Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Wed Sep 4th Todays News

The ALP are low in the polls, but as former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett reminds, they were in 1999 too, but came back to win and hold Victoria for a long, dark time. In that time they held Victoria, they ruined Victoria's competitiveness, damaged the police, ruined fire protection, damaged education and spent big. The only way to protect Australia's future is to vote for the Liberal National Parties. Christian Democrats are directing their preferences to the ALP in some states. Other ridiculous parties do the same. On the issue of costings, the ALP have failed to show the electorate all of theirs. The Liberals will show the rest of the LNP costings on Thursday, having unveiled all their promises on Wednesday, today. There is much criticism of the LNP costings, but they have shown the bulk a long time ago, unlike the ALP who only released some today. On 7:30 pm Friday night, ABC will air an election special asking "Where did we go wrong?"
Ariel Castro has committed suicide in jail. We have lost the opportunity to ask important questions (like, "Does this hurt?"). Sadly Cuba is still enslaved. Syria is still in pain. Obama is firmly dithering. Egypt smoulders.
To all the relatives who are too many to mention both close and distant wishing you all a Happy spiritual Rosh Hashannah and well over the Fast.

Good Health, Prosperity and a very sweet 5774  

To my numerous facebook friends thank you for sharing your time and thoughts over the last year. Let me also take this opportunity to wish you all luck and blessings whether you are a Jew or not.

The world's birthday is a very special time for all of us symbolising the end of all human sacrifices to false gods.

Let's hope the bad guys get their butts kicked into oblivion with our prayers and hopes bringing goodness and kindness back into our lives despite the new confrontations that face many of those who are not as fortunate.

Remember those who are no longer with us. So far those reading this are the lucky ones.

A good inscription and sealing in the Book of Life.

Shanah tovah
שנה טובה

Ketivah v’chatima tovah
כתיבה וחתימה טובה


Happy birthday and many happy returns Tony BonannoMartin Waterhouseand Elisa Vienna. Born on the same day, across the years, along with Alexander III of Scotland (1241), François-René de Chateaubriand (1768), Dawn Fraser (1937), Merald "Bubba" Knight (1942), Beyoncé Knowles (1981) and Kali Majors (1999). On your day, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) begins at sunset (2013, 5774 AM)
1479 – The Catholic Monarchs of Castile and Aragon signed the Treaty of Alcáçovas with Afonso V of Portugal and his son, John to end the War of the Castilian Succession.
1843 – Teresa Cristina of the Two Sicilies married Pedro II of Brazil at a state ceremony.
1886 – After over 25 years of fighting against the United States Army and the armed forces of Mexico, Geronimo of the Chiricahua Apache surrendered at Skeleton Canyon in Arizona.
1949 – Anti-communist riots erupted after a concert by Paul Robeson near Peekskill, New York, US.
2010 – A 7.1 Mw earthquake struck South Island, New Zealand, causing up to NZ$3.5 billion in damages.
Father and son have that peace treaty. Cristina is safely married. Geronimo has surrendered (Now, isn't peace better?). Paul's song is sung. And the earth moves for NZ. Enjoy your day.


Tim Blair – Wednesday, September 04, 2013 (4:07am)

Miranda Devine visits Brisbane’s Muppets Corner, previously occupied by a pair of elderly Labor supporters campaigning for the Prime Minister: 
One morning, so the story goes, Kevin Rudd drove past and didn’t like what he saw. Perhaps the old guys didn’t fit with his youth-friendly selfie-seeking image.
Whatever his beef, a complaint was relayed to the Labor stalwarts that they looked like the two grumpy old muppets, Statler and Waldorf, who used to heckle the Muppet Show cast from a balcony.
The old guys took the insult in their stride, and the next time they showed up they stuck up a little sign: “Muppets Corner”.
But the day Rudd drafted Beattie onto his team, pushing aside the loyal preselected Labor candidate in Forde, three weeks ago, was the day the muppets could take no more.
The next day they didn’t show up. 
The muppets have been driven from the citadel. This was probably predicted in Kevin’s unique Bible.
UPDATE. Fairfax reports
Privately some Labor MPs concede the best thing for the party, given the scale of the repudiation coming, would be for Mr Rudd to lose his Brisbane seat of Griffith …



Tim Blair – Wednesday, September 04, 2013 (4:00am)

A timely warning from former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett
In 1999, at the start of the final week of the state election campaign, the polls indicated my Coalition would be returned with an increased majority. I warned the media at a press conference that we could still lose. They laughed. But that is what happened …
This election could still be won by Labor with a minority government. The Coalition could still lose. We could be facing another three years of the same sort of leadership we have been experiencing in Canberra for the past six.
Can’t happen? I know it can.
Don’t waste your vote this weekend. 
Good call.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, September 04, 2013 (3:56am)

The gaffe that wasn’t heard around the world: 
Asked to nominate his favourite moment of the campaign, Oakes chooses a Rudd gaffe emitted during a tour of a university facility in Brisbane.
“It was a spoonerism. He spoke about the ‘smart folk’ at one university and the ‘fart smoke’ at another, which I of course put to air that night,” Oakes says laughing. 
A certain other stumble received slightly more attention.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, September 04, 2013 (2:37am)

The elegantly-spoken chap shown being arrested in an old news clip is revealed to be Paul Charles Dozsa, a troubled former chess champion with a fondness for free food. These items date from 1988, although Dozsa was active until2000:

image image

Sadly, Dozsa is said to have died in 2003.


Rudd now cuts what he pretended to save

Andrew Bolt September 04 2013 (5:29pm)

Kevin Rudd, campaign launch, September 1:
I will simply not stand idly by and continue to hand over commonwealth funds to state governments to run Tafe colleges while those state governments cut their own Tafe funding.
Labor today, the damn hypocrites:
LABOR has stripped more than $1.65 billion from federal government departments to fund its election promises, updated election costings reveal.
The cuts include $111 million from TAFE colleges...
Again, Rudd at his launch:
I would simply say this to the Australian people: if you don’t understand how Mr Abbott’s $70bn of cuts will affect your job, your school, your hospital - then don’t vote for him.
Today, Labor reveals its own cuts to education and health:
Labor’s promises are said to be fully offset by savings - listed as “redirections from uncommitted funds”. They include $253 million to be recouped from the Department of Education , Employment and Workplace Relations; $169m from Defence; $274m from the Department of Health and Ageing....


“That’s the one we all have to vote for’

Andrew Bolt September 04 2013 (12:19pm)

Tony Abbott is coming home like a train, if his welcome at Flemington Market is any measure.
(Thanks to reader Michael.) 


Bowen slimed as he slimes

Andrew Bolt September 04 2013 (7:41am)

The biter bit. The slimer slimed:
A FORTNIGHT after Chris Bowen attempted to smear one of his state’s most esteemed police commanders by tying him to convicted criminals, the Treasurer is himself the target of a smear linking his record as a local councillor to the killer behind Australia’s first political assassination.
The battle for the western Sydney seat of McMahon between Mr Bowen and his Liberal opponent, retired police superintendent Ray King, has degenerated into mud-slinging, as NSW’s most senior police retirees have queued up to defend the first-time candidate against the unsubstantiated Labor claims.
But the smear tactics came back at Mr Bowen like a boomerang on Monday night, when the Treasurer urged The Australian not to publish an article revealing he voted to keep paying ALP councillor Phuong Ngo while he was on remand for the murder of state Labor MP John Newman in April 1998.
Mr Bowen, who is touted by Kevin Rudd as a future prime minister, has claimed he was a vocal opponent of the Vietnamese-born powerbroker and that Ngo once threatened to pursue him “to the grave” after he blocked the controversial councillor’s bid for the mayoralty. Any suggestion that he was a supporter of Ngo, he said, was inaccurate and “deeply offensive”. But the fact that Mr Bowen joined seven other councillors to allow the payments to Ngo will likely be used by the Coalition to allege Labor cronyism, just as the ALP has claimed Mr King’s brief appearance at the Wood Royal Commission in 1996 cast doubt on his integrity as a policeman.
I hope Bowen now regrets his politics of smear and publicly repents. 


Abbott groomed for success

Andrew Bolt September 04 2013 (7:16am)


Free at last

Andrew Bolt September 04 2013 (7:06am)

George Brandis, set to be Attorney-General after the election, is promising to restore some of our freedom:

Brandis understands something his Labor predecessors apparently didn’t: fundamental human rights are the birthright of every human being, not legislative gifts bestowed on us by government.
His aim is to reposition freedom, and in particular freedom of speech, at the heart of the human rights debate.
Please let this be so. Brandis is probably of all Tony Abbott’s likely ministers most likely to ensure an Abbott Government, unlike the Howard one, will leave deep cultural footprints.
(Thanks to reader BBqTalk.) 


Murdoch’s anti-Rudd conspiracy grows

Andrew Bolt September 04 2013 (6:37am)

Another newspaper boss seems to be in on this Murdoch anti-Labor conspiracy.
This boss says Labor made a “mistake” switching to the “discredited” Kevin Rudd who “destabilised” his party and was judged by his colleagues as an “incapable Prime Minister”. He “politicised” Treasury by pretending to use Treasury figures to question Coalition costings. Abbott, however, is “sincere” and will “probably make a very good Prime Minister”. His parental scheme “is a good one”, and it’s reasonable Abbott has delayed releasing his full costings. He will have a “mandate” for abolishing the carbon tax and Labor will be “very unwise” to block him.
Oh, and the ABC’s reach is too wide, crowding out private media operators.
So who is this spruiker for the Liberals?  The editor of Murdoch’s Australian? The editor of Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph?
No, it’s the chairman of Fairfax, Roger Corbett.
You can tell he’s no Murdoch man because he’s so ignorant of what the papers have actually run. For instance, he falsely accuses the Telegraph of “putting the prime minister on the front page dressed up as Hitler”. As if:

(Thanks to readers Jeff and Don’t be Vague.) 


Rudd trashes Bible with a misquote

Andrew Bolt September 04 2013 (6:18am)

Another churchman rebukes Kevin Rudd for misquoting and trashing the Bible in which he claims to believe:

RELIGIOUS leaders have sharpened their attacks on Kevin Rudd, citing his hamfisted attempts to argue the biblical case for same-sex marriage in a spirited shellacking of a Christian pastor on Monday night.
Broad views abounded but one of the most prominent Anglicans in the country and Old Testament scholar, the Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, said the Prime Minister was “profoundly wrong” and alleged he had actually quoted Aristotle when he suggested that “slavery is a natural condition” was in the Bible.
“I was disappointed by Mr Rudd’s comments last night in the same way that I was disappointed by the position he announced in May despite, as he said, much reflection,” Dr Davies told The Australian.
“Unfortunately in my view, he has not been reflecting on the teaching of scripture. He misquoted the Bible and attributed to the Bible something that Aristotle said.”
Rudd attacked a pastor on Q&A for holding a position he himself did until this year. The pastor is taken aback:
Mr Prater said yesterday he was still undecided about whether homosexuality was “a choice” or not, but he was surprised by Mr Rudd’s aggressive demeanour when replying.
I thought he was a bit rough. And I thought he was a bit patronising. But I was a bit shocked because I feel we have to have a reasonable rational discussion about this.
“I’ve been called all sorts of terrible things on Twitter and I’ve been attacked as a homophobe.”


ABC nearly covers the AWU scandal

Andrew Bolt September 04 2013 (6:01am)

The ABC finally reports on the court hearing involving a police investigation into the AWU scandal and Julia Gillard’s involvement. But that slip is quickly corrected:

From yesterday’s police application to the court:

The matter police are seeking to establish:

Note: Julia Gillard denies she did anything wrong in this matter, when she acted as her then boyfriend’s solicitor, and denies she knew of or profited from any scam involving the AWU or Bruce Wilson.
(Thanks to reader one opinion.) 


ABC warmists admit a pause in warming the ABC wouldn’t report

Andrew Bolt September 04 2013 (5:15am)

Fascinating. ABC warming preachers, present and ex, are finally acknowledging a fact the ABC largely refused to even report - that the world has not been warming for 15 years.
Take Jonathan Holmes, who as Media Watch host attacked sceptics of apocalyptic man-made warming:
Six years ago, Rudd won government, at least in part, by portraying John Howard as yesterday’s man on climate change. Now neither party wants to mention the phrase, because voters have stopped caring.

What’s changed? A lot of things… The climate itself hasn’t changed enough: global atmospheric temperatures have remained stubbornly stable for more than a decade and a half.
ABC Radio National Breakfast presenter Fran Kelly:
How do these record [Australian] temperatures fit in with the hiatus or slow down in rising global mean surface temperatures over the past 15 years?
Why did the ABC for 14 years refuse to report on a puzzling pause in global warming and demonise those who did? Why only in the 15th year refer to it, and then only in passing?
Yet even the refusal of the world to warm as the warmists predicted cannot shake the faith of a believer. Holmes again:
As our interest has waned, the scientists’ warnings have become more urgent, not less; the degree of certainty that global warming is happening, and is human-induced, has increased, not diminished.
Maybe the scientists are wrong. Maybe, in 20 years, people like me will be shamefacedly admitting we were duped by a conspiracy of greenies; or the scientists themselves will confess they followed the money and not the evidence.
But I doubt it. Far more likely, in 20 years’ time, it will be all too obvious that the science was right all along. Global temperatures and sea levels will be remorselessly rising, and it will by then be vastly more difficult and expensive to slow the process, let alone to reverse it.
I’m puzzled by that time frame Holmes suggests - that in 20 years we’ll finally see the apocalyptic man-made warming warmists warned of.
That suggests this 15-year pause will last at least another decade or more until Holmes says “I told you so”.  That suggests a 25 year pause in warming.
But that, my dear Holmes, would prove climate models are completely broken and worthless. Hear it from IPCC author and warmist Hans von Storch:
United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change lead author Hans von Storch told Der Spiegel that climate models are having a difficult time replicating the lack of global warming during the past 15 years…
If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models...”
Remember how another former Media Watch host literally refused to listen six years ago when I noted this pause in the warming - the pause ABC warmists now concede?


Remember how ABC science presenter Dr Karl was as recently as February falsely denying any pause in warming?


Labor to die defending a useless tax it wants gone

Andrew Bolt September 04 2013 (4:50am)

Kevin Rudd, July 16:

Today we’ve taken the decision to terminate the carbon tax.
Rudd, August 25:
I don’t think our actions on the carbon tax were right, that’s why I changed it to move towards a floating price,” the Prime Minister told ABC TV.
“To begin with, we didn’t have a mandate for it.”
Labor now admits it had no mandate for a carbon tax it promises to “terminate”, yet - what madness, what deceit - seems determined to block its repeal in the Senate:
Labor is shaping, in Abbott’s words, to “commit political suicide twice” by pledging to use the Labor-Greens control of the Senate to keep the carbon tax and force voters back to the polls next year for a double-dissolution election on the tax.

While refusing to entertain “hypothetical” questions about Labor’s attitude in opposition to the carbon tax Rudd made it clear he thought Labor was on the “right side of history” and would remain so into the future.
Deputy Labor leader and potential opposition leader Anthony Albanese was even blunter about not changing, and Environment Minister Mark Butler entrenched Labor’s refusal to repeal the carbon tax.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ...  threatened to block the Coalition’s direct action plan, possibly forcing another election should Tony Abbott become prime minister…
Asked whether carbon pricing was ‘’an article of faith’’ for Labor now and in the future, Mr Rudd said: ‘’Absolutely. Carbon pricing is fundamental to how you deal with climate change.‘’
Labor will argue that it isn’t defending the carbon tax but the emissions trading scheme that’s meant to replace it next year under Labor policy, rather than let it be replaced by the Coalition’s “Direct Action”.  But the effect is much the same. Labor’s opposition (with Greens support) would protect the carbon tax, both as a fixed price scheme for now and as a floating-price scheme after that.
Labor broke its promise to never give us a carbon tax, and now threatens to break its promise to get rid of it.
And when you consider it’s prepared to face annihilation in defence of a tax - fixed or floating - that will make zero difference to global warming anyway....  well, completely insane.
Paul Kelly:
... if Labor does resist, then Abbott will drive another wedge through Labor’s voting base. He has tabled his attack: the carbon tax is a symbol of how Labor sold its soul to the Greens; if Labor keeps voting for a carbon price/tax then alienated voters will know that Labor is a lost cause.
Abbott, as PM, would use the authority of office and Labor’s dogmatic support for the carbon tax to steal even more of its voting base. How much will be left? At what point does Labor dogmatism on carbon become a fatal blunder?
In summary, Labor is trapped. If it stands by its policy it loses even more of its centrist voting base to Abbott. But if it surrenders to Abbott then Labor will be denounced as a party of sell-outs and lose its leftist base to the Greens.


Abbott chooses another can-do type:  Molan as fixer on boat people

Andrew Bolt September 04 2013 (4:32am)

Tony Abbott has already selected Warren Mundine, the former Labor national president, to help put more Aborigines into jobs and schools.
Now he makes an equally impressive appointment of a man equally focussed on outcomes above ideology:
TONY Abbott will appoint decorated war veteran Major General Jim Molan as a personal “troubleshooter” on asylum seekers to convince Indonesia to sign up to the Coalition’s Operation Sovereign Borders policy…
“I will be the fixer,” Major General Molan told The Daily Telegraph yesterday… “I will be concentrating on a number of countries to make sure we have a regional deterrence framework.”
Major General Molan has lived and worked in Indonesia as a military attache and has close ties with senior military and political figures in Jakarta.
He was also the chief of operations of the allied forces in Iraq with responsibility for the operations in Fallujah, regarded as one of the most challenging military operations of the war.
Both appointments suggest an Abbott Government will be intensely practical. 


Did Rudd think gays were abnormal in May? UPDATE: Or did he just watch West Wing?

Andrew Bolt September 03 2013 (7:30pm)

Tim Blair notes the disgusting sanctimony of a Prime Minister who until as recently as May this year opposed gay marriage - but now abuses an opponent, Christian pastor, to the applause of a Q&A crowd:

Note how Christian Rudd personalises the exchange, demanding to know if his questioner believes “homosexuality is abnormal”. It’s bullying, but it plays well to a whooping Q & A crowd who don’t appreciate that Rudd and the targeted audience member were on the same side just 107 days ago.
Rudd once argued his own opposition to same-sex marriage was not based on a belief that homosexuality was abnormal:
“On the institution of marriage itself, our view is between a man and woman and it’s just been our traditional, continuing view,” Mr Rudd said…
Asked if he would change his mind if one of his three children were gay and wanted to marry, Mr Rudd said, “I would love them equally and that’s not the issue here, it’s just not…
“When it comes to respecting people in same-sex relationships I understand the absolute importance of that… I don’t have a view at all that people in such relationship are in any way second-class citizens, at all.”
But now Rudd the convert want to make a Christian pastor seem a gay-hating bigot for holding exactly the view that he once did.
Reader Thumbnail:

In my view only the hard left audience would think that Mr Rudd’s response was acceptable. Mr Rudd tried to humiliate the Pastor who was representing the sincere views of his Christian community. For Mr Rudd to deliberately verbal him, and misuse the authority of public office, and the megaphone of media is truly a new low, even for him. I hope that the good Pastor will come out and decry this sort of bullying.
Sandy Grant, senior minister at St Michael’s Anglican Cathedral in Wollongong, says Kevin Rudd, a professed Christian, misrepresented the Bible on Q&A:
Last night, on a serious Australian current affairs program, Q&A, our current serving Prime Minister, a self-professed Christian, grossly caricatured the Bible.
A pastor questioned the PM’s change of mind on same-sex marriage, pointing out that Jesus says, “A man shall leave his father and mother and be married"—summarising Matthew 19:4-6—and asked why someone calling himself a Christian does not believe the words of Jesus in the Bible.
The PM replied,

“Well if I was going to have that view, the Bible also says that slavery is a natural condition.”
This received the most enormous applause of the night, which incidentally seems to indicate both the depth of biblical illiteracy and the hostility to Christian morality…
I am appalled at how this national leader, publicly claiming “an informed conscience and a Christian conscience”, misrepresented the Holy Book of the faith he confesses, on its teaching on one matter (slavery) to avoid its teaching on another matter (of marriage), in order to justify his abandonment of that biblical teaching…
Let’s be clear. Even a cursory reading of the Bible would tell you it never says slavery is a “natural condition”. Never. Not once…
One of the paradigmatic episodes of the Old Testament is the Exodus. It involves God’s rescue of his people out of slavery! ...
In the New Testament, as in the Old, the slave trade is condemned out of hand with various other grievous sins. 1 Timothy 1:8-11 says,
We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. (NIV11)
How is any of that teaching that slavery is a natural condition?
But more than that, freedom is always a key goal of the Christian gospel… Slavery is never once taught in Scripture as the natural condition. Rather, if you can gain your freedom, do so.
I am deeply sorry to say it—and all the more in an election week—but our Prime Minister convicted the Bible on a trumped up charge. How sad for someone in high office, publicly professing the Christian faith.
Kevin Rudd gets his religious understanding from West Wing:
Kevin Rudd’s much tweeted and Facebooked response to a pastor’s challenge on his recent decision to support gay marriage bears a suspicious similarity to a line from a famous episode of the US television series The West Wing…
Voice dripping with disdain, President Bartlet tells Dr Jacobs he likes her show.

President: I like how you call homosexuality an abomination. Dr Jacobs: I don’t say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr President. The Bible does.
President: Yes it does. Leviticus.
Dr Jacobs: 18.22
President: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned by Exodus 22.7.  

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Photo: Economic management and growing national wealth must be the primary tasks of the next government. Let’s start with simplifying tax. #2BIG2IGNORE #makeanoiseincanberra
Economic management and growing national wealth must be the primary tasks of the next government. Let’s start with simplifying tax. #2BIG2IGNORE #makeanoiseincanberra

''שמע ישראל ה' אלוהינו ה' אחד''
"Listen Israel, the Lord is our G-d... and He is the only One." Deuteronomy 6:4
In honor of Rosh Hashana ( The Jewish New Year) ,tomorrow, we at Yad Ezra V'Shulamit are giving out 12,000 food baskets to needy families, here in Israel.
Hundreds of volunteers have already been amazing at helping to support, package anddeliver baskets of food and we are always looking for partners to help in this tremendous act of kindness for others.
A small donation goes a long way, of time or money.
If you are in Israel and would like to volunteer, or not in Israel and would like to help, we are accepting donations to assist in the cost and effectiveness of feeding these families. $80 makes a big difference.

Max Wallack with Wendy Qiu, who heads the Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry in Aging at Boston University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center. (photo credit: Vernon Doucette/JTA)
For four years he helped his parents take care of her and saw firsthand the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on her. But Wallack also noticed that when she and other Alzheimer’s patients would do simple jigsaw puzzles, their mood would lighten.

David Bowles

A quick, rough translation of Petrarch's Sonnet 104, because I'm me and that's just what I do at 11 pm. 

I find no peace, yet I've no will to make war,
And I fear, and hope, and burn, and become ice: 
I soar above heaven, then lay upon earth;
Nothing do I hold though I everything embrace.

So I'm kept in a cell he neither opens nor shuts,
He won't claim me as his or release the reins,
Though Love doesn't kill me, he won't break the chains;
He doesn't want me living, but he won't set me free.

I see without eyes; have no tongue, yet I scream;
I yearn to die though I cry out for aid;
And I hate myself so I can love someone else:

I feed on my pain; crying, I laugh;
Life and death bring me equal grief.
What a state you've put me in, my dear.



In tonight's Talking Points Memo, Bill O'Reillymade the case for the United States taking military action against the Assad regime in #Syria. Do you agree with Bill?
Say NO to War with Syria!

Sign our petition:


Haunted, Old, Beautiful Mansions, Castles and Spooky Deserted Asylums
Elias Lowenstein was a leader in the Memphis Jewish community.

He served as president of Temple Isreal for 15 years. He contributed liberally to rebuilding the city after the disastrous 1870's yellow fever epidemics. In 1891 Elias Lowenstein built a mansion which was Memphis' most important Victorian Romanesque residence and one of the finest of its styles in the South. 

After his death in 1919, his family donated it to the Nineteenth Century Club for use as a residence for young working women who did not have family in the city and, therefore, under social customs of the day were expected to live in a protected environment. A porch with cupola was removed in 1929 for construction of an annex.

Elias Lowenstein House - 1891: Elias Lowenstein, born in Germany, emigrated to Memphis in 1854. In Memphis he headed, B. Lowenstein and Bros. a Department Store, which was prominent in the city for 125 years. Lowenstein was a leader in the Jewish community and served as president of Temple Isreal for 15 years. He also contributed liberally to rebuilding the city after the disastrous 1870's yellow fever epidemics. In 1891 he built this mansion which is the cities most important Victorian Romanesque residence and one of the finest of its styles in the South. After his death in 1919, his family donated it to the Nineteenth Century Club for use as a residence for young working women who didn't have family in the city and, under social customs of the day, were expected to live in a protected environment.

• Follow me Amanda on my other great page ASAP 


The column, “Sex Between Students and Teachers Should Not Be a Crime,” has stirred up controversy since appearing in The Washington Post over the weekend. Former attorney Betsy Karasik wrote the opinion piece in reaction to Montana Judge Todd Baugh sentencing a teacher to 30 days in jail for raping 14-year-old who subsequently committed suicide. That sentence has been overturned.

Read more:

Bill O'Reilly is correct, it is outrageous .. ed



#BREAKING Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro found dead in his prison cell

4 her




Cory Bernardi
The fact is that the Greens are putting our nation at risk. 

SHARE this message with your friends and make sure they know all the facts before polling day
The high heel pedCAT scan. Picture: Screengrab, YouTube

THE first 3D scan of a female foot in high heels has highlighted the painful price fashion- conscious women may pay for tottering around in towering Christian Louboutins or Jimmy Choos.
Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Andy Goldberg says all the body weight gets forced on to the front of the feet, eventually causing unsightly clawed toes that can become arthritic.
Wearing stilettos pushes and twists bones out of line, resulting in knobbly bunions and other painful conditions.
The picture above was taken with a new $340,000 scanner at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in North London. The PedCAT machine, the first of its kind in the UK, does a 360-degree scan of the patient's feet in just 60 seconds.
Doctors can then view the resultant 3D image from every angle, spinning it around to view the foot from above, below and the side. It also takes 600 2D views of the foot.
Mr Goldberg, a foot and ankle specialist, said the technology was a major advance over traditional 2D X-rays, which could lead to misdiagnoses.
"The scanner gives us much more information"' he said.
'It shows the deformity caused by wearing high heels is much more complicated than we previously thought.
"With high heels, the toes are squashed inside the shoe. The more stiletto-shaped they are, the worse it is. The toes not only get squashed, but they become clawed too." The base of the big toe becomes 'deviated outwards', forming a bunion, while the scanner also shows how these bones can become 'rotated and dropped'.
Pea-shaped bones under the base of the big toe - called sesamoids - get dislodged by the immense pressures put on them.
"There's nothing wrong with being in this high heel position temporarily - it forms a part of your normal stride. And if you wear heels for an hour or two at an evening party, it's not a problem" Mr Goldberg said.
"But if you wear them for eight hours a day for years on end, you will develop problems."
Before the high heel pedCAT scan. Picture: Screengrab, YouTube
Before the high heel pedCAT scan. Picture: Screengrab, YouTube
It wasn't just middle-aged women who suffered, he said. "It's not uncommon for me to see teenage girls in my clinic. They are usually accompanied by their mothers, who tell them, 'Look, the doctor says you should be wearing sensible shoes!' But I try not to get involved with family politics too much.
"If you have got a family history of high heel wearers and you wear them a lot, you are pretty much guaranteed to develop bunions," he said.
"If you are not genetically predisposed, wearing high heels may accelerate bunions.
"Foot and ankle problems affect your walking and take over your life. There's a saying that if you want to take someone's mind off a problem, put them in tight shoes."
A survey of patients at the hospital's foot and ankle clinic found that 57 per cent had experienced severe pain as a result of wearing uncomfortable shoes such as high heels.
And 86 per cent claimed they found it difficult finding comfortable shoes. In truth, the internet is now awash with firms which offer sensible footwear in fashionable shades.
"People don't like doctors like me saying, 'Your shoes are a problem.' If I suggest they buy themselves some comfy shoes, I'm liable to get punched in the face." Mr Goldberg added. He also claimed some patients exaggerated the pain their bunions caused to get them surgically removed - so they could then continue to squeeze their feet into fashionable shoes.
Mr Goldberg said the damage caused by high heels was nothing new: "We have always been slaves to fashions that have led to deformity.
"But what we should be doing is fitting people's shoes around their feet, rather than the other way around.
"If a fashion icon such as Victoria Beckham designed a range of shoes that really fitted our feet, then that would be a real game-changer."
Victoria Beckham attends party to celebrate 40th anniversary of Range Rover. Picture: Supplied.



John Boehner and Eric Cantor announce support for Obama on Syria ==>

Dean Hamstead'

Making new "rights" pretty much always means siezing private property. Moralise all you like, you are just justifying theft.

In the latest attempt at property porn, a real estate agent has produced a controversial video in a bid to sell a house in Thornlands, south-east of Brisbane.
In the footage, posted to YouTube August 29, agent Mark Mason takes viewers on a tour of the house, but with a few added extras  - including sexual innuendo galore thanks to a gaggle of girls scantily dressed in bikinis.
Mark Mason's real estate ad includes a walk through of the entire house. Source: YouTube
Along with the women utilising the property's bath tub, pool, and bedrooms, Mason produces place cards advertising the benefits and features of the house, cleverly intertwining them with what's happening in the background.
Mr Mason defended the clip, telling he flagged the idea with the current owners - a family - who were initially “a bit scared” but approved the footage once they saw the final cut.
“I couldn’t sleep for two days. It was a risk, I thought it would be a problem, but everyone has loved it, from all ages,” he said.
“I didn’t want to come across as sexist. If Coca-Cola, Calvin Klein and all the other big brands can do it, why can’t a real estate do it? Times are changing, real estate can be boring, but when I do something fun and funny, I have people coming through my homes laughing and relaxed. 
“They believe we are human and we are doing something different.”
"Ezquisitely crafted": Mark Mason's imaginative way of selling houses. Source: YouTube
And at a whopping $20,000 price tag for the entire production, here’s hoping it’s worth it.
Mr Mason, from Mason Properties, said he was 100 per cent positive the property will sell.
"That was the risk, because my reputation is very important. I’m a very well trusted real estate agent."
The property will go under the hammer on September 28, with Mr Mason confirming the girls will also be in attendance to spur on sales.
Continue the conversation via Twitter @masonproperties |@the_mattyoung
Mark Mason's has used scantily clad women in a real estate ad. Source: YouTube

.. the girls will be in attendance for the auction .. quite right too .. and they were paid for it, so the PM approves ... ed

Legacy Machine No.2 with platinum case. Two flying balance wheels and one raised planetary differential celebrating 250 years of history. For more please visit

SANFORD, Fla. —Local treasure hunters are counting their latest discovery after they found hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gold off the Florida coast.

Read more:


Even as her country burns around her, it seems that image is still everything Asma al-Assad. 
The wife of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has apparently embarked on yet another pricey shopping spree, buying luxury products from furniture to health products, according to the Daily Express.
Asma al-Assad, a health fanatic obsessed with her weight and her public image, has reportedly embarked upon what some might term as "retail therapy" since the eruption of the vicious Syrian civil war in 2011, which has killed more than 100,000 people and still poses a serious challenge to the rule - and perhaps the life - of her husband and his inner circle.
Last year, leaked emails showed she ordered luxury furniture worth £270,000 from London’s fashionable King’s Road. A more recent purchase included a set of Bohemian-style crystal chandeliers from Prague.
Mrs Assad is said to be hiding out in a bomb-proof bunker, as the US mulls a possible strike in relation for the regime's use of chemical weapons to kill more than 1,000 people, mostly civilians, in what now appears to have been a desperate attempt to push back against rebel advances in the country's capital Damascus.
She is reportedly banned from watching western media outlets in case their reporting of the civil war "depresses" her.
In response to the recent revelations, Ayman Abdel Nour, a former Assad adviser, derided Syria's first lady as heartless.
"She is obsessed by how chic and beautiful she looks. She continues to lead a life of utter luxury," he said "That’s all that matters to her."


The staunch Land of Israel advocates in Likud's ranks are worried by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's attempts to reach an interim agreement with the Palestinian Authority, in which a Palestinian state will be established within temporary borders.
Channel 2 reported Monday evening that in a closed meeting of Likud members that included Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon sharply attacked the idea of an interim state, and warned the prime minister against bringing it to the government's approval.
"What will happen if, G-d forbid, the negotiations lead to an agreement, and the prime minister will bring the agreement to the government? They are talking about an interim agreement,” he said. “If an accord like that is presented, the Likud movement must tell whoever is advancing such an arrangement: 'you do not belong in Likud.'”
"These days, the 20th anniversary of the Oslo Accords is being marked and, rather than admitting failure, the Oslo gang is trying to lead to an interim arrangement in which the State of Israel will give away the majority of its assets and will not receive anything in return,” added Danon.
“Such an arrangement contrary to the DNA of the Likud and the national camp and anyone who supports it  - his place will not be in the Likud,” he said.
Last week, Danon said that he is "very disturbed” by the diplomatic efforts: 
“I look at the diplomatic negotiations team and I ask myself, who represents the interests of the state of Israel in the negotiations? Who represents the national camp? I respect Livni but she does not represent the national camp. She does not represent the settlers and their numerous supporters. I am very concerned by the fact that the team of Martin Indyk, Tzipi Livni and [PA negotiator Saeb] Erekat is leading us to the days of [Ehud] Olmert and the dividing of Jerusalem, to an agreement that speaks of a retreat from most of the territory in Judea and Samaria.”
"There is no doubt that if negotiations ripen to an agreement by Minister Tzipi Livni and the Israeli government to surrender, the Likud movement will be put to the test, and Likud ministers will have to take a stand and decide if they are loyal to the Likud's path or if they choose to be led by Tzipi Livni, and – in this case – the prime minister. It is my understanding that we are not there and my hope that we will not be there.”


The leader of Yemen's embattled and dwindling Jewish community has spoken of his community's harrowing struggle to survive, in a rare interviewwith Yemen Today TV.
Rabbi Yahya Youssef Salem'sinterview, translated by theMiddle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), provides a rare glimpse into the tragic existence of the few remaining Jews in the Middle East's poorest country; trapped between Muslim extremists and unsympathetic government officials, and forced to completely submit their fate to state authorities just to survive.
At the start of the 20th century there were more than 60,000 Jews in Yemen. One of the most ancient Diaspora communities, according to Jewish traditions the first Jews moved to Yemen during the reign of the Biblical King Solomon, around 900 BCE.
But by 2009, following centuries of persecution - which reached fever pitch after 1948, as Jews throughout the Muslim world were targeted in "revenge" for Arab military defeats and the establishment of the State of Israel - the community had shrunk to just 400 or so. Most Yemeni Jews emigrated to Israel during the famous "Operation Magic Carpet" operation to evacuate them between 1949-1950.
By 2012, a resurgent campaign of anti-Semitic violence caused most of the few Jews who remained to either flee the country (mainly to Israel, but also to the US and Europe), or seek sanctuary in a government compound in the capital Sana'a, under the protection of the country's then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
That violence included the murder of Jewish schoolteacher Moshe Nahari in 2008, and of community leader Aaron Zindani in 2010. Both of their families subsequently fled to Israel.
Threats by Al Qaeda-linked groups on the one hand, and Shia Islamist "Houthi" rebels on the other, have forced many of the remaining Jews to flee their homes, seeking refuge in the Sana'a government compound.
And since the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2012, things have taken a turn for the worse.
Today, there are only around 90 Jews remaining in Yemen, most of whom live in the Sana'a government compound. 45 Yemeni Jews have emigrated to Israel since the beginning of this year alone.
In an indication of just how closely the community is monitored by the Yemeni authorities, the interviewer notes that she was forced to seek special clearance from the Interior Ministry just to speak to Rabbi Salem, and accused the government of discriminating against its Jewish minority.
When asked why he "accepts" the situation, despite the fact that she has never needed official clearance to interview anyone before, a nervous-looking Rabbi Salem cautiously responds that "we are Yemenis, and we represent the country, so they [the Interior Ministry] need to give their approval," and insists that his community "take[s] care to preserve the good name of our country."
Rabbi Salem also explains how he was forced to cut off his peyot (sidecurls), traditionally grown long by Yemenite Jews, as a result of regular harassment by local Muslims.
Decrying attempts to evict them from their last remaining refuge by the country's Finance Minister - who claims his ministry can no longer fund the leasing of the building they are living in - the Rabbi recounts how the Jews of Sa'ada province, in the north of the country, were forced from their homes by Houthi rebels:
"They took our homes, our land, our cars - they even took my historical library!" he lamented to the openly sympathetic interviewer.
Human rights group Amnesty International has in the past called on the Yemeni government to protect its Jewish citizens, declaring that it is “deeply concerned for the safety of members of the Jewish community in northwestern Yemen following the killing of one member of the community and anonymous serious threats to others to leave Yemen or face death.”
But statements and sympathies aside, little hope remains for the Jewish community of Yemen.
Last month, the Jewish Agency coordinated a complex, secret operation to evacuate 17 more community members, reuniting them with familymembers who had been staying in a third country since escaping earlier in the year.
Those Jews who remain are either elderly or, like Rabbi Salem, community leaders who do not wish to leave their flock behind. But despite his valiant efforts Yemen appears destined to join the long list of Arab countries whose Jewish communities have been driven to extinction.


There are no simple solutions to the horrors unfolding in Syria. Had the West responded sooner, there might have been a remote chance for moderates within the rebel camp to form a functional political authority. Today, that possibility is inconceivable.
Now the forces of darkness and evil dominate the behavior of the government and rebels alike. The depths of unimaginable barbarism to which both parties have descended exceed the worst horror films.
Merely a few kilometers from Israel’s border in Damascus, President Bashar al-Assad has been butchering and massacring his own people for two years. He has now added chemical weapons to his arsenal. US Secretary of State John Kerry, who, until recently considered Assad a “reformer,” has condemned Assad’s chemical weapons attack as defying “any code of morality” and representing a “moral obscenity.”
The Iranian terrorist regime and its Lebanese terrorist extension, Hezbollah, fully support Assad. Together, they have concocted the ultimate evil witch’s brew.  It is shocking that for reasons of realpolitik Russia supports these terrorists in order to bolster its regional influence. It represents Moscow’s most shameful foreign policy initiative since the overthrow of the Evil Empire. The Syrian rebels are guilty of perpetrating similar if not even more grotesque atrocities. Dominated by fanatical jihadists, including Al Qaeda elements committed to global sharia and martyrdom, they have murdered innocent Sunni women and children. They revel in committing vile atrocities, some even descending to the depths of public displays of barbaric acts of cannibalism.
Victory by either side will have disastrous effects on the region. If Assad retains even partial power, Iranian’s state terrorists will consider it a victory. If the rebels succeed, Syria will be controlled by jihadist packs. Unspeakable brutality will inevitably follow. Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, succinctly summed up the situation: “Syria is…mired in carnage between the brutality of Assad and various affiliates of Al Qaeda”.
Within this context, why should the West get involved? Why not let a plague descend on both houses?
Because it is unacceptable for the civilized world to abrogate morality and stand aside as innocent civilians are massacred. If we remain spectators to the mass murder and gassings of innocent civilians, we will be providing a green light to other cruel regimes to act similarly. We will lose our humanity. It will revive memories of the world which stood by as Jews were being exterminated in the Nazi Holocaust.
Intervention is a risky business. Time and again efforts to apply external pressure – especially on authoritarian Arab regimes – have proven to be counterproductive. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and even Egypt, crude attempts at imposing democracy have resulted in the ascendency of fundamentalist Islamic regimes with human rights records far worse than their predecessors.
Nonetheless, the West, led by the US, must act decisively. Despite division within Congress and American opposition to another military intervention, President Obama must deliver on his repeated threats of military action should Assad cross the red line of chemical weapons usage.
Initially Obama tried to fudge the issue, claiming that the US requires approval from the United Nations before embarking on a military initiative, but he faces pressures to act from Britain, France, Turkey and Arab countries. If Obama fails to respond now, Iran, North Korea and other rogue states will have little to fear as they continue in their defiant marches toward nuclear capability.
The risks associated with targeted strikes at chemical weapons arsenals are high. Massive casualties amongst innocent civilians and fallouts are possible. Additionally, there is doubt as to whether US intelligence can accurately identify and ensure the destruction of underground arsenals.
Overall, the current US response has been appalling. It has formally assured Assad that it will restrict its punitive military response to “limited strikes” over a number of days, and stressed that it is not seeking to bring about regime change.
This mere rap over the knuckles is hardly likely to act as a deterrent and the killing business will proceed as in the past. In fact, Assad is likely to boast that he defeated the US and the Western alliance. It will not reassure those concerned about the failure of the US to stand by its commitments and allies. It will certainly not allay Israel’s concerns about the US standing by its undertakings concerning the Iranian nuclear threat.
Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal has urged that the  US concentrate on military strikes designed to kill Assad and his principal henchmen. Stephens correctly notes that if President Obama could boast about how he finished Osama bin Laden “with a bullet to the head and another to the heart,” he should have no inhibitions about doing likewise to a mass murderer like Bashar Assad.
Targeted assassinations would avoid becoming enmeshed in a ground war like the US faced in Iraq and Afghanistan. They would serve as a deterrent to other tyrants who would fear for their own lives if they behaved similarly and they would send a signal to the Iranians that the US is not the toothless tiger it often appears to be.
This would neither empower Al Qaeda and the Jihadists nor necessarily lead to an immediate regime change, but it might accelerate division of the country which, from a humanitarian viewpoint, represents the best possible outcome and would limit the civilian massacre which would inevitably result if either party achieves total supremacy.
The writer’s website can be viewed at
He may be contacted at
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By Truman Brody-Boyd
A 16 year-old returns from the Jewish State with a fresh perspective --- and a message to the administration | We live in an age where Big Brother is, in fact, watching. I'm 16 and have grown up surrounded by super advanced technology. Smart phones can tell you what caused the beginning of the yellow fever outbreak in the United States during the 1800s in seconds. My laptop can show me a video someone in Sweden uploaded minutes ago. An IMessage group text can help me get with friends I want to hang with and meet them in a matter of minutes, using my phone's GPS to find the location of the nearest Pizza Hut (which has an app that gives me the address).
So, I don't mind the security when it doesn't hinder me physically. The phone call monitors or the security cameras don't slow me down, they don't make me change the way I live or the things I carry in my bag. Because I've grown up with all of this around me, I'm used to it and don't notice it. But the older generations certainly do, and the NSA scandal has shaken them up. Most above the age of 30 or 40 have been cautious about the oncoming of all this technology.
But when I traveled to Israel in July, American security measures were put into perspective.
Even flying to get to Israel requires more security than regular TSA checks, and Americans think those are awful. If you fly EL AL, the Israeli airline, before you even check in you get screened. A representative from the airline interviews you about your luggage. If they suspect it's been tampered with or suspect that you're lying, you must get your bag screened and -- occasionally -- unpacked. Then, as you board, carry-on luggage is randomly selected to be put with the checked bags.
American security seem reasonable yet?

Middle East scholar Mordechai Kedar explains how Arab states can’t make lasting peace with Israel as a result of their internal squabbles…specifically Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinians.

Some people say that Arabs are "native Palestinians", while Jews are
"invaders" and "settlers". But I read the biographies of Israeli and
Palestinian political leaders, and I was confused. Who of Israeli or
Palestinian leaders were born in Palestine?


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, Born 21 October 1949 in Tel Aviv.

EHUD BARAK, Born 12 February 1942 in Mishmar HaSharon, British Mandate of

ARIEL SHARON, Born 26 February 1928 in Kfar Malal, British Mandate of

EHUD OLMERT, Born 30 September 1945 in Binyamina-Giv'at Ada, British Mandate
of Palestine.

ITZHAK RABIN, Born 1 March 1922 in Jerusalem, British Mandate of Palestine.

ITZHAK NAVON, Israeli President in 1977-1982. Born 9 April 1921 in
Jerusalem, British Mandate of Palestine.

EZER WEIZMAN, Israeli President in 1993-2000. Born 15 June 1924 in Tel Aviv,
British Mandate of Palestine.


YASSER ARAFAT, Born 24 August 1929 in Cairo, Egypt

SAEB ERAKAT, Born April 28, 1955, in Jordan. He has the Jordanian

FAISAL ABDEL QADER AL-HUSSEINI, Born in1948 in Bagdad, Iraq.

SARI NUSSEIBEH, Born in 1949 in Damascus, Syria.

MAHMOUD AL-ZAHAR, Born in 1945, in Cairo, Egypt.

So, Israeli leaders, born in Palestine, are “settlers or invaders,” while
Palestinian Arab leaders who were born in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Tunisia are
“native Palestinians” ?


It is becoming increasingly difficult to respond with any degree of courteous civility to the advocates of the so-called “two-state-solution” (TSS).

Binyamin Netanyahu, Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat
Binyamin Netanyahu, Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat Photo: REUTERS
Minister Naftali Bennett’s remarks, rejecting outright the vision of two states for two peoples, are stunningly shortsighted

David Harris, American Jewish Committee executive director, June 17, 2013 

Since we cannot defeat Israel in war, we do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish a sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel

– Yasser Arafat, Jordanian TV, September 13, 1993 (the day he signed the Oslo Accords on the White House Lawn) 

The idea of a two-state solution should be dead, today, because unfortunately a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria would bring about Israel’s demise– Yuval Steinitz, The Jerusalem Post, September 14, 2008

It is becoming increasingly difficult to respond with any degree of courteous civility to the advocates of the socalled “two-state-solution” (TSS). Maintaining the shabby pretense is simply proving too perilous. The time has come to dispense with the false façade of social decorum and to call a spade, a spade, to deem the moronic, “moronic” and the myopic, “myopic.”

Dangerous, delusional dogma

This applies equally to longstanding supporters of this dangerous delusion, who resolutely refuse to acknowledge error – despite the manifest misery and mayhem its misguided pursuit has wrought; and to recent neophytes, who have inexplicably, and inexcusably, embraced this patently preposterous policy proposal – despite their past opposition to it being unequivocally vindicated.

Likewise, it applies to senior Israeli policy-makers, who have shown neither the necessary intellectual depth nor daring to formulate a cogent counterparadigm, and thus have been coerced into endorsing this disproven dogma; and to leaders of allegedly pro-Zionist organizations in the Diaspora – principally the US – who, whether for reasons of political naiveté, or social nicety, have perversely embraced the establishment of an illiberal Muslim tyranny as the litmus test of refined liberalism.

Belief in the inevitable implementation of the TSS-paradigm as the format for resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict has acquired the status of a quasi-religious article of faith, whose validity is self-evident, requiring no proof.

Any expressions of doubt as to its practical feasibility, or conceptual soundness, can be dismissed as misguided – even malicious – heresy, no matter how convincing the empirical evidence or compelling the analytical rationale on which they draw.

Similarly, any person expounding such “heretical doubts” must be belittled, berated and besmirched, no matter how powerful and persuasive the arguments for his/her case may be.

As evidence continues to accumulate, showing how implausible the pursuit of Palestinian statehood is almost certain to prove as a measure for attaining a peaceable resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the reaction of TSSadherents waxes evermore harsh and hysterical.

Shortsighted or starry-eyed?Recently, a typical example of such reprehensible behavior was provided by David Harris, the executive director of the influential AJC.

Responding to a remark by Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett regarding Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to relaunch negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Harris castigated him for dubbing endeavors to establish a Palestinian state as futile and having reached a dead-end.

Harris bristled at Bennett’s outright rejection of “the vision of two states for two peoples,” warning that it was “stunningly shortsighted” and “offers only the prospect of a dead-end strategy of endless conflict and growing isolation for Israel.”

Of course, quite the opposite is true. For over the past two post-Oslo decades, ever since Israel has accepted the notion of two states for two peoples, the conflict with the Palestinians has escalated and Israel’s isolation has increased – far beyond levels that existed when such an idea was considered a perfidious anathema.

Accordingly, it would be much closer to the truth to assert that anyone who still clings to the vision (read “nightmare”) of two states for two peoples is, at best, hopelessly – and hazardously – starry- eyed.

Complete claptrap

After all, given the physical devastation and the political delegitimization the pursuit of the TSS-“vision” has left in its wake, together with the high probability and horrendous cost of failure in the future, it would seem that it is its proponents – rather than its opponents – who are afflicted by shortsightedness, if not total sightlessness.

Even a cursory glance at the pre- and post-Oslo facts will expose Harris’s suggestion that the adoption of the TSS- “vision” will in any way act to reduce either conflict or international isolation as complete claptrap. With time, we tend to forget the woes this “noble” vision wrought on the nation.

So a brief reminder is appropriate.

With regard to the level of conflict, based on data from the Foreign Ministry, during the 12 years following the Oslo Agreement (1994-2005) the number of terror-related fatalities was almost six(!) times those incurred in the 12 years prior to it (1981-1992); and significantly higher than ALL terror-related fatalities in the 44 years following the War of Independence until the dawn of the Oslo-era (1949- 1992).

With regard to international isolation, contrary to prevailing urban legend, one would be hard pressed to find any state of substantial international standing that set up diplomatic relations with Israel after the conclusion of the Oslo Accords in September 1993.

For example, China, India and Russia, which together comprise almost 40 percent of humanity, and had long avoided diplomatic ties with Israel, opened embassies in the country almost two years previously – under the recalcitrant, rejectionist government of Yitzhak Shamir.

By contrast, a glance at the Foreign Ministry website will reveal that the vast majority of nations that established official contacts with Israel in the wake of the Oslo initiative were hardly of crucial importance to its international stature – with all due respect to exotic locations such as Andorra, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Burundi, Cape Verde, Croatia, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Montenegro, Namibia, Nauru, Rwanda, San Marino, Sao Tome & Principe, Vanuatu and Zimbabwe – which make up the overwhelming bulk of the post- Oslo additions to countries maintaining diplomatic relations with Israel.

Woefully myopic or willfully blind?

Conversely – and perversely? – delegitimization of Israel appears to have intensified in the post-Oslo period.

For example, the infamous “Durban” series of conferences took place after Israel had adopted a TSS-compliant policy.

The 2001-Durban conference (Durban I) was held only a few months after Ehud Barak’s far-reaching peace offer to Arafat, and provided a high-profile platform for a myriad of anti-Israel NGOs to peddle their noxious wares.

The subsequent “Durban II” (Geneva, 2009) and “Durban III” (New York, 2011) conferences comprised the “Durban process” which one prominent authority characterized as follows: “The objective of the Durban process is to use human rights and international law terminology to isolate, demonize and delegitimize Israel... this process manifests itself in various ways: the academic boycott campaigns in the UK; a variety of boycotts in Scandinavian countries; divestment in churches and in Norway; ‘lawfare’ cases brought against Israelis in various European countries. All these take their mandate from the 2001 NGO Forum at the Durban Conference and... work toward reinforcing its resolutions.”

The egregious Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which is acquiring disturbing momentum of late, is a post-Oslo initiative, launched in mid-2005, just weeks prior to the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, and over a year after the hyperhawk Ariel Sharon declared that “we are willing to proceed toward its implementation: two states – Israel and a Palestinian state living side by side in tranquility, security and peace.”

How has Harris failed to see how counter-productive TSS-compliant policies have been? Is it woeful myopia? Or willful blindness?

Asinine arguments

Harris followed his anti-Bennett tirade with two opinion pieces, urging that we “Give the Peace Process a Chance,” which were (how should I put this?) stunningly shortsighted.

Although I did touch on the more glaring defects in Harris’s articles in my last column, his approach is so arch-typical of the asinine argumentation adopted by TSS-advocates that I feel it is essential to revisit them.

According to Harris, “Israel owe[s] itself the obligation to leave no stone unturned in seeing if a partner, absent yesterday, might somehow show up today. And if, miracle of miracles, the Palestinian leadership actually turns out to be a credible partner this time, then, of course, all the more reason to try.”

Wrong – and stunningly shortsighted! The supposed sincerity of the Palestine negotiating partner’s peaceable intentions is completely – or at least, largely-irrelevant to whether or not negotiations should be undertaken. What is far more pertinent is his ability – and that of any prospective successor – to honor them. Or does Harris feel comfortable with Israel making perilous concessions, if, as in Gaza, they could fall to radical extremists? Has he any way to ensure they will not? And if he can’t, isn’t he being wildly shortsighted in urging taking such risks?

Forlorn hope as strategy?

And should the talks fail, Harris would have us believe that “if the Palestinians once again prove they are unwilling partners, as they did in 2000-1 and again in 2008, let the world see who torpedoed a potential deal.”

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

To all these the Palestinians responded with Judeocidal terror and Judeophobic incitement.

Surely, if after all this, the penny still hasn’t dropped, what possible reason is there for any farsighted person to believe the offer of further concessions will do the trick? Or is Harris suggesting forlorn hope as a national strategy?

Negotiating Strategy vs social pandering

According to Harris, “Israel must never hesitate to show up at any serious negotiating table.”

It is of course questionable whether the current coerced talks, with an unrepresentative and aging PA president, in office now for almost nine years of his elected four-year term and whose continued incumbency is far from certain, comprises a “serious negotiating table.”

However, putting that thorny issue aside, it is difficult to imagine any worse a negotiating strategy than declaring almost unconditional willingness to negotiate – especially in the Middle East.

Nothing could better induce one’s counterparts to harden their position, escalate their intransigence and make wildly unreasonable demands, like releasing over 100 convicted killers as a precondition to deign to participate in talks.

Hardly a formula for success – unless of course what is really important is social acceptability in bon-ton liberal circles rather than the actual results of the negotiations.

Surely all but the shortsighted can grasp this?

Sound political scienceI could go on rebutting nearly every sentence in Harris’s shallow articles, and virtually every shortsighted idea he raises in them, but constraints of time and space are upon me, and I must desist.

So let me conclude with the following categorical declaration: Given the infinitesimal geographical distances from major Israeli population centers and the topographical dominance over vital Israeli infrastructure any Palestinian state would have, Harris’s prescription for “the need for extraordinarily careful attention to security arrangements in any two-state deal” is little more than lip service, designed to fob off profound concerns which in reality can never be satisfied.

Indeed, I would challenge him to produce the outlines of anything remotely approaching a workable – and durable – formula for such “carefully attended security arrangements.”

I am sure he will find that none exists.

In the final analysis, between the River and the Sea there will exist either exclusive Jewish sovereignty or exclusive Arab sovereignty. The side that will prevail is the side whose national will is the stronger and whose political vision is the sharper.

This is not right-wing extremism or religious fanaticism.

It is merely sound political science – and farsighted prudence.

Martin Sherman ( is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies (


Jere VanLoan
Read to the end where the author will be disclosed. Very interesting.

" Who is Tony Abbott?

Overheard last week: "It's such a shame there isn't someone other than Tony Abbott as alternative Prime Minister. We think the Gillard government is bad for the country, but it would be better if we had another Opposition leader to vote for."

It caused me to ask why that view might exist given Abbott's background, and I wondered if it might be that people do not know his history. So, I have put together some information which might help get a better understanding of the man.

Abbott graduated from the University of Sydney with degrees in Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Bachelor of Economics (BEc). Then he became a Rhodes Scholar at Queens College Oxford UK in Politics and Philosophy. He also won a boxing blue at Oxford. He married Margaret in 1987 and has three daughters. He is a member of the congregation of the Catholic Church.

He was involved in student politics, but beyond that, biographer Michael Duffy, wrote that during his student days he saved a child who was swept out to sea. Another time, he helped save children from a burning house next to a pub where he was drinking. On each occasion he disappeared before he could be properly thanked

He is a member of Manly's Queenscliffe SLSC, and a member of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, both of which he joined before it was politically expedient to do so. He spent several weeks teaching in remote Aboriginal settlements in Cape York in an effort 'to familiarise himself with indigenous issues'

If you are wondering where some of the negativity attributed to Tony Abbott comes from, go on to the Net and have a look at the comments which followed, 2 years ago, when he was asked by the Women's Weekly

"What advice would you give your three daughters on sex before marriage?" He told the magazine: ‘’I would say to my daughters, if they were to ask me this question “it is the greatest gift you can give someone, the ultimate gift of giving and don't give it up to someone lightly."

Yet, if you were to read many of the comments on the Internet and the print media at the time, you could be forgiven for thinking he was attempting to impose his will on all females in Australia, had ranted against women, had argued for Muslim like chastity, and so on.................. See for yourself - Google it! Gillard's response was to accuse Abbott of "lecturing women"???

I have also included a video of Abbott where he commented on, in what seems to me to be quite a balanced fashion, "climate change" yet the title of the video suggests he has been extreme in "denying climate change and advocating carbon tax". See what you think. Then have a look at the longer interview from which this original excerpt was taken.

Abbott has had a history of being told by 'ABC types' that he lacks compassion, does not understand homosexuality or homosexuals, avoids situations where he might need to face up to gay relationships, and so on. Again, because he was not prepared to reveal personal issues of others (ethics, principles), he did not speak about his own sister's lesbian relationship and the part he played in supporting her. It would have been an easy defence for him, but in line with his principles and values, he chose not to use it.

Granted, he is not a super smooth, off the cuff, speaker, and does not fit the orator mould. But when he is compared to the glib tongues and untrustworthiness of Gillard, Rudd, Swan, etc., it is not difficult to determine which attributes are more important for the leadership of Australia.

After Abbott completed his studies, he became a journalist for The Bulletin and also the Australian. For a time he was plant manager for Pioneer Concrete, then became press secretary for the then Opposition Leader, Dr John Hewson. He was elected to Parliament in 1994 at a bi-election. He has held various Ministerial posts and his actions in those roles are a matter of public record. His work ethic is unquestioned.

He was dismayed at the policies of former leader Malcolm Turnbull relating to ETS, and following widespread disaffection with Turnbull's stance among Liberal Party members, threw his hat into the ring, as did Joe Hockey, for leadership of the Liberal Party. Abbott was successful. At the time, the polls were running strongly against the Liberal Party (in the 40% approval range), while Kevin Rudd enjoyed figures around 60%

Within a short space of time, with Abbott as leader, those figures changed to such a degree that Rudd was replaced in the now infamous "faceless men" coup which installed Gillard. Since that time, Abbott has maintained constant focus on the ever widening circle of disasters associated with the Gillard government to the stage where support for that government now hovers around the 30% mark.

Abbott strikes me as a person of integrity, he has values in which I too believe, and ethics based on his Christian beliefs. I would much rather place my trust in someone who, in his actions, has shown he is what he says, rather than someone who will say anything to gain a prospective advantage for themselves.

BY Mark LATHAM, Former Leader of A.L.P."




If this isn't real .. well some gangsta should go to jail .. ed


From my cousin, Gym - ed


Zaya Toma
The line at pre poll is just getting longer and longer

Where do you think are the best vantage points to view Hong Kong’s amazing skyline?
Here is the view looking west towards Wan Chai and Central from an overpass on Victoria Park Road.

Rest in Peace Steve Irwin. Today makes 7 years (yes 7 years) since he passed.


4 her


At Utopia Park
Orchid park link


Here's an idle thought. If you were voting in Griffith knowing that Rudd will spit the dummy after the election and you would be forced to vote again in a By-election, would you still vote for Rudd?
Don't count the days, make the days count.

Hope everyone had an amazing day today!
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Greetings for Rosh Hashana this year. Shana Tova! Happy New Year!
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Another amazing Rosh Hashanah music video from the creators of the smash viral hit "Candlelight", the Maccabeats! Enjoy, be inspired and have a good life :)
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Click here to watch: Soul Bigger- The Rosh Hashana Song
Enjoy this uplifting Rosh Hashana music video!
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Looking for some fun and inspiration this Rosh Hashanah? This is the CUTEST Rosh Hashanah Video!!
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Here's a great new Rosh Hashana video for children!
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The outcome of this election is critical to Australia’s future. For the last six years the Labor led government has failed the Australian people. It is time we reset the clock.

I know Tony Abbott. I consider him a great friend. More importantly I consider him to be a great leader. You can trust Tony Abbott to lead Australia. Will you contribute right now to help defeat Labor?

Click here to contribute:

We’ve had some close elections in the past. We can’t afford to take any chances. The stakes are too high. Your support right now will help the Liberals win on September 7th. Australia wants a strong government so we must deliver a strong parliament - we must work doubly hard to avoid a minority government.

The Coalition needs all the help it can get to make sure we are successful at the polls. You can count on Tony Abbott and the Coalition led government to stop the boats, repeal the carbon tax, and strengthen our economy.

Let’s get back to good government.


The Hon John Howard OM AC
Authorised by Brian Loughnane, Cnr Blackall and Macquarie Streets, Barton  ACT 2604. 
Copyright © Liberal Party of Australia.

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Hi everyone! Here's the newsletter for September 3rd. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Backfire: Obamacare fallout continues as 40,000 longshoremen quit AFL-CIO

Democrats received Big Labor support for Obamacare because of promises that unions would have priority access to lifeboats when the whole thing started to sink...

Syria update: Obama trying to enlist John McCain to rally Senate support for strike; Kerry’s ‘dinner with Assad’ photo surfaces

Arizona Sen. John McCain’s been somewhat critical of President Obama’s response, or lack thereof, to the situation in Syria...

More From the Right Side of the Web

Michelle's Top Tweets

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And ... Our Hate Tweet of the Day

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"If it were up to here." When asserting that someone else is dumb, at least have the good sense to check your tweet for typos.


Pedro II of Brazil and Teresa Cristina of the Two Sicilies


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Holidays and observances[edit source | editbeta]


“This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”Isaiah 48:17 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Thou whom my soul loveth."
Song of Solomon 1:7
It is well to be able, without any "if" or "but," to say of the Lord Jesus--"Thou whom my soul loveth." Many can only say of Jesus that they hope they love him; they trust they love him; but only a poor and shallow experience will be content to stay here. No one ought to give any rest to his spirit till he feels quite sure about a matter of such vital importance. We ought not to be satisfied with a superficial hope that Jesus loves us, and with a bare trust that we love him. The old saints did not generally speak with "buts," and "ifs," and "hopes," and "trusts," but they spoke positively and plainly. "I know whom I have believed," saith Paul. "I know that my Redeemer liveth," saith Job. Get positive knowledge of your love of Jesus, and be not satisfied till you can speak of your interest in him as a reality, which you have made sure by having received the witness of the Holy Spirit, and his seal upon your soul by faith.
True love to Christ is in every case the Holy Spirit's work, and must be wrought in the heart by him. He is the efficient cause of it; but the logical reason why we love Jesus lies in himself. Why do we love Jesus? Because he first loved us. Why do we love Jesus? Because he "gave himself for us." We have life through his death; we have peace through his blood. Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor. Why do we love Jesus? Because of the excellency of his person. We are filled with a sense of his beauty! an admiration of his charms! a consciousness of his infinite perfection! His greatness, goodness, and loveliness, in one resplendent ray, combine to enchant the soul till it is so ravished that it exclaims, "Yea, he is altogether lovely." Blessed love this--a love which binds the heart with chains more soft than silk, and yet more firm than adamant!


"The Lord trieth the righteous."
Psalm 11:5
All events are under the control of Providence; consequently all the trials of our outward life are traceable at once to the great First Cause. Out of the golden gate of God's ordinance the armies of trial march forth in array, clad in their iron armour, and armed with weapons of war. All providences are doors to trial. Even our mercies, like roses, have their thorns. Men may be drowned in seas of prosperity as well as in rivers of affliction. Our mountains are not too high, and our valleys are not too low for temptations: trials lurk on all roads. Everywhere, above and beneath, we are beset and surrounded with dangers. Yet no shower falls unpermitted from the threatening cloud; every drop has its order ere it hastens to the earth. The trials which come from God are sent to prove and strengthen our graces, and so at once to illustrate the power of divine grace, to test the genuineness of our virtues, and to add to their energy. Our Lord in his infinite wisdom and superabundant love, sets so high a value upon his people's faith that he will not screen them from those trials by which faith is strengthened. You would never have possessed the precious faith which now supports you if the trial of your faith had not been like unto fire. You are a tree that never would have rooted so well if the wind had not rocked you to and fro, and made you take firm hold upon the precious truths of the covenant grace. Worldly ease is a great foe to faith; it loosens the joints of holy valour, and snaps the sinews of sacred courage. The balloon never rises until the cords are cut; affliction doth this sharp service for believing souls. While the wheat sleeps comfortably in the husk it is useless to man, it must be threshed out of its resting place before its value can be known. Thus it is well that Jehovah trieth the righteous, for it causeth them to grow rich towards God.

Today's reading: Psalm 140-142, 1 Corinthians 14:1-20 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Psalm 140-142

1 Rescue me, LORD, from evildoers;
protect me from the violent,
2 who devise evil plans in their hearts
and stir up war every day.
3 They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent's;
the poison of vipers is on their lips.
4 Keep me safe, LORD, from the hands of the wicked;
protect me from the violent,
who devise ways to trip my feet.
5 The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
they have spread out the cords of their net
and have set traps for me along my path....

Today's New Testament reading: 1 Corinthians 14:1-20

Intelligibility in Worship
1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. 4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.
6 Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? 7Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the pipe or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? 8 Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? 9 So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker is a foreigner to me. 12 So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church....

Reconciling the Symbols

This week's reading: Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
Christian environmental educators Loren and Mary Ruth Wilkinson reflect on two important symbols:
The most powerful symbol in our time is the picture of the earth from space ... But that image of the planet seems to hold for many today their only hope of wholeness. Individual life, they say, is meaningless; what counts is the health of the planet ...
Christians too are moved by these pictures of our planet, but are not convinced that our only hope is in the planet's health ... Our hope is centered on another symbol, the cross. The cross expresses God's good news to men and women.
Is the cross good news for the rest of creation as well? Can the two symbols-of the earth (a circle) and the cross-be reconciled? Can there be such a thing as a "Christian environmentalist?" We are convinced the answer to these questions is yes ... But first we need to think a little more about what is implied by these two symbols, circle and cross, and the relationships and tensions between them ...
The earth is round, and it is full of cycles. Living things die and rot into soil, which nourishes more living things. Rain falls on mountains, where it drains into rivers, which flow into the sea, which evaporates into clouds, which carry rain again to the mountains. The carbon dioxide we exhale is taken in by plants, which expire oxygen, which we inhale and then exhale as carbon dioxide. For all these cycles the circle is a good symbol.
Christian thinking is centered on the cross. Geometrically, the cross is the intersection of two straight lines, a horizontal and a vertical. Instead of one line, turning again and again in a circle, the Christian sees that the earth is not eternal. For another line intersects ours from outside. The cross refers to the place where God's perspective has intersected ours most clearly. The execution of one man at a particular place and time is the midpoint, the crux: the intersection of eternal and temporal, God's time and ours.
Many environmentalists are understandably suspicious of this Christian view of time and of the Christian conviction that there is another reality intersecting ours. They say that it has made Christians other-worldly, neglectful of the needs of the earth, too likely to use the earth only as a backdrop for the human drama of eternal salvation ...
The biblical view recognizes the reality of the cycles of nature ...
We are not satisfied with the cycles. For all the beauty of the earth and its circling life, it does not bring its own meaning with it ...
Creation itself is neither meaningless nor empty, but it lacks a center: The center provided by recognizing that creation is not just "nature" or "resources" or "the environment." The writer of Ecclesiastes both concludes and answers his lament with words particularly well-suited for our time: "Remember your Creator."

Think About It

  • How do you view the two symbols mentioned in this note?
  • In what ways do the two symbols interconnect?
  • Are there ways in which you are both a Christian and an environmentalist?

Pray About It

God and Creator, I know that without you everything is meaningless. As I work to steward your creation properly, help me to keep you at the center of my actions.


Today's reading is from theNIV Stewardship Study Bible
by Zondervan

Discover the remarkable privilege we have as stewards of God's design for life through the study of Scripture.


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