Thursday, February 04, 2016

Thu Feb 4th Todays News

Memes against Ted Cruz are being released. According to some, Cruz was instrumental in denying Al Gore the Presidency. But the truth is the American People did that at election. Gore risked fracturing the union in a way that patriot Nixon refused to do. Thank you Gore for making Nixon look good. Another meme has it that Cruz is, like Obama, not born in the US. And this time they won't turn a blind eye. Only Cruz qualifies to run as President. Cruz has not cultivated friends among terrorists, neither domestic nor international. 

Memes continue against Trump. Orange skin. Orange hair. They declare Trump does not deserve a peace prize, and they admit neither did Obama. Only Obama did deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, for exactly the same reasons Yassir Arafat did. They both fought for peace by paying terrorists and supporting them. They have both ordered around Israel and they both have armed Israel's enemies. 

Those releasing these memes don't argue on policy. They argue against the man. They are tribal, ignoring principle and focusing on image. 

For some at the moment, they have less credibility than the sex party. 
=== from 2015 ===
Criticism of Mr Abbott is overstated. The federal government has performed admirably under difficult circumstances with notable successes the ALP could never achieve. These include successes like turning back people smuggler boats and saving lives of refugees and preventing their exploitation by pirates. Ending the Carbon Tax and Mineral Rents tax which were serious imposts to business and consumers. Not only would the ALP never have removed them despite promising to do so, they promise to reinstate them if they are elected. Also the conservatives have not wasted throwing tax payer dollars on supporting failing businesses as the ALP have done. The nightmare for the Conservative government is in not being able to pass important budget measures. Also, they cannot pass important legal reform like modifications to 18C. Also, they cannot impose measures like removing the climate fraudsters, or paid parental leave they have campaigned on. The failures are not Mr Abbott's fault, neither has he given up on getting the measures passed. The juggernaut that is Palmer United Party has fractured and become as dysfunctional as Palmer. With the damage done to the LNP in Queensland, Palmer has lost an important friend to industry and an effective government. 

Mr Abbott has made good choices, like Knighting the Duke of Edinburgh for his life long philanthropy. Gillard did not like the policy, saying she firmly believed that such awards should only ever go to Australians. Yet Gillard had awarded India's Sachin Tendulkar an OAM in 2012. Tendulkar was also deserving of the award. It is Gillard who is a partisan liar. The criticism of Mr Abbott by many, conservative or not, is unwarranted on the issue of the Knighthood. Mr Abbott had the right to bestow it. The Duke is worthy of the honour. The criticism of it not being to an Australian Citizen is absurd. In terms of cultural assets, nothing has been lost, No Australian has missed out. No money has been spent on the undeserving. The outrage is confected to take peoples eyes off Bill Shorten, who is a waste of tax payer dollars and detracts from parliament through a mixture of corruption and hedonism unbecoming of a parliamentarian. Mr Abbott has been given no alternative than admitting it was a mistake. But that is not true, it was not a mistake. It was a sound call. And the outrage of the left is evidence of their lack of balance and fairness. As with the granting of a literary award, the criticism is from over indulged leftists wishing they had their way and that a conservative government had not been elected. But opportunists masquerading as Libertarians are also overstating things, claiming erroneously that Knighthoods have no place in the modern world. But such stupidity is pernicious. There needs to be cultural assets which are protected and grown. A Knighthood does that. It is cheap and builds the community. One outraged conservative has claimed the Knighthood cost Campbell Newman government in Queensland. That is not true either. Lies from the media cost Queensland effective government. And those cowards attacking the cultural asset now endorsed the fake narrative. 

The fake narrative marches on. Channel 9 journalists interview each other and suggest two paths which favour the ALP and offer nothing in support of QLD's LNP. One says that the ALP offered more, but noted it wouldn't be able to deliver on it. The other suggested that LNP had not effectively communicated, ignoring the fact media gatekeepers had lied to mute any message. It is a culture war, and the voter deserves better than the media are offering. So it is risible when Liberal Dr Dennis Jensen makes vapid statements of loyalty and support when he is offering neither. Jensen is not alone, but exactly who or what remains hidden at the moment. Dr Jensen has lost my support. The obvious reality has hit home in Victoria with Dan Andrews choosing to throw away many hundreds of millions of dollars rather than build a needed road. Andrews promised what he could not deliver, just as the ALP in Queensland. Meanwhile the ABC decry the loss of trust people have for politicians and the suggest the future model should be Clive Palmer? There is infighting among conservative ranks in the Northern Territory. 

UTS builds ugly buildings at tax payer cost. 


ISIL death cult burns alive Jordanian pilot but demands that a suicide bomber be released. In retaliation, Jordan executed the female and another. Imagine a world where law and order were respected, and it wouldn't be ISIL.  
From 2014
 Frustration today as a partnership I suggested was smoked by a nice guy without a clue. It is really important that people are able to say 'no' when putting across a business concept. There are hurdles to anything and they need to be crossed the right way. I wanted to involve Woolworths with an email subscription service. I want to create a local film production studio. So I wanted local Woolworths to partner me. I have the right material and target audience, what I want from Woolworths is for them to sign up my email from their subscription service which they run .. giving me very quick exposure and giving them targeted advertising to people that read articles, not the prepubescent kids who watch tv today who aren't yet allowed on the 'net .. noting modern kids don't watch much tv these days. The issues are my production standards .. can I produce material which doesn't harm the Woolworths name by association? Can I be independent and be seen to be independent of Woolworths? Part of my answer to those questions is to do with my name and history. But the Woolworths guy I spoke with today wasn't willing to allow me to extend to answering those doubts. He wasn't the right person to approach, although he was in the right position had he been the right person. 

Modern story telling/writing is vastly improved on twenty years ago. Babylon 5 introduced story arcs in a very sophisticated way. They covered all five seasons, as well as some which were peculiar to a single episode. Often, an episode has two separate threads which are likely opposites (thesis, antithesis leads to synthesis). Blue Bloods Episode 65 "Devil's Breath" has one thread which caused me to laugh. A prostitute and lap dancer was targeting out of town (NYC is the setting) visitors with scopolamine (aka "Devil's Breath") which caused her victims to forget things after following her suggestions to give her their money and credit cards. It was stressed victims lost their short term memory. What made me laugh a lot, was that she worked at a venue called 'Scores.' Kevin Rudd may forget things, but he will never be forgotten. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 211, Roman Emperor Septimius Severus died at Eboracum (modern York, England) while preparing to lead a campaign against the Caledonians. He left the empire in the control of his two quarrelling sons. 634, Battle of DathinRashidun forces under Yazid ibn Abi Sufyandefeated the Christian Arabs around Gaza (Palestine). 960, the coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of Song, initiated the Song Dynasty period of China that would last more than three centuries. 1169, a strong earthquake struck the Ionian coast of Sicily, causing tens of thousands of injuries and deaths, especially in Catania.

In 1454, in the Thirteen Years' War, the Secret Council of the Prussian Confederation sent a formal act of disobedience to the Grand Master. 1703, in Edo (now Tokyo), 46 of the Forty-seven Ronin commit seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master's death. 1758, MacapáBrazil was founded. 1789, George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College. 1794, the French legislature abolished slavery throughout all territories of the French Republic. It would be reestablished in the French West Indies in 1802. 1797, the Riobamba earthquakestruck Ecuador, causing up to 40,000 casualties.

In 1801, John Marshall was sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States. 1810, the Royal Navy seized Guadeloupe. 1820, the Chilean Navy under the command of Lord Cochranecompleted the 2-day long Capture of Valdivia with just 300 men and 2 ships. 1825, the Ohio Legislature authorised the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal. 1846, the first Mormon pioneers made their exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois, westward towards Salt Lake Valley. 1859, the Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in Egypt. 1861, American Civil War: In Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from six break-away U.S. states met and formed the Confederate States of America. 1899, the Philippine–American War began with the Battle of Manila.

In 1932, Second Sino-Japanese WarHarbinManchuriafell to Japan. 1936, Radium became the first radioactive element to be made synthetically. 1941, the United Service Organisation(USO) was created to entertain American troops. 1945, World War IISanto Tomas Internment Camp was liberated from Japanese authority. Also 1945, World War II: The Yalta Conferencebetween the "Big Three" (ChurchillRoosevelt, and Stalin) opened at the Livadia Palace in the Crimea. Also 1945, World War II: The British Indian Army and Imperial Japanese Armybegan a series of battles known as the Battle of Pokoku and Irrawaddy River operations. 1948, Ceylon (later renamed Sri Lanka) became independent within the British Commonwealth.

In 1966, All Nippon Airways Flight 60 plunged into Tokyo Bay, killing 133. 1967, Lunar Orbiter programLunar Orbiter 3 lifted off from Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 13 on its mission to identify possible landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo spacecraft. 1969, Yasser Arafattook over as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation. 1974, the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped Patty Hearst in Berkeley, California. Also 1974, M62 coach bombing: The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a bomb on a bus carrying off-duty British Armed Forces personnel in Yorkshire, England. Nine soldiers and three civilians were killed. 1975, Haicheng earthquake (magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale) occurred in Haicheng, Liaoning, China. 1976, in Guatemala and Honduras an earthquake kills more than 22,000. 1977, a Chicago Transit Authority elevated train rear-ended another and derailed, killing 11 and injuring 180, the worst accident in the agency's history. 1980, AyatollahRuhollah Khomeini names Abolhassan Banisadr as president of Iran.

In 1992, a coup d'état was led by Hugo Chávez against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez. 1996, major snowstorm paralysed Midwestern United States, Milwaukee, Wisconsinand tied all-time record low temperature at −26 °F (−32.2 °C) 1997, En route to Lebanon, two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collided in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73. Also 1997, after at first contesting the results, Serbian President Slobodan Milošević recognised opposition victories in the November 1996 elections. 1998, an earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale in northeast Afghanistan killed more than 5,000. 1999, unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo was shot dead by four plainclothes New York City police officers on an unrelated stake-out, inflaming race-relations in the city. 2003, the Bengali Hindus declared the independence of the Republic of Bangabhumi from Bangladesh. Also 2003, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was officially renamed Serbia and Montenegro and adopted a new constitution. 2004, Facebook, a mainstream online social networking site, was founded by Mark Zuckerberg. 2006, a stampede occurred in the ULTRA Stadium near Manila killing 71.
=== Publishing News ===
This column welcomes feedback and criticism. The column is not made up but based on the days events and articles which are then placed in the feed. So they may not have an apparent cohesion they would have had were they made up.
===
I am moving from Sydney to Melbourne and am desperate for funding. If you have a heart for giving, I fundraise at gofundme.com/abeueaec
===
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.

Happy birthday and many happy returns David Dung Trieu and Benjamin Legrand. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
February 4Tu Bishvat (Judaism, 2015); Liberation Movement Day in Angola (1961); Independence Day in Sri Lanka (1948)
Yasser Arafat in 1999
Your reign begins with a song. The earth moved. Keep away. A terrorist was elected leader or a terrorist outfit. Don't resist arrest. Let's party. 
Deaths
===

TALK TO THE MITTEN

Tim Blair – Thursday, February 04, 2016 (6:58pm)

A Finnish police chief considers recent demographic changes
“This phenomenon is new in Finnish sexual crime history,” Ilkka Koskimaki, the deputy chief of police in Helsinki, told the Telegraph. “We have never before had this kind of sexual harassment happening at New Year’s Eve …”
Mr Koskimaki said that sexual assaults in parks and on the streets had been unknown in Finland before a record 32,000 asylum seekers arrived in 2015, making the 14 cases last year “big news in the city”.
“We had unfortunately some very brutal cases in autumn,” he said. “I don’t know so well other cultures, but I have recognised that the thinking of some of them is very different. Some of them maybe think that it is allowed to be aggressive and touch ladies on the street.” 
To deal with this, Finnish state television is now broadcasting helpful rape avoidance advice encouraging the use of magical defence mittens and high-powered assault handbags:



Yep. That’ll work.
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CLIMATE ALL GONE

Tim Blair – Thursday, February 04, 2016 (5:55pm)

Queen Elizabeth and other Turnbull admirers will not be amused
Fears that some of Australia’s most important climate research institutions will be gutted under a Turnbull government have been realised with deep job cuts for scientists to be announced to staff later today …
The cuts were flagged in November, just a week before the Paris climate summit began, with key divisions told to prepare lists of job cuts or to find new ways to raise revenue.
Climate will be all gone, basically,” one senior scientist said before the announcement. 
Makes sense. After all, if there are no climate scientists, who’s going to run the climate? By the way, it now emerges that the science isn’t settled
The news prompted an outcry from climate scientists. “This is terrible news and threatens our ability to predict future climate and the inherent risks,” said Todd Lane, president of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society. ”Climate science is not solved. Most of the uncertainty in climate projections is due to uncertainty about the ways to represent physical processes in climate models. Cutting funding in this area now doesn’t make any sense.” 
But CSIRO’s boss disagrees
The head of the CSIRO, Larry Marshall, said in a letter to staff on Thursday that the government’s science agency’s job had been “to prove climate change”.
“That question has been answered,” he told staff. 
(Via The Indomitable Snowman, Ph.D., and A.R.M. Jones.)
===

NEVER DISAGREE WITH SANDRA

Tim Blair – Thursday, February 04, 2016 (4:42pm)

A lotter … er, legal win for a delicate bureaucrat: 
Australian Federal Police administrator Sandra Carney has won her legal battle for workers’ compensation for mental harm arising from a minor workplace disagreement over a workflow chartat the AFP’s Canberra headquarters two years ago.
Ms Carney, who has a history of workplace conflict and of lodging claims against federal workplace insurer Comcare going back 20 years, successfully appealed the insurer’s refusal to pay out her claim for “adjustment disorder” …
Successful Comcare claimants are entitled to be paid their full salaries for their first 45 weeks off work and 75 per cent of their salary, plus medical and pharmacological expenses, until they either return to work or reach retirement age. 
(Via Noel G.)
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HAMAS DISCOVERS THE WHEEL

Tim Blair – Thursday, February 04, 2016 (3:49pm)

Israeli government spokesman Ofir Gendelman considers Hamas’s latest military claim:

image
===

ANYONE FOR TENNIS?

Tim Blair – Thursday, February 04, 2016 (2:17pm)

The Guardian quotes Malcolm Turnbull: 
“Nobody should ever doubt the resolve of this government to keep our borders secure, to prevent the people-smuggling racquet, to break their business model and keep lives safe, to prevent drownings at sea and to protect vulnerable people from being exploited by ruthless criminal gangs,” he told parliament. 
Meanwhile, Tanya Plibersek vows to love all
Labor’s deputy leader Tanya Plibersek has called for children to be released from Nauru and mainland detention centres as soon as possible, describing Australia’s asylum seeker politics since 2001 as “nothing less than toxic” …
Responding to a letter from 900 prominent academics calling for children to be released from detention, Ms Plibersek said Australia had a moral obligation to do more to address the global refugee crisis and said the debate domestically had “lost rationality, compassion and respect”. 
Beats losing lives, Tanya.
UPDATE. Father Tilty believes we’re living in Nazi Germany.
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IT IS KIND OF QUIET OUT THERE

Tim Blair – Thursday, February 04, 2016 (12:50pm)

“The total and utter destruction of Sydney’s nightlife is almost complete,” writes Matt Barrie.
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BLACK OLIVES MATTER

Tim Blair – Thursday, February 04, 2016 (12:30pm)

They’re especially important in a tomato cucumber salad:

image

As a bonus, note the return of the peace Mercedes.
(Via Dylan Kissane.)
===

ARCHITECT PUTS THE UGH IN UGLY

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, February 03, 2015 (12:11am)

image
STARCHITECT Frank Gehry’s new UTS building could hardly be uglier. It’s worse even than the monstrous 1970s concrete monolith it replaced.
What did we do to deserve this blight on Sydney’s cityscape?
One wag describes it as a crumpled brown paper bag. It looks like Escher on acid. A poor man’s imitation Gaudi, without the wit.
Because of all the unsightly bends and bumps, each of the building’s yellow bricks had to be bolted on by hand, very carefully.
Having once commissioned a single, and (later) much-loved curved wall during a renovation I know how eye-wateringly expensive even minor geometric deviations turn out to be.
In the case of the UTS business school, the Gehry design cost $180 million to build. That’s about $10,000 a square metre, twice as much as the most expensive comparable building, which would include a lavish fitout.
A nice Australian-Chinese business man, Dr Chau Chak Wing, donated $20 million to the project but presumably the poor taxpayer paid the bulk. 
So much for universities crying poor. 
Yes, I dropped out of first-year architecture and Gehry is an internationally feted design guru. But, ugh. 
===

Being Australian of the Year shouldn’t be this profitable

Andrew Bolt February 04 2016 (5:56pm)

AUSTRALIAN of the Year was something once given to people for what they’d actually achieved.
Now it’s given to people for how they nag us — and, it turns out, nag us at worryingly great profit to themselves.
The 2007 winner, warming alarmist Tim Flannery, set the tone, but consider now the case of David Morrison, our latest Australian of the Year, and the one that has accidentally exposed what a con this honour really is.
(Read full article here.) 
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Churches can posture on boat people, but will they pay?

Andrew Bolt February 04 2016 (5:54pm)

CHURCHES say they’ll give sanctuary to boat people who face being sent back to detention in Nauru.
But will they take responsibility for the consequences?
Moral posturing is all the rage in modern Australia, and not least — alas — in our churches.
How good we seem counts for far, far more than what we actually achieve with that seeming.
This is not just childish and self-pleasuring. It is also fundamentally immoral.
So I have a question for the likes of the Anglican Dean of Brisbane, Peter Catt, who says he’ll open up St John’s Cathedral to offer “the ancient concept of sanctuary as a last-ditch effort to offer some sense of hope to those who must be feeling incredibly hopeless”.
(Read full article here.) 
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Trump promises thump

Andrew Bolt February 04 2016 (1:57pm)

It’s funny when he speaks - it’s so refreshingly transgressive. But then you remember he’s actually running for President of the United States, and the smile dies:
(Via Catallaxy Files.) 
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What else aren’t they telling you about refugees?

Andrew Bolt February 04 2016 (12:28pm)

Immigration, Media

IF there is one thing our politicians, police and press tend to lie about, it’s refugees. They fear the facts might turn you vicious or stubborn.
In Germany, this hoax on the public finally exploded on New Year’s Eve — but few commentators have noted the parallels to Australia.
Last year the German Government recklessly admitted 1.1 million “refugees”, most young Muslim men, but Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted her country could absorb so many people from such different cultures.
“Angela Merkel hailed as an angel of mercy,” gushed the Sydney Morning Herald.
But on New Year’s Eve at least 1000 male foreigners gathered outside Cologne’s main railway station, and crying women were soon telling police they’d been attacked.
In all, more than 800 complaints of assault, rape and robbery were reported to police, who have so far identified 30 suspects, all African or Middle Eastern, and half refugees.
Yet Cologne’s police at first lied, issuing a statement describing the night as “relaxed” and mostly “peaceful”.
The media joined the cover-up. Germany’s public broadcaster, ZDF, decided not to report the attacks on its 7pm Heute news show and later admitted it had made a “mistake” to “pussyfoot” around the truth.
Most other media outlets at first used the euphemisms “youth” and “young men”, rather than say the perpetrators were foreigners.
Then, when news of the assaults trickled out on Facebook, the Mayor claimed it was “improper” to link the assaults to refugees.
Germany is an extreme example, but the same pattern of cover-up and deflection happens in Australia.
Here are some of many examples of Australia’s politicians, police and media trying to hide or fudge inconvenient truths about immigrant crime, especially involving refugees.
(Read full story here.) 
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If Turnbull finally wants a fight, why not a fight on spending cuts instead?

Andrew Bolt February 04 2016 (11:27am)

Noticed how every big idea Malcolm Turnbull now has to fix the nation’s finances involves yet higher taxes?:

Malcolm Turnbull risks punishing more than nine million workers with higher taxes on their retirement savings as he prepares a drastic change to superannuation alongside controversial plans to increase the GST. The super changes would hit every worker earning more than about $18,000 a year if the government proceeds with a tax ­increase on super contributions, highlighting a grave political danger at a time when Coalition MPs are nervous about a GST hike.
If Turnbull really wants to finally risk his popularity in fighting for something, why not fight for spending cuts?
UPDATE
Revolt:
Liberal senator Cory Bernardi says he is prepared to cross the floor to oppose a rise in the GST if Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison push ahead with the change.

And Institute of Public Affairs executive director John Roskam, an influential free market think-tank, has lashed a prospective GST rise as “bad policy” and predicted it will be dropped.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Column - Libs mad to make Rudd king of the world

Andrew Bolt February 04 2016 (9:31am)

image
THE Turnbull Government is mad to back Kevin Rudd’s bid to become the UN’s secretary-general this year.
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.
Abbott was adamant: Rudd had to be blocked.
But Bishop, a Rudd mate, has repudiated that deal, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he’ll consider Rudd’s candidacy when Rudd announces he’ll run.
Again I ask: is the Government mad?
(Read full column here.)
UPDATE
Senator Cory Bernardi gets it said, and demands answers:

image
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Peak Flannery alarmism

Andrew Bolt February 04 2016 (8:45am)

Liberal MP Craig Kelly notes yet another dud prediction from warming alarmist Tim Flannery, this one made in 2006:
NEWS WIRED : Do you believe that we’re coming into the peak production of oil — and do you think the inevitable fuel cutbacks that ensue might work to the benefit of fighting climate change?
FLANNERY : “All the projections suggests that we’re hitting it. Again, it just gives the added urgency of dealing with the issue today…Just play a little thought game: We’re 10 years out now; it’s 2016. Sea levels have started to rise quickly… Imagine oil prices TWICE OR THREE TIMES what they are today.”
Instead:
image
Kelly discusses Flannery’s record of dud predictions with Alan Jones and explains why it matters.
Other dud Flannery predictions here and here and here and here and here.
Why does the ABC consistently fail to grill him on this appalling record?
(Thanks to reader Low Profile.) 
===

The business of being Australian of the Year

Andrew Bolt February 04 2016 (8:24am)

A Catholic priest would earn in a year what Morrison earns in just two or three speeches of his own brand of moralising:
Former army chief David Mor­­rison is charging up to $15,000 for speaking engagements as Australian of the Year, up to three times more than his predecessor Rosie Batty asked for each appearance.
In an insight into the growth of the industry that has built up around advocacy of equality and diversity, Mr Morrison stands to earn as much as $780,000 while he is Australian of the Year if he gives one speech a week.
How about equality of salary? A few bracing lectures from Morrison on that would be interesting.
On the same theme, a Human Rights Commissioner gets ten times the salary of a Catholic priest, and usually gets treated by the media like a minor oracle and not a leper.
New Age moralists don’t come cheap. It’s a business now. But I rather suspect we’d hear more to our advantage from the priest. 
===

Another 18C case, this time against students and academics

Andrew Bolt February 04 2016 (7:21am)

The more we formally divide ourselves by “race”, the more we will get such legal action.
Hedley Thomas reports:

A woman employed in a top Queensland university’s indigenous unit is seeking almost $250,000 in damages from jobless students, academics and others in a new legal challenge relying on Australia’s racial discrimination laws.
Cindy Prior accuses three staff at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane — professor­s Anita Lee Hong and Sharon Hayes, and equity director Mary Kelly — and five students in a racial vilification case that is set to reignite tensions over the law’s section 18C.
Tony Abbott, as opposition leader, pledged to repeal the controversial section, which has been slammed by critics as an assault on freedom of speech, but he broke the pledge after becoming prime minister…
Prior, who did not return The Australian’s call yesterday, was an administration officer in the Oodgeroo Unit at QUT’s Gardens­ Point campus, near state parliament. She claims she has suffered­ “offence, embarrassment, humiliation and psychiatric injury­”, as well as ongoing fear for her safety, because of the actions and comments of the students, staffers and university.
The case was triggered after three students, who wandered into the university’s computer lab at the Oodgeroo Unit in May 2013 looking for a place to use a computer, were asked by Ms Prior “whether they were indigenous”.
In legal documents filed in the Federal Circuit Court, Ms Prior says she told the three they were in “an indigenous space for Aborig­inal and Torres Strait students” and that there were other places they could use computers.
Ms Prior, a Noongar woman from the Ballardong nation in Western Australia, said: “The three men told (me) that they were not indig­enous.”
She asked the students to leave the unit and they went away. An hour later a Facebook page, called ‘QUT Stalker Space’, featured a post from one of the students, Alex Wood: “Just got kicked out of the unsigned indigenous computer room. QUT (is) stopping segregation with segregation.”
There were no signs warning visitors that the Oodgeroo Unit at QUT was off-limits to non-indig­enous students. It is understood that the university has expressly rejected the suggestion it condones racial segregation.
Another student, Jackson Powell, wrote on the Facebook page: “I wonder where the white supremacist computer lab is.”
Another post — “ITT niggers” — was attributed to another stud­ent, Calum Thwaites, who has emphatically denied that he had anything to do with the post.
The students, along with two others, Chris Lee and Kyran Findlater, are now accused of racial vilification in Ms Prior’s 18C legal challenge, which is being run by Brisbane solicitor Susan Mori­arty.
Only one of the Facebook posts — “ITT niggers” — is regarde­d as obviously pejorative.
But Dr Hayes, a QUT lecturer, is accused in the legal action­ of having stated at the time that “it seems a bit silly” to kick someone out of an indigenous computer lab for not being indig­enous when there are computers not being used. She had suggested that Ms Prior may have been in breach of QUT policy by asking students who visited the Oodgeroo Unit whether they were indigenous. Ms Prior said she felt “sick, furious and distraught” after the comments of Dr Hayes.
Ms Prior’s action cites Kyran Findlater as having written on the Facebook page: “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.”
It hardly matters whether this case will fail or succeed. The law enables such complaints, and those accused now face expense, worry, reputational damage and many hours of work simply to defend themselves. This is why many people prefer to shut up rather than fight what they might consider an injustice or divisive development.
I would say more, but lawyers have warned me against saying much at all.
UPDATE
Apologies, but it is safer if we don’t run comments. 
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Journalists are campaigning for the boat people, not reporting. You are misled

Andrew Bolt February 04 2016 (7:12am)

From our interview last night with Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, some things become even clearer from the media coverage of the latest High Court bid to scrap off-shore detention of boat people.
- The claims of the rape of children in detention involve in many cases pedophiles who are boat people themselves, but many journalists will not say so.
- The activists alleging the rape of a five-year-old boy in detention have raised the case with journalists but not directly with Dutton himself, or, to the best of his knowledge, with Nauruan police.
- Dutton shares my surprise that the latest case centres on a woman claiming to be a refugee from Bangladesh, of all places. Why have no journalists expressed surprise about this?
- Dutton rightly believes many journalists are actually campaigning on this issue, which to me explains the pushing of so many unlikely, unverified, emotive and one-sided claims by activists.
You are being misled. 
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Palmer can’t remember giving $6 million to his party

Andrew Bolt February 04 2016 (5:41am)

I doubt this is the last we’ll hear of this transaction:
Clive Palmer claims he has no memory of authorising a payment of almost $6 million from his Queensland Nickel company to the Palmer United Party.
Asked on [Lateline on] ABC-TV last night whether he had briefly resumed as director in January last year to authorise a payment of $5.94m to the party, Mr Palmer said “I’m not sure of that"…
He also dodged questions about his use of the alias Terry Smith to run Queensland Nickel by proxy… He denied he had used Terry Smith as an alias to authorise payments to PUP, saying he had merely been using the email ­account of another person, presumably named Terry Smith.
(In fact, while Palmer indeed said he couldn’t recall if, on briefly returning to Queensland Nickel as directoor a year ago, he authorised a $6 million donation to his Palmer United Party, The actual donation at that time was around $700,000.  The donations from Queensland Nickel to PUP last financial year totalled almost $6 million.)
From almost the very start I noted a startling similarity between Palmer and Melmotte, the anti-hero of Anthony Trollope’s brilliant The Way We Live Now. The rise was eerily similar, and so is the decline and pending crash.
Shame on the ABC for not seeing through him for so long, and for instead promoting him so vigorously - no doubt enjoying the attacks of this “conservative” on Tony Abbott:
On Thursday night the bromance between the magnate and Tony Jones - previously praised by Palmer as “the best journalist in Australia” - was rekindled when he appeared on ABC1’s Lateline.
Palmer denied he was under pressure… Jones let Palmer’s allegation that [The Australian’s] reporting of his business affairs was politically motivated go without challenge…
Jones also let Palmer dismiss this paper’s reporting on the $500m royalties because it came from “an unnamed spokesman”, and did not pursue him on the matter.
He asked Palmer about candidates, but not how many of these were employees - let alone why watching YouTube videos by his contender for Fremantle, Teresa van Lieshout - which cover topics ranging from “Biblical Eschatology (Apocalyptic)” to “Abolish Psychiatric Practice in WA” - convinced him she was what the nation needs.
Indeed, one of the toughest lines from Jones came when he interrupted Palmer’s farewell - “It’s a pleasure, Tony. You’re the greatest journalist in Australia. God bless you” - with “No, no. You can’t say that.”
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Embrace dissent or burn up on re-entry

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, February 04, 2015 (1:07am)

SOME of the planet’s greatest minds work at NASA, the American space ­agency. They put a man on the moon. Their spacecraft explore the outer edge of the solar system, their cosmic probes measure radiation from the Big Bang. Their telescopes peer at planets beyond our solar system, their robots ­explore the surface of Mars.
And yet, when a piece of foam dropped off the Columbia space shuttle during its launch 12 years ago, NASA was really, really stupid.
The foam had smashed into a wing and caused damage to the thermal protection tiles on its surface.
But, as James Surowiecki writes in his fascinating 2004 book, The Wisdom of Crowds, the expert group of managers assembled by NASA to assess the damage decided, during lots of meetings, that this wasn’t a problem.
Sixteen days later, when Columbia re-entered the earth’s atmosphere, the unprotected spot on the wing burned up, and the space shuttle disintegrated, killing all seven crew members.
Surowiecki cites the tragedy as a painful demonstration of the way in which, “instead of making people wiser, being in a group can actually make them dumber”.
The NASA team had not started with an open mind. It was operating on the assumption, that it knew more than it did, and that the foam strike was ­unimportant, despite evidence to the contrary.
There was an “utter absence” of debate or minority opinions at their meetings. Consensus was expected. “Small groups can make very bad ­decisions because influence is more direct and immediate,” Surowiecki writes.
“The value of dissent is shown in studies of mock juries, where the presence of a minority viewpoint all by itself makes a group decision more nuanced and its decision-making process more rigorous.
“This is true even when the minority viewpoint turns out to be ill-conceived.
“The confrontation with a dissenting view forces the majority to interrogate its decisions more ­seriously.”
Which brings us to the Prime Minister’s speech on Monday at the National Press Club in Canberra.
In answer to the near terminal exasperation of colleagues and the cold fury of the electorate over a ­series of bad decisions that culminated in the Prince Philip gaffe, Tony Abbott tried to reframe his role as a “much more consultative and collegial” leader.
No more half-baked policies thrown into the budget for reasons known only to a select few, no more policy on the run, like the chaos of the GP co-payment.
Cabinet would be consulted, and Abbott promised “more meetings”. But more meetings, more process, isn’t actually what is needed.
What’s needed is an open mind and an open door, an acceptance of the advice and wisdom of ­others, even those you don’t respect.
It wasn’t a good sign when the PM deviated from his prepared speech and, instead of using the word “us”, substituted the personal pronoun “me” in a line addressed to the electorate: “You elected me to set Australia up for the long term.”
No, Australia threw out Gillard and the rest of Labor’s troupe of clowns because they messed up and stopped listening, and they’ll do the same to the next troupe.
Consultation is not just a ploy to placate restive colleagues. It’s a crucial condition for sound decision-making, as the example of the Columbia disaster shows.
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HELP A BROTHER OUT

Tim Blair – Wednesday, February 04, 2015 (2:17pm)

Following the burning alive of a captured Jordanian pilot, President Barack Obama seems not to know what ideology drives Islamic State: 
“It’s just one more indication of the viciousness and barbarity of this organization. And it, I think, will redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of a global coalition to make sure that they are degraded and ultimately defeated,” Obama said Tuesday.
“It also just indicates the degree to which whatever ideology they’re operating off of, it’s bankrupt.” 
Readers with a talent for forensic investigation are invited to assist the president in comments. My bet, as usual, is some form of Presbyterianism.
UPDATE. Australian Islamic State idiot Yusuf Yusuf watched the incineration on a big screen in Syria: 
The former university business student wrote on his Facebook page: “Movie night in the heart of the Khalifa … Burn kafir Burn”. 
Might be a couple of clues there.
(Via Topher)
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FRIGHTBAT CHOIR

Tim Blair – Wednesday, February 04, 2015 (12:25pm)

This was actually broadcast by the BBC:

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A betrayal of confidence

Andrew Bolt February 04 2015 (12:19pm)

A question for Liberal MP Dennis Jensen: can everyone who has exchanged emails with you now expect that you will reveal their contents, too?
Are the rest of us free to reveal when you’ve written in private, too?
Dr Jensen texted Mr Abbott and the pair had a “lengthy” exchange about why he should be removed. 
Mr Abbott asked Dr Jensen: “Well who would be better to lead the party?”, to which he replied it was not about the “who” but the “what”.
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Victoria learns what happens when you do vote back Labor

Andrew Bolt February 04 2015 (10:03am)

Victoria is learning very quickly the price of voting Labor. It’s a return to massive waste:
Labor has indefinitely shelved a complex legal plan to render the East West Link contract “unenforceable” and will instead rely on a potentially expensive settlement deal with the consortium to extricate itself from the project… 
It is believed this followed advice from the Department of Treasury and Finance confirming the former government did in fact have inherent powers to enter into the contract… Labor now appears to have little choice but to negotiate with the consortium, amid speculation the taxpayer-funded compensation bill could be as high as $1.1 billion
Labor will pay somewhere between $500 million and $1.1 billion NOT to build a road that Melbourne actually needs.
This waste is beyond comprehension. And Labor stole the election with a deceit - a fantasy that it could break the contract without paying a cent. 
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If Palmer is our future, emigrate now

Andrew Bolt February 04 2015 (8:50am)

Seriously? ABC host Jon Faine complains that politics is broken and we need more politicians with experience in fields outside politics.
To make his case he interviews ... Clive Palmer.
Naturally, to avoid exposing the idiocy of illustrating his proposition with Palmer, Faine does not question the buffoon about:
- his court battles with his Chinese partners, who claim Palmer took $12 million of their money without authorisation
- Palmer spending of $26 million of his companies’ money to win seats in Parliament.
- the collapse of Palmer’s party, with Senator Jacqui Lambie, two Queensland MPs. and three NT MPs all quitting, and the Palmer United vote in Queensland plummeting to under 5 per cent.
- Palmer’s erratic performance in Parliament, making wild unfunded promises and skipping many Question Times.
- Palmer’s wild conspiracy theories, including claims that his phones are bugged, Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife is a Chinese spy, the Greens are a CIA front, the Chinese “mongrels” are stealing our assets, Lambie was a plant and retired army officers have infiltrated the Australia Electoral Commission and rigging results.
Can we please get serious? Or is this country not just in economic decline but intellectual? 
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Burned alive - Islamic State trades in the fresh new currency of evil

Andrew Bolt February 04 2015 (8:20am)

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The Islamic State thinks beheading people is so passe now that it switches to a fresh new horror to advertise its evil:
ISIS, which disgusted the world by beheading hostages on video, raised the bar on barbarity by burning alive a captured Jordanian pilot trapped in a cage — and posting the awful footage online. 
The horrific death of Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh at the hands of brutal Islamic State militant was confirmed Tuesday by the Jordanian military, which vowed revenge.
Jordan adopts the medieval language of revenge:
Jordan will execute Wednesday an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber on death row and other jihadists after having vowed to avenge the murder of a Jordanian pilot by Islamic State jihadists, an official said… 
Rishawi, the would-be bomber, was condemned to death for her participation in deadly attacks in Amman in 2005, and IS had offered to spare the life of the Jordanian fighter pilot, Lieutenant Maaz al-Kassasbeh, if she were released.
The Islamic State is numbing our sense of horror. It is also destroying the comfortable liberal conceit that to expose evil is to destroy it, or at least bring shame and repentance to the sinners.
Instead, we see the Islamic State put its most gross evil on video - beheading civilians, enslaving women, crucifying opponents, throwing gays off high buildings - with the sure knowledge that their depravity will inspire thousands of young men to join them. 
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The ABC shows its bias by promoting a brainless Murdoch conspiracy theory

Andrew Bolt February 04 2015 (8:00am)

Senior ABC journalists are promoting a conspiracy theory that serious people could not possibly believe. This is not just irresponsible and unprofessional, but an abuse of the power of the publicly funded ABC, the country’s biggest media organisation.
Chris Kenny explains:
All it took was a contentious tweet from News Corp chief ­Rupert Murdoch and experienced commentators were exposed as misguided activists. 
The now notorious tweet was sent a week ago in the wake of the Prince Philip knighthood uproar. “Abbott again,” tweeted Murdoch. “Tough to write, but if he won’t replace top aide Peta Credlin she must do her patriotic duty and ­resign.”
Referring to this on the ABC’s flagship Q&A program on Monday, host Tony Jones displayed a paranoia normally associated with the Occupy crowd on university campuses. “The Murdoch idea gets parroted by (News Corp Australia) journalists right across the country,” he said, “and we see some of the most prominent (News Corp) journalists writing that Peta Credlin should bite the bullet and go or that Tony Abbott should sack her.”
The same conspiracy had been floated earlier on the same night by the host of the ABC’s Media Watch program, Paul Barry. He wondered if the “critical chorus was orchestrated by Murdoch” ...
Are they suggesting that one of the world’s most successful media moguls sits in New York — overseeing major corporations worth $80 billion or more, with tens of thousands of employees across countless newspapers, television outfits and other companies — flicking instructions about commentary on Australia’s issues of the day to individual journalists?
Or does Murdoch send group emails to editors who instruct ­columnists?
Do they believe columnists with strong opinions, longstanding careers and multiple platforms await such instruction, and accept it willingly? ...
Still, how is it that Andrew Bolt, for instance, has defended Credlin? And how is that someone like me would do radio and television commentary, after Murdoch’s Credlin tweet, describing it as unhelpful for Abbott and defending Credlin?…
If Barry finds it surprising that many News Corp commentators disagreed with the Prince Philip announcement, perhaps he could list other commentators from other media groups who supported it?… 
[Last year] News Corp columnist Piers Akerman delved into the controversy under the headline: “Tony’s choice: dump Peta or lose election"… Then last week, after the knighthood debacle, Miranda Devine filed a scorching column saying Credlin should go. Murdoch’s tweet came the following day — before he read Devine’s column. 
Jones and Barry (radio host Jon Faine, too) are feeding an absurd conspiracy theory because, I suspect, it suits their ideology. If true, it is disgraceful, and one more sign that the ABC is not just out of control but a serious danger to conservative politics in this country - a massive taxpayer-funded platform to destroy conservatives by fair means or foul.
The astonishing thing about this particular theory is how obviously stupid it is. Only the brainless could believe it.
If Murdoch really exercised this fabled control, would he be advertising it through tweets? If he had this power over Abbott, wouldn’t he have simply rung Abbott quietly and had Credlin sacked? If his columnists wrote to order, would so many of them, me included, have defied his call a few years ago, at the height of the global warming madness, to “give the planet the benefit of the doubt”? Would his papers employ columnists such as Paul Syvret?:
image
UPDATE
Chris Berg notes a difference between conservative commentators and the collectivists:
(E)very significant conservative commentator has offered brutal assessments of how things are going ... Andrew Bolt, Janet Albrechtsen, Piers Akerman, Grace Collier, Chris Kenny, and Miranda Devine. 
This is healthy. When the dust settles - wherever it settles - hopefully conservatives will be able to identify the deeper sources of the Government’s malaise.
We saw nothing like this during the Gillard years. Rather, the story from Labor’s media supporters was that Gillard was actually a great prime minister (great policies, great parliamentary negotiation skills) but let down by a mendacious News Limited, the Abbott wrecking ball, the evil Kevin Rudd, and the fact that she was female. Oh, and those ubiquitous “communications problems”.
Now it seems Labor’s self-awareness has plateaued: the bulk of the blame has been laid on Rudd for “stalking” Gillard. 
The conservative commentariat didn’t create this latest leadership crisis. But they’re reflecting a deeper dissatisfaction with the Government within the broader conservative movement - a dissatisfaction that began with Abbott’s slow start in 2013, crystallised with the deficit levy in the 2014 budget, became exposed after the Section 18C promise was abandoned, and spiralled out of control over the Christmas break.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Abbott betrayed:  Liberal plotters just don’t want him to succeed

Andrew Bolt February 04 2015 (7:12am)

Four malcontents, three (names in bold) seemingly bitter at being passed over for promotion, refuse to give Tony Abbott a chance to succeed after he announced a change of direction just a day before:

Liberal MPs Dennis Jensen and Warren Entsch declared publicly last night that Mr Abbott no longer had their support as they called for a resolution of the government’s divisions next week. 
In rare public attacks on a sitting prime minister, Dr Jensen warned that Mr Abbott could not reverse the government’s woes.
Mr Entsch said “something has got to come to a head” next week to settle the matter. 
One of the Liberal MPs named as a potential challenger, former Howard government cabinet minister Mal Brough, said last night that he only had “qualified support” for Mr Abbott.
And:
Queensland Liberal senator Ian Macdonald, who has partly blamed federal issues for the LNP election loss in his state, said all members wanted Mr Abbott to succeed. 
But the next few weeks would be crucial for the prime minister, he said.
It is legitimate for Liberal MPs to argue Abbott has failed and to suspect he cannot change his ways. What is not legitimate is to actually want their leader to fail, and to rob him of the chance to recover.
That is betrayal, and will make any challenger to Abbott look like a self-serving schemer.
There was no need to publicly attack Abbott within 24 hours of him giving a speech admitting error, dropping unpopular schemes, promising more consultation and delivering a strong case for re-election. That is an act of bastardry. What would it have hurt to give Abbott a few more months to see if he could match words with deeds?
put this to Jensen on air last night and was deeply, deeply unsatisfied with his answers. I find it astonishing that he would want Abbott gone without being able to suggest who could do a better job. Indeed, Jensen, a fierce climate sceptic, seemed happy to have Malcolm Turnbull, an equally fierce warmist, return to the leadership, even though Jensen was one of the plotters who brought Turnbull down, too, precisely for his warmist views.
Listeners also did not buy Jensen’s excuses for attacking Abbott a day after his speech. Every caller was scathing. There’s a warning for the plotters.
It is also incredible to see Jensen, a fierce climate sceptic, plotting for a change of leadership that could bring back the equally fierce warmist Malcolm Turnbull, the leader Jensen helped to topple five years ago.
And all for what? Tell me which of the other rivals for Abbott’s job has a better plan to cut the deficit against the will of a feral Senate and hostile media? Think Labor and the Greens will suddenly roll over for Malcolm Turnbull or Julie Bishop?
UPDATE
Paul Kelly:
The Liberal Party is now consumed by self-interest, rivalry and anger… What is gobsmacking is that while Abbott is being pulled down there is no agreement on the alternative prime minister. It is a deeply revealing omission. It points to serious problems with the alternatives… 
Bishop is not seen as strong enough in her own right. That is her cardinal weakness. Remember: in this government she has been distant from the economic bear pit and previously she was an unsuccessful shadow treasurer.
As for Turnbull, he brings three serious defects to the job. Many MPs believe he cannot hold the Liberal Party together, that it would shatter under his leadership in a 2009 replay and that his progressive values will fracture the conservative side. Second, the Nationals distrust him, thereby creating a coalition friction. Third, Turnbull cannot crusade against Labor’s carbon pricing policy, a big problem…
What happens after a change of leadership? There are three certainties. First, the polls rise in a honeymoon effect. Second, reality kicks in as Turnbull, Bishop and Morrison, quarantined so far from management of economic policy, come to grips with unpopular policies, a hostile Senate, a damaging Abbott legacy and smouldering internal resentments. Third, after a time, the virtues of the deposed leader loom larger as the party ­realises what it has ruined.
The question is whether the Coalition government can emerge stronger, more stable and more effective from the political assassination of a prime minister and treasurer in a government’s first term. 
UPDATE
Janet Albrechtsen:
Abbott needs to return to unity. He cannot move on policy, or politics, or stay leader without party unity. The Abbott of old was a keen listener, receptive to ideas from others, humble enough not to imagine he knew all the answers. The current Abbott is unrecognisable from the Abbott of old. As a minister in the Howard government he was also a warrior for the Liberal cause. No one could imagine Abbott then doing what he did as Prime Minister: dropping a key free-speech reform because he didn’t want to offend Muslims.
Albrechtsen suggests that Abbott is unlike most leaders and could indeed resign for the good of the party. I believe that, too. It seems to me he has times been in despair at the lack of support he’s had from even his own side. But he won’t resign if the alternatives are all worse, as they seem to be at this stage. He is a man of duty, after all.
UPDATE
It’s a joke of a coup attempt, whipped along by a media only too eager to have Abbott toppled.
7.30:
SABRA LANE, REPORTER: ... I’ve just got off the phone in the last 10 minutes to Warren Entsch ... he ... told me that he strongly supports Malcolm Turnbull - not that Malcolm Turnbull has said anything at this stage about leadership.
Lane later tweets she had a “miscommunication”:
Entsch was supporting Mal Brough speech, not Malcolm Turnbull.  
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Giles outwits plotters with Armaggedon threat

Andrew Bolt February 04 2015 (7:04am)

A farcical coup collapses, having managed only to make the CLP almost unelectable:
ADAM Giles survived as Chief Minister of the Northern Territory last night following an 18-hour “blip” in which he was purportedly rolled by his colleagues, refused to resign and then emerged from a four-hour crisis meeting still as leader. 
Minister for Primary Industries Willem Westra van ­Holthe — who in the early hours of yesterday called an extraordinary press conference to declare himself “Chief Minister designate” — had by the end of yesterday been made Mr Giles’s deputy. The Australian understands the developments occurred after five of the Country Liberals’ 14 parliamentary members walked into the crisis meeting yesterday afternoon and effectively threatened to bring the government down. The remaining nine had the previous evening resolved to make Mr Westra van Holthe parliamentary leader.
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Citizens fighting in Syria threaten our security

Piers Akerman – Monday, February 03, 2014 (7:01pm)

THE federal government is exploring the possibility of stripping Australian jihadists fighting in Syria of their citizenship.  Discussion on possible measures has begun between Attorney-General George Brandis and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison but no submission has yet been made to Cabinet.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Citizens fighting in Syria threaten our security'
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“PAUL BARRY BROKE MY HEART”

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 04, 2014 (3:03pm)

The ABC host’s terrible confession shatters Twitter leftoids.
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DENOUNCED BY DAVE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 04, 2014 (2:41pm)

Fun on Sydney community radio. The best bit is when David Marr tells me I’m not a journalist. 
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LOSING JASPER

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 04, 2014 (2:32pm)

Achingly sad but beautifully written. Our Minnesota mate James Lileks farewells his dog Jasper.
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SARAH IN THE TELE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 04, 2014 (2:13am)

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young sends a note to the Daily Telegraph
I am writing to comment on the article printed in the Daily Telegraph on Monday, 3 February 2014.
To set the record straight, my line of questioning was in regard to the Channel 7 program ‘Border Security’ and the same channel’s new reality show ‘Coastwatch Oz’. I was simply pointing out the fact that the government is promoting and publicising the activities of border security operations on the one hand while, on the other hand, refusing to answer questions about illegal operations it is undertaking on the high seas.
It was Mike Pezzullo, CEO of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, who raised the television program ‘Sea Patrol’, about which I made no reference.
While I know it’s unlikely that the Daily Telegraph columnist will check his facts with me in the future, I will continue to point out the dangerous and secretive nature of this government’s policies. 
Keep it up, Sarah. Continue exposing secret television shows, or whatever it is you think you’re doing. It’s working a treat.
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BEATS EARLY NORTHERN FEUDALISM

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 04, 2014 (2:09am)

Guardian headline so fantastically self-ridiculing that even the article’s author disowns it:

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Readers are invited to compose their own Guardian-style headline linking anything to “late western capitalism”. Also, I need to find out what “late western capitalism” is.
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TURNBURN

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 04, 2014 (1:39am)

Mushy Malcolm finds a spine: 
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has issued a thinly veiled warning to the ABC to correct and apologise for errors, as senior cabinet figures voiced outrage and backbenchers seethed over the broadcaster’s handling of claims that asylum-seekers were deliberately burnt by defence personnel …
Mr Turnbull, who faced criticism from Coalition colleagues over his defence last week of the ABC, yesterday toughened his stance, warning that along with independence, the ABC also had statutory requirements for accuracy and impartiality.
He called on the national broadcaster to correct and apologise for incorrect reporting.
“The parliament has given the ABC editorial independence by law,” Mr Turnbull told The Australian. “The same law has also required the ABC be accurate and impartial in its news and current affairs reporting ‘according to the recognised standards of objective journalism’. 
It always takes Turnbull a few days. His instincts aren’t great. Speaking of folk who need some time, even Media Watchdoubts the ABC’s torture stories: 
The ABC over-reached, by essentially endorsing the allegations of Navy mistreatment on radio, TV and online throughout the day.
Because even if the [Indonesian] police did back the asylum seekers’ claims, there was no way of knowing they were true …
We believe the ABC should have been far more cautious, given the evidence it had, and given it was making such a big call against the Navy. 
And then the show returned to its usual News-fear.
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COW CORNER

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 04, 2014 (1:23am)

In Vanessa Badham’s world, cricketers wear jerseys:

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Or maybe she means these jerseys. Clearly, cricket is a very different game in Van Land. Probably they bowl cheese toasties
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GREAT MOMENTS IN EGYPTIAN TELEVISION

Tim Blair – Monday, February 03, 2014 (11:42pm)

It begins with a dispute about vinegar:



The woman under attack is Egyptian TV personality Noha Abdeen, star of a prank show that apparently pits unknowing Egyptian citizens against the wily Abdeen, masquerading as a kitchen rival in some sort of mock cooking contest. Her role, so far as I can tell, is to goad and taunt the unwitting women until they reach breaking point. She’s very good at her job. Afterwards, when the prank is revealed, all is usually well. Even the program featuring the clip above concluded with laughter. Sometimes, however, it all ends in tears
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Sharman Stone owes Abbott a sorry for this verballing

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (3:54pm)

Sharman Stone, not Tony Abbott, is the one not telling the facts here - and is disloyal to boot:
Liberal MP Sharman Stone has launched an extraordinary attack on Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey, accusing them of “lying” in defending their decision not to give $25 million to fruit processor SPC Ardmona… 
Dr Stone, whose Goulburn Valley electorate takes in SPC Ardmona, told ABC radio on Tuesday that her colleagues were misleading the public by saying workplace conditions were to blame.
Asked whether she thought Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey are ‘’actually, really lying when they’re saying it’s about this issue (the workplace agreement)’’, Dr Stone responded: ‘’Well they’re not speaking the reality.’’
Asked if that constituted ‘’lying’’, Dr Stone said: “It’s not the truth, that’s right, it’s lying.’’ 
What they said was, we’re not going to help because it is the amazing wages and conditions that have knocked this company for six.”
And again:
LEXI METHERELL: So, by ignoring reality, do you mean that the Prime Minister and Eric Abetz are lying? 
SHARMAN STONE: Well you could use that word if you like, but what they explained as the reason for not supporting SPCA, which was basically awards and conditions, was about focusing on unions. It wasn’t about the realities of the last standing fruit preserving industry… Perhaps it’s a distraction from the facts, which would require some government action… Like abolishing the carbon tax, that hasn’t happened yet.  
In fact, Tony Abbott did not make the simplistic argument Stone claims - that the workplace conditions were “basically” what had “knocked this company for six” and were “the reason for not supporting SPC” with a a $25 million handout:
This is a restructure – a necessary restructure – that Coca-Cola Amatil, as the owner of SPC Ardmona has been prepared to embark upon and I think it’s very important now that Coca-Cola complete the restructuring ... 
It is very important that they complete the renegotiation of the enterprise bargaining agreement. The existing agreement contains conditions and provisions which are well in excess of the award: there are wet allowances, there are loadings, there are extensive provisions to cash out sick leave, there are extremely generous redundancy provisions well in excess of the award…
Coca-Cola Amatil is… a $9 billion business by market capitalisation. In the last six months for which has been reported, their pre-tax profit was just a whisker under $300 million, just for six months… So, this is a very, very strong business and I think this is a business which well and truly has the resources to ensure that SPC Ardmona is in a strong position to restructure ...
Coca-Cola have done a lot to restructure the business already. They’ve put a lot of money in, they’ve changed the management, they have new product lines that they are beginning to roll out, they have done a lot of work with some of their customers, both domestically and abroad. So, the restructure is underway, but there’s a lot more that needs to be done and it should be done by the business. It’s not really the Government’s job… 
Likewise with Industry Minister Eric Abetz. He mentioned the over-award pay and conditions at SPC Ardmona as just one of the cost factors harming the operation, and just one of the reasons for refusing it a handout:
SPC Ardmona is a business that has the potential, even on Coca-Cola Amatil’s figures, of returning a profit. What they need to do is have a look at some of their cost structures and help themselves in, clearly, difficult circumstances. But they can do that. And the parent company clearly has the wherewithal to be able to undertake the renewal that SPC Ardmona needs… 
Look, the conditions of the workers were, regrettably, over generous. One example is the ‘shiny tin’ allowance for forklift drivers… And might I also add, if we could remove the carbon tax and other imposts it would make the viability of SPC Ardmona even better.
UPDATE
SPC Ardmona corrects claims Abbott and Abetz did not actually make (sick leave paid out each year, rather than on redundancy). It ignores ones they or others did make (five days training leave for each of the eight shop stewards; the bright can allowance) and plays down its generous above-award conditions, from five rostered days off a year to allowances and above-award pay and redundancy pay-outs. They also claim the overtime paid is minimal without discussing whether lower overtime rates would in fact allow the plant to operate more flexibly.
The point remains: a company and workers who have not done everything to save their own business cannot expect taxpayers to save it for them. And this is just one factor in denying them a grant.
As for some of the company’s other complaints about tough trading conditions and unfair competition, fine. But I am struck that SPC Ardmona, whose parent company is run by David Gonski, so connected to Labor and Therese Rain, never got around to mentioning Labor’s carbon tax.
UPDATE
This pay deal last December does not sound to me like a deal struck to save a company from going under:
SPC ARDMONA workers will receive pay rises totalling 5 per cent over 10 months, with wage rises awarded to designated team leaders increasing to 8.5 per cent. 
The deal between SPC and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union saw workers receive an initial 2.5 per cent pay rise in March this year which was backdated two months. The second 2.5 per cent increase will be paid from January 1.
Under the deal, which expires next June, 12 team leaders will receive two additional increases totalling 3.5 per cent… 
The annual base salary for a production employee on the highest classification will be $61,308 from next month.
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And not a drop to drink without a certificate

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (2:26pm)

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Reader Andrew is astonished:
I work in the food and beverage industry in South Australia, and just thought I would forward you on this bizarre and ridiculous junk that I spend many hours attending to every week. I have just been informed that I need to be registered to provide drinking water to patrons.
Astonishing. Just read all the questions on that form at the link.  Bureaucrats are tougher on people who’d give you water than on people who’d let you thirst.
Let us now rewrite St John’s Gospel in the manner now preferred by the South Australian Department of Health:
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. Besides, I have not filled in my Application for Registration as a Drinking Water Provider. 
10 Jesus wept.
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How the Left celebrates all diversity but yours

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (1:50pm)

A far-Left council in western Melbourne created a “Go West” campaign to make everyone feel appreciated and included:
As part of Midsumma 2010, Hobsons Bay City Council hosted a GLBTIQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer) Forum… The Forum, along with a successful arts event featuring GLBTIQ artists from the region, were held under the GO WEST logo which was newly created for Midsumma events being held by the Council… 
The Forum clearly demonstrates the Council’s vision of “Working together to achieve a vibrant and sustainable community that celebrates diversity ...” 
The council’s celebration of diversity, however, does not extend to celebrating the diversity of Australians who chose Tony Abbott as their Prime Minister, to judge by the T-shirt of the man who paraded the council’s slogan at the Gay Pride march in Melbourne last weekend:
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A ratepayer, Matthew Dale, writes to his own Wyndham City Council, which joined the Go West campaign:
As a tax payer I take absolute offence to the following image of the person who carried the ‘go west’ banner along Fitzroy st for the Pride March, for the taxes that I pay fund the go west initiative and no doubt the cost of printing the banner itself. As a supporter of gay rights and marriage equality I find it unnecessary to bring any hate or anger to pride march, which is intended to celebrate the diversity and rich culture of Melbourne’s gay community… 
I would like to see your council address this matter by publicly withdrawing support for the “F..k Tony Abbott” movement and I also feel that it would be appropriate to publicly apologise to the office of the Hon. Tony Abbott for allowing your volunteer, employee or supporter (photographed above) to publicly promote your government funded initiative while wearing such an offensive tshirt. If you are not to withdraw support for the movement itself and apologise for allowing your volunteer, employee or supporter to lead your publicly funded initiative as it participated in the 2014 Midsumma pride march, as a tax payer I would take this as an endorsement directly by your council.
And as we’ve often had occasion to ask, imagine the media uproar if something similarly crude and offensive  had been directed at Julia Gillard.
But with Abbott the “compassionate” Left bares its fangs. Believe it or not, but “F… Abbott” T-shirts were actually produced by an Age columnist and promoted by the newspaper itself.   
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10 years on, where’s the warming? Where’s the sorry?

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (1:12pm)

Global warming - dud predictions

 What Britain’s Met Office predicted in 2007:
By 2014 we’re predicting it will be 0.3 degrees warmer than 2004 [red dot on graphics below], and just to put that into context the warming over the past century and a half has only been 0.7 degrees, globally, there have been bigger changes locally but globally the warming is 0.7 degrees. So 0.3 degrees over the next ten years is pretty significant. And half the years after 2009 are predicted to be hotter than 1998 which was the previous record. So these are very strong statements about what will happen over the next ten years, so again I think this illustrates we can already see signs of climate change but over the next ten years we are expecting to see quite significant changes occurring. 
What actually happened:
With none of the fanfare that accompanied their prediction of the global temperature for the forthcoming year the Met Office has quietly released the global temperature for 2013. It will come as no surprise after the 2013 temperatures released by NASA and NOAA that it shows the global temperature standstill – now at 17 years – continues. Once again the Met Office predicted the following year would be considerably warmer than it turned out to be. There is something seriously wrong with the Met Office’s forecasts.  
I really think we’re owed an apology or at least an explanation:
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(Via the Global Warming Policy Foundation.)
UPDATE
No, the ABC isn’t biased. It just by pure fluke keeps writing absolute nonsense in support of global warming alarmism:
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Its later correction is marginally better - this time correctly reporting a warmist made a stupid claim about a tree suddenly suffering from a warming that hasn’t actually occurred for 17 years:
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The unembroidered facts about this tree:
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More plain facts:
Darwin experienced tides of 8.08m on Sunday, the highest tides for at least three years, the Bureau of Meteorology said. 
King tides, when the sun, earth and moon are in alignment, usually happen twice each year in Darwin but the current king tide has been stronger than normal because of onshore winds and lower atmospheric pressure associated with a monsoon trough… Rainy, windy weather also caused trees to fall down.
But, no, some scaremonger can’t resist the opportunity to scream “global warming!”
(Thanks to readers Dave and Wade.) 
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How Turney sailed into record ice and saw only warming

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (12:58pm)

Global warming - dud predictions

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Remember how Professor Chris Turney’s Ship of Fools continued to protest that global warming was melting the sea ice everywhere except, by sheer coincidence, where they’d been trapped?
Sea ice is disappearing due to climate change, but here ice is building up. 
Guess those warmists picked a bad time to tell us global warming was melting Antarctica:
Antarctic sea ice extent continues to break records. Extent at 31st January, of 4.540 million sq km, beat the previous record set in 2008. This is 26% higher than the climatological average for this date of 3.598 million sq km. 
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The ultimate Guardian

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (12:50pm)

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Shorten defends rotten unions from a royal commission

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (10:04am)

Bill Shorten, the former union boss who unions helped to install as Labor leader, is digging himself a hole. Remember these comments when the inevitable inquiry digs up what it inevitably will:
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has labelled a royal commission into union corruption a political witch-hunt, while warning he would take a zero-tolerance approach to union corruption… Mr Shorten suggested the Abbott government had undermined the work of law enforcement agencies by pushing for a royal commission.
Andrew Goldsmith, strategic professor of Criminology, Law School, Flinders University, disagrees: 
Union and opposition calls for legal processes to take their normal course in dealing with these types of allegations appear naive. They advocate the pursuit of “rotten apples”. This is a discredited approach to corruption analysis… 
While criminal law retains an important role in attacking corruption, police investigation and prosecutions alone rarely dent the structures and cultures that sustain corruption… A royal commission is better resourced than standing agencies to undertake a root and branch examination… A royal commission that takes a systemic approach to the examination of the issues, rather than one mainly driven by criminal law standards, is less likely to look like a witch-hunt against either corporate or union interests. It is more likely to secure co-operation from otherwise reluctant sources holding important information about corruption and intimidation.
Of course, the danger for Labor is that a royal commission might well discover that one of the “structures and cultures that sustain corruption” has been Labor governments too weak to stand up to rotten unions.
(Thanks to reader Peter.) 
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Voldemort was a climate sceptic. Abbott, too

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (9:52am)

Warmist Michael Mazengarb explains why he resigned from the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator following the election of the Abbott government:
What would the wizards and witches in the Ministry of Magic have thought and done when Voldemort revived his quest for power? Did they have their own version of the APS Values or Code of Conduct? Did they instruct officials to remain apolitical and to serve the government/Dark Lord of The Day?
This man was once paid by us to help the “design and implementation of Australia’s renewable energy and climate change policies”.
(Via Catallaxy Files.) 
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Which saboteur slashed Victoria’s power?

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (9:44am)

We need to hear a lot, lot more about this astonishing bastardry:
Police say a fire at the Yallourn power station in Gippsland in June last year was caused by an act of sabotage… 
Three generators were knocked out at the plant which supplies a quarter of Victoria’s energy. It came in the middle of a bitter industrial dispute between the power station operator Energy Australia and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).
The fire coincided with Energy Australia’s decision to lock CFMEU members out of the site indefinitely… The CFMEU has ...denied any involvement.
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Human Rights Commission gives Coalition the grilling it spared Labor when children drowned

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (9:24am)

As I noted yesterday, the Human Rights Commission, if it were truly unbiased and worried about the children of asylum seekers, should have held an inquiry when Labor was luring scores of children to their deaths at sea and filling our detention centres with its reckless policies.
Er, ah, stutters the commission, caught out again: 
THE Australian Human Rights Commission should have considered an inquiry into asylum-seeker children in detention under the former Labor government when numbers were actually rising, the commission’s president has admitted.
Gillian Triggs said she accepted criticism that the timing of the commission’s current inquiry, announced yesterday, was off by about “two or three years”—but blamed her predecessor and the election year for the delay.
Professor Triggs also acknowledged the political nature of the move, saying that, having held off launching an inquiry during Labor’s final period in government and the early months of the Abbott administration, it was “now time to start using the influence we have"… 
The commission’s first report into child detention in Australia noted a peak of 842 children held under the Howard government in September 2001. That number was passed under the Gillard government in November 2010, when 883 children were in detention. It passed 1000 for the first time under Labor in January 2011 and reached a high of almost 2000 last July, two months before the federal election. It is estimated there are about 1028 children in asylum detention in Australia and Nauru.
Realising its timing was off by about “two or three years”, the commission should have called off this new inquiry. Lives are being saved and the detention centres emptied by Abbott.
Sounds like partisan politics again from the Human Rights Commissions, thinking our rights are more endangered by conservatives.
Once again, evidence that scrapping the Commission would save millions without disadvantaging the country a jot.

UPDATE
Sev Ozdowski, former Human Rights Commissioner responsible for the 2001 inquiry:
Certainly the repetition of my inquiry is the highest form of flattery but timing is very odd. When the boats were arriving in large numbers and Labor was at its peak of cruelty towards the boat arrivals AHRC almost did not see the problem and the newly appointed Children Rights Commissioner was proclaiming that her jurisdiction is limited to domestic matters. 
(Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill, BbqTalk, Dave, Earnestlad and many others.) 
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Helping Paul Barry. Why the ABC is bigger than we’d allow any Murdoch

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (8:28am)

Media Watch host Paul Barry last night threatened to put an ABC critic in his place for warning the ABC was too big for our health:
When the Prime Minister finally joined the chorus last week the ABC’s enemies and detractors put the boot in again. 
But the big question is: will this be the end of it? ... And the answer is, No. Or not if News Corp and Andrew Bolt have their way. 
“ANDREW BOLT: The ABC is just too big for a state-funded, government-beholden, media outlet. It runs an empire so vast, across so many platforms, that no private media operator is even allowed to do that. — 2GB, Nights with Steve Price, 29th January, 2014”
We’ll come back to that issue in another program and to the charge that ABC News Online makes life impossible for its commercial rivals. 
Let me put Barry on the right path.
Here are just some of the limits put on private media companies, as explained on the parliamentary website:
Television
A person must not control television broadcasting licences whose combined licence area exceeds 75 per cent of the population of Australia, or more than one licence within a licence area (section 53)…
Radio
A person must not be in a position to control more than two licences in the same licence area (section 54)…

Cross-Media Control

Under section 60 a person must not control: 

- a commercial television broadcasting licence and a commercial radio broadcasting licence having the same licence area 
- a commercial television broadcasting licence and a newspaper associated with that licence area 
- or a commercial radio broadcasting licence and newspaper associated with that licence area.
But the vast state-owned ABC can do what no private media company may.
Unlike commercial media companies, the ABC can and does “control television broadcasting licences whose combined licence area exceeds 75 per cent of the population of Australia”. The ABC’s service is available to 98 per cent of the Australian population.
Unlike commercial media companies, the ABC can and does “control more than two [radio] licences in the same licence area”. In Melbourne, for instance, it has five - Radio National, 774, Classic FM, Triple J and NewsRadio.
Unlike commercial media companies, the ABC can and does have “a commercial television broadcasting licence and a commercial radio broadcasting licence having the same licence area”.
What’s more, the ABC with The Drum and its extensive on-line news site is now effectively engaged in the modern form of newspaper publishing. Private newspaper publishers are banned from doing what the ABC now in reality does:  they may not simultaneously hold “a commercial television broadcasting licence and a newspaper associated with that licence area”, or “a commercial radio broadcasting licence and newspaper associated with that licence area”.
I repeat: no private media outlet is permitted the reach and multiple platforms the ABC now enjoys.  Why is the ABC allowed a reach we’ve agreed is too dangerous for any other media outlet? After all, it is no less partisan.
As for squeezing out commercial rivals, the ABC now publishes free on line the same kind of news and views that Fairfax newspapers must sell to the same kind of audience if it is to survive. Consider already the collapse of Politifact, which had to compete against a free ABC rival. As Politifact’s founder sighed:
We don’t have the budget the ABC does and tax payers funding… 
Consider also the collapse of the Global Mail (although, true, it was a bad product propped up by a donor now backing the Guardian Australia). There will be more. Fairfax newspapers, for instance, are not predicted to last much longer in print form.
And the ABC will grow ever more dominant. Such a state-run behemoth is a danger in a democracy. Even at its most benign, when such a big player is so closed-shop Left it will stifle debate.
I wonder what Liberals think this means for their causes and their future, let alone for their country. 
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Media Watch admits ABC wrong on “torture” story. Slams ABC’s critics

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (8:13am)

Media

The ABC’s appalling reporting of the navy’s alleged torture of boat people is too much even for the ABC’s Media Watch: 
We believe the ABC should have been far more cautious, given the evidence it had, and given it was making such a big call against the Navy… It now seems the burns occurred in a scuffle with the Navy. And were not deliberately inflicted by Navy personnel. We believe ABC News got it wrong. And if so ... it needs to admit it, to find out how the mistake was made, and to make sure it will not happen again.
How the mistake was made? Host Paul Barry refuses to accept the obvious conclusion that this too-eager willingness to believe the improbable worst of the navy and Abbott’s border policies is just one more evidence of the ABC’s bias. Consider the context - a record of frantic ABC campaigning against those very policies - and, of course, a refusal to apologise now for a gross error of judgment.
And so Barry skips on to mocking not the ABC but its critics. He runs for the umpteenth time his tired anti-Murdoch vendetta, and even stoops to commissioning a cartoon of me to belittle the very people who, in calling out the ABC over its torture story, were actually right.
Astonishing. Call out the ABC and you’ll be attacked by the ABC even when the ABC admits you were right. So childish.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.)  
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Shock. Abbott does not provoke a war over the boats

Andrew Bolt February 04 2014 (7:22am)

Greg Sheridan on the success that the ABC and Fairfax neither predicted nor wish to credit:
IT is surely remarkable that the Indonesian military has declared that it is moving naval assets to the south of its archipelago for the specific purpose of combating people-smuggling… 
So, given that this has been a chief aim of Australian bilateral diplomacy for years, and that it has now been achieved, the Abbott government must surely be basking in the praise of Australian commentators. Well, not exactly.
First, a lot of commentators are determined that the Abbott government can do nothing effective or right in foreign policy....  [T]hese folks have long ardently wished for ... a full blown crisis between Canberra and Jakarta…
Over the last week or so, the Indonesians have clearly wound down their rhetoric and response, seemingly for three key reasons. One, the response is incident-driven; if there are no boats, there are no incidents. Two, the Indonesians recognise that it is in their interests if the boat trade stops, even if they disagree with how the Abbott government is stopping it. Three, the Abbott government’s steadiness of policy here has made it clear that complaining about the policy won’t have any effect. 
This issue has a long way to run and it is inherently unpredictable. But so far we know for sure that the boats have stopped and no serious or permanent damage has been done to the relationship with Indonesia. That, surely, is a good outcome.
But once it was the wisdom of the Left to state as fact that Abbott was a bumbler whose boat policy would do nothing but risk confrontation with Indonesia.
Adjunct professor Colin Brown:
Australia achieves nothing from this policy, except straining the relationship with Indonesia.
Kevin Rudd:
Prime Minister Mr Rudd said the opposition’s plan to turn back asylum-seeker boats risked “some sort of conflict with Indonesia"… Mr Rudd suggested the opposition’s boats policy could lead to a naval showdown.
Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek: 
Over the past several weeks, many have looked on shocked as the Abbott government has turned Australia’s once strong relationship with Indonesia sour.
Professor Damien Kingsbury:
Given that Indonesia is very unlikely to agree to such a policy [to turn back boats], if Abbott becomes prime minister after the next election, it is likely that he will continue to avoid it. To do otherwise would be to plunge Australia-Indonesia relations back to the lowest of their previous depths. Wrecking a very strong and important bilateral relationship is not what any Australian prime minister would desire.
Richard Ackland, Sydney Morning Herald columnist:
Best way for [Indonesian President] SBY to respond to spying is to open the spigot on refugees. Put 50,000 on boats, point them at Oz. Goodbye Abbott. 
John Menadue in the ABC’s The Drum: 
Could we do more to offend the Indonesians? ...  In the ‘war’ on boat arrivals, the Abbott Government has ignored the collateral damage it has done to our relations with Indonesia.
The Age, November 2013:
The government’s cornerstone policy of ‘’stopping the boats’’ is fast unravelling… This would be laughable if it were not so serious… The continuing heavy-handed approach is damaging the bilateral relationship… We suspect the Coalition knew all along that its policy of turning back boats was fraught with difficulty...
Comedian Ben Eltham Ben Eltham, not a professional comedian:
This is madness. Australia is risking a critical relationship with a good neighbour for no other reason than cheap domestic politics. Operation Sovereign Borders is dangerous, potentially illegal, and obviously offensive to our key partner in the region… The Abbott government appears entirely willing to damage Australia’s national interests for the sake of “stopping the boats”
Former diplomat Bruce Haigh:
Australia has a problem. Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison have taken Australia down a path from which there are only two outcomes: further aggression and confrontation with Indonesia or retreat.
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Is the ABC really biased, Tony Jones asks his four panellists of the Left

Andrew Bolt February 03 2014 (10:06pm)

Q&A Leftist host Tony Jones asks his panel tonight to discuss whether the ABC really is biased.
Tanya Plibersek, Labor’s deputy leader, says no, and what about that rotten Abbott.
Akmal Saleh, billed as a comedian, says Murdoch’s papers are the real disgrace and Abbott is a clown.
Cassandra Goldie, head of Australian Council of Social Service, says the ABC is really, really important and gives voice to the voiceless.
Ray Martin, the journalist and urger of republicanism and “reconciliation”, says the ABC is wonderful and those Liberals have always been whingeing about bias at the ABC.  Gosh one silly Liberal PM was even suspiciousn about his red tie.
So far, then, five people of the Left, including Jones, and speaking to the loud cheers of a very vocally Left audience.
Against all that are just Murdoch journalist Nick Cater and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.
Two against five.
Really, did Tony Jones seriously think he could ask such a question about ABC bias without us noticing that his choice of panellists had (yet again) given the answer?
UPDATE
I’m going to bed. Plibersek is at her interrupting, hectoring and abusive worst, and not even Cater and Joyce have corrected Jones’ claim that The Australian’s alleged campaign against the ABC could be influenced by what Jones said was parent company News Corp’s play for a $225 million contract to deliver the Australia Network, which Labor gave to the ABC against the judgement an independent panel. That was “a lot” of money to influence News, Jones said, suggesting this could be why The Australian was attacking the ABC’s hold on the Australia Network.
Attention Jones: first, it seems there won’t actually be an Australia Network at all, given the Government’s cost-cutting plans. The prospect of News Corp ever earning a dollar from the rights to run the network seem remote.
Second, News Corp wasn’t the bidder for the contract. Sky News was. Sky News is two-thirds owned by the Seven and Nine networks, with Britain’s BSkyB owning the last third. Just 39 per cent of BSkyB is owned by a Murdoch entity, 21st Century Fox.  Which all means that in the unlikely event that Sky News got the Australia Network, a Murdoch company would have just 13 per cent of the action - or less than $30 million, not $225 million.
And, really, questioning a motive before you address an argument is a shoddy way to argue. Nick Cater was very right to protest, while Plibersek next to him mugged like a clown.  
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  • Earliest day on which Ash Wednesday can fall, while March 10 is the latest; celebrated on the first day of Lent (Christianity)
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“But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” -Psalm 59:16
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

February 3: Morning

"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors." - Romans 8:12
As God's creatures, we are all debtors to him: to obey him with all our body, and soul, and strength. Having broken his commandments, as we all have, we are debtors to his justice, and we owe to him a vast amount which we are not able to pay. But of the Christian it can be said that he does not owe God's justice anything, for Christ has paid the debt his people owed; for this reason the believer owes the more to love. I am a debtor to God's grace and forgiving mercy; but I am no debtor to his justice, for he will never accuse me of a debt already paid. Christ said, "It is finished!" and by that he meant, that whatever his people owed was wiped away forever from the book of remembrance. Christ, to the uttermost, has satisfied divine justice; the account is settled; the handwriting is nailed to the cross; the receipt is given, and we are debtors to God's justice no longer. But then, because we are not debtors to our Lord in that sense, we become ten times more debtors to God than we should have been otherwise. Christian, pause and ponder for a moment. What a debtor thou art to divine sovereignty! How much thou owest to his disinterested love, for he gave his own Son that he might die for thee. Consider how much you owe to his forgiving grace, that after ten thousand affronts he loves you as infinitely as ever. Consider what you owe to his power; how he has raised you from your death in sin; how he has preserved your spiritual life; how he has kept you from falling; and how, though a thousand enemies have beset your path, you have been able to hold on your way. Consider what you owe to his immutability. Though you have changed a thousand times, he has not changed once. Thou art as deep in debt as thou canst be to every attribute of God. To God thou owest thyself, and all thou hast--yield thyself as a living sacrifice, it is but thy reasonable service.
Evening
"Tell me ... where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon." - Song of Solomon 1:7
These words express the desire of the believer after Christ, and his longing for present communion with him. Where doest thou feed thy flock? In thy house? I will go, if I may find thee there. In private prayer? Then I will pray without ceasing. In the Word? Then I will read it diligently. In thine ordinances? Then I will walk in them with all my heart. Tell me where thou feedest, for wherever thou standest as the Shepherd, there will I lie down as a sheep; for none but thyself can supply my need. I cannot be satisfied to be apart from thee. My soul hungers and thirsts for the refreshment of thy presence. "Where dost thou make thy flock to rest at noon?" for whether at dawn or at noon, my only rest must be where thou art and thy beloved flock. My soul's rest must be a grace-given rest, and can only be found in thee. Where is the shadow of that rock? Why should I not repose beneath it? "Why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?" Thou hast companions--why should I not be one? Satan tells me I am unworthy; but I always was unworthy, and yet thou hast long loved me; and therefore my unworthiness cannot be a bar to my having fellowship with thee now. It is true I am weak in faith, and prone to fall, but my very feebleness is the reason why I should always be where thou feedest thy flock, that I may be strengthened, and preserved in safety beside the still waters. Why should I turn aside? There is no reason why I should, but there are a thousand reasons why I should not, for Jesus beckons me to come. If he withdrew himself a little, it is but to make me prize his presence more. Now that I am grieved and distressed at being away from him, he will lead me yet again to that sheltered nook where the lambs of his fold are sheltered from the burning sun.
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Aquila 
[Ăq'uĭlă] - eagle.
A Jew whom Paul found at Corinth on his arrival from Athens (Acts 18:2, 18, 26Rom. 16:31 Cor. 16:192 Tim. 4:19).
The Man Who Is Always Linked with His Wife
A characteristic feature of Aquila and Priscilla is that their names are always mentioned together. In the truest sense they were "no more twain but one." They were one in their common interest in Christ, and all they accomplished together in the name of the Lord was the result of that perfect unity of spiritual nature, of purpose and of aim.
I. By occupation they were tent-makers. Perhaps it was because Paul followed the same trade that he was attracted to them when he went to Corinth from Athens.
II. By their oneness in spiritual things they were hospitable. Being in full sympathy with Paul's message they willingly received him unto their house, and he remained with them for a year and a half. What blessed times of fellowship the three of them must have had!
III. By their faithfulness they encouraged the saints. Paul tells us that these two devoted people were willing to "lay down their own necks" for the apostle. What they did for Paul earned the gratitude of all the churches.
IV. By their spiritual insight, Apollos and many other saints were helped. They had a "church in their house" and because of their spiritual quality and knowledge of Scripture many were blessed.
A fact that cannot escape our notice is that Priscilla is usually named first in the references to Aquila and herself. Perhaps this most "noble Roman lady" became a Christian before her husband. Maybe she was a more active worker than her husband! Chrysostom says that it was Priscilla's careful expositions of the way of God that proved so helpful to Apollos. Together, Aquila and Priscilla are a pertinent example for Christian husbands and wives.
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Today's reading: Exodus 31-33, Matthew 22:1-22 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Exodus 31-32

Bezalel and Oholiab
Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 "See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills-- 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5 to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts....

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

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
4 "Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet....'

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