Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thu Mar 24th Todays News

Malcolm Turnbull is not a natural politician, and he is prone to panic. When Mr Abbott warned Europe about their weak borders he was right. Abbott was attacked by Australian press but lauded internationally. Turnbull said something similar, but it wasn't the same. Turnbull blamed the victims of the recent atrocity. Naturally the Belgian envoy took exception, as any responsible person should. Miranda Devine says Turnbull has a plan. Unless it is to be the worst Liberal Party PM ever, he had better start executing it. Turnbull is not as bad as Whitlam, Rudd or Gillard. But, that is a very low standard. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
Richard III is being reburied with many honours. He was an English King and deserved the honour for no other reason. There is no other reason. As a person, he was as fine and upstanding as Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gadaffi or Adolf Hitler. There are many undeserving people who get things because of their position and not because of their activity. Richard had not been king, but was in the royal household. He plotted. Maybe it is because Game of Thrones has made the material events so visible to modern peoples, but there was a time that people were shocked by things Richard did, or caused to be. More caused to be, as he was passive aggressive. Richard was raised as a knight. When his elder brother became King Edward IV, Richard was rained with honours and privileges. Richard was loyal to his brother until his brother died. Then, when his nephew was made king, Richard, as Lord Protector, had the Mother's marriage annulled and the two nephews de legitimised. So Richard became King Richard III. Apparently, the two princes in the tower of London, his nephews, were killed at Richard's convenience. After beheading a supporter of Henry Tudor, Richard III tried to pay off some French nobles to give up Henry Tudor. He failed, and faced Henry Tudor in battle with significantly more men than Tudor had. Ricard lost in battle, fighting bravely when he had not conducted his home affairs that well. 

Meanwhile, on this day in 1603, James VI of Scotland became James I of England after Elizabeth I died. On the same day, the Tokugawa Shogunate was established in Edo. In 1663, Carolina was rewarded with eight Lord Protectors from Charles II for their support of him in exile. In 1707, the kingdoms of England and Scotland united to form the kingdom of Great Britain. Richard had fought for spoils. He had manipulated and killed without regard to all that is just and worthy. Were a modern politician to have behaved that way, they would earn the death penalty in most places. 
From 2014
John Harrison died on this day, his birthday, in 1776. He had been fascinated with the working of a watch as a child. He was a wood worker who developed very accurate clocks, and finally sea worthy watches that were very accurate, improving navigational safety. Harry Houdini was born on this day in 1874. He turned 26 in 1900, and 26 years later he died. His time was up? Fanny Crosby was born on this day in 1820. I have never heard a piece of hers, but I don't think I can get enough of Fanny. She wrote the hymn, "My Saviour first of all" so she had heart and soul, and, one hopes, a sense of humour.  By 1915, her time was up, but her legacy and profound love has convicted many. 

Tim Blair has apologised for his failures in not ignoring the blatant sexist bigoted violence of left wing marchers marching in march. He is making up for it by suggesting another protest. It is certain to be much bigger than March in March protests. The idea is protestors will go to work as normal and earn income as normal. By doing this, they are giving up opportunities to do what they would rather do. It is sure to get ABC attention. After all, it is what they focus on. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 1401, Turko-Mongol emperor Timur sacked Damascus. 1603, James VI of Scotland also becomes James I of England, upon the death of Elizabeth I. Also 1603, Tokugawa Ieyasu was granted the title of shogun from Emperor Go-Yozei, and established the Tokugawa Shogunatein Edo, Japan. 1663, the Province of Carolina was granted by charter to eight Lords Proprietor in reward for their assistance in restoring Charles II of England to the throne.

In 1707, the Acts of Union 1707 was signed, officially uniting the Kingdoms of England and Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. 1720, count Frederick of Hesse-Kassel was elected King of Sweden by the Riksdag of the Estates, after his consort Ulrika Eleonoraabdicated the throne on 29 February. She had been wanting to rule jointly with her husband in the same manner as William and Mary in the British Isles, but after the Riksdag of the Estates said no to this, she chose to abdicate the throne in his favour instead. 1721, Johann Sebastian Bach dedicated six concertos to Christian Ludwigmargrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt, now commonly called the Brandenburg concertos, BWV 1046–1051. 1731, naturalization of Hieronimus de Salis Parliamentary Act was passed. 1765, American Revolution: The Kingdom of Great Britain passed the Quartering Act, which required the Thirteen Colonies to house British troops.

In 1829, Catholic Emancipation: The Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829, allowing Catholics to serve in Parliament. 1832, in Hiram, Ohio, a group of men beat and tarred and feathered Mormon leader Joseph Smith. 1837, Canada gave African Canadian men the right to vote. 1854, in Venezuela, slavery was abolished. 1860, Sakuradamon incident: Assassination of Japanese Chief Minister (TairōIi Naosuke. 1869, the last of Titokowaru's forces surrendered to the New Zealand government, ending his uprising. 1878, the British frigate HMS Eurydice sank, killing more than 300. 1882, Robert Koch announced the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis. 1885, Sino-French War: Chinese victory in the Battle of Bang Bo on the TonkinGuangxi border. 1896, A. S. Popov made the first radio signal transmission in history.

In 1900, Mayor of New York City Robert Anderson Van Wyck broke ground for a new underground "Rapid Transit Railroad" that would link Manhattan and Brooklyn. 1907, the first issue of the Georgian Bolshevik newspaper Dro was published. 1922, Irish War of Independence: In BelfastNorthern Irish policemen broke into the home of a Catholic family and shot all eight males inside. 1927, Nanking Incident: Foreign warships bombarded Nanjing, China, in defence of the foreign citizens within the city. 1934, United States Congress passed the Tydings–McDuffie Act, allowing the Philippines to become a self-governing commonwealth. 1944, Ardeatine massacreGerman troops murdered 335 Italian civilians in Rome. Also 1944, World War II: In an event later dramatised in the movie The Great Escape, 76 Allied prisoners of war began breaking out of the German camp Stalag Luft III. 1946, the British Cabinet Mission, consisting of Lord Pethick-Lawrence, Sir Stafford Crippsand A. V. Alexander, arrived in India to discuss and plan for the transfer of power from the British Raj to Indian leadership. 1958, Rock'N'Roll teen idol Elvis Presley was drafted in the U.S. Army. 1959, the Party of the African Federation is launched by Léopold Sédar Senghorand Modibo Keïta.

In 1965, NASA spacecraft Ranger 9, equipped to convert its signals into a form suitable for showing on domestic television, brought images of the Moon into ordinary homes before crash landing. 1972, the United Kingdom imposed direct rule over Northern Ireland. 1973, Kenyan athlete Kip Keino defeated Jim Ryun at the first-ever professional track meet in Los Angeles. 1976, in Argentina, the armed forces overthrew the constitutional government of President Isabel Perón and started a 7-year dictatorial period self-styled the National Reorganization Process. Since 2006, a public holiday known as Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice is held on this day. 1980, Archbishop Óscar Romero was killed while celebrating Mass in San Salvador. 1986, the Loscoe gas explosion led to new UK laws on landfill gas migration and gas protection on landfill sites. 1989, Exxon Valdez oil spill: In Prince William Sound in Alaska, the Exxon Valdez spilled 240,000 barrels (38,000 m3) of crude oil after running aground.

In 1993, discovery of Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9. 1998, Jonesboro massacreMitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden, aged 11 and 13 respectively, fired upon teachers and students at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas; five people were killed and ten were wounded. 1998, a tornado swept through Dantan in India, killing 250 people and injuring 3000 others. 1999, Mont Blanc Tunnel fire killed 39 people. Also 1999, Kosovo WarNATOcommenced aerial bombardment against Yugoslavia, marking the first time NATO had attacked a sovereign country. 2000, S&P 500 index reached an intraday high of 1,552.87, a peak that, due to the collapse of the dot-com bubble, it would not reach again for another seven-and-a-half years. 2003, the Arab League voted 21–1 in favour of a resolution demanding the immediate and unconditional removal of U.S. and British soldiers from Iraq. 2008, Bhutan officially became a democracy, with its first ever general election.
=== 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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Thanks to Warren for this advice on watching Bolt
Warren Catton Get this for your PC or MAC https://www.foxtel.com.au/foxtelplay/how-it-works/pc-mac.html Once tou have installed it start it up and press Live TV you don't need a login to watch Sky News!
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I have moved from Sydney to Melbourne and am desperate for funding. If you have a heart for giving, I fundraise at gofundme.com/abeueaec
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Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with AugustSeptemberOctober, or at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482020262/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_dVHPub0MQKDZ4  The kindle version is cheaper, but the soft back version allows a free kindle version.

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

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

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

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


I have begun a bulletin board (http://theconservativevoice.freeforums.netwhich will allow greater latitude for members to post and interact. It is not subject to FB policy and so greater range is allowed in posts. Also there are private members rooms in which nothing is censored, except abuse. All welcome, registration is free.
Happy birthday and many happy returns Vanna Eng, Chris Hubbard, Christian Kerr, Tony Leahy and Zyzz Sergeyevich. Zyzz was an inspiration, and he passed too soon .. it is good to be fit. But not good to take it to extremes ..
Exxon Valdez
Try not to be upset. Celebrate the discovery. Damn the torpedoes. Make your escape great. Clean up your mistakes. Let's party. 
Deaths
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SAY YOUR PRAYERS, MOLLUSCS

Tim Blair – Thursday, March 24, 2016 (5:27pm)

De Costi Seafood’s chief oysterman Frank Theodore wins the top commercial contributor prize at the Sydney Royal Easter Show:

image

Frank may be smiling now, but wait until next Tuesday when I turn up with the Australian‘s Steve Waterson to demolish his supplies. Rock oysters will be an endangered species by the time we’re done. 
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THAT WAS QUICK

Tim Blair – Thursday, March 24, 2016 (3:57pm)

This site, February 6
This year may see Australian government travel advisories warning against visiting major European cities. 
The Department of Foreign Affairs has updated its travel advice for Belgium, urging Australians to reconsider travelling to the country in the wake of the attacks. 
Wise counsel. Visitors could catch a nasty bug that’s going around:

image

Of course, some are already blaming the Jews.
UPDATE. A curious warning
The U.S. Embassy in Brussels informs U.S. citizens that anti-terrorism police activity is ongoing and that Belgium remains on threat level FOUR, the highest in the Belgian scale. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid any police action that may occur. U.S. government personnel have been requested to defer non-essential travel to Brussels until Tuesday, March 29, 2016.

“Quite mysterious,” emails Alan R. M. Jones. “Apparently it is important to ‘avoid any police action that may occur.’ No mention of what this action may be about.”
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EFFICIENTLY TURNING YOUR TAXES INTO HIS INCOME

Tim Blair – Thursday, March 24, 2016 (3:07pm)

The ABC’s government-funded Jizzathon Green considers the “private sector experience”:

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UPDATE. Iowahawk: “Twitter causes journalist to accidentally invent the best word contraction in the history of the English language.”
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HER MASTER’S VOICE

Tim Blair – Thursday, March 24, 2016 (1:34pm)

Kids receive a lot of pocket money these days: 
A Sydney schoolgirl told police she did what notorious Islamic State fighter Ahmed Merhi told her and was in the process of wiring him thousands of dollars, a court has heard.

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Smooth-talking girlcharmer Ahmed Merhi.

Prosecutors allege it wasn’t the first time the 16-year-old had sent IS money, having admitted to a police source she had sent $10,000 a month earlier.
A statement of facts canvassed in court alleges the teen had a conversation with a police source in which, when “asked if the money would go to Islamic State, she says ‘Yes, I just do what Ahmed tells me to do’”. 
She’s been denied bail.
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IT WON’T LAST

Tim Blair – Thursday, March 24, 2016 (11:41am)

The UK Telegraph reports: 
Tracey Emin, the artist, has proved she still has the power to surprise, after announcing she has married a rock. 
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THE REAL VICTIMS

Tim Blair – Thursday, March 24, 2016 (11:32am)

A decade ago, I cited a Tim Blair reader’s unimproveable parody of all those dreary navel-gazing warnings that the actual deceased don’t matter except insofar as they portend a hypothetical attack against the real victims here:
British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow’s Train Bombing
But the old jokes don’t play when everyone who matters in our world does them for real. This time round the government official with direct responsibility for dealing with today’s slaughter, a slice of ham with the absurdly Tintinesque name of Jan Jambon, issued the usual halfwit apologia the day before the atrocity. 
Do read on. That reader was Jim Treacher, by the way, and his brilliant line is now celebrated in an appropriate format:

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The Union Jack stays. Let the elite rage

Andrew Bolt March 24 2016 (7:25pm)

image
New Zealand has more reason than us to change its flag, given how often it’s confused with our own.
Yet again, despite all the media nagging and the urging by Prime Minister John Key, the silent majority finally speaks and ends the argument:


The results of the second binding referendum on the flag have just been announced, with close to 57 per cent of voters choosing to keep the current flag.
These are not days to lightly tamper with a country’s symbols and traditions.
What a waste:
… after an 18-month process costing NZ$26 million (AUD$23.18 million) ... New Zealanders are overwhelmingly against change. 
And there’s the cost of trashing traditions in a way that makes Key look anything but the conservative he’s sometimes claimed to be:
“It’s my belief… that the design of the New Zealand flag symbolizes a colonial and post-colonial era whose time has passed,” Key said in a speech at Victoria University in Wellington. “The flag remains dominated by the Union Jack in a way that we ourselves are no longer dominated by the United Kingdom.”
He added: “I am proposing that we take one more step in the evolution of modern New Zealand by acknowledging our independence through a new flag.”
I’d love to hear from flag botherer Ray Martin again and hear him update this article of his from last year:

Meanwhile, New Zealand (whom we condescendingly pat on the head as a bit rustic and slow in all but rugby) has decided to seize ‘the one hundred year anniversary’ of Gallipoli to launch a fair-dinkum flag debate.
Unlike us, our Anzac mates have decided it’s time to grow up and become truly independent…
Quite frankly, the Kiwis are tired of being mistaken for Australia in the sporting world, with a flag “dominated by the Union Jack in a way that we ourselves are no longer dominated by the United Kingdom”.
How refreshingly laudable is that?
So, later this year they’re going to “formally, carefully and respectfully” consider a range of new designs and then choose one which will be put up against the current flag and voted on by every Kiwi in a referendum.
No doubts about the result.
No?
I suspect Ray tends to talk only to people of his own kind. Should get out more. 
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One by one the plotters are punished

Andrew Bolt March 24 2016 (7:05pm)

One of Malcolm Turnbull’s chief plotters was Mal Brough, who has since quit Parliament as police investigate him over allegedly trying to procure private information from a staffer of rival Peter Slipper.
Another was Arthur Sinodinos, now (again) in some trouble himself:
Labor has called on the Turnbull government’s cabinet secretary Arthur Sinodinos to stand aside following the “extraordinary finding” of the NSW Electoral Commission on illegal donations to the NSW Liberal Party.
On Wednesday, the commission denied the party $4.4 million in public funding and accused it of “concealing” the identities of illegal major donors ahead of the 2011 state election. The donations in question totalled almost $700,000.

Senator Sinodinos was finance director and treasurer of the party at the time, and evidence given to an earlier Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry raised concerns about his “involvement” in the matter, the commission’s chairman Keith Mason said.
Or is this just the curse that befalls all plotters since Macbeth?
Treasurer Scott Morrison also aided Turnbull, and now has his reputation being trashed by his his boss.
Bronwyn Bishop switched to Turnbull and now is struggling to be pre-selected again.
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells ditched Abbott and then betrayed a damaging confidence to Abbott-hater Niki Savva. She was last week humiliatingly relegated to the second spot on the NSW Liberals’ Senate ticket.
Is there a pattern here?
UPDATE
More damaging background on the latest Sinodinos matter:
Using evidence collected by an Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry in 2014, the panel found that cash, some from property developers who were banned from donating under NSW law, was sent to the Free Enterprise Foundation and then channelled back without the required disclosure of their source to the NSW Liberals.  Among the donors who gave evidence to ICAC were Westfield Holdings, Walker Corporation and Brickworks.
The panel said that in making its findings it had looked at evidence of Mr Sinodinos involvement “in the arrangements touching” the slush fund. It said that the Foundation was just an “agent” of the Liberals and not a legitimate charity.
Mr O’Connor said the panel’s findings point to evidence of criminality. “The idea that you would willingly establish a phoney body, an agency to avoid illegality really points to misconduct and criminal conduct I would argue by those involved in seeking to money launder donors’ money in a way that avoided scrutiny.”
UPDATE
Sinodinos sounds ready to sue:
I had no role in the NSW Division’s decision to decline to update information disclosed in that declaration, as was requested by the Commission.
For my part, my lawyers have written to the Commission to draw its attention to errors of fact in its statement in relation to me…
The Statement already has been extensively cited by the media. In a number of instances, there has been erroneous commentary to the effect that I “concealed” illegal donations, and that my actions were somehow corrupt or illegal. That media commentary is a direct consequence of the NSW Electoral Commission’s flawed publication.
In light of these matters, my lawyers on my behalf have invited the Commission to immediately retract all references to me in the publication. The Commission has been invited to publish a correction to that effect on its website.
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The numbers say more Muslims mean more danger

Andrew Bolt March 24 2016 (7:03am)

Culture wars, Islamism

FOLLOW the numbers. They answer the question asked by journalists actually too scared to hear the truth: “Why Brussels?”
Why Brussels? Why have Muslim terrorists in Brussels this week slaughtered 34 civilians in the city’s airport and underground?
Why did Muslim terrorists from Brussels earlier join the Islamic State attack in Paris that killed 130 people?

Why did a Muslim terrorist in Brussels kill four people at the city’s Jewish museum? Why did Muslim terrorists from Brussels have a deadly shootout with police last year and again last week? Why have an astonishing 450 Belgian Muslims — the vast majority from Brussels — served with Islamic State?
The answer? There are now 300,000 Muslims in Brussels. That’s why.
(Read full article here.) 
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But if they were Catholics the ABC would tell you again and again

Andrew Bolt March 24 2016 (6:58am)

Reader Brian on the amazing inability of ABC journalists to explain the religious motivation behind the crimes they describe:
Almost the entire news portion of [last night’s] ABC news - the first twenty minutes of a half an hour broadcast - was devoted to Muslims behaving badly. If it were not for the self-named Islamic State, which reporter Lisa Millar grudgingly referred to as the so-called Islamic State, neither the words Muslim or Islam would have been mentioned by any of the ABC’s ‘reporters’ - Lisa Millar, Philip Williams, James Thomas, Nick Harmsen (who, quoting what those nasty Republican Presidential candidates said, mentioned the M word).
Then there was Stephanie Dalzell reporting on a teenage girl accused of raising funds for terrorists, and lastly, Karl Hoerr reporting on the Sydney Seige. Utterly ridiculous to omit what is, in actual fact, the main motivating factor in every single one of these reports.
The final story was actually about Auburn Council buffoon Selim Mehajer, Needless to say, reporter Mazoe Ford never mentioned anything about his background.
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Turnbull should get over Abbott

Andrew Bolt March 24 2016 (6:11am)

Malcolm Turnbull

IF the rest of this 103-day election campaign goes like the first full day, Malcolm Turnbull is toast. Incredibly, on Tuesday the Prime Minister again attacked the man whose job he stole, Tony Abbott.
This time he tried to rob Abbott of his biggest boast: that he’d stopped the boats that under Labor brought 50,000 illegal immigrants.
“Whether it is Howard, Abbott or Turnbull, we’ve had the same policy,” scoffed Turnbull. “It was not something that was invented by Tony Abbott.” In fact, Turnbull as opposition leader opposed bringing back the “Pacific solution” — the offshore detention in Nauru and Manus Island that has proved so successful again. But why disparage Abbott and diminish the successes of the government Turnbull leads? It makes no sense. Turnbull should know Abbottnow has nothing but his record to defend.

But Turnbull seems to think making Abbott seem a failure will destroy his minuscule chances of returning as leader. Or maybe he just figures the worse Abbott looks, the more he himself shines.
(Read full article here.) 
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No, Dee, right-wing extremists aren’t deadlier than Muslim terrorists

Andrew Bolt March 24 2016 (5:57am)

Labor campaigner Dee Madigan on Paul Murray’s show last night tried to relativise away Islamic terrorism by citing this report in Time:
Since 9/11, white right-wing terrorists have killed almost twice as many Americans in homegrown attacks than radical Islamists have, according to research by the New America Foundation… They found that 48 people were killed by white terrorists, while 26 were killed by radical Islamists, since Sept. 11.
The study also found that the criminal justice system judged jihadists more harshly than their non-Muslim counterparts, indicting them more frequently than non-jihadists and handing down longer sentences.
Wow. So not only are Muslim terrrosits less deadly, they are actually picked on by the courts?
It is completely false, of course, and shame on those who so want it to be true that they don’t check the data.
This dodgy claim is produced by excluding the 3000 dead killed by the September 11 terrorists, excluding other murders by people citing Islam as their inspiration, and ignoring the fact that Muslims make up just 1 per cent of the US population but make up a far, far higher percentage of US terrorists. You could hardly imagine a more misleading manipulation of the data that Madigan even boasts of having (mis)used:
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The best take-down I’ve seen is by Andrew Holt:
Indeed, if you include the death totals from 9/11 in such a calculation, then there have been around 62 people killed in the United States by Islamic extremists for every one American killed by a right wing terrorist…

Such accounting also does nothing to recognize the disproportionately high number of attacks by Islamic extremists in the United States, who, even after excluding the victims of 9/11, are still responsible for around 50% of the total number of deaths due to extremism, even though Muslims only account for around 1% of the total U.S. population.

Nevertheless, ... according to ... the New America Foundation’s International Security website, there have been (at the time of this writing) 48 deaths in the U.S. due to “Far Right Wing Attacks” while there have been only 45 deaths due to “Violent Jihadist Attacks.” ...
The ... count is wrong… [H]ere are several others incidents that should be included in this total.
Consider ... the so-called Beltway sniper John Allen Williams, a longtime member of the Nation of Islam, who only one month after the attacks of September 11, 2001 changed his last name to from Williams to Muhammad. After his arrest, he told police that he modeled himself after Osama bin Laden, no less… Indeed, on April 22, 2005, the Virginia Supreme Court affirmed his death penalty on the basis that Muhammad had committed an act of terrorism.
Together, Muhammad and [his partner] Malvo, killed at least ten people.... If we add Muhammad and Malvo’s victims to the total number of Americans killed by Islamic extremists since 9/11, then the number killed rises to 55, a total higher than the 48 deaths they attribute to right wing extremism.
But there are, unfortunately, many more such examples that have not been included.
In June of 2006 in Denver, a man shot four of his co-workers and a swat team member, killing one. He later claimed he did it because it was “Allah’s choice.” In December of 2009 in Binghamton, a Saudi Arabian graduate student named Abdulsalam S. al-Zahrani killed Richard T. Antoun, a non-Muslim Islamic studies professor who served on al-Zahrani’s dissertation committee, in revenge for “persecuted” Muslims… In 2012 in Houston, in two separate incidents in January and in November, two people were shot to death by a Muslim extremist for their roles in his daughter’s conversion to Christianity. In March of 2013 in Ashtabula (Ohio), a Muslim convert walked into a Christian Church during an Easter service and killed his father, claiming it was “the will of Allah.” In August of 2014 in Richmond (California) killed an Ace Hardware employee by stabbing him seventeen times, claiming he was on a “mission from Allah."…

But all of this is focusing only on extremist related deaths on U.S. soil. Worldwide, the disparity between “right wing” movements and Islamic extremists is stunning.
(Thanks to reader John.) 
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If ISIS is weak, what is strong?

Andrew Bolt March 24 2016 (5:46am)

Terrorism lecturer and TV presenter Waleed Aly after Islamic State terrorists killed 130 people in Paris:
ISIS is weak.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday after Islamic State terrorists murdered another 34 people in Brussels:
The recent attacks in Paris, Jakarta and now Brussels are evidence of the emerging trend in IS’s terrorism: inspiring attacks in multiple locations aiming to maximise casualties. Most importantly it is multi-jurisdictional in its scope. IS is intent on demonstrating a growing operational reach, but this is because it is hurting in Syria and Iraq, losing 22 per cent of its total territory and 40 per cent of revenues from its peak in 2014.
The early signs show that, like the Paris attacks only four months ago, the bombings in Brussels were inspired, if not planned, by IS in its Syrian headquarters of Al-Raqqa.
The Islamic State is only weak relative to, say, a modern nation state. And you could argue it’s weaker in Syria than it was a year ago, although its world-wide influence actually seems greater.
But that ignores the central truth about the Islamic State: far from being weak, it is the strongest and most dangerous terrorist group we have seen in many decades. While its territory in Syria and Iraq has shrunk, hundreds of its fighters seem to have fanned out around the world.
That helps to explain this:

Since declaring its caliphate in June 2014, the self-proclaimed Islamic State has conducted or inspired more than 70 terrorist attacks in 20 countries other than Iraq and Syria, where its carnage has taken a much deadlier toll; those attacks outside Iraq and Syria have killed at least 1,200 people and injured more than 1,700 others.
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Turnbull’s boat boast sinks

Andrew Bolt March 24 2016 (4:12am)

Malcolm Turnbull says Tony Abbott did not do something special in stopping the boats. Turnbull himself would have done the same:
I give full credit to Tony Abbott for his success for example in stopping the boats. Mind you, you know continuity and change, Tony’s Government which I was a member, our policy on stopping the people smugglers was to re-instate the policy of the Howard Government of which we were both Cabinet Ministers. When I was Opposition Leader before Tony became leader I strongly opposed Rudd’s dismantling of the Howard policy. So whether it is Howard as Leader of the Liberal Party, Abbott or Turnbull, we’ve had the same policy on border protection. So this is not something that was invented by Tony Abbott...
Bull.
Point one: Does anyone think Turnbull, the ABC’s candidate, would have defied all the media vilification as Abbott did to promise to stop the boats, even by turning them around?
Point two: In fact, Turnbull as Opposition Leader was actually against the “Pacific Solution” - the re-opening of Nauru and Manus Island - that has been critical in stopping the boats:
The Rudd government ... dismantled the previous Howard government\’s Pacific Solution to process refugees offshore under UN guidelines, without access to the Australian legal system. Mr Turnbull said the Pacific Solution was “a discrimination against unathorised boat arrivals”.
Turnbull’s then immigration spokesman explained Turnbull’s opposition and alternative policy - which sure didn’t include tow-backs, either:
SHARMAN STONE: We don’t need the Pacific Solution now, that’s Nauru Island and Manos Island, because we have the Christmas Island centre completed. A very well structured and appropriate facility for people who need to be, of course, detained very, very, so I say humanely, so they very quickly can have their identities, their security, their character and health status checked. So we don’t need alternatives to Nauru and Manos island, we have Christmas Island.
LEIGH SALES: OK, so if we don’t need the Pacific Solution back then, what does the Coalition think we need to be doing differently on asylum seeker policy?
SHARMAN STONE: We certainly need to be communicating into the region that this Government is still deadly serious about abolishing or stopping or in any way it can, doing away with the people smuggling effort.
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Morrison trashed:  Turnbull’s third broken promise from six months ago

Andrew Bolt March 24 2016 (3:50am)

What Malcolm Turnbull implicitly promised six months ago when announcing why he had to replace Tony Abbott:
Ultimately, the Prime Minister has not been capable of providing the economic leadership our nation needs… We need a style of leadership that ...  explains these complex issues and then sets out the course of action we believe we should take and makes a case for it.
And:
We need advocacy, not slogans
Neither has been delivered, of course. But there was also this vow:
We need to restore traditional Cabinet government. There must be an end to policy on the run and captain’s calls. We need to be truly consultative with colleagues, members of Parliament, senators and the wider public.
But ask Treasurer Scott Morrison if that promise has been delivered:

Malcolm Turnbull yesterday acknowledged that the Treasurer was not part of the small group told beforehand that the federal budget would be brought forward a week to prepare for a July 2 election.
“I did not call Scott Morrison on Sunday night. No, I did not,” the Prime Minister told the Nine Network’s Lisa Wilkinson yesterday when pressed on the matter. “It was a very small circle,” he added…
This has observers mystified. How could the Treasurer not be told as soon as possible of the final decision to bring forward the budget — the document that has his name on its title page?…
While Turnbull insists that he runs a Westminster system, where his ministers are his chief advisers, it is becoming clear that he may turn to [his department head Martin] Parkinson on economic policy more than he turns to Morriso­n.
UPDATE
Fellow plotter Julie Bishop on 7.30 last night wanted both to seem one of the consulted but also not make the freezing out of Morrison look worse.
The result was ugly, marked by several death stares at interviewer Leigh Sales:

LEIGH SALES:  Malcolm Turnbull has says that his decision to recall the Senate and to bring forward the budget was done in consultation with a very small circle.... And when did Mr Turnbull actually tell you that he was going to make an announcement that he was going to do those two things?
JULIE BISHOP: I was in discussions with the Prime Minister over the weekend....
LEIGH SALES: Does it strike you as odd that the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, found out that the budget was coming forward by a week in the Cabinet meeting? Wouldn’t you expect the Treasurer to get some advance notice of that?
JULIE BISHOP: Everybody had advance notice that this was a proposition. Indeed, I recall reading it in the media, about the 22nd of February, that the Prime Minister may well bring forward the budget by a week. So I don’t think it was a secret.
LEIGH SALES: I don’t think you’d expect the Treasurer, though, to get his intelligence on the budget timing from the media?
UPDATE
Turnbull is trashing Morrison, and now publicly, says Sharri Markson:
Malcolm Turnbull criticised Scott Morrison over his handling of the GST in front of cabinet colleagues during a dinner at The Lodge.
Some of the Treasurer’s colleagues saw the Prime Minister’s remarks at the February 21 dinner­ as a dressing-down.
The Australian understands Mr Turnbull told Mr Morrison his continued hard sell on raising the GST had shown the government in a bad light and was causing it difficulty.
Simon Benson says Turnbull’s team is trashing Morrison privately, too:
Despite protests that there was no rift, reports have emerged that the PM’s office had been backgrounding journalists against the Treasurer.
Tony Abbott may have been too loyal to his Treasurer, Joe Hockey, but I don’t think Turnbull’s very different treatment of Morrison is an improvement.
UPDATE
Talking about briefing against Morrison....
Turnbull’s cleaner, Niki Savva, rushes out with mop and bucket and even blames Morrison in part for Turnbull’s mess:
Turnbull had already discussed the plan in broad terms with his leadership group, including Scott Morrison, which made the Treasurer’s emphatic statement on Monday morning that the budget would be announced on May 10 unwise, to say the least.
There was no conspiracy here; it looked like what it was: a bit of a stuff-up from both sides. A call to Morrison early that morning to warn him the announcement was imminent, or Morrison being more nuanced with his words, would have averted it.
And then it’s back to heaping abuse on her pet hate-figure and Turnbull’s nemisis:
Tony Rudd ...  thinking he is still prime minister ... Kevin Abbott ... not totally stupid ...  his bloodlust ... Abbott seems destined to become a pariah ... That bench at Manly and the pigeons beckon ... Senior members of the government console themselves by saying that every time Abbott appears he reminds people why they are glad he is gone. This may be true ....
UPDATE
Michelle Grattan must get the same anti-Morrison briefings as Savva:

Malcolm Turnbull admits he did not make a call on Sunday night to tell Scott Morrison he was bringing the budget forward, but that draws attention to the obvious point – Morrison had abundant warning.
Morrison’s embarrassment over declaring the budget would be delivered on May 10 about an hour before Turnbull announced it would be May 3 has been seized upon as the latest evidence of what are poor relations between the two.It’s actually evidence of Morrison’s inept and too clever-by-half style. Morrison was fully aware the budget was highly likely to be earlier..
(Thanks to readers John and Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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My Roman diary in last week’s Spectator, just popped onto the blog for archival reasons

Andrew Bolt March 23 2016 (9:54pm)

The George Pell witch hunt

image
I love Rome. I love how the old is woven into the new, so the ruins of some dead medieval building now form a wall of a living apartment block. I love how you can walk from where St Peter was buried, having been crucified upside down, to the hotel on the Via Nazionale where Cardinal George Pell was crucified last week. Such continuities help put things into context.

(Read the whole thing in the Spectator Australia, or read on below.)

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'My Roman diary in last week’s Spectator, just popped onto the blog for archival reasons'
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GARBAGE SCHOOL

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 24, 2015 (4:12pm)

Adelaide’s latest education program
Residents in a group of Parkside housing trust units littered with waste will be taught how to properly use rubbish bins as part of an education program.
KESAB, Unley Council and Housing SA will work with residents of the Rosslyn Court complex to teach them how to correctly dispose of general waste and recyclables. 
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STRONG ARGUMENT

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 24, 2015 (4:09pm)

Did you know that US conservatives support slavery? It’s true, according to New York historian Harold Holzer’srecent ABC interview: 
Keeping slavery, you know, limiting rights of people of colour, voting rights certainly – is more like the right wing of today’s Republican Party. And you see that in the voting patterns because in 1860 the south voted solidly Democratic, the more conservative party and since the 1970s and 80s the south has voted solidly Republican – you know, with the exception of Florida, which is a unique case – but solidly Republican, which is the conservative party. So I think you can make the strong argument that there has been a switch – not in the values: it’s just the party of Lincoln is not the party of Lincoln anymore. 
(Via Andy M.)
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HOOPLA GONE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 24, 2015 (1:55pm)

Strangely, the horoscope at Wendy Harmer’s Hoopla never predicted this
It is with sadness that co-founder of The Hoopla, Jane Waterhouse and I tell you that this will be the last edition of The Hoopla in its present incarnation …
At The Hoopla, we endeavoured to find original material from the best opinion writers and pay them for their labours. We operated on that proverbial shoe-string budget with never more than a handful of paid staff (Kath, Tennille, Sofia, Ali, Sue), and we also did our level best to find advertisers who saw our many passionate readers as worth talking to. 
The site’s traffic and revenue were impressive, but five staffers was probably overdoing it. Hoopla also faced the not-inconsiderable difficulty of competing with a certain tax-funded behemoth – which Paul Barry’s brief obit declined to mention.
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IMPOLITENESS PENALTY

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 24, 2015 (2:26am)

A rugby union player in Australia has been fined $20,000 for calling someone – someone who isn’t gay – a faggot.
If this penalty applied to South Park, that program (and SBS, which broadcasts South Park in Australia) would be hit with at least $280,000 in fines.
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Why import tensions?

Andrew Bolt March 24 2015 (4:49pm)

Blame on both sides of this fault line, but why are we knowingly importing tensions? How is this in the national interest?
FEARS of tensions erupting in Melbourne’s northern suburbs between long-term residents and new migrants have prompted the Victorian Government to commit tens of thousands of dollars to promote calm. 
Fawkner and similar multicultural suburbs — which are popular destinations for new arrivals — have faced a surge in racially motivated violence and discrimination. The area was flagged as a potential boiling point due to marginalisation of the growing Muslim community, socio-economic disadvantage and growing employment challenges, according to a 2013 RMIT report.
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Bandt accused

Andrew Bolt March 24 2015 (4:20pm)

Seriously?
Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt has been [dobbed in] by a government MP for a controversial comment about child brides he denies making. 
At least they’re not in detention,” Mr Bandt interjected in parliament on Tuesday as the government outlined new laws cracking down on forced child marriages…
The MP later denied making such a comment, furiously shaking his head as Nationals MP George Christensen raised it to the Speaker’s attention.
“All I will say is I have ears and look how close I was (to him),” Mr Christensen said.
Hmm:
After question time Bandt said he had been misrepresented by Christensen – but he didn’t really outline how. 
A spokesman for Bandt ...  says the interjection was not dealt with accurately by Christensen at a couple of levels. Bandt’s spokesman said the Greens deputy leader remarked, after a statement from justice minister Michael Keenan that the government wanted to help children – unless they are in detention. So according to Bandt’s spokesman, the point was the government wanted to help children under duress – unless they were in detention… Christensen for his part was sticking by his version of events in the personal explanations post question time.
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7.30 misses the story

Andrew Bolt March 24 2015 (4:16pm)

I thought last night’s 7.30 was soft-Left pap even for a dull news day. But Chris Kenny notes the ABC actually ignored a story that needed telling:
Lee Kuan Yew was a vital partner for Australia in trade, diplomacy and security… The Singaporean leader often prodded at Australia — warning we might become the “poor white trash of Asia” — but he was a central conduit in our nation’s gradual enmeshment with the region that started in the post-war years and has accelerated over the past four decades. 
Yet on the ABC’s premier current affairs program 7.30 last night there was not a mention — not an overview of his life, not an interview about his importance and not a discussion about Singapore’s future; Nothing.
Instead we had a cosy chat plugging former Labor premier of Queensland Anna Bligh’s book, and a story about a disabled actor. 
If we can’t rely on the ABC for some real current affairs and some real commitment to the issues that matter to the nation, what is the point of having it?
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Abbott’s stunning recovery continues - 49 to 51 in Newspoll

Andrew Bolt March 24 2015 (2:50pm)

I said the last Newspoll - so bad for Tony Abbott - seemed an anomaly. His recovery is real, and all the more remarkable for occurring despite a ferocious media campaign - especially by Fairfax and the ABC - to denigrate and destroy him::
The latest Newspoll, taken ­exclusively for The Australian at the weekend, shows core support for the government is up three points in the past fortnight and is six points higher than when Tony Abbott faced a spill motion against his leadership six weeks ago. 
It is the first time the ­Coalition’s primary vote has been above 40 per cent since September and is the equal-highest level since April — before last May’s budget when the vote collapsed…
Based on preference flows from the 2013 election, the surge in the primary vote for the ­Coalition has lifted it within striking distance of Labor in two-party-preferred terms to 49 per cent compared with the opposition’s 51 per cent
I think this Newspoll may slightly exaggerate the other way. If the next Newspoll is 48-52, in line with Essential’s poll, that would most likely represent not a decline in Abbott’s fortunes but a poll correction.
Lesson 1: Abbott can win the next election.
Lesson 2: Polls jump around, and trends count more - so windsock alert: stop overreacting to every poll twitch.
Lesson 3: If some Liberals had not been so disloyal, the party would already be in front.
Lesson 4: the real leadership vacuum is Labor’s.
UPDATE
The ABC is a caricature of itself. On Radio National Breakfast, regular commentator Paul Bongiorno does his but, but, but.
But the Government had a bad week. But the Morgan poll is worse. But the previous poll was bad. But Abbott is living from poll to poll. But
And then a whack at Abbott’s cuts to foreign aid and off we go.
The ABC’s war against the Liberals must never be forgotten by the Liberals. There must one day be a reckoning. This abuse of vast state power cannot be tolerated in a healthy democracy.
UPDATE
On the other hand, Essential’s poll goes the other way, the gap widening today - the Coalition’s 46 to Labor’s 54.
More confirmation that Newspoll overstates the recovery. 
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Sydney Morning Herald voters are nothing like the rest of us

Andrew Bolt March 24 2015 (9:54am)

The Sydney Morning Herald today exposes the vast gap between its on-line readers and voters generally.
How its on-line readers will vote:
image
How NSW citizens generally will vote, according to a Galaxy poll:
image
Liberals should be far less spooked by SMH on-line headlines and Twitter trends. These things are as representative of voters as Gorbachev was of Russians.
(Thanks to reader Pitman.) 
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Finally a Hitler analogy that’s right: ISIS as the Fourth Reich

Andrew Bolt March 24 2015 (9:14am)

Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul:
Isis is dedicated to a contemporary holocaust. It has pledged itself to the murder of Shias, Jews, Christians, Copts, Yazidis and anyone it can, however fancifully, accuse of being a spy. It has wiped out the civilian populations of whole regions and towns. Isis could very credibly abandon the label of Caliphate and call itself the Fourth Reich.
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Populist Labor gutted of principle. Labor reformers appalled, investors scared

Andrew Bolt March 24 2015 (8:53am)

Modern Labor is gutted of principle and gripped by populism. Old-style Labor reformers are disgusted:
TWO of Labor’s brightest minds have slammed [NSW Labor] Opposition Leader Luke Foley’s bungled election campaign. 
Former federal minister Martin Ferguson lashed Mr Foley’s “rank opportunism and blatant scaremongering” and said his policy of cancelling the Santos Narrabri gas project was “irresponsible”.
And writing in today’s Daily Telegraph, veteran Labor adviser Tim Gleason, who worked on six ALP election campaigns, said Mr Foley had badly over-estimated public opposition to Premier Mike Baird’s plan to lease part of the state’s electricity network to raise $20 billion to fund ­urgently needed roads, rail and schools infrastructure…
Mr Ferguson will today tell the Australian Domestic Gas Outlook conference that Labor has let NSW voters down by its anti-CSG policy…

“Luke Foley’s campaign has been tarnished by rank opportunism and blatant scaremongering. It has been economically irresponsible and, I believe, extremely damaging to NSW Labor’s credentials on the issue of sovereign risk.” 
Sovereign risk is also an issue now in Labor-led Victoria, with the Government tearing up a contract to build a much-needed road - as well as giving unions mates’ rates:
Victorian business leaders have urged the Andrews government to explain its strategy for growth and infrastructure. 
Since being elected at the end of November, the Andrews government has abolished the state’s building code, moved legislation to drop “move-on” laws for illegal pickets and has said it will not stick to the 2.5 per cent-plus efficiencies public sector wages policy.
Intense negotiations between the government and the Lend Lease-led East West toll road consortium have stalled, with the government drafting legislation to avoid paying $1.2 billion in compensation for not proceeding with the $6.8 billion project.
Qube Logistics chief executive Maurice James said ... “It would be extremely difficult for me to go back to our board to ask for any significant capital investment into Victoria because of the uncertainty that exists...”
The Queensland Labor Government is about to make voters pay big for its own populist crusade against privatisation: 

Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s first budget is set to be hit by the double whammy of two late-season cyclones, which will blow a major hole in the budget and make the financial task even harder for the first-term Labor government. With the ALP ditching the former Newman government’s $37 billion asset sales plan, which was set to pay down $25 billion in debt, the Palaszczuk government was already going to be struggling to control a deterioration in the state’s finances in the July budget.  
My tip? The scoundrels will hide their incompetence behind the giant fig leaf of global warming.
Peter Reith says the heat is on another populist Labor leader who is fighting reform:
The real fear is that both sides of politics might persuade themselves that they have no choice but to walk away from fiscal repair prior to the next election… 
Labor is a big part of the problem. Bill Shorten’s negativity has made Abbott’s time in opposition look as if he were a saint. Confidence in the economy is under attack, not because of the Coalition but instead because of a sense of despair in many quarters that the political system is not able to produce good economic outcomes. In that regard Shorten has been a total failure as a leader. He lacks a broader view and he has no sense of strategy of how he might one day have to confront the same problems as Abbott.
Give the Governments in Queensland and Victoria another year to show the cost of voting Labor and Bill Shorten will really struggle.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Now desperate NSW Labor plays the China card

Andrew Bolt March 24 2015 (8:43am)

 How desperate are NSW Labor and its union cronies as their self-serving scare campaign against privatisation stalls?
Here’s how desperate: they are now playing the race card and appealing to xenophobia. So where is the Left to call them out?
A new front has opened up in Labor’s war against Mike Baird’s bid to privatise the NSW electricity network after details emerged of a meeting between Treasurer Andrew Constance and a Chinese government-owned company over the deal… 
The revelation has prompted the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union to unleash television advertising questioning the appropriateness of a foreign power owning NSW electricity businesses.

“Selling the electricity network is wrong,” the advertisement says. “Selling it to another country is just not on.” 
On Monday, a senior Labor source suggested that the purchase of electricity assets by a Chinese-government owned firm was a national security issue..., noting that one business up for lease, high voltage transmission business Transgrid, “can turn Canberra off at the flick of a switch”.
Pathetic.
A corrective:
On Monday, Constance said that “nobody is in the front running” for the assets and that “all investors will have to adhere to the [Foreign Investment Review Board] requirements”.
(Thanks to readers Baden and Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Bloated ABC helps kill yet another free-market competitor

Andrew Bolt March 24 2015 (8:19am)

The ABC is not simply biased, in contravention of its legal obligation to be balanced.
The ABC is also far too big - the biggest media outfit in the country - and is crushing pluralism. It is destroying private media rivals.
The latest example, the fall of the Hoopla website run by Wendy Harmer.
Hoopla was pitched at the same kind of anti-Abbott Leftist demographic catered to by the ABC, albeit the female half of it. Harmer explains what killed it:
Since 2011, The Hoopla has published some 5,000 articles, 300 writers… The online media game in Australia is evolving at dizzying speed and increasingly becoming one for players with very deep pockets – often supported by overseas media networks who are able to absorb enormous financial losses for their forays into the local market. Often the content offered is from writers and interns who work for free; reprinted from other sites or blogs and, increasingly, material under licence from the taxpayer-funded ABC.
Here’s another example.  In May 2013, we got a new player in the private media:
Peter Fray, the former publisher and editor-in-chief of The Sydney Morning Herald, has today launched his new political fact checking website PolitiFact Australia and says he is close to announcing a media partner for the site. 
Politifact Australia is based on the format of its US counterpart, created by the Tampa Bay Times, and seeks to test political statements categorising them along a ‘truthometer’, with different ratings from true to half true to “pants on fire” for completely untrue statements.
But at the very time Fray was setting up Politifact, Labor gave the ABC an extra grant to launch exactly the same service:
The ABC has received $10 million in additional funding from the Federal Government to enhance its news output… ABC News will also establish a fact-checking and research unit…
Politifact was dead just months later, thanks largely to the ABC. Boss Peter Fray mourned:
“We don’t have the budget the ABC does and tax payers funding...”
(Thanks to reader John.) 
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Seselja calls out the Greens on coal

Andrew Bolt March 24 2015 (7:45am)

 Liberal Senator Zed Seselja calls out the Greens’ mad crusade against coal:
This is a motion that would seek to make ferals of us all. It is the sort of motion that is part of the Greens overall agenda to shut down the coal industry that will send us all back to the caves…
Around the country there are approximately 55,000 direct jobs for Australians in the coal industry. There are around 145,000 related jobs for Australians. That is $6 billion in wages paid to Australian workers through the coal industry. The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics estimates coal is responsible for export earnings of $40 billion…
It goes further. State treasury papers record that the coal industry was responsible for royalty payments of $20.5 billion between 2006-07 and 2012-13. Deloitte Access Economics estimate the coal industry is responsible for $17.7 billion in company tax in that same period. Think of the impact if that amount of company tax were not paid, if that amount of royalties had not been paid to the states. Who would pay for the hospitals? Who would pay for the schools? Who would pay for the roads?…
Coal is responsible for 34 per cent of Australia’s primary energy and 75 per cent of our grid electricity… 
[C]oal is one of our largest export commodities… There are billions of people in the world, who the Greens do not care about, who do not have access to electricity.... We have the opportunity to provide cheap and affordable electricity that will lift people out of poverty. Surely that is something we should be celebrating.  
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The incredible vanishing Clive Palmer

Andrew Bolt March 24 2015 (7:30am)

First Clive Palmer lost seven of his eight Palmer United politicians. Now  he’s losing his fortune:

Clive Palmer’s wealth is being slashed almost daily by the ­dramatic collapse in the iron ore price as his Chinese business partner Citic prepares today to reveal what is expected to be another huge loss from its Sino Iron ­project in Western Australia’s ­Pilbara…  
For Mr Palmer, however, there is an even worse scenario: the possibility that he will receive virtually nothing more for the magnetite concentrate that is being produced and exported by Citic.
As the project landlord, Citic has already paid Mineralogy more than $US400 million for the rights to develop the project. But those payments occurred in 2006 and 2008, and there is a belief that Mr Palmer has long since spent that windfall. He has received about $4m for what is known as royalty A — yet this is barely enough to cover a few months’ legal fees in his battles against Citic.
He is yet to receive any of the more lucrative royalty — known as royalty B — because of a dispute with Citic over the methodology in how they calculate the amount payable.
Citic has flagged the possibility that unless an agreement could be reached, their original deal should be severed and Mr Palmer could receive nothing.
(Thanks to reader WaG311.) 
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No Liberal could survive making “jokes” that Labor makes about Pyne

Andrew Bolt March 24 2015 (7:07am)

How the Left hates

I thought it best to overlook this hurtful abuse, but now that James McCann writes about it in The Australian the point does need to be made:
Last Friday, at the end of a debate segment between Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne, Karl Stefanovic ushered his guests out of The Today Show studios and into the parking lot, toward a car that was missing a tyre. In reference to his now notorious “I’m a fixer” interview, the Education Minister was invited to change the tyre and prove that he was, indeed, “a fixer”. 
Pyne was very capable ...  and set about “fixing” it in place.
“Where are the nuts?” said Pyne. Albanese, giggling, was unable to stop himself from launching the obvious zinger. “Not the first time he’s said that!”
After the program aired the media scarcely mentioned the exchange. Why would they? It is but the most recent occasion on which progressive politicians have put their high-mindedness to one side and made closeted attacks on Pyne.
I recall that in the 2010 election, around Pyne’s electorate where I lived at the time, large placards were erected featuring an especially camp photograph of Pyne featuring the caption “What is Christopher Pyne Hiding?” In question time the year before, Kevin Rudd labelled Pyne “the member for skirt”, and Julia Gillard gave dog whistling new meaning when she called him a mincing poodle…
Pyne takes them in his stride.
The ALP, and progressives in general, are seldom so thick- skinned. David Bushby, for example, may never be allowed to live down the time he meowed at Penny Wong. Tony Abbott, as one may remember, was once accused of misogyny in question time simply because he checked his watch. Conservative columnist Piers Akerman, appearing on Insiders on the ABC, merely mentioned that others had previously cast aspersions regarding Gillard’s sexuality [actually that of her partner], and he was blacklisted from the program.
There is a stark double standard here, where those on the progressive side of politics are free to make use of colourful invective while conservatives are forever labelled hurtful and insensitive.
Spot on.
Can you imagine the media uproar had Abbott, not Albanese, made that comment, and about a Green?
Why these monstrous double standards, not just from Labor by the Canberra press gallery?
I suspect the public is noticing, and that this is a minor factor in Abbott’s recovery. The media Left has simply overplayed its hand.
UPDATE
Nick Cater on the Left’s selective offence-taking, a cynical tool used to shut down discussions the Left does not want to have:
In the hands of the politically correct, an allegation of casual ­racism is a stop-writ to shut down discussion. 
Citizens are put on ­notice every time they open their mouths; racism, like misogyny, is a reputation-destroying ­accusa­tion and often a sackable ­offence.
The expansion of the race-speech moratorium to cover not just biological racism but cultural matters too has meant that the discussion we badly need to have about the place of Islam in modern Australian society was smothered before it began.
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Cruz declares

Andrew Bolt March 24 2015 (7:06am)

 Ted Cruz is the first Republican candidate in the race for the presidency in 2016:

As the first major presidential candidate to officially declare, he told the crowd to “imagine a president that finally, finally, finally secures the borders” and drew applause when he promised to “stand up and defeat radical Islamic terrorism.” 
Cruz continued his pledge by telling the crowd to “imagine a president who says I will honor the Constitution and under no circumstances will Iran be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon.”
More on this…

He also urged the crowd to imagine a simple flat tax. He added, “imagine abolishing the IRS.”
Like the talk. Don’t like this feeling of unease.
UPDATE
Paul Mirengoff:

Cruz is undervalued, I think, by the pundit-oddsmakers. Most would probably agree that, if Cruz becomes the favorite of the conservative base, he will be a top-tier candidate, if not a co-favorite for the nomination. 
As of today, Cruz doesn’t seem like the favorite of the conservative base. That status goes to Scott Walker. But Walker hasn’t shown that he can hold up in debates against forensically gifted candidates like Cruz and Marco Rubio. (To be fair, he hasn’t shown that he can’t).
Should Walker falter, Cruz might well become the base’s preferred candidate. His main advantage over Rubio is obvious — he did not sponsor, or even support, amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. 
Cruz’s main disadvantage is that Republicans of all persuasions want badly to win in 2016. Cruz, who doesn’t exactly ooze warmth and has been vilified by the mainstream media for years, looks to me like the most beatable of the major GOP hopefuls. Rubio may be the least beatable. 
(Thanks to reader Eagle Dan.) 
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Reading too much in Julie Bishop’s talking eyes

Andrew Bolt March 23 2015 (8:44pm)

 Fairfax and the ABC have gleefully jumped on the Julie Bishop eye-roll, claiming it showed the Foreign Minister was sick of being filleted by the Treasurer:
Ms Bishop’s burst of expression occurred when Treasurer Joe Hockey was making his tribute to Fraser and praised him for starting the Expenditure Review Committee, the sub-grouping of cabinet that runs the budget… 
... when Mr Hockey mentioned the budget committee, she proceeded to roll her eyes, shake her head, mutter under her breath, put her head in her hand and raise her eyebrows in dazzling and devastating succession…
It is ...  likely that she was referring to the morning’s papers, which carried the news that her already-diminished aid budget was to be cut further by the committee.
As she had earlier told the ABC, this was the first she’d heard of the idea.
“I’ll certainly be taking that up with the Treasurer to find the source of that story,” she warned.
Her subsequent eye rolling suggests their conversation isn’t going to be easy. 
But wait. Greg Sheridan of The Australian is the author of the story which had Bishop fumning. And this is the line that did it:
The $140m outlay over four years for the innovationXchange centre will come from the overall aid budget, which The Australian understands is likely to suffer a further small cut in the May ­budget.
Sheridan tonight on 2GB told me the source of that bit in bold - that Bishop’s aid budget would suffer a “small cut” - was neither Prime Minister Tony Abbott nor Treasurer Joe Hockey. Nor was it anyone speaking on their behalf. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann further notes that no such cuts have been discussed by the Expenditure Review Committee. Abbott has ruled out cuts.
Which makes this very much a storm in a teacup.
And which makes this comment by the Sydney Morning Herald’s Mark Kenny sound awfully like yet another of his increasingly shrill anti-Abbott beatups:
… the incident has fanned smouldering tensions within the government at the highest levels, revealing an absence of trust among Mr Abbott’s most senior leadership group. 
A source said relations between Mr Hockey and Ms Bishop were at an all-time low and that Ms Bishop’s relationship with Mr Abbott was also under strain - largely because of his office.
In Parliament, Ms Bishop, regarded by many Liberals as the government’s best performing minister, made no secret of her disdain for Mr Hockey when he praised Malcolm Fraser for initiating the review committee process. 
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WORK ON WEDNESDAY

Tim Blair – Monday, March 24, 2014 (3:50am)

I was wrong to make fun of the kind-hearted and caring people at their little anti-Abbott hate rallies last week. I understand now, thanks to the ABC, that I “misrepresented the nature of the marches by focussing on offensive signs without placing these in the broader context of a peaceful rally with many inoffensive signs.”
The ABC, by contrast, carefully and extremely fairly removed any offensive signs from its March in March coverage. The ABC even managed to avoid showing a sign bearing the words “F**K TONY F**K DEMOCRACY”, which was something of an effort, considering that the sign was so large it spanned a Melbourne street and needed a dozen or so people to carry it.
I was also wrong to dismiss the March in March movement as inconsequential. This is because I hadn’t realised the rules had changed, and that last September’s election can now be overruled by some shouty people whose total number amounts to only around one-tenth of Brisbane council’s electorate.
The only proper response, obviously, is for the forces of civilisation to conduct an even larger demonstration – without the obscene signs, Socialist Alliance t-shirts and dopey chants. This will be a demonstration of solid Australian values, supporting democracy, order, good manners, application and ambition.
I propose that we hold just such a demonstration this very week. Despite minimal time for organisation, this could be the largest demonstration in Australian history. For that matter, it might turn out to be one of the largest demonstrations ever held on earth.

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CULTURAL CONFUSION

Tim Blair – Monday, March 24, 2014 (3:45am)

There’s a striking scene in Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator, where Baron Cohen – playing an Islamic despot lost and unknown in New York – attempts to gain sympathy from earnest local girl Zoey (Anna Faris) by claiming he was the victim of sexual abuse.
“They raped me,” he announces, “in a very unprofessional way.” Zoey falls for it. “We have to get you to the rape centre,” she decides, but Admiral General Haffaz Aladeen comically misunderstands the centre’s role.
“You have a centre for rape here?” he says, excitedly. “Great! I’d love to go! You know, hire a limo, have some cocktails, bring my rapin’ shoes …”
A similar moment of cultural confusion also occurred in real life, according to the BBC, which recently reported the very first attempted prosecutions in Britain for female genital mutilation. One of the leads pursued by police followed what the BBC delicately described as a “misunderstanding”:
“A suspect contacted an FGM helpline to request the procedure for his two daughters after misunderstanding the purpose of the service for victims.”
Er, yes. US columnist Mark Steyn offered this take on the chap’s puzzlement: “What an unfortunate ‘misunderstanding’. The gentleman had called the Female Genital Mutilation Helpline thinking it was a helpline set up by Her Majesty’s Government to help you find someone to genitally mutilate your daughters. In the rich, vibrant diversity of the modern multicultural state, it’s easy to see why the poor fellow might make that assumption. Just give it a couple more years, sir.”
Indeed. Even more remarkable than this bloke’s mistaken notion of how a mutilation helpline works is that Britain is only now taking serious legal steps against those who brutalise young girls for the sake of Islam.
There have been no prosecutions in the UK despite FGM being outlawed nearly 30 years ago, and despite more than 140 referrals to police since 2010. Those referrals only give a tiny hint to the scale of these vicious crimes. Last year Britain’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children produced research indicating that more than 70 women and girls in Britain seek treatment every month after undergoing genital mutilation.
In France, police have achieved more than 100 FGM convictions. Britain is presumably too constrained by multi-culti timidity to do much about it. Australia, as well, is shamefully inert when it comes to addressing this wicked practice. We’ve only seen a handful of prosecutions, yet in 2010 Melbourne’s Royal Women’s Hospital reported treating between 600 to 700 FGM cases every year.
That would put our FGM count very close to Britain’s. Enjoy the vibrant diversity, people.
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MR CONGENIALITY

Tim Blair – Monday, March 24, 2014 (3:35am)

Sydney Morning Herald columnist Mike Carlton interacts with his fans on Twitter:

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FIFTEEN APOLOGIES

Tim Blair – Monday, March 24, 2014 (3:15am)

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WOMEN, UNBELIEVERS DENIED

Tim Blair – Monday, March 24, 2014 (3:11am)

The latest stage of Britain’s surrender
Islamic law is to be effectively enshrined in the British legal system for the first time under guidelines for solicitors on drawing up “Sharia compliant” wills.
Under ground-breaking guidance, produced by The Law Society, High Street solicitors will be able to write Islamic wills that deny women an equal share of inheritances and exclude unbelievers altogether.
The documents, which would be recognised by Britain’s courts, will also prevent children born out of wedlock – and even those who have been adopted – from being counted as legitimate heirs.
Anyone married in a church, or in a civil ceremony, could be excluded from succession under Sharia principles, which recognise only Muslim weddings for inheritance purposes. 
Just give up already.
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GO FOR IT, BUTCH

Tim Blair – Monday, March 24, 2014 (3:04am)

It’s always the babes who get us car guys in trouble:

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INTERLUDE

Tim Blair – Monday, March 24, 2014 (2:21am)

In 1974, between bands, Rolling Stone Ron Wood recorded a solo album. Here’s a jaunty Monday morning music break.
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Howes to quit, Labor to lose

Andrew Bolt March 24 2014 (11:59am)

I suspected from Paul Howes’ impatient advice to Labor last month that he’d had it with both the party and politics:
Howes is going ... where? Not to the Labor front bench, I would guess. 
And indeed:
Australia’s highest profile unionist, Paul Howes, is expected to announce his resignation from the union movement on Monday. 
Sources within the Australian Workers Union confirmed on Sunday night that Mr Howes, its national secretary, would announce his departure.
UPDATE
For me the key fact is that Howes is just 32. He started as Trot and quits as a member of Labor’s Right. Sure, he’s leaving future options open, but I suspect he needs some freedom to further develop his political and philosophical positions without the obligation to toe a line or protect positions dictated by his job. I’m not saying this is exactly why he quit, but it is a great reward for doing so:
The Financial Review has been told he had been seeking a job in the corporate sector but it is understood Mr Howes has no immediate plans. 
His departure from the trade union movement, with which he has been associated since 1999, is not regarded by those close to him as the end of his political aspirations… It is understood that [Howes] has been frustrated at the labour movement’s response to his calls for modernisation…
Mr Howes leaves the labour movement as the Abbott government is mounting a full-scale assault on trade unions with its royal commission into union corruption. The AWU is a specific target of the commission because of a slush fund operated by a former boyfriend of Ms Gillard’s more than two decades ago… 
Last year, he called on Labor to support laws proposed by Tony Abbott to bring penalties for corrupt union bosses into line with those of corrupt corporate executives. Mr Howes is set to shed all his political duties.
UPDATE
I doubt Howes will actually be saying much about this at all, or not for a long while:
Australia’s highest profile unionist, Paul Howes, has broken ranks with his own union and will press for Labor and the unions to sever their historic link. 
Fairfax Media understands Mr Howes has recently shifted his position and now supports the severing of the 123-year old formal tie between unions and Labor… In behind-the-scenes discussions the young leader has recently revealed his personal conclusion that affiliation was damaging both the party and affiliated unions. However he has been hamstrung in his public comments by the fact that AWU’s official position was at odds with his personal view.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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BBC calls off global warming debates, having lost so often

Andrew Bolt March 24 2014 (11:55am)

You’d think someone with the science all on his side would welcome the chance to make a fool of a “denier” in front of millions.  But it seems the BBC is not sure enough of its facts to dare try:
A BBC executive in charge of editorial standards has ordered programme editors not to broadcast debates between climate scientists and global warming sceptics. 
Alasdair MacLeod..., head of editorial standards and compliance for BBC Scotland, sent an email on February 27 to 18 senior producers and editors… It reads: ‘When covering climate change stories, we should not run debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics.
Pathetic. Simply pathetic.
You see, when debates are allowed, embarrassing things tend to happen to warmists:
 And, not safe for work:
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What is it with the Left and abuse?

Andrew Bolt March 24 2014 (11:44am)

Former “independent” MP Tony Windsor is a man of no class:

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Has Windsor ever considered that the criticism he received from some News Corp writers may have had something to do with his discreditable behaviour, including his foul abuse, his support for one of the country’s most deceitful and inept governments, his endorsement of a pointlessly painful carbon tax and his betrayal of the wishes of his own electorate?
He didn’t quit politics because his voters were pleased with him. It is the mark of a child to blame a paper which simply reported his shame.
(Thanks to reader Gab.) 
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If temperatures don’t rise, the hype must

Andrew Bolt March 24 2014 (9:35am)

Global warming - dud predictionsGlobal warming - propaganda

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If the temperatures don’t increase like the IPCC claimed, then there’s only one option left - to increase the hype:
UN scientists are set to deliver their darkest report yet on the impacts of climate change, pointing to a future stalked by floods, drought, conflict and economic damage if carbon emissions go untamed. 
A draft of their report, seen by the news organisation AFP, is part of a massive overview by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, likely to shape policies and climate talks for years to come.
Strange, given the IPCC only last year conceded that much of the predicted disaster wasn’t actually happening.
In fact, according to one of the most important climate-related measures of all, we are doing brilliantly:
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(Thanks to reader aussieute.)   
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Labor foolishly breaks a second carbon tax promise

Andrew Bolt March 24 2014 (8:22am)

Carbon tax

 HOW many times will Labor lie about the carbon tax? And when will it learn its lies are even worse than the tax itself?
Last week, Labor, only seven months after its election wipe-out, voted with the Greens in the Senate to save the carbon tax it promised to scrap.
How mad is this, compounding the damage of its first broken promise by breaking a second?
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Lie one was told by prime minister Julia Gillard just days before the 2010 election when Labor realised a Liberal scare campaign on the tax could cost it government. A panicked Gillard rushed out to tell Channel 10: “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.”
Her treasurer, Wayne Swan, gave the same guarantee: “No. It’s not possible that we’re bringing in the carbon tax; that is a hysterically inaccurate claim being made by the Coalition.”
(Read full article here. Thanks to reader Zeg for the cartoon.)  
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One way or another, the Government will have to return them

Andrew Bolt March 24 2014 (8:22am)

Boat people policy

The Abbott Government cannot afford to take one person on Manus. The credibility of its “none will pass” threat would collapse:
Papua New Guinea government has warned some of the 1300 asylum-seekers on Manus Island might have to be repatriated to Australia or elsewhere amid new assertions that many are not genuine refugees. 
Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato told The Australian yesterday the PNG government’s legal advice was that some of the detainees were not entitled to be considered for refugee status. “We’ll have to consider giving them the flick in the next few weeks,” he said. But he raised concerns about the resettlement of any genuine refugees as well, saying they did not want to be in PNG and may have to be resettled elsewhere.
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No, God cannot want more dead boat people

Andrew Bolt March 24 2014 (7:58am)

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THE problem with sanctimony is it’s so selfish. For one, it doesn’t do a thing to stop boat people dying.
Nine protesters last week invaded Immigration Minister Scott Morrison’s office to hold a prayer vigil for “Mr Morrison to change his heart”.
Note: it wouldn’t matter to God whether they’d prayed in Morrison’s office or a church. Clearly, these authoritarians — one a former Greens official — occupied Morrison’s office simply to harass the minister, himself a Christian.
How Christian is that? And fancy pretending they were just praying. May God not strike them dead for taking his name in vain.
Besides, what were they praying for?
(Read full column here.)  
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Paul Barry damages the ABC brand. Time the chairman reined him in - and Mark Scott, too

Andrew Bolt March 24 2014 (7:32am)

Culture warsMedia

 Is Paul Barry obsessed with Murdoch hatred or it he just using the ABC for free marketing?
Funded by the taxpayer, Media Watch is meant to provide impartial analysis of the media industry, examining conflicts of interest, deceit, plagiarism and abuse of power. 
But, far from being an impartial host, Barry authored an anti-News Corp book, Breaking News: Sex, Lies and the Murdoch Succession, last year and has so far criticised News Corp’s news­papers in 11 out of 19 segments in seven Media Watch episodes broadcast since he took the reins as host on February 3 this year.
That is around two thirds of all Media Watch segments devoted to a company which owns no radio stations, no television stations and only one third of the newspapers. Why doesn’t the ABC simply call its show Murdoch Watch?
Or Mistakes Watch:
Under Barry’s watch, Media Watch has been forced to make three corrections in just seven 10-minute episodes, and has twice been accused of misleading viewers by selectively editing responses to push a story angle.
It’s Murdoch-Murdoch-Murdoch with Barry:
The Australian commissioned media intelligence firm iSentia to do an independent analysis of Barry’s Twitter feed for any perceived bias against News Corp. 
iSentia’s group communications manager, Patrick Baume, said 30 of Barry’s 54 tweets in the past month related to News Corp. 
Mind you, the ABC’s managing director, Mark Scott, sets this unfortunate tone.
But the ABC board, and especially chairman James Spigelman, should consider the damage this obsessive hatred is doing to the ABC’s brand.
A Barry or a Scott or a Jonathan “Pinata” Green may protest they are only returning fire against Murdoch papers and columnists who attack the ABC over its bias. But while this argument may appeal to the partisan, this anti-Murdoch onslaught actually exposes the ABC’s great failing.
It is one thing for privately-owned papers which are avowedly conservative or Right-of-centre to criticise the taxpayer-funded ABC for a bias that is against its charter. But for the publicly-owned ABC to respond in kind, with such hostility and vehemence, simply confirms that bias. It signals that the ABC is indeed as much to the Left as the Australian is to the “Right”.
Is Spigelman comfortable with that positioning? After all, it doesn’t just invite more criticism from Murdoch writers; it justifies it.
UPDATE
Flint Duxfield, a Media Watch researcher, last week sent the Daily Telegraph a preposterous list of questions demanding to know why the paper hadn’t been kinder about the anti-Abbott protesters of the March in March.
Reader Peter H is curious:
Not that anyone could know the politics of any ABC staffer, but…. Did the worldview of long time protest banner loving, fair trade advocatesocial activistFriends of the Earth publishedglobal warming alarmist,fossil fuel objectingclimate change conference and workshop facilitatingLee Rhiannon endorsed‘Make Poverty History’ supportingHoward government criticisingMaurice Blackburn representedCrikey internWendy Bacon collaboratingNew Matilda contributing, and Jenna Price UTS journalism school graduate influence current ABC Media Watch staffer Flint Duxfield in his Daily Telegraph #MarchinMarch protest coverage intervention?
If you wrote a caricature of the modern ABC staffer’s CV you could not possibly top this reality.

UPDATE
Reader Tim Wilson (no, not that one) protests:
Andrew, agree with you on all but your comment that the Australian is as right of centre to the same degree as the ABC is to the left. Anything that regularly prints Craig Emerson, Peter Beattie, Phillip Adams and co is certainly not as far to the right as the ABC is to the left.
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Does Carlton have Tourette’s syndrome or just a deep anger over the ruins of his career?

Andrew Bolt March 24 2014 (7:25am)

How the Left hates

Sydney Morning Herald columnist Mike Carlton swims daily in the sewer. He seems to be right at home.
It never fails to astonish me that people in the Carlton set genuinely consider themselves cultured.  
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South Australians get the government most didn’t want

Andrew Bolt March 24 2014 (7:09am)

Independent Geoff Brock has given Labor the one seat it needed to form government in South Australia, despite winning just 35.8 per cent of the primary vote:
In fact, 90,000 more South Australians voted for a Liberal government last Saturday than for four more years of Labor… 
Brock has disregarded the views of his electorate, the majority of the stakeholder groups he consulted, and the views of regional South Australia in backing Labor.
With the other independent, Bob Such, off sick for an indefinite period, Brock made the only call he could that would avoid another election soon. But will his own voters forgive him?
Brock again: 
MY electorate has always been … conservative ...
Primary vote percentages in the seat of Frome: 
GEOFF Brock (independent) 45.2 per cent, Kendall Jackson (Liberal) 35.9 per cent, Marcus Connolly (Labor) 11.3 per cent, Wendy Joyce (Family First) 5.1 per cent, Rob Scott (Greens) 2.5 per cent.
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Admonished by the ABC, Tim Blair organises his own protest

Andrew Bolt March 24 2014 (7:04am)

Tim Blair apologises to the ABC:
I was wrong to make fun of the kind-hearted and caring people at their little anti-Abbott hate rallies last week. I understand now, thanks to the ABC, that I “misrepresented the nature of the marches by focussing on offensive signs without placing these in the broader context of a peaceful rally with many inoffensive signs.” 
The ABC, by contrast, carefully and extremely fairly removed any offensive signs from its March in March coverage. The ABC even managed to avoid showing a sign bearing the words “F**K TONY F**K DEMOCRACY”, which was something of an effort, considering that the sign was so large it spanned a Melbourne street and needed a dozen or so people to carry it. I was also wrong to dismiss the March in March movement as inconsequential. This is because I hadn’t realised the rules had changed, and that last September’s election can now be overruled by some shouty people whose total number amounts to only around one-tenth of Brisbane council’s electorate. 
Read on. Blair proposes a demonstration of his own for Wednesday. I predict it will be an enormous success.. 
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(T). 15-year-old rape survivor has been sentenced to be whipped 100 times in public!

The girl's stepfather is accused of raping her for years and murdering the baby she bore. Now the court says she must be flogged for “sex outside marriage”! President Waheed of the Maldives is already feeling global pressure on this, and we can force him to save this girl and change the law to spare other victims this cruel fate. This is how we can end the War on Women – by standing up every time an outrage like this happens.
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THE JUDGMENT OF JULIA Larry Pickering

Polls show a massive 71% believe the Office of PM has been trashed while other polling for the Government remains terminal. 

Blame can be sheeted home to Rudd but it is Gillard’s appalling judgment that has kept polling on bedrock.

Rudd could easily have been disposed of after his abortive February 2012 challenge but again Gillard’s vindictive nature over-rode her common sense.

She has shown her eagerness to accept every resignation offered no matter the loss of scarce talent to the Party.

I wrote on Februrary 2012, after the failed Rudd challenge: “...she (Gillard) has always maintained Rudd did an excellent job (as Foreign Minister) and he has done.

“There is no doubt that Rudd is the best Foreign Affairs Minister available and he loves the job. I believe he would accept the Ministry again, given a statement of confidence in him that was missing before.

“... will Gillard show good grace? It would be in her interest to do so because it would take Rudd from the back bench where he will still be a pest. Foreign Affairs could take him right out of the venom loop.

“Mmm, let’s see what Gillard is made of.”

Fast forward to today and we witness what Gillard is made of, and it has little to do with sound political judgment.

The worst option for Gillard was to leave Rudd stranded and alone on the backbench where he could plot a second coming.

Kevin Rudd was in his element in a first-class seat with his hairdryer, where he could practise his unintelligible Mandarin to his heart’s content in between abusing hosties. That’s our Kev.

He relished the crass trappings of Foreign Affairs and had paid in spades salivating over his anticipated UN seat.

At the time Rudd had rightly proffered his resignation but Gillard did not have to accept it. She chose feminist vindictiveness over magnanimity. She is now reaping the reward.

Kev would not have been a threat in Foreign Affairs but he was always going to be a mischievous menace with time on his hands on the back bench.

He was confined to watching the wench’s backside at the despatch box with bile welling in his bloated tummy.

Gillard was always going to receive another Kev salvo. It was just a matter of when and how.

But Gillard can’t plan more than a day ahead and when the corrupt Arbib flew the coop the Senate vacancy went to Bob Carr.

The unelected Carr was given Kev’s job. Can you imagine how such a double whammy must have affected Kev?

He had to sit and watch a bumbling Bob Carr occupy his beloved UN seat.

But vengeance has its penalties and a treacherous Carr has now turned on Gillard.

She is taking Labor to new lows with female venom always supplanting sound judgment.

This time, the damage to the Labor brand is immense and there is no-one left to turn to for electoral recovery.

And that’s just how our Julia wants it.

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“A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people.

The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?”

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The dark side of the Moon has long intrigued scientists, and not the shadow cast by the ever-changing alignment of the Earth, Sun and Moon. Rather, they're fascinated by the extreme poles of the Moon's surface that, due to its nearly perfectly perpendicular orbit in relation to the Sun, feature craters that haven't seen light in an estimated 2 billion years.

Such craters, for example, would be ripe for trapped volatiles like water.

Launched in June 2009 and costing $504 million, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been hard at work taking images of the Moon's surface, which NASA is now piecing together into stunning 3D images.

While the LRO lacks a stereo camera, scientists at NASA are creating anaglyph imaging by putting together images the spacecraft takes using lasers.

FOR MORE: http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/986/20130323/lro-nasa-anaglyph-moon.htm

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“Clearly Anthony Albanese's position as Minister and Leader of the Government in the House of Representatives is untenable. During the previous leadership challenge, Mr Albanese tearfully declared his support for Kevin Rudd. He cannot be Leader of the Government in the House of Representatives if he is not a loyal supporter of the Leader of the Government and that is still Julia Gillard. Labor backbenchers like Laurie Ferguson consider Albanese to be a "gutless wonder". Mr Albanese does not believe Julia Gillard is Labor's best leader and the backbench has no confidence in him. If he has any honour he should follow the other Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Whips who have already resigned. If he won't go the Prime Minister must sack him or her house will still be divided.” - Warren Truss
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I sang the piece and Particle Dots made a gift to me some years ago on iCompositions. Bryn reminded me of this piece recently, and because my earlier posts on this had weakly included the music file I decided to redo it in HD. 
I am in love, and she doesn't love me. This is ok, if a blow to my pride. I have some homework to do. It is my job to let her see how she seems through my eyes. It is also my job to listen to her. I am sure I will cross lines in pursuing my agenda. Not to harm her, but to find a way to include her as my friend. Maybe I cannot. Maybe my dream is merely a phantasm. And so I include these pictures which are real. 

To get these pictures, I needed to forgive my rapist. I did that, because I believe that God wants me to. 
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I was raised as an Atheist. I learned, after reading the Bible, that God loves me, and you. This is his song for you too. He loves you, and wants to be with you. 
All the elements are me and mine. ARIA ISRC number AUAWN1303124

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Exxon Valdez
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“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” - James 1:12
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

March 23


Morning


"His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
Luke 22:44
The mental pressure arising from our Lord's struggle with temptation, so forced his frame to an unnatural excitement, that his pores sent forth great drops of blood which fell down to the ground. This proves how tremendous must have been the weight of sin when it was able to crush the Saviour so that he distilled great drops of blood! This demonstrates the mighty power of his love. It is a very pretty observation of old Isaac Ambrose that the gum which exudes from the tree without cutting is always the best. This precious camphire-tree yielded most sweet spices when it was wounded under the knotty whips, and when it was pierced by the nails on the cross; but see, it giveth forth its best spice when there is no whip, no nail, no wound. This sets forth the voluntariness of Christ's sufferings, since without a lance the blood flowed freely. No need to put on the leech, or apply the knife; it flows spontaneously. No need for the rulers to cry, "Spring up, O well;" of itself it flows in crimson torrents. If men suffer great pain of mind apparently the blood rushes to the heart. The cheeks are pale; a fainting fit comes on; the blood has gone inward as if to nourish the inner man while passing through its trial. But see our Saviour in his agony; he is so utterly oblivious of self, that instead of his agony driving his blood to the heart to nourish himself, it drives it outward to bedew the earth. The agony of Christ, inasmuch as it pours him out upon the ground, pictures the fulness of the offering which he made for men.
Do we not perceive how intense must have been the wrestling through which he passed, and will we not hear its voice to us? "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." Behold the great Apostle and High Priest of our profession, and sweat even to blood rather than yield to the great tempter of your souls.

Evening

"I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."
Luke 19:40
But could the stones cry out? Assuredly they could if he who opens the mouth of the dumb should bid them lift up their voice. Certainly if they were to speak, they would have much to testify in praise of him who created them by the word of his power; they could extol the wisdom and power of their Maker who called them into being. Shall not we speak well of him who made us anew, and out of stones raised up children unto Abraham? The old rocks could tell of chaos and order, and the handiwork of God in successive stages of creation's drama; and cannot we talk of God's decrees, of God's great work in ancient times, in all that he did for his church in the days of old? If the stones were to speak, they could tell of their breaker, how he took them from the quarry, and made them fit for the temple, and cannot we tell of our glorious Breaker, who broke our hearts with the hammer of his word, that he might build us into his temple? If the stones should cry out they would magnify their builder, who polished them and fashioned them after the similitude of a palace; and shall not we talk of our Architect and Builder, who has put us in our place in the temple of the living God? If the stones could cry out, they might have a long, long story to tell by way of memorial, for many a time hath a great stone been rolled as a memorial before the Lord; and we too can testify of Ebenezers, stones of help, pillars of remembrance. The broken stones of the law cry out against us, but Christ himself, who has rolled away the stone from the door of the sepulchre, speaks for us. Stones might well cry out, but we will not let them: we will hush their noise with ours; we will break forth into sacred song, and bless the majesty of the Most High, all our days glorifying him who is called by Jacob the Shepherd and Stone of Israel.
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Cornelius 

[Cor'nē'lĭ ŭs] - the beam of the sun.

A converted Roman centurion at Caesarea, a devout man (Acts 10). He was the first Gentile convert and through his conversion the door of faith was opened unto the Gentiles. Disgusted with the Gentile paganism of his day he turned to God but did not have a full understanding of the Gospel of Grace. Through Peter's ministry, Cornelius became a believer and was received into the fellowship of the Church. From this point there is no difference between Jew and Gentile. In Christ they become one (Eph. 2:18 ). Benevolence, prayerfulness, obedience and spiritual receptivity characterize this godly Roman centurion.
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Today's reading: Joshua 13-15, Luke 1:57-80 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Joshua 13-15


Land Still to Be Taken
1 When Joshua had grown old, the LORD said to him, "You are now very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.
2 "This is the land that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and Geshurites, 3 from the Shihor River on the east of Egypt to the territory of Ekron on the north, all of it counted as Canaanite though held by the five Philistine rulers in Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron; the territory of the Avvites4 on the south; all the land of the Canaanites, from Arah of the Sidonians as far as Aphek and the border of the Amorites; 5the area of Byblos; and all Lebanon to the east, from Baal Gad below Mount Hermon to Lebo Hamath....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 1:57-80

The Birth of John the Baptist
57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, "No! He is to be called John."
61 They said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who has that name."
62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone's astonishment he wrote, "His name is John."64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God.65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, "What then is this child going to be?" For the Lord's hand was with him....
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Today's Prayer

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. - from the Book of Common Prayer

Today's Scripture Reading: Romans 8:31-39

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Today's Quote

"When we go before God in prayer with a cold, dull heart, and in a lifeless and listless manner pray to him for eternal blessings... we should think of Christ's earnest prayers that he poured out to God, with tears and a bloody sweat. The consideration of it may well make us ashamed of our dull, lifeless prayers to God, [in which] we rather ask a denial than ask to be heard; for the language of such a manner of praying to God is that we do not look upon the benefit that we pray for as of any great importance, that we are indifferent whether God answers us or not. The example of Jacob in wrestling with God for the blessing should teach us earnestness in our prayers, but more especially the example of Jesus Christ, who wrestled with God in a bloody sweat. If we were sensible as Christ was of the great importance of those benefits that are of eternal consequence, our prayers to God for such benefits would be after another manner than now they are. Our souls also would with earnest labor and strife be engaged in this duty." -Jonathan Edwards, 18th century preacher and missionary

Something to Think About

Did you choose to give something up for Lent? Have you kept to that commitment? Whether or not you have, what has the experience taught you?
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Today's Lent reading: Mark 1-3 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
John the Baptist Prepares the Way

1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
"I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way"--
"a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
'Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.'"
4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: "After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit...."


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