Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sun Mar 16th Todays News

Exploitation of the defenceless is wrong. It is better to share and build. It seems obvious that slavery is wrong, yet slavery exists today, both sexual and manual labor. It took until this day in 1995 for the great state of Mississippi to ratify the 1865 thirteenth amendment abolishing slavery. Sometimes good people are slow. But today is also the anniversary of the death of an idiot. Not very bright, young and idealistic, Rachel Corrie believed lies told to her in defence of terrorists. She had joined the international solidarity movement  and was 'defending' a home in Rafah from being bulldozed. All care was taken by the operator of the bulldozer. IDF had targeted the building for demolition as it was being used to shoot at IDF troops by snipers. Corrie had been given basic training so that she knew it was important to be visible. Had the bulldozer operator known she was in front of it, they would not have progressed until the idiot was cleared away. But the idiot was too smart for that. So, on this day, in 2003, the world became collectively smarter. 

In 1912, Lawrence Oates, an ill member of Robert Falcon Scott's South Pole expedition, left his tent to die, saying: "I am just going outside and may be some time." 1935, Adolf Hitler orders Germany to rearm herself in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Conscription is reintroduced to form the Wehrmacht. Worth thinking about what Adolf did and what Iran is doing with a large nuclear power station or two, capable of creating plutonium. 

For twenty two years I have been responsibly addressing an issue, and I cannot carry on. I am petitioning the NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell to remedy my distress. I leave it up to him if he chooses to address the issue. Regardless of your opinion of conservative government, the issue is pressing. Please sign my petition at

Happy birthday and many happy returns Laurent Boiteux and Ilaisa Moala Ramode . Born on the same day, across the years. You will succeed.
Laurent is author, actor of Hidden Peaks, a zombie gig .. 


Quotas for anybody sour politics

Piers Akerman – Sunday, March 16, 2014 (6:56am)

FORMER Liberal minister Sharman Stone became an ­instant star on ABC radio and in the Fairfax press earlier this year when she demanded a taxpayer-funded bailout for Victorian fruit preserver SPC-Ardmona.
She only heightened her ­appeal to the Left when she weighed in with a call for the Liberal Party to adopt quotas for women to improve female representation in parliament.
Stone, who represents the seat of Murray in which ­Ardmona is located, can be cut some slack for barracking for what she probably hoped would be a solution for the threat posed by SPC’s problems to her constituents who worked at the cannery.
She was by no means the only politician or commentator to demand that taxpayers stump up more funds for what was to all appearances a poorly run private business, just like Holden, Toyota and Qantas.
But as a Liberal she looks even sillier than Opposition leader Bill Shorten, his deputy Tanya Plibersek and shadow industry spokesman Kim Carr, who one might ­expect to support the subsidising of failure.
When Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the federal government would not give SPC the $25 million it needed, the Victorian Liberal government stumped up $22 million as a “co-payment”, which guaranteed an extra five years’ operation, and supermarket giant Woolworths came to the party with a $70 million deal based on the demand for SPC products — that is, a realistic market-based solution to what was basically a marketing problem.
No need for politicians at all, had Australian business not been so conditioned by years of handouts from compliant Labor (and to a lesser degree, conservative) governments.
In making her case for a handout, Stone accused her own government of lying about excessive union award conditions at the packing plant.
She was wrong on that count, too, as the example of the allowances paid to forklift drivers for moving pallets of new cans and shipments destined for foreign sales proved.
However, she was placed on a pedestal by some, including Shane Green, associate editor of socialist daily The Age, who believed that Stone’s distortion was a defining remark, writing: “Stone may be just one MP. But I’d argue that her defiant stand should be a pivotal moment for the conduct of politics in Australia.”
It possibly was pivotal — for Stone. In aligning herself with Shorten, Plibersek and Carr there was only really one way she could go.
Shorten believed that the responsible position taken by the Abbott government would “see hundreds of people put on the unemployment queue and will have a disastrous effect for thousands of others involved in growing fruit and beans”.
Plibersek and Carr went further, predicting the loss of 1500 direct jobs and 2700 ­indirect jobs; an increase in the unemployment rate for the Greater Shepparton area from 8.6 per cent to 12.1 per cent; lost tax revenue of up to $18 million a year; a reduction in regional economic output of $165 million a year; ­reduced council rates and ­increased social ­security payments.
It’s amazing, then, that the fruit preserver has been saved by private enterprise and not a government handout, and a ­reminder to all taxpayers of the way Labor would have continued to throw away their money, and borrowed money, had they still been in office.
Perhaps dazzled by her ­moment as darling of the left-wing media, Stone’s greater folly was to endorse quotas to get women into parliament.
There are obvious arguments against quotas, not the least being their undemocratic and discriminatory nature.
But the biggest most obvious argument against quotas has been the female failures promoted into parliament by Labor via sponsorship through the egregious Emily’s List, promoted by that low water mark in economic and political leadership Joan Kirner, the former Victorian premier.
While I offer her my deepest sympathy as she battles ill health today, I find it difficult to find a redeeming feature in her premiership. Nor, it seems, could her electorate, who voted her out of office.
By making gender an issue, Labor politicians, particularly Labor women, must be prepared for scrutiny of their gender-linked performance.
This is not to say there is no shortage of silly male Labor MPs, either, but they were not chosen for their gender.
If fewer women are coming through the Liberal ranks at the moment the answer is not to give them a hospital pass, but surely, it is for conservative women to work as hard as their colleagues within the party.
Politics is a hard game, not unlike the fruit preserving business.
Natural quality of product will bring rewards to those in the canning trade just as outstanding candidates, male or female, of good character, will succeed without the need for added artificial sweeteners.


Tim Blair – Sunday, March 16, 2014 (2:47pm)

Imre Salusinszky is having too much fun with the March in Marchers. Click on each image to embiggen.

Not every vote is equal in South Australia, the Labor state

Andrew Bolt March 16 2014 (3:08pm)

Reader Yoda wonders when South Australia will fix its outrageous gerrymander, with the Liberals once again winning a clear majority of the vote but in danger of losing the election:
Historical SA election results for the past 30 years:

1985 - ALP 53.2% 2pp =ALP govt

1989 - LIB 51.9% 2pp = ALP govt

1993 - Lib 61% 2pp = Lib govt
1997 - Lib 51.5% 2pp = Lib govt

2002 - Lib 50.9% 2pp = ALP govt

2006 - ALP 56.8% 2pp =ALP govt

2010 - Lib 51.6% 2pp = ALP govt

2014 - Lib 52.3% 2pp = ??????
So is SA really a Labor state or does it just have an incompetent electoral commission?

Even in death, Labor and the Greens can’t be split

Andrew Bolt March 15 2014 (11:34pm)

The only good thing about the concession speech of Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings - other than the tribute to winner Will Hodgman‘s parents - was that its incredible length spared me one quarter of the pain of watching Richmond lose.
The only fun in Greens leader Nick McKim‘s almost equally mammoth effort was watching him interrupt his blowhard triumphalism and defiance to admit that, actually, he’d just lost a third of the party’s vote.
Really, the level of denial was spectacular, especially from Labor. Note that Labor lost in a landslide largely because it had formed a disastrous alliance with the Greens which led it to do dumb things such as lock up forests and kill lots of jobs. But the old Labor-Greens tango keeps going even after the music stops:

“I would say to Will Hodgman `do not tear up the Tasmanian forestry agreement’,” Ms Giddings said on Saturday night…

Mr McKim had a similar message to Greens supporters at Hobart’s official election tally room…
“Don’t take us back to war.”

Malaysian PM: the missing plane was hijacked

Andrew Bolt March 15 2014 (5:30pm)

Malaysia’s Prime Minister has just confirmed that the missing Malaysian plane, flight 370, flew a path something roughly like the one on the map above.
He says:

- the pattern is consistent with a hijacking.
- satellite pings on the plane were registered for some five hours after contact with the plane was lost.
- the transponder was switched off.
- investigators are increasing checks on the crew and passengers.
- calculations are being refigured to find how far the plane - with 239 people on board - could have flown.




























=== Posts from Last Year ===



~ DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, president of Columbia University, speech to luncheon clubs, Galveston, Texas, December 8, 1949.The New York Times, December 9, 1949, p. 23.

What's meso-American for "You sunk my battleship?" .. Nacalli ixpolihui would be Nahuatl for "my boat is destroyed." 


A desperate, vindictive government muzzles the media

Andrew BoltMARCH162013(7:12am)

Peter Hartcher, close to the Rudd camp, finds Labor Ministers split on whether the Government’s attack on the free press is driven by revenge or self-interest
Accepting they are likely to lose the election, Labor’s leaders wanted to punish enemies - the Murdoch empire - and reward friends - the trade unions - as they head for the exit, runs the theory held by some senior ministers.

But there is another explanation, too. ‘’Conroy’s view has been that the media stuff isn’t the worst thing in the world, and it’ll distract from leadership speculation and get us through to the end of next week,’’ says a senior Labor figure. ‘’Gillard’s entire world is an inside game,’’ of how to hold the leadership against any Kevin Rudd recrudescence.
Note: no one Hartcher talks to thinks it’s driven by principle.
From a man who has already seen politicians muzzle the press:
JOURNALIST Joseph Fernandez has lived under heavy-handed government regulation of the media before and is alarmed by the prospect of once again seeing freedom of the press under attack by a government he says should know better.

As editor-in-chief of Malaysia’s Daily Express for 14 years, until 1992, he worked under the threat of arrest, intimidation and unemployment by the government of Mahathir Mohamad, which saw the regulation and the licensing of newspapers as acceptable while banning publications that were deemed critical of the government.
“I am quite taken aback that, in this day and age, Australia, a country that has participated in all sorts of endeavours in the region to fight for freedom in countries lesser-equipped, and with such a strong track record trying to be an international voice to be reckoned with, is getting up to such ill-considered methods to control the freedom of expression,” said Fernandez, the head of journalism at Perth’s Curtin University. 

“There are no ifs or buts about whether this amounts to government regulation. This legislation represents a raft of regulations with very serious consequences for the free exchange of ideas on matters of public interest.”

On the free-speech hypocrisy of Eureka Street

Andrew BoltMARCH162013(8:29am)

 Free speech
Eureka Street, the Leftist magazine sponsored by the Jesuits, has been curiously silent about the Gillard Government’s latest vindictive attempt to muzzle journalists.
Is this another craven case of the Left defending not a principle but a side? 
Is this another case of monstrous hypocrisy - an acquiescence to government censorship of speech the Left doesn’t like, while demanding every freedom for itself? 
There is, in fact, one story defending press freedom in Eureka Street today:

No, it is not about the Government attacking press freedom - the story every big media outlet in the land is covering - but about mining magnate Gina Rinehart allegedly doing so. Here isEureka Street editor Michael Mullins: 
Freedom of the press is about freedom to report, not to dominate....

During the week, in which the press freedom debate has raged, this core principle of reporting has been challenged by one of Australia’s up and coming media barons.
Mining magnate Gina Rinehart is pursuing legal action that has led to the issue of a subpoena to Fairfax journalist Adele Ferguson, author of the unauthorised biography, Gina Rinehart — The Untold Story of the Richest Woman in the World.
It demands she hand over emails, text messages, notebooks and any recordings of interviews made between Rinehart’s eldest son John Hancock and the journalist since September 2011. Ferguson has until the end of this month to comply or be charged with contempt of court. A conviction could carry a jail term. She told the ABC she’d go to jail rather than violate the confidentiality principle…

There has been scant coverage of Ferguson’s plight in some of the major media outlets. Free speech defender Andrew Bolt, who is Rinehart’s media commentator protege, was slow off the mark with a token reference…

It’s left to concerned citizens to fight for this important principle...
Mullins could not have made the moral framework of Eureka Street clearer - the collective must be defended, but principles not.
First to the gratuitous insult. Rather than being “slow off the mark”, I criticised Rinehart’s action on the very day I read of it:
I like Rinehart and do not understand the legal argument here, but this is not a good look for someone on the board of the company employing the journalist...
My point is that Rinehart is perfectly within her rights under the law to pursue this action, but Ferguson feels bound as a journalist not to comply. This puts her at risk of contempt of court, which can carry a jail sentence. For a major shareholder of Fairfax and board member at Channel 10 to take action which could ultimately see one of her company’s own journalists jailed is indeed a terrible look.
But Mullins misstates what is at stake. This is not an attack on free speech, for all his sneers.  Rinehart’s subpoena does not question Ferguson’s freedom to say what she has. Ferguson’s freedom to speak is simply not at issue.
Nor is Rinehart seeking to force Ferguson to “reveal sources”, as Mullins suggests. Ferguson has already declared the source for her report is Rinehart’s son.
At issue is the confidentiality of Ferguson notes and the protection of her source, John Rinehart. Ferguson will not want to hand over any material which may (or may not) reveal he broke a confidentiality deal with his mother.
If journalists do not defend their sources our ability to get information is compromised. Ferguson is defending a tool of her trade, even if means protecting someone who may have broken a legally binding agreement to say nothing.  And I would do the very same.
So there is a principle to defend, but it is not as grand, fundamental or ethically clear-cut as Mullins suggests. Nor do we know which way the courts will decide, if it gets that far. it is for the courts, not Rinehart, to establish whether the freedom of the press is at stake, and whether it is worth defending.
So why is Eureka Street going to town on this issue while staying silent on a far broader attack on a free press and the free speech - an attack not by an individual but by a government, and not on one journalist but all?
Well, first, of course, because Rinehart is a wicked miner and Ferguson, a Leftist journalist from Fairfax, is “one of us”.
That is not a mere jibe. Mullins himself declares:
By way of disclaimer, Adele Ferguson’s partner is a member of the board of Jesuit Communications, publisher of Eureka Street.
Second, the Gillard Government is Left-wing, out to punish the wickedly conservative Murdoch media, employer of the evil Andrew Bolt mentioned above.
Again, that is not a casual insult.

Eureka Street 
is not at all the defender of free speech it suddenly pretends to be. It actuallysupports limiting free speech when it is exercised by a conservative.
For instance, it backed the decision of the Federal Court to declare two of my columns unlawful and ban them from republication. See, Eureka Street didn’t like their tone or content. (I’d argued we should not insist on “racial” divisions, and I questioned why some so-called “white Aborigines” identified solely as Aboriginal when, I unlawfully argued, their mixed ancestry suggested they had other options open to them.)
Here is how Eureka Street reacted to my own free speech being denied not in theory but in practice:
Andrew Bolt’s article was simply an egregious example of such bad communication. It was indefensible on ethical grounds… In my judgment, the opponents of the law under which the Bolt case was brought have yet to make a persuasive argument.
Didn’t like it, so let’s ban it.

Eureka Street 
again, airily dismissing the fact that my free speech was indeed being denied:
Some voices in the media have presented the case as a challenge to free speech in Australia — political correctness gone crazy. However, this case is not about silencing critiques of the construction of race or ethnicity, nor Bolt himself.
Spencer Zifcak of Liberty Victoria notes that a balance must be struck between ‘the right to be free of racial intolerance and discrimination on the one hand, and freedom of expression on the other.’…

In the end, as David Marr explained in the Sydney Morning Herald, freedom of speech may not be the issue at stake here. Bromberg was simply attacking lousy journalism. 
Well, that’s OK then. So do I get to ban journalism I think lousy, too? Perhaps starting with Mullins’?
In fact, Eureka Street is so committed to the principle of banning speech it doesn’t like that it vanishes even its own writers:

On Thursday, Eureka Street published a commentary by Scott Stephens on the Parliamentary Apology to Stolen Generations. The article has been withdrawn. It argued that the Prime Minister’s motivation was self-serving, and his action empty rhetoric. Eureka Street, the Australian Jesuits and Jesuit Communications do not necessarily support the views expressed in our published articles. The publishers specifically disagree with the substance of this article. We apologise to those who were hurt or offended by allegations contained in it.
Eureka Street has falsely insinuated that I do not defend free speech if it is attacked by a friend.
But Eureka Street in fact does far worse. It defends only the speech of its ideological friends, and positively welcomes the silencing of its foes.
Reader Roman makes an excellent point, part of which I have now worked into my piece above: 
Andrew, I think you are wrong in your position regarding Gina and the action she has taken. It is not up to individual citizens (whether company board members or not) to consider whether their legal actions have the potential to place another at risk of contempt of court. We all have a right to access the court system to address grievances involving other parties. It is up to the court to decide if the right to privilege of confidentiality, held by the journalist, is worthy of preservation in each case. Let the parties argue their cases in court - and let the court follow precedent, or create new case law in the process. The law does not exclude Rinehart from taking action.

They lie to survive

Andrew BoltMARCH162013(8:54am)

WHAT do you do when you end up with a government which from the Prime Minister down lies so completely, so seamlessly and so continuously?…

The 457 exercise captured [Julia Gillard’s] calculating cynicism, dishonesty and willingness to sacrifice anything—in this case, basic good policy—on the altar of her personal political survival.
The key to the decisions of the past fortnight - the assault on the 457 visa scheme, the raft of industrial law concessions to the unions and the media package - is that they appease the party and indulge the faithful but discredit the government.
Take, for instance, the new proposals to further control the media:
This proposal is bad public policy and defective administration. Labor has singularly failed to identify the exact problem such laws are to solve. It testifies, again, to the defining quality of this government - its addiction to new forms and levels of government intervention in virtually every area of public policy in the utopian delusion that more regulation is the sure path to progress and public satisfaction.
Chris Kenny says if Communications Minister Stephen Conroy wants the media to be more accurate, he should set a far better example. Among the more for-instances Kenny gives:
No journalist could consider Conroy’s period as minister without focusing on his commitment to high-quality broadband. He outlined his plans on the ABC’s Inside Business on February 10, 2008.

“What we have said is that we won’t contribute more than $4.7 billion, whether it’s a fibre-to-the-node or fibre-to-the-home proposal,” he told Alan Kohler. “So fibre to the home has some wonderful potential but it is more costly and people have got to build the business case; they can’t expect the government’s going to give more than $4.7bn.”
No doubt many took Conroy at his word, especially some of the more, shall we say, regulated media. Yet we now know he went for a National Broadband Network based on a fibre-to-the-home model and rendering that $4.7bn pledge redundant.
On Lateline on September 29, 2010, Conroy said: “The government will only need to put in $27bn at most.” Fair enough; time for the media to adjust numbers - by 600 per cent.

By the way, on Lateline on August 8 last year there was an update. “The capital cost of the NBN is $37.4bn,” said the Communications Minister.

Fight these anti-speech totalitarians

Andrew BoltMARCH162013(9:15am)

 Free speech
Are these people insane?
The broadcaster Alan Jones could have been jailed for up to three years for labelling Lebanese Muslims ‘’vermin’’ and ‘’mongrels’’ who ‘’rape and pillage’’, under a proposed overhaul of NSW racial vilification laws…

The Jewish Board of Deputies and the NSW Community Relations Commission are pushing for a radical overhaul of the laws in submissions to a parliamentary inquiry into whether it should be easier to criminally prosecute cases of serious racial vilification…
The inquiry was ordered by the Premier, Barry O’Farrell, who was concerned there has not been a prosecution since the laws began in 1989…
The Jewish Board of Deputies argues there is ‘’a serious gap’’ in the law and suggests a new offence of ‘’conduct intended to harass on grounds of race’’. The change would mean criminal prosecutions could be pursued over racial harassment that involves threats, intimidation or ‘’serious racial abuse’’, whether or not a physical threat is involved.
The submission argues the maximum penalties should be a fine of $27,500 or two years’ imprisonment for individuals and fines of up to $137,500 for corporations. It also says the offence should be included in the Crimes Act, be subject to a jury trial and include online abuse.

The Community Relations Commission argues for similar changes and proposes a maximum penalty of three years in jail.
Jailing people even for on-line abuse? How many jails must we build?
And have these anti-free-speech advocates considered how such laws will be used by activists and the professionally thin-skinned to silence even “good” opinion through expensive and intimidating litigation?
This crusade against free speech, so recklessly encouraged by O’Farrell without a skerrick of evidence, must be stopped.
To the Jewish groups so foolishing pushing laws which will be used against Israel’s defenders before its enemies I say this: the Holocaust happened not because Hitler was free to preach hate. It happened because none were free to preach against him.
So which of the two worst racial abusers identified in the NSW Anti-Discrimination Tribunal’s annual report should be jailed?
One involved a man with a Jewish wife who used the word Shylock when arguing with another Jew.

He apologised, but insisted he’d spoken in terms of the Shakespearean Shylock.
The other was an Aboriginal woman at a golf club who had to wait to collect her pokie winnings while the bar manager served a white man. A misunderstanding, insisted the club, which has many Aboriginal members.

So many years of no warming means it’s time to rethink

Andrew BoltMARCH162013(9:39am)

 Global warming - dud predictionsGlobal warming - general
Astrophysicist Dr David Whitehouse:
In retrospect, nobody predicted that in the age of global warming the annual average global temperature would remain unchanged for so long…

It is incontrovertible that the global annual average temperature of the past decade, and in some datasets the past 15 years, has not increased. Year-on-year fluctuations, and any trend over this period, are within errors of measurement. The only justifiable statistical description of the global temperature during this period is a constant. Technically, this standstill can be seen in the datasets produced by NOAA, NASA, the BEST consortium, HadCRUT3, and especially, its successor HadCRUT4. This standstill has occurred as atmospheric CO2 has increased from 370 parts per million (ppm) to 390 ppm, providing an increasing forcing factor that will raise global temperatures.
Some argue that the duration of the standstill is too short to be meaningful. Thirty years is taken to be the baseline for observing climate changes and fifteen years is too short. This report argues that 15 years is not an insignificant period; what has happened to make temperatures remain constant requires an explanation. The period contains important information and should not be dismissed as having no climatic importance. The recent warming period began about 1980 after four decades of globally stable temperatures thus the years of constant temperature are about equal to years when temperatures increased. This is not a trivial observation 

Calculations based on ensembles of climate models suggest prolonged standstills of about ten years can occur once every eight decades. Standstills of 15 years are much more difficult to explain. This report shows, that if we have not passed it already, we are on the threshold of global observations becoming incompatible with the consensus theory of climate change.
(Thanks to reader Jamie Spry and others.)
March 16Purim ends at sundown (Judaism, 2014); Latvian Legion Day
Robert Goddard




Holidays and observances[edit]

“then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”” - Acts 4:10,12
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

March 15: Morning
"Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." - 2 Timothy 2:1
Christ has grace without measure in himself, but he hath not retained it for himself. As the reservoir empties itself into the pipes, so hath Christ emptied out his grace for his people. "Of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." He seems only to have in order to dispense to us. He stands like the fountain, always flowing, but only running in order to supply the empty pitchers and the thirsty lips which draw nigh unto it. Like a tree, he bears sweet fruit, not to hang on boughs, but to be gathered by those who need. Grace, whether its work be to pardon, to cleanse, to preserve, to strengthen, to enlighten, to quicken, or to restore, is ever to be had from him freely and without price; nor is there one form of the work of grace which he has not bestowed upon his people. As the blood of the body, though flowing from the heart, belongs equally to every member, so the influences of grace are the inheritance of every saint united to the Lamb; and herein there is a sweet communion between Christ and his Church, inasmuch as they both receive the same grace. Christ is the head upon which the oil is first poured; but the same oil runs to the very skirts of the garments, so that the meanest saint has an unction of the same costly moisture as that which fell upon the head. This is true communion when the sap of grace flows from the stem to the branch, and when it is perceived that the stem itself is sustained by the very nourishment which feeds the branch. As we day by day receive grace from Jesus, and more constantly recognize it as coming from him, we shall behold him in communion with us, and enjoy the felicity of communion with him. Let us make daily use of our riches, and ever repair to him as to our own Lord in covenant, taking from him the supply of all we need with as much boldness as men take money from their own purse.
"He did it with all his heart and prospered." - 2 Chronicles 31:21
This is no unusual occurrence; it is the general rule of the moral universe that those men prosper who do their work with all their hearts, while those are almost certain to fail who go to their labour leaving half their hearts behind them. God does not give harvests to idle men except harvests of thistles, nor is he pleased to send wealth to those who will not dig in the field to find its hid treasure. It is universally confessed that if a man would prosper, he must be diligent in business. It is the same in religion as it is in other things. If you would prosper in your work for Jesus, let it be heart work, and let it be done with all your heart. Put as much force, energy, heartiness, and earnestness into religion as ever you do into business, for it deserves far more. The Holy Spirit helps our infirmities, but he does not encourage our idleness; he loves active believers. Who are the most useful men in the Christian church? The men who do what they undertake for God with all their hearts. Who are the most successful Sabbath-school teachers? The most talented? No; the most zealous; the men whose hearts are on fire, those are the men who see their Lord riding forth prosperously in the majesty of his salvation. Whole-heartedness shows itself in perseverance; there may be failure at first, but the earnest worker will say, "It is the Lord's work, and it must be done; my Lord has bidden me do it, and in his strength I will accomplish it." Christian, art thou thus "with all thine heart" serving thy Master? Remember the earnestness of Jesus! Think what heart-work was his! He could say, "The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." When he sweat great drops of blood, it was no light burden he had to carry upon those blessed shoulders; and when he poured out his heart, it was no weak effort he was making for the salvation of his people. Was Jesus in earnest, and are we lukewarm?

[Hŏph'nī] - strong.
A son of Eli, the high priest and judge who proved unworthy of his sacred offices (1 Sam. 1:3; 2:34; 4:4-17). Hophni is always associated with his brother Phinehas. The two were partners in evil practices and brought a twice-pronounced curse upon their heads (1 Sam. 2:34; 3). Both were slain at the battle of Aphek, and this coupled with the loss of the Ark, caused the death of Eli. Both sons disgraced their priestly office in a twofold way:
I. In claiming and appropriating more than their due of the sacrifices (1 Sam. 2:13-17).
II. In their immoral actions in the Tabernacle (Amos 2:7-8).

Today's reading: Deuteronomy 25-27, Mark 14:27-53 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Deuteronomy 25-27

1 When people have a dispute, they are to take it to court and the judges will decide the case, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty. 2If the guilty person deserves to be beaten, the judge shall make them lie down and have them flogged in his presence with the number of lashes the crime deserves, 3 but the judge must not impose more than forty lashes. If the guilty party is flogged more than that, your fellow Israelite will be degraded in your eyes....

Today's New Testament reading: Mark 14:27-53

Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial
27 "You will all fall away," Jesus told them, "for it is written:
"'I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered.'
28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."
29 Peter declared, "Even if all fall away, I will not."
30 "Truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "today--yes, tonight--before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times."
31 But Peter insisted emphatically, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the others said the same....

Today's Lent reading: Matthew 15-16 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
That Which Defiles
Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!"
3 Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.' 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is 'devoted to God,' they are not to 'honor their father or mother' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 "'These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules....'"

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