Monday, May 14, 2018

Mon May 14th Todays News

Don't give up on hope. A signals failure in Melbourne's railway network predictably was badly handled. Trains were stopped and travellers were given bad and conflicting advice as to what to do. The delays extended over a six hour period starting early after 2pm until after 8 pm. Train passengers were advised to wait on the train. Were advised to catch connecting busses. Were given the wrong numbers of busses to catch. Were not told where the busses would be. I'm a regular user, getting on at Dandenong Railway for Springvale to catch a bus to Glen Waverly. Normally I catch a train around 2:44 and can be at Glen Waverly by 3:30 or 4:00 if there are snafus. This time I had to catch an 850 bus and got to my destination about 4:10. I plan for public transport failure and made my 5pm work start. Thing is, I'm diabetic and need to medicate with food before I work. Metro rail advise there will be no refund for me. 

I was on the train at Dandenong at 2:44, and there was an announcement over the loudspeaker. Train was not moving. I left the train with many passengers remaining seated, and went up a flight of steps where there were no rail personnel advising what was happening. I found a few in a corner chatting over an iPad. I asked what I should do, expecting rail busses. They looked at the iPad and said they couldn't work it. They suggested a few busses. I asked where they would be. They didn't know, but waved vaguely at the myriad of bus stops. I caught a different bus and ended up where I wanted to go. Later than I intended. 

This morning on 3AW Neil Mitchell discussed the issue and asked for callers. I responded but there was no time for me. Mitchell interviewed VicRail and was told there would be no compensation in all likelihood for most Metro users and certainly none for me, after I used a bus instead of waiting six hours on a train. Thank you, Dan Andrews. 

There is a picture/video circulated on FB of NZ PM looking like she has a 'package.' Some complain of the image when they never would if it were Sarah Palin. When we go high, they go low. I don't criticise her for how she looks. She (NZ PM) opposes prosperity and liberty and that is enough for me to weigh what she says and understand how she behaves. #DrainTheSwamp 

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 O Holy Night

It is Christmas eve, and so I thought I would do this number that never gets sung at Carols unless someone can sing it. I don't know the tune .. so I guess a little .. but I think it comes out alright.
The words and lyrics of the old carol 'O Holy Night' were written by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847. Cappeau was a wine seller by trade but was asked by the parish priest to write a poem for Christmas. He obliged and wrote the beautiful words of the hymn. He then realised that it should have music to accompany the words and he approached his friend Adolphe Charles Adams(1803-1856). He agreed and the music for the poem was therefore composed by Adolphe Charles Adams. Adolphe had attended the Paris conservatoire and forged a brilliant career as a composer. It was translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight (1812-1893).

O holy night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the wise men from Orient land
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name

=== from 2017 ===
Peter Gregory from the IPA raises an issue of idiot academics. "No, this is not from The Conversation - an academic from the University of Auckland studying the effect of "neoliberalism" on urban planning has found that increased supply of land and houses reduces property affordability. I guess the laws of supply and demand must be wrong.

The Academic illustrates her argument based on a trip she took "At the Ellenbrook development in Perth, Australia, a public-private partnership that Bahmanteymouri classed as "100 per cent neoliberalism", land was sold to developers on the provision that around 12 per cent of it would be used for affordable housing.

"I had an interview with the developers and the companies, and also planning institutions, none of them, no-one can say to what extent they provided affordable housing there."

Just because people didn't tell her, did not mean that there weren't any. Better research would have focused on the recent past. The entire world's population could live the Australian dream of a family of four on a quarter acre block in Queensland, and still there would be parks and wilderness areas in Queensland. The entire world's population could live in France with a population density equal to Paris. They already do in Paris. The reason for land releases is often in response to reduced property affordability. There is a minimum cost in a build to infrastructure and urban planning. It comes as no surprise that new houses cost similarly as houses. Unless your an academic. In which case the sunrise is probably a pleasant surprise every day. Bonus if you are a gambler and put your money on East. Sad if it was West. Academics shouldn't gamble. Or play with matches. 

Some things should not happen, but they do. Malcolm Turnbull wants 32 year old Andrew Bragg, a deputy head of the Menzies Research centre and a member of Turnbull's own constituency to be the Liberal's new federal director. He has never run an election campaign. He has written for the Huffington Post embarrassingly poor pieces. But no matter how stupid the new federal director is, the failure of the budget to cut spending, but increase tax, is an illustration of the failure of Turnbull to explain the need for economic reform. Last year I wrote how Turnbull had failed his own benchmarks he set when rolling Abbott. In a year, Turnbull has done nothing to address that. 
=== from 2016 ===
I have moved to a good home. I leave behind the ice house. Dan Andrews would rather I lived with an ice addict, and that you should too. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
Spying on Hitler's Army, the secret recordings. MI-19 in WW2 created listening posts for POWs they believed knew things worthy of interrogation. They had a large staff of german speakers who transcribed the recordings. The recordings were not divulged at the end of the war, but were kept for a cold war advantage. So many who confessed to war crimes on tape were never brought to book. However, it is now clear that it was not solely Nazis who committed war crimes against Jews (in particular), but regular army as well. Fascinating to hear the transcripts of the divided loyalty of POW generals of the German army. To hear one officer say they used to command Stauffenberg and wish he'd used a bigger bomb was telling. To hear the atrocities again, to feel helpless about how they unfolded, to hear the regret of those involved, is to know the evil of jihadism must be stopped. And it is not solely the jihadi that is complicit with the evil perpetrated, but the wider impotent Islamic leadership and the enabling left.

The budget reply by Bill Shorten. Shorten is disappointed with the budget and says he will not pass any cut. Shorten promises to do what the ALP did not do the last time they were in government; pass tax cuts and spend on infrastructure. Shorten recognises the need to cut spending, but will do so by spending more on education and health. Shorten does not distinguish between the budget measures now and those that are planned for the future. Promised spending by the ALP in the last government is considered binding by Shorten to this government, and so planned extra spending that is shelved he views as cuts which harm families now. Shorten opposed the funded plan by Abbott in the last budget for maternity leave, and opposes the end of double dipping now. Shorten refers to bracket creep, and claims it will indefinitely sustain the budget when clearly it doesn't. Shorten wonders about jobs for the future and the skills they require. Under Shorten, Australia won't have money in the future to fund health, education or welfare. 

Prince Charles' private letters to public figures are irresponsible and inappropriate. It is ok for a private citizen to raise issues privately, but for the Prince of Wales to do so should mean that there is no privacy to the letter. Were the letters to be private after Charles signed them then the public figure becomes subject to blackmail. The only way to ensure that a public figure is not being leaned on is to have the letters public, so as to maintain transparency. If Charles does not recognise that, he must be stripped of any title making him heir to the throne.

On this day in 1264, Battle of LewesHenry III of England was captured and forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, making Simon de Montfort the de facto ruler of England. It is difficult to like Henry III, he was the son of King John and a bigot. Henry fleeced the Jews of England to pay for his inadequate rule and even passed a law to force Jews to wear badges. Simon's victory at Lewes was partly because Henry's son, Prince Edward, had been successful in battle and left the King's flank to pursue fleeing soldiers, and exposing Henry. Henry signed away many powers to Simon, who did not long enjoy them, losing in the Battle of Evesham his own life and that of his son. 

1610, Henry IV of France was assassinated, bringing Louis XIII to the throne. Henry IV had been raised as a Protestant but became Catholic. He had ended the civil war between Catholics and Protestants in France. François Ravaillac, was an hysteric Catholic who believed Henry was going to fight the Pope, so he stopped his carriage and jumped into the carriage and knifed Henry between the ribs, killing him. François Ravaillac was tortured before being dismembered. 1643, four-year-old Louis XIV became King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII. Louis's death by TB on this day in 1643 happened 33 years after he had come to the throne on his father's assassination. Louis had endured seven years with his mother as regent, before executing many of her followers and pushing her into exile. 

1929, Wilfred Rhodes took his 4000th first-class wicket during a performance of 9 for 39 at Leyton; he is the only player in history to have reached that number.
From 2014
Complaints, many ridiculous, have been made about the Australian budget and children's welfare. So it is worthwhile focusing on child welfare. Today is the birthday of Oona O'Neill (wife of Charlie Chaplin), Bobby Darrin and child entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg .. and Taruni Sachdev. In 1889, the charity National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was launched in London. Not a recent problem, cruelty to children is documented in the Bible. But we still seem to invent new ways. Ariel Castro kidnapped some teens and held them captive for over a decade, exploiting them sexually. Castro was caught, which is more than can be said of Peruvian Lina Medina's abuser. She was five years old when she gave birth by caesarian in 1939 on this day. She was not able to say who impregnated her, although her father was a suspect never prosecuted. Even today, as an adult, she is not saying. Her son, born healthy, died of a bone marrow disease in his early forties. Children are not immune to tragedy too. Actress Taruni Sachdev was fourteen years old when she got on a plane with her mother in Nepal. The plane crashed on this day, her birthday, in 2012, killing both and others. It is not the job of parents to raise children to face the harsh rigours of the world. The inevitable is inevitably faced. However, it is the job of parents to raise children with knowledge of security fostered through love. Because when we are loved we are resilient, and can bear many burdens. So how do those perceived budget weaknesses get faced? One organisation is suggesting that school kids be discouraged from calling their teachers 'sir' or 'miss' because it is perceived that is gender discrimination. 

With modern cricket, more games are being played and so players pass records by merely being very good. So, it is nice to be able to note that the record for the number of first class wickets being taken over a career was landmarked on this day in 1929 by Wilfred Rhodes. Rhodes had taken his 4000th wicket on his way to taking 9-39. He was a slow bowling left arm orthodox. The next year he retired having taken 4201 wickets at an average of 16.72. He was only 53 years old when he retired, but lived on to 95. And he needed none of the things in his life which have been cut in the Australian budget. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 1264, Battle of LewesHenry III of England was captured and forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, making Simon de Montfort the de facto ruler of England. 1509, Battle of Agnadello: In northern ItalyFrench forces defeated the Venetians. 1607, Jamestown, Virginia was settled as an English colony. 1608, the Protestant Union was founded in Auhausen. 1610, Henry IV of France was assassinated, bringing Louis XIII to the throne. 1643, four-year-old Louis XIV became King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII. 1747, War of the Austrian Succession: A British fleet under Admiral George Anson defeated the French at the First Battle of Cape Finisterre. 1787, in Philadelphia, delegates convened a Constitutional Convention to write a new Constitution for the United StatesGeorge Washington presided. 1796, Edward Jenneradministered the first smallpox inoculation.

In 1804, the Lewis and Clark Expedition departed from Camp Duboisand began its historic journey by traveling up the Missouri River. 1811, ParaguayPedro Juan CaballeroFulgencio Yegros and José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia started actions to depose the Spanish governor 1836, the Treaties of Velasco were signed in Velasco, Texas. 1863, American Civil War: The Battle of Jackson took place. 1868, Boshin War: The Battle of Utsunomiya Castle ended as former Tokugawa shogunate forces withdrew northward to Aizu by way of Nikkō. 1870, the first game of rugby in New Zealand was played in Nelson between Nelson College and the Nelson Rugby Football Club. 1879, the first group of 463 Indian indentured laborers arrived in Fijiaboard the Leonidas. 1889, the children's charity, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was launched in London. 1897, The Stars and Stripes Forever was first performed in public near Willow Grove ParkPhiladelphia.

In 1913, Governor of New York William Sulzer approved the charter for the Rockefeller Foundation, which began operations with a $100 million donation from John D. Rockefeller. 1925, Virginia Woolf's novel Mrs Dalloway was published. 1929, Wilfred Rhodes took his 4000th first-class wicket during a performance of 9 for 39 at Leyton; he is the only player in history to have reached that number. 1931, Ådalen shootings: Five people were killed in ÅdalenSweden, as soldiers opened fire on an unarmed trade union demonstration. 1935, the Philippines ratified an independence agreement. 1939, Lina Medina became the youngest confirmed mother in medical history at the age of five.

In 1940, World War IIRotterdam was bombed by the GermanLuftwaffe. Also 1940, World War II: The Battle of the Netherlands ended with the Netherlands surrendering to Germany. Also 1940, the Yermolayev Yer-2, a long-range Soviet medium bomber, made its first flight. 1943, World War II: A Japanese submarine sank AHS Centaur off the coast of Queensland. 1948, Israel was declared to be an independent state and a provisional government was established. Immediately after the declaration, Israel was attacked by the neighbouring Arab states, triggering the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. 1951, Trains ran on the Talyllyn Railway in Wales for the first time since preservation, making it the first railway in the world to be operated by volunteers. 1955, Cold War: Eight Communist bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, signed a mutual defence treaty called the Warsaw Pact.

In 1961, American civil rights movement: The Freedom Riders bus was fire-bombed near Anniston, Alabama, and the civil rights protesters were beaten by an angry mob. 1963, Kuwait joined the United Nations. 1970, the Red Army Faction was established in West Germany. 1973, Skylab, the United States' first space station, was launched. 1988, Carrollton bus collision: A drunk driver traveling the wrong way on Interstate 71 near Carrollton, Kentucky, United States hit a converted school bus carrying a church youth group. Twenty-seven died in the crash and ensuing fire. 2004, the Constitutional Court of South Korea overturned the impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun. 2012, Agni Air Flight CHT crashed near Jomsom Airport in JomsomNepal, after a failed go-around, killing 15 people. 2013, NigerianPresident Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the northeast states of BornoYobe and Adamawa due to the terrorist activities of Boko Haram.
=== 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 Doreen Margaret Yates and Phan Zo. Born on the same day, when in 1796 Edward Jenner began testing cowpox to cure smallpox. Another bovine success story culminating with McDonalds. How is them milkshakes? Lewis and Clark, in 1804 tried to get to the Pacific and back, discovering almost anything was good enough to swallow.
May 14Feast day of Saint Matthias and Saint Mo Chutu (Roman Catholicism)
Statue of Simon de Montfort on the Haymarket Memorial Clock Tower in Leicester
He signed the paper. We sit on convention. We favour trade. The nether regions are surrounded. Beware the KKK. Let's party. 
Tim Blair 2018

Andrew Bolt 2018



Tim Blair – Thursday, May 14, 2015 (2:27pm)

The luvvie community is presently dismayed and confused by a redirection of Australia Council grant funding. Let’s take a look at some recent grant decisions made by the Australia Council, our nation’s “principal arts funding and advisory body”.

 Continue reading 'ART FOR THE DOLE'


Tim Blair – Thursday, May 14, 2015 (11:55am)

Labor leader Bill Shorten
“The priority of this nation has to be accelerating and advancing the legitimate march of women through every part of our society to equal treatment.” 
Can’t fault Shorten when it comes to equality of treatment. First he knifed Kevin Rudd, then he knifed Julia Gillard.


Tim Blair – Thursday, May 14, 2015 (11:06am)

Carbon Cate packs her bags
Blanchett and her family are gearing up to move to New York or San Francisco, once [husband Andrew] Upton has finished his tenure at the Sydney Theatre Company. 
This is probably the most meaningful environmental gesture she’s ever made. As a demonstration of her commitment to a low-carbon future, Cate Blanchett is moving to a nation that uses nuclear power.
UPDATE. In other celebrity developments
One of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Johnny Depp, has been accused of unlawfully smuggling his dogs Pistol and Boo into Australia and now risks having them euthanized …
The Department of Agriculture said any animal that was imported without meeting Australia’s import conditions would be ordered into quarantine and either exported or destroyed.
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said it was time Pistol and Boo “buggered off back to the United States”.
“Basically it looks like he snuck them in,” Mr Joyce said in Canberra …
“Mr Depp has to either take his dogs back to California or we’re going to have to euthanise them. He’s now got about 50 hours left to remove the dogs,” he said. 
That was a few hours ago. The terrier death clock is ticking.


Tim Blair – Thursday, May 14, 2015 (10:37am)

Mark Steyn farewells a Labour loser: 
Let me offer a whole-hearted good riddance to Ed Miliband, the now departed Labour leader who, in a desperate last-minute pander, offered to “outlaw Islamophobia”. That was the British political establishment’s contribution to a rough couple of weeks for free speech, culminating in the attempted mass murder in Garland, Texas.
That’s what it was, by the way – although you might have difficulty telling that from the news coverage. The Washington Post offered the celebrated headline “Event Organizer Offers No Apology After Thwarted Attack In Texas”, while the Associated Press went with “Pamela Geller says she has no regrets about Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest that ended in 2 deaths”. The media “narrative” of the last week is that some Zionist temptress was walking down the street in Garland in a too short skirt and hoisted it to reveal her Mohammed thong – oops, my apologies, her Prophet Mohammed thong (PBUH) – and thereby inflamed two otherwise law-abiding ISIS supporters peacefully minding their own business.
It’ll be a long time before you see “Washington Post Offers No Apology for Attacking Target of Thwarted Attack” or “AP Says It Has No Regrets After Blaming The Victim”. 
Do read on.

Shorten’s make or break speech. UPDATE: It’s break. Shorten just destroyed himself

Andrew Bolt May 14 2015 (7:33pm)

Bill Shorten must deliver the speech of his life tonight - not in terms of rhetoric but policy. Labor’s fate could be settled right here.
- He has packed the gallery with applauding supporters, who from their subsequent applause lines seem to be largely unionists.
- He starts by praising Australians as “interesting” and compassionate people. “Interesting”?
- He says the Government’s Budget is short-term.
- Shorten says the Budget set off a “fire sale at Harvey Norman”, which he hastily adds is “good”, but short term.
- Shorten really must get rid of that faux-Churchill falling inflexion.
- Shorten rightly attacks the government’s reliance on bracket creep and says the tax take is the highest in a decade
- He accuses the Government of doubling the deficit (which was actually a result largely of correcting Labor’s dodgy accounting). Great, but what follows is a list of spending cuts worth billions a year he opposes.
- Shorten promises to keep fighting family tax benefit cuts.
- Promises to keep fighting the alleged “$100,000 degrees” - and the savings.
- Shorten lists a lot of other cuts he deplores.
- But then he suggests Labor will builds ports, bridges and roads.
- Claims the Government is a divider and someone who “vilifies ... woman of calibre” wanting child care. 
(So how will Shorten fix that deficit? Cut spending to make room for those tax cuts to redress that bracket creep he deplores? So far not one single proposal.)
- His first big new plan is, bizarrely, to make more independent appointments to Infrastructure Australia. (The crowd in the gallery applauds loudly. The Labor MPs are mute. No doubt those MPs are wondering how on earth this kind of stuff would win an election.)
- Claims he will offer Abbott something Abbott never offered him - “cooperation”. (Again, the gallery roars, the Labor MPs are silent.)
- Shorten “invites” the PM to “work with me” to cut small business taxes by 5 per cent, a task so beyond Labor’s finances that Shorten immediately adds that it would take more than a term of Parliament to achieve and must be bi-partisan. Totally unrealistic, then.
(So far Shorten has promised more spending and less tax. Does anyone see the flaw so far?)
- the first vows, two more tax hits - on foreign multinationals and super for the rich. (His two policies on those fronts so far would raise, if they work, less than $2 billion a year when our deficit is $35 billion, so nothing new yet.)
- but Shorten immediately promises more spending - 3 per cent of GDP by the end of the next decade for research and . (So one huge spend and one huge tax cut, both on the never never, with not a single serious suggestion how he’d pay for them.)
- a new $500 million smart investment fund. Yet more spending, and not one save so far - just two minor tax rises.
(So very few applause lines for that crowd, bussed in at some expense. This speech is turning into an epitaph.)
- more spending. Will train more teachers, and write off the HECS debt of 100,000 science teacher graduates. More will be women.
To sum up:
- a vast but distant spending promise on research and development ($48 billion a year at current prices) .
- many smaller spending promises on teachers and investment funds (HECS promise $700 million a year).
- a vast but distant promise to slash company taxes ($1.25 billion a year, not including matching help for unincorporated entitities.).
- opposition to billions in spending cuts in the Budget (several billion a year).
- no spending cuts endorsed.
- just two minor tax hits ($2 billion a year) proposed to pay for this massive program of spending and tax cuts and to cut the massive deficits, too.
This kind of wild, unfunded promising is exactly what ruined the Rudd and Gillard Government, and exactly why the country is now so dangerously in debt.
Shorten has failed the great challenge: to signal that Labor has learned and has changed.
If this program is all Shorten is promising, he would utterly ruin Australia. As it is, he has just ruined his leadership.
Bill Shorten has just destroyed his leadership. Yet Kevin Rudd’s rules means it is almost impossible for Labor to replace him without his agreement. 

How the ABC has gone to war against the Hockey Budget

Andrew Bolt May 14 2015 (7:10pm)


The ABC itself admits it has a legal obligation to be impartial:
The ABC has a statutory duty to ensure that the gathering and presentation of news and information is impartialaccording to the recognised standards of objective journalism. 
Here now are some of the many things I’ve noticed about the ABC’s coverage of the Abbott Government’s Budget.
- The Finance Minister is interrupted around a dozen timeson Lateline, treated with hostility and disrespect, and falsely accused of peddling a “nonsense figure” he just “made up”.
- The Treasurer is repeatedly heckled and talked over on 7.30, questioned with hostility interrupted around 14 times. Labor’s shadow treasurer immediately afterwards is given a respectful interview with minimal interruptions.
- The first four items on PM the day after the Budget are all hostile to the Budget’s spending cuts and unbalanced.  The headlines of each: “Labor attacks Government for calling mothers rorters”, “Wage growth figures challenge budget’s economic forecasts”, “Fed Govt slammed over lack of budget funding to reduce domestic violence” and “Aid budget slashed”. There is no criticism of Labor’s record or resistance to spending cuts.
- ABC reporter Peter Lloyd suggests the Government is forcing aid workers to decide which children to save and which to let die: “Care, Save the Children, World Vision: they are the household names at the vanguard of spending of the aid budget. Today, many are bunkered down, making something akin to ‘Sophie’s choice’ decisions about what programs they can, and can’t afford.”
7.30 reporter Hayden Cooper falsely suggests the aid cut to Indonesia could be punishment, and misrepresents Abbott’s earlier call for mutual compassion as a threat: “Now, at a time when relations are strained, there’s a 40 per cent cut [in aid]. Before the recent executions of two Australians, Tony Abbott himself linked the two issues.” Labor spokesman Tanya Plibersek is allowed to deplore the cuts without being asked if she’d restore them. Not mentioned is that Indonesia itself agrees it is not being punished and says it takes no offence.
- Radio National Breakfast host Fran Kelly invites die-hard Abbott-hater Paul Bongiorno to comment on the Budget this morning, and the two agree discuss how bad it is. Both attack the Government for wanting to end double-dipping of parental leave - women who have very generous leave from their employer also claiming parental leave payouts from government. Neither mention that most such women are, like Kelly, public servants. Neither mentions the Government has run out of money for massive welfare.
- Melbourne 774 host Jon Faine opens today’s show with another blast at the Government’s cuts to double dipping on parental leave, accusing the Government of “picking on women wanting to return to work”. He interviews another critic who agrees the Government is “attacking women”. No mention is made of the massive deficits forcing such spending cuts. No mention is made of the huge increase in funding for child care.
- Faine yesterday lashed the Budget for not funding state rail systems, claiming funding roads instead was “dinosaur” thinking.
Tony Jones on Lateline tries repeatedly to use an absurd hypothetical to suggest the Government’s new tax-write offs for small business investments will cost billions more than projected, and repeats the ABC’s meme of the day - that the Government’s “language” about double-dipping on parental leave is mean.
And on and on and on.
The ABC is out of control. And in breach of the law.
Feel free to add your own examples in comments below.
And on the ABC’s The Drum, this hostility, including a piece from ABC host Jonathan Green, clearly suffering yet another nasty attack of polysyllabilitis, whose symptoms include windiness and a giddy feeling of superiority:
Rosie Batty may be a Greens supporter, but her contribution to another ABC attack on the Abbott Government’s Budget goes too far:
STEPHANIE SMAIL: Rosie Batty’s son Luke was murdered by his father in February last year. 
She’s part of an advisory panel set up by the Federal Government to help reduce Australia’s spiralling rate of domestic violence.
The Australian of the Year says she’s disappointed the budget hasn’t set aside more funding for the problem.
ROSIE BATTIE: It’s so frustrating when we hear the Government talking about what a plight on our society family violence is. Let’s put it in context: this is terrorism in Australia. 
Batty would or should actually know this: that the Government will announce more funding and programs once the panel on which she serves reports back. That should surely have been said for fairness sake.
ABC TV news in Melbourne today:
First item - Abbott Government attacked on cutting double-dipping for parental leave, and two ministers allegedly embarrassed for having wives who double dipped, too.
Second item - Abbott Government attacked for cutting funding to drug counseling services.
Third item - Abbott Government attacked for not doing more for green energy.
Could the ABC be a little less obvious? Or could the Liberals just sell it? 

My guest on Sunday - Malcolm Turnbull

Andrew Bolt May 14 2015 (3:45pm)

Malcolm Turnbull has agreed for the first time to be my guest on The Bolt Report.
We’ll talk about the Budget and the ABC, of course, and about the arguments that have divided us.
On Channel 10 on Sunday at 10am and 3pm.
And join me and Steve Price on 2GB tonight at 8pm. Listen live here.Talkback:  131 873.
Listen to all past shows  here

Hockey’s Budget has scary strings attached

Andrew Bolt May 14 2015 (3:38pm)

Terry McCrann warns:
THE debt timebomb is still ticking. Joe Hockey’s second Budget has most definitely not defused it, but only muffled it… 
The Budget assumes [our] uninterrupted growth will tick on to 29 years in a row; and indeed then to 30 and 31 and on to at least 35.
Further, the growth projected for those years is not just any old positive growth ... but strongly positive growth every year…
Make a relatively modest assumption about growth stumbling for just one year and instead of debt falling to 16.8 per cent in 2018-19 ..., it could very easily be at 19 per cent and going UP…
But remember, this would be after 12 years of mounting bracket creep pouring — YOUR — money into the Budget… Also, soberingly, we got our triple-A whisked away when net debt was around 17-18 per cent of GDP in the mid-1990s of the Keating dog days… 
Then there’s the really scary bit. As Christopher Joye argues in the Financial Review, the last time — in the mid-1990s — that federal government debt was this high, ... household debt was around 50 per cent of household income; now it’s around 154 per cent. 

Either way, they think Abbott’s wrong

Andrew Bolt May 14 2015 (3:35pm)

Is anyone else sick of hearing many of the journalists who (like me) criticised the Abbott Government’s rolled gold parental leave system as far too generous now criticising Abbott for offering something less?
Oh, for heaven’s sake. Now Sky News and The Age are glowing over a gotcha:
What on earth is the hooting about?
The real story: Liberal MPs scrap a generous workplace condition that politicians get but millions of poorer Australians can’t. Shouldn’t journalists be cheering, not sneering? 

Compassion shouldn’t mean freeing the poor from responsibility

Andrew Bolt May 14 2015 (2:30pm)

How much “disadvantage” is self-inflicted? And if we’re to warn off the reckless, isn’t the proper response to insist people take responsibility rather than offer endless “compassion”?
How far does keyboard compassion stretch? ... The outpouring of sympathy on Twitter during the first episode of SBS’s controversial documentary Struggle Street had all but evaporated during the two-hour follow up on Wednesday night… 
The harshest vitriol was directed Billie Jo Wilkie. The confronting footage of the 21-year-old smoking pot and cigarettes in the final trimester of her third pregnancy outraged many.
While confronting scenes of drug use and dependence predominantly prompted calls for greater community and support to “break the cycle” of disadvantage during the first episode, Tweeters on Wednesday night were more likely to damn the woman for her “disgusting” choices…
Concern for the unborn child was paramount for many, with calls for children protection services to intervene and cheers when the voice-over informed viewers that the baby had been removed and put into care…

As 47-year-old Bob battled his drug addiction and slept through a visit from government welfare workers, Twitter demanded he be thrown out of the housing commission property and into prison. 
The sight of a smartphone, a TV, an X-box or manicured fingernails triggered a torrent of criticism questioning just how hard-up these Mount Druitt residents were.
The reactions might be confronting and even harsh, but the moral calculus driving them is surely healthy.
And it’s not as if viewers are not prepared to back those who at least try to help themselves:
But ... Chris, 22, earned congratulations for scoring a job and trying to ease the strained relationship between his mentally ill mother and his aunt and carer. 
Another young man, Tristan, who suffered brain damage after a horrific road accident, was also a bright spot for many as he stood in front of a packed auditorium of school students to warn them of the dangers of not wearing a helmet. 
It is not “compassion” to reinforce or validate choices which destroy lives or make others pay for laziness and self-indulgence. 

ABC: your earnings are a handout

Andrew Bolt May 14 2015 (8:04am)

The ABC mindset. Letting you keep your own money is a gift of government. A handout: 
LEIGH SALES: ... This year, it’s time for handouts and new spending…
TREASURER: I’m sorry, but there are no handouts.
LEIGH SALES: A tax break is a hand out. 
TREASURER: Well no it isn’t, it’s actually giving Australian small businesses some of their own money back.
Actually, a handout is the $1.1 billion a year we give the ABC. And the double-dip parental leave we give ABC employees such as Sales.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

ABC journalists act as heroes of war on Liberals

Andrew Bolt May 14 2015 (7:46am)

How the Left hatesMedia

 HAS the ABC reprimanded presenter Leigh Sales yet for her Budget night interview? Or presenter Emma Alberici?
Sure, Richard Carleton started this rot in 1983, asking smart-arse questions that made him the star of his own interview. Carleton asked newly installed Labor leader Bob Hawke if he felt “embarrassed” at the “blood that’s on your hands” and Hawke went off.
Carleton’s rudeness was so rare that his question is remembered to this day. Today, though, such gotcha aggro is standard — especially on the ABC and most especially to a Liberal MP.
What’s more, the media treats journalists’ rudeness as more newsworthy than the politicians’ response. When Channel 9’s Laurie Oakes needled Treasurer Joe Hockey on Sunday about changing his Budget tune, Nine reported that Oakes “has taken Joe Hockey to task”. Same when Nine’s Lisa Wilkinson flew at the throat of Social Services Minister Scott Morrison over his childcare package. “Lisa Wilkinson grills minister on new families budget”, reported Mamamia, a mummy-blogger site, naming the interviewer in its headline but not the minister.
Worse came on Tuesday night.
(Read full article here.

Hockey saves his job, and probably the Government

Andrew Bolt May 14 2015 (7:40am)

EconomyPolitics - federal

THE media’s favourite story on Monday was that hopeless Joe Hockey could be dumped as Treasurer.
The word was Hockey had so stuffed up last year’s Budget that he’d cock up this one, too, and could soon be replaced by buoyant Social Services Minister Scott Morrison.
The papers were full of headlines like these: “Scott Morrison pushes for Treasurer’s job” and “Scott Morrison edges Treasurer Joe Hockey in sell job”.
Sportsbet took so many wagers on Morrison replacing Hockey that it was offering odds of $1.75 on a switch, against $2.75 on Hockey staying.
But today that hype is as dead as February’s stories of Malcolm Turnbull replacing Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
We know it’s dead not because journalists have said they were wrong. As if!
No, we know it because they’re now writing completely different stories, albeit equally far-fetched.
(Read full story here.)  

Dan Andrews takes a holiday from responsible economics

Andrew Bolt May 14 2015 (7:22am)

Victorians count the mounting costs of a Socialist Left Government, dedicated to the proposition that money is what you spend, not earn, and work is a curse to be relieved by two more public holidays, created just when the economy is weak:
Treasury put the cost to the health department of the Easter Sunday public holiday at $21 million in 2015/16, increasing each year. The cost of the Grand Final Eve holiday was estimated at $26 million. 
Of course that’s only the taxpayer cost ...

This double dipping seems a Labor fiddle for public servants

Andrew Bolt May 14 2015 (6:53am)

Simon Benson is absolutely right - the Government just isn’t explaining enough about the public service link to the double dipping:
LABOR’S mock outrage over the government’s changes to double dipping on paid parental leave is understandable — politically. 
Treasurer Joe Hockey opened the door to this attack when he stuffed up the announcement. The explanation should have been easy and, if explained properly, would have exposed Labor’s own trickery — which looks suspiciously like a sneaky backdoor pay-off to the public sector unions…

When Labor introduced its PPL, with a cap of $11,500, it was on the assumption of a national taxpayer scheme to help women in a country where very few employers actually had PPLs for their employees.
It turns out that the one employer who did have a generous PPL was the public service. Under union negotiated enterprise agreements, public servants became entitled to 14 weeks of leave — which for someone on $130k provided $35,000.
This public servant could then claim the government PPL, topping up their total payments to almost $50k.
It is hard to imagine that Labor didn’t do this without design considering its union vested interests… 
Of course, private sector workers would be able to do the same. But there are far fewer who have the luxury of working for a company that actually has a PPL. Hence the number of people to be cut off from this double dipping are primarily public sector workers — they are more than 60 per cent of the 80,000 estimated to be affected. 
The beneficiaries of Labor’s big-spending largesse includes ABC employees. This fact should be remembered when considering the reporting on this issue.
Sure, avoid terms like rorting. But do note the unfairness of offering a taxpayer-funded extra that public servants can use, but few others. 

Shorten: all spend, almost no save

Andrew Bolt May 14 2015 (6:46am)

Of course this crass populist will oppose almost every saving and back every spending. Isn’t that precisely the Labor way that got us into this financial mess?
BILL Shorten will block a bid by the government to end the double-dipping paid parental leave scheme Labor created, along with a raft of other key savings measures. 
What would this deficit look like if Bill Shorten was in charge, playing Santa?
Closing the [double dipping] loophole would save taxpayers $1 billion over four years… Labor will stand in the way of a fuel excise increase, announced in last year’s Budget, which would ... pour more than $500 million into government coffers… Changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, which are worth $1.2 billion and would raise the price of medicines by up to $5 — 80c for pensioners — will also be blocked by the Opposition… 
Does Shorten seem determined to prove Labor has learned from the bungling of the Rudd and Gillard Governments and be more prudent next time?
On 3AW yesterday, this scary exchange:
Bill Shorten has a moment of confusion during his interview with Neil Mitchell on 3AW yesterday: 
Mitchell: What deficit did they inherit when they won power? Shorten: Oh, $16-17 billion.
Wayne Swan’s forecast deficit, 2013-14 budget. May 14, 2013: 
$18 billion
Final Budget Outcome 2013-14 deficit result, September 25 last year: 
$48.5 billion.
Shorten surely is better than this. His leadership is slowly leaking away through a fear of action and of the Left.
This is his one last chance, to do a Hawke and show Labor is more pragmatic and more responsible. 

Er, what 3.5 per cent growth?

Andrew Bolt May 14 2015 (6:37am)

Adam Creighton underlines something that’s worried me, too:
The government’s tenuous plan for a return to budget surplus is likely to unravel within years as assumptions about economic growth turn out to be highly optim­istic, leading to further blowouts in the deficit… 
The small surplus pencilled in for 2019-20 depends on economic growth accelerating from the below-trend 2.5 per cent pace witnessed last year to 3.5 per cent a year from 2017-18, which would be the fastest sustained pace of growth since the halcyon final years of the Howard government. If the economy instead grows by 2.8 per cent for the two years from 2017-18 — the average annual rate of growth assumed in the government’s Intergenerational Report — the deficits would be about $13 billion worse than forecast, says Deloitte Access Economics director Chris Richardson.
On the other hand, the Budget assumes iron ore prices of $48, when prices lately have recovered to around $60. Parliamentary secretary Christian Porter, a former WA treasurer, thinks that assumed price is “conservative”, and if he’s right, that’s billions more income than the Government is counting on.
But overall I agree: does this feel like an economy ready to take off? We can only hope. 

Punters back the Government

Andrew Bolt May 14 2015 (12:03am)

The money at Sportingbet now says the Coalition will be re-elected:
Sportsbet punters agree, (although this result is inconsistent with some of Sportsbet’s other markets):
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Through the pain barrier with Liberal budget

Piers Akerman – Wednesday, May 14, 2014 (11:14am)


The Liberals’ cigar-led recovery

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, May 13, 2014 (10:00pm)

WHEN Joe Hockey and Mathias Cormann popped into the Budget lockup in Canberra to schmooze the media, there wasn’t a Cuban cigar in sight.
 Continue reading 'The Liberals’ cigar-led recovery'


Tim Blair – Wednesday, May 14, 2014 (2:58pm)

On Tuesday night in Canberra I saw a man be ordered from a bar because he failed to respect the territorial boundaries of an awning.

Hockey dances with his wife. Oakes suggests he doesn’t care for the poor

Andrew Bolt May 14 2014 (3:56pm)

Laurie Oakes smears:
Joe Hockey hits back:
Some of the media coverage has just been sick - stupid and spiteful attempts to whip up the crassest of class envy with attacks on Hockey having a private smoke of a cigar and dancing with his wife. 

Labor plant: the real Vilma, angry Rudd loyalist

Andrew Bolt May 14 2014 (2:00pm)

 Sold at first as just another pensioner telling off the Prime Minister:
During one of a raft of breakfast television appearances, on the Ten network’s Wake Up, Mr Abbott was confronted by an elderly woman, named only as Vilma, furious about changes to the age pension, who responded to his explanations on broken promises with: ‘’I have never heard such rubbish in all my life.’’

‘‘Why don’t you leave the pensioners alone? If we pull the belt any tighter we’re going to choke to death,’’ Vilma said. ‘’Why are you picking on me? 

‘‘I challenge you: come out and meet some of the pensioners, they’ll tell you a little thing or two.’’
Just another abusive Labor plant, and I wonder how she got chosen:
Appearing distinctly uncomfortable, Mr Abbott ...suggested to Vilma that it was obvious that she had not voted for the Coalition, to which the indignant Vilma replied ‘’Excuse me, it’s got nothing to do with who I vote for and who I don’t vote for… You’re a comedian, sir you’re a comedian.’’ It emerged later on Wednesday that Vilma is Vilma Ward 85, president of the Bulimba Senior Citizen’s centre. According to a media report from 2010, Mrs Ward served on Kevin Rudd’s election campaign committee in his first run for federal parliament in 1998.
From Women’s Weekly, 1967, evidence that Ward has been a very long-time Labor activist:
Her husband, Mr. Leonard Ward, is organiser for the Queensland Transport Workers’ Union. 
Mrs. Ward is a member ot the Balmoral Branch of the Union of Australian Women and is a national committee member. She is also secretary of the Norman Park Branch of the ALP.
Yet more ties between Vilma and Rudd, who has used her himself as a prop.

(Thanks to reader Borderer and Catallaxy File, which has more.)  

If Scott can’t find 1 per cent of savings in the ABC without weeping he should be replaced

Andrew Bolt May 14 2014 (8:23am)

Anyone working in commercial media outlets - particularly in slashed-hard Fairfax or Channel 10 - will have nothing but contempt for such bleating from ABC boss  Mark Scottover a Budget cut of just 1 per cent:
The funding cuts will be disappointing for audiences. The task ahead will be extremely challenging for ABC management and staff.
Reader Baldrick:
The ABC’s budget will be reduced one percent over four years. So for every $1,000,000 the ABC spends it will need to find a saving $10,000. Hardly challenging!
Reader centrepete: 
Waking up in Singapore earlier this year, I decided to check out the Australia Network. I was immediately confronted (not for long) with Sarah Hanson-Young telling that part of the world what a pack of absolute bastards we Australians actually are. 
I heartily endorse the axing of the Australia Network.
Reader David:
On the ABC news website, there is a graphic on winners and losers from the budget. Note how the ABC decides the budget is “neutral” for high income earners, ie not affected either way. What extraordinary mind-bending argument and twisted logic did they have to follow to conclude that?
Yes, odd, given the 2 per cent deficit levy, just for starters.  

More than 400 “real” refugees on Manus

Andrew Bolt May 14 2014 (7:58am)

I’m surprised so many are considered refugees and wonder how that decision was arrived at: 
MORE than a third of the 1200 asylum-seekers detained on PNG’s Manus Island have been assessed as genuine refugees in preliminary investigations by authorities. The same number have been knocked back at this stage as refugees, while authorities have yet to assess the remaining 300 asylum-seekers.

Answer: no

Andrew Bolt May 14 2014 (7:49am)

I really don’t think this latest Twitter campaign captures the public mood:

What was Obama doing as Islamists attacked the US post in Benghazi?

Andrew Bolt May 14 2014 (7:35am)

Why is such a basic fact not yet known? It can only be because it’s embarrassing:
What was President Obama doing during the eight hours that the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, was under attack? Amazingly, we still do not know 20 months later.
(Via Instapundit.) 

Goodes flags the agenda: not to reconcile, but divide

Andrew Bolt May 14 2014 (7:17am)

I don’t know how much clearer Adam Goodes could have flagged it yesterday: the proposed change to the constitution is just one step in creating a nation of tribes, divided by “race”:

Rudd left by Labor to answer for insulation fiasco

Andrew Bolt May 14 2014 (7:14am)

Kevin Rudd is on the stand today:
KEVIN Rudd has been cut adrift by the Labor Party and two of his former ministers as he faces a searching examination under oath today over the deadly debacle of Labor’s $2.8 billion Home Insulation Program… 
...supporters of Mr Rudd were furious after opposition legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus failed to follow through on a commitment to supply a written submission to the commission in defence of Mr Rudd and the HIP…

[Former environment minister Peter] Garrett gives some detail of what he told Mr Rudd in his extensive statement.
On at least one occasion, in August 2009, Mr Rudd refused Mr Garrett’s request to reintroduce tougher compliance measures for dodgy installers, requiring homeowners to obtain two quotes for insulation work. The former prime minister agreed to the change only in October 2009, Mr Garrett said, after the first installer’s death and following another written plea from him…

Mr Garrett said he was not told of warnings to his bureaucrats as early as February 2009 that three New Zealand installers were electrocuted under a similar scheme. 
He was also not told his department had been warned by a technical advisory group in April 2009 that there was a high likelihood of “catastrophic” consequences — such as death and injury — under the scheme.  

 So much pain just to halve Labor’s monster debt

Andrew Bolt May 14 2014 (6:23am)

 THIS Budget says something terrifying about Australia, so hooked on handouts. How can it hurt so much to do so little?
The Abbott Government is dicing with political death to make so many cuts, raise so many taxes and charges, and break so many promises.
Yet even after all this pain we still won’t post a surplus for at least another five years, and Labor’s debt will keep rising until then.
Oh, just to show the legacy of Labor’s criminally reckless spending, this financial year will leave us with one of the biggest deficits in our history — $50 billion — racked up at a time of growth and high prices for our minerals.
So you think this Government is now too brutal, slashing family payments, slugging uni students, taxing the “rich” with a deficit levy, hiking petrol prices, charging for doctor visits and sacking 16,500 public servants over four years?
Well, stop whingeing: despite all these cuts, government spending is still going up by $56 billion over the next four years, from $411 billion this financial year.
(Read full article here.) 

Budget: most pain later, adding to the political risk

Andrew Bolt May 13 2014 (11:27pm)

Terry McCrann:
The budget’s nowhere near as brutal as might have been feared. Indeed, it will almost certainly be criticised from ‘the right’ as being too soft — the total of supposedly savage cuts knock less than $2 billion off the $32 billion deficit expected for this year. 
Yes, the cuts are projected to grow, to slice a much more impressive $14 billion off the deficit in 2017-18. This, combined with the continued ever-rising harvest of bracket creep, is projected to get the budget bottom line essentially back to balance around then.
Indeed the roughly $30 billion reduction in the deficit is split almost equally between spending cuts and higher income tax from bracket creep.
Now it’s always a worry that most of the pain comes later. 
This is the (post-election) budget in which treasurers are supposed to be brutal; by this time next year the government will be into the ‘hand-out’ countdown towards the next election.
David Uren:
The budget savings across the year ahead of $1.7 billion are less than 0.5 per cent of total budget outlays, while they are still tiny in the following year… 
The government is making commitments to fix the budget but they will not start to take full effect for years to come, mostly beyond the next election.
The Treasurer justifies his caution saying the economy will still be growing at below its long-term trend for the next two years. He does not want public spending cuts to hurt demand while the recovery is still fragile… The government’s caution is based on its fears of the fallout as a massive wave of construction on resource projects draws to an end.... 
The cuts outlined in the budget are designed to start taking full effect from 2017-18, by which time the fall in resource investment will have run its course and Treasury expects the economy will be bounding along at an above-trend growth rate of 3.5 per cent. By then business will be taking up the slack left by years of poor performance. 
Henry Ergas:
No doubt, there will be controversy over just how large the turnaround is...: a reasonable estimate is that the total deficits over the four years to 2017-18 have been reduced by some $35bn to $45bn. 
On any measure, it is spending cuts that are doing the heavy lifting, with policy decisions reducing spending by $28bn (relative to the 2013-14 MYEEFO) over the period to 2017-18.
That means spending reductions, rather than tax increases, account for 77 per cent of the fiscal effort…
But the job is far from done. For starters, sustaining the spending cuts will hardly be easy. In the initial years, they rely heavily on freezing benefits, reducing thresholds at which payments are phased out and tightening eligibility rules: the fiscal physician’s favourite slimming diet, but also that most readily relaxed as an election approaches. Moreover, it is in 2017-18 that the axe really falls, as the government tears up Labor’s Gonski and hospital funding IOUs.
That helps reduce spending growth in 2017-18 from the 5.9 per cent in real terms that retaining those commitments would have entailed to a more manageable 2.6 per cent; but sensible though that decision is, it promises a political firestorm. 
After all, by walking away from those agreements, the government is both setting up a massive conflict with the states and aggravating its vulnerability just where the Coalition is weakest: health and education. As a result, it must be likely that as the election looms, the government will negotiate alternatives, with some part of the savings coming undone.
Sinclair Davidson wonders whether the ideology has been overdone:
Then there is the Medical Research Future Fund. This verges on the incoherent. The government will invest all the money from the GP co-payment, increased medicine payments, and savings from medical expenditure into the fund which will then finance research. In other words, the GP co-payment and increased medicine prices will not be used to reduce debt or deficit. So why have it all? Clearly there is no urgent need to introduce these higher prices and co-payments; they are driven purely by ideology. The Medical Research Future Fund exists to detract attention from that decision. Why deprive people of actual medical attention in order to finance research when there is no guarantee of any actual benefit?
Maybe to get the fund to replace the Budget as source of future research funding, and thereby disguising an actual breach of a promise not to cut health spending?
Sinclair continues:
Then there is the broken tax promise… This promise has been shattered by an increase in the top marginal tax rate above $180,000 and the reintroduction of petrol indexation. In time petrol indexation will generate a lot of income, but not in the next financial year. Similarly the increased tax rate (only for three years, we’re told) won’t raise much revenue either. So why break a promise for little revenue gain? This is form above substance measure to share the pain… 
Finally, of course, the budget and the forward projections all remain in deficit. Joe Hockey has not produced a surplus and over the foreseeable future isn’t forecasting a surplus either.
Sinclair Davidson puts the “brutal” Budget in context:
Paul Kelly:
It defines the political battle of the first Abbott government — a choice between the need for community sacrifice versus anger at being punished by a government that broke its promises. 
It will be a test of maturity. Labor has a truckload of griev­ances to exploit… The risk for Abbott and Hockey is that in the near term they provoke disproportionate political hostility for the financial savings they generate.  

Tough - but getting rid of Labor’s debt is even tougher

Andrew Bolt May 13 2014 (8:55pm)

This is the scary bit. We’re screaming about the cuts and the taxes, but even after all that “pain” there will still not be a surplus for another five years:
TAX hikes and welfare cuts will help trim next year’s budget deficit to $29.8 billion in the first stage of wider reforms to prevent debt from soaring to the levels Joe Hockey warned of five months ago. 
Confirming deep cuts to family tax benefits and two new big tax hikes, the Treasurer has outlined a federal budget that starts long-term reforms to save tens of billions of dollars. But most of the savings will come after the four years of the budget forward estimates as the government holds back from faster cuts out of fear of hurting the economy.
Melissa Ohden

My thoughts on the Gosnell trial. I am a bleary, teary mess right now. In a world that by and large wanted to overlook and avoid looking at this atrocity, justice was served today. But justice needs to continue to be served today, tomorrow, and in the days and weeks that come. My thoughts: 

I will likely never stand face to face with the abortionist, who thirty-five years ago, executed his job duties and attempted to kill me. I will never stand face to face with that abortionist, who thirty-five years ago, did not, as many pro-abortion people have said, “do his job properly” that day. As we know, by saying that he “didn’t do his job properly,” they mean, “didn’t kill you like he was supposed to.”

I will likely never stand face to face with that abortionist, but because I was blessed to survive the abortion procedure and was provided medical care after it was discovered that I wasn’t dead like I should have been, like it was initially believed I was, I can now stand face to face with abortionists like Dr. Gosnell. In comparison to his victims, I believe that Dr. Gosnell is lucky. Today he was found guilty on 3 of 4 counts of murder. Compared to the children whose lives he ended in the womb, and the children whose lives he ended outside of the womb, he is lucky, indeed. He is lucky to have experienced life, albeit filled with horrific choices that he made. He is lucky to have experienced what it was like to be loved by someone in his life. He is lucky to have been born.
Justice was served today. But it does not stop the other ‘Gosnell’s’ that exist in our world today, who not only end life inside the womb but attempt to end it through their own actions or inactions once the child is outside of the womb. I pray that justice be served for the rest of the children who are affected by abortion and infanticide every day.
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." Lincoln
Leadership is neither showmanship nor dictatorship. Leadership is a stewardship and a partnership.
May 14Pesach Sheni (Judaism, 2014); Feast day of Saint Matthiasand Saint Mo Chutu (Roman Catholicism)
Edward Jenner

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” -Proverbs 31:30
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
Psalm 30:5
Christian! If thou art in a night of trial, think of the morrow; cheer up thy heart with the thought of the coming of thy Lord. Be patient, for
"Lo! He comes with clouds descending."
Be patient! The Husbandman waits until he reaps his harvest. Be patient; for you know who has said, "Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be." If you are never so wretched now, remember
"A few more rolling suns, at most,

Will land thee on fair Canaan's coast."
Thy head may be crowned with thorny troubles now, but it shall wear a starry crown ere long; thy hand may be filled with cares--it shall sweep the strings of the harp of heaven soon. Thy garments may be soiled with dust now; they shall be white by-and-by. Wait a little longer. Ah! how despicable our troubles and trials will seem when we look back upon them! Looking at them here in the prospect, they seem immense; but when we get to heaven we shall then
"With transporting joys recount,
The labours of our feet."
Our trials will then seem light and momentary afflictions. Let us go on boldly; if the night be never so dark, the morning cometh, which is more than they can say who are shut up in the darkness of hell. Do you know what it is thus to live on the future--to live on expectation--to antedate heaven? Happy believer, to have so sure, so comforting a hope. It may be all dark now, but it will soon be light; it may be all trial now, but it will soon be all happiness. What matters it though "weeping may endure for a night," when "joy cometh in the morning?"


"Thou art my portion, O Lord."
Psalm 119:57
Look at thy possessions, O believer, and compare thy portion with the lot of thy fellowmen. Some of them have their portion in the field; they are rich, and their harvests yield them a golden increase; but what are harvests compared with thy God, who is the God of harvests? What are bursting granaries compared with him, who is the Husbandman, and feeds thee with the bread of heaven? Some have their portion in the city; their wealth is abundant, and flows to them in constant streams, until they become a very reservoir of gold; but what is gold compared with thy God? Thou couldst not live on it; thy spiritual life could not be sustained by it. Put it on a troubled conscience, and could it allay its pangs? Apply it to a desponding heart, and see if it could stay a solitary groan, or give one grief the less? But thou hast God, and in him thou hast more than gold or riches ever could buy. Some have their portion in that which most men love--applause and fame; but ask thyself, is not thy God more to thee than that? What if a myriad clarions should be loud in thine applause, would this prepare thee to pass the Jordan, or cheer thee in prospect of judgment? No, there are griefs in life which wealth cannot alleviate; and there is the deep need of a dying hour, for which no riches can provide. But when thou hast God for thy portion, thou hast more than all else put together. In him every want is met, whether in life or in death. With God for thy portion thou art rich indeed, for he will supply thy need, comfort thy heart, assuage thy grief, guide thy steps, be with thee in the dark valley, and then take thee home, to enjoy him as thy portion forever. "I have enough," said Esau; this is the best thing a worldly man can say, but Jacob replies, "I have all things," which is a note too high for carnal minds.

[Mēphĭb'o shĕth] - utterance of baalor destroying shame.
  1. A son of Rizpah, Saul's concubine and the daughter of Aiah. David gave him up to the Gibeonites (2 Sam. 21:8).
  2. The son of Jonathan, son of Saul. Also called Meribbaal, meanning "a striver against Baal" (2 Sam. 4:4; 9:6-13; 16:1, 4; 19:24-30; 21:7; 1 Chron. 8:34; 9:40).

The Man Who Was Lame in Both Feet

Mephibosheth was only five years old when Jonathan, his father, and Saul, his grandfather, both fell in the same battle on Mount Gilboa, and with their death their family fell from the throne. In the terror of that day of defeat and death, the nurse caught up Jonathan's child and fled with him in her arms. But in her haste she let the little prince fall, and thus Mephibosheth was lame in both feet for the rest of his life.
Preachers can find excellent material in what is said of Mephibosheth - a type of the redeemed sinner.
I. He belonged to the royal line, but was made a cripple by a fall (2 Sam. 4:4).

II. He lived in exile from the king but was remembered because of a covenant (1 Sam. 20:14, 15; 2 Sam. 9:3, 4).
III. He was called into the king's presence and exalted because of the merits of another (2 Sam. 9:5, 7).
IV. He was given a glorious heritage (2 Sam. 9:9).
V. He lived a life of self-denial during the king's absence (2 Sam. 19:24).
VI. He was subject to persecution and slander ( 2 Sam. 16:3; 19:27).
VII. He rejoiced at the return of the king and cared little for material things (2 Sam. 19:30).

Today's reading: 2 Kings 17-18, John 3:19-36 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Kings 17-18

Hoshea Last King of Israel
In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned nine years. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, but not like the kings of Israel who preceded him.
3 Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up to attack Hoshea, who had been Shalmaneser's vassal and had paid him tribute....

Today's New Testament reading: John 3:19-36

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God....

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