Monday, April 11, 2016

Mon Apr 11th Todays News

Malcolm Turnbull has had another bright idea which won't work because it is bad. He is proposing to build a high-speed rail line down the east coast of Australia. He claims he can do this for almost no cost by using a nineteenth-century bootstrapping technique of letting neighborhoods that benefit from the system pay for it through increased land values. Only, that is not what happened in the nineteenth-century. In the nineteenth-century railway barons attempted to monopolize rail hubs and built separate competing networks. Then many of those networks went broke leaving decaying infrastructure. The more efficient modern networks only came about after substantial waste. Much like the method Turnbull proposes. But the question needs to be asked, do we need a second network to transport people from Sydney to Melbourne in 90 minutes when planes already do that? What Turnbull proposes will actually cost somewhere between $65 billion and $120 billion. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
A parliamentary Senate Committee looks at business in Australia paying a low rate of tax. The businesses are international and what they have done complies fully with Australian law. However ALP and Greens express a view that regardless, the businesses should pay more. If Parliament wants business to pay more, they should restructure so that business can comply with the conditions. However, Australia already taxes highly, and so business restructuring would take funds off shore. If Australia wants the business revenue of Ireland, she needs to structure like Ireland. Or be more attractive. It is hypocritical and obscene to criticise good citizens for not doing enough.

About a hundred years before Thomas Becket was killed by order of an English King, on this day in 1079, Bishop Stanislaus was killed by King Boleslaw II of Poland. According to legend, when his men refused to comply with the order, Boleslaw slew Stanislaus while the Bishop was praying. Stanislaus was reputed to have powers Becket lacked. Once, when trying to prove he had title to good land that was disputed, Stanislaus prayed for a man dead three years to be resurrected for a time to prove his claim. And it was said to have worked. On the event of his death and dismemberment, Stanislaus is said to have re-integrated for a time in a pool guarded by four eagles. Such stories bring historical research into disrepute. But Boleslaw lost his throne soon after as the people despised him for killing the Bishop. 

In 1512, French forces won the Battle of Ravenna during the confusing war of the League of Cambrai. The Cambria campaign began as Europe taking on Venice. But at this time, it was France versus everyone else, except the duchy of Ferrara. In this particular battle, it was France and Ferrara vs Spain and the Papal states. Gaston de Foix was a capable French General who died during the win, and so, although France won, they were evicted from Italy within a year. In 1544, France took on Spain again at the Battle of Ceresole, south east of Turin in modern Italy. Guns played a big role in killing many on both sides. France won again, but the victory changed little strategically. 

In 1689, King William III and Mary II were crowned joint King and Queen of Britain. In 1727,  premiere of Johann Sebastian Bach's St Matthew Passion BWV 244b at the St. Thomas Church, Leipzig. In 1876, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was formed in NYC. At the start it was to be a private club allowing the members to circumvent the city's closing laws for bars. But when a member died leaving a wife and children without means, it became a friendly society which now has a million members.  
From 2014
We live in a secular society and that means the way we recognise and address evil is different to what we would do if we were not secular but religiously defined. We are secular, but individuals may not be. But our administrators still act for everyone, not tribal sects. It is ok to pray in Parliament, it is also ok to think before one acts. But not everyone does. On this day in 1554, Thomas Wyatt was beheaded before being quartered and his body parts distributed and staked as an example of what happens to those who commit treason. He was Catholic but disliked Spain, and Queen Mary was marrying a Spanish man. Thomas did not feel the alliance was in the public interest, and with four thousand men marched around England saying so, before he was captured and executed. 

Consider how hard it is to know, in secular terms, if Oscar Pistorious had acted right in killing his girlfriend by shooting through a closed door bullets that were hollow points. His alarm hadn't gone off. He was sharing a house with his girlfriend. He claims he heard a noise in the bath room and so shot his girlfriend. He isn't noted for his humbleness or thoughtfulness. He is an elite athlete used to earning a lot of money for doing tricks. So shaky was the prosecution's case, he was granted bail while organising his defence. Maybe he does scream like a girl. Maybe he is sorry for what he has done. Anyone that fires hollow points at an unseen person (or cat) does not deserve freedom imho. 

In 1981, there were riots in Brixton UK and salient points can be drawn to other incidents, like the Cronulla Riot, or Redfern riot in Australia years later. The major excuse given was that a fire in Lambeth which tragically took the lives of African ethnic youths had allegedly not been investigated appropriately by police. But, it was the early days of the long term Thatcher administration and a radicalised mainstream media had incited unrest and inflamed disaffection. There was no reason for the widespread rioting, merely high unemployment related to the previous Labour government policy. It doesn't matter if a government is overtly religious on Christian lines, or secular with Christian values, people can be incited to riot and do absurd actions, and it is hard for the public to know right from wrong. 

It doesn't require government to tell people what is right or wrong. Adults should act responsibly. It is the role of administration to act when people don't act responsibly. Maybe Wyatt was treated harshly, but it was certainly just. So far, the same cannot be said of Oscar Pistorious. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 491, Flavius Anastasius became Byzantine Emperor, with the name of Anastasius I. 1079, Bishop Stanislaus of Kraków was executed by order of Bolesław II of Poland. 1241, Batu Khan defeated Béla IV of Hungary at the Battle of Muhi. 1512, War of the League of CambraiFrench forces led by Gaston de Foix won the Battle of Ravenna. 1544, French forces defeated a Spanish army at the Battle of Ceresole. 1689, William III and Mary II were crowned as joint sovereigns of Britain. 1713, War of the Spanish Succession (Queen Anne's War): Treaty of Utrecht. 1727, premiere of Johann Sebastian Bach's St Matthew Passion BWV 244b at the St. Thomas Church, Leipzig

In 1809, Battle of the Basque Roads Naval battle fought between France and the United Kingdom 1814, the Treaty of Fontainebleau ended the War of the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon Bonaparte, and forced him to abdicate unconditionally for the first time. 1856, Battle of RivasJuan Santamaria burned down the hostel where William Walker's filibusters were holed up. 1868, former Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu surrendered Edo Castleto Imperial forces, marking the end of the Tokugawa shogunate. 1876, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organised. 1881, Spelman College was founded in Atlanta, Georgia as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, an institute of higher education for African-American women. 1888, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam was inaugurated.

In 1908, SMS Blücher, the last armored cruiser to be built by the German Imperial Navy, launched. 1909, the city of Tel Aviv was founded. 1913, the Nevill Ground's pavilion was destroyed in a suffragette arson attack becoming the only cricket ground to be attacked by suffragettes. 1919, the International Labour Organization was founded. 1921, Emir Abdullahestablished the first centralised government in the newly created British protectorate of Transjordan. 1945, World War II: American forces liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp. 1951, Korean War: President Harry Truman relieveGeneral of the Army Douglas MacArthur of overall command in Korea. Also 1951, the Stone of Scone, the stone upon which Scottish monarchs were traditionally crowned, was found on the site of the altar of Arbroath Abbey. It had been taken by Scottish nationalist students from its place in Westminster Abbey. 1952, the Battle of Nanri Island took place. 1955, the Air India Kashmir Princess was bombed and crashed in a failed assassination attempt on Zhou Enlai by the Kuomintang. 1957, United Kingdom agreed to Singaporean self-rule.

In 1961, the trial of Adolf Eichmann began in Jerusalem. 1963, Pope John XXIII issued Pacem in terris, the first encyclical addressed to all instead of to Catholics alone. 1965, the Palm Sunday tornado outbreak of 1965: Fifty-one tornadoes hit in six Midwestern states, killing 256 people. 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing. 1970, Apollo 13 was launched. 1972, first edition of the BBC comedy panel game I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue is broadcast, one of the longest running British radio shows in history. 1976, the Apple I was created. 1977, London Transport's Silver Jubilee buses were launched. 1979, Ugandandictator Idi Amin was deposed. 1981, a massive riot in BrixtonSouth London, resulted in almost 300 police injuries and 65 serious civilian injuries. 1987, the London Agreement was secretly signed between Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Shimon Peres and King Hussein of Jordan. 1989, Ron Hextall became the first goaltender in NHL history to score a goal in the playoffs.

In 1990, customs officers in Middlesbrough, England, United Kingdom, said they had seized what they believed to be the barrel of a massive gun on a ship bound for Iraq. 1993, four hundred fifty prisoners rioted at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in LucasvilleOhio, and continued to do so for ten days, citing grievances related to prison conditions, as well as the forced vaccination of Nation of Islam prisoners (for tuberculosis) against their religious beliefs. 2001, the detained crew of a United States EP-3E aircraft that landed in HainanChina after a collision with a J-8 fighter, was released. 2002, the Ghriba synagogue bombingby Al Qaeda killed 21 in Tunisia. Also 2002, over two hundred thousand people marched in Caracas towards the Presidential Palace of Miraflores, to demand the resignation of president Hugo Chávez. 19 of the protesters were killed, and the Minister of Defense Gral. Lucas Rincon announced Hugo Chávez resignation on national TV. 2006, Iranian PresidentMahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had successfully enriched uranium. 2007, 2007 Algiers bombings: Two bombings in the Algerian capital of Algiers killed 33 people and wounded a further 222 others. 2011, an explosion in the Minsk MetroBelarus killed 15 people and injured 204 others. 2012, an 8.2 magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia, off northern Sumatra at a depth of 16.4 km. A tsunami hit the island of Nias at Indonesia.
=== 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 to Mick Wykrota and to those born on this day, along with
Death
April 11Holy Saturday (Eastern Christianity, 2015); Easter Saturday (Western Christianity, 2015)
The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
You have battled hard. The house is a sellout. The Emir found a seat. We are liberated. He speaks to all. Let's party. 
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BETTER LATE THAN TREVOR

Tim Blair – Monday, April 11, 2016 (7:55pm)

“Twenty years ago … I published the report titled Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All, we thought that the real risk of the arrival of new communities was discrimination against Muslims,” writes Trevor Phillips, former head of Britain’s Equalities and Human Rights Commission. “Our 1996 survey of recent incidents showed that there was plenty of it around. But we got almost everything else wrong.”
And how. On examining the evidence, Phillips now has a very different view
Liberal opinion in Britain has, for more than two decades, maintained that most Muslims are just like everyone else… Britain desperately wants to think of its Muslims as versions of the Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, or the cheeky-chappie athlete Mo Farah. But thanks to the most detailed and comprehensive survey of British Muslim opinion yet conducted, we now know that just isn’t how it is. 
Read on.
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MALCOLM AND HIS MATES

Tim Blair – Monday, April 11, 2016 (7:23pm)

The ABC launches an election-themed podcast – and look who’s on board for all the tax-eating fun:

image

In other ABC developments, Radio National presenters are unhappy
Seventeen RN presenters, including Breakfast host Fran Kelly, Norman Swan and Robyn Williams, have signed a letter to the ABC board expressing their “profound concern” about the restructure and its effect on resources for presenting radio. The letter read: “We find it difficult to believe that an expensive new structure will do anything but leach more money away from content-making and the very audiences we seek to serve.” 
Of course, the ABC itself is an expensive structure that leaches money away. But they’re fine with that.
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STRAIGHT TO BUSINESS

Tim Blair – Monday, April 11, 2016 (3:06pm)

Camden Councillor Penny Fischer responds to recent news stories
When the Acknowledgment of Country was proposed at Camden Council three and a half years ago, I supported the Motion to have it recited at the beginning of Council meetings.
Soon after, I requested that Camden Council staff skip me on the roster. I also expressed to them then – and a number of times since – that I would prefer any money that the Council spends relating to indigenous issues should go towards local aboriginal scholarships instead.
It is also my view that Camden Council gets straight on with the business of Council at a Council meeting.
Occasionally, usually at more formal public functions, a local Aboriginal person will perform a Welcome to Country. I believe that having an Aboriginal person in that role is far more meaningful than having someone like me do an acknowledgment as part of a roster system.
In three and a half years, I have never sought to make an issue of whether or not I recite an Acknowledgement of Country at the beginning of a Council meeting. I do not see why it is an issue now and it is regrettable that some people now choose to make it so.
Australia has very strong traditions relating to Freedom of Speech. We cannot and must not force people to say something they do not want to.  Those who want to say it, do.
Australia’s Indigenous population suffers from a huge variety of very serious issues, including life expectancy, health, education and access to jobs. If the question of who recites an Acknowledgment of Country at Camden Council gets people to think and act on those issues, then I am glad of it. 
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GREAT EXPECTORATIONS

Tim Blair – Monday, April 11, 2016 (2:27pm)

The official threat level from Brendan Maclean has been downgraded from punching to mere  spitting
So no @dailytelegraph and Tim Blair - I would never punch someone in the back of the head - but I’d happily spit in your face. 
Brendan seems unfamiliar with section 61 of the NSW Crimes Act.
UPDATE. Apparently this post is homophobic.
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SUPER DELCON POWER

Tim Blair – Monday, April 11, 2016 (3:55am)

There has never been a more exciting time to be a member of Australia’s fastest-growing and most influential new political movement.
The Delcons – I’ll explain the name a little later – burst on the scene last September, following certain unseemly events in the nation’s capital.
At first, our public image seemed small. We Delcons, opposed to Malcolm Turnbull’s poll-driven lunge for national leadership, appeared limited to a few conservative commentators and Tony Abbott-backing parliamentarians.
But behind that modest facade was a substantial number of voters, who recognised that a Turnbull-led Liberal Party would threaten conservative values within the Liberal Party, and who felt an election win by Turnbull would drag the party substantially to the left.
Many of these voters are dedicated types who donate money to the Liberals and assist in campaigning during elections. Following Turnbull’s power grab, many declared that they would not be donating or assisting in 2016.
Indeed, many declared they would not vote Liberal.
In December, law professor James Allan penned what amounts to the Delcon manifesto. “I’m moving from my initial position of spoiling my ballot and voting informally at the next election to voting for Labor,” he wrote.
“A tough call, I know. But what we small-government, pro-free speech, tough on national security Hobbesian types have to calculate is long-term versus short-term damage to this country.
“Both choices are bad. But give Turnbull a mandate of his own and God knows what he might do. You’d be voting for the most left-wing leader of the Coalition possibly ever.”
Not many people paid attention to Allan’s words at the time. After all, Turnbull was still riding high in the polls. What difference could a few grouchy conservatives make? 
As Liberal adviser Mark Textor said in the days after Turnbull’s party room coup: “The sum of a more centrist approach outweighs any alleged marginal loss of so-called base voters.”
By January, even some senior Labor figures were privately conceding that the Coalition under Turnbull was unbeatable. But then, very gradually, the government’s poll numbers began to slide. Finally, on April 5, Newspoll found that the Coalition had fallen behind Labor 49 to 51.
That’s when Turnbull fans began casting around for someone to blame. 
(Continue reading Super Delcon Power.)
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EVERYONE REPEATEDLY SLAPPED

Tim Blair – Monday, April 11, 2016 (3:37am)

Guardian media writer Amanda Meade – a lovely person who is not even slightly bitter over her departure from News Corp – reviews a recent post
The Daily Telegraph columnist Tim Blair has mocked domestic violence leave and suggested ABC staff are seeking to secure it as part of their workplace agreement because the corporation is a “bloodhouse” and employees beat each other up at night …
Blair also posted a video featuring a comedy sketch in which a young man repeatedly slaps everyone at a barbecue including small children. 
Obviously, everybody involved in that sketch – including the cat – must be blacklisted forever.
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PARTY OF MIDGETS

Tim Blair – Monday, April 11, 2016 (3:22am)

Former deputy Liberal leader Neil Brown on Delcon shunning: 
Abbott’s supporters, guilty of the unacceptable sin of loyalty, are now condemned and abused as malcontents, subversives and troglodytes …
Then we have seen the unedifying spectacle of the Liberal Party itself promoting the line that Abbott should not stand again for election, campaign in the election, speak at conferences or even write articles. You would think that any political party with a former leader who had brought it back from disintegration and got it into government would show gratitude, welcome his experience and invite him to contribute to the debate.
Instead, we see a party, now with no sense of tradition or respect, full of midgets who sold their souls for the exalted post of assistant minister or parliamentary secretary, and wailing like a Greek chorus, trying to destroy him. 
(Via Andrew Bolt, currently observing comedic conformity.)
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ASKING THE BIG QUESTIONS

Tim Blair – Monday, April 11, 2016 (3:13am)

Billion-dollar journalistic value from the ABC:

image

(Via Chris Kenny.) 
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GOOD MEN IN A CRISIS

Tim Blair – Monday, April 11, 2016 (2:27am)

Cronulla rugby league players react with terrific speed when a teammate’s three-year-old-son is trapped beneath a buggy.
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ARGUMENT CLARIFIED

Tim Blair – Monday, April 11, 2016 (2:08am)

Further to last week’s news about a prisoner attacked by a fellow inmate following a mysterious “argument over religious beliefs”: 
An ISIS supporter attacked a former Australian Digger locked in the same jail cell, carving “e4e” into his head to signify the terror group’s “eye for an eye” punishment regime.

image
Bourhan Hraichie, 18, charged with causing grievous bodily harm.

The former soldier, who served in East Timor, is fighting for his life following the attack inside Kempsey prison on the state’s Mid North Coast.
Senior prison sources said the 18-year-old attacker was a known supporter of the terrorist group and had been previously caught sending graphic images of beheadings via internal mail to other ISIS extremists housed in Goulburn’s Supermax. 
Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin has since denied there is a systemic problem of Islamic radicalisation in the state’s prisons: 
What we are dealing with is not a systemic issue. Yes, we have a range of inmates who are clearly at risk of being radicalised but we also have robust strategies. What is new is the fact that we have a range of people that are quite young that are showing tendencies of radicalisation.” 
Such as, for example, carving slogans into heads. In other prison news
Australia’s first convicted terrorist has been marrying fellow inmates in NSW’s most secure jail, in Islamic ceremonies approved by the Department of Corrective Services.
Alleged former contract killer Rodney “Goldie’’ Atkinson has revealed jailed jihadist Faheem Lodhi married him to his wife Amanda in a jailhouse ceremony inside Goulburn’s SuperMax prison in 2012.
Despite a NSW supreme Court judge recommending Lodhi be placed on a strict “AA’’ classification that would have seen him isolated from other inmates, the man found guilty of three charges of terrorism in 2006 was able to conduct a marriage ceremony in the company of up to eight other prisoners.
Atkinson, a devout Muslim, said he asked Lodhi to conduct the ceremony because the terrorist was deeply religious and an expert on scripture. 
As you’d expect.
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Turnbull’s new idea: a cheap high-speed rail link

Andrew Bolt April 11 2016 (12:17pm)

Malcolm Turnbull is now thinking about promising a high-speed rail line that will cost taxpayers next to nothing:
Malcolm Turnbull is preparing to take to the election a radical new funding approach for nation- building projects, including a plan to develop high-speed rail links on Australia’s east coast that will boost regional centres and ease congestion in capital cities…
The rail line to Badgerys Creek in western Sydney is the government’s first priority, but The Australian has learnt the Coalition wants this followed with links to regional centres such as Goulburn, as well as another link from Melbourne to Shepparton… These would be the first links of a longer-term very fast train network that would eventually run all the way from Melbourne to Brisbane.
To fund the multi-billion-­dollar rail projects, including high-speed rail links and potentially the Melbourne Metro, the government will promote the use of “value capture” financing, which leverages the increase in land value resulting from new transport infrastructure to contribute to its cost.
In the lead-up to the May 3 budget, government officials are undertaking intensive policy work on the viability of using the financing model to pay for the high-speed rail network between Melbourne and Brisbane, a project that has been under consideration for more than 30 years and is estimated to cost between $60 billion and $114bn.
Government sources told The Australian the Coalition wanted the very fast train network to be built in stages by a private consortium that would be given access to a share of the potential uplift in land value resulting from the new infrastructure.
This would minimise the amount of taxpayer dollars needed…
UPDATE
Reader P. Darvio:
So will it be a VFTTTN (Very Fast Train To The Node)?
OR a VFTTTPP (Very Fast Train To The Platform Premises)
OR a VFTUTCL (Very Fast Train Utilising The Copper Line)?
UPDATE
I like the principle of this “capture value” stuff, but the salesmanship is terrible, and not only because it’s yet another plan that seems casually floated:
Mr Turnbull, discussing the scope to finance the railway, said he drew inspiration from the grand rail projects of the 19th century…

That’s how railways were financed in the 19th century actually – it’s not actually a radical new plan at all. It is a sensible old plan that’s been forgotten.”
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No, the Bible and the Koran really are different

Andrew Bolt April 11 2016 (11:51am)

An attempt at cultural relativity in The Australian - one that betrays an ignorance of the faith that informed the values of this society:
[A] teenage prisoner allegedly carved an Islamic State tribute into the forehead of a former Australian soldier… The 18-year-old is alleged to have got hold of a sharp weapon inside Kempsey prison, which he used to slice “e4e” into his alleged victim’s head during an attack in the jail’s maximum security section last week.
The phrase is thought to refer to “an eye for an eye”, which appears in both Christian and Islamic texts, but has been used by the terrorist group Islamic State to justify its activities.
In fact, the Christian New Testament disavows the phrase. From Matthew 5 quoting Jesus himself:
You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.  And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.
In contrast, the Koran:

And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution. But whoever gives [up his right as] charity, it is an expiation for him. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the wrongdoers.
Yes, the phrase does occur in the Old Testament (superseded for Christians by the New) but Rabbi Shmuel Goldin says it has long been interpreted by Jews not to mean what it seems:
Commenting on one of the most well-known legal passages in the Torah, the rabbis overrule the seemingly clear intent of the text. The Torah states, in its discussion of the laws of personal injury: “…And you shall award a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.”
The rabbis in the Talmud, however, maintain that the Torah never intended to mandate physical punishment in personal injury cases. Instead, they say, the text actually authorizes financial restitution. The oft-quoted phrase “an eye for an eye,” for example, means that the perpetrator must pay the monetary value commensurate with the victim’s injury.
This is why “eye for an eye” justice is not condoned in the justice systems of any Christian or Jewish nation, but is in the Muslim theocracy of Iran:

In a literal application of the sharia law of an eye for an eye, an Iranian man convicted of blinding another man in an acid attack has been blinded in one eye, marking the first time Iran has carried out such a punishment.
The convicted acid attacker, who has not been identified, was rendered unconscious in Rajai-Shahr prison in the city of Karaj on Tuesday as medics gouged out his left eye, according to the state-owned Hamshahri newspaper…
Islam’s Sharia law allows for qisas (retribution) but it also advises clemency. Under Iranian law, victims or their families have the final say in such cases and can halt the punishment at any time.
(Thanks to reader Martin.) 
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Beating Shorten should not be this hard

Andrew Bolt April 11 2016 (10:59am)

THE Liberals should hit the panic button after the first two weeks of this de facto 103-day election campaign.
If Malcolm Turnbull keeps on like this, it’s over.
The Prime Minister started by floating and just two days later dropping his plan to let states raise their own income tax, leading to suspicions he was clueless and had no ticker. Then he said he’d like to leave it to states to fund government schools, letting Labor make the (false) claim he’d cut their funding.
Last week, he gave a speech at the 199th birthday of Westpac attacking banks for having “taken advantage of fellow Australians and the savings they’ve spent a lifetime accumulating”.
This populism was gold for Labor leader Bill Shorten, who promptly announced he’d set up a royal commission into banks to fix exactly what the PM had described.
(Read full article here.)
UPDATE
Discipline is collapsing. First Turnbull licences an attack on the banks, only to resist the royal commission that Shorten then demands.
Worse, he now has at least five Government MPs publicly indicating support for the Labor policy he opposes:
Nationals MP George Christensen backed the probe, while MPs Luke Hartsuyker and Ken O’Dowd indicated they could be prepared to support it too…
Mr Hartsuyker, a former minister for vocational education in the Abbott government, said of the inquiry: “I think it is definitely something that should be considered"…
Coalition MPs Warren Entsch and John Williams – who has led the charge on the issue – have already called for a royal commission into the banks.
UPDATE
The split widens - and not that this has nothing at all to do with Abbott or his supporters:

Veteran Liberal MP Warren Entsch has lashed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and senior frontbenchers for making a “captain’s call” to oppose a royal commission into the banking sector.
Mr Entsch, one of five government MPs who supports a royal commission into the banking and finance sector, told Fairfax Media on Monday that he was “worried about senior colleagues ruling this out when we have an inquiry under way”.
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Clive Palmer’s $50 million tax deal under investigation

Andrew Bolt April 11 2016 (10:54am)

This, from Hedley Thomas, is interesting:

Clive Palmer is facing an investigation by the Australian Taxation Office over an “unusual” company transformation that could have boosted his wealth with a $50 million capital gains tax benefit.
The Australian, which has been investigating the transformation that was signed off by Mr Palmer, can reveal the ATO has also been carefully probing the tycoon’s company transactions. The transactions occurred a decade ago when Mr Palmer was making his fortune in a massive iron ore deal with China, paying him and his company a total of $US415 million…
At the heart of the tax matter is an official 10-page document, bearing Mr Palmer’s distinctive signature swirl and lodged with ASIC. The March 23, 2007, document, known as a “change to company details”, alerts ASIC for the first time that a company ­controlled by Mr Palmer, Korean Steel Pty Ltd, had its ownership fundamentally restructured in a demerger 16 months earlier, in November 2005.
The purported restructuring — claimed to have occurred on ­November 15, 2005 — transferred the ownership of his company, ­Korean Steel, from its ultimate holding company, Mineralogy Pty Ltd, to Mr Palmer and other ­individuals.
The major change to the ownership structure of Korean Steel, with a new issue of 9998 ordinary shares, would have important ramifications as Mr Palmer’s company was then a valuable part of a pending iron ore deal with China’s Citic Group.
Citic Group’s takeover agreement, dated November 1, 2007, saw Citic pay $US200m to Mr Palmer for all of the shares in ­Korean Steel. However, the ­demerger and transfer of Korean Steel’s shares to Mr Palmer and other individuals, which purportedly occurred on November 15, 2005, meant a capital gain of $US200m was effectively halved, with a corresponding cut to the tax payable on the huge windfall. 
Hmm.  
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Scenes from tribal Australia

Andrew Bolt April 11 2016 (10:15am)

More trouble in multicultural Australia, now recklessly being tribalised:
A WOMAN was injured and two people arrested following a major brawl at Mt Druitt train station last night.
About 100 people were involved in the fight shortly before 7.30pm, which is understood to have been prearranged…
Mt Druitt crime manager Detective Inspector Dave Goddard told reporters on Friday the group appeared to have involved many from the Islander community…
“It’s unacceptable, the group mentality is not on...”
But isn’t the group mentality exactly what we’ve encouraged with multiculturalism and identity politics?
(Thanks to reader westie.) 
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Join the Delcon conspiracy

Andrew Bolt April 11 2016 (9:07am)

Tim Blair is a proud Delcon. It’s a matter of principle.
Mind you, the truly delusional conservatives are those who think Turnbull is conservative, too, and that making him Prime Minister was a great idea.
Even more delusionally, they praise his worst mistakes as the masterstrokes of a fox
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Column - The baaing of our artists

Andrew Bolt April 11 2016 (9:03am)

Culture wars

HOW boring to chat politics with a gaggle of Australian writers or comedians. Baa baa, they’d say.
Baa baa, they’d joke. Baa baa, they’d argue.
This astonishing same-same of our artist class is clear from their three latest gatherings, all backed by taxpayers.
Take the comedians first.
The Herald Sun last week reported: “Politicians have been given a comedy caning at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival with Cory Bernardi, Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott the hot targets.”
What a coincidence. All three are Liberal MPs, and two conservatives. I haven’t been so surprised since the sun rose in the east.
In fact, the report added: “British comedian Nish Kumar said he thought it was mandatory for everyone to have at least one Tony Abbott joke.”
Same story at the next Adelaide Cabaret Festival, promoted last week by one of its artistic directors, actor Eddie Perfect. Again, Bernardi copped it.
“Jesus, that guy is a destructive force,” Perfect vented.
“I guess I’ve just got to make a promise not to stab anyone.”
Baa baa, agreed co-director Ali McGregor: “I’m totally with Eddie on that one. I’m feeling really kind of furious at Cory Bernardi at the moment. If we get a chance as artistic directors in this position to do something about it, we should bloody well take it.”
Amazing. Another government-funded festival hijacked by Leftists. Your taxes, their politics, just like the ABC.
And like the next Sydney Writers Festival, too.
(Read full column here.)
UPDATE
And as if to confirm every line of my article, Jim Schembri reports on the Comedy Festival’s “Great Debate” at the Melbourne Town Hall:

The menu of soft targets — Bolt, Trump, politician Cory Bernardi — got big, easy laughs, which was fun, but a little too safe, a trait that reflects an in-built reluctance among local comedians to broaden the range of their kill zones.
It’s an affliction that accounts for why too few public figures get too much attention, while too many potentially juicy satirical targets — Carrie Bickmore, Waleed Aly, Penny Wong, Clementine Ford, Peter Garrett, etc — remain largely untouched by Australian comedians.
Baa baa.
UPDATE
The Left can be laughed at, you know, just not in Australia:
UPDATE
No reason. Just because I love it and hadn’t heard it before someone played it on the radio last year:
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If Shorten’s of the Right, where’s Fairfax?

Andrew Bolt April 11 2016 (8:50am)

Fairfax writer Tom Allard describes the Labor leader:
Bill Shorten, the ruthless right-wing political operator.
The Australian’s Cut & Paste is rightly curious:
What do they call Liberal leaders?   
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Why Abbott must not shut up

Andrew Bolt April 11 2016 (8:45am)

Neil Brown, former deputy Liberal leader, is now one of our finest columnists. His latest in the Spectator Australia is particularly good and important:

A new authoritarianism has descended… It is unacceptable that you might have a different opinion from the establishment on climate change, same-sex marriage, adoption by same sex couples, illegal refugees, abortion, the republic, the family, the sexual agenda in schools, foreign aid, religious freedom, government spending, freedom of speech, Israel, Islam and any proposal for changing the constitution. As views other than the official ones are unacceptable, what is also unacceptable is that you should be allowed to express them…
The new authoritarianism has found a very fertile field in the denigration of Tony Abbott which has now reached an hysterical crescendo. He represents a separate strain of opinion from the mush that passes for policy in the Liberal party today and consequently must be stopped and silenced, not by logic, but by ridicule and abuse…

Abbott’s supporters, guilty of the unacceptable sin of loyalty, are now condemned and abused as malcontents, subversives and troglodytes…
Then we have seen the unedifying spectacle of the Liberal Party itself promoting the line that Abbott should not stand again for election, campaign in the election, speak at conferences or even write articles. You would think that any political party with a former leader who had brought it back from disintegration and got it into government would show gratitude, welcome his experience and invite him to contribute to the debate.
Instead, we see a party, now with no sense of tradition or respect, full of midgets who sold their souls for the exalted post of assistant minister or parliamentary secretary, and wailing like a Greek chorus, trying to destroy him.
No-one seems prepared to say it, but such an attitude is mean, ungenerous and, above all, foolish, for it cuts the party off from the conservative point of view that Abbott represents and many people want to see promoted. Worse still, it shows how the new authoritarianism is eating away at the free exchange of ideas that used to be one of the Liberal party’s – and the country’s – great strengths.
UPDATE
John O’Sullivan, editor of Quadrant, is astonished by the demands of journalists that Abbott shut up:
For the second issue in a row Tony Abbott is one of our principal contributors… And there must have been something newsworthy in his first article because it was republished elsewhere and widely discussed in commentaries.
But not everyone was pleased to read what he wrote or even to see other people reading it…
What was interesting was the tone and implications of, in particular, Abbott’s media critics. They seemed at times to deplore that a former prime minister should sink so low as to write for the media (though they generally gave Quadrant a free pass). They also regretted that he was aggressively violating the unwritten rules of party loyalty by defending his own record against the presumed interests of his successor. These responses throw a glaring new light on media attitudes: who knew we were even more enthusiastic for party loyalty than members of Abbott’s own party?
One explanation is that many of the journalists were not so much defending party loyalty as displaying it because they belong informally to the large amorphous sprawling soft-Left progressive party that permeates almost all official parties. They were therefore anxious to protect its conquest of the Liberal Party by their paladin, Malcolm Turnbull.
UPDATE
Rowan Dean responds to Malcolm Turnbull’s ludicrously ungenerous speech on Sunday when he tried to write Tony Abbott out of his history:


Speaking at a Liberal Party function in Victoria on the weekend, Mr Turnbull quoted a famous line by Sir Isaac Newton to claim that he, as Prime Minister, was “standing on the shoulders of giants"… Worse, nowhere in this monstrous display of ego can Turnbull bother to mention the one man whose shoulders he really is standing on: Tony Abbott…
Without Tony Abbott doing the hard slog of winning a landslide in the 2013 election, without Abbott and Scott Morrison stopping the boats and securing our borders, without Abbott and Andrew Robb successfully negotiating three critical free trade deals, without Abbott’s Australian Building and Construction Commission legislation and union corruption royal commission, there would be no Turnbull prime ministership and little for Turnbull to campaign on at the forthcoming election…
Turnbull’s abject failure to recognise or even acknowledge the debt that he owes Tony Abbott demeans him as a leader and as a person.
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill:
Chris Kenny notes a gaping hole in Turnbull’s address to the Victorian State Council:

Border protection should be at the core of every Turnbull speech - second most important election issue constantly ignored
But should the omission surprise? It would mean Turnbull would have to talk about an Abbott success - and a policy Turnbull wasn’t prepared to back as Opposition Leader:

For all his insistence that Rudd’s abolition of temporary protection visas and the Pacific solution was responsible for the recent influx of boats, Turnbull shied away from demanding the immediate reintroduction of either policy. He called instead for an inquiry.
An inquiry. Seems Turnbull’s decision-averse dithering is nothing new. The only reason we have a border protection policy that works is because Turnbull inherited Abbott’s.
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Revolt: why does the Press Council contain an enemy of free speech?

Andrew Bolt April 11 2016 (8:17am)

One of the most dangerous developments in the fight for free speech is that so many journalism academics are on the side of censorship. Worse, the journalist’s union has now appointed to the Press Council - a media watchdog - an academic who wants a government regulator of all the print media, with powers to recommend jail even for bloggers who are not balanced - at least according to a commissar inevitably of the Left.
But this is what principle looks like:
The editor of the Geelong Advertiser, Liam Houlihan, has resigned from the journalists union in ­protest against the appointment of academic Matthew Ricketson as its representative on the Australian Press Council.
Gold Walkley Award- winning journalist with The Australian Hedley Thomas has also indic­ated he will resign from the Media ­Entertainment & Arts Alliance should chief executive Paul ­Murphy stand firm behind Ricketson’s appointment.,,,
The Australian understands that some national media section officials are trying to oust ­Ricketson amid growing dismay at the union for its refusal to ­reconsider the appointment of one of the main architects behind the discredited Finkelstein report.
Ricketson has been summoned to appear before a national media section committee meeting at the union next month to answer questions about recom­m­endations made by the Finkelstein report…
In an email obtained by The Australian dated March 15, ­Houlihan wrote: “I’ve been a member of the union for years and may be the only News Corp editor that remains so. I was on the road for most of my career and reckon unions — with some notorious ­exceptions — are very necessary and do a great job. I’m writing as a member to express my unhappiness with the appointment/hiring of Matthew Ricketson. This man makes no bones about the fact he is an enemy of the free press.
“We have enough righteous fights on our hand to keep journ­alism alive and speaking truth to power without making naive ­choices and feathering the nests of our enemies...”
Thomas expressed frustration at the union’s inability to clarify its position in relation to Ricketson.
“It is not possible for me to support the MEAA’s appointment to the Press Council of an academic who helped shape the Finkelstein ­inquiry’s draconian and unprecedented model for statutory regulation of press journalists,” Thomas said…

Members of the committee will ask Ricketson to explain whether he still supports a proposal to create a Stalinesque super regulator with extraordinary powers to ­enforce decisions through court orders that would result in jour­nalists receiving huge fines and prison sentences. 
===

Fight for fees

Andrew Bolt April 11 2016 (12:00am)

Hedley Thomas on lawyers being lawyers:

It is the firm that insists “We Fight for Fair” but for many cash-strapped survivors of Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires disaster, law firm Maurice Blackburn looks like the firm that fights for fees, and prolongs the misery of victims by hanging on to their settlement cash for too long…
The families who lost loved ones, homes, businesses and jobs in the fires, which killed 173 people, are the reason the firm banked $80 million in fees soon after the colossal settlements in 2014 and last year of two class actions.
Maurice Blackburn has been widely commended for the financial risks it took to run the class actions to trial, resulting in payouts of $494m and $300m from the defendants — an electricity provider, the state of Victoria and others — but it is time for the firm’s partners to start showing their clients the money…
It should concern Victorians that while all of Maurice Blackburn’s costs have been recouped, and then some, by the $80m it received for starters, victims are being told they can expect something next year.
===

ANGELA IN ASHES

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 11, 2015 (4:03am)

2014 prediction from Fairfax’s Peter FitzSimons: 
Angela Catterns will surge in the morning slot on 2UE … the former ABC broadcaster has been a revelation this year. I, for one, had forgotten how informative, balanced and entertaining she is. There has long been criticism that commercial talkback lacks strong female voices, but she is all that and more and will break the mould. 2UE will rise this year, with her at the prow. You heard it here, first! 
Catterns failed in the morning slot and was subsequently shifted to afternoons. Yesterday Fairfax-owned 2UE fired her.
UPDATE. FitzSimons’s latest analysis: Catterns was “likely too good for talkback.”
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COVER YOURSELVES, RATE-PAYING INFIDELS

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 11, 2015 (1:25am)

Hijab Day is brought to you by Victoria’s Dandenong Council
The Council called on women to wear the Islamic headdress for three hours today as part of a “social experiment” for National Youth Week.
Co-organiser Fatima, 16, said about 15 women trialled hijabs and the feedback was “overwhelmingly positive”.
Centre for Multicultural Youth regional services co-ordinator Heather Stewart, who wore a hijab back to her workplace, said she found the experience enlightening and was surprised by the backlash.
“I think it’s really sad that there seems to be such a lot of fear about Islam,” she said …
Greater Dandenong Council has previously had public pool sessions for Muslim women, and it once asked a tribunal to approve a ban on uncovered shoulders and thighs for those attending a family event at a pool. 
Via Rita Panahi, who observed during last night’s Viewpoint: “What are we going to do next? Encourage women not to drive for three hours?”
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The Bolt Report tomorrow, April 12

Andrew Bolt April 11 2015 (10:36am)

On the  The Bolt Report on Channel 10 tomorrow at 10am and 3pm.
Editorial: How did the Abbott Government start a debate about paying more tax, not less?
Guest:  Immigration Minister Peter Dutton answers the question he’s never asked about sexual abuse of children in detention.
The panel: former diplomat and Victorian Liberal executive member Georgina Downer and former Labor campaign guru Bruce Hawker.
NewsWatch: Australian columnist and Menzies Research Centre head Nick Cater. On the word the ABC dare not utter, and more
On tax, smears, failed states. Barack Obama’s astonish global warming idiocy and more.
The videos of the shows appear here.
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A chance to return thousands of (non) refugees

Andrew Bolt April 11 2015 (10:30am)

A big test:
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop will lobby Iran to take back hundreds of failed asylum seekers held in Australian immigration detention when she makes a rare visit to Tehran next week. 
Iran has so far refused to accept any forced return from Australia of thousands of Iranians who arrived by boat during the Rudd and Gillard years and have been denied refugee protection…

There are ...  almost 7000 Iranians who arrived by boat living on bridging visas in the Australian community… As of February, almost 1300 Iranians were being held in immigration centres and community detention in Australia. 
Approximately 430 Iranian asylum seekers have agreed to return home since August 2012, with cash assistance from Australia and help from the International Organisation for Migration. 
Naturally, the Greens pretend that anyone who insists on crashing our borders and refusing to leave must be a real refugee:
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said ... “If you haven’t opted to voluntarily return yet, it means you can’t...”
No, it just means you won’t. Why can’t the Greens stick to the facts? 
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“Bomb” blast in Koh Samui. UPDATE: bomb plot in US

Andrew Bolt April 11 2015 (10:19am)

It is too soon to say who is responsible, and Thai politics has been increasingly violent.
But I have long wondered how long it would take for Thailand’s Islamist unrest to spill into its tourism resorts:
Seven people have been injured on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand after a vehicle exploded, local media have reported. 
An official told Associated Press it was caused by an improvised bomb planted in a pickup truck which was believed to be stolen…

He said authorities believed the vehicle was stolen from one of the three southernmost provinces - areas that have seen violence from groups fighting for more autonomy for the ethnically-Malay region since 2004. 
More than 5,000 people have been killed since the Islamic insurgency began. 
UPDATE
Authorities tell different stories:
Governor Chatpong Chatput said the explosion was caused by a car bomb placed inside a pickup…

“It is not clear whether it was a car bomb or a gas explosion..,” said Pol Col Apichart Boonsriroj, police commander of Surat Thani province on the mainland.
UPDATE
In the US, another arrest of another Islamic State fan:
A 20-year-old Kansas man tried to detonate a dud of a car bomb at Fort Riley Military Base on behalf of the Islamic State, the Justice Department’s prosecution alleged Friday. 
Military personnel nabbed John T. Booker Jr., of Topeka, during his attempt to set a bomb off at the Manhattan facility.
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How could Fairfax print something so ludicrously false? Has malice made it mad?

Andrew Bolt April 11 2015 (10:01am)

Terry McCrann on Fairfax’s bizarre smearing of the Murdoch News Corp - as fact-free as so much of the material that led to this week’s show trial of the multinationals by Labor and the Greens: 
Farce is one way to describe Monday’s story on the front page of two of the three Fairfax tabloids, The Age in Melbourne and The Sydney Morning Herald… Embarrassing — but also, again, tellingly — malice is another. More simply, just wrong; completely and utterly wrong. 
For the third time in barely six months Fairfax journalist Michael West has purported to expose the way Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation — either in its previous form as the totality of the empire, or now in as the “new” News Corp of the separated print and associated businesses, including of course The Weekend Australian — engages in various nefarious tax schemes. And three times, he has been wrong; simply and maliciously, but utterly wrong…
In this latest episode West purported to reveal that News Corp had “siphoned off” $4.5 billion of cash and shares from the Australian media businesses, virtually tax free.
As the local company’s CFO Susan Panuccio told the Senate inquiry, only $1.3bn of that was cash and most of that — more than $800 million was simply the transfer to New York of the tax refund from the ATO after the recent decision in the Full Federal Court.
Two critical points about that: first, more than $600m was the refund of tax previously paid; so the money coming back was News Corp’s own money… [T]o characterise the refund as some sort of “profit” on which tax should then be paid, is beyond ludicrous.
And so why on earth in any part of this known universe should the transfer of the money from Sydney to New York, from one part of the same company to another part, attract tax? ...
Further and secondly, about $200m of the $800m — demonstrating just how long the tax office had what was News Corp’s money — was interest. And tax was paid on that, as normal income for News Corp Australia. Again only someone with the mindset of a West or a Knapp would think that tax should be paid a second time on that money when transferred from one corporate pocket to the other. 
The other $3.2bn was simply an accounting treatment from the company split as News Corp Australia moved from being part of 21st Century Fox and into the “new” News Corp. 
(Thanks to reader John.) 
===

Labor is now the tool of our militant unions, extracting our cash for their benefit

Andrew Bolt April 11 2015 (9:37am)

In Victoria, the Labor Andrews Government is paying off its union mates, including the country’s most notorious union:
It has repealed the previous government’s “move on” laws designed to break pickets at labour disputes and abolished its construction code, which restricted the CFMEU’s ability to operate on building sites. It has made a downpayment on large pay increases to the members of the paramedics union, which had campaigned hard for it to be elected, pay increases the size of which we have yet to see. In doing so it has junked the idea of having an across-the-board wages policy, running the risk of a public sector wages explosion as other unions line up for a fair suck of the sauce bottle.
In NSW, the Labor Opposition oppose privatising power assets so that unions could keep generous conditions bought at the price of higher power bills.
In the Northern Territory, the Labor Opposition gave Unions NT an astonishing rent-free deal on a property that has plunged its leader into a legal scandal.
And in Queensland,  Des Houghton describes a Labor Government in hock to yet more union militants:
AT THE time it seemed innocent enough. Annastacia Palaszczuk giggled as she posed for a selfie with Dave Hanna at a union rally outside Parliament House last month. 
It was the same Hanna, president of the notorious CFMEU, who last year was adversely named at the Royal Commission into Union Governance and Corruption.
Hanna was accused not only of workplace breaches but of engaging in criminal activity by threatening Hindmarsh Constructions from going about its lawful business during the building of an apartment tower, Brooklyn on Brookes, in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley last year…
Hanna is well known in Labor circles and was boss of the Labor Unity faction and is a member of the Queensland Central Executive of the Council of Unions which dictates Labor policy. He was secretary of the Builders Labourers Federation before it merged with the CFMEU.
I believe the Premier is an honourable woman and I am not for a moment suggesting she was involved in any impropriety with Hanna or other CFMEU officials facing charges.
However the cosy selfie confirms the deep links between her party and the union described in Parliament as a criminal organisation renowned for its “extortion, thuggery and lawlessness”.
Palaszczuk is, like many in her Cabinet, close to the unions. She “paid tribute” to the unions in State Parliament in 2013.
She lavished praise on the CFMEU, the BLF, the AWU and the AMWU “for standing up for workers’ rights in this state”.
Really? In the royal commission’s interim report, former High Court judge John Dyson Heydon detailed how the CFMEU raided a workers’ welfare fund and siphoned money to the ALP.
The judge added: “The evidence indicates that a number of Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union officials seek to conduct their affairs with a deliberate disregard for the rule of law."…
Fair Work Building and Construction director Nigel Hadgkiss warned last week about increasing lawlessness in the industry, saying 75 CFMEU officials were before the courts, facing 403 alleged breaches of workplace laws.... 
It didn’t take long for the Palaszczuk Government to dance to the unions’ tune. Industrial Relations Minister Curtis Pitt confirmed he will axe the Newman government law requiring unions to give 24 hours’ notice before entering a building site… Labor has effectively handed the CFMEU a weapon to halt building work any time it likes.
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The tax take keeps rising, so the problem really is this mad spending

Andrew Bolt April 11 2015 (9:26am)

Grace Collier is absolutely right:
I hate to bring down the national vibe of the moment and interrupt this “let’s find some rich bastards who should pay more tax” hunting collective, but this country does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. And by the way, those rich people we think we can chase down rabbit holes and fleece, they are already paying most of the tax. 
Too many of we perfectly capable types supplement our household budgets with taxes taken off the rich. We have done so for many years. Well, times are tough and the gravy train has screeched to a halt. But instead of getting off with dignity and walking on our own two feet, we are staying on board and demanding someone else be found to get it going again…
Yes, the iron ore price has plunged, and of course this means taxation revenue will fall, but let’s look at the facts. The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that across our three levels of government, taxation revenue is on the rise…
Commonwealth government taxation revenue increased by $20.816 billion (7 per cent) from $317.548bn in 2011–12 to $338.364bn in 2012–13 and as Mikayla Novak, from the Institute of Public Affairs, points out, “the mid-year fiscal outlook points to increased federal tax revenue of $354bn this financial year”.
State government taxation revenue increased by $3.622bn (6 per cent) from $59.875bn in 2011–12 to $63.497bn in 2012–13, and local government taxation revenue increased by $825m (6 per cent) from $13.202bn in 2011–12 to $14.027bn in 2012–13. 
So, when it comes to money, there is plenty around. We don’t need to raise more, do we?...
===

How many billions should we donate to warming scaremongers?

Andrew Bolt April 11 2015 (9:16am)

Global warming - general

Alan Moran on the scandalous green rort that drives up your power bills so green alarmists can get rich:
The RET issue is coming to a head. Bear in mind, the rationale for the scheme is a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions but it does this to a trivial extent and at a very high cost. The real rationale is now how to soak consumers for a dud product that could not survive in the absence of subsidies… 
David Leyonhjelm points out: 
Renewable electricity generators have received $9 billion in industry subsidies over the 15-year life of the RET, in addition to the price they receive for the electricity they produce. Without change, a further $22 billion will be paid by 2030. In the words of the Warburton Review, the RET is “a cross-subsidy that transfers wealth from electricity consumers and other participants in the electricity market to renewable energy companies”.
The renewable permits currently cost about $40 per MWh (roughly doubling the cost of raw energy available form fossil fuels) and the Senator notes that the fall back is a penalty charge of $65/MWh. (Actually that cost is $91 per MWh since it is not tax deductable). The more renewables are required the closer the price moves towards its $91 de facto ceiling…
Leyonhjelm has his own plan, which involves some sleight of hand. He advocates retaining the 41,000 but conditionally including within it hydro. This amounts to a reduction to about 26,000 GWh. He argues the small scale (rooftop) solar is likely to expand to 13,000 GWh (provision is in place for only 4,000 GWh) so wind is suddenly squeezed out.
Maybe. But the notion of 13,000 GWh small scale is dependent on the subsidy to renewables (it is paid up-front on the notional savings and goes to defray the installation costs).
In a nutshell the options are:
Abolish the scheme altogether with no further costs – this is my favourite and the Warburton report toyed with it but baulked. It would remove all costs.
Freeze requirements at the 16,000 GWh, the Warburton recommendation. This would mean a cost, at $40 per GWh, of $600 million a year.
Shift to something like the Leyonhjelm plan of 26,000 GWh at a cost of about $1 billion a year. 
Go to the Minister’s proposed 32,000 or the industry “compromise” of 33,500 and the costs escalate, partly because this would push the permit prices up – probably to $60 plus, especially since the better understanding of the nature of the rort leaves it vulnerable to being cancelled in future years, something that requires a risk premium. Costs to consumers and other users become over $2 billion a year.
All this to pretend to stop a global warming that paused 17 years ago and probably won’t hurt if it resumes.
Idiocy, yet how few politicians dare say so.
UPDATE
For once Senator Jacqui Lambie might help limit waste rather than protect it - although she’s still buying the RET boondoggle:
Independent senator Jacqui Lambie has backed down from her vow to reject all government legislation, throwing her support behind the Coalition’s renewable energy target proposal. 
Since November, Senator Lambie has carried out a “wage war” against the government, ­declaring she would oppose any ­Coalition bill until the Australian Defence Force pay increase was pushed to 3 per cent.
Tony Abbott increased the ­initial pay offer of 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent last month — still short of Senator Lambie’s demand — and restored all existing entitlements, including extra recreational leave and food and travel allowances, in December… 
In a statement yesterday, Senator Lambie, in her first solid backing of a government policy in months, urged parliament to agree to the government’s final RET offer of 32,000GWh and said she believed the Coalition would find the six necessary crossbench votes if the Greens and Labor remained opposed.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

Obama encourages an arms race which could blow up the Middle East

Andrew Bolt April 11 2015 (9:12am)

Barack Obama’s legacy may well be a mushroom cloud over the most dangerous region in the world: 
JUAN WILLIAMS: ... (I)n this Obama doctrine vision for the Middle East, he wants Saudis, he wants the Egyptians, he wants them all to become active players in their own defense and get out of this mode of waiting for the United States to come in and be the neighborhood cop. So, they’re going to have to take more responsibility and you’re going to see, I think as a result or the hope would be more kind of Arab working on Arab issues and Arabs resolving those issues rather than waiting for the outside hand. 
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: We want to see Saudis with the bomb, and Egypt with the bomb, and Turkey with the bomb? This is the most unstable region in the world. This is a place where you wake up in the morning and the government in Yemen has been swept away and the bad guys are in power and al Qaeda is on the march. This is overnight ... It can happen in any one of these countries and our policy is to encourage each of these governments, which could disappear overnight, to possess a nuclear weapon, some of them who would pass it on to terrorists and others? This is insane. What we have done in Europe and the Pacific elsewhere is a way to prevent proliferation is to offer our protection and to say that the United States, especially our Navy, our offshore power, is here. What we have done is to demonstrate a willingness to go over and to create a hegemonic Iran that scares the Arabs to death and that will cause a nuclear reaction and proliferation, but that’s a catastrophe; that is not a strategic ... objective.
UPDATE
Greg Sheridan warns we are losing, and very dangerous players are winning:
The deal US President Barack Obama claims to have sewn up with Iran over its nuclear program — though Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei irritatingly says there is as yet no deal at all — may truly be historic.... 
It might be the point at which it became clear that, for the moment at least, Western civilisation could no longer deal with the proliferating security challenges around the world eating away at what was left of the global security order....
Three American presidents, Bill Clinton, George W, Bush and Obama, have declared that Iran must never possess nuclear weapons and that if it tries to acquire them the US will act, if necessary with military force, to stop them. We now know that Obama was just kidding.
This agreement guarantees Iran will acquire nuclear weapons eventually… [F]rom this point it looks as though the Iranians have achieved enormous strategic gains at very little cost…
Perhaps the key analytical question is this: is the fecklessness of present American policy entirely the fault of Obama, or does it reflect a deeper malaise in the US and in Western civilisation generally?
The West today confronts five profound security challenges.
They are: Iran; global terrorism as evidenced by Islamic State and al-Qa’ida; Russian territorial aggression in eastern Europe; Chinese military assertiveness in disputed territories in the South and East China seas; and the spread of nuclear weapons…
In none of them is the West prevailing, or even playing much of a central role…
Iran is now the dominant political and military force in Iraq. Its proxies have been successful in overthrowing a legitimate government in Yemen. It has established permanent control of a large slab of Lebanon through Hezbollah. It has kept its ally, Bashar al-Assad, in power in Syria… While the negotiations were ongoing, a Revolutionary Guards commander, Reza Naqdi, commented that “erasing Israel from the map’’ was “non-negotiable”. Supreme leader Khamenei finished a big public gathering with the declaration: “Yes, death to America.”
It is worth googling Iran’s written constitution, with its commitment to “fulfilling the ideological mission of jihad” and its determination to forge leadership of all Muslims worldwide. 
In the recent agreement, or framework, there is nothing about Iran’s international behaviour, nothing about its sponsorship of terrorism, no limitation on its missile program, nothing about threatening to wipe another nation off the map, as though it would be bad form to consider such language and behaviour relevant in assessing whether a nation should possess the ability to produce nuclear weapons...
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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University gives the stage to imam Trad to preach a very dangerous resentment

Andrew Bolt April 11 2015 (7:52am)

It is reckless beyond belief for the University of Western Sydney to give a platform to an Islamic bigot that the courts have rightly described as “dangerous”.
It is grossly irresponsible for The Age to then report his rabble-rousing speech, likely to inflame dangerous passions and resentments, without any criticism or reference to Trad’s past hate-preaching:
Young Australians are joining terror groups because their “blood is boiling” at domestic persecution and international atrocities committed by the West, a local Muslim leader has warned. 
Keysar Trad, founder of the Islamic Friendship Association, told a university forum that his comments may be “dangerous” and “politically incorrect” but they were crucial to understanding why more than 200 Australians have taken up arms in Syria and Iraq.
In a scathing assessment of Australia’s efforts to create a harmonious society, he said constant persecution, hypocritical Australian laws, vitriolic media and repeated invasions in the Middle East were pushing young Muslims “to the margins of society” and driving them to radicalisation.
“Denying the root causes is like applying a Band-Aid to an open wound before cleaning and disinfecting it,” he told an anti-radicalisation forum at the University of Western Sydney on Wednesday night.
Mr Trad, a controversial figure who described himself as a “roving imam”, said he could understand why young Australians were driven to join Islamic State but he tried to convince them it was not the solution…
Mr Trad said Australian Muslims were confronted with “systemic discrimination”, opportunistic political commentary, unemployment and “duplicitous standards” in law enforcement.
“It is hard to argue with a young person who starts to cite all these issues, you can see the fire in their bellies, you in fact feel the same fire yourself,” he said. 
“All the above factors compound to different extents the sense of victimisation and alienation amongst youths in general and Muslim youths in particular.” 
Paul Murray deals with some of the worst passages of Trad’s lecture, which, we must further note, may well have been a more moderate version - tailored for his university audience - of the pitch Trad gives a Muslim audience:

The moral equivalence is frightening. The victimology is frightening. That Trad now preaches it in his latest incarnation - a “roving imam” - and even as the guest of a university is threatening.
UPDATE
Trad often pleads an excuse of context. Well, here is some context for this latest lecture, irresponsibly hosted by the University of Western Sydney, giving Trad an honor and a platform that I believe he does not deserve.
Supreme Court judge Peter McClellan made the following findings about Trad in dismissing his defamation claim against broadcaster Jason Morrison:
Imputation B – the plaintiff incites people to commit acts of violence: The defendant submitted that because the plaintiff holds and expresses the view that many women rather than men are responsible for rape there is increased probability that women will become the victims of sexual violence. It was further submitted that the plaintiff’s defence of Sheikh Hilali’s views that child martyrdom in war was honourable and that suicide bombing was a legitimate tool, incited violence in the sense that these views encouraged children to go to war and encouraged acts of terrorism. Furthermore it was submitted that the anti-Semitic material on Radio Islam and the references to the Protocols of Zion and Mein Kampf on the plaintiff’s website were an incitement to violence. The defendant submitted that encouraging beliefs that Jewish people foment conspiracies to take over the world have been a driving force for many acts of violence against Jewish people for centuries. These views were reflected in the extreme acts of some governments, particularly Germany in the 20th century. It was further submitted that maintaining in strident language that the appropriate punishment for homosexuals is stoning to death is an incitement to violence. Describing homosexuals as depraved perverts and likening homosexuality to cancer dehumanises homosexuals and exposes them to violence.
There is little doubt that many of the plaintiff’s remarks are offensive to Jewish persons and homosexuals. Although the plaintiff said that he was not aware of the content of some of the links on his website I do not believe him. The plaintiff is plainly a person who has devoted considerable time to communicating his views to other people. He impressed me as concerned with matters of detail and it is inconceivable that he would not have been aware of the links on his site. Many of his remarks are distasteful and appear to condone violence. His views about the punishment of homosexuals, and the use of children as suicide bombers in the war between Palestinians and Israelis are properly described as inciting people to commit violence. Although expressed as an endorsement of the view of Sheikh Hilali I am satisfied that he holds those views. This imputation is substantially true.
Imputation C – the plaintiff incites people to have racist attitudes: In support of the truth of this imputation the defendant relies upon the article entitled Racism published in Nida’ul Islam in December-January 1996-1997. That is the article where the plaintiff said: “The criminal dregs of white society colonised this country and now, they only take the select choice of other societies, and the descendants of these criminal dregs tell us that they are better than us. And because we are not elitist, we tolerate them. Yet they want us to assimilate, perhaps they will only become satisfied when we each dye our hair red, wear blue/green contact lenses, and operate a fish and chips shop, otherwise, we would not be truly assimilating, would we?”
These comments were passed in a riposte to the views expressed by Pauline Hanson who the plaintiff described as an elitist. The views expressed in the article were a robust contribution to a debate which was taking place within Australian society at the time… I am satisfied that the plaintiff does hold views which can properly be described as racist. I am also satisfied that he encourages others to hold those views. In particular he holds views derogatory of Jewish people… This imputation is substantially true.
Imputation D – the plaintiff is a dangerous individual: Many of the plaintiff’s views are expressed in colourful language. Although often lacking logical connection, his ideas, and those of Sheikh Hilali, which the plaintiff has either supported or failed to condemn, are designed to influence others in their attitudes to homosexuality, the Jewish people and the use of violence to further the influence of Islam in the world.
I have already found that the plaintiff must be understood as defending the speech made by Sheikh Hilali in which he referred to young women as “cat’s meat”. Apart from the abhorrent nature of these remarks, the Sheikh’s words would have encouraged some young men to believe that they were not responsible for the rape of women who were immodestly dressed. The plaintiff sought to trivialise the experience of rape victims in his “joke” about “doing it Leb-style” and his remarks that the perpetrators of a gang rape were “just stupid boys”. The plaintiff stepped into a controversy which had been generated by Sheikh Hilali’s remarks and the enormous public concern surrounding the trial of the perpetrators of a gang rape and their sentence. By so doing the plaintiff demeaned the victims of the crime. He did not condemn the perpetrators. I am satisfied that it is appropriate to describe his views as dangerous.
With respect to Sheikh Hilali’s sermon at Sidon Mosque the plaintiff’s failure to condemn the views the Sheikh expressed and in particular that September 11 was a blessing are of particular significance. The support of the use of boys as martyrs in war was obviously dangerous. In the debate piece in the Daily Telegraph and in the article “Sheik and Stir” the plaintiff doubted the responsibility of Osama bin Laden for September 11 and diminished the capacity of radical Islam to mount terror attacks. By putting these ideas forward there is a risk that an unbalanced or fanatical person may be encouraged or may encourage others to participate in acts of violence or terror. The plaintiff’s defence of the Sheikh’s description of suicide bombing as a legitimate tool, and his call for the delisting of Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation are dangerous remarks.
Beyond these matters the plaintiff’s reference to Anglo-Irish Australians as “criminal dregs” and to Hindus as “cow worshippers” are dangerous because of their tendency to inflame tensions and divisions within Australian society. Various of the plaintiff’s actions including the material on his website were designed to contribute to anti-Semitism in the Australian community. These views encouraged division and hostility between Muslims and non-Muslims in Australia. The plaintiff’s expressed views with respect to homosexuality described homosexuals in vitriolic terms. Although the views which he expressed may be held by others in the Australian community, the language in which he expressed them was likely to encourage violence against homosexuals.
A person may hold a view which is dangerous without that person being described as a dangerous individual. To express a view on one occasion which may encourage violence or inappropriate conduct towards others does not of itself make that person dangerous. However, when those views are expressed on many occasions by someone who has significant influence within the community and has access to opportunities to influence others through the media and the views expressed are an incitement to violence or disparagement of women, Jews, and homosexuals, it is, in my judgment, appropriate to describe that person as a dangerous individual. ..
Imputation G – the plaintiff was a disgraceful individual: I am satisfied that the plaintiff holds and expresses views which would not be acceptable to right thinking members of the Australian community. I have previously discussed them. Some of his views and the manner in which they are expressed are entirely repugnant to accepted values within the Australian community.
The question which the pleaded imputation raises is not whether any of the views of the plaintiff are disgraceful but rather whether by his words and actions he can be described as a disgraceful individual. The plaintiff’s attitude to women and homosexuality, apparent support of the use of children in the pursuit of terrorist actions against Israel and his failure to condemn the events of September 11 are views which may be shared by some people. However, those views are not acceptable to the general Australian community and I am satisfied that a person who holds them and, more particularly who encourages others to share those views, may be described as a disgraceful individual.
A person who is convicted of a crime of any significance will be described as being disgraced. A person who encourages others to support attitudes repugnant to the Australian community or encourages violence against women, homosexuals or various ethnic groups and supports child suicide bombers and acts of terror or when given the opportunity fails to condemn these views would be similarly described. The plaintiff is such a person. 
The Court of Appeal thought the trial judge went a bit too far on some imputations yet dismissed Trad’s appeal, noting he was indeed a dangerous individual:
image
Read the judgement here.
Why did the University of Western Sydney then allow Trad to preach his brand of incendiary victimhood on its own stage? Talk about playing with matches… 
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How else would such people use force if given power?

Andrew Bolt April 11 2015 (7:36am)


image
Blocking traffic? Holding up commuters just trying to get home? This was a protest not to persuade but to impose - which once again underlines the dangerously totalitarian instincts of such socialist groups:
PROTESTERS have brought the city to a standstill, causing traffic and tram chaos in the CBD. 
Thousands of people, some waving Socialist Alternative banners, gathered on the steps of the train station at around 4pm.
They marched through the city via Bourke St before coming to rest in Flinders St at about 5pm.
Many sat down on the road and tram tracks while several speeches were made…
Protesters chanted about Aboriginal rights and waves flags and banners…
Trams were backed up on St Kilda Road due to the protest.
Imagine what such people would feel licensed to do to you and your freedoms if given real power.   
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Anti-Christians vote Greens

Andrew Bolt April 11 2015 (1:25am)

I’ve long believed the green movement is the faith for the godless. More evidence emerges:
The appeal of the Greens to the rich and godless has been underlined by an analysis of voting ­patterns in the NSW election. 
The Greens picked up three lower house seats — Balmain, Newtown and Ballina — and two members of the upper house…
The electorates ranked one and two for people who nominate no religion, agnosticism, atheism, humanism or rationalism are Newtown and Balmain in inner Sydney.
The No 3 godless electorate is Sydney, which is held by the Clover Moore-backed independent Alex Greenwich, who captures much of what would otherwise be the Greens vote.
Even with him getting 39.6 per cent of the vote, the Greens still managed a respectable 9.7 per cent primary vote. The Greens’ other seat, Ballina, which includes Byron Bay and Mullumbimby, is ranked four for the number of atheists. 
Conversely, in electorates where the proportion of Christians is highest, Greens did relatively poorly. 
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Rinehart: cut costs and red tape or we’ll be another Greece

Andrew Bolt April 11 2015 (1:19am)

We are in deeper trouble than most journalists and voters complacently think, and the time to take action grows dangerously short:
Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, believes the federal government is not facing up to the crash in commodity prices threatening to blow a hole in the budget. 
Labelling government as “too big, too costly, too onerous’’, the iron ore magnate warned that debt levels were fast approaching unchartered territory and, without the flow of commodity revenue to Canberra, Australia could experience a shocking deterioration in living standards and the type of poverty seen in parts of Asia.
But Mrs Rinehart, who is worth an estimated $14 billion, saved her biggest swipe for her fellow business chiefs…
“....we’re having to borrow money to pay even the interest on our government debt.....
“Australia is facing difficult times, and needs business people to clearly speak up; ones who recognise Australia is in record debt (and) so shouldn’t be asking for government to put its hand in our pockets to bail their companies out — or we’ll turn into another Greece,’’ she told the event organised by the Institute of Public Affairs and Australians for Northern Development & Economic Vision.
Her comments come as the savage slump in iron ore ­prices threatens to strip as much as $3bn a year from the budget, ­blowing a hole in Treasurer Joe Hockey’s revenue projections while also triggering mine closures across the country…
“But, let’s be frank, unless business leaders and others interested in the future of our country clearly speak up and point out why regulations, licences, permits and compliance burdens must be urgently and significantly cut, little but continuing lip service will occur. 
“In the major change facing our country, the commodity prices crash, why aren’t we seeing urgent and significant government burden cuts?”
Instead, all we’re hearing these past two weeks are proposals for yet more taxes. 
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Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more cookie decorating video tutorials! https://youtu.be/R1GEI0pcOLYLearn more about royal icing here: http://www.sweetambs.com/tutorial/royal-icing-consistencies/
Posted by SweetAmbs on Friday, 10 April 2015
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Dragon eggs are here!http://www.faeriemag.com/collections/dragons
Posted by Faerie Magazine on Friday, 10 April 2015
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Every West Australian should take a moment to read the editorial in today’s West Australian newspaper.  I fully share...
Posted by Senator Dean Smith on Friday, 10 April 2015
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Australian People Try Outback Steakhouse For The First Time
Posted by BuzzFeed Video on Tuesday, 7 April 2015
I've been to the Outback steakhouse .. I can never go back for the first time again. It is like a US restaurant, with generous portions and styling. Don't confuse US restaurants with food chains. I'd go back maybe once a year, to OS. But the video was spot on with Aussies taking the piss out of the 'cuisine' .. my tip .. avoid the shrimp. Enjoy the desert.
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No discom-Bob-ulation here

Piers Akerman – Thursday, April 10, 2014 (7:36pm)

BOB “Bridget” Carr has written the political comic of the year. His Diary Of A Foreign Minister will probably never sell as many copies as John Howard’s best-selling biography Lazarus Rising but it will certainly win the prize for historical revisionism, egotism and wackiness.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'No discom-Bob-ulation here'
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DON’T ASK, DON’T KILL

Tim Blair – Friday, April 11, 2014 (1:18am)

Smoking is terrible for your health, but it’s better than being stabbed, shot, bashed or axed. Let’s examine several cases of cigarette request violence, beginning six years ago in Manchester
A man was left fighting for his life after being beaten up by a gang of yobs after he rejected a request for a cigarette. 
The deceased was approached by the suspect and asked for a cigarette. The deceased was not in possession of a cigarette and when he failed to meet the demands of the suspect, he was consequently stabbed once in the chest and died on the scene. 
A man was assaulted in an ‘unprovoked assault’ after he told two men he did not have a cigarette. 
A man has been stabbed with a screwdriver moments after he gave his attacker a cigarette. 
According to police, a 23-year-old woman was approached by another woman and asked for a cigarette around 3:15 a.m.
The woman told the stranger she had cigarettes in her car, which was parked on Hargrave Street.
When she went to get one for her, a man appeared and attacked her and stole her car keys. 
The victim got off work at about 4 AM and walked to his car on 14th and E. Jefferson St, where two men approached him and asked for a cigarette.
As the victim was reaching for a cigarette, one of the suspects pulled out a handgun, pointed it at the victim’s head, and demanded the victim’s car keys. 
The boy, 17, refused to share his cigarette with his now deceased brother, Busani Moyo, 22. Busani apparently was unhappy with his younger brother’s response and slapped him twice, according to the police.
Seething with anger and a hurt ego, the boy rushed home and armed himself with an axe. 
A man was stabbed, knocked out and robbed Tuesday afternoon by a stranger who asked for a cigarette. 
The incident began with a small number of youths asking a guest for a cigarette earlier in the night … 
Cigarette request violence (CRV) is a global issue. I call for urgent UN action.
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MODERN FAITH

Tim Blair – Friday, April 11, 2014 (12:56am)

“Are global warming alarmists just a conglomerate of eco radicals and third world grifters?” asks Bruce McQuain. No, of course they aren’t. They’re also teachers, infesting education systems worldwide. Further on our era’s madness from Christopher Booker
When future generations come to look back on the alarm over global warming that seized the world towards the end of the 20th century, much will puzzle them as to how such a scare could have arisen. They will wonder why there was such a panic over a 0.4 per cent rise in global temperatures between 1975 and 1998, when similar rises between 1860 and 1880 and 1910 and 1940 had given no cause for concern. They will see these modest rises as just part of a general warming that began at the start of the 19th century, as the world emerged from the Little Ice Age, when the Earth had grown cooler for 400 years.
They will be struck by the extent to which this scare relied on the projections of computer models, which then proved to be hopelessly wrong when, in the years after 1998, their predicted rise in temperature came virtually to a halt. But in particular they will be amazed by the almost religious reverence accorded to that strange body, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which by then will be recognised as having never really been a scientific body at all, but a political pressure group. 
In happier news, here’s a $1 billion carbon dioxide pipeline: 
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. today announced it will build and operate a new, 213-mile, 16-inch diameter pipeline to transport carbon dioxide (CO2) from the company’s St. Johns source field in Apache County, Ariz., to the Kinder Morgan-operated Cortez Pipeline in Torrance County, N.M. 
(Via Lank)
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SIX LANES OF STIMULUS

Tim Blair – Thursday, April 10, 2014 (11:52pm)

Big government, needlessly big roads. Mark Steyn reveals an example of pointless overspending in Vermont:



(Via John H.)
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In defence of Bob Carr

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (10:19am)

Greg Sheridan rightly notes that Bob Carr is being attacked in part for sending himself up, which is actually a bit unfair. And he notes that in Carr’s book are some insights or arguments worth having.
First, he gives a frightening account of the man who Labor had lead this country:
Gillard ... tells him Rudd “had kept going to Israel, driving (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu mad proposing a batty peace plan and promising to commit Australian troops to patrolling borders”. 
Carr’s comment: “I quickly agreed this was nuts.’’…
Carr recounts the No 2 official at the commonwealth secretariat complaining of Rudd’s rudeness, with Rudd telling him: “If I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it.’’ 
He also details a number of Australian officials describing extremely aggressive body language from Rudd in encounters with Japanese and Singaporean foreign ministers. These are all quite devastating revelations for Rudd.
Sheridan notes:
I think at times Carr is a little too sensitive about Beijing’s allegedly hurt feelings. And he takes up the foreign minister’s role having absorbed a certain amount of the pro-China, anti-American zeitgeist promoted in different ways by Paul Keating, Malcolm Fraser and academic Hugh White. 
But reality keeps intruding and Carr is far too smart to ignore reality. He sends an email to Kim Beazley, our ambassador in Washington, retailing an argument that Australia has got too close to the US. One of the best things in the book is Beazley’s cable in reply, printed in full. Beazley points out not only that the US is getting more deeply engaged in Asia, partly as a response to the persuasive arguments put to it by Labor governments, but also that Australian governments have shrewdly used the alliance to leverage Australia’s distinctive interests and policy objectives across the board.
Carr, for all his faults, sees the folly of the China-first crowd:
Keating launches Hugh White’s book on the US and China. He’s half right — but to talk about us giving China strategic space? What does that mean, strategic space? 
Does he endorse White’s view, for example, that Japan should move out of its alliance with the US? And South Korea as well? That Vietnam should accept Chinese dominance? Well, that’s strategic space.
Beijing would relish this discussion in Australia. After all, the Chinese want to see us disoriented over our bilateral relationship.
I form the view that we should not react. The basics are good, we trade, we talk: the metrics are healthy, as our Ambassador put it to me. The pro-China lobby are over-egging the pudding. 
They want to make us fidgety and defensive about our China policy. Make us anxious. That’s not the way to respond.  
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The Bolt Report on Sunday

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (9:10am)

On the show on Sunday – Network 10 at 10am and 4pm....
Just when Labor was wondering what made it unelectable, along comes Bob Carr.
Employment Minister Eric Abetz on what Labor has to fear from the royal commission into union corruption.
The panel: Janet Albrechtson and Cassandra Wilkinson on Abbott’s excellent Asian adventure - and more.
On NewsWatch: Gerard Henderson on a scandal that press gallery heavies wouldn’t report, and on an expert the ABC is only too glad to give oxygen.
Plus another green dream sinks and Marxists look to me for inspiration.  True!

The videos of the shows appear here.
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Labor’s great NBN fiasco. The ABC should care more

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (8:57am)

First it was Clive Palmer telling him to shut up. Now it’s the Communications Minister telling ABC host Tony Jones he’s a socialist or something:
MALCOLM TURNBULL: No. Look, this - the NBN is not a commercial project. It is the most - the single most expensive, irrational project of the Labor government. It should never have been undertaken in the way it is. It is completely non-commercial. 
TONY JONES: “So let’s keep it going,” says Malcolm Turnbull.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: No, no - well the problem that we’ve got - the problem that we’ve got is is that if we were to pull the pin on it completely, we would lose at least - we’d write off at least $15 billion, probably more and have nothing to show for it. So, Labor has left us with a shocking mess. The best thing we can do is to complete the project as quickly and cost effectively as possible.
TONY JONES: Alright. If you can ...
MALCOLM TURNBULL: And that’s the - and that is the - you know, now, can I just say this to you?: the way Labor went about the NBN was unique in the world. No other country did anything as mad as this. And ...
TONY JONES: Yes, but we have heard this argument before (inaudible) ...
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Yeah, but you don’t care about it because it’s the taxpayers’ money. - that’s the thing. 
TONY JONES: That’s not at all true. 
UPDATE
NBN head Ziggy Switkowski tells the ABC this morning the NBN is losing $1.5 billion a year and he’d never have designed it as Labor did. 
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One of these men is from the party claiming to represent workers

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (8:34am)

How former foreign minister Bob Carr travelled:
In other extracts already dubbed “Bridget Carr’s Diary”, the exercised-obsessed former NSW premier ...  laments travelling in business class during a trans-Atlantic flight. 
“Business class. No edible food. No airline pyjamas,” Mr Carr notes. “I lie in my tailored suit.” ...
On another flight, he was particularly savage: “Eating plastic — no ceramic — food, passengers lying in cribs, packed in business class, a design that owes a lot to the trans-Atlantic slave trade ...” Occasionally an airline would upgrade Mr Carr and wife Helena, but even this good fortune had a gloomy response.
“Pathetic that the public service rules reduce me to that, an upgrade for a middle-power foreign minister,” he wrote… 
A Singapore Airlines executive responds to his complaint about first class entertainment: “Please accept my sincere apology if any part of our first class in-flight offering fell below your expectations. Specifically, I have taken note of the lack of English subtitles for the Wagner opera Siegfried.”
How Prime Minister Tony Abbott travels:
Mr Abbott and his family travelled economy on a flight from Sydney to Paris, which normally takes a gruelling 24 hours in total. His office did not apparently publicise his decision, but his presence at the back of the plane emerged after a fellow passenger broadcast the news on social media…

Mr Abbott, wearing a blue polo shirt, was travelling with his wife and two younger daughters during the Christmas holidays to Paris to spend a week with his eldest daughter, Louise, who is living in Switzerland. He reportedly rejected an offer of an upgrade.
(Thanks to reader Wade.) 
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Carr waited a year to be shocked by Gillard’s media war

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (8:23am)

Piers Akerman notes it took a convenient year for Bob Carr to find what passes for his free speech principles and end his support for Julia Gillard:
His Diary Of A Foreign Minister ...  reveals that three months before Gillard’s prime ministership was ended last June, he wrote. “The media package, and how it was adopted, has destroyed any confidence I could have in her office and instincts… 
“We are committed to a wholesale war with the newspapers. In that pre-election phase when we should be friends with all."…
Carr has attempted to hoodwink readers of his book into the belief he suddenly became aware of an anti-media agenda and that he was righteously appalled at this attack — more for reasons of political pragmatism than any defence of freedom of the press.
Let’s be perfectly clear, Gillard was at war with the media — particularly the non-government and truly independent News Corp print media — a year earlier than Carr’s moment of enlightenment…
Gillard fired the first salvo in August 2011 when she started calling John Hartigan, the then chairman and CEO of News Ltd, to complain about the coverage her dysfunctional government was receiving from various columnists, notably Andrew Bolt and Glenn Milne, both of whom had made references to the brewing controversy about Gillard’s relationship with former AWU boss Bruce Wilson…
Chris Mitchell, The Australian’s editor-in chief, who was asked to ring Gillard over a column written by Milne, said later he had been on the end of verbal sprays from Paul Keating but “they were nothing compared to this”.
Less than a month later Gillard and her communications minister, Stephen “Red Underpants” Conroy, gave former federal court judge Ray Finkelstein a loaded brief to inquire into the media industry’s regulatory framework.
Predictably, Finkelstein’s central recommendation the following February was for government-controlled regulation of news reporting. 
Yet if you believe Carr — a former ABC and Bulletin journalist — he was apparently oblivious of Gillard’s fatwa against the media until well after he had accepted his trophy foreign minister’s job. 
I won’t forget those who failed to resist - or even collaborated - on that wicked government’s attack on the media. They were prepared to sell out something very precious.
UPDATE
But Martin Ferguson seems more forgiving of Carr’s account - and likewise damns the Gillard Government in which he served:
ONE of the most respected members of the Gillard government, former resource minister Martin Ferguson, ... said he first learned communications policy was to be discussed after a lobbyist from a major media company approached him on the footpath outside a Melbourne restaurant the night before cabinet was due to meet.
“I said, ‘It’s news to me. I’m a cabinet minister and I can tell you there is a cabinet meeting tomorrow morning but there’s one item and that’s not the item,’ ‘’ Mr Ferguson told The Australian ­yesterday…
Then, 10-15 minutes before the meeting was due to start, an amended agenda was circulated.
“There were about three very sizeable documents on the table for each of us which went to the communications policy submissions and material,’’ Mr Ferguson said of the meeting…
In March 2013, Ms Gillard announced a suite of media reforms including a new public interest test for significant mergers and a public interest media advocate empowered to declare self-regulating media bodies capable of overseeing news outlets…
Mr Ferguson said then-communications minister Stephen Conroy read a detailed statement and Ms Gillard, who chaired the meeting, also spoke to the proposals.
“But (she) made it very clear to cabinet that, they (the media companies) can have it or leave it. We’re not making any amendments, we’re not negotiating,’’ Mr Ferguson said…
“I suppose [Carr] also, having previously chaired cabinet, saw the absolute dysfunctional nature of the cabinet process that day to suit the prime minister and a ­couple of ministers
“The rest of the cabinet was just treated with contempt in terms of, ‘Oh well, we’re going to do this and we’re going to ram it through today’.’’ 
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So who will pay for those pensions? How?

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (8:07am)

Anyone attacking Joe Hockey should first tell us how they would find $93 billion:
JOE Hockey has intensified speculation the government will raise the retirement age or crackdown on eligibility for the Age Pension… 
In a speech in Washington, the Treasurer said that over the next decade spending on the Age Pension was projected to increase by about 70 per cent as the population aged…

Mr Hockey said between 2010 and 2050 the number of people of working age to support people over the age of 65 in Australia would almost halve.
“This will inevitably have an impact on the affordability of healthcare, aged care, pensions, and discounted services.’’
He said the IMF had identified that Australia’s increased healthcare and pension spending alone, based on current ­settings, would mean an extra $93 billion of government spending a year by 2030. 
Mr Hockey said to pay for the growth the government would need to raise the equivalent of the existing company tax. 
This is a test of Labor, and this morning on ABC radio frontbencher Jenny Macklin failed it. It cannot keep presenting itself as the party that’s all spend and no save. It cannot merely attack the Abbott Government for wanting to tackle a cost blowout - much of it does to Labor - without proposing credible solutions of its own. 
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Finding the real Abbott in Asia

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (7:33am)

I can’t remember the last time an Australian Prime Minister turned a foreign trip into such valuable political capital.
Tony Abbott has give his swing through Asia an intensely practical dimension, sealing a deal with Japan that will help farmers as well as consumers. He’s also used it to showcase himself as a man Asian leaders take seriously and treat warmly - addressing a perceived weakness at home, where suspicions have long lingered that he isn’t prime ministerial. And, of course, there have been no mistakes.
What’s more, Abbott has brought with him 600 business leaders, a great opportunity for him to network as well as for them to do business. Some of those businessmen - notably James Packer - have loudly contrasted his success with the poor performance of his Labor predecessors, especially Kevin Rudd.
Meanwhile, Abbott has had that contrast heavily underlined at the very same time by another former Labor foreign minister, Bob Carr. Carr has just released memoirs revealing himself to have been little better than a tourist, demanding pyjamas in business class and subtitles on his opera videos as he flitted around the world seeming more intent on getting material for his book than business for Australians.
All in all, a mould-breaking visit by Abbott. I think this is a turning point in Abbott’s attempts to present himself as a prime minister of authority.
Indeed, today comes this concession from the Sydney Morning Herald’s Mark Kenny, normally a critic:
Concern on these things is reasonable, but the heightened fear among the wonks was that “stop-the-boats-Tony” might lack the temperament for international diplomacy. 
But Abbott has spent a political career surprising those who under-estimate the power of his intelligence, his people skills (funnily enough), and perhaps most importantly, his directness.
Kenny should name names. Those who under-estimated Abbott - often spitefully and deliberately - included many Canberra journalists. How often did I hear this jeering from the ABC’s Annabel Crabb, who actually prided herself on coining a catchphrase that painted Abbott as the very opposite of what he always was. From 2009:
After the most wild and disordered week imaginable in conservative politics, the Liberal Party has staggered forth, somewhat to its own surprise, having adopted Tony “People Skills” Abbott as its federal parliamentary leader… 
Mr Abbott rarely minces his words; he is candid, provocative, and a proper conservative who does not adjust his views to account for what he judges to be the fancy of his audience… Mr Abbott’s popular image is well-established - a political bruiser of the right wing, a muscular hard-line Catholic with a tendency to let his religious views colour his political activities… Just like anyone who is interesting in politics, People Skills has a fabulous show-reel of howlers. 
The real Tony Abbott is not like that and has never been like that in the years I’ve known him. The more that Australians see the real Abbott, the more they will warm to him. 
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Egypt shamed. Free Greste now

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (7:25am)

On this stupid “evidence” Australian reporter Peter Greste has been held in an Egyptian jail for more than 100 days:
The court on Thursday studied prosecution charges that the defendants had misrepresented Egypt’s political crisis in their [Al Jazeera English] broadcasts. 
To show alleged manipulation, footage was aired from the British channel Sky News’s Arabic affiliate, apparently found on a computer in the home of Al Jazeera producer and defendant Baher Mohamed.
It included a Sky News Arabia report on tourism in Egypt, with a horse munching on fodder in a stable in one scene.
The court was also shown seemingly random pictures found in the possession of Greste, including one of his elderly parents…
Judge Mohamed Nagi Rushdy dismissed footage found in Greste’s possession of a Kenyan official giving a news conference after a militant attack in Nairobi, where Greste was based. 
‘This has nothing to do with the case,’ he told the prosecutors.
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Blog reader is the best male opera singer of the year

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (6:58am)


 Blog reader Stuart Skelton gets what he deserves:
AUSTRALIAN heroic tenor Stuart Skelton has been named male singer of the year at the second International Opera Awards in London… 
Skelton was given the top gong for his performance in Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes at the English National Opera (ENO). 
Stuart really has a great heroic tenor voice - and so warm.  He did a terrific Siegmund for the State Opera of South Australia that was recorded by Melba Recordings.
The other big winner:
The female singer of the year award went to German soprano Diana Damrau.
Not surprised. I’ve twice heard the magnificent Damrau live - once at this very concert:
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Stop global warming. Avoid baked beans

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (6:47am)

Global warming - propaganda

Global warmism is driving believers mad. From Britain’s House of Lords:
Labour’s Viscount Simon asked: “In a programme some months ago on the BBC, it was stated that this country has the largest production and consumption of baked beans in the world. 
“Can the noble Baroness say whether this affects the calculation of global warming by the Government as a result of the smelly emission resulting therefrom?” [Climate change minister] Baroness Verma described the Viscount’s question as “so different”, but said that he raised “an important point” and appeared to suggest that people should moderate their consumption of the product.
(Thanks to readers Seth, Jan and Tony.) 
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The word is out: no boat can reach Australia

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (6:36am)

Turning back the boats has worked. Wonder why Labor refused to even consider it?: 
Four men - two from Bangladesh and two from Afghanistan - were caught last month by the Indonesian immigration department in Jayapura, West Papua, on their way to get a boat to New Zealand.
Their capture appears to have stalled, for the time being, a plot to send up to 100 people…
One of the men in custody, Bangladeshi Mohammad Saiful Islam Tanu .... [said:] “The Australian government already is closed [the way] because every boat going to Australia comes back to Indonesia. So many people say it’s impossible. Now we not try to go to Australia ... And [a people smuggler] Mr Jafar told me, ‘You can go to New Zealand from Papua’. 
“… Jafar said you go to New Zealand [and after] only one month and you can take citizenship, and after that you can try [to go to] a big country, every other country.”
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Insulation removed from Rudd’s disaster

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (6:12am)

The inquiry into the Rudd Government’s insulation disaster is revealing all the shambles you’d expect from a government led by a megalomaniac, heading people just following orders: 
A SENIOR bureaucrat claims he repeatedly warned his superiors about the fatal risks of Kevin Rudd’s insulation scheme months before four installers died. 
Former assistant director of the Environment Department William Kimber told the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program that ...  his warnings were delivered verbally, in meetings and privately, and possibly also in emails, and were taken ­seriously.
At this point, commissioner Ian Hanger QC warned Mr Kimber .... “Be careful to be accurate.”
No such warning emails from Mr Kimber have been tendered to the royal commission…
Mr Kimber was also asked about a May 2009 Canberra meeting with industry figures. Another witness has previously told the commission an insulation business owner told Mr Kimber at that meeting, “You’re going to kill people”.
Mr Kimber allegedly replied: “It’s all about jobs ... we expect there may be injuries ... we expect houses to burn down.” 
Mr Kimber denied yesterday that the exchange had occurred, despite admitting he had no “specific recollection” of the meeting. 
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Labor lacks room for a Bullock. UPDATE: Richo backs Bullock

Andrew Bolt April 11 2014 (5:55am)

Is this the start of a Labor split?: 
FEDERAL Labor is standing by its controversial senator-elect Joe Bullock after the left-wing union that installed him at the top of the ALP’s West Australian Senate ticket said he had betrayed the party and should resign… 
United Voice’s state secretary, Carolyn Smith, described Mr Bullock as unfit to represent Labor, citing his remarks about the sexuality of Senate running-mate Louise Pratt and his description of Labor members as “mad"…
Mr Bullock said he still believed the ALP would not survive without the trade union movement. “I don’t feel as if I’ve betrayed the party at all. In fact I think I’m a voice of truth,” he told The Australian… 
Perth MP Alannah MacTiernan called on Mr Bullock to consider his position, saying his comments had possibly cost Labor a second Senate seat...
A Labor led by the “progressives” strikes me as hostile to the values of traditional working class representatives such as Bullock, who would be a far better fit with Tony Abbott-style conservatives. And the thing about “progressives” is that they don’t do that sharing and live-and-let-live thing very well.
UPDATE
Former Labor Minister Graham Richardson agrees with Joe Bullock on his central criticism of Labor: 
The one thing Bullock got right in his speech last November was this: “The problem the Labor Party has is this: when the Labor Party says to voters, ‘Trust us, we have your interests at heart’, the voters don’t trust them. And the voters are right. The Labor Party haven’t demonstrated that they are capable of being trusted with looking after the interests of working people and their families...” 
Labor has to at least begin the process of regaining that trust. And it is worth noting that the low votes Labor has recorded in recent elections were not due to the way its Senate candidates were selected. The issue is confidence; economic confidence at that. The results in Queensland, NSW, Tasmania and the federal election suggest to me that the punters out there are most reluctant to allow Labor to mind the till. Labor has a reputation for being a big-spending lot and running up debt.... When Labor’s vote had descended to the very low 30s under Gillard, I urged ... her to dump the ridiculously high carbon price of $23 ... I urged her to do something big about electricity prices because it was unconscionable for a Labor government to sit back passively while battlers could not afford to turn the heater on in winter or the airconditioner in summer.
Yet Labor still defends that pointless and damaging tax, pretending instead that fixing its membership rules is the answer. Complete nonsense.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Emergency in first class: Carr’s pants on fire

Andrew Bolt April 10 2014 (8:04pm)

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Change Your Thinking

It will take just 37 seconds to read this and change your thinking..

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.

His bed was next to the room's only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end.

They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation..

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and colour of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man could not hear the band - he could see it in his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.

She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.


She said, 'Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.'

Epilogue:

There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.
If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.
'Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present .'

The origin of this letter is unknown, but please pass it on.

Reminds me of the PM or Obama staring out the window .. or Swan looking at the budget .. -ed

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The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
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Deaths
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“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” - Romans 5:6-8
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Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening

Morning


"The place which is called Calvary."
Luke 23:33

The hill of comfort is the hill of Calvary; the house of consolation is built with the wood of the cross; the temple of heavenly blessing is founded upon the riven rock--riven by the spear which pierced his side. No scene in sacred history ever gladdens the soul like Calvary's tragedy.

"Is it not strange, the darkest hour

That ever dawned on sinful earth,
Should touch the heart with softer power,
For comfort, than an angel's mirth?
That to the Cross the mourner's eye should turn,
Sooner than where the stars of Bethlehem burn?"
Light springs from the midday-midnight of Golgotha, and every herb of the field blooms sweetly beneath the shadow of the once accursed tree. In that place of thirst, grace hath dug a fountain which ever gusheth with waters pure as crystal, each drop capable of alleviating the woes of mankind. You who have had your seasons of conflict, will confess that it was not at Olivet that you ever found comfort, not on the hill of Sinai, nor on Tabor; but Gethsemane, Gabbatha, and Golgotha have been a means of comfort to you. The bitter herbs of Gethsemane have often taken away the bitters of your life; the scourge of Gabbatha has often scourged away your cares, and the groans of Calvary have put all other groans to flight. Thus Calvary yields us comfort rare and rich. We never should have known Christ's love in all its heights and depths if he had not died; nor could we guess the Father's deep affection if he had not given his Son to die. The common mercies we enjoy all sing of love, just as the sea-shell, when we put it to our ears, whispers of the deep sea whence it came; but if we desire to hear the ocean itself, we must not look at every-day blessings, but at the transactions of the crucifixion. He who would know love, let him retire to Calvary and see the Man of sorrows die.

Evening

"For there stood by me this night the angel of God."
Acts 27:23
Tempest and long darkness, coupled with imminent risk of shipwreck, had brought the crew of the vessel into a sad case; one man alone among them remained perfectly calm, and by his word the rest were reassured. Paul was the only man who had heart enough to say, "Sirs, be of good cheer." There were veteran Roman legionaries on board, and brave old mariners, and yet their poor Jewish prisoner had more spirit than they all. He had a secret Friend who kept his courage up. The Lord Jesus despatched a heavenly messenger to whisper words of consolation in the ear of his faithful servant; therefore he wore a shining countenance, and spake like a man at ease.
If we fear the Lord, we may look for timely interpositions when our case is at its worst. Angels are not kept from us by storms, or hindered by darkness. Seraphs think it no humiliation to visit the poorest of the heavenly family. If angel's visits are few and far between at ordinary times, they shall be frequent in our nights of tempest and tossing. Friends may drop from us when we are under pressure, but our intercourse with the inhabitants of the angelic world shall be more abundant; and in the strength of love-words, brought to us from the throne by the way of Jacob's ladder, we shall be strong to do exploits. Dear reader, is this an hour of distress with you? then ask for peculiar help. Jesus is the angel of the covenant, and if his presence be now earnestly sought, it will not be denied. What that presence brings in heart-cheer those remember who, like Paul, have had the angel of God standing by them in a night of storm, when anchors would no longer hold, and rocks were nigh.
"O angel of my God, be near,
Amid the darkness hush my fear;
Loud roars the wild tempestuous sea,
Thy presence, Lord, shall comfort me."
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Today's reading: 1 Samuel 15-16, Luke 10:25-42 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Samuel 15-16


The LORD Rejects Saul as King

1 Samuel said to Saul, "I am the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the LORD. 2This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys....'"

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 10:25-42

The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
26 "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
27 He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
28 "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
30 In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead....
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There is no new Lent reading today; today is a catch-up day. If you've kept up with the daily readings so far, congratulations! If you've fallen behind, here are the readings from the last week in case you want to go back and catch up:

Monday: 
Luke 13-14
Tuesday: Luke 15-16
Wednesday: Luke 17-18
Thursday: Luke 19-20
Friday: Luke 21-22
Saturday: Luke 23-24

Have a blessed Sunday!

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