Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tue Apr 19th Todays News

Malcolm Turnbull is calling an election on 2nd July, but refuses to call the election until after the May 2nd. Many would think the naming of the date sufficient, but the exchange of writs has not taken place. So the electoral commission have advance notice but are not able to do anything about it. This allows Malcolm Turnbull from placing his government into caretaker mode, where his inability to make a decision would be almost responsible behaviour. The double dissolution call is particularly dumb. Malcolm is throwing away the hard won advantage of independent senators and gifting them back to the ALP and Greens early. Probably there is some 'sly fox' intention behind the error, but if so it will only alienate and irritate the electorate. Turnbull has failed to explain Liberal Policy under his leadership. It seems he wants government jobs at the expense of the lives of soldiers in the future, by not building naval forces at cheapest, and best cost.

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
Scull a beer and Mr Abbott's name goes around the world faster than when he was called a misogynist by a desperate Gillard. Naturally the anti Abbott forces are offended by the seven second effort. Should a PM be filmed like that? Mr Abbott, #IllDrinkWithU .. Meanwhile Hockey returns home and media are damning his budget before it s released. 

Daylight shooting in Paramatta. Bullets fired through an office where three people worked. An immigration business asks not to be named as they were targeted. The shooter left his finger prints on a car he is seen by video to touch. It seems to involve Indian peoples by ethnicity, but not as a racist attack. 

Five arrested regarding terror suspects in Melbourne. Some questioned in custody, Family and friends claim the arrests were over the top. Want apologies. One hopes an apology is not forthcoming. It seems ISIL have attempted to recruit for Anzac Day attacks. 

In 65, a freed man betrayed a plot to assassinate Nero. History is silent as to what happened to the plotters, but Flavius Scaevinus, the principal plotter, seems to have been Consul under Otho and later exiled by Vitellius. In 797, the mother from hell, Empress Irene, organised a conspiracy against her son, Byzantine Emperor Constantine VI. He was deposed and blinded, shortly after dying of wounds. But he wasn't a good emperor anyway. Or popular. In 1012, an Archbishop of Canterbury,  Ælfheah, was martyred by Vikings. He had refused to allow them to ransom him. They got drunk and he died when one hit him with an axe butt. Shortly before his own death,  Thomas Becket prayed to Ælfheah. In 1770, Captain Cook first sighted the East Coast of Australia. On the same day in 1770, Marie Antoinette married French King Louis XVI and so forever validated the lyrics to VanGelis' Mr Cairo. In 1775, US revolutionaries were successful at the battles of Concord and Lexington. In 1782, John Adams successfully negotiated with the Netherlands recognition of the US. His house in the Hague became the first US embassy. In 1865, a funeral for Lincoln was held in the East Wing of the White House. In 1897, Léo Taxil, admitted to people he had duped, that his conversion to Catholicism was false and his writings were a hoax. In 1903, the Kishinev pogrom, resulted in Jews migrating to Palestine and the West. In 1919, Leslie Irvin used the first successful voluntary, free fall parachute. In 1943, Albert Hofmann, a Swiss Chemist, voluntarily took LSD for the first time. 1951, Douglas MacArthur retired. 1956, Grace Kelly married her Prince. In 1971, Charles Manson was sentenced to death, but that sentence was later commuted. 1984, Advance Australia Fair was made Australia's national anthem and Green and Gold were her colours. In 1985, FBI used 200 agents to successfully siege a neo-Nazi HQ of The Covenant, The Sword and the Arm of the Lord. In 1987, the Simpsons premiered. In 1993, the FBI siege of Branch Davidians on the fifty first day resulted in 81 deaths. In 1995, the Oklahoma bombing took place killing 168. In 2013, terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed by police in a shootout, but his brother Tamerlan was tragically taken alive. 
From 2014
One of the greatest books of the greatest US writers is now largely forgotten. Jurgen is a fantasy set in a fantasy land that is faintly European. The protagonist is an ageing pawn broker who was a poet in his youth. He sees a priest stub a toe on a cobblestone and curse the devil. He upbraids the priest, pointing out the devil had done far more work than the priest ever did. A large man of no necessary (to record) description thanked Jurgen for taking his part. And offered to reward him. Jurgen says that it is too late, because he is married. When Jurgen goes home, his wife has disappeared. Jurgen is fine with that, but family convince him he needs to do the manly thing and journey to get her back. On his journey, he finds a pink cave and, on donning a magic shirt, is transported into his earlier self, and meets those he loved or dreamed of, including Guinevere, Helen of Troy and his first love. It was published in 1919 and immediately faced legal troubles with censorship. It took three years in court, and finally was cleared for publication, but not until James Branch Cabell had added a chapter to it addressing censors. A greater work is the later Figures of Earth. 

On this day in 1925, Mae West was sentenced to ten days jail for her play she wrote and starred in, Sex. The play had run for ten months, and was seen by over 325,000 patrons before the censors sprang into action. The play had been inspired by a prostitute West had seen in 1924. The girl wore street clothes and had a sailor in each arm and West had remarked she could afford better clothes, but her taxi companion pointed out she couldn't and told her of the economics of the transaction. Fifty cents a trick might be the name of a modern rapper, but in 1924 it was a piece work salary. The play was not particularly inspired with original direction, but, Mae meant it as an instruction to liberate women. 

Censors managed to obscure the brilliant and pathetic, but as with those who attempted to kill Hitler, they just missed their mark.
Historical perspective on this day
In 65, the freedman Milichus betrayed Piso's plot to kill the Emperor Nero and all the conspirators were arrested. 531, Battle of Callinicum: A Byzantine army under Belisarius was defeated by the Persians at Ar-Raqqah (northern Syria). 797, Empress Irene organised a conspiracy against her son, the Byzantine emperor Constantine VI. He was deposed and blinded. Shortly after Constantine died of his wounds, and Irene proclaimed herself basileus. 1012, Martyrdom of Ælfheah in Greenwich, England. 1529, beginning of the Protestant Reformation: After the Second Diet of Speyer banned Lutheranism, a group of rulers (GermanFürst) and independent cities (GermanReichsstadtprotested the reinstatement of the Edict of Worms. 1539, Charles V and Protestants signed Treaty of Frankfurt.

In 1677, the French army captured the town of Cambrai held by Spanish troops. 1713, with no living male heirsCharles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713to ensure that Habsburg lands and the Austrian throne would be inherited by his daughter, Maria Theresa of Austria (not actually born until 1717). 1770, Captain James Cook sighted the eastern coast of what is now Australia. Also 1770, Marie Antoinette married Louis XVI in a proxy wedding. 1775, American Revolutionary War: The war began with an American victory in Concord during the battles of Lexington and Concord. 1782, John Adams secured the Dutch Republic's recognition of the United States as an independent government. The house which he had purchased in The HagueNetherlands became the first American embassy.

In 1809, an Austrian corps was defeated by the forces of the Duchy of Warsaw in the Battle of Raszyn, part of the struggles of the Fifth Coalition. On the same day the Austrian main army is defeated by a First French Empire Corps led by Louis-Nicolas Davoutat the Battle of Teugen-Hausen in Bavaria, part of a four-day campaign that ended in a French victory. 1810, Venezuela achieved home rule: Vicente EmparanGovernor of the Captaincy General was removed by the people of Caracas and a junta was installed. 1839, the Treaty of London established Belgium as a kingdom and guaranteed its neutrality. 1855, visit of Napoleon III to Guildhall, London 1861, American Civil WarBaltimore riot of 1861: A pro-Secession mob in Baltimore, Maryland, attacked United States Army troops marching through the city. 1865, Funeral service for Abraham Lincoln was held in the East Room of the White House. 1892, Charles Duryea claimed to have driven the first automobile in the United States, in Springfield, Massachusetts. 1897, Léo Taxil exposed his own fabrications concerning Freemasonry

In 1903, the Kishinev pogrom in Kishinev (Bessarabia) began, forcing tens of thousands of Jews to later seek refuge in Palestine and the Western world. 1919, Leslie Irvin of the United States made the first successful voluntary free-fall parachute jump using a new kind of self-contained parachute. 1927, Mae West was sentenced to ten days in jail for obscenity for her play Sex. 1928, the 125th and final fascicle of the Oxford English Dictionary was published.

In 1942, World War II: In Poland, the Majdan-Tatarski ghetto was established, situated between the Lublin Ghetto and a Majdaneksubcamp. 1943, Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann deliberately took LSD for the first time. Also 1943, World War II: In Poland, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising begins, after German troops enter the Warsaw ghetto to round up the remaining Jews. 1948, Burma joined the United Nations. 1950, Argentina became a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty. 1951, General Douglas MacArthur retired from the military. 1954, the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan recognised Urdu and Bengali as the national languages of Pakistan. 1956, actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco. 1960, students in South Korea held a nationwide pro-democracy protest against presidentSyngman Rhee, eventually forcing him to resign.

In 1971, Sierra Leone became a republic, and Siaka Stevens the president. Also in 1971, Vietnam WarVietnam Veterans Against the War began a five-day demonstration in Washington, D.C.. Also in 1971, launch of Salyut 1, the first space station. Also in 1971, Charles Manson was sentenced to death (later commuted life imprisonment) for conspiracy to commit the Tate/LaBianca murders. 1973, the Portuguese Socialist Party was founded in the German town of Bad Münstereifel. 1975, India's first satelliteAryabhata, was launched. 1984, Advance Australia Fair was proclaimed as Australia's national anthem, and green and gold as the national colours. 1985, U.S.S.R performed nuclear tests at Eastern Kazakhstan/Semipalatinsk. Also 1985, 200 ATF and FBI agents laid siege to the compound of the neo-Nazi survivalist group The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord in Arkansas. The CSA surrendered two days later. 1987, The Simpsons premiered as a short cartoon on The Tracey Ullman Show. 1989, a gun turret exploded on the USS Iowa, killing 47 sailors.

In 1993, the 51-day FBI siege of the Branch Davidian building outside Waco, TexasUSA, ended when a fire broke out. Eighty-one people died. Also 1993, South Dakota governor George Mickelson and seven others were killed when a state-owned aircraft crashed in Iowa. 1995, Oklahoma City bombing: The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma CityOklahomaUSA, was bombed, killing 168. 1997, the Red River Flood of 1997 overwhelmed the city of Grand Forks, North Dakota. Fire broke out and spread in downtown Grand Forks, but high water levels hampered efforts to reach the fire, leading to the destruction of 11 buildings. 1999, the German Bundestag returned to Berlin, the first German parliamentary body to meet there since the Reichstag was dissolved in 1933. 2011, Fidel Castro resigned from the Communist Party of Cuba's central committee after 45 years of holding the title. 2013, Boston Marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police. His brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured while hiding in a boat inside a backyard in Watertown, Massachusetts.
=== 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
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For twenty two years I have been responsibly addressing an issue, and I cannot carry on. I am petitioning the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to remedy my distress. I leave it up to him if he chooses to address the issue. Regardless of your opinion of conservative government, the issue is pressing. Please sign my petition at https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/tony-abbott-remedy-the-persecution-of-dd-ball

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

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

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


I have begun a bulletin board (http://theconservativevoice.freeforums.netwhich will allow greater latitude for members to post and interact. It is not subject to FB policy and so greater range is allowed in posts. Also there are private members rooms in which nothing is censored, except abuse. All welcome, registration is free.
Happy birthday and many happy returns Linda Nguyen. Born the same day Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI passed a law letting girls inherit Habsburg lands. Coincidence? I don't think so.
Deaths
April 19Feast of Saint Alphege (Western Christianity)
Protestors in South Korea
He gave his daughter everything, before she was conceived. Europeans fought each other. Remember uncorrupted youth. They knew how to protest. My captain has passed. Let's party. 
===

LET THE CHILDREN PLAY

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 19, 2016 (4:04pm)

A junior football league rejects the AFL’s horrible sissification regulations: 
Thousands of junior footballers can once again tackle and keep score as clubs wind back controversial AFL rules designed to make the game safer and less competitive.
The Yarra Junior Football League, one of the first to break ranks with the AFL, will allow modified tackling for under-8s and 9s and full tackling for under-10s …
Stacy Visser, whose son Liam plays under-11s, said it was hard to tell children not to tackle when it was “such an integral part of the game they love so much. And don’t get me started on why there is no scoreboard in junior football”. 
If there’s no scoreboard, why do they have goalposts?
===

ELECTION CALLED BUT NOT CALLED

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 19, 2016 (2:16pm)

For the life of him, this man cannot make a decision
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed the election will be held on July 2, but will not be called until after the May 2 Budget. 
===

WHEN GLOBAL WARMING ARRIVED, part one

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 19, 2016 (1:48pm)

Back in 2007, illustrator Dave Follett and I put together a little graphic novel kind of thing for the Saturday Telegraph, after the style of Frank Miller’s Sin City. Basically I scribbled out the panel-by-panel text and emailed it to Dave, who drew it beautifully.
This week that strangely timeless work will be serialised here. Our tale begins:

image
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PROGRESSIVES HATE PROGRESS

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 19, 2016 (3:36am)

Two protesters arrested after refusing to leave a house in the path of a fine new motorway: 
Sydney residents Bill Holliday and Sharon Laura were detained on Saturday morning after spending the night inside the fenced-off house in Haberfield. 
Bill may have previously identified as a black woman. Neither he nor Laura, by the way, own or rent the house in question. 
The last time he was arrested was in 1974, when he was protesting the construction of an expressway near Glebe. 
Why don’t these people live in Bourke? No motorway or expressway problems there. Hit this link for footage of Sydney police officers demonstrating remarkable patience while dealing with motorway opponent and frightbat cavemother Wendy Bacon.
(Via Huddo, who emails: “Not sure these people realise they’ve actually made a PR video for NSW Police.")
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WHAT IN GOD’S NAME HAVE WE DONE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 19, 2016 (3:07am)

Terrifying climate change news from someone who was alive when flowers were invented:

image

This might be the most worrying global warming development since the 2014 blossom crisis in Suzy Freeman-Greene’s garden: 
It’s June but my backyard plum tree sprouts blossom while wearing a mantle of yet-to-fall leaves. Basil – a summer herb – is only just dying off in the tardy cold. Spring bulbs started coming up in a neighbour’s garden in May. 
(Via Rocky.)
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HOSTAGES CONFESS UN-AUSTRALIAN ACTIVITIES

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 19, 2016 (2:56am)

Australia’s decision to expel toxic beasts is applauded by Jim Treacher, who also has issues with Pistol and Boo: 
You may recall that Johnny Depp and his wife Amber Heard got in big trouble with the Australian government last year, because they brought their dogs into the country without declaring them. Australia has strict “biosecurity” laws to keep all us Yanks and Pommies from bringing our filthy diseases down under to infect their precious wallabies and koalas and Yahoo Seriouses.
Or you may not recall that. It doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that the incident has given us a very precious gift: The most glamorous hostage video ever. 
Click for that video.
UPDATE. This, by Natalie Tran, is genius:

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BIG WHEELS KEEP ON TURNING

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 19, 2016 (2:16am)

The IPA’s Simon Breheny – and thousands of people in the transport industry – want Australia to keep on truckin’:



Wish granted. A subsequent email arrived from Ken Phillips at Independent Contractors Australia: 
At around 9.40pm last night the Senate voted to repeal the evil Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal laws.
Our huge thanks to the Turnbull Government and the independent Senators who voted to repeal. 
Good.
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OVER TO YOU, MALCOLM

Tim Blair – Monday, April 18, 2016 (7:29pm)

As expected, the Senate has rejected the Turnbull government’s two industrial reform bills. Stand by for confirmation of a July 2 election.
UPDATE. “If you are a delcon,” asks Matt Hayden, “what level would you be?”
UPDATE II. Apparently delcons were responsible for the preselection of Turnbull-backed Jason Falinski in Mackeller. Seems an odd call.
UPDATE III. The big giant puppet head version of Malcolm Turnbull is identical in scale and proportion to the real thing:

image

UPDATE IV. Attorney-General George Brandis
Senator Brandis said tonight’s actions did not equate to the start of an election campaign.
“It is not really an election campaign until the Parliament is dissolved and the writs are issued, in my view,” he said. 
Hmmm.
UPDATE V. The SMH’s Peter Hartcher considers Turnbull’s declining popularity: 
He’s been losing the government’s electoral advantage over Labor at an average rate of about 1.2 percentage points a month since November, according to Fairfax-Ipsos polls. That’s the equivalent of losing 6100 voters a day. 
Between now and July 2, that’s another 457,500 voters – in addition to those who have already turned away.
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If I say I’m a giant Asian girl in first grade how dare you say I’m not

Andrew Bolt April 19 2016 (2:55pm)

Made stupid by fear:
This is an extraordinary short video making the rounds. A 5’9’’ white guy goes onto the University of Washington campus and asks students to explain why he isn’t a 6’5” Chinese female child in first grade. They can’t do it. They are so afraid of being judgmental, and offending against the sacred dogma of Self-Definition that they are unable to deny anything he claims about himself. (Not strictly true: one woman of the bunch politely doubts that he is 6’5”.) You have to watch this:
(Thanks to reader Terry.) 
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Pistol and Depp work miracles for Barnaby

Andrew Bolt April 19 2016 (1:40pm)

Sarrah Le Marquand in praise of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce:
Watching the most overrated and overpaid actor in modern cinema (otherwise known as Johnny Depp) swagger into a Gold Coast court yesterday morning was enough to achieve the impossible — make Barnaby Joyce seem like a wise, measured and respected statesman…
With the brooding Depp and his fetchingly beautiful and much younger wife Amber Heard making for photogenic perfection, Joyce’s threat to have Depp’s two Yorkshire terriers put down last year caused quite the stir.
“If we start letting movie stars, even though they’ve been the sexiest man alive twice, to come into our nation then why don’t we just break the laws for everybody. It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States,” the Agriculture Minister thundered at the time…
Despite accusations that the power couple failed to acquire the proper certification for the two dogs, and that they “snuck them in” to the country on a private plane, many Australians were quick to condemn Joyce and rally behind Mr and Mrs Depp…
Fast forward to yesterday, however, and it would appear Joyce’s hard line stance has paid off…
There was no mistaking the invisible hand of the Agriculture Minister and his department in a video apology starring the couple that was played to the court after Heard pleaded guilty to one charge of falsifying a custom card regarding Pistol and Boo.
“Declare everything when you enter Australia,” Depp gravely warns his fellow travellers, showcasing his new-found immense respect and thorough knowledge of our country’s biosecurity laws.
Via Tim Blair, this terrific take from Natalie Tran on the shooting of Depp’s hostage video:


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Hewson’s criticisms of Turnbull are unfair. UPDATE: But, yes, he’s in strife

Andrew Bolt April 19 2016 (1:35pm)

John Hewson’s criticism of Malcolm Turnbull is trite and demonstrates how little he’s learned since his own leadership failure:
Hewson was here to confirm: in Turnbull, we have Abbott-lite…
“Look, obviously Malcolm did a deal to get there and the deal he did actually compromised some of the basic positions that he’d previously held and held publicly,” Hewson revealed to the great shock of the nation.
“There’s a fellow running in the seat of Wentworth, my old seat, against Malcolm, who just wants the old Malcolm to come back. The guy that stood for gay marriage… and climate change and tax reform and so on. And I think that’s been a major reason why his popularity has collapsed.”
First, a Liberal leader must unite his party and his Coalition, not try to ram through positions that will split it. Any former Liberal leader should know this.
Second, Turnbull has not recanted his positions on gay marriage and global warming. The promised plebiscite will almost certainly deliver the country same-sex marriage, and without shattering Liberal unity. No former Liberal leader should sneer at getting a desired reform while keeping his party united.
The Turnbull Government is meanwhile spending plenty on global warming and is cutting emissions. More spending would be a burden on our struggling finances without making a difference to temperatures. No former Liberal leader should be in favour of expensive and useless symbolic gestures, and especially ones that would also risk splitting the Coalition.
I have criticisms of Turnbull, but Hewson’s are absurd and appear to me an attempt to curry favour with the ABC mob.
By the way, did Hewson this time declare his vested interest in promoting global warming alarmism? Did the ABC reveal it? Why not?
UPDATE
But attacking Turnbull has become too common than its healthy for the Liberals. Peter Hartcher:
Turnbull ... wanted an early election because governing wasn’t working out too well for him. He’s been losing the government’s electoral advantage over Labor at an average rate of about 1.2 percentage points a month since November, according to Fairfax-Ipsos polls. That’s the equivalent of losing 6100 voters a day If he wins, it will not be because he is loved or admired. He will win because he will force the electorate to choose the least worst option.
But aren’t many elections exactly the same - a choice between two imperfections?
But the trend is not good and the Liberals need far more discipline in settling on a message and sticking to it. Tim Blair on Turnbull losing 6100 voters a day:
Between now and July 2, that’s another 457,500 voters – in addition to those who have already turned away.
UPDATE
Catherine McGregor says critics of the Del-Cons ("deluded" conservative supporters of Tony Abbott) are the truly deluded:
(O)ne need not be a Del-Con to conclude the Turnbull project has been an abject failure… What is surprising is how devoted his media acolytes have been…
For every Del-Con there is an enthusiastic Mal-Content or Bull-Artist who exonerates Turnbull’s every mistake. With every howler and policy backflip they grow more content with Mal. To a smitten Mal-Content Turnbull never actually makes mistakes. Rather, all of his hare brained thought bubbles are classified as strokes of genius…
As Turnbull flounders the Mal-Contents are becoming increasingly strident. Easier to denounce his critics than to concede he has failed to live up to their own unrealistic expectations. To the committed Mal-Content all of Turnbull’s woes are the fault of Tony Abbott. Such thinking is delusional. Turnbull has struggled to unite his party room for the same reason he ruptured it in 2009. He has poor political instincts, lacks the common touch and even commonsense. The rift with Abbott is a minor distraction compared with the break down in communication and collaboration with his Treasurer Scott Morrison…
Moreover, his and the fate of his government are in the hands of a Treasurer who he has humiliated.
UPDATE
Take your pick:
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says July 2 election date is “one option”.
But Malcolm Turnbull:

My intention is after the Budget, an appropriate time after the Budget has been delivered, I will be asking the Governor-General to dissolve both houses of the parliament for an election which I expect to be held on 2 July.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Thanks for listening to us

Andrew Bolt April 19 2016 (1:14pm)

Fairfax writer Neil McMahon last year gloated:
On the AM dial conservatives Steve Price and Andrew Bolt have presided over a dramatic collapse in 3AW’s evening audience… In the first contest, the new evening line-up on 3AW - introduced in early October after the end of the AFL season - has proved a ratings disaster. The station has shed a massive 3.8 per cent of the audience between 7pm and midnight share since the previous survey - falling from 15.0 to 11.2 per cent, with ABC 774 on 10.4.
Today another survey, another rise - unremarked by McMahon:
image
Good results in Sydney, too, where the show tops the ratings there, too, (and where our hour together rates much higher than for the whole period):
image
And with 1.1 million downloads of our show last month we’re doing all right, although there’s always room for improvement, obviously in Brisbane.
Now, true, this is boasting - and next month I could be crying. But if you don’t hear the good news from me you sure won’t read it in Fairfax, devoted to writing stories only about my decline.
But more important than boasting is that I thank you for you support. It takes a megalomaniac to talk, but it takes nice people to bother to listen. Thank you very much.
So join Steve Price and me from 8pm tonight.  Listen live here. Talkback:  131 873. 
Listen to all past shows here
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Labor’s dumb example of bank bastardry. UPDATE:  Parliament misled?

Andrew Bolt April 19 2016 (12:49pm)

Terry McCrann exposes the fraud of Labor’s pathetic case yesterday for a royal commission into the banks:

MALCOLM Turnbull and Scott Morrison have decisively — and quickly — won the substantive argument over the sheer pointlessness of a royal commission into the banks…
Morrison in particular was helped by an intended zinger from a Labor shadow minister [in Question Time yesterday]… Labor’s Julie Collins presented the tale of a farmer “Dimity” who was (allegedly) being(?) monstered by the ANZ Bank.
First, the story intuitively lacked credibility. According to Collins “Dimity” claimed that she had not only not defaulted on her loan from ANZ but had “never missed a payment”. Yet ANZ was threatening to sell her property out from under her and even change the locks.
A word to the — self-evidently — unwise Collins, and “Dimity”: If what you claim is correct the ANZ just could not do that; it would face substantial penalties and costs if it tried…
The event was alleged, by Collins, to have happened in December 2013. That’s nearly two-and-a-half years ago. It must have been resolved.
How? Was Dimity thrown off the property? Or…..what?…
Morrison so neatly skewered Collins, he really should have thanked her for her Dorothy Dixer.
He would be happy, he said, to receive the details and to refer it to ASIC which had the power to take action to both penalise the ANZ and provide “Dimity”, the borrower with satisfaction. Or a similar result could be achieved by referring the matter to the financial ombudsman…
But more fundamentally, and taking this highly dubious claim at face value, what would this “Dimity” prefer?
Would she prefer a royal commission that ran for, say — in her, case, another — two years and would end with no benefit to her, no power to penalise ANZ or to secure her property?
Or to get speedy and effective action from either ASIC or the ombudsman, which on the “facts” presented to Parliament by Collins ...  would secure her property, penalise ANZ and probably provide appropriate compensation to boot?
Collins had better explain if she misled Parliament with her dumb example.
UPDATE
The Turnbull Government, with the help of crossbench Senators, yesterday overturned another Labor folly - a tribunal which set minimum rates for independent truckies so high that it threatened to put many out of business. From the IPA, this great backgrounder:

UPDATE
Labor MP Julie Collins should apologise for misleading Parliament yesterday:
My question is to the Treasurer. Dimity Hirst is a mother of four children in the electorate of Lyons. Dimity says that ANZ tried to sell her and her husband’s farm out from under them. Just before Christmas in 2013, Dimity says she got a phone call from ANZ telling her that her locks would be changed and to, ‘Pack your bags and get out.’ Dimity says she has not defaulted and not missed a payment. Is the government so out of touch that it will deny a royal commission into the banks for ordinary Australians like Dimity?
Not missed a payment? Really? The ABC last August reported:
ASHLEY HALL: Some Tasmanian families ... fell victim to managed investment schemes that gave generous tax breaks and promises of large returns to people who planted trees on their properties… And as the schemes failed the landowners involved have gone into debt…
FELICITY OGILVIE: Dimity Hurst’s family is one who invested. But the Hurst’s lost their property after the companies that ran the schemes - Gunns and FEA went bust. Dimity Hurst says when the schemes failed the bank decided to evict them from their family home just two weeks before Christmas.
DIMITY HURST: I was quite hysterical, I didn’t know what to do, we had horses, we had cats, dogs. We have four children, where were we going to go? We were just completely and utterly at a loss.
(Thanks to reader Todd.) 
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I hate to say it, but the CFMEU is right - and maybe the government wrong

Andrew Bolt April 19 2016 (12:06pm)

I am no fan of the CFMEU at all, and think Labor should cut its ties to this lawless bunch.
But its ad today has made me reconsider my support for the Turnbull Government’s bill to bring back the Australian Building and Construction Commission with strong powers to crack down on building unions:
You see, its claims are true. Building workers will indeed have fewer legal rights than dealer caught selling ice, as Alan McDonald of employment law firm McDonald Murholme told us on the show tonight. And McDonald is no radical.
UPDATE
Former Employment Minister Eric Abetz says there’s another side:
Just read your blog re ABCC. Funny and appropriate that the CFMEU should use the ice dealer analogy given their links with bikies and organised crime.
An ice dealer does not get 14 days written notice of a request for interview which tells him amongst other things he can come with a lawyer.
Further any evidence gleaned cannot be used against the witness in later proceedings, unlike with the ice dealer. Whole show oversighted by ombudsman.
UPDATE
Someone who uses such laws tells me to settle down:
Heard your interview with the McDonald Murholm rep this evening. You appeared to be drawn to concern over the proposed powers. I suggest you ought not be.
Brief summary: 
- The proposed ABCC legislation will enable witnesses to be compelled to give evidence. However, the protection afforded is that the evidence given by the witness cannot be used against them (except for the prosecution of giving a false answer).
- The proposed examination powers are no different to to compulsory examination powers currently at the disposal of other agencies, such as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) or the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
- In the case of ASIC, such powers are regularly used to compel company directors (or others) to give evidence under oath in private in relation to an investigation into suspected breaches of the Corporations Act. The proposed ABCC are no different.
- The union campaign (ice addict v employee) is a specious one. The ice addict does not have to answer police questions because their answers, if given, could be used against them in a prosecution. While the proposed ABCC powers will compel the evidence from a witness, such evidence cannot be used against the witness (unlike the ice addict scenario).
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Now Entsch attacks his own

Andrew Bolt April 19 2016 (10:02am)

Another Turnbull backer goes feral:

Queensland Liberal MPs will today press Defence Minister Marise Payne to explain her “bloody stupid” decision to spurn Cairns in the latest round of naval shipbuilding contracts.
Malcolm Turnbull yesterday promised 2500 long-term defence construction jobs for Adelaide and Perth… However the continuous shipbuilding plan largely overlooked Queensland’s northernmost port of Cairns, which was offered only maintenance work for some of the new armada.
Cairns-based MP Warren Entsch, who had been lobbying for ships to actually be built in Cairns, lashed the government’s decision as “bitterly disappointing” and “bloody stupid"… He said he was “furious” to learn from the unsuccessful shipbuilders, not the Defence Minister’s office, that their bids had been unsuccessful.
But memo to Entsch: the shipbuilding project is not a work-creation program. It’s a program to build the best defence for the least money - or it should be. 
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Facebook censors a traditonal marriage defender

Andrew Bolt April 19 2016 (9:56am)

Free speech

An outrageous and ominous attempt to censor a conservative - and thank heavens the Liberals have pre-selected someone with the nous and spine to defend free speech:
Facebook has been accused of censoring views that differ from its own social agenda after it ­deleted a post by a Sydney man who suggested same-sex marriage ­advocates should accept some of the blame for making gay people feel marginalised.
John Dickson, who runs the Centre for Public Christianity, posted the opinion to his 10,000 friends and followers on Saturday morning, calling for a more ­respectful conversation on the divisive issue.
By that night, Facebook had removed the post because it did not adhere to the social media giant’s “community standards”.
But in a dramatic about-face, Mr Dickson’s post reappeared on Facebook at 8.30pm yesterday after former human rights commissioner Tim Wilson approached the company.
Mr Wilson, the Liberal candidate for the seat of Goldstein at this year’s federal election, told The Australian he contacted Facebook about the post after being made aware of it yesterday. He said Facebook had admitted it made an error by deleting it.
“My instinct is to defend free speech,” Mr Wilson said.
Same-sex marriage has become a totemic issue for people claiming to be more tolerant. It has become the excuse for them to show a frightening intolerance of the freedoms of others.
UPDATE
And a very interesting bookend to this case of censorship is the partially successful attempt - so far - by a fashionably married celebrity couple to ban the media from mentioning a third person in their relationship.
(Thanks to reader Graham.) 
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Turnbull Government script suggests $16 billion in tax rises

Andrew Bolt April 19 2016 (9:20am)

Sky News’ Paul Murray has a scoop that confirms the Turnbull Government will tax superannuants harder - and then use their taxes to pay for pro-government ads:
Sky News’ Paul Murray has revealed he’s ‘come across’ the scripts for the government’s post-budget television advertisements… ‘The central message of the ads will be, that due to superannuation changes, multinational tax changes and due to tax reform - the federal government will save the Australian budget $16 billion over the next four years.’
And what is this “tax reform”?  Any spending cuts to match?
UPDATE
Memo to Fairfax: tax hikes are not “savings”:
image
(Thanks to reader Nathan.) 
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Faine’s defence against bias claim: he once nearly let a non-Leftist fill in for him

Andrew Bolt April 19 2016 (7:52am)

What an absurd defence to accusations from even a former ABC Media Watch host that ABC radio is (unlawfully) biased to the Left:
Before the flourishing of his political career, Human Rights commissioner-turned-Liberal candidate Tim Wilson was once considered to fill in for Jon Faine on the ABC.
The iconic Melbourne ABC Mornings host revealed the snippet at a gathering held by viewer lobby group ABC Friends at Melbourne’s Fed Square on Wednesday…
Faine was responding to comments by Media Watch-host-turned Fairfax media columnist Jonathan Holmes in The Age that perhaps the ABC was indeed too left wing.
So the ABC is not too biased to the Left because it nearly - but not quite - decided to let a Liberal fill in for a host of the Green Left.
What a joke. So who actually became Faine’s fill-in?
Sally Warhaft is a writer, broadcaster, journalist and anthropologist. Formerly editor of The Monthly, Sally is currently the dynamic interviewer and host for the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, The Fifth Estate. She ... wrote the script for The People Speak, a History Channel TV documentary about protest movements and resistance in Australia...
Not even trying, Jon. 
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Pope dabbles in dangerous waters: 200 migrants die

Andrew Bolt April 19 2016 (7:39am)

Illegal migrants lured over:
Pope Francis has taken 12 Syrian migrants back with him to the Vatican after visiting a camp on the Greek island of Lesbos… The Vatican said in a statement that Pope Francis wanted to “make a gesture of welcome’’ to the refugees.
Illegal immigrants drowned:
More than 400 migrants, mostly from Somalia, are reported to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on a boat trip from Libya to Italy… But later the Somali information minister said there was confusion over the number of casualties, which could be 200.
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Transport Minister misses the high speed train

Andrew Bolt April 19 2016 (7:26am)

I repeat: what happened to the Prime Minister’s big plan, announced two weeks ago, for a high speech rail line between or cities? Barely a word said since.
In fact, even Transport Minister Darren Chester would rather talk about other rail plans:
High speed rail could be the right infrastructure for the future, but inland rail is the right choice for today
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The black victim cult creates black victims

Andrew Bolt April 19 2016 (7:21am)

Dr Anthony Dillon, a part-Aboriginal health academic:
Certainly addressing racism against Aboriginal people where it exists is worthwhile… But when people are continually told that they are victims of ­racism, personal responsibility is quickly forfeited.
My friend Dave Price, husband of Northern Territory Minister Bess Price, says: “It is enormously difficult to convince your Aboriginal loved ones bent on self-­destruction that they have the power in themselves to take ­responsibility for their lives and solve their own problems when the rest of the world tells them that they are victims with a capital ‘V’. The whole debate needs to change. Let’s start by getting rid of the pernicious victim stereotype and the stultifying viciousness of political correctness gone mad.”
Shouts of racism may help politicians and academics with popularity contests, but they come at a high price for too many Aboriginal people.
Oh, and Dillon corrects the Greens: no, Aboriginal prisoners are not more likely to die in jail. White prisoners are. 
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Another terror attack on Israel

Andrew Bolt April 19 2016 (5:32am)

Yet another terrorist attack on Israel:
A bus exploded in Jerusalem on Monday, wounding at least 21 people in what police said was a “terror attack,” raising fears of a return to the Palestinian suicide bombings that ravaged Israeli cities a decade ago.
Not that the media much cares to notice terrorist attacks on Israel. If it were on France or Britain, however… 
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What’s in that package flying at your home?

Andrew Bolt April 19 2016 (2:20am)

What’s to stop one of these drones from delivering a bomb to your house?
Australia Post has unveiled new technology that could one day come to the aid of posties who encounter locked gates or snarling dogs blocking their path.
The organisation put its new delivery drone through its paces at Dandenong South in Melbourne’s south-east.
Not such a dumb thought:
Commercially available drones have the potential to be converted into flying bombs capable of hitting targets such as nuclear power stations or the prime minister’s car, a report by a security thinktank has warned.
“Drones are a game changer in the wrong hands,” warns the lead author of the report by the Oxford Research Group’s Remote Control project.
What odds that a drone might bring down a plane - deliberately?:
A British Airways flight appears to have collided with a drone on a flight bound for London’s busy Heathrow Airport in what may be the first such incident involving a major airline.
The flight from Geneva, Switzerland to Heathrow, Europe’s busiest hub, is believed to have struck a drone, the London Metropolitan Police said in a statement…
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration last month… recorded more than 1,400 reports last year of drones coming close to planes. 
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Holding Depp hostage

Andrew Bolt April 18 2016 (6:25pm)


Tres awkward. Embarrassing.  Barnaby Joyce is avenged, but I feel rather sorry for the losers:
Tristan Rayner is right:
Australia’s deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, appears to have made a deal with Johnny Depp and Amber Heard for the weird dog thing that overtook the world for a few days.
You remember that? Their two dogs, Boo and Pistol, were brought into Australia and basically, our biosecurity laws are super tough and old mate Barnaby, the loose unit, literally threatened to kill them unless they went home. Which they did.
Ms Heard pleaded guilty to charges laid at them at a Gold Coast Court… In a ruling, Heard was given a $1000 good behaviour bond for one-month.
And just to really, really make sure they got it, it appears that as part of the deal with the Australian Government/Barnaby, the pair were forced at dog-point to film an apology, noting how great Australia is and why it Really Matters to do the right thing.
Which of course is true, but just like the terrible hostage videos that are released by various terrible people around the world, it’s super obvious to everyone else that the person reading from a script would not be reading from the script unless being forced into some shitty deal. 
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Reality a distant land for the Left’s Luddites

Piers Akerman – Sunday, April 19, 2015 (12:59am)

IN the alternate universe of ­lunatic Labor-Green-ABC politics, failure is hailed as success.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Reality a distant land for the Left’s Luddites'
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Insulting charge of history-lite brigad

Miranda Devine – Sunday, April 19, 2015 (1:01am)

THE Anzac legend has been found wanting because it is too militaristic, too white and lacks gender diversity, according to what passes for the intelligentsia in Australia.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Insulting charge of history-lite brigad'
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RAID WRAP

Tim Blair – Sunday, April 19, 2015 (3:32am)

An Islamic State terror plot to kill law enforcement officers with knives and swords in Melbourne on Anzac Day has been thwarted in pre-dawn raids, police allege.
The Sunday Herald Sun can reveal ASIO warned the families of some of five teens arrested in the raids about their dangerous links to an Islamic State recruiter.
The family of one suspect said they were last year told to stop their son communicating with the extremist recruiter, who groomed Melbourne terrorist Numan Haider.
More than 200 officers were involved in seven simultaneous raids at 3.30am, nabbing the five young men accused of plotting to bring terror to the streets of Melbourne during Anzac Day centenary commemorations.
It is alleged a plan to attack police and the public with swords and knives was imminent, forcing Victoria Police and Australian Federal Police to act.
The five were all associates of Haider, who was shot dead by police after he attacked two officers in a stabbing frenzy last September outside Endeavour Hills police station.
They attended the Al-Furqan Islamic Information Centre in Springvale South where Haider is believed to have been radicalised. 
We’ve heard about that Furqan Information Centre before. This is apparently the third time it has been linked to Islamic extremism. Meanwhile
An internet impostor has fooled dozens of followers of radical hate preacher Junaid Thorne into revealing their thirst for violence against Australian-based targets including newspaper cartoonists, Jewish groups and other innocent civilians.
Security agencies are now reviewing material gathered by the anonymous impostor who set up a fake Twitter account pretending to be Thorne this month.
Within days more than 160 people had followed the account and many discussed openly with the impostor the idea of bombing Jewish organisations based in Sydney, as well as threats to carry out Charlie Hebdo-style attacks on cartoonists Larry Pickering and Bill Leak. 
And over in the Middle East
The number of Australians killed fighting with Islamic State in the Middle East continues to rise, with 30 now confirmed to have died.
The latest figures come as an Australian ISIS fighter in Syria resurfaced on Twitter to mentor prospective jihadists on how to join the death cult.
On his account, sighted by News Corp Australia, the man claimed to be “back” after a well-deserved rest from fighting with ISIS.
Around 100 Australian nationals are understood to be in the Middle East fighting with terror groups, up from 71 in November. 
No comments, legal reasons, etc.
UPDATE. Victorian Premier Dan Andrews
Premier Daniel Andrews said … that the men arrested on Saturday were “not people of faith”.
“They don’t represent any culture. This is not an issue of how you pray or where you were born… this is simply evil: plain and simple,” Mr Andrews said.
“This morning’s operation is another reminder of the threats facing our community, our state and our nation - the threat that comes from violent extremism and radicalisation. It’s a threat that confronts us all; it’s a threat that challenges us, and in truth, it’s a threat that we don’t really properly understand.” 
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SUPERVAN IV

Tim Blair – Sunday, April 19, 2015 (2:36am)

During this evening’s tense episode of Supervan, the solar-powered wonder wagon finally arrives at Freak Out. Will this heroic vehicle claim the $5000 first prize? Judging by its performance in the Wiggle-Woggle, all signs point to yes!
Be alert also for a cameo from Charles Bukowski, perfectly cast as the lecherous judge of an extremely underwhelming wet t-shirt contest.



Please catch up on previous Supervan posts herehere and here
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VAN’S BANS

Tim Blair – Sunday, April 19, 2015 (12:58am)

Various leftists compare notes after being vanbanned by the Guardian‘s Vanessa Badham.
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700 more boat people feared dead off Libya

Andrew Bolt April 19 2015 (7:44pm)

A terrible disaster - and there will be even more if Italy does not adopt the tactics of the Abbott Government:
As many as 700 people are feared dead after a boat carrying migrants capsized off the Libyan coast overnight, in one of the worst disasters seen in the Mediterranean migrant crisis, officials said on Sunday. 
Twenty eight people were rescued in the incident, which happened in an area just off Libyan waters, south of the southern Italian island of Lampedusa…
If confirmed, the disaster… would bring the total number of dead since the beginning of the year to more than 1500… 
Around 20,000 migrants have reached the Italian coast this year, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimates. That is fewer than in the first four months of last year but the number of deaths has risen almost nine-fold.
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Not just a western Sydney problem now

Andrew Bolt April 19 2015 (6:07pm)

A few years ago we thought this was a problem contained to Sydney’s western suburbs:
Homicide squad detectives are investigating the fatal drive-by shooting of a father of six in Altona Meadows in the early hours of Sunday. 
The 39-year-old man was shot dead in his car in the driveway of his mother’s Lewin Court home at 1.50am in what police described as an execution-style killing…
The man, who is yet to be publicly identified, is believed to be a father of six of Middle Eastern descent who lived in the western suburbs. 
The victim was “known to police”, but Detective Sergeant Solomon would not reveal whether the motive for the killing may have been gang related. 
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Exactly how many deficits does Wayne Swan think he’s got in him?

Andrew Bolt April 19 2015 (5:55pm)

Seriously? He hasn’t been dumped? He actually thinks he a future leader?
Wayne Swan’s decision to renominate for another term in Parliament has sparked fear amongst his colleagues about his leadership intentions and prompted one long-time supporter to publicly call for the former Treasurer’s immediate resignation. 
Several Labor insiders have told Fairfax Media they fear Mr Swan is attempting to engineer his own return to the frontbench as well as helping install Tanya Plibersek as leader in the long term.
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Dividing us by race? Some suggestions

Andrew Bolt April 19 2015 (2:09pm)

Rowan Dean helps Noel Pearson write a new law
Dear Noel, 
Here’s the first draft of the Declaration. Get back to me with any changes. Cheers.
“We, the proud people of this wide, brown land (is brown OK?), insomuch as it be the Oldest Continent on God’s earth (is God OK? I get to the Snakey thing later) and insomuch as it be Home-of-Sorts to those Whitefellas who have repeatedly sought refuge on these our ancient and vulnerable shores (I think ‘invaded, raped and pillaged’ is a bit strong, but up to you), which stretch from the teensiest grain of million-year-old sand nestling beneath the sun in Our Great Deserts, to the flash of a silvery fin in the tropical waters that embrace Our Bountiful Shores (is that poetic enough?) do hereby in the Spirit of Compassionate Humanity (the luvvies’ll luv that bit) declare in this Historical Declaration of the Rights of All Ye Divergent Yet United, Proud Yet Put Upon, Aggrieved Yet Aspirational, Ancient Yet Modern Tribes and Cultures of Indigenous Australia (too clunky?) that, er, We Were Here First (may as well get to the point). So rack off! (I think a bit of Aussie colloquialism gives a suitable postmodern flavour, don’t you?)
We hold this Truth to be self-evident (I nicked that from Jefferson – he’s dead so no copyright) and wheresofor as it may have once been deemed Terra Nullius insomuch as pertaining to so-called Constitutional Documents of the Discredited Colonialist Imperialist Era that was, in fact, a Straightforward Land Grab by a bunch of Marauding Convict Murderers and Other Such Felons (that takes care of the legalities quite nicely, with a bit of historical context thrown in). Bloody Bastards! Should’ve whipped yer bloody butts when we had the chance! (more post-modern phraseology, I think, helps hang it all together). 
(Read on. $$)
UPDATE
James Paterson of the IPA:
The idea all people are equal and must not be divided by their race, their religion or their gender is the legacy of liberal democracy and the foundation of our freedoms. 
As well-intentioned as advocates of indigenous recognition in the Constitution are, they have difficulty overcoming the fundamental and principled objection that a country such as ours should not embed notions of racial difference in the law.
This is the “liberal” objection to constitutional recognition. The “conservative” objection is that changing the Constitution will have unintended and unforeseen consequences…
Pearson’s proposal for a new indigenous body that the parliament would be required to consult when passing legislation that affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is in some ways even more radical than constitutional recognition. It would foster the idea the national parliament does not represent all Australians. 
If it is to be representative, indigenous Australians would choose an extra set of representatives in an election that no other Australian could participate in. It could result in competing mandates that would undermine the legitimacy of laws that are passed by one parliament but rejected by the other. 
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The Bolt Report today, April 19

Andrew Bolt April 19 2015 (11:12am)

On the  The Bolt Report on Channel 10 today at 10am and 3pm.
Guest:  Employment Minister Eric Abetz; IPA boss John Roskam; Sean Kelly, former media adviser to Julia Gillard; and  Australian media editor Sharri Markson.
On Islam and immigration, taxes, halal certification, dangerous Dan Andrews, “peace” journalists, Abbott’s surprising friends, Dr Karl’s Kapers and more.
The videos of the shows appear here. 
UPDATE
Reader Doc Molloy says the comments to this Fairfax report of Abbott downing a beer confirm the prediction I made to Sean Kelly in the second panel session today - the Left would just attack him for encouraging binge drinking.
UPDATE
The transcript of my interview with Employment Minister Eric Abetz - on Dan Andrews’ mad waste, curbing the CFMEU, signs of recovery, Islam and immigration, and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop putting on a headscarf for Iran:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'The Bolt Report today, April 19'
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Islamic State advances

Andrew Bolt April 19 2015 (5:55am)

How can a war that includes the US and Australia go so badly ... for us? How half-hearted is the US effort?
Thousands of families fleeing Iraq’s western city of Ramadi choked checkpoints leading to Baghdad on Friday, after an Islamic State advance spread panic and left security forces clinging to control… 
Suhaib al-Rawi, the governor of Anbar province, of which Ramadi is the capital, described it as a human disaster on a scale the city has never witnessed.
U.S. and Iraqi officials have warned that the city is at risk of falling to the Islamic State despite seven months of airstrikes by U.S. planes in Anbar. 
The Islamic State now reaches into Afghanistan:

Isis has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan that killed at least 35 people queuing to collect their wages and injured 100 more today.
The blast rocked the eastern city of Jalalabad on Saturday, reportedly killing children in the busy city street.
UPDATE
Iran fills the vacuum left by the clueless Obama administration:
Iran’s president has criticised Saudi Arabia for continuing to carry out air offensive against the Houthi rebels, warning that its regional rival will harvest “the hatred” it is sowing in Yemen. 
“You [Saudi Arabia] planted the seeds of hatred in the hearts of people’s region and you will see the response sooner or later,” Hassan Rouhani told a military parade in capital Tehran.
And:
Iran is sending an armada of seven to nine ships — some with weapons — toward Yemen in a potential attempt to resupply the Shia Houthi rebels, according to two U.S. defense officials. 
Officials fear the move could lead to a showdown with the U.S. or other members of a Saudi-led coalition, which is enforcing a naval blockade of Yemen and is conducting its fourth week of airstrikes against the Houthis. 
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Abbott does a Hawke

Andrew Bolt April 19 2015 (5:29am)

 Tony Abbott’s poll recovery continues:
BOB Hawke’s world record as Australia’s only PM famous for skolling a yard of ale is under fire tonight after Tony Abbott downed a VB in one go. 
The Prime Minister was caught on iPhone video slamming down the schooner with revellers at a Sydney pub.
Members of the University of Technology Sydney’s Bats Football club celebrating at The Oaks Hotel in Double Bay called the PM over for a drink. 
Mr Abbott said it was “absolutely no problem” before he pulled a Bob Hawke to chants of “skoll” from the football players.
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What’s “tough” is the cost to taxpayers

Andrew Bolt April 19 2015 (5:19am)

The word “tough” seems to me wildly inappropriate. The word “taxpayer” is missing:
The childcare sector is concerned that up to 100,000 Australian families may have to pull their children out of childcare because of tough new requirements about the number of hours their parents will need to work to get childcare subsidies
The Abbott government is considering a Productivity Commission proposal that would require both parents working or studying for 24 hours a fortnight to qualify for childcare subsidies…
Parents are currently able to access 24 hours of the means-tested Child Care Benefit per child each week without having to meet a work or study test. The non-means-tested Child Care Rebate requires both partners to work or train “at some time” during the week, but there is no minimum number of hours required. 
I’d have thought it a very basic requirement that someone demanding we pay a professional to look after their children actually can’t look after their children themselves. 
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Politicians imported this terrorist threat

Andrew Bolt April 19 2015 (12:19am)

ImmigrationIslamism

 I ACCUSE Australia’s political class of a crime. Of wilfully ­endangering the safety of ­Australians.
They — with much media help — have put Australians in danger through years of reckless immigration and refugee policies.
And it’s come to what we saw on Saturday — anti-terrorism police in Melbourne ­arresting five more young men from Muslim families, two for allegedly plotting attacks on police on Anzac Day.

These men were allegedly associates of Numan Haider, an Afghan refugee and Islamic State supporter who last year stabbed two Victorian policemen before being shot dead.
Police have been typically coy about identifying exactly which “community” the five were from, refusing in two press conferences on Saturday to even mention the words “Islam” or “Muslim”.
But their use of the word “community” made clear they meant something other than the Australian one.
The fact is we have imported people from “communities” so at odds with our own that a minority of members has declared war on our institutions, our police and even — allegedly — Anzac Day, the most potent symbol of our nationhood.

I do stress the word “minority”. Most Muslims here want peace.
But the hard facts remain.
(Read full article here.) 
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Stan Savige fought at Gallipoli, saved more than 50,000 Assyrian refugees from certain death in the Middle East and went on to found Legacy - an organisation still providing aid to children of service men and women today. In an extraordinary military career Stan became Lieutenant General Sir Stanley George Savige, one of Australia’s most decorated soldiers. Compass tracks down the man behind the legend.  The Legacy Man, 6.30 Sunday ABC
Posted by Compass on Tuesday, 14 April 2015
Stan Savige fought at Gallipoli, saved more than 50,000 Assyrian refugees from certain death in the Middle East and went...
Posted by Compass on Tuesday, 14 April 2015
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The Angry CoveShot while teaching my first Pacific Coast Workshops photography workshop.  Shark Fin Cove was very angry, and so I did a long exposure to mellow it out... a little.
Posted by Matt Granz on Sunday, 19 April 2015
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70 years ago today, April 11, 1945, Robert Clary was liberated from Buchenwald Nazi concentration camp. He was the...
Posted by World War II Foundation on Saturday, 11 April 2015
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#SolidAdvice
Posted by Ray William Johnson on Saturday, 18 April 2015
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There isn't a foolproof method to find creativity, but these 10 tips will help you think out the box: http://bit.ly/1JRdbc7
Posted by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing on Saturday, 18 April 2015
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This cookie does WHAAT?! A 3D, totally interactive cookie with a hidden surprise!Follow My Cupcake Addiction for new sweet ideas every day, and check out my YouTube channel for all my latest videos :)
Posted by My Cupcake Addiction on Thursday, 16 April 2015
This cookie does WHAAT?! A 3D, totally interactive cookie with a hidden surprise!Follow My Cupcake Addiction for new sweet ideas every day, and check out my YouTube channel for all my latest videos :)
Posted by My Cupcake Addiction on Thursday, 16 April 2015
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Me and my dinosaur. (Photo by Matt Granz)
Posted by Amy Heiden on Saturday, 18 April 2015
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LIVE BY THE CODE

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 19, 2014 (4:38am)

Margo Kingston exposes a wicked conspiracy at the core of NSW politics:

image

Students of psychology may find traces of paranoid personality disorder in Margo’s terrified analysis, which seems to run like this: Imre is Tim’s friend, therefore the premier of NSW is not a moderate person. Or maybe she’s really on to something, and Imre is taking over the state in the stealthy manner of his fellow Zionists. Elsewhere, Margo is nowexecutive editor of something called No Fibs, in which capacity she recently covered coal mining protests in NSW: 
I’ve never been an ‘embedded journalist’ before, and it’s testing. I was allowed inside the #leardblockade camp and was privy to its plans and problems, most of which I could not report as it would tip off the other side. 
Whoa! Margo admits to suppressing information for the benefit of her ideological allies. There is also horrible, horrible music:



Interestingly, Kingston’s own site requires that all contributors “abide by the MEAA Journalists’ Code of Ethics”, swearing the site is “bound by the MEAA code of ethics” and ordering the site’s volunteers to “abide by the MEAA code of ethics at all times.” Let’s see what that code of ethics actually demands: 
Report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts. Do not suppress relevant available facts, or give distorting emphasis …
Do not allow personal interest, or any belief, commitment, payment, gift or benefit, to undermine your accuracy, fairness or independence …
Disclose conflicts of interest that affect, or could be seen to affect, the accuracy, fairness or independence of your journalism … 
One: Margo Kingston, by her own declaration, is an activist rather than a journalist. Two: if Kingston is still receiving government funding through Macquarie University, all such payments should be stopped. Three: due to clear violation of her union’s code, the MEAA should revoke Kingston’s membership.
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EARTH’S REVENGE

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 19, 2014 (4:19am)

Via Jo Nova:

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RACIAL PROFILING

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 19, 2014 (3:03am)

Guardian columnist Vanessa Badham has a question for the Attorney-General: 
Dear George Brandis,
Why is it, d’ya think, that the only people who want to destroy 18c are white? 
Two questions for Vanessa: Are you judging these people by their mere appearance? How do you know that these alleged white people don’t identify as Aboriginal?
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SCOTT BECLOWNED

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 19, 2014 (2:57am)

It’s all over for Mark Scott. The ABC boss seems to have attracted some species of Doom Clown:

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MORNING IN TEXAS

Tim Blair – Friday, April 18, 2014 (9:40pm)

From Gas Monkey Garage’s excellent collection of staff family photographs:

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“That’s Christie as a baby. That’s her dad sleeping. And yes, that’s a gun hanging on the bed post.”
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Bandt proves Brandis right: yes, the Greens want debate suppressed

Andrew Bolt April 19 2014 (12:49pm)

Free speechGlobal warming - propaganda

Amazing. Attorney-General George Brandis accuses global warming extremists of being medievally intolerant by trying to shut down debate and the what do the Greens do? Prove him right:
ADAM BANDT (acting Greens leader):  I mean, if someone said ‘two plus two equals five’, would you insist on giving them as much airtime in the media as someone who said ‘two plus two equals four’? That’s in effect what the country’s highest law officer is arguing, and it’s very worrying. 
WILL OCKENDEN: ...In your example of ‘two plus two equals five’, isn’t the free speech element an argument here saying ‘yes you’re wrong, but here’s why’, rather than just shouting them down?
ADAM BANDT: The science has been through one of the most rigorous peer-reviewed processes it can go through. And the answer that’s coming out from people right across the political spectrum, if you take your ideological goggles off for a moment, is that unless we act soon, the Australian way of life is under enormous threat from global warming.
WILL OCKENDEN: Should people be able to, though, nonetheless be able to say that climate change doesn’t exist? 
ADAM BANDT: Well people are saying that, and they’re saying it at the moment and they’re wrong. The science community is now essentially speaking with one voice.  To say someone without science training can somehow simply on a free speech basis say that they’re all wrong is a very feudal way of thinking.
Bandt is recklessly, stupidly and in my opinion probably deceitfully wrong. He is not simply in favor of stopping sceptics from saying untruths - which would be illiberal and dangerous in any event.
In fact, he seems to want to stop sceptics from saying the truth - that key predictions of warmist scientists have been alarmist and in critical cases already proven false.
Here are some of the warmist scientists who Bandt falsely claims were simply saying “two plus two equals four” - but in fact were arguing they made five or even six degrees:
In 2007 Professor Tim Flannery, now Climate Council head, : “The soil is warmer because of global warming and the plants are under more stress and therefore using more moisture. So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems...”
In fact: Queensland, NSW and Victoria have since suffered severe floods. Dams in Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra have all filled.
In 2009 Bertrand Timbal, a Bureau of Meteorology climatologist, predicted: “The rainfall we had in the 1950s, 60s and 70s was a benchmark, but we are just not going to have that sort of good rain again as long as the system is warming up.”
In fact: The Bureau has since declared 2010 and 2011 “Australia’s wettest two-year period on record”.
In 1999 Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Queensland University reef expert and an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change lead author, predicted warming would so heat the oceans that mass bleaching of the Reef would occur every second year from 2010.
In fact: The Reef’s last mass bleaching occurred in 2006.
In 2000 Hoegh-Guldberg claimed “we now have more evidence that corals cannot fully recover from bleaching episodes such as the major event in 1998” and “the overall damage is irreparable”.
In fact:  Hoegh-Guldberg admitted in 2009 he was “overjoyed” to see how much the reef had recovered and the Australian Institute of Marine Science says “most reefs recovered fully”.
In 2007 Professor Mike Archer, dean of science at the University of NSW, said: “Forget Venice; I mean we’re talking about sharks in the middle of Sydney” because the seas would rise “100 metres”.  The ABC’s chief science presenter, Robyn Williams, agreed “it is possible, yes” this would occur before the end of this century.
In fact: Sea level rises for the past 20 years have averaged just 3.2mm a year, according to the University of Colorado monitoring – or 30cm a century.  
In 2003 Melbourne warmist scientist David Karoly claimed “drought severity in the Murray Darling is increasing with global warming”.
In fact: the rains returned, the Murray-Darling flooded and the Climate Commission in 2011 admitted “it is difficult from observations alone to unequivocally identify anything that is distinctly unusual about the post-1950 pattern [of rainfall]”.
In 2008 Professor Tim Flannery asked people to imagine “a world five years from now, when there is no more ice over the Arctic”, and Al Gore predicted “the entire north polar ice cap will be gone in five years”.  Ted Scambos, of the US Snow and Ice Data Centre, told the ABC there was “a very strong case that in 2012 or 2013 we’ll have an ice-free (summer) Arctic”.
In fact: At the height of the summer melt last year, the Arctic was still covered by 6 million square kilometres of ice, more than in the previous three years.
In 2000 Dr David Viner, of the Climatic Research Unit of Britain’s University of East Anglia, claimed that within a few years winter snowfall would become “a very rare and exciting event” and “children just aren’t going to know what snow is”. In 2007 Sir John Houghton, former head of Britain’s Met Office, said “less snow is absolutely in line with what we expect from global warming.”
In fact: Five of the northern hemisphere’s six snowiest winters in the past 46 years have occurred since Viner’s prediction, according to Rutgers University Global Snow Lab numbers. Over two-thirds of the contiguous USA were covered with snow in the winter of 2013/14.
In 2007 Britain’s Met Office said: “By 2014 we’re predicting it will be 0.3 degrees warmer than 2004”.
In fact: The Met Office data for 2013 confirmed there had been no statistically significant rise in global atmospheric temperatures for at least 16 years.
In 2012 Professor Matthew England, a University of NSW climate scientist, claimed there was no hiatus in global warming and sceptics claiming that the warming was lower than predicted by the IPCC were “lying”.
In fact: In 2014 Professor England admitted there was a “plateau in global average temperatures”, after all.  Climate scientist Professor Judith Curry told the US Congress this year: “For the past 16 years, there has been no significant increase in surface temperature… The IPCC does not have a convincing or confident explanation for this hiatus in warming.”
(This is from a much longer list of spectacularly dud predictions I’ve put together for my chapter of a forthcoming IPA book, which you can support here.)

But the central fact that Bandt and his new inquistors are trying to suppress is that the atmosphere has essentially not warmed for some 16 years.   What they want to suppress is discussion like this:
What Britain’s Met Office predicted in 2007
By 2014 we’re predicting it will be 0.3 degrees warmer than 2004 [red dot on graphics below], and just to put that into context the warming over the past century and a half has only been 0.7 degrees, globally, there have been bigger changes locally but globally the warming is 0.7 degrees. So 0.3 degrees over the next ten years is pretty significant. And half the years after 2009 are predicted to be hotter than 1998 which was the previous record. So these are very strong statements about what will happen over the next ten years, so again I think this illustrates we can already see signs of climate change but over the next ten years we are expecting to see quite significant changes occurring. 
What actually happened: 
With none of the fanfare that accompanied their prediction of the global temperature for the forthcoming year the Met Office has quietly released the global temperature for 2013. It will come as no surprise after the 2013 temperatures released by NASA and NOAA that it shows the global temperature standstill – now at 17 years – continues. Once again the Met Office predicted the following year would be considerably warmer than it turned out to be. There is something seriously wrong with the Met Office’s forecasts.  
I really think we’re owed an apology or at least an explanation:
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Bandt and his kind are not trying to silence people who tell dangerous falsehoods about global warming. They are instead trying to protect them - and trying to suppress the truth. (Thanks to reader Andrew McIntyre.)
UPDATE
Reader Jimbo:
Andrew, It would be great if Adam Bandt was invited onto your programme to nut out these issues. To simply cut and paste information with a closing paragraph I consider lazy and increasingly tiresome. You have, at your disposal every Sunday morning to sit down and sincerely discuss important issues. Why not dedicate a whole programme to a solitary issue? Invite the guy on and at least have a conversation about it. 
Just out of curiosity, how many “alarmist” have appeared on your show as opposed to “sceptics”?
Jimbo:
1. Most of the words I’ve “cut and paste” are actually my own, as I made clear. You read them here for the first time.
2. I’ve invited Bandt on several times, and his leader even more often. We’ve been rejected every time. Why don’t you ask Bandt to accept my invitation?
3. I’ve had warmists on my show and quizzed them. They include Professor Will Steffen, Anthony Albanese and Greg Hunt. Yes, I wish more would turn up but everyone else I’ve asked has refused: Tim Flannery, Will Steffen (again), Penny Wong, Peter Garrett, Don Henry, Ian Low, Simon Sheik....
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The Bolt Report tomorrow

Andrew Bolt April 19 2014 (10:20am)

On the show tomorrow – Network 10 at 10am and 4pm....
It’s the cover-up, every time… Two urgent lessons from Barry O’Farrell’s fall.
Assistant Minister for Infrastructure Jamie Briggs on how to stop the usual cranks from blocking Sydney’s second airport.
The panel: Michael Kroger and Kimberley Kitching on scandals, Mike Baird, airports, broken promises and more.
On NewsWatch - and to mark the weekend Marxism 2014 conference - my favourite Marxist, Brendan O’Neill, on the enemies of freedom.
Plus more, including Harrison Ford’s scary new God for Easter.
The videos of the shows appear here.
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The new racism - one protected by law

Andrew Bolt April 19 2014 (10:09am)

 The kind of racism encouraged by the “reconciliation” industry. The kind of racism I cannot safely discuss and denounce - thanks to a Federal Court decision to ban two of my articles and declare my opinion (on the choice certain people have to identify as Aboriginal) an error of fact. 
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Hedley Thomas vs Waleed Aly on the AWU scandal. Not a fair fight

Andrew Bolt April 19 2014 (9:53am)

The AWU scandal

Hedley Thomas says the silly police should just listen to ABC host Waleed Aly, an instant expert on the ”complete non-scandal surrounding the Australian Workers Union and Julia Gillard’s time as a labour lawyer”:
IT is time to call off the dogs. Stand down, Detective Sergeant Ross Mitchell. You and your misguided colleagues in the Victoria Police Fraud Squad have clearly squandered valuable time and a truckload of taxpayers’ money for 18 months in a forensic and major investigation of what you strangely suspected were crimes.

All this time, you have been on the wrong tram. You have been investigating, as Victoria’s Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen put it, “the commission of four types of offence in relation to (former Australian Workers Union boss) Bruce Wilson and others — obtaining property by deception; receiving secret commissions; making and using false documents; and conspiracy to cheat and defraud”. 

But for Pete’s sake, just stop now.... You must try very hard, Sergeant Mitchell, not to dwell on the finding by Lauritsen in December ...  “that, in each instance, the communication was made or the document prepared in furtherance of the commission of a fraud or an offence”, thus waiving Wilson’s right to legal client privilege.
And your troubling disclosure, Sergeant Mitchell, in your sworn evidence to Lauritsen that you believe “Wilson, (Ralph) Blewitt and others were involved in committing these offences”, really should be removed from your consciousness. This belief of yours is clearly a falsehood.
For good measure, please banish from your mind the self-incriminating confession, absent any indemnity, by Ralph Blewitt, the AWU bagman and one-time friend and ally of Wilson. Who really gives a flying fox that Blewitt has admitted to fraud with the slush fund; and explained how the fraud was orchestrated by himself and Wilson; and provided you with the document trail; and pointed your team of 10 or so detectives to the actual cheques used to siphon hundreds of thousands of dollars; and even shown how a Fitzroy terrace house was bought in his name with some of the loot?…
As a senior detective ... you really should have run it all past one of the ABC’s renowned investigators, Waleed Aly.
After all, Aly, who speaks to several hundred thousand Australians every day as a Radio National presenter, ...  knows that there is nothing in it.
He said so this week when he wrote in The Sydney Morning Herald of the “bizarre pursuit of the complete non-scandal surrounding the Australian Workers Union and Julia Gillard’s time as a labour lawyer”....
And while you’re at it, Sergeant Mitchell, can you please disregard the statutory declaration of AWU employee Wayne Hem, who has sworn that he deposited $5000 in cash in Gillard’s personal bank account at Wilson’s direction when the slush fund was thriving? 
Yes, it is a difficult one: the former PM has said she can’t recall the payment, which in the mid-1990s was worth quite a bit more than a 1959 bottle of Grange.... But we hasten to add, Sergeant Mitchell, that Gillard ...  has strenuously and repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. It was a long time ago. Move along, please. 
(Thanks to reader Walms.) 
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More Labor waste

Andrew Bolt April 19 2014 (9:41am)

Yet another dud Labor spendathon - and how many of them did we get?:
A $115 MILLION Labor-era scheme to increase the supply of affordable homes in regional cities has joined the rollcall of taxpayer-funded projects that have failed to achieve value for money and fallen woefully short of targets. 
The Building Better Regional Cities program, launched by Julia Gillard on the first day of the 2010 election campaign, was designed to provide infrastructure grants to councils to help support the delivery of 8000 homes and reduce housing stress in capital cities.
Just 2969 “affordable homes’’ in 15 regional cities including Wollongong, Ballina, Port Macquarie and Hervey Bay are expected to be delivered when the program is completed in mid-2016. 
Each subsidised lot or dwelling will end up costing taxpayers about $38,100 in grant funding — more than three times the $12,500 per home originally envisaged, a federal audit report has revealed.
Just disgraceful. Add this to the school halls, the “free” insulation, the grants to dud green schemes like geothermal and wave generators, the solar hot water grants, the GP superclinics, the NBN ... Absolutely shameful.
Lesson: governments are usually best when they let you spend your own money, and worst when they decide to spend it for you.
(Thanks to several cross readers.) 
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In praise of George Brandis

Andrew Bolt April 19 2014 (9:23am)

British Marxist Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked and visiting scholar at the Centre for Independent Studies, is inspired by Attorney-General George Brandis, who gets a hearing few journalists here have allowed him:
Brandis has doggedly, and often controversially, devoted himself to reforming the section of the Oz Racial Discrimination Act that forbids people from ‘offending, insulting or humiliating’ a person or group on the basis of their racial or ethnic origins. Why has he done this? ... Why has he allowed himself to be branded by many on the Australian left as a ‘friend of bigots’ ...?
‘Because’, he says, ‘if you are going to defend freedom of speech, you have to defend the right of people to say things you would devote your political life to opposing. Your good faith is tested by whether or not you would defend the right to free speech of people with whom you profoundly disagree. That’s the test.’
In an era when European politicians are forever battling it out to see who can outlaw the most forms of ‘hate speech’, when Canada hauls so-called hate speakers before its Human Rights Commission to justify themselves, ...  Brandis’s single-minded campaign to rein in Australia’s hate-speech laws is quite something. In fact it feels positively weird to hear a mainstream politician ... talk about the ‘limits of the state to interfere with the utterance of ideas, beliefs and opinions’…
He describes the climate-change debate – or non-debate, or anti-debate, to be really pedantic but also accurate – as one of the ‘great catalysing moments’ in his views about the importance of free speech. He isn’t a climate-change denier… But he has nonetheless found himself ‘really shocked by the sheer authoritarianism of those who would have excluded from the debate the point of view of people who were climate-change deniers’....
He describes how Penny Wong ... would ‘stand up in the Senate and say “The science is settled”. In other words, “I am not even going to engage in a debate with you”. It was ignorant, it was medieval, the approach of these true believers in climate change.’ .... And to Brandis, this speaks to a new and illiberal climate of anti-intellectualism, to the emergence of ‘a habit of mind and mode of discourse which would deny the legitimacy of an alternative point of view, where rather than winning the argument [they] exclude their antagonists from the argument’…
The moral straitjacketing of anyone who raises a critical peep about eco-orthodoxies is part of a growing ‘new secular public morality’, he says, ‘which seeks to impose its views on others, even at the cost of political censorship’.
The second thing that made him sharpen his pen and open his gob about the importance of freedom of speech was the case of Andrew Bolt… In 2010, he wrote some blog posts for the Herald Sun website criticising the fashion among ‘fair-skinned people’ to claim Aboriginal heritage, under the headlines: ‘It’s so hip to be black’, ‘White is the New Black’ and ‘White Fellas in the Black’… They were removed from the Herald Sun’s website. Anyone who republishes them risks being arrested and potentially jailed.
Brandis is stinging about this case. The judge ‘engaged in an act of political censorship’, he says, with a journalist ‘prohibited from expressing a point of view’. The reason Brandis is so keen to ditch the bit of the Racial Discrimination Act that allowed such a flagrant act of ideological censorship to take place in twenty-first-century Australia is because while it is justified as a guard against outbursts of dangerous racism, actually it allows the state to police and punish legitimate public speech and debate. ‘And the moment you establish the state as the arbiter of what might be said, you establish the state as the arbiter of what might be thought, and you are right in the territory that George Orwell foreshadowed’, he says…
[Brandis] didn’t help himself when he said in the Senate a couple of weeks ago that people do have the right to be bigots. That unleashed a tsunami of ridicule, even from some of his supporters. But he tells me he has no regrets. ‘I don’t regret saying that because in this debate, sooner or later – and better sooner than later – somebody had to make the Voltaire point; somebody had to make the point [about] defending the right to free speech of people with whom you profoundly disagree.’
Brandis says ... he’s bent on overhauling Section 18C ... because it expands the authority of state into the realm of thought, where it should never tread, he says. ‘...In my view, freedom of speech, by which I mean the freedom to express and articulate beliefs and opinions, is a necessary and essential precondition of political freedom.’
And the second reason he wants Section 18C massively trimmed is because he believes censorship is the worst possible tool for tackling backward thinking....
‘The left has embraced a new authoritarianism’, he says. ‘Having abandoned the attempt to control the commanding heights of the economy, they now want to control the commanding heights of opinion, and that is even more dangerous.’...
A few of Brandis’s colleagues like to privately criticise him for the way he’s fought for free speech and intellectual liberty. They should instead ask themselves why they haven’t lifted a finger to help him. Brandis should above all be admired for his courage and his principles.
Brendan O’Neill will be my guest tomorrow on The Bolt Report on Channel 10 at 10am and 4pm.
There are probably still a couple of tickets left to see him in Melbourne after his booked-out Sydney lecture:
Nannies, Nudgers & Naggers: The New Enemies of Freedom 
MELBOURNE TUESDAY 29 APRIL 6:00PM - 8:00PM

Where:  Society Restaurant
23 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Is it a top-down Orwellian “boot on the human face” that is squashing our once cherished civil liberties, or is the greater problem today the public’s fear of being free? Is our freedom being taken from us by the authorities, or is it being undermined through our own failure to exercise it? An open debate on how we can boost human freedom. 
Brendan O’Neill is the editor of spiked, the magazine that wants to make history as well as report it, and is a columnist for he Big Issue in London and The Australian. He also blogs for the Daily Telegraph and has written for a variety of publications in both Europe and America. He is the author of Can I Recycle My Granny And 39 Other Eco-Dilemmas, and he is currently researching a book on snobbery.
Book at the link.
UPDATE
Pope Francis on the tyranny of the enlightened:
“Even today there is a dictatorship of a narrow line of thought” which kills “people’s freedom, their freedom of conscience,” the Pope expressed in his April 10 daily Mass… 
“When this phenomenon of narrow thinking enters human history, how many misfortunes,” he lamented, adding that “we all saw in the last century, the dictatorships of narrow thought, which ended up killing a lot of people...when they believed they were the overlords, no other form of thought was allowed. This is the way they think.”
Explaining how even now people foster this idolatry of “a narrow line of thought,” Pope Francis emphasized that “today we have to think in this way and if you do not think in this way, you are not modern, you’re not open or worse.”
“Often rulers say: ‘I have asked for aid, financial support for this,’ ‘But if you want this help, you have to think in this way and you have to pass this law, and this other law and this other law,” he expressed, noting that type of dictatorship “is the same as these people.” 
“It takes up stones to stone the freedom of the people, the freedom of the people, their freedom of conscience, the relationship of the people with God. Today Jesus is Crucified once again.” 
(Thanks to reader Tom.) 
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Pension age to 70

Andrew Bolt April 19 2014 (9:01am)

The explosion in pension costs will kill us if something is not done:
THE pension age will be pushed out to 70 in next month’s budget and may come into effect as early as 2029 under a razor-gang proposal to accelerate Labor’s plan to raise the pension age from 65 to 67.
There are no plans to cut the existing pension but consideration is being given to changing the rate of indexation for age-pension payments… 
No decision has been taken on the rate of the rise in the ­retirement age and neither scheme will have any impact on the four-year budget period from Joe Hockey’s first budget on May 13.
If the change to the indexation rate does not apply in this term of government, Tony Abbott will technically not have broken his promise of ”no changes to the pension”. Even so, it will be hard to sell an indexation change, which will in time affect the same pensioners who were given last year’s promise.
The only way this will be accepted, of course, is if everyone else takes a hit in the Budget, too. Be certain, then, that pain is coming.
UPDATE
Dennis Shanahan:
(T)here is political as well as economic reasoning behind what would seem to be a suicidal approach to a budget where the retirement age for age pension will be lifted to 70, perhaps as soon as 2029, pension indexation is being looked at, a $6 co-payment for visits to the general practitioner is being considered, the “age of entitlement’’ is said to be ending, and expenditure will be cut across the board. 
The political basis of the budget is that having talked of a budget emergency, having convinced the public of the need for long-term structural change to deal with debt and deficit, ... the government has no choice but to deliver a tough budget…
This attitude is based on a belief that there is an appetite among voters for tough corrective economic measures to be taken — as evidenced by public polling showing support for decisions not to put more taxpayer funds into the automotive industry or Qantas and surprisingly strong support for a $6 GP visit co-payment — and an expectation the Coalition has to deliver… 
This political challenge is made all the tougher because of Abbott’s pledges in opposition not to make changes to the pension, not to cut education or health, and even to spare the ABC and SBS cuts while sticking to the bipartisan acceptance of the NDIS.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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A royal tour doesn’t have to be so 1950s

Andrew Bolt April 19 2014 (8:53am)

Annette Sharp says New Zealand beat us in showing off the royals:
A royal tour is dreadfully proper and wearily formal ... Or so it was until the Kiwis revolutionised the Windsors’ itinerary with a prince v princess cricket game, a prince v princess yacht race, a gorgeous visit to a childcare centre that almost created an international incident when eight-month-old Prince George met 10 Kiwi babies of a similar age and swiped a doll from another, which he promptly threw on the floor…
There was also some predictable yet wonderful and spiritual nose rubbing, or hongi as the locals call it, a gesture which represents both greeting and exchange of breath to symbolise unity.
All of it was photographic gold for the Kiwis and a masterstroke of planning that has managed to make New Zealand look like the youthful, confident, adventurous, progressive nation it is.
And what did the Australian government have in place to return fire when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge landed here?
Since arriving on Wednesday the young royals have attended, without their photogenic son, a reception at the Opera House, a tree planting with Girl Guides, an afternoon cup of tea with the PM at Admiralty House, a meet and greet with bushfire victims in the Blue Mountains and, wait for it, a RAAF tour today. If you hadn’t noticed, apparently it is 1954. 
Granted, yesterday’s schedule showed promise on paper — there was a Royal Easter Show outing, a visit with Surf Lifesavers at Manly Beach and a meet-and-greet with some children at Bear Cottage — but, sadly, the execution of the appearances have been as traditional and pedestrian as we might have feared.
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Did O’Farrell drink his Grange to forget a favor?

Andrew Bolt April 19 2014 (7:46am)

I’m having even more trouble believing Barry O’Farrell simply had a big “memory fail” about the $3000 gift he didn’t declare:
Two weeks after receiving the bottle of Grange Hermitage that would lead to his resignation as premier, Barry O’Farrell was preparing to appoint the man who bought the extravagant gift, businessman Nick Di Girolamo, to a well-paid position on a government board.
A May 3, 2011, email from the director general of Mr O’Farrell’s department, Chris Eccles, introduces Mr Di Girolamo to senior departmental officers as ‘’our replacement board member’’. Attached is a biography and photograph of Mr Di Girolamo forwarded by Mr O’Farrell’s then chief-of-staff, Peter McConnell.
When Mr Di Girolamo’s name was raised for a board appointment in the May email, Mr O’Farrell had failed to declare that only two weeks earlier he had been the recipient of a $3000 gift from Mr Di Girolamo…
The name of the board to which Mr Di Girolamo was to be appointed in May 2011 is not known and he was not installed on a board that year. But documents show that by March 2012, Mr Di Girolamo was considered for a directorship of Sydney Ports Corporation… Three months later an opening arose when corruption allegations forced the resignation of the now jailed union boss Michael Williamson, who had been appointed to the State Water Corporation in the last days of the Labor government by treasurer Eric Roozendaal. 
[Treasurer and now Premier Mike] Baird and then finance minister Greg Pearce signed off on the appointment of Mr Di Girolamo to a three-year $100,000 directorship of State Water Corporation.
If I were Di Girolamo, I’d consider a $100,000 board position a fair return on a $3000 gift - especially a gift I didn’t personally pay for.
By the way, what is it about the State Water Corporation that Williamson and Di Girolamo were deemed the right people to sit on its board? 
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Who is running the ABC?

Andrew Bolt April 19 2014 (12:21am)

Gerard Henderson:
(T)he ABC is not run the way a newspaper or a commercial broadcaster is managed. Rather, its television, radio and online outlets are controlled by cliques and seem to operate independently of the editor-in-chief. 
Take [managing director and editor-in-chief Mark] Scott’s role in the Chaser Boys’ (average age 38½) use of pornography against The Australian’s Chris Kenny. In The Hamster Decides program on ABC 1, which aired last September 11, the Chaser Boys depicted Kenny having sex with a dog under the heading “dog f. ker”.
This was clearly an attempt to close down debate, by the use of porno-politics, since Kenny was ridiculed for proposing that the incoming Coalition government led by Tony Abbott should cut ABC funding. As Scott acknow­ledged this week, the attack on Kenny “was triggered by his criticism of the ABC"…
Scott lacked the resolve to take on the Chaser Boys… (I)t took (Scott) seven months to recognise the mistake and issue an apology. Scott said nothing about the current standing of ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs’ ruling that the skit was consistent with ABC editorial standards. Does this finding still apply, or has it been overridden by the ABC’s managing director? Who knows?…
Scott’s formal apology had only just been released when Morrow responded. He sent out a tweet depicting, you’ve guessed it, Scott having sex with a hamster. Funny, eh? Morrow’s caption read: “We respectfully disagree with the ABC managing director’s decision and statement today"…
In a commercial business, such unprofessional defiance would not be tolerated — especially if it was capable of damaging the defence of a defamation writ. 
Which raises the question, does anyone run the ABC?  
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Edward Snowden - Putin’s poodle

Andrew Bolt April 19 2014 (12:08am)

 Snowden does Putin a favor:
Experts say Edward Snowden’s public questioning of Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested the former National Security Agency contractor is firmly in the Kremlin’s grasp. 
They said it is hard to imagine that Snowden was not prompted and coached to pose his question about domestic surveillance in Russia to the country’s leader.

And the answer he got in return, they said — that none of Russia’s programs reached the size and scope of anything at the National Security Agency (NSA) — was most likely a lie…
Putin’s annual question-and-answer session on television on Thursday came ... just days after the stories on Snowden’s leaks won U.S. journalism’s highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize for public service.
The former NSA contractor appeared via a short prerecorded video clip to ask whether Russia had programs similar to the NSA....
Snowden pushed back Friday on the notion that he was whitewashing Putin’s record… Snowden said that he was “surprised that people who witnessed me risk my life to expose the surveillance practices of my own country could not believe that I might also criticize the surveillance policies of Russia, a country to which I have sworn no allegiance, without ulterior motive."…
Putin, a former KGB operative, told Snowden that Russia has “some efforts” to track terrorists and criminals, but those are “strictly regulated by our law” and aren’t on par with anything in the U.S....
Actually, elements of the Russian SORM program, which has its roots in the former Soviet Union, can reportedly collect records about all phone calls and Internet traffic in the country.
Unlike the NSA, which only collects metadata such as the numbers people dial and the length of their calls, the Russian programs capture the full range of people’s conversations, experts said. 
“It’s a system designed for complete political control. There’s nothing that rivals it in the U.S.” said [James Lewis, director of the strategic technologies program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies].  
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Hulk Smash

HULK SMASH

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As a guitarist, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the back country. As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost.

I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.

I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man.

And as I played ‘Amazing Grace,’ the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished I packed up my guitar and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, “I never seen nothin’ like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

Apparently, I’m still lost…

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April 19Feast of Saint Alphege (Western Christianity); Holy Saturday(Christianity, 2014)
Protestors in South Korea
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“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” - Romans 10:9-10
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning


"She bound the scarlet line in the window."
Joshua 2:21

Rahab depended for her preservation upon the promise of the spies, whom she looked upon as the representatives of the God of Israel. Her faith was simple and firm, but it was very obedient. To tie the scarlet line in the window was a very trivial act in itself, but she dared not run the risk of omitting it. Come, my soul, is there not here a lesson for thee? Hast thou been attentive to all thy Lord's will, even though some of his commands should seem non-essential? Hast thou observed in his own way the two ordinances of believers' baptism and the Lord's Supper? These neglected, argue much unloving disobedience in thy heart. Be henceforth in all things blameless, even to the tying of a thread, if that be matter of command.

This act of Rahab sets forth a yet more solemn lesson. Have I implicitly trusted in the precious blood of Jesus? Have I tied the scarlet cord, as with a Gordian knot in my window, so that my trust can never be removed? Or can I look out towards the Dead Sea of my sins, or the Jerusalem of my hopes, without seeing the blood, and seeing all things in connection with its blessed power? The passer-by can see a cord of so conspicuous a colour, if it hangs from the window: it will be well for me if my life makes the efficacy of the atonement conspicuous to all onlookers. What is there to be ashamed of? Let men or devils gaze if they will, the blood is my boast and my song. My soul, there is One who will see that scarlet line, even when from weakness of faith thou canst not see it thyself; Jehovah, the Avenger, will see it and pass over thee. Jericho's walls fell flat: Rahab's house was on the wall, and yet it stood unmoved; my nature is built into the wall of humanity, and yet when destruction smites the race, I shall be secure. My soul, tie the scarlet thread in the window afresh, and rest in peace.

Evening

"And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good."
Genesis 32:12
When Jacob was on the other side of the brook Jabbok, and Esau was coming with armed men, he earnestly sought God's protection, and as a master reason he pleaded, "And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good." Oh, the force of that plea! He was holding God to his word--"Thou saidst." The attribute of God's faithfulness is a splendid horn of the altar to lay hold upon; but the promise, which has in it the attribute and something more, is a yet mightier holdfast--"Thou saidst, I will surely do thee good." And has he said, and shall he not do it? "Let God be true, and every man a liar." Shall not he be true? Shall he not keep his word? Shall not every word that cometh out of his lips stand fast and be fulfilled? Solomon, at the opening of the temple, used this same mighty plea. He pleaded with God to remember the word which he had spoken to his father David, and to bless that place. When a man gives a promissory note, his honour is engaged; he signs his hand, and he must discharge it when the due time comes, or else he loses credit. It shall never be said that God dishonours his bills. The credit of the Most High never was impeached, and never shall be. He is punctual to the moment: he never is before his time, but he never is behind it. Search God's word through, and compare it with the experience of God's people, and you shall find the two tally from the first to the last. Many a hoary patriarch has said with Joshua, "Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass." If you have a divine promise, you need not plead it with an "if," you may urge it with certainty. The Lord meant to fulfil the promise, or he would not have given it. God does not give his words merely to quiet us, and to keep us hopeful for awhile with the intention of putting us off at last; but when he speaks, it is because he means to do as he has said.
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Chloe


Scripture Reference: 1 Corinthians 1:10, 11

Name Meaning: Green herb

We are not told anything about the background of this Corinthian matron and head of a Christian household. Evidently she was well-known to the Corinthians by her personal name which means "green herb," and in the Greek represents the first green shoot of plants. Chloe is therefore emblematic of fruitful grace and beauty. It was while he was benefiting from the hospitality of her home that Paul received information of strife among leaders in the Early Church and which he sought to deal with in this first chapter of First Corinthians. The Church at Corinth gave Paul a good deal of concern and heartache because of its low spirituality.
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Shechem, Sichem, Sychem, Sychar 

[Shē'chem] - shoulder.

1. A son of Hamor, a Hivite prince - "a prince of the country" - that is, of Shechem. It is not certain whether the Levitical city was named after the son of Hamor, or whether he was named after the city (Gen. 33:18, 19; Josh. 24:32; Judg. 9:28).

The Man Who Disgraced His Princely Dignity

Shechem, a neighbor of Jacob, took advantage of his daughter's visit to the daughters of the Hivites. Doubtless Dinah was young and unaccustomed to the ways of the world, and taking advantage of her, Shechem proved himself unworthy of his high office. He was led into sin by what he saw, and while it is said that Shechem came to love the girl he had wronged and wanted to make her his wife, yet such a proposal was not possible, owing to God's command about His people marrying those of Gentile nations. The scheme of Jacob's sons need not be told. Suffice it to say that Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, treacherously slew Shechem for his betrayal of their sister. To the credit of Shechem it is said that "he was more honourable than all the house of his father." As for Simeon and Levi, they earned a sad epitaph (Gen. 49:5-7).
2. A son of Gilead, son of Manasseh and founder of a tribal family (Num. 26:31; Josh. 17:2).
3. A son of Shemidah, a Manassite (1 Chron. 7:19).
Shechem is also a name renowned in history. Jacob rested there (Gen. 33:18). Jesus met the woman of Samaria at the one-time city of refuge and the first residence of the kings of Israel (John 4:12). It is said that Justin Martyr was born here, about a.d. 100.
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Today's reading: 2 Samuel 3-5, Luke 14:25-35 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Samuel 3-5


1 The war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.

2 Sons were born to David in Hebron:
His firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel;
3 his second, Kileab the son of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel;
the third, Absalom the son of Maakah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
4 the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith;
the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;
and the sixth, Ithream the son of David's wife Eglah.
These were born to David in Hebron....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 14:25-35

The Cost of Being a Disciple
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple. 27And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won't you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30saying, 'This person began to build and wasn't able to finish....'
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Lent=Devotions-Header
Today's Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 42:1-9

1 "Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4 he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his teaching the islands will put their hope."
5 This is what God the LORD says--
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:
6 "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
7 to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
8 "I am the LORD; that is my name!
I will not yield my glory to another
or my praise to idols.
9 See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you."
New Testament Reading: John 12:1-11

1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.2Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages." 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
7 "Leave her alone," Jesus replied. "It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."
9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.
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Today's Lent reading: John 13-14 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
Jesus Washes His Disciples' Feet

1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
7 Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand...."


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