Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wed Apr 16th Todays News

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 http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/nsw-premier-barry-o-farrell-remedy-the-persecution-of-dd-ball?

Badgery's Creek airport is another in a long list of stunning infrastructure partnerships that Liberal Federal Governments have done combined with a Liberal NSW State Government. It is almost as if when it is worthwhile, ALP should not be involved. Two major works projects which dragged on for decades were the Snowy Mountain scheme and the Opera House. Neither looked like ever finishing until Askin put the finishing touches on them. In contrast, NSW had an Olympics in 2000 under ALP which failed to make a profit and badly diverted major works from permanent infrastructure. It became a lost opportunity. So the five decade prevarication that is the second city airport for Sydney is announced, a stunning success for NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell the day he resigns. O'Farrell has not been premier for very long, but NSW has benefited. Maybe his term in office will be remembered for improvements in public transport. Or maybe for almost all areas of economic activity in NSW, or health and education. But it is unlikely, although true. Some may criticise O'Farrell for his stance on Gonski, or 18c, but that is hyper. The tasks a conservative government must complete have not been completed. He leaves too soon. Scandalously, media journalists are throwing around the word 'corruption' to describe the oversight which claimed the Premiership. O'Farrell was ambushed by a politically charged ICAC over the issue of a wine bottle. It was apparent O'Farrell had not declared it. He has claimed to have forgotten about it. O'Farrell was placed on the stand of the ICAC for a different reason, as a witness, before being ambushed. It was a procedural unfairness. His response was probably anticipated as being denial, which might have allowed the ICAC to derail an investigation into ALP corruption. That excuse is gone, now that O'Farrell has resigned. O'Farrell has behaved honourably. He has met a standard no NSW ALP Premier has met in living memory. I have had to amend my petition. I thank you, Mr O'Farrell and wish you well in your future endeavours.
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns to those born on this day, across the years, including
Matches
Despatches
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Jellyfish at the helm as Hamster plumbs the depths

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (8:43pm)

SO what’s ABC boss Mark Scott’s excuse for taking seven months to apologise for broadcasting a doctored image depicting journalist Chris Kenny having sex with a dog?

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Jellyfish at the helm as Hamster plumbs the depths'
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Standing between children and the true love they need

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (8:42pm)

WHEN you first meet Julie, a 51-year-old mother of eight from Campbelltown, you are struck by two things.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Standing between children and the true love they need'
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EGGSISTENTIAL CRISIS

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 16, 2014 (12:56pm)

Journalism lecturer Crispin Hull has too many boiled eggs: 
If a category five cyclone is bearing down upon you and you do not know if your kitchen will be unusable, or when the power will go off, or for how long, boiling eggs is a good precaution.
If, however, the cyclone peters out to a category one when it finally hits, and all you get is fallen branches, not fallen trees and roofs gone, then you have 22 boiled eggs in the fridge that you would very much like to unboil … 
If only there was some kind of egg-based holiday or festival happening around this time of year. That would solve poor Crispin’s problem immediately. Meanwhile, here’s a rare domestic hugging chicken:

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O’FARRELL O’QUITS

Tim Blair – Wednesday, April 16, 2014 (11:24am)

So much for the health benefits of red wine
New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell has stunningly resigned this morning.
He has announced that a thankyou note for the bottle of Grange will be tabled at ICAC.
Mr O’Farrell said he still “can’t explain the arrival of a gift I have no memory of ... But I accept the consequences. A new Liberal leader will be elected.
“It is a significant memory fail. In no way did I seek to mislead, wilfully or otherwise ICAC.”
A handwritten note from Premier Barry O’Farrell thanking AWH boss Nick Di Girolamo for the “wonderful bottle of wine” has been found by the Independent Commission Against Corruption. 
This all began with a question from the Daily Telegraph to O’Farrell last month: “Did Nick give you a bottle of Grange when you became Premier?”
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How deep could MH370 lie?

Andrew Bolt April 16 2014 (5:09pm)

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Improving society, one foul word at a time

Andrew Bolt April 16 2014 (1:54pm)

Jane den Hollander, Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University:
I call on all those whose lives have been touched by Deakin to join with me in achieving our vision - that we will be Australia’s premier university in driving the digital frontier to enable globally connected education for the jobs of the future and research that makes a difference to the benefit of our students, our staff and the communities we serve.
Deakin University journalism lecturer Martin Hirst shows how he is “driving the digital frontier to enable globally connected education for the jobs of the future and research that makes a difference to the benefit of our students, our staff and the communities we serve”:
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At stake is O’Farrell’s credibility. UPDATE: O’Farrell quits

Andrew Bolt April 16 2014 (11:52am)

Sean Nicholls:
Barry O’Farrell ...  [lacked] a plausible explanation as to how it was he did not receive a $3000 bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange his acquaintance Nick Di Girolamo sent him as a gift just after he won the March 2011 election.
ICAC heard evidence that the precious bottle was sent by courier to O’Farrell’s home. Under oath Di Girolamo said O’Farrell even called him to thank him for it. O’Farrell insists, also under oath, he never received it. Who to believe? ...
His inability to recall the contents of a 30-second phone call to Di Girolamo the evening the bottle was purchased compounds the suspicion we are not getting the full story. The episode has exposed O’Farrell’s lack of candour about his relationship with Di Girolamo. Rather than barely knowing each other as he has previously implied, it has emerged the pair had each other’s private mobile numbers and were in frequent contact.
Di Girolamo says they talked perhaps once a fortnight; O’Farrell says it was more like once a month.
For many, the pertinent question might therefore become: if we cannot trust the Premier to be up front about his relationship with Di Girolamo - a Liberal Party fund-raiser and former lobbyist - why should we believe him about a potentially embarrassing gift?
It might have been stolen, O’Farrell suggests:
Counsel assisting the commission Geoffrey Watson SC characterised the gift as an attempt to “butter up” the Premier and to “grease the wheels” in order to win favours for AWH…
Mr O’Farrell replied that AWH had never received what it was after — a lucrative public-private partnership — and the matter had been dealt with at arm’s length by the public utility Sydney Water…
But the commission ... found a record of a 28-second phone call from Mr O’Farrell to Mr Di Girolamo on April 20 — the day the wine was bought and possibly delivered…
The invoice [from the courier] obtained by the commission is dated Good Friday, April 22, two days after the wine was bought, although it is unclear what day it was delivered…
Mr O’Farrell ... said he attended a function on Wednesday, April 20, the night he was recorded as phoning Mr Di Girolamo.
He said that his house would have been unattended for several days after that over Easter, as he had taken his family to the Gold Coast the next day…
Mr O’Farrell said he had been told by police his house was a ­security nightmare, with a park on one side, a laneway, and no front fence. He said there was no 24-hour surveillance of his house at that time.
UPDATE
Barry O’Farrell resigns. A handwritten card has been produced in ICAC thanking Di Girolamo for the wine.
O’Farrell says he accepts the consequences of misleading ICAC, but says it was inadvertent.
I don’t believe he was corrupt or that he lied (or did he...). But we’re left with the fact that he did not declare this $3000 gift.
UPDATE
Abbott praises O’Farrell for his “act of honour” in resigning.
But he then furiously attacks a journalist who asks whether he trusts the O’Farrell Government with the airport plan when it has been “proven to be corrupt”. He demands to know the evidence and says journalists as well as politicians should be held to “decent standards”.  He asks her to apologise. She backs down and cites only that O’Farrell said he didn’t recall what he now concedes happened.
UPDATE
The note that destroyed O’Farrell:

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Can O’Farrell seriously have forgotten such a memorable gift - a $3000 wine from his birth year? Can he seriously have forgotten a gift that prompted such a note?
And why did he accept a gift so clearly over the top? Why did he at least not declare it? 
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No cuts to the ABC, said Abbott. But his caveat was edited out

Andrew Bolt April 16 2014 (8:49am)

Labor and the ABC insist Tony Abbott before the election made this unambiguous promise:
No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS...
Labor makes much of it:
“The day before the 2013 election Tony Abbott said there would be no cuts to education, no cuts to health, no changes to the pension, no changes to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS,’’ [Opposition finance spokesman Tony] Burke said.
But wait, there’s been some editing here. The full quote is this:
I trust everyone actually listened to what Joe Hockey has said last week and again this week. No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS.
A small difference, you might argue. But Abbott referenced the guarantee Joe Hockey gave, and Hockey three weeks earlier made plain on the ABC’s Q&A that the guarantee did not apply to trimming waste - say, through the usual efficiency dividend:

TONY JONES: Well, while you are on the subject - while you are on the subject, is the ABC immune from cuts? Because the Howard government, when they first came in, cut the ABC 10 and then 2% in two years?…
JOE HOCKEY: I’d just say to you is there any waste in the ABC at all, Tony?
TONY JONES: Say that again?
JOE HOCKEY: Is there any waste? ...
TONY JONES:  We’ll just get a quick response from Chris Bowen on this before we move on.
CHRIS BOWEN: Look, I accept that Joe is not going to privatise the ABC. I accept that that’s his position and he will honour that. I do think the ABC, though, has a fair bit to worry about when it comes to funding. As you said, it is what they cut in the Howard Government. We have not cut ABC funding, contrary to your assertion. I think the ABC and the SBS are both very important national institutions and they shouldn’t have their funding cut and you won’t promise not to.
TONY JONES: Well, a quick response to that, Joe Hockey?
JOE HOCKEY: Well, if there is waste, we will cut it.
I agree, Abbott faces a messy argument on whether he’d promised absolutely zero cuts. His words just before the election imply he did. But there is a strong argument that he left open the usual efficiency dividend, from which the ABC is one of the very few government agencies currently excluded.
(Thanks to reader John.) 
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A second airport is needed because we’ve crippled the first

Andrew Bolt April 16 2014 (8:22am)

Terry McCrann says the Abbott Government wouldn’t need to promise billions for a new airport if it just made the one Sydney has already work better:
We have made an enormous investment in Sydney’s existing airport. The cheapest further investment of all would be to make it work better and more efficiently. But for all sorts of reasons, most of them nonsense, that’s ‘off the agenda.’
Take a second airport to our north, Singapore’s. It services a similar city population to Sydney. It is also a huge international hub. It operates more than adequately, with two runways.
Last year Singapore handled 53 million passengers, some 50 per cent more than Sydney’s 36 million — and it is designed to handle 66 million.
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Labor suffered the worst swing in WA

Andrew Bolt April 16 2014 (8:09am)

The latest counting in the WA Senate election - with the Liberals getting strong support in postal votes - make Labor’s humiliation even worse. The results now show Labor suffered a worse swing against it than did the Government:

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Labor has almost certainly lost the last seat to the Liberals, which confirms the count as Liberals three seats, Labor one, Greens one and Palmer United Party one. 
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Republic now a distant threat

Andrew Bolt April 16 2014 (7:48am)

The media class is out of touch with the broad Australian public:
Support for an Australian republic has slumped to its lowest level in more than three decades just as royal enthusiasm reaches fever pitch over the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate ... with 51 per cent opposing any such move and only 42 per cent backing it.
That’s down from a high of 58 per cent in 1999 and represents the lowest pro-republican sentiment in 35 years.
In fact, after all that mockery I’m surprised Tony Abbott’s knighthood system gets such relatively strong support:
Yet as Fairfax Media reported on Monday, Australians are not actually in favour of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s move last month to revive the titles of knight and dame. Just 35 per cent of respondents backed that move compared to 50 per cent against.
Sceptical myself about the knighthoods, I was struck by the surprising resonance of the words “Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove” when I was watching an ABC report of Sir Peter’s visit to Victoria. If Abbott wants to build support for his knighthoods I’d suggest he do what he can to lure the media into reporting on the Governor-General’s doings. The more often the public hears “Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove” the more, I suspect, it will warm to the honorific. 
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Blewitt to be charged over AWU scandal

Andrew Bolt April 16 2014 (7:36am)

The AWU scandal

I doubt police would charge Blewitt without being of a mind to charge others:

THE union official who confessed to being a perpetrator of a major fraud in the Australian Workers’ Union slush fund affair has agreed to a formal Victoria Police request to return to Australia to be charged with criminal offences. 

Ralph Blewitt ... has been asked by Victoria Police Fraud Squad detective Sergeant Ross Mitchell to come to Melbourne as soon as possible for a formal interview in which he will again admit his guilt.

His solicitor, Bob Galbally, ... said Victoria Police detectives had advised him that Mr Blewitt, who has been co-operating with police since late 2012, would be charged with a fraud-related offence....
Mr Blewitt has been attacked as a liar by Ms Gillard, his former friend and solicitor. As a lawyer at Slater & Gordon, Ms Gillard provided legal advice to help establish the AWU Workplace Reform Association. The association, which Ms Gillard later described as a “slush fund” for the re-election of union officials, allegedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars from building company Thiess in the 1990s. The former prime minister has repeatedly and strenuously denied any wrongdoing, saying she had no knowledge of the operations of the association…
Mr Blewitt has previously told police in formal written statements how he and Mr Wilson extracted more than $300,000 from Thiess in return for industrial peace. The money was allegedly siphoned into accounts linked to the AWU Workplace Reform Association.
Some of the slush fund money, which police suspect were illegal secret commissions, went towards the purchase in Mr Blewitt’s name of a Melbourne terrace house at an auction which Ms Gillard attended with Mr Wilson, the successful bidder. The law firm handled the conveyancing and the financing of the mortgage.
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Straightened out by Islam

Andrew Bolt April 16 2014 (7:28am)

Something about that faith seems to licence violence:
TWO Australian citizens ... were killed in a Predator drone strike on five al-Qa’ida militants travelling in a convoy of cars in Hadramout, in eastern Yemen, on November 19.
The men were Christopher Harvard of Townsville and a New Zealand dual citizen who went by the name “Muslim bin John’’ and fought under the alias “Abu ­Suhaib al-Australi’’…
Yesterday, Harvard’s stepfather, Neil Dowrick, said… he did not know what had prompted his stepson’s conversion to Islam.
“Whatever it was it straightened his life,’’ Mr Dowrick said…
“They were foot soldiers,’’ [an unnamed senior] counter-terrorism official said, concerning the role played by the two in AQAP. “And there was a suggestion they were involved in kidnapping Westerners for ransom.’’
UPDATE
It just gets worse in Nigeria:
Suspected Islamic extremists abducted over 100 female students from a school in northeast Nigeria before dawn on Tuesday, but some of the teens managed to escape from the back of an open truck, officials said… Islamic extremists have been abducting girls to use as cooks and sex slaves.
Insurgents from the Boko Haram terrorist network are blamed for dozens of attacks that have killed more than 1500 people this year alone.
The group - whose name means “Western education is forbidden” - has targeted schools, churches, mosques, villages and agricultural centers in increasingly indiscriminate attacks…
The extremists also are accused of Monday morning’s explosion at a busy bus station in Nigeria’s capital that killed at least 75 people and wounded 141.
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Compensation culture: two more cases

Andrew Bolt April 16 2014 (7:20am)

Other people must pay for these decisions.
Payout one:
A PRIMARY schoolteacher who tripped in the street ­because he was hurrying to get to class has won up to $100,000 compensation. 

Denis Field said he was walking at “three times” his usual pace after being called at short notice to work at Hampton Park Public School in Sydney’s southwest…

“I tripped over the broken footpath because I was hurrying. I did not notice the crack. I was worried about being late,” Mr Field told NSW Workers Compensation Commission…
.... commission deputy president Bill Roche ... found there was a “real and substantial connection” between the teacher’s employment and the accident ...
Payout two:
Convicted tax office letter bomber Colin George Dunstan has been awarded more than $415,000 in workers compensation…
Dunstan posted 28 bombs to colleagues and high-profile public servants he believed had wronged him in 1998. Most were intercepted by police, however one detonated at the Fyshwick mail centre, injuring a postal worker…
Dunstan won a two-decade fight for compensation in 2012, after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal found his former workplace had contributed to his chronic depression, which led to his crimes. He claimed he had been left depressed and suicidal after a former lover sexually harassed and stalked him in the fallout of a soured office romance. 
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Abbott: pension promise will be kept. This term at least

Andrew Bolt April 16 2014 (7:13am)

If the Abbott Government gets a second term it will need a mandate at the next election for changing the pension - and that’s why the discussion must be held now:
TOUGHER pension rules are likely to be pushed beyond the next election as Tony Abbott vows to keep his campaign promise not to change pensions, but to get the budget under ­control....
“If there is one lesson to be learned from the political quagmire that the former government got itself into, it is: keep your commitments. So we will keep them,’’ Mr Abbott said.
“But one of the most fun­damental commitments of all was to get the budget back under control, to put the budget back on to a path to a sustainable ­surplus....”
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Winner of my prize for total lack of comprehension skills is….

Andrew Bolt April 16 2014 (6:58am)

The mere mention of my name seems enough to convince a certain kind of activist a crime must have been committed. No need to inquire any further.
And so I read this:
It’s that time of year, when the LGBTI community bands together to decide who has made the most outrageous, inflammatory and ignorant comments about the LGBTI community in the past twelve months to determine the winners of the GLORIAs (Gay and Lesbian Outrageous Ridiculous and Ignorant comment Awards)....
Journo Andrew Bolt has come under fire for his article on same-sex marriage – which suggested gay marriage was ‘unfair to hookers and bigamists’.
Odd, I thought. That doesn’t sound like an argument I’ve made.  And indeed it is not. The headline in fact sums up a stupid argument made not by me - a sceptic of same-sex marriage - but by an academic who wants esteem extended to hookers and bigamists.  From my article:
Now academic Annamarie Jagose claims that gay marriage is bad because it will just further oppress the already marginalised, who will be denied the esteem they deserve, too: 

Therefore, the recognition of same-sex couples through marriage is not a wholly benign or even a neutral act because, like the historic form of marriage itself, it recognises the worth of some relationships by valuing them more than others.
Outside the newly enlarged circle of social approval and privilege afforded by same-sex marriage stand those whose erotic lives are not organised around the values symbolised by marriage: coupledom, monogamy, permanence, domestic cohabitation.
Unmarried mothers, for instance; adulterers; the devotedly promiscuous; sex workers; the divorced; the bigamous and polygamous; those who are not strangers to the august traditions of the dirty weekend or the one-night stand; single people.
Now this ragtag bunch might not seem as worthy of social protection and prestige as the loving, caring, long-term gay and lesbian couples that are the shiny new poster boys and girls for same-sex marriage. But it reminds us to ask something that advocates of same-sex marriage, in their eagerness, forget to ask: why should marriage continue in the 21st century to be a primary mechanism for the distribution of social recognition and privilege? 
Er, children? If you are so upset by the words then punish the person who actually said them. Right now it seems you are simply reacting to prejudice, and aren’t these awards you alleged attempt to fight that very thing?
More evidence that those most appalled by my articles have never actually troubled to read them. 
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=== Posts from last year ===
4 her, so she knows how I see her


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Today, the entire people and I salute the courage of our finest sons and daughters, who are worthy of glory for all eternity. Blessed is the people who has such sons
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The IAF bows its head in memory of our fallen sons and daughters. May they rest in peace
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ZOMBIE COCKTAIL: Fill a shot glass halfway with peach schnapps. Gently pour Bailey's Irish Cream on top. After the shot is almost full, carefully add a small amount of blue curacao. After it settles, add a few drops of grenadine syrup....When The Walking Dead comes back on, some of our friends shall be making these ;-)
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"Prayers going up for everyone at the Boston Marathon."--Northland Church
"Pray for Boston. Now."--Pastor Rich Warren
”Yes, God Be with them all, we are praying here."--Roma Downey
Prayers are with everyone in Boston today. Sarah Palin
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Maggie?
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Monarchs make a wonderful portrait of Lizzy
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"We will get to the bottom of this. And we will find out who did this. We'll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice." -President Obama on Boston Marathon bombings

Watch the president's full remarks:http://tinyurl.com/cyj52kk
He made the promise .. and yet .. he is still President. - ed
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Never Give Up!
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Here's a little dose of geekery in my new Star Trek dress, making my go to thumbs up pose. Thanks Brian!!!
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These words of Abbott are fascinating on their own for their grace and power, but compare them with Gillard's words which would also equally apply to her own boat people policy, Gonski school reform, or any of the other failed policies like Pink Batts, NBN, or Carbon Tax. - ed
It’s important to show solidarity with America and with the people of Boston on this difficult day. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and injured in this terrible incident. While it’s too early to say who was responsible, obviously an event like this should deepen our resolve to stand up for democratic values and democratic decencies. I have this morning spoken with Ambassador Bleich, so that he is assured that Australians stand together with the United States on this sad day. - Tony Abbott

"Australia unreservedly condemns this brutal and senseless attack," Ms Gillard said.
"Our condolences go to the families of those killed and our thoughts are with those who have been injured.
It will be some time before we know the full extent of what has occurred" 
Does she even know what happened? - ed
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A happy Independence Holiday to all
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Vladimir Lenin
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Events[edit]

Births[edit]

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Holidays and observances[edit]

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“This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” - Romans 13:6-7
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Psalm 22:1
We here behold the Saviour in the depth of his sorrows. No other place so well shows the griefs of Christ as Calvary, and no other moment at Calvary is so full of agony as that in which his cry rends the air--"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" At this moment physical weakness was united with acute mental torture from the shame and ignominy through which he had to pass; and to make his grief culminate with emphasis, he suffered spiritual agony surpassing all expression, resulting from the departure of his Father's presence. This was the black midnight of his horror; then it was that he descended the abyss of suffering. No man can enter into the full meaning of these words. Some of us think at times that we could cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" There are seasons when the brightness of our Father's smile is eclipsed by clouds and darkness; but let us remember that God never does really forsake us. It is only a seeming forsaking with us, but in Christ's case it was a real forsaking. We grieve at a little withdrawal of our Father's love; but the real turning away of God's face from his Son, who shall calculate how deep the agony which it caused him?
In our case, our cry is often dictated by unbelief: in his case, it was the utterance of a dreadful fact, for God had really turned away from him for a season. O thou poor, distressed soul, who once lived in the sunshine of God's face, but art now in darkness, remember that he has not really forsaken thee. God in the clouds is as much our God as when he shines forth in all the lustre of his grace; but since even the thought that he has forsaken us gives us agony, what must the woe of the Saviour have been when he exclaimed, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

Evening

"Lift them up forever."
Psalm 28:9
God's people need lifting up. They are very heavy by nature. They have no wings, or, if they have, they are like the dove of old which lay among the pots; and they need divine grace to make them mount on wings covered with silver, and with feathers of yellow gold. By nature sparks fly upward, but the sinful souls of men fall downward. O Lord, "lift them up forever!" David himself said, "Unto thee, O God, do I lift up my soul," and he here feels the necessity that other men's souls should be lifted up as well as his own. When you ask this blessing for yourself, forget not to seek it for others also. There are three ways in which God's people require to be lifted up. They require to be elevated in character. Lift them up, O Lord; do not suffer thy people to be like the world's people! The world lieth in the wicked one; lift them out of it! The world's people are looking after silver and gold, seeking their own pleasures, and the gratification of their lusts; but, Lord, lift thy people up above all this; keep them from being "muck-rakers," as John Bunyan calls the man who was always scraping after gold! Set thou their hearts upon their risen Lord and the heavenly heritage! Moreover, believers need to be prospered in conflict. In the battle, if they seem to fall, O Lord, be pleased to give them the victory. If the foot of the foe be upon their necks for a moment, help them to grasp the sword of the Spirit, and eventually to win the battle. Lord, lift up thy children's spirits in the day of conflict; let them not sit in the dust, mourning forever. Suffer not the adversary to vex them sore, and make them fret; but if they have been, like Hannah, persecuted, let them sing of the mercy of a delivering God.
We may also ask our Lord to lift them up at the last! Lift them up by taking them home, lift their bodies from the tomb, and raise their souls to thine eternal kingdom in glory.
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Joses 
[Jō'sēs] - he that pardons.
1.One of the brethren of our Lord (Matt. 13:55Mark 6:3). RV gives name as Joseph.
2. The son of Mary, probably the same as No. 1 (Matt. 27:56Mark 15:40-47).
3. The personal or natal name of Barnabas, the companion and missionary colleague of Paul (Acts 4:36). The RV gives Joseph.
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Today's reading: 1 Samuel 27-29, Luke 13:1-22 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Samuel 27-29

David Among the Philistines
1 But David thought to himself, "One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand."
2 So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maok king of Gath. 3 David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal. 4When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 13:1-22

Repent or Perish
1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them-do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
6 Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?'
8 "'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down....'"
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Lent=Devotions-Header
The devotional schedule is changing for the duration of Holy Week. Beginning this Sunday and going through Easter Sunday, we'll send out a daily Scripture reading instead of the usual mix of Scripture, quotations, and prayers. We hope it helps you focus your heart and mind on Jesus and God's Word as the glorious day of Resurrection approaches!

Today's Prayer


Let your mighty hand and outstretched arm, O LORD, be our defense;
Your mercy and loving-kindness in Jesus Christ, your dear Son, our salvation;
Your true and holy word our instruction;
Your grace and Holy Spirit our comfort and consolation,
Until the end and in the end. -- John Knox, Scottish reformer (1510 - 1572)

Today's Scripture Reading: Psalm 51:11-16

11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
Today's Quote

"We must come before God in silence, as evildoers, in order to obtain grace for the offenses that we have committed. We come clothed in shame, confessing that we are lost, that God might save us through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. In short, we say that it is completely beyond our powers to acquit ourselves in the eyes of God. But he comes to our aid; he does not scrutinize us or enter into account with us. When we have offended him, there is no satisfaction for sin other than the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. The only way we can be cleansed is to wash ourselves in his blood." -- John Calvin, "Freedom from the Bondage of the Law"

Something to Think About

Did you make a commitment to do (or refrain from) a particular activity during Lent? How have you done so far? Whether or not you've kept up with your commitment, what have you learned from the experience?
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Knowing Him - An Easter Devotional

THE TEMPLE TOUR

Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” (Luke 21:5-6)
The temple still loomed larger than anything else in the spiritual vision of Jesus’ followers. It was after all the embodiment of God’s promise and the symbol of his presence. It was the arena for the ritual and the exercise of the law. Enthused worshipers made their pilgrimages there to make their sacrifices and to admire the massive, beautiful stones that made up its walls. Jesus burst the bubble of the disciples’ admiration when he looked up at the impressive structure, this symbol of stability for the people and said, “this will all be torn down one day.”
It is true, of course, all monuments made with hands, all empires built by intellect and guts do eventually crumble. It is as certain as anything in history. The temple had been destroyed before and rebuilt. But now Jesus expands his disciples’ understanding by telling them of a cataclysm ahead that will tear families apart and bring war across the land. Bible interpreters vary in whether this is a prophesy about the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans some forty years later, or a prophesy yet to be fulfilled. In either case, Jesus’ principle is the same–don’t trust in what you can put your hands on. Our salvation, our redemption, is only to be found in God and his love. Indeed, Jesus said, when life seems to be falling apart around you, you should then “lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (vs. 28). He should know. He said that when the temple which was his body would be destroyed, it would be raised in three days, and it was. Any human can re-build stones, but only God can come back from death.
Ponder This: Are there any “temples” or sanctuaries in your life that you know could pass away, necessitating a new level of faith?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Resources

About The Author - Mel Lawrenz serves as minister at large for Elmbrook Church and leads The Brook Network. Having been in pastoral ministry for thirty years, the last decade as senior pastor of Elmbrook, Mel seeks to help Christian leaders engage with each other. Mel is the author of eleven books, the most recent for church leaders, Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement.
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Today's Lent reading: John 9-10 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
3 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes. 7 "Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam" (this word means "Sent"). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, "Isn't this the same man who used to sit and beg?" 9 Some claimed that he was....