Monday, August 12, 2013

Mon Aug 12th Todays News

Happy birthday and many happy returns Kevin Pham-Le. Born on the same day as Karl Faber (1773), Klara Hitler (1860), Edith Hamilton (1867), Cecil B. DeMille (1881), Harry Hopman (1906), Guy Gibson (1918), Norris & Ross McWhirter (1925), George Soros (1930), Mark Knopfler (1949) and Jesinta Campbell (1991). On your day, 1676 – Puritans and their Native American allies killed Wampanoag sachem Metacomet (known as "King Philip"), essentially ending King Philip's War.
1883 – The last known quagga, a subspecies of the plains zebra, died at the Artis Magistra zoo in Amsterdam.
1952 – Thirteen Jewish poets in Moscow were executed for espionage based on false confessions.
1969 – Riots erupted in the Bogside area of Derry and spread across much of Northern Ireland.
2000 – The Oscar class submarine K-141 Kursk of the Russian Navy exploded and sank in the Barents Sea during a military exercise.
A hundred years before the war of independence, Americans killed King Philip. What was the quagga good for anyway? I would cheerfully lock up ever socialist to get back those thirteen poets. A party began in Ireland. Oscar is a lousy name for a submarine. Just sayin' ..


Tim Blair – Monday, August 12, 2013 (4:27pm)

Queensland academic Professor Scott Prasser warns Tony Abbott: 
Professor Prasser says Mr Rudd was off form last night and he would not advise Mr Abbott to engage in any more debates with the Prime Minister. 
Oooooh! Scary Kevni! Meanwhile, desperate Labor fans are pushing lies
A picture of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott purportedly using speaking notes during the leaders’ debate has surfaced on social media in defence of Kevin Rudd …
But despite claims the picture of Abbott with notes was from last night’s debate, the photo was in fact taken during the 2010 leaders’ debate with former prime minister Julia Gillard. 
Perhaps this scam is part of Rudd’s awesome social media campaign. While the PM was gathering his notes ahead of last night’s debate debacle, Tony Abbott prepared by competing in a half-marathon
He ran the 14-kilometre course in 81 minutes. Then he made a policy announcement on Bondi Beach, pledging $8 million to Australia’s surf life saving clubs. Then he announced a $500,000 grant for North Bondi Surf Club. Then he travelled to Canberra. Then he prepared for an election debate. Then he debated the Prime Minister live on national television, without notes (unlike the Prime Minister). 
Then he won. Speaking of running, someone in Rudd’s office is probably setting records
Rudd blamed his staff for failing to advise him of the rules … 
(Via CL) 



Tim Blair – Monday, August 12, 2013 (2:19pm)

Kevin Rudd launches Alannah MacTiernan’s campaign in Perth:


But who is the much younger woman in MacTiernan’s campaign posters? Is it Heather Locklear?



Tim Blair – Monday, August 12, 2013 (3:52am)

The main contest in Election 2013 may be between Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott, but political fight fans shouldn’t overlook the thrilling variety of undercard bouts also taking place during voting season. Let’s work through some of these spectacular September 7 showdowns …



Tim Blair – Monday, August 12, 2013 (2:52am)

Latest Newspoll
The Coalition’s primary vote support of 46 per cent, up two percentage points in the past week, is at athree-month high. Labor’s 35 per cent, down two points since the beginning of the formal campaign last week, is back to where it was when Mr Rudd removed Julia Gillard as leader. The Greens’ primary vote continues to oscillate between 9 per cent and 11 per cent.
Based on preference flows at the 2010 election, the two-party-preferred vote is steady on a winning lead for the Coalition of 52 per cent to Labor’s 48 per cent …
Mr Rudd again suggested yesterday that Labor was the “underdog” for the September 7 election. 
He’s half right. Presently, Labor is just a dog.



Tim Blair – Monday, August 12, 2013 (2:51am)

Being a happy one-trick pony myself, I endorse Paul Simon’s timeless celebration of the mono-skilled.



Tim Blair – Monday, August 12, 2013 (1:44am)

At her 2010 election campaign launch, Labor staffers claimed that Julia Gillard delivered her 40-minute speech entirely without notes. Nearly everyone fell for this lie, including the Age‘s Michael Gordon
Julia Gillard threw away the script for modern election launches yesterday when she spoke off the cuff for 40 minutes in an attempt to inject the missing ingredient into Labor’s campaign: inspiration. 
In fact, Julia’s surprise ingredient was deception. A word-for-word copy of her launch speech was placed on the lectern just before Gillard spoke:

At last night’s debate between Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott, no notes were permitted. But rules are for little people: 
Kevin Rudd has been accused of cheating during the leaders’ debate after using speaking notes to help him against Tony Abbott.
The debate’s moderator, Sky News political editor David Speers, revealed following the debate that the Prime Minister had used the paperwork against the rules.
Footage of Mr Rudd shows he was holding a pile of papers and he appeared to repeatedly reference them while talking.
But Speers said he had not noticed during the showdown as he was focusing on his own job moderating and asking questions. 
Rudd begged for weeks to debate Abbott, then cheated when he finally got his wish. And, according to most pundits, he still lost. Even worse, Rudd’s notes are the big story emerging from the debate. Not that Fairfax’s Stephanie Peatling is greatly worried: 
Was Mr Rudd reading from notes? Yes, say people inside the venue. This is against the rules but maybe the rule is silly. 
(Via Wade Laube)


Who’s next? Labor

Andrew Bolt August 12 2013 (12:58pm)

Life is not going to get any easier for Kevin Rudd and Labor with the Australian Salary Packaging Industry Association unleashing an ad campaign against its changes to the fringe benefit tax.
It will do damage:

THE car leasing industry has embarked on a $10 million advertising blitz against the Rudd Government’s changes to the Fringe Benefits Tax…
Although last month was a sales record for July, the industry says the real impact will become apparent in the coming months, with 10,000 forward orders cancelled within the fortnight that followed the July 16 announcement.


The one cut-through fact from the debate: Rudd cheated

Andrew Bolt August 12 2013 (12:22pm)

It is not often I disagree with an editorial in The Australian:

There was no decisive blow so we will refrain from naming a winner...
In fact, there was indeed a decisive blow, and Kevin Rudd administered it ... to himself. The readers’ verdict is decisive:


Stop the notes

Andrew Bolt August 12 2013 (11:58am)

Kevin Rudd:

This election will be about who the Australian people trust...
From the official rules of last night’s leader’s debate:


David Speers says he was too busy to notice Kevin Rudd repeatedly cheating right in front of him:
Kevin Rudd has been accused of cheating during the leaders’ debate after using speaking notes to help him against Tony Abbott.
The debate’s moderator, Sky News political editor David Speers, revealed following the debate that the Prime Minister had used the paperwork against the rules.
Footage of Mr Rudd shows he was holding a pile of papers and he appeared to repeatedly reference them while talking.
But Speers said he had not noticed during the showdown as he was focusing on his own job moderating and asking questions.
Mr Abbott confirmed on Monday he was told not to bring any notes.

“I was interested to see that Mr Rudd turned up with a big wad of papers and he did seem to be reading his opening and his closing statements,” he told Gold 104 FM radio in Melbourne.
“It did strike me as a little odd, given that they were the rules, that he brought all those papers in.”
Greg Sheridan probably sums up best:
TONY Abbott was the clear winner in last night’s great debate…
... when you demonise an opponent, as Labor has done with four years of relentless personal attacks on Abbott, a single good debate performance can bring your strategy undone…
This came across strongly last night… Abbott may tend to speak in slogans for the nightly news, but last night he was fluent and straightforward…
On substance, Abbott clearly did better… Abbott looked completely prime ministerial. Debates count most when they run totally counter to one side’s narrative. 
Moderator David Speers isn’t consciously partisan. He’s just a go-with-the-flow Leftist, trying to be fair but leaving his own prejudices unexamined. So it wasn’t an overtly hostile act that led his moderating last night to be decidedly skewed. Take this exchange, for instance - the interrruptions of Abbott, the soft ball thrown to Rudd, the “Tony”...:
SPEERS: Let’s get to the alternative, Tony Abbott, you do criticise Labor often for running up debt but your own plans - now, just listing a few, you want to cut the Company Tax, you want to scrap the Carbon Tax, you want to scrap the Mining Tax, you want to undo the Fringe Benefits Tax changes, you’re saying you’ll match Labor’s spending on schools and disabilities. You also want to spend a lot more on paid parental leave and a multibillion dollar direct action plan. Where is the money coming from?
ABBOTT: Well David, the thing that you’ve got to understand is that there has been an enormous amount of waste over the last six years. Mr Rudd talks about keeping Australia out of a recession but spending money on pink batts that caught fire in people’s roofs or spending money on over-priced school halls that double what would have been a fair market value…
SPEERS: Let’s stick with your plans.
ABBOTT: That didn’t keep us out of recession. What kept us out of recession was the fact that Mr Rudd inherited a strong economy thanks to the reforms of Mr Hawke, Mr Keating, Mr Howard and Mr Costello, and the China boom kept going. That was what kept us out of the recession.
SPEERS: My question is about how your numbers add up.
ABBOTT: You will see in good time before polling day exactly how much we’re going to spend and exactly how much we’re going to save and exactly how much better the bank balance will be under the Coalition than under the Labor Party.
SPEERS: Mr Abbott, do you acknowledge people are tuning in tonight, you’ve been in this job for a few years, they want to hear tonight how you’re going to stop things getting worse.
ABBOTT: Just on the savings thing, David, the tax cuts without a Carbon Tax, and the pension increases without a Carbon Tax that I’m committed to, and the Company Tax cut that I’m committed to costs $17 billion over the forward estimates period. Now in my National Press Club Speech in January in this very venue and in my Budget reply speech I identified a series of savings that equal $17 billion.
SPEERS: Is that good enough, Prime Minister? You’re the one raising fear campaigns about the GST. Are those savings measures good enough?
PM: I deal in facts actually, David, and the facts are these: Mr Hockey, Mr Abbott’s Treasury spokesman, has said that the Liberal Party faces a $70 billion funding gap, their figure, not ours. Senator Wong, the Finance Minister, has verified that in a statement as recently as last week, in detail, line by line. And the bottom line is this, here we are, four weeks before an election, and the Australian people, if they were voting yesterday, according to the opinion polls, would have elected Mr Abbott Prime Minister. Surely four weeks before an election he can stop being evasive about where the $70 billion worth of cuts to jobs, to health an education would fall, and in the absence of that…
SPEERS: The numbers have moved around lot. Treasury’s numbers have been downgraded and downgraded and downgraded. You can understand some reluctance to lock in on the current set of numbers?
PM: Our experience has been that it is important to be transparent about what you’re going to cut and what you’re going to save. What we’ve had from our opponents in this election campaign is a continued policy of evasion on this. Let’s just say that the $70 billion can’t be made up in terms of all the cuts which have been partly foreshadowed to jobs, health and education, well, it’s legitimate then for us to raise a question about the future of the Goods and Services Tax? Mr Abbott and the Deputy Leader, Julie Bishop who’s here this evening, and Mr Hockey have said that the review of the Goods and Services Tax is on the table. Will it be increased, when will it go to food?
SPEERS: Will it be increased, Tony?
ABBOTT: No, No. No, it won’t. The GST doesn’t changed under the Coalition and I think our country, I think the people at home who are watching this, deserve better than a cheap scare campaign from the Prime Minister of this country. Look, this idea that the Coalition is ready with a great big scalpel to slash health, to slash education, to slash jobs is simply wrong. It’s in fact Mr Rudd’s Government which cut $1.5 billion out of hospital funding, including retrospective cuts in the last mid-year economic update.
SPEERS: OK, no change to the GST. Is that just for one term?
ABBOTT: No change to the GST and, look, a matter of fact which I think is very important, the GST cannot change without the consent of all the State and Territory Governments, and last time I looked that include two Labor Governments.
SPEERS: Is that good enough for you, Prime Minister?
SPEERS: Just on the GST and your plans. It is in your review.
ABBOTT: The GST is not going to change.
ABBOTT: The GST can’t change without the agreement of the States and Territories and last time I looked that meant the agreement of the Labor Party but it is a little embarrassing-
SPEERS: You won’t, you won’t review it?
ABBOTT: It’s not going to change. It’s a little embarrassing to have the Prime Minister of this country, who had three years in power himself, who is a member of the Government for the rest of the three years, who voted for everything, including the Carbon Tax, who was part of the promise to deliver the surplus that never turned up, after six years, the best he can do is run this embarrassing scare campaign.
Check the transcript to find similarly sustained badgering of Rudd.
Rudd rejected the ABC’s Chris Uhlmann as moderator, even though Uhlmann’s wife is a Labor MP. Apparently thought he might be tough. Seems Speers turned out the better bet for Labor.
Rudd at a press conference says no one told him he couldn’t take notes to the debate. Says there’s not enough room on his hand for the notes he’d need.
The ABC’s Barrie Cassidy wrote in The Party Thieves of his shock when, as Bob Hawke’s press secretary, he found Andrew Peacock taking notes into the debate:

(Thanks to reader Peter.) 


Under his skin

Andrew Bolt August 12 2013 (11:49am)

Kevin Rudd is wobbling, and I wouldn’t rule out a major meltdown before this campaign is over. At his press conference today he told a “joke” about needing to use notes for the announcement as was his “usual practice”. He gives a tense false smile. That’s giving the cheating story just more oxygen.  


Rudd the orator

Andrew Bolt August 12 2013 (9:43am)

Kevin Rudd is reputed to be a great speaker. A fine debater. Some commentators even claimed he won last night’s debate.
Here are some of the things the Prime Minister said in that debate that make simply no sense, are completely false or are frankly weird:
And the Australia we all know and love has been built by you, the Australian people. Built by you, our businesses both big and small, built by you, our seniors, who’ve worked so hard in the past and built by you, young people out there who are our dynamos of the future… (Children built our future?)

...the party that has brought you Medicare is the party has now has brought you DisabilityCare.
(DisabilityCare, largely unfunded, actually exists as just two trial schemes.)

To you, my fellow Australians, drawing on the great strengths of our country as it exists now under my Prime Ministership, I offer a new way to secure Australia’s future.
(Pardon? “The great strengths of our country as it exists now under my Prime Ministership”? Rather Napoleonic. non?)

Secondly, you have raised asylum seekers, this is a difficult question for the country and the activities of people smugglers concern all Australians. You’re right in 2007 we had a mandate, we implemented that mandate and then our external circumstances, as you know during the course of 2008, 09 and 10, changed. Many things which happened in the international community including a civil war in Sri Lanka, so what I have said on many times already is that, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight you would have begun to adjust the policy earlier.
(Rudd again blames the voters for making him dismantle the tough border laws that worked. He skips over the fact that voters may actually have been wanting him to honor his promise to turn back the boats. Rudd claims the civil war in Sri Lanka was a changed circumstance, when in fact it had been going for a quarter of a century.)

The truth about the Pacific Solution is that 70%, thereabouts, of those people sent by Mr Howard to Nauru and elsewhere as part of the Pacific Solution, used it as a wait station and within a couple of years were in Australia anyway.
(A lie. As Abbott explained: “As your own former Minister Senator Evans made clear, 30% went home, 30% went to a country other than Australia and, yes, 40% did come to Australia but the Prime Minister owes it to the Australian people to get his facts right, not to invent them, and the boats stopped.")

One measure we’ve taken is to increase the childcare rebate from 30 to 50 per cent, another measure we’ve taken is to ensure that kids who are at school, supporting their families, receive a School Kids’ Bonus.
(School children are now “supporting their families”?)
Secondly, productivity is driven by a bunch of things. It is driven by relative energy prices including the burden faced by a bunch of people through gouging by State Government owned electricity utilities as well. (No, productivity is about workplace practices above all.)

On Sydney Airport, there’s a massive debate about where any second airport should be. I’m from Queensland, I’m not from Sydney. I hear contending arguments in terms of where or if such a new airport should be located. This lies with the Infrastructure Minister… I’ll defer that question to those, for example, Minister Albanese, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Transport, because that is how it’s appropriately deliberated on. 
(Rudd is the Prime Minister. Of Australia, not Queensland. He isn’t there to shove responsibility for such a big decision onto a minister.)

But hang on, I’d hate again to say to the good folk of Sydney that theirs is not the only airport in the country. There’s one in Brisbane, one in Melbourne, and if the argument which Simon put was about productivity, I’m just making a pretty forthright argument that it’s the efficiency of our important infrastructure in which we’ve massively invested, the efficiency of our rail networks we’re massively investing in and Mr Abbott is saying he won’t ever invest in an urban rail network and we’ve currently got billions going into Brisbane, Redcliffe rail into other and project around the country including Melbourne with the Regional Rail Link...
(That’s truly amazing waffle.)

I’ve announced the abolition of the carbon tax. That would bring down the price from $26 a ton to $6 a ton. That’s a fact.
(In fact, the Budget update this month showed the carbon price rising to $38 - not $6 - by 2019. Fact.)


Shorten and Conroy at odds as Labor wonders who jumped on the Lake

Andrew Bolt August 12 2013 (9:16am)

Kevin Rudd was right to have dumped a Labor candidate who once abused a woman in a wheelchair, but the factions are ready to rumble:

The National Union of Workers is seeking an inquiry into why and how Geoff Lake, the former candidate for the safe federal seat of Hotham in Melbourne, was dumped over an 11-year-old verbal tirade he unleashed against a fellow councillor.
The Prime Minister sought Mr Lake’s disendorsement over the weekend… The move has sparked bitter recriminations from rival elements of the Victorian Right about who leaked against Mr Lake and why he was endorsed in the first place.
Victorian Labor powerbrokers fear the party’s Right, whose highest profile members are Education Minister Bill Shorten and former communications minister Stephen Conroy, is on the brink of splitting, as internal opponents seek retribution over the bungled Hotham preselection…
Mr Lake was endorsed as the candidate last month after a split across the Victorian Right that handed victory to Senator Conroy and defeat to the Shorten forces…
When Mr Lake was endorsed last month, Senator Conroy, the NUW and the shop assistants’ union combined to defeat the forces around Mr Shorten. Senator Conroy voted for former prime minister Julia Gillard in the recent leadership ballot while Mr Shorten backed Mr Rudd.


Boat people now sail from PNG, Rudd’s “solution”

Andrew Bolt August 12 2013 (8:55am)

Sending boat people to PNG may bring them a lot closer to Australia:
ASYLUM seekers have found their own PNG Solution with two Somalis the latest to sail from Australia’s nearest neighbour across the Torres Strait to far north Queensland.
The state’s Premier Campbell Newman warned the new front across the border would open up after the Federal Government vowed to send all boat arrivals to PNG or Nauru.
Customs and immigration officers found the two Somalis on remote Boigu Island, 6km south of PNG, on Saturday morning.
Another two:

The discovery of the Somalis, on Saturday morning, came just hours after the sighting by a Customs plane fly-over of another pair, this time a West Papuan and a PNG national in a traditional canoe, just north of Saibai Island, 4km from PNG.
Rudd’s PNG solution has not done much to slow the boats:
Since the Government announced the PNG solution just over three weeks ago, 2270 people have arrived with the latest a vessel carrying 52 intercepted near Christmas Island on Saturday night.


Next scare: Abbott will be just like Mandela?

Andrew Bolt August 12 2013 (8:51am)

It always seemed an odd strategy to me, warning that Tony Abbott will be like the Premier who leads one of the most popular governments in the country:

KEVIN Rudd’s attacks on the Newman Government appear to have backfired, with Campbell Newman’s administration surging in popularity…

Federal Labor has targeted the Newman Government over cuts to programs and the public service in an effort to warn Queenslanders about the implications of a Tony Abbott-led administration in Canberra.
The ACTU yesterday launched their new ad campaign linking the two LNP leaders, with a giant-headed Campbell Newman and Tony Abbott on show at a union display in Bowen Hills…
However Labor’s condemnation has only served to reignite Queensland’s support for the LNP, reversing the gradual decline the Government has experienced since the March 2012 election…
According to the Galaxy poll conducted last week, the LNP’s primary support has jumped from 44 per cent to 47 per cent in the last three months… On a two-party-preferred basis, the LNP leads 57 per cent to Labor’s 43 per cent, unchanged since the last Galaxy poll in May.


Two rules to save us billions

Andrew Bolt August 12 2013 (8:37am)

Political things
THE country is deep in debt, and we need new rules to make governments kick the spending habit.
I suggest two changes that might save millions - even billions - and inject more truth into the political debate.
First, journalists should ban phrases like this, from the ABC: “Mr Abbott says a Coalition Government would fund road and freight rail projects”.
Or this, from AAP: “Mr Rudd announced that a re-elected Labor Government will spend $5 million to redevelop the weary (Hobart showground)”.


What to expect from Prime Minister Abbott

Andrew Bolt August 12 2013 (8:32am)

Politics - federal
BEFORE you read this about Tony Abbott - the good and the worrying - know I am biased.
It’s a bias I share with former Labor president Warren Mundine about the Opposition Leader.
As Mundine told me: “If you don’t like Tony Abbott, don’t meet him, because when you do meet him he’s a really good bloke.”
In fact, Mundine likes Abbott so much that he quit Labor and on the weekend announced he’d head a council to advise a Liberal prime minister Tony Abbott on indigenous policy.
Mundine had better get ready, just as voters should prepare for the man now almost sure to lead them.
You see, it seems clear the Rudd Government is heading for a beating.  


The man who inspired Rudd’s anti-Murdoch conspiracy theory now denies it

Andrew Bolt August 12 2013 (8:08am)

Paul Sheehan backs off the conspiracy theory he suggested to Kevin Rudd, and now attacks the Prime Minister as pathetic for peddling it:

Rudd has sought to neutralise the negative coverage coming from the News Corp newspapers by ... claiming News Corp has a vested commercial interest in bringing down his government.

He told the ABC’s 7.30 program on Wednesday: ‘’… I would like to hear some answers as to what discussions Mr Abbott may have had with Mr Murdoch on the future of Australia’s national broadband network.’’
The person who gave the Prime Minister the ammunition for his conspiracy theory was me.

Even though there is zero evidence to suggest collusion between the Coalition and News, that is what Rudd is suggesting.... As for the Coalition policy being launched at Fox Studios, that is supposed to be a smoking gun. That’s all he’s got. Pathetic.
My argument last week was that News Corp has a long record of blurring the lines between journalism and commercial interest. But this was a dust-up between Fairfax Media and News Corp that Rudd has taken to pure distortion and diversion, a tactic foreshadowed when he announced the election: ‘’Mr Abbott’s advertising campaign will be massive, funded by a massive war chest he has amassed from a whole range of vested interests in industry, not least the tobacco companies.’’
As if the deep pockets of the unions are not vested interests. Or the federal government has not spent $30 million advertising Rudd’s anti-asylum seekers election ploy. Or that Rudd did not accept a first-class round-trip airfare to Europe last year and five-star accommodation from the Korber Foundation, which happens to own the world’s largest supplier of cigarette-making machines. Or that Rudd was not endorsed by some News Corp newspapers in 2007, did not seek advice from Murdoch, have numerous meetings with News Corp executives or give multiple background briefings to News Corp journalists.
As for the conspiracy theory itself, Sheehan now admits:

I would add that Labor’s broadband network could help Foxtel make more money, not just open it to more competition.


Newspoll: Labor still behind, 48 to 52. Abbott gains

Andrew Bolt August 12 2013 (7:53am)

No big change in Newspoll - but no sign of hope for Labor:

According to the latest Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian on the weekend, the Coalition’s primary vote support of 46 per cent, up two percentage points in the past week, is at a three-month high. Labor’s 35 per cent, down two points since the beginning of the formal campaign last week, is back to where it was when Mr Rudd removed Julia Gillard as leader…

Based on preference flows at the 2010 election, the two-party-preferred vote is steady on a winning lead for the Coalition of 52 per cent to Labor’s 48 per cent.
The one real change is in the preferred Prime Minister figure:

On the question of who would make the better prime minister, Mr Rudd maintained a lead over Mr Abbott with his support of 46 per cent, down from 47 per cent last week, compared with Mr Abbott’s 37 per cent, up four points since last week.
Former Labor speechwriter Troy Bramston on Labor party polling:

...there is confidence within Labor that its targeted campaigning in key seats is paying an electoral dividend.
A few months ago, Labor’s polling had the party behind in Lindsay, held by Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury, by 35 to 65 per cent on a two-party preferred basis. At the start of the campaign, Labor’s polling had him behind by just 49 to 51 per cent. Nevertheless, he faces an uphill struggle…
In Dobell, scandal-plagued former Labor MP Craig Thomson is attracting just 6 per cent of the primary vote, according to internal Labor polling. Labor has a two-party vote lead of 55 to 45 per cent.
That was a fortnight ago; Labor is more pessimistic now. NSW remains a key battleground. Elsewhere, Victoria hasn’t received the bounce it hoped after Rudd’s return. Expectations of seat gains are also being lowered in Queensland.
As the Nielsen and Galaxy polls published on the weekend show, the Coalition is ahead of Labor nationally by 52 to 48 per cent and 51 to 49 per cent, respectively. This mirrors Labor’s own polling and the state of play in as many as 20 marginal seats. The seat count is still too close to call.
But as the campaign enters its second week, there is a creeping worry in team Labor that the party is falling behind. There is no clear and consistent theme. There are too many messages being sent and the campaign lacks a day-to-day strategic focus.

Thank you Matt, I now have no interest in watching your film - ed

Old old old. The last twenty generations of my female ancestors got a man by saying they had a bun in the oven. - ed
Jennifer Wright

Audrey Shulman seems to think so, anyway. In an attempt to snag a boyfriend, the LA-based blogger has been bringing cakes into bars - the assumption being that men will flock over at the promise of baked goods. She calls the process "cakebarring" - and it seems to be working pretty well.


MEDIA RELEASE - “These answers, by both potential Prime Ministers, are totally unsatisfactory. 


The Rev Fred Nile, leader of the Christian Democratic Party, has strongly condemned Mr Rudd’s promise to introduce same-sex homosexual marriage legislation within 100 days should he be re-elected as Prime Minister.

“Sadly, Mr Abbott avoided giving a clear answer to the same-sex marriage question and said it would be up to the newly elected Party Room if he is elected as Prime Minister” said Rev Nile.

“These answers, by both potential Prime Ministers, are totally unsatisfactory.

“This means the Australian voters, who oppose legal same-sex homosexual marriage, have no option but to vote one for the Christian Democratic Party Federal Candidates and then the party of their choice. We can make this Federal Election a referendum on same-sex-homosexual marriage by voting 1 CDP” stated Rev Nile.

The Christian Democratic political party is firmly opposed to same-sex-homosexual marriage as it fully supports Australia’s historic, traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

“Mr Rudd’s performance in this first TV debate was well below his usual standard, especially his change of position in support of same-sex homosexual marriage which he previously strongly opposed” said Rev Fred Nile MLC.


I'm really disappointed by this. It makes Christians look politically naive or stupid. It isn't a political issue right now so Abbotts stance is the same but smarter. However, to actually address the issue .. Take away the states right to define marriage. States can't do it well. They don't know how. Let churches make the call. The only thing the state should do is civil union. - ed===

She was buried 9000 years ago in Bäckaskog in Kiaby, Skåne at the age of 45. The funeral took place in springtime, birch and hazel was in bloom.
The Bäckaskog woman is the oldest and most famous skeleton found in Sweden. In her grave a spear head was found. It was suitable for hunting and fishing, made of bone and sharp flint blades. Because of the grave goods archaeologists first thought she was a man.
The oldest woman in Sweden
She lived at a time when the climate was warm and humid with dense forests of oak, elm and ash trees. Fishing became more important as the sea level rose and new lagoons were created near her living territory.
She was found alone, no other graves were discovered nearby. In life she had given birth to several children so maybe they followed her to the final rest.
See more of my favourite photos in this set.
Text: Inga Ullén, photo by SHM



It's complicated - ed
Beautiful and informative. I prefer the message of family to revolutionary salvation through works. Family is generational and regenerative. Transformation suggests cutting and removing. A difference of emphasis in service to God. - ed

Shortly before my twenty-fifth birthday my wife and I started a non-denominational church in the living room of our rented duplex just off the campus of Syracuse University. Eleven people attended our first service. 
Twenty-three years later we have the privilege of pastoring a church of over 3,300 members that enjoys the distinction of being one of the most racially diverse congregations in the America.
When our church first began, we wanted to be a part of a revolution. 
We wanted to reach the un-churched twenty-somethings of our generation. 
We wanted to build a church that would transcend the barriers of race, economics, and social status. 



We were driving home from a family gathering one evening this past May with my husband’s 95-year-old grandmother, Frieda, a Holocaust survivor from a small town outside Warsaw. I told her I’d been spending a lot of time on genealogy websites, immersed in tracing the trajectories of my immigrant relatives, most of whom—lured by the promise of America—had left Eastern Europe long before World War II. I had always thought Frieda’s family’s story was not as flush with immigrant tales; most of her relatives had stayed in Poland, which is precisely why Frieda had so few relatives. She and her late husband Chaim had survived the war by fleeing to Russia in November of 1939. They spent the next six years doing forced labor under increasingly dismal and treacherous conditions. They were the only members of their immediate families to have lived.
And so I asked Frieda what she had heard about America as a child. Did people talk about wanting to go there?
“I didn’t know very much. We didn’t talk about it,” she said. She shrugged dismissively.
And then, almost as an afterthought, she added: “My mother’s two older sisters went there. She was supposed to go, too, but the First World War broke out.”
My pulse quickened. In the 14 years I had known her, I had heard numerous stories about Frieda’s past recounted in vivid detail. But I couldn’t recall her ever once mentioning two aunts in America. And Frieda wasn’t someone who could afford to have two aunts unaccounted for.

<A great piece by Paul Sheehan about the political race and how both political leaders (yes, even Rudd, in my book) deserve some respect, not flippant comments about how boring and uninspiring politics is. If leaders are "boring" and "scripted", it's only because they are nit-picked over every statement they make for a "gotcha" gaffe.

Apathetic types should heed the wise words of Plato -

“One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”
― Plato >


<More people died in the Battle of Okinawa on both sides than in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 9 out of 10 buildings were destroyed. As much as a third of the island’s population committed suicide, fled into caves that were bombed, were used as human shields and were killed when American soldiers found themselves unable to distinguish between Japanese soldiers posing as civilians and actual civilians.

It does not take much to imagine what trying to capture Honshu would have looked like. Take the worst horrors of Vietnam and keep multiplying until you run out of imagination. If you run low, remember that at Okinawa the military was handing out grenades to civilians and its home defense plans involved encouraging the civilian population to commit suicide attacks.>
For me, it still doesn't excuse the dropping of the bomb on civilians. But I feel it is excused because a Democrat did it. - ed

  • Phil Box What the, Oh come on, no one should ever apologise for dropping those bombs that in reality saved far far more lives on both sides of the conflict by ending the war.
  • David Daniel Ball That is not a shared sentiment

  • Phil Box No one will ever see eye to eye on everything.

  • John Tran It is hard to imagine an alternative, but so hard to think as human beings we can justify killing even one innocent.. for anything

  • Dan Roe · Friends with Phil Box
    Actually the guys who decided to drop those bombs (as well as fire bombing many other cities) actually thought hard about killings scores of civilians.

    "LeMay said, 'If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals.'" - Robert S McNamara
    Robert S. McNamara's 5th lesson in "The Fog of War"'s movie : "Proportionality s...See more

  • David Daniel Ball McNamara was an apologist for other Democrat failures .. more bombings and less use of troops is the Dem way. Truman both abrogated responsibility for the decisions .. saying it was a military call .. and claimed defiantly that he wouldn't lose sleep over it. The reason for the earlier firebombing of Dresden and wider Germany was more political than strategic, because the division of Europe was related to claimed territory during the war. So pacifying the population to allow faster troop access was the political imperative. Had a Republican done it they would have been carpeted long ago.

  • Dan Roe · Friends with Phil Box
    We armchair critics can think and analyze all we like, but the truth is that war is war and desperate people do desperate things... People die both military and civilian, ultimately there are no rules in war and history is told by the victorious.

  • David Daniel Ball I disagree Dan. There are rules in all things civilised .. including war. The shooting of civilians in Yugoslavia during the break up were war crimes. The action by Nato to hit a command tent was sanctioned. Those that break rules in war are subject to war crimes trials .. unless they are Democrat Presidents.

  • Dan Roe · Friends with Phil Box
    No, i'd have to disagree, you can't blame everything on another binary political party...

    Remember they gave Kissenger a Nobel Peace Prize for the secret bombings of Cambodia...

  • David Daniel Ball I've not forgotten that .. the difference is clear and related to emphasis .. remember, the Democrat initiated war was being prosecuted to their agenda. To exonerate war criminals because of balance is absurd. But then Israel was forced to release terrorists who'd committed murder recently .. for peace.

Somehow the Arab world doesn't seem to care about dying Palestinian Arabs if their deaths cannot be blamed on Jews.
This is an atrocity. You and all these victims deserve love, and life. Instead there is injustice and terrorism. It is unacceptable that the UN, EU and US seem to endorse the terror. - ed

9-Aug-13: Twelve years after the Hamas attack on the Sbarro pizza restaurant, Jerusalem===

E BOOK (Pdf File Full Download To Your Computer You Do NOT Read On Line) Asymmetrical Rocket Warfare and State sponsors of terrorism. Such states do not have to declare war upon their opponent, fight through a proxy and can strike where, when and how at their own choosing. In the age of Asymmetrical Rocket Warfare, the tiny state of Israel is in the center of this storm. This chapter facilitates a more thorough insight towards understanding the magnitude of the deadly threat of these weapons and CBRN. This is a primer for understanding SCUD missiles, Kassam Rockets, cruise missiles, UAVs, solid-fueled, liquid-fueled, hyper-sonic, subsonic, and stealth Capabilities


  • Dear Heavenly Father as I come before you tonight I lift up each and every person that sees this post. Those who are going through difficulties and even those who are not. Place a hedge of protection upon them. I ask you to shower them with peace, love and joy. Bless them abundantly and watch over us as we sleep. In your precious name. Amen.


The activists do not care about the Palestinians' suffering as much as they are interested in advancing their anti-Israel agenda. They rarely have anything good to offer the Palestinians.
Hamas has finally admitted that it is the Egyptians, and not Israel, who have turned the Gaza Strip into a "big prison."
Ghazi Hamad, a senior official with the Hamas-controlled foreign ministry, was quoted this week as saying that the Gaza Strip has been turned into a "big prison as a result of the continued closure of the Rafah border crossing by the Egyptian authorities since June 30."
Hamad said that since then, the number of Palestinian travelers at the Rafah terminal has dropped from 1,200 to 200 per day.

The devil is laughing - ed

Even if some of the children might be fortunate enough to find loving homes, turning these children into gifts, treated as objects -- slaves -- is just as dehumanizing as the terrible alternatives from which they are supposedly being protected. It is not a problem that is being fixed.
In Pakistan, a country beset by problems of violence, poverty and illiteracy, a famous anchorman, Aamir Liaquat Hussain, a religious Muslim as well as a local sex symbol, hosts a "The Price is Right" type of show, call "Gift from God". During Ramadan, it is aired seven hours a day, and the grand prize is a newborn baby.
A special prize for special days. Win and take home a small child. Hussain explains that, in any event, they are "abandoned children that are condemned to grow up in the street, only to be enlisted by terrorists and to end their days as suicide bombers. We offer them an alternative. What is wrong with that?"


Quote of the day-

''Sometimes I've had to use notes myself. The problem with the Prime Minister wasn't that he was reading from the notes. The problem was the notes weren't worth reading,'' - Tony Abbott.===

Holly Sarah Nguyen
Loving Father, help me to guard my inclinations. May I be able to appreciate that though I maybe restless from ambition, I also may be restless through discontent. Correct my life, that my desires may meet the true demands of my soul. Strengthen me with the power of calmness, that "I may go softly all my years", even though I walk through the bitterness of sorrow. Amen.


Positive news story masks real issue .. recession in France pushes money into banks away from investment. - ed

Top French bank BNP Paribas turned in a 4.7 per cent drop in earnings to 1.76 billion euros ($A2.61 billion) for the April to June period, a much smaller fall than had been expected by the market.
Meanwhile, Credit Agricole reported that its second-quarter profits soared 60 per cent to 1.39 billion euros and Societe Generale also largely beat expectations at 955 million euros.
"They are good results in general for the three banks" even if the asset sales and write downs they undertook last year to react to the eurozone crisis made for difficult comparisons, said Gabriella Serres, an analyst at Aurel BGC brokerage.
The price of shares in BNP Paribas has risen by 3.4 per cent since the reporting season began two weeks ago, while Credit Agricole's shares rose by 12.4 per cent, and Societe Generale's shot up by 17.4 per cent.
Meanwhile, the overall CAC 40 index has risen by 2.7 per cent.



4 her
Meanwhile, research on how precious opals were formed in Australia could provide astrobiologists with insight as to what may have happened on the surface of Mars, says Sydney University scientist Patrice Rey.

Precious opal is predominantly found in the red earth of the Great Artesian Basin in central Australia, within 50 meters of the surface.

Rey says it has long been a mystery why there was so much precious opal in the Great Artesian Basin, but almost nowhere else on Earth. He thinks it is because the Great Artesian Basin was once filled by the Eromanga Sea, which at its peak covered about 60 percent of the Australian continent.

Rey discovered that opal, was the result of a process in the drying out of the Eromanga Sea which began approximately 100 million years ago. This weathering is unusual on Earth, however it has been seen on Mars, which would suggest that it shares some other features with the Great Artesian Basin, including types of rocks, a similar history of flooding then drying out, mineralogy and color.

"It costs billions of dollars to send rovers and orbiters to Mars," Rey said in media comments. "Therefore, looking right here on Earth for ancient and modern analogs to Mars' environment is key to carrying on research in greater detail and explore the role biology has in weathering processes."


4 her

weather London
If, perchance, you decided to search for the weather forecast for London on the BBC Weather website you would also be offered the additional option of checking out the weather in the country in which that city is situated. 
AGW believers .. and politics .. ed

OBAMA DECRIES SETTLEMENT ACTIVITY, confirms Indyk headed to IsraelSpecial envoy to meet with diplomatic officials in Jerusalem before heading to Jericho for another round of discussions By Times Of Israel Staff and AP August 8, 2013,


More of our troops are coming home. We’ll be down to 34,000 this winter. By the end of next year, in just 17 months, the transition will be complete, Afghans will take full responsibility for their security, and our war in Afghanistan will be over,” the president said.
“…After our nation was attacked, you were some of the very first conventional forces in Afghanistan, racing in hundreds of miles by helicopter, toppling that regime and driving al-Qaeda from its camps.”
Before his address, Obama met with wounded warriors and Gold Star families, as well as local Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.). It was his first visit to the base.
Because of the “9/11 generation,” Obama said, “we are accomplishing what we set out to do” — citing first the death of Osama bin Laden.
“Because of you, al-Qaeda’s top ranks have been hammered. The core of al-Qaeda, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is on the way to defeat,” he said.
Obama Living the dream? - ed

Quit trashing Obama’s accomplishments. He has been the first in more areas than any other President before him.  Here is a list of his impressive accomplishments:
First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.
First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in.
First President to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States.

First President to violate the War Powers Act.
First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party.
First President to spend a trillion dollars on “shovel-ready” jobs when there was no such thing as “shovel-ready” jobs.
First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.
First President to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat.
First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S. – including those with criminal convictions.
First President to demand a company hand-over $20 billion to one of his political appointees.
First President to tell a CEO of a major corporation (Chrysler) to resign.
First President to terminate Americas ability to put a man in space.
First President to cancel the National Day of Prayer and to say that America is no longer a Christian nation.
First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.
First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.
First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly spoke out on the reasons for their rate increases.
First President to tell a major manufacturing company in which state it is allowed to locate a factory.
First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN).
First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.
First President to actively try to bankrupt an American industry (coal).
First President to fire an inspector general of AmeriCorps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.
First President to appoint 45 czars to replace elected officials in his office.
First President to surround himself with radical left wing anarchists.
First President to golf 73 separate times in his first two and a half years in office, 102 to date.
First President to hide his medical, educational and travel records.
First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it.
First President to go on multiple “global apology tours” and concurrent “insult our friends” tours.
First President to go on 17 lavish vacations, including date nights and Wednesdayevening White House parties for his friends paid for by the taxpayers.
First President to have 22 personal servants (taxpayer funded) for his wife.
First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000 a year at taxpayer expense.
First President to fly in a personal trainer from Chicago at least once a week at taxpayer expense.
First President to repeat the Holy Quran; tell us the early morning call of the Azan (Islamic call to worship) is the most beautiful sound on earth.
First President to tell the military men and women that they should pay for their own private insurance because they “volunteered to go to war and knew the consequences.”
Then he was the First President to tell the members of the military that THEY were UNPATRIOTIC for balking at the last suggestion.
First President to side with a foreign nation over one of America’s 50 states (Mexico vs Arizona).
How is this hope and change working out for you?
There are few in the world who would have attempted those. None of which seem wise - ed

Civilised people regard torture, along with terror, as wrong. The Left have forgotten that. - ed
Why do we inflict torture on each other so much? We have been doing it from the earliest of times. In Syria rival groups are inflicting the most indescribable and barbaric pain on each other (and let us not forget that Assad’s sub-humans started torturing and castrating children). If the reason for this cruelty were to try to get information that might lead to saving lives, this might arguably leave some room for mitigation. But all I see is primitive sadism and barbarism regardless of what the victims themselves may have inflicted on others. I am completely opposed to any torture. It says something very disturbing about those who inflict it.

Torture is not just the inflicting of pain. We can do that to ourselves in the gym. (more at link)
<Behind a façade of enlightened sympathy for the Arab side, the international community and our Left in essence treat Arabs as an immature, petulant aggregate of primitives who cannot be counted upon to behave sensibly but must be conciliated with endless gifts.>
SS men celebrating Judenfrei status


Graphic Quotes: Douglas MacArthur

“I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any treat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.” Douglas MacArthur



Ali Kadhim
A gorgeous day at the park today! Warmed up with some movement on the bars and some local kids just went crazy, screaming and clapping at my every movement (they were so loud yet so funny ). So I decided to spend the time just hanging with them and teaching them some tricks and games they could pull off, I learnt that even at the tender age of 5 and 6 (yes they all told me their ages haha) they still embodied the concept of competition, they were mostly trying to beat each other to win my approval. I told them it wasn't about that, that it was only about "trying and having fun together." They had their inner doubts and were confused but I know they'll catch on. I showed them how to help each other climb up to the monkey bars and it made me realise how much they didn't know they were capable of together, even they were amazed they could pull it off without my help. All in all it was a wonderful chance to instill some unity and creativity into young and energetic spirits, my only hope is that they'll remember the lessons, since they have a whole other competitive world out there just waiting for them! ‪#‎nocompetition‬‪#‎nohate‬ ‪#‎onlypassion‬ ‪#‎onlylove‬ ‪#‎alldayeveryday‬‪#‎mindbodysoul‬ ‪#‎youth‬ ‪#‎strength‬ ‪#‎unity‬‪#‎community‬ ‪#‎fairfieldpark‬ ‪#‎9livescalisthenics‬‪#‎team9lives‬ ‪#‎parkour‬ ‪#‎streetworkout‬


Tony Abbott
Coexistence in Israel - YMCA Peace Preschool
While the Palestinian Arabs teach their kids to kill Jews and destroy Israel, we in Israel educate towards peace and tolerance!
While 1.5 million Arabs live in Israel, Palestinian Authority leader Abbas says that no Israelis will be able to live in the Arab state they want to create in Judea and Samaria!
Follow us on Facebook for top Israel videos
Beautiful Song by Simcha Leiner – “Mimamakim”
Beautiful! "From the Depths we call out for him!"
Follow us on Facebook for top Israel
Israel Iron Dome System in Action – See the Missile Redirect to Strike Grad Rocket
This is unbelievable video footage. You can see the advanced weaponry of Israel in action. Watch as the iron dome missile redirects in mid-air to strike the grad rocket in the sky and remove the threat of the rocket killing Israelis. Just unbelievable. The good news is that the iron dome system successfully shot down 90% of the grad missiles that it was shot at to intercept mid-air. Unfortunately, each iron dome missile costs around $1 million and Israel doesn't have enough resources to shoot down every single grad missle fired from Gaza. As we all know, in anycase, the best defense is a good offense!
BREAKING NEWS: Despite pledges by US President Barack Obama and key congressional leaders to shield the Israeli Iron Dome from sequestration cuts, Israel has offered to waive funding protection, reports Defense News, which says Israel has been “insisting it should bear its share of the burden.”
“Our position is we must bear the burden that our American friends are bearing,” Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador in Washington, told the website in an interview to be published in an upcoming edition.
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Black Sunday – The Romanian Holocaust
One of the biggest Pogroms in World history. 13,000 people died that day. During World War II, two trains are loaded with Jews. Where they will be taken? Three of the last survivors tell us the story.
The story of Black Sunday. One of the biggest Pogroms in World history. 
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Click here to watch: The Middle East Problem
This is a fabulous video that simply analyzes the true problem of the Middle East, between the Muslim countries and Israel. Definitely watch it!
International law is on Israel's side. Watch the video to understand why!
This must be one of the best video presentations that clearly explains international law and the legal case for Israel and Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria. Definitely watch this to have a better understanding of international law so you can talk about Israel's situation intelligently with others.
Breaking News Videos - box-3
Thank you for caring about Israel. Here is a new tool we have developed for people like you to stay up-to-date with important videos with the latest news in Israel. Sign Up Here!
Jamie - Bar
Here's a look you haven't seen before! A solid sterling silver heart has a heart-shaped hole to hang on the chain from. It is inscribed by hand, over and over again, on one side with the words I love you in English and on the other side in Hebrew! (Ani ohev otach)
Don't miss this best seller! 
Click here to purchase this special necklace.
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Join our mission - Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to help us grow our network to reach hundreds of thousands of people to make a difference for Israel.


Quagga in the London Zoo


Events[edit source | editbeta]

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“I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.” Psalm 119:14 NIV


"Oh that I were as in months past."
Job 29:2
Numbers of Christians can view the past with pleasure, but regard the present with dissatisfaction; they look back upon the days which they have passed in communing with the Lord as being the sweetest and the best they have ever known, but as to the present, it is clad in a sable garb of gloom and dreariness. Once they lived near to Jesus, but now they feel that they have wandered from him, and they say, "O that I were as in months past!" They complain that they have lost their evidences, or that they have not present peace of mind, or that they have no enjoyment in the means of grace, or that conscience is not so tender, or that they have not so much zeal for God's glory. The causes of this mournful state of things are manifold. It may arise through a comparative neglect of prayer, for a neglected closet is the beginning of all spiritual decline. Or it may be the result of idolatry. The heart has been occupied with something else, more than with God; the affections have been set on the things of earth, instead of the things of heaven. A jealous God will not be content with a divided heart; he must be loved first and best. He will withdraw the sunshine of his presence from a cold, wandering heart. Or the cause may be found in self-confidence and self-righteousness. Pride is busy in the heart, and self is exalted instead of lying low at the foot of the cross. Christian, if you are not now as you "were in months past," do not rest satisfied with wishing for a return of former happiness, but go at once to seek your Master, and tell him your sad state. Ask his grace and strength to help you to walk more closely with him; humble yourself before him, and he will lift you up, and give you yet again to enjoy the light of his countenance. Do not sit down to sigh and lament; while the beloved Physician lives there is hope, nay there is a certainty of recovery for the worst cases.


"Everlasting consolation."
2 Thessalonians 2:16
"Consolation." There is music in the word: like David's harp, it charms away the evil spirit of melancholy. It was a distinguished honour to Barnabas to be called "the son of consolation"; nay, it is one of the illustrious names of a greater than Barnabas, for the Lord Jesus is "the consolation of Israel." "Everlasting consolation"--here is the cream of all, for the eternity of comfort is the crown and glory of it. What is this "everlasting consolation"? It includes a sense of pardoned sin. A Christian man has received in his heart the witness of the Spirit that his iniquities are put away like a cloud, and his transgressions like a thick cloud. If sin be pardoned, is not that an everlasting consolation? Next, the Lord gives his people an abiding sense of acceptance in Christ. The Christian knows that God looks upon him as standing in union with Jesus. Union to the risen Lord is a consolation of the most abiding order; it is, in fact, everlasting. Let sickness prostrate us, have we not seen hundreds of believers as happy in the weakness of disease as they would have been in the strength of hale and blooming health? Let death's arrows pierce us to the heart, our comfort dies not, for have not our ears full often heard the songs of saints as they have rejoiced because the living love of God was shed abroad in their hearts in dying moments? Yes, a sense of acceptance in the Beloved is an everlasting consolation. Moreover, the Christian has a conviction of his security. God has promised to save those who trust in Christ: the Christian does trust in Christ, and he believes that God will be as good as his word, and will save him. He feels that he is safe by virtue of his being bound up with the person and work of Jesus.

Today's reading: Psalm 81-83, Romans 11:19-36 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Psalm 81-82

For the director of music. According to gittith. Of Asaph.
1 Sing for joy to God our strength;
shout aloud to the God of Jacob!
2 Begin the music, strike the timbrel,
play the melodious harp and lyre.
3 Sound the ram's horn at the New Moon,
and when the moon is full, on the day of our festival;
4 this is a decree for Israel,
an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
5 When God went out against Egypt,
he established it as a statute for Joseph....

Today's New Testament reading: Romans 11:19-36

19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

[Lē'vī] - joined or adhesion.
  1. Another name for Matthew, the one-time Roman tax-gatherer (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27, 29). See MATTHEW.
  2. An ancestor of Jesus Christ(Luke 3:24).
  3. Another ancestor of Jesus Christ (Luke 3:29).
  4. The third son of Jacob by Leah. Levi had three sons, and died in Egypt at the age of 137 (Gen. 29:34; 46:11; Exod. 6:16). His descendants, the Levites, had care of the sanctuary. The Book of Leviticus describes their ministry.

The Man of Isolation

Isolation is a feature in the history of Levi, quite as much as it characterizes Simeon, with whom he is paired. The capacity to stand alone made Simeon and Levi conspicuous among their brethren in their attack upon the Shechemites, and proved a valuable instrument for the work of the Lord. The tribe of Levi was fitted by the discipline of trial to discharge a most important duty in Israel - a duty which made Levi second in importance to none but Judah, whoseforerunner and counterpart he was formed to be. Levi stands before Judah in the prophecies of Jacob - Judah before Levi in the blessings of Moses, the man of God.
"The true Levites," says Dr. C. H. Waller, "are the men who have been made lonely among their brethren that they may live alone with Jehovah, and so dwell as the families of others that they may unite them to the family of God."
Levi came under the ban of Jacob, who, in his prophecy set Simeon and Levi under a "curse." To the patriarch they were bad brothers.
Dr. Dinsdale Young has a telling chapter on Simeon and Levi in which he elaborates on these features:
I. They constituted an unholy brotherhood - they had a common disposition (Gen. 49:5).
II. They had unhallowed belongings ( Gen. 49:5) - sinful homes and perverted instruments.
III. They drew from their father a heart-felt prayer (Gen. 49:6). Reviewing their sinful courses, the dying father prays for them.
IV. Their father uttered a righteous imprecation upon their sin. Jacob did not curse them, but their sin (Gen. 49:7).
V. A just judgment was pronounced upon them, "I will divide them" (Gen. 49:7 ). Though divided and scattered, they were not cut off from the promised land. Theirs was not the abundant entrance of others, yet they were privileged to enter.
Lysa TerKeurst
August 11, 2011
The Slippery Slope
Lysa TerKeurst
" open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God..." Acts 26:18(NIV)
Have you ever felt yourself pulled into a forbidden but exciting situation? You sense red flags but convince yourself you can handle it. "I'm just having a little fun. This won't ever amount to anything. It just gives me a little something to look forward to."
That's the way a friend of mine felt when a nice guy at work started paying attention to her. Her marriage was hard and she was tired of trying so much. She found herself putting extra effort into getting dressed in the morning and being more than willing to work late.
She felt a spark in her heart every time he came near. Soon, they were talking in secret. Texting in secret. Meeting in secret. And down the slippery slope she went.
The slippery slope has one major tell tale sign-things are done in secret.
The minute we start hiding things from those who love us, doing things in a sneaky way, lying or telling half-truths, and figuring out ways to cover up evidence of our activities-we're on the slippery slope. And we're headed downhill fast.
Satan is the master of darkness. As long as he can keep us operating in our dark secrets, we are deceived. In the Message, Acts 26:17-18 we are reminded:
"'I'm sending you off to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God. I'm sending you off to present my offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in me.'"
Oh sweet friend, we need to see the difference between dark and light and choose light. We need to bring our choices out into the light of Jesus so He can expose the truth. Only then can we truly discern the difference between being led by Jesus or deceived by Satan.
Things done in secret are an indication of being led by Satan. That's a strong statement but one worth really considering.
Satan keeps dangers off our radar screen and blinds us to the harsh realities coming our way. My friend was blinded. And when she finally woke up to the deception, the devastation horrified her.
If you're keeping secrets today, bring them out into the light:
• Find a trusted Christian friend and ask them to help you hold your choices up to the truth.
• Get honest with people who love you.
• Build accountability measures in your life.
• Ask Jesus for help, forgiveness, and a clear understanding of how to put on the brakes and throw things in reverse. Let His truth speak louder than the feelings that are begging you to keep things hidden. Like the end of verse 18 says, "begin real living by believing in me."
The path to real living-the living that will sustain you and lead you to a true discovery of real love, real provision and real satisfaction-is found only by following Jesus.
Dear Lord, protect me from the darkness of Satan today. Help me to bring my choices into Your light, because only You can expose the truth. You are the only way. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
If you are tempted to hide your struggles with food, or other pleasures that pull you away from God, don't miss Lysa's book: Made to Crave. Also, you'll want to consider doing the 6 week Bible study using this DVD set: Made to Crave DVD by Lysa TerKeurst
If you enjoy Lysa's devotions, be sure to sign up for notes of encouragement she sends out from her blog byclicking here. They are free and great for passing along to friends.
Lysa will be speaking in more than 40 cities this year.Click here to see her schedule. She would be honored to meet 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:
If you're keeping secrets today, bring them out into the light. Find a trusted Christian friend and ask them to help you hold your choices up to the truth. Get honest with people who love you. This can be the beginning of lasting change for you.
Jesus can resurrect everything brought down by Satan. He is the lifter of my head, the redeemer of my circumstances, and the One who can set me back in flight.
Power Verses:
1 Peter 2:9, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." (NIV, 1984)
John 3:19, "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil." (NIV)
Ephesians 5:8, "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light." (NIV)
© 2011 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
August 11, 2011
Thriving or Surviving?
Today's Truth
God will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy (Job 8:21, NCV).
Friend To Friend
One Saturday morning a little boy and his father took a long awaited trip to the local pet store in search of a new puppy. The dad had been promising the trip for weeks and finally, the day had come. For weeks, the little boy had been reading books about dogs, surveying the pets of his friends, asking countless questions and waiting for this day, ready to make his choice.
When father and son walked into the pet store the dad immediately realized that this task was going to be much harder than he had thought it would be. There were so many adorable puppies from which to choose. But with determination in his heart and confidence in his step, the little boy began his search. Suddenly, he stopped in his tracks, eyes and heart locked on the perfect dog. Staring at the little boy from the wired confines of a small crate was an undersized and fairly unimpressive but hopeful black puppy. Following his son's gaze, the dad cringed as he realized that the first puppy he had eliminated as a possibility was the very one his son was watching.
The father attempted to re-direct the interest of his son toward a more suitable dog. It was not to be. Each time the little boy returned to his first choice, the black puppy who was grinning at the boy, eagerly pawing at the cage door and wagging his tail with great enthusiasm. The dad finally asked, "Son, which one do you want?" The little boy immediately pointed at the dog with the furiously wiggling tail and announced with great certainty, "I want that one, Daddy! I want the one with the happy ending."
We all want a life filled with happy endings, but we seem to be living lives that could well be described as "joy-less." Every day is lived at the mercy of the world. We are like Charlie Brown who admits, "I have a new philosophy. I'm only going to dread one day at a time."
God promises that if you know Him you will know true joy. Joy is not merely happiness but rather an unshakable confidence that God is in control. Therefore, He is our one and only source of joy and stands ready and waiting to saturate every circumstance with His presence. As His children, joy is ours to claim. If so, then where is it and why do we not experience a sense of confident celebration as we go through each day?
Maybe it is because of the Joy Stealers who lurk in the shadows, waiting to crush joy wherever they find it. I have great news for you, my friend. Nothing and no one can take your joy without your permission. So, don't give it! Choose joy instead.
Choosing joy requires us to identify and eliminate the "joy stealers" in life. You may be allowing a person to take your joy. Maybe some painful experience from a shadowed yesterday is an obstacle of joy in your life today. Perhaps a fearful circumstance or a broken dream is the culprit. I know life can be painful. I know it is often hard and unfair. I also know that God is in control. So if God really is God (and He definitely is) then we should be people of joy. I have read the final chapter of the Book and we win! Now that, my friend, is what I call the happiest ending of all.
Let's Pray
Lord, remind me to live each day against the backdrop of eternity. I pray that, in every circumstance, I would choose joy, knowing that You are in control.
In Jesus' name,
Now It's Your Turn
Recognize that real joy is found only in God. Make a list of the people or circumstances that you would classify as "joy stealers." Pray for wisdom in dealing with each person and circumstance. Choose now what your response will be when someone tries to steal your joy.
  • What has been my personal definition of "joy" up until now?
  • What have I been counting on in my life to produce joy?
  • How does a personal relationship with God change my perspective of joy?
  • What are the steps to take in order to eliminate the "joy stealers" in my life?
  • How do my feelings influence my joy level?
  • In what way do trials and problems affect my joy level?
More From The Girlfriends
I can still remember the words of the song I often sang as a child:
"If you want joy, real joy, wonderful joy
Let Jesus come into your heart."
Life seemed so simple back then. Today, I have traveled quite a few miles and been through some very tough times. And God's truth remains the same. If we want to experience joy, we must experience God. We look in a lot of wrong places for joy but the only right place is in a personal relationship with God. How about you? Are you thriving or just surviving?
For a good dose of laughter, I encourage to check out my CD,Laugh More ... Live Better. Looking for a Bible Study that is both practical and powerful? Check out Mary's E-Book Bible Studies. Each one includes a study guide that you can download for your personal use or for a small group study.
Be sure to check out Mary's weekly Online Bible Study: Stress Management 101. Enroll now and have access to all 2011 lessons. Need a friend? Connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.
Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106
Greetings from Bible Gateway! This week we've made a major addition to our online library and have a brand new devotional to announce. Here's the scoop:

Dictionary of Bible Themes Now Available on Bible Gateway

We're pleased to announce the addition of a major new resource to Bible Gateway's library: the Dictionary of Bible Themes!

The Dictionary of Bible Themes is a massive compilation of themes and topics in the Bible (over 2,000), carefully organized to make it as easy as possible to find the specific subject you're interested in. It's extremely helpful for assembling a Bible study, researching Biblical teachings on a particular person or topic, or just exploring the Bible for your own benefit.

It's easy to get started using the Dictionary--we've written a tutorial that shows you how to access the Dictionary alongside your Bible reading , along with some example Dictionary entries. No matter how obscure the topic, the Dictionary will show you what the Bible has to say about it. We hope you'll find this a valuable help in your Bible reading and study!

We're very grateful to Martin H. Manser for making this resource available on Bible Gateway. If you find the Dictionary useful, be sure to check out the many other useful Christian books and resources written and edited by Manser.

New Devotional on Stewardship: Discovering God's Design

What do you think of when you read the term "Biblical stewardship?" Most of us think of saving money and caring for the environment. But true Biblical stewardship goes far beyond just those two topics--and a new email devotional at Bible Gateway can help you learn how.

Discovering God's Design is a weekly devotional that explores the different facets of stewardship and how they apply to your everyday life. Money and the environment are two big topics, but you'll read about things you might never have thought of as elements of stewardship--things like relationships, community, and worship.

Discovering God's Design is drawn from the NIV Stewardship Study Bible . Each weekly devotional is written not to be draining and guilt-inducing, but rather motivating, empowering and uplifting. Through this devotional, you'll learn how to be a manager entrusted with the resources of God.

The first installment of Discovering God's Design goes out on Saturday, so sign up now to make sure you don't miss out!

That's all for this week. Thanks, as always, for your continued support of Bible Gateway!

the Bible Gateway team

Trashed Potential

You knew that guy in high school-the guy with all the money, the looks, the clothes and the fastest car. He was the popular one, the guy everyone liked to hang out with, the one who was a lock for being voted "Most Likely to Succeed." But instead of taking advantage of all these advantages, he decided to spend his time chasing girls and partying, to the dismay of his parents and the ruin of his GPA.
Trust Fund Babies. College playboys. Frat-house social committee chairmen. To direct these terms at other guys is to accuse them of riding Daddy's coattails and to call into question their work ethic and the seriousness with which they take life. Those who have less in the world can only scratch their heads and wonder what they could do with the same perks.
Now, this is a stereotype, to be sure. A few bad apples don't spoil the whole barrel in this case. But as we can't think back on that one guy and not wonder what happened, so also we can't read the story of Samson and not wonder what went haywire.
Mighty Samson, who has never lost a battle, is captured by a woman, tortured by his enemies and enslaved until his death. The mighty warrior who has killed scores of his enemies with rudimentary tools and with his bare hands trips up on the most obvious of ploys. The one who was to be dedicated to God's service for the purpose of saving his people ends up in bondage to the very people he was intended to conquer.
What was he thinking? How could he have subjected himself to this kind of trickery? Didn't Delilah ask him repeatedly about the secret of his strength, and couldn't he see where this was leading? Did he forget that the Philistines had come into her house and tried to capture him on a number of occasions? Or did he just enjoy playing this game, knowing he couldn't lose?
The sad fact is that Samson was just as human as you and I. He allowed his eyes to lead him astray, and he allowed his pride to strategize for him. In some sense he was a victim of his own success-and he learned the hard way that even a slugger with a perfect batting average can strike out when it matters most.
So what can we learn from Samson's story today? Were you the one in high school who squandered your advantages and made foolish choices? Can you think back on times when you deliberately disobeyed what you knew to be God's will for your life-and paid the price? If so, gain encouragement from the end of Samson's story. God gave him a second chance to show that he was God's man, and Samson struck a crippling blow to his enemies. God also gives us more chances than we can count to return to him and rededicate ourselves to his mission in the world.

To Take Away

  • Why was it so easy for Samson to ignore his greatest weaknesses?
  • How would you describe your greatest weakness?
  • How could God help you turn your weakness into a quality he can use in his great strength?
Recommended Reading: Proverbs 29:23; Romans 6:12-14; Ephesians 6:11-18

New Men's Devotional BibleToday's reading is from theNew Men's Devotional Bible
by Zondervan

The New Men's Devotional Biblehelps apply God's Word to a new generation of Christian men. It includes a full year of all-new devotions by well-known and not-so-well-known men of God.


How Is Jesus' Death Foretold in Deuteronomy 21:23?

Hidden in Deuteronomy is yet another prophecy about the Messiah; it predicts the way in which the Savior would die and the length of time he would remain on the cross.
Deuteronomy 21:22-23 says that God cursed any man executed for breaking one of God's commands. His body hanging on a pole was a public display of judgment. Jesus took on this curse for all of humanity when he died on the "cross" (1 Peter 2:24), fulfilling the prophecy in Deuteronomy 21:23. The apostle Paul reiterates this concept in Galatians 3:13.
Deuteronomy 21:23 also commanded that the offender's body not be left on the pole overnight, and as we know from the Gospels, Jesus' body was taken down and placed into the tomb before nightfall (see Matthew 27:57-60Mark 15:42-46).

Today's reading is from theThe Case for Christ Study Bible
by Zondervan

Investigate the Bible's most compelling claims: the existence of a compassionate God and the promise of eternal life through His Son, Jesus.


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