Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tue Dec 15th Todays News

The government has released its budget status for the year, and it is apparent that Turnbull and his supporters have lied. Hockey was not a bad treasurer. He was effective, but for Turnbull's cruelling his pitch. The government has to make cuts. Turnbull prevented it before he was PM by whispering to independents. Now Turnbull dithers. Turnbull doesn't want to make a decision as that would frighten the independents who are desperate to appear relevant as long as it agrees with the ALP. There is no benefit to the government having Turnbull as PM. Turnbull has a plan but it doesn't benefit Australia. It is a year since failed administration allowed Man Monis to walk armed into Lindt Cafe in Martin Place. He should never have been bailed. Malcolm should never have been PM. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility.
=== from 2014 ===
Sydney hostage crisis. At 9:45 am, a lone gunman held up a high profile Lindt Chocolate shop in Martin Place, Sydney. Just down the street from the US Embassy, from the reserve bank, from the Premier's office and NSW Parliament. All present were held hostage, and some were stationed at windows, facing out, with a black flag, called the Shahada on display. The Shahada is also known as the Jolly Roger. Channel 9 interviewed Keysar Trad of the Islamic Friendship Society and Keysar claimed to know nothing of the motivation of the individual, but if terror was the aim then the use of the flag was blasphemous. Soon after, the gunman was seen to be late middle aged, possibly fifties. He was seen walking in front of a window. Then he walked with a hostage in front of him. A report of a strange bag found at the Opera House had the Opera House shut down, searched and re opened. Trains were diverted past Martin Place Railway. Surrounding buildings were closed. It was revealed above Lindt were some 150 barristers, meaning if the gunman gets out alive he will be well represented. 

A man was arrested nearby, apparently carrying a pistol, but it was apparently unrelated. The issue is not being treated as terror related. No one is hurt, as of 8PM it is a waiting game. Five people seem to have fled and been aided by police. NSW police have not needed to call in federal police yet. It is contained. The city, although impeded, is running well. Meanwhile leftist Journalist Professor Wendy Bacon, has expressed her pleasure at the streets being quiet. Bacon has investigated the attempted bribe and murder of Michael Drury and the corruption of Lionel Murphy, so she has experience with high profile cases which are covered up. Anecdotally, several high profile radio stations were contacted by hostages speaking on behalf of the gunman. It is said the gunman was trying to speak for ISIL. 

Meanwhile two arrested in the Northwest of Sydney over terrorism funding are unrelated to the Sydney hostage situation in Lindt cafe Martin Place. 

"British soldiers have “lost their capability” to interrogate terrorist insurgents because of strict new rules on questioning that even ban shouting in captives’ ears, military chiefs have warned. The rules … also prevent military intelligence officers from banging their fists on tables or walls, or using “insulting words” when interrogating a suspect." reported by Robert Mendick and Tim Ross for the Telegraph in UK. It is not yet certain if the hitting wall statement is a sledge against Mr Abbott.

Mixed issues
Craig Thomson's appeal is favourable for him. The corrupt ALP politician now faces less than $5000 theft convictions. Makes one wonder why he never paid it back, but felt it necessary to lie and betray those who supported him. Maybe if he had paid back all he was to be convicted of, he would have paid too much?

When will the ABC be balanced, and not partisan?

Those criticising Mr Abbott .. would Shorten be better? How? What would he do? 

The partisan Human Rights Commission has had another $5 million of cuts applied to its' budget. It won't stop it from trying to get policy that drowns asylum, seekers after having them exploited by pirates. Or of opposing Mr Abbott's attempts at addressing Aboriginal cultural division. 

ALP is wrecking the economy with Greek style economics. 

Greenpeace feels it can ruin the environment to get attention. 

Greens declaim white people in racist rants. 
From 2013
ALP in opposition have still not worked out why they failed in government. They point to things like 'unity' but until they have a coherent policy on something that can be supported by the wider electorate and is different to Liberal Policy then they have nothing worthwhile to offer, and their bickering will devolve to personality politics. Thing is, that policy can't be merely different to Liberal policy, many of their policies are .. but they need to be good too. NBN, AGW, border security all fail by not being worthwhile, although they are different to Liberal policy. Liberal policy is too pragmatic for the ALP to attack .. it just works. 

Miranda Devine raises parenting issues. As a former student of mine, who is also a mum, has reminded me, one has, to be a parent, to be a good parent, not merely a friend. It is important to say 'no' to kids over the right issues .. so they don't stay up late before a test .. so they discover that delayed gratification can be effective while immediate gratification is low probability success. Kind of the same when describing ALP policy. Which is why the Libs taking government again is sometimes described as the adults taking charge. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 533, Vandalic WarByzantine general Belisarius defeated the Vandals, commanded by King Gelimer, at the Battle of Tricamarum. In 687, Pope Sergius I was elected. In 1161,  Jin–Song wars: Military officers conspired against Emperor Hailing of the Jin Dynasty after a military defeat at the Battle of Caishi, and assassinated the emperor at his camp. In 1167, SicilianChancellor Stephen du Perche moved the royal court to Messina to prevent a rebellion. In 1256, Hulagu Khan captured and destroyed the Hashshashin stronghold at Alamut Castle (in present-day Iran) as part of the Mongol offensive on Islamic southwest Asia. In 1467, Stephen III of Moldavia defeated Matthias Corvinus of Hungary, with the latter being injured thrice, at the Battle of Baia. In 1778,  American Revolutionary WarBritish and Frenchfleets clashed in the Battle of St. Lucia. In 1791, the United States Bill of Rights became law when ratified by the Virginia General Assembly. In 1864, American Civil WarBattle of Nashville – Union forces under George Thomas almost completely destroyed the Army of Tennessee under John Hood. In 1890, Hunkpapa Lakota leader Sitting Bull was killed on Standing Rock Indian Reservation, leading to the Wounded Knee Massacre.

In 1905, he Pushkin House was established in Saint PetersburgRussia, to preserve the cultural heritage of Alexander Pushkin. In 1906, the London Underground's Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway opened. In 1913, Nicaragua became a signatory to the Buenos Aires Convention. In 1914, World War I: The Serbian Army recaptured Belgrade from the invading Austro-Hungarian Army. Also, a gas explosion at Mitsubishi Hōjō coal mine, in KyushuJapan, killed 687. In 1917, World War I: An armistice was reached between the new Bolshevik government and the Central Powers. In 1933, the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution officially became effective, repealing the Eighteenth Amendment that prohibited the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol. In 1939, Gone with the Wind received its premiere at Loew's Grand Theatre in Atlanta, GeorgiaUnited States. In 1941, The HolocaustGerman troops murdered over 15,000 Jews at Drobytsky Yar, a ravine southeast of the city of KharkivUkraineSoviet Union. In 1942, World War II: The Battle of Mount Austen, the Galloping Horse, and the Sea Horse began during the Guadalcanal Campaign. In 1943, World War II: The Battle of Arawe began during the New Britain Campaign. In 1945, Occupation of Japan: General Douglas MacArthur ordered that Shinto be abolished as the state religion of Japan. In 1946, U.S.-backed Iranian troops evicted the leadership of the breakaway Republic of Mahabad, putting an end to the Iran crisis of 1946. Also, the first election to the Representative Assembly of French India was held. In 1954, the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands was signed.

In 1960, Richard Pavlick was arrested for plotting to assassinate U.S. President-Elect John F. Kennedy. Also, King Mahendra of Nepal suspended the country's constitution, dissolved parliament, dismissed the cabinet, and imposed direct rule. In 1961, Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death after being found guilty by an Israeli court of 15 criminal charges, including charges of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people, and membership of an outlawed organisation. In 1965, Project GeminiGemini 6A, crewed by Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford, was launched from Cape KennedyFlorida. Four orbits later, it achieved the first space rendezvous, with Gemini 7. In 1967, the Silver Bridge over the Ohio River collapsed, killing 46 people. In 1970, Soviet spacecraft Venera 7 successfully landed on Venus. It was the first successful soft landing on another planet. Also, the South Korean ferry Namyong Ho capsized in the Korea Strait, killing over 300 people. In 1973, John Paul Getty III, grandson of American billionaire J. Paul Getty, was found alive near Naples, Italy, after being kidnapped by an Italian gang on July 10. Also, the American Psychiatric Association voted 13–0 to remove homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric disorders, the DSM-II. In 1976, Western Samoa became a member of the United Nations. Also, the oil tanker MV Argo Merchant ran aground near NantucketMassachusetts, causing one of the worst marine oil spills in history. In 1978, U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced that the United States would recognize the People's Republic of China and sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan

In 1981, a suicide car bombing targeting the Iraqi embassy in BeirutLebanon, levelled the embassy and killed 61 people, including Iraq's ambassador to Lebanon. The attack was considered the first modern suicide bombing. In 1993, The Troubles: The Downing Street Declaration was issued by British Prime Minister John Major and Irish Taoiseach Albert Reynolds. In 1994, Palau became a member of the United Nations. In 1997, Tajikistan Airlines Flight 3183 crashed in the desert near SharjahUnited Arab Emirates, killing 85. In 2000, the third reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was shut down. In 2001, the Leaning Tower of Pisa reopened after 11 years and $27,000,000 spent to fortify it, without fixing its famous lean. In 2005, introduction of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor into USAF active service. In 2006, first flight of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. In 2009, Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner made its maiden flight from Seattle, Washington. In 2010, a boat carrying 90 asylum seekers crashes into rocks off the coast of Christmas Island, Australia, killing 48 people.
=== Publishing News ===
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.
Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with AugustSeptemberOctober, 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. 

List of available items at Create Space
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://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.

Happy birthday and many happy returns John ChanJulie Morris and Anthony Khuu. Born on the same day, across the years, along with 
December 15Kingdom Day in Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands, and Sint Maarten (1954); Zamenhof Day in Esperanto culture
Film poster for "Gone with the Wind"
You are elect. You are the natural choice. You are victorious. You have premiered. You have been found guilty. Let us party. 


Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 15, 2015 (4:12pm)

Whenever leftist readers tell me I’ve “reached a new low”, it’s a very welcome sign I’m hitting my KPIs. So thanks to correspondent Geoff T. for this review of Monday’s column
You reached a new low today, linking the terrorist attack in Paris with the climate talks.
Two hundred countries attended and came to a agreement.
Makes you and your chums at that rag you work for look very much alone and on the wrong side of the fence. 
We’re ever so ronery. Brad C. also sends his love, and multiple exclamation points besides: 
I buy both papers in the morning! Everyone needs balance! When you started as a cadet journalist I’m sure your ideals would include a basic desire to search for facts and present them to the public! At that time I’m sure you expected similar ideals and morals from those above you! It’s a shame you’ve lost that independence of thought! Your legacy are your distorted articles. “Whatever you say Rupert!” 
Whatever! You! Say! Brad! It’s! All! Good! And finally, from David G.: 
Not one actual reference to scientific fact on your page 13 piece this morning. Sure have an opinion but please add in some facts to make it slightly relevant. You just look silly given the Paris summit is being universally acclaimed as a positive step forward. All the very best. 
And all the very best to David, too, during the Christmas season. 


Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 15, 2015 (2:22pm)

Whoever takes over from Mark Scott as the ABC’s managing director might be looking at a massive pay day
The ABC has applied to the Remuneration Tribunal – the independent body that sets pay rates for politicians and top public servants – for a salary increase for the next managing director, arguing the current salary is not enough to keep pace with the private sector.
Consultancy work commissioned by the ABC found Mr Scott’s current salary is 30 to 40 per cent below market standards, and should be lifted to attract talented recruits from the private sector.
Mr Scott was paid a total salary of $823,613 in 2013-14. A 40 per cent pay increase would lift his successor’s total salary to around $1.2 million. 
If the ABC wants private sector pay levels, it should become part of the private sector. And how exactly is it determined that Scott’s pay is “below market standards”? Besides Scott, there is absolutely nobody else in his particular tax-funded media market. Singapore-based Google executive Michelle Guthrie is the current favourite to become the next ABC boss.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 15, 2015 (12:20pm)

According to Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, the 2014 terrorist attack in Martin Place “wasn’t a terrorist event”:

Perhaps the Martin Place atrocity was merely – how can I say it? – Middle Eastern connected.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 15, 2015 (2:17am)

In Britain, devout believers gather every night for prayer before donning their distinctive garments and taking to the streets, where they bring their message to the weak, vulnerable and poor.
UPDATE. Meanwhile, another attempted murder in Paris: 
A teacher has been attacked in Paris by a masked Islamic State supporter wielding a box cutter and scissors.
The 45-year-old kindergarten teacher was stabbed in the side and throat while preparing for his class at a pre-school in Aubervilliers in northeastern suburbs of Paris, but his life was not in danger, a police source said.
The attacker was dressed in painter’s overalls and a balaclava and arrived without a weapon but grabbed what appeared to be a box cutter that was lying in the classroom as well as a pair of scissors.
According to local prosecutors the man shouted: “This is Daesh. This is a warning.” 
He’s still on the run.
UPDATE II. The French teacher was lying about the attack, according to police: 
The Paris teacher who was apparently stabbed in the neck by an assailant who shouted pro-Isis slogans made the story up, French prosecutors have announced …
The incident sparked a manhunt for the attacker, but Paris prosecutors have now said the teacher’s story was fabricated. Authorities believe that his minor injuries were self-inflicted.
A hearing has been opened to determine the unclear motives of the injured teacher and the other staff member who confirmed the attack. 


Tim Blair – Monday, December 15, 2014 (12:07pm)

Up to 12 people are currently held hostage in central Sydney by a gunman:


The hostages have been forced to display an Islamic flag:


UPDATE. Lindt Australia CEO Steve Loane: “The best information is that there’s like 40 or 50 people in there, customers and employees included. That’s a rough figure.”
UPDATE II. Wendy Bacon looks on the bright side:


UPDATE III. The gunman courageously hides behind a young female hostage:


UPDATE IV. Sydney man Craig Stoker inadvertently confronted the gunman immediately prior to the siege
“He was wearing a black T-shirt with white writing on it and a headband and carrying a blue bag.
“The bag bumped into me and there was something hard in it.
“I said ‘watch where you are f***ing going’.
“He turned round and said ‘do you want me to shoot you too?’ I looked into his eyes and they were crazy,” said Mr Stoker, a father of four from Eastlakes. “I was pretty freaked out.”
The bearded man was with two others who were similarly dressed. 
It is not known if the other men are also inside the Lindt Café.
UPDATE V. Three people have just left the cafe. It is unknown if they escaped or were released. (Nine now reports that the three hostages escaped.)
UPDATE VI. Two young women have fled to safety:


UPDATE VII. Seven’s Chris Reason
From inside Martin Place newsroom we can see gunman is rotating hostages, forcing them to stand against windows, sometimes 2 hours at a time.
When the 5 hostages escaped, the gunman could be seen from here getting extremely agitated, shouting at remaining hostages. 


Tim Blair – Monday, December 15, 2014 (4:31am)

Santa Claus is real, and he’s spectacular.


Tim Blair – Monday, December 15, 2014 (4:20am)



Tim Blair – Monday, December 15, 2014 (3:56am)

The science is settled on male idiocy
New research has rigorously tested Male Idiot Theory, which posits that, well, men are idiots and are driven to take ridiculous risks despite the clear prospects for self-harm, and for no defensible reason. Newly published by the venerable British Medical Journal (in its annual BMJ Christmas issue), the landmark study has shown that Male Idiot Theory holds up under scientific scrutiny. 
I’d dispute these findings – the full study is here – except that my own experiences tend to validate the theory.


Tim Blair – Monday, December 15, 2014 (3:30am)

Forget waterboarding. Soon cuddles will be mandatory: 
British soldiers have “lost their capability” to interrogate terrorist insurgents because of strict new rules on questioning that even ban shouting in captives’ ears, military chiefs have warned.
The rules … also prevent military intelligence officers from banging their fists on tables or walls, or using “insulting words” when interrogating a suspect. 
So British terror interrogations are now officially tamer than Daily Telegraph editorial conferences, or Blair family Christmases. Or, for that matter, friendly exchanges on the cricket field.


Tim Blair – Monday, December 15, 2014 (3:02am)

Ex-comedian Rod Quantock’s climate panic is off the scale, as you’ll note from this ABC luvvie leftfest (Quantock’s views are made clear at around the 35:40 mark). The former  mattress salesman also reveals that he’s frequently invited to schools, where he attempts to interest children in his warmist obsession.
Presumably he is paid for those school gigs. Your taxes at work, Victorians.
(Via Elle Hardy)

Hostage taker with Islamic flag gives Wendy Bacon a pleasant vision of a green future

Andrew Bolt December 15 2014 (3:21pm)

Wendy Bacon, global warming crusader and Professor of Journalism at the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, sees the upside of a gunman with an Islamic flag holding hostages and shutting down central Sydney:
To repeat: a professor of journalism.
(Thanks to readers Jason, Rohan, Michael, Brock, Brad and many others.)   

Sydney hostages forced to hold Islamic flag

Andrew Bolt December 15 2014 (2:41pm)

It’s come closer:
- An unconfirmed number of hostages are being held inside the Lindt Chocolat Café in Martin Place in Sydney’s CBD. 
- Hostages have been forced to hold an Islamic flag with white writing on it against the window of the cafe… 11.18 am:Paul Maley reports that there are eight hostages in the cafe, being held hostage by one man.  
Sounds like the moron even gets the chocolate shop wrong.
In unrelated news from marvellously multicultural Australia:
A MAN from north west Sydney has been taken into custody on suspected terrorism related offences during a raid this morning by counter terrorism units from the Australian Federal Police and NSW Police…  
The allegations relate to financing to send people to Syria.
POLICE are still unsure of the motivation behind the gunman holding a number of hostages, reportedly as many as 50 people, inside the Lindt Café in Martin Place in the centre of Sydney’s business district.
Two people reportedly released or escaped from the cafe.  A third in an apron also gets away.
Police say no one reported injured as yet. Won’t speculate on motive of the gunman - or men.
There there’s this:
Craig Stoker was walking down Phillip Street after buying a coffee in the Lindt Cafe when he bumped into the gunman. 
“He was wearing a black T-shirt with white writing on it and a headband and carrying a blue bag.
“The bag bumped into me and there was something hard in it.
“I said ‘watch where you are f***ing going’.
“He turned round and said ‘do you want me to shoot you too?.’ I looked into his eyes and they were crazy,” said Mr Stoker, a father of four from Eastlakes…
The bearded man was with two others who were similarly dressed.

Just another morning of the ABC’s pet warming activists

Andrew Bolt December 15 2014 (11:31am)

Of course the ABC is not biased.
True, ABC Melbourne 774 got its update on the Lima global warming talks this morning from Erwin Jackson of the alarmist Climate Institute, sponsored by green carpetbaggers, and treated him like a dispassionate authority.
Sure ABC Radio National today interviewed Tim Flannery, head of the alarmist Climate Council, as if he, too, were a dispassionate expert, not even asking that he declare his own vested interests or explain any of his countless dud predictions. Heck, the interviewer didn’t even laugh at the irony of Flannery denouncing “scaremongers”, and ended by noting what a “privilege” it was to talk to the old scaremonger himself.
No, the ABC isn’t biased at all. I mean, isn’t everyone a Greens voting, Abbott-hating, Billy Bragg-playing global warming alarmist?
When will the ABC be forced to live up to its statutory duty to offer balance and a range of voices? 

Give Tony Abbott a break. You think Labor would be better?

Andrew Bolt December 15 2014 (8:17am)

WE conservatives have hammered Tony Abbott for weeks. It’s been merciless and now it’s hysterical.

Nothing the Prime Minister does is good enough.
Take last week, after Abbott backflipped on a vow not to donate to a United Nations’ global warming fund.
One conservative Murdoch paper, The Daily Telegraph, demanded Abbott not “appease environmentalists” and avoid “alienating the core support that saw him elected last year as an opponent of Labor’s carbon tax”. But another conservative Murdoch paper, The Australian, demanded Abbott “place himself in the middle ground on climate change policy” and stop pandering to “the rabid elements of the conservative base”.
Likewise, conservative commentator Janet Albrechtsen insists Treasurer Joe Hockey be sacked, but Piers Akerman insists he stay.
Conservative Alan Jones condemns Abbott’s trade deal with China as failing the “pub test”, but I call it a triumph.
And this from the few media people Abbott hoped would be sympathetic. It’s a marvel he doesn’t go mad.
Part of Abbott’s problem is that conservatives aren’t tribalists. They aren’t into solidarity like the Left.
So recent grim polls for the Government have them now giving Abbott scarifying advice plus a free clip around the ear — with some distancing themselves from blame for any shipwreck.
But wait. Aren’t conservatives forgetting Abbott is their best hope?
(Read full article here.) 

The bigger these cuts, the safer our freedom

Andrew Bolt December 15 2014 (8:03am)

The superfluous Human Rights Commission has actually cheered restrictions on our freedoms, backed life-threatening Leftist policies and turned into a hyper-partisan activist group where Liberal frontbenchers get heckled by terrorists or jeered for praising freedom.
So these cuts are a step in the right direction - which should end with abolition:
THE federal government will carve $5 million from the Aus­tralian Human Rights Commission over the next three years in order to fund part of an extension for the child abuse royal commission, leading to job cuts and the shrinking of “key projects"… 
The cuts are in addition to the $1.7m saving over four years announced in the budget, achieved by reducing the number of commissioners by one. The commission is also subject to a 2.25 per cent efficiency dividend over the forward estimates. Commonwealth funding of the agency in 2015-16, when the new cuts begin, was projected to be $16.786m. 
Trust the Human Rights Commission to react in its typically political way - by threatening the prime minister’s pet project and a key constituency. So childishly transparent:
The AHRC has singled out work with business on human rights and constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as crucial areas that will suffer.

Government behind 46 to 54. But here’s how it can recover

Andrew Bolt December 15 2014 (7:11am)

A profound reset is necessary for the Government that has achievements and broadly the right direction - but not the votes:
The latest Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian at the weekend, shows the opposition goes into the summer recess with a two-party-preferred lead of 54 to 46 per cent — almost the reverse of the election result 15 months ago.
Those of us concerned about the national interest will cheer this part:
...national support for the Palmer United Party is less than 1 per cent.
To repeat and repeat and repeat:
- it’s the economy. No Budget repair, no government.
- the money’s gone. Cut the promises to spend more of it, starting with the paid parental leave scheme. Keep the message simple and consistent.
- the money’s gone. Explain.
- the money’s gone. Blame Labor again and again.
- Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is the Minister most associated with fixing problems and toughness. Give him something more to do now the boats have stopped - and make it something where he can train his fire on the Opposition.
- Freshen up the team. Cut Arthur Sinodinos loose. Dump two others. Bring in the feistiest fighters (including at least one woman). Put a face to this reset.
- Get a communications chief equal in stature to Peta Credlin, the chief of staff, to fix a glaring weakness and to deflect heat from the capable Credlin. Choose from among MPs if possible.
- Get a very senior journalist as well (not instead of) to deal with the media.
- Get in professional pollsters and strategists.
- Get friends. Work on third party endorsements.
- Get Abbott friends, too, and give him context. Show him with more of his kind of people, like the lifesavers he was with yesterday. Show him with the people he best represents - the doers, the volunteers, the quiet problem solvers, the helping hands.
- Speak to the public. Level with them. Explain. Fewer bullet points and more discussion,
- Get a strategy committee, focussed on communications.
- Give the MPs something to fight for - something they believe in.
- Inspire the base, which includes the back bench. Give them something to fight for, too.
- Don’t give the Left peace offerings, hoping to be liked. It will just sneer at your weakness and kick you even harder. No more wealth taxes, tributes to Labor heroes, abandonment of free speech reforms, appointments of Natasha Stott Despojas, speeches on constitutional recognition of Aborigines, grants to Leftist activists such as Recognise and big donations to UN climate funds. This just loses Liberals their old friends without winning any from the implacable Left.
- express the moral cause that makes Liberal the moral choice. Don’t look to the Left for that cause. Validate your own philosophy.
- drop the undoable, particularly when dealing with the Senate. Don’t look helpless.
- stop talking about yourselves and Peta Credlin. Just shut up.
- Assert, don’t defend. Fight, fight, fight.
Oh, and do all this by February at the latest.
Mark Textor, former long-time polling guru for the Liberals:
Most know Australia has been on the economic couch ... [and] almost all now know that any armchair ride is over. 
Most know they must adapt to these circumstances, or dig in and respond to them, but don’t yet have a coping mechanism for the stress… In the case of economic anxiety, the pill should certainly not be disingenuous reassurance by governments that things will be OK. That false political chemistry will fail to either help Australia resolve or deal with changing economic conditions....
Step one: more rebooting of budgets – voters want to stop excessive spending on things that won’t help us cope with economic change. With major public investments they want to know they are properly planned. They also want more regular budget updates from governments. Once a year doesn’t cut it.
Two: voters want debt paid off; they see it as a major sign of a loss of national financial control and sovereignty
Three: voters want to be better educated about our economic conditions. As anyone suffering from a major disease has learnt, there is a comfort in knowing more. Mystery is threatening not comforting. 
Four: Australians want to hear more from outside economic experts, not just from politicians and the semi-economists in the media 
More tips from Textor here, including just get stuff done and fight less with the states. As I’ve said before, Abbott could do a lot with Victoria’s new Labor Premier to the advantage of both.

(Thanks to reader Steve.) 

It’s urgent Labor now give up its Greek-style economics

Andrew Bolt December 15 2014 (7:06am)

Let’s get serious - and by “us” I particularly mean Labor:
BUDGET deficits will almost double to $100 billion over the next four years as global shocks hit the Australian economy, wrecking hopes that the nation’s fin­ances can improve without unpopular reforms to taxes and spending.

In a wake-up call for all sides of politics, today’s budget update will show a $40bn blowout in deficits forecast just six months ago to be worth $60bn from this year until 2018. 

A hit to company tax collections has forced most of the revision but Senate objections have also added to the nation’s red ink, challenging demands on the commonwealth for more generous spending. The Australian can reveal that bleaker tax forecasts have deepened the deficits by about $32bn over the four years while another $8bn comes from the need to modify controversial savings that were amended in the Senate.
Labor blew a surplus on trash, locked in vast spending programs without the cash to pay for them and now blocks the savings we desperately need to stop from going under.
Remember when it mocked warnings that we were on the road to Greece? Laugh no longer.  

The chest hair says Russell Brand is a lightweight

Andrew Bolt December 15 2014 (6:52am)

UKIP leader Nigel Farage shares a BBC panel with Russell Brand:
Everyone fancied that Mr Brand and I might butt heads, but actually, as we entered the studio, and his personal make-up artist straightened his chest hair for him, I kid you not, I realised that perhaps he might be a bit lighter weight than expected.

Greenpeace thinks it can indeed damage world heritage to get ahead

Andrew Bolt December 15 2014 (5:57am)

The green movement unleashes the inner totalitarian - that sanctimonious bully who thinks rules are for little people:
A senior Peruvian official said his government would seek criminal charges against Greenpeace activists who allegedly damaged the [world-famous Nazca] lines by leaving footprints in the adjacent desert…
In the stunt at the UN World Heritage site in Peru’s coastal desert, activists laid a message promoting clean energy beside the famed figure of a hummingbird comprised of black rocks on a white background.
Deputy Culture Minister Luis Jaime Castillo called it a “slap in the face at everything Peruvians consider sacred.”
He said the government would seek to prevent those responsible from leaving the country and ask prosecutors to file charges of “attacking archaeological monuments,” a crime punishable by up to six years in prison.

The activists entered a “strictly prohibited” area where they laid big yellow cloth letters reading: “Time for Change; The Future is Renewable.” They said after initial criticism that they were “absolutely careful” not to disturb anything.
Castillo said no one, not even presidents and Cabinet ministers, is allowed without authorisation where the activists trod, and those who do have permission must wear special shoes.

Greens vs whites in new race war

Andrew Bolt December 15 2014 (12:01am)

THE Greens are the party most likely to be racist and — sure enough — they’re now attacking whites.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam last week tweeted a picture of Trade Minister Andrew Robb at global warming talks, complaining: “Led blindly into an age of ruinous climate change by old white men.”

Old? Robb at 63 is seven years younger than Bob Brown, who led the Greens until two years ago, and he’s only two years older than new leader Christine Milne.
And what’s with “white”? Every Greens Senator is white, too. So why are they turning global warming into a race war on whites?
No surprise.
(Read full article here.)  

Labor rewrites its recent history

Piers Akerman – Saturday, December 14, 2013 (11:33pm)

HOOKED on instant gratification like kids to an Xbox, some of the sillier talking heads are demanding the ­Abbott government take responsibility for the mess Labor left (left in more ways than one) after six years in office.
There’s certainly no shortage of Christmas clowns in Canberra this month.
From the Opposition benches to the Press Gallery, troupes of overpaid jesters are spouting lines that must have come straight from the Christmas cracker factory.
Whether it is Opposition leader Bill Shorten, the usual gaggle of ABC geese or Channel 10s dyed-in-the-wool champion of the Left, Paul Bongiorno, it would seem that activities of the failed Rudd-Gillard-Rudd governments are being airbrushed from the historical record with the same alacrity demonstrated by North Korea’s skilled revisionists.
To take the treatment of but two news examples that emerged last week, the collapse of Holden and the release of the real state of the NBN disaster, it would seem Labor and its cheer squad ­believe the Coalition was secretly running things even though it lost office in 2007.
Holden was a shot duck, and was always going to be a shot duck, even before Labor introduced industry-punishing measures like former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s penalising $460 million carbon ­dioxide tax and former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s brutal $1.8 billion fringe benefit tax hit to car-leasing companies.
In just the last two years, the Labor government broke $1.4 billion in promised funding commitments as it vacillated on car industry policy.
Forget the crocodile tears being shed by the assorted union bosses and recall that Gillard once promised $34 million for Ford, which she said would create 300 jobs. Within eight months 330 employees had lost their jobs and Ford subsequently announced its departure from Australia.
Rather than blame Prime Minister Tony Abbott for Holden’s demise, as Shorten ­attempted to do on the last day of the parliamentary year, he should have been reminded by the media that Gillard, whom he supported before he knifed her to bring back Rudd, whom he had earlier knifed, had boasted last March: “It gives me great pleasure to be able to say to the House that we have worked together with Holden and we have secured Holden to manufacture cars in Australia for the next decade.”
Labor MP Nick Champion, whose South Australian electorate of Wakefield is home to many Holden workers, sent out a letter before the last election in which he wrote: “I have secured guaranteed support for GM Holden, Elizabeth, ensuring production until 2022.”
But Champion is not the most egregious of Labor’s galahs, he would be thrashed in any contest by former Treasurer and serial humbug Wayne Swan, for instance, or former Finance Minister Penny Wong, or that other former Treasurer Chris Bowen.
Who could possibly forget the sight of three departmental heads branding Rudd, Bowen and Wong liars after they ­attempted to claim the public servants had rubbished the Opposition’s policy costings?
Another contender for class fool is former Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare, now the shadow Communications spokesman, who shrieked about broken promises last week as the Abbott government started to get to grips with the massive catastrophe that is Labor’s NBN.
Now that the NBN’s new chairman has looked at the books and discovered that Labor’s dysfunctional plan for the broadband network would have cost a staggering $73 billion and missed Labor’s deadline by at least three years, Clare says the plan to apply a bandage to this haemorrhage constitutes a breach of “one of the most important promises it (the Coalition) made before the election”.
Can this galoot really think the Abbott government should have pursued Labor’s extravagant rollout, which the strategic review discovered would have needed $29 billion more than Labor’s forecast $44 billion, had it continued because of expected cost blowouts and totally unachievable revenue targets?
As Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull told the House Thursday: “The NBN has been shrouded in a web of spin, obfuscation and exaggeration. Forecasts have been set, missed, set again, missed again, set a third time, and missed a third time. Beguiling promises have been offered but not delivered.”
Releasing the report, he said: “Critically, this report is not reverse engineered to justify or rationalise government policy, whether set out in a speech, conjured up by press release or sketched on the back of a drink coaster.
“I emphasise this point ­because the facts so methodically presented in the review make it plain that the NBN is in a worse state than Australians have been told.”

Affluenza no excuse for poor parenting

Miranda Devine – Saturday, December 14, 2013 (11:35pm)

IT is terrifying being the parent of a generation Z teenager. Never have there been so many toxic forces conspiring against your efforts to raise happy, responsible citizens.
But that is precisely why today’s laissez-faire parents have to lasso their offspring and teach them right from wrong.
The latest teen scandal involves three 14-year old boys from Year 8, at the elite Cranbrook school in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs who have “agreed to leave” after a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl.
One of the boys allegedly had sex with the girl at a “gathering”.
The other two boys were involved in unspecified other sexual acts with the same girl, according to newspaper reports.
Stories of similar incidents with children as young as 12 at other schools are being told by worried parents. Some involve consensual sexual encounters filmed on smartphones, others involve pornography displayed on smartphones as a prelude to sexual advances. In a number of cases, police have been called.
“It’s a perfect storm of risk factors,” says adolescent psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg.
“Hyper-sexualised early adolescence, coupled with poor impulse control and poor parenting.”
Carr-Gregg says that at the exact time that they are experiencing an “800 per cent increase in testosterone in early adolescence,” boys are being “whipped up into a sexual frenzy … by the pornified culture they’re growing up in.”
The shadow of omnipresent pornography is distorting children’s emerging sexuality. I have heard of girls, aged 12 and 13, being propositioned on the school bus by boys the same age for “spit roasts”. That is slang for sex involving two men and one woman, commonplace in pornography, and horrifying to hear on a school bus.
Parents are either in denial or don’t know how to speak to their children about the explicit and aberrant sexual imagery they are inevitably viewing. But Carr-Gregg says it is crucial to have that conversation, to talk about intimacy and love and explain that porn is the exploitation and degradation of women.
What Carr-Gregg sees with modern parents is a “tendency not to use moral language or set boundaries”.
He sees parents who make excuses for their children and resist attempts by other agencies - schools and the police - to discipline them.
There is no better example than the “affluenza” defence bought by a judge in Texas last week when failing to jail a teenager who killed four people while driving drunk.
Ethan Couch, 16, was sentenced to 10 years probation after a psychologist testified at his trial that he suffered from affluenza or “spoiled brat” syndrome - a belief that his parents’ wealth meant his actions had no consequences.
A psychologist told the court that Ethan’s indulgent parents had never taught him right from wrong and gave him “freedoms no young person should have”.
The Independent reported that Ethan’s parents didn’t even punish him after he was “found by police in a parked car with an unconscious, undressed 14-year-old girl a year before the fatal accident.”
The boy had a blood-alcohol level of 0.24 when he ploughed a ute into a crowd in June, killing four people and injuring nine, including a friend who suffered a brain injury so catastrophic he cannot speak or walk.
Someone should go to jail, probably the parents.
Meanwhile, school principals are doing their best to fill a vacuum left by disengaged parents. They bring in experts to teach students how to behave, but too often the arguments are legal, not moral.
For instance, Year 9 boys at one Sydney school were warned that if a girl texts them a naked photo of herself - sexting - the boy can be charged with possessing child pornography, even if he did not ask for the photo.
One 14-year-old boy understood the imperative to delete the photo immediately but thought the context was unfair. “Why doesn’t the girl get into trouble?”
Good question. Distorted feminism is part of the problem. When “consent” is the only standard that can be applied, and when all responsibility for sexual behaviour is dumped on boys, the double standards are impossibly confusing.
As always, it’s up to parents to fill in the gaps.
But whether they are time poor, or simply too self-involved to make the effort to communicate with their offspring, too many parents are failing their responsibilities.
Maybe they want to ensure the limited time they spend with their teens is conflict-free. But conflict is inevitable when parents set boundaries.
Parents are supposed to make the rules, adolescents are supposed to push back. In the process, children learn to self-regulate and to hone their negotiating skills. More than one parent has rewarded a child for an inspired argument with a minor relaxation of the rules.
The teenage wrangle is a tricky art, and I know even parents of nine who haven’t entirely mastered it.
But to give in to teenage demands is to mistake why they make them. Often it’s to see if parents care enough to stop them. You may detect secret relief amid the fury from teenagers told they can’t go to a party or a sleepover.
“My horrible parents” can be a handy excuse. But parents have to be prepared to wear that “horrible” reputation. 

ABC bias plan laughable

Miranda Devine – Saturday, December 14, 2013 (10:38pm)

The ABC’s attempts to address its ideological bias are hardly reassuring.
The idea of bias “audits” conducted by an ex-BBC staffer is laughable. It’s a sop to irate conservatives, like the audience makeup figures at the start of Q&A. An inside joke.
Far better is the Ray Evans solution, to decentralise the ABC by splitting it into competing state organisations.
That would disempower Left-Green inner-city elites who control the culture and help the ABC fulfill its charter to “reflect the cultural diversity of the Australian community”.
Happy end to the tale of the pup
Congratulations to Michael Clarke, named ICC cricketer of the year. Never a big-noter, he professed surprise at the news.
With deeds, not words, the Australian captain keeps proving the naysayers wrong. 

What is it with Labor feminists and the C-word?

Miranda Devine – Saturday, December 14, 2013 (5:27am)

What is it with Labor feminists and the “c” word?
Now we know that the great Australian misogyny-fighter, prime minister Julia Gillard, had as her hand-picked adviser, imported all the way from Britain, a man who peppered the word so liberally in his emails that he used it as both verb and noun in the same sentence.
John McTernan’s private missives, leaked to the ABC last week, show his cynical pitch for the feminist vote was matched by his cynical abuse of the “c**ts” who crossed him.
Earlier, another member of Emily’s List, ACT Education Minister Joy Burch, thought nothing of retweeting a description of her federal counterpart Christopher Pyne as a “c**t’’.
It is curious that Labor’s handbag hit squad is so unruffled by the casual way their fellow travelers use a word describing an intimate part of the female anatomy as a term of abuse.
But, then, they are nothing if not morally flexible.
As Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer pointed out last week, Labor is quite happy to attack the female Speaker Brownyn Bishop and liken her to Harry Potter witch Dolores Umbridge, but when it was one of their own, Anna Burke, in the chair, every criticism was denounced as sexist.
They can’t have it both ways. 

US sends President to stand next to self-confessed violent schizophrenic

Andrew Bolt December 15 2013 (11:19am)

 Mark Steyn on Barack Obama’s meeting with the star of Nelson Mandela’s funeral service:
But the star of the show was undoubtedly Thamsanqa Jantjie, the sign-language interpreter who stood alongside the world’s leaders and translated their eulogies for the deaf. Unfortunately, he translated them into total gibberish, reduced by the time of President Obama’s appearance to making random hand gestures, as who has not felt the urge to do during the great man’s speeches. Mr. Jantjie has now pleaded in mitigation that he was having a sudden hallucination because he is a violent schizophrenic. It has not been established whether he is, in fact, a violent schizophrenic, or, as with his claim to be a sign-language interpreter, merely purporting to be one. Asked how often he has been violent, he replied, somewhat cryptically, “A lot."… 
That would never happen in Washington, of course. But how heartening, as one watches the viral video of Obama droning on while a mere foot and a half away Mr. Jantjie rubs his belly and tickles his ear, to think that the White House’s usual money-no-object security operation went to the trouble of flying in Air Force One, plus the “decoy” Air Force One, plus support aircraft, plus the 120-vehicle motorcade or whatever it’s up to by now, plus a bazillion Secret Service agents with reflector shades and telephone wire dangling from their ears, to shepherd POTUS into the secured venue and then stand him onstage next to an $85-a-day violent schizophrenic. 

China rising, now to the moon

Andrew Bolt December 15 2013 (11:13am)

China has the cultural confidence many in the West have lost - and it is increasingly gaining an economy that can express that confidence not just on this planet:
China on Saturday successfully carried out the world’s first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades, state media said, the next stage in an ambitious space program that aims to eventually put a Chinese astronaut on the moon.

Abbott needs this holiday. It will, I think, make him the new man he must be to fix what Labor broke

Andrew Bolt December 15 2013 (10:37am)

Tony Abbott sums up the lessons learned in his first 100 days as Prime Minister:
Citing the ferocious voter response to Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s attempt to abandon the Gonski school-funding model, Mr Abbott in effect admitted the government would have been wrong to wriggle out of a promise to match Labor’s school-funding package on a technicality. 
‘’The lesson that I have well and truly learnt from that is that we do have to precisely honour our commitments - and that’s the spirit of the commitments, not just the letter of the commitments,’’ he said.
Two responses. First: that lesson should never have needed learning. I believe Abbott’s office needs a communications strategist with highly tuned antennae to match the role James Carville played for Bill Clinton, Roger Ailes for Richard Nixon, Grahame Morris for John Howard, Peter Barron for Bob Hawke, Bernard Ingham for Margaret Thatcher and Alistair Campbell for Tony Blair.
Second, Abbott - humble, self-deprecating and new to his job - seems to have reverted to the confessional mode that he had in his first year as Opposition Leader. I find it a very human and in many ways attractive trait, but it led Abbott into serious trouble in his media performances on the ABC in 2010 until he overcame it, and it is crippling his leadership again. A leader does not confess to doubt and failure as his troops go into battle.
I am confident Abbott can and will overcome this after his break - a real holiday this time. He strikes me as naturally tired after a punishing campaign to become Prime Minister and an even more punishing effort to get on top of the disasters left by Labor. A rest should pep him up, clear his mind and help him prioritise his challenges and rethink his strategy. Some tips: he needs to be seen more, to talk more and to add more rest and fun to his job, which must not become a martyrdom. That may also demand more delegation of authority.
The great educative task for his media strategists: to argue the case for change this year. To show how business cannot go on at it is, and that only chance can make the future bright. Next May’s Budget - certain to be tough and needing to be even tougher - should be sold almost every day from today. First the case for change, then the prospect of gain and then Budget as the means to go from strife to security.
Too often - not least with the aborted Gonski backtrack - the crisis and the change were sold together, which made the exercise seem nothing more than excuse making and ad hoc trickery.
A big story needs to be told about big changes to come. Master story-telling is needed to tell it.  Such a story does not begin like this: “Yes, I have made mistakes ...”
As I say, I am confident Abbott can change, and we must hope he does. For Labor, unrepentant and unreformed, to return in three years would mean only a completion of the destruction Labor wrought over the past six. 

AFL cancels Christmas for James Hird

Andrew Bolt December 15 2013 (10:22am)

AFL chief Andrew Demetriou is a man of the hard Left - a fervent global warming preacher and “reconciliation” proselytiser whose board has long been heavily staffed by people with deep connections to Labor.
Under Demetriou in particular the AFL has become a metaphor for a modern socialist state. No club may succeed too well without being punished. Clubs have strict salary caps. The failing are given extra help. And, of course, the leaders of this football land run propaganda campaigns to encourage right-thinking.
But, of course, the danger is that the inevitable one - that leaders of such a state become so convinced of their right to power that they are overbearing. Dictatorial. Almost vindictive when their power and their judgement has been questioned:
THE AFL has banned Essendon coach James Hird and suspended footy boss Danny Corcoran from attending the club’s staff Christmas party. 
The league told Essendon the two men were not permitted to join the end-of-year gathering at an inner-city hotel on Friday afternoon. Hird and Corcoran are banned from serving the club in any official capacity as part of the club’s supplement scandal punishment.

Isn’t marriage - of gays as well - about union, not division?

Andrew Bolt December 15 2013 (10:16am)

What a great idea! Let’s turn a profound moral and social question into a political ploy to attack Tony Abbott!
Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek will seek to enlist the Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, in Federal Parliament as a co-sponsor to legalise gay marriage. 
In a move designed to put pressure on the Coalition government over the issue, Ms Plibersek says she will introduce a private member’s bill to legislate for same-sex marriage… But crucially, Ms Plibersek says she will introduce the bill only if Prime Minister Tony Abbott allows his MPs a conscience vote. 
Plibersek’s nature seems at odds with her face. 

Shock finding: most Leftists like the ABC

Andrew Bolt December 14 2013 (10:11pm)

An ABC presenter is impressed that  72 per cent of readers of a Left-wing newspaper think the ABC is excellent and deserves more money.
Let’s see if he is equally impressed by what most readers of a conservative publication think
ONLY $150 million a year will save Holden? Rubbish. The Holden Enterprise Agreement is the document that has utterly sunk Holden's prospects. It defies belief that someone in the company isn't being held to account for it. Holden's management masks a union culture beyond most people's comprehension. Employment costs spiralled way beyond community standards long ago. Neither "pay freezes" nor more money will save Holden, but getting the Fair Work Commission to dissolve the agreement and put all workers on the award wage might be a start. In 1991, the pre-enterprise bargaining award wage of a Holden entry level process worker was $462.80 a week. In 1992, Holden began enterprise bargaining and now a worker at that same classification level has a base rate of $1194.50 a week, a 158 per cent increase, or a compound increase of 4.4 per cent year on year for 22 years. Right now, base wage rates for process workers in the Holden enterprise agreement are in the $60,000 to $80,000 per year range and in recent times, "hardship payments" of $3750 were given to each worker.The modern award for such workers mandates base rates in the $37,000 to $42,000 range. This means that before we add any of the shift penalties, loadings, 26 allowances and the added cost of productivity restrictions, Holden begins each working day paying its workforce almost double what it should. After you add in the other employment costs, I estimate Holden's workforce costs it somewhere close to triple the amount it should.Many people who work at Holden don't actually work for Holden; they work for the union. Occupational health and safety people are given 10 days' paid time off a year to be trained by the union. Most companies do not allow unions to train their OH&S people because the knowledge is used to control the workplace to the benefit of the union.Union delegates are also allowed up to 10 paid days a year for union training in how to be effective union delegates and two of these delegates are entitled to an extra Holden sponsorship of one paid month off to "further their industrial and/or leadership development". Holden's rules on hiring casuals are shocking and unheard of in today's market. The agreement forbids Holden from hiring casuals except when a "short-term increase in workload, or other unusual circumstances occurs". If this situation arises Holden has to "consult and reach agreement" with the union. Further, "Engagement of the agreed number of casual personnel will be for the agreed specified tasks and the agreed specified periods." If any of this changes, Holden must get union agreement again. After three months of continuous full-time work a casual must be made permanent. It is impossible to run a business like this.An ex-employee from Adelaide, on condition of anonymity, consented to an interview yesterday. He described the workforce as "over-managed", with one team leader for every six workers on the production line, when one for every 25 workers would suffice.He said "some of us workers felt it wasn't necessary to get paid what we were getting paid to do the jobs we were doing", adding that their work is probably worth about "20 bucks an hour". A few years back, his mates took redundancy packages in the order of "$280k plus". Workers are "like sheep" that blindly follow the union leadership. At induction, new workers are ushered into one-on-one meetings with the union rep who heavies them into joining. "It is made clear that if you don't join the union you will be sacked," he said. Union representatives "don't actually do any work for Holden", but rather make themselves full-time enforcers of union control.He says workers are drug tested before hiring, but "only have to stay off it for a few weeks, get in the door and then you'll be right". Workers caught taking drugs or being drug-affected at work are allegedly put on a fully paid rehabilitation program, with special paid time off of about four weeks duration, before being let back into the workforce. Australian workplaces have a zero tolerance for drug use, with instant dismissal the remedy, but at Holden "the union won't let the company sack" any workers caught dealing, taking or being on drugs. "If they did a random drug test tomorrow they'd probably have to sack 40 per cent of the workforce," he adds. If the Holden scenario were playing out in a privately owned business, proper cost-cutting strategies would be used. If you have the will and can hire the skill, there are many ways to cut labour costs. The workers can be given a couple of years notice of significant wage drops and can receive lump sum payouts of entitlements to help bring down family debt. Of course, these strategies are only ever used by business people who have no one else to bail them out. It seems Holden would rather leave the country than dissolve its enterprise agreement. The union thinks members are better off jobless than on award wages. Holden's fate seems sealed.If Holden does leave, workers will receive the most generous redundancy benefits around. Holden says leaving will cost $600m. Most of this will go to staff payouts. The fellow interviewed agrees with my calculation: the average production-line worker will walk away with a redundancy package of between $300k-500k.






" DAMN ZIONISTS!! Where the heck is BDS, schocken, and the "New Israel Fund" when you need them to halt the "Zionist aggression" " - Arie Israeli

" Yes, this Israeli apartheid is really awful, isn't it? And now that Egypt has cut their power supply to Gaza, guess who is the sole remaining supplier of electric power to Gaza? " - Esther Lerch 

" Israel, the only country that will give terrorists aid but leave their own people to fend for themselves."- Itamar Gnatt










“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”” Luke 1:26-28 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"They go from strength to strength."
Psalm 84:7
They go from strength to strength. There are various renderings of these words, but all of them contain the idea of progress.
Our own good translation of the authorized version is enough for us this morning. "They go from strength to strength." That is, they grow stronger and stronger. Usually, if we are walking, we go from strength to weakness; we start fresh and in good order for our journey, but by-and-by the road is rough, and the sun is hot, we sit down by the wayside, and then again painfully pursue our weary way. But the Christian pilgrim having obtained fresh supplies of grace, is as vigorous after years of toilsome travel and struggle as when he first set out. He may not be quite so elate and buoyant, nor perhaps quite so hot and hasty in his zeal as he once was, but he is much stronger in all that constitutes real power, and travels, if more slowly, far more surely. Some gray-haired veterans have been as firm in their grasp of truth, and as zealous in diffusing it, as they were in their younger days; but, alas, it must be confessed it is often otherwise, for the love of many waxes cold and iniquity abounds, but this is their own sin and not the fault of the promise which still holds good: "The youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint." Fretful spirits sit down and trouble themselves about the future. "Alas!" say they, "we go from affliction to affliction." Very true, O thou of little faith, but then thou goest from strength to strength also. Thou shalt never find a bundle of affliction which has not bound up in the midst of it sufficient grace. God will give the strength of ripe manhood with the burden allotted to full-grown shoulders.


"I am crucified with Christ."
Galatians 2:20
The Lord Jesus Christ acted in what he did as a great public representative person, and his dying upon the cross was the virtual dying of all his people. Then all his saints rendered unto justice what was due, and made an expiation to divine vengeance for all their sins. The apostle of the Gentiles delighted to think that as one of Christ's chosen people, he died upon the cross in Christ. He did more than believe this doctrinally, he accepted it confidently, resting his hope upon it. He believed that by virtue of Christ's death, he had satisfied divine justice, and found reconciliation with God. Beloved, what a blessed thing it is when the soul can, as it were, stretch itself upon the cross of Christ, and feel, "I am dead; the law has slain me, and I am therefore free from its power, because in my Surety I have borne the curse, and in the person of my Substitute the whole that the law could do, by way of condemnation, has been executed upon me, for I am crucified with Christ."
But Paul meant even more than this. He not only believed in Christ's death, and trusted in it, but he actually felt its power in himself in causing the crucifixion of his old corrupt nature. When he saw the pleasures of sin, he said, "I cannot enjoy these: I am dead to them." Such is the experience of every true Christian. Having received Christ, he is to this world as one who is utterly dead. Yet, while conscious of death to the world, he can, at the same time, exclaim with the apostle, "Nevertheless I live." He is fully alive unto God. The Christian's life is a matchless riddle. No worldling can comprehend it; even the believer himself cannot understand it. Dead, yet alive! crucified with Christ, and yet at the same time risen with Christ in newness of life! Union with the suffering, bleeding Saviour, and death to the world and sin, are soul-cheering things. O for more enjoyment of them!

Today's reading: Joel 1-3, Revelation 5 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Joel 1-3

1 The word of the LORD that came to Joel son of Pethuel.
An Invasion of Locusts
2 Hear this, you elders;
listen, all who live in the land.
Has anything like this ever happened in your days
or in the days of your ancestors?
3 Tell it to your children,
and let your children tell it to their children,
and their children to the next generation.
What the locust swarm has left
the great locusts have eaten;
what the great locusts have left
the young locusts have eaten;
what the young locusts have left
other locusts have eaten.
5 Wake up, you drunkards, and weep!
Wail, all you drinkers of wine;
wail because of the new wine,
for it has been snatched from your lips.
6 A nation has invaded my land,
a mighty army without number;
it has the teeth of a lion,
the fangs of a lioness.
7 It has laid waste my vines
and ruined my fig trees.
It has stripped off their bark
and thrown it away,
leaving their branches white....

Today's New Testament reading: Revelation 5

The Scroll and the Lamb
Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals...."

Elias, Elijah [Ĕlī'as,Ĕlī'jah]—god is jehovah or god himself.

1. Elias is the Greek form of Elijah(Matt. 11:14). Elijah the Tishbite is the grandest and most romantic character Israel ever produced (1 Kings 171819).

The Man Who Had No Fear of Man

No career in the Old Testament is more vividly portrayed, or has as much fascination as that of the unique character of Elijah. The New Testament attests to his greatness and reveals what an indelible impression he made upon the mind of his nation. All we know of him before his dramatic appearance can be summed up in the words: “Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead” ( 1 Kings 17:1). Scripture is silent about his past history. Suddenly and with abrupt impetuosity the figure of the prophet bursts upon the scene to rebuke the godless and to reawaken and restore the nation of which he was a part. This man of iron is presented in many ways:
As a fearless, bold and dauntless reformer (1 Kings 18:17-46).
As a rebuker of kings ( 1 Kings 21:202 Kings 1:16).
As a mighty intercessor, praying with faith and intensity (1 Kings 17:202218:36-38Jas. 5:17).
As a man prone to discouragement (1 Kings 19:4).
As one capable of fallible judgment ( 1 Kings 19:418).
As a prophet divinely honored (2 Kings 2:11Matt. 17:3).
As a performer of miracles ( 1 Kings 19:8).
As a God-inspired prophet ready to obey and trust God (1 Kings 17:121:9-242 Kings 1:2-17).
As a saint whose end was glorious (2 Kings 2:1).
Both mystery and majesty are associated with Elijah, the mightiest of the prophets. His history in 1 Kings can be appropriately studied under five prepositions:
Before Ahab (1 Kings 17:1). When God commands us to speak, no thought of peril need make us dumb.
By Cherith (1 Kings 17:2-7 ). Faith moves on, trusting that when the first step is taken the next will be revealed.
At Zarephath (1 Kings 17:1024). Elijah was miraculously fed on three occasions—by ravens (1 Kings 17:6); by a widow ( 1 Kings 17:9); by an angel (1 Kings 19:5-8).
On Carmel (1 Kings 18). Here we see the power of a fully surrendered man.
In the wilderness (1 Kings 19 ). The overwrought prophet suffered a lapse of confidence, but was quickly restored.
Elijah, the rugged prophet, suggests John the Baptist, who came in the same spirit and power of the prophet.
Note these points of correspondence:
Their familiarity with the deserts and solitude.
Their austere manner and dress.
Their strong reproof of prevailing evils.
Their intrepid fidelity in calling all classes to repentance.
Their exposure of the wrath of a wicked king.
Their continued influence after death through disciples.
Their fruitful labors. “Many of the children of Israel did they turn to the Lord their God.”
2. A son of Harim who married a foreign wife during the exile (Ezra 10:21).
3. A Benjamite and son of Jeroham, resident at Jerusalem (1 Chron. 8:27 RV).
4. An Israelite induced to put away his foreign wife. (Ezra 10:26).
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