Friday, April 15, 2016

Fri Apr 15th Todays News

Lies told on the ABC and Fairfax press make it very hard to judge some issues for the average person. For example, claims of torture carried out by armed forces on detainees. Claims of rape, suicide, mental illness and murder, none of which stand scrutiny over time, but all of which get inflated around election time. Like now. So claims that a woman was raped while having an epileptic fit may be discounted simply because it is the usual sources crying wolf. But tragedies do happen in detention. And the current problem is the fault of the former Green and ALP government that irresponsibly weakened Australian borders and led some 3000 to their deaths, not all in Australian waters. The issue of terrorism is a serious one, and somehow led to a NZ father who had served time and was no threat to the public, being detained, and dying in detention. It wasn't fair. It wasn't just. It is as outrageous as section 18c of the racial vilification code. But the lies that ABC and Fairfax have spread make the issue cloudy. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
Tax cuts from big business of 1.5% were never going to happen. Reducing tax for big business reduces their desire for tax avoidance and a substantial cut is a good idea but the numbers don't yet stack up. Australia is very high taxing for business and red tape compliance costs are high for all businesses. A GST does the heavy lifting, it is very hard to avoid. But, because the Senate won't allow cuts in spending, even waste, then choices have to be made regarding tax to increase the take. The miracle of lowering tax and increasing the take is not effected by a mere 1.5% out of 50%. The relief for families of maternity leave would be good and would stimulate spending, but the senate won't allow that. That does not mean business get to keep the 1.5% after campaigning against maternity leave. Small business would do with a stimulatory 1.5% cut. 

ICAC pursuing Cunneen highlights how inept and partial the ICAC are. They are not independent and they don't seem to oppose corruption, so much as try to copy it. Cuneen is a respected magistrate who has been unfairly tagged by the ICAC following a personally motivated attack against her that was clearly not true. Naturally the media repeat the lie and say Cunneen denies it. It looks like the ICAC is begging to be wound up before they are forced to investigate the ALP for historical abuses under the ICAC watch. Just as the sadist refuses to hit the masochist, it is important that the ICAC are forced to do their duty, no matter how unwilling. 

Living long is a likelihood. Many people born do not die of old age. Soon, it may be feasible that no one will. To live indefinitely as a thirty year old is not a terrible thing. There is a cost to such prosperity. People need to be productive, to be useful. The insane Green activists opposing growth will not be thanked in a future where many are poor and many have a long memory of how the Greens conspired to keep them poor. Time to cut spending now, so we don't have to then. 

WHO is bullying women into dying to give birth. The World Health Organisation claims that Australia has too many C-Sections. That judgement is not based on the health of Australian women and children, instead it s by comparative studies with nations that aren't as good. Abusing the word 'natural' doesn't help the issue. There is a list of things that are desirable for birth. It is good if the child is immunised by passing through the birth canal. It is good to naturally breast feed. But not everyone can do it. And not every wonderful birth which is blessed matches the ideal.

In 754, the Council of Hieria was created near Constantinople by the Emperor Constantine V who wanted the body to support his opposition to icons. Only the council did not have any patriarch heads or representatives and in 769, the Lateran council which was raised to correct the processes which had brought about antipopes, also condemned the council of Hieria's findings. They liked icons.
From 2014
A lot can happen in a day or a moment. William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, went for a walk on this day in 1802. They saw a long belt of Daffodils and William wrote "I wandered lonely as a cloud." The first time I heard those words was when Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins sang the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. And so a simple walk inspires, hundreds of years later. 

On this day in 1817, the first school for the deaf in the US was founded. On this day in 1861, Abraham Lincoln asks for 75000 to fight for the Union. Four years later, on this day, he died, having been assassinated. In 1922, a congressman called for an investigation into GOP oil funding bribery known as the Teapot Dome Scandal. Over ninety years on, there are still finger pointers desperately afraid lest someone make a profit. 1923, and Insulin became generally available to people with diabetes. 

On this day in 1945 Bergen Belsen concentration camp was liberated. 1947, Jackie Robinson debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers. 1955, McDonalds was founded. 1970, during a civil war in Cambodia, 800 ethnically Vietnamese peoples bodies flow down the Mekong from Cambodia to South Vietnam. In 1989, Hillsborough, 96 Liverpool fans die in a crush. Last year, 2013, two terrorists kill 3 people and injure 264 others at the Boston Marathon. It was good to liberate the inmates of Bergen Belsen. It would be better to never again promote such terrorism as which put good people in that camp. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 769, the Lateran Council condemned the Council of Hieria and anathematised its iconoclastic rulings. 1071, Bari, the last Byzantine possession in southern Italy, was surrendered to Robert Guiscard. 1395, Tokhtamysh–Timur warBattle of the Terek RiverTimur defeated Tokhtamysh of the Golden Horde at the Volga. The Golden Horde capital city, Sarai, was razed to the ground and Timur installed a puppet ruler on the Golden Horde throne. Tokhtamysh escaped to Lithuania. 1450, Battle of Formigny: Toward the end of the Hundred Years' War, the French attacked and nearly annihilated English forces, ending English domination in Northern France.

In 1632, Battle of RainSwedes under Gustavus Adolphus defeated the Holy Roman Empireduring the Thirty Years' War. 1642, Irish Confederate Wars: A Confederate Irish militia was routed in the Battle of Kilrush when it attempted to halt the progress of a Parliamentarian army. 1715, the Pocotaligo Massacre triggered the start of the Yamasee War in colonial South Carolina. 1738, Serse, an Italian opera by George Frideric Handel received its premiere performance in London, England. 1755, Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language was published in London. 1783, preliminary articles of peace ending the American Revolutionary War (or American War of Independence) were ratified.

In 1802, William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy see a "long belt" of daffodils, inspiring the former to pen I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. 1817, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc founded the American School for the Deaf, the first American school for deafstudents, in Hartford, Connecticut. 1861, President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 Volunteers to quell the insurrection that soon became the American Civil War 1865, PresidentAbraham Lincoln died after being shot the previous evening by actor John Wilkes Booth. Vice President Andrew Johnson, became President upon Lincoln's death. 1892, the General Electric Company was formed. 1896, closing ceremony of the Games of the I Olympiad in AthensGreece.

In 1900, Philippine–American WarFilipino guerrillas launched a surprise attack on U.S. infantry and began a four-day siege of CatubigPhilippines. 1907, Triangle Fraternity was founded at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign 1912, the British passenger liner RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m., two hours and forty minutes after hitting an iceberg. Only 710 of 2,227 passengers and crew on board survived. 1920, two security guards were murdered during a robbery in South Braintree, MassachusettsAnarchists Sacco and Vanzetti would be convicted of and executed for the crime, amid much controversy. 1921, Black Friday: Mine owners announce more wage and price cuts, leading to the threat of a strike all across England. 1922, U.S. Senator John B. Kendrick of Wyoming introduced a resolution calling for an investigation of a secret land deal, which led to the discovery of the Teapot Dome scandal. 1923, Insulin became generally available for use by people with diabetes. 1924, Rand McNally published its first road atlas. 1927, the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, the most destructive river flood in U.S. history, began.

1935, Roerich Pact signed in Washington, D.C. 1936, first day of the Arab revolt in Mandatory Palestine. Also 1936, Aer Lingus (Aer Loingeas) was founded by the Irish government as the national airline of the Republic of Ireland. 1940, the Allies began their attack on the Norwegian town of Narvik which was occupied by Nazi Germany. 1941, in the Belfast Blitz, two-hundred bombers of the German Luftwaffe attacked BelfastNorthern IrelandUnited Kingdom killing one thousand people. 1942, the George Cross was awarded "to the island fortress of Malta: Its people and defenders" by King George VI. 1945, the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was liberated. 1947, Jackie Robinson debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking baseball's color line.

In 1952, the maiden flight of the B-52 Stratofortress 1955, McDonald's restaurant dates its founding to the opening of a franchised restaurant by Ray Kroc, in Des Plaines, Illinois 1957, White Rock, British Columbia officially separated from Surrey, British Columbiaand was incorporated as a new city. 1960, at Shaw University in Raleigh, North CarolinaElla Baker led a conference that resulted in the creation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, one of the principal organisations of the African-American Civil Rights Movementin the 1960s. 1964, the first Ford Mustang rolled off the show room floor, two days before it is set to go on sale nationwide. 1969, the EC-121 shootdown incidentNorth Korea shot down a United States Navy aircraft over the Sea of Japan, killing all 31 on board.

In 1970, during the Cambodian Civil War, massacres of the Vietnamese minority resulted in 800 bodies flowing down the Mekong River into South Vietnam. 1984, the inaugural World Youth Day was held in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City. 1986, the United Stateslaunched Operation El Dorado Canyon, its bombing raids against Libyan targets in response to a bombing in West Germany that killed two U.S. servicemen. 1989, Hillsborough disaster: A human crush occurred at Hillsborough Stadium, home of Sheffield Wednesday, in the FA Cup Semi-final, resulting in the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans. Also 1989, upon Hu Yaobang's death, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 began in China. 2013, Two bombs exploded near the finish line at the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, killing three people and injuring 264 others. 2014, more than 200 female students were declared missing after a mass kidnapping in Borno StateNigeria. Also 2014, a total lunar eclipse occurred, producing a Blood Moon.
=== 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 Kiara Dyring and Jen Jen Chung. Born on the same day, across the years. The day Samuel Johnson published the first English dictionary. He noted Oats were good for horses, but in Scotland they sustained the people. Remember, birthdays are good for you. If Johnson kept celebrating his, he would be 304.
Deaths
April 15Father Damien Day in HawaiiDay of the Sun in North Korea; Tax Day in the United States (2015)
The Titanic's sinking as depicted by artist Willy Stöwer
Hello, Norman. Catholic Japanese peasants, unite! Never call it unsinkable. Bombing worked. We have organised world trade. Let's party. 
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SOFT AS TWO SHORT PLANKS

Tim Blair – Friday, April 15, 2016 (3:51pm)

The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Elizabeth Farrelly takes a walk in Moore Park: 
I’m strolling the soft earth under a great rainforest canopy, cussing at the dusk … 
When truck driverscyclists and other citizens aren’t available, Liz still finds something to shout at. Impressive. 
My fury is not despite but because of the grandeur, which seems to demand a whole new word, for this pocket paradise for this pocket paradise, this inter-city sanctuary, is the Baird government’s idea of a multistorey car park. The word I want is scovandalous; scandalous government vandalism. 
This is why I keep sending all of those career-sustaining clicks Elizabeth’s way. Without her frequent innovations, our language would wither and perish. 
I thought we were better than this. I honestly thought Sydney had finally outgrown its worship of the infrastructure gods, its urge to trash itself repeatedly for speed and concrete and money, its valuing of everything hard and fast over anything soft and yielding like a place or a tree. I was wrong. 
She’s also wrong about trees being soft and yielding
Barangaroo. Darling Harbour. Parramatta. Bridge Street. Powerhouse. Westconnex. Public land, private land grab. This government will surely go down as the most scovandalous in history. 
Unlike the word “scovandalous”, which history won’t record at all. 
The land-grab of Moore Park is scovandalous. 
Elizabeth Farrelly’s stupignorance is completely hammersackulent. 
Who’s the victim? We are. Whose history will be dishonoured, whose territory turned to dust, whose heart ripped out and offered to the infrastructure gods? Ours. 
Whose history would that be, cultural appropriator? Whose territory? A reminder: Dunedin lass Farrelly moved to Australia in 1988. And, as a rule, we only sacrifice locals to the infrastructure gods (development be upon them). 
In sport v trees, sport wins every time. 
Trees might have a better chance if they put in a harder pre-season for once. 
What should be sacred – for their age, beauty, symbolism, irreplaceability, place making, carbon sequestration and staunch resistance of the heat island effect – are parks and trees. This is not soppy nostalgia. 
“Slopalgia” would be the appropriate Farrellyesque combination word. In fact, it precisely describes almost every Elizabeth Farrelly column.
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SLOW BLOKE TO CHINA

Tim Blair – Friday, April 15, 2016 (2:51pm)

With no Australians here left to bore, Peter FitzSimons picks up his bandana and hits the road
AustCham Shanghai is delighted to welcome Australian Republican Movement Chairman and The Sydney Morning Herald and Sun Herald columnist Peter FitzSimons to Shanghai during Australia Week in China. Appointed as Chairman in July 2015, Mr FitzSimons is passionate about reigniting the republican movement in Australia with the ultimate aim of seeing an Australian as head of state.
Join us for a 3-course lunch and hear more about the movement’s revival and ambitious plans for the new republican age for Australia. 
They will surely speak of this momentous lunch for generations.
(Via ann j.)
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THIS’LL COME IN HANDY

Tim Blair – Friday, April 15, 2016 (1:58pm)

Every minute of every day, all Australians grapple with this important question: “How do I avoid offending transgender people?” Thankfully, the ABC now presents a comprehensive ten-point guide.
(Via DS.)
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FRIDAY SONGBOARD

Tim Blair – Friday, April 15, 2016 (3:54am)

Within seven years, Paul Carrack was lead vocalist on two of the best and worst British pop songs of the 1980s.
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JUST SOME GUY THAT’S QUITE OUT OF TOUCH

Tim Blair – Friday, April 15, 2016 (3:30am)

The Age‘s Alana Schetzer, the Guardian‘s Michael Safi and Jenny Noyes from Fairfax’s Lady Pages discuss a recent post at this site.
They don’t seem very happy about it. The fun begins at 15:50.
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LET’S ALL PLAY THE LEAPING JUMPING FLYING GAME

Tim Blair – Friday, April 15, 2016 (3:08am)

Formerly an alleged NRL supporter, Sydney-born-and-raised Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull now swaps codes
In a stunning turnaround, he labelled Aussie rules as Australia’s “most exciting football code” as he stood alongside AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan in China to announce a premiership match would be played in Shanghai next year.
Mr Turnbull, who showed off his Roosters jersey after his 2013 re-election to the eastern suburbs seat of Wentworth, said he had no doubt that AFL was the superior code. 
image
The raw passion of a dedicated fan holding a garment he’s never worn. 
“It is the leaping, jumping, flying game, where the big men fly, as they say, and where possession is everything.” 
Well, he’s right about AFL being a superior code, but it is open to question how much observation was involved before Turnbull arrived at this verdict. At last year’s AFL Grand Final, for instance, the Prime Minister preferred the attention of film star Chris Hemsworth
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull opted to enjoy the catering and the celebrity company at the AFL grand final instead of watching the game.
Mr Turnbull’s seats in the grand stand of the MCG were left vacant during the match which saw the Hawks thump the West Coast Eagles to join the Three-Peat premiership club. 
The “most exciting code” was evidently less exciting than sucking up to a celeb. Turnbull’s sudden enthusiasm for AFL recalls Kevin Rudd’s cricket memories of something that never happened.
UPDATE. Greg Sheridan
You could see a look of creeping embarrassment – is shame too strong a term? – as the PM made his final observation of AFL – “so exciting” – on a dying fall as he lowered his eyes to the ground.
No wonder Mike Baird yesterday said of the Prime Minister: “He must be Victorian.” 
UPDATE II. Turnbull’s favourite AFL team revealed:



(Via stu.) 
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WHITTLING THEM DOWN

Tim Blair – Friday, April 15, 2016 (2:25am)

Bill Whittle takes gentle issue with social justice crybully garbage babies:



(Via Harry.) 
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USTAZ AND BOMOH FAIL TO REMOVE PONTIANAK AND POCHONG

Tim Blair – Friday, April 15, 2016 (1:46am)

Evil spirits induce hysteria at a Malaysian school: 
The principal of the school that was hit by mass hysteria is appealing for professional help to resolve the situation …
“We had to close the school today. To date, we have more than eight ustaz and bomoh to help us chase away spirits that are said to be in the school compound,” [principal Siti Hawa Mat] said.
Since Monday, more than 100 students and teachers were hit by hysteria.
Siti said the school welcomes any help from anyone who think that they are able to solve this mystery for good …
Relating her experience, physical education teacher Norlelawati Ramli, 32, said she felt something pinning her down.
She saw a black spectre, right after she tended to one of the affected female students.
“I could not move as if I had been glued to the floor. And the next thing that shocked me was the glimpse of the black sceptre. Luckily, I was revived by another teacher,” she added. 
From another report: 
Some students have claimed to have seen all sorts of beings in the school, from a pontianak to a pochong. 
A pochong! No wonder the bomoh didn’t work. Rookie error; you never take a bomoh to a pochong fight.
(Via Ganesh. Readers are invited to relate their own pochong and pontianak experiences.)
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Fantasy bidding at the Sotheby’s sale

Andrew Bolt April 15 2016 (6:46pm)

Your favorite books, poems and music - and mine

If money were no object at next month’s Sotheby’s auction of the Denis Savill collection of Australian art I’d probably expose myself as a bit of a philistine, or someone who buys art as much for the biography as the picture.
See, I love John Peter Russell. Even more, I love van Gogh.
Russell was an Australian artist who was rich enough from his father’s Sydney iron works business to set himself up as an artist in France.
In Paris he studied for a while alongside van Gogh and was one of the few who had the strength and openness to put up with the man. In fact, they became friends and Russell painted the best and most famous portrait of the Dutchman. Russell changed it to make his friend look more over his shoulder, almost suspiciously. Van Gogh loved it, and it hangs now in the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
Among the several letters van Gogh wrote to Russell is this one:

My dear friend Russell
Today I’m sending you a little roll of photographs after Millet which perhaps you may not know.
In any event, it’s to recall us, my brother and myself, to your good memory. Do you know that my brother has since married and that any day now he’s expecting his first-born? May it go well – he has a very nice Dutch wife.
How it pleases me to write to you after a long silence.
Do you remember the time when, almost simultaneously, you I think first and I afterwards, met our friend Gauguin? He’s still struggling on – and alone, or almost alone, like the good fellow he is. Am sure, though, that you don’t forget him.
He and I are still friends, I can assure you, but perhaps you’re not unaware that I myself am ill, and have more than once had serious nervous crises and delirium. This was why, having had to go into an asylum for the insane, he and I separated. But prior to that, how many times we talked about you together! Gauguin is currently still with one of my fellow-countrymen…
Although being ill isn’t a cause for joy, I nevertheless have no right to complain about it, for it seems to me that nature sees to it that illness is a means of getting us back on our feet, of healing us, rather than an absolute evil.
If you ever come to Paris, take one of my canvases from my brother’s place if you wish, if you still have the idea of making a collection for your native country one day.  You’ll remember that I’ve already spoken to you about it, that it was my great desire to give you one for this purpose…
It never happened.
Russell, who started off as a sailor and trader, had an incredible life. He was gregarious and friends with artists in France and Australia who’d become much more famous than him. He married Rodin’s favourite model, painted with Monet and lived like a lord on Belle Ile, an island off Brittany which is the subject of his most sought-after oils, but on the death of his wife he burned hundreds of his canvasses. When he finally returned to Australia he settled with his second wife in a fisherman’s cottage at 22 Pacific Street, Watson’s Bay - now so highly desired an address that the house now there has an estimated value of well over $10 million. But Russell had run through most of his fortune by then and died of a heart attack trying to build a rock pool at his property.
His oil paintings are his glory - my favorite in Australia is probably this one, at the National Gallery of Victoria, or maybe this in the Brisbane gallery, But Streeton thought nothing of his watercolours - which is a pity because they are the only things I could possibly afford.
I guess they are just pretty rather than profound, but the colours are sometimes so wonderful on the watercolours that I just don’t care. They give me a happy.
Anyway, five of those watercolours are now going under the hammer at Sotheby’s next month, and if money were no object I’d go nuts, sneer though true connoisseurs might:
image
Of course, a far more valuable and artistic work is this Arthur Boyd. People of real taste should prefer it.  
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Police drop dumb charge of battery against Trump campaign boss

Andrew Bolt April 15 2016 (12:05pm)

A ludicrous media beat-up exposed:
A Florida prosecutor announced Thursday that his office will not pursue a misdemeanor battery charge against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign manager over allegations he grabbed the arm of a reporter.
Palm Beach County State Attorney David Aronberg confirmed the decision at a press conference, saying there was not sufficient evidence to pursue the charge against Corey Lewandowski. Local police had charged him last month after reporter Michelle Fields accused him of grabbing her as she tried to speak to Trump.
Aronberg ... said that Fields, at the time of the incident, had been directed toward the back of the room along with other media members. She later approached the candidate and “brushed or touched” Trump’s arm, he said. It was at this point that Lewandowski “grabbed” Fields’ arm and pulled her away, he said. 
What’s the bet that if this video footage hadn’t surfaced that the media would have continued it’s crazed campaign to portray Lewandowski as a thug?
As you watch, recall what Fields claimed had happened:
Trump acknowledged the question, but before he could answer I was jolted backwards. Someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. I almost fell to the ground, but was able to maintain my balance. Nonetheless, I was shaken.
“Jolted backwards”? Yanked me down”? “Almost fell”? See any of that?
(Thanks to reader RightWingNuclearArmedDeathRabbit.) 
===

I wouldn’t start from here to get my government elected

Andrew Bolt April 15 2016 (12:00pm)

The Left anointed Malcolm Turnbull but now pour something worse on his head.
Laura Tingle:
We are already in an election campaign for all intents and purposes. Yet it is hard to think of a government that has been in such diabolical trouble at this stage of the cycle.
This is not because the polls are now trending down and against the Coalition, even if they are. It is not because of internal division within the Coalition, although there is plenty of that too....
t is that at a logistical level, a policy level, even a philosophical level, the government is in all sorts of shtook… Voters don’t know, in general, what the government stands for…

They are confused about a prime minister who seems to stand for things which they don’t think he believes in…
Most notably, the Coalition is facing an opposition which has steadily revealed itself as prepared to take risks, is politically sharper, which has continually been setting the agenda and which has been prepared to paint itself as standing for something that has an internal coherence.
And slowly and steadily the props that have in the past reinforced a government’s economic management credibility - props like endorsement from the business community and the fiscally conservative commentary of the ratings agencies - have fallen out from under the government…
The government goes in to the election campaign wounded on higher education, in big trouble on schools funding and holding its health funding policies together with band aids. It is hard to remember a government that has gone into an election campaign so ill-prepared to persuade voters to give it another chance.
Peter Brent:
Malcolm Turnbull sometimes gives a half-decent Kevin Rudd impersonation. In the past few weeks two high-profile policies have popped out of nowhere: handing income tax powers back to the states, and pressing ahead with the very fast train. The first was astonishingly reckless and frightening to the voter, the second innately appealing [sic] to Australians. On top of earlier GST and negative-gearing outbreaks, though, semi-engaged voters are getting a message: Malcolm is desperate to come up with something, anything, any big idea, for the election…
In his apparent attempts to turn the polls, Turnbull is in danger of shrinking, Rudd-like, in the eyes of voters.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

Turnbull’s train to nowhere

Andrew Bolt April 15 2016 (11:35am)

Malcolm Turnbull’s vague promises of a fast-train network should be treated with suspicion.
Paul Cleary:
As The Australian reported this week, government advisers are working on options to use value capture to pay for big-ticket infrastructure projects such as high-speed rail…
But the projects will generate extra costs, no matter what the funding model. Value capture must involve new levies, such as higher council rates, or stamp duty and capital gains tax that is hypothecated to compensate the developer. It will be difficult for the government to refute claims that it is introducing a new tax..

(T)here’s no guarantee that its total cost can be financed by increased land value. A study last year by AECOM, which also produced the 2012 plan for Labor’s high-speed rail, said that 10 per cent to 30 per cent of the development cost of projects could be funded by adopting the same method as Britain’s Crossrail project and the Hong Kong metro… Martin Albrecht, an engineer who heads the private sector group National Trunk Rail, says value capture had the greatest potential in densely populated areas that were established, whereas the model requires a longer-term horizon to deliver value.
Peter O’Brien:
When you Google ‘train fares Paris to Berlin’ ... you first thing you see is ‘from $81’. Sounds good but the reality for the date I chose, one week away, was a rather more sobering $353 for second class and $765 for first… This is 1000km trip takes eight hours on the fast train…
Europe’s fast trains aren’t cheap to ride, even with the relatively short distances they travel and economies of scale that we could never match…
Were I a long-term resident of, say, Goulburn, I would be mightily unimpressed to be slugged with taxes of one sort or another to finance a rail line I didn’t ask for, most likely wouldn’t want and if, Europe’s fares are indication, could not afford to ride ...
This value-capture financing would be a nightmare administratively and, more than that, electoral suicide for any local politician who threw his or her ardent weight behind it.
Terry McCrann:
Two things are ... “innovative” about Malcolm Turnbull’s “very fast”, or perhaps “just slightly faster” train lines.

The first is where they go. For the 30 or 40 years that the idea of replicating France’s — hugely loss-generating — TGVs has been around, the idea has always been to run it Sydney-Canberra-Melbourne. That is to say between the two big population centres, which just might give it passenger scale....
Well, unfortunately the VFT idea itself was not “future-proofed”: it got ambushed by a combination of rocketing cost — it’s well over $100 billion and climbing; and if the NBN is any guide, that’s really $200 billion and climbing — and plunging airfares.
So the PM’s first big, or “innovative”, new idea is to build the lines out from the capital cities to regional centres, starting with a line — there’s that irony thing again — to Sydney’s hypothetical new airport at Badgerys Creek.
So passengers can then get on a plane and fly to, well, Melbourne and Canberra and, well, regional centres.
On the other hand, the new airport might never be built, so it might be a train line to nowhere.
The PM’s second “innovative” idea is to promote “value capture” financing to fund these lines. Build a line to, say, Goulburn and Shepparton and they will become huge growth centres as a consequence; land there will rocket in value; and some of that could be “scooped away” to pay for the line.
Back to irony. Yes, Whyalla is a special case of why regional centres are vulnerable to long-term decay and indeed outright implosion. But it’s hardly unique.

People who say we should follow France, which has a network of very fast trains, overlook several things. For a start it has three times the population in one twelfth the territory and 13 times more tourists. That makes it easier to get the passengers. But even then its TGV fast trains cost money. From 2014:
THEY are admired the world over for their sleekness, speed and sheer French chic. But the 480 high-speed trains (Trains à Grande Vitesse, or TGV) that radiate around France from Paris are struggling to remain in the black. Most of the lines are running at a loss and even the profitable ones are not earning enough to cover their cost of capital…
Traffic peaked at 45 billion passenger kilometres (passengers times journey length) three years ago and results for the first half of this year show profits for SNCF Voyages (the part of the state rail group running TGVs) falling by a third to €259m ($347m) as revenues dropped 3% and the firm’s profit margin declined from 11.4% to 8.1% (three years ago this number stood at over 14%)....
SNCF boss Guillaume Pepy has pointed out how the rise of low-cost airlines in France has won them over half the air traffic at the expense of Air France. He sees no reason why TGVs should not be similarly squeezed as carriers such as easyJet, Ryanair and Vueling multiply their services in and around France. 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Send in the clowns to fight ISIS. Start with Bono

Andrew Bolt April 15 2016 (10:57am)

Bono’s a clown. So why doesn’t he go in first?:

On Tuesday during a meeting with a Senate subcommittee on Capitol Hill, Bono suggested that comedians should be sent to counter Islamic State. Stressing he was serious numerous times, the U2 frontman explained: “Don’t laugh. I think comedy should be deployed. It’s like, you speak violence, you speak their language. But you laugh at them, when they’re goose-stepping down the street, and it takes away their power. So, I’m suggesting that the Senate send in Amy Schumer and Chris Rock and Sacha Baron Cohen, thank you.”
But an even bigger joke? A US Senate subcommittee actually wants to know what Bono thinks.
UPDATE
A powerful rebuttal, from the end of Life is Beautiful:
As for that other claim, that the pen is mightier than the sword, Islamist terrorists have answered that themselves:
(Thanks to reader RomeoWhiskey.) 
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Is paying Palmer’s debts fair on taxpayers?

Andrew Bolt April 15 2016 (10:29am)

Good questions from Judith Sloan, which she attempts to answer:
As the taxpayer is about to be touched up for over $70 million to pay out the entitlements of the former Queensland Nickel workers, given that QN is now in liquidation, a number of important questions arise: 
- What ever happened to the changes to the Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme that were announced in the 2014 Budget?
- How do the QN entitlements compare with community standards?
- Why is the liquidator not pursuing Clive Palmer in the first instance and giving the taxpayer an even break?
UPDATE
Labor says the workers are entitled to up to 100 weeks of redundancy pay.
One hundred weeks?
Why are taxpayers meant to finance such unbelievable and uneconomic generosity? A friend of mine has just been made redundant after a couple of decades with virtually no payout at all. 
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Labor dooms Queensland to massive debt. UPDATE: Australia, too

Andrew Bolt April 15 2016 (10:20am)

You’d think the Queensland Labor Government had money to burn:
The Palaszczuk Labor government has hired more than 4000 public servants since it was elected, edging closer to the size of the bureaucracy before the Newman government’s cuts.
The Public Service Commission last night ... revealed 312.92 full-time equivalent jobs were created in the final three months of last year, reaching 205,529.70 FTEs. When the Newman government was elected in March 2012, the public service had ballooned to 206,881.
In fact:
Queensland’s public debt is set to balloon to almost $80 billion within four years as the Palaszczuk Labor government confirmed it was again turning to government-owned business to park borrowings.
Do Queenslanders realise that this money must be repaid? That this cannot go on and there will be hell to pay?
UPDATE
Labor says our debt is OK by international standards. But what they don’t add is that the trajectory of total government debt is very ominous - and the chances of halting our decline are small, especially if Labor is elected:
image
Moody’s warned that Australian governments’ combined debts — which have more than tripled in a decade to more than 35.6 per cent of GDP — posed a risk to Australia’s credit rating and, ultimately, its interest bill.
UPDATE
Unable to cut spending, we’re doomed to growth-choking higher taxes to cut our debt:
The failure of the political system to deliver genuine spending restraint has left Treasurer Scott Morrison with almost no choice but to increase taxes if he wants to preserve the government’s AAA credit rating, Moody’s ratings agency says.
Delivering a damning warning that Australia is almost alone among top-rated economies failing to cut debt, Moody’s Investor Service analyst Marie Diron said the agency had raised the alarm because the government appeared to be cutting off its ability to hike taxes…

Australia’s debt had climbed to 35 per cent of gross domestic product, from 11.6 per cent a decade ago, she said, compared with the relatively stable 41 per cent average of other AAA-rated countries over that time.
“We’re expecting that debt to increase to around 38 per cent, so the gap is narrowing, and it has increased very rapidly.”...
UPDATE
Labor is actually boasting about how much more money it would take off taxpayers over the next decade - and won’t confirm that most of it will go on even more spending:
CHRIS BOWEN: But our fiscal rule has been very clear, Tony. Our fiscal rule is very clear and we’ve led the way with $100 billion - more than $100 billion worth of improvements to the budget bottom line. That’s more - that’s $100 billion more than Mr Morrison ...
TONY JONES: But what everyone wants to know is how much of that $100 billion you’re gonna put towards repairing the budget and how much you’re gonna spend on health and education and other policies.
And how rubbery are its revenue projections?

TONY JONES: Well except for this: one of our biggest budget savings measures - $48 billion nearly of the $100 billion - is for taxing smokers. Now, smokers are going to stop smoking over time if they follow your policy, so how can you guarantee that this is going to be a growth tax that raises that much money over 10 years?
CHRIS BOWEN: Well I note that the - I note that the Government after having complained about our policy has now today pretty clearly indicated they’ll be in the same space on election day. But to answer your question, again, the Parliamentary Budget Office has done the work and their costing has assumed a reduction in smoking rates - it is assumed in the costing, reduction of smoking rates, and a bigger reduction in smoking rates in the years which the excise goes up is also assumed. In fact a doubling of the reduction rate is assumed in the costing - all factored in.
If you know a smoker, thank them for doing all the heavy lifting on the Budget deficit.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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So exciting that he can’t watch

Andrew Bolt April 15 2016 (10:08am)


Tim Blair contrasts this story:
[Malcolm Turnbull] labelled Aussie rules as Australia’s “most exciting football code” as he stood alongside AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan in China to announce a premiership match would be played in Shanghai next year.
Mr Turnbull, who showed off his Roosters jersey after his 2013 re-election to the eastern suburbs seat of Wentworth, said he had no doubt that AFL was the superior code.
“It is the leaping, jumping, flying game, where the big men fly, as they say, and where possession is everything.”
With this story:

Like a new WAG at a footy match, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull opted to enjoy the catering and the celebrity company at the AFL grand final instead of watching the game.
Mr Turnbull’s seats in the grand stand of the MCG were left vacant during the match which saw the Hawks thump the West Coast Eagles to join the Three-Peat premiership club.
Instead of taking in the somewhat one-sided match, Mr Turnbull broke bread, no doubt an artisan sourdough roll, with Thor star Chris Hemsworth at the AFL’s official grand final function inside the exclusive Melbourne Cricket Club members pavilion and discussed the importance of Hemsworth’s craft to our economy.
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Andrews Government grooming children

Andrew Bolt April 15 2016 (10:01am)

Well put by The Australian. Children are being groomed by Victoria’s Andrews Government:
The sexualisation of children is not a method of domestic violence prevention. At worst it is an insidious form of abuse, often used by pedophiles to groom their victims. Yet Daniel Andrews’s government has funded another program in schools that encourages adults to sexualise children and expose them to sexually explicit materials…
As education editor Natasha Bita revealed on yesterday’s front page, the Andrews government has dedicated $21.8 million to extending the Building Respectful Relationships program… Its objectives are to educate students about “gender, violence and respectful relationships” as part of “state and federal initiatives to prevent violence against women"…
Despite a stated aim to work against premature sexualisation, BRR encourages explicit discussion of sexuality, including writing personal advertisements and anal sex. Lessons also cover transgenderism and deconstructing gender. Students are coached to use the gender-neutral term partner instead of boyfriend and girlfriend to be “inclusive of gay and lesbian partnerships”.
The age of consent across Australian jurisdictions ranges from 16 to 17 and Unicef recommends that minors abstain from sexual activity. However, the BRR program acculturates children to sexualise themselves and their peers, presenting adolescent sexuality as the norm. Children are asked to answer: “Who do you think has responsibility for making decisions about sex and romance in your relationships?” In another, child sexual activity is assumed: “How do you work out and negotiate having sexual contact within your relationship or in your life?”
The Andrews government plans to extend the program to kindergartens and primary schools…
It is ... unconscionable that a government would knowingly promote lessons that give effect to a dissociative response that is common to victims of child sex abuse. In a lesson supposed to provide “different perspectives on sexual intimacy”, children are used in a role-playing exercise so psychologically harmful they may need to “de-role” afterwards. In one of the lessons, teachers are warned that as a result of program content, students may have “slipped into a state of distress or disassociation”. Teachers are instructed to “de-role” children by asking them to state their names and where they are…
The fashionable fronts of sexual diversity and social inclusion are no excuse for abuse.
Are Victoria’s children safe with the Andrews Government? 
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Incredible rape allegation from detainee

Andrew Bolt April 15 2016 (9:40am)

The latest refugee atrocity story presented by Fairfax seems to me to include an inherent improbability:
The young African refugee known only as S99 was in the midst of a violent epileptic seizure when she was set upon and raped on Nauru.
I am not saying the rape did not happen. I am saying that it seems very unusual when you see what a seizure looks like.
Maybe after a seizure? 
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Is Channel 9 really in the business of child stealing?

Andrew Bolt April 15 2016 (8:59am)

I’d expect sackings if it turns out that 60 Minutes did indeed fund this attempted kidnapping:
SINCE when is Channel 9 in the business of child stealing? Is that what we do now?”
The explosive question set the tone of a desperate and angry meeting held in Channel 9’s Willoughby boardroom on Wednesday as families of the four 60 Minutes staffers now in jail in Lebanon met with the newly installed Nine chief executive Hugh Marks.
The question to Mr Marks came from the distraught wife of one of the four incarcerated 60 Minutes crew members.
UPDATE
The ABC reports:

The child recovery team were paid directly by Ms Faulker, who used money given to her by 60 Minutes, her Lebanese lawyer Ghassan Moghabghab said.
But Mr Moghabghab said “I don’t have any idea” if 60 Minutes paid Ms Faulkner intending for it to go towards the operation, or just for her story.
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Pushing back hard against the bullying childbirth feminists

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, April 15, 2015 (12:31am)

WHY judge women on how they give birth? Surely what counts is the outcome: A healthy child and mother.

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‘Trigger warnings’ of the authoritarian Left

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, April 15, 2015 (12:30am)

WE all laughed when we heard about the Oxford University feminist conference at which clapping was banned because it might trigger anxiety in certain neurotic individuals. Instead, the UK’s National Union of Students asked the audience to use “jazz hands” to indicate applause, that is, waggle hands about in the air, silently.

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APPARENTLY SO

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 15, 2015 (5:09pm)

Possibly the best line ever published in a Guardian opinion piece: 
There’s a lot that goes into it. 
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SCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THE SKY

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 15, 2015 (4:48pm)

Moments before detonation, an Islamic State suicide bomber’s vehicle is thrown into the air by a perfectly timed Peshmerga missile strike:

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LOOK AT THEM GO

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 15, 2015 (2:43pm)

Behold the stampede of the majestic North American Throne-Sniffers. Further from Mark Steyn: “The effusions of the US media’s court eunuchs over Mrs Clinton’s ability to pass as an ‘everyday American’ and actually visit a Chipotle suggest this is going to be a very long 18 months.” On the plus side, Hillary’s return also means the return of Horndog Billy:

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YOU CAN GET IT WHINING

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 15, 2015 (12:41pm)

For a hard earned thirst you need a big cold beer, and the best cold beer is Fem. Feminist Bitter.
It’s much better than champagne, which is controversial for some reason.
(Via Elle Hardy)
UPDATE. The above, of course, should have been accompanied by a trigger warning.
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RABBIT LIBERATION NOW

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 15, 2015 (11:32am)

Read our manifesto,” demand the UK Greens, so Guido Fawkes has done exactly that. If anything, the UK Greens are even more insane than their Australian counterparts. Should they be elected, here – on page 77 of their manifesto – is how they imagine life in Britain:

image

(Via Alex D.) 
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Spending is too high, but the tax take is too low

Andrew Bolt April 15 2015 (10:50am)

Terry McCrann says it’s too simple to just say government’s spending too much, not taxing too little:
Australia’s longest serving, most successful and arguably best treasurer ...  Peter Costello “advised” his Liberal successor as Treasurer, Joe Hockey, that the Government needed to talk about getting taxes down, not up. 
Well, only one thing really is absolutely clear and undeniable in this argument. Simply, that the Federal Government is spending much more than it raises in revenue…
Whether though, these deficits are a product of too little tax or too much spending is not actually as clear cut as proponents — interestingly, aggressively, on both sides, and including Costello — would claim.
There is also a more complicated question: whether or not spending is too high right now. The ageing of our population will impose great pressure for yet further increased spending, especially on social welfare and health, as we move through the 2020s and 2030s.
And that’s before we “add” new spending, however desirable, on areas like disability…
Does that prospect mean we should work even more aggressively to cut spending now, to “make room” for inevitably higher spending in those areas tomorrow? Or does it make a higher level of taxation inevitable, as we can’t even pay for today’s “lower” level of spending?
To say all this, though — and this shows why the argument is so fraught and complex — does not invalidate the broader argument from someone like Costello. This is that the Government should refocus on its broader objective — to aim for taxes that are lower, and simpler and fairer.
Because such a combination could — should — actually produce more revenue. It’s the “Laffer Curve” revisited. Prof Arthur Laffer, who was recently in Australia, famously argued that higher tax rates ended up getting less actual revenue. The best way to maximise your tax take was to minimise your tax rate…
Those who argue that taxes are too low now (and prospectively in the next few years) focus on the tax share of GDP — our national income.
In the Costello years receipts (tax plus other government income) ran consistently higher than 25 per cent of GDP…
Hockey has also been exactly right in saying that Costello was riding a massive revenue wave. He was able to have his tax cuts and his Budget surpluses and indeed more spending… In Costello’s (best of all possible) times, receipts were running at 25 per cent-plus (after big tax cuts). Swan saw them fall to below 22 per cent, and they have struggled to get back to 23 per cent… 
So, fact: taxes are too low and spending is too high. But the “solution” is not to simplistically boost the one or cut the other, but to have better (lower?) taxes and more focused spending.
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Lie exposed: Andrews Government pays $420 million for tearing up a contract

Andrew Bolt April 15 2015 (9:22am)

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews before last year’s election:
OPPOSITION Leader Daniel Andrews has stuck with his promise not to build the East West Link if he wins the November 29 election… 
“There is nothing to walk away from, be very clear about this, the contracts are not worth the paper they’re written on,” Mr Andrews said. “This is not a legally binding contract.”
Dan Andrews four days before the Victorian election:
There will be no compensation paid. 
In fact, the contracts were valid, and compensation will be paid for tearing up contracts to build a road we need:
TAXPAYERS will fork out at least $420 million to cancel the East West Link toll road. 
Premier Daniel Andrews and Treasurer Tim Pallas have revealed that the state will pay $339 million in costs incurred by East West Connect - the group contracted to build the road.
A further $81 million in fees will be absorbed by the state, after it was spent to set up a credit facility to borrow the project costs…
Premier Daniel Andrews claims the payout of costs incurred was not compensation and blamed the former government.
That actually sounds like a lie and a broken promise. More particularly, it is $420 million NOT to build a road this state badly needs. What a ghastly waste.
This Government is fast looking worse than even the Kirner Government. 
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They died to sell fresh food

Andrew Bolt April 15 2015 (7:47am)

Woolworths, the “fresh food people”, exploit the Anzac sacrifice:
image
Woolworths has now taken down the site.
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How politicians strangle business

Andrew Bolt April 15 2015 (7:34am)

You wonder why there isn’t more business investment?
New business start-ups have dropped to their lowest levels in over a decade, as regulation, tax and workplace laws strangle entrepreneurship, according to analysis conducted by the Institute of Public Affairs. 
Australia’s new business entry rate has fallen from 17.44 per cent a decade ago to 11.17 per cent last financial year, according to analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data, a drop of 36 per cent. 
Here is a clue:
Mining billionaire Gina Rinehart ... said her $10 billion Roy Hill mine in the Pilbara had been forced to receipt over 4000 approvals, permits and licences and warned Australia risked losing investment to international competitors unless regulation was reduced.
How could bureaucrats and politicians dream up more than 4000 regulations over a single project? Read the list and weep:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'How politicians strangle business'
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Andrews does a Bowen

Andrew Bolt April 15 2015 (7:05am)

Fairfax didn’t get around to reporting this Labor gaffe until 3:46pm the following day, and then did it gently:
Federal opposition treasurer Chris Bowen has been accused of not knowing a key area of his portfolio after he was unable to identify Australia’s tax-free threshold during a live television interview on Tuesday night. 
Repeatedly pressed by talkback host Alan Jones to outline Australia’s tax levels, Mr Bowen was unable to identify the $18,200 figure as Australia’s tax-free threshold.
But Fairfax rushed out the first version of this story at 8:49pm last night - not 90 minutes later - to jeer at a Liberal gaffe:
Defence Minister Kevin Andrews was unable to name the leader of the Islamic State terror group in an embarrassing gaffe on the day the government committed additional troops to Iraq. 
In an interview on ABC’s 7.30 program on Tuesday night, Mr Andrews was asked repeatedly by host Leigh Sales to identify the Islamic State group’s head.
It is a different order of magnitude for a wanna-be Treasurer to forget the most basic tax rates and a Defence Minister to forget the name of the head of the Islamic State, but, that said, it was not a good performance from Andrews, whose discomfort before the cameras also caused the Coalition some strife over the submarines contract. 
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What is the point of Hillary?

Andrew Bolt April 15 2015 (6:56am)

Not much love from the Left for Hillary:
What is the case for Hillary...?  It boils down to this: She has experience, she’s a woman, and it’s her turn. It’s hard to find any substantive political argument in her favor.
UPDATE
Turns out a lot of people have been asking just that of Clinton, and only now is she turning her thought to it:
“A lot of people in the last few days have asked me, ‘Why do you want to do this?’ and ‘What motivates you?’” Clinton said. “And I’ve thought a lot about it, and I guess the short answer is, I’ve been fighting for children and families my entire life. … I want to be the champion who goes to bat for Americans.”
It seems Clinton just wants to be president, and is only now trying to figure out a reason for voters to want that, too. 
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6000 in just three days: the invasion of Europe

Andrew Bolt April 15 2015 (6:42am)

The numbers of illegal immigrants from Africa are astonishing - and dangerously destabilising. The deaths are horrific, and another reminder of the cost of Labor-style border policies:
About 400 migrants died in an attempt to reach Italy from Libya when their boat capsized, survivors said on Tuesday… Before this incident there had already been more than 500 deaths of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Africa this year… 
On Monday, 2851 migrants were saved in rescue operations in the Mediterranean, the Italian coastguard said, adding to at least nine who died and 5629 who were saved over the weekend.
More than 8000 illegal African immigrants in just three days? A huge mass-movement of peoples - mostly Muslim - is underway, and Europe will be changed profoundly. 
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No to a racist law that teaches us to resent white settlement

Andrew Bolt April 15 2015 (5:58am)

Moves to pass a law or “act of recognition” will be not only futile but dangerous.
What is the sense of making a one-sided list of grievances the law of this country? Will it henceforth become unlawful to even publicly disagree with a lurid and cartoonish view of our history that casts whites as evil and Aborigines as their noble victims?
What possible good can this do? What resentments does it make legal? What divisions on “racial” grounds does it entrench?
Graham Bradley, a former president of the Business Council of Australia and member of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition, demonstrates how the “reconciliation” movement intends to make the most explicit racial propaganda the law of the land:
A declaration could be framed in the language of aspiration and symbolism, not in dry legalese. For example, it could: 
- Acknowledge the prior habitation of our continent by the first Australians since time immemorial.
The “first Australians” may not be Aborigines. Is the law now to be used to rule out further academic debate? Moreover, the “first Australians” never considered themselves as Australians. And most importantly, the only first “Australians” are those who were literally first to arrive. To apply that term to everyone today with at least one Aboriginal ancestor is to radically revise our idea of citizenship. Rather than be one people, united by a common citizenship and a single law, we will become tribes, divided by law before the “first” and the rest according to the “race” of our ancestors.
- Recognise the deep cultural and spiritual relationship of indigenous Australians with our land and our unique natural environment, which was in their custody for many millennia.
All of us born here are now “indigenous” to this land. Or are we meant to feel forever strangers or guests in some way, on the basis of our “race”? And what of this racial stereotyping? Do all Aboriginal Australians have “deep cultural and spiritual relationship” to our “unique natural environment”? Should the law rule out some urban Aborigines actually feeling pretty good about developing land into farms and cities? Should it presume that Aborigines for centuries to come will feel a kind of religious bond to the land? Aren’t these presumptions actually a bit racist?
- Record the historical fact that, for more than a century after British settlement, indigenous people suffered disposition, degradation and denial of full and equal rights as citizens.
Why must an act of recognition record only the very worst of the effects of British settlement? Why not also record the benefits now enjoyed by tens of thousands: vastly improved health, longer lives, freedom from starvation, less violence, more comfort? Why make only the most one-sided and resentful reading of our past the law? What good can this do?
- Acknowledge the rich diversity of indigenous cultures, languages and traditions that form part of the history and inheritance of our nation. 
- Express respect for the place in our nation which indigenous people have as the keepers of those cultures, languages and traditions of ancient origin that now enrich our society and are part of the national identity of all Australians. 
This is more propaganda. Must the law command us all to believe indigenous culture and traditions were uniformly “rich” and part of our inheritance? Must we “respect” and claim we’re are “enriched” by some of the more negative traditions - warfare, superstitions, subjugation of women and the pledging of young girls in marriage to much older men? Must we respect Aboriginal concepts of communal wealth and child rearing that are proving inadequate today?
Every culture mutates with time and circumstance, abandoning traditions and sometimes even languages that outlive their usefulness or become even toxic. No culture can afford to shield itself from criticism and demand respect by law. Nor should the law peddle sentimental falsehoods, such as the claim that Aboriginal traditions “are part of the national identity of all Australians”.  Many well-meaning people may wish that be so, but in truth the vast majority of Australians have not the slightest knowledge of any Aboriginal language and virtually none of Aboriginal culture.
- Enjoin the nation to foster reconciliation between all peoples of our nation, to celebrate and nurture our cultural diversity, and to create Australia’s future as a ­united nation built on mutual respect, equal rights and responsibilities and shared values.
The harping on “reconciliation” always assumes a state of conflict that for most Australians simply does not exist. It is an insult, a presupposition on which an insatiable grievance industry is based. The statement is also hypocritical. Most Australians would indeed want us to have “equal rights” and “shared values”, and the not the legally sanction racial division the “reconciliation” movement is designing.
Say no to racism. Say no to attempts to pass laws that divide us by race. 
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Which idiot in the Abbott Government hired Dr Karl?

Andrew Bolt April 14 2015 (6:55pm)

 I was already astonished that the Abbott Government thought it smart to give the ABC’s Dr Karl money and credibility by having him front a push to sell it Intergenerational Report.
What idiot in the Government decided to have a man of the Left be its spokesman?
What does Dr Karl know about economics? Why give this climate hysteric more oxygen? Why trust a man who wildly exaggerates and cannot even correctly report his scientific sources? Why make your guru a man who refuses to accept even the most basic scientific evidence? Why subsidise a former candidate of the Climate Change Coalition, rather than one of your own?
And, indeed, it’s all come unstuck. Dr Karl now savages the report he was paid to sell - and which he agreed to sell without reading it first:
The man appearing on television screens across the country promoting the Abbott government’s Intergenerational Report - science broadcaster Karl Kruszelnicki - has hardened his stance against the document, describing it as “flawed” and admitting to concerns that it was “fiddled with” by the government. 
Dr Kruszelnicki, widely known as Dr Karl, has previously revealed that he had not read the report before he agreed to front the taxpayer-funded campaign, which is expected to cost millions…

He singled out the reduced focus on climate change in this year’s report for criticism. “In no way am I endorsing the government’s stance on climate change. I think it is incredibly short-sighted,” he said.
Dr Kruszelnicki - who has appeared in advertisements for the report running prominently on commercial television, news websites and social media - has also tweeted comments criticising the government for cutting funding to the CSIRO. The report emphasises the value of scientific research and innovation.
Dr Kruszelnicki said: “The only reason I agreed to do it [promote the report] is because I was told that it would be independent, bipartisan and non-political. 
“It turns out to have been fiddled with or subject to political interference from one side of politics I would deeply regret playing any part in it whatsoever.”
Not for the first time do I wonder at the Government’s inability to sell its economic message.
But first question: which Liberal hired Dr Karl, and why is that person still in a job? 
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Picture of the day by: Romel Pineda Photography A surprise winter storm in April
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Seriously...would you?
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THOSE WHO SHRIEK

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (3:49am)

It’s always useful to consider the problems of others before we complain about our own. Hearing about difficulties faced by the less fortunate provides a sense of perspective and an appreciation that our petty personal travails, in the overall scheme of things, really aren’t much of a big deal.
So we’re all grateful for Bob Carr telling us about the time he missed out on complimentary pyjamas during a business class flight.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'THOSE WHO SHRIEK'
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TEARS FOR MARX

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (3:32am)

This may be the finest lefty selfie ever taken. It shows an authentic Australian academic and media ethicist putting on his very best little sad face … because he’s standing in front of Karl Marx’s grave!

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Dry your eyes, little one. Dear old Karl has gone to a better place.
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THE CERTIFICATE OF ACHIEVEMENT

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (2:50am)

Hey, ambitious young activists! Do you want to be a big wheel in the thrilling and cashed-up world of insane global warming alarmism? Then this is the way
Increase your understanding & open doors to further study with this course run by Climate Councillor Prof. Lesley Hughes, with Guest Prof. Tim Flannery. 
Yes! During the awesome Hughes/Flannery course, you’ll learn: 
• Why human activities are changing the climate
• How the changing climate is affecting, and will continue to affect, the incidence and impacts of extreme weather events
• How climate change is likely to exacerbate existing problems of social inequality 
Plus a whole lot of other crap! Excitement and bountiful employability is guaranteed: 
If you pass this course you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement. 
That’s right! You could possibly receive a actual genuine Certificate of Achievement! Aieeeeee! 
While this certificate isn’t a formal qualification or credit, you can use it to demonstrate your interest in learning about this area to potential employers or educational institutions. 
YES YOU CAN!
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SALE OF THE SMH CENTURY

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (1:09am)

Journalism didn’t work out, so the Sydney Morning Herald is becoming some kind of lifestyle retail site, attempting to sell $250 candles$588 watches$10,000 Cuban holidays and $100,000 atlases to wealthy and stupid people. But why stop there? The SMH has a whole bunch of current and former staff to harvest:
Thank you for voting!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Total Votes: 2,107
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Costello: breakfast with Bob Carr

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (5:28pm)

Peter Costello was in China last week and his thoughts turned to Bob Carr...
I was making my way to the Boao Forum for Asia. I saw Bob Carr there last year. I was trying to get breakfast in a very crowded hotel. Every table was occupied. When Bob walked in, a table was immediately vacated to let him sit down. At first I thought it showed how important he was. But it turned out his very considerate staff had got there early and reserved a place so he wouldn’t have to wait… 
I chatted with Bob about some developments the Chinese had announced the day before on lending to Local Government. But I couldn’t interest him. He was highly agitated about the standard of the food in the breakfast room. It was almost as if he was there to record it all for some sort of subsequent travel diary. It was obvious he wasn’t interested in the conference.
Costello also draws a contrast:
The real thing that was troubling me ... was why countries like the United States do infrastructure so badly when places like Hong Kong do it so well. When I flew out of New York’s Kennedy Airport, the Airtrain wasn’t working. Passengers had to bus from one Terminal to another. People were squeezed in excess of safety limits, more like battery hens than human beings. The security staff were surly and difficult. The planes were late and the terminal was rundown. 
Flying into Hong Kong was like returning to the developed world. The terminal is connected to the city centre by a fast rain. Massive purpose-built suspension bridges and tunnels link it by road. Hong Kong reclaimed the land to build the airport from the sea — just as it has for other major developments.
The difference:
The difference is that Hong Kong, like the rest of China, puts its priority on hard infrastructure — roads, ports, bridges, railways… Development of China is not just improving lives there. It is improving the standard of living here. The spending priority of government in Australia, like most western governments, is quite different. Most of our taxes go on income support, pensions, benefits, health, education and the like… The East is pouring its money into investment and infrastructure. The West is pouring its money into consumption. It means that China is massively industrialising and narrowing the gap on living standards.  
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O’Farrell says no to Di Girolamo’s Grange

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (2:21pm)

Barry O’Farrell has some denying to do today:
PREMIER Barry O’Farrell was sent a $3,000 bottle of Grange to his home by Australian Water Holdings boss Nick Di Girolamo funded by AWH after he was elected Premier, Mr Di Girolamo has testified at ICAC. 
If the claim by Mr Di Girolamo is true, Mr O’Farrell would have been required to declare the gift on the pecuniary interest register.
On March 6 this year, the Premier was asked by The Daily Telegraph if he had received a bottle of Grange from Mr Di Girolamo by text message: “did Nick give you a bottle of Grange when you became Premier?”
He verbally denied it and said by text message on March 6: “confirm no recollection or record of the alleged gift"…
An AMEX record of Mr Di Girolamo’s secretary showed a purchase in May of a $2900 bottle of Grange for Mr O’Farrell and his wife… 
Mr Di Girolamo said the date of the wine was the year of Mr O’Farrell’s birth. He claimed the Premier rang to thank him for the gift.
UPDATE
Ugly:
Counsel Assisiting Geoffrey Watson has produced a courier receipt dated April 22, 2011, from the AWH head office at Bella Vista to Mr O’Farrells home at Roseville. 
Mr Watson said ICAC had heard evidence the bottle was ordered from Vintage Cellars on April 20 that year and phone records showed a call from Mr O’Farrell’s mobile to Mr Di Girolamo on the evening of April 20.
But Mr O’Farrell said he knew nothing about the call, neither he nor his wife remember getting the Grange and he holidayed with family on the Gold Coast that Easter leaving Thursday morning.
“I wouldn’t know about this phone call duration 28 seconds,” Mr O’Farrell said. 
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Tears for Marx from journalism academic

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (1:58pm)

Why am I not surprised?  A fan of Marx - and of muzzles for journalists - teaches journalism in our universities.
UPDATE
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Martin Hirst, here paying homage to Marx, teaches journalism at Deakin, which presumably wants its graduates equipped to work for big media organisations such as News Corp. It presumably also wants its graduates trained to express themselves well and conduct themselves ethically.
And to help produce such graduates it for some reason employs Hirst:
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An alarmist’s evidence: 22 boiled eggs

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (12:49pm)

Global warming - propagandaMedia

I don’t want to teach journalism lecturer and Fairfax columnist Crispin Hull to suck eggs, but has he ever considered doing some research to back up his bog-standard warming alarmism?
First, note how Hull catastrophises a cyclone which merely forced him to boil 22 more eggs than he needed:
You cannot unboil an egg. I know the expression is supposed to be “unscramble an egg’’, and you would think that would be more appropriate in a discussion about Cyclone Ita, but we have 22 boiled eggs in the fridge right now at home in Port Douglas. 
If a category five cyclone is bearing down upon you and you do not know if your kitchen will be unusable, or when the power will go off, or for how long, boiling eggs is a good precaution.
If, however, the cyclone peters out to a category one when it finally hits, and all you get is fallen branches, not fallen trees and roofs gone, then you have 22 boiled eggs in the fridge that you would very much like to unboil… 
I only mention the eggs because they are a small example of the consequences of a major cyclone...
Small example is right. If that’s all we have to worry about, spare me the $8 billion a year carbon tax. And correction: a cyclone that’s category one at landfall is not major but minor.
But for Hull it’s enough for a global warming lecture:
The response to extreme weather events by climate-change sceptics and business-as-usual climate-change deniers is now down pat: ‘’Well, you cannot assert that the climate is changing on the basis of an isolated event (insert event: cyclone. storm, bushfire, flood, drought). We have had these things before, you know.’’ And scientists will generally agree. 
But this mantra has to stop.
Er, why should we suddenly stop asserting a perfectly true corrective to alarmism - that one storm does not a climate trend make? On the basis of a single storm?
Well, yes:
For a start, with cyclones you can confidently say [clyclones] will now be more severe because of global warming. 
This is insane. A category one cyclone at landfall is not evidence of more severe cyclones. It is not evidence of any trend. It is not reason to start panicking. And, indeed, what Hull now asserts - that we “can confidently say that they will now be more severe because of global warming” - is actually false.
Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year admitted there was only “low confidence” in claims cyclones had got worse thanks to global warming, and, in fact, the evidence suggested that cyclones were in fact decreasing in number.
From the IPCC report::
In summary, confidence in large scale changes in the intensity of extreme extratropical cyclones since 1900 is low… Over periods of a century or more, evidence suggests slight decreases in the frequency of tropical cyclones making landfall in the North Atlantic and the South Pacific… Callaghan and Power (2011) find a statistically significant decrease in Eastern Australia land-falling tropical cyclones since the late 19th century ...
But on Hull preaches, of the devastation caused by cyclones that are, er, actually decreasing in number:
Cyclone Ita is a good case study. Most of the physical damage was done at Cooktown – some roofs blown off and so on… But the great economic damage was done in Port Douglas and Cairns. The airport was closed and flights cancelled. All tourist tours were cancelled for two, three or four days depending on the trip....
Pardon, but have storms never happened before in that region? And doesn’t the Bureau of Meteorology confirm that cyclones in Australia have dropped off significantly?
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And to Hull’s thundering conclusion:
The voice of small business should rally on this. Much of big business likes a high carbon economy and it does not care about the consequences...
What consequences? Fewer cyclones? The 22 boiled eggs of an alarmist?
(Thanks to reader Geoff.) 
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Just Tutu much global warming hypocrisy

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (12:26pm)

Tutu wants a boycott of the industry that puts petrol in his car and fuel in his plane and ship:
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for an anti-apartheid-style boycott and disinvestment campaign against the fossil fuel industry for driving global warming, just days ahead of a landmark UN report on how carbon emissions can be slashed. 
In an article for the Guardian, the archbishop writes: “We live in a world dominated by greed. We have allowed the interests of capital to outweigh the interests of human beings and our Earth… People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change. We can, for instance, boycott events, sports teams and media programming sponsored by fossil-fuel energy companies.” The Nobel peace prize winner also called for investors to dump their fossil fuel stocks: “It makes no sense to invest in companies that undermine our future...” 
No more flights for Tutu, then:
In 1996 he retired as Archbishop of Cape Town and was named Archbishop Emeritus. For two years, he was Visiting Professor of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia… 
In 2007, Desmond Tutu joined former South African President Mandela, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, retired U.N Secretary General Kofi Annan, and former Irish President Mary Robinson to form The Elders, a private initiative mobilizing the experience of senior world leaders outside of the conventional diplomatic process. Tutu was named to chair the group. Carter and Tutu have traveled together to Darfur, Gaza and Cyprus ...
No more gassy visits to London like last November’s:
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah visited King’s on Tuesday 19 November to mark the refurbishment and new use of Tutu’s, the former KCLSU nightclub space in the Macadam Building at the Strand.
And certainly no more luxury cruises like last month’s:
Passengers travelling on the South African leg of a Holland America round-the-world cruise next year will get a unique insight into the struggle to end apartheid in the form of two on-board lectures by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former archbishop of Cape Town. The archbishop, best known for his outspoken criticism of apartheid and his tireless work for human rights, will address passengers on the Durban and Cape Town leg of Holland America’s Grand World Voyage … 
I wonder, though, did Tutu raise this interesting idea of a boycott of the oil industry with Iran, one of the world’s biggest oil exporters, when he flew there three months ago to give the militant theocracy his support?
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu is part of a delegation with former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Teheran at a time when Iran is engaging in a more open relationship with Western countries and the international community… 
The Elders said on their website, “The purpose of the three-day visit is to encourage and advance the new spirit of openness and dialogue between Iran and the international community, and to explore what could be done to enhance cooperation on regional issues.
Or is this proposed boycott just your standard anti-capitalist, anti-Western posturing from activists who demand others make the sacrifices they won’t?
(Thanks to reader Craig.) 
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Brendan O’Neill: Are we children, to let the state stop our ears?

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (11:45am)

Brendan O’Neill says we should have more pride than to let the state protect us from other people’s thoughts:
When I tell people I think Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act should be scrapped – not reformed, but ripped up – I always get the same response: ‘How can you defend the rights of racists?’… 
But the reason I want Section 18C to be thrown into the shredding machine of history is not because I am committed to the right of racists to spout nonsense about minorities, but rather because I care for the rights of all Australians to know that such prejudices exist and to pass judgement on them.
Freedom of speech, you see, is only partly about the freedom of the speaker; it is also about the freedom of the audience, the reader, the man in the street, who should have access to all ideas and the liberty to make up his mind about which of these ideas has moral worth and which does not…
Section 18C doesn’t only limit the rights of racists to pump hatred into the public arena. More menacingly, it limits the right of the public to be the guardian of the public arena, and instead allows officialdom to decide on our behalf what we may hear and in essence what we should think. It reduces the public to the level of children, who must be guarded from certain ideas, presumably on the basis that we are incapable of working out for ourselves which ideas deserve serious attention and which should just be ridiculed into oblivion…
This was recognised by the great 18th century firebrand, Thomas Paine. When, in 1792, a court in England sentenced him to death in absentia for the crime of writing The Rights of Man, a fiery pro-democracy pamphlet, Paine said the verdict was a ‘sentence on the public, instead of the author’, because the public was being told ‘they shall not think, they shall not read’. The censorship was a ‘prohibition on reading’, said Paine, which did not only undermine his own right to write but also the right of the public ‘to reason and to reflect’.... 
Freedom of speech, in short, is as much about the freedom of the listener as it is about the freedom of the speaker. 
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Were the Sydney Olympics built on slush?

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (8:11am)

Paul Sheehan on what could have been the biggest slush fund of all:
Sydney’s Olympic Stadium was completed ahead of schedule in 1999, long before the 2000 Olympics. There were no delays, no disruptions and no blowouts in the $690 million budget. The question is, was the charmed life of this project built on a $500,000 bribe paid to the Labor Party?

Only two people would know for sure. One is Sam Fiszman, who was legendary in NSW Labor circles as the party’s chief fund-raiser. He allegedly solicited and received the bribe. But he is dead, so we don’t get his side of the story 

The other is the man who says he paid the bribe: Ian Widdup, then a senior executive at Multiplex. He is alive, though struggling, and pleading guilty to corruption. Widdup gave his version of events to the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Wednesday, during a private interview with ICAC investigating officers. He has also spoken to me at length about this and other matters For years Widdup has been paying bribes to the Construction Forestry Mining and Engineering Union, and giving donations to the Labor Party, above and below the table.  
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Shorten to cut the strings that pulled him up

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (7:44am)

Bill Shorten will reform Labor by cutting the influence of the people who make him leader and handing more power to the Left. And I doubt any of it will give Labor one more vote:

Bill Shorten will announce sweeping Labor Party reforms that empower rank and file members, rein in powerbrokers’ say over candidates and call for fewer factional bosses to be pre-selected for the Senate…
Drafts of the opposition leader’s speech call for local branches with more than 300 members to be given a 70 per cent say over pre-selection for the House of Representatives.
State-based head office selection committees would have their influence reduced to a 30 per cent weighting. 
Mr Shorten will also call for all pre-selections to move to a 100 per cent rank and file model in the longer term, in line with the NSW branch.  
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Even Holocaust denial should be debated into silence, not legislated

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (6:44am)

Nick Cater on attempts to fight defend the Racial Discrimination Act’s restrictions on free speech:
Among the more misleading claims made by opponents of change is that they will “open the door” to Holocaust denial. It was an argument put most recently by barrister Arthur Morris. 
Yet, Morris would be well aware, Australia is not one of the 17 countries where Holocaust denial is implicitly or explicitly ­illegal. If he wants to argue that it should be, then let us have an honest debate, for Hansard makes clear parliamentarians never intended the vilification amendments to operate as a de facto ban on Holocaust denial when they were passed in 1994.
UPDATE
Finally an offer of compromise - albeit too little - but even more importantly an assertion of good will:
AUSTRALIAN Jewish community leader Mark Leibler ­believes the “offence” provision of the Race Discrimination Act should be removed to allow the federal government to broaden the right to free speech while ­entrenching strong laws against racism.

Mr Leibler, a prominent lawyer who was accused of having too much lobbying influence over governments by former foreign minister Bob Carr in his new book, said yesterday the debate had wrongly created the impression that those pushing for free speech were “racists” and those against it were not prepared to be flexible… 

“All I can say is those who want to make a change are not the devil and are not racist and they are not interested in promoting racism.
“...My own view is that if all the government wants to remove the word ‘offend’, I think at the end of the day everyone could live with that.”
Section 18C of the act makes it unlawful to offend, insult, ­humiliate or intimidate on the grounds of race, colour or ethnicity. Under draft proposals, the government would replace 18C with provisions making it unlawful to vilify or intimidate others on similar grounds, but with broad exemptions, including the right to offend. 
Many within the Jewish community are fiercely opposed to the proposed change, arguing that it would allow Holocaust revisionists to air their views without fear of reprisals.
UPDATE
Here is one important argument Jewish opponents of the reform have not considered, in my opinion - a problem that might one day hurt them and the ability of Israel to even exist.
These proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act were prompted by the banning of two of my articles, in which I argued against the retribalising of Australia on “racial” grounds. The articles were banned in part because the judge said I’d made a mistake in suggesting certain people described as fair-skinned Aborigines had a choice to identify with one, all or none of the various ethnic or “racial” identities of their ancestors. The judge said those I described actually had no choice but to identify as Aboriginal, which of course made them perfectly entitled to claim privileges reserved for Aborigines.
Jewish defenders of a law that could stifle such a debate on identity should consider a very similar analogy. They should ask themselves how the law could be used to stifle debate on just who qualified for the “right of return” - a right claimed by Palestinians to return to lands in Israel.
Here is the context, as explained by Karma Nabulsi, lecturer in international relations at Oxford University:
Article 13(b) of the UDHR states: “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” Palestinian refugees are entitled to this binding universal right… 
In spite of ill-founded - and quite frankly racist - arguments concerned with denying this universal right to them, the United Nations has frequently insisted on its particular applicability to Palestinian refugees, who constitute the world’s largest refugee population. 
But who, some 65 years after 700,000 Palestinians fled the new nation of Israel, now qualifies for this “right of return”?
Ingrid Jaradat Gassner, director of BADIL, Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, explains:
The right to return is a right held by all Palestinians who were forced to leave their homes and properties, as well as their descendants. Two groups of Palestinians would exercise their right of return in what is today Israel: the so-called 1948 refugees who live outside Israel’s pre-June 1967 borders (approximately 6 million persons today), and Palestinians who have become internally displaced persons (IDP) since 1948 (approximately 300,000 persons today)… In a scenario where the right of return is implemented, all 1948 Palestinian refugees who decide exercise their right to return are entitled to Israeli citizenship. 
Israel, of course, would be essentially destroyed if millions of people claimed they were Palestinian refugees by descent and entitled to Israeli citizenship. Or it would be crippled trying to compensate them all in any final settlement. The country and its defenders would want to argue, among other things, that to identify as a Palestinian refugee on the basis that, say, one of your grandparents or great-grandparents was one would be stretching the definition.
See the analogy? The problem under our law?
Susan Akram of Boston University Law School makes the analogy even clearer:
Palestine might define as its nationals anyone whose parent, grandparent or great-grandparent was born on the territory of historic Palestine, or whose ethnic origin was Palestinian during any (defined) period. 
To challenge that definition in respect to any Australian, say, identifying as a Palestinian with a right of return is to run a very real risk of falling foul of exactly the law that caught me. 
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Airport decision today

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (6:38am)

At last:
IT was first proposed in the ‘60s, promised in the ‘80s and then killed off in 1996.

But today a second international airport for Sydney will finally be realised after almost 50 years of political inertia. 

The Daily Telegraph can reveal a final submission to give the go-ahead for an airport at Badgerys Creek will go to a Cabinet meeting in Canberra today — with the Prime Minister’s endorsement…
It is believed approval will be given for an initial single runway configuration with a slow build-up of flights… The first flights in and out of the airport are not expected until the mid-2020s ... 
By 2035 the employment boom generated by the airport will add 35,000 more jobs through the airport’s operations and associated businesses and industry… The projections outline an airport that by 2060 could be servicing between 70 and 100 flights a day ...
Some context:
Western Sydney’s population is greater than South Australia and greater than the combined populations of Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. 
The region has experienced strong growth over the past four decades and this trend is continuing with the population forecast to reach 2.96 million by 2036.
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Carr, meet the Congo

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (6:30am)

Former Australian foreign Minister Bob Carr complains of first-world problems in his Diary of a Foreign Minister:
Business class. No edible food. No airline pyjamas ...
Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, foreign minister for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, teaches perspective in his own diary, discovered by Tim Blair:
Disappointed today to find no pyjamas in business class. Disappointed also to find no engine or wings. Basically very disappointed to find no actual aircraft, just a dead buffalo lying in the dirt. Disappointed that the jackals had already eaten it. 
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.. I get that, but from my position, recognising (not in relation to you) that the God that Atheists don't beleve in does not exist, but is a caricature, but that God can exist and does, but not in the way Atheists see it, but as the Bible presents it (It is ok to disagree with me, it is my position). I feel the same way about love .. not the hurtful, hateful thing Hollywood sells, but the love that God of the Bible entails .. which nurtures, which builds, which shelters and which respects. - ed
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What is a personal service record and how to apply to get a copy?

Personal service records are files created for individuals during their military careers. The contents and detail of service records vary in quality and amount from conflict to conflict. For most servicemen and women, this will be the only official documentation for them as individuals.

Copies of personal service records can be requested via the National Archives of Australia's (NAA) Record Search databasehttp://www.naa.gov.au/collection/search/.
Locate the details of the service record by searching the database using the individual's name and service number, and follow the grey request buttons.

Personal service records only provide basic events and dates. Unit histories and records provide the context of the individual’s service. Further information regarding unit histories are available via the Memorials website.
https://www.awm.gov.au/research/infosheets/service-records/

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I was just hoping to have a relaxing Sunday here in South Florida before catching a flight this evening back to LA, but my day took a turn after an outing at the shooting range, when I encountered the long arm of the law. Coming off the Florida turnpike at the PGA Blvd exit I pulled into the lane to pay my $1.10 charge. However, the fella had closed, so I looked in the rearview mirror and since I was the only one there, I backed up and shifted one lane over to pay my turnpike ticket. And then it happened, at 1:07pm, FHP Trooper M.A. Mickens flipped on his lights and pulled me over. He informed me what I did was illegal and I told him I just wanted to pay my ticket and there was no one else coming through any of the lanes. I figured this would be a warning since I did not see any danger presented, but to my surprise, he wrote me a citation for $166.00. I asked Trooper Mickens if I had placed anyone's life in danger and he responded "no, but you did something illegal." I asked him if he saw any other cars when I backed up, he responded, "no, but that was not the point." I explained to Trooper Mickens that I had served in the Army and this just did not seem like it passed a common sense test and why could I not be given a warning. He responded, "you have to get a citation and it explains your options." I am sure Trooper Mickens has served the Florida Highway Patrol with distinction in his 27 years, yeah, I asked. But this is what perplexes me, where has the ability to make a judgment call gone? Are we now just a nation of unthinking robots which cannot assess a situation in and of itself? I have a perfect driving record that will be tarnished because Trooper Mickens did not think I could make a decision on my own, which threatened no one. I have 30 days to pay the citation of $166.00 to the Clerk of the Court of Palm Beach County. Lastly, no, I never said who I was because I do not deserve any special treatment. This is obviously how we treat law-abiding citizens. Allan West
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April 15Father Damien Day in HawaiiDay of the Sun in North Korea;Tax Day in the United States
Hillsborough disaster memorial at Hillsborough Stadium
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“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” - 1 Corinthians 15:1,
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning


"All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head."
Psalm 22:7

Mockery was a great ingredient in our Lord's woe. Judas mocked him in the garden; the chief priests and scribes laughed him to scorn; Herod set him at nought; the servants and the soldiers jeered at him, and brutally insulted him; Pilate and his guards ridiculed his royalty; and on the tree all sorts of horrid jests and hideous taunts were hurled at him. Ridicule is always hard to bear, but when we are in intense pain it is so heartless, so cruel, that it cuts us to the quick. Imagine the Saviour crucified, racked with anguish far beyond all mortal guess, and then picture that motley multitude, all wagging their heads or thrusting out the lip in bitterest contempt of one poor suffering victim! Surely there must have been something more in the crucified One than they could see, or else such a great and mingled crowd would not unanimously have honoured him with such contempt. Was it not evil confessing, in the very moment of its greatest apparent triumph, that after all it could do no more than mock at that victorious goodness which was then reigning on the cross? O Jesus, "despised and rejected of men," how couldst thou die for men who treated thee so ill? Herein is love amazing, love divine, yea, love beyond degree. We, too, have despised thee in the days of our unregeneracy, and even since our new birth we have set the world on high in our hearts, and yet thou bleedest to heal our wounds, and diest to give us life. O that we could set thee on a glorious high throne in all men's hearts! We would ring out thy praises over land and sea till men should as universally adore as once they did unanimously reject.

"Thy creatures wrong thee, O thou sovereign Good!

Thou art not loved, because not understood:

This grieves me most, that vain pursuits beguile
Ungrateful men, regardless of thy smile."

Evening

"Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him."
Isaiah 3:10
It is well with the righteous always. If it had said, "Say ye to the righteous, that it is well with him in his prosperity," we must have been thankful for so great a boon, for prosperity is an hour of peril, and it is a gift from heaven to be secured from its snares: or if it had been written, "It is well with him when under persecution," we must have been thankful for so sustaining an assurance, for persecution is hard to bear; but when no time is mentioned, all time is included. God's "shalls" must be understood always in their largest sense. From the beginning of the year to the end of the year, from the first gathering of evening shadows until the day-star shines, in all conditions and under all circumstances, it shall be well with the righteous. It is so well with him that we could not imagine it to be better, for he is well fed, he feeds upon the flesh and blood of Jesus; he is well clothed, he wears the imputed righteousness of Christ; he is well housed, he dwells in God; he is well married, his soul is knit in bonds of marriage union to Christ; he is well provided for, for the Lord is his Shepherd; he is well endowed, for heaven is his inheritance. It is well with the righteous--well upon divine authority; the mouth of God speaks the comforting assurance. O beloved, if God declares that all is well, ten thousand devils may declare it to be ill, but we laugh them all to scorn. Blessed be God for a faith which enables us to believe God when the creatures contradict him. It is, says the Word, at all times well with thee, thou righteous one; then, beloved, if thou canst not see it, let God's word stand thee in stead of sight; yea, believe it on divine authority more confidently than if thine eyes and thy feelings told it to thee. Whom God blesses is blest indeed, and what his lip declares is truth most sure and steadfast.
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Abram, Abraham 



[Ā'brăm,Ā'brăhăm] - the father of a multitude.


The original name of the youngest son of Terah was Abram, meaning "father of height." Abraham was given to him when the promise of a numerous progeny was renewed to him by God (Gen. 11:26; 17:5, 9).
The Man Who Was God's Friend
Abraham's place in the Bible's portrait gallery is altogether unique and unapproachable. He stands out as a landmark in the spiritual history of the world. Chosen of God to become the father of a new spiritual race, the file leader of a mighty host, the revelation of God found in him one of its most important epochs. In himself, there was not much to make him worthy of such a distinction. His choice was all of grace.
Abraham's life is given us in detail, and we know him as we know few men of the Bible. He was from the great and populous city of Ur, and therefore a Gentile although he became the first Hebrew. He was a rough, simple, venerable Bedouin-like sheep master. He uttered no prophecy, wrote no book, sang no song, gave no laws. Yet in the long list of Bible saints he alone is spoken of as "the father of the faithful" and as "the friend of God" (Isa. 41:8). Let us briefly sketch his story and character.
I. He was born in Ur of the Chaldees, of parents who were heathen. Little is known of him until he was seventy years old, a striking proof that he had yielded himself to God before he left his heathen home for the far-off land of Canaan.
II. He received a distinct revelation from God, and of God, but we are not told how and when. This, however, we do know: He gave up a certainty for an uncertainty and went out not knowing whither he went. Willingly he surrendered the seen for the unseen.
III. He was taught the lesson of patience, of waiting upon the Eternal God. It was many years before the promise of God was fulfilled to him - promises three in number - of a country, Canaan; of posterity, as the stars of heaven; of a spiritual seed, through whom all the families of the earth would be blessed.
IV. He believed as he waited. His soul fed upon the promises of God. He believed God in the face of long delay and also amid difficulties that seemed insuperable. This is why he is called "the father of all them that believe."
V. He was renowned for his active, working, living faith (Gen. 15:6). Abraham believed in God and it was counted to him for righteousness.
VI. He was subject to failures. His character, like the sun, had its spots. Abraham's conduct to Hagar on two occasions, in sending her away, is painful to remember. Then his departure from Canaan into Egypt when the famine was on was surely not an act of faith. The falsehood which on two occasions he told with regard to Sarah his wife gives us a glimpse into a natural character somewhat cowardly, deceitful and distrustful (Gen. 12:19; 20:2).
VII. He was called to offer up special sacrifices. The first is fully described in Genesis fifteen, where the five victims offered in sacrifice to God were symbolic and typical of the whole Mosaic economy to come. Then we have the offering up of Isaac, an act of faith on Abraham's part and yet a trial of faith (Gen. 22 ). What a demand God made! But Abraham did not withhold his only son of promise. What God wanted was Abraham's heart, not Isaac's life. So when the knife was raised to slay Isaac, a provided substitute appeared. After this sacrifice Abraham received the testimony that he had pleased God.
The Bible offers us many types of Christ, Isaac being one of the chiefest, but Abraham is the only type in Scripture of God the Father. Abraham so loved God as to give up his only son, and centuries before Christ was born entered into the inner heart of John 3:16. After serving God faithfully, Abraham died when 175 years of age.
There are many profitable lessons to be gleaned from the biography of this notable man of God:
Faith has always trials. Being a Christian does not mean that trial is impossible or unnecessary. The greater the faith, the greater the trial.
Faith shines through the cloud. How the patience and meekness of Jesus are manifest through His trials! Take away Abraham's trials and where is his faith? Faith must be tried, in order that faith may live.
Faith in spite of trial glorifies God. Abraham's story is written in tears and blood, but how God was glorified by his trials of faith! Abraham's obedience of faith earned him the honor, "Abraham My friend!" Truly, there is no greater rank or greater honor than to be described thus. Yet such is our privilege if ours is the obedience of faith, for did not Jesus say, "I have called you friends"? He also said, "Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you."
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Today's reading: 1 Samuel 25-26, Luke 12:32-59 (NIV)

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Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Samuel 25-26


David, Nabal and Abigail

1 Now Samuel died, and all Israel assembled and mourned for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah. Then David moved down into the Desert of Paran.

2 A certain man in Maon, who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy. He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing in Carmel. 3 His name was Nabal and his wife's name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings--he was a Calebite....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 12:32-59

Luke 12

32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also....
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Today's Lent reading: John 7-8 (NIV)

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Jesus Goes to the Festival of Tabernacles

1 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. 2 But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus' brothers said to him, "Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

6 Therefore Jesus told them, "My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come." 9 After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee....


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