Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tue Nov 26th Todays News

ALP love media are confused. Prior to the election, Libs promised no worse deal than the ALP. It turns out the ALP had cut spending buried in their documents. Libs will proceed, and love media are calling it a broken election promise and Lib cut. Even were that true, no program which will be cut for not being funded is essential. All essential programs are paid for. All that might happen is some teachers will have to do what they are paid for. The world will not end. But the ALP love media are confused. 

Paul Barry is paid for his credibility. He is now on three month vacation. Maybe he will learn to read? Great tyres are worth the cost. More on the slaves to marxism. I am waiting for Andrew to pay me. ABC fact checkers mistake on fact. Abbott solves ALP problems. AGW hysteria dying more slowly than Iago in Othello. Jenna Price gets snippy. Mark Scott, ABC guy, should resign.

An argument has been made claiming that Israel is partly responsible for some of the terrorist activity against it. The argument employed scans to the ignorant eye. A person who knew little, might feel it is balanced and Israel may in fact bear some responsibility. The truth is simple, that Israel is exemplary as a modern democratic nation deserving a prosperous future. But the lie excusing the atrocities committed by generations of terrorists is tempting to the ignorant because the alternative is that the ignorant have been complicit. And they have been. Ignorant people are responsible for terrorist activity. Including the Christians who become victims and some left wing Jews. Calling Iran's attempt to make an atom bomb 'peaceful' will not make it so. One of the few positives I can see from the agreement is that there is apparently bipartisan support (in the US) opposing it. Kerry isn't Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain was a conservative who chose a path of least resistance because he didn't anticipate evil. Kerry is duplicitous. Kerry supports a socialist ideal. Israel doesn't fit in that ideal.

Happy birthday and many happy returns Binh NguyenNoel SouthidetNathan Lam and Greg Smith. Born on the same day, across the years, along with


Tim Blair – Tuesday, November 26, 2013 (5:03pm)

An attempted sledge from the ABC’s $191,259 media expert Paul Barry:


Sadly, Barry doesn’t know how to work the internets. In the fumble-fingered tradition of ABC boss Mark Scott, Barry mistakenly aimed that message, along with several others, at a digital cinema producer in Brooklyn rather than thepopular local Sky host.
UPDATE. According to Jonathan Holmes, Barry “is paid for his credibility.”


Tim Blair – Tuesday, November 26, 2013 (4:44am)

Media Watch host Paul Barry demands answers over the Daily Telegraph‘s Nathan Rees sex scandal coverage: 
We … asked if they’d actually spoken to the unnamed lover … Sadly, the Tele has not answered those questions, or confirmed that it actually spoke to the woman … 
Sadly, it turns out that taxpayer-funded $191,259 15-minutes-per-week ABC host Barry, his six researchers, two post-production editors, producer’s assistant, production executive, director, supervising producer, story editor, and $146,000 executive producer Lin Buckfield can’t read. Here’s the Telegraph‘s November 21 report
Mr Rees’ 40-year-old former lover broke her silence, saying she regretted becoming involved with him … his former lover said yesterday: “I deeply regret my involvement in any of this,” adding she wanted to leave the issue behind her. 
A couple of clues there that the Telegraph did indeed speak with the woman. Paying just $1.20 for last Thursday’s paper should have been sufficient for Media Watch to be aware of this. A correction from Barry would be nice, but he’s now on holidays for three months – during which he’ll receive $47,814 of your money.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, November 26, 2013 (4:39am)

Upset English cricketers and others who are offended by Australian aggression ought to be reminded of this, from 2005:


In the opening Test of that year’s Ashes series, Ricky Ponting was hit in the face by a Steve Harmison bouncer. As Ponting bled and English fans cheered, not a single England player approached the injured Australian captain. This was deliberate. The English that year adopted a policy of hostility towards their opponents. Harmison later admitted
‘I regret that part,’ said Harmison, who went on to take 17 wickets in the Ashes win. ‘I hit Ricky and cut his cheek and none of us went to see if he was OK. That was wrong.
‘At the other end, Langer said to Andrew Strauss, “Are we in a war or something?”. There is a line you don’t cross and we crossed it that morning. Just.’ 
By comparison, a few unfriendly words here or there don’t amount to much. Meanwhile, the current sledging controversy should remain separate from English batsman Jonathan Trott’s decision to abandon the tour and return home. His problems are clearly greater than any pitch disputes, and he deserves time to recover.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, November 26, 2013 (3:26am)

One of Road & Track columnist Peter Egan’s greatest captions:



Tim Blair – Monday, November 25, 2013 (7:07pm)

Decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Marxism is still holding prisoners
A couple suspected of holding three women captive for 30 years in a London home were introduced to two of the victims through a Marxist political “collective”.
Detectives have revealed that the man arrested last week met the two older victims “through a shared political ideology”.
Separate sources said the couple and the two women were members of a Marxist-Communist group that lived together in the capital in the 1970s. 
According to one of the women enslaved by the pair: 
“These monsters are absolutely evil and racist.” 
That’s Marxism for you.
UPDATE. The UK Telegraph
Two cult leaders suspected of enslaving three women for more than 30 years at a house in south London targeted vulnerable overseas students who were struggling to adjust to life in Britain, it has been claimed.
Aravindan Balakrishnan and his wife Chanda, who ran a Maoist collective in the 1970s, recruited mainly women who shared their far left ideology. 
The Guardian
The 73-year-old man arrested on suspicion of holding three women captive in a south London flat for 30 years is a one-time Communist party activist who was well known within far-left circles in London during the mid- and late 1970s as the leader of a separatist party-cum-commune.
Aravindan Balakrishnan, known as Comrade Bala, had been a senior member of the Communist party of England (Marxist-Leninist) – a member of the party’s central committee – but according to a history of the movement he split from the party in 1974.
His new organisation, described as “characterised by the ultra-left posturing and Mao worship”, was called the Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. 
Make that “the Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought and Slavery.”

I believe the mess, but heard the promise

Andrew Bolt November 26 2013 (3:36pm)

If the model for the Gonski cash splash on schools was unworkable, Education Minister Christopher Pyne should have said so before the election - and his promise:
Just over a week before the September election, Mr Pyne promised: “You can vote Liberal or Labor and you’ll get exactly the same amount of funding for your school.”
Today, he conceded that might not be the case.
“We will have exactly the same funding envelope available, and we will work through with the states and territories to ensure that is equitably distributed,” he said.
Mr Pyne, who claimed to be on a “unity ticket” with Labor on school funding before the election, today said the Gonski model was a “shambles” and “unimplementable”.
I suspect the disability scheme will prove to be another me-too promise that simply cannot be delivered.
Pyne has explained his case very badly. First should come the revelation. Later should come the Government’s response. That response must be credible.
But Pyne has presented the revelation as an excuse to what seems a serious broken promise, and I’m not sure how anything fits together.
Is Gonski unworkable because Labor quietly scrapped $1.2 billion of the promised money? Is it unworkable because the funding formula is wrong? Should $1.2 billion of cash returned to central revenue make any difference to the Coalition’s promise, given the Coalition had its own costings on its promises? And will the core Coalition promise - that no school would be worse off under a Coalition Government than it would have been under Labor over the next four years - to be broken or not?
Pyne in his press conference today said the problem was that Labor quietly ditched $1.2 billion of funding:

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: …the unfortunate revelation that the previous government when Mr Shorten was the education minister cut $1.2 billion from the school funding envelope for the next four years. In the economic statement of 2 August 2013 the Government ... revealed on page 57 that treatment of payments for non-participating states and territories was NFP which stands for not for publication…
Then unfortunately in the PFO document on page 36 the ...  the department made it very clear through Treasury and Finance – that the Better Schools treatment of payments for non-participating states and territories would be cut by $1.2 billion. And on page 36 it’s broken down year by year adding up to one-point-two-zero-three and $300 million – $1.2 billion. Now this of course presents a real problem for the Government because that money was taken from the education budget and returned to consolidated revenue.
And the implications for the new school funding model are that the funding envelope is now $1.6 billion as opposed to the $2.8 billion that Labor promised in the budget last year.
Pyne also said the problem was the funding formula:

We now know that 900 schools in the independent sector will have what you might like to describe as the pure funding model. But the other – 90 per cent of schools around Australia – will have a hybrid model which differs from every state and territory and the Catholic sector. So it’s an incomprehensible mess.
Pyrne also said another problem was that some states and the Catholic schools hadn’t formally signed up - although states say it shouldn’t matter. (Note: Catholic schools, however, do support a review.):

Not only have Victoria and Tasmania been revealed not to have signed bi-lateral agreements – in effect making them non-signatory states to the new school funding model. But of course the National Catholic Education Commission have revealed that they never signed a written agreement with the Government.
Pyne promised before the election the same “funding envelope” for the next four years, and claims that will stay:

Secondly we said we’d have exactly the same funding envelope as the Labor Government and that’s exactly what we will achieve. Our funding envelope over the forward estimates will be precisely the same as Labor’s so we are keeping our promise.
What’s not clear from his press conference is whether Pyne considers the “funding envelope” to be the original amount promised or the amount with the $1.2 billion deducted.
But what of the crucial promise to preserve the funding each school was promised by Labor? If that is not kept, that represents a very serious broken promise. I suspect Pyne should have known before the election he was making a promise he could not keep.
Now, however, there is only one thing the Government can do to avoid seeming liars themselves - and that is to ensure that whatever funding model it now devises, no school will lose money.
If not, big problems.
And I again I suggest: why doesn’t Abbott get himself a very, very senior and trusted communications chief. Today’s announcement was a schemozzle. 

Symons really believes that?

Andrew Bolt November 26 2013 (1:27pm)

He seriously said this? Can anyone confirm it? From a reader:
Is it true that you pay people to write comment on your blogs as stated by Red Symons on ABC Radio 774 this morning at approx 5.50am?
If I did pay someone to comment, it would surely be Big Ted or Mr Jordan.  It’s terrific to have someone consistently object to what you’ve just posted without offering any coherent argument against it. I prove I’m tolerant of debate and that those who argue against me have no feathers with which to fly. And other blog readers get so upset that they post comments, too.
Curse that Red Symon for seeing through my cunning plan. 

ABC Fact Checkers fall for Clive Palmer’s spin

Andrew Bolt November 26 2013 (11:40am)

Hedley Thomas and Andrew White fact-check the ABC’s Fact Check unit and ... oh dear:
After what was described as a forensic and lengthy investigation of the Palmer United Party leader’s companies, the ABC Fact Check unit yesterday issued a detailed report titled: “Doing the sums: how much is Clive Palmer worth?”
The report, which claimed that Palmer was worth $1.13 billion, made a number of false statements and errors...
The unit reported that one of Mr Palmer’s major companies, QNI Resources, “holds most of Mr Palmer’s leisure and nickel businesses”. “This includes the Palmer Coolum Resort, Coolum Country Club and Palmer Nickel and Cobalt Refinery in Townsville,” it said. “It also includes the dinosaur park which is located at Palmer Coolum Resort”.
This assertion is wrong. This month, The Australian revealed that Mr Palmer had “pulled his Sunshine Coast tourism resort and dinosaur park from the corporate ownership structure of his failing Queensland nickel refinery, which has been racking up increasingly heavy losses of tens of millions of dollars a year"…
Another mistake by the ABC Fact Check unit was in its statement that “Mr Palmer owns shares in 27 Australian private companies; in some of them, he is the sole shareholder.” Searches show that Mr Palmer owns shares in more than 60 Australian private companies.
The ABC Fact Check unit concluded that Mr Palmer was a billionaire with wealth of $1.13 billion.
According to the ABC Fact Check unit, more than 80 per cent of Mr Palmer’s purported $1.13 billion wealth comprises his investment in his beleaguered Townsville nickel refinery, which is owned and controlled by two of his companies, QNI Resources and QNI Metals…
Mr Palmer is ascribed this QNI-related wealth of $865m based on his valuation of his nickel companies last year. However, in 2009, when the nickel price (and potential profitability of the nickel companies) was higher than it is now, BHP “sold” Mr Palmer the refinery for, effectively, zero dollars. This is omitted from the Fact Check report. None of Mr Palmer’s major businesses is profitable, nor do they provide royalties or positive cash flow…
Neither the accounts nor the explanatory analysis by Fact Check reflect the impact on Mr Palmer’s paper wealth due to a slumping nickel price and a collapse in the real value of his loss-making nickel refinery in Townsville. Nor do they reflect the threat to his paper wealth raised by a Supreme Court battle with Citic Pacific, which rejects his claim to be owed hundreds of millions of dollars a year in iron ore royalties.  

Imagine if Gillard had been in charge instead

Andrew Bolt November 26 2013 (11:16am)

Tony Abbott is fixing the damage caused by the ABC leak quietly, methodically and calmly - and with a useful little leak of his own that shows his media strategy may be shifting slightly:
Greg Sheridan reports:

TONY Abbott commissioned retired Australian Army chief Peter Leahy as his special envoy to hand deliver his letter to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono…
Mr Abbott is believed to have played a big role in writing the letter himself. It runs over two pages and seeks to address the Indonesian President’s concerns directly, while proposing a range of new consultation mechanisms between the two nations, especially on intelligence.
Mr Abbott believes that one key to solving the problems that recent disclosures have triggered is a more intimate, and more institutionalised, intelligence relationship between Canberra and Jakarta. Mr Abbott’s letter is also believed to contain proposals for wider consultation arrangements for the two nations, beyond intelligence…
General Leahy...was selected to hand deliver the letter to underline to the Indonesians the seriousness with which Mr Abbott took the President’s concerns…
Dr Yudhoyono has not yet responded to Mr Abbott’s letter. Indonesia watchers believe the President wants to consult several of his senior ministers before formally responding… The intensity of feeling and media coverage within Indonesia seems to have abated slightly in the past 48 hours, although the formal response of the President remains both critical and unpredictable.
Good stuff.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

What? No warming lecture?

Andrew Bolt November 26 2013 (11:04am)

Usually the ABC can’t discuss ice at the ice-caps without mentioning global warming.
Not today:

The summer Australian Antarctic Division program will have to be modified because its icebreaker the Aurora Australis has been delayed in heavy ice.
Of course, one season doesn’t measure climate change, any more than does one fire in NSW or one typhoon in the Philippines. You really need to check long-term trends of Antarctic sea ice:
(Thanks to reader Mick.) 

Hypocrite of the week: Jenna “please be polite” Price

Andrew Bolt November 26 2013 (10:53am)

Collectivists tend to defend a side, not a principle, which makes them prone to hypocrisy.
Collectivists also tend to see opponents as evil, which makes them prone to what-ever-it-takes meanness.
And, of course, collectivists of the Left tend to crowd academia.
Take Jenna Price, active in campaigns to attack critics of Julia Gillard. Price claims to be outraged by abuse:

The Canberra Times columnist and academic Jenna Price says ordinary people are finally standing up to media bullies.
Price is one of the founders of the Destroy the Joint Facebook page ...  credited with helping stir the massive online backlash against [Alan] Jones after he said last month that Julia Gillard’s father had died of shame because of the Prime Minister’s lies…
‘’The audience is talking back for the first time in its entire life, and how exciting is that?’’ Price said yesterday. ‘’I don’t think they ever believed that we ordinary people ...  would say, we’ve had enough of the way you speak to us, stop it now.’’…
Price said she had encouraged only respectful behaviour from people involved in Destroy the Joint, describing rude or thuggish behaviour as revolting.
Rudeness is revolting?
Hmm.  Recent tweets from Price, owner of a potty mouth and a complete absence of self-awareness:
(Thanks to reader Pierre.) 

Albrechtsen: Scott should quit. Torney: we at the ABC do censor, after all

Andrew Bolt November 26 2013 (10:26am)

Janet Albrechtsen:
MARK Scott should resign. When the managing director of the ABC chose to publish information criminally obtained by Edward Snowden about Australia’s signals intelligence operations in Indonesia, he also chose to undermine Australia’s relationship with our most important neighbour.
He chose to fuel tensions and nationalist sentiments in a fledgling democracy. He also chose to undermine an immigration policy aimed at preventing deaths at sea.
These consequences were entirely foreseeable. Despite Scott’s flimsy arguments to the contrary, in the end, the ABC - and Scott - were willing to risk Australia’s national interest for no discernible public interest.
The call for Scott to resign is not made lightly. Moreover, I am not the only former ABC board member who believes the managing director of the ABC ought to go or be relieved of his duties for failing to lead the ABC as a responsible editor-in-chief.
Kate Torney, director of ABC News:
THESE are strange days indeed when elements of the media are arguing that stories legitimately questioning the use of power should remain hidden because they may have too great an impact. This is not an argument you normally hear from journalists.
Yet further in the same article Torney says the ABC did exactly what she deplores - it kept hidden aspects of a story because it may have had too great an impact:

We did not publish everything we had access to. We took advice from Australia’s intelligence authorities on the matter and redacted sensitive operational information that might have compromised national security.
So the issue is not, as Q&A host Tony Jones falsely implied last night, whether we believe in a free press or not, or one that censors or not.
The ABC itself concedes it does not publish information it considers is a danger to our national security. The question is whether it drew the line in the right place.
Torney, who I respect, also argues:

It is easy to forget that it is the original act that is the problem and not the fact it was brought to light.
That is not exactly true. The “original act” - monitoring of the phones of Indonesian leaders - may not be a “problem” but a vital tool. Or put it this way: the ABC redacted information about other operations on the grounds that it would have hurt our security. Weren’t those other operations also a “problem”, and, if so, why not just go ahead and publish them, too?
There was once another story involving people in power and questionable conduct which the ABC last year thought not worth covering:

THE ABC’s Canberra news editor says he does not regard the controversy over the union slush fund Julia Gillard set up for her then boyfriend Bruce Wilson to be newsworthy, and he does not have the resources to cover it anyway.
John Mulhall, who once defended the ABC’s decision not to cover Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech, also took a swipe at The Australian for having “an abiding interest in events 17 years ago” when Ms Gillard was a lawyer at Slater & Gordon.
Mulhall’s remarks originated in an email response to an aggrieved viewer who this week used the ABC’s website to make a complaint.
(Thanks to reader Steve B.) 

The daily Abbott-hate in The Age

Andrew Bolt November 26 2013 (8:56am)

Never again let The Age storm about the bias of Murdoch papers when it day after day serves up a menu like this of stories attacking Tony Abbott and his government:


Beware more Hurricane Katrinas, Gore thundered. And then there was silence

Andrew Bolt November 26 2013 (8:38am)

The global warming scare was turbo charged by Al Gore’s error-riddled film, which made Hurricane Katrina the symbol of the warming destruction to come:
Seven years on from An Inconvenient Truth, Hurricane Katrina is the symbol of Gore’s deception after the quietest hurricane season in the US for 30 years ... and counting:


Warming to Warner

Andrew Bolt November 26 2013 (8:27am)

David Warner seemed for a long time to have too much the big mouth, made to seem even bigger by the not so big performances. But today we’re told of a side of him that I sure like:

For all his millions, Warner has not severed his working-class roots. A day after playing a key role in Australia’s first-Test hammering of England, where he thumped 49 and 124, he was back at Matraville RSL enjoying a quiet beer with his old man.
“People don’t see the real side to Dave,” Warner Sr says.
“David has come a long way. I remember he was packing shelves at Woolies. He used to finish shifts at midnight and I would pick him up. He was only 15. He used to keep asking for pocket money and we just didn’t have any money, so he got his own job.
“He grew up with very little. When you grow up hard you appreciate it more than if you have money all your life.
“If you are filthy rich you don’t bloody appreciate anything. David has toiled on his own. We never thought he could earn such big dollars but he is working his guts out and it is paying dividends now.”
Warner’s gift to Howard, 60, and Lorraine, 57, is that they will never have to work again.
“We have always been battlers, it’s been a struggle at times,” says Howard, a hardware salesman.
“He’s looked after us, he’s a bloody good boy. I’m so proud of him. To be honest, Dave has got us out of debt. We weren’t in huge debt but we had credit cards and he’s paid them all off for us.”
Appreciate the admission that his sledging probably went too far, and hope that the rest of the series shows us more sportsmanship:


Don’t just show us, Tony. Tell us

Andrew Bolt November 26 2013 (8:09am)

Tony Abbott believes his deeds will eventually speak for themselves. But deeds don’t speak in politics. Politicians do.
Or as Steve Kates puts it so well:
I expect people who rise in the political process to know a thing or two about politics but they often don’t know how things look from out here. And the biggest issue from where I sit is the absence of good news stories, how things are being done and Labor is being raked over the coals for the harm the last six years have done. The fact that Julia Gillard feels capable of commenting shows just how little shame Labor feels about the damage they did.
Government is not admin. It is not just fixing things up behind the scenes. It is not only about doing, it is also about explaining. It is about maintaining your support. If you are going to govern against the grain of the zeitgeist, which every conservative government must do, there needs to rhetoric to go with the action.
The only stories I see really being carried in the media have been about rorting travel allowances and a major blue with Indonesia. We already knew about the NBN, the budget black holes, the deficits and the boats. But I worry that the government may think quiet competence will do the job, and people will notice.
Abbott has some very capable and articulate ministers, but to assert his control and communicate discipline he has put them on a very short leash.
I suspect this is aggravating to proud and ambitious people and gives too much of the stage to Labor.
Abbott’s “no mistakes” and “no dramas” approach also suggests fear. There’s been a fear to confront the ABC, a fear to confront the Governor-General, a fear to confront - in rhetoric at least - the global warming scaremongers.
Let go. Have fun. Enjoy yourselves. Embolden your supporters. You’re in power now, guys, and can make a difference to the culture.
Well, make it. You won’t want to look back at your fleeting time in government and say you had the chance and dared not grab it.

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
I overstate the problem, it’s true. There is indeed some action. But the crowd, untold, would know little of it.
Dennis Shanahan says Abbott has avoided mistakes - but also avoided explaining himself:

.... there is post-election let-down after years of excited expectation, exacerbated by a government too intent on command and control of the news agenda.
It’s one thing to avoid the vacuous tyranny of 24-hour news cycle but it’s another to allow your opponents to frame the impression of what you are doing.
In the first weeks of parliament, Joe Hockey’s attempts to raise the debt ceiling have been portrayed as the Coalition simply raising debt to $500 billion; the refusal to speak about boat arrivals, to deprive the people-smugglers publicity, seen as confirmation they are still coming; and the staunch defence of Australia’s interests over spying on Indonesia seen as Abbott damaging the relationship with Jakarta.
It’s all very well to appear as a calm and serene duck on the surface while furiously paddling underneath, but it is another thing altogether to allow yourself to be set up as a sitting duck.
Abbott has staff great at executing an agenda. Now it’s time to hire some who can explain it. A very senior and seasoned communications strategist as trusted and capable as Peta Credlin is a chief of staff would prove very useful. 

Just as Chairman Mao did to millions…

Andrew Bolt November 26 2013 (7:58am)

Big surprise. Followers of a totalitarian ideology are totalitarians at home:

The couple who allegedly beat and brainwashed three women for 30 years in a south London home were leaders of an extremist Maoist collective, it has been claimed…
Mr and Mrs Balakrishnan, now confirmed to be aged 73 and 67, were well known to police and security authorities in the mid 1970s after setting up an extreme left wing squat in a bookshop called the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre in Brixton.... Balakrishnan, who was known as Comrade Bala, was a former member of the national executive committee of the Communist party of England (Marxist-Leninist)...

Only 53 per cent?

Andrew Bolt November 26 2013 (7:55am)

He lied, and now pays in the polls:
Only four out of 10 Americans believe President Barack Obama can manage the federal government effectively, according to a new national poll.
And a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday morning also indicates that 53% of Americans now believe that Obama is not honest and trustworthy, the first time that a clear majority in CNN polling has felt that way. 

Next: Fairfax goes sniffing baby Abbott’s old nappies

Andrew Bolt November 26 2013 (7:43am)

Fairfax newspapers long thought it almost illegitimate to question Julia Gillard on a slush fund she helped her then boyfriend and client to create less than 20 years ago - a slush fund he used to scam money meant for his union members. (Gillard said she did nothing wrong and knew nothing of what her boyfriend did with the slush fund.)
But Fairfax newspapers are very interested in the marks Tony Abbott got at university, and sneer that they weren’t the very best:

Tony Abbott was not the best student at Oxford university when he was enrolled there as a Rhodes Scholar in the 1980s, but he did finish…
The young Mr Abbott’s academic transcript, obtained by journalist James West, reveals a student somewhere in the ruck…
His results, published on the website Junkee and in the Guardian, show Mr Abbott struggled to gain the highest marks for his efforts in the the philosophy, politics and economics program in which he was enrolled.

Newspoll: Coalition 52 to 48 ahead

Andrew Bolt November 26 2013 (7:12am)

Yesterday’s Neilsen poll in Fairfax - showing Labor way ahead - does indeed seem a wild outlier, although the Coalition has lost a little of its lead:
According to the latest Newspoll survey, conducted exclusively for The Australian on the weekend, the Coalition’s primary vote went from 45 per cent two weeks ago to 43 per cent as Labor’s rose from 32 per cent to 35 per cent. Greens’ support went from 12 per cent two weeks ago to 10 per cent…
Based on preference flows at the 2010 election, the Coalition’s two-party-preferred lead is now 52 per cent to Labor’s 48 per cent - a slight narrowing in the past fortnight. 

Paul Barry really is a fool and Media Watch a disgrace

Andrew Bolt November 25 2013 (9:28pm)

On tonight’s show Paul Barry trashed the standards his program is meant to police.

- Barry falsely suggested I believed the Guardian and ABC had sat on the story of Australian spying on the Indonesian President for five months just to damage Tony Abbott. He cited a column in The Age by his Media Watch predecessor Jonathan Holmes making the same false claim. The Age has so far failed to publish my letter of correction, which the ABC should now publish, too:

Once again I’ve been misrepresented by Jonathan Holmes (Opinion, Nov 23).
No, I have never “agreed” with a claim Holmes mocks: that The Guardian deliberately waited for five months to reveal Australia spied on the Indonesian president, just to embarrass Tony Abbott.
Indeed, the quote Holmes uses to frame me comes from a column in which I did not mention that delay at all.
Will Media Watch cover this deceptive reporting by its former host?
Barry misrepresented my argument. In fact, he invented it.
- Barry completely misrepresented my argument that Abbott hatred was driving the coverage of the Indonesian dispute. He suggested my case rested on the conspiracy theory that the Guardian and ABC had deliberately sat on the story for five months to embarrass Abbott. I have never made that claim. My argument - backed by quotes - is that some Leftist journalists wish Abbott to fail, are urging Indonesia to hurt him, are implying the fault lies with Abbott and not Kevin Rudd or the ABC, and are denouncing Abbott for not surrendering to Indonesia. Barry completely misrepresented my argument.
- In discussing the leak of ABC salaries, Barry revealed his own and challenged me to reveal mine. In doing so he deliberately overlooked a critical distinction: that his salary is paid for by taxpayers, who are entitled to know how their money is spent. Mine is not. Again, Barry misrepresented my argument.
- In discussing the ABC salaries link, Barry completely avoided discussing the hypocrisy I raised in the article he mocked: that the ABC felt entitled to publish stolen intelligence secrets damaging to Australia’s interests but damned the publication by the Australian of a secret of its own, the salaries of its stars. Barry misrepresented my argument.
I am genuinely shocked that Media Watch could screen such a deceptive, error-riddled program, clearly driven by ideological malice.
ABC boss Mark Scott once claimed it was irrelevant that every host of the Media Watch was of the Left. Indeed, he claimed he could not detect their ideological leanings, and, besides, they would not let those leanings show.
Utter nonsense. Exhibit A: tonight’s disgraceful show.
When the story first broke I asked these questions:
Why were these stolen documents leaked five months later? Why did the Guardian Australia wait until now - the election of the Abbott Government - to reveal Australia spied on Indonesia?  The timing of its joint story with the ABC on Monday could not be more damaging.
Those legitimate questions were then answered by the Guardian Australia and ABC managing director Mark Scott in Senate estimates hearings. I have never “agreed” with the theory that these media organisations sat on the information deliberately. For now I accept the answers given, which is why I did not mention the pause again in the article Holmes quoted.
Let me put it to Barry very simply: I asked the questions about the delay that he, for this show, also asked the Guardian Australia a week later.
Reader Sue of St Kilda:
A small point but if Barry wishes to contrast his salary with yours he would have to declare all his earnings and possibly his wife’s from all sources since he is not concerned with the fact that the taxpayers cover a part of it. He would then have to face the comparison of what you cover in a year with what he does. Let him put that up on the screen. You are not required to divulge your income. He offered.
We could then discuss productivity. ABC and the rest. The stupidity of his argument was breathtaking.
Tim Blair discovers Paul Barry did not read all of a Daily Telegraph article he criticised.

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Sarah Palin
Back home in Alaska after a great few weeks on our “Good Tidings and Great Joy” book tour! Had to jump on Todd's SkiDoo with Trig to eliminate jet lag. Thanks so much to all who came out to visit, share recipes, and give us the chance to say an early Merry Christmas! Click this link for the most uplifting recap of one book tour visit:http://youtu.be/hYSfpWWHpqI

New stops to be announced soon -- and even if you can't make it to one of the signings, I'd love to get you a signed copy from Barnes & Noble here; it makes a pretty convenient stocking stuffer: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/good-tidings-and-great-joy-palin-sarah/1116988729?ean=9780062315656
Timothy Ly
Having the most weird Feeling. Auditioning for a role on maximum choppage. My little baby has grown up and is now calling the shots! #pumped!

They were precious in God's eyes before they were born, and at their lowest. I could cheerfully torture those who exploit them. But I'd rather they had a life offering hope, not vengeance. This evils what Francis works so hard to end. - ed
"Train your brain to get happy" .. is it a good book? - ed

The masochist begged the sadist to hit him. The sadist said "no" ===

Aprille Love
.. they wouldn't do that if she could fight back. They have ethics - ed


Seen around the area of Paul's Valley, Oklahoma over a lush field of poppies just before the tornado that hit Moore did it's work.
Anything that is valued is valuable - ed

As advice goes, it smacks of Rudd's governing style. - ed===


This is a diamond with a garnet inclusion from Siberia. Unfortunately it's only 2mm in diameter.

This kind of stone is of special interest to scientists, as they give chemical clues to their age, how they were created, and how the earth's crust behaves over massive timescales.
Look my love, this stone is well, stoned - ed


Aprille Love
Morning! #inspo #dream 2 weeeks to go until my charity event! #letsdothis

Feeling blessed. Such a beautiful way to end my day with a beautiful view and great company#sydney #pyrmont

4 her



Turkey Day in T-minus...

The hit man's report of success brought a smile to my face .. ed===


Aprille Love
With Justin Mulder, advisor to the premier.#parliament #dinner

With Her Excellency Belen F. Anota and the lovely Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis#philippineconsulategeneral #ambassador

With the Hon. Victor Dominello MP
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Minister for Citizenship and Communities #dinner #parliament

Dinner at Parliament House with the Honourable Premier Mr Barry O'Farrell #parliament #dinner
Bad management .. the girl is only a symptom. - ed

Omar M Nasr
At la ferminia reaturant havana
The club fumadores de Cuba their monthly event it was great
gathering and dinner kudos to the Malaysian ambassdor, Nick and other ambassdors club members friends

Deric Ly
New Cakes have arrived... Come in for a surprise treat everyday...


Larry Pickering

The UNHCR reports the number of "asylum seekers" in Indonesia seeking their assistance has increased from 385 in 2008, when Kevin Rudd dismantled our borders, to 7,218 last year. Yesterday, Indonesian police chief, General Sutarman, said his officers “would not prevent” asylum seekers on boats from reaching Australia via Christmas Island.

All blue-blooded Australians (except of course the Greens, Fairfax and the ABC) will interpret this to mean Indonesia intends to facilitate illegal immigrants breaching of our borders.

The truth is that Indonesia intends to continue exactly what it has been doing for 5 years. It also intends not to respond to distress calls from sinking boats, preferring to rely on Australia to prevent further drownings, even within their own waters.

Nothing new there.

The cyclone season is now under way and the Indonesians appear to have about as much respect for human life as they have for our sovereignty.

They know where the boats leave from, they know who the crews are and they know exactly who intends to enter Australia illegally. After all, those prospective illegals have only recently passed through their Immigration Department at Jakarta airport and have been given the all clear, with the appropriate bribe of course, to depart to Oz.

Tony Abbott’s craven soft-shoe-diplomatic-shuffle has the people traffickers rubbing their hands with glee. The Indonesians are simply confirming their entrenched disrespect for us.

Like most Australians Tony Abbott has not lived in third-world countries where corruption is a way of life. Meek submissiveness will only embolden the dragon.

The boat problem will only be solved by grabbing a few coat lapels, bumping a few heads and explaining that we will not tolerate this sort of crap.

President Yudhoyono is on the front foot, gloating at the public outrage he has fostered against Australia. He intends to humiliate us further, gaining popular support by degrading his southern neighbour.

Never before has Australia shown this degree of weakness.

Abbott, Bishop and Morrison need to re-jig their tactics if they want this boat problem solved quickly. We are by far the more powerful and dominant nation... we should act like it.

Show the Islamic dragon your weakness and it will devour you, show it your strength and it will cower in concession, where you can debate its diet.

Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6)

Heavenly Father, today I choose to be anxious for nothing. I choose to set aside my worries and concerns. I thank You for Your faithfulness to meet every need in my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you...and give you peace(Numbers 6:24–26, NIV)

All throughout the scripture, we see that there is tremendous power in our words. You can speak life or death, blessing or cursing over your future. When you choose to speak the Word of God, you are activating His power in your life. When you speak life and blessing over others, you are sowing seed for the harvest in your future.Right now, I speak blessing over you. It’s a blessing that I declare over our congregation every week.You are blessed highly as you are reading this message,in Jesus Name,Amen.
Father,I thank You for victory in store for my future. Thank you that “after this,” I’m rising higher. I’m coming out stronger. I’m more prepared for my future. I’m better equipped and empowered to fulfill the destiny You have prepared for me in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Your life is not over because you had a setback. God has an “after this” in your future. He has another victory planned. He wants to take you further than you ever dreamed possible.The Scripture says,“And after this it came to pass that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them.”(2 Samuel 8:1, KJV)

When you go through tough times, don’t be surprised if the enemy whispers in your ear, “You’ll never be as happy as you used to be. You’ve seen your best days. This setback is the end of you.” No, let that go in one ear and out the other. God is saying to you, “After the bad break, after the disappointment, after the pain, there is still a full life." God has an “after this” in your future. He’s not only going to bring you out, He is going to bring you out better than you were before.God bless you.
Life is short But eternity lasts forever!
Life is too short to live carelessly and foolishly. Make the most of every day, and the Word teaches us how to do that.Psalms 39.This entire Psalm is about the brevity of life. The Psalmist pauses in the midst of a busy existence and begins to meditate on his life, his Lord, and the length of his days. As he sits quietly, he begins to consider how short life is; furthermore, he considers how important it is for man to know how short life is (v. 4-7). It is in the brevity of life that he discovers that there is no real hope outside of the Lord, for he is eternal. He begins to call on God for forgiveness of sins and goodness of days.

I want to share some verses with you.Gen 18:27, Abraham said, "I am but dust and ashes.” I Sam 20:3, David admits, “there is but a step between me and death.”
II Sam 14:14, “For we must die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person.” I Chron 29:15, “For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.” Job 7:6 & 7, “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle.” “O remember that my life is wind.”
Job 8:9, “(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:)”
Job 14:1-2, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.”
Job 17:1, “My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me.”
Ps 22:29, “none can keep alive his own soul.”
Ps 103:14-16, “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.”
Ps 144:4, “Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.”
Prov 27:1, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
James 4:14-15, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”
LIFE IS TOO SHORT: This message is for you to think of your life.There comes a time when God can not tolerate sin any more and His wrath will come upon man.The danger is now.Please repent,the message has not change,still the way John the Baptist started it.Repent.God bless you.



Look Closely! What Do You See?...
Blending in our enviroment created by Johannes Stotter
From Caroline Glick:

" I was on the Steve Maltzberg Show today, talking about the Iran deal.

Here's the video "


11/25/2013 21:52
Our world: The goal of Obama’s foreign policy
Except Obama isn't really Chamberlain. Chamberlain was a decent person facing evil. Obama is getting what he wants, just like When Gillard was forced to lie about a carbon tax for Greens .. even afterwards, without Green alliance, she held to her lie.  - ed

First thought that came to mind when I heard about the agreement was George Orwell's line: "The quickest way to end a war is to lose it."
More in my Tuesday Jerusalem Post column.


America just had its Neville Chamberlain moment. We lifted sanctions on Iran in return for...basically nothing. This will not end well. Read more: http://allenbwest.com/?p=1545
What STRENGTH this kid has in the face of BULLIES! (Thank you Maccabeats for your contribution to the World!)
Chanukah music video, Jewish pride and dealing with Bullies?
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IDF Repairs School in the Philippines!
Go IDF! What other country in the world saves lives and schools?
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Tzena Tzena – Remake of Famous Israeli Song from 1948
Enjoy this really hip new remake of this hit Israeli song from 1948!
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MUST SEE for Pro-Israel College Students!
Stop the anti-Israel liars on college campuses!!!
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Click here to watch:NEVER AGAIN!
Must-Watch- This might be the most powerful clip you ever see.
International law is on Israel's side. Watch the video to understand why!
This must be one of the best video presentations that clearly explains international law and the legal case for Israel and Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria. Definitely watch this to have a better understanding of international law so you can talk about Israel's situation intelligently with others.
Jamie - Bar
Don't miss this best seller! 
Click here to purchase this special gift.
This gripping page-turner takes historical fiction to a new level as it explores the life of one of the most significant and enigmatic leaders in world history: Herod the Great. From the corridors of power in Jerusalem and Rome to the farms and fields of the simple folk trying to survive in turbulent times, you will get a real sense of time and place from one of the most important chapters in hostory. You will also meet all the most significan characters form that time, including the Caesars, Jerusalem's High Priest and Sages, Anthony and Cleopatra, and more. But behind it all is Herod. Herod the proud. Herod the builder. Herod the muderer. Herod the Roman puppet. Herod the schemer. Herod the Great.
IsraelVideoNetwork.com, run by 12Tribe Films, is developing the next generation of Israel activists using online video and social networking.
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The soldiers are outside all day and get
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While some families do provide these items,
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Care packages include fleece jackets, hats, gloves, neck warmers and a menorah!
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kipa live
Click here to watch: Awesome Chanukah Song in Israel!
Great mash up for the holiday!
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Dreams … A Tribute to Israel’s Heroes
Another fabulous video tribute to Israel. Enjoy and feel the pride!
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No way!
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Thank you for caring about Israel. Here is a new tool we have developed for people like you to stay up-to-date with important videos with the latest news in Israel.Sign Up Here!


Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 4.14.03 PM
Click here to watch:NEVER AGAIN!
Must-Watch- This might be the most powerful clip you ever see.
International law is on Israel's side. Watch the video to understand why!
This must be one of the best video presentations that clearly explains international law and the legal case for Israel and Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria. Definitely watch this to have a better understanding of international law so you can talk about Israel's situation intelligently with others.
Jamie - Bar
Don't miss this best seller! 
Click here to purchase this special gift.
This gripping page-turner takes historical fiction to a new level as it explores the life of one of the most significant and enigmatic leaders in world history: Herod the Great. From the corridors of power in Jerusalem and Rome to the farms and fields of the simple folk trying to survive in turbulent times, you will get a real sense of time and place from one of the most important chapters in hostory. You will also meet all the most significan characters form that time, including the Caesars, Jerusalem's High Priest and Sages, Anthony and Cleopatra, and more. But behind it all is Herod. Herod the proud. Herod the builder. Herod the muderer. Herod the Roman puppet. Herod the schemer. Herod the Great.
IsraelVideoNetwork.com, run by 12Tribe Films, is developing the next generation of Israel activists using online video and social networking.
Join our mission - Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to help us grow our network to reach hundreds of thousands of people to make a difference for Israel.
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25 November 2013

November is the month of Thanksgiving for our American friends and it is good to reflect on the importance of gratitude. One way to be more grateful to God is to appreciate and value God's grace and goodness in our lives. 

Let’s start by thinking of ordinary things that we enjoy: a cup of coffee; a smile from a baby; a display of creation’s autumn colours; a stunning sunset; or a song. On their own, these may be seen as mere background experiences in the many events that make up our lives each day. Now consider the thing that you have enjoyed, as a gift from a God who loves you. You might want to quite specifically imagine Jesus handing you that cup of coffee, creating those trees or colouring that sunset. We read in the Bible that ‘Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father …’(James 1:17). So once we recognise God’s gift, that ordinary ‘something’ has now become an ‘extraordinary’ gift from God.

In the Christian faith we focus – quite understandably – on the awesome truth that in the crucifixion of Jesus, God himself was purchasing our forgiveness. That is the greatest gift we could ever have and we must always be grateful for that. Yet there are also an enormous number of other smaller things where God’s love towards his children spills over into numerous different areas and we should recognise them everywhere. So if we enjoy the beauty of a sunlit landscape, we can thank God. If we have a good meal, we can give thanks to God. Yes, God loved us in an extraordinary way 2000 years ago when Jesus died for us, but he loves us now and all the good things of life are signs of his love.
We can let big truths block out little ones and we may be so focused on the idea that God is the supreme Creator of the universe or the One who will bring justice to the world that we overlook the truth that he is a God whose grace and love can be seen daily. His relationship with us is that of continuous, never-ending love. The cross of Christ proclaims that God is love, but that glorious truth is echoed in a million other ways.

To recognise God’s generous, loving hand behind our major and minor joys and blessings is the key to not just a Thanksgiving Day of gratitude, but a daily life of thanksgiving. 


Revd. Canon J.John

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Hi everyone! Here's the MichelleMalkin.com newsletter for November 25th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Kerry: Nuke deal doesn’t give Iran right to enrich; Iran: World recognized our right to enrich

The ink isn’t even dry on the temporary Iran nuclear deal and it already has that distinct “passed it to find out what’s in it” scent...

Dueling headlines: John Kerry vs. reality on Israel’s support for Iran nuke deal

Iran and six other countries including the U.S. struck a temporary deal Saturday night (“when you’ve lost Chuck Schumer…”) that will reportedly lift some sanctions on Iran in return for Tehran agreeing to limit nuclear activity...

Journalism prof’s beyond stupid WaPo op-ed: Did the Tea Party kill JFK?

A journalism professor (what a, uh, surprise) at the University of Texas has found the roots of the Tea Party, and they go clear back to Dallas, Texas in 1963...

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Michelle's Top Tweets

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And ... Our Hate Tweet of the Day

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Way to get into the holiday spirit!
November 26Feast day of John Berchmans (Roman Catholic Church); Constitution Day in India (1949)
Wall decorations in KV62's burial chamber




Holidays and observances[edit]

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"To preach deliverance to the captives."
Luke 4:18
None but Jesus can give deliverance to captives. Real liberty cometh from him only. It is a liberty righteously bestowed; for the Son, who is Heir of all things, has a right to make men free. The saints honour the justice of God, which now secures their salvation. It is a liberty which has been dearly purchased. Christ speaks it by his power, but he bought it by his blood. He makes thee free, but it is by his own bonds. Thou goest clear, because he bare thy burden for thee: thou art set at liberty, because he has suffered in thy stead. But, though dearly purchased, he freely gives it. Jesus asks nothing of us as a preparation for this liberty. He finds us sitting in sackcloth and ashes, and bids us put on the beautiful array of freedom; he saves us just as we are, and all without our help or merit. When Jesus sets free, the liberty is perpetually entailed; no chains can bind again. Let the Master say to me, "Captive, I have delivered thee," and it is done forever. Satan may plot to enslave us, but if the Lord be on our side, whom shall we fear? The world, with its temptations, may seek to ensnare us, but mightier is he who is for us than all they who be against us. The machinations of our own deceitful hearts may harass and annoy us, but he who hath begun the good work in us will carry it on and perfect it to the end. The foes of God and the enemies of man may gather their hosts together, and come with concentrated fury against us, but if God acquitteth, who is he that condemneth? Not more free is the eagle which mounts to his rocky eyrie, and afterwards outsoars the clouds, than the soul which Christ hath delivered. If we are no more under the law, but free from its curse, let our liberty be practically exhibited in our serving God with gratitude and delight. "I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds." "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"


"For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."
Romans 9:15
In these words the Lord in the plainest manner claims the right to give or to withhold his mercy according to his own sovereign will. As the prerogative of life and death is vested in the monarch, so the Judge of all the earth has a right to spare or condemn the guilty, as may seem best in his sight. Men by their sins have forfeited all claim upon God; they deserve to perish for their sins--and if they all do so, they have no ground for complaint. If the Lord steps in to save any, he may do so if the ends of justice are not thwarted; but if he judges it best to leave the condemned to suffer the righteous sentence, none may arraign him at their bar. Foolish and impudent are all those discourses about the rights of men to be all placed on the same footing; ignorant, if not worse, are those contentions against discriminating grace, which are but the rebellions of proud human nature against the crown and sceptre of Jehovah. When we are brought to see our own utter ruin and ill desert, and the justice of the divine verdict against sin, we no longer cavil at the truth that the Lord is not bound to save us; we do not murmur if he chooses to save others, as though he were doing us an injury, but feel that if he deigns to look upon us, it will be his own free act of undeserved goodness, for which we shall forever bless his name.
How shall those who are the subjects of divine election sufficiently adore the grace of God? They have no room for boasting, for sovereignty most effectually excludes it. The Lord's will alone is glorified, and the very notion of human merit is cast out to everlasting contempt. There is no more humbling doctrine in Scripture than that of election, none more promotive of gratitude, and, consequently, none more sanctifying. Believers should not be afraid of it, but adoringly rejoice in it.

Today's reading: Ezekiel 24-26, 1 Peter 2 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 24-26

Jerusalem as a Cooking Pot
1 In the ninth year, in the tenth month on the tenth day, the word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, record this date, this very date, because the king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day. 3 Tell this rebellious people a parable and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
“‘Put on the cooking pot; put it on
and pour water into it.
4 Put into it the pieces of meat,
all the choice pieces—the leg and the shoulder.
Fill it with the best of these bones;
5 take the pick of the flock.
Pile wood beneath it for the bones;
bring it to a boil
and cook the bones in it.
6 “‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says:
“‘Woe to the city of bloodshed,
to the pot now encrusted,
whose deposit will not go away!
Take the meat out piece by piece
in whatever order it comes....

Today's New Testament reading: 1 Peter 2

1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
The Living Stone and a Chosen People
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame....”
Naaman [Nā'aman]—delight, pleasant or agreeable.
  1. A son of Benjamin and founder of a tribal family (Gen. 46:21).
  2. A son of Bela, son of Benjamin (Num. 26:401 Chron. 8:4).
  3. A son of Ehud, or Abihud, grandson of Benjamin (1 Chron. 8:7).
  4. A Syrian captain in the army of Ben-hadad, king of Damascus. This able commander was cured of leprosy by Elisha the prophet ( 2 Kings 5;Luke 4:27).

The Man Who Was Valiant But Leprous

What a blight Naaman’s leprosy must have cast on his path! Successful, valiant, noble, yet a leper. His loathesome disease must have haunted him day and night. As there was no physician in Syria who could help him, he had the dread of going to the grave with his foul ailment. But God has a way of using little things to achieve His beneficent purpose. Among the captives brought from Israel to Syria was a girl chosen to act as maid to Naaman’s wife. This slave maiden loved the Lord and was not ashamed to own Him. Thus when her mistress bemoaned the disease and despair of her husband, the girl sang the praises of Elisha. We can imagine how she would relate the miracles of the prophet, and, since her life was consistent with her testimony, the captive girl was believed.
With faith in the witness of the maid, Naaman went to Samaria, but felt rebuffed when Elisha would not see him, and instead sent his servant to the captain with the order: “Go wash in Jordan seven times.”
How angry Naaman was to be told to wash himself in the muddy Jordan! Away he went in a rage, simply because his pride had been hurt. Elisha was indifferent to Naaman’s honor and wealth, and also to the virtue of the better rivers in Damascus. But Naaman’s excellent servant wanted his master cured of his dread disease, and influenced by him, Naaman obeyed the word of Elisha and was made whole. For the minister this old-time miracle bristles with forceful application.
November 25, 2011
The Trumpet Game
Today's Truth
"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17, NIV)
Friend to Friend
My friend Brad has a little girl named Elizabeth. When Elizabeth was one year old, Brad and his wife taught her some sign language. For the word please, they chose to have her rub her chest. So, as Brad and Jamie taught Elizabeth to say please, they rubbed their own chests and said "please." Simple enough.
Elizabeth had a favorite toy. It's a plastic knobby toy that holds colorful rings. You know the one with the yellow pole and white base that, without the rings, loosely resembles a trumpet. (C'mon, use your imagination!) So, being the fun, creative parents that Brad and Jamie are, they would dump off the rings and playfully hold up Elizabeth's toy and make a trumpet sound. Elizabeth loved her parent's silliness. She laughed and clapped with delight. It became a favorite game in their household.
One day, when Brad and Elizabeth were playing the trumpet game, Elizabeth excitedly grabbed the toy and handed it back to him to do it again. Brad encouraged her to say "please" and reinforced the instruction by rubbing his chest. To his surprise, Elizabeth made her way over to him and started to rub hischest instead of her own.
Did this please her daddy? You bet it did!
Even though Elizabeth mixed up the signals, she communicated with her daddy. Brad was filled with love and joy by her effort. He was pleased that she came to him. Not because she did or didn't do something right, but just because she is his daughter and he loves her. He adores her.
God adores you too. Just because you are His child. His sweet daughter. "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1a).
Have you considered that perhaps God isn't longing for you to come to Him with perfect, polished prayers that have fifty-cent words and flowery language? Have you thought about the pleasure God experiences when you simply approach him just as you are, warts and all, because He loves you? He delights in your attention. He takes pleasure when you go to Him simply because you are His.
I love how the psalmist responded to God's love:
Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Let's Pray
Heavenly Father, Thanks for this reminder of Your love for me. Thanks for seeing me as precious and special. I'm amazed by Your love. I'm overwhelmed with thankfulness that You made a way for me to know You through Jesus Christ. Help me to come to You as I am each day...without pretenses, pride, or perfection, but simply with Your permission to just be me...because You love me. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Now It's Your Turn
  • Read Zephaniah 3:17 again silently
  • Now read it again aloud
  • Now read it aloud three more times and insert your name after each 'you' -
"The LORD your God is with you (insert name here), He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you (name), He will quiet you (name) with His love, He will rejoice over you (name) with singing."Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)
More from the Girlfriends
When Brad shared this story with me, it melted my heart and blessed my soul. I hope you were moved, too. That's really what being a GiG is all about...sharing things that move us and spur us on toward our extravagant Lord! Glad we are doing life together! I'd love to hear what has moved you lately...come tomy facebook page and let me know!
Today's devotion is from Gwen's book, Broken into Beautiful. Gwen's testimony is featured in her book, along with Scriptural truths and stories of how God has brought restoration the hearts of many other women who had painful life wounds. God delights to transform lives ... including your own. Experience God's healing and hope in your life today as you read Broken Into Beautiful! To order the book, go to Amazon or, for a signed copy, visit Gwen's website:www.gwensmith.net.
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P.O. Box 725
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T. Suzanne Eller
November 25, 2011
Holiday Blues
T. Suzanne Eller
"There is joy for those who deal justly with others and always do what is right." Psalm 106:3 (NLT)
"I don't like the holidays," I whispered.
I used to love holidays, before I was married. Before I felt the pull to be everywhere at the same time. Before any decisions that I made left someone upset or angry or feeling left out.
I struggled with a desire to be home, to start my own traditions with my young children and husband. We were the first to be married in both families, and thus the first to break "how it's always been."
Thanksgiving was a time to be thankful. All I felt was stretched thin. Christmas was a time to be joyous but I usually felt frustrated.
As we had children, I tried to mask my frustration with enthusiasm. We had fun setting out pumpkins. We decorated the house. But inside I wrestled because I knew the stress that was coming trying to be all things to all the people in my life.
Looking back, I wonder why I didn't say anything. Instead, I simply let it fester. I didn't take into account that if I kept silent things would never change. I just simmered in anger.
Thirty years later, I treasure the holidays. It took time, but I finally learned to share my needs. I found the courage to tell my extended family that trying to be everywhere in such a short time was exhausting.
We all made an effort to see each other's point of view. We didn't approach in anger, but with a willingness to work through the conflict with honesty and grace. Some were open. Others were not, especially in the beginning. If they were flexible, we rejoiced. If not, we didn't take it personally. We knew change takes time.
Perhaps the greatest gift that we received came later. When our children married, suddenly there were several families in the mix. We told our children that it's not the date on the calendar that makes holidays special. It's the heart behind the holidays. It's spending time with people you love.
So, sometimes we get together on Thanksgiving, or maybe the week after. Maybe it's Christmas only, while Thanksgiving is spent with other family members. If they aren't with us on a specific day, my husband and I fill that time with a new tradition - just the two of us.
What we discovered is that by letting go, our kids come more often because there's no pressure. They let us in on their traditions. Regardless of the date, when we do get together we have fun! It's a gift we give our family and ourselves.
Dear Lord, thank You for my family. I'm grateful for so many things, and one of those is family who loves me enough to want to be with me. Help me to share my needs with my loved ones, and to do it with grace and gentleness. Help me not to take it personal as they struggle with change. If I am the one that is inflexible, help me to bend and grow. Help me to be thankful every day for all that I have been given. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?
Visit Suzie's blog where she is doing a "Holiday" give-away!
Shop with us for Christmas! Did you know when you purchase anything through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity? Your purchase supports the many areas of life-changing ministry we provide at no cost. Although we'd love to offer more discounts, we simply can't compete with online warehouses. So, we're extremely grateful when you shop with us. Thank you!
Application Steps:
Have you shared your needs? Articulate them on paper.
Share them at the right time, in the right attitude. Don't take responses personally. Change takes time.
Exchange the holiday blues for a new song. Worship God as you thank Him for all the good things around you.
If I am the one struggling with change, am I willing to be flexible?
Instead of focusing on a specific date, I can focus on the heart of the holiday.
I'll write down all the things for which I am thankful to share with my children.
Power Verses:
Psalm 106:1-2, "Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for his is good! His faithful love endures forever. Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord? Who can ever praise him enough?" (NLT)
© 2011 by T. Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105


The Rock Fails His Master

Matthew 26:69-75 "Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, 'Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.' And he went out and wept bitterly" ( v. 75).
Apparently, one reason Caiaphas and the other priests and elders become incensed during the trial of Jesus is His pledge that even they will one day recognize Him, whom they now deny, as Messiah. This seems to be one of our Lord's points inMatthew 26:64. His promise that the Sanhedrin will see Him on the clouds likely alludes to several things, including Jerusalem's destruction in AD 70 and Jesus' being seated at the right hand of the Father (the session of Christ). Moreover,Daniel 7:13-14, wherein the Son of Man judges creation, is clearly being echoed. Jesus is saying that the Jewish leaders who judge Him will one day be judged by Him. They cannot take this role reversal, and so they spit on Him at the close of their trial (Matt. 26:67-68).
As the trial of our Savior winds down, the "trial" of another is beginning. Peter's actions at this moment are under Matthew's spotlight in today's passage, and we note that he, unlike the rest of the disciples, at least has continued to follow the Lord at a distance (vv. 5658). Matthew Henry notes that this does not bode well for the one whom Jesus once called His rock ( 16:13-20): "To follow [Christ] afar off, is by little and little to go back from him." Peter's hearing before the servants in the courtyard manifests the truth of this observation.
Peter faces the testimony of three observers just like Jesus did (Caiaphas, two witnesses; vv. 57-64, 69-74), but that is where the similarity of the two trials ends. Christ continues to affirm the truth throughout His hearing before powerful and influential men; Peter denies it before female servants, people of low status in that culture. Ultimately, Peter fulfills Jesus' prediction and denies his Lord three times because he has relied on his own power, not on the Spirit of God, proving, John Calvin says, that any man "who is not supported by the hand of God, will instantly fall by a slight gale or the rustling of a falling leaf."
Yet hope remains for Peter. Though he has sinned greatly, his tears (v. 75) and later restoration (John 21:15-19) show a repentant heart. No matter the depth of our sin, while we draw breath it is never too late to return to the Lord. He mercifully forgives all, without exception, who mourn their transgressions.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

John Calvin says Peter's rash vow to remain with the Lord (Matt. 26:33 ) and subsequent failure encourage us not to rely on our own weakness, but to earnestly rely on the Spirit. It is easy to say that we will never deny the Lord. But our flesh is weak, and we should not think ourselves strong apart from the strength He alone can give us. We have all denied Him in some way; let us therefore lean on His Spirit that we may never do so again.
For further study:
The Bible in a year:
For the weekend:
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. 

Jerome: Monk, Scholar and Bible Translator

Quote: "Make knowledge of the Scripture your love and you will not love the views of the flesh."
"Make knowledge of the Scripture your love and you will not love the views of the flesh." These are the words of Jerome (c. 331 - 420), who is regarded by some as the greatest of all translators of the Bible. He was far more than a Bible translator, however. In addition to his Latin Vulgate version of the Bible, he wrote numerous biblical commentaries and was deeply involved in theological controversies of the day as well as with matters of asceticism and spiritual formation. His historical writing and vast correspondence offer a fascinating insight on an era when doctrinal disputation blends easily with the asceticism of the Desert Fathers.
Jerome is also the subject of a medieval legend that draws from pre-Christian stories. In one account Jerome removes a thorn from the paw of a lion, who returns the kindness by staying on to guard the monastery and watch over the donkey. When the donkey goes missing, the lion is blamed, but Jerome stands by his pet, and the lion takes over the work of the donkey. When the donkey is eventually found, they all live happily ever after. In medieval art, Jerome is depicted with a grateful lion lying at his feet.
At age twenty Jerome journeys to Rome to be baptized. Following his baptism, Jerome's educational pursuits and various ministries take him from one region to another until he eventually settles down at a monastery in Bethlehem, the setting for the legend of the lion. Jerome's celebrated wisdom and kindness is only one side of this often-volatile man, however. He is harsh in his criticism of other church leaders and pointedly condemns the corruption of the bearded clerics in Rome, of whom he sarcastically writes, "The only thought of such men is their clothes - are they pleasantly perfumed, do their shoes fit smoothly. . . . If there is any holiness in a beard, nobody is holier than a goat."
Having been forced out of Rome in his forties, he resents these enemies of the truth. But more controversies continue while he is residing in Bethlehem. One of his best-known correspondents is his younger contemporary, Augustine, who first writes to him challenging his translation of a phrase in Galatians. The letter takes nearly a decade to reach its destination in Bethlehem, after apparently being read by many people along the way. And, as Jerome assumed, it may very well have been written for public consumption: "It is a sign of youthful arrogance to try to build up a reputation by assailing prominent figures." Nevertheless, the correspondence - both harsh and pleasant - continues for many years.
Jerome's writings span a wide range of subjects, including his perspective on marriage and monasticism. In comparing celibacy with marital bonds, he gives marriage a numerical value of thirty, rating widowhood and virginity sixty and one hundred, respectively. He insists, however, that he has high regard for marriage - but only for its potential to increase the number of virgins: "To prefer chastity is not to disparage matrimony. . . . Married ladies can be proud to come after nuns, for God Himself told them to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth. . . . A child born from marriage is virgin flesh. . . . I praise matrimony. But only because it produces virgins."
The wealth of Paula, Jerome's friend and intellectual partner, funds his library in Bethlehem, and from his cell comes a steady stream of scholarly works. During his thirty-four years in that location he writes commentaries and annotated bibliographies as well as treatises against heresies, particularly against the teachings of Pelagius and Origen. In fact, so blistering are his attacks on Pelagianism that some partisan thugs break into the monastery, set fire to the buildings, and assault the monks, killing one of them, although Jerome himself escapes. He dies some years later, poring over manuscripts to the very end.

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

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.


Myth: "If I commit my life to God, he'll make me a missionary to Africa."

Today's reading: Jeremiah 29:11
I had the dream again last night. I'm walking down the aisle of my church, but there's no wedding march playing (sigh), just the off-tune ramblings of the church organist struggling through another verse of "Just As I Am." A preacher is there waiting for me, and so is my mother, sister and third-grade teacher, Mrs. Boulter. (Remember, this is a dream.) It's at the end of a revival service. The preacher asks those who want to "commit themselves wholeheartedly to God's purposes for their lives" to come to the front of the church. In my dream, I tell the preacher I am ready to do whatever God wants me to do. Everyone is so happy. Mrs. Boulter is happy. I'm happy. The organist is happy.
The next scene, however, is something altogether different. It's nighttime. And I'm stumbling around inside this primitive hut with a mosquito net wrapped around my head and body, blindly swiping at insects with a gigantic King James Bible. I try to scream, but it's useless. A small town girl from Ohio has turned into an unwitting missionary. In the middle of Africa. And I'm miserable. I wake up the same way every time-drenched in sweat, with the sheets twisted around my head, clutching the phonebook.
I know it's only a dream. Still, I've heard the stories. If you "give it all up to God," something terrible will happen to you to test your faith and see if you're really a good Christian. It would be just my luck to have to quit my job and leave my family so God can ship me off to Africa to be a missionary. And I've never even been outside Ohio.
I'm a Christian. I want to be totally, unapologetically obedient to God. But if I give God my entire life, I'm afraid he'll do something extreme to prove a point. He might take away my boyfriend to see which one I love more-"him or Him"? Worse yet, what if something happens to my family because I said God could "have it all"? My mom will get cancer. Or my best friend will be killed in a car wreck. (You know, those things you never say around the donut table in Sunday school, but they're legitimate fears.)
I love God. And sometimes I'm this close to giving him everything. But in order to prove my love for God, I feel like I have to do something drastic. And I'm not ready for that yet.
Let's be honest-most of us are afraid of God. And we should be. He's the all-powerful King of the universe. In comparison, we are helplessly powerless. But because we fear him, we hold back from him a few things we feel we can't live without, afraid that he'll strip them from us. A relationship. A job. A standard of living. Health. Dreams. It's scary to know that God wants what's best for us-because it may come at a price.
Anyone who's familiar with the story of Abraham and Isaac knows that sometimes God asks us to give him what we're clutching protectively to our chests. What if God asked you to give up what's most dear to you? What would you do? How would you react? The danger is camping out in that line of thinking. If you continually live in fear of God and what he will do if you surrender your life to him, you likely won't surrender. The Bible teaches, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love" (1 John 4:18).
God's will is always tied to who he is. (Read that again.) The rumor that God is a sadist in the sky, waiting for some unsuspecting woman to give her life to him just so he can toy with her, is a twisted myth. That's not how the Bible describes God. It's not his nature.
Instead of fearing him, if we believe he is a loving God, we will be convinced all his plans for us will be full of love and for our good. If we trust the Father, we will trust his plans for us ... even if they take us through difficult times, down roads we wouldn't otherwise choose or even to the "Africas" we fear the most. Life with God may not always be "safe," as we'd define it; but he will always, always be good to us. Our lives are in good hands.
"The real issue in life is not the search for God's will; it is the search for God. The issue in faith is not knowing what God is doing, rather it is knowing that God knows what he is doing. The issue of faith is seeking God's presence, not God's plan for my life, because there is no plan outside of my knowing him."
-Mike Yaconelli
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

See also

Psalm 34:8; Psalm 84:11; Philippians 1:6

True Identity: The Bible for Women
by Zondervan

The Bible that helps you see yourself as God sees you! Find your true identity in Christ through your relationship with him.


The Rock Fails His Master

John Calvin says Peter's rash vow to remain with the Lord (Matt. 26:33 ) and subsequent failure encourage us not to rely on our own weakness, but to earnestly rely on the Spirit. It is easy to say that we will never deny the Lord. But our flesh is weak, and we should not think ourselves strong apart from the strength He alone can give us. We have all denied Him in some way; let us therefore lean on His Spirit that we may never do so again.
For further study:
The Bible in a year:
For the weekend:
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. 
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