Friday, March 11, 2016

Fri Mar 11th Todays News

As the impending election looks increasingly like being called, the opposition is working very hard to not have a policy but be appealing to their rusted on supporters. ALP suit Bill Shorten has spent the day on the eastern seaboard pointing to the Liberal Party's achievements under Mr Abbott. Di Natale for the Greens refused to rule out a deal with the LNP by claiming it was unthinkable. Tony Windsor has discovered he can still damage his electorate if they let him. Meanwhile, Julie Bishop shows she needs direction from a good leader, or she will deal with Iran by caving into their pressure. No LNP minister is defending the former PM's secretary from shameful abuse.
For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
A friend of a friend has died, early twenties, from cancer, and they leave so many questions. Too young. Too soon. They didn't tell anyone as once it was discovered it was too late. Such a heavy burden for them and their family. And their loved ones. And it doesn't matter who or where, what does one say? How does one feel. It matters nothing what choices we make, the world moves forward. All the wonderful things they might have been leaves an ache on the heart, and one finds themselves returning to some point in the past, and it brings laughter and tears in turn. It isn't a teaching moment, although we learn from it. Sit shiv 'ah and recount our memories for seven days, finally, tear the head cover in keriah. Or annually mourn, preparing food for the spirits and laying it on an altar. Pilgrimage? Or give thanks to God for the life that was shared. 

Friends never listen. They never hear you. They hang together with friends and they amuse, irritate, annoy, outrage and bring joy. But they never listen. One worries for them and warns them, out of love, but still they do what they do. Like dying of cancer. Only it wasn't their choice to die of cancer, but I really wish they had listened and not done it. Friends die. Friends die all the time. Sometimes in car accidents. Sometimes in terrorist attacks or domestic abuse. But they don't really die. One just worries for them. And mainly one sees them again soon and they didn't die, it was only worry. Until one does die and it isn't worry, but real, and so worry means more friends die. If only there was something strong and eternal. A rock on which to place faith and hope. To stand on firm ground and know they will not die, but live. 

It is ok to die old and blessed. But it is ok to die young too. But make sure they were blessed. Make the memory and the legacy bound to the eternal. Love is never lost, although the lover passes. Hold your friends and loved ones. Don't get snared by the irritating and immediate worry, but reach for the eternal. You might name a child after them, but it isn't advisable to name a pet after them, and definitely not a guinea pig or hamster. 
From 2014
It is hard to like simple bigotry. Hard to forgive it. Hard to address it when you wish to show respect to the dignity of a thinking person, but are not given much to work with. Hating is caustic and causes mistakes when people need cool judgement. That is something that Tasmanians must address when they face election on this weekend. The Hare Clarke voting system Tasmanians use mean it is very hard for a conservative government to form. Last election, the conservative party had the largest size, but were denied the opportunity to form government by the governor, which is improper, but realistically a recognition of reality. It isn't enough for the conservatives to merely win the election, they need to win well. And they deserve to win. They have policies which could grow Tasmania, while the ALP and Greens merely want to increase spending. They are a badly run, small state. But the media are working very hard to even the vote by being pro Green ALP .. hence being 'balanced.' It is hatred of the conservatives that needs to be faced. Not through anger, but through cool judgement and even handedness. A conservative government would administer for all Tasmanians, and not merely those who profit from bad government. 

Such hatred is not limited to Tasmania. Sarah Palin has been verbal-ed again by the media. I have read her writing, and seen her speak. She is capable as an administrator and smart. She has been reported as saying that she would nuke Russia. She did not say that. It is very hard for those who think of her with hatred, borne from the venom of the media. Years ago, Palin was right about engaging with Russia over Georgia, and she is right now. But you will need to read what she has said to know what she is right about .. and not the misleading headline. Conservatism is a big tent with many diverse views. The left tend to converge on a view, while conservatives tend to converge on a leader. 

But hatred is no way to run a group. Australian Defence League was founded as a brother organisation to the English Defence League (EDL). I get it that there are soldier types who like to keep their ties with friends in an organised way after leaving the military or police. However, the leadership of these groups is seriously bad. No sensible politician would antagonise a constituency for no reason, but these idiots do just that. One example the bigots are using is the issue of terrorism and the ties to Islam. There are good reasons why decent Islamic peoples have been compromised by these ties. It is a good policy to denounce the idiots who are terrorists and try to separate the mainstream from those who abuse them. But the bigots aren't doing that. Instead they point a finger of blame at all Islamic peoples .. and others who don't say what they want to hear. It is true that in in some Islamic nations, and around the world, terrible things are done in the name of Islam by terrorists and their sympathisers. This includes genital mutilation of girls, killing gays, killing poets, writers, artists, poor and oppressed. But, were the ADL leadership prescription followed, it would be the victims hurt first .. again. Seriously stupid. They are apparently, argumentative drunks who claim to value their lifestyle. One good reason not to ban speech, is to allow those bigots to speak .. and judge for yourself. If someone from those organisations feel they are being misrepresented, I would like to hear how. ADL has spawned the Australian Tea Party (nothing like the US brand) and now, apparently, there is a group calling themselves The Patriots Defence League. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 222, Emperor Elagabalus was assassinated, along with his mother, Julia Soaemias, by the Praetorian Guard during a revolt. Their mutilated bodies were dragged through the streets of Rome before being thrown into the Tiber1387Battle of Castagnaro: English condottiero Sir John Hawkwood led Padova to victory in a factional clash with Verona1641Guaraní forces living in the Jesuit reductions defeated bandeirantes loyal to the Portuguese Empire at the Battle of Mbororé in present-day Panambí, Argentina. 1649, the Frondeurs and the French signed the Peace of Rueil1702The Daily Courant, England's first national daily newspaper was published for the first time. 1708Queen Anne withheld Royal Assent from the Scottish Militia Bill, the last time a British monarch vetoed legislation. 1784, the signing of the Treaty of Mangalore brought the Second Anglo-Mysore War to an end.

In 1811, during André Masséna's retreat from the Lines of Torres Vedras, a division led by French Marshal Michel Ney fought off a combined Anglo-Portuguese force to give Masséna time to escape. 1824, the United States Department of War created the Bureau of Indian Affairs1845Flagstaff War: Unhappy with translational differences regarding the Treaty of Waitangi, chiefs Hone Heke, Kawiti and Māori tribe members chopped down the British flagpole for a fourth time and drove settlers out of Kororareka, New Zealand. 1848Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin became the first Prime Ministers of the Province of Canada to be democratically elected under a system of responsible government

In 1851, the first performance of Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi took place in Venice1861American Civil War: The Constitution of the Confederate States of America was adopted. 1864, the Great Sheffield Flood killed 238 people in Sheffield, England. 1867, the first performance of Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi took place in Paris. 1872, construction of the Seven Sisters Colliery, South Wales, began; located on one of the richest coal sources in Britain. 1879Shō Tai formally abdicated his position of King of Ryūkyū, under orders from Tokyo, ending the Ryukyu Kingdom1888, the Great Blizzard of 1888 began along the eastern seaboard of the United States, shutting down commerce and killing more than 400.

In 1916USS Nevada (BB-36) was commissioned as the first US Navy "super-dreadnought". 1917World War I: Mesopotamian campaign: Baghdad fell to Anglo-Indian forces commanded by General Stanley Maude1918, the first case of Spanish flu occurred, the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic. 1927, in New York City, Samuel Roxy Rothafel opened the Roxy Theatre1931Ready for Labour and Defence of the USSR, abbreviated as GTO, was introduced in the Soviet Union1932, Booming Ben, the last heath hen was seen for the final time. 1933, Ground breaking musical film 42nd Street was released.

In 1941World War II: United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Act into law, allowing American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan. 1942, World War II: General Douglas MacArthur fled Corregidor1945, World War II: The Imperial Japanese Navy attempted a large-scale kamikaze attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet anchored at Ulithi atoll in Operation Tan No. 2. 1945, World War II: The Empire of Vietnam, a short-lived Japanese puppet state, was established with Bảo Đại as its ruler. 1946Rudolf Höss, the first commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, was captured by British troops.

In 1975Vietnam War: North Vietnamese and Viet Cong guerrilla forces established control over Ban Me Thuot commune from the South Vietnamese army. 1977, the 1977 Hanafi Siege: More than 130 hostages held in Washington, D.C., by Hanafi Muslims were set free after ambassadors from three Islamic nations joined negotiations. 1978Coastal Road massacre: At least 37 were killed and more than 70 were wounded when Fatah hijacked an Israeli bus, prompting Israel's Operation Litany1983Pakistan successfully conducted a cold test of a nuclear weapon1990Lithuania declared itself independent from the Soviet Union. 1990, Patricio Aylin was sworn in as the first democratically elected President of Chile since 1970. 1993Janet Reno was confirmed by the United States Senate and sworn in the next day, becoming the first female Attorney General of the United States1999Infosys became the first Indian company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

In 2004Madrid train bombings: Simultaneous explosions on rush hour trains in Madrid, Spain, killed 191 people. 2006Michelle Bachelet was inaugurated as first female president of Chile. 2007Georgia claimed Russian helicopters attacked the Kodori Valley in Abkhazia, an accusation that Russia categorically denied later. 2009Winnenden school shooting: Sixteen were killed and 11 were injured before recent-graduate Tim Kretschmer shot and killed himself, leading to tightened weapons restrictions in Germany. 2010, Economist and businessman Sebastián Piñera was sworn in as President of Chile, while three earthquakes, the strongest measuring magnitude 6.9 and all centered next to Pichilemu, capital of Cardenal Caro province, hit central Chile during the ceremony. 2011, an earthquake measuring 9.0 in magnitude struck 130 km (81 mi) east of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami killing thousands of people. This event also triggered the second largest nuclear accident in history, and one of only two events to be classified as a Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale2012, a U.S. soldier killed 16 civilians in the Panjwayi District of Afghanistan near Kandahar.
=== 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
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Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with AugustSeptemberOctober, or at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482020262/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_dVHPub0MQKDZ4  The kindle version is cheaper, but the soft back version allows a free kindle version.

List of available items at Create Space
===
For twenty two years I have been responsibly addressing an issue, and I cannot carry on. I am petitioning the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to remedy my distress. I leave it up to him if he chooses to address the issue. Regardless of your opinion of conservative government, the issue is pressing. Please sign my petition at https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/tony-abbott-remedy-the-persecution-of-dd-ball

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

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

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


I have begun a bulletin board (http://theconservativevoice.freeforums.netwhich will allow greater latitude for members to post and interact. It is not subject to FB policy and so greater range is allowed in posts. Also there are private members rooms in which nothing is censored, except abuse. All welcome, registration is free.
Happy birthday and many happy returns Philzzy Train and Mick Doan. Born on the same day, across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you. They are like an energy bar and banana for breakfast.
Michelle Bachelet
Deaths
===

TITLE-HOLDER TONY TALKS AND TALKS AND TALKS

Tim Blair – Friday, March 11, 2016 (3:42pm)

Northern NSW retiree Tony Windsor this week shattered Rob Oakeshott’s longstanding record for boring an Australian audience, setting a new mark of 70 minutes during a stunning performance in the nation’s capital.

image
Celebrating with his scarlet-attired family, new champion Windsor wore a matching face.

The former New England independent MP, who cried and ran away three years ago rather than deal with his electorate, established the outstanding new peak at a press conference announcing his return as a New England candidate in 2016.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'TITLE-HOLDER TONY TALKS AND TALKS AND TALKS'
===

VANESSA THE CONFESSA

Tim Blair – Friday, March 11, 2016 (2:54pm)

What exactly is Guardian columnist Vanessa Badham? Let’s find out from the lady herself: 
• I’m an anarchist!
• I’m a communist.
• I vote Green.
• I’d rather vote ALP.
• I’m not a Labor person.
• Every time I look at Senator Wong I think - “that’s the leader we need”. Every time.
• I am consistent.
• It is my ambition to be on Broadway.
• I have a job at the Guardian!
• I have no idea. 
===

MAKE IT UP AND MAKE MONEY

Tim Blair – Friday, March 11, 2016 (12:25pm)

The bigger the lie, the bigger the reward: 
Australian academics say they are being forced to exaggerate or embellish the potential impacts of their research when trying to secure limited funding for projects …
The 25 Australian academics said it was difficult to give an accurate answer when a grant application asked them to predict the impact of their project.
“It’s virtually impossible to write one of these grants and be fully frank and honest in what it is you’re writing about,” one unnamed academic said.
“I don’t know what you’re supposed to say. Something like, ‘I’m Columbus, I’m going to discover the West Indies’,” a second unnamed academic said.
“It’s really virtually impossible to write an Australian Research Council grant without lying, and this is the kind of issue they should be looking at,” a third unnamed academic said. 
Global warming explained.
(Via J.F. Beck.)
UPDATE. Possibly related
World leaders have to choose between fighting poverty or saving earth from overheating, with new studies showing global warming is happening much faster than previously predicted, a Griffith University researcher says.
The new modelling predicts temperatures could rise by a staggering 3C degrees within 14 years. 
(Via Ron C.)
===

GOOD LUCK TO HIM

Tim Blair – Friday, March 11, 2016 (12:08pm)

P-deprived Tony Windsor is at war with the Australian arts community: 
I’m looking forward to the campaign but will need help to fight the arty machine. 
===

Slogan friendly

Andrew Bolt March 11 2016 (8:43pm)

Malcolm Turnbull bitchily attacked Tony Abbott’s slogans:
We need advocacy, not slogans. We need to respect the intelligence of the Australian people.
But Abbott kindly repeats Turnbull’s:
image
Far more elegant kind of skewering. And Turnbull can hardly complain, since nothing Abbott does with Turnbull’s slogans is more exaggerated that what Turnbull does with them himself:

The Prime Minister ended his three-day visit to South Australia yesterday by telling more than 1200 of the state’s leaders at a Business SA luncheon that “there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian ... These (are) the most exciting times in human history.”

Even better:
Friends, these are the most exciting times to be alive… And can I also, of course, acknowledge Trent Zimmerman, who said this week there has never been a more exciting time to be the member for North Sydney!… Clearly, innovation is at the key of our future. It absolutely – it is absolutely crystal clear, and I have to say, every other major economy recognises this, the key to success in a more competitive – in a larger, more competitive economy, where there are more opportunities than ever, is to be agile, fast, competitive, innovative.... Challenges, yes, there are many, but the opportunities will be seized by those that are innovative, agile… 
===

Me and Alan. UPDATE: What Bronny told Hendo

Andrew Bolt March 11 2016 (4:27pm)

I talked with Alan Jones today about the disgraceful sliming of Peta Credlin, and our curiously different recollections of private conversations with Malcolm Turnbull.  Listen here.
UPDATE
This claim is, of course, self-serving bull, and only someone who really, really hates Tony Abbott could have believed it:
Bronwyn Bishop has confirmed she wanted to apologise over Choppergate but was blocked by then prime minister Tony Abbott. The former Speaker said the account in the journalist Niki Savva’s book Road to Ruin: How Tony Abbott And Peta Credlin Destroyed Their Own Government was “basically true”.
Gerard Henderson has good reason to be sceptical:
Since Concetta Fierravanti Wells has made it acceptable to reveal private conversations with Tony Abbott and/or Peta Credlin to journalist Niki Savva – Gerard Henderson has decided to reveal his very own personal conversation, with Mrs Bishop, no less, about a matter which is of concern to the former Australian prime minister and his chief-of-staff.
In late July 2015, when the so-called “Choppergate” controversy was moving towards its crescendo, Bronwyn Bishop phoned Gerard Henderson for a friendly chat.  Mrs Bishop indicated that her helicopter trip from the Melbourne CBD to Geelong was justified (in view of the time involved in travelling by car in Melbourne’s congested traffic) and claimed that former Victorian premier John Brumby had once taken a helicopter trip between the two cities.
Mrs Bishop did not suggest at any time during the phone conversation that she wanted to immediately apologise over the helicopter trip but was prevented from doing so by Tony Abbott or Peta Credlin.
MWD is not suggesting that anyone lied in this instance.  It’s just that Niki Savva seems unaware of a central fact of the human condition – namely, that some people have bad memories while others have “clear” recollections of events which never happened. Consequently, it is foolish to accept anyone’s account of an event or conversation without checking. 

As it happens, I, too, had a conversation - on the record - with Bishop at the time and she gave me not the slightest indication that she wanted to apologise. I also know the lengths Tony Abbott had to go to - and threats he had to make - in order to force the Speaker to resign.  I also heard how gracelessly she did finally apologise, even attacking Treasurer Joe Hockey for having suggested she do so.
Moreover, I spoke today with someone who was intimately involved in Abbott’s attempts to force Bishop to confess and atone to what she’d done.  What I was told confirms every element of this report:
The book says the message from a staffer in the Prime Minister’s office, Kate Raggatt, was to hold off because an apology might be construed as an admission of wrongdoing.
But a number of senior sources working in Mr Abbott’s office at the time have disputed that version of events and said Mrs Bishop was advised to show contrition.
A source inside Mr Abbott’s office also said Ms Raggatt was not contacted by Savva for comment.
Raggatt denies saying any such thing as Savva and Bishop claim, and it is implausible to believe she had. Yes, Abbott at first did not believe she should resign - that I can confirm, and I said at the time he was wrong - but he did not block any apology.
But Savva did not ask Abbott for his side of the story, or ask Raggatt for hers. She just ran with Bishop’s self-serving slop. I guess it fitted her narrative. 
===

Refugee activists flee their own boss

Andrew Bolt March 11 2016 (4:18pm)

Refugee activists are now refugees themselves, fleeing from their own offices:
Australia’s largest asylum seeker service is in upheaval after an exodus of its most senior staff and claims of a toxic work environment, mismanagement and bullying.
Six out of seven directors at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre quit last year, including one who lodged a successful WorkCover claim for stress and anxiety caused by her employment.
An internal report, prepared for the board and obtained by Fairfax Media, shows the resignations came amid a slew of complaints about the centre’s chief executive, Kon Karapanagiotidis?, widely considered one of the nation’s top human rights advocates.
“We are greatly concerned about our safety and wellbeing, and that of our staff, due to the unknown response from an increasingly volatile CEO,” said the confidential report, co-signed by four of the former directors.
You might conclude that this is another example of the phenomenon of so many modern humanitarians - that they love humanity in theory, but not humans in practice. Or maybe philosopher Bertrand Russell had it right:
Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power.
But then I read this:
Mr Karapanagiotidis did not respond to questions, but he is understood to vehemently deny all allegations. In a statement, the ASRC board said its own investigation found “no basis” to the claims and it continued to stand by its chief executive. 
In which case you might conclude instead that refugee activists tend to exaggerate. 
===

Why is Matthew Ricketson a media policeman?

Andrew Bolt March 11 2016 (3:51pm)

Mathew Ricketson took part in the sinister Finkelstein press inquiry, called by the Gillard Government punish Murdoch newspapers for being critical of this spectacularly bad government:
Coalition Senators have used an estimates hearing to attack Communications Minister Stephen Conroy over ... why he chose the University of Canberra’s Professor Matthew Ricketson to co-chair the inquiry.
The committee has been discussing an email which pointed to a “strong relationship” between staff in Senator Conroy’s office and Mr Ricketson.
Mr Conroy says he did not write the email and believes Mr Ricketson was the best person for the job, and any suggestion he was chosen because of a potential bias against News Limited, is wrong.
That inquiry proposed a sinister government-appointed supercop to control free speech in the media, even on blogs with small readerships:
If a publisher distributes more than 3000 copies of print per issue or a news internet site has a minimum of 15 000 hits per annum it should be subject to the jurisdiction of the News Media Council, but not otherwise.
As John Roskam concluded:

They are the most serious assault on the liberties of Australians since Robert Menzies tried to ban the Communist Party in 1949. It is almost incredible that Finkelstein, who as a Federal Court judge once adjudicated on the lives of citizens according to the laws of a liberal democracy, could conceive of such a regime to control freedom of speech.
Finkelstein’s ideological position is not hard to find. It’s in paragraph 4.10 of his report. He thinks a council should control speech in Australia because most people are too dumb or ignorant to decide for themselves about what they see and hear and read in the media.
In response to the claim from News Ltd’s John Hartigan that ultimately readers “were capable of making up their own minds” about bias in the media, Finkelstein writes, “often, however, readers are not in a position to make an appropriately informed judgment”.
This is intellectual arrogance at its most breathtaking.  And it’s a great argument against democracy. If, as Finkelstein claims, people aren’t smart enough to decide for themselves the merits of what they see in the media then they’re certainly not smart enough to decide who to vote for.
This is the totalitarian fallacy: don’t let the people decide (because the people are too stupid), let judges and academics decide for them.
It is not as if Ricketson is a renown journalist, either, rising to prominence - such as it is - as an academic instead:
I have known Matthew for years. His highest achievement is the profession that his inquiry now seeks to have controlled was media and communications editor for The Age from 2006 to 2009.
To be perfectly frank, I did not consider him to be very good in that job. He seemed to break few stories, or offer any penetrating observations. His writing is not sparkling. He was well outshone by The Australian’s Amanda Meade, for one, and I do not think I am being unfair. I recently spoke to a senior Age executive who endorsed my overall opinion.
So with no great practical experience in the media and a record of demanding dangerous restrictions on free speech, how on earth did Ricketson just get appointed to the Press Council?:
Matthew Ricketson, an author of the report into the independent inquiry into the media and media regulation commonly known as The Finkelstein Report, has been appointed as a member of The Australian Press Council.
Ricketson, who will represent the journalist’s union the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, joins alongside Anita Quigley who will represent Community Newspapers Australia…
Ricketson was appointed the inaugural Professor of Journalism at the University of Canberra in 2009. Prior to that he was media and communications editor for The Age.
In a statement he said: “I am delighted and honoured to represent the MEAA on the Press Council.
“I’ve been a union member for nearly 35 years and I strongly support the need and the value of the Council, which takes seriously the task of upholding high standards of journalism...”
The Press Council now has 24 members...
A union appointee? Man of the Left?
It figures.
It really is time for publishers to resign from this body, which under its previous boss was a menace to open debate. Yes, the present chairman seems more dedicated to the contest of ideas, but this is a disturbing sign. 
===

No Liberal sisterhood

Andrew Bolt March 11 2016 (9:11am)

I am still waiting for a single woman in the Turnbull Ministry to defy their boss and speak in defence of Peta Credlin. Their silence shames them,
Reader Hypocrite Hater spells it out:
The hypocrisy of the whole Abbott/Credlin thing is really grating on me. The only thing that has come out of this is that if a strong woman gets to the top, or near the top, and you want to bring her down then all you need to do is start a whispering campaign that she is sleeping with the boss.
If things were reversed and a Labor Prime Minister had a strong woman advising him and she was brought down in this manner then the Feminazis would be going absolutely ballistic.
Sarah Gill highlights the sexism in a different way:

What’s got everyone hyperventilating is the vague but palpable suggestion that the former prime minister was having an affair with his chief of staff, Peta Credlin.... [T]he basic premise at the heart of these new disclosures, sourced from senior Liberal MPs and burnished by Savva – that a woman could only exert such influence if she was screwing the boss – is pretty insulting to women everywhere.
No matter what you think of Credlin personally – her style or her substance – our willingness to embrace such a narrative is a bleak reminder that a woman’s value has less to do with what’s between her ears than what’s between her legs. Why else – we’re meant to understand – would Abbott have listened so assiduously to Credlin’s advice if he wasn’t bonking her?…
The commentary around the former prime minister and his chief of staff is awash with sexual innuendo: his relationship with her was “odd”, it was “weird”, “weirder than weird”, she had a “hold” over him, it was “all-consuming”. But in the high-stakes fishbowl of federal politics, was it really so unusual? Certainly if you look at the well documented relationship between former British prime minister Tony Blair and his chief of staff Alastair Campbell – who were described as “living out of each other’s pockets” – Credlin’s relationship with Abbott seemed par for the course…
Campbell’s memoirs, for comparison, detail numerous meetings with Blair in various stages of undress, stark naked, and even in the bath, as well as a dust-up with another member of Blair’s staff over a necktie. Campbell also made no secret of the fact that he thought Cherie Blair was a liability and Cherie, meanwhile, complained about their connubial relationship, observing that Blair “only came alive around Alastair”.
Campbell has, however, achieved a certain level of celebrity in Britain and enjoyed considerably kinder treatment in the press – described as an “alpha male”, “not one to take a backward step”, “hard-nosed, highly professional” and “charismatic”. Critics of Credlin, on the other hand, tend to deploy a different set of descriptors: “micromanager”, “control freak”, “bully”, and now, by implication, jezebel, strumpet, vamp…
Credlin’s greatest sin, according to Savva, the blunder “at the heart of Tony Abbott’s downfall”, was that she didn’t resign when Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells suggested it… Should every woman in an influential position be expected to tender her resignation when confronted with such accusations? 
Absolutely spot on.
So didn’t this posturing in the Fairfax media on International Women’s Day this week make you gag? All seeming, no doing:
image
Not one of these women spoke up on International Women’s Day in protest at the smearing of Credlin.
Indeed, Michaelia Cash, the Minister for Women, positively refused to:
QUESTION: Stephanie Peatling from the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age… Peta Credlin… feels she has been unfairly criticised because she’s a woman. I was just wondering if I could ask you to reflect on that, whether or not you think that’s true?
MICHAELIA CASH: Okay. I don’t think I will surprise anybody here when I say as a member of the Government, I’m not going to comment on commentary. I will, though, look at the broader picture in terms of people who are criticised because of their gender. I have never been someone who would criticise someone because of their gender. I hope no one would ever criticise me as a result of my gender. And I certainly would never argue that if I’m doing the wrong thing or I’m receiving criticism, it’s because of my gender.
Any time you hear Cash talk about fighting against sexism remember that she deserted the field when it counted. The side trumped the principle. 
===

Warming to Trump

Andrew Bolt March 11 2016 (8:53am)

I have been very dubious of Donald Trump. Where are his policies? What Trump would emerge - the Democrat of the past or the alleged Republican now? What damage would his anti-free-trade policies cause?
Yet I can understand his appeal: he dares to speak his mind and defy the political-media pack that has cowed so many. He also has the smarts and the confidence to survive the media mauling that all such mavericks attract. In that alone, he gives the marginalised the hope of change and of a taking down of the class that hogs such much power.
But is there even more to him than that?
Maurice Newman:

What an indictment of the mainstream media the Donald Trump phenomenon is. How is it possible to so misunderstand the mood of the American people? ...
What the mainstream media misses is that a very large number of Americans, and especially Trump supporters, have had enough of the establishment’s political dynasties.
They reject political correctness, illegal migration and the crony capitalists who use Wall Street to make a fortune at their expense, particularly when their incomes are basically frozen. They believe the government manipulates the unemployment numbers and, as they struggle to find and hold permanent jobs, they know welfare cheats and disability fraudsters are gaming the system with impunity. They see government waste everywhere and think Obamacare is a failure. They resent President Barack Obama’s condescending lectures and his use of moral equivalence when comparing Islam to Christianity.
They are mad as hell.
American political scientist Charles Murray says: “The central truth of Trumpism is that the entir­e working class has legitimate reasons to be angry at the ruling class.” ...
America’s enduring exceptionalism rests on foundations of egalitarianism, liberty and indiv­idualism. Author Samuel Huntington calls it “the American Creed”, from which flows equality before the law, equality of opportunity, freedom of speech and assoc­iation, self-reliance, limited government, free-market econo­mics and decentralised and devolve­d public authority. He thinks the creed has lost its “authority and substance”. Why? Because­ too many liberties have been surrendered to those trusted to protect them and the people now feel powerless and betrayed.
Of all the candidates, Trump understands this. He is anti-establishment and someone the establishment can’t control… He speaks the language of the people. Trump gets their anger and frustration at being marginalised finan­cially, socially­ and politically.
Camile Paglia says she was wrong about Trump:
I felt, and still do, that Trump is far too impetuous and thin-skinned in his amusingly rambling, improvisational style.  The American president, who can spook markets or spark a war with a rash phrase, must be more coolly circumspect.  And aspirants to the presidency shouldn’t care what small fry like bobble-head TV hosts say or do.  A leader must have the long view and show an instinctive capacity to focus and prioritize.
Nevertheless, Trump’s fearless candor and brash energy feel like a great gust of fresh air, sweeping the tedious clichés and constant guilt-tripping of political correctness out to sea.  Unlike Hillary Clinton, ... Trump is his own man, with a steely “damn the torpedoes” attitude…
Primary voters nationwide are clearly responding to Trump’s brand of classic can-do American moxie.  There has been a sense of weary paralysis in our increasingly Byzantine and monstrously wasteful government bureaucracies.  Putting a bottom-line businessman with executive experience into the White House has probably been long overdue…
Trump is a blunt, no-crap mensch...
(Via Steve Kates, who has defended Trump consistently on Catallaxy Files.) 
===

Is Iran conning Julie Bishop?

Andrew Bolt March 11 2016 (8:39am)

Is Foreign Minister Julie Bishop actually that good, seeing how she’s duchessing Iran?
Here’s what she said a couple of days ago:
Australia is in the “early stages” of negotiations which could see Iranian asylum seekers sent back to their home country, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says…

Ms Bishop signalled the asylum seekers could be sent back against their wishes, despite Iran’s current refusal to accept involuntary returnees.
Here is what Iran says today:
Iran’s Ambassador has poured cold water on hopes of any imminent deal to forcibly send up to 9000 failed Iranian asylum seekers home.
Ahead of a visit by the nation’s foreign minister next week, Ambassador Abdolhossein Vahaji told Fairfax Media that Iran had no intention of accepting back its citizens returned forcibly after their asylum applications had been rejected…
Asked whether there was any chance of a deal on returning people involuntarily, Mr Vahaji said: “No agreement. No improvement in that regard."…
“If they want to stay under any circumstances, why should I bother them? Let them stay anywhere they want.”

Then there is this:

The Iranian Foreign Minister’s visit to Australia is a sign the ­Islamic republic is serious about joining the community of respectable nations, Julie Bishop has declared, although the onus is still on Tehran to demonstrate it can be a responsible global player…
Ms Bishop, who has forged a close bond with her Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, ... has been more willing than any recent Australian foreign minister to engage with Iran, including her visit to Tehran in April last year, the first by an Australian foreign minister in 12 years.
At the time of the visit Ms Bishop supported a framework deal signed with the US and five other powers, in which Iran promised to stop developing a nuclear bomb in exchange for the lifting of trade sanctions…

“This visit [by Zarif] is a sign Iran is attempting to engage with the international community through ministerial visits...” [Bishop said].
Greg Sheridan:

On present behaviour, and on all possible interpretations of its many clear public statements, the Iranian government has absolutely no intention of becoming a responsible international player.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is deluded if she thinks otherwise and is in danger of squandering a good deal of her integrity as a political leader through her political embrace of Iran.
Since the Iran-US nuclear deal, there is no sign at all that the hardline, revolutionary regime in Tehran has changed its behaviour or approach, fundamentally or superficially.
As Bishop is singing the praises of Iran’s allegedly new disposition, we find that it has just conducted a series of ballistic missile launches in breach of UN Security Council resolutions.An Australian ship has recently intercepted an illegal arms shipment bound for Yemen, probably to the Houthi faction, supplied by Iran. Tehran remains the chief sponsor of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria…
The hate-filled, anti-American, anti-Israel and frequently anti-Semitic rhetoric of the Iranian leadership continues unabashed.
Since the allegedly moderate President Hasan Rowhani came into office in Iran, more than 100 members of the minority Baha’i faith have been imprisoned under continuing policies of religious persecution.
“Death to America” remains the standard slogan for government-sponsored demonstrations.
If this is our Foreign Minister’s definition of a normal and responsible nation, I would hate to see what she classes as abnormal… She seems to have fallen for the Barack Obama theory of failed diplomacy — that by being charming to the mullahs, Western leaders can convert them into moderates.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

Turnbull repeats the Gillard tragedy

Andrew Bolt March 11 2016 (8:22am)

A devastating parallel is drawn by Simon Benson as history repeats itself, this time as farce:

There were four pivotal themes to the disastrous Rudd-Gillard era.
The first and most obvious cataclysmic event was the removal of the prime minister.

The second was the subsequent and necessary character assassination of Rudd to justify the terrible act.
The third and less remembered was the politically disastrous decision by Gillard to set an election date nearly eight months out.
The fourth and overriding feature that came to define the perceived illegitimacy of Gillard’s leadership and dysfunction of that era was a hung parliament and the surrogate coalition of Labor, the Greens and the rural independents.
It was inconceivable enough that the Liberal Party would seek to repeat the political shock of removing a first term prime minister.
But it beggars belief that they seem to be oblivious to the consequences that they witnessed from front row seats and are blindly setting a course to repeating every stage of Labor’s folly.
Stage two — otherwise known as operation scorched earth — is well under way.
The character assassination of Tony Abbott and his chief of staff Peta Credlin has begun with the release of a book by former Liberal staffer and journalist Niki Savva…
Savva’s book provides a demonisation of Abbott and Credlin that Turnbull could have never prosecuted.
But considering Savva’s close links with Turnbull, the salacious tales and excoriation of Abbott’s integrity are being seen by Liberal conservatives as a deliberate attempt to drive a stake through the heart of the Abbott government…
Whether Turnbull realises it or not, he is now also haplessly heading down a similar path to phase three of the Gillard disaster. 
===

Turnbull’s words are a terrible critique of himself

Andrew Bolt March 11 2016 (3:02am)

The most devastating critic of Malcolm Turnbull is Malcolm Turnbull himself.
Turnbull on disloyalty - his speech farewelling Kevin Rudd from Parliament:
I will never forget the day that you gave your press conference following your removal as Leader of the Labor Party by your colleagues. It is etched in my memory. It was one of the cruellest moments I have ever witnessed. I had lost the leadership of my own party but, frankly, in a dispute about policy…
The betrayal of you as leader of your party was one of the most shocking events I have ever witnessed, and I would think any of us have ever witnessed, in politics—the scale of it. The idea that the man who had won, in this presidential campaign, an election against John Howard was then going to be disposed of, discarded like another course on a lazy Susan in a Vietnamese restaurant—the cruelty of it was extraordinary!
Turnbull on not giving “economic leadership"- his speech announcing his challenge to Tony Abbott:
It is clear enough that the Government is not successful in providing the economic leadership that we need. It is not the fault of individual ministers, ultimately the Prime Minister has not been capable of providing the economic leadership our nation needs… We need a style of leadership that explains those challenges and opportunities; explains the challenges and how to seize the opportunities. A style of leadership that respects the peoples’ intelligence, that explains these complex issues, and then sets out the course of action we believe we should take, and makes a case for it. We need advocacy, not slogans.
Turnbull on not rushing to an early election - his 2009 Budget in reply speech, attacking Kevin Rudd: 
The Prime Minister’s threat of a double dissolution and an early election proves to all of us what this Budget is really about.
It isn’t about protecting the jobs of Australians.
Least of all the one million Australians it says will soon be out of work.
It is about the job security of one man and one man only.
A Prime Minister frightened of the consequences of his mismanagement, now wants to cut and run before he is found out.
Labor could take Turnbull’s own words and stuff them down his throat.
UPDATE
Graham Richardson:
The Liberals are in a fine mess. They threw out the bloke who they said had no judgment.
In his place they elected a bloke who has no ticker.
===

United Nations attacks us while ignoring the real problems

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, March 11, 2015 (1:08am)

YES, the Prime Minister is right. We are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations. We are sick of the utopian socialists acting as if they have the moral high ground on every issue, from the environment to refugees.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'United Nations attacks us while ignoring the real problems'
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Feminism’s fag end is such a drag

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, March 11, 2015 (1:07am)

IT’S embarrassing that International Women’s Day always descends into a festival of man-bashing.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Feminism’s fag end is such a drag'
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LYNCH MOB

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 11, 2015 (5:10pm)

Led by a professor, Sydney University students go wild at a lecture presented by retired British military officer Colonel Richard Kemp
Kemp began his talk with a brief explanation of his career and a joke about England’s cricket loss to Bangladesh on Monday. He went on to discuss non-state militant groups in Ireland and Afghanistan and the obligations of soldiers when engaging with civilians and civilian groups. Before he could go into any detail or discuss any other issues, he was interrupted by over a dozen students bursting into the lecture hall screaming “Richard Kemp, you can’t hide, you support genocide.”
A demonstrator with a megaphone drowned out any attempts by the moderator to get the lecture back on track. Protestors wrestled with security guards who had asked them to leave and were then forced to remove them. Protestors stood on chairs, began to push students and shout loudly at those who objected to their behaviour. 
These freedom fans were encouraged by someone who has “spent the past 15 years researching, developing, teaching and training in peace journalism,” whatever the hell that is: 
Professor Jake Lynch, the director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and an ardent opponent of Israel, shouted in the faces of students, including at a senior officer of the Jewish student union. He then proceeded to stand on chairs and film attendees.
Lynch screamed that attempts to remove the protestors was a violent attack on freedom of speechby security guards. 
Even by academic standards, this fellow seems slightly on the dim side. 
After about 20 minutes of shouting, the protestors were finally removed from the hall, having objected loudly to their treatment by the security guards and some others present. Kemp, resuming as if nothing had happened, continued to speak on engagement with non-civilian groups in armed conflict. 
Professor Lynch presumably returned to his important work in the field of citrus racism.
===

IF ONLY WE STILL HAD A CARBON TAX

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 11, 2015 (11:14am)

Climate change is turning 7000-year-old dead people into black ooze.
(Via Roger B.)
===

SOMEONE’S IDEA ABOUT SOMETHING

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 11, 2015 (11:07am)

Melbourne’s Age interviews mosque attendees about Islamic State’s latest teenage recruit
“I’ve actually never seen him utter a word at the table when I was serving the food, cleaning up the table, nothing,” said Furkan Derya, who used to work at the Hume Islamic Youth Centre.
“He was the last person I would expect to actually go there.” 
Want to join Islamic State? I furkan derya. Meanwhile, Hume Islamic Youth Centre representative Abu Zaid claims the rush to jihad is caused by western media: 
People who went to Syria and Iraq to fight were not driven by Islamic beliefs, he said. 
Well, obviously. 
“They take the western media and they blame them a lot and it makes them turn away from Australia and Australian culture. That’s one of the biggest reasons why people go over there,” said Abu Zaid … 
Can’t really blame them. Anything beats a daily diet of ABC and Fairfax. 
Abu Zaid said media portrayals of radical Islam “sparks the curiosity and that spark is all it takes to develop someone’s idea about something”.
“That idea could be positive, ‘Oh look, everyone speaks against them, maybe there’s some truth there that they are trying to hide ... so they go and do their research and they develop their own theories.” 
But it’s still nothing to do with Islam. It’s just “theories”. 
The people who developed more radical mindsets “stick to themselves and a lot of the time, their mindset comes out completely wrong from the reality”.
“He is a person, he sticks to himself, stays in his room. Believe me, if you just give him a laptop in the room, he’ll stay there all day.” 
Except for all the ones who don’t. 
Abu Zaid said he saw no problem for Australia if someone went to another country to fight.
“Isn’t all Australian culture about freedom of choice, freedom of speech, freedom of all this?” 
It doesn’t include the freedom to remove heads and hand them to your children
“Why is it OK, for example, for the Jews to recruit kids from here to go and fight in Israel and no one make any fuss about that, but then one person under the name of Muslim – maybe he’s Muslim, maybe he’s not Muslim – to go and fight overseas in what he believes in, even if it’s wrong? ... a person has an idea in his mind, he believes it’s right, he should fight for what he believes in.” 
Anything goes, according to Abu. He seems a freewheeling type. I wonder what he thinks about people who oppose new mosques.
===

STUART WAGSTAFF

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 11, 2015 (10:07am)

Stuart Wagstaff, for decades an elegant presence in Australian theatre and television, has died at 90.

===

FATWAHWAH

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 10, 2015 (3:59pm)

From a recently translated speech given in Lakemba by Hizb ut-Tahrir leader Ismail al-Wahwah
Oh Jews, nobody will give you peace. The Jews will not thrive and will not live in safety, because they are slayers of the prophet.
The entire world suffers from the children of Israel today and complains about them. Who will set the world free from the children of Israel so that the world will be able to say that it has rid itself of that hidden evil? This mission will be accomplished by none but you, O Muslims ... The ember of jihad against the Jews will continue to burn. The struggle and the jihad will continue until the words of Allah come true.
Judgment day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews ... Tomorrow you Jews will see what will become of you – an eye for an eye, blood for blood, destruction for destruction. 
Ol’ Wahwah is in a little bit of trouble following those remarks. Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar defends his leader: 
The cheap allegation of ‘hate speech’ is a McCarthyist attempt to silence dissent. 
===

IT’S A SCIENTIFIC FACT

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 10, 2015 (3:53pm)

According to the geniuses at Earth Hour, you can cause agricultural improvements by turning off your lights:



This year’s festival of idiotic darkness will be held on March 28.  Prepare your weapons of mass illumination
===

BANGERS SMASH

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 10, 2015 (1:15pm)

Bangladesh’s sensational victory over England featured a mini-masterclass from Mushfiqur Rahim, this site’s favourite World Cup wicketkeeper. Click here for video. Note the balance, and how low and late he waits on the ball.
===

In case you believed the ABC’s Fukushima scare tonight

Andrew Bolt March 11 2015 (7:27pm)

... read this. Yes, it was yet another beat up about cancer rates in children.
- The testing tells us nothing about increased rates of thyroid cancer since there’s no base established for past rates. Never have so many Japanese children been tested, and never with machines this sensitive.
- The tests so far are more likely to have picked up pre-existing cancers.
- Few children would have got the I-131 doses that cause thyroid cancer, since the authorities were so quick to move, and the I-131 is a problem for only two months.
- The cancer is very treatable. All treatments of the Japanese children when I last checked had been successful.
- Rates of thyroid cancer were identical at both sites close to the reactor and 100km away, making even more unlikely a link between the emergency and the cancers.
The ABC did not name any of the “reputable doctors” it suggested queried official reassurances about this latest scare.
Most trauma even at Chernobyl was caused by scaremongering, rather than the physical disaster itself. Journalist should stop frightening people about radiation. 
===

The real racists claim that Aborigines cannot make choices

Andrew Bolt March 11 2015 (2:54pm)

Why must a report on the frank truth being spoken be preceded with warnings and deprecations?
TONY Abbott has come under fire for suggesting indigenous Australians are making a “lifestyle choice” by living in remote communities. 
Backing the West Australian government’s plan to close 150 ­remote communities, the Prime Minister said taxpayers could not be expected to fund services in all areas, despite the connection of Aboriginal people to their land.
“What we can’t do is endlessly subsidise lifestyle choices if those lifestyle choices are not conducive to the kind of full participation in Australian society that everyone should have,” he told ABC radio in Kalgoorlie.
“It is not the job of the taxpayer to subsidise lifestyle choices. It is the job of the taxpayer to provide reasonable services in a reasonable way… If people choose to live miles away from where there’s a school, if people choose not to access the school of the air, if people choose to live where there’s no jobs, ­obviously it’s very, very difficult to close the gap,” he said. 
This is no more than the truth - and one that so many social planners and professional moralists refuse to acknowledge. It is impossible to live in small and jobless towns out bush - and in semi-traditional Aboriginal ways at that - and expect the best that you can find in our biggest and most productive cities.
Yet cue the denunciation from those who judge not by outcomes but by sentiment - the seemers, not doers:
Labor and the Greens seized on the comments, saying they were offensive and out of touch, and called on Mr Abbott to apologise.
“It is a disgrace and highly ­offensive,” opposition indigenous affairs spokesman Shayne Neumann told The Australian…
Greens senator Rachel Siewert said the comments were an example of “gross deep-seated ­racism” from Mr Abbott. “The cultures that exist within these communities are thousands of years old and stretch far beyond the Prime Minister’s bizarre idea of a lifestyle choice,” Senator Siewert said. 
The Greens idea that Aborigines are imprisoned by their race, denied any choice in their destiny or even place of abode, is actually the true racism, and one unfortunately maintained by our legal apparatus.  And it’s the racism which traps too many Aborigines in the poverty and dysfunction we’d never accept if they were white.
UPDATE
Reader John:
Listen here to Abbott’s full interview with ABC Radio in Kalgoorlie
There is nothing the PM said that could be remotely branded as “racist”. The Greens are just making it up. Listen @2:40 to 6:10 minute mark for relevant content regarding remote Indigenous communities. For fun, listen near the end @ 11:28 minute mark for the rebuke he gives the ABC ...says it’s very ABC to always be looking for subsidies from the government.
UPDATE
I feel personally offended, too - by Abbott’s critics:
Australian filmmaker Rolf de Heer has lashed out at Prime Minister Tony Abbott ...   
“It’s hypocritical that our Prime Minister pretends to be the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and has so little understanding of what it is to be on country and that there is no choice involved,” he said.
“There are no jobs so they earn nothing. So they get welfare and they pay twice as much for their food as we do. Welfare is not enough here, let alone there. So they have a choice to move somewhere else?”
De Heer said Gulpilil, the acclaimed actor whose struggles with alcohol, drugs and the law inspired the fictional central character in Charlie’s Country, had been forced to live in Murray Bridge outside Adelaide.
He can’t afford to live in Darwin and somebody will put him up in Murray Bridge. That’s a lifestyle choice? Yeah. Thank you Mr Abbott.”
Er, Gulpilil did choose to move, so self-evidently there is a choice, just as there is a choice in drinking and using drugs. And why not move from where “there are no jobs so they earn nothing”?
But what offends me is that de Heer seems to suggest it’s pitiful to move from Darwin to Murray Bridge.
My family did it, via a couple of bush towns. No one raged in the newspapers about the injustice of it all, and how the Prime Minister was unfit to lead.
Indeed, we decided to move from the desert town of Tarcoola because it did not have suitable medical care for my mother’s pregnancy. I can’t say that we expected a five-star hospital and full maternity care out on the Nullarbor Plain.
Kind of Abbott’s point.
UPDATE
Naturally Radio National host Fran Kelly of the totally unbiased ABC is appalled. She wants someone to talk to Abbott about the special connection to the land enjoyed by Aborigines. She puts this to Warren Mundine, who was born in Grafton but then moved to Sydney when his parents made a ”lifestyle choice”, particularly for their children. Mundine does not, unfortunately, mention this.
UPDATE
Despair for debate in this country.
The Age headline piles onto the Prime Minister more passionate than any before about Aboriginal welfare:
Tony Abbott’s choice of words on Indigenous communities clumsy, insensitive, destructive
Great click bait.
But wait! Deep in Michael Gordon’s article is half a sentence that confirms Abbott actually had a point:
Yes, there is a debate to be had about the viability and utility of maintaining remote communities, but…
But don’t expect that debate in this article. No, no. Let’s just bash Abbott again and again, as if that is far more important than discussing how to rescue Aboriginal children from lives doomed to permanent welfare dependence:
...resort to sloganeering ... dangerously wrong ... glib ... token discussion ...  ‘we-know-best’ way… insensitivity ... harder to excuse ... clumsiness ...  ignorance ... cannot point to any clear achievement ... unclear ... uncertain… comprehensive failure ...
So where’s the debate Gordon conceded we needed?
Reader JG describes the technique:
Fairfax rules:  Edit a five minute discussion down to a soundbite.  Set off storm about soundbite.  Concede maybe he had a point, but he shouldn’t reduce the issue to a soundbite.  Post article with unflattering photo (as always).
===

More gays reportedly murdered by Islamic State

Andrew Bolt March 11 2015 (5:24am)

image
I ask again. Where are the gay groups? Where is the Left? This is happening right now and you are silent:
The Islamic State group has publicly beheaded three men in northern Iraq, two of them for allegedly engaging in homosexual acts, according to photos shared on social media… 
The latest images, published on Tuesday, did not show the claimed beheadings and their authenticity could not be independently verified.
A series of photographs shows the blindfolded men kneeling in the centre of what appears to be a traffic circle with a crowd of people looking on as a masked, black-clad executioner stands by with a long, rusty blade 
Oh, don’t worry too much about that “rusty blade” bit. No less an authority than civil libertarian Julian Burnside says these beheadings are actually a more humane punishment than the executions devised by the United States’ penal system.
UPDATE
At least London’s Gay Star News has noticed.
(Thanks to reader WaG311.) 
===

Should NSW voters pay higher power bills just to fund Labor’s union mates?

Andrew Bolt March 11 2015 (5:00am)

Exposing NSW Labor’s great anti-privatisation scare - designed to pad the wallets of its union mates:
AUSTRALIANS who live in states with privatised electricity supplies have faced smaller price rises over the past two decades than their counterparts in other states… 
The analysis is a boost to the Baird government in NSW, which goes to an election this month on a platform funded by the partial privatisation of poles and wires.
The Grattan Institute work shows retail prices have risen more in Sydney and Brisbane than in Melbourne and Adelaide, where the Victorian and later South Australian governments had privatised the electricity industry from the 1990s. It suggests that from 1996 to mid-2014, in nominal terms, retail electricity prices have increased by 207.7 per cent in ­Adelaide and 158 per cent in Melbourne — compared with 212.1 per cent in Sydney and 217 per cent in Brisbane… 
The former chairman of the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Authority, Tom Parry, said the “all the evidence” was that privatised networks “have much better cost controls”. “I don’t see why there’s any basis to suggest that network charges will go up as a result of privatisation,” he said.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

Indonesia threatens us with boat people

Andrew Bolt March 11 2015 (4:44am)

If the boats return, we’ll know it’s a hostile act:
Indonesia could release 10,000 asylum seekers to Australia if Canberra continues to antagonise the republic over the execution of the Bali nine duo, an Indonesian minister has warned… 
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno..., said Australia was trying to pressure Indonesia into cancelling the executions by raising the issue of its $1 billion in Boxing Day tsunami aid and discouraging visitors to Bali…
“If Canberra keeps doing things that displease Indonesia, Jakarta will surely let the illegal immigrants go to Australia,” Mr Tedjo said on Metro TV. 
“There are more than 10,000 [asylum seekers] in Indonesia today. If they are let go to Australia, it will be like a human tsunami.” 
Crass, yes. But as I’ve said before, our response to Indonesia’s punishment of our drug traffickers should be principled, not aggressive or insulting as we too often see. For a start, we need them more than they need us.
UPDATE
Threatening neighbours with illegal immigrants seems the new currency in international relations:
Greece will unleash a “wave of millions of economic migrants” and jihadists on Europe unless the eurozone backs down on austerity demands, the country’s defence and foreign ministers have threatened…

Panos Kammenos, the Greek defence minister, warned that if the eurozone allowed Greece to go bust it would give EU travel papers to illegal immigrants crossing its borders or to the 10,000 currently held in detention centres…

“If Europe leaves us in the crisis, we will flood it with migrants, and it will be even worse for Berlin if in that wave of millions of economic migrants there will be some jihadists of the Islamic State too.” 
===

Stupid me.  I told Abbott to change or die and he listened

Andrew Bolt March 11 2015 (4:26am)

I get the intent. The Australian, bruised that I exposed the John Lyons “unilateral invasion” story as completely false, wants to embarrass me.
But its Cut & Paste of my comments on Tony Abbott’s decline and change does no such thing. I demanded Abbott change or die. He indeed changed and now isn’t quite dead.
Er, and?
PS: The identity of Lyons’ “source” is now widely known, including to Tony Abbott, who has been shamefully betrayed. Mind you, I suspect that “source” may just have been misquoted, and having long had respect and some friendship with this person I will not reveal their name.  But I now know how second-hand Lyons’ information really was. 
===

Hillary Clinton’s 50,000 suspicious pieces of paper

Andrew Bolt March 11 2015 (4:22am)

James Taranto on yet another Clinton scandal - this one more on the nose than most - involving her astonishing decision as US Secretary of State to use a personal email account rather than official one:
If you were following the revelations about Hillary Clinton’s private State Department IT operation last week, you probably heard that, as the initial New York Times story put it, “55,000 pages of emails were given to the department” in December after being selected by a private aide to the former secretary. You might have wondered: What does that mean, 55,000 “pages”? ... 
It turns out the reference is to literal physical pages. From Friday’s Times: “Finally, in December, dozens of boxes filled with 50,000 pages of printed emails from Mrs. Clinton’s personal account were delivered to the State Department.”
Why did Mrs. Clinton have her staff go through the trouble of printing out, boxing and shipping 50,000 or 55,000 pages instead of just sending a copy of the electronic record? One can only speculate, but there is an obvious advantage: Printed files are less informative and far harder to search than the electronic originals… Likewise, printouts are not subject to electronic discovery in the event of investigation or lawsuit…
Just what was Mrs. Clinton trying to hide? She set up the private domain even before her confirmation as secretary of state and never even had an official email address, so the answer at the outset would have been “Whatever.” In the event, possible specific answers include information about Benghazi and about the Clinton Foundation.
The New York Post reports that Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, chairman of the Benghazi committee, yesterday “said there are ‘huge gaps’ in the Hillary Clinton emails turned over to his panel”:


...  Included in the gaps are emails from Oct. 18, 2011, the date of the well-known photo of then-Secretary of State Clinton wearing sunglasses and gripping her BlackBerry while on a plane to Libya.
In fact, there were no emails released to the committee from that entire trip, Gowdy said…
National Journal’s Ron Fournier, meanwhile, wonders “what the emails might reveal about any nexus between Clinton’s work at State and donations to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation from U.S. corporations and foreign nations"…
Amy Chozick, who covers Mrs. Clinton for the New York Times, offers another angle:

The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation has accepted tens of millions of dollars in donations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Algeria and Brunei—all of which the State Department has faulted over their records on sex discrimination and other human-rights issues… Saudi Arabia has been a particularly generous benefactor to the Clinton Foundation, giving at least $10 million since 2001…
At a Clinton Foundation event in Miami Saturday, Bill Clinton “defended the charity’s acceptance of foreign donations, pointing to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in particular. . . . ‘You’ve got to decide when you do this work whether it will do more good than harm if someone helps you from another country.’ “ Politico quotes one of Mr. Clinton’s examples, to hilarious effect: “For example, the UAE gave us money. Do we agree with everything [they] do? No. But they help us fight ISIS.” We don’t doubt that it is sometimes necessary or useful for the U.S. government to form alliances with unsavory regimes. But look how Mr. Clinton describes the trade: The UAE helps “us” (meaning the U.S.) fight ISIS. In return, they give “us” (meaning the Clintons) money. 
UPDATE
Clinton at a presser this morning admitted she has not passed on 10,000 of the 60,000 emails she got on the email account she also used for work. She said half the 60,000 were personal.
She said in hindsight she should have used a separate email account for work. At the time, she said, it seemed easier to have one account and one mobile device for both business and private emails.
She claims every work-related email is now with the State Department. She dodges answering questions on whether an independent arbiter should check whether some of the withheld emails should be released.
The server she used was the one her husband set up for his office and was secure, she says. There were no security breaches.
Asked why she did not follow rules to turn over all emails at the time to the State Department, she fluffs by saying she sent most emails to State Department staff and those emails would automatically be kept.
There was no classified material on her email, she said, but does not answer the direct question: was she briefed on the security implications of using a private email server.
She says she has since deleted private emails. 
===

Three more years of non-warming means there’s a 99 per chance the theory is a dud

Andrew Bolt March 11 2015 (4:14am)

Ziggy Switkowski, chairman of NBN Co and chancellor of RMIT University, has long been a global warmist. But he - characteristically - has the intellectual integrity to note a challenge to his beliefs that is becoming increasingly hard to ignore:
CLIMATE scientists from the British Met Office have looked at the flatlining of global surface ­temperatures for the past 17 years and published the outcomes of their probabilistic modelling in Nature last month. US scientists published similar findings at the same time in Science. 
The reliability of climate models has been called into question as the steady accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere — growing at 2ppm annually and now reaching 400ppm carbon ­dioxide — has not caused in­creases in global average temperatures at the same time.
The mainstream assumption is that the Earth is on a path to at least 2 degrees warming during this century. Against this trend, the Met Office scientists calculated, in the absence of external forces, the probability of a 10-year period of no significant increase to be 10 per cent, and 1 per cent for a 20-year interval, but that the current long-term global warming trend is unique and real.
So, natural internal variability, where random ripples inside the climate system cancel each other, can perhaps account for a 17-year stretch of no warming, albeit with very low probability. Therefore, climate scientists insist such outcomes do not invalidate their models because the measured temperature trends are statistically explainable.
Some may not find this explanation very satisfying even if mathematically correct. 
So how many more years of no warming must we have before it is no longer heresy to doubt the catastrophists? 
===

Hmm. Backflip or con? Tough choice

Andrew Bolt March 11 2015 (4:13am)

The announcement leaves the Government looking like sell-outs to conservatives but the spinning leaves it looking like sneaks to everyone else.
So who cocked this up?: 
No more than $100 million of a $900 million budget backdown in car industry support will actually flow through to the sector - and the Government is aware of the discrepancy. 
Government sources have told the ABC that, based on business decisions and reduced production volumes in the car industry, the Abbott Government expects to save $800 million of the $900 million it has planned to cut from the Automotive Transformation Scheme…
The Government had tried to wind up the scheme by legislation but it had no hope of clearing the Senate.
However, in reviewing the future of the scheme, the Government became aware of the fact that most of the savings would be realised as car production in Australia slowed. Those savings will be booked to the budget and not set aside for car industry assistance. 
This is completely at odds with a story briefed to the Adelaide Advertiser [on Tuesday] morning and confirmed by the Government to the ABC which heralded that $900 million in car industry assistance was being saved. 
UPDATE
A return to financial rigor is needed. Terry McCrann on another spring sprung loose:
[Treasurer Joe] Hockey [suggested] people be allowed to dip into their super for all sorts of spending needs. 
In a word, no. Say it ain’t so, Joe.
There are a number of things that could be done to make super work better ... [including] mandating that super actually funds retirement income streams and cannot be drawn down and splurged, properly integrating it with the government pension…
But turning super into an ATM, as someone put it yesterday, is not one, not any of them…
First off, giving a buyer a bigger (crucially, non-market based) deposit would serve only to further boost housing prices — either pushing the house even further away for that first-home buyer or making it even more expensive. 
But secondly he or she would have completely distorted if not totally trashed their super. Apart from the fact, it would be almost impossible to half-rationally administer.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

Our UN judges held no trial, tested no evidence

Andrew Bolt March 11 2015 (3:55am)

I thought there were only three reasons to agree with the Prime Minister’s attack on a United Nations report claiming we’d subjected asylum-seekers to torture or inhumane treatment:
I really think Australians are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations, particularly given that we have stopped the boats and by stopping the boats, we have ended the deaths at sea. 
Reason one: to accuse us of “torture” is plainly way over the top and shows complete lack of perspective.
Reason two: to attack us now for alleged torture after stopping a smuggling trade that had drowned 1200 people is one sided, and shows an ever greater lack of perspective.
Reason three: to have a United Nations body dictate how we should feel about our policies shows an unmerited contempt for the ability of the citizens of a healthy democracy with a free press to decide such things for themselves.
But now there’s a fourth reason: this UN body doesn’t actually know what the hell it’s talking about:

THE UN’s conclusion that Australia exposes asylum-seekers to torture or inhumane treatment was reached after accepting the claims of activists without hearings or independent investigation of the facts, and was based on the lack of detailed rebuttal from the government. 
The report of the “special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” is based on the submissions of lobby groups such as the Australian Human Rights Law Centre and concludes: “In the absence of ­information to the contrary, the rapporteur concludes that there is substance in the allegations ­presented.”
Special rapporteur Juan Mendez, professor of human rights law in residence at the American University, yesterday confirmed ... there were no site visits or hearings. “It (the process) is ­indeed rather limited, consisting in an exchange of notes with each government,” Professor Mendez said… 
The Australian government’s formal response to Professor Mendez on the first of four complaints — specifically related to the treatment of the asylum-seekers on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island — was a letter less than one page in length, referring to other reviews.
Then there’s the double standards from a committee that was silent when the problem was much worse under Labor: 
In March 2013, when the UN special rapporteur published an equivalent report, Australia was not mentioned even though there were then almost 7000 people and 1100 children in detention on Christmas Island and the Australian mainland. More were held on Manus Island and Nauru but ­official figures were not available. yesterday. 
Now there are a total of 3732 people in immigration detention and 224 children
And, of course, there is the hypocrisy:
Legal academic James Allan ... said that even if a more acceptable procedure had been used, Australia should pay no attention to a report for the UN Human Rights Council that included countries with poor records on human rights. The current members of the UN Human Rights Council include the Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Venezuela. 
Next year, China, Cuba and Russia are among the countries due to take seats on the council, followed in 2017 by Bangladesh, Congo, Ghana, Nigeria and Qatar.
===

CATCHING UP

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 11, 2014 (11:16am)

It’s only taken a decade or so, but Media Watch has finally noticed one example of alarmist nonsense about climate change. Good for them.
===

Green calls Abbott “racist”. ABC reporter applauds

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (11:52am)

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam last week gave a speech calling the Prime Minister a “racist” and a “homophobe”.
ABC reporter Alison Caldwell approves:
image
And still ABC boss Mark Scott refuses to admit his staff are biased to the Left. Still he claims:
I don’t know how our journalists vote. I don’t know what their personal views are.
Now he does.
UPDATE
Lots of fun as Caldwell defends herself. It seems she’s just a fan of good writing - of sorts:
image
Strange, though, that Caldwell says she was praising only the writing of Ludlam’s viciously abusive speech.
In fact she’d praised his “delivery” of the speech and its “impact”. In an earlier tweet she even praised its “tone”:

image
She also tweeted that his anti-Abbott rant even demonstrated Ludlam to be a man of “substance” and “considered”:
image
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Caldwell also retweeted ecstatic praise of the speech, especially its most abusive parts, along with a message of support for the Greens:
image
In fact, this speech of hate made Caldwell finally feel inspired by the politics she’s been covering for the ABC:
image
But now Caldwell says she was just praising Ludlam’s “writing”?
Please. At least have the courage of your Greens convictions.
UPDATE
Remember how Caldwell didn’t mention the elephant on the ice when she rang the Ship of Fools – that warmists were trapped in the ice they’d sworn was melting away?

Remember her sympathetic interview of people keen on shackling our free speech?

Coincidence? 
===

Don’t mention the man on the stolen passport is … er, not Asian. No, not white, either

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (10:59am)

Fear of seeming racist has the Sydney Morning Herald’s headline writer using hints and guess-agains rather than say plainly that one of the men who used stolen passports on the missing Malaysian flight was black:
Missing Malaysia Airlines jet: Passenger with stolen passport ‘non-Asian’ who looks like Mario Balotelli
Same bizarre circumlocution in the story itself:
Malaysian authorities have identified one of the two men who used stolen passports to board the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, the nation’s inspector general of police told local media on Monday, as international search teams continued to look - so far unsuccessfully - for wreckage from the jet. 
“I can confirm that he is not a Malaysian, but cannot divulge which country he is from yet,” Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar told the Star, a major Malaysian newspaper. He added that the man is also not from Xinjiang, China - a northwestern province of the mainland home to minority Uighurs. Uighur separatists have been blamed for a knifing rampage in southwestern China this month that left 29 dead.
Civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman declined to confirm this, but said they were of “non-Asian” appearance, adding that authorities were looking at the possibility the men were connected to a stolen passport syndicate.
Asked by a reporter what they looked like “roughly,” he said: “Do you know of a footballer by the name of (Mario) Balotelli? He is an Italian. Do you know how he looks like?” 
A reporter then asked, “Is he black?” and the aviation chief replied, “Yes.”
This anti-racism racism will one day kill us.
If the man with the stolen passport looked like a Deep South redneck, would that have been in the fifth paragraph or the first?
UPDATE
News Ltd’s reporter thinks the Malaysia aviation chief didn’t actually give the straight answer assumed there:
Asked if they looked African, Mr Rahman would not comment except to point out that footballer Mario Balotelli was Italian but was not Italian looking.
UPDATE
Astonishing in these days when even nuns get searched before flights:
A top terrorism expert says the use of stolen passports on flight MH370 ‘’eerily’’ resembles a 1994 attack on a Philippines flight by an al-Qaeda-linked hijacker and represents a ‘’massive security failure’’…

Ramzi Yousef, who was later convicted in connection with the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing, planted a bomb on a Philippine Airlines flight in 1994, killing one passenger but failing to bring down the plane.
He used a stolen Italian passport - a similar situation to the stolen Italian and Austrian passports used by two passengers in boarding the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. 
UPDATE
The plane hasn’t even been found, so we don’t know what happened to it. Was it blown up by terrorists? An anti-aircraft missile? Was it landed somewhere? Was it the victim of a catastrophic systems failure that knocked out all engines and communications at the same time? So everything is speculation.
That said:
The police in Pattaya said the tickets were bought not by the passengers themselves but by an Iranian man known to the police only as Mr Ali. 
Supachai Phuikaewkhum, the chief of police in Pattaya, said ... Mr Ali called the agency from an Iranian telephone number and asked for the cheapest fares available from Kuala Lumpur to two separate destinations in Europe.
UPDATE
Adding to the puzzle: 
Based on what he’s heard, Captain Cox believes it’s increasingly clear that the plane somehow veered from its normal flight path. He said that after the plane disappeared from radar, it must have been “intact and flew for some period of time. Beyond that, it’s all speculation.” If it had exploded midair along its normal flight path, “we would have found it by now.”
UPDATE
The men on false passports may well have nothing at all to do with the plane going missing:
THE mystery men travelling on missing Flight MH370 with stolen passports are reportedly Iranians looking for a fresh life in Europe. A BBC Persia reporter has told London’s Daily Telegraph how the men bought fake passports because they were “looking for a place to settle"… 
(The) Financial Times reported their tickets had been arranged for by an Iranian known only as “Mr Ali"… A friend of Mr Ali’s paid cash for the tickets. Benjaporn Krutnait, owner of the Grand Horizon travel agency in Thailand, said she had known the Iranian for about three years and he had booked tickets through her agency before. There is no evidence Mr Ali knew the two men were traveling on stolen passports and, according to NBC News, he has come forward to authorities after learning they were under suspicion. He is currently believed to be in Iran.
I don’t know what this means, if it’s true. Do any communications experts reading this know?
Several family members told [Malaysia Airlines commercial director Hugh] Dunleavy that passengers’ mobile phones were ringing, although no one picked up. Mr Dunleavy said MAS was also trying the mobile phones of the crew members, and that they also rang. 
(Thanks to reader Baden.) 
===

Clive Palmer is not a joke. That is the danger

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (10:55am)

Peter Reith does something rare - he takes Clive Palmer seriously. All the more reason to worry:
In elections in Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania, Palmer will be spending millions to persuade voters to vote for him even though he is not a candidate anywhere… He is entitled to spend his own money, he’s entitled to be ambitious, but his lack of democratic instincts and his populist policies, especially to spend billions of dollars by printing money, do not deserve support… 
(S)tarting with more ferries between Tasmania and the mainland ... (H)is claim that his ferry service will be like the ferries that cross the English Channel is odd. There is a big difference between crossing the 38-kilometre Channel and making the 392-kilometre trip across Bass Strait. On top of that, Palmer will not say where the money will come from for his ferry scheme.
Worse still, in WA Palmer has advocated more GST funds should be returned to that state, which means fewer dollars for places like Tasmania. Telling one story in one state and a different story elsewhere is too cute by far…
And then there is his plan to abolish higher education fees. Once again he offers no answer to the question of how he can pay for his plan. The truth is that he has no answer and he demonstrates once again that populism is his principal modus operandi… 
His most irresponsible policy is that the government should be turning on the printing presses to the tune of $70 billion...At a time when economic reform and fiscal responsibility is more important than ever, Palmer is a man out of his depth and drowning in his own ego.
The danger, though, is that Australia will drown in his ego, too.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

How many bad apples does Shorten think make a rotten union barrel?

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (9:10am)

Politics - federal

Bill Shorten in 2012:
I don’t think that a few rotten eggs, a few rotten apples should be allowed to describe the whole of the labour movement in Australia.
Craig Thomson, Michael Williamson, the AWU slush fund scandal, the CFMEU corruption allegations… Just how many bad apples does it take before we reject the whole barrel?
Today:
THE Employee Ombudsman in South Australia has been arrested and charged with 67 counts of fraud allegedly committed while he was a union boss representing some of the country’s lowest paid workers. 
Stephen Brennan, former South Australian and Tasmanian branch secretary for the national textile union, was arrested last Thursday over 35 counts of falsifying accounts and 32 counts of dishonest dealing with documents.
Police made the arrest after the union reported alleged misuse of union funds last year. It claimed up to $180,000 had been defrauded from members between 1999 and 2004....
Mr Brennan, who was secretary of the SA branch from 1991 until it merged with the NSW branch in 2006, denied the allegations when first raised by the union last year… 
The South Australian Labor government appointed Mr Brennan to the role of Employee Ombudsman on $140,000 a year in 2006 when his term with the textile union concluded, and has continued to pay his salary since he stood down from his position last May pending the outcome of police and Fair Work Commission investigations.
Brennan says he’s innocent.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

Marcia Langton’s vilification: no law against this kind of abuse

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (9:07am)

Free speechThe politics of race

Two years ago Marcia Langton gave me a private apology for foul public smear:
Professor Marcia Langton recently apologised to me privately for publicly claiming in an Age article I believed in a “master race” and “racial hygiene”. 
That false and foul claim was made in response to a Federal Court declaring unlawful columns in which I actually argued the very opposite - that we should not divide ourselves by “race”, and especially not by trivial inflections of it. Why couldn’t we simply judge each other as individuals? I am yet to get from Langton the public apology I was led to believe was coming for that extraordinary smear, and instead now find myself bracketed by her with Pauline Hanson. But this time I am at least grateful that Langton concedes I indeed had a point in articles I cannot by law apparently republish or substantially repeat...
I never got that public apology.
Instead, last night on Q&A Langton again vilified me as a racist, to the applause and sniggers of some in the audience. Talking of articles in “the Bolt case”, in which I was taken to court and ordered not to repeat what I’d written, Langton claimed they just racially abused people. She claimed one person, Misty Jenkins, had been racially abused by me so badly- had been so bullied - that she withdrew from the Aboriginal community. We needed laws against this kind of thing, she claimed.
The facts:
None of the articles in “the Bolt case” mentioned Misty Jenkins. Not one - neither those banned nor those cleared. It is not legally safe for me to even link to them to prove it, but maybe you can find them for yourself.
I have mentioned Jenkins in one paragraph in one blog post in listing examples of the Leftist bias of a Melbourne University alumni publication - a paragraph essentially repeated days later in a newspaper column on the same subject. That article appeared in 2008 (a year before my since-banned articles).  It is too dangerous now for me to repeat that paragraph without first getting my lawyer’s opinion, but you may find it by Googling my name and Jenkins’.
See if it matches what Langton said of me last night. See if there is a single word of abuse, and if you find that word, feel free to quote it back at me.
See if my comment is of the kind that should be banned by our laws. Ask yourself whether what I have said of Misty Jenkins comes remotely close in offensiveness to what Langton has twice falsely said about me.
And consider a point I have made several times: that the law being defended seems designed not to protect people from abuse but ideas from challenge.
It strikes me that Langton is not at all fussy in labeling people as “racist” - a cheap-shot and plain nasty way to dodge arguments. She’s accused Germaine Greer, for instance, of racism:
RACISM and the highly evolved strategies that some white Australians use to dismiss, obstruct and trivialise Aboriginal people are like a virus: just when you think you have inoculated yourself against it, another version of the attack hits you when you are unprepared. Germaine Greer’s astonishing attack on me in her slight essay, On Rage, struck me as one of these mutant attacks. 
It is a cleverly disguised but nonetheless racist attack on Aboriginal people.
She’s done it to Tim Flannery:
ABORIGINAL academic Marcia Langton has accused former Australian of the year Tim Flannery of holding a racist belief that indigenous Australians are ‘’enemies of nature’’.
How quick she’s been to play the racism card: 
[Prominent Labor lawyer Josh] Bornstein tweeted, “Tim Flannery is racist and all black fellas are budding mining magnates. Did I get that right, Marcia Langton?” 
Professor Langton replied: “No stupid, you didn’t.” After he commented on her “mild and unimaginative abuse”, the Melbourne University professor snapped back, ”Doodums. Did the nig nog speak back? ...”
The politics of race is a cancer on free speech and debate.
UPDATE
Reader Turtle of WA did see racism on show on Q&A last night:
Lisa Wilkinson singled out George Brandis for being a ‘white able bodied heterosexual male’, and suggested that this might explain his lack of ‘sympathy’. So Lisa feels it is right to pathologise a person for belonging to the one group in society without special victim status, white, straight males. What a joke.
Today’s anti-racists have become what they say they oppose. 
===

Obama always wanted the US military tamed. Now it is

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (8:52am)


 Today we learn the origins of Barack Obama’s weakness - and now America’s:
IN 1983, an idealistic student of political science at Columbia University in New York penned an article for the university magazine railing against the “war mentality” of America and “the relentless, often silent spread of militarism in the country”. 
President Ronald Reagan was a hostage to the “twisted logic of the Cold War”, he wrote, and was “playing into the Russians’ hands” rather than “shifting America off the dead-end track” and pursuing the proper goal of a “nuclear-free world”. A quarter of a century later, the author - Barack Obama - was elected to the White House. While due allowance should be made for the callow scribblings of any student, there have been striking echoes of Obama’s youthful suspicion of American power during his five years as President.
Remember Obama declaring last August that Syria would cross a “red line” if it used chemical weapons - and then did nothing when it did?
He was outmanoeuvred by Vladimir Putin of Russia, who had conjured up a peace plan in which Assad’s stockpile of chemical weapons would be traded for a US undertaking not to use force. Obama had shown that his own words about a “red line” meant nothing. 
The US President explained that he had a “deeply held preference for peaceful solutions”. “America is not the world’s policeman,” he declared. “Terrible things happen across the globe and it is beyond our means to right every wrong.”
True, but a vacuum is being created - and being filled by leaders with far fewer scruples about using force:
Russians flooded out of their bases in Crimea and occupied the pro-Russian region in southeastern Ukraine. 
Reluctant to characterise the Russian military push - a flagrant breach of Ukraine’s sovereignty and international law - as a hostile action, the Obama administration chose to term it an “uncontested arrival”, the most startling US foreign policy euphemism since the “war on terror” was renamed an “overseas contingency operation"…
Volker believes Obama will not change. “You have seen a lot of this and you’re going to see more. Russia, Syria, the Egyptian generals, (Hamid) Karzai in Afghanistan, Iran within Iraq, the Shi’ite government of Iraq, Hezbollah - you can keep rattling them off. Everyone is reacting to this weakness.” 
China might seize the Senkaku, also known as the Diayou, islands from Japan; Iran might judge that the cost of acquiring a nuclear weapon would be bearable; North Korea might flex its muscles; Assad’s Syria has no obvious need to come to the table.
(Thanks to reader watty.) 
===

Desperate warmists now try the smallpox scare

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (8:23am)

Global warming - propaganda

Brendan O’Neill, editor of the online magazine spiked, on the green authoritarians’ search for new ways to make us believe the unbelievable and desire the undesirable:
The executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, has said scientists and UN officials should stop using “weirdo words” when talking about climate change… Ms Figueres says climate-change folk are “just not communicating properly"… 
All sorts of green groups have come up with communication strategies to address what they view as the public’s apathy ... on all matters climatic. Some of the strategies are gob-droppingly patronising.
One, titled Communicating Climate Change to Mass Public Audiences, published by the Climate Change Advisory Group, says the masses ... will experience “painful emotions of grief for a society that must undergo changes” and they might even adopt “maladaptive coping strategies”, such as “denial of responsibility, blaming others, or becoming apathetic”. And it falls to the eco-enlightened to help the moronic masses through these feelings and encourage them to shift towards “pro-environmental behaviour"…
It’s not surprising that greenies are racking their brains over how best to communicate with the public, because even though they’ve been banging on about climate-change disaster for 20-plus years now, most people just aren’t interested… 
But has the public really tuned out from eco matters because it doesn’t understand them, because it is perplexed by “expert discourse”? I don’t think so. I think the reason people are switching off from the enviro-agenda is because they disagree with it… Environmentalism is, by its own admission, a campaign against the public and our historic desire for more things and freedom. 
Hmm. So how do warmists cut through now to really scare the morons?  Well, like this:
… scientists fear that smallpox, which was eradicated in 1979, could re-emerge from the most unlikely of places – defrosting corpses.
A handful of experts fear that bodies infected with the disease, which are defrosting in Siberia - having become exposed from melting frost – could potentially begin a cycle of infection, should a person make contact with the remains…
The work shows that viruses can survive being locked up in the permafrost for extremely long periods, France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) said in a press statement. 
‘It has important implications for public-health risks in connection with exploiting mineral or energy resources in Arctic Circle regions that are becoming more and more accessible through global warming,’ it said.
Pathetic. Truly pathetic.
(Thanks to reader Penny.) 
===

And they wonder why there’s so few of us left to defend Israel

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (7:20am)

I understand Israel’s frustration. But who in the West wants to sound racist these days by criticising poor Palestinians or Iranians? With the laws we have against free speech - laws foolishly backed by Jewish community leaders - who dares?
Benjamin Netanyahu accused the West of failing to condemn Iran’s involvement in an intercepted weapons shipment on Monday because it wanted to delude itself that the country’s leaders had changed course. 
Standing beside an array of rockets, mortars and bullets seized from a ship that sailed from Iran, the Israeli prime minister said the international community was guilty of “hypocrisy” for failing to speak out while loudly denouncing Israel for continued settlement building.
“At most I heard a few faint condemnations of Iran from the international community,” he said
“In contrast if we build a balcony in Jerusalem we hear harsh condemnation from the international community.” 
Mr Netanyahu was speaking at a naval base in the southern Israeli port of Eilat, where the arms haul was ceremoniously showcased in an event intended to draw the maximum propaganda value from the seizure of a merchant vessel on March 5 that Israel says was carrying supplies destined for Palestinians militants in Gaza.
Remember this?
Last December [1998] the Australian Financial Review (AFR) printed an article by Opinion Page writer Tom Switzer, titled “With friends like Palestinians, who needs enemies?” in which Mr Switzer wrote that the Palestinian people “cannot be trusted” and describes them as “terrorists” and “vicious thugs” who show “no serious willingness to comply with agreements"… 
The Head of the General Palestinian Delegation to Australia and Ambassador of Palestine to Vanuatu, Mr Ali Kazak described the article as highly inflammatory and racially stereotyped and demanded that the Financial Review print an apology. While the AFR’s editor Colleen Ryan, apologised privately to Mr Kazak, the newspaper refused to make a public apology. Mr Kazak took his complaint to the Press Council. In their ruling the Council said that “the article was certainly vituperative but it was published as a clearly marked opinion piece” and dismissed the complaint.
Remember the next step in this punishment by process?
Administrative Decisions Tribunal of NSW anti-discrimination ruling on AFR July 24, 2000: 
THESE proceedings concern a complaint of racial vilification made by Mr Ali Kazak against The Australian Financial Review. Mr Kazak alleges that an article written by Tom Switzer published on 23 December 1998, contravenes s20C of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (the Act). The article as a whole paints an extremely negative picture of the Palestinian people and an extremely positive picture of the Israeli people and their government. The language used suggests that the Palestinians, unlike the Israelis, are unworthy and undeserving of support because, at least in relation to the peace process, they are hypocritical, untrustworthy, blameworthy and viscous[sic] . . . ..In our view, based on these considerations, the ordinary reasonable reader would be incited to hatred or serious contempt of the Palestinians by reading the Switzer article. The article uses brief and one sided “factual” information to justify extremely negative generalisations about the Palestinians. It paints them as inferior to the Israelis in the sense that all the features attributed to the Palestinians are negative, while those attributed to the Israelis are consistently positive. It negates the worth and value of the Palestinian people in the peace process. The effect is to incite an ordinary reasonable reader to hate or despise Palestinians, to view them with contempt and to see them as inferior to the Israelis… The complaint is substantiated.
The finding was eventually overturned on appeal (with virtually no media coverage). But think of the legal costs. The stress. The time. And think of the chilling effect. Would you have the money, time and heart to fight such battles just to express an opinion - and, in my opinion, a correct one on the obstacles Israel faces to find security? Would you have the support of your boss or shareholders?
Would you want to risk having all this controversy used to smear you and to try to silence you in other fora? From 2012:
It’s an attitude perfectly illustrated by an event being put on at the University of New South Wales by the United Nations Society… They have four speakers: three white, all men. One of them is Tom Switzer.
Readers will know I am not a fan of Switzer… Now, you might think that someone who has very publicly been found guilty of inciting ordinary reasonable readers to hate or despise Jews, gay people, or Indigenous Australians – to view them with contempt and to see them as inferior – might not be welcome at such an event. Given that such organisations like to play it safe, one would not expect them to court the controversy and outrage that would be expected if their speaker were a renowned anti-Semite.
But saying such things about Palestinians is just considered an unpleasant side issue.
The UNSW UN Society explained that 

as it stands, given that the topic of the Q & A is not in relation to the apparent comments made by Mr. Switzer, and whilst we understand the wariness that has been expressed as regards such strong comments being made, it is not generally the policy of the UNSW UN Society to remove speakers should they have strong opinions on any topic.
You see, racial vilification of Jews is anti-Semitism. But racial vilification of Palestinians is merely ‘strong comments’ or ‘strong opinions’ on another topic. 
No doubt other organisations shunned Switzer rather than court controversy, even though Switzer is actually a highly intelligent, informed and principled man. The lepers bell has been rung, and we have many people too weak to defend free speech and defy those using the scream of “racist” not to defend the weak but to shut down debate.
The Jewish community leaders now fighting to keep the kind of laws used against Switzer - and me - do not know what damage they do not just to free speech, long the truest defence of Jews, but to the best defenders of their community.
Peter Wertheim, please, please, think again.
You wonder why so few journalists speak in Israel’s defence? Now ask yourself why you work so hard to defeat the laws used to silence those few who do. 
===

Any room for a sceptic in Radio National’s party for apocalyptics?

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (7:02am)

Radio National Breakfast - another of those ABC programs that boss Mark Scott cannot tell is biased - throws a party for apocalyptics:
FRAN Kelly: Now the winners of our Gold and the Incas challenge … Your task was to imagine an artwork that represents the lost world of 20th-century Australia … Our ACT winner … wrote, my artwork would be a hologram explaining the genius of 20th-century Australia and why it became a lost world … the final hologram would depict David Karoly who warned about the catastrophic potential of unchecked climate change.
Robyn Williams: And so to Queensland, and our winner ... can see a film with … the next major extinction event … the Barrier Reef. A complete film recording of the whole Barrier Reef … that, like Wagner’s Ring Cycle, goes for hours … It is Australia’s treasure worth more than coal that we are squandering. 
Kelly: The Ring Cycle. Ambitious. I like that. Go for it, think big.
Cut & Paste then crashes the party by romping through some facts about the reef and other green scares.
If Robyn Williams, the ABC’s chief science presenter, does make that film I do hope there’s room for a clip of his most astonishing prediction:
Andrew Bolt: I’m telling you, there’s a lot of fear out there. So what I do is, when I see an outlandish claim being made...so Tim Flannery suggesting rising seas this next century eight stories high, Professor Mike Archer, dean of engineering at the University of NSW… 
Robyn Williams: Dean of science.
Andrew Bolt: Dean of science...suggesting rising seas this next century of up to 100 metres, or Al Gore six metres. When I see things like that I know these are false. You mentioned the IPCC report; that suggests, at worst on best scenarios, 59 centimetres.
Robyn Williams: Well, whether you take the surge or whether you take the actual average rise are different things.
Andrew Bolt: I ask you, Robyn, 100 metres in the next century...do you really think that? 
Robyn Williams: It is possible, yes. The increase of melting that they’ve noticed in Greenland and the amount that we’ve seen from the western part of Antarctica, if those increases of three times the expected rate continue, it will be huge.
===

Next time a company begs for handouts? Can it

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (6:40am)

So why did this company - with the backing of Labor and local “Liberal” Sharman Stone - ask the Abbott Government for a $25 million handout from taxpayers?
SPC Ardmona has landed a company-changing $70 million contract with Woolworths just weeks after warnings the federal government’s decision to deny the troubled fruit and tomato processor a $25m bailout could force it to close and cost hundreds of jobs… 
Under the new contract, SPC will supply all of Woolworths’ home-brand processed fruit products and Australian canned tomatoes for the next five years. The deal reverses SPC’s falling sales, saves local Goulburn Valley jobs and virtually assures the ability to remain financially viable until at least 2020.
We’ve been played for mugs. So how many other pet employers - also with highly unionised workplaces - did Labor want to reward with handouts they didn’t actually need? 
===

Newspoll: Labor “loses” huge lead

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (6:22am)

Politics - polls

I don’t think Labor has taken a big poll hit in the past fortnight - but only because I never believed the last poll, claiming a huge Labor lead:
BILL Shorten and the Labor Party have gone backwards in public support during the two weeks when 5000 job losses at Qantas and the Coalition’s refusal to grant the national carrier a debt guarantee dominated politics… 
According to the latest Newspoll survey, ... primary vote support for the Coalition rose from 39 to 41 per cent in the past two weeks and Labor’s fell from 39 to 35 per cent.
Support for the Greens and others was virtually unchanged on 11 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.
Based on preference flows at the election last September, the two-party preferred vote is now 51 to 49 per cent in favour of Labor. Two weeks ago Labor led 54 to 46 per cent… 
Satisfaction with Mr Shorten last weekend was 33 per cent, just one point above his lowest rating of 32 per cent, in the first Newspoll survey in October just after he became leader.
Labor is still doing better than it deserves on its performance. Or put it this way: if Labor is only just in front even after the closing of Holden, Mitsubishi and Alcoa plants and the laying off of 5000 Qantas workers, then the party clearly isn’t seen as offering much of an answer.
And guess what? It isn’t. That old “hand our pet bosses and union mates more subsidies” stuff just doesn’t cut it any more. It never worked economically, and now it’s not doing that much politically.
UPDATE
I’m not actually against some centralising of messaging, although some latitude must also be given to the most trusted. But a leader attempting it must have authority, tact and judgment:
Labor MPs are unhappy with the centralisation of power under leader Bill Shorten. 
Mr Shorten appears to have acknowledged angst in ALP ranks caused by the centralised policy and media units. He has appointed veteran media strategist Eamonn Fitzpatrick to shake up operations and protect his most vulnerable flank - relations with the NSW Right…
Mr Shorten’s media unit has been a particular source of frustration for MPs. All media releases and press conference transcripts from the shadow ministry are sent out centrally. Shadow ministers are still required to transcribe releases but must then wait for approval from the leader’s office, resulting in many releases being sent out late and falling outside the media cycle… 
The Opposition Leader has allocated himself 30 of the 89 staff granted to the opposition shadow ministry. The 29 other members of the shadow ministry receive the 59 remaining staff. The leader’s office also plays a key role in determining which MPs appear on the ABC and Sky’s 24-hour news channels, as well as on the parliamentary doors, though this arrangement is similar to when the Coalition was in opposition.
Mind you, there is one exception - and I have been a fortunate beneficiary:
At least one shadow minster, Mr Shorten’s vanquished leadership rival Anthony Albanese, does not seek approval for his contact with the media.
UPDATE
Peter Smith: 
(N)ot even the true believers will stick with this union throwback for very long…
“Get out of the way” was a devastatingly effective charge on Shorten by Abbott in the Parliament. It hit home, as shown by Shorten echoing the same words incoherently. And why wouldn’t it? Shorten is leading his party to oppose every measure to improve the competitiveness, and therefore the job-creating ability, of the Australian economy. Most perversely this includes the carbon tax, specifically ruled out by Gillard before the 2010 election and which Abbott promised to abolish at the 2013 election. How divorced from reality and the wishes of the electorate can you possibly get? 
You can almost read the doubting minds of those around Shorten (‘Oh, God, not another dud!’) as he stumbles his way inarticulately from one indecipherable remark to another. The government should “get out of the way” of Qantas. What sense does that make? None! ‘Patriotism is the last refuges of scoundrels’ – ‘cheese eating surrender monkeys’ – have their provenance but are spewed out without spottable connectivity to the debate at hand.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

How dare Liz Hayes beat up the Fukushima scare like this?

Andrew Bolt March 10 2014 (5:30pm)

Anti-nuclear hysterics

Liz Hayes of 60 Minutes gives us another disgraceful example of enviro-porn - the kind of green scaremongering that kills more people than it saves.
Watch her truly irresponsible report on three years after the Fukushima nuclear reactor incident. Note the following:
- Helen Caldicott, the anti-nuclear hysteric, is introduced as merely a “paediatrician” and falsely billed as a “nuclear expert”.
- Caldicott’s past alarmism is not mentioned, not least her unforgivable fear mongering at the time of the emergency:
Then let’s have veteran nuclear hysteric Helen Caldicott, who warned on 3AW that the Fukushima reactor could blow (a scenario ruled out by nuclear experts). This, she wailed, meant “hundreds of thousands of Japanese will be dying within two weeks of acute radiation illness”, with countless more later suffering an “epidemic” of cancers. 
- Hayes fails to find a single example of anyone at all in Japan - not even the workers at the emergency - suffering ill-health as a consequence of the emergency. Not one - despite clearly hunting for atrocity stories and following a woman having her child given a health check: “Today, the news is good.”
- Hayes shows Caldicott claiming Japan is now so unsafe that athletes should not go to the 2020 Olympics. Hayes fails to mention the truth, as established by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic Radiation last year: that no evidence is likely to emerge of any radiation illness from the incident, even among the most heavily exposed workers who were at the plant. As UNSCEAR said:
Radiation exposure following the nuclear accident at Fukushima-Daiichi did not cause any immediate health effects. It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and the vast majority of workers,” concluded the 60 th session of ... UNSCEAR… 
On the whole, the exposure of the Japanese population was low, or very low, leading to correspondingly low risks of health effects later in life....
No radiation-related deaths or acute effects have been observed among nearly 25,000 workers (including TEPCO employees and contractors) involved at the accident site.
Given the small number of highly exposed workers, it is unlikely that excess cases of thyroid cancer due to radiation exposure would be detectable. Special health examinations will be given to workers with exposures above 100 mSv including annual monitoring of the thyroid, stomach, large intestine and lung for cancer as a means to monitor for potential late radiation-related health effects at the individual level.
The assessment also concluded that although the rate of exposures may have exceeded the levels for the onset of effects on plants and animals several times in the first few months following the accident, any effects are expected to be transient in nature, given their short duration. 
- Hayes reports scary claims that the “whole world” is being contaminated by the fallout, including the US. What she fails to add is that any contamination we might conceivably get will not affect us:
Carl-Magnus Larsson, chair of the UN’s Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation ... [and] CEO of Australia’s nuclear safety agency ... [says this] is not about to produce a race of sea monsters. 
“The radioactivity is also being transported over very long distances with the ocean currents, but will at the same time be diluted to levels where there is no concern for harmful effects on sea life or for using, for example, the beaches along the North American west coast for recreational purposes."…
But according to a talk presented by Malcolm Crick, secretary of the UN’s Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, “there were no radiation-related deaths or acute diseases among the general public and workers [in Japan]"… 
“The first thing that people don’t realise is that radiation is natural. We are exposed to radiation from outer space… that radiation is there, it provides us with a background exposure as we live on this planet,” he said.
- Hayes repeatedly warns Fukushima could turn out as terrible as the Chernobyl disaster without adding that Chernobyl was beaten up just like Hayes is now beating up Fukushima:
Peter Garrett also thundered on the danger of things nuclear, and was the man who, when president of the Australian Conservation Foundation, claimed the Chernobyl nuclear explosion in 1986 “caused the deaths of more than 30,000 people”. 
In fact, the known death toll of that explosion of a badly designed reactor is not 30,000, but just 65. That’s the assessment of the Chernobyl Forum, which represents Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, as well as all relevant United Nations agencies, including the World Health Organisation and International Atomic Energy Agency.

In 2005, the Forum concluded, after reviewing all studies, there “was no demonstrated increase in the incidence of solid cancers or leukemia due to radiation in the most affected populations”, and no “clear and convincing evidence for a radiation-induced increase in general population mortality”.
And if you’re still clinging to some other Fukushima scare, please check it against this list of hoaxes before bothering me with it.
But I said that Hayes’ reckless scaremongering is the kind of thing likely to kill more people than it could possibly save. It’s true. Radiation scare-mongers risk scaring people to death:
Just ask the thousands of evacuees recently told by the Belarus government that, oops, we made a mistake, there wasn’t really any risk [from Chernobyl] and you can go back to your homes. No matter that a generation of their lives were destroyed, that about 10,000 died from suicide, depression and alcoholism because the fear was far more devastating than the event itself, using even the most pessimistic pro-LNT estimates. During the first year after the Chernobyl accident, the average dose to inhabitants in Northern Europe was 4.5 mrem (0.045 mSv), i.e., less than 2% of the average global annual natural dose 240 mrem/yr (2.4 mSv/year). This was not worth destroying these people’s lives. And it is exactly the same as eating a bag of potato chips a day. 
So it’s all about LNT, the Linear No-Threshold Dose hypothesis, a supposition that all radiation is deadly and there is no dose below which harmful effects will not occur. Double the dose, double the cancers. Of course, this isn’t true. The millions of nuclear workers that have been monitored closely for 50 years have no higher cancer mortality than the general population but have had several to ten times the average dose.
How many Fukushima residents are being scared to death by the likes of Hayes and Caldicott? Allowing even for hyperbole...:
The Fukushima evacuees have more than three times the national average of mental illness. And just two weeks ago it was revealed stress-related deaths among the evacuees had topped the actual death toll of 1,600 from the earthquake and tsunami.
And never forget these victims of the scaremongers: 
The IAEA estimated that European women from as far away as Italy and Greece sought more than 200,000 extra abortions after the explosion, so sure were they from all the fear-mongering that their babies would be deformed. 
Added the Chernobyl Forum: “Persistent myths and misconceptions about the threat of radiation have resulted on paralysing fatalism among residents of affected areas.”
How Hayes promoted her report:
Oh, Liz:  notice how people have made safe lives in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Wondered why?  
===

GREENS BURNED

Tim Blair – Monday, March 11, 2013 (1:08am)

Former Greens leader Bob Brown routinely hailed every one of his party’s election performances as a brilliant victory. Too bad Bob wasn’t around during the weekend: 
As Colin Barnett’s minority Liberal government was returned with a huge majority, the four per cent swing away from the Greens was even more violent than those that turned away from Labor.
The Greens only hope of representation in WA’s lower house is in the Kimberley, where local candidate Chris Maher and his opposition to the James Price Point gas project mobilised support.
But across the rest of the state, the Greens vote plummeted, with the party predicted to hold just two seats in the Upper House as counting concludes. 
Current Greens senior henchlady Christine Milne offers this spin: 
Ms Milne said rather than take her party’s savaging in WA as a sign of decline, she said voters should see it as a warning as what could happen at the federal polling booths in September.
“I think the message out of WA is that is essential that we keep the Greens holding the balance of power in the federal parliament,” Ms Milne said …
“It is absolutely critical people see the march of the conservatives across the country and see it for what it is – a retreat to the past, to the last century.” 
The Greens hate the last century. They prefer previous centuries.
===

NO ROOM FOR CATHY

Tim Blair – Monday, March 11, 2013 (1:06am)

Ineffective SMH cartoonist Cathy Wilcox is even less effective in tabloid format: 
my cartoon on the NSW Environment Minister ignoring climate science, which didn’t fit in the compact newspaper. 
Still, at least the Prime Minister is happy: 
With this new compact format, the delicate task of unfolding those huge broadsheet pages and the occasional wrestle with them will become a memory. 
She’s had a tough life.
===

BROWN LEAVES TOWN

Tim Blair – Monday, March 11, 2013 (1:04am)

Prior to Saturday’s vote, former Colin Barnett adviser Darren Brown considered the seat of Swan Hills: 
If Labor doesn’t win this seat, I’m leaving town. 
The latest Swan Hills counting indicates a 1.7 per cent swing to the Liberals
The Swan Hills area, the focus of some of the key campaign issues including the Ellenbrook rail line and Perth-to-Darwin Highway, seems certain to remain firmly in the grip of Liberal Frank Alban. 
Further pre-election pondering from Darren, whose new address is yet to be announced: 
I’m predicting a Labor government with a one-seat majority. 
Brown’s call may yet be surpassed by this line from 2007
The Liberal Party will never again win a federal election.
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Eddie not my fault, says Carr

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(12:52pm)

Former Labor premiers Bob Carr and Morris Iemma have gone to war over who was responsible for the rise of Eddie Obeid amid warnings that corruption hearings involving the notorious powerbroker will have dire consequences for the party at the federal election.

Senator Carr, now the Foreign Affairs Minister, has accused Mr Iemma, his successor as premier, of a serious error by allowing Mr Obeid ‘’special status’’ in his government.

‘’I’m sure that Morris Iemma, a very decent - decent and honest figure - would reflect that it was a cardinal mistake to allow Obeid that special status and privilege,’’ Senator Carr says in comments that will go to air on Monday night on the ABC program Four Corners…

Mr Iemma rejected Mr Carr’s assessment, insisting he had no special access. ‘’He had a status all right: cabinet minister, conferred on him by Bob Carr,’’ Mr Iemma said of Mr Obeid.

‘’I don’t know what special status he’s referring to. He was a cabinet minister in Bob’s government. He was a backbencher in my government.’’
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Call me anything but that

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(11:52am)

 Free speech
One of those words was deemed so offensive that the guilty woman was convicted:
The conviction is now overturned. Australian honor almost restored.
(Thanks to reader Waxing Gibberish.)
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Flannery’s rainforest scare contradicted

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(9:48am)

 Global warming - dud predictions
Professor Tim Flannery late last year said “rainforests are also being stressed by the warming, with many species at their limits of temperature tolerance andfacing increased risk of extinction‘’ as the government’s Climate Commission unveiled its 14th report on global warming.

But the new international research, led by the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, used 22 sophisticated climate modelling computer systems and programs incorporating plant biology to explore the response of tropical forests in the Americas, Africa and Asia to greenhouse-gas-induced climate change.

“A number of previous analyses have investigated potential vulnerability of tropical forests under climate change. Some ... suggest that anthropogenically induced climate change across Amazonia could cause catastrophic losses of forest cover and biomass - die-back,’’ their peer-reviewed report, published in the respected journal Nature Geoscience, says.

“We find the possibility of climate-induced damage to tropical rainforests in the period to year 2100 ... might be lower than some earlier studies.’’…
The research says rainforests would not be destroyed by 2100 even under computer modelling which factored in a “business as usual’’ scenario where industry does not cut its greenhouse gas emissions.
Sack the Climate Commission now.
(Thanks to Wesley61.) 
===

Getting the Insiders running

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(9:41am)

Barrie Cassidy grills Scott Morrison with 21 questions on ABC1’s Insiders, March 3: 
BARRIE Cassidy: Now Scott Morrison, how do you plan to notify residents when asylum-seekers move into the neighbourhood, how do you do that? How will you do it? How will you notify that asylum-seekers move into the neighbourhood? Is it a letter-box drop, how do you do it? . . . Is that when the letter-box drop comes in? Why do residents then need to know? Why do they need to know? What sets asylum-seekers apart? Why do they need to know they’re living next door to an asylum-seeker? . . . Are you not overreacting to one case of an alleged indecent assault?
Morrison: I think the overreaction is on the hysteria to my comments.
Only 12 leisurely questions for Brendan O’Connor. ABC1’s Insiders yesterday: 
BARRIE Cassidy: Beyond the anecdotal, are you able to give us any documented evidence to support the need for a tightening of the scheme? . . .
Brendan O’Connor: As I said during the last two weeks, there are over 100 sanctions already . . .
Cassidy: . . . So are you saying then that employers are bringing these people in so that they can employ them on reduced wages?
O’Connor: I’m saying we don’t have sufficient protections in place to ensure that this scheme is used for the purposes it was constructed.
Cassidy: Now it’s true, isn’t it though, that companies involved in this face a real compliance hassle from now on?
O’Connor: Well let me just say, let me tell you the lethal cocktail I’m witnessing . . .
Cassidy: OK, in Victoria, where you are right now, of course, did the Liberals in Victoria give you a lesson on how to change leaders in a bloodless way?
O’Connor: (Laughs) Well, it’s been only a few days.
UPDATE
Reader Tony is curious:
When talking about JG’s western Sydney “campaign” Barrie said (from 4:55): 
Thankfully in many respects that week is behind us because it was just getting....out of...it was ridiculous, some of the attention that was given to us.
Who did he mean by “us”?
===

Real Tony rises above the 60 Minutes jibes

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(9:37am)



60 Minutes’
 Liz Hayes tries to dub Tony Abbott the “new Tony” and claims this “changed” one is a “hard act ... to sell” even for his “gay sister”.
Note how Hayes evokes “women” as a collective with the same hostile views of Abbott and same wariness of Catholicism.
I’d say Abbott and the women who love him deal with Hayes very well. What’s “new” is Abbott’s seeming assuredness.
It seems Abbott’s unfortunate comments three years on feeling “threatened” by gays was somewhat misinterpreted by critics, including me:

Supported by his lesbian sister, her partner, his wife Margie and his daughters, Mr Abbott said that when he claimed three years ago during a television interview that he felt ‘’a bit threatened’’ by homosexuals, he had been trying to guard a family secret.

He had only just been told by his sister she was a lesbian. 
‘’Now I couldn’t talk about that then because it was deeply personal and deeply private,’’ he said. ‘’But certainly they were very tough times for our family, hence my comment, because the cohesion of our family was threatened at that time. But I’m pleased to say we’re all in a better space now than we were then.’’
UPDATE
Abbott was “threatened” then as ABC Melbourne listeners on talkback seem threatened today to hear Abbott is actually thoughtful and compassionate. The bile being tipped over him this morning comes from people clearly frightened that their belief in the monstrosity of the Liberals is being threatened, and that voters might warm to a nice guy. One caller even likened him to a wife-basher.
Anyone doubting the ABC has developed an overwhelmingly Leftist audience should run the tape. (Mind you, presenter Rafael Epstein, filling in for Jon Faine, was scrupulously fair.) 
UPDATE
Liz Hayes had an odd habit of thinking all women hold her views on Abbott, Christianity, abortion and Gillard’s deceitful speech. Is it that she’s never met anyone in her social circle not of the Left? From ”Extra Minutes - reporter discussion”: 
Tony Abbott is Catholic.  And on all of his upbringing has been conservative with Catholic views and that’s informed a lot of his thinking, and some would argue, decision-making… And that’s what we’re frightened of as women, that he’s going to tell me how I’m going to conduct my life and what control I’m allowed to have over my body.  There the things that’s I think he’s having to hurdle.  And that’s where Julia Gillard punched him in the gizzards frankly over whether he was a misogynist or a sexist.  And he has given them some ammunition.  He has said some fairly unpleasant things over in the past… Do we trust him?
===

Don’t mention Labor’s losing under Gillard

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(9:32am)

Don’t mention the war:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard was reported to be furious about the Defence Minister’s comment in the wake of the WA wipeout, which follows worse Labor floggings in Queensland and NSW…

In saying Labor had plenty to work on before the federal poll, Mr Smith said: “There’s no doubt we have been a drag on Mark (McGowan) and there’s no doubt we haven’t been helpful.”
UPDATE: 
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has denied dressing down Cabinet Minister Stephen Smith after his comments at the weekend that federal Labor had been partly to blame for the party’s savage loss in the WA elections.
Back to the story:
One Gillard supporter said “Smith’s comments were not helpful at all,” noting Kevin Rudd supporters had seized on the comments.

“It’s that sort of thing that could ignite the whole thing,” the MP said.
That could be a good thing for Labor, give the Gallaxy polls assessment of Gillad’s current strategy:


The results confirm Labor strategists’ fears, that the mini-campaign may have done more harm than good...
Labor’s brand has’not been worth much lately:
What could the federal Liberals do with the kind of ammunition already used by state Liberals?:
While politicians from both major parties said local priorities dominated the election, they noted that state Liberals also campaigned on federal issues including the mining tax, carbon tax, division of the GST and increased flow of asylum-seekers.
UPDATE
But she said the overwhelming sentiment from doorstops and shopping centres in Labor’s heartland was that voters supported state Labor but not federal Labor and Julia Gillard…

“It’s pretty simple and it’s pretty brutal and they are saying they don’t like Julia Gillard and they don’t believe her,” she told ABC television…

“...Labor voters have said we don’t accept her as our leader. If we do not take note of this, there is going to be an absolute massacre in the federal election,” she said.
(Thanks to reader Tony.) 
===

How dare this government muzzle journalists?

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(9:31am)

I’m glad Fairfax has joined a crusade for free speech that for too long has been allowed to seem merely News Ltd protecting itself from a vindictive government: 

‘’We are united in opposing new regulation and legislative changes that affect our ability to report and investigate as well as invest and compete in a digital and multi-platform media economy,’’ said a letter sent to Senator Conroy by The Newspaper Works, an industry group representing all major print media companies, including Fairfax Media and News Ltd.

‘’New regulations that inhibit the media will severely undermine our sector’s ability to uncover and report on matters about which the public has a right to know...”
Where on earth is the evidence that the media needs taming? And that the good of the muzzle outweighs the harm?
(Thanks to reader Frances.) 
===

Claim: police asking about Gillard’s role

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(9:15am)

Reader Peter points out this line I missed in a piece on Friday by Hedley Thomas: 
The Australian is aware that detectives have questioned witnesses about Ms Gillard’s role in witnessing a power of attorney document for Mr Blewitt for the purchase of a Fitzroy terrace house with embezzled funds, and in providing advice to set up the Workplace Reform Association.
That may seem to contradict Gillard’s contradiction:
Ms Gillard cautioned a Sydney radio broadcaster, 2GB’s Ben Fordham, after he raised the Victoria Police investigation. Fordham said: “I’m not talking about political drama, I’m talking about a police investigation that is currently going on, now you concede that money . . .”
Ms Gillard replied that he should be careful, saying of the investigation: “That’s got nothing to do with me.”

Victoria Police has consistently refused to confirm or deny to journalists whether the Prime Minister is a “person of interest” but Ms Gillard said she knew she had been excluded from consideration.
Of course, Gillard insists she did nothing wrong, witnessed documents properly, did not know of her boyfriend’s scams and did not profit from them.
UPDATE
The Consumers and Taxpayers Association announces:
BOB KERNOHAN (former AWU president) will be the keynote speaker at the ROTTEN TO THE CORE rally in Canberra on the NEW DATE of 12th March at noon.
===

Who ticked “admit” on the Hamzy box?

Andrew BoltMARCH112013(12:07am)

POLICE are bracing for an escalation in gangland violence after a matriarch of the infamous Hamzy crime family was shot four times at her front door yesterday.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the woman, an aunt to Supermax prison inmate Bassam Hamzy, was shot at point blank range in the legs as she opened the front door of her unit ...

Police have unofficially linked the shooting with another that occurred 20 minutes later, also in Auburn, when shots were fired at the house next door to that of convicted drug dealer Hakan Goktas, 39…

The two shootings took place hours before revelations emerged in yesterday’s The Sunday Telegraph that police were left shocked and angered after a senior member of the BFL gang [of which Hamzy is a member] was granted bail last week over a kneecapping at Bass Hill on February 9 this year.
===
===
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” - 1 Peter 3:15
===
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

March 10: Morning

"In my prosperity I said I shall never be moved." - Psalm 30:6

"Moab settled on his lees, he hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel." Give a man wealth; let his ships bring home continually rich freights; let the winds and waves appear to be his servants to bear his vessels across the bosom of the mighty deep; let his lands yield abundantly: let the weather be propitious to his crops; let uninterrupted success attend him; let him stand among men as a successful merchant; let him enjoy continued health; allow him with braced nerve and brilliant eye to march through the world, and live happily; give him the buoyant spirit; let him have the song perpetually on his lips; let his eye be ever sparkling with joy--and the natural consequence of such an easy state to any man, let him be the best Christian who ever breathed, will be presumption; even David said, "I shall never be moved;" and we are not better than David, nor half so good. Brother, beware of the smooth places of the way; if you are treading them, or if the way be rough, thank God for it. If God should always rock us in the cradle of prosperity; if we were always dandled on the knees of fortune; if we had not some stain on the alabaster pillar; if there were not a few clouds in the sky; if we had not some bitter drops in the wine of this life, we should become intoxicated with pleasure, we should dream "we stand;" and stand we should, but it would be upon a pinnacle; like the man asleep upon the mast, each moment we should be in jeopardy.

We bless God, then, for our afflictions; we thank him for our changes; we extol his name for losses of property; for we feel that had he not chastened us thus, we might have become too secure. Continued worldly prosperity is a fiery trial.

"Afflictions, though they seem severe,
In mercy oft are sent."
Evening

"Man ... is of few days, and full of trouble." - Job 14:1
It may be of great service to us, before we fall asleep, to remember this mournful fact, for it may lead us to set loose by earthly things. There is nothing very pleasant in the recollection that we are not above the shafts of adversity, but it may humble us and prevent our boasting like the Psalmist in our morning's portion. "My mountain standeth firm: I shall never be moved." It may stay us from taking too deep root in this soil from which we are so soon to be transplanted into the heavenly garden. Let us recollect the frail tenure upon which we hold our temporal mercies. If we would remember that all the trees of earth are marked for the woodman's axe, we should not be so ready to build our nests in them. We should love, but we should love with the love which expects death, and which reckons upon separations. Our dear relations are but loaned to us, and the hour when we must return them to the lender's hand may be even at the door. The like is certainly true of our worldly goods. Do not riches take to themselves wings and fly away? Our health is equally precarious. Frail flowers of the field, we must not reckon upon blooming forever. There is a time appointed for weakness and sickness, when we shall have to glorify God by suffering, and not by earnest activity. There is no single point in which we can hope to escape from the sharp arrows of affliction; out of our few days there is not one secure from sorrow. Man's life is a cask full of bitter wine; he who looks for joy in it had better seek for honey in an ocean of brine. Beloved reader, set not your affections upon things of earth: but seek those things which are above, for here the moth devoureth, and the thief breaketh through, but there all joys are perpetual and eternal. The path of trouble is the way home. Lord, make this thought a pillow for many a weary head!
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Zalmon, Salmon 
[Zăl'mŏn, Săl'mŏn] - shady or ascent.
An Ahohite, one of David's mighty men (2 Sam. 23:28), who is also called Ilai in 1 Chronicles 11:29. Zalmon is likewise the name of a wooded mountain area near Shechem (Judg. 9:48Ps. 68:14).
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Today's reading: Deuteronomy 10-12, Mark 12:1-27 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Deuteronomy 10-12

Tablets Like the First Ones
1 At that time the LORD said to me, "Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain. Also make a wooden ark.2 I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Then you are to put them in the ark."
3 So I made the ark out of acacia wood and chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hands....

Today's New Testament reading: Mark 12:1-27

The Parable of the Tenants
1 Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully. 5 He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed....

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Today's Lent reading: Matthew 4-6 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written:
"'He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone....'"



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