Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sun 30th Dec Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Nhi Tori Tran andPee Pee Richards. Born on the same day, across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

December 30Rizal Day in the Philippines (1896)
Castillo de San Marcos





[edit]Holidays and observances


Outlook grim at least till election

Piers Akerman – Sunday, December 30, 2012 (5:52am)

SADLY, 2012 began with a scandal that had its genesis in the Prime Minister’s office and it went downhill from there.
In the days leading up to Australia Day 2013, there is little doubt the media will revisit the humiliating scene from Canberra’s Lobby Restaurant showing a fearful Prime Minister Julia Gillard huddled under the arm of one of her protective service team as she flees a mob of deluded Aboriginal activists and hangers-on deliberately fired up by a phone call from one of her staffers.
As she was dragged to her waiting car, losing a shoe in the process, she looked like a small frightened girl. That was the picture that went around the world last January.
Half a year later, after a Federal Police investigation and through Freedom of Information requests, the nation was told that a relatively junior media adviser named Tony Hodges had acted alone in alerting Kim Sattler, activist head of Unions ACT and long-time hater of Opposition leader Tony Abbott to his presence at the restaurant, a minute’s walk from the shabby so-called Tent Embassy. Hodges, who had meanwhile relocated to London, has not commented.
Like many Australians, the former Labor attorney-general Robert McClelland, who had been dumped from his ministerial position by a vengeful Gillard, later found it hard to believe that a junior member of Julia Gillard’s office acting alone helped spark the chain of events that led to the violent protest.
Ruing the incident which he acknowledged “thwarted” plans to hold a referendum on constitutional recognition of indigenous people at the next election, McClelland said a more rigorous inquiry should have been held into the circumstances leading up to the “outrageous” violence.
“I personally don’t think a relatively junior member of a media staff would have phoned up ... without higher authority,” he told the annual conference of the Police Association of South Australia in Adelaide in October.
“I’m not saying it went to the highest level, but I think from higher in the office. I think a much more detailed inquiry should have occurred, both on whether there was any authorisation and whether there was a culture - even if authorisation hadn’t occurred, which I doubt - such that a relatively junior officer thought that sort of conduct was appropriate.”
We don’t need another inquiry to know that there is a toxic culture in the Prime Minister’s office. The evidence abounds.
Preferring to toss away the opportunity to give symbolic recognition of indigenous people in the Constitution in favour of choosing to unleash a mob in the hope of damaging the Opposition leader is just a small thread in the cloth that is the Gillard persona.
While Gillard’s Handbag Hit Squad of defenders may attempt to claim that any criticism of their leader is proof of an ingrained culture of fierce misogyny, it must be pointed out that the person who has most revelled in being identified as responsible for the savagery of the current political climate is unquestionably John McTernan - a man.
But McTernan is a recent blow-in. The culture was present before he arrived. The culture reflects that part of the prime minister’s character that has not changed since she was an extremist student activist, that part of her character which saw her in a relationship with union boss Bruce Wilson and matey with his sidekick Ralph Blewitt, who set up the notorious AWU Workplace Reform Association.
Beyond saying she ended her relationship with Wilson around the same time, and revealing her role in organising some of the paperwork for his slush fund to her partners at the Labor law firm Slater & Gordon, Gillard has said very little about her former lover - though she allows she was “young and naive” and in her mid-30s.
She has not spared her old friend Blewitt however, even though he was the nominal owner of the Victorian property which Wilson lived in and which she visited regularly. A man she dined with. That was then.
Now Blewitt, according to others who know him, is described as “as a complete imbecile, an idiot, a stooge, a sexist pig, a liar and his sister has said he’s a crook and rotten to the core. His word against mine. Make your mind up,” Gillard says.
Perhaps more wretchedly that ugly and venal side was also present when Gillard turned on Abbott in parliament falsely accusing him of making remarks about her late father just days after he had delivered a most handsome tribute to “a remarkable parent who produces a prime minister of this country”.
Gillard delivered a heartfelt statement about her father to whom she was clearly close. The Opposition answered in a manner that reflects well on Tony Abbott. Abbott’s words - as Gillard acknowledged at the time - were sincere and genuinely sympathetic.
Nonetheless, Gillard ignored that inherent decency and showed her characteristic venality when she launched her sordid and hypocritical tirade defending the true and grotesquely self-identified misogynist, her personal appointee as Speaker, Peter Slipper.
She wilfully and wrongfully labelled Abbott as such. That was the video that went viral with gloating misandristic feminists who knew nothing of Gillard’s defence of Slipper just hours before even he recognised that his conduct had degraded the office of Speaker to such an unsustainable level that he had no option but to quit the chair Gillard had so recently voted to keep him in.
Since then the malice has only increased. The Handbag Hit Squad has chosen to highlight Abbott’s Christian faith as a reason to withhold trust.
Never mind the outright lies being peddled about his term as Health Minister (the health budget increased, actually), his record shows that he has been at pains never to permit the personal to intrude on the public.
With Gillard, there is nothing personal. Looking toward 2013, the outlook is bleak - at least until the election.



Tim Blair – Sunday, December 30, 2012 (3:28pm)

Influential female voice Jane Caro
I doubt there is a teacher in America who wants to carry a gun at school. 
On Thursday, [Kasey Hansen] was one of 200 Utah teachers who flocked to an indoor sports arena for free instruction in the handling of firearms by gun activists who say armed educators might have a chance at thwarting deadly shooting rampages in their schools …
“I feel like I would take a bullet for any student in the school district,” Hansen, a special education teacher in a Salt Lake City school district, told Reuters after the training session.
“If we should ever face a shooter like the one in Connecticut, I’m fully prepared to respond with my firearm,” she said, adding that she planned to buy a weapon soon and take it to work. 
Additionally, “in Ohio, a pilot program to teach teachers how to use guns is at capacity.” You were saying, Jane?



Tim Blair – Sunday, December 30, 2012 (3:20pm)

Working class millionaire Bruce Springsteen gouges the locals
High ticket prices have upset some fans, who question why an artist like Springsteen charges $220 for a premium ticket in Australia, when the same ticket to the same show in Connecticut in October cost $90.
“You can’t tell me it costs more than double per head to stage a concert here in Australia,” said music fan Robin Pash, who has just returned from the United States, where he saw Springsteen and a series of acts for what would be considered bargain prices. 
Perhaps the acting Prime Minister should investigate. Still, you can’t blame Bruce. He’s just picking up some coin where he can these days.

Yes, it's real. Here is the original post:



Appropriate use of an expense account, Peter Slipper? - ed
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Christmas, Jesus and the Rejection of a Jewish Child 

Current Thought to Ponder by Rabbi Lopes Cardozo 

This week, our gentile brothers and sisters celebrated the birth of one little Jewish child, one who turned the world on its head as no child has ever done. Millions went to church and thanked the good Lord for his birth. If that isn‘t enough, in just a few days the world will continue to celebrate him. This time it is his circumcision, which according to Jewish law must take place eight days after his birth. This, too, will be the cause of major festivities around the world. His circumcision is so important to the gentiles that they decided long ago to change their calendar and begin their new year on that very day, the first of January—bo bayom! (1) What is most ironic is that all the countries who now want to ban circumcision will, instead of demonstrating against this “barbaric act,” join in these very celebrations.
No child has ever been given so much attention and inspired so many people. Yet, what nobody seems to realize is that this was a child who went to synagogue daily, ate kosher, went to cheider, spoke Hebrew, shook the lulav on Succoth, and probably had payot (sidelocks) behind his ears.
The astonishing fact that one Jewish child is at the center of a universally celebrated holiday, in which billions of human beings will participate, should make us wonder what this is all about. That he is considered the Messiah in the eyes of millions but utterly rejected as an apostate by his own people makes us wonder even more. What went wrong?
Rav Avraham Y KookMaimonides informs us that there must be more than a little religious meaning in all this. In his Mishneh Torah (2) he states that God caused Jesus to have such a great influence on the world so that all of mankind would become accustomed to the concept of the real mashiach’s impending arrival. The great Rav Avraham Yitschak Kook (1865-1935), Chief Rabbi of Palestine before the State of Israel was established,  even went so far as to call Jesus a man of “awesome personal power and spiritual flow,” which was misdirected and led to his confusion and apostasy (3).
Most revealing is the Talmud’s account of how Jesus became an apostate. This passage in the Talmud was once censored by the Church but is now printed in nearly all the new editions (4).
Our rabbis teach us: One should always push away with his left hand while drawing close with his right hand…unlike Rabbi Yehoshua ben Perachiah who pushed Jesus away with both hands…When King Yannai killed our Sages, Rabbi Yeshoshua ben Perachiah and his students (including Jesus) fled to Alexandria, Egypt. When peace returned, Rabbi Shimon ben Shetach sent a message to him: “From me in (Yerushalayim) the city of holiness, to you, Alexandria, my sister: My husband stays in your midst, and I sit forsaken.” He (Rabbi Yehoshua ben Perachiah) arose (to return to Yerushalayim) and went, and found himself in a certain inn, where great honor was given to him. He said: “How beautiful is this achsania (inn).” Thereupon Jesus said to him, “Rabbi, her eyes are narrow.” (The word ‘achsania’ can mean inn or innkeeper; Jesus seems to have thought that Rabbi Yehoshua was speaking about the female innkeeper.) So, Rabbi Yehoshua said to him: “Villain, do you behave yourself like that (looking at women)?” He sent out four hundred trumpets and excommunicated him. He (Jesus) came before him and said to him: Receive me (let me repent and accept me.) But he would not acknowledge him.
“One day when he (Rabbi Yehoshua) was reciting the Shema (Hear, O Israel) he (Jesus) came before him. He, Rabbi Yehoshua, intended to receive him (and forgive him), and he gestured to him. He (Jesus) thought that he rejected him again (thinking that the gesture was dismissive). He went and hung up a tile and worshipped it. He (Rabbi Yehoshua) said to him: ‘Return,’ but he replied: ‘So I have understood from you that everyone who sins and causes the multitude to sin has no chance to repent’” (5).
There is much in this passage that is unclear. (Probably parts of the original text are missing.) Is it suggesting that had Rabbi Yehoshua ben Perachiah been more tolerant towards Jesus, the latter may not have become an apostate and a false mashiach, and that Christianity as we know it today would not have developed (6)?
Whatever the Sages may have had in mind, one cannot ignore the fact that they seem to be sending a strong warning to future generations. The tragedy of Jesus was not just his own fault, due to his stubbornness, but was also the result of mistakes made by great men who were his teachers.
Unprecedentedly, the Talmud seems to suggest that one careless wave of the hand is enough to spark an outburst of animosity that may result in a new religion or movement. Had Rabbi Yehoshua ben Perachiah not rejected him, Jesus may have stayed in the fold and even become a major spiritual force within Judaism, carrying it to higher spiritual levels.
NachmanidesRamban suggests something similar in his commentary on the incident where Sarah (then called Sarai) oppressed Hagar, which resulted in an ongoing Arab hatred of Jews (7). The Talmud (8) agrees and mentions the source of Amalek’s hatred of Jews as being an unnecessary rejection of his mother by the avoth (the patriarchs).
In each of these cases, a minor mistake resulted in a major anti-Semitic ideology. Surely, many other issues must have contributed. Anti-Semitism is complex and may even be rooted in the fact that the Jewsgave Jesus to the world, and not, as is claimed, that they killed him (9).
The Talmud (10) relates the story of Elisha ben Avuya who after a certain incident questioned Jewish Tradition and stopped being religious. When Acher (“the other,” a name given to Elisha ben Avuya by the Sages after he became a heretic) heard a heavenly voice say, “`Return, O wayward children’ (11), except for Acher,” implying that he could not repent, he completely renounced Judaism.
In his celebrated work Mekor Baruch, Rabbi Baruch HaLevi Epstein (1860-1941), best known for his Torah Temima commentary on the Torah, notes that a harsh approach to those who are on the verge of leaving the fold has caused much damage:
This phenomenon, to our sadness, seems to repeat itself in every generation. Whenever people quarrel over matters related to ideology and faith, and a person discovers that his more lenient opinion is in the minority, all too often—although his original view differed only slightly from the majority—the total rejection he experiences pushes him over the brink. Gradually, his views become more and more irrational and he becomes disgusted with his opponents, their Torah and their practices, forsaking them completely (12).
Rabbi Epstein goes on to discuss the case of Uriel da Costa (1585-1640), a Dutch Sephardi Jew who denied the authenticity of Oral Law. The rabbi criticizes the Jewish religious leaders of Amsterdam who excommunicated Uriel da Costa: “Instead of instructing him with love and patience and extricating him from his maze of doubts by showing him his mistake, they disparaged him. They pursued him with sanctions and excommunication, cursing him until he was eventually driven away completely from his people and his faith and committed suicide, ending his life in a most degrading way.”
Rabbi Epstein also alludes to the ban put on the well-known Jewish Dutch philosopher, Baruch Spinoza, who became the fiercest critic of Judaism (13). While Uriel da Costa did no real harm to Judaism, Spinoza became the father of a major philosophical school of thought that greatly damaged the image of Judaism and later encouraged anti-Jewish outbursts, similar to the case of Jesus and his followers thousands of years earlier (14).
We wonder what would have happened if religious leaders such as Rabbi Yehoshua ben Perachiah and the leaders of the Amsterdam Portuguese-Spanish Community had shown more patience and tolerance. Perhaps Spinoza would not have created so much animosity towards Judaism. Perhaps he would have initiated a spiritual foundation to Judaism without a God but with respect for the Jewish tradition, as did Mordechai Kaplan (1881-1983), founder of Reconstructionist Judaism. Similarly, Jesus might have remained in the fold and not become the cause of so much Christian anti-Semitism in later days. We might even not have had to deal with the Y2K Bug 13 years ago! Who would have imagined that one wave of the hand, almost two thousand years ago, could cause such upheaval to this day?
rejectedRabbis and other religious leaders of today may have to give much more attention to this candid Talmudic story and to Rabbi Epstein’s warning. How much might Judaism have benefited from people like Jesus and Spinoza had they not been rejected and had they contributed to the tradition in which they were raised.
(1) The Common Era calendar was instituted by Dionysius Exiguus in the year 525. He however claimed that the first of January is identical with the day of Jesus’ incarnation. (See
Wikipedia on Common Era: Origins)
(2) Hilchot Melachim, 11:4.
 (3) OrotOrot HaTechiya, and his letter of June 29, 1913, to the famous scholar Ridbaz, Rabbi Yaakov David Wilovsky.
(4) R.N.N. Rabbinovicz, Ma’amar al Hadpasat ha-Talmud
(Jerusalem: Mosad HaRav Kook, 1952) p. 28, n. 26.
(5) Sanhedrin 107b.
(6) There are scholars who dispute that Jesus in the Talmud and Jesus in the New Testament
are one and the same, since they seem to have lived in different periods. See, for example,
Rabbi Yechiel of Paris: Sefer ha-Vikuach, edited by Reuven Margoliot, 1920, 16f).
(7) Bereshith 16:6.
(8) Sanhedrin 99b.
(9) See TTP 167 – Europe and Anti-Semitism.
(10) Chagigah 15a.
(11) Yirmiyahu 3:14, 22.
(12) Mekor Baruch, Chapter 13:5.
(13) For a full treatment of this topic in relation to Spinoza, see: Steven Nadler, Spinoza: A Life (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999) chapter 6.
(14) See: Emil L. Fackenheim, To Mend the World (New York: Schocken Books, 1982) chapter 2.

Illustration: John Spooner

Sceptics weather the storm to put their case on climate

John Spooner
WELL, so much for the 2012 apocalypse. If the ancient Mayans ever knew anything about the future, they made a serious miscalculation. The same fate has befallen the international climate change emergency brigade. About $1 billion and 18 "Kyoto" meetings later, the world has agreed to do nothing much more than meet again.
How did this frightening climate threat dissolve into scientific uncertainty and political confusion? What of the many billions of dollars of wasted public resources? Some might blame the "sceptics", the "merchants of doubt" or the "deniers". Others point to the global financial crisis.
We can say for certain that many hesitant individuals overcame the pressures of group-think, intimidation and tribal disapproval to have a closer look at the relationship between real science, politics and business.
I was once told by a friend that when it comes to scientific issues of major public concern, it is "not what you know but who you know". I think he meant that my fledgling scepticism about dangerous anthropogenic global warming (DAGW) was pointless, for as a cartoonist I was as unqualified to assess the science as he was.
The implication was that all who are untrained in "climate science" are required to accept the scientific and political authority of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its local colleagues such as the CSIRO: the scientific establishment.
I found my friend's advice baffling. Anyone familiar with the judicial process knows the gravest issues of liberty and fortune are often determined by a jury selected from the public. Expert witnesses can give evidence in support of either side at a trial. The judge must rule on questions of admissibility, but in the end it is the jury that decides which scientific evidence is to be believed.
The Indian city of Lucknow (population 4.8 million) has just recorded its coldest December day in the last 58 years.

I bet they can't wait for a carbon tax.


=== .. one of my heroes .. rdy's words:[91]
“ I remember once going to see him when he was ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one, and that I hoped it was not an unfavorable omen. "No," he replied, "it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways." ”
The two different ways are
1729 = 13 + 123 = 93 + 103.
Generalizations of this idea have created the notion of "taxicab numbers". Coincidentally, 1729 is also a Carmichael number.>

Deathbed theory dreamt by an Indian maths genius is finally proved correct - almost 100 years after he died===


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Hi everyone! Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas. Here's the newsletter for December 26th. Enjoy!

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