Friday, August 30, 2013

Fri Aug 30th Todays News

A son of Syria's murderous leader wants the world to attack Syria. UK parliament says it wants peace. What would peace look like in Syria? Would the civilian population be shelled with a mixture of ordinary and chemical ordinance? Would the local population be threatened with sectarian violence? Would a new leader be worse? What is the path of hope? When Obama was running for President he said he would be better than President Bush. The only area Obama has excelled the previous President is in spending. Bush was strong and effective, even as a lame duck. NK and Syria would not have taken the liberties they have under Bush. Suggesting Bush would have acted sooner than the dithering Obama, without escalating the affair. Thing is, Syria is bad without being the cause of the problem. Iran is the puppet master in this situation. And in this high stakes game, the threat is too the only place in the Middle East where Arabs can walk the streets unmolested, Israel. 
Rudd's election plan is in tatters. He had apparently intended to run on the denunciation that the Liberal National Parties would cut responsibly into spending. Something Rudd would never do. However, in taking insurance out on unannounced policy by using treasury figures of worst case scenarios .. something the ALP have never done for themselves, losing over $107 Billion in shortfalls, Rudd made a mistake. He claimed Treasury had costed policies. Treasury have had to release to media the detail that it hadn't costed anyone's policies. Showing that Rudd is now a liar and called out as one by senior public servants. That would never happen if those public servants thought Ruddite ALP would be elected at any time prior to the end of their careers. So now we have senior public servants saying they expect the LNP will be in office for multiple terms of office. Maybe Mr Abbott will be the longest serving Australian PM? It is difficult to imagine anyone in the ALP with the talent to take office. 
Update on the drugs in sport issue. It looks increasingly as if a young sportsman has been cornered into admitting he had done something wrong when he had done nothing wrong. The Canberra 23 year old is being offered a reduction in penalty if he confesses and names names before the election. Jason Clare should not be rewarded for this smear. 
Former ALP minister is found guilty of corruption by the ICAC. They really need to look at sitting members too.

Happy birthday and many happy returns Peter of Castile (1334), Samuel Whitbread (1720), Mary Shelley (1797), Ernest Rutherford (1871), Nancy Wake (1912), Ted Williams (1918), Warren Buffett (1930), Cameron Diaz (1972), Andy Roddick (1982) and Emily Bear (2001). On your day, Constitution Day in Kazakhstan (1995); St. Rose of Lima's Day in Peru; Victory Day in Turkey
1813 – Creek War: A force of Creeks, belonging to the Red Sticks faction killed hundreds of settlers in Fort Mims in Alabama.
1835 – European settlers landing on the north banks of the Yarra River in Southeastern Australia founded the city of Melbourne.
1909 – American paleontologist Charles Walcott discovered the Burgess Shale, one of the world's most celebrated fossil fields, in the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia.
1959 – The title of National Hero of Indonesia was first given, to the writer-cum-politician Abdul Muis.
1995 – Bosnian War: NATO began its bombing campaign against the Army of Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The campaign has begun, The title is given. Fossils celebrate. Gathering on the north bank, we survive the creek. Enjoy your day.

Kev’s beer coaster talk won’t sway the voters

Piers Akerman – Thursday, August 29, 2013 (7:17pm)

STALKING the stage like a television evangelist or an aluminium siding salesman, Kevin Rudd attempted to woo the nation using the people of western Sydney as proxies in Wednesday night’s debate.



Tim Blair – Friday, August 30, 2013 (4:55am)

Today’s editorial in the Daily Telegraph looks at desperate last-minute election ploys: 
In 1983, as Malcolm Fraser faced defeat at the hands of Bob Hawke’s Labor party, the Liberal Prime Minister warned that if Labor was elected people’s savings would be safer under the bed than in a bank.
Voters saw through Fraser’s ridiculous threat and swung their support to the ALP.
In 1996, Labor treasurer Ralph Willis produced a letter he claimed was written by then-Victorian premier Jeff Kennett that he said was evidence of a plan by Liberal opposition leader John Howard to cut state finances if he won office.
The letter was soon exposed as a forgery and Howard won in a landslide over Paul Keating.
In 2010, only days before the election, Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard vowed that “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.”
Gillard scraped through the election by the tiniest margin, but then introduced a carbon tax and set in train the events that would eventually see her cast aside by her own party. 
Now Kevin Rudd is busted after trying his own last-minute ploy: 
Two of Australia’s most senior public servants have undermined Labor claims of a $10 billion black hole in Tony Abbott’s election costings, prompting Joe Hockey to call Kevin Rudd “a liar”.
In a dramatic and highly unusual move, the heads of Treasury and Finance issued a statement to distance themselves from claims the Coalition had a major financial hole in their election costings …
Treasury head Martin Parkinson and Finance chief David Tune, in a joint statement, forced the Government on the defensive just hours after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had publicly accused the Coalition of a $10 billion “fraud”. 
Fairfax’s report is equally damning
Australia’s two most senior economic bureaucrats have in effect torpedoed Kevin Rudd’s claim of a $10 billion hole in opposition costings, declaring that neither Treasury nor the Finance Department had a role in the financial assessment. 
Age economics editor Tim Colebatch
The Prime Minister chimed in, declaring: ‘’What we’re doing today is calling Mr Abbott on his truthfulness. This is a $10 billion fraud on the Australian people.’’
But no, it wasn’t. In an unprecedented rebuke to their ministers, late on Thursday, Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson and Finance secretary David Tune issued a joint statement disowning the figures released in their name …
Someday, someone will explain to us how Labor could run a campaign as badly thought-out as this one. Right now, it seems just inexplicable. 
Not really. Consider the party’s leader.



Tim Blair – Friday, August 30, 2013 (4:51am)

How puzzling this comment would seem to citizens in genuinely repressed nations: 
The blatantly anti-government front pages of newspapers like the Daily Telegraph have sparked huge debate around the country about whether our media should be more regulated or not. 
Anti-government front pages are a feature of democracy. The activist left, of course, consider them to be a flaw



Tim Blair – Friday, August 30, 2013 (4:44am)

Several points emerge from this resignation letter by David Haidon, former Victorian volunteer coordinator of the shattered Wikileaks Party:
• The Wikileaks Party is even more given to classic leftoid infighting than we previously suspected.
• Greg Barns, whose political career has descended from the Liberals to the Democrats and now to Wikileaks, is accused of vowing to “destroy” ex-Wikileaks candidate Leslie Cannold after the election.
• The Wikileaks Party’s former “social media captain” goes by the name Sean Bedlam. He presently seems to be at war with Julian Assange, the Occupy movement and Victoria’s legal system, all at once. Let’s hear him out (there is swearing):



Tim Blair – Friday, August 30, 2013 (4:18am)

All of us denialists should aspire to this:



Tim Blair – Friday, August 30, 2013 (4:13am)

A Wednesday morning meeting in Canberra between departing Labor identities Julia Gillard and Craig Emerson:

The pair were deep in conversation over a table at chic eatery Ostani, but at one point Mr Emerson rose from the table to make his point.
“He was getting pretty worked up at one stage,” a witness said.
“He was walking around, waving his arms a lot and gesturing.” 
Craig was probably just singing.



Tim Blair – Friday, August 30, 2013 (3:01am)

Sound advice on food blogging – or other kinds of blogging, for that matter – from Prick With a Fork
Write honestly (and well).
Photograph discreetly.
And don’t be a jerk. 
That post was prompted by a spectacular incident of jerkishness.


7 of 26

Tim Blair – Friday, August 30, 2013 (12:53am)

We’re barely one-quarter of the way through the eternal Australia-England cricket torment. This morning’s episode: aT20 match at Southampton featuring the possible debut of Fawad Ahmed. Latest overall score:
England: Four wins, 3125 runs
Australia: No wins, 2956 runs
Two draws
One pitch defiled
UPDATE. When Australia reached 170 in the first innings, thanks to an Aaron Finch six in the 15th over, we overtook England’s accumulated run total to date.
UPDATE II. Australian cricket needs more right-handed Victorians. Finch’s record score delivers Australia’s first international cricket win in more than 200 days.


How low can the Left go?

Andrew Bolt August 30 2013 (5:27pm)

Labor and the union movement have really reached deep into the slime bucket in this election:
THE nation’s most militant union has sparked outrage after using Adolf Hitler in an attack on the Coalition’s industrial relations agenda that included dredging up frontbencher Eric Abetz’s distant family connection to Nazism.
The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union has written to its members attacking the Coalition’s industrial relations plan, warning of the dangers of an Abbott government and the roles played by Senator Abetz and other colleagues.
The material savagely attacks Senator Abetz and includes a photograph of Adolf Hitler beneath the MP, with the caption: “He (Hitler) wanted to smash the unions too.”
The newsletter also revisits the fact Senator Abetz’s great uncle Otto was a senior Nazi and Hitler’s ambassador to France, which has been widely known for years...The newsletter also attacks Liberal leader Tony Abbott’s position on industrial relations and includes personal references to Coalition industry spokeswoman Sophie Mirabella’s former relationship with an older man.
(Thanks to reader Peter.)
How low can the Left go? Well, the ABC’s Wil Anderson can go very low indeed with another Hitler reference or two to Tony Abbott - one in particular quite foul (from 1:50).
And then, as Gerard Henderson observes, ABC hosts have the hide to demand more money for their sheltered workshop when Liberal MPs come on.
(Thanks to reader Andrew.) 


Murdoch does influence the election, after all

Andrew Bolt August 30 2013 (5:09pm)

John van Tiggelen, editor of the Leftist The Monthly, is the first Australian I’ve heard admit he lets Rupert Murdoch decide his vote:
Perhaps ... that’s what it will come down to when I finally make it past the sausage sizzle on September 7 to consummate my right to vote: what wouldn’t Rupert do?
Speaking as a Murdoch minion, I’ve always thought our readers had the brains to make their own decisions on the facts before them. But let me help guide van Tiggelen: Murdoch would never vote for Clive Palmer or Pauline Hanson. Cast your vote accordingly.
British columnist Simon Heffer is astonished the ABC is giving visiting Labour MP Tom Watson a free run in almost every ABC studio to denounce Rupert Murdoch and his Australian newspapers:
This is the man who goes to a foreign country and interferes in its election campaign, attacking the ethical conduct of a media organisation. Before accepting Watson as an incarnation of Mother Teresa in a suit, and taking any notice of his moral lectures, Australia would do well to reflect upon Watson’s difficulties with ethics in a career in politics on the other side of the globe.
From the latest edition of the excellent Spectator, out now and also available as an app. 


Newspoll: Labor wipeout in NSW. My tip: Coalition to win at least 92 of 150 seats

Andrew Bolt August 30 2013 (4:22pm)

Newspoll suggests a Labor wipeout in Sydney:

On a two-party-preferred basis, using preference flows at the 2010 election, there has been a nine-percentage-point swing away from Labor to 43 per cent across the electorates of Greenway, Lindsay, Banks, Reid and Parramatta, all of which are held on margins of less than 5 per cent.
If the swing in the five seats is uniform across the neighbouring Labor seats of Werriwa (held by 6.8 per cent), McMahon (7.9 per cent) and Fowler (8.8 per cent), as well as the nearby seat of Barton (6.9 per cent), where former attorney-general Robert McClelland is retiring, all eight seats would be lost.
A previous Newspoll survey of Labor’s NSW coastal marginal seats of Robertson and Dobell, the latter held by former Labor MP now independent, Craig Thomson, has shown both seats would go to the Coalition.
As well, Newspoll surveys in the seats of Lyne and New England, held by the retiring rural independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, show the previously conservative seats are overwhelmingly shifting back to the Coalition. On the latest polling and with the previous Newspoll marginal seat polling, the Coalition ... could win at least 13 in NSW, mostly in western Sydney and from independents.
The Coalition is headed for a landslide.
It holds 72 seats, but turncoat Peter Slipper’s seat of Fisher will become Liberal again with Mal Brough. Oakeshott and Windsor’s seats will also return to the Coalition, giving the Coalition 75 seats in all, just one short of a majority.
To that add the 11 NSW seats Newspoll says Labor will lose in NSW, the three it’s conservatively likely to lose in Queensland, three more at least in Victoria, possibly three in Tasmania, one in South Australia and at least one in WA and the Northern Territory. That would give an Abbott Government 92 seats, Labor 55, the Greens one, Andrew Wilkie one and Bob Katter one.
And it could get even worse for Labor. Rudd could lose his own seat. Labor could conceivably lose two more seats in Victoria, one in Tasmania and one in the west or north. The Liberals could even take Wilkie’s seat on a good day.
We are looking at a big win for the “unelectable” Abbott.
Finance Minister Penny Wong is suddenly bored with the costings attack Labor has pushed for weeks - until it blew up in its face:
WONG: I think a lot of people are tired of this costings debate, I’d quite like to be able to talk about something else.
I bet you would. It’s kind of awkward to have your lies exposed.
3AW’s Neil Mitchell didn’t appreciate Bill Shorten dodging questions on how Treasury and Finance exposed Rudd’s deceitful claim they had costed Liberal promises:

NM: Ok, well, that’s Bill Shorten, did they do costings on the policies or not?
BS: Our costings were based on the information we had before the election, the easiest way Neil, to cut through all of this…
NM: But that’s not what the Prime Minister pretended yesterday.
BS: Neil, you and I know, well wait a sec, you and I both know and Joe knows, this all can be cleared up if the Opposition…
NM: No! It goes to credibility, it goes to trust…
BS: Well you can lose your temper, but I’m not going to…
NM: Yeah well I am bloody losing my temper ...
BS: Well that’s your call.
NM: ... cos the people of this country are very sick of the bullshit they’re getting fed and what I’m saying is they were fed crap yesterday.
BS: Alright Neil.  No need for you to swear at me. 


To all Labor voters in Griffith: please vote exactly as Rudd says

Andrew Bolt August 30 2013 (2:22pm)

It is actually illegal to advocate an informal vote. Worse for Labor is that Kevin Rudd is instructing his fans on how not to cast a valid vote for him:
(Thanks to reader Gavin and others.) 


On The Bolt Report on Sunday

Andrew Bolt August 30 2013 (2:18pm)

On The Bolt Report on Channel 10 on Sunday:
How Labor has lost.
Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon.
On the panel: John Della Bosca and Michael Kroger.
Plus the most stupid stunt of the campaign - drawn from a rich field.
On Sunday at 10am and 4pm.

The twitter feed.
The place the videos appear


Personally, I thought it good news

Andrew Bolt August 30 2013 (2:15pm)

I do think Sky News’ Kieran Gilbert revealed his heart at 3:21, despite the correction.
(Thanks to reader Allan.) 


Labor’s next scare: Abbott steals children’s hats

Andrew Bolt August 30 2013 (2:02pm)

How desperate is Labor? It’s now running ads suggesting the wicked AbbottAbbottAbbott will even steal the hat from your poor child’s head:

How desperate was Labor’s Anna Burke to suggest the Liberals were in part to blame for the vandals who smashed her windows and wrote “Fre (sic) the refugees”?:
(Thanks to reader Andy.) 


The latest version of Kevin Rudd

Andrew Bolt August 30 2013 (7:53am)

The ABC’s Chris Uhlmann seems to be saying the Prime Minister is a flake - a chameleon:
CHRIS UHLMANN: Kevin Rudd floated a significant shift in Labor’s thinking on foreign investment in rural land.
KEVIN RUDD: I think in the future if I see a good model for how we should develop some of our undeveloped agricultural lands or some which need a whole lot more investment, I reckon joint venture approaches are much better. But I am a bit nervous, a bit anxious, frankly, about simply an open slather on this.
CHRIS UHLMANN: That’s not how the former Trade Minister saw it.
CRAIG EMERSON, TRADE MINISTER (Aug. 25, 2012): We are a country that is dependent on foreign investment, always have been, always will be because we’ve got a relatively small population and a vast continent and that means we do need the savings of other countries.
CHRIS UHLMANN: But the protectionist shift in language fits with the Prime Minister’s newly-discovered fiscal world view.
KEVIN RUDD: I am an economic nationalist.
CHRIS UHLMANN: This is the latest in a series of economic incarnations. In 2003, Kevin Rudd described himself as an old-fashioned Christian socialist. That sits reasonably comfortably with this description:
KEVIN RUDD: I am a committed social democrat.
CHRIS UHLMANN: By the 2007 election, experience had transformed him.
KEVIN RUDD (ALP advertisement, Oct. 2007): We’ve all learnt from the past. That’s why I’m an economic conservative.
CHRIS UHLMANN: In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, Kevin Rudd rediscovered his socialist roots and was asked how that sat with economic conservativism.
KEVIN RUDD (Jan. 31, 2009): I’ve always called myself a social democrat before you go on any further. Including during the election campaign.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 


Rudd hits Salvos with a $4 million tax hike

Andrew Bolt August 30 2013 (7:47am)

I don’t think Kevin Rudd and Chris Bowen thought through their tax grab:

THE Salvation Army is facing a $4 million hit - the equivalent of nearly half the money raised by Red Shield Appeal door knockers - because of the Rudd Government’s controversial Fringe Benefits Tax changes.
The charity has warned its frontline services will be affected by the tax whack, which is set to see its costs in NSW and Queensland spiral by $1.5 million and $2.5 million across Victoria, South Australia, West Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory.
Many other leading charities would be hit with an extra tax bill of up to a half a million dollars, News Corp has learned…
Dr Bruce Redman, a spokesman for the Salvation Army’s southern region, confirmed to News Corp the $4 million estimate was accurate and said: “If this goes ahead we’ll be spending a significant amount of money on FBT which means less money is available for our frontline services.”
(Thanks to reader CA.) 


Rudd, a liar, disowned by the heads of Treasury and Finance

Andrew Bolt August 30 2013 (6:51am)

The deceitful Kevin Rudd, Penny Wong and Chris Bowen blow up what’s left of Labor’s campaign:

LABOR has suffered a mortal blow to its claim of a $10 billion “black hole” in Tony Abbott’s election platform as the nation’s top public officials disowned the figures used to escalate the government’s scare campaign over Coalition spending cuts
Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson and Finance secretary David Tune acted on the concerns last night by issuing a statement that cast doubt on the documents used by the government to attack the Coalition…
The heads of Treasury and Finance noted that the documents released by Labor yesterday used cash accounting - not the accrual method used in the Coalition policy plan - and were not findings about actual Coalition policies…
The statements shatter one of the foundations of the Labor campaign; the party has spread fears of Coalition cuts using a $70bn savings estimate that has been rejected by fact-checking sites, and now a $10bn “black hole” has been repudiated by public officials.
Even Fairfax is onto this:

Australia’s two most senior economic bureaucrats have in effect torpedoed Kevin Rudd’s claim of a $10 billion hole in opposition costings, declaring that neither Treasury nor the Finance Department had a role in the financial assessment.
Dennis Shanahan notes these Labor liars have done to Labor’s campaign what Ralph Willis haplessly did to Keating’s:

Two of the nation’s most senior public servants had been placed in an impossible position by Labor’s wilful misuse of confidential briefings. They had to act… Treasury, Finance and the Parliamentary Budget Office exposed the government’s politically fraudulent and desperate attempt to frame Tony Abbott for a “$10 billion fraud”....
Rudd’s attempts to portray Abbott in a particular way have backfired and it is the Prime Minister’s truthfulness that is now in question. This response to the Liberal policies is reminiscent of the last days of the Keating government, when then treasurer Ralph Willis got caught flogging false documents about Liberal plans, supposedly from Victorian premier Jeff Kennett. It was a singular moment of humiliation for a dying government.
Tim Colebatch:

In the last days of the 1996 election campaign, treasurer Ralph Willis was duped into releasing what he thought was a letter outlining secret Coalition policies. It proved to be a fake, and it all blew up in his face, sealing Labor’s defeat.
On Thursday, in the last days of this campaign, something similar happened to Treasurer Chris Bowen. With Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Finance Minister Penny Wong, he stood before journalists in Melbourne’s Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices to release secret Treasury and Finance Department costings he said demonstrated a $10 billion ‘’black hole’’ in the Coalition’s policies…
In an unprecedented rebuke to their ministers, late on Thursday, Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson and Finance secretary David Tune issued a joint statement disowning the figures released in their name…
Someday, someone will explain to us how Labor could run a campaign as badly thought-out as this one. Right now, it seems just inexplicable.
Here is Labor’s death warrant:



Only an abomination if Abbott is there

Andrew Bolt August 30 2013 (6:44am)

That golden rule of outrage reporting: it’s only a sin if Tony Abbott does it:
ABC radio’s PM, yesterday:

MARK Colvin: Tony Abbott today launched one of his last major policies to be released this campaign. The Opposition Leader chose a Christian school in western Sydney to release his full education policy ... But there was a distraction because the school’s website describes homosexuality as an abomination.
Journalist: On your education policy, do you think it is appropriate to announce the Coalition’s education policy at a school which on its website says that homosexuality is an abomination?
Tony Abbott: Obviously I don’t agree with that statement. Obviously I don’t agree.
Lexi Metherell: The Opposition Leader’s strategists are normally assiduous in setting up highly controlled campaign events but it seems they missed the school’s statement of faith on its website, which declares homosexuality an abomination to God…
Sarah Blake, News Limited Network, tweets yesterday:

HUGE misstep for Abbott? Penrith Christian School’s website describes homosexuality as an abomination under God ... Interesting that the Coalition leader’s only school visit is to a religious school
Latika Bourke, ABC journalist, tweets yesterday:

TONY Abbott launching education policy at a school that teaches homosexuality is “abomination unto God”.
Government media release, April 16:
MINISTER for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett, and Federal Member for Lindsay David Bradbury officially opened the new Trade Training Centre at Penrith Christian School.
David Bradbury Facebook post, November 11 last year:

PARENTS at Penrith Christian School are campaigning for a bus service direct from the school to Claremont Meadows. Help support their campaign by signing our petition here: Penrith Christian School needs a new bus service!


Should the West really bomb Syria for al Qaeda?

Andrew Bolt August 30 2013 (6:30am)

I do not like the company Russia again keeps, and worry where this confrontation will take us:
Key Damascus allies Russia and Iran again on Thursday warned against any Western intervention in the civil war, saying it could set off a wider regional conflict.
Syria’s nervous neighbours have already stepped up their preparations for conflict, with Israel authorising a partial call-up of arm reservists while Turkey put its forces on heightened ‘vigilance’. Russia was reportedly sending warships to the Mediterranean, while Britain said it was sending fighter jets to the strategic island of Cyprus.
And even more worrying is that the West is about to act as the air force for al Qaeda. Dr Tim Stanley:
We’ve spent the last twelve years fighting a war on terror, by which we mean a war on al-Qaeda. Now we’re proposing intervening in the Syrian conflict on the side of – wait for it – al-Qaeda…
The above statement comes with caveats. First, al-Qaeda inspired Islamists are only one, unwelcome part of the rebel alliance. Second, any military action the West carries out will be devised to punish Assad for using chemical weapons rather than to decisively throw the war in his opposition’s favour. But the reality is that any intervention into Syria involves picking sides and so helping one to win, and given that the rebel side contains all the fundamentalist fruitcakes we are – effectively – putting ourselves on the side of the crazies who hate us. You know, those folks who flew planes into the World Trade Centre. Remember them?
Peter Bergen:

Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, is generally acknowledged to be the most effective force fighting al-Assad…
Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate is also well supplied as it benefits from the support of Sunni ultra-fundamentalists in the wealthy Gulf states such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Jabhat al-Nusra, which means the “Victory Front,” was listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department in December and is essentially a splinter organization of al Qaeda in Iraq.
Al-Nusra’s military prowess and close ties to al Qaeda make it a potentially serious threat to U.S. interests in the region, and the group has shown it has the ability to conduct massive suicide bombings.
In November, al-Nusra claimed responsibility for 45 attacks in the provinces of Damascus, Deraa, Hama and Homs that killed dozens of people, including one suicide bomb that reportedly resulted in 60 casualties…
Despite these civilian casualties, the group has been able to garner considerable support from Syria’s Sunni population, not only because it is the premier fighting force in the campaign to topple al-Assad but also because it is involved in providing critical services such as food, medical services and Sharia courts to the embattled population…
Al-Nusra is the opposition group in Syria that attracts the most foreign fighters. It is believed that there are about 100 foreign fighters from the United Kingdom fighting in Syria.


Rudd lies about Murdoch papers

Andrew Bolt August 29 2013 (8:06pm)

Kevin Rudd again tells a lie about News Corp:
[–]PMKevinRudd[S] 488 points 46 minutes ago
Australia has freedom of the press. The truth is Mr Murdoch owns 70% of the print media in Australia. This includes the Courier-Mail, The Sunday Mail in Brisbane (which is a one newspaper town); The Adelaide Advertiser and the Sunday Times in Adelaide (which is also a one newspaper town); the Hobart Mercury; The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph in Sydney, and the Herald-Sun and Sunday Herald-Sun in Melbourne.
Rudd clearly means you to believe that Murdoch owns 70 per cent of newspaper titles, some of which he goes on to name.
This is a lie.

This statement is factually incorrect. According to the Finkelstein Review of Media and Media Regulation, in 2011 News Corp Australia (then News Limited) accounted for 23% of the newspaper titles in Australia.
Rudd clearly wanted you to believe he was referring to newspaper titles. Even if you think he just made a mistake and meant circulation instead, he was wrong:
News Corp Australia titles account for 59% of the sales of all daily newspapers...


Treasury blows up Rudd’s costings scare

Andrew Bolt August 29 2013 (6:07pm)

Judith Sloan on how Treasury smacked down Treasurer Chris Bowen:
Has Bowen been caught out?  In claiming that there is a $10 billion black hole in the Coalition’s budget savings, he released three confidential minutes from Treasury, Finance and the PBO…
In what could be one of the best smack-downs of the campaign, Parkinson and Tune has released this statement.  Wow, wow, wow.
What Kevin Rudd and Chris Bowen had claimed:

Releasing the figures this morning, Mr Rudd accused Mr Abbott of attempting to perpetrate a “$10 billion fraud” on the Australian people.
The Prime Minister based his charge on three documents from Treasury, the Parliamentary Budget Office and the Department of Finance that came up with different estimates for the cost of several Coalition policies.... Coalition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey issued all of his costing figures in accrual accounting terms on Tuesday, but Labor used cash accounting to put forward its claims of a “black hole” today.
The statement from Treasury and Finance seems a repudiation of Rudd’s use of their figures - or at least a clarification:
Statement on Costings by the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Finance and Deregulation
Joint media release with the Department of Finance and Deregulation

29 August 2013

There have been a series of reports today regarding costings undertaken by the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Finance and Deregulation.

The Departments of Treasury and Finance were asked to prepare costings on policy options, which were provided to the Departments by the Government prior to the election being called. These costings were completed and submitted to the Government prior to the election being called. This is consistent with long-standing practice.

These costings were not prepared under the election costings commitments’ process outlined in the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998.

At no stage prior to the Caretaker period has either Department costed Opposition policies.

Different costing assumptions, such as the start date of a policy, take up assumptions, indexation and the coverage that applies, will inevitably generate different financial outcomes.

The financial implications of a policy may also differ depending on whether the costing is presented on an underlying cash balance or fiscal balance basis.

The Treasury and Finance costings presented in the advice to Government reported today were presented on an underlying cash balance basis.

Dr Martin Parkinson PSM
The Treasury

Mr David Tune PSM
Department of Finance and Deregulation

Disrespecting the truth and history in order to promote an agenda?

Here are the 5 biggest lies made at yesterday's 'March on Washington' 50th anniversary...
Israeli authorities went out of their way on Thursday to calm fears of a regional war, even as military sources said they anticipated US-led intervention in Syria early next week..

"Really? It is difficult to resist asking: “Myopic and amnesic?” Has Harris forgotten the wrenching concessions Israel has made over the past decades – the unrequited unilateral 10-month freeze on construction in the “settlements”; withdrawal from major populations centers in Judea-Samaria; unilateral evacuation of Gaza, and erasure of every vestige of Jewish presence there; the unearthing of its dead from their graves; the demolition of settlements in northern Samaria; permitting armed militias to deploy adjacent to its capital, within mortar range of its parliament?

To all these the Palestinians responded with Judeocidal terror and Judeophobic incitement." - Martin Sherman

Binyamin Netanyahu, Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat

That brutal display of Finch-hitting broke a few records last night. Highest scores in T20Is:

John Howard joined the packed #LiberalBus to help us campaign across Sydney for a stronger Australia!

There is only 7 days to go. Get involved today. Together we can deliver real change and a better future.
Register here:
 — with John Howard.

The world is waiting for United Nations inspectors to announce their findings over the alleged use of chemical warfare in Syria. What are inspectors looking for? And how would they be able to tell if the weapons came from the Assad regime? Jeffrey Brown gets analysis from former UN and U.S. weapons inspector Charles Duelfer.

An American attack on Syria will result in the destruction of Israel and have severe repercussions for the US and its allies, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards said.

Lord let Your presence fall. 

I want to talk to a little bit about what we are about to do. The president is ready to go it alone now for the second time without congressional approval. Remember when the left hated this?
His first unauthorized kinetic military action was in Libya. The bombing of Syria is now also on the horizon, and the Russians are telling us it could start as early as tomorrow. Reports say the bombings will last two days at the most. I think his attempt here is laughable, especially considering “one U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity just muscular enough not to get mocked.”
Oh, is that our American threshold now? Let’s not go out there and win; let’s just go out there and do enough so people can’t make fun of us. Oh my gosh, lives are at stake. People will die, and we’re doing it just at the level to where we’re not mocked. Jay Carney all but assured – try this one – that Assad is of course going to remain in power.
Jay Carney: I want to make clear that the options that we are considering are not about regime change. They are about responding to a clear violation of an international standard that prohibits the use of chemical weapons.
Oh my gosh, so we are…we’re just gonna…we’re gonna…what? Here’s the real reason, somebody’s credibility is on the line, the president’s. That’s not a reason to kill somebody. There are many reasons to declare acts of war but never, never to save face. I honestly, I have looked at this problem over and over again, and I can’t find one good reason to do it.
You know why this map is behind me? Do you know why we originally put this map up? We put this map up because a few months ago I did a show where I said World War III is coming, and it’s going to happen in Syria. Well look, here we are. Now maybe World War III doesn’t happen. I know The New Yorker is finally coming to their senses, and they said in an article they published yesterday, they said, gee, it looks like 1914, doesn’t it? Yes, it does.
I can find a million reasons why we shouldn’t do this but not one why we should. Is it going to further destabilize Syria? Yep. Is it going to further destabilize the region? Yep. Will it, if this is our deal that we just want to do enough to not get mocked, what do you think the people in the Middle East are going to say about us then? Does it increase our credibility? Does it decrease your gas prices?
I don’t mean to boil it down to that, but that’s where most people are. They don’t give a flying crap about anything unless it affects their gas prices or their groceries, and most of ’em don’t even say anything unless the media is there to tell them oh you know… It’s going to make your gas prices go up. Oil is already at $110. Stock market’s had a rocky few days.
Hundreds of thousands have been murdered, hundreds of thousands, before the alleged chemical weapons killed a few hundred at most. I’m not saying that that’s not bad. It is, but may I just point out that they used machetes, they used machetes on 500,000 people in Rwanda, and we turned the other way. You’re appalled by a few hundred. You’re not appalled by tens of thousands that are dying.




"A sensual and spiritual masterpiece
The heartbeat of modern soul
A celebration of love and heartbreak.
"Let's Get It On" - still the No. 1 love song of all time."

- Harry Weinger, Universal Music A&R VP


Continuing our celebration of the Eighth Doctor this month, we've got a teaser video of Paul McGann's audition for the role. Watch it now on

Should the US intervene in Syria?

Sign our petition to tell Obama to stay out of Syria:

Clint and Tracy say they’ve been living in constant fear of their 17-year-old daughter, Callie, who they say lashes out at them. Callie says it’s her parents who are to blame. |#DrPhil

Fans down under – how well do you know the Dads of #DoctorWho? Put your knowledge to the test with our Father's Day quiz:

This man canceled his DirecTV service because it doesn't carry TheBlaze. You won't believe how many special offers he turned down in the process! LISTEN to his call here: #GetTheBlaze

#johnhoward #election2013 — at Auburn.

GERONIMO! We've got 15% off our LIMITED EDITION TARDIS iPhone 4 & 4s covers until midnight tomorrow! Remember it's FREE delivery Australia wide as well! Shop here:-

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Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin

You have been set free from sin.(Romans 6:18, NIV)
Do you know what the early colonists did once they signed the Declaration of Independence? They read it out loud in public. They published it in the newspaper. They spread the word. They continued to declare and celebrate even though they were in the midst of the battle.

Today, no matter what battle you may be facing, declare that you are free and celebrate your freedom because victory is on the way.You have been set free.God bless you.

Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin

Father,I thank You for setting me free in every area of my life. I declare today that nothing can hold me back. I declare that You have set me free! Thank You for freedom and victory in every area of my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin

Are You Overwhelmed by a problem?
Are you facing a problem that seems frustrating, complicated, with no real solution?
Pray your way out.Hezekiah received a letter from the king of Assyria — who said that if Israel didn’t surrender he would destroy them. We’re talking ASSYRIA — whose empire ruled the world, whose army was undefeated, who brutalized those they captured.So what did Hezekiah do? He spread this letter out before the Lord, and started to pray.

So if you were him — how would you begin your prayer?
Maybe God, we’ve got a huge problem,Or Lord, Assyria’s got this really big army,Or God, remember what you did at the Red Sea? That’s not where Hezekiah started
Here’s the first words out of his mouth –
“O Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim.You are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth.You have made heaven and earth.” (2Ki 19:15)
Wow.Hezekiah started with a HUGE declaration about God.I was thinking that it will be good to pray about my problem,But then I remembered the problem Hezekiah faced — and how he prayed.So I thought I would give it a try.So began your prayer with a huge declaration about God.While pray this way,I felt peace. Strength. Hope. Courage,and He answered me.Pray this way and He will see you through in Jesus name,Amen.


4 her

A day later and here is the finished ring! 
A beautiful handmade double claw engagement ring set with a GIA certified 1.62ct D Colour VS1Excellent Excellent Cushion Cut Diamond ..... a real stunner! 
You can view the diamond details here.....

Hey guys we are shooting the next series of ShoeString TV and we are looking for awesome Sydney based startups that are doing awesome stuff to feature in the episodes. If that's you please contact Ninja Cheers

educational and entertaining - ed

A training text, used by a martial arts school to teach members of the bushi (samurai) class, has been deciphered, revealing the rules samurai were expected to follow and what it took to truly become a master swordsman.
The text is called Bugei no jo, which means "Introduction to Martial Arts" and is dated to the 15th year of Tenpo (1844). Written for samurai students about to learn Takenouchi-ryūa martial arts system, it would have prepared students for the challenges awaiting them.
"These techniques of the sword, born in the age of the gods, had been handed down through divine transmission. They form a tradition revered by the world, but its magnificence manifests itself only when one's knowledge is ripe," part of the text reads in translation. "When [knowledge] is mature, the mind forgets about the hand, the hand forgets about the sword," a level of skill that few obtain and which requires a calm mind. [See Images of the Last Century of Samurai Swordsmen]
The text includes quotes written by ancient Chinese military masters and is written in a formal kanbun style, a system that combines elements of Japanese and Chinese writing. The text was originally published by scholars in 1982, in its original language, in a volume of the book "Nihon budo taikei." Recently, it was partly translated into English and analyzed by Balázs Szabó, of the department of Japanese studies at Loránd Eötvös University in Budapest, Hungary. The translation and analysis are detailed in the most recent edition of the journal Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae.
Among its many teachings, the text tells students to show great discipline and not to fear the enemy's numbers. "To see bad as good is like stepping out of the gate we see the enemy, though numerous we see them as few, therefore no fear awakes, so we triumph when the fighting is just started," it reads in translation, quoting a teaching from the Seven Military Classics of ancient China.
Last century of the SamuraiIn 1844, only members of the Samurai class were allowed to receive martial arts training. Szabó explained in an email to LiveScience that this class was strictly hereditary and there was little opportunity for non-samurai to join it.
Samurai students, in most cases, would have attended multiple martial arts schools and, in addition, would have been taught "Chinese writing, Confucian classics and poetry in domain schools or private academies," Szabó explained.
The students starting their Takenouchi-ryū training in 1844 may not have realized that they lived at a time when Japan was about to undergo tremendous change. For two centuries, there had been tight restrictions on Westerners entering Japan, something that would be shattered in 1853 when the U.S. commodore Matthew Perry sailed into Tokyo Bay with a fleet and demanded that Japan enter into a treaty with the United States. In the two decades that followed, a series of events and wars erupted that would see the downfall of the Japanese Shōgun, the rise of a new modernized Japan and, ultimately, the end of the Samurai class.
Samurai rulesThe newly translated text sets out 12 rules that members of theTakenouchi-ryū school were expected to follow. Some of them, including "Do not leave the path of honor!" and "Do not commit shameful deeds!" were ethical rules samurai were expected to follow.
One notable rule, "Do not let the school's teachings leak out!" was created to protect the school's secret martial art techniques and aid students should they find themselves in a fight.
"For a martial arts school … to be attractive, it was necessary to have special techniques enabling the fighter to be effective even against a much stronger opponent. These sophisticated techniques were the pride of the school kept cautiously in secret, as their leaking out would have caused economic as well as prestige loss," writes Szabó in his paper. [Photos: Mixed Martial Arts in Ancient Rome]
Two other, perhaps more surprising, rules, tell students "Do not compete!" and "Do not tell bad things about other schools!"
Modern-day Westerners have a popular vision of the samurai fighting each other regularly, but by 1844, they were not allowed to duel each other at all, Szabó writes.
The Shōgun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi (1646-1709) had placed a ban on martial art dueling and had even rewritten the code the samurai had to follow, adapting it for a period of relative peace. "Learning and military skill, loyalty and filial piety, must be promoted, and the rules of decorum must be properly enforced," the Shōgun ruled (translation from the book "Studies in the Intellectual History of Tokugawa Japan," by Masao Maruyama, Princeton University Press, 1974).
Secret skillsThe text offers only a faint glimpse at the secret techniques the students would have learned at this school, separating the descriptions into two parts called "Deepest Secrets of Fistfight" and "Deepest Secrets of Fencing."
One section of secret fistfight techniques is called Shinsei no daiji,which translates as "divine techniques," indicating that such techniques were considered the most powerful. Intriguingly, a section of secret fencing techniques is listed as Ōryūken, also known as iju ichinin,meaning those "considered to be given to one person" — in this case, the headmaster's heir.
The lack of details describing what these techniques looked like in practice is not surprising, Szabó said. The headmasters had their reasons for the cryptic language and rule of secrecy, he added. Not only would they have protected the school's prestige, and students' chances in a fight, but they helped "maintain a mystical atmosphere around the school," something important to a people who held the study of martial arts in high esteem.

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High profile Labor minister Kate Ellis

HIGH profile Labor minister Kate Ellis will retain her seat of Adelaide at the September 7 election, according to a new poll.
The Galaxy poll, conducted for the Adelaide Advertiser on Thursday night, put support for Ms Ellis at 54 per cent on a two-party preferred basis compared to 46 per cent for her Liberal opponent Carmen Garcia.
Ms Ellis holds Adelaide with a margin of 7.5 per cent.
The poll quizzed 571 voters with 42 per cent naming Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as their preferred prime minister compared to 39 per cent support for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

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A MAN in the US has posted a personal ad on a classified advertisements website looking for love.
The "professional gentleman" from Antelope Valley in California says he's looking for a "worthy and deserving girl" before revealing his epic list of dating requirements. Women who respond to the ad can expect to be 'tested', he says.
At least one thing's clear from the outset, Lothario's running this show.

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John Tran It's like Borats finally finds Craigslist.. "I am Gentleman" "is nice"
Ania Lisewska says she wants to sleep with 100,00 men.

DON'T try this at home, folks.
A Polish woman is making a bizarre attempt to sleep with 100,000 men in a global sex marathon.
Ania Lisewska wants to travel to every city across the world, dedicating 20 minutes to each ... experience.
"I want men from Poland, Europe and all around the world. I love sex, fun and men," the 21-year-old said, according to the Austrian Times.
According to her Facebook page the mighty marathon began in Warsaw, Poland, last month. She hopes to weave her way across the country before embarking on her international voyage.
"In Poland the subject of sex is still taboo and anyone who wants to fulfill their sexual fantasies is considered a deviant, a whore or mentally ill," she said.
So far she's slept with 284 men, but she'll need a whole lot more notches on her bedpost before reaching her 100,000 goal. It's a visual which her boyfriend is "not thrilled" about, telling Polish website he "had to come to terms" with it.
To complete her mission she needs to dedicate 33,000 hours to the task.
Calculating the numbers based on the fact an average Polish woman's life span is 81, with 60 years left she must sleep with 1,666 men per year. Or 32 men a week. Or approximately 4.5 per day.
Lisewska has claimed she will only partake in sexual activities on the weekend, which means she'll have to up her quota to 14 men each Saturday and Sunday.
I know someone who can give her what she needs. But it won't satisfy her goal. - ed

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North Korea one of the last five countries to still perform public executions; the other four being Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen.

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 I'm, informed the execution has not been confirmed .. maybe a traffic accident? ed

IF you want to see the best and worst of what the internet has to offer, just visit the comments section of any news website, Reddit thread, forum, Twitter stream or Facebook page on the web.
While comment sections contain some valid wisdom - debates about science, politics and religion - it also contains a lot of snark, nastiness and just downright weird remarks.
Here are 25 different kinds of internet commenters that make, or wreck, your day on the world wide web.
If you have more to add leave a comment in the section below.

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After the Holocaust, antisemitism was a word the entire world should have been afraid of, but it is not; and such behavior should have disgusted every person in the world, but it does not. Antisemitism is an incurable emotional and psychological disease, spread worldwide among non-Jews and even among Jews of all sorts. In light of what is happening in the world these days in general, and in Egypt in particular, I wrote in my previous article that the world needs reprogramming for peace to prevail. - See more at:

JOBS are hard to get these days, that's no surprise. There is more competition and fewer opportunities.
In this environment, it's essential to stay up-to-date with the skills and personal traits the business world values.
That's no mean feat. As career expert Kate Southam explained to, the most coveted employment skills change quickly in the Australian workplace.
Here are a list of her most recommended - they might surprise you.
Emotional intelligence
The ability to manage your own emotions and that of others is absolutely essential in the modern workplace. Don't let your emotions get in the way of decision making or ability to do your work. Remain calm and professional at all times, and help others do the same.
Be flexible
Change is inevitable. You must be able to move with the company, no matter what happens. What that means is moving with the changes, be it upskilling or a new role. Don't be the person who constantly says things like, "But that's not in my job description."
Champion your company
Every project or idea needs a champion, someone who will back the company cause. Be enthusiastic and jump into every idea and project but don't be afraid to suggest modifications. Ask questions, make suggestions and always show that you have the customer or client's best interests at heart. It's a great way to get noticed and demonstrate leadership skills. If you don't show this kind of energy you'll just be considered a follower.
Be self-sufficient
If you're the type of person who only does their best work when you're being observed - you're not a good employee. And if you're being micromanaged remember this particular habit is more a sign of an insecure manager than anything you're doing wrong.
Share information
Collaboration is absolutely key to successful business. This is partly because there is no such thing as long tenure anymore, so people need to share information and company knowledge so it won't get lost. Good information flow is absolutely crucial, so don't sit on your ideas or your knowledge of the business, be generous.
Be self-disciplined
Self-discipline is one quality most high power CEOs claim to have. Whether it is making the time to engage in a creative course in addition to a strategically focused job, or getting up at 4am to train for a marathon, self-discipline gets you places. It demonstrates effective time management skills, focus and drive.
Make company priorities your priority
Always keep the priorities of your business close to mind. If you spend all your time 'trying to be helpful' skirting around the edges, you won't be recognised. Also, don't be overtly self-interested and only spring into action when an opportunity looks to serve you.
Be likable
No matter what, being a person who is easy to work with will get you a long way in business. Take two qualified people, and one might be sharper in terms of their work, but the other might be easier to work with. The second person will always come up trumps. They'll do better because they make it easy for other people to get the job done.
Now it's over to you. What is the one trait or skill you wish others would value more in your workplace?
Keep this conversation going on Twitter: @KateSoutham|@lucyjk|@newscomauHQ
The original concept for this article came from

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A NAPALM attack has killed 10 teenagers and left many more with serious burns after the incendiary device was dropped on a Syrian school.
Footage of the dead and injured schoolchildren was captured by a BBC Panorama documentary crew who responded to reports of an incendiary bomb being dropped on a playground in Syria's rebel-held northern region.
The camera team saw what they described as scores of children with napalm-like burns over their bodies.
Witnesses told the BBC the bomb was dropped by a fighter jet which had been flying back and forth overhead. It landed with a dull explosion, followed by columns of fire and smoke.
The release of the footage follows the failure of Britain, Washington's closest European ally, to reach a political consensus over plans to join expected US-led military action in Syria.
And today Australia's Opposition Leader Tony Abbott ruled out intervening in Syria if he is elected prime minister at the weekend, saying Australia should not overestimate its importance in the fight between "two deeply unsavoury sides".
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said there is a case for a robust international response on Syria, but has not given details.
At the start of the week, Prime Minister David Cameron had seemed ready to join Washington in possible military action against Assad over the alleged chemical weapons attack. But the push for strikes against the Syrian regime began to lose momentum as Britain's Labour Party - still smarting from its ill-fated decision to champion the invasion of Iraq in 2003 - announced its opposition to the move.
Members of the House of Parliament voted against the government motion to support a military campaign by 285 votes to 272 votes.

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Sledging the Prime Minister over an attack yesterday on Coalition costings that drew the ire of senior public servants, the Opposition Leader said Mr Rudd's attack had gone spectacularly wrong.
"It was a slap in the face for the Government," Mr Abbott said of the public admonishment by department heads.
"Mr Rudd's claims that there was some problem with our costings, some problems with our figures have exploded in his face."
He said taxpayers had "a pretty good idea that this is a Government which has got all of its costings, all of its forecasts wrong".
"What we've seen over the last couple of days in increasingly hysterical statements from Mr Rudd and his Ministers."
"They've got their own figures wrong, now they've got the Coalition's figures wrong as well."


Terrorists wanted him dead because he worked for an NGO promoting female education. - ed

Full name Fawad Ahmed
Born February 5, 1982, Merguz
Current age 31 years 206 days
Major teams Australia, Abbottabad, Australia A,Melbourne Renegades, Pakistan Customs, Prime Minister's XI,Victoria
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak




Several police departments in Illinois have cancelled their anti-terrorism training because an Islamic terrorist front group complained that the instructor is blatantly anti-Muslim.
It’s yet another one of those only in America stories! The Islamic group that reportedly raises money for Hamas, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), snapped its fingers and U.S. law enforcement agencies rolled over! It all started with anti-terrorism training for local police in Lombard, a small town located about 20 miles west of Chicago.
CAIR, which promotes itself as the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy organization, complained that the instructor (Sam Kharoba, who runs a Florida-based business called Counter Terrorism Operations Center) teaches extremist views about Islam that are inaccurate and biased. His training materials are full of inaccuracies, sweeping generalizations and stereotypes, according to CAIR.
As an example CAIR offered this; a 2011 article written by Kharoba that makes disparaging comments about the Prophet Muhammad and says that “anyone who says that Islam is a religion of peace is either ignorant or flat out lying.” Counterterrorism is much too important to be confounded with anti-Islam dribble, says CAIR’s Chicago director Ahmed Rehab.
Like a good lapdog the Lombard Police Department quickly cancelled its training and pulled officers out of the course, called “Islamic Awareness as a Counter-Terrorist Strategy.” Other police departments in Illinois, including Elmhurst and Highland Park, that were scheduled to take the course also caved in and cancelled the trainings. CAIR celebrated with a statementcommending officials for their “swift action in addressing the Muslim community’s concerns.”
Keep in mind that CAIR is a terrorist front group with extensive links to foreign and domestic Islamists. It was founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists (Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad and Rafeeq Jaber) who ran the American propaganda wing of Hamas, known then as the Islamic Association for Palestine. In 2008 CAIR was a co-conspirator in a federal terror-finance case involving the Hamas front group Holy Land Foundation. Read more in a Judicial Watch special report that focuses on Muslim charities.
Incredibly, the Obama administration is tight with CAIR. In fact, last year the president’s deputies held hundreds of closed-door meetings with CAIR officials. Little information was discussed publicly about the secret sessions, but the news organization that broke the story quoted a White House director saying that government departments and agencies discussed a “range of issues.”
Coincidentally, around the same time, the FBI purged its anti-terrorism training curricula of material determined to be “offensive” to Muslims. Judicial Watch uncovered this scandal and obtained the FBI records just a few weeks ago. CAIR is not specifically named but the records show that an undisclosed group of “Subject Matter Experts” (SME) determined the federal training material was offensive to Muslims.
JW had to sue the FBI and Obama Justice Department for the records, which include hundreds of pages of FBI memos and documents. The excised material includes references linking the Muslim Brotherhood to terrorism, tying al Qaeda to the 1993 World Trade Center and Khobar Towers bombings, and suggesting that “young male immigrants of Middle Eastern appearance … may fit the terrorist profile best.”

It isn't as if Illinois has ever experienced a terrorist hit from an Islamic group .. of the kind that turns a marathon into a sprint. ed

I wouldn't accept that for anyone ed===


Created by Iran in 1982 as unified resistance during Lebanon’s civil war, Hezbollah today is the de facto ruling party in Lebanon and the most lethal terror group in the world. Currently supporting Bashar al-Assad’s oppressive regime in Syria, the military wing of the Shiite “Party of God” is labeled a terrorist organization by the US and EU.
Tzipi Livni's constituency is more likely to raise puppies than babies, making the demographic threat not so much the Arabs, but rather the fact that her kind is becoming vastly outnumbered by right wing Jews. Photo Credit: Gideon Markowicz/FLASH90 As Minister Tzipi Livni et al are ending their second week of negotiations over how many Jews to expel from Judea and Samaria in order to receive from the Arabs recognition of our right to exist, new figures have emerged that might explain the sudden urge of Livni and the Israeli left to finish this thing quickly, set it in motion and be done with it. It turns out the “demographic bomb” everyone, from President Obama to the lowliest lackey at J-Street, have been warning Israel about, does not exist. Or rather, there used to be a bomb, but events and the economy and whatnot have turned it into a pitiful firecracker. Not only are there more Jews than Arabs in the entire territory between the Jordan River and the sea, but the Jewish numbers are becoming even greater, while the Arab numbers are in the dumps. Dr. Guy Bechor recently published an explanation of a demographic study by Jacob Feitelson, using data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. The report compares Jewish to Arab birthrates in Judea and Samaria, as well as Israeli vs. Palestinian Authority demographics as a whole. The article was written in response to Israel’s Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni’s distress at what she believes is the demographic threat to the Jewish state, and why Israel must rush to disengage from Judea and Samaria to maintain a Jewish majority. The report shows that the demographic predictions that Livni has been basing her decisions on is incorrect. The original report can be read here. Source: Gplanet. (The blue line includes non-Jewish children of Jewish families) 1. Arabs across the Middle East and especially in Judea and Samaria are experiencing a collapse of their birthrate, from an average of 8 children per mother down to fewer than 3. The reasons are the rise in education and in income, and urbanization (smaller apartments, fewer children). 2. The most significant finding in the data are settler related births. Unlike Arab and even Haredi birth levels—which are going down, too, settler birth levels are not dropping off, but, instead, rising. In 1997, Arab births in Judea and Samaria were at 4.76 children per mother compared to the settler’s 4.69. But by 2011 that number changed significantly, with 5.07 births per Jewish settler mother versus only 3.06 per Arab mother. The difference between the two became even larger in 2012. Within pre-1967 Israel, Jewish birth-rates are currently around 3 children per mother, but the fashionable thing is increasingly to have 4 children per family. Altogether, out of 8.15 million residents in all of Israel, 6 million are Jews, 6.5 if you count family members who are not themselves Jewish. According to Bechor, at the current birth rate of 1 million every 7 years, Israel will hit 2 digits in 15 years, with the vast majority being Jewish. Source: Gplanet 3. The report pointed out another common error of previous demographic studies: overlooking the effects of the Oslo Accords on Arab demographics. The Oslo Accords introduced 40,000 foreign PLO Arabs into Yesha (Judea, Samaria and Gaza) from overseas, and Israel granted “family unification” to another 140,000 Arabs who became Israeli citizens. This added a significant, but temporary increase to the Arab demographic data. In addition, in 2003 Israel introduced a massive cut in child subsidies (it just did it again this week), ending a situation in which having children was, to some Arab families, a very real source of income. The fact that the Arab birthrate plummeted following the cut suggests the policy, though unkind, achieved the intended results. 4. Another important factor is immigration and emigration. Israel receives around 18,000 new immigrants a year (including 15,000 who leave and return), whereas Arab emigration is currently around 10,000 Arabs a year, with some years as much as 18,000-25,000 leaving each year. In 2007, Jordanian data indicated that 60,000 Arabs had left Judea and Samaria. Another figure not commonly discussed regarding Israeli emigration is that 15% of the emigrants are Israeli Arabs. The number of Arab emigrants from Gaza has declined in recent years due to Egypt’s blocking of its border with Gaza. Most of the Arabs leaving Judea and Samaria are looking for work in other countries. 5. The Palestinian Authority keeps changing its demographic forecasts, coming up with more and more exaggerated figures (4 so far), knowing full well that if it gave an honest accounting of its 1.5 million—and shrinking—population in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, it would no longer be able to scare the Jews and the world into new concessions. Finally, there are some psychological facts that cannot be measured but can certainly be assessed from these figures. A high birthrate means optimism, says Dr. Bechor. We have in Israel today an optimistic public, involved in the ongoing effort to increase families and the nation. A high birthrate also means an expectation of prosperity. It also means that aliyah, although still in modest numbers – around 20 thousand a year – is nevertheless constant and offers yet another optimistic note. The only segment of Israeli society that is not experiencing this optimistic growth is the left, which has, basically, given up the hope of leading Israeli politics in the foreseeable future. The only hope they have of getting back in the saddle has been laid out by Minister Tzipi Livni in a Kol Israe interview this week: Naftali Bennett and Jewish Home, which are the enemies of a land-for-peace solution, should leave government, and Labor should take their place. That’s the scenario. They don’t have the numbers, of course, they were relegated by a solid, right wing public to the basement of decision making history – but they still have Benjamin Netanyahu. For now. Stephen Leavitt contributed to this report.

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<Folks, try not to hurt us too much on Sept 7.I've instructed Wongy to mail out bags of cash to the marginals. KRudd> #costingsgate
"No! Go against the current of this civilization that is doing so much harm. Do you understand this? To go against the current; and this means to make noise, to go forward, but with the values of beauty, of goodness and of truth," the Pope urged. Pope Francis

Huge Labor Day Sale - 25% off everything! Just enter the code laborday at checkout to receive your discount. Good for Prints, Canvases, Metal Prints, and even workshops!

We hiked all over this section of the Southern Utah Canyonlands after 4 wheel driving into this fairly remote location. I climbed to the top of this structure and the view was pretty immense. The weather was a nice comfortable 86 degrees warm... unusual for August in this area!

As usual, all shares are appreciated and encouraged. This image is available for sale at greatly reduced prices on my website:
 — at Canyonlands National Park.
Matt Granz Photography.
.. Curves! Today I'm featuring a picture from the Southern Utah Canyonlands that can only be described as curvalicious!>===

Tattoos spoil the art .. a showcase for ear rings .. ed

18 hour days all week in #Rwanda reviewing the progress of the P.E.A.C.E. Plan in 4,000 churches. Amazing results!

They must summon the unlikeliest of heroes.


“When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it.” -JOHN WAYNE

C. H. Spurgeon
Prayer and praise are the oars by which a man may row his boat into the deep waters of the knowledge of Christ.


Pastor Rick Warren
"A glad heart makes a happy face." Prov. 15:13

Imagine if Miley Cyrus had printed the number "17 trillion" across her twerking buttocks; think how many people would know our national debt. Without commenting on the quality of the current pop culture, it’s impossible to deny its power, although the right seems to be giving denial more than a day in court.

Where does this denial come from? Three immediate answers come to mind:
  1. It’s not really denial but rather a lack of understanding as to the aforementioned power.
  2. To embrace the power of culture is to admit to one’s own impotence particularly while protecting a K Street business model that garners revenue but not results.
  3. Denial is a fallback position when the truth is too painful or overwhelming.
All three possibilities are alarming. But our only hope is in #3, because it would mean that somewhere buried beneath charts, graphs, and policy is the subconscious understanding that we are outmatched, outgunned, and very few on our side have any idea how to reach another human being.
If you don’t believe me, digest the following: Katy Perry has roughly 6 million more Twitter followers than Barack Obama. 





Maria Tran

Check out VFACE Channel 57.2 for my segment with the lovely and charismatic Trong Thang on "Vietface TV" airing in US at 5pm!



How to Talk With Your Sons About Robin Thicke

If you have ears, you’ve heard Robin Thicke’s hit “Blurred Lines.” If you’ve had any amount of spare time in the past few days and have access to the internets, you’ve heard about Thicke’s performance at the VMA’s with Miley Cyrus. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, congratulations! You must have looked past the headlines on CNN’s main page in order to read about “secondary” news like Egypt or Syria. You can find a video of the performance here.
If you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter with any kind of regularity over the past few days, you’ve probably heard countless friends or followers sounding off on any number of objectionable things about the performance. Undoubtedly, 99% of things written about it throw around words like “obscene”, “offensive”, and the like.
There have been a number of different parenting websites or blog posts who have come up withgood ways to talk to your daughter about Miley. And, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about parents talking to their daughters about sexuality.
But is no one going to hold anyone else on stage or behind the scenes accountable for that performance? Are we really going to have another one-sided conversation where we only talk to the girls about their sexuality while we completely ignore the boys in the room about their standards of behavior too?
There are next to no commentaries, articles, or blog posts that talk about how Robin Thicke was on stage with a woman young enough to be his daughter while thrusting his pelvis and repeating the line “I know you want it” while T.I. non-chalantly raps about much more graphic stuff. AsShelli Latham astutely points out:
Girls’ sexuality is so much the focus of our ire. Women who have sex are dirty. Men who have sex are men. Girls who dress to be ogled are hoes. Men who ogle are just doing what comes naturally. This is the kind of reinforced behavior that makes it perfectly acceptable to legislate a woman’s access to birth control and reproductive health care without engaging in balanced conversations about covering Viagra and vasectomies. Our girls cannot win in this environment, not when they are tots in tiaras, not in their teens or when they are coming into adulthood.
Issues of misogynistic attitudes and acts of violence toward women aren’t going anywhere until us men make some very intentional decisions about our behavior and about the way we act toward women. There are certain things that Robin Thicke and “Blurred Lines” re-inforce in our culture.
For instance… Studies have shown that viewing images of objectified women gives men “greater tolerance for sexual harassment and greater rape myth acceptance,” and helps them view women as “less competent” and “less human“. Certainly singing about “blurred lines” will at the very least reinforce a culture that already trivializes the importance of consent.*
There’s nothing blurry about Robin Thicke’s role in the VMA debacle. Even though he’s come out and defended his song, going so far as to call it a “feminist movement,” it’s pretty plain to see that’s far from the case.

Here’s where it starts

So what can we do? In order to change the way we view women culturally, we need to change the way we view women individually. We need to call bullshit on attempts to end domestic violence and misogyny towards women by only talking to our daughters. We need to talk to our sons and our brothers about respecting women and respecting themselves.
It starts in homes. It starts in small conversations that treat all people as worthy and equal. It starts with having the courage to speak out against the wide variety of forces in our society that objectify women.
It starts with understanding that as men, our value does not come from how much power we hold over women. Our value comes from being respected and being loved as we respect and love the people who matter to us.
Be brave enough to tell a different story. Be courageous enough to rise above the lies that our culture tells you about how to treat women. In doing so, you’ll help create a better world for your sons. And for your sons’ sons. And that’s something to which we should all aspire.

Boys are not animals .. It takes good will and moral discipline to be a man - ed


"Life is a gift. Prayer is a thank you note."
--- Noah benShea

Folks, please erase this photo from a few years back immediately otherwise I won't have any flimsy excuse left for my humiliating loss on Sept 7, KRudd.
Brown has done more to promote poverty than almost any other Australian .. and to deny plant food for plants - ed

Obama Furious After Vladimir Putin Unfriends Him on Facebook

Barack Obama 0101 Obama Furious After Vladimir Putin Unfriends Him on FacebookWASHINGTON – The turmoil that was generated between Russia and the United States after President Vladimir Putin granted asylum to Edward Snowden earlier this month escalated even further when President Obama cancelled his private meeting with the Russian president before September’s G-20 conference of world economic leaders in St. Petersburg. But the delicate fragments of alliance that remained between the two countries may have been irretrievably shredded in the proverbial fan today after Vladimir Putin unfriended President Obama on his Facebook page.
Sources inside the administration say President Obama learned of the Russian president’s Facebook coup during his morning White House briefing. Obama became quite upset when he was told the news, but upon learning that Vice President Biden and Vladamir Putin remained Facebook friends the president became enraged, forcing everyone out of the Oval Office before angrily kicking the door closed. Moments later it was discovered President Obama had signed onto his personal Twitter account and unfollowed President Putin.
About an hour later reporters managed to corner Vice President Biden outside a Duncan Donuts after he’d purchased his daily chocolate eclair and Diet Coke. When asked about Putin unfriending the president on Facebook, Biden took a moment to swallow a bite of his eclair before answering.
JoeBiden12072 Obama Furious After Vladimir Putin Unfriends Him on FacebookJOE BIDEN:  That’s a might tasty eclair. Only in America!
(The vice president smiled and winked at reporters)
JOE BIDEN:  Now, to your question about President Putin. Politics is a high stakes game of deception, distraction and diversion that few have the ability to master. That’s why there’s only a handful of folks who attain the level of power that a President Obama or a vice president like myself do. That being said, the depth of understanding involved in comprehending President Putin’s Facebook maneuver cannot be easily deciphered, let alone explained in a manner simple enough for the common man to grasp.
REPORTER:  Mr. Vice President, did Vladimir Putin hurt President Obama’s feelings?
PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Oh, sure. Even the most stoic among us isn’t immune to the humiliation of being unfriended on Facebook. Although it’s quite easy to forget, President Obama is after all, human. No more special than I am.
REPORTER:  President Obama unfollowed President Putin on his Twitter account. Was that out of spite?
JOE BIDEN: (chuckling) Of course it was.
REPORTER:  Mr. Vice President, apparently you are still Facebook friends with President Putin. Do you plan to unfriend him to show your allegiance with President Obama?
JOE BIDEN:  I can assure you President Obama isn’t concerned with my Facebook friends. What happens between President Obama and President Putin is between them. Who am I to take sides?
REPORTER:  But according to a high level source inside the White House, the president is very concerned. Why do you think Putin unfriended President Obama but not you?
JOE BIDEN:  (Smiling)  Oh, gosh, who knows. I can say I heard Mr. Putin is still friends with Jay Z and the Clintons on Facebook. So it’s not like I’m a big deal.
Kp91w 1024x691 Obama Furious After Vladimir Putin Unfriends Him on FacebookREPORTER:  Do you predict Putin will endorse you or Hillary for president in 2016?
JOE BIDEN:  (laughs very loud) Oh, I don’t foresee Vladimir getting involved in our presidential race. I do know he’s more partial to me than Hillary, but that really doesn’t matter much here in America does it?
REPORTER:  So you think Putin would lean towards you in a presidential race?
JOE BIDEN:  Vladimir is a physical man. A man’s man. A meat and potatoes kind of guy. He’s old school. So am I. We have more in common than he and Hillary do.
REPORTER:  (jokingly) Didn’t people used to say Mrs. Clinton was kind of masculine in her pantsuits?
JOE BIDEN:  Well there’s no doubt that Hillary’s natural tendency is to be less feminine than most gals, but there’s no need to churn up all those rumors from the past. I mean, she did give birth to a baby. Ain’t nothin’ masculine about that. Vladamir and I sire offspring but then we go hunting or fishing, or participate in espionage.
REPORTER:  Mr. Vice President, are you saying that some of the rumors about Mrs. Clinton …
JOE BIDEN:  Let me just stop you right there and state unequivocally, I have no doubt whatsoever that Hillary truly enjoys the company of men. Let’s just nip any kind of tawdry rumors about Hillary Clinton’s personal life in the bud right now. Heck, if you want to know what kind of person Hillary Clinton is, ask her good friend Janet Napolitano. She’ll vouch for her in a heartbeat.
Hillary Clinton2 Obama Furious After Vladimir Putin Unfriends Him on FacebookREPORTER:  Do you think Hillary Clinton would make a good president?
JOE BIDEN:  Without a doubt. And I assure you that these latest rumors about Hillary and Bill squandering tens of millions of dollars of their charity donations on luxury travel expenses will be proven false. They’ll justifiably evaporate in the same manner that Whitewater, Vince Foster, Benghazi and the seemingly endless array of baseless scandals have over the years. There’s absolutely no reason to go dredging them up again.
A source inside the White House said President Obama’s concern over President Putin was quickly forgotten after viewing Joe Biden’s interaction with reporters this morning.

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We knew Labor would try anything to cling to power, but this time their lies are so blatant that three of Australia's most senior economic officials were forced to expose them.

But that won't stop Labor's lies and attacks continuing.

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Hi everyone! Here's the newsletter for August 29th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Obama taps Bill Clinton to feel America’s pain on Obamacare

Things must be going badly, because President Obama has once again has the “secretary of explaining stuff” warming up in the bullpen...

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Last night on "Hannity," Michelle slammed Dems' hypocrisy regarding the potential US strikes on Syria.

Michelle's Top Tweets

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Punctuation is awesome. Lindzay should totally try it sometime.


August 30Constitution Day in Kazakhstan (1995); St. Rose of Lima's Day in Peru; Victory Day in Turkey
Marrella fossil found at the Burgess Shale


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“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Have mercy upon me, O God."
Psalm 51:1
When Dr. Carey was suffering from a dangerous illness, the enquiry was made, "If this sickness should prove fatal, what passage would you select as the text for your funeral sermon?" He replied, "Oh, I feel that such a poor sinful creature is unworthy to have anything said about him; but if a funeral sermon must be preached, let it be from the words, Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness; according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.'" In the same spirit of humility he directed in his will that the following inscription and nothing more should be cut on his gravestone:--
William Carey, Born August 17th, 1761: Died - -
"A wretched, poor, and helpless worm
On thy kind arms I fall."
Only on the footing of free grace can the most experienced and most honoured of the saints approach their God. The best of men are conscious above all others that they are men at the best. Empty boats float high, but heavily laden vessels are low in the water; mere professors can boast, but true children of God cry for mercy upon their unprofitableness. We have need that the Lord should have mercy upon our good works, our prayers, our preachings, our alms-givings, and our holiest things. The blood was not only sprinkled upon the doorposts of Israel's dwelling houses, but upon the sanctuary, the mercy-seat, and the altar, because as sin intrudes into our holiest things, the blood of Jesus is needed to purify them from defilement. If mercy be needed to be exercised towards our duties, what shall be said of our sins? How sweet the remembrance that inexhaustible mercy is waiting to be gracious to us, to restore our backslidings, and make our broken bones rejoice!


"All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk."
Numbers 6:4
Nazarites had taken, among other vows, one which debarred them from the use of wine. In order that they might not violate the obligation, they were forbidden to drink the vinegar of wine or strong liquors, and to make the rule still more clear, they were not to touch the unfermented juice of grapes, nor even to eat the fruit either fresh or dried. In order, altogether, to secure the integrity of the vow, they were not even allowed anything that had to do with the vine; they were, in fact, to avoid the appearance of evil. Surely this is a lesson to the Lord's separated ones, teaching them to come away from sin in every form, to avoid not merely its grosser shapes, but even its spirit and similitude. Strict walking is much despised in these days, but rest assured, dear reader, it is both the safest and the happiest. He who yields a point or two to the world is in fearful peril; he who eats the grapes of Sodom will soon drink the wine of Gomorrah. A little crevice in the sea-bank in Holland lets in the sea, and the gap speedily swells till a province is drowned. Worldly conformity, in any degree, is a snare to the soul, and makes it more and more liable to presumptuous sins. Moreover, as the Nazarite who drank grape juice could not be quite sure whether it might not have endured a degree of fermentation, and consequently could not be clear in heart that his vow was intact, so the yielding, temporizing Christian cannot wear a conscience void of offence, but must feel that the inward monitor is in doubt of him. Things doubtful we need not doubt about; they are wrong to us. Things tempting we must not dally with, but flee from them with speed. Better be sneered at as a Puritan than be despised as a hypocrite. Careful walking may involve much self-denial, but it has pleasures of its own which are more than a sufficient recompense.

Today's reading: Psalm 126-128, 1 Corinthians 10:19-33 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Psalm 126-128

A song of ascents.
1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
3 The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
4 Restore our fortunes, LORD,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.

Today's New Testament reading: 1 Corinthians 10:19-33

19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons. 22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord's jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
The Believer's Freedom
23 "I have the right to do anything," you say-but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything"-but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others....
Isaiah, Esaias

[Īzā'iah,Ī za'ias] - jehovah is helper orsalvation is of the lord. The name of the greatest of the Assyrian group of prophets is synonymous with Joshua or Jesus and symbolic of his message. Little is known of this gospel prophet, often severe in tone. He is described as the son of Amoz, not Amos the prophet (Isa. 1:1; 2:1; 6:1; 7:3; 13:1 ). Some scholars suggest that Amoz was the uncle of Uzziah which, if true, would make Isaiah the king's cousin. Evidently Isaiah was of good family and education.

The Man of Many Parts

Isaiah's home and the scene of his labors was Jerusalem. His wife was a prophetess (Isa. 8:3) and bore the prophet two sons, whose names were symbolic of those aspects of the nation's history which Isaiah enforced in his prophecies:
Shear-jashub, meaning, "a remnant shall return" (Isa. 7:3).
Maher-shalal-hash-baz , implying, "Haste ye, speed to the spoil" (Isa. 8:1-4). Often names were given for signs and wonders in Israel.
Isaiah's original call to service is unrecorded, but in chapter six we have his vision and commission. A prophet of Judah, Isaiah ministered during the reign of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahab and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. He comes before us as a man of many parts - a man eminently gifted and called of God as the first and chief of Israel's prophets and poets.
I. The Writer. Isaiah wrote a history of the reign of Uzziah and Ahaz (2 Chron. 26:22; 32:32 ). No other Old Testament writer uses so many beautiful and picturesque illustrations, epigrams and metaphors as Isaiah, who was also a poet of no mean order (Isa. 1:13; 5:18; 12:1-6; 13:3).
The book bearing his name is made up of sixty-six chapters, and is a miniature Bible with its sixty-six books.
II. The Statesman. Isaiah was an ardent patriot, loving God and his nation. He was a bold, true statesman, seeking no court favor. How strongly he denounced all foreign alliances, (Isa. 7:5; 37:22 )! It is Isaiah who gives us the earliest recorded vision of world-wide peace (Isa. 2:1-4).
III. The reformer. Like Noah, Isaiah was also a preacher of righteousness, and exposed formalism as a bad substitute for spiritual life and conduct (Isa. 36-39). Yet, like all the greatest contributors to moral uplift, Isaiah, amid all his rebukes and denunciations of evil, was truly optimistic.
IV. The Prophet. In no uncertain language Isaiah foretold the future of Israel and Judah, and the downfall of Gentile nations. Many of his predictions in regard to ancient nations have been fulfilled. Then Isaiah was The Christ-Harbinger, prophesying the coming of the Messianic King and Suffering Saviour. Chapter fifty-three of his prophecy drips with the ruby blood of the Redeemer. No wonder Jerome described Isaiah as "The Evangelical Prophet."
V. The Teacher. To perpetuate his message and influence, Isaiah formed a group of disciples to whose teaching and training he devoted himself when his public ministry seemed useless. He was not only a counselor of kings and princes, but an instructor of those who were eager for his vision. He was an orator without peer - Jerome likened him to Demosthenes. This trait must have made an impact upon those he sought to train.
VI. The Theologian. This dreamer and poet, architect and builder, prophet and statesman was also a theologian able to discourse upon the sovereignty and holiness of God with utmost clarity. What an artist with words Isaiah was! Every word from him stirs and strikes, as he expounds the lordship of Jehovah - the need of all men for cleansing - the forgiving grace of God. The prophet insisted upon reverence for God whose usual title he gave as "The Holy One of Israel." Sometimes stern in tone, he could also be tender and compassionate (Isa. 15:5; 16:9).
The time of his death is unknown. Legend has it that he was placed inside a hollow tree and sawn asunder at the command of Manasseh (Heb. 11:37).


The Woman Who Killed a Man While He Slept

Scripture References-Judges 4:17-22; 5:6, 24-27
Name Meaning-Jael means “wild or mountain goat” or “gazelle,” and as Dean Stanley expresses it, “a fit name for a Bedouin’s wife-especially for one whose family had come from the rocks of Engedi, the spring of the wild goat or chamois.”
Family Connections-The only association given of this woman who sprang from obscurity by a single deed which, because of its nature, hardly deserved fame, is that she was the wife of Heber, the Kenite. In those days everything connected with a tent was a woman’s job and the women became expert in all the phases of making, pitching and striking tents. This was why Jael was able to turn her skill to good account, as with a tent pin in one hand and with a maul in the other, she drove the pin home through the skull of Sisera as he slept-a deed not allotted to divine leading although the victory over Sisera was ( Judges 5:10).
How can we explain or justify such an act deemed treacherous according to the morals of Jael’s own time? “Hospitality was one of the most strictly adhered to, of all desert obligations, and was a matter of honor among the Hebrews,” says Mary Hallet. “In betraying Sisera, Jael broke this code of hers; but to us that is more easily understood than the revolting cruelty of her method of murder!” “So Sisera died”-and Jael’s treachery was forgotten in the more important fact of her courage. The circumstances occasioning such an act have already been touched upon. Israel chafed under the severe rule of Jabin, king of the Canaanites, and Deborah arose and with Barak went out against the armed force of Jabin. God intervened, and unleashing the powers of nature completely disorganized Jabin’s army. Sisera, captain of the host, and Israel’s cruel oppressor escaped and fell into the hands of a woman (4:9).
Sisera fled to the tent of Heber the Kenite, whose wife Jael met Sisera and urged him not to be afraid but to turn in and rest. Seeing how worn and weary Sisera was, Jael covered him with a mantle, and when he asked for water to slake his thirst she opened a bottle of milk for him to drink. Then, assuring him that she would shield him from any searchers, she watched him as he fell asleep. Going softly to his side, Jael drove the tent nail through his head and pinned it to the ground. Shakespeare says of woman that “she can smile and smile and be a villain.” Jael was not a crude or coarse woman, or a tiger of a woman. But with a husband who had allied himself with the enemy, she was caught in the politics of Israel and felt that she had to defend herself She resorted to trickery, for although she met Sisera with a beaming face, there was murder in her heart. Had Sisera attempted to rape Jael, and in defense of her honor she had killed him, that would have been another matter, but to kill him as an assassin kills a victim was something different. Her murder of Sisera reminds us of Judith of Behulia, who drove a sword through Olopernes' throat as he slept.
While divine judgment fell upon Sisera, Jael erred in that she did not allow God to designate the means of punishment. Perhaps she felt an irresistible impulse to slay the persistent enemy of God’s people, but she remains forever censurable for the cruel way she killed Sisera, even though Deborah gloated over the act and praised it in poetic form. When Deborah said, “Blessed above women shall be Jael,” perhaps she was only praising her faith and not her treachery. Any woman killing the country’s enemy must be the friend of Israel, and so the method of Sisera’s death mattered little to Deborah who doubtless thought that all was fair in time of war. What atrocious crimes have been committed in the name of patriotism! Jael had no conception that she was the one person at the opportune moment to render “stern justice on an enemy of God.” Knowing that the tide of battle had turned against the Canaanites she realized that Sisera would be captured and killed, therefore she acted as the executioner herself, thereby cementing a friendship with Deborah, the conqueror, who thought Jael worthy of praise because of her love for Israel.
August 29, 2011
Woe is You. Woe is Me!
Today's Truth
What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.'...The things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean' (Matthew 15:11,18, NIV).
Friend To Friend
All through the Bible we have accounts of God sending men and women out into the world with a message. Whether it is a message of repentance, judgment, deliverance or hope, God made sure the messengers were placed in strategic moments in time to make an impact on those around them. But God doesn't send the messenger out unprepared. He trains them as only He can do...and it usually has something to do with their words.
Let's look at two messengers and how God prepared them to impact the world: Isaiah and Jeremiah.
Isaiah was called to prophesy to Jerusalem 740 years before Christ. In the first five chapters, the overriding theme is impending judgment. "Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field...Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks...Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit and wickedness as with cart ropes...Woe to those who call evil good and good evil...Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight...Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and champions at mixing drinks..." But then something happens to Isaiah as he sees his own life reflected in God's magnificent glory.
Isaiah had a vision.
I saw the Lord seated on a throne high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." At the sound of their voices the doorposts and threshold shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
"Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." (Isaiah 6:1-5)
I imagine Isaiah was feeling pretty good about himself, being called by God to prophesy to this irksome people. But just when he got out the sixth woe, God decided to hold up the mirror of His holiness in which Isaiah saw his own sin. And where did the sin manifest itself? His words.
God doesn't convict us of our sin to condemn us. He reveals our sin to bring us to repentance and change. Just as Isaiah was lamenting his own foul tongue, a seraph (brightly shimmering heavenly beings whose name means' burning ones') picked up a live coal with tongs from the altar of atonement and touched it to the prophet's lips. Just as God sent the Holy Spirit to the believers at Pentecost in the form of flaming tongues, He sent a coal to set Isaiah's tongue afire with cleansing power. The seraph touched Isaiah's tongue with the burning coal and then announced that his guilt was taken away.
Now Isaiah was ready to go out into the world and proclaim God's message to His people and his "woe is me" was transformed into "Here am I send me."
Isaiah didn't need to change his eating or drinking habits, he didn't need to alter his outward appearance, or take extra classes at the local seminary. Isaiah needed to have his words purified and fortified so God could be properly glorified.
If God thought it necessary to deal with Isaiah's tongue before he embarked on his heavenly assignment then we should not think it would be any different for you and for me. But did you notice it was God who did the cleansing? It takes more than washing our mouths out with soap to be a woman of clean lips. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit and the touch of God. Our part is to cooperate with Him, submit our words to Him, fill our lives with Him, and live our lives through Him.
Now It's Your Turn
Unlike Isaiah, Jeremiah didn't begin prophesying until God touched his mouth first. Like Isaiah, Jeremiah was called to be a prophet to the Hebrew nation. However, he was very reluctant to heed the call. "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child," he argued. But God reprimanded Jeremiah, "Do not say, 'I am only a child'...Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you."
Then God reached out his hand and touched Jeremiah's mouth and said, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth." God called this young man to be strong and courageous and assured him that He would be with him wherever he went.
Today, pull out your Bible and read Jeremiah chapter one. Turn the words into a prayer for your own life and pray that God will use your words and your life to make a positive impact for the gospel today.
More From The Girlfriends
The Bible tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue. If you would like to learn more about how to use your words to speak life into those around you, you'll want to readThe Power of a Woman's Words by Sharon Jaynes. And for a more in-depth look at what God's Word has to say about our words, see The Power of a Woman's Words Bible Study Guide.
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Girlfriends in God
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Wendy Blight
August 29, 2011
A Dying Faith Revived
Wendy Blight
"Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." Romans 10:17 (NIV)
Law school. Two words that scare some and impress others.
I gave three years of my life to the study of law...compiling facts, reading case law, applying that law, and making arguments. I spent hour after hour in the law library. Researching, studying, and writing consumed my every day. My hard work paid off when I made law review.
It paid off again when I passed the bar.
It paid off again upon graduation when I walked through the doors to begin my first day at one of the largest, most prestigious firms in downtown Dallas.
It should have been the best time of my life, but instead it felt empty, without purpose. I found no joy, no satisfaction in what I did every day. I spent so much time and invested so much money to get to this place. Something was missing.
What I felt in the depths of my soul was the cry of a dying faith...hunger pangs of a weary soul. I had filled myself full of worldly knowledge, yet I had starved myself of spiritual knowledge.
Friend, do you feel that way as you read my words? Do you feel empty, dry, and weary? Faith feeds on the Word of God. Without a steady intake of God's Word in our lives, we grow weaker and weaker. I tried to feed my faith on a two minute devotional in the morning...maybe a few times a week...if that.
When we starve our faith, we move farther and farther from our Father's heart. We find it hard to trust Him. Sometimes we avoid worshiping Him. We feel guilty. We feel alone. Listen to words from our Father's heart:
• "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." Romans 10:17 (NIV)
• "Jesus answered, 'It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" Matthew 4:4 (NIV)
• Blessed is the one whose "delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law [she] meditates day and night. [She] is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever [she] does prospers." Psalm 1:2-3 (NIV)
Faith feeds on the Word of God. Our faith has no life apart from what we receive from the Word. I came to the realization that I needed to alter my diet. I needed to feed on something other than case law and legal memoranda.
God drew you to this devotional today. Ask Him why. Has the Lord pricked your heart? Does my story strike a chord with you? With all my heart, I encourage you to not ignore His Word to you today.
Let's be like the blessed one in Psalm 1 who meditates on God's Word day and night. Will you commit with me today to memorize one scripture? To start, find a verse, maybe one from this devotional, and memorize it. You will be putting "faith food" into your heart and mind. Throughout the next few days, feed on that verse, speak that verse, and share that verse. Watch what God will do.
God will bless your obedience. Your obedience will bear fruit. You will prosper.
Wait and watch and see!
Dear Lord, today I feel weary, empty, and so very far away from You. Please come near, feed me with Your Word, revive my dying faith. Make me like the tree planted by streams of water, yielding fruit and prospering in all I do. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?
Visit Wendy's blog and share your memory verse with her. She would love to pray for you. Also, be sure to sign up for her next on-line Bible Study on the book of Hebrews that will begin in October.
Proverbs 31 Ministries offers many Bible studies! Shop online today for one that fits you.
When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can't compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!
Application Steps:
Pick a verse from the devotional or your own verse and commit to memorize it this week. Please stop by my blogand share your verse with me. I would be honored to pray for you as you take this step.
What is it that takes my time and keeps me from being in God's Word on a consistent basis?
What one step can I take to spend more time with God in His Word? I'll commit to take that step.
Power Verses:
Matthew 4:4, "Jesus answered, 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (NIV)
© 2011 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Skills: The Learning Organization

Following a smashing success, it's easy to kick back and rest, to assume that current knowledge and achievements will assure future success. That's a dangerous attitude. Unfortunately, it's the one that the ancient Israelites adopted after the death of Joshua and his generation. Joshua had led the Israelites in the conquest of the promised land. His generation had personally witnessed God damming up the Jordan River and orchestrating the fall of the walls of Jericho (Joshua 3, 6).
The next generation "knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel" (Judges 2:10 ). What a tragic and scathing statement. An entire generation had failed to learn in any life-changing way about God or his deeds. The void left by their ignorance allowed room in their hearts and minds to embrace idols and pagan peoples. Ultimately, it led them into sin and brought down the anger of the Lord upon them. They knew the stories of their predecessors' successes and failures, but they didn't learn from them.
When nations, organizations or teams stop learning, they're setting themselves up for failure. "Those who don't learn from history are destined to repeat it" summarizes succinctly the situation of the Israelites as portrayed in Judges, as well as the situation faced by teams who haven't learned from past experiences. Effective leaders know this. They do their best to create an atmosphere that encourages learning within their organizations and teams. They remember the principles gleaned through past experiences, and they help their people to apply them to new situations.
What are you currently doing to open yourself up to new ideas? What structures does your present organization have in place to stimulate learning? What structures could it put in place?
The Learning Organization and Who God Is
We do not assign the reading of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment to kindergarten children, nor do we teach advanced engineering mathematics to first graders. A lengthy process of development and learning is necessary before people are ready to tackle these more sophisticated subjects. In a similar way, God gives us greater amounts of illumination as we respond to the light we have already received. Turn to the note on 1Peter 1:10-12 for insight into the important phenomenon of progressive revelation.
This Week's Verse to Memorize

Psalm 86:9-12: All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.
The Learning Organization and Who I Am
Reading the Old Testament can be a frustrating experience. We find ourselves wishing that the stubborn Israelites would just obey God and turn away from idolatry, but they continue to ruin their own lives by refusing to learn from their experiences. Then we come to the realization that they remind us of ourselves. Turn to Zechariah 1:2-6 to listen to God's Word to the remnant who had returned to the land following the exile.
The Learning Organization and How It Works
Continuous improvement requires continuous learning. Only the learning organization will, over the long haul, continue to grow. Paul provided the Colossian church with a marvelous insight into the concept of growth through learning. That same insight can work for any enterprise and is well worth our consideration. Discover it in Colossians 1:9-10.
The Learning Organization and What I Do
God used Josiah to bring about a radical reform. How did this happen? As we find out, we'll also discover a crucial principle from Nevis, DiBella and Gould that facilitates learning in an organization. Turn to the note on 2Chronicles 34:1-35:27.


Handbook to Leadership: Leadership in the Image of God

by Kenneth Boa
Buy the Handbook!
All the features of The Leadership Bible created by Kenneth Boa, Sid Buzzell, and Bill Perkins have been combined in this attractive and compact black leather volume. Handbook to Leadership has four parts: 52-Week Leadership Guide, Topical Leadership Guide, Leadership Character Studies, and Books of the Bible Leadership Guide.

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