Thursday, October 06, 2016

Thu Oct 6th Todays News

Last year Turnbull began claiming credit for Abbott's policies. He has not contributed anything worthwhile. He has not communicated better. Every single key performance indicator Turnbull used to reason why he needed to back stab Abbott and seize the PM's position shows Turnbull is a failure.

In the United States, Hillary is campaigning to be a failure too. She might still win, but she is offering nothing worthwhile. Unless one accepts the theory Hillary is running to lose so that the Democrats can claim they have learned their lesson and don't need to reform after the election. Maybe I am wrong, and maybe Hillary really wants to be the Presidential doormat. She is not campaigning to make America great again.
=== from 2015 ===
The Amazon Author Page for David Ball was completed today. 7 books that are on kindle are listed there. It shows the various prices. As well as links to Twitter, this Blog, a video introducing me and a short, very incomplete, biography. Soon, all 13 books will be available. They are already published, but they aren't all on Kindle. Yet. 

Malcolm Turnbull is showing the form which got him PM. He is releasing many proofs of good governance which Abbott had prepared. Illustrating that had Turnbull not knifed Abbott when he had, he would not have had justification. But there is more. Turnbull has some bad ideas. The distraction of a Republic and new taxes which aren't needed when there is a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Turnbull promised better communication, when that had not been an Abbott problem. It can be fixed by Turnbull if he can get important legislation passed. He might be needing to throw up chaff to please the likes of Lambie. That would explain why someone allegedly so smart would be apparently so stupid. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility.
From 2014
Islamo Fascist Terror issues
Obama and Biden bicker over whom to arm in Syria. They need troops on the ground for airstrikes to be effective. But they are being dishonest to the voters who put them in office. The reason why they need to have boots on the ground is to avoid hitting innocent parties. There are many such in Syria, but not as many as there should be. The enemies of good people in Syria have been supported for a long time, and any good person has been removed from power. There is a local government that could advise the US as to what useful action could be, but Obama does not like Israel. Meanwhile four more beheadings by Islamo Fascists, but not ISIL, have been perpetrated recently. The myth of Islamic murder is embraced by terrorists keen to scare all opposition. But it also galvanises opposition. Including idiots like the Australian Defence League (ADL) who also call themselves the Australian Tea Party. The ADL have allegedly called notable Islamic peoples, unrelated to terrorism, and threatened their lives, by threatening to behead them. The issue of terrorism in Australia was exposed by eleven terrorist wannabes having been stopped at an Australian airport. A twelfth alleged terrorist was stopped in Saudi Arabia and flown back. Naturally this disturbs those who support terrorism in Australia, and so a valiant attempt to legitimise terrorism is to say "Terrorism is to Islam as the KKK is to Christians." It is an effective way at spitting at Christians, but just as with the Nazi analogy, it fails too. Christian leaders don't embrace the KKK, but Islamic leaders embrace terrorist values. 

Australian issues
Thin budget cuts are not enough. The ALP have racked up a lot of debt and have spent on more. It is unaffordable to stand still. At the moment, Palmer United Party are joined with Greens and ALP in preventing needed reform. One of the architects of the debt is former PM Julia Gillard. She claimed she spent big for social justice. Many people of celebrity status, like Gillard give their time for free on social justice issues. Gillard has said she would help on a social justice issue, for a fee. Gillard claims she was hampered by misogynists who wouldn't let her succeed. Meanwhile writer Birmingham targets Mr Abbott, writing of his appearance in Speedos and claiming Mr Abbott is pushing his genitals into everyone, including voters. Birmingham hates Mr Abbott, and no other writer has written of Gillard in the same way. Yet Mr Abbott endures, while Gillard whinges. The fact is Gillard was not fit to be PM. Gillard was supported by the ABC in office. It is telling to hear the ABC now on other issues. Tonight, ABC news presented an item on Big Australia discussing global warming in context of a growing population. And the presenter finished it by suggesting Australia needs to find world's best practice for dealing with large populations, like, for example Cuba. Only one example was given. What could Australia learn from Communist Cuba? ABC needs to say more explicitly what it suggests. 
From 2013
It is hard to know what is worse for Seagull supporters in ARL .. losing a 2012 semifinal, or the 2013 Grand Final .. each game was theirs to win. The Manly supporters are known as Sea Eagles, so they might never forgive me for asking. There is a lot of that going around. In the space of five minutes at 4:30 PM at Cabramatta station, near Broomfield st exit, I was assaulted twice, tonight. I don't blame daylight savings, although considering the hour and it is a long weekend just before the grand final of the ARL, feelings would be high. Neither assault was vicious like a glassing, but both leave a sour taste.

The first assault was as I left the train and waited for an elevator. There was a family waiting already, so  I maneuvered to allow them first right of entry, but a large middle aged woman tried to shoulder me aside. I would have none of it, and easily slipped in and moved to the back to allow others on, which nobody else does .. even the young family crowded the entrance to be first off too. One of the reasons I lie to be first on is to set the example of standing at the back. The woman was unhappy she lost her attempt to horn in, and hit my backpack and told me loudly she didn't appreciate not being able to push aside a fat man (I'm paraphrasing as she wasn't that polite). She then went to the next elevator .. and I took the steps.

At the bottom of the steps, a young man was on a bicycle. I paid him no attention, and pushed the crossing button and waited for the light to turn green. The boy stopped riding the bike and said from behind me "Do you remember me you fucking pedophile arsehole?" "No" I truthfully answered. "You taught at my fucking school you fucking pedophile bastard." "What school was that?" "Canley Vale. Don't you fucking remember me?" He spits at me, saliva landing on my pants. He is shaping to fight. I cross the street. "Aaron Herbert?" "Yeah that's me you fucking peddo what is your fat fucking name?"

I kept an eye out behind me as I walked down the street to my church for an afternoon prayer meeting. I don't know if it was Aaron. Aaron was in year 8 circa 2005 when I knew him. He had behavioural issues that were off the chart and my Head Teacher, Helen Best, was undermining me. If I sent a student to her who was misbehaving in class, she would make it worse. So I stopped referring students to her. She couldn't place Aaron in any other class, and couldn't have him in her class. So she placed Aaron in my class with strict instructions to refer him to her for any misbehaviour. Aaron got sent to her after he observed to the class that my breasts were large and I required a bra. It made Helen Giggle. But he escalated his behaviour following that referral and it became sexualised. I have never done anything to be abused by him in that way as he accosted me. He was suspended from school, sent to a specialist behavioural management unit until he could legally not go to school. I saw him again circa 2007 after he left school at the same elevator I'd been accosted at by the large woman earlier this evening. He called me a pedophile then too. So I asked Helen Best (in 2007) why it was that he would call that out to me, and she shrugged.

I was a good teacher. I deserved better than the support Helen denied me.
Historical perspective on this day
Not done
=== 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 Joan Watson, Chee Se and Janet O'Neill. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
1289 – Wenceslaus III of Bohemia (d. 1306)
1591 – Settimia Caccini, Italian composer and singer (d. 1638)
1820 – Jenny Lind, Swedish soprano (d. 1887)
1846 – George Westinghouse, American engineer and inventor (d. 1914)
1888 – Roland Garros, French pilot (d. 1918)
1905 – Helen Wills Moody, American tennis player (d. 1998)
1930 – Richie Benaud, Australian cricketer
1942 – Britt Ekland, Swedish actress
1946 – Tony Greig, South African–English cricketer and sportscaster (d. 2012)
1973 – Ioan Gruffudd, Welsh actor
1998 – Mia-Sophie Wellenbrink, German actress and singer
October 6German-American Day in the United States; 1,000th anniversary of the death of Samuel of Bulgaria(reconstruction pictured)
Samuel of Bulgaria (997-1014), reconstruction
Arcadius lost his Doxie. Clinton captured his fort. Hungary was hungry. The Jazz Singer sang. Thai parties get out of hand. Much like yours will. 
Deaths
===
Tim Blair


===
Andrew Bolt


===

TURNBULL’S TRADITION

Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 06, 2015 (1:58pm)

Mafia accountant Otto Berman
It’s just business, nothing personal. 
The Godfather‘s Michael Corleone
It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business. 
Pirates of the Caribbean‘s devious Lord Cutler Beckett
“It’s nothing personal, Jack. It’s just good business.” 
Malcolm Turnbull on his knifing of Tony Abbott: 
There’s nothing personal, nothing personal, it’s just business. 
===

THE ANCIENT ISLAMIC FESTIVAL OF IF

Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 06, 2015 (4:43am)

Founder of the Australian Arabic Council, Joseph Wakim, conducts the traditional post-atrocity ritual of nonsensical evasion
When an incident is imbued with a single drop of Islam, it apparently explains everything, and blinds us from asking the right questions. 
The “incident” to which Wakim refers involved a murderer whose mosque attendance was obsessive, who wore traditional Islamic garb on the day he set out to kill innocent people, and who screamed “Allah! Allah!” in the street after shooting a father of two. This wasn’t a “drop of Islam”. It was a reeking bucket. 
We are so hasty to roll out the loaded labels, such as “terrorist” and “gunman”, even when referring to a 15-year-old boy. 
Very well, Joseph. We’ll call him a terrorist gunbaby instead. 
If Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar was a gun-wielding white teenager in school uniform, rather than a brown teenager in a black robe, would we have labelled him a mixed-up kid with mental problems or a radicalised, cold-blooded terrorist? 
If he was a flappy-tailed crustacean, would we call him a lobster? If he was still alive and prancing around outside our house with a gun, would we call the police? If he was developmentally delayed and wrote for Fairfax, would we call him Joseph Wakim? These important theological questions have vexed scholars throughout the ages. 
If a white teenager had opened fire inside a mosque, would we have labelled him an angry misguided youth? 
Beats me. Call me if it happens. 
If we are serious in wanting to break this cycle of violence and acts of terror, we need to stop using dehumanising labels and stop absolving ourselves by shifting blame to Islam. 
What “cycle of violence”? The kid was never provoked. And what “dehumanising labels”? And why the need to absolve ourselves from a crime he committed? 
The complex reality … 
Here we go. 
… is that many factors line up to trigger such violent acts, including broken families, mental health, perceived lack of alternatives, current circumstances, loneliness, detachment, exposure to violent videos and a twisted moral compass that defines heroism as a violent means towards a rewarding end. These are the push factors that recruiters exploit, especially if the recruit is vulnerable and lacks a good parent. 
Not to mention local mosques
Youth peers are more likely to derail the radicalisation pathway by planting seeds of doubt and offering other pathways towards redressing injustices. These might include youth groups, political parties, fundraising for charities and letter writing. 
Attention, young brainwashed beheading-ready jihadi children destined for Syria or police stations in Sydney! Might you be more interested in writing a letter instead? Why, of course you are! 
Islamophobia and bombardment with hate messages communicating that Australia does not trust Muslims push “them” to the margins. 
Flip that idea around, son, and you might be on to something. We’ve seen a few hate messages delivered lately, and they’re all coming from one side.
===

VEGAN VERSE-OFF

Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 06, 2015 (3:30am)

If you charge for sex and walk out the door, I will never … 
If your hate for freedom is automatic, I will never …
If Collingwood’s behind and your team’s in front, I will never …
Readers are invited to submit their own alternative vegan verses. Minus the concluding words, as above. 
===

ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS

Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 06, 2015 (3:26am)

His son’s tribute to Curtis Cheng mentioned the terrorism victim’s  sense of humour. And now this, in comments, which may be from one of Cheng’s work mates: 
I talk, laugh and joke with you every single day. My heart is in mourning. I am going to miss you, Curtis. Rest in peace. My sincere condolences to your family. 
Curtis Cheng is a man missed by many.
===

RELIGION IDENTIFIED

Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 06, 2015 (3:10am)

Fairfax is usually reluctant to publish anything that might identify a person’s faith, but broke their own rule in a review of Kate Ceberano’s pre-match AFL Grand Final show
Ever the professional, the Bedroom Eyes singer and Scientologist continued with her otherwise seamless performance. 
L. Ron’s Thetan minions will have to lift their game. These days not even Fairfax’s anxiety kittens are scared of them. 
===

SHORTEN SHRINKS

Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 06, 2015 (2:49am)

Possible scenario: spooked by collapsing polls, Labor holds a Rudd-devised month-long leadership spill – during which Turnbull calls an election. Who would Labor send to the debates? 
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition are riding a fresh wave of popularity, according to the latest Morgan poll.
The poll show the LNP at its most popular since just before Julia Gillard was replaced as PM by Kevin Rudd in 2013.
With Malcolm Turnbull at the helm the Coalition rose 1 per cent to 56 per cent of the two party-preferred votes, while Labor dropped one point to 47 per cent. 
Let the mayhem continue.
UPDATE. As Greg points out in comments, those numbers add up to more than 100 per cent. Actual Morgan figures here.
===

BETTER DAYS

Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 06, 2015 (2:12am)

National Lampoon‘s “Vengeance” issue was on newsstands for a whole month in 1980:

It is unthinkable now, of course, that such a magazine would ever be approved for sale in 2015. But back in the day, teenage me just handed over a few bucks and bought it from the Werribee newsagency in Station Street. There was no controversy over it here. None in the US, either, so far as I’m aware.
That magazine was a revelation. A new documentary now tells National Lampoon‘s strange story.
===

INTOLERANT TUESDAY

Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 06, 2015 (2:09am)

Welcome to intolerant Tuesday, everybody, when all commentary violations will be met with brutal justice. Get your full stops and capital letters in order or face the horror of deletion.
And may God have mercy on us all.
===

Cold winter ignored. But one hot day and Jon Faine cuts loose. UPDATE: Fire scares, too

Andrew Bolt October 06 2015 (7:13pm)

Victoria last winter had its coldest morning in 18 years.  Melbourne had its coldest winter in 26 years.  There has been no real warming of the world’s atmosphere for 18 years, according to satellite data:
Not once did ABC 774 host Jon Faine link the unusually cold weather to global warming. But one hot day in Victoria and - bang - he’s off again, getting on a CSIRO person to talk about the great global warming monster.
So transparent. Such an insult to the listeners’ intelligence.
UPDATE
I am absolutely sick of climate alarmism:
Never before in Victoria’s recorded history has it been so hot and windy so early in the fire season. 
The unprecedented summery blast sent temperatures approaching 40C in parts of Victoria while northwesterly winds gusting to 100km/h were replaced in the afternoon with a dry, blustery cool change.
The conditions, reminiscent of a January or February heatwave, helped fan more than 100 bushfires with the worst threatening 190 homes near Lancefield, north of Melbourne.
Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley says the early taste of summer is a first for Victoria…
We have not experienced these types of temperatures or wind speeds in the first week of October in the history of Victoria, so it has taken us to a new space.”
The Sydney Morning Herald, October 5, 1938:
MELBOURNE: A timber mill, a boarding-house, two homes, and several workmen’s huts were destroyed by bushfires to-day at Moe, Kalorama, Carrajung and Beaufort. At Moe a millowner, two women, and employees of the mill scarcely had time to escape in their night attire. The towns of Kalorama and Carrajung were threatened by fires fanned by wind of gale force… 
Hot gusty winds, after two months in which the rainfall in Victoria has been the lowest since the drought of 1914, led to the out-breaks, which were fought by several hundred volunteer firemen.  
From a Bushfire CRC report on fire behaviour:
The first fires of the I938/39 fire season in Victoria occurred in August and resulted in crown fire spread. Grasslands were cured early by a dry spring. In the eastern highlands of Victoria, the worst fires in many years had occurred by October of 1938. 
The AgeSeptember 27, 1972, reported a bushfire season starting even earlier - in September:
UPDATE
NSW has had at least 11 major bushfires in the past 100 years in October or even earlier.
(Thanks to reader Steve.) 
===

Liberals still ahead, 52 per cent to 48

Andrew Bolt October 06 2015 (2:17pm)

Essential Media has Malcolm Turnbull maintaining the Liberals’ handy lead over Labor at 52 per cent to 48, after three weeks of media support.
A small sign of possible cooling from the honeymoon, though:

48% (down 5% from 2 weeks ago) of respondents think Malcolm Turnbull would make the better Prime Minister and 19% (up 2%) think Bill Shorten would make the better Prime Minister.
This bit would have had all sorts of commentary about a women problem had Abbott been PM:
By gender, men were 51% approve/20% disapprove [of Turnbull] and women 43% approve/16% disapprove.
===

Turnbull shows the initiative he actually stole from Abbott

Andrew Bolt October 06 2015 (1:45pm)

Credit to Mark Kenny this time, at least, for acknowledging a truth now that Tony Abbott is gone:

And luckily for [Malcolm Turnbull], good ol’ “Dr No” as the former PM was known, had several positive announcements coming in the pipeline to help Turnbull off to a good start. 
In less than a month in the job, Turnbull has already unveiled popular initiatives on: domestic violence with a widely applauded $100 million-plus program; defence procurement, via a job-creating $1.3 billion contract for Australian-made land vehicles; and now he has presided over the successful conclusion of the elusive TPP.
Such is the luck and irony of politics that not only is Turnbull successfully projecting himself as the visionary antidote to the withering negativity of the Abbott years, but he is doing so with the aid of Abbott’s own initiatives.
And until now most of the media has bought that spin about ”hitting the ground running” and doing stuff ”in contrast” to do-nothing Abbott.
UPDATE
Maurice Newman, who headed the Abbott Government’s business advisory council:

In no time, Turnbull has signalled his soft liberal credentials. Tax increases for the rich are back on the table. The Renewable Energy Finance Corporation has been given an immediate reprieve with a new board and new ideas for wasting money. 
Climate change policies are ­receiving fresh attention. The ­Bureau of Meteorology has been freed of accountability and can now peddle its dubious data without scrutiny.
University spending cuts have been deferred and fees have ­escaped competitive tension. Industrial relations reform will be, at best, marginal. Turnbull will take a softer line with the Islamic community and intends to pursue a UN Human Rights Council membership from 2018. Another tilt at the UN Security Council is a 2030 ambition…

He held a snap “mini summit” of peak bodies that agreed to embrace Abbott’s infrastructure initiatives and “to go for growth"… This meeting of big government, labour, social welfare and business had only consensus in mind. Contentious issues such as industrial relations and welfare ­reform were shelved rather than slowing progress overall. 
You know that free-market capitalism has run its race when a Coalition prime minister believes consensus and co-operation are the keys to economic growth. Sadly, you also know that abridgment of individual liberty will ­follow close behind.
Terry McCrann:
THERE was one big message and a huge contradiction out of Malcolm Turnbull’s mini-summit last week… 
The message was that — at least for the summiteers, for some of them, clearly unknowingly — ‘tax reform’ was code for tax increases. And that the summit had endorsed exactly such ‘tax reform’…
Now the contradiction which flowed from this supposed “green light” was arguably more important. That such tax reform/tax increases is utterly incompatible with the ‘go-for-growth’ objective that all the participants purportedly signed on for… 
Apart from being a motherhood (or, perhaps these days, a non-motherhood) statement — who really was going to put their hand up for ‘go-for-recession’? — it’s not the ambition that’s the tricky part but the deciding of specific policies… That’s when the rubber hits the road and when consensus, even the most gushing consensus, evaporates. 
UPDATE
Former Treasurer Peter Costello two weeks ago warned Turnbull:
Ignore the high tax cheer squad… The cheer squad leadership resides mainly in big government “think tanks”, like the Grattan and Australia institutes, and congregates with other professional conference-goers to generate publicity. They represent no one but themselves. Real voters who have to pay taxes are not taken in by it. Scott Morrison is absolutely right when he says the Budget problem is a spending problem. Don’t be sucked into increasing taxes.
Yet a week later:
Malcolm Turnbull has assured business, union and social sector leaders that the government will keep an “open mind” on all options for tax and economic reforms… The prime minister emphasised in a three-hour meeting with community leaders in Canberra on Thursday that the government would not pre-emptively close the door to any particular option… The Grattan Institute’s chief executive, John Daley, who attended the meeting, said Abbott’s previous decision to rule out options including curbing superannuation concessions for high-income earners “had been very unfortunate”. 
So why was the Left-learning and unelected Grattan Institute at Turnbull’s summit?
What of the Grattan Institute, a policy think-tank in Melbourne, on whose board Lucy [Turnbull] serves?
===

Yet another member of the tiny, unrepresentative minority arrested

Andrew Bolt October 06 2015 (1:39pm)

Tiny, tiny unrepresentative minority. Most Muslims appalled. You know the pack drill:
POLICE have this morning arrested a student on his way to Arthur Phillip High School, the same school attended by the 15-year-old who shot a man dead at Parramatta’s police headquarters last week. 
The arrested student had his belongings emptied on the footpath before being handcuffed and taken away in a police van.
Police said they spoke with the boy on his way to school this morning in relation to alleged posts on social media. He was arrested after allegedly threatening and intimidating officers and taken to Parramatta police station. 
In a Facebook post on Friday, a little more than an hour after Farhad Jabar shot dead police worker Curtis Cheng outside the force’s Parramatta headquarters, he wrote: “Serves you right I hope them lil piggies get shot”.
UPDATE

I can’t say that leaders of the Islamic community have distinguished themselves in their reaction to the shooting - with the exception of Jamal Rifi, again, and his two friends:
THE head of Parramatta Mosque has lashed out at a cameraman outside the mosque where Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammad attended hours before he shot Curtis Cheng dead. 
Neil El-Kadomi kicked out at a Channel 9 cameraman after telling a Daily Telegraph photographer to “leave ... f** off”.
Has anyone yet heard from the Grand Mufti yet? 
===

Union-backed super funds give the Left political clout

Andrew Bolt October 06 2015 (11:38am)

Many big super funds are backed by unions, with union officials on their boards. This gives the Left potentially a lot of political clout, backed by the savings of unwitting workers, many of whom are forced to contribute.
Last night the ABC gave another example:
EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: The boardroom has become the new battlefront for activists seeking the closure of the offshore processing centres on Nauru and Manus Island. Australia’s publicly-listed company Transfield Services runs the centres. It’s been the target of a sustained campaign attempting to persuade superannuation funds to [divest] on the grounds that alleged human rights abuses are bad for business in the long term. Hamish Fitzsimmons reports. 
HAMISH FITZSIMMONS, REPORTER: Melbourne lawyer and mother of two toddlers, Shen Narayanasamy, is juggling family life and taking on Transfield in a campaign backed by the left-wing lobby group GetUp! over Transfield’s running of Australia’s offshore detention centres, speaking to investors in their own terms.
The union super funds already back Leftist news outlets:
Some of Australia’s biggest industry superannuation outfits are using member funds to quietly bankroll a new online news venture guided by Crikey backer Eric Beecher, with plans to promote the venture to their millions of members. 
The site, to be named The New Daily, is set to launch this week… The industry super funds ploughing $3 million into the venture include AustralianSuper, the country’s biggest superannuation fund, United Super, the trustee of construction industry fund Cbus, and Industry Super Holdings, a company that owns various industry fund entities.
Union super funds backed the renewable energy scam, that relies on complaint governments forcing consumers to pay higher prices for green energy, or pay higher taxes for subsidies:

PacHydro, which is owned by Industry Funds Management [a company owned by 30 industry super funds] and was once Australia’s leading developer of wind farms, is placing all of its $2 billion in Australian renewable energy developments on hold, partly because of the poor policy environment, and partly due to its own internal financial problems.... Pacific Hydro ... has a host of hydro, wind and geothermal power projects ...
Union super funds are being used to back the green scare campaign against our coal industry:
Australian industry super fund HESTA has become the first established fund in Australia to announce that it is restricting investments in thermal coal… HESTA is the fund for health and community services, with more than $29 billion in assets, 785,000 members and 155,000 employers.
Union backed super funds are being used to undermine our border laws:

The persistent pressure on HESTA to divest from Transfield Services Pty Ltd has landed a huge blow against the biggest contractor in the Australian detention industry. The divestment by HESTA, the industry superannuation fund for health and community services workers and one of Australia’s largest super funds, represents a significant loss of confidence in the value of the Transfield Services brand and an increase in downside risk for investors.
Union super funds are financing unions and union officials:
The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption has today issued a discussion paper in which it has dedicated an entire chapter to superannuation and within which it states, “Industry superannuation funds pay substantial sums to the unions with which they are associated including directors’ fees, reimbursement of director’s expenses, office rental, advertising expenses and sponsorship”. 
The discussion paper then cites the example of TWUSuper for the 2007 to 2014 financial years during which it said the super fund “paid in excess of $6 million to the TWU and its branches.” “The potential for coercive conduct and conflicts of interest in enterprise bargaining identified in respect of employee benefit funds also exists in respect of superannuation funds. This is because of the institutional links between trade unions and industry superannuation funds”.
There is a potential for union super funds to help union campaigns:
It also says something about the trade union origins of most industry funds and the nature of the Royal Commission itself, that the chapter dealing with superannuation starts with the statement: “The potential for coercive conduct and conflicts of interest in enterprise bargaining identified in respect of employee benefit funds also exists in respect of superannuation funds. This is because of the institutional links between trade unions and industry superannuation funds”.
Union-backed super funds are under pressure even to break the law to help union mates:

One of the biggest industry superannuation funds, Cbus, leaked confidential information to Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union to demonstrate its continued loyalty to the union, the trade union royal commission has been told. 
Construction company Lis-Con said the Cbus claim that the leaking of personal information of Lis-Con employees was essentially the result of the actions of rogue employees was a “three wise monkeys defence” and “offensively inadequate”.
Cbus has accepted that two former employees, Maria Butera and Lisa Zanatta, acted improperly by disclosing information to the militant construction union, but denied its chief executive, David Atkin, was involved in the leak.
Counsel assisting the commission, Jeremy Stoljar, has recommended the commission find “on the balance of probabilities” CFMEU NSW secretary Brian Parker told Mr Atkin in 2013 he wanted his assistance to obtain personal information about employees of Lis-Con, with whom the union was in conflict over unpaid superannuation.
This badly needs reform.
UPDATE
On the other hand, the blessing of free market economics - this time in Cambodia, which looks unrecognisable from the days I used to go there:
(Via the IPA.) 
===

A new spirit of intolerance sweeps through our universities

Andrew Bolt October 06 2015 (9:16am)

Every totalitarian movement starts with people determined to silence debate. Our universities seem to be training the next generation of Red Guards.
In New South Wales:
The UNSW Student Representative Council is calling on the conservative UNSW Warrane College to cancel their annual lecture by the former Minister for Defence, Kevin Andrews MP. The event is scheduled for Wednesday October 7th and is titled, ‘The Building Blocks of Western Civilisation: Reflections on Marriage and the Family’. 
It is assumed that Mr Andrews’ lecture will address opposing marriage equality and issues surrounding gender, particularly considering he has been a key figure in blocking marriage equality legislation. It is the view of President Billy Bruffey, and the SRC that this lecture will cause UNSW students to feel victimised and isolated, and that Mr Andrews’ views do not conform with those of the University or its students.
The arrogance is astonishing. Does Bruffey purport to represent the views of all students and staff? This refusal to let other people even hear another point of view is frightening.
In South Australia:

FLINDERS University students are “repulsed” by the prospect of a new policy centre associated with controversial Danish academic Bjorn Lomborg, who has long been accused of downplaying the dangers posed by global warming. 
The university has been in talks with the Federal Government about establishing the Australian Consensus Centre, which would come with $4 million funding and base its work on Lomborg’s methodologies…
Flinders University Student Association general secretary Grace Hill said students would launch a campaign immediately against having “a climate change denial centre on campus”.
“I’m pretty repulsed by it,” she said. 
“At this stage there seems to be no student or staff consultation. It’s right-wing junk. It was excellent to see him booted out of WA so hopefully the same will happen here...”
In Western Australia:
Students at the University of Western Australia (UWA) say the decision to can controversial Danish academic Bjorn Lomborg’s Australian Consensus Centre is a win for academic integrity and common sense. 
The Australian Consensus Centre was going to be set up with the help of a $4 million Federal Government grant, but University Vice Chancellor Paul Johnson last night said the proposed centre was untenable and lacked academic support.
UWA student guild president Lizzy O’Shea said students were concerned about the impact the centre, inspired by self-proclaimed “sceptical environmentalist” Dr Lomborg, could have on the university’s reputation....
“The example that I use is there was a unit at UWA that used to use Lomborg’s book as an example of bad science, and what not to do for students, and so a primary concern was the fact that he would be allowed to be associated with UWA when we hold our first year students who are 17, right out of high school, to a higher standard than that.” 
In New South Wales:
A LECTURE by retired army colonel Richard Kemp at the University of Sydney was disrupted by at least a dozen screaming students who fought with security on Wednesday afternoon. 
The students had burst into the room shouting “Richard Kemp, you can’t hide, you support genocide” and wrestled with security guards before being removed from the hall.
Kemp was giving a lecture about ethical dilemmas of military tactics and dealing with non-state armed groups…

Professor Jake Lynch, the director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the university, shouted in the faces of students and screamed that attempts to remove the protesters was a violent attack on freedom of speech by security guards. He was also seen holding money to the face of a Jewish student and filmed students in attendance without their consent.  
“This protest was about my perspective on the IDF,” Kemp said. “I was in Israel during the 2014 summer conflict and I do believe that the IDF in their attack on Hamas in Gaza … were doing everything they could to protect civilians … people have told me I am wrong, but no one has told me what more steps Israel could take to minimise civilian casualties.”
This is ugly. It’s bad enough that so many students want to stay stupid. Worse is the intolerance and bullying. God knows where this will lead to.
(Thanks to reader Blaise.) 
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Tear down the crucifix to make Muslims welcome

Andrew Bolt October 06 2015 (9:05am)


Once you start trashing church traditions you kind of get in the habit of making stuff up as you go along until suddenly there’s nothing left of what you inherited.
Which brings me to the dying of Christian Europe:

The Bishop of Stockholm has proposed a church in her diocese remove all signs of the cross and put down markings showing the direction to Mecca for the benefit of Muslim worshippers. 
Eva Brunne, who was made the world’s first openly lesbian bishop by the church of Sweden in 2009, and has a young son with her wife and fellow lesbian priest Gunilla Linden, made the suggestion to make those of other faiths more welcome.
The church targeted is the Seamen’s mission church in Stockholm’s eastern dockyards. The Bishop held a meeting there this year and challenged the priest to explain what he’d do if a ship’s crew came into port who weren’t Christian but wanted to pray.
Calling Muslim guests to the church “angels”, the Bishop later took to her official blog to explain that removing Christian symbols from the church and preparing the building for Muslim prayer doesn’t make a priest any less a defender of the faith. Rather, to do any less would make one “stingy towards people of other faiths”....
The actual priest at the Seaman’s mission was left nonplussed by the comments of the Bishop when contacted by Dagen.se for comment… 
When asked whether she would be removing the cross from her church, Kiki Wetterberg responded: “I have no problem with Muslim or Hindu sailors coming here and praying. But I believe that we are a Christian church, so we keep the symbols. If I visit a mosque I do not ask them to take down their symbols. It’s my choice to go in there”. 
Think the imams will reciprocate the bishop’s hospitality? This is submission.
UPDATE
“Refugees” in Holland say they are not satisfied with the free accommodation they’ve been given:
(Thanks to reader Ian.) 
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Another example of our “unbiased” ABC at work. Check the spin

Andrew Bolt October 06 2015 (8:28am)

Again, ABC boss Mark Scott is wrong. A presenter’s political bias inevitably influences the questions they ask and the tone they take, which is why the ABC’s refusal to hire a single conservative to host any of its main current affairs shows matters.
Another example, Lateline host Emma Alberici.
Last night she interviewed Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. A conservative would have asked him about his outrageous decision to ban an America anti-abortion activist from speaking here, and his worrying delay in granting a visa to Dutch political leader Geert Wilders, a critic of Islam. A conservative host might also ask whether it is safe to bring in more Muslim refugees in this age of jihad.
But Alberici asked none of that. She preferred to campaign on the alleged cruelty of our detention system, and asked questions with added disrespect. Some scenes from the interview:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Another example of our “unbiased” ABC at work. Check the spin'
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Tony Jones “clarifies” again. The ABC’s Left is out of control

Andrew Bolt October 06 2015 (7:05am)

ABC boss Mark Scott has long claimed not to know the personal political leanings of his main presenters, even though most advertise them repeatedly on air:
I don’t know how our journalists vote. I don’t know what their personal views are. 
Besides, says, Scott, the fact that every single host of his main current affairs shows is of the Left is irrelevant. What counts is that they are impartial on air:
You are to be fair, you are to be balanced, you are to be impartial, you are to be open minded. And so what I worry about is not how our people vote, I worry about how they do their jobs...
Except, of course, that your leanings do influence your judgment on the stories you think need telling, the questions that need asking and even the jokes that need making.
Example? Take Tony Jones, the Leftist host of Q&A.
Recently Jones has had to apologise for giving a platform to an Islamist jailed for making threats to kill, helping him to ambush an Abbott Government minister. He has had to apologise to me, a conservative, for a show claiming I was a racist.  It has had to apologise to former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard for an audience member throwing his shoes at him.
Last night Jones had to issue yet another apology - sorry, ”clarification” - to a conservative, this time Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi. But while the offense Jones had given was genuine, the “clarification” was mealy-mouthed and not quite frank, shall we say:
I said [last week] that Senator Cory Bernardi might set up a new conservative party and suggested in jest that he might call it Cory Bernardi’s Golden Dawn.  Senator Bernardi was concerned that this linked him to the Right-wing Greek political party Golden Dawn which has been accused of neo-Nazi tendencies. That was not my intention. And I do want to make it clear that I don’t suggest that Cory Bernardi supports fascism. 
In fact, it was not merely Bernardi’s concern or perception that Jones had linked Bernardi to the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn.  Labor MP Catherine King, sitting next to the smirking Jones, had horselaughed as he told his ‘joke”. She got it, all right.
And of course it was Jones’ intention to link Bernardi to the Greek Golden Dawn. Why else use that improbable name for Bernardi’s alleged party?
Given such a smart-arsed “clarification” I am not surprised the audience laughed and some clapped when Jones said “I don’t suggest that Cory Bernardi supports fascism”. The audience, which is typically stacked with people of the Left, knew Jones meant exactly that and approved.
The political opinions of the ABC’s hosts do matter. And as long as the ABC’s main current affairs hosts are uniformly of the Left, the ABC will break the law that insists it be impartial and balanced, an the war on the Liberals will continue. Note, for one, that Jones has never had to apologise to someone of the Left for his show’s ideological overreach. His victims are always conservatives.
The ABC is out of control. It needs reform. Probably with an axe. 
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Taxing super won’t save us

Andrew Bolt October 06 2015 (6:27am)

Nick Cater, head of the Menzies Research Centre, was at Malcolm Turnbull’s summit so should know:

Readers of The Age were greeted with an improbable splash on Friday. Malcolm Turnbull, they were told, was declaring war on the wealthy. 
The new Prime Minister had “reached in-principle agreement with unions, employers and welfare organisations to reduce a raft of tax breaks, including negative gearing and superannuation concessions, that primarily bene?t the rich”.
It was an example of what comedian Steven Colbert calls “truthiness”, a story lacking factual support that the writer thinks ought to be true.
In April, a story under the same byline claimed “the prospect of a breakthrough on the contentious tax treatment of superannuation earnings has moved a step closer”. His evidence? Labor’s Chris Bowen had “offered support for a crackdown on the super incomes of the super rich”.
Oddly, Tony Abbott didn’t come to the party on that one. The writer lives in hope that Malcolm Turnbull will…
The premise behind The Age’s story was absurd. If Turnbull really wants to soak the rich, why would he have to ask the unions for permission?
The National Reform Summit delegates who briefed the Prime Minister last week agreed that the retirement income system was not what we were promised. 
Workers have been forced to save a chunk of their wages for more than 20 years, yet seven out of 10 will rely on welfare, in part or in full, to see them through retirement. We could squeeze the rich until the pips squeak but it would… not help a single retiree cross the threshold from handouts to self-sufficiency. 
Cater is too polite to name the Fairfax journalist responsible, but I’m not. It is Mark Kenny, of course, the  Gillard apologist and Abbott slimer.
Cater adds this important anecdote:

Labor, on the other hand, had laid out its package for taxing earnings on super. “They are fully costed,” said Bowen, “which will make a substantial contribution to the budget over the next decade… More than $20 billion over the next decade.” 
Sadly, $2bn a year across a decade won’t come close to paying the interest on the national debt, even if one accepts those figures, which even Bowen doesn’t.
Three weeks earlier, Bowen had announced 10-year savings of $14.3 billion in a package he said was “responsible, fair and final”. 
Bowen argues that 38 per cent of the imagined “concessions” are claimed by the wealthiest 10 per cent of the population. Yet that is not entirely unreasonable, since that same cohort pays 45 per cent of income tax collected. 
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Naomi Wolf: has anyone actually interviewed the headless body?

Andrew Bolt October 06 2014 (6:28pm)

I once thought Naomi Wolf seemed unhinged. But now “seemed” is redundant:
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Union super funds should say sorry for investing members’ savings in green schemes

Andrew Bolt October 06 2014 (4:05pm)

From the start I thought it grossly irresponsible for super funds to invest members’ savings in green schemes which only pretended to fix a grossly exaggerated scare, and which depended on government largesse to stay profitable.
Sure enough:
Heavyweight fund manager IFM Investors has taken a $685 million write-down on its Pacific Hydro renewable energy business due to the adverse impact of the Abbott government’s Warburton review, weaker electricity demand in Australia, and tax changes in Chile. 
IFM Investors has $50 billion in assets under management and is owned by 30 pension funds with more than 5 million Australian members, including funds such as AustralianSuper, Cbus and HostPlus. The hefty valuation changes to Pacific Hydro - which has hydro, wind, solar and geothermal projects in Australia, Brazil and Chile - were driven partly by businessman Dick Warburton’s review into the renewable energy target… Compounding the sector’s woes, the Australian Energy Market Operator in June made big cuts in its annual forecasts for electricity demand over the next decade.
Members of those union super funds should demand resignations.
And to rub in the point:
Switching to a super fund that shuns fossil fuel companies as unethical could cost a 45-year-old almost $58,000 in lost retirement savings, an actuarial study for the Minerals Council of Australia has found. 
Moreover, the union links of such funds seem to me to represent a dangerous conflict of interest:
Cbus chief executive David Atkin has defended the conduct of the industry fund after it failed to find any evidence of a massive privacy leak of member details to the militant construction union.
As we learned last week:
Lisa Zanatta was forced to admit lying about ferrying sensitive superannuation files from Melbourne to [CFMEU boss Brian] Parker’s Sydney office, her story blown by the production of a trace on her credit card and the GPS records of her taxi. 
The senior member relations adviser with industry fund Cbus initially told the inquiry on Friday she knew nothing of the leaking of confidential member contact details to the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.
Her story was in response to union whistleblower Brian Fitzpatrick’s testimony that Mr Parker obtained the information from Cbus to wage an industrial war against the building company that employed them, Lis-Co.
Members’ savings in their hands. 
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Obama says he’ll arm “moderate” Syrian militias. Biden says there aren’t any

Andrew Bolt October 06 2014 (8:12am)

Last month Barack Obama decided he’d get “moderate” Syrian militias to do the on-ground fighting against the Islamic State:
In a crucial vote of support for the White House’s declared war on Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, the House of Representatives voted to give President Barack Obama authority to arm and train Syrian rebels in the war-torn country… 
“We need to bolster the Syrian moderate opposition to enable it to be able to take and hold ground, pushing out both ISIL and the Assad regime,” a senior administration official said last week shortly before Obama laid out his plan for fighting the militant group.
Small problem. US Vice President Joe Biden last Thursday:
The fact of the matter is, the ability to identify a moderate middle in Syria was — there was no moderate middle — because the moderate middle are made up of shopkeepers, not soldiers,” Mr. Biden said.
(Thanks to reader Andy.) 
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11 suspects stopped at our airports

Andrew Bolt October 06 2014 (7:59am)

A few more than is comfortable:
COUNTER-terrorism officers ­intercepted 11 suspected terrorists at Melbourne and Sydney airports in less than a month in a multi-agency security crackdown.
Officers who searched the grounded suspects found images of beheadings and other violent Islamist propaganda on electronic devices and seized tens of thousands of dollars in ­undeclared cash allegedly being smuggled out of the country. A twelfth man, 19-year-old Ahmad Saiyer Naizmand, of NSW, allegedly flew out of Sydney on his brother’s passport before Australian officers raised the alarm and had United Arab Emirates authorities deport him back.
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Not what you’d expect from the social justice Left

Andrew Bolt October 06 2014 (7:46am)

Odd:
Former NSW opposition leader and Lifeline CEO John Brogden approached Lateline host Emma Alberici about hosting a fundraiser with Julia Gillard in July. Brogden had worked with Mike Munro, Ray Martin and Paul Murray, who all hosted Lifeline events for free, but Alberici told him she would only do it for a several thousand dollar rate.
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Let’s see raids on anti-Muslim terrorists, too

Andrew Bolt October 06 2014 (7:39am)

It is time for some high-profile raids on the racists trying to terrorise Muslims here:
DEATH threats against the ­nation’s leading Islamic cleric and threats to bomb Sydney’s two biggest mosques are included in a letter signed by ultra-right-wing racist group the Australian Defence League. 
The letter, signed “A. D. L, Australian Defence League”, threatens “Australia” will fight “Islam”, “Terror for terror ... bomb for bomb”. It includes the words “Lakemba Mosque”, ­"Auburn Mosque” and chief Muslim leader “Grand Mufti”, with the capitalised word “BOOM” written below each.
The owner of prominent Muslim clothing store Boutique Nour al Houda in Greenacre, in Sydney’s southwest, said he received the letter about a month ago and reported it to police.
After becoming the target for racially motivated abuse in recent weeks, the store owner — who wanted to be known only as Sal — has removed a collection of large flags, including some displaying the Islamic creed praising Moham­med, the national flags of several Middle Eastern countries and the Australian flag.
“We have a business to run, we don’t need these wankers coming around and telling us they’re going to blow us up, so we took them all down,” Sal said. “Now we are suffering ... we live in Australia, one of the best countries in the world, and now we are the targets.”
A message must be sent.
(Thanks to reader WaG311.) 
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A hatred exceeded only by an imagination

Andrew Bolt October 06 2014 (7:23am)

John Birmingham is a fiction writer. This remains true when he thinks he’s writing facts
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The dangerous sanctimony of the apparatchik. Example one: Julia Gillard

Andrew Bolt October 06 2014 (7:14am)

Henry Ergas on the typical immorality of the apparatchik, as revealed this time in Julia Gillard’s memoirs:
Gillard, however, is an apparatchik. ‘‘Not haunted by regrets’’ nor ‘‘much given to agonising personal journeys’’, she is always ready to ‘‘put the party first’’, even when its decisions are unjust. In her Manichean world, there are children of darkness and children of light: a party of good people and one of bad.
No wonder her writing recalls Christopher Hitchens’ observation that ‘‘there’s no real trick to thinking like an apparatchik: you just keep two sets of ethical books.’’ True, at times, ‘‘the good people’s party may be caught doing something shady or vile’’. But at once, ‘‘you will be told it’s no worse than what the bad people’s party would do or has done.’’
Splashed on page after self-serving page, the results flirt with parody. Craig Thomson and Peter Slipper? Yes, under other circumstances she ‘‘could have acted differently’’; but she needed their vote to retain power. The ‘‘unprincipled’’ Tony Abbott, on the other hand, would do ‘‘whatever it takes’’ to gain office.
Industrial relations? Yes, militants ‘‘occasionally’’ cause trouble; but it is thanks to the unions, which are ‘‘home to selfless decent Australians who uphold the values that have made us the nation we are today’’, that her government was able to prevent ‘‘rorts (by) unscrupulous employers’’.
And the budget? Yes, the promised return to surplus was a mistake; but her government had it tough. Peter Costello didn’t: his surpluses were delivered when ‘‘it was easy to be Treasurer’’, Gillard tells us, ignoring the debt he inherited, the Asian Financial Crisis and the ‘‘tech wreck’’.
But if the Coalition was the adversary, Rudd was the enemy. And it is with the Rudd camp that the two sets of ethical books come fully into play. Her coup against Rudd, for example, was entirely justified, not least by the likelihood of electoral disaster; but calling a spill when she was leading Labor off a cliff was ‘‘an act of treachery’’. And it was only Rudd’s betrayal that brought her prime ministership down. 
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Gillard whinges, Abbott endures

Andrew Bolt October 06 2014 (6:49am)


JULIA Gillard was once a role model for ambitious young women like my daughter. Now she’s just a whinger.
Gillard, in her memoirs, My Story, can’t accept she was just not up to being prime minister.
She lacked vision, judgment and character yet rages, instead, at the misogyny she insists was a key factor in her fall.
She writes (clumsily) how “even if you are the single most powerful person in your country, if you are a woman, the images that are shadowed around you are of sex and rape”. Pardon?
She complains she was scrutinised as men are not: “I came to realise that the issue of appearance for a woman was not simply a judgment on her clothes, but that it morphed into a judgment of who she was as a person.”
(Read full article here.) 
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Spitting on Christians won’t make Islam less dangerous

Andrew Bolt October 06 2014 (6:37am)


A CULTURAL self-loathing is driving many commentators to destroy what they should most defend in our clash with radical versions of Islam.
Take the latest meme of our media class — to relativise Islam into nothing more dangerous than Christianity, the foundation of our freedoms.
Sydney ABC host Richard Glover, for instance, breezily assured us at the weekend: “In truth, Islamic State is just a flag of convenience for the lost and enraged. It’s Islamic in the same way as Nazism was Christian.”
Similarly, Howard government minister Amanda Vanstone, the ABC’s token “conservative”, told Age readers: “The Muslim and Christian religions have much in common ... Islam holds no monopoly on the production of radical fanatics. Hitler is a good example.”
I can understand why Glover and Vanstone prefer to believe Islam is much like Christianity, with both producing their radical monsters — Islam, the Islamic State, and Christianity, Hitler.
Hey, what better way to seem broadminded? What better excuse to avoid a bruising argument on Islam? And isn’t it honourable to hose down the bigots now trying to demonise our many peace-loving Muslims?
But there is a problem here. It is called “facts”. And no good intentions can excuse a wilful and dangerous blindness. (Disclaimer: No, I am not Christian.)
Fact one: The Islamic State actually claims it is Islamic, but the National Socialists never claimed they were Christian. The names of both organisations tell the story.
(Read full artlcle here.) 
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The cuts so far barely scratch the surface

Andrew Bolt October 06 2014 (6:33am)

There is too much complacency about  debt and deficits still dangerously high:
A MASSIVE spending burden threatens to tip the nation into decades of deficits, according to new government findings that will be released early next year to jolt parliament — and the public — into accepting another wave of budget reform… 
Mr Hockey considered publishing the long-range Intergenerational Report this year but rejected the option in favour of timing the new Treasury analysis to prepare the ground for further savings in the May budget.
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Four more beheaded by followers of a certain faith

Andrew Bolt October 06 2014 (6:10am)

Beheadings are catching on among radical members of a certain faith:
An Egyptian jihadist group has released a video showing the execution of four men – including three being beheaded – accused of spying for the army and for Israel’s Mossad intelligence service. 
It is the second time such gruesome footage has been distributed by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Partisans of Jerusalem), the deadliest militant group based in Egypt’s insurgency-hit Sinai region.
A similar video of beheadings was released by the group on August 28, showing the decapitation of four men also accused of being “Israeli informants”. 
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis says it supports the Islamic State (IS) group, which has seized swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, but has not pledged formal allegiance to it.
Helps to illustrate what Israel is up against. 
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What is number 12407 famous for? Hint, Ramanujan knew 1729 was the smallest number expressible as two cubes in two different ways. 
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Saturday night in my home is about catching up with email and the news after a day’s Sabbath hiatus. Last night I was upset to learn that a nine-year-old girl from Psagot had been shot at close range through the neck. At first, it was thought she had been shot by a sniper, but later reports clarified the matter. The girl, (whose name hasn’t been reported at the time of this writing, though prayer requests have been circulating for Noam bat Michal Rachel) reported that she saw her attacker’s balaclava; that he attacked her while she was at play in her yard.
I learned the news as always, in bits and pieces. Each news story added something until I had a fairly clear picture of what had happened. I saw pieces from TLVFaces, the Jewish PressIsrael National News, Ynet, and the Jerusalem Post. Only this morning did I see the piece by the Times of Israel, which made my gut clench. The reason? The use of the word “settlement” in the title: “Israeli girl, 9, hurt in suspected terror attack at settlement.”
TOI
The title’s designation of Psagot as a settlement seemed more a political statement than an issue of delineating the location of the attack, since “Psagot” is more specific than “settlement.”
This perspective is lent strength on examination of the URL for the piece:http://www.timesofisrael.com/nine-year-old-girl-shot-in-west-bank-settlement/ As a blogger at TOI, I sometimes decide to change the title of a piece after it has been published, but the URL is immutable and remains the same, no matter how many times I update the title display.
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Sometimes when reading the British media’s coverage of the Middle East, it seems as if some ‘professional’ reporters either have little expertise on the issues they’re writing about or that their employer lacks such high-tech, super-sophisticated research tools as, say, Google.
The Economist’s recent article on Hamas’s continuing isolation (Lonely Hamas, Sept. 7), is a case in point.
hamas
First, in fairness, the report does paint a largely accurate picture of the pressure being placed on the Islamist group by Egypt’s new regime:
THE Gaza Strip, an enclave tucked between Egypt and Israel that is still ruled by Hamas, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, is once again caged in. Egypt’s ruling generals, fearful that what they see as an Islamist tumour on their north-eastern flank might grow back into a Brotherhood cancer, want to contain it, if not cut it out. So they have sent bulldozers to demolish the houses along the border with Gaza that covered the tunnels providing Gaza’s 1.8m people with half their basic needs and most of their fuel and building material.
Of some 300 tunnels that operated before Egypt’s army overthrew Muhammad Morsi, the Muslim Brother who had been president for a year, only ten are said now to function. 
Later, there’s also this fair assessment of why the ‘Zionist enemy’ (at least temporarily) no longer seems like Hamas’s greatest threat:
If it is to survive as Gaza’s ruler, Hamas will have to rely on its old foe, Israel. While Egypt has choked off access to Gaza, Israel has loosened it, with 400 lorries recently entering the strip from Israel via the Kerem Shalom crossing in a single day, the liveliest such traffic for many years. “If they increase demand, we’re ready to step up,” says an Israeli military spokeswoman.
At Friday prayers, some Hamas preachers curse Egypt more than Israel. 
Good so far. However, then, in the final paragraph,
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How could I not begin today by blogging about the Arab terror attack in Psagot?  Even though I already had a slew of tabs for news sites with more or less the same news about the nine year old girl, amazingly alive, after being shot in the upper chest or neck (not clear from the news I've read so far) I decided to google it and see which news sites have it featured:

I had been following the story last night before going to sleep.  This morning there isn't all that much new about the story except for the fact that definite signs of a break in were discovered, and Israeli security forces entered Ramallah to search for the terrorists.  Even the New York Times has the story, though I have no idea if it will be featured or buried.

Psagot is in the same regional council, like a state or county, as Shiloh, Mateh Binyamin, the Benjamin Regional Council.  If I can trust my memory, it was a brand new yishuv when we moved to Shiloh in 1981.  It's just to the east of Ramallah, and the running joke was that it was a new neighborhood of the Arab city.  In those days the main road from Jerusalem to Shiloh went through Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods in the direction of Atarot, then straight north through Ramallah-Al Birah, passed Beit El and then followed to the east after the Jelazoun refugee camp, then Vaadi Charamiya continuing norhth to Shiloh.  The present route via Jerusalem's Pisgat Ze'ev, Adam, Sha'ar Binyamin, Ma'avar Michmas, Givat Asaf, Ofra, Vaadi Charamiya and then Shiloh is the post-Oslo road that Yitzchak Rabin had built so that Jewish Israelis wouldn't need to drive through Arab towns.
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In any sane world, Cohen should be ashamed to go out in public after writing such a thoroughly embarrassing article. In any sane world, theTimes would let him go because of the danger Cohen's columns bring to its own rapidly sinking reputation.
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  • “The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians … but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland”. Mahmoud Abbas in Falastin a-Thaura (official PLO Journal), MARCH 1976.
  • “This will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Tartar massacre or the Crusader wars.”– Arab League Secretary-GeneralAzzam Pasha, October 11, 1947 in Akhbar al-Yom interview. 
The “return” to Israel of Palestinian “refugees” is a central demand of Palestinians and their supporters. This demand is based on a misrepresentation of international law and of the causes of Palestinian displacement in 1947-48. But it should not scare Israel. If applied fairly to Jews and Palestinians alike, Palestinians’ definition of “refugees” would benefit Israel. And if the “Right of Return” as advanced by pro-Palestinian activists were law — which it is not — it would represent Israel’s strongest claim yet to critical parts of Jerusalem and Judea & Samaria.
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Holly Sarah Nguyen
I hope God will overlook and forgive me for the days I didn't pray & do what was right when I know it was wrong.
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I regret I can't make it. Sydney's Conservative is the only blog listed Political Pages and my advocacy I feel is substantial .. but I don't have the resources to get there. It should be a great event for networking. - ed

CampaignTech West, Oct. 28-29

Events Coordinator at Campaigns & Elections magazine
CampaignTech is moving west!

Join us October 28-29 is San Francisco to gain behind-the-scenes perspectives on communications strategies and connect with the heavy-hitters of digital politics and advocacy.

Registration includes 2 exclusive networking happy hours and 1 full day of conversations and panel discussions. The innovative programming will highlight the latest trends in outreach and engagement, targeting with social advertising, building apps for advocacy, and more.

Register today, before time runs out: www.campaigntechconference.com/register

Register - Campaign Tech West campaigntechconference.com

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The Kotel, situated in the middle of Jerusalem, is a holy place and home to many, but this night it was home of the new recruits of the Air Defense Battalion who were being sworn into the Israel Defense Forces. One hundred and fifty soldiers stood at the Kotel swearing their allegiance to the IDF. These soldiers are taught to operate the Iron Dome missile defense system.
It was a historical night for the 150 soldiers who stood under the stars in the Old City of Jerusalem. Standing at the Kotel —  called the Western Wall in English — the soldiers were swearing their allegiance to protect the people and the State of Israel. Many of the new IDF recruits, who serve as soldiers in the Air Defense Command, protect Israel’s civilians against attacks by operating the Iron Dome missile defense system.

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Algemeiner: Israel Defense Forces officerssaid three recent incidents of Arab unrest that had to be quelled by soldiers indicate an uptick in violence, mainly from the Jenin refugee camp, Qalandiya, Balata and Hebron, Israel’s Ma’ariv daily reported.

“We’ve seen a steadyincrease in the activity level of resistance forces in the villages and in the camps,” Lt. Col. Itamar Kohl, deputy commander of the Binyamin Brigade, told Ma’ariv. “The more time we remain in the field, the greater the likelihood of a popular local demonstration, what I call ‘temporary’ disturbance, unplanned without a specific focus that is known in advance.”

The officer said demonstrations are rarely armed, but can be. Violence comes from crowds of up to 100 young people, throwing stones or Molotov cocktails at the soliders, he said.
While raids on known terrorists are more straight forward for his soldiers, the need to differentiate between armed riots and popular demonstrations compels the IDF to tread with more caution.
“If in a public disturbance of 1,500 people, I endanger and hurt one woman, child or an innocent person, not related to the event, I’d be breaking our rules,” he said.

Shabak.gov.il
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Sar-El Bids Farewell to Two Board Members

Sar-El bids farewell to two of its Board Members: Marvin Shapiro and Menahem Sherman. Both have served on Sar-El’s  Board of Directors for many years. They will be sorely missed.

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The Palestinian Authority on Wednesday continued in its long campaign of incitement concerning the Temple Mount, condemning Jews who tour the holy site by suggesting that their visits represent a broader Israeli scheme to “Judaise” the site with the ultimate goal of rebuilding a Jewish Temple.
The PA-controlled media has specifically claimed that “hordes of settlers and Jewish extremists plan to storm and desecrate the Aksa Mosque” – part of a broader campaign of incitement by Islamist extremists in Jerusalem which has triggered several Palestinian riots at the Temple Mount over the past few months.

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These days, the Arab media are full of reports about diplomatic activities regarding the Syrian issue, and commentators’ articles dealing with this matter fill whole pages in the newspapers of the Arab world. They all try to ascertain if there will be an American military action, what its scope will be, how powerful it will be, what its goals will be, how long it will last, and especially, what the consequences of the action will be. But there is one important voice which is almost not heard at all in this whole chorus of analysts – the Saudi voice – and it seems that someone there – the king? – may have imposed a gag order on the commentators.
To get a deeper understanding of the reason for this, I contacted a Saudi colleague, with whom I correspond occasionally. He is a member of the royal family, but is not in the inner circles of decision making. Nevertheless, he is well acquainted with the way the Saudi leaders think, he is aware of the considerations and feelings that drive it and has a deep understanding of what is said and what is not said there. At first he refused to speak, and only after a “preliminary conversation” did he consent. This is how it is in the Middle East: everything is based on personal relationships, and Arabic is the entry bridge into the emotions of the region’s people.
He preferred to speak about “The Gulf,” not Saudi Arabia, in order to present a united front regarding the events in Syria and its environs. This is not exactly correct, because the positions of Saudi Arabia (which is the main supplier and supporter of the Salafi fighters in Syria) and those of Qatar (which stand behind the Free Syrian Army), are not identical, and the United Arab Emirates is much more active than Oman. But despite the differences in approach among the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, their basic attitudes are very similar.

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Media facilitates a powerful sway consistent with purposeful agendas. It far impedes realisation of fact for not only the general public, but guides an intended, specific network of frontally nudging policymakers towards a focused orientation.

It's all fashioned and very slick.

Given potential for publicised relevance, though often lost amid such deceptive practises, are logic's analyses, which might then, openly and with chance of clarity, disavow any intention of certain and biased perpetrations employed for driving a socio-political course.

"The Haber interview is a prime example of how unrestrained access to the media is used to create the public impression that a policy of territorial withdrawal and political appeasement is not only beneficial, but unavoidable." - Martin Sherman

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...Israeli Jews know the fate of non-Muslim minorities in the Arab and Muslim world. If Israel acknowledges that all Jews would be evacuated from a putative Palestinian state it is not because they agree with the Arab vision of a Judenrein entity but because even those on the left know the Jews there would last as long as the greenhouses left behind in Gaza in 2005. Those “Arab Jews” that Lustick thinks will be at home in the Greater Palestine he envisages know exactly what fate awaits them in a world where they are not protected by a Jewish army.
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 October 4, 2013 from Mike Hollingshead on Vimeo.
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“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”Isaiah 55:6NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning


"He arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights."
1 Kings 19:8
All the strength supplied to us by our gracious God is meant for service, not for wantonness or boasting. When the prophet Elijah found the cake baked on the coals, and the cruse of water placed at his head, as he lay under the juniper tree, he was no gentleman to be gratified with dainty fare that he might stretch himself at his ease; far otherwise, he was commissioned to go forty days and forty nights in the strength of it, journeying towards Horeb, the mount of God. When the Master invited the disciples to "Come and dine" with him, after the feast was concluded he said to Peter, "Feed my sheep"; further adding, "Follow me." Even thus it is with us; we eat the bread of heaven, that we may expend our strength in the Master's service. We come to the passover, and eat of the paschal lamb with loins girt, and staff in hand, so as to start off at once when we have satisfied our hunger. Some Christians are for living on Christ, but are not so anxious to live for Christ. Earth should be a preparation for heaven; and heaven is the place where saints feast most and work most. They sit down at the table of our Lord, and they serve him day and night in his temple. They eat of heavenly food and render perfect service. Believer, in the strength you daily gain from Christ labour for him. Some of us have yet to learn much concerning the design of our Lord in giving us his grace. We are not to retain the precious grains of truth as the Egyptian mummy held the wheat for ages, without giving it an opportunity to grow: we must sow it and water it. Why does the Lord send down the rain upon the thirsty earth, and give the genial sunshine? Is it not that these may all help the fruits of the earth to yield food for man? Even so the Lord feeds and refreshes our souls that we may afterwards use our renewed strength in the promotion of his glory.

Evening


"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."
Mark 16:16

Mr. MacDonald asked the inhabitants of the island of St. Kilda how a man must be saved. An old man replied, "We shall be saved if we repent, and forsake our sins, and turn to God." "Yes," said a middle-aged female, "and with a true heart too." "Aye," rejoined a third, "and with prayer"; and, added a fourth, "It must be the prayer of the heart." "And we must be diligent too," said a fifth, "in keeping the commandments." Thus, each having contributed his mite, feeling that a very decent creed had been made up, they all looked and listened for the preacher's approbation, but they had aroused his deepest pity. The carnal mind always maps out for itself a way in which self can work and become great, but the Lord's way is quite the reverse. Believing and being baptized are no matters of merit to be gloried in--they are so simple that boasting is excluded, and free grace bears the palm. It may be that the reader is unsaved--what is the reason? Do you think the way of salvation as laid down in the text to be dubious? How can that be when God has pledged his own word for its certainty? Do you think it too easy? Why, then, do you not attend to it? Its ease leaves those without excuse who neglect it. To believe is simply to trust, to depend, to rely upon Christ Jesus. To be baptized is to submit to the ordinance which our Lord fulfilled at Jordan, to which the converted ones submitted at Pentecost, to which the jailer yielded obedience the very night of his conversion. The outward sign saves not, but it sets forth to us our death, burial, and resurrection with Jesus, and, like the Lord's Supper, is not to be neglected. Reader, do you believe in Jesus? Then, dear friend, dismiss your fears, you shall be saved. Are you still an unbeliever, then remember there is but one door, and if you will not enter by it you will perish in your sins.
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Today's reading: Isaiah 23-25, Philippians 1 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Isaiah 23-25


A Prophecy Against Tyre

1 A prophecy against Tyre:

Wail, you ships of Tarshish!
For Tyre is destroyed
and left without house or harbor.
From the land of Cyprus
word has come to them.
2 Be silent, you people of the island
and you merchants of Sidon,
whom the seafarers have enriched.
3 On the great waters
came the grain of the Shihor;
the harvest of the Nile was the revenue of Tyre,
and she became the marketplace of the nations.
4 Be ashamed, Sidon, and you fortress of the sea,
for the sea has spoken:
“I have neither been in labor nor given birth;
I have neither reared sons nor brought up daughters.”
5 When word comes to Egypt,
they will be in anguish at the report from Tyre....

Today's New Testament reading: Philippians 1

1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God....
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Festus

[Fĕs'tus] - joyful, festal, prosperous.Porcius Festus was a Roman governor of Judea in the reign of Nero (Acts 24:27; 25; 26:24, 32).

The Man Who Called Paul Mad

Felix, seeking to court the favor of the Jews, left Paul in prison, thinking that the Jews would compensate him for such a favor. This act was an investment in iniquity. But the Jewish complaints against Felix led to his recall by Nero, so Paul passed into the hands of Festus, Felix'successor. Festus, not knowing much about Jewish matters, brought the question of Paul's imprisonment before Agrippa who was conversant with many aspects of the Jewish religion. It perplexed Festus to know that Paul, a Jew with the utmost reverence for the Law and the worship of the Temple, was yet hated by his compatriots.

Agrippa agreed to hear Paul for himself, so we come to the apostle's masterly defense before the king and Bernice. With a wonderful vividness Paul gave a retrospective analysis of his former life and then a sketch of his present sacrificial witness to Christ as the risen, glorified Son of God. Such was the impact of Paul's remarkable appeal that Festus, the Roman governor, forgot the usual dignity of his office and burst out into a loud laugh of scorn saying: "Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad."

With characteristic calmness and with a firm control of his natural impulses so that no unguarded utterance might escape his lips, Paul answered Festus in all courtesy: "I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness." In his incomparable Bible Characters, Alexander Whyte says that a single word will sometimes immortalize a man. "What will you give me?" was all Judas said. So with one word Festus is as well known to us as if a whole chapter had been written about him. He said Paul was mad.

But the uncontrolled and unbecoming outburst of Festus did not stagger Paul. Did they not say of his Master, for whom he had suffered much "He is beside Himself"? The apostle counted it a privilege to share his Master's madness. Later on, he wrote about being a fool for His sake. He knew that no man is a true Christian who is not the world's fool (1 Cor. 3:18; 4:10; 2 Cor. 11:23). All around us are those who have never been borne along by the enthusiasm of God, who deem the spiritual man to be mad (Hos. 9:7).
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