Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tue Oct 29th Todays News

Dr Nelson tried to change the wording on the tomb of the unknown soldier to something Paul Keating wrote from Rudyard Kipling's "Known unto God." The deletion would be a mistake and an insult to those who have served. ALP are excellent at those types of insults. Gillard devalued Abbott's security while she was PM in petty point scoring in Afghanistan. Note, Abbott extends gracious courtesy to Shorten and takes him on the journey. Was Dr Nelson following orders? Will school children study how Keating was so dismissive of things that unite Australians? Mr Abbott is popular, as evidenced by polls and surveys. Inexplicable to left wing media. Some say Gillard would have lost twice as many seats as Rudd. Others say Rudd lost as many. 
What role does the elephant play in climate change? Perhaps we will never know. Maybe we can get the Age to ask a tree? When it comes to tokens, one will get Carr's senate seat. The ALP will never repay the $billions taken from treasury. While criticising Mr Abbott's 'slow pace' at bringing a budget into surplus, an ABC commentator claimed Swan would do it as quickly. There is no evidence to substantiate that claim. Evidence suggests Swan never would achieve a surplus. Ever. 
CBS seem confused about Hoover vacuum cleaners. It is an old technology .. much like the Hoover Dam. Maybe the FBI will investigate and report back to them? 
Why do terrorists speak for Islamic peoples? Why do liars speak for AGW believers? Some scum beat up some Jewish peoples in Sydney the other day .. but they weren't Islamic .. but they are scum. 
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns Philippe VoisinSolange Mapendo and Helen Coonan. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
Matches
Despatches
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A row over God’s place

Miranda Devine – Monday, October 28, 2013 (11:23pm)

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The Australian war memorial secretly decided during the election campaign to delete the iconic words “Known Unto God” from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and replace them with quotes from Paul Keating.
But after complaints to the Abbott government, the original words will be retained. As a compromise, a bronze plaque containing quotes from a 1993 speech by Mr Keating will be placed at the entrance of the tomb.
The Keating inscription will read: “We do not know this Australian’s name, we never will… He is one of them, and he is all of us’.?
The deletion of “Known Unto God” is believed to have been initiated by memorial director Dr Brendan Nelson and approved by its council,chaired by retired Rear Admiral Ken Doolan. Dr Nelson was previously Defence Minister under the Howard government and Australian ambassador to Belgium
“The council did approve it but they have revised the decision recently so the words “Known Unto God” will remain,” a memorial spokeswoman said yesterday.
But the original proposal has angered veterans and war buffs who say it is sacrilegious to delete “God”.
New South Wales RSL state president Don Rowe told The Daily Telegraph he was “concerned” with the proposed changes and said the wording on the current epitaph mirrored other tombs to unknown soldiers around the globe.
“It’s a religious place and I think it’s a little bit strange that they want to change it now, seeing as he’s been buried there so long.
“The current wording is what you see on many cemeteries around the world where unknown Australian soldiers are resting in peace.”
Historian Les Carlyon, acclaimed author of The Great War, said he was annoyed at the proposed deletion of “Known Unto God.”
“These are the perfect three words,” he said. “A lot of thought went into it.
“Known unto God has a meaning in the context of the Great War. To take it off you just think to yourself why.”
While he thought Paul Keating’s speech was very good, it could be seen as a politicisation of the memorial.
Carlyon was a former member of the memorial council until the Gillard government controversially replaced him last year with Fairfax columnist and best-selling author Peter Fitzsimons.
The inscription “Known Unto God” was written by Rudyard Kipling to honour the unknown Soldiers of the Great War. The words appear on almost every headstone of 211,996 unknown soldiers in war cemeteries worldwide.
The Unknown Australian Soldier interred in the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial. died in the First World War and was one of the 23,000 Australians killed in that war to have no known grave. His remains were exhumed in France where he was buried under a headstone that bore the inscription: ‘An Australian soldier of the Great War, known unto God’.
Vietnam veteran Charlie Lynn, the NSW parliamentary secretary of veteran affairs and the son of a WWII veteran, last night described the original decision to dump the Kipling inscription as “political correctness gone mad.
“They’d have to chisel it off every headstone in every war cemetery throughout all the battlefields in the western front and in the Bomana War cemetery in New Guinea.
“You can’t change history. That Australian war memorial is there to perpetuate Australian history not correct or change it - that’s not their role.”
COMMENT: Lest we forget again
IT is extraordinary that the Australian War Memorial, so reverential about our military history, would so thoughtlessly tear up one of the most beautiful epitaphs ever written.
“Known Unto God” was written by the British poet Rudyard Kipling, whose own beloved son John had died in World War I at the age of 18.
Kipling joined the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and thought deeply about the most apt and evocative words to adorn the headstones of those young men who, like his son, had given their lives for their country in such a senseless war.
As author Les Carlyon says, “Known Unto God” are the “three perfect words” to mark the grave of the unknown soldier.
They signify that this soldier’s identity is known only to God. But the words have another meaning: that only God can know the reason for this terrible war and the tragic waste of so many lives, because we mere mortals certainly cannot.
It beggars belief that anyone could delete such words, so rich with history and a sense of moment.
What’s more, the Unknown Australian Soldier whose remains are interred in the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial,
was originally buried in France under a headstone bearing that Kipling inscription: “An Australian soldier of the Great War, known unto God.”
To delete those words and replace them with contemporary sentiment from a divisive political figure just beggars belief.
The unknown Australian soldier died in World War I, one of the 23,000 Australians killed in that war, with no identity and no known grave. His remains were exhumed from France and on November 11, 1993 - the 75th anniversary of the Armistice which ended fighting on the Western Front - they were interred at the Australian War Memorial.
This was where, on Remembrance Day in November 1993, then-prime minister Paul Keating gave a beautiful eulogy to “An Unknown Australian Soldier Killed in the War of 1914-1918”.
Sure, Keating’s words can find a place in the memorial. But never should they have been considered to supersede the history of the time.
In a speech last month at the National Press club, Dr Brendan Nelson, the War Memorial director, described how he planned to transform the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
“What we are doing with the Keating eulogy for the unknown Australian soldier is it’s now being struck in bronze. And it will be placed on the Hall of Memory, on the left hand side as you walk into the Hall of Memory. The Hall of Memory, of course, being that magnificent Byzantine dome designed by Napier Waller, and which houses the unknown soldier reinterred from the Adelaide Cemetery in France in 1993.
“In addition to that, the surround around the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier, at one end currently has ‘Known unto God’. At the other end it has ‘He symbolises all Australians who’ve died in war’. We are removing those, and replacing, from the same quarry stone, and into one end we will engrave ‘We do not know this Australian’s name, we never will’. And at the end as you walk into the hall it will say ‘He is one of them, and he is all of us’.”
Fine sentiments for sure. But not to replace God and Kipling.
The memorial’s council rubber-stamped Nelson’s decision and has since seen the light, under pressure from the Abbott government.
Why the original decision was ever approved is only known unto God.
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BEACH BALL ATTACKS LONDON

Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 29, 2013 (2:08pm)

The giant beach ball “was being used to highlight the CO2 emissions a new £200 million development would cut back on”. But then it broke free.
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IT RAISES THE QUESTION ABOUT THE ROLE THE ELEPHANT IS PLAYING

Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 29, 2013 (4:26am)

After presenting an entire program about power lines being a major cause of bushfires, the ABC’s Kerry O’Brien has this to say: 
Of course, the elephant in the room on this issue is climate change … 
It’s O’Brien’s Tanya Plibersek moment! Readers are invited to enhance various historical scenarios with Kerry’s brilliant conclusion.
(Via CL) 
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UNRECOGNISED MIKE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 29, 2013 (4:23am)

A final word on Talk Like Mike Carlton Day from 2GB’s Ray Hadley, who actually heard mutating Michael during hisTory transformation
Back in the early 1990s I was covering rugby league and rugby union in the UK. I’d also just started filling in for John Laws on 2UE so program director John Brennan suggested I listen to Carlton on LBC while I was in London to see what he was doing.
I listened to various programs and told Brenno Carlton must have been on holidays as I could only hear Pommies with half-baked BBC accents on LBC.
Brenno says, “No, he’s on there” so I call the station to find out when.
I pissed myself laughing. It was him bunging on a clipped English accent.
I’m told the station had asked him to adopt a Pommy accent or perish. He perished anyway. 
One extra dose of Mike-related amusement may be found here at 39:00.
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ANY SELF-RESPECTING TREE WOULD RATHER BE BURNED

Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 29, 2013 (4:01am)

Henry Ergas slams the carbonistas who’ve feasted on NSW bushfires: 
Their concern is not really with bush fires; it is solely with advancing their cause. Having elevated the carbon tax into a totem, they have descended from reason into superstition. 
Absolutely. And nowhere – besides the ABC – is this superstition more evident than in Melbourne’s Age, primarily sold to urban greens who live in a treeless region hundreds of kilometres from last week’s fires. Reader Andrew S. has assembled the Age‘s recent climate change claims into a concern collage:

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Looks like it would make a nice prayer mat.
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KEEP THE HAMMER DOWN

Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 29, 2013 (3:59am)

predictable post-election boost for Prime Minister Tony Abbott, now recording his best net satisfaction rating since 2009: 
Mr Abbott has also opened a commanding 47 per cent to 28 per cent lead over new Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on the question of who would make the better prime minister …
The Newspoll survey, which was conducted exclusively for The Australian at the weekend, reveals Labor’s primary vote has slipped to 31 per cent compared with its September 7 election day result of 33.3 per cent. This represents Labor’s lowest primary vote survey since the height of the then government’s leadership turmoil in June, which ended with Kevin Rudd toppling Julia Gillard as prime minister. The Coalition’s primary vote has risen to 47 per cent from its 45.6 per cent result on election day. 
Of course, Kevin Rudd enjoyed an even greater post-election bounce in 2007. This early break is no excuse for complacency.
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SPEAKING OF AMATEURS

Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 29, 2013 (3:44am)

Some undisclosed background on a Fairfax-anointed “international studies expert”. Note also that Fairfax’s summary of the expert’s opinion damns Tony Abbott as “uncouth, course and amateurish”.
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LOU REED

Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 29, 2013 (3:38am)

There are very few songs on the radio today that you would be happy to have your preschooler sing along to but there are a few exceptions, writes Amber Robinson. Surprisingly, this toddler-friendly toe-tapper by Lou Reed, who has died at 71, doesn’t make Amber’s list.
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CBS SUCKS

Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 29, 2013 (3:36am)

NBC doesn’t know anything about Australian bushfires. CBS doesn’t even know the difference between J. Edgar Hoover and President Herbert Hoover:

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Rudd won twice the seats Gillard would have

Andrew Bolt October 29 2013 (3:50pm)


Replacing Julia Gillard with Kevin Rudd saved Labor from utter annihilation, says the man who’d know best:
LABOR’S 11th-hour leadership switch to Kevin Rudd saved the party up to 25 seats, leaving it in a competitive position to fight the next election, says ALP national secretary George Wright…
Internal polling suggested Labor would have been reduced to just 30 seats under Julia Gillard. Ultimately, it won 55.
“He made a difference; yes he did,” Mr Wright said.
The next time some Gillard apologist - hello, Anne Summers - goes on and on about poor Julia, the victim of treachery, it would be productive to remind them of this maths. 
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Glenn Stevens: restoring Reserve Bank reserves “prudent”

Andrew Bolt October 29 2013 (3:34pm)


Treasurer Wayne Swan, who last looted a $500 million dividend from a protesting Reserve Bank, last week tried to suggest the Bank didn’t actually want or need the $8.8 billion capital injection it got from the Abbott Government:

Wayne Swan considered bolstering the Reserve Bank’s reserve fund earlier this year, but was formally instructed by the Treasury Department that shoring up its capital holdings could be counter-productive, Fairfax Media has discovered.
Despite Treasurer Joe Hockey’s decision to bolster the RBA to the tune of $8.8 billion this week, an official minute to Mr Swan in April advised the then treasurer not to transfer money from the government to the bank on the grounds there was no legal basis for the request.
The minute advised that the impression created by doing so could undermine confidence in the central bank’s stability and compromise its independence from the government.
The advice contradicts any suggestion by the new government that Mr Swan had been negligent in allowing the bank’s capital buffer to run down…
[But in] April, RBA governor Glenn Stevens told the parliamentary economics committee he would have preferred that the government had allowed the bank to retain all of its profit - just over $1 billion - for the previous year rather than being required to surrender half to the Treasury.

Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens today gives him a mild flogging - as mild as befits a good Christian:
The high exchange rate has also had a significant impact on the Reserve Bank’s own balance sheet. It led to a decline in the value of the Bank’s foreign assets and hence a diminution in the Bank’s capital, to a level well below that judged by the Reserve Bank Board to be prudent.
This has been a topic of some interest of late. Our annual reports have made quite clear over several years now that, while this rundown in capital in the face of a very large valuation loss was exactly what such reserves were designed for, we considered it prudent to rebuild the capital at the earliest opportunity. It has been clear that the Bank saw a strong case not to pay a dividend to the Commonwealth during this period, preferring instead to retain earnings, so far as possible, to increase the Bank’s capital. That rebuilding could in fact have taken quite a few years, given the low level of earnings.
That is the background to the recent decision by the Treasurer to act to strengthen the Bank’s balance sheet, in accordance with a commitment he made prior to the election. The effect of this is that instead of it taking many years to rebuild the capital, it will occur in the current year. This results in a stronger balance sheet on average, and makes it likely that a regular flow of dividends to the Commonwealth can be resumed at a much earlier date than would otherwise have been the case.
But here is how one Fairfax writer spins it:

Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens has effectively confirmed that Joe Hockey is blowing several hundred million dollars in an attempt to make his performance as Treasurer look good. Never underestimate the vanity of politicians.
Restoring the Budget may indeed make Hockey look good. It would also do the economy some good, which is actually the real point.
I don’t actually mind if a politician looks good for performing well. At Fairfax they apparently do - if that politician is a Liberal.
But a warning also for the Liberals: Stevens think our terms of trade are more likely to fall than rise. Best get cracking on ther savings.
(Thanks to readers Andrew and Steven.) 
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Some woman gets Bob Carr’s spot

Andrew Bolt October 29 2013 (3:26pm)


Affirmative action wins, and a token woman gets the seat Bob Carr abandoned:
FORMER Labor minister Mike Kelly has pulled out of the contest for the Senate seat vacated by Bob Carr.
“I will not be nominating 4 the Senate vacancy as the decision will be AA (affirmative action) based,” Dr Kelly tweeted on Tuesday.
He wished former Central Coast MP Deb O’Neill, widely tipped to be in line for the job, all the best.
Both Dr Kelly and Ms O’Neill lost their lower house seats at the recent federal election.
Kelly is a former army officer and frontbencher who kevin Rudd nominated to be his next Defence Minister. O’Neill was a backbencher who used to be a teacher, and if there’s one thing Labor needs it’s more teachers and fewer leaders.
(Thanks to reader Michael.) 
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Things that start with F. Like Fairfax

Andrew Bolt October 29 2013 (11:32am)


Why is it that so many enlightened Fairfax writers express themselves so crudely?
Another:
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(Thanks to reader TruthBeTold.) 
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How we pay UN bureaucrats to adapt to climate change in comfort

Andrew Bolt October 29 2013 (10:55am)


How embarrassing. Our former Labor government was one of the few stupid enough to squander our money on the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund:

Here’s a list of the countries who are both rich and improvident enough to squander their taxpayers’ money on the Green Climate Fund. It’s the usual suspects, my condolences to their citizens who are paying for this:
Australia, $513,000
Denmark, $608,000
Finland, $648,000
France, $326,000
Japan, $500,000
Germany, $1,053,000
South Korea, $2,099,000
Netherlands, $286,000
Sweden, $752,000
UK, $770,000
TOTAL, $7,555,000
The Koreans put in two megabucks … but then, they also negotiated a deal where the Green Climate Fund is headquartered in Seoul. So no tears for them, they’ll make out like bandits.
We were told we had to give this small fortune to the UN to help the poor:
Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s new [carbon] tax will be used to allow Australia to meet its share of a $100 billion-a-year United Nations fund to transfer wealth from rich countries to help undeveloped nations adapt to global warming.
The Gillard Government is party to a UN agreement which Climate Change Minister Greg Combet entered into in December at a meeting in Cancun, Mexico, under which about 10 per cent of carbon taxes in developed nations will go into a Green Climate Fund.

So, how much of that $7,555,000 - and our $513,000 - has actually gone on what the UN says the fund is for - ”providing support to developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change”?
Willis Eschenbach does the sums:
When you do this kind of thing, first you have to hand out the plum jobs. Among those are the Members of the Board. Of course, then you have to pay for their travel, and a place for them to meet, for their meetings. And it turns out that three Board Meetings cost just under a million dollars....
Oh, can’t forget the Board Committees, Panels, and Working groups. They cost just under four hundred thousand. Total, a million three …
The next round of plum jobs are the people who make up the “Interim Secretariat"… [T]here’s two million in the budget to hire fifteen people…
It gets worse. They actually hire themselves to do the work, at incredible rates. For example, from the UN FCCC they are hiring one full-time and one part-time person, plus some administrative support … for a cool half million dollars. One and a half people. Half a megabuck.
And from the UN GEF, same deal, one full-time and one 60% time person, cost, another half million…
[The] Green Climate Fund has three-quarters of a million bucks in the budget for consultants, to make sure something gets done. Oh, and did I mention $200,000 per year for the Executive Director?
Now, you gotta know that you can’t have fifteen pluted bloatocrats, plus 3.1 loan-drones from other UN agencies, and three-quarters of a million dollars worth of consultants, without renting some executive-type hive to house the worker bees. Plus phones and faxes and the like, that’s a million two …
Gotta have a travel budget … three hundred grand.
Add all that up, and the “Interim Secretariat” costs $5.3 million …
Lastly, a Trust Fund needs an Interim Trustee. The Green Climate Fund hires that service from the World Bank for just under three-quarters of a million dollars per year … one trustee …IT costs … I can hardly believe it myself, but by a strange coincidence, what it costs them to run the Green Climate Fund adds up to … well … about seven and a half million dollars.
And that means that of the $7.5 million dollars donated by taxpayers all over the world, the people in the developing countries will get …
None.
(Thanks to reader Baa Humbug.) 
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“Jihad” Jack confirms link between terror and Islam

Andrew Bolt October 29 2013 (9:42am)


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“Jihad” Jack Thomas in May claimed jihadist terrorists had nothing to do with Islam:

In a wide-ranging interview about his controversial life, from meeting Osama bin Laden on Afghanistan’s front lines ... to prison banter with the late gangland boss Carl Williams, Thomas ... said terrorism was “totally against every core value, every bone in my body, to ever hurt innocent people”. ..
“In order for us to stop the attacks I believe we need to tell the truth about Islam and Jihad and that it is free from any of these criminal acts, starting from the (Munich) Olympics in ‘72.’’
Thomas said politically or religiously motivated terrorism that targeted civilians was a crime.
“Absolutely, definitely, they have nothing to do with Islam...”
Of course, even then there was a caveat wide enough to drive a truck-bomb through:
When I say there is no terrorism in Islam I want to make one correction - the same so called inalienable right that the (United) States say they have, Islam had that long before them, and that is shock and awe, to terrorise those who would do people harm, the oppressors, the unjust, that is the fear that jihad should put in their hearts, they should be terrorised, criminals, tyrants, people who are willing to usurp other peoples’ rights.
This morning on ABC radio Thomas announced he’d gone to Afghanistan in 2001 after the Taliban asked for “teachers, nurses and doctors”.
That was too much even for host Jon Faine…

Faine: “You took up arms to go over there and fight.
Thomas: As part of my religion, yes.
Just so we know.
And who did Thomas fight for, thinking this was commanded by Islam? From the BBC, usually very slow to damn:
A predominantly Pashtun movement, the Taliban came to prominence in Afghanistan in the autumn of 1994… In both countries they introduced or supported Islamic punishments - such as public executions of convicted murderers and adulterers and amputations of those found guilty of theft. Men were required to grow beards and women had to wear the all-covering burka.
The Taliban banned television, music and cinema and disapproved of girls aged 10 and over from going to school…
They were accused of various human rights and cultural abuses. One notorious example was in 2001, when the Taliban went ahead with the destruction of the famous Bamiyan Buddha statues in central Afghanistan…
The attention of the world was drawn to the Taliban in Afghanistan following the attacks on the World Trade Centre in September 2001… The Taliban in Afghanistan were accused of providing a sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden and the al-Qaeda movement ...
More on the Taliban, for whom Thomas volunteered out of religious duty:

In 2009, the Taliban in Pakistan barred girls from attending school… When teenager Malala Yousafzai won international attention for speaking out against the ban, the Islamic fundamentalists ... shot her in the face as she rode the bus to school.
Caution – this video of the Taliban doing more of what its backers claim is God’s work is extremely graphic:

UPDATE
Thomas can thank Victoria’s Court of Appeal for being so very sympathetic.  So very, very sympathetic to legal nit-pickery
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Memo to warmists: save your breath on Britain’s storms

Andrew Bolt October 29 2013 (9:14am)


Just before the alarmists claim Britain’s St Jude Day’s storm was “unprecedented” and evidence of global warming, this fact check:

In England, you have to go back to January 2005 for a comparable storm, this time in the North of England… In southern England, the St Jude storm was the strongest since October 2002, when highest gusts of 102mph were recorded at the Needles,( as against 99mph this year)… Neither the storm of 2002 or this year’s come anywhere close to the Burn’s Day storm of 1990, or the Great Storm of 1987.
This storm is as “unprecedented” as the NSW fires:
UPDATE
IPCC expert reviewer John McLean, in The Age on-line, of all places:
It seems that every time there’s a major bushfire in Australia there’s also a queue of people who try to blame it on man-made warming…
In its latest report the IPCC claims that it is “likely” that heatwaves have increased in Australia, “likely” being just one step away from “as likely as not”. Two of the three cited papers in the report appear to have a co-author who is also a lead author of that chapter of the IPCC report, which might be fortuitous.
A close check of the easiest obtained of the three references tells a less clear picture. It says that heatwaves have increased in some parts of Australia and have decreased or are unchanged in others, but it’s talking of trends from 1971 to 2000, a period that covers a significant shift in the Pacific Ocean towards more El Nino events. The statement doesn’t tell us what’s happened over the past 15 years, a period when the global average temperature has been basically flat…
The increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide increases the amount of heat being reflected back to Earth… It’s drawing a long bow to link this to heatwaves, which as both the latest IPCC report and the Bureau of Meteorology say, are caused by near stationary highs dragging warm air from one location to another…
The old Climate Commission said that heatwaves would increase as temperatures rose. Even setting aside the different processes, that’s a dubious claim. The term “heatwave” has no formal definition. If it is defined as days above 35 degrees then global warming, if it resumes, could easily increase that number. If it is defined as instances of three or more days with temperatures more than five degrees above average it’s a different story because warming might cause the average to increase but not the number of times it is exceeded…
NSW rainfall totals in 2010 and 2011 were 47 per cent and 21 per cent above average, with 2012 very close to average. This pattern will have encouraged plant growth…
Temperatures in August and September were above average in NSW. The Bureau of Meteorology attributes this to highs crossing the east coast being slightly higher than usual, for reasons unknown, with the anti-clockwise winds drawing warm tropical air from further north than usual down onto the state. This would lead to early drying of vegetation, although this seems not without precedent because major NSW bushfires have previously occurred in October and November… The history of bushfires in NSW ... shows there is nothing unusual about these fires.
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Disgrace: Media Watch ignores ABC’s warmist week of shame and attacks a sceptic instead

Andrew Bolt October 29 2013 (8:22am)


Over the past week the ABC has mounted a disgraceful and baseless attempt over every one of its main current affairs shows to link the NSW fires with global warming.
False claims were made that these fires were “unprecedented” in scale and timing. Sceptics were cut off or howled down.  Warmists such as Christine Milne could make as many as seven false or misleading claims in a single ABC show without being corrected once. Alarmists such as Al Gore were also given free rein to make deceptive claims, for instance about Hurricane Sandy being evidence of global warming when no such link exists:

The ABC’s coverage was a disgrace.
So what did the ABC’s Media Watch do last night?
It devoted yet another program to attacking sceptic Alan Jones - this time for a minor and inconsequential error in an attack the number of highly-paid global warming bureaucrats we hire. It also recommended what are in effect more restrictions on free speech - giving a government-backed watchdog more teeth.
And there was this earnest exhortation from host Paul Barry, so ironic and un-selfreflective from an ABC presenter:

And the commercial radio code ... simply requires commercial radio stations to make reasonable efforts to offer a range of significant viewpoints.
The ABC, funnily enough, has the same obligation under its charter, as its Equity and Diversity Annual Report notes:

The ABC Charter requires the broadcasting of programs that ... reflect the cultural diversity of the Australian community. ABC Editorial Policies support the diversity of perspectives.
Yet the ABC offered almost no diversity of perspectives on the like between the NSW fires and global warming. Al Gore was presented on 7.30 unchallenged. Christine Milne on Insiders was not challenged. When 7.30 interviewed fire expert David Packham, it cut him off after just 69 words and gave the microphone back to three alarmists instead, two unqualified green activists.
This, in a media outlet which has Leftists host every one of its main current affairs shows. When Media Watch itself has its eighth successive host of the Left.
“A range of significant viewpoints”? “Diversity”?
What intellectual cowardice.
UPDATE
Paul Barry’s first show back as host of Media Watch was on July 8. His obsession with Alan Jones – and his Sydney-centricity- became immediately obvious:

July 8:  Barry attacks Jones and others for being rude to Julia Gillard.
September 2: Barry attacks Jones over an error on the extent of election fraud.
September 30: Barry attacks Jones over claims on global warming.
October 7: Barry attacks Jones’ 2GB colleague Ray Hadley, with passing swipe at Jones for being “loose with the facts”.
October 28: Barry spends most an entire program attacking Jones for what even Barry admits “you may think ...  are fairly trivial mistakes” about global warming policies and bureaucrats.
Jones is one broadcaster hired by one radio station in one city in one state. Radio is one media form among many covered by Media Watch, including print, television and on-line.
UDATE
Reader Andrew of Randwick:
In an extraordinary episode of commercial radio bashing by ABC Media Watch - the holier than thou Paul Barry says that the ABC is much better at meeting its codes/policies than 2GB, even though the ABC requirements are much more stringent. And that 2GB should be much more upfront and make clear to its listeners when it gets things wrong…
So how does the ABC deal with errors? Let’s look at some upheld complaints against the preeminent flagship 7pm news bulletin in August and September.

Result: The broadcast was not in keeping with the ABC’s editorial standards for harm and offence.
Result: A statement was also posted to the ABC News Corrections & Clarifications webpage.
Result: A clarification was posted to the ABC News Corrections & Clarifications webpage.
Result: A correction was posted on the ABC News Corrections & Clarifications webpage
Result: Accordingly, the broadcast was not in keeping with the ABC’s standards for harm and offence.
Result: An Editor’s Note was added to the original story online and to a page on ABC News Online that linked to the video
So there you go. The ABC makes a mistake that is TV broadcast all around Australia or within a State and what happens?
A broadcast apology? - No. A ticker tape line at the bottom of screen during a broadcast? – No. Any action – sometimes No.
I wonder how many TV viewers watch the news and then log onto the ”ABC News Corrections & Clarifications webpage” every three months or so, to see what errors were made? My bet none. So is the ABC really so much better than 2GB at informing its viewers when it makes stuff-ups? 
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Abbott takes Shorten to Afghanistan

Andrew Bolt October 29 2013 (7:50am)


Not a victory in Afghanistan, but an advance:

As Apache attack helicopters circled nearby, Mr Abbott did not declare victory or defeat, but he declared that Afghanistan was a better country for Australia’s efforts.
Note this detail of Abbott’s latest visit to Afghanistan:

The Abbott entourage arrived at the mountainous outpost in Tarin Kowt, Oruzgan Province, under an unprecedented security shield to call time on Australia’s longest ever war… [Abbott’s] sentiments were supported by Bill Shorten who joined Mr Abbott on his fourth visit and the first ever bipartisan pilgrimage to the troops.
Contrast this grace this to the rank politicking of Julia Gillard in 2010:
TONY Abbott has accused Julia Gillard of “low bastardry” in disclosing that he had declined her offer to travel to Afghanistan together to visit Australian troops.
At the end of a full-day visit to the forces at the coalition base in Tarin Kowt on Saturday, Mr Abbott said he personally told the Prime Minister weeks earlier that he planned to visit separately.
“So Gillard’s office were briefing [reporters] last Monday that I’d somehow dudded the troops by not visiting,” Mr Abbott said at the weekend.
“I regard it as an act of low bastardry given what Gillard knew based on the conversation I’d had with her personally,” he said.
Abbott back then had privately informed Gillard he was going to Afghanistan. Gillard then publicly said she was going and said Abbott had turned down her invitation to come, too. She did not reveal he’d already organised his own trip.
I think the standard of politics has been vastly improved by an election. 
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We celebrate Talk Like Mike Carlton Day

Andrew Bolt October 29 2013 (7:32am)


Inspired by Tim Blair, Steve Price and I last night celebrated ”Talk Like Mike Carlton Day”.
Listen from 0:39.
2GB’s Ray Hadley recalls hearing Mike Carlton during his stint on London radio:

I pissed myself laughing. It was him bunging on a clipped English accent.
I’m told the station had asked him to adopt a Pommy accent or perish. He perished anyway. 
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Jews bashed allegedly by Pacific Islanders

Andrew Bolt October 29 2013 (7:23am)


I thought it suspicious that police and the press gave no description of the youths wanted for bashing five Jews in Bondi. That already suggested an ethnic dimension. Sure enough:
The two boys were part of a group of eight mainly Pacific Islander youths charged with attacking the family, including a 66-year-old father and a 62-year-old mother, and friends walking home from a Sabbath dinner.
I also thought this was a non-sequitur:

‘’It is extremely shocking that an attack like this could happen in Australia let alone in Bondi being such a multicultural area.’’
In fact, a multicultural area is precisely where you are most likely to find such violent tribalism:

The [former] Attorney-General talks about his electorate:


Isaacs MP Mark Dreyfus said..."One third of Australians were born overseas and Greater Dandenong is home to citizens representing 150 different nationalities,” he said. “Our community is a wonderful example to others of a modern, diverse and harmonious society.”
This week:


Community leaders have joined police on regular patrols in Dandenong as the force tries to improve ties with troubled ethnic youths. The ethnically diverse city has crime rates almost 40 per cent higher than the state average… Pacific Islander and Sudanese community leaders were informed by Victoria Police last year that their populations were overrepresented in crime statistics.
From ABS statistics:
image
(Note: older ethnic communities may be underrepresented in the final figure, of rate per 100,000 of population, having their younger offenders listed as Australian born. More recent communities may be overrepresented because they tend to have a higher proportion of young males.)
UPDATE
More ethnic violence, this time from Victoria’s latest refugee community:

October 28:

Detectives from Fawkner Embona are investigating an attempted armed robbery at a business in Coolaroo on Sunday morning… One of the males confronted the 38-year-old male staff member with an edged weapon and demanded cash, causing minor injuries to his upper arm…
The offenders are perceived as being of African appearance and around 175cm tall.
October 27:

A man and a police officer have been knocked out during a violent brawl in Hawthorn. Dozens of officers were called to break up the fight, which broke out in Glenferrie Road around 4.30am… Two people of African descent have been arrested ...

October 26:

Fawkner Embona Taskforce detectives are appealing to the public to help identify two men following an assault and robbery in Brunswick on 15 October… The victim suffered bruising to his face and head.
The two offenders were perceived by the victim to be of African appearance ...
October 21:

A SERIAL criminal offender… pleaded guilty to charges arising from separate incidents including being drunk and disorderly in a public place, the theft of a $5 T-shirt from Dimmeys and sunglasses from Chemist Warehouse in Dandenong. He was also involved in a group assault and robbery of a man at Coles in Dandenong, and threatened a Protective Services Officer at Dandenong railway station, saying: “I’ll get you one day”. He then imitated a gun with his hand and said: “Bang! Bang!”
[The magistrate] ... said her focus would be on [the offender’s] young age and his troubled childhood as a Sudanese refugee.
September 21:
POLICE are searching for two men who allegedly randomly attacked two others on a busy Melbourne nightclub strip, leaving their victims with facial injuries… Police have released CCTV footage of the two men - both of African appearance - who first walked past their victims, before turning to allegedly assault them.
Meanwhile in Sydney, another gun crime overnight of the sort that has often involved members of the Lebanese community:

THE city’s gun violence has erupted again with one man shot dead and another seriously injured in Sydney’s south west overnight. The victims are known associates of the [Lebanese] Hamze crime gang called Brothers For Life, and were found in a lit-up and open garage suffering multiple gunshot wounds.
Yes, pointing out the ethnic dimension to crimes is said to be rude. But what’s ruder is pretending to be blind and letting others then suffer the consequences of those finer feelings. 
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Abbott more popular, Labor slides

Andrew Bolt October 29 2013 (5:53am)


Labor need to snap out of its denialism and accept its fatal flaw was not merely disunity but its policy and performance.
And who cares if the Leftist media continues its hysterical attacks on Tony Abbott as a rort-riddled, fire-starting climate change denier? Let it have it’s hissy fits. They make no difference - other than to delegitimise the Left and provide material for this blog. Now that Abbott is Prime Minister, his performance can more easily trump the media’s perception.
Because observe:
In the first Newspoll since the September 7 election, the Prime Minister has recorded his best net satisfaction rating since he took over as Liberal leader in December 2009.
Mr Abbott has also opened a commanding 47 per cent to 28 per cent lead over new Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on the question of who would make the better prime minister…
The Newspoll survey ... reveals Labor’s primary vote has slipped to 31 per cent compared with its September 7 election day result of 33.3 per cent…
Based on preference flows at the August 2010 election, the Coalition has opened up a 56 per cent to 44 per cent lead over Labor after preferences.
Labor is in far more trouble than it convinced itself.
Here’s a handy checklist.
Real issues:

Debt and spending: surviving the next world recession
Welfarism
Restoring community: tackling tribalism and connecting the disconnected - poor, immigrant, welfare and under-parented families.

Cutting immigration to more sustainable levels
Jobs and managing a likely decline in China’s growth

Aboriginal poverty
Freedom - restoring free speech and cutting the reach of big government and state media/

Putting people first: restoring the rule of reason, and rolling back the global warming hysteria and green religion.
Excellence in education
Restoring honor and trust
Public incivility - reversing the rise
Unreal issues

Global warming
More handouts
Being too tough on “asylum seekers” by not letting in more
Gender or identity politics of any kind
Constitutional recognition of indigenous Australians
A republic 
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Hartcher outs Carr as a serial deceiver

Andrew Bolt October 29 2013 (5:45am)


The Sydney Morning Herald’s Peter Hartcher outs former foreign minister Bob Carr as not just a blunderer but a liar:
On March 18, I reported, with my colleague Mark Kenny...: ‘’Senior ministers in the Gillard government are reconsidering their support for the Prime Minister, a sign of collapsing confidence at a critical moment.’’
The piece named as examples the Left faction’s Mark Butler and the Right’s Bob Carr.
Carr issued the most emphatic of denials from Washington: ‘’Those stories aren’t true. I’m loyal to Julia Gillard, and Julia Gillard, in my view, will lead the Labor Party to the election in September.’’
When it came to a vote three months later, he and Butler voted against Gillard. And last week, when Carr called a press conference to announce his retirement from the Senate, he was asked to name the exact moment when he lost confidence in Gillard.
He nominated Gillard’s decision to pursue reforms to media laws. It was ‘’badly wrong-headed’’, he said…
The Gillard government announced that it would pursue the media laws on March 12. The story reporting Carr’s loss of confidence was published six days later.
Carr’s second falsehood was to insist, over and again, that he would stay in Parliament… If elected to the Senate for another six years, he would not only serve his full term but the term after that, he declared. Instead, Carr, duly elected by the people of NSW, will not serve even one day in the new Senate. 
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Electricity Bill retreats

Andrew Bolt October 29 2013 (5:20am)


I thought Tony Abbott’s weekend attack on “Electricity Bill” would panic Labor.
Too right:

Labor is expected to support axing the carbon tax, with senior figures - including leader Bill Shorten - now convinced that its case for action on climate change is more easily sold if the politically ‘’toxic’’ tax is abolished…
[Party leaders] argue that Labor proposed to ‘’terminate’’ the tax at the election and to simply block its repeal would allow the government to continue to punish it politically.
No kidding.
Turns out voters might get a win-win out of this:
Mr Shorten is also worried an endless focus on the carbon tax would distract from serious flaws in the government’s $3.2 billion Direct Action policy, which Labor will oppose.
So we might get neither Labor’s carbon tax nor the Coalition’s equally useless, albeit much cheaper, Direct Action policies.
Excellent.
But Labor is far from in the clear. Defending a form of carbon tax in principle - either as a fixed price tax or a price set by emissions trading - leaves it exposed to an almighty scare campaign at the next election. Less than a fortnight ago Shorten was still demanding a “price on carbon”:

We do believe in putting a price on carbon pollution… We do believe that deferring problems to future generations doesn’t assist anyone.
Few would trust Shorten should he later say: “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.” Shorten actually needs to start making the case against a price on carbon, not for it. 
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Chiselling God from the Unknown Soldier’s grave

Andrew Bolt October 29 2013 (5:13am)


image
I would not have expected this cultural vandalism from Brendan Nelson. Nick Cater:
IN 1999 the words “Known unto God” were carved at the northern end of the plinth surrounding the tomb of the Australian Unknown Soldier in Canberra.
It is the epitaph Rudyard Kipling advised the Imperial War Graves Commission to adopt in 1917 to mark the graves of soldiers whose remains could not be identified. It is inscribed on the headstones of more than 212,000 Commonwealth soldiers.
Six weeks ago, ...  the War Memorial’s director, Brendan Nelson, told the National Press Club that the inscription was being removed. The words of explanation at the opposite end—“He symbolises all Australians who’ve died in war”—also would be going…
The council did not inform Labor’s minister for veterans’ affairs or the Coalition opposition ...[it] was prepared to chisel the name of God off its face.
In its place were to be inscribed the words of our 24th prime minister, the Honourable PJ Keating.
“Into one end we will engrave: ‘We do not know this Australian’s name, we never will,’ “ said Nelson. “At the end, as you walk into the hall, it will say: ‘He is one of them, and he is all of us.’ “…
To replace an inscription chosen by men and women who lived and fought in the Great War with the words of a living political figure, however, and a controversial one at that, is a frightening act of hubris that politicises our most sacred memorial…
It was only when Abbott spoke directly to Nelson that compromise was reached. “Known under God” would stay but the inscription “He symbolises all Australians who’ve died in war” would go. It would be replaced by Keating’s phrase “He is one of them, and he is all of us."…
The men and women who chose the words “Known unto God” were contemporaries of the fallen. They experienced the consequences of a horrible war and knew the pain of loss. Who are we to change them?
Nelson may have retreated - partially - from this folly. But watch Abbott now pay the price for defending the reference to God.
UPDATE
On the council of the Australian War Memorial, Sydney Morning Herald writer Peter FitzSimons.
But of course.
(Thanks to reader Correllio.) 
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http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/peter-fitzsimons-bushfire-bastard.html
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Excuses aren't the same as reason. ed
http://www.news.com.au/national/she-just-doesnt-learn-claims-of-violence-against-tanilla-deaves/story-fncynjr2-1226749158587
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It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

The Sierra Mountains got a good dusting of snow this Monday. This image was taken at around the 5,000 ft elevation. The dogwood trees are looking so beautiful with snow on them. Soon all the fall ncolor will be gone, and I am so happy to have been able to capture some of this year's colors and snow in the Yosemite National Park areas. 

More images to come! Stay tuned
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I don't know if this happened .. but the pastor does not speak for me.- ed
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Pastor Rick Warren'
There are accidental and illegitimate parents, but no accidental or illegitimate children. Your parents may not have planned you but God did!

"All the days that you (God) PLANNED for my life were written in your Book BEFORE I was one day old!" Psalm 139:16 

God conceived your life before your parents conceived you. He WANTED YOU BORN so he could love you. This is why abortion short-circuits God's plan. God has never conceived of anyone, including you, that he didn't pre-plan a purpose for their life.
=
Shared joy is doubled. Shared grief is halved. 
Yesterday Kay and I supported an event for families who've lost a loved one to suicide.
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Holly Sarah Nguyen
Finding yourself in a whirlwind of emotions these days, wondering if this roller coaster will ever stop spinning around and slowly going up then rushing back downwards..... sometimes you Just want it to stop, but if it did where would you be? You can either live in fear of the next twist and turn or go along with it and enjoy the excitement that is your beautiful life on this amazing ride we call living, accept Your feeling, good or bad, embrace them, own them and knows they're Yours. Look at things in a different light..... let your fear be replaced by excitement..let your tears bring you release to smile...allow your doubts to give way to curiosity.. let your lows bring you the comfort of knowing hope that brighter days are coming.....embrace yourself, all of YOU! We can't pick and choose what comes our way, what we can choose is how we react to them _(._.)_ Hugs 
Aye sister .. the Lord has given us this precious life and we have one life. We make many mistakes .. many bad choices .. He loves us .. and he looks at the right choices we made and smiles on them. One bad choice does not end his love. Two bad choices don't. Or hundreds and thousands. But when we are wise, and choose well, he delights .. he brags about us .. - ed
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I'm 81% with Libs - ed
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Her singing has ended, but her music goes on .. ed
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Aprille Love
#morning #success #inspo
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Mother didn't care or spent too much time around car? Can't be both. - ed
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ICE cubes could be a thing of the past after the invention of a new gadget that can chill drinks in a matter of seconds.
Known as V-Tex, the product is being billed as a ‘reverse-microwave’, able to cool wine bottles and fizzy drinks from room temperature to four degrees in just 45 seconds.
The V-Tex uses a cooling vortex to chill the drinks, spinning the beverage around without disturbing the carbonation of fizzy drinks.
According to its makers, Enviro-Cool, who developed the product with the help of funding from the European Union, the gadget needs 80 per cent less energy than standard drink chillers.

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For more than a week, 2.000 Kachin civilians have been trapped in a conflict zone near Mansi Township, southern Kachin State, and thousands more are fleeing on foot into the jungles and nearby villages & churches. The Burmese military has brutally & senselessly occupied 5 villages and several IDP camps (none of which have KIA bases), opening fire on the villages and torturing & detaining villagers. The military's timing is hardly coincidental: this is the same week that ethnic groups are gathering in Laiza, Kachin State to discuss a potential national ceasefire conference.

Relief worker Naw Din says thousands are unreachable, though “We managed to talk to few villagers and some young students, who revealed that they are being threatened; if someone leaves or enters the village, they will be shot."

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"God warned me." -Noah
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4 her
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Magic, my love - ed
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http://www.darkhorizons.com/news/29400/-prometheus-2-written-blade-runner-2-soon
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Benjamin Netanyahu - בנימין נתניהו‎'
shed serving their full sentence period. Heart with bereaved families and heart hurts.

We are forced to navigate within a complex international arena and not simple, it is very challenging and requires us to do considerations of various factors in favor of the State of Israel.

Since we received the decision of the Government all its members need to act responsibly, judgment and out of sight. In the years I was responsible for the safety of the citizens of the State of Israel as Prime Minister-the condition of the State of Israel has improved significantly.

This improvement we have worked on together Ministers and Knesset members, Government and the Coalition, this security improvement occurs in regional security Jolt didn't like her since the establishment of the State and this is random. It is first of all a result of the security policy that we are educated side navigation that enables the State of Israel leeway in the international arena.

To be dismissed or strategic implications gives leeway to the State of Israel's security. We will continue to lead the State of Israel in a tightly controlled complex challenges facing it nicbm>
ההחלטה לשחרור האסירים היא מההחלטות הקשות שקיבלתי כראש ממשלה. אני בטוח שכל ראשי הממשלה שקיבלו את ההחלטה הזאת לפניי התייסרו בה גם הם, וזאת לנוכח אי הצדק שבני עוולה משתחררים לפני שסיימו לרצות את מלוא תקופת עונשם. ליבי עם המשפחות השכולות והלב כואב. 

אנו נאלצים לנווט בתוך זירה בינלאומית מורכבת ולא פשוטה, היא רבת אתגרים ומחייבת אותנו לעשות שיקולים של גורמים שונים לטובת מדינת ישראל.

מהרגע שהתקבלה החלטה בממשלה כל החברים בה צריכים לנהוג באחריות, בשיקול דעת ומתוך ראייה ארוכת טווח. בשנים שאני נושא באחריות לביטחונם של אזרחי מדינת ישראל כראש ממשלה - מצבה הביטחוני של מדינת ישראל השתפר משמעותית.

השיפור הזה שעמלנו עליו יחדיו שרים וחברי כנסת, ממשלה וקואליציה, השיפור הזה בביטחון מתרחש מול טלטלה ביטחונית אזורית שלא הייתה כמותה מאז קום המדינה והדבר הזה איננו מקרי. הוא קודם כל תוצאה של המדיניות הביטחונית התקיפה שאנחנו מנהיגים לצד ניווט מושכל שמאפשר למדינת ישראל מרחב תמרון בזירה הבינלאומית.

אסור לזלזל במשמעויות האסטרטגיות שמעניק מרחב תמרון זה לביטחון של מדינת ישראל. אנו נמשיך להוביל את מדינת ישראל בצורה מפוקחת מול האתגרים המורכבים שהיא ניצבם מולם.
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When Georgia Smiled - The Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation
creates and advances programs that help women and children, especially those affected by domestic violence, live healthy, safe and joy-filled lives. Learn more: http://bit.ly/RobinFoundation http://bit.ly/DRPWGS#WhenGeorgiaSmiled #DrPhil

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Despite years of promises to the contrary, hundreds of thousands of Americans have already received health insurance policy cancelation notices thanks to Obamacare.
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A manhunt is underway in Oklahoma after four prisoners escaped by crawling through the jail's plumbing system from the shower room.

The men were reportedly last seen at a car wash approximately one block from the detention center where they made their escape.http://tinyurl.com/nae3czk
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http://www.theage.com.au/executive-style/top-drop/worlds-strongest-beer-contains-675-alcohol-20131029-2wcv0.html
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The Aspire Initiative is a free domestic violence education curriculum to reduce the level of intimate relationship violence in the U.S. Click here to learn more: http://bit.ly/DRPAspire
http://bit.ly/DRPWGS
#DrPhil #Aspire #WhenGeorgiaSmiled
 
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"I remember wiping the dust off the masking tape on the canisters and my heart missed a beat as I saw the words ‘Doctor Who". #DoctorWho 'The Enemy of the World', missing for 45 years but now available for Pre-Order at $19.95, with FREE delivery Australia wide! Shop Here:http://bit.ly/LostEpisode
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Daniel Bogo
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One of the most important items from the Cheapside Hoard is this large Colombian emerald pocket watch, circa 1600. Watches first appeared in England around 1540, and Colombian emeralds reached Europe by the late 1500s. Taking advantage of the crystal’s hexagonal shape, the maker removed a slice for the cover, cut out a central section for the movement, and used that gem material to embellish the metalwork. Green enamel decorates various parts of the watch. The artistry and meticulous engineering indicate this timepiece was intended for nobility. Courtesy of the Museum of London; photos by Robert Weldon/GIA.
cf the hoard - ed https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheapside_Hoard ===

1.00 Carat, Fancy Purplish Red Diamond, Heart, SI2
Daniel KatzJewellery & Gemstone Fashion DESIGN Gallery
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2.04ct Rhodolite - origin unknown
7.73 x 4.81 mm
Do you like red, my love? - ed
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Blue Lagoon by Laurie Anderson 
I got your letter. Thanks a lot. I've been getting lots of sun. And lots of rest. It's really hot. Days, I dive by the wreck. Nights, I swim in the blue lagoon. Always used to wonder who I'd bring to a desert island. Days, I remember cities. Nights, I dream about a perfect place. Days, I dive by the wreck. Nights, I swim in the blue lagoon. Full fathom five thy father lies. Of his bones are coral made. Those are pearls that were his eyes. Nothing of him that doth fade. But that suffers a sea change. Into something rich and strange. And I alone am left to tell the tale. Call me Ishmael. I got your letter. Thanks a lot. I've been getting lots of sun. And lots of rest. It's really hot. Always used to wonder who I'd bring to a desert island. Days, I remember rooms. Nights, I swim in the blue lagoon. I saw a plane today. Flying low over the island. But my mind was somewhere else. And if you ever get this letter. Thinking of you. Love and kisses. Blue Pacific. Signing off.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkeB-J9IlAI


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Aprille Love
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SillyPhilly Train
My fitness mate running me through the basics of oz tag
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Larry Pickering
SHORTEN DUMPS THE CARBON TAX...
and the Left faction with it

When Albanese promised he would not allow the Carbon Tax Repeal Bill to pass the Senate, he meant it. When Shorten promised the same, he didn’t mean it. And the first nail in Bill’s coffin has been driven home with a Left-handed hammer.

Capitulation on the carbon tax means the Senate is now ideologically emasculated and Labor’s Left Reps are writhing in pain.

Former partners in crime, the Greens, can now revert to the exiguous nothingness the electorate had banished them to. The bitter vitriol expected from Christine Milne will be no more than an irrelevant echo in her beloved Tasmanian wilderness as Labor rues the day they invited them into Government.

But Labor’s rabid Left, led by Plibersek and Albanese, will be white with rage at Shorten’s backdown and facing media questions of solidarity will prove extremely uncomfortable for them.

An emotional schism is brewing within Labor ranks as they finally bury the Rudd/Gillard experiment and tentatively creep toward the sensible centre.

But the sensible centre is not where the heart of Labor lies but it is where Labor becomes re-electable... before it once again disingenuously drifts to the far Left.

Those on the Right will justify the pragmatic backflip as the global warming myth becomes more discredited daily.

Tony Abbott has never been a believer in man-made global warming and many on Labor’s Right are having serious doubts.

Shorten had no choice really, Abbott and the electorate won the carbon tax debate and Labor must now find another vehicle for their socialised income redistribution.

But we will need to return Labor to government before we find out what that vehicle is.

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http://israeltheviewfromhere.blo..

Don't be fooled by Taqiyah.

Original Thinking from Barry Shaw.

Taqiyah is the Islamic ruse that permits lying and deceit for short or long term gain.
Quoted in the Ahmad ibn Nagib al-Misri handbook is an explanation of the use and benefits of taqiyah. It concludes that “when it is possible to achieve an aim by lying, but not telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible.”

Taqiyah is old hat in the Islamic world. It is as old as Mohammed. He signed a peace agreement with the Jews of Medina after he had been unable to defeat them in battle. This truce lasted only as long as he was able to muster sufficient force to inflict defeat on them. He conquered Medina and publicly executed all the Jewish men, eight hundred in number.

So much for Islamic signed contracts and commitments.
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http://topconservativenews.com/2013/10/anti-racist-activist-raped-after-attending-anti-racism-festival-in-italy/
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http://publicchristianity.org/li...
William Cooper was an Aboriginal Elder who led a delegation to the German consulate in Melbourne to deliver a petition condemning the Nazis treatment of the Jews in 1938. This was apparently the only private protest against the Germans following Kristallnacht. 

See the interview with William Cooper's grandson, Alf Turner, here:https://publicchristianity.org/library/kristallnacht-protest#.UmyPZJQpaPQ
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What ?!?!

No mass protests by offended Muslim extremists ???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZMbTFNp4wI
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If this quote is true, then I would have thought that Israeli leadership would have wisened up by now. After all, haven't they exhausted all alternatives already? "History teaches us that men and nations only behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives...
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Did he have a right to kill his Nazi dad? I say yes, but I have a personal account to settle with Nazis, Neo Nazis and their ilk! What are your thoughts?
http://www.timesofisrael.com/?p=727814
http://www.timesofisrael.com/boy...
I feel the dad killed himself .. another 'crime' he will answer for .. I find it disturbing a child could be raised in a neo nazi household and endure years of abuse with access to a gun and the media's sole concern was that the kid used it right? Some things in this world are over regulated. Nazis are not. Still, we can wait for Obama to demand that neo Nazis free those that have killed them over the years and are incarcerated humanely .. as a sign of peace and a willingness to embrace the free world. - ed===

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Fabulous scene from the West Wing! Toby Ziegler's expresses his view on US foreign policy towards the Arab world. This is a MUST SEE.
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Do you know what the radical Muslims around the world are REALLY up to? This is happening as we speak in the Africa, Aisa, Europe and now the USA. People better learn the truth!
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Last week was another huge week for TruthRevolt. First, an update on the media landscape. 

The media's coverage of Obamacare website glitches has been shockingly professional. Shocking, that is, if you believe that they will continue to honestly cover the problems with Obamacare – which they most assuredly will not. Watch for the about-face within the next couple of weeks as the Obama administration declares the glitches finished, and the media hops-to, loudly proclaiming that Obamacare is back ontrack despite the best attempts of Republicans to declare it dead. 

Meanwhile, the media continues to champion President Obama's take on immigration, suggesting that Republicans are standing in the way of progress on immigration reform.Of course, it is President Obama who is doing so, given the fact that there is widespread bipartisan support for an immigration plan that (1) secures the border and (2) figures out what to do with those here illegally currently. President Obama simply rejects the first element of that bipartisan approach. But don't look for the media to cover it. 

Can we count on you to help TruthRevolt keep the momentum going? Click here to make a tax-deductible donation of $25, $50, $100, or more today. 

Now, an update on the website. 

Not only do we continue to push forward with our campaign against MSNBC's favorite racist, Al Sharpton – we'll have more developments to announce soon – but we're winning victories against the lying media day-by-day. 

Last week saw the launch of the TruthRevolt Special Ops, a group of patriots willing to spend 3 minutes a day pushing back against the lies of the media. We initially anticipated 100 people joining the Special Ops. Instead, thanks to you, that list is well over 600 people. Our Special Ops volunteers already won some victories this week, including: 

  • forcing acknowledgement of an apology from New York Magazine publisher Larry Burstein for one of his senior editors suggesting that Donald Trump's wife was waiting for him to die;
  • forcing an apology from CNBC's Steve Liesman for calling for "Mexican music" while talking about Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who is of Cuban extraction.

Our Special Ops volunteers also flooded the email inbox of American Association of Justice CEO Linda Lipsen. The AAJ is the single largest donor to Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), theCongressman who slandered the Tea Party with a mailer featuring the "T" as a burning cross. And we're pushing hard every single day for more action to stop the propaganda and lies of the left by targeting their supporters. 

Traffic at TruthRevolt continues to be tremendous, with tens of thousands of Americans visiting the site every day. That means more Americans are learning the truth about the media. 

This week, we expect to go to battle with Sharpton, who has declared his next shakedown target – Barneys New York – as well as those who support the ridiculous comments of Rep. Grayson. We will also be honing in on a big new target so that we can begin to multiply our victories. No wonder even the editor of the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, whom we got to apologize for running a vicious cartoon depicting the Tea Party as a jihad movement, calls us an "intelligent conservative site." Our action even prompted Eshman to sit down with an actual Tea Partier. Imagine that! 

Please considering making a tax-deductible donation of $25, $50, $100, or more to support our efforts and keep the momentum going. 

We'll have more exciting measures to celebrate in the near future, so keep your eyes open! 

Punching back twice as hard, 


Ben Shapiro
Editor, TruthRevolt.org and Shillman Senior Fellow 


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The David Horowitz Freedom Center
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Hi everyone! Here's the MichelleMalkin.com newsletter for October 28th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Obamacare epiphanies, part VIII: It’s not free?

Yet another awakening to add to the “Tales from the Train Wreck” series. Sunday’s story comes by way of the L.A. Times...

So how did that auction for solar energy rights on federal land go?

How many bids did the government get on its land auction for solar energy development?

Sebelius: Maybe Republicans and the shutdown are to blame for the Three Stoogian launch of HealthCare.Gov

Forget that the Democrat-controlled Congress passed the law that President Obama signed over three years ago, the Dems created the “go” date, and that HealthCare.Gov didn’t officially open for business until the same day the shutdown began — this disaster still could be the fault of Republicans, according to HHS Secretary Sebelius Friday...

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Michelle's Top Tweets

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And ... Our Hate Tweet of the Day

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Gotta love those arbiters of ethnic purity!
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Holidays and observances[edit]

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“For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.” 1 Peter 1:24-25 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"I have chosen you out of the world."
John 15:19
Here is distinguishing grace and discriminating regard; for some are made the special objects of divine affection. Do not be afraid to dwell upon this high doctrine of election. When your mind is most heavy and depressed, you will find it to be a bottle of richest cordial. Those who doubt the doctrines of grace, or who cast them into the shade, miss the richest clusters of Eshcol; they lose the wines on the lees well refined, the fat things full of marrow. There is no balm in Gilead comparable to it. If the honey in Jonathan's wood when but touched enlightened the eyes, this is honey which will enlighten your heart to love and learn the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Eat, and fear not a surfeit; live upon this choice dainty, and fear not that it will be too delicate a diet. Meat from the King's table will hurt none of his courtiers. Desire to have your mind enlarged, that you may comprehend more and more the eternal, everlasting, discriminating love of God. When you have mounted as high as election, tarry on its sister mount, the covenant of grace. Covenant engagements are the munitions of stupendous rock behind which we lie entrenched; covenant engagements with the surety, Christ Jesus, are the quiet resting-places of trembling spirits.
"His oath, his covenant, his blood,
Support me in the raging flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
This still is all my strength and stay."
If Jesus undertook to bring me to glory, and if the Father promised that he would give me to the Son to be a part of the infinite reward of the travail of his soul; then, my soul, till God himself shall be unfaithful, till Jesus shall cease to be the truth, thou art safe. When David danced before the ark, he told Michal that election made him do so. Come, my soul, exult before the God of grace and leap for joy of heart.

Evening

"His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven."
Song of Solomon 5:11
Comparisons all fail to set forth the Lord Jesus, but the spouse uses the best within her reach. By the head of Jesus we may understand his deity, "for the head of Christ is God" and then the ingot of purest gold is the best conceivable metaphor, but all too poor to describe one so precious, so pure, so dear, so glorious. Jesus is not a grain of gold, but a vast globe of it, a priceless mass of treasure such as earth and heaven cannot excel. The creatures are mere iron and clay, they all shall perish like wood, hay, and stubble, but the ever living Head of the creation of God shall shine on forever and ever. In him is no mixture, nor smallest taint of alloy. He is forever infinitely holy and altogether divine. The bushy locks depict his manly vigour. There is nothing effeminate in our Beloved. He is the manliest of men. Bold as a lion, laborious as an ox, swift as an eagle. Every conceivable and inconceivable beauty is to be found in him, though once he was despised and rejected of men.
"His head the finest gold;
With secret sweet perfume,
His curled locks hang all as black
As any raven's plume."
The glory of his head is not shorn away, he is eternally crowned with peerless majesty. The black hair indicates youthful freshness, for Jesus has the dew of his youth upon him. Others grow languid with age, but he is forever a Priest as was Melchizedek; others come and go, but he abides as God upon his throne, world without end. We will behold him tonight and adore him. Angels are gazing upon him--his redeemed must not turn away their eyes from him. Where else is there such a Beloved? O for an hour's fellowship with him! Away, ye intruding cares! Jesus draws me, and I run after him.
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Today's reading: Jeremiah 15-17, 2 Timothy 2 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Jeremiah 15-17

1 Then the LORD said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go! 2And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the LORD says:
“‘Those destined for death, to death;
those for the sword, to the sword;
those for starvation, to starvation;
those for captivity, to captivity.’
3 “I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” declares the LORD, “the sword to kill and the dogs to drag away and the birds and the wild animals to devour and destroy. 4 I will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what Manasseh son of Hezekiah king of Judah did in Jerusalem.
5 “Who will have pity on you, Jerusalem?
Who will mourn for you?
Who will stop to ask how you are?
6 You have rejected me,” declares the LORD.
“You keep on backsliding.
So I will reach out and destroy you;
I am tired of holding back.
7 I will winnow them with a winnowing fork
at the city gates of the land.
I will bring bereavement and destruction on my people,
for they have not changed their ways.
8 I will make their widows more numerous
than the sand of the sea.
At midday I will bring a destroyer
against the mothers of their young men;
suddenly I will bring down on them
anguish and terror....

Today's New Testament reading: 2 Timothy 2

The Appeal Renewed
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
11 Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
12 if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
13 if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.
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Ahab

[Ā'hăb] - father's brother.
1. The son of Omri, and his successor as the seventh king of Israel (1 Kings 16:28-33).

The Man Who Wanted Another's Vineyard

Ahab was an able and energetic warrior. His victories over the Syrians pushed the borders of his kingdom to the border of Damascus. Great renown became his, also great wealth indicated by the ivory palace he built for himself (1 Kings 21:1; 22:39 ). Success, however, made him greedy for still more. Not since Solomon's time had a king been so victorious as Ahab, and what was a little matter like Naboth's vineyard to one who had grasped so much? With his wealth, Ahab bought all he wanted. One tenant, however, could not be bought out. Sentiment, affection and tender memories were more to Naboth than all the king's money.
Ahab could not say "All is mine" until the vineyard on his estate was his. First of all, there was no flaw in Ahab's advances. A fair price and richer land were offered Naboth. The sin came after Naboth's refusal to sell, because of a thousand sacred ties. Ahab sinned in not entering into a poorer man's feelings. Naboth was not obstinate. His vineyard was a sacred heritage, a precious tradition. If we are to be Christlike we must be considerate of others.
Ahab's next fault was that of making an awful grievance of his disappointment. He acted like a spoiled child and in a sulky fit told of failure to secure the vineyard to Jezebel, his strong-minded wife. Ahab and Jezebel are the Macbeth and Lady Macbeth of this inspired story. Ahab played into his wife's hands, and those hands were eager to shed blood.
Points for possible expansion are:
I. Ahab established idolatry. He was a dangerous innovator and a patron of foreign gods (1 Kings 16:31-33; 21:26).
II. He was a weak-minded man, lacking moral fiber and righteousness ( 1 Kings 21:4).
III. He was the tool of his cruel, avaricious wife (1 Kings 21:7, 25).
IV. His doom, along with that of Jezebel, was foretold by Elijah (1 Kings 21:22) and by Micaiah (1 Kings 22:28).
2. The name of the false prophet who was in Babylon during the exile, and was roasted in the fire by Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 29:21-23).
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October 28, 2011
Fresh Hope for the Journey
Part 1
Today's Truth
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. (Psalm 40:1-3, NIV).
Friend to Friend
I had almost forgotten what it felt like to wake up at the bottom of that deep, ugly pit called clinical depression. The darkness has been an all too familiar companion for most of my life. Over the years, I tried just about everything to soothe the pain in my heart and mind - things like success in ministry, the approval of others, perfectionism, doing good things, and food - to name a few.
In 1995, the bottom fell out of my life and I spent two long years climbing out of that pit of darkness. I even wrote a book, "Hope in the Midst of Depression" that describes the painful but healing journey that totally and completely changed who I was and what I would become in the years ahead. God absolutely "re-defined" me and gave me a "new song" to sing as He opened doors for me speak to women across the world about how to find hope in the midst of depression. I have often said, "I would go through that pit experience again tomorrow because of what God has done in my life through it." I really meant those words. I just didn't think that "tomorrow" would come. But it has. So what do I do now?
I go back to the place where it all began - to the place of complete brokenness - and remember. Evidently, I have forgotten some of truths God taught me in the darkness. I have surrendered right priorities to the wrong plan and failed to hear God's voice above all others.
Depression may not be the problem you are facing, but the hard times will come and the darkness will find each one of us. At some point in life, we all will face some kind of pit. It may be a pit that we have dug with our own hands of wrong choices or it could be a pit that has been uniquely designed for us by the enemy. But a pit is a pit - a place of paralyzing fear and numbing doubt that is constantly fed by our human frailty and desperate attempts to escape the darkness.
Over the next two days, we will explore four steps we can take in order to find fresh hope and new freedom from the darkness. Let's get started!
Step 1: Identify the purpose of the pit.
I recently underwent what I thought was going to be a simple medical procedure, but when I woke up in recovery, I knew I was in trouble. According to the doctor, the surgery went great but she had not expected to find so much scar tissue and repair work to do and I certainly had not expected to experience the level of pain, soreness and inability to function that overwhelmed me. I was basically helpless. I had given myself a whole ten days to recuperate but it was brutally obvious that recuperation was going to be a long time coming. In fact, those ten days I had so generously carved out of my schedule turned into months of painful and slow recovery. I could feel myself sliding into that familiar pit of darkness.
You see, I have a problem with pride. It has always been extremely hard for me to accept help. I was raised to be strong and independent. When anyone asked what they could do to help out during my recovery, I automatically responded with, "I am fine. I will let you know if I need anything." Fortunately, my family and friends ignored that absurd assertion and stepped right over my pride as they brought meals, cleaned house, did laundry, assumed my teaching and speaking responsibilities and kept our infant grandson while our daughter attended school three days a week. I could not even get out of bed or go downstairs without help - and I did not like it one bit! In fact, I was furious!
Just like a tiny flame can turn into a raging fire, unresolved anger can turn into depression. As I began to work through my own anger and frustration, one purpose of this particular pit quickly emerged as God reminded me of a truth I often share but fail to practice. We were created to need God and each other. It is so easy to slide into a pattern of thinking much like the prideful toddler who announces, "I do it myself!"
We can't! And the good news is that we don't have to! Lay down your pride, girlfriend, and let fresh hope fill your life.
Let's Pray
Father, I cannot deal with the darkness and climb out of this pit in my own strength. I recognize my human frailty. I am desperate without You and I choose to trust You and rest in Your sufficiency. Make me more like Jesus and teach me the truths You have for me in this pit.
In Jesus' name,
Amen.
Now It's Your Turn
Pits can bring life to a screeching halt, demanding that we change our perspective of living and examine our priorities in light of that new perspective. Read 1 Peter 1:6. Compare your perspective to the one described in this verse.
Pits make us face and admit our weaknesses and come to the conclusion that we cannot live life in our own strength. Read 2 Corinthians 12:10. Make a list of your weaknesses and struggles and thank God for each one. Celebrate the power of God's grace in your life.
Pits can strengthen our faith if we allow them to. Read 2 Corinthians 12:9. How has God's power helped you face and deal with the darkness?
More from the Girlfriends
One of the reasons that "Girlfriends in God" exists is because Sharon, Gwen and I recognize our desperate need for God and for the friendships of other women who are seeking Him as well. We really do want to be "God with skin on" in your life.
Need help learning how to study the Bible? Check out Mary's E-Book Bible Studies that you can download for your personal use and/or for a small group study. Are you or someone you love battling the darkness? Get Mary's book,Hope in the Midst of Depression, and discover how God delivered her from the pit of depression.
Mary's weekly online Bible study, Light for the Journey, is a great Bible study tool as well. Check it out! The current topic isCome As You Are.
Need a friend? Connect with Mary on Face book or throughemail. She loves hearing what God is doing in your life!
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
===
P31Header
Wendy Blight
October 28, 2011
A Divine Interruption
Wendy Blight
"The word of the LORD came to Jonah...." Jonah 1:1(NIV)
I couldn't wait to spend the whole afternoon alone. My husband was mountain biking and both of our children had plans for the day. All I could think of was the fact I would spend hours by myself...no one asking for anything...no one needing me. It was going to be a glorious day!
But then it happened. My daughter came bursting through the door saying she forgot she had a project due the next day. She needed me to take her here and rush there to purchase items she needed to complete it. Soon it became our project.
Frustration rose up within me with every step of the way. My words were few and short. I was clearly irritated and did not hesitate showing it. She was interrupting my plans.
Jonah experienced an unwelcome interruption, too. Jonah was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He was popular, successful, and highly respected. Then one day it happened. "The word of the LORD came to Jonah."(Jonah 1:1 NIV) and God interrupted his life of comfort with a command to leave his beloved country and people to preach-not to God's people-but to one of their most hated enemies.
God's call would take Jonah's life down a completely different path than the life he currently enjoyed. Jonah felt angry and frustrated...the same way I did when my daughter came bursting into the house...the same way we all do when an interruption disrupts our lives whether it be an adult child coming back home to live, an unexpected pregnancy, a job loss, a startling diagnosis or an unforeseen move.
Jonah was frustrated to such an extreme that he not only disobeyed God's instruction, he ran in the opposite direction to get as far away from God as he could.
If only Jonah could have seen the end of the story. He would have seen that this "divine" interruption was an invitation to participate in one of the more miraculous events in history, an opportunity to be part of God's eternal plan for His Kingdom.
Eventually Jonah obeyed, and God used him to bring about the revival of an entire nation of people. Jonah spoke only eight words, "Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed" (Jonah 3:4 NLT), and within 24 hours the people of Nineveh repented and turned from their wickedness! Some scholars believe this to be the greatest revival in human history.
Jonah's story helps me redefine "interruptions." In fact, it has made me examine every interruption to see if God's hand is in it...if there is something divine in which He is inviting me to partake.
Just a few weeks ago, we took our daughter to college. I would give anything to have that divine interruption back...to have an entire afternoon to shop with her and spend time working on a project together.
How might Jonah's story help you see the interruptions in your life differently? Join me today in trusting God with His plan, accepting His divine invitation to experience Him and be part of His plans in ways you may not expect. Will you yield your plan for His today?
Heavenly Father, thank You that You have a plan for my life...a plan to prosper and not to harm me...a plan to give me hope and a future. Thank You that You allow divine interruptions in my life to draw me back into that plan if I ever wonder away or get too comfortable with where I am. Please give me eyes to see and a heart to respond to each and every divine interruption. Enable me through the power of Your Holy Spirit to obey. Amen.
Related Resources:
Do You Know Jesus?
Visit Wendy's blog to learn more about her online Bible study on the book of Hebrews.
When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, your purchase supports many areas of ministry we provide at no cost. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us!
Application Steps:
Is there a divine interruption in your life God is using to bring you into His plan? How will you respond?
Reflections:
Read the book of Jonah (only four chapters) and discover how God brought Jonah back on track with His plan.
Power Verses:
Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" (NIV)
Jonah 3:4-5, "Jonah began by going a day's journey into the city, proclaiming, 'Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.' The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth." (NIV)
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)
© 2011 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org
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LeadershipBible-Header

Constantine: A Questionably Christian Emperor

art_03_05_constantineQuote: "Conquer by this."
Emperor Constantine (c. 272 – 327) was the first Christian emperor. Or was he? Whether he was a sincere believer or only used religion as a talisman or as a way to unite his empire has been debated for centuries. The historian Eusebius records the story of Constantine's vision of a cross in the noon-day sky, one of the most well-known conversion accounts in Christian literature — if it is indeed a conversion account.
The date is October 28, 312. The setting is the ancient stone Milvian Bridge that spans the Tiber River near the gate of Rome. Constantine is nervous. His troops are outnumbered by the army of Maxentius stationed behind the walls of Rome with enough provisions to withstand a long siege. The prospects of winning are not good for the pagan general. Then at noon he sees a cross above the sun with the words "Conquer by this."
Why Maxentius came out of town to do open battle with his adversary is a mystery to military experts. In the end, due to his poor strategy or to the intervention of God, the victory belongs to Constantine, paving the way for him to become the sole emperor of both East and West.
As a Christian emperor, Constantine gets high marks for the Edict of Milan in 313 that secures toleration of Christianity and ends the persecution that began with Nero. But while ending persecution from pagans he disregards the Christian pacifist tradition and inaugurates a long history of Christian fratricide. He sends troops to North Africa to attack the Donatists, a breakaway sect of Christian purists.
Constantine's sins also include murder — and not merely murder of his distant enemies. He arranges the murder even of his son and one of his wives. His Christian credentials are found wanting in other matters as well. Before he professed to follow the Christian God, he was partial to the sun god, a god who continued to be in good standing with him long after his cross-above-the-sun vision. His coins featured the sun god on one side and the name of Christ on the other. Thus Sunday, so-called by Constantine, was on his orders set aside as the day of worship.
Constantine's delayed baptism also throws a damper on any claim to his saintliness. Apparently fearing the sacrament would not take because of his wicked ways, he postpones it until he is on his deathbed in 337. Then he contacts Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia to officiate. Setting aside his imperial purple garb, he dresses in white and rests on a white sofa to symbolize his new spiritual status. That Eusebius is an Arian is one final snub by the emperor to Athanasius and orthodoxy in the Western church. In an effort to rectify the matter, however, an apocryphal account was later circulated that falsely claims that Constantine was baptized in Rome by Pope Sylvester. The end for Constantine comes, according to Eusebius, at "about the time of the midday sun," reminiscent of the vision a quarter-century earlier — symbolism fitting an emperor.
Constantine's life illustrates the malevolence and messiness of this era — an era that set the stage for orthodox faith for the ensuing centuries. Saintly heroes were in short supply. Sin and shame had free reign, then as now.

If you enjoyed the above article, please take a minute to read about the book that it was adapted from:
ParadeofFaith-Bookcover

Parade of Faith: A Biographical History of the Christian Church

by Ruth A. Tucker
Buy the book!
The story of Christianity centers on people whose lives have been transformed by the resurrected Lord. Tucker puts this front and center in a lively overview peppered with sidebars; historical "what if?" questions; sections on everyday life; drawings and illustrations; bibliographies for further reading.


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Myth: "I'll never be free from my past."

Today's reading: John 8:36
I feel as if I've lived two or three different lives. And if any one of those past lives ever catches up with me, then everything I can safely call my own today is gone-my reputation as a leader at work, a successful marriage, loving family-my past threatens all of it. I fear someone, somewhere will claim to know what I'm "really like." Only I'm not that person anymore. Not perfect, but thank God not what I used to be. I truly believe I've changed and am growing into the person Christ wants me to be.
But that person still carries a secret burden. As bright as her future is, she's never free from her past.
I'm never free from the haunting accusations surrounding yesterday's mistakes that may ambush me today. Imaginary scenarios and entire conversations play out in my head. They sneak into my thoughts with crafty subtlety. Sometimes when I tuck my baby girl under the covers for the night and she whispers, "I love you, Mommy," I want so much to enjoy the moment and soak in her affection. But a faint, persistent voice inside tells me, "You don't deserve her, you know. Not after what you've done ..."
And when I meet someone that I genuinely like, whose friendship I really enjoy, the thought inevitably traipses through my head that if she knew my past, she wouldn't think so highly of me.
When my boss compliments me at a meeting for my "innovative leadership," I beam with a sense of accomplishment. Until I begin to remember all my failures.
It sounds hypocritical to say I believe Jesus has forgiven my past. I do believe. I just want to know, will I ever be free from it?
-Karen
Have you ever felt like you're the only one with something to hide? That sense of isolation magnifies your feelings of guilt. Satan wants you to feel alone, crippled by a false sense of guilt. Yet the truth is that every person on earth has a "past"-even those we consider "Mother Teresa" types who seemingly never did anything wrong. The book of Genesis describes how we inherited a sinful nature. Adam and Eve instilled a sinful nature into the entire human race (see Romans 5:12,17).
However, we must understand and accept that we are free from the penalty of our past because we trust Christ's sacrifice as the ultimate and final payment for sin (see Hebrews 7:27 ). Even so, sometimes the pain of our past comes calling. Many women have an emotional disposition or personality type that lends itself to dwelling on bitter memories. Our adversary, the devil, often misuses this sensitivity to accuse and discourage us. He tempts our thoughts with guilt over past deeds. He calls into question the penalty of our past as if it is somehow unpaid-an outstanding debt he convinces us we must pay ourselves. We respond to his perverse persuasion by feeling as if we don't deserve the love of family or friends, much less God's love. After what you've done? Who are you kidding? This is the language of lies-a familiar tongue to anyone who longs to be free from a shameful past.
Satan tries to slip the chains of guilt back on our shoulders. And sometimes we again pick up those old familiar chains-our guilt feels so comfortable that we revert to it out of habit. But Christ has set us free! He paid the FULL penalty for our sins. Every wrong thought, word or action-all paid for.
Don't believe the lie. God set you free; Christ died that you would be free-but you must choose to live that way.
"Christ's call on our lives is a call to liberty. Freedom is the cornerstone of Christianity."
-Brennan Manning
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
John 8:36
See also: Romans 8:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:1
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