Monday, March 26, 2018

Mon Mar 26th Todays News

Don't give up on hope. Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair are writing of their feelings of betrayal over Australian Test Captain Steve Smiths admission of cheating. But much is happening around the world. Italy dumped a conservative PM some years back on the grounds he partied. Then they elect a former communist radical right winger who opposes SSM but backs brothels and appeals to protectionist economic policy. Matteo Salvini crushed Berlusconi which is a triumph for radical politics. Can Salvini operate as successfully as Trump? Putting aside some of his populism, a fair tax, smaller government and sweeping tax cuts could be great for Italy. Meanwhile Trump is being denounced by a porn star who has apparently conflated events with her ex husband with her alleged dalliances with Trump. Anti Trumpism is a terrible mental disease. 

What if the Australian Captain is loyally backing a young player, but his approval of the young player was tacit, not explicit? I was reminded of the forebear of Rothschilds and his Rabbi. In the story, a money bag had gone missing and only the Rothschild guy could have taken it. The Rabbi confronted him and Rothschild paid it back. Then the misplaced bag appeared, and the Rabbi realised that Rothschild had not taken it, but had paid him anyway. He asked why and the answer showed impeccable logic that Rothschild did not know the money would ever be found, but it would always seem like he had taken it, so he paid it back anyway. I'm not saying Steve Smith did that. Did he? 

I am a decent man and don't care for 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 Anthem for Doomed Youth 

"Anthem for Doomed Youth" is a well-known popular poem written by Wilfred Owen which incorporates the themes of the horror of war. It employs the traditional form of a petrarchan sonnet, but it uses the rhyme scheme of an English sonnet. Much of the second half of the poem is dedicated to funeral rituals suffered by those families deeply affected by World War One. The poem does this by following the sorrow of common soldiers in one of the bloodiest battles of the 20th Century. Written between September and October of 1917, when Owen was a patient at Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh recovering from shell shock, the poem is a lament for young soldiers whose lives were unnecessarily lost in the First World War. While at hospital, Owen met and became close friends with another poet, Siegfried Sassoon. Owen asked for his assistance in refining his poems rough drafts. It was Sassoon who named the start of the poem "anthem", and who also substituted "dead" for "doomed"; the famous epithet of "patient minds" is also a correction of his. The amended manuscript copy, in both men's handwriting, still exists and may be found at the Wilfred Owen Manuscript Archive on the world wide web. The poem has been widely publicised and can be found on the "First World War Poetry Digital Archive " which is hosted on the internet.

=== from 2017 ===
Victoria has a choice. In the next thirty years or so, her population is set to double. Regional areas set to increase less than Melbourne, but also substantially. The choice Victoria has is wether to plan for the population, or not. The old adage of "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" comes to mind. Already there are public transport issues, and private transport issues. The 901 bus takes me from Dandenong to Airport West in 3.5 hours. A plane takes me from Melbourne to Sydney in 1 hour. A plane doesn't stop close to many people's homes, but the point is not about planes or buses, but functionality. Melbourne is a beautiful city with a great lifestyle. But Victoria is bigger and needs to grow better. We need all of transport to be efficient. We need car access to places, and we need public transport to network appropriately. The Andrews ALP government is not building needed infrastructure. We will need more schools, more hospitals and more police, more fire and emergency workers. We will need more jobs, more recreation activities. We will need more cultural centres and more shopping. We will need more farming. But all the ALP will promise is less development. I believe a responsible government will find incentives to decentralise Victoria. An effective government will allow aspirations to point the way to how Victorians grow. Turning off power won't do that. For more information go to
=== from 2016 ===
Still dealing with a domestic Ice addict issue. He has been given notice. He says he is leaving last night. But he stays. He blames me for losing his license. He blames me for choosing to be evicted. He has no friends, and that is hard on him because he is so manipulative. He lost his job last week, probably for going to work smashed. His best friend of 27 years has left him, blocking his number. His family have disowned him. And he is alone tonight despite inviting victims to participate in his cruel behaviour. He has broken my bedroom door and I have called Emergency police twice, but in over two hours they haven't arrived. My landlord is prepared to evict him tonight. But then tomorrow he must be allowed back. He could stay in a brothel. He likes it there. And he says he pays generously. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
Australia has passed meta data retention laws. They only go for two years before they are reviewed. The bill had bipartisan support, but most independents opposed it, the exception being PUP Dio Wang of the eight. The laws will make it easier to convict terrorists. Some say it is an invasion of privacy. But it is a time of war, and that privacy is illusory. Without the laws, terrorists have been able to keep out of jail on technicalities. Some have said they would take their chances with terrorists, seeing as the likelihood of death is low. The Tragedy of the air disaster in France shows how hollow that brag is. It looks like a lone pilot committed suicide taking many children and families with him. We don't yet no details about the pilot. Wouldn't it have been good if they hadn't the protections of privacy which allowed their terror? 

NSW State election is on Saturday and a desperate NSW ALP have tried to excuse an ALP supporter hitting a Lib supporter in Cabramatta. Such a clear case of bullying, the NSW ALP could have disowned it, instead they supported it. Yet another example of Cabramatta being taken for granted by the ALP. Lilac, who normally does nothing but eat lunch, is waiting outside the election booths for pre-polling. Ask him about a local issue. Watch as he finds a way of telling you that his hands are tied and he can't help. Then as you walk away, note his smiling face on railway fencing. Send the ALP a protest vote. Vote for Baird because he has policies that work for you. 

On this day in 1344, the Siege of Algeciras came to an end. On south coastal Spain, the city was held by Islam against Castilian forces of King Alfonso XI. The end was honourable but the siege was bitter and included the first European use of Gunpowder. In 1351, in Brittany, the Combat of Thirty began. After the fight, bards sang of the valour among participating knights. Thirty for the King of England fought against thirty for the French. France won. It meant nothing, but much like a sporting match of modern times, much was invested in it. In 1484, Aesop's fables were published on William Caxton's printing press. 
From 2014
 On this day in 1812, The Boston Gazette printed a picture which accurately described the Electoral Commission's production of a South Australian Electorate. It was called a Gerrymander. The idea of a Gerrymander is to pack lots of voters into a small number of electorates who vote one way, and stack electorates which just favour another party. The result in South Australia is that the Liberal party can win 44.8% of first preference votes, but fewer seats than the ALP who got 35.8% of the vote with 91.9% of the vote counted. Two independents with 3.7% of the vote control the state. Electronic voting would not have changed the result, but could end rorting of the elections in future. But it is doubtful a corrupt and biased electoral commission would advocate it. Also, it is a condemnation of the press that this circumstance has arisen. There is no balance, although some occasionally make an effort, like News Corp. It isn't balanced to claim to be even handed by praising corruption of one group and good work of the other. 

Much has been said that is critical of Mr Sinodinos. He was chairman of a company that had exorbitant salaries and small staff. Had it been successful, he would have made many $millions. It failed. Sinodinos is being asked questions as a witness before the ICAC, not as an accused. It might be the case that the bid of the company failed because Sinodinos exercised due diligence. However, what is dodgy is the corrupt ALP figure of Eddie Obeid. And the ALP are saying that clearly while denouncing Sinodinos. According to the denunciations, it was obvious all along Obeid was corrupt. So why didn't the ALP address it long ago? 
Historical perspective on this day
In 590, Emperor Maurice proclaimed his son Theodosius as co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire. 1027, Pope John XIX crowned Conrad II as Holy Roman Emperor. 1169, Saladinbecame the emir of Egypt. 1344, the Siege of Algeciras, one of the first European military engagements where gunpowder was used, came to an end. 1351, Combat of the Thirty : Thirty Breton Knights call out and defeat thirty English Knights. 1484, William Caxton printed his translation of Aesop's Fables. 1552, Guru Amar Das became the Third Sikh Guru. 1363, Utrecht University was founded in the Netherlands.

In 1812, an earthquake destroyed CaracasVenezuela. Also 1812, a political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coined the term "gerrymander" to describe oddly shaped electoral districtsdesigned to help incumbents win reelection. 1830, the Book of Mormon was published in Palmyra, New York. 1839, the first Henley Royal Regatta was held. 1881, thessaly was freed and became part of Greece again. 1885, the Métis people of the District of Saskatchewanunder Louis Riel began the North-West Rebellion against Canada.

In 1913, Balkan WarBulgarian forces captureAdrianople. 1915, Ice Hockey: The Vancouver Millionaires swept the Ottawa Senators three-games-to-none to win the 1915 Stanley Cup Finals, the first championship played between the Pacific Coast Hockey Association and the National Hockey Association. 1917, World War IFirst Battle of Gaza – British troops were halted after 17,000 Turks blocked their advance. 1922, the German Social Democratic Party was founded in Poland. 1931, SwissAir was founded as the national airline of Switzerland. Also 1931, Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union was founded in Vietnam. 1934, the driving test was introduced in the United Kingdom. 1939, Spanish Civil WarNationalistsbegan their final offensive of the war. 1942, World War II: The first female prisoners arrived at Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland. 1945, World War II: The Battle of Iwo Jima ended as the island was officially secured by American forces.

In 1958, the United States Army launched Explorer 3. Also 1958, the African Regroupment Party was launched at a meeting in Paris.1967, ten thousand people gathered for one of many Central Park be-ins in New York City 1971, East Pakistan declared its independence from Pakistan to form the People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Liberation War began. 1974, Gaura Devi led a group of 27 women of Laata village, Henwalghati, Garhwal Himalayas, to form circles around trees to stop them being felled and giving rise to the Chipko Movement in India. 1975, the Biological Weapons Convention came into force. 1978, four days before the scheduled opening of Japan's Narita International Airport, a group of protesters destroy much of the equipment in the control tower with Molotov cocktails. 1979,  Anwar al-SadatMenachem Begin and Jimmy Carter signed the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty in Washington, D.C.. 1982, a groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was held in Washington, D.C..

In 1991, ArgentinaBrazilUruguay and Paraguay signed the Treaty of Asunción, establishing Mercosur, the South Common Market. Also 1991, five South Korean boys, nicknamed the Frog Boys, disappear while hunting for frogs and were murdered in a case that remains unsolved. Also 1991, Local self-government was restored after three decades of centralized control in South Korea. 1995, the Schengen Treaty came into effect. 1997, thirty-nine bodies were found in the Heaven's Gate mass suicides. 1998,  Oued Bouaicha massacre in Algeria: Fifty-two people were killed with axes and knives, 32 of them babies under the age of two. 1999, the "Melissa worm" infected Microsoft word processing and e-mail systems around the world. Also 1999, a jury in Michigan found Dr. Jack Kevorkian guilty of second-degree murderfor administering a lethal injection to a terminally ill man. 2005, the Taiwanese government called on one million Taiwanese to demonstrate in Taipei, in opposition to the Anti-Secession Law of the People's Republic of China. Around 200,000 to 300,000 attended the demonstration. 2010, the ROKS Cheonan sinks off the west coast of South Korea near Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea, killing 46 seamen.
=== 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 Mark PeltonenBe a Ravensdale and Daniel Staniforth. Born on the same day William Caxton printed the first English translation of Aesop's Fables. Talented and fabulous

"The Gerry-Mander", as printed in the Boston Gazette
We succeeded. Gerry got his way. We reject the old way of doing things. We have a vaccine. We recognise truth. Let's party. 
Tim Blair 2018

Andrew Bolt 2018

Piers Akerman

A shocking state of affairs over power

THE NSW government has shown a grave reluctance to endorse the future of the only realistic base load power producers we have — coal-fired power plants — and prefer ­picture opportunities with solar arrays.
Miranda Devine

Do-gooders complicate our defence against terrorism

Do-gooders like ASIO boss Duncan Lewis should focus on stopping returning jihadists killing us rather than worrying about public opinion, writes Miranda Devine.
RENDEZVIEW 26 Mar  227 comments
Andrew Bolt



Tim Blair – Saturday, March 26, 2016 (2:39am)

Unlike her dullard colleagues, who imagined they could harm the Sydney Morning Herald by going on strike, Elizabeth Farrelly is pursuing a far more sophisticated strategy. The columnist is evidently set on bringing her paper down from the inside by writing pieces so elaborately esoteric and impenetrable that they can only be intended to drive readers away – and her editors to madness: 
I’ve never been strong on belief. Sin, virtue, damnation, eternity; none of it has had me altogether persuaded. But one question I can’t walk round. Is climate change proof of sin? 
Besides “no” or ”what the hell?”, there are few other possible answers. But Elizabeth sustains her ruminations for a further 900 words, fuelled by a manic dedication to destruction. 
Easter bears this question aloft like the sword from the lake. Easter is the loveliest of the religious festivals; nuanced, paradoxical, hauntingly mysterious. It has always been a seasonal turn-point, a “thank god” moment in Australia as temperatures fall back into the realm of the tolerable. But last month’s news of a catastrophic climate-change spike – making that thermal relief increasingly improbable – underscores Easter’s other role, as a profound and magical moral mnemonic. In short, voodoo. 
From Easter to voodoo in a single paragraph. Brilliant. 
Our ongoing inertia on climate change suggests that the problem is deep; not at root technical or political but spiritual, a direct consequence of the seven deadly sins run every bit as wild as the carbon we spew into the air. Easter, properly understood, is still the best antidote but its healing powers (since we’re in Harry Potter land here) are neutralised by the patriarchal corporation – the church – that holds it captive. 
Elizabeth left Harry Potter land a long time ago. She’s presently in a land more familiar to people who ate the entire contents of Samuel Coleridge’s medicine cabinet. 
I mean sure, Easter celebrates life. But it pivots on the paradoxical necessity to life of death. Yes, its dramatic trajectory ends with the return to hope. But its power inheres in the week-long irony-entwisted plunge from hope (the palm-fringed Hosannas) through rejection and humiliation to fathomless despair. Like a Colin McCahon waterfall, the Easter story stores its energy in that straight, bleak, black, vertical drop. 
Similar to the vertical drop in Sydney Morning Herald subscriptions following this column. 
Jesus’ radical openness – we’re told he “emptied himself … and became obedient to the point of death” – is a Zen thing, like the poetic self-emptying that Keats called negative capability. It’s a total trust that makes “sin” impossible.
Why? Because an “empty” self is all subject. Ego is all object, and sin is ego incontinent. Yet if you can even name the sins, it’s likely via a 2002 marketing ploy by Magnum ice creams. 
Elizabeth needed two paragraphs to link Jesus with a 14-year-old ice cream advertising campaign. She’s slipping. C’mon, girl. 
Sins, after all, are only wisdom codified into portable, foil-wrapped pill-form. The seven deadlies act out our inner spoilt-brat, thus undermining long-term, big-picture wellbeing – such as planetary survival. How does it work? 
Wrath (anger, revenge) is the direct opposite of love or radical openness, making us close our hearts to humans and planet, both. Sloth seems innocent. Lying round in trackies? Pretty harmless, right? But itsour persistent inaction on climate change that shows sins of omission are still sins. 
That errant “its” is a sign the sub-editor bailed on this debacle about seven pars ago. 
We all have our defining sin. Mine is mainly envy … 
Of people who can write, presumably. 
It makes you wonder. Perhaps, when the crowd welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem with Hosanna! (meaning Liberate us! Save us!) what they meant was: Please. Open our hard hearts! Fill us with radical empty. Save our lovely planet from the boofheads. 
“Radical empty.” She’s talking about the Herald‘s newsroom in about three months, if her demolition plan runs to schedule. Onward, Elizabeth!


Tim Blair – Saturday, March 26, 2016 (2:24am)

The The’s Uncertain Smile wanders along pleasantly enough, and then Jools Holland kicks in:



Tim Blair – Saturday, March 26, 2016 (2:19am)

Everything’s just wonderful in Germany and Sweden and France and Belgium and England


Tim Blair – Saturday, March 26, 2016 (1:40am)

Horror at Georgia’s Emory Kinderversity
“I legitimately feared for my life,” Paula Camila Alarcon, a freshman at Emory who identifies as Latino, told The Daily Beast. “I thought we were having a KKK rally on campus.”
“This wasn’t ordinary campaigning,” Jonathan Peraza, another member of LatinAction and a freshman at Emory, said of the chalkings. “It was deliberate intimidation. Some of us were expecting shootings. We feared walking alone.”
“I think it was an act of violence,” [junior undergraduate Lolade] Oshin said ... “It was an active threat, intentionally meant to create opposition on campus and to segregate groups on campus that are already segregated.” 
Someone wrote Trump 2016 in chalk on a campus wall.

Cooling on warmists’ reef alarmism

Andrew Bolt March 26 2016 (2:29pm)

Note that this is almost a religion for scientists. Still, they manage to concede that despite the great global warming scare the coral reefs are doing pretty well:
With many parts of the globe in the grip of a coral reef bleaching event — fueled in part by El Niño-driven ocean warming — scientists and marine conservation advocates have feared many reefs could suffer irreparable damage and fade from existence in coming decades. 
A new report from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the Univesity of California at San Diego provides reason for optimism by highlighting the potential for preservation efforts. In a massive project spanning 56 islands, researchers documented 450 coral reef locations from Hawaii to American Samoa.
The results show that coral reefs surrounding remote islands were dramatically healthier than those in populated areas that were subject to a variety of human impacts.
“There are still coral reefs on this planet that are incredibly healthy and probably look the way they did 1,000 years ago,” said Jennifer Smith, lead author of the study and a professor at Scripps’s Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation. 
“The scientists were practically in tears when we saw some of these reefs,” she added. “We’ve never experienced anything like it in our lives. It was an almost religious experience.”
(Thanks to reader BobC.) 

More fronts than Myers

Andrew Bolt March 26 2016 (11:40am)

Why is Victoria Australia’s most Left-wing state?
Maybe because it has more Left-wing fronts than real organisations, as this Refugee Action Collective pamphlet suggests:
You won’t think that since Tony Abbott was elected the number of children in detention has plummeted to fewer than 30, would you? Or that there are no more drownings at sea?
This Leftist-front phenomenon can sometimes be comical, were it not for the wasted money and deceptions:
Five years ago the Victorian Government couldn’t find a single Aboriginal child who’d been stolen just because they were black: 
("Stolen generations” propagandist Robert) Manne was also on the board of Victoria’s Stolen Generations Taskforce when it looked for the “stolen generations”. It found 36 organisations to help the victims, but not one person in the state who’d truly been stolen.
(Thanks to reader cos.) 

Turnbull white-ants Morrison, who is writing the Budget meant to save him

Andrew Bolt March 26 2016 (11:04am)

These briefings suggest a very deliberate campaign by the Turnbull team to cut Scott Morrison down to size. It seems Turnbull would rather his Treasurer seem weak than the government seem united.
Dennis Atkins should never have been fed this spiteful detail, clearly designed to make Morrison the fall guy:
A Cabinet meeting in Melbourne [around a week before Parliament returned on 2 February] looked at the broad-brush plan for tax reform, based on a tax mix switch from relatively high personal and corporate taxes to the GST through raising the rate and extending its reach. 
This was based on a briefing by Treasury head John Fraser but, senior government insiders said, outside advice Turnbull had commissioned contradicted it, saying the growth impact was between non-existent to minimal and the compensation bill too large.
This was the beginning of the falling-out between Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison… Turnbull felt Morrison was not riding his department hard enough to get advice quickly and he was exasperated after the Treasurer’s National Press Club appearance in February, which the PM told colleagues “had nothing in it”.
The Prime Minister retaliated by emasculating Treasury – taking the tax reform job out of the department’s hands and giving it to his hand-picked bureaucratic chief (and former Treasury head) Martin Parkinson…
Turnbull pointedly did not bring Morrison into the tight circle plotting what were fast becoming the most vital dates in the national capital – when the Budget would be delivered and when the election would be held… 
The problem, according to insiders, is that Morrison is not trusted and senior government figures say he’s too much about himself and not enough about the collective good.
In contrast, as Morrison himself would now ruefully concede, Abbott did not authorise or condone any such briefings against Morrison, even though he was ultimately betrayed.
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill:
It’s odd Atkins doesn’t dwell long on Turnbull commissioning outside advice on the GST. Not content with just white-anting the Treasurer, Turnbull undermines the whole of Morrison’s department? And a bad speech leads to the sidelining of Treasury? 
Moreover, Morrison’s speech lacked content because his boss would provide none.
Paul Kelly:
Consider the next 100 days… A long campaign needs two core conditions — unity and discipline. And these are the government’s vulnerabilities. Witness events since late January when the government faltered, lost direction and began speaking with too many different voices. This is when Turnbull became dismayed with Morrison. 
There is stacks of time for things to go wrong. The Labor Party and the media are fixated on the factors that could bring Turnbull undone: Turnbull-Abbott rivalry, tensions between the Prime Minister and his Treasurer, and Turnbull’s ability to bring down a coherent and ambitious election policy agenda on which to seek a mandate..
The next great policy test for Turnbull and Morrison will be the budget and tax package ... In short, there is no easy money for tax relief. The budget is in deficit, growth is uncertain, revenues are weak and the grand tax mix switch (increasing the GST) has been removed from the table.
Morrison has signalled there will be reform of superannuation tax.... It is likely there will be tax relief for business — probably staged cuts in the company tax rate with a timetable to be spelled out, legislated and implemented over a number of years. 
Repeated claims there will be nothing on personal income relief in the budget make no sense apart from their recognition of the fiscal problem. The idea that Turnbull will offer corporate tax relief but not individual tax relief seems far-fetched in an election budget. At every stage, the Turnbull-Morrison relationship will be under scrutiny.
It hasn’t yet been appreciated how central Morrison’s Budget now is to Turnbull’s campaign. It comes in the middle of this de-facto election campaign and will finally reveal what’s actually Turnbull’s long-promised economic narrative - and, in effect, his election pitch. Almost everything depends on this, not least because the election will be officially called just eight days later, making the poll almost a referendum on it.
Turnbull, with no confidence in his Treasurer (now reciprocated), will want to control almost everything in the Budget writing, knowing his future depends on it. But Morrison’s own future depends on it, too. Turnbull wants him to spend big on health funding for the states, but if he gives in Morrison’s credentials as a future conservative candidate for the leadership will be damaged. Nor will Morrison want to go down with Turnbull’s ship.
This could get very ugly, and much depends on Turnbull’s ability to get people working together as a team. Any sign of that talent in him?
To the next stresses. Lenore Taylor:
In one week state premiers and treasurers will meet Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison to find out whether the federal government is going to offer them any more money to deal with the hospitals and schools funding crisis that hits next year, and has been going to hit next year ever since Tony Abbott ripped [sic] $80bn out of projected hospitals and schools funding in the infamous budget of 2014. 
As the Guardian revealed last month, Turnbull has been reassuring state premiers for some time that the commonwealth was going to stump up interim funding to tide them over while new long-term funding agreements are struck.
But for a long time Morrison has been consistently sending a totally different message, essentially that the states are on their own, saying things like: “I don’t think states are branch offices of the commonwealth. I think they are sovereign governments ... In no business in this country would anyone just accept someone walking into their office and saying the increase in cost is 8%, give me the cheque. We all have to manage our budgets. The states almost without an exception ... are in surplus at the present.”
At a recent meeting in Sydney, senior federal officials told their state counterparts that Turnbull was trying to get a funding deal through his cabinet for both hospitals and early childhood education but was coming up against resistance… This has left premiers somewhat dazed and confused… 
Federal officials concede there have been differences between the prime minister and the treasurer… But at Coag [the premiers] need to know they’ll get enough money to tide them over while they do this deal – with [NSW Premier Mike] Baird saying the states need at least $7bn over the next four years for hospitals alone and the South Australian premier, Jay Weatherill, insisting the figure is close to $10bn. 

Bernardi prepares the Australian Conservatives

Andrew Bolt March 26 2016 (11:00am)

Awkward outing of Cory Bernardi, but he’s just preparing to fill a dangerous vacuum:
Liberal senator Cory Bernardi has laid the groundwork to launch a new political force, the Australian Conservatives, to “give a voice back to Australia’s forgotten people”. 
In a move that risks further splintering the Turnbull government, a company controlled by the South Australian senator’s wife has applied to trademark the name and logos of the new group, with the stated aim of providing the “services of a political party”.
Senator Bernardi, who in ­September warned of a possible schism of the Liberal Party if Malcolm Turnbull did not uphold the party’s “distinctly conservative” character, yesterday described the Australian Conservatives as a program of his existing Conservative Leadership Foundation.
He would not provide further details about what the program ­involved or give an assurance he would not leave the Liberals to lead a breakaway party. 
In a rousing email to supporters on Monday, Senator Bernardi referred repeatedly to the “silent majority of Australian Conservatives” who were challenging “the leftist agenda of big government and decaying society”. 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Bishop and the curse of Abbott. UPDATE: Sinodinos, too

Andrew Bolt March 26 2016 (10:38am)

Yet another Abbott-betrayer in trouble: 
EMBATTLED Mackellar federal Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop is facing an electoral wipe-out, according to secret new polling obtained­ by the Manly Daily.
A staggering 69 per cent flat out believe Ms Bishop should just retire after a lengthy career in politics tainted by the Choppergate expenses scandal… The poll of 877 people in Mackellar done on March 21 by MediaReach said Ms Bishop’s primary vote would be just 21 per cent… 
52 per cent of respondents said they would be more likely to vote Liberal if the former Speaker was ditched as the party’s candidate.
And among the plotters, more karma:
This week the electoral commission deemed that the NSW Liberal party was complicit in relation to its use of the [Free Enterprise Foundation] to “disguise” the identities of illegal donors to its 2011 state election campaign… 
Malcolm Turnbull’s hand-picked cabinet secretary, Senator Arthur Sinodinos ... was the party’s treasurer at the time of the payments.
Sinodinos has demanded the electoral commission excise any mention of him in its damning report, claiming that the party’s current refusal to nominate the donors has nothing to do with him.
But the commission said it based its finding on evidence given to the ICAC’s landmark 2014 investigation into NSW Liberal party fundraising… Under oath, Sinodinos, the party’s honorary treasurer and finance committee chairman, refused to accept “any responsibility for money being raised from prohibited donors” who were encouraged to donate via the FEF. Instead he claimed it was the responsibility of the party agent, finance director Simon McInnes to ensure all was above board, and that it was not his role to “micro-manage” others.
The corruption inquiry heard that the FEF was the single largest donor to the party in the lead-up to the 2011 state poll, giving $700,000. At the 2007 election, held prior to the developer donation bans, the FEF had contributed a mere $50,000.
“What about this for a pub test: the chairman of the finance committee of the Liberal Party didn’t know the identity of the single largest donor to the Liberal Party in an election campaign. What do you think about that?” asked counsel-assisting Geoffrey Watson, SC.
Sinodinos repeated his claim “that the responsibility for compliance rested formally with the Party agent.”
Paul Nicolaou, the party’s former chief fund-raiser, told the inquiry that Sinodinos was chairing a finance committee meeting in 2010 when the idea of washing ­illicit donations through the FEF was first raised. 
Sinodinos said that if he had been present when this was floated “it went over my head”.
Eric Abetz, though, is a straight shooter and Turnbull made a big mistake to dump him. For one, Abetz has sound judgement. A pretty interesting profile of him, even though it appears in a Fairfax paper, is negative, makes mistakes and fluffs the biography of Abetz critics such as Greg Barns, advertised as a Liberal when he’s actually flirted with three far-Left parties since - even the WikiLeaks one. Kicking Barns off the Liberal ticket is actually one more sign of Abetz’s excellent judgement.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

The Belgian ambassador’s criticism of Turnbull is wrong: blame Islam and immigration

Andrew Bolt March 26 2016 (9:48am)

Malcolm Turnbull is (partially) right about the link between immigration and terrorism and the Belgian ambassador complete wrong.
From Turnbull’s Lowy address:
European Governments are confronted by a perfect storm of failed or neglected integration, foreign fighters returning from Iraq and Syria, porous borders and intelligence and security apparatus struggling to keep pace with the scope and breadth of the threat. Bernard Squarcini, a former head of France’s internal intelligence service, described these factors as creating a favourable ecosystem for an Islamist milieu. 
For all intents and purposes there are no internal borders in Europe, that has been a great achievement of openness, and the external borders are difficult to manage. Recent intelligence indicates that ISIL is using the refugee crisis to send operatives into Europe.
True enough. But still left unsaid by Turnbull is the clear and critical link between the numbers of Muslims in a Western nation and the danger to the host. More Muslims tends to mean more radicals tends to mean more terrorism.
Simply criticising Western countries for “neglected integration” is to falsely assume that their Muslim minorities can be integrated or even want to be.
So Belgian Ambassador Jean-Luc Bodson is in hopeless denial when he criticises Turnbull’s very mild remarks:
It’s dangerous because it’s precisely what ISIS wants — that we would make a confusion between terrorism and migrants and between terrorism and Islam… 
My view is that the terrorists who committed the latest attacks and in Paris and in Belgium are European-raised and born. Maybe from foreign origins, but they are Europeans. So it has nothing to do with the refugee crisis...
False. This has everything to do with immigration and Islam.
The fact is that the all the terrorists behind the slaughter in Paris and Brussels were Muslim immigrants or the children of them, killing people in the name of their faith..
That has urgent lessons for us.
Counter terrorism expert David Kilcullen suggests we’re not as vulnerable as some European countries, but his final caveat is criticaland undermines his argument:
Australia’s circumstances differ greatly from those in Europe. Australia’s border protection agencies are vastly more effective than the European frontier agencies overstressed by the twin impacts of massive refugee flows and an ongoing financial crisis. 
Our police and intelligence services have a much better track record of detecting and wrapping up terrorist plots before attacks can mature.
Australia also lacks the common land border with serious conflict areas in the Middle East that makes Europe more vulnerable, and Australian society is vastly better integrated than some European societies, where marginalised and unemployed youth in poorly serviced housing developments become vulnerable to grooming and recruitment by radical Islamic extremists. 
These are differences of scale, though, not of kind — Australia is much further down the spectrum than Europe, but the threat is still real.
Former Islamist radical Maajid Nawaz admits it’s the ideology - a popular version of Islam - that is the real problem:
For many years, small ‘l’ liberals — and I speak as one — have refused to acknowledge the ideology of Islamism… 
Fearing a politically incorrect debate on values with Muslim communities, these same liberals preferred to view the problem as merely criminal, to be dealt with by law, or militaristic, to be dealt with by war…
And as jihadist attack after ­jihadist attack came, liberals slowly, reluctantly, took to euphemistically naming the problem “violent extremism’’. They used nauseating, insipid phrases such as “al-Qa’ida-inspired extremism” to refer to what was an ideology… [I]t was not al-Qa’ida that had “inspired extremism”; it was extremism that had inspired al-Qa’ida…
In fact, this struggle is first and foremost an ideological one..  Extremism certainly has something to do with Islam. Not nothing, not everything, but something.
We can distinguish Islamist extremism from Islam by clarifying that whereas Islam is simply a religion, Islamism is a theocratic desire to impose any version of that religion over society…
By failing to name the Islamist ideology and isolate it from everyday Islam, we are depriving these reforming voices of a language to deploy against those who are attempting to ­silence their progressive efforts within their own communities. 
Nawaz may be right to say Islam is just a faith, without a theocratic desire to impose it on others. More likely, though, he is wrong, as the terrorists and leaders of Iran would insist. It might make sense for the rest of us to assume the worst while we wait for the Muslim community itself to demonstrate which view is right.
But together, the two points underline why we cannot be smug about how much better we assimilate Muslims.
The key issue here is critical mass. It is easier to assimilate immigrants or police the radicals when there are fewer of them - and when their numbers are not so great that they can form self-sustaining colonies.
So let’s compare.
France, which has suffered horrific mass-murders by Islamists, has more than 5 million Muslims - at least 7.5 per cent of the population.
Belgium, who has just suffered its own mass-murder by Islamists, has around 700,000 Muslims - 6.2 per cent of its small population.
Australia has 500,000 Muslims - about 2.1 per cent of the population.
If we had three times as many Muslims here to match the proportion in Belgium, or three and a half to match that in France, the danger here would almost certainly come close to the matching the danger there. Imagine radicals here having three times more supporters around them to support, supply and hide them.
Sure, we have the advantage of having the world’s biggest moat around us, but we would be utter fools not to recognise the key factors of this grave danger: the numbers of believers and their faith.
To limit the first and insist on change in the second is thus urgent. Yet both have been fiercely rejected by the Left, and even now Turnbull cannot speak frankly about either. 

A “weak” Islamic State couldn’t kill this many of us

Andrew Bolt March 26 2016 (9:15am)

Opinion is split.
There are some who claim that the more Europeans they slaughter, the weaker the Islamic State is.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told us [after the Paris slaughter] IS was “fundamentally weak” with “many more smartphones than guns”. 
Waleed Aly, television host and lecturer at Monash University’s Global Terrorism Research Centre, agrees IS is “weak”.
Associate Professor Rodger Shanahan, from the National Security College, assured the ABC of “the inherent weaknesses of Islamic State”. And US President Obama told us IS is “contained”.
This week again, after the slaughter in Brussels:
Malcolm Turnbull:
IS is intent on demonstrating a growing operational reach, but this is because it is hurting in Syria and Iraq, losing 22 per cent of its total territory and 40 per cent of revenues from its peak in 2014.
But others naturally believe that the more Europeans the Islamic State kill, the stronger they probably are.
David Kilcullen, former special adviser for counter-insurgency to US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice:
This week’s attacks in Brussels, coming four days after Belgian police arrested Salah Abdeslam — the sole survivor among (and logistics co-ordinator of) the group that attacked Paris last Nov­ember — illustrate an ominous evolution in Islamic State’s networks in Europe. Writing just after the terrorism in Paris, in my book Blood Year I noted that rather than a one-off event, the attacks “signalled the existence of a paramilitary underground — a better organised, more capable version of the ISIS internationale … operating in cities within France, Belgium and Germany” and that “early indications suggested that Paris might represent the start of a sustained urban guerilla campaign” in Europe and perhaps elsewhere. It’s still too early to be certain but evidence increasingly points to exactly that: an enduring campaign by an organised paramilitary group (not simply homegrown or remotely radicalised individuals). Between Abdeslam’s capture last week and the atrocity in Brussels on Tuesday this week, there’s fresh evidence of a larger and more sophisticated Islamic State presence in Europe than previously suspected. 
Greg Sheridan:
Islamic State is also getting stronger. It is nonsense to suggest its recent attacks show weakness. It can inspire deadly lone-wolf attacks by the self-radicalised of the sort we have seen in Australia. But the latest bombings in Belgium demonstrate a resilient vigour and growing sophistication. It appears the Paris and Brussels attacks were linked and carried out essentially by the same group. That is something new, the first time a terror cell has carried out a major attack in the West, lost many of its members, then been able to regroup and carry out further atrocities a short time later.
Former Islamic radical Maajid Nawaz:
The tragic attacks in Brussels this week are the latest in a line of eight other jihadist attacks around the world this month alone. Two of these were in Pakistan, two in Turkey, one in Mali, one in the Ivory Coast and one in Nigeria. 
The world is experiencing a global jihadist insurgency… Sadly, more attacks this year are highly likely. Intelligence agencies are overwhelmed across Europe.. Our security services fear the inevitable: simultaneous mass-casualty terrorist attacks, in multiple European cities.

The problem isn’t just the single men. Think of the children

Andrew Bolt March 26 2016 (9:04am)

The Immigration Minister is right to criticise our past immigration policies but how well has he learned the lesson?
Australia will minimise its intake of single Sunni men as it vets the 12,000 Syrian refugees the government has pledged to take from Syria, prioritising instead Christian family groups who can never return home… 
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton ... also drew a connection between Australia’s migration program and homegrown extremists, many of whom have been second-generation Lebanese or Afghan migrants.
The three Muslim terrorist attacks we’ve had here in the past 18 months have included two by children of refugee families - Numan Haider and Farhad Jabar - and not by single Sunni males we’ve admitted.
So I’d be more reassured if Dutton could release data showing just how few of the Syrians we’ve accepted so far are Muslim. The next generation can be as dangerous as those we let in today. 

I suspect they need me

Andrew Bolt March 26 2016 (8:57am)

I do hope I don’t have to start paying rent for the space I’m occupying in the minds of Guy Rundle, Phillip Adams, Peter van Onselen and Amanda Meade:
I’m sure that if I didn’t exist such people would need to invent this monstrous being. In fact, I rather think they have. 

Abbott: the case for my foreign policy

Andrew Bolt March 26 2016 (8:44am)

If fewer journalists had pushed the insane Abbott-hatred, none of this would be remotely controversial or need defending:
Tony Abbott stands by his hard line on Islamist terrorism and his “Team Australia” rhetoric, and indirectly criticises the Turnbull government for not responding to the general request by the Obama administration to do more in the Middle East. 
In a defence of his government’s national security policies, Mr Abbott says that in office he shunned the moral posturing of Labor, aspired to be America’s “most dependable” ally, did “shirt-front” Russian President Vladimir Putin and strengthened national security by practical action and close co-operation with other leaders.
Mr Abbott, in a measured article to be published this week in Quadrant, signals his disagreement with the Turnbull government’s rejection of a request by US Defence Secretary Ash Carter for all allies to expand military efforts in the Middle East....
Interviewed by this newspaper in conjunction with his article, Mr Abbott is resolute in his warnings about militant Islam, saying of the Brussels attacks: “Regrettably, until such time as there is no longer ‘a death to the infidels’ strand in Islam, then Brussels points to our future. We need a ­reformed Islam.”.. 
[The article] reflects Mr Abbott’s ­determination to champion his government’s legacy, partly stimulated by what he sees as prejudiced criticism. 
Read Abbott’s full Quadrant article here. It starts:
Apart from building the country’s wealth, the principal task of government is to keep its citizens safe. When the Abbott government came to office, very few people anticipated a resurgence of Islamist terrorism. In 2013, Prime Minister Gillard had declared the “end of the 9/11 decade”. Likewise, few people expected an activist foreign policy from a new government preoccupied with economic growth and creating jobs. Yet reducing obstacles to trade not only strengthens the national and world economy but also helps to build the trust necessary for more effective global security. At home and abroad, the Abbott government strengthened our national security arrangements and reinforced our international reputation as a reliable partner.


Tim Blair – Thursday, March 26, 2015 (4:12pm)

As part of the Sydney Morning Herald‘s dazzlingly successful Spectrum festival, tonight the paper’s star writers will interview their dream subjects
If you could interview anyone, who would it be? Top Fairfax writers nominate their dream subject to cross-examine in front of an audience. Who will Kate McClymont investigate? What stories will Peter FitzSimons uncover? There are sure to be surprises. 
There sure are. FitzSimons is interviewing … Mike Carlton.


Tim Blair – Thursday, March 26, 2015 (6:49am)

Hyphenated British feminist students defend their fantastic conference decision to wave jazz hands rather than applaud: 
Delegates have told Newsbeat “it’s a nice way to show solidarity”.
Nona Buckley-Irvine is general secretary at the London School of Economics Students’ Union.
She told Newsbeat: ”Jazz hands are used throughout NUS in place of clapping as a way to show appreciation of someone’s point without interrupting or causing disturbance, as it can create anxiety.
“I’m relatively new to this and it did feel odd at first, but once you’ve used jazz hands a couple of times it becomes a genuinely nice way to show solidarity with a point and it does add to creating a more inclusive atmosphere.” 
You know what’s really good for reducing anxiety? Ironing. 
LSE SU women’s officer Gee Linford-Grayson agreed: “As someone who is new to the NUS conference culture it surprised me at first, but actually within a few rounds of jazz hands applause it began to make a lot of sense, as loud clapping and whooping can be intimidating and distracting when you’re speaking on stage.
“Plus who doesn’t like jazz hands?!” 
Probably the handless, you exclusionist monster. It turns out that the National Union of Students’ jazz hands request came about following this suggestion from Oxford University’s Women’s Campaign: 
Please can we ask people to stop clapping but do feminist jazz hands? It’s triggering some peoples’ anxiety. Thank you! 
Not just jazz hands, but feminist jazz hands! That’s a whole other category. Let the epic mockery continue, including a parody Twitter feed and examination of the National Union of Students’ insane demands. Last word to Christine Rouselle
As a woman, feminist, and someone who has struggled mightily with anxiety, I think the “feminist jazz hands” request is more troubling than anything else. A person who is that disturbed by clapping should seek therapy and medication first and foremost. They desperately need some sort of mental health care. 
Yes. These sort of people do require first-hand attention.


Tim Blair – Thursday, March 26, 2015 (6:04am)

Associated Press reports
Counterterrorism squads have prevented 230 suspected jihadis from departing Australian airports for the Middle East this month, including at least three teenage boys, officials said Wednesday … 
230 in March alone – around ten per day – seems extremely high. No local media is reporting anything like these numbers. AP’s own story goes on to contradict that opening par: 
Since counterterrorism units were attached to eight Australian airports in August, 86,000 travelers have been questioned and 230 people prevented from flying on suspicion that they were headed for the battlefields of Iraq and Syria to fight with groups including Islamic State ... 
So the figure is more like 30 per month since August rather than 230 so far in March. Which still indicates a massive problem: 
The London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence reports that between 100 and 250 Australians have joined Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria. The center estimates that about 100 fighters came from the United States, which has more than 13 times as many people as Australia. 
Yep. We’ve really got those kids blending in here. Just before they become blended to a Landcruiser in Iraq. 
Experts disagree about why Islamic State had been so effective recruiting in Australia, which is widely regarded as a multicultural success story ... 
Actually, Australia is a multicultural success story. It’s just that things tend to hit the rotors when one of those cultures prefers mono to multi.


Tim Blair – Thursday, March 26, 2015 (3:48am)

Marrickville’s Red Rattler theatre recently rejected a proposed series of Holocaust-themed performances by a not-for-profit Jewish educational and cultural organisation: 
Our policy does not support colonialism/Zionism. Therefore we do not host groups that support the colonisation and occupation of Palestine. 
But look at who the theatre did host last year: 
2014 Greece’s grassroots nationalist movement in the Golden Dawn has just held a pre-emptive meeting downunder in Sydney to formally establish a supportive splinter group …
Thanks go out to Jamie at The Red Rattler in Marrickville … 
Nice crowd they’re hanging out with. The theatre has since apologised for rejecting the Jewish group’s shows:


Tim Blair – Thursday, March 26, 2015 (3:20am)

Ahead of today’s Australia-India World Cup semi-final at the SCG, here’s a cricket guide for Americans.


Tim Blair – Thursday, March 26, 2015 (3:10am)

Further to recent news of South Australia’s garbage education program
The Waste Wise Schools program targets schools in WA with educational strategies for reducing waste to landfill by implementing the 3Rs, reduce, reuse, recycle … 
Plus “retarded”. 
Waste Wise Schools is a program of the Waste Authority and offers resources and support for schools to plan, implement and maintain waste minimising projects such as recycling, composting and worm farming. 
(Via Turtle, who emails: “Can you think of a better name for a government department than ‘The Waste Authority’? Or rock band?") 


Tim Blair – Thursday, March 26, 2015 (1:09am)

Not using a full stop. Using multiple full stops or extended ellipses. Posting a link without using the link tab. Ending a sentence with multiple question marks or exclamation marks. Not using spellcheck. Using random capital letters. Using no capital letters.
Any of these easily avoided yet frequent errors – becoming ever-more frequent due to the demonic scourge of mobile phones – may result in the tragic non-publication of a comment. Please take care.


Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 25, 2015 (7:40pm)

CBS reports
BBC has fired Jeremy Clarkson, presenter of popular talk show “Top Gear,” after an internal investigation found that he assaulted a producer over steak and chips. 
This seems premature. No other outlet is confirming the sacking - including CBS’s own video.
UPDATE. Clarkson’s sacking - or at least the non-renewal of his contract – is now confirmed
Jeremy Clarkson’s contract will not be renewed after a physical altercation with a producer, the BBC’s director general Tony Hall has said.
Lord Hall said he had “not taken this decision lightly” and recognised it would “divide opinion”.
However, he added “a line has been crossed” and he “cannot condone what has happened on this occasion”.
Clarkson was suspended on 10 March, following what was called a “fracas” with Oisin Tymon in a Yorkshire hotel.
An internal investigation …found that Mr Tymon took himself to hospital after he was subject to an “unprovoked physical and verbal attack”.
“During the physical attack Oisin Tymon was struck, resulting in swelling and bleeding to his lip. The verbal abuse was sustained over a longer period, both at the time of the physical attack and subsequently.” 
I’ve never been a huge Clarkson fan – his political incorrectness tends to weaken when his own safety is involved – although he seemed a nice enough chap when I once briefly met him. Then again, I wasn’t involved with the catering.
It should be remembered during all of this that the man Clarkson punched did not take the issue to the BBC. That was done by Clarkson himself. And, above all, it should be remembered that Clarkson punched someone very hard in the face simply because he didn’t receive his preferred meal.

We’re robbing young Australians of a home of their own

Andrew Bolt March 26 2015 (7:24pm)

The IPA’s Mikayla Novak will have a paper on this disturbing graphic soon:
An earlier article by Novak here

Who was the man in the locked cockpit?

Andrew Bolt March 26 2015 (7:17pm)

This is not confirmed, but the identity of the pilots - so far withheld - becomes an issue:
As officials struggled Wednesday to explain why a jet with 150 people on board crashed amid a relatively clear sky, an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane’s descent and was unable to get back in. 
A senior French military official involved in the investigation described a “very smooth, very cool” conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona, Spain, to Düsseldorf, Germany. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.
“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door, and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger, and no answer. There is never an answer.” 
He said, “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.”

Bill Shorten is the federal Luke Foley. Let’s see what NSW voters think of that leadership

Andrew Bolt March 26 2015 (9:35am)

First comparison:
NSW Labor leader Luke Foley opposes letting foreigners lease the electricity grid, now run by the state, by stoking fears of the Chinese.
Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten opposes letting foreigners build our submarines, now built by the state, by stoking fears of the Japanese.
Second comparison:
NSW Labor leader Luke Foley falsely claims keeping the power grid in state hands makes electricity cheaper.
Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten now claims building submarines here won’t cost a cent more:
VIRGINIA TRIOLI, PRESENTER: Well today you announced a policy on building submarines in Australia that, if accepted, would’ve cost the budget billions of dollars more than if the subs were built overseas. Given the state of the budget deficit, how was that ever going to be paid for? BILL SHORTEN: Virginia, I have to just correct the proposition that building submarines in Australia in the long term is much more expensive than building them overseas…
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: But all the best analysis seems to suggest that around about $25 billion to get these subs done if they were done overseas, between $50 to $80 billion here in Australia…
BILL SHORTEN: ...Two of the nations who are interested in building our submarines have indicated they could do it for about $20 billion in Australia…

VIRGINIA TRIOLI: You can guarantee that if they were built in Australia, they would come in at the same price as what was quoted overseas? 
BILL SHORTEN: I believe that we are capable in this country of providing - we put three tests. short answer is yes. 
Mark Latham on Bill Shorten: 
In November’s Victorian election, Labor Leader Daniel Andrews campaigned on small-scale issues, such as level crossings and school breakfasts. At the time, I labelled it “marshmallow politics” – tiny, sweet morsels that could be easily digested in local electorates. Andrews was strikingly successful, winning power at the expense of the Napthine government’s grand transport plan for Melbourne.
Earlier this year in Queensland, Labor Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk was a policy-free zone – focusing almost entirely on a scare campaign against Campbell Newman’s privatisation program. Away from this negative message, Palaszczuk’s understanding of public policy was frightfully limited. When caught out in the final days of the campaign not knowing the rate of the GST, she blamed it on a lack of coffee…
Buoyed by Labor’s success at these two elections, defeating first-term Coalition governments, Luke Foley has also taken a micro approach to the NSW campaign. While the Baird government plans to use electricity privatisation to fund a bold infrastructure program, Foley’s promises have been limited to demountable classrooms and koala parks. He might as well be running to be mayor of NSW…
I expect Bill Shorten to follow Labor’s marshmallow strategy. What other options does he have? Labor won’t take on serious microeconomic reform because of its adverse impact on union featherbedding. Likewise, given the budgetary situation, it has no room for major spending initiatives.
On the environment – the great moral challenge in combating climate change – it would be political suicide to promise the restoration of carbon pricing in the first term of a Labor government. 
Let me assure you: Shorten is no kamikaze. He’s an opportunist, someone with a shameless record of using people and political issues to satisfy his personal ambitions.
(Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill and John.) 

Labor goes for the racist vote

Andrew Bolt March 26 2015 (9:13am)

Labor is the first to make fine speeches about racism and pass laws against people it claims say racist things.
It is also the party that doesn’t hesitate to appeal to racism to win an election:
The race discrimination commissioner has accused a Labor-backed union campaign of being racist for trying to scare NSW voters about possible Chinese investment in the state’s electricity grid. 
Tim Soutphommasane has blasted the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union ads, which claim the lease of 49 per cent of the network to a foreign country is “just not on”. 
But Soutphommasane, a former Labor staffer, doesn’t attack NSW Labor leader Luke Foley for his truly crazy appeal to racists:
[Foley] said Chinese government ownership of state assets could be damaging to national security. 
“Perhaps ASIO might want to be asked about their views on these issues. Transgrid powers Parliament House. The distribution network goes to the Holsworthy army base, to the Richmond RAAF base, to our ­defence installations,” he said.
Straight out of the Bill Shorten playbook. From last year:
Shorten told a rally of Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) members at the gates of the Australian Submarine Corporation: “Under Labor, we will build ships and submarines in Australia because we love this country.” 

The shrill speech appealed to the worst in the Australian psyche. Speaking of the Abbott government, Shorten said: “This is a government with a short memory… When it comes to the long-term decisions, they are a dangerous government… In the Second World War, 366 merchant ships were sunk off Australia and the government in the 1930s said ‘we don’t need Australian ships, we’ll privatise them’… This is a government that forgets everything and learns nothing… For goodness sake, Tony Abbott, buy a map of the world. We are an island, Tony Abbott, and our navy matters.”
Shorten said the Abbott government was “contracting out the defence of Australia, they are fighting for jobs in foreign countries, not our own… and they are playing with fire [with] our national security"…
On the tape of Shorten’s speech, an interjector can be heard saying: “Last time we had Jap subs, they were in bloody Sydney Harbour.” 
Shorten was introduced by Paul Bastian, National Secretary of the AWMU, who told the rally: “Today, when I left the airport in Sydney, this headline greeted me: ‘Japanese subs on the way.’ Do you feel betrayed?”
Labor has a nasty habit of turning xenophobic to win votes. From last year: 
A Labor Party campaign leaflet targeting a Liberal candidate in the South Australian election has sparked a stoush within the Federal Government about whether it is “overtly racist” or not.
The handout, authorised by the SA Labor Party, focuses on the candidate for the seat of Elder, Carolyn Habib.
It highlights her surname, asking voters, “Can you trust Habib?”, and links her political record to rates increases and healthcare cuts.
The design has prompted outrage from Attorney-General George Brandis who has blasted it as “overtly racist”.
“The leaflet depicts Ms Habib in silhouette against what appears to be a bullet-riddled wall using only her surname with the injunction ‘don’t trust Habib’,” he said. 
“This is in our view a thinly veiled racist slur.”
Foley is attacked for his dog-whistling, while Chinese Labor figures go missing in action:
A leading figure in Australia-China relations has blasted NSW Labor leader Luke Foley for suggesting the Chinese communist government could spy on Australian military and parliamentary activities and cut power to them if the state’s electricity network was sold to Chinese interests. 
The president of the NSW branch of the Australia China Business Council, international law firm partner Jim Harrowell, described Mr Foley’s remarks as a bid to raise fear of the “yellow peril” to “try and get some elect­oral points with the punters”.
“I am gobsmacked,” Mr Harrowell said, describing Mr Foley’s remarks as “xenophobic” and “the sort of thing you’d expect from Pauline Hanson”.
Former foreign minister Bob Carr, an outspoken champion of relations with China, declined to comment when contacted by The Australian.

Labor MLC Ernest Wong, a fundraiser in the Chinese community, declined to endorse his leader’s comments about Chinese investment representing a national security risk, saying the issue was about whether the assets should stay in NSW public hands.
How many will rally for Foley again? From just three days ago:
(Thanks to reader Jason.) 

The question Shorten never answers: so how would HE fix the Budget Labor broke?

Andrew Bolt March 26 2015 (9:02am)

Labor blew the Budget and is now blocking and attacking the rescue by the Abbott Government. So again and again Labor must be asked: what would you do to fix what you broke?
It is a question Labor leader Bill Shorten fails again and again to answer:
Bill Shorten, doorstop [24 March]: 
Shorten: Are there any questions?
Journalist: So how would you make the pension system sustainable?
Shorten: Well, first things first ... The first way we create certainty in the pension system in Australia is Tony Abbott should stop lying to Australians and breaking his promise. Labor proposed changes to the pension when we were in office and what we were able to do is see pensioners get reasonable and modest increases. Let’s not exaggerate here about how well off pensioners are. The pension per annum delivers about $20,000 a year for someone on the full pension. If Tony Abbott’s only plan for Australia’s future is to cut the rate of increase of pensions, well then he has no plan for Australia’s future.
Journalist: What is your plan though? 
Shorten: I will come to that.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

“A genuinely nice way to show solidarity with a point”

Andrew Bolt March 26 2015 (8:40am)

Let John Jacobson demonstrate the latest feminist move:
Tim Blair explains the astonishing embrace of “jazz hands” as a non-oppressive, non-alarming sign of feminist approval. 

No beer with Cate

Andrew Bolt March 26 2015 (8:35am)

All I know is that Jonathan Hyla is a very poor judge of character, at least when it comes to Cate Blanchett:
“.... the entertainment reporter opened with: “I was gonna bring like a six pack of beer. You seem like the type of person, we should just crack open a beer and just have a chat”.
This, he quickly learned, was wrong. 

Bloated ABC suffocates another rival

Andrew Bolt March 26 2015 (8:29am)

PAUL Barry, the ABC’s paid media policeman, was sad to see the corpse. Pity he didn’t arrest the killer.
The corpse was The Hoopla, an online magazine edited by former ABC host Wendy Harmer that’s just shut down after four years. No money.
Barry, the Media Watch host, mourned: “So sad to see @wendyharmer and @thehoopla are shutting up shop. What a shame.”
But spare us the ABC’s tears. The ABC is the killer.
(Read full article here.) 

 NSW election could blow up Bill Shorten

Andrew Bolt March 26 2015 (7:33am)

FEW state elections have been so important to Australia’s future — and our sanity — as Saturday’s poll in NSW.
It will help answer three questions. Have we really gone mad? Are we really going to let superstition make us poor?
And how much longer can Labor leaders — including federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten — get away with shameless, destructive populism?
Well, with luck NSW voters will punish the rabble-rousers who have hijacked Labor and force a return to evidence-based policies where reason rules and ratbags weep.
Indeed, I suspect a good result for the Baird Government will light a fire under Shorten, whose style of leadership too closely matches that of NSW Labor leader Luke Foley.
(Read full article here.) 

Why are we importing more crowded roads, hospitals and trains?

Andrew Bolt March 26 2015 (7:00am)

Why are we importing record numbers of people when we have trouble assimilating those we already have - and when the money just isn’t there to cope with the pressure of more?
The population of NSW will increase by about half a million during the next term of parliament – that’s roughly equivalent to adding another Newcastle. But neither major party has a detailed policy on how to respond to the projected increase. 
Analysis by the Australia Institute shows that strong population growth means real budget spending per person in NSW will decline during the next term of government, no matter who wins Saturday’s poll. Despite a torrent of election promises, the institute estimates state budget spending per capita will fall from $9000 this financial year to $8700 per person by 2017-18, after adjusting for inflation. 
Dr Richard Denniss, the Executive Director of the Australia Institute, ... warned that the big-ticket infrastructure promises won’t do much to reduce traffic jams and crowded trains…
“… population growth means that, at best, the big infrastructure projects being promised will only slow the rate at which congestion gets worse. They won’t reduce congestion."… 
Australia has the fastest population growth rates among major developed countries, mainly due to a high rate of migration. The Bureau of Statistics projects that our population, now 23.8 million will grow to around 40 million in 2061, based on current trends. 

Teaching our young Muslims a lethal victimhood

Andrew Bolt March 26 2015 (6:31am)

If this is the “moderate” message, we must again ask whether we can afford to increase the Muslim minority in this country:
The principal of Victoria’s largest Islamic school tells students not to join Islamic State because it is a plot by Western countries. 
Al-Taqwa College principal Omar Hallak told The Age he believed IS was a scheme by Israel and America to control oil in the Middle East. But he said he did not explicitly mention these countries to students, instead telling them some Western countries were behind IS.
“They are trained and equipped by them: [the] evidence is all the shiny new equipment,” he said. “We don’t believe Muslims are creating IS.”
Mr Hallak said killing innocent people was not “the Islamic way"… 
There are 1950 students enrolled at Al-Taqwa College this year, making it the largest Islamic school in the state.
And is this really all that can be said of such poisonous and stupid comments?
Islamic Council of Victoria spokesman Kuranda Seyit, who is also a teacher, said he did not support Mr Hallak’s comments… 
“Everyone has a right to have their own theories and beliefs but I don’t think we should be confusing young people...”
Keysar Trad from the Islamic Friendship Association is no better:
“I don’t think it’s fair to blame the principal when he’s trying to stop people from joining a violent terrorist group,” he told Neil Mitchell. “But what I think is important to do is maybe have a chat with him and say ‘Look we appreciate what you’re doing, we appreciate the sentiment ... but by the same token, please help us eliminate the us and them approach’.
That’s it? Teaching children that Israel and the US created and armed the Islamic State just to control Arab oil is merely unhelpful, at most ”wrong-headed”, but we should “appreciate” the principal’s “sentiment”?
Age writer Julie Szego is right:
Victoria’s Education Minister, James Merlino, called the principal’s comments “reckless and dangerous,” but said there wasn’t much he could do because the school is “independent.” The Islamic Council of Victoria spokesman Kuranda Seyit said he did not support Hallak’s comments ... 
But last year the council itself drew an explicit link between Israel’s actions in Gaza and the surge of recruits to IS, without challenging the underlying premise that a geographically removed conflict largely focused on slaughtering Muslim apostates is the responsibility of Israel. Hallak goes even further than alleging Israel fuels IS and says that Israel is IS. Neither Seyit’s nor Merlino’s criticisms nail the problem. Hallak isn’t simply “confusing” his students with his quirky “theories,” he’s feeding them outright lies, sinister, not to mention racist, fairy-tales directly contradicted by evidence… . What’s our Western education system worth if independent schools are allowed the independence to represent toxic lies as verifiable truth?
Szego points out that Hallak’s bizarre conspiracy theory is actually part of the dangerous problem:
Hallak’s views are as unoriginal as they are disturbing. They spring from a pathology that’s widespread in the Arab and Muslim world – and fast spreading to the West – where conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic propaganda run rife and uncomfortable truths can be supplanted with delusion and lies. The Holocaust is a hoax. The Israeli Mossad orchestrated 9/11. The West or the Mossad staged the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a theory advanced by several Turkish politicians from the ruling party, including, in some cryptic doublespeak, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself… 
In Iran, a minor PR hiccup last November saw the deputy foreign minister claim IS was created by the Mossad to “tarnish the image of Islam” when previously the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had instead attributed the group to the US and Britain.
Last month in Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir, indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2009 for directing genocide in Darfur, responded to the IS’s video purporting to show the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, with the claim the CIA and the Mossad are behind IS and Boko Haram as “there is no Muslim who would carry out such acts.” 
And in Melbourne, Hallak regurgitates these lines even as he insists he educates his students to be good Australian Muslims.. I don’t doubt his sincerity. I do doubt his capacity to grasp the irony that it’s precisely these types of distorted narratives, casting Muslims as eternal victims and Israel as the cause of all the world’s troubles, on which IS and other militant groups feed. 
Related to the excuse-making - Mark Steyn on a tale of two rapes.
(Thanks to reader Liam.) 

Libertarians unite! On May Day, too

Andrew Bolt March 26 2015 (12:31am)

Book now for the 3rd Australian Libertarian Society Friedman Conference, in Sydney from May 1 to May 3.
For most of the year, you will probably be surrounded by people who think that freedom is a fringe idea. But for two days each year you are invited to take a short break from the statist quo, and enjoy the intellectual stimulation and friendly banter that comes from Australia’s biggest libertarian conference. On 2-3 May in Sydney the best and brightest libertarians (and classical liberals) of Australia will come together to swap ideas, socialise and hear from world-renowned speakers… 
This year we are delighted to welcome back Dr Tom Palmer, who is perhaps the most persuasive advocate for liberty alive today. We will also be hosting the famous Arab-American libertarian comedian and viral video star GoRemy (who has over 100 million youtube hits for a reason!), libertarian Senator David Leyonhjelm, Australian Human Rights “Freedom” Commissioner Tim Wilson, Canadian legal scholar Professor Jim Allan, newly elected Victorian MLA Louise Staley, Dr Mikyala Novak, Professor Sinclair Davidson, Dr Keith Kendall, Chris Berg, and a leading libertarian activists from Iran. More exciting speakers will be announced over the coming weeks. but click HERE for the current speakers list and bios, but make sure you secure your spot now – this truly is an event not to be missed! And of course, don’t forget the presentation of the Annual Liberty Awards at the Gala Dinner on Saturday night.
For more information - and to book - go here

Dirty deals at heart of Houso brouhaha

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 (7:21pm)

IT’S no egalitarian tribute to Sydney that its most precious triangle of north-facing harbourfront real estate, at the foot of the Harbour Bridge, is a run-down hovel.
It’s just a reminder of this city’s bad old days of greed, thuggery - and graft, for those in the know.
So when you hear Lord Mayor Clover Moore and Paul McAleer from the Maritime Union of Australia complain about the NSW government’s decision to sell off half a billion dollars worth of public housing in Millers Point, keep in mind the troubled history of this little patch of paradise.
Millers Point, from the northern end of Lower Fort St, through Argyle Place to Merriman St in the west, and down to the southern end of High St, is a decaying monument to the standover tactics of the wharfies and the defunct, deregistered, disgraced Builders Labourers Federation.
These belligerent unions helped keep Millers Point in the hands of their friends and family for generations, people who paid peppercorn rents, first to the Sydney Harbour Trust, then the Maritime Services Board from 1910, and finally, from 1970, to the Housing Commission (now Housing NSW).
The lucky few who managed to score a terrace house or apartment just passed those priceless tenancies down to their children.
My late uncle Brigadier Owen Magee, who ran the Rocks Redevelopment Authority in the 1970s, knew all too well the thuggery of the BLF and its fellow travellers as they sought to protect their patch under the guise of “green bans” and workers’ rights. Bomb threats, physical intimidation, work bans and a raid on his Wahroonga home eventually led to the deregistration of the union.
One of the problems he faced was the entitlement mentality of public housing tenants in Millers Point and The Rocks, as he wrote in his 2005 book How the Rocks Was Won.
“Ethnically almost exclusively Anglo-Celtic and united in the face of their common landlord, they accepted the many perks and privileges they enjoyed at taxpayer expense as their right.
“The spoiled darlings of the Maritime Services Board — no outsider need apply,’’ as one former resident put it.
“An all pervasive culture heavily influenced by its maritime connections and past slights, real or imagined, made it easy for a few dominant matriarchs to manipulate the rest.”
Millers Point today remains an aristocracy of hereditary housos, like Mr H, 39, who lives alone in a four bedroom house in Argyle Place, whose tenancy was passed on to him by his mother 12 years ago. He pays $271 a month when the market rent is $4000 a month.
Until the deceptively dainty Community Service Minister Pru Goward came along, no government had been game to touch this enclave of taxpayer-funded privilege, even while public housing waiting lists blew out and maintenance costs for the historic buildings soared.
She wants to capitalise on a buoyant real estate market and sell 293 public housing residences in Millers Point over the next two years.
On top of the $500 million windfall, the taxpayer will save $7 million in annual maintenance costs.
Goward promises to put every penny into public housing. For every sale, she says she can build four new houses for the 57,000 people waiting for public housing. She is offering Millers Point residents priority for new public housing nearby in the inner-city.
But Moore and fellow agitators slam the project as “social cleansing” and are determined to stop it, out of nostalgia for some mythical workers’ paradise in which the best property in town goes to the working poor.
That might have been the original idea of public housing, to help young couples get on their feet and save for their own house. It was never intended as a hereditary estate for a privileged few.
In the 1960s and 1970s, 70 per cent of public housing was occupied by couples with children and 85 per cent of adults were employed. Today in Millers Point 94 per cent of public housing residents live on Centrelink benefits.
Nostalgics who want to preserve Millers Point as a “working class suburb” don’t know what they’re talking about. Barely anyone has worked there for decades.
That sad statistic reflects the growth of the welfare state, and the change in public housing priorities.
Moore says: “Low income people have a much right to live in the city as rich people.”
But why should a Millers Point housing tenant score a taxpayer subsidy of $25,000 to $44,000 per year, compared to $7000 a year for a public housing tenant in Campelltown?
How one group of public housing tenants being treated like royalty at the expense of more needy people can be portrayed as a social justice issue is one of the enduring mysteries of the Left.


Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 26, 2014 (2:20pm)

Sydney council’s Christine Forster, sister of the Prime Minister, has her say:

Nigel W. dropped by the ABC just before 7am. “Ghost town,” he writes. “They must be countering our protest by not turning up for work.”


Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 26, 2014 (2:15pm)

“Don’t assume I work because I believe in the government,” demands Annette:

We should probably also assume that Annette’s hand doesn’t have spellcheck. It appears we’ve interrupted Gillian F.’s lunch:


Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 26, 2014 (12:06pm)

Lots of images arriving from happy Work on Wednesday participants. They’ll be posted on the site as soon as I finish some … work.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 (11:35pm)

Reader Carley K. is prepared for Work on Wednesday, beginning in less than 30 minutes:

Throughout this day of celebration, please send your WoW pictures and stories to There may be occasional Twitterish updates here.
UPDATE. The great Jo Nova.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 (11:03pm)

An inspiring tale of courage and endurance from Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph:


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 (10:55pm)

Remember: these guys don’t drink. In other automotive news, F1 driver Fernando Alonso can open walnuts with his neck:


Paul Barry’s bias is a sacking offence

Andrew Bolt March 26 2014 (7:04am)

Terry McCrann says Paul Barry’s obsessive bias against Murdoch newspapers requires the ABC to sack him:
THE ABC board and managing director Mark Scott are in breach of their statutory obligations for not sacking Media Watch host Paul Barry... 
As early into his reign over the program — which, under truth-in-media, should have been retitled “The Australian and Daily Telegraph Watch” — as last October, he had already outed himself… in a soft interview, promoting his own (non-ABC) book…
Discussing the News of the World hacking scandal in the UK, Barry said that what had finally “cracked it” was the revelation that the paper had hacked into the phone of a schoolgirl who had gone missing and was subsequently found to have been murdered, Milly Dowler.
It “appeared News of the World (a Murdoch paper) had also deleted some of the messages on her phone,” Barry added.
Barry knew this was untrue.
While it was the original claim made by the Guardian newspaper, subsequently through the Leveson Inquiry, it became clear that the messages were almost certainly deleted by the phone company…
At no point in the interview did Barry point out that the original story turned out to be wrong. He left uncorrected his false statement that the News of the World appeared to have done the deletions…
it was blindingly clear that he was obsessed — negatively — with Murdoch and NewsCorp. 
He should have been sacked then. He has to be sacked now.
What Barry’s defenders so often overlook is that the ABC is taxpayer funded and has a statutory duty to be balanced. 

Did Abbott rule out these Knights?

Andrew Bolt March 26 2014 (6:27am)

Strange. Only last December Tony Abbott seemed to rule out what he’s now done:
HE restored an oath of allegiance to the Queen when he was sworn in as Prime Minister, but Tony Abbott has ruled out bringing back Knights and Dames in Australia
Mr Abbott said he did not support the idea, which would involve converting the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) to Knighthoods or reintroducing a new regal honour.
“It’s true that some people have said to me: ‘What about doing what New Zealand did’,’’ Mr Abbott said. 
“But I don’t think it would be practical to just rebadge ACs. There was a rarity to their AC equivalent which made it easier for them to do this.” 
I’m not sure, without seeing a transcript of the interview, whether Abbott indeed ruled out bringing back Knights and Dames or whether he was just dismissing the New Zealand model for doing so. He did add:
I don’t mind having Knights and Dames around. We’ve thankfully still got a few.
Malcolm Turnbull says he’s not losing sleep - while noting Abbott’s “surprise decision” and John Howard’s refusal to do the same thing:
As a former Chairman of the Australian Republican Movement many people have asked me whether I regard the Prime Minister’s surprise decision today to reinstate Knights and Dames in the Order of Australia as a slap in the face for republicans… 
It is also important to remember that views about Knights and Dames in the Australian Honours system have not been driven by attitudes to the republic. Bob Hawke was not calling for a republic in 1983 and of course John Howard, a staunch monarchist, did not reinstate Knights and Dames during his time as Prime Minister… As far as republics are concerned, most countries have an honours system and many of them have an order of knighthood. The Republics of France and Italy not to speak of the Republics of Peru, Argentina and Guatemala all have orders of knighthoods in their honours system. And so if a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur can be a loyal defender of the French Republic and if a Cavaliere di Gran Croce Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana can be a patriotic citizen of the Italian Republic, Australian republicans should not lose too much sleep over the Prime Minister’s decision today.

A graph to plot Nanny Roxon’s great success

Andrew Bolt March 26 2014 (6:15am)

A new study checks whether one of Labor’s big social engineering schemes - the 2011 laws to introduce plain packaging of cigarettes - made the slightest bit of difference to smoking rates among Australian children.
As expected, this social engineering, ushered in by Labor chief scold Nicola Roxon, achieved the same result as so many other Labor schemes. 

People actually vote for Greens like Bandt

Andrew Bolt March 26 2014 (5:57am)

Terry McCrann on a sign of our intellectual and public policy decline: 
GINA Rinehart ... has just successfully completed the financing for her Roy Hill iron ore mine in Western Australia, guaranteeing that the $10 billion project will now proceed. 
This will create thousands of well-paid jobs, generate billions of dollars of future revenues for Australia, and over time send large annual tax cheques to both the federal and WA governments…

Yet ...  the Greens’ Adam Bandt ...  claimed [Rinehart] showed “breathtaking hypocrisy” by securing a $764 million loan from “American taxpayers” after urging (the Prime Minister) Tony Abbott to end the age of entitlement…
Bandt tried to drag the Prime Minister into it, demanding he end the “age of entitlement” at the big end of town.
In a rather short press release Bandt managed to demonstrate ...  he’s totally incapable of making any substantive or even semi-rational public policy comment. What, Abbott should make it illegal for US financial institutions to lend money to Australian companies, because that’s an exercise in corporate entitlement?… 
Here we have a major project which will generate huge benefits for Australia and for ordinary Australians, and the only thing that Bandt can see in the story is a stick to try to beat Rinehart and Abbott over the heads with.

The Sinodinos choice: the money or your reputation

Andrew Bolt March 26 2014 (5:37am)

Janet Albrechtsen is right to suggest Arthur Sinodinos may be finished in top-end politics. His chairmanship of Australian Water Holdings, with the lure of a $20 million payday, had him surprisingly blind to the sharks he was swimming with:
As chairman of AWH, a small company with 10 staff, is it too much to expect the chairman to know the identity of the company’s biggest shareholders? Sinodinos claims the deal to transfer a 30 per cent stake to [the disgraced Eddie] Obeid the day before Sinodinos became chairman was done without his knowledge. But what, if any, questions did Sinodinos as chairman ask about the company’s shareholders? He knew Obeid’s son worked for AWH in Queensland on a plump $350,000 salary. And as claimed at ICAC hearings last week, a few months before becoming chairman, Sinodinos was told by Rod De Aboitiz, whose family invested in AWH, that the company’s costs were out of control and solvency was a real issue. The company had few assets, no free cash in the bank, and was bleeding money — allegedly through exorbitant salaries to its employees, ritzy lunches and hefty donations to the NSW Liberal Party. 
Let’s say it again: voters hate this stuff. Sinodinos says he knew nothing about a $75,000 donation to the Liberal Party by AWH when he was AWH director. Sinodinos was then also treasurer of the NSW Liberal Party. Should he, as a director, have asked questions about donations by AWH to his political party? Should he, and the other directors, have asked about all political donations by this company seeking a government contract that would make them all extremely wealthy? Voters will also hate reading that Sinodinos, who married late in life, had a new lifestyle to fund — a new young wife, children requiring private educations, $100,000-a-year in rent for a house with harbour views, leases on a Jaguar and a Mercedes…
And here’s the other political crime confronting Sinodinos: he sits at the centre of a company that’s accused of billing the big salaries, the posh lunches, the limousines, the political donations as “administrative costs” to the state-owned Sydney Water — all paid for by NSW taxpayers… 
Once judgment has been badly tarnished, it’s much harder to justify a front bench position.

We are not children to be silenced or monsters to be gagged. We can be trusted to police our manners

Andrew Bolt March 26 2014 (5:29am)

The Australian:
Attempts by Labor and others to portray the Abbott government’s changes to the Racial Discrimination Act as somehow giving a “green light to bigotry” are juvenile. Hypocrisy is another word that springs to mind given Labor just held on to power in South Australia partly on the back of racist material used against Liberal candidate Carolyn Habib… 
Through opposition legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus, Labor continues to be wedded to an activist view of governing, where legislation is the answer to all of society’s ills. Whether it be passive smoking, overweight children, drunken teenagers or racial bigotry, there doesn’t seem to be a social problem that Labor believes can’t be fixed with a new law. Yet ignorance and prejudice can’t be legislated away. They are best tackled through example, education and discussion. Shutting down debate is likelier to foster resentment and generate a type of Hansonist backlash… Bigotry must be confronted and defeated, not by laws but by reasoned debate, free speech and mature governance. Tony Abbott and Senator Brandis seem to understand where the state ends and community takes over.
Should the law also be used to silence the Left’s bigots, or should we just rely on free speech the shame the barbarians?
Mariam Veiszadeh, Canberra Times, yesterday:
THE Abbott government is intent on destroying Australia’s moral compass ... the simple, perhaps controversial truth is this — white middle aged men in powerful positions are not the ones … who regularly face discrimination. So why is it then that the proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act seek to protect this category of people ... who continuously spew hateful and misleading vitriol ...
ABC online Triple J, February 26: 
GWAR frontman Dave Brockie ... (who) plays as the 43-billion-year-old intergalactic humanoid Odorous Orungus in the American horror metal band ... is part of the 2014 Soundwave Festival tour ... the band (has) decapitated life-size effigies of Abbott ... Brockie ... (said) “I think he probably deserves to have his f..king head cut off ... We would never have killed Tony Abbott (on stage) until in every single interview I had before coming here, every (press interviewer) I talked to told us: ‘You’ve got to kill Tony Abbott.’ We didn’t even know who he was. But I was just like: ‘Guys, we’ve got to get Tony Abbott and chop his head off, because apparently he’s like George Bush I ... We also chop off the queen’s (sic) tits and stomp on the royal baby ...”
Gary Kennedy, Newcastle Trades Hall Council secretary, March 16: 
AND I want to talk about this filthy animal, Gina Rinehart. This despicable human ... talks about bludgers ... And we’ve got (Alan) Joyce from Qantas ... Another person who should be shot somewhere in the back of the head.
Mungo MacCallum, YouTube, December 19, 2013: 
WE can keep Sophie (Mirabella) underwater for ... three years … we’d prefer cement ... Tim Wilson … a vicious spoiled little brat, an ideologue … pissing in the pockets of the rich and powerful ... there are those that would say that ... your violent, unnatural practices break the laws of god and man ... you will burn in hell forever.

All the way with Thommo

Andrew Bolt March 26 2014 (4:25am)

Dastyari seems to lack judgement:
THE whistleblower who brought Craig Thomson to justice, Kathy Jackson, claims she warned former Labor general secretary Sam Dastyari before the 2010 election not to preselect Thomson because allegations that he had spent union money on prostitutes were true. 
Ms Jackson, who had replaced Thomson as national secretary of the Health Services Union at the time of the meeting said yesterday: “Sam Dastyari came to see me in Melbourne before the second preselection to find out whether the (allegations) were true. I showed him what I had ... He went ahead and preselected him (anyway).”
Thomson was originally backed into parliament by former HSU NSW boss [and Labor national president] Michael Williamson, who himself will be sentenced for fraud on Friday. The HSU was also a major donor to the Labor Party.
Now-Senator Dastyari admitted yesterday he had met Ms Jackson but denied seeing any documents.
“Unfortunately, myself and others were taken for a ride by Craig Thomson who has proven a very consistent liar,” Mr Dastyari said… 
Mr Dastyari later became embroiled in the saga when The Daily Telegraph revealed in 2011 he approved the spending of $300,000 of Labor Party money on Thomson’s legal fees for defamation action against Fairfax even after Thomson had been forced to settle that matter. 
Mark Kenny:
(T)he real significance of the Thomson case was the window it provided on union and political power, its shadowy allocation, and its systemic abuse.... 
[Thomson] was dodgy long before being elevated to the final prize reserved for too many union leaders - a parliamentary sinecure. Evidence from others at the HSU suggests at the very least, suspicions were widespread about corruption, intimidation, and a culture of largesse among the HSU leadership while Thomson was in charge - all funded by the dues of some of the nation’s harder working yet least well-paid workers.
Labor says it was unaware of these matters prior to Thomson’s preselection and subsequent entry to Parliament in 2007. Yet even if this is to be believed, he was re-endorsed by Labor for the 2010 election, which was after reports by this newspaper that his union credit card had been used to pay for prostitutes and other assorted non-union expenses… 
As a minority prime minister, Julia Gillard stuck doggedly to Thomson, terrified apparently that he would either abandon Parliament or else be rendered bankrupt by his legal expenses and thus be ineligible to remain. This did more long-term damage to the ALP than Thomson himself...
Roll on the royal commission into union corruption.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

It is neither balanced, nor even handed to praise the corruption of one group, and also the good things of another. The standard for praise must be to praise good things only, and that is balanced.




























Todd and I and our family send our best wishes this evening as Jewish people around the world celebrate Passover, commemorating their deliverance from bondage and their Exodus to the Land of Israel. This timeless and beautiful story reminds us of the universal human aspiration for freedom and that the Almighty hears the cries of a suffering people and fulfills His promises. Chag kasher V'Sameach. Happy Passover. And next year in Jerusalem.

And yesterday, Palm Sunday, was the beginning of the holiest of weeks for Christians. During this time, we honor the sacrifice of Jesus, reflect on amazing grace, and celebrate resurrection power!

“And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.” –Mark 11:8-10

- Sarah Palin
Professor Fritz Vahrenholt, one of the fathers of Germany's environmental movement and the one of Europe's largest renewable energy companies, has just admitted the IPCC are WRONG on global warming theory, and warned against the danger of an economic catastrophe from rushing carbon taxes and renewable energy schemes. 

This the greatest ‘mea culpa’ yet by the warmists, and a major turning point in the debate.

These are words from his recent speech;

“For many years, I was an active supporter of the IPCC and its CO2 theory. Recent experience with the UN's climate panel, however, forced me to reassess my position.

"……..the halt in global warming and is likely to continue for a while ……we should expect that by 2100 temperatures will not have risen more than 1°C, significantly less than proposed by the IPCC.

"The choice is no longer between ‘global warming catastrophe’ and economic growth but between ‘economic catastrophe’ and ‘climate sense’.”

Larry Pickering

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is a maxim Ms Gillard has ignored. She has ruthlessly dealt with challengers and they are now plotting to rescue their Labor Party. The Labor Party she has trashed.

Ten disgruntled ex-Ministers languishing on the back bench bear testimony to the extent of Ms Gillard’s purge.

If she expects them to be good little boys and wear their dunces’ hats in disgrace then her judgment is sorely astray once again.

Every move of Ms Gillard was made to protect Ms Gillard. Those who have challenged her have sought only to protect the Labor Party from destruction at their own selfless cost.

If she truly believes her challengers will be content to sit, staring out the window playing with their dongers for six months then she has a nasty surprise coming... and it will come in the budget session.

Gillard is not sympathetic to anything beyond the preservation of her own tenure.

Those she has killed off are concerned only with the penalty Labor will pay by retaining her.

They know the penalty will not be confined to the loss of a mere 20 or 30 seats. Oh no, the destruction wrought by the Gillard factor will run far deeper than that.

Rebuilding the Party will be a mammoth task. New Coalition members will be determined to keep Labor from returning to their hard won seats. Incumbency is a huge advantage.

Right now it needs just a few more Caucus numbers to rid the ALP of Gillard and the vanquished backbenchers will be lobbying hard to get them.

The Rudd camp is livid and hunting hard for the tigress but their choice will not be Rudd. There are better people who could save the Party from annihilation.

But another fearful scenario may play out.

Kim Carr was correct when he said the greatest danger to Labor was Abbott’s determination for a Royal Commission into union corruption.

Crumbs, now why would that be a danger I wonder?

Gillard was still a glint in her father's eye when, in 1954, the Labor Party split and the DLP was born.

The reason for the split? Roman Catholics, led by B. A. Santamaria, were incensed at the growing influence on the ALP of Communist trade unions.

The Movement grew quickly and cascaded through to State ALP Branches.

If Gillard survives, the powerful NSW Catholic Right will pick its way through the entrails of the Party looking for a solution.

The ingredients in that 1954 mix were ominously the same as today’s.
"Dear President Obama,

My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year. People meeting me for the first time don’t believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert.

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Bos’n Mate. Now I live in a “rest home” located on the western end of Pearl Harbor, allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country.

One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man.

So here goes.

I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do, but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish.

I can’t figure out what country you are the president of.
You fly around the world telling our friends and enemies despicable lies like:

” We’re no longer a Christian nation”
” America is arrogant”

– (Your wife even
announced to the world,” America is mean-spirited. ” Please tell her to try preaching that nonsense to 23 generations of our
war dead buried all over the globe who died for no other reason than to free a whole lot of strangers from tyranny and hopelessness.)

I’d say shame on the both of you, but I don’t think you like America, nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do, for the obvious gifts this country has given you. To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.

After 9/11 you said,” America hasn’t lived up to her ideals.”

Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British? Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man, that 500,000 men died for in the Civil War? I hope you didn’t mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around, because we stand for freedom.

I don’t think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination. You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.

Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man.

Shape up and start acting like an American. If you don’t, I’ll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue . You were elected to lead not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat their people like slaves.

And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don’t want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts , who was putting up a fight? You don’t mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don’t want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.

One more thing. I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life, but you’re the Commander-in-Chief now, son. Do your job. When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him. But if you’re not in this fight to win, then get out. The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you’re thinking of.

You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president.
You’re not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy. That’s not our greatest threat. Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now.
And I sure as hell don’t want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle…

Harold B. Estes"
Dirham copper coin showing Saladin
Holidays and observances
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” - 1 John 1:9
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?"
Luke 22:48
"The kisses of an enemy are deceitful." Let me be on my guard when the world puts on a loving face, for it will, if possible, betray me as it did my Master, with a kiss. Whenever a man is about to stab religion, he usually professes very great reverence for it. Let me beware of the sleek-faced hypocrisy which is armour-bearer to heresy and infidelity. Knowing the deceivableness of unrighteousness, let me be wise as a serpent to detect and avoid the designs of the enemy. The young man, void of understanding, was led astray by the kiss of the strange woman: may my soul be so graciously instructed all this day, that "the much fair speech" of the world may have no effect upon me. Holy Spirit, let me not, a poor frail son of man, be betrayed with a kiss!
But what if I should be guilty of the same accursed sin as Judas, that son of perdition? I have been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus; I am a member of his visible Church; I sit at the communion table: all these are so many kisses of my lips. Am I sincere in them? If not, I am a base traitor. Do I live in the world as carelessly as others do, and yet make a profession of being a follower of Jesus? Then I must expose religion to ridicule, and lead men to speak evil of the holy name by which I am called. Surely if I act thus inconsistently I am a Judas, and it were better for me that I had never been born. Dare I hope that I am clear in this matter? Then, O Lord, keep me so. O Lord, make me sincere and true. Preserve me from every false way. Never let me betray my Saviour. I do love thee, Jesus, and though I often grieve thee, yet I would desire to abide faithful even unto death. O God, forbid that I should be a high-soaring professor, and then fall at last into the lake of fire, because I betrayed my Master with a kiss.


"The Son of man."
John 3:13
How constantly our Master used the title, the "Son of man!" If he had chosen, he might always have spoken of himself as the Son of God, the Everlasting Father, the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Prince of Peace; but behold the lowliness of Jesus! He prefers to call himself the Son of man. Let us learn a lesson of humility from our Saviour; let us never court great titles nor proud degrees. There is here, however, a far sweeter thought. Jesus loved manhood so much, that he delighted to honour it; and since it is a high honour, and indeed, the greatest dignity of manhood, that Jesus is the Son of man, he is wont to display this name, that he may as it were hang royal stars upon the breast of manhood, and show forth the love of God to Abraham's seed. Son of man--whenever he said that word, he shed a halo round the head of Adam's children. Yet there is perhaps a more precious thought still. Jesus Christ called himself the Son of man to express his oneness and sympathy with his people. He thus reminds us that he is the one whom we may approach without fear. As a man, we may take to him all our griefs and troubles, for he knows them by experience; in that he himself hath suffered as the "Son of man," he is able to succour and comfort us. All hail, thou blessed Jesus! inasmuch as thou art evermore using the sweet name which acknowledges that thou art a brother and a near kinsman, it is to us a dear token of thy grace, thy humility, thy love.
"Oh see how Jesus trusts himself
Unto our childish love,
As though by his free ways with us

Our earnestness to prove!

His sacred name a common word
On earth he loves to hear;
There is no majesty in him
Which love may not come near."
[Ăbĕd'-negō] - servant of nebo or servant of light.
The name given by the prince of the eunuchs of King Nebuchadnezzar to Azariah, one of the four young princes of Judah who were carried away into Babylon. He was one of the three faithful Jews delivered from the fiery furnace (Dan. 1:7; 2:49; 3). How God honored the faith and courage of these Hebrew youths!
The Man Who Defied a King
There are at least four lessons to be learned from the dauntless, defiant witness of Abed-nego and his two companions:
I. God's dearest servants are sometimes called to pass through heavy trials.
II. God is able to deliver when help seems farthest off. He does not promise to keep us free from trouble, but that He will be with us in trouble.
III. God's permitted furnace purifies, but never destroys us. As we pass through the fire, He is with us and we cannot be burned.
IV. God's children must never be ashamed of Him. No matter how adverse the situation, we must be bold and unshaken in our witness.

Today's reading: Joshua 19-21, Luke 2:25-52 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Joshua 19-21

Allotment for Simeon
The second lot came out for the tribe of Simeon according to its clans. Their inheritance lay within the territory of Judah. 2It included:
Beersheba (or Sheba), Moladah, 3 Hazar Shual, Balah, Ezem, 4 Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah, 5 Ziklag, Beth Markaboth, Hazar Susah, 6 Beth Lebaoth and Sharuhen--thirteen towns and their villages;
7 Ain, Rimmon, Ether and Ashan-four towns and their villages-- and all the villages around these towns as far as Baalath Beer (Ramah in the Negev)....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 2:25-52

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel...."

Today's Prayer

Almighty, eternal and merciful God, whose Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, open and illuminate our minds, that we may purely and perfectly understand your Word and that our lives may be conformed to what we have rightly understood, that in nothing we may be displeasing unto your majesty, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. - the daily morning prayer of Ulrich Zwingli, from Gregg Alison's "Introduction to Historical Theology"

Today's Scripture Reading: Mark 8:31-38

Jesus Predicts His Death
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns."
The Way of the Cross
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."

Today's Quote

Let nothing disturb thee;
Let nothing dismay thee:
All thing pass;
God never changes.
Patience attains
All that it strives for.
He who has God
Finds he lacks nothing:
God alone suffices.

-- "Poem IX," from the Complete Works St. Teresa of Avila (1963) Vol. 3, edited by E. Allison Peers

Something to Think About

Today is the day that some Christian traditions commemorateAnnunciation, the announcement to Mary that she would give birth to the promised Savior. The story of Gabriel's visit to Mary is one we usually associate with Christmas, not Easter. Does your anticipation of Easter in just a few weeks give you a different perspective on the angel's joyous announcement?

Today's Lent reading: Mark 7-9 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
That Which Defiles
The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus 2 and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.)
5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?"
6 He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
"'These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
7 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.'
8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions...."

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