Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sat Apr 23rd Todays News

The death of Prince at 57 years of age is sad. He had much more to offer the world of music through writing and performing. But it looks like prescription drugs have claimed him. Illegal drugs are harmful. But prescription drugs need to be respected too. Drugs are effective and pain killers can be addictive. It is ok to have pain. It can be character building. It can also be debilitating. Jerry Lewis lost much of his life to pain killing meds. But he had had a debilitating back injury and maybe he might not have been able to continue without that. But what a person can and cannot take is personal. But money can't save you from lethal amounts of drugs. 

Still, as sad as it may be that Prince died, it was ultimately self inflicted. Who will prescription drugs take next? As the inept crown holder, Malcolm Turnbull must be in a terrible amount of pain right now. His dreams are bigger than his ability. What can make his pain go away? 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
In 215 BC a temple was built on Capitoline hill in Rome, dedicated to Venus. Rome was terrified. They had lost a battle to Hannibal, and so sent out another army, and at Trasimene that second army was slaughtered. Hannibal with his mounted men, including elephants, and a mixture of Iberians, Gauls and Phoenicians. It was the successful part of the second punic war for Carthage. A year later Romans would again be slaughtered at Cannae, leaving Rome exposed to an attack Hannibal failed to make. Three years earlier in 218 BC, Roman troops were slaughtered at Trebbia River. At Trebbia, 42000 Romans faced Hannibal with 30000. Rome lost 32000 casualties. Scipio was supposed to e in charge, but Longus seems to have taken authority. Hannibal had placed himself in centre ground, preventing communication between Scipio and Longus. Longus fought through and had 10000 men left after fighting through to the rear of Hannibal, having lost the rest.

But in 215, on this day, it was the second battle, Trasimene, where again Hannibal out planned a superior force. This time, Hannibal with 55000 faced Flaminius with 30000. Flaminius had held a fortified position while Hannibal raided the countryside. Flaminius was exasperated and against all advice broke position to chase Hannibal. Hannibal led him to Trasimene Lake. There, Hannibal planned a surprise attack and is credited with having the largest force executing a surprise attack ever.  Rome lost 15000 men and a desperate Rome turned to Venus to favour them. They elected a dictator, then realised that two consuls would be better. But that was to be their humiliation at Cannae.

In 1014, King Brian Boru was successful against Vikings, but was killed in battle at Clontarf. In 1348, King Edward III initiated the order of the garter. Their motto, Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense loosely translates as "Evil on the person who thinks evil." As knighthoods go, it should only be given to good people. Why would the king want his knights to gather around a garter? Note, it was St George's Day. In 1516, ingredients of Beer was defined. But they hadn't known about yeast. So they needed beer to make more beer. In 1951, a journalist was arrested by Czechoslovakian communists on charges of espionage. It was an outrageous threat to freedom of the press that the press accepted.
From 2014
Words have power, and a tremendous speech by the former US President Theodore Roosevelt delivered on this day in 1910 is compelling. It is not the critic, but the man in the arena who decides the course of the event. The speech goes for thirty-five pages and defines the success of GOP Presidency through the years. Nixon referred to it as he ascended to the Presidency, and as the door closed on it. Mandela gave it to his Rugby Captain before that match. There is no power without responsibility. When Rudd tried reckless spending as a policy, he failed. He had had the money to achieve much. He failed because it takes more than money. The man in the arena does not have to be perfect, but they have to have character, competence, intelligence and diligence to achieve the standard. 

Five years later, and words lost a powerful friend with the passing of Rupert Brooke. He was a young poet who had achieved much in a very short time. He travelled with the fleet to Gallipolli, and died on the journey. He is buried in an olive field in Skyros, Greece. A year earlier he had written himself a deserving epitaph. 

V. The Soldier

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
Rupert, on that final journey, was the man in the arena. His ghost has more wisdom, more life, grace compassion and understanding than President Obama's finest moment. Because, as Roosevelt observed, the man in the arena, not the critic, decides the course of the event. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 215 BC, a temple was built on the Capitoline Hill dedicated to Venus Erycina to commemorate the Roman defeat at Lake Trasimene. 599, Maya king Uneh Chan of Calakmulattacked rival city-state Palenque in southern Mexico, defeating queen Yohl Ik'nal and sacking the city. 711, Dagobert III was crowned King of the Franks. 1014, Battle of ClontarfBrian Boru defeated Viking invaders, but was killed in battle. 1016, Edmund Ironsidesucceeded his father Æthelred the Unready as king of England. 1343, St. George's Night Uprising commenced in the Duchy of Estonia. 1348, the founding of the Order of the Garterby King Edward III was announced on St. George's Day.

In 1516, the Bayerische Reinheitsgebot (regarding the ingredients of beer) was signed in Ingolstadt. 1521, Battle of VillalarKing Charles I of Spain defeated the Comuneros. 1635, the first public school in the United States, Boston Latin School, was founded in Boston. 1655, the Siege of Santo Domingo began during the Anglo-Spanish War, and failed seven days later. 1660, Treaty of Oliwa was established between Sweden and Poland. 1661, king Charles II of EnglandScotland and Ireland was crowned in Westminster Abbey. 1815, the Second Serbian Uprising: A second phase of the national revolution of the Serbs against the Ottoman Empire, erupted shortly after the annexation of the country to the Ottoman Empire.

In 1910, American President Theodore Roosevelt made his "The Man in the Arena" speech. 1914, first baseball game at Wrigley Field, then known as Weeghman Park in Chicago. 1918, World War I: The British Royal Navy made a raid in an attempt to neutralise the Belgianport of Bruges-Zeebrugge. 1920, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) was founded in AnkaraTurkey. It denounced the government of SultanMehmed VI and announced the preparation of a temporary constitution. 1927, Cardiff City defeated Arsenal in the FA Cup Final, the only time it has been won by a team not based in England.

In 1932, the 153-year-old De Adriaan Windmill in HaarlemNetherlands burned down. It was rebuilt and reopened exactly 70 years later. 1935, the Polish Constitution of 1935 was adopted. 1940, the Rhythm Night Club fire at a dance hall in Natchez, Mississippi, killed 198 people. 1941, World War II: The Greek government and King George II evacuated Athensbefore the invading Wehrmacht. 1942, World War II: Baedeker Blitz – German bombers hit ExeterBath and York in retaliation for the British raid on Lübeck. 1945, World War II: Adolf Hitler's designated successor Hermann Göring sent him a telegram asking permission to take leadership of the Third Reich, which caused Hitler to replace him with Joseph Goebbels and Karl Dönitz. 1946, Manuel Roxas was elected the last President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. 1949, Chinese Civil War: Establishment of the People's Liberation Army Navy.

In 1951,  American journalist William N. Oatis was arrested for espionage by the Communistgovernment of Czechoslovakia. 1955, the Canadian Labour Congress was formed by the merger of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada and the Canadian Congress of Labour. 1961, Algiers putsch by French generals. 1967, Soviet space programSoyuz 1 (Russian: Союз 1, Union 1) a manned spaceflight carrying cosmonaut Colonel Vladimir Komarov was launched into orbit. 1968, Vietnam War: Student protesters at Columbia University in New York City took over administration buildings and shut down the university. 1971, Bangladesh Liberation War: The Pakistan Army and Razakars massacre approximately 3,000 Hinduemigrants in the Jathibhanga area of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

In 1985, Coca-Cola changed its formula and released New Coke. The response was overwhelmingly negative, and the original formula was back on the market in less than three months. 1990, Namibia became the 160th member of the United Nations and the 50th member of the Commonwealth of Nations. 1993, Eritreans vote overwhelmingly for independence from Ethiopia in a United Nations-monitored referendum. Also 1993,  Sri Lankan politician Lalith Athulathmudali was assassinated while addressing a gathering, approximately four weeks ahead of the Provincial Council elections for the Western Province. 1997, Omaria massacre in Algeria: Forty-two villagers were killed. 2005, First YouTube video uploaded, titled "Me at the zoo". 2013, Violence in Bachu CountyKashgar Prefecture, of China's Xinjiang results in death of 21 people.
=== Publishing News ===
This column welcomes feedback and criticism. The column is not made up but based on the days events and articles which are then placed in the feed. So they may not have an apparent cohesion they would have had were they made up.
===
Thanks to Warren for this advice on watching Bolt
Warren Catton Get this for your PC or MAC https://www.foxtel.com.au/foxtelplay/how-it-works/pc-mac.html Once tou have installed it start it up and press Live TV you don't need a login to watch Sky News!
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I have moved from Sydney to Melbourne and am desperate for funding. If you have a heart for giving, I fundraise at gofundme.com/abeueaec
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Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with AugustSeptemberOctober, or at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482020262/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_dVHPub0MQKDZ4  The kindle version is cheaper, but the soft back version allows a free kindle version.

List of available items at Create Space
===
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 Jaimee Pham. Born on the same date Charles II was crowned king of England, Ireland and McLand in 1661. I don't believe in accidents.
Deaths
April 23St George's Day in various countries; Yom Ha'atzmaut in Israel (2015); Children's Day in Turkey
Can of New Coke
We have a garter. We have a crown. We conducted a raid. Our coke is new. Our enemies are distant objects. Let's party. 
===

TRIGGS BRAGS

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 23, 2016 (8:57pm)

Behold the extraordinary level of self-regard displayed by Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs
• One can be astonished at the very simplistic level at which I need to speak. Our parliamentarians are usually seriously ill-informed and uneducated.
• I knew we had the law right and the facts right.
• I knew I could have responded and destroyed them.
• You are expected and required to read my reports.
• My resilience and determination and experience for a long time in the law give me the determination to get through the remaining 15 months to continue to speak out.
• I’m so confident about the law and about the evidence for the law not being respected that I feel very sure-footed in going forward.
• I am quite articulate.
• I can do what I’m trained to do and they almost can’t touch me. 
Her last line may refer to this poll. In that same interview, by the way, the conceited commissioner condemns the hubris of her opponents.
===

THE CURT LOCKER

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 23, 2016 (6:26pm)

Former All-Star pitcher and ESPN baseball commentator Curt Schilling recently offered his opinion on the functionality and purpose of public toilets: 
A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic. 
Naturally, he’s been fired.
===

MANHATTAN WEALTH TRANSFER

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 23, 2016 (5:14pm)

A roomful of walking garbage gathers in New York
Federal Environmental Minister Greg Hunt joined leaders from 170 other countries in New York to sign the Paris Agreement to limit global warming by at least two degrees.
“We are in a race against time,” UN secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the gathering.
“The era of consumption without consequences is over.” 
That’s your cue, Leonardo: 
Oscar-winning actor and environmental campaigner Leonardo DiCaprio urged leaders on, telling them: “The world is now watching”.
“You will either be lauded by future generations or vilified by them,” he said. 
Go hire another private jet, fat boy. And look who else turned up: 
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe says life is at stake unless we do something about climate change. 
Mugabe’s concern about life is a recent development. He was previously known for this view: “The only man you can trust is a dead white man.” In other major climate news, the Solar Impluse 2 is once again aloft: 
After a nine-month delay, the solar-powered, zero-fuel airplane Solar Impulse 2 is back in the skies, continuing its historic trek around the world.
Bound for California, the solar plane took off from Hawaii after a long layover devoted to fixing battery damage. 
Environmentalists and politicians should be required by law to use solar aircraft. That’d put an end to these climate conference shenanigans.
(Via Adam I.)
UPDATE. Iowahawk’s mockery of Earth Day was trending on Twitter. So Twitter yanked it.
===

THEY CAN’T EVEN GET STEREOTYPES RIGHT

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 23, 2016 (3:51pm)

Fairfax’s David Pope apparently believes Sophie Mirabella is Italian, so portrays her as a Mafia goon:

image

She’s Greek, David. Mirabella is her married name. Fairfax types have been struggling with this for years.
UPDATE. David Pope replies
No, Tim Blair. I think telling voters their hospital was punished for them voting independent is gangsterism. 
Sure, Dave. How could anyone have possibly imagined otherwise?
===

HE’S THE FIRST

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 23, 2016 (6:20am)

Waleed Aly’s wife hails her husband’s unique achievement
Aly’s wife, academic Susan Carland, points out the significance of having a non-white face on commercial TV. “I think a lot of people forget that – he’s the first non-white on prime time commercial TV. That’s huge,” she says, later sending me a text to correct herself: “PS, Waleed told me apparently Ernie Dingo hosted something on commercial TV back in the day.” 
This is ridiculous. Apparently Carland has never heard of Swami Sarasvati, whose exercise show – first broadcast on commercial television in 1968 – made her a household name in Australia. My grandmother and mother-in-law were both devotees of Sarasvati’s stern yoga commandments. Does Carland know of Kamahl, a fixture on prime time Australian television decades prior to Waleed Aly’s emergence? And then there’s Aaron Pederson, a gifted Aboriginal actor who in 1995 co-presented Gladiators Australia, besides many other mainstream commercial television appearances.
Carland also seems unaware of a certain Stan Grant, who prior to Aly hosted the commercial programs Real Life11AMFace to FaceToday Tonight and Sunday Sunrise. Even as we speak, this obscure fellow manages to maintain something of a high media profile, despite his non-whiteness.
Still, perhaps Carland’s ignorance is understandable. Given that she and Aly can’t afford a house – a house in Melbourne, for God’s sake – they probably also struggle to buy a television. Or internet access. Or anything else that could inform them of recent Australian communications history.
Give them time. These great social advances don’t happen overnight.
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Tips for Sunday, April 24

Andrew Bolt April 23 2016 (9:57pm)

Pass on your news tips here - and clips you think are a must for my new show.
Sorry, but we don’t have moderators to publish your comments on the weekend.
And don’t forget my new week-night show starts on Sky News Live at 7pm on Monday:

If you don’t have a Foxtel subscription and want to catch my show, go here.  
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“Turnbull confidants” promise media Left a more Left-wing Turnbull after the election

Andrew Bolt April 23 2016 (11:17am)

Malcolm Turnbull’s allies are privately assuring Leftist media critics that Turnbull, once elected, will be as Left as they like. He’s just got to fool the voters and his party until then.
Is there any other way to read Fairfax Leftist Tony Walker’s column?:


Turnbull leads a divided party in which a conservative rump sits there like a rotting carcass.In yielding ground to the hard right in his ranks, Turnbull risks being seen to be fighting this election campaign on Tony Abbott’s legacy, rather than one based on his own centrist [sic] convictions.
Who, we might ask, is the real Malcolm Turnbull? What does he really stand for? Is he really a liberal with a small “l” ...?
Turnbull confidants will tell you that once re-elected in his own right, an agile and innovative prime minister will face down his internal party critics and redefine his leadership in a single bound.
if true, that doesn’t seem to give conservatives much reason to fight for this government. It would of course help if Turnbull at least built relationships with them to engender trust, but that is yet to come.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

And what does Beattie look like?

Andrew Bolt April 23 2016 (11:07am)

First Paul Bongiorno, now Peter Beattie. What is it with the Left and mocking women’s looks?
It’s that pack attack thing, too. Once someone - this time Sophie Mirabella - is the designated hate object then nothing is too cruel.
You see, so often with the Left it’s not the principle but the side.
Otherwise, of course, there would be an uproar over the frankly strange and physically intimidating behavior of Mirrabella’s opponent, Cathy McGowan:

===

Boris blasts Obama’s “ancestral dislike” of British

Andrew Bolt April 23 2016 (11:02am)

Culture counts, says Boris Johnson:
Boris Johnson has criticised the US president Barack Obama and suggested his attitude to Britain might be based on his “part-Kenyan” heritage and “ancestral dislike of the British empire”.
Writing a column for The Sun newspaper the outgoing Mayor of London recounted a story about a bust of Winston Churchill purportedly being removed from White House.
“Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender,” he wrote.
Obama responds. Says he’s a Churchill fan.
To those screaming “racist”, could they offer an alternative explanation for what seems Obama’s visceral disdain for the West generally and Britain (and Israel) specifically? 
===

Fight for free speech while you dare still speak at all

Andrew Bolt April 23 2016 (10:51am)

image
I have just heard of another outrageous case of lawfare to silence an eminent Australian. So this new book is extremely timely - not least with Tony Abbott’s admission today that he should not have given up the fight to repeal section 18c and restore some free speech:
From its inception, s 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) has been controversial. This law makes unlawful any act reasonably likely to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or group of people because of their race, colour, nationality or ethnicity. Serious concerns have been raised about s 18C’s effect on freedom of expression.
In this book, the authors argue that s 18C is too broad and too vague to be constitutional. They argue that relevant international treaties do not support the sweeping scope of s 18C. Further, they argue that s 18C’s breadth and complexity impermissibly infringes the freedom of communication about government and political matters implied from the Commonwealth Constitution. In the course of their argument, the authors also cover issues relevant to Australia’s common law legal tradition and liberal democratic heritage. This book makes a timely contribution to the fight for freedom of expression in Australia. 
The authors:
Joshua Forrester: BA (Hons) (Murd), LLB (Hons) (UWA), PhD Candidate (Murdoch).
Lorraine Finlay: BA (UWA), LLB (UWA), LLM (NUS), LLM (NYU), Lecturer in Constitutional Law, Murdoch Law School.
Augusto Zimmermann: LLB (Hons), LLM cum laude, PhD (Mon) Senior Lecturer in Constitutional Law and Legal Theory, Murdoch Law School; Law Reform Commissioner, Law Reform Commission of Western Australia; Professor of Law (adjunct), University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney.
Order here.
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Sheridan’s tips to save Turnbull

Andrew Bolt April 23 2016 (10:28am)

Perhaps I was rather caustic, but I did offer my own top 10 tips for Malcolm Turnbull to help save his floundering government. Very few have been taken up and an olive branch I have offered has likewise not been accepted, or at least so far.
Now Greg Sheridan in a much less aggressive and more Christian way - so typical of him - graciously offers Turnbull his own list to turn around an election campaign that has so far been incredibly and astonishingly bad in almost every way.
Sheridan’s list is extremely sound:
Turnbull has mismanaged his relationship with Abbott..  As PM, the initiative lies with Turnbull…
This leads to the PM’s ... greatest strategic failure — his determination to distance himself, at least stylistically, from Abbott’s signature policies. The problem is these are also the government’s signature policies. Turnbull won’t talk about the boats which means he can’t make the case that Labor, albeit unintentionally, would start the boats up again. He won’t talk about abolishing the carbon tax which means that he can’t make the case that Labor would impose a new and costly carbon tax under another name. He won’t talk about terrorism in the way Abbott did which means he can’t prosecute the government’s national security agenda effectively… So he doesn’t say much of anything on an issue which is a huge winner for the government.
The government speaks so feebly partly because of Turnbull’s fourth calamitous mistake. He vastly overdid the cabinet reshuffle when he became PM… Turnbull’s cabinet changes were so vast that they caused instability within the Liberal Party. Much more important, they left the government with a churning front bench that is largely anonymous…
Before he became PM, Turnbull hailed Josh Frydenberg as the government’s best communicator but then took Frydenberg out of the day-to-day economic debate. His substitute, Kelly O’Dwyer, though a good person full of promise, was little known and has made a series of mistakes… Similarly the government had Bruce Billson as a dedicated Small Business minister cultivating a core Liberal constituency and gaining wider community recognition. That portfolio has now effectively disappeared… [Marise Payne] is the most media-shy defence minister since John Moore…
The PM’s final strategic miscalculation is his own style as PM… Turnbull remains fluent, charming, and very often convincing. But ... it is unclear that Turnbull has really moved away from being a commentator on politics and at heart a merchant banker, always ready to make a deal, to actually being a Prime Minister with a coherent, stable, serious program.
Thought bubbles — perhaps negotiating positions disguised as seemingly weighty ideas — embraced and discarded at lightning speed, have blighted Turnbull’s performance and gravely weakened Morrison, who has prepared the ground for one policy change after another only to find his PM has abandoned the ground without telling him.
Of course, Turnbull could continue to resist such good advice as merely the whingeing of Abbott loyalists and fringe conservatives. In which case, of course, his campaign will continue to bleed.  
===

Sinking Abbott’s submarine. UPDATE: Humiliating Japan

Andrew Bolt April 23 2016 (9:26am)

The Turnbull Government seems set to sink the planned Japanese subs deal that was favored by Tony Abbott and pushed hard by Japan, which even sent a sub for us to see:

A JAPANESE submarine is expected to leave Sydney Harbour on Tuesday, clearing the way for the hotly awaited awarding of the $50 billion deal to build 12 Australian submarines.
The JS Hakuryu, a Soryu-class submarine like that offered by the Japanese, will finish its visit on a day of critical Federal Cabinet talks to decide the winning bid ahead of an announcement expected next week.
It has been widely speculated that Japan has been eliminated from the Cabinet considerations and the contest is now between France’s DCNS and Germany’s thyssenkrupp Marine Systems.

Perhaps the French and Germany subs are better. Perhaps they are a better job-creation project, which is very handy just before an election. Perhaps embarrassing Abbott is tempting. Who knows?
But I might have received a massive clue about the final decision - and a sign how poorly relations with Japan are being managed over a subs deal that was actually thought an important way to bind two important allies facing a common superpower rival.
A friend of a friend in Japan says a media source in Japan told him that the visit of the Japanese submarine to Sydney was followed by a press conference and distribution of briefing materials. A planned media tour of the submarine was also scheduled, but just before it started an official from our own defence department arrived and said it could not go ahead.  Officials at the Japanese Embassy and consulate were reportedly “stunned and outraged”. Moreover, the embassy had specifically excluded from the media party the Sydney correspondent of China’s official Xinhua news agency, and were angered when Defence invited him anyway. The Japanese were left with the impression that Defence was out to sabotage their submarine bid, and the embassy told the Japanese media they would protest about the incident.
Another clue:

The Australian Federal Police are investigating another leak of unauthorised information about the hotly contested bid to secure the $50 billion contract to build Australia’s next-generation submarine… This time, the investigation is looking at a leak to the same newspaper that suggested Japan - which along with Germany and France is bidding to build the subs - was considered by cabinet’s National Security Committee to have the weakest bid.

You would not investigate an alleged leak that was false.
UPDATE
Greg Sheridan agrees - Malcolm Turnbull has shown a key ally no respect:

It is impossible to imagine that a government could have made more of a mess of the Japan element of the submarine decision than the Turnbull government has done…
It was the worst-kept secret in Canberra this week that the national security committee of cabinet was meeting every day from Sunday to Wednesday to consider who should build Australia’s new submarines: Japan, France or Germany. As early as Tuesday, word leaked out that the Japanese had been ranked third in the evaluation process and were effectively out of the running....
The Japanese option offered profound strategic benefits to Australia, to Japan and to the US, which backed the Japanese option.
Everyone accepts that if the technical judgment of the experts is that France or Germany is the better option, Canberra is right to go with that.
However, one of the highest considerations should have been to make this decision with the least possible embarrass­ment to our Japanese friends. That means that as soon as a decision on Japan was made, Mr Turnbull should have rung his Japanese counterpart and Defence should have notified the Japanese ambassador. Anything less was deeply discourteous.
Deep value in this important relationship has been sacrificed so the government can have an announcement in Adelaide [on Wednesday or Thursday] with all the South Australian Coalition politicians lined up on the stage.What a colossal mess.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

60 Minutes’ fingers all over this kidnapping

Andrew Bolt April 23 2016 (8:52am)

A terrific account by Jacqueline Magnay and Chip Le Grand on how the 60 Minutes plot to kidnap two children in Lebanon came unstuck.
Channel Nine’s pretences of innocence will come unstuck on details such as these:
Sally Faulkner had her children, the getaway boat was waiting at the docks, an extraordinary story was in the can but the crew from 60 Minutes was not satisfied. They had to have one last shot.
Ben “The Bear’’ Williamson, a popular cameraman at Nine, had spent the past few hours filming Faulkner’s reunion with her two children within the cramped confines­ of a second-floor apartment in Sabra, one of Beirut’s poorest suburbs. Before he packed up his camera gear, he wanted Faulkner to do one more thing: go out into the street and ring her estrang­ed husband, Ali Elamine.
Set against a chaotic, authentic Lebanese street scene, this would be Faulkner’s moment of triumph­, her “honey, I’ve got the kids’’ ­moment. Instead, this moment­ of Nine hubris led to the ruin of all.
And these:

Faulkner and the Nine crew didn’t realise that the phone she used was registered in the name of Adam Whittington, a professional child-snatcher who had organised Nine’s Beirut operation.
And these:
Back at their Sabra hideaway, Faulkner and the 60 Minutes crew did not realise their getaway was blown. The apartment belonged to Yasmine Hamza, the mother of Mohammed, a 26-year-old weight­lifter and occasional government driver.
She had no idea what had taken place when her son, his friend Khaled Barbour, a foreign mother of two children she had never met and an Australian television crew arrived at her door.
And these:
Whittington was paid $115,000 by Nine to plan and execute the kidnapping… In [the] back seat [of the getaway car], Faulkner hugged her two crying children throughout the short drive. The Nine crew trailed in a second car.
In Fairfax, this detail:
Paying Whittington was not the only way Nine got too close. The 60 Minutes crew filmed the kidnapping from a second car and instead of waiting to document the reunion on a yacht en route to Cyprus they accompanied Faulkner in Lebanon.
I don’t think Channel Nine’s excuse passes the sniff test:
A source connected to the case said Nine paid $69,000 into an account provided by Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner for the exclusive rights to film her story and did not realise the bank account details she provided were for Mr Whittington’s firm Child Abduction Recovery International (CARI).

This is despite Channel Nine having to make an international bank transfer to an offshore account to pay for the rights to tell an Australian woman’s story.
The ramifications for the 60 Minutes crew could be serious:
If criminal charges were pursued [by Lebanese authorities], their bail conditions presumably become pivotal. “In most cases that would require them to return to Lebanon to defend themselves,” Professor Rothwell said.
“If all of those contingencies come into play and if they do not return to Lebanon to appear before a court, they could be subject to an Interpol watch list and as soon as you are on an Interpol watch list that seriously places limits on your ability to move. A number of elements need to be satisfied, but it does indicate on one scenario they could find themselves in significant difficulty in terms of trying to travel.”
===

Van Badham fried in nuclear accident

Andrew Bolt April 23 2016 (8:12am)

Van Badham goes all anti-nuclear, showing photographs of what she says are appalling nuclear horrors. Tim Blair politely informs her she’s got the wrong slide-show.
Why does being an anti-nuclear hysteric mean never having to do research
===

Tony Abbott: I’ve learned from my mistakes

Andrew Bolt April 23 2016 (7:04am)

Tony Abbott says he’s learned some lessons from his overthrow and will improve:
Inevitably, some criticism is justified… I am convinced that the Abbott government got the big things right. Equally, there’s no doubt that there were mistakes in smaller things that loomed large enough for my colleagues to think that they would fare better under a new leader....
A very serious mistake, in retrospect, was abolishing the debt ceiling… What’s now ­apparent is that the debt ceiling would have forced both the opposition and the crossbench to face fiscal reality in a way that no amount of cajoling could.
Another serious problem was how to balance pre-election commitments with the worse-than-expected budget position we inherited and the faster-than-Treasury-forecast collapse in the terms of trade… The Abbott government tried to balance the need to keep commitments with the need for budget repair by starting some key savings measures (such as pension changes) after the next election. I thought that this was akin to Howard promising “never, ever” to introduce a GST but then taking one to an election. Still, the public felt let down — and, in ­politics, it’s the perception that matters most.
At the very beginning of the Abbott government’s life, I made a series of decisions that were reasonable, even self-evident in principle, but which created much resentment in the partyroom. I stopped the employment of ­immediate family members in MPs’ own offices because of the inevitable perceptions of favouritism; I ended first-class overseas travel out of respect for taxpayers; and I restricted family travel ­within Australia and spouse travel overseas because family very ­rarely accompanied business trips in the private sector… With the ­benefit of hindsight, at the very least, I should have handled this more sensitively.
Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act makes it illegal to “offend, insult, humiliate or ­intimidate” people on race grounds. This is clearly a bad law… A rather convoluted draft ­repeal bill prompted backbench threats to cross the floor and fierce criticism from state Liberal leaders. As well, by mid-2014, with the terror threat rising, I was starting to consider new laws to crack down on Islamist hate preachers. Nevertheless, as soon as I said that changes to section 18C were “off the table”, there were cries of ­betrayal from conservatives who had hitherto been largely silent. With hindsight, I should have persisted with a simpler amendment along the lines of senator Bob Day’s later private member’s bill.
Another big problem was the six-months-at-full-pay government-funded paid parental leave scheme that I’d first advocated in my book Battlelines and had taken to two elections as Coalition policy… I should have concluded that budget realities made this ­policy undeliverable.
The restoration of knighthoods in the Order of Australia was a personal decision… I should have ­anticipated this hostility…
Likewise, the initial presence of only one woman in the cabinet was an avoidable error.
Looking back over my prime ministership, I should have done more media interviews, especially long-form interviews where ­voters see more personality and less adversarial sparring…
I made some ­unnecessary enemies and left too many friends feeling under-­appreciated…
In this climate, everything ­became questionable, even volunteering in remote indigenous communities or the annual Pollie Pedal charity bike ride that would normally have been marks of ­authenticity, or at least originality. It became beneath the dignity of a prime minister to serve in the local rural fire brigade or to do surf patrol, at least if it meant wearing Speedos!
I can’t let pride in what was achieved under my leadership blind me to the flaws that made its termination easier, even if claims were exaggerated or exploited in self-serving ways. Enough went wrong to cause the Liberal Party to copy Labor’s decapitation of a first-term government, rather than to learn from it; and, for that, I must take responsibility…
People needed a greater ­appreciation of the government’s aims. We needed to explain better that sensible economic policy is not an end in itself but the means to a better society and to people being more able to achieve their potential… This was the challenge that the Abbott government couldn’t always rise to and that I hope to address in my future public life.
To summarise:
- Abbott admits he made promises he couldn’t keep, but he doesn’t put it that bluntly.
- Abbott admits he broke a promise on free speech that angered his core supporters, but he doesn’t put it that bluntly.
- Abbott admits he tried to pull a swifty on voters and broke their trust, but he doesn’t put it that bluntly.
- He admits he was too stubborn to change on unpopular policies, but he doesn’t want to put that quite so bluntly, either.
- He admits he got the symbolism wrong, on women and knighthoods.
- He admits he didn’t treat his team with enough care and consideration.
- He admits he was bad at communicating what his government was up to and not good at presenting himself in the round.
- He admits he was too crash-through.
- He admits he didn’t pay enough attention to his base.
Abbott is being forced by the election timing to contemplate and concede his weaknesses much faster than you’d normally expect or think fair. It’s just six months since he suffered a terrible humiliation and it’s natural that he’d first want to build his confidence and defend his record.
So it’s also natural that while this list of admissions identifies many of the key mistakes, it does not yet quite suggest the deep introspection of his own character traits and habits of thought and behaviour that led him to make them - which in turn would give more confidence that he would not make them again. This would involve a discussion of stubbornness, openness to advice and ideas, loyalty, nations of authority and even his vision. (I note that Abbott’s list of mistakes is uncannily similar to the list I drew up in November 2014 when I urged him to “change or die”.)
The effect of these admissions is also muted by too much yes-but defensiveness.
In fairness, though, it may be unwise to go into too much self-laceration in public, since Abbott must maintain enough gravitas to be seen as a serious player.
And that, of course, is the main take-out of this article: Abbott is signalling he is still in the game and next time will be better. Check out the improved version.
Still, more is needed before his colleagues - even some of his supporters - will believe Abbott gets it. At least he’s on the right path, and the rest of his article points out - correctly - that many of his alleged sins are in fact exaggerated and the considerable virtues of his government too often overlooked.
Consider this: has the Turnbull Government in seven months shown any sign of being able to achieve the substantial reforms and advances the Abbott Government achieved in just the two short years it was allowed?
This is no small matter. As Abbott warns: the problems he broke himself trying to fix stand before us still. At least give him credit for trying to save us.
UPDATE
To those who tell me they think the mea culpa is too little and too unconvincing (which is what I’ve suggested above, but with more understanding and patience) I would say this: where is a mea culpa to match from Paul Keating? Kevin Rudd? Julia Gillard? Malcolm Turnbull as Opposition Leader?
It is a characteristic of so many of Abbott’s critics to demand far more from him than they do of others.
The bloke has made a brave start that should be encouraged, not disparaged. The Liberals may well need him, after all.
UPDATE
The ABC’s Tom Switzer talks to Abbott about his mea culpa here.  It’s his first interview with the ABC since losing the leadership seven months ago. 
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Terrible housing crisis in Melbourne

Andrew Bolt April 23 2016 (6:15am)

Waleed Aly’s jobs include:
- Co-host of Channel 10’s The Project
- lecturer in politics at the School of Social Sciences, Monash University
- board member, Australia Council for the Arts
- columnist, The Age
- professional speaker
- author
- band member
- panelist on the ABC’s Offsiders
His wife’s jobs include
- lecturer at Monash University
- professional speaker
- author
- occasional ABC host
Yet in a profile in The Australian on Aly and his wife, Susan Carland, we read this:

His family — he and Carland have two children — rent a home in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond because they can’t afford to buy.

How bad is our housing crisis that we put even houses in a suburb like Richmond beyond the reach of such people?
UPDATE
Something else in the piece, though, does not quite ring true. Carland lauds the significance of her husband’s television achievements:
Aly’s wife, academic Susan Carland, points out the significance of having a non-white face on commercial TV. “I think a lot of people forget that – he’s the first non-white on prime time commercial TV. That’s huge,” she says, later sending me a text to correct herself: “PS, Waleed told me apparently Ernie Dingo hosted something on commercial TV back in the day.”
Tim Blair suggests four other names the couple has overlooked, not least of which, of course, is Stan Grant. Blair could have mentioned more, such as much-loved singer Marcia Hines and Bellbird’s Bob Maza, whose Hall of Fame entry hails him for having “changed the way Indigenous people were portrayed in the media”.  Big Brother’s Trevor Butler, MasterChef’s Poh Ling Yeow and Australia Idol’s Casey Donovan probably deserve guernseys, too. Ray Martin’s late entry may disqualify him, though. James Laurenson is definitely disqualified for applying artificial colouring.
UPDATE
Reader Batman nominates Trisha Goddard, but Carland’s claim referred only to the uncultured world of commercial TV, not the ABC’s sunny uplands. 
===

WHY DO YOU NEVER GO?

Tim Blair – Thursday, April 23, 2015 (3:10pm)

Senior Frightbat Clementine Ford asks
Seriously – if you dudes actually care about women as much as you claim to, why do you never go to events that educate about women’s lives? 
Good question. Perhaps an exclusive BlairPoll will provide the answer:
Thank you for voting! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Total Votes: 2,341
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EVERYTHING MOSQUE GO

Tim Blair – Thursday, April 23, 2015 (2:07pm)

Furqan al! Melbourne’s Al-Furqan Islamic Centre shuts its doors: 
A controversial Islamic centre attended by an Islamic State fighter and several suspected terrorists in Springvale South has closed down …
“We believe that given the constant harassment, pressure and false accusations levelled against the centre — particularly by media and politicians — this is the best course of action,” the centre said in a statement.
The statement said its members and the “broader Muslim community” was “often implicated in these insidious campaigns”. 
You might say they were run out of town. Except that running, at least for girls, is haram.
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FOURTEEN YEARS OF LAST CHANCES

Tim Blair – Thursday, April 23, 2015 (12:56pm)

2001
A Global Warming Treaty’s Last Chance 
2006
Last chance to save the world 
2006
I sincerely hope I’m wrong, because this Government and the one that follows it may well be the last in Australian history to have the chance to avert a climate disaster. 
2008
Those talks are our last chance 
2008
The Future of Climate Change Policy: The U.S.’s Last Chance to Lead 
2008
NASA warming scientist: ‘This is the last chance 
2009
Nicholas Stern has warned that Copenhagen is the world’s last chance to stop catastrophic climate change 
2009
The Truth About The Climate Catastrophe And Our Last Chance To Save Humanity 
2009
World faces last chance to avoid fatal warming: EU 
2011
This week’s major UN conference has been described by many experts as humanity’s last chance to avert the disastrous effects of climate change. 
2011
The world is likely to build so many fossil-fuelled power stations, energy-guzzling factories and inefficient buildings in the next five years that it will become impossible to hold global warming to safe levels, and the last chance of combating dangerous climate change will be “lost for ever” 
2012
The earth’s last chance with climate change? 
2014
Last chance: Change needed for climate negotiations 
2014
Naomi Klein on climate change: ‘This is our last chance 
2015
The UN meeting in December is “the last chance” to avert dangerous climate change, according to the Earth League. 
(Via J.F. Beck)
UPDATE. Via Dan F., a list of failed Earth Day predictions
===

Bigger than Naomi Klein. Certainly with more sense

Andrew Bolt April 23 2015 (5:14pm)

image
A bit of a thrill. Mark Steyn reports the good news: 
I’ve had a fun time out on the Earth Day airwaves talking about Climate Change: The Facts. That’s the new book featuring me and some of the world’s most eminent scientists on the state of the climate debate as we prepare to enter the third decade of the global-warming pause. And I’m thrilled to find that the book is currently Number One on the Climatology Hit Parade, ahead of Naomi Klein, Naomi Oreskes and any number of Naomis, and also Number One on the Environmental Policy Hot 100.
To order your own copy, go here. It contains a handy list of dud predictions and some penetrating remarks about them. Or so I felt. 
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The one persecution that bores leaders of the Christian West

Andrew Bolt April 23 2015 (11:57am)

Kirsten Powers on the one form of persecution that leaders of the Christian West don’t want to notice:
What do you call it when 12 men are drowned at sea for praying to Jesus. Answer: Religious persecution. 
Yet, when a throng of Muslims threw a dozen Christians overboard a migrant ship traveling from Libya to Italy, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi ...(s)tanding next to President Obama at their joint news conference Friday ... dismissed it as a one-off event and said, “The problem is not a problem of (a) clash of religions."…
Obama was mute on the killings. He failed to interject any sense of outrage or even tepid concern for the targeting of Christians for their faith. If a Christian mob on a ship bound for Italy threw 12 Muslims to their death for praying to Allah, does anyone think the president would have been so disinterested?
When three North Carolina Muslims were gunned down by a virulent atheist, Obama rightly spoke out against the horrifying killings. But he just can’t seem to find any passion for the mass persecution of Middle Eastern Christians…
Religious persecution of Christians is rampant worldwide, as Pew has noted, but nowhere is it more prevalent than in the Middle East and Northern Africa, where followers of Jesus are the targets of religious cleansing ... Western leaders — including Obama — will be remembered for their near silence as this human rights tragedy unfolded… And it will be hard to forget [Obama’s] lecturing of Christians at the National Prayer Breakfast about the centuries-old Crusades while Middle Eastern Christians were at that moment being harassed, driven from their homes, tortured and murdered for their faith. 
A week and a half after Obama’s National Prayer Breakfast speech, 21 Coptic Christians were beheaded for being “people of the cross."… Monday, there was more horrifying news: ISIL terrorists released a video purporting to show more religiously motivated killing.  
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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The Left gave us this Libyan nightmare

Andrew Bolt April 23 2015 (11:09am)

Islamism

It was the war Greens leader Bob Brown backed. The Libyan war that would show that idiot George Bush how to fight clean and cheap.
Prime minister Julia Gillard supported it. Foreign affairs minister Kevin Rudd helped inspire it. US President Barack Obama led it.
And at the height of their folly, in March 2011, Hillary Clinton, Obama’s secretary of state, crowed: “Many, many Libyans are safer today because the international community took action.”
How false that boast then. How sick now.

The disaster those fools wrought by toppling dictator Muammar Gaddafi, bombing his army from the air as his Islamist enemies advanced on the ground, finally exploded over news bulletins this past week.
Those 800 Libyans who drowned trying to reach Italy and the 400 who drowned last week?
The 30 or so Christians who were ritually beheaded or shot by Islamic State fighters based in Libya?
That’s Obama’s Libyan catastrophe. And there’s more to come. Another 500,000 Libyans are reportedly ready to flee to Europe to escape the militias that defeated Gaddafi and then tore the country apart, leaving it with two rival governments, countless rival armies, growing terrorist enclaves and a collapsing economy.
Tens of thousands have fled already, among the 250,000 illegal immigrants who have flooded Europe from Africa and the Middle East since January last year.
This isn’t just a humanitarian tragedy. For Europe, and us, it is a security nightmare in this age of jihad.
Europe needed to launch “targeted ant-terrorist strikes” in Libya, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni urged on the weekend.
“The double risk of the advance of the Islamic State group in Libya and the waves of migrants means we are in a race against the clock.”
So how did it come to this?
(Read full article here.
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Tony Jones whitewashes Tim Flannery. Don’t trust a word the ABC says about warming

Andrew Bolt April 23 2015 (10:06am)

ABC presenter Tony Jones, who fails to declare that he’s earned money from global warming interestslast night disgraced himself.
He hypes the NSW floods and other disasters as evidence of a global warming that in fact halted 17 years ago. He makes links to extreme weather that even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won’t. He fails to hold Tim Flannery to account for his false prediction that “even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems”. He lets Flannery mischaracterise his prediction in a deceptive way. He fails to hold Flannery to account for his scaremongering that Sydney was about to run out of water. He lets Flannery, a mammologist, attack the qualifications of political scientist and expert in environmental statistics Bjorn Lomborg for questioning the cost-benefit efficacy of policies to “stop” global warming.
In short, Jones runs protection for Flannery and lets him run his propaganda almost without challenge.
TONY JONES: Well it’s the biggest storm to hit Sydney and other parts of NSW in a decade. So are we likely to see more extreme weather events like this in the future, as many climate scientists have argued? 
This week’s storms will certainly feed the debate over how much climate change is already affecting Australia. Today the Government’s own Climate Change Authority weighed in with a report arguing that Australia is especially at risk and must ift its game by accelerating efforts to cut carbon emissions.
BERNIE FRASER, CLIMATE CHANGE AUTHORITY: And it matters because even at present levels, we’re having more heatwaves, more strokes from people suffering heatwaves, we’re having more bushfire weather conditions and all sorts of things of that kind....
Well Tim Flannery is a scientist and environmentalist who was the chief commissioner of the Climate Commission.. He’s now a member of the Climate Council… Now, when we get weird weather like this once-in-a-decade storm, inevitably, there’s a question over whether climate change has played a part in it. What do you say?
TIM FLANNERY: I say as far as that storm goes, it’s too early to say. But it’s important to look beyond that storm. I mean, people tend to forget that parts of NSW are still in record drought at the moment as we speak… Whether those storms themselves are an effect or being influenced by climate change or to what extent, it’s too early to say, but we need to look at that bigger picture.
TONY JONES: Yes. I mean, you know your own critics essentially make the argument that these huge kind of storms, these huge dumps of rain put the lie to the idea that it’s going to get drier in Australia.
TIM FLANNERY: Well that’s right. Every time it rains I seem to cop it from someone about this sort of thing. But the fact is it’s going to rain in the future. We’ll have intense storms in the future. But what I was talking about a decade ago and what continues to be absolutely true today is that south-eastern Australia overall is losing rainfall, it’s starting to dry out, there’s a drying trend which is strongly tied to the influence of greenhouse gases.... [W]e need to be aware that over the longer term, we’re going to face a situation where there’s less and less available water and demand of course will continue to increase as our population grows.
TONY JONES: Now, let’s turn to the report and the other things. It again warned, the Climate Authority’s report, that global warming of more than two per cent could trigger or risks triggering permanent changes to some physical systems. What physical systems are they talking about?
TIM FLANNERY: We’re talking about the way the whole Earth system works, basically… You’ll see large-scale changes in rainfall patterns, and again, we’re already seeing the beginnings of that now, with just one degree of warming. We’ll see climatic zones start to shift, agriculture start to be challenged, the water cycle changing, so you will get more intense rainfall events…
TONY JONES: OK, Tim, just stay with us for a minute. As you know, the Federal Government has agreed to provide $4 million to establish a branch of Dr Bjorn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Centre in the University of Western Australia. ... Well what do you think of Bjorn Lomborg’s qualifications? I mean, it has to be said that he’s quite sceptical, for example, that extreme weather events will occur with climate change. That’s just one of the many arguments he makes.
TIM FLANNERY: I’ve never been able to get a straight answer out of him. Every sentence that we engage with, the ground seems to shift. But, look, he’s - my understanding is he’s - his basic degree is in politics. The one argument that he’s been consistent about over the last decade is that we shouldn’t do anything to reduce greenhouse gas emissions directly, we shouldn’t putting a price on carbon or anything like that, just not gonna work. But what we’ve seen around the world is that in the last few years, it has worked; countries are reducing their emissions - the US by 12 per cent, for example. So, you know, if we took Lomborg’s advice, we’d be heading towards a world four degrees warmer than it was before the Industrial Revolution and that’s a catastrophe. So, I think those messages are of deep concern, to see those now being supported by the Government. And we worry at the Climate Council that people will get misinformed…
TONY JONES: Now, do you actually believe - I mean, it’s not just sour grapes, is it? I mean, you’re not a climate scientist, nor is he, it has to be said, but do you think the Government has actually set up this centre to push the sceptical barrow?
TIM FLANNERY: Look, I’d like to hear the minister tell the Australian public why they put the $4 million into this. 
Flannery and Jones suggest a link between this intense East Coast Low and global warming. In fact, other warmists from the Climate Change Research Centre suggest the very opposite is true - that global warming will bring fewer such lows:
This latest East Coast Low is a severe event, but not a record. In fact, Sydney experiences rainfall above 100 mm almost once a year on average, so this is a normal feature of our climate.... 
[R]ecent research is suggesting that the frequency of East Coast Lows, particularly the major winter systems that cause large waves, may actually decrease over the coming century given current climate projections. 
To put Flannery’s wild claims in context, here are some facts and admissions worth notingfrom the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Tony Jones whitewashes Tim Flannery. Don’t trust a word the ABC says about warming'
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Tim Flannery washed up

Andrew Bolt April 23 2015 (8:18am)

Global warming - dud predictions

 CLIMATE sceptics were sent two reminders this week — one from the sky and the other from warming guru Tim Flannery.
The one from Flannery, or actually from the Climate Council he leads, was a tweet alerting us to “powerful street art pieces that tell the uncomfortable truth”.
Well, they’re sure uncomfortable for sceptics, since they include a picture of a giant rabbit holding a sign: “The Earth isn’t dying. It’s being killed and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” The good news, though, is that this Bunny of Death may well have been washed away by the other reminder — the one from the sky. The rain that’s drowned parts of eastern NSW.

The mega downpour is a reminder of Flannery’s long record of dud predictions, a record so astonishing it’s no wonder this former Australian of the Year is down to quoting cartoon rabbits.
(Read full article here.) 
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What else are our Islamic students taught?

Andrew Bolt April 23 2015 (7:09am)

Victoria’s biggest Islamic college gives more reason to worry - not just about what is being taught but about the culture from which such teachings come:
Girls at Al-Taqwa College have been banned from running at sporting events because the principal believes it may cause them to lose their virginity, former teachers claim. 
The schools regulator, the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority, is investigating the allegations, which have been referred to the state and federal education ministers. It follows revelations in The Age last month that the principal of the Islamic school, Omar Hallak, told students that Islamic State was a plot by Western countries.
===

Labor’s new tax policy: let’s be more like Greece

Andrew Bolt April 23 2015 (6:42am)

Is Labor dishonest or just out of its tree?
Labor has declared the Age Pension is “sustainable” without policy changes, despite government projections showing the annual cost will more than triple in 40 years to $165 billion… 
“Let me be very clear, when Joe Hockey says the Age Pension is not sustainable, he’s wrong — it is,’’ [Labor Treasury spokesman Chris] Bowen told the National Press Club yesterday. “We spend half the OECD average on old-age pensions.’’
And he’s right - but for the first time Labor is making explicit that Greece is now its yardstick for responsible spending (note: pensions data for Europe includes disability payments):
image
Labor leader Bill Shorten says he’s going after rich superannuants instead with a new tax:
Labor does not support a system which returns tens of billions of dollars from taxpayers to support people who already have millions and millions of dollars in their superannuation, to support them to reach an even more comfortable retirement.
Look at the detail of Labor’s policy and you’ll find that these multi-millionaires that Labor wants to hit are in fact living off the average wage (before tax):
Labor will impose a 15 per cent tax on superannuation earnings above $75,000 when a person moves into retirement… 
Labor now has policies for four new taxes: a mining tax, a multinationals tax, a superannuation tax and a carbon tax.
Three of those taxes actually threaten to be turkeys that raise less money than Labor is banking on, but a pattern is emerging - more taxes and no spending cuts. In fact, Labor is already planning a fifth new tax:
Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen on Wednesday made clear he would not rule out going to the next election with taxation changes, including, potentially, to negative gearing.
UPDATE
Judith Sloan:
Labor is proposing ... to impose an effective tax of much more than 50 per cent on high income earners who are compelled to save through superannuation...And for those with incomes now above $250,000 per year, the model is even more punitive: 30 per cent on contributions, 15 per cent on earnings and now 15 per cent on incomes greater than $75,000, which is lower than Average Weekly Earnings by the way… 
Now anyone with a brain will be retreating from superannuation as quickly as possible and move their funds to more tax-effective vehicles with fewer regulatory risks, including overseas investment. Moreover, when this was proposed earlier, it turned out to be essentially unworkable because of the complication of unrealised capital gains in most unitised products… The addition to revenue of the Labor measure of $1.4 billion average will in all likelihood be a gross overestimate and sane (the villified ‘rich’) move their funds elsewhere.
UPDATE
Jennifer Westacott:
The latest Intergenerational Report projects that on the current policy settings, federal government spending will reach 31 per cent of GDP by 2054-55 (compared with about 26 per cent this year)… 
Imagining that we can tax our way out of our fiscal predicament by permanently increasing federal taxes from the 20-year average of just over 22 per cent of GDP to punitive levels of over 26 per cent excluding non-tax revenue (in terms of today’s economy, an additional $60 billion) is shockingly misguided. Projections for ongoing and increasing budget deficits and net debt of about 60 per cent of GDP by 2055 have already factored in tax revenues above their long-run share of GDP. Higher taxes would only discourage investment and participation, and depress urgently needed growth and job creation.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

Even morons can kill

Andrew Bolt April 23 2015 (1:16am)

One reassuring fact is that Islamic State supporters as stupid as they are evil:
A man has been arrested in France over an alleged plot to attack churches, after he apparently shot himself by accident and called an ambulance. 
Electronics student Sid Ahmed Ghlam, a 24-year-old Algerian national, is also suspected of the murder of a 32-year-old woman…
When police arrived at the scene of his apparent accidental shooting, they followed a trail of blood to his car.
They found weapons and bullet-proof vests in the car and at his home, as well as printed material on Al Qaeda and the Islamic State…
Mr Molins said a search of Ghlam’s phones and laptops “revealed that he was in touch with another person, who could be in Syria, with whom he was discussing ways to carry out an attack and who had specifically asked him to target a church”.
But even stupid people can kill, and we have plenty of them:

AUSTRALIA’S most senior Islamic State fighter has urged Muslim youths to launch attacks at home in an alarming new propaganda video.
Neil Prakash, also known as Abu Khaled Al Cambodi, may have been in contact with several teens arrested in last Saturday’s anti-terror raids which foiled a chilling Anzac Day terror plot.
“I send a message to my brothers, my beloved brothers in Islam in Australia,” Prakash says in the 12-minute video.
“Now is the time to rise, now is the time to wake up ... You must start attacking before they attack you."…
Prakash, from Melbourne, rose through Islamic State ranks after travelling to Syria to fight… He had attended the controversial Al-Furqan centre in Springvale South where some teens arrested on Saturday had also visited and prayed.
Prakash spoke of his “dear brother Numan”, believed to be Numan Haider, who was shot down while stabbing two police officers last year. 
“I knew this brother personally,” Prakash said. “When he failed because the Government took his passport, it did not stop him. Look what he did brothers.”
Two policemen were nearly stabbed to death because we stopped Haider from leaving? Note that more than 100 Australian Muslims have had their passports taken away and some 200 have been taken off planes going overseas.
UPDATE
How did we so lose control of our immigration policies that this should now be Australia on Anzac Day?
Harun Causevic and Sevdet Ramdan Besim, both 18, were charged with conspiring to commit a terrorist act...Ahead of Anzac Day commemorations on Saturday, which had featured in the alleged terror plot, Acting Victoria Police Commissioner Tim Cartwright said his offic­ers were aware they were prize targets for a terror attack. 
He reiterated warnings for offic­ers not to wear their police uniforms while commuting to and from work — a practice imposed since last year’s fatal shooting of 18-year-old Numan Haider, who stabbed two officers outside ­Endeavour Hills police station. 
And the source of this latest alleged danger?
Several of the young men ­arrested in this week’s raids in Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs have alleged associations with the al-Furqan bookshop and da’wah centre in Springvale South, and with the local Bosnian Islamic community. 
Bosnian Islamic Council of Australia chairman Jasmin Bekric said yesterday that al-Furqan had “kidnapped” and “brainwashed” his community’s youth. “Bosnians came to Australia after the [Balkan] war and found their future,” he said… A significant proportion of al-Furqan’s members have Bosnian heritage. Several, including leader Harun Mehicevic, are disenfranchised former attend­ees of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Islamic Soc­iety­ of Noble Park.
But once again, as we saw with our refugee intakes from wars in Lebanon, Afghanistan and Somalia, there may be more difficulty in assimilating those from conflict zones.  This 2003 report for the UNHCR on Bosnian refugees in Australia already revealed the seeds of inevitable trouble - and is important reading today if we are to avoid making the same dangerous mistakes:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Even morons can kill'
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Wuthering Heights at last

Andrew Bolt April 23 2015 (12:50am)

Your favorite books, poems and music - and mine

I stayed up late last night to finish Wuthering Heights, a book I have shamefully overlooked until now. I loved it, of course, but what took my breath away was the final paragraph, so beautiful that I had to read it nearly a dozen times over.
[Warning: spoiler alert.]
True, the novel does finish with a faint blush of the sentimentality that is so Victorian. The course of the narrative does not run absolutely true. Yet the tremendous elemental power of this novel transcends every objection, and leaves us actually welcoming the so-gentle rest we reach after all that tumult, even when we sense we’ve been handled too gently by this last paragraph, when Lockwood, walking home by moonlight, passes the graves of tormented Catherine, husband Edgar and Heathcliff.
“I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.” 
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Is the West dissolving in mass immigration?

Andrew Bolt April 23 2015 (12:34am)

Mass immigration today - in the age of cheap travel, satellite TV, hyper-communication and multiculturalism - has become less of a renewal and more of a challenge. I suspect even the US cannot sustain levels like this - levels that threaten to turn it long-term into a nation of tribes:
Legal and illegal immigrants will hit a record high of 51 million in just eight years and eventually account for an astounding 82 percent of all population growth in America, according to new U.S. Census figures. 
A report from the Center for Immigration Studies that analyzed the statistics said that by 2023, one in seven U.S. residents will be an immigrant, rising to one in five by 2060 when the immigrant population totals 78 million.
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Ignore Flannery: a warmer world is actually healthier

Andrew Bolt April 23 2015 (12:01am)

Global warming - general

See what happens when Tim Flannery makes predictions?
image
But for all Flannery’s booga-booga about a warmer world, a new, peer-reviewed paper in Environmental Research demonstrates yet again that a warmer world would actually be a healthier world, certainly for us in Australia. So bring on global warming:
Abstract 
Seasonal patterns in mortality have been recognised for decades, with a marked excess of deaths in winter…
We obtained daily temperature, humidity and mortality data from 1988 to 2009 for five major Australian cities with a range of climates…
We found that deaths rates in Australia were 20-30% higher in winter than summer… Winters that were colder or drier than a typical winter had significantly increased death risks in most cities. Conversely summers that were warmer or more humid than average showed no increase in death risks. 
(Thanks to readers Jason Morrison and Steve.)   
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Irish university submits to Islamic threats

Andrew Bolt April 23 2015 (12:01am)

I warned at the time that the “Je suis Charlie” movement was pushed by frauds who didn’t mean what they said.
The latest sell-out:
An academic conference focusing on the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January and its legacy has been cancelled by the Vice Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, on the basis of concerns about security and the university’s “reputation”. 
The event, titled ‘Understanding Charlie: New perspectives on contemporary citizenship’, was due to be held at Queen’s in June. However, in an email sent to delegates on April 20, organisers said that Queen’s VC Patrick Johnston “does not wish our symposium to go ahead”.
“He is concerned about the security risk for delegates and about the reputation of the university,” the email said.
Alan Munton, honorary research fellow in the department of English at the University of Exeter, who was due to speak at the event, told Times Higher Education that the conference’s cancellation was a “disgrace”.
“It shows an appalling lack of solidarity with the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ movement, in which people said the open and free discussion of controversial ideas should never be closed down,” he said. 
(Thanks to reader Grendel.) 
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How did Labor choose Gordon?

Andrew Bolt April 23 2015 (12:00am)

It is just a claim, and denied. But this is an issue that will not go away soon and raises yet more questions about Labor’s vetting procedures:
DISGRACED former Labor MP Billy Gordon is a “monster” to his ex partner, who claims she was held “like a hostage” and subjected to “so much violence” during their relationship. 
In a confronting interview on A Current Affair tonight, Kristy Pekham details the abuse she suffered at the MP’s hands and reveals she has evidence."I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere and there was so much violence,’’ Ms Peckham says.
“To me he is like a monster”.
Mr Gordon ... has previously denied the allegations and promised to fully co-operate with a police investigation…
The letter Ms Peckham sent to MPs alleges Mr Gordon would alternate between being aggressive and showering her with gifts and promising her a better life. It claims he would fly into a rage, and hit her on multiple occasions during their 15-year relationship… 
“He would wake up in the middle of the night and beat me.’’
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Played around with the new Lightroom HDR tool... not too bad, but I think I prefer hand blending more.  This is a three photo stitch with 2 stops difference between each exposure.
Posted by Matt Granz on Thursday, 23 April 2015
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Personal pronouns are often the most common errors in writing. Are you making any of these 5 mistakes? http://bit.ly/1K4E8tb
Posted by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing on Wednesday, 22 April 2015
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Happy Earth Day
Posted by Matt Granz on Wednesday, 22 April 2015
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The world will never be ready for Rudd to run the UN

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, April 22, 2014 (8:40pm)

STRANGE to tell, but Kevin Rudd’s campaign to become the next UN Secretary-General is ­gathering steam, at least in his own head. First it was Bob Carr’s endorsement.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'The world will never be ready for Rudd to run the UN'
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Aggressive dedication to doomsday

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, April 22, 2014 (8:39pm)

Here was Neil Ormerod, Professor of Theology at the Australian Catholic University no less, writing in the Fairfax letters pages: “Free speech for racist bigots, free speech for climate denialists. Where will it end? There is a value in free speech to promote reasoned discussion and deliberation. And then there is obdurate and at times wilful ignorance ...

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Aggressive dedication to doomsday'
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Loons and ratbags to run Labor

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, April 22, 2014 (8:37pm)

BILL Shorten was right about one thing yesterday. It wasn’t Tony Abbott who threw the Labor Party into opposition, it was the Australian people.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Loons and ratbags to run Labor'
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PANEL VAN

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 23, 2014 (5:20pm)

Australian playwright and Guardian columnist Vanessa Badham joins the panel next week on the ABC’s Q & Aprogram. Let’s see what this young lady gets up to on Twitter …

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'PANEL VAN'
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REACHING OUT TO MODERN YOUTH

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 23, 2014 (3:44pm)

An email chat yesterday with the editors of Sydney University’s student paper: 
Tim: Hi, editors.
I’m writing a story for the Daily Telegraph about Honi Soit’s current online survey. Please call me on 0466 --- ---.
Thank you,
Tim Blair
Editors: Hi, Tim.
Thanks for your message. If you could email us through any questions we’ll be sure to get back to you ASAP.
Kind regards,
Honi Eds.
Tim: Hi, eds. Thanks for getting back to me.
I understand that the list of 50 or so gender choices in the survey is from Facebook in the US. A few questions:
What sort of feedback have you received so far from survey respondents and other students? Are they supportive of the list?
Was there any debate about using the list? How/when was it first proposed?
Was there any concern that students might think the list wasn’t serious?
For that matter, was running the list an entirely serious idea?
Cheers,
Tim
Editors: Hi Tim,
We decided to provide non-binary gender options to make our survey as inclusive as possible for our readers. Most of our respondents have not commented, albeit for a small minority who did not immediately understand terms like “cis”. Several respondents have also privately expressed their appreciation for not prescribing gender-binary options.
We hope your slow news day picks up soon. We’ve heard the royals are in town and would imagine you’d be quite a fan.
Regards,
Honi Eds.
Tim: Much obliged, ladies and gentlemen. 
As it happens, the royals left Sydney yesterday for the Northern Territory. If only these youngsters paid as much attention to other events as they do to spotting whatever the minute difference is between trans men, trans* males, trans males and trans* men. 
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ENDLESS RESOURCE

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 23, 2014 (2:06pm)

“All you ever do,” a friend once told me, “is find idiotic things leftists say and then make fun of them. It’s so lazy.”
He was right, obviously, but I felt the terminology could stand some refinement. “It’s called a business model,” I replied. “I’ve found a way to turn stupid into money.” Which was why I was so delighted with the March in March, and am delighted again with the forthcoming … 
March in May. This is it Adelaide! We are doing it again! 
This time the valiant marchers have helpfully listed their grievances in advance. At the top of their list: 
All of the above 
That’s at the top. Which means there is nothing above. Great start, marchies! The list continues: 
Social justice and human rights in relation to a number of key issues 
Good luck turning that into a chant. 
Transparency in Government actions and decisions 
Have these people ever tried to report on a Greens conference? Where the media is typically banned? 
The end of corporate interference in politics. 
I agree. Ban Graeme Wood
Respect the diversity of Australian families 
Seriously? Family diversity is marchworthy now? 
The exit of Rupert Murdoch 
To where? The UK? The US? Already done, babies. 
A NO CONFIDENCE VOTE in our current P.M. & Government 
Had your chance last September. 
The abolition of capitalism and the state 
Hmm. If we’re talking about the state of South Australia, I’m up for further discussion.
(Via Gregoryno6)
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SYMPATHY FOR KEVNI

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 23, 2014 (3:26am)

Some of Kevin Rudd’s hissy fits were understandable. Imagine, for example, receiving a snippy email complaining about asylum seeker policies – from the very person who was the substantive author of those very policies: 
An extraordinary email sent by Ms Gillard to Mr Rudd at 9.49am on Monday, June 21, 2010, reveals she was deeply troubled about the government’s performance, even panicked, and expressed “a great deal of anxiety” over asylum-seeker policies. There had been a “loss of control of the borders” resulting in an influx of asylum-seekers that was driving voter support for the government to a new low, she warned the prime minister …
“To state the obvious – our primary is in the mid-30s; we can’t win an election with a primary like that and the issue of asylum-seekers is an enormous reason why our primary is at that low level,” Ms Gillard wrote in the email.
“It is an issue working on every level – loss of control of the borders feeding into a narrative of a government that is incompetent and out of control. As you know I have been raising this with a great deal of anxiety and I remain desperately concerned about lack of progress.” 
Two days later Gillard ended Rudd’s first term as Prime Minister. It would not have helped Rudd’s temper that in subsequent years PM Gillard oversaw even greater increases in asylum seeker arrivals and deaths. Why, it’s almost enough to make you pity the fellow.
UPDATE. Angry Kevni.
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A STEYN RETROSPECTIVE

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 23, 2014 (2:01am)

Happy Earth Day, everybody!
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RAINBOW CONNECTION

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 23, 2014 (1:54am)

As Miranda Devine observes, Labor’s real challenge isn’t severing ties with the unions. It’s severing ties with the Greens.

image
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Ian Plimer eats greens

Andrew Bolt April 23 2014 (4:08pm)

image
Ian Plimer’s latest:
Greens may have started as genuine environmentalists. Much of the green movement has now morphed into an unelected extremist political pressure group accountable to no one. Greens create problems, many of which are concocted, and provide no solutions because of a lack of basic knowledge. This book examines green policies in the light of established knowledge and shows that they are unrealistic. 
Policies by greens adopted by supine governments have resulted in rising costs, increased taxes, political instability, energy poverty, decreased longevity and environmental degradation and they don’t achieve their ideological aims. Wind, solar and biomass energy emit more carbon dioxide than they save and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions does nothing to change climate and only empties the pocket. No stainless steel teaspoon could be made using green “alternative energy”. This book argues that unless the greens live sustainably in caves in the forest and use no trappings of the modern world, then they should be regarded as hypocrites and treated with the disdain they deserve.
Pre-order here.
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Academic claims: soldiers fired up by “invoking their shared ability to sexually degrade women”

Andrew Bolt April 23 2014 (9:39am)

Dr Lindy Edwards teaches at the Australian Defence Force Academy and claims:
There is a long tradition of firing up fighting men by invoking their shared ability to sexually degrade women. They tap into an ideal of male sexual power to create a cocktail of ego, aggression and sexual energy that they channel into battle.
Dr Edwards receives a letter:
I served with the RAAF in Vietnam while my father served with the RAAF in the Pacific in WWII.  Neither of us encountered the phenomenon you referenced.  ??Since leaving the RAAF I have further developed my interest in military history but, I cannot find any reference to your claim.  Consequently, I would be grateful if you would provide me with examples where commanders have fired up their men using the technique you described. 
Sincerely, H R Thomas 
Read on. Not surprisingly, Mr Thomas is not given examples of what Dr Edwards has claimed to observe. 
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The church of global warming

Andrew Bolt April 23 2014 (9:16am)

 I detect that Germans have had enough of paying insane power prices to pretend to do something about global warming. From Oliver Welke’s Heute Show on ZDF national TV.
(Thanks to reader handjive.) 
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Rudd says Gillard welshed on deal

Andrew Bolt April 23 2014 (9:03am)

A nest of vipers. Not new, but  told by Rudd himself for the first time:
KEVIN Rudd says he offered to stand aside for Julia Gillard to become prime minister at the end of 2010 if the government was facing election defeat — but Ms Gillard welshed on the agreement just minutes after it was made… 
Mr Rudd has spoken on the record about the pivotal meeting with Ms Gillard in the prime minister’s Parliament House office on the evening of June 23, 2010, witnessed by Labor elder John Faulkner.
Mr Rudd said the conditional offer of a leadership transition — without a vote of the Labor caucus — came after a long discussion about the performance of the government and its electoral prospects…
“We had a discussion about her concerns about the government’s direction — a large part of which was news to me,” Mr Rudd said. “I put to her the simple proposition that if by the time the election was due at the end of the year the government was not in a winning position then of course I would not wish to remain as leader.”
Ms Gillard “agreed with that approach” but then took a phone call outside Mr Rudd’s office and returned to say that she had now decided to challenge his position as Labor leader and prime minister… 
“I said: ‘So you have just reneged on an agreement with me in front of a witness given only 10 minutes ago?’ To which she said, ‘Yes’...” 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill,) 
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Abbott moves on Liberal carpetbaggers

Andrew Bolt April 23 2014 (8:51am)

Good:
LIBERAL Party officials who try to privately influence government MPs as “strategic consultants’’ or “legal consultants” without identifying themselves as lobbyists face tough new regu­lations to limit influence-­peddling…
Party officials will be forced to declare they are lobbyists and will have to choose between party ­positions and trying to exert ­influence.
The principle of declaration and self-regulation that currently applies to professional lobbyists will be replaced by a decision from the secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, who will decide who is a lobbyist and enforce registration and regulation.
The definition of a lobbyist will be expanded to include those who have escaped so far by describing themselves as consultants. There is also likely to be an audit of all the business interests of Liberal Party officials to prevent informal lobbying... 
Tony Abbott, who since coming to power in September has already imposed a ban on paid and unpaid party officials acting as lobbyists, remains deeply concerned about the continuing practice of Liberal officials and former MPs trying to covertly influence government decisions without the public declaration or regulations that apply to lobbyists. There is unease about the number of so-called “strategic consultants” or former MPs working for law firms or com­panies who do not declare they are lobbyists but still seek to raise business interests and affect ­decisions.
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Shorten fights unions when he should fight the greens

Andrew Bolt April 23 2014 (8:47am)

Bill Shorten wants to rid Labor of the unions when he should be ridding it of greens. Miranda Devine:
Delivering what was billed as a historic, reforming speech in Melbourne yesterday the Labor leader declared he was going to rid the party of union domination and open it up to the “grassroots"… 
That sounds all noble and democratic but what it means in practice is handing the party over to the lunatic Green Left.
For all his talk about a new moral purpose, Shorten was just drawing from the old well of politically correct poison which has brought his party to its knees....
Shorten raised “the rancour over the recent Western Australian process (which) shows that in the future we need a method that provides a local voice.”
That “rancour” between Labor running mates Joe Bullock and Louise Pratt in Western Australia over Labor’s abysmal results in the latest re-run Senate election encapsulates Labor’s dilemma.
Bullock, who won Labor’s only Senate seat in WA, is a socially conservative member of the powerful shoppies union, which is headed by the outgoing right-wing faction leader and social conservative Joe De Bruyn.
Pratt, No. 2 on Labor’s Senate ticket, is an openly lesbian gay rights activist and Labor staffer, backed by the left-aligned United Voice union, who has been involved in Labor politics since her student days. 
The pair are typical of the Labor Party’s increasingly schizophrenic nature.
UPDATE
Troy Bramston is scathing of Shorten’s speech:
The Opposition Leader called for a new platform chapter outlining Labor’s “values”, but the spectacularly outdated commitment to “socialism” will remain in the party’s constitution. Nor was there any mention of Labor’s need for new policies or to jettison those from the Rudd-Gillard years, such as the carbon and mining taxes… 
It was suggested Shorten’s speech would offer “sweeping”, “significant” and “radical” reform not seen since Gough Whitlam’s time. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The biggest transformative reform Labor can make to empower its members and ditch the powerbroker ethos is to reduce the 50 per cent control unions have over the party’s state conferences. 
Unions use their bloc votes to dominate policymaking, appoint party personnel and select candidates. That power remains undiminished.
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The rise of the new authoritarians

Andrew Bolt April 23 2014 (8:35am)

Neil Ormerod, Professor of Theology at the Australian Catholic University, demands an end to free speech:
Free speech for racist bigots, free speech for climate denialists. Where will it end?… There is a value in free speech to promote reasoned discussion and deliberation. And then there is obdurate and at times wilful ignorance ...
Fine, Professor. Then let’s also end the free speech of those who peddle obdurate and wilfully ignorant claims that the first woman was created from the rib of the first man.
Professor, do you understand how many people would deny your own right to speak under the standards you set for others?
(Via Miranda Devine.)
UPDATE
My bet is that the writer didn’t for a second consider the Aboriginal ancestry of the surfer he was actually praising, but such are the inflamed sensitivities today:
AN indigenous surfer is suing a Gold Coast magazine for $200,000 after it wrote an article saying he had an “apeish face”. 
Coffs Harbour boardrider Otis Carey has filed a discrimination lawsuit against Burleigh publication Surfing Life for an article in its March edition.
“With his apeish face and cowering hair-curtains, I expect little more than Cro-Magnon grunts from his mouth,” surf writer Nathan Myers wrote. 
“I am caught off guard by the clarity and eloquence of his speech.”
(Thanks to reader Jimp51.) 
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Who is the ABC’s Alberici of the right?

Andrew Bolt April 23 2014 (7:14am)

We all have our biases. The ABC simply refuses to admit its current affairs presenters have them, too, and those biases are uniformly to the Left.
Today’s example: Lateline presenter Emma Alberici. Here are questions from just one interview last night - of Maurice Newman, the prime minister’s chief business advisor:
EMMA ALBERICI: It’s no secret that you don’t agree that man-made CO2 is causing global warming. Given there is now consensus among 97 per cent or so of climate scientists across the world that the view - around the view that human activity is responsible for climate change, what would it take to convince you?
Bias check:  The survey is nonsense, including among the 97 per cent even scientists who protest they are sceptics. Besides, science is never settled by a show of hands.
EMMA ALBERICI: I just want to take you up on that because it would appear that there is strong consensus, at least among - certainly when it comes to the IPCC, that is a group that has brought together under the auspices of the United Nations, the science around the world, it doesn’t actually do science itself, it just collates all the science and puts it forward. Now 195 countries contribute to that. Nineteen academies of science across the world, including I have to say the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the CSIRO, NASA, the American Academy of Sciences, the British equivalent, the Canadian equivalent, some really reputable bodies around the world are now agreeing that it’s human activity that’s causing climate change. So I’m wondering, who is it that’s influencing you so that is so convincing you otherwise?
Bias check: Again, the argument by authority. Note also that Alberici says these bodies are “agreeing that it’s human activity that’s causing climate change”. That misstates the real argument. Many sceptics believe human activity is indeed likely to have a warming effect, but dispute the size of it, the danger of it, and the utility of efforts to “stop” it. And against Alberici’s appeal to count hands is the science, which shows no rise in surface temperatures for some 16 years, contrary to the predictions of the scientists she demands we believe.
EMMA ALBERICI (on Roy Spencer’s evidence that 95 per cent of climate models predicted more warming than we actually got):  He was at NASA. His colleagues at NASA disagree with him.
Bias check: They do? In fact, even the IPCC Alberici treats as the font of all wisdom last year admitted most climate models had indeed failed to predict the warming pause of at least the past 15 years:
There are, however, differences between simulated and observed trends over periods as short as 10 to 15 years… There may also be a contribution from forcing inadequacies and, in some models, an overestimate of the response to increasing greenhouse gas and other anthropogenic forcing (dominated by the effects of aerosols) ...
This pause - or halt - in warming was not predicted. Why even bother to try to deny it?
EMMA ALBERICI: But I’m just going on people with great reputations around the world, including our own Chief Scientist, Greg Hunt, the Environment Minister, Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister. I mean, around the world, there seems to be consensus that it is a man-made phenomena.
Bias check: Alberici, never a fan of Abbott, now elevates him to one of the “people with great reputations around the world” who argues that global warming “is a man-made phenomenon”. This is her most desperate use yet of argument by authority. And if Abbott actually privately believes man’s influence on global temperatures has been wildly overstated, will Alberici modify her own warming beliefs?
EMMA ALBERICI: That it’s a pause. I guess that’s what scientists say. It’s a pause. They look back 800,000 years as I understand it, so 17 years in the scheme of things isn’t an enormous amount of time.
Bias check: Is this the first time Alberici has conceded the sceptics are right, that there has in fact been no warming for perhaps 17 years? Then why is she so adamant that we listen to the “97 per cent of climate scientists” who a decade or more ago said we’d get warming instead?
Alberici is misleading when she suggests we consider the past 800,000 years. The IPCC has in fact claimed to detect a strong human signal in global warming only from the 1970s, and 17 years is indeed “an enormous amount of time” in the context of establishing the truth or falsity of global warming theory. Six years ago, NOAA in the State of the Climate 2008 report said the climate models would be falsified at a confidence level of 95% if the warming hiatus lasted 15 years - which it now has:
Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate. 
The question really should be on Alberici: how many more years of non-warming would it take for you to admit the alarmists were wrong?
EMMA ALBERICI: I’ll only ask you one more questions on this because I do want to talk about other things, but both Marius Kloppers and his successor at BHP Billiton Andrew McKenzie agree that climate change is human induced. So what if those 97 per cent of climate scientists and all business people across the world, like the likes of Bill Gates and Richard Branson and the miners here in Australia, what if they’re right and you and the scientists you quote are not right. 
Bias alert: Kloppers, McKenzie and Branson are now climate scientists? Why doesn’t Alberici then cite me as well?  And has she considered why coal miners and users of aviation fuel have an interest in these witchhunting times to actually pose as global warming campaigners? For further insights, read The Emperor’s New Clothes.
EMMA ALBERICI: I’m sure there will be scientists lining up to give you that information but we’ll move on.
Bias alert: There are also scientists lining up to give Alberici information to counter her own beliefs. It is false to suggest the scientists line up on just one side of this argument.
EMMA ALBERICI: What do you see as the role for the Australia Network and is it, as Tony Abbott suggested previously, supposed to be a kind of cheer squad for the Australian Government?
Bias alert: Tony Abbott has never claimed the ABC’s Australia Network is “supposed to be a kind of cheer squad for the Australian Government”. That is a gross misrepresentation of his claim that the ABC generally seemed to have an instinctive hostility to Australian traditions and institutions, lacking a “basic affection for our home team”.  Alberici also overlooks the fact that the Australia Network is actually funded by government in a contract overseen by the Department of Foreign Affairs to project a positive image of Australia in Asia. As DFAT notes:
Australia’s federally-funded television service, the Australia Network television service, is an important platform for projecting a positive and accurate image of Australia. While the Australia Network maintains editorial independence, we welcome involvement and interaction by posts on content and possible story ideas. The current Australia Network contract with the ABC is managed by DFAT (PDB). 
Alberici is entitled to her biases. But the ABC has a duty under its charter to balance them. Who is the ABC’s conservative Alberici? 
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Joe Hockey: this Budget will hurt. It’s that or it’s Greece

Andrew Bolt April 23 2014 (6:41pm)

EconomyPolitics - federal

From Treasurer Joe Hockey’s tough and frank speech today at the Spectator briefing - a speech in which he suggests a surplus five years from now:
First, the scale of the problem: 
For as long as deficits continue [without a change of policy], government debt will continue to rise, reaching $667 billion within a decade. It is an extraordinary number that will have a profound impact on the living standards of all Australians…
This year alone we will pay $12 billion in interest charges on our Government debt, about the same as we will spend on higher education.
By 2024, without action, our interest payments are projected to reach around $34 billion. This is larger than the projected spending on Aged Care of $26 billion. 
One important cause: 

The $40 billion we spend on income support through the Age Pension is much more than we spend on defence, or hospitals, or schools each year. It is our single biggest spending programme. Spending on the Age Pension already takes up 10 per cent of all Commonwealth spending…

On top of this, aged care is now the eighth largest category of spending. We spend more on aged care than we do on higher education or child care.  And the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is the tenth largest category of spending. Nearly 80 per cent of the Scheme’s expenditure is attributable to concessional recipients…
And demand for the Age Pension will continue to increase as the population ages.  In Australia, between 2010 and 2050 the number of people aged 65 to 84 is expected to double, and the number of people 85 and older is expected to quadruple.... 
Between 2010 and 2050 the percentage of people of working age supporting those over the age of 65 in Australia will almost halve…

Despite spending billions of dollars in taxation benefits for superannuation, by 2050 the ratio of Australians receiving a full or part pension will still be around four out of five.
The case for change:
Budget repair will give us the option to support growth in the event of economic or financial turbulence abroad. The Global Financial Crisis may be over but we can be sure it will not be the last shock that Australia will need to negotiate. 
Budget repair is also about ensuring that future generations do not pay for a standard of living for today’s generation that they themselves will never enjoy. Continued deficit and debt is borrowing from tomorrow to fund our lifestyle today. We owe it to our children not to leave them with a mortgage that paid for our lifestyle. So if Australians ask themselves of the Budget in May, “what’s in it for me?” my response will be a better future.
Or else ... think Greece:
This intergenerational aspect to the budget repair challenge has an inescapable moral dimension. 
This is seen most clearly in Southern Europe where the most significant victims of the deep recessions have been young people, with youth unemployment in Greece and Spain close to 60 per cent. It is a hard truth that in many developed countries past and current generations have squandered their childrens’ future. We cannot allow our nation to fall into this trap.
The speech:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Joe Hockey: this Budget will hurt. It’s that or it’s Greece'
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And thus does the ABC legitimise the slide into barbarianism

Andrew Bolt April 23 2014 (5:51pm)

It seems Q&A once again goes out of its way to reward the potty mouth of a Greens-voting communist anarchist. (Yes, I know there’s a contradiction in terms there - several terms, in fact - but if this woman were rational she wouldn’t be any of the above.)
What is it with the Left and abuse? 
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April 23Saint George's Day in various countries; Children's Day in Turkey
Hank Aaron
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“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” - Romans 1:20
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning


"Him hath God exalted."
Acts 5:31

Jesus, our Lord, once crucified, dead and buried, now sits upon the throne of glory. The highest place that heaven affords is his by undisputed right. It is sweet to remember that the exaltation of Christ in heaven is a representative exaltation. He is exalted at the Father's right hand, and though as Jehovah he had eminent glories, in which finite creatures cannot share, yet as the Mediator, the honours which Jesus wears in heaven are the heritage of all the saints. It is delightful to reflect how close is Christ's union with his people. We are actually one with him; we are members of his body; and his exaltation is our exaltation. He will give us to sit upon his throne, even as he has overcome, and is set down with his Father on his throne; he has a crown, and he gives us crowns too; he has a throne, but he is not content with having a throne to himself, on his right hand there must be his queen, arrayed in "gold of Ophir." He cannot be glorified without his bride. Look up, believer, to Jesus now; let the eye of your faith behold him with many crowns upon his head; and remember that you will one day be like him, when you shall see him as he is; you shall not be so great as he is, you shall not be so divine, but still you shall, in a measure, share the same honours, and enjoy the same happiness and the same dignity which he possesses. Be content to live unknown for a little while, and to walk your weary way through the fields of poverty, or up the hills of affliction; for by-and-by you shall reign with Christ, for he has "made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign forever and ever." Oh!, wonderful thought for the children of God! We have Christ for our glorious representative in heaven's courts now, and soon he will come and receive us to himself, to be with him there, to behold his glory, and to share his joy.

Evening


"Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night."
Psalm 91:5
What is this terror? It may be the cry of fire, or the noise of thieves, or fancied appearances, or the shriek of sudden sickness or death. We live in the world of death and sorrow, we may therefore look for ills as well in the night-watches as beneath the glare of the broiling sun. Nor should this alarm us, for be the terror what it may, the promise is that the believer shall not be afraid. Why should he? Let us put it more closely, why should we? God our Father is here, and will be here all through the lonely hours; he is an almighty Watcher, a sleepless Guardian, a faithful Friend. Nothing can happen without his direction, for even hell itself is under his control. Darkness is not dark to him. He has promised to be a wall of fire around his people--and who can break through such a barrier? Worldlings may well be afraid, for they have an angry God above them, a guilty conscience within them, and a yawning hell beneath them; but we who rest in Jesus are saved from all these through rich mercy. If we give way to foolish fear we shall dishonour our profession, and lead others to doubt the reality of godliness. We ought to be afraid of being afraid, lest we should vex the Holy Spirit by foolish distrust. Down, then, ye dismal forebodings and groundless apprehensions, God has not forgotten to be gracious, nor shut up his tender mercies; it may be night in the soul, but there need be no terror, for the God of love changes not. Children of light may walk in darkness, but they are not therefore cast away, nay, they are now enabled to prove their adoption by trusting in their heavenly Father as hypocrites cannot do.
"Though the night be dark and dreary,
Darkness cannot hide from thee;
Thou art he, who, never weary,
Watchest where thy people be."
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Tertullus 

[Tûrtŭl'lus] - derived from Tertius, and meaning, liar or impostor.

A Roman advocate employed by the Jewish authorities to prosecute Paul before Felix, the Roman Governor or Procurator (Acts 24:1, 2; 25:8).

The style of his rhetorical address or brief was common to Roman advocates. With his power of glib eloquence as well as knowledge of Roman laws, the orator Tertullus sought to impress the mind of the judge. With the trick of his class, he began with flattery of the judge. All of the flattering epithets of the hired orator, however, stand out in striking contrast with "the righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come," Paul later spoke about to the same ruler.

From flattery of the judge, Tertullus passed to invective against the defendant, charging him with crimes he never committed. Paul in his defense presented a marked difference between his own frank manliness and the advocate's servile flattery. Tertullus could not rouse the conscience of Felix as Paul did. "Felix trembled," as Paul pressed home the truth of the Gospel and sent for him "the oftener," we read. What a tragedy it was that Felix did not follow his Spirit-impressed conscience!
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Today's reading: 2 Samuel 14-15, Luke 17:1-19 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Samuel 14-15


Absalom Returns to Jerusalem

Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king's heart longed for Absalom. 2 So Joab sent someone to Tekoa and had a wise woman brought from there. He said to her, "Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in mourning clothes, and don't use any cosmetic lotions. Act like a woman who has spent many days grieving for the dead. 3 Then go to the king and speak these words to him." And Joab put the words in her mouth.

4 When the woman from Tekoa went to the king, she fell with her face to the ground to pay him honor, and she said, "Help me, Your Majesty!"

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 17:1-19

Sin, Faith, Duty
1 Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 So watch yourselves.
"If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying 'I repent,' you must forgive them."
5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"
6 He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you....
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Today's Lent reading: John 21 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 3 "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

5 He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?"

"No," they answered.
6 He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish....
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Today is Good Friday, the day of Jesus' arrest, trial, and execution. The reading below describes his appearance before Pontius Pilate. For the complete Good Friday story, read John 18-19 on Bible Gateway.

Good Friday: 
John 18-19

Jesus Before Pilate
28 Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29So Pilate came out to them and asked, "What charges are you bringing against this man?"
30 "If he were not a criminal," they replied, "we would not have handed him over to you."
31 Pilate said, "Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law."
"But we have no right to execute anyone," they objected. 32This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.
33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?"
34 "Is that your own idea," Jesus asked, "or did others talk to you about me?" 35 "Am I a Jew?" Pilate replied. "Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?"
36 Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place."
37 "You are a king, then!" said Pilate.
Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."
38 "What is truth?" retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, "I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release 'the king of the Jews'?"
40 They shouted back, "No, not him! Give us Barabbas!" Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising....
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