Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Tue Oct 8th Todays News

Politicians' pay is big at the moment in the press. Obama is collecting his pay check while he has shut the government down and impeded the public. There is debate about Liberal Party people collecting expenses from parties like weddings. Peter Slipper, the disgraced former MP, has said that he feels the wedding fees are like his driving rorts. To put them in context, Slipper is accused of using driver dockets as cash for items he didn't legally get. While the weddings and expenses things people are getting excited about is related to the kinds of things that politicians do when they network. In fact, the expenses claims may be technically legitimate, but are being repaid because they look bad. But what Slipper is accused of is theft. But somehow every single ALP equivalent is somehow excused .. they are supposed to look bad. But the truth as I see it is wider. Politicians that are paid too much are paid too much if they are paid at all. But politicians that are good can not be paid enough. Imagine the $billions of back pay owed to Peter Costello. Things are looking better in the economy with Abbott in charge. We could not pay a single ALP member enough to get them to vote responsibly a few months ago. Maybe we can't pay them (the ALP to be responsible) enough now, either.
I don't know how I will be able to produce these columns in the short term. I have sewage/flood issues. I'm also weeks away from defaulting on my home loan. All I can say is, I'm clean .. even the tax office admits that .. and I want justice for Hamidur Rahman and for the Campbelltown PAHS bungled pedophile investigation to be .. investigated.
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns William TanNicole Rohde and Michael Mvp Pham. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
1515 – Margaret Douglas, English wife of Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox (d. 1578)
1585 – Heinrich Schütz, German composer (d. 1672)
1676 – Benito Jerónimo Feijóo y Montenegro, Spanish monk and scholar (d. 1764)
1834 – Walter Kittredge, American composer (d. 1905)
1920 – Frank Herbert, American author (d. 1986)
1939 – Paul Hogan, Australian actor
1943 – Chevy Chase, American comedian and actor
1943 – R. L. Stine, American author, screenwriter, and producer
1949 – Sigourney Weaver, American actress
1968 – Emily Procter, American actress
1970 – Matt Damon, American actor, screenwriter, and producer
1985 – Bruno Mars, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actor
1997 – Bella Thorne, American actress, singer, and dancer
Matches
314 – Roman Emperor Licinius is defeated by his colleague Constantine I at the Battle of Cibalae, and loses his European territories.
451 – At Chalcedon, a city of Bithynia in Asia Minor, the first session of the Council of Chalcedon begins (ends on November 1).
1480 – Great standing on the Ugra river, a standoff between the forces of Akhmat KhanKhan of the Great Horde, and the Grand Duke Ivan III of Russia, which results in the retreat of the Tataro-Mongols and the eventual disintegration of the Horde.
1806 – Napoleonic Wars: Forces of the British Empire lay siege to the port of Boulogne in France by using Congreve rockets, invented by Sir William Congreve.
1829 – Rail transportStephenson's The Rocket wins The Rainhill Trials.
1856 – The Second Opium War between several western powers and China begins with the Arrow Incident on the Pearl River.
1860 – Telegraph line between Los Angeles and San Francisco opens.
1871 – Four major fires break out on the shores of Lake Michigan in ChicagoPeshtigo, WisconsinHolland, Michigan, and Manistee, Michiganincluding the Great Chicago Fire, and the much deadlier Peshtigo Fire.
1895 – Eulmi incidentQueen Min of Joseon, the last empress of Korea, is assassinated and her corpse burnt by Japanese infiltrators insideGyeongbok Palace.
1956 – New York Yankees's Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in a World Series; one of only 21 perfect games in MLB history.
1962 – Spiegel scandalDer Spiegel publishes the article "Bedingt abwehrbereit" ("Conditionally prepared for defense") about a NATOmanoeuvre called "Fallex 62", which uncovered the sorry state of the Bundeswehr (Germany's army) facing the communist threat from the east at the time. The magazine is soon accused of treason.
1967 – Guerrilla leader Che Guevara and his men are captured in Bolivia.
1970 – Vietnam War: In Paris, a Communist delegation rejects US President Richard Nixon's October 7 peace proposal as "a manoeuvre to deceive world opinion".
1973 – Yom Kippur War: Gabi Amir's armored brigade attacks Egyptian occupied positions on the Israeli side of the Suez Canal, in hope of driving them away. The attack fails, and over 150 Israeli tanks are destroyed.
Despatches
976 – Helen of Zadar
1931 – John Monash, Australian engineer and general (b. 1865)
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Bad news for Mark Dreyfus: he gets the investigation into expenses he wanted

Andrew Bolt October 08 2013 (4:02pm)

Politics - deceits and stuff ups
Labor frontbencher Mark Dreyfus demands an investigation into how politicians claim expenses:

Labor frontbencher Mark Dreyfus was more critical of the Coalition’s link to expense claims.
‘’Clearly there is a definite scope for some serious investigation,’’ he told ABC Radio.
Mark Dreyfus gets that investigation into expenses he demanded:

FORMER attorney-general Mark Dreyfus says he will repay $466 he charged taxpayers for a two-night skiing trip, amid growing pressure on Tony Abbott over his entitlements claims.
The Labor MP confirmed to The Australian he claimed travel allowance for staying two nights in Canberra in August 2011, when he was in fact at Perisher Valley.
“I am sorry for the mistake and I will be repaying $466,” he said.
Mr Dreyfus said he had only learned of the error when it was brought to his attention by The Australian today.
How we laughed. 

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If they’d said this of Gillard - Example #1

Andrew Bolt October 08 2013 (3:41pm)

How the Left hates
Let’s start identifying the barbarians who now abuse Liberal politicians in terms they’d find appalling if used to attack, say, Julia Gillard.
First oaf - Sydney Morning Herald fantasist Mike Carlton:
image
Question for the SMH: if an Alan Jones had said something so crude about Gillard, how many of your columnists would have written in outrage? Written, for instance, stuff like this:


Radio shock jocks Fairfax columnists are not the only pedlars of loathing and disrespect.

For many tribalists of the left, it’s not the principle but the side.
(Thanks to reader Nathaniel.) 

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This mad growth hurts us

Andrew Bolt October 08 2013 (1:30pm)

Labor MP Kelvin Thomson has an excellent point. Several, actually:
Reports today that on current trends Melbourne’s population would surpass Sydney’s and reach 8 million by 2049 almost double today’s numbers, are very disturbing.
Melbourne’s population is on track to rise from 4.25 million last year to 5 million by 2020. By the end of next year we will have grown 30 per cent in just 15 years.
The adverse consequences of such rapid population growth are numerous:-

- Residents in my electorate are being told they will have to put up with 3 and 4 storey buildings and even higher in their street to fit in the extra people.
- Traffic congestion in both our inner and outer suburbs, with billions of taxpayer dollars going into freeways and tunnels to try to cope with extra cars.
- Rising unemployment and falling workforce participation.
- Declining housing affordability for young Melbournians.
- Increasing Council rates, electricity, gas and water bills, to pay for expensive new infrastructure.
- Habitat destruction and shrinking numbers of our unique and beautiful native birds, plants and animals.
This rapid population growth is not inevitable. The ABS figures make clear once again that it is being driven by rising net overseas migration, which was a massive 238,000 nationally in the year to March. Victoria had the largest population growth of any State.
Australia should return its net overseas migration to around 70,000 per annum, as was regularly the case during the 1980s and 1990s. This would ease the pressure on the environment, and on Melbournians young and old alike.

(No link to Thomson press release.) 

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How many Labor MPs claimed to watch Bob’s stripper?

Andrew Bolt October 08 2013 (11:54am)

Labor has attacked Coalition MPs for claiming travel costs to go to weddings. Will Labor also attack MPs for claiming travel costs to go to a birthday party - specifically Bob Hawke’ 80th birthday bash, featuring a stripper, at the Sydney Opera House on December 9, 2009?
Reader Grant checks the claims of some guests:
Kevin Rudd:

- Comcar costs for that day were $831 (single transaction)
Greg Combet:

- He actually adjusted his entitlements report to reverse 2x Comcar entries (paid back)
Simon Crean:
-2x Comcar entries = $109
- Family Domestic Travel, 9th December from Melbourne to Sydney, then back on the 10th, for $963.50
- 8th through 10th December, Crean travelled MELB/BRIS/TOWNSV/SYD/MELB for $1412.55
- On 9th December however, he had to buy a separate ticket in order to get back from Townsville to Sydney in time for the birthday celebrations. The further cost here was $550.
I’d have throught there was less excuse for claiming expenses to go to the birthday of a long-retired MP than to the wedding of a serving one. 

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Why should taxpayers fork out for Abbott’s sport?

Andrew Bolt October 08 2013 (9:48am)

Billing taxpayers for attending Sophie Mirabella’s wedding may have been technically defensible. Attending Peter Slipper’s wedding was arguably business, since it was unlikely to be pleasure.
But this?

TONY Abbott charged taxpayers almost $1300 in travel and accommodation costs to compete in the 2011 Port Macquarie Ironman event.
The Australian has checked the Prime Minister’s travel records for the weekend of the event and confirmed he claimed $941 worth of flights to and from Port Macquarie and $349 in travel allowance.
Mr Abbott flew into the NSW coastal town on November 5 from Brisbane, staying the night there courtesy of the taxpayer, before competing in the gruelling event the next day.
He flew out of Port Macquarie for Sydney that night.
UPDATE
Is this excusable as part of Abbott’s electioneering - presenting himself as the Ironman of politics? I’m not sure many taxpayers would buy it, even though Julia Gillard could, for instance, claim expenses for travelling to a Women’s Weekly shoot where she did knitting for the cameras. Much difference?
But if the public does not buy this excuse there will be more such examples of Abbott’s claims to come to enrage them (most, like this one, reported before).  Abbott will need to address the issue.
UPDATE
Lenore Taylor on ABC Insiders in April seemed to agree that at least one of Abbott’s sports events - his annual Pollie Pedal - was indeed a political activity:
It’s genius I think. I think it’s absolute genius….It’s turned into both a huge fundraiser and also this fabulous political vehicle where he gets a lot of coverage cos it’s interesting the pictures are interesting,, he goes through lots of other places where he wouldn’t usually be, I think it’s campaigning genius.
Reader Peter wonders whether this, then, could also be considered campaigning genius in a marginal seat:

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UPDATE
Abbott’s excuse:
I think I’ve been asked about ironman. Look, I believe that all of my claims have been within entitlement and let’s not forget that Port Macquarie was a marginal seat effectively and I want to assure you that I don’t go to marginal seats simply for sporting events although the sporting event in question was a community event. I think you’ll find that there were quite a few other community events involved in those visits.
Now, on the question of Pollie Pedal, I’m not sure whether anyone here has been on a Pollie Pedal with me, certainly there are quite a few journalists who normally do accompany me on Pollie Pedal and as – Tim Sweeney, thank you Tim for volunteering! Look, Pollie Pedal is a very intense engagement with the community. I mean, the great thing about Pollie Pedal is that it takes me to towns and communities, sometimes hamlets, that very rarely see a politician. I suspect that most of the places that I visited on this year’s Pollie Pedal would not have seen a politician other than their local Member in decades, let alone a Leader of the Opposition. I will do Pollie Pedal next year as Prime Minister. I am looking forward to it very much. It is a perfectly legitimate thing for a Member of Parliament to do and, yes, to the extent that it involves being away from home, I will claim travel allowance.

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Leave it to ratepayers to donate their own money to Flannery

Andrew Bolt October 08 2013 (9:07am)

A council contemplates making residents pay for a professional alarmist:

COUNCILS may volunteer their ratepayers’ money to help prop up a climate advisory group axed by the Abbott Government.
Some local councils are considering whether to donate to the new Climate Council, led by controversial scientist Professor Tim Flannery…
The inner city Yarra Council will vote on Tuesday night on a motion to donate funds and join the Climate Council as a “founding friend”.
The proposal is from a Greens councillor, of course, who seems not to trust locals to decide for themselves whether to donate. Residents should protest at this looting of their wallets. The rest of us should note this example of how a democracy can become a tyranny, in this case forcing people to donate to people they do not support.
(Thanks to reader Ellen.) 

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Abbott gets lucky. Optimism rises

Andrew Bolt October 08 2013 (9:00am)

Terry McCrann:

TONY Abbott has scored two huge victories which mean that he has the real opportunity to turn his election win into active effective government.
The first was totally unexpected - a Senate which no longer has a Labor-Green blocking majority.
The second should have been generally expected, but was in any event confirmed yesterday - a big post-election leap in business confidence…
The Roy Morgan Research Business Confidence Survey yesterday showed a huge leap in business confidence in the wake of the election.
Confidence rose to its highest level since January 2011. The biggest lift was among larger businesses. But both small (annual turnover of $1-5 million) and micro (turnover of less than $1 million) businesses also increased…
For Abbott the two victories should work as self-reinforcing win-wins.
A government that can, to put it simply, govern, without a sense of crisis, or even the exaggerated spin and drama of the two Rudd administrations, will further boost business confidence.
And a confident business sector, prepared to invest and create jobs, will make it that much easier for the government to govern, without crisis. 

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Just double what “the science” says and scare the readers

Andrew Bolt October 08 2013 (8:29am)

The IPCC’s latest report projects sea level rises this century of between 26cm and 81cm, depending on which scenario you use of emission rises:

For the period 2081–2100, compared to 1986–2005, global mean sea level rise is likely (medium confidence) to be in the 5–95% range of process-based models, which give 0.26–0.54 m for RCP2.6, 0.32–0.62 m for RCP4.5, 0.33–0.62 m for RCP6.0, and 0.45–0.81 m for RCP8.5.
Of course, given the failure of the atmosphere to warm as the IPCC predicted for the past 15 years there is plenty of reason to doubt the most alarmist of those predictions.
But now see how today’s Newcastle Herald whips up the scare, projecting not sea level rises of between 26cm and 81cm, but much worse:
WATER would be lapping through the streets of Newcastle’s CBD, covering Hunter Street and the railway line, if worst-case predictions of sea level rise and flooding happen, federal maps show.
Many other areas in the region from Lake Macquarie to Port Stephens could be inundated by 2100, scientists predict.
The latest international climate change research has predicted sea levels will rise even higher than previously thought.
Some experts say the rise could be more than a metre by 2100 along the Hunter coast.
More than a metre? What happened to the “consensus” science we were meant to listen to?
(Thanks to reader B Russell.) 

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“Race” is not an excuse for a Munda

Andrew Bolt October 08 2013 (7:49am)

The politics of race
Gary Johns on the latest attempt to reduce individuals to mere representatives of a “race” - and excuse them from responsibility for their actions:

IN 2010, Ernest Munda of Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia killed his common law wife of 16 years, with whom he had four children. He was sentenced to prison for seven years and nine months, with a non-parole period of three years and three months.
The taxpayer funded an appeal to the High Court that his sentence was too harsh. He claimed that the Court of Appeal of Western Australia failed to have “proper regard” to his personal circumstances as a “traditional” Aboriginal man. In particular, “an environment in which the abuse of alcohol is endemic in indigenous communities”, was not taken into account.
The High Court knocked him back. The court reiterated that while a person’s background could play a part in mitigation, it needed to be “weighed by the sentencing judge”. At present, judges have discretion, but in future, if Aboriginal culture is recognised in the Constitution, do not be surprised if the likes of Ernest Munda get lighter sentences…
The “experts” who advised the Gillard government, recommended, among other things, “respecting the continuing cultures, languages and heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples”. This inclusion will increase the likelihood of a “Munda appeal” succeeding.
Just so the foolishness of the cultural recognition proposition is understood, here are the facts of the Munda case.
Munda and his common law wife were drunk and Munda had used cannabis. The pair argued. Munda punched his wife, threw her about the bedroom and repeatedly rammed her head into the walls. Munda “caused the deceased to fall on to a bed mattress”. He then stood over her and repeatedly punched her in the face. The next morning, Munda had sexual intercourse with his wife. He then left the house to get some tea. When Munda returned, his wife was dead…
This is a sick culture. And it is a weak society that pays for this person to go to the High Court of Australia to attempt to get less than three years and three months in jail for his horrific crime. Politicians and Aboriginal leaders who want you to vote to change the Constitution to make it possible for the likes of Munda to spend less time in jail should be ashamed.
(Thanks to reader Correllio.) 

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Media gives Obama a pass as he makes shutdown hurt

Andrew Bolt October 08 2013 (6:50am)

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof seems to think the US government “shutdown” is somehow one of those incredibly rare political brawls where only one side is to blame - the side, coincidentally, that Kristof always tends to back:

SUPPOSE President Obama announced: 
Unless Republicans agree to my proposal for gun control, I will use my authority as commander in chief to scuttle one aircraft carrier a week in the bottom of the ocean…
In that situation, we would all agree that Obama had gone nuts… That would be an abuse of power and the worst kind of blackmail.
And in that kind of situation, I would hope that we as journalists wouldn’t describe the resulting furor as a “political impasse” or “partisan gridlock.” ...
Today, we have a similar situation, except that it’s a band of extremist House Republicans who are deliberately sabotaging America’s economy and damaging our national security — all in hopes of gaining leverage on unrelated issues… The stakes rise as we approach the debt limit and the risk of default…
Astonishingly, Republican hard-liners see that potential catastrophe as a source of bargaining power in a game of extortion…
In this situation, it strikes a false note for us as journalists to cover the crisis simply by quoting each side as blaming the other. That’s a false equivalency.
The mainstream media has decided who its villain is:

Media Research Center, a conservative media-watchdog group, found that in 39 stories in the two weeks leading to the shutdown, CBS, ABC, and NBC blamed Republicans 21 times for failing to reach a budget agreement, both parties four times, and didn’t once blame the Democrats. In the 14 other instances, the reports blamed nobody.
Check for yourself the overwhelming tendency of the media to blame the Republicans - and Republicans alone.
In fact, there are two sides to this dispute, as you would expect and as the Wall Street Journalist has explained:

A second reality is that both parties are responsible for getting to this point. Americans chose a divided government in 2010 and again in 2012, electing House Republicans as a check on Democrats whose undiluted liberalism alarmed millions of voters when they ran the entire government in 2009-2010…
We’ve criticized GOP Senator Ted Cruz for his strategy to make defunding ObamaCare a requirement of funding the rest of government. He and his allies know that Mr. Obama can never agree to that, and even millions of Americans who oppose ObamaCare don’t agree with his shutdown ultimatum…
Yet it takes two to tangle, and Mr. Obama is as much to blame for the partisan pileup as Mr. Cruz… He refuses to negotiate at all over an increase in the federal debt limit, claiming this has never happened. Like so much that Mr. Obama says, he knows this is false…
Mr. Obama also refuses to bend on any part of ObamaCare—except when he unilaterally announces bending in his own political interest. He decided on his own, and contrary to the plain text of the law, to delay for a year the business mandate to provide insurance for employees..
Yet now he’d rather see the government shut down than accept the ObamaCare compromises that House Republicans have put in their latest government funding bill. He refuses to delay the law for a year though his own actions reveal it is not ready for prime time.

But John Hinderaker exposes one serious error in Kristof’s alarmism:
One remarkable aspect of the shutdown/debt limit battle is the irresponsibility (on the part of the Obama administration) and incompetence (on the part of the news media) concerning the claim that the federal government will default on its debt obligations if Congress fails to raise the debt limit…
But there is no threat of default. Constitutionally, the federal government must pay its debts. The Fourteenth Amendment, Section 4, ... is universally understood to mean that the federal government must pay its debt obligations, both principal and interest, even if that means prioritizing debt service over other government spending. So the question is, if Congress does not raise the current debt ceiling, will the federal government run out of money needed to pay its existing debts? The answer is clearly No.
Scott Johnson on other attempts by the Obama Administration to spin the standoff:

Mount Rushmore is a hard place to shut down: I suppose the Obama administration could try to drape it with a giant cloth or something to prevent people from seeing it, but that would probably be impractical. So the National Park Service has done the next best thing. It has barrycaded off the scenic overlooks where people can pull over to view the monument:
President Obama has made a fool out of himself by going to absurd lengths to dramatize the supposed consequences of the 17% shutdown. Here, as in many other instances, the government has taken measures that save zero dollars, and actually cost money, solely to try to inconvenience the public. This is a scandal that the press has tried–unsuccessfully, I think–to cover up.
More theatre:

Over the past week we have witnessed the impressive shutdown theater engineered by the Obama administration. By shutdown theater I am referring to the closing or Barrycading of such landmarks as the WWII memorial, Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial.
What is to be learned? This is political hardball, intended to induce unconditional surrender in the current and prospective budget/debt showdowns. Obama asserts a maximalist position and we are to be impressed by the lengths to which Obama will go in order to prevail. He is utterly confident in the cover that the media will provide for him.
The shutdown of government has exposed just how overmighty the government - Obama’s government, that is - really is:
National Park Service officials cited the government shutdown as the reason for ordering an elderly Nevada couple out of their home, which sits on federal land.
“Unfortunately overnight stays are not permitted until a budget is passed and the park can reopen,” an NPS spokesman explained to KTNV.
Ralph and Joyce Spencer, aged 80 and 77, respectively, own their home, but the government owns the land on which it sits.
“I had to be sure and get his walker and his scooter that he has to go in,” Joyce Spencer told the local news outlet…
“We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can,” an unnamed park ranger told the Washington Times. “It’s disgusting.”
image
Ludicrous - and sinister:
William Jacobson, NBC’s affiliate in Washington, D.C. reports that police ordered tourists and Vietnam war veterans who were visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall to leave the memorial at one point on Friday.
After one group of veterans went around the barricade, “the park ranger told them the wall was closed,” NBC’s Mark Seagraves reported. “Later another group of vets showed up and moved the barricades. At that point, the memorial filled with vets and tourists. That’s when police came and moved everyone out.”
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is a black granite outdoor wall on which the names of the 58,272 service members who died or were unaccounted for during the Vietnam war are inscribed.
It takes more manpower and costs the government more money to close down an outdoor wall than to let people walk past it and pay their respects.
UPDATE
Charles Krauthammer:

I don’t agree with current Republican tactics. I thought the defunding demand impossible and, therefore, foolish. I thought that if, nonetheless, the GOP insisted on making a stand, it should not be on shutting down the government, which voters oppose 5-to-1, but on the debt ceiling, which Americans favor 2-to-1 as a vehicle for restraining government.
Tactics are one thing, but substance is another. It’s the Democrats who have mocked the very notion of settled law. It’s the Democrats who voted down the reopening of substantial parts of the government. It’s the Democrats who gave life to a spontaneous, authentic, small-government opposition — a.k.a. the tea party — with their unilateral imposition of a transformational agenda during the brief interval when they held a monopoly of power.

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Profile of an expensive agitator

Andrew Bolt October 08 2013 (6:32am)

Some people have cost us a fortune in policing and delays by not allowing other citizens to go about their lawful business:

AN East West tunnel protest leader has been exposed as a serial agitator, prompting claims that local opposition to the $8 billion road link has been hijacked.
The Herald Sun has confirmed that self-appointed protest leader Anthony Main has joined the G20, Occupy Melbourne and S11 protest rallies…
Mr Main, who lives in Clifton Hill, led about 50 picketers at the test drilling site on the corner of Princes and Station streets in North Carlton from 6.30am yesterday.
Angry scenes followed as police stepped in and tried to disperse the protesters as they linked arms to stop Strategic Drilling Services’ workers from entering the site…

But Mr Main, a Socialist Party candidate for Melbourne at the recent federal election, said the East West Link protest had widespread public support.
Profile of professional protester Anthony Main:


- East West Link, Fitzroy, September/October 2013
- Public housing cuts, Prahran, July 2013
- Geert Wilders, right-wing politician, February 2013
- Occupy Melbourne, City Square, October 2011
- Baker’s Delight, St Helena, wages concerns, November 2009
- Video Dogs, Carlton, complaints over staff working for DVDs, June 2008
- APEC, Melbourne, September 2007
- G20, Melbourne, November 2006
- Hungry Jacks, protest for fast-food workers’ rights, June 2006
- S11, World Economic Forum, Crown Casino, September, 2000

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If the risk is ours, why not the profit?

Andrew Bolt October 08 2013 (6:15am)

Uh oh:
JOE Hockey has outlined plans to lure billions of dollars into major infrastructure projects, raising the prospect of giving private investors a government guarantee to cut their risks…
“There will be a need for governments to take more up-front risks, and that’s one of the things that I’m going to talk at length about with the ratings agencies in New York,” he said. “There’s a certain amount of liability, or contingent liability, that you’re able to accept. It’s an issue that the globe is going to have to face.”
There is a danger here that governments accept the risks and developers take the profits.  Hockey seems to be trying to find a new way of raising money for infrastructure that doesn’t raise borrowing, but what we save in interest we may pay in tolls and guaranteed liabilities. 

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Book now for Ridley

Andrew Bolt October 08 2013 (5:22am)

Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist and now a member of the House of Lords, will be give the annual CD Kemp lecture for the IPA. Book now.

Freedom and Optimism: Humanity’s Triumph
Thursday, 14th November 2013
7.00pm for 7.30pm – 10.30pm
Grand Hyatt, 123 Collins St, Melbourne
Places are $345, or $295 for IPA members
A limited number of VIP places are available at $645, or $595 for IPA members
VIP places include an exclusive pre-dinner cocktail reception at a private venue with Matt Ridley, hosted by IPA Chairman the Hon Rod Kemp, and priority seating at the dinner

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The rise and rise of state media - and restrictions on everyone else

Andrew Bolt October 08 2013 (12:05am)

Free speech, Media
Similar things could be said about the ABC and Labor’s attempts to muzzle the commercial media:

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UPDATE
But Nick Cater says the ABC is losing its audience, even if it’s growing in size:

NEVER mind the quality, feel the width. ABC 1, 2, 3, News 24, podcasts, digital radio, Facebook and Twitter. Like the Soviet Union’s mining poster boy Aleksei Stakhanov, ABC boss Mark Scott just can’t shovel the stuff out fast enough…
In 2001, when television networks first adopted the OzTAM black box audience measurement system, the ABC’s one and only TV channel had a reach of 73.9 per cent - that is to say slightly less than three-quarters of all available viewers tuned in to the ABC for five minutes of consecutive viewing in any given week. In 2012, the reach of the flagship ABC 1 channel was somewhat less than half of the available audience - 46.2 per cent.
Arguably a fair comparison these days would be the aggregate weekly reach of all ABC TV channels… The grand total for metropolitan areas is still less than 60 per cent…
So what of the online audience? The market is developing, but the indications appear to be that the ABC’s dedicated online community is relatively small, reaching barely one in seven Australians.
The particular political and cultural proclivities many complain about in the ABC are real enough, but bias is merely a symptom of an agency that muddles along without a clearly articulated sense of purpose, under management that seldom acknowledges failings…
The noble aspiration set by the ABC’s former chairman Richard Boyer, as a broadcaster that “may stand solid and serene in the middle of our national life” has suffered a setback from which it will be difficult to recover.
The case for a major review of the ABC’s operations, leading inevitably to amendments to the ABC Act, is unanswerable.

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No dole for the under 30s?

Andrew Bolt October 07 2013 (6:33pm)

There’s no fairness in denying the dole if there is no work. But there is no reason for us to pay the dole when there is work to do, and I doubt we’re tough enough in insisting on this:

TONY Abbott has proposed banning the dole for people under 30 in a bid to entice the unemployed to head west and fill massive skill shortages in the booming resources sector.
The Opposition Leader made the controversial remarks during a two-hour meeting with about 15 senior resources industry leaders in Perth on Monday night.
Mr Abbott told the roundtable briefing he believed stopping dole payments to able-bodied young people would take pressure off the welfare system and reduce the need to bring in large numbers of skilled migrants to staff mining projects…
The spokeswoman said Mr Abbott had posed a question about the dole for the benefit of the argument and the debate at the meeting. 

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Yehuda Avner..
JPost..
First published 07 October 09..

Succot, 1936. The newly appointed German consul-general to Jerusalem, Herr Walter Doehl, stood at his office window hung with an extravagantly tasseled swastika banner, and gazed with curiosity at the sight of clusters of bearded Jews, all draped in prayer shawls and resplendent in the styles and furs of late-medieval Poland, entering and exiting a ramshackle foliage-thatched booth on the other side of the Street of the Prophets where his legation was situated, each clutching what seemed to him to be a lemon and a palm frond.

"It's one of their festivals - Tabernacles," explained the man by his side, in an almost unintelligible guttural German. "They're coming from their synagogues for schnapps. And they wave those things around when they pray for rain."

The man was Ludwig Buchalter, chief of the Nazi Party in the German Colony - a pastoral, red-tiled roofed Jerusalem neighborhood, built by the messianic Templers and studded with monumental stone buildings, statuesque pine trees and picturesque alleyways. Though he had never set foot in Germany in his life, Buchalter looked every bit a Bavarian burgher. The skull of his moon-shaped face was shaved, and beneath his bulbous nose drooped a Hindenburg mustache. He was wearing a short, leather-buttoned, olive-green jacket with rounded lapels, to which a swastika badge was pinned.

That day, he was also sporting a Nazi armband. In making this first call on the new German consul-general he wanted to show off his impeccable National Socialist credentials with their subliminal message that he, Herr Buchalter, was largely responsible for Herr Doehl's appointment to Jerusalem. For months he had been exhorting the Foreign Ministry in Berlin to get rid of the incumbent, a Dr. Heinrich Wolff, because "he is married to a woman of Semitic origin."

No wonder he was so thrilled at finally being able converse with a fellow Nazi in authority concerning the party's goings-on in the German Colony. And how proud he was to be standing there in that opulent room, with its brass chandelier that hung low from the domed, lofty ceiling, bringing out the shine in the waxed black-and-white tiled floor, and the brilliant hues of the ceremonial Nazi flag draped on the desk next to the silver-framed portrait of a smiling Adolf Hitler shaking hands with an adoring Walter Doehl.

In fact, Buchalter was so elated that when he took his leave he executed a cracking click of the heels, a perfectly rigid straight-armed salute and a fervently loud "Heil Hitler," almost colliding as he swung about with the next caller - a Dr. Werner Senator.
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Oh no! ChuckleThe New York Times now favors the extinction of the Jewish state. Shudder. Let’s see. Sulzburger fought in the Confederate army; then the newspaper virtually ignored the Ukrainian famine and the Holocaust, then reported that Fidel Castro was a moderate, then reported Islamist terrorists are moderates.

That’s a pretty accurate record right?

The headline of this article is accurate

Look, I know the author of the one-state solution article and I can tell you he’s been pushing this drivel for at least 35 years. People in Israel don’t want to be turned into a repressive Sharia state from a flourishing country a model of prosperity and one of the highest world ratings of happiness.

I might mention that Israel won every war and has a far stronger army. It is even the great Arab hope for bashing Iran and an ally of Egypt and Jordan!

So what is this nonsense?

I remember an evening when I was invited to a couple that were well-known anti-Israel activists.

We had pleasant enough conversation until late in the evening when I thought we had agreed on a West Bank- Gaza state living alongside Israel. Then the guy said, “But of course Israel will not be allowed to remain as a state.”
You can tell what your opponents really think if you listen to them. If you doubt that you should listen some time to what Palestinians say. I’ve been doing that for decades.

But of course this is nonsense. And in fact it is an endorsement of de facto genocide—make no mistake about it.
What is true, though, is a changing atmosphere. The Democratic Convention rejected by a majority vote that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel (It also voted by a majority against G-d).

Now a lot of administration officials, including Vice-President   Joe Biden, are speaking at J Street. You should understand that this not a liberal, pro-peace group but an organization created by a former Arab lobbyist to destroy Israel, or at least support for it. among the American people and especially Jewish community and Congress.
I will just quote what Jesse Jackson said several years ago. I don’t mean this to be taken literally, but it a sign of h the transformation Obama’s anti-Israel views are, except of course to the majority of American Jews.

Like this one. Can you imagine a foreign policy team more hostile to Israel? Jackson, of course,was not a part of that team, but can see the obvious.

The New York Post just quoted him as having said in a French speech in October 2008 that "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" will lose much of their clout when Obama enters the White House.

Speaking at the World Policy Forum event in Evian, France--the place where Jewish refugees were doomed at a 1938 conference when European counties refused to save them--Jackson promised 70 years later--""a"fundamental change.” Jackson "criticized the Bush administration's diplomacy and said Barack would change that," because, as long as the Palestinians hadn't seen justice, the Middle East would "remain a source of danger to us all." Of course, Palestinians have been given billions of dollars and offered a state but still staged thousands of terrorist attacks since then and still denied Israel's right to a state.

It's called argument through blackmail. Can you imagine what massacres there would be? How about a one-state army commanded by Palestinian Arab generals? Jews who most of the Arabs hate and revile being reduced to the status of minority Christians in the Middle East. Can this be advocated by anyone serious? Nobody but a fool or liar (probably the latter) could advocate such a thing,

And Israel has had nothing to do with the Afghan Taliban, the Iran-Iraq war, al-Qaida,'the Egyptian revolution, the Tunisian revolution, and the Syrian civil war.

The Obama Administration denied Jackson’s words at the time but since then has proven them. Even an Egyptian government makes no difference if it wants to fight terrorism and preserve the peace treaty rather than the opposite policy.

But then why has the Obama Adminstration kept enthusiastic support from AIPAC? Because of the strategic situation. The prince is the prince and Israel hopes that one day--it hopes in vain--that Obama will act against Iran.
But just for three more years.

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A military concept of arrogance swept Israel’s leadership forty years ago. It required a heroic performance by the IDF to snatch victory from the jaws of oblivion during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
A geo-political concept of a peace-driven Middle East — the 1993 Oslo Accord and its derivative, the Two State Solution — swept Israel’s leadership twenty years ago. It has been trounced systematically by the terror/war-driven imploding Arab Street.
A demographic concept of doom — dismissing the prospect of massive Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel and projecting an Arab majority there — was defied 116 years ago and 65 years ago, respectively, by Theodore Herzl, who established the Zionist Congress and David Ben Gurion, who established the Jewish State.

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Washington is paralyzed over what to do in Syria. By all accounts, the president's choices range from bad to worse. But Syria is actually a symptom of a deeper intellectual malaise. America's foreign policy establishment is suffering from an adjustment disorder.
After rejecting the neoconservative policies of George W. Bush following his ill-fated wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the foreign-policy herd rushed to embrace the Obama Doctrine. America would now choose not to wield its military power to influence world conflicts – particularly in the Middle East. In many ways, we chose not to have a foreign policy, choosing instead to focus on domestic considerations in the wake of a debilitating recession.
But that strategy is obviously not risk-free. The Syrian slaughter that the United States has chosen to largely ignore, currently tallied at 110,000, is rapidly reaching the estimated 125,000 civilians killed in the wake of America's Iraq intervention. And the longer the United States has stayed on the sidelines, the stronger al Qaeda has grown, threatening not only Syria, but also its neighbors. The lesson here is that doing nothing can sometimes be just as dangerous as doing too much.
Even the president, who has given many Americans foreign-policy whiplash as he has vacillated on how to respond to that chemical weapons attack, appears to now understand the limits of the Obama Doctrine. Barack Obama spent the last five years decrying American military intervention in the Middle East ("I was elected to end warsnot start them"), and emphasizing the need to reach consensus with our international partners, only to deliver a national address pleading for public support to unilaterally bomb an Arab country that has not attacked the United States.
Obama's problem is that he did too good of a job delegitimizing his newly discovered bellicosity. He has hemmed himself in, which explains why he continued to scrap and revise battle plans and while his senior advisors issue a cacophony of policy directives that have left the American public bitterly divided over plans to prevent mass slaughter. It also explains why he leapt at the chance Russian President Vladimir Putin offered, however slim, to get him out of his jam with a Congress that wasn't likely to grant him the authorization he sought.
No matter what happens now in Syria, Obama appears to understand that he cannot ignore some simple realities that were previously derided as neoconservative issues. Al Qaeda, its affiliate groups, and the violent Islamist ideologies that drive them, are not dead and are not receding. The democracy deficit in the Middle East will continue to spawn instability. Autocrats and strongmen with weapons of mass destruction still pose a grave danger. Iran, an unflinching ally of the Syrian regime, has remained on a belligerent course, despite intermittent attempts at cosmetic change.
In Washington, as conversations with legislators, congressional staffers, civil servants, State Department officials, and other foreign-policy professionals over the last few weeks have made clear, there remains a deep and abiding desire to meet and overcome all of these challenges. Admittedly, many foreign-policy hands feel hamstrung by America's financial burdens. And some feel that the volatility of the region in recent years, accelerated by the Arab Spring, has presented too many difficulties to tackle.
But it is nevertheless clear to a silent but growing group of practitioners that Washington sorely lacks a comfortable framework through which these and other policy challenges can be processed and understood. Few are brave enough to revisit neoconservatism in Obama's Washington, yet it's not hard to recognize that the Obama Doctrine has failed. Washington seeks a centrist approach to these challenges. Washington seeks a neocentrism.

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Holly Sarah Nguyen
Lord, I am unworthy, yet You have given me so much worth and value because You accepted me and loved me for who I am. May I do the same to others. Amen.

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Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Photos from a Great Man's Life

Photos trace the rabbi's path, with many of Israel's great leaders.

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"The continuation of settlement construction is the main obstacle to the success of the peace process," the PLO leadership said in a statement that completely ignored the calls for jihad by several Palestinian terror groups.
As the U.S.-sponsored peace talks between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority continue, Palestinian terror groups are preparing for jihad against Israel.
At the negotiations, the Palestinian Authority representatives are talking about the establishment of a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines, namely the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.
But the voices coming out of the Gaza Strip's various terror groups are talking about preparations to "liberate all Palestine, from the river to the sea."
Since the resumption of the peace talks about two months ago, these groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have repeatedly announced that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas does not have a mandate from Palestinians to make any concessions to Israel.
"Hamas's eyes are set on the liberation of Jerusalem and the prisoners," declared Abu Obaida, spokesman for Hamas's armed wing, Izaddin al-Kassam. "Our hearts are set on Lod, Ramle, Al-Majdal [Ashkelon] and other all the villages in occupied Palestine."
Abu Obaida said that his group, which consists of several thousand militiamen, possesses "strategic weapons" that would be used against Israel.
Another terror group, the Unification Brigade, announced this week that its men were also preparing for jihad against Israel. The group is affiliated with the Popular Resistance Committees, an alliance of various terror organizations operating in the Gaza Strip.
Members of Fatah's armed wing, Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, have also come out against the ongoing peace talks with Israel. Leaflets published by the group in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the past few weeks have affirmed its commitment to the armed struggle against Israel as the only option to "achieving Palestinian aspirations and rights."
These terror groups are not lacking in weapons and motivation to engage in another round of violence with Israel.
Despite the security restrictions imposed by the Egyptians in Sinai and the demolition of more than 300 tunnels, these terror groups have managed to find other ways to smuggle more weapons into the Gaza Strip.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip say that some of these groups are armed with anti-aircraft missiles and long-range missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv and even further north.
The preparations for war coincide with public opinion polls that show that a majority of Palestinians anticipate a third intifada if the peace talks fail.
One poll showed that 58% of Palestinians predict the outbreak of a new intifada if the talks collapse.
Another survey indicated that more than 70% of Palestinians believe that the armed struggle against Israel remains the only option to "liberating all Palestine."

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With no military threat, Iran has no incentive to stop its nuclear progress. Iran might well conclude that the sanctions could disappear in the course of endless rounds of diplomacy. No one in Israel seeks war, but a central tenet of its own defense doctrine is that Israel cannot depend on any external power to deal with existential security threats.
The coming weeks probably represent the last opportunity for Iran and the international community to reach an enforceable deal that will dismantle Tehran's nuclear weapons program, before Israel concludes that time has run out, that Iran has gotten too close to creating its first atomic bombs, and that the time for a military strike has arrived.
Despite Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's well-planned and deceptive charm offensive at the United Nations last week, so far not a single uranium-enriching centrifuge has stopped spinning in the underground nuclear facilities in Natanz and Qom. The heavy water plutonium facility at Arak is moving forward, and Iran has already amassed enough low-enriched uranium for the production of seven to nine atomic bombs.

Iran conducts test launches of its long-range Shahab-3 missiles, in 2008.
The speech given by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the United Nations last week, in which he warned that Israel would act alone against Iran if it needed to, is an authentic warning, and serves a dual purpose.
First, the speech reintroduces a credible military threat and aims it squarely at the Islamic Republic.
This notice is important as deterrence against Iran has waned significantly since August, when President Barack Obama hesitantly climbed down from his commitment to carry out a military strike on Iran's ally, the Syrian regime, over its use of chemical weapons to massacre civilians.
A diminished threat of military force leaves diplomatic efforts with Iran almost no chance of success: it leaves Iran with virtually no incentive to stop its nuclear progress, despite the painful economic sanctions it faces.
With no military threat, Iran might well conclude that the sanctions could disappear in the course of endless rounds of diplomacy, in which skilled Iranian negotiators would succeed in getting some of the sanctions lifted while giving up very little in return.

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Even Kenya?>

http://londonregionalpressoffice.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/barak-obama-hussein-ii-born-in-kenya-in.html

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Goodbye Blue Sky 

This morning I awoke to the news saying that a fire had broken out under the western span of the Bay Bridge... I knew immediately what happened. A photographer wanted to make an epic image out of an already epic location and decided to "spin wool" in the dry grass hillside under the bridge. Spinning wool, is a term used for spinning fire around and over your head, using homemade tools that allow sparks to fly while you spin the fiery object around you... it looks cool, but is something to be careful with. This particular person wasn't and now a whole community of Photographers is looking to be the ones who pay the price for this one individual's actions, and lack of thought on a high risk fire danger day. It was already a risky ordeal to jaywalk a quarter of a mile up an on-ramp to the bridge and then pay no heed to the several warning signs saying Government Property and Keep Out. Then the trek down was not necessarily dangerous, but not safe either... loose shards of metal adorn the ground, and cliffs with straight drop offs are the things to look out for while shooting. Not too many people were coming down to this spot when my friend Steve and I first went down. Steve had studied the area for over a year and was being very cautious, and once he told me, I pushed him hard to go, and so we did. We were scared out of our minds, keeping in touch by cell phone and hoping against hope not to get busted. Steve asked if he could post his photo first, and I rightly agreed. He immediately had over 10,000 views on Flickr and went from being somewhat known for his immense skills to very well known. When I posted four days later the excitement had all but died. I continued to visit this location, and so did many other photographers. It got to the point that this spot was so commonplace (even photographers from as far away as Europe had started making the trek and getting the shot) that I took 12 photographers at one time down the hillside to shoot this scene. Still, even though more commonplace, it was amazing and special to me, listening and feeling the rumble of the cars passing by while the city seemed so calm and peaceful from this vantage point. I was hoping to return. My skills as a photographer have grown and I wanted to get a certain shot from the beach below for a possible calendar I want to make. That hope now seems to have been dashed. The island security will no doubt go bananas after this event, and probably even fence off the area. Fines will become part of the landscape of getting caught, and it will be many years before anyone is able to get back under the bridge if ever. This and government shutdowns of many of our most beautiful lands has me feeling a little down today.

This marks the possible end of an era.

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http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/claim-of-australian-threat-to-west-papuans-in-bali-consulate-protest-20131007-2v4cg.html
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Once again, I’ve been proved right in one of my theories on humanity: when it comes to those brazen broads who hawk their wares in the world of entertainment, the nipples go south and the nose goes north. 
The former sex kitten is born again as Lady Muck, coming over all moral once she’s been mugged by gravity, and more than happy to sit in judgment on her younger sisters. 
And like all ‘morality’ driven by hypocrisy, it’s highly irritating — and rather amusing.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2236578/As-Suzi-Quatro-blasts-raunchy-modern-popstars-Julie-Burchill-responds-Selling-pop-sex-Well-started-Suzi-old-hypocrite.html#ixzz2h7EauUPH
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Lol, it isn't the Wowsers who are complaining. For precisely the reason you give, I am ambivalent. The people complaining are ones who once profited.
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Allen West
What is happening in Washington state? First two blacks attack and beat a World War II combat Veteran to death and now another one of America's combat Veterans has been stabbed to death. Could SPC Geike have been Obama's son? Does Obama feel compassion and need to make a press conference out of this tragedy? I suppose the killing of Army SPC Geike just does not fit the president or the liberal media's race-baiting agenda. One has to wonder what the headlines would be if things were reversed? Hate crime, damn right it is. A bunch of losers hating on honorable Americans, but that is the new order in Obama's realm.
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This is an absolute disgrace by the Yarra City Council. Fleecing ratepayers to fund a discredited doomsday alarmist.

http://m.theaustralian.com.au/news/ratepayers-may-pay-for-tim-flannery-climate-council/story-e6frg6n6-1226734337554
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Queen Elizabeth II in Western Australia watching a traditional performance welcoming her. (MOGENS JOHANSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States' self-imposed federal government shutdown has a way of making people around the world shake their heads in bewilderment. As Georgetown professorErik Voeten wrote for The Washington Post's new Monkey Cage political science blog, "I cannot think of a single foreign analogy to what is happening in the U.S. today."
But there actually is one foreign precedent: Australia did this once. In 1975, the Australian government shut down because the legislature had failed to fund it, deadlocked by a budgetary squabble. It looked a lot like the U.S. shutdown of today, or the 17 previous U.S. shutdowns.
Australia's 1975 shutdown ended pretty differently, though, than they do here in America. Queen Elizabeth II's official representative in Australia, Governor General Sir John Kerr, simply dismissed the prime minister. He appointed a replacement, who immediately passed the spending bill to fund the government. Three hours later, Kerr dismissed the rest of Parliament. Then Australia held elections to restart from scratch. And they haven't had another shutdown since.
Here's how it happened. Australia, like the United States, has both a Senate and a House of Representatives. In 1975, the chambers were controlled by different parties. The House had passed an appropriations bill to fund the government, but the Senate refused to pass it because it believed that the government was spending too much money on unworthy programs during an economic downturn. The opposition party that controlled the Senate said it would not pass the spending bill unless the government met its somewhat outlandish demand. Does this all sound familiar so far? In the Australian case, though, the opposition's demand wasn't repeal of a health-care law -- they wanted early elections, which they believed would unseat the ruling party.

And the ALP begged her to intervene .. on their behalf .. ed
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( Guy ) : Voici la fleur la plus étrange que j'ai eu à publier. Il ne s'agit pas d'une chevelure mais d'une " Fleur de cactée " ...
( Photo de : source inconnue )
Not an Andy Warhol top view .. I think .. ed
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Get the sticker: http://www.theteaparty.net/keepcalm/

A great reminder during this #Shutdown. Just stay conservative, folks! 

Maybe buy a few and mail them to your legislators?
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Saleha Mohamed Alam, Queen of Brunei
Come on everyone We all know that's the face of a true HANGOVER ! She is desperate for a burger and Advil ...note crown just a tad askew 

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 projects. (I tried, once, but didn't make my goal.) There are sites which will let you keep a lower percentage of the cash, if you don't reach your target goal, too. Wiser, in my observation to keep something, rather than nothing >
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4 her

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Caroline Glick.


But for the 7.5 people who somehow managed to miss the past 34 years of bad faith and horrible behavior from the mullahs, here is Rouhani bragging about how he gulled the Americans into believing Iran was suspending its nuclear program during talks in 2003 when it actually sped up development.>
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6-gJ1zI3D4

But for the 7.5 people who somehow managed to miss the past 34 years of bad faith and horrible behavior from the mullahs, here is Rouhani bragging about how he gulled the Americans into believing Iran was suspending its nuclear program during talks in 2003 when it actually sped up development.>
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6-gJ1zI3D4

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http://exm.nr/16MSj75 and shutting down the 100% privately owned Mount Vernon> http://bit.ly/1b02OS5
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In a video clip now gaining fresh attention as the international community seeks to assess his credibility, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani bragged on Iranian state television just four months ago that he and the regime utterly flouted a 2003 agreement with the IAEA in which it promised to suspend all uranium enrichment and certain other nuclear activities.
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JTA — When Rina Attias phoned to say that she was trapped with terrorists inside Nairobi’s Westgate mall, her husband Albert replied with a short instruction: Hang up right now.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, on October 6, 2013. (photo credit: Reuven Kastro/Flash90)
In a marked change in emphasis from a speech at the same podium four years ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday voiced doubt over the possibility of a two-state solution, citing the Palestinian leadership’s refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
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If moderate Islam is like the Iranian President .. then this is true. - ed
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Charter boat captains in Florida have been informed by the National Park Service that the Florida Bay is closed due to the government shutdown.
The captains, who make a living by taking tourists and anglers on deep-sea fishing trips, are prohibited from fishing in 1,100 square miles of ocean until the shutdown ends. They are also banned from Biscayne National Park.
Rangers will be on duty to enforce the ban. In fact, the personnel and resources required to shut down the ocean will probably cost more than keeping it open. Brilliant.
Breitbart reporter Mike Flynn hit the nail on the head:
This is governing by temper-tantrum. It is on par with the government’s ham-fisted attempts to close the DC WWII Memorial, an open-air public monument that is normally accessible 24 hours a day. By accessible I mean, you walk up to it. When you have finished reflecting, you then walk away from it.
At least that Memorial is an actual structure, with some kind of perimeter that can be fenced off. Florida Bay is the ocean. How, pray tell, do you “close” 1,100 square miles of ocean? Why would one even need to do so?
Apparently, according to an anonymous Park Service ranger, “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”
Americans from both sides have criticized the unnecessary theatrics that the shutdown has brought. It’s called Washington Monument Syndrome, and it’s basically when officials close down the most popular government services with hopes of upsetting the public enough to pressure lawmakers to act a particular way.


Conservative Daily.

Leave it to this administration to try to close an ocean...
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An Ohio daycare employee has been arrested after police say she raped an infant — and even captured it on video.
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Timothy Ly
Wrapping up on one long exhaustive shoot with sum flexing! #nutinbutagthing#backinthekungfugame — with Carlos Miguel Oviedo-Melendez.
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1001 years of Expulsions
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We started in Israel, and we are back home in Israel! In between Jews were expelled by nations across the globe. Watch this to learn some of Jewish history.
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Psalm 23 Desire of Desires by Shirei HaLevi’im
Wow, what a beautiful and spiritual song to listen to. Below is the translation of Tehilim/Psalm 23:
A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
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Palestinain Arab cleric calls for genocide of Jews and killing of Americans
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From the Blog

Jerry Brown licenses illegal aliens as lawyers and okays more amnesty goodies

As if the nail had not been driven into California’s coffin enough, along come a raft of new open-borders goodies for illegal aliens...

Scenery shutdown of the day: Roadside access to Mt. Rushmore coned off

Just when you thought it couldn’t get more ridiculous than attempting to close off the ocean, this comes along...

Beyond parody: Feds close area of ocean due to shutdown

The prescient Mark Steyn recently wrote: “One would not be altogether surprised to find the feds stringing yellow police tape along the Rio Grande, the 49th parallel, and the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, if only to keep Americans in rather than anybody else out”...

More From the Right Side of the Web

Michelle's Top Tweets

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And ... Our Hate Tweet of the Day

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Well, at least those guys agree about the "terrorist" part.

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The Great Chicago Fire, an artist's rendering

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“A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah. You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant?"
Numbers 11:11
Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to try our faith. If our faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. Gilt is afraid of fire, but gold is not: the paste gem dreads to be touched by the diamond, but the true jewel fears no test. It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord's faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father's countenance is hidden. A faith which can say, in the direst trouble, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him," is heaven-born faith. The Lord afflicts his servants to glorify himself, for he is greatly glorified in the graces of his people, which are his own handiwork. When "tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope," the Lord is honoured by these growing virtues. We should never know the music of the harp if the strings were left untouched; nor enjoy the juice of the grape if it were not trodden in the winepress; nor discover the sweet perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor feel the warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed. The wisdom and power of the great Workman are discovered by the trials through which his vessels of mercy are permitted to pass. Present afflictions tend also to heighten future joy. There must be shades in the picture to bring out the beauty of the lights. Could we be so supremely blessed in heaven, if we had not known the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth? Will not peace be sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after toil? Will not the recollection of past sufferings enhance the bliss of the glorified? There are many other comfortable answers to the question with which we opened our brief meditation, let us muse upon it all day long.

Evening

"Now on whom dost thou trust?"
Isaiah 36:5
Reader, this is an important question. Listen to the Christian's answer, and see if it is yours. "On whom dost thou trust?" "I trust," says the Christian, "in a triune God. I trust the Father, believing that he has chosen me from before the foundations of the world; I trust him to provide for me in providence, to teach me, to guide me, to correct me if need be, and to bring me home to his own house where the many mansions are. I trust the Son. Very God of very God is he--the man Christ Jesus. I trust in him to take away all my sins by his own sacrifice, and to adorn me with his perfect righteousness. I trust him to be my Intercessor, to present my prayers and desires before his Father's throne, and I trust him to be my Advocate at the last great day, to plead my cause, and to justify me. I trust him for what he is, for what he has done, and for what he has promised yet to do. And I trust the Holy Spirit--he has begun to save me from my inbred sins; I trust him to drive them all out; I trust him to curb my temper, to subdue my will, to enlighten my understanding, to check my passions, to comfort my despondency, to help my weakness, to illuminate my darkness; I trust him to dwell in me as my life, to reign in me as my King, to sanctify me wholly, spirit, soul, and body, and then to take me up to dwell with the saints in light forever."
Oh, blessed trust! To trust him whose power will never be exhausted, whose love will never wane, whose kindness will never change, whose faithfulness will never fail, whose wisdom will never be nonplussed, and whose perfect goodness can never know a diminution! Happy art thou, reader, if this trust is thine! So trusting, thou shalt enjoy sweet peace now, and glory hereafter, and the foundation of thy trust shall never be removed.
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Today's reading: Isaiah 28-29, Philippians 3 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Isaiah 28-29

Woe to the Leaders of Ephraim and Judah
1 Woe to that wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards,
to the fading flower, his glorious beauty,
set on the head of a fertile valley—
to that city, the pride of those laid low by wine!
2 See, the Lord has one who is powerful and strong.
Like a hailstorm and a destructive wind,
like a driving rain and a flooding downpour,
he will throw it forcefully to the ground.
That wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards,
will be trampled underfoot.
4 That fading flower, his glorious beauty,
set on the head of a fertile valley,
will be like figs ripe before harvest—
as soon as people see them and take them in hand,
they swallow them....

Today's New Testament reading: Philippians 3

No Confidence in the Flesh
1 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless....
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Shallum, Shallun

[Shăl'lum] - recompense, retributionor spoilation.
  1. A son of Jabesh, who slew Zechariah, son of Jeroboam II. He became King of Israel for one month just before the near extinction of the nation, and was slain by Menahem, son of Gadi (2 Kings 15:10, 13-15).
  2. A son of Tikvah and husband of Huldah the prophetess in the days of Josiah (2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chron. 34:22).
  3. A son of Sisamai and father of Jakaniah, also a descendant of Judah (1 Chron. 2:40, 41).
  4. The fourth son of king Josiah (1 Chron. 3:15).
  5. Grandson of Simeon, second son of Jacob and a descendant of Shaul (1 Chron. 4:25).
  6. The father of Hilkiah, a member of the high priestly family of Zadok and an ancestor of Ezra (1 Chron. 6:12, 13; Ezra 7:2). Called Meshullam in 1 Chronicles 9:11.
  7. The fourth son of Naphtali, the second son of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid (1 Chron. 7:13). Called Shillem inGenesis 46:24.
  8. A son of Kore, a Korhite and chief porter at the sanctuary (1 Chron. 9:17, 19, 31; Ezra 2:42; Neh. 7:45).
  9. The father of Jehizkiah who opposed the reduction of Jewish captives to slaves (2 Chron. 28:12 ).
  10. A Tabernacle gatekeeper whose foreign wife was put away (Ezra 10:24).
  11. One of the sons of Bani who also had taken a foreign wife (Ezra 10:42).
  12. A son of Halohesh, ruler of the half of Jerusalem, who with his daughters assisted in the repair of the wall (Neh. 3:12).
  13. A son of Col-hozeh, ruler of part of Mizpah, who repaired the gate of the fountain (Neh. 3:15).
  14. The father of Hanameel , uncle to the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 32:7, 8).
  15. The father of Maaseiah, an officer of the Temple in the time of Jehoiakim (Jer. 35:4).
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October 7, 2011
Becoming More Fruitful
Today's Truth
"He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful" (John 1:2, NIV).
Friend to Friend
On a family visit to the beach, our room had a balcony that overlooked the swimming pool. I sat on the balcony one morning and watched as a maintenance man for the resort approached a palm tree and pulled a brown, life-less branch from under the green leaves. Oddly, before he pulled the dead branch, I hadn't even noticed it was there. After he pulled it, however, I noticed that the palm tree looked fresh and vibrant. Healthy. The pruning made such a difference!
Jesus spoke to His disciples and said, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." John 15:1-8, NIV
The maintenance man at the resort didn't pull the branch off to hurt the palm tree. He pruned it to increase its beauty, health and vibrancy. God does the same for us. He prunes His children to increase our beauty, health and vibrancy for our good and for His glory - to make us more useful to Him and more fruitful.
Are there any dead branches hanging on the tree of you?
Let's Pray
Dear Lord, thank You for Your perfect love that longs for me to be fruitful and beautiful in You. Please remove any life-less branches in my life. As the psalmist prayed: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24, NIV).
In Jesus Name,
Amen.
Now It's Your Turn
How fruitful is your life?
Read John 15:1-17 and spend some time reflecting on God's plan for you to become more fruitful.
More from the GirlfriendsIt seems kind of weird that we should want to go through the pain of pruning, doesn't it? It reminds me a bit of the old workout saying, "No pain, no gain." When you allow the Lord to expose dead branches in your life and to strip them away, a simple, radiant beauty remains. You become a more vibrant reflection of Him and become better equipped to bear fruit. Trust Him, friend...no matter what or whom He may call you to give up. Click over to my Facebook page and tell me how today's devotion spoke to your heart today. What lessons are you learning? I'd love to hear about it.www.facebook.com/GwenSmithMusic.
Gwen's most recent CD, Uncluttered, is music that's purposed to sweep you away from life-noise and to focus your heart and mind on the one thing that matters: your relationship with Jesus Christ. You can find it on iTunes, or check out the CD SPECIALS going on now athttp://gwensmith.net/store/specials.htm.
Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106
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P31Header
Tracie Miles
October 7, 2011
But Everybody Else is Doing It
Tracie Miles
"Here's what I want: Give me a God-listening heart so I can lead your people well, discerning the difference between good and evil. For who on their own is capable of leading your glorious people?" 1 Kings 3:9 (MSG)
"Just because everybody else is doing it, doesn't make it right." The infamous words my mother would say to me were now flowing out of my own mouth.
Each time I utter these words, my teenagers know they won't be allowed to do whatever "it" is that "everyone else" is supposedly doing.
I know being a teenager is hard. I remember the deep need to feel accepted, well-liked and included. I also remember that my desire to do what "everybody else" was doing was sometimes so overwhelming, the pressure to conform could override good judgment.
Even as a grown woman, I sometimes find myself grappling with those same emotional needs of feeling accepted, liked and included in social circles, whether at work, my children's school, church or neighborhood. As a result, I can become so focused on "fitting in" with other moms I inadvertently succumb to the pressure to conform to what "everybody else" is doing.
Have you ever hesitantly pushed aside your convictions, by reasoning that "all the other moms are letting their kids do 'it'...so maybe I should too?"
I admit I've fallen for that line of reasoning before, and later regretted it. But it has helped me remember whether I'm young or old, the desire to belong and the pressure to conform is very real.
Being a Christian parent of teens can be an overwhelming calling. As life gets more complicated and parenting decisions get tougher, emotional exhaustion can slowly creep in, giving the devil a crack to wiggle through.
Recently I experienced a bad case of parental exhaustion. I remember asking God for wisdom and discernment about a decision we needed to make. Immediately, God reminded me of a time when Solomon felt a lot like I did.
In 1 Kings 3, we learn that when Solomon took over the throne from his father David, he felt overwhelmed and under-qualified to rule as king. One day he went to the shrine to worship and pray and God appeared to him in a dream saying, "What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!" (NLT)
Solomon could have asked for anything, such as riches, power, victory over his enemies or a long life-but instead he asked for wisdom to carry out the assignment God had given him. And it pleased God greatly.
Solomon was not equipped to lead until he sought God's direction above all else, and we won't be either. In the same way that Solomon knew he needed God's wisdom to fulfill his calling as king, we need His wisdom to successfully fulfill our calling as Christian parents.
When we rely on God's Word, His judgment and His understanding in our parenting decisions we will have what we need. When we choose not to go along with the crowd and encourage our children to take the road less traveled, God will be pleased.
Although we'll never be perfect parents, aren't you glad we can always seek and rely on wisdom from the One who is?
Dear Lord, give me a God-listening heart that seeks your wisdom. Come alongside me in this journey of parenting, and help me stand strong against the pressures of the world. Infuse me with Your strength to persevere, and help me not to give the devil any wiggle room in my heart, or the hearts of my teens. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?
Visit Tracie's blog for more encouragement on staying strong as a Christian mom.
When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can't compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!
Application Steps:
Make a list of times you are tempted to do what "everyone else is doing" as a parent or in other areas of your life. Then write prayer asking God for wisdom and the desire to please Him above anyone else, including your kids and their friends' parents.
Re-establish some rules if needed, based on God's Word, and have a heart-to-heart talk with your teens about them.
Reflections:
Have I allowed my teen to participate with people or social activities that I do not feel good about, just because it seems that all the other moms are?
Is it possible I have allowed my parenting exhaustion to affect my decisions?
Power Verses:
James 1:5, "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking." (NLT)
Proverbs 22:6 "Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it." (NLT)
© 2011 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org
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LeadershipBible-Header

Polycarp: Bishop and Martyr of Smyrna

art_02_05_polycarp
Quote: "For eighty-six years I have served Him. He has never done me wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?"
When the apostle John put into words his revelation on the Island of Patmos, he could not have known how precise his prophetic words to the church in Smyrna would be: "Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death." Nor could he have imagined those words were prophetically pointed at his own dear disciple, Polycarp.
Polycarp (69 - 155), an early church leader known as a kindly pastor and a defender of orthodox doctrine, later served as Bishop of Smyrna. That the threat of persecution was very real is evident in his letter to the church at Philippi. Here he reminds believers that "Christ endured for our sins even to face death," and exhorts them to "Pray for emperors, magistrates, rulers, and for those who persecute and hate you." He also vehemently rejects the claims of Marcion, who, while following the teachings of Paul, dismisses the remainder of Scripture, insisting that the God of the Old Testament is surely no God of Christians. So upset is Polycarp with Marcion's beliefs that he assails him to his face as "the firstborn of Satan."
Unlike Ignatius, Polycarp has no hankering for a martyr's death. But he is considered a prime target. During an athletic festival in Smyrna in AD 155, Christians refusing to worship the emperor are threatened with execution. Officials particularly want the revered Polycarp, hoping he will deny the faith and disgrace the Christian community. Polycarp's friends provide a hiding place in a hayloft outside the city, but a boy reports his whereabouts to authorities. Soon the hunt is on, and the old man is discovered, shackled, and brought before authorities. The imperial official begs him to cooperate: "What harm is there to say 'Lord Caesar,' and to offer incense?"
Polycarp was a beloved bishop. His congregations would have no doubt forgiven the old man any weakness displayed in such desperate circumstances. He might have simply offered incense to the emperor. Did not Jesus say, "Render onto Caesar what is Caesar's"? But burning incense meant far more in the pagan mind than merely showing respect. Moreover, Proconsul now goes a step further. To spare his life Polycarp must curse Christ and take an oath to Caesar. He is now standing before a sea of people. He understands the consequences. He does not flinch. The crowd hushes to the sound of his voice. "For eighty-six years I have served Him," he reminds them. "He has never done me wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?"
Preventing this from turning into a religious rally, the official clarifies the punishment in graphic terms. There will be no trial at all. So it was with Jesus. Polycarp knows the passion story. His own death will not be on a cross, but the pyre is bad enough.
The crowd is growing and becoming restless. It is obvious that this is overkill - the powerful Roman Empire waving its flares in the face of a frail old man. So the official explains again the torture he will endure, pleading with him to just get it over with: Deny Christ, go home, and get on with whatever you do as a Bishop.But Polycarp is not taking the bait. He has one last chance to address the crowd - though his words are aimed at the official: "The fire you threaten burns for a time and is soon extinguished; there is a fire you know nothing about - the fire of the judgment to come and of eternal punishment, the fire reserved for the ungodly. But why do you hesitate? Do what you want."
Realizing Polycarp will not back down, the official motions for rowdies to get involved - perhaps to shift responsibility away from himself. They grab slats of wood, pile up the pyre, and light the flames - though only after Polycarp has an opportunity to say a final prayer. He dies an unspeakable death, believing that there will literally be hell to pay for anyone who turns away from God should he himself not remain faithful.

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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