The ‘world’s greatest treasurer’ Wayne Swan bequeathed a whopping national debt and federal deficit. How will his successor tackle these challenges in his first budget on May 13?
Join the federal Treasurer Joe Hockey and Andrew Neil, publisher of The Spectator and BBC politics host, on Wednesday 23 April at the Doltone House Hyde Park (formerly Tattersalls club), Level 3, 181 Elizabeth Street, Sydney 
To book, go here.
UPDATE
Another event worth noting - with Brendan O’Neill:
Nannies, Nudgers & Naggers: The New Enemies of Freedom 
MELBOURNE TUESDAY 29 APRIL 6:00PM - 8:00PM

Where:  Society Restaurant
23 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Is it a top-down Orwellian “boot on the human face” that is squashing our once cherished civil liberties, or is the greater problem today the public’s fear of being free? Is our freedom being taken from us by the authorities, or is it being undermined through our own failure to exercise it? An open debate on how we can boost human freedom. 
Brendan O’Neill is the editor of spiked, the magazine that wants to make history as well as report it, and is a columnist for he Big Issue in London and The Australian. He also blogs for the Daily Telegraph and has written for a variety of publications in both Europe and America. He is the author of Can I Recycle My Granny And 39 Other Eco-Dilemmas, and he is currently researching a book on snobbery.
Book at the link. Don’t wait too long about it: Brendan’s Sydney event is sold out.
UPDATE
And for sceptics and the no-longer-quite-so-sure, Dr Patrick Michaels is giving talks for the IPA in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane from April 29:
The IPA is delighted to be welcoming internationally renowned scientist Dr Patrick Michaels for a tour of Australia in April and May. Patrick is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C., and formerly a professor at the University of Virginia. He’s the author of many important books on climate change, including Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media and Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know which he co-authored. Patrick’s visit to Australia will come at a vital time in the debate about climate change, as the parliament prepares to repeal the carbon tax, reviews the Renewable Energy Target and considers other expensive measures to supposedly tackle global warming, like direct action.
Michaels’ intinerary:
Perth - Tuesday 29 April 
Melbourne - Thursday 1 May
Sydney - Monday 5 May
Brisbane - Tuesday 6 May 
For more information - and to book - go here.  
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How selfish Carr made Abbott look a leader

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (8:47am)

Political thingsPolitics - Carr

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

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

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (8:29am)

We have a problem: 
THE budget faces continuing deficits of about $30 billion a year from 2016-17 onwards in the absence of spending cuts, as tax revenue is likely to remain weak. 
An analysis by consulting firm Macroeconomics shows that the ... this year’s deficit is likely to be $41bn, considerably better than the $47bn deficit foreshadowed in the government’s mid-year budget update issued just before Christmas. For the next two years, Macroeconomics forecasts deficits of $32bn and $26bn, broadly in line with Treasury’s estimates, however the softness of revenue will push the deficit back out to $30bn in the following year and the firm sees no further improvement to 2027-28.... By 2017-18, the budget will start feeling the impact of spending commitments made under the previous Labor government, including the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the reforms to school funding… [Macroeconomics director Dr Stephen] Anthony said Joe Hockey should seek initial savings of about 1 per cent of GDP or $16bn to put the budget back onto a sustainable trajectory.
But here’s a (small) saving:
TAXPAYERS’ funds that were allocated for developing workforce skills and boosting productivity have been used to train unionists in union organising and membership recruitment techniques. A certificate course in “Unionism and Industrial Relations” has been delivered under government-funded training schemes offering education in less contentious areas such as worker health and safety, as well as claims and rehabilitation management… 
The course was developed in 2009 by Innovation and Business Skills Australia, one of 11 federal government-funded “industry skills councils”. 
There must be a thousand similar savings to make in all that Labor pork.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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1984 Newspeak: My articles banned, the Sheik’s lecture not

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (8:15am)

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

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (8:03am)

Something like this worked for Hitler in Czechoslovakia:
The Ukrainian government on Sunday for the first time sent in its security services to confront armed pro-Russian militants in the country’s east, defying warnings from Russia as commandos engaged in gunfights with men who had set up roadblocks and stormed a Ukrainian police station in Slovyansk, Ukrainian officials said. 
At least one officer was killed in the operation, and several were injured, as were four locals, the officials said. ...the central government in Kiev has turned to force to try to restore its authority in the east, a course of action that the Russian government has repeatedly warned against. With tens of thousands of Russian troops massed along Ukraine’s eastern border near Donetsk, Western leaders have worried that Moscow might use unrest in Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking areas as a pretext for an invasion — even though the violence had been solely caused by the pro-Russian side.
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There is a Jewish lobby, but that’s not the one that drove Carr

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (7:57am)

Culture warsPolitics - CarrPolitics - federal

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

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

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (7:31am)

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

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (7:17am)

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

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (7:10am)

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

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (7:05am)

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Does the ABC board watch the ABC?

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (6:47am)

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

Andrew Bolt April 14 2014 (6:37am)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crean said of Gillard; 
"SHE’S GONE THE CLASS WARFARE………….. AND WE NEVER WENT THIS LOW”

He complete trashed Gillard’s method of governing;
"BECAUSE SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY SHE GETS THE WORD THAT HERE’S THE ANGLE ON HOW TO GET TOMORROW’S HEADLINE”

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

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

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

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

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

'shares' and 'likes' always appreciated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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April 14Fast of the Firstborn begins at dawn and Passover begins at sunset (Judaism, 2014); Cambodian New YearTamil New Year, andother New Year festivals in Asia (2014); Day of the Georgian languagein Georgia (1978)
Gnassingbé Eyadéma
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“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” - Romans 3:23-24
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

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

Evening

"And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him."
Leviticus 1:4
Our Lord's being made "sin for us" is set forth here by the very significant transfer of sin to the bullock, which was made by the elders of the people. The laying of the hand was not a mere touch of contact, for in some other places of Scripture the original word has the meaning of leaning heavily, as in the expression, "thy wrath lieth hard upon me" (Psalm 88:7). Surely this is the very essence and nature of faith, which doth not only bring us into contact with the great Substitute, but teaches us to lean upon him with all the burden of our guilt. Jehovah made to meet upon the head of the Substitute all the offences of his covenant people, but each one of the chosen is brought personally to ratify this solemn covenant act, when by grace he is enabled by faith to lay his hand upon the head of the "Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world." Believer, do you remember that rapturous day when you first realized pardon through Jesus the sin-bearer? Can you not make glad confession, and join with the writer in saying, "My soul recalls her day of deliverance with delight. Laden with guilt and full of fears, I saw my Saviour as my Substitute, and I laid my hand upon him; oh! how timidly at first, but courage grew and confidence was confirmed until I leaned my soul entirely upon him; and now it is my unceasing joy to know that my sins are no longer imputed to me, but laid on him, and like the debts of the wounded traveller, Jesus, like the good Samaritan, has said of all my future sinfulness, Set that to my account.'" Blessed discovery! Eternal solace of a grateful heart!
"My numerous sins transferr'd to him,
Shall never more be found,
Lost in his blood's atoning stream,
Where every crime is drown'd!"
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Asa 
[Ä€'să] - physician.
1. The third king of Judah who succeeded Abijah. He was the great-grandson of Solomon (1 Kings 152 Chron. 14-16). He was an ancestor of Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:7, 8).
The Man Who Was Good and Right
Asa is a marvel. In spite of the fact that his father was a sinful man and his mother a heathen woman, he yet shines forth as one of Judah's most godly kings. He is praised for his religious zeal which led him to reform the worship of the people. Because of his devotion to God he deposed his idolatrous mother - an astonishing act for an oriental.
Asa's heart toward God was like David's and such was the secret of his godliness in a foul environment. He is spoken of as doing "that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord, his God." Some people are presumptuous enough to settle what is good and right in their own eyes. Asa, however, did not invent a goodness or righteousness he could adapt to his own convenience and ambition. He only wanted what was good and right in God's sight.
I. Asa prayed before battle. He did not shrink from war with the Ethiopians. Before meeting the foe he met God. "Lord, it is nothing with Thee to help."
II. Asa began upon a good foundation. It took courage and Asa "took courage, and put away the abominable idols." Our idols of fortune, fashion, popularity, self-indulgence, must be severely dealt with if we desire God's best. We can only be right with God and with one another when we are right about our little gods, and man-made idols.
III. Asa was victorious. Being right with God, Asa was honored of Him. His foes surrendered for they saw that his God was with him.
IV. Asa was impartial. The grandeur of this good king is seen in that he would not even allow his mother to keep an idol. So he ruthlessly destroyed the little royal shrine. What was wrong for the subject was also wrong for the queen. Thus horrible abominations had to be abolished. No wonder when Asa died, his people sorely missed and mourned him!
2. A Levite, son of Elkanah and head of a family of Netophathites (1 Chron. 9:16).
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Today's reading: 1 Samuel 22-24, Luke 12:1-31 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today's Quote

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

Something to Think About

The Spurgeon quote above echoes the sentiments of the famous Easter hymn "Ah, Holy Jesus" in claiming that we, today, bear responsibility for Jesus' death. Is this true? How so?
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Today's Lent reading: John 5-6 (NIV)

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

THUNDER WORD

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

Resources

About The Author - Mel Lawrenz serves as minister at large for Elmbrook Church and leads The Brook Network. Having been in pastoral ministry for thirty years, the last decade as senior pastor of Elmbrook, Mel seeks to help Christian leaders engage with each other. Mel is the author of eleven books, the most recent for church leaders, Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement.
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