Friday, December 02, 2016

Fri Dec 2nd Todays News

IPA Review (Nov 2016) features a Richard Allsop article “War’s End” covering the Australian contribution to end WW1 in review of “The Last Fifty Miles” by Adam Wakeling. Australia’s PM of the day, Billy Hughes, did more than any other ally to ensure Japan would fight for empire in WW2. Even segregation fanboy President Wilson could only sit back and admire the bigotry. General Monash was at his height of authority, and was effective in getting ground without needlessly throwing away lives. Wakeling poignantly illustrates his story by introducing voices of people killed on the last morning. Those last fifty miles, from the high point of the German spring offensive to final point of surrender, cost Australia 5500 lives and 18500 injured. Children of the survivors, and younger siblings, would go on to become part of the greatest generation.
=== from 2015 ===
Corruption cannot be abided if we are to prosper. We can't accept Malcolm Turnbull's lies in place of decision making or policy. We can't accept Julie Bishop's obfuscations over her roll in back stabbing Mr Abbott. We can't accept Turnbull white anting Morrison as a future leader. We can't accept big government stealing future prosperity. We can't accept a corrupt opposition leader or incompetent shadow ministers. But we have and we do. Journalist Miranda Devine helped campaign against Mr Abbott and now demands his silence. It is said we must back Mr Turnbull for now. But, the truth is Turnbull knew what he was doing and knew he needed to be graceful after he won. He needed to show he could keep promises. He made promises, and has failed to keep them. He failed to be gracious. We can't accept that. It doesn't mean not voting conservative. Nationals are good. And unless you live in Wentworth, the Liberals are better than the alternatives. But tell your local Liberal that Turnbull must go. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility.
From 2014
The Brick with Eyes is what Queensland PUP Senator Lazarus was called on the rugby league field. He was renowned for his toughness. PUP is using him as a hard man in the senate. When Palmer's fishing expedition into Campbell Newman threatened to branch off and investigate Palmer himself, Lazarus redirected it away from Palmer. Lazarus is loyal, but not very smart. His politics sees him matching the ALP voting record which is unlikely to be what the voters who voted for him wanted when they didn't vote for the ALP. But it is politics and Lazarus knows he has to be tough if the game plan of PUP is to succeed. It seems as if Palmer is disenchanted with Newman because Palmer felt he owned Newman through party donations. But that isn't how donations work in a democracy. But Palmer was desperate. The result has been that after the ALP and Greens blocked all legislation in the senate for the Abbott Government until July, Palmer has had PUP play a similar role after. And Palmer is playing hard ball, not giving anything to the government without exacting much more. Even when the government has negotiated things that suit Palmer, PUP has fractured and Lambie has rolled into blocking mode too. So that PUP cannot be trusted to follow through on their own negotiations. The government has modified its higher education reforms, but Lazarus is feeling too down to negotiate with the government, and wants their messaging him to stop. Lazarus could achieve that by replying and agreeing. Poor brick. 

The Abbot administration have done a brilliant job with limited opportunity. They have endeavoured to keep their promises, and have one so with few exceptions. They are not in a position to fix the budget, because of the senate, but they have made responsible decisions and they are persevering. Some things are frustrating for their friends and supporters. The failure to eliminate the bad legislation of 18c from racial discrimination is one thing. While on the other hand there is need to allow ASIO and the police access to metadata. Limiting the pay rise of soldiers and cutting ABC 5% are measured responses by the government hysterically opposed. Had Lambie and PUP granted the necessary cuts, there might have been room to negotiate over soldier pay. Another useful budget measure is a modest charge of $7 to see a doctor. The benefit includes the establishment of a $20 billion research fund. But the ALP who decry the loss of the name 'science' from the ministry, refuse to back the establishment of the fund. $7 does not pay for a doctor, it is a price indicator, like public transport, education or prescriptions. The ALP has cost every man woman and child in Australia some $6000 every year in interest payments managing ALP's production of public debt. 

Karl Stefanovic was outrageously rude and unfair when interviewing Mr Abbott on Today. Following the Victorian Election LNP loss, which wasn't Mr Abbott's fault, but from an early lack of leadership and direction in Victoria. The good news for Victorians is that the LNP will change their leadership. They had been a good government, and they are being replaced by crooks. But Mr Abbott has re engaged with the senate and offered compromises. Enter Karl, who, protecting the media narrative, laughed at the effort to re engage with the senate and hung the election loss around Mr Abbott's neck. Karl was rude, and interrupted Mr Abbott so as to not let him correct the lies Karl was speaking. Karl 'playfully' referred to a tree back drop Mr Abbott had, because Ch9 camera people positioned it. But even so, Mr Abbott, unflustered, addressed everything, including explaining the tree. It hasn't changed the media narrative, or the lies underpinning it, but one imagines they will be put to bed in a few months time with a dynamic government persevering. 
From 2013
There is something uncomfortable with watching the press pick at a conservative government to engineer an accusation of compromise. Prior to the last election the Liberal party promised to match the ALP on funding for education. The abysmal Gonski plan was tabled. It took funding from universities and TAFEs as well as general revenue and funnelled it into ALP friendly institutions without benefit to education. NSW took the funding but had its own programs it would use the money for. Some of the programs are worthwhile, but all of them are beyond standard practice. The ALP missed out on three of the ten states and territories and withdrew $1.2 billion from the package and put it in general revenue before declaring they were over $30 billion off budget. 

Now the ALP are claiming the Liberal Party need to put the $1.2 billion back. Education minister Pyne noted it was missing. Now it has been restored. Laurie Oakes, acting as an ALP shadow minister, called it a multiple back flip. At no stage has the LNP gone back on its' election promises. Close questioning by Bolt as well as ABC almost exacted what looked like it might have been a broken promise. A recording of Pyne talking about schools funding seemed to show .. nothing. Despite the affirmation, it is clear Pyne has improved on the ALP model as well as raising spending. In time to come, that will be clear. In the short term, there is the gloating of the press. Still, one can't help but feel the ALP will direct the money to vaginal knitting in South Australia and Tasmania. 


Cate Blanchet weeps for the lost opportunities of planet killing travel. Wealthy urban lefties are leaving private education, at the expense of cheaper private education for all Australians. Michael Clarke suffers from ACB's hysteria over a friendly warning. Note to Obama on health care "You did not build this" .. very well. Flannery earns pay in obtaining consensus on Global Warming in the community, as people disbelieve it. Wagga Anglican church questions the role of Jesus in the church. Where is the bias incident response team? More on Snowden's intelligence leak. Keating knew what he was doing, but he was wrong.
Historical perspective on this day
In 1409, the University of Leipzig opened. In 1697, St Paul's Cathedral was consecrated in London. In 1755, the second Eddystone Lighthouse was destroyed by fire. In 1763, dedication of the Touro Synagogue, in Newport, Rhode Island, the first synagogue in what will become the United States. In 1775, the USS Alfred became the first vessel to fly the Grand Union Flag (the precursor to the Stars and Stripes); the flag was hoisted by John Paul Jones. In 1804, at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himselfEmperor of the French, the first French Emperor in a thousand years. In 1805, Napoleonic WarsBattle of Austerlitz – French troops under Napoleon Bonaparte defeated a joint Russo-Austrian force. In 1823, Monroe Doctrine: In a State of the Union message, U.S. President James Monroe proclaimed American neutrality in future European conflicts, and warned European powers not to interfere in the Americas. In 1845, Manifest Destiny: In a State of the Union message, U.S. President James K. Polk proposed that the United States should aggressively expand into the West. In 1848, Franz Josef I became Emperor of Austria. In 1851, French President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte overthrew the Second Republic. In 1852, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte became Emperor of the French as Napoleon III. In 1859, militant abolitionist leader John Brown was hanged for his October 16 raid on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. In 1867, at Tremont Temple in Boston, British author Charles Dickens gave his first public reading in the United States. In 1899, Philippine–American War: The Battle of Tirad Pass, termed "The Filipino Thermopylae", was fought.

In 1908, Puyi became Emperor of China at the age of two. In 1917, World War I: Russia and the Central Powers signed an armistice at Brest-Litovsk, and peace talks leading to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk began.In 1920, following more than a month of Turkish–Armenian War, the Turkish dictated Treaty of Alexandropol is concluded. In 1927, following 19 years of Ford Model T production, the Ford Motor Company unveiled the Ford Model A as its new automobile. In 1930, Great Depression: In a State of the Union message, U.S. President Herbert Hoover proposed a US$150 million public works program to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy. In 1939, New York City's LaGuardia Airport opened. In 1942, World War II: During the Manhattan Project, a team led by Enrico Fermi initiated the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction. In 1943, World War II: A Luftwaffe bombing raid on the harbour of Bari, Italy, sank numerous cargo and transport ships, including the American SS John Harvey, which was carrying a stockpile of World War I-era mustard gas. In 1947, Jerusalem Riots of 1947: Riots break out in Jerusalem in response to the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. In 1954, Cold War: The United States Senate voted 65 to 22 to censure Joseph McCarthy for "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute". Also, the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, between the United States and Taiwan, was signed in Washington, D.C. In 1956, the Granma reached the shores of Cuba's Oriente ProvinceFidel CastroChe Guevara and 80 other members of the 26th of July Movement disembarked to initiate the Cuban Revolution. In 1961, in a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared that he was a Marxist–Leninist and that Cuba was going to adopt Communism. In 1962, Vietnam War: After a trip to Vietnam at the request of U.S. President John F. KennedyU.S. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield became the first American official to comment adversely on the war's progress.


In 1970, the United States Environmental Protection Agency began operations. In 1971, Abu DhabiAjmanFujairahSharjahDubai, and Umm al-Quwain formed the United Arab Emirates. In 1975, Laotian Civil War: The Pathet Lao seized the Laotian capital of Vientiane, forcing the abdication of King Sisavang Vatthana, and proclaimed the Lao People's Democratic Republic. In 1976, Fidel Castro became President of Cuba, replacing Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado. In 1980, Salvadoran Civil War: Four U.S. nuns and churchwomen, Ita FordMaura ClarkeJean Donovan, and Dorothy Kazel, were murdered by a military death squad. In 1982, at the University of UtahBarney Clark became the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart. In 1988, Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to head the government of an Islam-dominated state. In 1991, Canada and Poland become the first nations on earth to recognize the independence of Ukraine from the Soviet Union. In 1993, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was shot and killed in Medellín. Also,  Space Shuttle programSTS-61 – NASA launched the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. In 1999, Glenbrook rail accident: Seven passengers were killed when two trains collided near Sydney, New South Wales. Also, the United Kingdom devolves political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive. In 2001, Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
=== 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.
===
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 Dazzaa T One-Thousand. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
Napoleon I of France
You have been crowned. Emperor. You escaped to fight on. Hope floats. So does corn, which produces energy. Let's party. 
    Deaths
    ===
    Tim Blair

    ===
    Andrew Bolt

    ===

    Your ‘morals as a Muslim’ don’t give you a free pass

    Miranda Devine – Wednesday, December 02, 2015 (12:16am)

    In Martin Place two weeks ago protesters voicing concerns about Islam and counter-protesters trying to silence them were kept apart by police.

    Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Your ‘morals as a Muslim’ don’t give you a free pass'
    ===

    Mr Abbott, please, this is quite unbecoming

    Miranda Devine – Wednesday, December 02, 2015 (12:15am)

    You can understand Tony Abbott wanting to defend his legacy, but his ongoing attacks on his former colleagues are unbecoming.

    Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Mr Abbott, please, this is quite unbecoming'
    ===

    VERSED DOG

    Tim Blair – Wednesday, December 02, 2015 (2:42pm)

    Cowardly Guardian cartoonist Andrew Marlton, better known as First Dog on the Moon, is holding a little Christmas contest
    Write a festive limerick (a humorous 5 line poem) featuring First Dog on the Moon. 
    Very well, then. Let’s give it a shot: 
    Christmas morning is upon us soon 
    What gift will delight Mr Cartoon? 
    less degrading job
    A tongue that fits his gob
    Or some balls for First Dog on the Moon?
     
    Readers are invited to submit their own, er, doggerel. Don’t try too hard, however, or you might win some terrible prizes.
    ===

    BILL’S IN PARIS

    Tim Blair – Wednesday, December 02, 2015 (1:34pm)

    The next time you face an awkward question, simply employ the ingenious Shorten deflection
    EMMA ALBERICI: Bill Shorten, the latest opinion polls show only 15 per cent of Australians would prefer to have you as Prime Minister. Is that upsetting, to think that the public isn’t warming to you?
    BILL SHORTEN: No, I’m in Paris talking about climate change. 
    This line works every time. Try it today!
    ===

    PROGRESSIVES WARNED

    Tim Blair – Wednesday, December 02, 2015 (1:25pm)

    Big changes at The Daily Telegraph and The Australian. Meanwhile, the boss is taking on leftists and their crybaby culture in the US: 
    News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch, in a discursive speech Monday evening, blasted Secretary of State John Kerry and attacked the left for creating an “identity crisis” that he charged has undermined American strength and fostered terrorism around the world …
    “I feel obliged to alert college students, progressive academics and all other deeply sensitive souls that these words may contain phrases and ideas that challenge your prejudices – in other words, I formally declare this room an ‘unsafe space.’” 
    Do read on. The best ideas always come from unsafe spaces.
    ===

    SHOW AND SHY

    Tim Blair – Wednesday, December 02, 2015 (1:12pm)

    Sharp-eyed viewers may detect some subtle differences between the US and the UK: 
    UPDATE. In other sport news, this should happen in every soccer game, preferably before the game even begins:

    Mauritania’s president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was accused on Tuesday of ordering a penalty shootout to avert his boredom in last weekend’s Super Cup final.
    The match, which took place between FC Tevragh-Zeina and ACS Ksar, lasted only 63 minutes before the referee ordered for penalties to take place with the score tied at one. 
    Tevragh-Zeina won the Presidential shoot-out.
    ===

    MAURICE STRONG

    Tim Blair – Wednesday, December 02, 2015 (12:58pm)

    Global warming goon Maurice Strong, dead at 86, is farewelled in appropriate terms by Quadrant and Catallaxy.
    (Via Noel G.) 
    ===

    STOP THE BOATS

    Tim Blair – Wednesday, December 02, 2015 (11:09am)

    According to Sydney “community psychiatrist” Professor Alan Rosen, the real environmental problem is too many cruise ships.
    ===

    THEY PAID WITH CARBON CREDITS

    Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 01, 2015 (10:27pm)

    The terrifying urgency of our planet’s climate change crisis has never been more obvious:

    UPDATE. Robert Mugabe missed his invitation.
    UPDATE II. Stand back, everybody. Tim Flannery is making an important earth statement with his arm.
    ===

    Turnbull should apologise to Abbott. Or is the US now guilty of “machismo”, too?

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2015 (10:04am)

    Tony Abbott suggested:
    Preferably with Sunni states such as Turkey, Egypt and Jordan, as well as with the US, Britain and France, Australia should be prepared to contribute more to a military campaign to destroy this terrorist caliphate on the ground in Syria and Iraq. This could involve less restrictive targeting rules for airstrikes and the deployment of special forces on the ground in support of local forces, similar to the 2001 campaign where the Northern Alliance defeated the Taliban in Afghanistan.
    Julie Bishop misrepresented:
    As Tony Abbott well knows, Australia does not act unilaterally. We need legal basis under international law to send our forces into other countries.
    Malcolm Turnbull rejected:
    Yesterday Turnbull was seen to be giving his predecessor a “slap down” in his national security address to parliament suggesting there was no room for “gestures or machismo” and ridiculed any idea of a “unilateral” Australian invasion of Syria or a “Western-led invasion”.... 
    Even as Turnbull said the response to the Paris terror attacks “must be as clear eyed and strategic”, it was “not a time for gestures or machismo” and there was no support “for a large US-led Western army to attempt to conquer ISIL” in Iraq or Syria, the outrage grew that he was putting up a “straw man” argument against Abbott. 
    The US now accepts:
    The United States is deploying ‘specialised’ troops in Iraq to fight the Islamic State group, including by leading raids against the jihadists over the border in Syria, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says. 
    Speaking to the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, the Pentagon chief said that a ‘specialised expeditionary targeting force’ was being deployed in Iraq to help Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces battle IS....
    He said the special forces would also be able to intervene in neighbouring Syria, where Washington has already announced it is sending about 50 special operations troops. 
    ‘These special operators will over time be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence, and capture ISIL leaders,’ he said.
    Malcolm Turnbull’s response? The response of the journalists who joined Turnbull in smashing Abbott’s suggestion? 
    ===

    Black groups, ethnic groups… so why not white groups, too?

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2015 (9:29am)

    The retribalising of Australia - an essentially racist project - leads inevitably to  this logical reaction:
    SO-CALLED white student unions are springing up at universities across Australia, charged with supporting and defending the interests of white students who they say are becoming marginalised from on-campus life and political debate. 
    At least seven unofficial unions have formed at rapid speed in the past week, claiming to represent students of European descent at the University of Queensland, the University of Southern Queensland, the University of Technology, Sydney, Macquarie University, Western Sydney University, the University of NSW and the University of Western Australia.
    Third-year University of Western Australia student Michael (who did not wish to reveal his last name) said he founded the UWA White Student Association on the weekend.
    In response to accusations of racism, Michael says he and the group were not racists and “we never will be”.
    “Supporting white students doesn’t imply hatred of other races, it’s not a logical accusation,” he said....
    “(Groups that represent ethnic minority groups) are nothing new, and we don’t have an issue with them. What is new is the increasing difficulty white students face in expressing their views, identity, or culture on campus without being shouted down and labeled. 
    “White students are not a minority, but they are currently being treated worse than most minorities, if they break rank with the left-wing multicultural orthodoxy that is hellbent of persecuting expression of whiteness.”
    (Thanks to reader TerryG of PK.) 
    ===

    Mal Brough wrong. Channel 9 did not doctor his confession

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2015 (9:10am)

    Special Minister of State Mal Brough made a big mistake in Parliament, accusing Channel Nine of doctoring the tape that showed him apparently confessing to having asked for the private diary of Peter Slipper:
    The Nine Network published transcripts of its interview with Brough and released video after the special minister of state accused the program of selectively editing a question about his contact with Slipper’s former staffer James Ashby…
    Brough told parliament [on Tuesday]: “In relation to the 60 Minutes interview, what was put to air was not the full question.”
    The program, which went to air in 2014, broadcast the journalist Liz Hayes asking: “Did you ask James Ashby to procure copies of Peter Slipper’s diary for you?”
    It broadcast Brough’s reply: “Yes I did.”
    Following Brough’s claim on Tuesday,.... the Nine Network provided a lengthy transcript of the interview, which included this exchange: 

    Q: Um why then also did you um assis, seek well, [plane noise] did you ask James Ashby to procure um copies of Peter Slipper’s diary for for you? M: [10:32:19] Yes I did. 
    Q: Why did you do that? 
    M: [10:32:22] Because I believed Peter Slipper had committed a crime. I believed he was defrauding the commonwealth ...
    Nine News also broadcast the original video of the Q&A in its primetime bulletin on Tuesday evening. 
    Turnbull made Brough a minister as a reward for his help in plotting against Abbott. Will he now admit he made an error?
    (Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
    ===

    Abbott blamed for the fear that terrorism causes

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2015 (8:57am)

    Spot the crucial “causative factor” missing from this first paragraph of an Age report:
    Tony Abbott’s rhetoric on national security and a push to ban the burqa in Parliament House increased the amount of abuse Australian Muslims faced, according to research into Islamophobic incidents.
    Tony Abbott’s “rhetoric” is to blame?
    But what was Abbott actually responding to? Isn’t Islamic terrorism the true causative factor here of a fear of Islam, leading some to ugly abuse of Muslims?
    And, indeed, here and there in the report the truth does peep out:
    The preliminary findings ... also found that the recent terrorist attacks in Paris saw Australian Muslims being exposed to twice as much verbal abuse, harassment and intimidation as usual....  But there were “noticeable spikes” whenever terrorism was in the news… There were surges in reports after… Anti-terror raids in September this year [and] the Martin Place siege last December,
    But this causative factor - Islamist terrorism - is one that the compiler of the “Islamaphobia” register seems unwilling to discuss:
    After the Paris attacks the Islamophobia Register received 37 reports of abuse.  “As far as the conclusions that can be drawn and what can be done, I will leave that for other to decide,” Mrs Veiszadeh said.
    So what prompted Tony Abbott’s national security statement, that this report criticises for having caused a “surge” of Islamophobia? Here is some of what Abbott said at the time:
    The terrorist threat is rising at home and abroad – and it’s becoming harder to combat… 
    Last September, the National Terrorist Threat level was lifted to high, which means a terrorist attack is likely. Critics said we were exaggerating.
    But since then, we have witnessed the frenzied attack on two police officers in Melbourne and the horror of the Martin Place siege.
    Twenty people have been arrested and charged as a result of six counter terrorism operations conducted around Australia… The arrest of two men in Sydney earlier this month, who’d already recorded a pre-attack message, is just one example of how quickly a threat can develop…
    Already at least 110 Australians have travelled overseas to join the death cult in Iraq and Syria.  At least 20 of them, so far, are dead… 
    ASIO currently has over 400 high-priority counter-terrorism investigations.  That’s more than double the number a year ago.
    Should Abbott not have noticed all this? Not said anything? And does the Age and Mrs Veiszadeh truly believe that had Abbott not responded to this mounting threat, that Australians would not have feared Islam?
    UPDATE
    So are today’s police raids responsible for any “Islamophobia”? Should they have done nothing?
    POLICE have carried out dawn raids at two properties in Western Sydney.... A source has confirmed that the raids were sparked following a threat to a police station in western Sydney… 
    The raids were carried out at the Alamaddine and Haouchar homes, both families that are known to police. NSW Police said the searches were being “conducted under the powers of firearms prohibition orders which were previously served on a number of men linked to the addresses being searched"…
    This morning’s raid follow on from a family feud between the Alamaddines - the relatives of the man accused of supplying the gun which killed Curtis Cheng in the Parramatta shooting - and the family of one-eyed Osman Haouchar, 26, who was detained upon returning from the Middle East last week. 
    (Note: those raided must be presumed innocent.) 
    ===

    Albrechtsen to Turnbull: don’t believe the media’s love letters

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2015 (8:56am)

    Janet Albrechtsen, no great fan of Tony Abbott, nevertheless  warns Malcolm Turnbull not to get carried away by the astonishing media love in:
    Another happy camper is Fairfax’s Mark Kenny, who enthused that under Turnbull, Australia was “back in the international community … back in the 21st century”. The besotted Kenny announced that “Turnbull’s nuanced Australia presentation (is) one that eschews dogma, and instead synthesises solutions as needed, applying the best arguments and policies for a given problem”. Apparently quoting Turnbull, Kenny wrote that results were what mattered. 
    Except there are no results. No big decisions either. Turnbull’s leadership should be subject to intellectually curious analysis, not stream-of-consciousness sentiments. Throwing money quickly at domestic violence, even with the best of intentions, is not a policy or a solution. Nor is saying that it’s an exciting time to be an Australian. Positive vibes aren’t policies. Getting rid of knights and dames was a no-brainer, requiring neither intelligence nor courage.
    The real challenges for Turnbull — tax reform, dealing with the budget deficit and weaning voters off government handouts — lie ahead. Judgments about Turnbull’s political skill, let alone his longevity, can’t be made until he is tested on these critical fronts.
    The love for Turnbull from some sections of the media spells trouble for him… This kind of unfettered love-in is politically more perilous than a PM who makes inflated promises because Turnbull has less control over the likely disappointments ahead....
    Turnbull should beware of those in the unthinking love camp. They are far more dangerous to him than the unthinking critics. When a prime minister surrounds himself with obsequious journalists, he bears the same risk an ABC chairman faces in hanging out with ABC types. In the seduction game, when you start believing the bulldust, you soon forget the real audience: the Australian people. 
    Read the whole thing. Examples of the love-in are given. Warning: prepare for nausea caused by sugar overload. 
    ===

    Liberal MPs no longer willing to let Islam off the hook. Turnbull had better take heed

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2015 (8:41am)

    Paul Kelly on a rising resistance among Liberal MPs to telling lies about Islam:
    There is a growing mood within the Coalition parties that a more honest and realistic language is essential in discussing the problem of Islamist terrorism and that this is a necessary precondition for effectively addressing the threat. 
    This is squarely in line with public opinion. In last week’s Newspoll 76 per cent felt a terror attack on Australia was “likely to inevitable"… The public feels under threat. It has every reason for this sentiment.
    The political class needs to honour this sentiment yet ensure the search for new language does not inflame tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims, an objective of the Islamists. There is one certainty: any trace of apologist rhetoric will incur greater scorn and anger....
    While there is ongoing criticism of Tony Abbott over his lack of meaningful engagement with Muslim communities, the mood in the government and public is shifting again. 
    In its essence, this is not an Abbott-Turnbull issue. The risk, however, is that it may end this way. 
    In fact, it actually started as “an Abbott-Turnbull issue”, thanks to Turnbull and his media supporters. Right from the start, Turnbull as a Minister sought to make Abbott seem a cowboy who was inflaming Muslims by suggesting imams needed to do far more to reform their faith.  Turnbull as Prime Minister had reporters briefed about his new ”inclusive” tone, so different to Abbott’s, and initially even described the murder of Curtis Cheng as ”politically motivated” rather than religiously.
    Many Liberal MPs have now made clear they repudiate the Turnbull line. And Turnbull is being dragged back slowly to something more realistic.
    Meanwhile, Kelly once again looks to Islamic leaders to do what they’ve largely refused to do for the 14 years since the September 11 attacks:
    It is the same point again: the need for Muslim communities to be seen to own the problem and solution — obviously with the help of the wider public. This is why the worst mistake Muslim leaders can make is to talk and act as though the problem is not theirs but belongs to everybody else.
    How many more years must we wait for the kind of Muslim leadership Kelly rightly demands before we can conclude it will never come?
    And then what? 
    ===

    Facts don’t count as warmists spread fear and rob the poor

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2015 (7:34am)

    Bjorn Lomborg on the immorality of Malcolm Turnbull robbing starving Peter to pay warmist Paul:
    Yesterday, Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pledged to divert almost $1 billion of Australian development aid to climate aid… 
    For many delegates [at the Paris climate conference], the goal is for the amount spent internationally on climate aid to add up to an astonishing $100 billion a year....
    Much of this “climate aid” money isn’t new. It isn’t drawn from existing climate change budgets. Instead, it’s being harvested from existing aid and development funds…
    In a world in which malnourishment continues to claim at least 1.4 million children’s lives each year, 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty, and 2.6 billion lack clean drinking water and sanitation, this growing emphasis on climate aid is simply immoral.
    The Paris conference is obscene. Delegates are promising to “stop” a largely invented threat by diverting aid money to save people from real ones. Moreover, the delegates are talking about a warming threat that’s killed no one while being guarded by thousands of police and soldiers from a real threat that’s killed tens of thousands.
    UPDATE
    On Monday I pointed out the gross exaggerations and false claims pushed by Labor leader Bill Shorten, beating up the warming scare.  Read it here.
    As you see, I corrected Shorten’s claims.  Contrary to what Shorten claimed, I noted that:
    - satellite data showed no statistically significant warming for 18 years
    - crops were in fact bigger than ever
    - food prices were falling
    - some warming was likely to save lives overall, not cost them, since cold weather was deadlier than warm
    - 80 per cent of low-lying atoll islands were in fact not drowning but growing or stable
    - cyclones were decreasing in number and there was little evidence they had grown stronger
    - there was little evidence for an increase worldwide of the predicted droughts.
    I also pointed out that Shorten refused to say what his proposal to slash emissions would cost, how it would work, or what difference it would make.
    Former Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes, now a Fairfax columnist, has clearly checked my claims to try to find fault. Unable to point to a single error (throwing instead a red herring or two, like the highly controversial NOAA paper), he still refuses to accept the warming threat has been exaggerated. Rather than criticise Shorten for wildly inaccurate scaremongering, he instead criticises me for telling the truth. Facts, it seems, no longer matter. Such is the grip of the warming faith on journalists of the Left:
    ... the Tele carried a full page of the Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt, ranting about Bill Shorten’s announcement of a new emissions reduction target: “a non-promise to do something useless at a cost he won’t give for a result he doesn’t know on evidence he made up”, as Bolt pithily put it. 
    Well, it’s certainly true that Shorten hasn’t pledged to reach his new target, and has proffered no way of getting there…
    As [Bolt] is wont to do, he spent hundreds of words deploying what he calls “sober, scientific facts” to prove his point....
    Professor Kench “concedes”, writes Bolt, “that these small islands will be more resilient to sea-level rise than we thought”. Well, so he does… 
    And Andrew Bolt is far from a lone voice ... – the list of News columnists who are sceptical of or openly derisive about climate change science goes on and on. 
    Shorten the scaremonger - good. Bolt the truthteller - bad.
    Holmes then writes a paragraph stunning in the complete lack of self awareness it reveals:
    As Robert Manne details in a long, despairing article in the current edition of The Monthly, behavioural studies have shown convincingly that most of us aren’t swayed by “hard” science. No matter how well-educated or well-informed we think we are, what “evidence” we accept, and what we reject, is determined almost exclusively by our pre-existing mindsets.
    UPDATE
    A month ago I asked:
    But will the media ... report the truth — that the vast majority of Pacific Islands are in fact growing or stable? If they don’t, then ask: what else won’t they tell you about their global warming scare?
    A question we should today ask the ABC’s AM:
    MICHAEL BRISSENDEN [presenter]: Pacific Island nations ... have long argued for a 1.5 degree cap to ensure their countries survive the stronger storms and rising sea levels global warming will bring… 
    MELISSA CLARKE [reporter]:… Kiribati is close to resignation that what it has worked so hard for is beyond reach.... Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga is despairing at the prospect of nations deciding that a two degree increase in global temperatures is acceptable.
    ENELE SOPOAGA: Relocation cannot be an excuse for no actions to saving people in their God-given islands....
    MELISSA CLARKE: And so the island nations continue their task of appealing for the world to do enough to save them. 
    In fact:
    Professor Paul Kench ...  has now studied more than 600 coral reef islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. His findings: about 40 per cent have grown in size. Another 40 per cent have stayed stable. Just 20 per cent have shrunk. 
    Take Kiribati… Its main South Tarawa island has grown 19 per cent over 30 years… Or consider Tuvalu. Its main atoll, Funafuti, has grown 32 hectares since 1900.
    As Kench says, but journalists rarely report: “Evidence now suggests that these small islands will be more resilient to sea-level rise than we thought.” 
    Professor Virginie Duvat of the University of La Rochelle agrees: “There is presently no evidence that these islands are going to sink.”
    Why does the ABC refuse to report the science? 
    ===

    Aborigines back giant mine and its jobs

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2015 (7:27am)

    No such small group of Australians should have the power to stop a mine that brings so much good to so many others. But how good that a majority of traditional owners has chosen jobs over welfarism, despite the urging of green activists:
    An indigenous group that has been fighting in the Federal Court to block Adani’s $16 billion Carmichael mine in central Queensland is believed to have reversed its position… 
    Elders of the Wangan and ­Jagalingou people, who previously accused the green lobby of driving the fight to stop Australia’s largest coalmine, told The Australian last night a majority of the group had voted on Monday to back Adani.
    Irene White, one of the 12 registered native title ­applicants of the group, said the vote was a ­reflection of widespread support for the mine and the potential jobs, business opportunities and training being offered by the ­Indian resource giant.
    The close vote — seven of the 12 applicants supported the mine — came a week after a Federal Court judge described as “shambolic’’ an appeal brought by the group challenging the National Native Title Tribunal’s decision to grant Adani a mining licence. 
    That appeal, led by native title applicant Adrian Burragubba as a representative of the indigenous group, has been adjourned for further submissions to be made… Earlier this year it was revealed that weeks later Wotif founder Graeme Wood and former Greenpeace employee John Hepburn were involved in setting up a company, The Sunrise Project, to help the indigenous group fight Adani. Documents obtained by The Australian detail an offer of a $325,000 payment over one year “to initiate a community ­development program and explore their alternatives to mining’’.
    ===

    Bishop blows $30,000

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2015 (7:20am)

    Leaving early and giving the charity that $30,000 might have been a better result:
    Julie Bishop ordered an empty VIP jet to fly from Canberra to Perth to collect her and her ­boyfriend from a charity dinner, The Daily Telegraph in Sydney ­reports today. 
    The Foreign Minister and partner David Panton were the only passengers on the RAAF Challenger jet on the overnight flight back to Canberra on ­October 18. Ms Bishop had represented the Prime Minister at a private dinner for WA Telethon donors earlier that night, and said she chose to take the jet because the dinner finished too late to catch a commercial flight back to Canberra in time for a 7am ministerial meeting. It is believed taxpayers have been slugged $30,000 for the flight.
    ===

    Murdoch: weakened by the Left in the fight against terrorism

    Andrew Bolt December 01 2015 (9:49pm)

    He’s my boss, yet I still say it’s a great speech. As I’ve argued before, we cannot fight the challenge from assertive Islamism from a cringing position:
    News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch, in a discursive speech Monday evening, blasted Secretary of State John Kerry and attacked the left for creating an “identity crisis” that he charged has undermined American strength and fostered terrorism around the world. 
    And he drew a connection between U.S. foreign policy and domestic culture, arguing that “in recent years, there has been far too much institutionalization of grievance and victimhood."…
    Murdoch quickly pivoted to a sweeping indictment of U.S. foreign policy under Barack Obama, though he did not mention the president by name.
    “For a U.S. secretary of state to suggest that Islamic terrorists had a ‘rationale’ in slaughtering journalists is one of the low points of recent Western diplomacy and it is indicative of a serious malaise,” Murdoch said, referring to Kerry’s recent mangled attempt to draw a distinction between the assault on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the more recent Paris attacks. ...
    “For America to have a sense of direction, two conditions are essential: A U.S. leader must understand, be proud of and assert the American personality,” he said…
    “An identity crisis is not a starting point for any journey; and secondly, there must be clear goals informed by values and by a realization of the extraordinary potential of its people,” Murdoch continued. 
    ===

    MEET BARB

    Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 02, 2014 (5:02am)

    What would a Barbie doll look like if it received a Greens makeover?
    This important question follows the Greens’ support for the Play Unlimited campaign, which opposes the iconic Barbie doll and other allegedly gender-stereotyped toys. According to Greens Senator Larissa Waters, Barbie dolls “perpetuate gender inequality, which feeds into very serious problems such as domestic violence and the gender pay gap.”
    So let’s fix Barbie and make her Greens-compliant.

    Icon Arrow Continue reading 'MEET BARB'
    ===

    WALLABY WARMY

    Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 02, 2014 (4:52am)

    Australian rugby union player David Pocock recently travelled from Canberra to northern NSW for the unusual purpose of attaching himself to mining machinery: 
    I know some are very uncomfortable with breaking the law, but I feel that nonviolent direct action in the face of coal mines and climate change draws on a long history of civil disobedience being used to highlight injustice. 
    The workers who operate the machines Pocock used to celebrate his own holiness earn a fraction of Pocock’s salary. As well, they are not paid to travel the world in carbon-generating jets. The player’s bosses are not amused
    The Australian Rugby Union has issued a formal written warning to David Pocock following his arrest yesterday.
    While we appreciate David has personal views on a range of matters, we’ve made it clear that we expect his priority to be ensuring he can fulfil his role as a high-performance athlete. 
    This possibly doesn’t go far enough. As a goodwill exercise, the ARU might encourage union followers to lock on at Pocock’s place the next time he’s due to leave for a match. Fans could stop him working, inasmuch as rugby union is work. I know some are very uncomfortable with breaking the law, but I feel that nonviolent direct action in the face of idiocy draws on a long history of civil disobedience being used to highlight stupid people.
    ===

    WUSSOPOLY

    Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 02, 2014 (3:54am)

    The perfect Christmas gift for a Greens voter, or anyone else you don’t like:  
    We may live in a materialistic world, but Aussie educator Andrea Thompson has created a fun way to help the next generation understand the importance of social responsibility in a new family board game.
    Fair Go is a unique board game where the winner is determined by who has the best reputation for philanthropy and social justice. 
    Fantastic. You actually get rewarded for “seeming rather than doing”, as Andrew Bolt would put it. 
    It immerses young people in a place where winners are only rewarded for doing something great, and everyone gets a fair go …
    The game is the invention of Sydney based Andrea R. Thompson, a retired English language teacher. Andrea observed how hard it was to find a family game which could be adapted for different ability levels and where winning depended on making good choices, so she decided to create her own. She hopes that players learn how to win in a fun way ‘without hurting their friends’. 
    Because so many board games end in terrible violence. By the way, in the interests of social justice and all, shouldn’t the player who finishes last in this game be declared the winner?
    (Press release via the Mole)
    ===

    SOMEONE PLEASE HELP HIM

    Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 02, 2014 (3:24am)

    Labor groupie and ABC fallback air filler Bob Ellis has forgotten to provide costings for his strange, partly racially-based plan to save Australia. Perhaps readers can help him out. 
    (Via Ellis scholar and frequent Spectator writer Elle Hardy.)
    ===

    TAKE YOUR PICK

    Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 02, 2014 (2:48am)

    Susan L.M. Goldberg: “You can defend Islam, or you can defend women, but you cannot defend both.”
    ===

    WOMEN WIN

    Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 02, 2014 (2:32am)

    Along with Hawaiian clothing entrepreneur Judi Carpenter, the actual maker of Matt Taylor’s fine shirt is also looking at big profits
    A laser technician has been inundated with requests for handmade shirts after the one she made for a top Rosetta scientist came under fire for its “sexist” design.
    Elly Prizeman, 34, who works at Eternal Art in Viaduct Road, Chelmsford, was stunned when a shirt she made for her friend Dr Matt Taylor was criticised for its “inappropriate” design, featuring buxom ladies firing guns …
    Unfortunately, Mr Taylor’s shirt caused such a furore that he was forced to issue a teary apology for any offence he had caused in wearing it. 
    But then: 
    In a surprise turnaround, those supporting Matt’s right to wear his shirt began outnumbering those clamouring for him to apologise, and Mrs Prizeman has since been inundated with requests for handmade shirts in the same design.
    “I spent £45 on just material, plus the amount of time it took me to make it, so it would probably be about £150 a shirt, but people still want it because of what it symbolises,” she said.
    “I asked Matt if he minded, because I didn’t want to do anything that would exploit him, but he just said ‘you know what, go for it’. 
    This is the sort of spirit, people, that lands rockets on comets.
    ===

    Another blow to the Abbott Government - higher education changes blocked

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2014 (5:39pm)

    The Senate has rejected the Abbott Government’s reforms to higher education, which universities said were badly needed.
    More savings lost, too.
    Worse and worse. Again, here is an issue the Government should have fixed or dropped many weeks ago. 
    ===

    Saving lives or saving Labor? Not a King-sized dilemma

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2014 (9:52am)


    How low can Labor go when shown a bucket of taxpayers’ money?:
    A CANCER centre, outreach services for disadvantaged youth and critical road upgrades were among projects the former federal Labor government rejected in preference for projects in must-win electorates… 
    The Australian has obtained full details of Regional Development Australia Fund grants that were awarded in May and June last year which have been heavily criticised by a National Audit Commission report.
    Yesterday, Treasurer Joe Hockey called on the former minister for regional services Catherine King to apologise for having “rorted the Australian taxpayer”.
    Ms King claimed she had been misrepresented, and told parliament that two thirds of the projects funded had been in non-Labor seats.
    But the audit of the final rounds of the RDAF shows almost half of the grant money and one in four projects funded by Labor were not supported by its appointed expert panel. Thirty-three projects judged “not of sufficient quality” to receive grants won 48 per cent of $226 million awarded just four months before the election…
    In June last year, the federal Labor government announced $12m towards the development of the Western Sydney Community and Sports Centre in Penrith, which was in the marginal seat of Lindsay, held by Labor’s David Bradbury.
    In the seat of McMahon, held by Labor’s Chris Bowen, the government allocated $7.3m for the Fairfield youth and community centre.
    Both had been rejected by the panel, which advised Ms King that they were “not strong” and had “no identifiable positive impact on the broader community” to justify the grant.
    Yet while Labor funnelled money to projects in marginal electorates that were not deemed appropriate, The Australian can reveal that a wide range of worthy projects missed out. Most of these were in ­Coalition-held electorates.
    A small community hospital in Keith, in the safe Liberal seat of Barker in regional South Australia, had its application for $200,000 knocked back, despite the panel recommending it ­receive $400,000. In the southern NSW region of Riverina, a program for disadvantaged, homeless and drug-­dependent youth was set to receive $500,000 in round four of the project, but the decision of the panel was also ignored.
    Could King explain why a sports centre redevelopment in Lindsay was more important than a hospital in Keith?
    (Thanks to readers WaG311 and Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
    ===

    Government workers get Labor government that will make non-government workers pay more

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2014 (9:14am)

    The unions make explicit just how much Daniel Andrews owes them, and taxpayers must now pay:
    THE  unprecedented union ground campaign that ousted the Napthine government — including firefighters, nurses and paramedics door-knocking in fake uniforms — will be repeated in a bid to make Tony Abbott a one-term prime minister.

    Luke Hilakari, the secretary of the peak union body in Victoria, Trades Hall, told The Australian the strategy would “now go ­nationwide” and be bigger than the Your Rights at Work union campaign that played a large part in the defeat of the Howard government in 2007… 

    He said the campaign involved the unprecedented use of firefighters, nurses, teachers and paramedics who knocked on 93,000 doors during the campaign and made personal contact in the six marginal seats.
    The key unions in the Victorian election all represented workers paid by the state in a campaign that involved misappropriating state assets - notoriously our ambulances - to carry slogans pushing their demand to give the workers more money and the unions more power. These were government workers demanding a government which would force other workers to pay them extra.
    And they got it. Unionists in non-government jobs will pay.
    UPDATE
    And it starts, the free money culture all over again - free to public servants, plaid for by everyone else:
    Public servants’ wages in Victoria are likely to grow above inflation and could blow the state’s budget under a decision by incoming Premier Daniel Andrews to ditch a wages policy that required productivity improvements for wage increases above inflation.
    Terry McCrann warns Andrews not to believe Labor’s own bull:
    Barely one-in-three voters actively wanted Labor; far more voters cast their first preference for the Coalition than for Labor. Indeed Andrews will be pushing to have increased Labor’s first preference tally from that of his losing predecessor John Brumby in 2010… 
    You have NOT been given a crushing mandate to embark on big-spending union-friendly changes…
    It’s in the interests of both Labor and the Coalition — but most of all, Victoria — for much of the next four years to be decided on a bipartisan basis. Let there be no mistake: the Victorian economy is in potentially deep trouble.
    We’ve been living in the bubble of Mathew Guy’s high-rise boom. But already our jobless rate is up there with the weaker states, Tasmania and South Australia.
    The car industry will have disappeared before the next election. 
    Further, we are sitting inside a national economy being hit by the end of the resources boom
    ===

    Have the Greens really got nothing better to do than bash a Barbie?

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2014 (9:01am)

    The Greens really are ridiculous, hysterically accusing Barbie of secretly sneaking out of the toy basket to help bash women and steal their pay:
    GREENS Senator Larissa Waters has urged Christmas shoppers to rethink buying bright pink jewellery or dolls for little girls, linking gender-stereotyped toys to domestic violence and pay inequality
    Tim Blair designs a Barbie to the Greens’ specifications.
    UPDATE
    To end any confusion, Waters is on the right:
    ===

    How Mark Scott framed Tony Abbott

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2014 (8:35am)

     ABC boss Mark Scott admits he used the cover of Abbott Government’s tiny budget cuts to sneak in unpopular changes he’d already intended.
    Michael Bodey:
    Mark Scott confirmed savings from the closure of TV production in Adelaide would be diverted to its new $20 million digital fund… 
    South Australian independent senator Nick Xenophon seized on the admission by Mr Scott, noting it confirmed the closure of the South Australian television production unit “was unrelated to achieving savings demanded by the federal government"… Senator Xenophon said yesterday’s revelations exposed “how Mark Scott and the ABC board are centralising the ABC using the federal budget cuts as an excuse”. 
    (Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill and WaG311.) 
    ===

    And what’s today’s sign of change?

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2014 (8:06am)

    Tony Abbott and his Ministers started climbing out of their hole yesterday. Today’s Newspoll shows the size of the mountain before them:
    Mr Abbott’s dissatisfaction rating climbed two points to a five-month high of 57 per cent, giving him a net satisfaction rating of minus 24 points. 
    Mr Shorten’s satisfaction level is unchanged at 39 per cent and his dissatisfaction rating rose two points to 43 per cent, making his net satisfaction score minus four points. The Coalition and Labor have drawn level on a primary vote of 37 per cent each… The Greens recovered two points to 13 per cent while minor parties, independents and others were also on 13 per cent, down one point. Based on preference flows from last year’s election, Labor continues to hold a solid two-party preferred lead of 54 to 46 per cent and has been in front on this measure for 15 consecutive Newspoll surveys.
    Yesterday’s changes in tone, the admissions of broken promises, the appointment of a new head of the Prime Minister’s Department, the concession on defence pay, the renewed focus on the economy and the redoubled attacks on Labor’s record are all welcome. But more is needed, both to signal change and to fix the failures of process and personnel that led the government to this near-terminal point.
    UPDATE
    Former Treasurer Peter Costello says Tony Abbott did not cause Victoria’s unpopular Liberal Government to lose Saturday’s election, but he’d been foolish to ignore the message:
    The Victorian Liberals were always predicting their polls would turn around once people focused on the issues, or once the election got closer, or once this happened, or that. Many federal MPs are saying the same thing now. The point is that nothing will change unless something changes. 
    The Government announced last week that it is getting rid of “barnacles”. That is welcome… But getting rid of these things has been as choppy as the barnacles themselves.
    There was confusion about whether the Medicare co-payment was a barnacle or not. What about the paid parental leave plan? A government is entitled to change its mind on measures, particularly when it is unable to implement them. But if it changes its mind it has got to change it and then announce and explain it.
    Here’s another fact that comes out of Saturday night. No government is guaranteed a second term. The throwaway society is quite happy to get rid of a first-term government, even one that is not that bad. 
    ===

    Yet another dud green scheme from Labor

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2014 (7:42am)

    Nick Cater on yet another one of Labor’s dud green schemes - the $500 million Green Car Innovation Fund:
    About $14m was given to Ford to produce the Falcon Ecoboost, which retails for about $35,000, thanks to an $8000 contribution from the taxpayer. 
    According to motoring writers it’s a pretty good Falcon, almost as powerful as a real one ... but it is not what the market wants. A Falcon for tree-huggers is a contradiction in terms.
    Joshua Dowling broke the bad news in News Corp Australia’s CarsGuide last week: “Confidential figures reveal just 1800 Ecoboost four-cylinder Falcons have been sold since it went on sale in April 2012 — less than half as many as Ford originally planned.”
    Dowling uses the word “sold” loosely, since about 600 Ecoboosts were bought by Ford itself…
    Will it help us reach our Kyoto target? Let us run through the maths.
    Carbon emissions from full-strength Falcon: 226g/km. Carbon emissions from a Falcon Lite: 192g/km. Carbon saved: 34g/km. Carbon saved over 100,000km: 3.4 tonnes. Cost saving per tonne: $2300. Cost of a tonne of carbon abatement on the European market: $12.
    It would be wrong to say there have been no winners. Holden Cruze purchasers, for example, scored a $1500 subsidy. Buyers of the Camry Hybrid have benefited to the tune of $1100. 
    The question, however, is why? When Kevin Rudd announced the green cars scheme in 2008 he claimed that “R&D, particularly those related to clean, green technologies, constitute a public good”. Yet the Ecoboost engine was already in existence...
    The global warming scare has been cover for a massive transfer of funds from taxpayers to green carpetbaggers, thanks to headline-seeking politicians trying to take credit for “solving” a problem that doesn’t exist. 
    ===

    Clive Palmer goes feral under questioning over the missing $12 million

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2014 (7:28am)

     A bombastic and hypocritical bully:
    [Clive] Palmer yesterday: 
    THERE is no duty more sacred than being a member of the media, protecting the public’s right to know ...
    Steven Scott: Steven Scott from The Courier-Mail, Mr Palmer. I’d like to take you back to that court case ...
    Palmer: I can’t take any questions on that ... No, I’m not going to let him get his question out ... Why are you asking the same question? You’re just taking up television time.
    Scott: I haven’t asked it yet ...
    Palmer: No, I’m just going to keep talking while you get the question out, that’s what I’ll do. 
    UPDATE
    Hedley Thomas on the real reason Clive Palmer didn’t want to discuss that missing $12 million:
    The reason has nothing to do with the concern he feigns for due legal process in Brisbane’s ­Supreme Court, where he is ­defending serious allegations of dishonesty… [A]ll the documentary evidence in the Supreme Court — showing how Palmer funnelled more than $10m into his PUP (and almost $100,000 to American Express) soon after he withdrew Chinese funds totalling $12.167m from a “Port Palmer Operations” bank account in August and ­September last year — is being considered in Brisbane in the ­absence of a jury. 
    Jurors may be swayed by publicity. But ... Palmer can say whatever he likes to defend himself in forums like the National Press Club because Justice David Jackson QC will not be influenced by claims Palmer might make outside the Supreme Court.
    The more likely explanation for Palmer’s silence is his lawyers, sensibly, have told him to shut up ... because major fraud squads in Western Australia and Queensland have launched criminal investigations.... The lawyers won’t want Palmer to incriminate himself… Palmer has a habit of publicly denying the very conduct he has already admitted in his legal ­replies, such as his role in falsely backdating by 11 months a key ­document — the Port Management Services Agreement, which the Chinese call a “sham” — that Palmer executed and signed. He did it again yesterday, insisting he had not backdated the document.
    Clive, this is silly — you have ­admitted you backdated it. Have you misled the Supreme Court, which would be perjury, or told a whopper to the National Press Club? Choose the latter.
    It is difficult to imagine how any other serving political leader could soldier on in public life so belligerently after admitting having fabricated the origins of such a document that Palmer invented to try to justify the withdrawals.
    Clive Palmer denies dishonesty or taking money to which he was not entitled.
    (Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill and WaG311.) 
    ===

    Brilliant one day, unfair the next. Gittins spun

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2014 (7:24am)

    No politician could get away with the extraordinary sniff-the-wind flip-floppery of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Ross Gittins:
    Who could have predicted this? Ross Gittins, The Sydney Morning Herald, yesterday: 
    WHO could have predicted what a hash a Coalition government would make of its first budget? ... In 40 years of budget-watching I’ve seen plenty of unfair budgets, but never one as bad as this. 
    Not Ross! Gittins, the SMH, May 14: 
    THIS budget isn’t as bad as Labor will claim ... I give Joe Hockey’s first budgetary exam a distinction on management of the macro economy, a credit on micro-economic reform ... the truth is most of us have been let off lightly ... everyone will be angry about the resumption of the indexation of fuel excise, so worked up they forget it will raise the price of a litre of petrol by about one cent a year ...  Labor supporters want to believe that ... we don’t really have a problem. They are refusing to face reality. After running budget deficits for six years in a row, we faced the prospect of at least another decade of deficits unless Hockey took steps to bring government spending and revenue back together ... The economy is expected to be a lot stronger by the time Tuesday’s measures take full ­effect.
    Deregulating universities, who’d fall for that? Gittins, the SMH, ­yesterday: 
    THE notion that deregulating tuition fees would turn universities into an efficient, price-competitive market with no adverse consequences to speak of is first-years’ oversimplification, not evidence-based economics worthy of PhD-qualified econocrats.
    Guess who? Gittins, SMH, May 14:
    THIS carefully measured approach is what wins Hockey high marks for macro-economic management. He claims his reforms will improve the economy’s performance. His best measures along those lines are the ­increased competition between ­universities ...
    ===

    Does Leyonhjelm want his conservative supporters to be equally absolutist with him?

    Andrew Bolt December 01 2014 (7:57pm)

    I’m not sure David Leyonhjelm would want to give his many conservative admirers reason to drop off him - not when the Left won’t ever thank him enough to vote for him anyway:
    Prime Minister Tony Abbott faces opening up a new battle front in the Senate, with Liberal Democratic senator David Leyonhjelm pledging to block government legislation if MPs are not allowed to properly debate his same-sex marriage bill
    Last week, Senator Leyonhjelm introduced a bill into the Senate that would amend the Marriage Act to allow marriage between same-sex couples, as well as for transgender and intersex Australians.
    In response to Mr Abbott’s comments, Senator Leyonhjelm observed that newly independent senator Jacqui Lambie was not the only one on the crossbench who could veto the government’s legislation in protest. 
    ===
    Summer in Sydney means .. ed

    ===

    WEEP FOR THEM

    Tim Blair – Monday, December 02, 2013 (6:43pm)

    Cate Blanchett, who is paid a reported $10 million to appear in perfume advertisements, would like to discuss thesacrifices made by herself and other planet-saving celebrities: 
    We need to keep switching up the language around climate change. For so long we’ve talked about sacrifice and people get discredited for what they haven’t given up. [Celebrities] get criticised for taking flights, but the truth is someone like Leo [DiCaprio] takes fewer flights than he’s asked to. If we want it to stay on the radar, we need to focus on the fact there’s a lot of opportunity. 
    We truly do not appreciate their suffering.
    (Via Waxing Gibberish)
    ===

    SPEND YOUR OWN MONEY

    Tim Blair – Monday, December 02, 2013 (10:56am)

    There’s a fashion among wealthy urban lefties of putting their kids in state schools, presumably to stop them from meeting the children of Liberal voters or to prevent them from learning to read.

    Icon Arrow Continue reading 'SPEND YOUR OWN MONEY'
    ===

    FOREARM FOREWARNED

    Tim Blair – Monday, December 02, 2013 (10:53am)

    All Michael Clarke said to English batsman James Anderson was: “Get ready for a broken f****** arm.” That’s it. Yet the Australian cricket captain ended up in the centre of an international sledging controversy and was even fined by the ICC.
    It all seems a little excessive for a remark you’d hear in just about any spirited suburban cricket match, or even within a typically robust Australian family. Why, my own little sister once used almost the exact form of words against me following a dispute over Lego blocks.
    And that was just last Tuesday. 

    Icon Arrow Continue reading 'FOREARM FOREWARNED'
    ===

    YOU DIDN’T BUILD THIS … VERY WELL

    Tim Blair – Monday, December 02, 2013 (4:33am)

    Via the New York Times, a quick history of the US government’s attempt to build a website: 
    HealthCare.gov, the $630 million online insurance marketplace, was a disaster after it went live on Oct. 1, with a roster of engineering repairs that would eventually swell to more than 600 items …
    “We created this problem we didn’t need to create,” Mr. Obama said …
    The website, which the administration promised would “function smoothly” for most people by Nov. 30, remains a work in progress …
    It still suffers sporadic crashes, and large parts of the vital “back end” that processes enrollment data and transactions with insurers remain unbuilt …
    [On October 15] the president directed aides to make plans for him to tell the public that “yes, the website is screwed up” …
    One senior White House official said they briefly considered scrapping the system altogether …
    As engineers tried to come to grips with repeated crashes, a host of problems were becoming apparent: inadequate capacity in its data center and sloppy computer code, partly the result of rushed work amid the rapidly changing specifications issued by the government …
    The website had barely been tested before it went live, so a large number of software and hardware defects had not been uncovered …
    A system intended to handle 50,000 simultaneous users was fundamentally unstable, unable to handle even a tiny fraction of that. As few as 500 users crippled it …
    HealthCare.gov — a site Mr. Obama once promised would be as easy to shop on as Amazon.com — went dark for 10 to 12 hours, unheard of in the online business world … 
    So much for the Obama government’s technical abilities. Supporters now turn to Jesus
    “The glitches have not prohibited one ounce of enrollment in the African American community,” says Barbara Williams-Skinner, co-chair of the National African American Clergy Network, which says it has reached out to 5,000 pastors across the country to promote enrollment under the act. 
    Prayer is all they have left.
    ===

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

    Tim Blair – Monday, December 02, 2013 (3:58am)

    This site frequently draws attention to the ridiculous predictions and general strangeness of former climate commissioner Tim Flannery, but credit where it’s due. Just two years ago, armed only with his own scientific charisma, the support of the ABC, Fairfax, the UN and several million of your dollars, Flannery led an attempt to build aconsensus on the carbon tax
    Former Australian of the Year Tim Flannery will head the Federal Government’s climate change commission.
    The commission is being set up to help the Government build community consensus on the need for a price on carbon. 
    By the time of the last election, a consensus had indeed been achieved. Australians overwhelmingly rejected the need for a price on carbon dioxide. Granted, this may not have been the consensus sought by Flannery or the rest of his tax-funded anti-carbon collective, but a consensus it still was. Well done, sir.
    UPDATE. Further proof that climate panic is a religion for the wealthy.
    ===

    ABCLICANS

    Tim Blair – Monday, December 02, 2013 (2:19am)

    Gosford’s Anglican church of deluded self-loathing is now in competition with Wagga’s Anglican church of predictable leftoid causes for the title of Australia’s most wussified parish:


    Is there an even lamer Anglican church in your area? Or perhaps one led by someone who smiles during hearings into the Anglican church’s failure to report victims of child sexual abuse? Present evidence in comments.
    UPDATE. Gosford fights back.
    ===

    THIS IS A JOB FOR THE BIAS INCIDENT RESPONSE TEAM

    Tim Blair – Monday, December 02, 2013 (1:55am)

    Terrible hatred and bigotry at New York’s Vassar College: 
    On Nov. 14, the college sent a mass email to students advising them that the Bias Incident Response Team had received at least six reports in the last few months of hateful and insensitive messages being scrawled and spray painted on student residences. Messages included “Avoid Being Bitches” …
    Five days after the email was sent, Vassar President Catharine Hill sent a follow-up email announcing that the bias incidents were hoaxes perpetrated by two students. The students wrote the vile messages and then filed the reports themselves, claiming to be the victims of unknown haters. 
    (Via Iowahawk
    ===

    Intelligence lacking in latest leak

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2013 (5:48pm)

    Christopher Joye suggests caution with the latest attempt to harm Australia:
    Multiple intelligence sources say The Guardian has got its big scoop on Australian intelligence agencies allegedly shelling out information on local residents wrong. 
    The Guardian reported on Monday that “Australia’s surveillance agency offered to share information collected about ordinary Australian citizens with its major intelligence partners, according to a secret 2008 document leaked by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden”.
    Other media outlets have reflexively recycled The Guardian’s allegations. 
    But the Australian Signals Directorate does not intercept domestic communications precisely because it is prohibited from doing so under the Intelligence Services Act.
    ===

    So why on earth did Abbott go through this week of pain?

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2013 (5:32pm)

    Actually, it still doesn’t guarantee no individual school will be worse off, but this backflip makes it much less likely the promise will be broken:
    THE Coalition says it has done a new school funding deal with the states and territories that restores $1.2 billion removed by Labor and guarantees no school will be worse off as a result of the commonwealth. 
    After a week of bad press over the government’s decision to walk away from the Gonski school funding plan, Tony Abbott and Education Minister Christopher Pyne fronted the media to say a fresh deal had been done. The Prime Minister said the “command and control” elements of Labor’s plan was gone, but the states would receive their promised funding.
    Which raises the question: why in God’s name has this government so bungled the policy and the messaging that it earned a week of terrible headlines for - in the end - actually finding $1.2 billion that Labor ripped out?
    Warning, warning, warning to the Liberals: you lack what Bob Hawke had in Peter Barron, what Margaret Thatcher had in Bernard Ingham and what John Howard had in Grahame Morris. A critical - and alternative - source of advice is missing.  Someone as senior and trusted as is Peta Credlin, but in charge of communications, not delivery. 
    ===

    On 2GB tonight - Abbott and Palmer’s maiden speech

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2013 (11:49am)

    And is your tree up yet?
    On with Steve Price from 8pm. Listen live here. Talkback:  131 873.
    Listen to all past shows  here.   
    ===

    “Liar” is sexist only when it’s Gillard

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2013 (9:31am)

    Anne Summers said calling Julia Gillard a liar showed we were sexists:
    Other prime ministers have changed policies or gone back on promises.  Paul Keating did not proceed with the L-A-W tax cuts.  John Howard introduced a GST. Both were accused of backflips and of breaking promises.  Neither was ever called a “liar”. 
    The term “Juliar” seems to have been coined by broadcaster Alan Jones and quickly adopted by opponents of Gillard.  It featured prominently on banners at a rally protesting the carbon tax that ... was the first time that many of us were exposed to the virulence of the attacks that were beginning to be made against Gillard… Over the past two years Tony Abbott has relentlessly used Gillard’s backflip on the carbon tax to depict her as unreliable, as untrustworthy and as a liar… Calling her a “liar” might not be gender-specific, although as I have pointed out, it was not a term used against back-flipping male prime ministers.
    Bill Shorten:
    Abbott lied when he said no school would be worse off.
    Over to you, Ms Summers. Is Shorten sexist? 
    ===

    Callas. Birthday of a great artist

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2013 (9:23am)

     The great, great Maria Callas was born 90 years ago today.
    (Thanks to reader Stephen Dawson.) 
    ===

    Keating on power: just use it

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2013 (9:15am)

    Paul Keating has an attractive theory of leadership - but one sobering fact spoils the effect. He won just one election:
    ‘’Politicians come in three varieties: straight men, fixers and maddies,’’ he declares in the final part of Keating, The Interviews, on ABC television on Tuesday, insisting the maddies, including Margaret Thatcher, are those who ‘’charge in and get it done’’… 
    ‘’I always believed in burning up the government’s political capital, not being Mr Safe Guy, you know?’’
    ===

    UN predicts less food, reports more food

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2013 (8:50am)

    Global warming - propaganda

    HOW odd. Last month a United Nations climate conference in Warsaw heard a Dr Sonja Vermeulen warn global warming could make us hungry.
    “Global leaders are not taking the problem of food security under climate change seriously enough,” he said. “The picture is not rosy.”
    But another UN body, the Food and Agriculture Organization, last month told us food crops were in fact growing bigger and bigger.
    The world had just had a year of record rice harvest, and wheat and corn harvests were also near all-time highs.
    Even better, the FAO tipped that the total cereal production this financial year would be the biggest yet.
    Does the UN ever made its professional alarmists sit down and talk to its agronomists?
    (Read full article here.
    ===

    Take them on, Prime Minister

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2013 (8:45am)

      
    HIS enemies will scoff, but Tony Abbott’s problem is he’s too nice. He really does think the Left could learn to like him.
    So he shies from reforming the ABC, telling me yesterday he doesn’t need more enemies and joking his job was “to be as appealing as possible”.
    He’s refused to rebuke Governor-General Quentin Bryce for her crass politicking when she backed same-sex marriage and a republic, telling me yesterday there was a convention for prime ministers not to criticise the Queen’s representative.
    Abbott even kept to himself his anger when former prime minister Julia Gillard sided with Indonesia’s demand that he promise Australia would never again spy on its leaders - as the Labor Government had done in 2009.
    And Abbott for too long cheerfully assumed if he just governed well, the results would simply speak for themselves. Even some of his critics would be silenced.
    Mate, wake up.
    These people hate you. Loathe you. They want you to fail.
    (Read full article here.
    ===

    The great copyright gravy train

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2013 (8:26am)

    It’s time someone really investigated this outfit:
    THE body that collects author and artist royalties has defended its chief executive’s annual package of nearly $500,000, and says it is moving to lower its fees. 
    The Copyright Agency recorded a wages bill of $10.8 million for the year, excluding directors’ fees. An investigation of its costs by The Australian in 2010 - which also scrutinised its level of spending - showed it had recorded a salaries bill of $9.4m for the preceding year. However, Copyright Agency chairman Sandy Grant, speaking on Friday, denied suggestions it was bloated or wasteful. “If this is a gravy train, I don’t know who’s getting the gravy.” He was “comfortable” with the $16.5 million in costs the agency levied on the royalty earnings of members in the past financial year.
    That salary is astonishing enough. The person merely collecting royalties is earning more than almost everyone who actually earned them.
    But I have other concerns.
    I’ve been astonished in some years to find the money I get from the Copyright Agency suddenly falling to relatively scanty amounts, given how often my articles are used, for instances, by teachers lecturing on the sins of the media. Once when I questioned how one payment could be so low I got a bigger one. It all seemed arbitrary.
    I’ve been amazed that the Copyright Agency has treated the income it gets as its own to dispense on allegedly good causes. This is income often earned by artists. authors and journalists who aren’t so well-paid that they couldn’t do with the cash themselves. (And, no, I’m not talking about me.) And so we get this:
    On top of the $16.5m paid for Copyright Agency expenses, royalty recipients also saw $1.93m of their funds directed to a “cultural fund”. 
    Included in the payments was $10,000 for “emerging screenwriters’ from western Sydney in developing “script treatments and pitches”, and $15,000 in “professional training sessions” for “artists in water colour techniques”. A string of “career development” payments were made to a range of applicants, including $3200 for a person to attend a “deep slumping” glass masterclass in New York and $3500 for another for “exploring innovative transmedia storytelling” at a book fair in Frankfurt. 
    Luvvies spending on luvvies what laborers earn.
    It strikes me that another institution has been captured by people who think they are better at spending other people’s money than are those who actually earned it. 
    ===

    It’s not just their ABC

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2013 (8:20am)

    The ABC can’t assume it can live forever on the fat of the great public trust in the institution that was built up over generations: 
    TONY Abbott has questioned the ABC acting as an “amplifier” for a rival’s spy story, saying people are entitled to query the national broadcaster’s judgment for “advertising” the phone-tapping claims that have sparked a diplomatic row between Australian and Indonesia.... 
    “I think it’s fair enough for people to question the judgment of the ABC,” the Prime Minister told the Ten Network’s Bolt Report…
    (F)ormer treasurer Peter Costello lashed out at the ABC’s handling of the story on the same program, saying Mr Scott “has got a lot to answer for and I think the board has got a lot to answer for”. 
    His comments came as an overwhelming majority of delegates at the Victorian Liberal Party state conference over the weekend voted in support of a motion calling for the privatisation of the ABC.
    ===

    Palmer loses a chip

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2013 (8:17am)

    Clive Palmer loses a stick to hold over the Chinese company he claims owes him his main income:
    THE Abbott government has backed a major Chinese company with a decision out of Canberra that sidelines political rival Clive Palmer and thwarts his attempts to prevent valuable iron ore concentrate being shipped to China from the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
    The high-level decision to give the green light to the first loading of a Chinese vessel with concentrate from Mr Palmer’s tenements means West Australian Premier Colin Barnett will today mark the occasion with Chinese dignitaries at Cape Preston, near Karratha, just hours before Mr Palmer’s maiden speech in federal parliament. 
    But senior sources told The Australian yesterday that Mr Palmer, whose Mineralogy company purports to control the port at Cape Preston, is angrily rejecting the move and is threatening to launch a new round of legal action in a bid to block the imminent supply of the iron ore concentrate to mills in China.Mr Palmer claims to be owed hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties by Citic Pacific, which has spent more than $7 billion on the trouble-plagued project - the largest ever undertaken in Australia by a Chinese company. Citic Pacific emphatically rejects Mr Palmer’s claims to be owed such royalties.
    (Thanks to reader Peter.) 
    ===

    A theory with hairs on it

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2013 (7:57am)


    Beyond parody. In fact, indistinguishable from parody. Academic Arianne Shavisi says  Movember is racist and sexist:
    So what message does Movember convey to those whose moustaches are more-or-less permanent features? With large numbers of minority-ethnic men—for instance Kurds, Indians, Mexicans—sporting moustaches as a cultural or religious signifier, Movember reinforces the “othering” of “foreigners” by the generally clean-shaven, white majority… 
    In solidarity with Movember, some women have also relaxed normative shaving-etiquette during “No Shave November.” Instead of being met with the same teasing words of encouragement, many have been subject to ferocious abuse across social media, reflective of the intolerability of women’s body hair… From this we learn that men’s facial hair (as with the appearance of men more generally) is neither here nor there, and is therefore fair game for a bit of charitable fun, while female breaches of prescribed gender norms are quickly policed, and may result in disgust, ostracisation, and threats…
    As the month of sacrificial hirsutism draws to a close, mo-bros may convene at their nearest “gala party”. These events showcase the worst of what the Movember “movement” is really about: white young men ridiculing minorities… 
    One of the Movember mantras is: “Real men, growing real moustaches, talking about real issues”. The slogan is as misguided as its campaign: Movember is divisive and gender normative, not least because it centres on the notion that there is such a thing as a “real” man; it is racist, inasmuch as it steamrollers over the cultural significance of the moustache ...  
    Some people seem really, really determined to take offence. As Freud allegedly once said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
    (Via Sinclair Davidson at the Cat.)  
    ===

    Hear from the military why you won’t hear it from the Government

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2013 (7:37am)

    It shouldn’t need these leaks to convince people of the obvious - that releasing instant information about which boats are intercepted where and how just helps people smugglers.
    But for the media conspiracists who seriously claim this restriction on information is just to save the Government embarrassment ...:
    THE government’s excessive secrecy over its border-protection operations was demanded by military commanders who advised the Coalition against releasing any operational information and even suggested rationing media briefings to fewer than those already being provided. 
    Rear Admiral David Johnston, the head of Border Protection Command, stipulated on the Monday after the September 7 election that the timing and release of any information about asylum-seeker boats “must not prejudice the successful achievement of active operations”.
    “The contents of any release must not include any information that might reveal asset capabilities, posture, tactics that could prejudice future operations,” he advised in an email. Just over a week later, a “transitional media handling strategy” briefing note ... suggested “initial indications are such briefings may be held fortnightly"… 
    Customs chief executive Michael Pezzullo sent an email on September 18 to Rear Admiral Johnston and others advising: “Cease and desist forthwith the issuance of SIEV (suspected irregular entry vessels) arrival media releases."The minister and I are in discussion about a different public communication model, noting that OSB will be a maritime security operation and not an immigration program”.
    (Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
    ===

    Plucking out our own eyes in a hostile world

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2013 (7:09am)

    The Snowden leaks seemed timed to cause maximum harm. For instance, a leak about our spying on Indonesia followed by a leak about our spying in China would be more effective than the other way around, which would be anti-climactic.
    The leaks will be hugely damaging to the Western alliance. There will be a fracturing of friendships, restrictions on our spying, fear of cooperation in spying, and a lessening of the West’s prestige.
    The leaks, suspiciously, are not damaging to Russia and China - the two authoritarian countries most likely to challenge the values and interests of the West. Snowden has been given asylum in Russia, which may have access to the US secrets he stole.
    And Leftist media organisations in the West, not least the ABC, are providing a willing market for the stolen intelligence secrets so damaging to their own countries.
    All this suggests a simple “publish and be damned” approach may be dangerously naive. Are media outlets just pawns in a big play?
    Greg Sheridan’s report suggests the Abbott Government is preparing defences for more to come:
    NEW revelations from the stockpile of documents stolen by US security contractor Edward Snowden are expected to include evidence of Australian espionage against China and other Asian neighbours and expose the scale of surveillance by Australian agencies against their own citizens. 
    The Abbott government is bracing for a new series of disclosures about Australian intelligence activity, which is likely to include fresh details on Indonesian spying that will further test the relationship with Jakarta…
    Senior intelligence figures say the Snowden documents ... reveal US and Australian techniques of intelligence-gathering, particularly technical matters, which will make defences against such efforts much stronger in the future…
    The latest leaks are also producing a great deal of tension between the US and many of its allies, such as Germany and Spain, and its friends, such as Brazil and Mexico… Most importantly, sources said the leaks had fatally compromised domestic US support for the intelligence agencies and would result in greater restrictions on the agencies. They may also end the quiet but essential co-operation of US companies…
    Snowden spent time in Hong Kong before moving to Russia. Western agencies believe the Chinese accessed all the information that Snowden took with him, as have the Russians. 
    However, it is believed that Snowden has even more material stored in “the cloud” and accessible by a complicated series of passwords. It is not clear whether the Chinese and the Russians have access to that too.
    ===

    Sin one: a stupid promise. Sin two: a broken promise. Sin three: this “what promise?”

    Andrew Bolt December 02 2013 (6:56am)

    I like Christopher Pyne and said from the start the Gonski “reforms” were irresponsibly expensive and failed to tie the extra spending to better performance.
    But Pyne, in now so brazenly claiming he never promised to keep each school’s funding, is causing terrible damage to not just his reputation but the government’s.
    That promise, having stupidly been made, should be kept and savings found elsewhere. And this kind of spinning - sloppy and insulting to the intelligence - must stop.
    There is clearly no one senior enough in charge of the communications strategy to understand the damage done and how to minimise it.
    UPDATE
    Paul Sheehan is right about the recklessly selfish baby-boomers, and surely this is the line the Abbott Government should be shouting:
    Reality: Australia cannot afford the Gonski spend, plus the NDIS spend, plus the carbon reduction spend, plus the paid parental leave spend, plus the infrastructure surge, plus the promised increase in defence spending, plus the cost of unfunded retiring boomers, plus reducing indigenous disadvantage, plus $1 billion a year for asylum seekers. The revenue is simply not there. It is never going to be there under the present mix of existing tax arrangements, budget commitments, social welfare obligations, low productivity growth, ageing population and the debt-service burden. Yet the critique is all about spin and social equity.
    ===
    ===
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”John 1:1-2, 14 NIV
    ===
    Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

    Morning


    "Thou hast made summer and winter."
    Psalm 74:17
    My soul begin this wintry month with thy God. The cold snows and the piercing winds all remind thee that he keeps his covenant with day and night, and tend to assure thee that he will also keep that glorious covenant which he has made with thee in the person of Christ Jesus. He who is true to his Word in the revolutions of the seasons of this poor sin-polluted world, will not prove unfaithful in his dealings with his own well-beloved Son.

    Winter in the soul is by no means a comfortable season, and if it be upon thee just now it will be very painful to thee: but there is this comfort, namely, that the Lord makes it. He sends the sharp blasts of adversity to nip the buds of expectation: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes over the once verdant meadows of our joy: he casteth forth his ice like morsels freezing the streams of our delight. He does it all, he is the great Winter King, and rules in the realms of frost, and therefore thou canst not murmur. Losses, crosses, heaviness, sickness, poverty, and a thousand other ills, are of the Lord's sending, and come to us with wise design. Frosts kill noxious insects, and put a bound to raging diseases; they break up the clods, and sweeten the soil. O that such good results would always follow our winters of affliction!

    How we prize the fire just now! how pleasant is its cheerful glow! Let us in the same manner prize our Lord, who is the constant source of warmth and comfort in every time of trouble. Let us draw nigh to him, and in him find joy and peace in believing. Let us wrap ourselves in the warm garments of his promises, and go forth to labours which befit the season, for it were ill to be as the sluggard who will not plough by reason of the cold; for he shall beg in summer and have nothing.

    Evening

    "O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men."
    Psalm 107:8
    If we complained less, and praised more, we should be happier, and God would be more glorified. Let us daily praise God for common mercies--common as we frequently call them, and yet so priceless, that when deprived of them we are ready to perish. Let us bless God for the eyes with which we behold the sun, for the health and strength to walk abroad, for the bread we eat, for the raiment we wear. Let us praise him that we are not cast out among the hopeless, or confined amongst the guilty; let us thank him for liberty, for friends, for family associations and comforts; let us praise him, in fact, for everything which we receive from his bounteous hand, for we deserve little, and yet are most plenteously endowed. But, beloved, the sweetest and the loudest note in our songs of praise should be of redeeming love. God's redeeming acts towards his chosen are forever the favourite themes of their praise. If we know what redemption means, let us not withhold our sonnets of thanksgiving. We have been redeemed from the power of our corruptions, uplifted from the depth of sin in which we were naturally plunged. We have been led to the cross of Christ--our shackles of guilt have been broken off; we are no longer slaves, but children of the living God, and can antedate the period when we shall be presented before the throne without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Even now by faith we wave the palm-branch and wrap ourselves about with the fair linen which is to be our everlasting array, and shall we not unceasingly give thanks to the Lord our Redeemer? Child of God, canst thou be silent? Awake, awake, ye inheritors of glory, and lead your captivity captive, as ye cry with David, "Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name." Let the new month begin with new songs.
    ===

    Today's reading: Ezekiel 40-41, 2 Peter 3 (NIV)

    View today's reading on Bible Gateway

    Today's Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 40-41


    The Temple Area Restored

    1 In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth of the month, in the fourteenth year after the fall of the city—on that very day the hand of the LORD was on me and he took me there. 2 In visions of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, on whose south side were some buildings that looked like a city. 3He took me there, and I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze; he was standing in the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand. 4 The man said to me, “Son of man, look carefully and listen closely and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for that is why you have been brought here. Tell the people of Israel everything you see.”
    The East Gate to the Outer Court
    5 I saw a wall completely surrounding the temple area. The length of the measuring rod in the man’s hand was six long cubits, each of which was a cubit and a handbreadth. He measured the wall; it was one measuring rod thick and one rod high....

    Today's New Testament reading: 2 Peter 3

    The Day of the Lord
    1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.
    3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.4They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly....
    ===

    Gideon, Gedeon [Gĭd'eon, Gĕd'e on]—a cutting down, he that bruises orgreat warriorA son of Joash of the family of Abiezer, a Manassite, who lived in Ophrah and delivered Israel from Midian. He is also called Jerubbaal, and judged Israel forty years as the fifth judge (Judg. 67;8).

    The Man of Might and Valor

    Without doubt Gideon is among the brightest luminaries of Old Testament history. His character and call are presented in a series of tableaux. We see:

    I. Gideon at the flail. The tall, powerful young man was threshing wheat for his farmer-father when the call came to him to rise and become the deliverer of his nation. History teaches that obscurity of birth is no obstacle to noble service. It was no dishonor for Gideon to say, “My family is poor.”

    II. Gideon at the altar. Although humble and industrious, Gideon was God-fearing. His own father had become an idolator but idols had to go, and Gideon vowed to remove them. No wonder they called him Jerubbaal, meaning “Discomfiter of Baal.”
    III. Gideon and the fleece. Facing the great mission of his life, he had to have an assuring token that God was with him. The method he adopted was peculiar, but found favor with heaven, God condescending to grant Gideon the double sign. With the complete revelation before us in the Bible, we are not to seek supernatural signs, but take God at his Word.
    IV. Gideon at the well. How fascinating is the incident of the reduction of Gideon’s army from thirty-two thousand to ten thousand, then to only three hundred. Three hundred men against the countless swarms of Midian! Yes, but the few choice, brave, active men and God were in the majority. God is not always on the side of big battalions.
    V. Gideon with the whip. Rough times often need and warrant rough measures. The men of Succoth and Penuel made themselves obnoxious, but with a whip fashioned out of the thorny branches off the trees, Gideon meted out to them the punishment they deserved.
    VI. Gideon in the gallery of worthies. It was no small honor to have a niche, as Gideon has, in the illustrious roll named in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, where every name is an inspiration, and every character a miracle of grace.
    Preachers desiring to continue the character-study of Gideon still further might note his humility (Judg. 6:15); caution (Judg. 6:17); spirituality (Judg. 6:24); obedience (Judg. 6:27); divine inspiration ( Judg. 6:34); divine fellowship (Judg. 6:367:47-9); strategy (Judg. 7:16-18); tact (Judg. 8:1-3); loyalty to God (Judg. 8:23); the fact that he was weakened by his very prosperity ( Judg. 8:24-31).
    ===
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