Friday, August 31, 2018

Fri Aug 31st Todays News

Scott Morrison deserves a chance as PM. Michael Yabsley is a former NSW politician whose resignation from parliament in 1994 was punctuated by Liberals spending 16 years in the wilderness in NSW. Things came easily to him, having a safe seat in Vaucluse, but when things got tough, he tossed in a ministry position, then walked from parliament. In later years, he would be treasurer for NSW Libs. He is a party insider and seems to have got lost in a corridor somewhere, as he has spoken out for Tony Abbott to resign. He claims Abbott has been a wrecker within the party since Turnbull backstabbed him, and if Abbott continued, then people would forget his good work he did up to 2015, then Turnbull backstabbed him with bed wetters. Warren Entsch in Cairns has echoed Yabsley. Entsch was Abbott's chief whip in opposition and his betrayal of Abbott in 2015 is more likely sour grapes. Thing is, Abbott is being supportive of the government and I cannot fault him. So why are Yabsley and Entsch speaking out now? Turnbull supporters are doing dummy spits to prevent Morrison, not Abbott, from being successful as PM. Because Morrison's success will make Malcolm look very bad. And under Morrison, Libs are making the right decisions.

Huffington Post doesn't need much to back someone. Just hate Trump. It worked for McCain whom was terribly offside with the rag until he opposed Trump.

From my article on Quora
Why don’t they teach a budgeting class in school?
Classes are like laws. You don’t need laws to address everything all the time. Classes tend to be broad to corral people into engaged study. It is then up to the individual to achieve as they will. Because there is not enough time in a school day to do everything students achieve.
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A daily column on what the ALP have as a policy, supported by a local member, and how it has 'helped' the local community. I'll stop if I cannot identify a policy. Feel free to make suggestions. Contact me on FB, not twitter. I have twitter, but never look at it.

Gabrielle Williams was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers, working with the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing and the Minister for Families and Children. Williams was given those titles when elected in 2014. It is difficult to find what value she has been to Dandenong, but clearly the ALP see her as the future. In 2014, ALP promised more police. Until this year, they had not delivered. This year they have hired more police and some crime statistics have gone down. However, figures show that the ALP have been lax in tasking police to address crime. Police are very good when they are allowed to be. Statistics going back a decade show crime rising. Maybe it has plateaued? It is quite high for Dandenong relative to Cabramatta. Why is that? Or Bankstown. Sydney endured a crime wave related to migration ten years ago, but she changed when Liberal government implemented effective policy, allowing police to do their job. It also helped that Abbott and Morrison put a brake on illegal arrivals. But as NSW has functioned effectively, the Dan Andrews government oversaw appalling rises in crime. One Dandenong resident who is a father has said he would defend his home if it was invaded, and maybe an axe would be handy. Do you feel safe in your homes? Do you feel safe on the streets?

As part of the November 24th Vic election campaign I have a petition I want to bring before the Opposition Leader Matthew Guy. I believe Matthew will be the next premier of Victoria and so I am petitioning him as I raise the issues of Employment, Crime and Education in Dandenong. I am also seeking money for my campaign. I don't have party resources, and so my campaign is on foot, and on the internet. Any money I receive that is not spent on the campaign will go to Grow 4 Life. I am asking questions like "What do you love about Dandenong?" and "If you could change something in Dandenong to make it better, what would it be?" I'm not limiting the questions to state issues. I'm happy to discuss anything, and get things done.
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 I've Never Been To Me

"I've Never Been to Me" is a sleeper hit single performed by American singer Charlene Oliver née D'Angelo. A beautiful song .. yet I still thought I'd cover it. Girls sing it better.

=== from 2017 ===
Some things should not happen, but they do. Seumas Milne (adviser to Jeremy Corbyn) gave an interview regretting that East Germany passed. Milne doesn't regret the end of the Stasi, but the end of East Germany. He expresses this view in interview with George Galloway, who supports many who are terrorists. Milne acknowledges there is now more freedom that people like. But Milne claims that the loss of socialism terrible. How long would East Germany's 'glorious socialism' have lasted without the Stasi? The queues, the pollution, the loss of hope, the curbing of ambition, the promotion of those who hurt others. All that was lost when East Germany collapsed. And now the East German peoples get to live off the fat that West Germany achieved. Even with the Stasi, many successfully escaped East Germany. More died trying. Maybe Milne and Galloway should go live in Syria or Venezuela, so they can live their dream. Remember, the same system that gave Venezuela famine have provided Australia an NBN. 

Same Sex Marriage debate is being conducted in Australia, prior to a postal vote. Only the establishment are not allowing debate. The Age has a photograph of activists removing 'no' campaign posters illegally. And The 'Age' claims that it is a good idea? It is as if there are two questions, but the response to the first must match the response to the second. "Do you support SSM?" "Do you require state funding to promote your case for debate?"

Batteries for renewable energy means more expensive renewable energy. Renewables are the most expensive form of energy production. Feeding their production into batteries will only increase their cost. Snowy River battery 2.0 does not deserve a positive look. 

Historical statues of the virtuous are being attacked by the ignorant. Captain Cookachieved through discovery what Nelson achieved through war. Those attacking Cook's statues for his discovery of Australia aren'y contributing positively to debate. Also, those attacking the statues of Lachlan Macquarie. Macquarie successfully healed a broken, fractured and rebellious Sydney Colony. Lies are being spread claiming that Lachlan ordered the murder of Aborigines. He didn't. He had given an order regarding defence from raiding parties, but the specific accusation never happened. Cook is not irresponsible for having discovered Australia. 

Pay packet issues for Cricket, and critics still don't get the beauty of the achievement of Bangladesh beating Australia in a test. The average Australian player is paid some $1.3 million a year. The average Bangladesh player gets a salary of $26k. Yes, Australian players recently went on strike for more pay. Bangladesh won the match fairly. Kudos to them. 

=== from 2016 === 
Mexico will soon entertain Trump, probably because their government feel he will be the next President of the United States. The terrible, unrealistic, venomous denunciations will do much to give Trump momentum, while the support of Hillary has much inertia. Polls still favour Clinton, but her twelve point lead has been whittled to a razor thin margin which vanishes under uncertainty measures. The Weasel feels Trump will be President by a healthy margin, and deserves to be. I did not support him in the GOP field, but support him in the open field. He is a better candidate for all Americans than the Libertarians, Socialists or Democrats. He is speaking for all, and addressing even minorities with his message. Trump can face Blacks in Detroit or Mexicans in Mexico. He speaks with dignity. Clinton will not face conservatives anywhere and she is undignified in presentation. 

But stars and starlets and the self indulgent and utterly selfish want Clinton. Because minorities matter more than everybody? 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
  Sanity resumed today as TURC (trade union royal commission) head Dyson Heydron decided on facts that he would stay as head of the Royal Commission. His opposers have still called for him to resign without reading the judge's reasoning. The people behind the inflation which brought him to consider resigning should be exposed. Shorten should resign for being compromised. He won't, but he should. 

Another desperate attempt to shield the public from knowledge of trade union corruption has been a demand from unnamed sources for Hockey to resign if the conservatives lose the Canning By Election. It had been Mr Abbott that was called for a resignation by unnamed sources earlier. It doesn't really matter. The conservatives are unlikely to lose it, even though the media are throwing up chaff to confuse the public.         
From 2014
Lots of comments coming out of the woodwork regarding Iraq. Obama proclaimed he was withdrawing troops to win the war. But Obama hadn't done that. The war had been won when a lame duck Bush got a troop surge under Petraeus in Afghanistan, which had been destabilising the region. The next big factor was Iran. Obama gave permission for Iran to run Iraq through the President Proxy. Substantial injustice followed for minorities. Some say that wherever the US goes, war follows. According to that Galloway/Pilger belief, Syria has had a year of peace. It is a reminder of what former NSW Premier Bob Carr said in '03 in the lead up to a state election. He promised NSW would not invade Iraq. In his defence, he kept his word. Australian forces never planted the NSW flag in Iraq. NSW did once go to war in Soudan, but that was before federation, and since then NSW's war lust has been tamed. President Carter had peace plans too, but it took Reagan to hose down the destruction of that peace. Bob Carr as foreign minister said Israel could not be trusted. Since Carr made that comment, Palestinians have broken several cease fire agreements and Israel have broken none. War is peace is a motif of Democrat activity. That anecdote about Nato and Serbia from last year is telling. Clinton had no problem dithering over a million deaths in Rwanda. Then he took his aggression out on a Serbian command tent. He had learned. Or the voters had, or something. Some say to survive terrorist takeover, all one need do is know their Koran. But that isn't the truth. Those 200 Syrian soldiers executed by IS forces all knew their Koran and claimed to be Islamic. Those that survive are usually lucky in that the blood lust had already been sated. It isn't personal or character, and it isn't because terrorists respect the law. 

Tanya Plibersek has said on Insiders that it is the duty of government to make popular budgets. She is wrong, but no journalist in the ABC noted it. It explains why the ABC has struggled to explain why the negligence of the ALP budgets have gone unnoticed by them. And why the LNP budget is disliked by the ABC now. It shouldn't matter what opinion ABC journalists hold, but it does, and they forcefully express their opinion often. In fact, it is the duty of the government to make responsible budgets. There is clear corruption in our law courts, with bias corroding them as they make political statements and aim for rock star status rather than protecting the dignity of legal process. One outrageous example is the Royal Commission into Union corruption which has interviewed Kathy Jackson. The interviewer is party to the corruption of the HSU and has a vested interest in smearing her. He apparently is a former lover and should have declined the role of interviewer, but his vested interest has kept him from recusing himself. One former judge/rockstar was made a living treasure of Australia before they got struck off as a judge for lying. Some judges in the '90s claimed to see words that weren't written in the constitution re Mabo. Bias feeds on bias, the leader of the NSW opposition, Robertson, was hand picked by Obeid and involved with the Currawong Beach theft as well as avoiding privatisation. A true believer in popular budgets. A possible Popular Budget acolyte is PUP leader Palmer. There is no benefit to the voter if PUP gets benefits for Palmer. One person unaffected by pain, suffering or death is Anglican Minister in Gosford, Rod Bower. He was seen at an anti coal protest. Less useful among such heathen than a school religious guidance counsellor, some might say.
From 2013
A dithering Bill Clinton, using NATO for the first time in armed conflict, got the most advanced fighting force the world had then seen to hit a Serbian command tent on top of a hill. Aware of what a mistake in this maneuver might mean, the high command of Serbian forces were informed in advance of what would happen. So the offending tent was empty at the time. It was a response considered proportionate to the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Albanian citizens. A timely reminder of what Obama will be thinking as he considers how to respond to Syria's chemical attack on its' own civilians. Obama will want to do something, and not be criticised. At the moment, he is being mercilessly taunted by his enemies and supporters. This will have to stop. He has ruled out using troops. This will be a display of strength and commitment only a pressed button can display. Truman would be proud at both his party's forebears of Presidential office.

What is a proportionate response to ethnic cleansing? What is a proportionate response to the use of chemical weapons on civilians? US has been criticised as its effective artillery uses depleted uranium core shells and these have residual effects on the landscape. History suggests much can be achieved through denial, as Turkey demonstrates. The surviving victims can die waiting for justice. The chemicals used are being meme-pictured to suggest they may be from Al-Qaeda fighters .. but the evidence suggests otherwise. Were a western leader to commit such an atrocity their own justice system would intervene .. maybe. PM Rudd, in 2007 campaigning, claimed he had a way of bringing order to Timor. A few months after coming to office, The President and PM of Timor narrowly survived an assassination attempt by an Australia army trained officer. It marked a drastic cooling in the political philosophy aligned nations (ALP claimed history with FRETILIN). But no further inquiry. Assad may have used chemical weapons secured from Saddam's Iraq against his own people. Obama is afraid of appearing weak, and will construct a weak reply. Obama should have done something sooner .. before the chemical attack .. but that time is passed. Now some command tent must tremble waiting for a proportionate response. 

On the issue of trembling we have PM Rudd. And sweating. In the worst campaign in recent years, worse than Gillard's 2010 fumblings with a divided party, Rudd is hurting children, clawing pensioners, stealing chips and picturing himself with party loyalists as part of his relentless campaign. He is lying badly, and it is uncertain what his followers find more unforgivable, that he is lying, or lying badly. Rudd has very limited time if he is to sit in the UN's security council presidential seat. A trip to the G20 at week's end may be his last junket. On election eve, it might yet be a master stroke and prevent further hemorrhaging of votes. Or not. He keeps pointing to Liberal policies, all declared, open to scrutiny, and he claims they are un-costed, like his own policies .. which are not yet announced, but which we are reliably informed will contain no responsible cuts. Murdoch does not own or sell 70% of newspapers, but you wouldn't know that if you followed Rudd. Some do. Similar in number and outlook as those who follow Obama. 
Historical perspective on this day
1056 – After a sudden illness a few days previously, Byzantine Empress Theodora dies childless, thus ending the Macedonian dynasty.
1057 – Abdication of Byzantine Emperor Michael VI Bringasafter just one year.
1218 – Al-Kamil becomes sultan of the Ayyubid dynasty.
1314 – King Haakon V of Norway moves the capital from Bergen to Oslo.
1422 – King Henry V of England dies of dysentery while in France. His son, Henry VI becomes King of England at the age of 9 months.

1776 – William Livingston, the first Governor of New Jersey, begins serving his first term.
1795 – War of the First Coalition: The British capture Trincomalee (present-day Sri Lanka) from the Dutch in order to keep it out of French hands.
1798 – Irish Rebellion of 1798: Irish rebels, with French assistance, establish the short-lived Republic of Connacht.
1813 – At the final stage of the Peninsular War, British-Portuguese troops capture the town of Donostia (now San Sebastián), resulting in a rampage and eventual destructionof the town. Elsewhere, Spanish troops repel a French attack in the Battle of San Marcial.

1864 – During the American Civil WarUnion forces led by General William T. Sherman launch an assault on Atlanta.
1876 – Ottoman Sultan Murad V is deposed and succeeded by his brother Abdul Hamid II.
1886 – The 7.0 Mw Charleston earthquake affects southeastern South Carolina with a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme); 60 people killed with damage estimated at $5–6 million.
1888 – Mary Ann Nichols is murdered. She is the first of Jack the Ripper's confirmed victims.
1895 – German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin patents his navigable balloon.
1897 – Thomas Edison patents the Kinetoscope, the first movie projector.

1907 – Count Alexander Izvolsky and Sir Arthur Nicolson sign the St. Petersburg Convention, which results in the Triple Entente alliance.
1918 – World War I: Start of the Battle of Mont Saint-Quentin, a successful assault by the Australian Corps during the Hundred Days Offensive.
1920 – Polish–Soviet War: A decisive Polish victory in the Battle of Komarów.
1920 – The first radio news program is broadcast by 8MK in Detroit.
1928 – The Threepenny Opera is first produced in Berlin.

1935 – In an attempt to stay out of the growing turmoil in Europe, the United States passes the first of its Neutrality Acts.
1936 – Radio Prague, now the official international broadcasting station of the Czech Republic, goes on the air.
1939 – Nazi Germany mounts a false flag attack on the Gleiwitz radio station, creating an excuse to attack Poland the following day, thus starting World War II in Europe.
1940 – Pennsylvania Central Airlines Trip 19 crashes near Lovettsville, Virginia. The CAB investigation of the accident is the first investigation to be conducted under the Bureau of Air Commerce act of 1938.
1941 – World War II: Serbian paramilitary forces defeat Germans in the Battle of Loznica.
1943 – USS Harmon, the first U.S. Navy ship to be named after a black person, is commissioned.
1949 – The retreat of the Democratic Army of Greece in Albania after its defeat on Gramos mountain marks the end of the Greek Civil War.

1957 – The Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia) gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
1958 – A parcel bomb sent by Ngô Đình Nhu, younger brother and chief adviser of South Vietnamese President Ngô Đình Diệm, fails to kill King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia.
1962 – Trinidad and Tobago becomes independent.
1963 – Crown Colony of North Borneo (now Sabah) achieves self governance.
1986 – Aeroméxico Flight 498 collides with a Piper PA-28 Cherokee over Cerritos, California, killing 67 in the air and 15 on the ground.
1986 – The Soviet passenger liner Admiral Nakhimov sinks in the Black Sea after colliding with the bulk carrier Pyotr Vasev, killing 423.
1987 – Thai Airways Flight 365 crashes into the ocean near Ko Phuket, Thailand, killing all 83 aboard.

1991 – Kyrgyzstan declares its independence from the Soviet Union.
1992 – Pascal Lissouba is inaugurated as the President of the Republic of the Congo.
1993 – Russia completes removing its troops from Lithuania.
1996 – Saddam Hussein's troops seized Irbil after the Kurdish Masoud Barzaniappealed for help to defeat his Kurdish rival PUK.
1997 – Diana, Princess of Wales, her companion Dodi Fayedand driver Henri Paul die in a car crash in Paris.
1999 – The first of a series of bombings in Moscow kills one person and wounds 40 others.
1999 – A LAPA Boeing 737-200 crashes during takeoff from Jorge Newbury Airport in Buenos Aires, killing 65, including two on the ground.
2005 – The 2005 Al-Aaimmah bridge stampede in Baghdadkills 1,199 people.
2006 – Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream, stolen on August 22, 2004, is recovered in a raid by Norwegian police.
2016 – Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff is impeached and removed from office.
=== 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 Michelle Maestri. Born on the same day, across the years, along with  Caligula (?!12), Maria Montessori (1870), Albert Facey (1894), James Coburn (1928), Clive Lloyd (1944), Edwin Moses (1955), Chris Tucker (1972) and Holly Earl (1992). On your day, Independence Day in Malaysia (1957) and Trinidad and Tobago (1962)
1813 – Peninsular War: At the Battle of San Marcial, the Spanish Army of Galicia under Manuel Alberto Freire turned back Nicolas Soult's last major offensive against Arthur Wellesley's allied army.
1888 – Mary Ann Nichols' body was found on the ground in front of a gated stable entrance in Buck's Row, London, allegedly the first victim of the unidentified serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.
1945 – The Liberal Party of Australia, one of the two major Australian political parties, was founded to replace the United Australia Party.
1982 – Anti-government demonstrations were held in 66 Polish cities to commemorate the second anniversary of the Gdańsk Agreement, which allowed the Solidarity trade union to be established.
1998 – North Korea claimed to have successfully launched Kwangmyŏngsŏng-1, its first satellite, although no objects were ever tracked in orbit from the launch. 
Others may not believe you, but I know you launched. Solidarity to the workers .. united will never be untied. The Liberal party launched representing conservatives. Mary found her missing organs. Peninsulars are popular. Party on.
Tim Blair
Andrew Bolt


Tim Blair – Wednesday, August 31, 2016 (5:56pm)

Spend 24 excruciating hours – if you’re able – with entrepreneur, author and investor Kerwin Rae.


Tim Blair – Wednesday, August 31, 2016 (4:33pm)

An uptalking social justice warrior denounces hula girl dashboard crime:

(Via Iowahawk.)
UPDATE. Madison Griffiths caters not for the gaze of toxic masculinity
When I refuse to eat animals, I refuse to indulge in a system that profits off objectification. When I associate with my diet only ethical standards, and not guidelines on how to be the most ‘feminine’ according to patriarchal benchmarks on the slenderness of a woman’s physique; I reclaim my body. I nourish it for reasons beyond weight loss and dieting. I cater not for the gaze of toxic masculinity, but for the well-being of women and animals alike. Rather than eating for the eyes of my oppressor – he who too oppresses animals – a vegan lifestyle provides me revenge in solidarity. In my nourishment, I quietly protest. 
Oh, shut up.


Tim Blair – Wednesday, August 31, 2016 (3:22pm)

The Greens and five crossbenchers have joined together to urge the Abbott government to deal with the issue of gay marriage at the upcoming federal election by way of a plebiscite. 
The Greens have pledged to oppose the government’s planned plebiscite on same-sex marriage, in a move that could delay reform for at least another three years. 
Fellow flip-flopper Malcolm Turnbull should join the Greens.
UPDATE. He’s hopeless
Malcolm Turnbull has slapped down a push by his backbench to reform the Racial Discrimination Act, saying there are other “much more pressing priorities” on the agenda. 
Those would be the priorities he hasn’t done anything about for the past year.


Tim Blair – Wednesday, August 31, 2016 (1:32pm)

The Sydney Morning Herald wonders about fatherly desires:

That image has since been changed.


Tim Blair – Wednesday, August 31, 2016 (3:05am)

Along with every other social issue, the AFL is deeply concerned about climate change
Football clubs have been among the first to experience the impacts of climate change. 
Add football clubs to the list
Prolonged years of drought have affected playing surfaces around the country and in some cases these have become unusable. Water has become scarcer and more expensive. In some parts of the country regular floods have stopped play for long stretches as the clean up and repairs to infrastructure take time …
Football clubs need to both adapt to new conditions and become more sustainable. This does not just mean saving water, but also reducing energy use and the amount of waste sent to landfill. 
I’ll believe the AFL is serious about reducing energy use when it bans interstate flights and illuminates night games with bicycles instead of coal.


Tim Blair – Wednesday, August 31, 2016 (2:23am)

The original lyrics of a great gospel tune are altered to celebrate a modern religious icon:

Praise be to the Stupid Old White Women Choir.

Negative gearing cuts: Turnbull was for it before he was against it

Andrew Bolt August 31 2016 (9:47am)

A leader saved from himself, left free to argue against what he actually thought wasn’t that bad:
Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison argued in cabinet to tighten negative gearing concessions but were later rolled in a key economic committee by ministerial supporters of Tony Abbott who wanted “clean hands’’ to attack Bill Shorten’s crackdown. 
Labor will seize on the revelations — contained in a new book, The Turnbull Gamble by The Australian’s Peter van Onselen and University of Adelaide academic Wayne Errington — as undermining a key government policy attack on the opposition.
In February, Labor sparked one of the biggest policy battles of the election campaign by proposing to limit negative gearing to new homes from July 1 next year and halve the discount on capital gains tax. In April, the Prime Minister announced the government would not support Labor’s policy. “The changes that Labor is proposing to negative gearing will devalue every home in Australia, that is what they are designed to do,” Mr Turnbull said at the time…

In The Turnbull Gamble, the authors reveal the Prime Minister and the Treasurer were “all in favour’’ of making changes to negative gearing but in a “more considered” and “less extreme way” than Labor had.

Rudd wants global waffle to save the UN

Andrew Bolt August 31 2016 (9:40am)

I can’t say it’s much of an agenda, with a dash of identity politics and another summit of the kind that Kevin Rudd tried here with complete lack of success:
It is Kevin Rudd’s manifesto to cure the world’s ills - how he might have built a “Team UN”, if only Malcolm Turnbull had not stood in the way of his quest to become the next secretary-general. 
In a report that offers a fascinating insight into what might have been, Mr Rudd, now describing himself as “an ordinary, global citizen”, has delivered a 65-page personal blueprint ...
This is what Kevin Rudd wants: 

- A summit in San Francisco by 2020 for world leaders to gather and pledge their faith in the principle of collective action. 
- A secretary-general willing and better equipped to “build bridges” between the superpowers on complex challenges for the future. 
- Women in 50 per cent of UN top jobs. 
- The global organisation to “learn to live” within a tight budget.

Book has Blini by the Harbour

Andrew Bolt August 31 2016 (8:52am)

The book’s amazing world tour continues. Now reader Mary Lou enjoys the book with a Blini in her back yard in Sydney:
To reward the reader in your life, order the book here. On-line buyers also get the semi-regular Bolt Bulletin, as will people pre-ordering the reprint of my Still Not Sorry on line.

ON SATURDAY: I’ll be speaking at Sydney’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas The topic: How Many Dangerous Ideas Can One Person Have? I suspect they mean dangerous to me.  Click here for more info and to book. There will be a book signing.
ON FATHER’S DAY, SUNDAY, September 4, another book-signing, this time in Melbourne - at 2pm at the Costco store at 381 Footscray Road, Docklands. 

Why does Dastaryi get the Chinese to pay his bills?

Andrew Bolt August 31 2016 (8:50am)

This really is odd - an MP passing on his bills to a company with links to the Chinese regime:
Labor frontbencher Sam Dastiyari plans to donate more than $1600 to charity after it was revealed he asked a Chinese donor to foot his bill after he exceeded his travel allowance. 
Senator Dastiyari admitted the sum of $1670.82 had been paid by the Top Education Institute, a Sydney-based Chinese higher education provider…
Fairfax said a Finance Department invoice issued on April 8, 2015, shows Senator Dastyari exceeded his travel budget by $1,670.82. He sent the bill to the Top Education Institute which paid it in full…
Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi ...  said the Top Education Institute had close links to the Chinese goverment.
“My question is has Senator Dastiyari’s bill to the Commonwealth of Australia been paid effectively by the Chinese government or their front company. Do we have our very own Manchurian candidate,” he said on Sky News.

Kalgoorlie race riot

Andrew Bolt August 31 2016 (8:36am)

 The “reconciliation” industry is inciting a us-vs-them racial resentment that has become violent:
Police riot squads have been pelted with rocks and bottles outside Kalgoorlie Courthouse, which has been forced into lockdown as tensions boil over after the alleged manslaughter of a 14-year-old Indigenous boy. 
Teenager Elijah Doughty died on Monday morning after the scooter he was riding, which was reported stolen on Sunday and was linked to the accused, was involved in a crash with the 55-year-old accused’s Nissan Navara.

According to reporters on the scene, a crowd of about 200 people armed with rocks and bottles have broken the gates at the court and surrounded police sent to calm the situation. The police, heavily outnumbered and are using pepper spray and riot shields to defend themselves.
Shopkeepers along the town’s main road, Hannan Street, were forced to shut their businesses.
A dozen police were injured.
What has the “reconciliation” industry achieved in 20 years other than widen the divide? 

Why we build the world’s most expensive buildings

Andrew Bolt August 31 2016 (8:21am)

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash on the need to bring back the Australian Building and Construction Commission to tackle rogue unions:
At the end of last month, there were more than 100 representatives of the [Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union] before the courts, which in recent years have imposed fines of more than $8.25 million on this union and its officials for proven breaches of the law.... 
The rate of industrial action in the construction sector is five times higher than the average across all industries…
Master Builders Australia estimates important infrastructure such as schools and hospitals cost taxpayers up to 30 per cent more because of the amount of working days lost because of industrial action at building sites…
An Adelaide reader may wonder why their city is home to two of the world’s 20 most expensive buildings (the over-budget Myer Centre and Royal Adelaide Hospital). A Gold Coast reader may question why the Commonwealth Games in their city should be held hostage by the CFMEU scheduling four hours of stop-work meetings each day at the Carrara Sports Precinct…
Fortunately, we know there’s a proven solution. In 2005, the Howard government introduced the Australian Building and Construction Commission — a tough cop on the beat that enforced the law…
Unfortunately, at the behest of his union mates, Bill Shorten (as former workplace relations minister) abolished the ABCC in 2012. Since then, the rate of disputes in the construction sector has increased by 34 per cent. In all other industries, the rate of industrial disputes has declined by 32 per cent. 

Banning ourselves into the stone age

Andrew Bolt August 31 2016 (7:36am)

 Like I said on my showlast night, this is mad:
[Victorian] Premier Daniel Andrews announced that fracking and controversial coal-seam gas drilling would be banned under legislation to be introduced this year. 
The announcement was coupled with an extension of a moratorium on drilling for “conventional” onshore gas until June 30, 2020.
What makes it even madder are all the other bans Victoria’s Socialist Government is imposing on sources of cheap and reliable electricity.
First, note where the country’s power actually comes from:
Coal continues to supply around two-thirds of Australia’s electricity generation despite an increase in renewable energy supply, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 
Non-renewable sources, largely coal and gas, accounted for 88 per cent of Australian electricity generation… The ABS found large scale renewable generation is dominated by hydro power, with 5 per cent of the market and wind with 4 per cent.
The problem with wind, though, is that it’s very expensive and doesn’t flow when the wind doesn’t blow.
But now look at what the Victorian Government bans - or plans to:
Coal-fired power - to be phased out, with zero emissions from power generation promised by 2050.
Coal-seam gas - to be banned permanently.
Conventional gas - drilling to be banned on-shore until at least 2020.
Hydo-electricity - no more dams. Mitchell River dam reservation converted to national park.
Nuclear power - banned.
This is mad.
Terry McCrann:
THE Premier Daniel Andrews has declared war on the people and on the businesses of Victoria....
In very simple terms he wants every single individual and every single business in the state to pay ever-rising prices for their electricity and for their gas.
That’s of course, if they’ll even be able to get them. Because he has committed the government to a course, which as it plays out, will mean electricity blackouts and gas shortages.
It’s as if he has ‘seen the future’ — in the disastrous mess that South Australia has got itself into, by trying to move to an ‘all-wind future’ — and concluded that he wants exactly the same future for Victoria.

Another Flannery fail: geothermal project scrapped

Andrew Bolt August 31 2016 (7:08am)

Another green energy fail:
A potential energy source in Australia is set to remain untapped, with a geothermal power project in the far north of South Australia now closed. 
Energy company Geodynamics closed and remediated the sites of several test wells and generation plants in the Cooper Basin after deciding they were not financially viable.
So who spruiked it? Climate catastrophist Tim Flannery:
There are hot rocks in South Australia that potentially have enough embedded energy in them to run Australia’s economy for the best part of a century. They are not being fully exploited yet but the technology to extract that energy and turn it into electricity is relatively straightforward.... 
But we’ve totally ignored the technologies that really, I think, have a lot of potential to do the job very cost effectively such as geothermal and solar thermal....
Green groups complain to a gullible ABC that all that geo-thermal projects need is a grant:
South Australia’s Conservation Council is keen to see more public investment in geothermal energy and other renewable energy sources. 
“There’s no doubt that a lot of these start-up, new sources of energy will require public funding to give them a start and, what we’ve found is, as soon as that happens the cost curve quickly reduces,” chief executive Craig Wilkins said.
In fact, Flannery (actually a Geodynamics shareholder) managed to help persuade the Rudd Government into giving Geodynamics a $90 million grant that’s now gone:
Geodynamics Limited is pleased to announce that all conditions precedent for the $90 million grant awarded to the Company under the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Demonstration Program (REDP) have been satisfied… The $90 million grant was initially awarded to Geodynamics in November 2009 and is the largest amount awarded to any project under the program. 
I did once confront Flannery about that and other dud predictions, but I never got a sorry. But he got a great new gig from the Gillard Government - Climate Commissioner.
Remember how Flannery also managed to help persuade state governments to invest in a string of desalination plants, most since mothballed, after falsely predicting that “even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems”?
(Thanks to reader Churchill.) 

“Racist,” cried defenders of 18C, blind to the Aboriginal leader demanding reform, too

Andrew Bolt August 31 2016 (6:45am)

Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi has now got 20 Senators to co-sign his bill demanding changes to the Racial Discrimination Act to restore free speech - but racists on social media object:
Crossbench senators Bob Day, David Leyonhjelm and Derryn Hinch and One Nation’s four new senators are also backing the bill, prompting suggestions on social media the issue was being pursued by 20 “white” people. 
But the head of the Prime Minister’s indigenous advisory council Warren Mundine, who opposed the Abbott government’s plan to repeal section 18C in its entirety, said last night the law needed changing. He said he was supportive of removing the terms “offend” and “insult” from the section, in line with the changes proposed in Senator Bernardi’s bill.
“The way things are going at the moment, we are seeing people who have been stifled in regards to their conversations, that is the concern I have,” he told The Australian. “I do believe it needs changes — not to wipe it completely, but to pull it back a bit.”
Senator Bernardi, who this week leaves for a four-month placement at the UN, said the suggestion only white people supported the change was racist.
It “is basically telling the parliament that some laws can only be proposed by people of a particular colour skin. These people are offensive, they are insulting and they demonstrate everything that is wrong with section 18C and the grievance industry,” he said.
Incredibly, in reviewing the history of this wicked law, the ABC fails to mention the most indefensible case of all and the one that has done so much to galvanise this latest push for reform.
The Guardian does at least mention it, but only to dismissing as merely a “cause celebre for the Right” rather than a shocking case that should appall anyone concerned with free speech:
Coalition supporters of changing 18C are waiting on a high-profile racial discrimination case that has become something of a cause celebre for the right – a case involving students from the Queensland University of Technology – before intensifying their push to change the law.
Note that the Guardian fails to spell out the details of that case, no doubt that because to do so would demonstrate clearly that the law is an ass. 

Promoting man-hatred

Andrew Bolt August 30 2016 (9:23pm)

Corinne Barraclough on the campaign to blame the sexism of men for domestic violence:
In Sweden, it’s [politician Eva] Solberg who’s challenging this gender-biased misinformation. 
“We now know with great certainty that this breakdown by sex is simply not true,” she wrote on Nyheter24 website.
“We must begin to recognise the fact that domestic violence, in at least half of its occurrence, is carried out by female perpetrators....”
Why is White Ribbon Australia being allowed to make the erroneous statement “We stop violence at the source and the source is men”?

Bill Shorten denies - but the tape does not lie

Andrew Bolt August 30 2016 (9:18pm)

Bill Shorten is confronted - and, ashamed, denies:

The Reverend Ian Powell ...  accosted Mr Shorten as the opposition leader left a parliamentary church service in Canberra on Monday, over a comment he made about opponents to same-sex marriage after the Orlando nightclub shooting… 
‘You described people who weren’t in favour of changing the definition of marriage as haters who come out from rocks.’
‘Can I ask you not to speak like we can have a civil and tolerant discussion.’
The Labor leader did not resile from his position, saying he never claimed opponents of marriage equality are bigots. 
‘If you’re going to quote me, quote me accuratly,’ Mr Shorten said.
But, oops. Quote accurate:
I don’t believe that people’s relationships and love for each other need to be submitted to a public opinion poll. And I think we’ve seen two terrible events in the last week [June 2016] which show that hate and extremism does exist in modern societies.
False, from Malcolm Farr:
A search of Mr Shorten’s transcripts did not find a reference to opponents to same-sex marriage coming out from under a rock, but he has referred to some people, such as Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi, as homophobes.
But Farr still proves true the fundamental charge: that Shorten does not debate same-sex marriage with civility.
(Via JF Beck and Jill Jacks.) 

Shame, shame, snooze

Andrew Bolt August 30 2016 (9:06pm)

Derryn Hinch falls asleep in his very first hour in Parliament. Mind you, hardly blame him. 

Column - The real border farce are the critics

Andrew Bolt August 31 2015 (6:34pm)

How the Left hates

MY God, how can Prime Minister Tony Abbott survive against this crazed army of professional hysterics shrieking over fake “scandals”?
Take the latest example — this lunatic outrage on Friday over an operation in Melbourne by the Australian Border Force.
Note from the start: this operation against illegal immigrants never took place. And was never going to take place as the media described.

Yet there was Labor leader Bill Shorten warning that Abbott planned to make us “live in a police state”, with his ABF allegedly “acting like a drag net on the streets”, demanding people produce their papers.
Then there was independent MP Andrew Wilkie, claiming “Joseph Stalin would be proud of Tony Abbott”.
Buffoon MP Clive Palmer warned, “we saw what Gestapo powers did in Germany in 1930s”, so the ABF should be scrapped before it “destroys Australia’s way of life”.
The Greens shouted “racist”, of course, suggesting our border authority could be “stopping people with certain skin colours”.
And sickest of all, former independent MP Tony Windsor claimed the ABF was part of a plot by a government secretly hoping to provoke Muslims into murdering fellow Australians.

(Read full story here.)
Our discussion yesterday:

Dreyfus now wants to involve the Governor General in this cover-up for corruption

Andrew Bolt August 31 2015 (5:03pm)

How little does Mark Dreyfus, Labor’s shadow attorney general, care for the facts when pushing a smear and a cover-up?
Judge from his press conference today. He first admits he has not actually read the reasons Dyson Heydon has published for dismissing an application by unions to resign as head of the royal commission into union corruption. Those reasons make plain why the unions are wrong.
Yet Dreyfus says Labor will nevertheless on Monday move a motion in the Senate to petition the Governor General to sack Heydon.
So Dreyfus wants the Governor General to dismiss a royal commissioner without even knowing the legal arguments that this royal commissioner has today given for why he should stay.
And he wants the Governor General to involve himself in a political controversy that will damage his office to settle a matter than should as an obvious next step be taken to the Federal Court and then High Court to decide.
So Dreyfus shows:
- contempt for the facts and legal arguments.
- contempt for the proper process (ie an appeal)
- contempt for the Governor General’s office by involving him in a damaging and highly political matter that’s not his to resolve in any event.
Dreyfus is dangerous.
The ABC’s 7.30 piles in as expected, interviewing critics of Heydons’ decision and not defenders before getting on the Immigration Minister for a hostile questioning.
Note that its star witness against Heydon was ethicist Simon Longstaff, a Leftist without any obvious expertise in the area who has been a long-time tweeter of messages hostile to Heydon and the Abbott Government. That’s picking the opinion the ABC wants. 

Dyson Heydon stays. Protection racket defied

Andrew Bolt August 31 2015 (2:03pm)

Former High Court judge Dyson Heydon says he will stay as head of the royal commission into union corruption. He has dismissed arguments by unions that he has an apprehended bias for agreeing - but then declining - an invitation by Liberal lawyers to give a lecture on the law.
This defies a disgraceful campaign by unions and Labor to destroy his reputation and subvert Heydon’s investigation into scandals that could see some union officials jailed and Shorten’s career potentially ended.
As I said last week, the fact that Heydon delayed his ruling from Friday - after more non-revelations emerged in the media - suggested he intended to fight. Had he been of the mind to quit, he didn’t need to delay to consider the further “evidence”.
Labor can keep complaining, but the more it does the more it will seem it is trying to shoot the sheriff. The more it keeps attacking Heydon the more it will seem that it is party to a disgusting coverup.
This is the right decision. Had Heydon given in, it would mean he’d have exposed every other judge or royal commissioner to a campaign of personal denigration. As we saw here, we had people with something to hide first smearing Heydon as biased and then screaming that the public now believed their smears and so Heydon had to quit.
Now attention will and must swing to what Shorten has tried so hard to hide.
I’d love the unions to try to challenge this, and get themselves smacked down by a higher court. Please, please appeal, guys. Let another court call out this despicable attempt to smear a corruption buster. Australians must be alerted to this attempted protection racket for corrupt union officials - a racket endorsed by the Labor party of Bill Shorten.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is absolutely right:
Those who are leading the charge against Dyson Heydon are determined to stop an investigation into systemic corruption and bad behaviour on the part of corrupt union bosses.
It is utterly shameful that Shorten’s Labor is part of this attempted cover-up. What would Shorten do were he to become Prime Minister?
From Heydon’s summary:
Why is this the fourth paragraph of the news report?:
By remaining in his position Justice Heydon gets to keep his annual salary of close to $1 million.
This is far from the first time I’ve wondered what the hell is going on in
Heydon’s reasons for judgment here.
He won’t quit because no fair-minded observer will conclude he can’t be impartial:
2. On Friday 21 August 2015 four groups of persons presented applications for disqualification on the ground of apprehended bias. The applications centred on the contention that an agreement made in April 2014 to deliver in August 2015 the Sixth Annual Sir Garfield Barwick Address, an event organised by the Lawyers Branch and the Legal Policy Branch of the NSW Division of the Liberal Party of Australia, might cause a fair-minded lay observer reasonably to apprehend that I might not bring an impartial mind to the resolution of questions to be examined in the course of the Commission’s inquiries. I have concluded that it is not the case that a fair-minded lay observer might apprehend that I might not bring an impartial mind to the resolution of the questions which the work of the Commission requires to be decided...
No one has actually challenged how he’s run the commission since it started more than a year ago:
6. No court proceedings have been issued challenging any aspect of the conduct of the Commission’s hearings either in 2014 or 2015. Nor have any court proceedings been issued challenging any finding in the Interim Report...
Why does an alleged bias toward the Liberals mean you can’t be trusted to investigate crooked union officials?
8. As will be seen, the applicants stressed the proposition that the Australian Labor Party has strong historical ties with the union movement. They also stressed the fact that since the Second World War, the Liberal Party has been the principal political opponent of the Australian Labor Party in most States. 
9. The Terms of Reference, however, are not expressed to apply to the conduct of either the Liberal Party or the Australian Labor Party. Nor are they expressed to apply to the conduct of the Australian Labor Party towards the union movement, or to the conduct of the Liberal Party towards the union movement....
13. In short, the Terms of Reference concern possible departures by relevant entities, union officials or unions from proper standards. They do not concern the destruction of relevant entities or unions. Indeed, the Terms of Reference assume the desirability of maintaining the existence of unions. It may be said that they seek not to destroy unions or obstruct their purposes, but to see whether they have been fulfilled and to see how they might be better fulfilled in future. 
Even the unions wanting Heydon to quit don’t actually claim in their submission he is in fact biased:
26. About half way through the oral hearing of these applications on 21 August the following submission was advanced by senior counsel for the ACTU: ‘I know you understand it, but for the benefit of everyone else, I, at no point in these submissions, are suggesting that you [are] actually biased’.... The relevant part of that counsel’s submissions, including that sentence, was adopted by senior counsel for the CFMEU and 34 CFMEU officials or employees in saying that with one presently immaterial exception ‘we embrace and support my learned friend’s submissions and I say that with great respect to him’… 
29. The form of bias which is being relied on by counsel is often called the ‘appearance of bias’. Despite earlier public statements by the ACTU alleging bias in respect of the conduct of the Commission..., none of the present applicants made any submission that any aspect of the conduct of the hearings in 2014 or 2015 was relied on in their applications…
[T]he ACTU submitted ... the following: 

People don’t get appointed to the High Court of Australia unless they are considered truly brilliant lawyers, and what the truly brilliant lawyers have over and above truly ordinary lawyers, they have that special ability to absorb incredibly quickly and distil facts, and an ability to retain facts so absorbed and distilled, so as to fit them into the wider picture of the particular legal problem at hand. 
The test:
34. The applicants relied on the legal test set out in Ebner v Official Trustee in Bankruptcy (2000) ... There Gleeson CJ, McHugh, Gummow and Hayne JJ said: 
… a judge is disqualified if a fair-minded lay observer might reasonably apprehend that the judge might not bring an impartial mind to the resolution of the question the judge is required to decide…
Counsel Assisting further submitted that the fair-minded observer was an informed one. Where the decision-maker is a judicial officer the fair-minded observer will have regard to the fact that a judicial officer’s training, tradition and oath or affirmation equip the officer with the ability to discard the irrelevant, the immaterial and the prejudicial: Johnson v Johnson (2000)…
41. In the same case, Lord Hope of Craighead said ...: 

The observer who is fair-minded is the sort of person who always reserves judgment on every point until she has seen and fully understood both sides of the argument. She is not unduly sensitive or suspicious. … Her approach must not be confused with that of the person who has brought the complaint…
It has been observed that ..."True impartiality does not require that the judge have no sympathies or opinions; it requires that the judge nevertheless be free to entertain and act upon different points of view with an open mind"…
46. Counsel for the ACTU accepted that if the present application were ‘simply based on someone doing a search and working out that you had been to Liberal Party Functions, or a member of the Liberal Party indeed, this would be [an] application which I don’t think I would be prepared to make’… That is a concession which is correct… 
There must be an articulation of the logical connection between the matter and the feared deviation from the course of deciding a case on its merits… Step three is consideration of the reasonableness of the apprehension of that deviation being caused by that factor in that way.
How the union case fails:

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How to reward what you publicly denounce

Andrew Bolt August 31 2015 (12:11pm)

Way to go, Arthur. Just what’s needed to kick the story along for another day and still seem loyal:
Respected NSW senator Arthur Sinodinos has launched an extraordinary attack on his former ministerial colleagues for leaking against Treasurer Joe Hockey, calling on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to sack anyone found guilty of destabilising the government.
With a team like that it’s even more astonishing that Abbott has got so far. 

The Age shows its chairman how it will twist even his words to slime Abbott

Andrew Bolt August 31 2015 (11:31am)

What The Age claims Fairfax chairman Roger Corbett said:
What Corbett actually told this deceitful Abbott-hating paper he’s supposed to be overseeing:
Corbett is unwilling to sheet home the blame [for lack of meda regulation reform] directly or at least solely to Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Instead he says the culprit is a lack of support from a hostile senate… 
“I think the prime minister’s position is that he is not going to start a campaign to change any media rules if he can’t succeed in getting it through the senate and clearly the Labor Party support is necessary for that to occur and for whatever reason the Labor Party is not choosing to give that bi-partisan support,’ Corbett said. “It fascinates me enormously because if the Labor Party have got a media enemy at the moment, it’s Murdoch and here they are giving Murdoch one hell of a step up.” 
Even the chairman of Fairfax knows you cannot trust a word Fairfax newspapers now say about Abbott and his team.
Just last Saturday, Fairfax political correspondent falsely claimed Tony Abbott had personally ordered border force officials to stop citizens in the the street to demand papers.
Just the week before, The Age falsely claimed a Liberal candidate was a possible war criminal.
Earlier this year Fairfax falsely claimed a homophobic Abbott had snubbed a gay man he actually took to dinner instead.
Before that, The Age falsely implied Abbott’s Treasurer was corrupt.
And, in an all-purpose rant, Fairfax serial abuser Peter Hartcher is so deranged by Abbott hatred that he sees only a Prime Monster:
… delivered a scripted, studied slur ...  calculated to offend ... knowingly sowing discord ... waged a furious assault on anyone daring to speak in defence of refugees ...  become a serial abuser of one minority after another ... gone from unifier to divider ... conducting serial provocations of Australia’s minorities ...  temper tantrums ... a continuously dismaying symbol of disunity ... a demoniser in the service of the basest of politics.
I repeat: you simply cannot believe a word the Fairfax media - and particularly The Age - says about Tony Abbott. 

A them against us

Andrew Bolt August 31 2015 (8:22am)

There is a strong suggestion of an imported us-against-them tribalism in this:
A FATHER and son have been stabbed during an incident where a police officer was also injured in south west Sydney.... 
Investigators believe the father and son were involved in a verbal and physical altercation with [a] male outside a home before being injured…
When police arrived at the scene a number of family members and onlookers confronted officers. 
A male sergeant was allegedly punched numerous times in the face and head when bystanders broke through a crime scene barrier.
A culture that treats police as the enemy even when they help is one that seems both dangerous and foreign.
A busy street, Excelsior. From last year:
POLICE have brought a three-hour stand-off to an end by arresting a man in his western Sydney backyard…

Up to six heavily armed tactical officers, negotiators and police dogs were called to the home in Excelsior St, Guildford, about 11.30am.
Busy suburb, too, despite having such a small population. Also from last year:
Guildford has had nine public place shootings in the past year, the highest number for a suburb in NSW, and police have stepped up their efforts to crack down on gun violence.
Been a problem for years. From 2012:
Merrylands has become the Sydney suburb most frequently hit by drive-by shootings as the city as a whole reaches the ignominious milestone of 100 instances of gun violence this year. 
Most of the 100 instances, which included drive-by shootings as well as other instances of gun crime and included three deaths, took place in south-west and western Sydney....
1. Auburn - 34
2. Merrylands - 29
3. Greenacre - 17
4. Fairfield 13
= 5. Granville - 12 
= Guildford - 12
No one seems eager to discuss what could make the area prone to this kind of tribalism:
It is astonishing to me that there should be so little interest in what lies behind a level of gun crime and anti-police hostility that is unusual in this country and a growing menace.
And note: I say this without knowing or presuming the ethnicity of those allegedly involved in the latest incident. 

Why is Michael Lawler still on the bench?

Andrew Bolt August 31 2015 (8:08am)

This sounds indefensible to me - and disgraceful:
In the Fair Work Commission’s Melbourne headquarters on a warm November day in 2008, Mich­ael Lawler’s role supervising industrial relations for the health industry was dealt a fatal blow. 
It was there that a high-level delegation including a senior Victorian health bureaucrat met then Fair Work president Geoffrey Giudice to register a devastating complaint: that his vice-president Lawler was shockingly conflicted because he had begun a relationship with Health Services Union secretary Kathy Jackson earlier that year. Further, and of great concern, Lawler had not declared his involvem­ent with Jackson when he presided over two private concil­iation conferences on Aug­ust 5 and August 19 of that year, which included key represent­atives from the Victorian government, hospita­l employers and Jackson herself, following a bitter health industry strike.

Please explain

Andrew Bolt August 31 2015 (6:33am)

Explain this.
The Gillard Government tried to intimidate media outlets by calling an inquiry into their alleged bias. It tired to install a state-appointed media supercop to police the media and even blogs. It proposed laws making it unlawful to offend people at work with comments about politics. Two journalists lost their jobs after criticising the Prime Minister.
The Left shrugs. Many journalists cheer.
But last week the Australian Border Force put out a press release with a badly worded phrase.
The time the ABC is full of protests  about a “police state”, “Joseph Stalin”, Nazis or a Government trying to provoke citizens into killing each other.
Have I missed something, or have many journalists and politicians of the Left gone barking mad?
Warn the ABC! Britain has turned fascist, too! It also has a border force that’s even asking people at restaurants for papers:
Is there no end to this creeping crypto-fascist, neo-colonialist racism now taking over the industrial military complex?
Shock! More fascist forces stopping innocent citizens in the street - right here in Australia - not just to demand papers but biological samples:
Personally, I blame Tony Abbott.
ABC presenter Virginia Trioli in May:
Trioli now:
No, not biased at all. Just repeating Socialist Alternative speaking points as any professional, unbiased ABC presenter would do these days. 

A very handy report for Clive

Andrew Bolt August 31 2015 (5:25am)

This could prove significant:
A judge has delivered scathing findings about the “unexplained and sometimes bizarre” reports by Clive Palmer’s geologist, whose haphazard analysis of iron ore tenements helped deliver the tycoon a $US415 million Chinese windfall. 
Federal Court judge James Edelman’s findings raise serious questions about Mr Palmer’s West Australian tenements from as early as 2004 when the geologist, Arnold van der Heyden, produced his first reports as Mr Palmer was seeking taxpayers’ funds and investors to develop a multi-billion-dollar project. Justice Edelman found attempt­ed estimates now of the resource potential of the tenements “would depend upon Mr van der Heyden’s reports having some degree of reliability. They have none.”

The terrible shaming of John Brogden

Andrew Bolt August 31 2015 (5:16am)

Politicians are still people, and the abuse - and their own stuff-ups - can destroy them. John Brogden bravely opens up.

Unions get from Shorten what they paid for

Andrew Bolt August 31 2015 (5:04am)

Former Howard Government minister Amanda Vanstone on Labor’s sinister campaign to destroy Dyson Heydon, head of the royal commission into union corruption, for accepting an invitation from Liberal lawyers to give a lecture on the law:
Enter Bill Shorten.... His argument is apparently that to accept the invitation to give the prestigious address was an indication of bias on the part of the commissioner. Against whom? If the allegation was Heydon was biased in favour of the Salvation Army, we would all say “so what?” because they are not involved. Neither, incidentally, is the Liberal Party… 
Shorten wants us all to see the commission as nothing more than a Liberal-Labor battle. It’s pathetic. The commissioner is there to root out evil in the unions and, in so doing, protect workers. He is doing a job Labor should have done when last in office. To its great shame, it walked away from the task. 
More questions for Bill Shorten on how money somehow ends up in his hands:
BILL Shorten’s campaign to become Labor leader in 2013 had received undisclosed donations from an allegedly dodgy, secret million-dollar union slush fund… 
[I]t’s also been discovered one of Australia’s largest industry super funds controlled by the same union used members’ money to donate to the slush fund…
The Daily Telegraph can reveal Mr Shorten received $5000 in undisclosed donations from a slush fund called IR21 associated with the National Union of Workers.
The money was paid to the ALP national secretariat under the “Shorten Leadership Campaign” on September 26, 2013.
It was alleged IR21 was set up to dodge rules prohibiting unions from using members’ money to fund internal election campaigns.
Mr Shorten at the time was contesting the internal leadership of the ALP against Anthony Albanese. One major donor to the IR21 slush fund was industry super fund LUCRF (Labour Union Cooperative Retirement Fund) whose board was dominated by NUW officials… 
NUW general secretary Tim Kennedy claimed no findings had been made by the commission against the NUW, saying the interim report contained only “assertions"… 
No wonder Shorten seems just a front man for the unions. Money talks. 

ABC trawls the Twitter sewers for anti-Abbott manure

Andrew Bolt August 31 2015 (5:00am)

 How the ABC has let Twitter drag it to the lunatic Left.
Chris Kenny:
When the Australian Border Force issued a silly press release saying it would be “speaking with any individual we cross paths with’’ during a routine operation with Victoria police, the kids on Twitter quickly turned this into “random visa checks” and “racial profiling” and asking people “for their papers"… 
Reporters from the national broadcaster joined the fury all weekend — from AM to Insiders — running absurdly alarmist nonsense from fringe-dwellers like Andrew Wilkie and Clive Palmer invoking everyone from Hitler and Stalin to East Germany’s Stasi. Anything to fuel a beat up that might damage Tony Abbott’s national security credentials.
Despite emphatic denials that any random checks were proposed, the ABC kept going.... 
The complete lack of perspective, disdain for reality and determination to create the sense of a police state mentality — defying everything we know about our democracy, the rule of law and our security personnel — served to show us the ABC has allowed social media to drag it down to juvenile levels. 
But the ABC seems only too eager to hurt this Government:
A week earlier, ...a Melbourne newspaper decided to run a front page slur against a Liberal candidate running in a federal by-election on the other side of the country. But the way the national broadcaster chose to report that smear was crucial. The Age’s front page spread included a large head shot of the candidate for Canning in Western Australia, Andrew Hastie, a rehash of an investigation into events in Afghanistan at which he was not present and a headline “Question of Conduct”. It was designed to damage Hastie and Abbott and within a few hours it spectacularly backfired. 
Not only did the former SAS captain address the claims head- on in a speech later that day, he also revealed he had been the one to report the incident of hands being removed from Taliban corpses for identification…
Yet ... the ABC coverage was grudging. “In this update,” a video package said, “the Liberal candidate for the Canning by-election has defended his record as a SAS commander in Afghanistan.” What actually happened was Hastie demolished an underhand attack from his political enemies and lifted his standing as a novice candidate… 
Almost a week later 7.30 ran a profile of the Canning contest and recapped this issue. “Andrew Hastie burst onto the front pages with coverage of an incident in Afghanistan where soldiers removed the hands of dead Taliban fighters,” reported Adam Harvey, as the vision lingered on The Age headline, “Question of conduct"… Yet we were not told the former captain reported the incident, nor that he was cleared by an investigation. Hastie deserves better. If the ABC wants to keep referring to this episode, it would only seem fair that three facts are mentioned each time: Hastie wasn’t there; Hastie reported it; and the investigation cleared Hastie.

Labor’s record still on show as Abbott anniversary nears

Piers Akerman – Sunday, August 31, 2014 (4:17am)

AS the first anniversary of the election of the Abbott government approaches, we are daily reminded of how and why Australians rejected Labor last September.
Thanks in part to Paul Kelly’s authoritative book Triumph and Demise, with its detailed account of the dysfunctionality of the Rudd government(s) and the ineptitude of Julia Gillard’s third-rate administration, the ugliness of the six-year Labor experiment has been exposed.
But almost daily new reports of inquiries into Labor’s schemes flaunt the disaster that is Labor’s appalling lasting legacy and relics of Labor’s regime still haunting the bureaucracy appear and reconfirm the utter lack of wisdom that guided Labor’s ideological appointments.
The report into the expensive Renewable Energy Target scheme which distorted the energy market and cost consumers with its expensive subsidies was the latest bomb to fall upon the remnant Rudd-Gillard forces and will undoubtedly cause collateral damage to those Labor and Green voices which try to make a case for bad economics.
The report found that the RET ignored low-cost carbon abatement schemes in favour of expensive subsidised projects that were impossible to justify.
It found that the current RET would require a $22 billion cross subsidy to the renewables sector in addition to the $9.4 billion spent over the past 12 years, “diverting resources from more productive uses elsewhere in the economy, lowering productivity and national income”.
It followed a scathing analysis of Labor’s wishful NBN project which found a $16 billion difference between Labor’s fibre-to-the-home model and the Coalition’s model and that it was costing almost $5 billion to provide superfast broadband to rural areas for benefits that were barely a fraction of that astronomical cost.
The total lack of any cost benefit analysis by the Rudd government and former Communications minister Stephen Conroy before undertaking the project underscores Labor’s wilful rejection of any sound governance and adherence to due process when in office.
Such an inexcusable approach to administration came at a huge cost to the public and, in the case of the lethal pinks batts program, with a tragic loss of life.
The royal commission which investigated that disaster will soon make its recommendations and they are reported to include adverse findings against at least one former senior Labor minister and a dozen or so former or current public servants.
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd, former environment minister Peter Garrett, former employment minister Mark Arbib and former climate change minister Greg Combet were all summonsed to appear before the commission.
Former Labor’s appointees, notably former climate change commissioner Tim Flannery and current Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs, keep giving the public new reasons to condemn those who were nominally running the nation between 2007 and last September.
Every shower, let alone the fact that Sydney has just experienced the wettest August in over a decade reminds the electorate of the absolute folly of Flannery’s appointment and the even more stupid and grossly expensive decision to place any faith in his bizarre prognostications about global warming.
But almost daily new reports of inquiries into Labor’s schemes flaunt the disaster that is Labor’s appalling lasting legacy and relics of Labor’s regime still haunting the bureaucracy appear and reconfirm the utter lack of wisdom that guided Labor’s ideological appointments.
Were it not for Flannery, Triggs would almost be in a category of her own but she shares with him the dubious honour of providing unwelcome proof of the undesirability of appointing ideological soul mates.
Grandstanding for a Green-Left audience just over a week ago, Triggs called Immigration Minister Scott Morrison before the final hearing of her inquiry into children in detention.
She attempted to flay the minister but was so blinded by her own emotive and partisan opinion that she was left looking like an irrelevant laughing stock and will doubtless remain so for the remainder of her term.
Ridiculously, she claimed she had seen armed guards where there are none. She claimed military force was being used when it is not.
As the minister said in his opening address, Triggs’ inquiry would have been more accurately described as an inquiry into children Labor put in detention during their six years of failed border protection policies.
He was correct. If Triggs really wanted to know about children in detention she should have extended invitations to his Labor predecessors because there are more than 530 fewer children held in detention now than when the Abbott government was elected but her one-eyed approach meant she was clearly unconcerned by the people smuggling and deaths that occurred while Labor was in office.
Triggs however could not see how devastating her attempts to verbal Morrison were as she and Naomi Sharp, counsel assisting the commission, attempted to make the minister and this government responsible for Labor’s calamitous open border policy and its consequences.
All in vain, however when Morrison delivered the irrefutable line: “I saw too many children die in the sea not to pursue the policies I am pursuing.”


Tim Blair – Sunday, August 31, 2014 (7:36pm)

Attention, readers! You’re being lectured about violence by John Birmingham.
That would be John “F**K THEM IN THE NECK!!!” Birmingham, who had this to say last year about racists on public transport: 
John should take this up with our mutual friend Glenn Reynolds, who is both a fan of Birmingham and very definitelynot a fan of George Galloway.
(Via Martin L)


Tim Blair – Sunday, August 31, 2014 (12:11pm)

Our marchy friends seem to have lost a few supporters
The March Australia group said about 4,000 people attended 13 rallies on Saturday, with more expected to attend protests on Sunday.
Spokesman Loz Lawrey said the group’s number continued to grow as more people become disenchanted with the federal government. 
Continue to grow? 4000 marchers at 13 rallies works out to only around 300 people per event. Check out the teeming multitudes:

Here’s the Perth contingent:

Gosford Anglicommie Rod Bower, whose compassionate head tilt seems to be a chronic condition:

And my favourite sad protestor of them all:


Tim Blair – Sunday, August 31, 2014 (2:39am)

Mark Steyn reviews a Canadian column advising cowardly submission as a survival tactic
Afsun Qureshi suggests the best thing you could do to lessen the likelihood of being set upon by Muslims is to learn to recite the shahadah, “a testimony to the identity of Allah as the one true God, and Muhammad as his prophet”. She might be right. Wearing a burqa might help, too. Or the shalwar kameez. On the other hand, most of those Syrian men paraded through the desert in their BVDs to their rendezvous with death knew the shahadah, and a fat lot of good it did.
To recite the shahadah when you’re accosted on the streets is to accept the basic premise of your attackers – that Islam now has universal jurisdiction. There’s way too much of that already. In essence, the entire establishment of a South Yorkshire town accepted that the cultural mores of Islam superseded whatever squeamishness they might otherwise have about child rape. 
(Via reader Smike, who sends this note: “An email exchange with an otherwise unaware friend forced me to go ‘heavy’ with Steyn. I may have cost myself a treasured long-time friendship, but I’m absolutely right: we ALL have to fight and stop this RIGHT NOW.")


Tim Blair – Sunday, August 31, 2014 (2:22am)

Peter B’s variation on that ice bucket deal:

“Down these five plus the one in my hand in 20 minutes,” emails Pete, “or donate to Halal Choices then pass on the challenge.” 


Tim Blair – Sunday, August 31, 2014 (2:15am)

A press release from student activists last week: 
Angry students from the National Union of Students occupied the Liberal Party offices this morning … 
They didn’t look very angry:

Fury grin!

Joy hate!


Tim Blair – Saturday, August 30, 2014 (4:38pm)

Seven’s Sunrise gives a platform to Old Leatherface: 
Watch the special extended online cut of Andrew O’Keefe as he sits down with journalist John Pilger to talk about the unmentionable truths of Australia. 
Er, guys? You’re mentioning them. By the way, Pilger can’t count and knows nothing about Aborigines.

Garrett burned in insulation scandal

Andrew Bolt August 31 2014 (4:39pm)

It may now be too late for Peter Garrett to drop Kevin Rudd into it: 
FORMER environment minister Peter Garrett has been found to be at fault by the royal commission probing the deadly home insulation program.
The commission’s findings, which are yet to be released publicly, are also expected to make adverse findings against other politicians and public servants.Mr Garrett has copped adverse findings because he, as minister, was ultimately responsible for the maladministration of the $2.7 billion scheme, it is understood.
The commission provided Mr Garrett a copy of its adverse findings and an opportunity to respond… The findings have no legal bearing but will harm his reputation. It is understood Mr Garrett vigorously responded to the commission’s initial report to him… 
It is understood the report questions how truthful some witnesses were. It is believed some of those witnesses include politicians – but not Mr Garrett – and public servants.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

The more they see of Abbott, the smaller the protests get

Andrew Bolt August 31 2014 (4:32pm)

The marchers against Tony Abbott must have got tired. Or maybe he’s impressed them, after all.  

The Bolt Report today, August 31

Andrew Bolt August 31 2014 (5:55am)

On Channel 10 on Sunday at 10am and 4pm…
My guest:  Dick Warburton, head of the review into the useless renewable energy target.
The panel:  Health Services Union manager Kimberley Kitching and author and Australian columnist Niki Savva.
NewsWatch:  The Australian’s media editor Sharri Markson.
The videos of the shows appear here.
 From my interview with Dick Warburton, head of the review into the Government’s utterly useless renewable energy target, a $9 billion hoax:
ANDREW BOLT: Now, I want to go back to the very basics, because either I’m mad, or we’re looking at one of the greatest frauds in our lifetime. The renewable energy target’s primary aim is to stop, or slow, global warming. Is that true? 
DICK WARBURTON: That’s one of the aims. It’s also to reduce emissions into the atmosphere.
ANDREW BOLT: But to reduce emissions in order to stop global warming. Now, how much difference to the world’s temperature does this renewable energy target thing make?
DICK WARBURTON: Well, we didn’t get into that in our report at all, Andrew. We say it’s a small addition to the emissions that have come out, or, the emissions that have been reduced. But, there’s not a lot of difference in the global warming at all.
ANDREW BOLT But that’s the whole point of this scheme, isn’t it? I mean, if we’re going to be spending billions of dollars, we should actually know whether that’s making any difference at all to the world’s temperature. But you didn’t get into that. 
ANDREW BOLT:  Temperatures have not risen much. We have spent $9 billion on a scheme that will make about zero difference anyway. What the hell are we doing this for? 
DICK WARBURTON: Well, the suspicion was that the temperatures would rise, but they haven’t done so. Same as the effect that was the electricity demand would rise, but it hasn’t done so. So, the models back in 2010 or even earlier on the temperature things, are proving, at this stage, to be wrong…
ANDREW BOLT: But shouldn’t you - when you’re looking at this colossal madness of us spending $9 billion so far, heaven knows how much in the future, to make no difference to a problem that hasn’t actually manifested, shouldn’t your report say, this is crazy, end it now? 
DICK WARBURTON: Well, I don’t say that it’s crazy, in the report. I keep the words down to a more basic level. But we do say that it is a time for change...
ANDREW BOLT: So, if the government takes your recommendations on board, with luck, we will see no more wind farms just spoiling the countryside? 
DICK WARBURTON: If they take the first option, that’s correct.
The full interview here:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'The Bolt Report today, August 31'

The incredible nine

Andrew Bolt August 31 2014 (5:47am)

Here’s how the fairytale started:
And then something astonishing happened, climaxing with this game yesterday:


The price of mass immigration

Andrew Bolt August 31 2014 (5:42am)

Mark Steyn, in an article that - frighteningly - could well be banned if published here:
So now, in the new multiculti Britain, the child sex trade is back, as part of the rich, vibrant tapestry of diversity - along with Jew-hate, and honor killings, and decapitation porn. The solutions to the internal contradictions of multiculturalism are (a) David Cameron’s expanded security state; (b) Afsun Qureshi’s universal prostration before Islam; or (c) an end to mass Muslim immigration. The last is too obvious for any viable western politician ever to propose it.
(Thanks to reader Mac1.) 

Arming the Kurds is just a start

Andrew Bolt August 31 2014 (5:09am)

The barest minimum, as the US still faffs around:
AUSTRALIA will fly plane loads of arms and munitions into Iraq to help Kurdish fighters battling to repel Islamic State terrorists. 
The Prime Minister Tony Abbott will announce today that Australia has agreed to a United States request to airlift support on RAAF C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster aircraft into northern Iraq…

Australia will join a multinational effort that includes the United Kingdom, Albania, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Italy and France. 
The United States may also ask Australia to consider deploying RAAF super hornets to support US air strikes as early as this week at NATO talks in Wales. 

The hecklers and screamers are even more intolerant

Andrew Bolt August 31 2014 (5:00am)

More frightening than the views of the people inside the World Congress of Families is the intolerance of the protesters outside:
But despite the late withdrawals, about 100 protesters gathered at the entrance of the venue on Saturday, heckling guests as they entered. One protester managed to sneak in as a registered guest, storming the stage and pouring fake blood over herself in front of NSW MP, the Reverend Fred Nile and his wife. 
“We don’t want your backyard abortions,” she yelled, before being marched out… Outside, colourful protesters gathered throughout the day, some heckling attendees or calling them bigots as they tried to enter. 
The Fairfax papers don’t help by treating each claim to gasps of horror as if merely to say it was an offence. Don’t scold. Just disprove. Otherwise no conventional idea, however false, is challenged: 
US campaigner Larry Jacobs added to the controversy surrounding the event by claiming poverty could be reduced if only children were raised in traditional families. 
“We have to find the truth, and the truth says that statistically there is no better place for a child to be,” said Mr Jacobs, the congress’ managing director...
The protesters insist they represent a higher morality. Simon Barron’s pictures of them suggest something different:










God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His…
THERE is nothing funnier than a dumb criminal. Nothing.
Don't believe us? Consider the recent story of Mario and Domingo, a pair of robbers who threatened to shoot a restaurant owner if he didn't give them free food.
The owner told the two men he was too busy for a robbery, and asked them to come back in an hour. So they did. Unsurprisingly, they ended up in handcuffs.
Funny, right? With that in mind, we have compiled a list of 10 absurdly stupid law-breakers for your shameless amusement. There's a famished banana brandisher, a crazy brave suburban lumberjack and an Amish kid who likes to run stop signs in a horse-drawn carriage.
Have a read of our top 10. Just be warned: it would be a crime not to laugh.
The term "outgunned" doesn't quite do this story justice.
Derrick Mosley strolled into a discount gun store with a baseball bat, smashed a glass display case and tried to steal a firearm. Yes, he tried to rob a gun shop with a baseball bat.
What happened next? The manager pulled out a gun of his own, pointed it at Derrick and kept him in the crosshairs until the police arrived.
Don't be too hard on yourself Derrick. Guns in a gun store? Nobody could have anticipated that.

Read more:

He has gone "Digging" with his grandad, having put down his pen. And although the end is sad, I will smile for his life. - ed
Seamus Heaney died this morning in Dublin at the age of 74. It is a huge loss. The author of 13 collections of poetry, four books of criticism, two plays, and numerous translations, lectures, and other writings, Heaney received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995 and the coveted T.S. Eliot Prize in 2006 (for his twelfth collection, District and Circle). Beyond awards, he was an undisputed literary titan-professor-broadcaster that even the poetry-immune grew to cherish. (In 2007, his books reportedly accounted for two-thirds of the poetry sales in the United Kingdom.) “If poetry and the arts do anything,” he once said, “they can fortify your inner life, your inwardness." His particular music—forthright, humble, weaving in and out of the unseen—had an almost unprecedented way of nourishing readers’ inner lives. He produced the kinds of lines that turn into lenses—panes of thought through which you come to see the world.
Born in 1939 in Northern Ireland’s County Derry, Heaney absorbed the rustic rhythms of his surroundings and experienced firsthand the religious frictions leading up to the Troubles. Those sometimes bloody conflicts between Catholics and Protestants figured in his poetry, though often in disguise; everything was filtered through Heaney’s favorite element: earth, mud, sludge. Anthony Thwaite once called him the “laureate of the root vegetable.” For Heaney, the act of digging—uncovering spuds, streams, even bog people—stood for the act of thinking, of writing. And that violence, the upheaval of working the soil, spoke to the turbulence of dealing with a painful past—especially if the dirt was Irish, if it somehow housed the country’s divided soul.
Many have highlighted this “earthy” aesthetic, noting how Heaney’s work is frequently both mud-caked and temperamentally “down-to-earth.” In Newsweek, Malcolm Jones praised  “muscular language so rich with the tones and smell of earth that you almost expect to find a few crumbs of dirt clinging to his lines.” Jones was describing Heaney’s gorgeous 2001 translation of Beowulf, my first encounter with the poet. I remember leafing through Heaney’s introduction in thrilled disbelief—“lambent” heroes and “chthonic” dragons—who was this guy?
But Heaney always went deep. In his wonderful book of essays, The Government of the Tongue, he spoke of a chestnut tree his aunt planted in her yard the same year he was born. He grew up identifying with the tree and mourned when the family that moved into his aunt’s house after her cut it down. Then he forgot about it. And then—in one of those peculiar acts of memory so central to Heaney—it flashed back into his mind, or rather, “the space where it had been” did. “I saw [the opening] as a kind of luminous emptiness, a warp and waver of light, and once again, in a way that I find hard to define, I began to identify with that space,” he recounts.
“Except that this time it was not so much a matter of attaching oneself to a living symbol of being rooted in the native ground; it was more a matter of preparing to be unrooted, to be spirited away into some transparent, yet indigenous afterlife. The new place was all idea, if you like; it was generated out of my experience of the old place but it was not a topographical location. It was and remains an imagined realm, even if it can be located at an earthly spot, a placeless heaven rather than a heavenly place.”
You can see here why people love Heaney’s language—the sackcloth heaviness of it, the authenticity, the song. The critic Brad Leithauser, writing in the New York Times, offered thebest explanation I’ve yet read of its almost lullaby-like power. Heaney’s voice, Leithauser says, “carries the believability of the plainspoken—even though (herein his magic) his words are anything but plainspoken….His stanzas are dense echo chambers of contending nuances and ricocheting sounds. And his is the gift of saying something extraordinary while, line by line, conveying a sense that this is something an ordinary person might actually say.”
The chestnut tree is an ordinary symbol for an extraordinary poet. Heaney, bard of the ground, leaves us with shimmering outlines, a thousand ways to fill in his absence. Framed by and indebted to the dirt, his poetry remains a “heavenly place.” 
Jet Li
My second daughter graduated from college this year and wanted me to cook for her. I only have one move up my sleeve: Vegetable and noodle stir fry!
In response to what some consider over-reaching surveillance programs conducted by U.S. intelligence agencies, which have been shown to collect thousands of communications with no terror connection, a group decrying the privacy implications of these programs is turning the tables on the president.
According to the Creator’s Project, “Where is Obama” pinpoints the location of President Barack Obama using what the group calls the ”Crowd-Sourced Positioning System, or CSPS.”
The ongoing hesitance and indecisiveness with which the West is reacting to the alleged used of nerve gas to kill hundreds of civilians in Syria enforce Israel’s skepticism of the international community in general and, specifically, the idea of security guarantees in any future peace agreement with the Palestinians, Jerusalem officials indicated Friday.
In an exclusive roundtable with The Weekend Australian, the directors of blue-chip companies including Transurban, CSL, Perpetual, NAB and Nestle also warned that xenophobic rhetoric -- which has flared during the election campaign this week -- was also threatening foreign investment.
Elizabeth Proust, chairman of The Bank of Melbourne and Nestle Australia, said that multinationals across a range of industries were likely to be following carmakers in reviewing their local operations, but there was also the issue of companies not investing here. "I'm not sure that there will be many more closures, although there might be, but I think the more invisible one is companies deciding not to invest here," Ms Proust said.
"You can't take politicians and show them a 'non-decision', but the (opportunity cost) is decisions taken to invest elsewhere like China or Indonesia or elsewhere, thanks to a number of factors, including wage rates."
Big corporates were downsizing, while manufacturers were assessing their costs constantly against key benchmarks.
Ford Australia announced in May that it would close its local manufacturing operations in October 2016, with high operating costs among the factors cited by the car giant.
Margaret Jackson, chairman of Flexigroup, ASM Liquor and Ansett Aviation, said that Australia had become less competitive on the costs front than its rivals across the Tasman.
In the beverage industry, she said, an analysis of Australia versus New Zealand had shown that the gap had widened.
"It's labour, it's the dollar et cetera, it's everything," she said.
"But in the last five years New Zealand has become 22 per cent more competitive than Australia internationally, or Australia has become 22 per cent less internationally competitive."
The tax system was part of the problem as it penalised Australia even further, she said.
Susan Taylor, the general counsel of SP AusNet, said that labour costs had been a big issue in the debate and that both big and small companies "will continue to downsize to try and tackle that problem".
The comments come as a political row has broken out over foreign investment.
During the week, Kevin Rudd proposed a crackdown on foreign investment in agriculture, while the Coalition confirmed its plan to lower the threshold for Foreign Investment Review Board screening of agricultural purchases of land from $248 million to $15m.
Debate over the $3.4 billion foreign takeover of GrainCorp has also raged, with Nationals leader Warren Truss saying he had "serious reservations" about whether the sale to foreign agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland was in the national interest.
Business leaders have been quick to argue that this sentiment is jeopardising foreign investment that is crucial to the economy, an argument also made at the roundtable.
Christine O'Reilly, who is on the boards of CSL, Transurban and EnergyAustralia, said that some sovereign funds in particular had "large spades of money they wanted to invest", but to do that in a "reasonable unfettered way", they had to keep a low profile.
"Particularly if you're looking at sovereign funds they want to stay under the radar screen, so they may own big slabs of Australian infrastructure assets around the place and yet you won't see their names up in lights. They're keen to stay below certain thresholds," Ms O'Reilly said.
Some offshore investors "really don't want to create any sort of obstacle or opposition along the way". "They do not want to see their names in the press," she said.
Ms Jackson backed this: "The average Australian is very xenophobic, but the reality is most of our companies are not owned by Australians." Ms Proust suggested the issue was not just obstacles in the way of investors, but also the message sent by the political class.
"I think if you look at a place like Singapore where from the prime minister down they ask people who are visiting from other countries, 'What can we do to get more of your business here?'," she said. "Have you ever known of an Australian prime minister of either side to have asked that question?" she added.
"It's more about a mindset about obstacles and hoops that you have to go through, so I think our obstacle is, on the one hand, that the attitude of other countries that are hungry for investment and understand that the future's in hi-tech jobs and the like and are looking for them, and I don't think we're even in the race."
Pastor Rick Warren
The desire to be a celebrity in the Body of Christ is an antichrist ambition, the opposite of being a Christlike servant.
Rebels Admit Responsibility for Chemical Weapons Attack - Syrian rebels in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta have admitted to Associated Press journalist Dale Gavlak that they were responsible for last week’s chemical weapons incident which western powers have blamed on Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, revealing that the casualties were the result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia.
Legacy Week officially starts this Sunday (Father's day). To kick off the appeal we have created a brand new campaign with the help of Clemenger BBDO Sydney. The aim of the campaign is remind Australians that war/conflict is not a thing of the past and that Legacy's role is ongoing. Check out our TV, print and radio ads here:

You can't teach class like this.

See what George W. Bush said when asked about our situation with Syria...
Larry Pickering

Cannot possibly imagine how this can be done but it’s a necessary move. 

Access to our court system for those rejected as legitimate refugees is one thing but litigation involving damages paid for Australia’s alleged “unconscionable conduct" toward refugees is another.

Julia Gillard paid "refugee" litigants lump sums rather than allow the courts to set a compensation precedent.

It was reported one man who had sewn his lips was paid $800,000 in an otherwise undisclosed settlement.

Over $700 million has so far been paid to litigants in return for their silence.

Julia Gillard thereby avoided international embarrassment while busily buying votes for a Security Council seat.

Unfortunately other instances were kept from us.

Students at a Kentucky high school were encouraged to step on an American flag that had been placed on the floor as part of an art display, outraging parents and students.
Fifteen universities worldwide — including Yale University, Brown University, and Pennsylvania State University — will offer college credit to students who “write feminist thinking” into Wikipedia.
The program, “Storming Wikipedia,” will be part of the Dialogues on Feminism and Technology online course developed by FemTechNet, an organization of feminist educators and scholars.
Dean Hamstead'

Syria, where the enemy of your enemy is also your enemy

“So we’re bombing Syria because Syria is bombing Syria? And I’m the idiot?” - Sarah Palin

* President Obama wants America involved in Syria’s civil war pitting the antagonistic Assad regime against equally antagonistic Al Qaeda affiliated rebels. But he’s not quite sure which side is doing what, what the ultimate end game is, or even whose side we should be on. Haven’t welearned? WAGs don’t work in war.

* We didn’t intervene when over 100,000 Syrians were tragically slaughtered by various means, but we’ll now intervene to avenge the tragic deaths of over 1,000 Syrians killed by chemical weapons, though according to the White House we’re not actually planning to take out the chemical weapons because doing so would require “too much of a commitment.”

* President Obama wants to do what, exactly? Punish evil acts in the form of a telegraphed air strike on Syria to serve as a deterrent? If our invasion of Iraq wasn’t enough of a deterrent to stop evil men from using chemical weapons on their own people, why do we think this will be?

* The world sympathizes with the plight of civilians tragically caught in the crossfire of this internal conflict. But President Obama’s advertised war plan (which has given Assad enough of a heads-up that he’s reportedly already placing human shields at targeted sites) isn’t about protecting civilians, and it’s not been explained how lobbing U.S. missiles at Syria will help Syrian civilians. Do we really think our actions help either side or stop them from hurting more civilians?

* We have no clear mission in Syria. There’s no explanation of what vital American interests are at stake there today amidst yet another centuries-old internal struggle between violent radical Islamists and a murderous dictatorial regime, and we have no business getting involved anywhere without one. And where’s the legal consent of the people’s representatives? Our allies in Britain have already spoken. They just said no. The American people overwhelmingly agree, and the wisdom of the people must be heeded.

* Our Nobel Peace Prize winning President needs to seek Congressional approval before taking us to war. It’s nonsense to argue that, “Well, Bush did it.” Bull. President Bush received support from both Congress and a coalition of our allies for “his wars,” ironically the same wars Obama says he vehemently opposed because of lack of proof of America’s vital interests being at stake.

* Bottom line is that this is about President Obama saving political face because of his “red line” promise regarding chemical weapons.

* As I said before, if we are dangerously uncertain of the outcome and are led into war by a Commander-in-chief who can’t recognize that this conflict is pitting Islamic extremists against an authoritarian regime with both sides shouting “Allah Akbar” at each other, then let Allah sort it out.

Sarah Palin
At a time when the world leaders talk about intervention in Syria as a result of the latest chemical attack in Damascus it’s perhaps equally important to raise the question who is (or are) responsible for the chaos in Syria and in the whole Middle East for that matter. Because every Western political leader has their say about Syria right now and they also know (or think they know) exactly what needs to be done. However, the reality is that not one of them really understands the middle East and subsequently don’t have a clue about what measures should be taken to put the genie back in the bottle. So unless Western politicians learn to deal with the Middle East in a realistic manner they will continue to make the same mistakes in dealing with the Middle East as they did in the past few years.
Of course, the jihadists are easily to blame as the ones who are responsible for the majority of the death and wounded in the Middle East nowadays (Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Libya). What in the West was (or still is by many) seen as a spontaneous movement of moderate Arabs who revolted against the prevailing nationalist dictators (Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain) quickly degenerated into a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites in the Middle East.
At this moment, nowhere is this more apparent than in Syria.
But in indirect meaning, US president Barack Obama is also to blame for many of the death and wounded in the Middle East as he did more harm than good since he delivered his Cairo speech in 2009. During this speech, where the invitees of the Muslim Brotherhood sat in the front row despite Mubarak’s objections, Obama let the “Islamist” genie out of the bottle especially the Muslim brotherhood’s Islamist’ influence in the entire Middle East. It was only a matter of time before the Middle East would explode.
Obama’s ‘appeasement theology’ makes it clear that he does not understand the reality of the Middle East. In fact, this marks the constant failures of many Western political leaders when dealing with the Middle East, because the political errors of today are a direct result of how they look through Western democratic values at the complex social, cultural and religious problems in the Middle East. But who cares, what works for us works for them, right?
Can we pause for a moment and point out a few failures of Obama’s Middle East policy:
  1. Obama’s supposedly friendship with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who actually is nothing more than a radical Islamist and antisemite, severely undermined stability in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Favoring his friendship with Erdogan, Obama isn’t going to speake up against his so-called friend when it comes to Israel, Kurds, Cyprus, the Armenian genocide, support for Hamas, and transforming Turkish secular society into an undemocratic Islamist society. Moreover, it was Erdogan who after the Israeli Gaza flotilla raid in 2010 demonized Israel publicly and terminated a long-term friendship with his former ally, who by the way is also UN member and an ally of the United States. But Obama did little to speake up for Israel. Meanwhile there is no country in the world where so many journalists are imprisoned as in Turkey. So much for freedom.
  2. With Obama’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt, one of the leading countries in the Middle East, dropped into chaos after the ousting of Hosni Mubarak. The anti-semitic Muslim Brothers’ candidate Muhammad Morsi became president (who the Western media stubbornly calls the democratic elected president of Egypt) and an Islamic constitution was forced upon the Egyptian people only three and a half years after Obama’s Cairo speech in 2009. Moreover, the Egyptians had to endure a rising tide of Islamic violence in their towns and neighbourhoods, with the Coptic Christians as the main victims. General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, head of the Egyptian armed forces, is trying to get grip of the situation again, but Obama continues to be supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood which for the most people in Egypt makes it clear that Obama supports terrorism. (To be honest, republican John McCain isn’t getting the picture either).
  3. Obama tried to appease the Syrian government during his first term as president of the United States which as a result convinced Bashar al-Assad he had nothing to fear from the Americans, and now a civil war is raging in Syria and Bashar al-Assad is still in power. Obama has no clue in how to deal with Syria while the civil war only ensured that Iran and Sunni Islamists now have a foothold near Israel’s border, Russia is waiting for an opportunity to get directly involved and Hizbullah is already directly involved in the Syrian Civil War.
  4. Do we really need to talk about the Israeli-Palestinian issue when it comes to Obama’s policies? Although the US continues to give military aid to Israel, Obama’s diplomacy efforts have done more harm than good. Thanks to the lax attitude of Obama, the Palestinians now have a ‘Non-Member Observer State’ Status in the UN despite the fact that this is a breach of the provisions of the Oslo agreements. Obama’s accomodating attitude with the Palestinians is diametrically opposed to his critical observations concerning the west bank (calling the armistice lines borders and the settlements an obstacle for peace) and during the Israeli-Hamas war in 2012. Obama lacked the political will to force the Palestinians to the negotiation table at the beginning of Israel’s previous 10-month settlements construction freeze in the West Bank. Although Mahmoud Abbas agreed to talk shortly before the freeze was scheduled to end, he broke off talks immediately when the freeze wasn’t extended.
  5. And we could go on, for example, what about Obama’s cowardly attitude during the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi 2012, Libya, where ambassador Chris Stevens was murdered by Islamists who received support from the Muslim Brotherhood, indeed the same Muslim Brothers that sat on the front row during Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech. But you know that already, don’t you?
To summarize, Obama has the worst record of all US presidents when it comes to Middle East diplomacy in a time when decisive measures where needed in support of moderate voices in the Middle East. Instead, Obama managed to strengthen his enemies (the anti-Western, anti-Christian, anti-Israeli and anti-American Islamists) and to estrange his allies (Israel, the Gulf States, Egypt, the moderate Arabs) who no longer have confidence in Obama’s policies. Obama sacrificed their interests in a blink of an eye, all this in support of his appeasement with Islam and in particular the Muslim Brotherhood.
Political leaders in the West don’t understand the Middle East at all. Perhaps they can better listen to the opinions of moderate Arabs. In any case, Arabs can explain how complicated the Middle Eastern issues have become as this letter in The Financial Times today illustrates. This letter should teach Western leaders that the problems in the Middle East will not be solved with unrealistic Western appeasement:
A short guide to the Middle East
Iran is backing Assad.
Gulf states are against Assad!
Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood.
Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are against General Sisi.
But Gulf states are pro-Sisi!
Which means they are against Muslim Brotherhood!
Iran is pro-Hamas,
but Hamas is backing Muslim Brotherhood!
Obama is backing Muslim Brotherhood,
yet Hamas is against the US!
Gulf states are pro-US.
But Turkey is with Gulf states against Assad;
yet Turkey is pro-Muslim Brotherhood against General Sisi.
And General Sisi is being backed by the Gulf states!
Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day.
– KN Al-Sabah, London EC4, UK, “The Financial Times
Crethi Plethi is the pseudonym [or Nom de guerre] for Harald van Es and is the founder and director of He writes articles for in Dutch and English on the Middle East, Revolutionary Islamism, Multiculturalism and Europe. He has lived in Jaffa (Tel Aviv), Israel. He currently lives in the Netherlands. For all the exclusive blog entries by Crethi Plethi, go here.
Thousands of Syrian prisoners have been moved to military targets to be used as human shields against Western air strikes, it has been claimed.
The move by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad came as global tensions were mounting over the possibility of Western air strikes in response to the chemical attacks, which killed hundreds of civilians.
In Damascus, residents said they saw buses filled with inmates being taken from their cells to sites the regime believes could be targets.
Locals said the prisoners were moved late at night, with some taken to Mezzeh airbase – thought to be on the West’s hit-list.
Thousands of protesters, rebels and dissidents have been held since the start of the 2011 uprising.
The opposition Syrian National Coalition said: “Assad’s fascist regime is amassing activists and civilians in prisons in military locations that may be targets for foreign forces.
“Using civilians as human shields is a breach of international humanitarian law, and those responsible must be held accountable for crimes against humanity.”
The claims – mostly from rebels – have terrified Damascus residents.
One woman said: “People are scared the US will attack places where the prisoners are held.
"They are afraid as military bases are in built-up areas so civilians may be caught in attacks.
"They have seen the civilians killed by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
The lines between Hezbollah and the Syrian regime are so blurred that Israel will hold Damascus responsible if Hezbollah bombards Israel in the coming days, Israeli officials indicated on Wednesday.
Israel has made it very clear over the past two days that while it is not involved in the Syrian civil war, it will respond fiercely if Syrian President Bashar Assad decides to respond to an expected Western attack by firing missiles at Israel.
Israel could be forgiven for having a siege mentality — given that at any moment, old frontline enemies Syria and Egypt might spill their violence over common borders.
The Arab Spring has thrown Israel’s once-predictable adversaries into the chaotic state of a Sudan or Somalia. The old understandings between Jerusalem and the Assad and Mubarak kleptocracies seem in limbo.
That is especially the case during an election campaign. They understand they have a duty to behave in a non-partisan way and they are serious about it. But sometimes senior bureaucrats can be pushed too far by politicians. That happened on Thursday.
Kevin Rudd and his two most senior economics ministers crossed the line by trying to use the reputation of Treasury, the Finance Department and the Parliamentary Budget Office in a bit of political trickery.
Treasury head Martin Parkinson and Finance Department secretary David Tune cried "Enough!".
The Government's aim was to damage the Coalition. Instead, by provoking the bureaucrats, it knocked the stuffing out of its own remaining election hopes.
It was possibly the biggest blunder in a bloody awful Labor campaign. Small wonder talk in the ALP has turned to who might lead the party in the coming wilderness years.
Frank Sinatra used to sing "Saturday night is the loneliest night of the week". Next Saturday night Rudd is likely to be the loneliest politician this country has seen for a very long time.
The Government claims now it did not suggest the departments had costed Coalition policies. Readers can judge for themselves.
A day after the Coalition unveiled what it claimed were cuts and savings totalling $31.6 billion over the Budget forward estimates period, the Prime Minister strode into a news conference with Treasurer Chris Bowen and Finance Minister Penny Wong.
"There is an error of $10 billion in the claimed $30 billion of savings the Opposition released yesterday," the Treasurer said.
"This is based on advice from the departments of Treasury and Finance and the Parliamentary Budget Office, which we are releasing today."
Rudd chimed in that the allegation of a $10 billion hole was "based on the most basic analysis driven by the advice of government agencies". The shortfall, he told journalists, "is clearly identified in the table circulated to you now".
The table, looking very official, was part of an ALP press statement that began: "Treasury, Department of Finance and PBO figures released this morning have exposed a $10 billion hole in the savings claimed by the Coalition yesterday."
Attached were a Treasury Executive Minute classified "Protected", a two-page Finance Department memorandum and several pages of costing advice from the PBO with the name of the person who had requested the information blacked out.
Sure, the departmental documents were dated prior to the calling of the election. And Bowen told the news conference: "This is advice given to the Government prior to the caretaker period."
But presumably we were supposed to believe the costings they contained were based on accurate information about the Coalition's proposals. Otherwise, what was the point?
There is no avoiding the conclusion that it was all calculated to create the impression that what Rudd, Bowen and Wong alleged was backed by the authority of the top economic experts in the bureaucracy.
Rudd's fatal mistake was to use what he claimed was Treasury, Finance and PBO advice to justify an accusation of fraud against the Coalition.
Liberal leader Tony Abbott, shadow treasurer Joe Hockey and shadow finance minister Andrew Robb were furious. Parkinson and Tune, presumably believing they and their departments had been compromised, decided not to cop it and put out a statement - brief, but more than enough to have a significant impact on the election.
At no stage, they said, had either department costed Opposition policies. In other words, the information and assumptions for any costings they had done came from the Government.
The key sentence read: "Different costing assumptions, such as the start date of a policy, take-up assumptions, indexation and the coverage that applies, will inevitably generate different financial outcomes."
IN other words, the so-called costings of Coalition policies put out by Labor were so iffy they could not be taken seriously.
The mandarins' intervention was, as far as I can recall, unprecedented. And it was a body blow for Labor.
At the start of the campaign, Rudd had cast the election as a test of who voters could trust. The unravelling of Thursday's exercise played right into that central issue of trust - and not to Rudd's advantage.
More important, perhaps, it devalued the one issue that might have been working for Labor and on which rested Rudd's dream of a Keating-style come-from-behind victory.
Surveys by Labor's research firm, UMR, in marginal seats had found up to 55 per cent of voters worried about cuts an Abbott government might make to jobs, health and education.
That finding probably explains why Rudd, Bowen and Wong went over the top with their allegations of a Coalition costings fraud in the first place.
It will be much more difficult to exploit now. And it will be much easier for the Coalition to keep its proposed cuts secret until the campaign's dying days.
Laurie Oakes is political editor for the Nine Network. His column appears every Saturday in the Herald Sun
Early Morning monsoon storm moves in over the mesas and mountains just outside of Castle Valley Utah.

You can also view the image here:
You must meet Malki. She is a 15-year-old girl…still. She has been 15 for the last 12 years; she will always remain 15. In order to understand the situation in Israel today, we must meet Malki.

On August 9, 2001, Malka Chana Roth stopped by the Sbarro restaurant on the corner of King George Street and Jaffa Road in downtown Jerusalem. A suicide terrorist entered Sbarro, wearing an explosive belt packed with nails, nuts and bolts, and detonated his bomb. Fifteen souls were massacred and 107 were injured.

Amid the recent decision to release 104 Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons and during a time of negotiations, boycotts and Arab civil wars, I needed to meet Malki, so I spoke with her father, Arnold Roth.

David Nesenoff: Can you please share with me briefly, that tragic day of 12 years ago and its aftermath?

Arnold Roth: Malki was on her way to a planning meeting for the summer camp of Ezra, a religious Zionist youth movement here in Israel, where she was to be a madricha. She and her friend Michal decided to stop off for a drink and a slice of pizza in the center of Jerusalem. According to one report, there was a young man with a guitar case who placed himself almost right next to the two girls. We know that Malki was happily tapping out a text message on her cell phone at the moment when the guitarist destroyed our world.

As if to prove how truly different our values and perceptions are from theirs, the Arabs created a physical homage to the Sbarro massacre six weeks later in Nablus. Published photographs and reports show that they created a grotesque replica of the pizzeria, complete with a “kasher” sign above the entrance, as well as body parts and adulatory photographs of the killer. For them, this was a victory to savor.

DN: Twelve years later, it appears that the Israeli government has forgotten the preciousness and value of our Jewish daughters. Could you please share your personal experiences with regard to any changes you have seen with regard to Israeli public figures’ concerns and actions?

AR: In the days immediately after the act of calculated mass murder that stole Malki’s life from her and from the family who loved her so much, we were flooded with messages of sympathy and support. Some came from public figures. As things have worked out, we have tried to engage with some of those public figures in the years since then in order to defend the rights to justice and fairness, which, we thought, were the entitlement of families like ours. To say the least, it has been a dis-spiriting experience, particularly since 2011.

First, the woman who engineered the Sbarro massacre was let loose and given a triumphant welcome in the land of her birth, Jordan. This was an outcome we had fought to prevent for 6 or 7 years, as soon as we became aware of its possibility, so seeing her smiling and being cheered by those who appreciated her for what she had done to the Jews was painful for us in the extreme.

Then a year later, in June 2012, her fiancé was given permission that, in the explicit terms of his conditional release, should never have been given. He is also a convicted murderer who was serving a life sentence right up until the Gilad Shalit deal. When he was set free, his freedom was limited by Israel to the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. But he wanted to be with the fiancée he barely knew and whom he had met either once or never – the reports on this are vague. She is also his cousin.

We found out this was about to happen, and my wife and I immediately filed an application to the High Court of Justice in Jerusalem demanding that the government stand by their own refusal to permit him to cross over into Jordan to unite with the female murderer. The government’s lawyers finally responded to our lawyers some days after we filed the legal papers. But to our dismay it was to say: Oops, he left for Jordan three days ago, and we let him. I think of this a great deal when my thoughts go back to those messages of solidarity and support that officials sent us during the shiva.

DN: I cannot begin to understand why Israel is releasing these terrorists. Do you have any theories as to what is motivating the government? And recently, it seems rather crazy to release all of these murderers just to sit down to a table … and frankly sit down with little hope of anything being even accomplished. Why are they really doing this?

AR: If they have a master plan, they are being careful not to share it. My impression is the government of Israel’s calculations have more to do with keeping the Abbas regime in place and in power (the devil we know, certain shared interests etc) than with anything broader or more strategic than that. Israeli thinking seems to focus a great deal on keeping Hamas and its influence away from our cities and borders to the extent possible.

The Abbas circle has a similar strategy though naturally they do it for their own very different reasons and in their own way. What follows is that the Netanyahu government evidently sees a payoff in accommodating the passions of the Arab street to see their prisoners go free. Giving in to them is a disastrous miscalculation in my opinion. But disastrous miscalculations are not unknown in governments and public life.

And by the way, to no one’s surprise, there are also Jewish voices both here and in Hutz L’aretz, demanding that we be more ‘understanding’ of this Arab passion. Here is how one particularly loathsome Israeli voice put it, during a meeting at which I was present earlier this month. She was speaking as an Israeli and a bereaved mother about the Arab pressure to see their prisoners – the killers who are now being regaled in Ramallah and Gaza City – released:

“You know, we were willing to give 1,000 prisoners for Gilad Shalit. Why can we not understand that the prisoners mean exactly the same to the Palestinian people… Until we realize what the Palestinian prisoners mean to the Palestinian people, we will not move forward with the peace process. You have to talk, you have to understand what that is in that society… It’s just as important as Jerusalem, it’s just as important as the right of return to them. There’s no difference. These are their soldiers no matter how you may see them or what you think about them…”

By the way, the woman who said this is a key figure in an organization that has received lavish funding for the past decade. It lets them propagate a message that fits well with the Palestinian Authority’s winning strategy of demanding prisoners, up front and for no discernible benefit to the Israel side, as a precondition for agreeing to sit down at the negotiating table. Much of that financial support comes from US sources, by the way, including US government channels.

DN: I understand a group of bereaved families have joined together. Tell me a bit about this group. Who are they? What do they do?

AR: The Bereaved Families for Peace and Justice group is an ad hoc collective of concerned individuals. Four of us, friends and acquaintances from past years, formed it in the last few weeks to give a voice to the immense frustrations that welled up when we saw with horror that the decision to free the terrorists into the arms of the Abbas people looked it was becoming real. We only managed to reach out to a relative handful of other bereaved families in the short time between deciding to write to Secretary Kerry and the delivery of that letter to the State Department. I think we will have many more families, victims of the terrorists, when we do this again in the future.

I don’t know how it appears to people looking on from afar. But all of us are ordinary people with lives, with families, with jobs, with the usual problems and challenges. What brings us together is not politics, not a shared outlook on religion, not a common mission to solve the Arab/Israel conflict. We share a deep pain, each in our own individual ways, and a deep sense that injustice is being done over our heads and if we don’t speak out, then no one else will.

I keep discovering again and again when I meet with individuals in different countries who have had to confront life after terrorism burst into their lives… Your readers might be surprised to know how much I have discovered that I share with an Irish Catholic father whose son was murdered. Or with a Basque woman whose brother ‘s life ended in a car bombing. I don’t mean this figuratively, by the way. It’s literally true that we share so much, to our mutual surprise. The language and religious and cultural and age barriers matter less, it turns out, than the struggle to cope with living after a terrorist picked out your son or daughter or brother and pulled the trigger.

My sense is that if you had to distill a single shared sentiment out of all the pain and anguish of terrorism’s global victims, it would be something like the following imagined message:

This happened to me, and until we all learn to identify the terrorists and their supporters ahead of time, it’s going to happen to you too, and yes, I know you don’t want to hear this from me. Terrorism is not just a crime or an accident. It’s a social pathology that is growing more powerful every day.

DN: Is this terrorist release different than the times before, i.e. releasing terrorists for Gilad Shalit?

AR: The Shalit transaction, including its long prelude and its aftermath, constituted a trauma for my wife and me that even people close to us cannot adequately interpret. Once it became official Israeli policy, which happened just before Sukkot in 2011, we set out to do everything in our power to take the name of the woman, a Hamas agent, who engineered the Sbarro massacre off the walk-free list.

We did dozens of media interviews with some of the most important and influential news channels, in those few days. We wrote, we blogged, we spoke, we uploaded a petition and attracted nearly ten thousand signatures in three days. The message at the heart of our actions was a simple one. Releasing this particular woman will be a catastrophe, literally a cause of b’chiya ledorot [בכייה לדורות], deep painful regret for generations to come. We said this because that woman is determined, ideological and unbowed. In the eyes of the Arab and Islamic worlds, she was and is a heroine with a powerful message which I paraphrase this way:

She saw herself as the embodiment of divinely-commanded terrorism, and her freedom as a vindication from above.

That is certainly the way it was understood throughout the Arabic-speaking world; even more so in view of the fact that she was very quickly given a weekly television platform via the Hamas-owned Al Quds satellite television network to spread the hatred and zealotry that her life’s actions expressed. Because her venom is disseminated in a language that is foreign to most people outside the Islamic world, she is less well known than her influence and momentum would warrant. Today, she is almost at the end of a pregnancy that will be celebrated throughout the Middle East and Asia, just as her release in 2011 and her wedding, broadcast live on Jordanian television, was.

DN: What can you say about the world’s reaction and reporting on the Palestinian terrorists recent release?

AR: I want to urge your readers to pause for a moment and ask themselves why so few voices – other than those of the victims of terrorism like our group – are currently being heard, either in Israel or outside it, opposing the deal to let the convicted and unrepentant terrorists go free.

The confusion and befuddlement in our own ranks stems from a subtle kind of attack that scholars and thinkers are coming to recognize as a cognitive war. One of its key goals is to enable weak aggressors to disarm and eventually defeat a more powerful enemy – not conceptually but on the actual battlefield and in the cities and villages. To put this another way, cognitive warfare is about convincing your enemies to be pacifists and your own side to be patriots. And when done well, the enemy does not even know that war had been declared.

In a world of rational action, the decision to free more than 100 unrepentant terrorist convicts would have caused a firestorm of outrage and protest. Tragically, that is not what we are seeing, even here in Israel. I think this is because terrorists who kill and maim are seen as somehow posing a lesser threat than the ‘regular’ criminals who kill and maim. Because their actions are said to be politically driven, those ‘political’ terrorists are placed in our morals-based value system at a higher level. Doing political deals in which they get to walk free becomes thinkable and even do-able.

DN: What’s the feeling in Israel with regard to the terrorists being released?

AR: There is a scattering of voices calling rather superfluously and I would say artificially for understanding and reconciliation, but they are in a small minority. If I were to speak in the name of an Israeli consensus, I would say that we Israelis don’t need any advice on doing what it takes to bring peace. Israelis don’t have an abiding hatred for the Arabs in general, not for the Palestinian Arabs, not for the Hamas and Fatah and other segments. It’s nothing to do with hatred. What we do have is a deep and well-founded desire to keep our families and ourselves safe from the hatred that is so central to the lives lived in their societies.

Among all Israelis, I have not met anyone who wants peace more passionately and sincerely than the terror victims. We know how much it hurts to lose your loved one to someone else’s jihad. Whatever it takes to stop that hatred, we support, but first – above all and before everything else – we have to do what it takes to protect our own families, lives, communities. Everything else comes afterwards.

DN: Do you think the Jews of Europe, North America, Australia, etc… have an action to take with regard to Israel in general and with regard to this specific terrorist release? What should they do? What is your impression of them?

AR: Just as I avoided telling the Jews of Israel how to do the important things in life before I made aliyah and brought my family to Jerusalem, so too I feel reluctant to give mussar (ethical advice) to the Jews of the diaspora over the important things in their lives. It’s enough if all of us focus on ahavat Yisrael, the recognition that we share so much with each other and depend on each other. Most things work well once we have that part taken care of.

DN: I want to meet Malki. Introduce me to her please.

AR: Malki’s love of Israel owed nothing to her views about the Palestinians, the Middle East conflict, or Islam, because for the most part she had none. We do know from the diary in which she daily recorded her most private thoughts and fears, and which Frimet and I began reading only during the Shiva, that she was deeply agitated by Arab terror. It was on her mind a great deal. Her notes told us what she always kept private: that each loss of life in a piguah (terrorist outrage) brought her literally to tears, made it near impossible to focus on her studies. She was simply incapable of comprehending the fanatical hatred behind the horrifying acts, which have become so much a part of our lives in these last nineteen months.

Malki was a powerfully, unstoppably optimistic 15 year-old. We know from her friends that her wonderful smile almost never left her face, that her love and affection for friends and strangers were inspirational and infectious.

Malki loved Israel, and especially Jerusalem, with a pure and passionate love. Born in Melbourne, this was the home to which she was brought before she was three years old. This was the land which the Almighty had promised to the Jewish people and to which she felt a powerful connection.

DN: Please tell me about the Malki Foundation?

AR: After Malki’s murder, we were left during the shiva, in the grip of our grief, wondering what to do in Malki’s memory. The details are too many – I will say it simply. We decided to establish in her memory a fund, a not-for-profit that would benefit children with severe disabilities and help their families. Malki’s exceptional devotion to every disabled child she encountered in her brief life, and her love of chesed, were our inspiration.

She had volunteered to care for, befriend and nurture disabled children everywhere: at home with her own profoundly affected sister Haya; at the home of a neighbor, a single mother raising a dying disabled son; in school with learning disabled girls; at the Etgarim camp with special-needs youngsters where she spent her last week in this world, and in her beloved youth movement, Ezra.

We prepared the papers to establish an Israeli not-for-profit in her name and the registration papers came out on September 11, 2001. We collected them an hour before the events of 9/11 happened. We have always understood that the work of Keren Malki and the phenomenon of global terrorism, what we call this ongoing war (that’s the name of the blog my wife and I write) are tightly connected. Keren Malki has been operating now for 12 years, and has helped thousands of families who care for a special-needs child.

Malki’s love of chesed is honored every single day by the work done in her name. It’s not a comfort (in case anyone is wondering) but it is one of the things that keeps us focused on life and the future.


Dr. David Nesenoff is a rabbi, author and filmmaker who is noted for his viral video of White House journalist Helen Thomas when she said the Jews should leave Israel and go back to Germany and Poland. He currently lectures around the world to Jewish communities and campuses. Email:
The price Israel pays so Obama can call himself a peacemaker by promoting terrorism. ed

Alaska's part of Operation Magic Carpet

From the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News:

From the end of 1948 to the fall of 1950, Alaska Airlines took part in the airlift of 50,000 Jews from Yemen to the newly created nation of Israel. Known as Operation Magic Carpet, Alaska Airlines employees flew in perilous conditions while helping to fulfill a Biblical prophecy that said the Yemenite Jews would return to their homeland "on the wings of eagles."

More than 60 years later a new museum in the state of Alaska pays tribute to this piece of Alaska Airlines history. The Alaska Jewish Museum's first featured exhibit, "On the Wings of Eagles: Alaska's Contribution to Operation Magic Carpet," tells the story of a young Alaska Airlines and its employees' heroic efforts to avert a humanitarian crisis during a trying time in world history.

"We decided to have the'On the Wings of Eagles' exhibit at the museum because of the unique melding of energies between disparate groups (Alaska Airlines, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the State of Israel and the American government) to ensure the rescue of virtually an entire population from devastating circumstances," says Leslie Fried, the museum's curator.

The Yemenite Jews in Aden were living under extremely harsh conditions in the years prior to and immediately following the birth of the State of Israel.

At the time, Alaska Airlines was the largest non-scheduled carrier in the world. When the American Joint Distribution Committee contacted Alaska President James A. Wooten, he was moved after seeing the terrible conditions under which the Yemenite Jews lived in the Aden ghetto created by the British.

Throughout the next two years Captains Sam Silver, Warren Metzger, navigator Elgen Long and Chief Pilot Robert McGuire Jr. along with many others airlifted 50,000 Jews to Tel Aviv. The approximately 430 flights Alaska Airlines made were treacherous. Fuel was difficult to obtain, flight and maintenance crews had to be positioned throughout the Middle East and sandstorms wreaked havoc on the plane engines. There were no deaths during the flights though one plane was forced to make a crash-landing after the loss of an engine.

The exhibit provides a detailed look of the history of Operation Magic Carpet through historic artifacts, such as the jacket worn by Capt. Metzger and video footage of pilots sharing their airlift experiences. An interactive map also illustrates for visitors where the planes traveled while transporting the refugees.
More from the Alaska Airlines site:
When Alaska Airlines sent them on "Operation Magic Carpet" 50 years ago, Warren and Marian Metzger didn't realize they were embarking on an adventure of a lifetime.

Warren Metzger, a DC-4 captain, and Marian, a flight attendant, were part of what turned out to be one of the greatest feats in Alaska Airlines’ 67-year history: airlifting thousands of Yemenite Jews to the newly created nation of Israel.

The logistics of it all made the task daunting. Fuel was hard to come by. Flight and maintenance crews had to be positioned through the Middle East. And the desert sand wreaked havoc on engines.

It took a whole lot of resourcefulness the better part of 1949 to do it. But in the end, despite being shot at and even bombed upon, the mission was accomplished—and without a single loss of life.

"One of the things that really got to me was when we were unloading a plane at Tel Aviv," said Marian, who assisted Israeli nurses on a number of flights. "A little old lady came up to me and took the hem of my jacket and kissed it. She was giving me a blessing for getting them home. We were the wings of eagles."

For both Marian and Warren, the assignment came on the heels of flying the airline’s other great adventure of the late 1940s: the Berlin Airlift.

"I had no idea what I was getting into, absolutely none," remembered Warren, who retired in 1979 as Alaska’s chief pilot and vice president of flight operations. "It was pretty much seat-of-the-pants flying in those days. Navigation was by dead reckoning and eyesight. Planes were getting shot at. The airport in Tel Aviv was getting bombed all the time. We had to put extra fuel tanks in the planes so we had the range to avoid landing in Arab territory."

British officials advised them that Arabs, angry over the establishment of the Jewish state, would certainly kill all the passengers and likely the whole crew if they were forced to land on Arab soil. Many planes were shot at.

Days often lasted between 16 and 20 hours and the one-way flights, in twin-engine C-46 or DC-4 aircraft, covered nearly 3,000 miles.

"We’d take off from our base in Asmara (in Eritrea) in the morning and fly to Aden (in Yemen) to pick up our passengers and refuel," Warren said. "Then we’d fly up the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba to the airport at Tel Aviv to unload. Then we’d fly to Cyprus for the night. We couldn’t keep the planes on the ground in Israel because of the bombings."

"One of our pilots got a little bit too close to Arab territory when flying into Israel from the Gulf of Aqaba and tracers started arching up toward the plane," Warren said. "Another one of our planes got a tire blown out during a bombing raid in Tel Aviv. One of our crews practically lived on their plane from the end of April through June."

Bob Maguire, another Alaska pilot, once had to drop down to several hundred feet above the ground, squirming through hills and passes, to evade Arab gunfire.

What Warren and Marian thought was a temporary assignment turned into a seven-month mission of mercy. It also launched a marriage that has also celebrated its golden anniversary. Warren and Marian were married in Asmara in January 1949.

"I had met Warren when I started working for Alaska in July of 1948," Marian said. "We had both worked the Berlin airlift. I was sent to Shanghai and I didn’t know where Warren was. I landed in Asmara after one flight and when the door of the plane opened, one of the guys who knew I’d been seeing Warren from time to time said he was in Tel Aviv and he’d be flying in the next day."

Before her Operation Magic Carpet flights in the Middle East, Marian, who retired from Alaska in 1952, assisted on flights from Shanghai transporting Jews who fled to China to escape persecution in Germany. When communists came to power in China, the German Jews took flight again to Israel.

Obama publishes details of missile base Israel wanted kept secret

TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel’s military fumed Monday over the discovery that Obama had revealed details of a top-secret Israeli military installation in published bid requests.
The Obama administration had promised to build Israel a state-of-the-art facility to house a new ballistic-missile defense system, the Arrow 3. As with all Defense Department projects, detailed specifications were made public so that contractors could bid on the $25 million project. The specifications included more than 1,000 pages of details on the facility, ranging from the heating and cooling systems to the thickness of the walls.
“If an enemy of Israel wanted to launch an attack against a facility, this would give him an easy how-to guide. This type of information is closely guarded and its release can jeopardize the entire facility,” said an Israeli military official who commented on the publication of the proposal but declined to be named because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the facility. He declined to say whether plans for the facility have been altered as a result of the disclosure.
“This is more than worrying, it is shocking,” he said.
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Wesley Miller said he couldn’t comment on the specifics of the Arrow 3 base, but he said the United States routinely published the details of its construction plans on a federal business opportunities website so that contractors could estimate the costs of jobs. He said such postings often might be revised after contracts were approved.
Israeli officials appear to have been well aware of the danger of outsourcing building projects to the United States. In an interview with the Reuters news agency in March, Lt. Col. Peleg Zeevi, the head of the bidding process at Israel’s Defense Ministry, justified Israel’s long history of relying on the United States to help build military installations by saying that Israel needed “a player that has the knowledge, ability and experience.”
“We are aware of the security issues that arise in deals with foreign firms, but because we want real competition and expertise, we will create conditions that will allow and encourage their participation,” Zeevi said.
It appears, however, that Israeli officials were caught by surprise that details of the facility at Tel Shahar, classified so top secret that Israel’s military won’t officially confirm its location between Jerusalem and Ashdod, would be made so public.
Jane’s Defence Weekly first wrote about the bidding documents, citing them in a story in which it recounted details of the Arrow 3, a defense system designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside the Earth’s atmosphere that’s expected to become operational in 2015.
According to the bid requests, the Arrow 3 system will include six interceptors in vertical launch positions to be placed in the facility, and a gantry crane would need to be erected for further missiles. The structures encasing the interceptor system are to be constructed from high-grade concrete reinforced with steel mesh grids. They’ll have steel blast doors and a system to protect electrical wiring from the pressure created by a launch.
Israeli officials had announced that they were fast-tracking the Arrow 3 system because of their fear that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon.
“We want to reach a situation in which Israel has a ready defense for any threat, present or future,” said Col. Aviram Hasson, the head of the Defense Ministry department that’s charged with developing the system.
The Arrow 3 is capable of intercepting missiles at a range of up to 1,500 miles and can maneuver in midair to chase them. Last February, Israel conducted the first test of the Arrow 3 in space. That test was overseen by the United States.
The new facility won’t be the first military installation the U.S. government has built in Israel. Since 1998, when Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed the Wye River memorandum, the U.S. has constructed about $500 million in military facilities for the Israeli army. In addition to bases in southern Israel, including the Nevatim air base, the U.S. has built command centers, intelligence offices and underground hangars to protect Israel’s jet aircraft.
Last year, U.S. defense contractors began constructing an air force base just outside Tel Aviv – known as the “site 911″ – that will cost up to $100 million. Israel’s military hasn’t revealed the purpose of the site, but it’s widely thought that Israel is trying to move some of its military headquarters from high-value real estate in Tel Aviv to the outskirts of the bustling city.
Interior view of Kinetoscope with peephole viewer

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,”Ephesians 2:19 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Wait on the Lord."
Psalm 27:14
It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God's warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, but simply wait. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the case before him; tell him your difficulty, and plead his promise of aid. In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is sweet to be humble as a child, and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly, and are heartily willing to be guided by the will of God. But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting, is but an insult to the Lord. Believe that if he keep you tarrying even till midnight, yet he will come at the right time; the vision shall come and shall not tarry. Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because you are under the affliction, but blessing your God for it. Never murmur against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the case as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, "Now, Lord, not my will, but thine be done. I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities, but I will wait until thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes. I will wait, if thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed upon thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for thee in the full conviction that thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower."


"Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed."
Jeremiah 17:14
"I have seen his ways, and will heal him."
Isaiah 57:18
It is the sole prerogative of God to remove spiritual disease. Natural disease may be instrumentally healed by men, but even then the honour is to be given to God who giveth virtue unto medicine, and bestoweth power unto the human frame to cast off disease. As for spiritual sicknesses, these remain with the great Physician alone; he claims it as his prerogative, "I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal;" and one of the Lord's choice titles is Jehovah-Rophi, the Lord that healeth thee. "I will heal thee of thy wounds," is a promise which could not come from the lip of man, but only from the mouth of the eternal God. On this account the psalmist cried unto the Lord, "O Lord, heal me, for my bones are sore vexed," and again, "Heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee." For this, also, the godly praise the name of the Lord, saying, "He healeth all our diseases." He who made man can restore man; he who was at first the creator of our nature can new create it. What a transcendent comfort it is that in the person of Jesus "dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily!" My soul, whatever thy disease may be, this great Physician can heal thee. If he be God, there can be no limit to his power. Come then with the blind eye of darkened understanding, come with the limping foot of wasted energy, come with the maimed hand of weak faith, the fever of an angry temper, or the ague of shivering despondency, come just as thou art, for he who is God can certainly restore thee of thy plague. None shall restrain the healing virtue which proceeds from Jesus our Lord. Legions of devils have been made to own the power of the beloved Physician, and never once has he been baffled. All his patients have been cured in the past and shall be in the future, and thou shalt be one among them, my friend, if thou wilt but rest thyself in him this night.

Today's reading: Psalm 129-131, 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Psalm 129-131

A song of ascents.
1 "They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,"
let Israel say;
2 "they have greatly oppressed me from my youth,
but they have not gained the victory over me.
3 Plowmen have plowed my back
and made their furrows long.
4 But the LORD is righteous;
he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked."
5 May all who hate Zion
be turned back in shame.
May they be like grass on the roof,
which withers before it can grow;
7 a reaper cannot fill his hands with it,
nor one who gathers fill his arms.
8 May those who pass by not say to them,
"The blessing of the LORD be on you;
we bless you in the name of the LORD."

Today's New Testament reading: 1 Corinthians 11:1-16

1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
On Covering the Head in Worship

2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. 3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head-it is the same as having her head shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head....

[Ăbĭn'adăb] - father or source of liberality
  1. An Israelite of the tribe of Judah in whose house the Ark rested after its return by the Philistines (1 Sam. 7:1; 2 Sam. 6:3, 4; 1 Chron. 13:7).
  2. The second son of Jesse, the father of David (1 Sam. 16:8; 17:13; 1 Chron. 2:13).
  3. A son of King Saul ( 1 Sam. 31:2; 1 Chron. 8:33; 9:39; 10:2). He was slain along with his father and his brother Jonathan at Gilboa.
  4. The father of one of Solomon's officers (1 Kings 4:11).