Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sat Mar 28th Todays News

On Bolt Report an ongoing policy is that any Islam post can only be on the pinned leader. Normal rules apply in that if it is merely foul and abusive it will be deleted. Otherwise comments are welcome.  
===
NSW Election today and Premier Mike Baird faces off with ALP Luke Foley. Conservatives have government through coalition between Liberal Party and National Party. The default position of the state is ALP, with ALP government at all times since 1941, with the exception of '65 to '76 (Askin), '88 to '95 (Greiner/Fahey) and 2011 to now (O'Farrell/Baird). But entrenched corruption has seen the ALP be on the nose of voters. ALP has not reformed, and is still subject to union power brokers and corrupt payments from the state's poorest. The ALP is supported by a corrupt judiciary and media who turn a blind eye to ALP corruption, but denounce conservative politic at any opportunity usually without foundation. The result of which has seen a change of Premiers but a similar direction of policy from O'Farrell to Baird. So far, no substance of widespread corruption has been shown by the 'independent body' the ICAC which has investigated and campaigned against Liberal government but tacitly accepted ALP corruption.

The policies being campaigned on are different. Conservatives have offered stable, responsible government which will rent electrical poles and wires for 99 years to pay for needed infrastructure. They have built things and offer to build more, including a new Sydney international airport, roads and trains. The ALP offer no new policies but promise to spend more, raise no new taxes, poles and wires to tax the poorest for electricity, oppose coal seam gas development. The ALP position is unbelievable, given their track record. The ALP leader has not held a lower house seat or a ministry position and is talentless, offering no direction or reform. But the ALP are coming from a low position and so are expected to improve through no fault of their own.

An utterly selfish, depressed young man has killed 149 and himself in a plane crash in Germany. When a bank manager steals bank money, it is the bank's fault from oversight failure. Here too, the airliner, Germanwings, bears some responsibility for their pilot suiciding and killing others. There are campaigners for suicide who do not support the chosen method, although they campaign for sad, depressed people to be able to suicide. Any analysis of the victims shows the depth of the tragedy. Young, accomplished, decent people who had much to offer, taken by a vain, self serving, self seeking, sad young man. There needs to be some changes at Germanwings, but not much. It is very hard to prevent such evil, as assassins have shown over the years. And this evil highlights the choice NSW has. Return a responsible pilot, or a self serving liar.

On this day in 37, Caligula named himself a Prince. In 193, Emperor Pertinax was assassinated by his own guard who then sold his throne to his enemy. Pertinax was only to reign for a few months, as did his successor, as the start of the year of five emperors. Important to remember the Roman year began in March (Spring). In 845, Paris was sacked by a Viking raider, rumoured to have been Ragnar Lodbrok. In 1889, the Yngsjö murder occurred in YngsjöSwedenAnna Månsdotter was arrested along with her son. Anna was the last woman executed in Iceland. She had had an incestuous relationship with her son and killed his wife to cover it up. Her son was sentenced to death, but commuted to life imprisonment and paroled in 1913, before dying of TB in 1918. In 1933, an Imperial biplane City of Liverpool was apparently sabotaged by a german drug smuggling dentist who left his niece on board the burning craft before leaping to his death. There were no survivors. Dr Voss had been aware that authorities were losing in on his smuggling operation. In 1959, China took over Tibet. In 1990, President GHW Bush posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour to Jesse Owens. 

The late evening election result is the conservatives have clearly won the lower house but it remains to be seen if they are able to get legislation through the upper house. 
2014
There is a culture war being fought and the over dominant Left are fighting dirty. The issue of honours is being fiercely contested by many who would accept a knighthood and don't really feel it matters. The reason why they fight it is because it does matter. It is not only school kids who like to see the way up pointed to. People like a direction, and when school kids are constantly told that nothing matters, they can't excel at anything, that nobody is better, but people are merely different, then they lose direction .. they need someone to point up. The Left have always despised direction and authority. They still use authority. The last time an Australian asked the queen to intervene in Australian affairs was when the ALP asked the Queen to prevent a democratic election for the dismissal. And they say they don't trust her, that she isn't really Australian. 

One person who is Australian is former President of the ALP Michael Williamson. He has been sentenced to seven and a half years prison with a non parole period of five years. Another convict is his colleague Craig Thomson. Williamson has apologised for his activity and accepted responsibility for his wrongdoing. Thomson has blamed others and lied in his defence. Thomson's inadequate sentence was for one year, with a non parole period of three months. It would take a body like the Electoral Commission to fail to see the disparity between sentences. Thomson single handedly maintained a corrupt and inept government from 2010 to late 2013. Thomson is appealing his sentence. One reason for the disparity is the charges. Thomson has not been charged for all that he has done. The ALP defended both. In Thomson's defence, he isn't really Australian. So, according to ALP logic, he could be head of state, one day. The ALP want a republic because they'd prefer Williamson? 
Historical perspectives on this day 
In 37, Roman Emperor Caligula accepted the titles of the Principate, entitled to him by the Senate. 193, Roman Emperor Pertinax was assassinated by Praetorian Guards, who then sold the throne in an auction to Didius Julianus. 364, Roman Emperor Valentinian I appointed his brother Flavius Valens co-emperor. 845, Paris was sacked by Viking raiders, probably under Ragnar Lodbrok, who collected a huge ransom in exchange for leaving. 1566, the foundation stone of Valletta, Malta's capital city, was laid by Jean Parisot de Valette, Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. 1776, Juan Bautista de Anza founds the site for the Presidio of San Francisco. 1794, Allies under the prince of Coburg defeated French forces at Le Cateau. 1795, Partitions of Poland: The Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, a northern fief of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, ceased to exist and became part of Imperial Russia.

In 1802, Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus Olbers discovered 2 Pallas, the second asteroid known to man. 1809, Peninsular War: France defeated Spain in the Battle of Medelin. 1814, War of 1812: The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom defeated the United States Navy in a Battle off Valparaíso, Chile. 1854, Crimean War: France and Britain declared war on Russia. 1860, First Taranaki War: The Battle of Waireka began. 1862, American Civil War: Battle of Glorieta Pass – in New Mexico, Union forces stopped the Confederate invasion of New Mexico territory. The battle began on March 26. 1871, the Paris Commune was formally established in Paris. 1883, Tonkin Campaign: French victory in the Battle of Gia Cuc. 1889, the Yngsjö murder in Yngsjö, Sweden: Anna Månsdotter was arrested along with her son.

In 1910, Henri Fabre becomes the first person to fly a seaplane, the Fabre Hydravion, after taking off from a water runway near Martigues, France. 1913, Guatemala became a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty. 1920, Palm Sunday tornado outbreak of 1920 affected the Great Lakes region and Deep South states. 1923, Constantinople and Angora changed their names to Istanbul and Ankara. 1933, the Imperial Airways biplane City of Liverpool was believed to be the first airline lost to sabotage when a passenger set a fire on board. 1939, Spanish Civil War: Generalissimo Francisco Franco conquers Madrid after a three-year siege.

In 1941, World War II: Battle of Cape Matapan – in the Mediterranean Sea, British Admiral Andrew Browne Cunningham led the Royal Navy in the destruction of three major Italian heavy cruisers and two destroyers. 1942, World War II: St Nazaire Raid: In occupied France, British naval forces successfully raided the German-occupied port of St. Nazaire. 1946, Cold War: The United States State Department released the Acheson–Lilienthal Report, outlining a plan for the international control of nuclear power. 1951, First Indochina War: In the Battle of Mao Khe, French Union forces, led by World War II hero Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, inflicted a defeat on Việt Minh forces commanded by General Võ Nguyên Giáp. 1959, the State Council of the People's Republic of China dissolved the Government of Tibet.

In 1968, Brazilian high school student Edson Luís de Lima Souto was shot by the police in a protest for cheaper meals at a restaurant for low-income students. The aftermath of his death is one of the first major events against the military dictatorship. 1969, Greek poet and Nobel Prize laureate Giorgos Seferis made a famous statement on the BBC World Service opposing the junta in Greece.  1970, Gediz earthquake: A 7.2 magnitude earthquake strikes western Turkey at about 23:05 local time, killed 1,086 and injured 1,260. 1978, the US Supreme Court handed down 5–3 decision in Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349, a controversial case involving involuntary sterilization and judicial immunity. 1979, a coolant leak at the Three Mile Island's Unit 2 nuclear reactor outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania led to the core overheating and a partial meltdown. Also 1979, the British House of Commons passed a vote of no confidence against James Callaghan's government, precipitating a general election.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush posthumously awarded Jesse Owens the Congressional Gold Medal. 1994, in South Africa, Zulus and African National Congress supporters battled in central Johannesburg, resulting in 18 deaths. Also 1994, BBC Radio 5 was closed and replaced with a new news and sport station BBC Radio 5 Live. 1999, Kosovo War: Serb paramilitary and military forces killed 146 Kosovo Albanians in the Izbica massacre. 2000, three children were killed when a Murray County, Georgia, school bus was hit by a CSX freight train. 2003, in a friendly fire incident, two A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft from the United States Idaho Air National Guard's 190th Fighter Squadron attacked British tanks participating in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, killing British soldier Matty Hull. 2005, the 2005 Sumatra earthquake rocked Indonesia, and at magnitude 8.7 was the fourth strongest earthquake since 1965. 2006, at least one million union members, students, and unemployed took to the streets in France in protest at the government's proposed First Employment Contract law.
===
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.
===
Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with August https://www.createspace.com/4124406September https://www.createspace.com/5106914October https://www.createspace.com/5106951, or at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482020262/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_dVHPub0MQKDZ4  The kindle version is cheaper, but the soft back version allows the purchase of a kindle version for just $3.99 more. 
===
For twenty two years I have been responsibly addressing an issue, and I cannot carry on. I am petitioning the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to remedy my distress. I leave it up to him if he chooses to address the issue. Regardless of your opinion of conservative government, the issue is pressing. Please sign my petition at https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/tony-abbott-remedy-the-persecution-of-dd-ball

Or the US President at
https://www.change.org/p/barack-obama-change-this-injustice#
or
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/change-injustice-faced-david-daniel-ball-after-he-reported-bungled-pedophile-investigation-and/b8mxPWtJ or http://wh.gov/ilXYR

Mr Ball, I will not sign your petition as it will do no good, but I will share your message and ask as many of friends who read it, to share it also. Let us see if we cannot use the power of the internet to spread the word of these infamous killings. As a father and a former soldier, I cannot, could not, justify ignoring this appalling action by the perpetrators, whoever they may; I thank you Douglas. You are wrong about the petition. Signing it is as worthless and meaningless an act as voting. A stand up guy would know that. - ed

Lorraine Allen Hider I signed the petition ages ago David, with pleasure, nobody knows what it's like until they've been there. Keep heart David take care.


I have begun a bulletin board (http://theconservativevoice.freeforums.netwhich will allow greater latitude for members to post and interact. It is not subject to FB policy and so greater range is allowed in posts. Also there are private members rooms in which nothing is censored, except abuse. All welcome, registration is free.
===


Happy birthday and many happy returns Jenny Duong and Joy Mariathas. May your day be nestled in comfort and joy. They might be pet names .. Sorry, had to toss that bone.
Deaths
March 28Earth Hour (20:30 local time in various areas, 2015); Rama Navami (Hinduism, 2015); Serfs Emancipation Day in Tibet
James Callaghan
We have backed the right horse. We held New Mexico. We have flown above the sea. We are successful. We have no confidence in trade unions. Let's party.
Matches
Hatches
Despatches
===
2015
===

AIMING FOR THE DOUBLE TON

Tim Blair – Saturday, March 28, 2015 (5:25am)

Check your privilege, you rich bastards! My initial score was 150, but then I changed “agnostic” to “atheist” and was somehow awarded another ten privilege points. Next I converted to Islam, which sent me plummeting to just 110, before a concluding Judaic transition resulted in a spectacular 185-point final score. Beat that, lowly Gentiles!
(Via Kae) 
===

CATLIGHT EVENING

Tim Blair – Saturday, March 28, 2015 (5:14am)

Prepare to ignite your cats, because Earth Hour 2015 is almost upon us. Tonight’s event – to be celebrated here with the usual Hour of Power – seems not to have won too many fans at Marrickville’s Peace, Love and Candlesfundraiser:

image

And how many people have indicated they’ll be turning up?

image

Four envirocranks huddled in the dark. Sounds like a sleepover at Ted Kaczynski’s place. Perhaps some Marrickville music will make the hour of deprivation pass more quickly. Meanwhile, our friends at the Australian Tax Office received this email yesterday morning from Justin Untersteiner, the Assistant Commissioner of ATO Finance: 
To show our commitment to the environment, the ATO is participating in Earth Hour for the ninth year running. Earth Hour is a global initiative that asks everyone to switch off their lights for one hour tomorrow night to show the power of collective action.
We are proud to join the rest of Australia and the world to support Earth Hour. Play your part by limiting printing today where it isn’t crucial to business. Before leaving the office today, shut down your computer, and switch off your monitor, radios, appliances and lights.
Our support of the Earth Hour initiative supports the ATO’s environmental management strategy. The ATO environment vision 2012-2017 and action plan translate the guiding principles and the six targets that the ATO aims to achieve by 2017, which in-turn will assist in reducing our carbon footprint.
We encourage you to participate in Earth Hour activities in the office and at home, and read more about what the ATO is doing to minimise our environmental impact. 
So long as it distracts the ATO from taking my money, I applaud their Earth Hour commitment. But the anonymous ATO employee who forwarded that email has other plans: “Not only do I not support Earth Hour but I will be watching Labor and the Greens who love such stuff cop a flogging in NSW on the TV when this scam is underway with as many electrical appliances and lights on as are available to me.”
All readers are invited to follow this example. Let there be light.
===

TELL ‘EM THEY’RE HALLUCINATING

Tim Blair – Saturday, March 28, 2015 (4:11am)

Michael Caton is turning into Rod Quantock.
===

SECRET PRIME MINISTER REVEALED

Tim Blair – Saturday, March 28, 2015 (4:00am)

This looks like another case for the ABC’s rapid response fact-checking unit:

image
===

NSW election - disaster for Labor turns Shorten into the hunted

Andrew Bolt March 28 2015 (8:25pm)

The NSW election is going badly for Labor. It is in danger of posting its second-worst election result ever - under 35 per cent of the primary vote, and with perhaps as few as 30 seats, but no more than around 35. It could have lost a couple of seats to the Greens. It is a disaster.
Overnight, the heat goes onto federal Labor leader Bill Shorten.
He is running the kind of campaign that has just backfired on NSW Labor leader Luke Foley - anti-reform, pro-union, small-target, populist, deceitful and banking on an anti-Abbott swing. He just didn’t seem serious.
Tony Abbott is safe as Liberal leader for a long time yet. But can Bill Shorten last as Labor’s leader?
Much more on this on The Bolt Report tomorrow on Channel 10 at 10am and 3pm, with Treasurer Joe Hockey, former NSW Labor Treasurer Michael Costa and IPA boss John Roskam, plus Tim Blair.
UPDATE
Labor Senator Sam Dastyari tonight:
It was never about Abbott.
NSW Labor leader Luke Foley on March 25:
Remove Mike Baird and you remove Tony Abbott.
Love the spin.
UPDATE
Sam Dastyari on Sky News demands that former Labor Minister and ACTU president Martin Ferguson be expelled from the Labor Party for having appeared in Liberals ads blasting the Labor lies about privatisation.
He calls Ferguson a “rat” who committed a “bastard act” and “treason” of the kind that once got people “hung, drawn and quartered”.
What Dastyari can’t get is that a Labor party which disgusts a stalwart and Labor great as Ferguson has lost its way and isn’t worth voting for. Labor would in fact be healthier if the likes of Dastyari were expelled instead.
UPDATE
Labor looks like winning a net 11 seats when it hoped for at least 15 and probably 20. 
===

No headscarf for Julie Bishop in Iran

Andrew Bolt March 28 2015 (8:55am)

A challenge I suspect Julie Bishop will accept:

A LEADING journalist and women’s rights advocate has called on Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to eschew wearing a headscarf when she travels to Iran in April.
Political journalist Masih Alinejad said it would be “unacceptable” for Ms Bishop to don the compulsory hijab as it would reinforce the idea that Iranian women “live in a prison.”
I also believe Bishop should not submit to a faith she does not follow, unless she’s visiting a mosque. Then the normal rules of courtesy apply, particularly when it’s a condition of entry.
(Thanks to reader Gab.) 
===

Murdoch’s Sky News shows ABC how to do balance

Andrew Bolt March 28 2015 (8:36am)

Sky News, part-owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, shows all the balance that the vast state-owned ABC does not, despite the ABC’s legal obligation to do so.
Gerard Henderson:
(T)he ABC remains a Conservative Free Zone with not one conservative presenter or producer or editor for any of the taxpayer funded public broadcaster’s prominent television or radio or online outlets. Not one ...
Well what about Sky News – which is generally regarded as right-of-centre and which has some links with The Australian? The following left-of-centre types have hosting arrangements or formal contributor status on Sky News: 
Peter Beattie
Troy Bramston
Craig Emerson
Bruce Hawker
Kristina Keneally
Stephen Loosley
Nicholas Reece
Graham Richardson.
So Sky News has eight left-of-centre regular paid contributors or presenters on its prominent programs. However, the ABC has no right-of-centre regular paid contributors on its prominent programs.

Henderson understates his case, Most Sky News presenters actually range from slightly Left-of-centre (David Speers, Stan Grant, Derryn Hinch and Peter van Onselen) to mainstream Left (David Lipson, Janine Perrett, Helen Dalley, Laura Jayes, Kieran Gilbert), although most try much harder than their ABC rivals to be fair and balanced.
The conservative exceptions are few and not always consistently conservative: Paul Murray, Alan Jones, Chris Kenny and Ross Cameron, with Paul Kelly in the centre. Interestingly, Murray and Jones also host or co-host the station’s two most popular programs, which says plenty.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

Palaszczuk Government’s power threatened by domestic abuse claims

Andrew Bolt March 28 2015 (8:27am)

It’s taken only a couple of months, but Queensland’s neophyte Palaszczuk Government already looks in serious strife, its paper-thin margin threatened by a nasty allegation:
QUEENSLAND’S fledgling Labor Government has been thrown into crisis amid allegations an MP abused a former partner and “acted like an animal” during their relationship.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was last night forced to refer Member for Cook Billy Gordon to police over the alle­gations which were received by her office more than a week ago.
The abuse allegations are contained in a 10-page statement by Mr Gordon’s former partner and a letter purportedly written by the MP to the woman in 2006 after their relationship ended.
A police investigation is a nightmare scenario for the minority Palaszczuk Government, which is clinging to power by a single seat…
The statement sent to Ms Palaszczuk, which The Courier-Mail has obtained, includes a letter purportedly by Mr Gordon to the woman in which he admits to a history of abuse and controlling behaviour amid pleas for forgiveness…
“I’ve treated you bad and hurt you deep, I’ve acted like an animal,’’ he states.... “I hope in time you can forgive me for the abuse...”
The loss of a single MP risks the new Labor administration being thrown from office just weeks after it assumed control…
The crisis comes after The Courier-Mail revealed yesterday that Mr Gordon was forced by Labor to pay thousands of dollars in unpaid child support for two of his children and complete years of tax returns.
The LNP held Cook briefly until the last election.
UPDATE
Then there’s this, from Des Houghton:
A FORMER High Court judge has found serious union wrongdoing in the Queensland building industry and recommended criminal charges against a union boss with strong links to the Palaszczuk Government.
The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption found there were bribes, extortion, secret commissions and “other unlawful payments’’ involving members of the CFMEU, a powerful union and Labor backer whose members in Queensland include Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller and Jim Pearce, the Member for Mirani.
There were no suggestions of impropriety by Miller or Pearce although Justice John Dyson Heydon’s interim report to Parliament was scathing against their union…
He recommended criminal charges against key CFMEU officials including Queensland secretary Michael Ravbar, a personal friend of several unionists who are now members of Parliament…
Ravbar is a vice-president of the Queensland Council of Unions which directs Labor policy and has a say in the appointment of Queensland Cabinet ministers.
Palaszczuk joined Ravbar and other union chiefs at a rally in Gladstone last year in which she made a speech praising unions, Green Left Weekly reported.
Palaszczuk also foolishly marched with the CFMEU in Brisbane this month and had a “selfie” taken with Dave Noonan, the CFMEU’s national secretary…
The latest findings of union corruption place Miller in an especially invidious position. As Police Minister she controls the force helping to investigate the most serious charges faced by the union.
They say voters always get it right.
Not this time, they didn’t.
(Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill, John, Mark W and Nathan.) 
===

Left’s hate makes even a school fundraiser impossible

Andrew Bolt March 28 2015 (8:25am)

The intolerance of the Left, that turns normal social gatherings, even school fundraisers, into political battlegrounds:
Old boys from one of Sydney’s most prestigious public schools say they are disgusted that federal cabinet minister Scott Morrison will be a special guest at an alumni fund-raising event, warning it would be an embarrassment to their school to celebrate a man who has “so flagrantly disregarded human rights”.
Almost 300 alumni of Sydney Boys High have signed a fiercely-worded letter to the school’s Old Boys Union, which is organising a fund-raising cocktail event next month featuring Mr Morrison as one of its keynote speakers.
But the invitation has infuriated many of the school’s alumni, including the former Supreme Court judge Hal Wootten and veteran journalist John Pilger, who say it “is cruel and insensitive for the union to laud this man’s connection to the school, its graduates, and their families.”
John Pilger? Say no more.
UPDATE
I really don’t think calling Tony Abbott a racist - even if an unconscious one - is a smart move for the “reconciliation” movement, and especially not when Abbott is such a passionate advocate for Aborigines. And it’s even more stupid and offensive when Abbott’s “racism” is no more than common sense about the craziness of spending a fortune to keep Aborigines where there are no jobs or schools.
Yet the AFL’s Matthew Stokes indulges in such destructive abuse, rather than argue on the facts:

So my open letter today is not about politics, or a commentary on what we as a country do right or wrong. It’s not about past decisions made, dollars spent or programs funded. It’s about the damage caused by one single statement. It’s about the disharmony that can come from one man’s words.
The fact our Prime Minister is acknowledged as having done so much work in the area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - for him to make the remarks he did, as the leader of our country – what must the world think of us? His words have isolated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders even more than they are already…
I am a strong supporter of the work being done to close the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous Australians and there is much great work being done, but comments like those made recently by our PM only serve to empower the ugly side of our society. For what it’s worth, I don’t think Mr Abbott was deliberately being racist, but one comment from someone in such a powerful position can cause so much damage.
The absurd and punishing politics of seeming, not doing. Vilify Abbott for a comment, yet ignore the human tragedy he’s actually trying to discuss and fix.
For God’s sake, we’ve got to get over this “gotcha” morality and get serious. Less abuse, more argument. And much more action.
(Thanks to reader John.) 
===

On The Bolt Report tomorrow, March 29

Andrew Bolt March 28 2015 (7:56am)

On the The Bolt Report on Channel 10 tomorrow at 10am and 3pm.
Editorial: Lessons of the NSW election. Do cheats prosper? And Shorten?
Guest:  Treasurer Joe Hockey
The panel: former NSW Labor Treasurer Michael Costa and IPA boss John Roskam
Newswatch: Daily Telegraph columnist and blogger extraordinaire Tim Blair on Jeremy Clarkson and the abnormally - but selectively - sensitive.
The videos of the shows appear here.
===

Bill Shorten, not Tony Abbott, to be torched by NSW result

Andrew Bolt March 28 2015 (7:44am)

The media story last month was that the NSW election could spell the end for Tony Abbott.
Indeed, the media and pro-Turnbull forces were last month hyping up the fear that Abbott would cost the Liberals government in NSW as a reason to dump Abbott for Malcolm Turnbull.
Remember the media campaign?
Spooked Liberals in NSW are warning the federal leadership crisis threatens to derail their re-election campaign, as a federal Coalition minister conceded on Thursday that a spill motion against Prime Minister Tony Abbott is now likely…
Fairfax Media has learned a number of federal MPs are under pressure from state colleagues to line up behind Malcolm Turnbull and force a change, and to get it done quickly.
Instead, as I’ve said , the NSW election could spell trouble for federal Labor leader Bill Shorten instead:
FEW state elections have been so important to Australia’s future — and our sanity — as Saturday’s poll in NSW.
It will help answer three questions. Have we really gone mad? Are we really going to let superstition make us poor?
And how much longer can Labor leaders — including federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten — get away with shameless, destructive populism?
Well, with luck NSW voters will punish the rabble-rousers who have hijacked Labor and force a return to evidence-based policies where reason rules and ratbags weep.
Indeed, I suspect a good result for the Baird Government will light a fire under Shorten, whose style of leadership too closely matches that of NSW Labor leader Luke Foley.
And, indeed, the media narrative is suddenly turning ugly for Shorten as Abbott recovers and NSW voters prepare to punish NSW Labor for a campaign that in its dishonesty, rabble-rousing and frivolousness is just like Shorten’s.
Troy Bramston was one of the first:
BILL Shorten’s critics inside the Labor Party are growing. You don’t have to go far to find detractors in the party organisation, the unions or among the membership, including Labor elders, or to hear complaints about policy, strategy, communications or the slow pace of party reform. Even some of Shorten’s biggest supporters concede they are disappointed.
Even Abbott-hater Laura Tingle yesterday had to concede Shorten was now in the gun:
(T)here is an increasing anxiety within Labor ranks about the right way to proceed from here. It’s not just about Bill Shorten, though the Opposition Leader has a big problem that is separate from the general one facing Labor.
If voters think the Prime Minister is a fool, they don’t really think anything of Shorten at all. Even in focus-group feedback that is neutral about him, he hasn’t established any credibility…
Now Laurie Oakes:

Now, with a solid win for Mike Baird’s Government in prospect in today’s NSW election, it could be Bill Shorten’s turn to feel the heat.
Baird showed guts in campaigning on a policy of privatising parts of the NSW electricity network to free up capital for new infrastructure spending. State Labor leader Luke Foley had nothing to offer except opposition to the Baird plan…
The lesson expected to emerge is that a reform agenda can still be an election winner for a politician who does not frighten the horses and takes the time and trouble to earn the public’s trust.
Labor has always claimed to be the party of reform. Shorten professes to believe in big ideas. Success for Baird should show the Opposition Leader the folly of being a federal Foley.
UPDATE
Paul Kelly puts the case against not just Luke Foley but Bill Shorten:
The NSW election offers a stark view of modern Labor — tied to union interests, hooked on pro-green politics and reliant upon vote-gathering via hysteria against whatever market-based reform is on offer…
Labor is politically clever but policy weak. It offers NSW no ­viable agenda for long-run government. It may yet receive an electoral reward of sorts but this campaign exposes the desperation and bankruptcy of an unreconstructed Labor Party. It is a siren signal for federal Labor that won’t necessarily be heard.
Labor talks endlessly about reform but seems incapable of any decisive break from its structure and culture. Its campaign against Liberal Premier Mike Baird’s electricity privatisation is one of the most dishonest in any election in decades. The unions are both an asset and brand poison…
Labor as a governing force looks outdated, ill-equipped and hostage to entrenched interests…
Labor looks like a party that has learnt little from the failures of the Rudd-Gillard era. It is better suited to campaigning from opposition than governing from the Treasury benches. 
===

Sick leave notes found in dead co-pilot’s home

Andrew Bolt March 28 2015 (7:28am)

More on one of the worst mass murderers in recent history:

GERMAN prosecutors revealed the “significant discovery” made at Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz’s home was a sick note for the day of the crash.
The shocking evidence came from the search of Lubitz’s homes, in two German cities, for an explanation of why he deliberately crashed the Airbus A320 into the French Alps.
Prosecutors found “torn-up and current sick leave notices” in Lubitz’s home, suggesting he was receiving medical treatment but hid his illness from his employer and colleagues.
While investigators did not specify what illness Lubitz had, German media reports he needed ongoing assessments for severe depression, BBC reports…
Authorities did not find a “suicide note or a confession”, or any evidence that the co-pilot’s actions may have been motivated by “a political or religious background”.
===

Hand Michael Caton a mirror

Andrew Bolt March 28 2015 (7:12am)

Michael Caton is a TV actor. Yet he tells NSW voters reject a Liberal MP who’s ”never seen a camera he doesn’t like”.

This occurs in a TV ad that is as hysterically alarmist about coal seam gas as Caton’s ad for Labor’s carbon tax was hysterically alarmist about global warming - and factually wrong.
(Via Tim Blair.) 
===

The Age goes witchhunting

Andrew Bolt March 28 2015 (6:56am)

The Australian’s Cut&Paste captures brilliantly the loathing of the Left - its no-sweat morality, in which a superior virtue is attained simply by vilifying everyone else:
The Age website getting down to business yesterday: 
Face it, you’re racist
And:

Why are Australia’s TV ads so white?
Also:

Sexist “holidays” that need to go
Just to be on the safe side:

13 times celebs brilliantly called out gender inequality
Look, you’re probably ignorant, too:

Ten great whiskies you’ve never heard of
Let’s face it, you’re just doing everything wrong:
Here is what really runs through a mother’s mind when you ask her this unhelpful question and what you can say instead.
UPDATE
The sensitivity brigade has an odd way of protesting what it assumes are offensive jokes at the Melbourne Comedy Festival:
Devlin said she then decided to slide off her seat under the table as a silent protest.
===

Abbott’s latest change: adding Nutt to balance Credlin

Andrew Bolt March 28 2015 (6:34am)

This is the kind of compromise that I’ve long suggested - and which was decided last month:
Tony Nutt may move back to Tony Abbott’s office after NSW election.
A final decision has not been taken on whether Mr Nutt will return to the Prime Minister’s office but Fairfax Media has confirmed with multiple sources that discussions about the move have taken place at the highest levels of government.
It is unclear what title Mr Nutt would be given but many in government expect he would perform the same job he performed for former prime minister John Howard - that of principal private secretary and political “fixer”.
Such a move would not necessitate Ms Credlin leaving the Prime Minister’s office - as some have urged - but would be seen as an attempt to address perceptions that power is too centralised.
At the same time, Ms Credlin - who has kept a low profile since the failed spill motion amid concerns about her iron grip on decision making processes within government - has in recent weeks been engaged in a charm offensive that has seen her reaching out to MPs to listen to their policy concerns…
The appointment of Mr Nutt, said the MP who is one of many MPs aware discussions are under way, would provide a “second conduit to the boss [Mr Abbott]”.
But Nutt’s appointment is only half the answer. How it is made to work is the rest. As I noted in February:

Yes, Credlin has been too dominant and too noticeably so. Yes, the Prime Minister should have more sources of advice - and a contest of ideas - at the very heart of his office.  And yes, some of Credlin’s critics (but far from all) want Abbott to sack her so they can then pounce and call her a mere scapegoat for Abbott’s own failures. She will just be their entree.
So I’ll repeat the suggestion I have been giving since last year. It is a compromise that doesn’t just take the heat off Credlin but makes Abbott’s office stronger.
Abbott should appoint at least one more person, every bit as senior and as trusted as Credlin, as his political or communications guru - the kind of intimate confidant that Peter Barron and Geoff Walsh were to Bob Hawke....
Critics say Credlin would never accept a rival to her power. But she is highly intelligent. I am sure she knows changes must be made - and signalled every day - if she is to save not just herself but the Prime Minister whose interests she serves.
Some Liberals MPs still fear Credlin won’t give Nutt space, and that this compromise won’t work until she’s gone. I’d say Credlin, Nutt and Abbott all know she must, and the proof will be in the practice and not the prediction.
In other words: just wait and see. 
UPDATE
Laurie Oakes thinks Nutt is a good get - and not one to be sidelined:

Nutt, who has held a range of important Liberal Party posts, was made NSW director last year to stabilise a branch rocked by fundraising scandals uncovered by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
He had earned enormous respect as prime minister John Howard’s troubleshooter and party liaison man. His most important role was as a conduit between the prime minister and the backbench.
Coalition MPs knew that, if they had a concern, telling Nutt about it was as good as talking to the PM direct. Howard would be briefed and action would be taken.
The lack of a similar system in the current Prime Minister’s Office — with chief of staff Peta Credlin tightly controlling all access and backbenchers kept at arm’s length — is a key reason the February spill motion gained such strong support.
News that Nutt might join the team trying to rebuild Abbott’s leadership has cheered Liberals, but it is not a done deal. Nutt worked in Abbott’s office briefly after the change of government, helping with transition arrangements, and some sources say it was not a happy experience.
They believe he would want firm guarantees of access to the PM and independence from Credlin before agreeing to return.
If he does report for duty in the new role, though, it will be another indication of Abbott getting his act together.
He will get some guarantees. It will be critical, though, that they are honoured.
(Thanks to reader John.) 
===

Labor cheats don’t prosper

Andrew Bolt March 28 2015 (6:03am)

How lovely if the hundreds of thousands of dollars of Labor and union ads telling lies about privatisation turn out to have actually cost votes:

The NSW Coalition government is set for an easy victory in today’s election, according to the latest Newspoll, with Labor support slipping.  The Liberal-­Nationals ­Coalition leads the ALP by 55 per cent to 45 per cent on a two-party-­preferred basis.
Such a result, if the swing were uniform, would see the government lose 17 seats…
Although this Newspoll is similar to the last, taken at the start of the campaign, it appears that Labor’s support has slipped slightly, despite a multi-million-dollar advertising blitz against privatisation of the electricity distribution networks.
Labor’s primary vote has slipped from 36 per cent to 34 per cent, while the government’s has risen one point to 44 per cent, suggesting the privatisation campaign has been ineffective, if not counterproductive.
UPDATE
But a caution - and yet another reminder that proportional representation and upper houses are making stable government very hard:
Mr Baird’s biggest challenge will be to win enough seats in the upper house to implement his­ sweeping agenda...
(I)f more than one minor or micro parties wins the balance of power in the upper house it could cruel the Coalition’s entire infrastructure agenda
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

===

===

===

===

===

===

===

===

===

===

===

===

===

===

===

===

===

===

===

===

===

===

=== Posts from last year ===

Lorded over by the left’s black knights

Piers Akerman – Thursday, March 27, 2014 (8:06pm)

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott’s quirky segue into the quaint realm of official orders caught many by surprise. But the howls of derision from the opposition benches and the usual clattering of Labor acolytes within the ABC and Fairfax media were as hypocritical as they were confected.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Lorded over by the left’s black knights'
===

MARCHERS ARE PEOPLE, TOO!

Tim Blair – Friday, March 28, 2014 (3:33am)

The Marchist movement, lately prominent at this site, has taken collective offence over perceived insults. The Marchers insist that they are normal and even able to work. In the interests of community harmony, here are several more Work on Wednesday snaps of our Marchie comrades, beginning with the Sullivan clan:
“We marched in march, worked on Wednesday, digging ditches, changing nappies and going to Uni and school. We marched for education, workers rights, the environment, NDIS, a fair go for refugees.The march in Melbourne was such a beautiful coming together of intelligent good hearted Australians!”

image 

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'MARCHERS ARE PEOPLE, TOO!'
===

Waleed Aly’s argument: fighting racism is racist. Even Martin Luther King is too white

Andrew Bolt March 28 2014 (11:01am)

I have had two articles banned after I mocked the retribalising of Australia - the absurd new “racial” divisions being forced on us. It is bizarre that arguments against racism are now being denounced as racist.
But today The Age runs an opinion piece arguing just that point - that resisting racial division is itself racist. This is Orwell meeting Kafka.
In it Waleed Aly argues against the Abbott Government’s proposal to reform the Racial Discrimination Act so comments are judged by the standards of the “ordinary reasonable member of the Australian community”:
And what race is this hypothetical “ordinary reasonable member of the Australian community” meant to be, exactly? If you answered that they have no particular race, then you’ve just given the whitest answer possible. It’s the answer that assumes there is such a thing as racial neutrality. Of course, only white people have the chance to be neutral because in our society only white is deemed normal; only whiteness is invisible.
I’m astonished. Aly is arguing that those of us who say we should have a colour-blind view of the “ordinary reasonable member of the Australian community” are actually racist, blind to anyone not white themselves. We are “too white”, even if some of those holding this position are not white at all. Aly says we must instead see everyone not as individuals but representatives of some “race”. To judge people by their “race” or “whiteness” is now the only way not to be racist. Dead is the argument of Martin Luther King that we should believe “all men are brothers” and create “a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”. Did King give “the whitest answer possible” in dreaming of “racial neutrality”?
Aly’s argument also relies on an offensive stereotype that any judge, magistrate. human rights commissioner or jury member being asked to consider the views of the “ordinary reasonable member of the Australian community” is either white (and therefore blind to other “races") or simply racist, and unable to conceive of any “normal” construct of Australian identity which isn’t “white”.  This is not only false, but arguably racist, assuming a lack of insight in whites that I suspect Aly credits in himself as a “non-white”.

Then there are the double standards and claims for race-based privileges in argument.  Aly has been given jobs on the ABC, Channel 10 and Monash University, as well as book contracts and columns in The Age, yet is very good at telling “white people” whether they should or shouldn’t argue back:
This matters because – if I may speak freely – plenty of white people (even ordinary reasonable ones) are good at telling coloured people what they should and shouldn’t find racist, without even the slightest awareness that they might not be in prime position to make that call.
To judge how offensive and racialist that statement is, try another equally unacceptable formulation: “Plenty of black people (even ordinary reasonable ones) are good at telling white people what they should and shouldn’t find offensive, without even the slightest awareness that they might not be in prime position to make that call.”

Excuse me, but how about we just deal with people’s arguments, and not judge those arguments by the colour of the person making them?
Instead, we are being retribalised along spurious “racial” lines, reduced to racial caricatures and robbed of our freedom and right to protest.  
===

On the Bolt Report on Sunday

Andrew Bolt March 28 2014 (10:47am)

On the show on Sunday: Who are these people telling you what you can’t say and can’t hear?
Guests Anthony Dillon, who identifies as “part Aboriginal”, Judith Sloan and former NSW Treasurer Michael Costa.
So much to tackle: is Bronwyn Bishop the victim of misogyny? How bad was the Government’s last week? Where does Labor get off, lecturing on Budget deficits?
In NewsWatch, the great Gerard Henderson on how newspapers are refusing to help police catch certain suspects.
Plus Your Say, and a question: which of these two parties would you go to? And subsidise?
On Network 10 at 10am and 4pm.

The videos of the shows appear here.
===

Are Jews really safer if Afroz Ali gets his way with me?

Andrew Bolt March 28 2014 (7:57am)

I would ask my Jewish friends, especially those fighting Tony Abbott’s free speech reforms, to interpret Afroz Ali’s warning correctly - as a plea for laws to muzzle those who have warned against the rise of Islamist extremism:
A WESTERN Sydney imam believes the Abbott government’s proposed repeal of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act will create a situation that favours Jews and discriminates against indigenous Australians and other minority groups. 
Afroz Ali, the president of the al-Ghazzali Centre for Islamic Sciences and Human Development and founding member of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, warned on his Facebook page yesterday that Tony Abbott and Attorney-General George Brandis were trying to “have their racist ways to protect prejudiced sophists like Andrew Bolt and such ilk of hate-speech spreaders”. He cautioned that if 18C was repealed, it would become “illegal to make any hate speech against Jews, but fully legal to make hate speech against the indigenous people of Australia, for example, and get away with it as an excuse of ‘freedom of speech’ “.
Jewish community leaders should consider: if I am to be muzzled by someone like Afroz,moderate though he may be said to be, are they safer or more exposed?
As they consider this, here’s some positions Afroz has taken which I would need my free speech to criticise:
A MUSLIM leader and outspoken opponent of female genital mutilation saysfemale circumcision, which he defines as the partial removal of the clitoral hood, is not only an utterly distinct practice, but the “divinely ordained right of a woman” under Islam… Imam Afroz defines female circumcision and female genital mutilation as “two very different, and unrelated, kinds of acts; the former being permissible and the latter completely forbidden under Islamic law”.
Another:
The sickest part of this tyrannical coin is that there have already been thousands of ordinary Palestinians murdered on their own lands by Israel. The other side of this coin is that the Governments of the USA and Australia, consider the citizens of this world to be idiots, that the citizens do not recognise truth…  
The only plan USA, Israel and Australia want to remember is their plan - self interest. The causes of the continuing war and loss of lives in the Middle East is a taboo topic… Retaliations and self-defence of the Palestinians are now labelled as terrorist, whilst state-terror and genocide is promoted as “Israel’s right to defend itself”. The evil in the leadership of these countries is bringing this world to an abyss… As citizens of this world, it is a most crucial responsibility upon us that a handful of a few must not take the rest of humanity into that abyss, full of evil, that the likes of Hitler once did. 
On al Qaeda:
Al Qaeda as a group is a very mysterious group. It seems to me only the American Government knows much about it… Having said that, whatever the classification for al Qaeda is, that there is a militant body out there which is in fact reacting to very high levels of imperialism, very high levels of natural resources grab in different parts of the world and also without a doubt a political and ideological fight which comes out of all of that.
UPDATE
Free speech is the best defence to bad speech:
Professor [James] Allan said there were no hate speech laws in the US and it was a destination of choice for minority groups around the world… 
Professor Allan said that “in the long run, letting people rip is the best protection for minority groups”.
He added that by silencing people, “it doesn’t get rid of the problem, it drives it underground, it turns them into martyrs, it’s very short-term thinking"…
Indigenous man Wesley Aird, a former member of John Howard’s indigenous advisory council, said he supported free speech, arguing legislation would never stop racism. 
“I am in favour of free speech and firmly of the view that no amount of legislation can stop idiots saying stupid things,” Mr Aird said.
UPDATE
Graham Richardson sees no reason for the Government to change the law:
Many observers, including some senior cabinet ministers, see this reform as a reaction to the court verdict against Andrew Bolt. I have never quite understood why the Bolt case ever got as far as a courtroom.
But, Graham, just to say the case shouldn’t have got that far does not address the problem. The case did and even succeeded. So what do you think of the law permitting that? Do we reform it to prevent such cases or do we just accept the overreach?
Richardson adds: 
During the past couple of decades, most of the problems associated with allegations of racism received only moderate media interest and disappeared into the labyrinthine corridors of the Human Rights Commission, never to be heard of again.
The fact that cases “disappeared” in the Human Rights Commission to be resolved in near secret does not mean that justice was done. It is very likely that some accused people simply did not have the money or heart to fight false claims. Is Richardson absolutely certain that not one of these cases involved innocent people paying “go-away” money to avoid being unfairly branded a bigot? Is he certain justice is really being done in every case?
The complainant, who is of Vietnamese and Chinese origin, ... alleged that a co-worker made offensive race-based comments to him such as “chink” and “gook”. He claimed that this co-worker also gave him ninja stars made from discarded metal. The complainant said he found this behaviour offensive as it implied that all Vietnamese people carry knifes. The complainant claimed that his employment was terminated after he made an internal complaint. The co-worker denied the allegations. The company said the complainant’s employment was terminated because of his performance and unexplained absences from work. The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company would pay the complainant $2,000 general damages… 
The complainant, who is of African origin, was employed as a store person in a supermarket. He claimed that the manager made race-based comments to him and reduced his shifts. He said that after an argument with this manager, he was told to leave the store and his employment was subsequently terminated. The respondent denied race discrimination and said the complainant was suspended because of inappropriate behaviour. The complaint was resolved on the basis of payment of $6,000 general damages…

The complainant who is African American, was employed on a casual basis with the respondent retail company. The complainant claimed that he was not afforded the same work opportunities as other employees and that his colleagues made adverse comments about his race and colour. The complainant said that eventually he was not offered further work. The respondent denied discrimination and said that the complainant had stopped turning up for his shifts. The ... matter was resolved with the respondent agreeing to pay the complainant $5,000 in general damages…

The complainant, who is from El Salvador, alleged she was harassed and bullied by a co-worker during her employment with the respondent religious organisation. The complainant said she raised her concerns with management and was told “you are being too emotional - this is because you are from South America”. The complainant’s position was subsequently made redundant and she alleged that this constituted racial discrimination… The organisation denied that comments connected to the complainant’s ethnic background were made as alleged. The organisation said the redundancy was due to a genuine restructure. The complaint was resolved with ...  $3,000 financial compensation.
The complainant, who is from India and of Hindu religion, was employed by the respondent child care organisation.... The complainant alleged that during her employment, she was performance managed because she was from a non-English speaking background and was treated differently than other staff who were not of her race and religion. She also claimed that the organisation failed to accommodate her carer’s responsibilities. The respondent denied that the complainant was treated differently to other employees and said that clients had raised concerns about the complainant’s communication skills and there were other performance issues. The respondent said the complainant was provided with work to coincide with her availability.... The respondent agreed to provide the complainant with ... $7,500.

The complainant, who is of Indian origin, claimed she was forced to resign from her employment as a customer service officer after four months. She claimed she was the only Indian employee with the respondent company and she alleged colleagues made derogatory comments about her and implied that she could not speak English properly. The complainant also claimed that her probation period was unfairly extended and she was performance managed due to her race. The respondent company denied discrimination and said the complainant was not its only employee of Indian origin. The company said the complainant was occasionally difficult to understand but denied she was treated negatively because of this. The company said the complainant’s probation was extended for performance reasons… The complaint resolved in conciliation with an agreement that the company would pay the complainant $5,000. 
===

Rice accuses weary Obama of letting trouble fill his “vacuum”

Andrew Bolt March 28 2014 (7:34am)

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accuses “weary” Barack Obama of giving in to trouble:
“Right now, there’s a vacuum,” she told a crowd of more than two thousand attending the National Republican Congressional Committee’s annual dinner… 
“There’s a vacuum because we’ve decided to lower our voice. We’ve decided to step back. We’ve decided that if we step back and lower our voice, others will lead, other things will fill that vacuum.” Citing Bashar al Assad’s slaughter in Syria, Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, al Qaeda’s triumphant return to Fallujah, Iraq, and China’s nationalist fervor, she concluded: “When America steps back and there is a vacuum, trouble will fill that vacuum.”
Rice ...  mocked the naïve hope that “international norms” would fill the vacuum left by U.S. retreat and blasted the president for hiding behind the weariness of the public. 
“I fully understand the sense of weariness. I fully understand that we must think: ‘Us, again?’ I know that we’ve been through two wars. I know that we’ve been vigilant against terrorism. I know that it’s hard. But leaders can’t afford to get tired. Leaders can’t afford to be weary.” 
===

We are not a nation of tribes. Free speech is for us all to use and defend

Andrew Bolt March 27 2014 (4:58pm)

Free speech

 Senator Scott Ryan gives a great speech on free speech.

Senator RYAN (Victoria—Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education) (16:30):  I have said before that I am a first amendment type of guy. I have long admired the American culture that values freedom of speech as a critical, non-negotiable and—I think even more importantly—virtually un-conditional component of a free society. Senator Wong talks about people being attacked. I should probably declare at this point that I am a longstanding member and a former research fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs. What we have heard from the other side of this chamber—and from my good friend, Senator Cameron, who has just left—over and over again is the vilification of people merely by virtue of the institute at which they work. There is a reason why the Greens and the ALP hate the Institute of Public Affairs—it is because it is not part of their public sector mentality. It challenges the precepts that they put up, and it cannot be bowed by the fact that it is not on the public sector drip, the way they wish all civil society was.
What we have just heard from Senator Wong and what we have heard constantly from those opposite, including the Greens, relies on a profound misunderstanding of what our society is. They seem to view our rights, particularly our right to speech and our right to discuss—our right to participate in democracy and in a free flow of ideas—as coming to us via a licence from politicians or judges. They seem to think that, somehow, the laws in this place determine what we are allowed and not allowed to say. That is a profound misrepresentation of our constitutional and legal history. It is only in recent times that there have been such limits on things like speech. This is a profound fissure in what we view as the role of the state, and what we view as the role of the government and its relationship with the citizens of this country. Senator Wong accused Senator Brandis of celebrating the rights of bigots. What I will say is that I condemn the bigot, but I celebrate the rights of every citizen. And that is important, because a commitment to freedom of speech only really counts when it is tested. A commitment to freedom of speech only really counts when it comes to defending something you profoundly and viscerally disagree with—and that is where my commitment to free speech lies.
It is not about the public funding of artists. I do not have to fund someone to support their right to say something. There is a profound difference between the allocation of taxpayers’ resources to give someone the right to do something, and the question of whether or not they are allowed to say something. I will defend the right of someone to speak, but that does not entail and should not be confused with the idea that I should resource them to speak.
We have heard the constant complaints of those opposite over the last 48 hours about ethnic community leaders, multicultural community leaders, and their views on this particular proposal. I said at the start that I was a first amendment type of person: I view the proposal put up by the government and Senator Brandis in the exposure draft as a compromise. I accept that my views are not typical of all those in this place, or indeed all those in this country, in supporting a very strong and almost unlimited commitment to freedom of speech. The problem I have is that those opposite seem to see us as a nation of tribes; as a nation where self-declared leaders of communities—communities defined by race—should somehow should have a special place in the consideration of legislation that any other Australian citizen should not. Every Australian’s view has an equal standing in this place—every Australian’s view, no matter what community they declare themselves to be from; whether it be one or many; and whether or not they declare themselves to be leaders of communities. The elected bodies in this country are the elected representatives of the Australian people. We don’t believe in a corporatist society, or in one where there are a series of tribes where, somehow, some people have more rights than others. 
The ALP and the Greens seek to define this as a debate about racism when it is not. It is a debate profoundly about speech, its limits, and the role of governments, politicians and judges in limiting the rights of our fellow citizens to express ideas. How is it our role to empower certain people in Australia, in this case judges under the current law, to determine whether another opinion is arrived at or expressed in good faith? That is the current provision in section 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act. What happened to Andrew Bolt was that a court said that his opinion was not expressed in good faith. It did not just ban the expression of that opinion; it banned its re-publication. It had to declare an Orwellian moment—that it never happened.
Icon Arrow Continue reading 'We are not a nation of tribes. Free speech is for us all to use and defend'
===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


===


======
Craig Kelly
TIM FLANNERY SHOULD BE SACKED. 

Tim Flannery is paid a reported $180,000 by the Australian taxpayer.

His comments ridiculing people suffering health effects from wind turbines, by saying their illness may be caused by stress or being "sick with envy" for not getting payment for turbines on their properties – as an absolute disgrace.

His comments ridiculing ill Australians that have been forced to abandon their homes because of ultrasound from wind turbines is disgusting, appalling and demonstrates a complete ignorance – and that he is completely unfit to hold such highly paid taxpayer funded job.

Here's a chance for the PM to show some leadership – she should sack Mr. Flannery, today.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/tim-flannery-derides-wind-farm-sickness/story-e6frg8y6-1226608010097

===

Wireless could make NBN clueless

Andrew Bolt March 28 2013 (4:54am)

Already running over-time, over-budget and under-subscribed, the $37 billion NBN gamble is now even more likely to become our greatest white elephant. And it’s for the very reason that even the techno-clueless consumers have said from the start: who wants to be tethered to a wire in the wall?
THE company building the National Broadband Network, already under fire for running late, has admitted it faces rising competition from wireless networks offering improved services and prices
NBN Co has conceded its own modelling finds that if it increases prices by the maximum it expects to be allowed by regulators, the number of wireless-only premises will rise to 30 per cent by 2039-40 because affordability is such a significant factor for households…
A Labor-commissioned report by corporate advisers Greenhill Caliburn in 2011 warned that the growing popularity of wireless internet could have a “significant” impact on the economics.

Now a senior NBN Co executive has said: “NBN Co faces competition from wireless networks that are increasing in capability over time, subject to significant economies of scale and scope (and therefore, decreasing cost per gigabyte delivered), and are expected to offer a potential substitute for NBN Co’s voice-only and entry-level voice and broadband services.”
===

Gillard’s backfire: divide and be conquered

Andrew Bolt March 28 2013 (5:13am)

Niki Savva on a Prime Minister determined to divide the nation as she has her own party:

Crean, Martin Ferguson, Bill Kelty and others expressed their repugnance at tactics unworthy of leaders… 
On Monday when Gillard was asked about class warfare and the criticisms, she replied: “My focus is on Australian classrooms and what happens in them, and that’s at the centre of Australian political life and the life of our nation.”
How cute was that? How clever to turn class war into classroom. Too cute and too clever, really.
On Tuesday when the ABC’s Sabra Lane asked again about class warfare, Gillard responded by seeking a definition of it, as if she could explain away or excuse what she and the Treasurer had been doing by reducing it to an exercise in semantics.
Those who had been listening knew exactly what they were hearing: an attempt to pit people against one another on the basis of class, or sex, or race as in the case of foreign workers, for base political gain… 
The tactics of divide and rule will work about as well in the electorate as they do inside Labor.
Gillard’s problem is that her entire election strategy for at least a year has been to appeal to single-interest groups and the aggrieved by picking fights with their “enemies”. How is she to stop now? What can she replace that with? The real, real, real Julia?
UPDATE
That class-war talk hasn’t exactly mobilised the Labor base as intended. A third of Labor’s Queensland members haven’t bothered to renew their cut-price memberships:
In a leaked internal ALP memo, Queensland state secretary Anthony Chisholm this week pleaded to the “true believers” to lean on 2000 members who have yet to renew their memberships. 
“We need every single one of these 2000 members in order take the fight to Tony Abbott in September, and to Campbell Newman in 2014,” he said in the memo. “And we can’t do it without you.” It follows a recruitment drive in September last year with Labor cutting sign-up fees to $5 after membership of the Queensland division fell to around 5000 rank-and-file.
UPDATE
The politics of division sure hasn’t done much for Labor itself. Graham Richardson:
This week’s Newspoll in The Australian was totally in line with everybody’s expectations… The 16-point gap in the two-party-preferred vote was something even most Gillard supporters would have expected to see. It was the price they were prepared to pay to stop the man they despise so much. It is such a tragedy that Rudd is the most hated figure in the caucus. In 40 years of close study, I have never seen a hatred this toxic.
===

Tell me when Labor’s ready to talk about its dead

Andrew Bolt March 28 2013 (6:45am)

Boat people policy
IT’S always “too soon” to talk about the boat people lured to their deaths by Labor.
Two years ago, when 50 boat people drowned off Christmas Island, I said the Government had “blood on its hands” for having dismantled our tough border laws.
Greens leader Bob Brown was livid: “Andrew Bolt’s call, while bodies were still in the ocean, for Julia Gillard’s resignation ... lacked human decency. He should resign.”
This week, it was again too soon.
(Read full article here.)
UPDATE
Even running out of money to deter boat people:
Asylum seeker families could be released into the community on bridging visas to relieve pressure on an overwhelmed budget and a border protection system struggling against an unprecedented surge in arrivals.
But money enough to tell boat people this is a land of plenty that’s free, free, free:
A PREGNANT asylum seeker deemed a security risk by ASIO was offered free domestic help and childcare while another detainee has had drooping eyelids fixed by taxpayers. 
An array of non urgent medical treatment provided to detainees has been revealed including a suspected war criminal who had his impacted wisdom teeth removed at no cost to him.
(Thanks to reader CA.) 
===
Three Mile Island nuclear power plant
===
“My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.” - Psalm 62:7
===
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Then all the disciples forsook him and fled."
Matthew 26:56
He never deserted them, but they in cowardly fear of their lives, fled from him in the very beginning of his sufferings. This is but one instructive instance of the frailty of all believers if left to themselves; they are but sheep at the best, and they flee when the wolf cometh. They had all been warned of the danger, and had promised to die rather than leave their Master; and yet they were seized with sudden panic, and took to their heels. It may be, that I, at the opening of this day, have braced up my mind to bear a trial for the Lord's sake, and I imagine myself to be certain to exhibit perfect fidelity; but let me be very jealous of myself, lest having the same evil heart of unbelief, I should depart from my Lord as the apostles did. It is one thing to promise, and quite another to perform. It would have been to their eternal honour to have stood at Jesus' side right manfully; they fled from honour; may I be kept from imitating them! Where else could they have been so safe as near their Master, who could presently call for twelve legions of angels? They fled from their true safety. O God, let me not play the fool also. Divine grace can make the coward brave. The smoking flax can flame forth like fire on the altar when the Lord wills it. These very apostles who were timid as hares, grew to be bold as lions after the Spirit had descended upon them, and even so the Holy Spirit can make my recreant spirit brave to confess my Lord and witness for his truth.
What anguish must have filled the Saviour as he saw his friends so faithless! This was one bitter ingredient in his cup; but that cup is drained dry; let me not put another drop in it. If I forsake my Lord, I shall crucify him afresh, and put him to an open shame. Keep me, O blessed Spirit, from an end so shameful.

Evening

"And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
Matthew 15:27
This woman gained comfort in her misery by thinking great thoughts of Christ. The Master had talked about the children's bread: "Now," argued she, "since thou art the Master of the table of grace, I know that thou art a generous housekeeper, and there is sure to be abundance of bread on thy table; there will be such an abundance for the children that there will be crumbs to throw on the floor for the dogs, and the children will fare none the worse because the dogs are fed." She thought him one who kept so good a table that all that she needed would only be a crumb in comparison; yet remember, what she wanted was to have the devil cast out of her daughter. It was a very great thing to her, but she had such a high esteem of Christ, that she said, "It is nothing to him, it is but a crumb for Christ to give." This is the royal road to comfort. Great thoughts of your sin alone will drive you to despair; but great thoughts of Christ will pilot you into the haven of peace. "My sins are many, but oh! it is nothing to Jesus to take them all away. The weight of my guilt presses me down as a giant's foot would crush a worm, but it is no more than a grain of dust to him, because he has already borne its curse in his own body on the tree. It will be but a small thing for him to give me full remission, although it will be an infinite blessing for me to receive it." The woman opens her soul's mouth very wide, expecting great things of Jesus, and he fills it with his love. Dear reader, do the same. She confessed what Christ laid at her door, but she laid fast hold upon him, and drew arguments even out of his hard words; she believed great things of him, and she thus overcame him. She won the victory by believing in Him. Her case is an instance of prevailing faith; and if we would conquer like her, we must imitate her tactics.
===

Today's reading: Judges 1-3, Luke 4:1-30 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Judges 1-3

Israel Fights the Remaining Canaanites
After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, "Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Canaanites?"
2 The LORD answered, "Judah shall go up; I have given the land into their hands."
3 The men of Judah then said to the Simeonites their fellow Israelites, "Come up with us into the territory allotted to us, to fight against the Canaanites. We in turn will go with you into yours." So the Simeonites went with them....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 4:1-30

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness
1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread."
4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone.'"
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours."
8 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only....'"
===
There is no new Lent reading today; today is a catch-up day. If you've kept up with the daily readings so far, congratulations! If you've fallen behind, here are the readings from the last week in case you want to go back and catch up:

Monday: 
Matthew 25-26
Tuesday: Matthew 27-28
Wednesday: Mark 1-3
Thursday: Mark 4-6
Friday: Mark 7-9
Saturday: Mark 10-12