Saturday, February 06, 2016

Sat Feb 6th Todays News

On this day last year, rumours abounded regarding a challenge for the Liberal leadership. Prime Minister Abbott had been undermined by Turnbull and others for a long time. The challenge would fizzle, and the saboteurs put Mr Abbott on notice, saying they supported him. Interesting is the claim of Mr Bolt that one back stabber, Mr Pyne, was a key Abbott supporter. Which in retrospect was grossly misleading. Mr Pyne was definitely key. Further, Mr Pyne was not supportive, but claimed he was. Julie Bishop played a similar game. And the analysis which could have called out the duo wasn't there. Instead, commentators obfuscated over the developments in the conservative government, denying the public their right to be informed and act on that information. The public were told that so called grumbles within the party were mere rumour. Smirk. 

The Liberal Party needed to stop the damaging backstabbing of Malcolm Turnbull. It had cost them Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and threatened them federally too. The act is done. And the doubting, incompetent and indecisive back stabber is PM. And if there is any policy change, it is for the worse. 

For some at the moment, the sex party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
On Bolt Report an ongoing policy is that any Islam post can only be on the pinned leader. Normal rules apply in that if it is merely foul and abusive it will be deleted. Otherwise comments are welcome.  
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NBC trusted journalist Brian Williams, confesses to lying for years and often about being on a helicopter which survived an RPG attack. There is still no evidence he is a conservative and so he might not get fired.

Two WA back benchers, Luke Simpkins and Don Randall, have declared they will nominate a spill motion for the leadership of the Liberal Party on Tuesday 10/2/15. In all likelihood the spill will elect Mr Abbott unopposed. It is possible another might choose to run against Mr Abbott. The leaks and undermining is not tenable for long term party survival in government. In 2007, such leaks as came from Costello and allegedly Turnbull, brought down the Howard government. It was, as Mr Howard later acknowledged, a mistake which Mr Howard made. But the Howard and Costello leadership tangle is very far from the Liberal Party's issues at the moment. There is a lot of front bench talent and back bench, but the problem the party has is getting legislation past the economic vandals of the Senate. In fact the government has done well, but for that issue, and have even successfully got key measures through the Senate. Although Mr Abbott has been put into a position of claiming Knighting the Duke of Edinburgh as a mistake, it wasn't, it was a healthy choice. The confected outrage shields the incompetent and corrupt Shorten from criticism.

There will always be some division in the conservative party, it is how it is constructed. Not all conservatives agree on everything all the time. However, the current levels of division are deliberate and the aim is to destabilise the leadership. Mr Turnbull was not a good leader of the party in the past. He had the loyalty of the party in being dedicated to conservative issues, but he didn't do that, embracing the carbon tax and faux excuse of anthropogenic global warming. The timing of it is abysmal for the Liberal Party, and it is likely to cruel election hopes in NSW as it did in Queensland and Victoria. Victoria's issues were partly self inflicted. The timing of it suggests it might not be Mr Turnbull behind it, but rather the partisan media inflating routine issues. It is never hard for a Liberal to be heard on any issue, all they need do is criticise the Liberal Party.

On this day in 1649, following the beheading of his dad, Charles I, Charles II was declared king by the parliament of Scotland, but not England or Ireland. England was to become a 'protectorate' for ten years. In 1685, Charles died and his brother James II became king on this day. In 1815, NJ gave the first railroad charter to inventor John Stevens. Stevens had fought under Washington before becoming an inventor who made the first steam locomotive and helped influence US Patent law. In 1819, Raffles founded Singapore. In 1820, former slaves, African Americans, 86 in number, were sent from NY to Liberia. In 1840, the signing of the treaty of Waitangi began NZ. In 1843, the first minstrel show began in the US. In 1851, Australia hosted the largest bush fires in history in a populous region (Victoria). In 1862, US Grant gave Union forces their first victory of the Civil War at Fort Henry Tennessee. In 1899, The treaty of Paris made peace between the US and Spain and called for the Hague to host an international arbitration court the next year. In 1918, British women over thirty years old, got the vote, thus denying it to all who had lied about their age. In 1952, following the death of her father, Elizabeth II became Queen Regnant at a tree house in Kenya (nine years later, Obama was born). In 1978, the Blizzard of 78 dumped snow on New England. In 1988, Michael Jordan inspired Air Jordan with a slam dunk. 
From 2014
The massacre of My Lai was raised by Ray Martin recently on Q&A in the context of reporting stories. According to Ray, if the ABC were not biased, then such incidents would not be reported. So it is worth looking at what happened then, and how it was reported by the biased press of the day. It is worth remembering that the then President of the US was Democrat Lyndon Baines Johnson. Johnson was more incompetent than Kennedy had been. As President, he disliked and distrusted the military. He once ordered a secret service agent to stand in the shower, and then urinated on him. It was apparently an accident by the secret service which had killed Kennedy. Press were keen to support Democrats and amplified the peace movement to let the President know 'what was really going on' in Vietnam. Johnson was keen to hold off Bobby Kennedy as President, but when Bobby was assassinated, LBJ retired after one term and one year. But as of Feb '68, LBJ was President and determined to keep the job and that meant resolving the fighting in Vietnam.

In Vietnam, the failed Tet Offensive had ruined the North's capacity to wage standing battles. But covert operations were still damaging. The guerrilla tactics included women and children and US troops were poorly equipped to handle the vagaries of civil war. A few villages were identified as being targets and orders were given which were ambiguous, but interpreted by some officers on the ground as 'kill everyone.' Some soldiers refused to follow orders, and attempted to hide some of the women and children, but failed. 

Following the massacre, Democrat Congressmen Mendel Rivers, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, denounced the soldiers who had tried to save women and children as traitors. However, soldiers continued to protest the action and an investigation was held. The action was held on March 16th. On March 28th a report labelled it a success. Six months later, a soldier wrote to a general of their concern at the casual killing of civilians. Colin Powell was then appointed to investigate. It is claimed he attempted to whitewash it. 

In March of '69, after LBJ had retired and Nixon was President, GOP Barry Goldwater urged the house armed services committee to investigate a letter he'd received from one of the soldiers who had been present at the massacre. Only after a report was tabled in November '69 was the incident reported. So why does Ray Martin believe that the bias of the ABC was essential for reporting on the massacre? Was it for covering up the massacre until a Republican was President? 
Historical perspective on this day
In 1649, the claimant King Charles II of England and Scotland was declared King of Great Britain, by the Parliament of Scotland. This move was not followed by the Parliament of England nor the Parliament of Ireland. 1685, James II of England and VII of Scotlandbecame King upon the death of his brother Charles II. 1778, American Revolutionary War: In Paris the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce were signed by the United States and France signaling official recognition of the new republic. 1788, Massachusettsbecame the sixth state to ratify the United States Constitution.

In 1806, Battle of San Domingo: British naval victory against the French in the Caribbean. 1815, New Jersey granted the first American railroad charter to John Stevens. 1819, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles founded Singapore. 1820, the first 86 African American immigrants sponsored by the American Colonization Society departed New York to start a settlement in present-day Liberia. 1833, Otto became the first modern King of Greece. 1840, signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, established New Zealand as a British colony. 1843, the first minstrel showin the United States, The Virginia Minstrels, opened (Bowery Amphitheatre in New York City). 1851, the largest Australian bushfires in a populous region in recorded history took place in the state of Victoria. 1862, American Civil War: forces under the command of Ulysses S. Grant and Andrew H. Foote gave the Union its first victory of the war, capturing Fort Henry, Tennessee in the Battle of Fort Henry. 1899, Spanish–American War: The Treaty of Paris, a peace treaty between the United States and Spain, was ratified by the United States Senate.

In 1900, the international arbitration court at The Hague was created when the Senate of the Netherlands ratified an 1899 peace conference decree. 1914, the Bondetåget, a peasant uprising in support of the monarchy, took place in Sweden 1918, British women over the age of 30 got the right to vote. 1919, the five-day Seattle General Strike began. 1922, the Washington Naval Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C., limiting the naval armaments of United States, Britain, Japan, France, and Italy. 1934, Far-right leagues rally in front of the Palais Bourbon in an attempted coup against the French Third Republic, created a political crisis in France. 1942, World War II: The United Kingdom declared war on Thailand.

In 1951, the Broker, a Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train derailed near Woodbridge Township, New Jersey. The accident killed 85 people and injured over 500 more. The wreck was one of the worst rail disasters in American history. 1952, Elizabeth II became queen regnant of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms upon the death of her father, George VI. At the exact moment of succession, she was in a tree house at the Treetops Hotel in Kenya. 1958, eight Manchester United F.C. players and 15 other passengers were killed in the Munich air disaster. 1959, Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments filed the first patent for an integrated circuit. Also 1959, at Cape CanaveralFlorida, the first successful test firing of a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile was accomplished. 1975, a crucial by-election was held in Kankesanthurai, Sri Lanka. 1976, in testimony before a United States Senatesubcommittee, Lockheed Corporation president Carl Kotchian admitted that the company had paid out approximately $3 million in bribes to the office of Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka. 1978, the Blizzard of 1978, one of the worst Nor'easters in New England history, hit the region, with sustained winds of 65 mph and snowfall of 4" an hour.

In 1981, the National Resistance Army of Uganda launched an attack on a Ugandan Armyinstallation in the central Mubende District to begin the Ugandan Bush War. 1987, justice Mary Gaudron was appointed to the High Court of Australia, the first woman to be appointed. 1988, Michael Jordan made his signature slam dunk from the free throw line inspiring Air Jordan and the Jumpman logo. 1989, the Round Table Talks started in Poland, thus marking the beginning of overthrow of communism in Eastern Europe. 1996, Willamette Valley Flood of 1996: Floods in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, United States, caused over US$500 million in property damage throughout the Pacific Northwest. Also 1996, Birgenair Flight 301 crashed off the coast of the Dominican Republic, and all 189 people inside the airplane were killed. This was the worst accident/incident involving a Boeing 757. 1998, Washington National Airport was renamed Ronald Reagan National Airport. 2000, Second Chechen War: Russia captureGroznyChechnya, forcing the separatist Chechen Republic of Ichkeria government into exile. 2012, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit near the central Philippines off the coast of Negros Island causing at least 51 deaths and injuring 112 others.
=== 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.
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I am moving from Sydney to Melbourne and am desperate for funding. If you have a heart for giving, I fundraise at gofundme.com/abeueaec
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Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with AugustSeptemberOctober, or at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482020262/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_dVHPub0MQKDZ4  The kindle version is cheaper, but the soft back version allows 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 https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/tony-abbott-remedy-the-persecution-of-dd-ball

Or the US President at
https://www.change.org/p/barack-obama-change-this-injustice#
or
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/change-injustice-faced-david-daniel-ball-after-he-reported-bungled-pedophile-investigation-and/b8mxPWtJ or http://wh.gov/ilXYR

Mr Ball, I will not sign your petition as it will do no good, but I will share your message and ask as many of friends who read it, to share it also. Let us see if we cannot use the power of the internet to spread the word of these infamous killings. As a father and a former soldier, I cannot, could not, justify ignoring this appalling action by the perpetrators, whoever they may; I thank you Douglas. You are wrong about the petition. Signing it is as worthless and meaningless an act as voting. A stand up guy would know that. - ed

Lorraine Allen Hider I signed the petition ages ago David, with pleasure, nobody knows what it's like until they've been there. Keep heart David take care.


I have begun a bulletin board (http://theconservativevoice.freeforums.netwhich will allow greater latitude for members to post and interact. It is not subject to FB policy and so greater range is allowed in posts. Also there are private members rooms in which nothing is censored, except abuse. All welcome, registration is free.



    Hatches
    February 6Sami National Day (Sami people); Waitangi Day in New Zealand (1840)
    Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation
    They burn for you. We have a treaty. We have a Queen. We caught the bribe. We have capital to burn. Let's party. 
    Deaths
    ===

    DON’T YOU JUST HATE IT WHEN THIS HAPPENS

    Tim Blair – Saturday, February 06, 2016 (7:52pm)

    A pedestrian’s leisurely texting is suddenly interrupted.
    ===

    NO GAIN, NO PAIN

    Tim Blair – Saturday, February 06, 2016 (4:26pm)

    These people and their supporters are exposed once again: 
    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”.
    In the three months after the virtual ban on family members was introduced in September, there was a dramatic fall in self-inflicted injuries. 
    In other reffo fraud news, Nauru slams Sarah Hanson-Young. Further on all of this from Chris Kenny.
    ===

    BUSY KEVNI

    Tim Blair – Saturday, February 06, 2016 (3:17pm)

    World peace, end terrorism, end poverty, sanitation for all, fix climate … Kevin Rudd’s things to do list:

    image

    Then again, TTD also stands for there’s the door, so maybe Kevin is just remembering the 2013 election.
    ===

    AN INCIDENT WITH ENZO FERRARI

    Tim Blair – Saturday, February 06, 2016 (2:39pm)

    Ex-F1 champ Nigel Mansell recalls the man from Maranello.
    ===

    KIDS THESE DAYS

    Tim Blair – Saturday, February 06, 2016 (1:36pm)

    According to the latest Newspoll
    The nation’s youngest voters – the generation who missed out on casting a ballot in the republic referendum 17 years ago – are the least supportive of the new push for Australia to dump the Queen …
    Jessica Winning, 23, represents the very clear divide shown by the poll. She supports a monarchy while her father Brent, 53, wants a minimalist republic.
    Mr Winning, a project manager and town planner by training, said he was “buggered if he knows” how he ended up with a daughter who was a monarchist.
    When he was her age he was as republican as she is now a royalist.
    “Her mother and I gave her a good upbringing,” he said.
    “Who knows where we went wrong? Who knows what our children get up to?” 
    Look on the bright side, sir. At least she doesn’t pretend to be a pirate. Interestingly, the poll found that 57 per cent of men support a republic but only 45 per cent of women are in favour. Therefore the republic is sexist and I will have nothing to do with it.
    ===

    Age boss: dead Jews aren’t news

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2016 (11:03am)

    Explains a lot about the anti-Israel bias, and not just at The Age:
    Andrew Holden, editor-in-chief of The Age, initially kept his distance from the elephant in the room – in a 16-minute address to the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) plenum on Monday night, he avoided all mention of Jews and Israel…
    But then came the questions from members of the community… For the next 40 minutes, Holden responded to stiff questioning from more than 100 attendees over his newspaper’s treatment of Israel.
    The editor batted away an opener by J-Air radio commentator Michael Burd – whether he thought Jews were “naive” enough to believe The Age is objective on Israel while it has, according to Burd, pro-Palestinian activists on its editorial staff. “There is no group-think or mindset within The Age or The Sydney Morning Herald that says we are anti-Israel,” declared Holden. “Let me say categorically The Age has never doubted Israel’s right to exist.”

    But Mount Scopus Memorial College principal Rabbi James Kennard accused Holden of “a straw-man argument … I don’t think the suggestion or concern is that you or The Age deny Israel’s right to exist … What is concerning is what most people would call bias … Of course you’re entitled to hold Mr [Benjamin] Netanyahu to account, most of us do as well, but where is the similar … investigation into … Hamas and the Palestinian Authority?”
    Holden countered: “If you were the ambassador of Mexico, you would excoriate me for the fact that the only stories I ever run about Mexico are drug lords killing people … it’s the nature of news … that we do focus on the negative and ­critical.”
    But despite his dictum that, in his words, “bad news sells”, Holden claimed Israelis dying at the hands of Palestinians is not the news his readers think important.
    When a questioner said “there’s plenty of bad news happening in Israel where mothers are being murdered by terrorists”, the editor expounded: “In two pages of [world news] print each day, to cover everything that’s happening across the world, those stories matter to this [Jewish] community … but to the broader community of Melbourne, it’s not one of the major stories of the world.”
    Pressed by another questioner whether the terrorist murder of an Israeli woman “would not be horrible enough to sell”, Holden said that as potential front-page material, it was down the scale from “terrorist attacks in Europe … mass shootings in America … Boko Haram in Africa … Sadly it’s a scale, I know that sounds appalling.”
    Read on.
    UPDATE
    The latest of the dead Jews who aren’t news to The Age or their many fellow travellers in the media Left:
    Hadar Cohen, 19, of Or Yehuda in central Israel, died hours after she was critically wounded Wednesday near the Old City, outside the Damascus Gate. She had recently joined the Border Police and was still in training.
    The assailants, who entered Israel illegally from the Jenin area in the West Bank, were shot and killed by other officers, according to police. They were armed with a rifle, knives and an explosive device; police believe the men were planning a larger attack.
    Reporting on the attack, CBS News used the headline"3 Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on.” Following a complaint from Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the headline was changed to “Israeli police kill 3 alleged Palestinian attackers” and then to “Palestinians attack 2 Israeli officers before being killed.”
    More news ignored by The Age - evidence of the deliberate encouragement of terrorists by the President of the Palestinian Authority:

    President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday held a meeting with family members of terrorists who had carried out attacks against Israelis during a wave of violence which began in September of last year, according to Arab media reports.
    The meeting, held just hours after a 19-year-old border policewoman was killed at Damascus Gate in the Old City, invited 11 families of “martyred sons” to the the PA president’s headquarters in Ramallah…
    This included family members of Baha Alyan, who on October 13 boarded the number 78 Egged Bus in Jerusalem and proceeded to stab and shoot Jewish passengers. Alyan was subsequently shot and killed by police.
    Haim Haviv, 78, Alon Govberg, 51, and Richard Lakin, 76, were murdered, and over a dozen other passengers were seriously wounded in the attack, which rattled the nation.
    The family of Ala Abu Jamal, a resident of Jabal Mukaber, were also in attendance. Jamal, 33, drove his vehicle into a group of several people waiting at a bus stop. He then exited his car with a meat cleaver and began attacking the wounded and others with the implement.
    Rabbi Yeshayahu Krishevsky, 60, was killed, apparently both from the vehicular attack and the axe wounds while two other people were seriously injured.
    (Thanks to reader Michael and others.) 
    ===

    Who let in this “senior community leader”?

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2016 (8:45am)

    What other misogynistic and barbaric cultural beliefs are we importing?

    Two women convicted over a genital mutilation procedure on two girls have shown no remorse and only offered “qualified, ambiguous and self-serving” apologies, a NSW court has heard.
    Former midwife Kubra Magennis, 72, and the mother of the victims, who cannot be named, were convicted in November of mutilating the two sisters in separate procedures.
    The procedure, known as “khatna”, involves nicking or cutting a girl’s clitoris in the presence of several female elders and is considered a rite of passage by some members of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community.
    The case is believed to be the nation’s first successful prosecution over female genital mutilation.
    A third offender, senior community leader Shabbir Mohammedbhai Vaziri, was found guilty of acting as an accessory after the fact by directing community members to lie to police about the practice.
    (Thanks to reader Nick.) 
    ===

    Republicans are choosing real conservatives over Trump

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2016 (8:32am)

    Charles Krauthammer on the problem with Donald Trump:
    The threat to the [Republican Party] posed by the Trump insurgency is not that he’s anti-establishment. It’s that he’s not conservative. Trump winning the nomination would convulse the Republican Party, fracture the conservative movement and undermine the GOP’s identity and role as the country’s conservative party.
    There’s nothing wrong with challenging the so-called establishment. Parties, like other institutions, can grow fat and soft and corrupt. If by establishment you mean the careerists, the lobbyists and the sold-out cynics, a good poke, even a major purge, is well-deserved.
    That’s not the problem with Trump ...  [Ted] Cruz may be anti-establishment but he’s a principled conservative, while Trump has no coherent political philosophy, no core beliefs, at all. Trump offers barstool eruptions and whatever contradictory “idea” pops into his head at the time…
    The Iowa results clarified the dynamic of the Republican race. There are really only three candidates in the race and, as I argued last week, each represents a different politics. The result is a three-way fight between Trump’s personalized strongman populism and two flavors of conservatism — Marco Rubio’s more mainstream version and Cruz’s more uncompromising take-no-prisoners version.
    We can now read the Iowa results as they affect the Republican future. Trumpian populism got 24 percent, conservatism (Rubio plus Cruz) got 51 percent. There will be a spirited contest between the two conservatives over who has the better chance of winning the general election and of governing effectively. But whatever the piques and preferences of various “establishment” party leaders, there’s no denying that either Rubio or Cruz would retain the GOP’s fundamental ideological identity. Trump would not.
    (Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.)
    UPDATE
    But Steve Kates says Rubio would be a disaster
    ===

    The moral question that should stop a Leftist posturer: yes, but what would you do instead?

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2016 (8:00am)

    Leftiist hero George Orwell grudgingly praises Rudyard Kipling:

    Kipling was a Conservative ... [and] it did have the advantage of giving Kipling a certain grip on reality. The ruling power is always faced with the question, ‘In such and such circumstances, what would you do?’, whereas the opposition is not obliged to take responsibility or make any real decisions. Where it is a permanent and pensioned opposition, as in England, the quality of its thought deteriorates accordingly.
    Now fast forward. Waleed Aly savages our border policies:
    Ultimately, this whole issue exists in a world of make-believe: make-believe borders, make-believe compliance with the refugee convention, and make-believe resettlement policy. Among all the moral injuries we’ve inflicted on ourselves in this sordid area of politics — and there are many — the most overlooked is how adept we’ve become at lying to ourselves.
    Gerard Henderson notes in Aly’s rant what Orwell despised in his fellow travellers of the Left:
    Mr Aly went on and on. But, in around 1000 words, he did not say what Australia’s border protection policy should be. Aly did not indicate how Australia can prevent its asylum-seeker policy being handed over to people-smugglers if the currently essentially bipartisan policy is weakened. Nor did he suggest how, if the policy is relaxed, Australian authorities can prevent children, women and men drowning at sea.
    Nor did Aly put a total on the number of unauthorised boat arrivals which Australia should accept each year. Perhaps 500, or 5000, or 50,000 — or whatever? Waleed Aly isn’t saying. Mr Aly is an academic and commentator who carries no responsibility for the consequences of his advocacy in the media.

    The highest morality among today’s dessicated Left is to merely to seem good, usually done simply by calling someone else evil.  The actual consequences of their posturing politics are ignored or deemed irrelevant. The YouTube clicks and likes are enough.
    And so you can call for communism and ignore the millions of corpses. You can call for open borders and ignore the drowned children and the brooding underclass you’ve imported. You can praise Germany’s admission of a million Muslims in a year and ignore the pack rapes committed by the mobs. You can spruik global warming solutions and ignore the pensioners who can no longer afford to heat or cool their homes. You can call for an end to wars abroad and ignore the defenceless civilians being beheaded and the women captured as sex slaves. You can defend Islam and ignore the subjugation of women and the culture clashes in our own streets.
    What counts is that you seem good, no matter the evil consequences which others must suffer.
    This is the morality of a child. In an adult such contempt for consequences is selfish and deeply immoral. Stripped down, it is asking others to suffer so that you may seem good.
    UPDATE
    Germany is an example where good intentions are no substitute for wisdom:
    Willkommenskultur, or “culture of acceptance”, has been a major part of the German political discourse since summer 2015. It evokes a spirit of solidarity towards the large number of migrants who have sought asylum in the European Union over the past year …
    But the Germany of 2016 has a Willkommenskultur hangover. The country is in shock after the events of New Year’s Eve in Cologne, a city that has long been a symbol of German multiculturalism. And now, as Cologne prepares for its annual carnival festivities, the city has doubled its police presence and increased video surveillance. A local girls’ school will close on the opening day of the carnival to protect its students.
    UPDATE
    Reader Petros quotes more Orwell, this time an attack on Marxists from The Road to Wigan Pier:
    Sometimes, when I listen to these people talking, and still more when I read their books, I get the impression that, to them, the whole Socialist movement is no more than a kind of exciting heresy-hunt — a leaping to and fro of frenzied witch-doctors to the beat of tom-toms and the tune of ‘Fee fi, fo, fum, I smell the blood of a right-wing deviationist!’ 
    ===

    The new Canberra story: will Turnbull undermine Morrison?

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2016 (7:39am)

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday seemed to back off his Government’s proposal to raise the GST, leaving his new Treasurer stranded.
    My question yesterday:
    Wonder how Treasurer Scott Morrison will feel to be thrown under the bus?
    Today Paul Kelly also wonders how the ambitious Morrison will take being undermined by the Prime Minister, whose dominant political characteristic is to be loyal only to himself:

    Turnbull sent a signal yesterday — he is sceptical of any GST increase… Over the final two days this week Turnbull kept talking up the problems of increasing the GST. He speaks like a careful commentator, not a leader ready for a GST crusade. Indeed, Turnbull is presenting as a leader who thinks this isn’t a smart battle…

    The tax package and GST decision is the first decisive test case of working relations between Turnbull as PM and Scott Morrison as Treasurer…
    As Treasurer, Morrison has set the pace. He wants genuine income-tax relief and he knows increasing the GST is the only arithmetical device to make a major impact on the rate scales. Morrison worries about the consequences for the government of failing to be bold when its political standing is strong: the risk is a weak government post-election with an inadequate mandate.
    Over the past fortnight Morrison has talked up GST while keeping his fallback options open. He wants to look strong but he cannot afford to be stranded.
    As an optimist and rationalist, Turnbull believes he can pivot either way and has no pre-existing preference for a package with a GST increase. Is Turnbull in the process of overriding Morrison? Indeed, this now looms as the emerging story of the tax package.
    They are working closely together but Turnbull left the impression this week of wanting to restrain Morrison’s drive and the Treasurer, seeing the warning from Turnbull, backed away in his public comments.
    ...tensions are emerging.
    The Liberals are lucky. They are running against a weak Labor party under a very unpopular leader. But if Labor gets its act together (admittedly unlikely) it could turn the Turnbull coup against Abbott last year into one of the great own goals - a Liberal coup that destroyed three Liberal leadership contenders at once, Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison.
    UPDATE
    Ominously for Turnbull, this is confirmed Abbott-hater Peter Hartcher:
    How much courage does Turnbull have? Scott Morrison is about to test it. If he doesn’t have enough for big bang tax reform, there are less dramatic options available.
    Plan B? He will trim the overgenerous superannuation tax benefits for the rich, maybe crimp negative gearing concessions, and assemble enough savings to hand out a small tax cut without having to raise the GST.
    But hold on.
    If he takes the cautious course, he’ll end up where Tony Abbott was.
    In the last weeks of the Abbott government, Joe Hockey presented his leader with a bold tax reform plan. It proposed raising the GST to 15 per cent and using the funds to cut personal taxes and corporate taxes, as well as paying compensation to people on welfare…
    Abbott told me last November: “At a minimum, we would have had modest tax cuts based on spending restraints. There were options for more radical reform, but whether we would have plumped for one or another would have depended on developments over the next few months, including what sort of co-operation we were going to get from the states."…
    So Abbott, in all likelihood, would have ended up with “modest tax cuts based on spending restraints"…
    If Turnbull does, indeed, arrive at the same conclusion on tax reform, we are forced to ask: What is the point of Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister?
    But as reader Peter of Bellevue Hill rightly objects:
    Hartcher’s final question is valid, but not on the basis of Turnbull reaching the same conclusion as Abbott. When has Turnbull argued for tax cuts based on spending cuts? When did Abbott suggest tax cuts based on messing with super and negative gearing?
    Turnbull’s Plan B still seems to involve tax hikes more than spending cuts. 
    ===

    Bishop spins

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2016 (7:27am)

    Julie Bishop is under fire from many Liberals for wanting to back her mate Kevin Rudd as the next UN secretary general.
    As I said:
    Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop is now attacking former prime minister Tony Abbott for having agreed instead to back New Zealand’s candidate, ex-leader Helen Clark…
    Again I ask: is the Government mad?
    Rudd was not only one of our worst prime ministers, branded dysfunctional even by his Labor colleagues. He also stands for Big Government and the erosion of national sovereignty — values no Liberal government should promote.
    Bishop now engages in transparent damage control to arrest the sinking faith among many Liberals in her judgement and her loyalties:

    image
    Yesterday, in another confusing message, Ms Bishop went out of her way to post on Twitter a picture of her and Ms Clark beaming at each other at a London meeting
    Playing both sides now. 
    ===

    Scrap this dangerous law before more people are silenced

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2016 (6:55am)

    A law is oppressive and dangerous when it encourages people to think of themselves as victims and gives them the power to shut up their critics. It is even worse when it divides us on the grounds of our so-called “race”:

    An indigenous lawyer who leads one of Malcolm Turnbull’s working groups has slammed as “misguided” a case using Australia’s controversial racial discrimination laws against jobless students, a top Queensland university and staff.
    Josephine Cashman ... criticised the Human Rights Commission for its initial handling of indigenous woman Cindy Prior’s complaint, which she said should not have reached the Federal Circuit Court…
    “People need to take personal responsibility and stop playing the victim card. The people who really do need support miss out. The (HRC) aren’t executing their role properly. This is going to create a lot of animosity that we particularly don’t need. If you have a disagreement with someone, particularly young students, try to talk to them ... so they can become supporters of the indigenous cause. Don’t go straight to the most extreme measure.”
    Yesterday, Mr Turnbull said there were no plans to change the legislation’s 18C, which critics describe as an assault on free speech.
    But South Australia’s Family First Party senator Bob Day attacked the law. “How many more examples do we need of this dysfunctional aspect of legislation? The original Racial Discrimination Act … was intended to prevent people from seriously undermining tolerance by inciting racial ­hatred or threatening violence; it was never intended to shield people from hurt feelings,” he said. 
    These are the kind of statements this action is attempting to have declared unlawful. And note, even if the students and staff are eventually cleared, they will have suffered huge stress, financial loss and damage to their reputation as alleged “racists”. Just to be accused under this law is to lose:
    In May 2013, three students wandered into the QUT’s Oodgeroo Unit, where Prior works, looking to use a computer. Prior asked them whether they were indigenous. She says the students said they weren’t and she told them the room was “an indigenous space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait students”. She asked them to leave.
    Later that day one student, Alex Wood, posted on Facebook: “Just got kicked out of the unsigned indigenous computer room. QUT stopping segregation with segregation.” Another student, Jackson Powell, wrote on Facebook: “I wonder where the white supremacist computer lab is.” A post attributed to another student, Calum Thwaites, said: “ITT niggers.” Thwaites denies he had anything to do with the post.
    Another student, Kyran Findlater, wrote on Facebook: “My Student and Amenity fees are going to furbish rooms in the university where inequality reigns supreme? I believe if we have to pay to support these sorts of places, there should at least be more created for general purpose use, but again, how do these sorts of facilities ­support interaction and community within QUT? All this does is ­encourage separation and inequality.”
    Prior ... is suing the students under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
    She has also levelled allegations in the case against two academics, Anita Lee Hong and Sharon Hayes, as well as equity director Mary Kelly. She is seeking $247,570.52 because she claims she was racially vilified and suffered “offence, embarrassment, humiliation and psychiatric injury.”
    Hayes is accused of saying “it seems a bit silly” to kick someone out of an indigenous computer lab for not being indigenous when the computers were not being used. Kelly, who reviewed the matter soon afterwards, told Prior the students had taken down the material. After being advised by Prior that she would complain to the Australian Human Rights Commission, Kelly allegedly said: “With the small amount of contact I’ve had with the students, it is clear that these students aren’t racist.
    “They were just being nasty. There is no white supremacy group at QUT. Check out what racial vilification is before you jump in. They’re not going to come into your office with a baseball bat."…
    Prior’s case is a reminder that section 18C and the outrage industry it fuels have taken us into unfree territory.
    Why is this monstrous law still on our books? What happened to Turnbull’s assurances to conservatives last year - publicly and privately - that it should at least be amended?
    Malcolm Turnbull has extended an olive branch to Liberal conservatives pushing for change to the Racial Discrimination Act, saying he supports a softer proposal that would no longer make it illegal to “insult” or “offend” a person on the basis of their race.
    And never forget: changing the constitution to divide us by race, as the Government proposes, will lead to even more such cases.
    UPDATE
    One other important thing we should not overlook in this: why are some taxpayer-supplied computers at the taxpayer-funded Queensland University reserved for people of one “race”?
    The “anti-racism” movement has become the racism it rightly fought 60 years ago:

    Civil rights activist Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her refusal to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus spurred a city-wide boycott. The city of Montgomery had no choice but to lift the law requiring segregation on public buses. 
    Swap the word “bus” for computer”, and the word “black” for “white”. Re-read.
    Feel ashamed for Australia today.
    UPDATE
    Reader Bobbi:
    When I was studying Justice, there were quite a few young African males in the class. They wanted to help their fellow countrymen stay off drugs and out of trouble, which was why they were studying the subject. Some of the students struggled with English, but we all worked together as a group and supported them with any difficulties, and no body felt left out or discriminated against.
    Many in the Koori Education centre were lovely, but they were tucked away in their own little section. How does that help them integrate or feel part of anything, besides their own group? They are separating themselves, how is that healthy?
    ===

    The hope that harms

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2016 (6:48am)

    This once again raises an important question: how much harm do refugee activists encourage to asylum seekers by publicising such self-harm and peddling hope that this will shame us into letting them stay?
    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.
    Concerns grew within the government last year that the high level of self-harm on Nauru might be linked to asylum-seekers seeking a flight to Australia for medical treatment and the oppor­tunity for all family members to appeal for refugee status or ­residency.
    There were also departmental concerns that children on Nauru might have been copying adults performing self-harm or being ­injured as part of an attempt to get to Australia.
    And always remember: the fastest way that the detainees can get their freedom is to agree to go home.  
    ===

    Libs’ nervous nellies giving Shorten free kick to Lodge

    Piers Akerman – Friday, February 06, 2015 (1:13am)

    TO steal a line from Crocodile Dundee “that’s not a knife — THAT’S a knife!” Fairfax and the ABC have been trying to make a “knife” out of rumblings from within the Liberal Party about Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s leadership. Pathetic. That’s not a knife.

    Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Libs’ nervous nellies giving Shorten free kick to Lodge'
    ===

    THE EMPTY ENVELOPE

    Tim Blair – Friday, February 06, 2015 (6:54pm)

    A Canberra man has pleaded guilty to rape after tricking a prostitute into having sex with him for free: 
    Livas first had sex with the woman in October 2010 but didn’t have enough money to pay the full fee.
    He vowed to pay the $50 he still owed her on their next encounter, which he booked later that month for $800.
    Court documents allege he handed over a sealed envelope and stopped the woman from opening it …
    The pair had sex but when the woman opened the envelope she found there was no money inside. 
    So he’s a thief and a liar – and also, by his own admission, a rapist, although there was no force or coercion involved beyond his broken promise to pay: 
    The woman recalled she cried uncontrollably as tears ran down her naked body when she realised she’d been deceived, as she read a victim impact statement in court on Friday.
    “I felt internally violated, used and dirty. I felt sick,” she said.
    In the days after the incident she couldn’t eat, sleep or think properly and she later developed post-traumatic stress disorder, she said.
    She told the court she lost trust in her regular clients and her confidence in her ability to screen clients appropriately suffered …
    “I am not a victim of my job,” she told the court.
    “I am a real woman. I am a rape victim.” 
    Interesting case. For non-payment following services rendered, Akis Livas has been jailed for eight months. By contrast, a previous Canberra offender walked free after bashing and kicking a man into unconsciousness.
    ===

    CANBERRA CHAOS, 2015 EDITION

    Tim Blair – Friday, February 06, 2015 (12:36pm)

    Today’s Daily Telegraph editorial examines Tony Abbott’s options. Also in federal politics, here’s Bill Shorten answering a yes/no question.
    UPDATE
    Tony Abbott will face a vote on his leadership on Tuesday after two MPs formally requested a motion for a spill.
    West Australian Liberal Luke Simpkins and another of his colleagues this morning co-signed a motion to call on a spill in the Liberal party room on Tuesday.
    The motion was delivered to chief whip Phillip Ruddock and the Prime Minister’s office early this afternoon. 
    At this point, however, no leadership nominees.
    UPDATE II. The Prime Minister’s response
    Tony Abbott says he and Julie Bishop will oppose the spill motion to be put to the party room on Tuesday …
    “We are not the Labor party and we are not going to repeat the chaos of Labor years,” the Prime Minister said.
    He said his colleagues Luke Simpkins and Don Randall were “entitled” to bring forward the spill motion but that they were defying what the Australian people had voted for.
    “They are asking the party room to vote out the people they voted in,” Mr Abbott said.
    Mr Abbott said he had spoken to Julie Bishop since news broke of the spill motion.
    “We will stand together to call on party to defeat this motion,” Mr Abbott said of his deputy Ms Bishop. 
    Rolling coverage of this debacle here.
    ===

    LYIN’ BRIAN

    Tim Blair – Friday, February 06, 2015 (3:01am)

    For more than a decade, $10 million per year NBC anchorman and managing editor Brian Williams –“one of the most trusted journalists of our time” – has repeatedly claimed to have been aboard a US military helicopter that was hit by enemy fire in Iraq in 2003. The detail of Williams’s tale is remarkable (fast forward to 3.00):

    One small problem: the story told by Williams isn’t true. But that hasn’t stopped Williams from repeating it over and over and over again: 
    Last week he again recounted his bravery to the dwindling Nightly News audience. “The story actually started with a terrible moment a dozen years back during the invasion of Iraq,” he said, “when the helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG.” 
    No. Never happened. John Hinderaker summarises events then and now: 
    There was, in fact, a helicopter that was struck by an RPG, but Williams wasn’t on it. His helicopter came in an hour later and landed without incident. Confronted with the facts, Williams recanted and apologized, chalking up his repeated error to the “fog of memory” after 12 years. No one is buying Williams’s apology, for several reasons: 1) it wasn’t 12 years ago when he started telling the story, but shortly after the event; 2) whether your helicopter was or was not hit by an RPG isn’t the sort of thing you are likely to be confused about; and 3) even the apology wasn’t candid. Williams wrote that “I was indeed on the Chinook behind the bird that took the RPG,” but failed to note that his helicopter was “behind the bird that took the RPG” by an hour. 
    That matter of the one-hour gap has been addressed by someone who knows the facts
    Flight engineer Lance Reynolds, who was on the helicopter that was hit, wrote: “Sorry dude, I don’t remember you being on my aircraft. I do remember you walking up about an hour after we had landed to ask me what had happened.” 
    Williams subsequently made that story his own. Most of the above links are via Instapundit, who also points to this claim from Williams following his coverage of Hurricane Katrina: 
    I accidentally ingested some of the floodwater. I became very sick with dysentery, our hotel was overrun with gangs, I was rescued from the stairwell of a five star hotel in New Orleans by a young police officer. We are friends to this day. 
    Seems very … detailed. On the basis of the Iraq story alone, of course, Williams should be fired. He is now revealed as the journalistic equivalent of Ward Reilly.
    UPDATE. Brian Williams, Katrina superhero!
    ===

    Spill vote against Abbott on Tuesday

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2015 (1:50pm)

    The spill is on:
    A LEADERSHIP spill will be called against Tony Abbott on Tuesday as Liberal MPs declare their hand in a bid to replace him as Prime Minister. 
    Western Australian MP Luke Simpkins has written to all federal Liberals calling for the spill. The motion would be seconded by fellow West Australian MP Don Randall.
    Ominous for Abbott.
    Simpkins’ email makes clear the contest is between two hard options:
    In the last two weeks I have been inundated with emails and walk ins to my Electorate Office all questioning the direction the Government is being led in. The Knighthood issue was for many the final proof of a disconnection with the people. 
    These contacts have come from many people that I personally know and are firm supporters - in some cases they are booth workers as well. The last time this outpouring of concern happened was when we were being led to support the Rudd Government’s ETS and faced with this erosion of our base support we acted.
    Simkins is saying the last time supporters revolted like this was against Turnbull and his warmist views.  Yet he’s now the likely replacement.
    Go figure.
    UPDATE
    How will Simpkins feel, serving under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull given he is a sceptic?
    Is CO2, carbon dioxide, the great evil and upward forcer of global temperatures that the government assures us that it is? If it were, why is it that CO2 in the atmosphere increases some 800 years after the rise in temperature? Why is it that CO2 has continued to rise in the last 10 years but global temperatures have not risen?” (20 Sept 2011)
    UPDATE
    Abbott says Julie Bishop will join him in opposing any spill of leadership positions. That seems to kill the push for change - for now. 
    ===

    Labor starts the class war against Turnbull

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2015 (11:48am)

    Labor leader Bill Shorten is already dusting off Labor’s class-war lines against Malcolm Turnbull:
    Malcolm Turnbull may wear nicer suits but he’s just a Tony Abbott in a nicer suit.
    I despise class war talk from Labor, itself the darling of the guilty rich. But the Liberals will know how devastating it can be - especially against a target like Turnbull. 
    ===

    Abbott on a knife-edge

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2015 (10:11am)

    Key Abbott supporter Christopher Pyne falters:
    CHRISTOPHER Pyne has given an extraordinary TV interview, admitting he doesn’t know if Tony Abbott can survive as PM.

    He was responding to a Sky News report three ministers believe there will be a vote on Tuesday when the Liberals hold their first Canberra party room meeting of the parliamentary year. 

    “I can’t rule it out,” the Leader of the House told Nine Network early this morning… When pressed on whether Mr Abbott will remain as prime minister, Mr Pyne replied: “Well I certainly hope so.”
    Confrontation:
    Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull directly confronted Prime Minister Tony Abbott in a crunch meeting about the government’s woes before Wednesday’s cabinet meeting…

    The Communications Minister ... pressed the Prime Minister on how the government would extricate itself from its current leadership woes. 

    It’s understood that in return, Mr Abbott repeated the key themes of his National Press Club speech. Mr Turnbull is said to have been “underwhelmed” by Mr Abbott’s reply.
    Some sources suggested that Mr Abbott sought assurances from Mr Turnbull that he would not seek the leadership if a party-room vote occurred next Tuesday, though others disputed this. 
    Other sources suggested Mr Turnbull declined to offer unconditional support.
    David Crowe:
    Backbenchers are adamant there will be a spill motion on Tuesday but nobody has publicly volunteered to move or second it. 
    There is also a growing confidence that a candidate will emerge before Tuesday even though this has been primarily a backbench revolt.
    Graham Richardson on frying pans and fires: 
    I do not doubt that Abbott does not have the support of a majority of his partyroom but, because this is all so undisciplined and unplanned, Turnbull doesn’t either. As usual, the disgruntled came out first, followed by the disloyal. Dennis Jensen, Warren Entsch and Mal Brough stirring the pot caused no surprises — they are in the first category. 
    Then came Arthur Sinodinos. I have always liked Arthur but his display shocked someone as experienced as I am in witnessing betrayal. The PM had kept open a ministerial spot to give Sinodinos a chance to reclaim his job. At NSW’s Independent Commission Against Corruption he looked stupid, greedy or both, but Abbott stayed loyal. Of all those prepared to publicly shaft Abbott, this bloke should have been the last in line.
    It seems clear that sometime soon Malcolm will get the job that he has seen as his destiny since childhood. No matter that he achieved the lowest rankings of any Liberal leader in polling history. No matter that he ran with the Godwin Grech atrocity. No matter that he is committed to some form of carbon tax when his party won’t wear it. Desperate times they must be in the Liberal Party for Turnbull to be looked upon as the redeemer. 
    The PM may survive next Tuesday but I doubt he can hold off Turnbull.  
    Dennis Shanahan warns:
    The Nationals and conservative Liberals who revolted against Turnbull in 2009 over his support for Kevin Rudd’s carbon pollution reduction scheme don’t believe he has changed… 
    Opposition to the carbon tax and Bill Shorten’s support for an ETS are the Coalition’s biggest negative weapon against the ALP going into the next election…
    But guarantees of policy purity and continuity — whether in writing or not, and as genuine as Turnbull intends — do not solve the political problem of having a Prime Minister carrying the Coal­ition’s central attack against a carbon tax who Labor can show every day does not support the campaign in principle. 
    After all, Turnbull voted with Labor government MPs in February 2010 in support of Rudd’s ETS...
    UPDATE
    If true (and not just pot-stirring), it may well be the last straw for Abbott:
    JULIE Bishop has told Malcolm Turnbull she would be happy to serve as his deputy… Sources have told News Corp Australia Mr Turnbull and Ms Bishop spoke via telephone yesterday about the party’s future leadership.
    UPDATE
    Bishop denies that this conversation took place. Some Liberal MPs are really are saboteurs.
    UPDATE
    Hmm. Pyne says this morning’s comments have been exaggerated and he’s firmly behind Abbott. Yet I have a vague suspicion that should Turnbull win, Pyne won’t suffer.  
    ===

    More snow when warmists predicted less - and even none

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2015 (9:45am)

    Global warming - dud predictions

    The warmists predicted: 
    In 2000 Dr David Viner, of Britain’s Climatic Research Unit, claimed that within a few years winter snow would become “a very rare and exciting event” and “children just aren’t going to know what snow is”. In 2007 Sir John Houghton, former head of Britain’s Met Office, said “less snow is absolutely in line with what we expect from global warming”.
    The reality this week:
    Not only was this weekend’s blizzard the 5th largest snowstorm in the city’s history, it also made the past week the 8th snowiest week on record for Chicago.
    More reality:
    Five of the northern hemisphere’s six snowiest winters in the past 46 years have occurred since Viner’s prediction, according to Rutgers University Global Snow Lab numbers.
    More warmist predictions of less snow, this time from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007:
    IPCC FAQ 3.2 Observations show that changes are occurring in the amount, intensity, frequency and type of precipitation. More precipitation now falls as rain rather than snow in northern regions.  For a future warmer climate, models project a 50 to 100% decline in the frequency of cold air outbreaks relative to the present in NH winters in most areas. 
    More predictions of less snow from the United States Environmental Protection Agency:
    Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere will continue to increase unless the billions of tons of our annual emissions decrease substantially. Increased concentrations are expected to ... reduce ice and snow cover, as well as permafrost… 
    Key U.S. Projections… More precipitation is expected to fall as rain rather than snow, particularly in some northern areas.  
    Reality in 2013 - more snow:
    With 67 percent of the contiguous U.S. covered by snow, the first day of 2013 marked the widest coverage of snow the U.S. has seen on Jan. 1 in the past ten years… The previous record was set in 2010,
    Reality in 2014 - more snow:
    Data from Rutgers University Global Snow Lab show that Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent exceeded 22 million square kilometers this fall (September, October, and November) exceeding the previous greatest fall extent recorded in 1976… 
    During November alone, North America had its most extensive snow cover on record, the Lower 48 had its most extensive snow cover on record, and Canada had its second most extensive snow cover on record,
    More reality, as conceded by the US National Climatic Data Centre:
    The Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent (SCE) during winter (December 2013–February 2014) was 46.2 million square km (17.8 million square miles), 660,000 square km (255,000 square miles) above the 1981-2010 average of 45.5 million square km (17.6 million square miles). This was the 18th largest winter SCE since records begain in 1967 for the Northern Hemisphere, but the smallest since the winter of 2008/09. This was also the seventh consecutive winter with above-average SCE for the Northern Hemisphere. Both North America and Eurasia had above-average winter SCE. Northern Hemisphere winter SCE has changed only slightly in the 48-year record, with a seasonal increase of about 0.4 percent per decade.
    Something is seriously wrong with climate models that predict less snow when in fact we get more, 
    ===

    Turnbull will be destroyed as a climate hypocrite

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2015 (8:41am)

    If warmist Malcolm Turnbull is made Prime Minister he will be smashed by Labor for his long support for a planned emissions trading scheme - a kind of carbon tax set by the market.
    This won’t just rob the Liberals of a critical point of difference with Labor, which still wants a form of carbon tax like the one Tony Abbott scrapped, bringing down power prices.
    Turnbull will also be humiliated by Labor and the warmist media. He will be savaged as a hypocrite who is pushing the more limited “direct action” policies designed by sceptic Tony Abbott - policies he’s savaged as expensive, a con, reckless, short-term, ineffective, a fig leaf, lacking integrity and ripe for rorting.
    Policies he now suddenly claims he supports.
    Turnbull may well have assured conservative Liberals that he will not change the party’s direct action policies or force the party to become more warmist. But the guarantee he gave at a pub meeting yesterday is not only weak and unconvincing, but ridiculous:
    We had a referendum on the emissions trading scheme in 2013 which was showed the resolve against it. It was then repealed and it was replaced by the direct action policy. Now some people have said ‘Malcolm doesn’t agree with the government’s [climate] policy and thinks it should be canned… 
    You can’t change your policies every two years or every three years. My view is we have the same targets, bipartisan targets, we’ve got a different mechanism. We’ve got to leave that as it is and as is consistent with our policy, in the event of there being a new global agreement we’ll review the existing policy. But the idea we would or should suddenly reinstate something we have abolished is ridiculous.
    Hmm, “you can’t change your policies every two years or every three years” but you can change your prime minister after 18 months?  Does Turnbull seriously think he can get away with arguing he can’t change policies he actually disagrees with simply because it’s silly to change what was decided by the past leader a year ago?
    Labor will just chew him up.  Here’s why Turnbull is opening himself up to attack as a hypocrite.

    In 2009 Turnbull was furious with the global warming stand taken by the Liberals under Tony Abbott, and demanded the Liberals vote for an emissions trading scheme:
    I am sure he won’t complain if I tell a few home truths about the farce that the Coalition’s policy, of lack of policy, on climate change has descended into....  The Liberal Party is currently led by people whose conviction on climate change is that it is ‘crap’ and you don’t need to do anything about it. Any policy that is announced will simply be a con, an environmental figleaf to cover a determination to do nothing… 
    Many Liberals are rightly dismayed that on this vital issue of climate change we are not simply without a policy, without any prospect of having a credible policy but we are now without integrity. We have given our opponents the irrefutable, undeniable evidence that we cannot be trusted.  Not that anyone would doubt it, but I will be voting for the ETS legislation when it returns in February and if my colleagues have any sense they will do so as well 
    In 2010, Turnbull backed the rush to build expensive desalination plants (now most mothballed), demanded Australia lead the world in cutting in emissions and blasted the Liberals’ direct action policy, which pays emitters to cut their gasses:
    … we are already experiencing the symptoms of climate change, especially here in Australia with a hotter and drier climate in the southern part of our nation. The rush to construct desalination plants is just one expensive testament to that....  Australia should be taking action now in advance of and in order to promote a global agreement… An Australian emissions trading scheme, with a carbon price set by the market, would improve business investment certainty… 
    The proposed ETS is a balanced, substantive and timely step forward on an issue of immense importance. By relying so heavily on market forces to address this very severe challenging problem, the ETS is far more in the great traditions of modern liberalism than any other available policy response… Schemes where bureaucrats and politicians pick technologies and winners, doling out billions of taxpayers’ dollars, neither are economically efficient nor will be environmentally effective. 
    In 2010 Turnbull blasted the Liberals’ direct action policies as reckless and ripe for rorting: 
    Having the government pick projects for subsidy is a recipe for fiscal recklessness on a grand scale. And there will always be a temptation for projects to be selected for their political appeal. 
    In 2011 Turnbull said the Liberals’ direct action policies were too expensive if you treated global warming as a genuine threat:
    It is what it is. It is a policy where, yes, the Government does pick winners… If in fact climate change is proved to be not real, which some people obviously believe - I don’t. If you believe climate change is going to be proved to be unreal, then a scheme like that can be brought to an end. ....but it obviously - if you want to have a long-term solution to abating carbon emissions and to achieve - if you want to have a long-term technique of cutting carbon emissions, you know, in a very substantial way to the levels that the scientists are telling us we need to do by mid-century to avoid dangerous climate change, then a direct action policy where the Government - where industry was able to freely pollute, if you like, and the Government was just spending more and more taxpayers’ money to offset it, that would become a very expensive charge on the budget in the years ahead.
    In 2013 Turnbull said he remained a supporter of emissions trading - a floating carbon tax - and the Liberals’ current direct action policy was not “long term”:
    ...the big difference between our [direct action] policy, apart from the fact it has a much lower cost than obviously the carbon tax at the moment, is that it is not designed to go any further than 2020… So it is not a long-term policy....

    I think if you want to reduce your emissions over the very long-term, by which I mean, you know, 50 years or something, then you are going to have to have a long-term, market-based price on carbon..
    Turnbull now claims he’ll take these same direct action policies to the election? Really?
    Turnbull’s pride won’t let him be laughed at. Moreover, Turnbull’s guarantee to conservative MPs that he won’t change comes with a huge loophole - that “in the event of there being a new global agreement we’ll review the existing policy”,
    What would Turnbull consider “a new global agreement”? One in Paris next year that merely mouths promises no one will actually meet?  One which agrees that countries like ours have carbon taxes while giant India and China, our competitors, increase emissions for decades to come?
    Turnbull will in fact change the Liberals’ policy at the first flimsy excuse. As he said in 2009:
    I will not lead a party that is not as committed to effective action on climate change as I am.
    Labor will hold him to that.
    One more thing. Check what the quotes above reveal about Turnbull’s judgement and style. He fell for a global warming scare despite temperatures not rising for some 16 years. He endorsed hugely expensive desalination plants that had to be mothballed when the rains returned. He abused colleagues who did not agree with him, and refused to take seriously colleagues who were properly sceptical. He bungled the politics, turning his back on a critical point of difference with Labor that Abbott used to destroy two Labor prime ministers.
    And now he’s on the brink of return. 
    ===

    Warmists are a bigger danger than warming

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2015 (7:33am)

    The global warming scare is killing people. Maurice Newman:
    “ELDERLY person dies (of cold) every SEVEN minutes due to fuel poverty ‘scandal’?” 
    “2014 was the warmest year on record”
    Two recent headlines: one is truthful, the other not…
    It is a fact, [an] estimated 25,000 “excess winter deaths” across Britain will result from the inability of the poor to afford power because renewable energy policies have driven it beyond reach. One-third of those polled by Age UK worried how they would heat their homes.
    Tragically, that first headline is true and the deaths continue.
    It is the second one that lacks candour. Taken from a press statement issued by NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies, it was later acknowledged by director Gavin Schmidt that the release was only 38 per cent certain. The so-called record is well within the margin of error and it cannot be concluded it was the warmest year of the decade, let alone in recorded history. The more reliable satellite data put 2014 as likely the third or sixth warmest…
    Canadian academic Ross McKitrick ... has written extensively on climate modelling, saying: “We will reach the 20-year mark with no trend in the satellite data at the end of 2015 and in the surface data at the end of 2017. With CO2 emissions continuing to rise, it will at that point be impossible to reconcile climate models with reality, and the mainstream consensus of how the climate system responds to greenhouse gases will begin breaking apart.”
    Back in the real world, the poor are dying of the cold while the political elites and their friends bask in the warmth of cosy conferences, taxpayer subsidies and research grants...,
    The climate change movement is rooted in power, money and emotion — not science. It is indecently obsessive and authoritarian. In fact, it’s the people behind this movement who pose the greatest threat to humanity, not the climate.  
    ===

    Is the media fanning the leadership flames?

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2015 (7:18am)

    Reader a happy little debunker:
    Media saturation of leadership challenge?  A quick internet search (the 20 day prior to the challenge + 1 day) shows news articles covering the 2012 challenge at 351. 
    The later challenge in 2013 attracted 384 news articles. This search included all news articles referencing ‘Julia Gillard’ or ‘Kevin Rudd’ and ‘leadership challenge’.
    Current news articles for the latest speculation runs to 4260 news articles.  An increase of over 500%. 
    Reader Cybrarian Pete says these figures aren’t complete:
    A search of googlenews shows that for the 2013 leadership challenge alone there are over 3,271 articles. Debunker’s low article count of 384 articles for the 2013 challenge is further debunked by looking at the number of articles collated by a media monitoring service (recording approximately 3,040).
    ===

    Syria - world headquarters of jihadist evil

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2015 (7:14am)

    Syria is now home to 20,000 foreign jihadists who are brutal, motivated and trained - and who could spread the Islamic State’s evil around the world:
    About 20,000 foreign fighters have joined Islamic State in Syria and Iraq over the past two years, Western intelligence officials say. While virtually all nationalities are represented, countries such as ­Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Russia and France have produced some of the largest contingents…
    The group’s military commander in Syria is Tarkhan Batirashvili, an ethnic Chechen from Georgia. The executioner in its videos, “Jihadi John”, is a Briton…
    While foreign fighters are usually not drawn by financial considerations, in Raqqa they earn about $US800 ($1035), including special allowances, a month compared with $US400 a month for Syrian fighters, according to local residents and Syrian rebels whom Islamic State had tried to recruit. By contrast, rebels in the moderate, US-backed Free Syrian Army say they earn $US100 or less… 
    On the frontlines, the Free Syrian­ Army troops have learned to fear and respect these foreign fighters. Many have arrived in Syria with military experience from other jihadist battlefields. Others, driven by ideology, are simply far more willing to die than their enemies. 
    ===

    It is in her mind .. repulsive
    ===
    Tony Abbott

    As you know, two of my colleagues have called for a leadership spill of the two senior positions in our Party. They’ve called for a spill of my position as leader and they’ve called for a spill of Julie Bishop’s position as Deputy.

    The first point to make is that they are perfectly entitled to call for this, but the next point to make is that they are asking the Party Room to vote out the people that the electorate voted in in September 2013.

    I want to make this very simple point: we are not the Labor Party. We are not the Labor Party and we are not going to repeat the chaos and the instability of the Labor years.

    So, I have spoken to Deputy Leader Julie Bishop and we will stand together in urging the Party Room to defeat this particular motion, and in so doing, and in defeating this motion to vote in favour of the stability and the team that the people voted for at the election.

    We have a strong plan. It’s the strong plan that I enunciated at the Press Club this week and we are determined to get on with it – and we will.===

    ===

    My political theory of dog lovers = conservatives, cat lovers = lefties; illustrated in picture form. Unless you're the modern Australian Liberal Party - JF
    ===

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    Sydney can be a city of barbarians

    Piers Akerman – Thursday, February 06, 2014 (6:04pm)

    THIS is a story of shame. Sydney’s shame and a sorry reflection on our slide into disgrace. It is also a horror story, a tale of outrageous behaviour towards a young woman who was critically ill. It is also every caring parent’s worst nightmare.

    Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Sydney can be a city of barbarians'
    ===

    AUSTRALIAN BAKING CORPORATION

    Tim Blair – Thursday, February 06, 2014 (2:11pm)

    The ABC sucks down more than $3 million in taxes every single day, but the state broadcaster’s constant pleading of poverty and victimisation has convinced a six-year-old girl to run a charity bake-off: 
    Six-year-old Isabelle from the Melbourne suburb of Diamond Creek became worried about the future of the ABC in January.
    The past few months have seen the ABC attacked over its news reporting, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott commenting that many believe the Government-funded broadcaster “takes everyone’s side but Australia’s”.
    The controversy has seen renewed calls for the ABC to have its funding reduced, or be privatised altogether.
    Concerned by the reports young Isabelle organised a bake-off, raising $40 for the national broadcaster.
    774 ABC Melbourne mornings presenter Jon Faine presented the cheque to ABC managing director Mark Scott live on air, while he was in the studio to take talkback.
    The cheque was accompanied with a hand-written letter from the six-year-old.
    “I love ABC,” says the letter. “Love from Isabelle.” 
    Instead of cringing with embarrassment, Mark Scott ($805,392) actually poses with the little girl’s cheque and uses the moment to push some ABC propaganda: 
    “That’s remarkable,” Mr Scott said.
    “We know despite the noise in the news we operate with this enormous groundswell of support from the Australian people.
    “Our most recent research shows that 85 per cent of the Australian people believe that the ABC provides a valuable service, that we’re the most respected media organisation in the country and one of the most respected organisations in the country.” 
    This might be one of the most ill-advised PR stunts in local media history.
    (Via David B)
    ===

    GREENOID GROUNDED

    Tim Blair – Thursday, February 06, 2014 (1:58pm)

    Weepy eco-worrier Eric Holthaus describes his great sacrifice: 
    That September morning, after an emotional morning of tears and tweets, I decided to take action.
    I’m never going to fly again.
    My reason was simple: Flying used to be my biggest personal source of CO2 emissions. With a single action, I was able to cut my personal impact on climate change by nearly 50 percent. 
    Let’s see similar commitment from Australia’s carbon-blasting eco-community, beginning with Tim Flannery.
    ===

    $46 MILLION OF SLOW

    Tim Blair – Thursday, February 06, 2014 (12:59pm)

    This site, just a few hours after the ABC reported video “evidence” of asylum seeker torture: 
    All we have here is some burned hands. There is no evidence at all as to the cause. 
    It took the ABC’s Mark Scott ($805,392) and Kate Torney ($350,394) nearly two whole weeks – or $46,153,846 of ABC thinking time, considering the organisation’s $1.2 billion annual budget – to finally reach exactly the same conclusion: 
    The ABC’s initial reports on the video said that the vision appeared to support the asylum seekers’ claims. That’s because it was the first concrete evidence that the injuries had occurred. What the video did not do was establish how those injuries occurred. 
    Given how long it takes the ABC to process basic information, the delay over an apology is understandable. These people are simply slow.
    ===

    BACON DELIVERY SYSTEM REPRESENTED

    Tim Blair – Thursday, February 06, 2014 (11:57am)

    Fascinating legal developments in Queensland: 
    A man accused of animal cruelty for having a photo taken with a pig with its snout taped shut at the Gabba Ashes Test in Brisbane last year has been ordered to attend mediation …
    The RSPCA will appear on behalf of the pig at the mediation in April. 
    (Via CL)
    ===

    NOT HELPING

    Tim Blair – Thursday, February 06, 2014 (11:18am)

    When your ex-client is on the verge of parole after serving nearly a decade for drug possession, it might not be the best time for this: 
    Schapelle Corby’s former lawyer, Kerry Smith-Douglas, says the convicted drug smuggler will celebrate her release from a Bali prison with a “big marijuana joint”. 
    Smith-Douglas later added
    “If the Indonesians can’t take a joke then that’s their problem.” 
    Or potentially Corby’s. Does anyone else pick up a similarity between the lawyer and Strangers With Candy‘s Jerri Blank?

    image image
    ===

    HOWES ENDORSED

    Tim Blair – Thursday, February 06, 2014 (10:19am)

    Wondering what to make of Paul Howes’s National Press Club speech? Consider this view, from Greens MP Adam Bandt
    “Paul Howes should resign as union secretary and join the Liberal party if he is going to just parrot Tony Abbott’s attack on people’s wages,” said Mr Bandt in a statement.
    “On the same day the government is in the Fair Work Commission attacking people’s wages, Paul Howes is out there spinning Tony Abbott’s argument. Why is one of the most prominent union leaders in the country giving ammunition to Tony Abbott’s attack on Australian wages? It is a disgrace.” 
    There can be no higher praise. Here’s the whole speech.
    ===

    POOR FINANCIAL PLANNING

    Tim Blair – Thursday, February 06, 2014 (10:13am)

    Sometimes I regret not having children. Such as right now, for example, when I might be able to pay some of BMW Sydney’s service bill by selling the kids to organ harvesters.
    ===

    NOBODY TALKING ABOUT THE TIMES

    Tim Blair – Thursday, February 06, 2014 (10:08am)

    New York Times staff smash their own paper’s editorial page: 
    “The fact of the matter is the Wall Street Journal editorial page just kicks our editorial page’s ass. I mean there’s just no contest, from top to bottom, and it’s disappointing ...”
    “[Editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal has] got 14 or 15 people plus a whole bevy of assistants working on these three unsigned editorials every day. They’re completely reflexively liberal, utterly predictable, usually poorly written and totally ineffectual. I mean, just try and remember the last time that anybody was talking about one of those editorials.” 
    Further on this from Roger L. Simon.
    ===

    Just an ABC oversight, right?

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (5:47pm)

    The Victorian Liberal Party today put up this YouTube clip of the rort-ridden CFMEU’s links to Labor.
    The clip was quickly yanked off air, and the Victorian editor of ABC News gave this snippy explanation:

    image
    Hmm, OK. But why didn’t the ABC take the same action against these Labor ads?


    ===

    ABC boss hides behind six-year-old Isabelle

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (4:51pm)

    ABC boss Mark Scott this morning denied the ABC was too biased, and posed with this evidence of support:

    image
    The following story was then written by an ABC staffer who - like the ABC boss - seems not to see how pathetic it is to defend the ABC’s bias in news and current affairs by hiding behind the skirts of a six-year-old girl:
    Six-year-old Isabelle from the Melbourne suburb of Diamond Creek became worried about the future of the ABC in January. 
    The past few months have seen the ABC attacked over its news reporting, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott commenting that many believe the Government-funded broadcaster “takes everyone’s side but Australia’s”.
    The controversy has seen renewed calls for the ABC to have its funding reduced, or be privatised altogether.
    Concerned by the reports young Isabelle organised a bake-off, raising $40 for the national broadcaster.
    774 ABC Melbourne mornings presenter Jon Faine presented the cheque to ABC managing director Mark Scott live on air, while he was in the studio to take talkback.
    The cheque was accompanied with a hand-written letter from the six-year-old.
    “I love ABC,” says the letter. “Love from Isabelle.”
    “That’s remarkable,” Mr Scott said. 
    “We know despite the noise in the news we operate with this enormous groundswell of support from the Australian people...”
    And I wouldn’t be surprised if Scott even banked Isabelle’s cheque. After all, an ABC which soaks up $1.2 billion a year of our money must really, really need the savings of six-year-olds, too.
    Still, this isn’t a new strategy. As Tim Blair has noted before, the ABC and its Leftist allies routinely defend its currents affairs shows from claims of bias by warning children that conservatives are just out to squash the Bananas in Pyjamas:
    image
    (Thanks to reader Paul.) 
    ===

    Crossing a Lines

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (4:29pm)

     Labor Senator Sue Lines displays all the courtesy for which the Left today is famous, and gets the comeuppance she deserves. After various snarky comments by Lines about the witness’s alleged lack of preparation, this finale:
    Senator LINES:  I will quote, on page 236— 
    Ms Tarrant : Senator, the submission is only 19 pages long, so I do not know what you are quoting from. 
    (Thanks to reader Nick.) 
    ===

    Is it true, or was it in The Age?

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (11:19am)

    The Age prints a ludicrous opinion piece by John Legge - “educator, author and consultant” - replete with wild claims such as this:
    Abbott, when asked about the Holden workers who will lose their jobs, said they should be grateful they were being liberated from slaving on an assembly line, moving to living off Newstart and Work for the Dole. If this sort of liberation will suit Holden workers on $60,000 per year including overtime, how much more delightful it should be for Productivity Commission analysts on three times that. It can’t happen soon enough.
    Here is what Abbott actually said:
    Mr Abbott has conceded that some workers will have difficulty finding new jobs.
    “Some of them will find it difficult, but many of them will probably be liberated to pursue new opportunities and to get on with their lives,” he said. 
    “We have to accept that what was right for people 10 years ago or 20 years ago is not necessarily going to be right or possible for them far into the future, and we do have to be prepared to adapt - individually and collectively.” 
    Doesn’t the Age check the truth of what it publishes? Doesn’t it care if its readers are told falsehoods? 
    ===

    We’re killing ourselves with green energy policies that make no difference to the climate

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (11:13am)

    Global warming - general

    Two things still amaze me - that we could have done something so pointlessly damaging, and that it’s taken years for our elite to wake up to our madness:
    QUEENSLAND’S largest power generator will today declare that Australia is one of the world’s most expensive countries for energy and warn that the electricity market is being distorted by the carbon tax, mandatory renewables target and solar-rooftop subsidies
    After Stanwell took the extraordinary step yesterday of announcing it would mothball its biggest gas-fired power station and resurrect a coal facility built in the 1980s - sparking predictions that gas-fired power plants would be withdrawn in other states - it will today call for a scaling back of the renewable energy target.
    Before the introduction of the carbon tax, the RET scheme and solar feed-in tariffs, the abundance of coal had made Australia a source of low-cost electricity, the company will say. 
    “These policies appear to have been implemented for ideological reasons with little analysis of the impact on electricity prices and economic growth,” Stanwell chief executive officer Richard Van Breda will say.
    The renewable energy target must go. It makes no difference to global temperatures and just makes power prices too high. We’re insane to have agreed to it in the first place, and it’s scary that so few journalists and even Liberals opposed it. 
    ===

    Shorten pays the price of ratting

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (11:06am)

    I don’t think AWU boss Paul Howes much cares if he’s hurt former AWU boss Bill Shorten:
    BILL Shorten has branded union leader Paul Howes’ plan for a new grand bargain on industrial relations as “a fantasy’’, saying there is not even a remote chance of it becoming reality while Tony Abbott is prime minister. 
    The Opposition Leader said he was all for consensus in the workplace but the Coalition wasn’t interested in sitting down with unions to resolve industrial issues.
    Some necessary background:
    [T]he AWU stuck to Gillard like glue - national president Bill Ludwig, former deputy prime minister Wayne Swan and national secretary Paul Howes, as well as the eight or so MPs aligned with the union. 
    Shorten’s problem is he played both sides of the contest, telling Gillard and her inner circle he was loyal while talking to Rudd behind the scenes…
    The Shorten defection hit Howes hard. A mentoree of his predecessor as national secretary, he didn’t want to believe his mate would rat on the union.
    On the night of Gillard’s toppling, Howes was red-eyed from a tearful response to events and Shorten’s betrayal.
    Corridor gossip suggested he had to convince Ludwig not to fly to Canberra to strip Shorten of his union membership.
    Abbott cleans up:
    Mr Abbott was quick to draw a distinction between the AWU boss and the Opposition Leader. 
    “I certainly think that he’s pulled the rug out from underneath Bill Shorten’s scare campaign,” Mr Abbott said. “That was a very powerful assault on everything Bill Shorten’s been doing for the last few months.”
    ===

    The Left:  natural home of the barbarian

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (10:04am)

    The foul language, intolerance and spitting hatred of the modern Leftist exposes the sham behind such preachers of peace and reconciliation. The hate-orgy that follows Deveny’s post is astonishing - an insight into a cultural barbarism.  That Deveny has been so heavily nurtured by the ABC says much about the ABC’s decline. 
    ===

    Labor’s Griffith candidate “proud” of Labor “opening our borders”

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (9:40am)

     Terri Butler, Labor’s candidate in this weekend’s Griffith by-election:
    Labor has such a proud history of welcoming immigration, of opening our borders and encouraging people of all cultures to come her and that’s something I’m proud of.
    Michael Smith:
    Terri Butler might be happy about Labor’s proud history of “opening our borders and encouraging people from all cultures to come here” but I can’t imagine too many electors for the Seat of Griffith will be.
    ===

    Bias makes the Australian Bloated Corporation even more dangerous

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (9:11am)

    Media

    image
    THE ABC’s bias wouldn’t be so serious if the ABC wasn’t this dangerously big - bigger than is legal for any other media organisation.
    Attention Tony Jones, Fran Kelly, Paul Barry, Virginia Trioli, Phillip Adams, Robyn Williams and the ABC’s other Leftist hosts.
    Imagine if every single one of the main ABC current affairs shows were hosted not by the likes of you, as they now are.
    Imagine them all hosted instead by me and fellow conservatives Janet Albrechtsen, Gerard Henderson, Tim Blair, Miranda Devine, Piers Akerman, Tom Switzer and Rowan Dean.
    Imagine Four Corners no longer hosted by a former staffer of Gough Whitlam but of John Howard. Insiders no more hosted by a former staffer of Bob Hawke but of Tony Abbott.
    Imagine the result: an ABC that no longer crusaded on boat people, same-sex marriage and global warming, but on free speech, climate scepticism and free markets.
    Get it now?
    (Read full article here.) 
    ===

    A party at the Corby joint

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (8:56am)

     Karl Stefanovic interviews Kerry Smith-Douglas, Schappelle Corby’s former lawyer, about Corby’s impending release from a Bali prison midway through a 20-year sentence for smuggling marijuana:
    Karl asked, “You must be a little bit excited by all this, not very far away now?’’. 
    Smith-Douglas replied: “Yes, it’s very exciting, there’s going to be a lot of parties going on once she is released, and I can’t wait’’
    Karl: “Are you going to be having a party?’’
    Smith-Douglas: “Oh you betcha’’…
    Karl: “How do you think she will celebrate?’’
    Smith-Douglas: “She’ll probably pop a cork of champagne and then roll up a big marijuana joint the size of a cigar and kick back and enjoy herself.’’…
    Karl...:  “You haven’t been smoking this morning have you?’’ 
    Smith-Douglas replied with laughter: “My eyes are red, I know”.
    It isn’t the first time Smith-Douglas has given us reason to doubt her client’s claims of innocence: 
    SCHAPELLE CORBY’S Australian lawyer has been sacked after saying she would not be surprised if the drugs Corby went to jail for carrying to Bali had belonged to Corby’s father. 
    This month, Kerry Smith-Douglas contradicted her own client’s claim that baggage handlers were responsible for the 4.2 kilograms of marijuana found in Corby’s boogie board bag in October 2004.
    ===

    ABC wars: Turnbull now joins the party

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (8:44am)

    Malcolm Turnbull defended ABC boss Mark Scottdenied the ABC was biased and refused to back Tony Abbott’s criticism of the ABC’s cultural hostility to our institutions.
    But with the ABC itself now conceding (a tiny) fault and Liberal MPs with their tails up, the Communications Minister moves to bayonet the wounded:
    Mr Turnbull said: ‘’The ABC has acknowledged that their reports were wrong. That is good. But this has caused enormous offence and an apology, in my view - just a suggestion - would be appropriate.’’
    UPDATE
    Nick Cater:
    In the 1998 financial year the ABC drew $555,991,000 from the public purse, the equivalent of $853,467,000 in 2013 dollars. 
    In 2013, the ABC received $1,023,700,000 from Treasury, an increase of 20% over 15 years in real terms.
    The result: more repeats and more overseas programs…
    As Paul Keating once said: 

    We pay them more than the state of Tasmania. Do we get value for it? It’s a moot point.
    (Figures at the link.) 
    ===

    So who is lying about SPC?

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (8:29am)

    LIBERAL MP Sharman Stone calls Prime Minister Tony Abbott a “liar”, but who exactly is telling whoppers?
    It’s already an ask to trust Stone when she evasively claimed on 2GB that “you can’t find a transcript ... of me saying the ‘l’ word”, despite earlier saying of Abbott: “It’s lying.”
    So why trust her angry attacks on Abbott for rejecting a $25 million handout for SPC Ardmona, owned by Coca-Cola Amatil, when Stone is the cannery’s local member?
    First, Stone claimed Abbott lied because he “explained as the reason for not supporting SPCA, which was basically awards and conditions”.
    False.
    (Read full article here.
    ===

    Abbott now getting it together

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (7:46am)

    Niki Savva is right (although too critical of Abbott’s “home team” comment):
    Abbott was doing his job, and appeared to have spent his break thinking about it. Since the political year resumed, he has shown he is beginning to get the hang of it. Not completely, not always, but certainly better than before… 
    Abbott has also benefited from issues breaking his way. Some of it is luck, some of it is luck he has created or helped along.
    One issue where the government has absolute control is asylum-seekers. Like it or not - and the Greens and Labor clearly hate it, even though no boats mean no drownings - the policies are working.
    If Abbott shows the same unswerving commitment and passion to fixing the budget deficit without killing the economy as he has to stopping the boats, and as he will to improving the lot of indigenous people, then he will have a handsome record as Prime Minister.
    ===

    Howes offers deal. Abbott will be smart to consider, wise to dump

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (7:41am)

    EconomyPolitics - federal

    Paul Howes wants big business and big unions, aided by big government, to make a big deal to fix our future for us:
    Union boss Paul Howes has dramatically undermined Bill Shorten’s depiction of the Abbott government as anti-worker, proposing unions enter into a new partnership with the Coalition and business to rein in high wages and lift productivity. 
    Calling for a ‘’grand compact’’ with business and the Abbott government and a new spirit of co-operation to echo the Hawke-Keating government’s accord with unions, Mr Howes stunned fellow unionists by railing against union propaganda and workers pricing themselves out of the market with high wage claims. Prime Minister Tony Abbott and some employer groups immediately welcomed the call from one of the nation’s most powerful union leaders for an end to workplace conflict through a return to a 1980s-style summit of business, government, and unions. But some employer groups, the opposition and fellow union officials rejected out of hand the radical suggestion of a deal to end what Mr Howes called the ‘’see-saw’’ of industrial relations policy in Australia.
    It’s a vision with little detail, lots of fine sentiments ... and lots of threats:
    “A grand compact is not just possible, it is desperately needed,’’ he told the National Press Club. 
    “A grand compact in which unions, business and government create an industrial engagement pursuant to agreed national goals; an industrial engagement that is a key organising imperative, and provides certainty ... on 10,15 and 20-year horizons.’’ Such a deal would acknowledge that productivity is a shared responsibility and making concessions in pursuit of shared goals was seen as a strength, not a weakness.
    The threats are these:
    - no plan or “key organising imperative” (????) can offer “certainty” on “20-year horizons”. History moves too fast. Economies riding high this year could be rocked the next. A Spanish miracle economy, fashionably green, can fast become a cripple.  Howes is searching for certainties at a time when we need flexibilities instead.
    - unions represent just 18 per cent of Australian workers, and just 13 per cent in the private sector. They do not have the right or moral authority to make any “grand compact” binding on the rest of us.
    - a deal by big business and big unions will suit both, but neither group represents the the majority of Australians. Add big government and you have almost a kind of soft fascism. Remember when big miners signed a deal with big (Labor) government on the mining tax to the immediate benefit of both? Remember how small miners were clobbered under that deal, and Australian taxpayers got barely a penny?  Remember also when big unions, big business and big (Labor) government agreed a carbon tax was a terrific compromise?
    So why might Howes be offering this deal? Some context:
    - we could be facing a fall in living standards as the bill comes for our debt binge. Unions will come under severe pressure to defend wages and conditions made in better times.
    - Howes offers a deal now that a Labor government under union instruction is replaced by a Coalition one carrying a big hammer.
    - and, of course, Howes may simply be worried that this country really is in trouble.
    Mark Kenny is right to suggest Howes is pulling a rug from underneath Bill Shorten, which explains Tony Abbott’s quick embrace:
    Like Howes, government and employers are also reading the mood. Their assessment is that Howes is proposing a return to the corporatism of the accord, where big unions, big employers and the government set the outcomes in order to deal unions back into the game. 
    And their response is to say this is not the workplace relations system in Australia any more. Still, with Bill Shorten characterising everything the government is proposing as anti-worker union-bashing, the olive branch being extended by Shorten’s successor at the AWU must feel like manna from heaven.
    Shorten was asked on the ABC today if he’d known beforehand what Howes was about to say. He dodged giving an answer, which I must presume, then, is “no”. Mates no more.
    And while I applaud Howes’ warm-fuzzies call for bosses and union leaders to be less confrontational, I recall how Howes himself has trawled for his members’ votes by playing the bovver boy:
    On Wednesday he spoke of the need for a ‘’Grand Compact’’ between employers, unions and government and the need for a ‘’profound attitudinal shift’’. He felt uncomfortable about the government hectoring ‘’respected business leaders’’. Nice words. 
    But Howes, in 2011, delivered an inflammatory speech directed at a significant business that employs his members. Rio Tinto, he said, was ‘’sucking out the blood’’ of its workforce and ‘’monkeys’’ could do a better job running the miner. He told Rio Tinto’s bosses they ‘’cannot hide behind your slimy, grubby mates in the Coalition because we’re coming after you’’. They never really did come after them in the way Howes said they would. But that didn’t matter. There were plenty of headlines.
    And members’ votes. 
    ===

    What good does the ABC’s Australia Network do?

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (6:52am)

    Why on earth are we wasting all this money on the ABC’s Australia Network? Greg Sheridan:
    The money for the Australia Network does not come from the ABC. It comes from [the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade]. At the moment, DFAT’s global public diplomacy budget is about $5 million… 
    Founded by the Keating government, the Australia Network in all its guises has been a colossal waste of money and a complete, absolute failure as public policy…
    I have been annoyed on occasion at what I see as an anti-Australian tic in much of the news and documentary stuff on the Australia Network, but that is merely its inevitable reflection of the political culture of its parent organisation, the ABC....

    So long as Australia Network exists I don’t want it to become an organ of Australian state propaganda. But nor do I want it to make life harder for the Australian government by taking the ABC editorial line on asylum-seekers, climate change etc, which is opposed to the policies of the Australian government. There’s a simple solution. It doesn’t need to exist at all… 
    In all of my countless trips to Asia I have never met an Asian who watches Australia Network. But half an eye is cast on it in a desultory fashion by Asian governments and some Asian news organisations. So while it has almost no capacity to do good, it has a substantial capacity to do harm.
    I would just query this assertion of Greg’s:
    But in reality there is absolutely no reason to have it at all. Our highly competent but resource-starved professional diplomats could do much more, much better targeted, with a proper public diplomacy budget. 
    I wouldn’t be so sure, given some ways it’s spending that cash, for instance on Muslimapologist Waleed Aly:
    Lex Bartlem, Australian Ambassador to Lebanon:
    Today is the last day of a tour that has taken you through the United Arab Emirates, SaudiArabia, Turkey and now to Beirut in Lebanon. We are delighted that you came. In most of those countries I know that you have met with academics, clerics, students, members of parliament, government officials and ministers. You came to speak to them about Islam in Australia—about its diversity, and about the community’s successes and problems. 
    Aly:
    Firstly, let me say it has been a fantastic trip and a great opportunity, and I have to thank you for even thinking of inviting me.... What [people met on the trip] were trying to figure out, it seemed to me, was the relationship that Islam in Australia, or Muslims in Australia, or really anyone in Australia, has with the state… 
    Bartlem:
    I know that we are hoping to get you back to the region in January to visit Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Territories.
    The video DFAT posted of this interview had 30 views when I first linked to it this morning. 
    ===

    Time to can SPC instead for misleading

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (6:32am)

    Those who called Tony Abbott a liar should be asked to explain themselves:
    In an SPC media release sent to all Coalition colleagues by Ms Stone yesterday, [SPC Ardmona] said the excessive redundancy payments had been trimmed back to 52 weeks in 2012. However, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has confirmed that almost all of the plant’s more than 400 or so employees were employed under a previous enterprise agreement that provided for redundancy offour weeks’ pay for every year of service, up to a maximum of 104 weeks.
    A company paying generous conditions can hardly expect taxpayers for a handout when the money is gone. I don’t think Stone should be forgiven for her false claims, either:
    Dr Stone yesterday stood by her comments and continued to press for government assistance for the company, which has joined her in challenging the assertion of “overgenerous” entitlements at the company’s plants. 
    “Recent claims that SPC Ardmona is a ‘union shop’ or that the cause of its difficulties are because of ‘over generous’ allowances and conditions to staff are mistaken and need to be refuted by the facts,” SPC Ardmona said in its release. However, [AMWU food and confectionary division secretary Tom Hale] confirmed that at least 90 per cent of the company’s production staff were union members.
    UPDATE
    Grace Collier on the true deceivers:
    No one is telling lies when they say the EBA must be altered. Anyone who says the EBA is blameless is the liar.... 
    This week journalists claimed that SPC workers earned on average a modest $50,000. This is hardly possible given that base rates alone range from $48,538 to $61,359…
    I estimate SPC labour costs are double what they should be because of direct costs as well as the cost of a wide range of productivity restrictions. Crucially, the EBA shows the ... union has been allowed too much control..
    Harvest Freshcuts is a food processor. The plant at Bairnsdale is about the same distance away from Melbourne that Shepparton [SPC’s home] is. Its last EBA, just terminated, was much more appropriate than SPC’s and made with staff rather than a union. The working week is longer. Labour costs look a third lower. Conditions are much closer to or capped at award rates and wages are adjusted only by CPI.
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    Reflexively liberal, utterly predictable

    Andrew Bolt February 06 2014 (12:59am)

    New York Times staff talk about the New York Times:
    “The fact of the matter is the Wall Street Journal editorial page just kicks our editorial page’s ass. I mean there’s just no contest, from top to bottom, and it’s disappointing ...” 
    “[Editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal has] got 14 or 15 people plus a whole bevy of assistants working on these three unsigned editorials every day. They’re completely reflexively liberal, utterly predictable, usually poorly written and totally ineffectual. I mean, just try and remember the last time that anybody was talking about one of those editorials.” 
    What would Age staff privately say about Age editorials? 
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    www.spiked-online.com
    Israel is the safest place in the Middle East for Islamic peoples not wanting to be killed by their neighbours. It is a modern democracy with its own ridiculous self hating left movement. Israel supports all peoples of any creed, whereas those that would eliminate Israel are often those who practice apartheid ..

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    “For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.” - Psalm 33:4-5
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    Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

    February 5: Morning

    "The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." - 1 John 4:14
    It is a sweet thought that Jesus Christ did not come forth without his Father's permission, authority, consent, and assistance. He was sent of the Father, that he might be the Saviour of men. We are too apt to forget that, while there are distinctions as to the persons in the Trinity, there are no distinctions of honour. We too frequently ascribe the honour of our salvation, or at least the depths of its benevolence, more to Jesus Christ than we do the Father. This is a very great mistake. What if Jesus came? Did not his Father send him? If he spake wondrously, did not his Father pour grace into his lips, that he might be an able minister of the new covenant? He who knoweth the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost as he should know them, never setteth one before another in his love; he sees them at Bethlehem, at Gethsemane, and on Calvary, all equally engaged in the work of salvation. O Christian, hast thou put thy confidence in the Man Christ Jesus? Hast thou placed thy reliance solely on him? And art thou united with him? Then believe that thou art united unto the God of heaven. Since to the Man Christ Jesus thou art brother, and holdest closest fellowship, thou art linked thereby with God the Eternal, and "the Ancient of days" is thy Father and thy friend. Didst thou ever consider the depth of love in the heart of Jehovah, when God the Father equipped his Son for the great enterprise of mercy? If not, be this thy day's meditation. The Father sent him! Contemplate that subject. Think how Jesus works what the Father wills. In the wounds of the dying Saviour see the love of the great I AM. Let every thought of Jesus be also connected with the Eternal, ever-blessed God, for "It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief."
    Evening
    "At that time Jesus answered." - Matthew 11:25
    This is a singular way in which to commence a verse--"At that time Jesus answered." If you will look at the context you will not perceive that any person had asked him a question, or that he was in conversation with any human being. Yet it is written, "Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father." When a man answers, he answers a person who has been speaking to him. Who, then, had spoken to Christ? his Father. Yet there is no record of it; and this should teach us that Jesus had constant fellowship with his Father, and that God spake into his heart so often, so continually, that it was not a circumstance singular enough to be recorded. It was the habit and life of Jesus to talk with God. Even as Jesus was, in this world, so are we; let us therefore learn the lesson which this simple statement concerning him teaches us. May we likewise have silent fellowship with the Father, so that often we may answer him, and though the world wotteth not to whom we speak, may we be responding to that secret voice unheard of any other ear, which our own ear, opened by the Spirit of God, recognizes with joy. God has spoken to us, let us speak to God--either to set our seal that God is true and faithful to his promise, or to confess the sin of which the Spirit of God has convinced us, or to acknowledge the mercy which God's providence has given, or to express assent to the great truths which God the Holy Ghost has opened to our understanding. What a privilege is intimate communion with the Father of our spirits! It is a secret hidden from the world, a joy with which even the nearest friend intermeddleth not. If we would hear the whispers of God's love, our ear must be purged and fitted to listen to his voice. This very evening may our hearts be in such a state, that when God speaks to us, we, like Jesus, may be prepared at once to answer him.
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    Today's reading: Exodus 36-38, Matthew 23:1-22 (NIV)

    View today's reading on Bible Gateway

    Today's Old Testament reading: Exodus 36-38

    1 So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the LORD has commanded."
    2 Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the LORD had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. 3 They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. 4 So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing 5 and said to Moses, "The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the LORD commanded to be done...."

    Today's New Testament reading: Matthew 23:1-22

    A Warning Against Hypocrisy
    1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them..."

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