Friday, February 21, 2014

Fri Feb 21st Todays News

One does not need religion to be graceful. Nor to be thankful. It isn't the religion that makes the heart. It takes tremendous grace, effort even, to be thankful when things go wrong. I think of this on the birthday of Douglas Bader (1910). 'Reach for the sky' is not some gangster call to those they point guns at. It was Douglas' title for his autobiography. He was a happy go lucky soul, and a touch irresponsible in his youth. He was born in the early days of powered flight. He wanted to reach for the sky, and he became an accomplished pilot who could do impressive tricks. His life changed in his early twenties (December, 1931) when he did one of those tricks. On take off, he attempted a difficult manoeuvre, but was too close to the ground, and crashed. In those days, the emergency response people took out a cup of strong spirits for survivors so they would not go into shock. The emergency response guy who found Douglas in the broken cockpit, with legs skew in a way that unbroken ones don't go, gulped down the spirits, thinking Douglas had not survived, and wanting to erase the memory of what he saw. 

Douglas survived, but the university cricketer lost both his legs, and fell into a depression in recovery. A good woman who was a nurse chatted with him, and tried to lift his spirits, but Douglas only remembered what he had been, and never would be again. He joked about dating her when he would take her to dances. But without legs, he wouldn't dance. But Douglas' heart was not that of a quitter. Many had lost limbs in WW1, and prosthetics were common. He got some tin prosthetic legs, and learned how to walk. And dance. He married that young woman nurse. He learned to walk so well, he didn't need a cane. 

WW2 began, and the Battle of Britain. Douglas wanted to fly. But the war ministry would not let him because he didn't have legs which were needed to pilot the craft. Douglas modified a spitfire and the casualty rate was so high, the need so great, he got licensed. And he was good. He became an ace. He became recognised as possibly Britain's best pilot, and it was said it was because he had no legs, because in tight rolls, blood goes to the legs from the brain, and because that couldn't happen for Douglas, he could do tight rolls. In a mission over France in '41, and captured by the Nazis. His prosthetics were damaged, and British high command flew out a good pair for him. In custody, Douglas would not give up. He escaped, a number of times. So the Nazis placed him in Colditz. He escaped again, and they confiscated his legs. 

At war's end, Douglas missed the adventure. He took up mountain climbing. And then became a member of parliament. In his heart was an indomitable spirit. The kind of spirit Australia will need to climb out of the debt hole the ALP have dug.
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns Dean HamsteadKaffee Yaboualy and Peter Mac Lovin. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
Matches
Despatches
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Weren’t these islands supposed to be drowning instead?

Andrew Bolt February 21 2014 (5:26pm)

Global warming - dud predictions

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Yet more of those islands - like Kiribati and Tuvalu - that are growing, not drowning as the warmists predicted:

A string of Pacific islands have apparently “grown back” after they were devastated by a typhoon a century ago.
A powerful typhoon in 1905 killed all but two inhabitants of the Nadikdik Atoll [above] - part of the Marshall Islands - and washed away most of the islands’ landmass. But the islands seem to have re-established themselves - one has become a fully vegetated, stable island again - while several smaller islands have reappeared and formed into a single, larger landmass, the New Zealand Herald reports.
“The storm obviously generated huge amounts of sediment and threw up large amounts of coral on to the islands, which has helped them to re-organise themselves,” says Dr Murray Ford of the University of Auckland.
Aerial photographs taken across seven decades since 1945 show that vegetated areas on the previously barren islands has grown by nearly a quarter, a report on the NZCity website says.
UPDATE
Rupert Murdoch once said we said we should “give the planet the benefit of the doubt”. Since then, though, the failure of the planet to warm as predicted suggests it’s the warmists we should doubt instead:

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Some inconvenient truths for Secretary of Scares John Kerry

Andrew Bolt February 21 2014 (5:14pm)


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Dr. Richard McNider and Dr. John Christy - both professors of atmospheric science - take the big fact-stick to warming catastrophist John Kerry:

In a Feb. 16 speech in Indonesia, Secretary of State John Kerry assailed climate-change skeptics as members of the “Flat Earth Society” for doubting the reality of catastrophic climate change. He said, 
“We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists” and “extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts.”
But who are the Flat Earthers, and who is ignoring the scientific facts?
Read on.
Kerry goes the full alarmist:

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Uh, oh. I might regret this

Andrew Bolt February 21 2014 (3:41pm)

Reader Ian of Cairns:
Andrew, you have been quiet with respect to your interview on One Plus One. A section of it was played on this morning’s ABC News Breakfast. Looking forward to seeing it in full.
Sorry, Ian. I didn’t know it was on tonight until you prompted me to check:
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And maybe I’d deliberately wiped it from my mind. I fear I revealed too much - and was too inarticulate at the same time. Now I also worry that I clumsily, but this time inadvertently, might offend some people.
But I found Jane to be a very nice woman indeed. That could have been the problem.
UPDATE
The ABC tells me there has been “quite a strong reaction” to the show - for and against - even though only a small grab has so far been shown as a teaser. I suspect there are many people who object to the ABC giving Satan a pulpit.
I’m told the show will screen at the following times:
ABC News 24
Friday 2030 AEDT
Saturday 0630 & 1730 AEDT
Sunday 2130 AEDT
 
ABC 1
Wednesday 1100 LOCAL
UPDATE
This is the bit that has some on the Left gloating:

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Boats still stopped

Andrew Bolt February 21 2014 (2:40pm)

Scott Morrison says there have been no boats for 64 days, the longest stretch since August in 2008, just a few months after the Rudd Government weakened our border laws. 
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This pack-hate of Abbott should stop before worse happens

Andrew Bolt February 21 2014 (11:56am)


This is the kind of crap politicians on both sides have to deal with (but Liberals more than most) and which threatens our happy tradition of having politicians mix with the public without heavy security. Note that the bigot screaming abuse slips straight into the anti-Semitism now distressingly fashionable in Leftist circles in particular.
The Left is now the natural home of the barbarian. Snapped in Melbourne’s Bourke St Mall:
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Before that was the same-sex marriage rally featuring a banner of Abbott being hanged:
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The abuse is astonishing, and some of it seems licensed by the Leftist media:
Abbott hadn’t even been sworn in before a new Facebook site - “Tony Abbott - Worst PM in Australian History” - savaged him as “a misogynist, sexist, homophobic pr---, a bully, a racist, a liar ...”. It has 170,000 “likes”.
Other Facebook sites were worse. “Tony Abbott should be assassinated” was created from an office at the Geelong Trades Hall.
ADS hit the mainstream media, too. The Age even promoted “ethically produced” T shirts from columnist Clementine Ford with the slogan “F--- Abbott”.
The ABC’s Q & A website left up a tweet about performing a sexual act on Abbott and The Drum vilified him as a religious bigot who denied evolution and wanted to “score points against the ‘feminazis’ and ‘poofs’ “.
Meanwhile, Catherine Deveny, a Guardian writer, boasted on Twitter how her teenage son hated Abbott, and published a photograph of his profanity-strewed poster.
Had these things been done to Julia Gillard, would we have heard the end of it?
(Thanks to readers Allan and Nick.)
UPDATE
Here is the troll who chased after Abbott, shouting abuse and “Jewish banker” theories:

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UPDATE
He’s a Christian in name only who boasts that he’s already been arrested for doing the same to John Howard. And he has very disturbing views on Jews. Antony Loewenstein deserves such people in his audience. But there is something here our authorities need to check up on.
Reader John:
He describes himself as a lefty extreme daredevil anti-bankster/war/Zio activist
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King should choose: bikie enforcer or Richmond

Andrew Bolt February 21 2014 (11:44am)

It’s not often I agree with Andrew Demetriou and David Koch, and it’s even more unusual given I am a Richmond supporter who long admired Jake King’s spirit. But:
AFL boss Andrew Demetriou says Jake King’s continued association with bikie figure Toby Mitchell “defies belief” and the Tigers forward should reconsider the friendship for his and his club’s sake…
And his stance was backed by Port Adelaide president David Koch, who today said he would sack King if he was a Power player.
King is being a fool and destroying Richmond’s credentials as a family club.  
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Hockey: “Australia is going to run out of money”

Andrew Bolt February 21 2014 (11:38am)

Treasurer Joe Hockey is doing a terrific job of selling the need for deep spending cuts:
Mr Hockey said he was ‘’ringing an early warning bell’’ about the sustainability of federal funding for vital programs, saying hard work will be needed in the future just to maintain the quality of life expected by most Australians.

‘’The starting point is if our health and welfare and education systems stay exactly the same, Australia is going to run out of money to pay for them,’’ Mr Hockey told the Seven Network on Friday.

‘’If nothing happens, we will never get back into surplus, we’ll never pay off debt.
‘’We’ll either have to have a massive increase in taxes, and that means fewer jobs at the end of the day, or we’re going to have to look at ways we can restructure the system to make it sustainable.’’
Good stuff. But let’s see what actually happens - and what the Senate will permit.
UPDATE
I’m a bit surprised by this headline in The Australian:

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Workplace change coming … slowly

Andrew Bolt February 21 2014 (8:54am)

The pace of these changes is dangerously slow, but the direction is good:
THE Productivity Commission will be given wide-ranging powers to recommend sweeping workplace changes, including giving employers greater rights to try to remove conditions from enterprise agreements, under the terms of reference that cabinet is finalising for its inquiry. 

Employment Minister Eric Abetz will announce the terms of reference next week when he introduces a bill into parliament to allow workers to trade off more easily key entitlements, including penalty rates, for more flexible working hours.

The bill will also impose fresh restrictions on unions entering workplaces and limit their ability to get pay deals on new resource projects…
Business groups have been urging the government to order specific inquiries into the range of issues over which unions can strike, variation of enterprise agreements and the ability to end enterprise agreements after their expiry date…
The Coalition promised to order a Productivity Commission review into the Fair Work Act and the industrial relations system before last year’s election with the aim of ...  seeking a “mandate” for any changes at the 2016 election.
The conversation does seem to be moving towards a consensus that we need to work out way out of this trough. 
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Prize exaggeration at Curtin University’s shrine

Andrew Bolt February 21 2014 (8:37am)

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Jo Nova is astonished by the homage Curtin University has mounted on a wall in honour of its latest big signing, man-with-halo Professor Richard Warrick:
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One of Jo’s readers, on Curtin’s staff, reports:
Warrick’s bio pages say that he is a “co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize” and that “he shared a Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and other selected IPCC authors in 2007.” And the Nobel Prize appears in that mural, too, and this official Curtin page too. If he stretches the facts so much in his own bio, shall I trust the results of his research?
Good question. As Jo notes:
Everyone knows these Nobel claims are just an empty fawning political embellishment. Firstly, good scientific work gets a science prize, not a peace prize. Secondly, a peace prize is worthless even as a peace prize since Obama got one for 11 days of just being in office.
Not only is the peace prize meaningless, but Prof Warrick didn’t get one, even the low-standard Nobel committee themselves say so…
The official word as quoted by Donna LaFramboise

“the IPCC issued a statement contradicting Pachauri’s 2007 proclamation. It says the prize was awarded to the IPCC as a whole “and not to any individual associated with the IPCC. Thus it is incorrect to refer to any IPCC official, or scientist who worked on IPCC reports, as a Nobel laureate or Nobel Prize winner."” ...
Much more at Jo’s blog.
(Thanks to reader Steve.) 
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Once was normal, now “alternative”

Andrew Bolt February 21 2014 (8:27am)

America’s NBC finds a wild out-there athlete getting a gold medal at Sochi:
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The athlete:
...David Wise, the freestyle skiing halfpipe gold medalist Tuesday night ...
And what makes his lifestyle so “alternative” to the usual you find with such people?
He is mature ... he has a wife ... they have a two-year-old daughter ...  attends church regularly ... focused on being the best father and husband he can be ... hurrying home for quality time with the family ... stable life ...
Crazy guy.
(Thanks to reader Abe.) 
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Roy Spencer: while they call people like me “deniers”, I will call them “global warming Nazis”

Andrew Bolt February 21 2014 (8:21am)

Climate scientist Dr Roy Spencer has had enough:
When politicians and scientists started calling people like me “deniers”, they crossed the line....
They indirectly equate (1) the skeptics’ view that global warming is not necessarily all manmade nor a serious problem, with (2) the denial that the Nazi’s extermination of millions of Jews ever happened.
Too many of us for too long have ignored the repulsive, extremist nature of the comparison. It’s time to push back.
I’m now going to start calling these people “global warming Nazis”.
The pseudo-scientific ramblings by their leaders have falsely warned of mass starvation, ecological collapse, agricultural collapse, overpopulation…all so that the masses would support their radical policies. Policies that would not voluntarily be supported by a majority of freedom-loving people…
Like the Nazis, they advocate the supreme authority of the state (fascism)… Like the Nazis, they are anti-capitalist. They are willing to sacrifice millions of lives of poor people at the altar of radical environmentalism, advocating expensive energy policies that increase poverty…
So, as long as they continue to call people like me “deniers”, I will call them “global warming Nazis”.
(Thanks to reader pro.) 
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Don’t sign me up to a “race”

Andrew Bolt February 21 2014 (8:08am)

Clarissa Tan expresses exactly the concerns I have with our own new racism - and the proposed constitutional recognition of “indigenous Australians”:
I am a banana. In Singapore, where I used to live, this needs no explanation — it means I’m yellow on the outside but white on the inside, someone who looks ethnically Chinese but whose way of thinking is ‘western’…
In Asia, there are lots of labels like these, based along racial lines. Most trenchant of all, an entire kaleidoscope of words exist to refer to foreigners, more often than not whites: farang in Thailand, gaijin in Japan, mat salleh in Malaysia, gweilo in Hong Kong. In the latter, ‘gwei’ means ‘ghost’ — taken literally, it means a white person is not fully human...And where’s the outrage?…
In Britain though, where I now live, ...I can’t help noticing that certain sections of the population are now so acutely tuned into the issue of race that they spot racism where none is intended…

Britain is not a racist country. I have not, as a member of a minority ethnic group here, encountered racist comments or treatment from anyone…
The danger with crying racism at every turn is that it conceals real problems. Immigration cannot be discussed properly here, because anyone who wants to raise the subject is labelled bigoted or racist — even if they’re talking about white Poles…
And while Britain is looking out for the old bigotry, new ones creep in...: too much race awareness tends to cause division, rather than inclusion.
Just a few weeks ago I discovered that I fall under a group known as BAME — Black and Minority Ethnic. Such categorisation, used mainly by the political left, is meant to protect my rights against discrimination… Ironically, this well-meant labelling might be the most racist thing that I have ever encountered in the UK.
The truth is, I didn’t come all the way to Britain to hide myself under an umbrella acronym. I refuse to be the ‘ME’ in BAME. I don’t want to feel safe and secure by cordoning myself off from the larger community. I can’t bear to feel perpetually aggrieved, offended, slighted, victimised. Most of all, I don’t want to be viewed purely according to my race — I’ve had enough of that back where I come from, thank you very much.
(Thanks to reader Wade.) 
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Detainees met a PNG police force that hits back

Andrew Bolt February 21 2014 (7:59am)

Reader Herb gives background to the violent police response to the Manus detention centre riot:
As a PNG resident of long standing, I was based in Port Moresby… I moved extensively around PNG , New Britain, Bouganville, and Manus Island.etc

Driving back from the town to the airport I often came across and watched ‘the Police Boi Riot Squad ‘ at work in Koki market… The Police Bois were Manus Islanders and highlanders (Police Bois never policed their own provinces)

The squad would be arranged in a rectangle with about 3 lines of 8 walking slowly in front of the backward moving calaboose wagon. The rear squad line were ‘handlers’ with no special equipment just helmets and big boots.

The next line all had batons and helmets as the front line clobbered the ‘orley’ and walked over them, generously kicking them the baton handlers would continue to baton and kick them and the handlers would rocket them into the calkaboose wagon.
However, the most formidable part of the squad was the front line ‘shock’ troops.

When the officer blew his whistle once, they interlocked their bamboo shields and walked very orderly toward the rioting orley. When they were about 10 metre away the officer gave short bursts on his whistle and the interlocked shields charged the orley

Great confusion and shouting etc as those pinned by the shield wall tried to go back, leaving heads and shoulders over the shield line. The Police Bois laid into anything over their shields with enormous ferocity, arcing their batons from near the ground…
However the most alarming thing was the noise. Standing about 200m from the squad , and over all the shouting was a cacophony of very loud ‘boinks’! ‘boink , boink boink , boink, really unbelievable.!

The ‘boinks ‘ were the police bois giving a massive clobber on the skulls like slamming two wooden blocks together…
If the refugees fronted a Poice Boi riot squad anywhere near as disciplined in earlier times , they would for sure clobber those thin middle eastern skulls....
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If the guard was ours, so is the responsibility. But…

Andrew Bolt February 21 2014 (7:27am)

Boat people policy, Media

If true, our responsibility and action is needed against those responsible:

AS BLAME is exchanged on the Manus Island detention centre bloodbath, it has been claimed that the Iranian asylum seeker killed on Monday night may have been murdered by out-of-control guards who stomped his skull as he lay defenceless on the ground

According to an account from an Australian guard working for security contractor GS4, obtained by New Corp, local guards working for GS4 were in a frenzy and jumped on the man’s head in a rage on Monday night, inside the detention compound…
Another man survived after his throat was apparently slit with a machete on Sunday evening, after he and six others apparently broke free from the compound.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has said he has no information about a throat being cut, but I’d like to know a lot more before I dismiss it. The dead man was earlier said to have been hit by a rock, an account I accepted but now doubt.
On the other hand:
Manus Island Member of Parliament Ron Knight said he believed that gun butts and batons had been used against rioting asylum-seekers by the notorious ‘’mobile squad’’, a paramilitary branch of the police who are the main law enforcers outside the camp.
Mr Knight said the blame for the violence lay primarily with the asylum seekers but said that their claims should be processed more quickly and the security infrastructure should be improved.
UPDATE
ABC host Waleed Aly:
It is the very logic of our asylum seeker policy - which is built on the sole rationality of deterrence - to create horror.
What hyperbole. No, the very logic of our asylum seeker policy is in fact just a shut gate.  The detention centres when operating normally are not scenes of “horror” - not like scenes of drowning children under Labor’s policies. The are just places where boat people realise they can’t get to Australia.
It is, in fact, perfectly possible to run a detention centre humanely.
Aly continues:
Put any group of people through this wringer, and they will eventually respond with riotous protest. Such behaviour, then, is not a function of the defective personalities of individuals, but the inevitable human reaction to inhuman treatment: that the violence we’ve witnessed over and over is simply a product of the system.
I suspect such violence is also a product of the culture of the asylum seekers, and many Australians would doubt the wisdom of importing it.
UPDATE
The Australian is wise to warn that the “horror” is being exaggerated by people with a political agenda:
VIEWERS of the ABC’s 7.30 on Wednesday witnessed an alarming story about the Manus Island detention centre riots. Reporter Conor Duffy promised viewers a “fresh” account of what went on “inside” the centre. He interviewed an Iranian-Australian interpreter, Azita Bokan, who worked for the Immigration Department and, according to Duffy, “was at the centre”. Ms Bokan said PNG locals employed by security guards attacked asylum-seekers with machetes, knives and rocks, leaving one detainee dead and scores of others injured… Yesterday, The Sydney Morning Herald published its own interview with Ms Bokan on the front page of the newspaper. It could have been a great story. The problem was that the reporting, based on Ms Bokan’s allegations, was seriously flawed.
Ms Bokan did not witness the riots. She was not even inside the facility. Her claims, breezily reported with authority by both the ABC and Fairfax, were not verified by the department or the minister, Scott Morrison. It was not until the sixth paragraph of the Fairfax article by Michael Gordon and Sarah Whyte that it was noted Ms Bokan “did not witness the violence”. This fact was not allowed to get in the way of the sensationalised allegations designed to support the barely disguised ABC/Fairfax agenda: relentless opposition to the government’s policies.... Ms Bokan was on Manus Island for only a week. Her claim that locals were involved in the riots was rejected by PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
The real reason for running these unverified allegations is that the ABC and Fairfax detest the government’s hardline, but necessary, asylum-seeker policies. The Herald’s chief political correspondent, Mark Kenny, made the extraordinary claim that the policy of offshore processing at Manus Island without resettlement in Australia “has begun killing people”. Kenny described the policy as morally bankrupt and structurally flawed. On the ABC’s The Drum website, Fairfax journalist Jacqueline Maley argued there was “a strong moral difference” between the death of one person on Manus Island and the 1200 who drowned while trying to seek asylum in Australia. In other words, one death on the Coalition’s watch is worse, morally, than 1200 deaths on Labor’s watch. These arguments could not be more twisted in their logic or ignorant of the facts.
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Channel Seven confirms it indeed plans to reward Corby family for Schapelle’s crime

Andrew Bolt February 21 2014 (7:00am)

And Channel Seven had the gall to get huffy about a raid by police seeking to uphold the law against criminals profiting from their crime:
Channel 7 said this afternoon the money offered to the Corby family for an interview was in the “ballpark” of $500,000.
In an interview with Fairfax Radio, Seven’s commercial director Bruce McWilliam said: “I’m not going to tell you the actual figure, but you’re not saying a crazy thing.
“It’s in that ballpark.”
That is an open flouting of the spirit of the law. I hope there is another raid soon. 
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Good mates

Andrew Bolt February 21 2014 (6:44am)

I knew Cate as a fellow panelist on Insiders, when she was Malcolm, and liked and respected her very much. So it’s no surprise at all to me that Tony Abbott does, too:
Prime Minister Tony Abbott may have recently had some stern words for the ABC, but he will be in a friendlier mood next Monday, when he introduces the Australian Story for his friend Cate McGregor.
The ABC program will next week feature Lieutenant Colonel McGregor, an army officer and cricket expert who is also one of Australia’s most high profile transgender people.
It is well known that Mr Abbott is a long-standing friend of Lieutenant Colonel McGregor, after the two met in their student days.

In December, the Prime Minister announced that he had asked his friend - who has been a cricket commentator and writer - to help him select the Prime Minister’s XI…
Last year, the army officer ... told the ABC that she withdrew for several months during 2012 when she transitioned from her old identity as Malcolm McGregor.
When she finally got back in contact with Mr Abbott and told him what was going on, he said: ‘’It changes nothing.’’
Abbott’s review of McGregor’s last book - on cricket - is beautiful. To order the book, go here
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Please sign my petition http://chn.ge/1fB1kOD
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Jason FoNg This fool is the modern day Hanoi Jane (Fonda). And the analogy is deliberately ironic.
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Hope for me - ed
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Holly Sarah Nguyen
RED ROSE: This is a reminder that you are a powerful, wise being and your power is LOVE, dear one. So please give us any fears you have about stepping into this power and shining bright! And remember, too, no one else is the source of your happiness, so choose to be happy right now and focus on YOU. You have the ability to imagine, and therefore create, anything you desire. Shine on, beautiful soul! 
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The joke is .. people, to this day, are fed .. ed
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Can't hide the truth .. but I applaud the decision. The devil is real, but not worthy of study. All you need to know you can learn by walking with God. The devil can teach you to be paralysed by fear or moved by rage. Never useful. - ed===


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MADU Odiokwu Pastorvin
PRAY.
Father,I thank You for Your faithfulness to me. I know that You will bring to pass every promise You’ve made.Thank You for restoring my soul and leading me beside still waters. Today, I recommit my life afresh and anew. Help me to follow Your commands and leading in every area of my life. I repent for trying things in my own strength and choose to trust wholly in You in Jesus’ name. Amen.
=
WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR WILL COME AT THE APPOINTED TIME!
The Scripture says,“Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”
(Genesis 18:14, NKJV)
In the scripture, God gave Sarah a promise that she would have a baby, but she was well beyond the childbearing age. She thought the promise would come through somebody else. That made more sense. She was too old. So she got her husband a maid, together with a young maid, they had a baby. Sarah said, “Thank You, Lord. The promise has come to pass.”

But God said, “No, Sarah. I didn’t put the promise in another woman. I put the promise in you. You have hidden treasure that is still buried in your womb.” But as long as Sarah thought, “I’m too old. I’m at a disadvantage. I don’t look like these younger women,” she was talking herself out of what God wanted to do.

How many times do we do the same thing? I will never be pregnant.May be you have had many abortions,I will never write that book.I could never build that house.I don't have the talent. No, God is saying to you what He said to Sarah. “I didn’t put the promise in somebody else. I put the promise in you.” Look past your circumstances today and look to God. The one who promised is faithful, and He will bring it to pass.God bless you.
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Kurt Eisner
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Events[edit]

Births[edit]

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Holidays and observances[edit]

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“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” - Proverbs 17:9
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

February 20: Morning
"God, that comforteth those that are cast down." - 2 Corinthians 7:6
And who comforteth like him? Go to some poor, melancholy, distressed child of God; tell him sweet promises, and whisper in his ear choice words of comfort; he is like the deaf adder, he listens not to the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely. He is drinking gall and wormwood, and comfort him as you may, it will be only a note or two of mournful resignation that you will get from him; you will bring forth no psalms of praise, no hallelujahs, no joyful sonnets. But let God come to his child, let him lift up his countenance, and the mourner's eyes glisten with hope. Do you not hear him sing--

"'Tis paradise, if thou art here;
If thou depart, 'tis hell?"

You could not have cheered him: but the Lord has done it; "He is the God of all comfort." There is no balm in Gilead, but there is balm in God. There is no physician among the creatures, but the Creator is Jehovah-rophi. It is marvellous how one sweet word of God will make whole songs for Christians. One word of God is like a piece of gold, and the Christian is the gold beater, and can hammer that promise out for whole weeks. So, then, poor Christian, thou needest not sit down in despair. Go to the Comforter, and ask him to give thee consolation. Thou art a poor dry well. You have heard it said, that when a pump is dry, you must pour water down it first of all, and then you will get water, and so, Christian, when thou art dry, go to God, ask him to shed abroad his joy in thy heart, and then thy joy shall be full. Do not go to earthly acquaintances, for you will find them Job's comforters after all; but go first and foremost to thy "God, that comforteth those that are cast down," and you will soon say, "In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul."
Evening
"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." - Matthew 4:1
A holy character does not avert temptation--Jesus was tempted. When Satan tempts us, his sparks fall upon tinder; but in Christ's case, it was like striking sparks on water; yet the enemy continued his evil work. Now, if the devil goes on striking when there is no result, how much more will he do it when he knows what inflammable stuff our hearts are made of. Though you become greatly sanctified by the Holy Ghost, expect that the great dog of hell will bark at you still. In the haunts of men we expect to be tempted, but even seclusion will not guard us from the same trial. Jesus Christ was led away from human society into the wilderness, and was tempted of the devil. Solitude has its charms and its benefits, and may be useful in checking the lust of the eye and the pride of life; but the devil will follow us into the most lovely retreats. Do not suppose that it is only the worldly-minded who have dreadful thoughts and blasphemous temptations, for even spiritual-minded persons endure the same; and in the holiest position we may suffer the darkest temptation. The utmost consecration of spirit will not insure you against Satanic temptation. Christ was consecrated through and through. It was his meat and drink to do the will of him that sent him: and yet he was tempted! Your hearts may glow with a seraphic flame of love to Jesus, and yet the devil will try to bring you down to Laodicean lukewarmness. If you will tell me when God permits a Christian to lay aside his armour, I will tell you when Satan has left off temptation. Like the old knights in war time, we must sleep with helmet and breastplate buckled on, for the arch-deceiver will seize our first unguarded hour to make us his prey. The Lord keep us watchful in all seasons, and give us a final escape from the jaw of the lion and the paw of the bear.
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Today's reading: Leviticus 26-27, Mark 2 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Leviticus 26-27

Reward for Obedience
1 "'Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God.
2 "'Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD....

Today's New Testament reading: Mark 2

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man
1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, "Son, your sins are forgiven...."

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