Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thu Mar 16th Todays News

Today I was lucky enough to attend the inaugural meeting of the Southern Multicultural Branch of the Liberal Party in Victoria. I'm still not allowed to be a member, but I can see how it operates. A speech was delivered by Adam Giles, the first Australian Aboriginal Head of Government (not counting local government). It would be a great trivial pursuit question, "Who was Australia's first Aboriginal Head of Government?" SMH, Age and ABC hacks would be caught in an infinite loop guessing "Hawk? Keating? Whitlam?" But instead it was a man that the ABC campaigned relentlessly to dismiss as he saw five Prime Ministers in his time in office. 

That last PM, Turnbull, made a desperate proposal today to turn the Snowy Mountain electricity scheme into a battery. Turnbull's plan is to use the most expensive renewable energy available to pump water up a hill and use it for hydro electricity in a time of need. Essentially making the power cost 20% more. But making a battery that can operate when wind power or solar doesn't. Maybe. It might work if a good cheap coal power generator did the supply work, but then we wouldn't need it. 

Giles had a plan to make the NT pay its way and not claim $5 GST for every dollar collected. He had wanted to use the tremendous gas reserves of NT to power the East and Southern sea boards. He had wanted to connect NT to SA, but the ALP Premier didn't want it. So Giles planned to connect NT to QLD more cheaply. $300 million more cheaply. But with SA power failing, SA begged for the gas pipeline, and Giles accepted if they paid for the $300 million. They refused. But now SA are raising over $500 million for unnecessary batteries guaranteed to drive up power costs. Turnbull's government also asked Giles to pipe to SA. There is a $5 billion development fund of which Giles asked for $300 million to pay for the pipeline. Turnbull's government refused. Instead, Turnbull is now considering a $2 billion battery which will lift the most expensive electrical power by a minimum 20%. And the ABC got Giles government removed. 

The Liberal Party needs cultural diversity. She needs to evangelise to the entire community. And she needs the money that grassroots supporters bring. I'm too poor to be useful. And yet, she has my support. 

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 Fat Old Hugh Grant plays Death of Nero

Comedic portrayal of Nero's death covering several issues badly, the death of Nero's mum by his command. His isolation. His reasons for killing Christians he labelled Atheists.

=== from 2016 ===
Some people aren't playing fair on the Bolt Report Supporters Group. There are referrals to Facebook to ban items and people that have done no wrong. There are requests to Administrators to ban people who have only argued from their viewpoint and illustrated it. I accept some appallingly bad posts which are merely abusive and which I shouldn't were I to exercise taste. I want conversation and I want it to be rich, not the dumb abuse and venomous hatred some have. I was ashamed when I showed my new landlord the site. He is Muslim and a good person. His goodness does not mean I approve of a two state solution for Israel or any of the many atrocities committed under the name Islam. But were I to string up my landlord, it would not address those issues either. I guess I just don't like haters. I love Daniel Katz' posts. 

The more I read from the ALA, the more I despise the ALA. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
On the anniversary of the death of International Solidarity Movement's Rachel Corrie's death by stupidity, there is outrage at a joke about an ISIL member's name. Some will not know the connection between ISM and ISIL. They hate each other as much as they hate everyone else. ISM sends aid to terrorists in so called Palestine. ISIL recently executed an ISM worker they had kidnapped. Furkan is the name that sparks outrage. Apparently three quarters of Muslims in Australia feel they are unfairly targets of legislation against terrorism. Meanwhile all sensible people are upset about being targets of terrorists. 
From 2014
Exploitation of the defenceless is wrong. It is better to share and build. It seems obvious that slavery is wrong, yet slavery exists today, both sexual and manual labor. It took until this day in 1995 for the great state of Mississippi to ratify the 1865 thirteenth amendment abolishing slavery. Sometimes good people are slow. But today is also the anniversary of the death of an idiot. Not very bright, young and idealistic, Rachel Corrie believed lies told to her in defence of terrorists. She had joined the international solidarity movement  and was 'defending' a home in Rafah from being bulldozed. All care was taken by the operator of the bulldozer. IDF had targeted the building for demolition as it was being used to shoot at IDF troops by snipers. Corrie had been given basic training so that she knew it was important to be visible. Had the bulldozer operator known she was in front of it, they would not have progressed until the idiot was cleared away. But the idiot was too smart for that. So, on this day, in 2003, the world became collectively smarter. 

In 1912Lawrence Oates, an ill member of Robert Falcon Scott's South Pole expedition, left his tent to die, saying: "I am just going outside and may be some time." 1935, Adolf Hitler orders Germany to rearm herself in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Conscription is reintroduced to form the Wehrmacht. Worth thinking about what Adolf did and what Iran is doing with a large nuclear power station or two, capable of creating plutonium.
Historical perspective on this day
597 BCBabylonians capture Jerusalem, and replace Jeconiah with Zedekiah as king.
455 – Emperor Valentinian III is assassinated by two Hunnic retainers while training with the bow on the Campus Martius (Rome).
934Meng Zhixiang declares himself emperor and establishes Later Shu as a new state independent of Later Tang.
1190 – Massacre of Jews at Clifford's Tower, York.
1244 – Over 200 Cathars are burned after the Fall of Montségur.
1322 – The Battle of Boroughbridge take place in the Despenser Wars.

1521Ferdinand Magellan reaches the island of Homonhon in the Philippines.
1621Samoset, a Mohegan, visited the settlers of Plymouth Colony and greets them, "Welcome, Englishmen! My name is Samoset."
1660 – The Long Parliament of England is dissolved so as to prepare for the new Convention Parliament.
1689 – The 23rd Regiment of Foot, or Royal Welch Fusiliers, is founded.
1782American Revolutionary War: Spanish troops capture the British-held island of Roatán.
1792 – King Gustav III of Sweden is shot; he dies on March 29.
1797French Revolutionary Wars: An Austrian column is defeated by the French in the Battle of Valvasone.

1802 – The Army Corps of Engineers is established to found and operate the United States Military Academy at West Point.
1812Siege of Badajoz begins: British and Portuguese forces besiege and defeat French garrison during the Peninsular War.
1815Prince Willem proclaims himself King of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, the first constitutional monarch in the Netherlands.
1818 – In the Second Battle of Cancha Rayada, Spanish forces defeated Chileans under José de San Martín.

1865 – American Civil War: The Battle of Averasborough began as Confederate forces suffer irreplaceable casualties in the final months of the war.
1870 – The first version of the overture fantasy Romeo and Juliet by Tchaikovsky receives its première performance.
1872 – The Wanderers F.C. won the first FA Cup, the oldest football competition in the world, beating Royal Engineers A.F.C. 1–0 at The Oval in Kennington, London.
1894Jules Massenet's opera Thaïs is first performed.

1900 – Sir Arthur Evans purchased the land around the ruins of Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete.
1916 – The 7th and 10th US cavalry regiments under John J. Pershing cross the US–Mexico border to join the hunt for Pancho Villa.
1917World War I: A German auxiliary cruiser is sunk in the Action of 16 March 1917.
1924 – In accordance with the Treaty of Rome, Fiume becomes annexed as part of Italy.
1925 – An earthquake occurs in Yunnan, China.
1926History of Rocketry: Robert Goddard launches the first liquid-fueled rocket, at Auburn, Massachusetts.

1935Adolf Hitler orders Germany to rearm herself in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Conscription is reintroduced to form the Wehrmacht.
1936 – Warmer-than-normal temperatures rapidly melt snow and ice on the upper Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, leading to a major flood in Pittsburgh.
1939 – From Prague Castle, Hitler proclaims Bohemia and Moravia a German protectorate.
1940 – First person killed (James Isbister) in a German bombing raid on the UK in World War II during a raid on Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands.
1945World War II: The Battle of Iwo Jima ended, but small pockets of Japanese resistance persisted.
1945 – Ninety percent of Würzburg, Germany is destroyed in only 20 minutes by British bombers, resulting in around 5,000 deaths.

1958 – The Ford Motor Company produces its 50 millionth automobile, the Thunderbird, averaging almost a million cars a year since the company's founding.
1962 – A Flying Tiger Line Super Constellation disappears in the western Pacific Ocean, with all 107 aboard missing and presumed dead.
1966 – Launch of Gemini 8, the 12th manned American space flight and first space docking with the Agena target vehicle.
1968Vietnam War: My Lai Massacre occurs; between 347 and 500 Vietnamese villagers (men, women, and children) are killed by American troops.
1968 – General Motors produces its 100 millionth automobile, the Oldsmobile Toronado.
1969 – A Viasa McDonnell Douglas DC-9 crashes in Maracaibo, Venezuela, killing 155.

1976 – British Prime Minister Harold Wilson resigns, citing personal reasons.
1977 – Assassination of Kamal Jumblatt, the main leader of the anti-government forces in the Lebanese Civil War.
1978 – Former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro is kidnapped. (He is later murdered by his captors.)
1978 – Supertanker Amoco Cadiz splits in two after running aground on the Portsall Rocks, three miles off the coast of Brittany, resulting in the largest oil spill in history at that time.
1979Sino-Vietnamese War: The People's Liberation Army crosses the border back into China, ends the war.

1983 – Demolition of the Ismaning radio transmitter, the last wooden radio tower in Germany.
1984William Buckley, the CIA station chief in Beirut, Lebanon, is kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists. (He later dies in captivity.)
1985Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson is taken hostage in Beirut. He is released on December 4, 1991.
1988Iran–Contra affair: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice Admiral John Poindexter are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
1988 – Halabja chemical attack: The Kurdish town of Halabja in Iraq is attacked with a mix of poison gas and nerve agents on the orders of Saddam Hussein, killing 5000 people and injuring about 10000 people.
1988 – The Troubles: Ulster loyalist militant Michael Stone attacks a Provisional IRA funeral in Belfast with pistols and grenades. A PIRA volunteer and two civilians are killed, and more than 60 others are wounded.
1989 – In Egypt, a 4,400-year-old mummy is found near the Pyramid of Cheops.

1995Mississippi formally ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery. The Thirteenth Amendment was officially ratified in 1865.
2005Israel officially hands over Jericho to Palestinian control.
2014Crimea votes in a controversial referendum to secede from Ukraine to join Russia.
2016 – A bomb detonates in a bus carrying government employees in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing 15 and injuring at least 54.
2016 – Two female suicide bombers detonate their explosives at a mosque during morning prayer on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Nigeria, killing 22 and injuring 18.
=== 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 Laurent Boiteux and Ilaisa Moala Ramode . Born on the same day, across the years. You will succeed.
Laurent is author, actor of Hidden Peaks, a zombie gig .. 

My Lai Massacre
We have another five years. They speak English. Wanderers won something. There is an atrocity under LBJ. They were always dangerous. Let's party. 
Miranda Devine

Drinking Coopers = Supporting hate? Oh, come on

If you’re for truly open and honest debate, commit a “hate” crime for freedom and crack open a bottle of Coopers Premium Light, writes Miranda Devine.
RENDEZVIEW 15 Mar  246 comments
Tim Blair


Ever since I was a small child I’ve dreamed of killing the Great Barrier Reef – or at least of living long enough to see the bastard thing die.
Andrew Bolt


PwC: Political, Woeful, Cynical

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, March 16, 2016 (12:11am)

MULTINATIONAL accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers earns $34 billion a year from auditing and management consultant services. Its reputation and mandate to audit public companies rests on its integrity, independence and objectivity.

 Continue reading 'PwC: Political, Woeful, Cynical'

Bill’s jobs ain’t up to the job

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, March 16, 2016 (5:54am)

FUNNY Bill Shorten has suddenly taken an interest in jobs. Or “jobs jobs jobs” as he calls them. 
In an address to the National Press Club yesterday the Opposition Leader boasted of his 20 years “working with employees and management” as a union boss: “I will never accept an economy where a vast underclass of Australians are trapped working for $6 an hour.”
Well, hello Chiquita Mushrooms.
Since Shorten has brought up his ignominious past as an organiser and leader of the Australian Workers’ Union, let’s examine his track record. 
For instance, in evidence to the royal commission into union corruption is the revelatory case study of how mushroom pickers at Victorian company Chiquita Mushrooms were dudded by Shorten’s union. 
In 2004, when Shorten was AWU secretary, the union negotiated an EBA which cut 120 jobs, half the workforce, and reduced wages. Meantime the AWU was pocketing about $4000-a-month in “unusual payments” which Shorten told the commission was for “training delegates “ and “printing a union journal”.
Shorten has zero credibility when it comes to creating jobs, unless it’s for union hacks in parliament. 

The curious case of NDIS and the autism boom

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, March 16, 2016 (6:00am)

NSW Disability Minister John Ajaka boasted this week that the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will create 30,000 new jobs in this state alone. 
He seems to think adding 30,000 jobs to the government payroll is a positive development, rather than yet another drain on the overburdened taxpayer and a recipe for waste, rorting and inefficiency.
Just in time for this great big pot of free money comes a boom in new diagnoses of autism-related disorders.
We are supposed to believe that one in five students in government schools now has a disability, according to a national audit by federal, state and territory education ministers released this week. One explanation for such an incredible figure was that the definition of “disability” has been broadened to include learning disorders and allergies.
In South Australia, the cost of pilot NDIS programs in 2014 blew out by up to 30 per cent to $46,000 per person. Almost half the participants were children with autism and related disorders, which seemed to surprise naïve architects of the scheme.
It is no surprise that when government creates a new way to hand out free money, a whole new cohort of dependants will emerge.


Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 16, 2016 (2:44pm)

Take that, patriarchy: 
A Yarra councillor wants to see more ‘green and red lady’ pedestrian signals installed across the inner city to promote gender equality.

Yarra Council and VicRoads announced yesterday the silhouette of a woman would be installed at a new pedestrian crossing in Richmond. 
Crossing the street shouldn’t be a problem. By the looks of her, she’s from an era that predates cars. Those skilled in the dark arts of photoshop are invited to submit a more modern design.
(Via James Morrow.)


Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 16, 2016 (1:41pm)

They may have missed the point
Administrators have ordered the removal of swastikas from a high school production of The Producers, the famous Mel Brooks film that makes fun of Nazism.
The New York school district that oversees Tappan Zee High School considers the inclusion of a swastika to be offensive and, possibly, a hate crime – regardless of the context. 
(Via iowahawk, whose response is appropriate.) 


Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 16, 2016 (12:11pm)

A big win for Donald Trump in Florida takes Marco Rubio out of the game, as Hillary Clinton extends her lead over Bernie Sanders.
UPDATE. Trump appears to have tapped into a popular sentiment:

UPDATE II. “What essentially happened today is Hillary Clinton was elected president.”
UPDATE III. “Donald Trump still leads the race for delegates, with 568. Ted Cruz has 370 delegates, Kasich has 129 and Rubio left the race with 163. It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.”
UPDATE IV. “Ohio election officials say that more than half of all early voting on the GOP side is from voters who were recently Democrats or Independents.”
UPDATE V. Ed Driscoll: “Trump is the mirror universe version of an an earlier reality show candidate, who similarly served ‘as a blank screen, on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views,’ even as he goaded his supporters to ‘argue with neighbors, get in their faces,’ ‘punch back twice as hard,’ and bring guns to knife fights.”


Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 16, 2016 (4:20am)

“Snap your burning chains, ye denizens of the pit, and come up sheeted in the fire, dripping with the flames of hell, and with your trumpet tongues testify.”


Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 16, 2016 (12:50am)

Dust off the Klieg lights, warm the magnesium and build the biggest tyre fire in your whole neighbourhood, because Earth Hour will soon be upon us: 
To celebrate, together with Earth Hour’s major sponsor Bendigo Bank, we’re giving you the chance to win $500 for yourself and $500 to go towards protecting a place you love. Like Bendigo Bank, we’re interested in the good money can do.
To win, all you have to do is show us a place you love – be it your favourite beach, your local park or some peaceful bushland – and tell us why you want to protect it. 
You know, light can provide a helpful means of protection. That is why, on the evening of March 19, it is almost certain various European cities won’t be joining in on this year’s Earth Hour fun. Not unless they want a Rape Hour
Police in the icy Northern Swedish city of Ostersund have warned single women against venturing out alone after dark, following a space of violent attacks, with nine cases reported in less than three weeks.
Any city official turning off the lights in Sweden or Germany should be regarded as a threat to public safety and shot. Also, as you might expect, recent demographic changes throughout Europe are now producing an electoral impact.
UPDATE. For shame! Tasmania isn’t getting into the Earth Hour spirit
An extraordinary industrial event occurred in Tasmania at the weekend. Diesel generators, hastily rushed across Bass Strait at a cost of $44 million, rumbled into action to keep the lights on.
This week, the generators operating since Friday at Catagunya Power Station will ramp up production from 9MW to 24MW, leaving the public wondering: just how does a state in 21st century Australia run out of power? 
Strictly speaking, Tasmania is not a “state in 21st century Australia”. It’s a state living off 21st century Australia.


Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 16, 2016 (12:37am)

Essendon supporter Joe Hildebrand – whose team is this year largely composed of disability pensioners and tuck shop ladies – dares to attack the Religion of Pies: 
In Melbourne, AFL pervades everything, to the point where many a defendant has been let off the hook because the judge also barracks for Collingwood.
Unfortunately, this has not been tested for other teams and codes given that Collingwood supporters account for 99.9 per cent of the crime rate. 
Note to self: when killing Joe, be sure to do it in Melbourne. 


Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 16, 2016 (12:12am)

Hillary Clinton forgot that she wasn’t named after Sir Edmund Hillary. Hillary forgot that snipers didn’t try to shoot her in Bosnia. Hillary forgot certain rules about government security.
And now she’s forgotten that Bernie Sanders was once her policy ally. Poor forgetful Hillary. Her latest moveseems more than slightly desperate: 
Hillary Clinton says she’s received private messages from foreign leaders asking to endorse her candidacy in hopes of defeating Republican front-runner Donald Trump. 
Oh, sure she has. Show us the emails, crazy lady. 
Clinton refused to name the dignitaries, though she says she told them that the election must be decided by Americans. 
Hillary has forgotten about the 20 foreign governments that donated to the Clinton Foundation.
UPDATE. She’s a coal miner’s nightmare:

Clinton has lost the crucial Loretta Lynn demographic.

Trump surges: 53 per cent. UPDATE: Blitzes Florida. UPDATE: Rubio quits

Andrew Bolt March 16 2016 (10:12am)

The popular theory about Donald Trump, as explained by the New York Times

First, there is some good evidence that Trump’s support has a ceiling. He isn’t the second choice of very many voters… 
Second, the establishment is unlikely to give up easily against him. While the establishment vote has been spread out across three or four candidates for most of this cycle, it will eventually consolidate around a single candidate. That candidate will have virtually unlimited resources to test whether or not Trump’s support does have a ceiling. I suspect they will find it does.
His opponents put the limit of Trump’s support at 30 to 40 per cent:
Marco Rubio voiced the conventional wisdom that guides much horse-race commentary about the GOP campaign: “Part of the dynamic up to this point,” Rubio declared, “is Donald [Trump] has been, you know, in the mid 30s to low 30s, high 20s, in most polls, and then you have 70 percent of the Republican electorate that says, ‘We’re not voting for him.’ But they’re divided up among five or seven people. So as that five or seven people continues to narrow down, I think it’s going make the race clearer and clearer.” Ted Cruz has said much the same thing: “Donald Trump … has a passionate, committed base of supporters, but he’s got a ceiling—between 60 and 70 percent of Republican primary voters.”
That theory is wrong:
Steve Schmidt, senior adviser to George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign before becoming John McCain’s senior campaign strategist in 2008:
[Trump’s rivals] misunderstood the nature of the Trump candidacy and the need to be as big as Trump, in an oppositional sense. None of them rose to the bigness of a moment that has seen a total collapse in institutions — an era of systemic fraud, combined with flat wage growth over a generation, and with no solutions offered. It’s the job of a leader to contextualize all of that and to explain both the struggles today and the possibility of triumph tomorrow. How many speeches of great American leaders like F.D.R. or Eisenhower do you think these candidates read before they ran for president? I think not too many. 
If you can’t even define the problems, voters can’t trust you to give the solutions.
There is a clear answers to Frank Chung’s question, as his article makes disturbingly clear:
Is the media inciting violence against Donald Trump?
It is early in the count in Florida, the must-win home state of Marco Rubio. But already it seems Rubio is being smashed and his last hopes destroyed. Trump has the nomination in his grasp:
With 32.7 per cent of votes now counted, it’s still Trump ahead by a smashing 46.1 per cent to Rubio’s humiliating 26.6 per cent.
Not two weeks ago Rubio said this:
I believe with all my heart that the winner of the Florida primary will be the nominee of the Republican Party. 
The only minor hitch for Trump is that Governor John Kasich looks like winning his home state of Ohio, which is nice for him but a platform for nothing. Trump is narrowly leading Cruz in North Carolina, and by more in Missouri.
Rubio quits. It is finally - but too late - a head to head between Trump and Cruz, with just Kasich running interference. 

Another revolt on Turnbull’s Right

Andrew Bolt March 16 2016 (10:05am)

More trouble for a Prime Minister who is to the Left of his party:
The review of the controversial Safe Schools program recommends several changes but does not call for the program to be scrapped or defunded… 
Conservative opponents of Safe Schools have quickly gone on the attack, branding the review by University of Western Australia Emeritus Professor Bill Louden as a “joke”, a “stitch up” and a “fraud"…

The Safe Schools program is a toolkit for teachers aimed at stamping out homophobia in schools and assisting students who are questioning their sexuality and gender…
But immediately after Tuesday night’s meeting, conservatives condemned the report as inadequate, too narrow and too hasty… 
Others went further. One MP reportedly described the program as a “gateway drug” and Professor Louden’s review as a “stitch up”. And one MP told the ABC the review was a “fraud” and called on Education Minister Simon Birmingham to either “fix this or resign”.   

Four police wounded in anti-jihadist raid in Belgium

Andrew Bolt March 16 2016 (10:02am)

More jihadist violence in Belgium:
One suspect has been shot dead, officials say, and as many as two others are said to be on the run after a counter-terrorism raid in Brussels. 
The suspects were believed to have been barricaded in a flat after earlier firing shots at the police. Four police officers were wounded in the south Brussels suburb of Forest. The raid was linked to last year’s Paris attacks in which 130 people died. Islamic State (IS) militants have claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The p[rice of mass immigration from the Muslim Third World. 

Shorten’s half-full promise

Andrew Bolt March 16 2016 (8:38am)

Labor leader Bill Shorten’s new big promise:
Among the recommendations is a commitment to ‘full employment’… For modern Labor, full employment means every Australian working to their full capacity… For Labor, full employment is a social and economic good.  
The catch is in the definition:
LEIGH SALES: What percentage unemployment do you consider to be full employment?… And so what would be your target for the unemployment rate? 
BILL SHORTEN: Five per cent. 
That’s full employment now?
It was so different for so long in Australia:

Essential poll: Liberals 50:50 with Labor

Andrew Bolt March 16 2016 (8:25am)

Essential Media’s poll repeats: Malcolm Turnbull’s Government is locked at 50:50 with Labor. That confirms the last two Newspoll results. Only the Ipsos poll gives Turnbull the lead. 

Turnbull is creating a new anti-Liberal Senate

Andrew Bolt March 16 2016 (8:07am)

Terry McCrann warns that Malcolm Turnbull is making sure the Liberals will get a Senate controlled by Labor and the Greens, and possibly the Greens-leaning Nick Xenophon:
MALCOLM Turnbull spent his first six months as prime minister making a complete mess of tax reform. He is now in the process of repeating this with the Senate…. 
Apart from anything else, the most extraordinary feature … is that the Coalition has proposed a fundamental change in the way the Senate is elected without having the slightest clue what it will deliver.
Apart that is, from sweeping away the unruly collection of crossbenchers — with the exception of those Greens and SA Senator Nick Xenophon…

Now, the proposed change is arguably right in principle… [I]t will enable real voter preference as against the current “preference whispering” which manipulates the party block preferencing.
But while principle is all very well and good, it is political suicide to embrace it at the cost of permanently damaging your side of politics…
As I wrote after the 2013 election, the biggest part of Tony Abbott’s sweeping victory was in the Senate. No, it did not deliver him control of the Senate but it crucially denied a majority to Labor and the Greens…

Further, as I wrote back then, Abbott got that non Labor-Green Senate for six years, 
Turnbull now wants to throw away the second three years. Worse, if he loses the election, he will guarantee a Labor Government walks in with a Labor-Green (and perhaps Xenophon) majority.
These mixed signals are making the Government look as indecisive as it is. At least the Treasurer seems to be insisting on a no-drama sticking to time-tables:
Mr Turnbull has until May 11 to seek a double dissolution election, giving the government very little time to force a vote on the ABCC and pass essential budget bills before any request to Governor-General Peter Cosgrove to dissolve parliament on the grounds that the upper house is refusing to pass the ABCC bill. 
Scott Morrison cooled talk of a move to bring the budget forward to May 3 to allow more time to prepare for an election, telling parliament yesterday that the “very important” budget would be on May 10.
But maybe Morrison is just making a virtue out of a defeat: 

MALCOLM Turnbull’s options for an early double dissolution election have been thrown further into chaos, with Labor and the Greens refusing to allow the Senate to be recalled. 
The blockade will deny the government a second vote on its union corruption bill, the only viable trigger for a double dissolution.
The window for Malcolm Turnbull to pull the trigger on the refusal to allow passage of laws reconstituting the Australian Building and Construction Commission has now been reduced to a matter of hours.
The Senate is not due to sit again after this week until May 10, the due date for the budget.
The latest possible date for the government to go to the Governor-General and seek a double dissolution is May 11. 
This would leave the government just one day to have its bill rejected in the Senate for a second time. And it is unlikely it would get the numbers to gag debate and force a vote. It is unclear that simply reintroducing the bill would be enough to satisfy a failure to pass.
This is becoming a joke. 

Activists behaving badly

Andrew Bolt March 16 2016 (7:50am)

Joining a sanctimonious cause seems to license some people to become intolerant and tell porkies.
Janet Albrechtsen: 

We hit peak stupidity on Monday morning in the same-sex marriage cause when accounting firm PwC tallied up the apparent financial costs to the country of Australians voting on same-sex marriage. More than half a billion dollars, say the PwC number-crunchers. 
Apart from the administrative costs of holding a stand-alone plebiscite ($158 million) PwC guesstimated that $281m in lost opportunity costs to the economy because people have to take time out of their Saturday to vote. By that logic, we should get serious about saving money and do away with elections altogether…
This report is an embarrassment to PwC and its CEO Luke Sayers who imagined a specious set of numbers would sway the debate their way… It’s nothing more than bogus numbers being deployed for advocacy from a firm that has become an activist for a same-sex marriage cause opposed to a plebiscite. The firm that is lauded by some index as Australia’s top LGBTI employer in 2015 doesn’t show much tolerance for different views on marriage. As Crikey reported, senior executive Mark Allaby resigned from the board of the Australian Christian Lobby earlier this year due to a “conflict” of interest with PwC…
Thorpe pointed to more rubbery PwC guesstimates on ABC’s News Radio — $20 million in mental health costs because members of the LBGTI community will suffer from having their sexuality discussed. This is beyond silly… Yet more silliness from PwC partner Suzi Russell-Gilford, who admitted that there’s no real body of empirical evidence, “but anecdotally we’ve heard …” 
Even before PwC’s spurious intervention, the same-sex marriage debate in Australia descended to absurd levels. Last year the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission decided that the Catholic Church has a case to answer for “humiliating” gay, lesbian and transgender Australians after distributing a pastoral letter about Catholic teaching on marriage. Think about that. A case to answer for defending the legal definition of marriage as set down in the current Marriage Act. A case to answer for defending a definition of marriage that was accepted by both sides of politics until only a few years ago. 

The anti-racism menace

Andrew Bolt March 16 2016 (7:36am)

Extreme “anti-racism” is now a bigger menace than racism itself.
It has cost us free speech. It is splitting us into tribes. It is threatening the change our constitution to formally divide us by race.
And it is making our streets less safe, as Melbourne discovered so dramatically on the weekend, when a largely Somalian gang rioted at Moomba.
Ron Iddles, secretary of The Police Association Victoria: 

Let us not mince words. Victoria Police and the state government have become too timid towards ethnic-based gangs. Their timidity is because of political correctness. Police have been handcuffed by fears of being labelled racist. The ethnic gangs then become emboldened and believe they can indulge in violence with impunity. 
The underlying causes of the breakdown in law and order on Saturday night go back several years, when Victoria Police was sued for compensation for what was described as “racial profiling” of young African men in the Flemington and North Melbourne area. If racial profiling means targeting people simply because of their race, then that’s not on. But it is just as abhorrent when police are reluctant to check suspicious activity for fear of being accused of racism. 
Last night we spoke to former Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews (listen here) about the monstering he got when in 2007 he cut the intake of Somalian refugees, fearing the crime rate. The then police chief falsely claimed the crime rate was actually below average and The Age slimed him as divisive and a race baiter:

30 times more migrants land in Greece

Andrew Bolt March 15 2016 (10:15pm)

And when spring brings better sailing weather… 

Thirty times more, refugees and migrants arrived in Greece during the period between January and February 2016 compared with the same period in 2015. 
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported today, that during 1 January – 25 February, 120,369 migrants and refugees chose the so-called Eastern Mediterranean route to enter the EU, while in 2015 the number of the people who entered Greece was recorded at 3,952.


Tim Blair – Monday, March 16, 2015 (3:53pm)

Four young Hume Islamic Youth Centre attendees or fans joined Islamic State. Two of them have since killed themselves in suicide attacks. But the bigger problem, as lefties see it, is a little furkan joke about one of the centre’s former staffers:

Behold the indignation! Naturally, Twitter’s outrage police are in their usual state – although one or two happy dissenters seem not to have entirely lost their minds.


Tim Blair – Monday, March 16, 2015 (5:20am)

Noting the similarity of their respective business models and the potential going forward to maximise positive synergies, Islamic State and Boko Haram recently formed a merger.
“We announce our allegiance to the Caliph of the Muslims,” said Boko Haram leader Abubakar Sheka last week, “and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity, in hardship and ease, and to endure being discriminated against, and not to dispute about rule with those in power.”
Actually, that sounds more like a wedding ceremony than a merger, which at least makes a change from Boko Haram’s usual relationship tactic: kidnapping, selling and raping little girls. For Islamic State, of course, those practices are a massive selling point.

 Continue reading 'BOKO BILARDI'


Tim Blair – Monday, March 16, 2015 (4:40am)

Formula One is an increasingly complicated and alienating sport governed by more rules than even Islam. This year, for example, as if F1 was not already massively over-regulated, the sport’s bosses have decreed that drivers must not change their helmet designs during the season.
This sort of meddlesome, rule-heavy approach should not be rewarded, which is why Premier Mike Baird’s plan to host the Australian Grand Prix in Sydney might not be a great idea.
On the other hand, stealing the Grand Prix from Melbourne would further impoverish Victoria, so it is an excellent idea that I fully support.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'SYDNEY AT 300 KM/H'


Tim Blair – Monday, March 16, 2015 (3:43am)

Deep thoughts from fright supremacist Margo Kingston
We’re on the verge of political transformation. 
In Margo’s world, we’re always on the verge of political transformation. It just never seems to happen. 
Trust. Consistency. Genuine care for our future. Respect for experts. Consensus the goal. Disavowal of cheap shots and dirty play. Who? 
Beats me. This guy, maybe. 
Off Twiitter since Libs refused to turn page & ALP refused to step up. Read the daily ins & outs. Forget outrage, think and act positive. 
Just get a job. 
I know this is unrealistic, but I feel Twitter needs to take the lead in forging a new politics, bringing Australians together. 
Just a few years ago Margo didn’t know how Twitter worked. Now she believes it’s a god.
UPDATE. A Twitter triumph
An attempt by Palestinian militant group Hamas to drum up support with western audiences on Twitter has backfired, with the #AskHamas hashtag quickly being hijacked with references to suicide bombings, rocket attacks and human shields …
Some criticised Hamas for hiding weapons and fighters in civilian areas in its war last summer with Israel. One asked Hamas “how it chooses human shields”.
A Twitter user whose profile identified her as an Israeli diplomat asked: “Given a choice, is it better to hide a weapons cache in a hospital’s radiology or pediatrics unit?” …
Another wrote: “When is the Gaza City gay pride parade this year?” Homosexuality is taboo in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
Another asked: “Will you be publicly executing the person that came up with the idea to #AskHamas?”
Most of the questions went unanswered. 


Tim Blair – Monday, March 16, 2015 (3:36am)

For sale: one hideous airborne turtle with ten tits. Canberra’s beloved Skywhale is on the market
Global Ballooning co-owner Sarah Clegg said she was disappointed the company was for sale, but its prominent asset was a valuable attraction for a potential buyer. 
“The Skywhale is worth an extraordinary amount – it’s a free ride around the world for any balloonist,” she said. 
Well, not exactly free. You have to buy the monstrosity first. And that’s despite the fact Canberra taxpayers already paid for it: 
The multi-breasted whale’s creator, Patricia Piccinini, said on Monday the balloon had 400 hours of life and only flown for about 60, after the Chief Minister Andrew Barr incorrectly reported an early retirement. Skywhale cost taxpayers about $300,000, which included planned appearances in Canberra. 
Poor Skywhale, commissioned to celebrate Canberra’s centenary, didn’t even survive for two years as a public artwork.

Hating Abbott to death

Andrew Bolt March 16 2015 (9:15pm)

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. 

Was Hockey blindsided by Fairfax?

Andrew Bolt March 16 2015 (8:02pm)

Not a line of questioning from the judge that would reassure Fairfax:
A JUDGE presiding over a defamation case between Treasurer Joe Hockey and Fairfax Media has queried whether questions posed by a Sydney Morning Herald journalist to Mr Hockey ahead of the publication of an article that alleged he was a “Treasurer for Sale”, even raised the central allegations of the story.

During the closing submissions in the Federal Court today, Judge Richard White queried Fairfax Media QC Dr Matthew Collins’ assertions that it “should have been blindingly obvious’’ what the story was about when SMH State Political Editor sent 13 questions to the Treasurer’s office asking about his relationship to the North Sydney Forum. 

Judge White pondered whether the questions properly showcased the “central allegations’’ or presented: “This is how we draw the dots together’’.
This case raises serious questions about the Fairfax agenda in covering not just Hockey but the Abbott Government generally. 

One case of ABC bias that even Malcolm Turnbull cannot ignore

Andrew Bolt March 16 2015 (3:58pm)

Here is a scandalous example of ABC bias which might finally attract the attention of Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, given that 13 per cent of voters in his Wentworth electorate are Jews:
One of Australia’s most intrepid journalists, the award-winning Sophie McNeill, has been appointed the ABC’s Middle East Correspondent based in Jerusalem.
The taxpayer-funded ABC is required by law to be balanced. The ABC itself admits:

The ABC has a statutory duty to ensure that the gathering and presentation of news and information is impartial according to the recognised standards of objective journalism.
So how could McNeill have been appointed to report on a conflict-torn region where she has already declared her sympathies like with one side - and, in my view, entirely the wrong one?
In 2008:
McNeill makes a documentary on the tunnels built from Gaza to Egypt without once mentioning that they are also used by the Hamas terrorist group to smuggle in rockets and other weapons to attack Israel. Nor does she mention the restrictions on entry to Gaza from the Israeli is imposed to restrict shipments of weapons and military-related materiel:
For the past eight months, every border post along Gaza Strip has been closed. The tunnels that burrow as far as Egypt are therefore the only way to bring in a whole range of merchandise into the Strip. Last June, Hamas gained control of the Gaza Strip, an event that caused consternation in Israel and the West, where Hamas is broadly viewed as a terrorist organisation. After they seized power, the Israelis and the Egyptians closed their borders with the Gaza Strip. There was no way through. Gaza was completely cut off from the rest of the world. With the blockade in place, the need for supplies imposed a black market economy and a flow of contraband. 
In 2009:
Ahron Shapiro:
McNeill initiated online campaigns to raise money for her “dear friend” and Gaza fixer, Raed Al Athamneh. Raising money to help someone you work with through a crisis is not necessarily inappropriate. But for a journalist to adopt the Palestinian narrative in their pitch for donations most certainly is.
For example, she wrote “most of Gaza’s residents are refugees who used to live inside Israel’s borders, but were forced out when the country was created in 1948?. This revisionist historical narrative that Israel forced out all the refugees – language used by her mentor Pilger – represents an endorsement of the Palestinian narrative that Israel is entirely responsible for the refugee problem, ignores the fact that the vast majority of Palestinians fled and were not forced out and ignores the war that was launched against Israel by the Arab nations and Palestinians who rejected partition.
In this essay, she also made an allegation that Israel “collectively punished” the Palestinians of Gaza, describing the blockade of Gaza as a means of punishing the Strip’s residents who support Hamas. 
She initiated a fundraising campaign for Raed again in 2013...
In 2011:
 McNeill gives an interview to an ANU academic on reporting from conflict zones and gives two examples of how she prefers to focus on the people who are “really suffering in a situation”. Both her examples involve Palestinians:
If you just try to frame stories from the point of view of the people who are really suffering in a situation, be it in Lebanon, if you re hanging out in a Palestinian refugee camp, [or] in Gaza you re hanging out, you know, at the children’s cancer ward. One of the saddest things I’ve seen in my whole life is spending some time filming in a children’s cancer ward in Gaza. I just think if you just – if you look at a situation and you just – yeah, I guess just try to spend time with the people who are – who really don’t have any power and it is hard, you know, for them to have a voice. Then that’s, yeah, that’s the kind of journalism I want to do.
She also cited the far-Left Robert Fisk - “a really amazing journalist” - as her inspiration. Fisk is famous for his windy attacks on Israel and the West, and in 1993 wrote a very flattering profile of terrorist chief Osama bin Laden. 
In 2013:
Ahron Shapiro:
In February 2013, McNeill accepted an invitation by a Sydney Palestinian student activist group “Silence is Betrayal” to speak at an event ... discussing “activism, Palestine and Journalism”, headlined by pro-Palestinian video propagandist and ... Harry Fear [an activist campaigning for boycotts and sanctions against Israel]…
According to the account of a Palestinian student who summarised from a personal video she made of the event, McNeill accused Israel of collectively punishing Gazans, a personal judgement on McNeill’s part contested by Israel that should call into question the impartiality of any of her reporting on Gaza… 
The other two speakers at the event – Harry Fear and Sara Selah – both called for boycotts of, and other attempts to bully Israel, while Selah effectively called for Israel to be replaced by one Palestinian state. The event was sponsored by Students for Justice for Palestine and the Palestine Action Group, among others.
In 2013:
Ahron Shapiro:
McNeill, along with prolific pro-Palestinian photographer Richard Wainwright were the only journalists presented to speak at the Human Rights in Palestine Conference at the ANU, an event organised by her former professor Mason.
In 2013:
McNeill does cover both sides in the Israel-Hamas war, but keeps the focus on Palestinian victims and Israeli mistakes rather than Hamas’ anti-Semitic agenda to wipe out Jews and destroy Israel:
...I see evidence of the lives of the 10 people who were killed here. Broken plates, a child’s jumper, half a bathtub.... Straight after the bombing, the Israeli military said the target of the attack was the commander of Hamas’s rocket-launching operations, a man names as ‘Yehia Rabea.’ When it emerged that no-one of that name was killed in the explosion, the Israeli Defence Force then told reporters it had been a mistake. But Israel then changed its story again…
A proscribed terrorist group, Hamas is not shy about their intentions to wreak havoc on the residents of southern Israel, firing hundreds of crude homemade rockets at them over the past few years that occasionally injure and have even killed Israelis. But since gaining control of Gaza in 2007, the Islamic fundamentalists also act like a local government authority in the strip, employing thousands of locals from policemen to garbage collectors....
The head of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Sourani says that even if Mohammad was the head of Hamas, it is against international law to intentionally kill so many civilians in the pursuit of one ‘bad guy’ ... When Hack interviewed the Israeli government about the incident, they changed their story yet again. “No I think it’s clear now that that was a mistake,” Yigal Palmor, official spokesman for the Israeli government ministry told us…
An hour drive south from the crater that was once the Al Dalu home is another gigantic hole in the ground… Mariam’s teenage nephews, 19-year-old Mohammad and 18-year-old Ahmed were killed and nine other members of the family badly wounded…
I asked Israeli government spokesman Yigal Palmor how Israel can avoid civilian causalities when so many air strikes and rocket attacks are conducted in one of the world’s most densely populated urban centres… Mariam Al Nassasra says there were no Palestinian armed factions in the area at the time of the attack… 
Shapiro gives more examples of McNeill’s reporting here. Each suggests a bias against Israel and for Palestinians, particularly those under rule of the Hamas terrorist group.
How on earth did the ABC come to choose McNeill as its Middle East correspondent?
It is clear the ABC is so far to the Left that it believes McNeill is balanced. The result will be that Australia’s biggest media organisation will almost certainly pump out a narrative that is increasingly hostile to Israel and sympathetic to its enemies. This is likely to have a poisonous effect on Israel’s support in Australia.
Jewish Australian organisations have long leaned to the Left in the mistake assumption that the Right was their enemy. Now they see how the dangerous the Left really is, and how hard it will be for defenders of Israel or opponents of Islamism to have their voice heard.
If this appointment isn’t stopped, worse will surely come.
What will Malcolm Turnbull do about it? Every Jewish voter in his electorate should send him their suggestions. 

The old are still alive - not praying for death

Andrew Bolt March 16 2015 (11:41am)

A very important essay from Karen Hitchcock, resisting the pro-euthanasia push that risks putting the elderly under more pressure to just die and get out of our way:
I work as a physician in a big inner-city hospital overflowing with the sick… 
Before I started studying medicine, my grandmother was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. I had no idea what that was. “Scarring of the lungs,” she said. She was put on little white tablets called prednisolone. I had no idea what they were. She was thrilled when I announced my plan to become a doctor. She was ecstatic with pride. She’d tell anyone who listened - the person scanning our groceries at the supermarket, for example. She’d look at him, then at me, then at him and I’d know it was coming: “This is my granddaughter.”
The guy would look up from the tin of baked beans in his hand, his face all, “And?” She’d put her hand on my forearm, lean in towards him and say, “She’s studying to be a doctor.”
I’d roll my eyes and go, “Nan, jeez ...”
By the time I was in third year, she was 81 and permanently attached by the nostrils to a long tube connected to an oxygen concentrator. The concentrator sat in the lounge room humming like an air-conditioner and the tube was long enough for her to move all around the house. She said, “My lungs are ‘diseased’, what a terrible word ... listen to them if you wish.” I pressed my stethoscope against her soft, pink skin and caught my breath. By then I knew what those soft crackling sounds meant.
Just before my fourth-year clinical exams, she fell in the bathroom at night and lay on the cold tiles until morning. At the hospital they said she’d had a heart attack and things looked bad. She was too weak to drink. She gripped my hand, hard as steel, and whispered to me, “I don’t want to die yet.” The consultant physician said, “We could consider palliation ...”
I begged him, “Please keep going.”
In hospital she told me halting, dreamy stories, about planting the orchard of almond trees on the bare land her husband inherited in Deer Park, now a Melbourne suburb. How the neighbouring farmers laughed at her and said, “Almonds won’t grow here, love. It’s futile.” She watered them by hand, with buckets when there was no rain, watched them grow. I’d spent my childhood gathering sacks of nuts from those gigantic trees.
One evening, Nan’s IV cannula blocked and the cover resident came to site a new one, a trainee nurse in tow. I don’t know what the IV line was for - fluid or diuretics or antibiotics - something necessary for her treatment. The resident said to me authoritatively, “You realise this is futile.” I tried to explain - that, for her, being in hospital and the pain of a thin needle in her forearm was worth the chance for a little more life - but it came out as a stutter. I just stood there under his accusatory stare, gripped with deep shame.
He told me to wait in the corridor. I heard him croon to my nan, as she winced with each of his failed attempts: “I’m sorry, you poor thing. This is cruel. We know it’s unfair.” There was silence for a moment. “Let’s try the cubital fossa,” he said to the nurse, and then started chatting with her about his plans for surgical training. When they were done, they walked out and past me without a word. I went back in, pressed my cheek against my grandmother’s cool forehead and said I was sorry. “Don’t worry,” she said, stroking my hair, “everything’s okay."…
There are two strong narratives in our culture about the ageing population and death. The first is that medicine is keeping elderly patients alive against their will - medicine is denying a death that the patient desires. The second is that elderly patients are seeking to stay alive unreasonably - the patient (or their family) is denying an unavoidable death…
For some doctors, an elderly patient who was sick might as well have been dead, and to put them on a pathway to death had become relatively easy - a tick-box exercise…
The resident attending to my grandmother’s IV drip was obviously under pressure, overworked and overtired, but beneath all of that he was filled with a sense of moral righteousness. He was disgusted by the attempt to pump life back into a damaged, old body; he couldn’t believe someone would choose that or should even have the choice. He did not ask, “Who is this person?” “What does she need?” “What does she want?” “What can we offer?” His reaction was a failure of empathy, disguised as empathy; it was a failure of imagination.
I wonder if the main problem, the first problem, is not that we deny death, but that we deny the entire thing: that we will grow old, that we will be like them. We ask our colleagues to shoot us if we ever get like that, and say we wish to die before we hit 75.
The health needs of the old were virtually ignored until those needs started to cost us money. If this were not the case, if we saw the elderly as valuable members of society and our future selves - rather than infantilised creatures, leaking from every orifice, their past and their features macerated and blurred - we would not treat them in the ways we do: failing to provide community supports to extend independence, letting them starve in hospitals ill-designed to house them, letting them languish in emergency departments for 24 hours while we attend to those we consider more important. Why is it so difficult for so many of us to look at an 80-year-old and see an individual? What is it that we are denying?… 
There are increasing numbers of ageing citizens who require health and pension services. There is general and growing fear that this will lead to financial disaster. This perception has infiltrated our health systems and led to a number of movements within medicine that are either consciously or unconsciously informed by our low regard for the elderly and the fiscal fear they now embody. Some of these movements - advanced planning, dying with dignity, avoiding futile over-treatment or even hospital - are morally sound, even laudable, but given our cultural climate they risk giving sanction to a form of health-rationing for our elderly, in a system which historically has held them in the lowest regard. 
From Hitchcock’s Quarterly Essay  Dear Life: On Caring for the Elderly, published today.
Hitchcock’s opinions ring very true with me, given what I’ve gone through and seen

Why won’t the ABC discuss the real issue Abbott raised? Why this sudden silence?

Andrew Bolt March 16 2015 (11:32am)

I was astonished that so many journalists first admitted Tony Abbott raised an important issue when he queried funding remote Aboriginal settlements that had no jobs or schools, but then went on to attack Abbott instead simply for using the words “lifestyle choice”.
Not one I heard actually discussed the issue they said needed debate. It was more important to them to destroy Abbott than to save Aboriginal children from illiteracy and a life on welfare.
Where’s that debate that Jon Faine, Barrie Cassidy, Lenore Taylor and so many others said on the ABC we should have?
Three years ago, when Labor ruled with a blind eye, the ABC did at least raise this issue that’s never been properly addressed - and which the ABC is ignoring now:
From the 7.30 Report:
BRONWYN HERBERT: Like many remote communities, poverty, a lack of work and children not attending school are big issues. 
EDDIE BEAR: Angelo. Come here. Why are you not in school? Don’t you like school?

EDDIE BEAR: No? Why? You gotta be in school. That’s how you learn. You learn to read and write.
BRONWYN HERBERT: We find Austin Nandoo, a sixth grade student with not a lot to do.
AUSTIN NANDOO, STUDENT: I only miss out today ‘cause I got up late and I might go tomorrow.
BRONWYN HERBERT: It’s clear school isn’t on his mind, but the 13-year-old has been thinking about his future.
AUSTIN NANDOO: I want to get a job to work, um, in the police station. ... ‘Cause stop people for drinking and help take care of your kids and take care of your culture and your families.
BRONWYN HERBERT: Do you think drinking’s a big problem?
AUSTIN NANDOO: Yes. Yes, it causes lots of problem.
>BRONWYN HERBERT: What do you mean by that?
AUSTIN NANDOO: Like, when you’re drunk, you talk silly, smart, and other person, they talk back and they say, “You want a fight?,” and they say, “Yeah?,” and they start fighting and then next day they carry the fight on. On and on.
BRONWYN HERBERT: No work prospects have left many with more time for drinking. Leaders say cuts to the Community Development Employment Program three years ago left 100 people doing nothing.
EDDIE BEAR: We sorta had people working and all that, you know, and, yeah. And when that thing left, we had more drinking and all that, more alcohol involved.
BRONWYN HERBERT: There’s no lack of support or resources from both state and federal government agencies, but community leaders say there’s no co-ordination between them.
Reader John:
This is precisely what PM Abbott was talking about in Kalgoorlie last week. To Bill Shorten’s Labor and the Abbott haters at the ABC and Fairfax media, shame on you all.  

More of that US racism, but not the sort that gets the headlines

Andrew Bolt March 16 2015 (9:19am)

 Here’s another example of the other - under-reported - side of American racism:
A young girl and her brother were brutally attacked in a park in Indianapolis, and video of the possibly racially motivated beating has gone viral after the perpetrators uploaded it to Facebook. 
The disturbing video starts with a group of people running through a park toward a playground, then surrounding a young girl who was there with a much younger brother. By the time the camera person catches up the group already has the girl surrounded, and while the victim appears to explain something another girl from the group punches her in the face.
The victim then fell to the ground, yelling, “What did I do? What did I do?” while the assailant continues to throw punches.
As the victim pleads with her attacker to stop, another young man finally pulls off the attacker and the victim gathers her younger brother to leave the park. But as she leaves the camera person continues to follow, and the girl who originally attacks strikes again.
This time the victim’s younger brother, who appears to be somewhere around 5 or 6, tried to defend his sister by pushing away the attacker. But the attacker then turned her attention to the young boy, striking him and knocking him to the ground… 
The Indianapolis playground beating may have been racially motivated. The victim and her brother were white and the attackers appeared to be black. As the victim was asking why she was being attacked, one of the boys in the group appeared to answer, “You white, b***h.”
(Thanks to reader JH. CAUTION: The video is confronting.) 

Why “they” hate Jeremy Clarkson

Andrew Bolt March 16 2015 (8:57am)

 The brilliant Brendan O’Neill on the Left’s ludicrous jihad against Jeremy Clarkson:
Clarkson-bashing is the glue of Britain’s liberal elite… The chattering classes’ Clarksonphobia was on full display this week, following Clarkson’s suspension by the BBC after he allegedly hit, or in the Beeb’s words “had a fracas with”, a Top Gear producer. 
Apparently, after a long day’s filming, Clarkson was expecting a steak dinner but was given a plate of cold cuts, and he flipped…
No sooner had the Beeb announced that JC had been suspended than the Clarksonphobics were hollering: “Make it permanent!”
“Why does the BBC put up with Clarkson?” demanded a Guardian hack who clearly doesn’t have access to Google. For a quick web search would have revealed to her the reason the Beeb “puts up” with him: Top Gear is phenomenally popular, with the kind of people whose shoulders will never rub with Guardian writers’ shoulders. Five million Brits watch it on BBC2, 300 million people around the world tune in, and it has made the BBC £50 million ($95.6m).
This is what most terrifies Clarksonphobics: the fact that people, the little people, like him.
The Guardian writer said Clarkson has become a blot on the Beeb, through “pushing the boundaries of … political correctness”. Apparently the BBC should only be for PC people, people like Us…
Elsewhere in the media Clarkson has been denounced as a dangerous “petrolhead”, an otherworldly creature who “regards political correctness as a curse”, and “the nation’s biggest oaf” who should not be allowed to “get away with offending all of the people all of the time”.
First of all, why not? Free speech includes the right to offend. Secondly, Clarkson doesn’t actually offend all of the people all of the time.
What about those hundreds of millions who watch Top Gear? They love him. Media luvvies who are lucky if they have a couple of thousand readers never sound so spectacularly out of touch as when they slam as unacceptable, as Offensive To All, a man who is watched by throngs of humanity.
And it is really these people, the Clarkson fans, that the pseudo-liberals loathe. Clarkson is seen as a corrupting force, turning mushy-brained viewers into car-desiring, rude-joke-telling Bad People. This is why The New Statesman, on hearing that 500,000 people this week signed a petition for Clarkson to be reinstated, basically wished these people were dead.
Clarkson fans live in a “world of stupid”, it said, and “if every signatory to this petition were boiled down for biofuel, the world would be a cleaner, smarter place”. 
(Thanks to reader brett t r.) 

Plibersek pretends Labor saved, not splurged

Andrew Bolt March 16 2015 (8:51am)

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek is either economically illiterate or not honest:
Frugal Labor. Tanya Plibersek, ­Australian Agenda, Sky News Australia, yesterday: 
OTHER than the global financial crisis, spending growth under Labor was constantly below two per cent. It was very modest.
Define GFC. The broader picture shows something different. Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2013-14, December 2013:
THE former government’s projections of a surplus of 1 per cent of GDP were underpinned by an assumption that real spending growth would be limited to 2 per cent per annum when growth was at or above trend until that surplus target was reached. ­Actual average real spending growth over the five years to 2012-13 has been almost double that at around 3.5 per cent.
Something different — getting worse. More MYEFO:
THE 2013-14 MYEFO projects the expected annual average real growth rate in spending over the medium-term, after the forward estimates, to be 3.7 per cent. With this underlying spending growth, the budget would remain in deficit even if tax as a share of GDP was allowed to grow through fiscal drag (such as income tax bracket creep) with no tax cuts for another 10 years.
Plibersek is confirming a Shorten Labor government would continue the wild spending that is killing us. It would also encourage a return of the boats. It will bring back a form of carbon tax.
It will return us to the days of Rudd and Gillard and accelerate Australia’s decline.

Labor is already closing Queensland for business:
A BAN on uranium mining throughout Queensland will be reintroduced by the Palaszczuk Government despite its election focus on creating jobs. 
Minister for State Development, Natural Resources and Mines Anthony Lynham [on Saturday]confirmed a prohibition would once again be put in place over uranium mining, forcing several companies to shelve future development plans.
Left-wing unions, which hold significant sway over the newly-elected 44-member Labor caucus, have long opposed uranium… 
Queensland has an estimated 166 million tonnes of uranium ore deposits and the resources sector had hoped a multibillion-dollar industry with thousands of jobs could be fostered in the future when international prices rebound. Western Australia has approved two uranium mines in recent years after they passed environmental assessments.
A ban backed by no science and no consideration of our economic welfare. Mindless suspicion, costing us more jobs.
(Thanks to readers Gab and Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Reconciliation is a con if Aboriginal leaders can’t reconcile with Abbott

Andrew Bolt March 16 2015 (8:32am)

 ABORIGINAL leaders are smashing Tony Abbott yet again. And yet again it seems the “reconciliation” movement is a con.

If this is how the reconciliation movement treats its biggest hope and champion, what hope of reconciliation with the rest of us?
Consider: Labor and the Greens already support plans to rewrite our Constitution to say Aborigines were here first, and to give Aboriginal culture a special status.
We’re told this change is essential if Aborigines and non-Aborigines are to finally “reconcile”.
“We need to fix this (Constitution), and bring the country together after so many chapters apart,” insists Recognise, the activist group campaigning for the change.
But many conservatives believe legally dividing us by “race” is immoral — a kind of apartheid.
We would be treating each other not as individuals but representatives of a race, each fighting for advantage. That never ends well.
That’s what many conservatives, like me, fear.
So if Aborigines really want these changes, they badly need a conservative leader to back them, too, to win over the doubters and make the push bipartisan.
A conservative like Abbott.
(Read full article here.) 

Galaxy poll: NSW Liberals lead 54 to 46

Andrew Bolt March 16 2015 (8:00am)

I hope Labor’s anti-privatisation lies don’t succeed in scaring up votes. If this poll is right, they won’t scare up enough:
PREMIER Mike Baird is set to be re-elected on March 28, with the government gaining a bounce in the latest Galaxy/The Daily Telegraph poll despite a union advertising scare campaign worth millions of dollars. 
The poll of 820 voters taken last Wednesday and Thursday nights has the Coalition leading Labor 54-46 on a two-party preferred basis, one point up on the government’s result last month.
Shame on the Labor MPs backing this deceptive campaign.
And when the post-mortems get written, let’s see how many journalists ignore the real issue that was on voters’ minds - and it wasn’t Tony Abbott at all:
A senior Labor source said yesterday: “There’s no doubt our ads on power privatisation are biting and definitely affecting the vote but Mike Baird seems to be made of Teflon.” 
Galaxy pollster David Briggs said ..."We’d be calling it now for sure if it wasn’t for the ‘poles and wires’, which continues to be met with incredible opposition.”
The lies are astonishing. Paul Sheehan nails some:
(D)istortions are being repeated ad infinitum in Labor’s TV advertisements: “The NSW electricity network currently makes $1.7 billion in profit that helps to pay for schools and hospitals, but Mike Baird wants to sell it off to the highest bidder. The billionaire that bought South Australia’s electricity network makes $420 profit out of every household every year, giving them the highest power bills in Australia. If Mike Baird wins our power network will be gone for good.” 
Six falsehoods are crammed into this 65-word message.
The network is not making $1.7 billion a year. It is making much less.
South Australia’s network charges have fallen 17 per cent since they were privatised while they have skyrocketed 122 per cent in NSW under public ownership during the same period.
“A billionaire” is not making $420 from every household in South Australia.
The network will not be gone for good. Transgrid, Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy will be leased for 99 years. The government will retain 49.6 per cent ownership of Ausgrid and Endeavour. It is retaining 100 per cent ownership of a fourth transmission company, Essential Energy.
The government will not be cutting funding for schools and hospitals, as implied.
The ad suggests privatisation will allow private-sector owners to gouge consumers. But the terms of sale empower a new regulator, the Electricity Price Commissioner (the veteran regulator Allan Fels) to ensure that network prices are lower in 2019 than they were in 2014. 
The numerous deceptions of Labor’s campaign have been called out by none other than Martin Ferguson ... who told Fairfax Media last week: “It’s just deliberately misleading the public, creating unnecessary fear and trying to scare people into voting for Labor, not on merit but on misinformation. In many ways I am ashamed of the party.” 
It is unbelievable that people can be lied to so shamelessly on a matter of such importance to the state.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Warmists are starved for facts

Andrew Bolt March 16 2015 (7:54am)

Global warming - propaganda

YOU can tell Earth Hour is coming.  Look! – there’s another wild global warming scare.
Don’t these guys ever give up?
This time we’re warned global warming will make our food taste funny — if we can find any.
“A good old Aussie BBQ may not taste quite as good for future generations” because the “quality of beef and chicken may plummet”, an AAP report gasps, citing a University of Melbourne study.
(Read full column here.) 

Tanya Plibersek’s politicking over Chan and Sukumaran is disgusting

Andrew Bolt March 16 2015 (7:27am)

Tanya Plibersek disgusts:
LABOR’s deputy leader Tanya Plibersek says Australia’s hard-line policy on turning back asylum-seeker boats may have impeded negotiation efforts to spare Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran from the death penalty in Indonesia. 
Defending Labor’s opposition to the turn-back policy, Ms Plibersek said the government’s position had damaged the relationship between Indonesia and Australia.
She linked the turn-back program to Tony Abbott’s failure last week to secure a phone conversation with President Joko Widodo about the Bali Nine case.
“We certainly have been opposed to turnbacks,” Ms Plibersek told Sky News’s Australian Agenda program."Tony Abbott can’t get a phone call returned from the Indonesian President — it has affected our relationship with Indonesia in the past, it (the turnback policy) has not been good for it.” 
First, to play politics with the two men’s lives is disgusting.
Second, to play politics like this with our relationship with Indonesia - seeming to side with Indonesia against Australian interests - is disgusting.
Third, to falsely blame Abbott’s policy for the Indonesian president doing what he always insisted he would is disgusting.
Fourth, to falsely suggest Abbott’s pleas alone are going unheard, when the Indonesian president has also been ignoring pleas from the leaders of France, Britain, Holland, Brazil, Ghana, the Philippines and Nigeria for their own civilians, is disgusting.
Fifth, to use concerns about these two lives to whitewash Labor policies which cost the lives of 1200 boat people is disgusting.
Sixth, to confirm that a Shorten Labor government would refuse to accept the turnback policies which stopped the boats and saved lives is disgusting.
Tanya Plibersek is not fit to be Labor’s deputy leader.
Mind you, this judgement will not fit the media narrative, and many journalist will forgive Plibersek for comments which would be fatal from someone the media was out to fault.
Here’s yet another reason to think Plibersek’s comments are disgusting. Plibersek actually misrepresents Indonesia’s view of our border policy.
Lateline, 21 November 2014:
GREG SHERIDAN: (A) couple of months ago I did the the farewell interview with Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, saw him three times in that week ... (O)ne of his most senior officials said to me, you know we’re delighted with the effect of Abbott’s boats policy but we can’t say so publicly. 
Why were they delighted? For two reasons. One, it meant a lot fewer people were coming to Indonesia to seek transit to Australia but secondly and much more important it was no longer an issue. They only have to respond to this as a government when it’s an issue in the Australian media. If it’s not issue now they don’t have to respond it. And so you’ve seen almost no criticism of the Abbott Government since the boats have stopped coming. Indonesia has so many problems, and so many big issues. Asylum seekers ranks very low on their list of issues. If this move, which is designed to stop more people coming to Indonesia is successful in the long run the [Indonesians] will be happy about that.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Leyonhjelm defends our greatest freedom

Andrew Bolt March 16 2015 (7:11am)

Senator David Leyonhjelm, the most outspoken defender of free speech in Parliament:
Shutting down speech by claiming you’re ‘offended’ or that something should not be said, or inhibiting speech by criminalising journalism, is an admission of failure to understand the whole concept of free speech. And if you don’t understand free speech, you don’t understand freedom. 
Freedom of speech is the paramount freedom. Without it, we struggle to exercise our other freedoms. With it, we can fight for those freedoms. It may be offensive, insulting and make governments uncomfortable, but if this is the price to be paid for living in a society where all claims are open to question, then it is a price worth paying. 
Read it all. The Liberal Democratic Party is fast become the big hope of friends of freedom. 

Quotas for anybody sour politics

Piers Akerman – Sunday, March 16, 2014 (6:56am)

FORMER Liberal minister Sharman Stone became an ­instant star on ABC radio and in the Fairfax press earlier this year when she demanded a taxpayer-funded bailout for Victorian fruit preserver SPC-Ardmona.
She only heightened her ­appeal to the Left when she weighed in with a call for the Liberal Party to adopt quotas for women to improve female representation in parliament.
Stone, who represents the seat of Murray in which ­Ardmona is located, can be cut some slack for barracking for what she probably hoped would be a solution for the threat posed by SPC’s problems to her constituents who worked at the cannery.
She was by no means the only politician or commentator to demand that taxpayers stump up more funds for what was to all appearances a poorly run private business, just like Holden, Toyota and Qantas.
But as a Liberal she looks even sillier than Opposition leader Bill Shorten, his deputy Tanya Plibersek and shadow industry spokesman Kim Carr, who one might ­expect to support the subsidising of failure.
When Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the federal government would not give SPC the $25 million it needed, the Victorian Liberal government stumped up $22 million as a “co-payment”, which guaranteed an extra five years’ operation, and supermarket giant Woolworths came to the party with a $70 million deal based on the demand for SPC products — that is, a realistic market-based solution to what was basically a marketing problem.
No need for politicians at all, had Australian business not been so conditioned by years of handouts from compliant Labor (and to a lesser degree, conservative) governments.
In making her case for a handout, Stone accused her own government of lying about excessive union award conditions at the packing plant.
She was wrong on that count, too, as the example of the allowances paid to forklift drivers for moving pallets of new cans and shipments destined for foreign sales proved.
However, she was placed on a pedestal by some, including Shane Green, associate editor of socialist daily The Age, who believed that Stone’s distortion was a defining remark, writing: “Stone may be just one MP. But I’d argue that her defiant stand should be a pivotal moment for the conduct of politics in Australia.”
It possibly was pivotal — for Stone. In aligning herself with Shorten, Plibersek and Carr there was only really one way she could go.
Shorten believed that the responsible position taken by the Abbott government would “see hundreds of people put on the unemployment queue and will have a disastrous effect for thousands of others involved in growing fruit and beans”.
Plibersek and Carr went further, predicting the loss of 1500 direct jobs and 2700 ­indirect jobs; an increase in the unemployment rate for the Greater Shepparton area from 8.6 per cent to 12.1 per cent; lost tax revenue of up to $18 million a year; a reduction in regional economic output of $165 million a year; ­reduced council rates and ­increased social ­security payments.
It’s amazing, then, that the fruit preserver has been saved by private enterprise and not a government handout, and a ­reminder to all taxpayers of the way Labor would have continued to throw away their money, and borrowed money, had they still been in office.
Perhaps dazzled by her ­moment as darling of the left-wing media, Stone’s greater folly was to endorse quotas to get women into parliament.
There are obvious arguments against quotas, not the least being their undemocratic and discriminatory nature.
But the biggest most obvious argument against quotas has been the female failures promoted into parliament by Labor via sponsorship through the egregious Emily’s List, promoted by that low water mark in economic and political leadership Joan Kirner, the former Victorian premier.
While I offer her my deepest sympathy as she battles ill health today, I find it difficult to find a redeeming feature in her premiership. Nor, it seems, could her electorate, who voted her out of office.
By making gender an issue, Labor politicians, particularly Labor women, must be prepared for scrutiny of their gender-linked performance.
This is not to say there is no shortage of silly male Labor MPs, either, but they were not chosen for their gender.
If fewer women are coming through the Liberal ranks at the moment the answer is not to give them a hospital pass, but surely, it is for conservative women to work as hard as their colleagues within the party.
Politics is a hard game, not unlike the fruit preserving business.
Natural quality of product will bring rewards to those in the canning trade just as outstanding candidates, male or female, of good character, will succeed without the need for added artificial sweeteners.


Tim Blair – Sunday, March 16, 2014 (2:47pm)

Imre Salusinszky is having too much fun with the March in Marchers. Click on each image to embiggen.

Not every vote is equal in South Australia, the Labor state

Andrew Bolt March 16 2014 (3:08pm)

Reader Yoda wonders when South Australia will fix its outrageous gerrymander, with the Liberals once again winning a clear majority of the vote but in danger of losing the election:
Historical SA election results for the past 30 years: 
1985 - ALP 53.2% 2pp =ALP govt

1989 - LIB 51.9% 2pp = ALP govt

1993 - Lib 61% 2pp = Lib govt
1997 - Lib 51.5% 2pp = Lib govt

2002 - Lib 50.9% 2pp = ALP govt

2006 - ALP 56.8% 2pp =ALP govt

2010 - Lib 51.6% 2pp = ALP govt

2014 - Lib 52.3% 2pp = ??????
So is SA really a Labor state or does it just have an incompetent electoral commission?

Even in death, Labor and the Greens can’t be split

Andrew Bolt March 15 2014 (11:34pm)

The only good thing about the concession speech of Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings - other than the tribute to winner Will Hodgman‘s parents - was that its incredible length spared me one quarter of the pain of watching Richmond lose.
The only fun in Greens leader Nick McKim‘s almost equally mammoth effort was watching him interrupt his blowhard triumphalism and defiance to admit that, actually, he’d just lost a third of the party’s vote.
Really, the level of denial was spectacular, especially from Labor. Note that Labor lost in a landslide largely because it had formed a disastrous alliance with the Greens which led it to do dumb things such as lock up forests and kill lots of jobs. But the old Labor-Greens tango keeps going even after the music stops:
“I would say to Will Hodgman `do not tear up the Tasmanian forestry agreement’,” Ms Giddings said on Saturday night… 
Mr McKim had a similar message to Greens supporters at Hobart’s official election tally room… “Don’t take us back to war.”

Malaysian PM: the missing plane was hijacked

Andrew Bolt March 15 2014 (5:30pm)

Malaysia’s Prime Minister has just confirmed that the missing Malaysian plane, flight 370, flew a path something roughly like the one on the map above.
He says:
- the pattern is consistent with a hijacking.
- satellite pings on the plane were registered for some five hours after contact with the plane was lost.
- the transponder was switched off.
- investigators are increasing checks on the crew and passengers.
- calculations are being refigured to find how far the plane - with 239 people on board - could have flown.


















A desperate, vindictive government muzzles the media

Andrew BoltMARCH162013(7:12am)

Peter Hartcher, close to the Rudd camp, finds Labor Ministers split on whether the Government’s attack on the free press is driven by revenge or self-interest
Accepting they are likely to lose the election, Labor’s leaders wanted to punish enemies - the Murdoch empire - and reward friends - the trade unions - as they head for the exit, runs the theory held by some senior ministers.

But there is another explanation, too. ‘’Conroy’s view has been that the media stuff isn’t the worst thing in the world, and it’ll distract from leadership speculation and get us through to the end of next week,’’ says a senior Labor figure. ‘’Gillard’s entire world is an inside game,’’ of how to hold the leadership against any Kevin Rudd recrudescence.
Note: no one Hartcher talks to thinks it’s driven by principle.
From a man who has already seen politicians muzzle the press:
JOURNALIST Joseph Fernandez has lived under heavy-handed government regulation of the media before and is alarmed by the prospect of once again seeing freedom of the press under attack by a government he says should know better.

As editor-in-chief of Malaysia’s Daily Express for 14 years, until 1992, he worked under the threat of arrest, intimidation and unemployment by the government of Mahathir Mohamad, which saw the regulation and the licensing of newspapers as acceptable while banning publications that were deemed critical of the government.

“I am quite taken aback that, in this day and age, Australia, a country that has participated in all sorts of endeavours in the region to fight for freedom in countries lesser-equipped, and with such a strong track record trying to be an international voice to be reckoned with, is getting up to such ill-considered methods to control the freedom of expression,” said Fernandez, the head of journalism at Perth’s Curtin University. 

“There are no ifs or buts about whether this amounts to government regulation. This legislation represents a raft of regulations with very serious consequences for the free exchange of ideas on matters of public interest.”

On the free-speech hypocrisy of Eureka Street

Andrew BoltMARCH162013(8:29am)

 Free speech
Eureka Street, the Leftist magazine sponsored by the Jesuits, has been curiously silent about the Gillard Government’s latest vindictive attempt to muzzle journalists.
Is this another craven case of the Left defending not a principle but a side? 
Is this another case of monstrous hypocrisy - an acquiescence to government censorship of speech the Left doesn’t like, while demanding every freedom for itself? 
There is, in fact, one story defending press freedom in Eureka Street today:

No, it is not about the Government attacking press freedom - the story every big media outlet in the land is covering - but about mining magnate Gina Rinehart allegedly doing so. Here isEureka Street editor Michael Mullins: 
Freedom of the press is about freedom to report, not to dominate....

During the week, in which the press freedom debate has raged, this core principle of reporting has been challenged by one of Australia’s up and coming media barons.

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart is pursuing legal action that has led to the issue of a subpoena to Fairfax journalist Adele Ferguson, author of the unauthorised biography, Gina Rinehart — The Untold Story of the Richest Woman in the World.

It demands she hand over emails, text messages, notebooks and any recordings of interviews made between Rinehart’s eldest son John Hancock and the journalist since September 2011. Ferguson has until the end of this month to comply or be charged with contempt of court. A conviction could carry a jail term. She told the ABC she’d go to jail rather than violate the confidentiality principle…

There has been scant coverage of Ferguson’s plight in some of the major media outlets. Free speech defender Andrew Bolt, who is Rinehart’s media commentator protege, was slow off the mark with a token reference…

It’s left to concerned citizens to fight for this important principle...
Mullins could not have made the moral framework of Eureka Street clearer - the collective must be defended, but principles not.
First to the gratuitous insult. Rather than being “slow off the mark”, I criticised Rinehart’s action on the very day I read of it:
I like Rinehart and do not understand the legal argument here, but this is not a good look for someone on the board of the company employing the journalist...
My point is that Rinehart is perfectly within her rights under the law to pursue this action, but Ferguson feels bound as a journalist not to comply. This puts her at risk of contempt of court, which can carry a jail sentence. For a major shareholder of Fairfax and board member at Channel 10 to take action which could ultimately see one of her company’s own journalists jailed is indeed a terrible look.
But Mullins misstates what is at stake. This is not an attack on free speech, for all his sneers.  Rinehart’s subpoena does not question Ferguson’s freedom to say what she has. Ferguson’s freedom to speak is simply not at issue.
Nor is Rinehart seeking to force Ferguson to “reveal sources”, as Mullins suggests. Ferguson has already declared the source for her report is Rinehart’s son.
At issue is the confidentiality of Ferguson notes and the protection of her source, John Rinehart. Ferguson will not want to hand over any material which may (or may not) reveal he broke a confidentiality deal with his mother.
If journalists do not defend their sources our ability to get information is compromised. Ferguson is defending a tool of her trade, even if means protecting someone who may have broken a legally binding agreement to say nothing.  And I would do the very same.
So there is a principle to defend, but it is not as grand, fundamental or ethically clear-cut as Mullins suggests. Nor do we know which way the courts will decide, if it gets that far. it is for the courts, not Rinehart, to establish whether the freedom of the press is at stake, and whether it is worth defending.
So why is Eureka Street going to town on this issue while staying silent on a far broader attack on a free press and the free speech - an attack not by an individual but by a government, and not on one journalist but all?
Well, first, of course, because Rinehart is a wicked miner and Ferguson, a Leftist journalist from Fairfax, is “one of us”.
That is not a mere jibe. Mullins himself declares:
By way of disclaimer, Adele Ferguson’s partner is a member of the board of Jesuit Communications, publisher of Eureka Street.
Second, the Gillard Government is Left-wing, out to punish the wickedly conservative Murdoch media, employer of the evil Andrew Bolt mentioned above.
Again, that is not a casual insult.

Eureka Street 
is not at all the defender of free speech it suddenly pretends to be. It actuallysupports limiting free speech when it is exercised by a conservative.
For instance, it backed the decision of the Federal Court to declare two of my columns unlawful and ban them from republication. See, Eureka Street didn’t like their tone or content. (I’d argued we should not insist on “racial” divisions, and I questioned why some so-called “white Aborigines” identified solely as Aboriginal when, I unlawfully argued, their mixed ancestry suggested they had other options open to them.)
Here is how Eureka Street reacted to my own free speech being denied not in theory but in practice:
Andrew Bolt’s article was simply an egregious example of such bad communication. It was indefensible on ethical grounds… In my judgment, the opponents of the law under which the Bolt case was brought have yet to make a persuasive argument.
Didn’t like it, so let’s ban it.

Eureka Street 
again, airily dismissing the fact that my free speech was indeed being denied:
Some voices in the media have presented the case as a challenge to free speech in Australia — political correctness gone crazy. However, this case is not about silencing critiques of the construction of race or ethnicity, nor Bolt himself.
Spencer Zifcak of Liberty Victoria notes that a balance must be struck between ‘the right to be free of racial intolerance and discrimination on the one hand, and freedom of expression on the other.’…

In the end, as David Marr explained in the Sydney Morning Herald, freedom of speech may not be the issue at stake here. Bromberg was simply attacking lousy journalism. 
Well, that’s OK then. So do I get to ban journalism I think lousy, too? Perhaps starting with Mullins’?
In fact, Eureka Street is so committed to the principle of banning speech it doesn’t like that it vanishes even its own writers:

On Thursday, Eureka Street published a commentary by Scott Stephens on the Parliamentary Apology to Stolen Generations. The article has been withdrawn. It argued that the Prime Minister’s motivation was self-serving, and his action empty rhetoric. Eureka Street, the Australian Jesuits and Jesuit Communications do not necessarily support the views expressed in our published articles. The publishers specifically disagree with the substance of this article. We apologise to those who were hurt or offended by allegations contained in it.
Eureka Street has falsely insinuated that I do not defend free speech if it is attacked by a friend.
But Eureka Street in fact does far worse. It defends only the speech of its ideological friends, and positively welcomes the silencing of its foes.
Reader Roman makes an excellent point, part of which I have now worked into my piece above: 
Andrew, I think you are wrong in your position regarding Gina and the action she has taken. It is not up to individual citizens (whether company board members or not) to consider whether their legal actions have the potential to place another at risk of contempt of court. We all have a right to access the court system to address grievances involving other parties. It is up to the court to decide if the right to privilege of confidentiality, held by the journalist, is worthy of preservation in each case. Let the parties argue their cases in court - and let the court follow precedent, or create new case law in the process. The law does not exclude Rinehart from taking action.

They lie to survive

Andrew BoltMARCH162013(8:54am)

WHAT do you do when you end up with a government which from the Prime Minister down lies so completely, so seamlessly and so continuously?…

The 457 exercise captured [Julia Gillard’s] calculating cynicism, dishonesty and willingness to sacrifice anything—in this case, basic good policy—on the altar of her personal political survival.
The key to the decisions of the past fortnight - the assault on the 457 visa scheme, the raft of industrial law concessions to the unions and the media package - is that they appease the party and indulge the faithful but discredit the government.
Take, for instance, the new proposals to further control the media:
This proposal is bad public policy and defective administration. Labor has singularly failed to identify the exact problem such laws are to solve. It testifies, again, to the defining quality of this government - its addiction to new forms and levels of government intervention in virtually every area of public policy in the utopian delusion that more regulation is the sure path to progress and public satisfaction.
Chris Kenny says if Communications Minister Stephen Conroy wants the media to be more accurate, he should set a far better example. Among the more for-instances Kenny gives:
No journalist could consider Conroy’s period as minister without focusing on his commitment to high-quality broadband. He outlined his plans on the ABC’s Inside Business on February 10, 2008.

“What we have said is that we won’t contribute more than $4.7 billion, whether it’s a fibre-to-the-node or fibre-to-the-home proposal,” he told Alan Kohler. “So fibre to the home has some wonderful potential but it is more costly and people have got to build the business case; they can’t expect the government’s going to give more than $4.7bn.”

No doubt many took Conroy at his word, especially some of the more, shall we say, regulated media. Yet we now know he went for a National Broadband Network based on a fibre-to-the-home model and rendering that $4.7bn pledge redundant.

On Lateline on September 29, 2010, Conroy said: “The government will only need to put in $27bn at most.” Fair enough; time for the media to adjust numbers - by 600 per cent.

By the way, on Lateline on August 8 last year there was an update. “The capital cost of the NBN is $37.4bn,” said the Communications Minister.

Fight these anti-speech totalitarians

Andrew BoltMARCH162013(9:15am)

 Free speech
Are these people insane?
The broadcaster Alan Jones could have been jailed for up to three years for labelling Lebanese Muslims ‘’vermin’’ and ‘’mongrels’’ who ‘’rape and pillage’’, under a proposed overhaul of NSW racial vilification laws…

The Jewish Board of Deputies and the NSW Community Relations Commission are pushing for a radical overhaul of the laws in submissions to a parliamentary inquiry into whether it should be easier to criminally prosecute cases of serious racial vilification…

The inquiry was ordered by the Premier, Barry O’Farrell, who was concerned there has not been a prosecution since the laws began in 1989…

The Jewish Board of Deputies argues there is ‘’a serious gap’’ in the law and suggests a new offence of ‘’conduct intended to harass on grounds of race’’. The change would mean criminal prosecutions could be pursued over racial harassment that involves threats, intimidation or ‘’serious racial abuse’’, whether or not a physical threat is involved.

The submission argues the maximum penalties should be a fine of $27,500 or two years’ imprisonment for individuals and fines of up to $137,500 for corporations. It also says the offence should be included in the Crimes Act, be subject to a jury trial and include online abuse.

The Community Relations Commission argues for similar changes and proposes a maximum penalty of three years in jail.
Jailing people even for on-line abuse? How many jails must we build?
And have these anti-free-speech advocates considered how such laws will be used by activists and the professionally thin-skinned to silence even “good” opinion through expensive and intimidating litigation?
This crusade against free speech, so recklessly encouraged by O’Farrell without a skerrick of evidence, must be stopped.
To the Jewish groups so foolishing pushing laws which will be used against Israel’s defenders before its enemies I say this: the Holocaust happened not because Hitler was free to preach hate. It happened because none were free to preach against him.
So which of the two worst racial abusers identified in the NSW Anti-Discrimination Tribunal’s annual report should be jailed?
One involved a man with a Jewish wife who used the word Shylock when arguing with another Jew.

He apologised, but insisted he’d spoken in terms of the Shakespearean Shylock.

The other was an Aboriginal woman at a golf club who had to wait to collect her pokie winnings while the bar manager served a white man. A misunderstanding, insisted the club, which has many Aboriginal members.

So many years of no warming means it’s time to rethink

Andrew BoltMARCH162013(9:39am)

 Global warming - dud predictionsGlobal warming - general
Astrophysicist Dr David Whitehouse:
In retrospect, nobody predicted that in the age of global warming the annual average global temperature would remain unchanged for so long…

It is incontrovertible that the global annual average temperature of the past decade, and in some datasets the past 15 years, has not increased. Year-on-year fluctuations, and any trend over this period, are within errors of measurement. The only justifiable statistical description of the global temperature during this period is a constant. Technically, this standstill can be seen in the datasets produced by NOAA, NASA, the BEST consortium, HadCRUT3, and especially, its successor HadCRUT4. This standstill has occurred as atmospheric CO2 has increased from 370 parts per million (ppm) to 390 ppm, providing an increasing forcing factor that will raise global temperatures.

Some argue that the duration of the standstill is too short to be meaningful. Thirty years is taken to be the baseline for observing climate changes and fifteen years is too short. This report argues that 15 years is not an insignificant period; what has happened to make temperatures remain constant requires an explanation. The period contains important information and should not be dismissed as having no climatic importance. The recent warming period began about 1980 after four decades of globally stable temperatures thus the years of constant temperature are about equal to years when temperatures increased. This is not a trivial observation 

Calculations based on ensembles of climate models suggest prolonged standstills of about ten years can occur once every eight decades. Standstills of 15 years are much more difficult to explain. This report shows, that if we have not passed it already, we are on the threshold of global observations becoming incompatible with the consensus theory of climate change.
(Thanks to reader Jamie Spry and others.)
March 16Purim ends at sundown (Judaism, 2014); Latvian Legion Day
Robert Goddard
“then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”” - Acts 4:10,12
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
March 15: Morning
"Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." - 2 Timothy 2:1
Christ has grace without measure in himself, but he hath not retained it for himself. As the reservoir empties itself into the pipes, so hath Christ emptied out his grace for his people. "Of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." He seems only to have in order to dispense to us. He stands like the fountain, always flowing, but only running in order to supply the empty pitchers and the thirsty lips which draw nigh unto it. Like a tree, he bears sweet fruit, not to hang on boughs, but to be gathered by those who need. Grace, whether its work be to pardon, to cleanse, to preserve, to strengthen, to enlighten, to quicken, or to restore, is ever to be had from him freely and without price; nor is there one form of the work of grace which he has not bestowed upon his people. As the blood of the body, though flowing from the heart, belongs equally to every member, so the influences of grace are the inheritance of every saint united to the Lamb; and herein there is a sweet communion between Christ and his Church, inasmuch as they both receive the same grace. Christ is the head upon which the oil is first poured; but the same oil runs to the very skirts of the garments, so that the meanest saint has an unction of the same costly moisture as that which fell upon the head. This is true communion when the sap of grace flows from the stem to the branch, and when it is perceived that the stem itself is sustained by the very nourishment which feeds the branch. As we day by day receive grace from Jesus, and more constantly recognize it as coming from him, we shall behold him in communion with us, and enjoy the felicity of communion with him. Let us make daily use of our riches, and ever repair to him as to our own Lord in covenant, taking from him the supply of all we need with as much boldness as men take money from their own purse.
"He did it with all his heart and prospered." - 2 Chronicles 31:21
This is no unusual occurrence; it is the general rule of the moral universe that those men prosper who do their work with all their hearts, while those are almost certain to fail who go to their labour leaving half their hearts behind them. God does not give harvests to idle men except harvests of thistles, nor is he pleased to send wealth to those who will not dig in the field to find its hid treasure. It is universally confessed that if a man would prosper, he must be diligent in business. It is the same in religion as it is in other things. If you would prosper in your work for Jesus, let it be heart work, and let it be done with all your heart. Put as much force, energy, heartiness, and earnestness into religion as ever you do into business, for it deserves far more. The Holy Spirit helps our infirmities, but he does not encourage our idleness; he loves active believers. Who are the most useful men in the Christian church? The men who do what they undertake for God with all their hearts. Who are the most successful Sabbath-school teachers? The most talented? No; the most zealous; the men whose hearts are on fire, those are the men who see their Lord riding forth prosperously in the majesty of his salvation. Whole-heartedness shows itself in perseverance; there may be failure at first, but the earnest worker will say, "It is the Lord's work, and it must be done; my Lord has bidden me do it, and in his strength I will accomplish it." Christian, art thou thus "with all thine heart" serving thy Master? Remember the earnestness of Jesus! Think what heart-work was his! He could say, "The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." When he sweat great drops of blood, it was no light burden he had to carry upon those blessed shoulders; and when he poured out his heart, it was no weak effort he was making for the salvation of his people. Was Jesus in earnest, and are we lukewarm?

[Hŏph'nī] - strong.
A son of Eli, the high priest and judge who proved unworthy of his sacred offices (1 Sam. 1:3; 2:34; 4:4-17). Hophni is always associated with his brother Phinehas. The two were partners in evil practices and brought a twice-pronounced curse upon their heads (1 Sam. 2:34; 3). Both were slain at the battle of Aphek, and this coupled with the loss of the Ark, caused the death of Eli. Both sons disgraced their priestly office in a twofold way:
I. In claiming and appropriating more than their due of the sacrifices (1 Sam. 2:13-17).
II. In their immoral actions in the Tabernacle (Amos 2:7-8).

Today's reading: Deuteronomy 25-27, Mark 14:27-53 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Deuteronomy 25-27

1 When people have a dispute, they are to take it to court and the judges will decide the case, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty. 2If the guilty person deserves to be beaten, the judge shall make them lie down and have them flogged in his presence with the number of lashes the crime deserves, 3 but the judge must not impose more than forty lashes. If the guilty party is flogged more than that, your fellow Israelite will be degraded in your eyes....

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

Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial

27 "You will all fall away," Jesus told them, "for it is written:
"'I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered.'

28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."

29 Peter declared, "Even if all fall away, I will not."

30 "Truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "today--yes, tonight--before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times."

31 But Peter insisted emphatically, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the others said the same....


Today's Lent reading: Matthew 15-16 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
That Which Defiles
Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!"
3 Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.' 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is 'devoted to God,' they are not to 'honor their father or mother' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 "'These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules....'"

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