Saturday, June 18, 2016

Sat Jun 18th Todays News

The ALP are not campaigning to win the election on July 2nd. They are campaigning to get back some of the rust they lost last election. That is the best explanation for why they are promising to spend more, and yet balance the budget. That is the best explanation for why they are promising to throw money away on education reforms that don't work. That is why they are happy to hit the rich and damage investment. They are singing to those who were hurt by the ALP for drowning migrants in the name of compassion, for releasing corruption onto unions, for promoting iconic and divisive policy. The ALP are not promising to be competent money managers. They aren't promising to have strong borders. They want people to take drugs and have no responsibility. Turnbull is such a weak leader, that the ALP don't feel they need campaign against him, but they want to restore their xenophobic heart land. The ALP under Shorten stand for sleaze, corruption and incompetence.  

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility.  
=== from 2015 ===
The ALP leader Bill Shorten is incompetent and prone to shooting himself in the foot. When he felt Mr Abbott was being undermined he decided to name Mr Abbott's back bench and so he declared that Mr Abbott's leadership was untenable because his back bench did not want him and all that held him in place was Cabinet. It was a reflection of the Lib vote which ultimately refused a leadership spill. But it was also a mirror of the vote which gave Mr Shorten the leadership of the ALP. In fact, Mr Shorten's accusation was wrong regarding Mr Abbott, who would have won any spill, but perfectly described the spill in which Mr Shorten only got the leadership over the clear objection of the backbench. Now Mr Shorten has alienated most of his cabinet too. But Shorten made another dumb error recently, asking Mr Abbott what he would say to pensioners regarding changes that Greens approved, but ALP didn't. Mr Abbott gleefully replied he would tell pensioners he was securing welfare so that they could rely on Coalition governments to provide long after an ALP government would cancel it from overspending austerity. The ALP in the lower house are routinely playing stupid games and getting themselves removed from parliament. It is Shorten's plan. And now Mr Shorten is asking the Royal Commission into unions to ask him questions about his apparent corruption as union leader during a parliamentary recess.  Mr Shorten's contempt of parliament has matched his contempt of media and of his party and of union members and the voting population. He fears them all. 

In 618, Li Yuan became Emperor Gaozu of Tang, initiating three centuries of Tang Dynasty rule over China. 1053, Battle of Civitate: Three thousand horsemen of Norman Count Humphrey routed the troops of Pope Leo IX. 1178, five Canterbury monks saw what is possibly the Giordano Bruno crater being formed. It is believed that the current oscillations of the Moon's distance from the Earth (in the order of meters) were a result of this collision. 1264, the Parliament of Ireland met at Castledermot in County Kildare, the first definitively known meeting of this Irish legislature. 1429, French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeated the main English army under Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay. This turned the tide of the Hundred Years' War.

In 1633, Charles I, was crowned King of Scots at St Giles CathedralEdinburgh 1684, the charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was revoked via a scire facias writ issued by an English court. 1757, Battle of Kolín between Prussian forces under Frederick the Great and an Austrian army under the command of Field Marshal Count Leopold Joseph von Daun in the Seven Years' War. 1767, Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sights Tahiti and was considered the first European to reach the island. 1778, American Revolutionary WarBritish troops abandoned Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 1799, Action of 18 June 1799: A frigate squadron under Rear-admiral Perrée was captured by the British fleet under Lord Keith

In 1812, War of 1812: The U.S. Congress declared war on Great BritainCanada, and Ireland. 1815, Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Waterloo resulted in the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte by the Duke of Wellington and Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher forcing him to abdicate the throne of France for the second and last time. 1830, French invasion of Algeria. 1858, Charles Darwin received a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that included nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin's own, prompting Darwin to publish his theory. 1859, first ascent of Aletschhorn, second summit of the Bernese Alps. 1873, Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election. 1887, the Reinsurance Treaty between Germany and Russia was signed.

In 1900, Empress Dowager Longyu of China ordered all foreigners killed, including foreign diplomats and their families. 1908, Japanese immigration to Brazil began when 781 people arrived in Santos aboard the ship Kasato-Maru. 1908, the University of the Philippines was established. 1923, Checker Taxi put its first taxi on the streets. 1928, Aviator Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean (she was a passengerWilmer Stultz was the pilot and Lou Gordon the mechanic). 1930, Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Franklin Institute were held. 1935, police in VancouverBritish ColumbiaCanada clashed with striking longshoremen, resulting in a total 60 injuries and 24 arrests.

In 1940, Appeal of June 18 by Charles de Gaulle. Also 1940, "Finest Hour" speech by Winston Churchill. 1945, William Joyce ("Lord Haw-Haw") was charged with treason for his pro-German propaganda broadcasting during World War II. 1946, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, a Socialist, called for a Direct Action Day against the Portuguese in Goa. A road is named after this date in Panjim. 1953, the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 ended with the overthrow of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty and the declaration of the Republic of Egypt. 1953, a United States Air Force C-124 crashed and burned near TachikawaJapan, killing 129. 1954, Pierre Mendès-France became Prime Minister of France. 1965 Vietnam War: The United States used B-52 bombers to attack National Liberation Front guerrilla fighters in South Vietnam. 1972, Staines air disaster: One hundred eighteen were killed when a BEA H.S. Trident crashed two minutes after take off from London Heathrow Airport. 1979, SALT II was signed by the United States and the Soviet Union.

In 1981, the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, the first operational aircraft initially designed around stealth technology, made its first flight. 1983, Space Shuttle programSTS-7Astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. Also 1983, Mona Mahmudnizhad together with nine other Bahá'í women, was sentenced to death and hanged in ShirazIran because of her Bahá'í Faith. 1984, a major clash between about 5,000 police and a similar number of miners took place at Orgreave, South Yorkshire, during the 1984–1985 UK miners' strike. 1996, Ted Kaczynski, suspected of being the Unabomber, was indicted on ten criminal counts. 2006, the first Kazakh space satelliteKazSat was launched. 2009, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a NASA robotic spacecraft was launched.
From 2014
Two events, deeply symbolic happening on the same day. But one cannot compare them or contrast them as symbols, because the reason for them is quite different, and misleading if one is applied to the other. It was 1983, on this day. In Iran, ten people were sentenced to death and hung because of their Bahá'í faith. Meanwhile, Astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. Two tales with totally different meanings. Only the most shallow would say Sally Ride's achievement was a vindication for all women.  It was a personal achievement showing she was an exceptional person. However, it was inevitable. There are no gender blocks in the US and there are laws preventing them. Maybe there are isolated incidents, maybe terrible people make bad decisions, but overwhelmingly, Americans despise discrimination and celebrate achievement. But what of Iran? Are Iranian people so despicable, shallow and craven that they must kill those for their faith? The killing is not isolated and continues to this day. But Iran is not a democracy. Her people are not informed well enough to vote. Their media is not free. And those in charge are ugly, filthy animals beneath contempt. 

On this day in 1873, Susan B Anthony was fined $100 for voting. In 1940, Churchill spoke of Britain's finest hour. William Joyce was charged with treason in 1945, some argue that that was not fair, as he wasn't English. He had supported the Nazis and instrumentally was involved in the deaths of many freedom fighters. In 1858, Charles Darwin got a paper that convinced him to publish his theory of evolution. In 1053, the then Pope lost a battle, although it might have been argued truth was still on his side. But, in 1429, English man John Falstaff lost a battle against forces led by Joan of Arc. Eventually, she was burned at the stake for her achievement. That, is deeply symbolic. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 618, Li Yuan became Emperor Gaozu of Tang, initiating three centuries of Tang Dynastyrule over China. 1053, Battle of Civitate: Three thousand horsemen of Norman Count Humphrey routed the troops of Pope Leo IX. 1178, five Canterbury monks saw what is possibly the Giordano Bruno crater being formed. It is believed that the current oscillations of the Moon's distance from the Earth (in the order of meters) were a result of this collision. 1264, the Parliament of Ireland met at Castledermot in County Kildare, the first definitively known meeting of this Irish legislature. 1429, French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeated the main English army under Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay. This turned the tide of the Hundred Years' War.

In 1633, Charles I, was crowned King of Scots at St Giles CathedralEdinburgh 1684, the charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was revoked via a scire facias writ issued by an English court. 1757, Battle of Kolín between Prussian forces under Frederick the Great and an Austrian army under the command of Field Marshal Count Leopold Joseph von Daun in the Seven Years' War. 1767, Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sights Tahiti and was considered the first European to reach the island. 1778, American Revolutionary WarBritishtroops abandoned Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 1799, Action of 18 June 1799: A frigate squadron under Rear-admiral Perrée was captured by the British fleet under Lord Keith

In 1812, War of 1812: The U.S. Congress declared war on Great BritainCanada, and Ireland. 1815, Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Waterloo resulted in the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparteby the Duke of Wellington and Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher forcing him to abdicate the throne of France for the second and last time. 1830, French invasion of Algeria. 1858, Charles Darwin received a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that included nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin's own, prompting Darwin to publish his theory. 1859, first ascent of Aletschhorn, second summit of the Bernese Alps. 1873, Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election. 1887, the Reinsurance Treaty between Germany and Russia was signed.

In 1900, Empress Dowager Longyu of China ordered all foreigners killed, including foreign diplomats and their families. 1908, Japanese immigration to Brazil began when 781 people arrived in Santos aboard the ship Kasato-Maru. 1908, the University of the Philippines was established. 1923, Checker Taxi put its first taxi on the streets. 1928, Aviator Amelia Earhartbecame the first woman to fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean (she was a passengerWilmer Stultz was the pilot and Lou Gordon the mechanic). 1930, Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Franklin Institute were held. 1935, police in VancouverBritish ColumbiaCanada clashed with striking longshoremen, resulting in a total 60 injuries and 24 arrests.

In 1940, Appeal of June 18 by Charles de Gaulle. Also 1940, "Finest Hour" speech by Winston Churchill. 1945, William Joyce ("Lord Haw-Haw") was charged with treason for his pro-German propaganda broadcasting during World War II. 1946, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, a Socialist, called for a Direct Action Day against the Portuguese in Goa. A road is named after this date in Panjim. 1953, the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 ended with the overthrow of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty and the declaration of the Republic of Egypt. 1953, a United States Air Force C-124 crashed and burned near TachikawaJapan, killing 129. 1954, Pierre Mendès-France became Prime Minister of France. 1965 Vietnam War: The United Statesused B-52 bombers to attack National Liberation Front guerrilla fighters in South Vietnam. 1972, Staines air disaster: One hundred eighteen were killed when a BEA H.S. Tridentcrashed two minutes after take off from London Heathrow Airport. 1979, SALT II was signed by the United States and the Soviet Union.

In 1981, the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, the first operational aircraft initially designed around stealth technology, made its first flight. 1983, Space Shuttle programSTS-7Astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. Also 1983, Mona Mahmudnizhad together with nine other Bahá'í women, was sentenced to death and hanged in ShirazIran because of her Bahá'í Faith. 1984, a major clash between about 5,000 policeand a similar number of miners took place at Orgreave, South Yorkshire, during the 1984–1985 UK miners' strike. 1996, Ted Kaczynski, suspected of being the Unabomber, was indicted on ten criminal counts. 2006, the first Kazakh space satelliteKazSat was launched. 2009, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a NASA robotic spacecraft was launched.
=== 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 you have installed it start it up and press Live TV you don't need a login to watch Sky News!
===
I am publishing a book called Bread of Life: January. 

Bread of Life is a daily bible quote with a layman's understanding of the meaning. I give one quote for each day, and also a series of personal stories illustrating key concepts eg Who is God? What is a miracle? Why is there tragedy?

January is the first of the anticipated year-long work of thirteen books. One for each month and the whole year. It costs to publish. It (Kindle version) should retail at about $2US online, but the paperback version would cost more, according to production cost.
If you have a heart for giving, I fundraise at gofund.me/27tkwuc
===
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
Happy birthday and many happy returns Vy Vy Huynh. On your day in 618, Li Yuan became Emperor Gaozu of Tang, initiating three centuries of the Tang Dynasty in China. In 1053, Humphrey of Hauteville led the armies of the Normans in the Battle of Civitate against the combined forces of Pope Leo IX and the Holy Roman Empire. In 1858, Charles Darwin received a manuscript by fellow naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace on natural selection, which prompted Darwin to publish his theory of evolution. In 1983, Aboard Space Shuttle Challenger, astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space. It says so much that on your day you can meet a challenge, fight the battle and establish a dynasty with everlasting truth. Sounds fancy, written that way.
Deaths
June 18Ramadan begins (Islam, 2015)
Battle of Waterloo
That orange drink is our Tang dynasty. My, my, Napoleon did surrender. Charles evolved. Walking is good. The banker has gone to god. Let's party. 
===

TWIN LIZZIE

Tim Blair – Saturday, June 18, 2016 (5:23pm)

Former Malcolm Turnbull fangirl Elizabeth Farrelly then
Already, after only a few weeks, the country feels different. The air itself has a new edge. And that edge has a name. Intelligence. 
And Elizabeth Farrelly now
In a trajectory of doom that is positively Shakespearean, Malcolm Turnbull seems emptier and drier with each appearance. The man who had everything (but wanted more) is already a husk of his former self. Where will it end? 
Then
Malcolm is different. His intelligence has light in it. 
Now
The problem might be wealth. Extreme riches do seem to make blindingly bad political leaders – Ceaucescu, Berlusconi, Trump. 
Then
Malcolm speaks to us not as a rabble of blithering chimps wanting their buttons pushed but as grownups, capable of considered argument, reasoned reflection and conscientious decision. For Australia, this is huge. 
Now
Malcolm has shed voters more assiduously than he shed kilos. How? By looking like the hero we craved, then yielding, one principle at a time, to grimy old politics-as-usual. Changed? From where we sit, we the voters, he’s all but unrecognisable. 
Then
Malcolm – who like Beyonce is known universally by his first name – will be the longest-serving prime minister since Menzies. Possibly ever. 
Now
Malcolm used to be charismatic, in a cocky, I’m-so-rich kind of way. Now, he seems thinner by the day, and not from the Chinese tea and cycle vacs. The PM seems spiritually thin, hollowed out from the inside. So thin you can almost see the hand within, making the arms wave, the jaw move. 
Then
Throughout his Republican push, people tut-tutted. “He’s no politician,” they grumbled. “He’s arrogant. He’s rich. He lacks timing.” Lately, though, Malcolm’s timing has been impeccable. 
Now
There’s a macabre fascination in witnessing this evisceration, like watching someone’s cosmetic surgery go horribly wrong. There’s also pathos, as though the crows of fate, spotting a juicy flaw, lifted Malcolm high into the stratosphere only to watch him fall and break. 
Then
Malcolm’s political longevity will be a Very Good Thing. Not because he’ll necessarily manage to repurpose the crazier cowboy fringes of the Coalition. But because – far more importantly – the explicitness of Malcolm’s intelligence makes it OK for us to be intelligent too. 
Now
You can’t offload responsibility. The fault, and the blame, are his. 
Then
To have an intelligence of this kind leading Australia is a shift of immense significance. Deriving from something that, at risk of sounding naive, you may almost call goodness, it gives Malcolm the potential to be not just a practical leader, in the usual way, but a moral one; a leader of minds. 
Now
His fatal flaw. Ambition. 
Then
When Malcolm says “good teachers change lives”; when he reminds the G20 of the “potential for renewable energy, especially solar”; when he warns China “not to fall into a Thucydides trap”, bringing war to the South China Sea; when he promises friendship and support to Indonesia or insists – in contrast with Abbott’s relentless “bomb them” belligerence – that Paris demands a political solution: throughout, you sense the cool and true moral intelligence at the helm. 
Now
Some say he just never stopped being a lawyer. Lawyers get used to being hired guns, shooting for the bad guys. They become adept at ignoring their own principles to further causes in which they have not the slightest interest or belief. Indeed, the very idea of belief disappears, very often, from their mental lexicon. 
Then
Relief is what I feel, like the southerly buster after a 40-degree day. It says my inner child was right. The weak and stupid are the ones to fear. 
Now
But who is Malcolm’s noble fool, dispensing unheard wisdom? Who his Cordelia, sweetly absorbing others’ guilt and dying in consequence? In both cases, we are. Us. Dead as earth. 
===

DANCING FOR DAVE

Tim Blair – Saturday, June 18, 2016 (4:32pm)

Behold the awesome influence of 2016 frightbat poll leader David Morrison:

===

RADICALS CONDEMNED

Tim Blair – Saturday, June 18, 2016 (3:30pm)

Father Tilty O’Jesus issues his latest proclamation:


“It is easy to recognise and condemn radical Islam. It is not as easy, in a Western context, to recognise radicalised Christianity,” writes O’Jesus. “I have heard it said by the religious right that ‘we are not throwing homosexuals off buildings like radicalised Muslims are’. This is true in one sense only.”
It’s true in the sense that it’s true. Meanwhile, associates of the Prime Minister’s recent dinner companion are issuing a few proclamations of their own
Gay and lesbian people should be put to death or otherwise punished under sharia, according to two imams who share leadership positions with Shady Alsuleiman, the controversial sheik invited to a Ramadan dinner at Kirribilli House by Malcolm Turnbull.
The Australian National Imams Council, of which Sheik Alsuleiman is president, has at least three executive members who believe the only punishment for homosexuality is the death penalty, according to Islamic law.
Imam Yusuf Peer, the chairman of the Council of Imams Queensland, who is a member of the national peak body, told The Weekend Australian yesterday that it was “not permissible” to be gay and Muslim.
“But we do not have a problem with the people themselves, just the act and ideology,” Imam Peer said. “But this is what the sharia law says and we have to follow that. There is no way around that.When we are talking about gays, we have to be confident (they are gay) and there must be a lot of investigating.” 
Nobody eludes the elite Islamic detective team at Gaysquad! That’s why they all have grindr accounts. You know, purely for investigative purposes. 
When asked if sharia required death, Imam Peer said: “Yes.”
Imam Peer said because a “proper process” involving “committees” applied, it prevented the “random bashing and killing” of homosexuals: “Nobody can implement Islamic sharia on their own. There is a procedure, there is arbitration, there is a committee.” 
And only then do they throw people off buildings. 
===

TODAY IS SATURDAY, AND THE CARS ARE BEGINNING TO ARRIVE FROM NEAR AND FAR

Tim Blair – Saturday, June 18, 2016 (3:00pm)

Australia, six decades ago:

===

CROWN OUR CRAZY QUEEN IN 2016

Tim Blair – Saturday, June 18, 2016 (4:23am)

Vanessa Badham was the six-vote inaugural frightbat victor in 2014.
Gillian Triggs won by more than 5000 votes in 2015.
But who will be the 2016 frightbat champion?
This year’s field – now a gender-mixed field, in line with recent societal trends – features our two previous title holders plus a stunning array of excellent newbie bats, along with a few career try-hards still attempting to reach batdom’s upper tier. Vote now, vote often, and vote responsibly:
Thank you for voting! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Total Votes: 5,913
===

IT MAKES AS MUCH SENSE AS ANYTHING ELSE

Tim Blair – Saturday, June 18, 2016 (2:02am)

Trump’s numbers may be plunging, but the Republican presidential candidate should draw strength from … the … er … this … umm …
I really have no idea:

===

Turnbull minister praised Sheikh Shady as “important resetting point”

Andrew Bolt June 18 2016 (12:51pm)

Our politicians cover up for Islam.
Check, for instance, how the Turnbull Government first told us Sheik Shady Al-Suleiman was a moderate preacher who represented an “important resetting point”, but now claims he’s just some lone extremist who should not “define the views of all 500,000 Muslims”.
Sheikh Shady was last December promoted by Turnbull’s then Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, as a moderate we should listen to:
Simplistic calls for “revolution”, “change” or “reform” [of Islam] fail to take into account these complexities, especially the lack of hierarchy and authority. A more realistic and achievable approach lies in ensuring imans preach a more modern and moderate interpretation of the Koran.
While some may feel a public flogging of the Grand Mufti, Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, may have served their own political ends, he does not represent or speak for all Muslims in Australia. He is elected by the Australian National Imams Council, which brings together about 200 largely Sunni imams. The election of Shady Alsuleiman, our first Australian-born imam as ANIC’s president is an important resetting point.
Sheikh Shady is an “important resetting point”?
In fact, his sermons, as recorded in his on-line videos, vilify Jews, call on God to help “destroy the enemies of Islam”, declare the punishment for adulterers “is stoning to death”, damn Christmas parties as “worship of Satan” and accuse gays of “spreading all these diseases” through “evil actions that bring evil outcomes to our society”.
And now that this has been reported, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull how tells us Sheik Shady is just some lone and unrepresentative voice:
It is also wrong to seek to define the views of all 500,000 Muslims because of the opinions expressed by one person, by one cleric.
In fact, Shady is the elected president of the Australian National Imams Council. I suspect he knows Islam and our Muslim community better than does Turnbull.
(Thanks to reader Peter H.) 
===

Labor spent its way to this deep trouble

Andrew Bolt June 18 2016 (12:00pm)

I said after two weeks of this campaign that Labor had been crippled by the number of candidates who thought our border laws too strong. This was not just damaging on its own, but reminded voters how recently Labor wrecked so much.
But the final blow to any of Labor’s hopes was its astonishingly stupid announcement that it would spend more and borrow more than even the Liberals over the next four years.
That was a disaster. It proved that Labor still cannot be trusted with your money, and made every spending promise since seem even more reckless.
I still cannot believe Labor did something so boneheaded - so against both the national interest and its own - especially when many of its big-spending promises lately have about as much punch-through as white noise. It should have just scrapped them and banked the savings.
And now:
With just two weeks until polling day, a special Newspoll, taken exclusively for The Weekend Australian in 10 government-held marginal seats, plus the safe seat of Mayo, reveals Labor would win only one — the new Perth electorate of Burt, with a swing of 8 per cent.

In the government’s second-most marginal seat of Capricornia, in central Queensland, which it holds by 0.77 per cent, Labor’s primary vote has gone backwards, leaving the parties deadlocked at 50-50.

Labor and the Liberals are also tied in Macarthur, on Sydney’s southwestern fringe, where the Nick Xenophon Team has captured 7 per cent of the vote.
In seven other seats where the opposition needs a swing of ­between 3 and 6 per cent to win — the Queensland electorates of Herbert and Brisbane, Victorian marginals Dunkley and Corangamite, the NSW seats of Robertson and Lindsay, and Bass in northern Tasmania — the government is holding its lead after 42 days of campaigning…

In Mayo, Newspoll reveals a bombshell 14.5 per cent two-candid­ate-preferred swing against the government, putting the Nick Xenophon Team ahead by 52 per cent to 48 per cent.
UPDATE
Some consolation for Labor from the latest IPSOS poll, putting it ahead overall, 51 per cent to 49.
Mark Kenny:
Labor ... has held on to a narrow overall lead during the past fortnight despite a strident Coalition attack on economic management, but the prospect of a hung parliament has increased as voters flock to third parties, potentially making players such as Nick Xenophon and the Greens the kingmakers who decide who governs after July 2....
Fully 28 per cent of voters plan to support candidates other than Labor or the Coalition with their first preference vote - a higher proportion than at any time since the Coalition came to office…
The Greens’ party vote stands at a creditable 14 per cent, up one point in a fortnight… Another 14 per cent intend to support “others”....
Labor’s primary vote has dropped to a perilously low 33 per cent - a drop of three points since June 2 - while the Coalition primary vote has fallen faster to 39 (down 3) - the first time it has had a “3” in front of it since the days of Tony Abbott’s unpopular leadership when it reached 38 per cent.
This suggests that if Labor had looked more responsible, it could have cleaned up. So could a responsible and secular conservative party, not yet invented.
UPDATE
The tragedy is that the Turnbull Government was a sitting target for a fresh, responsible and wealth-creating Labor party:

GINA Rinehart has slammed politicians who don’t “have the guts” to reduce the ballooning cost of government.
The iron ore magnate, the nation’s richest woman, ... said government spending was a massive issue overlooked so far this election campaign.
She said the International Monetary Fund had found the level of government spending in Australia was growing at an alarming pace — the fastest among 17 comparable countries…
“India has the guts to do what it’s doing to cut at least federal red tape, with the consequent immense benefits to its people, driving investment, jobs, economic growth and living standards — why can’t Australia?” she said.
Rinehart is right. Both big parties are wrong.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

Four months later, the police must say sorry to Pell

Andrew Bolt June 18 2016 (11:48am)

It is nearly four months since Victoria Police leaked wild and damaging claims that Cardinal George Pell himself had abused boys, and as recently as 15 years ago.
Since then there has been no interview with Pell, no charges, no evidence and no witness to the royal commission into child sex abuse, which spent a week grilling Pell after those claims were reported in newspapers.
Isn’t it time Police Commissioner Graham Ashton apologised for this vile and shameful slur of Pell, timed to damage him just before his third appearance before the commission?
That apology is especially due given Ashton has just given an interview which to me suggests he’s got nothing to back those leaked claims, four months on?
The Herald Sun asked Mr Ashton if the Cardinal Pell investigation might result in Sano sex crime specialists being sent to the Vatican to speak to Cardinal Pell if he didn’t return to Australia.
“If that became necessary then of course we would,” Mr Ashton said.

“But it has not been put as necessary to me at this point in time.”
Put up, commissioner, or say sorry. 
===

Guys, guys - not so sensitive, please

Andrew Bolt June 18 2016 (11:38am)

Ever since David Morrison ludicrously decreed “guys” was sexist, the determinedly sensitive have been tripping over their tongues with a word they once thought perfectly fine.
A round-up from Jill Jacks:
===

How Turnbull tried to fool you on Islam

Andrew Bolt June 18 2016 (11:34am)

Islamism, Malcolm Turnbull, three

MALCOLM Turnbull tried to fool us about gay-hating and bigoted Islam when he held his end-of-Ramadan dinner on Thursday at Kirribilli house.
With the bodies not yet buried from the latest Islamist attack – this time on a gay nightclub – the Prime Minister made sure he was joined at his head table by the most photogenic and least representative Muslims he could find.
On his right sat a white ex-Christian Muslim convert, academic Susan Carland, joined by her husband, TV star Waleed Aly.
On Turnbull’s left sat one of the ABC’s preferred Muslim interviewees, the be-turbanned engineer and “Islamic youth advocate” Yassmin Abdel-Magied.
That table setting made pretty pictures for the photographers – and a supposedly reassuring one for Australians afraid of Muslim extremists - but it was a con. A con that fell to pieces within hours.
In fact, none of Turnbull’s most favoured guests at this Muslim religious dinner was a Muslim preacher or holder of any elected position representing other Muslims. None represent Islam as it is preached in this country.
No, the few real preachers were tucked away in other corners of the room. But, despite the heavy vetting of Turnbull’s department, even they turned out to be the kind of people who made a mockery of Turnbull’s desperate claim yesterday that “we are the most successful multicultural society in the world” and “live together in remarkable harmony”.
The media has focussed on one of those preachers
(Read full column here.)   
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Pages from Australia’s surrender document. UPDATE: Shady’s fake denial

Andrew Bolt June 18 2016 (10:46am)

One reason Labor will lose this election is its poor selection of candidates:

Labor’s candidate in the crucial marginal seat of Cowan, Anne Aly, provided a written “offer of support” for radical Islamic preacher Junaid Thorne before he was imprisoned last year for flying under a false name.
But Dr Aly, a Perth-based acad­emic who specialises in deradicalisation, denied yesterday that the letter amounted to a character ­reference for Thorne.
An ALP spokesman said Dr Aly’s submission to the NSW District Court on Thorne’s behalf last year had outlined a range of deterrence proposals aimed at keeping him and his co-accused, Mostafa Shiddiquzzaman, “on the right side of the law"…
Thorne is known for having made a series of provocative statements, including voicing his support for last year’s Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris…
After the shooting of Numan Haider in Melbourne in 2014, Thorne claimed police had provoked the teenager while visiting his home earlier in the day.
He also reportedly called Jews and Christians “filthy rapists” during one of his lectures in 2014.
In August last year, NSW District Court judge Andrew Scotting referred in his written findings to Dr Aly’s letter of support, which was tendered by Thorne in an ­attempt to have his jail term ­reduced. Judge Scotting reduced Thorne’s prison sentence from nine months to eight months…
“Both offenders rely on an offer of support from Associate Professor Anne Aly of Curtin University,” the judge said.
“She has offered each of the ­offenders an opportunity to ­participate in a structured men­tor­ing program that is based at the Curtin University in Perth.”
Our political class still doesn’t fully comprehend - or want to comprehend - the threat Islam poses to a multi-ethnic, multi-faith democracy, and especially one this weak in asserting its values.
UPDATE
More denial, this time - and yet again - by Father Rod Bower, an Anglican priest and apologist for Islam.
This has been a week in which an Islamist slaughtered 49 people at a gay night club, Muslims cheered the deaths on web sites and imams here preached that gays deserve death. And this is a world in which the seven countries with laws punishing homosexual acts with death are Muslim, while the safest countries for gays as predominantly Christian.
Yet how does Bower respond? By once more trashing members of his own faith, vilifying them as somehow the moral equivalent of people wanting to stone and shoot gays. How despicable - and possibly defamatory:
Bower once again strikes me as a man motivated not by love but hate. His actions will also give great comfort and encouragement to radical Muslims, in my opinion, by legitimising their own hatreds and persecution mania.
That makes Bower not only unfair, unreasonable, cruel and illogical, but actually dangerous.
UPDATE
While Bower is vilifying Christians, Muslims preachers double down on gay hatred:
Gay and lesbian people should be put to death or otherwise punished under sharia, according to two imams who share leadership positions with Shady Alsuleiman, the controversial sheik invited to a Ramadan dinner at Kirribilli House by Malcolm Turnbull.
The Australian National Imams Council, of which Sheik ­Alsuleiman is president, has at least three executive members who believe the only punishment for homosexuality is the death penalty, according to Islamic law.
Imam Yusuf Peer, the chairman of the Council of Imams Queensland, who is a member of the national peak body, told The Weekend Australian yesterday that it was “not permissible” to be gay and Muslim.
“But we do not have a problem with the people themselves, just the act and ideology,” Imam Peer said. “But this is what the sharia law says and we have to follow that...”
When asked if sharia ­required death, Imam Peer said: “Yes."…
Extremist Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir’s spokesman Uthman Badar said on Facebook yesterday that Mr Turnbull was condemning the “normative Islam­ic position on homosex­uality” ...
ANIC treasurer Imam Mo­ham­­ed Imraan Husain said that under sharia, penalties applied to all crimes, including adultery and homosexuality. Sometimes zina applied to gay people who had sex outside marriage, attracting lashes or the death penalty…
“Islamic punishments are carried out all around the world, but they do not carry out the punishment until all the prerequisites are met. But if people are raised in Islam, Islam prevents lesbianism and being gay.”
Then there’s that familiar tactic of saying one thing to a Muslim audience and another to non-Muslims:
Responding to the media storm yesterday and Mr Turnbull’s repudiation of his comments, Sheik Alsuleiman said there was no place for homophobia in Australia and he had never called for adulterers to be stoned to death.
“I unequivocally reject the claim that I called for the stoning or any form of punishment of adulterers and/or homosexuals,” he said.
“As an Australian and a Muslim, I unreservedly condemn the vilification and oppression of any group of people based on race, religion, gender, sexuality, or any other criteria for that matter...”
Really? You can watch him here saying this to Muslim audiences:
What’s the most common disease these days? HIV, AIDS, that’s so common and there’s no cure whatsoever. And when did it exist? Decades ago. And more diseases are coming. And most of the diseases these days, if you speak to a doctor, the most terrifying diseases come from what? From sexual activities, where in someone who is not clean sleeping with someone who is clean. Also homosexuality that is spreading all these diseases… These are evil actions that bring evil outcomes to our society....
And remember that if there is an Islamic state the punishment of zina [adultery], the punishment of those who commit zina, if they have never been married before, they will be lashed 100 lashes. And if they are married while they committed zina, or previously been married and divorced, and they committed zina, then their punishment is stoning to death...[I]t’s so big and so humongous that sin that the sharia had laid a penalty down of stoning if those who commit zina had previously been married before.
Stick that on your church notice board, Fr Bower. Or is there some nun you can monster instead?
UPDATE
A frightening round-up of the denialists by Gerard Henderson. Note how many are embedded in the ABC.
UPDATE
A powerful and frank editorial from The Australian, worth reading in full:

Treacherously for our national interest, the Left’s loathing of our Judeo-Christian ethic and liberal democratic heritage has blunted discussion about the grave and pressing dangers posed by Islamist terrorism and the insidious influence of radical leaders of that faith. In trying not to tar all Muslims, unfairly, as extremists, important facts have been widely glossed over in much of the media and in public debate — such as the beliefs of prominent Muslim leaders that homosexuals are “evil” and should be “treated”.
(Thanks to reader Nifty.) 
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The Turnbull clan vilify Abbott again. Why do they still fear him?

Andrew Bolt June 18 2016 (10:32am)

Can you imagine the conversation around Malcolm Turnbull’s dining table?
First this, from Turnbull’s father-in-law:

Malcolm Turnbull’s father-in-law, former attorney-general Tom ­Hughes QC, labelled Tony Abbott a “lunatic” and called the decision to make him leader of the Liberal Party a “folly”.
Now this, from his son-in-law:
FORMER Australian officer and military strategist James Brown has launched a scathing assessment of Tony Abbott’s “chaotic” and misguided approach to military deployments during his term as prime minister.
“Abbott’s stewardship of the ADF presents the clearest case in recent times of a prime minister struggling to grasp the limits of Australian military power,” Mr Brown writes in the just-released Quarterly Essay, “Firing Line”.
Mr Brown ... writes that Mr Abbott had begun plotting “the riskiest of missions”.
The first was a unilateral plan that involved readying special forces to intervene in the kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria by Boko Haram....
When Malaysia Airlines MH17 was downed over the Ukraine in 2014, Mr Abbott considered deploying a battalion of 1000 troops, against the advice of military planners.
“The logic of deploying large numbers of troops into an active war zone alongside the border of a major global military power (Russia) was entirely shaky,” said Mr Brown…
Mr Abbott then began looking at a large deployment to Iraq. Mr Brown says Mr Abbott calculated the best way “to encourage the United States to retain an active role in world affairs was for Australia to lead by example”.
This lead to chaos in Australia’s military institutions as they tried to keep up with Mr Abbott’s desire that Australia step into conflicts on three continents.
Three points:
1. None of those deployments actually occurred after all factors were considered.
2. All deserved consideration. One mission was to rescue 1000 girls, most of whom have been since raped or killed, and most of whom remain captured.  Another was to retrieve the bodies of Australians killed by a Russian missile. The third was to help defeat a global menace, end the slaughter of civilians and encourage a weak US not to leave a dangerous power vacuum - since filled by Russia.
3. Brown’s politics and judgement may be deduced from this:
You know it’s Anzac Day because the Left is wailing - not over the fallen soldiers but because others mourn their sacrifice for this country:
… In his recent book Anzac’s Long Shadow, [former Captain] James Brown speaks of a “discordant, lengthy and exorbitant four-year festival for the dead” that he describes as “a military Halloween”.
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How they mind our gate

Andrew Bolt June 18 2016 (10:17am)

What kind of people is the government letting in that it makes them sign this document?
And what kind of government do we have that thinks this is going to work?

It’s this government:
UPDATE

Reader and lawyer A notes:

This is the document that the Boat Arrivals had to complete prior to release into the community undertaking not to bash, rape or assault us.  I suggest procedure has never been adopted with respect to other groups who have arrived in Australia in the past.  You will also note that the penalty for breaching the NO Rape/No Bash undertaking is that ...."your income support may be reduced...”
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Blathering about the sickness of the West when the real problem is Islam

Andrew Bolt June 18 2016 (9:49am)

No cheating! No clicking this link to Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch Dog for the answer.
But guess who said this in response to the Islamist murder of 49 people at a gay night club:
I feel that what we’re witnessing is the tangible, pointy expression of all of the fault lines and contradictions that run through modernity. And we’ve been dealing with this in all sorts of different ways – on economic matters, on political, on party political matters on the rise of the Trump phenomenon on whatever it might be on the way we respond to terrorism, on the relationship between terrorism and identity politics, all that sort of stuff. We’ve spoken about those things in isolation. But, occasionally, an event occurs that brings it all together in one moment and I feel like this was it.
And if I had to try to explain that – that it would be a lengthy dissertation – but if I tried to do it briefly it would go something like this: That our world is now one that is an increasingly polarised and polarising contest between new frontiers of cosmopolitism on the one hand and quite responsive and symbiotically related frontiers of atavism on the other. And within that lie all of the political narratives that have sustained us through the 20th century that simply don’t work anymore. Narratives like freedom, right, which, you know, expresses its own contradictions in America every time there is a mass shooting. When you see what freedom and a certain conception of freedom ends up looking like – and how an adherence to that kind of ideological idea of freedom prevents you from doing anything about the consequences of it. Where this freedom just kind of ends up consuming itself in a very strange, dark sort of a way.
And at the same time as you have those kind of old narratives going on, I think, you have a world where the ever proliferating notions of identity and self-determination and the celebration of alterities, right. And I suppose you would have to put LGBTQ rights and that kind of civil rights movement in that context with respect to the way society that had operated over the past however many centuries and the narratives that have governed society.
As that happens, as more and more minorities come out and claim their rights – and they’re justified in trying to claim their rights – what you will inevitably get is the response of those who feel like something huge and drastic and epic is being lost. And what is giving way in all of that, Scott, is the centre. And I feel like the centre must give way because we are in a radical time.
We are in a time where the modern world is so at odds with itself, it is so trying to hold together these completely opposing views, these completely opposing vectors, these opposing movements in politics and identity. Societies don’t subsist that way because every now and again you get a reminder of the failure of modern society to subsist under all of these kind of contradictory pressures. I don’t know if I’m explaining myself as well as I feel. To me it feels clear. It’s just very hard to explain it.
Name that author
Jonathan Green
Waleed Aly
Malcolm Turnbull
Elizabeth Farrelly
Helen Razor
David Morrison
1000 monkeys typing on 1000 keyboards for 1000 years

Clue:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Blathering about the sickness of the West when the real problem is Islam'
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TRANSGENDER TILTING

Tim Blair – Thursday, June 18, 2015 (4:43pm)

(The facial hair isn’t genuine, by the way. But the tilt is 100 per cent authentic.)
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EVERYBODY WINS

Tim Blair – Thursday, June 18, 2015 (5:35am)

To celebrate her massive early lead in the 2015 frightbat poll, Gillian Triggs offers a gift to the Australian people: 
Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs has given a public guarantee that she will never run for parliament …
Asked whether Professor Triggs would rule out seeking elected office, her spokesman gave a one-word answer: “Yes.” 
Which may mean that the prestigious frightbat poll is the only election Triggs ever wins – if she can maintain her advantage.
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MOST AGE EDITORS HAVE NO IDEA

Tim Blair – Thursday, June 18, 2015 (3:39am)

The front page of yesterday’s Age shames Australians for their lack of global knowledge:


And so we turn to page seven, where the Age spells Chinese president Xi Jinping’s name incorrectly:

From Chris Poole, who knows his languages. In other Fairfax developments, the usually Labor-friendly dying publisher claims to have explosive news about Bill Shorten: 
Fairfax reporters Royce Millar and Ben Schneiders have dug deep to investigate the Opposition Leader’s past and present, exploring his character, his politics, his allegiances, and the deals that have put him so close to power. The explosive results of that investigation will be revealed over the next four days. 
Let’s hope they get his name right.
UPDATE. The Sydney Morning Herald
The position of Bill Shorten as federal Labor leader is becoming untenable. The latest revelations of his union past published by Fairfax Media on Wednesday afternoon raise further doubts and questions about his suitability as alternative prime minister… 
Curiously, a significant element of Shorten’s leadership grief may be traced to February’s challenge against Tony Abbott.
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Which of these two policies leaves Australians safer?

Andrew Bolt June 18 2015 (2:04pm)

Labor’s shadow attorney-general has stuffed up badly. Is this really Labor’s policy?
KIERAN GILBERT: 
In terms of the merits of this argument where do you stand in terms of seeking a conviction before citizenship is stripped? Do you believe that there needs to be conviction through a court of law whether it be a foreign fighter overseas or in Australia before a Minister should have that discretion?…

MARK DREYFUS:
But a conviction which is what the law presently says before it is looked at by a Minister....
KIERAN GILBERT:
Does that apply to both those convicted of supporting terrorism offshore as well as those here?
MARK DREYFUS:
It should not make any difference at all. We are talking about the potential to strip Australians of their citizenship.
KIERAN GILBERT:
So, someone who is fighting in Al-Raqqah in Syria?
MARK DREYFUS: 
Well, you get them back here. Right? 
In contrast, here is Tony Abbott:
As far as is humanly possible, if they leave this country to fight with a terrorist army overseas, they have committed the modern form of treason. They are not coming back because they have betrayed their Australian citizenship.
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Why did Burke and Dastyari re-enact Labor’s hell?

Andrew Bolt June 18 2015 (10:48am)

Joe Aston is right - what on earth were Dastyari and Burke thinking?:
The Killing Season ... was all anyone wanted to talk about in Canberra on Wednesday morning – with volcanic levels of scorn directed at the sad Labor flogs who lowered themselves to participating in re-enactments. 
After his recent theatrics at the Senate tax inquiry, nobody could be surprised at Sam Dastyari’s performance on a park bench on Melbourne’s Lonsdale Street, holding an iPhone 6 while staging a moment in 2010 when he’d have been fashion-forward to be on an iPhone 3GS…
Frontbencher Tony Burke also decided to strut around for the cameras, dramatising his role as an early henchman in Julia Gillard’s leadership challenge. But sadly, Burke isn’t a minister any more, so he had to act it all out on the tell-tale green carpet of Parliament’s common Reps wing.
James Jeffrey piles on the shaming:
But for many watching Labor’s latest self-disembowelling, it was hard to get past the dramatic re-enactments by Tony Burke, Paul Howes and Sam “Dasher” Dastyari. Not just that they performed them, but the very idea that at some stage they were asked and the thought — “Sure, why not?” — made its lonely but unstoppable passage across their brains. So we had Burke, who discussed his treachery with a striking relish, giving us his walk down the corridor to Gillard’s office (though he says he thought he was just helping them with a bit of stock footage). Then there was Howes on the phone while driving (he may have been going for verisimilitude, but surely the wallopers can take an equally true-to-life approach and book him). Then there was Dastyari, looking like an extra from Australia’s Most Wanted as he relived a chat on his mobile on Melbourne’s Lonsdale Street. 
Correct:
Gillard comes out worst of all. She’s, as yet, impossible to summon a skerrick of sympathy for, still sticking with the implausible line that she was forced into knifing Kevin Rudd by a (what should have been) inconsequential newspaper report. “You don’t make a decision to challenge … a first-term sitting prime minister because an article suggests that the chief of staff is supporting his boss to remain as prime minister”, was the perfect summation of Anthony Albanese. 
When she puts her credibility up against that of Martin Ferguson, both offering different accounts of a conversation about a possible challenge, Gillard loses every time.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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The invasion of Europe: some barricades go up

Andrew Bolt June 18 2015 (9:17am)

Mass movement of illegal immigrants from the Third World is forcing Europe to put up fences and reinstate borders.
In Hungary:
Hungary has vowed to erect a 13ft-high fence along its border with Serbia to block immigrants from crossing into the EU. 
Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto announced the 100-mile barricade, saying that Hungary ‘could not wait any longer’ for a solution to the migration crisis....
So far this year, the number of asylum seekers in Hungary has surged to 54,000, up from under 43,000 in 2014 and 2,150 in 2012.... In an increasingly well-worn path migrants arrive in Greece or Bulgaria from Turkey, trek through Macedonia and Serbia, which is not an EU member, into Hungary. 
Once in Hungary, which is an EU member state, migrants can easily move into other Schengen group countries and onwards into northern Europe.
In France:
Police on Italy’s border with France have forcibly removed about a hundred migrants who were stranded in the Italian city of Ventimiglia and denied entry into France, escalating tensions between the two countries over the free movement of migrants to northern Europe… 
Some of the migrants – who are mostly from Sudan and Eritrea – were resisting police and trying to hang on to signposts in their desperate attempt to make their way across the border, according to media reports… France closed the border to the migrants amid accusations that Italy was not properly processing the refugees. The French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, said 6,000 migrants had been returned to Italy so far. 
France again:
The French government said on Wednesday it would create 11,000 places to house refugees and asylum seekers as the number of people living in illegal migrant camps swells. 
Such camps have grown rapidly in France as Europe has struggled to cope with an influx of migrants this year streaming in through Greece and Italy.
In Greece:
Tension broke between migrants at the port of Mytilene, Greece, on Wednesday morning, June 17, due to the suffocating situation on the island. 
The incident occurred when two migrant groups started a brawl that caused several injuries, with about 10 people taken to the local hospital… Eventually, the situation got completely out of control, with migrants surrounding the Greek Coast Guard offices and trapping officers inside…
After the episodes, around 1,000 immigrants protested holding placards and shouting slogans…
Mytilene is one of the many Greek islands receiving thousands of illegal migrants from the Turkish coast.... As a result, a large number of migrants are forced to live on the streets or even camp out at the port. 
Just a few days ago, two ferries transferred some 2,000 migrants from Mitilene to Piraeus. Upon their arrival, the migrants were left to fend for themselves and eventually ended up in downtown Athens, where they remained awaiting State help. 
In Britain:
Police have referred 26 suspects to the immigration services after they were found in the back of a French lorry on a British road. 
The men, aged between 13 and 49, included 12 from Afghanistan, two from Kuwait, eight from Syria, three from Iran and one from Pakistan.
(Thanks to reader the evil right.) 
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The week that killed Bill Shorten

Andrew Bolt June 18 2015 (8:26am)

 THIS was the week Bill Shorten blew it. I doubt the Opposition Leader can recover from this humiliation.
In just one week Shorten has been exposed as unreliable and clueless on policy and tactics.
Worse, the public is on to him, with Newspoll on Monday showing his popularity falling to a record low of 28 per cent. It may well fall further. Consider the latest blows.
On Sunday, Shorten claimed to be outraged by reports that the Abbott Government paid the crew of a boat of illegal immigrants $40,000 to sail back to Indonesia — reports the Prime Minister refused to confirm or deny. “People smugglers should be in prison, not on the Government’s payroll,” Shorten raged. “Tony Abbott must tell Australians once and for all what on Earth is going on here.”
On Monday, Shorten devoted all Question Time to demanding the Government come clean about a payment he claimed was “providing a cash incentive for these dangerous voyages”. From the start this was a kamikaze attack.
(Read full column here.) 
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The one-world-government conspiracy theory is real. Listen to these warmists

Andrew Bolt June 18 2015 (8:20am)

 I’M not into conspiracy theories — all that winking about fluoride, Jews and the September 11 inside job.

So normally I’d have laughed as the Greens did when former ABC chairman Maurice Newman last month warned that global warming was a cloak for some crazies who resented democracy and believed in a “new world order”. Nuts, right?
But then comes Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, climate adviser to the Pope, and one of the three men who will today present this activist Pope’s encyclical on the environment.
Schellnhuber, a professor at Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, is a warming alarmist with a dream: a “sophisticated — and therefore more appropriate — version of the conventional ‘world government’ notion”.
(Read full article here.) 
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Shorten faces new questions over $300,000 donation. ACTU goes silent

Andrew Bolt June 18 2015 (8:10am)

Worse and worse for Shorten:
One of Australia’s biggest builders paid Bill Shorten’s union nearly $300,000after he struck a workplace deal that cut conditions and saved the company as much as $100 million on a major Melbourne road project.
A Fairfax Media investigation has uncovered large payments from joint venture builder Thiess John Holland to the Australian Workers Union when Mr Shorten, now opposition leader, ran the union.

The payments started soon after work began on the $2.5 billion East Link tollway in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs in 2005.

Fairfax Media understands that, at the time, Thiess John Holland regarded the payment as an acknowledgment of the flexibility of the AWU deal, which was struck by Mr Shorten.
It’s unclear what the union used the money for. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has previously accused the AWU of running a “business model” whose purpose was “ripping off workers to advance its own political position”.
The deal was hugely favourable to the builder, allowing it to effectively work around the clock by reducing conditions around rostering and weekend work, helping the project finish five months early....
The payment was part of more than $1 million of largely unexplained employer cash flowing into the AWU’s Victorian branch between January 2004 and late 2007, when Mr Shorten was either state or federal secretary.
These include almost $200,000 from cardboard manufacturer Visy industries, which at the time was run by Shorten’s billionaire friend Richard Pratt, almost $100,000 from aluminum giant Alcoa, and $300,000 from chemical giant Huntsman…
Huntsman denied any improper payments had been made and said from 2004 it paid the AWU for an on-site “workplace change facilitator”, whose role was to balance the “needs of the unionised workforce and the company”.
John Holland declined to comment…
Other internal AWU documents, including bank and accounting records, list some of the payments as being for “training” but several large amounts are listed as “service” with “???” beside the entries. Total payments from the construction company into the AWU’s state branch bank account under Mr Shorten and his successor Cesar Melhem were $282,308. Another $16,500 was paid into the union’s national branch account. 
And is Ged Kearney, president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, looking after workers or looking after Labor?
Asked on ABC Radio National Breakfast this morning to comment on the possibility of workers being sold out by the AWU, she said: “I don’t really want to make a comment on that.”
Not a wise answer when the issue now being probed by the royal commission is whether unions operated for the benefit of workers or for union officials with an eye to political advancement. 
===

Labor: the Left rises, just when the Right must get its way

Andrew Bolt June 18 2015 (7:54am)

This is dangerous for Labor, given how crippled the party is by its policies to bring back another kind of carbon tax, keep spending recklessly and ban turning back the boats:
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s right-wing faction has lost control of Labor’s national conference for the first time since 1979, opening the way for a big push on traditionally left-wing issues such as party reform, same-sex marriage, tax, asylum seekers and trade. 
Internal party numbers obtained by Fairfax Media show that neither the major Right or Left factions will have a majority of the 397 delegates to the triennial conference, which is being held next month in Melbourne.

The loss of his faction’s control of the ALP federally is an additional stress for Mr Shorten, who is experiencing declining popularity, a resurgent government, and a $61 million royal commission probing his past as a union leader. 
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Left and conservatives alike, newspapers drop Bill Shorten

Andrew Bolt June 18 2015 (7:50am)

Tony Abbott is close to deposing his third Labor leader.
The Sydney Morning Herald:
The position of Bill Shorten as federal Labor leader is becoming untenable. The latest revelations of his union past published by Fairfax Media on Wednesday afternoon raise further doubts and questions about his suitability as alternative prime minister… 
As long as the Australian Workers Union stain lingers and/or grows, Labor cannot hope to win an election ...
Despite his claims to have zero tolerance of corruption in Labor, Mr Shorten has done too little to reform the party structure, which delivers unions like the AWU disproportionate influence and operates on dirty factional deals. 
Mr Shorten could shrug some of this off if voters had warmed to him. While the Labor leader in person is a smart and charismatic man with good ideas, he remains approved by only 41 per cent of voters, the Fairfax-Ipsos poll says. The latest revelations over his AWU past also came a day after he had been caught out playing bad politics, as the Greens and the government compromised on pension reform.
The Australian:
Bill Shorten has had an unfortunate week, exposing weaknesses and errors of judgment that already have many speculating about how events will unfold between now and the next killing season, just before Christmas. 
Mr Shorten announced 2015 as his year of ideas but, almost six months in, he is yet to articulate a significant policy initiative. He hasn’t even attempted to deal with the policy legacies that saw Labor suffer its worst election defeat in almost a century: climate policy and the carbon tax; border security and the asylum-seeker chaos; and fiscal policy that promised surpluses but delivered record deficits. This must be seen as reckless indolence by Mr Shorten.
Last week the Trade Union Royal Commission raised questions about his former AWU role in taking payments directly from companies....
Guided by Tony Burke (one of three failed immigration ministers in ALP ranks), the opposition this week attacked the Coalition over allegations of bribes to turn back people-smuggling boats. Given Labor’s appalling record of softening the border protection regime (more than 50,000 asylum-seekers, 800 boats, detention centres in every state and 1200 drownings) it looked like leading with the chin. When Labor could not rule out cash being paid on its watch, the backfire was spectacular....
Opposing pension reforms was an attempt to do that but it was another grave error… Labor is left looking less relevant and less responsible than the party of Sarah Hanson-Young. Extraordinary. 
Then, as a cavalcade of Labor MPs paraded their duplicity before ABC cameras for The Killing Season, ... we were told that Mr Shorten could be trusted by no one. 
UPDATE
As I say in my column, Shorten blundered badly by not backing the Government’s move to strip the pension from millionaires - people who own their own home plus $1 million in other assets.
Dennis Shanahan says Shorten was in the minority in making this call:
On Monday evening, at shadow cabinet, Shorten presided over a heated debate on pension changes, eventually siding with his deputy, Tanya Plibersek, and Labor’s families spokeswoman, Jenny Macklin, in a minority decision to oppose the government’s budget changes.
The others were absolutely right:
Mr Shorten and Labor families spokeswoman Jenny Macklin prevailed in the shadow cabinet debate over the policy, but there are fears within the caucus that the outcome will damage the opposition’s credibility on budget repair — a central issue at the next election. 
And it led the next day to this humiliating press conference:
JOURNALIST: News last night that the Greens will vote with the Government to get the pension changes through, what does that say for you about this relationship? 
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Well I’m really concerned that the Greens have had the wool pulled over their eyes....
JOURNALIST: You announced your counter offer yesterday, had you taken that to the Greens as yet?
SHORTEN: Well we had no idea the Greens were going to do a dirty deal and be conned by Mr Abbott.
UPDATE
Paul Sheehan:
To fully appreciate why Bill Shorten’s approval numbers have sunk to Gillardesque levels in the polls, and why his opposition has had an appalling week on national security, it pays to remember four things. 
One, the previous Labor government was caught spying on the wife of the Indonesian president.
Two, in 2014, Tony Abbott took a bullet for Labor after the Edward Snowden spying leaks. He refused to divulge operational security measures. He loyally, and I think misguidedly, failed to turn an embarrassment into a winning hand by saying his government was not responsible and would not do such a thing.
Three, Labor blew $10 billion on border security costs in five years, turning a solution into a problem, losing control of the process, incarcerating almost 2000 children and opening a dozen detention centres…
Four, under Labor the cost of the processing asylum-seekers arriving by boat became so large that it translated into about $200,000 for every one who arrived in Australia, and the majority remain on welfare years later, so the cost runs on… 
This week, Shorten repaid Abbott’s discretion over the spying controversy by complaining about a lack of bipartisanship and about the public’s right to know how its security dollars are spent. The hypocrisy is brazen.  
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Why can’t we have the discussion on “race” that Americans can?

Andrew Bolt June 18 2015 (7:02am)

The US, where free speech is guaranteed, can have this “national discussion” - and even have it reported by Fairfax. But Australians can not have a similar discussion about the issue here, given the absurd reach of the Racial Discrimination Act, which makes it unlawful to merely “offend” and “insult”:
Rachel Dolezal has sparked a national conversation around some of the most sensitive issues in American life today - race, gender, identity and cultural inheritance.... 
Dolezal, 37, resigned on Monday as president of the Spokane, Washington, NAACP chapter amid revelations that she is a white woman posing as black…
On Tuesday, Dolezal appeared on the Today show in New York. She said she started identifying as black around age 5, when she drew self-portraits with a brown crayon, and “takes exception” to the contention that she tried to deceive people. Asked by Matt Lauer if she is an “an African-American woman,” Dolezal said: “I identify as black."… 
Dolezal’s case highlights Americans’ conflicting sentiments about the country’s increasingly multicultural population and about who gets to decide what race people identify with.... But in interviews and Twitter hashtags, Dolezal has become the face of “transracial” — what, for many, is a new adjective on the battlefield of identity politics.
UPDATE
How funny:
Remember the furor back in 2014 over the casting of white actors to play ancient Egyptians in the movie Exodus: Gods and Kings? Well one activist who called for a boycott of the film was none other than Rachel Dolezal, the former Spokane NAACP official who was revealed last week to have been a white woman lying about being black. 
Dolezal made the comments during an interview with local Spokane radio station KYRS.
“You have white, European actors playing North African historical figures, like they were in the ‘30s and the ‘40s,” complained host Taylor Weech.
“A lot of people might go to the film. Hopefully nobody goes to that film,” Dolezal said. “We need to boycott that film from my perspective…”
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How do you make your content go viral online? Start with writing better headlines: http://bit.ly/1FHBvtR
Posted by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing on Wednesday, 17 June 2015
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Australian Labor Party Leader Bill Shorten MP has asked to appear earlier at the Royal Commission into trade unions.
Posted by Latika M Bourke on Wednesday, 17 June 2015
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Stay positive! Your hard work will pay off.
Posted by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing on Monday, 15 June 2015
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Shorten smeared me: whistleblower claim

Andrew Bolt June 18 2014 (2:10pm)

Bill Shorten accused again:
HEALTH Services Union whistleblower Kathy Jackson has accused Bill Shorten of being part of a Labor Party campaign to smear her with a “dirt file” in the media after she exposed corruption.

Ms Jackson told the royal commission into union corruption today that deliberate “smears” by the now federal Labor leader and others started after she went to police with corruption allegations in late 2011 involving the now jailed former HSU boss Michael Williamson. 

The union whistleblower, whose exposure of Williamson and fellow former HSU leader Craig Thomson led to their conviction for fraud, claimed the ALP and senior figures in the union movement engaged in a cover-up to make corruption allegations go away....
Asked by counsel assisting the commission Jeremy Stoljar SC about calls she started receiving from journalists after making claims on the ABC’s Lateline program and going to police, Ms Jackson said the calls had continued for three years to the present…
Ms Jackson alleged that journalists would tell her that they had a “dirt file” on her, and she would spend days defending herself. “Compliant journalists” would then write damaging articles about her she said.
“These articles were placed not only by Michael Williamson but Sussex Street (the ALP’s headquarters in Sydney). And when I talk Sussex Street, I mean the ALP. People like Bill Shorten etc.” 
The Australian today sought comment from Mr Shorten’s office, and was awaiting a reply from his spokesman.
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Obama and Biden claimed victory in Iraq. But now it’s Bush’s fault

Andrew Bolt June 18 2014 (8:12am)

Barack Obama and his vice president, Joe Biden, claimed Iraq as their victory.
Biden in 2010:

I am very optimistic about—about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.
Obama in December, 2011:
 We’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq with a representative government that was elected by its people. We’re building a new partnership between our nations. And we are ending a war, not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home. This is an extraordinary achievement, nearly nine years in the making.
But now that it’s clear they pulled out too soon and lost the gains won, it is all George Bush’s fault, of course. 
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Ray Evans, pilgrim

Andrew Bolt June 18 2014 (6:29am)


A very fine man has died.

Ray Evans was actually president of the Melbourne University ALP Club and a youthful Federated Fodder and Fuel Trades Union delegate but became one of the country’s leading conservative intellectuals.
Ray trained as an engineer and taught electrical engineering at Deakin before joining Western Mining. He worked with Western Mining boss Hugh Morgan to advocate for the deregulatory policies which have been so critical to our economic growth.

In 1986, Ray co-founded and led the H R Nicholls Society (with Peter Costello), which was hugely effective in pushing for labor market reform. He was later a founder of the Lavoisier Group, one of the earliest centres of resistance anywhere to the global warming alarmism then rampant. Ray, a Christian and student of history and ideological fashions, had global warming pegged from the start as a new faith - and one that threatened not just our prosperity but our freedom and our reason.
He was tireless in advancing freedom and reason against all modern collectivist myths and New Age dreamings. He was one of the forces - with great mate John Stone - behind the Samuel Griffith Society as well as the Bennelong Society, which was critical in dragging political attention to the open wounds of domestic violence and child abuse in Aboriginal communities, so long ignored or hushed up by the Left and the then Aboriginal political aristocracy.
I admired Ray for his wisdom, sound instincts, courage, indomitable cheerfulness and deep cultural and historical knowledge. Nothing in human affairs was new to him. It was all set in the long history of humankind - a history he well knew - which enabled Ray to instantly spot old frauds in new clothes.
Ray loved John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, and this year quoted it at me to get me out of a hole and back on the ramparts - which he’d never deserted.
I treasure what he wrote and treasure the man who wrote it:
Dear Andrew 
‘Who would true valour see, Let him come hither; One here will constant be, Come wind, come weather’
There’s no discouragement; will make him once relent; His first avowed intent; to be a pilgrim.
Who so beset him round, with dismal stories; Do but themselves confound, His strength the more is.
No lion can him fright, he’ll with a giant fight; But he will have a right, to be a pilgrim.

Hobgoblin nor foul fiend, can daunt his spirit; He knows he at the end, shall life inherit.
Then fancies fly away, he’ll fear not what men say; He’ll labour night and day, to be a pilgrim.
John Bunyan was a tinker and spent 12 years in jail for refusing to give up preaching without a licence. He wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress in prison. He is one of the great pioneers of freedom of speech and the freedom to dissent from religious authorities of whatever kind.  We are hugely indebted to him. I used him in my eulogy for Bert Kelly.

Best wishes
Ray 
And we are indebted in turn to Ray, a pilgrim for truth.
My deep sympathies to Jill.
UPDATE
Ray would never have missed an opportunity like this to argue. And so here is his pamphlet, Nine Facts About Climate Change, written in 2006:
UPDATE
From John Stone, who co-founded the HR Nicholls Society:
On 30 April, 1985 the Committee of Review of Australian Industrial Relations (the Hancock Committee) delivered its Report, and shortly thereafter Ray Evans, whom I had never previously met, got in touch with me. Along with Peter Costello and Barry Purvis, we formed the HR Nicholls Society.

The central proposal of the Hancock Report was to establish a new so-called Labour Court, to transfer to that trumped-up body all cases in the industrial relations jurisdiction, and to staff it with members of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission.

It was this monster that the Society, led by Ray, set out (successfully) to confront.

In 1989 Ray assumed the Presidency of the Society, and held that post for an extraordinary 21 years.

The Charles Copeman Medal, which was awarded to Ray at the end of that time, is awarded for distinguished service in the cause of industrial relations, but Ray’s service to the public good ranged much more widely than industrial relations. I mention only his major roles in The Samuel Griffith Society, The Galatians Group, The Lavoisier Group and The Bennelong Society to indicate the variety, and the institutional significance, of his interests and the remarkable contribution he made to public policy debate in Australia.

Ray was however much more than a public intellectual. He was first and foremost a man – possessed of all those manly virtues of which one of his heroes, Margaret Thatcher, spoke.

He was widely read, and his writings were steeped in the imagery of the King James Bible, the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, The Pilgrims Progress, and other great parts of the literary canon. Always “valiant for the truth”, it was appropriate that when the Charles Copeman Medal was bestowed upon him, the citation inscribed thereon read as follows:

“RAY EVANS: In recognition of his unparalleled contribution to public policy discourse in Australia, including (but not confined to) his central part in the formation of the HR Nicholls Society and its role throughout the 25 years of its existence. A rock of constancy in a sea of corporate cowardice, he has always placed principle above personal advancement. A steadfast friend and an honourable opponent, he is epitomized in John Bunyan’s everlasting words: ‘Who would true valour see,/Let him come hither;/One here will constant be,/Come wind, come weather’”.

As we mourn a dear friend and great companion, our hearts go out to Jill and his children.

John Stone
From Adam Bisits, president of the HR Nicholls Society:
Through the HR Nicholls Society Ray Evans was the champion of freedom of employment. Ray was the well read academic, the engineer, the mining company executive, the man of faith. He was a most considerate and kind president of the society. For a quarter century and using these talents Ray directed Australia to freer and thus more prosperous and fulfilling employment relations. With all members of the society I offer Jill and his children our sincere condolences.
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Fish killed by cold water the CSIRO said would be warm

Andrew Bolt June 18 2014 (6:06am)

Global warming - dud predictions

2012 - warm seas will affect fish:
The CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) says climate change is having a big impact on the country’s oceans, with tropical fish turning up as far south as Tasmania.
2014 - cold seas kill fish:
Cold Antarctic water probable cause of dead fish washed up on Ninety Mile Beach, EPA says ... [with] beachgoers identifying mainly the leather jacket species and also trevally. The fish prefer warmer waters. 
Large numbers of dead fish have also washed up on Tasmania’s east coast.
Both reports from the ABC, which fails to note CSIRO’s dud prediction.
(Thanks to reader handjive.) 
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All that Labor and the Greens will pass are tax rises

Andrew Bolt June 18 2014 (5:48am)

Is this opposing or sabotaging?:
The Abbott government’s strategy to convince the states to lead a nation-building infrastructure splurge faces defeat or substantial change in the Senate.
The Australian Greens and the Palmer United Party are set to oppose the legislation on the basis they are against privatisation, while Labor will insist on changes that will give either house of federal Parliament a veto on the types of assets the states can sell.
The positions throw into doubt the measure which the government hopes will encourage the states to privatise up to $40 billion in assets and spend the money on productivity-building infrastructure to help stimulate the economy as the mining boom tapers off.
It threatens to torpedo the NSW budget published on Tuesday, which forecasts earning $13 billion from privatising its electricity distribution networks and $1.9 billion from the federal government’s infrastructure scheme. 
The development provides a fresh headache for the Abbott government, which is unable to implement more than half of the $37 billion in cuts and revenue increases in the May budget… These include a $2.6 billion freeze on the indexation of family tax benefits, lifting interests payments and the repayment threshold for higher education fees, worth $3.2 billion, and denying people under 30 the dole for six months, worth $2.1 billion.
Labor blew the Budget and is now blowing up the repairs.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Big Nanny smoked out

Andrew Bolt June 18 2014 (5:33am)

Henry Ergas says Big Nanny just left us with big costs:
NOT every nanny encourages her charges to take up alcohol and tobacco. But then again, not every health minister is like Nicola Roxon… 
Plain packaging, she boasted, would “reduce the consumption of ­tobacco by about 6 per cent and reduce the number of smokers by 2 to 3 per cent”.
In fact, Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows tobacco consumption increased by 2.5 per cent in volume terms in the year immediately after the introduction of plain packaging.
True, there was a large fall in this year’s March quarter; but even putting aside the notorious unreliability of quarterly data, tobacco taxes rose 12.5 per cent in December 2013, reducing consumption in the short run, much as tax hikes have in the past.
Of course, some of the growth in expenditure on tobacco leading up to the tax rise may have been due to wholesalers stocking up before prices increased. But while consumption rose in December, the rise was not unusually marked, as would normally happen with stockpiling. The stockpiling explanation is therefore unconvincing…
And before plain packaging there was the alcopops tax. It did reduce consumption: but at the expense of an offsetting switch to beer and spirits. To make matters worse, the tax may have led young people to cut back on small scale alcopops purchases, instead saving up for more harmful binges. 
Chris Merritt on the ABC’s attempts to discredit an earlier report on Roxon’s failure
THE ABC’s Media Watch has ­declined to explain why it sought to defend the effectiveness of the Gillard government’s plain-packaging laws for tobacco by ­relying on analysis by two of the Gillard government’s advisers.
Based on the views of those ­advisers, Media Watch concluded on Monday that The Australian was wrong when it reported plain-packaging laws had led to an increase in cigarette consumption.
The political involvement of one of these advisers, Mike Daube, was disclosed by Media Watch while the other, Stephen Kouk­oulas, was described only as a well-known economist.
Professor Daube had chaired a government panel that favoured plain-packaging laws while Mr Koukoulas had been Julia Gillard’s senior economics adviser.
Media Watch executive producer Tim Latham declined to say whether he knew Mr Koukoulas had been on Ms Gillard’s staff and instead issued a statement describing him as a well-respected economist whose conclusions were supported by figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Mr Latham declined to explain why Media Watch had selectively quoted from a tobacco industry statement in a way that excluded material that supports The Australian’s report cigarette sales were rising despite the plain-packaging laws… 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Holly Sarah Nguyen
"Little things we give away surely come back to us some other day, because GOD never forgets to give rewards for those who share their unselfish hearts.
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WHAT THE MEDIA DON'T TELL YOU...LIVE FROM ISTANBUL: Today, after the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's extremely sectarian, separatist, and fictitious speech in Ankara, around 9 PM, the Turkish police began to attack thousands of people who were at the Gezi Park and Taksim square, having dinner. There are children under 4-5 years old, mothers, and old people, among those who were under gas and pressurized water attack. According to reports, police doesn't allow journalists to report or to take pictures from Gezi Park. They are also attacking with pressurized water businesses such as famous Divan Hotel... that opened its doors to protesters, running away from brutality. People are saying, there are thousands of wounded inside of the hotel. People formed a human chain in front of the hotel to prevent police to attack. Another report says that people cannot leave the hotel because police are arresting whoever leaves. There are also unconfirmed reports that police shut down the metro and boats between Asia and Europe to stop people coming and joining the rest. Another report says that there is a jammer in the area to prevent TV stations' broadcast. There are hundreds of wounded. There are a lot of missing children, or children who are separated from their families. Protesters are fighting with police.
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Why would they do such a thing? To read left wing newspapers? - ed
“We are raising a generation of young Americans who are historically illiterate.” Historian David McCullough
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Bigots .. never give them a chance .. they can beg to 'prove themselves' but once they show themselves .. they don't change. - ed
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I know it. The budget is responsible. For 16 years we missed those. No money being tossed on bad policy, this builds NSW and allows growth. I applaud it. - ed
Today in question time, the NSW Oppositon did not ask any questions about the budget. I guess they know the Libs did a good job
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duplication is ok. It happens throughout school and after. For example Algebra in Australia is introduced in year 7 and broadened through year 12 .. but it is still Algebra. I have tutored people at university and note that individual courses introduce Algebra again .. from about a year 9 level. The university has, at a department level, ascertained that that addresses their student needs in the curricula. Nothing sinister in that. It is more efficient than blocking students from progressing on pre-requisites. - ed
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Alfred Russel Wallace
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“Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the LORD. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” Psalm 68:4-5 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Help, Lord."
Psalm 12:1
The prayer itself is remarkable, for it is short, but seasonable, sententious, and suggestive. David mourned the fewness of faithful men, and therefore lifted up his heart in supplication--when the creature failed, he flew to the Creator. He evidently felt his own weakness, or he would not have cried for help; but at the same time he intended honestly to exert himself for the cause of truth, for the word "help" is inapplicable where we ourselves do nothing. There is much of directness, clearness of perception, and distinctness of utterance in this petition of two words; much more, indeed, than in the long rambling outpourings of certain professors. The Psalmist runs straight-forward to his God, with a well-considered prayer; he knows what he is seeking, and where to seek it. Lord, teach us to pray in the same blessed manner.
The occasions for the use of this prayer are frequent. In providential afflictions how suitable it is for tried believers who find all helpers failing them. Students, in doctrinal difficulties, may often obtain aid by lifting up this cry of "Help, Lord," to the Holy Spirit, the great Teacher. Spiritual warriors in inward conflicts may send to the throne for reinforcements, and this will be a model for their request. Workers in heavenly labour may thus obtain grace in time of need. Seeking sinners, in doubts and alarms, may offer up the same weighty supplication; in fact, in all these cases, times, and places, this will serve the turn of needy souls. "Help, Lord," will suit us living and dying, suffering or labouring, rejoicing or sorrowing. In him our help is found, let us not be slack to cry to him.
The answer to the prayer is certain, if it be sincerely offered through Jesus. The Lord's character assures us that he will not leave his people; his relationship as Father and Husband guarantee us his aid; his gift of Jesus is a pledge of every good thing; and his sure promise stands, "Fear not, I will help thee."

Evening

"Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it."
Numbers 21:17
Famous was the well of Beer in the wilderness, because it was the subject of a promise: "That is the well whereof the Lord spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water." The people needed water, and it was promised by their gracious God. We need fresh supplies of heavenly grace, and in the covenant the Lord has pledged himself to give all we require. The well next became the cause of a song. Before the water gushed forth, cheerful faith prompted the people to sing; and as they saw the crystal fount bubbling up, the music grew yet more joyous. In like manner, we who believe the promise of God should rejoice in the prospect of divine revivals in our souls, and as we experience them our holy joy should overflow. Are we thirsting? Let us not murmur, but sing. Spiritual thirst is bitter to bear, but we need not bear it--the promise indicates a well; let us be of good heart, and look for it. Moreover, the well was the centre of prayer. "Spring up, O well." What God has engaged to give, we must enquire after, or we manifest that we have neither desire nor faith. This evening let us ask that the Scripture we have read, and our devotional exercises, may not be an empty formality, but a channel of grace to our souls. O that God the Holy Spirit would work in us with all his mighty power, filling us with all the fulness of God. Lastly, the well was the object of effort. "The nobles of the people digged it with their staves." The Lord would have us active in obtaining grace. Our staves are ill adapted for digging in the sand, but we must use them to the utmost of our ability. Prayer must not be neglected; the assembling of ourselves together must not be forsaken; ordinances must not be slighted. The Lord will give us his peace most plenteously, but not in a way of idleness. Let us, then, bestir ourselves to seek him in whom are all our fresh springs.
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Jehonathan

[Jēhŏn'a thanjehovah hath given. In the R. V. the English form of this name is given twice as Jonathan.
  1. Son of Uzziah and an official appointed by David to have charge over royal treasures (1 Chron. 27:25).
  2. A Levite sent by Jehoshaphat to teach the people (2 Chron. 17:8).
  3. A priest and head of his father's house of Shemaiah in the days of the high priest Joiakim ( Neh. 12:18). Called Jonathan in Nehemiah 12:35.
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Today's reading: Nehemiah 8-9, Acts 3 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Nehemiah 8-9

1 ...all the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded for Israel.
2 So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. 3 He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law....


Today's New Testament reading: Acts 3


Peter Heals a Lame Beggar
1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer-at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them....
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