Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wed Apr 25th Todays News

Don't give up on hope. One gets it that some in the community don't like ANZAC day because it is a cultural asset and they hate Australia. They don't say it that way. They make meaningless dark claims about war, history and activity that don't pass fact checks, if they offer any. But it is appalling that the PM, Malcolm Turnbull, exploits the day for personal popularity, but opposes it too. General Monash had been instrumental in starting ANZAC day to commemorate those who sacrificed everything. Monash had Prussian ancestry and was Jewish and so he was impeded by bigots, despite being recognised as the most capable officer for the Allies. Monash, an engineer, is the name behind a group wanting Coal power stations built in Australia. A historical push to have Monash posthumously awarded Field Marshall status was opposed by the Government under Malcolm. The reason given that if they award something posthumously, they might have to do it again and again. But the issue is Turnbull hates Australia and wants her to be a republic. So PM Turnbull speaks from France and grandstands, but none in his ministry would attend the largest dawn service of the day. Meanwhile, another poll shows Liberals will be slaughtered under Turnbull next election. 

ATAR is a rank given leaving high school students wanting to go to university in Australia. It is rigorous, fair and relatively cheap. However, there is a push to replace it with terrible, expensive and unfair regimes. But it could be improved, made cheaper and more relevant. More multiple choice questions computer marked could make the tests even cheaper. The results could be used to inform on school and teacher performance too. But unions are opposed to improving teacher performance. 

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 Homecoming

Narrated by me, with pictures sourced by me
originally posted at
Bruce Dawe Poem

All day, day after day, they’re bringing them home,
they’re picking them up, those they can find, and bringing them home,
they’re bringing them in, piled on the hulls of Grants, in trucks, in convoys,
they’re zipping them up in green plastic bags,
they’re tagging them now in Saigon, in the mortuary coolness
they’re giving them names, they’re rolling them out of
the deep-freeze lockers — on the tarmac at Tan Son Nhut
the noble jets are whining like hounds,
they are bringing them home
– curly heads, kinky-hairs, crew-cuts, balding non-coms
– they’re high, now, high and higher, over the land, the steaming chow mein,
their shadows are tracing the blue curve of the Pacific
with sorrowful quick fingers, heading south, heading east,
home, home, home — and the coasts swing upward, the old ridiculous curvatures
of earth, the knuckled hills, the mangrove-swamps, the desert emptiness…
in their sterile housing they tilt towards these like skiers
– taxiing in, on the long runways, the howl of their homecoming rises
surrounding them like their last moments (the mash, the splendour)
then fading at length as they move
on to small towns where dogs in the frozen sunset
raise muzzles in mute salute,
and on to cities in whose wide web of suburbs
telegrams tremble like leaves from a wintering tree
and the spider grief swings in his bitter geometry
– they’re bringing them home, now, too late, too early. 

=== from 2017 ===
IPA Review April 2017 has an article on Courting Freedom by Morgan Begg and Andrew Bushnell both research fellows at IPA. They are suggesting judicial reform to correct the performance of the High Court of Australia which they view as being the worst in the world. Which is a big call, and there are many courts in the Middle East, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela et al which have held their hands high for that honour. Still, Australian judicial corruption corrodes all Australian institutions. What is truly astonishing is the solution suggested, one which gives us USA style examinations of judges through public cat calls and whistles. In fact, Australia does have a problem with judicial corruption, as evidenced by Heiner, by Mabo, by Fair Work and by the entire life of the NSW ICAC. But the solution is not by sensationalising appointments. The solution is standards. Standards which require a free and fair press armed with free speech. And it requires scrutiny of decisions made after the fact. But such a cultural change is not easy. At the moment, only conservatives can prosecute such a cultural change, and Malcolm Turnbull is not up to leading it. 

Some things should not happen, but they do. Le Pen has left the National Front in her bid to be the next President of France. The left wing extremist Macron has bragged he seduced his French literature teacher when he was fifteen, and promised to do the same to France. Does France want a Macron romance? Is Le Pen mightier? Le Pen's move to dump the extremist National Front is a good one. One might know Le Pen's values, but always suspect theirs. Le Pen will never govern France solely on the French right wing. But Macron can win government on left wing support alone. 
=== from 2016 ===
Anzac Day is a day for somber reflection on the great blessings good people have given us. Many who died for us. The great Australian Poet, C J Dennis, gave us a scene in the Gallant Gentleman of a dying soldier asking after his wife. And he resented being called a gallant gentleman. He worked for a living. C J Dennis became famous for his Songs of a Sentimental Bloke, who meets his sheila Doreen and marries her. And fights and has kids and struggles on the land. But another well-received series was the friend of the Bloke, Ginger Mick. Ginger doesn't make it home. Ginger had not wanted to die. Or follow orders. But he died following orders. Good people can do that. They aren't kowtowing to petty authority or senseless rules when they give their lives. But sometimes that is how it seems. Australia paid a big blood sacrifice in WW1. Those men that survived were often crippled in some way. They gave much. And it is incumbent on us to honour their sacrifice by living well and free. Gallipolli was a loss. It was a terrible waste. But it had promise. It had hope that was not realised for more than three years. Some ask why it is that Australians suffer Turks marching with them. It is because the winners have graciously accepted the losers. 
=== from 2015 ===
I was wrong. Maybe neither of my grandfathers were at Gallipoli. My father's father had been a soldier for Britain in Ireland, but was shipped out before the Easter uprising. He was then sent to the Somme where, in artillery, he discovered horses and was bit with the gambling bug. My mother's father was said to have lost his eye at Gallipoli on landing. One time my father had told me his father had said he had known many from Gallipoli and my mother's father wasn't one of them. I'd understood that to mean he had been at Gallipoli, but it wasn't what my father had said and he hadn't corrected me. Happy families are all the same, but each dysfunctional one is unique.

The placing of US families into camps based on race was an abuse of power which has never gone punished. A Democrat President did it in WW2 and never got to present their case for it. Was it because he wanted another term in office? A Democrat who believed in minorities but was scared of unity. While the issue is not the same, it parallels Turkey's genocide of Armenians and Assyrians and other minorities. There too, we have no justifications for what was done. It didn't begin in 1912, but in the second half of the nineteenth century when the Ottoman Empire was a pawn in the great game between Russia and Britain. Ottomans had traditionally worked with their minorities. But when some young Turks began to assert themselves, a new identity was formed which did not include minorities. Ataturk was not the monster behind the genocide, but must have protected them, probably to protect national cohesion. Maybe that is why the UN today endorses the worst of terrorism. 

On this day in 404 BC Athens was defeated by Sparta. It would take some 2200 years before democracy flourished again. In 775, Armenians rebelling against the Abbasids failed. In 799, Pope Leo III fled Rome for the protection of Charlemagne. In 1644, the last Ming Emperor of China, Chongzhen, committed suicide after killing his family so that they would not become prisoners of the next mob. In 1792, a highwayman became the first to be executed by guillotine. Nicolas Jacques Pelletier was caught for something, we aren't certain what. Said to have involved robbery, murder and rape, but typical of revolutionary justice maybe none of it. He was sentenced to death in 1791, but it wasn't until March in 1792 that the revolutionary council agreed on the only acceptable form of execution being decapitation, but not by sword as nobles had been decapitated that way. So the guillotine was made and placed outside a hotel in Paris in the hopes of a crowd. General LaFayette was engaged to control the crowd. A good time was had by many. On the same day, La Marseillaise (the French national anthem) was composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

In 1829, Fremantle sailed into the coast of Western Australia on board the Challenger. He declared the Swan River Colony for the United Kingdom. In 1846, the Thornton Affair where Captain Thornton with 80 cavalry was beaten by Mexican forces with 1600 Cavalry resulted in the Mexican American war of 1846-48. Many thousands would die and Mexico lost her northern territories. The territories gained for the US included the Rio Grande Valley, and California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada etc. The Whigs opposed the peace and the expansion in much the same way Democrats deplored Democracy in Iraq. In 1901, New York became the first city to demand license plates fr cars. In 1916, the Easter Rebellion began in Ireland. In 1945, the US and Soviet armies met up, dividing the German forces. On the same day, as Germany surrendered in Italy, Mussolini attempted escape of custody. Also German forces left Finland. In 1951, Chinese forces withdrew after encountering Australian and Canadian troops at Kapyong in Korea. In 1953, Crick and Watson published on the helical structure of DNA. In 1954 Bell Laboratories invented the first practical solar cell. 1961, Robert Noyce was granted a patent for an integrated circuit. In 1982, Israel completed her withdrawal from the Sinai in respect to Camp David Accords. So any day now there will be peace. In 1983, an idealistic schoolgirl wanting peace was invited to visit the Soviet Union. She died tragically from a plane crash not long after her successful trip. Samantha Smith meant well. 
From 2014
According to family history, my grandfathers both fought on this day at Gallipoli for different armies. My father's dad, Manchester born and bred fought for Britain. My Mother's dad said he fought as an ANZAC. Mother's dad lost an eye disembarking and blamed Churchill for the rest of his life. There is no army record of him at Gallipoli, but he managed to get himself permanent disability for the rest of his long life. His eye injury was real. He could not see very well out of the other. But he could drink himself silly at Western Suburbs Rugby Union Club, acquiring a name on a face board as patron before dying in '75. As passenger in a vehicle, if another car was aggressive in overtaking on the road, and displayed a registration plate, he could still come out with a "Bloody Queenslander." The Manchester guy was a bigger character. Everyone who knew him liked him, except his wife. He never progressed to corporal, but reached the highest technical grade of Bombadier and knew gradients almost as well as horses. He survived there, and the Western Front, and Ireland, before the uprisings. Then he married and went to Australia. In WW2, he served again, for Roden Cutler's mob in the Middle East, demobbing before Cutler went to PNG. His diary was included in the regimental diary. He died in '75 too. 

Small things change the world. There was no one reason for Gallipoli, but had it been successful then the world would be different. WW1 would have finished much sooner, with allies pushing into Europe through the back door. Russia would still have had Tsars. US would not have entered the war. Britain would have grown. The failure of Gallipoli meant much too. The rise of Murdoch as a newsman and all those other changes .. including the continued existence of a genocidal Turkey. Murdoch had said that there was opposition to the battle, and that could not be reported, but that things were promoted, including casualty lists which sapped the will back home in Australia. One telling statistic not often remembered these days is that the retreat from Gallipoli was bloodless. Turkey was tottering, her ability to fight sapped from her genocidal efforts. Maybe another push would have sufficed? But there were winners in British High Command who opposed Churchill, and who benefited from the loss in a temporary way. Imagine no communism. It is easy, if you try. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 404 BC, Peloponnesian WarLysander's Spartan Armies defeated the Athenians and the war ended. 775, the Battle of Bagrevand put an end to an Armenian rebellion against the Abbasid Caliphate. Muslim control over Transcaucasia was solidified and its Islamization began, while several major Armenian nakharar families lost power and their remnants fled to the Byzantine Empire. 799, after mistreatment and disfigurement by the citizens of Rome, pope Leo III fled to the Frankish court of king Charlemagne at Paderborn for protection. 1134, the name Zagreb was mentioned for the first time in the Felician Charter relating to the establishment of the Zagreb Bishopric around 1094. 1607, Eighty Years' War: The Dutch fleet destroyed the anchored Spanish fleet at Gibraltar. 1644, the Chongzhen Emperor, the last Emperor of Ming Dynasty China, committed suicide during a peasant rebellion led by Li Zicheng. a coalition of England, the Netherlands and Portugal was defeated by a Franco-Spanish army at Almansa (Spain) in the War of the Spanish Succession. 1792, HighwaymanNicolas J. Pelletier became the first person executed by guillotine. Also 1792, La Marseillaise(the French national anthem) was composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

In 1804, the western Georgian kingdom of Imereti accepts the suzerainty of the Russian Empire 1829, Charles Fremantle arrived in HMS Challenger off the coast of modern-day Western Australia prior to declaring the Swan River Colony for the United Kingdom. 1846, Thornton Affair: Open conflict began over the disputed border of Texas, triggering the Mexican–American War. 1847, the last survivors of the Donner Party were out of the wilderness. 1849, the Governor General of CanadaLord Elgin, signed the Rebellion Losses Bill, outraging Montreal's English population and triggering the Montreal Riots. 1859, British and French engineers broke ground for the Suez Canal. 1862, American Civil War: Forces under Union Admiral David Farragut demanded the surrender of the Confederate city of New Orleans, Louisiana. 1864, American Civil War: The Battle of Marks' Mills. 1882, Tonkin CampaignFrench and Vietnamese troops clashed in Tonkin, when Commandant Henri Rivière seized the citadel of Hanoi with a small force of marine infantry. 1898, Spanish–American War: The United States declared war on Spain.

In 1901, New York became the first U.S. state to require automobile license plates. 1915, World War I: The Battle of Gallipoli began—The invasion of the Turkish Gallipoli Peninsula by Australian, British, French and New Zealand troops began with landings at Anzac Cove and Cape Helles. 1916, Easter Rebellion: The United Kingdom declared martial law in Ireland. Also 1916, Anzac Day was commemorated for the first time on the first anniversary of the landing at Anzac Cove. 1920, at the San Remo conference, the principal Allied Powers of World War I adopted a resolution to determine the allocation of Class "A" League of Nations mandates for administration of the former Ottoman-ruled lands of the Middle East. 1938, U.S. Supreme Court delivered its opinion in Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkinsand overturned a century of federal common law.

In 1940, Merkið, the flag of the Faroe Islands was approved by the British occupation government. 1943, the Demyansk Shield for German troops in commemoration of Demyansk Pocket was instituted. 1944, the United Negro College Fund was incorporated. 1945, Elbe DayUnited States and Soviet troops meet in Torgau along the River Elbe, cutting the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany in two, a milestone in the approaching end of World War II in Europe. Also 1945, Liberation Day (Italy): The Nazi occupation army surrendered and left Northern Italy after a general partisan insurrection by the Italian resistance movement; the puppet fascist regime dissolved and Benito Mussolini was captured after trying to escape. This day was set as a public holiday to celebrate the Liberation of Italy. Also 1945, fifty nations gathered in San Francisco, California to begin the United Nations Conference on International Organisation. Also 1945, the last German troops retreated from Finland's soil in Lapland, ending the Lapland War. Military acts of Second World War end in Finland. 1946, Naperville train disaster killed 47 in Naperville, Illinois.

In 1951, Korean War: Assaulting Chinese forces are forced to withdraw after heavy fighting with UN forces, primarily made up of Australian and Canadian troops, at the Battle of Kapyong. 1953, Francis Crick and James D. Watson published "Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid" describing the double helixstructure of DNA. 1954, the first practical solar cell was publicly demonstrated by Bell Telephone Laboratories. 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway, linking the North American Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, officially opened to shipping. 1960, the U.S. Navy submarine USS Triton completed the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe. 1961, Robert Noyce was granted a patent for an integrated circuit. 1965, Teenage sniper Michael Andrew Clark killed three and wounded six others shooting from a hilltop along Highway 101 just south of Santa Maria, California. 1966, the city of Tashkent was destroyed by a huge earthquake. 1972, Vietnam War: Nguyen Hue Offensive: The North Vietnamese 320th Division forced 5,000 South Vietnamese troops to retreat and trapped about 2,500 others northwest of Kontum. 1974, Carnation Revolution: A leftist military coup in Portugal overthrew the fascist Estado Novo regime and established a democratic government. 1975, as North Vietnamese forces closed in on the South Vietnamese capital Saigon, the Australian Embassy was closed and evacuated, almost ten years to the day since the first Australian troop commitment to South Vietnam.

In 1981, more than 100 workers were exposed to radiation during repairs of a nuclear power plant in Tsuruga, Japan. 1982, Israel completed its withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula per the Camp David Accords. 1983, American schoolgirl Samantha Smith was invited to visit the Soviet Union by its leader Yuri Andropov after he read her letter in which she expressed fears about nuclear war. Also 1983, Pioneer 10 traveled beyond Pluto's orbit. 1986, Mswati III was crowned King of Swaziland, succeeding his father Sobhuza II. 1988, in IsraelJohn Demjanuk was sentenced to death for war crimes committed in World War II. 1990, Violeta Chamorro took office as the President of Nicaragua, the first woman to hold the position. 2001, Michele Alboreto was killed while testing an Audi R8 at the Lausitzring in Germany. 2005, the final piece of the Obelisk of Axum was returned to Ethiopia after being stolen by the invading Italian army in 1937. Also 2005, Bulgaria and Romania signed accession treaties to join the European Union. Also 2005, one hundred seven people died in Amagasaki rail crash in Japan. 2007, Boris Yeltsin's funeral: The first to be sanctioned by the Russian Orthodox Church for a head of state since the funeral of Emperor Alexander III in 1894.
=== 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 Cam Van Du, Nam NguyenPatrick DowdleJones Dao and Colin Moxey. Born on the same day, across the years. Remember birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
April 25Feast day of Mark the Evangelist(Christianity); Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand (1915); Liberation Day in Italy; Elbe Day in Russia and the United States (1945)
New Zealand troops landing at Gallipoli
Don't break that Ming Vase. Why are they upset at compensation? Sacrifice is humbling. It is in our laps. Don't vote doormat. Let's party. 
Tim Blair 2018

Andrew Bolt 2018



Tim Blair – Monday, April 25, 2016 (3:55am)

Former Abbott staffers reject job offers from Malcolm Turnbull’s experience-starved office: 
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s office had informally scouted out three senior former Abbott logistic staffers over concerns that its team lacked experience in running an election campaign.
However, it is understood that the three “advance” team specialists, who lost their jobs in the office purge when Malcolm Turnbull rolled Tony Abbott last September, all snubbed the offer. 
Possibly those ex-Abbott staffers are members of the Delcon community.


Tim Blair – Monday, April 25, 2016 (3:46am)

Australia’s massive coal reserves mean we don’t need to worry much at all about our future energy resources. It is still fun, however, to support nuclear energy simply because of the way this makes certain jittery types scream and wail.
In 2007, for example, then-Queensland premier Peter Beattie reacted with predictable alarm when Prime Minister John Howard called on his various ministers to examine the potential future use of nuclear power in Australia.
“If we have nuclear reactors it will sabotage our second biggest industry in Australia, and that’s tourism, and I say to the prime minister you’ll lose every tourism operator in Queensland,” Beattie claimed.
“How do you go out and promote Queensland as beautiful one day, nuclear reactive the next?
“The truth of the matter is this is desperate politics from the prime minister and it will not work and Australians do not want to see nuclear waste dumped in their backyard.”
Beattie seems to have recently changed his mind. Earlier this year he published a book bearing the beguiling title Where To From Here, Australia? In it, Beattie called on Australian cities to learn from cities overseas.
“Australian cities can learn a great deal from Paris,” Beattie wrote. “Greater Paris is home to more than 10 million people who are annually outnumbered by 27 million tourists. It is easy to see why Paris is a tourism magnet.”
Not mentioned by Beattie was the fact that the French capital is in a nation where 75 per cent of power is derived from nuclear energy. The country has 58 nuclear reactors, including the Nogent Nuclear Power Plant about 100 kilometres outside of Paris. Yet somehow the tourists – presumably including Beattie, from time to time – keep coming.
France is beautiful one day, nuclear reactive the next, and everybody loves it. The same would be true of Australia if we were to introduce nuclear energy.
For good reasons, nobody is frightened of atomic power. (For equally good reasons, however, they are scared of terrorism, which is why French tourism numbers have fallen dramatically in the wake of last November’s horrific terror attacks. But that’s another story.)
Anti-nuclear alarmists might do their cause more good if they backed up their words with actions. If they are so convinced that nuclear power is dangerous, they should stay out of countries that use nuclear power.
(Continue reading Nukes Good There, Bad Here.)


Tim Blair – Monday, April 25, 2016 (3:02am)

New York was a spooky place back in 1990, the first year I ever visited. The city’s murder rate was the highest ever. A zodiac killer was on the loose, attacking people based on their star signs.
It was a bad year for New Yorkers and a very bad year for horoscope writers. The joint subsequently cleaned up its act, thankfully, and now New York is one of the safest large cities in the US.
Of course, you can still run into dodgy characters. Environment minister Greg Hunt shared a room with quite a few last week when he attended a New York meeting to sign the Paris Agreement aimed at reducing global warming.

Greg Hunt and a high school dropout who likes talking about climate change. (By Bill Leak.)

Odd how these climate chucklefests never take place in, say, Khartoum. Or Yass. Or anywhere without hundreds of five-star hotels. Anyway, you’ll never guess who turned up. None other than murderous Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, whose body count makes the zodiac killer look like a total piker.
According to one report, “President Robert Mugabe brought applause when he declared, ‘Life itself is at stake in this combat. We have the power to win it’.”
(Continue reading Don’t Need a Weatherman.)


Tim Blair – Monday, April 25, 2016 (2:12am)

Click for video of Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham discovering methane is flammable. This is quite a shock for Jeremy, who goes into such a complete Steve Irwin meltdown that “fire” becomes a two-syllable word: 
Part of a Queensland river bubbling with methane gas has burst into flames after being ignited by a Greens MP, who blames nearby coal seam gas operations for the “tragedy in the Murray-Darling Basin”.
New South Wales Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham has released vision of himself on a boat sparking a kitchen lighter above the Condamine River.
“Holy f***. Unbelievable. A river on fire,” he exclaims in the video. “The most incredible thing I’ve seen. A tragedy in the Murray-Darling Basin.” 
It turns out, however, that our nature-loving Green is complaining about a completely natural occurrence
Professor Damian Barrett, research director of the CSIRO’s onshore gas programme, insisted it was “unlikely” that the gas seep was linked to fracking in the region.
“The presence of the industry there has not caused that crack to occur or that fault to occur, it’s been there for aeons,” Barrett told Guardian Australia. “The gas has probably been coming to the surface there for as long as people have been there.” 
Jeremy denies the science: 
Buckingham said it was “implausible” that the gas flow was not linked to the coal seam gas industry, which expanded in the area in 2011. 
(Via Steve Walsh.)
UPDATE. A methane river in Canada. No fracking operations are nearby.


Tim Blair – Monday, April 25, 2016 (1:54am)

If you missed out on seeing Prince in concert during any of his Australian tours, well, it sucks to be you.
Even if you didn’t care for the late star’s recorded music, his live shows were sensational. With Prince’s death, the world has lost possibly its greatest ever stage performer. He could work a crowd with the same powerful yet balletic ease as Rod Laver worked the net.
We can be thankful that Prince was with us for 57 years. And we can also be thankful he wasn’t raised in Australia or the UK. Nobody with the full name Prince Rogers Nelson would have survived primary school.
Rock on, purple man.
UPDATE. Prince’s little-known life.

Give that Labor MP a medal for giving himself a medal

Andrew Bolt April 25 2016 (9:30am)

How curious:
A NSW Labor MP has been forced to apologise for “incorrectly” wearing an official army badge the military says was not actually issued while he was serving. 
But questions remain as to how Prospect MP Hugh McDermott came to possess the badge, which is worn by army members to indicate their readiness to be deployed.
Dr McDermott – who between 1985 and 1994 was in the Army Reserve and also seconded to full-time service – says he has been wearing the Australian Individual Readiness Notice (AIRN) badge “for years”.
Dr McDermott told Fairfax Media he was “awarded” the silver badge featuring a combat rifle “in 1993-4 by my commander at the Sydney University Regiment”....
However the Australian Army has confirmed that the badge was not issued until well after Dr McDermott finished his service in 1994.
McDermott is the vituperative Labor lawyer who attacked Tony Abbott for allegedly politicising his long record of community volunteerism. He was a hypocrite then, and even more so now.                      

Abbott’s elections specialists snub Turnbull offer

Andrew Bolt April 25 2016 (9:22am)

Simon Benson on more suggestions of dissent within Liberal ranks:
PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s office had informally scouted out three senior former Abbott logistic staffers over concerns that its team lacked experience in running an election campaign. 
However, is understood that the three “advance” team specialists, who lost their jobs in the office purge when Malcolm Turnbull rolled Tony Abbott last September, all snubbed the offer.
The Daily Telegraph has confirmed that the trio ... worked on Mr Abbott’s 2010 and 2013 election campaigns… However, the approach to former Abbott staff added to disquiet among some senior government operatives that the current PM’s travelling party lacked campaign logistics experience… 
The PM’s office said it wasn’t aware of any approaches to former Abbott staff
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

The top 16 questions for Channel Nine to answer

Andrew Bolt April 25 2016 (9:02am)

CHANNEL 9 still won’t give us more than spin about its role in the bungled kidnapping of two children in Lebanon.
But there needs to be an accounting for this fiasco that ended with the imprisonment in Beirut of its 60 Minutes crew.
Here are the questions I want Nine to answer about the kidnapping and the deal — rumoured to cost up to $1 million — to later spring its crew from jail:
CAN it confirm as genuine documents tendered to the Beirut court that show Nine paying $69,000 into the personal bank account of Adam Whittington, head of the kidnapping team?
DID it pay Whittington a total of around $115,000 to kidnap the children of Ali Elamine and return them to their Australian mother, Sally Faulkner?
WHO at Nine approved that deal?
HOW does Nine justify this apparent attempt to break Lebanese law?
WAS Nine involved in the settlement that surrendered custody of the children to their father in exchange for dropping charges against their mother — thus also downgrading the charges against the 60 Minutes crew?
HOW does Nine justify leaving the children with their father after apparently believing they were in such danger that they had to be kidnapped and brought to Australia?
HOW much did Nine pay Elamine or anyone else in Lebanon to free its crew from jail?

CAN it guarantee none of this money went to the Hezbollah terrorist group that controls parts of Beirut and has connections to the Elamine family?
(Read full article here.) 

Turnbull must give a better choice than Shorten

Andrew Bolt April 25 2016 (8:59am) 

Politics - federal

THE danger with Malcolm Turnbull’s July 2 election is it’s shaping up to be a fizzer. A non-event.
It should be huge, but both main parties seem keen to make it an election about nothing.
Sure, Labor promises to tax you an extra $100 billion over 10 years, mostly to pay for yet more spending.
That alone should set us up for a huge election battle to save Australia from suffocating under Big Government.
But so far Turnbull’s government is offering some of the same poison.
(Read full article here.)  

Who let them in? Is this fair on us?

Andrew Bolt April 25 2016 (8:52am)

Yet again I have to ask: who let them in? Is our refugee program putting Australians and our international students at risk? When will the lying about this danger stop?
Five teens of African background were arrested on Saturday night over a crime spree in Brighton East and Ormond. One was still on the run…
In the past six weeks, Victoria Police’s Taskforce Tense has made more than 60 arrests of people suspected of links to the Apex gang. But the gang continues to wreak havoc across affluent suburbs in a crime wave including burglaries, bashings, car thefts and even abductions…
Police say about 6am on Saturday, gang members, some armed with hammers, broke into an Ormond townhouse through a back window and robbed six Chinese students who had been asleep inside…
The youths are also suspected of having stormed a Brighton East house hours earlier, bashing the occupant before taking his BMW X5.
“This madness needs to stop,’’ the victim said.
“I was confronted by seven of them ... and this morning (I) am very battered and bruised. It is only a matter of time before an invasion will result in an innocent death.’’
“The insanity is that police are hamstrung by not being able to pursue these cars. 
“After our car was stolen it was going past our home several times, with the police watching. When I screamed, ‘Why don’t you stop them?’, they said ‘We are not allowed.’..”

This does not seem like a war we mean to win

Andrew Bolt April 25 2016 (8:19am)

Liberal MP Andrew Hastie, a former SAS captain, doubts we’re fighting to win in Afghanistan:
ONE of the country’s most high-profile former soldiers says Australia’s military operations in Afghanistan are “poorly conceived”, warning “people will be killed ... and often times they will be innocents"…

The Liberal politician has toured Afghanistan twice, and was in the Middle East as recently as February last year fighting terror group Islamic State. 

In explosive claims, Mr Hastie details the modern soldier’s plight, including:
- Being ordered to partner with local forces that commit war crimes by beating and execute prisoners, including the Afghanistan Provincial Police Response Company.
- Funding cuts that leaves troops acting like “beggars” for supplies…
Mr Hastie’s revelations were made in a January 2014 essay he wrote before travelling to Oxford University as a guest of Scottish military historian Hew Strachan… 
“Australia had sought to minimise its military contribution at every turn in Afghanistan (raising the question of what we were trying to achieve).” 
Andrew Hastie will be one of my guests on The Bolt Report tonight on Sky News Live at 7pm. 

Can Bongiorno help Colvin and Lloyd seem balanced?

Andrew Bolt April 25 2016 (8:11am)

Chris Kenny has a theory:
Paul Bongiorno is a MWW favourite for his green Left commentary on RNBreakfast. We often ponder why he is paid by taxpayers to add his hard Left views to a radio network that already defies its charter obligations on balance to run a green Left agenda. 
My theory is that Radio National pays Bonge to make the likes of Fran Kelly, Phillip Adams and Jonathan Green appear more mainstream.
But Bongiorno has his work cut out trying to make the rest of the ABC seem more balanced by comparison:
In an exchange related to border security last week the host of ABC radio’s PM, Mark Colvin, tweeted: “It’s the job of journalism to ask government for facts."… Colvin was backing his ABC colleague, Peter Lloyd, in a rant against the Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, apparently because he wasn’t responding to questions about an asylum boat turned around by the Sri Lankan navy. 
Yet it seems Lloyd only knew about the turn-back because Dutton had announced it, and talked about it on 2GB. On Twitter, the Minister included a link to the Sri Lankan navy’s website for additional information. Still, Lloyd and Colvin were publicly chastising Dutton for his failure to respond to a list of 20 questions…
Lloyd also tweeted his questions. He wanted to know the date and port of the boat’s departure, when it was intercepted, how many people were on board etc. Well, I can tell him. There were nine people (five men, one woman, two boys and a girl) on the fishing vessel Rishna Duwa, intercepted at 6am on April 19th, about 30km off Negombo, the port of its departure. It was a colourful little boat painted bright green, yellow and orange. I can tell you this because all this information, and more, was available on the Sri Lankan navy website via the link Dutton had tweeted nearly 24 hours before the Colvin and Lloyd twitter protests.
Perhaps, in future, when the Sri Lankan navy does something in Sri Lanka, Lloyd and Colvin will contact the Sri Lankan government. Or perhaps they’ll click on the link supplied by the Australian government to help out. Or perhaps they’ll get on to Twitter complaining about another Coalition government conspiracy of silence over shameful border security policies.

Another alleged Anzac plot

Andrew Bolt April 25 2016 (8:06am)


Spending our way deeper into trouble

Andrew Bolt April 25 2016 (8:00am) 


We’re not doing what even Europe does to dig out of debt, says Henry Ergas:
[D]ata from the Inter­national Monetary Fund shows Australia is exceptional in the reliance we are already placing on higher revenues, rather than on better controlled public spending, to restore budget balance. 
Taking the advanced econo­mies as a whole, about 25 per cent of the projected fiscal improvement over the decade will come from increasing the share of taxes in GDP, with the remaining 75 per cent being achieved by slowing the growth of outlays. In Australia, however, virtually all the fiscal effort will be on the revenue side, with public spending growing at a rapid rate.
And how carelessly we spend even more, barely bothering to check what good it actually does:
For example, real commonwealth expenditure on childcare has increased from $1.8 billion in 2002-03 to just less than $7bn, so that spending per child under the age of five has literally trebled; yet there are few signs of any social return­s from massively boosting outlays… 
Equally, real commonwealth school spending per school-aged child has doubled since 2002-03, but the proficiency level of lower performing students has barely increased­, while that of higher-performing students has dropped. And in healthcare too there is a great deal of “flat-of-the-curve” spending, which yields no health benefits, and evidence of widespread waste.
But where is the will to save us?:
That has been Europe’s road to ruin. And it has long been Labor’s chosen road too. The test for Scott Morrison is whether the Coalition can do better.
Phillip Hudson tracks the remarkable decline:
[Labor Treasurer] Wayne Swan repeatedly promised a return to surplus but the record shows six deficits worth $27bn, $54.5bn, $47.5bn, $43.4bn, $18.8bn and $48.5bn, for a total of almost $240bn of red ink. Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey campaigned on fixing the debt and deficit emergency but their first budget was a deficit of $37.9bn and the second, which Malcolm Turnbull and Morrison will complete, is so far estimated to be a matching $37.4bn.
Even more remarkable is the story of the Budget surplus we were meant to finally get this financial year:
The first prediction for 2015-16 came on budget night May 2012 when Swan ...  forecast ...  a surplus of $7.5bn… [B]y the next budget — his Swansong — he was hanging onto a wafer-thin surplus of $800 million… 
It was left to Chris Bowen who in his 72 days as treasurer ended the pretence, saying the 2015-16 year was on track for a deficit of $4.7bn…
When Hockey took control, he ... said ...  the true deficit was now $24.1bn. Hockey predicted an improvement to a $17.1bn deficit when he handed down his poorly received first budget but the savings he hoped for did not pass the Senate and with further revenue writedowns in the budget update he lifted the deficit estimate to $31.2bn.
In last year’s budget, Hockey estimated the deficit for 2015-16 would be $35.1bn and in the update last Christmas, with Morrison now in charge, we were told it had deteriorated to $37.4bn.
From Swan’s original prediction, the budget bottom line for 2015-16 collapsed by almost $45bn. From Hockey’s first budget to his second, the deficit doubled.
Meanwhile, yet another Budget assumption blown. David Crowe and David Uren:
A company tax slump is posing a new threat to Malcolm Turnbull’s goal of easing the burden on workers and employers in the May 3 budget, forcing the government to scale back its ambitions ... 
While the last budget papers assumed company tax revenue would inject an extra $16bn into the budget over the four years, in the nine months to the end of March companies paid $46.3bn, 5.1 per cent less than in the same period the year before.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Get your hand off it and teach some spelling instead

Andrew Bolt April 25 2016 (8:00am)

All these stupidly intrusive sex education projects for schools seem to come at the cost of teaching basics such as spelling, to judge by the course materials:
“(Sex should be) a mutually enjoyable and consensual exper­ience; a joint (ad) venture (sic) rather than a thing done too (sic) or on someone,’’ it states.
And which foolish politicians and bureaucrats are approving these programs and showering our cash on them?
The Year 7 and 8 students are told to navigate three websites, including the controversial Minus 18 site that explains to teenagers how to bind their chests or tuck their penises. 
Minus 18 removed links to a sex shop and a Melbourne gay bar after questioning from The Australian­ in February. But the site still teaches children how to “cover their tracks’’ to erase internet searches, making it harder for parents to monitor their children’s internet use.

Age homage to Anzac fallen: to liken them to the Islamic State

Andrew Bolt April 25 2015 (6:35pm)

How the Melbourne Age celebrates Anzac Day:
Fighting words: Do Australian jihadis have anything in common with World War I Anzacs? 
It’s a dangerous idea, drawing parallels between the idealistic recruits who left Australia for Gallipoli and World War I and young jihadis leaving to fight with Islamic State in Syria and Iraq today. And potentially incendiary on Anzac Day in its centenary year. But think for a moment. Young men, many from migrant families who came to Australia seeking a better life, going to the Middle East to fight in a war that shows their fellowship with an international brotherhood, fighting for Empire. Exploited as fodder in battle and put into unwinnable situations. The parallels have their limits but they are compelling.
If The Age is the measure of Australian culture, the jihadists deserve to win - and will.
To write a letter to The Age - courteous but firm - go here.
Caution - his account may have been hacked. But this is what appears on the Twitter account of an SBS sports journalist, commenting on all those who died fighting for his freedom and that of so many others:

Dr Jihad from Australia. UPDATE: identified

Andrew Bolt April 25 2015 (2:44pm)

Yet to be verified, and he could be there under duress:
A YOUNG Australian doctor has appeared in an Islamic State video urging other medical professionals to travel to the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa in Syria to join the jihad against the west. 
The stylish promotional IS video has not been verified… The video introduces the “ISHS” — or IS Health Service — and appears to have been filmed in Raqqa in the Raqqa General Hospital.
The Australian doctor introduces himself as Abu Yusuf and says he travelled to Raqqa from Australia to offer his medical services as part of his “jihad for Islam”....
“My name is Abu Yusuf. I’m one of the medical team here. I came from Australia to the Islamic State to live under the khalifah. 
“I saw this as part of my Jihad for Islam to help the Muslims in the area that I could, which is the medical field and when I got here while I was very happy that I made the decision and I was a little bit saddened by how long I’d delayed it… We need the brothers and sisters to come and help us from all around the world. We just need the manpower ... to help us grow this.”
Not alone:
The video also features an Indian physiologist called Abu Muqatil al-Hindi, who says… there are already Australian physiologists in the wing.
Australian National University terrorism expert Clarke Jones confirmed the video’s authenticity
“This is certainly legit,” he said.
Do this doctor’s skills include reattaching infidel heads to bodies?
Better he’s over there, I guess. What sort of treatment might he have administered here to a patient not sufficiently devout?
He’s from Adelaide:
... the blue-eyed young doctor has been identified as former Adelaide University student Tareq Kamleh, believed to be in his late 20s, who completed his medical studies at Adelaide University and later moved to Perth. 
At the time he was a clean-cut medical student who drank alcohol and “had lots of girlfriends”.

Dan Andrews scares business so much that it finally protests

Andrew Bolt April 25 2015 (8:29am)

John Ferguson:
The Victorian business comm­unity is becoming increasingly unsettled about the direction of the Andrews government and is demanding evidence in the May 5 budget of major projects and fiscal responsibility. 
Australian Industry Group Victorian executive director Tim Piper said there was concern about the government’s decision to scrap the contract for the $7 billion East West Link road and tunnel project.
He said “dozens’’ of businesses had articulated concerns to him but most were reluctant to talk publicly for fear of retribution…
It is generally unusual for the peak business groups to criticise a new government because of fears the organisations will be frozen out of decision-making processes and opportunities for members, but the alarm about potential sovereign risk issues has outweighed concerns about any retribution.
Premier Daniel Andrews’s decision to junk the East West Link has galvanised the private sector in a way that hasn’t been seen in Victoria for more than 20 years… 
The cost of junking the [East West] project could be as high as $800 million, depending on how compensation payments to the consortium that was to build it are calculated. 
Then there are the concessions to hard-line unions and sweetheart deals.
A Socialist Left Government is back in charge in Victoria, and the results threaten to be ugly.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

No fatigue. The people speak: our Anzac Day matters

Andrew Bolt April 25 2015 (7:38am)

We’ve too often left our traditions and institutions in the hands of a class that that does not properly respect them, and every Anzac Day we’re reminded of the gulf between some of those custodians and the public.
Take Peter Stanley. Here he is last year:
Peter Stanley, a former senior historian at the war memorial and now a research professor at the Australian National University, criticises what he calls “Anzackery” and questions the special commemoration of the war dead. “Arguably more Australians have been touched by the trauma of car accidents killing loves ones, friends or neighbours,” he writes. 
To single out those who died in defence of their country is “peculiar at best and grotesque at worst”. The Anzac tradition is an “essentially minority interest” that excludes “non Anglo-Saxon Australians”, he writes. 
Here is Stanley this year, taking up a new theme that was very popular among some ABC and Fairfax commentators this time:
Blanket coverage of the centenary of the Gallipoli landing and changing demographics are leading to “commemoration fatigue” and raising serious questions about the future of the Anzac legacy,former Australian War Memorial principal historian Professor Peter Stanley says. 
Stanley argues there were fewer and fewer people with direct links to the Anzac campaign or World War I and vast numbers of new immigrants are simply either not interested or have been ignored in promoting the day’s significance.
“This year is probably about as good as it gets for Anzac Day but there are already signs of commemoration fatigue,” Stanley told AFR Weekend.
“Some of the Anzac and war-themed TV series have been failing and the producers have been left scratching their heads,” Stanley says. 
And more blah blah before the day:
Some historians have warned of “Anzac fatigue”. Others have suggested the people making the pilgrimage to Turkey to the crumbling Dardanelles cliffs risk literally loving Gallipoli to death.
‘Military Halloween’ 

University of Melbourne historian Marilyn Lake says Australia needs to recognise the multiple stories tied up with its WW1 participation such as what it means for women, for Australia’s Turkish community and its Indigenous people, including Aboriginal soldiers.
“If we let go the image of the [Australian soldier], what is left?” she said at a recent BBC-British Council event held in Sydney.
Lowy Institute analyst and former soldier James Brown, who has written a book about Anzac commemorations, says they have become akin to a festival of the dead or a “military Halloween”. He notes that Australia is spending far more money on Anzac Day ceremonies over the next four years than it spends on treating the mental health of soldiers returning from war. 
They wish.
In fact, as I said on Channel 10’s Brisbane news yesterday, Australians are not fatigued by Anzac Day. They revere it and are merely fatigued with fake Anzac, make-believe Anzac, alternative Anzac and anything other than authentic Anzac. The day itself is sacred, and so it’s proved again on the day made huge not by academics, playwrights, artists, ABC broadcasters, historians and activists - so many of whom long scorned the day - but by the men and women of Australia, and their children especially.
MORE than 30,000 people flooded into Sydney’s Martin Place for the Anzac Day dawn service this morning. 
The crowd, believed to be a record number, began arriving before midnight to secure a position close to the Cenotaph for the commemoration the 100th anniversary of the Anzac landings.
In Melbourne, record crowds of around 100,000 have gathered at the revamped Shrine of Remembrance for the dawn service that started at 6am.
Thousands of people have packed Brisbane’s Anzac Square and nearby vantage points for the dawn service marking the centenary of Australian troops landing on Turkey’s Gallipoli peninsula. 
Crowds spilled out of Anzac Square and onto the city’s streets to remember the fallen. Screens were set up in the square and in nearby Post Office Square, King George Square and the Queen Street Mall to offer a view to the large crowds assembled.
A record crowd of 120,000 have gathered for the Anzac Day dawn service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra marking the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.
A record crowd of up to 20,000 has braved the cold for the annual Anzac Day dawn service at the State War Memorial on North Terrace in Adelaide.
And at my youngest son’s school last night, a truly marvellous tattoo to commemorate Anzac Day, and a most inspiring speech by Captain Brian Schlegel.
Today, I’m off to the Melbourne parade to watch my son’s band march and play. You can imagine how enormously proud I am. I’ve never felt so connected to the legend - the tradition - as when my sons have played the Diggers to the Shrine of Remembrance.
Reader Rose:
I walked two kilometres in the dark through poorly lit roads to attend the Anzac ceremony here in beautiful Camperdown and was privileged to stand among many, many dozens - may have been a couple of hundred - in the half light. It seems there were many and the number of parked cars parked stretched right through town. It was very moving for me to hear the names of those long lost boys and men. So many names of one family repeated over and over. Camperdown in 1915 must have had a very small population at that time and the town decimated in its loss. 
Reader Bill:
Andrew, I agree that the Anzac legacy is getting larger. Go to the WIN newsBallarat Facebook page and you will see what a regional town has done at their local cemetery. Every service men and women has an Australian flag flying over their grave. There are estimated to be over 600 flags flying and has created so much interest that over the last few days you cannot get a park near the cemetery and there have been hundreds of people strolling around the cemetery every day remembering all their local diggers. Very moving and a great touch. 
Reader Ian:
Record crowd in Darwin. Response of long term attendees was “wow” 
Reader DarrylG:
Regarding Anzac Day dawn service numbers, you left out Currumbin. Estimated crowd was 25,000. Revised figure this morning according to news reports 30,000 but I was there and I refuse to believe there was less than 100,000. The closest I could get to the ‘Rock’ was about half a kilometre with standing room only as far as you could see in each direction. And this was from about 4:00 am. Anzac Day fatigue? Really? 
Reader Hector:
AB, 2-3,000 at Port Noarlunga 5.30am dawn service. Against the ochre cliffs, darkened crisp sky and the raw of the waves made for a very moving service.
Reader Greg3095:
Approx 80,000 at Kings Park for the dawn service in Perth
Reader Judy:
I attend the Forth Valley (Tas) Anzac Day Service and it was the most moving service I’ve been to. With a record crowd of children & adults taking part to honour our history, it didn’t glorify war but reminded us of what others have sacrificed & what we need to do for each other to stay free - Lest We Forget. 
Reader The Original Observer:
Certainly no fatigue here in Hervey Bay Qld, Andrew. It was the biggest crowd I have seen at a 10am Anzac Day Service in the ten years that I have been attending here. In that time, I have seen a big increase in the number of children participating or attending the Service. 
Reader Peter:
I thought you might like this. For all the trendy denigration of ANZAC Day, approximately half the entire population of our little town of about 220 people (American River in SA) turned out for the dawn service this morning.
Reader DT:
There was a huge gathering of people at the Lone Pine Memorial Park Tuncurry, New South Wales across the bridge from Forster at the Main Service at 11.00 am
Reader Mike of NQ:
The service in Charters Towers was attended by 3,000 (not bad for a town of 9,000).  
Reader Dave from Perth:
Perth (Kings Park) main service - up from 40,000 last year to 80,000 today.Kalamunda (Hills) Dawn Service approx 5,000
Reader Pat K:
Estimated 7000 turnout at the Seven Hills RSL in western Sydney at 5:00am this morning. Unprecedented.
Reader karabar:
I reckon that there were 25,000 +/- 5,000 at the cenotaph in Launceston this morning at dawn. My estimate stems from the crowd being about 100 people wide by 250 people deep. 
Reader Glen:
My family and I attended the Joondalup Anzac Service, huge numbers if not record numbers, The same said for all services across WA. 

On The Bolt Report tomorrow, April 26

Andrew Bolt April 25 2015 (7:21am)

On the  The Bolt Report on Channel 10 tomorrow at 10am and 3pm.
Editorial: Why is the ABC still promoting Tim Flannery - and protecting him?
Guest:  Environment Minister Greg Hunt. On Flannery, cut-price emissions-cutting and Bjorn Lomborg.
The panel:  Human Rights Commissioner (the very sensible one) Tim Wilson and former NSW Labor Minister Paul McLeay.
NewsWatch: Daily Telegraph columnist Piers Akerman on conclusive proof that the AbbottAbbottAbbott media has gone mad. And on the one persecution that bores the media.
On Christine Milne’s great seeming, Labor’s great taxing and the Liberals’ great softening. Plus lots on Anzac Day and the Islamist threat to it.
The videos of the shows appear here.

How could the ABC’s Tony Jones let Tim Flannery get away with it?

Andrew Bolt April 25 2015 (6:58am)

Much more on this in tomorrow’s Bolt Report on Channel 10 (at 10am), but  Roger Franklin has a very good go::
(W)hile it goes without saying that the national broadcaster is forever placing taxpayer-provided airtime and assets at the disposal of its favoured cobbers, Tony Jones’ [Lateline] ”interview” with Tim Flannery was extraordinary even by those debased norms ... 
...let the Lateline spectacle ... serve as a reminder of what the ABC has been allowed to get away with for far too long. Imagine, if you will, how the segment might have played if the interview had been conducted by a journalist, rather than Jones, whose moonlighting as a shill for green ideologues and rent-seekers can only call his motives and objectivity into question…
A journalist, but not Jones, might have asked Flannery to explain his unbroken record of dud predictions… A journalist, but not Jones, might have followed up on Quadrant contributor Tony Thomas’ investigations of the Climate Council’s finances
A journalist, but not Jones, might have asked Flannery if the ABC walkabout documentaries he does with John Doyle should be advertised for competitive bidding…
Yes, a journalist might have asked all that and more. But for $355,789 a year, what the ABC gives us is Tony Jones ... (T)he Flannery segment ... occupied a full 14 minutes ... just a few seconds shy of half the entire programme…
Once, long ago, Flannery did have something worth saying. His book, The Future Eaters, makes some very good points about the hand of man and the influence it has exerted on the Australian landscape.... 
The man who has reduced himself to the alarmist from Central Casting makes a sad spectacle, and on Lateline, aided and abetted by Jones, the depths of his by-rote incoherence were painfully obvious. 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Terror raids in Italy. Usual suspects rounded up. How much longer must this go on?

Andrew Bolt April 25 2015 (6:18am)

More of the blessings of mass immigration from the Muslim world:
Italian police on Friday arrested 10 people and were looking for eight others suspected of belonging to an armed group linked to al-Qaeda who had plotted attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan and at least at one point the Vatican. 
Some of the suspects, who are all Pakistanis and Afghans, were arrested in early morning raids across Italy. Police burst into the home of the group’s suspected spiritual leader, in the northern city of Bergamo, a video released by them showed.
Yes, they are among a minority. But it’s a rather large, dangerous, inevitable and unique minority, which raises important questions for those in charge of Europe’s border controls. Will more Muslim immigration from the Middle East, Asia and Northern Africa make Europe less safe? If yes, then what?
But nothing will be done for a long while because merely to ask such questions is still regarded as evil by the political and media classes which still dominate debate there and here.
No, it is far more fashionable, says Chris Kenny, to join with jihadists to blame ourselves for the attacks on us:
Among the jihadists slaughtering Shi’ites, Christians, Yazidis and homosexuals in Iraq and Syria are about 100 Australians....  Our security agencies believe 150 people (including up to 40 women) are providing funding and facilitation from Australia for individuals and groups linked to Islamic State.... 
During the past decade, before the latest raids and incidents, more than a dozen Australians were convicted of terrorist plots, including plans to bomb the AFL grand final and attack the Hols­worthy army base in Sydney…
ASIO is running more than 400 high-priority counter-terrorism investigations… Two terrorists (one in Sydney’s Martin Place and one in Melbourne’s Endeavour Hills) have carried out attacks inspired by Islamic State…
Last Saturday, police raided homes in suburban Melbourne, leading to three arrests and charges over an alleged plot to kill police and civilians at Anzac Day ceremonies.
Two days later on the ABC television’s Q&A program, comedian Dave Hughes said, “Well, you’d hope the raids don’t make things worse.”
On the same program, Labor MP Anna Burke chose not to condemn jihadists but instead spoke about “Catholics who were part of the IRA” and “vegan extremists”, before saying that she had spoken to a “beautiful Muslim girl” who now feared “going in the street with a headscarf"…
“Surely we should be an accepting society, and if we’re not going to have acceptance then we are going to create extremism, aren’t we?"…
Jihadist denialism does not seem to be abating, no matter how the Islamist violence touches us.... Labor MP Melissa Parke has accused the Abbott government of talking up terrorism to distract from budget woes, and Greens leader Christine Milne says the Prime Minister has been “fanning the flames of fear"… 
Eventually we may have some of these discussions, but only when the damage done is all too clear - and unfixable:
The security situation in the Mediterranean will continue to deteriorate to the point where we can expect Islamist raids on European islands, a recently retired Royal Navy Admiral has told Breitbart London. 
Rear Admiral Chris Parry CBE, the straight-talking former Director General of the Ministry of Defence Development, Concepts, and Doctrine Centre, the government body tasked with foreseeing future strategic threats, ...  warned in a government paper in 1990 that Islam would replace Communism as the main threat against the West ...

“When I said these things in 2006, my political masters told me to drop it, that it was racist, but I told them it was just what came out of the analysis of the raw data.
“The [Labor] government interpreted my report as having a go at immigration which was a ‘verboten’ subject in those days, it was all about multiculturalism....”
A speech given by Parry in 2006 at the Royal United Services Institute was reported by The Times after he said the migratory patterns that would emerge in the coming decade would resemble “the 5th century Roman empire facing the Goths and the Vandals”, as European nations experienced a process of “reverse colonisation”.
Although Parry said he stood by his comments of moving diasporas and large populations of migrants with no allegiance to their new homes destabilising nations such as the UK, he said the increasingly fragile Mediterranean was more of a threat to Europe. Libya, now an increasingly lawless state after the British-backed toppling of former dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, is fuelling this change in the Mediterranean as it becomes a haven for criminals engaging in people smuggling… 
“Long term, we have to stabilise the whole community around the Mediterranean… we have to be able to hold our maritime borders, because we have very aggressive Islamism which wants to recreate the extent of Islamic lands the Middle Ages...” 
(Thanks to readers WaG311 and Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Lomborg’s critics shame themselves

Andrew Bolt April 25 2015 (5:49am)

Bjorn Lomborg doesn’t even doubt that man is heating the world. Yet he’s still seen as so dangerous that he must be hounded out of our universities and vilified.
Imagine the kind of preaching you’d get from his intolerant critics in our academia:
University of Western Australia academic Ray Wills has compared the appointment of “sceptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg to head up a new development think tank to putting disgraced former premier Brian Burke in charge of economic policy… 
Adjunct Professor Wills, who has been a spokesman for the university on climate change issues for the past seven years, said there was a lot of disquiet among the university ranks about the centre.

“The appointment tarnishes the reputation of the university,” he told Fairfax Media.
“It’s like appointing Brian Burke to look after your economics.
“The vice-chancellor has actually said it [the centre] will be about economics, not climate change. But the response to climate change we need is about economics, and Lomborg is on record saying we don’t need action on climate change."… 
According to sources at the meeting [of UWA academics to discuss Lomborg’s appointment], one lecturer said Dr Lomborg’s appointment was “a very large mistake and an attack on the integrity of the university"… Fairfax Media understands that the head of the School of Animal Biology Sarah Dunlop also spoke out against the appointment.  
This is disgraceful - a real indictment of Australian academia - and shame on the journalists encouraging this intellectual McCarthyism.
Roger Pielke Jr on these shameful attempts to ban a dissenter:
Several weeks ago the University of Western Australia announced that it had received a $4 million grant from Canberra to establish a Copenhagen Consensus Center on its campus with Lomborg at the helm. The “consensus center” describes itself as “a think tank that researches the smartest solutions for the world’s biggest problems by cost-benefit, advising policy-makers and philanthropists how to spend their money most effectively.” It was originally funded by the Danish government and more recently by private donations in Washington, DC.... 
In Australia, the reaction to the UWA announcement was no less intense than a New South Wales bushfire. Christine Milne, Australian Greens leader and senator from Tasmania, tweeted: “Giving Bjorn Lomborg $4m from precious research budget is an insult to every climate scientist in Australia.” Tim Flannery, a scientist and former director of the Australian government’s Climate Commission, accused Lomborg and prime minister Tony Abbott’s government of an “ideological attempt at deceiving the Australian public.” Students at UWA joined in the outrage, demanding that the university immediately disassociate from Lomborg: “While Dr Lomborg doesn’t refute climate change itself, many students question why the Centre’s projects should be led by someone with a controversial track-record. Assessing how to achieve development goals is important, but why should Dr Lomborg be involved?” Whatever you may think of Lomborg as an academic, as a media figure, as a political campaigner, the kerfuffle over his appointment at UWA provides us with a great opportunity to engage together in a discussion about academic intolerance and campaigns to “shout down” unwelcome or inconvenient voices. 
Yet Lomborg raises issues that are critically important, even if Australian academics find them too shocking to be even discussed. In the US, prominent climate scientist Judith Curry also worries about the cost and benefits of climate change action:
Curry believes the arbitrary target of 2C warming to avoid the most serious effects of climate change may take much longer to arrive than models are suggesting. This will allow more time to manage a transition to a lower carbon global economy… 
Ultimately, Curry believes climate change has become a grand narrative in which human-caused global warming has become a dominant cause of societal problems. Everything that goes wrong, and even pre-existing concerns, reinforces the conviction that there is only one thing we can do to prevent societal problems — stop burning fossil fuels.
“This grand narrative misleads us to think that if we solve the problem of climate change, then these other problems would be ameliorated.” she says.
Eco-realists contend that for the bulk of the world’s population, energy poverty is the immediate concern that must be resolved before climate change action can hope to deliver the desired results.The question remains whether ambitious early action will foster long-term change or squander the opportunity for a more considered solution.
(Thanks to reader WaG311.) 

From loser to feared. No wonder they turn to terror

Andrew Bolt April 25 2015 (5:26am)

This is why the odds are against us.  See, you can be a loser and a victim - or you can be a terrorist mastermind with a feared army behind you, preachers blessing you and your name all over the papers. All you have to do is kill:
The Islamic State recruiter cited as the inspiration of the alleged Anzac Day terror plot was an apprentice motor mechanic who was bullied and called “black boy”’ at school. 
Before he was a high-profile member of Islamic State, Neil “Chris” Prakash was a paint-­sniffing, high-school dropout who was easily led by others and “scared of his own shadow”.
Throughout his teenage years, Prakash, whose mother was schizophrenic, lived off and on in the spare room of a friend’s house in a Melbourne bayside suburb, listening to rap music and tinkering with his prized Nissan Skyline.
His adopted family describe him as a social outcast who drifted from entry-level jobs to TAFE courses before his abrupt conversion to radical Islam.
“It was a complete shock,” said David, a father of four who befriended Prakash as a troubled teen. “The kid was so fragile, he was scared of his own shadow."…
David’s son James, Prakash’s closest childhood friend, said the boy he knew as Chris was devoted to his mum, shy and generous. He never saw his Fijian-born father and had been diagnosed with depression.
James said he became worried when Prakash abandoned his secular interests of music and hotted-up cars, changed his clothes and started extolling Islam. Prakash told James he could no longer associate with him unless he also converted.

Multiculturalism and the tribalisation of British politics

Andrew Bolt April 25 2015 (4:52am)

 Multicultural politics at its most raw:
A London mayor who ‘cynically perverted’ the religious feeling of his Muslim community and ‘silenced his critics with accusations of racism and Islamophobia’ has been removed from office after a bitter legal battle with voters. 
Disgraced Lutfur Rahman repeatedly played the ‘race card’ in his bid to seize the mayoralty of Tower Hamlets and later cling to power, Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey found yesterday.
The judge said the case ‘starkly demonstrated what happens when those in authority are afraid to confront wrongdoing for fear of allegations of racism and Islamophobia’…
With the police ‘too afraid of being branded racist’ to act and the Electoral Commission insisting it was not their job, it fell to four local residents – three of them grandparents – to challenge the sinister might of Lutfur Rahman… The Met did not bring any charges against Rahman, despite receiving 131 complaints of electoral malpractice....
Rahman’s smirking face was plastered all over council leaflets, lampposts and official signs. Even the bin lorries were branded with his name…
But most disturbingly, he had close links to an Islamic extremist group – the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) – and allegedly channelled millions of pounds of council money to its front organisations, while diverting council grants away from secular bodies. He denies any wrongdoing…
The election court heard how, during his time as mayor, Rahman had siphoned public funds to IFE front organisations and presided over £2million in council funding for the East London Mosque and the Osmani Trust, a Muslim-only youth group allied with the IFE. Indeed, the IFE mobilised hundreds of supporters to achieve Rahman’s election victories.
It has links to the Birmingham ‘Trojan Horse’ plot and, according to own leaflets, wants to change the ‘very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed…from ignorance to Islam’…
While mayor, he also appointed a 100 per cent Bangladeshi and Muslim cabinet – even though the borough is only 34 per cent Muslim.
Rahman ignored the non-Bengali media but diverted thousands of pounds to Channel S, an influential TV station broadcasting to nearly half a million Bangladeshis, in return for fawning coverage. 
Astonishingly, he even paid the station’s chief reporter, Mohammed Jubair, £1,050 a week as a part-time ‘community relations adviser’… The borough’s public libraries stocked large quantities of extremist literature.
The judgement here.
The BBC:
The Election Commissioner upheld a number of the allegations, including:
- Voting fraud: ballots were double-cast or cast from false addresses 
- False statements made against Mr Rahman’s rival Mr Biggs 
- Bribery: large amounts of money were given to organisations who were “totally ineligible or who failed to meet the threshold for eligibility” 
- Treating: providing free food and drink to encourage people to vote for Mr Rahman 
- Spiritual influence: voters were told that it was their duty as Muslims to vote for Mr Rahman. Mr Mawrey cited a letter signed by 101 Imams in Bengali stating it was people’s “religious duty” to vote.
(Thanks to reader latsy and many others.) 
The BluesI found this while chasing lenticular clouds around the foothills of Diablo today.  As I came around the...
Posted by Matt Granz on Friday, 24 April 2015
Spring in California
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The Return pt.2More lenticular cloud goodness.
Posted by Matt Granz on Friday, 24 April 2015
What one of these could you use a little extra of right now?
Posted by Show and Tell on Wednesday, 25 February 2015
Today on Anzac Day we remember the bravery of those who served and died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations,...
Posted by Australia for UNHCR on Friday, 24 April 2015
ANZAC Day tomorrow, let's not forget the animals who also served. - Benny
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Australia paid for a doormat
Was Hillary exchanging favors for money while she was Secretary of State? It’s starting to appear more and more like she was.
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Anzac legend survives sneering sabotage

Piers Akerman – Thursday, April 24, 2014 (6:30pm)

SOME of our younger veterans from East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflict eras are concerned their stories are still submerged in the flood of memoirs from WWI and WWII. Their concern is understandable — but the tide is turning.

 Continue reading 'Anzac legend survives sneering sabotage'


Tim Blair – Friday, April 25, 2014 (11:10am)

Margo Kingston declares war
no choice but civil war to force political and corporate rulers to leave most fossil fuels in ground … 
Readers are urgently invited to supply information on Margo’s troop numbers, munitions levels, air strike capacity, maritime forces and ground invasion tactics. We’ll be needing constant updates throughout the early hours of this conflict. Remain vigilant.
UPDATE. This is the most chilling development among the Margolian peoples since Kingston’s 2005 attempt to establish a parallel judiciary. They’ve clearly spent the last nine years quietly amassing armaments and planning their uprising. Where will they strike first?


Tim Blair – Friday, April 25, 2014 (10:52am)

A special Anzac Day effort from Fairfax: 
The Australian Financial Review’s editor-in-chief Michael Stutchbury has apologised to readers for a series of embarrassing production errors with the newspaper ‘s Anzac Day edition, and admitted it will result in a “revenue loss”.
Copies of the paper on sale in Western Australia have appeared with cover lines such as “World is fukt” and “The legacy of Galippoli"(sic).
Twitter users have drawn attention to another page-one misspelling of the Gallipoli Anzac Day campaign, this time as “Gallipolli”, and the incomprehensible subheading: “Army chief here”. 
In other Fairfax news, the struggling company has announced an end to its outsourced subediting contract with Pagemasters. Seems Pagemasters staff just couldn’t keep up with Richard Ackland.


Tim Blair – Friday, April 25, 2014 (10:37am)

Ten days of climate change luxury, all at our expense: 
Panicked ABC management believed star newsreader Juanita Phillips left them in a “tricky” position after blindsiding them over her controversial $72,000 taxpayer-funded European first class trip with Labor lover Greg Combet.
Emails reveal the $320,000-a-year star only told her superiors about the 10-day climate change ministerial trip with Mr Combet, who held the portfolio at the time, through France, Germany and Belgium last year upon her return and after it was raised with the Gillard government. 
A complete and utter waste of money. And so is this, on a far greater scale: 
The Coalition will tip an extra $1 billion into its direct action plan in next month’s budget but businesses that exceed their caps on greenhouse pollution will not face any penalties until at least next year …
While the preceding green paper set out a $1.55bn commitment across three years to the emissions reduction fund, Mr Hunt said yesterday the government would put $2.55bn over the forward estimates into the fund. 
All for no measurable purpose at all.

We do have a racism problem but dare not discuss it

Andrew Bolt April 25 2014 (4:05pm)

Our biggest problem with racism and race-related violence may be very different to the usual media narative:
A 30-year-old woman has allegedly been gang-raped at a toilet block near a public oval in Lismore in the state’s north. 
The woman was walking home from a pub past Gloria Mortimer Oval about 1.25am on Friday when five males approached and then attacked her, police said.... But police are appealing for public assistance to find the alleged attackers, whom they described as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander appearance.
Four boys have been sentenced to more than four years in detention over the death of Mandurah man Tauri Litchfield last year. 
The boys, aged 15 and 16, were part of a group who set upon Mr Litchfield in March last year as he was walking home along Pinjarra Road.
The 28-year-old had been involved in an altercation with the boys moments earlier after one of them tried to steal his wallet.
He ran away from the group and hit his head when he fell from a car park wall…
Defence lawyers for the teens told the court that the boys had not had stable family lives.
Save for one case, they said, both parents had abandoned or neglected them, or been in and out of prison… Two of the boys also had prior convictions, ... including for indecent assault, and had resorted to violence and intimidation in two other known instances. 
Another of the boys had a conviction in relation to a random bashing of a man, which involved a brick being thrown at his head.
More on the killer’s families and their complaints of suffering racism here.
Five days ago:
THE owner of a Queensland outback pub has told how she spent a terrifying hour fearing for her life after a drunken mob armed with rocks and iron bars allegedly started a riot… 
Pam Forster, owner of the Dangi Pub in Urandangi – near the NT border – was serving Easter patrons when she was forced to turn away the group because they were drunk and trying to get cigarettes from patrons. 
The accused group, who had crossed the border, then destroyed several cars and attempted to knock down the pub’s front doors… 
“They were going to bash down the door and kill us,’’ [Forster] said. “It was frightening, they were carrying iron bars and throwing rocks....” 
The alleged riot has reignited debate about the accessibility of alcohol in Aboriginal communities. 
Two weeks ago:
A mass brawl broke out when up to 50 youths gatecrashed a wedding reception in Perth’s southern suburbs. 
Bricks were hurled through the windows of Point Walter Cafe in Bicton as the youths tried to force their way into the venue on Saturday night…
The incident began when a number of youths were refused a cigarette by one of the guests attending the wedding reception…
Seven guests, including four men and three women, were injured in the violence and a number of them were treated at Fremantle Hospital. 
The offenders, who were described as mostly dark-skinned males aged about 16 to 22 years old, fled the scene before police arrived at 9:10pm. 
Last month, again in Perth:
Yes, we also have white racists who attack Aborigines. But if the “races” in the above incidents were reversed, we’d be having a much, much angrier and noisier debate in the media than this.  

Print headlines here

Andrew Bolt April 25 2014 (12:47pm)

Someone pushed “send” way too early on the Financial Review’s front page. And would it be fair to conclude from one of the howlers that the sub is a Leftist? 

Richo gives up. Prince wins

Andrew Bolt April 25 2014 (8:56am)

Graham Richardson:
I wish to admit defeat myself. I am no longer a warrior for the republic. I have thrown in the towel and run up the white flag. William and Kate have doused the republican claims quite conclusively. 
I am still a true believer but there is no point proselytising when even the young have joined with the old to greet them so warmly.
(Thanks to reader Dave.) 

We’re more mothered by government than even the English

Andrew Bolt April 25 2014 (8:50am)

Things have really slipped when we’re more on the teat than the average Briton: 
IT was a throwaway comment that encapsulates what most Australians think about Britain but it is not true, if it ever was. “Certainly not compared with Britain,” bristled Joe Hockey on Wednesday night at Scottish journalist Andrew Neil’s suggestion the age of entitlement was still alive and well in Australia… 
(T)he very idea of establishing vast new social welfare schemes along the lines of Disability Care or the Gonski school funding proposal would be an absurdity in Britain, a country still struggling to recover from the economic king-hit delivered unexpectedly by the country’s banking sector in 2009…
In Australia a one-child family with a household income of $176,000 still receives some form of cash family payment. The equivalent in Britain — child benefit — is gradually withdrawn from families whose chief breadwinner earns more than £50,000 and gone entirely by £60,000…
In Britain ... new mothers on maternity leave receive 90 per cent of their pay for six weeks from the government and £138 a week for the next 33, not their full pay for 26 weeks as the Coalition has foreshadowed…
Even before Australian pensioners were handsomely overcompensated for the obsolescent carbon tax, their incomes compared favourably to British pensioners, many of whom receive a basic state pension of £113 a week, indexed to prices. The equivalent rate in Australia is $383, indexed to faster-growing wages. 
Even then one has to have worked 30 years in Britain to receive that full amount, while here merely 10 years of residency suffices to receive the full age amount. Because it is contributory, Britain’s pension is not means-tested, but nor is ours (in reality), given four-fifths of retirees receive it...British parliamentarians and ministers earn about half of what their Australian counterparts do. Senior Australian public servants earn more than double the mandarins in Westminster.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Is there a reason the ABC seems so cavalier about government waste?

Andrew Bolt April 25 2014 (8:43am)

And all charged to the taxpayer - along with billions for other Labor follies and grandeurs not criticised by the ABC:
PANICKED ABC management believed star newsreader Juanita Phillips left them in a “tricky” position after blindsiding them over her controversial $72,000 taxpayer-funded European first class trip with Labor lover Greg Combet.

Emails reveal the $320,000-a-year star only told her superiors about the 10-day climate change ministerial trip with Mr Combet, who held the portfolio at the time, through France, Germany and Belgium last year upon her return and after it was raised with the Gillard government. 

But ABC head of editorial policy Alan Sunderland instead planned to tell the public the ABC 24 host and Sydney news anchor had “always been upfront and clear” with the ABC about the romance…
The ABC attempted to downplay the lack of prior knowledge of the trip, saying Ms Phillips did not have to seek permission, that it was later found to be within ABC guidelines anyway and that the broadcaster had always provided a “high degree of transparency” dealing with the issue...”
Six months after ABC chiefs plotted how to handle the romance’s conflict-of-interest concerns, it was revealed the 10-day trip racked up $57,673 on airfares, $8914 on hotels and meals and $4634 on ground transport for Mr Combet to attend meetings and a climate conference. 
How did Phillips think she was morally entitled to spend so much taxpayers’ money on a jaunt, and one that compromised her responsibility as an ABC presenter to seem impartial?
The emails:
Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 4.35 PM 
FROM: Juanita Phillips
TO: Alan Sunderland; Donald Lange
SUBJECT: Daily Tele
Dear Alan and Don,
Just alerting you to another spotfire. Recently while on annual leave, I accompanied Greg — in a private capacity, as his partner — to Europe where he was having climate change meetings and was the keynote speaker at an EU carbon price conference. The Daily Tele has got onto this and is going to make something of it.
The Prime Minister’s office has gone over the trip with a fine toothcomb and says all guidelines have been adhered to, and they’re very comfortable defending it. Ministers are entitled to have their partners travel with them, subject to strict guidelines, and approval by the Prime Minister’s office. Both of these criteria have been met.
Juanita Phillips and Greg Combet / Picture: Craig Greenhill
Juanita Phillips and Greg Combet / Picture: Craig Greenhill Source: News Limited
There’s no suggestion of anything inappropriate — presumably it will just be the usual beat-up about politicians’ overseas trips. From my point of view, I was on annual leave, and my role was purely personal.
I’m not sure when this story will appear, but hopefully it will blow over in a day.
Let me know if you want to have a chat about it.
Date: Thursday, April 18, 2013, 3.54 PM
FROM: Alan Sunderland
TO: Sally Cray
SUBJECT: RE: I have some questions for the ABC in relation to Juanita Phillips
Heads up — the expected story looks like it’s on the way.
It’s a little tricky, because we are being specifically asked if we were aware of the trip in advance.
I have discussed all this at length with Sally Cray and what she will be saying (via email) to (the journalist) is:-
*We are aware of the situation
*Juanita was on leave at the time.
*She is perfectly entitled to travel with her partner, and we understand Mr Combet is also perfectly entitled to travel with an accompanying partner on such trips.
*Juanita has always been upfront and clear about her relationship with the ABC.
*As with all other situations with ABC editorial staff, we consider and manage conflicts as they arise. We do not believe that legitimate private like this creates an editorial conflict.
Date: Thursday, April 18, 2013 4.29 PM
FROM: Sally Cray
TO: Alan Sunderland; Kate Torney; Donald Lange
Went with Mick and Alan’s advice that less is more on this one. We figured he has the story written and these will be three lines at the end.
I didn’t insert the no editorial conflict line as I thought — better to play dead in case he has something in his story we are not aware of. 
(Thanks to reader Dave.) 

Shut up the sceptics before the truth gets out!

Andrew Bolt April 25 2014 (8:21am)

No free speech for people who point out the planet hasn’t warmed for 16 years! Another Fairfax columnist, John Birmingham, fumes:
EVERYONE’S favourite Queensland senator, George Brandis, came over all Voltairean last week, defending to the death the right of complete idiots and knaves to say whatever they want about climate change ... Oh sure, let them keep lying their arses off. Because, you know, Voltaire ... But let’s not pretend there is a debate over the central question. That science is settled and has been for years. We’re killing ourselves and the planet with our civilisational addiction to burning fossil fuels for energy. Climate science ... is riven with debate and disagreement, but it’s debate and disagreement over the details, not the whole.
Birmingham is the last person who should want ”complete idiots” silenced. 

Anzac Day makes the Left cry

Andrew Bolt April 25 2014 (7:26am)

You know it’s Anzac Day because the Left is wailing - not over the fallen soldiers but because others mourn their sacrifice for this country:
Christina Twomey, The Conversation, yesterday: 
IT did not take long before the traumatised male war veteran displaced the raped woman as the leading motif of war damage ... Anzac may have shed its more militaristic overtones, but clings resolutely to its privileging of men’s suffering …
Jonathan Green, ABC online’s The Drum, yesterday: 
A MORE mature country might call war a dead end, a source of little more than regret. It’s perhaps a sign of our lingering callowness that we call it a starting point.
Before them:
In his recent book Anzac’s Long Shadow, [former Captain] James Brown speaks of a “discordant, lengthy and exorbitant four-year festival for the dead” that he describes as “a military Halloween”. 
Craig Stockings accuses his fellow Australians of falling for “zombie myths” about military history, “monsters of the mind” that must be exorcised with “the holy water (of) reasoned arguments”.
Stockings lectures (heaven help us) at the Australian Defence Force Academy. Anzac revisionism is the mainstream position in the military history academies in Canberra.
Peter Stanley, a former senior historian at the war memorial and now a research professor at the Australian National University, criticises what he calls “Anzackery” and questions the special commemoration of the war dead. “Arguably more Australians have been touched by the trauma of car accidents killing loves ones, friends or neighbours,” he writes.
To single out those who died in defence of their country is “peculiar at best and grotesque at worst”. 
The Anzac tradition is an “essentially minority interest” that excludes “non Anglo-Saxon Australians”, he writes.
Dr Lindy Edwards teaches at the Australian Defence Force Academy and claims:
There is a long tradition of firing up fighting men by invoking their shared ability to sexually degrade women. They tap into an ideal of male sexual power to create a cocktail of ego, aggression and sexual energy that they channel into battle.
The head of the army today says his comments in this silly article have been somewhat “misconstrued”, and Anzac Day does not exclude anybody:
I don’t see that “caricature” celebrated at Anzac Day. I don’t see the celebrations excluding anyone. And I certainly do not blame Anzac Day, the “myth” or the “caricature” of the “white” Anzac for low rates of enrolment of women, gays and men from certain immigrant groups.
First, it would be ludicrous to pretend the Anzacs at Gallipoli were anything other than what they were - overwhelmingly white men. Second, every Anzac Day I see a celebration of women who served, of Aboriginal soldiers such as Captain Reg Saunders, of soldiers with non-Anglo backgrounds such as Sir John Monash and Billy Sing, of veterans from our allies, and even of our former foes, not least Kemal Ataturk, who held out a hand after the fighting.
More importantly, Anzac Day is not to blame for women, gays and certain immigrants being less willing to serve.
A profession dedicated to killing and fighting other soldiers is culturally, physically or innately always more likely to appeal to men than women. That is why every army in the world has more men than women. Certainly some women will make excellent soldiers, particularly now that warfare is increasingly technological, but let’s not pretend the low proportion of women in our forces is a function of Anzac Day rather than of the nature of war and of men and women.
As for the army not attracting more gays, who’d know? What are the figures? And why is Anzac Day to blame if gays are underrepresented?
It is true certain immigrant groups are more reluctant to serve. The Australian Defence Association’s Neil James told me in a fascinating discussion last night that the ADF had suppressed a report explaining just that. But, again, is Anzac Day to blame? Would it not be a travesty of history to pretend every second Digger was Muslim?
The problem strikes me as something else - and more difficult. Mass immigration - coupled with our official denigration of our history and national symbols - has created what in some areas seems a nation of tribes. Immigration has for some become colonisation, sustained by cheap travel, satellite television and a critical mass of fellow immigrants. Loyalty to ethnic identities and religions seems a stronger bond than loyalty to Australia. The sense of service in some communities seems weak. That sense is made even weaker by our need to so often intervene overseas in Muslim countries where civil war, tyranny or terrorism threaten our interests - interventions recklessly portrayed by many in the Left as attacks on Muslim interests, rather than, say, defences of Muslim democrats.
The Left’s attacks on Anzac Day make none of these problems easier. In fact, it makes them worse. A country which shows no pride in those who fell in the service of this country is not a country to inspire loyalty or self-sacrifice among those who follow. 

Hockey tightens parental leave handouts

Andrew Bolt April 25 2014 (7:18am)

At least one obvious flaw is being patched - although how enforceable it is remains to be seen:
[Treasurer Joe] Hockey continued to defend the $5.5 billion-a-year paid parental leave scheme, which provides 26 weeks’ pay at a mother’s full wage, up to $150,000 a year… 
The Treasurer revealed that the yet-to-be-written legislation for the parental leave policy would have a “mutual oblig­ation” clause.
“Essentially they have to return to work. When you see the legislation it will be clear, there will be a form of obligation,” he told Sydney radio station 2GB.
It appears this could go further than some existing private-sector enterprise agreements, which require a conversation about a possible return-to-work plan. 
If effective, such a clause should avoid the worst rorting, with women accepting a job for the minimum qualification period just to get the handout and then ... never returning. 















April 25Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand (1915); Elbe Day in Russia and the United States (1945)
USS Triton (SSRN-586)

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” - 1 Peter 1:18-19
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"And because of all this we make a sure covenant."
Nehemiah 9:38
There are many occasions in our experience when we may very rightly, and with benefit, renew our covenant with God. After recovery from sickness when, like Hezekiah, we have had a new term of years added to our life, we may fitly do it. After any deliverance from trouble, when our joys bud forth anew, let us again visit the foot of the cross, and renew our consecration. Especially, let us do this after any sin which has grieved the Holy Spirit, or brought dishonour upon the cause of God; let us then look to that blood which can make us whiter than snow, and again offer ourselves unto the Lord. We should not only let our troubles confirm our dedication to God, but our prosperity should do the same. If we ever meet with occasions which deserve to be called "crowning mercies" then, surely, if he hath crowned us, we ought also to crown our God; let us bring forth anew all the jewels of the divine regalia which have been stored in the jewel-closet of our heart, and let our God sit upon the throne of our love, arrayed in royal apparel. If we would learn to profit by our prosperity, we should not need so much adversity. If we would gather from a kiss all the good it might confer upon us, we should not so often smart under the rod. Have we lately received some blessing which we little expected? Has the Lord put our feet in a large room? Can we sing of mercies multiplied? Then this is the day to put our hand upon the horns of the altar, and say, "Bind me here, my God; bind me here with cords, even forever." Inasmuch as we need the fulfilment of new promises from God, let us offer renewed prayers that our old vows may not be dishonoured. Let us this morning make with him a sure covenant, because of the pains of Jesus which for the last month we have been considering with gratitude.


"The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."
Song of Solomon 2:12
Sweet is the season of spring: the long and dreary winter helps us to appreciate its genial warmth, and its promise of summer enhances its present delights. After periods of depression of spirit, it is delightful to behold again the light of the Sun of Righteousness; then our slumbering graces rise from their lethargy, like the crocus and the daffodil from their beds of earth; then is our heart made merry with delicious notes of gratitude, far more melodious than the warbling of birds--and the comforting assurance of peace, infinitely more delightful than the turtle's note, is heard within the soul. Now is the time for the soul to seek communion with her Beloved; now must she rise from her native sordidness, and come away from her old associations. If we do not hoist the sail when the breeze is favourable, we shall be blameworthy: times of refreshing ought not to pass over us unimproved. When Jesus himself visits us in tenderness, and entreats us to arise, can we be so base as to refuse his request? He has himself risen that he may draw us after him: he now by his Holy Spirit has revived us, that we may, in newness of life, ascend into the heavenlies, and hold communion with himself. Let our wintry state suffice us for coldness and indifference; when the Lord creates a spring within, let our sap flow with vigour, and our branch blossom with high resolve. O Lord, if it be not spring time in my chilly heart, I pray thee make it so, for I am heartily weary of living at a distance from thee. Oh! the long and dreary winter, when wilt thou bring it to an end? Come, Holy Spirit, and renew my soul! quicken thou me! restore me, and have mercy on me! This very night I would earnestly implore the Lord to take pity upon his servant, and send me a happy revival of spiritual life!

Today's reading: 2 Samuel 19-20, Luke 18:1-23 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Samuel 19-20

Joab was told, "The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom." 2 And for the whole army the victory that day was turned into mourning, because on that day the troops heard it said, "The king is grieving for his son." 3 The men stole into the city that day as men steal in who are ashamed when they flee from battle. 4 The king covered his face and cried aloud, "O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!"
5 Then Joab went into the house to the king and said, "Today you have humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines. 6 You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have made it clear today that the commanders and their men mean nothing to you. I see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead. 7 Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the LORD that if you don't go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come on you from your youth till now...."

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 18:1-23

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'
4 "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually come and attack me!'"
6 And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

Resurrection Day!

Below is the Paschal Homily of John Chrysostom, a sermon celebrating the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is traditionally read aloud in many Orthodox churches on Easter morning.If anyone is devout and a lover of God, let them enjoy this beautiful and radiant festival.

If anyone is a grateful servant, let them, rejoicing, enter into the joy of his Lord.

If anyone has wearied themselves in fasting, let them now receive recompense.

If anyone has labored from the first hour, let them today receive the just reward.

If anyone has come at the third hour, with thanksgiving let them feast.

If anyone has arrived at the sixth hour, let them have no misgivings; for they shall suffer no loss.

If anyone has delayed until the ninth hour, let them draw near without hesitation.

If anyone has arrived even at the eleventh hour, let them not fear on account of tardiness.

For the Master is gracious and receives the last even as the first; He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, just as to him who has labored from the first.

He has mercy upon the last and cares for the first; to the one He gives, and to the other He is gracious.

He both honors the work and praises the intention.

Enter all of you, therefore, into the joy of our Lord, and, whether first or last, receive your reward.

O rich and poor, one with another, dance for joy!

O you ascetics and you negligent, celebrate the day!

You that have fasted and you that have disregarded the fast, rejoice today!

The table is rich-laden: feast royally, all of you!

The calf is fatted: let no one go forth hungry!

Let all partake of the feast of faith. Let all receive the riches of goodness.

Let no one lament their poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.

Let no one mourn their transgressions, for pardon has dawned from the grave.

Let no one fear death, for the Saviour's death has set us free.

He that was taken by death has annihilated it!

He descended into Hades and took Hades captive!

He embittered it when it tasted His flesh! And anticipating this, Isaiah exclaimed: "Hades was embittered when it encountered Thee in the lower regions."

It was embittered, for it was abolished!

It was embittered, for it was mocked!

It was embittered, for it was purged!

It was embittered, for it was despoiled!

It was embittered, for it was bound in chains!

It took a body and came upon God!

It took earth and encountered Ηeaven!

It took what it saw, but crumbled before what can not seen!

O death, where is thy sting?

O Hades, where is thy victory?

Christ is risen, and you are overthrown!

Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!

Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!

Christ is risen, and life reigns!

Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!

For Christ, being raised from the dead, has become the first-fruits of them that have slept.

To Him be glory and might unto the ages of ages.




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