Monday, April 04, 2016

Mon Apr 4th Todays News

Aristotle said "At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst." The legal issue with my former share housemate Stiffler, came to a head this morning at Dandenong local magistrate's court. He has not yet been served, but he has been ordered to stay away from me and not get others to stalk me either. If he never gets served, it will mean he never transgresses the order too. But certain discoveries made recently have left me very angry and wanting compensation from Stiffler which I will never get. Stiffler found, among my papers, I had thrown out two old work diaries with account details and personal information. The account details are old, but the personal information in the hands of the wrong person can be very costly. And it was all because I declined to go to a brothel with him. I did not judge him, I just did not choose to go. Neither would I accept his offer to share two women should he bring them home. Maybe he thought I felt I was better than him. Transcripts I have made of his abuse seem to suggest that. I have been in more adverse circumstance than Stiffler, but I never sank so low. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
There is a right wing in Australia. It isn't big or coherent, but today some anti immigration activists faced off with some left wing bigots and brawled. One expects conservatives, who were not involved, to be blamed. It is the fiftieth birthday of Robert Downey Jr and the third of Grumpy Cat. And it is the anniversary of the 1968 slaying of Martin Luther King Jr. Today his dream lives, but suffers under the Obama Presidency, the content of character of the President being less than his popularity for skin colour. 

On this day in 503 BC, Rome celebrated a triumph over their near neighbour, the Sabines. In 1287, King Wareru founded the Ramanya Kingdom in modern day Burma. In 1581, Francis Drake was knighted for travelling around the world. He had begun his circumnavigation with six ships, but finished it with one. But that ship was laden with wealth. In 1660, Charles II declared the treaty of Breda, named after the the Dutch town he had resided in exile, with his sister, Mary, widow of Prince William II of Orange. The treaty allowed those who had administered England during Exile a way of reconciling with Charles without being executed. In 1721, Sir Robert Walpole became George I's first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, it was not the same role as Prime Minister is today, but it was a new stage of the evolution of Parliamentary rule. In 1768, Philip Astley staged the first modern circus. In 1796, Georges Cuvier delivered a lecture on Palaeontology which founded the science. Today, it sounds like a Civil War number, but the "I wish I was in Dixie" song, a black minstrel number, was first first performed in 1859. 

In 1866, a nobleman and fool tried to kill the Tsar and so got himself hanged. Dmitry Karakozov was only twenty six years old. But like many socialists, he inspired many anarchists. In 1925, the SS was founded. In 1964, The Beatles occupied the first five positions on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop chart. In 1967, Martin King gave his "Beyond Vietnam" speech. In 1968, James Earl Ray assassinated Martin King. James Earl Ray had been caught and served time for burglary and armed robbery. He was sentenced to twenty years in '59 and escaped in '67. But James still had a dream. He went to Mexico and began filming porn with local prostitutes. But he got dumped in less than a month and went back to the US. Democrat George Wallace was campaigning for the Presidency and James identified with Wallace's anti black message. James volunteered for Wallace's campaign in California. He travelled to Atlanta, bought a gun and scope, told the suppliers he would be hunting, and read in a paper King was staying in a hotel. And that was how a Democrat supporter came to assassinate Martin Luther King Jr. 

In 1975, Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. In 1976, Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia resigned as leader and was placed on house arrest. In 1979, Pakistan PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was executed. Bhutto's execution was fair, he had killed a political opponent. Later his daughter, Benazir, would become PM, and approve of Al Qaeda and later be killed by Al Qaeda as she campaigned to be PM again. 
From 2014
Reading takes skill. It is not a natural behaviour, it is learned. It is good for parents to read to their young. It doesn't matter what is read, the more one reads, the better they get. Comics are good, as are ebooks. Some like biographies, others fiction. I think it is difficult to love a car manual, but I know people that do. You can get it wrong with a book, but if you take time, it all makes sense. I read the Lord of the Rings for the first time when I was in year 10. In one weekend. I could not put the book down. I could not read it word for word, JRR Tolkein used too many ridiculous words. I skimmed it in large swathes. The story took hold. I read it again and again after that, slowing down and savouring certain bits. But I had not known that Shelob was a spider until I saw the movie some twenty years later. I'd missed detail. But because the text remained, I could find it. It isn't embarrassing to misread a book. 

A conversation can be unforgiving as a format. Last night, valued contributor Van Tran was discussing immigration. JT joined in. They had anecdotes about refugee life. JT commented it was sad that some people exploit the misery. Van mimicked and mocked the Green Idiot position which illogically hates Mr Abbott "I hate Abbott, therefore his policies suck." Van was replying to JT's comment. He wrote "Hear Hear John Tran" indicating that he had read what JT had written. Then he posted his example of what those who exploit such tragedy say in their illogical way. "I hate Abbott, therefore his policies suck." Enter Baz. Precisely why Baz does not get it is not known, but he is offended by Van's comment, and takes him to task for it. Only, Van has not written what Baz accuses him of writing. If Baz had read a book, he would not appear so silly now. Instead, he entered a conversation and wilfully refuses to understand what he is commenting on. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 503 BC, According to the Fasti TriumphalesRoman consul Agrippa Menenius Lanatuscelebrated a triumph for a military victory over the Sabines. 1147, first historical record of Moscow. 1287, King Wareru founded the Ramanya Kingdom, and proclaimed independence from the Pagan Kingdom. 1581, Francis Drake was knighted for completing a circumnavigation of the world. 1660, Declaration of Breda by King Charles II of England. 1721, Sir Robert Walpole took office as the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom under King George I. 1768, in London, Philip Astley staged the first modern circus. 1796, Georges Cuvier delivered his first paleontological lecture at École Centrale du Pantheon of the National Museum of Natural History on living and fossil remains of elephants and related species, founding the science of Paleontology. 

In 1812, United States President James Madison enacted a ninety-day embargo on trade with the United Kingdom. 1814, Napoleon abdicated for the first time and named his son Napoleon II as Emperor of the French. 1818, the United States Congress adopted the flag of the United States with 13 red and white stripes and one star for each state (then 20). 1841, William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia becoming the first President of the United States to die in office and with the shortest term served. Vice President John Tyler, became President upon Harrison's death. 1850, the Great Fire of Cottenham: A large part of the Cambridgeshire village (England) was burnt to the ground in suspicious circumstances. Also 1850, Los Angeles was incorporated as a city. 1859, Bryant's Minstrels debuted "Dixie" in New York City in the finale of a blackface minstrel show. 1865, American Civil War: A day after Union forces captured Richmond, Virginia, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln visited the Confederate capital. 1866, Alexander II of Russia narrowly escaped an assassination attempt by Dmitry Karakozov in the city of Saint Petersburg. 1873, The Kennel Club was founded, the oldest and first official registry of purebred dogs in the world. 1887, Argonia, Kansaselected Susanna M. Salter as the first female mayor in the United States. 

In 1905, in India, an earthquake hit the Kangra Valley, killing 20,000, and destroying most buildings in KangraMcLeod Ganj and Dharamsala. 1913, First Balkan War: Greek aviator Emmanouil Argyropoulos became the first pilot to die in the Hellenic Air Force when his plane crashed. 1925, the Schutzstaffel (SS) was founded in Germany. 1930, the Communist Party of Panama was founded. 1933, U.S. Navy airshipUSS Akron, was wrecked off the New Jerseycoast due to severe weather. 1939, Faisal II became King of Iraq. 1944, World War IIFirst bombardment of oil refineries in Bucharest by Anglo-American forces killed 3000 civilians. 1945, World War II: American troops liberated Ohrdruf forced labor camp in Germany. Also 1945, World War II: American troops captured Kassel. Also 1945, World War II: Soviet troops liberated from German occupation and/or occupy Hungary. (national Hungarian holiday until 1990) 1949, twelve nations signed the North Atlantic Treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 1958, the CND peace symbol was displayed in public for the first time in London. 

In 1960, France agreed to grant independence to the Mali Federation, a union of Senegal and French Sudan. 1964, The Beatles occupied the top five positions on the Billboard Hot 100pop chart. 1965, the first model of the new Saab Viggen fighter aircraft was unveiled. 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence" speech in New York City's Riverside Church. 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray at a motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Also 1968, Apollo programNASAlaunched Apollo 6. Also 1968, A.E.K. Athens B.C. became the first Greek team to win the European Basketball Cup. 1969, Dr. Denton Cooley implanted the first temporary artificial heart. 1973, the World Trade Center in New York was officially dedicated. Also 1973, a Lockheed C-141 Starlifter, dubbed the Hanoi Taxi, made the last flight of Operation Homecoming. 1975, Microsoft was founded as a partnership between Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico Also 1975, Vietnam WarOperation Babylift: A United States Air Force Lockheed C-5A Galaxy transporting orphans, crashed near SaigonSouth Vietnam shortly after takeoff killing 172 people. 1976, Prince Norodom Sihanouk resigned as leader of Cambodia and was placed under house arrest. 1979, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan was executed. 

In 1981, the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force mounted an attack on H-3 Airbase and destroyed about 50 Iraqi aircraft. 1983, Space Shuttle Challenger made its maiden voyageinto space. 1984, President Ronald Reagan called for an international ban on chemical weapons. 1988, Governor Evan Mecham of Arizona was convicted in his impeachment trial and removed from office. 1991, Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania and six others were killed when a helicopter collided with their airplane over an elementary school in Merion, Pennsylvania. 1991, the current flag of Hong Kong was adopted for post-colonial Hong Kong during the Third Session of the Seventh National People's Congress. 1994, Marc Andreessenand Jim Clark founded Netscape Communications Corporation under the name "Mosaic Communications Corporation". 1996, Comet Hyakutake was imaged by the USA Asteroid Orbiter Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous. 2002, the Angolan government and UNITA rebels signed a peace treaty ending the Angolan Civil War. 2007, fifteen British Royal Navy personnel held in Iran were released by the Iranian President. 2009, three police officers were shot and killed during a shootout in PittsburghPennsylvania. 2013, more than 70 people were killed in a building collapse in Thane, India.
=== 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.
===
Thanks to Warren for this advice on watching Bolt
Warren Catton Get this for your PC or MAC https://www.foxtel.com.au/foxtelplay/how-it-works/pc-mac.html Once tou have installed it start it up and press Live TV you don't need a login to watch Sky News!
===
I have moved from Sydney to Melbourne and am desperate for funding. If you have a heart for giving, I fundraise at gofundme.com/abeueaec
===
Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with AugustSeptemberOctober, or at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482020262/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_dVHPub0MQKDZ4  The kindle version is cheaper, but the soft back version allows a free kindle version.

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

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

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

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


I have begun a bulletin board (http://theconservativevoice.freeforums.netwhich will allow greater latitude for members to post and interact. It is not subject to FB policy and so greater range is allowed in posts. Also there are private members rooms in which nothing is censored, except abuse. All welcome, registration is free.
Happy birthday and many happy returns Rachel Julia and Mandy Mclean. Born on the same day, across the years, along with .. Grumpy Cat!
Deaths
April 4Holy Saturday (Western Christianity, 2015); Children's Day in Hong Kong and Taiwan; Independence Day in Senegal (1960);
Napoleon II, age 4
In Darkover, Breda means 'sister.' Nappy is emperor. Congratulations Bill on being first. We captured it. It was flagged. Let's party. 
===

ONCE THERE WERE 54

Tim Blair – Monday, April 04, 2016 (6:04pm)

Beware the curse of Abbott, warns Andrew Bolt: 
Things have not gone well for the 54 MPs who voted to replace Tony Abbott with Malcolm Turnbull six months ago.
First, they’ve seen their initial support sink so that Labor is now 50/50 with the Government – and with the wind behind it.
But many of the Turnbull backers have suffered personally. Count them. 
Read on.
===

THE QUILTY ULTIMATUM

Tim Blair – Monday, April 04, 2016 (4:20pm)

Our nation may never recover
Ben Quilty will leave Australia if politicians do not campaign for the abolition of the death penalty in countries like China and the United States.
The Archibald Prize-winning artist and Art Gallery of NSW trustee said, with a dose of black humour, he would rather live on Indonesia’s execution island than witness Australian politicians kowtow to countries that kill their citizens.
“Next year is the 50th anniversary of the last person executed in Australia and if some politicians don’t get up and use a soap box to proclaim that to the world, I’m leaving,” he said.
Asked where he would settle, Quilty said: “I don’t care. I’d rather live on Nusa Kambangan than have no politicians stand up for the great parts of what we’ve achieved.” 
(Via Monsterdome.)
===

WE ARE THE ABC

Tim Blair – Monday, April 04, 2016 (2:08pm)

The latest pay and conditions demand from ABC staff – an extract:

image

(Via the Ultimo Mole.) 
===

ENDANGERED SPECIES

Tim Blair – Monday, April 04, 2016 (3:56am)

Not all God’s creatures serve much earthly purpose, but that’s no reason to hate them. The elephant, for example, can be appreciated for its majesty and previous ivory donations, so we don’t mind if they stomp a few people to death from time to time.
Likewise, whenever plans are made to reduce the number of great white sharks, fans of the seaborne eating ¬machines rise up in protest. Often it is the first time most of them have ever protested in favour of something with “white” in its name.
Who doesn’t love the African lion? The whole world wept when an American lion hunter killed Zimbabwe’s beloved Cecil last year. Well, the whole world except for remote
Zimbabwean villagers, who really prefer not to be viewed by the feline predators as walking Whiskas.
Nevertheless, the elephant, the shark and the lion all enjoy widespread affection. Losing any of these animals is an occasion for regret. Sadly, however, many other pointless creations are routinely left to perish following lives of singular misery.
These entities are sometimes born to great public interest but invariably depart the physical realm alone and friendless. Their wretched deaths are solitary and unmourned. 
I speak, of course, about Prime Minister Turnbull’s Big Ideas.
The PM’s Big Ideas are currently carking it at a ferocious rate. Even Australia’s Islamic State fighters have a greater life expectancy, and those clowns are measured for coffins when they sign up. Long service leave is available after three days. Put it this way: Islamic State recruits don’t need to worry about packing mobile phone chargers.
It is conceivable someone, somewhere, may feel a moment’s slight sorrow when one of our mujahideen mates cops a holy droning. This is rarely the case with Malcolm’s Big Ideas, whose funerals are attended only by those who want to make absolutely certain the Prime Minister’s proposals are stone-cold dead. Let’s review Turnbull’s recent Big Ideas mortality list.
(Continue reading Endangered Species.)
===

NEEDLE AND THE DONALD DONE

Tim Blair – Monday, April 04, 2016 (3:01am)

If American university students are terrified by Donald Trump chalk messages, wait until they see those messages turning up in their heroin
A Troy woman was arrested Thursday for selling “Donald Trump” branded heroin. The heroin was packaged in dosage-sized bags stamped with the words “Donald Trump,” police said.
Darcie Rae Hall, 36, of 34 Granite St., Troy, was charged with the sale of a controlled drug, heroin, which police allege took place March 24 and March 28. 
At least she wasn’t selling Sanders sedatives or Clinton crack.
===

DRINK WHILE YOU CAN

Tim Blair – Monday, April 04, 2016 (2:23am)

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians is calling for massive nationwide changes to Australia’s drinking laws, including raising the legal drinking age and eventually reducing the blood alcohol limit for drivers to zero.
RACP president Nicholas Talley says the changes are needed to “bring about a shift in the Australian drinking culture”. As indeed they might, but possibly not in the way Talley imagines.
Such massive changes have a way of producing unintended consequences. Anyone wanting to know more about how anti-drinking laws can backfire should read Daniel Okrent’s wonderful Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.
Okrent’s study of America’s 13-year alcohol ban, which began in 1920, reveals some fascinating facts. Besides creating large-scale criminal gangs who supplied illicit booze to thirsty citizens, as is well known, Prohibition actually expanded the drinking market in various US cities.
Free of legal constraints, underground bars were open day and night. As a joke of the era put it: “Remember the old days before Prohibition, when you couldn’t buy a drink on Sunday?”
In Sydney, it is arguably less easy to buy a late-night drink now in certain inner-city areas than it was to buy a drink in New York under Prohibition. It could be, however, that just as Prohibition led to carousing with friends at home rather than in bars – the modern concept of a party was a Prohibition byproduct – more people are now drinking under their own roofs.
That might increase if the RACP’s recommendations, which also demand that the legal age for buying takeaway alcohol be increased as soon as possible, are adopted. Additionally, the Royal Australasian College of Bossy Fussbudgets wants state governments and councils to further reduce the number of bars and cut trading hours for hotels and bottle shops.
It is all very reminiscent of the anti-alcohol movement that swept the US in the early part of the 20th century, leading to Prohibition through a constitutional amendment – one of only two amendments in the history of the US Constitution, writes Okrent, that limited the activities of citizens rather than the power of government (the other exception was the 13th amendment, which outlawed slavery).
Perhaps the RACP will take further inspiration from their booze-banning forebears. A popular anti-alcohol song from the era prior to Prohibition went by this charming title: “Father’s a Drunkard, and Mother is Dead.”
It was performed by Little Effie Parkhurst. In 1933, when Prohibition was repealed, Little Effie and her kind were informed by the US Constitution to eff off. We could learn a few things from that celebrated document.
===

WHAT IS IT WITH THE LEFT AND CUPCAKES?

Tim Blair – Monday, April 04, 2016 (1:55am)

At the University of Queensland, a cupcake controversy
A bake sale that will charge customers based on their gender for a ‘Feminist Week’ at the University of Queensland has sparked outrage online with some students calling it discriminatory …
The event welcomes anyone to come and purchase a baked good, but created cost divisions between men and women.
“Each baked good will only cost you the proportion of $1.00 that you earn comparative to men (or, if you identify as a man, all baked goods with cost you $1.00!),” the UQU outlined on their site.
“For example, if you are a woman of colour in the legal profession, a baked good at the stall will only cost you 0.55 cents!” 
But if you’re a homeless man you’ll pay full price. Leftists are oddly fixated on cupcake issues.
(Via Stuart G.)
===

BOB ELLIS

Tim Blair – Sunday, April 03, 2016 (9:57pm)

Labor speechwriter Bob Ellis has died at 73. Finally, one of his predictions – “I may have months to live” – was right.
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DUMB-ON-DUMB VIOLENCE

Tim Blair – Sunday, April 03, 2016 (7:38pm)

Outside an Islamic food expo, a brawl erupts between two groups of non-Islamic idiots: 
Anti-Islamic group Party for Freedom had been picketing the Halal expo, when according to witnesses anti-fascist protesters, from Antifa, arrived in black with their faces covered.
A barrage of punches were thrown, as some protesters used flag poles to ram others and police struggled to separate the groups …
(Witness Erik) Anderson said up there were up to 15 Antifa members and 20 Party for Freedom protesters involved in the brawl. 
Meanwhile, the expo itself carried on entirely peacefully: 
Halal expo director Syed Atiq ul Hassan told the Herald Sun that the brawl “had nothing to do with us”.
“I can see people from all sorts of ethnic backgrounds here – it is a family event – and it is very harmonious.” 
Mr ul Hassan seems right on the money, judging by reports. It takes a special calibre of morons to get into a fight over falafels.
UPDATE. Further from Andrew Bolt.
===

How bad is Hillary?

Andrew Bolt April 04 2016 (8:49pm)

I hadn’t noticed how truly appalling Hillary Clinton’s results were in the last five primaries. Incredible. Wisconsin tomorrow night (US time) will be critical in saving her from seeming an absolute dud:
Idaho – March 22
Bernie Sanders: 78% (17 delegates) Hillary Clinton: 21% (5 delegates)
Utah – March 22
Bernie Sanders: 79% (26 delegates)
Hillary Clinton: 20% (6 delegates)
Alaska – March 26
Bernie Sanders: 82% (13 delegates)
Hillary Clinton: 18% (3 delegates)
Hawaii – March 26
Bernie Sanders: 70% (17 delegates)
Hillary Clinton: 30% (8 delegates)
Washington – March 26
Bernie Sanders: 73% (74 delegates)
Hillary Clinton: 27% (27 delegates)
===

Latham joins us at Sky News

Andrew Bolt April 04 2016 (8:07pm)

Sky News is ramping up the competition and taking this election very seriously:
Former ALP leader Mark Latham will return to TV screens on Sky News in a double-­header with talkback radio provocateur Alan Jones…
The program will fill a slot vacated by Richo + Jones as Graham Richardson undergoes surgery to have his bowel, bladder, rectum and prostate removed. We all wish him well…
Latham joins Sky News after Diary’s spies spotted former Channel Seven journalist Chris Bath last week at Sky’s North Sydney ­bunker. After joining Seven in 1995 as a reporter, Bath farewelled the network last July in her role as host of Sunday Night… We understand Bath has held talks about hosting a non-political show in a move that would reunite her with former Seven news director Rob Ras­chke, who recently came on board at Sky News as executive editor.
Sky Newspulled off another coup by persuading Peta Credlin to make a surprise return to politics for the duration of the election campaign. The former chief of staff of dumped prime minister Tony Abbott ... starts next month.
Good stuff. My own show starts on Sky News on April 23.
And all the very best to Richo. 
===

Trump may be trumped in Wisconsin

Andrew Bolt April 04 2016 (8:00pm)

This could be the start of the end for Trump:
A battered Donald Trump is trailing Ted Cruz as the Republican rivals steam towards tomorrow’s Wisconsin primary, a contest that the Texas senator is hoping will reshape the race for the White House.
Mr Cruz, a conservative firebrand who has become the unlikely champion of the Republican establishment by default, leads Mr Trump in Wisconsin by 43 per cent to 37 per cent, according to a CBS poll published yesterday.
The survey was the latest of several to hint that “Trump fatigue”, fuelled by a steady drip-feed of outlandish and offensive statements, could deny the billionaire the majority of delegates he needs to win the nomination outright. That would drag the Republicans into a contested convention in July…
Last week was perhaps the worst the Trump campaign has had since he entered politics nine months ago. He said that women who have abortions should be punished, provoked alarm by supporting nuclear proliferation in Asia and refused to reprimand an aide who appears to have lied about manhandling a reporter.
===

Karma comes to Turnbull supporters. UPDATE: Nola next?

Andrew Bolt April 04 2016 (11:18am)

Beware the curse of Abbott!
Things have not gone well for the 54 MPs who voted to replace Tony Abbott with Malcolm Turnbull six months ago.
First, they’ve seen their initial support sink so that Labor is now 50/50 with the Government - and with the wind behind it.
But many of the Turnbull backers have suffered personally. Count them.
Malcolm Turnbull himself has come under severe criticism and pressure, with his personal approval
Dennis Jensen yesterday lost his preselection, and without any irony at all protested at being betrayed.
Mal Brough has had to first resign his ministry and then from Parliament as police confirmed they were interviewing him over claims that he tried to procure personal information from a public servant about former Speaker Peter Slipper.
Arthur Sinodinos faces renewed criticisms and allegations over what he knew about secret and unlawful donations to the Liberals.
Teresa Gambaro is quitting Parliament.after being denied promotion.
Ian Macfarlane is quitting Parliament after being denied the ministry position he expected from Turnbull and then being blocked from moving to the nationals.
Phillip Ruddock is quitting Parliament after coming under severe presure in his preselection.
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells was humiliatingly denied the top spot on the Liberals NSW Senate ticket after anger at her betrayal of Abbott.
Scott Morrison, whose supporters switched to Turnbull, has been marginalised and belittled as Treasurer by the Prime Minister he helped to install (without actually voting for him himself).
Bronwyn Bishop, who so outrageously betrayed Abbott, is now in danger of losing the preselection she long assumed was sewn up.
Julie Bishop, who plotted with Turnbull and betrayed her leader, has suffered big reputational damage within the party and is now written off as a future leader. In fact, she will be unlikely to serve out another full term.
Stuart Robert has had to resign his ministry after confusing personal interests with his job and faces investigation by police..
Sharman Stone is quitting Parliament.
Michael Ronaldson has quit politics after being dumped as Minister. (Ronaldson was not among the 54, but only because he arrived too late to back Turnbull.)
Luke Simpkins has come under fire over his expenses.
Coincidence? Karma?
UPDATE
A thought: take out the Turnbull supporters now leaving parliament and add the marginal seat holders (many, like Sarah Henderson, who voted for Turnbull) likely to lose their seats and the Prime Minister looks not so invulnerable as the leadership vote six months ago suggests.
UPDATE
On notice to behave:
KEVIN Andrews ... says he would be prepared to challenge for the leadership of the Liberal party, and therefore the Prime Ministership, under the right circumstances…
Malcolm Turnbull’s elevation to the Prime Minister’s office last year resulted in Mr Andrews challenging fellow Liberal Julie Bishop for the deputy leadership of the party…
A party room vote saw Mr Andrews lose 30 votes to 70, a greater margin than when Mr Andrews unsuccessfully challenged Mr Turnbull for the leadership in 2009 over the party’s support for an emissions trading scheme.
Mr Andrews said any future attempt by him to assume the Liberal leadership would happen under those circumstances rather than him “setting out and saying I want to be Prime Minister”....
Mr Andrews said it was “true” he was a leader of the conservative side of the Liberal party.
“But I see that leadership as a kind of intellectual leadership,” he said.

UPDATE
So who will be next to feel the curse of Abbott?
Nola Marino was one of Abbott’s deputy whips, charged with keeping him informed of the mood of the backbench. Very close to plotter Julie Bishop, she was, and she then voted for Turnbull.. There are very strong reservations from locals about her role and loyalties.
Let’s see how many share those reservations at Marino’s preselection showdown today, and whether Turnbull’s intervention is enough to save her:
It was revealed this week that Mrs Marino, who holds the safe southern seat of Forrest, faced a preselection challenge from local party member Ben Small.
Mrs Marino has held Forrest since 2007 and was recently promoted by Mr Turnbull to Chief Government Whip.
He toldThe Weekend West that he would give his full backing to Mrs Marino as she fought off the threat to her job. “I could not praise her more highly,” Mr Turnbull said. 
===

Turnbull must act like Abbott or die

Andrew Bolt April 04 2016 (8:34am)

Malcolm Turnbull

WHAT a disaster. At moments like this, Malcolm Turnbull must surely be asking himself What Would Abbott Do?
If not, he should, because at this rate he’ll be toast.
I mean, when did you last see a prime minister act with such sustained ineptitude as Turnbull did over 48 hours last week?
It was so bad, and so typically Turnbull, that Liberal MPs must feel sick, especially the 53 who voted to make this bloke PM six months ago.
Turnbull, himself, seemed so rattled by the end that he gave three press conferences in a row where he read from notes, apparently not trusting himself to freewheel any more. No wonder.
On Wednesday, he announced he had a plan for “the most fundamental reform to the Federation in generations” — a plan that was “important”, a “very big fundamental reform” and “a real opportunity”, to which he’d had “very positive feedback”, filling him with “optimism”.

This plan was to let the states raise their own income tax, which — oops — might mean you ended up paying more tax overall. And — oh, dear — would benefit taxpayers in no clear way Turnbull could name.
Emphasising this shambolism, Turnbull outlined this while visiting a rugby league ground, as if he’d just thought of it.
Indeed, he hadn’t discussed his plan in any detail with the premiers and, when he finally met them on Friday, gave them no formal paperwork to explain it.
Not surprisingly, there was no trace of that “very positive feedback” Turnbull had claimed to detect.
(Read full article here.)
UPDATE
As I suggested - not that Morrison needed the tip to this morning do what Turnbull has done so poorly:
TREASURER: The Budget and forward estimates goes for four years for a start and over that period of time let me tell you what they’ve got. They’ve got $60 billion worth of additional expenditure commitments on top of what is currently in the Budget. That includes more than $30 billion on savings measures that they opposed and that they would seek to restore i.e. new spending of over $30 billion, some $13 billion or thereabouts in new commitments that they announced since the last Budget and $12 billion or thereabouts in funding commitments of savings that they continue to block in the Senate. Now, that’s $60 billion and you know what they’ve got to pay for it? They’ve got $7 billion of higher taxes and just $1 billion of savings. This is why I say any time Bill Shorten says how is he going to pay for something, the answer is always higher taxes because he believes, as does Chris Bowen, that Australia has a big revenue problem and when you hear someone say we’ve got a revenue problem, it means one thing – they want to tax you more.
If this is the attack then don’t talk of raising taxes yourself. 
===

Abbott obliges

Andrew Bolt April 04 2016 (8:10am)

The Left are demanding Tony Abbott leave Parliament because they fear him:

Tanya Plibersek, press conference, yesterday:


(Tony Abbott) plainly wants to be the leader again. He’s been haunting this government from day one, I think there’s no question and you would have seen the reports the same as I did that a majority of Australians want Tony Abbott to get on his bike.
Tanya’s wish, Tony’s command! Phillip Hudson in The Weekend Australian on Saturday:

Tony Abbott is getting back on his bike for charity and will be joined by ministers Josh Frydenberg, Christian Porter and Angus Taylor for his ­annual “pollie pedal”. The former prime minister will also be accompanied by riding buddy Kevin Andrews, as well as David Gillespie and senator Zed Seselja, for the fundraiser he started 19 years ago. It has raised more than $4.5 million for organisations such as Carers Australia and the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and medical research. … The eight-day, 1000km ride … starts from Parliament House in Canberra (on Sunday).
Note how many Liberal conservatives are peddling. Conservatives tend to look to themselves to help. The Left tend to demand government do it.
American research tends to confirm this:
In an even starker finding, the study shows that the religious and conservative states are the most generous givers. Seventeen of the most generous states, in relative terms, voted for Romney in 2012, while 15 of the 17 least generous ones picked Obama for re-election.
This may expose a correlation between conservative voters believing that redistribution is something that should be done out of their own pocket, not by the government.
It may also highlight links between religious belief – more common among Republican voters – and charity donations, which are funnelled towards, and encouraged by the Church.
George Will:
Sixteen months ago, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.” The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives…
-- Although liberal families’ incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).
-- Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.
-- Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.
-- Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average…
-- People who reject the idea that “government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality” give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.  
===

Richo: Turnbull consults, agrees and then breaks his word

Andrew Bolt April 04 2016 (8:00am)

The old Malcolm is back. A damning assessment by Graham Richardson:
Last week began with the ­realisation Scott Morrison was not in the PM’s inner circle. This came from Turnbull’s own mouth and it was not a good sound or a good look. Nothing could have ­pre­pared his colleagues for the fiasco of trying to do a deal with the states that would allow them to levy an income tax on their ­citizens.
Having rung around the front and the back benches, I ­assure you no one knew of that ­little gem. It didn’t matter whether your seat was in the inner, outer, full or dress circles, on this you were kept in the dark.
The problem for those in the government is that coming to an agreement with the PM is meaningless. He can, and does, agree to a course of action in the cabinet room or whatever room in which he has met with colleagues and ­advisers, then walks to the next microphone and says something completely and utterly different.
It may have been a short walk but Turnbull needs only seconds to change his mind and revert to the dark days of his time as opposition leader when his failure to consult proved fatal. The only real change is that he does consult now and he does come to an agreed course of action before he unilaterally decides that only he knows better anyway and ditches the agreement.
With more than 12 weeks to go before an anticipated July 2 double dissolution, this week has proven beyond doubt the PM’s lack of discipline and displays of hubris could prove disastrous for the ­Coalition. No one in his party now believes he can maintain real discipline for a fraction of that time.
As one cabinet minister said to me “Malcolm has been saved because his stupidity was so massive the policy died in a day”.
It is astonishing to read journalists praising Turnbull for having cunningly proved the states are hypocrites who want taxes raised but not by them.
Sure, he’s done that, but that is not how he first sold the move - as a dare. It’s also come at a terrible cost to his credibility. And he suffered the damage to make a point that buys him little real immunity. Will voters care that the states are hypocrites when they themselves are demanding more money from Turnbull for schools and hospitals?
Turnbull has bought tin for gold. What this farce reveals is not that the states want cash without responsibility - that’s news? - but that there are still journalists delusional in their support of the man they barracked into the job.
UPDATE
Jennifer Oriel:
Last week’s failure to reform ­income tax sharing arrangements at COAG exposed the government’s apparent weaknesses. It was an incomplete idea proposed prematurely that was ­untested against reality and prosecuted with insufficient modelling.
===

Just the football, please

Andrew Bolt April 03 2016 (11:36pm)

McLachlan is absolutely right, but I look forward to the AFL itself keeping its politics out of the footy, too:
THE AFL is considering tougher gate screening after fans unfurled an anti-Muslim banner at the MCG on Friday night.
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan said the footy was no place for political messages.
UPDATE
Good point:
Queensland LNP MP Mark Robinson on Twitter yesterday:

The @AFL mosque sign was unfortunate, but not racist? Mosques are buildings! Is “stop the churches” ­racist? ... People can get all hot & sweaty if they like. But Saudis are pouring big $ to convert Aussies by building new mosques.
UPDATE
Rita Panahi:
THE AFL can’t cynically use the game as a vehicle to push its pet political agendas then feign shock when others get the same idea…

For years, the AFL has enthusiastically championed every “progressive” campaign imaginable from the worthy to the witless…
It was only a matter of time before others saw the competition as a means of pushing their own political dogmas and sadly the feverish reaction to Friday night’s ugly stunt means we can look forward to more signs or protests at future games. 
===

Live your life

Andrew Bolt April 03 2016 (9:49pm)

Hamish McLachlan interviews close friend Angie Cunningham about her battle with motor neurone disease.  Cunningham is unable to move anything but her eyes, but her iPad can read those movements and translate them to speech.
From the interview:
HM: You said you’ve gained a rather intense appreciation for life now you are on borrowed time. Did you think you had a good appreciation before and then realised, like most of us, you took too much for granted?
AC: The thing with MND is today is my best day, tomorrow is going to be “less”. Pretty much every day with this disease, I have got weaker. Before I got sick, I was always chasing or wishing for something — promotion, pregnancy, new home — and I used to think, just enjoy the moment you are in. Now I have to appreciate the moment that I am in, as this moment is as good as it gets! If there is anything good about being given a death sentence, it is the fact you witness all the people you love rally around you. I have constantly been floored by all the love and goodwill surrounding me. I also wonder whether it is life’s irony to cast this disease on me. I have been impossibly independent since I was a small child, and then this disease took it away from me. I rely on help with just about everything. The one thing I definitely took for granted is my health — not that I did not look after myself, but I never valued being healthy as an asset, and now I think it’s the most important thing. As the saying goes, “At least you have your health”....
HM: When you weigh up the cards you have been dealt, and try to make sense of it all, where do you end up?
AC: Life is not always fair. I know I was on a pretty good run for 39 years. I had a blessed childhood, exciting sporting adventures growing up, challenging career travelling the world, married my true companion, had two beautiful children and then the incredible lucky streak ended (rather abruptly!). I am not the first 40-something mother who has had her life cut short; sadly, it happens too much. I just accept that it is part of my fate, and I am thankful for every other great hand I was dealt....
HM: And people that love you. Are you scared or at peace with what lies ahead?
AC: I wouldn’t say I am at peace with it, but I acknowledge my inevitable fate. I have had two stays in intensive care so far, and it has been close calls both of those times. I still have fight left in me though for now. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the end. You get a lot of professional advice on how to handle your affairs, and what to do with the kids. We have dealt with those things, and then we just got on with living life. I don’t feel ready to die, and I am certainly not at peace with the fact that I am. Some days now are really tough to get through, though. I had a few in a row last week where I was really struggling, and I think it will get to a stage where the struggle is too much to bear every day, and I will just want to go.
HM: Final one from me: I have admired you since the day I met you, and have loved you from about a month after that. It has been a privilege to have this chat, and when the time comes, I will miss you very much.
AC: Finally you have broken me … you’ve brought tears to my eyes. I have loved doing this article with you, my dear friend. I am sad it has to end as you have asked some very thought-provoking questions, and have made me explore and express things I should be saying more. Being your friend is a privilege. xx
The Cure for MND Foundation is working to give hope to sufferers and their families. Donate here.
===

What is it with the Left and violence?

Andrew Bolt April 03 2016 (9:23pm)

Both sides ugly, but, again, I suspect the Right-wingers will be blamed by the media for the violence that is the calling card of the far Left:
A Halal food festival has been rocked by a violent brawl between anti-Islam protesters and far-left activists.
About 30 far-left protesters wearing black clothing and balaclavas, believed to be part of the anti-fascist Antifa group, swarmed a group of right extremists, including members of the United Patriots Front, Reclaim Australia and other anti-Halal activists.
Demonstrators on both sides threw punches, wrestled each other and pinned each other to the ground outside the festival in Ascot Vale.

One right-wing protester was punched in the face and left bleeding, and another was left scarred after he was struck with a pole on his chest.
Witnesses seem in little doubt who started the violence:
Anti-Islamic group Party for Freedom was picketing the expo when, according to witnesses, protesters from anti-fascist group Antifa launched “an attack”.
Erik Anderson said the violence only lasted minutes but was “very intense”.
“(Antifa protesters) rocked up in a group and started punching people,” he said.
How utterly bizarre - non-Muslim Leftists and non-Muslin Rights brawling over Muslims who want nothing to do with either:
Halal Expo director Syed Atiq ul Hassan told the Herald Sun the brawl “had nothing to do with us”.
He said about 2000 people had peacefully attended the event, which aimed to “spread awareness about the significance of Halal food, products and services”.

“They are two groups who have their own issues and they fought,” he said. “I can see people from all sorts of ethnic backgrounds here — it is a family event, and it is very harmonious. There has been no incident inside.”
UPDATE
What is it with the Left and urging extremists to kill?
In late 2014, Canberra’s Aspen Island Theatre Company received $18,793 from Arts ACT for the creative development of David Finnigan’s provocatively-titled play, Kill Climate Deniers…
Now Finnigan is preparing to reignite the controversy by launching an e-book of the play at Canberra’s upcoming You Are Here festival…

Finnigan wrote an action movie-style drama in which Parliament House is invaded by gun-toting eco-terrorists. With the Government held hostage, and facing the threat of imminent execution unless she ends global warming immediately, the embattled Environment Minister has no choice but to defend her ideals – one bullet at a time....

‘I think it’s life and death, the situation that we’re talking about with climate change… and rather than doing anything we’ve got elected officials who are actively putting roadblocks in the way of dealing with it.
‘So for me there’s no question this is a really vital conversation to be starting...”
Which person does Finnigan recommend we kill first?  Will he do the killing himself or is he just waiting for someone with more guts to act on his words? 
===

TACTICAL CONTRAST

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 04, 2015 (7:28am)

The leftist approach: find a small-town business run by conservatives and attempt to destroy them.
The conservative approach: find a small-town business run by leftists and immediately befriend them:

image
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A WATERFALL OF BLOOD

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 04, 2015 (7:15am)

“ISIS has resurrected crucifixion,” reports Deroy Murdoch. “In doing so, these Islamofascist scum have built a bridge to the fourth decade a.d. The only way to top this would be to feed Christians to lions this evening at Rome’s Colosseum.” Don’t put it past them: 
“People are tired and they hate everything,” an ISIS resident identified as Abu Ibrahim told CNN. “If you don’t close your shop during prayer time you get lashes, if you smoke you get lashed, if you say one wrong thing you can be executed.” He added: “It is like a waterfall of blood. There are more and more executions and now the children watch like they are used to it.” 
(Via Instapundit)
===

BROTHERS IN VEGAS

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 04, 2015 (7:11am)

Two decades after Stayin’ Alive, those Bee Gees could still absolutely smash an audience:

===

No room for free speech with socialists rule

Andrew Bolt April 04 2015 (6:39pm)

What is it with socialists and free speech?
Hundreds of people washed spit from their faces on Saturday evening after an ugly stand-off at Federation Square between supporters of Reclaim Australia, an anti-Islamic movement, and No Room For Racism, a coalition of trade union, community and left-wing groups… 
Organiser Mel Gregson said No Room for Racism was formed with the express purpose of shutting down the 16 rallies across Australia planned by Reclaim Australia.  
===

Charming people in Queensland Labor

Andrew Bolt April 04 2015 (2:13pm)

More scandal from Queensland Labor:
POLICE have been called in to investigate a complaint of intimidation and harassment as problems around Labor MP Rick Williams deepen. 
Labor yesterday vowed to put a stop to the chaos after a complainant called police over ongoing harassment since going public with concerns about Mr Williams’s fitness for office.
The ALP is facing new questions over revelations by The Courier-Mail that Mr Williams was in 2007 charged with failing to lodge a tax return.
Labor has stood by the first-term MP for the seat of Pumicestone since serious concerns were separately raised by a neighbour and a family member this week, saying there had been no illegal activity.
But The Courier-Mail can reveal Mr Williams’ stepdaughter Jasmine Manaley reported concerns for her safety after being woken in the night by pounding on her door yesterday. Police failed to find a person reportedly seen fleeing the house on foot.
Mrs Manaley has also been approached at her home by Mr Williams’s friend, Terry McDaniel, who told her not to talk to the media, saying: “The smart thing for you to do is to turn around and say no f---ing comment."… 
Labor state secretary Evan Moorhead yesterday said he had spoken to Mr Williams and said that “unsolicited contact with a complainant is not acceptable”
First Billy Gordon and now this. Who in Labor is checking pre-selections?
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

On The Bolt Report tomorrow, April 5

Andrew Bolt April 04 2015 (11:22am)

On the  The Bolt Report on Channel 10 tomorrow at 10am and 3pm.
Editorial: Christ, martyr to free speech. And some things just haven’t changed.
Guest: Dr Mark Durie, Anglican minister and Islamic expert. Should we judge faiths by what they urge people to do - such as massacres in Kenya? If so, why is Christianity so despised by the media class?
The panel: the great Michael Kroger and Professor Sinclair Davidson, economist and vindicated Essendon supporter.
Newswatch: Rowan Dean. Why did so much of the media fall for the great Labor spin on the “blackest day in Australian sport”?
And plenty more.
The videos of the shows appear here.
===

How much longer can Islamic leaders keep saying this has nothing to do with their faith?

Andrew Bolt April 04 2015 (10:35am)

Islamic leaders must urgently reform their faith - or admit that this is a consequence of it:
Two New York City women have been arrested and accused of planning to carry out a “terrorist attack” in the United States, according to a federal criminal complaint made public on Thursday. 
Noelle Velentzas, 28, and Asia Siddiqui, 31, plotted to hit police, government or military targets based on their “violent jihadist beliefs,” according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.
It said Velentzas and Siddiqui were conspiring “to prepare an explosive device to be detonated in a terrorist attack in the United States.”
The complaint said Velentzas had praised al Qaeda’s Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and said she and Siddiqui were “citizens of the Islamic State."…
When they were arrested, agents found bomb-building materials including propane gas tanks, soldering tools, pipes, a pressure cooker and fertilizer, authorities said.
The women also voiced support for beheadings of Western journalists and others by militants in control of territory in Syria and Iraq, the complaint said…
Separately on Thursday, Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh, a U.S. citizen accused of training with al Qaeda in Pakistan, appeared in Brooklyn federal court on charges he had conspired to provide personnel to be used by Islamist militants in support of efforts to kill U.S. citizens and members of the U.S. military abroad.
UPDATE
Instead of reform we get this, from Victoria’s biggest Islamic school:
Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne has asked the principal of al-Taqwa College to explain why he told students that Islamic State was a Western plot. 
The move comes as a former teacher at the school said principal Omar Hallak also told students that Israel did not exist and Jews were horrible people.
(Thanks to reader John.) 
===

Don’t mention Islam

Andrew Bolt April 04 2015 (10:31am)

Strangely, no mention in the Lateline report and interview of the words “Islam” and “Muslim” in discussing the slaughter of more than 140 Kenyan students, almost all Christian, by the Islamist al Shabab.
About that attack:
New details emerged Friday about how a handful of fighters from the Shabab militant group, with just a few light weapons, managed to kill nearly 150 students in Kenya’s worst terrorist attack since the 1998 bombing of the United States Embassy in Nairobi. 
Survivors said many students had fallen for the militants’ trick, voluntarily leaving their dorm rooms and obeying commands to lie down in neat rows, only to be shot in the back of the head… The Shabab tried to justify the attack on Thursday by saying this part of Kenya was “a Muslim land under colony.” A Shabab spokesman called the university part of Kenya’s “plan to spread their Christianity and infidelity.”
UPDATE
Why does ABC host Tony Jones still treat Robert Fisk as his oracle - and the ABC’s preferred guru - on the Middle East? This time Fisk is soft-soaping Iran. 
===

Left now worries: which actually looks like a leader, Abbott or Shorten?

Andrew Bolt April 04 2015 (10:09am)

Step by tiny step, Tony Abbott is climbing out of the deep hole. His aim: to get to the election within touching distance in the polls of an uninspiring Labor leader he feels in his bones he can beat in a head-to-head contest.
And indeed, even a Leftist Michael Gordon, writing for the emphatically Leftist Age, is now wondering about Shorten, too:
Barely a month ago, Bill Shorten moved cautiously, if belatedly, to start delivering on the promise he made to voters after Tony Abbott’s disastrous 2014: that this would be the year when Labor was defined by the power of its ideas… 
The ideas we have seen in the last month are, at best, a modest down payment: a crackdown on tax avoidance by global companies; a national crisis summit on violence against women; a meeting between political and Indigenous leaders to discuss constitutional change and other issues, and a bipartisan approach on submarines.
No signature policies to be sure, and none that captured much media interest or public imagination..
Now, Mike Baird’s emphatic victory in NSW has ramped up the pressure on Shorten (and taken the heat on Abbott) in two main respects: by ending the run of first-term Coalition governments and providing a case study in how to convince voters to accept controversial reforms.
It also presented Shorten with a test of leadership that, so far, he has comprehensively failed.
It was understandable that sections of the Labor Party would be outraged that former party luminary, Martin Ferguson, went public during the campaign with a scathing and vitriolic attack on Labor’s scaremongering on Baird’s electricity privatisation plan… But it was a big step to formally institute proceedings to expel Ferguson from the party ...  a step Shorten should have denounced from the outset. 
Instead, he chose to sit on a barbed-wire fence....
The tide is shifting at Fairfax. Abbott-hater Mark Kenny now suggests Abbott might not be so bad and is getting stronger.  Peter Hartcher at least concedes that Scott Morrison is very good indeed.
UPDATE
And Peter van Onselen, of course, follows the pack:
At the halfway mark of the Abbott government’s first term, questions are starting to be asked of Bill Shorten’s opposition. What does it stand for beyond punishing the Coalition for broken promises or seeking to capitalise on the unpopularity of Tony Abbott? 
When you talk to Labor frontbenchers about their lack of ideas they like to highlight the recently announced clampdown on multinational tax avoidance. It’s akin to a lone cactus in the desert. Even on Labor’s own numbers, it raises only $1.65 billion across the four years of forward estimates.
Given the amount of spending cuts the opposition is holding up in the Senate, and the fact this year’s budget deficit alone is likely to nudge $50bn, it’s hardly a solution to Australia’s fiscal problems. Not when JPMorgan says the AAA credit rating is under threat because of rising debt…
Shorten ... can’t let the next 18 months turn into a period of voters slowly coming to the realisation Labor isn’t ready for a return to government, and Abbott deserving a chance to finish what he started.
As the next election gets closer voters increasingly will view the unpopular Abbott through the prism of who else is on offer to lead the country. The polls will become increasingly comparative when this happens. At present they reflect a strong protest vote against the government. Shorten isn’t setting any hearts fluttering with his vision, alternative narrative or plan for fixing the budget…
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill:
Bramston, Tingle, Oakes, Gordon and now PvO, AB. Shorten running out of friends?
===

Obama’s history of surrender to Iran

Andrew Bolt April 04 2015 (9:41am)

Philip Klein presents a brief history of Obama’s capitulations to Iran since 2007:
July 2007: No preconditions 
During a July 23, 2007, debate for the Democratic presidential nomination..., one participant asked the candidates if they would be willing to meet, without precondition, within the first year of their administration, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela. “I would,” Obama said…
January 2009: Extending the hand 
...For his first formal interview as president, he ... acknowledged Iran had a record of threatening Israel, sponsoring terrorism, and pursuing nuclear weapons. “But,” he added, “I do think that it is important for us to be willing to talk to Iran, to express very clearly where our differences are, but where there are potential avenues for progress...”
March 2009: “The Islamic Republic of Iran”
In the first of his annual messages on Nowruz, the Persian New Year, Obama addressed the Iranian people as well as the “leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” By referring to the “Islamic Republic” he immediately added legitimacy to the anti-American regime…
June 2009: The Green Revolution
On June 12, Iran held its tightly-controlled elections, and after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner, massive democratic protests broke out against the regime. Rather than support the dissidents in the face of a brutal crackdown by the Islamic nation, Obama was initially silent before offering a tepid response days later. On the one hand, he said he was “troubled by the violence"… But he watered down his statement by saying, “we respect Iranian sovereignty” ... 
2009 — Present: Letters to the Ayatollah
During his presidency, Obama has become pen pals with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. This despite the fact that Khamenei continues to back terrorism, has called for “Death to America” and declared that Israel is a “cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut” within the context of seeking nuclear weapons. In November 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that Obama sent his fourth letter to Khamenei since 2009 and the latest one referenced their supposedly mutual interests in combatting the Islamic State and reaching a nuclear compromise… In September 2013, Obama spoke on the phone with new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani – representing the highest-level contact between the U.S. and Iran since the Carter administration cut off ties with the regime in 1980.
2009 — 2011: Resisting tougher sanctions
At many points when it has suited his political interests, Obama has boasted of having ratcheted up sanctions against Iran in his first term. Though it’s accurate that more sanctions were imposed, the important context is that Obama continually fought back Congress in an attempt to weaken sanctions…
2013 — Present: Nuclear concessions mount
On Nov. 24, 2013, the Obama administration announced an “interim agreement” with Iran that provided immediate sanctions relief in exchange for concessions on its nuclear program. The agreement was supposed to last six months, but has since been extended multiple times. And as time goes on, the U.S. moves closer and closer to the Iranian position.
The negotiations had been pitched as a way to make sure Iran “doesn’t have the capacity to develop a nuclear weapon,” but now, the stated goal is to make sure that the U.S. can tell when Iran is a year away from a nuclear weapon ...
Initially, the U.S. denied that the interim agreement recognized Iran’s right to enrich uranium, but Secretary of State John Kerry later sang a different tune. There has also been a clear shift in the number of centrifuges Iran will be allowed to operate. In April 2012, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said, “Our position is clear: Iran must live up to its international obligations, including full suspension of uranium enrichment...” By September 2014, the U.S. was saying that the goal was to limit the number of centrifuges to 1,500. The latest reports are that Iran will be allowed to keep around 6,000 centrifuges – which will make it a lot harder to limit Iran’s so-called breakout time to obtaining a nuclear weapon to a year.
An April 2012 New York Times report revealed that the Obama administration and its European allies were “demanding the immediate closing and ultimate dismantling” of Fordo, a nuclear facility built deep under a mountain. But the Associated Press reported last month that under the current deal, the facility would remain operational…
Ongoing: Realigning U.S. Middle East policy toward Iran
...Recently, Kerry said the U.S. might have to negotiate with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, an ally of the Iranian regime. The U.S. has tolerated a growing role for Iran in Iraq. The administration has had a tepid response to the takeover of Yemen — once hailed as a model of counterterrorism — by Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels. Obama has also taken an increasingly belligerent attitude toward Israel.
Even the Washington Post is alarmed:
THE “KEY parameters” for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program released Thursday fall well short of the goals originally set by the Obama administration. None of Iran’s nuclear facilities — including the Fordow center buried under a mountain — will be closed. Not one of the country’s 19,000 centrifuges will be dismantled. Tehran’s existing stockpile of enriched uranium will be “reduced” but not necessarily shipped out of the country. In effect, Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will remain intact, though some of it will be mothballed for 10 years. When the accord lapses, the Islamic republic will instantly become a threshold nuclear state. 
That’s a long way from the standard set by President Obama in 2012 when he declared that “the deal we’ll accept” with Iran “is that they end their nuclear program” and “abide by the U.N. resolutions that have been in place.” Those resolutions call for Iran to suspend the enrichment of uranium. Instead, under the agreement announced Thursday, enrichment will continue with 5,000 centrifuges for a decade, and all restraints on it will end in 15 years… The proposed accord will provide Iran a huge economic boost that will allow it to wage more aggressively the wars it is already fighting or sponsoring across the region.  
UPDATE
Iran describes a victory - the immediate lifting of sanctions in exchange for mere promises to eventually restrain, but not stop, its nuclear program:
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani underlined on Friday that all the UN and economic, financial and banking sanctions against Iran will be annuled the moment a final nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers goes into effect… 
In a public address on the state-run TV on Friday, President Rouhani reminded his election campaign slogan that he would keep Iran’s nuclear industry running and remove the sanctions against the country, and said the Iranian nation is now closer to this goal more than ever.
UPDATE
Charles Krauthammer:
(Y)ou could see what happened ... by the jubilation in the face of the Iranian Foreign Minister when he announced what had been agreed to. The bottom line are two things. Iran is promised a total lifting of sanctions. That’s U.N., E.U., United States, everywhere. We are not sure about the timing, but it could be as early as June, and that will super charge the Iranian economy, will strengthen the regime, will give it tens of billions of dollars with which not only to build its nuclear facilities, but to use for the proxy wars around the Middle East… 
it is possible that when they sign the agreement in June, there will be a huge relief of sanctions. And when Obama speaks about snapping them back, if the Iranians are cheating, there is not chance in the world that the Chinese, the Russians or even the Europeans are going to snap on sanctions again. We would be acting alone, we would be completely isolated.
So, number one, they are going to get their economy back and that’s all they really wanted. But the second, the most astonishing thing is that in return, they are not closing a single nuclear facility. Their entire nuclear infrastructure is intact ... (T)he president ... no more than a year and a half ago ... talked about you don’t need the Fordow facility, they are keeping it, it’s not going to close… 
So, they are going to have the entire infrastructure in place either for a breakout after the agreement expires or when they have enough sanctions relief and they want to cheat and to breakout on their own.
Thomas Sowell:
United Nations officials say that Iran is already blocking their existing efforts to keep track of what is going on in their nuclear program. This should tell anyone who does not already know it that any agreement with Iran will be utterly worthless in practice… 
Clearing the way for Iran to get nuclear bombs may—probably will—be the most catastrophic decision in human history. 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
This deal would pose a grave danger to the region and to the world and would threaten the very survival of the State of Israel. 
The deal would not shut down a single nuclear facility in Iran, would not destroy a single centrifuge in Iran and will not stop R&D;on Iran’s advanced centrifuges.
On the contrary. The deal would legitimize Iran’s illegal nuclear program. It would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure. A vast nuclear infrastructure remains in place. 
The deal would lift sanctions almost immediately and this at the very time that Iran is stepping up its aggression and terror in the region and beyond the region… Such a deal paves Iran’s path to the bomb. And it might very well spark a nuclear arms race throughout the Middle East and it would greatly increase the risks of terrible war. 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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The mad vindictiveness of the Left

Andrew Bolt April 04 2015 (9:27am)

The stormtroopers of the Left have managed to shut down an Indiana pizza shop in their crusade to prove that no person, however humble, can be allowed to speak their minds without losing their livelihoods. Even some of the Left are now a little ashamed and sorry, not least about the gotcha reporting which sparked the witchhunt:
The owners of Memories Pizza, the O’Connor family, did not willingly seek out controversy, deny service to a gay person or couple, or even go out on a limb to suggest that they would. No, they merely responded to a question from Alyssa Marino, a local reporter for ABC 57 News who had come to their shop in search of a story. 
And they did give her a story—but not the one she reported. Her initial headline was “RFRA: First Michiana business to publicly deny same-sex service” (Michiana is the region in Indiana where Memories Pizza is located). That headline implies two things that are false. The O’Connors had no intention of becoming the first Michiana business to do anything discriminatory with respect to gay people; they had merely answered a hypothetical question about what would happen if a gay couple asked them to cater a wedding. And the O’Connors had every intention of providing regular service to gay people—just not their weddings. . . . As I said yesterday, I don’t agree with the policy the O’Connors articulated, though I would defend their right to practice it—in both theory and actuality. I would also defend the right of people to criticize it, though I would question the wisdom, necessity, and productivity of doing so in such a harsh and stridently condemning manner. The death threats are another matter; no one has the right to threaten violence against someone else.
The people who made those threats are at fault, but so are the journalists who erroneously reported on this story—who made a merely unfriendly policy seem like a declaration of pending discrimination against the next gay person to walk through the front door of Memories Pizza.
As noted yesterday, the silent majority is pushing back against this new McCarthyism. Pledged donations to the O’Connors now total more than $835,000.
UPDATE
These two people were the focus of a national campaign of hatred and vengeance by Leftists:
UPDATE
Why are gay groups and the Left generally persecuting a Christian business but not any Muslim bakers who also don’t want to bake a cake for a gay wedding?:
(Thanks to reader Me 2.) 
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Super seems a sitting duck

Andrew Bolt April 04 2015 (9:20am)

I’ve got no idea about superannuation tax rates and lurks. Adam Creighton does, explains it and argues the tax breaks are not just unfair but unsustainable.
I have a throbbing pain around the hip area. I wouldn’t mind so much if I saw an even greater political will to cut spending, not just raise taxes. 
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Don’t trust “firebrand” clerics to bring peace with our cash

Andrew Bolt April 04 2015 (8:01am)

Pay radical clerics to be nice? That’s how we should steer young Muslims from terror?
Federal government efforts to combat Islamic State-inspired radicalisation have come under heavy criticism amid concerns that critical programs are still months from being rolled out… 
Several respected Muslim community leaders have ... highlighted the need to engage “firebrand” clerics who have more reach and influence in the small groups that need targeting...,
Jack Roche, who in 2004 was convicted of conspiring to blow up ­Israel’s embassy in Canberra four years earlier at the behest of al-Qa’ida’s leadership ... said any government schemes intended to deter at-risk young people from the lure of ­Islamic State, also known as ISIS, would be severely handicapped without the engagement of controversial Islamic leaders who have previously been shunned by governments.
Such a thing has been achieved previously. The controversial Sheik Feiz ­Mohammed was praised by then Labor attorney-general Mark Dreyfus for backing counter-radicalisation efforts in 2013. 
Jack Roche is not a “respected Muslim community leader”.
Mark Dreyfus is not a trusted guide on community harmony, having described the troubled Dandenong area he represents as ”a wonderful example to others of a modern, diverse and harmonious society”.
Feiz Mohammed, whatever his alleged softening, was a mentor of Islamic State terrorist Mohamed Elomar and cited as an inspiration of Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. One of the schoolboys stopped at Sydney Airport last month, wanting to join the Islamic State, had watched one of Mohammed’s videos.
But if clerics can help save innocent lives and redeem their faith, why must they be paid by government to do so?
Then there’s this naive reliance on a government lecture being enough to deter children from turning to terror:
...community ­leader Jamal Rifi said two teenage boys stopped at Sydney airport last month on suspicion of wanting to travel to Syria had not ­received any guidance or counselling.
Those two boys attended Sydney Boys High, an academically selective state school which provides plenty of counselling on good citizenship, although, true, it isn’t Christian. If even a school like that can’t counsel children out of being terrorists, I would not put much hope in another government program doing that much better.
Roche ... said controversial clerics such as Sheik Feiz and Melbourne’s Mohammad Omran — more commonly known as Sheik Abu Ayman — had the respect of many of those at-risk of being recruited to terrorism through their leadership of the strict Sunni group Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah… Sheik Omran was among the first people to console the family of Melbourne teen Numan Haider after he was shot dead during a knife attack on two counter-terrorism officers last year, and courted controversy a decade ago by describing Osama bin Laden as “a good man in some ways, and not in other ways”. 
He has also ­denounced the 9/11 attacks, the Bali bombings, the Spanish train bombings and the London bombings.
A sheik who praised - in part - Osamas bin Laden is our hope?  A man who once said ”I dispute any evil action linked to bin Laden”? A man who said ”I don’t believe that even September 11 from the beginning, I (don’t) believe it (was) done by any Muslim at all”?  A man accused by one Somali mother of  turning her son into a hardliner, so that her son returned to Somalia to fight - and be killed? A man who in 2003 had this conversation:
Reporter: Is it a good Muslim’s duty to go and fight the coalition forces for jihad in Iraq at the moment? 
Sheikh Mohammed Omran: I would say yes.
Excuse me if I think Omran isn’t a solution but a problem.
Note: I am not saying the Government should not attempt to deradicalise young Muslims. But I am saying we should not put much hope in success, and even less hope in “firebrand” clerics doing it for us.
A much wider community effort is needed, with all Muslim clerics taking responsibility for reforming their faith, and with all members of our own teacher-preacher class taking responsibility for not vilifying this culture and country to which we’d rather young Muslims showed more love and allegiance. 
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It could also be captioned regarding before and after friendship with Iran
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Union thugs pay for bully boy tactics

Piers Akerman – Thursday, April 03, 2014 (6:44pm)

SHOCKED unionists in the building industry are just discovering they can no longer expect to be protected from the full weight of the law by compliant union-friendly Labor governments in Canberra. The union thugs are being chased down, prosecuted, fined — and in a new twist — actually being made to pay up.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Union thugs pay for bully boy tactics'
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INSULTED BY BOATS

Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (6:22pm)

“I find the site of these orange lifeboats being bought by our govt, insulting & repulsive in the extreme!” screamsKiera.
Why, dear? Not enough dead bodies in them?
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I THINK I GOT AN F

Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (6:12am)

Greens politician David Shoebridge and his socialist friend Bruce Knobloch grade my performance at Saturday’sStupidfest
Columnist Tim Blair spent last Saturday at an activist training day initiated by The Greens NSW. The sole purpose of his attendance was to write a typically cynical rant rubbishing the content of the day and the people attending it. 
Well, it sure wasn’t for the food. 
The pride with which he confesses his inability to comprehend the speakers is a recurring theme in conservative writing. 
Is it really? I didn’t know my personal comprehension issues were that widely covered. 
Blair comes from a world where the person you disagree with is to be mocked, not understood and certainly not engaged with. 
I’m actually from Werribee, where one or two community members show disagreement in slightly less subtle ways. As for “engagement”, I spoke with Wendy, Aidan, Jenna, Hugh and Gary, plus probably four or five others. If we were any more “engaged”, we’d be shacked up like a bunch of Mormons. 
His vehement attack reflects a dislike of activism generally among right wing commentators, which appears here as an attack on grassroots organising. 
One of the most successful recent examples of grassroots organising, as I discussed with my fellow students on Saturday, was the Liberal membership uprising that led to the removal of Malcolm Turnbull as party leader. I supported it. Activism rules! 
Just like the newspaper in which these comments are printed, these commentators do not like the community sorting facts from spin, imagining a more democratic future and using their resources to try to bring it closer. 
“Imagining a more democratic future.” Easy – where Greens can’t boss us around from the fringes. 
It’s understandable that the right has become frustrated. You only have to remember the minuscule turnout of “outraged” citizens in their “convoy of no confidence” to get an idea of the hurt they are feeling. It is hard to image the emotional pain of a tabloid editor who has spilled litres of ink and wasted millions of dollars of valuable copy to get a dud convoy, only to see a relatively decentralised grouping organise large turnouts for March in March Australia-wide. 
So far as I can tell, this was the only piece I wrote ahead of the anti-carbon tax protest. By the way, who’s attacking activism now? 
But to give Tim Blair some credit, he put on his Sunday best and engaged in at least one of the exercises at Saturday’s workshop. When asked to describe his conception of power he responded, “power is when I vote against The Greens”. That the Opinion Editor and Columnist of a national daily newspaper is so fixated on a party that is currently neither in Opposition nor in Government is remarkable. 
But you were in power, through the Greens’ ruinous liaison with Labor. And people need to be reminded how that all worked out. (Incidentally, I haven’t been the opinion editor for some years and the Daily Telegraph is a state newspaper.) 
The use of corporate power to keep Greens out of Parliaments and activists off the streets is a daily fact of life in this part of the planet. Why aren’t we listening to the media establishment pushing these lines? 
You evidently are. 
So who was at Saturday’s activist’s workshop? Telling the story of the attendees would have been a much more interesting thing to write and read about, but understanding the event was never part of Tim Blair’s intention. 
I’d have been more upset if I’d turned up as a trainee activist wanting to learn about protesting. The course taught exactly nothing about practical activism. You people don’t even know how to talk to your own supporters. 
We’re pleased to say that feedback from the day has been uniformly positive. Except, that is, for one man in his late forties, wearing a shabby shirt and scuffed ethics, who probably shouldn’t have wasted his Saturday with us. 
I’ll have you know, sir, that shirt cost more than $11 – and was therefore one of the most expensive garments in the room. Also, you are a shameful ageist. 
The Greens will host future activist training days, of course. We wonder who else from the “usual suspects” of Murdoch’s opinion-makers will want to come along. 
We’re sending Cthulhu. Don’t offer the vegan lunch.
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TODAY’S THERMAL EXPANSION QUESTION

Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (6:08am)

What do Hannibal’s rock-cracking techniques and starting a Formula One engine have in common?
(No comments will be published today until we have a correct answer.)
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MAGIC BULLET

Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (6:00am)

That’s shootin’
A British sniper in Afghanistan killed six insurgents with a single bullet after hitting the trigger switch of a suicide bomber whose device then exploded …
The 20-year-old marksman, a Lance Corporal in the Coldstream Guards, hit his target from 930 yards (850 metres) away, killing the suicide bomber and five others around him caught in the blast. 
(Via Alan R.M. Jones)
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HE DIDN’T MEAN IT, HE DIDN’T MEAN IT

Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (5:06am)

Bill Shorten accidentally says something slightly supportive of Israel. Labor scrambles to correct their leader’s terrible error.
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IT’S THE RIGHT ANSWER TO EVERYTHING

Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (4:29am)

Among the collection at 30 Brilliant Test Answers From Smartass Kids:

image

(Via Waxing Gibberish) 
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YIKES

Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (4:22am)

It’s never a good idea, 27 years on, to look up former housemates.
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$5 MILLION, NO CHANGE

Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (4:18am)

The Flannery Effect turns out to be kinda useless, as John Roskam observes: 
That’s what happens when you leave Tim Flannery in charge of something. Greg Combet’s promise back in February 2011 that the Climate Commission would “build the consensus required to move to a clean energy future” hasn’t quite worked out that way.
The results released on Tuesday this week of an IPA commissioned poll of 1,059 Australians’ attitude to climate change proves that’s another $5m of taxpayers’ money down the drain.
There’s been almost no change in the last 4 years in what Australians think of climate change … 
There may have been some extra change, however, in Flannery’s bank account.
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HEADLESS BODY IN SPINELESS COUNTRY

Tim Blair – Friday, April 04, 2014 (4:00am)

Just another routine decapitation in Britain. On related issues, here’s Pat Condell:



(Via Peter B. and Robert E.) 
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INNOCENT JOE

Tim Blair – Thursday, April 03, 2014 (6:19pm)

Joe Hildebrand is one of the least terrible people I know, yet we’re somehow still close friends. He is a kind and decent man. Even one or two of his former Telegraph editors like him.
Yesterday Joe endured ridiculous criticism following a television discussion with Melbourne woman Rosie Batty, whose son was murdered in February. People should know exactly how that discussion evolved
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Vote Greens in WA, winks the ABC

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (3:48pm)

Guess which party in the WA Senate vote has the support of the ABC’s 7.30?
Here it talks to a Liberal;
CLAIRE MOODIE: Liberal candidate Linda Reynolds is ...  third on the ticket and it’s a seat the Liberals are at risk of losing.

Well what do you think of Tony Abbott’s knights and dames policy? 

LINDA REYNOLDS, LIBERAL CANDIDATE: Look, the real issues here in WA are - is the economy and it’s stopping the boats and it is a team here to fight for the better deal for WA. So ...
CLAIRE MOODIE: But what do you think of that policy?
LINDA REYNOLDS: Personally, I’m supportive of it, but that is not the real issue here for this election. People here know that it is about the economy, it’s about stopping and keeping the boats stopped. 
CLAIRE MOODIE: Linda Reynolds isn’t the only candidates reluctant to stray from the main message.
Here 7.30 talks to Labor’s lead candidate, and, true, it is equally tough on him (albeit with more cause to be so)::
CLAIRE MOODIE: But Labor’s campaign’s been dogged by claims that it’s trying to hide its lead Senate candidate’s union links. Joe Bullock isn’t keen to answer questions, especially on allegations that he’s been running a slush funds to ensure his chosen candidates are elected to state and local governments. 
What about these claims of a slush fund in the Weekend Australian over the weekend? JOE BULLOCK, LABOR CANDIDATE: Oh, well, look, there have been allegations made by people who didn’t want to be named. I don’t want to comment on those further. (Turning to the person to his left) Have we got to go and see the principal?
No bias detectable?
Well, here is how 7.30 introduced the Greens’ candidate, and, please, keep your applause until the end:
SCOTT LUDLAM, GREENS SENATOR: The reason the whole country’s watching this contest is that there’s a national balance-of-power Senate seat in play that we can either keep here in WA or it might be bought by Clive Palmer or it might go to a Liberal backbencher who will just toe the Abbott line. ... 
(In the Senate) ... Mr Prime Minister, at your next press conference, we invite you to leave your excruciatingly boring three-word slogans at home.
CLAIRE MOODIE: It may have been delivered to a near-empty Senate, but this speech by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam’s received over 800,000 hits on YouTube. The Greens claim the video prompted an army of volunteer campaigners to come forward and donations totalling $100,000. 
SCOTT LUDLAM: Look, if we don’t win, the Abbott Government will have a clear run to dismantling the Clean Energy Act, we’ll lose the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, we will probably lose the Renewable Energy Target.
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Rudd explained

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (2:54pm)

Why so much went wrong under Kevin Rudd:
WORRIED industry figures who warned Kevin Rudd’s staffers about the home insulation scheme were told not to disagree “with a PM who is rating 73 per cent in the opinion polls”.
Industry representative Kevin Herbert ... worked with the Australian Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers’ Association in 2009 and represented the body at a government-run meeting on February 18, 2009, two weeks after Mr Rudd announced the $2.8 billion economic stimulus scheme.
He said insulation industry officials raised concerns at the meeting about the haste of the rollout, the illogical use of foil insulation, and electrocution deaths in a similar scheme in New Zealand.
Mr Herbert said one bureaucrat turned to Andrew Wilson, who was with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and asked whether the scheme would still go ahead.
He said Mr Wilson said: “You can’t disagree with a PM who is rating 73 per cent in the opinion polls”...\
Mr Wilson gave evidence yesterday and denied making such comments. 
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The Opposite Party

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (2:25pm)

From Melbourne University, more evidence that the Socialist Alliance recruits people both unable and unwilling to think for themselves:
image
Their conference and their grievance.
Next lesson from Uncle Andrew: children, believe all Marx says. Gulags are good. Freedom bad. Revolutions don’t eat their children.
(Thanks to reader Matthew.) 
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The shooters need to be publicly identified and discussed

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (2:20pm)

This is extremely disturbing:
A man who was targeted in a shooting in Sydney’s west on Thursday night is a member of an anti-Islamic extremist group.
Nathan Abela, 24, was not shot but suffered a minor injury to his shoulder when he dived to evade up to six bullets that were fired at his apartment in Greystanes…
Mr Abela is a member of an anti-Islamic group, which says its aim is “standing up against Islam now, not when its (sic) too late"…
Police said the investigation into the shooting was in its early stages, but they believed it was a targeted attack.
A NSW Police spokeswoman would not comment on whether police believed Mr Abela’s involvement in the anti-Islamic group was linked to the shooting.
I don’t know if the shooting is linked to his involvement with the group, but let’s see if he’s now blamed for inciting the violence that the group warns against.
Meanwhile, a decapitation in Britain.
UPDATE
Four days ago this video was posted by a Perth Muslim group warning Abela had made himself a “target”.
I am not saying there is a link between this video and the shooting, and certainly not between the hothead and the shooter. Who knows who did the shooting, and whether it was by Muslims. It could even have been done by people wanting to discredit Muslims. But surely this kind of talk is playing with fire. 
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On the Bolt Report on Sunday

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (11:09am)

On the show on Sunday – Network 10 at 10am and 4pm....
The end of the world is nigh on a joke.
Labor’s Andrew Leigh on the economy and the WA Senate result.
The wonderful Niki Savva and former Keating Minister Gary Johns.
Lots of chat about WA, Palmer and controversies faced by both Labor and the Liberals.
And on NewsWatch Rowan Dean cuts loose. I wouldn’t watch if were Mark Scott. 
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Australia’s greatest journalist told to shut up

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (10:51am)

How sweet it used to be between Clive Palmer and the ABC’s Tony Jones:
JONES: Clive Palmer, we have to leave it there. Thanks very much for joining us. 
PALMER: It’s a pleasure, Tony. You’re the greatest journalist in Australia. God bless you.
I think the love affair is now over, broken by Jones’ global warming religion:
TONY JONES: So, I’m just asking you this because this research that I’m talking about’s based on - what? - 309 scientists concluded from 70 countries and the summary for the policymakers has to be agreed line-by-line by 115 countries. I mean, that’s the sort of consensus that you’re rejecting here. 
CLIVE PALMER: Well I think it’s a - camels were designed by a committee. With so many people, you’re really not going to get anything worthwhile. You need to have a proper report with people that can do something. But, look, I’m just talking about ...
TONY JONES: Sorry, I’ve got to interrupt you there. A proper report by who exactly?
CLIVE PALMER: I don’t want to be interrupted. Well, I haven’t made my point.
TONY JONES: Well, I’m sorry, every now and then ...
CLIVE PALMER: “Well, I’m sorry.” Why don’t you shut up for a while and let me finish?
TONY JONES: Every now and then - every now and then ... 
CLIVE PALMER: Why don’t you just keep quiet while - why don’t you just keep quiet and let me finish what I’m saying? “Every now and then,” come on, we’ll have a fight if you want to. But why don’t you just shut up while I’ll can say what I want to say?
And I think Palmer actually won the debate with Jones and his ally, alarmist Ross Garnaut. 
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Margaret, why didn’t you invite me? Mark, why did you say no?

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (10:37am)


 Margaret Simons, head of Melbourne University’s journalism course, introduces ABC boss Mark Scott by noting that News Corp people had declined to debate him.
Funny, I didn’t get an invitation. Nor did Simons mention I’d invited Scott to put his case on The Bolt Report and he has refused.
(Thanks to reader John.) 
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Attard slimes Abbott for CNN

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (10:23am)

CNN readers would probably conclude from former ABC host Monica Attard’s piece that it was Tony Abbott, not Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, who lured 1100 boat people to their deaths and locked thousands in detention centres. Or that the real cruelty lay in wanting to stop that deadly trade, not in callously enabling it:
Coming after years of hardline railing against the number of asylum seekers landing on to Australia’s shores, with many perishing en route, the government’s attitude seemed hard, even callous. Many Australians were shocked and held candlelit vigils around the country.
If Australians see the beginnings, perhaps even evidence of a different leader with Abbott’s deep, heartfelt concern for the souls who boarded MH370 in Kuala Lumpar on route to Beijing, there’s little chance this will wipe the memory of a leader who has shown little mercy to asylum seekers — some of them children — languishing in Australia’s version of Guantanamo Bay. 
What a cartoonish article. What a primitive set of moral values.
(Thanks to readers Shauno and Baden.) 
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The University of WA should show it is serious in investigating Lewandowsky’s silly paper

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (10:01am)

The allegations against Professor Stephan Lewandowsky (who denies them):
The issue with Lewandowsky is unscientific and unethical behavior by creating an advance conclusion (all climate skeptics are conspiracy nutters) followed by attempts to hide his association with the study to people who were polled, selective distribution of the poll, mainly to websites who are advocates of climate action, then outright mocking of the very people who was supposedly studying, then actually writing in his own conclusions to an ethics investigation that was supposed to be done independently.
Jo Nova described the paper as the worst she’d seen:
The paper is titled: 
NASA faked the moon landing — Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science” 
Lewandowsky, S., Oberauer, K., & Gignac, C. E. (in press) Psychological Science
Faked the Moon landing? Not only do skeptics agree that the moon landing was real, two skeptics actually went to the moon and took photos (that’ll be Harrison Schmidt and Buzz Aldrin). Since many guys with years of top NASA service are skeptics too why doesn’t Lewandowsky ask them if they faked it? This is where cumulative nonsense takes us: the golden path to cosmic inanity.
Serious questions quickly emerged about Lewandowsky’s methodology and conclusions. He may even have been duped by a couple of trolls.
In response to complaints and requests for explanations, the University of Western Australia actually got Lewandowsky to investigate himself:
Under UWA policies, if they receive an allegation of research misconduct, the “Designated Person” (DVCR Owens) is supposed to “conduct a preliminary assessment of the allegation” to determine whether “the substance of the allegation, if proven, would amount to research misconduct; and whether a prima facie case of research misconduct exists”. The Designated Person is required to maintain records of their investigation. 
UWA documents show that no such investigation took place in response to complaints by me and others about Lewandowsky’s failure to properly inform the University about the scope of changes to the Understanding Statistical Trends protocol. These changes included the introduction of deception/active concealment of skeptic bloggers… Most remarkably, the widely-cited key conclusions of the “investigation” – “We have considered the issues raised by Mr McIntyre in his letter to the Editor of Psychological Science dated 12 October and found them to be baseless. The research reported in the above paper was conducted in compliance with all applicable ethical guidelines” – were not written by an investigator or university official but ghostwritten by Lewandowsky himself and signed by DVCR Owens within minutes of receipt from Lewandowsky.
Now more examples of the University seeming to cover for Lewandowsky. This looks extremely bad for the university and its commitment to open inquiry into global warming.
Lewandowsky may well have a good defence to the allegations against him. Best to hear them all laid out, and for the university to independently judge if they stack up.
(Thanks to reader Susie.) 
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If Palmer is too busy to be an MP he should quit

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (9:53am)

When Clive Palmer claims he represents the voters of Fairfax in Parliament, what does he actually mean?
Clive Palmer says he is now an MP and not a businessman but in his first six months he has shown up for only four out of 97 votes in parliament 
Mr Palmer, who is in Perth campaigning for the Senate election, said he was too busy working to attend parliament.
(Thanks to reader Baden.) 
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How hate speech laws are used to kill serious debates

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (9:14am)

Free speech

Michael Sexton SC says the Racial Discrimination Act actually risks making it too dangerous to debate certain political issues - as I have found:
To go back to the example of the Armenians and the Turkish regime of 1916: if some members of the Turkish community could demonstrate that they were offended or insulted by this allegation of the genocide, it would be necessary for the publisher to demonstrate that their view was put forward reasonably and in good faith. This may not seem so difficult in a case about events in 1915. But what about questions of modern history, where there is no real consensus among commentators? What about a statement that the Palestinians’ refusal to negotiate has prevented any settlement in the Middle East? Or that the Israelis’ refusal to surrender illegally occupied land is the real bar to any resolution? Or that the Sri Lankan majority has condoned war crimes against Tamils in the north of the country? Or that some Tamils engaged in a campaign of terrorism against the Sri Lankan government? 
The reasonability or otherwise of these views is hardly something that can be sensibly litigated in the Federal Court. But this is precisely what can happen under section 18C in its present terms. The section is obviously of no use in dealing with crude, one-off, verbal abuse. It is much likelier to be used — and has already been used — to attack controversial pieces of journalism or historical writing. This is just one of the reasons its present terms are totally unsatisfactory and need drastic surgery.
An example of exactly this risk under NSW laws:
Tom Switzer, Australian Financial Review, December 23, 1998:  
THE moral of this story is simply this: the Palestinians cannot be trusted in the peace process. Contrary to the accepted wisdom, it is the Palestinians—not the Netanyahu government—who are the true culprits in derailing efforts to reach an agreement over Gaza and the West Bank. Add to this that Mr Yasser Arafat uses Western aid not, as it is intended, for the poor of Gaza, but to build luxury flats for his military and bureaucratic elite, and it would appear that the Palestinians remain vicious thugs who show no serious willingness to comply with agreements.
Administrative Decisions Tribunal of NSW anti-discrimination ruling on AFR July 24, 2000: 
THESE proceedings concern a complaint of racial vilification made by Mr Ali Kazak against The Australian Financial Review. Mr Kazak alleges that an article written by Tom Switzer published on 23 December 1998, contravenes s20C of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (the Act). The article as a whole paints an extremely negative picture of the Palestinian people and an extremely positive picture of the Israeli people and their government. The language used suggests that the Palestinians, unlike the Israelis, are unworthy and undeserving of support because, at least in relation to the peace process, they are hypocritical, untrustworthy, blameworthy and viscous[sic] . . . ..The complaint is substantiated.
Another example, this disgraceful one from France:
Bernard Lewis, the British-born historian of Islamic religion and culture ... remains an emeritus professor at Princeton to this day… 
Lewis explicitly argued that, although the Turks massacred countless Armenians, there is no evidence that they operated according to a centralized policy of genocide, and that calling the killings that had the effect of diminishing the uniqueness of the Jewish Holocaust. Lewis’ revisionism on the Armenian question led to his being charged and tried in France for denial a genocide, a crime there, and in the mid-1990s, he was ordered by a French court to pay one franc in damages after losing a case.  
In Switzerland another example of how a valid opinion can be defined as a “factual error” and made an excuse to suppress free speech:
Perinçek – at the time chairman of the Turkish Workers’ Party – had described the Armenian genocide as “an international lie”. He had particularly insisted that whatever massacres had taken place did not meet the definition of genocide under international law. 
The Swiss courts found Perinçek guilty of racial discrimination, ruling that the Armenian genocide, like the Jewish genocide, was a proven historical fact. The Swiss courts found that Perinçek’s motives for denying that the Ottoman Empire had perpetrated the crime of genocide against the Armenian people were of a racist tendency and did not contribute to any historical debate.
In Sweden, a different kind of example of the use of “hate speech” laws to stifle debate:
A Swedish pastor who preached a sermon on the Biblical prohibitions against homosexual behavior is waiting to see if the Supreme Court of Sweden will send him to jail for six months for doing so. 
Ake Green, the pastor of a small-town Pentecostal church, ...  was sentenced to a month in jail last year by a district court.
From France again, in February:
French Muslims are taking satirical paper Charlie Hebdo to court for blasphemy over a front page insulting the Koran. In a separate case, a right-wing MP is being sued for accusing young Muslims of anti-Semitism… 
The paper’s premises were firebombed in 2011 after it published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
A Muslim legal defence group brought the case over a front page headlined “The Koran is sh..”....
A hearing has also been set for the 7 April, this time in the southern town of Nîmes, for a case against former decentralisation minister Claude Goasguen that accuses him of “offending the honour and dignity of the Muslim community”, in the words of lawyer Khadija Aoudia, acting for one of France’s two major Muslim associations, the CFCM.
Speaking to a gala organised by a pro-Israel group, KKL, Goasguen claimed that the history of the Holocaust could no longer be taught in French schools “because people are so scared of the reaction of young Muslims who have been drugged in the mosques”. 
Anti-Semitic slogans were chanted on a recent “Day of Rage” protest that brought together Catholic fundamentalists, far-right groups and supporters of comedian Dieudonné, some of whom are young Muslims. 
In Turkey last year:
A Turkish court has convicted pianist and composer Fazil Say of blasphemy and inciting hatred over a series of comments he made on Twitter last year. 
The musician was given a suspended 10-month jail term… In one message he retweeted a verse from a poem by Omar Khayyám in which the 11th-century Persian poet attacks pious hypocrisy: “You say rivers of wine flow in heaven, is heaven a tavern to you? You say two huris [companions] await each believer there, is heaven a brothel to you?” In other tweets, he made fun of a muezzin (a caller to prayer) and certain religious practices.
In Italy:
Oriana Fallaci ... was a successful war correspondent and interviewer… After 9/11, Fallaci wrote a 14,000 word article for Corriere Della Serra: 
“You ask me about the contrast between the two cultures? Well, to be honest, it annoys me even to talk about two cultures, to put them on the same plane,” Fallaci wrote. “Let’s be honest. Our cathedrals are more beautiful than the mosques and the synagogues.” ...
Corriere’s publishing arm, Rizzoli, turned the article into a book, La Rabbia e l’Orgoglio (The Rage and the Pride), and within little over a month it had sold 700,000 copies… 
Adel Smith, president of the Muslim Union of Italy, sued Fallaci on 8 April 2004,claiming that her book The Force of Reason advocated hate against Islam and Muslims, sometimes by allegedly distorting real historical facts and inventing others. In May 2005, judge Armando Grasso ruled that she should face trial over the accusations.
Note: some of those cases were eventually overturned on appeal, but consider the stress, cost and chilling effect on debate. The laws allow the harassment and persecution of people with unfashionable, new or challenging views.
Again, I am astonished that Jewish leaders cannot see how our own race-hate laws will be turned against them, and that free speech is the greatest friend of their highly articulate community and those of us who defend it.
UPDATE
Patricia Karvelas: 
JOHN Moriarty ... Aboriginal artist, activist and businessman ... [is] backing moves by Attorney-General George Brandis to replace section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act even if it allows some “nasty” things to be aired in public. He believes laws that prohibit speech are more hurtful than helpful to indigenous people… “...I believe that we should maintain free speech — some will bounce back in people’s faces, but of course someone can be nasty, but some of it, if it is accurate and pertinent, I think we should hear it."… Mr Moriarty said there should be “open discussions on Aboriginal issues both between black and white” and “among Aboriginal people as well”.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Amazing the rule is still there. But this can only be the start

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (8:59am)

That’s it?
BILL Shorten plans to reform Labor’s relationship with unions, overhaul the party’s national conference and flag changes to candidate preselections.

The Labor leader has been meeting and phoning MPs, party officials and union leaders to canvass reforms. He wants to abolish the rule that party members and candidates must be union members, and will announce his plans in Melbourne on Monday.
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Don’t use Firefox. Who knows what other opinions Mozilla will suppress

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (8:42am)


image
If Eich has supported the other side of this very important debate, he’d still have his job. Conclusion: the Left is the now natural home of the truly intolerant and the enemies of free speech:
Brendan Eich has stepped down as CEO of Mozilla, a company he cofounded, following significant criticism for his earlier support of a legal measure banning gay marriage… 
Eich ... took over as the non-profit company’s CEO on March 24. Shortly after, a number of Mozilla employees publicly urged Eich to step down from the role, in reaction to a donation he made to the Proposition 8 effort, which sought to ban same-sex marriage in California in 2008…
The tipping point, however, appeared to come on Monday when OkCupid posted a notice to anyone using Firefox, a Mozilla product, urging them to switch browsers. “Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples,” OkCupid wrote in the notice. “We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid."…
Eich emphasized that his personal beliefs outside the office are not relevant inside the office… “They leave them at the door when they come to work on the Mozilla mission.”
Just two days later, however, Eich and Mozilla decided otherwise… 
Then came the Mozilla statement, full of the weaselly yes-but-no equivocation of the Left, which wants the kudos of being for free speech but still wants it denied for others:
We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves… 
Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard…
We have employees with a wide diversity of views. Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public. This is meant to distinguish Mozilla from most organizations and hold us to a higher standard. But this time we failed to listen, to engage, and to be guided by our community. 
While painful, the events of the last week show exactly why we need the web. So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better. 
Eich did “engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better” and Mozilla then forced him out. Hypocrites.
Don’t use Firefox. It might one day not let you link to conversations Mozilla doesn’t like.
(Thanks to reader Helen.)  
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Warmists panic. Reach for muzzles

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (8:35am)

If sceptics weren’t so damn convincing warmists wouldn’t be so desperate to shut them up:
Ministers who question the majority view among scientists about climate change should “shut up” and instead repeat the Government line on the issue, according to MPs. The BBC should also give less airtime to climate sceptics and its editors should seek special clearance to interview them, according to the Commons Science and Technology Committee. Andrew Miller, the committee’s Labour chairman, said that appearances on radio and television by climate sceptics such as Lord Lawson of Blaby, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, should be accompanied by “health warnings”.
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Labor’s top Senate candidate admits: Labor full of “mad” people

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (8:10am)

There are some things to like about Joe Bullock, but why vote for his party when even he is against it?
BILL Shorten is standing by his lead Senate candidate in Western Australia, Joe Bullock, after revel­ations the union boss admitted he had voted against Labor and described the ALP as an untrustworthy party full of “mad” members. 
In an extraordinary speech to a Perth function ... the right-wing union boss said Labor needed conservatives such as him in parliament or it would follow “every weird lefty trend that you can ­imagine”.
Mr Bullock praised Tony ­Abbott as “potentially a very good prime minister” ... 
He also launched a stinging ­attack on his ALP running-mate in tomorrow’s critical Senate election, Louise Pratt, describing her as a “poster child” for causes such as gay marriage and ­accusing her of canvassing votes against him.
Bullock unplugged:
image
Maybe Shorten is exactly right:
Earlier this week, Mr Shorten described Mr Bullock as “exactly” the sort of person Labor needed to represent workers in parliament.
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Sinodinos stumbles

Andrew Bolt April 04 2014 (8:00am)

The first paragraph seems to be much more definite than the quotes in the story seem to suggest, but this is a poor look and hurts Sinodinos’s reputation:
FORMER assistant treasurer Arthur Sinodinos has admitted he knew a company he once chaired was giving money to the Liberal Party, despite telling the Senate last year the donations had never been raised at board level… 
In a personal explanation to the Senate in February last year he did not disclose his knowledge of donations to the Liberal Party, instead saying donations were a matter for management and had never been raised at board level.
Yesterday, he was asked [in ICAC] if he was saying he did know that AWH was making money available to the Liberal Party to be attending events. He replied: “Well, I would have seen people from functions there, yes.”
He said he knew “nothing in precise terms” about donations. When asked what “precise terms” meant, he said: “Well, I couldn’t quote amounts at you or over what period.”
“You deny knowing the company of which you were deputy chairman was donating to the party of which you were treasurer?” he was asked.
After first replying it wasn’t discussed at board level, Senator Sinodinos said: “Yes"…
Senator Sinodinos ... did not know some of the events that were taking place at the company when he was its chairman.
He did not know about the $168,00 spent on a corporate box at Stadium Australia or the $159,000 paid to his Liberal Party friend Paul Nicolaou’s consultancy, even though he was Liberal party treasurer and Mr Nicolaou was head of the party’s fundraising arm. And he did not know the Obeid family had loaned the company or its chief executive $400,000 to pay its staff and tax obligations. 
He also did not know about the $183,000 that went to a company called Eightbyfive, which ICAC is investigating as a suspected Liberal Party slush fund.
In fact, Sinodinos did not tell ICAC he knew of the donations: 
GEOFFREY WATSON [counsel assisting ICAC]: “Did you know in your capacity as Liberal Party treasurer that Australian Water Holdings was making donations to the Liberal Party?” 
ARTHUR SINODINOS...: “Not that I can recollect at the time.”
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TRUE LOVE ..(A Doctor's note) Must Read n share :)

It was approximately 8.30 a.m. on a busy morning when an elderly gentleman in his eighties arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He stated that he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9.00 a.m.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat. I knew it would take more than an hour before someone would to able to attend to him. I saw him check his watch anxi...ously for the time and decided to evaluate his wound since I was not busy with another patient.

On examination, the wound was well healed. Hence, I talked to one of the doctors to get the supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

We began to engage in a conversation while I was taking care of his wound. I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment later as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no and said that he needed to go to the nursing home to have breakfast with his wife.

I inquired about her health. He told me that she had been in the nursing home for a while as she was a victim of Alzheimer's disease. I probed further and asked if she would be upset if he was slightly late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was and she had not been able to recognize him since five years ago.
I asked him in surprise, "And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?"
He smiled as he patted my hand and said, "She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is."

I had to hold back my tears as he left.
I had goose bumps on my arm, and I thought, "That is the kind of love I want in my life."

True love is neither physical nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

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NEVER MIND THE FACTS - Cyclones are not increasing.

The pro-carbon tax alarmists have been out in force again this week, claiming “extreme weather events are become more frequent and severe”.

The only problem is that the empirical evidence on cyclones does not support this.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology's own website rebutts the alarmist statements of Mr. Flannery's Climate Commission:

“Trends in tropical cyclone activity in the Australian region (south of equator; 105 - 160°E) show that the total number of cyclones has DECREASED in recent decades. However, the number of stronger cyclones (minimum central pressure less than 970 hPa) has NOT declined. " [nor have the increased].

The Bureau then produce the attached chart, which mysteriously finishes in 2005.

If this chart included the cyclone data for 2006 to 2011, it would show that Australia has been very fortunate in that we’ve had LESS serve cyclones in recent years (2 in 2010, 4 in 2009, 3 in 2008 and 3 in 2007) - a fact that doesn't fit with the alarmist mantra.

Australia will experience serve cyclones again, like Cyclone Tracy that destroyed Darwin in 1974 - and the even more devasting Cyclone Mahia that hit northern Qld in 1899 that caused a tsunami estimated at 14.6m that swept 5km inland and killed over 400 people.

So should we spend tens of billions of dollars, and wreck the economy, hoping delay any global warming by a few days - or should we instead spend that money preparing to deal with the inevitable cyclones that our history tells us will strike again ?

And can we have this debate with misleading and alarmist falsehoods.

Links of Interest;
Tropical Cyclone Trends
http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/climatology/trends.shtml

Cyclone Mahina 1899
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone_Mahina

Decline in Hurricanes in US
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2012/09/05/dont-believe-the-global-warmists-major-hurricanes-are-less-frequent/

http://www.real-science.com/insurance-companies-hiding-decline-major

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Rape has become endemic in South Africa, so a medical technician named Sonette Ehlers developed a product that immediately gathered national attention there. Ehlers had never forgotten a rape victim telling her forlornly, “If only I had teeth down there.”
Some time afterward, a man came into the hospital where Ehlers works in excruciating pain because his penis was stuck in his pants zipper.
Ehlers merged those images and came up with a product she called Rapex. It resembles a tube, with barbs inside. The woman inserts it like a tampon, with an applicator, and any man who tries to rape the woman impales himself on the barbs and must go to an emergency room to have the Rapex removed.
When critics complained that it was a medieval punishment, Ehlers replied tersely, “A medieval device for a medieval deed.”
- Half the Sky, Nicholas Kristof

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April 4Children's Day in Hong Kong and Taiwan
Astley's Ampitheatre
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“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” - Hebrews 12:2
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning


"They took Jesus, and led him away."
John 19:16

He had been all night in agony, he had spent the early morning at the hall of Caiaphas, he had been hurried from Caiaphas to Pilate, from Pilate to Herod, and from Herod back again to Pilate; he had, therefore, but little strength left, and yet neither refreshment nor rest were permitted him. They were eager for his blood, and therefore led him out to die, loaded with the cross. O dolorous procession! Well may Salem's daughters weep. My soul, do thou weep also.
What learn we here as we see our blessed Lord led forth? Do we not perceive that truth which was set forth in shadow by the scapegoat? Did not the high-priest bring the scapegoat, and put both his hands upon its head, confessing the sins of the people, that thus those sins might be laid upon the goat, and cease from the people? Then the goat was led away by a fit man into the wilderness, and it carried away the sins of the people, so that if they were sought for they could not be found. Now we see Jesus brought before the priests and rulers, who pronounce him guilty; God himself imputes our sins to him, "the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all;" "He was made sin for us;" and, as the substitute for our guilt, bearing our sin upon his shoulders, represented by the cross; we see the great Scapegoat led away by the appointed officers of justice. Beloved, can you feel assured that he carried your sin? As you look at the cross upon his shoulders, does it represent your sin? There is one way by which you can tell whether he carried your sin or not. Have you laid your hand upon his head, confessed your sin, and trusted in him? Then your sin lies not on you; it has all been transferred by blessed imputation to Christ, and he bears it on his shoulder as a load heavier than the cross.
Let not the picture vanish till you have rejoiced in your own deliverance, and adored the loving Redeemer upon whom your iniquities were laid.

Evening

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
Isaiah 53:6
Here a confession of sin common to all the elect people of God. They have all fallen, and therefore, in common chorus, they all say, from the first who entered heaven to the last who shall enter there, "All we like sheep have gone astray." The confession, while thus unanimous, is also special and particular: "We have turned every one to his own way." There is a peculiar sinfulness about every one of the individuals; all are sinful, but each one with some special aggravation not found in his fellow. It is the mark of genuine repentance that while it naturally associates itself with other penitents, it also takes up a position of loneliness. "We have turned every one to his own way," is a confession that each man had sinned against light peculiar to himself, or sinned with an aggravation which he could not perceive in others. This confession is unreserved; there is not a word to detract from its force, nor a syllable by way of excuse. The confession is a giving up of all pleas of self-righteousness. It is the declaration of men who are consciously guilty--guilty with aggravations, guilty without excuse: they stand with their weapons of rebellion broken in pieces, and cry, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way." Yet we hear no dolorous wailings attending this confession of sin; for the next sentence makes it almost a song. "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." It is the most grievous sentence of the three, but it overflows with comfort. Strange is it that where misery was concentrated mercy reigned; where sorrow reached her climax weary souls find rest. The Saviour bruised is the healing of bruised hearts. See how the lowliest penitence gives place to assured confidence through simply gazing at Christ on the cross!
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Today's reading: Judges 19-21, Luke 7:31-50 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Judges 19-21


A Levite and His Concubine
In those days Israel had no king.
Now a Levite who lived in a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. 2 But she was unfaithful to him. She left him and went back to her parents' home in Bethlehem, Judah. After she had been there four months, 3 her husband went to her to persuade her to return. He had with him his servant and two donkeys. She took him into her parents' home, and when her father saw him, he gladly welcomed him. 4 His father-in-law, the woman's father, prevailed on him to stay; so he remained with him three days, eating and drinking, and sleeping there....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 7:31-50

The Faith of the Centurion
31 Jesus went on to say, "To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:
"'We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not cry.'
33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' 34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' 35 But wisdom is proved right by all her children...."
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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: 
Mark 13-14
Tuesday: Mark 15-16
Wednesday: Luke 1-3
Thursday: Luke 4-6
Friday: Luke 7-9
Saturday: Luke 10-12

Have a blessed Sunday!

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Knowing Him - An Easter Devotional

THE FREEDOM OF THE CROSS

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
What a bold claim! Because Christ came, because he lived a perfect life and died the death that should have been ours, because he rose from the dead on the third day, we can be free! Free from what? One can think of all the things that put the human soul in bondage. Fear of death? Yes! Jesus went there, and came through the other side, and said we could join him. Sin? Yes! God wants us to be free from the task-master that is sin. He wants us to be liberated from our own limitations, our obsessions, addictions, and bondage. Evil? Yes! We can be free from the power of the Evil One as we come to believe that Jesus stomped on his head ( Genesis 3:15) and that Satan’s power can never rival God’s.
The cross of Christ frees us from spiritual diversions that do not move us closer to God. It tears down temples and rituals and regimens. It nullifies self-righteousness and spiritual pride. The apostle Paul says in this verse that the effects of the crucifixion of Jesus, this once-for-all antidote for our spiritual disease, is his work, and his grace.
So the choice is this–hang onto the notion that we are to perform well and hope that God gives us a reward for a job well done, or come to the crucified Jesus, be humbled by him, and let his work set us free.
Ponder This: What is it that is limiting your freedom today? And how might this apply to you: “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free”?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Resources

About The Author - Mel Lawrenz serves as minister at large for Elmbrook Church and leads The Brook Network. Having been in pastoral ministry for thirty years, the last decade as senior pastor of Elmbrook, Mel seeks to help Christian leaders engage with each other. Mel is the author of eleven books, the most recent for church leaders, Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement.

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