Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thu Apr 20th Todays News

IPA Review April 2017 has an article on Seeding Prosperity by Darcy Allen reviewing A culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy by Joel Mokyr. Libertarians like talking of the church science schism during the reformation as if it predated it. However the Church fostered learning and education in pre renaissance times, and was responsible for the renaissance beginning. But putting the anti religious meme aside, practice leads to improvements and must be embraced, even though radicals like to reflexively throw out everything except what they treasure. Conservatism is a measured walk, whereas Libertarians are desperate to claim things through re-labelling. The Republic of Letters was an international expression of what used to occur in universities before they collapsed into their safe places. The printing press allowed mass produced books. Australia can learn from this. Instead of embracing Turnbull's empty symbolism, as Libertarians did in rejecting Tony Abbott, Australia needs to bravely embrace low government, low regulation ideals that allow business to prosper. Because it is ok for businesses to be profitable and to want to grow. 

Some things should not happen, but they do. Bill O'Reilly has been booted from Fox. No good reason is being circulated, but there are dark mutterings of sexual matters. Many left wing news outlets have campaigned against O'Reilly, partly for his opposition to abortion being a lifestyle choice. Because famous pro choice advocates have killed women and raped minors without censure from left wing papers. It is said that the campaign hit sponsors. I hope O'Reilly sues someone and gets $billions.  

I am very good and don't deserve 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 From the passing of Arthur

Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, FRS (6 August 1809 -- 6 October 1892), much better known as "Alfred, Lord Tennyson," was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular poets in the English language.




=== from 2016 ===
After nine years unemployment, it was great to have a full days work. Working commission only, I made two possible sales which might have got me $200 for the full day. I'm told that some days people get none, others they might get six or more. I got up at 5am for a 7am exit. The bus journey was ok, but the train journey from Dandenong to Flagstaff was horrible. Standing room only. Similarly at the return at the end of the day. Trains going elsewhere had empty seats. But Pakenham line seems underserviced for her need. It is a Dan Andrews planning fail. The train drivers are paid more, but the service is poor. Maybe if that road was built there wouldn't be such congestion? My day finishes about 9pm when I complete my writing and help students who ask for it. 5 am start tomorrow. Let's make it a day with six sales. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
On this day in 1534, Jacques Cartier began the voyage in which he would discover Canada and Labrador, forever inflating Quebec's self importance. In 1535, Stockholm demonstrated a sun dog experience, showing the Earth is like Tatooine (I tried to explain to my first girlfriend I was a moisture farmer, but she hadn't seen Star Wars). In 1653, Oliver Cromwell dissolved the Rump Parliament. The Rump Parliament had formed from the Long Parliament during the civil war. It was about half the members of the Long Parliament because it didn't include those who might have opposed the execution of Charles I. But it was still independent of Cromwell and attempted things he didn't like. The Rump was populist, bringing in death for incest and freedom of religion by not forcing everyone to worship at an Anglican Church. In 1657, Freedom of religion was granted to Jews in New Amsterdam, now New York. In 1752 in Burma (Myanmar), the Konbaung–Hanthawaddy War started, resulting in Konbaung having control from the the former Hanthawaddy. The Burmese speaking Konbaung eventually won on the 6th of may, 1757. The language of the Hanthawaddy was Mon. In 1775, the Siege of Boston began. In 1792, revolutionary France began fighting other nations. In 1861, Robert E Lee resigned his commission in the Union army so as to lead the Confederates. In 1862, Pasteur and Bernard disproved Aristotle's two thousand year old theory that maggots grew from dead flesh or dust, or that creatures spontaneously generated from other creatures. Some disbelieved Pasteur, but luckily they didn't point to butterfly. In 1865, an Astronomer named Secchi created a measure for water clarity. In 1871, The US Government passed a civil rights act which opposed the KKK. It was signed into law by President US Grant. In 1876, the April Uprisings began, resulting in Bulgaria coming into being. The Ottoman atrocities against all minorities had caused the revolt. The atrocities persisted in Turkey. In 1884, the ridiculous association that atheists claimed with modern thought resulted in papal opposition to modern thought with the Humanum Genus Encyclical. 

In 1902, Pierre and Marie Curie refined Radium Chloride. In 1908, Australian Rugby League began. In 1918, Baron Von Richtofen shot down his last two victims, number 79 and 80th, before being killed the following day. In 1926, Warner Bros and Western Electric announced Vitaphone as a process to put sound to film. In 1951, Dan Gavriliu performed the first surgical replacement of a human organ. In 1978, Korean air flight 902 was shot down by the Soviets. They had mistaken it for a NATO plane and shot at it, taking off part f a wing. The falling wing set off another Soviet alert with them thinking it was a missile. Two died in the tragedy. 107 lived as the pilots made a miraculous landing on ice. The Soviets rescued the survivors, but invoiced $100k South Korea for the catering expenses. In 1986, my distant cousin, Vladimir Horowitz played for the first time in 61 years in his native Russia. He was considered one of the greatest pianists of all time. 
From 2014
Today is the birthday of Miranda Kerr (1983), Shemar Moore (1970) and George Takei (1937). On this day in 1818, an old law was applied in the British murder case Ashford vs Thornton. Mary Ashford had gone home from a dance with Abraham Thornton. The next day she was found dead, having drowned in a pit with little signs of violence. Thornton was cleared of rape or murder, but Ashford's brother laid a civil suit against Thornton. So Thornton applied an old defence .. trial by battle. It was legal, but Mr Ashford declined to fight, and so Thornton was freed, emigrating to the US and dying in 1860. The trial by battle statute was abolished in 1819. in 1926, sound was introduced to movies, allowing the production of the Jazz Singer. 

On the same day in 1939, completely independent of each other, Billie Holiday recorded Strange Fruit while Adolph Hitler celebrated his 50th birthday. Billie did not know she had had a hit, but Hitler knew he needed incentives to celebrate, and declared a public holiday. Six years later, in another parallel, Hitler left his bunker for the last time, pinning medals on his youth movement, while twenty Jewish children used in medical experiments at Neuengamme were killed in the basement of the Bullenhuser Damm school. Strange fruit. In 1961, the Bay of Pigs invasion failed. In 1968, English politician Enoch Powell made his controversial Rivers of Blood speech. Enoch had a formidable intelligence, evenly matched with a latter day Pauline Hanson (perhaps I should explain .. he was a dolt). His populist view on migration, being without merit, is still recalled by racist bigots everywhere around the world. But it was too late, Pharaoh had already let the people go. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 1303, the Sapienza University of Rome was instituted by Pope Boniface VIII. 1453, three Genoese galleys and a Byzantine blockade runner fought their way through an Ottoman blockading fleet a few weeks before the fall of Constantinople. 1534, Jacques Cartier began the voyage during which he discovered Canada and Labrador. 1535, the Sun dogphenomenon observed over Stockholm and depicted in the famous painting Vädersolstavlan.

In 1653, Oliver Cromwell dissolved the Rump Parliament. 1657, admiral Robert Blakedestroyed a Spanish silver fleet under heavy fire at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Also 1657, Freedom of religion was granted to the Jews of New Amsterdam (later New York City). 1689, the former king, James II of England, now deposed, laid siege to Derry. 1752, start of Konbaung–Hanthawaddy War, a new phase in the Burmese Civil War (1740–57). 1770, the Georgian king, Erekle II, abandoned by his Russian ally Count Totleben, won a victory over Ottoman forces at Aspindza. 1775, American Revolutionary War: The Siege of Boston began, following the battles at Lexington and Concord. 1789, George Washington arrived at Grays Ferry, Philadelphia while en route to Manhattan for his inauguration 1792, France declared war against the "King of Hungary and Bohemia", the beginning of French Revolutionary Wars.

In 1800, the Septinsular Republic was established. 1809, two Austrian army corps in Bavaria were defeated by a First French Empire army led by Napoleon I of France at the Battle of Abensberg on the second day of a four-day campaign that ended in a French victory. 1810, the Governor of Caracas declared independence from Spain. 1818, the case of Ashford v Thornton ended, with Abraham Thornton allowed to go free rather than face a retrial for murder, after his demand for trial by battle was upheld. 1828, René Caillié became the first non-Muslim to enter Timbouctou. 1836, U.S. Congress passed an act creating the Wisconsin Territory.

In 1861, American Civil WarRobert E. Lee resigned his commission in the United States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia. 1862, Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard completed the experiment falsifying the theory of spontaneous generation. 1865, astronomer Pietro Angelo Secchi demonstrated the Secchi disk, which measured water clarity, aboard Pope Pius IX's yacht, the L'Immaculata Concezion. 1871, the Civil Rights Act of 1871 became law. 1876, the April Uprising began. Its suppression shocked European opinion, and Bulgarian independence became a condition for ending the Russo-Turkish War. 1884, Pope Leo XIII published the encyclical Humanum genus.

In 1902, Pierre and Marie Curie refined radium chloride. 1908, opening day of competition in the New South Wales Rugby League. 1912, opening day for baseball's Tiger Stadium in DetroitMichigan, and Fenway Park in Boston. 1914, nineteen men, women, and children die in the Ludlow Massacre during a Colorado coal-miner's strike. 1916, the Chicago Cubs play their first game at Weeghman Park (currently Wrigley Field), defeating the Cincinnati Reds 7–6 in 11 innings. 1918, Manfred von Richthofen, a.k.a. The Red Baron, shot down his 79th and 80th victims, his final victories before his death the following day.

In 1922, the Soviet government created South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within Georgian SSR. 1926, Western Electric and Warner Bros. announce Vitaphone, a process to add sound to film. 1939, Adolf Hitler's 50th birthday was celebrated as a national holiday in Nazi Germany. Also 1939, Billie Holiday records the first civil rights song "Strange Fruit". 1945 World War II: US troops captured Leipzig, Germany, only to later cede the city to the Soviet Union. Also 1945, World War II: FührerbunkerAdolf Hitler made his last trip to the surface to award Iron Crosses to boy soldiers of the Hitler Youth. Also 1945, twenty Jewish children used in medical experiments at Neuengamme were killed in the basement of the Bullenhuser Damm school. 1946, the League of Nations officially dissolved, giving most of its power to the United Nations.

In 1951, Dan Gavriliu performed the first surgical replacement of a human organ. 1961, Failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion of US-backed Cuban exiles against Cuba. 1964, BBC Twolaunched with a power cut because of the fire at Battersea Power Station. 1968, English politician Enoch Powell made his controversial Rivers of Blood speech. 1972, Apollo 16, commanded by John Young, landed on the moon. 1978, Korean Air Lines Flight 902 was shot down by the Soviet Union. 1980, climax of Berber Spring in Algeria as hundreds of Berberpolitical activists were arrested. 1984, the Good Friday Massacre, an extremely violent ice hockey playoff game, was played in Montreal, Canada. 1985, the ATF raided The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord compound in northern Arkansas. 1986, Pianist Vladimir Horowitz performed in his native Russia for the first time in 61 years.

In 1998, German terrorist group the Red Army Faction announced their dissolution after 28 years. 1999, Columbine High School massacreEric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people and injured 21 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado. 2007, Johnson Space Center shooting: William Phillips with a handgunbarricaded himself in NASA's Johnson Space Center in HoustonTexas before killing a male hostage and himself. 2008, Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race. 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven workers and beginning an oil spill that would last six months. 2012, one hundred twenty-seven people were killed when a plane crashed in a residential area near the Benazir Bhutto International Airport near IslamabadPakistan. 2013, a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck Lushan CountyYa'an, in China's Sichuan province, killing more than 150 people and injuring thousands.
=== 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 gofund.me/27tkwuc
===
Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with AugustSeptemberOctober, 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 a free kindle version.

List of available items at Create Space
Happy birthday and many happy returns for Malyka, Dallas BeaufortAdrian Kuswendi and Langley Bui. Born on the same day, across the years. That day, in 1939, Billie Holliday recorded Strange fruit. May your compassion and love be bountiful.
Deaths
April 20Ridván begins at sunset (Bahá'í Faith); Patriots' Day in Maine and Massachusetts (2015); 4/20(cannabis culture)
Pierre Trudeau
You presented your list of grievances. We could trial by battle. Blame the unions. We have a new PM. We can swim in the deep. Let's party. 
===
Tim Blair

FACT-CHECKED BY A FOOTBALL TEAM

Even the sports coverage in the New York Times is loaded with fake news.
20 Apr  6 comments
===
Andrew Bolt

ON MY SHOW: ABC FAILS TURNBULL'S CITIZENSHIP TEST

On The Bolt Report on Sky at 7pm: Malcolm Turnbull sets a tough new citizenship test. The ABC fails it, showing where the real problem lies. Plus a preview from Paris on Sunday's French presidential election; Terry McCrann on whether it's time you sold your home and avoid a crash; and the Turnbull team smears Tony Abbott. 
20 Apr  0 comments
===

Who will care for Christian refugees?

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, April 20, 2016 (1:32am)

POPE Francis says it was merely a humanitarian “gesture” to invite three Syrian refugee families to live in the Vatican after he visited a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos last week. 
 Continue reading 'Who will care for Christian refugees?'
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Talk to the hand! Tanya feeds feminist fury

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, April 20, 2016 (1:30am)

THE bankruptcy of grievance feminism was on full display this week in the hysterical reaction to Tanya Plibersek missing out on a handshake from the Governor-General. Here we see women are only taken seriously when they are “victims”. 
 Continue reading 'Talk to the hand! Tanya feeds feminist fury'
===

Same-sex marriage: Totalitarian tolerance

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, April 20, 2016 (1:29am)

ALAN Joyce, the charming Irish-born Qantas boss, is doing a pretty good impersonation of an authoritarian dictator with his demands that corporate Australia promote same-sex marriage. Or else.
 Continue reading 'Same-sex marriage: Totalitarian tolerance'
===

BELIEVER DECEIVED

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 20, 2016 (7:52pm)

Fairfax’s Alan Stokes is underwhelmed by our great leader: 
For years I pushed Turnbull’s cause. Even suggested we float him on the stock exchange and get him to start a new party. Invented the Mal-o-meter to test how deep your love is for the seemingly great man.
That’s how desperate I was for a Turnbull prime ministership.
Now I wonder if I’ve been stupid or just conned. 
Tough call. A little from column A, a little from column B. 
But Turnbull can still win the election and even win back the doubters like me. A strong victory – say, doing much better than Gillard and losing only five seats or less – might give him the mandate to make the brave calls he’s been avoiding. That would allow him to win back younger voters, too.
With any luck it would also force Abbott to quit the house. With no Abbott, Bronwyn Bishop, Philip Ruddock and more, the new-generation Turnbull government would have arrived.
We can only hope. 
Stokes is hoping for the real Malcolm, whoever he imagines that to be.
===

BAKERY FAKERY

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 20, 2016 (3:36pm)

A shocking claim of cake-based homophobia in Austin, Texas:

Jordan Brown, purchaser of the cake, subsequently launched a lawsuit due to being “overwhelmed by the feelings of pain, anguish, and humiliation”. It soon emerged, however, that the hate cake was a total fraud. This bakery fakery is just the latest in a recent series of social justice warrior lies
Social Justice Warrior hoaxing is having a heyday. Whether you’re a multi-racial family surreptitiously spray-painting your own home with racist graffiti, a lesbian waitress writing fake anti-gay notes on receipts, an overweight teen falsely claiming a store clerk called you fat, or an activist sending yourself hateful tweets, never has the time been better to advance your cause using a bit of fakery. 
(Via Iowahawk, who notes: “A lie travels halfway around the organic produce aisle before the truth has a chance to fill its frosting bag.")
===

TRUMP UP, SANDERS DOWN

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 20, 2016 (1:58pm)

massive win for Donald Trump in New York:


And a big defeat for Bernie Sanders:


That result may be distressing for Fairfax’s Paul McGeough, who previously joined the bedazzled at a Sanders rally: 
Downtown, a bedazzled crowd estimated by the Sanders campaign to be 27,000, waited for hours on a chilly April afternoon to hear the rock band Vampire Weekend and actor Tim Robbins introduce Sanders in an iconic protest setting…
Observing Wednesday’s crowd in Washington Square revealed the excitement of being on the cusp of change … Sanders is a voice for millions of younger voters who sense they are being cut out of the American dream. 
reminder to McGeough: “One important takeaway from NYC in the Sanders numbers: Excitement and enthusiasm from big rally crowds often doesn’t mean much at vote time.”
===

OFFICIALLY NOT A RACIST

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 20, 2016 (2:54am)

For those of you who have never had to deal with a Human Rights Commission racism accusation, this is how the process works.
 Continue reading 'OFFICIALLY NOT A RACIST'
===

WHEN GLOBAL WARMING ARRIVED, part two

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 20, 2016 (2:44am)

Click here for part one. The story continues:
===

THEY CALL HIM BRUCE

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 20, 2016 (2:27am)

===

ONE WAHIB WITH GARLIC SAUCE, PLEASE

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 20, 2016 (2:17am)

The UK Metro reports: 
Feared Isis commander Abu Wahib was posing to show off his brand new military fatigues recently, painfully unaware he bore a striking resemblance to a doner kebab. 
(Via Dylan Kissane.) 
===

PERVERTS FOR EQUALITY

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 20, 2016 (2:03am)

In late 2015, the Washington State Human Rights Commission quietly put forward a new rule requiring all public establishments to grant locker room, shower, and bathroom access to any individual, at any time, regardless of that individual’s biological realities.
The rule, which also curbed concerned citizens’ legal ability to ask “unwelcome questions” of an individual if they felt uncomfortable, has since been attempted in various forms and fashions in cities and states across the country.
When the Charlotte, N.C. City Council passed their version of the open-facilities ordinance earlier this year, the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce led the charge to make it happen.
And leading the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce was convicted sex offender Chad Sevearance-Turner.
The Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported that Chad Sevearance-Turner had been a youth minister at a church in Gaffney, South Carolina.  Sevearance-Turner was charged and convicted for “committing or attempting a lewd act upon a child under 16,” after taking advantage of a teenage church member while the child slept.
He recently resigned from the LGBT Chamber of Commerce after his record as a sex-offender surfaced.
In related tolerance developments, Joseph Backholm speaks to various University of Washington students about identity issues:

===

Ugly deal reached over 60 Minutes farce

Andrew Bolt April 20 2016 (8:07pm)

How much with this deal cost Channel Nine?:
Ali Elamine’s lawyer Hussein Berjawi has confirmed to The Australian that the deal reached was for the immediate release of his estranged wife Sally Faulkner, but not for the remaining 60 Minutes crew or the two British members of the Child Abduction Recovery International firm. 
Negotiations with Channel Nine lawyers are ongoing.
I wouldn’t want to be the Channel Nine executives who will soon have to explain all this to chairman Peter Costello.
There is something very disturbing about this process though:
The developments are good news for Ms Faulkner, although she has conceded custody to Mr Elamine ...
How can this be acceptable for negotiations over the future of the children? To say to the mother that she must give up custody or rot in jail? 
===

Muslims rise in Sweden.  Left switches to Jew-hatred

Andrew Bolt April 20 2016 (1:02pm)

Sweden is, per capita, the most popular Western European country for Muslim immigrants:

Sweden, with a population of 9.5 million, annually received over 160,000 asylum applications and the country is expected to take as many as 190,000 refugees, or two per cent of the population, in 2016.
And its politicians of the Left are adopting the appropriate Jew-hatred.John Hinderaker:
In January, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom accused Israel of “extrajudicial executions” of Palestinians–apparently those who were in the act of perpetrating terrorist attacks–and called for an investigation. Yesterday, Sweden’s housing minister, Mehmet Kaplan, resigned after video emerged of him saying that “Israelis treat Palestinians in a way that is very like that in which Jews were treated during Germany in the 1930s.” 
To cap off the trifecta, earlier today Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister, Åsa Romson, came under fire for her comments on Kaplan’s resignation
Romson said: “He [Kaplan] has been chairman for Swedish Young Muslims in tough situations like around the September 11 accidents and similar.”
Ms. Romson refused to back down or retract her characterization of the September 11 attacks as “accidents.” She explained:
Romson later defended her comment, saying: “The ‘accident’ [of 9/11] is that we ended up with a very harsh debate on integration and how society grows with different religions side by side, and the discrimination that followed.”
So Romson belongs to the school that holds that the big problem with Islamic terrorism is that it might give people a bad impression of Islam.
A civilisation committing suicide. Right before your eyes. 
===

So much for that Cruz comeback

Andrew Bolt April 20 2016 (12:46pm)

A smashing win in New York for Donald Trump and a humiliation for Ted Cruz, who is fresh from winning a string of small states but came nowhere in one of the biggest:
A strong win for Clinton, too, and better than some expected:
Getting harder for Cruz:
Mr. Cruz now must compete in five East Coast states next Tuesday favorable to Mr. Trump—Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. But he is counting on winning enough delegates in May to deprive the front-runner of the majority needed to clinch the nomination outright on the first ballot at the GOP convention… 
Mr. Cruz’s supporters—and other anti-Trump Republicans—see their next big chance for a statewide win in Indiana on May 3 and Nebraska May 10. Both are more-conservative states with large evangelical populations. The Nebraska primary is closed, the kind of all-Republican contests that tend to favor Mr. Cruz over Mr. Trump, who has benefited in states that allow crossover voting by Democrats and independents.
Trump is right:
“We don’t have much of a race any more, based on what I’m seeing on television, Senator Cruz is just about mathematically eliminated,” Trump said.
UPDATE
Oops. Clinton fades as the vote count grows - and her delegate lead shrinks:
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Why do we have race police anyway?

Andrew Bolt April 20 2016 (9:02am)

Tim Blair is officially not a racist after the Human Rights Commission dismissed a false accusation from one of our more divisive race warriors. But why should we have laws and a Human Rights Commission that encourage such complaints and put so many people to such expense and worry to protect their reputation? 
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The extra price of an Adelaide sub: $7 billion

Andrew Bolt April 20 2016 (8:57am)

Is Labor - or the Turnbull Government, for that matter - really going to throw away $7 billion of our money just to buy off manufacturing unions and their members?
Confidential Defence analysis shows it will cost about 30 per cent more to build the new fleet of 12 submarines in Australia than to buy them directly from the shipyards of any of the three groups bidding for the massive naval project… 
Defence sources say the modelling assumes the total cost of the project is 30 per cent higher if built in Australia. That implies a premium of about $7bn above the cost of buying them from overseas.
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Andrews Government shows the price of Labor’s union links

Andrew Bolt April 20 2016 (8:45am)

The hard-Left firefighters’ union helped Labor to win the Victorian election and now wants its cut of taxpayers’ money. It even wants control over one of the great volunteer bodies - the Country Fire Authority:
CABINET is split over Premier ­Daniel Andrews’ push to capitulate to the United Firefighters Union and agree to a pay deal set to cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. 
And it can be revealed the chairs and chief executives of the state’s fire services wrote to the government in recent days warning against handing a veto power over CFA management decisions to the union…
Mr Andrews’ intervention to settle the bitter three-year pay and conditions war could see the union being given almost everything it has asked for… 

A 19 PER CENT pay rise with a $3000 signing-on bonus; SEVEN paid firefighters to attend every CFA-area fire ground, no matter how small; 
A CONSULTATIVE committee that will allow the union to veto management decisions; 
A 15 PER CENT daily loading for all firefighters who have to work alongside contractors.
Labor’s union links are a menace to taxpayers. What happens in Victoria is a sign of what a federal Labor Government could do again, too. 
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Yet more bank regulation that will cost

Andrew Bolt April 20 2016 (8:30am)

The Turnbull Government tries to head of the populist calls for a royal commission into a banks that Labor is irresponsibly whipping up:
The corporate regulator faces sweeping structural changes to address “material gaps”, an “unsustainable” future and excessive reaction to “public scandal” as the Coalition starts the election campaign fending off demands for a royal commission into banks. 
Cabinet has approved sweeping changes for the Australian ­Securities & Investments Commission, overhauling its management, taking it outside the Public Service, reshaping its strategic outlook and ensuring it has the ­resources to keep up with technologically driven threats to financial consumers.
A panel of inquiry found that ASIC’s strategy for dealing with material harm or potential risk was “not sustainable” and that there was a “much greater than expected” gap in expectations about what the financial regulator did and what it was capable of doing. It also questioned whether the “perception” of underfunding for ASIC was “well founded”.
The IPA’s Chris Berg warns:
Now control of the economy has been delegated to arms-length independent regulators. They oversee vast regulatory regimes that create uncertainty and impose heavy costs, while at the same time doing nothing to satisfy the anti-corporate populists who imagine that industries like banking have been left up to the “free market”. 
Take, for instance, the complaint last week in the Sydney Morning Herald by Allan Fels - himself a former regulator - that ASIC has failed to be the “tough cop” on the corporate beat because it has been too eager to sign negotiated settlements with the firms it is supposed to regulate…
But the ... practice of negotiating enforceable undertakings - essentially promises made by firms to do certain actions which can be enforced in court - was developed to give regulators discretion to be more intrusive, not less.
The idea is this: rather than going to court every time the regulator wants a firm to do something, it can negotiate. Negotiation is cheaper for all involved, but it also gives the regulator more power. With a negotiated settlement, the regulator can persuade firms to do more than the letter of the law would require: do this, and we won’t take you to court…

Now, in my view, this sort of regulatory practice is bad policy. Firms should know exactly what is lawful and what is unlawful. Regulation shouldn’t be a matter of discretion… Uncertainty is bad for the economy. 
But it’s bad politics, too… Regulatory agencies spend their life negotiating in private with firms rather than publicly enforcing clear rules in court. No wonder voters think those agencies are a bit hopeless. 
===

This Liberal campaign looks like the start of the worst own goal in Liberal history

Andrew Bolt April 20 2016 (7:47am)

I’ve said before that the Turnbull Government lacks a Peta Credlin, imposing discipline.
The first full day of campaigning by the Liberals after the Senate created the excuse for a July 2 election was a complete mess. A rabble.
Consider:
- Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop said she was not sure the election really would be on July 2:
One option available to us is a July election. 
- The Prime Minister then had to end any confusion:

I will be asking the Governor-General to dissolve both houses of the parliament for an election, which I expect to be held on 2 July.
- But Turnbull then added to the voters’ uncertainty by denying the undeniable:
Malcolm Turnbull has dismissed suggestions the election campaign is already underway, as Labor demanded the “completely paralysed” Prime Minister suspend major appointments until after the election.
- Three Coalition MPs at yesterday’s party meeting openly supported Labor’s election promise, opposed by their leader:
Three government backbenchers have used a meeting of coalition MPs to call for a royal commission into the banking and financial services sectors.
- Another government MP announced he’d hung up on his own Prime Minister in disgust:
Warren Entsch hung-up on the Prime Minister and said he didn’t trust the nation’s Minister for Defence in the wake of Cairns losing the race for a shipbuilding contract worth almost $2 billion.
- The Government’s scripts for a TV campaign to spruik its Budget - with taxpayers’ money, mind you - were leaked to Sky News’ Paul Murray:
The Government is refusing to comment on what Labor is calling a “humiliating” leak of core budget details.
- Dennis Jensen, a Liberal MP who has lost preselection, criticised the Prime Minister:
You still seem to have an issue where all of these pie in the sky ideas come out of nowhere.
- Labor and the Greens ambushed the Government with a stunt to embarrass one of its key strategists in Budget week:
Questions over Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos’s connection to a political donations scandal should be resolved before an election is called, the federal opposition says, after the Senate last night agreed to hold a snap inquiry into political donations that will target the past dealings of the Cabinet Secretary.
- There was no strong set-piece from the Prime Minister to define the contest. The one media event - with an employer resisting CFMEU control of his workplace - got minimal traction on an issue of limited relevance to most voters.
This is a shambles. Bear in mind that one of the great advantages of being in Government is that a party gets to pick the election date that best suits it and be ready to start with a bang.
Unless there’s a shakeup of the campaign team or tactics the Liberals risk throwing away this election in one of the most disastrous own goals in its history.
UPDATE
Worse and worse:
Malcolm Turnbull’s preparedness for the fight of his life showed in the wishy-washy way he confirmed he would be visiting the Governor-General after the budget to request the July 2 double dissolution. 
Rather than call a full media conference to outline the path ahead, flanked by his Treasurer Scott Morrison and his Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, the Prime Minister opted for a photo opportunity at a building site in an outer suburb of Canberra.
Rather than explain why the urgent, three-week session of Parliament was over in the blink of an eye and articulate precisely what he intended to do, Turnbull arrived an hour late and took just a handful of questions.
Rather than lay out his intentions at the outset, the Prime Minister waited until the sixth minute of the 10-minute event, did so only after being asked, and then used weasel words… 
The contrast on Tuesday was with Shorten, who delivered his response to Turnbull flanked by Chris Bowen and Tanya Plibersek, invited sustained questions and declared that Labor had spent the past 900-plus days preparing and was ready to fight an election.
UPDATE
Terry McCrann warns of far worse to come - an election result that probably hands over the Senate to the Greens and Labor:

[A] Turnbull loss in July would not only deliver the Lodge to our Bill and Chloe, but almost certainly — most dangerously of all — also, control of the Senate to a Labor-Green majority… 
But the loss of both government and Senate to Labor would not simply devastate the Liberal Party. It would seriously damage the country. We would have not simply a de facto Labor-Green coalition, but indeed one controlled by the Greens by way of holding the balance of power in the Senate…
If the election only repeated what happened in the 2010 deadlock election, Labor-Green will emerge with a minimum of 36 senators to the Coalition’s 29 (a majority is 39).
But that would leave 11 to be decided by the total lottery of how the new preference voting system works. Except that Nick Xenophon would almost certainly get three of those 11 in South Australia.
Even a landslide Coalition win like Tony Abbott’s in 2013 — I would suggest, unlikely — would only guarantee the Coalition a certain 28 senators. That’s the same number as would be guaranteed Labor-Green — with as many as 20 senators left to be decided in the new preference lottery.
And forget any miracle Budget to save the Government:
...there is no prospect of substantive policy in the budget, the election rules that out; and there is no prospect of election goodies, the yawning deficit rules that out.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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A Labor policy

Andrew Bolt April 20 2016 (7:45am)

Hit the “rich”. Punish those saving for an independent retirement. Raise yet more taxes. You’d expect this from a Labor Government:
The Turnbull government is preparing to trump Labor in the budget by cracking down harder on high-income superannuation tax concessions to raise four times as much as the opposition’s policy. 
Labor has promised to cut the income threshold for more heavily taxing contributions from $300,000 to $250,000. The Coalition now plans to cut it to $180,000.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison during question time on Tuesday. 
The change, to be unveiled on budget night, will tax more highly the super contributions of an extra 244,000 Australians and will net $2 billion a year, compared with Labor’s $500 million a year.
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LEFTIST GRIEVANCE POKER

Tim Blair – Monday, April 20, 2015 (3:13pm)

According to left-wing thinking, disputes over right and wrong are best determined not by examining facts and evidence but by studying the relative power of the parties involved.
This explains why leftists generally side with poor Palestinians over wealthy Israel, regardless of the history of their conflict, which overwhelmingly demonstrates Palestinian hostility. It also explains why leftists were so delighted with Julia Gillard’s absurd misogyny speech in 2012. To them, it wasn’t a venal exercise in political distraction; rather, it was a powerless woman (who just happened to be Prime Minister at the time) putting powerful male Tony Abbott in his place.
It’s all more than a little ridiculous, because arguments become subject to change depending on the identities of those in conflict. Gillard’s speech resonated with the left because she was denouncing a white western male. If she’d been addressing an impoverished Papua New Guinean tribesman, however, regardless of how he viewed women, Gillard would be seen as the more privileged of the two and therefore wrong.
Poor trumps rich. Black trumps white. Female trumps male. Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum neatly described this simple two-stage process last week: “1. Identify the bearer of privilege. 2. Hold the privilege-bearer responsible.”
In practice, of course, it can get a little complicated playing leftist grievance poker, although it’s intriguing to consider that somewhere out there is a blind African quadruple amputee AIDS-afflicted lesbian who can win any argument just by walking into the room. You know, if she could walk.
 Continue reading 'LEFTIST GRIEVANCE POKER'
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INVISIBLE PEOPLE OF NO DESCRIPTION FROM NOWHERE

Tim Blair – Monday, April 20, 2015 (2:18pm)

Sydney’s infamous men of no appearance have nothing on Melbourne’s alleged terrorist community, who apparently have no identities, backgrounds or affiliations at all. According to Victorian police deputy commissioner Shane Patton, seen at 3:30
The persons involved in this, like any persons in Australia involved in terrorism, are individuals acting by themselves.
They are not representative of any religious, cultural or national group. 
It’s a wonder the police were even able to arrest these spectral beings, given that the handcuffs must have kept falling through their translucent wrists.
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SURPLUS OF WAYNE

Tim Blair – Monday, April 20, 2015 (4:48am)

Besides Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, no individual is more emblematic of Labor’s disastrous six years in government than Wayne Swan. The bad news for Labor is that Swan, unlike Rudd and Gillard, is still there. The worse news is he wants to stay
Wayne Swan’s decision to renominate for another term in Parliament has sparked fear amongst his colleagues about his leadership intentions and prompted one long-time supporter to publicly call for the former Treasurer’s immediate resignation.
Several Labor insiders have told Fairfax Media they fear Mr Swan is attempting to engineer his own return to the frontbench as well as helping install Tanya Plibersek as leader in the long term …
Labor MPs who declined to be identified said Mr Swan’s continued presence was undermining current Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen’s work in restoring the opposition’s economic credentials which took a hit when Mr Swan failed to deliver the budget surplus he promised hundreds of times. 
That was the only surplus Swan ever delivered: a surplus of promises he would deliver a surplus.
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ABBOTT’S LAGER

Tim Blair – Monday, April 20, 2015 (4:25am)

Tony Abbott enjoyed a beer with some football players. According to the cranks at Destroy the Joint – “a call to arms for Australians seeking gender equality & civil discourse” – this apparently has something to do with domestic violence. Personally, I blame these two:

And not to forgot this bunch:


That’s not to say Abbott emerges from this unscathed. He still must deal with the pub cyborg looming in the background:
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MEAT ON THE MENU

Tim Blair – Monday, April 20, 2015 (4:03am)

Despite my Greens-voting neighbourhood’s recent demographic changes – Newtown now has a “vegetarianbutcher”, of all things – we’ve lately been joined by a carnivorous serial killer.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'MEAT ON THE MENU'
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SUPERVAN V

Tim Blair – Monday, April 20, 2015 (2:27am)

Reader Dave has issues with Supervan: 
The amount of solar energy falling upon the average square metre of the Earth’s surface during daylight hours is enough, at 100% conversion efficiency, to power a 1 kilowatt radiator.
Supervan, even if it could violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics and convert at 100% efficiency real-time, could barely overcome friction and limp down the road in first gear for a few kilometres.  Assuming a downhill slope. 
Lies! All lies! I choose to believe in Supervan:



Tonight’s vantastic episode features one of the movie’s best lines: “We’re going to destroy that solar-powered monster!” There is also a tense father-daughter confrontation over Supervan’s driver Clint, plus the revelation that Supervan has lasers. Click to enjoy previous Supervan episodes.
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I HAVE BEEN NEGATIVELY IMPACTED BY YOUR INSENSITIVE BUFFET

Tim Blair – Monday, April 20, 2015 (1:53am)

Following Sydney University’s great poncho tragedy of 2014, Stevenson College at the University of California now faces its own Mexican celebration crisis
Stevenson College is apologising to its students for serving Mexican food during [a science fiction event]. In a letter sent out to students, the college apologised for having “a Mexican food buffet,” while also featuring spaceships and aliens.
The college received complaints saying the combination was racist because of the association between Mexicans and illegal immigrants.
After receiving complaints, Dr Carolyn Golz said that the event “demonstrated a cultural insensitivity on the part of the programme planners and, though it was an unintentional mistake, I recognise that this incident caused harm within our community and negatively impacted students.” 
Via David Thompson, who notes: 
At this point, bear in mind that several students, our fearless intellectuals of tomorrow, have felt a need to publicly articulate some version of the following, rather staggering idea: “Dear Sir or Madam, I have been negatively impacted by your insensitive buffet.” 
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STAR WARS REEKS OF MISOGYNY

Tim Blair – Monday, April 20, 2015 (12:00am)

This is the best BBC moment since the blundering broadcaster interviewed the wrong Guy.
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ROGERED

Tim Blair – Sunday, April 19, 2015 (11:53pm)

So I followed my friend Roger’s financial advice, leading to a remarkable and immediate change of circumstances. Please send all future correspondence to this address: Behind the 7-11, Second Dumpster, the One Without the Lid.
UPDATE. Maybe I’ll move in with Leafy, who appears to have fallen on hard times
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Unions demand Labor pay if off - with your money

Andrew Bolt April 20 2015 (1:01pm)

Victoria’s new Labor Government is already paying off the unions which helped it to power.
Now the Queensland Labor Government is asked by unions to pay up:
UNION bosses are warning Annastacia Palaszczuk to honour commitments Labor made to them, issuing blatant reminders of how they helped the party secure an unlikely win on January 31.  
One high-profile figure boasts about how his union “supported” seven successful Labor candidates and the fact that two of them now sit in Cabinet with the Premier.
Gary Bullock, who heads left-wing union United Voice, even went so far as to refer to the members and ministers as “United Voice MPs”.
It comes as a recent AMWU publication links promises to grow manufacturing jobs with the pouring of resources by the union into local campaigns for “card-carrying” candidates ... including Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure Jackie Trad in South Brisbane, Shannon Fentiman in Waterford, Brittany Lauga in Keppel and Peter Russo in Sunnybank…
On April 8, United Voice posted a YouTube video that features Mr Bullock, the union’s secretary, and opens with footage of Ms Palaszczuk telling supporters: “Can I thank the union movement?"…
Another video, posted by United Voice just days earlier, also celebrates the election of the seven MPs, with a presenter saying: “This means that there are people in Parliament who have directly represented you as delegates or officials and now they can make sure your voice is heard in Government.”
According to the union, dozens of Labor MPs and candidates signed its Code One and Public and Proud pledges in the lead-up to the election. 
The Code One ambulance campaign involved asking candidates to commit to a range of goals, including “no privatisation of QAS transfer”, “no privatisation of QAS communications”, a net increase of ambulance numbers by 600 over three years, “fixing the ambulance fatigue crisis”, and the “reinstatement of collective rights and maintenance of all current conditions”. 
Des Houghton:
EXTORTION allegations against unions should be investigated by the Queensland commission of inquiry into organised crime, says Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg. 
In a letter to crime commissioner Michael Byrne QC, Mr Springborg yesterday said a long history of intimidation and unlawful strikes by the CFMEU cost taxpayers millions extra in capital works projects such as the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in South Brisbane…
(T)he Royal Commission into Union Governance and Corruption in its interim report ... found “conduct which may constitute the criminal offences of blackmail and extortion by officers of the CFMEU"…
Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon ... said the behaviour of CFMEU officials in Queensland and other states “may give rise to contraventions of the boycott, cartel and other provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act”. 
Former attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie told Parliament last year that stoppages at the children’s hospital alone cost taxpayers an extra $7.5 million.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Obama and Rudd’s harvest: 700 more boat people drown off Libya

Andrew Bolt April 20 2015 (12:52pm)

A terrible disaster - and there will be even more if Italy does not adopt the tactics of the Abbott Government:
As many as 700 people are feared dead after a boat carrying migrants capsized off the Libyan coast overnight, in one of the worst disasters seen in the Mediterranean migrant crisis, officials said on Sunday. 
Twenty eight people were rescued in the incident, which happened in an area just off Libyan waters, south of the southern Italian island of Lampedusa…
If confirmed, the disaster… would bring the total number of dead since the beginning of the year to more than 1500… 
Around 20,000 migrants have reached the Italian coast this year, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimates. That is fewer than in the first four months of last year but the number of deaths has risen almost nine-fold.
UPDATE
This is part of the bitter harvest of the foreign policies of the Left - of Barack Obama, backed by Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.
They pushed for the NATO bombing of the Gaddafi regime, despite warnings that they were acting as the air wing of the Islamists fighting Gaddafi. As I said even then, their war aims were incredibly vague and they  barely knew who precisely they were helping. My, God, the naivity back then, in 2011:
The Obama administration has sent teams of CIA operatives into Libya in a rush to gather intelligence on the identities and capabilities of rebel forces opposed to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, according to U.S. officials. 
The information has become more crucial as the administration and its coalition partners move closer to providing direct military aid or guidance to the disorganized and beleaguered rebel army… Several lawmakers briefed by Clinton, Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said they were told that the United States is still trying to put together a full picture of the Libyan rebellion but believes that it does not contain large numbers of radical Islamic militants.
In fact, just three weeks later we were seeing the first videos of the Libyan militias decapitating prisoners to cries of “God is great!”
And then, of course, Obama and his mates refused to send in troops to establish the “peace’ after toppling Gaddafi.
In this way they turned Libya in an Islamist haven and land of warring militias - so unstable and unsafe that 500,000 people are said to be planning to flee in ships just like the two that have sunk in the past week.
Note as well that Obama, backed by the Left here, also pulled out too early from Iraq, against the strong advice of his military. Result: the Islamic State poured in from Syria, turning a vast part of Iraq into another Islamist stronghold.
Contrast that with the record of George Bush and John Howard. When Bush left office, Iraq had been largely pacified. Gaddafi had been cowed into giving up his nuclear program.
Bush is widely blamed by media pundits for setting the Middle East on fire. The truth is the opposite. He screwed the lid on tighter. Obama then blew it off, to Labor’s cheers. Now hundreds of thousands of north Africans are trying to flee to Europe and thousands are drowning.
UPDATE
American voters should recall these words from 2011, and ask whether the woman who said them should be trusted to lead America:
[Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton defended the [NATO/US] operation so far. “I know that the nightly news cannot cover a humanitarian crisis that thankfully did not happen,” she said, “but it is important to remember that many, many Libyans are safer today because the international community took action.”
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Who dares complain and risk being labelled a racist?

Andrew Bolt April 20 2015 (12:35pm)


Our absurd and offensive laws against free speech make it too dangerous for me to comment:
Much of the trouble - exposed last week in a Federal Court of Australia judgment - implicates part-time telephone psychic Sonia Murray, the former manager of the Bunurong Land Council
The tale gives a rare insight into the way some figures abuse the vital role of Indigenous land councils and use politics and accusations of racism to cloud or justify their own misconduct.

Federal Court justice Michelle Gordon ...  singled out Sonia Murray for the harshest criticism. Between 2009 and 2014, Ms Murray managed the Bunurong Land Council which, under Victorian law, must be consulted by major developers and government agencies wanting to build on Bunurong land.
The process involves hiring Bunurong cultural heritage officers, whose job it is to identify and survey land to identify important indigenous sites…
One heritage officer who spoke to Fairfax Media (but who asked not to be named for fear of retribution), ... revealed that for every job Ms Murray assigned to the cultural heritage officers, they had to deposit $200 to $250 into a bank account controlled by her.
Justice Gordon identified five Bunurong cultural officers who regularly deposited what Ms Murray described as “administration fees” into her bank accounts.
Between 2009 and 2013, Justice Gordon found that “at least $151,690 that should have been paid [by cultural heritage workers] to the corporation [Bunurong land council] was instead paid into accounts controlled by Ms Murray.”
Justice Gordon also found that between September 2008 and January 2014, Ms Murray withdrew $731,380 from the land council’s bank accounts by way of cash cheques. Ms Murray claimed to the court these funds were used to make legitimate payments to herself and other workers, but Justice Gordon found that “as no such record of any such payments was made or kept, it is impossible to know how much of the withdrawn money went to Ms Murray and how much went to the corporation’s expenses"…
In a damning finding, Justice Gordon said Ms Murray had been “improperly using her position to gain an advantage for herself, namely the personal use of money belonging to the” land council…
Justice Gordon also banned three of Ms Murray’s fellow directors, Mervyn Brown, Verna Nichols and Leonie Dickson, for three years and fined them between $5000 and $10,000 for their abysmal corporate governance. (One of them, Mr Brown, described the court case as “all a beat-up” involving “white man’s law” as he defended his failure to perform his duty as director.)....
Ms Murray and some of her supporters last year incorporated a new body, the Bunurong Land and Sea Association. 
Despite its close links with the former regime, the new association has been registered by the Victorian government, which is now considering its claim for rights over a vast tract of Victorian land.  
(No comments. Blame the laws against free speech that the Liberals and Labor will not change.) 
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Say no to this racist division

Andrew Bolt April 20 2015 (9:08am)

The politics of race

 THE Abbott Government and Labor agree on one thing — this country’s Constitution must be changed to honour Aborigines as the First Australians.
But isn’t this racist?
Is this really our future, to divide Australians by our “race”, each with different constitutional standing depending on whether we have some Aboriginal ancestors?
In fact, so many people are worried that Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson last week offered a “compromise”: to make a purely “symbolic and poetic recognition of the nation’s history and heritage in a declaration” passed by Parliament, but not in the Constitution itself.
Journalists hailed his idea. The Prime Minister said he’d consider it. But all ignored the catch.
(Read full column here.) 
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We should not pay a de-facto food tax for Islam

Andrew Bolt April 20 2015 (8:16am)

 IMAGINE the media uproar if we had a food tax that quietly steered millions of dollars into the hands of Catholic priests.
That, of course, would be an outrage. Wouldn’t hear the end of the Left’s attacks on this sneaky sponsorship of a controversial dogma.
So why is there absolutely no protest from Left against a de facto tax on food that steers millions of dollars into the hands of Muslim imams?
(Read the full article here.
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Offence-taking becomes a joke

Andrew Bolt April 20 2015 (7:46am)

Who can tell the difference now between the professional offence-takers and a complete joke?
This is the joke, treated as serious by the BBC:
 Listeners of the BBC World Service’s World Have Your Say programme were treated to a bizarre analysis of the Star Wars franchise today by a caller who claimed that “Dark Raider” was a “racial stereotype” who listened to rap music and “the only female character ends up in a gold space bikini chained to a horny space slug.”
Godfrey Elfwick is a student from Sheffield who regularly fools observers with his parody Twitter account, an off-the-deep-end “social justice warrior” persona that tweets bizarrely and hilariously about racism, sexism, misogyny and other favoured topics of the political Left.
Elfwick attracted the attention of the BBC World Service today, when he tweeted that he had never seen Star Wars. A World Service presenter who was producing a segment in the wake of the recently-released trailer for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Force Awakens took the bait, inviting him onto the programme.
Because of course the BBC can’t tell the difference between an outlandish, obviously fake social-justice obsessed parody account and a normal member of the public…
Elfwick proved to be just as convincing in real life as he is on the net. Maintaining a serious voice throughout the segment, he unleashed a wave of mock “concerns” with the Star Wars series that wouldn’t have been out of place on some of the more extreme social-justice communities of Tumblr.
“There’s a lot of social problems with [Star Wars], rooted in casual racism, homophobia,” he claimed, before asserting: “Star Wars reeks of misogyny.” 
Darth Vader, the primary antagonist of the original George Lucas trilogy, came in for special criticism: “The main bad guy, what’s he called, Dark Raider. He’s all black. He listens to rap music. He’s just a real bad racial stereotype.” 
This is serious - yet surely a joke to the sane:
[California’s] Stevenson College is apologising to its students for serving Mexican food during [a science fiction event]. In a letter sent out to students, the college apologised for having “a Mexican food buffet,” while also featuring spaceships and aliens. 
The college received complaints saying the combination was racist because of the association between Mexicans and illegal immigrants.
After receiving complaints, Dr Carolyn Golz said that the event “demonstrated a cultural insensitivity on the part of the programme planners and, though it was an unintentional mistake, I recognise that this incident caused harm within our community and negatively impacted students.” 
(Via Tim Blair.) 
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Should we notice this war on Christians?

Andrew Bolt April 20 2015 (7:17am)

So it’s wrong to wonder whether Islam preaches intolerance of Christians?
A video purporting to show the killing of Ethiopian Christians by Islamic State-affiliated militants in Libya has been released online. 
The 29-minute video appears to show militants holding two groups of captives, one by an affiliate in eastern Libya known as Barka Province and the other by the Fazzan Province, an affiliate in the south. A masked fighter wielding a pistol says Christians must convert to Islam or pay a special tax prescribed by the Quran, before the captives in the south are shown being shot dead and the captives in the east are beheaded on a beach.
And last week:
When a rubber dinghy carrying around 100 African refugees across the Mediterranean began to sink, a Nigerian Christian prayed for his life in an innocent act that would end in the deaths of 12 fellow migrants. 
One of the Muslims on board the rickety craft ordered him to stop, saying: ‘Here, we only pray to Allah.’
When he refused, a violent fight ensued and 12 Christians drowned when they were thrown overboard by the Muslim refugees.
UPDATE I suspect the mounting attacks on Christians will actually inspire many to renew their faith, or at least stop taking the blessings of the Christian tradition for granted. Kevin Donnelly:
In his Easter message, David Cameron stated that Britain was a Christian country and that “the church is not just a collection of beautiful old buildings. It is a living, active force across our country.” 
The British Prime Minister went on to argue that all schools must teach what it means to be British, which is not surprising given last year’s “Trojan Horse” ­affair, where some Muslim schools in Birmingham were considered in danger of advocating extreme ­Islamic values…
The argument that Christianity is central to British culture, especially its political and legal systems, is also argued by 22 Christian leaders in a document titled Values: The Characteristics of Our ­British National Identity.
Like Cameron, the Values document highlights the importance of liberal democratic values such as the rule of law, the sanctity of human life, a commitment to the common good and “freedom of speech, debate, conscience and ­religion”. The argument is also put that such values are “derived from our Judaeo-Christian foundations” and are “fundamental to the health of our national life”....
Neither should it surprise anyone that in Australia — a former British colony, with the same political and legal systems — liberal, democratic values and Christianity are central to our way of life, too…
As in Britain, Christian organisations in Australia such as the ­Salvation Army, the Brotherhood of St Laurence, the St Vincent de Paul Society and Caritas Australia work tirelessly to alleviate poverty and suffering, here and overseas. Catholic schools enrol 20 per cent of students around Australia, saving taxpayers and governments millions of dollars, and if Christian hospitals and aged-care facilities did not exist, Australia’s health and welfare systems would collapse. 
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And they’re still here

Andrew Bolt April 20 2015 (6:55am)

A disturbingly high number:
AHEAD of the huge Anzac Day pilgrimage of about 10,500 Australians to Turkey, the Federal Government has revealed Queenslanders have been among 249 suspected jihadists prevented from leaving the country since August
Which means they are still here, and potentially a danger to us.
Indeed:
An alleged plot to massacre police and members of the public in a Anzac Day terror attack was encouraged by one of the top Australian jihadists in Syria, former Melbourne man Neil Prakash… 
It is understood intercepted communications have linked Prakash, who fights under the nom de guerre Abu Khalid al-Cambodi, to the Melburnians, who allegedly planned to use swords and knives to attack police on Anzac Day…
Sources told The Australian that Prakash, who prayed at the al-Furqan centre before leaving for Syria, provided encouragement to other members who, like scores of other young Australian Muslims, dreamed of travelling to the battlefields of Syria and Iraq.
Instead, Prakash encouraged some of them to stay in Australia and carry out attacks.
And not for the first time do I wonder why Waleed Aly, former spokesman for the Islamic Council of Victoria, is a lecturer in the Global Terrorism Research Centre at Monash University, having been unable to predict or admit this kind of danger:
What seems to underlie all of this is that ISIS [Islamic State] represents a serious threat to Australia. Can you give us an indication of precisely the scope of that threat and the mechanism, can you describe it precise terms? Because it’s not immediately clear when you consider this is a movement on the other side of the world that seems to be importing people rather than exporting them. 
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Too easy. Left now foams over Abbott’s beer

Andrew Bolt April 20 2015 (6:43am)

How the Left hates

 Do not doubt my expertise in Abbott-Abbott-Abbott hatred.
Sean Kelly, former media adviser to Julia Gillard, scoffed at my prediction yesterday that the Left would now attack Tony Abbott for encouraging binge drinking.
Even as we spoke, Fairfax writer Eryk Bagshaw settled the argument:
It was only last year that Mr Abbott wrote an opinion piece in The Courier Mail following his quiet increase of the beer tax, which was designed to discourage binge drinking. 
“The [problem is] the binge drinking culture which has become all too prevalent among youngsters,” he wrote. “ Alcohol has and always will be part of life in our country - and most countries in the world. Our challenge as a people is to ensure that we get the balance right again.” But for one night only, Mr Abbott put policy and beer on two different bar stools at the Royal Oak Hotel in Double Bay. 
Fairfax’s Judith Ireland also becomes a wowser with a twist of feminist lemon:
… the Prime Minister is supposed to be a vocal advocate against binge drinking… And that it came from a Prime Minister who has been trying for the last 18 months to convince us that he is also the Minister for Women.
The ABC’s AM this morning, too.  Incredibly predictable.
UPDATE
I’ve met my match. Even I couldn’t predict the manic inventiveness of Destroy the Joint, created by the likes of journalism academic Jenna Price. It seems that Abbott, by drinking one beer, was actually promoting violence against women:
These haters are mad, you know.
UPDATE
Abbott just can’t win - he’s either a binge-drinking thug or a wussy shandy-sipper. Whatever he’s drinking, the Left is appalled: 
He was mercilessly ridiculed in 2010 when he ordered a “shandy lite” during his election campaign, while his then opponent, Julia Gillard, ordered a full-strength ale. 
“If I could have a shandy of light with about 60% lemonade, OK?” Abbott asked the bartender at the time. Commenting on the video [yesterday], the opposition leader, Bill Shorten, would only say; “I’m just pleased that Tony Abbott’s learning to drink beer without adding lemonade to it.”
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Not just a western Sydney problem now

Andrew Bolt April 19 2015 (6:07pm)

A few years ago we thought this was a problem contained to Sydney’s western suburbs:
Homicide squad detectives are investigating the fatal drive-by shooting of a father of six in Altona Meadows in the early hours of Sunday. 
The 39-year-old man was shot dead in his car in the driveway of his mother’s Lewin Court home at 1.50am in what police described as an execution-style killing…
The man, who is yet to be publicly identified, is believed to be a father of six of Middle Eastern descent who lived in the western suburbs. 
The victim was “known to police”, but Detective Sergeant Solomon would not reveal whether the motive for the killing may have been gang related. 
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Exactly how many deficits does Wayne Swan think he’s got in him?

Andrew Bolt April 19 2015 (5:55pm)

Seriously? He hasn’t been dumped? He actually thinks he a future leader?
Wayne Swan’s decision to renominate for another term in Parliament has sparked fear amongst his colleagues about his leadership intentions and prompted one long-time supporter to publicly call for the former Treasurer’s immediate resignation. 
Several Labor insiders have told Fairfax Media they fear Mr Swan is attempting to engineer his own return to the frontbench as well as helping install Tanya Plibersek as leader in the long term.
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Three hours earlier, I had been near this spot, talking on my live stream about how this part of Texas was so beautiful,...
Posted by Mike Olbinski on Saturday, 18 April 2015
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How Would You Like A Stove Like This ???? Keep or Pass
Posted by Gram-mas Country Corners on Thursday, 16 April 2015
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From Mark Twain to George R.R. Martin, these are the tools that 8 famous authors used to write some of your favorite stories: http://read.bi/1CtOfoC
Posted by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing on Sunday, 19 April 2015
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“Conscience is a man's compass”
 Vincent van Gogh

"Blame is just a lazy person's way of making sense of chaos."
Doug Coupland

"Man is the only trained animal who expects his reward before he does his trick."
Robert Brault

"A man may fall many times but he won't be a failure until he says someone pushed him."
Elmer G. Letterman

"In order to properly understand the big picture, everyone should fear becoming mentally clouded and obsessed with one small section of truth."
Xun Zi

“Be around the people you want to be like, because you will be like the people you are around.”
Sean Reichle

“Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.”
Max Ehrmann

"The burden of originality is one that most people don't want to accept. They'd rather sit in front of the TV and let that tell them what they're supposed to like, what they're supposed to buy, and what they're supposed to laugh at."
Marilyn Manson

"Maturity is achieved when a person postpones immediate pleasures for long-term values."
Joshua L. Liebman

"A family in harmony will prosper in everything."
 Chinese Proverb

"I think togetherness is a very important ingredient to family life."
Barbara Bush

“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained”
Winston Churchill

"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony."
Thomas Merton

"Fun is a good thing but only when it spoils nothing better."
George Santayana

"There are some people who have trouble recognizing a mess."
Bill Cosby

"Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people - your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way." 
Barbara Bush

"People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, …but they will always remember how you made them feel."
Maya Angelou

"You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
Mathew 5:48

"Certain flaws are necessary for the whole.  It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks."
Goethe

"Aggression only moves in one direction - it creates more aggression."
Margaret J. Wheatley

"He who helps the guilty, shares the crime."
Publilius Syrus

"Forgiveness is the economy of the heart... forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits."
Hannah More

"When you forgive, you in noway change the past - but you sure do change the future."
Bernard Meltzer

“Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.”
Barbara De Angelis

"America does not want vulgarity and sexual exploitation to be our values and we do not want the world to think those are our standards. We want to be a better nation and a better people, with better standards."
Charles W. Pickering

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
Albert Einstein

"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all."
Aristotle

“It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without commonsense.”
Robert G. Ingersoll

"Crime is naught but misdirected energy. So long as every institution of today, economic, political, social, and moral, conspires to misdirect human energy into wrong channels; so long as most people are out of place doing the things they hate to do, living alife they loathe to live, crime will be inevitable, and all the laws on the statutes can only increase, but never do away with, crime."
Emma Goldman

"The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny."
James Allen

"Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown."
Soren Kierkegaard

"Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction."
Kevyn Aucoin

“Transcend political correctness and strive for human righteousness.”
 Anthony J. D'Angelo

"Positive feelings come from being honest about yourself and accepting your personality, and physical characteristics, warts and all and, from belonging to a family that accepts you without question" 
Willard Scott

"Aggression is inherently destructive of relationships. People and ideologies are pitted against each other, believing that in order to survive, they must destroy the opposition."
Margaret J. Wheatley

"No two people see the external world in exactly the same way. To every separate person a thing is what he thinks it is -- in other words, not a thing, but a think."
Penelope Fitzgerald

"Your opinion is your opinion, your perception is your perception- do not confuse them with "facts"or "truth". Wars have been fought and millions have been killed because of the inability of men to understand the idea that everybody has a different viewpoint."
John Moore

"Everyone who wants to do good to the human race always ends in universal bullying."
Aldous Huxley

"Make somebody happy today.  Mind your own business."
Ann Landers

"Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. "
Albert Einstein

"Every goal, every action, every thought, every feeling one experiences, whether it be consciously or unconsciously known, is an attempt to increase one's level of peace of mind."
Sydney Madwed
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Title: Music
Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let me go where'er I will,
I hear a sky-born music still:
It sounds from all things old,
It sounds from all things young,
From all that's fair, from all that's foul,
Peals out a cheerful song.

It is not only in the rose,
It is not only in the bird,
Not only where the rainbow glows,
Nor in the song of woman heard,
But in the darkest, meanest things
There always, always something sings.

'T is not in the high stars alone,
Nor in the cup of budding flowers,
Nor in the redbreast's mellow tone,
Nor in the bow that smiles in showers,
But in the mud and scum of things
There always, always something sings.

Ralph Waldo Emerson's poem: Music
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Just got off the phone with a friend who lives in Scotland.
She said that since early this morning the snow has been nearly waist high and is still falling. 
The temperature is dropping far below zero and the north wind is increasing to near gale force.
Her husband has done nothing but look through the kitchen window and just stare.
She says that if it gets much worse, she may have to let the drunken bastard in.
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From Larry Pickering
BOMBERS’ HERO IS AUSTRALIAN ISLAMIC IMAM

Dead student bomber, Tameran Tsarnaev, 26, idolised Australian Imam, Shirk Feiz (pictured). Fiez featured on Tameran’s facebook page and he had a large collection of his videos.

Fiez also featured on pickeringpost.com last year as a dangerous Islamist who lectures in radical Islam in both UK and Australian mosques. 

As with other Imams and Mullahs who promote terrorism in mosques around the World, Australia has done nothing to stem his activities. He is free to continue to radicalise those of the Islamic faith.

Of the two apparently normal students only Tameran converted to Islam. After a six-month overseas “holiday”, he began praying five times a day, while preparing to kill Bostonians.

His younger brother Dzhokhar, 19, now in custody in a critical condition, had been affected by his radicalised older brother to the extent that he participated in his atrocity.

The Boston bombers were symptomatic of all other terrorists, they stay long enough to meld unnoticed into the community. They attract no attention until they are summoned to act. Then they need to pray that all the virgins aren’t gone, prior to acting.

Home-grown terrorism is the insidious aftermath of US, UK and NATO involvement in foreign countries.

Al Queda has found fertile ground in recent rebel movements in Libya, Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan.

It has now taken root in Syria where the West has wisely refused to get involved and it’s spreading like Patterson’s Curse in Africa, financed by Afghanistan’s insidious heroin trade.

President Bush declared war on Islam. Is not Islam to be expected to declare war on us?

Afghanistan’s Taliban just wants to be left alone to administer their decadent Sharia law... Al Queda and its hundreds of cells wants revenge.

Pakistan, nurtured as a lone but untrustworthy link to the West, is aligned with Afghanistan’s Al Queda.

Proof-positive of that was the Egyptian Bin Laden’s safe sanctuary... officially arranged adjacent to a Pakistani Military Base in Abbottabad.

Unfortunately Australia is an active junior ally of US, NATO and UK involvement in these ill-conceived wars and to suggest we aren’t a yummy target is blind foolishness.

Why do we expect to be able to kill thousands in the homelands of these rogue states and not expect some sort of retaliation?

The ALP’s politically correct open border policy is a dangerous threat to Australia. Handing out thousands of E Bridging visas to Islamic ‘unknowns’ is about as negligent as any government could get.

Our ‘Welcome pack’ may as well include suicide vests and bomb construction instructions.

No other developed Western or Eastern country would even consider allowing illegal, unprocessed, Islamic immigrants loose in their country.

They are too busy trying to deport them. Many have banned further Islamic immigration, others have always banned it.

Ok, so we can’t deport them, we are too beholdin’ to a corrupt Islamic-dominated UN to do that and anyway 10% of our carbon tax has been promised to them. Now that wouldn’t make sense would it?

But surely Australia’s mosques should not be allowed the luxury of promoting and inflicting terrorism on their hosts. Surely the ‘freedom of religion’ ethic has gone too far?

Mosques with their evil mullahs and imams are nurseries for terrorist activities yet are no-go areas for authorities. Why?

Do we need to suffer the disgusting attitudes of Islamists in the US, UK and France, do we need to suffer the similar murder of Boston’s sports patrons before we act?

Guess we do.
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April 20Easter (Christianity, 2014); Ridván begins at sunset (Bahá'í Faith); 4/20 (cannabis culture)
Fernando Lugo
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“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” -1 Corinthians 15:20-22
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom."
Matthew 27:51
No mean miracle was wrought in the rending of so strong and thick a veil; but it was not intended merely as a display of power--many lessons were herein taught us. The old law of ordinances was put away, and like a worn-out vesture, rent and laid aside. When Jesus died, the sacrifices were all finished, because all fulfilled in him, and therefore the place of their presentation was marked with an evident token of decay. That rent also revealed all the hidden things of the old dispensation: the mercy-seat could now be seen, and the glory of God gleamed forth above it. By the death of our Lord Jesus we have a clear revelation of God, for he was "not as Moses, who put a veil over his face." Life and immortality are now brought to light, and things which have been hidden since the foundation of the world are manifest in him. The annual ceremony of atonement was thus abolished. The atoning blood which was once every year sprinkled within the veil, was now offered once for all by the great High Priest, and therefore the place of the symbolical rite was broken up. No blood of bullocks or of lambs is needed now, for Jesus has entered within the veil with his own blood. Hence access to God is now permitted, and is the privilege of every believer in Christ Jesus. There is no small space laid open through which we may peer at the mercy-seat, but the rent reaches from the top to the bottom. We may come with boldness to the throne of the heavenly grace. Shall we err if we say that the opening of the Holy of Holies in this marvellous manner by our Lord's expiring cry was the type of the opening of the gates of paradise to all the saints by virtue of the Passion? Our bleeding Lord hath the key of heaven; he openeth and no man shutteth; let us enter in with him into the heavenly places, and sit with him there till our common enemies shall be made his footstool.

Evening


"The Amen."
Revelation 3:14

The word Amen solemnly confirms that which went before; and Jesus is the great Confirmer; immutable, forever is "the Amen" in all his promises. Sinner, I would comfort thee with this reflection. Jesus Christ said, "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." If you come to him, he will say "Amen" in your soul; his promise shall be true to you. He said in the days of his flesh, "The bruised reed I will not break." O thou poor, broken, bruised heart, if thou comest to him, he will say "Amen" to thee, and that shall be true in thy soul as in hundreds of cases in bygone years. Christian, is not this very comforting to thee also, that there is not a word which has gone out of the Saviour's lips which he has ever retracted? The words of Jesus shall stand when heaven and earth shall pass away. If thou gettest a hold of but half a promise, thou shalt find it true. Beware of him who is called "Clip-promise," who will destroy much of the comfort of God's word.
Jesus is Yea and Amen in all his offices. He was a Priest to pardon and cleanse once, he is Amen as Priest still. He was a King to rule and reign for his people, and to defend them with his mighty arm, he is an Amen King, the same still. He was a Prophet of old, to foretell good things to come, his lips are most sweet, and drop with honey still--he is an Amen Prophet. He is Amen as to the merit of his blood; he is Amen as to his righteousness. That sacred robe shall remain most fair and glorious when nature shall decay. He is Amen in every single title which he bears; your Husband, never seeking a divorce; your Friend, sticking closer than a brother; your Shepherd, with you in death's dark vale; your Help and your Deliverer; your Castle and your High Tower; the Horn of your strength, your confidence, your joy, your all in all, and your Yea and Amen in all.
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Adaiah 
[Ăd-aī'ah] - jehovah hath adorned or pleasing to jehovah.

1. A man of Boscath and father of Josiah's mother (2 Kings 22:1).

2. A Levite descended from Gershom (1 Chron. 6:41-43).

3. A son of Shimhi the Benjamite (1 Chron. 8:12-21).

4. A Levite of the family of Aaron, and head of a family living in Jerusalem (1 Chron. 9:10-12).
5. The father of Captain Masseiah who helped Jehoiada put Joash on the throne of Judah (2 Chron. 23:1).
6. A son of Bani who married a foreign wife during the exile (Ezra 10:29).
7. Another of a different Bani family who did the same thing (Ezra 10:34, 39).
8. A descendant of Judah by Perez (Neh. 11:5).
9. A Levite of the family of Aaron. Most likely the same person as No. 4 (Neh. 11:12).
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Today's reading: 2 Samuel 6-8, Luke 15:1-10 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Samuel 6-8


The Ark Brought to Jerusalem

David again brought together all the able young men of Israel--thirty thousand. 2 He and all his men went to Baalah in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark.3 They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart 4 with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. 5 David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the LORD, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals....


Today's New Testament reading: Luke 15:1-10

The Parable of the Lost Sheep
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent....
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Today's Old Testament Reading: Psalm 71:1-12

1 In you, LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
2 In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
turn your ear to me and save me.
3 Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
4 Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.
5 For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD,
my confidence since my youth.
6 From birth I have relied on you;
you brought me forth from my mother's womb.
I will ever praise you.
7 I have become a sign to many;
you are my strong refuge.
8 My mouth is filled with your praise,
declaring your splendor all day long.
Do not cast me away when I am old;
do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
10 For my enemies speak against me;
those who wait to kill me conspire together.
11 They say, "God has forsaken him;
pursue him and seize him,
for no one will rescue him."
12 Do not be far from me, my God;
come quickly, God, to help me.
New Testament Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are,29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.31 Therefore, as it is written: "Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord."
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Today's Lent reading: John 15-16 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
The Vine and the Branches

1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples....


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