Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thu May 17th Todays News

Don't give up on hope. I'm a failed whistleblower, having done things legally and responsibly. I brought my matter before my local NSW state member Joe Tripodi in 2002. In 2007, I waited until after the NSW state election, hoping to bring it before the Liberal Government. However, after Newsman David Penberthy did a backflip favouring his future wife's ALP party, NSW re elected a failing ALP government and I brought my matter before then Education Minister Della Bosca. Della Bosca wrote he had not seen a problem, so I resigned to speak out publicly. Press, with Penberthy's involvement, did not let the story out. A child had died from school neglect. I brought the matter to the federal government, but as it was prior to the 2007 election, they failed to deal with the issue and the government changed to ALP under Rudd. I asked the NSW Liberal Party opposition for help and questions were asked in the senate by then Senator Ficarra. However, NSW's government timed me out by not answering the question until a changeover of senate, and so my issue was dead in parliament. Since mid 2007 I have been without full time work in my profession. I have lost everything and owe everything to a refugee family in Melbourne who are helping me keep afloat with affordable rent and and a stable place from which I can engage in casual work about town. Centrelink has had me declared partially disabled, but I could work full time if the issue of my whistleblowing had been properly addressed. 

I brought the matter to the coroner's office in 2010 and the police interviewed me with an agenda to close the matter. I was smeared by local press and there was suspicious activity involving a federal police group and the ATO. 

So, in 2015 I made plans to move to Melbourne and pursue work in my profession. Dan Andrews' Victoria is rife with corruption and incompetence. The teacher's union is much worse in Victoria than in NSW and I cannot get work here either, although I've done nothing wrong and my whistleblowing campaign had been responsible and appropriate. 

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 On the Eve of Execution

Sir Walter Raleigh (c. 1552 -- 29 October 1618) was an English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, and explorer who is also largely known for popularising tobacco in England.

In 1603, he had been sentenced to death too, and wrote a letter to his wife

Even such is time, which takes in trust 
Our youth, our joys, and all we have, 
And pays us but with age and dust, 
Who in the dark and silent grave 
When we have wandered all our ways 
Shuts up the story of our days, 
And from which earth, and grave, and dust 
The Lord will raise me up, I trust. 

=== from 2017 ===
Some things should not happen, but they do. Yesterday's column sparked comment regarding Henry Bolte's 1984 car accident and Jeff Shaw's October 2004 car accident. Henry Bolte was a Liberal Premier of Victoria from 1955 to 1972. He had not gone to university, and was the last Premier of Victoria to have risen through the trades. The longest serving Premier of Victoria was a farmer, a soldier and a capable, shrewd administrator who got Victoria to focus on cars and roads, as opposed to public transport. Bolte left government at the time of his choosing, in 1972. By 1984, he was twelve years retired and seventy six years old. He may have been very drunk when he had a head on collision. I understand there were no fatalities. The other driver was sober. Bolte's blood work was interfered with. Bolte said he didn't do it, he was unconscious. Perhaps (likely) state machinery worked to protect him from scandal. It was decided he could not be prosecuted because of tainted evidence. He died of old age six years later. 

Jeff Shaw was Attorney General of NSW and Industry Minister from 1995 to 2000. He retired from politics (2000) and was made a supreme court judge in NSW in 2003. As A-G, Shaw had attempted to censor the internet. In October 2004, Shaw had a car accident. No one was killed, and possibly no one was injured, but Jeff Shaw was taken to hospital. Blood samples were taken, but Shaw allegedly demanded he be given them, and left the hospital with them. The opposition demanded the police integrity commission investigate the apparent abuse of power by the former attorney general and the sitting Supreme Court judge. The second blood sample was passed on by Shaw and registered 0.225. 22.5% of his blood was alcohol. Shaw died six years later from pneumonia, which can be common for drunkards. He was only sixty years of age. 

I have a personal reason for focusing on Shaw. I met him about the time he became Attorney General, quite by accident, in Wynyard Railway station while I was talking to an old school friend who worked in Shaw's back office as a lawyer and ALP member. Shaw was ebullient and effusive in praise of my friend, who sourly pointed out I was a Liberal supporter. I had asked my friend for advice regarding a bungled pedophile investigation. The investigation would get worse in time. My friend suggested I steer away from it. I tried, but I would not shirk my duty either. My school friend rose through the ranks of the ALP, and was working in the NSW Premier's office in 2005. At that time, I shared with him my autobiography, and he told me that there was material in there that could get me into trouble. I said if no one read it it couldn't harm me. But he said he had written things like the 2004 NSW Teacher's Code of Conduct and he felt there were some breaches in it. Later that year, a strange occurrence had a local director of schools sidelined, and the replacement one made an appointment to see me, and claimed I breached the 2004 Teacher's code of conduct and he demanded all my writing be deleted or I would be sacked. I lost millions of words and images online, and a fake kiosk was placed on top of my old sites. Jeff Shaw started his ALP promotion as a young ALP member who became a mover and shaker for the left wing. He was said to have had a brilliant legal mind. But perhaps he was merely corrupt and abused power? My school friend had been passionately Australian in school, and ideologically supported ALP and Christian values. What happened?

=== 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 ===
Todays report stands on its own because this time in 2014, the Conservative Voice was looking for rental accommodation after being forced to sell their unit/home.

Abu Sayyaf killed by US special forces. The second in command of ISIL and eleven others employed human shields of women and children in the firefight with a delta force who arrived in Syria on Blackhawks and Osprey Helicopters. They freed a Yazidi woman held as a sex slave. They also captured Abu's wife, Umma, who is also a senior death cult member.

Former ALP Minister, Emmerson (no Whyalla wipeout there on my tv) pointed out in discussion with Andrew Bolt that Bill Shorten is Opposition Leader and Tony Abbott is PM, but when Tony Abbott was Opposition leader he opposed everything. Only Emmerson is wrong. Mr Abbott did not oppose everything as Opposition leader, but opposed some things not worth supporting. According to Peter Van Onselen (Australian) in June 22nd, 2013, Mr Abbott's opposition opposed 13% of the government's legislation. Corrupt independents had bypassed the then opposition to pass even the worst legislation. By way of contrast, independents now have a near perfect record supporting the ALP in opposing everything to do with budget savings. It shows the media campaign against Mr Abbott is very effective with "Captain negativity" having little substance but much rhetorical effect. It also calls into question the professionalism of journalists who use it, or accept it from ALP spinners without question.

Minister for Communications, Mr Turnbull, was also on the Bolt Report today in interview with Mr Bolt. It is apparent he is not on top of his portfolio, showing no understanding of the irritation people feel at the partisan nature of ABC reporting on political issues.

Two little boys, aged five and six years old, went wandering in bushland in Townsville, Queensland. They were found after twenty four hours of searching. The army helped look. They are friends who went adventuring on a tricycle. Poor parents have probably aged years.

Morsi sentenced to Death in Egypt. He has been instrumental in promoting the Islamic Brotherhood which is responsible for jihadism. He is guilty of running an organisation that has killed many in acts of terrorism.

On this day in 1521, Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, whom had Plantagenet blood, was executed for treason. It was probably one one of the few executions by Henry VIII's court with which the accusation was the case. In 1536, many were executed by Henry VIII's orders for a trumped up charge of treason to presage the execution of Anne Boleyn. Tragically, her father was not among them. On the same day, Anne's marriage to Henry was annulled. Henry died eleven years later. Henry had had six wives, but it is disputed as to how many he actually married. Henry claimed he had not really married his first wife Mary, as his brother had married her first. Others said he had not really married Anne. Henry said he never really married Anne of Cleves. He probably should not have married that sixteen year old girl he had executed. On this day in 1590, Anne of Denmark married James VI of Scotland. She later became Queen consort of England.

On this day in 1805, Muhammad Ali became Wāli of Egypt. He was Albanian and Muslim and had a vision for Egyptian peoples. Initially, he played all sides against each other until he had an opportunity to control things. Then he invited his fiercest rivals to dinner and slaughtered them while they were disarmed. He sought to create a European state, and started by seizing all land from farmers for himself. He did this by setting high taxes and then claiming the land by forfeit. To create a modern army, he conscripted everyone. Some mutilated themselves to avoid conscription, by blinding with rat poison or cutting off trigger fingers. He sought permission from the Ottomans to be a king, but went senile before he could achieve it. His son pre deceased him, but his grandson continued the line. It is doubtful he understood what it meant to be European.

On this day in 1849, a large fire raged in St Louis Missouri. It had begun on a steam boat and traveled to many others, before burning down many adjacent blocks to the riverside. It is the first noted incident of a fireman dying on duty in the US. Captain Targee had tried to blast a fire break. In 1902, Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovered the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer. The mechanism had been lifted from a wreck a year earlier, and was first recognised by Valerois. It was made around 205 BC and could have been used as an astronomical device for astrological purposes. For some reason, the technology was lost. In 1915, the last Liberal Government in UK collapsed under pressure from WW1. In 1939, college baseball was broadcast on tv for the first time. In 1943, the Dam Buster raids were flown to destroy industry in Germany's industrial heartland. The pilots were brave and the casualties in the air and on the ground were very high. In 1954, Brown Vs Board of Education decided that segregation in schooling was unconstitutional in the US. But notable Democrats continued the practice. In 1967, following on the Suez crisis of 1956, Egypt, egged on by the Soviets, demanded UN remove troops so that Egypt could attack Israel. UN complied on 19th May. The six day war was a tremendous loss for Egypt. US President Johnson denied future support to Israel. Yitzhak Rabin oversaw the Israeli operations and said of it later, "Our airmen, who struck the enemies' planes so accurately that no one in the world understands how it was done and people seek technological explanations or secret weapons; our armoured troops who beat the enemy even when their equipment was inferior to his; our soldiers in all other branches ... who overcame our enemies everywhere, despite the latter's superior numbers and fortifications-all these revealed not only coolness and courage in the battle but ... an understanding that only their personal stand against the greatest dangers would achieve victory for their country and for their families, and that if victory was not theirs the alternative was annihilation.

In 1969, Soviets landed a vessel on Venus, discovering Venus is going to take a long time to colonise. 1973, Watergate became compelling tv viewing during senate hearings. In 1974, an LA Police raid on a Symbiones Liberation Army HQ killed six of the terrorists, including a social worker terrorist who had kidnapped Patty Hearst. A 'witness' claimed the police shootings were unnecessary. In 1980, on the eve of Presidential elections in Peru, terrorists Shining Path attack a polling location. 1984, over opinionated Prince Charles spoke out against an addition to the National Museum in London, calling it a "monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend" which kind of describes his royal role. In 1990, WHO (World Health Organisation) eliminated homosexuality from its' list of psychiatric diseases. 
From 2014
None in 2014 because of Government and public service corruption related to the petitions
Historical perspective on this day
In 1395, Battle of RovineWallachians defeated an invading Ottoman army. 1521, Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, was executed for treason. 1536, George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford and four other men were executed for treason. Also 1536, the annulment of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s marriage. 1590, Anne of Denmark was crowned Queen of Scotland. 1642, Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve (1612–1676) founded the Ville Marie de Montréal. 1673, Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette began exploring the Mississippi River. 1775, American Revolutionary War: the Continental Congress banned trade with Quebec. 1792, the New York Stock Exchange was formed under the Buttonwood Agreement.

In 1805, Muhammad Ali became Wāli of Egypt. 1808, Napoleon I of Franceordered the annexation of the Papal States to the French Empire. 1814, Occupation of Monaco changed from French to Austrian. Also 1814, the Constitution of Norway was signed and Crown Prince Christian Frederickof Denmark was elected King of Norway by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly. 1849, a large fire nearly burned St. Louis, Missouri to the ground. 1863, Rosalía de Castro published Cantares Gallegos, the first book in the Galician language. 1865, the International Telegraph Union (later the International Telecommunication Union) was established in Paris. 1869, Imperial Japanese forces defeat the remnants of the Tokugawa shogunate in the Battle of Hakodate to end the Boshin War. 1875, Aristides won the first Kentucky Derby.

In 1900, Second Boer War: British troops relieved Mafeking. 1902, Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovered the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer. 1914, the Protocol of Corfu was signed, recognising full autonomy to Northern Epirus under nominal Albaniansovereignty. 1915, the last British Liberal Party government (led by Herbert Henry Asquith) fell. 1933, Vidkun Quisling and Johan Bernhard Hjortformed Nasjonal Samling — the national-socialist party of Norway. 1939, the Columbia Lions and the Princeton Tigers played in the United States' first televised sporting event, a collegiate baseball game in New York City. 1940, World War II: Germany occupied Brussels, Belgium. 1940, World War II: the old city centre of the Dutch town of Middelburg was bombed by the German Luftwaffe, to force the surrender of the Dutch armies in Zeeland. 1943, World War II: the Dambuster Raids by No. 617 Squadron RAF on German dams. 1954, the United States Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. 1967, Six-Day WarPresident Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt demanded dismantling of the peace-keeping UN Emergency Force in Egypt. 1969, Venera programSoviet Venera 6 began its descent into the atmosphere of Venus, sending back atmospheric data before being crushed by pressure.

In 1970, Thor Heyerdahl sets sail from Morocco on the papyrus boat Ra II to sail the Atlantic Ocean. 1973, Watergate scandal: Televised hearings began in the United States Senate. 1974, the TroublesThirty-three civilians were killed and 300 injured when the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) detonated four car bombs in Dublin and MonaghanRepublic of Ireland. It was the deadliest attack of the Troubles and the deadliest terrorist attack in the Republic's history. There were allegations that British state forces were involved. Also 1974, Police in Los Angeles raided the Symbionese Liberation Army's headquarters, killing six members, including Camilla Hall. 1980, General Chun Doo-hwan of South Korea seized control of the government and declared martial law in order to suppress student demonstrations. Also 1980, on the eve of presidential elections, Maoist guerrilla group Shining Path attacked a polling location in the town of ChuschiAyacucho, starting the Internal conflict in Peru. 1983, the U.S. Department of Energydeclassified documents showing world's largest mercury pollution event in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (ultimately found to be 4.2 million pounds), in response to the Appalachian Observer's Freedom of Information Act request. Also 1983, LebanonIsrael, and the United States signed an agreement on Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. 1984, Prince Charles called a proposed addition to the National Gallery, London, a "monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend", sparking controversies on the proper role of the Royal Family and the course of modern architecture. 1987, an Iraqi Dassault Mirage F1 fighter jet fired two missiles into the U.S. Navy warship USS Stark, killing 37 and injuring 21 of her crew.

In 1990, the General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) eliminates homosexuality from the list of psychiatric diseases. 1992, three days of popular protests against the government of Prime Minister of Thailand Suchinda Kraprayoon began in Bangkok, leading to a military crackdown that resulted in 52 officially confirmed deaths, many disappearances, hundreds of injuries, and over 3,500 arrests. 1995, Shawn Nelson stole a tank from a military installation and went on a rampage in San Diego resulting in a 25 minute police chase. Nelson was killed by an officer after the tank got stuck on a concrete barrier and tried to break free. 1994, Malawi held its first multi-party elections. 1997, toops of Laurent Kabila marched into KinshasaZaire was officially renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo. 2000, Arsenal and Galatasaray fans clashed in the 2000 UEFA Cup Final riots in Copenhagen 2004, the first legal same-sex marriages in the U.S. were performed in the state of Massachusetts. 2006, the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany was sunk in the Gulf of Mexico as an artificial reef. 2007, trains from North and South Korea crossed the 38th Parallel in a test-run agreed by both governments. This was the first time that trains had crossed the Demilitarized Zone since 1953. 2013, two Metro-North commuter trains collided near Bridgeport, Connecticut injuring at least 72 people. 2014, a plane crash in northern Laos killed 17 people.
=== 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 Dyl Dylan. Born the same date that had in 1954 seen Brown triumph over Board of Education to allow desegregation of students in public schools. You have a lot to live up to, but luckily you were born to it.
President Jacques Chirac of France
Welcome Anne. The bell is ringing. And calls are made. I don't know what that does. Ask the mayor. Let's party. 
Tim Blair 2018

Andrew Bolt 2018


 The Mocker is a must-read in The Australian on Thursdays: "Not even a year ago Media Watch host Paul Barry was castigating the government and the One Nation Party [over] a proposed legislative amendment for the organisation to be 'fair and balanced'... This, claimed Barry, amounted to 'bashing the ABC'." Read on and check out the madness now. 

Shorten a pin-up boy for empty promises

Piers Akerman – Sunday, May 17, 2015 (9:23am)

IT was smart of Labor to pack the parliament’s public galleries with trusting students, staffers and party members to cheer Bill Shorten’s Budget-in-reply speech on Thursday night — no thinking adult would have succumbed to his specious claims as readily.
When Treasurer Joe Hockey’s Budget was delivered two nights earlier, it was met with healthy scepticism from many — largely because of its extraordinarily optimistic revenue forecasts for the next four years.
Shorten’s promised handouts eclipsed Hockey’s largesse to such an extent that the cheery Liberal’s generous Budget measures now appear to be models of financial rectitude.
Even before Shorten had spoken his unfunded promises were reckoned to leave a $51 billion black hole in the Budget. Before he had sat down, the cost of his giveaways was running at somewhat more than $58 billion.
Shorten’s thought bubbles, conveyed in declamatory tones that might have made the most orotund Shakespearean thespian pause, were as theatrical as his offers of bipartisanship. Even the ABC’s Leigh Sales was obliged to point out to the opposition leader that Labor had inherited a budget surplus when it took office in 2007, but left a huge debt and rising deficits.
“You do have a credibility problem,” she stated.
Unabashed, Shorten then challenged Sales to “look at our record,” adding “I am really glad that I and the Labor Party pioneered a national disability insurance scheme.”
Had Sales taken up Shorten’s offer she might have pointed out that Labor’s credibility problem went well beyond the NDIS — a bi-partisan program but unfunded by Labor beyond a trial period, leading to a ballooning debt.
Shorten is totally disingenuous. He is not at all happy to defend Labor’s record.
When Melbourne broadcaster Neil Mitchell asked him on Wednesday whether as Labor leader he would accept responsibility for the problems with this deficit, he danced around the direct question more than a dozen times and still left it unanswered
Shorten’s speech was crafted to appeal to those who the consumer protection laws are meant to shield with mandatory cooling off periods and guaranteed product returns.
His promise to deliver a 5 per cent tax cut for small businesses should have had a big asterisk beside it and the explanation: only available if the government is prepared to blow out its Budget even more than Labor has already managed to do.
Labor proposed a 25 per cent corporate tax rate which it said could be financed with revenues from its mining tax.
The record shows that there were no revenues from the mining tax. The tax cut would have been unfunded and the Coalition and the Greens were wise not to buy the snake oil.
If Labor wants a bipartisan approach to cutting taxes it will have to come up with a more plausible method of meeting the lost revenue than a dud tax that cost more than it ever raised, and it will have to put forward some modelling to show that there is an outside chance that its measures will deliver a realistic benefit.
The Coalition’s more modest 1.5 per cent tax cut for small businesses will proceed because the government is adhering to the rule that there can be no increases in spending unless they are backed by commensurate savings.
The government has based its Budget forecasts on fairly conservative estimates of the fluctuations in the iron ore price. It has factored in a price of $45-a-tonne currently, and the market price is about $58-a-tonne. It hasn’t inflated the price above trend over the next two years, which is the properly cautious thing to do, but assumes that there will be trend growth three and four years out.
Shorten’s promises were delaminating within hours of delivery. His promise to write off the HECS debts for 100,000 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students was initially costed at $353 million, 12 hours later it was costed at $45 million and the 100,000 beneficiaries had shrunk to 20,000 STEM students.
Meanwhile, the Education Department conservatively costed the program at more than $2.25 billion.
He wants to put an end to $100,000 university degrees — but there aren’t any.
It was more of the historic Labor bunkum.
Three years ago, when former treasurer Wayne Swan stood to deliver his last Budget in Canberra on May 8, 2012, he began with words which should be permanently etched on tablets mounted on the approaches to Canberra to remind travellers of Labor’s false promises.
“The four years of surpluses I announce tonight are a powerful endorsement of the strength of our economy, resilience of our people, and success of our policies,” he said.
“In an uncertain and fast-changing world we walk tall—as a nation confidently living within its means.
“This Budget delivers a surplus this coming year, on time, as promised, and surpluses each year after that, strengthening over time.”
As the poet Shelley wrote in Ozymandias, his classic poem about the shattered statue of Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II: “Nothing beside remains. Round the decay. Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare. The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Labor hasn’t changed its cast or its unsustainable approach to economics.
Its frontbench still contains the same snarling ferals who held senior positions in the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd governments and they still believe they can hoodwink the public with the same pie-in-the-sky propositions.

Admitting the truth of Struggle Street

Miranda Devine – Sunday, May 17, 2015 (1:25am)

DESPITE the critics, the controversial SBS documentary Struggle Street was a triumph. It opened our eyes, and also our hearts.
Ivanka Pelikan, a community worker who runs Graceadas Cottage in nearby Bidwill, and plays a cameo role on the show, says she has been inundated with donations since the finale aired on Wednesday.
On Friday, $5000 came in from a kind Tasmanian viewer, and a woman drove from Castle Hill in tears with a carload of baby clothes.
“It’s overwhelming “ says Pelikan, who has worked at the cottage for nine years. “I’m just a mum, but I see the hardness in people’s lives.”
Struggle Street showed the rest of Australia what Pelikan sees every day.
Not only was it the highest rating program in the history of SBS, but it provided a real public service, by honestly depicting the lives of fellow Sydneysiders suffering under the twin burdens of generational welfare dependency and drug addiction.
We witnessed the intense anguish caused by tragic ice addict Corey to his entire family. 
We were horrified when 21-year-old pregnant mother Billie Jo pulled bongs and then smoked a cigarette in labour, and empathised somewhat when we saw her own mother, a meth addict when she was born. But, still, we were relieved to learn that Billie Jo’s baby was removed after birth.
We were elated by the guts and resilience of 22-year-old Chris. Growing up in foster care, after being removed from his mentally ill mother, Cheryl, he returns to Mt Druitt to reconnect with her.
He wants to work, not subsist on welfare, so he applies for a job as a cleaner at Penrith Panthers. The scene where his extended family helps him get dressed up for the job interview is incredibly moving.
Chris gets the job and we see him on the train making the daily 1 hour 40 minute journey from home to the Panthers in the pre-dawn darkness; he wants to save up for a car.
There is no more powerful depiction of the dignity of work, which is really only understood by those who live in communities deprived of it.
Critics of Struggle Street just don’t like facing the consequences of misguided welfare policies, which is the first step to changing them.

We “Bring Back Our Girls” only to expose them to more trauma

Miranda Devine – Sunday, May 17, 2015 (1:22am)

REMEMBER “Bring Back Our Girls”? 
The unctuous twitter campaign sparked by the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls by Boko Haram Islamists in Nigeria, last April, became a feminist cause celebre when Michelle Obama tweeted a sad selfie with the hashtag #bringbackourgirls.
Well, no thanks to Michelle and her Hollywood pals, “Our Girls” are back, after a year of living hell, many having endured continual gang rape by their captors.
“They turned me into a sex machine” Asabe Aliyu, told Nigeria’s The Daily Times. “They took turns to sleep with me. Now, I am pregnant and I cannot identify the father.”
Inevitably, almost half of the 534 girls and women rescued by Nigerian government forces in recent weeks are “visibly pregnant”.
But now, these young Christians are being traumatised all over again by a Western feminist establishment which wants them to abort their unborn children.
Instead of agitating against the unfair stigma often applied to the children of rape, or pushing for the US government to help Nigeria fight Boko Haram, Western activists are using their considerable influence to push for abortions for victims of Islamist sexual violence.
“As Boko Haram Kidnapping Victims Are Rescued, Many of Them Are Pregnant. Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About Their Right to Abortion?” ran the headline in Cosmopolitan magazine last week.
“It should be a no-brainer for international donors like the U.S. government, like [the United Nations Population Fund], to be going into Nigeria and helping these girls access safe abortions, for the ones who want and choose that,” Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity, told the magazine.
Abortion is illegal in Nigeria, so activists want the US government to capitalize on the Boko Haram menace by pressuring the Nigerian government to change its laws and offer rape victims what is euphemistically called “a full range of reproductive health care services”.
The sick suggestion is that Nigeria has already been told by the Obama administration that it must change its laws on contentious social issues, including abortion, before it gets any help to fight Boko Haram.
“The United States actually said it would help Nigeria with Boko Haram only if we modify our laws concerning homosexuality, family planning, and birth control, “ Nigerian Catholic Bishop Emmanuel Badejo recently told the Catholic news network
If it is true that abortion activists are hampering Nigeria’s ability to fight the Islamist threat, then they are helping create even more rape victims, which probably serves their purpose of promoting abortion in one of the last holdouts, Africa’s most Christian country.
Thus the pregnant Boko Haram victims are trapped at the intersection of two extreme ideologies: Islamist fanaticism and post-Christian feminism.
They were targeted by Islamist militants because they were Christian, and now they are being targeted by Western abortion activists for the same reason.
Abortion won’t help these young women, who face stigma either way, because they live in communities where killing the unborn is regarded as a sin.
Instead they should be praised for being mothers to children who have done nothing wrong. You can’t blame a baby for the crimes of its father.
Pressure from Western NGOs to abort their children only adds to the anguish of these women, and may destroy their one chance for happiness.
The example of the brutal Rwanda genocide 21 years ago shows that, for many rape survivors, their child was the only thing that made life worth living, according to a paper in The Journal of Social and Political Psychology.
“How Motherhood Triumphs Over Trauma Among Mothers With Children From Genocidal Rape in Rwanda” by Odeth Kantengwa, is a heartwarming affirmation of the best of human nature.
“Social stigma related to rape and children born of rape created challenges,” writes Kantengwa, a researcher from the Research and Documentation Center on Genocide in Kigali.
“However, despite these and other difficulties, motherhood played a positive role for many women, often providing a reason to live again after the genocide.”
Kantenwaga found “these female survivors have come to view their children as gifts, rather than burdens.”
Motherhood helped them reestablish happiness and trust and find “meaning in a life caring for and being sustained by others”.
The way NGOs could help survivors of genocidal rape is not by encouraging them to have abortions, but by helping to reduce the social stigma in their communities, and by providing practical help such as job training for the mothers and school fees for the children.
Kantenwaga suggests that professional counseling can also help women create positive “perceptions of their future babies”.
No one pretends that the journey ahead for the Boko Haram girls is easy. They have already been traumatised beyond belief.
But it is a false promise that abortion is the solution to their pain, when, in fact, motherhood offers them a reason to live.

Energised Joe works hard for the money in Budget speech

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, May 12, 2015 (7:56pm)

TOURING the media’s budget lockup in Canberra yesterday afternoon, Treasurer Joe Hockey’s moist palms and chewed-down fingernails belied his jaunty smile and upbeat rhetoric.
“This is it: Australia, have a go!” he told reporters was his motto. “The lowest interest rates ever, low electricity prices, lower petrol prices! Get out and have a go!”
After a humiliating fortnight, sidelined from the pre-budget sales pitch in favour of his more sure-footed junior colleague Scott Morrison, relegated to being a bit player in Team Abbott, budget night was Hockey’s chance to shine.
So the budget speech he has toiled over for days was unusually personal: “I grew up in a small business family. That small business put a roof over our heads. It paid the bills. It gave all of the family a chance at a better life … Our future growth will come from growing small business into big business”.
And then followed a series of crowd pleasers.
t was very much a Hockey production, long on sweeties, brim full of optimism, every bit a premature election budget. No family will be worse off. Everyone’s a winner, right down to the $150,000 gift to every electorate in the country to buy votes … I mean, “infrastructure” for “stronger communities” — like goalposts for the local footy field.
There’s even $50 million for a “gender equality” fund for Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Who said we had a deficit problem?
There’s even a massive piggy bank for childcare — a double income family with three children can claim as much as $64,000 of taxpayer subsidies. You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s the last days of Rome.
Accompanied by his ever- present sidekick, Mathias Cormann the Finance Minister, Hockey shook hands with scores of journalists locked up yesterday for six hours in windowless rooms in Parliament House in the annual ritual of scrutinising the budget papers, with sandwiches and sushi but no communication with the outside world.
Only Hockey, Cormann and the Treasury officials who trail around after them are allowed inside the “lockup”, to press their case against the instinctive cynicism of the Fourth Estate.
Hockey said he was “energised” and particularly optimistic about future iron ore prices and growth in the world economy.
“That’s what I got out of Washington,” he said, referring to his recent and much criticised 10-day visit to the US to attend an IMF meeting, talk to business leaders and ring the bell on Wall Street.
“Everyone is much more positive about global growth this year,” he said. “The United States is back to near full employment. Europe is looking a little stronger, and Japan is finally starting to grow.”
But the Treasurer was sensitive to criticism about continued bloated spending — with the size of government just dipping from 25.9 per cent of GDP in 2015-16 (two percentage points higher than the Howard government’s first budgets) to 25.3 per cent over the forward estimates.
“If I went any faster you’d crash the economy. I’m doing what’s right for the country,” he said brushing quickly past sceptical journalists who dared to make unfavourable comparisons to his Coalition predecessor Peter Costello.
Costello used to wear his lucky budget cufflinks to expenditure review committee meetings, one emblazoned with the word “no” and the other with “absolutely not”.
Hockey said he had an even better talisman to ward off the spending ambitions of his colleagues: a big red button which says “no” in three different voices. 
But gone was the bullish star of the show from last year, photographed smoking cigars with Cormann, and claiming poor people don’t drive very far so petrol excise doesn’t affect them.
Gone was the fiscal conservative railing against the Age of Entitlement, extolling the Menzean virtues of “lifters” versus “leaners”.
“Doing nothing is not an option”, Hockey said in last year’s budget speech. “Every dollar in this Parliament we spend comes from you … The days of borrow and spend must come to an end.”
After being smashed for a first budget that was deemed to be too ambitious, and too easily caving in to allegations of “unfairness”, the Abbott government has hammered the F-word this time.
This Budget is supposed to be all about fairness. Of course, the central Fairness strategy involves Hockey himself.
The PM says it would be unfair to replace him as Treasurer, despite a clamour from inside and outside the government, from those who blame Hockey for the failure of the last budget to find favour with either the public or the senate, and for setting the scene for Tony Abbott’s “near death experience “ in February.
So Morrison, Cormann and Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, after doing the heavy lifting, have stepped out of the spotlight to give Hockey his moment of glory, an opportunity to reclaim his mojo and improve the government’s fortunes. Few budgets have to work so hard.


Tim Blair – Saturday, May 16, 2015 (10:02pm)

Daily Telegraph illustrator John Tiedemann visits Sydney Speedway and hits a wall of beautiful sound:

Trackside Tiedemann reports: “I’m now so deaf that I can’t see.”

IPSOS poll: Abbott’s stunning recovery continues, to 50/50

Andrew Bolt May 17 2015 (8:48pm)

How funny. The press pack denied its prey. So many predictions confounded. The ABC now in terror. Liberal rats reboarding the ship.  Labor now desperately searching for policies. The haters choking on their bile.
And ABC host Barrie Cassidy forced to change the sting for his weekly spot on ABC host Jon Faine’s show, which, recorded at the height of the Abbott-will-fall hype, from memory goes: “That’s the problem with leadership speculation. Once it starts it never stops.”:
In a stunning reversal of fortunes, the government has now pulled even with the Labor opposition [in the latest Fairfax IPSOS poll].... 
Mr Abbott has also shot into the lead as the preferred prime minister ahead of Labor’s Bill Shorten.
At 44-39, it is the first time Mr Abbott has led on that index since April 2014 and the first time the government has been in a potentially election-winning position since February of that year…
The latest Fairfax-Ipsos poll has found support for the two parties is now locked at 50-50 in the immediate aftermath of the government’s 2015 budget…
The poll represents a cumulative 8 point switch from the 46-54 result recorded in the April survey… 
I do recall one commentator mocking my call that we were witnessing a “stunning recovery”.  Let us see how he reacts to this change in the wind. 

Here’s why, Patricia

Andrew Bolt May 17 2015 (3:45pm)

Like fellow ABC presenter Jonathan Green, Patricia Karvelas cannot understand why I might consider her Left of centre:
On gender politics:
Well a lot of us would be backing another female Prime Minister.  
On constitutional recognition of Aborigines:
But we can’t even get the constitutional recognition of indigenous people sorted out and this has been going on for years. Why distract the issue now? ... Is that not the priority?
On global warming:
While political responses to climate change are divided, artists are responding with creative solutions.
On global warming:
A leaked report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that by the end of the century, 270,000 homes could be claimed by rising sea levels… The IPCC report comes just a week after an international climate change study published in the journal Nature suggested Sydney can expect climate departure as early as 2038, and Brisbane in 2042. A separate study from the Bureau of Meteorology today warned Australians can expect more intense droughts during El Nino years. So how concerned should we be, and is there anywhere we can escape to? 
Prof Jean Palutikof
Director of The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility 
On constitutional recognition of Aborigines:
...on the Opposition Leader’s call for a republic this time. Now, given at the moment what’s on the agenda is constitutional reform to acknowledge indigenous Australians in the Constitution – and there is bipartisan support for that, should that not be the focus right now? Is a republic really front and centre and necessary? I mean, if we can’t even nail the other thing we’ve all promised to do, why are we having the other discussion? 
On same sex marriage:
ONE of the most powerful arguments Kevin Rudd made when explaining his late conversion to the cause of marriage equality was that it was in the best interests of children.
On same sex marriage:.
Gay marriage is best settled, as it was in New Zealand, by the parliament. A referendum is legally unnecessary and potentially divisive. ..
Rudd is right: Abbott should commit to a conscience vote as his own gay sister has asked him to do.
Rudd has revealed he wants to make marriage equality a central feature of his re-election pitch because he has rightly determined that it is now a mainstream issue. 
There would be few Australians who do not have a gay family member, friend or colleague, and the conclusion many have come to is that they deserve equal rights.
I could go on, but I want to get back to watching the replay of Richmond.
Apologies for all the typos in the original post. Tim Blair will understand why my attention was diverted.

The good news is the Herald thinks I don’t look silly enough

Andrew Bolt May 17 2015 (12:22pm)

I get that the Sydney Morning Herald was keen to make me look like a naughty boy, and not serious at all.
But who did they get to pose as ”Andrew Bolt”?
Guess I may have to apologise to Dean.
Reader Aussie Bob:
They think you’re Dean Felton from Seven News. 

The new story: not Abbott’s decline, but Shorten’s

Andrew Bolt May 17 2015 (6:40am)

Politics is a lot about narrative. Fitting things into a story. Making patterns. Creating stereotypes.
For many months, the dominant narrative has been about Tony Abbott’s alleged stumbles and his inevitable fall. Even an innocent wink or the tiniest hestitation on the word “Canada” would be treated as another damning chapter in that tale.
That story has now effectively ended. Abbott has passed all the ultimatums that were meant to form the final chapter in that story. He survived the January challenge. He then sailed through the February coup-that-wasn’t. He survived the talk that he couldn’t be allowed to stay to poison the NSW election. Then he survived what was meant to be revenge for a NSW bloodbath, that actually turned into a triumph. And now he’s nailed the Budget that was also meant to be his final reckoning.
There are only so many times we can be sold a story with so many false endings before it becomes boring and lacking in credibility.
So now there is a new story, one that is in part the yin to Abbott’s yang. It is the story of Bill Shorten’s failure and looming defeat.
Watch for it.
Laurie Oakes has an early go:
i]What the [budget reply] speech showed, again, is that Shorten is no performer. If he is an actor at all, it is of the ham variety. Yet by the standards of Budget replies in recent years, Shorten’s content was not bad…
But even good material tends to be wasted when Shorten delivers it. He lacks timing. He lacks pizzazz. He lacks force. He lacks gravitas. He is unconvincing…
Good politicians command that stage. Shorten seems unable to do so…
Shorten doesn’t need to be Lord Olivier ... But he does need to improve as a performer. He needs to project some personality, find ways to attract the interest of voters, appear interested himself, look as though he believes what he says and deliver his lines with more fluency and oomph.
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill suggests Oakes flatters Shorten on content:
AB, not sure how Oakes can assess Shorten’s effort as comparable to Abbott’s 2013 budget reply:
In a broader and more detailed speech than the usual Opposition budget reply, Mr Abbott listed savings measures he said added up to $5 billion a year. He announced that a Coalition government would defer the increase to compulsory superannuation and abolish boosted payments to the unemployed, students and parents…
The Opposition had already announced it was going to cut the SchoolKids Bonus, which it estimates will save $1.2 billion a year, including administration costs.
It also plans to cut 12,000 federal public service jobs over the forward estimates through natural attrition, a measure it says will save $1.75 billion a year.
Another $1.3 billion over the forward estimates will be saved, according to the Opposition, by not proceeding with the Government’s increase to the humanitarian refugee intake. 
Other savings measures previously announced include scrapping the Green Loans Scheme, saving up to $400 million a year.
Anything comparable to these savings measures in Shorten’s speech?
No, and that was a fatal error. 

On The Bolt Report today, May 17

Andrew Bolt May 17 2015 (5:57am)

On Channel 10 at 10am and 3pm.

My guests: Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Victorian Liberal president Michael Kroger. former Labor Minister Craig Emerson and Sharri Markson, media editor of The Australian.

I’ll talk to Turnbull about ABC bias and whether he really is as Left-wing as I’ve claimed.
Plus the Budget, Bill Shorten’s spendathon, Paul Barry’s mad conspiracy theory and more.

The videos of the shows appear here.

Brian Owler’s abuse is straight from the Labor song-sheet

Andrew Bolt May 17 2015 (5:43am)

Brian Owler, head of the Australian Medical Association, has already used his position to crusade on global warming, making highly exaggerated and questionable claims.
He has campaigned hard against the Government’s planned reforms to restrain the huge increase in health spending.
And now this abuse - a further suggestion, to me at least, that Owler may bob up as a Labor candidate at some stage:
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been accused of making a “calamitous captain’s call” for deciding to throw his support behind a plan to set up another Australian medical school. 
Medical groups are furious the federal government will help fund the new Curtin University medical school in Perth, saying it is part of a cynical bid to shore up softening Coalition support in Western Australia…
“It’s a calamitous captain’s call by Captain Chaos. That’s the only way to describe it because it’s going to cause chaos with the medical training of students,” medical association President Brian Owler said. 
Do all doctors share Owler’s political and social views? Are they sure he speaks for them all, and in the terms they believe best represent the medical profession?
Reader bushdoc:
As a practicing doctor, for over 3 decades. I have never heard as much criticism of an AMA president as I have of Brian Owler. His forays into matters political, such as climate change are not appreciated by most doctors. Indeed I have not heard one positive comment from my colleagues, rather surprise that a well regarded surgeon seems to have “gone native"… Resignations from the AMA are up. Any more brain snaps from Owler and I may have to consider my position as well.
Reader Jonathan:
They don’t. As a result I have rescinded my AMA membership last week
Reader Suzie:
This is the reason why many medical practitioners, including my husband, stopped being members of AMA. This organisation should be about health, not about politics (especially when, like the ABC, it only represents the lefty views).
Reader bernijk:
This doctor certainly does not agree with Dr Owler’s political and social views. 
Reader Birdie:
Quit AMA this year. The medical body does not represent its members views and has swung too far left. Should never have dabbled in climate debate. It is there to represent the interests of the medical community and that’s all. However, Owler is correct in that there are too many medical graduates struggling to find jobs in the hospital setting. Even internships, which is really an extension of the basic degree.
Reader MelbDr:
I’m a member of the AMA and was horrified when I read Dr Owler’s reported comments this morning. I have complained to the AMA that his reported comments were intemperate and extreme. 
He doesn’t speak for me.
Reader Adam:
Hi AB, Whilst I also dislike AMA’s position on such things as global warming propaganda, they are right to disagree with Abbott’s/Coalitions/WA’s State Govt. decision to approve a new medical school. I am currently in medical school and we have been informed that even in NSW (who holds the most training positions for both internships and specialist positions) that we will not all be lucky enough to gain a job at the end of the degree. This is what is widely known as the “intern tsunami” due to previous federal governments funding extra places at uni’s to boost doctor numbers. The problem is not funding medical places but funding training positions. A friend who is currently in 3rd year has already stated that he is 1 of 12 medical students for each resident/supervisor at the hospital he is placed at at the moment. 
JofG L
When such a notable medico like Dr Fiona Wood is right behind the idea it cannot be such a bad thing - I think she holds a little more clout in the community than Brian Owler. She says that technology is changing so rapidly we are struggling to keep pace with medical training so good on Colin Barnett and the Prime Minister for backing it.

This is not a record of funding the Australia Council can defend

Andrew Bolt May 17 2015 (5:24am)

I’m actually sorry that Arts Minister George Brandis doesn’t also involve himself more personally in deciding which works get funded:
The $104.8 million National Program for Excellence in the Arts will break the “monopoly” of the federal government’s own grant-giving agency, the Australia Council for the Arts, Senator Brandis says. 
In a shock budget move, $110m was cut over four years from the Australia Council to fund the new platform, which will sit within Senator Brandis’s arts ministry.
Some arts figures and commentators have condemned the move as an attack on the Australia Council’s independence and an attempt by Senator Brandis to build a cultural fiefdom. However, Senator Brandis said he was “not the assessor”, and grants would be determined by ministerial staff after an open round of applications. 
The guidelines would ensure those with access to the fund, worth about $25 million in the first year, had “popular appeal”.
But I wouldn’t worry too much about the squealing, which is the usual sound you here when a teat is removed.
In fact, as noted the other day, the Australia Council has a disturbing record of handing out grants to mates and fellow-travellers, while punishing conservatives.
Roger Franklin also points out that there may not be all the value-for-money control some taxpayers might expect, either:
Musician Joel Cerdor, $7000, to “build a portfolio of work as a promotional and networking tool to further career opportunities.” As he explains in the video below, the money financed a stint Paris where he worked to master Iran’s answer to the banjo. 
.... Actress Elizabeth Dawson-Smith, $9599 to “assist with developing my creative arts business.” This “business” includes the art of holding one’s breath 
... Uncultured bogans, the sort who pay taxes, will be astonished at the money to be found in a rapidly rotating Styrofoam cup. 

Good that we’re trying, but only reform of Islam can save us

Andrew Bolt May 17 2015 (5:13am)

Until Muslim leaders take responsibility for reforming their faith, hounding out hate preachers and reclaiming their young, I fear such programs - while potentially good - will have limited effect:
More than $22 million will be spent on educating and helping migrants land jobs to battle the radicalisation of young people in Australia...
The Transition Support for Young Refugees and Other Vulnerable Young Migrants program is made up of four measures.
Among them is a sports engagement initiative that will see 10,000 young people playing sport with community groups and a job readiness program for 2000 young refugees and migrants.
A strong connections to education measure will help young people stick with their education by building self-confidence and social connections.
The government will also spend the next financial year creating a vocational skills program, which will eventually be piloted.  
I hope this funding is kept out of the hands of Muslim groups, and especially those with leaders who’ve proved hot-cold on Australia. Integration should be the aim, and one reflected in the structure of these programs.
But how would such programs have stopped Oliver Bridgeman:
The Courier-Mail’s revelation that Bridgeman has fled to the Middle East to fight for al-Quaida-linked terrorist group the Al-Nusra Front, under the name Yusuf Oli, has shocked family and friends…
Bridgeman grew up on the Gold Coast and attended Coombabah State High, where he was named school captain last year…
The Courier-Mail has been told Bridgeman converted to Islam after becoming friends with several Muslims at school.  
(Bridgeman’s family says it’s sure he’s not actually fighting for terrorists.) 

Smart girl, dumb law

Andrew Bolt May 17 2015 (5:10am)

AT the age of five she watched her father stab her mother in a carpark as horrified bystanders struggled to subdue him. 
In the years since the terrifying attack in 2007, the girl’s mother, who almost died of her injuries, says her daughter has been forced to make regular visits to him against her will. “She doesn’t see him as her father, she sees him as the man who tried to kill her mother,” Victims of Crime Assistance League vice-president Howard Brown said.

Obama puts US boots on Syrian battlefield, but too few

Andrew Bolt May 17 2015 (4:54am)

 One promise from Barack Obama that I thought foolish:
I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria.
Luckily now broken, albeit in a small way:
US special forces had killed a senior Islamic State leader and captured his wife in eastern Syria, Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said tonight. 
The IS militant, Abu Sayyaf, who helped direct military operations and oil smuggling for the extremist group, “was killed during the course of the operation when he engaged US forces”, Mr Carter said in a statement.
But one killing does not hide the fact that the US-led war on the Islamic State is half-hearted and so far unsuccessful:
THE DAY before Islamic State (IS) swept Ramadi, the largest city in western Iraq and the capital of Iraq’s biggest province of Anbar, the head of the province’s 13 Sunni tribes warned that its loss was a foregone conclusion. From his seat of exile across the border in Jordan, Tarik Alabdullah al-Halbusi protested that the government had broken its promises. It had reneged on earlier commitments to arm and integrate Anbar’s Sunni tribesmen into Iraq’s Shia-dominated security forces and turned to its allied Shia militias to fight IS instead. This was a huge mistake. Fearful of being overrun and expelled by the Iran-backed militias, his Sunni tribesmen have been turning in droves to IS. “They give jobs to the unemployed and pay salaries on time,” Mr Halbusi said. 
The loss of Ramadi on May 15th is a serious blow to the government in Baghdad… IS is now threatening Baiji, Iraq’s largest oil refinery. In Syria, it is menacing the southern suburbs of Damascus and is moving into the outskirts of the archaeological treasure of Palmyra, Syria’s ancient Roman-era capital. Despite the efforts of an American-led multinational coalition, IS controls not only most of Iraq’s Syrian border, but its Jordanian and much of its Saudi border too. Last month it detonated three suicide truck and car-bombs at Tureibil, Iraq’s last government-held border crossing to Jordan.
From Mark Twain to Lewis Carroll, find out which of your favorite authors used pen names:
Posted by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing on Saturday, 16 May 2015
Ipsos poll to be published in tomorrow's lesser papers:
Two party preferred Coalition 50% (+4), Labor 50% (-4).
Preferred PM Abbott 44% (+6), Shorten 39% (-7).
Grab some popcorn & enjoy the mass leftie unhinging. Good times.


Tim Blair – Friday, May 17, 2013 (5:06pm)

Steve Price interviews head-tilty Gillard lookalike mummy blogger Eden Riley
RileyI believe that Tony Abbott sees women as lesser than men. Definitely.
PriceHow can you say that though?
RileyBecause I believe it. 
UPDATE. Voters have tuned out and Labor is worried
Finance Minister Penny Wong says difficulties encountered by the minority parliament and a “toxic” political culture are putting voters off.
“The temptation to turn off and disengage is real,” Senator Wong told a business forum in Melbourne on Friday.
“But while you can make a decision to not be interested in politics, you are always affected by the decisions a government makes.”
Her concerns are backed up by focus group research showing voters’ reaction to Treasurer Wayne Swan’s budget on Tuesday was largely disinterest …
Senator Wong blamed Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. 
Of course she did.


Tim Blair – Friday, May 17, 2013 (2:02pm)

Kevin Rudd, 2007
If elected, I will act on climate change by ratifying Kyoto. 
Tony Abbott, 2013
We will abolish the carbon tax … let me repeat: We will abolish the carbon tax. 
The debate has shifted a little over the past six years. Climate Change minister Greg Combet – that title isn’t ageing well – still hasn’t caught up
“With all of this policy that is working, that is environmentally effective, that’s economically responsible and socially fair, and what’s more is essential if we are to tackle climate change and protect the interests of future generations, Mr Abbott’s position on abolishing these measures iscompletely immoral.” 
Greg needs another holiday.


Tim Blair – Friday, May 17, 2013 (1:39pm)

Professor Bunyip compares recent art works. One was created by AFL footballers and led to a scandal. The others were created by an actual artist and led to government funding.
Not. Safe. For. Work.
In other art news, our friend the Skywhale was a cheap commission
Artist Patricia Piccinini has revealed she designed Skywhale for the bargain basement price of $8800 ... 
The balloon’s eventual cost involved some inflation: 
The Skywhale project will cost ACT taxpayers $300,000, with an additional $50,000 from the Aranday Foundation to meet other costs. 
Arts administrix Robyn Archer remains a fan: 
Ms Archer has defended the controversial balloon and criticised “parochial” reactions and superficial social media commentary since its unveiling. Writing in a national newspaper on Thursday, Ms Archer described the enormous creation as a “monumental” achievement in hot-air balloon technology, adding “the connections to Canberra and its centenary year are obvious”.
“Many have applauded the risk-taking as an indicator of signs that cultural sophistication is on the rise in the national capital,” Ms Archer said.
She blamed “leaked” photos of the balloon, published on on May 9, for negative public reaction. The photos were taken by a member of the public during the balloon’s first flight in country Victoria and published in a country newspaper. 
Maybe the public would have liked it more if they’d never seen it. 
“The public was goaded to treat this new work of art as if it were part of a beauty or popularity contest,” she said. “This raises serious questions for those who champion the arts: when did the public start insisting that all art be ‘beautiful‘?” 
Probably around the same time that artists decided it should all be ugly. For such an exhibitionist, Skywhale has a surprisingly secretive side
Six of the 11 pages of the contract between the ACT and Melbourne-based specialist balloon operator Global Ballooning have been left blank in the version of the document that has been made publicly available with the pages simply marked ‘’confidential text’’. 
Public art has its limits.


Tim Blair – Friday, May 17, 2013 (1:07pm)

Former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle, dead at 71 after shooting himself, was one cool racer
There is that lasting image of Dick Trickle in the Winston 500 lighting up a cigarette while driving his stock car with his knees during a caution lap.

The green flag hits and out the window goes the cigarette butt and back to racing goes Trickle.
‘’Dick always had a cigarette lighter in his car,’’ said fellow NASCAR driver Geoff Bodine. 
UPDATE. Five top moments to light up.


Tim Blair – Friday, May 17, 2013 (12:31pm)

G-rated television programs get into trouble if they include offensive language or “adult” content. But what happens if a show is rated for mature audiences
Dirty Laundry has been granted an MA classification and it has to meet that rating. That means there needs to be a certain level of coarse language and naughtiness or they will get into trouble for being too prudish. 
How does this work, exactly? Does the script return from the classification board with more obscenities added?


Tim Blair – Friday, May 17, 2013 (12:05pm)

Sarah Hanson-Young presents her latest drawing to the rest of the class. Points deducted for not including a sunshine bubble.


Tim Blair – Thursday, May 16, 2013 (8:42pm)

Politifact, the fact-checking website launched in Australia by former Fairfaxer Peter Fray, fearlessly investigates Liberal claims that “federal government public servants are purchasing gold-plated coffee machines”. The site’s conclusion, following nearly 600 words of forensic analysis: 
We think there should be some form of modifier, a marker, when referring to gold-plating to ensure everyone knows it is not real gold. 
UPDATE. The coffee scandal received Politifact’s lowest rating
It is with mixed feelings and heavy (ish) heart, that we award our first Pants on Fire – our lowest rating, reserved for claims that are not only untrue but also ridiculous.
We could have called the statement false, as it is.
But, because it’s been spread around for almost a year, been given a fresh airing this week, and is acknowledged as untrue even by the people saying it, we smelt smoke. We felt flame. 
I think there should be some form of modifier, a marker, when referring to burning pants, the scent of smoke and the detection of flames to ensure everyone knows they are not real pants, smoke and fire.

“When did the public start insisting that all art be ‘beautiful’?”

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (5:43pm)

Do not clink on the link if you are easily moderately offended.  But we pay grants for this?
Is that because only an arts administrator, using other people’s money, will pay what people using their own cash and judgment would not?
More from Tim Blair, who notes this telling line from arts administrator Robin Archer, who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on an inflatable pig:
...when did the public start insisting that all art be ‘beautiful’? 
The word “all” is a bit of a cheat, just as the scare quotes on “beautiful” is a giveaway.
But to wish a link between art and beauty is not at all something new or merely the taste of the mindless mob.
The great poet and critic Matthew Arnold thought beauty important, too:
It is by thus making sweetness and light to be characters of perfection, that culture is of like spirit with poetry, follows one law with poetry. I have called religion a more important manifestation of human nature than poetry, because it has worked on a broader scale for perfection, and with greater masses of men. But the idea of beauty and of a human nature perfect on all its sides, which is the dominant idea of poetry, is a true and invaluable idea… The best art and poetry of the Greeks, in which religion and poetry are one, in which the idea of beauty and of a human nature perfect on all sides adds to itself a religious and devout energy, and works in the strength of that, is on this account of such surpassing interest and instructiveness for us… But Greece did not err in having the idea of beauty, harmony, and complete human perfection, so present and paramount; it is impossible to have this idea too present and paramount; only the moral fibre must be braced too. 
The philosopher David Hume similarly ranked objects of art by their beauty:
The coarsest daubing contains a certain lustre of colours and exactness of imitation, which are so far beauties, and would affect the mind of a peasant or Indian with the highest admiration. The most vulgar ballads are not entirely destitute of harmony or nature; and none but a person, familiarized to superior beauties, would pronounce their numbers harsh, or narration uninteresting. A great inferiority of beauty gives pain to a person conversant in the highest excellence of the kind, and is for that reason pronounced a deformity: As the most finished object, with which we are acquainted, is naturally supposed to have reached the pinnacle of perfection, and to be entitled to the highest applause. One accustomed to see, and examine, and weigh the several performances, admired in different ages and nations, can alone rate the merits of a work exhibited to his view, and assign its proper rank among the productions of genius. 
Of course, we don’t all agree on what beauty is. We can also respond to a moral beauty in what may to the casual eye seem a superficially ugly work.
But for Archer to simply characterise a desire for beauty as some novelty or a bourgeois hankering for the kitsch suggests she isn’t much familiar with the history of art, or in sympathy with its greatest practitioners.
The anti-beauty movement we have had to endure in this age of hyper-democracy is the revolt of the talentless against ideals they cannot hope to meet. Shock and transgression always was simpler.  Any fool can destroy what only a genius can create.  

Bolt Report on Sunday

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (2:35pm)

How did the Budget blow so many billions so fast?
Anthony Albanese joins us - the only Labor Minister ever to agree to come on the show.
Peter Costello and Michael Costa on the Budget and Tony Abbott’s cuts. Then there’s Julia Gillard’s tears.
Spin of the Week: won by ...  

President points, IRS takes out

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (11:23am)

Steve Kates says Barack Obama will be impeached.
Big call, but then you read the Wall Street Journal’s latest on the IRS scandal:
Mr. Obama now professes shock and outrage that bureaucrats at the IRS did exactly what the president of the United States said was the right and honorable thing to do. “He put a target on our backs, and he’s now going to blame the people who are shooting at us?” asks Idaho businessman and longtime Republican donor Frank VanderSloot. 
Mr. VanderSloot is the Obama target who in 2011 made a sizable donation to a group supporting Mitt Romney. In April 2012, an Obama campaign website named and slurred eight Romney donors. It tarred Mr. VanderSloot as a “wealthy individual” with a “less-than-reputable record.” Other donors were described as having been “on the wrong side of the law.”
This was the Obama version of the phone call—put out to every government investigator (and liberal activist) in the land.
Twelve days later, a man working for a political opposition-research firm called an Idaho courthouse for Mr. VanderSloot’s divorce records. In June, the IRS informed Mr. Vandersloot and his wife of an audit of two years of their taxes. In July, the Department of Labor informed him of an audit of the guest workers on his Idaho cattle ranch. In September, the IRS informed him of a second audit, of one of his businesses. Mr. VanderSloot, who had never been audited before, was subject to three in the four months after Mr. Obama teed him up for such scrutiny. 
The last of these audits was only concluded in recent weeks. Not one resulted in a fine or penalty. But Mr. VanderSloot has been waiting more than 20 months for a sizable refund and estimates his legal bills are $80,000. That figure doesn’t account for what the president’s vilification has done to his business and reputation.

Where are Gore’s hurricanes?

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (9:14am)

Remember how cynically Al Gore exploited Hurricane Katrina to flog his eco-propaganda, An Inconvenient Truth?
Now I’m going to show you, recently released, the actual ocean temperature. Of course when the oceans get warmer, that causes stronger storms.  We have seen in the last couple of years, a lot of big hurricanes. Hurricanes Jean, Francis and Ivan were among them. In the same year we had that string of big hurricanes; we also set an all time record for tornadoes in the United States… And then of course came Katrina. It is worth remembering that when it hit Florida it was a Category 1, but it killed a lot of people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage. And then, what happened? Before it hit New Orleans, it went over warmer water. As the water temperature increases, the wind velocity increases and the moisture content increases. And you’ll see Hurricane Katrina form over Florida. And then as it comes into the Gulf over warm water it becomes stronger and stronger and stronger. Look at that Hurricane’s eye. And of course the consequences were so horrendous; there are no words to describe it.
Remember how his film’s poster even used hurricane imagery to hype fears of catastrophic global warming and more hurricanes to come?
At what stage does the media hold Al Gore to account?
Hurricane inactivity is also setting all-time records. The United States is undergoing its longest stretch in recorded history without a major hurricane strike, with each passing day extending the unprecedented lack of severe hurricanes, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data.It has been more than 2,750 days since a major hurricane struck the United States. This easily smashes the prior record of less than 2,300 days between major hurricane strikes.
Reader Charles says the Bureau of Meteorology has finally updated its graphic of cyclone activity - and it’s another blow to the warming alarmists:
After years of warming alarms and extra emissions, Australia is suffering fewer cyclones. Global warming might be a good thing, after all.
(Thanks to reader Rocky.) 


If their other loyalty is so strong, they shouldn’t mind losing ours

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (8:20am)

Australians face yet more terrorism threats thanks to the lax immigration program of naive politicians who didn’t want to seem mean:
The author of a major review of counter-terrorism laws, Anthony Whealy QC, ... predicted counter-terrorism police were likely to start applying for control orders at a quickening rate, given the events in Syria. 
“My feeling is that there might be a good case for an increase in the number of control orders in Australia over the next four or five years,” Mr Whealy said.
As The Australian has reported, authorities suspect up to 200 Australian dual citizens may be participating in the fight against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Many are thought to be fighting with the al-Qa’ida-linked al-Nusra Front. Four Australians have died in the current conflict. 
Authorities fear the men, most of whom are dual Lebanese-Australian citizens, will return more deeply radicalised and equipped with the training and experience to do serious harm to the community.
Dual nationality? Choose to sign up with terror groups overseas? Then you lose one of those nationalities. I’m sure you’ll fit in better on your other home. 


Green energy: keeping warm by burning billions of dollars

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (8:03am)

Nothing, not even red ink, can spoil the green dream:
Make solar a reality like Spain. ABC1’s Lateline, Wednesday: 
REPORTER Kerry Brewster: (Port Augusta’s mayor) Joy Baluch’s solar vision was not a dying woman’s delusion. The solar thermal plant she wanted for her city is a reality in Spain.
Spain’s reality. Reuters, February 14:
THE Spanish parliament approved a law on Thursday that cuts subsidies for alternative energy technologies ... to eliminate the ... $37.4 billion tariff deficit ... built up through years of the government holding down electricity prices ... Foreign investors poured money into Spanish wind and solar projects, drawn to generous subsidies ... the cost of the subsidies was not passed on fully to consumers because that would have pushed prices to unprecedented highs. 
South Australian reality. Adelaide Advertister, March 21 last year:
A REPORT released today ... shows South Australian (power) prices are the third highest (in the world) ... Roman Domanski said it was only a matter of time before SA would have the world’s most expensive power prices.
What’s driving up those prices? ABC’s The World Today, March 21, last year:
MR Domanski says ... “The three key factors that will increase prices again in 2012 are ... network charges ... subsidies that are paid by people to support renewable energy ... (and) the introduction of a carbon price from July 1.” 
From the home page of The Age, a dilemma. Do we believe an activists’ survey of warmist science and another puff-piece on a troubled green “fix” that has lost shareholders a motza, or do we believe the stuff floating down from the skies?
(Thanks to reader GoldCoastSeer.)  

Katter kaos

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (7:56am)

Clive Palmer is the bigger joke, but Bob Katter is in trouble, too:
BOB Katter’s Australian Party is “imploding”, with senior figures deserting their posts, membership plummeting and a regional delegate turned-Clive Palmer ally accusing his former colleagues of constant infighting… 
This comes on the back of the resignation of national director Aidan McLindon and party vice-president and chair of finance Kevin Brown.
Former first-class cricketer Carl Rackemann has resigned as Shadow Agriculture spokesman, Lyn Bishop as Health spokeswoman, Keith Douglas as Shadow Tourism Minister and Michael Bates as Shadow Attorney-General…
Industrial Relations spokeswoman and union liaison officer Belinda Johnson said she would be making a decision whether to step down once she had spoken with Mr Katter and his son. 
“Why are the key players leaving the party and what is the future?” she plans to ask them.

Not even her tears spare her

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (7:41am)

 Former Labor Minister Graham Richardson is astonished by the hatred for - and suspicion of - the Prime Minister:
I turned back to Sky News and was again presented with the Prime Minister speaking in the parliament to introduce the national disability insurance scheme… You would think that nobody could doubt her sincerity on this question. 
I saw her lip begin to quiver and her voice begin to falter. The tears were genuine as she provided some long overdue justice to a half-million Australians whose plight has been ignored…
During the afternoon I was listening to talkback radio and what I heard rocked me to my core. Callers and emails were heard and read one by one. Virtually all of them accused the PM of putting on an act to gain sympathy. It would appear that many Australians now loathe her so much that no matter what she says or does they will find a fault. If this kind of hatred were limited to the odd few it wouldn’t worry me too much. You can always make allowances for the odd nutter. But what I heard on Wednesday demonstrated that this problem is far more widespread than that. 
Back in the 1970s Gough Whitlam was hated by too many Australians. In the 90s Paul Keating had his share of detractors. None of those experiences prepared me for what I heard this week. 
Voters will not forgive being cheated and lied to.  Gillard broke promises she never intended to keep, and now cannot complain she is no longer believed:
The polling, conducted by JWS Research ... after Treasurer Wayne Swan’s budget speech, found the budget had largely failed to engage voters. The most strident criticism concerned the belated forecast to deliver a surplus in 2016-17. 
“Attitudes towards the budget are a dangerous mix of disinterest in what the government has to say, disappointment in a budget that offered very little of tangible value to ordinary voters, ignorance about the key disability and [Gonski] education reforms ... ?and a lack of faith in a government that has previously failed to deliver on its surplus promises so many times,” concluded JWS research’s John Scales… The default view was ”I just don’t listen to what [Julia] Gillard has to say any more,” Mr Scales said.
(Thanks to reader Hmmm.) 


We cannot pay for today’s handouts with tomorrow’s money

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (7:28am)

How many warnings do we need?
CORPORATE heavyweight Don Argus has warned a doubling of gross national debt to $3 trillion could trigger a long period of low growth and declared it crucial to increase productivity to deal with a heavy debt load. 
In a closed-door speech in Melbourne yesterday, ... the former BHP Billiton chairman and National Australia Bank chief executive said there was uncertainty surrounding the budget and that the forecasts in it were subject to political interference.
In a devastating critique, he also warned that: Australia was set to inherit the same challenges confronting stricken economies elsewhere in the developed world; there was “Ponzi financing” of debt in the global economy; and if the crippling cost rises striking resources projects continued, “our so-called boom will finish sooner than we think"… 
[Argus’s] analysis found revenue growing at a 3.6 per cent annualised rate over the past five years, while recurring spending costs had grown at 7 per cent.
Miner Gina Rinehart says the Government is treating miners as an ATM while racking up unsustainable debt:
“What few seem to properly understand - even people in government - is that miners and other resources industries aren’t just ATMs for everyone else to draw from without that money first having to be earned and, before that, giant investments are made,” she said in a video recorded for the conference. 
“It is incredible that after the last six years of record commodity boom times, we now find the once lucky country in record debt, with the federal budget tipped to deliver yet another deficit, to further increase our record debt.
“This debt is simply unsustainable, especially when Australia now faces an increasing elderly population with increasing needs, and fewer workers to pay for it all....”
In a call to arms, Ms Rinehart again describes Australia’s economy as “too expensive and cost uncompetitive”, saying government red tape and regulations are damaging the nation’s reputation on the world stage.
Mrs Rinehart has cited Woodside Petroleum’s recent decision to shelve its $40 billion gas project at James Price Point in Western Australia, and comments from the former global head of Ford, Jac Nasser, who predicted the eventual demise of the Australian car industry, as evidence that Australia was becoming am unattractive place to do business…
“Too many of our governments seem to have had their thoughts clouded by six record years of revenue. They seemed to think the ATM would never empty, and never need refilling,” she said… 
“It is as if Spain, Greece, Britain, Italy and Portugal had no warnings to give us about the similar path we are now taking...”

Look at this other drowning island, the Global Mail writer insisted. So I did…

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (7:08am)

Yesterday I noted this typical example of eco-catastrophism by one of the warming alarmists on the Global Mail:
The waves are slowly seeping over Kiribati, which is at the frontline of the climate-change-induced rise in sea levels striking low-lying nations all over the world. Formerly part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands — a British protectorate until the mid 1970s — Kiribati is lower, frailer and more defenceless. It may be the first nation to enter an end game against climate change. 
Kiribati’s leaders now face wrenching questions: How many of its 100,000 people will need to leave? Where will they go? How will it feed those remaining? And, as its islands become uninhabitable, can Kiribati remain a nation at all?
I wondered how that Kiribati-is-drowning meme squared with satellite time-lapse pictures showing no such thing.
Indeed, recent studies show no cause for alarm: 
Climate scientists have expressed surprise at findings that many low-lying Pacific islands are growing, not sinking. 
Islands in Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia are among those which have grown, largely due to coral debris, land reclamation and sediment.
The findings, published in the magazine New Scientist, were gathered by comparing changes to 27 Pacific islands over the last 20 to 60 years using historical aerial photos and satellite images.
Auckland University’s Associate Professor Paul Kench, a member of the team of scientists, says the results challenge the view that Pacific islands are sinking due to rising sea levels associated with climate change. 
“Eighty per cent of the islands we’ve looked at have either remained about the same or, in fact, gotten larger,” he said. 
But you just can’t tell an alarmist anything. The Global Mail’s alarmist, Bernard Lagan, promptly claimed that I’d simply looked at the wrong island:
What Bolt failed to tell his readers is that the Earth Engine link he posted is in fact Christmas Island, the most remote and among the least populated of Kiribati’s 33 islands and atolls… 
Here is the Landsat link to South Tarawa that Bolt — had he wanted to show Kiribati’s tiny, low-lying population centre — should have posted.
I wonder how many Global Mail readers clicked on that link to see if it showed what Lagan implied it showed - an island drowning under rising seas.
In fact, if anything, it seems to suggest the very opposite. The satellite time-lapse series begins in 1999 (the top picture) and ends in 2012 (the bottom). Check for yourself if the island of Kiribati said by Lagan to better show the effects of global warming is indeed drowning - or just waving:
Another thing, Lagan informed the credulous readers of the Global Mail that global warming was filling South Tarawa with refugees from global warming:
The main population centre of South Tarawa is severely over-crowded and the problem is worsening because outer-islanders fleeing the effects of climate change are coming to South Tarawa. 
They are?
That’s odd. The 2012 Republic of Kiribati Report Series also notes the population boom, but of all the explanations it gives, not one is global warming:
The population of Kiribati grew by 10,525 people between 2005 and 2010. Almost all of this growth is in South Tarawa, which grew by 9,871 people. 
The practice of sending children for schooling and leaving them with relatives on South Tarawa, and relations visiting families on South Tarawa hoping to find jobs, or for health reasons and staying with them indefinitely are some of the main reasons for this overcrowding issue. But though these are the usual reasons given for the growing population of South Tarawa, the 2010 Census reveals that more babies are now being born on South Tarawa than on any other island, contributing to about 2.26 of the population annually to South Tarawa. 
Indeed, it’s inclined to reject what Lagan suggests: 
However, there is evidence that at present, climate change is not the main cause of coastal erosion, water shortages or overcrowding. Other issues, especially population growth and the move to Western lifestyles, are having a more immediate impact.
Mark Lynas, once a prominent global warming catastrophist, last year noted how warmists were misrepresenting the facts about Kiribati:
A new paper published in the AGU’s house journal Eos Transactions shows why caution is often justified. Here ... is the 1993-2011 sea level trend data from Tarawa atoll, part of Kiribati in the central Pacific:
Whoa! No sea-level rise there, then. And yet of course climate campaigners – and even the Kiribati government – understandably anxious to highlight the future existential threat to the islands, have used storm surges, flooding events and suchlike as evidence of current sea-level rise impacts. Which they are almost certainly not, at least not in Tarawa atoll anyway… 
In Tarawa atoll, direct human interference probably explains the majority of what is often pointed to as evidence of sea-level rise impact, according to Donner...:
The combination of natural weather – and climate – driven variability in sea level and the astronomical tidal cycle can lead to flooding and erosion events, particularly in sand-dominated systems like atolls and barrier islands. For example, the 2004–2005 ENSO event contributed to two major flooding events in Tarawa… These flooding events, though statistically more likely to happen as global average sea level rises, are themselves no more evidence of rising sea level than an individual heat wave is evidence of rising global temperatures. Despite a continued global average sea level rise, the gauge height reached on 10 February 2005 in Tarawa has not been surpassed since. 
The paper then goes on to discuss some direct human impacts which can impact shoreline dynamics with or without a sea-level trend:
Three types of shoreline modification that are typical in low-lying island nations have altered sediment supply and island shape in South Tarawa [Webb, 2005]. First, land reclamation, accomplished by infilling behind a constructed sea wall, has increased land area in some locations but exacerbated erosion and inundation in others…
Second, the practice of mining of beaches and barrier reefs for construction materials, common in Kiribati, Tuvalu, and other atoll nations, can make the shoreline more vulnerable to tidal extremes and storms…
Last, the construction of causeways between islets has altered islet evolution. Unlike a bridge, a solid, hard-topped causeway limits or blocks the natural flow of sediment between the ocean and the lagoon… The lagoon islet of Bikeman, which was dotted with coconut trees during the Battle of Tarawa, is now a sandbar that disappears from view at high tide. Despite some claims to the contrary by climate activists, the loss of this once popular resting spot for fishermen is primarily due to the construction of the Betio-Bairiki causeway, which redirects sediment flow.
Yesterday Lagan suggested I was a liar and “denier” to doubt his tale of global warming horror on Kiribati. An apology would be nice.
Willis Eschenbach:
Since (as Darwin showed) atolls float up with the sea level, the idea that they will be buried by sea level rises is totally unfounded. Despite never being more than a few metres tall, they have survived a sea level rise of up to three hundred plus feet (call it a hundred metres) within the last twenty thousand years. Historically they have floated up higher than the peaks of drowned mountains. 
So the third claim is not true either. Atolls are created by sea level rise, not destroyed by sea level rise.

Labor priorities

Andrew Bolt May 17 2013 (7:03am)

Labor MP Craig Thomson has been found by a Fair Work Australia investigation to have misappropriated union money. He has been charged by police. He has claimed his party offered him a dodgy pre-selection race so he could collect a $100,000 payout.
Despite all that, Labor has kept him as a member.
But finally he has crossed a line. Finally he has done something so unforgivable that he must be expelled from the party:
The Daily Telegraph has learnt a special hearing is expected to be held within days to expel Mr Thomson after he announced he would run as an independent in the seat of Dobell. NSW ALP assistant secretary John Graham has brought charges against Mr Thomson under rules forbidding Labor members standing against the party.
As part of the First World War Centenary commemorations the Australian War Memorial is creating a comprehensive digital archive of the ANZACs and their experiences. We’re digitising items from our Private Records collection including diaries, letters and a wide range of other material. If you are a relative of one of the creators of these collections, we’d love to hear from you. Check out our blog for more details:
Mental illness is NOT a synonym for insanity or crazy. EVERYONE struggles with unhealthy thoughts at times. Rick Warren
Shame says that because I am flawed, I am unacceptable. 
Grace says that though I am flawed, I am cherished. 
Natalie Tran - the real one

May you live forever. And may the last voice you hear, be mine

Time for a bit of fun to round out the day. Watch this toy muscle car hunt down a deer-slaying cement truck in this awesome stop-motion video. Amazing!
Well, has NSW Labor conspired to defraud taxpayers?

That is the claim made by Shadow Attorney General, George Brandis, yesterday

The Coalition has written to AFP Commissioner Tony Negus requesting it investigate an alleged Labor offer to Craig Thomson “as a matter of urgency”

The offer allegedly put to Thomson by NSW ALP Secretary Sam Dastyari 10 days ago would have allowed Thomson to exit Parliament with $95,000 in entitlements but without running against Labor at the September election

In other words, Thomson would have been admitted back into the party and allowed to contest Labor preselection for his seat of Dobell

But the contest would be a sham – predetermined so Thomson would lose

Thomson would then leave Parliament with a resettlement allowance of $95,200

The evidence for this alleged offer comes from Thomson himself

Earlier this week he recounted a conversation with Dastyari on 7 May as follows:

“He (Dastyari) said why don’t you stand for the party? We’d rather you do that than stand as an Independent. You know your entitlements are the same if you’re beaten in a preselection as they are if you stand”

George Brandis says any offer “to induce Thomson to agree to a sham preslection process” may breach criminal and electoral laws

The Government is running for cover

Sources are now claiming Julia Gillard would never have agreed to Dastyari’s plan

Voters are sick and tired of this sleaze

The AFP should indeed investigate

Alan Jones


I have a beautiful 4 year-old girl who sits on my knee and helps me do cartoons. Her job is to colour in Julia Gillard’s hair, and she uses all the right colours. 

I was rather surprised yesterday when she earnestly asked me, “Why do people hate Julia Gillard, daddy?” 

I was a bit taken back because I don’t discuss politics at home, I know she doesn’t understand the cartoons and the strap-on is actually Julia’s handbag, so how did she arrive at such a conclusion?

After some gentle persuasion she explained that all her friends’ parents hate Julia Gillard and I was told I had inadvertently dropped a few expletives while watching TV.

Now, hate is a big word and hatred does no favours for the hater but the level of disdain for this Prime Minister is beyond all comparison.

I’ve known most Prime Ministers and have often disagreed with their politics but never have I refused to hear what they had to say. Never had I personally shown them disrespect.

I recall having a heated argument with Malcolm Fraser while we both pissed on the same bush... but something has changed.

It all changed, it was a moment in time, when a silver-haired lady in a supermarket walked up to Julia Gillard, looked her in the eye and asked, “Why did you lie to us Julia?”

It was only then that I realised things were very different.

This lady wasn’t an activist, she was articulate and genuinely wanted to know why her leader had lied to her. Of course Julia’s answer was that she hadn’t lied... and that’s why Julia Gillard is not really our Prime Minister.

If she had admitted to the lie, apologised and explained the unusual circumstances, Gillard may well have cached a million valuable votes and satisfied the lady, but unfortunately the real Julia was on show.

Now people have stopped listening. Even a political animal like me reaches for the remote when she opens her mouth. There is something un-Australian about her.

This depth of distaste for a Prime Minister is not good for her or us.

The crying pic on my Facebook yesterday received 200,000 hits and was shared over a thousand times and re-shared again. The Pickering Post has 23 pages of comments and still counting, 6,000 emails have gone viral.

I can’t possibly moderate the sheer volume of angry comments. There’s just me!

Two or three million people should have felt sorry for a poor woman weeping for the plight of the disabled, but they didn't feel sorrow, their anger was white hot!

It’s really sad that it has come to this.

Oh well, I can safely turn the TV back on again now to watch Peter Van well-I-believe-you-Prime Minister Onselin.

But what do I tell my daughter?
Rosalía de Castro

“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”” - Zephaniah 3:17
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy."
1 Timothy 6:17
Our Lord Jesus is ever giving, and does not for a solitary instant withdraw his hand. As long as there is a vessel of grace not yet full to the brim, the oil shall not be stayed. He is a sun ever-shining; he is manna always falling round the camp; he is a rock in the desert, ever sending out streams of life from his smitten side; the rain of his grace is always dropping; the river of his bounty is ever-flowing, and the well-spring of his love is constantly overflowing. As the King can never die, so his grace can never fail. Daily we pluck his fruit, and daily his branches bend down to our hand with a fresh store of mercy. There are seven feast-days in his weeks, and as many as are the days, so many are the banquets in his years. Who has ever returned from his door unblessed? Who has ever risen from his table unsatisfied, or from his bosom un-emparadised? His mercies are new every morning and fresh every evening. Who can know the number of his benefits, or recount the list of his bounties? Every sand which drops from the glass of time is but the tardy follower of a myriad of mercies. The wings of our hours are covered with the silver of his kindness, and with the yellow gold of his affection. The river of time bears from the mountains of eternity the golden sands of his favour. The countless stars are but as the standard bearers of a more innumerable host of blessings. Who can count the dust of the benefits which he bestows on Jacob, or tell the number of the fourth part of his mercies towards Israel? How shall my soul extol him who daily loadeth us with benefits, and who crowneth us with loving-kindness? O that my praise could be as ceaseless as his bounty! O miserable tongue, how canst thou be silent? Wake up, I pray thee, lest I call thee no more my glory, but my shame. "Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake right early."


"And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches. For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye and your cattle, and your beasts."
2 Kings 3:16-17
The armies of the three kings were famishing for want of water: God was about to send it, and in these words the prophet announced the coming blessing. Here was a case of human helplessness: not a drop of water could all the valiant men procure from the skies or find in the wells of earth. Thus often the people of the Lord are at their wits' end; they see the vanity of the creature, and learn experimentally where their help is to be found. Still the people were to make a believing preparation for the divine blessing; they were to dig the trenches in which the precious liquid would be held. The church must by her varied agencies, efforts, and prayers, make herself ready to be blessed; she must make the pools, and the Lord will fill them. This must be done in faith, in the full assurance that the blessing is about to descend. By-and-by there was a singular bestowal of the needed boon. Not as in Elijah's case did the shower pour from the clouds, but in a silent and mysterious manner the pools were filled. The Lord has his own sovereign modes of action: he is not tied to manner and time as we are, but doeth as he pleases among the sons of men. It is ours thankfully to receive from him, and not to dictate to him. We must also notice the remarkable abundance of the supply--there was enough for the need of all. And so it is in the gospel blessing; all the wants of the congregation and of the entire church shall be met by the divine power in answer to prayer; and above all this, victory shall be speedily given to the armies of the Lord.

What am I doing for Jesus? What trenches am I digging? O Lord, make me ready to receive the blessing which thou art so willing to bestow.
[Rĭm'mon] - a pomegraniteThe father of two captains who served under King Ishbosheth and became his murderers (2 Sam. 4:2-9). Rimmon is also the name of a Syrian god, looked upon "as air-, weather-, and storm-god assimilated by popular etymology to the word for 'pomegranite,'" hence the meaning of the name. The symbol of the beneficient deity was the axe and a bundle of lightning-darts. It was in Rimmon's temple at Damascus that Naaman worshiped.
Rimmon is likewise the name of a city in Simeon now known as Um-er-Rumamin (Josh. 15:32; Zech. 14:10), and of a rock in Benjamin near Gibeah, now called Rummon or Rammun (Judg. 20:45, 47; 21:13), and of two cities, one in Simeon (1 Chron. 4:32) and the other in Zebulon, spoken of in Hebrews as Rimmons (1 Chron. 6:77).
Scripture Reference: 1 Samuel 14:50
Name Meaning: Brother of pleasantries
Two women are known by this name in the Old Testament. The first Ahinoam was the daughter of Ahimaaz. She was the wife of Saul, Israel's first king, to whom she bore a noble son, Jonathan, who inherited his mother's commendable traits. It was her daughter, Merab, who was first promised to David in marriage, but it was Michal her next daughter who became the young champion's first wife. Saul had two more sons by Ahinoam, namely, Isha and Melchishua.

Her name is most suggestive. As we have seen, it means "brother of pleasantries," in the sense of "pleasing or dear brother." A parallel name is that of Abinoam, father of Barak, one of the heroes of the Book of Judges, whose name means, "brother's delight." Wilkinson suggests as a feasible origin for such a name, "Extreme partiality of affection exhibited by a very young infant for a brother-a domestic phenomenon by no means unusual."

Today's reading: 2 Kings 24-25, John 5:1-24 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Kings 24-25

1 During Jehoiakim's reign, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded the land, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. But then he turned against Nebuchadnezzar and rebelled. 2 The LORD sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the LORD proclaimed by his servants the prophets. 3 Surely these things happened to Judah according to the LORD's command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, 4 including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD was not willing to forgive....

Today's New Testament reading: John 5:1-24

The Healing at the Pool
1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3Here a great number of disabled people used to lie--the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4] One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"

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