Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Tue May 5th 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 cuts Australia needs to make to its budget are deep and fair. It is selfish to leave a legacy of debt to our children which would be so big it would give them a lifestyle that is life threatening. Failure to cut now means they might not have education then, or health care, or welfare. That is what Shorten and the ALP are insisting on. Debt that is unsustainable and a permanent loss of service Australians take for granted. If your local member tells you cuts are not possible, ask them what it is they are prepared to take from our children.

In 553, the Second Council of Constantinople began. It was the fifth ecumenical council of seven. The council was to address a schism in the church involving a heresy put forward by Nestor that Christ was separately man (Jesus) and God. It was a form of arianism that Cyril opposed. The council supported Cyril's position, but should have condemned the man's bloody politics. The separation of church and state had not yet been established. Cyril had died in '44 and his killings, including Hypatia, were mere historical footnotes.

In 1215, rebel barons renounced their fealty to King John of England. It would result in the Magna Carta. John was petty, spiteful and cruel, and a bit more than a year later, was dead at 49 years of age, from dysentery. In 1260, Kublai Kahn became emperor of Mongolia, his realm reached from the Pacific to the Black Sea, from Siberia to modern day Afghanistan – one fifth of the world's inhabited land area. In 1494, Columbus landed in Jamaica and claimed it for Spain. In 1809, on the same day Mary Kies had got her patent, the Swiss canton of Aargau had allowed citizenship to Jews. In 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi set out from Genoa with an expedition of a thousand to conquer and to unite Italy. In 1891, Carnegie Hall opened with Tchaikovsky as guest conductor.

In 1904, Cy Young threw a perfect game of Baseball. The first in the modern era. In 1905 in London, the trial of the Stratton Brothers began. It was the first time fingerprints were used to gain conviction for murder. Before peace advocates promoted left wing causes, even war, anarchists did the same. Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were two Italian born anarchists who came to the US separately in 1908, and did not meet until 1917 at a strike. They were both followers of Galleani who advocated bombings and killing for anarchy. They were both probably killers. But they were arrested on this day in 1920 for a crime they were probably involved in, and eventually executed for. But the left wing, world wide, denounced their conviction as insufficient. Even as bombs were tossed worldwide in protest of the convictions. In 1934, the Three Stooges released their short Woman Haters.

In 1946, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East began in Tokyo with twenty-eight Japanese military and government officials accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Proportionately more Japanese were executed than Germans. In 1977, the first of the Frost and Nixon interviews was broadcast. Frost claimed a gotcha that was not there. In 1981, Bobby Sands died voluntarily. He was a terrorist who had been caught, and protested by not eating food. In 2010, protestors in Greece protested austerity measures made to help them pay for their selfish greed.

2014
There are many lauding Mary Kies for being the first US woman to get a patent on this day in 1809. She had developed a weaving process for straw and silk which was useful and popular. Other women had had good ideas which a few years before they had not profited from and had not got patents for. Intellectual property is important. Apple, Google and Amazon profit handsomely from it. Some drugs are extraordinarily expensive because of it, despite the cheapness of the ingredients. But,cynicism aside, it drives growth and invention. Sad to report, then that Mary died in poverty, never having profited from it. Making her, like Obama, another highly lauded symbol of groundbreaking achievement. 

Annoyingly, Wikipedia lists this day in 1865 as being the time and place of the first train robbery in the US at North Bend, Ohio, but it fails to list details. Luckily there is Google. It is rumoured to have been the work of Frank and Jesse James. About a dozen had torn up tracks and derailed the train. Then, gunmen had demanded cash and valuables from the passengers. Also they stole safes and opened them. The telegraph was used to alert authorities, but the culprits were never brought to book. A bit like the Obama Presidency as well. 

Tennessee representative John W Butler was sincere but did not know about what was eventually legislated with his name. The Butler Act denied permission to teach evolution in Tennessee schools. He had done so because as he later stated, "I didn't know anything about evolution... I'd read in the papers that boys and girls were coming home from school and telling their fathers and mothers that the Bible was all nonsense." American Civil Liberties Union made a test case, funding John Scopes, a science teacher to use a textbook which included a treatise on Evolution, Race and Eugenics. Interestingly, Race and Eugenics are discredited in science. While the dispute was between Christian Modernists who hold that science is not in opposition to faith and Christian fundamentalists who hold that science is irrelevant, the case is now pitched between faith and atheism. Defence attorney Darrow was agnostic. Except the way the case is now understood is widely different to what it was about. The Butler Act was stupid. It is disappointing that the defence brought it down with a treatise including Race and Eugenics. But it was 1925 and Scopes was arrested on this day. 
Historical perspectives on this day 
In 553, the Second Council of Constantinople began. 1215, rebel barons renounced their allegiance to King John of England — part of a chain of events leading to the signing of the Magna Carta. 1260, Kublai Khan became ruler of the Mongol Empire. 1494, Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Jamaica and claimed it for Spain. 1640, King Charles I of England dissolved the Short Parliament. 1762, Russia and Prussia signed the Treaty of St. Petersburg. 1789, in France, the Estates-General convened for the first time since 1614. 

In 1809,  Mary Kies became the first woman awarded a U.S. patent, for a technique of weaving straw with silk and thread. Also 1809, the Swiss canton of Aargau allowed citizenship to Jews. 1811, in the second day of fighting at the Peninsular War Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro the French army, under Marshall André Masséna, drove in the Duke of Wellington's overextended right flank, but French frontal assaults failed to take the town of Fuentes de Oñoro and the Anglo-Portuguese army held the field at the end of the day. 1821, Emperor Napoleon I died in exile on the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. 1835, in Belgium, the first railway in continental Europe opened between Brussels and Mechelen. 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi set sail from Genoa, leading the expedition of the Thousand to conquer the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and giving birth to the Kingdom of Italy. 1862,  Cinco de Mayo: Troops led by Ignacio Zaragoza halted a French invasion in the Battle of Puebla in Mexico. 1864, American Civil War: The Battle of the Wilderness began in Spotsylvania County. 1865, in North Bend, Ohio (a suburb of Cincinnati), the first train robbery in the United States took place. 1866, Memorial Day first celebrated in United States at Waterloo, New York. 1877, American Indian Wars: Sitting Bull led his band of Lakota into Canada to avoid harassment by the United States Army under Colonel Nelson Miles. 1886, the Bay View Tragedy: A militia fired into a crowd of protesters in Milwaukee, killing seven. 1891, the Music Hall in New York City (later known as Carnegie Hall) had its grand opening and first public performance, with Tchaikovsky as the guest conductor. 

In 1904, Pitching against the Philadelphia Athletics at the Huntington Avenue Grounds, Cy Young of the Boston Americans threw the first perfect game in the modern era of baseball. 1905, the trial in the Stratton Brothers case began in London, England; it marked the first time that fingerprint evidence was used to gain a conviction for murder. 1920, authorities arrest Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti for alleged robbery and murder. 1925, Scopes Trial: Serving of an arrest warrant on John T. Scopes for teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act. Also 1925, the government of South Africa declared Afrikaans an official language. 1934, the first Three Stooges short, Woman Haters, was released. 1936, Italian troops occupied Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

In 1940, World War II: Norwegian refugees formed a government-in-exile in London Also 1940, World War II: Norwegian Campaign: Norwegian squads in Hegra Fortress and Vinjesvingen capitulated to German forces after all other Norwegian forces in southern Norway had laid down their arms. 1941, Emperor Haile Selassie returned to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; the country commemorates the date as Liberation Day or Patriots' Victory Day. 1944, German troops executed 216 civilians in the village of Kleisoura in Greece. 1945, World War II: Canadian and British troops liberated the Netherlands and Denmark from German occupation when Wehrmacht troops capitulated. Also 1945, World War II: The Prague uprising began as an attempt by the Czech resistance to free the city from German occupation. 1946, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East began in Tokyo with twenty-eight Japanese military and government officials accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. 1949, the Treaty of London established the Council of Europe in Strasbourg as the first European institution working for European integration. 1950, Bhumibol Adulyadej was crowned King Rama IX of Thailand. 1955, West Germany gained full sovereignty. 1961, The Mercury program: Mercury-Redstone 3: Alan Shepard became the first American to travel into outer space, on a sub-orbital flight. 1964, the Council of Europe declared May 5 as Europe Day

In 1972, Alitalia Flight 112 crashed into Mount Longa near Palermo, Sicily, killing all 115 aboard, making it the deadliest single-aircraft disaster in Italy. 1973, Secretariat won the 1973 Kentucky Derby in 1:59 2/5, a still standing record. 1977, the first of The Nixon Interviews between David Frost and Richard Nixon were broadcast. 1980, Operation Nimrod: The British Special Air Service stormed the Iranian embassy in London after a six-day siege. 1981, Bobby Sands died in the Long Kesh prison hospital after 66 days of hunger-striking, aged 27. 1987, Iran–Contra affair: Start of Congressional televised hearings in the United States of America 1991, a riot broke out in the Mt. Pleasant section of Washington, D.C. after police shot a Salvadoran man. 1994, the signing of the Bishkek Protocol between Armenia and Azerbaijan effectively froze the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Also 1994, American teenager Michael P. Fay was caned in Singapore for theft and vandalism. 2006, the government of Sudan signed an accord with the Sudan Liberation Army. 2010, Mass protests in Greece erupted in response to austerity measures imposed by the government as a result of the Greek debt crisis.
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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 Nguyen Sa Tran. Born on the same date as Garibaldi set sail to conquer the kingdom of two Sicilies. Also Cy Young threw the first perfect game in professional baseball. So lots celebrate your day. Thank you.
Deaths
May 5Liberation Day in Denmark, Ethiopia, and the Netherlands; Children's Day in Japan and South Korea
Isaac Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall
Our committee settled the issue. Garibaldi led it. Our hall had an honoured guest. Norwegians showed hitler Norway. Rioting broke out after a dead man resisted arrest. Let's party. 
Matches
Hatches
Despatches
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2015
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PROUD OF DEATH, ASHAMED OF LIFE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 05, 2015 (4:54am)

Sophisticated left-wing types are now enduring one of their periodic ”ashamed to be  Australian” episodes, which typically involve public expressions of concern at how Australia is viewed overseas.
For some reason these episodes always seem to coincide with Coalition governments.
Well, our left-wing friends can relax, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, as always, hardly anybody overseas is as obsessed with Australia politics as are local lefties. For reasons that might have something to do with them not living in Australia, foreigners rarely take much interest in our domestic political capering.
And secondly, in a rare instance of foreigners actually noticing what we’re up to, Australia is being applauded. Right now, Aussies in Europe especially might find themselves being asked all sorts of interesting and well-informed questions about a particular Australian success story.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'PROUD OF DEATH, ASHAMED OF LIFE'
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READING IS WRONG

Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 05, 2015 (4:33am)

The ABC’s Joe Gelonesi explains Radio National’s bizarre questioning of bedtime reading for children, on the grounds that it would disadvantage other kids: 
Contacted by The Daily Telegraph, Gelonesi said the bedtime stories angle was highlighted by the ABC “as a way of getting attention”. 
We’ll try that line the next time ABC’s Media Watch attacks a Telegraph headline. Doubt it will work. 
Asked if it might be just as easy to level the playing field by encouraging other parents to read bedtime stories, Gelonesi said: “We didn’t discuss that.” 
Of course they didn’t. Equality advocates tend always to aim down. Aiming up doesn’t seem to be an option. Click for a searing response to this stupidity from David Thompson.
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LISTEN FOR THE SQUIGTONE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 05, 2015 (3:49am)

As a service to the anxious, this site will sound an official Lenny & Squiggy Trigger Warning following every news report mentioning a certain breed of solitary predatory canines:

image

UPDATE. One of the dead Texas shooters was a known wolf.
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UNANIMOUS DECISION

Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 05, 2015 (3:40am)

Filipino fighting machine Manny Pacquiao may have been defeated by Floyd Mayweather on the weekend, but locally the Philippines scored an impressive victory
The Philippines’ most wanted Islamist militant, whose death at the weekend could boost peace efforts in the country’s south, was killed by his own bodyguards in pursuit of a bounty offered by the United States, the head of the military said on May 4.
Abdul Basit Usman, a militant with strong al Qaeda links who was blamed for numerous bomb attacks in the southern Philippines, had been hunted by security forces since 2002. 
(Via Dan F.)
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Tim Storrier and the other Tim’s hat

Andrew Bolt May 05 2015 (12:21pm)

I prefer to believe Tim Storrier’s print, a highlight of next week’s Leonard Joel sale of specialist prints, has been mistitled:
image
The proper title, I believe, is Apres moi le deluge: Tim Flannery’s hat
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We cannot keep paying pensions to the rich

Andrew Bolt May 05 2015 (9:56am)

Now we’re talking, even if Labor will once again attack:
Federal cabinet has locked in plans to tighten access to the age pension for wealthy retirees who have enough private assets to pay their own way, securing a major budget saving while leaving room to reward others on modest ­private incomes.
A new pension assets test will scale back payments to older ­Australians who have substantial private wealth in addition to their family homes, but the changes will be balanced so there will be ­winners as well as losers from the changes.
This is the kind of reform we need - and I say so as someone who will clearly be affected.
UPDATE
Nick Cater spells out another problem with pensions and super that Labor is strangely reluctant to fix:
Australians will have $9 trillion saved in superannuation in 25 years yet seven out of 10 retirees still will rely on welfare, according to last month’s Intergenerational Report…

As the Murray Financial System Inquiry pointed out last year ... (a) relatively simple way of increasing [retirement] income ... would be to reduce administrative fees and other charges creamed off by fund managers and give contributors the freedom to invest their money in the fund of their choice.  At present some enterprise agreements dictate to which industry fund compulsory superannuation payments are made: Murray’s proposals would put a stop to that and by doing so increase retirement incomes for workers on average pay by 25 to 40 per cent.
One would expect the Labor Party to embrace these proposals to help the working poor. Strangely not, however. Evidence to Heydon’s royal commission helps us understand why…
The intimate relationship between the TWU, TWUSUPER and the ALP furnishes one explanation. Between July 2006 and June last year, TWUSUPER paid $6.8 million to the TWU ... for directors’ meeting fees, reimbursement of directors’ expenses, superannuation “liaison officer expenses”, office rental, advertising expenses and sponsorship…
TWUSUPER, Cbus and other industry superfunds have turned into the kind of “tearaway industry with rorts” Keating warned against. These inadequately supervised bodies, overseen by boards stacked with union and Labor Party stalwarts, are henhouses run by foxes…
The TWU — recipient of millions of dollars from TWUSUPER — gave almost $4.9m to Labor between July 2006 and June last year. It gave $2.1m to the party in 2010-11 alone to bankroll Labor’s election.
If Shorten and Bowen want to retain their credibility, they should insist that the ALP hands that money back.
(Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill and brett t r.)
UPDATE
Unprincipled rabble-rousing, and never mind the cost:

“Tony Abbott’s treatment of pensioners in the last 12 months has been nothing short of a national disgrace,” Mr Shorten said this morning after The Australian revealed the cabinet decision to tighten the pension assets test.
“They just need to come clean: drop the cuts to the pension.”
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Clive Palmer’s Borodino: a devastating win

Andrew Bolt May 05 2015 (9:50am)

Hedley Thomas says Clive Palmer’s court win yesterday was not all good news:

Judge David Jackson’s decision to sidestep the question of whether Palmer acted fraudulently and dishonestly when he took more than $12 million in Chinese funds means it is likely to be left to police to determine.
The problem for Palmer is that Jackson did go on and make a number of conclusions that look bad for the tycoon.
This cash was meant to have been spent on a port. Palmer knew that… It was funnelled instead to pay for his political creature, the Palmer United Party. He signed the cheques…
Palmer’s legal argument that the Chinese funds were not held “on trust” by him or his company has been upheld. That is his win. Having found there was not an actual trust, Jackson decided he would not need to rule on whether the parliamentarian had acted dishonestly and fraudulently in taking and spending all the cash. That was another win.
While Jackson avoided making such a declaration, however, he spiked his judgment with details adverse to Palmer. He described Palmer’s “apparent attempt to manufacture evidence to show that there was a written contract” to authorise his withdrawals. The judge appeared unimpressed by this purportedly “sham document”, which was allegedly fraudulently pulled together and backdated… Palmer knew, too, his $10m payment to Cosmo and $2.167m payment to Media Circus were not authorised, Jackson ruled.
The serious accusations of fraudulent conduct that were levelled against Palmer by the Chinese were not unjustified, according to Jackson, who found they had a “reasonable basis"…

Some will be scratching their heads after the narrow outcome of these civil proceedings. A wealthy politician helps himself to millions of dollars, spends it on private interests unrelated to a port, and allegedly “manufactures” a document after the fact to justify the withdrawals. Then he pays the money back — and says he did nothing wrong. Does it pass the sniff test. It falls to police to clear it up once and for all.
Note: a man who acts like this is now a member of Parliament. This is a disgrace, in my opinion.
(Thanks to reader WaG311.) 
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How Bill Shorten (doesn’t) answer questions

Andrew Bolt May 05 2015 (9:29am)

From Bill Shorten’s astonishing press conference yesterday, this list of complete non-answers from the man who promised this would be the “year of ideas”:
JOURNALIST: What do you make of the reports this morning Mr Shorten that the deficit levy could be gone in this coming Budget after 2017, and also no GST on goods purchased online under $1,000. Would you be supportive of those measures?
SHORTEN: There’s the Government going again with thought bubbles in substitute for well-argued and reasoned policy.... In terms of what we will support, I think the Government just needs to do its homework, tell Australians of what it’s doing – not a process of selective leaks of half thought-out ideas which they then retreat from as soon as they get the first whiff of political gunpowder in their nostrils.
JOURNALIST: Would you like to see the deficit levy continue?
SHORTEN: Well first of all I’d like to see what the numbers in the Budget are. I’m not going to start putting up all the propositions of the Government....
JOURNALIST: When will the Labor Government deliver a Budget surplus?
SHORTEN: First of all we have to be in Government. I think the question though that should be asked of the Abbott Government is that – they’ve now been in power about 604, 605 days, when will they stop blaming Labor around every corner for everything that this Government hasn’t done? ...

JOURNALIST: Can I ask what is needed – more spending cuts or tax increases?
SHORTEN: What’s needed is the Government to keep its election promises, what’s needed is the Government not to attack low-paid people....
JOURNALIST: This morning Tony Abbott said that the Government has been able to save about $3 billion or so over the forward estimates as a result of its asylum seeker policy. Is this something that Labor will continue if you were to win Government?
SHORTEN: Well, I will give some tips to Tony Abbott. He could save north of $20 billion by taking up our changes to multinationals and superannuation…

JOURNALIST: But given the savings that Operation Sovereign Borders – the Government says – have been achieved, is it a policy that Labor would continue with if you were to win government next year?
SHORTEN: Well, I don’t accept the assumption – you’re asserting numbers, we haven’t seen them yet.  Let’s see what they look like in the Budget. But in the meantime, I just invite Tony Abbott to take up our constructive suggestions… Tough areas, superannuation concessions for the mega-wealthy, looking at multinational taxation…
JOURNALIST: You were saying before that you’ve got three tests that you are going to apply to the Abbott Government’s Budget, if the savings measures that they propose don’t meet those tests, are you committed to blocking them?
SHORTEN: Well, first of all, let’s see what they do. We all know that last year’s Budget was a complete disaster… The question is, does he only have two gears – dull and do nothing and save his job, or extreme ideology…
JOURNALIST: Well, what do you make of what the AFP have had to say?
SHORTEN: Well I’ll need to see what they’ve actually said.
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Bill Shorten will and won’t on boats

Andrew Bolt May 05 2015 (9:21am)

Bill Shorten yesterday hinted he might finally get tough on illegal immigrants:
I cannot also lie to myself and I will not live in an intellectually dishonest world where I say that if we have policies which drag people here to hop on unsafe boats and drown at sea, well I’m not going to be party to that either.  Just as we saw at Lampedusa, where 700 refugees died by boat, I cannot turn my mind and ignore that truth too. Because how do I ask people to go and get people out of the sea, how do I ask people to fish people out of the sea and not be prepared to deal with the policy consequences of it. That answer mightn’t satisfy you but it makes me live a little better each day.
Bill Shorten on Monday refused to hint he’d get tough on illegal immigrants:
JOURNALIST: This morning Tony Abbott said that the Government has been able to save about $3 billion or so over the forward estimates as a result of its asylum seeker policy. Is this something that Labor will continue if you were to win Government?
SHORTEN: Well, I will give some tips to Tony Abbott. He could save north of $20 billion by taking up our changes to multinationals and superannuation. Tony Abbott needs to stop focusing on political point scoring against Labor. He has been in office for 604 days. When will the man do his day job and stop blaming everyone else, and start working in the long-term interests of Australia?…

JOURNALIST: But given the savings that Operation Sovereign Borders – the Government says – have been achieved, is it a policy that Labor would continue with if you were to win government next year?
SHORTEN: Well, I don’t accept the assumption – you’re asserting numbers, we haven’t seen them yet.  Let’s see what they look like in the Budget. But in the meantime, I just invite Tony Abbott to take up our constructive suggestions. We remember the long years of Tony Abbott as Opposition Leader. Did you ever see him offering billions of dollars of bipartisan agreement to make sure that this country can do better in the future? Billions of dollars proposed by Labor. Tough areas, superannuation concessions for the mega-wealthy, looking at multinational taxation. 
(Thanks to reader Paul.) 
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The shooters aren’t the victims

Andrew Bolt May 05 2015 (9:04am)

Ben Shapiro:

On Monday, the media came out and defended the Texas Draw Muhammad event targeted by radical Muslims. The Chicago Tribune said the event “poke[s] wicked fun at [religion] … lampoons the ability of persons of faith to compartmentalize.” The New York Times praised the event for “scrupulously disassemb[ling]” and mocking Islam with “vignettes” that “float into the high altitudes of absurdity.” Variety called the event a “nonstop fusillade of obscenities.”
Oh, wait. Sorry, that was The Book of Mormon, the Mormonism-bashing Tony-award winning musical that actually carries a song with the lyrics “f*** you, God.” Nobody got shot for making that “brave musical.” The media worshipped it, nonetheless, as a blow for freedom.
But when two radical Muslims shoot up a Draw Muhammad event in Garland, Texas, the media jump to rip the event....
The American left no longer believes in freedom of speech. They believe in their freedom to criticize those things they find offensive; when shamed, they will occasionally pretend to support freedom of speech for those with whom they disagree, as with Charlie Hebdo. But in the end, they will justify those they believe are victims, even when those “victims” are busily shooting up free speech events in the heart of the United States.
I saw the Book of Mormon with my family, incidentally. Very funny. Mind you, I didn’t leave the theatre wondering if we’d get shot, either, which would have made it less funny.
UPDATE
Pamela Geller, organiser of the event that was attacked, deals very nicely with a CNN host who tried to cast her as the villain:
CNN sounds awfully like Islamic apologists apologists such as Kuranda Seyit, spokesman of the Islamic Council of Victoria:
This is really about baiting Muslims. It’s about you know venting hatred towards one religious community.  It is not about free speech. And it’s a ridiculous notion to have a competition offering $10,000 so someone can denigrate the prophet And they did this knowingly that this would upset lots and lot of Muslims in the community and tragically what we’ve got is a result of someone’s incompetence and stupidity to even run such an event. It is a shame and I very sad that this is happened, but if you do this, if you poke a dog with a stick it’s going to bite you.
UPDATE
An Australian Twitter user who supports Islamic State urged an attack at an anti-Islamic event in Texas just days before two ­people were shot dead as it wrapped up yesterday.
The Melbourne man, known only as “Australi Witness”, went as far as sharing a map of the community centre where the event was held, while sharing calls last week by Islamic State fighters and supporters for “brothers in Texas” to go there “with your weapons, bombs or with knifes”.
The same man also posted the addresses of synagogues in Australia and the location of Anzac Day services, along with details of individuals he claims have ­insulted Muslims. It is believed that Australian authorities are monitoring the posts.
(Thanks to readers Hawkeye P and Nick.) 
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The very modern Anthony Trollope

Andrew Bolt May 05 2015 (8:06am)

Your favorite books, poems and music - and mine

Anthony Trollope is a great and wise writer who is finally receiving the honour that is his due, as Adam Gopnik records in the New Yorker:
... one professor has discovered that as many books were published about Trollope in the five years between 1976 and 1981 as had appeared in the entire near-century since his death, in 1882.
Trollope’s wisdom is to see the good in the bad, the bad in the good, the sting in reform and the golden thread in even the most thread-bare tradition. He has a merciful eye, and is the enemy of the ideologues and bullies who seek to stamp us straight.
And that, of course, is what makes him so very modern, particularly in times like ours:



The main burden of “The Warden,” the short novel that Trollope’s epiphany first produced, is the reform of an ancient charitable legacy that is meant to guarantee the welfare of pensioners in an almshouse in the imaginary cathedral town of Barchester, in the county of Barsetshire. The legacy has been diverted over time to provide a large sinecure for the clerical warden of the place. John Bold, a young man of radical turn, witnessing this misuse, sets out to reform it. In a Trollopian touch, he is also falling in love with the warden’s daughter, and, in a second Trollopian touch, the warden, far from being a parasite on the old men, is shown to be doing as good a job as imaginable in the circumstances. Mr. Harding, the warden, is within corruption without being corrupt, as the young man is battling for reform while admiring the old institution and the gracious women it produces…
Trollope sees that the agents of reform are often ugly, that the beneficiaries of corruption are often graceful, that the effects of reform are often dubious, but that reform in a liberal society is nonetheless as inevitable as the standardization of measurement. ...
What makes Trollope a novelist rather than a polemicist is that, although he is on the side of reform, he is capable of empathetic engagement with its victims. Mr.  Harding is a very good man who is in an unfair position, and eventually, heartbreakingly, he recognizes this....
It’s a sign of Trollope’s gift for imagining the internal politics of large, self-approving bureaucracies that every one of his Barsetshire character types can be found in any American university. Trollope’s Low Church Bishop Proudie would today be a newly appointed university president, eager for online courses and increased enrollment; the High Church party of the Arabins would be found in the humanities faculty, distraught at having to prove that esoteric comp-lit studies are in any sense “profitable.” The Reverend Dr. Stanhope, the clergyman called back from a long holiday in Italy, is a professor summoned from a sabbatical at the American Academy in Rome and ordered to start teaching freshmen again. Even the condition of Trollope’s curates, like poor Mr. Quiverful, is exactly reproduced by those long-term adjuncts who teach semester to semester and live contract to contract.
I think Gopnik goes too far in claiming Trollope as a man of the Left. That, in part, comes from a common error in confusing Conservative - too often a reactionary party in Trollope’s time - with conservative, as in the tendency to trust what works above claims of what would work better, and to prefer reform to revolution. I suspect Trollope would today have been sceptical about global warmists, for instance, and would have delighted in a character as comic as Tim Flannery. He’d also have flinched from the moral certitude and intolerance of the same-sex marriage push.  As I understand him, Trollope was a conservative of the kind put so brilliantly by Giuseppe di Lampedusa: ”For things to remain the same, everything must change.” Preserve what is good by cutting away what rots.
Trollope is ever sceptical of the wild claims of reformers, as Gopnik notes without quite appreciating the Trollope words he quotes:

“Liberals think it to be for the welfare of the people and the good of the country that distances should be reduced and gradually annihilated. The Conservative thinks it to be for the good that he should maintain the great ‘distance’ or degree of difference which divides the Duke from the laborer.” Trollope is also clear that these “distances” to be reduced are not merely the hereditary ones that filled his England: “Accumulating wealth will re-create the distances almost as fast as they are dissolved by popular energy.”
I also take issue with this:

Trollope could be stirred, a little peevishly, at times, by speculative capitalism, his bête noire… The only truly illiberal novel Trollope wrote on this theme, in the midst of the Palliser series, is, by a familiar paradox of taste, the one that has had a recent vogue: “The Way We Live Now.” It tells the story of the evil Melmotte, a foreign financier, presumed to be Jewish, and of his rise to Parliament and power. Not truly racist, it still shows the corruption of England by intruders—Melmotte is in league with an American named Hamilton Fisker—in a style that the cosmopolitan Trollope would usually have rejected, or deepened. It is a surprisingly bad-tempered work, and has gained popularity, one suspects, mainly because of its all-purpose title and its very atypical spleen… “The Way We Live Now” is the Trollope novel for people who don’t like Trollope novels.
That last sentence, in my case at least, is clearly false, and I wonder whether Gopnik has made a mistake too common among polemicists of the Left and exactly the one Trollope never made: to judge people as types rather than individuals. Melmotte is Melmotte, not “speculative capitalism” on legs. He is not an archetypal Jew who is typically corrupting England (indeed, I cannot think of Melmotte without Clive Palmer coming to mind). This is not a character who should expose Trollope to Gopnik’s no-but-yes reproof as “not truly racist”.
This is deeply unfair on Trollope, whose cast of great characters includes Madame Max Goesler, a rich Viennese widow who is clearly Jewish. Goesler emerges as one of the heroines of the Palliser series - a noble, discreet and self-sacrificing woman who uses her wealth and industry to save Phineas Finn from the scaffold. Trollope also treats other Jewish characters sympathetically, but, as always, as individuals rather than types.
How strange that Gopnik, loving Trollope as I do, so fundamentally misreads him at the end. But read his entire essay. There is much wisdom and love in it still, and a true Trollope admirer would never let some flaw blind them to other virtues.  
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Newspoll: Labor 52 to Coalition 48

Andrew Bolt May 05 2015 (7:49am)

Step by step, the Abbott Government gets back into the contest after seeming near dead and buried in January:

And, after trailing Bill Shorten since November as the nation’s preferred prime minister, Mr Abbott has drawn level with the Labor leader, according to the latest Newspoll…
While Labor’s primary vote has fallen to its lowest since October at 35 per cent, the ALP continues to hold a two-party-preferred lead over the Coalition, of 52 per cent to 48 per cent.
As I said at the previous Newspoll, Labor’s purported lead then of 51 to 49 seemed an underestimation, particularly given other poll results. This seems a truer measure.
Now for the Budget. If the Government can this time deliver something reassuring, Labor will be in trouble. 
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Qantas flies to the Left

Andrew Bolt May 05 2015 (7:40am)

First Qantas pushes the Recognise campaign to divide us by race. Now it wants to back another cause of the Left:
Noting that the Qantas workforce includes a significant number of gay people and that more than 70 per cent of Australians support same-sex marriage, according to recent polling, [CEO Alan] Joyce said it was important for the airline to advocate for reform.
Joyce is perfectly entitled to use Qantas to push his pet causes, and particularly ones he believes would give Qantas a funky, “progressive” image.
But I wonder whether the same freedom will be allowed if Joyce’s replacement is a conservative who campaigns against gay marriage or for tough border controls.  
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Memo to the Australian: blast Kelly, not me

Andrew Bolt May 04 2015 (8:58pm)

I don’t think the latest over-the-top salvo at me from The Australian explains at all this disgraceful threat or suggestion from Paul Kelly:
As the referendum advances, how much liberty will be extended to Bolt by his editors to continue his campaign in their newspapers?
The questions remain: what did Kelly mean? Will he apologise either to me or to the editors he maligned in suggesting they would shut down an opponent of the racist campaign, backed by The Australian, to change our constitution?
As for The Australian, a simple reassurance that Kelly did not speak for the editor would have been sufficient and more graceful. 
Oh, and to claim that “Bolt insists only one side is being put” by The Australian is, of course, completely false and a straw man. Not for the first time do I wonder at The Australian’s response to someone who points out a clear problem in its coverage. 
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BEST FRIENDS! When one turtle spotted his buddy flipped over onto his shell, he immediately got to work helping him. #Mates <3 <3 (via Mashable)
Posted by iRadio on Tuesday, 16 December 2014

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Mine too!J
Posted by Infantryfollowme on Monday, 4 May 2015

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Live each day to the fullest, then write about it!
Posted by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing on Monday, 4 May 2015

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Imperial Sand Dunes with Prometheus Design Werx,  Bay Area Expeditions  Explore and Tactical Outfitters Eddie Dennis
Posted by Chris Van Loan on Monday, 4 May 2015

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=== Posts from last year ===

CRAB BREAK

Tim Blair – Monday, May 05, 2014 (12:02am)

These two-hour working days (sometimes even two-and-a-half hours) have exhausted me. Also, Sydney is cold and I can’t find a decent crab sandwich, so I’ve fled to Queensland. Back in a week or so.
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ICAC makes even Hockey’s-fee-for-access look bad. UPDATE: Hockey to sue; Shorten snagged

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (4:46pm)


I think the times are rapidly changing and the public isn’t as tolerant of this kind of pay-for-access. That said, there is no wrongdoing unless anyone can show the money led to a favorable decision, and that is not even alleged against Joe Hockey - and I cannot believe ever would be: 


Treasurer Joe Hockey is offering privileged access to a select group including business people and industry lobbyists in return for tens of thousands of dollars in donations to the Liberal Party via a secretive fund-raising body whose activities are not fully disclosed to election funding authorities… 
The donors are members of the North Sydney Forum, a campaign fundraising body run by Mr Hockey’s North Sydney Federal Electoral Conference (FEC). In return for annual fees of up to $22,000, members are rewarded with “VIP” meetings with Mr Hockey, often in private boardrooms. 
The North Sydney FEC officials who run the forum – which is an incorporated entity of the Liberal Party – say its membership lists and therefore the identities of its donors are “confidential"… 
What little public information is available reveals members of the forum include National Australia Bank as well as the influential Financial Services Council, whose chief executive is former NSW Liberal leader John Brogden.
I’d just want disclosure.
UPDATE
The headline all over The Age and Sydney Morning Herald front page and on the Fairfax website - “Treasurer for sale” - seemed to me extreme and offensive. And not surprisingly:

JOE Hockey is seeking legal advice in response to Fairfax Media’s “offensive and repugnant” accusations that he was “for sale” to corporate donors…
In a statement, Mr Hockey today said: “Accusations made in Fairfax Media today are both offensive and repugnant. 
“As the matter is now in the hands of lawyers no further comment can be made...” 
UPDATE
Funny. Fairfax hasn’t headlined this story “Opposition Leader for sale”, or does it reserve defamatory attacks for the Coalition?

Labor is offering business leaders exclusive access to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in the lead up to the federal budget, but it comes at a high price – a cool $3300 for a board room lunch.
Disclaimer: I don’t accuse Shorten for a second of offering favors for that money, just as I don’t with Hockey.
UPDATE
Wonderful to get a bracing lecture from Greens leader Christine Milne on Sky News saying we needed a ban or a cap on donations to political parties.
Yes, the same Christine Milne:

The Greens received the biggest single political donation in Australian history in 2011 when Wotif founder Graeme Wood gave the party $1.6 million to fund a TV advertising campaign.
Sod did the Sydney Morning Herald report this donation as something sinister? Dress it up with a defamatory “Greens for sale” headline?
Hell. no:


Web millionaire bankrolled Greens 
January 8, 2011
A MULTIMILLIONAIRE internet entrepreneur worried about climate change bankrolled the Greens’ federal election surge last year by making the largest single political donation in Australian history.
Wotif founder Graeme Wood, whose wealth is estimated at $372 million, gave $1.6 million to fund the Greens’ television advertising campaign, helping to significantly increase votes for the party in key states. The Greens will hold the balance of power in the Senate from mid-year. 
Mr Wood’s benevolence helped the Greens, led by Senator Bob Brown, boost their national profile. They captured their first lower house seat and, with key rural independents, gained increased leverage over government policy.
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Is it worth this pain?

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (3:39pm)


Labor’s latest ad pounces on the broken tax promise Tony Abbott is contemplating. Why give Labor this gift to exploit for the two and half years until the election?
The attack should really be on Labor for making the pain necessary with its mad spending and its own broken promise to deliver a surplus. 
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Labor has nothing to lose but its socialist chains

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (9:48am)


It says something about Labor’s members that removing this reference is highly controversial - and Shorten is likely to fail:
BILL Shorten wants to restart debate on whether Labor should maintain its near-century-long commitment to democratic socialism and is open to removing the symbolic mission statement from the party’s constitution… 
The socialist objective describes Labor as “a democratic socialist party” and binds members to support “the democratic socialisation of industry, production, distribution and exchange, to the extent necessary to eliminate exploitation ... in these fields”.
When Shorten says he wants Labor members to have more say in the party he’s talking about the members who’d defend Labor’s socialist objective. 
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Packer in fist-fight with Gyngell

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (9:34am)


image
A bit unseemly: 
Photographs that have hit the market this morning show billionaire James Packer in a fist fight with Nine Entertainment Group CEO David Gyngell… 
The former friends can be seen brawling on the street outside Packer’s multi-million dollar Bondi beach pad in Sydney. The stills show the men wrestling, before falling to the ground… It is unknown what the fight was in regards to, but reports claim Gyngell was waiting outside the property for Packer to arrive from the airport. 
Seems serious:
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Speculation: 
Sources close to both men told PS this morning that their life-long friendship soured soon after Packer and his second wife, Erica, announced their shock separation six months ago. 
It is understood Gyngell confronted Packer about his decision to walk away from his seven-year marriage that had produced three children, an approach to which Packer did not react kindly. 
UPDATE
In a joint statement this morning, they said ”we have been friends for 35 years and still are”.“In that time we have had our fair share of ups and downs. We respect each other and neither of us will be commenting further.”
UPDATE
Pictures. More. without the scribble, in tomorrow’s News Corp papers, including the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun.
UPDATE
In a way, the publication of the pictures is reassuring. Packer is from an old media dynasty, albeit now much, much smaller. Gyngell heads Channel Nine and is an old Packer mate, despite this. A good friend of Packer is Lachlan Murdoch, whose family’s interests include Australia’s News Corp papers. Yet:

Publisher News Corp obtained the exclusive set of photographs from Beirne’s agency Media Mode after outbidding Gyngell’s Nine Entertainment.
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Obama doesn’t find himself funny

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (9:22am)


It takes a big man to laugh at himself. Rip Curl didn’t see one at dinner:


Once a year, at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, the president drops in to deliver a short comedy bit heavy on self deprecation. President Reagan was a master, goofing on himself as a slow-witted Hollywood rube; George H.W. Bush stepped out of his stiff patrician bearing to hit himself with a few zingers… And George W. Bush was, frankly, a master. Derided like Reagan, a slow witted rube, but this time from Texas, Bush once brought an impersonator on stage to mock him nonstop, for everything from his marble-mouthed delivery to his low approval rating. Mastery. 
But President Obama each year proves he just isn’t man enough to point his super-intellectual humor at himself....

“It is great to be back. What a year, huh? I usually start these dinners with a few self-deprecating jokes. After my stellar 2013, what can I possibly talk about?” he said right at the top of his 20-minute routine.
He was, of course, going to mock the dismal rollout of Obamacare. But in his very first joke, he did so not by targeting himself, but by going after 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“At one point, things got so bad, the 47 percent called Mitt Romney to apologize,” he said to applause and laughter from the heavily liberal crowd…
But he would go on to eviscerate his foes, bring up Kenya and “birthers” not once but twice, delight in charging Republicans with racism..., target two private citizens, the Koch brothers, and muse about “what did we do to piss off Chris Christie so bad?” (Classy.)
He seemed positively obsessed with the Republicans who are going to vie for his job...., apparently seeking to connect [Rand] Paul with embattled Nevada rancher [and racist] Cliven Bundy.
He targeted Sen. Ted Cruz too… And he took aim at Texas Gov. Rick Perry…
Throughout the monologue, the 2,500 people in the Washington Hilton howled their approval at the over-the-top attacks. Later, when comedian Joal McHale made a Nancy Pelosi joke, there were only groans. 
But Obama knows that the highly partisan crowd at the annual event will eat up his vindictive diatribe, and each year, it does. So every year, Obama makes it all just a bit more vicious. Still, that seems to be just the problem: A man who can’t laugh at himself is a man devoid of humor, and nearly always, bitter and petty. 
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Gay bishop divorces

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (8:53am)


The problem with replacing what seem God’s laws - or sacred traditions - with man’s contracts is that keeping vows becomes far more optional:
The first openly gay Episcopal bishop, who became a symbol for gay rights far beyond the church while deeply dividing the world’s Anglicans, plans to divorce his husband. 
Bishop Gene Robinson announced the end of his marriage to Mark Andrew… Robinson would not disclose details about the end of their 25-year relationship…

“All of us sincerely intend, when we take our wedding vows, to live up to the ideal of ‘til death do us part. But not all of us are able to see this through until death indeed parts us."… 
Robinson, 66, had been married to a woman and had two children before he and his wife divorced. 
Robinson became the model of a bishop for a Left that wants no God but themselves:
Robinson was also widely celebrated as a pioneer for gay rights, became an advocate for gay marriage and was the subject of several books and a documentary about Christianity, the Bible and same-sex relationships. He delivered the benediction at the opening 2009 inaugural event for President Barack Obama and, after retirement, became a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Democratic think tank with close ties to the White House.
If religion is in part to acquaint man with the eternal, Robinson is not its voice. 
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Why have we imported this danger? Why won’t the ABC discuss it?

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (8:26am)

Immigration

Is it fair on Australians to have imported such danger? Is it fair on Australians that our immigration program is deemed too sensitive to frankly discuss?

POLICE had to call in reinforcements after a group of hardline Muslims gathered at a Sydney police station clamouring for the release of a woman later charged with supporting terrorism.
The mother-of-four was arrested­ as she allegedly tried to board a flight in Sydney carrying­ cash and equipment — believed to include camouflage gear — for her husband fighting in Syria…
Three search warrants were also executed­ — two in Sydney and one in Brisbane.
Hardline supporters arrived at the police station after news of the woman’s arrest was posted on social media, with police forced to call for back-up to deal with them… 
More than 100 Australians, many from NSW and mostly young men, have travelled to Syria via alleged terrorist support networks linked to Jabhat Al Nusra and State of Iraq and the Levant movements.
So we already have enough “hardline Muslims” supporting a woman charged with supporting terrorism to force police to call for reinforcements. Now imagine if their community was allowed to triple in size. How many more police would be needed at such protests? How many more Australians would be serving with terrorist groups?
These are tough questions, and check how far the ABC and official police sources go to avoid even suggesting them. Which religion? Which country was she heading to?

A mother of four has been arrested at Sydney Airport and charged during a police counterterrorism operation. 
Officers from the joint counterterrorism team stopped a woman trying to board an international flight with her four young children on Saturday evening.
Police say the 29-year-old Brisbane woman was arrested and taken to Mascot Police Station in Sydney’s south, where she was charged with supporting incursions into a foreign state with the intention of engaging in hostile activities. 
Police will not say where the woman is from or where she was intending to travel.
But even the Sydney Morning Herald is able to report what the ABC won’t:

A mother-of-four has been charged with supporting terrorism after she was arrested at Sydney Airport while trying to board a flight to Syria with her young children, police say… 
The organiser of the Bankstown-based al-Risalah Facebook page claimed on Sunday morning that the woman’s passport had been confiscated.

UPDATE
Reader Ursus Augustus:


Let the spirit of RDA 18C be upon you all - or else.
(Thanks to many readers, including Straight Talk and annette.)  
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Column - What crisis? Shorten sells out our future

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (8:17am)


 
BILL Shorten is trashing our tomorrow for cheap votes today. And the shame is much of the public seem to be cheering him on.
Wake up! Thousand of Australians may pay for the Opposition Leader’s reckless politicking with their jobs, and millions could get poorer.
“We are not buying this argument that there’s some Budget emergency,” Shorten soothed voters last week.
“There is no Budget crisis,” echoed his Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen.
No, there’s no need to accept the cuts of the wicked Abbott Government. It’s all a Liberal hoax.
“The truth is they wanted to confect or manufacture a Budget crisis because these are the sorts of cuts they actually want to bring in,” sneers Labor’s finance spokesman, Tony Burke.
What makes this worse is that Shorten is kicking Abbott for trying to fix the disaster created by Labor.
(Read the full article here.)
UPDATE

And some context from the commission of audit:

image
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Let’s pretend spending isn’t the problem, and taxes are

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (8:08am)


The Left just wants more taxes, not less spending, and is torturing the truth to attack Tony Abbott’s plans: 
A spending crisis? It’s the revenue, stupid. David Marr on ABC Insiders yesterday: 

NOW they’ve got to get back the revenue stream and, politically, it’s ­really tough.
Host Fran Kelly jumps in, in furious agreement:

EVERYONE was thinking once we were through the global financial ­crisis it would come back and it has not come back.
Fairfax’s Phil Coorey interrupts with his dash of woe:

IT’S not going to ...
The Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2013-14, table D12, Australian government accrual revenue, expenses and fiscal balance, ­December 17 last year:

2013-14 revenue (estimated) $373,922,000. 2016-17 revenue (projected) $445,032,00.
Oz Fact Checker, The Australian, Friday: THE Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, released in December, showed revenue growing by about 4.6 per cent in 2013-14 ... to about 7 per cent the following year ... Revenue growth is directly tied to the ­increase in nominal GDP, which at 3.5 per cent (in MYEFO) is barely half the trend pace but is expected to pick up in the next four years. The latest national accounts, for the ­December quarter, put nominal growth just under 5 per cent. At about these levels, revenue will grow between 5 per cent and 7 per cent. Revenue is not really the problem.
From the commission of audit’s report:
image
UPDATE
Paul Sheehan on when the trouble really started:

Unusually, history offers a precise time and place, right down to the day, to appreciate why Australia has gone, seemingly suddenly, from a land of boom to a nation facing an austerity budget with sacrifices expected of all. The date was February 4, 2009. 
The cause ... was the size and scale, and haste and dubious design, of six appropriations bills that Kevin Rudd’s government was about to ram through Parliament. These bills would transform the budget… Rudd said Australia needed decisive action to avoid a recession. When the opposition caught a glimpse of what he intended it saw immediately that Rudd’s grandiosity was dangerously at work. We are now discovering in great detail, via the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Scheme, the extent of dysfunction of Rudd’s management vision...
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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I’m wrong, says McCrann. But he doesn’t get Abbott off the hook

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (7:41am)


TONY Abbott should drop his planned new deficit tax and say sorry for even thinking of breaking a promise.
The Prime Minister’s sorry could then force attention on to the real problem — which isn’t actually his plan for an extra 1 per cent tax on incomes above $80,000 and 2 per cent above $140,000.
True, my colleague Terry McCrann has elsewhere argued I’m wrong — Abbott never promised not to give us such a tax.
(Read full article here.) 
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17 years of no warming could soon end with a new record

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (6:43am)


image
Christopher Monckton warns that 17 years of no warming could be about to end - kind of:


The RSS satellite data .... shows no global warming for 17 years 9 months. 
Enjoy The Pause while it lasts. A Kelvin wave is galloping across the Pacific, and the usual suspects would be praying for a super El Niño… Already the well-paid extremists are predicting a new record annual mean surface temperature either in 2014 or in 2015.
Their prediction for 2014 will probably not come true. Four months without any warming make it difficult to imagine that this will be a record year for global temperature, though it is barely possible.
The notion of a new record temperature next year is less implausible, particularly if there is a strong or prolonged el Niño followed by a weak la Niña. As Roy Spencer points out on his hard-headed and ever-sensible blog, all things being equal one would expect temperature records to be broken from time to time, for CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere and some warming – eventually – is to be expected. 
However, as the also hard-headed Dick Lindzen points out, the new record, when it happens, will be hundredths of a degree above the old, and it will be well within the natural variability of the climate. When warming eventually resumes, probably towards the end of this year, for El Niño is a seasonal event, it will probably not be much to write home about. And the following La Niña may cancel much of it. But that will not prevent the usual suspects from screeching that It’s Worse Than We Ever Thought.
When in fact any rise in global temperature is Much Less Than They Ever Thought.  
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What iceberg? What economic crisis?

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (6:35am)


No to cuts, a tax rise or even a tiny charge on doctors’ visits. Yes to giving more and more people the pension for 20 years.
What crisis?


An exclusive poll commissioned by The Daily Telegraph has revealed that 55 per cent of voters are opposed to plans to scrap bulk billing and to introduce a $6 co-payment to visit their GP. 
Even more have rejected Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey’s proposal to lift the retirement age to 70, with 69 per cent claiming the government should leave it where it is… The results come on the back of a poll by The Sunday Telegraph that revealed 72 per cent considered the government’s debt levy was a “broken promise”.  
Add an opportunistic Opposition Leader claiming the budget crisis doesn’t exist and isn’t worth fixing and we’re on the way to Greece.
UPDATE
Errol Simper is generous, given his politics, but also bemused:

Andrew Bolt’s The Bolt Report has improved considerably and can be pretty watchable… He can still be difficult to fathom. Why he — now apparently supported by the federal government — so regularly attacks (as again today) the concept of house owners getting an aged pension must be a mystery. House owners usually own houses because they’ve spent their working lives paying off stressful bank loans… 
By Bolt’s logic, you should work your insides out to acquire what you fondly think of as an asset but accept that, in your old age, it has become a liability, which automatically bars you from an income. An aged pension should be everyone’s right, as is the case in Britain. By the time you reach pensionable age, your pension has been bought and paid for. It’s yours. It doesn’t belong to government. This federal administration, and commentators such as Bolt, should stop terrifying the aged.
At the risk of making an enemy the instant someone unexpectedly says a kind word, let me help Simper to fathom me.
1. Relax. The government will not include the family home in the assets test. It lacks the suicidal instinct.
2. I don’t attack “the concept of house owners getting an aged pension”. I attack the concept of well-off Australians getting paid a pension by people who are battling.
3. I don’t think owning your own home “automatically bars you from an income”. I think owning a relatively expensive home should only bar you from getting as much of the pension as we pay the poor.
4. Sadly, it’s not true that “by the time you reach pensionable age, your pension has been bought and paid for”.  Very, very few pensioners will have paid as much in taxes - after deductions for schools, roads, hospitals, defence, aged care and so on - as they claim in pension payments, which is on average $400,000 or more. The pension now takes 10 per cent of the government budget and rising, and it simply hasn’t been paid for.
5. Can we really afford to claim that “an aged pension should be everyone’s right”? Even a tycoon’s? Can this be afforded when the money is running out, when the average pensioner now lives 20 years on the pension, and when over the next 50 years there will be half the number of workers to support each pensioner?
I’m arguing against my own personal interests here. I am only 11 years off retirement age and I finally own my own home. It’s not that expensive, but I don’t see why taxpayers should be forced to pay me a pension to keep it when I could reverse-mortgage or sell it and pay more of my own way. 
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The Gift Of Hope - Holly

Hope is a gift to grasp
A gift that we can give,
Hope is a very special treasure
To grant us strength to live.

We do not know its worth
Until our joy is lost,
We do not understand its power
Nor what its loss will cost.

When we are burdened down
With pain that is too great,
Then hope alone inspires our faith
That God rejuvenates.

There's much beyond our sight
We cannot comprehend,
But, God is working with design
And loves us as a friend.

He has a very special way
To bring His plan about,
If we have hope just like a child
His love will work it out.

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May 5Yom Hazikaron in Israel (2014); Feast of Saint George(Palestinians); Liberation Day in Denmark, Ethiopia, and the Netherlands; Children's Day in Japan and South Korea; Cinco de Mayoin Mexico and the United States
1964 stamp commemorating the Battle of the Wilderness
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“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” - 2 Chronicles 7:14
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods."
Jeremiah 16:20
One great besetting sin of ancient Israel was idolatry, and the spiritual Israel are vexed with a tendency to the same folly. Remphan's star shines no longer, and the women weep no more for Tammuz, but Mammon still intrudes his golden calf, and the shrines of pride are not forsaken. Self in various forms struggles to subdue the chosen ones under its dominion, and the flesh sets up its altars wherever it can find space for them. Favourite children are often the cause of much sin in believers; the Lord is grieved when he sees us doting upon them above measure; they will live to be as great a curse to us as Absalom was to David, or they will be taken from us to leave our homes desolate. If Christians desire to grow thorns to stuff their sleepless pillows, let them dote on their dear ones.
It is truly said that "they are no gods," for the objects of our foolish love are very doubtful blessings, the solace which they yield us now is dangerous, and the help which they can give us in the hour of trouble is little indeed. Why, then, are we so bewitched with vanities? We pity the poor heathen who adore a god of stone, and yet worship a god of gold. Where is the vast superiority between a god of flesh and one of wood? The principle, the sin, the folly is the same in either case, only that in ours the crime is more aggravated because we have more light, and sin in the face of it. The heathen bows to a false deity, but the true God he has never known; we commit two evils, inasmuch as we forsake the living God and turn unto idols. May the Lord purge us all from this grievous iniquity!
"The dearest idol I have known,
Whate'er that idol be;
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
And worship only thee."

Evening

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible."
1 Peter 1:23
Peter most earnestly exhorted the scattered saints to love each other "with a pure heart fervently" and he wisely fetched his argument, not from the law, from nature, or from philosophy, but from that high and divine nature which God hath implanted in his people. Just as some judicious tutor of princes might labour to beget and foster in them a kingly spirit and dignified behaviour, finding arguments in their position and descent, so, looking upon God's people as heirs of glory, princes of the blood royal, descendants of the King of kings, earth's truest and oldest aristocracy, Peter saith to them, "See that ye love one another, because of your noble birth, being born of incorruptible seed; because of your pedigree, being descended from God, the Creator of all things; and because of your immortal destiny, for you shall never pass away, though the glory of the flesh shall fade, and even its existence shall cease." It would be well if, in the spirit of humility, we recognized the true dignity of our regenerated nature, and lived up to it. What is a Christian? If you compare him with a king, he adds priestly sanctity to royal dignity. The king's royalty often lieth only in his crown, but with a Christian it is infused into his inmost nature. He is as much above his fellows through his new birth, as a man is above the beast that perisheth. Surely he ought to carry himself, in all his dealings, as one who is not of the multitude, but chosen out of the world, distinguished by sovereign grace, written among "the peculiar people" and who therefore cannot grovel in the dust as others, nor live after the manner of the world's citizens. Let the dignity of your nature, and the brightness of your prospects, O believers in Christ, constrain you to cleave unto holiness, and to avoid the very appearance of evil.
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Achan, Achar, Achor

[Ā'chăn,Ā'chär, Ā'chôr] - troubleThe son of Carmi of the tribe of Judah (Josh. 7; 1 Chron. 2:7).

The Man Who Brought Trouble to a Nation

It did not take Joshua long to discover that his defeat at Ai, after a succession of victories, was due to some transgression of the divine covenant (Josh. 7:8-12 ). Thus, as the result of an inquiry, Achan was exposed as the transgressor, and confessing his sin in stealing and hiding part of the spoil taken at the destruction of Jericho, was put to death in consequence. In keeping with the custom of those days, Achan was probably stoned with his immediate relatives, and their dead bodies burned - the latter making punishment more terrible in the eyes of the Israelites.
Achan was put to death in "the valley of Achor" meaning "the valley of trouble" - the valley being called atter Achan who had been the troubler of Israel (Josh. 7:25, 26). Thus in 1 Chronicles 2:7 Achan is spelled as Achar. But "the valley of trouble" became a "door of hope" all of which is spiritually suggestive (Isa. 65:10; Hos. 2:15).
I. Covetousness means defeat. God had forbidden anyone taking to himself the spoils of Jericho, but one man, only oneamongst all the hosts of Israel, disobeyed and brought failure upon all. Achan's sin teaches us the oneness of the people of God. "Israel hath sinned" (Josh. 7:11 ). The whole cause of Christ can be delayed by the sin, neglect or lack of spirituality of one person (1 Cor. 5:1-7; 12:12, 14, 26).
II. The whole process of sin. Along with Eve and David in their respective sins, Achan also saw, coveted and took. James expresses the rise, progress and end of sin when he says that man is "drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (Jas. 1:14, 15 ). The inward corruption of Achan's heart was first drawn forth by enticing objects - desire of gratification was then formed - ultimately determination to attain was fixed.
III. Prayer was rejected for action. When the most unexpected defeat of Ai came about, Joshua fell on his face before the Lord, and earnestly asked for an explanation of the reverse. But God said, "Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? ...Take away the accursed thing" (Josh. 7:10, 13). God cannot hear and bless if there is sin in the camp. For often we acknowledge the greatness of our national sins, but fail to drag out our personal sins testifying against us. Once Achan was discovered and judged, Israel went forward to victory.
IV. The richness of divine mercy. When the accursed thing was removed and chastisement exercised, triumph quickly followed trouble. The valley of Achor became a door of hope. The locust-eaten years are restored. Confession and forgiveness open closed lips, quicken dormant energies and liberate power in the service of the Lord.
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Today's reading: 1 Kings 16-18, Luke 22:47-71 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Kings 16-18

Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu son of Hanani concerning Baasha: 2 "I lifted you up from the dust and appointed you ruler over my people Israel, but you followed the ways of Jeroboam and caused my people Israel to sin and to arouse my anger by their sins. 3 So I am about to wipe out Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat. 4 Dogs will eat those belonging to Baasha who die in the city, and birds will feed on those who die in the country...."

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 22:47-71

Jesus Arrested
47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"
49 When Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?" 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him....


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