Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sat Nov 30th Todays News

When they murdered Lee Rigby, two Islamo Fascists raised their bloody hands to cameras and one said in a UK accent that such things were seen by women and children in his nation every day. He also spoke of an eye for an eye. The UK does not have a death penalty, but it is inconceivable that the two killers will ever be free. Regardless of their defence of the atrocity. People would not feel safe if it was generally believed that fantasists could run people over and butcher them while they were immobile. So it is very disturbing when the press do not report on why a group of thugs pushed through a front door of a house in Sydney and cut to pieces a young man in front of his mother and family. It scares the public to think such an attack is random. They want to know if it was drug inspired, or Islamo Fascist, or Bikie Gang. Without the cohesion of a story explaining to the public why everyone is safe, people feel threatened.
People feel threatened and they are, daily, by mainstream press partisanly pursuing conservatives while promoting left wing values. Media lies and their cover stories are discordant with reality. Desperate to engineer a policy back flip, Pyne's words are dissected, misrepresented and re-packaged. The truth is the ALP promoted bad policy, called Gonski, which would take money from tax payers and school kids and give it to ALP mates. This is called reform by the mass media who speak for the ALP while they are incapable. The truth is the federal government have no need to give money to public schools, because the states do. The federal government responsibly gives some money to private schools, because it would cost Australia too much if private schools were not viable. Private schools in Australia are either systemic or independent. Systemic school parents are generally not wealthy and their contributions are important to the wellbeing of education in Australia. Private students do not get more than public students from the public purse, and never have. What has happened is that the ALP took money away from their Gonski reform, but are demanding the conservatives return it to the budget. Parents are confused. One hairdresser I met recently is the breadwinner for her family. Her husband lost his job to ALP policy and she has one school age son and one pre school daughter. The hair dresser is highly educated, with a degree in computer science from a Vietnamese university and work experience in the computer industry. She is told by her son's public high school principal that the changes mean the school will have to cut classes and won't be able to buy computers. Also, she has been told private schools will not lose funding. The lies apparently spread by Chester Hill HS' Principal are not isolated. Parents are meant to be angry. But the cuts, were Pyne to cut Gonski entirely, would not cut a single program at any school. The only change will be that teachers will do what they are paid to do. If one truly believed the talk about teacher standards, that would mean everything was good. But the press would have you believe that Australian Teachers cannot function if some left wing extremists aren't paid a lot more.

Happy birthday and many happy returns Simon Robert Lane and Jean Omari. Born on the same day across the years, along with


Tim Blair – Saturday, November 30, 2013 (12:22pm)

Bandana-wearing history mangler Peter FitzSimons is against violence in today’s SMH: 
The Clarke sledging thing? So shoot me, but I don’t like it. Sledging that is banter is fine, butthreatening bodily violence to an opponent is well over the other side of the line. 
Bandana-wearing history mangler Peter FitzSimons is for violence last June: 
Just how much can Julia Gillard take? If put in her position last week, how many of us could keep our equanimity in the face of the shockingly hurtful contents of that menu being made public, and then have a radio announcer, to our face, airing false sludge about our partners? I, for one, could not, and in the latter case would find it very difficult not to invite the announcer for a chat in the car park. 
(Via reader Martin)


Tim Blair – Saturday, November 30, 2013 (12:03pm)

Following Sydney’s chilly anti-carbon rally, warmies protest in Canada
Dozens of anti-pipeline and oilsands activists gathered Saturday in downtown Calgary as part of a nation-wide protest focusing on climate change …
Originally about 300 people were slated to participate in the Calgary protest, but due to a snow storm only about 50 showed up. 
Bigger numbers appear in this survey
Not all scientists agree that global warming is man-made. Nearly half of meteorologists and atmospheric science experts don’t believe that human activities are the driving force behind global warming, according to a survey by the American Meteorological Society.
The survey of AMS members found that while 52 percent of American Meteorological Society members believe climate change is occurring and mostly human-induced, 48 percent of members do not believe in man-made global warming.
Furthermore, the survey found that scientists who professed “liberal political views” were much more likely to believe in the theory of man-made global warming than those who without liberal views. 
(Via Robert E.)


Tim Blair – Saturday, November 30, 2013 (11:59am)

Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee notes a power shift:


Elsewhere, the Taliban is against Sachin Tendulkar
“There is an Indian player called Tendulkar. He is being showered with praises by Pakistani media and people,” said Shahidullah Shahid, the main spokesman of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, during a video appearance flanked by two gun-wielding, balaclava-wearing jihadis.
“Somebody should tell the media that Tendulkar may be a good cricketer but his qualities should not be highlighted because it is against the Pakistani nation and our motherland.” 
Tendulkar’s Test record: nearly 16,000 runs at 53.78. The Taliban prefers another player: 
Although Shahid conceded there were problems with the [Pakistan] captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, he demanded the media get behind the national team.
No matter how bad a player Misbah-ul-Haq is, he must be praised,” Shahid said. 
Misbah-ul-Haq is barely a year younger than the just-retired Indian right-hander. His record: 2854 runs at 46.03. Praise him!


Tim Blair – Saturday, November 30, 2013 (5:46am)

Former tax recipient Tim Flannery loves to tell us how China is so great at addressing environmental issues. This must be what the Great Flanster is talking about
Beijing is waging a war against air pollution, one barbecue at a time. Officials have destroyed more than 500 open-air barbecues to cut particulate matter. 
I wonder if Flannery has a barbecue at his waterside pad.


Tim Blair – Saturday, November 30, 2013 (5:08am)

For warmies, this 1961 Twilight Zone episode is a documentary. 


Tim Blair – Saturday, November 30, 2013 (5:03am)

Greg Sheridan smashes tax-soaking security smashers: 
The ABC emerges from the Indonesian spy scandal a diminished organisation, morally compromised and journalistically discredited. The problem is not that the ABC published stories which contained confidential national security information. Every decent media organisation does that from time to time.
The problem is actually the reverse. The ABC did not behave as a credible media organisation. Credible media organisations do not act as the handmaidens of competitor news organisations to amplify and dramatise their competitors’ scoops. They may well report on those scoops, but the ABC did something altogether different. It emerges as an organisation lacking effective accountability and with a leadership that is hopelessly confused and amateurish about how to behave when dealing with serious national security issues. It also emerges as an organisation effectively driven by a specific, narrow ideological worldview, and by the obsessions which emanate from that ideology. 
Do read on. In other diplomatic developments
Indonesian military officials caught trying to smuggle galahs and parrots on a plane Australia had gifted the island nation were allegedly let off because customs staff deemed it “government-related” …
The parrots were surrendered amid questioning of two Indonesian officials, believed to be air force pilots, but the plane was allowed to continue on to Indonesia, with only a warning given.
Penalties for wildlife trade offences can go up to 10 years jail and or a fine of $170,000 …
Prime Minister Tony Abbott earlier confirmed he had been briefed on the bird issue but, when asked about the involvement of Indonesian officials, would only say he wanted to build a positive relationship with the nation.
“From time to time Australians do things in Indonesia and it shouldn’t be a complete surprise that occasionally it’s a two-way street,” Mr Abbott said. 
Apparently we’re now so spooked by Indonesian disapproval that we let law-breakers go free. Hmmm.


Tim Blair – Friday, November 29, 2013 (5:17pm)

The official Ashes Cricket 2013 video game has been withdrawn from sale: editor Matt Whitehorn, who was among those initial voices criticising the game and calling it “not fit for sale”, has posted videos showing fielders moving in an apparent state of confusion, diving on the ground randomly and either throwing the ball in the wrong direction or just standing and looking at it as if the idea of picking it up never occurs to them. 
Sounds like one or two teams I’ve played with. Check the ultra-realistic cricket action:


Pyne needs the discipline to go with his talent

Andrew Bolt November 30 2013 (9:40am)

Education Minister Christopher Pyne has the talent and confidence to be one of the Government’s best ministers. Right now he lacks the discipline as he backtracks on education funding promises:
When [Adelaide radio’s Leon] Byner repeated that Abbott promised no school would be worse off, Pyne again denied it - so the interviewer played a tape.
Listeners heard Abbott’s voice saying: “We will make sure no school is worse off.”
At a news conference on Tuesday, asked about the kind of new model he had in mind, Pyne said: “I believe that the school funding model that was implemented by the Howard government, which was based on the socio-economic status and qualifications of parents and went to the schools that were most in need, is a good starting point for a school funding model.”
A DAY later he was claiming: “I’ve never said that we’d be reverting to the Howard model, so I don’t know where you’ve got that idea from.”
Reader Jillor says Laurie Oakes has gone too far in accusing Pyne:
I can understand his frustration in the last quoted sentence. Perhaps he could have been more precise, but he did say that the Howard model was “a good starting point”, not that he was reverting to it.There is obviously a huge difference between using a past plan as a starting point and copying or reverting to the whole plan.

Bolt Report tomorrow

Andrew Bolt November 30 2013 (9:36am)

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will be our guest on tomorrow’s Bolt Report.  Also on this show: Peter Costello and Michael Costa.
And, using very short words, I will explain something to Paul Barry - and match his dare.
On Channel 10 at 10am and 4pm on Sunday.
The twitter feed.
The place the videos appear

Abbott’s studies at Oxford get Fairfax mockery. Rhiannon’s in Moscow of no interest

Andrew Bolt November 30 2013 (9:21am)

Another tremendous Media Watch Dog:
What a truly fascinating piece by Mark Kenny on the Fairfax Media website last Monday. Mr Kenny revealed Tony Abbott’s results in his Philosophy Politics and Economics (PPE) course at Oxford University some three decades ago…
In fact, Mr Abbot received a respectable Second Class degree – quite good in view of his non-academic interests in politics and sport.
Your man Kenny wrote that “Mr Abbott struggled to gain the highest marks for his efforts” in the PPE program but provided no evidence of any such “struggle”.
Meanwhile, neither Mark Kenny nor any of his fellow members of the Canberra Press Gallery have bothered to follow-up on, or even report, MWD’s “scoop” about Lee Rhiannon’s (nee Brown) apparent post-graduate study at the International Lenin School in Moscow in the mid-1970s.
The Greens Senator has refused to confirm or deny that she did a course in Moscow during the time of Leonid Brezhnev’s communist dictatorship. As Professor Helena Sheehan of Dublin City University has documented, the International Lenin School was established by the Soviet Union “to train leaders of the communist movement” and “to facilitate” the progress of Bolshevik revolution around the world. Graduates of the International Lenin School include Stanlinist hacks like Erich Honecker and Wladyslaw Gomulka.
(Thanks to reader Peter.) 

ABC refused pleas to censor damaging secrets

Andrew Bolt November 30 2013 (9:14am)

Greg Sheridan on the ABC’s decision to hurt Australia’s national interest by publishing stolen intelligence secrets:
THE ABC emerges from the Indonesian spy scandal a diminished organisation, morally compromised and journalistically discredited…
(T)he ABC has decided to turn itself into the Australian broadcast arm of the Snowden/Guardian axis, to use every relevant part of its vast government-funded resources to promote The Guardian’s scoop. This is not an act of journalism. This is an act of ideological commitment. It is an act of propaganda.
People could very easily die as a direct result of the ABC’s decision.... (I)f the Indonesians seriously cut back on their efforts to disrupt people-smuggling, it is almost inevitable that a lot more boats will leave Indonesia for Australia. We know a proportion of those boats will sink…
The way the ABC has behaved on this story has shocked many non-partisan national security officials in Australia. The ABC refused to redact the majority of the material which the intelligence agencies asked it to in the interests of national security…
The ABC is a public broadcaster, financed by taxes paid by all Australians. Half those Australians, more or less, vote centre Right, and half, more or less, vote centre Left. But the ABC’s worldview runs entirely from centre Left to far Left.

Grace Collier:
The type of relationship between the ABC board and the government has the potential to have a serious impact on us all. The disaster we are now seeing unfold may have its origins in defiant political ideology within the national broadcaster. If this is all about a war declared on the elected representatives of mainstream Australia by a media entity unhappy with the election outcome, then I shudder to think what additional damage could be done.
If any good can come out of recent events it will be this: the new government loses any naivety it may have held about who its friends are…
Labor has long stacked our institutions with its friends. Conservatives hate having nights of the long knives and are terrified of being seen as nepotistic. Yet as inconvenient as it may be, the new administration must, to govern properly and carry out the agenda it was elected to implement, neutralise the enemies in its midst and place people it trusts into key positions of influence.
(Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill and Correllio.) 

24 more hours of Fairfax Abbott-hate

Andrew Bolt November 30 2013 (7:29am)

Media, Politics - federal

Fairfax writers agree - the Abbott Government is hopeless and has stuffed up everything.
Laura Tingle:
Even some on the other side of politics are perplexed at how the Coalition seems to have “completely squandered” any surge of confidence that comes with a change of government.
Her complaints? They include that the Coalition is briskly doing what the Coalition promised:
Examples are given of the short time frames for interested groups to lodge submissions on everything from the Commission of Audit, to the carbon repeal legislation and the mining tax repeal bills…
The last-ditch efforts this week of Clean Energy Finance Corporation chairman Jillian Broadbent and her senior executives to point out ...  it would actually cost taxpayers more to close it down than keep it going… The end result was what looked like another example of dogged determination not to proceed – purely on ideological grounds – with an initiative that was working, and on the basis that if Labor had done it, then it had to be undone.
And there has been the flat-footed handling of the dumping of the Gonski education reforms… But the wisdom of arguing the Coalition is only doing what it always said it would and we are just all too dumb to have understood this is not really a great idea.
I get the impression that Tingle believes a Coalition Government is acceptable only if it implements Labor’s policies and ditches it own.
Geoff Kitney:
The alarm bells about the Abbott government are becoming deafening. And they are ringing around the world. What started as a rumble in Jakarta is now echoing through the capitals of every nation which has any dealings with Australia.
Really? They are? And the evidence?
And it’s not hard to imagine that the first question being asked about Abbott’s Australia is: “What on earth is going on?”
Ah, it’s Kitney’s imagination we should trust.
And the Government’s failings?

Hockey’s shamefaced appearance to announce that he had decided to reject the US bid for GrainCorp and saying that one of the reasons was that it was “not popular” was a jaw-dropping political moment, comparable with Christopher Pyne’s po-faced appearance to announce the ditching of the Gonski education reforms and declaring that this was not a broken promise.
In fact, there is zero evidence Hockey was “shame-faced”. It was his decision, for good or bad. Pyne actually said before the election he was dumping a lot of the Gonski reforms - the central controls it proposed, and the funding beyond the fourth year. To do so is actually to keep a promise, not break it. That said, Pyne does seem about to break a promise on maintaining the funding levels for each school under the Gonski plan for the next four years. This would indeed be a broken promise if that turns out not to be the case.

As for Kitney’s other criticisms:

Australia’s most important regional relationships – Indonesia and China – have entered dangerous territory since the Abbott government came to power.
In both cases, this has not been because of actions initiated by the government but by its responses to external events which have revealed its basic instincts.
And what this has revealed has been a worryingly narrow vision which seems to take too little heed of the economic dimensions of Australia’s foreign and strategic interests… Australia’s economic future is as important in the relationship with Indonesia as its security… The idea of Indonesia as an economic friend rather than a strategic threat is completely missing from the Australian domestic debate.
What Kitney fails to mention is that Abbott has repeatedly stressed this very point. Here’s Abbott in a speech in Jakarta during his visit to Indonesia, during which he was accompanied by his Trade Minister, not his Immigration Minister:
For the Australian government, the challenge is to appreciate Indonesia more as an economic partner than as a source of people smuggling; and as an emerging Asian giant rather than as a poor cousin of the economic powerhouses further north.
Kitney continues:

If Abbott could have nominated the two foreign policy issues which he least wanted to blow up in his first few months in office, they would have been relations with Indonesia and China.
He’s got both. The Jakarta crisis is now in emergency management. China is an emergency still unfolding.
Abbott blew them up?
In fact, neither is actually “blown up”, although there are tensions. And in neither case did Abbott doing the blowing up. Indonesia is upset by Labor-authorised spying revealed by Left-wing media outlets, and Abbott seems to be steadily making good the damage.  China is upset that Australia joined Japan and the US in quite properly resisting its crass and provocative extension of its air defense identification zone to islands claimed by Japan, but Abbott can hardly be faulted for not giving in to Chinese aggression. Indeed, China now seems to be backing down.
Kitney seems to be of the Fairfax school that suggests “when in doubt, blame Abbott”.
Peter Hartcher:
What is the point of the Abbott government? ... The polls suggest that the electorate is asking the question; the government’s public behaviour suggests it doesn’t yet have an answer.
Which polls? The Newspoll which has the Government 52 to 48 ahead of Labor? Or the Essential Media poll which has it ahead by even more - 53 to 47?

Appearing pointless and aimless, the Abbott government is in a weaker position in the polls than any new government in the 40 years of the Fairfax Nielsen poll.
Oh, let’s base this analysis on the one clear outlier with suspicious results particularly in Queensland - the only poll which has Labor ahead.
Hartcher does have valid criticisms:

In the upper levels of the government, there is anger and despair at the self-inflicted injury that Pyne has delivered so blithely…
The Prime Minister deliberately rationed his public appearances in his first 10 weeks in office. This was partly because he was preoccupied with setting up government. Partly because he was reacting against Labor’s irrepressible urge to inject itself into every day’s news cycle.
He now realises he might have overdone it.
But the evidence of Abbott’s failures is scanty, and come down essentially to bad PR:
Emerging events have found the government flat-footed and surprisingly clumsy… The first big one was the emergence of politicians’ dodgy expenses claims. The second was the exposure of Australian spying on Indonesia’s President, his wife and his senior ministers.
In both cases, Abbott had the same reflex response: to tough it out… In both cases, the pressure mounted. In both cases, the Prime Minister was forced to capitulate.
This pattern produces the worst of both worlds; his toughness is exposed to be phoney, his judgment shown to be wrong, and the damage is not stemmed early but protracted.
On the expenses, I agree Abbott reacted too late, although the “scandal” was largely confected or over-hyped by Fairfax, which would have kept going regardless of what Abbott did until it ran out of material. Which it did. As for Indonesia, its anger, too, had to play out over time. Its leaders had to assert national pride by going through a period of ritualistic anger, and nothing Abbott did could avert that. Indeed, a premature concession may well have led to demands for more.
Pyne aside, the real criticism is nothing more than Abbott not selling the Government properly to Fairfax - given the public seems to barely notice or care. But I wonder if Abbott could ever sell himself to a Fairfax crowd.
Anne Summers is simply an hysteric, not worth the trouble of rebuttal. Just read and laugh:
It’s rare, maybe unheard of, for an elected political leader to set out to put his country into even worse shape than he found it…
Babies born this week will, on average, live to around 2101 we learnt from reports a few days ago. But what will their lives be like?
Just looking at two of the Abbott government’s policies – education and climate change – we can confidently predict the next generation of Australians will be denied the continuous betterment to their lives that their parents and grandparents have taken for granted.
Abbott’s brazen backflip on the Gonski schools funding agreements ...  means today’s generation will serve life sentences in whatever socio-economic group they happened to be born into.
And Abbott’s bizarre notion that planting (even lots of) trees and paying polluters to be a little bit less dirty will arrest, let alone begin to reverse, the trajectory towards catastrophic climate change on which this planet is hurtling, borders on criminal negligence.
Tom Allard:
Rather than questions about trust being levelled at Labor, they are now being asked loudly, and often, of the Coalition.
Well, yes, by Fairfax and the ABC, who seem to believe a Coalition government has broken a promise if it refuses to honor a Labor one:
But, certainly, [Labor’s Gonski] agreements with states won’t be honoured, offers that Labor has made are not guaranteed and there are no assurances every individual school will not be worse off…
Another explanation is the budget pressures for the government. Some 70 per cent of the federal money earmarked for Gonski over six years come in the final two years and - along with NDIS - education spending looms as a budgetary time bomb.
The Coalition insisted from long before the election that it would not honor all the Gonski changes, and would junk their proposed central controls. It declared it would not commit to the huge increase in spending Labor promised in the final two years of the six-year plan - spending Labor would almost certainly not have been able to fund itself. All this was made clear before the election. The one promise at risk of being broken is that no school would be worse off under the Coalition than Labor promised for the next four years.
A reform package backed by almost all stakeholders and negotiated over four painstaking years has been dumped, at a time when standards are slipping and disadvantaged students are neglected.
Which, of course, should be proof that six years of Labor cash-splashes on education were a failure, and Labor’s Gonski cash-splash might be no better.
For many educators, the reversal is being driven by the Coalition’s desire to tilt federal funding back towards the private schools, which were the major beneficiaries of the Howard-era system…
Pyne made clear again this week that he sees the states as being primarily responsible for public education
Federal funding under all governments is tilted to private schools (which under all governments fewer taxpayer dollars per student than state schools). State schools are a state responsibility, and were under Labor, too.
The “budget emergency” and warnings about rising debt and deficit of the Coalition in opposition has been met in government by increased spending and tax cuts, not to mention a bid to massively lift the debt ceiling.
Excuse me? What tax cuts, other than the promised scrapping of the (dud) mining tax and carbon tax - neither of which has yet passed? What increased spending? Hasn’t the government announced cuts? And isn’t the rise in the debt ceiling, made necessary by Labor’s legacy of huge spending, actually evidence of the budget emergency?
Abbott’s constant criticism of Labor’s handing of the relationship with Indonesia was blown up by the rupture in relations between the two countries after revelations of spying on Indonesian leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
How was Abbott’s valid criticism of Labor’s bungling of the Indonesian relationship - the cutting of live beef exports, the East Timor detention centre fiasco, the Oceanic Viking farce, the East Asia summit surprise - “blown up” by revelations that Labor also authorised the monitoring of the phones of Indonesia’s president and his wife? Indonesia’s response - from the Foreign Minister, for instance - suggests it sees the spying as just part of Labor’s troubled history and Abbott can “draw a line”.
The spying took place under a Labor government, but Abbott bears responsibility for further antagonising Indonesia with his ham-fisted diplomacy.  Through some misfortune, but mostly mis-steps, it has been an inglorious debut from the new government.
Ah, a concession, after all, but there is actually no credible evidence of Abbott’s “ham-fisted diplomacy”. Indonesia was bound to take offence at the spying and was bound to want more concessions than Abbott would be wise to give.

Bottom line: whatever happens to Abbott is Abbott’s fault, too. If Abbott scraps a Labor promise, he’s broken his own. AbbottAbbottAbbott.
Behold the Fairfax press corp in full hate. 

Expensive union votes for Bill

Andrew Bolt November 30 2013 (7:01am)

Was $500,000 of trade unionists’ money really diverted into a campaign to get more votes for Bill Shorten’s faction?
An investigation by Fairfax Media has unearthed a slew of cashed-up but little known [union] funds, and possible unlawful misuse of union and parliamentary staff and offices in factional fights across the country.
They include the involvement of the NSW Right’s powerful Transport Workers Union in a $500,000 takeover of its own Queensland branch with the backing of the disgraced former HSU leader Michael Williamson.
After Fairfax Media sent questions to the TWU on Thursday, the organisation referred itself to the Fair Work Commission, the national workplace watchdog body…
The Queensland push resulted in the transfer of the TWU’s factional support in the ALP from the left to Bill Shorten’s AWU-dominated Right faction.
Current Queensland TWU secretary Peter Biagini… said funding for his campaign came from delegate donations, fund-raisers, and redundancy payments. ‘’There was no money from anywhere else,’’ he said. The campaign was overseen in Brisbane by a team ... of interstate union and Labor operatives, including from the offices of Labor MPs including federal opposition frontbencher David Feeney and former senator and TWU official Steve Hutchins.

Fear is the key to the GrainCorp veto. But buying back Qantas should panic the rest of us

Andrew Bolt November 30 2013 (6:14am)

The Treasurer’s decision to veto the sale of GrainCorp to Americans seems driven not just by a practical analysis of how the sale of the grain-handler would work out, but even more by a fear of how it would seem:

The Treasurer said the proposed deal was contrary to the national interest, citing concerns over the control of key infrastructure, such as ports, and the fact it was still taking time for increased competition to emerge since the 2008 scrapping of the single desk for wheat exports. The Foreign Investment Review Board was split and could not make a unanimous recommendation on the deal.
Mr Hockey said concern in the community about the bid had been a “further significant consideration” for him. Government sources said this went well beyond the feedback from his Nationals colleagues, with an unparalleled hostility towards the bid in rural communities.
Mr Hockey said he was worried that approving the takeover would undermine public support for the foreign investment regulatory regime, a view shared by at least some of the five members of the FIRB panel.
So a fear campaign can overwhelm reason.
Judith Sloan is scathing. She says Joe Hockey has failed his first big test:

He mentions concerns about competition but fails to acknowledge that the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission gave the deal the go-ahead…
Scarily, he mentions “the high level of concern from stakeholders and the broader community”. This is simply code for the Treasurer’s inability to stand the heat and do what is in the national interest.
Henry Ergas:
With Qantas too, in other words, we face a choice between adjusting to global change and its opportunities, or retreating into capital xenophobia and taxpayer-funded corporate life-support.
Yet simply removing the restrictions on Qantas, as the government should, will be controversial. And that makes it especially unfortunate that one of Hockey’s reasons for vetoing the ADM acquisition was that it was unpopular with grain growers. For it is hardly desirable to suggest the national interest will be determined by means of popularity tests.
That said, I note this Fairfax report doesn’t quote a single one of the Liberals said to be “incensed”:

National Party joy at the torpedoed takeover by Archer Daniels Midland could not mask white-hot anger among sections of the Liberal Party at Mr Hockey’s decision on Friday…
Liberal economic dries, who were ‘’incensed’’ by Mr Hockey’s decision on Friday, are fearful that the mooted partial-re-nationalisation of Qantas is now a genuine prospect.
But, yes, if the Government does also partially re-nationalise Qantas – sold by Paul Keating - we can indeed onclude this government is not a happy free marketeer.
So this is good:

SENIOR ministers are resisting pressure to inject taxpayer funds into Qantas to prop up the national carrier… Joe Hockey told The Weekend Australian last night that “of course, the government is very, very reluctant to own an airline”, and Transport Minister Warren Truss ruled out providing taxpayer relief ...
But this is bad:

Opposition transport spokesman Anthony Albanese said ... the opposition was prepared to consider any constructive proposal. “I’ve said in the past that the government should consider measures such as taking a small equity position in the airline...”
Terry McCrann says purists should back off. No government can afford to ignore public sentiment or the complexities of such decisions, and Hockey is right to be pragmatic:
Any government that stuck to some rigid pro-forma “consistency” would not only guarantee its demise, it would deliver very bad policy decisions in a world of complex volatility and impurity…
The critics by and large passed over an inconvenient disclosure in Hockey’s statement yesterday. That he asked FIRB for advice on the broader impact on the takeover, and “the members . . . could not agree on a consensus recommendation”.... [It] spoke to the complications of assessing this takeover. Something that Hockey is legally obliged to do…
The one concern I would have is if Hockey waved through precipitously the takeover of Warrnambool Cheese from Canada’s Saputo as a trade-off for the GrainCorp rejection.
My objection is not to any approval of the Saputo bid, but its hurried timing while the hands of the major local competitor Murray Goulburn are tied by the competition approval process…
To demand that the government be totally consistent in some sort of theoretical, even theological rigidity, is at best, depressing… I would hope that the government would feel confident to contemplate a car industry decision within the full spectrum of ending all direct aid, to some form of permanent but very precisely structured—and demanding—underwriting.
Similarly with Qantas. It should reject the competing certainties of national—protected—icons and unfettered markets; and seek a pragmatic solution based on the operational reality of the global airline industry and the total overlay of government, both through ownership and through regulation.  

Warmists keep unpersuasive evidence secret

Andrew Bolt November 30 2013 (6:00am)

What’s the big secret? Nigel Lawson:

The long-discussed meeting between a group of climate scientists and Fellows of the Royal Society on the one side, and me and some colleagues from my think-tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation on the other, has now at last taken place. It was held behind closed doors in a committee room at the House of Lords, the secrecy — no press present — at the insistence of the Royal Society Fellows, an insistence I find puzzling given the clear public interest in the issue of climate change in general and climate change policy in particular.
The origins go back almost a year, to a lecture by the president of the Royal Society, the biologist Sir Paul Nurse. In it he chose to launch a gratuitous personal attack on me, making a number of palpably false allegations. I wrote to him, pointing out his errors, and he replied — somewhat changing his tune — conceding that ‘it is quite legitimate for both of us to talk about climate change policy, but before doing so we need to have access to the highest quality climate science. I am not sure you are receiving the best advice, and I would be very happy to put you in contact with distinguished active climate research scientists if you think that would be useful.’
Steve Kates at Catallaxy Files:

So now the highest quality climate science has been provided but we don’t know what it was or how Nigel Lawson replied. All I do know is that Lawson has not changed his mind. But again, why the secrecy?

The AWU scandal - one story the ABC didn’t rush to report

Andrew Bolt November 30 2013 (5:43am)

Michael Smith on the ABC, which happily published material damaging to the national interest:
“WHEN important and difficult stories break, you will hear about them on your ABC. We will not succumb to pressure to suppress or ignore legitimate stories to protect those in power.”

- Kate Torney, ABC director of news, on the Indonesian phone-tapping story.
THIS year, the ABC has studiously ignored every major development in the Victoria Police major fraud squad investigation into the Australian Workers Union scandal. Even the proceedings of Victoria’s courts on the matter - the bread and butter of local journalism - have eluded the national broadcaster’s local reporters.
Jonathan Holmes spoke at length on the ABC’s Media Watch about legitimate reporting of the story back in August last year. The Australian’s Hedley Thomas had just broken the news that one of Julia Gillard’s former law firm partners claimed that Gillard had lost her job at Slater & Gordon as a direct result of legal advice she gave to help establish a slush fund for her then boyfriend and client, AWU state secretary Bruce Wilson. There were numerous revelations in leaked documents, including a transcript of her exit interview from the firm, and the subsequent disclosure by the firm’s then head partner, Peter Gordon, that it was a very serious matter involving an alleged fraud.
Jon Faine, of 774 ABC Melbourne, said: “The conspiracy theorists are having a ball, the blogosphere’s running amok, it’s all completely out of control ... why is it on the front page of the paper?”
To his great credit, Holmes said of the Faine view: “Well, I think that’s nonsense."…
There was a flurry of reporting in November last year from the ABC. It carried all of Gillard’s press conferences and a lengthy interview with Wilson and, separately, his union colleague Ralph Blewitt. Then nothing.
Since the parliament rose last year, it’s as if the AWU scandal had ceased to be for the ABC. Yet substantial developments have taken place…
In January, Thomas reported that Victoria police had travelled to Queensland and taken a lengthy statement from a former para-legal executive at Slater & Gordon, Olivia Palmer (nee Brosnahan). That interview marked a turning point in the police investigation, with a significant increase in the number of detectives assigned to the matter as a result of her evidence.
The ABC reported nothing.
Read on. Smith goes on to detail other developments the ABC did not cover and how ABC executives explained that failure.
For instance, here’s part of one ABC letter to a viewer:

Reporting that the prime minister of the nation is under police investigation is an enormously significant call to make. It cannot be made on supposition, on rumour, or on hearsay…
According to The Australian they’ve been collecting files but you would expect any police investigation to gather up this sort of primary documentation. That does not mean Ms Gillard is under investigation. For all we know, the investigation could be into Ralph Blewitt, or Bruce Wilson or Slater & Gordon or any number of other individuals and entities.
Here’s another:

The ABC is aware of these statements but we do not at this stage believe it warrants the attention of our news coverage.
To the extent that it may touch tangentially on a former role of the Prime Minister, we know The Australian newspaper maintains an abiding interest in events 17 years ago at the law firm Slater & Gordon, but the ABC is unaware of any allegation in the public domain which goes to the Prime Minister’s integrity.


"The “Knockout Game” is played by predominantly black teens who punch unsuspecting victims, rendering them unconscious, severely injured, or in some cases dead.">

Aprille Love
That kind of saturday #lazy #sleepy #chilled



Harry Potter
Happy birthday to handsome and heroic Bill Weasley! Fleur is one lucky girl!



A big cat, so she feels warm and safe .. ed
4 her


Very Angry Birds.
John Tran Go into the car wash place at the discount time for $10 per wash..just watch their faces.
Idiots bring to mind the second side of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells. "Here we have an 18th century masterpiece, and if we scrape a little bit of it off (scraping noises) a 15th century under piece. Made entirely of egg shell. This Lurid work (stumbles a lot) has caused controversy in the area of embroidery." - ed

It's quite a coincidence that people who expose Obama wind up being audited by the IRS.

The latest victim is a cancer patient who had his insurance cancelled because of ObamaCare

Michele Bachmann
One year ago today, the community of Cold Spring, MN lost one of their own, when Cold Spring-Richmond Police Officer Tommy Decker was tragically killed in the line of duty. His memory lives on, and my heart goes out to his loved ones and the entire community.








A cross swell at île de Ré, France, a sea state with two wave systems traveling at oblique angles created by a shift in the wind.


I've saved three cars, so far - ed



Scientists are holding their breath on whether the so-called "comet of the century" survived its brush with the sun. If it did, stargazers could soon be in store for a spectacular light show.
ALP smears go to substantial depths. Ashby has done nothing wrong. LNP made adult decisions.- ed===

Emma Watson
"It’s so cheesy to say this, but it’s the journey, not the end goal, that’s important.”

Samantha says when her husband, Adam, returned home from serving in Iraq, he was a changed man -- and one night during a fight, she says he shot her twice with an AK-47, nearly killing her and destroying her legs. And, Laurie says her now ex-husband shot and killed their two young sons. 
Working with channel 10's indulgent "Art without Borders" in the background. One commenter says that "A lot of children like to take their parents with them .. " to an art play area. How many young children could go to a one off event without their parents? - ed
Sylvia Lee And how many children that want to go actually do go... with their parents? Funny thing is... When a stranger asks us for our time we quite readily oblige YET when our children ask for our time... why is it that this is something so easily negated?
Pastor Rick Warren
My 5 year old grandson's heart-rending Thanksgiving prayer: "And thank you God for Matthew who's now in heaven and we'll see again someday."
On Dec.1, Saddleback's College Ministry will lead#WorldAIDSday observances on 26 university campuses. Also our young artists have created 12 powerful posters to communicate the facts about HIV/AIDS to college students and to share how anyone can help those infected and affected. Part of our #PEACE plan. (C is 'care for the sick')

Michelle Malkin
Thanks, Obama! Here’s what happened when Obamacare came up at Thanksgiving dinners ==>

bathroom vanity kickboard removed without a contractor scheduled to replace
Daniel Katz

This unique Yowah Nut opal is divided so one side has the appearance of a black opal, while the other side appears lighter. Both sides feature beautiful play-of-color. Photo © Eric Welch, courtesy The Smithsonian Institution

See that green dot of light? That's a tiny diamond levitated by a laser beam. This is the first experiment to successfully pick up diamonds with nothing but light.

Watch an interview with one of the researchers at the University of Rochester here:
Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin
He is thinking of YOU - A prophetic word.
Dear saints,
I do not know where I got this thinking from, but I really believed that if I wanted God to bless me, that I had to do everything right.
I had to sin less and pray more. If I was righteous enough and "jumped through all the hoops" that I felt God put before me, that I would eventually earn the right to His blessing.As I was in my quiet mood,An old habit started cropping up as I searched my heart. I started asking myself, "What have I invested into the Kingdom recently that I can count on God blessing us?" "Is my faith in order and strong enough right now?"
"Have I prayed enough? Have I done enough for Christ?" The answer is No.

The Lord interrupted my thoughts. He said, "My child, what makes you think that there is anything that you could do to earn my love? My blessing depends on MY righteousness... not yours. Instead of 'trying to make it happen' why not trust me to be your Dad and provider instead?" The Book of Matthew 6:25 says,do Not Worry, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?. He is thinking of you.God bless you.
You have no chance resisting temptation without Christ. Not possible….
Father in heaven, I choose to fix my mind on noble things.Help me to forgive and release the past. Heal my heart and restore my soul. Show me the good plan You have for my future as I keep my mind stayed on You. I choose thoughts of peace and victory. Fill my heart with Your goodness that I may glorify You in everything I do in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Fix Your Mind On What is Good.
The Scripture says,“Whatever is true, whatever is honest, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is kind, if there is any virtue, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things.”(Philippians 4:8, NIV)

Choose today to fix your mind on good things. Do whatever you need to in order to keep those good thoughts before you. Write them on note cards and put them in a place where you can see them. Confess God’s promises over your life and declare His blessing on a daily basis. As you fix your mind on the goodness of God, you will rise higher in every area of your life. You will be filled with His peace and victory, and you’ll see every dream and desire in your heart come to pass.God bless you.

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Dai Le
I'm exhausted!!! Just recovering from last night's DAWN launch. 
I want to sincerely thank all those who came to support this awesome network!! We look forward to create projects and collaborate with inspirational individuals and corporations. DAWN founders - Katrina LeSue Lee Lim Tiana TranSerena HuynhConnie Nguyen would like to acknowledge Melinda Boutkasaka Maggie Snail @jason salinas for their immense contribution in helping us pull last night's event together. Thank you to our amazing inspirational speakers Pauline Nguyen @Mia FeasayWendy McCarthy. And a very special thank you to our supporters Deric LyPhong VuSon BrownPeter TL Davy Nguyen@van Tran from Elders in CabramattaThao Le Glamourworldbeauty George Roumanous@kevin Wheatley of AAA Mortgages Tropical Soul Dance Studio Juan Ignacio RuizCesar MarinAdrian BartelsCarina Hoang@tay macnabb Pk Smith MckhamluNick Papas@sydney community foundation@zaya toma Nahrain Toma Ken Yeung @ted seng Joyce CheamAmy Lee Katherine LeYan Cheungand many more!!!!!! Thank you! Thank you in helping making our night a success!

Palestinians burn Angola's flag in a protest amid reports that the country has banned Islam and destroyed mosques..... yep... Palestinians

Why haven't we started impeachment proceedings for this miserable excuse for a president no less a human being.
He is worse than Clinton was. And Clinton was impeached. In ten years time, his successor of Democrat President .. will they be worse too? - ed===


Shabbat Shalom to JEWS worldwide. Tonight is Shabbat Chanukah, a time when two sets of lights are kindled in a Jewish home. The Menorah candles are lit to bring light to the darkness of the outer world. The Shabbat candles are lit, to illuminate the sanctity of the inner home.
Into the fray: Will the West withstand the Obama presidency? - JPost

“Obama has no interest in weakening our adversaries while he does seem to have an interest in weakening our allies”, warned Dinesh D’Souza, adding: “If you were trying to find a consistent way to predict what Obama is doing in the ME it is very simple. He has been undermining our allies and allowed our adversaries to remain in power.” - Martin Sherman 

Continue to the link, reading this and more articles at ...….
Maybe it is my face .. but most women I meet tell me they are Lesbian. They must see something trustworthy. - ed
Rocks are just as lethal as knives and guns. It's time to treat them the same way we treat other criminals.

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The Most Viral Hanukkah Video EVER!!
Ever since the Maccabeats hit the scene, they've been at the top of the charts. This is the song that made them famous!
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Chanukah Jewish Rock of Ages – Official Hanukkah Video
Pure Fun with your favorite songs from the 70's and 80's!
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Adam Sandler – Original Hanukkah Song
This is the most silly yet hilarious Hanukkah song ever made!
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The Maccabeats – Miracle – Matisyahu – Hanukkah
Some people think this is the best Matisyahu song ever - performed by the Maccabeats!
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Light Up the Night – Fountainheads Hanukkah
You will feel so great and inspired after watching the Fountainheads take on Hanukkah!

Special Feature Videos

Episode 3
Click here to watch: Joy of Israel Episode 3 – Holy Hebron and Sweet Hebron Hills
Jamie Geller's food and travel show takes you to Hebron. Visit Mearat HaMachpela, The Tomb of the Patriarchs, and the ancient Avraham Avinu, the Abraham Synagogue. Then take a tour of a modern bean to chocolate bar factory, Holy Cacao.
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short film focused on an organization dedicated to the rebuilding of the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem today. We believe that rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem will bring peace and stability to the world.
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Israel Alert NewsletterCHANUKAH EDITION26 Kislev 5774November 29, 2013
They say that Chanukah is the Jewish Thanksgiving. This year, Chanukah actually began on Thanksgiving Day, a very rare (but appropriate) occurrence! While each day we express our appreciation for all of life's blessings, Chanukah is the special time for the People of Israel to celebrate and appreciate. And to say: THANK YOU!
We thank God for the awesome miracles of Chanukah that took place over 2000 years ago. For the illuminating light of the Menorah. And for the Maccabees - a small Jewish army that defeated the Greeks. But what does this have to do with the People of Israel today? Are these ancient miracles relevant in today's modern world? 
Click here to
The menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum, is the oldest symbol of the Jewish religion, and a variation of it is used for the observance of Chanukah, which falls on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev. Temple Menorah This golden menorah, constructed by the Temple Institute, stands on display in the Old City of Jerusalem.
This year, the first night of the eight-day holiday fell on November 27, when Jews worldwide will begin to light the 'chanukiah', a modern-Hebrew word describing the candelabrum with nine branches that resembles a menorah and is used on this festival. One branch is lit on the first night, and another is added each subsequent night until the eighth, when the menorah becomes fully lit. The ninth branch in the center is used for the flame that lights the main branches.
Click here to
Shofar_thumbnail.jpgA Taste from Israel: Cookie Tins for the Holidays!

Exclusivity has a new name! A new and dynamic gourmet food company called Taste from Israel is supporting Israel by offering exclusive kosher gourmet food products emanating from the Holy Land.
Imagine over a century ago in the holy city of Jerusalem... A young woman came up with a cookie recipe -- no doubt through Divine inspiration -- which had the local population each morning waiting with bated breath for just a whiff of the intoxicating aromas seeping through the cracks in the stone walls of her kitchen.
Click here to
As Jews around the world celebrate Hanukkah, Jews also remember the story of Yehudit (Judith), the brave Jewish woman who contributed significantly to leading the Israelites to victory by killing off Holofernes of Assyria around the second century BCE.
However, thousands of years later, Jews should also remember another brave contemporary Judith who led the largest rescue operation of any group of Jews by a single individual since World War II. Between the mid-1970's and 2001, Judy Carr rescued 3,228 Syrian Jews, who were living under conditions very similar to the Nuremberg Laws during the Holocaust.

The Triumph of Chanukah
Because Chanukah normally occurs much later than this year, usually in December, it is sometimes thought of as the "Jewish Christmas." It isn't, of course. And yet it is fair to say that the reason for Chanukah's popularity -- especially in America, where it is the most widely observed Jewish holiday after Passover and Yom Kippur -- is precisely its proximity to Christmas.
Chanukah has become something bigger and brighter in response to Christmas, which transforms each December into a brilliant winter festival of parties, decorations, and music.
But the real Triumph of Chanukah is a powerful message that lights up the spirit of the Jew.
In an interview with United with Israel, Yitzchak Reuven, multimedia director for the Temple Institute's international department, explained that the universal message of Hanukkah is to be proactive for the benefit of humanity rather than waiting for a miracle to occur.
Hanukkah is a celebration of two miracles. First, a small band of Jews triumphed over the powerful Syrian-Greek army. Next came the famous miracle of the oil.

An Important Lesson for Shabbat-Chanukah
This Shabbat is "Shabbat Chanukah" - the Shabbat that coincides with Chanukah. In addition to this week's Torah portion, we also read an additional section of the Torah relating to Chanukah.
Chanukah celebrates the survival of the Jewish people from destruction. Spiritual destruction, that is. Unlike Haman and Hitler,  Antiochus and the Syrian-Greeks had no interest in murdering the Jews physically - they wanted to murder the Jews spiritually by having them dispose of their Jewish way of life.

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Hi everyone! Here's the newsletter for November 29th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Thanksgiving 2013

Hope you all have a Thanksgiving holiday full of peace, joy, faith, and freedom. Special thanks and prayers for all our troops at home and around the world...

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Michelle's Top Tweets

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And ... Our Hate Tweet of the Day

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Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.
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Holidays and observances[edit]

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.”Psalm 136:1,26 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people ... Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him."
Leviticus 19:16-17
Tale-bearing emits a threefold poison; for it injures the teller, the hearer, and the person concerning whom the tale is told. Whether the report be true or false, we are by this precept of God's Word forbidden to spread it. The reputations of the Lord's people should be very precious in our sight, and we should count it shame to help the devil to dishonour the Church and the name of the Lord. Some tongues need a bridle rather than a spur. Many glory in pulling down their brethren, as if thereby they raised themselves. Noah's wise sons cast a mantle over their father, and he who exposed him earned a fearful curse. We may ourselves one of these dark days need forbearance and silence from our brethren, let us render it cheerfully to those who require it now. Be this our family rule, and our personal bond--Speak evil of no man.
The Holy Spirit, however, permits us to censure sin, and prescribes the way in which we are to do it. It must be done by rebuking our brother to his face, not by railing behind his back. This course is manly, brotherly, Christlike, and under God's blessing will be useful. Does the flesh shrink from it? Then we must lay the greater stress upon our conscience, and keep ourselves to the work, lest by suffering sin upon our friend we become ourselves partakers of it. Hundreds have been saved from gross sins by the timely, wise, affectionate warnings of faithful ministers and brethren. Our Lord Jesus has set us a gracious example of how to deal with erring friends in his warning given to Peter, the prayer with which he preceded it, and the gentle way in which he bore with Peter's boastful denial that he needed such a caution.


"Spices for anointing oil."
Exodus 35:8
Much use was made of this anointing oil under the law, and that which it represents is of primary importance under the gospel. The Holy Spirit, who anoints us for all holy service, is indispensable to us if we would serve the Lord acceptably. Without his aid our religious services are but a vain oblation, and our inward experience is a dead thing. Whenever our ministry is without unction, what miserable stuff it becomes! nor are the prayers, praises, meditations, and efforts of private Christians one jot superior. A holy anointing is the soul and life of piety, its absence the most grievous of all calamities. To go before the Lord without anointing is as though some common Levite had thrust himself into the priest's office--his ministrations would rather have been sins than services. May we never venture upon hallowed exercises without sacred anointings. They drop upon us from our glorious Head; from his anointing we who are as the skirts of his garments partake of a plenteous unction. Choice spices were compounded with rarest art of the apothecary to form the anointing oil, to show forth to us how rich are all the influences of the Holy Spirit. All good things are found in the divine Comforter. Matchless consolation, infallible instruction, immortal quickening, spiritual energy, and divine sanctification all lie compounded with other excellencies in that sacred eye-salve, the heavenly anointing oil of the Holy Spirit. It imparts a delightful fragrance to the character and person of the man upon whom it is poured. Nothing like it can be found in all the treasuries of the rich, or the secrets of the wise. It is not to be imitated. It comes alone from God, and it is freely given, through Jesus Christ, to every waiting soul. Let us seek it, for we may have it, may have it this very evening. O Lord, anoint thy servants.

Today's reading: Ezekiel 35-36, 2 Peter 1 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 35-36

A Prophecy Against Edom
1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir; prophesy against it 3 and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, Mount Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against you and make you a desolate waste. 4 I will turn your towns into ruins and you will be desolate. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
5 “‘Because you harbored an ancient hostility and delivered the Israelites over to the sword at the time of their calamity, the time their punishment reached its climax, 6 therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I will give you over to bloodshed and it will pursue you. Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you. 7 I will make Mount Seir a desolate waste and cut off from it all who come and go. 8 I will fill your mountains with the slain; those killed by the sword will fall on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines.9I will make you desolate forever; your towns will not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the LORD....

Today's New Testament reading: 2 Peter 1

1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Confirming One’s Calling and Election
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires....
Micaiah, Michaiah [Mīcā'iah,Mī chā'iah]—who is like jehovah. Here is a name occurring many times in the Old Testament and used of women as well as men. It is spelled in different ways. See MICA andMICAH.
  1. A prophet, son of Imlah, who foretold the fall of Ahab at Ramoth-gilead ( 1 Kings 22:8,92 Chron. 18:8). There are no truer hearts to God than his. Carefully compare the three great prophets of 1 Kings—Ahijah, Elijah and Micaiah.
  2. The father of Achbor, a chief officer of King Josiah ( 2 Kings 22:1214).
  3. A prince of Judah ordered by Jehoshaphat to teach the people (2 Chron. 17:7).
  4. A priest of the family of Asaph who blew a trumpet at the dedication of the wall ( Neh. 12:3541).
  5. The son of Gemariah, a prince of Judah in Jehoiakim’s time (Jer. 36:1113).
Also the name of the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. (See 1 Kings 15:22 Chron. 11:2013:2).
November 29, 2011
No Room
Today's Truth
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son (John 3:16, NIV).
Friend to Friend
I make room for things that are important to me. I eat two or three meals every day and sleep several hours each night even though my "to do" list is not much shorter today than it was yesterday. I will choose to play with a grandchild over cleaning the house any day of the week. I manage to find a place for that great piece of furniture I don't really need - but really like. After all, it was on sale. I like watches. Don't ask me why because I simply don't know. I only need one watch, but I own several inexpensive ones. I will have lunch with a friend instead of running errands. And there is always room for chocolate! Silly examples - right? I wonder. I wonder what the innkeeper thought as he turned away the young man and his very pregnant wife that holy night so long ago. He had no room - it was that simple. Do we?
The Christmas season is almost here! Our calendars are already full, our bank accounts are closing in on empty and our hearts and lives are crowded with things we deem important, but have we made room for Jesus?
I simply cannot imagine a world without the presence of God and yet I often live my life as if He does not exist. A crisis hits, and I try to handle it on my own. I don't understand the trials in my life while those who could care less about God seem to prosper. Instead of reaching out to Him, I withdraw into the darkness. Financial stress fuels worry. Instead of turning to God, I rely on what I can see and understand. I settle.
When I do cry out to God, He lovingly fills each dark corner with Light. His love flows over the pain like soothing balm and once again, I experience the manger. Once again, Jesus Christ steps into the smelly, unlikely and very ordinary existence that is mine to change everything - absolutely everything!
Jesus could have come to us in many ways. The simplicity of His birth is extraordinary and sometimes hard to grasp. Jesus could have been born in a mansion. He was, after all, a King. Instead, He came to a dirty smelly manger and His birth was announced by common shepherds instead of Kings -- the greatest of all miracles in the midst of total simplicity. Today, Jesus still wants to meet us in the midst of our simple daily lives. It seems too easy and too good to be true, doesn't it?
It was Christmas Eve, and the family was preparing to attend the special service of their local church. Everyone was going except Dad, who was an honest man, a man who could not seem to wrap his logical mind around the story of God come to earth as a baby in a manger. He didn't want to be a hypocrite, pretending to worship a Savior he wasn't sure even existed, so he stayed home, built a fire to dispel the bitter cold of that winter night and began to read the paper, waiting for his family's return. Hearing a knock at the window, he turned to see a tiny bird trying to reach the warmth of the fire. The man opened the window, but the bird refused to come in. Grabbing his coat, the man went out to the barn and opened the barn doors wide - but still, the bird refused to come in. The man thought, "If only I could be a bird, for just one minute, I could lead the bird to safety." At that moment, he heard the church bells ring and finally understood why Jesus came to earth as a man -- to become one of us so He could lead us to eternal safety.
The very heart of Christmas is Emanuel, God with us - with me - and with you. Christmas is not a date on a calendar. Christmas is a way of life that celebrates the presence of God in the simple, ordinary happenings of daily life: where we go and what we do -- the smile we give the harried stranger or the patience we choose in the crowd of impatient shoppers -- the love that prompts the secret gift or the heart that constantly celebrates His birth through every sparkling light, every beautifully wrapped gift, each special meal, every card, phone call and visit. God is with us - if we choose to make room for Him.
Let's Pray
Father, today I celebrate the reality of Your presence in my life. Thank You for sending Your Son to earth as a tiny baby in a manger. I celebrate the birth of Jesus and the gift of life that He brings. I choose to receive Your gift of love and forgiveness for my sins. I now surrender everything I am or ever hope to be to You. Please take control of my life and direct my paths. I promise to follow.
In Jesus' name,
Now It's Your Turn
Read John 3:16 once a day and look for ways to share God's love with the people in your life.
Give a gift to someone you don't know.
Invite a needy family into your home for a special "Friends" dinner.
Offer to take an elderly neighbor shopping.
Put your faith into action by making a step-by-step plan to keep Jesus at the heart of your Christmas season.
More from the Girlfriends
I pray that your life is filled with God's peace and joy this holiday season. I know it has been a difficult year for many of you. Remember - God is with you.
Already feeling the stress of the approaching holidays? Get Mary's book, Escaping the Stress Trap, for practical steps to dealing with and managing stress and check out her Christmas MP3 downloads, The Secret of a Merry Christmasand Giving the Perfect Gift.
Need a friend? Connect with Mary on Facebook - or throughemail. Need help learning how to study the Bible? Join women across the world in Mary's weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey.
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
Lynn Cowell
November 29, 2011
Are You Weird?
Lynn Cowell
"Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules." Colossians 2:20 (NIV 1984)
"Why does our family have to be so different?"
While in middle school, my daughter asked if she could spend the weekend at the lake with a friend. My husband and I didn't know the friend or her parents all that well. An even bigger factor was we had never met the family they were visiting. Our answer to a then broken-hearted girl was "no." She couldn't understand and didn't get why.
Even while making that decision, parts of me didn't get it either. I questioned myself, "Why can't you just be like other parents? Why do you have to be cautious and think ahead? Why do you make decisions that bring your children pain?"
It wasn't the first time I had these thoughts. Saying "no" to driving alone to visit college friends. Saying "no" to text messaging pictures on cell phones.
Often, the same dilemma ran through my brain. Not only do I struggle with wanting my kids to fit in; I struggle with my own desire to fit in.
Jesus asks us through our key verse, "Why do you struggle as though you still belonged to this world?" Struggle with issues such as:
• Letting our kids choose clothes that are in style, but also too revealing. We want them to fit in, right?
• Giving our kids what others give their kids: iPhones, laptops, designer clothes. We wouldn't want to deprive them, right?
• Allowing our kids freedoms beyond their age and maturity, but other kids get to do. We wouldn't want them to stand out, right?
In these struggles, Jesus gives this encouragement, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession" (1 Peter 2:9a NIV).
Chosen, holy, a special possession. In some ways, it just sounds weird. It sounds to me, though, that weird is Jesus' idea for us to model to our kids so they have courage to be weird as well.
This isn't going to go over well with every decision. Maybe your daughter recently screamed at you when told her skirt was too short. Or your son slammed the door after being asked to turn off the show that every kid at school watches.
Why would we want to be weird when it disrupts our family? Why would we want to stand out as different?
We make the hard decisions because Jesus says we are a chosen people; we're His. And we want our children to be as well.
I hate that choosing to be weird causes my kids not to like me. But it brings me comfort to know Jesus likes my decisions. He is proud I choose a way that models to my kids that we are His special possession. When Jesus is happy with my decision to be weird, I can be happy too.
Dear Lord, help me when I feel the pull to do and say and be everything that society tells me to do and say and be. Holy Spirit, open my ears to hear Your wisdom, not just when it comes to family life, but in all areas. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
For a way to connect with your girl, check out His Revolutionary Love: Jesus' Radical Pursuit of You by Lynn. It's a great study for girls ages 13-18 and their moms. Your free guide for "His Revolutionary Love" can be found on Lynn's website at
Visit Lynn's blog where she is sharing how she explains the reasons behind being "weird" with her kids! She's also giving away a copy of her CD Building a Bridge to Your Child's Heart!
Is your church looking for a way to empower your teens and moms with confidence to be weird? Consider bringingLynn as a speaker to your next event to share practical ways to live this out!
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:
In the next 24-48 hours, you'll probably run into a situation where you or your family will be "weird." If this situation involves a decision with your child, pause and invite your child to pray for wisdom with you.
Think over the decisions you've made in the past week. Have any been made to fit in to the world around you? Have you honored God with your decisions or chosen not to?
Being different, if we are humble, can open conversations with others, giving us the opportunity to honor God and share the "why" behind being weird.
Power Verses:
James 1:5, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." (NIV)
© 2011 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105



John 20:30-31 "These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (v. 31 ).
This month, our studies in Matthew will concentrate on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus - the climax of His ministry and ultimate purpose for which the Son of God became incarnate. Our Lord's suffering for the sins of His people is just one part of the area of systematic theology termed Christology. Before we focus on Jesus' death and resurrection, we will take a week-long break to look at biblical Christology and the historical development of the doctrine of Christ using Dr. R.C. Sproul's teaching series The Doctrine of Christ (part 1).
Even though orthodox Christianity often receives criticism in our day, it is not too difficult to find people who admire Jesus. Politicians of all stripes invoke the name of Jesus, or at least what they believe He teaches, in their policy proposals. References to Him abound in popular films, books, and songs. The Jesus that is presented to us in these different ways, however, often bears little resemblance to the one we find in the Bible. In other words, many people respect a Jesus who does not exist. Instead, the Jesus that is exalted in our culture is one who has more in common with whatever is currently in vogue than with what the New Testament record has to say about Him.
Of course, this is dangerous because the Bible is clear that salvation comes only through trusting in Him - as He has been revealed (John 8:241 John 2:22 ). Sound Christology endeavors to determine what Scripture says about Jesus in order that we might trust Him rightly. We are wrong if we limit our Christology to a personal relationship with Jesus, because without doctrine we will not know if we have a relationship with the false Christs of other religions or the real Jesus of Scripture. Knowing a list of facts about Christ is not sufficient by itself to save us; even the demons know the truths of God and shudder (James 2:19 ). Nevertheless, it is impossible to trust in someone about whom we know nothing, and so we must seek to understand the biblical teaching on Jesus.
It is sad that few Christians today are interested in theology. Perhaps this is a reflection on their fervor for Christ. How could anyone truly believe in Jesus and yet have no desire to learn all they can about Him and His work?

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

What place does Bible study hold in your life? All of us should be concerned to study Christian doctrines, for in doing so we will be able to present a distinctly Christian worldview and be assured that the Jesus whom we trust is the real Jesus. Take some time this week to learn about the basics of Christology, perhaps through a teaching series or a book on the person and work of Christ. Strive to make doctrinal study a regular part of your life.
For further study:
The Bible in a year:
INTO the WORD daily Bible studies from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.
Subscribe to Tabletalk magazine and receive daily Bible studies & in depth articles from world class scholars for only $23 per per year! That's only $1.92 per month. And you can try it out for three months absolutely free! Bringing the best in biblical scholarship together with down-to-earth writing, Tabletalk helps you understand the Bible and apply it to daily living. 


What place does Bible study hold in your life? All of us should be concerned to study Christian doctrines, for in doing so we will be able to present a distinctly Christian worldview and be assured that the Jesus whom we trust is the real Jesus. Take some time this week to learn about the basics of Christology, perhaps through a teaching series or a book on the person and work of Christ. Strive to make doctrinal study a regular part of your life.
For further study:
The Bible in a year:
Coram Deo from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.
Subscribe to Tabletalk magazine and receive daily Bible studies & in depth articles from world class scholars for only $23 per per year! That's only $1.92 per month. And you can try it out for three months absolutely free! Bringing the best in biblical scholarship together with down-to-earth writing, Tabletalk helps you understand the Bible and apply it to daily living. 
New, best-selling ebook by Proverbs 31 Ministries' authors!
Untangling Christmas:
Your Go-To Guide for a
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Everything New - A Weeekly Devotional


God is right in everything he is and does. His goodness, in other words, is the shape of the way he relates to others. There is nothing God has ever done that is not right and nothing he will ever do that is not right. Justice is God’s rightness-his righteousness-applied in matters of judgment. In the final judgment, God will do what is right; and in the everyday flow of decisions, deliberations, and minor judgments, God’s opinion is unfailingly right, and thus good. Probably none of us fully realize just how much we need the judgment of God. Life presents us with puzzles. The pieces lie before us-all the complex factors going into a major decision, or the confusing signals we get from the people in our lives. We need to make good judgments, ones that account for all the pieces, and that pull the pieces together.
I have talked to many people trying to figure out how God views a relative who is acting in spiritual rebellion, or to those who are in pain over the eternal destiny of a loved one who recently passed away. Time and again I go back to Genesis 18:25 where Abraham, contemplating the impending judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah said, “Will not the judge of all the earth do right?
Abraham was saying, surely God makes moral distinctions between good and evil, or else what hope do we have? When a matter seems too expansive for us to make a judgment, we can trust that God will view it with righteousness, and that his response will be just.
Romans 3:21-26 speaks of the God who is righteous, and who makes us righteous–the God who is just, and who justifies:
“ But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood-to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished- he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
Starting December 1, "Christmas Joy." Check it out.
We’d love to have you join us on Facebook or follow on Twitter.


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


Hello, friend!
I’m glad to partner with Bible Gateway in bringing devotionals like Everything New to you via email. I have written a 25 day Christmas devotional called Christmas Joy which will be sent out in 25 short readings, December 1 through 25, and there are two ways for you to get it.
The Christmas season should be a time for personal spiritual renewal. A time of joy and celebration, light and life. In Christmas Joy, a daily devotional for the month of December, you will receive insight and inspiration that keeps Christ in Christmas. Each daily reading unpacks the meaning of words like joy, peace, Immanuel, shepherd, Magi, Mary, star, virgin, counselor, prince, manger, and more.
You can get Christmas Joy delivered to your email inbox by subscribing at (see right side of page)
OR you can acquire the complete Christmas Joy devotional as a Kindle eBook (readable on your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, or Kindle). I hope you’ll choose to follow along.
God bless,
Mel Lawrenz

Christmas Joy Cover


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

Each Tuesday in Advent, we look at the story behind a beloved Christmas song.

Silent Night

On December 11, 1792, a baby was born into the family Mohr in snow-clad Salzburg, Austria. He was named Josef, and as a boy he sang as a chorister in the cathedral choir of his native city. In 1815, Josef was ordained by the Roman Catholic bishop of Salzburg and two years later became assistant priest at St. Nicholas Church of Oberndorf, in Austria's alpine region. One Christmas Eve, he discovered the organ in the church wasn't working. According to the traditional story, Josef quickly wrote the words to this carol and asked the acting organist, Franz Gruber, to compose the tune. It was sung with guitar accompaniment that evening, December 1818.

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and Child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight;
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born.

Silent night, holy night
Wondrous star, lend thy light;
With the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!

"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." --Luke 2:7

Today's reading is from Near to the Heart of God by Robert J. Morgan.

Today's Advent reading is taken from:Near to the Heart of God
by Robert J. Morgan

A soul-bolstering collection that begins with Scripture, includes lyrics and an uplifting story about a favorite hymn, and ends with a prayer.

What is faith like?

This week's reading: Hebrews 11:1
Faith means believing in and obeying God, which requires relying on what we cannot see-God's promises, provisions and concern for us. An inner attitude alone does not define faith, though. For faith to be present, action is required. Faith proves itself by obedience to the Lord.
The writer of Hebrews expressed faith in two directions: faith toward future things (what we hope for) and faith toward invisible things (what we do not see). When we are certain God is in control of these areas (and we live like he is in control), that's faith.
The two sides of faith-assurance and expectation-can be seen in the lives of those listed in this chapter. They had strong convictions about unseen present realities. They also had a strong assurance that God's promises would be fulfilled-even in the face of evidence that seemed to suggest otherwise (see, for example, Heb 11:11).
Ultimately, the way we see God will determine the shape of our faith. If we see a big, faithful, all-powerful God, then our faith will rise to those levels. If, on the other hand, we see a smaller God, a distant or less active God, then faith will plateau at those levels.

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

This unique Bible addresses the common, uncommon, and perplexing questions people ask about Scripture.