Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Tue Mar 4th Todays News

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 http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/nsw-premier-barry-o-farrell-remedy-the-persecution-of-dd-ball?

On this day in 51 Nero was given the honour of a title, 'head of youth.' He embodied the ideals, as a young man, that Romans liked. He did not age well. Last year, Jason Clare, having been given the honour of ministry in justice, stood alongside the attorney general and CEOs of major sports and declared there was an investigation into Drugs and Gambling from organised crime in major sports. Since then, a rugby league club without a GM and incapable of sidestepping what other clubs did, and an AFL club have similarly been tarred as drug cheats. One soccer club has been associated with gambling and sport fixing. Nowhere has evidence been presented suggesting widespread drug use of performance enhancing drugs in any code. Asked on ABC Q&A about wether it was mere rhetoric, Clare gave a long winded 'yes.' His admission was masterful, saying he didn't know specifically, but if it stopped one player from abusing performance enhancing drugs .. At no stage have the ALP appeared competent on any issue, and yet .. polls show they have popularity and street credibility. Soon there will be elections in Tasmania and South Australia .. then, within a year, Victoria and NSW. It is important that discussion exposes the failure of the ALP, and the baseless smears of the LNP are shown for what they are. Otherwise, a miscarriage of justice will have ALP governments making the same decisions as typified the blackest day in sport. Do not be fooled by Clare's fiddling. 

Happy birthday and many happy returns Sylvia Lee and Henry Nguyen. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
=== From Last year ===

Gillard: Ich bin ein Westie

Piers Akerman – Monday, March 04, 2013 (6:16am)

At the height of the Cold War, fifty years ago, John F. Kennedy declared: “Ich bin ein Berliner”.
Last night, Julia Gillard claimed “westie status” in an attempt to win the Western suburbs of Sydney.
Kennedy’s landmark speech gave assurance to the people of Berlin isolated by the Soviet blockade, and confronted the Soviet state, then led by Nikita Kruschev.
Gillard sought to win back the people of Western Sydney who have deserted Labor in its heartland and confront the Opposition, led by Tony Abbott.
Her pitch was part of the longest-running election campaign in the nation’s history.
Unlike Kennedy, the biggest threat facing Gillard and her party are the internal chaos for which she and other Labor MPs are responsible.
Labor’s first shot at itself was its decision to dump former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in June, 2010, in his first term.
Under Gillard, it has continued to bomb itself with broken lies and failed policies.
Her five-day Western suburbs sojourn is part of the carpet-bombing strategy and promises to be as disastrous.
Instead of “ich bin ein Berliner”, Gillard offered:  “For far too long, the community I made my home, the communities I represent, have been the kind of places people hurried through, not places where you stopped and stayed,” she said.
“Being from the west should never be viewed as being second rate.”
But few people in Western Sydney see themselves as second-raters and Gillard’s patronising address doesn’t resonate beyond a select audience of high-flying Labor insiders who have for years enjoyed patronage positions under the trade union-dominated Labor Party.
A sleep-in at the Rooty Hill Novotel or RSL will not change the way the people of Western Sydney think.
They have experienced Labor governments at both the State and federal level and have come to understand that the only solution is to dump Labor and its patronising approach to their problems.
If they are worried about dumping Labor, they need only pick up the newspaper and read more about Labor’s endemic corruption as symbolised by the unfolding Eddie Obeid hearings before the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption.
There the heart of modern Labor is on display.
As Gillard remarked last year to Labor followers: “We are us”.
Western Sydney residents, and other Australians across the nation, are justifiably telling the pollsters they no longer want to be “us”.


Tim Blair – Monday, March 04, 2013 (2:42pm)

This might be the most optimistic offer in publishing history: 
Own a piece of The Sydney Morning Herald’s history with a framed fine art print of the front page of the Herald’s first compact edition.
Strictly limited to 500 fine art digital reproductions, of which the first 100 newspapers will be printed with a number; this reproduction will be the number one reproduction. Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
Printed on archival quality Museo Portfolio rag, which is a very smooth matte 100% cotton rag. 300gsm $330.00 (incl. GST) 
The print edition has the price at $330 plus GST, and that’s not the only mistake. There are only two stories on the historic first front page of the tabloid SMH. One carries the pointer “continued page 4” and the other is said to continue on page 12.
They actually continue on pages 5 and 13. Good start, Fairfax.
UPDATE. Day one dissent! SMH Daily Life editor Sarah Oakes rails against her section’s new name – Women’s Perspective: 
This title was not Daily Life’s decision. As the Editor I have waged an exhaustive campaign warning people of the social media apocalypse that would await us if it was called the wrong name. Begging to trade words like “female” for “women” or for us not to have a tagline at all.
Sadly though, this campaign failed. 
Oakes is now pleading with readers to suggest an alternative title. “First World Problems” might work.

When government is the lobbyist is likes to pay

Andrew BoltMARCH042013(5:25pm)

Chris Berg of the IPA on his new paper: how governments pay pet lobby groups to lobby it on what it wants.

A few bad polls later…

Andrew BoltMARCH042013(1:10pm)


A decade of deficits, thanks to Labor

Andrew BoltMARCH042013(12:45pm)

AUSTRALIA faces structural budget deficits “as far as the eye can see”, according to new economic modelling that will reinforce calls for a systemic review of government spending.
As Wayne Swan seeks savings to pay for big-ticket promises such as the national disability insurance scheme and the Gonski education reforms, modelling for the Minerals Council of Australia suggests that when the impacts of higher commodity prices and changes in the economic cycle are removed from the budget figures, the nation faces structural budget deficits until 2025 in the absence of policy changes.
Ex-Treasurers Peter Costello and Michael Costa on Wayne Swan:


How Morrison and Abetz were framed

Andrew BoltMARCH042013(12:05pm)

My Herald Sun column here:
WANT a lesson on the Left’s politics of seeming? Look at how Scott Morrison and Eric Abetz were lynched last week.
The fuller version than the one published follows below this transcript of the Coalition’s immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, effortlessly swatting away gotcha questions onInsiders based on the presumption he’d said what he hadn’t:
BARRIE CASSIDY: How will you do it? How will you notify that asylum seekers move into the neighbourhood? Is it a letter box drop, how do you do it?

SCOTT MORRISON: As I said, the accommodation people are going into is arranged by the service providers. Now, those service providers have the opportunity to say in Macquarie University’s case have a requirement that people living in that facility are notified at the time. It’s not a very difficult exercise, Barrie.

My question is why wouldn’t they have a right to be notified if they’re living in that same facility. I mean that’s not an uncommon thing for people to expect if the Government has lost control of the detention centres and they’ve taken the decision to put people into the community and actually take out the lease, if you like, on that accommodation. So referring to here is the accommodation the Government is directly involved in purchasing and putting people into.

BARRIE CASSIDY: That works in terms of institution but if somebody moves into number five or number three or something in your street how will you notify them? Is that when the letter box drop comes in?

SCOTT MORRISON: Again Barrie, I’m referring to the arranged accommodation by the service providers. That’s what I’m referring to, that’s what my press release referred to. This is where the Government themselves through their service providers are taking out the lease. Where the Government, through their service providers, are entering into an arrangement with say Macquarie University or the University of Western Sydney or any number of these places.
I’ve also said this week that the police should be notified where people are being put into the community as well. Now that’s as much for these people’s own protection as anything else so the police are just aware of people in the community and why you wouldn’t consult the police or advise the police to again to me is a mystery and I think shows an absence of the Government thinking these things through which they never do.
They just make decisions on the run.
BARRIE CASSIDY: Why do residents then need to know? Why do they need to know? What sets asylum seekers apart? Why do they need to know they’re living next door to a asylum seeker?
SCOTT MORRISON: Well Barrie, why shouldn’t they know is my point. If I was the parent of a person living at Macquarie University then I don’t think it’s unreasonable that if Macquarie University has entered into an arrangement with the Government to house a reasonable number of people, that they should be advised of that.
SCOTT MORRISON: I mean that doesn’t seem to be an unreasonable thing for people to expect because people would otherwise be in detention, Barrie, and these people are the responsibility of the Minister for Immigration. They are in a special class because they would otherwise be in detention and the Minister for Immigration is responsible for them.
BARRIE CASSIDY: But they’re not in detention
SCOTT MORRISON: I don’t think it’s unreasonable for the Government to be forth right with people. The Government shouldn’t hide this information.
BARRIE CASSIDY: They’re not in detention because they’re criminals.
SCOTT MORRISON: They’re in detention, Barrie, because at that stage of the process we don’t know whether they’ve been found to be refugees or not, the refugee convention allows people to be detained while they’re determining their refugee status as a course. Secondly, their identity hasn’t been fully tested nor has the ASIO done full security checks on anyone who has been released.
There is a light touch based on who people say they are but as we know with more than 90 per cent of people turning up without documentation then I think these are reasonable, common sense safeguards, Barrie, and I think the community has a reasonable expectation the Government would have some sort of protocols or guidelines in place…
BARRIE CASSIDY: When you blocked families going to the funerals of those killed on Christmas Island.

SCOTT MORRISON: I did not do that, Barrie, as you know. What I suggested was those funerals could have taken place on Christmas Island and when I discovered that wasn’t possible those arrangements went forward. It was never my intention to separate those families from the funerals at any time. Another beat up which I think was very appallingly handled by the reporting.
My full column on the stitch-up and the shame of the Greens and Labor: 

Gays have marriage equality already

Andrew BoltMARCH042013(11:56am)

A VERBAL trick is being played by activists and journalists trying to fool Australians into backing same-sex marriage.
See if you can pick the word game that’s blinding people to what’s really at stake.
Here is Finance Minister Penny Wong: “It is an undeniably ugly vein that runs deep in some of the arguments against marriage equality.’’
Spotted the trick yet? The one that’s just been called out by a surprisingly unimpressed Federal Court judge?
(Subscription required to read full article.)

Bernardi dumped, yet polygamists prove him right

Andrew BoltMARCH042013(9:54am)

LIBERAL senator Cory Bernardi says he decided to resign as Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s parliamentary secretary for the good of the Coalition… 
Speaking on a gay marriage Bill in Federal Parliament last night, Mr Bernardi said: “Time and time again the same characters seek to tear down our institutions that have been built and have sustained our civilisation for thousands of years. The time has come to ask: when will it end?

“What is the next step?

“The next step, quite frankly, is having three people or four people that love each other being able to enter into a permanent union endorsed by society or any other type of relationship.”

Senator Bernardi went on to say accepting gay marriage could lead to accepting bestiality.

“There are even some creepy people out there and I say ‘creepy’ deliberately who are unfortunately afforded a great deal more respect than I believe they deserve,” he said.
Linking same-sex marriage to bestiality was offensive and a political howler. But in the Senate last week Bernardi gave fresh evidence suggesting his warning was well-founded when it came to polygamy: 
Three weeks ago Sydney’s City Hub reported on the establishment of the Polyamory Action Lobby, or PAL… And sure enough, PAL recently started a petition which reads:

The House of Representatives For too long has Australia denied people the right to marry the ones they care about. We find this abhorrent. We believe that everyone should be allowed to marry their partners, and that the law should never be a barrier to love. And that’s why we demand nothing less than the full recognition of polyamorous families.
So here we have it: a polyamorist lobby group petitioning parliament to allow polygamous marriage. To some, five months ago this was inconceivable....

But who is behind the Polyamory Action Lobby? PAL’s president is Brigitte Garozzo. PAL’s spokesman is Timothy Scriven. And Kieran Adair is also one of PAL’s founders. And what do these militant polyamorists have in common? I will tell you. They are all associated with the Greens. Brigitte Garozzo, also known as Brigitte McFadden is listed as the contact officer for the New South Wales Young Greens at the University of Sydney. Timothy Scriven describes his political views as ‘anarchism and revolutionary libertarian socialism’, though the University of Sydney Greens Facebook page last year said: 

Timothy Scriven is an active member of the Greens on Campus and on our executive…

Kieran Adair’s Twitter profile promotes the 2011 Greens New South Wales election campaign. Further, a ‘Kieran Adair’ said, on the New Matilda website when commenting on the 2011 annual Marxist conference, ‘I don’t identify as a socialist; I’m a Green.’…

Polyamorous marriage is on the agenda. Greens activists are now pushing publicly for it while other polyamorists are lying low, waiting to be the next cab off the rank—no doubt, I suspect, having been given a nod and a wink by other Greens, who are still advocating marriage for all.

Fraser demonises vote person

Andrew BoltMARCH042013(9:45am)

Tony Abbott wants all Australians to be taught about Christianity, to be made to read the Bible.
BIBLE classes should be compulsory so children have a fundamental understanding of Christianity on leaving school, Tony Abbott says.
“I think everyone should have some familiarity with the great texts that are at the core of our civilisation,” said the Federal Opposition leader.
Malcolm Fraser deplores what he himself does: 
...both Liberal and Labor, have sought to demonise...

Never mind the last promises, Gillard has new ones

Andrew BoltMARCH042013(7:54am)

The last time Julia Gillard went to Rooty Hill campaigning - before the 2010 election - she made a raft of promises she didn’t keep. Eighteen of them, say the Liberals.
Yesterday I singled out four:
Ms Gillard’s 2013 version, delivered in western Sydney on Sunday, began with what she would not promise. ‘’We won’t promise the sun, the moon and the stars - we won’t fill every pothole or catch every crook,’’ she told an auditorium of the hopeful. ‘’But I am determined to deliver five things to make your life easier and improve your future.
‘’We will support your job and put Aussie workers first.’’
But then she couldn’t help herself - not in an election year.
The woman who last time promised a railway link she never delivered, this time hinted she’d promise a new road among five big goodies she had in mind:
In a speech last night at the University of Western Sydney, the Prime Minister ...
said the government would deliver high-speed broadband to the region, provide its children with a “world-leading education”, insure against disability and “help you manage the pressures of modern family life and modern society”.

“The grind of long daily commutes, on infrastructure that’s barely coping, on roads that need co-operation between governments . . . we’ll have more to say about that in coming days,” Ms Gillard said.

The Australian understands the government plans to make a major contribution to the road project known as WestConnex, which has already drawn the support of Tony Abbott. WestConnex includes a 33km link between Sydney’s west and the airport and Port Botany an extension of the M4 east. The Daily Telegraph newspaper reports today that Ms Gillard’s pledge of $1 billion-plus toward the state government project was based on strict conditions...
Deaf ears: 

Last night, the Seven Network reported on a ReachTel poll suggesting that 43.5 per cent of voters were less likely to vote Labor as a result of Ms Gillard’s blitz. It found 14.4 per cent were more likely to vote Labor and 42.1 per cent were unchanged.
As for this promise:
Labor would also launch the national disability insurance scheme in 17 weeks.
But where’s the money for the full $17 billion a year it’s expected to cost?

The Age and Sydney Morning Herald have today gone tabloid

Andrew BoltMARCH042013(7:18am)

Your reaction? No, don’t just vent, but critique. I’m interested.
My own take?
I haven’t yet seen the Herald, but the Age has done a terrible job for the first edition of its critical relaunch. The front page has a dull picture. There is a dull, generic blurb about a health liftout that is plain wasted space. The two stories featured are not must-read hard-news stories that will sell the paper off the stands: one disputing the causes of the Black Saturday fires and the other about banks allegedly being bastards.
Consider the difference: radio news in Melbourne is running hard on the Herald Sun’s front page about secret tapes catching out the Baillieu Government secretly offering sweeteners to a ministerial adviser it sacked in a scandal.
The Age’s back page, a huge selling point for a tabloid with so little display space for that first impression, has only a full-page ad.
The biggest story in the paper, measured by column inches, is The Age itself, a self-indulgence that makes the relaunch seem not a burst of vitality but an elegy. Page 2 is devoted to blurbs, promos and explanations for the change of format. Pages 20 and 21 are entirely spent on explaining and excusing the change. Pages 28 and 29 are a long essay and photo display of the history of The Age. Half of page 30 is an editorial explaining the changes.  That is five and half pages of 72 spent writing about The Age itself.
I suspect day one will have good sales as buyers check out the novelty factor. But this is a poor effort after all the months spent planning. A sharp improvement is necessary to save theThe Age as a printed product.  A sense of urgency. A bit more sass. A lot more personality.


"Bernt Enghardts Orkester" Year 1967 - Pre ABBA

The Waldo Grade View. I dedicate this one toChuck Doswell who wasn't all too happy to see the gigantic Sutro tower looming in the background of the earlier pic I posted from this same location. Here it is mostly hiding behind the fog.

It was a good hike up the steep trail to this spot with Miguel De La Cruz and Michael Gordon. We had a lot of laughs and we think that Michael just might be Paul Porter's long lost twin brother.

I've wanted to get this shot for a very long time. When we decided to leave our homes to meet up, the fog bank that was off shore suddenly came up over the headlands and engulfed the bridge entirely. There was some thought to maybe give up, but Miguel and Michael both thought there might still be a chance. When we arrived we found the fog bank receding. There was a lot of haze in the air, and the images I shot before this one turned out very low contrast.

…in other words, I'll be coming back to do this again.
  — at Golden Gate Bridge.
faith without action is worthless. Truth became a stumbling block for my dad, who I recently discovered was a strong Christian until he married my atheist mum at age 21 (on his 21st birthday). I can't explain the Flood, or various miracles, but don't feel I have to. It is certainly the case that the concept of forgiveness has transformed cultures in the West, and the East lacked much as a result (cf Elizabeth Kim's 10000 Sorrows). Buddha acknowledged Christ, according to Eastern scripture. But I wouldn't say what the stories were for. I think humanity's relationship with God is what scripture shows. I would be a lesser person without prayer. Many atheists get upset when I say that, but they are the first to say that one should think first and act second. - ed


Hellno Kitty
Here is something that my friend and I were talking about awhile back and he brought it up, but now I notice it a lot.

For whatever reason, whenever I get an angry and irrational woman on my page, I often go to their page to see what the heck made them that way. I often find their page filled with Maya Angelo quotes, half-spiritual sounding quotes about peace and love, sometimes posts about how yoga relaxes them and lots of pictures of beautiful scenery with these low brow quotes about how we should all sing about peace and hope while holding hands.

I just have to laugh. Their page is full of preachy, feel good, emotional quotes, but their posts on my page and full of hate, anger and vulgarity.

Oh well, it is just an odd observation that I have made. I just have to laugh. I bet they have a "Coexist" bumper sticker on their car too.

~And yes, I am sure there are men that fit this description, but I notice mainly women.
- could be me - ed




"A touching love story that might make you cry"

10th Grade :
As I sat there in English class, I stared at the girl next to me. She was my so called 'best friend'. I stared at her long, silky hair,and wished she was mine. But she didn't notice me like that, and I knew it.
After class, she walked up to me and asked me for the notes she had missed the day before.
I handed them to her. She said 'thanks' and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

11th grade :
The phone rang. On the other end, it was her. She was in tears, mumbling on and on about how her love had broke her heart. She asked me to come over because she didn't want to be alone, So I did. As I sat next to her on the sofa, I stared at her soft eyes, wishing she was mine. After 2 hours, one Drew Barrymore movie, and three bags of chips, she decided to go home.
She looked at me, said 'thanks' and gave me a kiss on the cheek..
I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends,I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

Senior year :
One fine day she walked to my locker.
"My date is sick" she said, "he's not gonna go" well, I didn't have adate, and in 7th grade, we made apromise that if neither of us had dates, we would go together just as 'best friends'. So we did. That night, after everything was over, I was standing at her front door step. I stared at her as She smiled at me and stared at me with her crystal eyes. Then she said- "I had the best time,thanks!"
and gave me a kiss on the cheek. Iwant to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

Graduation :
A day passed, then a week, then a month. Before I could blink, it wasgraduation day.
I watched as her perfect body floated like an angel up on stage to get her diploma. I wanted her to be mine-but
she didn't notice me like that, and I knew it. Before everyone went home, she came to me in her smock and hat, and cried as I hugged her. Then she lifted her head from my shoulder and said- 'you're my best friend, thanks' and gave me a kiss on the cheek. Iwant to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

Marriage :
Now I sit in the pews of the church.That girl is getting marriednow. and drive off to her new life,married to another man. I wantedher to be mine, but she didn't see me like that, and I knew it. But before she drove away, she came to me and said 'you came!'.
She said 'thanks' and kissed me on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends,I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

Death :
Years passed, I looked down at the coffin of a girl who used to bemy 'best friend'.
At the service, they read a diary entry
she had wrote in her high school years.
This is what it read:
'I stare at him wishing he was mine, but he doesn't notice me like that, and I know it. I want to tell him, I want him to know that Idon't want to be just friends, I love him but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.
I wish he would tell me he loved me !.

........'I wish I did too'........
I thought to my self, and I cried





Best passport stamping ever...


"... proved oil reserves—vastly undercounts how much oil the U.S. actually contains. In fact, far from being oil-poor, the country is awash in vast quantities—enough to meet all the country’s oil needs for hundreds of years."




PM Gillard’s “plan” for Western Sydney roads is just another example of how completely out of touch that Labor are – a complete an utter joke - just another meaningless promise.

Gillard has “promised” to provide $1 billion funding for the Sydney's West Connex motorway – but has tied the promise of funding to a series of “conditions”.

Firstly, those “conditions” add an extra $5 billion to $8 billion in additional costs to the project. This will just delay the project.

Secondly, Sydneysiders well remember a similar stunt in 2011 when Gillard promised $2.1 billion to finance the Parramatta to Epping rail link. We are still waiting, and not a cent has been delivered.

Thirdly, the NSW Premier (whom will need to build this) only heard about Gillard’s "plan” when he opened up today’s newspaper.

Gillard must think everyone in Western Sydney is stupid if she expects anyone to believe that her announcement today is anything but a charade, a media stunt - just another meaningless promise.

No wonder no one believes a word that Labor says.



Echium at the Golden Gate — with Mike Oria atWaldo Grade Tunnel.

=== Todays Posts ===

Russia and China unite. How weak the US looks now

Andrew Bolt March 04 2014 (11:26am)

Barack Obama’s leadership - or lack of it - has only hastened the decline of Western power, and the new axis emerges:
Russia has said China is largely “in agreement” over Ukraine, after other world powers condemned Moscow for sending troops into the country…
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov discussed Ukraine by telephone with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on Monday, and claimed they had “broadly coinciding points of view” on the situation there, according to a ministry statement…
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said: “China has always upheld the principles of diplomacy and the fundamental norms of international relations.
“At the same time we also take into consideration the history and the current complexities of the Ukrainian issue.”
The Left, which for many years argued for disarmament of the West, can now see what they have wrought. Who now can stand against Russia and China, who have far fewer reservations about the use of force.
Lavina Lee reminds the West the rest of the world doesn’t think force is a bad thing:
While most advanced economies have been cutting back on defence, the Russian Federation has embarked on the greatest expansion of its military since the end of the Cold War.
Moscow’s latest move is further proof that it is prepared to use force to reassert Russian influence within the boundaries of the former Soviet Union - a chilling reality for not just Ukraine but other Eastern European and Central Asian states. It is also a reminder for a complacent European Union that old-fashioned power politics in Eurasia is not merely a thing of the past but alive and well…
Russia’s military invasion of Georgia showed that Putin was willing to use force against peripheral states moving against Russian interests. Georgia provides a predictable strategy for Russia’s response to the loss of Ukraine to Europe: invade on the pretext of protecting a Russian minority. After all, there the EU and US proved powerless to stop the forcible change of Georgia’s sovereign borders by force…
Brussels has been caught flat-footed vis-a-vis these instances of Russian behaviour for one central reason. It naively fails to accept that the renunciation of economic coercion or war between EU members is an exception in the rough world of international politics, rather than the norm.
Even the Washington Post is alarmed by Obama’s lack of leadership or insight:

FOR FIVE YEARS, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality. It was a world in which “the tide of war is receding” and the United States could, without much risk, radically reduce the size of its armed forces. Other leaders, in this vision, would behave rationally and in the interest of their people and the world. Invasions, brute force, great-power games and shifting alliances — these were things of the past. Secretary of State John F. Kerry displayed this mindset on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday when he said, of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, “It’s a 19th century act in the 21st century."…
Unfortunately, Russian President Vladimir Putin has not received the memo on 21st-century behavior. Neither has China’s president, Xi Jinping, who is engaging in gunboat diplomacy against Japan and the weaker nations of Southeast Asia.
Or as Obama himself foolishly asserted in the 2012 debates:

What an idiot Obama seems today. Unfortunately he’s an idiot in charge of what’s left of a defence of what’s left of a free world.
Charles Krauthammer:
What Obama doesn’t seem to understand is that American inaction creates a vacuum. His evacuation from Iraq consigned that country to Iranian hegemony, just as Obama’s writing off Syria invited in Russia, Iran and Hezbollah to reverse the tide of battle.
Putin fully occupies vacuums.
China is watching the US reaction. What would it conclude about the US’s readiness to defend Taiwan?
(Thanks to reader the Realist.) 

Labor will force Abbott to give Qantas more than it deserves

Andrew Bolt March 04 2014 (11:05am)

Terry McCrann says the Abbott Government has the right policy to help Qantas, but Labor’s bloody-mindedness may still force it to one less good:
YES, prime minister, you and your cabinet colleagues have arrived at the most rational and most appropriate policy proposal for Qantas.
It’s one that keeps government out of the Qantas boardroom, and more importantly, keeps it out of its balance sheet and the risk — disastrously — of returning to its share register.
But there’s very little prospect of it being agreed by the irrational and utterly irresponsible rabble in the Senate, otherwise known as the Labor Party, the Greens, and Clive’s rump.
So, the real question out of last night is when do you move to Plan B. And there really is only one possible Plan B — providing a guarantee for Qantas’s debt....
In the Qantas case, the justification for a debt guarantee is not just because it would “help Qantas”, but because the Government has imposed restrictions on how it could fund itself that it imposes on no other company… Take away those restrictions and there would be no case for a government debt guarantee....
This also disposes of any suggestion that if a debt guarantee is given to Qantas it also has to be given to Virgin. No it doesn’t.
If Virgin was to agree to be limited by the same shareholding restrictions, maybe then it would have a case.
But if Virgin’s three state-owned shareholders had to sell down from 70 per cent of its register to 35 per cent — the same as Qantas — the whole basis of its aggressive market share-chasing operating strategy would collapse.
Indeed further, Qantas and/or the Government could retort that Virgin already has a de facto government debt guarantee.
Indeed, a guarantee from no less than three governments — those of Abu Dhabi, Singapore and New Zealand…

It is very sensible for Abbott to seem to “rule out” the guarantee. Why take the pressure off Shorten to be rational over the shareholdings, and the unions as well, over the job and pay cuts?
But at the end of the day, if the Senate remains implacable, Abbott is going to have to, and will, see it Hockey’s way.

So what does Howes say now about the carbon tax?

Andrew Bolt March 04 2014 (10:24am)

Paul Howes says our energy should be as cheap as possible – but spot what he fails to mention:

Every time a manufacturing business goes to the wall we hear the same refrain: the costs of making things in Australia is unsustainably high.
It’s undeniably true.  But our debate is focused on the wrong aspect… it is about the rapidly escalating cost of energy. Gas prices in Australia are marching ever upward…

(W)hile Australia will never be able to compete with the cheapest workers in the world, we can actually compete in terms of cheap energy. Indeed, cheap energy has traditionally been a core national economic advantage. But it is an advantage we are throwing away. We now have the highest domestic price for gas of any exporting nation in the world.
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill:
It is curious that in a column arguing for lower energy costs Howes speaks only of gas prices. The carbon price and the RET don’t rate a mention. Not once.

Another generation needs “stealing”

Andrew Bolt March 04 2014 (9:40am)

The “stolen generations” myth comes at a ghastly cost - a reluctance to remove some Aboriginal children today who are in terrible danger.
Karl O’Callaghan, WA Police Commissioner, avoids any mention of the word “Aborigine” and - to be clear - I do not know the ethnic background of the children he describes, but his reference to “stealing” a “generation” is telling:
Some parents simply do not deserve to have charge of their children and it is time to ask ourselves whether, in fact, they should...

In many instances the parents are incapable or unwilling to provide even the basic necessities of life, yet it takes a long time for us to intervene in an effective way…
Take, for example, the case of three young children (aged eight, 10 and 11) who allegedly committed an aggravated robbery on a 14-year-old girl in a Cannington park last week. The robbery was committed at 2.30pm when the children should have been at school.
Who was aware they were not? The 11-year-old has already been cautioned twice and arrested once.
The house where he lives is frequented by crime and drug offenders and in January, drugs, weapons and stolen property were seized from the house by police.
The only “responsible” adult who could be found to look after him after he was arrested had 181 criminal convictions. The 10-year-old has already been cautioned three times and his mother has 81 criminal convictions including drug-related offences and going armed in public.
A recent visitor to the boy’s house was being monitored by police as a registered sex offender who has amassed 350 criminal convictions, predominantly sex-related offences.
The eight-year-old is believed to be one of 10 children in a family.
His father has 137 criminal convictions and is a repeat domestic violence offender. His mother has drug-related convictions.
The parents of this child could not be found when he was apprehended by police…
Just to make the point that the case alluded to above is not an extreme example, we only need to look at the running sheets for the South East Metropolitan District from last weekend.
On Friday at 11.30pm, a three-year-old nappy-clad toddler with a black eye walked into a bottle shop and had to be taken into protective custody by the police when his parents could not be found…
Last Saturday, police attended an address after concerns were raised about assaults on children. The mother is a drug user. Police reported that there was no food in the house.
Later that evening, police apprehended two eight-year-olds and one 12-year-old for breaking into a primary school in Victoria Park. On Sunday, a nine-year-old, 11-year-old and a 13-year-old were apprehended for breaking into a primary school in Southern River…
This is not about stealing a generation but saving an existing one. Every chance we give these parents is one less chance we give the child. Every child we leave in this chaos is closer to inflicting chaos on all of us…
I would go as far as to say that the children referred to have absolutely no chance of living a normal existence if we leave them where they are.
One problem with the follow-up story is that a coyness about describing some of the children most at risk stops us from properly understanding the problem - and the cultural and ideological barriers to fixing it:
DCP chief executive Terry Murphy said 31 children were taken into care last week, and 15 to 20 new carers registered every month.

In fact:
Aboriginal children make up about 45% of all children in foster care.
To repeat: I do not know the ethnic or “racial” background of the children O’Callaghan discusses. In one sense, that should be irrelevant: whatever “race” they are, they must be rescued.
But this more-welfare response to O’Callaghan’s plea strikes me as deeply, deeply inadequate:
Aboriginal Legal Service chief executive Dennis Eggington and Foster Care Association of WA director Fay Alford joined Ms Perkins’ calls for more resources on early intervention for families struggling with domestic violence, drugs, alcohol and housing problems to help break the cycle.
“If we don’t get our head around this problem, it will be a terrible legacy to leave for future generations,” Mr Eggington said.

Jenna Price teaches journalists. Dear God

Andrew Bolt March 04 2014 (9:27am)

Jenna Price teaches tomorrow’s journalists:
Jenna Price joined UTS Journalism in 2008 and is the undergraduate coordinator of the journalism major.
Jenna Price just makes things up:
[A proposed change to the Racial Discrimination Act] is mainly to appease the Coalition’s biggest fan, Andrew Bolt.
False. I am not the Coalition’s biggest fan. False again: The change is not proposed mainly to appease me but to restore free speech for all.
[Bolt] did not enjoy one bit being told in 2011 to pay money to the people he described as ‘’professional’’ Aborigines.
False. I was not told to pay any money to the people Price describes. The court was told during the case that the claimants were dropping any such claim. False again: my defence in that case was in no way inspired by any objection to paying money. I argued only for my right to put an argument I believed in.

The changes to 18C would allow people to say whatever the hell they please.
False. Many restrictions on free speech would remain, including laws against defamation and incitement to violence. Moreover, the biggest and safest sanction against racist abuse - public opinion - remains.

The rest of us understand exactly how devastating it can be to be [racially] belittled in that way. Not Andrew Bolt, though.
False. I do and I deplore racist abuse or any other form of racist thinking, including special laws for special “races”.
I could go on. But how on earth can someone like Price teach tomorrow’s journalists? It’s not just that she makes a string of clearly false statements, at least five within just four paragraphs, but that she actually wants absurd restrictions on free speech that stifle debate on a matter of great public importance.
I have sent the Sydney Morning Herald another letter - following the one in response to Tim Flannery’s incorrect slurs - and hope the record will be corrected.
Professor James Allan also believes public opinion - and robust free speech - is the soundest defence against racism:
Do you do more for minority groups by encouraging a victim mentality or by asking them to grow a thick skin and, when insulted or offended or humiliated, to respond by saying why the speaker is wrong? The latter approach is recommended by every great liberal philosopher from John Stewart Mill onwards…
I could go on to show how these sort of laws, always and everywhere, end up expanding to capture speakers not originally intended to be captured by them; or how the bureaucracies that administer them become havens of speech-restricting world views. Instead I simply say Australians need section 18C to be repealed in its entirety. That’s what Abbott implicitly promised. So let’s have it done now.
Allan’s new book, Democracy in Decline, has more on the danger of an anti-free-speech bureuacracy.

The IPA is worried by signs of backtracking by the Abbott Government on its promise to restore free speech. 

Rudds all at sea over boats

Andrew Bolt March 04 2014 (7:59am)

Jessica Rudd seems to think tourists and visiting expats are asylum seekers, too:
I woke up, looked out my Beijing window, saw nothing but a grey, airborne, putrid porridge, booked an adult and child ticket to Hong Kong and got the feck out of there…
In an adjacent window I’m reading about the plight of people who have fled their home country for mine and I am moved to tears, because I’m the luckiest asylum seeker there is.
That’s some monstrous vanity, there.
But her father seems to think boat people are just like his daughter, too - moving countries just to get ahead, only without the permission of the country they want to enter:
Former PM Kevin Rudd ... said “a large slice” of people arriving by boat weren’t genuine asylum seekers.  “Where it got to by the end of 2013 was the number of folks coming by boat was overwhelming the whole (Australian) refugee intake,” he said at the prestigious Oxford Union.
Which, of course, makes his daughter not a “genuine asylum seeker”, either.
But the Rudd family just likes to wallow in a porridge of finer feelings, without troubling themselves on the links between actions and consequences, facts and conclusions:
Australia must find its compassion in dealing with refugees and increase the number of asylum seekers it accepts, Therese Rein says.
In one of her first major interviews since leaving The Lodge, the wife of former prime minister Kevin Rudd said ... she reflected on countries such as Jordan, whose population increased by one-third following the influx of Syrian refugees crossing the border.

‘’I know this has become a highly politicised, deeply divisive debate and I think it’s time that we looked to our humanity and compassion,’’ she said. ‘’What I do reflect on is that there are a lot of people in the world who are displaced because of war, famine, oppression - and it is really important that, as part of the United Nations, we welcome people to this country who are fleeing all of that.’’
Except, of course, her husband just said the boat people weren’t fleeing such dangers and her daughter just likened them to herself, a writer flitting from her husband’s high-flying job in China to Hong Kong and her Australian home.
And could Rein just put some figures with her sentiment? If a third of Jordan’s population now comprises Syrian refugees, how much of ours should be? 

I won’t fly with an airline which can’t find Israel on a map

Andrew Bolt March 04 2014 (7:46am)

Etihad has lost my business. I don’t fly with Jew-haters:
AN AIRLINE owned by the United Arab Emirates has wiped Israel from its flight map.
Etihad has an official travel-route map that shows all surrounding countries, including Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus — but not the Jewish state or its major cities, according to The New York Post .
The carrier, which partners with Virgin Australia, also has refused to transport any Israelis, who aren’t allowed in the UAE. In 2010, it even began teaching its flight agents how to identify Israeli travellers by their “accents and traits,” the BBC reported. 

My European ancestors did not steal or rape. No doubt Goodes can say the same of his own

Andrew Bolt March 04 2014 (6:55am)

Footballer Adam Goodes is proving it was a mistake making him Australian of the Year.
Famous for having publicly humiliated a 13-year-old girl, he now promotes a John Pilger propaganda film to push a cartoonishly bleak view and racially divisive view of our history - a history that’s actually left him as one of the privileged:
That process starts with understanding our very dark past, a brutal history of dispossession, theft and slaughter
Put yourself in Aboriginal shoes for a minute. Imagine watching a film that tells the truth about the terrible injustices committed over 225 years against your people, a film that reveals how Europeans, and the governments that have run our country, have raped, killed and stolen from your people for their own benefit.
First, governments and Europeans committed “slaughter” and “raped ... for their own benefit”? I don’t doubtt some people were killed and others raped, but is this really the essential story of European settlement?
Second, does Goodes seriously believe that without European settlement his life - and that of all people with Aboriginal ancestry - would be sunny? Consider the appalling slaughter of inter-tribal warfare before European settlement and the horrific levels of what we now call domestic violence, as evidenced by cracked skulls. Think of those days of scrabbling for food, and having to endure agonising illnesses and injuries without modern medicines and pain relief.
And third: I can assure Goodes that none of my European ancestors killed or raped Aborigines or stole their lands. They were all in Holland until relatively recently.
But of Goodes’ own European ancestors I cannot speak, not knowing their history.
Which brings me to this: why this absurd division, Adam, with you on one side of the “racial” division, and me unwillingly dragooned by you into the other?
You are dividing Australia. Live up to your responsibilities and unite us in the only real race there is: the human race. Australians together, Adam.
(To be clear: I do not accuse Goodes’ European ancestors of having committed rapes, murders or thefts. My point is that we both have European ancestry, and it’s absurd to assume I’m the only one of the two who must defend himself as one of the accused.) 

Is this still a Clive Palmer policy?

Andrew Bolt March 04 2014 (6:49am)

Why kind of deals does Palmer make to get candidates on board?
The paragraph up close:
Notice, too, the Palmer pitch for immigrant votes in this 2013 pamphlet - promises of lots of free stuff, including “free tertiary frees [sic]”.
Palmer is a very dangerous populist.
(Thanks to many readers.)  

Child brides have nothing to do with Islam, apart from the fact they do

Andrew Bolt March 04 2014 (6:38am)

Do I believe Eman Sharobeem?
There are at least 60 child brides living in south-western Sydney, and many more girls are destined to be forced into under-age marriage, according to the head of a women’s health centre…

Dr Sharobeem, who is the manager of the Immigrant Women’s Health Service in Fairfield, said under-age marriage was carried out by many cultures across Asia, India and the Middle East and had nothing to do with religion.
Or do I believe Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia?:
We derive our morals, values and laws from Islam…
It may well be deemed by fathers or imams that given modern realities girls should not be married before they reach a certain age, notwithstanding Sharia permissibility for them to marry on reaching puberty. This is perfectly fine. However, this cannot be imposed universally and neither can the Sharia permissibility be generally prohibited…
Media reaction and commentary on this matter is predictable. As is the case with all matters Islamic or Muslim the reporting is sensational and ideologically antagonistic. Criticism on this case – whatever the reality of it as morally acceptable or otherwise – is based in the same racist, Islamophobic narrative in which criticism of the hijab, niqab, halal food, polygyny and so many Islamic beliefs and practices are the subject of mindless attacks and sensational innuendo. In this case, it is the sacred institution of marriage that is being denigrated by disingenuously linking it to sexual deviancy and child abuse.

(Thanks to reader Fabio.) 

Bill’s Australia

Andrew Bolt March 04 2014 (6:08am)

Reader Bill, unemployed for now, tells me of his Australia - one wishing for less government, less waste and more pulling together:
My family and friends are mostly small business owners, farmers, concreters, landscapers, mechanic’s and truckies etc. I’ve worked for most of them and never got more than 50k in my life. There’s no sense of entitlement out here or handouts either. None of them are rich or getting richer. They just pay what they can and when they can afford it. Lot’s of guys going under out here still though. Lot’s of empty factories and stores. Still not as bad as what was happening in northern Vic during the water buy back though
We went up there to buy dairy cattle during that period to bring back to Gippsland where we had grass. The stock agent drove us there and back and told us of how hard it had been on the farmers. Farms that were worth 10 million were at auction for about 1. Many generational farmers were loosing what had been in there families for years. We visited an old farmer who sold us what was left of his herd and was glad that they were going to greener pastures. They arrived by truck a few days later and we didn’t think much of it. We found out later though, that he had shot is dogs and hung himself in the dairy when they were all gone. The stock agent had told us in the car that it was all too common at the time. A few years later, beyond blue pegged the farmer suicide rate during that period at 1 every 4 days.
It wasn’t just the drought, it was more to do with the buy back and the red tape surrounding drilling bores was killing them as well. It cost 30k to get through the red tape and drop a test drill. Then the DPI could come out and shut you down with the slightest evidence or none at all of “environmental impact”. Bore licencing, believe it or not is actually the best managed in Tasmania. Where basically, if you hit water on your land you can pump it. Huge irrigation setups all over Tassie. Me and my brothers go down there to do stretches of work on dairy farms. Despite everything else wrong in Tassie, dairy is going gang busters down there. I know of at least 10 multimillion dollar dairies gone in over the last 12 months. The funny thing is though. A lot of them are hiring backpackers??? ...
Oh! I didn’t mention I’m one of four boys. We’re part black fella’s. Dad’s grandmother was a pure blood. Let’s see, that would make me ... an Aussie. Can’t stand all that dividing crap. We’ve always had every opportunity to wrought the system though. Lower interest rates, free education? and stuff. But dad raised us to be pretty proud though. None of us have used it for any advantage all through while we were at school. The schools themselves would list us as brothers for extra funding and stuff for them I guess.
I’ve got a bit of spare time at the moment as you can probably tell by length of this letter. So I’ve been volunteering with local charities like food bank. I tell you this dude, people at the bottom of the food chain are getting hammered by fines a lot recently. Lot of kids missing out because of it.
Non union factory workers always only get the award rate in my experience. And for a family on that income, a $300.00 red light fine is devastating. I wrote this to the traffic office. Didn’t hear back though:

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Four stars for custard; none for these dumb labels

Andrew Bolt March 04 2014 (5:58am)

When politicians and bureaucrats decided to get into the food-labelling business you can be sure the labels will be:
A: expensive
B: inaccurate.
Sure enough: 
News.com.au, November 28, 2012: 
A FIVE-STAR “goodness rating” label for packaged foods is being drawn up ... under the plan, vegetables would be awarded five stars, while breakfast cereals packed with sugar, fat and salt could expect only half a star.
ABC News online, June 27 last year:

MICHAEL Moore from the Public Health Association of Australia says ... “People will be able to just ... have a look at the front of the pack and go, ‘Hey this is 4 1/2-star food, that’s obviously good for me, it’s obviously good for my children. Or 1 1/2 stars - ‘we’ll eat a bit of that but we’ll be careful.’ ”
Cath McAloon, ABC Rural, December 13 last year:

WILLIAM Churchill of ... AusVeg, says the method used to calculate the rating is flawed, with brussels sprouts the only vegetable to get the highest five-star rating.
Amy Corderoy, SMH, February 25:

A SPOKESWOMAN for Mondelez International said ... “Given the health star rating shows that Philadelphia Cream Cheese is healthier than an apple, we believe that more work needs to be done ... the 100g serving size adds another level of complexity. Even the most fervent Vegemite consumer would only use 10g.”
ABC Radio National Breakfast, yesterday:

CATHY Van Extel: (Under) the health star rating scheme ... cheese and yoghurt get two to 2.5 stars, compared with four stars for custard, three stars for flavoured ice blocks and 2.5 stars for potato chips ...
Australian Dairy Industry Council chairman Noel Campbell: ... there’s an indication that potato chips are better for you than full-fat cheese.
AusVeg spokesman Hugh Gurney: A potato would receive roughly the same score health-wise as ... custard ... cauliflower may be another one which isn’t as highly rated.
The cost?:
The Australian Food and Grocery Council says the labelling system will cost $200 million to implement.
And why the website promoting it was taken down, to Labor cries of a conspiracy:
A spokeswoman for Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash said the health star rating system was not yet in place, so putting up a website would be confusing for consumers.
“It was unanimously agreed at the Ministerial and Governance Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) in December, that a cost-benefit analysis needed to be undertaken to ensure sufficient rigour in the process and that industry impacts were fully considered,” the ABC was told in a statement.
The real scandal is that this idiotic scheme was drawn up. Does anyone seriously think it would keep people skinnier? 

Denied a movie ticket, Michael Williamson pinches $5 million from his members

Andrew Bolt March 04 2014 (5:43am)

A psychiatrist tries to explain why former Health Services Union boss Michael Williamson, once Labor’s national president, defrauded his low-paid members of $5 million:
Dr Westmore told the court that Williamson remembered an occasion in his childhood where his parents couldn’t pay for a movie ticket, and it drove him to ensure his five children never went without.
The prosecutor somehow manages to dry her tears:
“There has been no actual restitution … notwithstanding the fact that the union is $5 million worse off,” Ms Winborne said. 

Obama should apologise to Romney and the US public for deceiving on Ukraine

Andrew Bolt March 04 2014 (12:00am)

Barack Obama hasn’t just been weak in responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  He was foolish or deceitful in claiming such a thing could never happen.
Mitt Romney was mocked by Barack Obama in the 2012 campaign for warning that Russia was America’s greatest geo-political security threat:

Obama attempted to paint Romney as somehow out-of-touch with 21st century geo-politics, suggesting (ironically, as we now know) that al-Qaeda was a bigger threat than Russia. “You said Russia. Not al-Qaeda. You said Russia,” Obama said regarding biggest threats. Then came this snarky blast:

“The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because…the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”
Sarah Palin was mocked by the Left in 2008 for warning that Russia could invade Ukraine under Obama:

[Palin said after] the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.

For those comments, she was mocked by the high-brow Foreign Policy magazine and its editor Blake Hounshell, who now is one of the editors of Politico magazine…
Hounshell wrote then that Palin’s comments were “strange” and “this is an extremely far-fetched scenario.”
“And given how Russia has been able to unsettle Ukraine’s pro-Western government without firing a shot, I don’t see why violence would be necessary to bring Kiev to heel,” Hounshell dismissively wrote.
One explanation for a failure that is not just Obama’s but of the wider “intellectual” Left, from Walter Russell Mead: President Obama made clear that Russia’s continued violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would negatively impact Russia’s standing in the international community.
American experts and academics assume that smart people everywhere must want the same things and reach the same conclusions about the way the world works. How many times did foolishly confident American experts and officials come out with some variant of the phrase “We all share a common interest in a stable and prosperous Ukraine.” We may think that’s true, but Putin doesn’t. We blame this in part on the absence of true intellectual and ideological diversity in so much of the academy, the policy world and the mainstream media.

The line in Obama’s published response to Putin that says it all:

President Obama made clear that Russia’s continued violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would negatively impact Russia’s standing in the international community.
You mean, Putin didn’t consider that? And dismiss it as of no account?
(Thanks to readers Steve, Waxing Gibberish and Alan RM Jones.) 











Homer .. D'Oh!






















March 4Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday in Western Christianity (2014); Saint Casimir's Day
Forth Bridge, Scotland




Holidays and observances[edit]

““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” - Isaiah 55:8-9
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

March 3: Morning
"I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." - Isaiah 48:10
Comfort thyself, tried believer, with this thought: God saith, "I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Does not the word come like a soft shower, assuaging the fury of the flame? Yea, is it not an asbestos armour, against which the heat hath no power? Let affliction come--God has chosen me. Poverty, thou mayst stride in at my door, but God is in the house already, and he has chosen me. Sickness, thou mayst intrude, but I have a balsam ready--God has chosen me. Whatever befalls me in this vale of tears, I know that he has "chosen" me. If, believer, thou requirest still greater comfort, remember that you have the Son of Man with you in the furnace. In that silent chamber of yours, there sitteth by your side One whom thou hast not seen, but whom thou lovest; and ofttimes when thou knowest it not, he makes all thy bed in thy affliction, and smooths thy pillow for thee. Thou art in poverty; but in that lovely house of thine the Lord of life and glory is a frequent visitor. He loves to come into these desolate places, that he may visit thee. Thy friend sticks closely to thee. Thou canst not see him, but thou mayst feel the pressure of his hands. Dost thou not hear his voice? Even in the valley of the shadow of death he says, "Fear not, I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God." Remember that noble speech of Caesar: "Fear not, thou carriest Caesar and all his fortune." Fear not, Christian; Jesus is with thee. In all thy fiery trials, his presence is both thy comfort and safety. He will never leave one whom he has chosen for his own. "Fear not, for I am with thee," is his sure word of promise to his chosen ones in the "furnace of affliction." Wilt thou not, then, take fast hold of Christ, and say--

"Through floods and flames, if Jesus lead,
I'll follow where he goes."
"He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove." - Matthew 3:16
As the Spirit of God descended upon the Lord Jesus, the head, so he also, in measure, descends upon the members of the mystical body. His descent is to us after the same fashion as that in which it fell upon our Lord. There is often a singular rapidity about it; or ever we are aware, we are impelled onward and heavenward beyond all expectation. Yet is there none of the hurry of earthly haste, for the wings of the dove are as soft as they are swift. Quietness seems essential to many spiritual operations; the Lord is in the still small voice, and like the dew, his grace is distilled in silence. The dove has ever been the chosen type of purity, and the Holy Spirit is holiness itself. Where he cometh, everything that is pure and lovely, and of good report, is made to abound, and sin and uncleanness depart. Peace reigns also where the Holy Dove comes with power; he bears the olive branch which shows that the waters of divine wrath are assuaged. Gentleness is a sure result of the Sacred Dove's transforming power: hearts touched by his benign influence are meek and lowly henceforth and forever. Harmlessness follows, as a matter of course; eagles and ravens may hunt their prey--the turtledove can endure wrong, but cannot inflict it. We must be harmless as doves. The dove is an apt picture of love, the voice of the turtle is full of affection; and so, the soul visited by the blessed Spirit, abounds in love to God, in love to the brethren, and in love to sinners; and above all, in love to Jesus. The brooding of the Spirit of God upon the face of the deep, first produced order and life, and in our hearts, he causes and fosters new life and light. Blessed Spirit, as thou didst rest upon our dear Redeemer, even so rest upon us from this time forward and forever.
[Ădonī'jah] - jehovah is lord.
1. The fourth son of David and Haggith, born in Hebron (2 Sam 3:4). Adonijah was the victim of Oriental intrigue. After the death of Absalom, he became the rightful heir to the throne (1 Kings 2:15), but Bathsheba had other designs for her son Solomon who, when secure on the throne interpreted Adonijah's desire for Abishag as an effort to secure the kingdom. Self-preservation compelled Solomon to order Adonijah's death, a sentence carried out by Benaiah.

2. A Levite sent by Jehoshaphat to teach the Law ( 2 Chron. 17:8).

3. A chieftain who with Nehemiah sealed the covenant (Neh. 10:14-16).

Today's reading: Numbers 26-28, Mark 8 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Numbers 26-28

The Second Census
After the plague the LORD said to Moses and Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, 2 "Take a census of the whole Israelite community by families--all those twenty years old or more who are able to serve in the army of Israel." 3 So on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho, Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke with them and said, 4 "Take a census of the men twenty years old or more, as the LORD commanded Moses...."

Today's New Testament reading: Mark 8

Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand
1 During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, 2 "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance."
4 His disciples answered, "But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?"

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