Monday, May 07, 2018

Mon May 7th Todays News

Don't give up on hope. Today has a budget for Australia which news media are keen to cast as terrible. It won't be a surplus. Peter Costello budgeted Australia out of deficit over a decade. Tony Abbott promoted fiscal responsibility, but got rolled by Turnbull. Turnbull has in the past leaked against the treasurer. No major leaks from Turnbull this time, but political enemies are gloating the budget won't be a surplus. Today, the debt is a similar size as what Costello faced. But the political leadership from Turnbull is not that of Howard. It is likely no one alive today will be alive when Australia is out of debt initiated by the ALP. Even ALP supporting independents get free passes, as Cathy McGowan has when not confirming that Sophie Mirabella had not pushed a political opponent during a campaign. A court has verified Sophie was innocent. McGowan profited from the defamation. The senior Liberal political ranks are not engaged in the culture wars, and so people like McGowan get free passes for appalling behaviour. But also, those wanting to work for Australia's prosperity get sidelined. Turnbull will not be PM when Australia next has a surplus budget. 

Fighting culture wars is ugly. President Trump is engaged in the culture wars, and is being sued by a porn star who apparently wants to make a political statement. Maybe Trump's money brought the porn star's reputation into disrepute? And if Trump paid the money and did not benefit, should punters be outraged? Trump's wife puts forward a positive message for kids and gets condemned by those who lauded Obama's wife. Some complain Melania's message was confused? But Michelle's message to fat kids was positive? 

Trump is engaged in the culture wars and as a result he is achieving well with the economy. The two issues are related. Progressives try to distract from the economy, because when conservatives are successful with the economy they look good. In Victoria, LDS are becoming more involved with politics in the Liberal Party, a conservative party. This is a healthy thing. Mormons are known as the world's best neighbours for a reason. But news media like the Age cast the LDS involvement as something sinister. But LDS's agenda in politics is to make things better. What on earth are progressives trying to achieve? 

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 Life is Beautiful, My Child

A free poem, read by a Frenchman, with images from Capra's "A Wonderful Life"

Life is beautiful, my child,
Though many things go wrong,
And you may hear much sadness in
Its strange and lovely song.

Though friends and loved ones die, my child,
They're never really gone.
Nor more nor less than yesterday,
In you they will live on.
They will live on in you, my child,
As everything you see,
Though it must vanish, will remain
Alive in memory.
Alive in what you think and feel
And dream and say and do,
For all who ever were still are
Upon this earth in you.
Copyright by Nicholas Gordon

=== from 2017 ===
James Bolt from IPA has highlighted a piece on red tape. "Red tape costs Australia $176 billion every year. Today the IPA's Daniel Wild published his report on how Australia needs a Trump-style 'one in, two out' rule on red tape. If we had that rule since the Coalition formed government in 2013, there would be 107,885 fewer pages of red tape." That annual expense never comes back. It is an inefficiency which makes Australia uncompetitive with the world. Australia has been the lucky country, but cannot be the lucky country while she has so much inertia strangling business. And trade partners will not thank Australia for being this bad. President Trump will exploit the weakness, but not respect us for it. Ordinary citizens are complaining about it, but the obfuscations of the political class and media mean those complaints are unfocused. But even the most bent politician and jaded news reporter is aware of bill shock which hurts the poorest in our communities. 

Some things should not happen, but they do. Regularly. The Fairfax strike now echoes a similar one three years ago. Made for the same reason. Abysmal standards have resulted in lost readership and a shrinking of revenue. It is argued that lots of people now read Fairfax papers online, and so the readership is expanding. But it is also the case that fewer pets now require the papers? Was the paper only ever useful as cheap packaging and easy disposal? But that is no longer environmentally friendly? The cats of Australia have made their choice. But are the striking journalists listening?
=== 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 ===
Bill Shorten mentioned recent leadership debates among Liberals and Greens and made the specious claim that members did not get the leader they wanted. He claimed only the ALP does that. He failed to note he was rejected by members overwhelmingly and only appointed by caucus. To be fair, Shorten had voted for himself or in his own self interest, and he probably meant that. No Liberal or Green supports Shorten.

On this day in 351, the Jewish revolt against Constantius Gallus, brother to Constantius II and son of Constantine the Great began. Constantius favoured Christians and in turn their clergy practiced intolerance to others, including Jews. Christian leaders had encouraged lynchings and riots which killed Jews. So the Jewish revolt was for self determination. Only it would fail badly. Several thousand Jews died as Rome reasserted authority and some cities were destroyed. In 1429, Joan of Arc ended the Siege of Orléans, pulling an arrow from her own shoulder and returning, wounded, to lead the final charge. The victory marked a turning point in the Hundred Years' War. For half a year, the sieging English seemed to be winning. But only nine days after Joan entered the fray, France won. It was the first French success in major terms since Agincourt. In 1824, at the world premiere of his ninth symphony, Beethoven needed to be turned around to see the audience's wild applause. He could no longer hear. But he had composed brilliance. Three years later, he died. He had been very sick and analysis of his bones suggests he was killed by doctors treating him with lead based medication.

In 1915, Germany made a simple marketing mistake, sinking RMS Lusitania with submarine U-20. Until then, US had many sympathisers for Germany. After, they feared the empire. On the same day, Japan made demands on China that the then weak government conceded. China had felt the demands were less than they would have conceded. But Japan had diplomatically betrayed trust with the US and Great Britain. In 1940, the Norway Debate in Britain's Parliament in London resulted in a dying Chamberlain being demonstrably unable to continue in government. In a few weeks, Winston Churchill was PM over a unity war time government. Exactly five years later, in 1945, General Alfred Jodl signed unconditional surrender terms at ReimsFrance, ending Germany's participation in the war. The document took effect the next day.
From 2014
The debate is heating up as the budget nears. The question posed is "Will Mr Abbott keep his election promise?" ABC are adding piquancy to the discussion by claiming that if Abbott fails, it will just be like Gillard's failed promise. It is worth noting a few things as the left try to inflate the situation to resemble something other than what it is. Prior to the '10 election, Abbott and Hockey claimed Gillard would initiate a Carbon tax. Gillard said that she wouldn't. Swan said that such claims were hysterical fear mongering. Then came the election and soon after Gillard took steps to implement the tax. She did not have to. She would have had ample parliamentary support to not implement the tax, but she chose to. When Gillard was finally deposed, Rudd claimed he had finished the tax. When Shorten became leader, he said he would protect the tax. And so the ALP have lied to the Australian electorate on several occasions and continue to do so to preserve a useless tax that obstructs business. Compare that with Abbott's promise to fix the budget. The short term levee will not impede business long term because it won't exist long term. But if nothing is done to begin repaying ALP debt, it will be very bad for all of Australia, moving forward. In such stark terms, there is no equality in election betrayal claims. Fact check.

Herod the Great is tied to this day from a modern discovery of his tomb in 2007. Only, as was a frequent problem in antiquity, he is not buried in his tomb. Herod was a great builder as exemplified by the remaining wall of the second temple. Herod was also a high order bastard who added a twist to the modern practice of a man calling their loved one honey. Also on this day in 351, there was a Jewish uprising against their persecutors. Only the persecution was not imaginary, and the advantages resulted in slaughter. In 1429, Joan of Arc plucked an arrow out of her shoulder and led a charge at the siege of Orleans, winning and turning the tide in the hundred year war. 

On this day, prototypical leftist Robespierre, in 1794, tabled to the national convention in France, the plans for a cult of a supreme being. He had wanted to reject Catholicism and institute a worship of reason that was different to the Atheism he witnessed and did not like. Thirty years later, Ludwig Van Beethoven produced his supremely glorious ninth symphony. Today is Radio Day because in 1895 in Russia, AS Popov invented and demonstrated a radio receiver. On this day in 1940, a dying Neville Chamberlain was replaced with Winston Churchill as PM. In 1952, plans for the integrated chip were first tabled. In 2000, Putin was inaugurated President of Russia. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 351, the Jewish revolt against Gallus broke out. After his arrival at Antioch, the Jews began a rebellion in Palestine. 558, in Constantinople, the dome of the Hagia Sophia collapsed. Justinian Iimmediately orders that the dome be rebuilt. 1274, in France, the Second Council of Lyon opened to regulate the election of the Pope. 1429, Joan of Arc ended the Siege of Orléans, pulling an arrow from her own shoulder and returning, wounded, to lead the final charge. The victory marked a turning point in the Hundred Years' War. 1487, the Siege of Málaga commenced during the Spanish Reconquista. 1664, Louis XIV of France began construction of the Palace of Versailles. 1697, Stockholm's royal castle (dating back to medievaltimes) was destroyed by fire. It was replaced by the current Royal Palace in the eighteenth century. 1718, the city of New Orleans was founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville. 1763, Pontiac's Warbegan with Pontiac's attempt to seize Fort Detroit from the British. 1794, French RevolutionRobespierre introduced the Cult of the Supreme Being in the National Convention as the new state religion of the French First Republic.

In 1824, world premiere of Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in ViennaAustria. The performance was conducted by Michael Umlaut under the composer's supervision. 1832, the independence of Greeceis recognised by the Treaty of LondonOtto of Wittelsbach, Prince of Bavaria was chosen King. 1840, the Great Natchez Tornadostruck Natchez, Mississippi killing 317 people. It was the second deadliest tornado in United States history. 1846, the Cambridge Chronicle, America's oldest surviving weekly newspaper, was published for the first time in Cambridge, Massachusetts 1847, the American Medical Association was founded in Philadelphia. 1864, American Civil War: The Army of the Potomac, under General Ulysses S. Grant, broke off from the Battle of the Wilderness and moved southwards. Also 1864, the world's oldest surviving clipper ship, the City of Adelaide was launched by William Pile, Hay and Co. in Sunderland, England, for transporting passengers and goods between Britain and Australia. 1895, in Saint PetersburgRussian scientist Alexander Stepanovich Popov demonstrated to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society his invention, the Popov lightning detector — a primitive radio receiver. In some parts of the former Soviet Union the anniversary of this day was celebrated as Radio Day.

In 1915, World War IGerman submarine U-20 sank RMS Lusitania, killing 1,198 people including 128 Americans. Public reaction to the sinking turned many formerly pro-Germans in the United States against the German Empire Also 1915, Japanese 21 Demands Ultimatum to China (Commemorated as National Day of Humiliation) 1920, Kiev OffensivePolish troops led by Józef Piłsudski and Edward Rydz-Śmigły and assisted by a symbolic Ukrainian force captured Kiev only to be driven out by the Red Army counter-offensive a month later. Also 1920, Treaty of MoscowSoviet Russia recognised the independence of the Democratic Republic of Georgia only to invade the country six months later. Also 1920, the Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto, opened the first exhibition by the Group of Seven. 1937, Spanish Civil War: The German Condor Legion, equipped with Heinkel He 51 biplanes, arrived in Spain to assist Francisco Franco's forces.

In 1940, the Norway Debate in the British House of Commons began, and led to the replacement of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain with Winston Churchill three days later. 1942, during the Battle of the Coral SeaUnited States Navy aircraft carrier aircraft attacked and sank the Japanese Imperial Navylight aircraft carrier Shōhō. The battle marked the first time in the naval history that two enemy fleets fought without visual contact between warring ships. 1945, World War II: General Alfred Jodl signed unconditional surrender terms at ReimsFrance, ending Germany's participation in the war. The document took effect the next day. 1946, Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering (later renamed Sony) was founded with around 20 employees. 1948, the Council of Europe was founded during the Hague Congress. 1952, the concept of the integrated circuit, the basis for all modern computers, was first published by Geoffrey W.A. Dummer. 1954, Indochina War: The Battle of Dien Bien Phu ended in a French defeat and a Vietnamese victory (the battle began on March 13). 1960, Cold WarU-2 Crisis of 1960 – Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev announced that his nation was holding American U-2 pilot Gary Powers. 1964, Pacific Air Lines Flight 773, a Fairchild F-27 airliner, crashes near San Ramon, California, killing all 44 aboard; the FBI later reported that a cockpit recorder tape indicated that the pilot and co-pilot had been shot by a suicidal passenger. 1974, West German Chancellor Willy Brandt resigned. 1986, Canadian Patrick Morrow became the first person to climb each of the Seven Summits.

In 1992, Michigan ratified a 203-year-old proposed amendment to the United States Constitution making the 27th Amendment law. This amendment barred the U.S. Congress from giving itself a mid-term pay raise. Also 1992, the Space Shuttle Endeavour was launched on its first mission, STS-49. Also 1992, three employees at a McDonald'sRestaurant in Sydney, Nova ScotiaCanada, were brutally murderedand a fourth permanently disabled after a botched robbery. It was the first "fast-food murder" in Canada. 1994, Edvard Munch's iconic painting The Scream was recovered undamaged after being stolen from the National Gallery of Norway in February. 1998, Mercedes-Benzbought Chrysler for $40 billion USD and formed DaimlerChrysler in the largest industrial merger in history. 1999, Pope John Paul II travelled to Romania becoming the first pope to visit a predominantly Eastern Orthodox country since the Great Schism in 1054. Also 1999, Kosovo War: In Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, three Chinese citizens were killed and 20 wounded when a NATO aircraft bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. Also 1999, in Guinea-Bissau, President João Bernardo Vieira was ousted in a military coup. 2000, Vladimir Putin was inaugurated as president of Russia. 2002, a China Northern Airlines MD-82 plunged into the Yellow Sea, killing 112 people. 2004, American businessman Nick Berg was beheaded by Islamic militants. The act was recorded on videotape and released on the Internet. 2007, Israeliarchaeologists discovered the tomb of Herod the Great south of Jerusalem. 2009, over 100 New Zealand Police officers began a 40-hour siege of a lone gunman in Napier, New Zealand. 2013, 27 people were killed and more than 30 injured, when a tanker truck crashed and exploded outside Mexico City.
=== 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 Jak Nu. Born the same day as the artistic tour de force known as "Heelys before you" ( ) because that is you. I am in awe of your talent
May 7Lag BaOmer (Judaism, 2015); National Day of Prayer in the United States (2015)
Northern facade of the Royal Palace in Stockholm
You made your demonstration. In place of the old castle, we have a new one. I want a Pontiac. We debated. We found those ancestors. Let's party. 
Tim Blair 2018

Andrew Bolt 2018



Tim Blair – Thursday, May 07, 2015 (3:55am)

quick review of Struggle Street, SBS’s $350,000 per episode documentary series about poor people. As it happens, I once saw the program’s narrator – who has the distinctive NIDA version of an Australian accent – in a Surry Hills pub.
He was wearing a beret.
UPDATE. The show’s narration, subtitles and script draw further criticism.
UPDATE II. Claims denied
SBS has strongly denied claims by participants in the station’s controversial documentary Struggle Street that they were given money, driven to their drug dealers, and forced to create false scenes of humiliation to further dramatise their lives, including a fabricated eviction by the Department of Housing.
The broadcaster has been asked to investigate serious allegations that drug-addicted participants in the show were provided money before being driven by the program to purchase drugs off known dealers. 
UPDATE III. A brilliant take on Smug Street, in Sydney’s north:

UPDATE IV. Some background on the wealthy Englishwoman behind the show: 
A marketing executive without journalistic experience who cannot recall how often, if at all, she had visited Mount Druitt before this week, oversaw production of Struggle Street, a documentary that has humiliated and infuriated the local community.
SBS chief content officer Helen Kellie, who leads its “editorial direction”, joined the broadcaster three years ago, moving to Australia for the role from Britain, where she held senior marketing and communication roles at the BBC. Before that, she held marketing roles at Reckitt Benckiser, the consumer-goods giant behind popular brands such as Dettol, Mortein, Finish washing powder and Nurofen. 
Check the tilt:


Tim Blair – Thursday, May 07, 2015 (3:33am)

Reader David T. emails: “Not sure if you will see the same thing, but when I click on the link for this story a picture of Julie Gillard appears. Have tried a few times and it keeps happening.”
Indeed it does:

“I am sure the Real Julia did not sleep with the walrus,” David continues. “Very bizarre. I am sick at present but I don’t think I’m hallucinating.”
UPDATE. Check the comments. There are multiple identification issues in this story.
UPDATE II. “Fake News Story About Woman Having Sex With A Walrus Claims 20,000 Facebook Shares.”


Tim Blair – Thursday, May 07, 2015 (2:43am)

In crucial British election news, My Booky Wook author Russell Brand has announced he will votey wote for Laboury Wabor. Elsewhere in the UK: 
Fresh evidence has emerged that authorities in Rotherham were warned about child sexual exploitation in 2003 and again in 2006.
Police and council officials took no action despite being told organised gangs were grooming and abusing girls.
Ex-South Yorkshire Police drugs analyst Angie Heal said she “cannot fathom” why her reports did not lead to action.
Last year, an inquiry found 1,400 children were abused by gangs of men, mainly of Pakistani origin …
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings said agencies knew about Dr Heal’s reports at the time but were focusing on other issues. 
Those “other issues” must have been enormous.


Tim Blair – Thursday, May 07, 2015 (1:56am)

Australia’s leading Frightbat analysts are losing their money – or, more accurately, they’re losing your money
Education minister Christopher Pyne has flagged government funding for academia-meets-journalism website The Conversation will be pulled in next week’s budget.
Speaking on Sky News on Tuesday Pyne said while The Conversation had done a “great job … the contract they signed with the Commonwealth was to be self-sustaining in 3 years” …
The Conversation’s editor and executive director Andrew Jaspan declined to comment on Pyne’s statements ahead of next Tuesday’s budget. 
More of this, please.


Tim Blair – Thursday, May 07, 2015 (1:04am)

In Barcelona
One worked in a fruit shop. Another was a barber. They were also, police say, part of a terror cell that called itself the Islamic Fraternity for the Preaching of Jihad and operated in towns ringing Spain’s second largest city.
The cell, which featured prominent roles for converts to Islam, tried to recruit fighters to join Islamic State in Syria and developed plans to bomb a Jewish bookstore in Barcelona and snatch and behead a captive, according to police and prosecutors in court documents. 
And in Melbourne: 
Lawyers for one of two Melbourne teenagers who allegedly plotted to run down a police officer on Anzac Day, behead him, and steal his weapon for a suicidal rampage want him released from custody so he can be counselled. 
A decision on the teenager’s bail application will be made on Friday.
(Via J.F. Beck and Brat)

Hockey’s last chance is also his big chance. Enough with all these ultimatums

Andrew Bolt May 07 2015 (9:37am)

Niki Savva:
Two weeks ago Tony Abbott’s new whip, the amiable Queenslander Scott Buchholz, was compelled to deliver a simple, brutal message to the Prime Minister: if the budget tanked, Joe Hockey would have to go. 
The message, based on feedback Buchholz had received from colleagues, which he felt duty-bound to report and which he relayed to the Prime Minister’s office, was that if Hockey’s second budget went down badly, Abbott had to dump his Treasurer. The clear subtext also was that if he did not, he would put his own survival at risk again.
Fair enough, but Tony Abbott on 3AW this morning calls Savva’s story “a complete invention, a complete invention”. There was no such conversation.  (UPDATE: Abbott says he had no such conversation with Buchholz, and I am told his office did not get such a message either.)
I should add that an earlier claim suggestion by Savva is also wrong - that NSW Liberal state director Tony Nutt had dropped plans to join Abbott’s staff, allegedly because Peta Credlin, Abbott’s chief of staff, wouldn’t surrender enough authority to him. Nutt is still coming.
And can we discuss what must follow if Hockey actually produces a Budget that deals as well as can be expected with what this Government faces - a financial crisis on the one hand, but a Senate that refuses to let the Government fix it on the other?
Hockey is actually a very capable man, in no way to be likened to a Wayne Swan. He is hampered by two things: sensitivity to criticism and uneven performance. If he lands this Budget, I predict his confidence will get a much-needed boost that should in fact address exactly those weaknesses. Hockey may well face a life-or-death moment, but it is also a great opportunity to confound the critics. If he manages that, he could in time become a formidable asset.
There has been too much premature writing-off and too many ultimatums. You know, that Abbott was finished, that Abbott couldn’t win, that Credlin had to go.
Let’s just see, shall we? 

One more big barnacle scraped off

Andrew Bolt May 07 2015 (8:49am)

A big political fix, a small reform but, alas, a smaller saving. All in all, a move the Abbott Government had to make if it is to survive:
The Abbott government will overhaul Australia’s pension system in next week’s budget, with over 170,000 low to middle income pensioners to be $30 a fortnight better off.

But the tightening of the pensions assets will hit wealthier retirees, with around 91,000 expected to lose access to the part-pension and 236,000 people to have their pensions decreased. 

The changes replace the plan announced in last year’s budget to change the indexation of the aged pension from average weekly earnings to the lower Consumer Prince Index… Social Services Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday that nine in 10 pensioners would either be better off or not be effected when the changes come into effect in 2017. 

Conti on the politics of hatred

Andrew Bolt May 07 2015 (8:35am)

British actor Tom Conti, 40 years a Labour supporter on why he’s voting for the Tories.
For 40 years I supported Labour. Left was ‘the thing to be’ for the majority in my acting business – as it was for the BBC. However, some time in the last 15 years I began to find that ‘Socialism’ was a religion – and we all know that the inflexible adherents to religion often cause great suffering. 
It was the unpleasantness that alerted me. Labour, I realised, was built on hatred; quite understandable in the days of uncaring coal-mine and mill-owners. But those days – apart from the odd rotten boss – have gone. Yet the hatred remains.
(Thanks to reader Grendel.) 

Divided Greens search for way out of Christine Milne’s mess

Andrew Bolt May 07 2015 (7:55am)

 FORMER GP Richard Di Natale was elected unopposed as the new leader of the Greens on Wednesday — but don’t be fooled.
The obscure senator won thanks to a secret plot that will actually leave the party even more divided.
That plot — and that division — is part of the troubled legacy of Christine Milne, who quit on Wednesday as leader after only three years.

Forget the media praise for Milne, whose resignation surprised even party founder Bob Brown.
She actually cemented the Greens’ reputation as zealots incapable of compromise, blind to the terrible price of their pure politics.
(Read full article here.

Peter Hartcher should apologise

Andrew Bolt May 07 2015 (7:16am)

IF you believe reporter Peter Hartcher, our Prime Minister decides mid-flight he doesn’t want to be met at the airport by a gay.
If you believe Hartcher’s claims in the Sydney Morning Herald and Age on Wednesday, Tony Abbott actually checked who’d be in the greeting party when he landed in Paris on Anzac Day.
You also believe Abbott got a staffer to ring ahead and tell the gay guy on the list — the Australian ambassador’s partner — to “sit in the car” instead.

Seriously? Abbott has copped plenty of abuse from the media, portraying him as a lying, racist, woman-hating thug.
But I doubt any mainstream journalist has matched this nonsense.
According to various versions — in the Fairfax press, Sky News and 2GB — Abbott objected to being met not just by ambassador Stephen Brady but Brady’s partner, Peter Stephens.
(Read full article here.)
If Brady’s partner were actually a woman, how differently this story would have been reported. Then we’d read how our Ambassador to France staged an absurd tantrum at an airport, shouting at a very young protocol officer and demanding the rules be bent to allow his wife to greet the Prime Minister.
How shameful, we’d agree.
Brady really should apologise to the protocol officer and to Abbott for so forgetting himself. And issue a public statement defending Abbott, as a gentleman - and true diplomat - would.
Chris Kenny writes powerfully on Tony Abbott’s love for Christopher Pearson - and on Hartcher’s ghastly smear.
(Thanks to readers Relevance Please, John and Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Uh oh, I almost like the new Greens leader. And so should the Government

Andrew Bolt May 07 2015 (6:38am)

Warning, I could learn to almost like new Greens leader Richard Di Natale, the first political leader in many years - and the first Greens leader ever - to assume his leadership while wearing a three-piece suit. If his policies weren’t so dangerous and his party’s global warming fervour so religious, we could even be friends:
Richard Di Natale’s dad Paul left Sicily at 29, learning English on the job while training for his electrical apprenticeship. His mother Angela came to Australia from southern Italy in the late 1950s… 
He entered politics via medicine… [after] working in Aboriginal health in the far reaches of the top end in Tennant Creek ... [and] setting up a drug treatment program in northeast India to prevent children as young as 12 from injecting drugs, sharing dirty needles and becoming infected with HIV… He led a one-man expedition to West Africa for a first-hand look at the Ebola outbreak last year…
The 44-year-old speaks fluent Italian and lives on a farm… Di Natale makes his own homemade wine and olive oil, and as a former ruck-rover in the old Victorian Football Association, is a long-suffering Richmond supporter in the Australian Football League. 
But I think the Abbott Government has been given a rare bit of luck that it must now exploit.
Under Christine Milne, the Greens dealt themselves out of the political game by simply opposing the Government for the sake of opposing. It even blocked Abbott’s plan to lift petrol excise - a tax on fossil fuel that any Green should love.
Di Natale wants to be more practical and get things done, which is in his character, too. The Government needs to make some kind of deal with him on legislation to their mutual benefit - a deal that Labor is against. How powerful it would be for Abbott to make a deal with Di Natale that lets him say Labor’s Bill Shorten is even more radical and more negative than the Greens? And how useful would it be to Di Natale to show disillusioned Labor voters that he offers a responsible alternative, a party not of protest but of action?
I suspect Di Natale knows this, too, although he’s bound by Greens culture to indulge in some of the usual tiresome trash-talking:
Senator Di Natale’s elevation signals a more pragmatic leadership approach, with the 44-year-old former GP repeatedly saying he wanted to “get things done” and was willing to re-visit issues… 
He said he was keen to talk to Mr Abbott, but played down the prospect of an accord: “I’m going to talk to him and see if there are areas where there is common ground. Sadly, I think there aren’t many.” 
But there is in fact one common ground for them. For both, Labor is the chief rival.
Watch this space.
No sooner said.  On 3AW today, Abbott signalled he is keen, flaying Labor as the party of opposition and hailing Di Natale’s Greens as potentially “the constructive partners the public wants”. 

No wonder Adam Bandt was dumped

Andrew Bolt May 07 2015 (6:19am)

Why did Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt lose his position? I thought he was, for a Green, not that bad, but now I’ve read something that’s shattered my confidence in his judgement and explains much:
However, The Australian under­stands Mr Bandt started to lose the favour of Senator Milne and other partyroom colleagues well before yesterday’s shake-up, which saw Richard Di Natale elected unopposed as leader… 
Mr Bandt was seen by some to have made a strategic mistake in closely aligning himself with colleague Sarah Hanson-Young and was not deemed to be sufficiently collegiate or co-operative for the leadership.
If you’re impressed by the child Senator, you have no right to be a leader. The sanctimony, arrogance, emotional showboating, abuse and utter indifference to consequences of public policy have no part in serious politics:
The ABC sure had trouble believing its hero had been dumped:
Greens fever certainly hit the ABC 7.30’s Twitter account. The first shot: “BREAKING: Adam Bandt and Scott Ludlum (sic) elected co-deputy leaders.” 
This was followed shortly thereafter by this: “CORRECTION: Larissa Waters and Adam Bandt elected deputy co-leaders.”
By this time, the powerful whiff of truth’s proximity must have been sending Aunty’s tweeter nostril-flaringly wild. So on the third go, by God, they got it right: “CORRECTION: Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam elected co-deputy leaders.” Take a bow.
The IPA bids Christine Milne a fond farewell:

Noel Pearson: don’t blame, just do

Andrew Bolt May 07 2015 (6:08am)

Noel Pearson, the Lutheran, preaches an important truth, but I doubt he’ll be thanked by those preferring to blame rather than strive:
Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson has challenged indigenous Australians to get over their traumatic history in the same way that Jews survived the Holocaust. 
Mr Pearson yesterday declared that alcohol was damaging indigenous communities far more than the past wrongs inflicted on Aborigines.
“I honestly believe people can rise above historic trauma, otherwise we’ll lose agency and we’re defeated by history,” he told the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists annual congress in Brisbane.
“I have to push back against too much attribution to past, to people’s present troubles. Whatever the scars and the burdens that people coming out of the Holocaust suffered, they nevertheless endured, and they laid foundations for their families.’’
Mr Pearson said it was a “policy and leadership convenience’’ to blame the wrongs of the past — such as removing Aboriginal children from their parents — for the poverty, violence and disadvantage now rife in indigenous communities. 
“I just see too much acquiescence and submission to history and the loss of agency in the present,’’ he said. “It is the trauma of the present … that most engages me. The challenge we now face is 20 years of brutal trauma caused by an untrammelled alcohol binge.’’ 
Read the whole thing. It is not a blame-the-victim rant but a desperately needed reminder that, unfair or not, the poor are the most powerful agents of change in their lives. No welfare can help if a man prefers drink to work. 

In defence of Struggle Street

Andrew Bolt May 07 2015 (5:34am)

 We actually need more shows like Struggle Street, albeit better ones, to remind ourselves just how many of us live. It is too easy to believe much of Australia is as we ourselves are, with the same choices. It is too easy to forget the desperation and sometimes deadly dysfunction in swathes of outer suburban Australia, parked off the main roads and at the end of commuter lines.
Michael Lallo writes nicely of the dignity and humanity of the poor in Struggle Street, but it is as well to also see how desperately vulnerable some people are to bad luck, bad parenting, bad judgement and sometimes even, perversely, the kind of social policies which try too hard to shield them from the consequences of that judgement. And then there are the lethal temptations we too lightly shove in such places, from the pokie palaces to the cheap drugs, believing we’re all capable of adult decision making.
We all need lessons here.
The first episode depicts some awful moments: the pair confronting Ashley’s son Corey over his ice addiction, Peta confessing her fear he will attack her, Ashley threatening anyone who gives his son drugs. 
It might not make for pleasant viewing. But why should it? This is something that actually happened; it’s something many families experience. Of course it’s won’t be pretty.
What the producers don’t do, however, is paint Ashley and Peta as dole bludgers, no hopers or uncaring parents. Quite the opposite… This family is presented as complex and human, not as one-dimensional tabloid targets.
And it doesn’t take long to understand how they ended up “on benefits”, as people so judgmentally put it.
Ashley was a truck driver and Peta had a good job in catering. Then Ashley suffered a brain injury, four heart attacks and got arthritis and dementia. He can’t work – he’s easily disoriented – so he subsists on a measly disability pension. Peta had to become his full-time carer, so she’s not working either. Ashley has already lost two children, and he’s worried Corey will be the third.
Frankly, there’s only so much more Ashley and Peta can do. Remarkably, they’re doing it. Ashley drives around with a mate looking for scrap metal to make a few extra bucks. Peta sells Tupperware (but had to stop because Corey keeps stealing it)…
Struggle Street has shone a light on those most often ignored. It has highlighted some of their best qualities – while also depicting some confronting behaviour. (Think of pregnant Billie-Jo trying to kick down a door to get some weed.)…
Struggle Street doesn’t attack or mock people in public housing. Nor does it paint everyone as a saint. Rather, it gives its subjects the dignity of portraying them as human. 
Tim Blair, though, savages the script, and notes the lack of self-pity:
The residents depicted in the show generally seem likeable, if a little wayward. As much as Struggle Street is inclined to treat them as helpless victims — there’s that script problem again — the various characters don’t feel particularly sorry for themselves. 
In fact, most are compellingly honest about their circumstances and seek few excuses, although the show fills that void. Mount Druitt is said to be an “easy target” for a “government hellbent on welfare cuts”.
Speaking of which, each episode of Struggle Street cost $350,000 of taxpayers’ money to make. It is impossible to see where all of that cash went. Forget welfare cuts. 
What we need is SBS cuts.
Tiffany Dunk:
The overwhelming sense of what I walked away with after watching the show was “There but for the grace of God go I.” 
I’m fortunate. I have parents who could support me financially if I was to lose my job. I have close friends who have the means to help me out if I had health problems, and support from loved ones if a devastating event was to occur in my personal life.
But the reality is others don’t. Indeed, the people who have opened up their lives to the Struggle Street cameras show the ugly truth of what can happen if you take all of that backing away.
I spoke to Peta Kennedy, one of the participants of the show, before she had seen the promos on SBS.
Back then, she was hoping that Struggle Street would lead to people understanding the situation she and her family had found themselves in after a series of health and personal problems saw her husband Ashley lose his job.
“You could be on a well-paid job and one small thing happens and your family can’t step in and it just completely changes your life around,” she told me. 
“I just want to say that there is always a reason as to why people end up in a bad situation,” she continued. 
That a loudmouth mayor - and union boss - sent his garbage trucks round to intimidate SBS out of showing this show is a disgrace. 
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No retreat on the tax

Andrew Bolt May 07 2014 (2:46pm)

Suddenly I’m less sure of my claim that they won’t get away with breaking an implicit promise:
THE Abbott government will proceed with a “temporary” tax increase on high-income earners in the face of growing business warnings against the idea. 
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann emerged from a federal cabinet meeting on Wednesday to confirm there would be a “special” measure in the budget to help balance the budget.

Ralph Blewitt to testify on the AWU scandal next week

Andrew Bolt May 07 2014 (2:41pm)

The AWU scandal

After two or three bad weeks for the Liberals, Labor’s long agony is about to begin:
THE corrupt former AWU official who has confessed to fraudulently using a slush fund that was set up two decades ago based on advice from his friend and lawyer, Julia Gillard, is set to be the first witness in public hearings of the national Royal Commission into union graft and wrongdoing. 
Ralph Blewitt’s legal associate and adviser, Harry Nowicki, told The Australian today that Mr Blewitt has been asked to be in Sydney on Monday morning for at least a day of testimony at retired High Court justice Dyson Heydon’s Royal Commission.
Mr Blewitt, who returned to Australia from his home in Malaysia this week to help the Royal Commission, intends to admit that he was part of a criminal fraud in the 1990s and that he and his then boss, Bruce Wilson, siphoned hundreds of thousands from building company, Thiess, to the union slush fund, which was misleadingly called the Australian Workers’ Union Workplace Reform Association…
Mr Blewitt, 69, who was a state secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union and an ally of Ms Gillard’s boyfriend, the union boss Mr Wilson, has also told of burying wads of ill-gotten cash in the backyard of his home. He also claimed that money was taken from the slush fund to pay for renovations at Ms Gillard’s home, and to buy a terrace house in Melbourne for Mr Wilson to live in. The former prime minister has insisted that she paid for the renovations at her home.
Victoria Police, detectives who have been running an 18-month investigation with Mr Blewitt’s co-operation, intend to charge him with fraud-related offences, to which he will plead guilty. He is expected to give evidence against others. is understood that in return for his co-operation and guilty plea, police will make courtroom submissions that Mr Blewitt should not be sentenced to jail… 
In 2012, Ms Gillard attacked Mr Blewitt, who was once her client, as a complete idiot, a stooge, imbecile and sexist pig. The former salaried partner of Slater & Gordon has insisted that she did not know that the AWU Workplace Reform Association, which she told her legal partners in a confidential interview was really a “slush fund” for union elections, would be used as a vehicle for a fraud.

Waleed Aly refuses to say what Boko Haram’s leader will: these terrorists are Muslims

Andrew Bolt May 07 2014 (10:18am)

ABC presenter Waleed Aly, a Muslim, is often used by Channel 10 and Fairfax to explain away Muslim terrorism. He is the media Left’s acceptable face of Islam, but how acceptable is he really?
With the jihadist bombing of the Boston marathon, for instance, he initially informed Age readers:
...  the very real suspicion that the perpetrators here are self-styled American patriots. At this point, most analysts are leaning that way. And while it’s entirely possible they are wrong, there’s something chilling about realising that this violence might not be something that can be assigned to a demonic other. Maybe we’re speaking in more hushed tones because our own societies might just be implicated.
Yesterday on The Project he was asked as an alleged “an expert on terrorism” to tell us something about Boko Haram.
Boko Haram’s leader himself has been taped saying Allah commands him to sell into slavery the Nigerian school girls his Islamist terrorists have kidnapped. A Muslim intermediary says some of the Christian girls have already forced to convert to Islam.
But Aly, asked to explain who Boko Haram actually was, could not bring himself to describe them as Muslim or even use the word “Muslim” once:
Rove McManus: 
So who is this group exactly?…
Waleed Aly:
They are a really, really hard group to define because they are so splintered and so diverse. It started as a fairly coherent group - this is a long time ago, over 10 years ago - and since then they’ve splintered off into all these other little groups. What we do know though is that the broader movement is a terrorist movement and they’ve been wanting to overthrow the Nigerian government and establish a government of their own. But beyond that, this particular group, who have done this particular thing, it’s hard to identify who they are and they might just be vigilantes.
Really?  Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, says he took the girls and adds what Waleed Aly won’t:
Shekau explains his Islamic mission. Nothing hard to define about him at all:
And here’s what Boko Haram does, killing Christians, which Aly failed to mention, too:

Labor and Greens are more Indonesian than Indonesia

Andrew Bolt May 07 2014 (9:49am)

Labor and the Greens seem intent on being more outraged on Indonesia’s behalf than is Indonesia itself:
TANYA PILBERSEK (Labor’s foreign affairs spokesman) We understand that the president of Indonesia has issued a personal invitation to the Prime Minister and, ironically, it’s to attend an open government forum but we don’t know the reason that the Prime Minister is not attending. 
It’s not credible to suggest that he’s required in Australia for budget preparations. The budget would basically be at the printers now, unless there’s a great deal more chaos than you’d normally expect around budget time.
So, I think it does put lie to the claim that the Government makes - that the boat turn-back policy is not affecting the relationship with Indonesia… 
I think overall our relationship is a strong one, but it is absolutely off-track at the moment, and Labor wants to see it back on track.
The Greens are even worse: 
The Greens on Saturday said Mr Abbott was already an embarrassment and that the Liberal government’s “cruel refugee policy” had condemned Australia to a poor relationship with Indonesia.
“This is Tony Abbott in action. He is an embarrassment internationally and at home,” Greens leader Christine Milne said in a statement… 
“It is very clear that Indonesia wants to heal the relationship as does Australia, but while the Abbott government continues to tow life boats back into Indonesian waters with a view to them drifting back to the coast somewhere, it will continue to jeopardise the relationship,” she said. 
As for the President himself, no worries:
PRESIDENT Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has moved to prevent another quarrel arising from Tony Abbott’s no-show in Bali this week by inviting the Australian leader to Indonesia in June… The Indonesian leader also welcomed progress on developing an Australia-Indonesia intelligence gathering code of conduct, or protocol, and “stressed” he hoped it would be agreed by August at the latest.

Business will get its tax cut, but “the rich” will probably pay

Andrew Bolt May 07 2014 (9:44am)

Rebooting the economy is the Abbott Government’s best hope - and ours, too. So this is good, albeit countered in part by the paid parental leave levy:
THE Abbott government has cemented a $4 billion company tax cut in next week’s federal budget, despite a renewed search for savings to offset a “deficit tax” that is set to be scaled back or scrapped. Firewalling one of its flagship pledges, the government will proceed with the tax cut for employers as part of a “growth agenda” to counter fears that deep spending cuts will weaken the economy…
The government’s policy to cut the company tax rate from 30 to 28.5 per cent will sacrifice about $4bn in 2016-17 but the idea was put forward when the budget ¬papers showed a small surplus in that year.
Toying with a deficit tax plan is less promising:
THE Federal Government is expected to sign off on a pared-down version of its deeply unpopular debt tax, lifting its threshold so only high-income earners pay. 
A Cabinet meeting today is likely to endorse a proposal to impose the levy for four years from next financial year.  But it is likely to be amended to apply only to those earning more than about $150,000 a year. 
But a Reachtel poll suggests Abbott is right to think there’s an anti-rich sentiment than needs a gesture tax:
A Reachtel opinion poll shows 34.2 per cent of respondents supported a 1 per cent levy on earnings over $80,000 but 59.3 per cent backed a 2 per cent levy on earnings over $180,000.
(Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill and Mr Jordan.) 

Victorian Government took the hits for not spending big. Now comes its reward

Andrew Bolt May 07 2014 (8:04am)

The Victorian Liberal Government has been savaged in the Left-wing media for being stingy in its spending, especially on public servants.
Yet virtue has its reward. The Government is the only one in the country to post a Budget surplus and now has the money to do good things. Terry McCrann:
[Victorian Treasurer] Michael O’Brien ...  was able to promise a series of big headline projects, plus the smaller ones crucial to everyday service delivery for Victorians, cut the business tax most critical for especially small and medium-sized businesses AND still produce a thumping billion dollar plus bottom line surplus. 
He and even more his predecessor Kim Wells did largely make the luck — by hauling back the growth in government spending from Labor’s extravagant 8 per cent a year to just 3.1 per cent a year over the life of this government.
There is something sick in our polity - and the coverage of it - that there is usually more praise for a government that spends than for a government which saves. It’s no coincidence that every other government is in the red.
Even better, the spending now announced is an investment in our future: 
The Napthine government has an unprecedented $72 billion worth of infrastructure projects on its books, much of it funded through private-sector investment. 
Of that, a whopping $27 billion has been announced in this budget, including a new city rail tunnel, an airport rail link, the second stage of the East West Link, a significant upgrade to the Cranbourne/Pakenham rail corridor, numerous level-crossing removals and new schools.
Former premier Ted Baillieu was widely mocked as a do-nothing Premier, too slow to act. In fact he was a spend-little Premier who has provided his colleagues with much of the money they can now afford to spend - and spend in a way that best helps their re-election. Congratulations to the man now on the backbenches. 

Beware the nation of tribes

Andrew Bolt May 07 2014 (7:56am)

Parts of America - notably in Florida and California - herald a new phenomenon in the West, of the creation of nations of tribes:
Americans now are being blasted as “racist” for the simple act of waving an American flag. 
It happened Monday in California to a small group of protesters who waved U.S. flags in front of a school where officials had banned the practice to avoid violence threatened by Hispanic students celebrating Cinco de Mayo. The controversy developed in 2010, when school officials ordered students not to wear U.S. flag-themed shirts on the Mexican holiday. The ban has been upheld by a federal appeals court.
I cannot understand why governments such as our own encourage the ethnic-identity fashion when we see - in an extreme form - what that can lead to under stress:
In Odessa, a previously peaceful, multi-ethnic Black Sea port where more than 40 people were killed on Friday in the worst day of violence since a February revolt toppled Ukraine’s pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych, pall-bearers carried the open casket of Andrey Biryukov from a van to the street corner where he was shot. 
A pro-Ukrainian activist, Biryukov, 35, was killed during a day that began with hundreds of pro-Russian sympathisers armed with axes, chains and guns attacking a Ukrainian march, and ended later that night with the pro-Russians barricaded inside a building that was set on fire, killing dozens.
Should Australia one day find itself at war with a major foreign power how will that play out in our streets? 

This sense of entitlement must change

Andrew Bolt May 07 2014 (7:47am)

Why are taxpayers paying decades of age pension cheques to a woman with a $2 million home?
ZARA Grayspence is one of the unlikeliest pensioner millionaires in Australia, whose Sydney house, like one of the flowering seeds in her immaculate garden, grew in value around her. 
The 92-year-old painter and former Mosman councillor told The Australian the two-storey house, by Reid Park in the exclusive suburb, was anything but an asset.
“It is not an asset to me; it is a home...” 
Her home, worth more than $2 million in the current market, is safe but the government is being urged to think about the asset trap for future generations.
But no government yet dares do anything to fix this ludicrous welfarism - not even by imposing a reverse mortgage so taxpayers can be repaid at least something from the eventual sale of the house. 

How could Labor have wasted so many borrowed billions?

Andrew Bolt May 07 2014 (7:33am)

If true, truly disgraceful:
SPENDING commitments of up to $38 billion on the National Broadband Network were locked in under Labor and the “overwhelming majority” must now be met to complete it, the Coalition has warned ahead of an overhaul of the project in the bush. 
The Australian can reveal that a landmark review finds hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in rural and regional areas could miss out on super-fast broadband because NBN Co badly underestimated demand, although the review rules out costly plans to build and launch a third satellite to serve them.... Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has accused Labor of locking in $34bn-$38bn of spending commitments on the NBN between 2011 and 2021 — before a “single cent” is spent upgrading the fixed-line network that will serve the other 93 per cent of Australia. 
Turnbull needs to find a simple and unarguable way to quantify and illustrate the waste - and hang the responsibility for it on Labor before this becomes old history. 

That great sucking sound of fat piglets dragged off the teat. UPDATE: And of Labor spitting a dummy

Andrew Bolt May 07 2014 (6:50am)

Janel Albrechtsen on the wild squeals of outrage from a generation grown too dependent on handouts:
A suggested Medicare co-payment of $6, with the aim of saving $750 million over four years, has been depicted as the “end of Medicare”. Lifting student contributions to their university educations, paid for by 60 per cent of the taxpayers, will be labelled as Americanising our higher education system. Reining back benefits payable to families earning up to $175,000 will be portrayed as an attack on families. Increasing the pension age to 70 because it is the biggest, fastest growing item on the budget, requiring an extra $93 billion by 2030, will be attacked as an assault on old people. Tightening eligibility for the disability support scheme, where numbers have skyrocketed 22 per cent to 821,000 in the past decade, will be depicted as cruel hearted… 
Abbott and Hockey must trust the quiet wisdom of enough voters to support reform now. If the PM and the Treasurer plan to seek a mandate for reform at the next election, they must first prove they have the mettle to tackle reform now. If they cannot find the political courage to do it now… they will never do so.
Paul Kelly says a public too convinced by lying words needs action to convince them change is needed:
The smell of irrationality is heavy in the air. Resentment, emotionalism and payback loom large in the pre-budget drumbeats. After years of rhetoric about the top 1 per cent, Greens and political progressives denounce a tax levy on the better-off, repudiate talk about curbing middle-class welfare and are appalled at suggestions the asset rich should have their pensions cut back…
Don’t be confused about the latest hypocrisies because there is a universal explanation: the quest for political advantage. 
You cannot miss the pre-budget denials and deceptions: don’t be intimidated into thinking anything really needs to change. In this climate the job of Abbott and Joe Hockey is not to soft peddle but to act. Actions count because they are transformative.
I’ve been appalled that Labor, one of the country’s two great political parties, could be so dead to its duty to protect the country from harm that it would pretend there’s no budget problem to fix.
Maurice Newman, for Australian Stock Exchange chairman and now head of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, has a shocking anecdote:
IN Canberra a few weeks ago, I caught up with a senior Labor frontbencher. I put it to him that ... by frustrating the government’s initiatives ... the opposition was delaying urg­ently needed fiscal repair and putting the economy at risk. 
“What you have to understand,” he shot back, “is that Tony Abbott played things very hard in opposition and some of my colleagues are giving it back to him.” He added reassuringly, “They’ll get over it in time.”
I confess I was not reassured. That the parliament should be reduced to a teenage sulk for whatever reason, and for however long, is hardly comforting news.... 
Still, the opposition and the minor parties may, for base political reasons, take the bet and stare down the government’s reform agenda. For a Labor Party that genuinely cares, that would be a mistake. It may skewer Tony Abbott’s career, but it would also be recklessly risking the welfare of the most vulnerable in our society. Make no mistake, economic ground lost through inaction now will require more painful adjustments later, especially for the poor. Australia is much less prepared today for an external shock than in 2008. This adds an urgency to the task. 
Even Mark Kenny:
....the ALP’s understandable sense of schadenfreude and revenge are not sound bases for public policy.
"Will you take the path of ease?
Or will you choose a road filled with uncertainty and adventure?

Will you wilt under criticism?
Or will you carry on with conviction?

When it's tough will you give up?
Or will you be relentless?"

I heard these words spoken at a graduation ceremony today, the only words to click in my mind from the entire 1.5 hour event. CHARACTER DETERMINES DESTINY. Ali Kadhim
Albert Ball circa 1917
Albert Ball (1896–1917) was an English fighter pilot during the First World War. At the time of his death he was, with 44 victories, the United Kingdom's leading flying ace. Raised in Nottingham, Ball was commissioned as a second lieutenant in October 1914. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) the following year, and gained his pilot's wings in January 1916. He then joined No. 13 Squadron RFC in France, flying reconnaissance missions before being posted in May toNo. 11 Squadron, a fighter unit. From then until his return to England on leave in October, he accrued many aerial victories, earning two Distinguished Service Orders and theMilitary Cross. He was the first British ace to become a popular hero. After a period on home establishment, Ball was posted to No. 56 Squadron, which was sent to the Western Front in April 1917. He crashed to his death in a field in France on 7 May, sparking a wave of national mourning and posthumous recognition, which included the award of theVictoria Cross for his actions during his final tour of duty. His most renowned enemy,Manfred von Richthofen, remarked upon hearing of Ball's death that he was "by far the best English flying man". (Full article...)
1864 lithograph of the City of Adelaide

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” - James 5:16
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"We dwell in him."
1 John 4:13
Do you want a house for your soul? Do you ask, "What is the purchase?" It is something less than proud human nature will like to give. It is without money and without price. Ah! you would like to pay a respectable rent! You would love to do something to win Christ? Then you cannot have the house, for it is "without price." Will you take my Master's house on a lease for all eternity, with nothing to pay for it, nothing but the ground-rent of loving and serving him forever? Will you take Jesus and "dwell in him?" See, this house is furnished with all you want, it is filled with riches more than you will spend as long as you live. Here you can have intimate communion with Christ and feast on his love; here are tables well-stored with food for you to live on forever; in it, when weary, you can find rest with Jesus; and from it you can look out and see heaven itself. Will you have the house? Ah! if you are houseless, you will say, "I should like to have the house; but may I have it?" Yes; there is the key--the key is, "Come to Jesus." "But," you say, "I am too shabby for such a house." Never mind; there are garments inside. If you feel guilty and condemned, come; and though the house is too good for you, Christ will make you good enough for the house by-and-by. He will wash you and cleanse you, and you will yet be able to sing, "We dwell in him." Believer: thrice happy art thou to have such a dwelling-place! Greatly privileged thou art, for thou hast a "strong habitation" in which thou art ever safe. And "dwelling in him," thou hast not only a perfect and secure house, but an everlasting one. When this world shall have melted like a dream, our house shall live, and stand more imperishable than marble, more solid than granite, self-existent as God, for it is God himself--"We dwell in him."


"All the days of my appointed time will I wait."
Job 14:14

A little stay on earth will make heaven more heavenly. Nothing makes rest so sweet as toil; nothing renders security so pleasant as exposure to alarms. The bitter quassia cups of earth will give a relish to the new wine which sparkles in the golden bowls of glory. Our battered armour and scarred countenances will render more illustrious our victory above, when we are welcomed to the seats of those who have overcome the world. We should not have full fellowship with Christ if we did not for awhile sojourn below, for he was baptized with a baptism of suffering among men, and we must be baptized with the same if we would share his kingdom. Fellowship with Christ is so honourable that the sorest sorrow is a light price by which to procure it. Another reason for our lingering here is for the good of others. We would not wish to enter heaven till our work is done, and it may be that we are yet ordained to minister light to souls benighted in the wilderness of sin. Our prolonged stay here is doubtless for God's glory. A tried saint, like a well-cut diamond, glitters much in the King's crown. Nothing reflects so much honour on a workman as a protracted and severe trial of his work, and its triumphant endurance of the ordeal without giving way in any part. We are God's workmanship, in whom he will be glorified by our afflictions. It is for the honour of Jesus that we endure the trial of our faith with sacred joy. Let each man surrender his own longings to the glory of Jesus, and feel, "If my lying in the dust would elevate my Lord by so much as an inch, let me still lie among the pots of earth. If to live on earth forever would make my Lord more glorious, it should be my heaven to be shut out of heaven." Our time is fixed and settled by eternal decree. Let us not be anxious about it, but wait with patience till the gates of pearl shall open.
Jehoahaz, Joahaz

[Jēhō'ahăz] - jehovah upholds, hath laid hold or the lord that sees.
  1. A son and successor of Jehuand father of Joash who reigned for seven years (2 Kings 10:35; 13; 14; 2 Chron. 25:17, 25). We know little of this king of Israel apart from the length of his reign and the low estate of his kingdom owing to Syrian aggression.
  2. The son and successor of King Jehoram and father of King Joash, of Judah ( 2 Chron. 21:17; 25:23). Called Ahaziah.
  3. A son of Josiah who was deposed by Pharaoh-nechoh and who only reigned for three months (2 Kings 23:30-34; 2 Chron. 36:1-4). Also called Shallum (1 Chron. 3:15).

Today's reading: 1 Kings 21-22, Luke 23:26-56 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Kings 21-22

Naboth's Vineyard
1 Some time later there was an incident involving a vineyard belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. The vineyard was in Jezreel, close to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 Ahab said to Naboth, "Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth."
3 But Naboth replied, "The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my ancestors...."

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 23:26-56

The Crucifixion of Jesus
26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, 'Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!' 30Then
"'they will say to the mountains, "Fall on us!"
and to the hills, "Cover us!"'

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