Friday, April 08, 2016

Fri Apr 8th Todays News

A Sydney man has been jailed for nine years for stabbing to death his pregnant girlfriend who carried his child. Allira was 23 years old when she was killed in 2013. The nine and a half year minimum sentence was for manslaughter. It was said at trial that the couple had a volatile relationship and had, in the days leading up to the killing, exchanged terse emails. She was at a friends house, early one morning, when he forced his way in and refused to leave. He said he would 'get' her. She was over six months pregnant. It is claimed she grabbed a kitchen knife, he took it from her and stabbed her with it. His sentence would have been 16 years, but he pled guilty. Both had recently taken Ice. 

Legal experts may explain why the aggravated assault didn't warrant a murder charge. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
Mr Abbott is a good man, and is defended by a transgender officer whom he befriended and supports. Naturally the Left hate Mr Abbott. ALP is too close to unions in NT and Victoria to the great cost of their constituents. Media prepares for meeting of state and federal treasures inflating division. 

On this day in 217, Emperor Caracalla was assassinated by his personal guard, and succeeded by the prefect of that guard. As a child, Caracalla's name was changed to link him to the great emperor Marcus Aurelius. His father, Severus, made him co emperor, but after Severus died, his brother, Geta was co emperor. Caracalla had his brother killed. Caracalla is not known as a good man, but one who cheated and killed to get money. His lasting legacy is public baths which are a tourist attraction in Rome today. In 632, King Charibert II of Aquitaine was assassinated, probably on order of his half brother Dagobert. Charibert's infant son was also killed. Family is hard. In 1730, the first synagog was established in New York, called Shearith Israel. In 1820, Venus de Milo was discovered in Milos.  In 1886, Gladstone introduced a home rule bill for Ireland. Gladstone was a Liberal and his proposal was not trusted by many, being strong on empty symbolism and secretive. In 1924, Ataturk reformed Turkey. He promised religious authorities he would not change female dress customs. He didn't regulate it. But he did regulate prostitution, making sure that prostitutes needed to wear traditional coverings. Soon no respectable woman dressed that way. In 1929, Singh and Dutt tossed bombs and hand outs to court arrest in India. Singh was popular for his socialist ideals, including killing a policeman for which he would be executed, inspirationally. In 1942, Japan took Bataan in Philippines. In 1943, in order to exercise control of the US, FDR froze work and wages and prices. When the restrictions were finally lifted prices sky rocketed. In 1945, a train going to a concentration camp was hit by an Allied bomber. So Nazis killed all the 4000 detainees. In 1959, COBOL became a new programming language. In 1968, twenty two year old air stewardess Barbara Jane heroically gave her life freeing passengers from a burning plane. She became the only woman to earn the George Cross in peacetime. In 1992, Arthur Ashe announced he had Aids after a heart operation. He was an all time tennis great. 
From 2014
It sounds like a joke, The War of Jenkin's Ear. But with 20,000 dead, wounded, missing or captured British and 407 ships lost over nine years, starting in 1739, similar casualties for the Spanish Empire, it was serious. Named over a hundred years later by essayist Thomas Carlyle in 1858, the war was over Britain asserting her right to extract profit from the Spanish slave trade in South America. Merchant Captain Robert Jenkins returning from West Indies on April 1731 was stopped by a Spanish ship. The Spanish captain told Jenkins to stop trading, and cut off his ear with a sword, saying the same would happen to the English King if they were found trading in the West Indies too. Jenkins took his complaint to the government. His severed ear was tabled in parliament. 

As wars go, it served a benefit in improving relations between Britain and Spain, so that Spain did not engage early in the seven year war, which is often described as the first world war. On this day in 1740, Three British ships captured the Spanish third-rate HMS Princess.  But amidst such seriousness, we have the joke. Three third rate Brit ships and one Princess. It was a tough battle. But, afterwards, the British had a ship which they used as a prison hulk. before scrapping her in 1784. It all seems so pointless. Much like the ALP's carbon tax policy. Officially, the ALP are opposed to the tax. They promised not to implement it in '10, and claimed they were forced to after. They claimed to have dumped it in '13, but they continue to oppose its removal. The carbon tax is the ALP Princess. Hard fought for, but ultimately only worth scrapping. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 217, Roman Emperor Caracalla was assassinated. He was succeeded by his Praetorian Guard prefectMarcus Opellius Macrinus. 632, King Charibert II was assassinated at Blaye(Gironde), along with his infant son Chilperic. 876, the Battle of Dayr al-'Aqul saved Baghdadfrom the Saffarids. 1093, the new Winchester Cathedral was dedicated by Walkelin. 1139, Roger II of Sicily was excommunicated. 1149, Pope Eugene III took refuge in the castle of Ptolemy II of Tusculum. 1232, Mongol–Jin War: The Mongols began their siege on Kaifeng, the capital of the Jin dynasty. 1271, in Syria, sultan Baibars conquered the Krak des Chevaliers. 1665, English colonial patents were granted for the establishment of the Monmouth Tract, for what would eventually become Monmouth County in northeastern New Jersey. 1730, Shearith Israel, the first synagogue in New York City, was dedicated. 1740, War of Jenkins' Ear: Three British ships captured the Spanish third-rate Princesa, taken into service as HMS Princess.

In 1808, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baltimore was promoted to an archdiocese, with the founding of the dioceses of New YorkPhiladelphiaBoston, and Bardstown (now Louisville) by Pope Pius VII. 1820, the Venus de Milo was discovered on the Aegean island of Milos. 1832, Black Hawk War: Around three-hundred United States 6th Infantry troops left St. Louis, Missouri to fight the SaukNative Americans. 1864, American Civil WarBattle of MansfieldUnion forces were thwarted by the Confederate army at Mansfield, Louisiana. 1866, Italy and Prussia ally against the Austrian Empire. 1886, William Ewart Gladstone introduced the first Irish Home Rule Bill into the British House of Commons. 1895, in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. the Supreme Court of the United States declares un-apportioned income tax to be unconstitutional.

In 1904, the French Third Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Irelandsigned the Entente cordiale. Also 1904, British mystic Aleister Crowley transcribed the first chapter of The Book of the Law. Also 1904, Longacre Square in Midtown Manhattan was renamed Times Square after The New York Times. 1906, Auguste Deter, the first person to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, died. 1908, Harvard University voted to establish the Harvard Business School. 1911, Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnesdiscovered superconductivity. 1913, the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution, requiring direct election of Senators, became law. 1916, in Corona, California, race car driver Bob Burman crashed, killing three, and badly injuring five, spectators. 1918, World War I: Actors Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin sold war bonds on the streets of New York City's financial district.

In 1924, Sharia courts were abolished in Turkey, as part of Atatürk's Reforms. 1929, Indian independence movement: At the Delhi Central Assembly, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw handouts and bombs to court arrest. 1935, the Works Progress Administration was formed when the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 became law. 1942, World War IISiege of LeningradSoviet forces opened a much-needed railway link to Leningrad. Also 1942, World War II: The Japanese took Bataan in the Philippines. 1943, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an attempt to check inflation, froze wages and prices, prohibited workers from changing jobs unless the war effort would be aided thereby, and barred rate increases by common carriers and public utilities. 1945, World War II: After an air raid accidentally destroyed a train carrying about 4,000 Nazi concentration campinternees in Prussian Hanover, the survivors were massacred by Nazis. 1946, Électricité de France, the world's largest utility company, was formed as a result of the nationalisation of a number of electricity producers, transporters and distributors.

In 1950, India and Pakistan signed the Liaquat–Nehru Pact. 1952, U.S. President Harry Truman called for the seizure of all domestic steel mills to prevent a nationwide strike. 1953, Mau Mau leader Jomo Kenyatta was convicted by Kenya's British rulers. 1954, a Royal Canadian Air Force Canadair Harvard collided with a Trans-Canada Airlines Canadair North Star over Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, killing 37 people. Also 1954, South African Airways Flight 201 A de Havilland DH.106 Comet 1 crashed into the sea during night killing 21 people. 1959, a team of computer manufacturers, users, and university people led by Grace Hoppermet to discuss the creation of a new programming language that would be called COBOL. Also 1959, the Organization of American States drafted an agreement to create the Inter-American Development Bank.

In 1960, the Netherlands and West Germany signed an agreement to negotiate the return of German land annexed by the Dutch in return for 280 million German marks as Wiedergutmachung. 1961, a large explosion on board the MV Dara in the Persian Gulf killed 238. 1964, Gemini 1 (unmanned test flight) launched. 1968, BOAC Flight 712 caught fire shortly after take off. As a result of her actions in the accident, Barbara Jane Harrison was awarded a posthumous George Cross, the only GC awarded to a woman in peacetime. 1970, Bahr El-Baqar primary school bombing: Israeli bombers struck an Egyptian school. Forty-six children were killed. 1974, at Atlanta–Fulton County StadiumHank Aaron hit his 715th career home run to surpass Babe Ruth's 39-year-old record. 1975, Frank Robinsonmanaged the Cleveland Indians in his first game as major league baseball's first African American manager. 1987, Los Angeles Dodgers executive Al Campanis resigned amid controversy over racially charged remarks he had made while on Nightline.

In 1992, Retired tennis great Arthur Ashe announces that he had AIDS, acquired from blood transfusions during one of his two heart surgeries. 1993, the Republic of Macedonia joined the United Nations. 1999, Haryana Gana Parishad, a political party in the Indian state of Haryana, merged with the Indian National Congress. 2004, War in Darfur: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement was signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups. 2005, over four million people attended the funeral of Pope John Paul II. 2006, Shedden massacre: The bodies of eight men, all shot to death, were found in a field in Ontario, Canada. The murders were soon linked to the Bandidos Motorcycle Club. 2008, the construction of the world's first building to integrate wind turbines was completed in Bahrain. 2013, the Islamic State of Iraq entered the Syrian Civil War and began by declaring a merger with the Al-Nusra Front under the name Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham
=== Publishing News ===
This column welcomes feedback and criticism. The column is not made up but based on the days events and articles which are then placed in the feed. So they may not have an apparent cohesion they would have had were they made up.
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Thanks to Warren for this advice on watching Bolt
Warren Catton Get this for your PC or MAC https://www.foxtel.com.au/foxtelplay/how-it-works/pc-mac.html Once tou have installed it start it up and press Live TV you don't need a login to watch Sky News!
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I have moved from Sydney to Melbourne and am desperate for funding. If you have a heart for giving, I fundraise at gofundme.com/abeueaec
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Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with AugustSeptemberOctober, or at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482020262/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_dVHPub0MQKDZ4  The kindle version is cheaper, but the soft back version allows a free kindle version.

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

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

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

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


I have begun a bulletin board (http://theconservativevoice.freeforums.netwhich will allow greater latitude for members to post and interact. It is not subject to FB policy and so greater range is allowed in posts. Also there are private members rooms in which nothing is censored, except abuse. All welcome, registration is free.
Happy birthday and many happy returns Leang TeaPascasie OmariGail MooreOtto Kephliski and John Tran's wife, and mother of his child, Kate Mai. The Lord has blessed you all mightily. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live ..
Deaths
Venus de Milo
He really likes Laura. She is a Princess. She is not armed. She is a hero. But they aren't. Let us party. 
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INVESTMENT RE-INVESTED

Tim Blair – Friday, April 08, 2016 (6:02pm)

ABC boss Mark Scott talks up his billion-dollar commie creche: 
Increasingly there will be a need for the ABC to be the independent home of Australian conversations and culture and stories, to make the investment in news and current affairs, to make the investmentin foreign correspondents, to make the investment in Australian drama and arts and culture. 
In fact, the ABC is making the investment in stuff it’s already broadcast: 
A glance at the ABC TV listings in The Australian shows 26 of the 35 programs (74 per cent) that went to air on Thursday were repeats. 
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SEXIST SWANNING

Tim Blair – Friday, April 08, 2016 (4:59pm)

The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Stephanie Peatling
Is there any greater proof of male entitlement than swanning about in lycra cycling gear? 
Good question. Let’s ask these ladies if they have any opinions on clothing and male entitlement.
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THEOLOGICAL DISCUSSION RESOLVED

Tim Blair – Friday, April 08, 2016 (3:26pm)

Probably one of those imprisoned Presbyterians: 
A prisoner is in a coma in hospital after his cellmate allegedly carved letters into his head and poured boiling water over his face during an argument about religion at a jail on the NSW Mid North Coast, police say.
The injured man, 40, had been sharing a cell with another man, 18, for the first time when the violence broke out at the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre in Kempsey on Thursday afternoon …
“It is alleged an argument has begun over religious beliefs between the two, resulting in the 18-year-old carving letters into the front and rear of the 40-year-old male victim’s head, before pouring hot water through a towel placed onto the victim’s face,” police said in a statement. 
Little-known fact: nine out of ten arguments about religion end in exactly this way.
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ULTIMATE WHITE GUILT

Tim Blair – Friday, April 08, 2016 (2:33pm)

Norwegian leftist politician Karsten Nordal Hauken was raped by a Somalian refugee. Now he’s pleading for his rapist not to be deported
“I don’t feel anger against my rapist, because I look at him as a product of an unjust world. A product of an upbringing full of war,” Hauken said.
What this all means, according to Hauken, is that refugees need our help more than ever. 
Incorrect. What it means is that leftists are beyond help.
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JOIN THE DELCONS

Tim Blair – Friday, April 08, 2016 (3:37am)

Sign up in comments and join Australia’s most delightful conservative movement. Unleash the sniping, wrecking and undermining! Bring the Liberal party down in flames!
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FRIDAY SONGBOARD

Tim Blair – Friday, April 08, 2016 (3:13am)

Nobody forgets her voice, but some forget what a brilliantly wry and sassy stage performer was Aretha Franklin at her electrifying peak:

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EASTER BEAST

Tim Blair – Friday, April 08, 2016 (1:20am)

In modern Europe, a friendly Easter message can get you killed
The man accused of murdering a Muslim shopkeeper who posted a “Happy Easter” message on Facebook said it was because he “disrespected” Islam.
Tanveer Ahmed, 32, said in a statement that he killed Asad Shah, 40, claiming: “if I had not done this others would”. 
He’s right about that. 
Mr Shah, 40, was found injured outside Shah’s Newsagents and Convenience Store in Shawlands, Glasgow, last month.
Mr Shah had posted a Facebook message earlier that day wishing all Christians a happy Easter. The message said: “Good Friday and a very happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nation.” 
And for that he was murdered. Ahmed’s statement to the court reveals his devotion to Islam, and his faith-based commitment to slaughtering those who would commit the ultimate sin of posting happy Easter messages on Facebook: 
It is mentioned in the Quran that there is no doubt in this book no one has the right to disrespect the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and no one has the right to disrespect the Prophet of Islam Muhammad Peace be upon him.
If I had not done this others would and there would have been more killing and violence in the world. 
The statement concludes: 
I wish to make it clear that the incident was nothing at all to do with Christianity or any other religious beliefs. 
Well, obviously.
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CALLING ALL FRIGHTBATS

Tim Blair – Thursday, April 07, 2016 (9:25pm)

Mother of two Melissa George is 39 years old. Fairfax refers to her diminishingly as a mere “starlet”. Our winged warrior women will be all over this.
UPDATE. Here’s something else for the bats to go ballistic about.
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Blame the world, not the rapist. Not if he’s a “refugee”

Andrew Bolt April 08 2016 (11:00pm)

From Tim Blair, this astonishing example of the suicidal denialism of the Left:
Norwegian leftist politician Karsten Nordal Hauken was raped by a Somalian refugee. Now he’s pleading for his rapist not to be deported...
Read on. To Hauken his rapist is not an autonomous human being but merely “a product of an unjust world”.
If even being raped won’t wake a man to reason then nothing will. 
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No, Aboriginal society was not one to wish on women

Andrew Bolt April 08 2016 (10:52pm)

Tony Thomas on the truth behind the New Age invention of an Aboriginal Eden:

OK, the University of NSW wants its students to refer to Australia from 1788 as “invaded, occupied and colonized”. Moreover, students should be reverential towards the, er, invadees. For example, “the word ‘Elders’ should be written with a capital letter as a mark of respect.”
These Elders, say the guidelines, are “men and women in Aboriginal communities who are respected for their wisdom and knowledge of their culture, particularly the Law. Male and female Elders, who have higher levels of knowledge, maintain social order according to the Law.” The guidelines note that the “sophistication of Indigenous Australian social organization (is) starting to be more recognized.”
This is all terrific, but I don’t think it quite gets the flavor of pre-contact, and sometimes post-contact, Aboriginal social customs. Helpfully, the earliest white arrivals jotted down their impressions. Sensitive UNSW students and their lecturers, professors, administrators and campus thought-police, may find the rest of my piece upsetting. So I immediately issue them a ‘trigger warning’ and ‘need for safe space’ alert.
Newly-arrived British and French were shocked at the local misogyny they encountered. First Fleeter Watkin Tench noticed a young woman’s head “covered by contusions, and mangled by scars”. She also had a spear wound above the left knee caused by a man who dragged her from her home to rape her. Tench wrote,

They (Aboriginal women) are in all respects treated with savage barbarity; condemned not only to carry the children, but all other burthens, they meet in return for submission only with blows, kicks and every other mark of brutality.
He also wrote,

When an Indian [sic] is provoked by a woman, he either spears her, or knocks her down on the spot; on this occasion he always strikes on the head, using indiscriminately a hatchet, a club, or any other weapon, which may chance to be in his hand.
Do not read on if facts that contradict your romantic fancies make you feel hurt or humiliated.  And beware: the kowtowing of authorities to some barbaric traditions even now is shocking. 
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Baa baa, the writers said

Andrew Bolt April 08 2016 (10:26pm)

Don’t writers get embarrassed having such cookie-cutter political opinions? Don’t they get bored with always agreeing with each other?
It’s also so demeaning. Collectivist politics naturally attract the weak and the mediocre, who naturally need and often seek the protection of the mob. What does this then say about so many of our writing class? It is notable that so many of the greatest writers, unlike the rest, are or were actually conservatives - Tolstoy, Jean Raspail, Conrad, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy (in his prime), Arnold Bennett, Trollope, Evelyn Waugh, Vargas Llosa (some say he’s more liberatarian than conservative), Solzhenitsyn, Borges, Dickens (controversial, maybe, but I’m prepared to argue this one, citing Barnaby Rudge, Tale of Two Cities and even Great Expectations), GK Chesterton, CS Lewis. Martin Amis, Tom Wolfe (well, perhaps not great, but greatly entertaining), PG Wodehouse, Evelyn Waugh, Mikhail Sholokhov, Ronald Firbank, Camus, Joseph Roth and Rudyard Kipling.
Which brings me to Gerard Henderson’s latest Media Watch Dog blog:

The Sydney Morning Herald has just released the program for the 2016 Sydney Writers’ Festival (to be held not long after May Day).
As in previous years, the SWF is a taxpayer funded event when a soviet of leftists get together and predominantly invite their left-wing friends — from Australia and overseas — to have a series of conversations (to use the fashionable cliché) where everyone essentially agrees with everyone else in an essentially leftist kind of way.
The “Core Funders” of the 2016 SWF are Arts NSW (i.e. the NSW State government), Creative City Sydney (i.e. the City of Sydney) and the Australia Council for the Arts (i.e. the Commonwealth government). The SWF in 2016 did not receive any significant funding outside the public sector. It’s a taxpayer and ratepayer funded gig…
Believe it or not, some 500 self-proclaimed writers will be appearing at the 2016 SWF. It’s hard to find even one among the Australian SWF participants who could be classified as a conservative or right-of-centre. Or who would be willing to accept such a description.
Okay, there is Rowan Dean (one session only), Geoffrey Lehmann (one session only), and Greg Sheridan (two sessions). That’s about it. Plus the Abbott-hating “leftie conservative” Niki Savva.
Then there is a conga line of leftists and left-of-centre types who like to call themselves “progressives”. The list includes:
Phillip Adams, Emma Alberici, Larissa Behrendt, John Birmingham, Frank Bongiorno, Anna Broinowski, Bryan Brown, Julian Burnside QC (of course), Jennifer Bryne, Jane Caro, Michael Cathcart, Anna Clark, Quentin Dempster, Andrew Denton, Martin Flanagan, Tim Flannery (three sessions), Andrew Fowler, Anna Funder, Lisa Gorton, Marieke Hardy, Michael Heyward, Jenny Hocking, Linda Jaivin, Amanda Keller, Benjamin Law, David Leser, Hugh Mackay, Robert Manne (of course), Paddy Manning, David Marr (quite so — four sessions), Kate McClymont (well, yes), George Megalogenis (six sessions), Drusilla Modjeska, Frank Moorhouse, Julian Morrow, Kerry O’Brien, Lesley Russell, Leigh Sales, Julianne Schultz, Eric Sidoti, Tim Soutphommasane, Adam Spencer, Tracey Spicer, Jason Steger, Magda Szubanski, Laura Tingle, Gillian Triggs, Yanis Varoufakis, Don Watson, Marian Wilkinson, Fiona Wright, Susan Wyndham and more besides.
Five current or former politicians will participate in the 2016 SWF. Namely, Chris Bowen (Labor), Bob Brown (Greens), Peter Garrett (Labor) and Andrew Leigh (Labor). There is also the former Liberal Party leader John Hewson — but these days he is regarded a critic of the contemporary Liberal Party. No present or former politician who is broadly supportive of the Coalition has a gig at the 2016 SWF. Enough said.
The “Seeking Asylum” session has four panellists — David Marr, Robert Manne, Madeline Gleeson and Eva Orner — all of whom are likely to essentially agree with each other.
These writers are not challenging the dominant cultural paradigm but parroting it. Even policing it. Frankly, I’d be embarrassed to be baaing like that.
As it is, I’m cross that I’m funding it. 
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Why reward thugs like this?

Andrew Bolt April 08 2016 (9:50pm)

The story according to The Age, no friend of free speech:
Police have used capsicum spray on protesters outside a Liberal Party dinner to mark the 20th anniversary of the election of John Howard’s government.
The real story:
Violent Leftist protesters tried to invade a peaceful meeting of Liberal supporters celebrating the 20th anniversary of the election of John Howard’s government.
Police were forced to use capsicum spray on the foul-mouthed mob to protect the guests, including former Prime Minister John Howard.
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Can children afford your freedom to change what marriage means?

Andrew Bolt April 08 2016 (8:06pm)

image
Much great reading in the latest issue of Spectator Australia, edited by the great Rowan Dean.
In particular, the Centre for Independent Studies’ Jeremy Sammut, author of The Madness of Australian Child Protection, asks why the destruction of the traditional definition of marriage is not worth a debate - and a vote:
When is a question not an invitation to discuss? When Guardian Australia holds a forum called ‘Why Knot?’ on the subject of marriage equality. 
Billed as bringing together a ‘broad range of voices’, every single speaker — including David Marr, Rodney Croome, Kristina Keneally, Van Badham, Bill Shorten and Richard Di Natale — were full-throated supporters of marriage equality, and in furious agreement that the Australian people must not be allowed have their say on the issue at a national plebiscite.
This is what passes for pluralism among the denizens of the Australian left. This exercise in stacking the deck reinforces the case for holding a plebiscite on marriage equality irrespective of the cost to the public purse. Real and democratic public debate is rarely entertained these days on the future of as important a social institution as marriage because those who question fashionable ‘progressive’ stances are not tolerated and pay a price for expressing their dissenting views…
The routine application of the campaign slogans of bigotry, homophobia, and religious fundamentalism by marriage equality activists simply seeks to marginalise and silence contrary opinions…
Yet the victories that have been achieved for personal liberation have also come at a social cost concerning the wellbeing of children. Decades of social science research shows escalating rates of divorce, co-habitation and sole parenting have compromised outcomes for children. The evidence shows that children, on average and regardless of class, do best in life on a range of measures of welfare and achievement when their parents get married and stay married.
This is the heart of the modern traditionalists’ case for preserving (what’s left) of marriage as a matter of public policy. There is a higher social purpose at stake in preserving the notion that marriage ought to be about restraining the individual behavior of biological parents, even at the price of individual self-fulfillment, for the sake of children. This is where the traditional case for marriage stability runs headlong into the contrary philosophy of marriage equality.
Read the rest in the Spectator Australia, in newsagents now.  You can also subscribe here
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Losing the conservatives

Andrew Bolt April 08 2016 (7:32pm)

Former ABC chairman Maurice Newman, chairman of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Business Advisory Council, sums up the disillusion of many conservatives:

MAURICE NEWMAN: ...If the people who support the Liberal Party and the Liberal Party values find that essentially it’s a Labor-like party, then they’ll clearly be attracted to whatever alternatives might be presented to them.
TONY JONES: But is that what you think it is, a Labor-like party now that Malcolm Turnbull is leading it?
MAURICE NEWMAN: Yes, I think it is. I think that if you look at what few policy decision have been taken, they are to give more money to renewable energy, to put more money into the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. There are all sorts of things which are for bigger government, not less and they’re essentially the sorts of policies that you would be - you would expect to see Labor bringing forward…
TONY JONES: Malcolm Turnbull had a remarkably successful business career. He’s one of the wealthiest Australians. What is it about him that you regard as socialist?
MAURICE NEWMAN: Well I think his position on most issues which are not what you would consider to be conservative positions. When you look at - he’s certainly left-leaning when it comes to government, government spending. There’s no evidence that he wants to cut back on spending. He’s constantly looking at ways to increase taxes. We looked at a GST increase which was subsequently discarded. Then they were looking at the state governments having to raise their own taxes and that’s now been discarded. They’re policies which are not what I would see as being conservative policies where you are looking to move to a position where the budget is balanced and balanced in a reasonably short space of time. What Mr Turnbull is banking on is growth. And I can tell you as somebody who spent a long time in business that what you do is to cut your cloth according to your measure and you don’t simply risk everything on the potential growth…
I think people who know both people well would agree that Mr Turnbull and Mr Rudd have similar personality characteristics. And I think you’re referring to Mr Rudd having said that the climate change was the greatest moral imperative of our time and we have Mr Turnbull talking about the tax reform for the states being the most important tax reforms since federation. Both of those headland promises were sort of abandoned within a couple of weeks in the case of Mr Rudd, in the case of Mr Turnbull, I think about 48 hours.
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Turnbull cannot afford this complacency

Andrew Bolt April 08 2016 (8:49am)

I have magnanimously offered Malcolm Turnbull 10 top tips to winning the election he now seems set to lose.
But David Crowe warns that Turnbull seems too complacent to change:
Malcolm Turnbull is too confident for his own good. He is strolling to the election against rivals who are in much better shape and already running rings around him…
Oddly sure that they are above day-to-day politics, Turnbull and his colleagues routinely are trounced by their opponents…
Dismiss any stories you may read of panic in government ranks about their performance. The real problem is they are not worried enough. Turnbull has fumbled his tactics on negative gearing, a GST increase, income tax cuts and last week’s tax sharing offer to the states…
On Wednesday morning he had to fix a dangerous vulnerability on school funding after belatedly realising he was exposed to a Labor attack for suggesting the states could run their schools alone.
Mark Kenny:
Just over six months ago, Malcolm Turnbull convinced his colleagues that Tony Abbott’s claim of strong leadership was an abject failure… Turnbull promised something different. .. His leadership would be sophisticated, consultative and purposeful…
But ... Liberals are wondering if ... a penchant for endless consideration is just a mask for being decision-averse…
Words like “ditherer” and “waffle” and now “wishy-washy” have entered the lexicon, and most worryingly, some are coming from his own side.... “I think it is coming across to the public that we are a little bit wishy-washy,” said the LNP member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, on Wednesday, with refreshing frankness…
Turnbull’s glib response came as he admitted he hadn’t spoken to his backbench colleague: “But if I did I would encourage her to be more upbeat, that’s for sure.”
For marginal seat MPs, remaining “upbeat” in the face of the latest Newspoll, which showed the government would have suffered a 4.5 per cent swing against it in an election held now, is an exercise in self-delusion. Few will have welcomed the PM’s positive thought coaching.
Labor’s private polling has identified a strong under-current of disappointment in the electorate. Three things are feeding this. First, Turnbull’s decision-making process, which is seen to be glacially slow and which, in the case of tax reform, has left the government with nothing concrete to talk about for months on end. Second is his reluctance to stamp his own policy branding on the government he now leads. This means on many of the very policies that had made him popular, he has gone missing. And third is the likelihood that voters’ memories of what they disliked about Abbott will inevitably soften with time...
Note Kenny’s last point. Now understand why the Left is so frantically trying to drive Tony Abbott out of Parliament?
And there may be a role for him in the not-distant future, should the Liberals suddenly need a great Opposition Leader. Simon Benson:
It has been suggested that the current cycle of revolving-door politics can only be broken with the re-election of a Turnbull government. Never mind the fact that a government cannot seek re-election if it has never been elected…
The counter-view to the Turnbull thesis is that the cycle will only be broken if the Coalition gets tossed out of government. Only then will both parties have learned their lesson…
Turnbull appears to be at one level tormented with timidity but politically reckless at another. This has undermined the credibility of the Coalition’s economic policy agenda far as we know it… The question as to who will better run the economy will obviously be the principal election issue. But the consideration of which side offers better hope of restoring stability is equally as important.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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By whom?

Andrew Bolt April 08 2016 (8:43am)

A curious announcement from Yarra Libraries:
image
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Fantasy spending while the debt crisis worsens

Andrew Bolt April 08 2016 (8:31am)

We are living in a dangerous fantasy, paying ourselves billions of dollars of handouts with borrowed money, and neither side of politics has the guts to stop it:

Ambitious spending programs will wipe more than $400 billion from the budget bottom line over the decade ahead in a disturbing trend that will deepen the ­nation’s public debt unless political leaders take tougher action to pay for their promises…
The seven big initiatives, all unveiled since the global financial crisis ended years of budget surpluses, include $52bn in pension increases and $57bn in carbon tax “compensation” that continues to be paid, even though the tax was repealed.
Escalating the debate over “fantasy promises” that are not fully funded, The Australian can reveal that the generous commitments by Labor and the Coalition are now driving the nation’s ­finances further into deficit.
The biggest single commitment, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, will require $111.4bn in net new spending over the decade… Changes to higher education cost $62bn over the same period, ...  while defence spending adds another $30bn…
The costs of big-spending promises escalate into the future. Treasury’s long-term projections in last year’s Inter-Generational Report showed the budget would dip back into deficit in the mid-2020s after only a few years in surplus, with debt escalating rapidly beyond that, reaching a total of $2.6 trillion by 2055. 
It’s as if Australians think that borrowed money will never have to be repaid, or that the lenders will never run short.
Another massive blowout threatens - and one that’s been utterly predictable:
There are “real risks” to the financial sustainability of the $22 billion National Disability Insur­ance Scheme and its legislation should be changed to avert a cost blowout, according to the program­’s senior bosses, who have never before publicly conceded its precarious design.
The stark admissions are contained in the NDIS agency’s submission to an independent review of the scheme’s legislation, which was handed to the federal government in December but publicly released only this week after a Freedom of Information request by The Australian.
UPDATE
Treasurer Scott Morrison on the ABC this morning is back to declaring we do not have a revenue problem.
Good.
We must cut our spending to match. 
===

More disgraceful barracking by the ABC for fake “refugees”

Andrew Bolt April 07 2016 (10:42pm)

The next time someone at the ABC - a Mark Scott, for instance - tries to pretend the ABC isn’t biased ask them to listen to Mark Colvin’s astonishing barrage of half-truths, false claims and emotive grandstanding on boat people while “interviewing” Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.
It was even worse than Fran Kelly’s recent effort, and that’s saying something.
Full marks to Dutton for calling him out.
UPDATE
Some lowlights - and remember, the taxpayer-funded ABC is by law meant to be impartial:
MARK COLVIN:  Mr Dutton, you would have heard that audio [of an alleged clash between detainees and security guards at Nauru], there’s a lot of screaming, but we can hear somebody saying ‘officers are starting to kick people’, and then at the end, ‘they’re hitting heads now’ - something along those lines, it’s quite hard to make out… What’s your version of what happened there?
PETER DUTTON: Well Mark, the advice that I’ve got is something quite different, and that is that there was an assault on seven officers within the centre…
MARK COLVIN: An assault by adults or an assault by children?
PETER DUTTON: No, an assault by adults, but I’m happy to clarify that for you, but that’s the advice that I’ve got.
MARK COLVIN: Well I’d like you to clarify that, because there are accounts that say that there are children involved in this.
PETER DUTTON: Well that’s not the advice that I’ve got but I’m happy to provide the advice, because there is a lot of misinformation being peddled frankly, and this video, which I’ve watched online, I think is a complete outrage, because there is no evidence that people are being assaulted there, that’s not the advice that I’ve received…
MARK COLVIN: But you are still talking about the people involved in this as if they were the adults who paid for the passage, but there are other accounts which say that this is all about - or not all about, but a substantial amount of this is about a bunch of kids who start off by climbing a tent, then they get some sort of agreement from border force to send a letter to Canberra. They come down from the tent roof, they get a reply that says they won’t be settled in Australia, and then they get frustrated and kick chairs over. So I mean, are you saying that there were no children involved in this?
PETER DUTTON: Mark what I’m saying is that I think these people are being used as pawns, frankly, by some advocates in Australia -
MARK COLVIN: Sorry, could you answer my question about the children.
PETER DUTTON: I’ve already answered the question in relation to the children.
MARK COLVIN: Well can you give me that definitively, there were no children involved in this incident.
PETER DUTTON: And I’ve given you that advice already…
MARK COLVIN: Well what is it, is it that there were no children?
PETER DUTTON: Well it’s, as I said, I’m not advised that there were children involved -
MARK COLVIN: Rather than saying - referring me to your previous answer, just say there were no children, or there may have been children.
PETER DUTTON: I’m not advised that there were children involved, which is a repeat of the answer that I just gave you, Mark. The sad part here…
MARK COLVIN: ‘I am not advised that there were children involved’ still leaves the possibility, doesn’t it.
PETER DUTTON: The sad part here is that people - advocates in Australia, frankly some people on the ABC as well I’m sorry to say, are peddling misinformation here, and it needs to stop, because these people are being offered false hope that they are coming to Australia....
MARK COLVIN:  I’m just trying to get some facts out here.  You announced with pride that you had released all children from detention on the mainland…
PETER DUTTON: Absolutely.
MARK COLVIN: ...on Sunday, and now it appears that there are still two children in detention. So where’s your credibility on that issue?
PETER DUTTON: Well again I’ve clarified this issue this morning, and I’m sorry Mark that you would repeat the misinformation that’s being peddled out there by some advocates.
MARK COLVIN: Which is the misinformation?
PETER DUTTON: The misinformation is in relation to the two children. So there are two children who are in held detention at the moment that are not off boats. I’ve been very clear that every child who’s come off a boat has been released into the community. There is no child from a boat in detention. I’ve been very clear about that.
MARK COLVIN: Alright. Let’s - accepting that, let’s step back to your evident pride on Sunday in saying that there were no children on the mainland in detention any longer.  If you’re so proud of that, why are you also happy to keep children in detention on Manus - on Nauru?
PETER DUTTON: Well there are no children on Manus, just to clarify that -
MARK COLVIN: That’s why I corrected myself.
PETER DUTTON: Thank you for doing that Mark…
MARK COLVIN: Why are there still - are you happy that there are still children, or why are you not unhappy that there are still children on Nauru?
PETER DUTTON: Well again, Mark, and I think you’ve read widely on this topic, so I don’t know why you peddle this misinformation. There are no children who are in detention on Nauru. There are 50 children living within the regional processing centre. It is a 24-7 open arrangement, people can go out into the community. There are hundreds of people who are employed in local businesses, involved in activities on Nauru. And I think people are getting pretty sick of the misinformation being peddled by some ABC commentators and some within the advocate community, because you are providing false hope to people that need to be given support to return to their country of origin…
MARK COLVIN: Well you say they’re not in detention on Nauru, but Nauru is a tiny island, it is essentially, for them, in their perspective, it would be a prison island. Why are you happy for them still to be there…
PETER DUTTON: I don’t want them to be there...I want them to go home to their country of origin, or to a third country. But they are not coming to Australia.
MARK COLVIN: Yes, you’ve absolutely said that, but why can’t you answer my question.
PETER DUTTON: Well I have answered the question…
MARK COLVIN: If they’re not in detention in Nauru, why did your spokesperson today [actually a spokesman for the department] use the word ‘garrison’ about Nauru - the ‘garrison services provider and centre personnel de-escalated the protest action’.  A garrison is a group of troops stationed at a fortress or town to defend it. That’s a military term.
PETER DUTTON: Well Mark, again, not to question your thought or motive, I’d like to check the statement…
MARK COLVIN: So we’ve been talking about Nauru. Put yourself in the shoes of Benham Satah, the key witness in the murder Reza Barati. Would you feel safe knowing that the alleged murderer has been on the run for a week without anybody noticing?
PETER DUTTON: Well I have to put myself in the shoes of many people in this job though Mark and I put myself in the shoes of 1,200 people who drowned at sea. I don’t want to see boats recommencing…
MARK COLVIN: That’s not the issue. We’ve got a situation where a bloke has got to go into court and give evidence and does not feel safe doing so. What can you offer him in terms of security in knowing that he’s going to be able to do so without being murdered, or in other ways interfered with beforehand?
PETER DUTTON: Well again Mark, if I might say, you’re repeating these baseless claims made by refugee advocates here without checking anything against the facts, I mean can you provide me with the evidence… [T]he fact that this person needs to be brought into witness protection, what do you base that claim on?
And on and on.
The ABC is campaigning against the border laws as it never did when Labor was luring over 50,000 illegal immigrants, luring 1200 to their deaths and filling our detention centres with up to 2000 children at a time.
Now the boats have stopped, the drownings have stopped, all boat children are out of detention and frauds no longer take the places of genuine refugees - and the ABC has gone to war.
Read also the transcript of the interview Fran Kelly did with Dutton. The bias of the ABC is out of control.  
===

Abbott: no handout for Arrium

Andrew Bolt April 07 2016 (10:20pm)

On our 2GB show tonight Tony Abbott:
- said there should be no government assistance to bail out struggling steel-maker Arrium. That kind of corporate welfare didn’t work.
- the Turnbull Government should fight Labor’s “five new taxes” and should itself be for lower taxes. He made clear the Government should itself rule out raising extra taxes through a higher tobacco tax or changes to super.
- denied allegations he was undermining the Turnbull Government by saying that defending the Abbott Government legacy was actually defending the Turnbull Government, too, since his achievements were also those of Turnbull, a senior minister in his government.
Note that the Abbott Government rejected appeals for government bailouts from SPC and Qantas, both of which bounced back without those taxpayers dollars.
Listen to the whole thing here
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Bulldogs need to send disgraceful coach and captain to the doghouse

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, April 08, 2015 (12:26am)

THE behaviour of Bulldogs fans on Good Friday was disgusting, but it was a direct reflection of the behaviour of Bulldogs skipper James Graham.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Bulldogs need to send disgraceful coach and captain to the doghouse'
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Silence and violence in leftist protest world

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, April 08, 2015 (12:25am)

WHEN leftist authoritarians try to stop people from expressing views they don’t like, they don’t like, all they do is create publicity and even sympathy for causes they oppose.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Silence and violence in leftist protest world'
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TOP TUNES

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 08, 2015 (6:26pm)

I’ll be on 2SER’s Old New Borrowed Blue show at 7.30 tonight, playing tracks and talking frightbats with host Jamie Travers. Podcast to follow.
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RACK OF LIME

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 08, 2015 (10:29am)

“If this place really is in Newtown,” writes reader David, “no wonder it went Green!”
Sadly, it really is. 
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ISLAMIC STATE vs HAMAS

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 08, 2015 (10:26am)

Take that, you namby-pamby Hamas moderates
ISIS beheaded at least one senior Hamas figure in Yarmouk, which was largely under Hamas influence. The jihadist group views Hamas and the other Palestinian organizations as enemies, because they do not fully embrace jihad according to ISIS’s definition and have not been immediately imposing Islamic Sharia law.
That enmity has seen expression in Gaza, where ISIS has expressed its intentions to depose Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. 
This represents an expansion of the previous Big Bashar League
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McGregor tells of Abbott’s grace - which many on the Left threw in his face

Andrew Bolt April 08 2015 (6:30pm)

image
Cate McGregor wonders why so many on the Left abused Tony Abbott for his great support for her gender transition:
Cate McGregor has a stinging message for Tony Abbott’s more truculent critics: the Prime Minister deserves some credit for so publicly supporting her as the world’s most senior transgender military officer.
As she put it:
Over the past two years, I have been humbled at the acceptance that I have received from rather surprising quarters. Reactions to gender variance, at least in my experience, do not conform to stated ideological affiliations. Some conservative women such as Miranda Devine and Janet Albrechtsen have been very gracious and supportive towards me. I have never asked but I suspect that, other than Deirdre McCloskey the eminent economist, I am the only trans woman they know but they have treated me with respect and dignity and I have been humbled by that. 
No response surprised me more than that of Tony Abbott whom I have known over a period of about three decades. It is okay, guys, I have collapsed my Twitter feed so troll away. I prevaricated before divulging details of my transition, putting off that discussion for a very long time. In so doing, I did him a disservice and grossly under-estimated his capacity for friendship. If I ever get around to writing the memoire that I have promised Louise Adler, I will give a detailed account of our conversation. Suffice it to say it meant a great deal to me when I was at a very, very low ebb.

Later as a serving Prime Minister, he introduced the edition of Australian Story which documented my struggle with my gender identity. For that he received cynical abuse from some quarters and almost no credit. Given the euphoria that accompanied President Obama’s mere utterance of the word Transgender in this year’s State of the Union address, I find the reluctance of some in the human rights and gender lobbies to acknowledge exactly what Tony Abbott did quite puzzling.
A conservative Catholic who is far from the most conservative Christian in his Cabinet publicly embraced a Transwoman and got sneered at in return. Some people really need to know how to take yes for an answer.  
And from the Q&A session after McGregor’s speech at the National Press Club today:
QUESTION: 
You mentioned in your speech that Tony Abbott didn’t get enough acknowledgement for his support of you; his outward and public support of you. Why do you think that is? And secondly, do you think there is a role for government and politicians specifically in speaking out and criticising views that are made in the public that are anti [inaudible] or downright discriminatory?
CATE MCGREGOR:
Second question first. Yes, I do. I think leadership at all levels is important and role models are important. And I think what he did for me was eloquent and spoke volumes. He embraced risk in doing that. I actually said to him, ‘your party won’t be thrilled about this’. You all know him, there is kind of a firefighter buried inside the politician still and he tends to barge into burning buildings if his friends are in there. He’s a bit like that; he can be like that and I was the beneficiary of it. I was talking to a journalist last week from the Star Observer who was profiling me and he said to me, ‘you realise, of course, that your friendship with Abbott is a huge wedge into the community and reduces your utility as a role model’ and I said ‘I suspect that’s right’ but I said ‘I could have been a fairly significant wedge into his party as well’. And I can tell you that the day I sent him the chapter of my book where I came out, the time between sending that to his private email account and the phone ringing for him telling me it was okay was less than hour. He didn’t run a focus group or ring Cory Bernardi or Kevin Andrews to see if it was okay, he just did.
And, for me, in a world of ephemeral likes and dislikes which you do with a mouse button, to repudiate a friend of 35 years standing, who’s done that, for ephemeral applause I think would speak poorly of me as a human being, frankly. And if living authentically has motivated the life choices I have made, then one thing I’m not going to do is shop a friend for a round of applause…

Leadership is important and I think the PM provided that. He introduced that programme, I didn’t ask him to do it. I’d recounted the nature of the conversation I’d had with him to the producer, they went and interviewed him and he volunteered to introduce the programme and do a sequel at the end. I just can’t get round that, frankly. I hope that’s some kind of answer. 
But I am disappointed that McGregor should consider the support of Janet Albrechtson and Miranda Devine, let alone Abbott, as “surprising”. It is precisely what I would have expected from them, and to expect anything different is to subscribe to a false stereotype popular in the Left. 
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Another Labor leader crippled by the unions

Andrew Bolt April 08 2015 (10:33am)

Another Labor leader being crucified by Labor’s links to a self-serving union bureaucracy:
DELIA Lawrie is adamant she will lead [Northern Territory] Labor to the 2016 Territory election despite growing pressure for her to step down in the wake of damning Supreme Court findings… 
Her leadership hangs in the balance after she challenged in the Supreme Court the findings of Stella Maris inquiry commissioner John Lawler, who ruled Labor had acted inappropriately when handing over Stella Maris to Unions NT rent free.
The challenge backfired when Justice Stephen Southwood not only threw out the challenge, but found Ms Lawrie had adopted “a conscious and deliberate strategy ... to abandon her participation in the inquiry to enable her to come to this court and wrongly maintain she had been denied procedural fairness”. 
Ms Lawrie’s Labor colleagues have remained silent.
It is a scandal.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

Andrews dodges his creditors

Andrew Bolt April 08 2015 (9:30am)

How Labor proves to the world we’re a dangerous investment:
INTERNATIONAL representatives from the consortium partners behind the axed East West Link project are in Melbourne to negotiate a ­compensation payout — but the Government has been ­cancelling and rescheduling the meetings. 
The Herald Sun understands representatives from the consortium, which includes Lend Lease, French construction company Bouygues and Spain’s Acciona Infrastructure, have been in Melbourne for the past few weeks to negotiate the cost of dissolving the contract.
But sources within the Linking Melbourne Authority say the senior figures have been waiting for talks with Premier Daniel Andrews and key ministers after one meeting was cancelled and another was delayed…
The consortium believes it is entitled to up to $1.2 billion, and has suggested a formula that would result in a payout of between $500 million and $720 million…
But consortium sources say they are “frustrated” with the lack of progress, with initial talks between the two parties limited to “the details of what will be confidential and what won’t be, instead of the actual contract"… 
.It is believed the Government has now been issued with up to 40 breach notices for the $6.8 billion tollway project since it came to office, with a new legal notice issued “every time a milestone isn’t reached”, one source said.
What a joke. I’d laugh if it wasn’t costing this state a ghastly amount of money and the delay of a project the state badly needs.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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If the Age is so shocked by Leyonhjelm, why does it let its columnists write worse?

Andrew Bolt April 08 2015 (9:04am)

“Mangy dog” is rude and I would not use that kind of abuse myself against a Prime Minister. Yet I find Senator David Leyonhjelm’s response to the gotcha Fairfax Age very refreshing:
Crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm says he can’t recall whether he once referred to former prime minister Julia Gillard as a “mangy dog” but says he “doesn’t give a f---” about it either way. 
Senator Leyonhjelm posted the comments in 2011, before his election to Parliament, on the blog site Catallaxy Files....
But the Liberal Democrats senator for NSW said critics should “get real” and that it was “absolute crap” to expect politicians not to say things an ordinary voter wouldn’t say."I don’t remember [writing] it but I don’t give a f--- if I did,” he said.
“Get real, Australians are rude about their elected politicians,” he said.
“Calling Gillard a mangy dog is mild and absolutely nothing compared to what others have said about her and what people say about Tony Abbott,” Senator Leyonhjelm said."I mean the Abbott-hating industry is massive...” 
It sure is, and The Age is part of it.  Check out the hypocrisy of The Age in professing shock at Gillard being called a “mangy dog”, yet promoting “F… Abbott” t-shirts published by a Fairfax colleague, columnist Clementine Ford:
As an antidote to the crushing reality of Post-Abbott world she’s created some cathartic t-shirts with slogans that include (NSFW)‘F**k Abbott’ and (SFW) ‘Abbott is not my Prime Minister’ that can bought online. 
The Age even claimed:
The T-shirts are ethically produced, printed in Melbourne…
And Fairfax, so shocked by the “mangy dog” insult of Gillard, has no shame about publishing this anti-Abbott rant by another Fairfax columnist:
image
Here’s Leyonhjelm’s original comment, in full Fairfax-shocking context:
Every dog has its day, including mangy dogs like Gillard. History won’t remember her for the carbon tax but for leading Labor to the biggest defeat ever. 
(Thanks to reader John.) 
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Greens use Anzac sacrifice to demand more time off

Andrew Bolt April 08 2015 (8:43am)

The Greens confirm their reputation for being the party for slackers and users wanting to spend other people’s money:
NSW Business Chamber has slammed as ‘‘economic lunacy’’ a Greens and unions’ bid to create an extra Anzac public holiday that would cost retailers millions in penalty rates. 
Greens MLC David Shoebridge and representatives from the CFMEU and fire brigades union launched a last-minute bid yesterday to have April 27 declared a public holiday, saying NSW residents ­deserve an extra day off to honour our Diggers.
However, Anzac Day falls on a Saturday this year and has already been declared a public holiday, meaning there is no long weekend and most workers return on Monday. 
Creating an additional holiday on April 27 would force many businesses to pay penalty rates on both Saturday and Monday — were they to open. 
How scummy. A grab for cash, using as camouflage the soldiers for whom Greens generally show little respect. 
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Why these complaints only now? And why no demands that such detainees never be let in?

Andrew Bolt April 08 2015 (7:59am)

Boat people policy

The ABC for months failed to even report that children were drowning as a consequence of Labor destroying our border laws.
The ABC had little criticism when some 2000 children at a time were detained as a consequence of Labor destroying our border laws.
But the ABC is in full campaign mode now that just 100 children are in detention as a consequence of the Abbott Government stopping the boats.
Yesterday Radio National Breakfast urged the Immigration Minister to give in to moral blackmail, and Lateline interviewed a succession of critics of the way we detained children.
And today on AM:
MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: A group of health professionals, teachers and social workers have written an open letter to the Australian public expressing their concerns about physical and sexual abuse at the immigration detention centre on Nauru.
But a question: will the ABC now demand that any detainees responsible for this alleged child abuse be refused entry to Australia under any circumstances?
Instead, the ABC and critics of our detention centres seem very keen to criticise Nauruan security guards as alleged perpetrators but very quickly gloss over the fact that detainees themselves are also (allegedly) responsible.
For instance:
JASON OM: Viktoria Vibhakar worked on Nauru for the charity Save the Children as a senior child protection worker, but resigned last year. 
VIKTORIA VIBHAKAR: ...  this was the whole purpose of the letter - is that the Government has been aware, has been aware for at least 17 months that children have been sexually assaulted on Nauru…
JASON OM: Viktoria Vibhakar ...  cites the case of a young girl who said she’d been sexually assaulted by an unidentified offender.. Viktoria Vibhakar also points to the case of a small boy whose mother had been pressured by other detainees and staff for sexual favours… Viktoria Vibhakar was alarmed by the extent of sexualised behaviour among children, including that of a girl under five who in front of adults:
VIKTORIA VIBHAKAR: She had bent over and she wanted them to insert things into her anus. And those… no-one was able to sustain sexual abuse towards her but again, I go back to the fact that it is an unsafe environment…
JASON OM: [Another former worker] says he saw children as young as six mimicking sexual intercourse with each other.
FMR ‘SAVE THE CHILDREN’ WORKER 1: We’re talking about sort of young kids saying what they referred to as “jiggi-jiggi”. And they would pretend to hump another, another child, whether that was… and that a was usually just in a standing up position and grabbing hold of them.
JASON OM: He says children as young as four had learnt a particular explicit phrase from Nauruan security officers.
FMR ‘SAVE THE CHILDREN’ WORKER 1: There was children under the age of 10 that would joke around with language that was in Nauruan was “breri”, which is a graphic description of the act of a man coming inside a woman. And this was often used in conversation between a certain group of young boys under the age of 10 and guards.
JASON OM: Some of the offenders identified by the Moss inquiry were locally hired Nauruans. But when it comes to child protection, Nauru has no mandatory reporting of child abuse and no compulsory “working with children” checks. 
FMR ‘SAVE THE CHILDREN’ WORKER 2: Because there is no way of actually doing checks on all local staff, regarding whether they are safe to be working with children, children remain at risk. So potentially there could be further sex offenders working in the centre. 
Yes, every such claim must be investigated.
But what of sex offenders who could actually be among the detainees? Why not also discussthem, and the risk of releasing them in Australia?
Hello? 
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Greece demands $400 billion in war compensation from Germany

Andrew Bolt April 08 2015 (7:48am)

A scoundrel government is now trying moral blackmail rather than reform:
The Greek government says Germany owes Greece nearly €279bn (£204bn; $US303bn) in war reparations for the Nazi occupation during World War Two. 
It is the first time Greece has officially calculated what Germany allegedly owes it for Nazi atrocities and looting during the 1940s.
However, the German government says the issue was resolved legally years ago. 
Greece’s radical left Syriza government is making the claim while struggling to meet massive debt repayment deadlines.
What next? Sue Turkey for the Ottoman occupation? And should Turkey in exchange sue Greece for its 1919-1922 invasion
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Dangerous story

Andrew Bolt April 08 2015 (7:44am)

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Our biggest export earner falls again in price. This will hurt us all

Andrew Bolt April 08 2015 (7:16am)

The Budget relied on prices for iron ore - around a quarter of our export earnings - staying around $60:
In December’s mid-year budget review, Mr Hockey slashed his iron ore forecast for 2014/15 to $US60 from US$95 at the time of the 2014 budget. 
Treasury has estimated that every $US10 per tonne drop in the iron ore price shaves up to $A3 billion off the annual budget.
Instead:
At the end of the latest session, benchmark iron ore for immediate delivery to the port of Tianjin in China was trading at $US47.60 a tonne… Meanwhile, iron ore for delivery to the port of Qingdao in China - another closely watched spot market - rose 2.1 per cent off its all-time low to $US48.06 a tonne. 
The rebound is cold comfort for miners, who have seen prices sink from $US135 a tonne at the start of 2014, to below $US50 today, with the near 2 per cent recovery coming after over 10 per cent was wiped from prices over the past fortnight.
Price movements have caused severe strain for local miners, with Atlas Iron forced into a suspension on Tuesday…
The Atlas news is among the most prominent signs of distress in the iron ore sector, though most local miners are now operating at a loss outside of the big two in BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, which maintain healthy, if rapidly eroding, margins.
Among those seen operating in the red at current prices are BC Iron, which lost 11 per cent of its value during Tuesday trade, Mt Gibson Iron, which sunk 7 per cent on Tuesday, and Fortescue Metals Group, which gave up 1.3 per cent. All three firms are trading at their lowest levels since the financial crisis…
Both Deutsche Bank and Capital Economics foresee a slump to $US45 or below, while US-based iron ore miner Cliffs warned last month that the tactics of BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Vale had the potential to push prices as low as $US30.
The bearish forecasts are largely related to an oversupply that is being exacerbated by stalling demand and rising supply, with the China Iron & Steel Association yesterday warning that iron ore demand will “remain weak” in coming months as steel demand contracts.
Terry McCrann isn’t betting on the iron price improving much - or even Fortescue surviving:
There are two ominous pointers to Australia’s and indeed the world’s now most critical “swing producer”, Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s Fortescue Minerals.
First, Atlas is Fortescue writ small. Albeit very and uncompetitively so...When the ore price was $US150 a tonne, Atlas and its shareholders were in clover; now it’s $US47 and going down, they are in the stuff that makes clover grow…
Whereas Fortescue grew from zero to 155 million tonnes, Atlas only got to around a tenth of that. On the trip down the price escalator both have been desperately cutting costs...Both as a consequence of its size and resource, Atlas couldn’t catch the falling knife — I mean price; Fortescue has gone close. But probably not close enough.
So wouldn’t everything just be “nice” if BHPB and Rio were to stop adding tonnes and indeed go back to something more akin to a 2011 future; actually producing less?
Well, actually, no. First-off there Rinehart’s Roy Hill mine. It will be adding 55 million tonnes of totally new output to the global market, while Vale’s got an 80 million tonne new mine coming up.
Do the math… More ominously, even removing Fortescue’s 155 million tonnes mightn’t make much difference — merely offsetting the additional tonnage from Roy Hill and Vale (and a bit of BHPB’s and Rio’s). 
But that might be where we are relentlessly heading.
Brendan Pearson, chief executive of the Minerals Council of Australia, stays positive:
... one trillion dollars has been invested in the resources sector over the last decade. The capital stock of the mining sector is four times bigger.... It is why despite a terrible year for commodity prices, minerals and energy exports will deliver $175 billion in export earnings this year…
I think we all know that prices are down by as much as two-thirds in some commodities. The high prices didn’t last. In a world where market forces reign, they were never going to…
Much of the downbeat commentary about the commodity outlook focuses on slowing growth in China… Last year, China’s economy grew at a rate of 7.4 per cent… We sometimes forget that even six per cent growth in a 10 trillion dollar economy like China is equivalent to 12 per cent growth in a five trillion dollar economy like Japan…
Second, the expansion in our capacity should not be under-estimated – in short the volume story cannot be overlooked.
Let’s take a 5 year outlook for Australia’s top 5 commodity exports – iron ore, coal, gold, copper and alumina. In FY 2013-14, these 5 exports generated $142 billion in export earnings.
In 2018-9, these same commodities are expected to generate $177 billion in export earnings… 
It is true that China’s steel production will fall this year for the first time in 35 years.  But projections by ANZ suggest that steel production will recover to about 15 per cent above this year’s levels by 2020. 
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Concessions for the “rich” aren’t the problem

Andrew Bolt April 08 2015 (7:05am)

Robert Carling of the CIS warns against populist myths that spending cuts can be avoided just by hitting the “rich” for saving too much or investing in real estate:
Balance needs to be restored to a narrative that sees concessions as nothing but distortions and rorts favouring the rich and elderly, and as a source of easy and massive revenue gains...,

The claim that superannuation concessions, for example, are costing $30 billion a year to the favour of the rich has seeped into public opinion as incontrovertible fact. But this calculation rests on full taxation of super contributions and earnings as the standard — a treatment that would find no support in expert opinion. The generally accepted starting point — and the international norm — is that lower taxation of super relative to full marginal rates is optimal, and the structure most favoured by experts and other countries is for contributions and fund earnings to be exempt from tax and withdrawals subject to full tax rates. Against this standard, the loudly proclaimed $30bn cost of the current system withers away. 

Australia’s system differs from this standard in that the government takes out tax in the contribution and earnings phases rather than wait for the withdrawal phase. The absence of an exit tax does not mean super benefits are “tax free"…
In the case of so-called negative gearing, which is not really a concession at all, objectors miss the basic point that interest on borrowings is a legitimate tax deduction as an expense incurred in generating income…
Critics of the capital gains tax discount appear to believe capital gains should be taxed at full marginal rates — again, a proposition that finds little expert support or practical application around the world… 
The campaign against tax concessions is finding oxygen in a climate of public opinion that has little tolerance for spending cuts affecting low and middle income earners and believes the budget can be repaired at the expense of the “wealthy"… However, the scope to do so within the bounds of principled tax policy is much narrower than commonly believed. It is not the solution to the government’s deficit problem. 
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Unions attacking Ferguson aren’t worth joining

Andrew Bolt April 08 2015 (6:51am)

Attempts to expel Labor giant Martin Ferguson from Labor for denouncing lies shame the party. And what does it say about Bill Shorten that he will not speak out in Ferguson’s defence?
Janet Albrechtsen:
The faster and harder union leaders move to expel Martin Ferguson from the ALP, the quicker they expose the moral bankruptcy within the union movement…
Where was the swift moral indignation when Health Services Union boss Michael Williamson was fleecing low-paid workers by using members’ fees to pay for his extravagant lifestyle? Where was the speedy condemnation by union leaders when Craig Thomson was dipping into the same honey pot, taking money from workers to, well, entertain himself? Where was the principled censure from union leaders over revelations about links between unions and organised crime in Victoria?
Ferguson shouldn’t lose any sleep over this. The criticism of him by union bosses proves Ferguson’s point: the blind tribalism of unions, their protection of vested interests at the expense of working men and women, and the brute retribution for those who dare to speak the truth.
Dave Noonan, national secretary of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, said: “It’s a long time since any one in the union movement listened to anything Martin Ferguson had to say.” More’s the pity. Ferguson was right to point out NSW ­Opposition Leader Luke Foley’s attempt to kill off Santos’s Pilliga gas project sent the message Labor didn’t care about jobs, ­energy security or investment confidence.
When ACTU secretary Dave Oliver said: “Martin is doing what Martin is paid to do”, describing Ferguson as a mouthpiece for the mining sector, Oliver revealed the old-style mentality of them versus us that prevents the unions from playing a responsible role in the national economy. 
As for former union leader, now federal Labor leader, Bill Shorten, his backside must need urgent medical attention. As Shorten wriggles around on the fence, the look in his eyes when asked to defend a Labor legend like Ferguson says more than the wishy-washy words the Labor leader utters. Shorten’s fear and confusion suggests he needs reminding of that old saying that the enemies you make by taking a principled stand will have more respect for you than the friends you make by ­sitting on the fence. 
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COWS BEAT CARBON

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 08, 2014 (12:19pm)

The carbon farming fantasy
Scientists like Tim Flannery, the Wentworth Group, Professor Rattan Lal and the CSIRO’s Michael Battaglia agree that sequestration in soil and vegetation on a grand scale is essential to avoiding the worst effects of Global Warming as we transition to new energy sources for baseload supply.
If this is so, farmers have more leverage in this commodity market than any other and can be price-makers rather than price takers, their usual role. 
The carbon farming reality
It was meant to be a showcase of the former Labor government’s push towards carbon trading: the Northern Territory’s Henbury Station, destocked of cattle and turned over to producing carbon credits through regeneration …
The property is now being marketed as a cattle station … destocking the property has seen losses of $4 million to $5 million in the region as well as flow on social impacts on a local community that was heavily reliant on the station’s operation. 
(Via CL)
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SUCH SMALL. MANY QUIRKY. WOW.

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 08, 2014 (12:15pm)

In stunning financial news, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has discovered two previously unknown economic forces operating within the centre of our city.
Yesterday the Lord Mayor, upset by allegations in the Daily Telegraph that she was reluctant “to drive Sydney forward as a global powerhouse”, sent an email to our office. In that email, Moore claimed that “quirky laneways” and “small bars”, among other factors, were responsible for the inner city’s rapid economic growth.
Given that those “quirky laneways” existed for many decades prior to Moore taking office, it might be a little difficult for her to take credit. In fact, in this case credit should go to 19th century town planners whose visionary concepts for sewage access have somehow led to a 21st century economic miracle. Well done, old men in top hats.
As for those “small bars”, it’s also a little difficult to see how they could have had much to do with Moore’s claimed 2000 new businesses. Not that small bars are bad, of course. It’s just that they’re small bars and not massive incentives for international investment in Sydney. There’s a difference.
Come to think of it, if quirky lanes and small bars are the great economic powerhouses of our time, how come Greece and Spain are such total disasters? These joints practically cornered the market years ago in quirky lanes and small bars, but today they’ve got less real money than a Wayne Swan budget.
It might actually be that inner Sydney’s economic revival is despite Moore’s quirky smallness rather than because of it. This is just a theory, but it’s one that we can put to the test in a simple experiment.
Let’s close one of Moore’s quirky bicycle laneways and put small bars on it. If it works, do the same on all of the bicycle lanes. It’s very important. Sydney’s economic future is at stake here.
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FICTION AND REALITY COLLIDE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 08, 2014 (12:08pm)

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard reveals her government’s inner workings
I first felt the addictive power … when I was prime minister … the characters of my world were nowhere near as good looking ...
The staff who worked with me most closely talked in a language I didn’t understand … I binged on … one over three days on brief Christmas leave in 2012. I devoured the second and third as soon as I could.
Fiction and reality started to collide … What girl has not yearned for a few dragons when in a tight spot? …
Hair plaited in unusual ways, we poured our glasses of wine and settled in … the intrigue, the brutality and the passion continue unabated. 
Yep. That’s pretty much how we all imagined it.
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Packer: Rudd damaged Asia ties

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (3:43pm)

So much damaged, so much still to fix:
BILLIONAIRE James Packer says Australia’s relationships with its key Asian neighbours went backwards under former prime minister Kevin Rudd. 
The Crown casino boss is taking part in a trade delegation to Asia led by Tony Abbott, who last night signed a new trade deal with Japan.
“I think the truth is Australia’s relationships with China, Japan, India and Indonesia all went backwards over the last five years,” Mr Packer told Fairfax radio. 
“When you go round and lecture people — I think you’d know who I’m talking about — some people don’t take it that well.”
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Ban Bendigo Bank

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (3:10pm)

What a disgraceful and dangerous decision:
A bank is standing by its decision to close the account of a protest group which is fighting plans to build a mosque in the Victorian city of Bendigo. 
The Bendigo Bank last week informed the Stop the Mosque group that it was closing the group’s account, saying the bank only wants to do business with organisations that share its values.
The group was raising funds for its fight against a mosque which is proposed for a site near Bendigo’s airport.
The bank’s decision has drawn criticism on social media, while local councillor Elise Chapman has accused the bank of trying to be the ‘moral police’. 
“There’s a lot of other people - there’s murderers, paedophiles, criminals - everybody banks, and I’m sure that those people also have bank accounts at the bank,” Ms Chapman said.
Indeed, the Bendigo Bank should tell us who else will have their accounts closed - porn merchants, drug dealers, wife beaters, Islamist extremists, tax cheats, Greenpeace activists, vandals, hoon drivers, habitual drunks, thieves and people who spit on the pavement. Where does this stop? Where was the reputational damage for the bank in even maintaining the account? Who in the community protested, or was this just the work of some sanctimonious Bendigo Bank official who thought he or she could misuse their power to punish opinions with which they disagreed?
Ban Bendigo Bank until it allows its customers to freely engage in public debate. 
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Big wage for some, lost business for everyone else

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (8:54am)

This kind of union militancy costs us all: 
THE head of the US energy giant developing gas projects worth more than $US80 billion ($86bn) in Australia has attacked union influence in this country, pointing to data that showed wages for some tradespeople in the industry had soared to $400,000 a year… 
Chevron Australia managing director Roy Krzywosinki called on the Abbott government to make urgent changes to the Fair Work Act, especially on right-of-entry provisions for unions.Mr Krzywosinski said Chevron’s $US54bn Gorgon gas project — Australia’s biggest resources development which is under construction in Western Australia — had been subject to almost 1000 “disruptive” right-of-entry claims from unions since 2009… Mr Krzywosinski said unions had been able to leverage unsustainable wages and conditions. He noted that a barge welder now earned about $400,000 a year.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Palmer sued by candidate

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (7:16am)

Clive Palmer falls out with a former associate and party candidate:
ONE of Clive Palmer’s closest business associates is suing him, along with Mineralogy and Queensland Nickel, for more than $4.6 million, saying the businessman tricked him into signing a “sham” contract. 
Former Palmer Coolum Resort general manager and ex-Palmer United Party candidate Bill Schoch left the business in December. According to a statement of claim filed in the Supreme Court, the long-time friend of Mr Palmer has fallen out with him over what he claims to be “misleading and deceptive conduct”.
Will he also fall out with some of the four senators he now allegedly controls?: 
SABRA LANE: ... Given the commitment by Motoring Enthusiast’s Ricky Muir to vote with the Palmer United team, it means Clive Palmer’s bloc of four senators will share the balance of power with another four senators ... Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm ... doubts the Palmer team will vote as one. DAVID LEYONHJELM: It’s difficult to imagine them all lining up and saying, “I agree with Clive Palmer on this issue,” and voting accordingly for the next three years, six years, whatever. I don’t think that’s likely to happen. And particularly when you look at the individuals involved. Jacqui Lambie in Tasmania is her own woman. She’s not anybody’s puppet.
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill nominates Lambie as the most likely wildcard, since she didn’t start her run for the Senate on the PUP ticket:
PALMER United Party (PUP) Senate chance Jacqui Lambie admits she turned to the mining billionaire because she was running out of money… 
Ms Lambie began her Senate campaign as an independent before sending her veterans’ policy to party founder Clive Palmer.
But Palmer’s win in the WA election makes it harder for the Government to cut him out of any deal-making. To overcome a Greens-Labor bloc without Palmer’s support will now involve the Government winning the support of crossbenchers David Leyonhjelm, Bob Day of Family First, John Madigan of the DLP and Nick Xenophon as well as two rebels from Palmer’s alliance. That’s not impossible, but probably much harder than cutting a deal with Palmer’s four senators plus two of the others. The first involves making six agreements, the second three.
(Thanks to reader CA.) 
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How Dr Zhivago went to war

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (6:23am)

Your favorite books, poems and music - and mine

Here is a marvellous story. If only all wars were fought by publishing great literature - or perhaps, in a way, they generally are....
First, some passages from Dr Zhivago:
It´s a good thing when a man is different from your image of him. Is shows he isn´t a type. If he were, it would be the end of him as a man. But if you can´t place him in a category, it means that at least a part of him is what a human being ought to be. He has risen above himself, he has a grain of immortality… 
And now listen carefully. You in others-this is your soul. This is what you are. This is what your consciousness has breathed and lived on and enjoyed throughout your life-your soul, your immortality, your life in others. And what now? You have always been in others and you will remain in others. And what does it matter to you if later on that is called your memory? This will be you-the you that enters the future and becomes a part of it…
I hate everything you say, but not enough to kill you for it…

Oh, what a love it was, utterly free, unique, like nothing else on earth! Their thoughts were like other people’s songs. They loved each other, not driven by necessity, by the “blaze of passion” often falsely ascribed to love. They loved each other because everything around them willed it, the trees and the clouds and the sky over their heads and the earth under their feet. Perhaps their surrounding world, the strangers they met in the street, the wide expanses they saw on their walks, the rooms in which they lived or met, took more delight in their love than they themselves did…
And then the two basic ideals of modern man- without them he is unthinkable- the idea of free personality and the idea of life as sacrifice.
Next, this story of what the CIA did with it, as told in The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book, by Peter Finn and Petra Couvée:
[T]he Soviet literary establishment refused to touch “Doctor Zhivago."… In Washington, Soviet experts quickly saw why Moscow loathed “Doctor Zhivago.”
In a memo in July 1958, John Maury, the Soviet Russia Division chief, wrote ... “Pasternak’s humanistic message — that every person is entitled to a private life and deserves respect as a human being, irrespective of the extent of his political loyalty or contribution to the state — poses a fundamental challenge to the Soviet ethic of sacrifice of the individual to the Communist system...”
In an internal memo shortly after the appearance of the novel in Italy, CIA staff members recommended that “Doctor Zhivago” “be published in a maximum number of foreign editions, for maximum free world distribution and acclaim and consideration for such honor as the Nobel prize."…
As its main target for distribution, the agency selected the first postwar world’s fair, the 1958 Brussels Universal and International Exposition… Both the United States and the Soviet Union had built huge pavilions to showcase their competing ways of life. What was especially interesting to the CIA: The fair offered one of those rare occasions when large numbers of Soviet citizens traveled to an event in the West. Belgium had issued 16,000 visas to Soviet visitors.
....the CIA contacted the Dutch intelligence service, the BVD. Agency officials had been following reports of the possible publication of “Doctor Zhivago” in Russian by an academic publishing house in The Hague and asked whether it would be possible to obtain an early run of copies.... Walter Cini, a CIA officer stationed there, ... emphasized that there should be no trace of involvement by the U.S. ...
Two hundred copies were sent to headquarters in Washington… The largest package, 365 books, was sent to Brussels…
The Vatican pavilion was called Civitas Dei, the City of God, and Russian emigre Catholics had set up a small library “somewhat hidden” behind a curtain just off the pavilion’s Chapel of Silence, a place to reflect on the suppression of Christian communities around the world.
There, the CIA-sponsored edition of “Doctor Zhivago” was pressed into the hands of Soviet citizens. Soon the book’s blue linen covers were littering the fairgrounds. Some who got the novel were ripping off the cover, dividing the pages, and stuffing them in their pockets to make the book easier to hide.
The CIA was quite pleased with itself. “This phase can be considered completed successfully,” read a Sept. 10, 1958, memo… The CIA provided elaborate guidelines for its officers on how to encourage Western tourists to talk about literature and “Doctor Zhivago” with Soviet citizens they might meet…
Maury wrote in a memo in April 1959… “Travelers should be prepared to discuss with their Soviet contacts not only the basic theme of the book itself — a cry for the freedom and dignity of the individual — but also the plight of the individual in the communist society."… 
Prompted by the attacks on Pasternak in Moscow and the international publicity surrounding the campaign to demonize him, the CIA’s Soviet Russia Division began to firm up plans for a miniature paperback edition… Two thousand copies of this edition were also set aside for dissemination to Soviet and Eastern European students at the 1959 World Festival of Youth and Students for Peace and Friendship, which was to be held in Vienna… When a Soviet convoy of buses arrived in sweltering Vienna, crowds of Russian emigres swarmed them and tossed copies of the CIA’s miniature edition through the open windows. 
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How the IPCC report was doctored to scare you

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (5:57am)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has resorted to fraud. Shame on the media outlets which refuse to see or say, but all praise to Professor Richard Tol:
Prof Tol, from Sussex University, is a highly respected climate economist and one of two ‘co-ordinating lead authors’ of an important chapter in the 2,600-page report published last week by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 
He has been widely criticised by green campaigners after he claimed that the much shorter ‘summary for policymakers’ – hammered out in all-night sessions between scientists and government officials over a week-long meeting in Yokohama, Japan – was overly ‘alarmist’.
In his view, the summary focused on ‘scare stories’ and suggestions the world faced ‘the four horsemen of the apocalypse’. 
He said he did not want his name associated with it because he felt ‘uncomfortable’ with the way the summary exaggerated the economic impact of global warming. 
To cite just one example - and how the exaggeration then drives media coverage:
Environmentalist Bill McKibben, MSNBC, March 31:  
LATE last night Yokohama time, the world’s scientists did once more what they’ve done so many times in the past: issued a thumping big report demonstrating that climate change poses the greatest danger our civilisation has ever faced … The latest summary, for instance, shows that … both drought and flood will keep on increasing, the number of refugees will climb sharply, and we risk “civil wars and intergroup violence”.
Yes, that’s what the summary says. IPCC’s Working Group II Summary for Policymakers: 
CLIMATE change over the 21st century is projected to increase displacement of people (medium evidence, high agreement).
What the report actually says. Final Draft IPCC WGII AR5: 
IT is difficult to establish a causal relationship between environmental degradation and migration … Many authors argue that migration will increase during times of environmental stress … and will lead to an increase in abandonment of settlements … Another body of literature argues that migration rates are no higher under conditions of environmental or climate stress … For (Cecilia) Tacoli (2009) the current alarmist predictions of massive flows of so-called “environmental refugees” or “environmental migrants”, are not supported by past experiences of ­responses to droughts and extreme weather events and predictions for future migration flows are tentative at best … Given the multiple drivers of migration … the projection of the effects of climate change on intra-rural and rural-to-urban migration remains a major challenge.
More astonishing examples:
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Richard Tol:
Humans are a tough and adaptable species. People live on the equator and in the Arctic, in the desert and in the rainforest. We survived ice ages with primitive technologies. The idea that climate change poses an existential threat to humankind is laughable.
(Thanks to reader Albert and others.) 
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In defence of Joe Bullock

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (5:27am)

If Joe Bullock, Labor’s new Senator-elect from Western Australia, were a Liberal the media would be screaming “homophobe” and Labor would be savaging him on every ABC show:
[Fellow Labor candidate Louise] Pratt, said Bullock, was “the poster child for the Left” and “a spokesperson for that persuasion”. And what persuasion would that be? “Louise Pratt is, as some of you would know, a leading advocate of homosexual marriage and a lesbian, I think,” Bullock told the Dawson Society, “although after her partner’s sex change I can’t be quite sure. But I think she’s a lesbian.”
What would Labor do had, say Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi said that?
But Nick Cater warns it’s too easy to dismiss Bullock, who, for me, otherwise represents a less threatening Labor:
What we are witnessing in Western Australia is ... a battle between the workers and the intellectuals that began in the early 1960s and flared under Gough Whitlam, a prime minister who Bullock helped vote out of office in 1975… 
The two wings were worlds apart on climate change and border ­security long before Julia Gillard signed a pact with the Greens.
By crossing the boundary between a legitimate debate about the Marriage Act and an intrusive discussion about Pratt’s domestic arrangements, Bullock en­sured that the home truths from the rest of his 50-minute session would be ignored.
That is a pity…
“Labor should be interested in regular people,” Bullock said.  “...The Labor Party hasn’t demonstrated that they are capable of being trusted to look after the interests of working people and their families. When they do, they will win and win and win and win and win....”
Bullock insists that without the union movement the ALP is finished. “It provides significant ­financial resources and manpower to the Labor Party. But, more importantly than that, ballast,” he said.
Branch-based members, the winners from Kevin Rudd’s leadership election reform, tend to be activists. In other words, said Bullock, they were “mad”. 
Without unions, “the Labor Party would fly off in a dozen ­directions following every weird leftie trend that you could imagine and there’d be no party left. To the extent that the Left within the Labor Party dominates its policy formulation, those policies are out of tune with mainstream Australia and that does damage.” 
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Abbott gets trade deal

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (4:52am)

Good for the Abbott Government, obviously, and even better for Australia:
EXPORTERS will add billions of dollars to Australia’s economic growth under a trade deal struck with Japan last night to give the beef, dairy, sugar and other industries far bigger concessions than they expected.

Tony Abbott completed the deal with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last night… 

Slashing barriers to Aus­tralian products, the Japanese government agreed to a dramatic increase in food imports ...  while clearing the way for stronger trade in resources and services.
Australia has given ground in return, cutting the price consumers pay for Japanese cars, auto components, whitegoods and electronics, most of which will be free of tariffs within a year of the trade deal being ratified…
[The deal] does include a sharp increase in the threshold for Japanese investments that must be cleared by the Foreign Investment Review Board, lifting it from $248m to just over $1bn for deals other than farm and agribusiness acquisitions…
Tony Shepherd, chairman of the WestConnex toll road authority and an adviser to Japan’s biggest bank, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, described the deal as “unbelievable news"… “We are the first major agricultural exporter to unblock Japan’s trade barriers"…
Japan will begin cutting its tariffs on frozen and fresh beef within a year to give Australian producers a level of market access unavailable to any other country. Australian beef exports to Japan are worth $1.4bn a year but are subject to a 38.5 per cent tariff.
The tariff on frozen beef will fall by 8 percentage points within a year and then drop to 19.5 per cent over time. The tariff on fresh beef will be cut by 6 percentage points in the first year and then fall to 23.5 per cent over 15 years… 
Australian cheese exports are worth $372m a year but are subject to an annual quota of 27,000 tonnes; this will be expanded with a further 20,000 tonnes in stages over two decades.
There is also clearly an important deepening of bonds, too, with the democracy of Japan - bonds that include defence:
Senior sources said the signing of such a generous deal with Australia was part of a broader push by Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, to deepen the bilateral relationship to increase Japan’s regional strength. 
Other gestures include recognising Tony Abbott’s trip as a full state visit, a private dinner as well as state dinner on his first trip, something not afforded previous prime ministers.
And less noticed:
Australia and Japan have begun talks on sharing defence know-how and jointly developing weapons and equipment as part of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s visit to Japan.
China, as well as economics and leadership, helped to push Australia and Japan closer together. Rowan Callick:
The deal will drive a crucial part of Tony Abbott’s economic strategy: to boost productivity by lowering trade and investment barriers, overseas and at home.
The Abbott government is looking to improve the performance of the economy by opening it up to high-quality investors and exporters from Japan and South Korea, as well as making it easier for Australian firms to invest in and export to Asia…
Leadership from the top has provided the crucial difference in clinching two of the three agreements the Prime Minister ambitiously said he would seek by the end of this year…
Japan’s economy, like ours, is highly dependent on China. Abe wants to limit that dependency by engaging more deeply with economies like ours. 
There is clearly a personal bond between Abbott and Abe:
Abbott gave his counterpart an album of 32 photos from Australian archives showing Abe’s maternal grandfather, former Japanese prime minister Nobusuke Kishi, visiting Canberra in 1957 to sign an economic partnership with Robert Menzies.
Abe instantly opened the gift — a rare move in Japan — and leafed through the pictures. “This will mean a lot to my mother,” he said, according to sources. 
The gift to Abbott was more practical than emotional: electric bicycle gears from Shimano, a flagship employer in Abe’s own electorate near Hiroshima. 
UPDATE
The big cheese question gets asked on 7.30:
I’m so sorry to interrupt you, but let me just come in on the cheese question...
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Newspoll: Coalition now leads

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (4:45am)

The Abbott Government pulls ahead in Newspoll even after the knights-and-dames ridicule and the Sinodinos embarrassment - and soon the royal commission into union corruption will put Labor under even more pressure:
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Things are not getting any better for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten:
Satisfaction with Mr Shorten has dropped 13 percentage points since his peak of 44 per cent in December and dissatisfaction has risen from 27 per cent to 42 per cent during the same period. His net personal satisfaction rating — the difference between satisfaction and dissatisfaction — is now minus 11. 
Mr Abbott’s voter satisfaction was unchanged on 40 per cent. Dissatisfaction fell from 50 per cent to a two-month low of 47 per cent. Mr Abbott’s net satisfaction rating is minus 7 per cent.
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G’day fellow political junkie,
The result in the WA Senate bi election was not so much a surprise but a lesson. The message is certainly to Bill Shorten’s ALP and that lesson is that the once great ALP is going the way of the Dodo fast if it continues to continue to align itself with corrupt unions and far left loonies like the Greens.
 A protest vote in a bi election can always be expected for the Government of the day, even one that has only been in power for 7 months. The loss of 6 percent is typical BUT what is not typical is that the protest votes should go to the opposition. In this case the Federal ALP had another flogging at the ballot box and the votes went to the minor parties instead. 
I guess protesting Labor voters weren’t able to vote Liberal, so they stupidly went Green and the WA conservatives who felt a protest vote was the way to go and couldn’t vote ALP, went to the Palmer United Party. The Nats weren’t even in the race!
Okay, so it appears now that after the new Upper House sits on July 1, that the Palmer United block of four will hold a commanding balance. This brings me to my biggest observation and point. Since the WA election was called, I have been listening to commentators from both the left & the right, shaking and quivering in fear that the PM now has to do deals with that loose cannon, Clive Palmer to get any mandated policy through!!! What a loud of rubbish!
If they had paid some attention to Palmers policies then they would know that he is almost on a  unity ticket with the Coalition and he most certainly campaigned to get rid of the Carbon & Mining Taxes.
 Say what you like about Palmers populist political style, yes it is a break from the politician mould that we are use to seeing, and heavy spending campaigning aside (nothing wrong with that either, if the message was heard and the people voted, that’s not undemocratic) and some of his progressive social leanings, he is basically centre right. Palmer is more of a TEA Partier, ie less taxation, less spending and smaller government but guess what, so is Tony Abbott and most conservatives I have ever known.
 I am glad that our PM is Tony Abbott, he is a great man and a great leader with much potential but I am also glad that the balance of power in the Federal Senate will be centre right……….. and I reckon the Prime Minister isn’t too worried about that either. 
I’m not scared of Clive Palmer, and I guess that’s because I’m not a crazy far lefty.
Still I am scratching my head about the size of the vote that the Greens got in WA, protest or not. I am not sure if it has anything to do with Liberal Premier, Colin Barnett because from what I know he is still very popular, I may be wrong as I am not a West Australian but in saying that, I still cannot see what my brothers & sisters in the West think that they are doing by voting for one of the most destructive Marxist movements ever? I really thought that the virus of the Greens would have died on the Nullabor Plain and the fact that it hasn’t does concern me greatly!
Godspeed
Zeg
Freelance Editorial Cartoonist/Caricaturist
0414293765
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Serious explaining 
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April 8Rama Navami (Hinduism, 2014)
Yi So-yeon
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“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” - Galatians 2:20
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning


"O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame?"
Psalm 4:2

An instructive writer has made a mournful list of the honours which the blinded people of Israel awarded to their long expected King.

1. They gave him a procession of honour, in which Roman legionaries, Jewish priests, men and women, took a part, he himself bearing his cross. This is the triumph which the world awards to him who comes to overthrow man's direst foes. Derisive shouts are his only acclamations, and cruel taunts his only paeans of praise.
2. They presented him with the wine of honour. Instead of a golden cup of generous wine they offered him the criminal's stupefying death-draught, which he refused because he would preserve an uninjured taste wherewith to taste of death; and afterwards when he cried, "I thirst," they gave him vinegar mixed with gall, thrust to his mouth upon a sponge. Oh! wretched, detestable inhospitality to the King's Son.
3. He was provided with a guard of honour, who showed their esteem of him by gambling over his garments, which they had seized as their booty. Such was the body-guard of the adored of heaven; a quaternion of brutal gamblers.
4. A throne of honour was found for him upon the bloody tree; no easier place of rest would rebel men yield to their liege Lord. The cross was, in fact, the full expression of the world's feeling towards him; "There," they seemed to say, "thou Son of God, this is the manner in which God himself should be treated, could we reach him."
5. The title of honour was nominally "King of the Jews," but that the blinded nation distinctly repudiated, and really called him "King of thieves," by preferring Barabbas, and by placing Jesus in the place of highest shame between two thieves. His glory was thus in all things turned into shame by the sons of men, but it shall yet gladden the eyes of saints and angels, world without end.

Evening

"Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness."
Psalm 51:14
In this solemn confession, it is pleasing to observe that David plainly names his sin. He does not call it manslaughter, nor speak of it as an imprudence by which an unfortunate accident occurred to a worthy man, but he calls it by its true name, bloodguiltiness. He did not actually kill the husband of Bathsheba; but still it was planned in David's heart that Uriah should be slain, and he was before the Lord his murderer. Learn in confession to be honest with God. Do not give fair names to foul sins; call them what you will, they will smell no sweeter. What God sees them to be, that do you labour to feel them to be; and with all openness of heart acknowledge their real character. Observe, that David was evidently oppressed with the heinousness of his sin. It is easy to use words, but it is difficult to feel their meaning. The fifty-first Psalm is the photograph of a contrite spirit. Let us seek after the like brokenness of heart; for however excellent our words may be, if our heart is not conscious of the hell-deservingness of sin, we cannot expect to find forgiveness.
Our text has in it an earnest prayer--it is addressed to the God of salvation. It is his prerogative to forgive; it is his very name and office to save those who seek his face. Better still, the text calls him the God of my salvation. Yes, blessed be his name, while I am yet going to him through Jesus' blood, I can rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The psalmist ends with a commendable vow: if God will deliver him he will sing--nay, more, he will "sing aloud." Who can sing in any other style of such a mercy as this! But note the subject of the song--"Thy righteousness." We must sing of the finished work of a precious Saviour; and he who knows most of forgiving love will sing the loudest.
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Caleb 

[Cā'leb] - bold, impetuous (also an animal name, meaning "dog").

1. A son of Jephunneh, usually so designated to distinguish him from other persons bearing the same name (Num. 13:6, 30).

The Man Who Desired a Mountain
Although Caleb was not an Israelite by birth, he was "an Israelite indeed." He was one of the chief spies sent out by Moses. He was courageous and persevered when the other spies became discouraged. He was invincible in driving out giants, completely devoted to God and vigorous in old age. Six times it is recorded of Caleb, "he hath fully followed the Lord."
His consecration was thorough. What magnificent adverbs are used to describe Caleb. He followed faithfully, wholly, fully. He never lowered his standards, but was perpetually wholehearted.
His courage was unfaltering. Giants did not disturb Caleb nor did those dastards who were ready to stone him.
His request was answered. To Caleb, whose life was woven of one piece throughout, reward crowned his faith and faithfulness. Through autumn winds and premonitions of snow, he brought forth fruit in his old age. When we come to the record of Caleb's personal inheritance in the land of Canaan we find him at eighty years of age asking of Joshua, "Now therefore give me this mountain." Caleb was a man of altitudes. He was not content with the average or the commonplace. He never thought in terms of fences or walled cities. It was the heights for Caleb, and although the mountain he wanted was filled with hostile Anakims, he refused defeat and claimed his inheritance. At long last a worthy recompense came to this noble man for "to patient faith the prize is sure."
2. The son of Hezron, a Judahite and father of Hur and grandfather of Caleb No. 1. There is some confusion about this Caleb (1 Chron. 2:18, 19, 42).
3. The son of Hur the son of Caleb No. 2 (1 Chron. 2:50).
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Today's reading: 1 Samuel 7-9, Luke 9:18-36 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Samuel 7-9

1 So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD. They brought it to Abinadab's house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LORD. 2The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time--twenty years in all.
Samuel Subdues the Philistines at Mizpah

Then all the people of Israel turned back to the LORD. 3 So Samuel said to all the Israelites, "If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines." 4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 9:18-36

Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah
18 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?"
19 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."
20 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
Peter answered, "God's Messiah...."
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Today's Lent reading: Luke 19-20 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector

1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a sinner...."



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