Monday, March 14, 2016

Mon Mar 14th Todays News

Discussion has arisen over a person's attack on a bus on Sydney's lower north shore. I was working in the Liverpool area as a teacher in 2008 when a student assaulted a bus that refused to stop for him when he wasn't on the bus route. Earlier, the older student had shown a machete to other school boys at the bus stop. Each incident was reported by the bus driver to the school after the bus driver asked me for direction. Each time, the bus driver was castigated by the school. The second time the school instructed me to never again talk to the bus driver. At no stage was the student made aware that he had been seen or reported. How else can students with violent tendencies be shown they are wrong? Aren't we approving the appalling behaviour. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
Premier Mike Baird handsomely won the leaders debate against the ALP suit and and ABC compere. Baird has a plan for NSW prosperity. ALP intend to lie about what they will do in office, by increasing spending and and claiming to reduce taxation. 

It is Pi day. Third month, fourteen day gives an approximation of 3.14. However, it is 2015, so 3.1415 is even better. 
From 2014
Injustice is profound and has a lasting effect. The political divide cares nothing for the individual unto death. This is why a pedophile with two convictions and ongoing allegations is free to kill. It has ever been thus. Eight Athenian generals against the odds were successful against a Spartan force on water. But on their return home, they are executed by democracy. They had had to choose between rescuing drowning sailors and chasing fleeing forces. They divided their force to do both, but achieved neither objective when a storm hit. Relatives of the drowned voted to kill the generals, one of whom was the bastard son of Pericles. 

Sometimes, choices are made in the heat of the moment. Good decisions which are costly. Lieutenant Baker Phillips in 1745 was on board an English vessel. His captain failed to prepare the ship for action. A french broadside killed the captain, leaving a defenceless ship. Lieutenant Phillips surrendered. At the subsequent court martial, the negligent behaviour of the captain was noted and the court martial recommended mercy, but the sentence of death was approved by the Lord Justices of Appeal. The resulting anger of the nation for the injustice resulted in the articles of war being written which declared all officers would equally be given death for failing to do their utmost in battle or pursuit. 

Vice Admiral John Byng had a depleted fleet in need of repair and was unable to come to the aid of Minorca in 1756. He was subsequently promoted to Admiral and sentenced to death for his failure. The Prime Minister of the day, Pitt, tried to intercede with King George II, but the King would not listen. The lower house voted for clemency, but the house of Lords rejected it. And so, on this day in 1757, Admiral Bing was shot by firing squad. He gave the order to fire while kneeling, and dropping a handkerchief. 

Byng's execution was satirized by Voltaire in his novel Candide. In Portsmouth, Candide witnesses the execution of an officer by firing squad; and is told that "in this country, it is good to kill an admiral from time to time, in order to encourage the others" (Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres)


Such policy considerations were no comfort to the family of their victim. Admiral Byng's epitaph at the family vault in All Saints Church, in Southill, Bedfordshire, expresses their view and the view of much of the country:
To the perpetual Disgrace
of PUBLICK JUSTICE
The Honble. JOHN BYNG Esqr
Admiral of the Blue
Fell a MARTYR to
POLITICAL PERSECUTION
March 14th in the year 1757 when
BRAVERY and LOYALTY
were Insufficient Securities
For the
Life and Honour
of a
NAVAL OFFICER
Historical perspective on this day
=== Publishing News ===
This column welcomes feedback and criticism. The column is not made up but based on the days events and articles which are then placed in the feed. So they may not have an apparent cohesion they would have had were they made up.
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I am moving from Sydney to Melbourne and am desperate for funding. If you have a heart for giving, I fundraise at gofundme.com/abeueaec
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Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with AugustSeptemberOctober, or at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482020262/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_dVHPub0MQKDZ4  The kindle version is cheaper, but the soft back version allows a free kindle version.

List of available items at Create Space
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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 Jackie FongNicholas Syris and Pi. Pi celebrates its birthday on March 14 (3.14) Some people wait until 1:59 .. My jokes have come full circle. We reach to the opposite side .. full diameter .. remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
March 14New Year's Day (Sikhs); White Day in East Asia; Pi Day
Eli Whitney
Deaths
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A MOSQUE EVERY TWO MILES

Tim Blair – Monday, March 14, 2016 (8:16pm)

University of Sydney doctoral candidate Hussain Nadim makes several good points: 
The discourse on Islam as we know it today has been hijacked by Islamist militants. Their actions and narrative have had the power to frame Muslims the way the militants want them to be in the media.
The remaining 99 per cent of Muslims have been a silent majority and have done very little to resist or change that perception. Part of the reason might be that much of the debate in the Islamic world today is prehistoric. From Pakistan and India to the edges of the Islamic world, Islamic councils are more concerned with questions related to women’s dress and piety …
How many scientists, noble laureates, and world-changing inventors have been produced in the Muslim world in the past century that could counterbalance the terrorists’ actions?
Not many, which might suggest the need for reform in the Muslim world. But that reform might not come easy. 
Indeed not, given the priorities of Australia’s Islamic leaders: 
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to attend a fundraiser hosted by an Islamic organisation in Australia. To my surprise, in a matter of four hours, the organisation raised more than $2 million to build yet another mosque. The organisation’s head said at the event he was committed to building a mosque every two miles in Australia. This is just one of the hundreds of Muslim organisations in Australia. 
Every two miles, you say? Readers are invited to work out just how many mosques this might mean.
(Via James Morrow, who notes the SMH’s usual attention to detail.)
===

SPEED vs RACE

Tim Blair – Monday, March 14, 2016 (5:29pm)

Roger Franklin considers policing issues in ridiculous Victoria: 
From January, a story that flitted across the headlines and which now bears re-visiting: Victoria’s Chief Commissioner of Police, Graham Ashton, was slugged with a $190 fine for exceeding a freeway speed limit by a shocking eight kilometres per hour. That was amusing in itself, as some $800 million a year is wrung from Garden State drivers who are nailed, in the vast majority of cases, for “offences” that in any foreign jurisdiction most likely would be ignored. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing a biter bitten?
Why drag up Ashton’s lead-footed transgression today, when the city on the Yarra is enjoying both its Labour Day public holiday and a parade down Swanston Street, the annual festival of hokey fun that Melbournians know as Moomba? 
Do read on.
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THEY PROMISED US ALLIGATORS IN THE THAMES

Tim Blair – Monday, March 14, 2016 (3:32pm)

Let’s assume, just for fun, that the alarmists are correct and global warming has finally arrived.
So where are all the effectsI want my Brit-eating alligators, dammit!
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HE BRINGETH THE RAIN

Tim Blair – Monday, March 14, 2016 (2:03pm)

The Melbourne Herald Sun‘s Rita Panahi recently enjoyed a wonderful cruise aboard the Queen Mary II with her eight-year-old son:

image

Well, it was wonderful up to a point. As soon as the majestic vessel docked in Tahiti, the skies began to darken. Birds flew into windows. Torrential rain lashed the decks. Fish floated belly-up in a suddenly toxic sea.
The Queen Mary II’s onboard entertainment had joined Rita’s cruise. It was none other than Tim Flannery.
UPDATE. A flashback to 2011, when a journalist recalled Flannery’s reaction to criticism of his wayward predictions: 
This is very interesting to me because I’ve sat with Tim Flannery at forums and the like, where he has point-blank said: no, I never said that. And I’ll say: yes you did, here’s the quote. And then he’ll run a gag with the audience, a plea to get them on side, saying it must have been in the News Limited papers. And you’ll get a ha, ha, ha. And I’ll be there going, no, here it is, it’s actually in a Fairfax paper, not that that matters anyway. So this is intriguing to me because he has a little bit of a reputation of saying things and then denying it. 
Flannery himself is a Flannery denier. By the way, the speaker is infamous conservative Virginia Trioli.
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MONDAY NOTICEBOARD

Tim Blair – Monday, March 14, 2016 (2:03am)

Your daily zone for news alerts, vital breakthroughs, chilling developments and other media clichés. Also inspirational tales, vicious personal feuds, climate change manifestations and sports gloating. What’s up, everybody?
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IT’S ALL HAPPENING AT THE BAPTIST DISCO

Tim Blair – Monday, March 14, 2016 (1:57am)

“There has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian,” declared Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and he’s right. Currently the entire nation is waiting in a state of delirious excitement for the PM to tell us when the budget will be delivered. It’s thrilling!
Contrast our sleepy election year to the manic antics in the US. We presently have two parties battling with each other to present the most risk-free, safety-first campaigns ever run.
Prime Minister Turnbull has done precisely nothing since coming to office, which makes you wonder why he went to so much trouble. The man is absolutely immobile. He’s got less movement in him than a Baptist disco on Tuesday afternoon.
And Labor leader Bill Shorten, aware that he has no new ideas himself, has lately decided to run a repeat of the 2007 election. “We’re going to fight the election with climate change as one of our big issues,” he said last week. “Climate change is both a challenge and an opportunity for Australia if we respond to it correctly.”
There has never been a more exciting time to be a Kevin Rudd replicant nine years after Rudd was briefly popular.
(Continue reading Baptist Disco.)
UPDATE. It might be a close race up New England way: 
Barnaby Joyce says the latest polls prove he’s the “underdog” in the fight for his New England seat, but that he has more to offer as Deputy Prime Minister than his opponent Tony Windsor could from “opposition”.
A new poll published today suggests the Nationals Leader faces a tough fight for his seat, following the announcement by Mr Windsor he will contest New Englandas an Independent. 
A Windsor victory speech would be something to behold. If he starts now, he might just end it by election night.
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FROM DEMOCRAT TO REPUBLICAN TO … THE WHITE HOUSE?

Tim Blair – Monday, March 14, 2016 (1:53am)

I’m no Donald Trump fan, as my previous columns, online commentary and “Down with Donald!” neck tattoo will confirm. Trump is a greasy opportunist with no workable or coherent policies and the instantly adjustable philosophical commitment of a Greens voter who’s just been told he’ll lose his inheritance if he goes to another coal seam gas protest.
Trump has changed his political party affiliation more times than that Greens voter has bought new underwear (five times since 1999, to be precise, which is many more times the undies-purchasing rate, or even the undies-changingrate, of your average Greens voter). He’s a frequent Democrat donor who invited Bill and Hillary Clinton to his 2005 wedding.
Clinton, now running for US president against Trump and others, was recently reminded of her attendance at that wedding. “He used to — he was basically a Democrat before he was a Republican,” she said at a campaign forum, “and he was, you know, somebody that we all knew in New York.
“And he was supportive of Democrats. He was supportive of a lot of the causes that I cared about and that people I knew cared about. Now he seems to have taken another road.”
And he’ll take another one in the future. It’s just his way. In the meantime, however, you don’t have to be a Trump admirer to be impressed by the way he’s working the current presidential contest. The chameleon Trump has hit on strategies and themes that in any previous election cycle may have seen him thrown out months ago. In 2016, though, they’re ideal.
(Continue reading To The White House.)
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ICE, ICE, BABY

Tim Blair – Monday, March 14, 2016 (1:11am)

If you don’t understand merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology to create a feminist glaciology framework, it’s probably because you’re stupid. US academic Mark Carey explains: 
The University of Oregon historian who wrote a study claiming glaciers are sexist said in an interview Friday that the general public isn’t educated enough about feminism to understand his research.
In the interview, Dr. Mark Carey claims that when his studies are “described to nonspecialists, the research can be misunderstood and potentially misrepresented …”
The study was poorly received by the general public and many real scientists, several of whom even initially believed the study was a work of satire. Cornell University chemist Dr. Phil Mason wrote on Twitter the study left him"dumbfounded.” 
And so might you be too, when you discover how much Carey was paid for his frozen feminist investigation: 
The research was financially supported by taxpayer dollars. The National Science Foundation gave Carey a five-year grant to write his “feminist glaciology” paper. He has received a total of $709,125 in grants from the NSF, according to his curriculum vitae. 
A nation $20 trillion in debt gave someone – a man, of course – a sum equivalent to $A936,849 so he could write about glaciers and feminism. No wonder he’s smiling.
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THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN

Tim Blair – Monday, March 14, 2016 (12:36am)

Take a look at the massivecoast-to-coast front page publicity for Donald Trump – following an event where he didn’t even appear.
By contrast, this is the best front page Trump’s most serious opponent could manage, from the Journal Star in Illinois: 
Clinton Draws a Crowd in Peoria 
The headline is underwhelming enough, but here’s the kicker.
It wasn’t even Hillary.
It was Bill, playing to a crowd of just 500 at a local union hall.
And even then he had to share the front page with … Donald Trump.
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TURNBULL DOWN, GOVERNMENT UP

Tim Blair – Monday, March 14, 2016 (12:13am)

Fairfax-Ipsos, the only major poll that hasn’t recently found the Coalition and Labor in a tie, still puts the government ahead
At 53 per cent after preferences – as allocated by voters at the last election – support for the Turnbull government is now hovering around the same level achieved by Tony Abbott at the September 2013 election, where he secured 53.5 per cent, compared with Labor on 46.5. 
Malcolm Turnbull’s approval is down seven points, however, to 55 per cent. Clearly, once you’ve lost Elizabeth Farrelly, you’ve lost Australia – or at least that subset of Australians who arrived here in 1988 yet claim to have “marched” for a Prime Minister who was thrown out 13 years earlier.
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WORSE THAN EVERY PRESIDENT COMBINED

Tim Blair – Sunday, March 13, 2016 (8:08pm)

It took the combined maladministration of 43 US presidents some 220 years of hopeless incompetence to amass a debt of $10.6 trillion.
In just eight years, Barack Obama has very nearly doubled it. Watch those numbers fly!
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Ipsos: Coalition 53 to 47

Andrew Bolt March 14 2016 (9:09pm)

Newspoll and Essential both have the Turnbull Government 50:50 with Labor. The flighty Ipsos poll says the Government is doing much better, even if Malcolm Turnbull himself is falling:

The latest Fairfax-Ipsos poll, conducted over the weekend, has found support for the Coalition is stronger in March than it was in February, when talk of a hike in the GST and ministerial resignations forced a reshuffle, hammering the government’s standing.
At 53 per cent after preferences - as allocated by voters at the last election - support for the Turnbull government is now hovering around the same level achieved by Tony Abbott at the September 2013 election, where he secured 53.5 per cent, compared with Labor on 46.5…
Labor’s two-party-preferred vote stands at 47 per cent, dragged lower by a disastrously low primary support at less than a third of voters on 31 per cent - down one point in a month and 4 points lower than its long-term average of 35 since losing office.
Can Labor’s primary vote really be that low?
But the rebounding support for the Turnbull government is not matched by an upward trend in the Prime Minister’s personal standing. Mr Turnbull, who is facing widespread criticism for keeping tax reform policies, and the timing of both the budget and the election a secret from voters as the government determines its election strategy, lost more shine since February with a significant 15-point deterioration in his net approval rating.
That was made up of a 7 point drop to 55 per cent in his approval rating and an 8 point rise in his disapproval rating since February to give him a net rating of plus-23. Last month, is was plus-28. In October, Mr Turnbull’s net satisfaction rating was plus-51.
That bit sounds right.
UPDATE
Bad news for fans of rational government and good manners:
Barnaby Joyce risks becoming the first deputy prime minister to lose his seat at an election, according to a Newspoll which reveals a two-candidate swing against the Nationals leader of 16 percentage points in his rural NSW seat of New England.
The special Newspoll, taken on Saturday exclusively for The Australian, shows Mr Joyce is neck-and-neck with Tony Windsor on the primary vote but the independent former MP would win back the seat by 52 per cent to 48 per cent based on preference flows.
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False claims: Tim Minchin would be a coward not to say sorry to George Pell

Andrew Bolt March 14 2016 (4:52pm)

Tim Minchin should know how desperately unfair and cruel he is.
Here the comedian again attacks Cardinal George Pell - the man he called “scum” and a “coward”. Note that Minchin’s excuses for this vile abuse are based on a series of cartoonish untruths about Pell’s role in handling the the pedophile priests scandal:
I’m really, really sad that he couldn’t say, ‘This was terrible, we were wrong, it (child sexual abuse) was systemic and endemic and we’re trying to improve and I was wrong with the Melbourne Response’.
“He doesn’t have to hang himself out to dry. He just needs to look them (victims) in the eye ... he doesn’t have it in him. He doesn’t have the intellectual sophistication or the self-awareness to know how to help.’’
In fact, Pell has done everything Minchin implies he has not, and more.
“This was terrible, we were wrong”
Pell has said this repeatedly. Here is what he told the royal commission only two weeks ago:
The Church has made enormous mistakes and is working to remedy those, but the Church in many places, certainly in Australia, has mucked things up, has let people down...I’m not here to defend the indefensible…
[Allegations of abuse] were dismissed and sometimes they were dismissed in absolutely scandalous circumstances. They were very, very, very plausible allegations made by responsible people that were not followed up sufficiently… There’s tendency to evil in the Catholic Church too and sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse but for good or for ill the Church follows the patterns of the societies in which it lives.
“We’re trying to improve”
Pell has spent years not just saying that but achieving it. Nearly 20 years ago Pell initiated the church reforms which virtually wiped out child sex abuse by priests in Australia. A fortnight ago he repeated:
All the leadership of the church in Australia is committed to avoiding any repetition of the terrible history of the past and to try to make things better.
“I was wrong with the Melbourne Response”
There isn’t that much Pell could actually be sorry for, since that response was the first by any church leader in Australia, and, while making the inevitable mistakes of a pioneer, nevertheless led the way.. But Pell has indeed admitted to mistakes, for instance:
[Victim John] Ellis had asked for $100,000 after he first came forward with a complaint through the Catholic Church’s Towards Healing pastoral and redress scheme in 2002. He was offered $30,000 - a sum Cardinal Pell has previously described as “grotesque”.
Claims that the Melbourne Response saved the church many millions, demanded victims sign confidentiality agreements and stopped victims from going to the police are all untrue. It would help if Minchin actually spelled out what Pell did wrong.
“He doesn’t have to hang himself out to dry”
In fact, Pell has not been shy of taking blame for what he did or failed to do, while continuing to deny claims - none proved - that he was was warned of pedophile priest or wilfully blind to them. For instance:
He himself had made mistakes, Cardinal Pell said, including to accept the advice of others, and to not more closely supervise the actions of his subordinates and the church’s lawyers. “Right through, I was keen to do the right thing, whatever errors were made,” he said.

And, discussing his attempts to get his then boss to deal with an abusive priest:

In retrospect, I might have been a bit more pushy with all the parties involved.
And this:
Now I might have put the church first for a while, rather than the victims, but I’m certainly not here to put myself first. We’re not into that.
He has apologised for his role in defending a compensation claim from one victim, John Ellis:
I want to acknowledge his suffering and the impact of this terrible affair on his life. As the then Archbishop, I have to take ultimate responsibility, and this I do. As former Archbishop and speaking personally, I would want to say to Mr Ellis that we failed in many ways, some way inadvertently, in our moral and pastoral responsibilities to him.
Cardinal George Pell… I want publicity to say sorry to him for the hurt caused him by the mistakes made, admitted by me, and some of our archdiocesan personnel during the course of the Towards Healing process and litigation.
“He just needs to look them (victims) in the eye ... he doesn’t have it in him”
This is simply untrue. In fact, Pell has met many victims over many years. He does indeed have it in him. He has met them privately and publicly. He had also three times given evidence to an inquiry or royal commission in front of victims. I met him in the Vatican after a private meeting with more victims, including David Ridsdale, and found him elated it had gone so well. On TV he told me he had been “moved”.
“He doesn’t have the intellectual sophistication or the self-awareness to know how to help”
I suspect Pell has far more intellectual sophistication and self-awareness than does Minchin - and certainly more fidelity to evidence and the truth. Pell actually created the Melbourne Response, the first scheme in Australia to deal with complains from victims of child abuse and to offer them compensation without going through the courts. Some 97 per cent of claims were accepted. He has repeatedly offered victims other help. I was there when he was dictating another request to Vatican officials for victims to meet (at their request) with a high-powered Vatican committee involved with dealing with child abuse.
In short, Minchin bases his case for the damnation of Pell on one untruth after another. Not one of his excuses for vilifying Pell stands up.
If Minchin had the integrity he demands from Pell, he would apologise and make good the hurt he has caused.
But is Minchin actually as honourable as Pell? Let his deeds speak for his character.
Only a coward would not say sorry. 
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Student union objects to Christian group wanting Christians

Andrew Bolt March 14 2016 (4:32pm)

What a joke:
The University of Sydney Union (USU) has threatened to deregister the Sydney University Evangelical Union (EU) from the Clubs & Societies program over the latter’s requirement that all members must make a declaration of faith in Jesus Christ.
The Board views the requirement as exclusive to participation in the society and a discriminatory religious litmus test for eligibility to join the society.
Who are the authoritarians running this union?
(Thanks to reader B.) 
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Police ordered not to tell you the facts about violent refugee groups

Andrew Bolt March 14 2016 (4:16pm)

Victorian Police members are under orders to hide the truth about some refugee and ethnic groups:
On Sunday night, Victoria Police circulated an email to members warning them against talking about the nationalities of offenders.
The email stated it was a “multi-cultural” incident and officers had to ensure they do not target specific groups.
What else are they not telling you? What dangers are they keeping from you?
UPDATE
Youth worker Les Twentyman does talk about nationalities, which helps us to better understand the threat and what we must do to minimise it:
While many young African-born people have settled into our way of life, making a go of it at school, university and work, a growing minority of angry young men are turning to binge drinking and crime gangs — and causing the sort of mayhem we saw on Saturday when the predominantly Sudanese Apex gang fought the Islander 23 gang.
Unfortunately, the violence isn’t limited to Saturday nights in the city. I witnessed this problem first-hand at Footscray’s Western Hospital a few days ago when a drunken gang of young Africans terrorised patients in the outpatients’ waiting room. I’d called in for some minor treatment but didn’t expect the scene that confronted me.
One young man, bleeding from the mouth, was spitting blood on the hospital floor while his drunken mates harassed and badgered staff to treat him and intimidated elderly patients waiting to see a doctor. Security was called and police arrived in force to bring them under control. It was ugly and scary. We’re seeing similar incidents in Pakenham, Noble Park, Flemington, Ascot Vale and Sunshine.
Twentyman does add that many African refugees are doing their damnedest to fit in, and we must do more to help them. But the point remains: some groups of potential refugees will fit in better than others, and with so many knocking at our door it is madness to import those more likely to make us unsafe. 
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It’s our money, Kelly, not yours

Andrew Bolt March 14 2016 (9:39am)

More evidence that Australia now lacks a conservative government.
Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer:
No one has a right to a super tax concession. It is a gift that the government should only provide when it makes sense.
Judith Sloan on Catallaxy Files:
Yes, be afraid.  It’s the Canberra beltway talking.  Everything belongs to the government and anything that the ordinary punter is allowed to keep is a gift.
Just think about it: the top marginal tax rate is not 60 per cent.  The current rate of 49 per cent, including the Medicare Levy, is a gift that the government should only provide when it makes sense.
The onus of proof has been reversed by this “Liberal” Government. The real position should be the one famously stated by Kerry Packer:
As a government, I can tell you, you’re not spending it that well that we should be donating extra.
A government should prove why it’s taking our money. It’s not up to taxpayers to prove why it shouldn’t. 
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Hiding the truth about our dangerous refugee intake

Andrew Bolt March 14 2016 (9:21am)

Immigration

image
SATURDAY night’s race riot at Moomba proves our refugee program has made our streets unsafe, and the police and media cover-up must end.
This time, about 200 members of two armed gangs — one mainly Sudanese and the other Pacific Islander — stormed Melbourne’s Federation Square to threaten police and bash each other.
Other Australians, many with children, fled for their lives.
This level of mass violence — like the terrorism threats and the shootings in Melbourne’s north and Sydney’s west — is relatively new to Australia and demands an explanation.
It is disgraceful that police and the media so often refuse to give it.
Yesterday’s Sunday Age, for instance, refused to mention — again — that one of the gangs was African. Police shied from identifying the ethnic background. The ABC largely looked the other way.
This evasion — or deception — is standard. Google “Apex gang” and see for yourself how rarely reporters identify its key characteristic — that most members are African.
There seems almost a conspiracy to stop the public knowing that our refugee and immigration policies have become a threat, introducing new levels of violence and gun crime to our cities.
(Read the full story here.)   
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Crowd boos Abbott’s backing for Turnbull

Andrew Bolt March 14 2016 (9:00am)

True, the context makes the jeers for Turnbull more understandable: it’s a thank-you to the many hundreds of locals who wrote to Abbott in support.
But, still, there are now many Liberals who resent what’s happened to their party and don’t care if it loses. 
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The church of St Flannery

Andrew Bolt March 14 2016 (8:55am)

No wonder churches are losing half their audiences - the rational half, I mean:

Anglicans are being urged to “fast from carbon” during Lent by having candlelit dinners, going plastic-free and banning bottled water.
An anti-carbon prayer on the Green Anglicans Facebook site asks God to “grant us the humility and the inspiration to move through authentic mourning for the destruction of so much of your creation”.
Grant is right, of course:
Former Melbourne Anglican priest Fr James Grant has slammed some churches for pushing issues from supporting former jihadist David Hicks to eating dolphin-friendly tuna.
“I think they sometimes scratch around for particular causes they think will be att­ractive to the media and push them,” he said.
“But it doesn’t do anything long-term for the faith and it doesn’t do anything for the people in the pews. They’re not interested in this.”
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More terrorism in Turkey

Andrew Bolt March 14 2016 (5:49am)

If it’s not Islamists it’s the Stalinist PKK dragging Turkey deeper into destabilising violence:
THIRTY-FOUR people have died after a bomb-laden car exploded at a crowded transport hub in the heart of Turkey’s capital Ankara…

One senior security official told Reuters initial findings suggested the attack had been carried out by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) or an affiliated militant group, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
The great hope was that Muslim Turkey would become a European democracy. That is only true now in the grimmest way - that European democracies are also plagued with lethal extremists from the Middle East. 
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Six Senators could now destroy Turnbull

Andrew Bolt March 13 2016 (11:24pm)

Politics - federal

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull could now be destroyed by the crossbench senators he’s trying to wipe out.
These senators — including Jacquie Lambie, Glenn Lazarus and Ricky Muir — just need to say they are removing Turnbull’s big excuse to rush to an early election.
Just six of those eight crossbench senators must say they’ll back the return of the Australian Building and Construction Commission, a cop on the construction industry beat.
Then, boom.
(Read full column here.) 
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Don’t mention the rioters are, um, you know

Andrew Bolt March 13 2016 (11:03pm)


Even the Age’s own video shows the rioters were mainly African, but nothing will force the reporter to admit it. Every other descriptor is used bar the most obvious:
Dramatic vision has emerged of the Federation Square brawl that rocked Melbourne on Saturday night.
A group of youths who rioted ... some of the city’s dumbest criminals ... More than 100 youths ...  the group ...  the “stupid and violent” group ...  Gangs ...  those responsible… two rival street gangs ... One of the gangs, known as Apex ... gang members ... a group of young men ... the wild group ... The group ... scores of people ... those people ... men ... group of youths ... troublemakers ... the Apex gang...
What does The Age fear its readers will do if told the whole truth? What else won’t it report?
UPDATE
Same story with the ABC. Do not mention what the pictures actually show:
The best they will say (just once) is that the gangs were of “different ethnic descent”, which is at least more informative than The Age.
But what explains this evasiveness? What else does the ABC hide from its audience for fear of what they’ll conclude?
UPDATE
Also in the news today: a stabbing in Brisbane:
A 22-year-old man was stabbed in the left arm while a 35-year-old man sustained a fractured leg… Police are searching for two men, described as African in appearance…
And brawls in Sydney:
Two men have been charged after a series of brawls involving more than two dozen people rolled through Sydney’s CBD in the early hours of Sunday morning…

“From what I understand, the majority of the persons involved were of an African descent,” Acting Inspector Hodges said.
And there’s this riot in Melbourne.
I really don’t think our refugee intake from Africa has been in the country’s best interests.
If the media reported the full truth, you might not thinks so, too.
UPDATE
In the United States:

In the fiscal year that ended in September, Minnesota welcomed 1,118 Somali refugees arriving directly from Africa… Overall, more than 30,000 Somalis live in the midwestern state…

Even though Minnesota has a good job market, that doesn’t seem to have translated into jobs for the Somali refugees. Minnesota’s state demographer’s office reports that only 41 percent of Somali men are working and 54 percent of Somali women are employed, meaning many may rely on the state’s handouts to survive, and are more susceptible to extremists pull…
Since 2008, as many as 40 men from Minneapolis have joined Islamist groups after being pulled in by jihadists through social media, federal officials say…
The number of Somali adults and children who participated in the Minnesota’s family cash assistance program jumped 34 percent from 2008 to 2013, according to the state’s statistics. Likewise, Minnesota’s food assistance participation increased 98 percent, to 17,300 adults and children, which does not include U.S.-born Somalis, in the same timeframe.
UPDATE
In Germany:

Supporters of Germany’s new anti-immigration party erupted into raucous celebrations in this eastern city on Sunday after the Alternative for Germany (AfD) surged into three state assemblies with scores that would have been unthinkable only a year ago…
On Sunday they had their best day ever, winning a shocking 24 percent of the vote in Saxony-Anhalt, to become the second-biggest party in the state parliament.
The AfD also performed better than polls predicted in two other states, winning nearly 15 percent in the prosperous southern region of Baden-Wuerttemberg and over 12 percent in Rhineland Palatinate, a western wine-making state…

While populist, anti-immigrant parties have thrived for years in other European countries, Germany has been an exception, in part because opposition to far-right ideologies runs deep because of the country’s Nazi past.
The refugee crisis has changed all that. More than a million migrants entered Germany last year, unsettling many Germans and turning the AfD into a force on the national stage almost overnight.
(Thanks to readers Brian and Low Profile.) 
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JAKE IN FRIGHT

Tim Blair – Saturday, March 14, 2015 (4:51am)

Following this week’s protest at Sydney University, Professor Jake Lynch is now under investigation
A Sydney University spokeswoman said in a statement last night: “The University is deeply concerned about events surrounding a protest on campus and has commenced an investigation into the incidents.” 
Further from Gerard Henderson.
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How can Sydney University tolerate these scenes?

Andrew Bolt March 14 2015 (10:05am)

 It is despicable that these scenes can occur in one of Australia’s leading universities. Are we barbarians now?
SYDNEY University will investigate an incident in which Associate Professor Jake Lynch was filmed waving a five dollar bill at an elderly Jewish woman enraged by anti-Israel protesters at a lecture. 
Dr Lynch — Director of the Centre for Peace and ­Conflict Studies — claims he was threatening to sue the woman after she kicked him “in the meat and two veg”.
Colonel Richard Kemp, a retired British military officer, was delivering a lecture on the ethics of armed conflict at the university on Wednesday when several students stormed the room and began chanting anti-Israel slogans.
Within minutes of their entry, Associate Professor Lynch began filming the fracas.
He was involved in a ­confrontation with a woman, believed to be 75 years old, with the two taunting each other.
Mr Lynch then reached into his breast pocket, pulled out a $5 note and began waving it in the woman’s face.


image
Dr Lynch said his actions were intended to represent a threat to sue the woman.
In a video viewed by The Saturday Telegraph, Dr Lynch can be seen arguing with the woman before she throws out her right arm at him…

But Dr Lynch said: “Any suggestion that I am in any way anti-Semitic is incorrect and unfounded.” 
A Sydney University spokeswoman said in a ­statement last night: “The ­University is deeply concerned about events surrounding a protest on campus and has ­commenced an investigation into the incidents.”
What the hell is going on at Sydney University? Are Jews welcome there? Are they safe? Are students and guests able to discuss issues without being shouted down and physically intimidated by gangs of Leftists?
Then there’s the pathos of a Sydney university lecturer - a “peace” studies one at that - being in an angry tussle with a 75-year-old Jewish woman and waving money in her face.     
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Is vilifying Abbott really more important than saving Aboriginal children?

Andrew Bolt March 14 2015 (9:20am)

Warren Mundine was one of many Aboriginal leaders to smash Tony Abbott for saying the Government was not in the business of funding expensive “lifestyle choices” that included moving to where there were no jobs or schools.
Mundine was quite rude and patronising towards Abbott, too, and insists “it’s not a lifestyle choice” for Aborigines to live where they cannot get work and where their children cannot go to a school.
Yet Mundine himself uses almost identical language in admitting Aborigines really do have a choice, after all (from 2:08):
People have a choice and they choose where they want to live.
So Aborigines do have lifestyle choices, in short.
Mundine is not picked up by the interviewer on this, of course. Nor is he picked up on the fact that his own family exercised the choice of moving to Sydney, putting their obligation to their children over their connections to traditional land. He isn’t picked up, either, for failing to offer new ideas to fix what clearly isn’t working.
A typical response of Abbott’s non-Aboriginal critics is this article, by ABC presenter Barrie Cassidy.
Yes, he concedes, Abbott raised “a debate well worth having” - a point he also conceded in a discussion with host Jon Faine on ABC 774. But once again, rather than have that debate, Cassidy spends virtually the entire column on smashing Abbott instead.
It is as if criticising Abbott is more important than saving Aboriginal children. As if taking offence at one word is more important than solving a real problem - chronic Aboriginal welfarism.
Indeed, for some of the more rabid commentators, the Aboriginal children were so unimportant that they were not mentioned at all. The Aborigines in squalor were gnored completely for the sheer pleasure, as exhibited by the hysterically abusive Peter Hartcher, of portraying Abbott as vicious bully - a grotesque and fantastical inversion of the truth. Has Hartcher done a fraction of the work for black communities that Abbott has?
Anthony Dillon, a health academic who identifies as “part-Aboriginal”, cuts through all the manufactured outrage and offence-taking in a very fine article:
There are many serious problems affecting some sectors of the Aboriginal population that have been responsibly reported on. We know about the substance abuse, foetal alcohol syndrome, child abuse and neglect, violence, unsafe living environments, and poor health. 
But there is another serious problem which, though not new, is currently topical - how best to help those who live in communities that lack an economic base and in which the people are welfare dependent.
Such is the case in Western Australia. This is an important topic, but it would seem that it has been somewhat hijacked by people being offended over Abbott’s words - “lifestyle choice”.
While Abbott’s words may have been blunt and miscalculated, I think the response from the critics has just been another opportunity for them to feel important by thinking that they are doing something worthwhile by criticising him…
Much like the person who yells “I oppose racism” because it is easy, those criticising think they are doing something helpful, but are not really doing anything. In fact, they do harm by deflecting attention from the serious problems to the trivial.
Let’s not forget that in many of these communities in WA, and indeed around the country, there are handfuls of people who lack many essentials most of us take for granted.
Many of the critics have used the argument that the Aboriginal people in these communities are “on country” - a traditional concept that has deep and significant meaning for a small but important group of Aboriginal people today. If these people who embrace this traditional concept are leading a traditional or semi-traditional life, then fine, let’s support them. However, if they are welfare dependent, then careful consideration needs to be given as to how best to help them…
For many, it would be difficult to just pack up and leave the only thing they have ever known. But if the people are living in conditions that compromise health and well-being, then a sensible exit strategy is needed....
The choices would seem to be between a traditional lifestyle, welfare, or employment. And for the latter, you need schooling.
We should not automatically conclude that all Aboriginal people “living on country” are incapable of moving off country. Though “on country” is a traditional concept and practice, so is moving around. Further, how many of those Aboriginal critics who attacked Abbott are themselves living “off country”?
My point is that for many Aboriginal people, they are able to, and actually do, live in places that are not “their country” if they need to or desire to. I am one of them.
My body is in NSW but I maintain a spiritual connection (which can never be severed, something many of the protesters do not realise) with what I consider my homeland. I have seen members in my extended Aboriginal family move to where there were better opportunities for them and their families.
(Thanks to reader John.) 
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Australia will pay for Victorian Labor’s recklessness

Andrew Bolt March 14 2015 (9:11am)

The rest of Australia could pay for Victorian Labor’s reckless decision to tear up a contract:
Billions of dollars in superannuation is being invested in overseas infrastructure, and sovereign risk such as the Victorian government’s decision to cancel the $6 billion East West project, will keep Australia “off the atlas” for investors, a big investor said. 
IFM Investors, which has $54 billion in assets under management for super funds, has invested $2 billion in Australia since 2010 compared with $8 billion in overseas markets. The week it bought the $7.5 billion Indiana Toll Road.
“It’s regrettable that infrastructure projects get played off against one another and are highly politicised and the big picture is being missed here that billions of dollars of Australian superannuation money is being invested in other countries’ infrastructure, rather than this one for the sake of short-term political decision making,” IFM Investors head of infrastructure Australia, Michael Hanna , told the Australian Logistics Council forum in Melbourne on Thursday…
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said his government would not build the $6.8 billion toll road and would not pay the $1.2 billion compensation bill despite contracts being signed. 
It is understood the Lend Lease-led consortium will not settle for less than $500 million and the state government had begun drafting legislation to extricate itself.
7.30, 12 March:
MADELEINE MORRIS, REPORTER: ... Determined to avoid paying $1 billion in compensation, the [Victorian] Government has also floated the idea of voiding the contract by an act of Parliament, a prospect that horrifies investors. 
BRENDAN LYON, CEO, INFRASTRUCTURE PARTNERSHIPS AUST.: We’ve had international investors ringing and asking what does this mean for things like the privatisation of the Port of Melbourne? What does it mean for public-private partnerships elsewhere in the country. And one of the things I think it’s very important that the Premier and the senior members of the Andrews Government understand is that this is Victoria in the 21st Century; it’s not Argentina in the ‘80s.
What on earth has happened to Labor? In Victoria, it’s ripping up a massive contract.  In Queensland, it ran a mad anti-privatisation scare. In NSW, it’s running another mad anti-privatisation scare that has horrified many former Labor reformers. Federally it’s refusing to pass critically needed spending cuts and reforms to pensions and tertiary education, and even hinting it will spend much more, not less, if returned to power, despite the massive debts still left from its last time in office.
How can the party have got this irresponsible? This isn’t even cloaked in some kind of ideology. It is pure populism, appealing to a childish belief that money will somehow drop from the sky to pay for all good things.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Four Islamic State jihadists from the one Melbourne Islamic centre

Andrew Bolt March 14 2015 (8:56am)

I don’t believe Google alone is turning Australian boys into jihadists:
FOUR young Melbourne men who have joined Islamic State — including two teenage suicide bombers — regularly attended the Hume Islamic Youth Centre or were fans of one of its sheiks, who publicly stated “there is jihad in Syria”. 
Jake Bilardi, who this week carried out a suicide attack in the Iraqi city of Ramadi, had been a regular at the centre and fellow former Melbourne teenager Adam Dahman listed one of its leading sheiks among his “likes” on Facebook before he detonated a bomb vest in Baghdad last July.
That sheik, Melbourne-born cleric Khoder Soueid, last month used his Facebook page to claim it was unfortunate that “every effort has been made to ensure that Muslims are removed far away from the path of jihad, the path of establishing an Islamic state, the path of applying the laws of Allah and the path of fighting against the tyrants and their master”.
The page, on which Mr Soueid described Islamic State’s leader as the “amir” of the “khilafa” — the formal title for the head of a cali­phate — was also among the first “liked” by Dahman’s travelling companion to Syria, Mounir Raad, when he created one of his most recent Facebook accounts.

The Weekend Australian can ­reveal another young Melbourne man, former nursing student Dawod Elmir, was also a regular at the Hume centre and joined ­Islamic State last year…
Mr Soueid declined to answer written questions yesterday.
(Thanks to reader brett t r.) 
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NSW Labor shames former Labor heroes by fighting reform

Andrew Bolt March 14 2015 (8:45am)

Bill Shorten is not the only Labor leader to prefer scares to reform, no matter what the cost to the community.
Take NSW Labor leader Luke Foley, who shocks even long-time Labor ministers with his recklessness:
ANOTHER Labor Party figure has come out in support of privatising NSW’s electricity businesses, as the split on the issue which has divided the party for years becomes more obvious with each day of the election campaign. 
David Borger was a minister for western Sydney, roads and housing in the former Labor government but yesterday backed Premier Mike Baird’s plan to lease 49 per cent of the state’s electricity businesses.
Mr Borger’s support follows comments from the former federal resources minister Martin Ferg­uson, who attacked the Labor Party’s opposition to the sale, saying: “In many ways I am ashamed of the party.”
Several Labor figures contacted yesterday refused to comment on the issue, for fear of damaging the party’s campaign. But they don’t resile from their views in favour of privatisation.
Former premier Bob Carr also declined to buy in at the party’s campaign launch two weeks ago.
Mr Borger ... said he was not alone in the party. “Privately a lot of people in the ALP support it. It’s a phony war. There are soldiers who don’t believe in the cause."… 
Even party legend Paul Keating has backed the sale, saying at a press conference with Premier Mike Baird: “There are still some obscurantists in the Labor Party.”
Martin Ferguson, former ACTU president and Labor Minister, is furious with Foley:
Former Labor Resources Minister Martin Ferguson has accused the NSW trade unions and the state Labor party of deliberately misleading the public by telling them the proposed privatisation of the electricity networks will drive up electricity prices… 
:"It’s just deliberately misleading the public, creating unnecessary fear and trying to scare people into voting for Labor not on merit but on misinformation,” he said. “In many ways I am ashamed of the Party."… He said he was “dismayed” at the setback in Queensland, where an unexpected Labor win had thrown out plans for privatisation of electricity networks and now threatened to reverse retail price deregulation in the state’s south-east. 
UPDATE
Bill Shorten doesn’t impress past Labor reformers, either. For instance:
PETER Beattie has gone in to bat for Tony Abbott’s plans to overhaul university funding, declaring the reforms a “no brainer”. 
Warning that Australia’s universities were already underfunded by world standards, Mr Beattie said the nation risked becoming a “dumb country” unless the reforms passed the Senate.In a whack to his own side of politics for blocking the measures, the former Queensland Labor premier and federal candidate said it was time for students to bear some extra cost.
(Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill and Jackpott.) 
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Media tricks: how to make one person seem a crowd of Abbott-haters

Andrew Bolt March 14 2015 (8:26am)

The media has a new technique to make Tony Abbott seem shunned by everyone. It works like this:
- someone somewhere criticises Abbott.
- the reporter then pretends that this one person was in fact many.
- the reporter then makes those many seem representative of everyone.
\ Example one, this story, which was the front page lead of both The Age and Sydney Morning Herald:
Some of the nation’s top business leaders have turned on Prime Minister Tony Abbott, declaring leadership instability is harming confidence, as backbenchers urge the cabinet to end the uncertainty.
In fact “some of the nation’s top business leaders” turned out to be just one man, John Hartigan, who runs not a top company but a mid-sized one.
It is astonishing that Fairfax newspapers should play its readers such a shabby trick.
Today another example, this time from the Nine Network:
image
“Irish business leaders” turn out to be one lone businessman who is not named or in any way identified. For all we know it could be Mick from the IRA souvenir shop.
This is not reporting but witchhunting.
(Thanks to reader Nathan.) 
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Lazarus could actually be bad news for the Government

Andrew Bolt March 14 2015 (8:17am)

I thought Glenn Lazarus leaving Clive Palmer’s mad party could help the Abbott Government cobble together enough votes in the Senate to pass some of its reforms.
But then there’s this: 
Independent senator Jacquie Lambie says she will look to work more closely with the newly-independent senator Glenn Lazarus...She would not rule out forming a new voting bloc with Lazarus, and potentially other crossbench senators, to increase their negotiating power.
And reader Peter of Bellevue Hill makes a good point:
I’m not convinced an independent Senator Lazarus will make life any easier for the government. As Greg Sheridan noted on Lateline on 21 November 2014, three days before Senator Lambie officially quit PUP: “(A)lthough [PUP’s] a right-wing populist party, Jacqui Lambie and Glenn Lazarus sort of strike me as left wing populist ... and ... their default position will be just to ask for more government money for everything, and to oppose any effort at budget discipline.” 
On balance, it could be argued that a freelancing Lazarus - particularly if he aligns his vote with Lambie’s - will be less helpful to the government than had he stayed with PUP.
Clive Palmer, believe it or not, may have been a moderating influence over his Senators. In which case, the defection of Lazarus may have tilted the Senate even more to spend-spend-spend populism. 
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Vacuum filmed

Andrew Bolt March 14 2015 (7:48am)

Bill Shorten’s car-crash interview - now see the movie:
Shorten - asked how he’ll pay for Labor’s past deficits and future promises - suggests only more spending, plus a couple of minor new taxes.
Shorten - asked to explain his policies - resorts to a succession of one-word slogans: invest, invest, invest, science, science, science.

Shorten - faced with massive blowouts in spending on health and education - promises to “invest” even more.
This is anti-leadership. It is a recipe for national ruin.
In that context, here’s Paul Kelly:

... the irresponsibility of the Senate is astonishing. The university sector backs Pyne’s fee deregulation. That’s because it is the only tenable game in town… 
There are only two options — more government funding or more reliance on fees via the income-contingent loan system free at the point of entry. With the budget in long-run deficit, weak revenues, an ageing population and competing spending demands from health and welfare, the only realistic option is obvious…

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison faces similar problems with a savings and reform measure that is potentially even more unpopular — the 2014 budget decision to switch the indexation formula for the pension from male weekly earnings to the consumer price index…
The ... Abbott government ... seeks to address problems that don’t exist today but whose impact will be lethal unless a corrective policy trajectory is established. Actually, this is how responsible governments are supposed to function…
Labor’s tactic is to ensure the government loses regardless. If the reforms are legislated, Labor will campaign against them front and centre at the election. Offering to restore pension indexation and abolish fee deregulation will be potent and populist causes.
The key to Labor’s position will be its rejection of any sense of fiscal urgency. It opposes pension reform, rejects fee deregulation and dismisses any price signal in the Medicare system. Labor won’t wear these Coalition reforms. Indeed, it believes public sentiment has rejected them already. 
So far Labor has offered no alternative policies for budget repair and, in the end, it is unlikely to ­sacrifice a potentially election ­winning position by being as bold or foolhardy as the Abbott ­government.
It is easy for journalists to criticise the Government - wrongly or rightly - for doing a poor sales job. But far more important than the sales pitch is the product. Surely most attention should be on the need for reform, and most criticism should be on those preventing it.
Surely the ruin of this country cannot be worth the pleasure of bashing Abbott.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Greece considers raiding pensions piggy bank

Andrew Bolt March 14 2015 (7:34am)

Here’s something for Greens supporters and more reckless Labor voters to consider. You really cannot build a social welfare utopia on borrowed money. At some stage you will devastate the very people you purport to help:
GREECE’S government has confirmed that it may raid the country’s pensions and social security system to raise money to meet its huge debt repayments. 
With Athens having to find 6 billion euros ($6.4 billion) in the next two weeks alone to pay its creditors, and its bailout frozen, the finance ministry said it is to ask parliament to allow it to raise money from the reserves of state bodies.
It insisted that it was not forcing state bodies and funds to transfer their reserves to the Bank of Greece, but that the government would guarantee them “for any capital losses” if they did so…
Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis had earlier on Thursday admitted that Greece had “a relatively small cashflow problem”....
Professor Michael Arghyrou, of the Cardiff Business School, said ... that if the government needed to raid those funds now, then “it doesn’t look like they will be able to meet the (debt) payments in June and July”, when some of their largest ones fall due.
(Thanks to reader WaG311.) 
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The Liberals cannot leave the ABC monolith unchallenged

Andrew Bolt March 14 2015 (7:26am)

If there is no reform to media ownership rules, the vast, anti-conservative ABC will become even more dominant - and an even greater threat to pluralism in public debate. So this is important, not least to the Liberals, even if it does help Fairfax: 
THE Abbott government is considering removing Keating-era media ownership and concentration laws, in a move that could herald a dramatic shake-up of the media sector. 
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has put media reform back on the political agenda, sending a policy recommendation to Mr Abbott’s office in recent days, The Australian understands.Mr Turnbull is seeking to abolish the population reach rule and the “two out of three” rule…
The reach rule prevents TV licence holders broadcasting to more than 75 per cent of the population.If removed, metropolitan TV networks could undertake mergers with regional broadcasters. For example, Nine Network could combine with Bruce Gordon’s independent regional broadcaster WIN Corp, and Ten Network could do a deal with Southern Cross Austereo.
Under the “two out of three” rule, no entity is allowed to control more than two out of three platforms in any one market: newspapers, free-to-air TV and radio. This could see Fairfax Media merge with Nine, fulfilling the publisher’s ambition to gain greater scale and bigger earnings via a free-to-air broadcaster.
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A story to tell all those other wannabe jihadists

Andrew Bolt March 14 2015 (7:21am)

Coaxed to a vicious, mean end by a squalid cult:
HE blew up some cars and killed himself, but that’s all Australian suicide bomber Jake Bilardi achieved, according to Iraqi forces. 
While his death is unconfirmed, Islamic State has released images of the Craigieburn teenager claiming he blew himself up in a co-ordinated car suicide bomb attack in Ramadi, west of Baghdad on Wednesday.
But Iraqi military spokesman General Tahssin Ibrahim said while people had died in the wave of car bombings in Ramadi, Bilardi’s sacrifice had come to nothing.
“He never do anything, he just killed himself, he just destroy some cars,” General Ibrahim told ABC on Friday.
If only Bilardi had found Christianity, not Islam.
And what of those who bullied him at school? How much of this miserable tale is theirs?
(Thanks to reader WaG311.) 
=== Posts from last year ===

ABC chairman should quit

Piers Akerman – Friday, March 14, 2014 (4:56am)

PART-TIME ABC chairman Jim Spigelman should resign. His commentary on in-house reviews of the ABC’s treatment of illegal boat arrivals and interviews with Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott during the 2013 election campaign was fanciful in the extreme.
Billed as “independent”, the reviews were in fact conducted by former ABC staffers whose career history would indicate they are wedded to the ABC’s cultural and political leanings.
A former reporter for the ABC’s This Day Tonight (the forerunner to 7.30) and more latterly a 60 Minutes producer, Gerald Stone, found no evidence of “systemic bias” though four stories, including three by Lateline, “raised concerns”.
Andrea Willis, a former BBC journalist who has been involved with the ABC, found no bias or inappropriate interviewing when she examined ABC radio’s election coverage.
The best Spigelman could do was to repeat the message he delivered at the National Press Club last December when he acknowledged that members of the ABC collective should “broaden their range of contacts and of people they approach for advice, as well as broadening the range of material they consume”.
“Journalists — all of you, not just those at the ABC — tend to have a social and educational background, perhaps particularly in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne, that may make them more interested in, say, gay marriage than, say, electricity prices,” he said.
“As a public broadcaster we must endeavour to engage with those sections of our community who are most concerned with the latter (issue).”
And, the subject of the next “independent” audit will examine, according to Spigelman speaking to the ABC on Wednesday: “the subject matters we deal with, rather than trying to assess their impartiality”.
Having recently subjected myself to prolonged exposure of ABC radio during a drive from Melbourne to Sydney last Saturday, I would describe the experience as akin to listening to readings from the Green-Left Weekly. I don’t think it was unusual, either. An early riser, I listen to ABC radio most mornings before going to the commercial radio networks.
The ABC staff do reflect, as Spigelman seems to be saying, the views of people who are fascinated by homosexual marriage, not electricity prices.
I would go further. Early morning news and opinion, particularly at weekends, appears fixated with forthcoming protest meetings, demonstrations and so on.
The Spigelman approach dances around the real issue that was on display on Q&A Monday night, when my colleague Andrew Bolt was subjected to a torrent of abuse from academic Marcia Langton, who falsely claimed he was a “fool” who believed in “race theories” and had subjected one of her colleagues to “foul abuse … simply racial abuse”, arguing that the colleague “had no right to claim that she was Aboriginal” and that he had hurt this colleague to such a degree that she “withdrew from public life”.
Langton apologised to Bolt.
No apology to Bolt had been posted on Q&A’s website when I checked yesterday.
When the ABC’s Leftists thought I might have offended prime minister Julia Gillard by stating the obvious about press gallery gossip about her relationship with Tim Mathieson after the topic was introduced by Insider host Barrie Cassidy, the ABC removed the segment from its website and sent out letters to viewers casting doubt on my professionalism.
Can we expect the ABC to respond similarly? Of course not, and that’s why Spigelman should offer his resignation.
He is defending the indefensible, just as surely as the ABC is defending the indefensible by spending taxpayers’ money trying to justify its disgusting vilification of The Australian’s columnist Chris Kenny.
The ABC will in all probability soon lose the contract to run the Australian Network, because of that network’s perceived failure to operate in the national interest. Spigelman, a former chief justice of NSW, would be well aware of the utterly abhorrent manner in which the ABC was awarded the contract by the former Labor government. I believe he should have spoken out about the ABC’s willingness to embrace Labor’s stinking bequest.
Instead, by his silence, he has demonstrated nothing but acquiescence. He has, like so many previous chairmen of “our” ABC, become a captive of the asylum’s inmates and succumbed to the political and cultural Stockholm syndrome that operates across the organisation. He can’t bring CEO Mark Scott to heel, so he should admit failure in the face of the entrenched ideology and resign rather than hang around wallpapering over the cracks in the facade.
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WHITE BAN

Tim Blair – Friday, March 14, 2014 (12:57pm)

This is perfect
An event meant to celebrate diversity and combat racism at a Washington state community college has been cancelled after a flier emailed to guests said white people weren’t invited. 
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MARCHY MARCH MARCHNESS

Tim Blair – Friday, March 14, 2014 (3:55am)

Leftists love forming committees almost as much as they love spending your money. Even the least consequential leftist movement inevitably produces a hellspawn of useless committees devoted to various pointless missions. Occupy Sydney, for example, featured eight committees and 11 working groups – meaning they had more committees and groups than actual Occupants.
This weekend’s March in March demonstrations, being held now because there isn’t a month called Stupid Whiny Bitching, have also generated the usual number of committees and such. So far as I can tell, these protests are driven by leftist rage over the recent lack of asylum seeker deaths and the government’s failure to provide handouts for multinational businesses. Here’s a partial committee count
What started from very humble beginnings, almost as a thought bubble on Twitter, has grown to a large group of volunteers now being organised by a national administration committee …
This committee has the support, at each march location, of a sub-committee responsible for the organisation of their march …
The committee of six in Brisbane consists of a broad range of people who represent and understand the needs of many diverse community members …
The National Administration Committee has ensured that all the local committees have the appropriate permits and permissions in place. 
Well done, National Administrative Committee, sub-committees and committees of six. Still, they haven’t quite managed to quell the standard leftist impulse for infighting and backstabbing, probably because of not enough committees. Let’s help them out:
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NOT THE BEST CAMPAIGN

Tim Blair – Friday, March 14, 2014 (3:42am)

A lopsided print war in Sydney: 
The marketing team for The Saturday Paper has been taking time out from their arts degrees to paper over inner-city hoardings in Sydney and Melbourne with street posters for the new, left-leaning weekly organ.
“A newspaper but with stories,” one poster proclaimed. “Not the Daily Telegraph,” announced another …
Telegraph editor Paul Whittaker was unperturbed. “We’re a newspaper but with readers,” Whittaker said.
“As for not being the Daily Telegraph, I’d be more offended if they claimed they were the Daily Telegraph.” 
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PRANKSTER PUNCHED

Tim Blair – Friday, March 14, 2014 (2:21am)

Idiot performs a fake ATM robbery. Idiot gets his nose broken. It’s all good:

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Wrong question: so Abbott is right and the experts wrong

Andrew Bolt March 14 2014 (6:06am)

I detest arguments being put this way:
Tony Abbott or Ken Henry, Bernie Fraser and Ross Garnaut - who do you believe?
The proper response to any such question is not “I’ll go with the many against the one”. Were that your principle you would have sided with the 100 authors against Einstein:

image 
Case in point: The book Hundert Autoren Gegen Einstein (A Hundred Authors Against Einstein), a collection of various criticisms of Einstein’s theory of relativity. ... When asked about the book, Einstein retorted by saying “Why 100 authors? If I were wrong, then one would have been enough!”
And, no, I’m not saying Abbott is an Einstein. I’m saying we should ask to look at the argument, not at a show of hands:
Ken Henry, Bernie Fraser and Ross Garnaut are lions of Australian economics. They carry more intellectual and institutional weight then most of us mere mortals put together. 
So if they broadly agree on any course of action we should all probably sit up and listen, right?
In the past seven days all three have, in different ways, supported a price on carbon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet… 
And all three men are serious, economically minded people. Ignore them at your peril.
They say the carbon price is the cheapest way to do so. So Abbott is wrong, right?
Well. no. I believe Abbott has the better answer to the right question. What is the cheapest of the two ways to make no difference to the climate.
The carbon tax will cost billions to make no difference. Abbott, having capped the cost, will spend billions less to make the same no-difference.
He is right, the experts wrong. 
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=== Posts from Last Year ===

Tyrants, and temporary PMs, fear a free press

Piers Akerman – Thursday, March 14, 2013 (7:33pm)

LABOR has not only lost its way (again), it has jettisoned any claim to be a party of principle.
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Gov attack on free press must be fought

Piers Akerman – Thursday, March 14, 2013 (7:14am)

THE Gillard government’s despotic attempt to strangle the media and particularly News Ltd, the publisher of The Daily Telegraph and my employer, justify every criticism that has ever been made by any of its journalists.
If anything, I and my colleagues have been far too forgiving.
Last night on Lateline, News Limited CEO Kim Williams was interrogated by the totally biased Tony Jones on the ABC’s Lateline program.
Jones presented the ABC point of view – that is, he ran the government line that this new crackdown on media was no big deal.
Jones even cited the totally discredited Left-winger Margaret Simons, notorious for having collaborated with former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser on a grotesquely inaccurate version of his memoirs, as some sort of authority.
Simons is to journalism what graffito is to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Williams demolished Jones’ spurious argument and made a number of significant points.
He pointed out that Communications Minister Stephen Conroy had introduced his threaten with no detail and had set a deadline for its passage – next Thursday.
Jones appeared nonplussed but even Conroy’s Cabinet colleagues acknowledge that there has been almost no discussion about this despotic bill.
Williams also made the point that the government is claiming to be supportive of media diversity when it is actually limiting television ownership in the same piece of legislation.
This move is the greatest threat to Australian democracy to come from a government in its history since Robert Menzies attempted to outlaw the Communist Party in 1950.
He managed to get the legislation passed but it was deemed unlawful by the High Court.
The same fate may well befall any legislation Conroy passes – if he gets the support of the lily-livered Independents.
Australians must stand up for their free press before it is gagged.
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PUNISHERS AND STRAIGHTENERS

Tim Blair – Thursday, March 14, 2013 (11:46am)

precise summary from Chris Kenny of events leading to Labor’s war against freedom, which is supported by the love media
Confronted with the greatest government intrusion into media regulation this nation has ever known, the ABC has lined up where? On the side of Big Brother. For Leigh Sales to attack The Daily Telegraph’s thundering front page on media regulation instead of a government seeking to have the last say on media standards is the ultimate inversion of reality for the left. We only have to ask ourselves one question. Imagine if the Howard government had still been in power and communications minister Richard Alston had proposed a public interest media advocate to oversee media regulation. What stand would the ABC have taken then?
We all know the answer. 
Various academics are also lining up behind the government. Read this and be amazed that the fellow is a journalism professor. The writing is abysmal.
UPDATE. An apology from the Daily Telegraph
Yesterday we ran a picture of Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy depicted as Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
It has since been pointed out that this was a grossly unfair and insulting comparison to make. And so we would just like to say: We’re sorry, Joe. 
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Michael Smith’s speech shouldn’t be free

Andrew BoltMARCH142013(5:15pm)

Michael Smith is rattling the tin. A good cause. Click and keep the blog going. Don’t let him be silenced after his dumping.
UPDATE
Not “dumping” but “resigning under pressure”. After asking “unauthorised questions” of the Prime Minister.
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The pompous one loses

Andrew BoltMARCH142013(4:40pm)

No contest, not least because one of the two once again has trouble with maths.
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Why did I think Craig Thomson was ethical?

Andrew BoltMARCH142013(4:26pm)

Labor MP Craig Thomson’s opposition to Labor’s bill for more controls on the media seems to be just a lousy trick, after all.
It;s not principle, but politics - designed to try to “embarrass” the Opposition over its refusal to accept his vote without actually stopping the media crackdown: 
THE Coalition will refuse to accept independent MP Craig Thomson’s “tainted vote” on Labor’s media reforms, in a surprise twist that gives the Gillard government a glimmer of hope it can turn its plans into law.

The former Labor MP’s opposition to the media reforms bills had threatened their passage through federal parliament’s lower house.

However manager of opposition business Christopher Pyne’s office has confirmed Mr Thomson will be paired with an opposition MP if he votes with the Coalition as flagged, cancelling out his vote.

The Coalition has vowed to resist curbs on press freedom. But a spokesman for Mr Pyne said the opposition had to be consistent with its previous position in rejecting Mr Thomson’s vote.
For a moment I admit thinking well of Thomson. “Three cheers for Craig Thomson,” I even said on 2GB today.
I should have known better.
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Climategate hero speaks; releases email cache

Andrew BoltMARCH142013(4:05pm)

The hero who leaked the Climategate and Climategate II emails has revealed his motives - and released to selected climate science bloggers the password to further emails for them to assess.
This may lead to more revelations of the groupthinking, bullying and manipulation of evidence than were exposed by the original leaking of emails of the scientists most involved in devising the great warming scare,
From the email (click the above link for the whole text):

Releasing the encrypted archive was a mere practicality.  I didn’t want to keep the emails lying around.

I prepared CG1 & 2 alone.  Even skimming through all 220.000 emails would have taken several more months of work in an increasingly unfavorable environment.

Dumping them all into the public domain would be the last resort.  Majority of the emails are irrelevant, some of them probably sensitive and socially damaging.
To get the remaining scientifically (or otherwise) relevant emails out, I ask you to pass this on to any motivated and responsible individuals who could volunteer some time to sift through the material for eventual release…
I don’t expect these remaining emails to hold big surprises.  Yet it’s possible that the most important pieces are among them.  Nobody on the planet has held the archive in plaintext since CG2.
That’s right; no conspiracy, no paid hackers, no Big Oil.  The Republicans didn’t plot this.  USA politics is alien to me, neither am I from the UK.  There is life outside the Anglo-American sphere.
If someone is still wondering why anyone would take these risks, or sees only a breach of privacy here, a few words…
The first glimpses I got behind the scenes did little to garner my trust in the state of climate science—on the contrary.  I found myself in front of a choice that just might have a global impact.
Briefly put, when I had to balance the interests of my own safety, privacy\career of a few scientists, and the well-being of billions of people living in the coming several decades, the first two weren’t the decisive concern.
It was me or nobody, now or never.  Combination of several rather improbable prerequisites just wouldn’t occur again for anyone else in the foreseeable future.  The circus was about to arrive in Copenhagen.  Later on it could be too late… We’re dealing with $trillions and potentially drastic influence on practically everyone…
We can’t pour trillions in this massive hole-digging-and-filling-up endeavor and pretend it’s not away from something and someone else.
If the economy of a region, a country, a city, etc.  deteriorates, what happens among the poorest? Does that usually improve their prospects? No, they will take the hardest hit.  No amount of magical climate thinking can turn this one upside-down.
It’s easy for many of us in the western world to accept a tiny green inconvenience and then wallow in that righteous feeling, surrounded by our “clean” technology and energy that is only slightly more expensive if adequately subsidized.
Those millions and billions already struggling with malnutrition, sickness, violence, illiteracy, etc.  don’t have that luxury.  The price of “climate protection” with its cumulative and collateral effects is bound to destroy and debilitate in great numbers, for decades and generations…

Even if I have it all wrong and these scientists had some good reason to mislead us (instead of making a strong case with real data) I think disseminating the truth is still the safest bet by far.
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Read the front page while it’s still legal

Andrew BoltMARCH142013(11:21am)

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This front page has flushed out the totalitarian instincts of the politicians planning more controls over what Australians choose to read:
Don’t read it. Especially before criticising it. ABC News Radio yesterday: 
MARIUS Benson: Can I start with The Daily Telegraph’s front page today, which reads: “These despots believe in controlling the press.” There is a large photo of you with an expression of you deliberately chosen to make you look dopey. And you are bracketed with the despots Stalin, Mao, Kim Jong-un, Ahmadinejad. Does that front page pass the public interest in your mind?

Conroy: It’ll be (laughs) ... I think I said the News Limited reaction will be hysterical; this morning just proves it yet again. But I’ve said for some time that people in Sydney should read The Daily Telegraph for its sport and back pages because the sort of commentary you see like this morning’s is just, it does a disservice to journalism and a disservice to (News Limited).

Benson: But is it grounds for complaint, for official complaint, for an official arbiter?
Conroy: Look, I haven’t actually seen the story yet ... Whether or not it’s breached any laws or any standards, ah, it certainly breaches a bad taste standard. Whether it breaches others, I’d have to take advice and have a look. But I haven’t actually seen the full copy yet.
That front page has also flushed out the censorious instincts of Labor’s media friends: 
LEIGH SALES: So tabloid newspapers don’t have to adhere to the same standards of fairness and accuracy as other newspapers?

CAMPBELL REID: Um… this is provocative… I reject that it’s unfair, and I reject that it’s inaccurate.

LEIGH SALES: Has News Limited…

CAMPBELL REID: There’s a difference between provocation and inaccuracy and unfairness, and if we’re thinking that really what we need in Australian society is a tort of politeness, and a shut-down media where you’re not allowed to be provocative, you’re not allowed to be interesting, you’re not allowed to be…
CAMPBELL REID: So… so, under provocation the media has to be very quietly… oh, please don’t offend that nice Mr Conroy…

LEIGH SALES: Well, I think fairness and impartiality are a pretty good standard...
An astonishing pre-emptive cringe. Depressing. An ABC host suggesting we be nice to the Government to avoid media curbs.
Can’t she hear what’s she’s saying - about this Government and about herself?
UPDATE
The self-righteous bloviating from press interests, and the shrill coverage from News Ltd papers in particular, leads to the suspicion that Senator Conroy can’t be far wrong with his tiny package of media reforms.
Ackland strikes me as another of the partisan Left who are very strong on the right to free speech of everyone except those with whom they disagree.
UPDATE
Reader Malcolm Colless, a distinguished former journalist, writes:
Your call to arms to journalists on the Conroy censorship policy on Sydney radio tonight was spot on. They cannot be called reforms because they are not making anything better-in fact quite the contrary.

The working press should be particularly outraged at the Government’s decision to appoint an overlord to set and administer media standards.

Labor spin implies that this legislation is needed to pull media management into line and this is what gives comfort to the Left who want a critical media and News Ltd in particular shackled.
UPDATE
The Daily Telegraph apologises for its satire, which risks being unlawful under this authoritarian government: 
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UPDATE
Utterly astonishing. Another ABC presenter accuses the Daily Telegraph of “supporting the Government’s argument in their hysterical and silly way that they’ve responded” - of supporting, that is, the case for censorship of satire when that satire is directed at this Labor Government.
You may find it impossible to believe this presenter is actually supporting my own argument that this vindictive government is out to muzzle criticism of itself and its causes, to the cheers of the Left, but read for yourself:

BARRIE CASSIDY/JON FAINE

ABC 774 MELBOURNE 


JON FAINE:

So why pick a fight with the Murdoch papers right now?

BARRIE CASSIDY:

Therefore why should we be critical of them for taking it on?
JON FAINE:
Well I’m not being critical, I’m wondering what’s going on. I don’t understand. Because the response was utterly, I mean it’s over the top, but you knew you’d get some form of strident response.
BARRIE CASSIDY:

Of course but I think they’ve played into their hands in a sense by being as hysterical as they have been because the Telegraph for example probably is supporting the Government’s argument in their hysterical and silly way that they’ve responded to the issue.
JON FAINE:

Now, my understanding is that the editor of The Australian and the editor of The Daily Telegraph have got some sort of internal competition to see who can most claim to bring the Gillard Government down as they fight each other over the ‘it was me that brought them down,’ ‘No, no, no, it was me that brought the government down’. That’s the sort of internal competition that they’ve got going.
It is? To Faine’s conspiracy theory I have no polite reply.
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Christians “unsafe” at Muslim conference

Andrew BoltMARCH142013(8:03am)

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A Christian writes about the Islamic “peace” conference in Melbourne that invited a bunch ofhate-preachers
Some Christians who had approval to hire a stall giving away Bibles at the Islamic ‘Peace Conference’ at the Melbourne Showgrounds this weekend have had this approval withdrawn. The Christians, from various churches around Melbourne, had been offered a 6 x 3 metre stall for $600. The Islamic Research and Educational Academy (IREA) contacted them last night and said that the Bible stall could not go ahead because it would be “unsafe”.

The Christians were told that, due to expected anti-Islamic protests outside the Showgrounds, IREA “could not guarantee your safety.” An IREA spokesman, who identified himself as ‘Sami’, was concerned about radical elements among the Muslim attendees “taking it out” on the Christians, and said that IREA security personnel “could not protect the Christians”. IREA claimed they had consulted Victoria Police about security and had come to this decision. Another Christian group was told last night that all the stalls had been allocated and there was no room left. According to the IREA website, there are over 200 stalls available, but their stall map shows that only 44 stalls have been hired so far.
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A plan to stop you reading stuff like this

Andrew BoltMARCH142013(7:54am)

 Free speechPolitics - deceits and stuff ups
I NEVER dreamed - never feared - Australia would have a government plotting to control journalists it didn’t like.
Do not trust a word Communications Minister Stephen Conroy says about needing a new government supercop to check what’s published and by whom.
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Why do Leftist schemes always cost so much?

Andrew BoltMARCH142013(7:12am)

The answer, though, is not to tame financial markets through the socialization of equity, but to cut them down to size. A prerequisite for any positive program is a comprehensive attack on the power of financial markets, including the breakup of all “too big to fail” institutions, taxes on high-volume financial transactions, stringent restrictions on the creation of new financial instruments, and reductions in the share of national income going to the profits of financial enterprises. That’s a radical program, but (unlike Ackerman’s) every element of it is on the table right now, and commands support well beyond the Left.
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All spin, no substance

Andrew BoltMARCH142013(7:01am)

 Politics - federal
HOST: You and the Minister have said that these visas have been abused, but we haven’t been given any examples. Can you give us an example of where a 457 visa has been abused?

PM: Around the country, I and members of parliament in the Labor team do hear concerns from people about them being ready to take a job and with the appropriate qualifications, and not getting a go… 

HOST: Feedback and anecdotal evidence – can you understand why people see this as kneejerk reaction? We haven’t been given an example of where 457 visas have been abused.

PM: We make policy based on evidence, but community concern is there. People have raised examples, and of course, when we get that kind of feedback we should respond.
JOURNALIST: Can you give us an example of self-regulation where it hasn’t worked?

PM: Well, I think when you look across – I am not pursuing a personal case here so you would need to ask people who have taken up something with the press council and who have thought that there wasn’t a satisfactory dealing with it.

I think you would be aware that because there obviously have been some concerns in the past about the operation of the press council, that there has been a move over the last few years to increasing rigour in the press council. 
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Media controls from a government that treats its own ministers like mushrooms

Andrew BoltMARCH142013(6:12am)

Cabinet sources revealed that most ministers were denied time to properly read Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s proposed media reform rules before they were rubber stamped…

A small number of ministers are believed to have been kept in the loop, including Treasurer Wayne Swan and Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

But other key cabinet ministers said they had been given no notice of what was to come before the Tuesday meeting, nor were they given sufficient time to digest the document before it was agreed to.
Conroy, who boasted he could force telco bosses to wear red underpants on their heads,forces Cabinet colleagues to wear a sell-out of free speech
AT Tuesday morning’s snap cabinet meeting to consider Stephen Conroy’s proposed media laws, there were a number of empty seats around the oval table.

A Qantas flight from Sydney with three cabinet ministers on board - Tanya Plibersek, Bob Carr and Peter Garrett, as well as cabinet secretary Jason Clare - was delayed and then cancelled…

Those who were there, ostensibly to discuss the new policy on coal-seam gas exploration from Tony Burke, were given the impression no further discussion would be brooked. The Communications Minister’s policy and strategy were to be endorsed quickly on a crash or crash-through basis.

They were told a number of ministers were trapped in Sydney, the meeting would proceed without them and that the cabinet “decision” was to be announced within two hours.
None of those objecting had the guts to protest?
Labor MPs are treated with the same contemptuous we-know-best authoritarianism that lies behind this whole sinister attempt to further control the media. Henry Ergas:
ARROGANCE is the curse of those long on power and short on wisdom. Little wonder, then, that Stephen Conroy has announced his media reforms as a take-it-or-leave-it proposition, giving parliament no time to consider, much less amend, legislation it has not yet seen and will not see until the last moment… Yet, from the few details he has disclosed, his proposals seem unfounded on evidence, poorly designed in practice and deeply at odds with democratic principles.

The reform details make it clear that the public interest media advocate will be appointed by the communications minister unilaterally, although there is a requirement to consult the opposition…

The advocate will have unfettered power to rule on the facts of a case, exposed only to appeals on judicial process rather than the fundamental merits of his or her decision. “A decision by the public interest media advocate will be subject to the general administrative review but will not be subject to merits review,” the paper said.

Shameful. The independents are being bribed to swap our free press for food: 

The government is planning a crackdown on big supermarkets to help Australian grocery suppliers in a move that acts on some of the independents’ concerns and could smooth the ground for media legislation to be introduced into parliament today.
UPDATE
How impressive has Malcolm Turnbull been recently?
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Flannery’s heat wave vs a reader’s snow

Andrew BoltMARCH142013(6:04am)

 Global warming - propaganda
What we’re seeing is a whole slew of new records, new territory, new climatic territory, which we’re seeing in Australia and the US and in the Arctic. And that’s part of a longer trend...
Reader Andrew challenges Flannery:
Here I am stuck in Germany , in Worms actually, and I am snowbound.

I cannot leave my hotel. All this in mid March (I am particularly annoyed as I am stuck in a rather dreary hotel here. 

Now I am very serious about this. I will donate $5000.00 to Prof Tim Flannery if he, on behalf of the Climate Commission, will fly to England and explain to them at a public meeting his proof that the world is warming, (If you or he doubt my bona fides then I will pay that sum into a bank account to be paid to him when he agrees).

I am sure he would be a big hit in England where it has had the coldest March day in 26 years.
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Teresa, I agree. Michael, without dismissing any of your arguments as merely historical, I would point out that the way to address the issue of culture is to praise it. There isn't enough money to do everything that is a good idea, and not all ideas are good. Utilising resources and optimising that use allows progress. Nothing is optimal in education. You don't have to agree with Thatcher policy or religious fervour to recognise that truth that Jesus isn't recognised as being great for his compromises, but for his adherence to principle. We know how to recognise who can add or subtract with or without a calculator. That isn't cultural. But a cultural argument can be mounted for how it is examined. I am reminded of a year 7 boy I met at a selective school in Sydney. It was an agricultural boarding school, and the boy, Hamidur Rahman (I can use his name now) was Indian ethnic and despised support but was proud of his Hindu heritage. The school was gung ho with Rugby. This boy didn't fit in, but he was willing to work to excel. He had a peanut allergy, as he told me one evening over dinner. I told my supervisors about the serious issue and was assured the issue would be addressed. I left the school soon after. The following year, the boy was at a year 8 school camp. He had successfully completed an activity involved with running, and the teacher had run out of rewards so, thinking outside the box, said the student's reward was to lick peanut butter from a spoon. The teacher was not aware of the allergy as my supervisors hadn't told them, although the boy had been hazed for trying to let people know. So the student, in front of his year group, did as he was told, and died in seconds. The school and education department went into damage protection mode and the Principal retired soon after, claiming no one had told him. Coroner investigated and said it was an accident, criticising the parents for not telling the school of the allergy. I was targeted by the Department following and instructed not to speak on the issue .. I resigned to speak out six years ago and have had no work since.

My point is that there are cultural issues that need to be addressed, but those aren't academic tests where anyone can quibble over nothing. Hamidur was doing well in a hostile environment. Some students do. Some don't. Our tests don't need to be culturally sensitive. We do. No student of mine who cannot speak English well is going to be encouraged by me to study English literature at university. Instead, I would suggest they might try to improve their own language and bilingual skills. A new push is on by local Anglican researchers promoting the concept of cultural assets. Culture is not a weakness, but a strength which needs to be buttressed from those that devalue it and promoted so as to improve outcomes for all.

=== from 2014 ===

March 14New Year's Day (Sikhs); White Day in East Asia; Pi Day
The Lakeview Gusher
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“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” - Romans 8:28
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

March 13: Morning

"Why sit we here until we die?" - 2 Kings 7:3

Dear reader, this little book was mainly intended for the edification of believers, but if you are yet unsaved, our heart yearns over you: and we would fain say a word which may be blessed to you. Open your Bible, and read the story of the lepers, and mark their position, which was much the same as yours. If you remain where you are you must perish; if you go to Jesus you can but die. "Nothing venture, nothing win," is the old proverb, and in your case the venture is no great one. If you sit still in sullen despair, no one can pity you when your ruin comes; but if you die with mercy sought, if such a thing were possible, you would be the object of universal sympathy. None escape who refuse to look to Jesus; but you know that, at any rate, some are saved who believe in him, for certain of your own acquaintances have received mercy: then why not you? The Ninevites said, "Who can tell?" Act upon the same hope, and try the Lord's mercy. To perish is so awful, that if there were but a straw to catch at, the instinct of self-preservation should lead you to stretch out your hand. We have thus been talking to you on your own unbelieving ground, we would now assure you, as from the Lord, that if you seek him he will be found of you. Jesus casts out none who come unto him. You shall not perish if you trust him; on the contrary, you shall find treasure far richer than the poor lepers gathered in Syria's deserted camp. May the Holy Spirit embolden you to go at once, and you shall not believe in vain. When you are saved yourself, publish the good news to others. Hold not your peace; tell the King's household first, and unite with them in fellowship; let the porter of the city, the minister, be informed of your discovery, and then proclaim the good news in every place. The Lord save thee ere the sun goes down this day.
Evening
"Then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark." - Genesis 8:9
Wearied out with her wanderings, the dove returns at length to the ark as her only resting place. How heavily she flies--she will drop--she will never reach the ark! But she struggles on. Noah has been looking out for his dove all day long, and is ready to receive her. She has just strength to reach the edge of the ark, she can hardly alight upon it, and is ready to drop, when Noah puts forth his hand and pulls her in unto him. Mark that: "pulled her in unto him." She did not fly right in herself, but was too fearful, or too weary to do so. She flew as far as she could, and then he put forth his hand and pulled her in unto him. This act of mercy was shown to the wandering dove, and she was not chidden for her wanderings. Just as she was she was pulled into the ark. So you, seeking sinner, with all your sin, will be received. "Only return"--those are God's two gracious words--"only return." What! nothing else? No, "only return." She had no olive branch in her mouth this time, nothing at all but just herself and her wanderings; but it is "only return," and she does return, and Noah pulls her in. Fly, thou wanderer; fly thou fainting one, dove as thou art, though thou thinkest thyself to be black as the raven with the mire of sin, back, back to the Saviour. Every moment thou waitest does but increase thy misery; thine attempts to plume thyself and make thyself fit for Jesus are all vanity. Come thou to him just as thou art. "Return, thou backsliding Israel." He does not say, "Return, thou repenting Israel" (there is such an invitation doubtless), but "thou backsliding one," as a backslider with all thy backslidings about thee, Return, return, return! Jesus is waiting for thee! He will stretch forth his hand and "pull thee in"--in to himself, thy heart's true home.
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Today's reading: Deuteronomy 19-21, Mark 13:21-37 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Deuteronomy 19-21

Cities of Refuge
1 When the LORD your God has destroyed the nations whose land he is giving you, and when you have driven them out and settled in their towns and houses, 2 then set aside for yourselves three cities in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess. 3 Determine the distances involved and divide into three parts the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, so that a person who kills someone may flee for refuge to one of these cities....

Today's New Testament reading: Mark 13:21-37

21 At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Messiah!' or, 'Look, there he is!' do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
24 "But in those days, following that distress,
"'the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'

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There is no new Lent reading today; today is a catch-up day. If you've kept up with the daily readings so far, congratulations! If you've fallen behind, here are the readings from the last week in case you want to go back and catch up:

Wednesday:
 Matthew 1-3
Thursday: Matthew 4-6
Friday: Matthew 7-9
Saturday: Matthew 10-12

Have a blessed Sunday!
n.b. I am always a day behind in postings.

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