Friday, March 17, 2017

Fri Mar 17th Today News

The Ballad of Maleficent the Job Agent. 
She is known as a head kicker. She gets results. She denounces entitlement that is not earned. Frequently her clients appear baffled because she made an appointment without letting them know. When they ask why they have an appointment, she is defensive, claiming they never appear on time and they should make a new appointment if they are late for the latest. She sees her clients when she will. If an appointment is missed she cancels their benefits. 

I arrived at Maleficent's workplace having travelled 1000km to look for work. I was willing to do anything. She kept promising to see me, and kept making me go to seminars on looking for jobs. Filling out Resume. Creating cover letters. I got a job for a call centre. So she told me I could get $500 towards clothing for work. But the job was for payment for sales and after five days I made none. It was costing me money. The employer was willing for me to persevere as I wasn't costing them clients and I have the potential to be a good salesperson. But I did not believe in the product and it was costing me opportunities elsewhere. Maleficent told me that I had not really been entitled to the $500 anyway. But I had spent it on tailored clothing (I cannot buy off the shelf pants or shirts). I offered the receipt for clothing to Maleficent, but she refused, telling me to keep it and present it when I found work. 

Maleficent interviewed me. She said she did not know me and had not the time to. She noticed I was very fat and thought that that was costing me job opportunities. She said she did not have the time to work with people like me. But if I had my fitness to work assessed she could be paid more, could bring more resources to bear on my case. I became quieter and less responsive in interview, and she stepped up her abuse. I asked for a transfer to another job agency and she said 'only she could do that for me' and 'I should ask her when she had time.' I went to Centrelink immediately following and because I had moved to another suburb, got the transfer to that suburb. I told Centrelink about the abuse but didn't make formal complaint. I also completed the formwork for unfitness to work. 

After a few months, Maleficent transferred to my new job agency too. I made formal complaint to Centrelink. I got no feedback. One morning I was waiting to see my job agent, and Maleficent was the only one present. She was on the phone. She told whomever she was speaking to that I was present and she might need witnesses. I observed her appalling behaviour to clients. Only after Maleficent was transferred, did my new job agency begin summoning me to interview without arrangements being made. On one occasion, Maleficent volunteered to get a resume for me, and some of my modernised ones were deleted from system. 

I have begun a work for the dole phase. I was advised I needed to make arrangements. I asked schools, my church, the IPA, but finally I found another place to volunteer. They require privacy and I respect that. Maleficent insisted I consult with her. I had volunteered unofficially for a few weeks. I also have 9 hours a week paid work. Maleficent removed all reference to my volunteering and declared my volunteer organisation was unacceptable to Centrelink (It isn't). She strongly suggested I complete another unfitness for work form. She was late in seeing me causing me to miss a doctor's appointment which I needed to complete the new forms. I scrambled to complete forms and contacted Centrelink making a formal complaint again. 

The questions Maleficent never asked were basic. Why was I unemployed? What was needed to get me a job? How could the Job Agency best support me in acquiring a job? I'm an accidental whistleblower who responsibly, not sensationally, reported on the negligence death of schoolboy Hamidur Rahman in 2001. There is no impediment to my working, but I have been illegally blacklisted. My references tend to point to abusers who were negligently responsible for the child's death. The ALP and public service have helped to cover up the issues. I am well qualified for a math teaching position and am qualified for executive positions. I have an outstanding record except for when my abusers targeted me for being fat. Maleficent and parents want people like me in schools teaching their kids. 

As a result of my complaint, Maleficent's line manager contacted me. He listened to a summary of the dispute and then defended her. I told him my sole concern, moving forward, was that I am supported with my volunteer work. He ignored that and claimed I was being best supported with the health referral. I was given another surprise appointment and I asked what that was for. Maleficent apparently wanted to see my pay receipts for work. Only, one of my employers only pays me with online deposits. I gather my stuff for the interview. I have many other things I need to do for my paid work I have to push aside. Maleficent is defensive and accusatory. She knows she has done wrong, but rather than trying to do the right thing, she is blaming me. She claims she 'never used those words' but tells me that hard truths need to be told me to help me. She refuses to credit my volunteer work. She tells me one bonus for being declared unfit for work is that she won't have to work with me. And yet I'm one interview away from a full time position. And yet the volunteer work may well lead to paid work. And when Centrelink follow up, I will tell them what has happened. 

I am very good and don't deserve the abuse given me. I created a video raising awareness of anti police feeling among western communities. I chose the senseless killing of Nicola Cotton, a Louisiana policewoman who joined post Katrina, to highlight the issue. I did this in order to get an income after having been illegally blacklisted from work in NSW for being a whistleblower. I have not done anything wrong. Local council appointees refused to endorse my work, so I did it for free. Youtube's Adsence refused to allow me to profit from their marketing it. Meanwhile, I am hostage to abysmal political leadership and hopeless journalists. My shopfront has opened on Facebook.

Here is a video I made A Jackson Farewell to Saddam Hussein

A corruption of the brilliant Jackson 5 number "Never Can Say Goodbye"
Thanks to CNN and for the pictures.
Sadly, the life of Saddam was of such a nature that these images may offend.

=== from 2016 ===
The IPA has done a magnificent job of standing for economic conservatism and broader Libertarianism. Tim Wilson is running for a good seat, and he is the best applicant for the party. James Paterson has given a great maiden speech supporting basic freedoms that have been taken from us in Australia. The flawed legislation of 18c has to go if Australia is ever to prosper again as a free nation. It is a basic first step. Also, the economy has to be freed too. And that means caging PM Turnbull while not promoting Bill Shorten. 

Im a supporter of small business and want them to prosper in Australia. That means cutting back on regulation that impedes it. Even so, I'm not in favour of letting small business run rough shod over their customers. The appalling behaviour of Ray White Cabramatta comes to my mind, treating a rental bond as a bonus to them at the end of the lease. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
ABC's Chris Uhlman was touted as being a conservative working for the ABC in WA to then treasurer Peter Costello. Costello said he wasn't doubting the conservative credentials of Uhlman, but it came as no surprise, given the bias of the ABC to the left, that out of some fifty thousand employees, a single conservative might be known by name. Later, after Costello made his observation, it turned out Uhlman was actually a Greens follower, but tried to be balanced in his reporting. Which explains why other ABC employees were so certain he was conservative. But sometimes Uhlman falls far short of the lofty goal of being balanced. As when he promotes Abbott hating memes. One of which was the prejudicial Japanese Submarine deal, accusing Mr Abbott of trying to govern well by favouring a good product. It would not be good for Mr Abbott to break the tender process, and he hasn't. But one would not know listening to Uhlman's gossip. That is only one example of Uhlman's glaring failure to be balanced. Some idiots might say that Uhlman has said good things about Mr Abbott in the past, and so saying wrong things now is balancing. 

Blogger Tim Blair posted a joke about the name of an ISIL terrorist, actually the joke was their name, and a journalist in UK mistakes it for failed news copy. And twitter goes berserk without anyone noting it was a deliberate joke for a blogger. Tim had written an opinion piece. Tim is a journalist who writes excellent articles, when he writes them, too. But the standard of news papers like Fairfax, ABC or Guardian is so low that none of them researched their vapid comments. Saliently, SMH threw a party in Sydney's Domain Park, and nobody came. 

ALP, keen not to be under performed by their news wings, sent out Plibersek to entangle Mr Abbott over the executions of two of the Bali Nine. She back tracked after being challenged for the faux pas of politicising the coming event. 
From 2014
There is something particularly Irish about celebrating St Patrick's Day on the anniversary of the day he died. His legacy to Ireland is Christian. He is credited with killing all the snakes in Ireland. One fact is there are no snakes in Ireland, outside of a zoo. Another fact is that there never have been snakes in Ireland. Possibly there were snake cults in Ireland which St Patrick defeated, but why spoil a good tale? Ireland is well known as Catholic, but St Patrick wasn't Roman Catholic and neither was Ireland until Henry Viii broke free from Rome and established the Anglican Church. But the truth is Ireland, like her women, is gorgeous. She sings a beautiful, haunting song. 

Today is also the anniversary (180 AD) of the death of stoic Roman Emperor, last of the five good ones, Marcus Aurelius. But, on 455 AD, and on a happy thought for Harry Potter fans, Petronius Maximus got the support of the Roman Senate to become emperor of the Western Roman Empire. His happy thought ended prematurely two and a half months later when Rome was sacked by Vandals. A salient lesson for any who govern on happy thoughts. In 1780, Washington gave his men a holiday in support of the Irish. Proving for all time happy thoughts can be effective. On this day in 1805, Napoleon tired of being the President of the republic of Italy, and became king of the kingdom of Italy.
Historical perspective on this day
45 BC – In his last victory, Julius Caesar defeats the Pompeian forces of Titus Labienus and Pompey the Younger in the Battle of Munda.
180Marcus Aurelius dies leaving Commodus the sole emperor of the Roman Empire.
455Petronius Maximus becomes, with support of the Roman Senate, emperor of the Western Roman Empire.

1001 – The King of Butuan in the Philippines sends a tributary mission to the Song dynasty of China.
1337Edward, the Black Prince is made Duke of Cornwall, the first Duchy in England.
1452 – The Battle of Los Alporchones is fought in the context of the Spanish Reconquista between the Emirate of Granada and the combined forces of the Kingdom of Castile and Murcia resulting in a Christian victory.
1560Fort Coligny on Villegagnon Island in Rio de Janeiro is attacked and destroyed during the Portuguesecampaign against France Antarctique.
1677 – The Siege of Valenciennes, during the Franco-Dutch War, ends with France's taking of the city.

1776American Revolution: British forces evacuate Boston, ending the Siege of Boston, after George Washington and Henry Knox place artillery in positions overlooking the city.
1780 – American Revolution: George Washington grants the Continental Army a holiday "as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence".
1805 – The Italian Republic, with Napoleon as president, becomes the Kingdom of Italy, with Napoleon as King.
1860 – The First Taranaki War begins in Taranaki, New Zealand, a major phase of the New Zealand land wars.
1861 – The Kingdom of Italy is proclaimed.
1891SS Utopia collides with HMS Anson in the Bay of Gibraltar and sinks, killing 562 of the 880 passengers on board.

1941 – In Washington, D.C., the National Gallery of Art is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1942Holocaust: The first Jews from the Lvov Ghetto are gassed at the Belzec death camp in what is today eastern Poland.
1945 – The Ludendorff Bridge in Remagen, Germany, collapses, ten days after its capture.
1947 – First flight of the B-45 Tornado strategic bomber.
1948 – The Benelux, France, and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Brussels, a precursor to the North Atlantic Treaty establishing NATO.

1950 – Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley announce the creation of element 98, which they name "californium".
1958 – The United States launches the Vanguard 1 satellite.
1959Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, flees Tibet for India.

1960 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the National Security Council directive on the anti-Cuban covert action program that will ultimately lead to the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
1963Mount Agung erupted on Bali killing more than 1,100 people.
1966 – Off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean, the DSV Alvin submarine finds a missing American hydrogen bomb.
1968 – As a result of nerve gas testing in Skull Valley, Utah, over 6,000 sheep are found dead.
1969Golda Meir becomes the first female Prime Minister of Israel.

1970My Lai Massacre: The United States Army charges 14 officers with suppressing information related to the incident.
1973 – The Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph Burst of Joy is taken, depicting a former prisoner of war being reunited with his family, which came to symbolize the end of United States involvement in the Vietnam War.
1979 – The Penmanshiel Tunnel collapses during engineering works, killing two workers.

1985Serial killer Richard Ramirez, aka the "Night Stalker", commits the first two murders in his Los Angeles murder spree.
1988 – A Colombian Boeing 727 jetliner, Avianca Flight 410, crashes into a mountainside near the Venezuelan border killing 143.
1988 – Eritrean War of Independence: The Nadew Command, an Ethiopian army corps in Eritrea, is attacked on three sides by military units of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front in the opening action of the Battle of Afabet.
1992Israeli Embassy attack in Buenos Aires: Car bomb attack kills 29 and injures 242.
1992 – A referendum to end apartheid in South Africa is passed 68.7% to 31.2%.

2000 – Five hundred thirty members of the Ugandan cult Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God die in a fire, considered to be a mass murder or suicide orchestrated by leaders of the cult. Elsewhere another 248 members are later found dead.
2003Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Robin Cook, resigns from the British Cabinet in disagreement with government plans for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
2004Unrest in Kosovo: More than 22 are killed and 200 wounded. Thirty-five Serbian Orthodox shrines in Kosovo and two mosques in Serbia are destroyed.
=== 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
Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with AugustSeptemberOctober, or at Amazon  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 Phuc Le, Belinda Lui and Joseph Hieu Dinh. Born on St Patrick's day, and so bearing the gift that each US Dollar note you touch is green. Remember that.
Richard Ramirez
Avoid the duck of death. After the conquest comes the reconquest. The siege is over. It is set in ice. The night stalker is caught. Let's party. 
Andrew Bolt



Tim Blair – Thursday, March 17, 2016 (7:42pm)

Victorian Liberal Senator James Paterson’s maiden speech to parliament: 
We are all diminished when anyone’s freedom of speech is taken away. Even if the law never prevents us from saying things we might want to say, today it certainly prevents us from hearing things which we might want or need to hear. It prevents us from knowing what our fellow citizens believe. It denies us the opportunity to refine our thinking and develop our own ideas. Freedom of speech and freedom of thought are inseparable. For as long as I am in this place, I will stand up for free speech. 
(Via the IPA, where James was formerly deputy executive director. Click for video.)


Tim Blair – Thursday, March 17, 2016 (6:06pm)

During every US election, American celebrities demonstrate their civic responsibility by encouraging citizens to vote.
There’s no need for any encouragement in 2016, however. You’d think they’d be pleased, but some celebrities are now re-thinking this whole “get out the vote” concept: 
Today was rough. I have never wanted to encourage more people to vote, while also wishing some people wouldn’t, in my life. 
Thank you, Bette Midler.


Tim Blair – Thursday, March 17, 2016 (1:38pm)

“Here at the Herald, we like to catch and kill our own,” writes Peter FitzSimons. Sacked SMH columnist John Birmingham would attest to that, as would many others. Fairfax editorial director Sean Alymer sent this email to SMH and Age staff earlier today: 
We will shortly enter a consultation period with staff and the MEAA on a proposal to reduce costs across News and Business in the Sydney and Melbourne newsrooms by the equivalent of 120 full-time employees.
We believe that we can do this through redundancies, tightening contributor budgets and reducing travel costs and expenses …
Change is a permanent part of our industry. It is a reflection of what we know about the ways our readers are consuming our stories. We must continue to evolve with them. 
In light of Fairfax’s planned pruning, Elizabeth Farrelly may have picked exactly the wrong day to write an entire column about lawn
In Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’Herbe (1863) the grass mediates between the sombre serge commerciality of men and the woman’s stark white flesh. Here, grass is nature tamed, manifesting man’s power to dominate and own the great outdoors. Nature lawned becomes, like woman, territory.
It’s this interesting dichotomy between dominance and subversion that made grass modernity’s defining material.
We imagine the modern century as one of steel and glass, concrete and asphalt. But it was also a century of lawn. The city would never have been vacated for business had not the entire act of dwelling been sent centrifugally to grass. 
Your call, Sean.
UPDATE. Strike! Strike! Strike! Fairfax staff have left their offices in protest over the coming job cuts. They’re gone until Monday, with the full support of these Fairfax power fisters:

That’ll show those management bastards. Meanwhile, the stockmarket approves.
UPDATE II. Fairfax’s Anne Davies addresses the troops. Make sure you don’t leave anything out, Anne.
UPDATE III. Vanessa Badham
Hearing reports of “unprecedented” anger amongst Fairfax journos in Sydney, given no warning of job cuts. 
They didn’t even know what was happening inside their own office.
UPDATE IV. The ABC quotes the Age‘s Richard Baker
“The way this was done ... is a real shock actually. It’s flawed a lot of people.” 
To be fair, most of them were pretty flawed to begin with.


Tim Blair – Thursday, March 17, 2016 (11:49am)

I have no idea why, but this image makes the ABC’s Jonathan Green feel scared:

Odd. Then again, he’s always had a problem with foxes.
UPDATE. Mike Carlton weighs in: 
Fat white guys paying a fortune to shoot animals. Quite obscene, in a pathetic sort of way. 
Unfair, Mike. Jonathan doesn’t shoot animals. He gets dogs to slaughter them.


Tim Blair – Thursday, March 17, 2016 (2:02am)

Initiate the sequence. Create catastrophe.


Tim Blair – Thursday, March 17, 2016 (2:00am)



Tim Blair – Thursday, March 17, 2016 (1:58am)

The hunt continues – and the evasions begin.


Tim Blair – Thursday, March 17, 2016 (1:35am)

The “beautiful, quiet street” where private school boy turned international graffiti vandal Banksy grew up is completely free of graffiti.

Column - The real appeal of Donald Trump

Andrew Bolt March 17 2016 (4:19pm)

Culture warsUS politics

 GET used to it. Donald Trump is a long way to becoming president of the United States after his smashing primary wins yesterday.
The message: US voters are sick to the guts of their media and political class. Of the cultural elite.
And aren’t you just a little sick of our own? Trump’s win really should not seem so surprising and shocking as most commentators and politicians here suggest.
Don’t Australians want to see someone here, too, who finally says what the media screams must not be said and confronts what weak politicians shy from?
Don’t you, too, want to see someone who affirms a pride in his country, a faith in his culture, a defiance of the media, a contempt for insider politics and an utter determination not to import trouble, whether Islamic radicals or immigrant criminals?
Don’t you, too, want to see someone exude the can-do confidence that seems almost extinct in these times of sanctimonious hand-wringing and professional victims, endlessly demanding “rights” simply taken from others?

In the far more nationalist and individualistic US, Trump is that man. And after Trump’s massive win yesterday in Florida — home state of now-destroyed Marco Rubio — there is now only a vanishing chance of Ted Cruz overtaking him in the race for the Republican nomination.
True, I have no faith in this loudmouth’s ability to deliver some of the wild things he’s promised, even if he manages to defeat the Democrats’ Hillary Clinton in the election.
(Read full article here.)
Very crude. Probably effective, though, because it crudely speaks to a truth:

The Liberals need warriors, not worriers. UPDATE: Wilson smeared

Andrew Bolt March 17 2016 (3:17pm)

The Liberals lack MPs who not only understand Liberal values but have the guts and skill to argue for them publicly.
It needs MPs who can hold their own against the ABC and the largely Leftist media, and rally the public to their cause.
Mow many MPs do you know like that? How many are instead more famous for their criticism of their own?
So I was bemused to read this today:
The weekend preselection for Andrew Robb’s electorate of Goldstein is set to go down to the wire, with international relations expert and local favourite Denis Dragovic running neck-and-neck with high-profile former human rights commissioner Tim Wilson. 
Liberal insiders tip the preferences of a third candidate, party blue-blood and lawyer Georgina Downer, as crucial in the race.
This really should not be a contest.
Tim Wilson has a long record of publicly fighting for Liberal values and has the scars to prove it. He is articulate and intelligent, and has been a fighter in fora where too many Liberals fold, intimidated by being so wildly outnumbered:
Former diplomat Georgina Downer, another former panellist on The Bolt Report, has the potential to do the same as Wilson, although she does not yet have his record. She will need to sketch out publicly her positions on some of the key issues, and I assume is doing that to preselectors.
Yet Denis Dragovich is the “local favorite”?
Dragovic, an international relations academic, may be a very nice person in private. In fact, I am told he is charming.
But the Liberals need public champions. It’s no good being a lion in the preselection room but a mouse in the ABC studio.
And that is why I’m so puzzled. I mean no disrespect to Dragovic, but in all my years of public debate I have never come across his name before. He is unknown to me as a champion of Liberal values.
And when I now go through his few articles in the media - almost exclusively on Islam, terrorism and the Middle East - I can understand why he has made so little impression.
He has an academic way of criticising action while suggesting none himself. He is quicker to pose questions than offer solutions:
While it us evident that IS is a cancer that needs to be eliminated, what happens when it is? Who fills the vacuum? Would eliminating IS simply create space for the rise of al-Qaeda affiliate group Jabhat al-Nusra?
To resist fighting evil for fear of what comes next leaves us paralysed. Yet not fighting the Islamic State is just what Dragovic urges:
These five points do not preclude military involvement in Syria. Rather, they suggest that now is not the right time. We should resist the knee-jerk reaction of deploying troops in response to terrorist attacks. 
Even saving a nascent democracy in Iraq from being overwhelmed by the world’s deadliest terrorist group is barely worth the effort, and territory should be ceded:
Shifting the West’s focus away from a military response and instead to a political one – by encouraging Iraqi leaders to support expanded federalism and mobilising the international community in this cause – is a potential circuit-breaker. 
As for Islam, again, Dragovic is quick to urge qualifications and relativism and slow to offer any suggestion - other than “explaining” more - of how we must respond to what in Islam is driving many tens of thousands of Muslims to terrorism.  Yes, he is right to dismiss the “Islam is a religion of peace” bromide, but things quickly become opaque after that:
Islam is facing this identity ­crisis because there is no single hierarchy that determines doctrine or even the right methodology to interpret scriptures. 
The result is that key passages supporting violence are interpreted with considerable variation… Regardless of who does the ­interpreting, the holy words ­conveyed by Allah cannot be ­dismissed outright.
Other than for the minority liberals, it is nonsensical to set aside the violent verses and refer to Islam as a religion of peace....
By not explaining the Daesh death cult slogan, or peddling the less accurate but popular statement Islam is a religion of peace, both the former and incumbent prime ministers fail Australia and all Muslims…
With evidence of chemical weapons usage, threats of nuclear Armageddon and claims of thousands of fighters hidden among the refugees in Europe, Islamic State lacks only the means to accomplish mass destruction on an unimaginable scale. 
So what must we do, in this one area of Dragovic’s expertise? What must we do with out military, our borders, our multiculturalism policies, our refugee programs, our policing and more?
The one program of action I have seen so far is a vague call to avoid fighting terrorists and try starving the civilians in their control instead:
The only remaining option to decision-makers is to weaken IS’s ability to monopolise the provision of basic needs to the people. 
This option is morally fraught. It impacts those who are passive bystanders swept up in the turmoil of the Middle East rather than the active participants – the militants. But ... the ends could justify the means.
Good luck with that.
All this may be the matter of many seminars, but how does this record translate to fighting publicly for Liberal values?
The battle for the federal Liberal seat of Goldstein has exploded after a vicious scandal sheet was sent to party members attacking former human rights commissioner Tim Wilson’s views on gay issues. 
The extraordinary tactic on the eve of this weekend’s preselection battle has horrified Liberal elders. Wilson is openly gay and widely respected across the Victorian Liberal Party and seen as being a strong candidate for federal parliament.
Memo to the smearer: if you need to resort to this to bring down a great candidate, you cannot have much faith in your own. 

More tension between Turnbull and the Treasurer he’s destroying

Andrew Bolt March 17 2016 (1:54pm)

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has already destroyed one strong Liberal leader - Tony Abbott. Now he threatens to destroy the reputation of the likely next - Treasurer Scott Morrison.
Morrison this week correctly briefed journalists that there would be no huge personal tax cuts in the Budget:
Mr Morrison has indicated that individual tax cuts - which he has previously flagged - will not be possible until the budget is in better shape.
What else could he say? After all, Turnbull had already robbed Morrison of the money he’d need for those cuts by withdrawing his support for tentative plans to raise the GST to find tax cuts:
Sources say relations between Mr Turnbull and Mr Morrison have become strained over the extent of tax reform policy, with the Treasurer keen for more ambitious reform including significant income tax cuts which would be paid for by a politically unpopular 50 per cent hike to the GST.
But Turnbull has not liked Morrison telling journalists the plain truth about the consequences of Turnbull’s about-face.
There are now very persuasive reports that Turnbull has reprimanded Morrison for his briefing.
I am utterly perplexed. What would Turnbull have Morrison say instead? That, sure, he’s got plenty of cash for everything from tax cuts, cheques for the dead, overpriced school halls, and associated other wild spending?
We’ve seen that movie before.
How Morrison disentangles himself from Turnbull’s death hold without hurting the government will test his political skills to the utmost.
Morrison was good in Question Time today, muscling up on Chris Bowen. 

ABC helps grind Fairfax into the dust

Andrew Bolt March 17 2016 (1:06pm)

Very sad, but made inevitable in part because the taxpayer-funded ABC gives away free the kind of news and views that Fairfax needs to sell to the very same audience to survive:
Fairfax Media is preparing to slash 120 editorial jobs across its Sydney and Melbourne newsrooms. 
The company is targeting to cut the equivalent of 120 fulltime employees across its news and business divisions, which suggests the program will affect The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age in Melbourne and The Australian Financial Review.
See for yourself how the massively-funded government body is crowding out private enterprise.
Here is the ABC’s government-funded news web site, offered free:
Here is the Fairfax news site for the Sydney Morning Herald, which somehow much charge readers to use to pay its journalists:
Many of the same kind of stories - about Trump, the Safer Schools revolt, the Melbourne Mafia shooting, the Fairfax job losses - so how can Fairfax hope to survive when it must charge the same kind of Leftist readers for them? 

Abbott joins backbench revolt

Andrew Bolt March 17 2016 (1:01pm)

This is a serious challenge to Malcolm Turnbull, even without Abbott’s involvement:
Tony Abbott has signed a petition demanding the de-funding of the controversial Safe Schools Coalition anti-bullying program… 
Barnaby Joyce will personally lobby Simon Birmingham to rein in the contentious Safe Schools Coalition anti-bullying program amid backbench outrage over the Education Minister’s “whitewash” review of the scheme and claims one of its key proponents is a “pedophile advocate”.
Coalition MPs learned at a private briefing on Tuesday that the government’s review of the scheme — which educates secondary school children about ­sexual orientation and transgender issues — had largely endorsed the scheme’s content, but recom­mended clearer advice for parents. 
Disgruntled backbenchers were last night devising a partyroom powerplay by circulating a petition to suspend the program’s $2 million annual subsidy pending a “full-blown” parliamentary inquiry. It has been signed by at least 30 MPs, which is half the backbench, including Mr Abbott.
I really don’t think this patronising response - and the resort to the threat of Big Brother - is likely to help:
Moderate Liberal backbenchers are fighting back in defence of the program, suggesting a similar scheme be rolled out to educate their conservative colleagues about gay and transgender issues.
I suspect conservatives are getting plenty of warning that a re-elected Malcolm Turnbull will take the party in a direction that the Liberal base won’t like.
And this, if sabotage, is even more provocative:
The petition has proven to be a source of diversion in and of itself, with the letter seemingly having gone missing as it did the rounds among backbenchers. 
Mr Christensen sent a message to MPs early on Wednesday evening asking: “Can the letter to the Prime Minister that George Christensen was circulating in Question Time please be returned to his office.” But as of Thursday morning, senator Cory Bernardi - a strong opponent of the Safe Schools program - said the whereabouts of the petition were still unknown and attempts were being made to find it. Mr Christensen’s office would not confirm or deny if the document had disappeared.
When John Howard (correctly) criticised candidate Barack Obama, a Democrat from the other side of politics, it was a media scandal:
The Prime Minister, John Howard, has hit back at criticism over his attack on US presidential candidate Barack Obama’s Iraq policy… Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd today moved a censure motion in Parliament against Mr Howard.
But when Christopher Pyne criticises candidate Donald Trump, a Republican from his own side of politics, it is a media of-course:
One of the Turnbull government’s most senior ministers, Christopher Pyne, has waded into the US presidential contest, saying the popularity of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump is “terrifying” and is making American democracy look “kind of weird”.
And it follows this:
LAST Tuesday’s meeting with Barack Obama at the White House gave Malcolm Turnbull a kickstart into the election year… 
Turnbull spoke on the phone to Marco Rubio, regarded as the leading “mainstream” candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, but he attempted no contact with the two frontrunners in that contest — Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
And no one close to either of them was invited to an Australian embassy dinner for Republican officials to meet the Australian leader…
The truth is that he dreads the thought of either Trump, nuttily Right-wing and populist, or Cruz, darling of Tea Party extremists, becoming president of the US. 
If he can’t have a Rubio-style Republican he would prefer, although he can hardly say so publicly, to see Clinton and the Democrats win. 
Here is another sign that the Turnbull Government is controlled by people actually more at home with the international Left. 

James Paterson defines the battle

Andrew Bolt March 17 2016 (12:33pm)

 Sounds like an excellent start:
The Liberal Party’s youngest-ever senator, James Paterson, wants to scrap the “unbalanced and skewed” national curriculum, move Australia’s Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and reintroduce the commonwealth debt ceiling to crack down on intergenerational debt. 
The 28-year-old, sworn into parliament on Tuesday after being selected by the Liberal Party to fill the vacancy left by retiring Victorian senator Michael Ronaldson, made several controversial declarations in his maiden speech last night as he championed the need for free speech…
The former deputy executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs conceded he was not a fan of Australia’s national curriculum, “on many grounds”, and was concerned its cross-curriculum priorities were more aligned with progressive views than Liberal or conservative ones. 
The self-described “classical liberal” said the government should license multiple competing private curricula and set basic minimum standards. “This will not only allow schools and parents to select a curriculum which reflects their values, but would also open up the school system to much more diversity, specialisation and choice.”
See the immediate value of preselecting people with the courage to fight for Liberal values?
Next: Tim Wilson.
We are all diminished when anyone’s freedom of speech is taken away. Even if the law never prevents us from saying things we might want to say, today it certainly prevents us from hearing things which we might want or need to hear. It prevents us from knowing what our fellow citizens believe. It denies us the opportunity to refine our thinking and develop our own ideas. Freedom of speech and freedom of thought are inseparable. For as long as I am in this place, I will stand up for free speech. 

Another “debate” of the Left

Andrew Bolt March 17 2016 (8:52am)

One advantage conservatives have in public debates is that the Left has little experience in arguing with people who disagree with them.
The love-in is more standard:
A broad range of voices. Promo for Guardian Australia event: 
Guardian Live and the Australian Marriage Equality campaign have brought together a broad range of ­voices to talk about what the future of marriage equality looks like.
Here’s a hint of how broad it will be: 
Guardian Australia’s David Marr will chair this wide-ranging conversation.
A broad range of furious agreement: 
We have assembled a range of prominent speakers including Bill Shorten (Leader of the Opposition), Richard Di Natale (Greens leader), Michelle Heyman (Matildas star), Rodney Croome (Australian Marriage Equality), Kristina Keneally, Van Badham, Ben Davison, Ally Hocking Howe and Benjamin Law.
Sounds like the usual ABC panel. 

Turnbull’s plan to make milk cost more

Andrew Bolt March 17 2016 (8:33am)

A policy! From Malcolm Turnbull!
Malcolm Turnbull yesterday triggered a rift with the nation’s peak business group by announcing the introduction of an “effects test” to competition law, allowing small operators to sue larger companies for behaviour that diminishes competition, even if their conduct was not intended to have that effect.
And Labor seizes on the obvious flaw - that it’s a policy to make shoppers pay more:
Labor is laying the groundwork for an election contest over grocery prices, with opposition MPs seizing on Barnaby Joyce’s complaint that consumers should pay more for milk… 
Mr Joyce ... yesterday accused the major supermarkets of aggressively discounting the price of milk to lure shoppers away from smaller businesses. “I obviously believe that the proper price of milk is above a dollar. They say they are not selling it below cost...”
Terry McCrann says Turnbull’s new policy is a dog that will savage the innovation he claims to stand for:
[I]t won’t work as intended; it specifically won’t work as small biz thinks it would work; it will create massive uncertainty; it will spark exactly the lawyer’s picnic that it purportedly is designed to overcome; and most of all it is quite simply outrageous.
And if it had been in, well, effect, it almost certainly would have prevented $1-a-litre milk…
My my, we not only have a PM who as I detailed yesterday is politically illiterate and literally can’t add up; we now also discover that he embraces something that would undermine the supposed centrepiece of his personal and political ethic: innovation.
The really fundamental objection to the change is the deliberate attack on the absolute foundation of our legal system: that for a perpetrator to be guilty, they have to have had the “intention” of doing the act…
And from this fundamental objection all sorts of absurdities with how the change would work in practise sprout. They start with it denying the very essence of competition itself.
If a big biz hurts a small competitor, case proved. But that is exactly what any — what every — business is trying to do every day of the week — to take customers from someone else.
Do you think Coles kicked off $1-a-litre milk just out of the goodness of its CEO and board of directors’ collective heart? No, it did it precisely to hurt its competitors — from Woolies to every milk bar and convenience store which would be collateral damage…
History is littered with examples of companies doing things with the effect of reducing competition. Henry Ford and his model T built a near-monopoly for a while in cars. Look what Apple did to IBM, and Samsung and Apple jointly did to Nokia. 
Stephen Bartholomeusz warns this could drive up prices:
The proposed changes are more likely to damage competition and innovation than encourage them because of the potential for the uncertainty and additional costs to stop big businesses from competing and innovating… 
The particular and fierce targeting of the two big supermarket chains by small business and proponents of the effects tests as an impediment to competition and innovation is ironic, given that for something now approaching a decade the fierce competition between Coles and Woolworths has continually driven grocery price deflation and consumer benefit, while also driving productivity gains across an entire (and sometimes very reluctant) supply chain.
The size and “market power” of the two big chains hasn’t prevented the successful entry and rapid expansion of either Aldi or Costco to the market, with innovative models, nor would it stop Amazon if it decides to go ahead and compete in their space. 

Is Turnbull about to spend like Rudd?

Andrew Bolt March 17 2016 (6:50am)

I assume someone in the Turnbull Government has whispered these sweet nothings in Peter Martin’s ear. If so, it seems the Government is not only giving up on slashing our massive debt, but is planning to increase it:
While the media has been obsessing about tax, Malcolm Turnbull has been focused on setting Australia up. To do it, he’ll need to borrow big sums of money for exceptionally long periods at at extraordinarily low interest rates… 
What will Turnbull want the money for? Here’s where it gets interesting. He dropped broad hints in a speech in Sydney on Friday…
Turnbull quotes economist Edward Glaeser, who wrote Triumph of the City, to make the point that cities are our greatest invention… Getting more people into cities boosts the Australian economy, boosts incomes and boosts government revenue. Which is where the budget comes in.
Turnbull’s predecessor funded roads more or less as he wanted. He didn’t insist on thorough analysis. And despite labelling himself the infrastructure prime minister, Tony Abbott never spent that much money. Turnbull is prepared to spend more, so long as it can be rigorously demonstrated that the project will pay dividends… 
Turnbull’s major projects minister, Paul Fletcher, will produce a discussion paper outlining how value-capture will work within weeks. It could open the way for all sorts of projects previously regarded as uneconomic or not yet economic, including a Melbourne-Brisbane freight rail line, a railway to the site of Sydney’s second airport, and (perhaps) a Melbourne-Brisbane high-speed passenger line.
Day by day, Turnbull looks more like Kevin Rudd. For all the pretty words, name-dropping, bagging of Abbott and sweet theorising, all that this amounts to is borrowing even more to spend even more.
If this is indeed a leak or a sanctioned hint, it says a lot that it’s given to Martin. 

The Left turns to muscle to stop Trump

Andrew Bolt March 17 2016 (4:51am)

The Left, not trusting democracy, tries force to get its way:
With little fanfare and almost no news media attention, some of the same radical groups involved in shutting down Donald Trump’s Chicago rally last week are plotting a mass civil disobedience movement to begin next month. 
They intend to march across the East Coast in order to spark a “fire that transforms the political climate in America.”
The operation, calling itself Democracy Spring, is threatening “drama in Washington” with the “largest civil disobedience action of the century.” The radicals believe this will result in the arrest of thousands of their own activists.
“We will demand that Congress listen to the People and take immediate action to save our democracy. And we won’t leave until they do — or until they send thousands of us to jail,” the website for Democracy Spring declares, channeling rhetoric from the Occupy movement. 
The group is backed by numerous organizations, including the George Soros-funded groups, the Institute for Policy Studies, and Demos.
This is sinister, but watch the media blame Trump for the Left’s violence. 

Job seekers give up

Andrew Bolt March 17 2016 (12:40am)

Australia’s unemployment rate fell from 6 to 5.8 per cent in February ...
The Bureau of Statistics estimated that only 300 jobs were added in February, but unemployment still fell because the participation rate dropped.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 17, 2015 (6:14am)

The ongoing Furkan Derya Twitterstorm began with a literal case of missing the big picture. BBC journalist Phil Mackie kicked things off after receiving an email from Sydney containing an abbreviated snap of Monday’s column:

That email included a description of the column as a straightforward news item. Believing this, Mackie suggested my furkan joke may not have been intended for publication:

Another British journalist, Callum May, thereafter decided I’d made a terrible mistake: 
Don’t write stuff in copy you don’t want printed. Massive howler … 
And then Fairfax-trained SBS reporter Stephanie Anderson – apparently still relying on Mackie’s clip rather than the actual column – got involved: 
Well, someone at the @dailytelegraph is in trouble this morning... 
At which point Twitter lost it. So did a number of non-Twitter sources
He probably meant the joke to be caught by his editor. 
No. I meant it to be published by my editor. That’s why I wrote it. The AFR’s Joe Aston found himself swayed by Twitter opinion: 
There must have been a Tele subeditor in the naughty corner at Holt Street. 
Wrong, Joe.
A lesson: Never write anything in a story, even for a millisecond as a joke, that you don’t want to go in the paper. 
Again, no. It was meant to go in the paper, which is why it went in the paper. The Independent
This newspaper column illustrates just how important sub-editors are, and how badly wrong things can go when they seemingly abandon their posts … 
They didn’t. The Daily Edge dismissed my follow-up piece
According to Blair himself, the sentence was meant to be there as a little joke … Right. Sure. OK. We believe you, buddy. 
Kids, the sentence was also posted right here on my website. Evidently nobody knows how to run a simple Google search these days. Back on Twitter, observe the crestfallen reactions as various shamers gradually become aware of their awareness gaps.
In the end it was all just a major misunderstanding. For an excellent summary, I furkan derya to click on this from Buzzfeed‘s Patrick Smith.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 17, 2015 (3:14am)

Fairfax threw a party but nobody came
The first weekend of Fairfax Media’s major new events division project, the Spectrum Now festival, has seen a disastrously low public turnout. 
The free Spectrum Playground event in Sydney’s Domain saw just a few hundred people attend over the weekend at a venue which has a capacity of tens of thousands. 
Please click and scroll to observe a completely ignored Sydney Morning Herald stand. Why did this stupid, shrinking company try to throw a massive public party in the first place? 
Fairfax has signalled that it sees a significant part of its future business model based on building mass public events. 
Good start.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 17, 2015 (2:45am)

The ABC reports: 
Members of Sydney’s Muslim community have set up a $1 million television studio to counter the mainstream media’s treatment of Islam in Australia.
From its base in western Sydney, the One Path Network films and edits videos for its YouTube channel, including interviews with local sheikhs about Islamic teachings and current affairs.
“This is a time where there is a lot of pressure on the Muslim community,” the head of the network, Malaz Majanni, said. 
Sounds just great. So what sort of content might viewers expect? 
The network has provided its own take on major events including the Sydney siege.
“Our approach was to make sure that it’s clear that this act is not an Islamic act,” Mr Majanni said. 
So … it’s just another version of the ABC.
(Via J.F. Beck)


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 17, 2015 (2:22am)

Subtract Jeremy Clarkson from the BBC and this is the result
The BBC’s decision to suspend Jeremy Clarkson and pull the three remaining episodes of Top Gear cost BBC2 nearly 4 million viewers on Sunday night. 
That’s a lot of viewers – and future revenue – to throw away.
(Via bingbing) 

Unions NSW hijack Anzac Day

Andrew Bolt March 17 2015 (2:48pm)

How low can Unions NSW go in its election campaign? First we’ve had the outright lies in its propaganda against the leasing of the state’s poles and wires.
Now it’s exploiting Anzac Day with a float at a festival sponsored by the RSL to honor our diggers:
Penrith Valley Community Unions to [will] remember historic first ANZAC parade with Penrith Festival Float.

This year’s Penrith Festival is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli but it will also be focusing on key issues ahead of the State election.

Penrith Valley Community Unions are concerned about the impact the Baird Government’s policies are having on working families in Western Sydney.  The Liberals push to privatise the electricity system has become a key issue in the NSW election with polling clearly showing voters don’t like pubic assets being sold off.

And young apprentices have discovered that they are being slugged thousands of dollars extra in fees to attend TAFE courses in order to complete their trade training…

PVCU Secretary, Mary Court stated: “Unions stood behind our wounded soldiers coming back from war a century ago and we are also ready to stand up for the rights of working people today.”

Mrs Court said the Trade Union movement organised the first ANZAC parade as a fundraiser to help wounded soldiers in 1915.  The PVCU float in this year’s parade will be commemorating that commitment to our diggers.  

IPCC vultures rush to feed on Cyclone Pam

Andrew Bolt March 17 2015 (1:38pm)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is shameless in exploiting natural disasters to peddle its warmist faith.
Its last big report admitted there was actually no evidence yet of cyclones getting worse or more common. If anything, the opposite:
In summary, confidence in large scale changes in the intensity of extreme extratropical cyclones since 1900 is low… 
Over periods of a century or more, evidence suggests slight decreases in the frequency of tropical cyclones making landfall in the North Atlantic and the South Pacific, once uncertainties in observing methods have been considered. Little evidence exists of any longer-term trend in other ocean basins… Several studies suggest an increase in intensity, but data sampling issues hamper these assessments… Callaghan and Power (2011) find a statistically significant decrease in Eastern Australia land-falling tropical cyclones since the late 19th century although including 2010/2011 season data this trend becomes non-significant (i.e., a trend of zero lies just inside the 90% confidence interval). 
But when Cyclone Pam hits Vanuatu, the IPCC cannot resist hyping it as part of a trend that it has already admitted does not actually exist:
STATEMENT / 16. MAR, 2015: 
Cyclone Pam, the extreme storm which devastated Vanuatu this weekend, has put the spotlight firmly on climate risk and global disaster management, leading to calls by high-ranking UN officials and political leaders to draw the necessary conclusions and step up climate action and efforts to build greater resilience to disasters.
Utterly shameless. Oh, and the planet’s atmosphere has not actually warmed for some 17 years.
Greens leader Christine Milne also exploits a tragedy - and ignores the science - to promote her apocalyptic faith:
Just what difference Australia could actually make to cyclone intensity is something Milne won’t explain - and can’t.
Reader Steve reminds the vultures:
On Christmas Eve 1951 a storm killed 100 people on Vanuatu.

And this report from the Vanuatu Meteorlogical Service lists severe cyclones in: 1848, 1852, 1873, 1874, 1880, 1893, 1916, 1918 and 1940.
Vanuatu averages two cyclones a year.
(Thanks to reader Mark M.) 

Malcolm Turnbull picks a side

Andrew Bolt March 17 2015 (12:33pm)

Notice how Channel Seven and Nine skew their news a little to the Left? Think Seven’s Mark Reilly, Andrew O’Keefe and David Koch. Think Nine’s Laurie Oakes and 60 Minutes.
Notice how Sky News, on Foxtel, is closer to balanced?
Notice how Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull proposes media changes that will help the former and hurt Foxtel, part owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation?
Terry McCrann:
Turnbull has now proposed three “reforms”, which would once again favour the [free-to-air]-TV networks. 
TO abolish the rule which limits a network’s reach to 75 per cent of the population — in practical terms Melbourne-Sydney plus either Perth or Brisbane.
TO abolish the rule limiting a single company’s ownership (or control) to two out of three of FTA-TV, print and radio in any location.
TO require Foxtel to pay the FTA-TV networks a fee to retransmit their signal.
All of these, considered on their own, make good sense — although different media companies have supported (and opposed) different elements on the basis of their own narrow interest.
Each can be considered exercises in genuine deregulation. The “but” is that Turnbull proposes to leave untouched the key rule which fundamentally handicaps Foxtel’s ability to compete with the FTA-TV networks for eyeballs: the anti-siphoning rules which reserve so much of sport for FTA-TV.
By excluding some form of reform — which could stop way short of total abolition — of the anti-siphoning, Turnbull turns those “reforms” into a package which would act as the very opposite of that. The anti-siphoning imposes critical negatives on Foxtel. 
It limits its ability to get programming in its own right to build eyeballs; and it forces Foxtel to pay what is effectively a tax to one or more of the FTA-TV networks to get secondary access to programming. 

The Left now sounds just like the Islamist Right

Andrew Bolt March 17 2015 (11:21am)

One of the most disturbing developments in public debates has been the Left giving cover to Islamists of the far Right.
Isi Leibler, former head of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and chairman of the World Jewish Congress, called it out during a discussion with me last month:
In a sense, I think, anti-Semitism in Europe today is worse than it was before the Holocaust. Worse in the sense that at least at that time there were some people standing up on the Left or whatever. Liberals were defending Jews. Today Jews are on their own… 
The Left is leading the charge against Zionism which is another form of anti-Semitism because they are not being critical of Zionism or Israel. They are simply using the Jewish state in lieu of attacking Jews individually and this kind of anti-Semitism has become part and parcel of the DNA of the Left. Combine that with Islamic fundamentalists and it’s a pretty awful concoction
Here is another example of how some prominent Leftists in Australia now sound almost indistinguishable from the Islamic far Right, giving a dangerous licence to their hatred.
From the Left, “civil libertarian” Julian Burnside:
Sorry to see Andrew Bolt stirring up Islamophobia today on his blog. People like Bolt and Abbott are the real threat to our way of life. 
From the far Right of Islam:
LINDT cafe terrorist Man Haron Monis was last year given front-row treatment by the radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir at a presentation in their Lakemba headquarters… 
At the talk Monis heard the two most outspoken members of the Australian branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir — [Uthman] Badar and [Wassim] Doureihi — rail against the government, the West and the media amid chants of “Allahu Akhbar”.
Badar ... and Doureihi described Daily Telegraph columnist Andrew Bolt and Radio 2GB presenter Ben Fordham as “right-wing bigots” and praised the value of “confrontation” with non-Muslims.
I know three Australian journalists already have been the subject of death threats from Islamists. Jews here also live in increasing fear.
Burnside is playing a very, very dangerous game.
Just in case you were inclined to believe the “Islam means peace” slogan of the Left, a small corrective, broadcast on a new Muslim TV station in Australia:
JASON OM: OnePath also has no problem airing more controversial views, including from the political group Hizb ut-Tahrir. 
UTHMAN BADAR, HIZB UT-TAHRIR: We are not pacifists, we’re Muslims, and as all Muslims know, there is a place for violence in Islam, there is a place for war in Islam, with its conditions and qualifications.
Former Treasurer Peter Costello on where the Left intersects with the Islamic Right - criticising Western society without mercy or proportion:
A big difference between our society and an Islamist one is the capacity for self-doubt and open criticism. We believe that doubting something and subjecting it to scrutiny is the best way to get to the truth. That is the scientific method. Some alienated young people might misunderstand that diet of critical analysis as evidence of a weak and corrupt society compared with their idealised “pure” religious society that brooks no criticism and has all the answers. 
We cannot feed the young on criticism alone. Australia is one of the most successful, open, prosperous, accepting societies that the world has ever known. Being born here is one of the best things that could ever happen in a person’s life. That is worth explaining as part of immunising the young against the false political claims of extremists.

The West, slouching to Mecca

Andrew Bolt March 17 2015 (10:56am)

Can we survive as a civilisation without a faith to unite us? To guide us?  And with Christianity dying of indifference and embarrassment, is the West helpless against the claims of Islam for respect, converts and submission to a grand order?
Look at the bitter fruits of the hyper-freedoms we’ve granted ourselves after destroying our own faith and tradition. Can this dysfunction and rootlessness really resist Islam?
Mark Lilla reviews Soumission, an important new novel by Michel Houellebecq, who seemingly writes in praise of Islam - thus, hopefully, avoiding more attempts to sue him for blasphemy under France’s obscene laws. The key extracts of a fine essay you should read in full:
The best-selling novel in Europe today, Michel Houellebecq’s Soumission, is about an Islamic political party coming peacefully to power in France… 
Soumission is not the story some expected of a coup d’état, and no one in it expresses hatred or even contempt of Muslims. It is about a man and a country who through indifference and exhaustion find themselves slouching toward Mecca… All one hears at the end is a bone-chilling sigh of collective relief. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. Whatever.
François, the main character of Soumission, is a mid-level literature professor at the Sorbonne… François is shipwrecked in the present. He doesn’t understand why his students are so eager to get rich, or why journalists and politicians are so hollow, or why everyone, like him, is so alone. He believes that “only literature can give you that sensation of contact with another human spirit,” but no one else cares about it. His sometime girlfriend Myriam genuinely loves him but he can’t respond, and when she leaves to join her parents, who have emigrated to Israel because they feel unsafe in France, all he can think to say is: “There is no Israel for me.” Prostitutes, even when the sex is great, only deepen the hole he is in…
The wild card in all this is a new, moderate Muslim party (the Muslim Brotherhood) that by now attracts about a fifth of the electorate, about as many as the Socialists do. The party’s founder and president, Mohammed Ben Abbes—a cross between Tariq Ramadan and Recep Tayyip Erdo?an before he took power—is a genial man who gets along well with Catholic and Jewish community leaders who share his conservative social views, and also with business types who like his advocacy of economic growth. Foreign heads of state, beginning with the pope, have given him their blessing…
As expected, [the far-Right] Le Pen wins the presidential primary but the Socialists and the conservative UMP don’t have enough votes between them to defeat her. So they decide to back Ben Abbes in the runoff, and by a small margin France elects its first Muslim president. Ben Abbes decides to let the other parties divide up the ministries, reserving for the Muslim Brotherhood only the education portfolio. He, unlike his coalition partners, understands that a nation’s destiny depends on how well it teaches young people fundamental values and enriches their inner lives…
Except in the schools, very little seems to happen at first. But over the next months François begins to notice small things, beginning with how women dress. Though the government has established no dress code, he sees fewer skirts and dresses on the street, more baggy pants and shirts that hide the body’s contours. It seems that non-Muslim women have spontaneously adopted the style to escape the sexual marketplace that Houellebecq describes so chillingly in his other novels. Youth crime declines, as does unemployment when women, grateful for new family subsidies, begin to leave the workforce to care for their children. 
François thinks he sees a new social model developing before his eyes, inspired by a religion he knows little about, and which he imagines has the polygamous family at its center.  
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The Fairfax agenda is plain, but its audience is small

Andrew Bolt March 17 2015 (10:40am)

Some Liberal MPs get spooked by the Fairfax coverage, amplified by Twitter, of what is made to seem their unending litany of failures and gaffes.
Indeed, today’s website of the Sydney Morning Herald would have you think the Abbott Government has had another catastrophic day:
Two things need to be remembered to put this extraordinary hate campaign in context.
First, the two stories attacking Hockey, based only on a smartarse insult from ABC Leftist host Tony Jones and comments from the head of a Leftist think tank, are not just examples of the Left merely reinforcing the Left. They also part of an astonishing - and astonishingly juvenile - campaign to denigrate the Government, and must be seen in the context of this vow from the SMH editor-in-chief, exposed in Hockey’s defamation case against the paper:
Text messages read in court show Mr Goodsir told Mr Holden and other senior journalists at 6.35am the same morning that Mr Hockey’s office had “a f***ing hide” waking him in the middle of the night [to demand an apology for a clear error]… 
The editor-in-chief of the Sydney Morning Herald ... was quizzed on a series of emails in which he openly declared he “dreamed” of a headline attacking the treasurer.
In an email with senior journalists and Age editor-in-chief Andrew Holden, [Darren] Goodsir wrote: “Given what Andrew (Holden) and I endured last week with Hockey, I want to have this nailed to the cross in more ways than one.... 
“I have long dreamed (well, actually only since last Friday), of a headline that screams: Sloppy Joe! I think we are not far off, but perhaps even more serious than that."… 
Second, the Sydney Morning Herald’s readership is increasingly on-line. These are readers generally of the Left simply wanting to have their worst prejudices against the Government reinforced, which is why so many Herald stories on line attacking the Government generally and Tony Abbott very personally read like click-bait.
These stories then get a new life on Twitter - a medium dominated by the same demographic - to fool some Liberals into thinking they’re hearing the voice of millions of scornful critics. How can they win against this army?
But what army?
Here is what that Fairfax army looks like when the paper asks it to emerge from the dark and assemble in the open at a festival of free music:
The first weekend of Fairfax Media’s major new events division project, the Spectrum Now festival, has seen a disastrously low public turnout. 

The free Spectrum Playground event in Sydney’s Domain saw just a few hundred people attend over the weekend at a venue which has a capacity of tens of thousands…  
Fairfax has signalled that it sees a significant part of its future business model based on building mass public events. 
The Fairfax hatred of the Government is part of a discreditable agenda, and the audience for it is smaller than you’d think.
So take heart and fight back. Readers should, too.
(Via Tim Blair.)
Reader Notch:
The funniest part of Fairfax’s story was the supposed drubbing that an economist gave Hockey on a question relating to negative gearing. 
When asked why he hadn’t abolished negative gearing, Hockey said that rents had subsequently risen when Hawke had done it in the 80’s. Fairfax then says the economist “set him straight” by saying: 
It was absolutely true that rents went up fast in Sydney...barely moved in Brisbane, didn’t go up very far in Melbourne, didn’t go up very far in Adelaide. They did go up very fast in Perth…
They all rose.So the economist “set him straight” by agreeing that rents had gone up in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth?
He fundamentally agreed with what Hockey had said, that rents had risen, and Fairfax thinks that’s a gotcha?

Why are these politicians protecting this union?

Andrew Bolt March 17 2015 (10:24am)

Why are so many politicians - Labor, the Greens and some independents - protecting this lawless union at such cost to the rest of us?:
A building contractor targeted by the militant construction union after he refused to give in to high pay demands has pleaded for the return of the Australian Building and Construction Commission. 
In a rare show of public defiance by the construction industry to the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, BKH Group general manager Dermot O’Sullivan said union members blockaded access to a building site near Sydney Airport on Monday by chaining and padlocking the entry gates to punish the company…

Fair Work Building and Construction director Nigel Hadgkiss said last night that four agency inspectors visited the construction site at Discovery Point Wolli Creek, in Southern Sydney on Monday, in response to the alleged blockade.
“The investigators received a hostile reception, including a female investigator being spat at by a male individual,” he said.
“This is the same female investigator who was called an f---ing s--t at a construction site at Barangaroo last year ... “
Mr O’Sullivan said the company had been in lengthy negotiations with the CFMEU for a new workplace agreement and decided to pursue an agreement directly with its employees because the union would not budge from its demands.
He said the company had agreed to annual pay rises of 5 per cent for employees but could not accept a union demand for a $3.65 hourly site allowance, which he said would cost BKH an extra $5 million to $6.5 million a year.
“We would go belly up and go broke,” he said.
Mr O’Sullivan said a meeting of workers had rejected the union proposal…
Mr O’Sullivan accused union officials of deliberately disrupting a concrete pour at one of the company’s projects last week… Mr O’Sullivan accused the union of “operating outside the law” and said it’s “absolutely disgraceful conduct” was why Senate crossbenchers should reverse their opposition to the reinstatement of the ABCC.
Three crossbenchers intend to side with Labor and the Greens to defeat the ABCC bill when a vote is held in the next two weeks… Jacqui Lambie, John Madigan and Ricky Muir said they would join Labor and the Greens to vote down the ABCC bill. 
Defeat of the bill would cast doubt over the government’s new construction code as well as the compulsory powers used by the FWBC to target the CFMEU.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Covering up for Plibersek’s smear

Andrew Bolt March 17 2015 (8:56am)

Tanya Plibersek cannot even be honest about her disgusting and deeply deceptive attempt to blame Tony Abbott’s boat policies for Indonesia’s refusal to discuss clemency for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
What Plibersek had said, referring to President Joko Widodo not returning Abbott’s latest call asking for clemency
We certainly have been opposed to turnbacks. Tony Abbott can’t get a phone call returned from the Indonesian president – it has affected our relationship with Indonesia in the past. It has not been good for it.
What her spokesman now claims Plibersek said:
A spokesman for Plibersek said that her statements “were in relation to a different matter” and not in relation to Chan and Sukumaran. 
“Labor doesn’t play politics with this highly sensitive matter – it’s too important,” the spokesman said.  
The media pack, so swift to attack Abbott for everything from winking to eating an onion, shows zero interest in holding Plibersek to account for this foul smear.
Number of questions asked about Plibersek at Bill Shorten’s two media conferences yesterday: zero.
That’s even though everything Plibersek suggested in linking the boat people policy to Widodo’s silence was false.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop hints that if there is any link between political decisions here and Widodo’s alleged anger there (which seems unlikely), Plibersek should check a mirror:
“She tied the issue of border protection in with the execution of two Australian citizens and that was a very crude and ill-informed statement to make,” Bishop told ABC radio. 
“We inherited from Labor the live cattle ban, the Snowden allegations, and the fact that through the change of Labor policies on border protection Indonesia once more found itself a destination point for a number of people seeking to come to Australia through the people-smuggling trade,” she said. “And we’ve had to deal with all of those issues one by one, and we do it quietly and methodically and respectfully.”
Chris Kenny:
TANYA Plibersek’s wrongheaded and misguided comments about the Indonesian relationship [on Sunday] constituted a sad and deplorable descent into partisan politicking where there should be none… 
Everything about her statement was erroneous but the most loathsome aspect was Ms Plibersek’s unprompted attempt to tie in the fate of two Australians facing execution to her partisan attack…
Her comments can only be interpreted as an accusation that Mr Abbott’s border protection policies have damaged relations with Jakarta and that this has jeopardised the mercy effort..
This is plumbing new depths in political discourse…
Besides, it is a simple fact that this crucial relationship has been substantially repaired since enormous damage was done under Labor.
Julia Gillard’s unilateral 2010 thought-bubble about an “East Timor solution” on asylum-seekers was a slap in the face to Jakarta and was followed up with the disastrous decision — again without consulting Indonesia — to axe the live cattle trade…
(T)he worst crisis in the relationship under the Abbott government came with revelations that Australia had been spying on Jakarta’s inner circle; under the Rudd Labor government....
It is astonishing that Ms Plibersek has not been called out by commentators for this deliberate and damaging distortion. 
Not only did journalists fail to ask Shorten a single question about Plibersek yesterday, the ABC’s Michael Brissenden on AM yesterday tried to argue Plibersek’s case:
MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Can we turn to the Bali Nine. Still no phone call from the Indonesian leader to Tony Abbott. [On Sunday] Tanya Plibersek, the shadow foreign minister, said the fact that Tony Abbott couldn’t get a call back showed the relationship wasn’t good generally. Do you accept that? 
JULIE BISHOP: Not at all. That is a very crude and ill-informed assessment of our relationship with Indonesia and shows an appalling lack of understanding…
MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: The relationship’s not always good though, is it? I mean you can’t, I mean it is rocky. It goes up and down and goes through troughs occasionally.
JULIE BISHOP: There have been, there have been times of challenges and…
JULIE BISHOP: … disagreements but it’s ...
MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: And Tanya Plibersek yesterday mentioned boat tow-backs for instance.
JULIE BISHOP: Well, she tied the issue of border protection in with the … 
MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: That has been a sore point, to be fair ...
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Furkan Derya not to laugh

Andrew Bolt March 17 2015 (6:50am)

Twitter confirms Leftist prejudices and reinforces ignorance.  The puritan state-sponsored Left is also completely thrown by irony and parody.
Add the two and you get explosions of ill-informed sanctimony.
The latest example: Tim Blair mentions Furkan Derya and the Twitterati howls at what it assumes is a howler.

Another lifestyle choice you pay for

Andrew Bolt March 17 2015 (5:43am)

More lifestyle choices subsidised by taxpayers: three generations of women on the dole, at least two of whom are single or unmarried mums. 

Aboriginal spokesman agrees: it’s a “lifestyle choice”. So where’s the outrage?

Andrew Bolt March 17 2015 (12:59am)

Bella Bropho, spokesperson for the Swan Valley Nyungah Community, uses  exactly the same language about an Aboriginal camp that had Tony Abbott damned by Aboriginal leaders and smeared as a racist by the Greens:
People choose to live that lifestyle. I mean, they’ve been living it for thousands of years.
(Thanks to reader Richard.) 

The incredibly vanishing Palmer dream

Andrew Bolt March 17 2015 (12:59am)

Clive Palmer in June 2013:
TONY JONES:  Hedley Thomas, ‘The Australian’s reporter, has ... raised questions over the financial viability of two of your key companies, the nickel refinery in Townsville is one of them and of course your resort hotel in Coolum. Are they both making big losses as is claimed? 
CLIVE PALMER: No, they’re on track at the moment with the investment we’ve got, that I’m putting in of my money and the results are better than projected. If you take the resort at Coolum, when we took it over it had a total of $509 million of losses since it opened and the owner was going to close it down and cut it up for real estate. We stepped in, restructured it, we had to change some jobs and let some people go and put some other people on, and now it’s operating ...
Clive Palmer in October 2013:
LEIGH SALES: Let me also ask you: does your Coolum resort in Queensland operate at a profit? 
CLIVE PALMER:: No, it’s where I live and where I enjoy myself and that’s - I keep people employed at a great subsidy ‘cause I love the Sunshine Coast and I love spending my money to keep people employed in the greatest state in Australia.
LEIGH SALES: And how long are you prepared to sustain that loss?
CLIVE PALMER: Well probably until I die.
Clive Palmer now:
IT is the demise of a dinosaur park that long-suffering staff and rare paying guests have been predicting since soon after Clive Palmer first put his indelible brand on a resort once regarded as the finest on the Sunshine Coast.

Its close yesterday — and the sacking of another 40 full-time staff at the Palmer Coolum Resort that employed more than 650 people before Mr Palmer bought his favourite holiday destination four years ago and promised growth — was inevitable as its appeal waned and ­financial losses mounted…
Total operating costs, including salaries, insurance fees, rates, utilities and maintenance were almost $20 million a year, which meant the resort needed its rooms, restaurants and golf course to be busy every day, say insiders.
The revenue and guest-stay numbers worsened every month and the losses could not be reversed… In January, which should have been a bumper month, the resort recorded a loss of about $500,000, and this was “a good result compared with most months”, according to staff… The golf course will stay open, but the rooms and most of the restaurants are now out of commission. 

Hating Abbott to death

Andrew Bolt March 17 2015 (12:15am)

How the Left hates

The viciousness of the Fairfax Abbott haters, evidenced by this Age headline (since changed):
Disgusting. In fact, the wild rumors peddled by The Age link Abbott’s unpopularity not to the executions but their delay, as the subheading and the copy suggest:
Elnino Husein Mohi, a parliamentarian from the same party as defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, said the government would lose the trust of the people if the executions continued to be delayed. 
He said it was legitimate for people to ask the president and vice-president whether the executions would be delayed until Mr Abbott’s domestic popularity improved.
The ABC’s Chris Uhlmann, one of the ABC’s best and fairest, got caught up in the get-Abbott hysteria two weeks ago on Insiders, now undeniably partisan:
Chris Uhlmann: There’s a lot of wild rumours going around but Four Corners have been wandering the building, that’s Parliament House, for the last couple of weeks. Now there’s a lot of speculation about what they have. And one of the things that people do believe they have is some documents which show that there was a deal with the Japanese submarines. Now I don’t know whether they do or don’t. All I’m saying, that’s one of the rumours that are going around. People believe that [the Four Corners] program will go to air on Monday the 23rd, which is the Monday before the NSW election, [in] which case you’d have three of four days of that kind of chaos again. Remember Prince Philip in the lead-up to the Queensland election. So they’re the calculations that people are making, rightly or wrongly. 
Dennis Atkins: Are you sure that’s not just insider ABC gossip? Chris Uhlmann: Look, I can honestly say I have not been in touch with Four Corners. I support Four Corners but I don’t know what they’re up to, either.
Tonight the ABC’s Four Corners tried to beat that failed challenge to Tony Abbott back into life. Old grievances were once again aired, but nothing new was added. indeed, two former Abbott critics in the party now backed him. And, needless to say, there was no document showing Abbott had made a secret deal with Japan.
As I said two weeks ago:
Chris Uhlmann ...  concedes he does not know if this [rumor] is actually true and did not contact his Four Corners colleagues to even find out. He did not add that the Government denies any deal. 
This is no longer even close to reporting or analysing. This is a witchhunt with not the slightest attempt at balance. And it is journalists doing their damnedest to make their predictions of Abbott’s fall - so often thwarted - come true. 
And the ABC can’t stop trying to keep that witchhunt going.
(Via Paul Murray.) 



Tim Blair – Monday, March 17, 2014 (1:57pm)

Scroll through these shots from Canberra’s March in March. The 15th image is particularly cute:



Tim Blair – Monday, March 17, 2014 (5:24am)

Small pods of malcontents took to the streets over the weekend in some kind of protest against Tony Abbott.

The precise complaints of these people were difficult to identify, however.



Tim Blair – Monday, March 17, 2014 (3:33am)

Back in 2008, the ABC took great delight in describing the Liberal party’s powerlessness. The previous year’s federal election installed Labor’s Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister, adding him to Labor leaders in every state and territory.
So who, during those wall-to-wall Labor days, was Australia’s leading conservative office-holder? As a happy Kerry O’Brien reported: “He may be just the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, but Campbell Newman is now the Liberal flag bearer.” Newman joined in the ABC’s fun, even accepting a ceremonial Wallabies jersey from the Chaser team, who urged him to wear it during Howard-style morning walks. “It just shows that someone cares,” said the then-Lord Mayor.
Six years on, the political map is a little different and the ABC’s smiles have vanished. Following the weekend’s elections in Tasmania and South Australia, Labor may now be left with only South Australia – or possibly not, depending on how postal votes fall and the role of two independents.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'LABOR RULES LAKE MACQUARIE'

Report: ABC’s Q&A to “clarify” those outrageous falsehoods

Andrew Bolt March 17 2014 (3:59pm)

Culture wars

Apparently Q&A will issue a “clarification” of the false and defamatory claims it broadcast last week about me, falsely portraying me as a racist who’d subjected a woman identifying as Aboriginal to “foul abuse”.
Well, let’s see what it does now that even Langton has apologised for these outrageous falsehoods.  My bet? It will be a clarification of a yes-but kind that will in some way get even with me for my effrontery in making it concede it had gone too far.
I understand Media Watch is preparing just such an item in what seems to me a possibly unconscious but certainly concerted attempt to vilify a conservative critic.
Forgive me if I’ve misjudged it. But give me reasons to trust its good faith. 

The Left still marching through the institutions it’s trashed

Andrew Bolt March 17 2014 (12:51pm)

The Left are brilliant at stacking the cultural institutions. Two examples from the past week:

The taxpayer-funded Grattan Institute appoints the ABC’s Left-leaning Geraldine Doogue:
Grattan Institute is delighted to announce that ABC presenter, Geraldine Doogue, has joined the Grattan Board. 
Ms Doogue, whose 40-year journalism career features numerous roles and awards, presents Saturday Extra on Radio National and Compass on ABC TV1.
The RMIT’s journalism school appoints the Left-leaning Morry Schwartz:
Publisher and media philanthropist Morry Schwartz has been appointed Adjunct Professor (Journalism) at RMIT University… 
He is the director of BlackInc Books and the publisher of the Quarterly Essay and The Monthly. In a bold move, he also recently launched a new weekly newspaper The Saturday Paper. 

ABC markets March in March, presenting only its good side

Andrew Bolt March 17 2014 (9:49am)


The ABC generously publishes 43 pictures of yesterday’s anti-Abbott “March in March” protest to publicise the cause.
Not one of the pictures includes the many vile, offensive, vicious or threatening signs or the F… Abbott T-shirts, which is odd. When an anti-Gillard rally was held in Canberra, ABC reports tended to show just one picture of the protesters signs, and focused on the most abusive and discreditable, which some clown put up behind Abbott without him noticing.
Biased much?
(Via Tom Murphy and with thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.)
A sign the ABC promoted:
A sign - and sign of hypocrisy - the ABC ignored:
A protester the ABC promoted:
A protester the ABC ignored:
Meet the barbarian carrying the “KillAbbott” sign.
(Thanks to reader Peter H.) 

Is Mark Dreyfus a liar or just a fool?

Andrew Bolt March 17 2014 (9:47am)

Mark Dreyfus is either lying or recklessly ill-informed about my court case. Either way he is not fit to be Labor’s shadow attorney-general:
DREYFUS: On one case, which people have repeatedly misquoted. People have repeatedly ignored what happened in this case, which is that a tabloid columnist deliberately used false information to vilify the complainants in the case. He had been told by them that what he had written on an earlier occasion was false and he deliberately repeated it.
This, too, is completely false:
Now that’s a very extreme case and the Bolt case wasn’t really fought on racial vilification matters. It was actually fought on whether or not he was entitled to the protection of the free speech defence that’s in the legislation and the court found that he wasn’t.
If I didn’t make it a point of pride to never sue, Dreyfus would be at severe risk of a defamation action. What he says is completely false.
Fact: I fought and still fight any suggestion that I was racially vilifying anyone. Fact: I did not deliberately write anything false, and was certainly never told beforehand what I wrote was false. Indeed, I disputed some of what were said to be “errors”.  Dreyfus is simply spreading an untruth to discredit me and thus deny the Racial Discrimination Act needs reform.
Shame on this man. He is free to argue for this restriction on free speech, but he is not entitled to spread falsehoods and smears to argue his point. That is the action of a very little man.

A warning to Dreyfus: you have now been told that what you had said is false. If you deliberately repeat this defamation we will know you for a liar.

Malaysian pilot now suspected

Andrew Bolt March 17 2014 (8:56am)

Suspicions now rest on the pilot:
An image has emerged of the pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet wearing a T-shirt with a ‘Democracy is Dead’ slogan as it has been revealed he could have hijacked the plane in an anti-government protest. 
Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a father-of-three, was said to be a ‘fanatical’ supporter of the country’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim - jailed for homosexuality just hours before the jet disappeared.
It has also been revealed that the pilot’s wife and three children moved out of the family home the day before the plane went missing.
It comes as FBI investigators say the disappearance of MH370 may have been ‘an act of piracy’ and the possibility that hundreds of passengers are being held at an unknown location has not been ruled out.
Officials also revealed that it is possible the aircraft could have landed and transmitted a satellite signal from the ground. If the plane was intact and had enough electrical power in reserve, it would be able to send out a radar ‘ping’....
Data showing the number of plausible runways where the plane could have touched down - which need to be at least 5,000ft - offer a baffling number of potential locations.

According to a map drawn up by U.S. radio station WNYC, there are 634 locations which could fit, from Australia to the Maldives to Pakistan. 
However, the true number is likely to be even higher, as estimates of how far the plane could have travelled have been increased since the calculations were carried out… 
Adding to the suspicions:
Authorities have said someone on board the plane first disabled one of its communications systems — the Aircraft and Communications Addressing and Reporting System, or ACARS — about 40 minutes after takeoff. The ACARS equipment sends information about the jet’s engines and other data to the airline.
Around 14 minutes later, the transponder that identifies the plane to commercial radar systems was also shut down. The fact that both systems went dark separately offered strong evidence that the plane’s disappearance was deliberate.
Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said last night that that the final, reassuring words from the cockpit — “All right, good night” — were spoken to air traffic controllers after the ACARS system was shut off. Whoever spoke did not mention any trouble on board. 
Air force Major General Affendi Buang told reporters he did not know whether it was the pilot or copilot who spoke to air traffic controllers.

Clive Palmer should sack his polling company

Andrew Bolt March 17 2014 (8:21am)

Clive Palmer, February 6:
THE federal leader of the Palmer United Party and member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, says internal polling has found the Palmer United Party is on course to win government at the March 15 Tasmanian election. Mr Palmer said the private polling showed the Palmer United Party was expected to win 13 out of the 25 lower house seats.
Actual result at the election: no seats, 5 per cent of the vote.
Clive Palmer, September 5, 2013:
Our polling ... [is] showing that we’re about 25% across Australia. 
Actual result at the election: 5.49 per cent
Clive Palmer, September 6, 2013:
We’re looking for about 10 Senate seats across Australia. That’s what our polling is telling us...
Actual result at the election: two Senators (with WA re-run result to come.)
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

South Australia gets the Labor win it didn’t deserve or want

Andrew Bolt March 17 2014 (7:52am)

Former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson is right - South Australia’s gerrymander is a disgrace. The Liberals’ failure to win a majority of seats on Saturday can only lead to contempt for the state’s “democracy”:
It is difficult to resist the whinges of the losers when the two-party-preferred vote is 53 per cent to 47 per cent and the party on the wrong end of that count gets more seats. 
In 2010, the Liberals achieved 18 seats on a two-party-preferred vote of 52 per cent to 48 per cent. On that occasion, three independents were elected, but even if you add those to the Liberals it still comes to only 21 seats out of 47.
The glib explanation that the Liberals have too many safe seats with big useless majorities just doesn’t cut it. Something is seriously wrong with the South Australian electoral boundaries. 
To win on Saturday, the Liberals needed in excess of 54 per cent. I can wear 51 per cent or even 52 per cent. But if you don’t win on 53 per cent or more the word gerrymander springs to mind.
The Liberals win 53 per cent of the vote after preferences and Labor draws the only conclusion - Tony Abbott is unpopular. Here’s Premier Jay Weatherill: 
...when Tony Abbott came to town it obviously reminded people of the federal dimension. So how do you weigh up these things and work out which thing made a contribution? It’s very difficult to weigh up but I’m sure it [Abbott visiting] was helpful for us. 
Today’s Nielsen poll: Abbott Government 51, Labor 49

The day Abbott became a real Prime Minister

Andrew Bolt March 17 2014 (7:42am)

Politics - federal

 FIVE years ago Tony Abbott became the accidental Liberal leader by one vote. Six weeks ago he finally became Prime Ministerial by two.
And here is the lesson for the Liberals — as well as for flailing Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
You can’t cringe your way back into power, or float back on the wreckage of the boat which sank last time. And once in office you must deliver. But you also need luck — and right now it’s all with Abbott.
Abbott’s best luck was to beat Malcolm Turnbull in a leadership ballot in 2009 by just a single vote.
(Read full column here.) 

Death of the Greens

Andrew Bolt March 17 2014 (7:41am)

Politics - federalThe green movement

THE Greens are finished. They lost more than a third of their voters in Tasmania’s election and are everywhere in retreat.
In Saturday’s election, in the Greens’ birthplace, the party’s vote crashed from 21 per cent to 13.
Last year’s federal election was little better. The party lost 500,000 voters — more than a quarter of their support — in the Senate poll.
In the 2012 ACT election, the Greens were also hammered, losing a third of their vote. In Western Australia last year, they lost a quarter.
(Read full column here.

Union leader wants Alan Joyce shot in head. ABC goes deaf, Fairfax makes excuses

Andrew Bolt March 17 2014 (7:18am)

 The ABC yesterday failed to report one of the ugliest incidents in the ugly March in March protest - the endorsement Newcastle Trades Hall Council secretary Gary Kennedy gave to Qantas boss Alan Joyce being shot in the head.
But Fairfax’s Newcastle Herald performed the most astonishing contortions to play down what it should have condemned.
Reporter Ian Kirkwood mentioned the call for murder only deep in his story, and only to dismiss it as “perhaps surprising”. He also claimed it was atypical of the protesters - overlooking the applause protesters gave Kennedy’s call:
Newcastle Trades Hall Council secretary Gary Kennedy launched a vitriolic and pointed attack on some of what he regarded as the biggest symbols of corporate greed, describing Gina Rinehart as a ‘‘filthy animal’’ for the way she protected her wealth while calling on others to work for less, and saying Qantas chief Alan Joyce should be ‘‘shot in the back of the head’’ for proposing to sack 5000 workers to pay for his failed management strategies. 
Given recent debates over the abusive language aimed at former prime minister Julia Gillard it was perhaps surprising that Kennedy used such descriptions in a public forum, but I believe it would be a shame if they were taken as symbolising an event that was emphasised by its organisers as a ‘‘peaceful’’ protest.
In another report Kirkwood claims there was “near silence” from the crowd after Kennedy’s backing for Joyce to be shot:
The March In March rally was advertised as a peaceful protest and while Mr Kennedy’s speech was enthusiastically applauded at the end, the near silence that greeted some of his lines about Mrs Rinehart and Mr Joyce indicated that some believed he had crossed the line.
Listen to the clip above. Is the applause you hear directly after the “shot somewhere in the back of the head” line really “near silence”?
Can you imagine what the ABC and Newcastle Herald would have done had a Liberal official called a prominent female Labor supporter a “filthy animal” and called for a prominent union leader to be “shot somewhere in the back of the head”?
So why this indifference? 

Barbarians march in March. UPDATE: Crowd is told Alan Joyce should be shot in head

Andrew Bolt March 16 2014 (4:52pm)

How the Left hates

Remember the outrage, reported here by the Sydney Morning Herald?
ALAN JONES’S ill-chosen comments about the Prime Minister’s father have erupted into a commercial, political and broadcasting disaster for the talkback radio king. 
Sponsors started lining up to withdraw advertising as more than 36,000 people signed an online campaign targeting companies such as Harvey Norman, Big W and Mercedes-Benz, urging them to boycott Jones and his employer, 2GB. The deputy Prime Minister, Wayne Swan, launched an extraordinary attack on Jones, saying ... ‘’Listening to someone spray his microphone with such vitriol as you’re waking up isn’t just bad for your eardrums - it’s bad for the country ...”.
Jones quickly apologised, of course.
But who will apologise for the parade of hatred in today’s March in March?
This time the Sydney Morning Herald was present as a participant and a publicist.
The participant was the Sydney Morning Herald’s deputy editor:
The publicist was the Sydney Morning Herald columnist Clementine Ford, still selling her “F… Abbott” T-shirts:

The marchers claim to be the “voice of decency”, but speak like savages:

The marchers claim to see in Abbott a Hitler…
...but they are the menace they protest:
Cubby, having joined, is taken aback by the hatred around him:
But Sydney Morning Herald columnist Benjamin Law, a lucky arts grant recipient, is delighted:

True, for some the abuse and simulated violence is just a little joke, albeit of the kind you’d never forgive when used against, say, Gillard:
For these protesters, political discourse is conducted in the language of hatred and vilification:
I really do mean vicious hated:
And I do mean vilification:
Anne Summers used to claim that no Prime Minister was abused as was Julia Gillard:
Nor, in the case of Australia’s first female Prime Minister ....  is there the slightest drop of mercy. Or respect. 
Is mockery the new misogyny?
You tell us, Anne. Look at these signs and tell us. When did you last see such a carnival of brutal, savage, expletive-riddled political hate?
And where were Jones’ critics today? Denouncing or participating? Well, why don’t you ask  Jenna Price, of Destroy the Joint?
Perhaps worst of all, Newcastle Trades Hall Council secretary Gary Kennedy tells a March in March rally that Qantas chief Alan Joyce “should be shot somewhere in the back of the head” (from 2 mins.). Note the scary applause:

And guess what sold like hotcakes:
Back in Sydney and the “F..k Tony Abbott” Tshirts, worn by many attendees, had sold out although there were some badges left.
(Thanks to readers Elise, Jane, Jason, Jeff, another Jason, NorthernReporter and others.) 

Dreyfus has no idea. It is time Jewish leaders realised the risks and compromised

Andrew Bolt March 16 2014 (4:31pm)

Free speech

Mark Dreyfus makes an error of fact, an uninformed and dubious prediction, a false assumption and a deceptive suggestion – all in four paragraphs. Amazing work from someone who is, to my surprise, a QC:
SHADOW attorney-general Mark Dreyfus says the government is backing away from threats it made in opposition to repeal the section of the Racial Discrimination Act used to prosecute News Corp Australia columnist Andrew Bolt. 
Mr Dreyfus said the Bolt case and other decisions over the past 20 years made clear the provision was for significant cases of racial discrimination, not mere slights, and only the most serious ended up in court…

It was used to prosecute Mr Bolt over his article saying some “fair-skinned Aboriginals” chose to identify as Aboriginal for personal gain.
Mr Dreyfus said Mr Bolt failed to make out a defence of free speech and despite claims that he would appeal, he had not.
Almost nothing in those four paragraphs can be trusted. For a start, Tony Abbott has made clear he is a man of his word. Second, unless he has spoken to me Dreyfus cannot possibly know why there was no appeal – and the hint he drops like poison seems to me informed by little more than self-serving malice. There was never, to my knowledge, a promise to appeal. The final call was largely mine.
But again I ask. Jewish community leaders know well what I have done for their community. Are they happy with this outrageous attempt (one of several) to throw me under the bus simply to avoid admitting the RDA was never intended to ban the kinds of things I wrote?  Do they seriously believe my appeal to look beyond race and racial identification was racist?
As I understand it, the most prominent community leaders may now have overplayed their hand. I am looking particularly at you, Peter Wertheim. As are others.
More reasonable representatives should carefully consider two points. First, do they really want the Government’s eventual changes to be interpreted by the media and public as a green light to racists? They should not want that, the Government does not want that and I fervently don’t want that, either. Their reaction will condition that response.
Second, do they really wish to be seen as demanding restrictions on free speech largely for the benefit of their own highly articulate and influential community?  This sectarian approach to a fundamental freedom of equal value and importance to every citizen is a deeply unfortunate tactic.
It is time some moderates took control of this debate and talked about making changes that both acknowledge a clear overreach but retain the essential protection they seek. There must be a middle way that does not involve demanding the Government break an election commitment or allowing one of the community’s most effective media supporters to be maligned and marginalised as a racist.
And that compromise should then mean that the Government, the community, free speech advocates and I can together agree: yes to free speech, no to racism. These changes should mean we can discuss things freely, even vigorously and offensively, but cannot so intimidate someone that they fear for their physical safety. To make someone fear for their safety must be where the line is drawn.
Don’t believe Dreyfus. It is time for serious people to talk seriously about a deal we can all live with. 


















Hilarious? I don't agree with the hostage taker's methods .. but killing him isn't an act of justice.


“Most illegal immigrants flooding into Australia without papers are composed of Afghani Army personnel”, an employee connected to Christmas Island has claimed.

The processing centre at Christmas Island is being manipulated by corrupt Iranian and Afghani interpreters who advise the army deserters to say they are lowly farmers.

Australian Officials, suspicious of their claims, have been jetting these dodgy detainees in their hundreds to the infamous Curtin Detention Centre in Western Australia.

The Centre, described as the “Hell Hole” is in a remote area 2,000, kilometres north of Perth.

Designed to hold 1400 of the most violent and suspect detainees, it was recently all but vacated after the disease Guillain-Barré syndrome broke out affecting locals.

In April 2010, the Rudd government decided to reopen the “horror centre” for what he termed “single male asylum seekers”, and those who fall within the category of, "do not process".

In charge of security is Serco Plc, a UK publicly listed company, the Asia-Pacific arm of which has been contracted to the Australian Government.

It has each Australian employee on signed confidentiality agreements.

Serco has usurped billions of Australian taxpayer funds, mostly wasted on renting material and white goods that could be purchased outright for the cost of one week’s rent.

Marquees and air conditioning units are ready and rented at $10,000 per week in lots of ten to cater for the expected overflow from Christmas Island.

At least three passenger airliners are chartered permanently to shuffle detainees between centres. As few as three detainees at a time are flown into the Curtin Centre, claimed one employee.

Describing their company Serco Plc said: “We provide catering, recreation, education and excursions, manage accommodation, facilities, maintenance, transport and logistics, security, training and procurement. Our employees look after thousands of people in locations all over Australia, responding to their cultural, religious and individual needs.” Mmmm.

Of most concern is the whereabouts of the 1,000 unprocessed illegal Curtin detainees who have now been dispersed to Australian cities.

“These blokes are rock-hard fit and looking for trouble”, said one Curtin employee.

Sam (not her real name) is a small part Aboriginal girl once employed by Serco.

She is too frightened to talk but an angry relative explained that Sam’s job was to escort groups of these men to Canberra and Melbourne.

They were taken to holding centres before being given bridging visas and were then dispersed into the community, legally unable to work.

After six trips Sam resigned because of the sexual abuse she suffered. Traumatised, she is now living back with her family in Derby.

Enquires from Derby to Broome, including Police stations have been met with a terse “no comment.”

“Waste is rampant”, said one local. “Tradespeople are charging up to $10 a kilometre to drive to and from the Centre to fix a washer on a tap.

"I was charging $2 a kilometre until I found out what the other guys were charging, so I put my bill in at $10 per kilometre and they never said a word, they seem to just pay whatever you invoice them for.

“If one (of the detainees) gets a toothache or anything, someone has to come out from Derby and take them back for treatment. It’s often hours waiting before they are ready to go back.”

“We are not allowed phones there”, said another ex-employee, “but I tested the phones available to the detainees and I could phone anywhere in the world.”

Another informant said that the local Derby refrigeration store, Lindsay Howard, was robbed of thousands of dollars of equipment which somehow found its way to the Curtin Centre on rental agreements. “Nothing came of it”, he said.

“It seems this Serco mob spends more time covering stuff up than doing their job here.”

So us Aussies can look forward to another tranche of thousands of Islamic Afghani army deserters soon to be scattered unprocessed throughout our communities.

Meanwhile, the Gillard Government equivocates over whether legitimate Afghani interpreters, currently risking their lives to assist our army in Afghanistan, should be allowed entry.
They are marked men once we leave.
Bloody good eh?

Asylum seekers, my arse!

I'm not US based and do not know about common core, although I would guess it is merely an attempt to take responsibility from the states and give to federal government a duplicating authority and bureaucracy. If you compare education today, as an average, with three hundred years ago, you would see vast improvement on numeracy issues. True, we might not estimate the tare weight of a horse and buggy as well, but the improvement is undeniable and shows the difference between a bureaucratic education system and a much cheaper model. I love Math and have all my life, but after I left school, I finished University part time and worked full time as a bank teller. I once wanted to compute the change of interest for a customer and realised I'd forgotten how. I was nervous about my knowledge while I was training to be a Math Teacher but teacher educators convinced me that osmosis would kick in. I taught myself because I had to both times. Education systems are broad and account for a vast range of students. I have no problems with allowing kids to progress at their own rate. Bootstrapping will still be needed tomorrow because of my attitude. I feel it is incumbent on us as educators to teach to the middle of a class and allow the high achievers to excel, while supporting the most challenged as we can.

Three cheers for Piers

Andrew BoltMARCH172013(5:44pm)

Bravo, Piers Akerman, for angrily challenging the three snickering and sneering members of the journalist collective on the set of Insiders to fight for free speech. There was some noisy spinning of wheels in reverse after that justifiably furious outburst, but too little and too late.
Journalists panting for their muzzle.
And what also disgusts me - that pack-attack and group-think mentality which makes so much of Australia’s media so intellectually lazy, complacent and incurious, and so prey to fashionable enthusiasms such as global warming. So Malcolm laughs at Piers as Karen laughs even harder, while glancing over to Barrie to check he’s laughing, too.
More on this issue in the Herald Sun tomorrow.
Reader Linda:
I just watched Insiders on TV and it occurred to me, that those journalists would be apoplectic if a Liberal Party had introduced this bill.They’re just sycophants.
Reader Seedy:
Piers showed the passion that every advocate of freedom should show. Funnily enough the 3 govt scriptwriters on the panel thought the proposed legislation was flawed yet were willing to compromise their profession. Shame on them. Well done Piers, you showed us their true colours - weak kneed apologists.
Reader Bile:
Piers was inspirational this morning on the Insiders. He tore in the other 3 clowns for their laughing. What, are they too dumb to realize what Conroy’s legislation will mean to them? Or are they too much in Labor’s pocket to protest against the attack on their freedom (of the press). Let us all be inspired by Piers’ deeds and be as strong in condemning Conroy’s legislation.
Reader Lee:
Even knowing of the predominantly left-leaning bias of the Insiders guests (plus host), I was appalled at the sniggering, sarcastic interruptions to the legitimate opinion put forward by Piers Akerman. Barrie Cassidy, Karen Middleton and Malcolm Farr, being journalists, should hang their heads in shame at their brazen attempts to muzzle and denigrate other points of view. An unfortunate new low for the taxpayer-funded ABC, but perhaps a reflection of the presenters’ recognition of the chaos that is the Gillard Government.
Reader Lisle:
What does one say when you see such an inspirational performance from Piers on Insiders this morning? It just illustrates how naive and laid back Australians have become to believe that this attack on our freedom of speech is okay. It is not, and all just to get News Limited because they have highlighted the failings of this government. I didn’t notice their shouting in 2007 when the media backed Kevin Rudd.My sister commented to me yesterday that it reminds her of Chifley’s intention to nationalise the banks in 1949.Let us all be inspired by Piers.

Reader Liz:
It was a shocker! And then Farr says at the end of the programme congratulations to Barrie Cassidy about some award he had won.Another award for the groupthink set.
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill: 
AB, I think Farr has the most to answer for: after all, the proposed print media reforms don’t touch the the other two. While Barrie and Karen should have to wear the shame of their efforts this morning forevermore, Farr should retire immediately. If he’s so lost to the Left that he can’t bring himself to defend his own freedom, then clearly the time has come for him to give the game away. 
Another Insiders panellist begs for a muzzle: 
But what Mike Seccombe also does is: 
A: misrepresent Piers’ argument, thereby committing the sin he claims we need new laws to stop.
B: suggest this really is the Gillard Government using state power to attack a single media group, a misuses of state power to which he does not object.
You wonder why some cultured countries, or at least their elites, once permitted a slide into totalitarianism, or, indeed, actually cheered it on.
No, this isn’t a totalitarian country. But the first lurches towards a control of the free press are meeting an astonishing lack of resistance from those who should care most.
Yet another journalist calling for the muzzle: 
What a gross misrepresentation of what Piers, said, with free slander thrown in.
But where is Bongiorno’s own accountability? What will it take for him to finally correct and apologise for this astonishing misrepresentation he perpetrated on ABC Radio National’sBreakfast?:
Of course we do know [Tony Abbott] stoutly defended [immigration spokesman] Scott Morrison, who thought that asylum seekers who are on bridging visas should be tagged the same way as sex offenders.
As I pointed out at the time: 
Morrison said or suggested no such thing. The closest anyone in the Opposition came to saying anything of the kind was Opposition frontbencher Eric Abetz - who actually rejected a suggestion, put to him by a journalist, that asylum seekers be put on a register like sex offenders. No mention of tagging at all.

Bongiorno has ascribed to Morrison a view not expressed by him or any other Liberal, and done so on the basis of a misquote of someone else.
Bongiorno never corrected, never apologised. Should a new (Liberal-appointed) media supercop force him to?
Professor Sinclair Davidson:
Reader Ringo: 
Andrew, for further stupidity, see Farr’s ridiculous tweeting after the show in which he completely twists what Piers was actually saying. And yes, cheered on by the usual subjects.
(Thanks to reader Andy.)

Trashing the joint

Miranda Devine – Sunday, March 17, 2013 (4:09am)

THE great and the good of the Liberal Party turned out on Friday to a packed breakfast for the purposeful member for the blue-ribbon Melbourne seat of Kooyong, Josh Frydenberg.
Christopher Pyne, George Brandis, Nick Greiner, Michael Kroger, Richard Alston and the Kemp brothers Rod and David, were there to support the 41-year old dynamo.
Much chat was about the latest Spectator magazine, with its arresting cover image of the Prime Minister on the cross, titled “Julia the martyr”.
But it was Peter Coleman’s newsy column which, as always, was the subject of liveliest discussion. Mark Latham’s launch of his Quarterly Essay at North Sydney’s Stanton Library last week was “like an episode of Q&A but with more mummy bloggers and pensioners”, wrote Coleman.
The love fest was interrupted, however, when Spectator editor Tom Switzer asked Latham why, if Julia Gillard was such a warrior against misogyny, she did not protest when he attacked columnist Janet Albrechtsen in parliament as a “skanky ho”. Good question.
Coleman reports that Latham shouted: “Everyone knows you are besotted with her!” and then declared his only regret was that he apologised.
Former Howard minister Neil Brown couldn’t resist pointing out his own droll column in the same edition of the magazine, poking fun at Malcolm Turnbull’s modelling gig in GQ: “I am pretty sure that Gucci pocket squares at $225 do not go down well on parma night at the Rooty Hill RSL.”
After poached eggs, a panel discussion dealt with more weighty topics, such as Stephen “Stalin” Conroy’s new media regulations, viewed, unsurprisingly, by those in the room as the latest proof of the Gillard government’s determination to punish its enemies and reward its friends in a mad rush before September’s election.
It was Brandis who provided a metaphor with Spectator-like sparkle.
He recounted the story of Wayne Swan’s vandalised electorate office and car in 1996 after Swan lost his Brisbane seat of Lilley.
“An extreme state of disarray”, was how Administrative Services Minister David Jull had described it in Parliament, itemising $6000 in damages. Swan strenuously denied the claims at the time, and threatened legal action, but the mystery of who trashed his office remains.
Nevertheless, Brandis took the fate of the office as a symbol for the government’s current behaviour, trashing the joint before it walks out the door.
Golden Tara of Butuan
===“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” - Colossians 3:12
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

March 16: Morning
"I am a stranger with thee." - Psalm 39:12
Yes, O Lord, with thee, but not to thee. All my natural alienation from thee, thy grace has effectually removed; and now, in fellowship with thyself, I walk through this sinful world as a pilgrim in a foreign country. Thou art a stranger in thine own world. Man forgets thee, dishonours thee, sets up new laws and alien customs, and knows thee not. When thy dear Son came unto his own, his own received him not. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. Never was foreigner so speckled a bird among the denizens of any land as thy beloved Son among his mother's brethren. It is no marvel, then, if I who live the life of Jesus, should be unknown and a stranger here below. Lord, I would not be a citizen where Jesus was an alien. His pierced hand has loosened the cords which once bound my soul to earth, and now I find myself a stranger in the land. My speech seems to these Babylonians among whom I dwell an outlandish tongue, my manners are singular, and my actions are strange. A Tartar would be more at home in Cheapside than I could ever be in the haunts of sinners. But here is the sweetness of my lot: I am a stranger with thee. Thou art my fellow-sufferer, my fellow-pilgrim. Oh, what joy to wander in such blessed society! My heart burns within me by the way when thou dost speak to me, and though I be a sojourner, I am far more blest than those who sit on thrones, and far more at home than those who dwell in their ceiled houses.

"To me remains nor place, nor time:
My country is in every clime;
I can be calm and free from care
On any shore, since God is there.
While place we seek, or place we shun,
The soul finds happiness in none:
But with a God to guide our way,
'Tis equal joy to go or stay."
"Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins." - Psalm 19:13
Such was the prayer of the "man after God's own heart." Did holy David need to pray thus? How needful, then, must such a prayer be for us babes in grace! It is as if he said, "Keep me back, or I shall rush headlong over the precipice of sin." Our evil nature, like an ill-tempered horse, is apt to run away. May the grace of God put the bridle upon it, and hold it in, that it rush not into mischief. What might not the best of us do if it were not for the checks which the Lord sets upon us both in providence and in grace! The psalmist's prayer is directed against the worst form of sin--that which is done with deliberation and wilfulness. Even the holiest need to be "kept back" from the vilest transgressions. It is a solemn thing to find the apostle Paul warning saints against the most loathsome sins. "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry." What! do saints want warning against such sins as these? Yes, they do. The whitest robes, unless their purity be preserved by divine grace, will be defiled by the blackest spots. Experienced Christian, boast not in your experience; you will trip yet if you look away from him who is able to keep you from falling. Ye whose love is fervent, whose faith is constant, whose hopes are bright, say not, "We shall never sin," but rather cry, "Lead us not into temptation." There is enough tinder in the heart of the best of men to light a fire that shall burn to the lowest hell, unless God shall quench the sparks as they fall. Who would have dreamed that righteous Lot could be found drunken, and committing uncleanness? Hazael said, "Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?" and we are very apt to use the same self-righteous question. May infinite wisdom cure us of the madness of self-confidence.


[Văsh'nī] - god is strong.

First-born of Samuel the prophet (1 Chron. 6:28). The prophet's oldest son is also named as Joel (1 Sam. 8:2).

Today's reading: Deuteronomy 28-29, Mark 14:54-72 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Deuteronomy 25-27

Blessings for Obedience

1 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:
3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock--the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks....

Today's New Testament reading: Mark 14:27-53

54 Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.
55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. 56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.

57 Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: 58 "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.'" 59 Yet even then their testimony did not agree....

Today's Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, who commanded us to love our enemies and all those who insult and hurt us, and to pray for them and forgive them; you yourself prayed for your enemies, who crucified you. Give us, we pray, a spirit of Christian reconciliation and meekness, so that we may forgive every injury and be reconciled with our enemies. Grant us Christian meekness and true love of our neighbor. Give to our enemies true peace and forgiveness of sins; and do not allow them to leave this life without true faith and sincere conversion. Help us to repay evil with goodness. -- adapted from the Orthodox "Prayer for Enemies"

Today's Scripture Reading: Psalm 25:3-9

3 No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.
4 Show me your ways, LORD,
teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, LORD, are good.
8 Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
9 He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
Today's Quote

Today's quote is from the famous Easter hymn "Ah, Holy Jesus, How Hast Thou Offended," a powerful reflection on our own guilt and role in Jesus' crucifixion. You can learn more about this hymn at the Center for Church Music.

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast Thou offended,
That man to judge Thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by Thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.

Who was the guilty--Who brought this upon Thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone Thee.
'Twas I, Lord, Jesus, I it was denied Thee!
I crucified Thee.

For me, kind Jesus, was Thine incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and Thy life's oblation;
Thy death of anguish and Thy bitter passion,
For my salvation.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay Thee,
I do adore Thee, and will ever pray Thee,
Think on Thy pity and Thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving.

Something to Think About

Forgiveness is an integral part of the Easter story. Who in your life needs to be forgiven today? Who do you need to ask for forgiveness? This week, consider extending the hand of forgiveness to somebody who needs it.

Today's Lent reading: Matthew 17-18 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
The Transfiguration

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4 Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah."
5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!"

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