Monday, February 22, 2016

Letter from Anton Chekhov To His Brother Nikolay 1886

MOSCOW, 1886.
… You have often complained to me that people “don’t understand you”! Goethe and Newton did not complain of that…. Only Christ complained of it, but He was speaking of His doctrine and not of Himself…. People understand you perfectly well. And if you do not understand yourself, it is not their fault.
I assure you as a brother and as a friend I understand you and feel for you with all my heart. I know your good qualities as I know my five fingers; I value and deeply respect them. If you like, to prove that I understand you, I can enumerate those qualities. I think you are kind to the point of softness, magnanimous, unselfish, ready to share your last farthing; you have no envy nor hatred; you are simple-hearted, you pity men and beasts; you are trustful, without spite or guile, and do not remember evil…. You have a gift from above such as other people have not: you have talent. This talent places you above millions of men, for on earth only one out of two millions is an artist. Your talent sets you apart: if you were a toad or a tarantula, even then, people would respect you, for to talent all things are forgiven.
You have only one failing, and the falseness of your position, and your unhappiness and your catarrh of the bowels are all due to it. That is your utter lack of culture. Forgive me, please, but veritas magis amicitiae….You see, life has its conditions. In order to feel comfortable among educated people, to be at home and happy with them, one must be cultured to a certain extent. Talent has brought you into such a circle, you belong to it, but … you are drawn away from it, and you vacillate between cultured people and the lodgers vis-a-vis.
Cultured people must, in my opinion, satisfy the following conditions:
1. They respect human personality, and therefore they are always kind, gentle, polite, and ready to give in to others. They do not make a row because of a hammer or a lost piece of india-rubber; if they live with anyone they do not regard it as a favour and, going away, they do not say “nobody can live with you.” They forgive noise and cold and dried-up meat and witticisms and the presence of strangers in their homes.
2. They have sympathy not for beggars and cats alone. Their heart aches for what the eye does not see…. They sit up at night in order to help P…., to pay for brothers at the University, and to buy clothes for their mother.
3. They respect the property of others, and therefor pay their debts.
4. They are sincere, and dread lying like fire. They don’t lie even in small things. A lie is insulting to the listener and puts him in a lower position in the eyes of the speaker. They do not pose, they behave in the street as they do at home, they do not show off before their humbler comrades. They are not given to babbling and forcing their uninvited confidences on others. Out of respect for other people’s ears they more often keep silent than talk.
5. They do not disparage themselves to rouse compassion. They do not play on the strings of other people’s hearts so that they may sigh and make much of them. They do not say “I am misunderstood,” or “I have become second-rate,” because all this is striving after cheap effect, is vulgar, stale, false….
6. They have no shallow vanity. They do not care for such false diamonds as knowing celebrities, shaking hands with the drunken P., [Translator’s Note: Probably Palmin, a minor poet.] listening to the raptures of a stray spectator in a picture show, being renowned in the taverns…. If they do a pennyworth they do not strut about as though they had done a hundred roubles’ worth, and do not brag of having the entry where others are not admitted…. The truly talented always keep in obscurity among the crowd, as far as possible from advertisement…. Even Krylov has said that an empty barrel echoes more loudly than a full one.
7. If they have a talent they respect it. They sacrifice to it rest, women, wine, vanity…. They are proud of their talent…. Besides, they are fastidious.
8. They develop the aesthetic feeling in themselves. They cannot go to sleep in their clothes, see cracks full of bugs on the walls, breathe bad air, walk on a floor that has been spat upon, cook their meals over an oil stove. They seek as far as possible to restrain and ennoble the sexual instinct…. What they want in a woman is not a bed-fellow … They do not ask for the cleverness which shows itself in continual lying. They want especially, if they are artists, freshness, elegance, humanity, the capacity for motherhood…. They do not swill vodka at all hours of the day and night, do not sniff at cupboards, for they are not pigs and know they are not. They drink only when they are free, on occasion…. For they want mens sana in corpore sano.
And so on. This is what cultured people are like. In order to be cultured and not to stand below the level of your surroundings it is not enough to have read “The Pickwick Papers” and learnt a monologue from “Faust.” …
What is needed is constant work, day and night, constant reading, study, will…. Every hour is precious for it…. Come to us, smash the vodka bottle, lie down and read…. Turgenev, if you like, whom you have not read.
You must drop your vanity, you are not a child … you will soon be thirty. It is time!
I expect you…. We all expect you.
* * * * *

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Hating Catholics is wrong

Memes against Cardinal Pell and Pope Francis are many. As memes are, they simplify issues. And they miss things.

It is hard to credit it from the memes, but Cardinal Pell is a good, powerful man who has not done any wrong. He holds the third highest position of the Catholic Church. He initiated protections for victims of Pedophilia in Australia. Pedophiles tend to abuse process and law too, and by smearing Pell, they protect their own. And some victims become abusers. And the Royal Commission into institutionalised response to pedophilia does not seem serious about its charter, but seems to be targeting Catholics in general and Pell in particular. As with the NSW ICAC, judicial incompetence raises serious questions of the worth of the judicial institution. Right now, Pell is innocent and there will not be an adverse finding against him for some time, probably never.

Cardinal Pell endorsed the selection of Pope Francis. Francis came from Catholicism's strongest left wing bastion of Argentina. Only Francis was viewed as a conservative when he was Cardinal. Everything is relative. Francis stopping the conversion of Jews is a good thing. When Pell said that Francis would die in office, in contrast to Benedict, Francis declared he might go early too. Francis is following a path of unity for Catholicism. He is trying to heal what is fractured. Francis' clumsy extreme left declarations on Global Warming and on refugees is an example of that attempt at healing. Only, it is wrong to kill people who want to migrate to a better life, and so strong borders are far more compassionate than the left wing dream of open borders. In taking a political stance, the Pope is joining a large number of people who are very wrong. That is no reason to hate him. But the Pope needs to see that the path to healing Catholicism is also the enlightened path that doesn't steal a billion dollars a day from the world's poorest, or kill those who want a better life.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Civil Society call to reform welfare for unemployed

My name is David Daniel Ball. I authored the twelve book series "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice." I have been on unemployment since I resigned over corruption and harassment in my NSW Dept. of Ed workplace in 2007. I have become an Australian citizen twice. I have been sentenced to jail for one day, and all related references to the sentence have been destroyed by Bob Carr. I became a permanent resident when I flew to Australia with my Mother in 1978. Both my parents are Australian born, but neither could be found in a federal database. 

In 2014 I was offered an opportunity to pursue an NEIS placement. I applied but because my online work, which is secular and apolitical, included the word ‘conservative’ it was deemed that my work was not commensurate with what NEIS was designed to develop, being too political. Instead I, who have an undergraduate degree, including computer science, and a masters degree, including computers in the classroom, was placed in a level 2 training course on introduction to computers. There is no impediment to my working as a Math Teacher. No one will hire me. I have friends in the profession who have been told not to hire me. 

My issue is professional and the federal body representing my interests has a duty of care to me to address the issues on which the State Government bodies have erroneously acted. I am fat, but at the time I was not too fat to work. But that has changed over time. I had a home, savings, and a hope for my future. I have since been made homeless. I have lost everything. I have been isolated. And in order to complete my work, I had to leave Centrelink. 
National Reform Series 2016 | Civil Society Australia
Reforming Employment Services:
Developing Supports that Work 
for JobSeekers
 Call for Reform Proposals  
Online Consultation and National Conference

  18 April 2016  Melbourne

An Invitation to Participate

Australia's employment services system has evolved over the last thirty years from a government service monopoly (the Commonwealth Employment Service) to a system of competitively-tendered contractors, for-profit and not-for-profit (the name changes regularly, now JobActive). 

Despite this evolution, the experience of employment services by jobseekers has remained largely unchanged: isolated and anxious jobseekers are referred by officials to training programs, manufactured work experience assignments, short-term make-work schemes and listed job vacancies, with little positive impact on their self-esteem, social networks, skill development, real work experience or employability. Recent reports indicate that 70% of NewStart recipients have been unemployed for more than 12 months (long term unemployed).

The high cost of the employment services system and its poor outcomes have been subject to little public scrutiny. Without direct experience of being a 'client', politicians and policy makers are largely unaware of the system's dysfunction. 

The employment services system requires major reform. The main issues to be addressed include:

  • The absence of individually-tailored, person-centred services in practice 
  • Lack of peer-based and community-based mutual supports 
  • Churning of jobseekers through training programs divorced from real workplaces 
  • Lack of person-controlled technology to integrate work, training and jobseeking history 
  • Absence of support for group enterprise & self-employment development 
  • Endless meetings between case-managers and jobseekers with no purpose 
  • Misdirected accountability of services to funders but not to users of services 
  • Lack of appropriate incentives for employers to employ long-term unemployed people 
  • Little financial transparency in the costs and expenditures of the system 
  • The resilience of provider-centred cultures in services and Centrelink 
  • The isolation of disability employment services from real world business and work 
Suggestions for reform of the employment services system, its operations, processes and culture, are invited. Jobseekers, people with disabilities, families, support organisations, community groups, services and policy makers are invited to contribute to this people-driven process.
Reforming Employment Services: Process and Timeline
1 February - 31 March 2016

Submit your suggestions and proposals for reform of employment services. Proposals will be distributed to registered participants in this process for consideration. 

Participants consider various suggestions and proposals for reform, and offer their assessments. The authors of proposals with significant support will be invited to present on their ideas at a national conference on Reforming Employment Services in Melbourne on 18 April 2016.

1 April - 18 April 2016

Refinement of proposals based on participant feedback.

18 April 2016

Participants assess proposals for Employment Services Reform. Mechanisms will be established for driving an ongoing reform process.
CLICK HERE to register your interest in participating in this process.

CLICK HERE to submit a suggestion or proposal for reform.

CLICK HERE to register for the April 2016 national conference. 

Two Days in April 2016
This process and conference on Monday 18 April 2016 forms part of a series of reform events hosted by Civil Society Australia in 2016. Two events will be held in April 2016. Participants may attend one or both of these as they wish. 
Monday 18 April 2016 
Reforming Employment Services:
Developing Supports that Work for JobSeekers

Tuesday 19 April 2016 
Reforming Welfare:
Building A System that Supports People in Need

CLICK HERE for further information.
The Angliss Conference Centre is located in the Melbourne CBD, on the corner of LaTrobe and King Streets, on the fifth floor. It is close to train and tram services. Flagstaff railway station is one block away in LaTrobe St, and Southern Cross station is three blocks away in Spencer St. Trams 23, 24, 30, 34, and City Circle run along LaTrobe Street.
There are numerous accommodation options close by, to suit all budgets.
Start and Finish Times
Both events begin at 9.15am, finishing at 5.00pm. 

CLICK HERE to register for one or both of these events. 
Further Information
CLICK HERE for further information.
CLICK HERE for Civil Society Australia website.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thu Feb 11th Todays News

No more columns until I secure accommodation. 
=== from 2015 ===
Today is an anniversary of a serious event that the press don't want to know about. It happened in Timor soon after Rudd won election and became PM. Rudd had promised he would deal with the uprisings. However, Rudd distanced himself from this following the attempted assassination of Timor's leaders. It looks like a bungled black ops. It seems like Rudd nodded to a unit to capture the Australian trained rebel Reinado. It doesn't seem likely Reinado was trying to abduct or kill the leaders, but assert authority over them. Things did not go to plan for Rudd, and nothing that followed was successful for him, although he did regain his PM's position for a time and had Gillard's loyalty in office. 

NSW Police have arrested two people planning a terrorist hit with an ISIL death cult jolly roger and thoughts of beheading someone in Fairfield. Omar Al-Kutobi, 24, and Mohammad Kiad, 25, were arrested yesterday by the Joint Counter Terrorism Taskforce after a receiving information that an attack was imminent. 
Kayla Mueller went to Syria in 2013 with her boyfriend. He was Syrian. It was a war zone where it was known people were kidnapped or murdered daily for no reason. She had no military training. She was kidnapped with her boyfriend who was released. Recently she was killed in unclear circumstances, held hostage by ISIL. It is tragic. It is also no less stupid than those who went to Iraq to serve as human shields for Iraq. 

NRL issues continue off field with Premiers Rabbitohs dumping their captain after an incident involving alcohol in the US. The integrity unit seems to be flip flopping over the issue and keeping it from being public. 

Treasurer Joe Hockey is being criticised for having good policy which has been blocked by the senate. Some are suggesting unicorns might be better as treasurer, but no unicorn is applying for the position. 

Knife wielding mentally ill 22 yo girl shot dead by police in Sydney. Media are asking if police training failed. 

In 660 BC, on this day, Japan was founded by Emperor Jimmu. In 1889, the Meiji constitution of Japan was adopted. It was no accident it was the same great day for Japan. In 55, Nero poisoned a rival for the throne of emperor. In 1531, Henry VIII declared himself head of the Anglican Church. In 1790, Quakers petitioned US Congress to end slavery. In 1808, Jessie Fell invented home heating. In Massachusetts in 1812, Governor Elbridge Gerry did his first Gerrymander. In 1843, Giuseppe Verdi's opera I Lombardi alla prima crociata received its first performance in Milan, Italy. In 1858, Bernadette Soubirous's first vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes, France. Bernadette was 14 at the time, from an extremely poor family that had once been much prouder. In 1861, reminiscent of Rudd telling Chinese they owned Tibet, American Civil WarUnited States House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state. In 1906, Pope Pius X published the encyclical Vehementer Nos. The encyclical meant it was ok for the church to impose itself in state matters. In 1937, a sit-down strike ended when General Motors recognised the United Auto Workers. Unionists liked to sit down. In 1938,  BBC Television produced the world's first ever science fiction television program, an adaptation of a section of the Karel Čapekplay R.U.R., that coined the term "robot". In 1953, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower refused a clemency appeal for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Also in 1953, the Soviet Union broke off diplomatic relations with Israel. It is now known that the pair were spies willing to die to serve the Soviets. It is also possible that the Soviets broke relations with Israel in reprisal for the Rosenbergs. In 1978,  Censorship: China lifted a ban on works by AristotleWilliam Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. In 1979, the Iranian Revolution established an Islamic theocracy under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. In 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison outside Cape Town, South Africa after 27 years as a political prisoner. In 2008, rebel East Timorese soldiers seriously wound President José Ramos-Horta. Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was killed in the attack. The role of Australian PM Rudd in the affair has never been publicly examined. 
From 2014
Who are you? What do you want? Do you have anything worth dying for? Do you have anything worth living for? Four questions making Janus pairs. Who you are is a defining aspect of your self. You tend to become like those you follow. What you want is a similar question, because it similarly defines you. Philosophically, it is better to address the question of who you are, than the one based around what you want. People that want are needy, and if you build your life around wanting things, you cannot be satisfied, or have integrity. The issue is coming home to Australia as some unionists who pervade senior ALP positions as well as many unrelated areas of society, have killed the car industry by being needy and wanting. A telling question of Shorten to Abbott in parliamentary question time had Shorten asking if Abbott felt automotive workers should be paid less. Already we know how unionists viewed the matter. They want more. But, the things that make someone proud, that give them satisfaction, knowing that what they did achieved something, was absent. Australian made cars are not very good. If they were, people would buy them. Already the disappointment is being expressed at how the workers will not have as much of what they want elsewhere.

Related to the question of who you are is the one asking if you have anything worth living for. Pride devotion and love will keep a person persevering long after everything else is gone. Burke and Wills, the explorers wanted to cross a desert and found that their culture was worth dying for. They were offered food and water by local Aborigines but declined it. They had what they wanted. John King survived. He knew who he was. People become like those they follow. Who do you follow? Do they hate, and mourn that they will not have what they want? Or, do they take pride in achievement, do they give because giving is more important than getting? Because who you are is not defined by what you have, but what you do.

These four excellent questions were posed by writer Joe Michael Straczynski for his tv series Babylon 5. I won't spoil it by telling you what it is about, although, were I to do so, it wouldn't mean much to you. Saying that Babylon 5 was about a space station and it's crew is a bit like saying Clockwork Orange is about a guy who likes Beethoven violently. I pick the Vorlons. Shorten seems to have associates among the Shadows. I know who I am. Shorten knows what he wants.
Historical perspective on this day
In 660BC, traditional date for the foundation of Japan by Emperor Jimmu. 55, Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus, heir to the Roman emperorship, died under mysterious circumstances in Rome. This cleared the way for Nero to become Emperor. 244, emperor Gordian III was murdered by mutinous soldiers in Zaitha (Mesopotamia). A mound was raised at Carchemish in his memory. 1177, John de Courcy's army defeated the native Dunleavey Clan in Ulster. The English established themselves in Ulster. 1531, Henry VIII of England was recognised as supreme head of the Church of England. 1626, Emperor Susenyos I of Ethiopiaand Patriarch Afonso Mendes declared the primacy of the Roman See over the Ethiopian Church, and Roman Catholicism the state religion of Ethiopia. 1659, The assault on Copenhagen by Swedish forces was beaten back with heavy losses.

In 1790, the Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, petitioned U.S. Congressfor abolition of slavery. 1794, first session of United States Senate opened to the public. 1808, Jesse Fell burned anthracite on an open grate as an experiment in heating homes with coal. 1812, Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry "gerrymanders" for the first time. 1826, University College London was founded under the name University of London. Also 1826, Swaminarayan writes the Shikshapatri, an important text within Swaminarayan Hinduism. 1840, Gaetano Donizetti's opera La fille du régiment received its first performance in Paris, France. 1843, Giuseppe Verdi's opera I Lombardi alla prima crociata received its first performance in Milan, Italy. 1855, Kassa Hailu was crowned Tewodros IIEmperor of Ethiopia, by Abuna Salama III in a ceremony at the church of Derasge Maryam 1856, the Kingdom of Awadh is annexed by the British East India Company and Wajid Ali Shah, the king of Awadh, was imprisoned and later exiled to Calcutta. 1858, Bernadette Soubirous's first vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes, France. 1861, American Civil WarUnited States House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state. 1873, King Amadeo I of Spain abdicated. 1889, Meiji Constitution of Japan was adopted; the first National Diet convened in 1890.

In 1903, Anton Bruckner's 9th Symphony received its first performance in Vienna, Austria. 1906, Pope Pius X published the encyclical Vehementer Nos. 1916, Emma Goldman was arrested for lecturing on birth control. 1919, Friedrich Ebert (SPD), was elected President of Germany. 1929, Kingdom of Italy and the Vatican signed the Lateran Treaty. 1937, a sit-down strike ended when General Motors recognised the United Auto Workers. 1938, BBC Televisionproduced the world's first ever science fiction television program, an adaptation of a section of the Karel Čapek play R.U.R., that coined the term "robot". 1939, a Lockheed P-38 Lightningflew from California to New York in 7 hours 2 minutes. 1942, World War II: The Battle of Bukit Timah was fought in Singapore. 1943, World War II: General Dwight D. Eisenhower was selected to command the allied armies in Europe.

In 1953, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower refused a clemency appeal for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Also 1953, the Soviet Union broke off diplomatic relations with Israel. 1959, the Federation of Arab Emirates of the South, which would later become South Yemen, was created as a protectorate of the United Kingdom. 1964, Greeks and Turks began fighting in LimassolCyprus. 1968, Israeli–Jordanian border clashes rage. Also 1968, the Memphis Sanitation Strike began. 1971, Eighty-seven countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Soviet Union, signed the Seabed Arms Control Treaty outlawing nuclear weapons on the ocean floor in international waters. 1973, Vietnam War: First release of American prisoners of war from Vietnam took place. 1978,  Censorship: China lifted a ban on works by AristotleWilliam Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. 1979, the Iranian Revolutionestablished an Islamic theocracy under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

In 1981, around 100,000 US gallons (380 m3) of radioactive coolant leaked into the containment building of TVA Sequoyah 1 nuclear plant in Tennessee, contaminating eight workers. 1990,  Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison outside Cape Town, South Africa after 27 years as a political prisoner. Also 1990, Buster Douglas, a 40:1 underdog, knocked out Mike Tyson in ten rounds at Tokyo to win boxing's world Heavyweight title and cause one of the largest upsets in sports history. 1997, Space Shuttle Discovery was launched on a mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope. 2001, a Dutch programmer launched the Anna Kournikova virus infecting millions of emails via a trick photo of the tennisstar. 2008, rebel East Timorese soldiers seriously wound President José Ramos-Horta. Rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was killed in the attack. Also 2008, Namdaemun, a 550-year-old gate in South Korea, was toppled by fire. 2011, the first wave of the Egyptian revolution culminated in the resignation of Hosni Mubarak and the transfer of power to the Supreme Military Council after 18 days of protests. 2013, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation from the papacy, the first pontiff to resign in more than half a millennium. 2014, a military transport plane crashed in a mountainous area of Oum El Bouaghi Province in eastern Algeria, killing 77 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.
I am moving from Sydney to Melbourne and am desperate for funding. If you have a heart for giving, I fundraise at
Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with AugustSeptemberOctober, or at Amazon  The kindle version is cheaper, but the soft back version allows a free kindle version.

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

Or the US President at
or or

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 P.t. Burton and Elle Hlebnikova, born on the same day, across the years, along with
Bernadette Soubirous
We wrote it. She saw it. He ruled it. They released it. And ended it. Let's party. 


Tim Blair – Thursday, February 11, 2016 (5:50pm)

They’re “perfect for exotic dancing, to wear for that special someone, a sexy costume addition or as a gift!”


Tim Blair – Thursday, February 11, 2016 (2:14pm)

puzzling analogy from Queensland warmies: 
Global climate change resembles a room of second-hand smoke, new research has found, with countries emitting the least amount of gasses suffering the most.
The study by The University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society shows a dramatic global mismatch, with the highest emitting countries – including Australia – the least vulnerable to climate change effects. 
Australia isn’t among the highest emitting countries. Not by a long shot. 
Co-author Associate Professor James Watson of GPEM and WCS said the situation resembled second-hand smoking.
“This is like a non-smoker getting cancer from second-hand smoke, while the heavy smokers continue to puff away,” he said.
“Essentially we are calling for the smokers to pay for the healthcare of the non-smokers they are directly harming.” 
We should bill them for all the delicious smoke they’re stealing. Meanwhile, following his decision to boot more than 300 global warming researchers, CSIRO chief Larry Marshall discovers the true nature of climate zealots: 
“I guess I had the realisation that the climate lobby is perhaps more powerful than the energy lobby was back in the ‘70s – and the politics of climate I think there’s a lot of emotion in this debate.
“In fact it almost sounds more like religion than science to me.
“I’ve been told by some extreme elements that they’ve put me at the top of the climate deniers list and what perplexes me is how saying that we’re going to shift more resources to mitigation – i.e. doing something to address climate change versus just measuring and modelling it – I don’t see how that makes me a climate denier.” 
(Via J.F. Beck.)
UPDATE. We were previously told that Australia was extremely vulnerable to climate change. Here’s Rob Sturrock: 
We are situated at the frontline of emerging climate crises. Our region is the most vulnerable in the world. 
And the Climate Council’s Professor Lesley Hughes
Australia is one of the most vulnerable developed countries in the world to climate change impacts. 
Not according to the latest research.


Tim Blair – Thursday, February 11, 2016 (12:27pm)

Bernie Sanders has scored around 50,000 more votes than Hillary Clinton in the first two primaries. So Grandpa Commie should be leading the delegate count, right? Wrong
In the overall delegate count, Clinton holds a commanding lead after a razor-thin victory in Iowa and a shellacking in New Hampshire. Clinton has 394 delegates, both super and electorally assigned, to only 42 for Sanders. 
Here’s why. Overall, 2382 delegates are required for Democrat nomination. Clinton is already more than 16 per cent there.


Tim Blair – Thursday, February 11, 2016 (12:07pm)

Crikey‘s Josh Taylor weeps about self-slicing illegals: 
102 incidents of self-harm on Nauru in 2015. 40 on Manus. 
But that was before a travel incentive was removed: 
The number of asylum-seekers on Nauru harming themselves plummeted to zero three months after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton stopped family members from being allowed to travel to Australia to accompany a sick or injured person …
Late last year, Mr Dutton instructed the Immigration Department to bring only the person needing medical treatment to Australia, not the whole family, unless there were “extenuating circumstances”. 
It was just that easy.


Tim Blair – Thursday, February 11, 2016 (11:38am)

Juan Thompson, son of Hunter S. Thompson, on his father’s imitators
“Imitations of Hunter’s writing are always bad,” he said. “It never works.” 
Very true. Australian journalism was once loaded with lame Thompson replicants who’ve gradually vanished or shuffled over to Twitter. They’re not a happy bunch.


Tim Blair – Thursday, February 11, 2016 (2:45am)

This is brilliant:


Liberals can’t make Goldstein a choice between pet victim representatives

Andrew Bolt February 11 2016 (12:19pm)

Trade Minister Andrew Robb goes too far in promoting women to take over his safe seat of Goldstein:
The 64-year-old, who plans to go back into the private sector, says there will be a “very strong field” to replace him in his safe blue ribbon Liberal seat.
“I do feel they must be chosen on merit and I have no doubt the party members will do that,” he said. “But I would hope there will be a strong female candidate in the field.”
Asked if that was an endorsement of Ms Downer, he said: “Georgina Downer I think would be an outstanding member. But at this stage it’s too early to see even if she’s going to nominate."…
Ms Downer is a lawyer turned diplomat who served in Australia’s embassy in Japan for four years. The mother of two has a Masters in Public International Law from the London School of Economics and degrees in Law and Commerce from the University of Melbourne.... 
She recently wrote about the need to get more women into Parliament.
“More women in politics means a more representative democracy and sends the message that Australian society is inclusive of women,” she wrote for Fairfax Media last year.
Downer is terrific but so is Tim Wilson, the other candidate who has so far decided to run for this preselection.
It would be very unfortunate and unfair if the gender of the candidates was seen as a qualification for the seat. The way to fight sexism is not be being sexist.
The way to fight for social justice is not to be unjust to an individual.
And if the aim is to get an under-represented identity group in Parliament, why doesn’t Robb mention the under-representation of gays in Parliament - something the selection of Wilson would help to fix?
Or do gays rate below women in the table of grievance?
Tough questions. So maybe the Liberals should just judge the candidates as individuals, rather than as representatives of a race, tribe, gender, sexual preference or some other class of victim. Leave that divisive and unjust nonsense to the Left.
I’ve had enough of the racism of the anti-racists, and enough of the sexism of the anti-sexists.
Turnbull Government Minister Mitch Fifield has had enough of the hypocrisy, too:
Labor’s Katy Gallagher was questioning Turnbull government minister Mitch Fifield about some welfare and families bills…
This saw the Communications Minister (representing Social Services Minister Christian Porter in the Senate) launch into a lengthy explanation of internal government processes.

But before Gallagher could follow up with another inquiry, Fifield added: “Let me just stop you so you don’t waste a line of questioning"…
“I love the mansplaining. I’m enjoying it,” Gallagher said, mixing fatigue with just a hint of provocation…
“You’re loving what? ... What’s mansplaining, senator?”
Gallagher was only too happy to fill him in… “It’s the slightly patronising and condescending way that you’re responding to my questions [as a man to a woman],” the ACT senator replied.
Fifield turned from confused to incensed in 0.1 seconds, accusing Gallagher of making a “sexist implication about how I’m conducting my role”.
“Imagine, senator, if I said you were womansplaining? Imagine the reaction!…
“Can I suggest, take a good look at yourself,” he said...

Why hasn’t Turnbull sacked Stuart Robert already?

Andrew Bolt February 11 2016 (12:12pm)

MALCOLM Turnbull should have sacked Human Services Minister Stuart Robert two days ago for doing favours on the sly for a mate.
Instead, the Prime Minister has once again faffed around, like he did over the mad idea to raise the GST.
But the question is this: is Turnbull actually trying to save Robert as a favour for a mate of his own — this time Treasurer Scott Morrison, Robert’s political protector?
Is he in fact putting his own interests above the country’s?
Is he trying to cover up for Robert, who arguably misused his office and made us look craven and sneaky to a Chinese minister?
Turnbull says he’s just waiting on more information before he decides what to do with Robert, but it’s hard to see how he’d need more.
(Read full column here.)
I have long writen off Labor leader Bill Shorten as a public speaker.
Not today. His speech to censure Malcolm Turnbull over the Robert scandal was a blinder. Brought out the Liberal in-fighting and paranoia, too. Shorten dropped that sanctimonious tone and faux sincerity that wrecks so much of his utterances, particularly when he is trying to seem soft.
Unleashed, he seemed to revel in giving Turnbull a kicking on what is a genuine failure of leadership and a genuine and outrageous conflict of interest.
Finding his range.  

CSIRO boss attacks “religious” fervor of “powerful” global warming lobby

Andrew Bolt February 11 2016 (9:23am)

Global warming - general

An important truth dawns on CSIRO chief Larry Marshall after staff and activists revolt against his planned switch from researching global warming to figuring out how to cope with it:
“I guess I had the realisation that the climate lobby is perhaps more powerful than the energy lobby was back in the ‘70s - and the politics of climate I think there’s a lot of emotion in this debate.
“In fact it almost sounds more like religion than science to me.”
True. but what conclusions do we then draw about his global warming scientists? Does a religious commitment to global warming make them less likely to accept or announce findings that cast doubt on their creed?
Marshall should go further and discuss how a “religious” belief in global warming theory conflicts with a scientist’s need to be objective.  With examples would be nice.
(Thanks to readers George, Peter H., Geoffrey and others.) 

Christie and Fiorina to quit race

Andrew Bolt February 11 2016 (8:43am)

Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina are dropping out of the race for the Republicans’ presidential nomination, encouraging faint hope of unity around a more establishment rival to Donald Trump before it’s too late. 

What the media Left create in the Liberal leadership they then destroy

Andrew Bolt February 11 2016 (8:14am)

When even commentators of the feral Left are deserting Malcolm Turnbull, who will defend him?
This times it’s Mark Kenny of the Sydney Morning Herald who is starting to see through the man he helped to topple Tony Abbott:
Order has given way to a faint air of chaos… [T]he strong impression being created is that parts of the show are flying off - that either through incompetence, stupidity, or a failure of due diligence, Turnbull’s executive is disintegrating around him, suggesting he is less in control than he might pretend. And that’s before anything serious has even been tried in a policy sense.
Five ministers [lost] in four months. That’s the number people will notice…
All in all, it’s been a messy week, headlined by the backdown over the GST, before being overrun with Stuart Robert’s befuddling China trip.
And now Truss and Robb. For an operation that promised to focus on voters’ needs, this one is having a lot of trouble rising above its own troubles.
Memo to the Liberals: the media Left will always back a Left-wing Liberal against a conservative Prime Minister. Don’t fall for it. They’ll dump their man, too, in the end, because their aim never was to get Liberals elected. So you might as well be attacked for fighting for your beliefs than dumped after your surrender.
Here’s an example of the switcherooo, from the Sydney Morning Herald’s Greens-voting Elizabeth Farrelly in 2012:
Just about everyone I know loves Malcolm Turnbull....This is especially weird since my sample, though broad and random - greens and Christians, professionals and hobos, poets, Buddhists, anarchists, atheists, engineers and random reprobates – takes in few Liberal voters, if any…
Well, in fact, yes – if Malcolm stood for prime minister, they would vote for him in a flash. It’s love… Turnbull is one of the few I’d trust to have a go. Climate change, bike lanes, gay marriage, anti-censorship…
But here’s the abusive Farrelly today on Malcolm Turnbull’s latest decision, appointing Liberal hero Phil Ruddock a special envoy to the UN on human rights:
I’ve heard of being kicked upstairs but this is ridiculous. I know people get promoted to their point of incompetence, but the UN? ..
I know that the sinecure, or cushy upstairs job, is a time-honoured tradition, but it shouldn’t just protect the douchebag from the world. It should also protect the world from the douchebag. To anoint Philip ‘children overboard’ Ruddock as our special envoy on human rights is an irony of breathtaking proportions… Australia looks weak, venal and mean.
Ruddock wasn’t involved in the “children overboard” case, but what does Farrelly care about facts? Feel the noble hatred instead.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Stop blaming whites for black poverty

Andrew Bolt February 11 2016 (7:57am)

The politics of race

END this dead-end excuse. Stop blaming white racism for black poverty.
Twenty years on, the “reconciliation” circus has failed. The responsibility crusade must begin.
Making whites nicer won’t make Aborigines richer or healthier. Aborigines themselves must now do it.
That become even clearer yesterday, when the Turnbull Government delivered the 10th Closing the Gap report on Aboriginal disadvantage.
Again the news was grim: high unemployment and low life expectancy. High jail rates and low attendance at school. And once again Aboriginal “leaders” offered those exhausted and divisive excuses.
Don’t blame Aborigines, insisted Professor Tom Calma, co-chair of Reconciliation Australia. He told the ABC: “The lack of progress should never be interpreted as a failure by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It’s a failure of bureaucracy and a failure of the politicians to keep an even course and to keep the funding and the policy direction consistent.”
Jackie Huggins, co-chair of Australia’s National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, agreed the true fault lay not with blacks but whites: “We do see that there is lack of engagement, not a general commitment to the needs and the aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people …
“Racism is at the very core of the systems that operate in this country. It goes to the heart and soul of our people in terms of trying to lead better, fulfilled and richer lives.”
But Calma and Huggins are exactly wrong. 
(Read full column here.

Iran humiliates US

Andrew Bolt February 11 2016 (7:43am)

Iran is going out of its way to humiliate the US and the US sailors it arrested in the Persian Gulf.
It released this footage of the sailors kneeling at gunpoint with hands held up in surrender:
And now it’s released footage of one sailor crying:
And this is from the country that Barack Obama has trusted with a nuclear program, lifting sanctions in exchange for limited rights of inspection. Charles Krauthammer:

The real story of Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 — “Implementation Day” of the Iran deal — was that it marks a historic inflection point in the geopolitics of the Middle East. In a stroke, Iran shed almost four decades of rogue-state status and was declared a citizen of good standing of the international community, open to trade, investment and diplomacy. This, without giving up, or even promising to change, its policy of subversion and aggression. This, without having forfeited its status as the world’s greatest purveyor of terrorism.
Overnight, it went not just from pariah to player but from pariah to dominant regional power. Oil trade alone will pump tens of billions of dollars into its economy…
Cash-rich, reconnected with global banking and commerce, and facing an Arab world collapsed into a miasma of raging civil wars, Iran has instantly become the dominant power of the Middle East. Not to worry, argued the administration. The nuclear opening will temper Iranian adventurism and empower Iranian moderates.
The opposite is happening. And it’s not just the illegal ballistic missile launches; Iran’s president ordering his military to accelerate the missile program; not just the broadcast humiliation of seized U.S. sailors.
Look at what the mullahs are doing at home. Within hours of “implementation,” the regime disqualified 2,967 of roughly 3,000 moderate candidates from even running in parliamentary elections next month. And the supreme leader reiterated that Iranian policy — aggressively interventionist and immutably anti-American — continues unchanged.
As we now see.
How do you think these pictures are playing in the Middle East? How do you think Iran intends them to play? 

Cash today for gridlock tomorrow. The price of Labor’s short-term spending

Andrew Bolt February 11 2016 (7:34am)

So very Labor - destroying the financial future to pay for too much spending today:
The sale [of the Port of Melbourne] is expected to raise at least $6 billion, with the proceeds already factored into the budget to pay for Labor’s core promise to remove 50 level crossings over two terms.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy is ... warning a clause to pay compensation to the buyer if a rival future port undercuts its business is untenable.
The Opposition has offered to allow the clause for 15 years, by which time the Port of Melbourne is expected to be at or close to capacity, minimising the risk of a big payout.
But instead Labor is now offering to include an annual cap on the compensation payout, equivalent to 20 per cent of revenue… The proposed compensation calculation would see the state’s exposure at somewhere between $1.3 billion and $2.1 billion in today’s terms, the [Opposition] states.

Sing to the other 23.5 million Australians, too

Andrew Bolt February 11 2016 (7:15am)

Actually, changes to the Constitution also affect the other 97.5 per cent of Australians, who deserve equal attention from their Prime Minister:
Malcolm Turnbull has declared that a referendum to recognise Indigenous Australians in the constitution is “achievable” next year, saying the first hurdle is to come up with a form of words that “sings” to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Labor is playing with fire to turn criminals into victims of white racism:
Labor leader Bill Shorten ...  repeated his support for including a target to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous incarceration rates, saying: ”It cannot be correct that the colour of your skin is a greater predictor of going to prison than any other.
Your colour isn’t the predictor of your chances of being jailed. Your behaviour is. To say otherwise is to portray criminals as martyrs and judges as racists. It is to excuse crime and hold Aboriginal criminals to dangerously lower standards on the grounds of their “race”.
And which of the attackers here should not have been jailed, Mr Shorten? The white or the blacks?:

Aboriginal women are 34 times more likely to suffer domestic violence than non-indigenous women, and almost 11 times more likely to die at the hands of their partners. 

Backing Bernie

Andrew Bolt February 11 2016 (6:56am)

True enough:
Many a true word spoken in jest. Red Symons, Breakfast, 774 ABC Melbourne, yesterday:

774 Melbourne: proudly supporting Bernie Sanders.
Promising “free” stuff always appeals to the socialist and the student, too strident, silly or selfish to work out the catch:
Sen. Bernie Sanders ... backs at least $18 trillion in new spending over a decade… His agenda includes an estimated $15 trillion for a government-run health-care program that covers every American, plus large sums to rebuild roads and bridges, expand Social Security and make tuition free at public colleges.
To pay for it, Mr. Sanders, a Vermont independent running for the Democratic nomination, has so far detailed tax increases that could bring in as much as $6.5 trillion over 10 years, according to his staff…
Calling himself a democratic socialist, Mr. Sanders[’s] ... program amounts to increasing total federal spending by about one-third—to a projected $68 trillion or so over 10 years.
For many years, government spending has equaled about 20% of gross domestic product annually; his proposals would increase that to about 30% in their first year. As a share of the economy, that would represent a bigger increase in government spending than the New Deal or Great Society and is surpassed in modern history only by the World War II military buildup. 

Illegal immigrants threaten to drive Britain out of Europe

Andrew Bolt February 11 2016 (6:42am)

The invasion of Europe could drive Britain from it. The fear of illegal immigrants is fuelling support for leaving the European Union, to the dismay of Prime Minister David Cameron, who is desperately trying to exploit those fears himself:
It was all meant to be so different when the Conservative Party promised ahead of last year’s election to hold a referendum on whether Britain should exit the EU — the so-called Brexit.
There is a eagerness to hold the promised referendum within months, possibly on June 23, before an huge anticipated summer wave of migration across Europe scuppers any chance of a vote to remain.
Over the next few months Cameron will be the chief spruiker of the “remain” cause. So far his body language and tactics have been defensive, fuelling a febrile Eurosceptic climate among rebel Tory MPs…
This week Cameron played on the most prominent EU issue, the impact of untold numbers of migrants flowing into Europe, with his office warning that 50,000 of them, including those living in the so-called Jungle in Calais, would descend on Britain if it left the EU.

“We could potentially find those thousands of people in the Jungle camp and elsewhere coming, effectively overnight, to ­England,’’ says Cameron’s spokesman Christian Cubitt…
Cameron’s critics point out the British and French have a separate deal about security across the Channel, and regaining control of the country’s borders was a primary reason for voting to leave. 
Zaya Toma
News that two suspected terrorists have been arrested in Fairfield this morning for allegedly planning to carry out a public beheading has shocked me. The war against Islamic State is not only being waged in a distant place on the other side of the world. It's happening right here in our home town. I move that Fairfield City establishes a counter-terrorism unit.
I'm chilled to think my loved ones could be killed because of how they looked or lived in the eyes of a terrorist. - ed




Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 11, 2014 (4:30pm)

Difficult to disagree with Torah Bright’s coach. In fact, he’s got it right about all of the Winter Olympics.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 11, 2014 (2:49pm)

Declining numbers for the workers’ friend:



Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 11, 2014 (2:29pm)

I was news editor at the old Bulletin magazine when Schapelle Corby was arrested and imprisoned. We sent a couple of reporters to cover her trial and the aftermath.
This turned out to be a good decision. The Corby family were remarkably friendly and helpful to our people, giving theBulletin more time and greater access than they gave reporters from most other outlets. As a result, despite the swarm of journalists in Bali – some waving cash – our weekly was able to grab a couple of fine exclusives.
Access continued for some time following Schapelle’s jailing. The Bulletin‘s reporters eventually discovered why. The Corbys thought our guys were from their local paper, the Gold Coast Bulletin.
Things weren’t quite so friendly after this was found not to be the case. For some reason, misunderstandings arefrequent up Queensland way.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 11, 2014 (2:07pm)

“When Toyota calls time, it’s time.” Despite nearly $200 million in taxpayer assistance over the past couple of years, courtesy of several doom clowns, the Japanese car giant can’t make a go of it in Australia.
In happier automotive news, Mazda’s MX5/Miata this year celebrates 25 years on the market. Readers may recall my own first-gen model, currently concealed in a secret northern location:


A rebuild awaits.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 11, 2014 (6:40am)

Hats off – and other clothing and body parts – to the class of 2014 at Baghdad’s leading detonation academy: 
A group of Sunni militants attending a suicide bombing training class at a camp north of Baghdad were killed on Monday when their commander unwittingly conducted a demonstration with a belt that was packed with explosives, army and police officials said. 
Sadly, only 22 splodey students died.
(Via Correllio)
UPDATE. Billy Connolly saw this coming. NSFW.

How Shorten cheated on our world-beating car subsidies

Andrew Bolt February 11 2014 (5:13pm)

Toyota and its militant unions were given more than $100 million a year from taxpayers, and still it wasn’t enough:
Toyota’s decision to shut down local manufacturing ...  comes despite the Japanese car maker receiving government grants of up to $492 million over the past four years.
So how much more does Labor want to take from us to give to Toyota? Labor leader Bill Shorten flings around some figures:
BILL SHORTEN: Well ... every government sees it’s in their national interest - and that’s what interests me: what’s good for the nation - to provide some form of subsidy to their car industry… Australia subsidises its car manufacturing in the order of about $17 [per Australian per year], whereas the Germans do it at about somewhere between $65 and $90 and the Americans, $250
Shorten should clarify. Is he seriously arguing that Australians should be hit for another $50 to $230 per person per year to match subsidies paid by our competitors? If not, how much exactly does he want taxpayers to hand over?
Reader Andrew says Shorten seems to want us to pay subsidies to 100 per cent of the value of a new car:
$250 a head to match the US claim is $6bn. We make about 250k cars. By my count that would involve a subsidy of $23k PER CAR in order to make cars that sell for...$23k. 
But Shorten is deceiving voters. First, he’s including in his US figures - from a highly atypical year in the global financial crisis - an $80 billion rescue package of which most was actually a loan since repaid, and his German figures include the cost of a one-off cash-for-clunkers kind of scheme. Second, he excluded the cost of Australia’s tariff protection and other forms of non-budgetary assistance.
Third, and worst, he’s used a deceptive subsidies-per-head-of-population measure rather than the more telling subsidies-per-car measure, which shows that our government budgetary assistance for car makers is the highest in the world, given how few cars we actually make.  Here’s how the Productivity Commission report this year put it:
Even the ABC Fact Check Unit, trying not to be too critical, concedes:
[Shorten’s] claim is based on outdated numbers that are irrelevant to the current debate. 
(Via Judith Sloan. Thanks to reader Andrew. Post bumped from separate post below.) 

Boycott Willesee’s Corby interview

Andrew Bolt February 11 2014 (4:21pm)

Michael Willesee embarrasses himself, claiming not to know whether Channel Seven is paying a fortune to a convicted drug smuggler he’s talking to in Bali:
Q: Are you saying you’ve paid essentially a holding deposit to be in the same compound with [Schapelle Corby]? 
A: No, we’ve paid nothing. I’m not aware of any payments at all.
Q: From the Seven network towards the Corby family?
A: Not at all
Q: So how did you get in there?
A: Um, I didn’t make that arrangement.
Q: Who did? 
A: I dunno.
A journalist who can’t be straight about something so important - or is so astonishingly incurious - might not tell us other things, either. I suggest viewers boycott any interview Willsee does with Corby. It’s a question of pride, if nothing else. 

O’Reilly’s sin: stripped Obama of “his majesty”

Andrew Bolt February 11 2014 (3:48pm)

 Geraldo Rivera has a very bad moment.  

Culture counts. Take the kidnapping alert

Andrew Bolt February 11 2014 (3:01pm)

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trades has issued a new travel alert which lists the following countries as dangerous for Australians. There is a common theme to them:
Countries where the threat of kidnapping is particularly prevalent, and where DFAT’s travel advisories specifically warn of the threat of kidnapping, include: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen and the Indian Ocean, especially near the coast of Somalia. 
Yes, all but eight of the 33 countries named - Colombia, Congo, Eritrea, India, Kenya, Peru, the Philippines and South Sudan - are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, or have official observer status.  Eritrea, India, Kenya and the Philippines are threatened by extremists from their substantial Muslim minorities. South Sudan was created recently after a civil war with Muslim northern Sudan.
(Thanks to reader John.) 

Who brought in this trouble?

Andrew Bolt February 11 2014 (1:32pm)

Our impeccably correct immigration and refugee policies at work:
COMMUNITY leaders have warned of possible reprisal attacks by Blacktown’s Pacific Islander community targeting young African-Australian men in the wake of the gang-rape attack on a 14-year-old Islander girl. 
Despite the warning from two of the community’s church and sporting leaders, police said they were “monitoring” the situation between the groups and didn’t expect the violence that had previously plagued relations between the two communities to flare.

Toyota unions save entitlements, lose jobs

Andrew Bolt February 11 2014 (1:24pm)

Judith Sloan warns a mulish refusal to surrender unaffordable luxuries will doom more manufacturers than Toyota:
GOOD one, Justice Mordy Bromberg. 
The workers at Toyota will never be asked whether they are happy to trade off some of their working conditions in order to save their jobs. The decision has now been made for them: Toyota will cease manufacturing cars in Australia in 2017.
Of course, the concessions that the company was seeking may not have been sufficient to keep the local operation going. But, surely, it was worth a shot? But the Toyota union shop stewards were not having a bar of it and sought an injunction from the Federal Court. 
The injunction was granted by Bromberg late last year. His decision revolved around a series of esoteric industrial relations and legal reasons that completely defied common sense.
Paul Sheehan:
Prior to being elevated to the bench in 2009 by the Rudd-Gillard government, Bromberg built a record as both a labour lawyer and Labor lawyer. In 2001, he ran for ALP pre-selection for the federal seat of Burke… His primary motivation for running for Parliament, he said, was to reverse the Workplace Relations Act. The core of his practice was acting for unions, especially the most violence-prone, the Construction Forestry Mining and Engineering Union… 
He is a former Australian president of the union-funded International Centre for Trade Union Rights… In 2007 he represented two former Toyota employees on behalf of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, and claimed the workers had been targeted because of their union roles. He said Toyota had shown ‘’anti-union animus’’. 
Grace Collier:
TOYOTA is leaving Australia because it knows there is no hope of changing its terrible enterprise bargaining agreement. If you want to blame someone, blame the company and the union. Don’t blame Tony Abbott, the workers or the law… 
Toyota locked itself into a substandard, expensive and restrictive agreement many years ago. It was a pay-off to the unions for getting it taxpayers’ money. In recent times, Toyota had to ask staff to downwards bargain and reduce conditions. The company was not asking for much and, in exchange for the concessions, jobs would be saved. However, the EBA says, “The parties agree they will not take any steps to terminate or replace this agreement without the consent of the other parties.”
Consent denied, company closed.
Terry McCrann:
Now, there is going to be a torrent of words written, said and indeed shouted about who and or what killed the car industry… 
At core the truth is all-too simple: the car industry has been living with a terminal illness since the mid-1980s. The illness, long relatively dormant, turned aggressive when China set fire to our resources sector after 2003.
That sent the dollar soaring and, less obviously, put a floor under wages and conditions that the resources industry could afford but manufacturing could not…
Further, on a number of levels, the industry simply refused to take the medication that could have extended its life… In short and bluntly, faced with all this, the ‘industry’ committed suicide.
The one interested party that can’t be blamed is the new federal government. Throwing tax money at the producers would not have saved them or the industry; not so long as the four core realities persisted, as they inevitably, irresistibly, were going to.
These were the small production runs, the high value of the Aussie dollar, the absence of any protection against imports (a 5 per cent tariff might as well be zero, and should be now), and the union refusal to embrace massive and revolutionary reform of working conditions. 
In the most direct way the workers and the unions at all three companies, Ford, Holden and Toyota voted to keep their working conditions over keeping their jobs. And in the process, they have condemned the jobs of all the other workers among the parts makers.
And Bill Shorten wants us to hand out even more subsidies to save workers who would not save themselves. From 2012:
[The] president and chief executive of Toyota Motor Corporation Australia, Max Yasuda, ... says as many as 30 per cent of employees in some part of the plant will take the day off as a “sickie” if a Friday work day follows a Thursday public holiday – as was?the case with Australia?Day recently.
(Thanks to readers Alan of Sydney and Andrew. This post has been modified to make a separate post above on Shorten’s deceitful claims on subsidies.)

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Why did the Herald censor its reporter?

Andrew Bolt February 11 2014 (12:00pm)

The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday passed on appeals from police for help in identifying six men who allegedly packed-raped a 14-year-old girl in a park, but omitted the men’s most identifiable feature.
Do not blame the reporter, Emma Partridge:

The Sydney Morning Herald now adds the following phrase, but employs quotation marks to distance themselves from the rudeness of calling an African, well, African:
Police said the attackers had been described as being of “African” appearance.

(Thanks to many readers, including M and Richard.) 

Matthew England’s strange excuse for only now admitting to the warming pause

Andrew Bolt February 11 2014 (10:45am)

I this week asked why warmist scientist Matthew England was now admitting there had been a pause in global warming when he’d once attacked sceptics for saying just that:
April 2012: Warmist Professor Matthew England [on the ABC’s Q&A] accuses sceptics of telling untruths when they say the planet hasn’t warmed as the IPCC predicted: 
What Nick just said is actually not true.  The IPCC projections from 1990 have borne out very accurately.
December 2012:  England accuses sceptics of lying when they say the rise in global air temperatures has paused: 
And so anybody out there lying that the IPCC projections are overstatements or that the observations haven’t kept pace with the projections is completely offline with this. The analysis is very clear that the IPCC projections are coming true. 
February 2014 - England now admits there has been a “hiatus” in warming, after all, which the IPCC did not predict:
Lead author Professor Matthew England, a climate scientist and oceanographer at the University of New South Wales, says since 2001 global surface temperatures have remained steady despite an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases… “Even though there is this hiatus in this surface average temperature, we’re still getting record heat waves, we’re still getting harsh bush fires … it shows we shouldn’t take any comfort from this plateau in global average temperatures.”
Reader Nick has since asked England to explain this change of mind since he attacked sceptic Nick Minchin on Q&A just two years ago:
I remember seeing on a Q and A program in 2012 saying “The IPCC projections from 1990 have borne out very accurately.”.  It appears that you may have change your mind. Is this so? 
I have to confess to being somewhat confused!
England has now given a bizarre reply:
In terms of my comments on Q&A, I stand by them.  The key thing is that back then, the observations had not departed from the model projection range.  In the past year or two, 2012 average and also 2013, that’s no longer the case.  Hence why we did this study.  I hope you find the paper interesting, and sorry again for the delays in sending it.
Pardon? The actual temperatures deviated from the warmists’ climate models only in “the past year or two”?
I am calling bull on that excuse.  Three years ago I interviewed one of the world’s greatest climate scientists, Professor Richard Lindzen, about a pause in the warming that had been already obvious for some time:
Andrew Bolt: Professor Lindzen, ... how much is the planet actually warming? 
Richard Lindzen: Well… over the century, or maybe 150 years, it may be somewhere between a half and three-quarters of a degree Centigrade. I don’t know what it is locally in Australia. Since ‘95 , … 1995, there hasn’t been much warming, certainly not that can be distinguished from noise.
AB: Is that warming lower than what the climate alarmists have been telling us to expect? 
RL: Oh yeah. 
Five years ago I was already reporting ”global temperatures have fallen over the past eight years, despite increases in our emissions”, leading one sceptic to confront Labor’s Climate Change Minister with the truth:
AUSTRALIA’S top scientists have met Family First senator Steve Fielding to try and convince him that climate change is real… It was a case of duelling scientists at the high-level meeting in Canberra today. Senator Fielding took along a team of sceptical scientists. 
In Climate Change Minister Penny Wong’s corner were Australia’s chief scientist, Penny Sackett, and eminent climate scientist Will Steffen.
“Global warming quite clearly over the last decade hasn’t been actually occurring,” Senator Fielding said before the meeting… He took charts into today’s meeting to show that global temperatures had not increased since 1998…
Prof Steffen emerged from the 90-minute meeting to say that global warming was real. 
And check for yourself how long the models and the actual temperatures have disagreed:
The warmists just wouldn’t be told. Instead, many vilified and marginalised the sceptics who were right, and much of media helped them to do so. 

Is the ABC fixing - just a little - its bias?

Andrew Bolt February 11 2014 (9:35am)

Readers wonder if the pressure of the ABC is amking just a tiny bit of difference - for now:
Reader PaulG:
Something was different about Q and A tonight, maybe the pressure on th ABC is working. There were 2 LNP supporters Turnbull and Albrechtson, vs 1 Labor, Dreyfus. The other 2 panellists were a non event and contributed very little. Turnbull was more aggressive than normal and enjoyed the free kick of the video question about Labor’s bungled satellite internet in rural areas… The other striking thing was the audience hostility to subsidies for Toyota and SPC.
Reader Rowan:
Crazy day for ABC on the 10th. Balanced interviewing and pushing from Sarah Ferguson on 7:30 and Q&A;must have been on drugs.The audience CLAPPED Janet Albrechtsen.Several times. Doofus was unconvincing as ever, but the amount of balance in the audience was staggering. Albrechtsen characteristically came out strong and gave back exactly what she got, especially in regards to bloody Dave Hughes. Offered nothing constructive, wasn’t funny and very surprisingly, the audience didn’t find him agreeable either! Even the panelist, Yolanda, for the second question she answered, backed up the Coalition’s stance on handouts to businesses. Perhaps for the wrong reasons, but hey, there it was. I could go on, but all in all, it was a crazy day for the ABC, centered on 7:30 and Q&A;with balance and fairness!  Let’s see if it continues.
Reader Hard of Hats: 
Andrew, Did you see QANDA, tonight? 
I nearly fell off the chair, balance at the ABC! Maybe they know what it is after all?  Methinks you have got Mark Scott and Leftie Luvies a little running scared! ABC Remembers its Charter
Reader Lisle:
Did Sarah Ferguson & Tony Jones have a quiet chat at home (aren’t they a couple), because it seems odd so many favourable comments on Q&A;and 7.30 today.  When I noted Janet Albrechtsen was on Q&A I suspected something was going on and for her to be clapped - how extraordinary.  Sarah Ferguson I suspect will make 7.30 very interesting. She has a special natural knack of questioning which last night made Bill Shorten look and sound a fool. And the Labor Party is stuck with him.
Reader mike of the shire:
Along with Media Watch… They didn’t have a shot at 2GB or Alan Jones. Spooky.
But reader Ubique isn’t convinced:
Group Think again on the paper segment of ABC Breakfast. Guest Socialist Scott Burchill agreed with Virginia Trioli, who agreed with Mike Rowland, who agreed with Burchill that the Toyota shutdown was all Abbott’s fault. They then all agreed with each other that the ABC is not biased, Virginia Trioli is fair and balanced and Dennis Shanahan of The Australian is biased. A sycophantic simpering by all three that was certainly a cure for constipation or other purging required.
Anyone quoting one of my favorite novels gets their comments published. This time it’s reader cuckoo:
Maybe the ABC are just following the advice of the Prince of Salina in Lampedusa’s The Leopard: “In order for things to remain the same, they will have to change.”

The dirty five

Andrew Bolt February 11 2014 (8:30am)

Getting broader. The royal commission announced by Tony Abbott has five unions in its sights:
The terms of reference allow the commission to investigate activities from years ago including the Australian Workers Union slush fund set up in the early 1990s with the help of legal advice from Julia Gillard. 
The five unions targeted are the AWU, the Health Services Union, the Transport Workers Union, the Electrical Trades Union and the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, at the heart of new claims about gangsters in the building industry.
Hedley Thomas: 
WHEN Julia Gillard’s former boyfriend and client Bruce Wilson discovered the contents of several hundred documents relating to him and seized under search warrant from law firm Slater & Gordon by Victoria Police’s Fraud Squad eight months ago, he went on the front foot…
The documents have not yet been seen by Senior Sergeant Ross Mitchell and his team of detectives. This is because the evidence has been sealed and held in custody by Victoria’s courts since being taken away from Slater & Gordon in boxes by the police…
Now here is the rub: police are expected to postpone laying charges until Wilson’s bid to keep the documents secret has been exhausted. And as the legal battle has been escalated to Victoria’s Supreme Court, it will not be resolved until June at the earliest.
What this means for the Labor Party, Gillard (who has always asserted she did not know the slush fund would be used in any wrongdoing), Bill Shorten and other potential witnesses is nothing stands in the way of the new royal commission investigating the AWU slush-fund scandal. There are no sub judice issues because nobody has been charged over the slush fund. 
Former High Court judge Dyson Heydon can fulfil Tony Abbott’s pledge to run a judicial inquiry into a scandal journalists, and large media organisations, have been threatened and bullied for reporting. Wilson’s strategy has given the commission an opening to use its powers and rules of evidence. Witnesses can be compelled to give evidence under oath.
Ben Schneiders: 
(U)se of slush funds and union resources...fuels the Labor Party’s factions and reinforces, in a python grip, the relationship between Labor and its diminishing base of union comrades. 
Bill Shorten, as a factional warrior himself, should be worried by this royal commission. While the inquiry will also look at corruption more broadly, Labor’s greatest political weakness is how funny money is used to wield power within the ALP.
The way the money is raised (at times from employers) and handled create ideal conditions for corruption to flourish… 
As the head of the licensed engineers union, Steve Purvinas, said on Monday ... ‘’I would love a royal commission to fully explore the full extent of these [slush] funds and how they have been used by union officials to further their careers instead of the interests of members,’’ he said.
Some related questions for the commission:
Why did the Labor Government two years ago agree to CFMEU demands to scrap the Australian Building and Construction Commission, removing a highly effective watchdog which policed breaches of industrial law and had referred 39 potential criminal offences to law enforcement agencies? Why did Labor, in effect, enable law-breaking and corruption?
Why did Labor pay around $350,000 of the legal expenses of Craig Thomson, charged with alleged corruption as a union boss?
How did Michael Williamson, who has since admitted to corruption as a Health Services Union boss, become Labor’s national president? What influence was used to get him that position, and what influence did he apply in that position on Labor’s policies on, say, policing industrial laws?
What influence was used by key Labor figures to shut down calls for a royal commission into the AWU scandal and to shut down media attempts to report it? What debts of loyalty were contracted and how did they influence the conduct of Labor governments? 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Labor’s vote shrinks, but it still leads

Andrew Bolt February 11 2014 (8:10am)

The bottom-line news for Labor in Newspoll is good - it still leads - but big falls in its primary vote and Bill Shorten’s approval rating suggest Shorten will come under pressure:
According to the latest Newspoll survey, ... primary vote support for the Coalition is 41 per cent and for Labor is 35 per cent, down from 38 per cent in December. 
With the Greens’ primary vote up from 9 per cent to 12 per cent since early December, the two-party-preferred result [favours] Labor 51 per cent to 49 per cent compared with 52 per cent-48 per cent before Christmas…
[Voter] satisfaction with Mr Shorten fell 9 points to 35 per cent and dissatisfaction rose 8 points to 35 per cent…
Before Christmas Mr Shorten’s net satisfaction rating — the difference between satisfaction and dissatisfaction — was a positive 17 percentage points. Last weekend it dropped to zero…
The weekend poll revealed Mr Abbott’s satisfaction rate had stabilised for the first time, at minus 5. 
On the question of who would make the better prime minister, ... Mr Abbott was unchanged on 41 per cent, a lead of eight points over Mr Shorten.  
But the Abbott Government has a very tough year to come if it is to build a platform for re-election.  There are at least now signs it has its story straight.   

Islam here no joke. By order

Andrew Bolt February 11 2014 (7:48am)

Another bad day for Islam in Australia: 
POLICE are expected to today formally interview the imam believed to have overseen the “marriage” of a 12-year-old girl to a 26-year-old man.
The religious leader has gone to ground since the arrest of the Lebanese man but it is understood Child Abuse Squad detectives leading the investigation have made contact with him… 
The president of the local Islamic centre, who declined to be named, said the ... mosque was completely unaware of the marriage and was co-operating fully with police.
A SYDNEY man killed fighting as a rebel in Syria was preaching Islam to passers-by on the streets of Parramatta before he flew out to the ­Middle East. 
Ahmad Moussalli, whose Facebook page ... boasts he converted more than 30 people prior to his departure to Egypt in late 2012 to “study Arabic”...[,] used Facebook ­repeatedly to urge supporters to donate money towards his trip, but it is unknown ­whether those funds helped him travel to Syria to become one of anywhere between 25 and 200 Australians there ­engaged in conflict.
But that’s not the faith that’s heckled at the state-sponsored Adelaide Fringe Festival:
Josh Ladgrove’s one-man show, Come Heckle Christ, will feature at the festival later this month despite more than a dozen official complaints…“The show is just an opportunity for the audience to come along and heckle an idiot - that’s me - for an hour,” he said.
Susan Provan has some [lines] she will not cross. The extensively travelled director of Melbourne’s International Comedy Festival… raised the ire of the Herald Sun’s right-wing columnist Andrew Bolt when she deliberately crossed two American comics off the festival’s invitation list in 2003 after they made derogatory jokes about Muslims. But Provan is unapologetic. 
“It worries me, the whole governments’ exacerbation of fear that is going on in the world at the moment, and I think the Muslim community particularly are suffering here,” she says. 
The faith that most threatens us physically has long been protected from ridicule and even proper discussion:
A LEADING children’s publisher has dumped a novel because of political sensitivity over Islamic issues.
Scholastic Australia pulled the plug on the Army of the Pure after booksellers and librarians said they would not stock the adventure thriller for younger readers because the “baddie” was a Muslim terrorist…
Let’s review where we now are: 
- Newspapers will not publish cartoons of Muhammad for fear of riots… 
- Acts that joke about Muslims are banned from the Melbourne Comedy Festival… 
- Two Christian pastors who preach at a church seminar about violence and Islam are convicted in Victoria for hate speech [although the judgement was later overturned].. 

- SBS destroys a tape of the Mufti of Australia calling suicide bombers “heroes” to stop viewers getting the “wrong” idea. 
A Muslim cleric has been charged in Sydney over the alleged illegal marriage of a 13-year-old girl earlier this year.

Warmists suggest yet another excuse for the world not warming

Andrew Bolt February 11 2014 (12:56am)

Global warming - propaganda

Anthony Watts counts all the excuses warmists are making now for what they so long denied - the planet not warming over the past 16 years as their climate models predicted:
So far, we’ve heard from Climate Science that ‘the pause’ was caused by: 
Too much aerosols from volcanoesENSO patternsmissing heat that went to the deep oceanocean coolinglow solar activityinappropriately dealt with weather stations in the Arctic, and stadium waves, to name a few. So much for consensus.
Now, it’s trade winds going too fast that are causing abnormal cooling in the Pacific. A new paper from the University of New South Wales says that once the winds return to normal speed, well, look out, the heat is on.
One thing for certain, even though the media is going predictably berserkers over this paper, the paper clearly illustrates that natural variation has been in control, not CO2.
It seems to me such scientists start with this supposition: their faith that man is heating the world dangerously is beyond question, and any evidence that contradicts can be explained away, even if no one yet really knows what that explanation could be.
As for the latest excuse that the missing global warming has mysteriously vanished deep in the oceans, perhaps whipped there by trade winds, Professor Judith Curry, a prominent climate scientist on the luke-warm side of the argument, isn’t impressed:
The main issue of interest is to what extent can ocean heat sequestration explain the hiatus since 1998.  The only data set that appears to provide support for ocean sequestration is the ocean reanalysis, with the Palmer and Domingues 0-700 m OHC climatology providing support for continued warming in the upper ocean. 
All in all, I don’t see a very convincing case for deep ocean sequestration of heat.  And even if the heat from surface heating of the ocean did make it into the deep ocean, presumably the only way for this to happen involves mixing (rather than adiabatic processes), so it is very difficult to imagine how this heat could reappear at the surface in light of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
Well, well. Watts notes that just seven years ago we were told the opposite of what the new Matthew England paper now says: that the Pacific has faster trade winds, and that explains why there’s not so much global warming of the atmosphere:
England’s claim:
The strongest trade winds have driven more of the heat from global warming into the oceans; but when those winds slow, that heat will rapidly return to the atmosphere causing an abrupt rise in global average temperatures. 
Heat stored in the western Pacific Ocean caused by an unprecedented strengthening of the equatorial trade winds appears to be largely responsible for the hiatus in surface warming observed over the past 13 years. 
But another paper in Nature in 2006 said the Pacific has had slower, not faster winds, and that shows there is man-made global warming:
The vast loop of winds that drives climate and ocean behavior across the tropical Pacific has weakened by 3.5% since the mid-1800s, and it may weaken another 10% by 2100, according to a study led by University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) scientist Gabriel Vecchi. The study indicates that the only plausible explanation for the slowdown is human-induced climate change.
William Kininmonth, head of Australia‘s National Climate Centre from 1986 to 1998, says England’s paper actually weakens the global warming theory he’s trying to defend:
Without acknowledging same, England et. al. are implicitly drawing on internal variability to explain the recent temperature pause – varying Trade Wind strength is claimed as the driver but no explanation is given as to what is causing the Trade Wind variation. Inadvertently they are opening the possibility of an important role for internal variability as a basis for global temperature variations. This is at odds with the IPCC claim of limited internal variability and further suggests that much of the global warming of the 20th century was not due to increasing carbon dioxide but due to internal variability. It follows that the sensitivity of global temperature and climate to increasing carbon dioxide concentrations is much less than IPCC claims based on computer models. 
The England et. al. paper underscores that the science of climate change is far from settled.
(Thanks to reader Turtle. Post rephrased for clarity.) 

Sydney Morning Herald refuses to help identify alleged rapists

Andrew Bolt February 10 2014 (5:13pm)

The alleged crime:
SENIOR police investigating the brutal gang rape of a 14-year-old girl in Doonside say she was so traumatised by the event it took many hours to get a statement from her. 
Superintendent Gary Merryweather said police were relying on the public to come forward with information about the attack and are hunting six men of African appearance who allegedly raped the girl on a pathway in the woody and dimly lit Bill Colbourne Reserve around 11pm on Saturday night.
The Sydney Morning Herald passes on a police appeal for help in identifying the alleged rapists, but omits the most distinctive thing the police had publicly noted about their appearance:
Police are searching for a gang of men who allegedly assaulted a teenage girl… 
Superintendent Merryweather said....  “It took us time to interview the girl to ascertain what happened so the community has not had a great deal of information [or time] to come forward,” he said. 
And some information is actually being withheld from them.
What else do media outlets such as the Sydney Morning Herald omit that would inform readers better about the cost of a refugee program not properly administered?
Reader David:
The auto-play clip embedded in the online article describes the men as ‘African’ in appearance. I caught readers also sledging the ABC for omitting ‘African’ from descriptions elsewhere on this blog. The ABC reports I caught (ABC online and ABC News Breakfast program) did not do this.

Before unions blame the government for Toyota closing…

Andrew Bolt February 10 2014 (4:47pm)

September 2011: 
More than 3000 [Toyota] workers will walk off the job tomorrow and Friday, with another 48-hour strike planned for next week. The action will cost the local operation $40 million…
Toyota Australia president Max Yasuda warned last night that the stoppages would have long-term consequences. 
“If Australian operations are uncompetitive and perceived as unreliable, these cars can be made in another Toyota plant. It puts a serious dent in Australia’s reputation as a car maker and reduces job security for our employees,” he said.
January 2012:
Toyota Australia ... [says] it will axe 350 workers from its Altona manufacturing plant only three months after it started production of its all-new Camry… 
The cuts represent more than 10 per cent of the factory’s 3300 workforce that late last year won a 13 per cent pay rise over 42 months after a long-running dispute, including rolling strikes.
December, 2013: 
Employees of Toyota Australia, which is considering shutting its factories, are paid allowances so generous they have been phased out in most other areas of manufacturing, experts say. 
Toyota employees who work Sundays are paid 2½ times their normal rate, paid to donate blood, don’t have to provide medical certificates for sick days and are paid “wash up time” after shifts. Other benefits include extra pay for employees who have first-aid training, for working in confined spaces and “dirt money” for performing unusually dirty work. Toyota wants 2500 employees at its Altona factory in Melbourne to give up or accept a reduction in many of these benefits to lower costs and help save the plant from closure..., according to a Federal Court judgement that stopped Toyota employees voting on the changes on Friday.
February 2:
TOYOTA workers have launched new legal action to safeguard themselves from any further attempts by the motor giant to remove some of their entitlements… 
Toyota is already appealing judge Mordy Bromberg‘s ruling which found Toyota’s bid to ‘’reduce employee entitlements’’ and achieve cost savings had breached the no extra claims provision of the workplace agreement covering employees.
Car maker Toyota is strongly tipped to announce on Monday afternoon it will leave Australia in 2017.
Here’s a similar story of such Labor-nomics:
Bill Shorten as a union boss a decade ago boasted he’d got workers at SPC Ardmona a very generous deal: 
Bill Shorten led SPC Ardmona workers on a six-day strike during the harvest season, winning them an extra eight days “leisure time’’… 
[A] 2004 press release has emerged in which the now-Opposition Leader claimed to have changed SPC working conditions “forever’’.

He said workers had “won an agreement from SPC Ardmona for a 13.5 per cent improvement in salary conditions including an extra eight days of leisure time by the third year of the agreement’’.
Last December:
SPC ARDMONA has sacked 73 workers at its Goulburn Valley processing plant as the struggling company fights for survival… 
A spokesman for SPC Ardmona said employees were aware of the “critical and urgent need to transform our business’’ and ...  had been previously advised their positions were under review as the company assessed its work practices to identify productivity improvements. 
Since 2011, 32 per cent of positions across the business had been made redundant...
And now SPC, too, is fighting for its survival, demanding the kind of government handout that Toyota has extracted. 
























“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” - 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

February 10: Morning

"I know how to abound." - Philippians 4:12
There are many who know "how to be abased" who have not learned "how to abound." When they are set upon the top of a pinnacle their heads grow dizzy, and they are ready to fall. The Christian far oftener disgraces his profession in prosperity than in adversity. It is a dangerous thing to be prosperous. The crucible of adversity is a less severe trial to the Christian than the refining pot of prosperity. Oh, what leanness of soul and neglect of spiritual things have been brought on through the very mercies and bounties of God! Yet this is not a matter of necessity, for the apostle tells us that he knew how to abound. When he had much he knew how to use it. Abundant grace enabled him to bear abundant prosperity. When he had a full sail he was loaded with much ballast, and so floated safely. It needs more than human skill to carry the brimming cup of mortal joy with a steady hand, yet Paul had learned that skill, for he declares, "In all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry." It is a divine lesson to know how to be full, for the Israelites were full once, but while the flesh was yet in their mouth, the wrath of God came upon them. Many have asked for mercies that they might satisfy their own hearts' lust. Fulness of bread has often made fulness of blood, and that has brought on wantonness of spirit. When we have much of God's providential mercies, it often happens that we have but little of God's grace, and little gratitude for the bounties we have received. We are full and we forget God: satisfied with earth, we are content to do without heaven. Rest assured it is harder to know how to be full than it is to know how to be hungry--so desperate is the tendency of human nature to pride and forgetfulness of God. Take care that you ask in your prayers that God would teach you "how to be full."

"Let not the gifts thy love bestows
Estrange our hearts from thee."
"I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee." - Isaiah 44:22
Attentively observe the instructive similitude: our sins are like a cloud. As clouds are of many shapes and shades, so are our transgressions. As clouds obscure the light of the sun, and darken the landscape beneath, so do our sins hide from us the light of Jehovah's face, and cause us to sit in the shadow of death. They are earth-born things, and rise from the miry places of our nature; and when so collected that their measure is full, they threaten us with storm and tempest. Alas! that, unlike clouds, our sins yield us no genial showers, but rather threaten to deluge us with a fiery flood of destruction. O ye black clouds of sin, how can it be fair weather with our souls while ye remain?

Let our joyful eye dwell upon the notable act of divine mercy--"blotting out." God himself appears upon the scene, and in divine benignity, instead of manifesting his anger, reveals his grace: he at once and forever effectually removes the mischief, not by blowing away the cloud, but by blotting it out from existence once for all. Against the justified man no sin remains, the great transaction of the cross has eternally removed his transgressions from him. On Calvary's summit the great deed, by which the sin of all the chosen was forever put away, was completely and effectually performed.

Practically let us obey the gracious command, "return unto me." Why should pardoned sinners live at a distance from their God? If we have been forgiven all our sins, let no legal fear withhold us from the boldest access to our Lord. Let backslidings be bemoaned, but let us not persevere in them. To the greatest possible nearness of communion with the Lord, let us, in the power of the Holy Spirit, strive mightily to return. O Lord, this night restore us!
[Nēhe mī'ah] - jehovah hath consoled.
1. A chief man who returned from exile (Ezra 2:2Neh. 7:7).
2. The son of Hachaliah and cup-bearer to king Artaxerxes (Neh. 1:1).
The Man Who Had a Mind to Work
Nehemiah and Hanani were the sons of Hachaliah (Neh. 1:1; 2:5; 7:2), and the references suggest that the family belonged to the capital. Nehemiah, although born in exile, grew up in the faith of Israel's God. Nehemiah's name appears as a prince, not as a priest (Neh. 9:38; 10:1), and he was perhaps the chief man who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:2; Neh. 7:7). As the king's cup-bearer, he held a high place of honor in the palace of Shushan ( Neh. 1:11), having confidential access to the king. His Persian name was Sheshbazzar (Ezra 1:8). He was one of the princes who signed the covenant (Neh. 9:38; 10:1). He became Governor of Jerusalem (Neh. 10:1). Josephus says that Nehemiah died of old age and that the repaired walls of the city constituted his best and most enduring monument.
For his patriotic task (Neh. 1:1-4), Nehemiah was well qualified. As a true Israelite, he labored for the purity of public worship, the integrity of family life, the sanctity of the sabbath. Ezra was the student and preacher; Nehemiah, the soldier and statesman. He was courageous and God-fearing, and brought to his labors a noble disinterestedness, and unblemished rectitude, a dauntless spirit and unswerving loyalty to God. Alexander Whyte in his helpful essay of Nehemiah speaks of him:
As a self-contained man. A man of his own counsel. A man with the counsel of God alone in his mind and in his heart. A reserved and resolute man. A man to take command of other men. A man who will see things with his own eyes, and without all eyes seeing him. A man in no haste or hurry. He will not begin till he has counted the cost. And then he will not stop till he has finished the work.
While we are compelled to pass over a full exposition of the book of this patriotic Jew whose heart was stirred with sorrow over the derelict condition of Jerusalem, we must linger over some of its important aspects.
I. He illustrates the strength which comes from an inspiring purpose and definite aim. Open opposition and underhanded wiles had to be faced, but undauntedly Nehemiah persisted in his task (Neh. 6:3). Among the hostile methods directed against his noble mission were:
Ridicule (Neh. 2:19; 4:2). But Nehemiah prayed that such reproach might return to the reproachers which it did (Neh. 4:4-6).
Fear (Neh. 4:7-23). Enemies delivered an ultimatum but Nehemiah set a watch. Swords and trowels were united (Neh. 4:18).
Guile (Neh. 6:2-4). Nehemiah knew that conferences were useless, and so shunned them.
False accusation (Neh. 6:5-9). This patriot had no selfish motives behind his endeavors.
Temptation to tempt God (Neh. 6:10-13). Nehemiah refused to hide himself in the Temple as if he was doing wrong.
Corruption of friends and associates (Neh. 6:17-19). This was the meanest act of Nehemiah's foes.
II. He sets forth the strength that comes from humble dependence upon God. True to God and his principles, Nehemiah surmounted all his enemies and obstacles. His sterling character stood the acid test, for he was a man of dependence upon God (Neh. 1:5-11), single-hearted in his devotion to God and his work, wise in taking proper precautions against surprise attacks, ever encouraging to those who labored with him. Making his prayer to God, Nehemiah knew that God would fight for him (Neh. 4:9, 20).
III. He manifested the strength which comes from the sense of union and of fellowship. All classes of people, even the daughters, were ready to take their place around the damaged walls. High and low worked together for the accomplishment of a God-inspired task (Neh. 3:12). With scorn, Nehemiah rebuked the pride and negligence of the nobles "who put not their necks to the work of their Lord" (Neh. 3:5). Fulfilling their obligation by repairing "every man over against his house," the willing-heart with one mind to work illustrates the chain of living Christian fellowship set forth in Ecclesiastes 4:9. See 1 Corinthians 12:4-7.
3. A son of Azbuk and ruler of half the district of Jerusalem who repaired part of the wall - a common-sense enthusiast even as his illustrious namesake (Neh. 3:16).

Today's reading: Leviticus 8-10, Matthew 25:31-46 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Leviticus 8-10

The Ordination of Aaron and His Sons
The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Bring Aaron and his sons, their garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams and the basket containing bread made without yeast,3 and gather the entire assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting." 4 Moses did as the LORD commanded him, and the assembly gathered at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

Today's New Testament reading: Matthew 25:31-46

The Sheep and the Goats
31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left...."