Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sat Aug 24th Todays News

Two weeks to the next Federal Australian election and the current PM Rudd's support has collapsed with the floor dropping fast. Rudd is looking sick. He had a heart operation a few years ago and must be under substantial stress. He recently expressed that stress hurting a child who was making faces at a media drop. And whereas Bob Hawke once got kudos calling a pensioner a "silly old bugger," Rudd has deployed his stress claw. 
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It is now apparent Rudd may not hold his own seat. His unpopularity is not because he is unpopular, but because he has no policy of substance. He is running a negative campaign, accusing his opponent of responsible cuts .. something Rudd's party would never do. But Rudd has suspended the campaign to dither over the use of chemical weapons in Syria along with Obama. 
Meanwhile Egypt fragments. Palestinian/Jordanians gloat that they won't come to an agreement with Israel, but have exacted concessions with Obama's patronage. Some are calling for Obama to be impeached, but the charge remains unclear. 
Happy birthday and many happy returns Collin Tran and Mason Tang. Born on the same day, across the years, along with Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou (1113), Letizia Ramolino (1750), William Wilberforce (1759), Duke Kahanamoku (1890), Orson Scott Card (1951), Stephen Fry (1957) and Rupert Grint (1988). On your day, 1482 – Anglo-Scottish Wars: The border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed and its castle were captured by English forces.
1857 – The New York City branch of the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Co. collapsed following widespread embezzlement, leading to a severe recession that caused about 5,000 businesses to fail.
1892 – Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, one of the world's first purpose-built football grounds, opened.
1941 – Adolf Hitler ordered the official termination of the T4 euthanasia program of the mentally ill and disabled, although killings continued in secret for the remainder of the war.
2006 – The International Astronomical Union redefined the term "planet", reclassifying Pluto as a dwarf planet since it has not "cleared the neighbourhood" around its orbit. English hold the fort. Life insurance is not FREE money. The ground is ready. The order has been rescinded and all that is left is a dwarf planet. Sometimes you just gotta take stock.

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Labor’s PNG “solution” falls apart

Miranda Devine – Saturday, August 24, 2013 (1:21pm)

PAPUA New Guinea has suspended discussions with Australia on the resettlement of refugees, as its most senior immigration official complains of a “lack of consultation”, “confusion” and “disharmony”.
Read the letter from PNG’s chief migration officer Mataio Rabura:
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KEVNI CONCERNED

Tim Blair – Saturday, August 24, 2013 (4:06pm)

Nothing that Kevin Rudd says or does about Syria will make the slightest difference, but it’s a good excuse for a self-importance break (and injury repair): 
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will take a break in his election campaigning to return to Canberra for a briefing on the crisis in Syria.
He said he had “grave concerns” about the crisis in Syria and will go to Canberra today to be briefed with national security officials.
“I will work with officials on any possible and appropriate Australian response, depending on the nature of the brief concerned,” Mr Rudd said.
“We are still establishing the facts. We have, together with the United States, grave concerns.
“The government has been watching carefully, including with our allied United States.
“We have noted carefully what President Obama has said.” 
Stay on the case, Kevni. The world is counting on you. Meanwhile, the PM survives a local conflict:

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Note the Prime Ministerial claw.

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HASAN CHOPPED

Tim Blair – Saturday, August 24, 2013 (4:02pm)

Timid media outlets did their best to defend Fort Hood jihadist Major Nidal Hasan, but a jury is less forgiving
The US Army psychiatrist who shot dead 13 comrades at a Texas Army base in 2009 has been convicted of all charges.
Maj Nidal Hasan faces the death penalty after being found guilty of 13 counts of pre-meditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder …
The 13-member panel must come to a unanimous agreement in order to recommend that the judge sentence Maj Hasan to death. If they do not agree, he will face a life prison sentence …
Soldiers and civilians testified that they heard a man wearing Army camouflage scream an Islamic benediction before opening fire with two handguns. 
Summary from Eric Golub
Hasan was the triggerman, but he had political enablers. If leftists want to stop being accused of coddling Islamists, then they should stop coddling Islamists. Refusing to honestly label events is making excuses.
A guilty verdict is not a victory for the system. Victory was gone the moment these murders happened.
If the left truly wants to make a difference, they should start by acknowledging that radical Islam was the direct cause of the Fort Hood murders. After admitting that radical Islam exists, the military should be allowed to treat future Hasans as terrorists, not criminals. This is not a law enforcement matter.
In other words, the left will have to change everything they believe on this issue, because what they believe on this issue has been thoroughly discredited. 
Quite so.

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DECADES REMOVED

Tim Blair – Saturday, August 24, 2013 (3:55pm)

As we’ve already seen, running as a Labor candidate takes years off your appearance. The latest to dip into the ALP’s fountain of youth is Wentworth’s Di Smith, shown at left during a recent candidates’ forum, and at right in her campaign poster:

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(Via Nic P)

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SWAMPIES SOD OFF

Tim Blair – Saturday, August 24, 2013 (2:24pm)

British anti-progress demonstrators flee their woodland base: 
There were fewer than 100 protesters left tonight at a potential fracking site as they finally admitted defeat to the police.
More than 1,200 activists had brought exploratory shale gas drilling to a halt on the edge of the village of Balcombe, West Sussex, at the weekend.
But after officers from more than 10 police forces pushed back campaigners from the site’s entrance allowing lorries to enter on Monday, they left in their droves …
Some people who had set up camping areas on footpaths around the drill were evicted by police officers without a fuss. Their only resistance was walking slowly in front of a lorry while chanting. 
Pity the driver. Imagine being stuck behind a slow-moving wall of forest-seasoned swampies. Talk about your dangerous fumes ...
UPDATE. A related rural development.

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CAMPAIGN ADVICE

Tim Blair – Friday, August 23, 2013 (6:55pm)

If you don’t like being compared to people wearing World War II military costumes, it’s probably a good idea not to pose before a wall covered with images of HitlerMussolini and Rommel.
UPDATE. Rudd’s blunder wins attention in the UK
The posters of dictators and other Second World War leaders were part of the school’s project on war history but were evidently not spotted in time by Mr Rudd’s advance campaign team.
“Don’t mention ze poster,” declared the headline at news.com.au, while the Sydney Morning Herald said: “It was the sort of disastrous photo opportunity that political advance parties are supposed to do everything to avoid”.
The somewhat ominous backdrop came at an unfortunate time for Mr Rudd, who has long faced concerns about his own dictatorial leadership style and fiery temper. 
(Via CL and the Nigerian Daily News)
UPDATE III. Kevin Rudd and his staff seem to have communication problems.

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How to make old Labor seem new again

Andrew Bolt August 24 2013 (4:12pm)


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Cut it out

Andrew Bolt August 24 2013 (1:38pm)

The campaign’s third week in 60 seconds. Brilliant work from AAP:
(Via Michael Smith News.) 

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Tony Abbott on The Bolt Report tomorrow

Andrew Bolt August 24 2013 (9:24am)

On The Bolt Report on Channel 10:
Tony Abbott reflects - on his journey to become what the polls tip to be our next Prime Minister, and what he hopes will be his legacy.
Former Treasurer Peter Costello and former Labor MP Belinda Neal.
Plus the most stupid thing yet said in the election campaign.
On Sunday at 10am and 4pm.

The twitter feed.
The place the videos appear

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Abbott will be PM. Second poll agrees Rudd could lose seat

Andrew Bolt August 24 2013 (9:23am)

The only question now is how bad Labor’s loss will be, with Kevin Rudd such damaged good that even he could now lose his seat:

With only a fortnight to go in the five-week election campaign, the latest Fairfax-Nielsen poll shows Mr Abbott’s Liberal-Nationals Coalition extending its lead over Labor, to be 53-47 on a two-party-preferred basis…
On the question of preferred prime minister, Mr Rudd’s commanding 14-point lead of 55-41 in July has been reduced to a statistically insignificant 3 points on 48-45.
UPDATE
Liberal strategists had trouble believing a Lonergan poll this week showing Kevin Rudd trailing 48 to 52 per cent in his own seat. Now a Newspoll confirms it:


The Coalition candidate in the Prime Minister’s seat, Bill Glasson, has also had a huge lift in primary vote support - up 12 percentage points since the election in 2010 - and leads Mr Rudd on a two-party-preferred basis by 52 per cent to 48 per cent.
The Liberals are considering a plan to now swamp Griffith with volunteers to makes sure Rudd is gone:
LNP workers would be sent into Griffith, where ophthalmologist and former AMA head Bill Glasson is the party’s candidate, from safer seats such as Moncrieff, McPherson, Fadden, Ryan and Groom.
“Our people hate Kevin Rudd - in the same way Labor hated John Howard,’’ one senior Liberal said.
“And everyone wants a little bit of Kevin’s death.’’…
Kevin Rudd now holds the seat by more than 8 per cent. If that falls to 3 per cent, it will be considered “in play’’…
Inside LNP headquarters, the plan has been developing over the past 10 days… Behind closed doors, a marginal seat campaign was being drawn up “to play with Rudd’s head’’, and by Thursday polling was under way.
Today or tomorrow, a decision will be made on how much the political assault is worth.
UPDATE
Queensland has turned against not just Rudd but his captain’s pick, Peter Beattie, and Labor looks unable to pick up a single seat in a state where it needed half a dozen:
According to the Newspoll survey of marginal Coalition seats in Queensland, Labor’s primary vote has dropped from 36.5 per cent at the 2010 election under Julia Gillard to 32 per cent…
On a two-party-preferred basis, using preference flows at the 2010 election, the Coalition leads Labor 60 per cent to 40 per cent across the group of Brisbane, Forde, Longman, Herbert, Dawson, Bonner, Flynn and the now independent-held Fisher…
Former Labor premier Peter Beattie was brought out of political retirement to try to win Forde… LNP MP Bert Van Manen ... (leads) Labor’s star recruit, Peter Beattie, 54 per cent to 46 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis...
With margins like that, Labor could actually lose seats in Queensland.
UPDATE
Labor could lose four more seats in Tasmania:
ReachTel polling for the Hobart Mercury newspaper on Thursday shows all Tasmanian Labor MPs could lose their seats with swings of up to 18 per cent.
The polling suggests Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie will hold his seat of Denison, but the only Labor MP with a chance of holding on is Julie Collins, in Franklin, where she trails Liberal candidate Bernadette Black by 49.4 per cent to 50.6 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis. In Lyons, Bass and Braddon, Labor MPs are behind on second preferences by 12-16 percentage points.
Labor is now dangerously close to losing so badly it would be down to 55 seats against 94 for the Coalition (with Independent Andrew Wilkie keeping Denison). Rudd’s return would have saved perhaps between five and 10 Labor MPs.
But there are still two weeks to go ... for Rudd to make it even worse.
UPDATE
If Rudd and his supporters had kept a level head - realising his job was simply to minimise losses, not win the election - there would be less stress and disillusion. There would probably be fewer stories of backbiting, too:
LABOR MPs are losing hope that Kevin Rudd can deliver them victory at the September 7 election and are digging in to fortify their own seats in face of opinion polls showing the campaign is going against the government.
One MP told The Weekend Australian that the Prime Minister on the hustings was “not Kevin07”.
“He’s been off the paddock for too long and he’s not match fit,” the MP said.
There is also anger being directed at Mr Rudd’s election strategist Bruce Hawker over the direction of the campaign… There is a sense among some MPs that things are being made up “on the run” on the plane…
(A)n MP said the fall in Mr Rudd’s approval ratings and the rise in Mr Abbott’s approval ratings since the election was called was a direct result of voters judging Mr Rudd’s underperformance in the first two weeks of the campaign.
But despite an avalanche of poor opinion-poll results, MPs said they were polling better than when Julia Gillard was prime minister.
“The only saving grace (is) he will save the furniture. We’ll be within striking distance to win the next election,” one MP said.
But that was all that Rudd was brought back to do. As I said on Channel 10 Brisbane yesterday, by this measure you cannot say Rudd has failed. Yet.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

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No, Laurie, that’s not a turning point but another dead end

Andrew Bolt August 24 2013 (9:09am)

Laurie Oakes has hailed so many turning points and circuit breakers in Labor’s fading fortunes, with no luck.
Now he detects yet another:
THERE’S been plenty of worrying news for Kevin Rudd from public opinion polls in recent days, but one bright spot has emerged from the Labor Party’s own internal research.
It indicates that Labor is getting some traction from the scare campaign alleging that a Coalition government would engage in massive spending cuts to pay for its policies.
It suggests even more strongly that attacks on Tony Abbott’s gold-plated paid parental leave scheme - six months on full pay to women earning up to $150,000 a year - are biting. Hard.
Small problem. There is no sign that this “biting” campaign has done anything but accelerate Labor’s fall. Yes, some people worry about the cuts we actually must make - but the scare campaign comes at the cost of making Labor seem bankrupt of any positive vision. It also reminds us who got us into this financial mess in the first place with its mad spending.
As for the parental leave scheme, Oakes is right to say lots of people think it a dog. I sure do.
But it is no way is a deal breaker - and not just because it’s been put off until 2015. Those of us worried about unaffordable government spending are hardly likely to vote Labor instead. Moreover, Labor’s attack on a free-spending Abbott jars with its claim that Abbott will cut, cut, cut.
UPDATE
The ABC’s Latika Bourke is “worrying” that Labor’s “persuasive” argument for re-election is not being heard:

Kevin Rudd probably has just a few days left to save his election campaign, but there are worrying signs his strategy lacks what is needed to resurrect Labor’s chances
After the past six years, the question for voters is why this Government deserves another chance. Labor thus far has failed to provide a persuasive answer, even though it has one.
It’s not remarkable at all, of course, that ABC journalists prefer Labor to Liberal. But when will they and Labor accept that Labor’s problem isn’t that voters can’t hear its message but they reject it? Didn’t we go through this farce with Gillard, with journalists agreeing her real problem was just that she wasn’t getting “clear air” to sell whatever garbage she was selling?
This attitude is rooted in the arrogant self-delusion of so many of the Left - that voters are largely stupid people who would voted Labor if only rotten people didn’t stop the message getting through to them. Rotten people like Murdoch, Rudd, “shock jocks”, me, Big Carbon, Big Tobacco, Big Mining, Gina Rinehart…
A lot of people in Labor need to get over themselves and treat voters with respect.
(Thanks to reader Ian.) 

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Labor has own disability: reckless spending on logos

Andrew Bolt August 24 2013 (9:05am)

Labor’s spending on mere spin has been a scandal:

THE logo for the national disability insurance scheme’s rebranded name - DisabilityCare Australia - cost taxpayers $130,000...
The government quietly announced the name change in March, burying it in a press statement about playgroups… The government spent $22 million on an advertising campaign for DisabilityCare ahead of the opening of launch sites last month.
We can’t be sure at all that such waste wouldn’t also occur under a Liberal Government. But surely the Liberals couldn’t be this bad.
(Thanks to reader Gab.) 

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Warmer winters save lives. Bring on global warming

Andrew Bolt August 24 2013 (8:59am)

Global warming - general
If only the world would warm again, more lives would be saved:

Undertakers are blaming an unseasonably mild winter for a major slump in business.
Morticians have reported a significant drop in the number of funerals, with fewer people dying from seasonal diseases such as influenza.
Warwick Hansen, a former New South Wales president of the Australian Funeral Directors’ Association, says it has been a tough few months for the industry…
“It’s widespread, it’s not just a matter that it’s Sydney only or Perth or Brisbane. It’s across the country.
“The other good thing is influenza hasn’t been such an issue this year.”
Truth is, the global warming scare is more likely to kill people than is global warming itself.
(Thanks to reader Mick.) 

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Downfall:  Rudd’s campaign has disaster day, starting with epic spray

Andrew Bolt August 24 2013 (8:50am)

A second poll confirms Kevin Rudd could lose his own seat as Labor heads for a landslide defeat.
But you didn’t need polls yesterday to show Rudd’s campaign was in freefall. He yesterday had a day from campaigning hell, starting with an epic spray from a worker when he visited the Sydney Markets:

He was heckled at the Sydney Markets at Flemington at dawn, abused when he sat down for morning coffee in Toongabbie and lectured in a Penrith shopping centre about wasting money.
All in all, a day of campaigning disaster:

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The Prime Minister was touring a school in Sydney’s west when he was invited into a classroom to chat to legal studies students, oblivious that the wall behind him was plastered with large posters of dictators including Hitler and Benito Mussolini…
Earlier, ... a university student who attempted to ask the PM says she was “very offended” when Mr Rudd instead asked for questions from “working journalists”.
(Listen to Rudd’s brush-off here.)
Katrina, who declined to give her last name, said Mr Rudd’s staff had ... encouraged her to ask a question about university funding cuts and campus strikes…
Mr Rudd began his western Sydney tour with a 5am visit to Sydney’s Flemington Markets in the Labor-held seat of Reid.
While one worker offered the prime minister free produce, others yelled for him to “get out” or simply ignored his presence as they scrambled to unpack their produce ahead of the morning sales…
The streets of Toongabbie in the electorate of Greenway were deserted when Mr Rudd later turned up at 8am, except for a handful of people at a small cafe and former NSW premier Nathan Rees....
At the press conference, Mr Rudd stumbled to respond to a question over why he had a bandaid on his knuckle.
“No, I wasn’t involved in any fisticuffs,” he said…
His political director Bruce Hawker claimed the injury was as a result of “hundreds of handshakes”, while one of his advisers declined to comment.
The smell of death. 
UPDATE
Jason Morrison interviews the student Rudd brushed off.
UPDATE
The TV news reports were devastating.
(Thanks to readers Doh, Wokka and John.) 

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PNG suspends talks on Rudd’s boat people “fix”

Andrew Bolt August 24 2013 (7:48am)

Boat people policy
Kevin Rudd’s new plan to stop boat people - claiming he’d send them all to Papua New Guinea - was already being swamped. Just 382 of the 2883 boat people have since been sent to Manus Island, making Rudd’s “fix” only 13 per cent successful.
And now it could flop completely:

PAPUA New Guinea has suspended discussions with Australia on the resettlement of refugees, as its most senior immigration official warned that serious breaches of the asylum-seeker undertakings could “jeopardise implementation” of Kevin Rudd’s offshore solution…
The PNG government has also warned the Australian government of new opposition to the reopening of the Manus Island regional processing centre, serious concerns from PNG companies and a lack of consultation that could threaten progress with the extension of the centre to house 3000 asylum-seekers.
In a confidential letter obtained by The Weekend Australian, PNG’s chief migration officer Mataio Rabura told Australia’s Department of Immigration and Customs that Australian access to the building site at Manus and discussions on resettlement had been suspended. Mr Rabura complained about Australian officials not consulting him; tenders for work only being advertised in Australia, effectively delivering a snub to the PNG Defence Force that “can put up tents”; PNG companies not receiving the business suggested by Mr Rudd and PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill; and hasty decision-making.
He described the situation as one that could “jeopardise implementation of the agreement reached by our two prime ministers”.
UPDATE
Rudd says the correspondence is a week old and the issues have since been sorted out. 

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Abbott is right: Gillard trashed debate with hate. UPDATE: And here comes Keating, on cue

Andrew Bolt August 24 2013 (7:38am)

I couldn’t agree with Abbott more on this point - although I would not accuse Rudd of demeaning debate as Gillard did:

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has accused former prime minister Julia Gillard of undermining political standards ...
While both sides of politics had used aggressive tactics during the three years of minority government, both Ms Gillard and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd were primarily to blame for ‘’demeaning’’ the conduct of national politics, he said.
‘’The problem with the Parliament at the moment is that almost nothing is ever said which isn’t basically crude political head-banging,’’ he said… ‘’Both sides are guilty but I think that as prime minister Gillard was particularly bad at it.’’…
‘’I don’t want to be too sanctimonious about this given the pressure she was under, but it is demeaning to our polity and dispiriting to our people when there is no assumption of good faith, no benefit of the doubt given...’’
The assault on his character launched with a speech in Parliament last October in which Ms Gillard branded him a misogynist was ‘’completely invalid and unfair’’, he said. ‘’You go into this business and you’ve got to take your lumps, but I certainly thought the then prime minister went right over the top. It may may have been a coup de theatre … I didn’t think it was and none of the news reports that night thought it was, but subsequently it was said to have been one because it allegedly went viral overseas. I don’t study the internet enough to know whether it did. But that certainly, I thought, was unfair and over the top.’’
As I argued this week, Labor and many journalists let themselves get flushed down the social media sewer. They thought hate - the currency of Twitter - sells.
But this election campaign, like the last week, exposes the weakness of Labor’s strategy of demonising Abbott. Suddenly the spotlight goes on Abbott himself, and not just the Government’s caricature of him, and he can speak for himself. That’s when voters can see that the monster they were told about is actually a pretty decent man.
UPDATE
Right on cue, cloth-eared Bill Shorten drags out a former Prime Hater to show how to thrill the haters on your side while making enemies of everyone else:

FORMER prime minister Paul Keating has accused the Liberals of being “mean little people’’ ... [while] launching the campaign of Labor minister Bill Shorten in his Melbourne seat of Maribyrnong on Friday, to rousing applause from party faithful…
“The others [Liberals] never do these things. They’re always mean. Mean little people… No imagination, no bigness and no heart...”
Yes, this kind of hate-mongering thrills the tribe. But it inspires everyone outside that tribe not to join but fight back against something that has announced it is their enemy.
That might work in war, but politics is actually the art of seduction. Keating is luring Labor to its own destruction with the one passion that seems to animate his shriveled heart.
UPDATE
Paul Kelly on the Prime Minister we will get:

Abbott’s guiding stars in office are as follows: a determination to keep election commitments and shun initiatives where he lacks a mandate (the carbon tax and Work Choices lesson); an operating approach based on consultation, dialogue and consensus; a reliance upon major inquiries into spending, tax, federalism, industrial relations and competition policy to establish the policy and political pathway for reform; an approach that seeks, at each point, to link any economic reform with its social dividend, the main evidence being his focus on greater workforce participation as the desirable end from his family, indigenous and welfare policies; a pragmatic, non-ideological approach to budget and fiscal policy that will shun austerity; and an emphasis on stability, consistency and reliability in office.
Abbott’s economic team now looks along these lines: Joe Hockey as treasurer, Andrew Robb as trade and investment minister, Arthur Sinodinos likely to be finance minister. It is a stronger team than in opposition.

PS:
Abbott, the leader of a party with “no heart”, has for years served as a volunteer in his rural fire service, as well as helping out as a life-saver and teacher in Aboriginal communities. What voluntary work has Keating ever done for others?
If you were in strife and needed help or just comfort, who would you turn to: Keating or Abbott?
UPDATE
Leading the polls, Abbott can now afford to switch to nice:
TONY Abbott will urge an “end to the division” in politics and offer a sense of unity and reconciliation at tomorrow’s Liberal Party campaign launch as part of the final strategic shift from “Dr No”.
The Liberals intend to use the Opposition Leader’s Brisbane speech to build momentum in the final two weeks of campaigning and back it with a blitz of mostly positive advertising.
Mr Abbott is expected to appeal to mainstream Australia, calling for unity and an end to divisions that the Liberals claim Labor has set up between workers and employers, the rich and the poor, foreign workers and Australians, and between the eastern seaboard states and Western Australia.
Returning to themes from earlier in the election campaign, Mr Abbott will appeal to Australia to “harness” the benefits of having a diverse multicultural society and commit to lifting the living standards of indigenous Australia.
I’ve long believed Australians are hungry for this message. Rudd on his return briefly tried to push it but then panicked and hit the negative button. 

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Gerard’s dog barks

Andrew Bolt August 24 2013 (5:13am)

Lots of good reading in Gerard Henderson’s latest Media Watch Dog, including:
- a brisk reminder to the head of the Anything But Conservative that non-ABC journalists and even non-journalists can ask excellent questions at leaders’ debates, and there is a perfectly good reason why conservative politicians think they are wasting their time coming on some ABC shows.
- an entertaining read of a dustup with David Marr over some important errors involving a wall.
- a note on the political home now of Malcolm Fraser, and the polical skew of writers festival tribalists:
So there you have it.  According to opinion polls, the Greens will record a primary vote of around 10 per cent at the election on 7 September.  Yet, according to Jane Sullivan, a clear majority of the audience which heard Malcolm Fraser at Bendigo were Greens voters with the many of the rest undecided.

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Nielsen poll: Labor down, 47 to 53

Andrew Bolt August 23 2013 (6:15pm)

Tomorrow’s Nielsen poll has Labor slipping, too - to 47 per cent to 53 after preferences.
Channel 9’s news report tonight was devastating, showing people heckling a clearly stressed Kevin Rudd while a cheery Tony Abbott exercised with soldiers and announced a new assault on people smugglers.  The report even flashed to a wall next to Rudd showing posters of Hitler and Stalin and wondering if here was one more leader facing his downfall.
This could get really ugly. 

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Pastor Rick Warren
You have 3 choices when bad things happen to you: You can let it destroy you, you can let it define you, or you can let it develop you.

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Pastor Rick Warren
Adversity can build your character. Prosperity can destroy it. The effect of either is due to how you handle it.

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Pastor Rick Warren
Faith is learned in the moments you're unable to see where you're headed. http://bit.ly/HnE6ib
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Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin
If God is for us, who can be against us?(Romans 8:31, NIV)
Don't let your heredity stop your destiny. Don't let the way somebody treated you, or what they did or didn't give you keep you from pressing forward and becoming all that God has created you to be. The people who raised you may have had addictions, but that doesn't have to be your future. You can be the one to break that negative cycle. Your parents may have had anger issues or never amounted to much, but you don't have to keep letting that curse be passed from generation to generation. You can be the one to say, No more. This is a new day.I may have had an unfair past, but I'm not going to have an unfair future. I know that God will put a blessing on me before anybody could put a curse, and I'm not going to let my heredity stop my destiny.

When you choose to put Him first place in your life, then nothing can stop your destiny. Seek Him with a humble heart and break free from the bondages of the past.God bless you.

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Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin
I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust.(Psalm 91:2)

Your words have tremendous power. No matter what you may be facing today, the words of your mouth can help set the course for your victory or set the course for defeat. You decide by what you say. When you wake up with an attitude of faith and expectancy and declare God’s Word, you will be strengthened and empowered by His Spirit. But at the same time, if you go around talking about your problems or talking about defeat, it drains your faith and sets your focus in the wrong direction.

Today,Declare His Word. Declare that He is for you. Keep the weeds out of your heart by letting go of bitterness and choosing to forgive. Stay in step with God with your words and actions and receive His strength and power to be all that He has called you to be.God bless you.

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Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin
Father,I thank You for Your Word which is refreshing water to my soul. I choose today to say what You say. I choose to meditate on Your Word. Keep me close to You always in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Korean engineers invented an all-electric car that can fold itself in half. The researchers based the design of the car on the armadillo, a South American mammal with an armour shell that rolls up into a ball when it senses danger. The car, known as Armadillo-T, tucks its rear body away, shrinking its original size of 2.8 metres to 1.65 metres, and it could be the perfect solution for city dwellers who need to park in small spaces.

Read more and watch a video:http://bit.ly/1d9F2Xy via Phys.org
 
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Positive Mind Flow II Life Coaching with Aprille Lim
Life is wonderful when you let it be! Had such a great day! Met all our fams from Sailor Moon, will be filming a new show in a few months, got a job as a lawyer and the sun has come out to play! When you love life! Life will love you back! Hope everyone has an amazing weekend! Xxx
Aprille Lim
Thank you so much to all our Sailor Moon DMC fans! It was so much fun chatting to all of you during the livestream today! Stay tuned! PART 2 IS EPIC!!! Xxxxx
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Is it really a No Win Scenario? Find out here:http://bit.ly/14MlK2d
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Six-layer rainbow M&M'S cake. Who'd like a slice?

Incredible baking skills, Shayne.
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Su Blu
Tonight. 8:40PM. Me. On stage. Playings songs. Again. At the Town Hall Hotel Newtown. Come!

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Gamers Akihabara and Animate to hold Hyperdimension Neptunia museum -http://bit.ly/15fzTZ8
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Guilty of being Jewish? - ed
Critics of the Russian justice system have likened the trial of Ilya Farber to the Dreyfus Affair. (photo credit: Zhekov.ru via JTA)
Clutching the bars of the defendant’s cage, Ilya Farber assumes the posture of a crucifix as he proclaims his innocence and pleads for freedom with characteristic thespian flare.
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4 her
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While throwing Molotov cocktails at passing Israeli cars driving on the Nachliel road, near the Arab village of Dir Nizzam, Arab terrorists ignited a forest fire near Neve Tsuf, in Israel’s Benyamin region. Volunteers quickly arrived on the scene and began to extinguish the blaze, amid fears that the flames would spread to nearby homes. The volunteers were soon joined by firefighters. No injuries were reported, but significant damage was caused to the area’s greenery.
Security forces searched for the attackers and found remnants of more Molotov cocktails, but no arrests were made.
A spokesperson for the Benyamin region Fire Department told Tazpit News Agency that three teams were required to gain full control of the fire.


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<Even Fairfax journalists are now asking: "will this guy ever shut up!

Judith Ireland writes: "In trying to dominate the nightly news bulletins, the Prime Minister is talking for longer than the news itself.">
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Eat the pie, before it eats your soul. Cthulhu pie:http://j.mp/140yYXT
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The World Jewish Congress urges Ukrainian clergy to refrain from attending neo-Nazi events...
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http://bit.ly/19Cb4HP What do you think? Is Obama impeachable?>
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We are out in force in marginal electorates across WA today. Join the team at http://www.youngliberal.org.au/join
===

TONIGHT on Fox Files: Oliver North travels to Afghanistan to interview General Joseph Dunford, the man tasked with ending the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan. He also interviews Dunford's wife, Ellyn, about their family’s long tradition of service to our nation. Watch tonight at 9p ET and Sunday at 9p ET.

Check out a preview of the other stories on Fox Files tonight: http://tinyurl.com/kuo4f29
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Check out the video here:>


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You can slip on your way up, at the top, or coming off a high point. "Look carefully then, at how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise." Eph. 5:15 (ESV)

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an American campaign. They seem to be unaware of the fact that in Australia the aim is not to get the voters to the polling station because they already have to do that. An interesting side issue is how they got the Obama aides in. Did they use the dreaded 457 visa - but under Kevin Rudd's legislation doesn't that involve a four months advertising campaign to get Australians? And with Australian newspapers and networks sacking journalists, worked there are enough Australians to do the job?
Roger Franklin was interviewed by that excellent young commentator Michael McLaren on radio station 2GB and over the Macquarie Network. Michael is one of the very smart up-and-coming voices in the media for well worth paying attention to. Here's the interview>
http://www.2gb.com/article/lies-damn-lies-and-labor-advertising#.UhgBodZ-85s



http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/qed/2013/08/labor-casts-a-misleading-ad-campaign

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Do you have your Wirra sign up yet??? Can you find a Wirra banner somewhere? Take a photo and send it through!!!! #voteWirra #teamWirra
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The Greens supported the means testing of the private health insurance rebate, driving many young Australians out of private health and increasing the costs for millions of others. Help stop the Greens http://ow.ly/nCMYg
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Pastor Rick Warren
She's the mother of a family of spiritual redwoods. Amazing faith. Boundless compassion. Brilliant communicator. I am still hopelessly in love with her.
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<Is it time for states to call for a Constitutional Convention to limit the Federal Government?

One Senator thinks that time has come...>
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Pastor Rick Warren
My #LifeCalling is Ezekiel 34:16 
"I will search for the lost, bring back those who stray, bandage the hurting, and make the weak strong"

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This from Rudd, currently making Defence Personnel drag dead
bodies out of the ocean because of his failed policies.  His troops are right now
risking their lives on the front line in Afghanistan.

I served like many others for more than 20 years, in fact 24 years, and
whilst serving I was proud of the job we did. Possibly the best years of
my life were given to the cause.  I now feel very guilty for what I made
my family endure.

Because of my career and postings my wife and family were dragged for more
than 21 years from not only all over Australia but also overseas. My
eldest daughter was forced to attended 10 different schools during her
education.  My wife, forced to change employment 9 times again because of
my career and at one point was not allowed to work for 4 years because of
an overseas posting.

I spent more than 11 years of my career at sea away and out of touch from
my family. This we endured as it was what I  had signed up for. The one
shining light (or carrot ) that was always held out to us was that our
military super would compensate for the hardships.

On retirement a lot of members find it difficult to find employment as
there is not a lot of calling for, in my case a Weapons Engineer or at
worse if you are an infantry man or bosuns mate.

For me, I had a very supportive wife and we were able to make a career for
ourselves after the Navy in our own business that led to a lucrative
contract as a Team Manager of a large V8 Supercar team. I was certainly
was one of the lucky ones. Not all have been as fortunate and many are
struggling to keep their head above water (and that isn't a pun).

One young widow I recently had contact with is now forced to make do on
only 62% of her partners pension to raise her young daughter.. If she was
Tim Matherson she would be entitled to 89% of a much larger pension that
neither he nor Gillard contributed 1 cent to. We on the other hand were
forced to pay more than 6% of our gross salaries into government revenue
and pay tax on it. Then pay tax on our pension entitlement. The government
Double dipping.

Now that I have retired that super payment has now diminished to less than
the Age pension. This for all the hardships hardly seems fair. Whilst the
history of military super is long and clouded because of smears that both
sides of politics have tried to perpetuate let me just say that those who
served in the Military have been dudded and betrayed.  Current members on
the new MSBS scheme are also being conned in the same way and no side of
politics is doing any thing to address it.

Enough is enough. Someone has to stand up for the Military members both
current and retired. Unfortunately our numbers are too small to carry
weight or favour and whilst serving you are gagged.

Just as a side issue to highlight my feelings. My home was broken into a
while back and my medals, including the Conspicuous Service Medal I was
awarded in 1993 were stolen. The Police attended, however they were never
recovered. My kids have been at me to have them replaced. I just don't
have the feeling inside anymore for their worth considering how I, like
many have been treated. I know this may seem strange to some, however as I
said above the feeling of guilt toward my family is real. Maybe in years
to come I may change that attitude.

Thank you Michael for your work,

Regards

Garry
===

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===


<Recently a Member of the NSW Legislative Council spoke against the recognition of the Assyrian Genocide. Unfortunately his speech was based on information by professor Jennifer Lawless. A simple Google Search reveals that she leads tours across Gallipoli and that her research is in part funded by the Turkish Government. Similar to what is said in this article:

Professor Colin Tatz is director of the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

He says most historians agree that genocide did occur.

"It's about 99 to 1. The non-Turkish scholars that she is talking about need to be qualified. Every single one of them have actually been funded by the Turkish government and predictably they have produced a pro-Turkish line. There isn't a single respectable scholar who is accepted in the general profession of history who says it didn't happen.">


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<On the knifing of Julia Gillard. Reads like a Shakespearean tragedy - except they're all villains.>
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Ram in the Valley of Fire.

This was one of three rams that were grazing towards the end of the day along the rocks. I had just barely started shooting pics of them when two guys showed up in their red convertible and started taking shots with their iPhones, all the while yelling back and forth. Yeah, this critter didn't stick around once all that started... but I got this memento.
 — at Valley Of Fire Nevada.
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The people are speaking .. traditional ALP supporters have been taken for granted by the ALP - ed

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===
d Dr Glasson be the next Maxine McKew
(but with brains and talent) and take Kev out in his own seat? Do I dare to dream the impossible dream?>===

Aprille Love
Life is wonderful when you let it be! Had such a great day! Met all our fans from Sailor Moon, got confirmation that I will be filming a new show in a few months, got a job as a lawyer and the sun has come out to play! When you love life! Life will love you back! Hope everyone has an amazing weekend! Xxx

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Holly Sarah Nguyen
There's no safety outside of God.

===
Below is the final episode of the Tribal Update, Latma's flagship satirical newscast. We launched the show 4 years ago. During this period, we produced more than 200 shows. It is a production record without peer in Israeli television history.
Over the past three years, we have been in on again, off again negotiations with Israel public television Channel 1 to produce the show as the station's prime time satire show. Over the past year, those negotiations intensified and the leaders of the station made me believe that the production contract was on its way. In anticipation of moving to a half hour television format, we expanded our internet crew, This raised our costs tremendously. Based on what I was told by the Channel 1 executives, I told our wonderful donors that it would just be a matter of months until Channel 1 picked up the reins and funded the show. 
But then everything fell apart. Netanyahu's appointed Chairman of Israel Broadcasting Authority Amir Gilat decided he didn't want us on television after all. He wanted to produce a historical documentary, and wanted the money earmarked for Latma. So after making groundless accusations against us in the media he convened the content committee of Channel 1 and cancelled the contract - which I never received anyway and transferred the money to his pet production. 
Latma cannot afford to maintain The Tribal Update in its current form. We will use our remaining funds to rebuild our core capacities on our website, expanding our commentaries and producing much less expensive short satirical pieces. We will also begin organizing on a financial model of funding through micro-funding and crowd-funding to give ourselves financial stability. This process will take a few months. 
Yes, we were lied to, repeatedly. But then again, the treatment we received at the hands of Channel 1 just proves our point. The Israeli media is impossibly post-Zionist. The Tribal Update is without a doubt the best satire show ever produced in this country. And the fact that we cannot get a television contract for our show -- which by all accounts would receive massive rating -- shows the inherent and all-encompassing bias and hatred driving the media elites in this country -- and the cowardice and fecklessness of Likud apparatchiks in the face of this situation.
I will have more to say about our experience once the dust clears, and our plans are set.
In the meantime, enjoy our final show. I will post the show as a separate item when we post it on You Tube.
Below, as always, you can find the link to donate to Latma. Like I said, we are reorganizing. But your financial support for our endeavors remains as vital as it has always been. And I can't tell you how much we appreciate it.



Latma is funded by donations from private individuals who believe that the voice of Zionism must be heard, loud and clear, in Israel and throughout the world. We need your help in order to stay open and continue sounding our voices.

If you are in the United States, Latma is  funded by donations to the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project which I direct. If you would like to contribute to our work, which is funded entirely by viewer contributions, please go to this link.

For donations outside the US, here is a link to the donations page for our Israeli non-profit, the Zionist Incubator. You can make credit card donations to Latma by contributing to our non-profit. 

===

Column One: Resetting US foreign policy
By CAROLINE GLICK
22/08/2013 
Never since America’s establishment has the US appeared so untrustworthy, destructive, irrelevant and impotent.http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2013/08/resetting-us-foreign-policy.php
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Hamas forces patrolling the Gaza-Egypt border (Photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatab/ Flash 90)
Senior figures in jihadist groups that identify with al-Qaeda are hiding out in the Gaza Strip under the auspices of Hamas, Egyptian sources confirmed to The Times of Israel in a phone call Thursday, noting that their presence in the Palestinian territory was the source of current tensions between Egypt and Hamas.
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Damage from a rocket that fell near Nahariya, Thursday, August 22, 2013. (photo credit: screen capture/Channel 2)
Dozens of elderly Holocaust survivors, in a facility in the Acre area, came very close to being hit by one of the four Katyusha rockets fired into Israel from southern Lebanon on Thursday afternoon.
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There’s supposed to be a news blackout from the reconvened Middle East peace talks going on this week. The Palestinians insisted on that lest their reluctant negotiators be branded as doing something that smacked of legitimizing the Jewish state. But one of their team broke their silence this week in order to complain about the fact that they have been called upon to actually talk one on one with their Israeli counterparts:
“We had an agreement on three-way negotiations. The Americans from the beginning were supposed to be there. I don’t see why the Israelis don’t want the Americans there, as witnesses,” Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, told The Times of Israel. “These are not two-way negotiations,” she added.
This would seem to be violation of their undertaking to keep quiet about the talks but Ashrawi had an explanation:
“I’m not discussing the details or the facts,” she said. “I’m just telling you it’s the Israelis who don’t want the Americans, even though the Americans are totally biased in favor of Israel.”
Asked why she believed the Israelis would request the removal of a party favorable to them, Ashrawi said “they feel they can exploit their power over the Palestinians.”
In saying this, Ashrawi couldn’t have told us more about the negotiations had she produced a transcript. Nor could she have given us a better indication of just how dim the chances of success for this effort are. The Palestinian fear of being trapped in a room with the people they are supposed to be crafting a deal with has nothing to do with fear of Israeli power. It’s all about the fact that the last thing they want is to actually reach an agreement they’d have to justify to a Palestinian people that is still not ready to accept a Jewish state no matter its borders are drawn.
In one sense, Ashrawi’s desire to keep U.S. envoy Martin Indyk in the room is understandable. Contrary to her claim, far from being inclined to bolster the positions of the Netanyahu government, his clear bias is one that that leads him to push for Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians.
But that’s not the real explanation.
It’s not exactly a secret that the ardent desire of Tzipi Livni, the head of the Israeli delegation, is to entice the Palestinians to embrace peace after three times rejecting offers of statehood that would include a share of Jerusalem and almost all of the West Bank. Supposedly that’s exactly what the Palestinians want, although they insist they will never compromise on forcing every Jew out of not only every settlement but the parts of Jerusalem that were illegally occupied by Jordan from 1949 to 1967. But the continuing stream of invective about Jews and Israel pouring out of the official Palestinian media and the so-called moderates of Fatah makes it hard to believe they are finally ready to take yes for an answer. Since PA leader Mahmoud Abbas seems no more capable or willing to accept the peace that he rejected in 2008 when he fled negotiations with Ehud Olmert convened by then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, his primary fear is not the Israeli intransigence the Jewish state’s critics bewail but that Livni will give him what he says he wants.
The Palestinians never wanted to come back to the table after four years’ absence. But with the U.S. prepared to put the screws to Israel to gratify Secretary of State John Kerry’s desire for the talks, it was impossible for them to say no once the Americans gave them the preconditions they demanded. But that doesn’t mean Abbas wants a happy ending to this negotiation. Not only do the Palestinians want the Americans to do their negotiating for them, but their primary objective is to avoid being trapped in a room with someone like Livni who is obviously desperate to agree to any deal.
While there is no telling for certain what will happen in the upcoming months, this is yet one more indication that the main Palestinian objective in the negotiations is to never be maneuvered into a position where they would have to either say yes to peace or reject it and take the blame. Stay tuned for months of pre-emptive Palestinian efforts to deflect the blame for the futile nature of this fool’s errand that Kerry has embarked upon.

===

Egypt today is a zero-sum game. We’d have preferred there be a democratic alternative. Unfortunately, there is none. The choice is binary: the country will be ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood or by the military.
Perhaps it didn’t have to be this way. Perhaps the military should have waited three years for the intensely unpopular Mohamed Morsi to be voted out of office. But Gen.Abdel Fatah al-Sissi seems to have calculated that he didn’t have three years, that by then there would be no elections — as in Gaza, where the Palestinian wing of the Brotherhood, Hamas, elected in 2006, established a one-man-one-vote-one-time dictatorship.

===

While Syria took part in three invasions to kill all the jews in israel for the last 60 years, isreal from it's behalf just want to exist in security and even sets up 'field hospital' to treat injured Syrians who come for help as they run away from the massacre. Israel has no interest involving in the syrian civil war yet it does what it always did: Help those who seek help even if they want us all dead and we are proud of doing it.
===
...Insidious propaganda had raised this animosity to the status of an obliging sacred duty, a testament to personal/communal integrity, patriotism and spiritual fidelity. The more the Jewish state is reviled, the higher castigator’s reputation rises. Anti-Israel fervor is money in the political bank.
===

August 9, 2013 – An Arizona congressman wants the U.S. to triple its funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense program and hopes to see some of the manufacturing occur in Arizona.
U.S. Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., is part of a congressional delegation currently in Israel. Barber serves on the House Armed Services Committee.
Barber said in a telephone interview with the Phoenix Business Journal that he would like to see annual U.S. funding for Iron Dome systems go from its current $70 million level up to $220 million. The Pentagon also favors the spending increase, which is being considered by Congress.
Israeli Defense Forces deploy Iron Dome batteries to shoot down rockets and missiles launched by Palestinian insurgents.
The anti-missile defense system is manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., an arm of the IDF.
Barber hopes increased U.S. financial backing of the Iron Dome will bring about co-manufacturing of the system between the two countries. That could bring some production and contracts to the U.S., including Arizona. Raytheon Co. has its missile division and 10,000 workers in Tucson. Barber’s district includes parts of Tucson as well as Sierra Vista, which is home to the U.S. Army’s Fort Huachuca.
The IDF deployed anti-rocket defenses during last November’s fight with Palestinian insurgents in Gaza. Barber said more battalions could be needed. “We really need to ramp it up,” Barber said.
Barber has been in Israel and the West Bank this week as part of a congressional trip. That has included meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PresidentShimon Peres, as well as Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah.
The lawmaker also met with Israeli businesses and technology executives to talk about potential research and development partnerships with the University of Arizona. “We have some ideal facilities,” said Barber. He said Arizona and Israel both have arid climates and grapple with water issues.
Arizona companies exported $133 million worth of goods to Israel last year and $63 million for the first half of 2013, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
U.S. foreign aid to Israel totals $3.1 billion in the current federal budget, up from $2.6 billion in 2009, according to the U.S. State Department. Most of those funds are related to defense and security. Israel is the top beneficiary of U.S. foreign aid.
This is Barber’s first trip to Israel and he said it has made him more appreciative of the security situation and peace processes. He noted that Israeli children near the border with Gaza play in a fortified indoor playground built to withstand rocket attacks. He also was surprised by the metropolitan, modern and commercial nature of Ramallah.

===

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Rules when going to a birthday party- do not play in rooms with closed doors, do not accept food/drink from ppl other than host & parents, always make sure you can see mum/dad at all times, touch base with them every 5 mins to make sure mum/dad know EXACTLY where you are, do not under any circumstances leave the party venue, do not eat or drink anything until mum/dad ok it, do not play games that involve pushing/hitting/spitting, take the first item of food you touch, do not be alone with a grown up you don't know/just met, do not go near swimming pools/pets, do not play in grown up bedrooms, do not touch anything that doesn't belong to you, do not play with knives, do not run with sticks, do not leave anyone out of games and remember to HAVE FUN! - the grilling i put my kids through before going to any birthday party
===


You'll be silly to degrade yourself to clean! Cause for us... We don't care! 
Confused?!? Or want to know more?!!! Just call us 0402 568 489>

===
<Love it how those invented "misogyny" and #sexappeal furores about Abbott and left-wing smirks and backslapping have all blown up in their faces. Wonderful.>
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4 her
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C. H. Spurgeon
When husbands and wives are well yoked, how light their load becomes.

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Rotation.

Shot in the Canyonlands of Utah along with my cousin Tyler. Getting to this place by 4x4 was half the fun.
 — at Peek-a-boo campsite, Utah.
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Dean Hamstead
I'm not sure if "Be all you can be" normally means: leak national secrets, get 35 years, change gender...

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Bora Bora
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One afternoon, I was waiting in line at a grocery store buying meat to cook dinner for my wife and kids. There was an old lady behind me buying a ton food. When i got to the cashier to pay I realized the money wasn't in my pocket. I sat my stuff down and search for the money in panic. I rushed through the grocery store to look for it. I rushed back through the same line and told the cashier to give me time to find it at the same time praying to God for me to see it. The old lady saw me in tears like i was crying, she asked me what's wrong and i explained as if my wife is going to kill me cause i let her down many times before with my old bad habits and this time she won't believe that i actually lost the money for real and that she's hungry at home cause of breastfeeding our baby. So the old lady paid for my groceries. I didn't want her to but she kept saying it's alright and if I needed to get some more. I thanked her with a hug full of emotions. Then drove back home and shared this story to my wife and i started to cry again and she just laughed. lol. Thank You Lord for answer my prayer. 
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4 her
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united with israel alerts                              newsletter

Israel Alert Newsletter 17 Elul 5773August 23, 2013
 
According to IDF reports, on Thursday August 22, civilians in Israel's northern region faced rocket fire from Southern Lebanon. Of the four rockets fired, two landed in residential areas, with one damaging property and cars in the city of Acre and the second landing in Kibbutz Gesher Haziv. No casualties were reported. Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted a third rocket.
Israel responded to the attack with an airstrike targeting a terror base south of Beirut.
Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu said, "We are operating on all fronts, in the north and south, in order to protect the citizens of Israel from these attacks. We are using a variety of measures - of both defense and prevention - and we are operating in a responsible manner.
Click here to read more>> 
Time is running out to stop the Iranian nuclear threat but author Noah Beck is raising awareness about this urgent issue with his powerful book“The Last Israelis” — now available in paperback, audiobook, and e-book formats.
In this doomsday thriller, an ethnically diverse and ideologically divided crew aboard an Israeli submarine must confront the unthinkable after Iran acquires nuclear weapons. The gripping novel is a highly entertaining read but -- more importantly -- the book focuses public attention on the Iranian nuclear threat.
Even if you don't have time to read it (or listen to the audiobook), your support for the book with a purchase will help to make an important statement to readers around the globe about how dangerous a nuclear Iran could be to Israel and the rest of the world.
Click here to read more>> 
Civilian journalists confirmed by the AP reported Wednesday morning that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's army forces unleashed chemical weapons on rebel-controlled civilian areas of eastern and western Damascus.
Shortly afterward, news outlets published photos and videos of lines of corpses bearing no visible wounds. An exact death toll is still unknown. While British NGO Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates the attack claimed 40 casualties, Free Syrian Army sources place the number much higher at around 1,300 deaths.

Iran and Israel
U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom Awarded to Israeli Psychologist
Israeli professor Daniel Kahneman will receive the United States' highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for his advances in psychology of economics. Professor Kahneman previously won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2000.
According to the trailblazing technology, entertainment, and design website TED.com, Kahneman is "widely regarded as the world's most influential living psychologist ... for his pioneering work in behavioral economics -- exploring the irrational ways we make decisions about risk."
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===



There are two weeks to go until the most important election in a generation.

With the Coalition, Australians know what they'll get if we are elected.

We'll build a stronger, diversified economy so that everyone can get ahead.

We'll scrap the carbon tax and get the Budget back under control.

We’ll cut Labor’s waste with practical measures such as:
  • Ending Labor’s failed border security policies that have resulted in $11 billion in Budget blowouts
  • Scrapping wasteful government advertising – Labor spent $57 million on advertising during July alone
  • Cutting waste, such as the $185,000 on ergonomic assessments of the Department of Human Services chairs for its staff
We will generate 2 million new jobs over the next decade as we unleash Australia’s real economic potential.

We'll stop the boats again with proven policies that work.

We will also build the roads of the 21st century – and reduce traffic congestion and increase productivity.

Tomorrow morning I am formally launching our campaign at 11:30am.  I hope you will tune in to the launch and hear for yourself the Coalition’s positive plan to build a stronger Australia – and a better future for all Australians.

Regards,

Tony Abbott
PS If you haven’t already done so – please join our campaign – and make a donation today.
Authorised by Brian Loughnane, Cnr Blackall and Macquarie Streets, Barton  ACT 2604.
Copyright © Liberal Party of Australia.

===
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michelle at garden of the gods
Hi everyone! Here's the MichelleMalkin.com newsletter for August 23rd. Enjoy!

From the Blog

How Oberlin manufactured the hate-crime hoax of the year

Busted. Stone-cold busted...

We need gang control, not gun control; Update: Arrest in Delbert Belton murder

I said it on Wednesday night, while debating a young “progressive” talking points robot about the horrific murder of Chris Lane by Crips sign-flashing thugs...

PG$13k: Obama proposes college ‘ratings system’

Will the person chosen to “rank” the schools be Lois Lerner?

More From the Right Side of the Web

Featured Video

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Yesterday morning on "FOX & Friends," Michelle talked about the horrific thrill killing of Chris Lane and the deepening NSA scandal.

Michelle's Top Tweets

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And ... Our Hate Tweet of the Day

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Everybody's a comedian.

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Goodison Park

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Events[edit source | editbeta]

Births[edit source | editbeta]

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Holidays and observances[edit source | editbeta]

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“When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:18-19 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"The voice of weeping shall be no more heard."
Isaiah 65:19
The glorified weep no more, for all outward causes of grief are gone. There are no broken friendships, nor blighted prospects in heaven. Poverty, famine, peril, persecution, and slander, are unknown there. No pain distresses, no thought of death or bereavement saddens. They weep no more, for they are perfectly sanctified. No "evil heart of unbelief" prompts them to depart from the living God; they are without fault before his throne, and are fully conformed to his image. Well may they cease to mourn who have ceased to sin. They weep no more, because all fear of change is past. They know that they are eternally secure. Sin is shut out, and they are shut in. They dwell within a city which shall never be stormed; they bask in a sun which shall never set; they drink of a river which shall never dry; they pluck fruit from a tree which shall never wither. Countless cycles may revolve, but eternity shall not be exhausted, and while eternity endures, their immortality and blessedness shall co-exist with it. They are forever with the Lord. They weep no more, because every desire is fulfilled. They cannot wish for anything which they have not in possession. Eye and ear, heart and hand, judgment, imagination, hope, desire, will, all the faculties, are completely satisfied; and imperfect as our present ideas are of the things which God hath prepared for them that love him, yet we know enough, by the revelation of the Spirit, that the saints above are supremely blessed. The joy of Christ, which is an infinite fulness of delight, is in them. They bathe themselves in the bottomless, shoreless sea of infinite beatitude. That same joyful rest remains for us. It may not be far distant. Ere long the weeping willow shall be exchanged for the palm-branch of victory, and sorrow's dewdrops will be transformed into the pearls of everlasting bliss. "Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

Evening

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith."
Ephesians 3:17
Beyond measure it is desirable that we, as believers, should have the person of Jesus constantly before us, to inflame our love towards him, and to increase our knowledge of him. I would to God that my readers were all entered as diligent scholars in Jesus' college, students of Corpus Christi, or the body of Christ, resolved to attain unto a good degree in the learning of the cross. But to have Jesus ever near, the heart must be full of him, welling up with his love, even to overrunning; hence the apostle prays "that Christ may dwell in your hearts." See how near he would have Jesus to be! You cannot get a subject closer to you than to have it in the heart itself. "That he may dwell;" not that he may call upon you sometimes, as a casual visitor enters into a house and tarries for a night, but that he may dwell; that Jesus may become the Lord and Tenant of your inmost being, never more to go out.
Observe the words--that he may dwell in your heart, that best room of the house of manhood; not in your thoughts alone, but in your affections; not merely in the mind's meditations, but in the heart's emotions. We should pant after love to Christ of a most abiding character, not a love that flames up and then dies out into the darkness of a few embers, but a constant flame, fed by sacred fuel, like the fire upon the altar which never went out. This cannot be accomplished except by faith. Faith must be strong, or love will not be fervent; the root of the flower must be healthy, or we cannot expect the bloom to be sweet. Faith is the lily's root, and love is the lily's bloom. Now, reader, Jesus cannot be in your heart's love except you have a firm hold of him by your heart's faith; and, therefore, pray that you may always trust Christ in order that you may always love him. If love be cold, be sure that faith is drooping.
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Today's reading: Psalm 113-115, 1 Corinthians 6 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Psalm 113-115

1 Praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD, you his servants;
praise the name of the LORD.
2 Let the name of the LORD be praised,
both now and forevermore.
3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the LORD is to be praised.
4 The LORD is exalted over all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.
5 Who is like the LORD our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?

Today's New Testament reading: 1 Corinthians 6

Lawsuits Among Believers
1 If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord's people? 2 Or do you not know that the Lord's people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!4Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother takes another to court-and this in front of unbelievers!
7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. 9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God....
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Gamaliel

[GaË•mā'lĭel] - god is recompenser orthe gift or reward of god.
  1. A chief of Manasseh chosen to aid in taking the census in the wilderness (Num. 1:10; 2:20; 7:54, 59; 10:23).
  2. The renowned Doctor of Jewish law (Acts 5:34), and instructor of the apostle Paul (Acts 22:3 ). It may be that Paul's instruction in the Law began when he was about the age of twelve (Luke 2:42). Like his Master, Paul, as Saul of Tarsus, sat in the midst of the doctors, hearing and asking questions. These learned men sat in a high chair, and the scholars on the floor and were thus literally at their masters'feet (see Deut. 33:3).

The Man Who Was Tolerant

Ellicott speaks of Gamaliel as one of the heroes of rabbinical history. His dramatic speech before the Council on Peter's behalf, and the part he played in the instruction of Paul mark him out a man worthy of note. Gamaliel was the son of Simeon, perhaps of Luke 2:25, and the grandson of the great Hillel, the representative of the best school of Pharisaism, the tolerant and largehearted rival of the narrow and fanatic Shammai. Through the weight of years and authority Gamaliel rose to eminence and counseled with moderation.
Being of the house and lineage of David, this cultured teacher had full sympathy with the claims of Christ, who was welcomed as the Son of David. Perhaps he was influenced to a decision for Christ through contact with a brother-teacher like Nicodemus (John 3:1, 2; 7:50, 51) and can therefore be included among the many chief rulers who secretly believed in Christ (John 12:42, 43).
Digging beneath Gamaliel's able and successful performance before the Council at Jerusalem, Alexander Whyte feels that he was only a "fluent and applauded opportunist" and warns young men against his presentation. "He was a politician, but he was not a true churchman or statesman. He was held in repute by the people; but the people were blind, and they loved to be led by blind leaders, and Gamaliel was one of them." With all his insight and lawyerlike ability, Gamaliel turned all things completely upsidedown when he sat in judgment, and gave his carefully balanced caution concerning the Son of God, comments Dr. Whyte.
Perhaps the renowned author of Bible Characters is right when he suggests that Gamaliel made the tremendous and irreparable mistake of approaching Jesus Christ and His cause on the side of policy, handling Him as a matter open to argument and debate. But Christ is an Ambassador of Reconciliation, and we are not permitted to sit in judgment on God, and on His message of mercy to us. Without apology Dr. Whyte pronounces Gamaliel as "a liberal long before his time. He was all for toleration, and for a free church in a free state, in an intolerant and persecuting day."
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P31Header
Micca Campbell
August 23, 2011
Arise from the Wreckage
Micca Monda Campbell
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28 (KJV)
I'd read the book of Acts before and honestly, it fell dull and familiar as I read again. But when I came to chapter nine, something new jumped out at me. I began to see the word "rejection," although it was not in written form. Perhaps I saw what I was feeling that day-rejected.
I was reading at the part of the story where Saul, a murderer, had just been transformed into Paul, a disciple of Christ. Even though Paul was a changed person, many rejected him because of his past reputation and lifestyle.
Not only that, but as Paul became fully devoted to serving Christ-sacrificing his education, his life, and remaining single so he could better serve the Lord-he was falsely accused, thrown into prison more than once and shipwrecked on several occasions. Doesn't that seem odd for a man called of God? Wouldn't God's favor protect him from such adversity?
I thought about an illness that had lingered with me for months. It was so severe I was all but bed-ridden week after week, unable to do life and ministry. I had felt rejected by God. It didn't make sense. I was serving Him in more ways than I could count. Then, without warning, strong winds came and ushered what felt like a storm into my life. Clouds hung overhead and before I knew it, I felt "shipwrecked."
Perhaps, you've been there, too. Maybe you've been rejected by family, friends, and co-workers. Or you've been falsely accused. Maybe you're imprisoned by finances, or being blown around by the consequences of someone else's sin?
It seems so unfair. You've tried to live right. You walk in obedience the best you can. You take God at His Word and trust in His promises. Shouldn't faith like this call for smooth sailing, instead of stormy, shipwrecking seas?
If we follow Paul's journey, we find God working through the rejection, the trials, the prison time, and the shipwrecks. Paul shared the gospel with the Pharisees through his rejection and imprisonment. People saw God's power at work when Paul survived the storms, when the snake bite didn't kill him, and when the jail shook-opening doors and loosing chains.
Paul didn't let his circumstances wreck him with a sense of rejection. He didn't allow self-pity and doubt to overtake him. Instead, we see in Acts 16:22-31 that after being stripped, beaten, severely flogged, thrown in the inner cell of a prison and his feet in stocks, Paul prayed and sang hymns to God. And others around him were listening. The power of God came in such a way that the prison guard begged Paul to tell him, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" He replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus" (vs. 30b-31, NIV).
God kept His promise to work all things together for the good of this man who loved Him and was called according to His purposes. As Paul depended on God and trusted His faithfulness in the midst of his adversity, many witnessed God's power and believed.
And the same is true for us. God doesn't waste our pain, our rejection or our "shipwrecks." He uses them to bring about His plan-to position us so that others can see His transforming power at work in our lives and believe in the living God.
If that's true, and it is, then our challenge is to rise from the wreckage, like Paul, so that our lives will give testimony that draws others to the Jesus. Today I will no longer sit on the sidelines of life full of self-pity. I choose to rise, pray and praise, so that God can position me to shine for His glory, and so that others will believe.
Dear Lord, forgive me for wallowing in self-pity and rejection. I trust that You see the bigger picture. I believe there is a purpose for my pain. Strengthen me to rise from my ashes so that others will see You are my help and my salvation. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?
Today's devotion was taken from, An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Stronger than All Your Fears by Micca Campbell
Cultivating a Heart of Contentment CD by Micca Campbell
Visit Micca's blog for more encouragement.
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:
God has called us to live by faith, not by sight. Even though we don't always understand our difficulties, they don't have to overwhelm us. Choosing to trust God helps restore a sense of hope and stability to our lives, and also allows us to rise from our ashes.
Reflections:
What will I choose to do today: will I wallow in self-pity or rise and praise the Lord?
Power Verses:
Nahum 1:7, "The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him." (KJV)
Psalm 121:1-2, "I will lift up my eyes to the hills-From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth." (NKJV)
© 2011 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org
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August 23, 2011
Care Enough to Confront
Today's Truth
Faithful are the wounds of a friend (Proverbs 27:6, NIV).
Friend To Friend
One of the basic needs of every healthy relationship is the art of confrontation. To confront someone is to meet them head-on in the quest for compromise. Confrontation is an emotional tackle for the purpose of resolving conflict while promoting peace. Just as God separates us from our sin, He calls us to do the same with sandpaper people. We must disconnect who they are from what they do, loving the sinner but hating the sin, looking beyond their weaknesses in search of their strengths.
Most people I know hate confrontation and will do anything to avoid it, but in doing so, give the impression that they are content with the status quo. It is important for us to understand that silence is agreement. Confrontation is a gift we bring to every healthy relationship as well as the unhealthy relationships with which we struggle. Confrontation is a spiritual surgery that tends to be painful. But without it, the cancer of contention and discord will remain unfettered, free to grow and spread its deadly relationship poison.
When we have one nerve left and our sandpaper person is romping on it, we tend to confront in anger, from pain and frustration, with little control. The explosion can be heard for miles around. Healthy confrontation does not involve a weapon of any kind - verbal or non-verbal. We speak honestly but gently. Confrontation that is wrapped in gentle love is powerful!
When my husband became a pastor, we both struggled with maintaining a balanced schedule. It was easy for Dan to work six or seven nights a week. The church was exploding in growth and a crisis was always on the agenda. Being the precious and loving wife that I am, I confronted Dan - not in love and not with gentleness. It did not work. I decided to back off and let God work.
One afternoon, while preparing dinner, Dan called to say that one of the church members had just been admitted to the hospital with chest pains. Dan was planning to drop by the hospital, which meant that he would be late - again. He promised to make his hospital visit short and be home as soon as he could. When Danna strolled through the kitchen, checking out the dinner menu, she asked when her dad was coming home. I explained the situation but assured her that Dan would be home as soon as he could. She seemed satisfied with my explanation and headed for the family room. As I set the table, I overheard Danna calling the church office. Then I heard her childlike but powerful words of confrontation, "Dad, please come home. I don't like it when you have to work late. I know that man in the hospital needs you, but there are lots of doctors there. I only have one daddy and it makes me sad when you are not here. I need to see you with my eyes." Dan called one of our deacons who jumped at the chance to visit someone in the hospital and Dan came home.
Every relationship in life improves with confrontation done the right way. In fact, the harder the truth, the more love we must use in sharing it, especially when it comes to sharing truth with sandpaper people. Here are some simple tips for effective confrontation done the right way:
  1. Always begin confrontation with affirmation. Encouraging words set the stage and prepare the heart to hear words of correction.
  2. Be willing to take your part of the blame. I have lived long enough to know that no conflict is ever totally one-sided. Taking your share of the blame often diffuses anger.
  3. Express hurt...not hostility. It is important to keep emotions under control during confrontation. Volume negates listening. Raised voices and angry words slam the door shut on any possible good that can come from confrontation. Sandpaper people rarely realize the depth of the pain they inflict.
  4. Make clear, direct statements. When facing confrontation, I will often write down what I plan to say; then read it aloud. I can then go back and eliminate unnecessary comments, inflammatory words or vengeful statements. Stick to the facts.
  5. Avoid using words like "never" and "always." These words are untrue and accomplish little in a confrontation. For some reason, they tend to stir up emotions and fan emotional fires.
  6. Listen. One of my favorite tactics in confrontations is to use the time the other person is speaking to formulate my next point. As a result, I don't listen because I assume I already know what will be said. Difficult conversations require total attention. Listening validates people and invites them into your life. Refusing to listen is arrogant and self-centered.
  7. Be solution centered. Make the decision beforehand to stay at the table of confrontation until a solution is found and some measure of restoration is achieved. It is so easy to go for the "let's get this over with" conversation instead of getting to the heart of the problem.
The sandpaper people in your life are likely to be confronted on a regular basis. But because that confrontation usually comes from an unclean heart and an angry spirit, it can easily become just another notch in that sandpaper person's belt, giving them one more reason to be who they are - difficult. When love and gentleness deliver correction, it is much more likely to be received and acted upon. We can be caring and confronting at the same time. Most sandpaper people are controllers and manipulators, intimidating their way into other people's lives, because it is the only way they know to get in. Confrontation is a spiritual exercise and an act of obedience to God that changes lives and builds healthy relationships.
Let's Pray
Father, please forgive me when I confront someone in anger or with a bitter heart. I really do want my relationships to reflect Your love. Teach me how to control the words I say and the attitude with which I say them. Forgive me for the pride that fuels a spirit of revenge when I should be seeking healing and restoration. Be glorified in all of my relationships, Lord.
In Jesus' name,
Amen.
Now It's Your Turn
Read Matthew 7:2-6. Compare "sawdust" with "plank." In your journal, describe the requirement Matthew explains in this passage of Scripture.
Gentleness is not weakness. It is controlled strength. Apply this truth to the art of confrontation. Why is gentle confrontation so important?
Review the seven elements of confrontation listed in today's devotion. Which one of these elements do you need to work on first? Why?
More From The Girlfriends
One of the most powerful illustrations of God's love and forgiveness is found in the lives of Hosea and Gomer. Learn about their story in Mary's MP3 download, Love That Never Fails.
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
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LeeStrobel-Newsletter-Header-Final
God: A Moral Monster?

LeeheadshotCritics charge the God of the Old Testament is immoral, but Paul Copan refutes that in his book Is God a Moral Monster? Understanding the Old Testament God . Here's an interview.

Q. Interestingly, although you have a Ph.D. in philosophy from Marquette, leading Old Testament scholars like Christopher Wright and Gordon Wenham consider your book the best defense of Old Testament ethics available.

A. No, I don't have a Ph.D. in this discipline. I do have an undergraduate degree in biblical studies and a master of divinity degree. So I'm very heartened and humbled that these scholars, on whose work I've depended over the years, have given such robust endorsements for my book.

Q. Your book tackles questions on difficult Old Testament passages--ones that many Christians and non-Christians find troubling. Why did you write it?

A. I know you're familiar with the New Atheists--Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens. These authors have been causing quite a stir in recent years, both inspiring fellow atheists and shaking up the faith of believers. Unlike more substantive atheists in the academy, this new wave of atheism typically engages in emotional argumentation and rhetorical bluster-often with little substance and plenty of distortion. God is "not good" and is "a moral monster." Religion is the chief source of humanity's problems-"the root of all evil."

Visit Us on the Web: LeeStrobel.com - The Ambition - BibleGateway.com
ADVERTISEMENT
Questions from readers:
  • What about Old Testament prophecies?
  • How powerful is Satan?

Q. I have been wondering about Old Testament prophecies. The New Testament seems to establish that Jesus is the Messiah, for example, but is this proven in the Old Testament? 

A. Thanks for your question! The issue about how the Old Testament proves Jesus is the Messiah cannot be done "in and of itself" without the New Testament. Since the last Old Testament book written precedes the time of Jesus by several hundred years, it cannot "prove" what has not yet taken place.

Interestingly, however, some supernatural prophecies that are not Messianic occur entirely within the Old Testament. Perhaps the most remarkable is Isaiah, who prophesied no later than 680 BC many things that Cyrus the Great would accomplish, including decimating empires, allowing the Jewish people to return to their homeland, and a decree that the temple in Jerusalem be rebuilt (Isaiah 44:28-45:13). Isaiah prophesied this more than 80 years before the first exile of Jewish people were taken captive to Babylon (circa 597 BC). Cyrus ruled Persia and the kingdoms he subsequently conquered like Babylon from roughly 560 to 530 BC.

Read the rest of this answer!

Have a question? Drop me a line atAskLee@Leestrobel.com. We'll answer the ones with the broadest interest in upcoming newsletters. Thanks to Sam Wall, former chief researcher for the Bible Answer Man radio show, who heads the "Ask Lee" response team.
Lee's Notes

• I'm so proud of my daughter Alison and her latest novel,Composing Amelia, which is coming out this month from David C. Cook. The review in Romantic Times gave it 4.5 out of five stars and named it a top pick. Pretty cool!

I especially liked this comment by the Times reviewer: "[Alison] Strobel's gift for characterization allows the reader to become an intimate part of the story. She takes on difficult subjects like mental illness and questioning one's faith, and makes them accessible and understandable. This novel is a true gem."

Okay, granted, I added italics to that last sentence. But can you blame a proud dad for emphasizing his daughter's amazing ability to weave a captivating and compelling story?

• Speaking of a proud dad (or, in this case, grandpa), my granddaughter Abigail won the first-place blue ribbon in the Douglas County (Colorado) Fair for her close-up photography of a flower. Yep - she's only five and a half years old! (I'm hoping that I can get her permission to publish the photo in a future newsletter, but I'm finding she's a tough negotiator on copyright, royalties, subsidiary rights, etc.!).

Blind Leap or Reasonable Faith?


How can we be sure that we have a well-reasoned faith? That's the topic of Dr. Craig Hazen's 42-minute messagedelivered at Calvary Nexus in Camarillo, California, at the Mobil Campus. Hazen is a professor at Biola University in La Mirada, California.

Lee's Links: Suggested articles from the web
Bert & Ernie: friends
A thoughtful blog post by Caryn Rivadeneira applauds Sesame Street's decision to keep the characters friends.
"Mass appeal" of Rick W.
Financial Times opines on what it believes are the secrets to California pastor Rick Warren's success.
Erasing Hell?
Author/pastor Francis Chan offers candid thoughts about his ministry and his new book on eternity.
Story of the Dream Center
Inspiring interview about a model Pentecostal movement that brings hope to the otherwise forgotten.
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Everything New - A Weeekly Devotional

WITH EVERY BREATH

When I finished college I took a third-shift job working as a nursing assistant in a nursing home. My wife, who was training as a social worker, suggested that one of the best ways I could prepare to be a pastor was to take care of people at their most vulnerable time in life. And she was right. In the months that I spent from 11 pm to 7 am, through the dark and unquiet hours of the night watching over a ward of elderly patients, I learned so much about our physical frailty, the unexpected cry in the middle of the night, and the endurance of the soul.
One night the head nurse told me that a ninety-year-old lady who had bumped her head and whose vital signs were very unsteady would probably not make it through the night. There was no family nearby, and so would I be willing to sit with her during her final hours?
In the darkened room all I could focus on was the unevenness of her breaths. Short, panting, long, stopped. A couple of times she stopped breathing, and when I stood to my feet she started again. It was almost as if the sound of my shuffling feet stirred her back. But finally, when the last erratic breaths came and when there was one, long exhale, there was total silence and total peace. It was almost as if her breath was her living soul, and when it left the room, it was like a person walking right out the door.
When he breathed his last breath, Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” The Hebrew and the Greek words for “breath” can also be translated as “spirit” or “wind.” So breath is the most obvious symbol of life itself, and especially that inner animating principle the Bible calls soul. It all began in Genesis: God formed the man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. Amazing. Incredible.
So, if you are reading this, it means your last breath has not come, and your spirit or soul is still animating your body. The pieces of personhood are still together, and you have an extraordinary opportunity to glorify God with what you do in heart, soul, strength, mind, and body in the days you still have. Every day should count. Every breath does count. But you have to believe that these pieces of your life–body and soul, thought and emotion and will, creativity and morality–all hold together, making you a member of the most complex and sophisticated race God ever made. The pieces of what makes you, you, may seem like a puzzle sometime, but they all come together into a picture that God has held in his mind long before you were ever born.

Resources

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