Friday, April 29, 2016

Fri Apr 29th Todays News

It is difficult imagining one might care for a bikie boss that got gunned down after apparently gunning down another bikie a month ago. But the danger to society of collateral damage is real. An innocent party could get hurt. And it is wrong to let kids see this violence. Kids copy things, and it is never good to allow the violence of today's Bankstown shooting to become part of everyday life. A woman serving a counter in a shop was accosted by a couple who demanded to see security. The guy said "It is too late" and they rushed out of the shop to a car park where the bikie leader was gunned down. We don't need security guards becoming involved too. But if police are to be involved in these situations, one hopes they shoot centre of body mass so as to incapacitate or kill. Some yahoos want high powered automatic rifles in the hands of these bikies. They claim that Martin Bryant's Tasmanian massacre was a plot to get high powered rifles off the streets. In fact, Martin was merely an example of what a dolt can do with a high powered weapon. The reason for gang violence at the moment seems to be that ALP in Queensland, Victoria, and South Australia want the world to know that civil rights don't extend to noncriminals. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
The executions of eight in Indonesia by Indonesia included two Australian drug runners who had reformed, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukomaran. They were guilty as charged. They had reformed but that is not recognised for capital offences. They died singing Amazing Grace. Had they been captured following a terrorist hit they are likely to have been freed. But even though it is sad they were executed, they got to live useful lives following their capture. Many have blamed many regarding the outcome. Australia is rebuilding her contacts with Indonesia, following the clumsy handling by the Indonesian government. Australia's ambassador has been recalled. One person protested outside the Indonesian embassy in Canberra. One Phillipina was exonerated by evidence at the eleventh hour. One mentally ill man that was executed was 'cured' shortly before the execution "Are they going to shoot me? But I only made one mistake."

Some facts from USA (thanks YL) .. 
2012 over 14,172,384. arrest were made, of those arrests,
* In 2012, 123 blacks were killed by police with a gun
* In 2012, 326 whites were killed by police with a gun
* In 2013, blacks committed 5,375 murders
* In 2013, whites committed 4,396 murders
* Whites are 63% of the population blacks are 13%
Police killings of blacks down 70% in last 50 years
Out of 14,172,364 arrest and Police confrontations in 2012, only 449 criminals were killed in the line of action. Perhaps none of which were racially motivated. 


Prince William failed to have his daughter on his wedding anniversary. But Kate is doing her best, and well enough to drive. 

In 1429, a mid teen girl arrived to support the French at the siege of Orleans. She had had a vision in her father's garden in a small village, a few years previously. The visions included three saints she would describe as so beautiful she cried. They told her to support the French King. France had been involved in the Hundred Year War with England. It was on what is now French land, and the English had used scorched earth tactics. Poverty was rife, farms burned, the population had not recovered from the Black Death plagues of the fourteenth century. Her father was a minor landholder. She went to an authority, a garrison commander, to give her permission to go to the royal court. He refused. A year later she returned and with the support of two of the commander's underlings, was allowed to proceed. A desperate and weak king wanted to believe her. He had her morality tested by an ecclesiastical court, who suggested that she was fine, but needed to be tested. So she went to the aid of the besieged at Orleans in the King's company, and roused the troops religious fervour. She held a banner in battle, and inspired all around her. Two years later the weak king betrayed her to her death. But Joan of Arc had achieved what the visions had asked her.


In 1770, Captain Cook came to Botany Bay, which he named. In 1945, Operation Manna began as an attempt to feed peoples in occupied Belgium by the allies. The German forces had agreed to it. Also in 1945, Dachau concentration camp was liberated by US troops. In 1946, PM of Japan, Hideki Tojo and 28 others, was indicted for war crimes. In 1946, Father Divine, leader of the International Peace Mission Movement since 1907, married Edna Rose Ritchings, who at 21 was 49 years younger. Divine called himself God. After Divine passed in '65, there was a fight for leadership of the movement. One leader was Reverend Jim Jones. In 1953, the first episode of Space Patrol was broadcast on TV. In 1967, one day after refusing to be drafted, Muhammad Ali was stripped of his title. In 1986, European and US spy satellites saw what was happening at Chernobyl. In 1992, Following the acquittal of police who apprehended Rodney King, there were riots in Los Angeles. Over the following three days, 53 people were killed and hundreds of buildings were destroyed. In 2005, Syria completed her withdrawal from Lebanon, ending 29 years of occupation. 2011, Kate married William, Duke of Cambridge. 
From 2014
He died young but  Évariste Galois contributed much to Mathematics in his twenty years. He was a genius, growing up in France during a time of rebellion and revolution. Born in 1811, Galois had developed ideas regarding groups in Mathematics that had never been considered before. He discovered a way of showing that a polynomial was solvable with real numbers. He developed a way of looking at connections of discrete objects organised in groups, and now called Group Theory. But he also had ideas about justice and fairness, and he embraced republicanism under a monarchy that zealously protected itself. Galois was jailed after failing to toast the king. But his passion, his life's work, was Mathematics. He begged to share his ideas with others. He tried to go to university. The entrance tests had written and spoken components. Galois twice aced the written tests, but he was a nervous speaker, and some in the panel of examiners ridiculed him before failing him. Twice. Galois was set up by royalists over a prostitute. The girl befriended him, and was denounced by the royalists. Galois in defence of her honour, challenged them to a duel. Another Math genius, Fourier, recognised Galois's work, and promised to send it for an academy prize, but before he did, the elderly Fourier died. On the eve of the duel, Galois gave his precious papers to a friend with instructions of who to show them to. Galois was shot in the stomach and died the next day. His letters were misplaced for a decade and when read, his genius was declared. Speaking to his younger brother before dying, he said Ne pleure pas, Alfred ! J'ai besoin de tout mon courage pour mourir à vingt ans ! (Don't cry, Alfred! I need all my courage to die at twenty.) And the truth then, as now, is that liars like those who promote AGW alarmism will kill their opponents without mercy. 

Also in France on this day in 1944, Nancy Wake parachuted to liaise between British high command and the Maquis. Nancy was NZ born (1912), and came to Australia young. Her father left the family for her mother to raise Nancy and her siblings. She went to North Sydney Technical college. She ran away from home at age 16, with £200 that she had inherited from an aunt, she journeyed to New York, then London where she trained herself as a journalist. In the 1930s, she worked in Paris and later for Hearst newspapers as a European correspondent. She witnessed the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement and "saw roving Nazi gangs randomly beating Jewish men and women in the streets" of Vienna. She became a leading figure in the maquis groups of the French Resistance and was one of the Allies' most decorated servicewomen of the war. After the fall of France in 1940, she became a courier for the French Resistance and later joined the escape network of Captain Ian Garrow. By 1943, Wake was the Gestapo's most wanted person, with a 5 million-franc price on her head. After reaching Britain, Wake joined the Special Operations Executive. On the night of 29/30 April 1944, Wake was parachuted into the Auvergne, becoming a liaison between London and the local maquis group headed by Captain Henri Tardivat in the Forest of Tronçais. From April 1944 until the liberation of France, her 7,000+ maquisards fought 22,000 SS soldiers, causing 1,400 casualties, while suffering only 100 themselves.

She was a Liberal party candidate several times, almost taking HV Evatt's seat twice. She had worked for Hearst, who was also born on this day, in 1863. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 1091, Battle of Levounion: The Pechenegs were defeated by Byzantine Emperor Alexius I. 1386, Battle of the Vikhra River: The Principality of Smolensk was defeated by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and became its vassal. 1429, Joan of Arc arrived to relieve the Siege of Orleans. 1483, Gran Canaria, the main island of the Canary Islands was conquered by the Kingdom of Castile. 1521, Swedish War of Liberation: Swedish troops under Gustav Vasadefeated a Danish force under Didrik Slagheck in the Battle of Västerås and soon captured the city of Västerås. The Danish-held castle, however, does not surrender to the Swedes until 31 January the following year, after a nine-month siege. 1770, James Cook arrived at and named Botany BayAustralia. 1781, American Revolutionary WarBritish and French ships clashed in the Battle of Fort Royal off the coast of Martinique.

In 1832, Évariste Galois was released from prison. 1861, American Civil WarMaryland's House of Delegates voted not to secede from the Union. 1862, American Civil War: New Orleans, Louisiana fell to Union forces under Admiral David Farragut. 1864, Theta Xifraternity was founded at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the only fraternity to be founded during the American Civil War. 1882, the "Elektromote", forerunner of the trolleybus, was tested by Ernst Werner von Siemens in Berlin.

In 1903, a 30 million cubic-metre landslide killed 70 in Frank, North-West TerritoriesCanada. 1910, the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the People's Budget, the first budget in British history with the expressed intent of redistributing wealth among the British public. 1916, World War I: The British 6th Indian Division surrendered to Ottoman Forces at the Siege of Kut in one of the largest surrenders of British forces up to that point. Also 1916, Easter RisingMartial law in Ireland was lifted and the rebellion was officially over with the surrender of Irish nationalists to British authorities in Dublin.

In 1944, World War II: British agent Nancy Wake, a leading figure in the French Resistanceand the Gestapo's most wanted person, parachuted back into France to become a liaison between London and the local maquis group. 1945, World War II: The German army in Italyunconditionally surrendered to the Allies. Also 1945, World War II: Start of Operation Manna. Also 1945, World War II: The Captain class frigate HMS Goodall K479 was torpedoed by U-286 outside the Kola Inlet becoming the last ship of the Royal Navy sunk in the European theatre of World War II. Also 1945, World War II: FuehrerbunkerAdolf Hitler married his longtime partner Eva Braun in a Berlin bunker and designated Admiral Karl Dönitz as his successor. Both Hitler and Braun commit suicide the following day. Also 1945, the Dachau concentration camp was liberated by United States troops. Also 1945, the Italian commune of Fornovo di Taro was liberated from German forces by Brazilian forces. 1946, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East convened and indicted former Prime Minister of Japan Hideki Tojo and 28 former Japanese leaders for war crimes. Also 1946, Father Divine, a controversial religious leader who claimed to be God, married the much-younger Edna Rose Ritchings, a celebrated anniversary in the International Peace Mission movement. 1951, Tibetan delegates to the Central People's Government arrived in Beijing and drafted a Seventeen Point Agreement for Chinese sovereignty and Tibetan autonomy. 1953, the first U.S. experimental 3D television broadcast showed an episode of Space Patrol on Los Angeles ABC affiliate KECA-TV.

In 1965, Pakistan's Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) successfully launched its seventh rocket in its Rehber series. 1967, after refusing induction into the United States Army the day before (citing religious reasons), Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing title. 1968, the controversial musical Hair, a product of the hippiecounter-culture and sexual revolution of the 1960s, opened at the Biltmore Theatre on Broadway, with its song becoming anthems of the anti-Vietnam War movement. 1970, Vietnam War: United States and South Vietnamese forces invade Cambodia to hunt Viet Cong. 1974, Watergate ScandalPresident Richard Nixon announced the release of edited transcripts of White House tape recordings relating to the scandal. 1975, Vietnam War: Operation Frequent Wind: The U.S. began to evacuate U.S. citizens from Saigon prior to an expected North Vietnamese takeover. U.S. involvement in the war came to an end. Also 1975, Vietnam War: The North Vietnamese Army completed its capture of all parts of South Vietnamese-held Trường Sa Islands. 1986, a fire at the Central library of the City of Los Angeles Public Library damaged or destroyed 400,000 books and other items. Also 1986, The Chernobyl Disaster: American and European Spy Satellites captured the ruins of the 4th Reactor at the Chernobyl Power Plant

In 1991, a cyclone struck the Chittagong district of southeastern Bangladesh with winds of around 155 miles per hour (249 km/h), killing at least 138,000 people and leaving as many as ten million homeless. 1992, Los Angeles riotsRiots in Los Angeles, California, following the acquittal of police officers charged with excessive force in the beating of Rodney King. Over the next three days 53 people were killed and hundreds of buildings were destroyed. 1997, the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 entered into force, outlawing the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons by its signatories. 1999, the Avala TV Tower near Belgrade was destroyed in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. 2004, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush testified before the 9/11 Commission in a closed, unrecorded hearing in the Oval Office. Also 2004, Oldsmobile built its final car ending 107 years of production. 2005, Syriacompleted withdrawal from Lebanon, ending 29 years of occupation. 2011, the Wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Kate Middleton. 2013, a powerful explosion occurred in an office building in PragueCzech Republic, believed to have been caused by natural gas, injured 43 people.
=== 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!
===
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
===
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 to all those born on this day, across the years, including
Deaths
April 29Shōwa Day in Japan
Nancy Wake
Cook named it. David captured it. London socialised it. Nancy liaised with it. It had Hair. Let's party. 
===

WHEELBARROW SALES INCREASE

Tim Blair – Friday, April 29, 2016 (5:25pm)

Then
“Venezuela’s economic growth has been very impressive in the last few years.” 
Now
“It’s a very bad sign to see people running around with wheelbarrows full of money to buy a hot dog.” 
(Via Iowahawk.)
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DELCON DOLLARS

Tim Blair – Friday, April 29, 2016 (5:22pm)

Sportsbet’s latest election market news: 
• Labor closes in on the Coalition, odds cut into $3.25 to win the election.
• Coalition drifts from $1.25 out to $1.33.
• All the interest from punters this week has been for Labor to cause an election upset.
Labor, priced at $6.00 just over a month ago, has been cut from $3.50 into $3.25.
Punter interest in Labor has been strong over the past week, with Sportsbet taking five bets on Labor for every one bet on the Coalition. 
By July 2, election odds may be similar to when Tony Abbott was PM.
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HORK! HORK! HORK!

Tim Blair – Friday, April 29, 2016 (4:04pm)

You never know when the triggering will happen. Click the linked image to enlarge.
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FUSE LIT

Tim Blair – Friday, April 29, 2016 (2:41pm)

fireworks incident in Bankstown kills convicted murderer Walid ‘Wally’ Ahmad and injures two others.
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BATTLE OF THE SNOWFLAKES

Tim Blair – Friday, April 29, 2016 (2:15pm)

Brendan O’Neill notes the similarities between Trump supporters and Trump opponents: 
What is presented to us as a historic standoff over the decline of Western values, pitting self-consciously un-PC Trumpites against super-sensitive radicals, is in fact a battle of the snowflakes. It’s a showdown between different versions of the politics of victimhood, a catfight among self-pitiers, a war for recognition. That’s why it’s so deranged, especially on campus, where there are now frequent screaming matches between Trump-loving rude boys and literally wailing feminists: because this is the narcissism of small differences, the fury speaking not to profoundly clashing worldviews but to a desperate scramble to inhabit the same narrow ground of victimology. 
(Via A.R.M. Jones.)
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CARING FOR THE PLANET SINCE 1945

Tim Blair – Friday, April 29, 2016 (1:51pm)

Seventy years ago, Earth Hour wasn’t optional:

image
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SON OF A GUN

Tim Blair – Friday, April 29, 2016 (1:28pm)

2007
The federal Labor Party under the leadership of Kevin Rudd has signalled a closer, more understanding relationship with shooters.
“Mr Rudd is no stranger to the shooting range and has not shied away from the media about his support for the shooting sport.” 
2016
Malcolm Turnbull: Rhodes scholar, merchant banker, lawyer, technology enthusiast, republican. You thought you knew everything about the Prime Minister, but what about Malcolm the shooter?
“I’m a primary producer and have a firearms licence …” 
In more ways than one, Rudd and Turnbull are brothers in arms.
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DAY CARE CENTRES FOR OUTRAGE MERCHANTS

Tim Blair – Friday, April 29, 2016 (12:56pm)

Greg Gutfeld reviews the week in political correctness:

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Three shot at western Sydney shopping centre

Andrew Bolt April 29 2016 (1:41pm)

We have become far too habituated to the level of gun crime in western Sydney:
ONE person is reportedly dead and two others are injured after a shooting at a major shopping centre in Sydney. A man and woman have been taken to Liverpool Hospital.
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Not just reporting but teaching

Andrew Bolt April 29 2016 (1:35pm)

The Australian’s Jared Owens should be thanked for taking the time to improve cultural literacy:
Malcolm Turnbull has stepped up his defence of negative gearing, saying his critics are in ”cloud-cuckoo-land” if they believe the opposition’s policies would not cause housing prices to collapse…
Cloud-cuckoo-land – meaning a fanciful place of unrealistic notions – was invented more than 2400 years ago by the Greek playwright Aristophanes for his comedy, The Birds, which tells of ingenious Athenian who persuades the birds to build a city in the clouds.
Great work. News you can use.
And I am not being sarcastic. 
===

Is Dodson listening to his Aboriginal voters on same-sex marriage?

Andrew Bolt April 29 2016 (1:15pm)

Ignore the protests of the sanctimonious - so intolerant of debate - at the arguments of West Australian Liberal MP Peter Abetz.
And treat with derision the way reporters bestow the word “respected” to people whose chief virtue actually lies in saying with the reporter endorses.

Indigenous leader Pat Dodson has been endorsed as a WA senator, with the father of reconciliation demonstrating his diplomacy by defending a Liberal backbencher’s democratic right to make a “bad taste” speech.
The respected Aboriginal elder ...  was resoundingly ratified [by the WA Parliament] as Mr Bullock’s replacement…
But Liberal backbencher Peter Abetz, the older brother of Liberal Senator Eric Abetz, used the open floor to inject controversy into the rare moment of parliamentary solidarity.
Mr Abetz gave a speech against same-sex marriage, suggesting it was not in line with traditional Aboriginal social values and raising Prof Dodson’s Catholic background.
He became Australia’s first ordained Aboriginal Catholic priest in 1975 but left after disagreeing with the church hierarchy over his beliefs about the religion and traditional Aboriginal spirituality.
Mr Abetz’s speech prompted Nationals MP Brendon Grylls to walk out of the chamber in apparent disgust and Liberal MP Phil Edman tweeted he was “embarrassed”, while applause broke out when Upper House president Barry House questioned the relevance of the commentary.
Prof Dodson said ... “You could say it was bad taste but we live in a democracy...”
Mr Barnett said he apologised to Professor Dodson for Mr Abetz’s comments after the sitting. 
Bad taste. Inappropriate. Embarrassing.
Yet not one critic actually analysed what Abetz said to judge if it were true or false.
In fact, Abetz’s argument is fascinating and strong, pointing out that someone purporting to speak for Aboriginal people should acknowledge the deep cultural opposition many have to same sex marriage. Here is an excerpt of his speech::
Mr Dodson in his younger days served as a Catholic priest…
Having been used to being a free voice in the community speaking his mind and espousing traditional aboriginal social values, he will no doubt find it challenging to have to toe the Labor party line…
After 2019 Professor Dodson will no longer be able to be a voice for the traditional aboriginal view of marriage, as expressed by over 70 aboriginal elders, from 47 different nations who signed the Bark Petition to the Federal parliament last year, urging the Parliament to not legalise SSM, but instead to honour the age old aboriginal view of marriage…
As Mr James Stephens, a Wiradjuri man, who spoke at the press conference after its presentation said: 

“… the Uluru Bark Petition is endorsed and signed by the senior elders of Ernabella, Pitjantjatjara and a senior elder of Mutitjulu Uluru, Yankuntjjara language. Secondly we are simply making a statement on a well-known fact acknowledged by the Australian Government and numerous academics. And that fact is marriage between a man and a woman is sacred between our people,”
Indeed the Australian Law Reform Commission in 1986 released a Report entitled Aboriginal Customary Law , which has a whole chapter on the nature of laws surrounding marriage in traditional Aboriginal culture.  On reading that chapter again last night, it was very clear that the authors of the bark petition very accurately reflects the content of that report – namely that in aboriginal culture marriage is about producing and socialising the next generation, and there is no scope in the traditional law for same sex relationships to be recognised in any way at all, let alone be given the status of marriage.

Ken Wyatt, Member for Hasluck, and Senator Joanne Lindgren, the grand-niece of the late Senator Neville Bonner, are two indigenous members of our Federal Parliament who have publicly spoken out against redefining marriage to include same sex relationships…
If Mr Dodson plans to remain a Federal Labor Senator beyond 2019, he will not be able to uphold the dreams and aspirations of aboriginal people who wish to articulate and hold to their traditional cultural view of the nature of marriage.
This is an important argument on an important issue. I’d love to hear Dodson frankly address it. 
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Are we paying too much for these subs?

Andrew Bolt April 29 2016 (11:47am)

Adam Crichton explores just some of the ways in which the $50 billion price tag for the French submarines could be an underestimation:
In general, the Coalition has been unacceptably evasive on the real cost and parameters of this important project…
In general, Australian taxpayers can’t afford to be bilked by global military manufacturers of note. The Coalition should consider an independent military construction and purchasing authority to benchmark labour and supply costs and contracted profit margins with other nations.
And the secrecy over the price of the porkbarrelling must end:
Critics have claimed Australia is paying 30 per cent more because of the decision to build near Adelaide. The government has said this is an exaggeration but hasn’t yet released the difference. It should.
Whatever the difference, this insistence on building locally is more about politics than economics, to shore up the Coalition’s rickety position in a handful of South Australian seats. It may well prove among the costliest pork barrels in Australia’s history.
Even the government, which has an interest in inflating the figures, claims the spending will support only 1100 jobs directly and a further 1700 “through the supply chain”. That is equivalent to $17.9 million per job on the raw $50bn figure. 
UPDATE
Robert Goittliebsen has some very troubling questions:
The evidence now mounting shows that the submarine tender is one of the most irregular ever conducted in Australia. Defence officials in the US, Japan and Germany are shocked at what is now being revealed.
They believe that the French tender was priced at approximately double that of rival tenders from Japan and Germany. So Australia will pay at least $40 billion and more likely $50bn for 12 submarines, when both the Japanese and German tenders were for around $20bn....
Compounding the dangers, ... there is mounting evidence that the French do not want to build the first two submarines in Australia because they do not have the digital technology needed to undertake the task. They need to make the first two submarines back home.
In Paris, they were shocked that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was so definitive in his statement that all 12 submarines would be built in Australia…
Nevertheless, when the French declared that they would need 4,000 people to build their 30 per cent of the 12 submarines, it was a huge number… [T]he Germans made it clear in tender pre-publicity that they could build the 12 submarines in Australia with merely 1,200 people.
Why would you need 4,000 French workers — three times the number of Australian workers required for the German bid — when 12 submarines are to be built in Australia?
The simple answer is that in a few years a good reason will be found to build the first submarines in France, but that’s speculation.
The other strange aspect of the submarine tender is that the submarines are not going to be delivered until 2033 or 2034. The Germans were offering to have submarines available around 2028. The apparent reason for the delay is that the French, without digital technology, will take much longer to design the submarines.
Why would Australia make such a mistake?
(Thanks to reader marg of nambour, george and others.) 
===

Treasury should admit a growth spurt won’t save this Budget

Andrew Bolt April 29 2016 (8:51am)

How much has political pressure influenced Treasury forecasts? How can Treasury have been so wrong so often - and why should we trust any assurances that Tuesday’s Budget gives us an honest picutre of our soaring debt?
David Uren:
If the economy had behaved in line with Treasury’s predictions for it over the past five years, the economy would be $90 billion bigger than it is and the budget would be heading for a surplus.
Treasury is facing yet another downgrade in its medium-term outlook in next week’s budget with its projections that the economy will bounce back to normal rates of growth over the next three years out of step with a slowing global trend…
Treasury predicted in [the May 2011] budget that the economy would expand by 24.5 per cent over the next four years, or by almost $350bn… In reality, the economy has grown by only 14.1 per cent or $200bn, with about a third of that flowing to the government as tax.
The projections made at the peak of the resources boom were always bound to be wrong by a large margin. However, the nominal growth forecasts Treasury has made in each budget for the coming year have also been wrong.
For example, the 2014-15 budget predicted growth of 3 per cent against an actual 1.6 per cent, while the 2012-13 budget forecast 5 per cent growth against an actual 2.2 per cent.
In the past four years, the economy would have grown by 20.7 per cent if it had behaved in line with Treasury’s budget forecasts for the year ahead. It would have generated $1.7 trillion in goods and services in 2014-15 instead of the actual $1.6 trillion recorded by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The difference of just under $100bn would have translated into another $30bn of tax revenue, enough to almost wipe out the deficit in 2014-15.
The biggest errors have been caused by Treasury’s reluctance to let go of its belief that China’s economy would keep commodity prices aloft permanently. 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Tara Brown interviews Tara Brown

Andrew Bolt April 29 2016 (8:41am)

Good work from Charlie Pickering:
(Thanks to reader WaG311.) 
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Abbott says no hope of a return, but he sets a high bar for Turnbull

Andrew Bolt April 29 2016 (8:06am)

From Tony Abbott’s interview with me on Sky News Live last night:
Tony Abbott has publicly shelved any ambitions of a return to the nation’s top job
“I accept that the party made a decision back on September 14 last year and I don’t expect the party to ever go back on that decision,” he told Sky. “But political parties don’t go back. The Abbott era has been. And I think my role is to be, occasionally perhaps, an elder statesman.”
Maybe. But Abbott has again gone through his own mistakes, in a way that Paul Keating, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd never did. Why?
Missed in some of the coverage of the interview:
- Abbott has pointed to a great flaw in the Turnbull Government’s submarine contract: that we won’t get the first for at least another 15 years and the last until nearly 2060. That must change:
We need to get the next generation of submarines into the water and operational as quickly as is humanly possible.
- Abbott set the bar high for Malcolm Turnbull in dealing with the closing of the Manus detention centre by Papua New Guinea. He ruled out sending the 900 men to Christmas Island with a simple “nope” and insisted they stay in PNG, as PNG’s responsibility. 
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On free speech and protected species

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, April 29, 2015 (12:53am)

BEING no stranger to Twitter controversies, myself, I’m loathe to gloat about the sacking of obnoxious SBS sports presenter Scott McIntyre. Yes, his tweets on Anzac Day vilifying Anzacs as war criminals and rapists were hateful and feeble-minded. I detest what he wrote. But I detest more the idea of Twitter’s power to end someone’s career.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'On free speech and protected species'
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Overseas investors putting house prices well out of our kids’ reach

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, April 29, 2015 (12:53am)

ON the slightly less salubrious side of Mosman last week, in leafy Beauty Point, a five-bedroom house with Middle Harbour views sold for the wildly inflated price of $10.65 million. According to locals, the buyer was a 25-year-old Chinese national. Yes, 25.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Overseas investors putting house prices well out of our kids’ reach'
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BALLS SHOWN

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 29, 2015 (1:40pm)

Yesterday: actor Brendan Cowell demands that Tony Abbott “show some balls” by confronting Indonesia over the execution of two Australian heroin smugglers.
Today: Brendan Cowell deletes his Twitter account
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Labor sells its soul for the Muslim vote

Andrew Bolt April 29 2015 (3:17pm)

Australian Jews are reminded again that Labor represents danger, not help. It is driven by demographics, not principle. Simply put, there are more Muslim votes that Jewish in Labor marginal seats:
NSW Right power broker Tony Burke will lead the push for a historic shift in Labor’s position on the recognition of a Palestinian state at the party’s July national conference, under an agreement hammered out with Bill Shorten. 
Mr Burke will propose a resolution at conference expected to mirror that put at NSW Labor conference last July. It stated if no progress was made towards a two-state solution “and Israel continues to build and expand settlements, a future Labor government will consult like-minded nations towards recognition of the Palestinian state”.
To know where Tony Burke is coming from:
Labor frontbencher Tony Burke, for instance, represents the Sydney seat of Watson, which now has an astonishing 20 per cent of Muslim voters. In fact, of the 20 seats with the most Muslim voters, many in western Sydney, Labor holds all but one. 
It shows. Two years ago, the Gillard government dropped support for Israel in the United Nations after foreign minister Bob Carr spent an hour with prime minister Julia Gillard, as The Australian reported, “explaining the electoral problems in Sydney”.
Added The Sydney Morning Herald: “Many MPs in western Sydney, who are already fearful of losing their seats, are coming under pressure from constituents with a Middle East background.” 
Last September, the Mufti of Australia even wrote to Labor members warning that union boss Paul Howe had a “bias” towards Israel, and if he became a senator, Labor would lose the Muslim votes that helped “successfully retain the majority of ALP seats in Western Sydney”. Howes was stopped.
To know just what Tony Burke will say to win Muslim votes at an Australia Palestine Advocacy Network Fundraising Dinner:
If you are serious about justice, then we need to acknowledge and acknowledge the truth, that all Israeli settlements on Palestinian land are illegal. If we’re serious about speaking the truth then we must unequivocally be able to say that East Jerusalem is occupied… 
For those who are political advocates within Palestine itself, I will never know the bravery that comes with putting your life on the line and at risk, in engaging in politics in different ways.
I’d bet many of Burke’s audience heard that as an implicit endorsement of Palestinian terrorism.
Jewish members of Labor should be fighting like fury against this dangerous pandering. Where are they?
UPDATE
NSW Labor leader Luke Foley is just as craven, issuing this press release:
NEW TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS FOR LABOR MPs 
NSW Labor leader Luke Foley announced today that any Labor MPs receiving assisted travel to Israel would be expected to spend an equivalent time in the West Bank and/or Gaza to hear the case of the Palestinians…“This arrangement will mean MPs understand the Palestinian as well as the Israeli case,” Mr Foley said. 
Will Foley now insist that every NSW MP visiting China spend equal time in Taiwan? Every MP visiting South Korea spend equal time in North Korea?
(Thanks to readers Dexxter, CK and Marcus.) 
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Real leadership in Baltimore

Andrew Bolt April 29 2015 (11:21am)

Barack Obama has shown a disgraceful lack of leadership, again, over the Baltimore riots. He should take a lesson from this mother:
Obama is hailed as a great “orator”. Nothing he has said about this riots comes close in grandeur to this, from Vietnam veteran Robert Valentine, who defied the protesters:
 
I love my country. I love my Charm City. I’m an American. 

I’m not black, white, red, yellow or nothing.
I am American. 
(Thanks to reader Stuart.) 
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Blaming Abbott, sanctifying drug smugglers

Andrew Bolt April 29 2015 (10:08am)

I am continually astonished that Bruce Haigh was ever an Australian diplomat. I am now surprised that my newspaper chooses to publish his latest anti-Abbott ravings:
We do not occupy the moral high ground; we have broken Indonesian law and transgressed their sovereignty with respect to turning back the boats of asylum seekers. We have failed to engage over processing the increasing number of asylum seekers in Indonesia. 
The Indonesian elite have little respect for our current crop of federal politicians.
Had Abbott a skerrick of nous and style he might have been able to negotiate with Joko Widido over Chan and Sukumaran, but he has long been written off internationally, regionally and domestically… 
If Australia wishes a permanent reminder of the injustice of what has taken place and also a beacon to the future it should establish a scholarship scheme in the name of Chan and Sukumaran for young people of both countries to travel and study in either country. 
A scholarship to honour two drug runners, whose scheme put seven other Australians in jail? A scholarship in their name for Indonesian students, too?  Seriously?
And Abbott is “written off” in Japan, which signed an unprecedented trade deal with him? China, which signed a deal, too? India, whose Prime Minister came visit? Britain, led by a friend of Abbott’s? Canada, whose Prime Minister is another friend and sceptical ally? South Korea, which signed a free trade deal?
Did Haig not notice, either, that Indonesia has also ignored the leaders of Holland, France, Vietnam, Nigeria, Ghana, Brazil and the United Nations in executing drug traffickers? That it really isn’t all about Abbott? Haig’s long hatred of Abbott blinds him.
Note, incidentally, that Haigh also served on the Refugee Review Tribunal for five years, deciding on who could stay. 
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Are we really against the death penalty? Or just when Australians are involved?

Andrew Bolt April 29 2015 (8:42am)

Indonesia is entitled to think we’re hypocrites about the death penalty - furious when those killed are Australians, but happy when they’re Indonesians:
Kevin Rudd [this week] tweeted in a more straightforward manner: “As a lifelong opponent of capital punishment, the truth is it achieves nothing but the further destruction of life.” Which is essentially how he felt in 2007, when he said, “ ... the time has come for the world to put an end to this medieval practice.” 
But there is no light without shade, as Rudd showed in October 2008 when discussing some other people on death row: “I say the Bali bombers are cowards and murderers, pure and simple ... They deserve the justice that will be delivered to them.” 
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Iran fires shots to stop cargo ship

Andrew Bolt April 29 2015 (8:32am)

What is Iran up to?
Iranian Navy vessels fired shots at and boarded a Marshall Islands-flagged commercial container ship in the Strait of Hormuz Tuesday, a senior defense official told Fox News. 
The Maersk Tigris ship—originally heading to Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates, is now being escorted by the Iranian Navy into waters near Bandar Abbas, home of Iran’s largest Navy base…Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said the cargo ship’s master had initially refused an Iranian order to move further into Iranian waters, but after the warning shots were fired the Maersk Tigris complied.
(Thanks to reader Gab.) 
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Be very careful about how we punish Indonesia

Andrew Bolt April 29 2015 (7:07am)

I would be very careful about the retaliation:
Indonesia has executed Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran and six other drug convicts. 
The Abbott Government is likely to retaliate later today by withdrawing Jakarta ambassador Paul Grigson, an unprecedented step by Australia in the bilateral relationship…
However, the one woman marked for death this morning, Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, was dramatically spared, on the late-night order of President Joko Widodo. 
President Joko postponed her death sentence after strong evidence emerged in the Philippines that she had been an unwitting courier when arrested at Jogjakarta international airport with 2.6kg of heroin in April 2010.
It is true that President Joko Widodo has acted shabbily and unprofessionally, refusing to return the phone calls of Prime Minister Tony Abbott or reply to requests and even personal pleas from the Government. It is true that it’s treated relatives of Chan and Sukumaran with disrespect.  It is true that execution of the two Australians, while completely consistent with Indonesian law, was a harsh punishment.
But it is also true that Indonesia is a critical partner in the fight against Islamist terrorism. It is an important ally and our 12th largest trading partner. Its President seems weak, when Indonesia needs strong leaders,
So we cannot retaliate in ways that:
- encourage Indonesian nationalists to consider Australia a colonialist bully.
- allow jihadists to exploit resentment of our interference.
- hurt our aid programs that encourage children to go to good schools, not radical madrasas.
- make Australia seem an enemy of Indonesia’s poor.
- encourage the Indonesian Government to end cooperation on stopping people smugglers.
- destabilise Joko Widido’s government, forcing him to play the nationalist card.
- push Widodo into a more anti-Western stance and more towards China.
- harm Indonesia’s economic development or financial stability.
UPDATE
The Government says it is withdrawing our ambassador to Jakarta for “consultations”. It will decide further measures after discussing this with him on Friday.
It seems it is taking a steady approach, and may be waiting to see what the public mood is.
“We do not want to make a difficult situation worse,” says Abbott. The relationship with Indonesia is important to us. 
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How universities and the ABC mark down Lomborg for thinking for himself

Andrew Bolt April 29 2015 (6:44am)

The ABC’s Media Watch joins academics in trashing the academic record of Bjorn Lomborg, who dares to point out that schemes to “stop” global warming waste billions for next to no result:
In a long and detailed critique, posted on a [University of Western Australia] Facebook page, Professor [Sarah] Dunlop argued that Dr Lomborg’s academic achievements fall way short of what the university normally requires for such a post.... The Australian’s Higher Education correspondent Julie Hare had re-published the attack in The Australian online… 
The Danish researcher Bjorn Lomborg has a research impact rating — or h-index — equivalent to a junior academic and only seven of his 28 publications have been cited.
...Hare [was] pinged on Twitter by Griffith University’s Dr Ian Hall, who ... warned her: 
... UWA Facebook post is just wrong ... I just ran a Harzing’s Publish or Perish search for “Bjorn Lomborg” and got 4000+ cites and an h-index of 21 ...
But was the story really wrong ... and should it have been taken down? ...
Media Watch has asked others to check the result using three different databases… And while their figures do vary, they also confirm Lomborg’s modest ranking…
Or as Professor Corey Bradshaw of the University of Adelaide summed it up more bluntly: 

No matter which way you slice it, his academic track record is nearly non-existent ...
In fact, Jennifer Oriel says someone like Lomborg are victims of the way the Left applies group think at our universities:
For academics whose world view is predicated on the unchallenged orthodoxy of left-wing thought, the arrival of a dissenter, no matter how mild mannered, seems to induce panic…

Despite his track record of book and journal publications, [Lomborg’s] impact as a public intellectual, and his collaboration with Nobel laureates, some Australian academics are claiming he lacks the requisite qualifications to lead a policy centre… 

In the absence of policy expertise, the anti-Lomborg camp is clinging to a single measure of academic performance known as the h-index ... [which] measures the number of articles an academic has published in peer-reviewed texts and the number of times they are cited by fellow academics…
The reason Lomborg’s academic detractors favour the h-index is likely because it favours them… Lomborg’s ­appointment should be subjected to “independent peer review”, chime the peers, apparently unaware of the irony.
Peer review, like the derivative h-index, is a process regulated by humanities academics whose ­careers are built on toeing the leftist party line. From the time they are postgraduate students, aspiring humanities academics learn the importance of ideological conformity. Academic supervisors routinely advise post-graduates to find journals and peers who share their ideological position to increase their chance of publication success.
Journal editorial boards, like the faculties from which they are drawn, are predominantly left-wing.. Without ideological conformity, humanities students stand little chance of publishing in peer-reviewed journals. The second element of the h-index, academic citations, also are subject to political considerations in the humanities. Academics cite peers with whom they enjoy political accord and the favour is often returned in an informal quid pro quo arrangement. The reverse tactic, ostracism, is reserved for dissenters. Refusing to cite a dissenter such as Lomborg is the fastest way to disappear them permanently from the academic landscape, where publish or perish remains the rule of law. 
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The Left are no warriors for free speech

Andrew Bolt April 29 2015 (6:36am)

For the Left it’s not the principle but the side when it comes to free speech. Janet Albrechtsen:
In the upside-down world of the Left, if an employee espousing offensive left-wing comments is sacked for breaching a workplace code of conduct, it’s a horrendous infringement of freedom of expression. But if a person with conservative views is prohibited by a law for making offensive comments, that legally enshrined curb on free speech goes unremarked. Even worse, while members of the Left deplore the former, they applaud the latter.
That’s the unhappy, yet unsurprising, lesson from the reaction of many on the Left to news on Sunday that SBS sports reporter Scott McIntyre was sacked by SBS for tweets that demeaned Anzac Day commemorations. McIntyre tweeted to his 30,000 followers: “Remembering the summary execution, widespread rape and theft committed by these ‘brave’ Anzacs in Egypt, Palestine and Japan” and “Not forgetting that the largest single-day terrorist attacks in history were committed by this nation & their allies in Hiroshima & ­Nagasaki.”
When SBS boss Michael Ebeid terminated McIntyre’s employment for breaching the SBS code of conduct and its social media policy, members of the Left found their free-speech voice. Some accused the publicly funded broadcaster of caving in to pressure from Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who described McIntyre’s comments as “despicable remarks which deserve to be condemned”. Others drew a wider net, blaming the “Abbott dynasty” and claiming SBS was “a government propaganda tool”. Ten News’ Hugh Riminton tweeted that McIntyre’s comments were “untimely, immature and in one case offensively wrong. But lest we forget, Our Diggers also died for free speech.”
Where were these champions of free speech when a Federal Court judge found Andrew Bolt was not entitled to express his views around the issue of indigenous ancestry? Nowhere to be seen or heard.
Yet when indigenous people debate the same issue, it passes without comment. Clyde Mansell, chairman of the Land Council of Tasmania, lamented the impacts of tick-a-box and wannabe Aborigines who falsify their identity. “We need …. reach agreement on how we combat these people. If we don’t, the tick-a-box or wannabes will have control,” he said.
In 2002, indigenous academic Larissa Behrendt also raised the “risk of having the parameters stretched to the ludicrous point where someone can say: ‘Seven generations ago there was an Aboriginal person in my family, therefore I am Aboriginal’ “. 
As Bolt discovered, if you are white and choose to write about this issue, you risk being hauled before a court by complainants and told by a judge your views are prohibited by section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Bolt found little support in the Left’s upside-down world where free speech has become a political smorgasbord where who you defend depends on partisan tastes rather than principles.
Miranda Devine regrets Scott McIntyre being given an undeserved status as a martyr for free speech:
In fact, McIntyre was not sacked for expressing his ­repugnant thoughts on Twitter, as his cheer squad keeps pretending. He was sacked for defying repeated orders from his SBS bosses that day to stop tweeting garbage, take down the tweets and apologise. 
There’s a difference. He wasn’t asked to recant his views, just to apologise to SBS viewers who might have been offended by tweets which violated the spirit of SBS social media policy, not to mention its unwritten and taxpayer-underwritten charter to promote social harmony. But he didn’t do it. His tweets remain online, and have acquired a shabby notoriety after being retweeted thousands of times.
His insubordination left SBS CEO Michael Ebeid with little choice, but the pity is that, if McIntyre hadn’t been sacked, the only people who would have read his sour musings were whatever small subsection of his 30,000 followers happened to see them. 
By sacking him, SBS has made McIntyre an undeserving martyr for free speech, and his ignorant rantings have been given a clout and cachet they ill deserve.
UPDATE
I don’t remember John Pilger beside me in my own battle for free speech, but here comes the old blowhard to take another dump on the Anzacs and hail falsehoods as true:
Scott McIntyre drove the Twitter equivalent of a five-ton truck through such maudlin, cynical drivel [about Anzac Day]. He tweeted the unsayable, much of it the truth… 
That a journalism professor of long standing, John Henningham?, can tweet that “freedom of speech meant that journalists had the right to speak without breaking the law but did not have the right to keep their job when offending others” is a glimpse of the obstacles faced by aspiring young journalists as they navigate the university mills. Many young people reject this, of course, and maintain their sense of the bogus, and McIntyre is one of them. He offended in the highest tradition of freedom of thought and speech. Knowing the personal consequences would be serious, he displayed moral courage… I salute him.
(Thanks to reader Dan.) 
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Warning: the Liberals could help the Greens and Labor rule the Senate forever

Andrew Bolt April 29 2015 (12:04am)

The Liberals want to change the Senate voting rules in a way which - incredibly - could lock in a Labor-Greens majority.
Senator David Leyonhjelm of the Liberal Democrats warns:
[A] parliamentary inquiry has now recommended changing the voting system so that minor parties are unlikely ever to win seats again.... 
The key recommendation is to replace group voting tickets with optional preferential voting above the line [so that preferences are not automatically allocated in accordance with preference deals negotiated between the parties]…
The reasoning behind the recommendation is that the wishes of voters were not reflected in the election of minor party senators, with Ricky Muir’s election in Victoria cited as proof. Liberal cheerleaders also argue that a further reason is the government’s difficulty in having its legislation passed by the Senate…
But the crossbench is also broadly representative. If each of the eight crossbench senators were obliged to join one of the major parties, I believe there would be three extra votes for Labor (Lazarus, Lambie and Muir), four for the Liberals/Nationals (Day, Wang, Madigan and myself) and one for the Greens (Xenophon). The government would still not have a majority.
Unless the government were to win a majority in the Senate under optional preferential voting, it would be no better off. And yet, all my calculations show that abolition of group voting tickets and their replacement with optional preferential voting above the line would ensure the Senate remained permanently deadlocked, with the Greens holding the balance of power.
It is worth noting that under the current group voting ticket system my election was at the expense of Greens candidate Cate Faehrmann. If the system is retained, senator Lee Rhiannon may lose her seat to a Liberal Democrat… 
It defies belief that the Liberals would contemplate doing a deal with the Greens to lock themselves into a voting system that guarantees a permanently hostile Senate.  
Senator Bob Day of Family First has made the same point:
The reality is, the changes proposed by the ‘industry incumbents’ would simply entrench the Greens as the permanent balance-of-power party. Whichever of the major parties won office in the Lower House, their Senate team and, accordingly, their legislative agenda, would be held hostage by the Greens. Is that what the Liberals (and Labor) really want? In fact, if the changes proposed by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) were in place now, the government wouldn’t have been able to get ANY of its key policies – repeal of the Carbon Tax and Mining Tax, Temporary Protection Visas etc through the Senate.  Labor and the Greens opposed them all. 
Recently, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said he preferred to seek a Renewal Energy Target resolution with Labor but if he couldn’t strike a deal then his “second best option was to begin negotiations with the cross-bench”. Given the record of the last nine months, how is the cross-bench a second-best option?
If Leyonhjelm and Day are right, and I suspect they are, the Liberals would be mad to go ahead with this “reform”. 
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The Brumby family thanks Labor

Andrew Bolt April 29 2015 (12:00am)

James Jeffrey on the kind of thing that would interest the ABC if those involved were Liberals:
A bit of good news out of Melbourne yesterday: “The Andrews Labor government today guaranteed the future of the National Centre for Farmer Health, after the previous Coalition government nearly destroyed the Centre by cutting critical funding ...” 
Just as well Labor is on the waxing side — the centre‘s director is Sue Brumby, the sister of former Labor premier John Brumby, whose daughter Georgia Brumby appears on the press release as the media contact.  
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Yes, you can end a sentence with a preposition. Take note of this and other grammar rules you can break: http://bit.ly/1DSS1W0
Posted by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing on Tuesday, 28 April 2015
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The Hills of California
Posted by Matt Granz on Tuesday, 28 April 2015
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NERD-ON-NERD VIOLENCE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 29, 2014 (1:20pm)

Remember all those stories about scientists being bullied by scary climate deniers? At the CSIRO, it turns out that the bullies are other scientists
The CSIRO is setting up an internal bully-busting unit amid the fall-out from the accusations of toxic workplaces that have dogged the organisation for several years.
The leader of wide-ranging investigation into the claims says that many improvements have been made at the CSIRO but was concerned that more than half of the staffers who responded to a recent survey said they would still be afraid to speak out about workplace bullying.
After the second phase of a wide-ranging probe into the CSIRO’s workplaces around Australia only two managers are being recommended for code-of-conduct investigations, after 110 complaints of bad behavior were probed.
The organisation’s staff association has accepted the findings of the report and says the CSIRO is ready to learn its lessons and move on from the issue, but not everyone is happy, with one former scientist dismissing the investigation and report as a “conspiracy” and another describing it as a “political stunt”.
Readers are invited to speculate about just what sort of bullying happens at the CSIRO.
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GET IT RIGHT

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 29, 2014 (12:39pm)

A worrying indication of declining literacy in my old home town. Kids these days can’t even spell “spaz”.
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BURN

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 29, 2014 (11:51am)

Attention, stupid hippie anti-coal protesters! You know what’s really good for keeping fires burning and wheels turning?
Fossil fuels.
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TRAWLIN’ AIN’T TROLLIN’

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 29, 2014 (11:19am)

A slight reading error provokes an episode of paranoid hysteria for Julian Burnside, the Daffy Duck of Australian left-wing activism.
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BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 29, 2014 (10:49am)

Tracey Spicer tells Fairfax why she doesn’t want her kids sitting next to men on planes
Not all men are paedophiles but offenders are predominantly male.
I figure it’s better to be safe than sorry. 
Change “men” and “male” to “Muslims” and “paedophiles” to “terrorists”. The statement remains true, but the chances of it appearing in a Fairfax publication are somewhat reduced.
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SUGARLAND

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 29, 2014 (10:26am)

A vision of Australia appears in my supply of Billington’s caster sugar:

image
I can see what used to be Ayer's Rock, but where is Tasmania? Why is New Jersey on the east coast of Australia? - ed
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Abbott is breaking the wrong promise

Andrew Bolt April 29 2014 (5:34pm)

 Tony Abbott is breaking the wrong promise.
The problem with Abbott’s deficit tax is that he promised no new taxes - and promised it on camera (from 5:53), guaranteeing it will be played again and again:
What you’ll get under us are tax cuts without new taxes. 
There is a reason Labor and the Greens say they’ll oppose the tax, even though their eyes usually light up at taxes on the “rich”. It’s that they reckon they can make Abbott bleed with a broken promises attack, just as he make Gillard bleed to death over her broken carbon tax promise.
And the only defence Abbott has mounted so far is likely to give comedians lots of material:
I think if there was a permanent increase in taxation that would certainly be inconsistent with the sort of things that were said before the election.
True, this broken promise would be less potent than Gillard’s. Who bleeds for the “rich” - except, of course, some important Liberal supporters and donors?
That’s why I suggested in a post below that a tax rise on the “rich” could still be good politically, given the cuts to come on middle-class welfare and the charges for “free” government services.
But now I’m less sure. Labor and the Greens both suggest they’ll oppose the tax, hoping to make Abbott seem the liar. They would need just two votes of the eight crossbenchers to block the tax in the Senate. And they’d get them:
Clive Palmer said his party would “certainly oppose” the levy.
That’s four votes right there, plus those of Family First, the Liberal Democrats and the DLP. More than enough, even without Palmer.
These Senators could block Abbott’s tax, so that’s he’s nailed as a promise breaker for nothing. Reputation lost, money not gained:
The Senate cannot block the appropriations bills that provide the “ordinary annual services for the budget” – effectively the money that continues to run government. But bills that implement new budget policies not previously been legislated can be amended or blocked in the Senate, and often have been – for example when the Howard government was forced to negotiate with the Australian Democrats to win support for the goods and services tax.
Mind you, the Greens should be able to be bought off to approve a new tax on the ‘rich”. But what kind of look is that?
No, if Abbott must break a promise it should be the promise that is actually hurting him - the promise to bring in a rolled-gold paid parental leave scheme that every other party and lots of his own MPs oppose.
Don’t break the promise on taxes. Break the one the parental leave scheme. It will hurt much, much less. Even better, it will spare Abbott more Senate grief when he tries to get his parental leave scheme passed. And, of course, breaking that promise makes the Liberals truer to the word on changing the entitlement culture.
Wrong promise. Go back. 
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Modern manners: man arrested for quoting Winston Churchill

Andrew Bolt April 29 2014 (3:55pm)

Free speech

 Astonishing. Winston Churchill would have been arrested in modern Britain:
A candidate in the South East European elections has been arrested after making a speech quoting from a book by Winston Churchill about Islam. 
Paul Weston, chairman of Liberty GB, was making the speech on the steps of Winchester Guildhall in Hampshire on Saturday after a passer-by complained.
He was detained after failing to comply with a request by police to move on under the powers of a dispersal order. 
He was further arrested on suspicion of religious or racial harassment.
(Incidentally, a Guardian reader of an article by one of the “fair-skinned Aborigines” who successfully sued me identifies the error I am said to have made about her - one of the errors which is said to justify the banning of two of my columns arguing for an end to “race"-based division. I’d like to say more in response to the article but the legal danger is now too high.)
But back to the story…
True, the passage of Churchill which Weston quoted may jar modern sensibilities. There is also the fear in modern multicultural Britain of a violent backlash from a minority largely imported since Churchill’s time. Here is the passage, from The River War: An Account of the Reconquest of the Sudan:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Modern manners: man arrested for quoting Winston Churchill'
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Warmists said thin ice threatened polar bears. Now the problem is thick ice

Andrew Bolt April 29 2014 (9:59am)

 We were told thin ice - thanks to global warming - threatened to wipe out polar bears. Here’s the ABC in 2004:
Polar Bears: On Thin Ice tells the dramatic story of the polar bears of Hudson Bay, Canada… In fact, the ice is crucial to the bears’ survival - they use the ice as a platform to hunt their favourite food, ringed seals. 
When the ice breaks up in the summer months, the bears are forced onto dry land and face many lean months as they wait for the ice to reform. Global warming is the latest threat facing these great bears. The sea ice is forming later and breaking up earlier than ever before. This gives the bears less time to fatten up before the summer fast.  
But now we’re told the threat to polar bears comes from too much cooling:
Five meters of ice– about 16 feet thick - is threatening the survival of polar bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea region along Alaska’s Arctic coast, according to Dr. Susan J. Crockford, an evolutionary biologist in British Columbia who has studied polar bears for most of her 35-year career. 
That’s because the thick ice ridges could prevent ringed seals, the bears’ major prey, from creating breathing holes they need to survive in the frigid waters, Crockford told CNSNews.com. “Prompted by reports of the heaviest sea ice conditions on the East Coast ‘in decades’ and news that ice on the Great Lakes is, for mid-April, the worst it’s been since records began, I took a close look at the ice thickness charts for the Arctic,” Crockford noted in her Polar Bear Science blog on April 18th.
(Thanks to reader Bernie Slattery.) 
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Abbott would rather lose his parental leave scheme to the Greens than his own

Andrew Bolt April 29 2014 (9:49am)

I’m sure Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey won’t mind losing this battle, but they’d prefer to lose in exchange for concessions from other political parties - and not through an internal revolt:
Tony Abbott risks being rolled over his signature paid parental leave policy with the Australian Greens rethinking their support and a growing group of Liberal senators poised to join rebel Nationals to block the legislation
Sources said a group of Liberal senators, including Cory Bernardi, Ian Macdonald and Dean Smith, have told colleagues they either harbour deep reservations or have resolved not to support the scheme when it comes before Parliament later this year.
The Greens had originally given in-principle support for the scheme ... (b)ut with Mr Abbott confirming cuts to pensions, welfare and family benefits in the May budget, a senior Greens source said the party was now actively considering withdrawing its support...If the Greens vote down the scheme, it is dead. 
If the Greens decide to support the scheme, albeit with the minor amendments they have been demanding, it would take just five Coalition senators to cross the floor or abstain from voting to defeat it..."There are enough to stop it,’’ said one senior Liberal of the plans by the senators.
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Abbott should also honour his tax promise to the “rich”. UPDATE: But the politics says yes to a levy

Andrew Bolt April 29 2014 (9:33am)

Tony Abbott promises to keep his promise on pensions:
To keep our commitments, there will be no changes to the pension during this term of parliament but there should be changes to indexation arrangements and eligibility thresholds in three years’ time.
Good.
Middle-class welfare, though, will be trimmed (but not chopped). Abbott again:
There are other social security benefits where indexation arrangements and eligibility thresholds should be adjusted now so that our social safety net is more sustainable for the long-term. Such benefits won’t be less tomorrow than they are today but the rate of increase will be slower and needs to be slower if a comprehensive social safety net is to be preserved for everyone’s future. 
Fine.
A line will be drawn for middle-class handouts:
FAMILIES will lose access to taxpayer benefits under a hard-line plan to slash budget spending as Tony Abbott signals a new income threshold of $100,000 to determine who gets “handouts” from Canberra. 
Great.
But it seems there will a big tax rise on the high-income earners when just the top fifth of income earners are already the only ones who pay more than they get?
... reports last night suggested the deficit levy would be set at ­1 per cent of income for those earning more than $80,000 and double to 2 per cent for those earning $180,000 or more…

“I can assure you that everyone will be involved, including high-income earners such as members of parliament,” Mr Abbott said of the budget overhaul.
It seems to me this savage 2 per cent tax hike on richer Australians is a political exercise, appeasing jealousies to sell the necessary cuts to middle-class welfare. But it’s poor economics and an even poorer example to set Labor, which will use this precedent once back in power:
Under the new levy someone earning $150,000 will pay an extra $1500 a year. A worker on $200,000 will be slugged an extra $4000 a year, while a taxpayer earning $400,000 will pay $8000 in extra tax.
Yet another 2 per cent of income donated to government? And a broken promise?:
“I think people are expecting us to cut spending, not put a new tax in place,” said one Liberal MP yesterday as concerns spread about the proposal before cabinet. 
“People understand this will be a tough budget but I don’t think they expect to get hit with a new tax. And it would go against everything we’ve been saying for three, four years.”
Tony Abbott in November 2012:
TONY ABBOTT: We are about reducing taxes, not increasing taxes. We are about getting rid of taxes, not imposing new taxes.

QUESTION: Is that a promise? 

ABBOTT: This is my whole reason for being in politics, in the Parliament. 
Meanwhile Labor seems determined to prove it’s learned nothing and repented even lessfrom the financial disasters it inflicted. It is making clear that had it been returned, it would have kept spending more than we earn:
Bill Shorten disputed the government’s central assumptions that deficits would amount to $123 billion over four years and federal debt would reach $667bn without action to cut spending. The Opposition Leader said the Abbott government had “concocted a budget emergency” to justify measures that broke election promises and apply a new tax on households.
UPDATE
But Terry McCrann says a deficit levy is both good politics and a Budget virtue:
JOE Hockey’s coming “sharing the pain” deficit levy is — very — clever, entirely reasonable and indeed appropriate politics. 
It is also good and necessary budget policy…
Rudd, Gillard and Rudd — actually, Wayne Swan who reigned as treasurer from start, all the way to almost the awful end — bequeathed both the incoming Abbott-Hockey government, and indeed all the rest of us, huge and never-ending deficits.
These deficits ran through every year of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd governments — adding up to a staggering $192 billion over the five years to 2012-13.
The numbers Hockey will unveil in two weeks will show we were heading for at least another $160 billion of deficits over the next five years to 2017-18… Most disturbingly of all, Hockey will show that a “do-nothing” approach would have left the deficit at a huge $30 billion in the 2017-18 year…
[The Budget levy] ... will make a not inconsiderable contribution — perhaps as much as $3 billion a year — to cutting deficits in the immediate future…
The much bigger part of the deficit cut WILL come from reining back spending… But it is simply inconceivable that the Government could place all the adjustment only on the spending side of the Budget. That it would slash and burn low-income earners, people reliant — true, arguably, too reliant — on budget payments; and leave totally untouched the revenue side. That it would not ask people actually earning an income to make a contribution, to “share the pain”. 
So given what Hockey inherited, a deficit levy was always inevitable.  
David Uren:

THE only excuse for a deficit levy is that the pain of the government’s spending cuts would otherwise be focused overwhelmingly on the poor… It may be poor economics to add to income taxes, but the politics of spreading the pain much higher up the income ladder is likely to appeal.
(Thanks to reader PaulC.) 
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Palmer the bully

Andrew Bolt April 29 2014 (9:10am)

Hedley Thomas on Clive Palmer’s sinister record for suing politicians and critics for hurting his too-delicate feelings:
Not for the first time, (Queensland Premier Campbell Newman) said that Clive, a major political donor ..., wanted to “buy’’ the new Liberal National Party government to advance his own commercial interests… 
Thin-skinned Clive cannot handle that sort of talk. Remember that (Newman’s) predecessor as premier, Anna Bligh, was dragged into the “Being Sued By Clive Palmer Club” because she had the temerity to speak frankly, too… Clive simply announced an $8 billion action against the former Queensland government for alleged breach of confidentiality. Just $8bn. Like hot air, the legal suit wafted away.
But the double standard in Clive’s parallel universe is always on display. He demands the freedom to say what he likes no matter how outlandish or offensive the utterances. 
He tars News Corp head Rupert Murdoch’s former wife Wendi Deng as a “Chinese spy’’. He brands Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles a “liar’’. He condemns cabinet ­ministers in Newman’s government as “corrupt’’. He accuses Newman of having a mental health condition. Yet when strong words come at Clive his ­response is: “I’m going to sue.’’
UPDATE
Clive Palmer suddenly discovers Aboriginal issues, as Aboriginal politicians discover a rich patron: 
ALISON Anderson ... has not explained how she will be better able to deliver for her constituents as a member of PUP…
The PUP’s 148-page policy document, a compilation of media releases rather than detailed policies, contains only one page on indigenous affairs, devoted to bemoaning poor rates of indigenous infant mortality .. 
The only other reference to indigenous affairs is a commitment to devote $5 billion to Aboriginal health, with a promise to release further details in the lead- up to last year’s federal election.
Andrew Burrell, 21 June 2013: 
AS the mining boom hit full steam in early 2008, Queensland tycoon Clive Palmer declared he would donate $100 million of his wealth to Aboriginal communities in Western Australia as part of an overall giveaway of $1 billion across the nation… 
(G)roups working on indigenous health in the Pilbara say there is no record of Mr Palmer donating any money to the cause or starting his own charity work since 2008… A spokesman for Mr Palmer declined to comment on when the $100m donation might be delivered.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Tidying up after Rudd after his Nauru deal gives us zero

Andrew Bolt April 29 2014 (9:02am)

Nauru offers only five years of settlement to refugees, fearing it will be swamped or divided: 
Asylum seekers on Nauru who are found to be refugees have been told they will be resettled on the island for five years where they will be given work rights and the opportunity to establish their own businesses… 
The maximum settlement period leaves it likely refugees will need to be resettled in a third country such as Cambodia, which is also looking likely to sign a deal with Australia to accept refugees.... There are currently 1177 people in detention centres on Nauru.
This isn’t what Kevin Rudd claimed he’d arranged in August 2013: 
Asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat can now be processed in Nauru and, if found to be genuine refugees, can be resettled there under an agreement signed by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Nauru’s president Baron Waqa… 
Mr Rudd says refugees who arrive in Australia will be sent offshore for processing and will be free to “settle and reside in Nauru"… He also says he understands Nauru is a small country and the number of people who could be permanently resettled there would be up to the government of Nauru.
And Nauru says the answer is zero. Another fine mess Rudd left us.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Julian Burnside sees Abbott-paid trolls under his bed

Andrew Bolt April 29 2014 (8:35am)

“Human rights” campaigner Julian Burnside seriously believes the Liberal National Party - by which he actually means the Abbott Government - is paying trolls to abuse him:
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His bizarre conspiracy theory - which appeals to his rather inflamed sense of self - is inspired by an article he seems to have badly misread:

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Matt Hayden:
As you’ll see, the article is titled “Social media trawled as Government spends $4.3 million on research contracts”. 
You’d have to conclude that Julian Burnside has seen the headline, mistaken trawled for trolled and not read any further. That, or maybe he has read it thoroughly, and his deep-seated prejudice against conservatives and febrile imagination have combined to create this surreal scenario.
This reminds me of an event which first revealed to me Burnside’s absurd conviction that conservatives were utterly evil. I agreed to do a fundraiser for refugees for him in the form of a hypothetical, held at the Melbourne Town Hall. (For my pains, some of his audience hissed me.)
Burnside had me play the role of a minister in a peace-time Liberal Government, and then announced this government planned to round up tens of thousands of immigrants to bus them into detention camps. Burnside’s plan sprang a leak when I did what I assume every Liberal in any such government would do if presented with such an absurd plan: I resigned in protest, saying this was not an Australia I recognised. Burnside ploughed on regardless, unable to compute.
More on Burnside’s paranoia on Hayden’s blog
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Did the ABC try to con the Government over its China deal?

Andrew Bolt April 29 2014 (8:09am)

Did the ABC rush out a dodgy claim about a breakthrough deal with China to stop a Budget decision to strip it of its Australia Network?: 
THERE are growing doubts over the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s supposed deal with the Shanghai Media Group (SMG), which the ABC claims will broadcast Australian-generated content to hundreds of millions of Chinese television viewers. 
The national broadcaster is due to sign a memorandum of understanding with SMG, the second-largest state-owned broad­caster in China, next weekend in Shanghai.
However, it appears basic ­details of the proposed co-operation are yet to be finalised amid claims the announcement was rushed forward to be delivered before the federal budget is handed down next month…
The ABC claimed it would team up with SMG’s internat­ional channel in an online portal from which Australian shows would be made available to be broadcast across China…
However, the supervisory body has told The Australian it had not been approached by ­either party. “We have not received any ­application about this co-operation and have not expressed support or approval of it in any way,” a spokeswoman called Ms Xu said… 
The ABC originally quoted the executive director of SMG’s International Channel, Sun Wei, who said the Chinese broadcaster was keen to develop relationships with international broadcasters as part of its expansion strategy… However, Mr Sun refused to comment when contacted on the proposed new deal and a spokesman for the broader SMG group was not aware of the ABC’s announcement.
If the ABC did try to game the Government I expect the retribution to be swift.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Sea level rises down 30 per cent. Still waiting for Robyn Williams’ 100 metres

Andrew Bolt April 29 2014 (7:42am)

Global warming - dud predictions

Sea level rises were the great bogeyman of the warmists.  Take this 2007 scare from ABC science presenter Robyn “100 metres” Williams:
Andrew Bolt: I’m telling you, there’s a lot of fear out there. So what I do is, when I see an outlandish claim being made..., Tim Flannery suggesting rising seas this next century eight stories high, Professor Mike Archer, ... dean of science, suggesting rising seas this next century of up to 100 metres, or Al Gore six metres.... I ask you, Robyn, 100 metres in the next century...do you really think that? Robyn Williams: It is possible, yes. The increase of melting that they’ve noticed in Greenland and the amount that we’ve seen from the western part of Antarctica, if those increases of three times the expected rate continue, it will be huge.
But a new paper concedes sea level rises have in fact slowed to a rate that, if sustained, would give us rises this century of not 100 metres but just 24cm:
Present-day sea-level rise is a major indicator of climate change. Since the early 1990s, sea level rose at a mean rate of ~3.1 mm yr?1. However, over the last decade a slowdown of this rate, of about 30%, has been recorded
The researchers (Cazenave et al., published by Nature Climate Change), seem more convinced by their warming theories than by evidence, and blame temporary natural factors for masking the real rise they expect:
We find that when correcting for interannual variability, the past decade’s slowdown of the global mean sea level disappears, leading to a similar rate of sea-level rise (of 3.3 ± 0.4 mm yr?1) during the first and second decade of the altimetry era.
(Which, by the way, would still give us - if sustained - sea level rises this century not of 100 metres but 33cm.)
Professor Judith Curry, Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology,  isn’t buying:
Recall this figure from AR5 on 20th century sea level rise: 
image
Consider the following statements from Cazenave regarding global sea level rise: 
the 20th century average is 2 mm/yr, 

observations from 1992-2002 are 3.4 mm/yr 
observations from 2003-2011 are 2.4 mm/yr 
when corrected for an abundance of La Ninas, sea level rise from 2003-2011 is ‘adjusted’ to 3.3 mm/yr
...I don’t think there is any objective/convincing way to filter out the effects of El Nino/La Nina.  They seem to be an intrinsic part of sea level variations, as is the PDO/AMO on multidecadal time scales.
Can someone then tell me how you can infer that sea level rise is accelerating due to AGW, when compared with sea level rise for the first half of the 20th century?
It is clear that natural variability has dominated sea level rise during the 20th century, with changes in ocean heat content and changes in precipitation patterns.
Once again, the emerging best explanations for the ‘pause’ in global surface temperatures and the slow down in sea level rise bring into question the explanations for the rise in both in the last quarter of the 20th century.  And makes the 21st century of sea level rise projections seem like unjustified arm waving.
Larry Hamlin at Watts Up With That adds:
The slowing in the measured rate of sea level rise during the last decade has occurred while the RSS satellite measured global lower-troposphere temperature record now has more than half of its 35+ year temperature record, which began data collection in January 1979, showing no global warming whatsoever since August 1996 as demonstrated in the graph below taken from an article in Real Science addressing this “pause”.
image
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Ukraine mayor shot. And a lesson for Australians…

Andrew Bolt April 29 2014 (7:33am)

Ukraine gets worse:
THE mayor of Ukraine’s second-largest city was shot in the back and hundreds of men attacked a peaceful pro-Ukraine rally with batons, bricks and stun grenades, wounding dozens as tensions soared in Ukraine’s volatile east. 
One presidential candidate said the mayor was deliberately targeted in an effort to destabilise the entire city of Kharkiv, a hub of 1.5 million people. Armed insurgents tacitly backed by Moscow are seeking more autonomy in eastern Ukraine — and possibly even independence or annexation with Russia. Ukraine’s acting government and the West have accused Russia of orchestrating the unrest, which they fear Moscow could use as a pretext for an invasion.
The geo-political dangers are, of course, the most pressing. But seeing this ethnic conflict, with Ukrainians divided by their ethnic “identities”, it strikes me against how recklessly stupid Australia’s elites have been to not just tolerate the ethnic identity game here but to foster it with grants and protect it with laws.
Are we mad? 
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A “levy” is still a tax rise

Andrew Bolt April 29 2014 (7:21am)

Julia Gillard popularised the use of a “levy” in an attempt to disguise the truth - she was in fact raising taxes.
Precedent being set, it is about to be eagerly followed by a Liberal Government that would faint in horror at tax rises but is only too glad to raise “levies” instead.
For instance: 

Tony Abbott’s generous paid parental leave scheme ...  is to be funded by a 1.5 per cent levy (translation: a tax) on big business...
And now, according to Terry McCrann:
TAXPAYERS will be slugged with a debt levy taking an extra $800 a year from someone earning $80,000…
Taxpayers in the 37c tax bracket — on incomes of $80,000 to $180,000 — are likely to pay an extra 1 per cent. Those earning above $180,000 are likely to pay an extra 2 per cent…
A worker on $200,000 will be slugged an extra $4000 a year, while a taxpayer earning $400,000 will pay $8000 in extra tax.
If Labor promised tax rises for the “rich” and for business, the Liberals would hit the roof.
But after seeing the Liberals do the very same, tricking up tax rises as “levies”, we can be certain Labor now knows how to get away with it.   
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If Chahal were a Republican, he’d be kicked himself

Andrew Bolt April 29 2014 (6:25am)

How the Left hates

Good question posed at the end:
CCTV footage caught Gurbaksh Chahal, the CEO of San Francisco tech startup RadiumOne, kicking his girlfriend 117 times, including blows to the head, and trying to smother her with a pillow during a vicious 30-minute assault… 
Silicon Valley executives have come under scrutiny for their political activities in recent weeks. The CEO of web browser company Mozilla was forced to step down after it was revealed that he donated $1,000 to an anti-gay marriage proposition in 2008.
Chahal’s political contributions indicate more liberal sensibilities. He has donated more than $100,000 since 2011, all of which went the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates.
Those contributions include $81,600 to the Democratic National Committee and $5,000 to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign… Chahal has visited the White House twice… 
It was not immediately clear whether activists who boycotted Mozilla for its former CEO’s opposition to gay marriage would also target RadiumOne and other Chahal startups.
As if.
Another as if - think the Sydney Morning Herald would mention Chahal’s big political donations to the Democrats?
(Thanks to reader Adam.) 
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April 29Shōwa Day in Japan
Nancy Wake
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“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” - Philippians 2:5-8
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning


"Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope."
Psalm 119:49

Whatever your especial need may be, you may readily find some promise in the Bible suited to it. Are you faint and feeble because your way is rough and you are weary? Here is the promise--"He giveth power to the faint." When you read such a promise, take it back to the great Promiser, and ask him to fulfil his own word. Are you seeking after Christ, and thirsting for closer communion with him? This promise shines like a star upon you--"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." Take that promise to the throne continually; do not plead anything else, but go to God over and over again with this--"Lord, thou hast said it, do as thou hast said." Are you distressed because of sin, and burdened with the heavy load of your iniquities? Listen to these words--"I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions, and will no more remember thy sins." You have no merit of your own to plead why he should pardon you, but plead his written engagements and he will perform them. Are you afraid lest you should not be able to hold on to the end, lest, after having thought yourself a child of God, you should prove a castaway? If that is your state, take this word of grace to the throne and plead it: "The mountains may depart, and the hills may be removed, but the covenant of my love shall not depart from thee." If you have lost the sweet sense of the Saviour's presence, and are seeking him with a sorrowful heart, remember the promises: "Return unto me, and I will return unto you;" "For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee." Banquet your faith upon God's own word, and whatever your fears or wants, repair to the Bank of Faith with your Father's note of hand, saying, "Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope."

Evening

"All the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted."
Ezekiel 3:7
Are there no exceptions? No, not one. Even the favoured race are thus described. Are the best so bad?--then what must the worst be? Come, my heart, consider how far thou hast a share in this universal accusation, and while considering, be ready to take shame unto thyself wherein thou mayst have been guilty. The first charge is impudence, or hardness of forehead, a want of holy shame, an unhallowed boldness in evil. Before my conversion, I could sin and feel no compunction, hear of my guilt and yet remain unhumbled, and even confess my iniquity and manifest no inward humiliation on account of it. For a sinner to go to God's house and pretend to pray to him and praise him argues a brazen-facedness of the worst kind! Alas! since the day of my new birth I have doubted my Lord to his face, murmured unblushingly in his presence, worshipped before him in a slovenly manner, and sinned without bewailing myself concerning it. If my forehead were not as an adamant, harder than flint, I should have far more holy fear, and a far deeper contrition of spirit. Woe is me, I am one of the impudent house of Israel. The second charge is hardheartedness, and I must not venture to plead innocent here. Once I had nothing but a heart of stone, and although through grace I now have a new and fleshy heart, much of my former obduracy remains. I am not affected by the death of Jesus as I ought to be; neither am I moved by the ruin of my fellow men, the wickedness of the times, the chastisement of my heavenly Father, and my own failures, as I should be. O that my heart would melt at the recital of my Saviour's sufferings and death. Would to God I were rid of this nether millstone within me, this hateful body of death. Blessed be the name of the Lord, the disease is not incurable, the Saviour's precious blood is the universal solvent, and me, even me, it will effectually soften, till my heart melts as wax before the fire.
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Judah, Juda, Joda

[Jū'dah] - object of praise or praise of the lordThe fourth son of Jacob by Leah, and founder of a tribal family (Gen. 29:35; Num. 26:19-21; 1 Chron. 2:3-6).

The Man Who Was Praised


The character of Judah is revealed in his confession of sin before Joseph (Gen. 44:18-34). This appeal has been described as "One of the noblest pieces of natural eloquence in any literature, sacred or profane." In the last words of Jacob much is said of Judah (Gen. 49:8). We have:

I. His praise. "Thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise." The origin of his name is to be found in the gratitude of his mother at the time of his birth (Gen. 29:35). A still more distinguished mother praised the Lord for a greater Son who came from the tribe of Judah (Luke 1:46, 47).
II. His conquests. "Thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies." Here we have the prophecy of a conqueror, the anticipation of the figure of the lion, which was emblazoned on the flag of Judah, and was symbolic of the strength of the tribe in battle. Judah was the first tribe called to fight the Canaanites after Joshua's death (Judg. 1:1, 2) - a battle ending in victory for Judah. See also Psalm 18:40.
III. His pre-eminence. "Thy father's children shall bow down before thee." The superiority of the tribe of Judah continued almost to the end of the Old Testament and passed on to Him who has the pre-eminence in all things. Judah was first in numbers, first in territory, first in marching order, first in prowess, first in war.
IV. His regal dignity. The lion-king of the forest became the symbol of Judah, as the king of the tribes (Num. 2:3, 4). "A lion's whelp," speaks of the first energy of youth, and the early days of Judah were full of vigor and energy. How prophetic all this is of Him who came as the Lion of the tribe of Judah! The old divines said that Christ was a lamb in His death, but a lion in His resurrection. How different is His prowess from the deadly power of him who is a roaring lion!
2. An ancestor of Kadmiel who helped to rebuild the Temple (Ezra 3:9).
3. A Levite who had taken a strange wife (Ezra 10:23).
4. A Benjamite, son of Senuah, second in authority over Jerusalem in Nehemiah's day (Neh. 11:9).
5. A Levite who returned from exile with Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:8).
6. A prince of Judah (Neh. 12:34).
7. A priest and musician (Neh. 12:36).
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Today's reading: 1 Kings 3-5, Luke 20:1-26 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Kings 3-5


Solomon Asks for Wisdom

1 Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the LORD, and the wall around Jerusalem. 2 The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the LORD. 3 Solomon showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.
4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you...."

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 20:1-26

The Authority of Jesus Questioned
1 One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. 2"Tell us by what authority you are doing these things," they said. "Who gave you this authority?"
3 He replied, "I will also ask you a question. Tell me: 4 John's baptism--was it from heaven, or of human origin?"
5 They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Why didn't you believe him?' 6 But if we say, 'Of human origin,' all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet."
7 So they answered, "We don't know where it was from."
8 Jesus said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things...."


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