Thursday, December 05, 2013

Thu Dec 5th Todays News

Much needs to be done, it is hard to know where to start. One important agenda item is to do with the ABC. It won't be fixed at once, as there is a culture of corruption pervading it from the lowest levels to the top. It is important to have a national broadcaster. It isn't desirable to have a bad one. I believe the news and current affair element needs to be separated. The infotainment that has resulted from the abysmal journalism service has obfuscated all of the most important events of the last forty years. While people would be aware of the role of the ABC in bringing about a diplomatic incident with Indonesia, they would not be aware of how the ABC has protected ALP from corruption investigation. Consider the following Media Watch questions to Tim Blair following the story of a constituent of Nathan Reese having an affair with him. Reese had confessed to parliament his misjudgement and stood aside from his portfolio. 
Media Watch asked:1. Were you aware at the time of publication that this story had been rejected by two other media outlets?2. Did that give you any concerns?3. Why did you decide it was in the public interest to reveal what several commentators have described as a private matter?4. Why did you not reveal the name of the woman involved, given that the credibility and completeness of her account may be at issue?5. Were you concerned about this woman’s reported connection to people in the NSW ALP? 
The serious issue involved a shadow police minister and a former Premier. The possibility of corruption and blackmail is strong. It is hard to know under what circumstances it would not be in the public interest to run the story. Now consider my issue in finding a reporter for the issue of dead schoolboy Hamidur Rahman and a bungled pedophile investigation at Campbelltown PAHS. I have, through no fault of my own, been unemployed since July 2007. My life savings is gone. I have been illegally blacklisted. My citizenship evidence was destroyed by Bob Carr. I have been denied legal aid because of my race. I have been harassed for being fat and US born by my equal opportunity employer. I have been paid less than award wage by the government under Gillard's Fair Work legislation. My life has been threatened by a known hit man. I have privately engaged with the ALP on many occasions to get the issue sorted without public fuss. Keep in mind, I have never been allowed to put my position before any court. I gave some information to the NSW coroner, but they ignored it after the police incompetently, or corruptly, failed to examine it. 
I know journalists of all ages and descriptions. A former student of mine who was a cadet journalist said they couldn't help because it was 'above their pay grade.' A senior journalist has told me they have been instructed by editors they cannot report on my issue. These questions from Media Watch illustrate why it is so hard for me to get my story told, despite extreme privation and substantial evidence. 
The ABC can no longer merely balance their abysmal service. We don't need them to lie about conservatives. We need them to report impartially. They have failed by any measure. 

Happy birthday and many happy returns Alan J TranIlsa Mirza and Pradeep Garg. Born on the same day, across the years, along with


Biased ABC leads a howling media mob

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, December 04, 2013 (6:44am)

THE government has been in office 77 days but the Canberra press gallery has already written it off. Where fault can be found it will be furiously exaggerated. Where success occurs it will be ignored.
It began with the so-called expenses “scandal”, when Tony Abbott’s electioneering at sports events was recast as some sinister attempt to rort the public purse.
Then he was blamed for the Indonesia spying scandal which occurred under Rudd.
On border protection, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has been hammered for not divulging operational detail about exactly how asylum boats are being stopped. He revealed this week that November had seen the lowest boat arrivals in five years, but all anyone wants to talk about is his “hostile” attitude to the media. Well, hello. He’s only human.
Education Minister Christopher Pyne is the latest punching bag for refusing to implement the Gonski education funding model, as prescribed by Julia Gillard. Why was that a surprise to anyone, least of all Barry O’Farrell?
Treasurer Joe Hockey is being lambasted over the non-sale of GrainCorp, over which, hilariously, lefties are siding with the free market - anything to beat up on Abbott.
The contrast to the honeymoon period of the Rudd government is staggering. Kevin Rudd was feted as a messiah for more than a year.
At the end of his first three months, he was preferred prime minister over Brendan Nelson by 68 per cent to 10 per cent, according to ABC-TV’s Insiders’ “poll of polls”, which relishes Abbott’s less impressive lead of 44-29 over Bill Shorten.
Rudd’s popularity soared to record highs thanks in large part to all the positive coverage lavished on him and his lame-brained ideas, like the 2020 summit, FuelWatch, GroceryWatch, an ETS, green loans, free pink batts, the end of homelessness, and dismantling border protection.
The media was dazzled, especially the ABC-Fairfax Media axis of love. But even conservatives gave Rudd the benefit of the doubt for too long.
To its eternal shame, The Australian newspaper even named him Australian of the year in 2010. Uh oh.
Rudd’s media honeymoon was so prolonged that it seemed few people were more surprised when his party ditched him for non-performance later that same year than the press gallery.
More than any other news organisation, the ABC gave Labor a free pass over the past six years of calamitous government.
Remarkably, it has run dead on serious crime allegations against senior Labor figures which are currently being investigated by police, while
ferociously hunting down every verbal misstep or stumble by the new government.
Labor bodies are piling up and stinking behind the doors the ABC refuses to open.
Instead it fires all its barrels at the poor saps who barely have their feet under their desks.
So when Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi launched a scathing attack on the ABC in the Coalition party room yesterday, he was reflecting the opinion not only of his party’s conservative base but of the bulk of his parliamentary colleagues.
The applause he received was a pointed rebuke to his old foe, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who continues to defend the national broadcaster.
“I’m concerned because it’s not our ABC, it’s not my ABC, it’s ‘their’ ABC,” Bernardi said.
“It’s a taxpayer-funded behemoth that is cannibalising commercial media while spreading a message that ignores the majority views of Australians.”
Bernardi told colleagues he does not advocate privatising the ABC since it has a role to play in regional communities.
But the national broadcaster “no longer complies with its charter of fairness and balance.
“It is politically biased, regularly unfair and has priorities completely at odds with its raison d’être,’’ he said.
“Gone are the days when it simply operated TV and radio services. It has a massive online presence providing at taxpayers expense what commercial media operations need to charge for, four television channels and who knows how many radio licences.
“It is out of control and needs to be reined in. It needs to be broken up and returned to its primary purpose rather than the engorged propaganda unit it has become.”
Bernardi is on the backbench because he was marginalised by many in his own party before the election for refusing to maintain a safe, politically correct line. Turnbull particularly targeted him because Bernardi led the revolt against the ETS which ended his leadership and launched Abbott.
Now Bernardi is leading the conservative revolt against the ABC, and again he is on the right side of history.
The ABC’s plan to get tentacles into kids
THE ABC is an enormous beast, with tentacles stretching across the internet and digital TV at a time when other media organisations are struggling to survive.
Its success at enforcing the narrow groupthink of the Left cannot be over-estimated, and not just on obvious flagship programs such as Q&A.
Take its controversial education show Behind The News, watched by more than one million unsuspecting children each week.
With a cheery youth-friendly style, it promotes the soft-left line on everything from asylum seekers to gender equality to big government spending.
Yesterday’s episode of BTN began with a story about Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s “broken promise” on Gonski funding.
Next was “Why sorry seems to be the hardest word over the Indonesian spy scandal”, complete with footage of Kevin Rudd making his Stolen Generations apology. Praise for Rudd was cleverly delivered using Tony Abbott’s words.
“So it seems Tony is a fan of people who say sorry too. Well, he was.”
That is, until the Indonesia spying scandal erupted. No mention that the spying occurred during Rudd’s sainted reign.
At the end of the package the young BTN host, sitting in a school he identifies as Norwood Primary, asks the children around him if they think “Tony” should have said sorry.
It’s no surprise that the majority, about 30 children, put up their hands to say yes the Prime Minister should have apologised.
A scan of other BTN stories this year finds similar examples of loaded commentary: “The new PM Tony Abbott hasn’t repaid some money that he claimed for going to a few running and cycling events. The fitness freak says they were genuine community events, so it’s OK for the taxpayer to help foot the bill.”
Subtle propaganda to children is all part of the ABC’s long march. 


Tim Blair – Thursday, December 05, 2013 (2:42pm)

Multicultural mayhem in Melbourne: 
Worshippers ran for their lives during a stabbing attack during morning prayers that has left one man dead and two seriously hurt at a mosque in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
Horrified witnesses said the attacker went beserk in the Broadmeadows Mosque.
“It was crazy. A rampage,” one man said. “Six people locked themselves in the billiard room when they saw the knife and the president was locked in his office.”
Several men claimed the attacker was at the mosque with his sister when he went berserk.
“He was asking if people if they were Yahudi (Jewish),” a man said. “He then became agitated and not long after he pulled a knife.” 
The billiard room?


Tim Blair – Thursday, December 05, 2013 (2:25pm)

A certain level of racial hypersensitivity is evident.


Tim Blair – Thursday, December 05, 2013 (1:00pm)

A outstanding Adelaide incident, featuring an impressive Adelaide name
A child pornographer who claimed he was merely “praying” over downloaded images has been dragged kicking and screaming from court and into custody.
Andrew Liddington Shore lost all composure this afternoon when District Court Judge Gordon Barrett revoked his bail because he had repeatedly ignored an order to obtain a lawyer.
“Unhand me, servant,” he yelled as two courts sheriff’s officers tried to escort him into the cells. 
Shore also offered an extremely Adelaide defence: 
Shore then said he did not recognise the authority of the court, claiming the charges against him violated several United Nations and international treaties. 
Appropriately, the piece is written by City of Evil author Sean Fewster.


Tim Blair – Thursday, December 05, 2013 (5:49am)

Aspiring reporter Aicha Marhfour reviews her experience as a journalism student, when she was educated by a former Fairfax staffer: 
I don’t remember very much of the class I took with Rachel Buchanan in 2010.
I do remember that she put her own work on our reading list and (this I will never forget) in our last tutorial read out her honours thesis, a long piece about which I recall precisely nothing – and cried as she did it. 
Wow. But there was also a focus on basic journalistic practice: 
In Rachel’s class, it took us all semester to write a single feature. 


Tim Blair – Thursday, December 05, 2013 (12:12am)

The last time I saw my friend Jim Treacher in DC he was still limping following a years-earlier assault by car. Now he’s been attacked by an enraged DC driver.
And then things only got worse. That city doesn’t deserve Jim.

A promise on free speech we must demand be kept

Andrew Bolt December 05 2013 (10:52am)

Free speech

Professor James Allan:

THIS government’s commitment to repeal at least parts of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, the so-called anti-hate speech laws that were used against Andrew Bolt, raises at least four crucial issues.
First, any commitment to free speech is a commitment to allowing people to say and write things you may not like, that you may detest, that you may disagree with and find offensive. If the words spoken are words we all agree with and find congenial, then there is no need for any commitment to free speech…
The next point about the repeal of these existing hate speech provisions is that they were grossly misused in the Bolt case…
The whole Bolt saga was an embarrassment to Australia’s liberal credentials…
Next, there is the democratic issue. Tony Abbott and the Coalition went to the September election with a major pledge to repeal all or most of section 18 of the act. So it is right that, having won a big majority, they do what they promised…
The fourth issue relates to the prudential aspects of running a newly elected government. George Brandis, our new Attorney-General, made plain his commitment to free-speech principles before the election. And he is clear that he will proceed with some sort of repeal…
This repeal needs to go ahead. All four aspects of this provision, the ones aimed at offending, insulting, humiliating and intimidating, they need to go. A half-hearted repeal would hardly make Brandis or the Coalition defenders of free speech and liberty. Honour your campaign pledge, Senator Brandis.
I have been particularly disappointed to be treated as collateral damage by Jewish community leaders and political players who have been demanding these illiberal laws be kept. Several have privately assured me they found the case against me a misapplication of the law or even an injustice. But not one publicly said so. Every one of them knows what a supporter I have been of the Jewish community, not just in print, yet not one publicly protested when a Jewish QC told a Jewish judge in my case something far more foul than anything I had written - that my thinking resembled that of the Nazis who drew up the Nuremberg race laws.  That obscene slur struck me as a legally sanctioned defamation.
I do, however, single out Danny Lamm for offering to speak on my behalf. I am grateful to him.
But I believe the Jewish community - or those members involved in public advocacy - should reflect on whether principle here has been trashed for advantage by representatives who should know better.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.)
Thanks to this oppressive law, my lawyers advise me not to be extremely cautions in commenting further on one particular issue - the rise of a divisive new racism. It is no longer safe for me, I’m told, to say what it is that I’d object to in stories this this one today:


Neil Mitchell could be right to say he taught me eveything I know

Andrew Bolt December 05 2013 (10:42am)

Reader Adiboy:

You will be sad to hear that you have become boring according to Neil Mitchell on 3AW at about 11-45 am yesterday. Oh, and by the way, he pompously announced that he taught you everything you know.

If I’m boring, he did. 

Strange noises from Clive Palmer’s party of bogans

Andrew Bolt December 05 2013 (10:25am)

Palmer United Party Senator-elect Jacqui Lambie has sent people I know surprisingly aggressive messages that suggest a woman rather too full of herself and not one on whom I’d ever like to rely. They may come back to haunt her - as have these strange late-night messages left on the answering machine of former PUP candidate Marti Zucco:

More problems with PUP politicians, who seem not to realise they really are the bogan party:

Clive Palmer has dismissed the leaking of an internal email from one of his MPs, which described voters as “bogans”...
The email, allegedly sent by a Queensland MP in Mr Palmer’s party, Alex Douglas, reportedly describes voters as “bogans” living “empty lives” fueled by a “diet of grease”.
The email was allegedly leaked to the Courier Mail newspaper by former Tasmanian PUP candidate Marti Zucco, who quit the party this week…
Dr Douglas’ email also reportedly says that the world of “bogans” was a “world we see daily and quietly hope will disappear”.
‘’The interesting observation about Boganland is not just how common it is now but how the sufferers just copy one another so quickly with each trend ... It is no longer satisfactory that they will just buy [and wear] ugg boots, watch Big Brother, choke on a diet of grease, dye their bright purple (sic), tatoo (sic) and rejoice in their ignorance,’’ Dr Douglas allegedly said in an email…
Mr Palmer said there was nothing wrong with bogans and people should know that Dr Douglas was himself a bogan…
Dr Douglas defected from the Queensland Premier’s Liberal National Party to Mr Palmer’s party late last year and is now Queensland leader of the party.
(Thanks to reader David.) 

Former ABC chairman calls for review on its size and possible bias

Andrew Bolt December 05 2013 (10:14am)

The ABC has grown too big, as well as too biased.
FORMER ABC chairman Donald McDonald has called for the board to launch a full-scale review of the broadcaster’s operations and priorities to ensure its coverage is distinctive, high quality and represents a broad range of views
“The ABC has to make the case for public broadcasting by making sure what it puts to air is distinctive, is of high quality and - very importantly - is thoroughly representative of a broad range of views,” Mr McDonald said…
“The ABC is dangerously down the path of the BBC of wanting to be big for the sake of being big,” he said.
The suffocating size of the ABC and its push into markets served by private media businesses are serious issues - not least for those who believe it healthy to have state media dominate journalism and debate:
QUESTIONS about the ABC’s activity on digital media platforms are warranted, given the broadcaster is using taxpayer-provided funds to compete with commercial media outlets, News Corp chief executive Julian Clarke says…
“...The first question I would ask is why is a business like the ABC, which is a government-owned and run business, why is it operating in a commercial space?”
He agreed with Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull that a lack of advertising revenue was not the ABC’s fault…
“But nevertheless the audiences are absolutely fragmented and who knows what is around the corner? ... At some time someone has to say . . . there is a whole industry out here doing it on its own, paying all its own bills with no government subsidy whatsoever and it should be allowed to do that.”

Richard Lindzen: Cool it on the climate

Andrew Bolt December 05 2013 (9:59am)

Global warming - general

Professor Richard S. Lindzen, arguably the world’s most prominent climate scientist, testifies to the US House Committee on Science and Technology:
I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes.
The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such....
Current global warming alarm hardly represents a plausible proposition. Twenty years of repetition and escalation of claims does not make it more plausible. Quite the contrary, the failure to improve the case over 20 years makes the case even less plausible as does the evidence from climategate and other instances of overt cheating.
In the meantime, while I avoid making forecasts for tenths of a degree change in globally averaged temperature anomaly, I am quite willing to state that unprecedented climate catastrophes are not on the horizon though in several thousand years we may return to an ice age.
But this is about faith, not reason.
Still waiting for more warming. The UAH temperatures, updated now for November:
(Thanks to reader fulchrum.)  

More Iranian and Sri Lankan boat people sent back than arrive

Andrew Bolt December 05 2013 (9:36am)

Why couldn’t Labor achieve this?
THE flow of boatpeople from Sri Lanka and Iran has reversed for the first time in three years, with more being sent back than arrive.
The net decline in asylum-seekers from two of the biggest source countries in the past three years coincides with the lowest November total for asylum-seeker arrivals since Kevin Rudd repealed the Howard government border-protection laws.
Last month, there were 207 arrivals and 66 people were sent back, including more than 40 Iranians. All Sri Lankans who arrived illegally since mid-September have been sent back or volunteered to return to Sri Lanka.
This month is expected to see more people who have arrived illegally from the two countries sent back than those still arriving on boats…
Tony Abbott and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison have both this week cited a reduction in the number of boat arrivals under the Coalition’s Operation Sovereign Borders since September 18 of between 80 and 90 per cent, compared with the last months of the Labor government. The 86 per cent reduction is based on the 5463 illegal arrivals in the last 72 days of the Labor government and the 751 illegal arrivals in the first 72 days of the Abbott government.
The decline in illegal arrivals from a peak under Labor began after July when the Rudd government reopened the Howard government’s arrangement with PNG on Manus Island for offshore processing and regional resettlement.
One boatload of young men seems to have arrived so far this week.
From the Immigration Minister’s interview on 7.30 last night:
LEIGH SALES:...Why, when we do have significant numbers coming by plane, are they treated differently to people who come via boat?
SCOTT MORRISON: Well several reasons, Leigh. The first thing is people aren’t dying on planes coming to Australia.
Very good performance from Morrison yesterday. Equally good one from Christopher Pyne on 7.30 the night before. Tony Abbott is sounding far more the fighter and is being seen more. And Joe Hockey makes a deal on the debt limit with the Greens that costs the Government nothing but cuts out Labor. All in all, an incomparably better week from the government, which I hope has learned some lessons about past communications failures.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

You didn’t write that

Andrew Bolt December 05 2013 (9:24am)

If you have his books you can keep them:
“I’ve written two books,” Senator Barack Obama told a crowd of teachers in Virginia on the campaign trial in July of 2008. The teachers applauded. “I actually wrote them myself,” he added with a wink and a nod, and now the teachers exploded in laughter. They got the joke: Republicans were too stupid to write their books.
Actually, talking about a politician too stupid to write his own book - a politician now known to be a liar - read on. You see:

The only problem, of course, is that Obama did not write either of those books “by myself.” He was as incapable of writing those books as he was of guaranteeing that his eponymous health care system would allow millions of individual policyholders to keep the health care plans that they liked. Still, he had no obvious qualms about deceiving the public in either case.
The deception:

As Andersen told it, Obama found himself deeply in debt and “hopelessly blocked” even after accepting a second contract [to write the same book]. At “Michelle’s urging,” Obama “sought advice from his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers.”
What attracted the Obamas were “Ayers’s proven abilities as a writer.” Noting that Obama had already taped interviews with many of his relatives, Andersen elaborated, “These oral histories, along with his partial manuscript and a trunkload of notes were given to Ayers.”
I’ve read The Audacity of Hope. It wasn’t just turgid and platitudinous. The personal anecdotes struck me as formulaic and not particularly resonant or revealing. Now I realise that Bill Ayres couldn’t be a mindreader as well as a ghost. 

Bashir quits over Palin abuse - but two weeks too late

Andrew Bolt December 05 2013 (9:03am)

The vileness of the abuse is just astonishing. What kind of hate-culture licensed it?
Had it been directed at a woman of the Left by a loudmouth conservative we’d have never have heard the end of it – and it would not have taken two weeks for the resignation:

Just over two weeks ago, MSNBC host Martin Bashir delivered a harsh piece of commentary that culminated in the suggestion that someone should “s-h-i-t” in former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin‘s (R-AK) mouth. Bashir offered an abject apology on his next broadcast, but a chorus of critics continued to demand action against the host. After a reported “vacation” for the host earlier this week, Bashir announced, in a statement to Mediaite Wednesday afternoon, that MSNBC and Martin Bashir are parting ways.

Save our retailers. Keep taxes here. Impose the GST on on-line shopping

Andrew Bolt December 05 2013 (8:55am)

Terry McCrann says the Federal Government must impose the GST to on-line retailing if local retailers are to stay in business:
The early dismissal of the idea from Treasury and the Tax Office, and so from the federal government, was that the cost of collection would actually exceed the revenue raised.
While that still wouldn’t answer the basic fairness argument: sorry, local producer, wholesaler and retailer, you all have to go out of business, and courier services can thrive, because we’ve got a tax that’s ‘too difficult’ to apply against your foreign competitors…
Except that it’s an argument, that if it ever had validity, no longer does. The spectre of having to employ thousands of customs officers to open every one of the millions of packages that arrive in Australia is a furphy.
Applying the GST on online purchases could be done relatively simply and with the cost born by the foreign seller, in MOST cases.
It’s about these things called computers, bar codes and internet service providers.
Amazon already has to do it for US state governments, adding the state-based US sales tax to sales and remitting the revenue. We ‘just’ require it to do the same with our GST.
It doesn’t want to play ball? Well then, any parcel arriving from Amazon WOULD have to be opened, with the full cost borne by the buyer. Any download emanating from Amazon, would be locked until the GST was paid.
For the Amazons and Ebays that WERE prepared to play ball, their parcels, their downloads, would have a computer-scanned or embedded clearance.

ABC-speak shows just what’s wrong with the ABC

Andrew Bolt December 05 2013 (8:40am)

Culture wars, Media

A REVOLT against the ABC has caught the $1.2 billion-a-year behemoth by surprise. Liberal MPs demand its sale. Conservatives around the country are not just screaming “bias” but some even “traitor”.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott attacks its “judgment” in publishing our spying secrets and even Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the ABC’s favourite Liberal, doubts it is fulfilling “its obligation to give fair treatment to both sides of politics”.
ABC boss Mark Scott, who this year claimed not to detect the Leftist bias of his presenters, is in denial again about this latest criticism, which ranges from the ABC’s capture by the Left to its suffocating size.
It’s really just a Murdoch plot, he suggests: “There is (sic) some people in News Corp who have a deep ideological opposition to public broadcasting and the ABC.”
Yeah, sure, Mark. The delegates at the Victorian Liberal Party state conference who last weekend voted to privatise the ABC? Just Murdoch minions, brandishing flags stitched together from my collected columns.
There’s plenty wrong and potentially dangerous with the ABC, but here’s one small example of ABC-speak that illustrates the big picture.
(Read full article here.)  

How we spent more on schools but got worse results

Andrew Bolt December 05 2013 (8:33am)

FIRST the Rudd Government launched the Digital Education Revolution - $2.4 billion to give secondary students computers.
But computers don’t teach.
Then the Government launched the Building the Education Revolution - $16 billion for school halls and libraries.
But buildings don’t teach.
Result? The OECD’s latest PISA tests of 15-year-olds in 65 industrialised nations show our students slipping badly.
Our students were ranked 13th in reading last year, down from 9th in 2009; 19th in maths, down from 14th; and 17th in science, down from 10th.
Billions spent for no result. But the wrong lessons are being drawn.
The Australian Council for Educational Research warned the PISA result showed the Government had to spend billions more as the Gonski review suggested - on “equity”. On helping poor, migrant and Aboriginal students.
But wait.
(Read full article here.

UNICEF: global warming makes children freeze to death

Andrew Bolt December 05 2013 (8:28am)

Global warming - propaganda

Children die of cold. UNICEF blames the usual bogeyman:

When we think of climate change we often think of rising temperatures, but children are also affected in colder climates, experiencing harsher winters and declining water resources....
In western Mongolia in 2010, heavy snow, strong winds and extreme cold created crisis conditions in over half the country’s provinces…
The crisis, known locally as a “dzud”, killed at least nine children in one province...
(Thanks to reader Dave A,) 

Was this really sport’s “blackest day”? Wild claims, damaging leaks, private deals and a scapegoat

Andrew Bolt December 05 2013 (7:55am)

I agree that Essendon’s program of supplements was recklessly and slackly administered. But I remain astonished that 10 months after the Gillard Government staged a dramatic press conference allegeding widespread doping in sport, along with matching fixing and links to organised crime, that not a single sportsman has been charged.
And I am deeply suspicious of the scapegoating of Essendon, the deal-making that the AFL passed off as justice, the strategic leaking by the AFL to favored journalists, and the role of the Australian Sports Commission in keeping a lid on what it surely must want exposed.
From Chip Le Grand’s excellent report:
It was a Sunday, August 25, the day before Essendon, [coach James] Hird ... [was] due at AFL headquarters to answer charges of bringing the game of football into disrepute…

Hird wanted to present his side of a complex story… What soon became clear in [a meeting in AFL deputy chief executive Gillon] McLachlan’s house was that guilt and punishment had been assigned… Hird would be banned from football for a year, no less. It was non-negotiable…
As late as August 21, when the AFL upped the ante in negotiations with Essendon by releasing a 34-page statement of grounds containing the full allegations against the club and its officials… Essendon chairman Paul Little was livid. He publicly accused the league of being belligerent… He called on AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick to intervene.
Confronted with a collapse of negotiations and a Supreme Court writ lodged that morning by Hird’s lawyers, Fitzpatrick ... and Little established their own negotiations, with Australian Sports Commission chairman John Wylie as intermediary…
The AFL wanted the scandal kept out of open court. Hird’s writ contained allegations that Demetriou had tipped off Essendon about an Australian Crime Commission investigation, potentially in breach of federal law.
Demetriou denies the allegation but any court case promised to be a bruising affair for the AFL and its senior executives. There had to be a deal.
Fitzpatrick ... placed his faith in Wylie, a fellow Rhodes scholar and a close friend…
Within two days, a secret peace offer had taken shape. Under terms proposed by Wylie and Little, Hird would be the face of the scandal but he would be well looked after. The Essendon coach would be fully paid throughout his 12 months on the sidelines, spend part of his year under suspension being educated at one of the world’s finest universities and keep his place in the AFL Hall of Fame…
Both the offer and the email correspondence [from the AFL to Little] make clear that if Hird accepted the penalty, he would not be found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute. In the final settlement on August 27, no Essendon officials were found guilty of any charge, despite Demetriou’s public comments to the contrary…
Throughout negotiations between the club and the AFL, Hird was told that if he didn’t agree to terms, he would not coach in the AFL again, that Essendon would be wiped from the 2014 season and that players would be dragged into a witness box by AFL lawyers. He feared he would never be welcomed back at the club…
The formal charges against Essendon and its officials, publicly announced by Dillon on August 13, were preceded by regular, damaging leaks to the Fairfax press which portrayed Hird as the architect and chief proponent of the club’s supplements program…
The role of Wylie, Australia’s most senior sports official, in brokering a deal between the AFL, Essendon and Hird, will raise eyebrows within the Abbott government, which was nonplussed when the previous Labor administration called sporting, police and anti-doping chiefs to Canberra on February 7 for the release of an Australian Crime Commission report into the links between sport and organised crime.
Nearly 10 months later, the report has not resulted in criminal charges being laid in any jurisdiction.
Sinclair Davidson:

It looks like the previous government and the AFL stuffed up so badly and got themselves in so much trouble that they’ve had to pay top dollar to stay out of court. 

Waiting for the cuts

Andrew Bolt December 05 2013 (7:37am)

The sin with the Abbott Government’s Gonski promise was to have made it in the first place. But that done, it was obliged to honor that promise.
That aside, I tend to share David Uren’s concern:

THE Gonski backflip brings to $16.5 billion the cumulative damage to the budget bottom line from discretionary decisions taken by the government in the three months since its election.
The additional $1.2bn in education spending follows the $8.8bn cash injection to the Reserve Bank, the decision to defer the $5.2bn in public spending cuts and abandoning a series of tax increases at a cost of $1.3bn.
So far, there has been no sign of the political steel that will be required if the budget is to be brought under control. The audit commission has been given sufficiently broad terms of reference to generate recommendations that would restore the health of public finances, and the government has flagged that next May’s budget will be the time for unveiling its response to them.
However, the decisions made to date show the pressures that are pushing public spending relentlessly higher and highlight the government’s susceptibility to political pressure.
But I think Niki Savva is close to the mark. Each decision taken so far can be rationalised. The trouble is that very few so far - other than, say, axing the green spending and schoolkids bonus - have the stamp of a government seriously concerned by debt and the urgent need to make business easier:

JOE Hockey’s decision on GrainCorp could prove in time to be the right one if he uses it as leverage to drive through other tough decisions and reforms.
It is up to the Treasurer to disprove accusations that blocking the GrainCorp takeover by US food behemoth Archer Daniels Midland showed he lacked ticker. He can do it by convincing cabinet and Tony Abbott to refuse to give Holden a single dollar more, to refuse going guarantor for Qantas and by taking the knife to public spending, even if it slices into the Nationals’ interests.
A caveat, though: the Government believes that clobbering the economy now, before Christmas, with deep cuts could clobber the confidence retailers are banking on. The deficit, after all, is easier tackled by getting an economic lift than in simply slashing.
This means the real test comes in the May Budget. So judgements really need to be suspended until then. 

The daily Fairfax hate

Andrew Bolt December 04 2013 (9:06pm)

This extraordinary stream of abuse of Christopher Pyne by a former ABC staffer was deemed fit to print by Fairfax - and featured high on the home page. Had any conservative written the like - with far greater justification - of Julia Gillard we’d have been denounced as shock jocks of print. But this passes for quality:

...the prissiest, most precious and precocious petal ... his antics ...  perpetually juvenile… stunning incompetence ...  slapstick performance ... incompetently ... the most incompetent joker in the pack ... boorishly ... startling idiocy ... ridiculous ... perception that he’s shallow, superficial and trivial has now become political reality.... 

May not be very rock n roll but...I have all of Nigella Lawson's cook books. And just wanted to say today... my respect for her grows and grows. Nigella, you rock!
No possibility of redemption. Even now, he shields others who are guilty. - ed

Greed has destroyed the ALP .. ed


This is important .. and illustrates why it is wrong for Amnesty to over inflate on places like Gitmo - ed
I can talk about anything .. but all you guys talk about is politics. - ed

When? Can we now tell Lashley to forget his work? - ed===

Marinel Pretzles
Heroic act of the day: saved some ducklings from being run over on new south head road, with the foodco training team and some passers by. Work stops to save duckies!
Still too soon to say .. Yum? - ed===
An enterprising 11-year-old girl from Oregon who was selling mistletoe to raise money for braces at a weekly market in downtown Portland was told that she couldn't sell the hand-cut greenery without a permit. She was informed by a security guard that she could, however, beg for money on the city's streets. 

Is the city out of line? Read the full story and give us your reaction.


Burma is rated a top 10 worst country for human rights in the 2014 Human Rights Risk Atlas, a project of global analytics firm Maplecroft. And yet the US Administration continues to ignore the Burmese government and military's human rights violations in its quest to "support the reform process" and "extend the hand of friendship."
Burma listed as one of the most corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International:

"Myanmar internal corruption, known as “tea money” culture, largely stems from the prevalence of bribery and a lack of a legal framework and political will to confront it.
No one apart from high-ranking government officials knows how much public revenue Myanmar collects. Every level of public official, especially those in departments regulating mining, oil, and gas, have been accused of transferring public revenue to their private overseas bank accounts."

There should be a commission first, examining their decision making process. Then, bit by bit, parts should be chopped off. Gotta love a drawn out death scene. Ala Iago in Othello. - ed
Dean Hamstead I like the band aid philosophy... one quick removal.
David Bowles
Tomorrow I continue with the 12 Best in the US sequence of reviews for my column Top Shelf, taking a look at Faulkner's AS I LAY DYING. Next up will be THE SUN ALSO RISES by Hemingway and then ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN. Finally, for the Christmas review, I will discuss what is, to my mind, the greatest American novel of all time: MOBY DICK. 

Be sure to pick up copies of The Monitor each Thursday, or better yet, become a subscriber!

It's snowing today. In Australia. In summer. The time stamp doesn't lie. |
Warren Truss

During the election campaign, the Coalition committed to maintaining school education funding - and we are honouring that promise. 

Just prior to the election Bill Shorten, Labor’s former Education Minister, ripped $1.2 billion away from schools in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

The Coalition Government will restore Labor’s $1.2 billion funding cut, bringing total Commonwealth school education funding over the next four years to $2.8 billion - delivering more school funding over the next four years than promised by Labor.

The contrast between Labor’s record of education cuts, and the new Coalition Government’s funding commitment could not be any clearer. Queensland schools will receive an extra $790 million under the Coalition’s school funding plan. All Queensland schools will be much better off than they would have been under Labor.

The Australian Government will improve education outcomes by providing a stable and sustainable funding model. We will build a better education system that focuses on teacher quality, a sound national curriculum, boosting principal autonomy, and providing more parental engagement.

The Coalition school funding plan provides school communities with certainty for the future and will deliver the resources that students need to improve their education.


"Let my people go." -Moses

Vote 'The Bible' for People's Choice Outstanding TV Miniseries here:
Trippy. This leaves Bill Gates, rockets past Steve Jobs into River Pheonix atmosphere .. ed


Disturbing report: A truck carrying potentially "extremely dangerous" radioactive materials has been stolen in Mexico, according to the UN atomic watchdog. 

Mexican authorities are searching for the vehicle and the U.S. Border Patrol is aware of the situation. Get the latest details:

Michele Bachmann
Earlier today, I filmed a Christmas message for the troops serving overseas. They do so much for this great nation, and it was an honor to be able to thank them.

Daniel Bogo
La bella Gina che ci aspetta..!!!

Emma Watson
"As I'm maturing, I'm going to do different things and take on new parts. I hope people come along with me on the journey."
His parents must be so proud.
President Obama held a youth summit at the White House today. Does he know that a majority of young Americans support his recall? 

LIKE and SHARE to tell Obama.

“Finally, after years, the Eighth Doctor‘s got the regeneration. It what we needed”

Paul McGann talks about his return to his role as the Eighth Doctor for the 50th Anniversary mini-episode, The Night of the Doctor.

Watch the video here:

Harry Potter
“Hmm...difficult, very difficult. Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind, either. There's talent, oh yes, and a thirst to prove yourself. But where to put you?” 

See more of the Hogwarts collection from Black Milk Clothing
  • 오사렘 Are they trying to be sexy or are they house jesters? This ruins hp for me, jumping on the sex sells bandwagon. Can we please have one thing that doesn't have to be accompanied with pouts & tight clothing?

  • David Daniel Ball .. muggles don't get it *smirk*

  • 오사렘 Hermione would so disapprove! 

  • David Daniel Ball Mrs Weasley would not be happy either ..

  • David Daniel Ball Hmm, there seems to be a mistake. (looks at instructions, then looks up) I'm afraid this doesn't fit in the scheme the advertisers want. You are going to have to remove those. Straight away. The boots can stay.
Omar M Nasr

We care for the make up
And detail of a cigar rather than the look only
Cuba 100%


Sarah Palin
It was such an honor to participate this morning in Liberty University’s final Convocation for 2013! A big thank you to the students and faculty and especially to President Falwell for the kind invitation. As I mentioned this morning, places like Liberty University inspire me. This young university is educating a whole new generation of American leaders who understand the positive effect our Christian heritage has had not only in our personal lives, but also in the life of our nation.

It was awesome meeting the students after the Convocation. Congratulations to everyone graduating this month. And best of luck to everyone else on their final exams!

P.S. I enjoyed the tour of your beautiful Snowflex Centre. It’s not quite like the snow in Alaska, but pretty darn close!


“The difference between a welfare state and a totalitarian state is a matter of time.” -- Ayn Rand


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And a change is going to come... #TheTimeoftheDoctor

It wasn't an accidental capture .. but deliberate. - ed

It is appalling what happens when some Jewish women go to celebrate Hanukkah at their temple mount. It is wrong the UN accepts this appalling behaviour. Freedom of worship is a human right. It should not be displaced by a freedom to abuse - ed



Lazy River

(best viewed full screen... yeah, click on it)

Taken along the Colorado River in Southern Utah as a warm sunny summer day drew to a close. Mere minutes later the cliffs in this image would be blazing red with the last light of day.
 — withLaura GransDavid Rhoads and LaRetta Rhoads atRed Cliffs Lodge.
uly remarkable items that are seriously one of a kind for the iPod user, or Apple computer person. The guy amazes me and will amaze you too. Don't believe me? Here, take a look for yourselves…>


Not a Werewolf .. no werewolf could pass up such a snack - ed

4 her
Frank Severino
Atoms are letters, molecules are words, proteins are sentences, bones are structure, organs are chapters, and people are novels. Food is new material, and pooping is editing.
Sigh, I seem to have an eternity of editing .. ed
I disown them. We have very different faiths. I am Christian. They apparently worship the opposition. - ed

Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin
Father God,I thank You for the dreams and desires You’ve placed in my heart. Direct my steps. Fill me with Your peace. Show me the purpose and plan You have for me so that I can make them clear. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Most businesses today have a mission statement that talks about the purpose of the company. In life, every person should also have their own mission statement. What's your purpose? What are you dreaming about? What are your goals? How are you going to use your talents and abilities? Many people have an idea about where they are headed in life, but something supernatural happens when you write down your vision and make a plan. There's a resolve that takes place on the inside of you. No longer is that thing just a dream, but now it's something you can look at every day.The Scripture says,Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it"
(Habakkuk 2:2)

Today,am asking you to write your vision down if you have done so.Let the people around see it. You never know how God is going to use someone in your life to help you get to where you need to be. If they can see your vision, then they can run with it.I want to encourage you, don't just vaguely live day to day. Make the decision to write down the dreams and visions you have in your heart. Submit your plans to the Lord and watch what He will do to bring them to pass.God bless you.
Father in heaven, I humbly come before You giving You my thoughts, my actions and my words. Help me to activate my faith by speaking Your Word daily. May my words and thoughts be pleasing to You always in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Every believer has been given a measure of faith. In order to see the promises of God come to pass in your life, you have to give expression to that faith through the words that you speak. We must declare what God says about us in His Word in order to activate those seeds of faith within. That’s why the scripture tells us, “Let the weak say I am strong. Let the poor say I am rich.” When you give your faith a voice, you send forth the Word of God into the atmosphere. The Bible says that He watches over His Word to bring it to pass in your life.The key is that we can’t allow words of defeat or negativity to come out of our mouth.The scripture says,“And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke,’ we also believe and therefore speak”(2 Corinthians 4:13, NKJ) Don’t dig up your seed by speaking against His Word. Instead, water your seed by continuing to declare the Word of God. When you wake up every morning, thank Him that His promises are coming to pass in your life.God bless you.
Scripture tells us that God is love. He is perfect, and His love is perfect. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more and nothing you can do to make Him love you any less. His love toward you is steadfast; it’s unchanging. His arms are always stretched out toward you, and He is always ready for you to come to Him.

Sometimes people aren’t sure how God feels about them. They think He might be mad at them, but scripture tells us just the opposite. God’s not mad at you; He’s madly in love with you. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or where you’ve come from, God’s arms are open to you. He’s longing to show you His goodness and grace. It’s His kindness that leads us to repent and change our ways. The Scipture says,“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.”(1 John 4:18, NIV) Open your heart to Him today and receive His perfect love. Let it drive fear out of your life and make you new. Let His love wash over you and build confidence in you. God bless you.
Pastor Rick Warren
On Fox and Friends talking about#TheDanielPlan- getting healthy for the glory of God.
There is no doubt that Thompson is a sleaze. Any doubt has now been removed after these allegations have been read in court. 

Prosecutors finally started outlining their fraud case against Mr Thomson yesterday, detailing in court for the first time allegations he used $28,449 of union funds to pay for sexual services, R-Rated movies, cigarettes, and flights across the country.

The Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard Mr Thomson would sometimes use the alias "Jeff Thomson" - not to be confused with the Aussie cricket legend - when hiring escorts.

It was alleged that while Health Services Union boss between 2002 and 2007, Mr Thomson hired escorts ranging in price from $240 an hour to $770 an hour and used union funds to pay them.

Between A Barack & A Hard Place
By Leslie-Ann Stoffel
Between A Barack & A Hard Place Barack Obama is leading the charge to force Israel to relinquish land that would lead them to certain annihilation and he’s invited the EU on the bullying campaign by using economic sanctions.   Israel is in a distinctly difficult position because if it gives up these strategic territories their most vulnerable populated areas become prime targets for terrorist attacks as well as the airport etc. with obvious dire consequences. As we observe events over the centur...
<Send these renegades to Iran and let them rot there. They would find out how much they are loved by the Iranians once the Iranians would have to support them.>
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The Dreidel Song- Hanukkah Rap
Click here to watch: The Dreidel Song: Hanukkah Rap
Bet you never learnt how to play a Hanukah game from a music video!
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WOW! The Time You Have (In JellyBeans)
Powerful! Life is so short! Make the most of it!!!
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What a beautiful song with a beautiful message - return to Israel, the land of your soul!
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New Iran Missiles to hit the USA!
Click here to watch: New Iran Missiles to hit the USA!
It's the Americans who should be the most worried by Iran!
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We are in a Movie Festival!!!

joi 3 vid pic
Our new production, Joy of Israel, is being screened at the Jewish Film Festival in Jerusalem on Dec. 5th, the last night of Chanukah!!!
We at 12Tribe Films are excited to introduce to you the 3rd episode of our newest production - the Joy of Israel with Jamie Geller Episode #3 - Holy Hebron and Sweet Hebron Hills! Never before has the beauty of Israel been showcased for the world to see in reality TV format with the mission of educating, exciting and connecting people to Israel. This new series will reshape the entire image of living in Israel into one that is exciting, inspiring, and beautiful.
Don't miss watching this fascinating new Joy of Israel with Jamie Geller episode. Click here to watch and be inspired!
After the film festival screening, everyone is invited to a special JOY OF KOSHER book launch party with a special food and wine tasting! If you are in Jerusalem, click here to order your tickets today!
joi logogs
Breaking News Videos - box-3
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!


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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.
donate_now_narrow, 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.
HonestReporting's Israel Daily News Stream: Everything You Need to Know About Media Coverage of Israel and the MidEast

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If you want to have more energy, think more clearly, and last longer in ministry to influence more people, think about your body...
December 4, 2013
View this email in your browser
Pastors, Your Physical Health Matters Too
As pastors, we tend to like to focus on “spiritual” things. But God is the Creator of our physical bodies, and it’s in our physical bodies that we live our spiritual lives out before others. Pastors have a tendency to let our physical health go unchecked, and we have plenty of excuses such as our busy schedules, our calendar being heavy with meal-centered meetings, and our need to be behind a desk a lot to feed people spiritually.

The Bible is full of health rules and guidelines. I want to remind leaders of just six principles from God’s word about building a healthy body. When you feel bad physically it affects everything else. Shakespeare said it’s hard to be a philosopher with a toothache. I’d say it’s hard to be spiritually alert when you’re physically dull, when you’re tired, fatigued, out of shape.
And in case you missed Pastor Rick's article last week...
Ministry Leadership Is All About Serving Others
Six Axioms to Change the World
By Geoff Surratt

Two of the constants in my life are an adversity to change and constant change. I like variety, but I also like consistency. I’d prefer my kids never grow up and I never grow old. I once told Sherry that someday I’d like to be buried in our backyard in South Carolina. That was two states and four houses ago. As much as I dislike change I know if I really want to make a difference in the world change is inevitable.

I once had a boss tell me he loves change, but after working for him for about six months I realized he didn’t love change; he loved changing everybody else’s life. He was as adverse to personal change as the rest of us. Improvement always requires change, but real change is difficult and painful. So if we want to change the world, and we do, how will we do it?

More Stories

5 Changes That Increase Productivity
By Artie Davis

C. S. Lewis - A Half-Century Later
By Harry Lee Poe

Seven Ways Senior Pastors Stress Out Staff
By Geoff Surratt

To Eve Or Not to Eve... There Is No Question
By Diana Davis

Why You Need Year End Giving
By Jeff Anderson
On Fox and Friends talking about #TheDanielPlan - getting healthy for the glory of God.

Rick Warren via Twitter
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With Rafael Cruz , Sen. Ted Cruz's dad. Photo taken earlier this year.
Hi everyone! Here's the newsletter for December 4th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Anti-gun NFL: National Frauds’ League

The National Football League’s hypocrisy and selective decency standards reek like a post-game locker room...

Jay Carney: If you purchased an Obamacare plan, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re actually covered

Yet another demonstration of the kind of “private sector velocity and effectiveness” we’ve come to expect...

Obama’s illegal alien deportation evader Uncle Omar gets his amnesty

What have I said ever since my first book Invasion came out in 2002?

More From the Right Side of the Web

Stop Common Core Link of the Day

Michelle's Top Tweets

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And ... Our Hate Tweet of the Day

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For someone who doesn't think anyone should care, Oliver really seems to care.
December 5Hanukkah ends at sunset (Judaism, 2013);The King's birthdayNational Day and Father's Day in Thailand (1927)
Gough Whitlam




Holidays and observances[edit]

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.””John 8:12 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"I have much people in this city."
Acts 18:10
This should be a great encouragement to try to do good, since God has among the vilest of the vile, the most reprobate, the most debauched and drunken, an elect people who must be saved. When you take the Word to them, you do so because God has ordained you to be the messenger of life to their souls, and they must receive it, for so the decree of predestination runs. They are as much redeemed by blood as the saints before the eternal throne. They are Christ's property, and yet perhaps they are lovers of the ale-house, and haters of holiness; but if Jesus Christ purchased them he will have them. God is not unfaithful to forget the price which his Son has paid. He will not suffer his substitution to be in any case an ineffectual, dead thing. Tens of thousands of redeemed ones are not regenerated yet, but regenerated they must be; and this is our comfort when we go forth to them with the quickening Word of God.
Nay, more, these ungodly ones are prayed for by Christ before the throne. "Neither pray I for these alone," saith the great Intercessor, "but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." Poor, ignorant souls, they know nothing about prayer for themselves, but Jesus prays for them. Their names are on his breastplate, and ere long they must bow their stubborn knee, breathing the penitential sigh before the throne of grace. "The time of figs is not yet." The predestinated moment has not struck; but, when it comes, they shall obey, for God will have his own; they must, for the Spirit is not to be withstood when he cometh forth with fulness of power--they must become the willing servants of the living God. "My people shall be willing in the day of my power." "He shall justify many." "He shall see of the travail of his soul." "I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong."


"Even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."
Romans 8:23
This groaning is universal among the saints: to a greater or less extent we all feel it. It is not the groan of murmuring or complaint: it is rather the note of desire than of distress. Having received an earnest, we desire the whole of our portion; we are sighing that our entire manhood, in its trinity of spirit, soul, and body, may be set free from the last vestige of the fall; we long to put off corruption, weakness, and dishonour, and to wrap ourselves in incorruption, in immortality, in glory, in the spiritual body which the Lord Jesus will bestow upon his people. We long for the manifestation of our adoption as the children of God. "We groan," but it is "within ourselves." It is not the hypocrite's groan, by which he would make men believe that he is a saint because he is wretched. Our sighs are sacred things, too hallowed for us to tell abroad. We keep our longings to our Lord alone. Then the apostle says we are "waiting," by which we learn that we are not to be petulant, like Jonah or Elijah, when they said, "Let me die"; nor are we to whimper and sigh for the end of life because we are tired of work, nor wish to escape from our present sufferings till the will of the Lord is done. We are to groan for glorification, but we are to wait patiently for it, knowing that what the Lord appoints is best. Waiting implies being ready. We are to stand at the door expecting the Beloved to open it and take us away to himself. This "groaning" is a test. You may judge of a man by what he groans after. Some men groan after wealth--they worship Mammon; some groan continually under the troubles of life--they are merely impatient; but the man who sighs after God, who is uneasy till he is made like Christ, that is the blessed man. May God help us to groan for the coming of the Lord, and the resurrection which he will bring to us.

Today's reading: Ezekiel 47-48, 1 John 3 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 47-48

The River From the Temple
1 The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side.
3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?”

Today's New Testament reading: 1 John 3

1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him....
A Christmas Devotional


God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus." -Luke 1:26-31
Can any of us fathom the immense amount of faith Mary was called on to have? She was young. She was a virgin. She was probably expecting to lead no more than an ordinary life in a no name Galilean town.
Then the message came from heaven.
To be visited by an angel would be miraculous in itself. But the words! Those powerful, surreal words: "The Lord is with you." Certainly that is true for all of us, generally speaking, but in this case the emphasis was: The Lord is with you, Mary. The creator of the universe has handpicked "you who are highly favored". As with Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Ruth and David, God had chosen Mary to be his instrument, to do his work in the world. A high favor indeed.
"You will be with child," in a way that no woman before or since has been with child. A virgin, and yet, with child. It is a difficult concept for us to grasp. Within Mary, God did something utterly unique-not too hard for him to do, but often very complicated to understand. Is it too hard for the Creator of the universe to cause a woman to have, by an act of creation, a complete zygote that would become an embryo, which would become a fetus, which would become a newborn baby? No. The virginal conception is only impossible to believe if you think that the Creator can never do anything just once. But who can make up such a rule for God?
Mary is a pivotal figure worth consideration this Christmas season. She stands at the crossroads between the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New. The channel for the old prophecies to be fulfilled, and the new salvation given-the womb that carried the Heaven's prince, the woman who had faith enough to bring to term our liberator from death.
She was asked to believe something that many of us struggle to even imagine. From that frightful day when she was face to face with a strange messenger, to the cold night in the stable, to the mournful day her son was mounted on a cross-Mary's entire life witnessed and nurtured Jesus' message. Stop and ask yourself: If Mary were here today, how would she celebrate Christmas?
When you find yourself lost or in despair, know that you have the same capacity for the extraordinary faith that Mary did. She was human, as you and I are. Ask yourself, how might I fortify my faith every day? Who else inspires me with their extraordinary faith?
Will I be prepared when a time comes for me to have great faith?
Prayer for today: Lord, help me to trust you in the choices you make. Help me to have even a measure of the faith that Mary had. Lord, do whatever you choose to do in my life. Let me grow stronger ever day in the assurance of your message and your grace.


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.
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