Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sun Mar 13th Todays News

Miranda Devine was wrong to trash Mr Abbott and promote Mr Turnbull through inflations of incompetence regarding Abbott's office. She was wrong to claim the validity of knighthood was a mistake. She was wrong to claim that criticism of the Abbott government's communication was poor. Mr Abbott's government was stymied by independents and Palmer in an unanticipated way, but he had done a lot to overcome that. Mr Abbott's government was one of many Liberal administrations undermined by Turnbull. Devine myopically ignores that. But the obvious reality is there has to be movement forward, and Turnbull must be kept to task of good government. Turnbull does not have good ideas, as Miranda suggests. Just like last time, Turnbull is stymied by fear. He is the worst Liberal PM since McMahon. But even so, Shorten is worse again. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
ALP leader Bill Shorten has said some things which have no bearing in reality. His attack on Mr Abbott, declaring “Tony Abbott is a prime minister stuck in the 1950s. He says he’s the prime minister for indigenous Australians but he just wants to move them off their land.” is offensive as it is wrong. The truth is Mr Abbott supports Aboriginal peoples even openly embracing dumb polarising changes to the constitution at the expense of conservative support. Shorten is not merely on a different planet when considering Mr Abbott, but also his industrial relations policy and immigration policy bears no relation to reality. As Jason Clare once said, it isn't compassionate to drown desperate people. As Gillard observed, work gives dignity. But Shorten would deny work to the poorest, drown many desperate to visit Australia and isolate Aboriginals desperate for hope. 

PUP imploding as Lazarus leaves. Dio Wang seems to have lost the race, being the last PUP standing. The move by Lazarus will not be good for Australia, as PUP had struck a deal with the government, agreeing not to oppose legislation. 

Australian teen terrorist suicides but fails to kill others. No virgins for him then. No westerner is going to prosper who joins ISIL. 
From 2014
The UN is not supposed to fund terrorism. But it has and does. The terrorists who hijacked an airplane in 1976 claim they were the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The craft was supposed to go from Athens to Paris. The hijackers diverted the plane to Benghazi, Libya. There, one of the 246 passengers feigned a miscarriage and was released. After refuelling, the aircraft went to Entebbe, Uganda. Idi Amin was leader of Uganda at the time. Four people joined the hijackers, and the passengers were separated into non Israelis and Israelis. For some stupid reason, a justification is given on wikipedia stressing that some non Israeli Jews were released, while non Jewish Israelis remained. Apparently terrorists discriminate. 

Following the Jordanian civil war, some Jordanians called themselves Palestinian and corrupted South Lebanon, reigning rockets on Israeli sites from Lebanese territory. Forty so called Palestinians were incarcerated in Israel. Thirteen others were incarcerated in Kenya, France, Switzerland and West Germany. The hijackers at Entebbe demanded the release of those prisoners for the one hundred and six Israeli hostages. The resulting stand off lasted a week. An air France flight took the non Jewish Israelis away, except for the flight captain and crew who remained behind, and one French nun. 

The Hijacking was the 27th June. The rescue was the 4th July. Israel had negotiated with Idi Amin, who refused to help free the hostages. An elderly woman hostage was taken to a local hospital for care. Israel approved a rescue mission. Yonaton Netanyahu was in charge. Yonaton planned well, and was the only casualty for Israel in the raid. He had destroyed Ugandan fighters on the ground so they would not intercept. In retaliation Idi Amin had the hostage who was being treated in the hospital killed, along with treating staff who tried to prevent it. Yonaton died on that July 4th. But he was born on this day, 1946. Thank you Mr Netanyahu for your service. 
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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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.

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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 Toni Shouse Woroniak a compelling artist whose birthday falls on the day a compelling artist William Herschell discovered Uranus in his garden in Bath. True, and cleaner than it sounds.
Pope Francis
You have conquered. Your music delights. You dismissed the putsch. You tunnel. Your poppa is pleased. Let's party. 
Deaths
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Windsor has already lost his bitter battle

Piers Akerman – Saturday, March 12, 2016 (10:38pm)

SURELY Tony Windsor is having a lend of the good people of New England.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Windsor has already lost his bitter battle'
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Tony Abbott’s delusional conservatives fighting the wrong fight

Miranda Devine – Saturday, March 12, 2016 (10:32pm)

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WHILE conservatives rip into each other over the Tony Abbott-Peta Credlin saga, they’re missing a looming disaster as Malcolm Turnbull quietly stitches up a power-sharing deal with the Greens that has the potential to remake Australia. 
On both fronts, the Australian people are forgotten and ignored.
The furore over Niki Savva’s book The Road To Ruin is all about one person — the unelected person Credlin.
It’s always been about Credlin, as Savva’s bestseller makes clear, and this preoccupation skewed the Abbott government’s priorities.
The book has placed on the record, for the public to judge, information that political insiders have long been privy to. 
It is not flattering to Abbott. But it does explain why he lost his job. It wasn’t the media who voted him out, or any of the scapegoats he and a dwindling band of delusional conservatives rail against. 
It was, as John Howard put it last week, those in “authority” — the party room, each member representing a mini-kingdom of Australians — who voted 54-44 to remove Abbott. 
“The people who have the authority to make the decision, made the decision and they clearly voted in a new leader,” Howard said.
“They are not going to review their decision.”
No, they’re not, despite Abbott and the Del-Cons unleashing a firestorm of vengeance.
Howard also confirmed another fact in Savva’s bestseller — that he had advised Abbott to remove Credlin and replace Joe Hockey with Turnbull. 
Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce and NSW senator Connie Fierravanti-Wells have likewise confirmed Savva’s ­account.
Unfortunately, it’s time to admit that Abbott went from being the hope of the conservative cause to its greatest wrecker.
Even now, the Abbott-Credlin soap opera is causing mayhem while Labor cheers from the sidelines, or in Anthony Albanese’s case, stirs the pot with faux sympathy. 
Abbott and the Del-Cons are further undermining conservative credibility at a crucial time, when progressive activists are going in for the kill on transformative cultural issues such as same-sex marriage and the sort of LGBTIQ social ­engineering contained in the Safe Schools policy. 
Which brings us to Turnbull’s cunning plan.
The media narrative is that he’s all at sea, a do-nothing waffler, who doesn’t have a plan and can’t even make up his mind when to have the election. 
Maybe that’s true, but from my observation over 20 years, Turnbull is a far more Machiavellian character.
The last thing he ever lacks is a plan. He’s up to something.
Politics is the art of compromise, as Neville Wran loved to say, and Turnbull was schooled at his feet. In other words, jettison every value for the deal. 
It seems that Turnbull’s overriding priority at the moment is to remove the crossbenchers so the government can break the logjam in the Senate. 
With the help of the Greens, it will pass the Senate ­reform bill that will ensure small parties will never again be elected, unless they’re backed by Clive Palmer-style wealth. 
At the same time Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger has been creeping around Victoria stitching up cynical preference deals with the Greens to deliver them Labor marginal seats, and Turnbull has been dithering over union-busting bills in case they offend the Greens, who owe much of their cash flow to unions. 
The stage is being set for a July 2 double–dissolution election that will remake the Senate, and so the obvious conclusion is that Turnbull is planning some sort of power-sharing deal with the Greens. 
Tempting though it may be to stop the likes of Jacqui Lambie and Glenn Lazarus holding the country to ransom, the alternative is far worse. Imagine a Senate controlled by the likes of Sarah Hanson-Young and Scott Ludlam. 
Unpolished and troublesome as they are, the Senate crossbench brings a real world perspective that doesn’t exist in a parliament full of self-engrossed career politicians. 
“A builder, a vet, a blacksmith, a soldier, a footballer, a sawmiller and an engineer. What would we know,” says crossbench senator Bob Day, the builder. 
According to Senator David Leyonhjelm (the vet), at the infamous crossbench dinner at the Lodge last month when Lambie (soldier) and Lazarus (footballer) walked out on Turnbull before dessert, Turnbull told him: “I’d rather deal with the Greens and (green-leaning independent Nick) Xenophon than with Lambie and Lazarus.” 
Of course he would. Turnbull, like his beloved David Cameron in the UK, is a greenie at heart. Doing a deal with the pragmatic new Greens leader Richard Di Natale would be as natural as mother’s milk. 
If you thought Gillard’s deal with Bob Brown was bad news, you ain’t seen nothing yet. And the only people who could stop it are squabbling over a book.
If Turnbull sells out the Liberal Party to the Greens he will return as a prime minister who owes nothing to the party’s shattered conservatives, and will set about delivering same-sex marriage, a republic, a carbon trading scheme and the rest of the Left-liberal agenda, while setting himself up as Australia’s first president. That’s my hunch, anyway. 
But he will also set the stage for a third party to emerge from the right that will tap Trump-esque depths of anger. 
The forgotten people won’t be ignored forever.
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Strange priorities of the Abbott-Credlin regime

Miranda Devine – Saturday, March 12, 2016 (10:22am)

WE saw last week Tony Abbott upstaged by his former chief of staff Peta Credlin. Posing as a victim of sexism, she dominated media coverage in the wake of Niki Savva’s book about Abbott’s downfall, The Road To Ruin. 
All the vigorous crisis management strategies employed were about defending Credlin. It has always been so.
Two examples:
Last February, journalist John Lyons, from The Australian, sent a series of questions to the Prime Minister’s Office. Some were about Abbott’s handling of national security, and some were about the relationship between Credlin and the prime minister’s wife, Margie Abbott, and whether a situation had developed in which they never attended the same function.
The PMO got back to Lyons almost immediately on the latter topic, with assurances the relationship between the two women was fine, and providing details about functions they had attended together.  
“And the national security questions?” Lyons asked. 
“We’ll get back to you about those,” the PMO said.
A few days earlier, 39 of Abbott’s colleagues had voted for an empty chair, as an existential warning that he needed finally to change his chief of staff and the Treasurer to try to lift the government out of its death spiral in the polls. 
This was when Michaelia Cash, the Minister for Women, was instructed to go out and defend Credlin. Not defend the prime minister, but his staffer. 
Last week Cash was being berated again for not defending Credlin. Strange priorities. 
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IT’S THE HOCKEY STICK OF AUTOMOTIVE INVESTMENTS

Tim Blair – Sunday, March 13, 2016 (6:14pm)

My Clownshoe-based retirement fund is ticking along nicely:

image

Speaking of hockey sticks, here’s the latest from Mark Steyn on his long-running and very expensive legal battle with hockey stick hyper Michael Mann: 
Mann’s plan was to sue me into silence. We’re happy to say it’s not working out quite as he intended. And, while we’re waiting for Doctor Fraudpants to agree to discovery, “A Disgrace to the Profession”is a great way to prop up my end of this interminable case, and arm yourself with the facts to push back against the Big Climate enforcers. To order the book, simply click here. 
(Via Mick G.)
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WELCOME TO 2007

Tim Blair – Sunday, March 13, 2016 (4:39pm)

Bill Shorten aims to capture some of that old Rudd magic
“We’re going to fight the election with climate change as one of our big issues,” he said. “Climate change is both a challenge and an opportunity for Australia if we respond to it correctly.” 
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EXPLAINER NEEDS AN EXPLAINER

Tim Blair – Sunday, March 13, 2016 (2:02pm)

At last year’s APEC, Malcolm Turnbull actually asked Barack Obama – of all people – to explain the spread of fundamentalist Islam
In a meeting during APEC with Malcolm Turnbull, the new prime minister of Australia, Obama described how he has watched Indonesia gradually move from a relaxed, syncretistic Islam to a more fundamentalist, unforgiving interpretation; large numbers of Indonesian women, he observed, have now adopted the hijab, the Muslim head covering.
Why, Turnbull asked, was this happening?
Because, Obama answered, the Saudis and other Gulf Arabs have funneled money, and large numbers of imams and teachers, into the country. In the 1990s, the Saudis heavily funded Wahhabist madrassas, seminaries that teach the fundamentalist version of Islam favored by the Saudi ruling family, Obama told Turnbull. Today, Islam in Indonesia is much more Arab in orientation than it was when he lived there, he said.
“Aren’t the Saudis your friends?” Turnbull asked.
Obama smiled. “It’s complicated,” he said. 
Obviously too complicated for Turnbull, who seems not to have read a great deal on the subject.
(Via Alan R.M. Jones, who emails: “If Obama can use Indonesia as an example to say frankly that there’s a growing problem within Islam, which directly impacts Australia’s security and other interests, isn’t it past time the leadership here be at least as frank?")
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I WAS WRONG

Tim Blair – Sunday, March 13, 2016 (12:57am)

In this piece, published last week in the Daily Telegraph, I claimed that the Alison Bevege celebration fundraiserorganised by this site would “probably hit $6000 or $7000” by the time the fundraiser ends.
I was wrong and for that I sincerely apologise.
I have no excuses for my error. I simply misjudged – by an unforgivably huge margin – reader interest in Alison’s 17-month legal battle with Islamic extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir.
The truth is that the total donation sum to date is not even close to those figures.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'I WAS WRONG'
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THREE WORD SLOGAN

Tim Blair – Sunday, March 13, 2016 (12:52am)

The day-to-day life of an ABC staffer neatly summarised by Radio National’s Jonathan Green, who has a gift for brevity:

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NINE DOWN

Tim Blair – Sunday, March 13, 2016 (12:33am)

Grim numbers for Australia’s former TV powerhouse
The total audience for Nine’s main channel has plummeted nearly 13 per cent in prime time (6pm to midnight) compared to last year. It is down a whopping 24 per cent in the advertiser-friendly 16 to 54 demographic …
“This is a disastrous start for Nine,” Fusion Strategy’s Steve Allen says. “It is the worst start by Nine on record, with no real hits, and many also-rans and failures.” 
They’ve hit the rotors. On a similar theme
It wasn’t a good week for radio veteran Wendy Harmer, whose stocks dropped not once but twice.
This happened first on Tuesday with the release of Sydney radio ratings showing almost a quarter of Harmer’s audience had switched off from ABC702’s morning show over the summer, giving Harmer an 8.1 share (down from Linda Mottram’s 10.5).
On Wednesday she took another hit when she confirmed cash-strapped Fairfax Media had dropped her as a columnist. “No longer a columnist for @smh along with @JohnBirmingham and other assorted pests. Bugger!”
This may be partly due to expectations Fairfax will soon form an alliance with the Nine Network, severing the cosy relationship they’ve had to date with the ABC, Harmer’s radio employer. 
A Nine-Fairfax alliance? It can’t possibly fail! By the way, it would be interesting to know how much Fairfax’s obsessive measurement of page impressions had to do with the removal of Harmer and Birmingham. Perhaps large Twitter audiences don’t translate into large column readership stats.
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EMPLOYMENT OPTIONS REDUCED

Tim Blair – Sunday, March 13, 2016 (12:20am)

Skills are crucial in the short-term, high-risk employment market: 
A stunning mass leak purporting to be Islamic State membership forms reveal a would-be Australian jihadist was worried his poor eyesight and inability to operate a manual car could limit his ability to carry out a suicide bombing. 
The Hadiths offer very little instruction on the use of manual transmissions, and almost nothing at all on the correct technique for heel/toe downchanges.
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Turnbull’s green scheme for power

Andrew Bolt March 13 2016 (10:54am)

Miranda Devine on Malcolm Turnbull’s lean to the Greens:
WHILE conservatives rip into each other over the Tony Abbott-Peta Credlin saga, they’re missing a looming disaster as Malcolm Turnbull quietly stitches up a power-sharing deal with the Greens that has the potential to remake Australia…
At the same time Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger has been creeping around Victoria stitching up cynical preference deals with the Greens to deliver them Labor marginal seats, and Turnbull has been dithering over union-busting bills in case they offend the Greens, who owe much of their cash flow to unions.
The stage is being set for a July 2 double–dissolution election that will remake the Senate… Tempting though it may be to stop the likes of Jacqui Lambie and Glenn Lazarus holding the country to ransom, the alternative is far worse. Imagine a Senate controlled by the likes of Sarah Hanson-Young and Scott Ludlam…
According to Senator David Leyonhjelm ... at the infamous crossbench dinner at the Lodge last month when Lambie and Lazarus walked out on Turnbull before dessert, Turnbull told him: “I’d rather deal with the Greens and (green-leaning independent Nick) Xenophon than with Lambie and Lazarus.”
Of course he would. Turnbull ... is a greenie at heart. Doing a deal with the pragmatic new Greens leader Richard Di Natale would be as natural as mother’s milk.
All the more reason for conservatives to conclude it is better than Turnbull be defeated than let his hijacking of the Liberals succeed.
(Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill and John.) 
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Gangs brawl in Melbourne. Why did we import this danger?

Andrew Bolt March 13 2016 (10:23am)

Our immigration and refugee program has become a public menace:
POLICE have made several arrests after two armed street gangs stormed Melbourne’s CBD, brawling in Federation Square before moving to Swanston St, shutting down the area.
A pitch battle has erupted at Moomba between two armed teenage street gangs, spilling on to the streets of Melbourne.
People dining in City Square ran for their lives as gang members used cafe chairs as weapons, running riot from Federation Square to City Square.
The melee broke out minutes after the family fireworks ended about 10pm. About 200 youths of the Apex and Islander 23 gangs stormed Federation Square chanting “f--- the police”, before gang members started beating and punching each other.
Police officers were outnumbered ten to one as they called for reinforcements…
More than 100 gang members of the notorious Apex gang, responsible for a spate of car thefts in the southeast suburbs, swarmed around a police car. Many gang members were of Sudanese descent.
The other gang was made up of Pacific Islander teenagers…
The brawl comes weeks after a 16-year-old member of the violent Apex gang allegedly made threats to shoot a female police officer at a police station in Dandenong…
Note that The Age report refuses to mention that the Apex gang is mainly Sudanese. This refusal to be frank is misleading readers and leaving them unable to conclude the nature of the threat to public safety.
In fact, check all the reports on the Apex gang. Note how many studiously avoid mentioning one of the most important things about it - that it is made up predominantly of Africans who are refugees or the children of refugees.
We have been dangerously slow to acknowledge this catastrophic failure of our refugee policy. From 2013:
Community leaders have joined police on regular patrols in Dandenong as the force tries to improve ties with troubled ethnic youths. The ethnically diverse city has crime rates almost 40 per cent higher than the state average… Pacific Islander and Sudanese community leaders were informed by Victoria Police last year that their populations were overrepresented in crime statistics.
The media, politicians and police keep covering up the fact that refugee and migrant intakes are making us less safe:
IN 2008 Victoria Police chief commissioner Christine Nixon claimed Sudanese refugees were “under-represented” in crime rates, when police figures show they were over-represented by a factor of five.
IN 2010 Nixon’s successor admitted that while police recorded the ethnic background of criminals it was not “appropriate to be putting that sort of information out” because “sometimes they cause offence”.
LAST year the Salvation Army accused Victoria’s police of covering up a violent New Year’s Eve brawl between more than 200 African youths in Melbourne’s CBD. Police did not issue a media release on the brawl and no media outlet reported it.
IN NSW, police are more likely to describe the ethnicity of criminals, but the media Left still tend to omit it. For instance, police asked for help to find three men of “Mediterranean/Middle Eastern appearance” who allegedly attacked two 16-year-old girls, but the Sydney Morning Herald changed their descriptor to merely “dark complexion”.
IN 2014 the Herald passed on police appeals to find six men who allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl, but omitted the men’s most identifiable feature. The reporter later tweeted that while she’d written the men were of African appearance, “it was taken out in the subbing process”.
LAST October, The Age reported Victoria had “the worst month for gun violence this year, with 10 incidents” in a report that omitted police claims that the shootings were linked to Lebanese families.
IN 2013, federal Labor frontbencher Mark Dreyfus falsely claimed the “multicultural” community of Dandenong was “harmonious”, even though police warned it actually suffered from a high crime rate and African gangs…
What else aren’t we being told?
This refusal to report can foster ignorance even in those paid to notice. Last year, senior ABC presenter Fran Kelly claimed she knew of no “links of people who have come in as refugees and then committed terrorist offences”.
In fact, the last three terror attacks here — the stabbing of two police in Melbourne, the killing of two people in the Martin Place siege and the murder of a police accountant — were all by refugees, an important commonality rarely reported.
Last December in Melbourne:
EIGHT men suspected of involvement in a weekend brawl at Seaford, which left a man with stab wounds, squared up for round two at Frankston police station last night.
Just hours earlier, three men had been arrested over the weekend melee, which involved up to 80 people…
The violence follows the weekend incident, with crowds gathered for a tournament for the South Sudanese Australian National Basketball Association.
Last November, a measure of the threat we imported with such willful blindness:
The joining of Maori and Sudanese gangs on crime sprees over the past 12 months is of special concern.
So is the apparent realisation, especially by Islander gangs, that they can use their physical size and weight to intimidate local youths. “We are getting to the stage where local youths won’t walk down the streets of Frankston anymore because they fear trouble,” Detective O’Brien said.
Note: importing this danger was a choice. Reporters refusing to properly identity this danger is a choice.  
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“He’d better be Maori or I’m shutting the door”

Andrew Bolt March 12 2016 (10:23pm)

This is the kind of racial division and suspicion so recklessly preached by academics here, too:
Yesterday Taupo police area commander Inspector Warwick Morehu, a Maori police officer, was instrumental in extracting Rhys Warren from a property near Kawerau.
Warren appeared in court yesterday, accused of shooting four police officers over a cannabis operation. He was remanded without plea.
Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast today, Steve Elers said he wouldn’t be comfortable talking with non-Maori police officers.

“If a cop knocks on the door, he’d better be Maori or I’m shutting the door and asking for an iwi liaison officer,” he said.
Fight the attempts by the Left to divide us by race.
UPDATE
The new racism is becoming seriously unhinged - and dangerous:.
Brendan O’Neill:

The self-important slayers of ‘cultural appropriation’ have gone too far this time. So now they’re turning their fire on a black actress who, in their view, is not black enough to play Nina Simone…
The actress in question is Zoe Saldana, ... she will play Simone, in a big biopic, the trailer for which was released last week.
But the identity-politics mob isn’t happy. Why? Because Saldana is a light-skinned black person, a ‘half black’, as some have foully put it, and she used make-up to make herself as black as Simone....
A writer for CNN said Saldana has resuscitated Hollywood’s ‘abhorrent history of blackface’. Simone’s own brother said Saldana’s turn as Nina is an ‘insult to our people’.
At the Telegraph, Emma Dabiri snootily decreed that Saldana is the ‘wrong black woman’ to play Simone. ‘With her long silky hair and brown tan skin, Zoe Saldana may well be black,’ Dabiri generously conceded, but apparently she isn’t ‘black enough’. On Twitter, meanwhile, where reprimanding cultural appropriation has become a favoured and feverish pastime, Saldana is being mauled, slammed as no better than a ‘white actress wearing blackface’. 
It’s so ugly… The shaming of Saldana shows that identity politics has horrendously re-racialised public and cultural life. These so-called progressives have replaced the old politics of racism with a new politics of racial etiquette, where everyone’s speech is policed for unwitting ‘racial microaggressions’, our cultural pastimes are checked for any over-borrowing from ‘other cultures’, and we’re implored to be racially aware all the time. It’s a PC version of race-baiting, where every issue and every piece of culture is turned into a racial minefield.
Some of us don’t want to be racially aware. We don’t want to judge people according to their skin colour.
(Thanks to readers John and Dion.) 
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Muslim responsibility: A truly radical solution

Piers Akerman – Friday, March 13, 2015 (12:59am)

MELBOURNE teenager Jake Bilardi has reportedly died in a suicide bombing and I don’t feel the slightest twinge of remorse.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Muslim responsibility: A truly radical solution'
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DIFFERENT RULES

Tim Blair – Friday, March 13, 2015 (5:02am)

Labor leader Bill Shorten this week demanded that Prime Minister Tony Abbott apologise for his entirely reasonableviews on taxpayer subsidies for remote welfare recipients: 
Mr Abbott on Tuesday said it was not the taxpayers’ job to “subsidise lifestyle choices” if indigenous people lived in remote areas.
“The prime minister should apologise,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.
“Tony Abbott is a prime minister stuck in the 1950s. He says he’s the prime minister for indigenous Australians but he just wants to move them off their land.” 
Those final nine words are disgraceful. Yet here is Shorten in 2013, saying almost exactly the same thing as Abbott:
I don’t want to stop people living where they want to live. On the other hand, do you ask every other taxpayer to subsidise people’s lifestyle choices? I think that’s really hard …
This is the dilemma about living in some areas which are highly risky. I mean, do you stop people living there altogether? Or do you say, okay, but you need to be aware of the risks of where you build and live.
In this case, Shorten was referring to the lifestyle choices of non-indigenous Australians. Apparently the rules are different.
(Via A.R.M. Jones)
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BEAT THIS

Tim Blair – Friday, March 13, 2015 (4:43am)

Humanities academics everywhere are challenged to match this level of incomprehensible sociology-speak: 
Angie Carter is a Sociology PhD candidate co-majoring in ISU’s Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture. Her sociological areas of interest include symbolic interaction, narrative construction, inequality, gender, social change, agrifood systems, and the environment. Her research has studied community natural resource programs, farmland ownership and conservation adoption, and social justice in agrifood systems …
Carter’s dissertation is a multi-method analysis of the social processes related to farmland owner legitimacy in conservation decision-making and their relationship to gendered agricultural narratives. 
(Via gendered agricultural narrator Iowahawk)
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WELCOME TO EMAIL CEREMONY

Tim Blair – Friday, March 13, 2015 (4:17am)

Reader Peter J. emails: 
When one receives an email reply from Adam Bandt, this little statement is on the bottom:
The Office of Adam Bandt respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the Country on which we work.
Sounds like a load of bollocks to me.  
Quite so.
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THE STUPID ONE

Tim Blair – Friday, March 13, 2015 (4:09am)

A conclusive opinion on disassembled Australian jihadiboy Jake Bilardi is provided by this report about Islamic State training programs: 
After their 45-day training, an Islamic State emir, or prince, presided over a graduation ceremony, where the boys were divided up into groups for specialized training. For 15 days, they prepared for either joining the battlefield; guarding military installations; serving as bodyguards for prominent commanders; or becoming suicide bombers.
The stupid ones were always chosen for suicide bombers,” said one 14-year-old former soldier … 
Even his overlords thought poor Jake an idiot. In December, the future organ scatterer was interviewed by SBS’s Elise Potaka
Jake Bilardi told me that he converted to Islam two years ago. His main source of information about the religion was the Internet and books (his family are atheists) but once he converted he “learnt from brothers and sheikhs” …
Before he converted Jake said he was already unhappy in Australia.
“Before I was Muslim I hated the democratic system and the foreign policy of Australia,” he told me.
He was “always interested in politics and so had been drawn to the situation in Iraq and Sham and Afghanistan and other lands for many years”. 
For many years? The idiot was just 18. Further on this murderous snagglemouth from Piers Akerman.
===

TANK TOPS UP, PRICES DOWN

Tim Blair – Friday, March 13, 2015 (3:29am)

The US has hit peak oil. Peak oil capacity, that is: 
The US has so much crude that it is running out of places to put it, and that could drive oil and petrol prices even lower in coming months.
For the past eight weeks, the United States has been producing and importing an average of one million more barrels of oil every day than it is consuming. That extra crude is flowing into storage tanks, especially at the country’s main trading hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, pushing US supplies to their highest point in at least 80 years, the Energy Department’s reported.
If this keeps up, storage tanks could approach their operational limits, known in the industry as “tank tops,” by mid-April and send the price of crude – and probably petrol, too – plummeting. 
Reduced fuel prices deliver great opportunities for drivers.
===

BEER WINS

Tim Blair – Friday, March 13, 2015 (3:03am)

The website for Ohio’s Eldora Speedway was recently hacked by fans of Islamic State. Once the site was repaired, it ran this message: 
America’s Favorite Track’s website is once again as safe as our $2 beer prices. 
Beautiful.
UPDATE. In other speedy news, NSW is coming after your Grand Prix, Victoria.
===

PRICE OF VIGILANCE

Tim Blair – Thursday, March 12, 2015 (10:01pm)

Hard-working academic Jenna Price asks
What’s been your best ever response to street harassment? 
Probably this, Jenna.
===

Turnbull and his Lamings push the party to the cliff

Andrew Bolt March 13 2015 (12:55pm)

Andrew Laming made a complete fool of himself by allowing the ABC to watch him plotting against Tony Abbott before the failed spill motion. His humiliation was made worse when the ABC then filmed Laming getting an earful from voters back in his seat who wanted Abbott to stay.
But no one is too disloyal for Malcolm Turnbull:
MALCOLM Turnbull has held a series of private fundraisers for dissident Liberals during an almost week-long swoop through southeast Queensland. 
The Communications Minister has held public events and forums with two of the most prominent supporters of the failed Liberal leadership spill, Andrew Laming and Wyatt Roy.
Turnbull is now openly campaigning:
Malcolm Turnbull has blamed the failures of last year’s federal budget on the inability of the government to make a case for change and cited his handling of his own portfolio as the model for garnering public support.
Turnbull undermines the Treasurer:
The would-be prime minister also slammed Treasurer Joe Hockey’s plan to allow people to dip into their superannuation funds to buy their first home as a “thoroughly bad idea”.
UPDATE
Turnbull shamelessly rewards an excited Laming for his whiteanting:
image
But I suspect even Turnbull isn’t foolish enough to want such a loose cannon in his ministry. Note the get-out clause Laming didn’t add to his post:
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he believed Bowman MP Andrew Laming would “find his way to the front bench in due course on merit” regardless of the party’s leader.
Did any reporters there ask why Turnbull thought a man who caused so much damage to his own leader deserved to become a minister?

(Thanks to readers John and Paul Zanetti.) 
===

Shorten’s lifestyle choice: different rules for different “races”

Andrew Bolt March 13 2015 (9:53am)

Labor leader Bill Shorten this week:
OPPOSITION Leader Bill Shorten has demanded that Tony Abbott apologise over his suggestion indigenous Australians were making “lifestyle choices” to live in remote communities… 
Mr Abbott yesterday said it was not the taxpayers’ job to “subsidise lifestyle choices” if indigenous people lived in remote areas far away from services such as schools and hospitals. “The prime minister should apologise,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne this afternoon.
Bill Shorten in 2013:
I don’t want to stop people living where they want to live. On the other hand, do you ask every other taxpayer to subsidise people’s lifestyle choices? I think that’s really hard … 
This is the dilemma about living in some areas which are highly risky. I mean, do you stop people living there altogether? Or do you say, okay, but you need to be aware of the risks of where you build and live. 
So why the different positions?
Here’s why: in 2013 Shorten was talking about “white” society; in 2015 he is talking about Aborigines.
Different rules for difference “races” under Labor.
UPDATE
You can’t admit Aborigines, like all humans, can make “lifestyle” choices unless you yourself are Aboriginal or a member of some other Left-approved demographic.
The Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research:
One of the complex and difficult features of education policy in general is that it is too easy to proceed along a course of untested assumptions… For example, figures on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educational access, participation, and outcomes for urban and remote areas are often grouped without reference to what are sharply different contexts. In this sense, little attention is given to the very different lifestyle choices and beliefs about education of indigenous people…

From the Bush Book, a health promotion by the Northern Territory health department:
Before European settlement Aboriginal people led a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle
The Cathy Freeman Foundation:
..the Foundation [works] effectively at a grassroots level within the community, helping to give Indigenous children access to quality education, sporting opportunities and healthy lifestyle choices – the ingredients for a bright future. 
The Labor Party in 2013: 
Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon today announced a major new investment to extend health services for more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people… The Healthy Choices are Deadly Choices campaign ... promotes healthy lifestyle choices including quitting smoking, physical activity and healthy eating.
NSW Board of Studies 2001 [under the Carr Labor Government):
Reclamation of culture and identity: this is best summed up in the expression ‘if you don’t know where you come from, you can’t know where you’re going’. Students are encouraged to explore their unique past in order to have self-determination for the future. We believe that valid lifestyle choices can only be made through self-discovery.
And in Canada, from the University of British Columbia’s First Nations Studies Program:
In his report, A Survey of the Contemporary Indians of Canada: Economic, Political, Educational Needs and Policies, Hawthorn ... recommended that Aboriginal peoples be considered “citizens plus” and be provided with the opportunities and resources to choose their own lifestyles, whether within reserve communities or elsewhere.

(Thanks to reader Alan RM Jones.) 
===

The blood price of racial politics

Andrew Bolt March 13 2015 (9:38am)

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America’s professional race-baiters, protected by President Obama, are getting the race war they seem to want:
Some supporters of demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri reacted to the shooting of two police officers by justifying or even celebrating the incident.
Read the tweets at the link. Plenty like these:
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===

Shorten flops on the ABC

Andrew Bolt March 13 2015 (9:14am)

Labor leader Bill Shorten gave a disastrous interview on ABC 774 this morning when asked to explain what he’d do to rescue our finances. All waffle, no solutions. All spin, no grip. Even ABC listeners were overwhelmingly underwhelmed, with most texts, emails and calls to the station condemning him.
UPDATE
Scenes from a car crash, and not even in slippery conditions.
First, Shorten seems unable to explain his beliefs. He just answers first by referring the questioner to the beliefs of the party he happens to lead, and then by quoting some greeting-card platitude he seems to have got from a screening of Selma:

FAINE 
If you got your hands on the levers, people are asking, what would you do, what does Bill Shorten actually believe in? 
SHORTEN 
Well, the Labor Party believes in lots of things and it’s a great opportunity this morning to talk about some of them.  What I fundamentally believe and I think it was Martin Luther King who said this best, but it’s, I think true then and it’s true now, is everybody is somebody. I believe in a chance where everybody gets the chance to fulfil their potential, where we are not a divided society but we’re a united society.

So what is his plan to get unemployment down and growth up? Blather follows:

SHORTEN 
It’s got to be about growth, it’s got to be about how we create wealth and then it’s ensuring we have a fair distribution of income, but we’ve got to have an economy that’s creating growth. We’ve got a couple of shocks underway in the Australian economy; one is the move from mining, investment in mining to investment in non-mining industries. We also need to make sure that we’re a scientific nation. That we are investing in innovation and research so all of this contributes to the fact that we need to be part of the Asian century, we need to engage for the rise of Asia. 
Er, I think the only bit that sounds close to a Shorten plan in that thicket of words is a suggestion that Labor would spend more on something called “innovation” and research.
Obvious next question:

FAINE 
So why oppose, for instance, a health research fund, which you did. The Government wanted to create one, you’ve blocked it.
SHORTEN 
Oh Jon, you don’t pay for future research by taxing people who are currently sick and vulnerable. But going to your key story, what you said, what does Labor think about the economy, think about future, in a nutshell, if you can do these matters quickly, we’re changing from mining, we’re seeing minerals prices going down, the Australian economy’s got to invest in alternative areas of growth.
So no to the Abbott Government’s plan to charge everyone but the very poor and the pensioners a Medicare copayment. But yes to even more spending, but now called “investment”, this time on something called “alternative areas of growth” which presumably will pay for everything.
But what are these “alternative areas of growth?”

Well it has to be in healthcare, in education, in environmental industries, in engaging with Asia, in services
These are “alternative areas of growth” that will pay for Labor’s spending? In fact, the first three are all growing area of expense, not income. Health spending alone per head of population is expected to double over the next 40 years, in real terms, according to the Intergenerational Report
Which makes the next question urgent:
FAINE 
How do you pay for [it]?
SHORTEN
Well then we get to the area of how do you drive growth, full stop. 
Sounds so easy. Sounds like no other government has ever hoped that growth would just take care of the soaring bills racked up by big-spending governments. Once again we’re back to Labor’s Magic Pudding, this massive growth that suddenly will come from somewhere, as if by magic, and raise more cash for Labor to spend.
But that’s just not good enough, Mr Shorten.
So let’s look at the most obvious option for a Labor government to get its hands on more cash - more taxes - and note how many words Shorten uses to avoid saying “yes”. Indeed, note how he slipped in the word “no” at the start of his answer when he does actually mean “yes”:
FAINE 
Do you want to put taxes up?
SHORTEN 
No well, the discussion we’re going to have is a bit longer than one liners and that’s what I think you said in your introduction and that’s what I think you said in your introduction, can we get beyond the one liners. If we accept that the Australian economy is changing, we’ve had six or seven years of mining boom and now we don’t. If you accept that commodity prices are down, well the third shock that Australia’s having is one which we couldn’t have predicted, that is the Government has manufactured a crisis in this country and they’ve shattered confidence ever since their unfair Budget, so the levers that Labor would pull is that we would invest in our education system, we’d make sure that we had a science based nation, we wouldn’t certainly be holding science and research in this country hostage with the threats of cuts as Christopher Pyne is doing, unless we vote for their unfair changes to Higher Education. 
In fact, Shorten has already committed to three new taxes - a new form of carbon tax, a new mining tax and a new tax on multinationals. He is also hinting strongly (see below) at new taxes, effectively, on super for the “rich”.
But all this still won’t help repay the massive debts Labor left us or stop these endless deficits. So the obvious next question - actually a repeat of the one Shorten has already failed to answer, and fails yet again. This time note how Shorten answers a question about paying for his promises by replying how he’ll actually spend more - “invest”, he calls it:
FAINE 
But how do you pay for all of this is the fundamental question…
SHORTEN 
Well, again, before I get to the latest question you ask, we’ve got to talk about what is happening in Australia, if you get that our economy is changing from mining, if you get that we’ve got the rise of Asia and we should be trying to benefit from that. If you get that the current Government upset the confidence of the nation, you then look at what are the levers that Government can pull and that’s the heart of your question. One is, we must invest in science and innovation, two, we must make sure that we’ve got an education system which is providing lifelong learning, from childcare through to schools through to higher ed and TAFE
Let’s try a third time to make Shorten explain how he’s pay for Labor’s past debt and future promises. And for a third time Shorten can talk only of spending even more money we no longer have - and again replaces the word “spend” with his one-word slogan of “invest”:
FAINE 
You’re at risk of repeating yourself, I’m asking you to explain how you pay for all of these things and the infrastructure that increasingly growing fast cities desperately need?
SHORTEN 
Well you go to the next lever, if education is one lever that the national government can help pull to make this country grow, because I believe that if you invest in people’s minds and let people fulfil their own potential then they will find those economic opportunities that are so necessary to growth. But then you get to infrastructure. We do need more infrastructure in this country, we need a national infrastructure market where people can invest in infrastructure projects in the future ... so there’s infrastructure, then there is education, and then there’s proper investment in science...
Let’s try a fourth time:
FAINE:

... it’s very hard to understand exactly how you would propose to pay for better health care, better education… 

SHORTEN
...What I’m doing this morning is I’m explaining to your listeners that the Labor I lead is thinking about the long-term…
FAINE
Sure, and you could promise everything, fundamentally, again and again and again, and I’ve asked you many times, how do you pay for it?
SHORTEN
I will come to that, but I’m just
FAINE
Well why don’t you do that now?
SHORTEN
....What I’m doing here is articulating what Labor stands for, because I think at the start of the show, that’s what you were saying, what does Labor stand for…
FAINE
Ok, let’s get to tax – where are the tax increases going to come from ?
SHORTEN
Well, first of all the Government’s said they are going to have a Federation Tax Whitepaper – we want to see what they’re going to say there and we’re prepared to be open minded and see what the ideas they come up with
FAINE
Are you going to end some, or would you end some of what are called middle class welfare or concessions to superannuation, negative gearing and the like?
SHORTEN
Well again, you’ve got three questions there, let’s take each of them in order. In terms of what you would call middle class welfare. When it comes to better targeted means testing in terms of family payments, Labor did that in government…
But then you went to the issue of superannuation tax concessions for instance. Labor does have a view that once people have a certain amount in their superannuation and I’m talking about large amounts, that some of the income they earn from it, once it passes, you know, into six figures, they don’t need a further tax concession, so we’ve been up for that discussion with the Government…
Finally! Shorten does threaten one new tax on super.
FAINE 
Ok, that’s not going to solve the problems of the Budget
SHORTEN 
No...
No, indeed.
So what else does Shorten have?
He then dives into a forest of syllables in search of a housing policy that’s hiding somewhere in that great tangle - or not:
SHORTEN 
In terms of housing affordability, there is a challenge around housing affordability and your point is, is a tax concession the best way to tackle housing, I think one of the big challenges in housing affordability is the supply of land, if you have more housing on the market, then that puts downward pressure on the price of houses, we do think housing affordability is an issue, but we also want to keep talking about what we’re already proposing. Politics, it’s very easy every day to move onto something, another topic. We’re determined to keep talking to Australians about how we make multinationals pay their fair share and we don’t think that all Australians are aware of our views on that yet, and we don’t think that all of the discussion has yet been exhausted and when you say, that would save the Government and the taxpayer a couple of billion dollars, I think that is a good start, I think that is important 
That’s the man the polls say will be your next Prime Minister just 18 months or so from now.
Full transcript:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Shorten flops on the ABC'
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Glenn Lazarus quits. Clive Palmer’s party destroyed

Andrew Bolt March 13 2015 (9:14am)

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Just seven month ago, so-called billionaire Clive Palmer was a powerful political player. He was a member of the House of Representatives and led a party with three Senators, two MPs in the Queensland Parliament and three more in the Northern Territory parliament.
But today there’s just him and Senator Dio Wang left after the most astonishing implosion.
August:

[Quensland] PUP leader Alex Douglas ...announced today he was quitting the role and resigning from the party amid complaints about “jobs for the boys”.
September:
Northern Territory politician Francis Xavier Kurrupuwu has ... left the PUP, saying he felt he could do a lot more for his electorate by being part of the Government.
October:
CLIVE Palmer’s last sitting Queensland MP, Carl Judge, has walked away from his party, saying he can better serve his electorate as an independent. 
November:
[Senator] Jacqui Lambie has quit the Palmer United Party as expected, declaring she would sit as an independent because it would be in the best interests of her Tasmanian constituents.
November:
ALISON Anderson ... — PUP’s Northern Territory leader — and loyal shadow Larisa Lee will quit Clive Palmer’s fracturing party because it had become a “total embarrassment” 
And now:
SENATOR for Queensland, Glenn Lazarus, today resigned from the Palmer United Party… 
The former rugby league international took a parting shot at the Palmer United Party. “I have a different view of team work. Given this, I felt it best that I resign from the party and pursue my Senate role as an independent Senator,” he wrote on Facebook. 
UPDATE
Does Palmer United Party strike you as a comic name, in retrospect?
UPDATE
The Abbott Government’s chances of negotiating things through the Senate have gradually improved as Palmer’s party gradually disintegrates.
UPDATE
Lazarus’s decision looks less principled:
However, PUP national director Peter Burke is linking the resignation to him sacking Tess Lazarus, the senator’s wife, for her job with the party. 
He said she had “failed to comply with the terms of her employment”. “Senator Lazarus’ resignation followed thereafter, with the reason being self-evident,” Mr Burke said in a statement.
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Why are gay groups and churches deaf to these threats?

Andrew Bolt March 13 2015 (8:30am)

I have asked why gay groups - even the churches - are so silent about the murder of gays by the Islamic State?
Why, indeed, are gay groups and the Left so silent about Islamic preaching against gays, when they are so vocal against the far less threatening Catholics?
How long can they ignore this:
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Watch the various clips and read the transcripts here.

(Thanks to reader Yolanda.) 
===

Islamist preaches more Jew-hatred in our suburbs

Andrew Bolt March 13 2015 (8:14am)

 This is an organisation that gets some 400 people to its meetings and is granted interviews on the ABC and SBS where its spokesmen are too rarely challenged:
THE top Australian cleric of extremist Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir has ramped up his hate speech in a rant referring to Jews as who have “corrupted the world” and will “pay for blood with blood”. 
In the latest tirade to surface, cleric Ismail al-Wahwah — representing an organisation whose stated aim is to take over the world — said recognising Jews constituted the “epitome of evil” because that would “strengthen the cancerous entity"…
In Mr al-Wahwah’s latest video speech, he says “refraining from fighting (Jews) constitutes widespread evil”. 
“Jews are the most evil creature of Allah. Moral corruption is linked to the Jews, prostitution in the world began with the Israelites. Usury and gambling began with the Israelites, killing began with the Israelites.”
Such putrid Jew-hatred would strike us as more shocking were in not for the sad fact that it’s cloaked by the extreme “anti-Zionism” of the Left.
I continue to be astonished that some of the Left used anti-racism laws to ban articles in which I argued we should treat all people equally, regardless of “race”, yet al-Wahwah is free to preach this poison.
More than 100 Muslim organisations and clerics, including the Grand Mufti, damned Tony Abbott for threatening Hizb ut-Tahrir’s freedom to preach hate. How many will now damn Hizb ut-Tahrir for how it exercises this freedom? Or will the Mufti continue to white-wash Hizb ut-Tahrir as merely a critic of the government, like a Robert Fisk.
UPDATE
The Leftist ocean in which fish like al-Wahwah swim. Here are militant anti-Zionists using physical force to crash a discussion at Sydney University on the Middle East and harangue the speakers, the audience and Israel:

But this image from the protest is the most shocking. It is of Professor Jake Lynch, the director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, angrily brandishing money in the face of Jewish students support Israel:
image
Taunting Jews with money strikes me a play to the sickest of anti-Jewish stereotypes. But Lynch insists he didn’t mean that. The Australian Jewish News has his explanation:
The screenshot you see was supplied to The AJN by [the Australian Union of Jewish Students] with the explanation that Prof Lynch was holding the money out in front of the student. The AJN has since spoken to Prof Lynch, his explanation is that a woman behind the student (not visible in the frame) was physically attacking him and he held out the money to illustrate that he would sue her if she did not stop. Full coverage in next week’s AJN.
Hmm.
I want to see a statement from Sydney University assuring students of two things:
- free inquiry and debate at the university are valued and will be protected from attempts to shut them down.
- Jewish students and supporters of Israel will be protected from physical harassment and academics will treat them with common courtesy and respect.
(Thanks to reader Grendel.) 
===

Triggs can’t pretend she can just hang on

Andrew Bolt March 13 2015 (8:06am)

Chris Merritt says Gillian Triggs can’t simply stay at Human Rights Commission head as if nothing has happened:
THE struggle between Gillian Triggs and the federal government is not over… 
Tony Abbott and the president of the Human Rights Commission have said and done things that mean the commission’s most important responsibility — its tribunal function — is becoming unworkable. A national institution is at risk.
It will remain this way until Triggs resigns or recuses herself from much of her role in handing down determinations in disputes over breaches of human rights....
If Abbott is to be consistent, and if he values the commission’s tribunal function, he has no choice but to ask Triggs to step aside from every matter involving the government. Failure to do so will result in findings that will never be taken seriously.
He should be talking to Attorney-General George Brandis now about a formal request for the president of the commission to recuse herself. The longer they delay, the greater the threat to the institution.
For her part, Triggs should not wait to be asked. Her public statements on migration detention mean she will never be trusted as an impartial arbiter on this subject. She has a fixed view.
Triggs has trashed the commission’s [ill-deserved] reputation for impartiality. She has weakened it badly. For the sake of the commission, she should go.
(Thanks to reader WaG311.) 
===

ABC exaggerates opposition to NSW Liberals’ brave plan

Andrew Bolt March 13 2015 (7:46am)

 The ABC promotes - and inflates - opposition to the NSW Liberal Government’s plan to lease the state’s poles and wires - a critical election issue.
Newsreader Juanita Phillips, partner of former Labor Minister and ACTU secretary Greg Combet, announces:
Even third of LIBERAL voters don’t want Mike Baird to privatise poles and wires. 
Yet the story goes on to show that only a quarter, not a third, of Liberals are against the privatisation that is so opposed by Labor and its union mates:
image
(Thanks to reader Brian.)  
===

QUEEN ELIZABETH REINS OVER US

Tim Blair – Thursday, March 13, 2014 (1:11pm)

Elizabeth Farrelly – whose epic sense of personal entitlement is a matter of record – calls for a reining-in
It’s plain that eco-conscious living involves a reining-in of personal entitlement in the interests of the collective good. This is not socialism. It’s just common sense. 
Presumably that call is meant for people other than Farrelly. Here she lists some of her holiday venues
Mediterranean villages, Balinese mountaintops, luxury yachts. 
And just last August Elizabeth was reining over England: 
London in summer is like a fat girl in a bikini. Wildly different, unexpectedly lovely & gloriously inappropriate. 
(Via handjive)
===

WRONG AGAIN, BANDANA BOY

Tim Blair – Thursday, March 13, 2014 (4:33am)

On the weekend, rag-topped SMH embarrassment Peter FitzSimons looked forward to Tuesday’s radio ratings
I have two key predictions. Kyle and Jackie O will be well down on KiisFM from the heights they knew on 2DayFM. The obvious hope was that they would bring that audience with them, but to judge by my daughter and her friends, though they liked the duo on 2Day a lot, they don’t quite know what or where KiisFM is, and haven’t bothered to switch. 
Other children located the pair without difficulty. FitzSimons continued: 
And the second prediction is that Angela Catterns will surge in the morning slot on 2UE … the former ABC broadcaster has been a revelation this year. I, for one, had forgotten how informative, balanced and entertaining she is. There has long been criticism that commercial talkback lacks strong female voices, but she is all that and more and will break the mould. 2UE will rise this year, with her at the prow. You heard it here, first! 
Catterns surged all the way from 3.0 per cent to 3.8 per cent. Rise!
(Via TPR)
===

BEING BOSSY

Tim Blair – Thursday, March 13, 2014 (3:53am)

bossy bid to ban an utterly inoffensive word: 
Can banning one school-yard word really change the world? Sheryl Sandberg says yes.
Sandberg – the chief operating officer of Facebook and author of the best-selling book “Lean In” – is spearheading the launch of a campaign today to ban the word “bossy,” arguing the negative put-down stops girls from pursuing leadership roles. 
It also restricts cows:

image
Don’t call me Bossy!
===

I’M GOING TO HAVE TO FIGHT THIS CAT

Tim Blair – Thursday, March 13, 2014 (3:40am)

A terrified parent prepares for battle after his family is taken hostage by a pet cat. Listen here to the fellow’s emergency call.
===

MA FAIRFAX

Tim Blair – Thursday, March 13, 2014 (2:43am)

Fairfax’s favourite stock image scowly lady makes yet another appearance:

image

Fairfax really should use her to illustrate every Fairfax story. She’s the company’s perfect emblem: scolding, nannyish and humourless. 
===

UNSETTLED AND DERAILED

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 12, 2014 (2:09pm)

If anybody wants some sedatives, don’t bother asking Jenna Price. The outraged journalism academic is clearly low on supplies
Of the many utterly loathsome actions of the members of this government, the attempt to besmirch, belittle and demean our ABC is among the worst.
There can be no other analysis of this concerted campaign than to say it is a determined attack on democracy … 
Sure, Jenna. Whatever you say. Then follows a paragraph that might work better if it was screamed in the dark: 
You can imagine, of course, how uncomfortable this must make those who lie for a living. Who cannot bear the forensics of investigation, which good reporters carry out on behalf of the nation. This is where, in the studios of Ultimo, in Parliament House, this is where and when we find out whether our future Prime Ministers have bothered to read the financial statements of the companies about which they proclaim. This is where we can, from the comfort of our couches, cheer drink every time we hear those words “carbon tax” or “penalty rates” without one whit of proof from those who claim to understand our economy. Who claim to have the ears of the ranks of C-suite around the country. Who pretend to know what horrors are being perpetrated in our names on those who seek asylum. 
I don’t know about you, but I need a stiff cheer drink after that. 
For the past six months – at least – Coalition politician after Coalition politician has sought to derail the national broadcaster, to threaten covertly its managing director, Mark Scott, to unsettle and derail its reporters … 
Poor reporters. They’ve been “unsettled”. Imagine how much more unsettled they might be if the government, say, tried to silence or intimidate them. Price (shown here in her cardigan of concern) ends with a swipe at The Australian‘s Chris Kenny: 
It’s our ABC. Not yours. 
That’ll be good news for Chris, who can no doubt expect a tax refund for decades of contributions to something he doesn’t own. Wouldn’t mind a piece of that myself.
UPDATE. Poor, sensitive Jenna
It’s always been my problem that I feel too much. 
===

The first whiff of a recovery

Andrew Bolt March 13 2014 (12:37pm)

Growth up a little. Retail sales a lot. Now this:
AUSTRALIA’S jobs market roared back to life in February, generating almost 50,000 new jobs, more than enough to offset announced high-profile losses at Qantas, Alcoa, Holden and Toyota.

An increase in the number of people looking for work helped keep the national unemployment rate unchanged at 6 per cent for the second month in a row - the participation rate rose from a near eight-year low of 64.6 per cent to 64.8 per cent. 

While part-time work retreated since January the number of full-time jobs surged by 80,000 to 8.05 million, bringing the total number of Australians in work for more than one hour a week to 11.53 million, a record high thanks also to a continually rising population.
Could Abbott get his reward? Could the country? 
===

How today’s “anti-racists” are exactly what they say they condemn

Andrew Bolt March 13 2014 (11:07am)

Marcia Langton claims I intimidate Aborigines of fair complexion:
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Langton is encouraged by Djarmbi Supreme, who in turn is encouraged by her:

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He is paid by taxpayers:
Djarmbi, who works as an Aboriginal Education Officer in Aboriginal Health...
Djarmbi, who was raised mostly by his white mother and solicitor step-father, claims to hate racists and says I am one:
I wanna spear that Andrew Bolt c..t 
To prove light skin mob still practise culture
That’s word… Honest...that’s my word 
I won’t sleep easy till that rat gets burnt
He means it:
“So yeah, I really do want to spear him in the leg - that’s not a joke.”
He thinks I’ve been too mean, and urges me to be kinder:
An open letter to Andrew Bolt,

I hope you get face cancer.... I want you to suffer and be humiliated. You are a piece of sub-human trash.
But he worries the face cancer might be too slow a death for me, and suggests if “everybody chucked in a dollar we could have this c..t murdered”:
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(The red censor’s pen is my own.)
This thought has occurred to other Leftists fighting for a kinder and reconciled Australia - people like film-maker Justin Olstein:
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Greens candidate Michael Quall is equally devoted to reconciliation and “caring” as any of those above:
Michael ...  has worked for the federal, ACT & Queensland public sectors, after commencing a distinguished career at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra in 1993… 
He has served as the CEO of Aboriginal corporations in Western Australia and Queensland, and has sat on the boards of several NGOs in both Canberra and Brisbane, including Volunteering Queensland and the Youth Coalition of the ACT which he chaired. Michael has also chaired two Ministerial Councils reporting to the ACT Government…
Michael is also a former Young Canberra Citizen of the Year, ACT NAIDOC Young Aboriginal Person of the Year, and a recipient of the Centenary Medal… 
At the forefront of Australia’s Reconciliation and anti-racism movements for many years, Michael … passionately believes in the message of the Australian Greens, and strives in his own life, and to encourage others around him, to live the ideals of a compassionate, caring, and sustainable existence.
Naturally, being so committed to reconciliation, he is not in favor of murdering me - just beating me to within an inch of my life. Writing two years ago under his performance name:
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(Thanks to reader Peter H.) 
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The best way to save Qantas? Fly it, don’t subsidise it

Andrew Bolt March 13 2014 (7:40am)

Niki Savva: 
GIVEN his fevered defence of its workers and the need to keep Qantas Australian, coupled with his accusations that if the government abandoned them they would be taken over by - horror - Chinese or Middle Eastern airlines, it seemed reasonable to ask Bill Shorten about his own flight plans. 
In January, Shorten and his wife Chloe travelled to Paris and London. Mrs Shorten’s business-class ticket was paid for by Labor law firm Slater & Gordon. His was paid by the taxpayer… Bottom line: no, he never actually made it on to a Qantas plane on any of the legs - a fact that will give the government a priceless comeback next time the issue arises. There are people who put our money where their mouth is. Then there are others who simply mouth off.
(Thanks to reader Peter.) 
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Marcia Langton says sorry for falsely accusing me on ABC TV of racial abuse. Will the ABC?

Andrew Bolt March 13 2014 (7:37am)

The politics of race

Aboriginal academic Professor Marcia Langton apologised to me last night for her false claims on Q&A on Monday that I’d racially abuse a colleague and driven her from public life.
She also apologised for equally false claims - made in The Age three years ago - that I believed in the “master race” and “racial hygiene”.
Langton admitted I was not a racist, despite claiming the opposite on national television on Monday. But she refused to explain why she just made things up about me, and why she’s called so many people racist. Listen to our confrontation here.
Will the ABC’s Q&A next Monday now correct the record and apologise for airing what host Tony Jones called ”those sort of facts”? Langton’s slurs devastated me and were false and defamatory. The damage should be repaired as best the ABC can.
From the transcript…

Langton apologises for falsely claiming on Q&A on Monday that I believed in “race theories” and had subjected one of her colleagues to to “foul abuse ... simply racial abuse”, had “argued that (her colleague) had no right to claim that she was Aboriginal”, and had hurt her that she “withdrew from public life”:

BOLT:  Marcia, I want to summarise them. You said I heaped racial abuse on Misty Jenkins. False. You said that I questioned her right to identify as Aboriginal. False, because you can see the paragraph in front of you. I am sure you are looking - I wrote one paragraph about itand I’m sure you’re looking at it now and you can see it’s not true what you said. You said she was so traumatised she withdrew from public life. False. She’s very involved in public life. Everything you said was false and I’m wondering if I’m going to get an apology from you. 
LANGTON: I will apologise to you.
////
BOLT:  I asked you why you made stuff up about me on Monday. You apologise, but you don’t actually say why you did it.
LANGTON: You won’t let me answer the question.
BOLT: I can’t tell you how hurt I was.
LANGTON: You won’t let me answer the question.
BOLT: All, right. Answer it. Why did you make stuff up about me on Monday? 
LANGTON: Well, that’s not the question I’m answering.
Langton apologises for saying three years ago that I believed in the “master race” and Nazi theories of “racial hygiene”:
BOLT: Two years ago i asked you to apologise for making other just as terrible comments about me then.  You privately, in a lunch hosted by the ABC’s Jon Faine, said that you apologised to me – privately. Said you’d consider doing it publicly and I never got it. 
LANGTON: I apologised for hurting your feelings.
BOLT: No. No.
LANGTON: You said at that lunch your feelings were hurt. And I said I apologise if I hurt your feelings.

BOLT:  You said you apologised for calling me someone who believed in the master race.
LANGTON: Well, I did apologise for that. Yes,
BOLT:  Yes. And you never did it publicly. I want to go back to this. Again
LANGTON: Well, I do it now. Andrew, can I do it now? I apologise for saying that you believe in the master race. But let’s go to what you actually said…
BOLT:  And racial hygiene? What about the racial hygiene crack? That I believed in racial hygiene.
LANGTON:  What I was explaining in that article is that there are concepts of race going around in our community. And one can interpret a lot of what you say as, ah, ah 
BOLT:  Only if you’ve got a nasty disposition would you interpret what I think as being allied to Nazi thoughts of racial hygiene. It was a disgusting crack.
Langton admits I am not a racist:
PRICE:  Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. Stephen here.  Do you genuinely believe that Andrew Bolt is a racist?LANGTON: Well, no, I don’t think he’s a racist but I think he goes too close to the line
UPDATE
Warren Mundine, the Abbott Government’s top adviser on Aboriginal issues didn’t like the arguments I put in my banned articles (but is that really reason to ban them?). Still, as Langton now admits, he agrees I am not a racist:
I know Andrew Bolt, I know he’s not a racist, I know he’s an alright bloke.
A partial transcript here (sorry, ran out of puff near 1am.):

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Marcia Langton says sorry for falsely accusing me on ABC TV of racial abuse. Will the ABC?'
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Taxpayers shouldn’t pay for the delicate - or deadly - principles of the artist

Andrew Bolt March 13 2014 (7:27am)

An elegant and principled move by George Brandis to educate artists on the important link between well-meaning actions and their consequences - you know, like “compassion” and a 1000 dead boat people:
FEDERAL Arts Minister George Brandis has signalled a significant shake-up of arts funding to avoid political “blackballing”, in the wake of what he describes as the “shameful” decision by the Biennale of Sydney to reject private sponsorship from Transfield… 
The minister has sent a strongly worded letter to Australia Council chairman Rupert Myer, demanding a new policy to deal with any applicant that “refuses funding offered by corporate sponsors, or terminates a current funding agreement”.
The letter - obtained by The Australian - stresses that when government funding for the arts is under budgetary pressure, it is “difficult to justify” funding an arts festival that has rejected the financial support of its principal private partner.
“You will readily understand,” writes the minister, “that taxpayers will say to themselves: ‘If the Sydney Biennale doesn’t need Transfield’s money, why should they be asking for ours?’ “ 
The Sydney Biennale last week rejected its “founding partner” sponsorship from Transfield Holdings (believed to be worth $600,000 annually) after nine artists boycotted the event on the grounds that the company has a minority shareholding in Transfield Services, which has contracts to operate the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres.
Paul Sheehan:
… the Biennale board delivered an almighty, ungracious, short-sighted and ultimately gutless humiliation and rejection of the Belgiorno-Nettis family, which has nurtured the Biennale from its inception 41 years ago and sustained it with millions of dollars worth of sponsorship grants… 
Because of the Belgiorno-Nettis family, Transfield Holdings has also been a long-term sponsor of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Walsh Bay Sculpture Walk and Sculpture by the Sea and has supported the Art Gallery of NSW.
And remember the suffering the artists never protested against - and the solution to which they now oppose:
More than a thousand men, women and children died as a result of Labor, the Greens and open-border activists letting the chaos begin, then refusing to accept the consequences of their actions. 
Well, let them at least face the consequence of their boycott.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Called racist just once too often. To fight or to hide?

Andrew Bolt March 13 2014 (12:37am)

Free speechThe politics of race


STRANGE, after all I’ve been through, but Monday on the ABC may have been finally too much for me.
You see, I was denounced on Q&A - on national television - as a racist. I watched in horror as Aboriginal academic Marcia Langton falsely accused me of subjecting one of her colleagues - “very fair-skinned, like my children” - to “foul abuse ... simply racial abuse”.

Langton falsely claimed I was a “fool” who believed in “race theories” and had “argued that (her colleague) had no right to claim that she was Aboriginal”. I had so hurt this woman she “withdrew from public life” and had given up working with students (something seemingly contradicted by the CV on her website).
And when Attorney-General George Brandis hotly insisted I was not racist, the ABC audience laughed in derision.
Not one other panellist protested against this lynching. In fact, host Tony Jones asked Brandis to defend “those sort of facts” and Channel 9 host Lisa Wilkinson accused me of “bullying”. And all panellists agreed Brandis should drop the government’s plan to loosen the Racial Discrimination Act’s restrictions on free speech, which the RDA used to ban two of my articles.
Can the Abbott Government resist the pressure from ethnic and religious groups to back off?
So it feels I’ve lost, and not just this argument. I feel now the pressure to stop resisting the Government’s plan to change the Constitution to recognise Aborigines as the first people here - a dangerous change, which divides us according to the “race” of some of our ancestors.
My wife now wants me to play safe and stop fighting this new racism, and this time I’m listening.
This time I was so bruised by Q&A that I didn’t go into work on Tuesday. I couldn’t stand any sympathy - which you get only when you’re meant to feel hurt.
It was scarifying, even worse than when a Jewish human rights lawyer told a Jewish Federal Court judge that my kind of thinking was “exactly the kind of thing that led to the Nuremberg race laws” and the Holocaust - a ghastly smear published in most leading newspapers. That time, at least, half a dozen Jewish and Israeli community leaders and officials, who knew my strong support for their community, privately assured me such comments were outrageous and the attempt by a group of Aboriginal academics, artists and activists to silence me wrong.
True, none said so publicly for the next two years for fear of discrediting the RDA, which they hope protects them, yet it was some consolation.
But this?
How could I have failed so completely to convince so many people that I am actually fighting exactly what I’m accused of?
The country’s most notorious racist today is someone whose most infamous article, now banned by the Federal Court for the offence it gave “fair-skinned Aborigines”, actually argued against divisions of “race” and the fashionable insistence on racial “identity”.
It ended with a paragraph the court does not let me repeat, but which I will paraphrase as precisely as my lawyer allows:
(Read the full article here.) 
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Among the very greatest of all

Andrew Bolt March 12 2014 (6:26pm)

Your favorite books, poems and music - and mine

A terrific essay on Joseph Conrad by Theodore Dalrymple.
And I’ll repeat, having started rereading War and Peace - the greatest of writers, unlike the mediocre, are often conservatives. And, yes, I do include Dickens (as I explain in comments here).
(Thanks to reader James.) 
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“It’s our ABC,” Leftist journalism lecturer tells conservatives

Andrew Bolt March 12 2014 (6:10pm)

Culture warsMedia

Jenna Price, a fact-challenged teacher of journalism, hyperventilates over conservatives asking the ABC to merely honor its obligation to be balanced:
Of the many utterly loathsome actions of the members of this government, the attempt to besmirch, belittle and demean our ABC is among the worst. 
There can be no other analysis of this concerted campaign than to say it is a determined attack on democracy; the right of reporters to ask the hardest questions; and the right of the citizenry to expect its journalists will speak truth to power.
Price quotes in evident disapproval a polite request I made to the Left to simply share a resource we all pay for, as is fair:
And those attacks have had a chorus of approval from the fankids of the right, from Andrew Bolt to free speech musketeer Chris Kenny (with his own pet hashtag, #theirabc) to Miranda Devine. 
Wrote Bolt in February: “Realise how unfair it would be to have the taxpayer-funded ABC completely in the hands of one political caste?” 
Showing no sign of having contemplated for a second what I was actually asking, Price sends a message to conservatives - and especially to Chris Kenny, who was called a “dogf’...er” on ABC TV with a mocked-up picture shown of him sodomising a dog:
It’s our ABC. Not yours.
No, Jenna. The ABC does not belong to just you and your tribe. It belongs to us all. Check its charter.
And this woman teaches journalists. Pity any conservatives in her class. 
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Marcia Langton plays the full deck of race cards

Andrew Bolt March 12 2014 (4:09pm)

How many people has Aboriginal academic accused of racism - directly or by clear inference - just for having a different opinion to her own?
Professor Boris Frankel:
Indigenous academic Marcia Langton has again accused a prominent rival of “racism”, using an internal university mailing list to sledge a critic of her controversial ABC Boyer Lectures… Professor Boris Frankel ... in the latest Arena Magazine ... wrote of his disappointment over Langton’s “simplistic narrative of goodies and baddies based on an equally simplistic political geography"… 
But Langton’s riposte published last week on the AASnet mailing list says Frankel’s critique could not be taken seriously because he is “racist”: “History will judge Frankel’s attack on me as dubious, questionable critique with no evidence to support his outrageous claims … like some of you, Frankel believes that it is legitimate to say anything at all, even with no evidence, about me. The racism is obvious and, as I said, I will respond fully in due course.”
Professor Germaine Greer:
Marcia Langton has delivered a stinging rebuke to Germaine Greer, describing her views as outdated and simplistic and condemning the feminist for a “cleverly disguised” racist attack on Aboriginal people. Writing in The Australian today, Professor Langton dismisses Greer’s claims that Aboriginal men suffer a rage they “can’t get over” ... 
“Taken as a whole, her arguments are racist,” says Professor Langton, the chair of Australian indigenous studies at Melbourne University.
Professor Tim Flannery:
ABORIGINAL academic Marcia Langton has accused former Australian of the year Tim Flannery of holding a racist belief that indigenous Australians are ‘’enemies of nature’’… 
Professor Langton said the ‘’racist assumption in the green movement about Aboriginal people being the enemies of the wilderness’’ had been a recurring theme in deals between conservation groups and state governments ‘’to colonise Aboriginal land under the green flag’’… Accusing conservationists and governments of ‘’racist chicanery’’, Professor Langton said Aboriginal lands held a diversity of fauna and flora because of ancient Aboriginal systems of management, and because indigenous people had fought to protect their territories from white incursion.
Labour lawyer Josh Bornstein:
Mr Bornstein tweeted, “Tim Flannery is racist and all black fellas are budding mining magnates. Did I get that right, Marcia Langton?” 
Professor Langton replied: “No stupid, you didn’t.” After he commented on her “mild and unimaginative abuse”, the Melbourne University professor snapped back, “Doodums. Did the nig nog speak back? ...”
Historian Geoffrey Partington:
“Hitler had Goebbels, John Howard’s got Geoffrey Partington ...  This is the treason of the clerks that Dr Coombs was talking about that we let people like this assume the mantle of historian when the unmitigated garbage that comes from his pen and his mouth.”
Professor Larissa Behrendt, who, ironically, accused me of racial discrimination:
“Behrendt, on the other hand, was raised in suburban Sydney. Her mother is white, and her late father was removed from his family… Behrendt and the other anti-intervention campaign maestros have assumed the role of superior thinkers whose grand education and positions in the metropolis qualify them to heap contempt on the natives of that faraway place where other urban Australians rarely tread foot and about which they sustain a romantic out-of-date mythological view. 
“In this view, one sustained by Behrendt and company, the natives are simply not smart or sophisticated enough to know what is right for them. Once upon a time this was the role of the patrol officers, now it’s the turn of the city slicker Aborigines with an axe to grind.” 
Prime Minister John Howard:
“...the race-hatred wielded with callous deliberation and deviousness by Howard’s regime ...” 
Me (2012):
“These trails of his thinking are not so much spoken out loud but the silent assumptions of a code of racial hygiene that is older than this nation itself. It was ideas about racial purity, racial hygiene, the master race, the inferior races, a perverted idea about the survival of the fittest and other such nonsense that led to the incarceration of Aboriginal people in reserves in the 19th century to prevent ‘’mixing’’ of the ‘’races’’ and later, the segregation laws that specified where and how ‘’half-castes’’ and other ‘’castes’’ could live. [Note: Langton’s claims are false.]”
Me (2014):
“In my opinion, the articles that (Andrew) Bolt wrote about several Aboriginal people were far from the subject of politics and simply abusive. Now, just to take one instance, there was a young woman who was the victim of his abuse ... Dr Misty Jenkins ... the victim of foul abuse from Bolt now, nothing that he said about her was political. It was simply racial abuse. He argued that she had no right to claim that she was Aboriginal and, like most fools who put this argument in public, we are expected to deny our parents and our grandparents because somebody believes in race theories. So, I absolutely refute ... that this has to do with … (the) suppression of political debate. [Langton’s claims are false.]”
Journalism academic Wendy Bacon and former ABC journalist Wendy Carlisle:
And earlier this week she assailed two prominent critics - journalism academic and New Matilda contributing editor Wendy Bacon and former ABC investigative journalist Wendy Carlisle - failing to grasp the “invisibility of racism” because they had not “hounded” other Boyer lecturers over conflicts of interest. The bitter exchange occurred after Crikey drew attention to the fact both Langton and the ABC had failed to disclose tens of thousands of dollars in research cash provided by resources giants, including Rio Tinto and Woodside, that she later singled out as indigenous employment champions.
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ABC audit: if stories are biased, it’s to the Left

Andrew Bolt March 12 2014 (3:51pm)

Culture warsMedia

We are to believe the ABC isn’t really biased of the Left, apart from those times that even its handpicked assessors admit that it is:
Two independent audits of ABC news and current affairs stories and political interviews have found the public broadcaster overwhelmingly meets its professional standards and is fair and impartial. 
More than 95% of the content examined attracted no criticism or concerns from the two non-ABC reviewers: author and journalist Gerald Stone and former BBC journalist Andrea Wills. However, out of 97 stories about asylum seekers there were some issues identified by Stone as “raising concerns about the standard of coverage and requiring further investigation”, one on 7:30 and four on Lateline. 
So no bias, except for five out of the 97 stories - which, oddly enough, all tilt to the Left’s side of the argument. What a coincidence!
From the Stone report
Segment 1: Tamils speak out about against ASIO security rulings 
Summary of content: Three Tamil men initially accepted as refugees in Australia complain that they had subsequently been wrongly branded as security threats by ASIO and thus have been confined indefinitely in Villawood Detention Centre without recourse to legal appeal or knowing what the allegations are against them. Their cause is supported by an eminent barrister, Phillip Boulten, SC, who argues that it is patently unjust for them to be denied access to any means of appeal, effectively left in limbo for the rest of their lives. The three Tamil men agreed to give interviews to Lateline to win support for their cause....
Initial Finding: This report deserves credit for exposing a possibly grave injustice and its show of sympathy for the potential victims is understandable. Still, it failed to apply the required degree of scrutiny to them as well to the expert witness, thus weakening the impact of an otherwise compelling story by tainting it with suspicion of bias.

Segment 5: People-smuggling accused ‘victims of smugglers’

Summary of content: Reporter Brown visits an impoverished fishing village on the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi with a lawyer representing one of some 300 Indonesians held in Australian prisons on people-smuggling charges. The lawyer, Edwina Lloyd, insists that her client, who comes from this particular village, had no knowledge whatsoever that he was being asked to commit an illegal act when he agreed to serve as crewman on a vessel carrying a group of travellers… Lloyd proceeds to go around the village taking photographs as ‘evidence’ of how poor the villagers are. She meets with the fisherman’s wife who tells her she is so sad about her husband’s prolonged absence that ‘I cry every day.’ The wife shows her Australian visitors the grave of an infant son who died of chickenpox while her husband was being held in custody....  Lloyd sums up her case by describing villagers like these as too uneducated to know anything about politics or the law....
Finding: The segment appeared to have only one purpose --to exploit the bias of imagery to evoke sympathy for crew members of people- smuggling vessels.

Segment 6: Sri Lanka still unsafe

Summary of content: According to Tony Jones’s introduction, Lateline had gained access to a new documentary entitled ‘Silenced Voices’ purporting to have evidence of war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan government during the civil war and expressing grave concerns about the fate of countless thousands of Tamils following the defeat of their military wing. Jones advised that the story to follow, featuring interviews with two journalists who appeared in the documentary, suggested that the most recent asylum seekers arriving in Australian waters from Sri Lanka were escaping human rights abuses. That assessment differed markedly from the Federal Opposition’s depiction of them as merely ‘economic’ refugees seeking better living conditions....
Evaluation: The introduction to this segment overstated its relevance to the asylum seeker debate as it plays out in Parliament. The story itself, in my estimation, offered nothing approaching proof of officially sanctioned persecution. Nevertheless, there are certainly grounds for concern that deserve the attention of a serious current affairs program and the High Commissioner’s appearance met the standard of balance.

Segment 7: Australia ‘does not deserve a Security Council seat


Summary of content: The report returns to a subject previously covered in segment 1, namely the plight of three Tamil refugees branded security risks. The focus this time is on Premakumar, brain damaged after being beaten by Sri Lankan soldiers… The program quotes a witness at Villawood who claimed Premakumar had been assaulted by SERCO security guards at Villawood… [T]his segment also features an interview with Ben Saul, professor of international law at Sydney University and a lawyer representing 38 Tamil refugees assessed by ASIO as security risks. He takes the view that Australia did not deserve to win its bid for a seat on the Security Council because its policies towards refugees were in violation of United Nations requirements and so inhumane as to cause them mental distress.
Evaluation: In journalistic terms the interview with Dr Saul was used as a ‘peg’ to revisit and update the programs previous story on Tamil refugees complaining about ASIO assessments. The report, however, failed to raise questions that certainly needed asking Doesn’t Australia at least deserve recognition for taking in more migrants –including refugees—per capita than almost any other nation? If human rights abuse was a bar to Security Council membership why had it been granted in the past to numerous nations controlled by dictatorial regimes?…
Dr Saul is undoubtedly qualified to offer his opinion on the complex issue of eligibility for Security Council membership. If Lateline’s producers, however, still felt that particular subject was important enough to bring to the attention of a national TV audience, then weren’t they obliged by the standard of balance to devote a separate segment to it—a debate in which Saul’s partisan views could be challenged by someone prepared to argue that every nation has the right to assess potential security threats among its newly arrived refugees?

Segment 20: Torture claims emerge from Sri Lanka
Summary of content: Leigh Sales introduces this report by calling attention to the fact that Tamil asylum seekers are now routinely being forced to return to their homeland because the government insists they no longer face the threat of officially-condoned persecution ‘But tonight,’ she adds, ‘one Sri Lankan Tamil living in Australia tells a very different and disturbing story, a story of torture at the hands of the Sri Lankan Army Intelligence just last month.’ ...
Evaluation:  ... I was left with no doubt that his account, as he related it, was credible. In my opinion, however, the program’s treatment of his account contained a fatal flaw.

Here is how reporter Ewart introduced her star witness in her voice over commentary. ‘Kumar….says… he was abducted, raped and tortured by Sri Lankan Army Intelligence officers.’ The problem is, he doesn’t say that at all in terms of what the program actually put to air. The transcript—the exact words viewers would have heard-- contains only one reference to army intelligence. ‘They told my brother that we are from army intelligence.’
In the course of the interview, as broadcast nationally, there was no mention of the two men establishing their identity with official credentials. The place where he was taken, as he described it, may have had bloodstains on the wall but he makes no mention in the program of seeing other guards around it, flags, uniforms or anything to suggest it was a military establishment. Of course, an ordinary viewer might well suppose that’s exactly how military intelligence would operate. The job of a journalist, however, is to exercise extreme caution when hearing the words ‘they told.’ ...
It’s not hard to think of plausible alternatives to who they might have been. They could have been ill-disciplined soldiers or plainclothes policemen acting on their own. In the unsettled aftermath following 30 years of bitter civil war, they could have been Sinhalese ruffians out to cause mischief, taking the law into their own hands. Or they could simply have been extortionists seeing profit to be made in holding a wealthy restaurant owner’s newly arrived nephew for ransom.
Meanwhile, given Sri Lanka’s efforts to deny all accusations of continued persecution of Tamils, one might assume the last thing a government-controlled agency like Army Intelligence would want to do was arrest a Tamil who now made his home in Australia and send him back with gruesome burn scars for all to see—not exactly as subtle a form of torture as water-boarding.

A typical viewer, when confronted with such imagery, is almost certain to conclude: it’s got to be the military intelligence that did that! There’s only the program to warn them of other possibilities and the only permissible word for a journalist to use in introducing a report of such potential impact was a clear-cut alleged as in ‘alleged to be army intelligence agents’. The use of such a qualification is not a sign of weakness for a well- respected current affairs program –it is a mark of its reliability in distinguishing between proven fact and assumption. Instead, Leigh Sales effectively declared the 7:30 Report to have evidence, in the form of a victim’s statement, telling ‘a story of torture at the hands of the Sri Lankan Army Intelligence just last month.’ 
Five stories, all sympathetic to the Left’s side of the argument. How curious.
Bear in mind, though, that bias is not just evident by the treatment of the topic selected. It is also evident by the selection of the topic itself. Why, for instance, do repeated stories on allegations on Sri Lankan Government oppression rather than repeated stories on people falsely claiming refugee status? Why do repeated stories questioning the tactics used to stop boats rather than questioning the failure to do what’s required?
By the way, can I do the next audit - of, say, the ABC’s coverage of global warming? 
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SON: "Daddy, may I ask you a question?"
DAD: "Yeah sure, what is it?"
SON: "Daddy, how much do you make an hour?"
DAD: "That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?"
SON: "I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?"
DAD: "If you must know, I make $100 an hour."
SON: "Oh! (With his head down).
SON: "Daddy, may I please borrow $50?"
The father was furious.
DAD: "If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work hard everyday for such this childish behavior."
The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.
The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?
After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think:
Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $ 50 and he really didn't ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door.
DAD: "Are you asleep, son?"
SON: "No daddy, I'm awake".
DAD: "I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier. It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the $50 you asked for."
The little boy sat straight up, smiling.
SON: "Oh, thank you daddy!"
Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father.
DAD: "Why do you want more money if you already have some?"
SON: "Because I didn't have enough, but now I do.
"Daddy, I have $100 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you."
The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness. It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $100 worth of your time with someone you love? If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family and friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family.

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Fog City - San Francisco

The fog rolls into the bay. It was about the right amount of fog that it does not cover the whole city :) It is one of the reason people call it - fog city . One of my lucky snapshot of the day with the classic fog in the bay area.

#fogcity
 — at Marin Headlands.
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LABOR ……. A DANGER TO OUR ECONOMY & A DANGER TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH

“This government will go down in history as the first Australian government outside of wartime to attack freedom of speech by seeking to introduce a regime which effectively institutes government sanctioned journalism." 
News Limited CEO Kim Williams 

If anyone was even thinking of voting Labor at the next election, this should be wakeup call - for at the next election, not only is our economy at stake, so too is our democracy and freedom of speech.
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Global warming causes scrotum shortage

Andrew BoltMARCH132013(8:49am)

The extreme rainfall during the 2012/2013 Australian summer, like all the other extreme weather events, occurred in a warmer and moister climate system compared to 50 years ago. Extreme rainfall is consistent with the type of events scientists expect to see more often in a warming climate.
Large kangaroo scrotums are in short supply for a souvenir-making taxidermist after the continuing rain drove kangaroos beyond the range of shooters.
(Thanks to reader Waxing Gibberish.)
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Get their hands off our throats

Andrew BoltMARCH132013(5:36pm)

 Free speech
image
News Ltd boss Kim Williams sounds the alarm while it’s still legal: 
The Daily Telegraph fights back while it’s still free: 
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Communications Minister Stephen Conroy yesterday announced a new proposed statutory position of Public Interest Media Advocate, among a raft of changes the government will attempt to ram through parliament by the end of next week.

The advocate would oversee the Press Council, the main vehicle for complaints about the print media, and could take back exemptions from privacy laws afforded to journalists to report valid news stories if the advocate deemed a breach of standards.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy does double speak on Lateline last night: 
STEPHEN CONROY: What’s a sad day for democracy is the continued erosion of diversity of opinion. And nobody wants to see a further concentration of opinion and ownership is a vital factor in the diversity of opinion.
Don’t be fooled. What Conroy wants is not more diversity of opinion but less.
Where on earth is the evidence of a lack of diversity of opinion? For opinions of the Left, there is the gigantic ABC, The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Courier Mail, various columnists in News Ltd (Phillip Adams, David Penberthy, Malcolm Farr, Susie O’Brien etc), Crikey, ArenaThe Green Left WeeklyThe Conversation, Sky News, the Global MailThe Project, and so many other radio and Internet outlets, from Mamamia to GetUp.
For conservatives and Right-wingers there are various News Ltd columnists, The Australian, 2GB, Chris Kenny on Sky News, QuadrantThe Bolt Report on Channel 10, Michael Smith News, my blog and some other outlets on radio and the Internet.
Where is this “erosion”?
Here are hints of the real problem, several drawn from Conroy’s unwittingly revealing interview last night on Lateline.
First, Conroy has already called an inquiry into what the Greens insisted was the “hate media” - an inquiry that focused on News Ltd and journalists reporting on climate change from a sceptical position.  (Conroy really does believe there’s a News Ltd plot against the Gillard Government.)
Second, Conroy intervened to block News Ltd’s winning tender of the Australia Network, giving it back to the more friendly ABC.
Third, Conroy in this election year handed the ABC $10 million for news coverage.
Fourth, Conroy on Lateline cited as a benefit of the $37 billion NBN he’s building the ability to help Crikey, a hard-Left website:
I’m a huge supporter in trying to bring the National Broadband Network, which will allow all of those digital voices to come into people’s homes, but we’re not yet at the stage where Crikey, probably the most well-known blog/subscription model, actually only has about 15,000 customers.
Fifth, Conroy in citing the need for tougher rules against journalists just two examples of alleged error and bias that - surprise! - involve reports critical of the Gillard Government:
I think my colleague Anthony Albanese recently had an experience where a news report went to air on the nightly 6 o’clock news, he put in a complaint to the ACMA. He was upheld completely. All of the points made in the program were wrong....

I myself had an experience where someone complained about the Daily Telegraph’s reporting of the National Broadband Network. And they made three complaints. All of them were upheld by the Press Council. And they were ordered to - by the Press Council, the Daily Telegraph, to correct it prior to Christmas a couple of Christmases ago, and not only didn’t they comply with that, they waited until 27th December and they put it on I think about page 42 in tiny print.

Sixth, in saying on Lateline laws were needed for more diversity of opinion, he in the next breath mentioned News Ltd as an opponent: 
So it will be a sad day for democracy if there was a further reduction in the diversity of opinion. So, News Limited have at times been quite hysterical about this.
And, seventh, I know Conroy has threatened a media organisation about giving me a platform, and also know how another media organisation has seen his threats of controls as threats meant to make their coverage more government friendly.
No one, but no one, should doubt that however Conroy dresses up these changes, they are an assault against the freedom of journalists to say what they think, and against the freedom of the public to hear whom they want.
It is astonishing - revolting - that such attacks on free speech should be launched in Australia today.
Crikey.com.au and the plethora of blogs that aggregate content created elsewhere would not be regarded as significant media organisations under proposed new media laws unveiled yesterday by the federal government.
UPDATE
The IPA’s Chris Berg explains Conroy’s changes - giving government and its “independent” bureaucrats more control over what you are allowed to read and hear: 
UPDATE


Mr Turnbull said appointing a government official to check on the press was a way to “bully the media” and a public interest test on ownership would also lead to political influence over the sector.

“I have no doubt that we would seek to repeal any sort of public interest test on media takeovers,” he said.

The statutory press oversight would also be repealed.

“I do not see why there should be a government official, a public official, a bureaucrat no doubt, overseeing the Australian media,” Mr Turnbull said.

“The press, now writ large courtesy of the internet, has always been free subject to the laws of defamation and contempt of court and so forth. And it should remain free. We should be enjoying more freedom, not less.”
ALL politicians are self-interested. But few are as shameless as Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

His proposed “media reforms” may be a thinly veiled response to a technologically driven changing media landscape, but we all know their real purpose: to punish and rein in the federal government’s critics in the media…

Conroy has been egged on by Labor backbenchers and the Greens for months about the evils of media companies such as News Limited, publisher of The Australian. Former Greens leader Bob Brown famously dubbed News as part of the “hate media” and called for licensing for newspaper proprietors. Current Greens leader Christine Milne called for a “fit and proper test” so the government could control who invested in the media.

In November 2011 Labor senator Doug Cameron said reporting in News Limited paper The Daily Telegraph that Kevin Rudd might challenge for leadership of the ALP amounted to a “threat to democracy”. Of course, when Rudd did challenge less than six months later, Cameron was among his number-crunchers.

Steve Gibbons, another Labor backbencher, even called for individual journalists to receive fines to improve the “fairness of our media”.

Conroy has finally delivered in spades for the most deranged critics of the media.
UPDATE
I like Rinehart and do not understand the legal argument here, but this is not a good look for someone on the board of the company employing the journalist:

Mrs Rinehart, the chairman of Hancock Prospecting, has served a subpoena demanding Adele Ferguson hand over notes of conversations she had with Mrs Rinehart’s son, John Hancock.

Ms Ferguson, author of an unauthorised biography of Mrs Rinehart, has until March 29 to provide “emails, text messages, notebooks and any recordings of interviews that may have been made” in relation to conversations the journalist had with Mr Hancock dating back to September 2011, Fairfax reports.
UPDATE
Rinehart’s lawyers says the report is sensationalist and inaccurate: 
Ms Ferguson is, like many people are every day, the recipient of a subpoena as a third party with information relevant to legal proceedings on foot.  The subpoena process is an integral part of the civil justice system, permitting litigants to seek information from third parties that is relevant to existing proceedings.  The media is not excused from this integral part of the justice system.

In Ms Ferguson’s case she has had extensive conversations with Mr John Hancock in her capacity as an author commissioned, we understand, by Fairfax and more recently as a Fairfax journalist.  No one is seeking to force her to reveal her source.  That source is acknowledged by Ms Ferguson as being Mr Hancock, who has been extensively quoted by her. Ms Ferguson sought and published information from Mr Hancock despite acknowledging in her book (at page 379) Mr Hancock’s “agreement not to speak to the media.”

The contents of Mr Hancock’s communications to Ms Ferguson are relevant to the conduct of an arbitration the details of which are confidential.  Any documents produced by Ms Ferguson under the subpoena to the arbitrator will also remain confidential.
(Thanks to readers Susan and Peter. Image via Catallaxy.) 
=== from last year ===
March 13Fast of Esther (Judaism, 2014)
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“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” - 2 Peter 1:4
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

March 12: Morning

"Thou shalt love thy neighbour." - Matthew 5:43

"Love thy neighbour." Perhaps he rolls in riches, and thou art poor, and living in thy little cot side-by-side with his lordly mansion; thou seest every day his estates, his fine linen, and his sumptuous banquets; God has given him these gifts, covet not his wealth, and think no hard thoughts concerning him. Be content with thine own lot, if thou canst not better it, but do not look upon thy neighbour, and wish that he were as thyself. Love him, and then thou wilt not envy him.

Perhaps, on the other hand, thou art rich, and near thee reside the poor. Do not scorn to call them neighbour. Own that thou art bound to love them. The world calls them thy inferiors. In what are they inferior? They are far more thine equals than thine inferiors, for "God hath made of one blood all people that dwell upon the face of the earth." It is thy coat which is better than theirs, but thou art by no means better than they. They are men, and what art thou more than that? Take heed that thou love thy neighbour even though he be in rags, or sunken in the depths of poverty.

But, perhaps, you say, "I cannot love my neighbours, because for all I do they return ingratitude and contempt." So much the more room for the heroism of love. Wouldst thou be a feather-bed warrior, instead of bearing the rough fight of love? He who dares the most, shall win the most; and if rough be thy path of love, tread it boldly, still loving thy neighbours through thick and thin. Heap coals of fire on their heads, and if they be hard to please, seek not to please them, but to please thy Master; and remember if they spurn thy love, thy Master hath not spurned it, and thy deed is as acceptable to him as if it had been acceptable to them. Love thy neighbour, for in so doing thou art following the footsteps of Christ.

Evening
"To whom belongest thou?" - 1 Samuel 30:13
No neutralities can exist in religion. We are either ranked under the banner of Prince Immanuel, to serve and fight his battles, or we are vassals of the black prince, Satan. "To whom belongest thou?"

Reader, let me assist you in your response. Have you been "born again"? If you have, you belong to Christ, but without the new birth you cannot be his. In whom do you trust? For those who believe in Jesus are the sons of God. Whose work are you doing? You are sure to serve your master, for he whom you serve is thereby owned to be your lord. What company do you keep? If you belong to Jesus, you will fraternize with those who wear the livery of the cross. "Birds of a feather flock together." What is your conversation? Is it heavenly or is it earthly? What have you learned of your Master?--for servants learn much from their masters to whom they are apprenticed. If you have served your time with Jesus, it will be said of you, as it was of Peter and John, "They took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."

We press the question, "To whom belongest thou?" Answer honestly before you give sleep to your eyes. If you are not Christ's you are in a hard service--Run away from your cruel master! Enter into the service of the Lord of Love, and you shall enjoy a life of blessedness. If you are Christ's let me advise you to do four things. You belong to Jesus--obey him; let his word be your law; let his wish be your will. You belong to the Beloved, then love him; let your heart embrace him; let your whole soul be filled with him. You belong to the Son of God, then trust him; rest nowhere but on him. You belong to the King of kings, then be decided for him. Thus, without your being branded upon the brow, all will know to whom you belong.
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Today's reading: Deuteronomy 16-18, Mark 13:1-20 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Deuteronomy 16-18


The Passover

1 Observe the month of Aviv and celebrate the Passover of the LORD your God, because in the month of Aviv he brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 Sacrifice as the Passover to the LORD your God an animal from your flock or herd at the place the LORD will choose as a dwelling for his Name. 3 Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste--so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt. 4 Let no yeast be found in your possession in all your land for seven days. Do not let any of the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain until morning.

Today's New Testament reading: Mark 13:1-20

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times
1 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!"
2 "Do you see all these great buildings?" replied Jesus. "Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 4"Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?"
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Today's Lent reading: Matthew 10-12 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve

1 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: 'The kingdom of heaven has come near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give....


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