Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wed Mar 12th 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?

Belisarius is sometimes called 'The Last of the Romans' a general under Justinian of the Byzantine Empire, he reconquered a lot of what had been lost when Rome fell. He fought Goths and Vandals and won. But they weren't as pernicious as they are now. Belisarius designed a troop of heavy war horse which was a significant advance on earlier military organisations. It was on this day, in 538, Ostrogoth king Vitiges left Rome to the victorious Belisarius. 

In stark contrast, today in 1864 saw the launch of the Red River campaign. In Louisiana, a large union force of thirty thousand engaged with a confederate force between fifteen and six thousand and failed to  achieve any of their objectives. Central to achieving any goal is planning. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. 

One thing that cannot be planned yet, despite the technology, is family. Things happen with family which takes more than planning, it takes grace and compassion. An old joke about Standard Temperature and Pressure (STP) is that given ideal STP conditions, an amoeba will do exactly as it pleases. I read an account today of a father raising a boy with autism. Not an entire account, but the salient point was the dad had had to start a school for autistic children because one had not existed and it was something his child needed, and other children. It takes money. It takes time, and there is not enough of either for everything. But such things take on a life of their own. between the ages of one and six is the ideal time to intervene in autism for development. Not to cure, but to support. It exposes the truth that failing to plan is not the same as not planning enough. There is always more to be done. But the journey of a thousand miles, still begins with a single step.
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns Quynh My TruongBen Nuffinsus CartwrightDaphne Iris Van Vloten and Matt Sezer. Born on the same day, across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
Matches
Despatches
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Just another Labor scheme using your money

Andrew Bolt March 11 2014 (8:56pm)

Labor management skills on display:
DEPUTY Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek has defended Labor’s flagship social housing program as “very well-designed scheme”, amid evidence companies behind a major Sydney development tapped $80 million in taxpayer subsidies to help build units for wealthy foreign students.
Earlier this month, The Australian revealed that universities had won thousands of grants under the National Rental Affordability Scheme and were filling hundreds of these government-sponsored units with fee-paying international students.
A promotional brochure issued by developers Frasers Property Australia and Sekisui House Australia, and seen by The Australian, tells would-be investors in the Central Park development in central Sydney the project is “NRAS-advantaged’’ and that foreign students pay higher fees than locals, with their total expenditure topping $55,000 a year…
Ms Plibersek, who as housing minister in the Rudd government was the architect of the NRAS, today said it was “a terrific program” that had delivered 14,000 new homes with another 24,000 in the pipeline.
“The vast majority of people who live in National Rental Affordability Scheme properties are people on very low incomes — sole parents, pensioners, the whole range of people on low incomes including most particularly key workers,” Ms Plibersek said in Perth.
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Few listeners for the Left’s shouting

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, March 11, 2014 (11:57pm)

SCOTT Ludlum’s “viral” hate speech against Tony Abbott signified the moment the Left finally lost its marbles: 10.08pm, Monday March 3, 2014.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Few listeners for the Left’s shouting'
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THE FLYING PUMPKIN

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 11, 2014 (6:31pm)

2013. The Guardian‘s Vanessa Badham worries about Halloween’s carbon dioxide impact: 
Those who wonder how a continent currently undergoing out-of-season bushfires, floods, unprecedented high temperatures and other freakish events could elect a government that abolishes its Climate Commission, bear in mind that there are young Australians currently carving jack-o-lanterns out of pumpkins that have had to be flown in for the occasion. 
2014. The Guardian‘s Vanessa Badham celebrates her personal air travel: 
As someone who flies all the time, all over the world … 
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JOE McGINNISS

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 12, 2014 (11:17am)

Author and Sarah Palin stalker Joe McGinniss has died at 71.
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GREEN PRIDE

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 12, 2014 (12:56pm)

Peter Costello salutes the Greens
There’s one group of people who should be cheering the closure of Ford, Toyota, and Alcoa’s Port Henry aluminium smelter. Heavy industries like these use a lot of electricity. That electricity comes from burning coal, mostly brown coal, which throws off enormous amounts of carbon dioxide — the stuff the previous government used to call “carbon pollution”. The wonderful thing about closing car plants and smelters is all the pollution it will prevent. This is a great step forward in the battle to save the planet.
But they’re humble folks those Greens. They don’t boast about their successes. Businesses that needed cheap power to stay profitable are becoming uncompetitive and closing. The carbon tax is working the way it was intended — taxing heavy emitters out of business. The carbon tax is highly effective. And the Greens must be proud of the results. 
In other green developments, Guardian burgerphobe Leo Hickman is still banging on about some kind of ethical living indulgence he undertook ten years ago. The Guardian‘s readers, however, demand further sacrifice: 
• I am rather puzzled by counting heads and seeing that the writer appears to have three children. Guess he is no longer that concerned with ethical living these days.
• Having a child is one of the worst things you can do, environmentally speaking.
• As long as you have a house, mains power and a vehicle you cannot be living ethically. 
Speaking of kids and the environment, Tim Flannery is about to become a daddy again. Congrats, pal!
UPDATE. Miranda Devine on two recent environmental orations: 
The night after Ludlum gave his nasty little speech, Abbott delivered his own speech around the corner, in the Great Hall of Parliament House, at the annual dinner of the Australian Forest Products Association. It was an ode to the timber industry that could only be interpreted as a giant finger to the green movement.
“I salute you as people who love the natural world, as people who love what Mother Nature gives us and who want to husband it for the long-term best interests of humanity.”
He called foresters the “ultimate conservationists”. Which of course they are. They were taking care of trees long before middle-class professional Greens showed up to destroy their livelihood. 
Quite so.
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THEY LIKE TO TALK

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 12, 2014 (12:30pm)

US Democrat Harry Reid calls for climate action
“Every day that goes by, every week that goes, every month that goes by, every year that goes by ... there’s more evidence of the dangers of climate change,” Reid said Tuesday afternoon, in response to a question from THE WEEKLY STANDARD. “The more climate changes, the more extreme the weather gets, and we’ve seen that in spades.” 
Very well, then. So how come Reid and his fellow Democrats haven’t done anything? 
Asked about Democrats’ inaction on climate change legislation when the party had a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate early in the Obama administration, Reid said Democrats were busy with other legislation, including Obamacare. 
(Via Alan R.M. Jones)
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HOBBY PAPER

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 12, 2014 (11:50am)

Jonathan Holmes isn’t impressed by the The Saturday Paper, Australia’s latest leftist work shelter: 
Its young editor, Erik Jensen, told the ABC’s Media Report that the paper would tackle only a few stories each week, but that “we will give them to you in greater depth than anyone else”.
His lead story that first week was Manus Island. After reading Sophie Morris’ story, he declared, “you will properly understand for the first time precisely what happened at Manus Island, and who was on what side of which fence”.
Well, no. Morris is the paper’s Canberra correspondent. She didn’t go near Manus Island. 
When even Holmesy is underwhelmed, you know the thing has problems. Readers are invited to nominate a closure date.
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UNSETTLED AND DERAILED

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 12, 2014 (2:09pm)

If anybody wants some sedatives, don’t bother asking Jenna Price. The outraged journalism academic is clearly low on supplies
Of the many utterly loathsome actions of the members of this government, the attempt to besmirch, belittle and demean our ABC is among the worst.
There can be no other analysis of this concerted campaign than to say it is a determined attack on democracy … 
Sure, Jenna. Whatever you say. Then follows a paragraph that might work better if it was screamed in the dark: 
You can imagine, of course, how uncomfortable this must make those who lie for a living. Who cannot bear the forensics of investigation, which good reporters carry out on behalf of the nation. This is where, in the studios of Ultimo, in Parliament House, this is where and when we find out whether our future Prime Ministers have bothered to read the financial statements of the companies about which they proclaim. This is where we can, from the comfort of our couches, cheer drink every time we hear those words “carbon tax” or “penalty rates” without one whit of proof from those who claim to understand our economy. Who claim to have the ears of the ranks of C-suite around the country. Who pretend to know what horrors are being perpetrated in our names on those who seek asylum. 
I don’t know about you, but I need a stiff cheer drink after that. 
For the past six months – at least – Coalition politician after Coalition politician has sought to derail the national broadcaster, to threaten covertly its managing director, Mark Scott, to unsettle and derail its reporters … 
Poor reporters. They’ve been “unsettled”. Imagine how much more unsettled they might be if the government, say, tried to silence or intimidate them. Price (shown here in her cardigan of concern) ends with a swipe at The Australian‘s Chris Kenny: 
It’s our ABC. Not yours. 
That’ll be good news for Chris, who can no doubt expect a tax refund for decades of contributions to something he doesn’t own. Wouldn’t mind a piece of that myself.
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Which Labor muckraker authorised this?

Andrew Bolt March 12 2014 (3:40pm)


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It fits in a way. Think projection and all that. Labor, the party so dangerously prone to restrict free speech that might offend, unleashes its inner racist:
LIBERAL candidate for the seat of Elder Carolyn Habib says campaign material authorised by the Labor Party is a “filthy and racist” attack on her surname.
The flyer cover has the words “can you trust Habib” set against what appears to be an old wall…

I think it is a very thinly veiled racist attack against my surname,” she said.
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“It’s a new low and a very, very filthy campaign in what has already been a dirty campaign over the past few weeks.”
Ms Habib said she was born in Alice Springs, her father is from Lebanon and her mother is from Canada.
How low can you get? The prominence given to her surname, up against the wall, sends an unmistakable message – about what’s in Labor’s nasty mind.
I want section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act scrapped to allow freer speech, but hope to God it’s first used against the genuine low-life who did this. Let’s see the Left damn those responsible, just as conservatives damned those who did this
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Freedom, the dirty word of the modern Left

Andrew Bolt March 12 2014 (10:56am)

What a sad commentary on the people running our universities - other than Greg Craven, vice-chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, who writes of the reception given to a speech by Education Minister Chris Pyne:

It is a judgment on Pyne’s listeners rather than him that when they hear the trumpet of liberty rather than the tinkling of a cash register, they tune out.
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This is the Left using your money to talk to its friends

Andrew Bolt March 12 2014 (10:16am)

Taxpayers’ money was used in Adelaide last weekend to show the Left agreeing with the Left about what most other Australians know should actually be debated.
Brought to you by sponsors including the South Australian Government and University of South Australia, this farcical exercise in group-think is a perfect example of how government money is used to distort the debate and give the Left a privileged say - with dissent completely excluded:
The Planet Talks...
Taking the WOMADelaide fans’ experience beyond discovering new sounds, sights and flavours, the sessions explore a range of new ideas and topics that deal with our sustainable relationship to the planet in six thought-provoking panel discussions.
The sessions will be hosted by Robyn Williams (ABC Radio National) and Bernie Hobbs (ex ABC TV’s The New Inventors).
The Planet Talks is presented by the University of South Australia…

Saturday - Our Environmental Reality
… 

SESSION 01 - The three great threats to biodiversity: climate change, people and habitat loss… Life on this planet is under extreme duress… What will the term biodiversity mean in 2100?..

SESSION 02 - Transforming Society ...
With a change of government and climate change action policy, where to now for “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time”?

Sunday - Politics, Media, Law and Merchants of Doubt


SESSION 01 - The Captain Kirk & Dr Spock of communicating climate change

The Media, MPs and Mothers all play vital roles in shaping our emotional (Kirk) and rational (Spock) attitudes to environmental action.
How do they frame a climate change message in ways that are relevant, accurate and meaningful to their audiences?
5.00PM SESSION 02 - When Polly met Peter & Tim…

Find out what happens when one of the world’s most visionary thinkers in the area of law and environmental action - Polly Higgins - meets Australia’s leading environmental thinker, writer and activist Tim Flannery and former government minister, ACF president and Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett for a frank conversation about why and how the law and legislation must tackle climate change. 
Monday - The Future and Positive Change...

SESSION 01 - Climate change and 100 million person cities…
Thanks to the latest research from a host of the world’s most respected climate scientists like Tom Wigley, the weight of evidence pointing to the human role in changing our weather is now beyond compelling…

SESSION 02 - Gen Z and Distractions vs Action…
Generation Z are the most globally exposed and connected generation in the history of the planet. They will inherit any mess made by their parents and grandparents but are they more concerned about celebrity culture and low carb diets than climate change and low carbon economies? 


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The truth about Marcia Langton. I ask Tony Jones to read it

Andrew Bolt March 12 2014 (10:10am)

Free speech, The politics of race

)
Marcia Langton on Q&A accused me of subjecting her colleague Misty Jenkins to “foul abuse ... simply racial abuse”, She claimed I had “argued that (Jenkins) had no right to claim that she was Aboriginal” and so abused her that she “withdrew from public life” and no longer taught students.
Every one of those claims is false.
I have not yet received legal clearance to quote from my own article in 2008 which Langton so grossly misrepresents, but Cut & Paste today does. It contrasts what I actually wrote with what Langton on Monday claimed, and then suggests the truth.
If Langton had a shred of integrity she would apologise. If Q&A believed in redressing gross and devastating untruths it would next week distance itself from what Langton said unchallenged.
UPDATE
Fighting racist division is now the ultimate racist act, it seems. And journalists are leading the calls for their own muzzle. The Australian on this bizarre moral inversion:
The Abbott government is seeking to unwind section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act — which deems words unlawful if they offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate people on the grounds of race — because it restricts free speech. Yet it is facing trenchant opposition. Following the successful 2011 prosecution under these laws of columnist Andrew Bolt of News Corp Australia (publisher of The Australian), the debate is often reduced to whether or not participants agree with what Bolt wrote. Defend the current law or defend Bolt; it is a phony choice. The point of this debate is that even people who strongly disagree with Bolt’s words can defend his freedom to publish them. What makes this sad debate even more pitiful is that argue as you might about Bolt’s provocative tone and strong words, but his “offending” articles were actually a passionate argument against racial discrimination of any kind. Yet the words are banned — erased from websites. This is the perverse effect of section 18C — a liberal democracy bans articles in which a commentator shares honestly held views against race-based preferment.
The nation will need a better approach if it is going to be able to have a constructive debate about indigenous recognition in the Constitution. The “progressives” who support that move and would normally defend freedom of expression might unwittingly be cruelling the pitch through their defence of section 18C. On ABC TV’s Q&A this week, Attorney-General George Brandis could find no support for his free-speech position on a panel of six, including three journalists. Perhaps those enjoined in this debate don’t want to be seen to be on Bolt’s side (even if they haven’t been able to read his banned articles). Political correctness might have become so insidious that it is now a thought-crime to support the repeal of laws that stifle free speech lest we be tarred with the words of others. Far from emulating Voltaire’s famous line on free speech, the political class surrenders.
I could prove that my banned articles argued against racism and racial division by republishing them - but the Federal Court has ruled that I may not. Mein Kampf can be published, but my articles fighting racism cannot.
My articles must be the most dangerous in the country - the Lady Chatterley’s Lover of the 21st Century.
UPDATE
I’ve now had advice from our lawyers that I am allowed to quote the article I wrote in 2008 which Marcia Langton so mischaracterised. (This the expense and worry we must now go to simply to have a debate on a matter of public importance - an expense and worry spared the likes of Langton. Free speech?)
As The Australian today summarised it:
ABC1’s Q&A, Monday:
MARCIA Langton: In my opinion, the articles that (Andrew) Bolt wrote about several Aboriginal people were far from the subject of politics and simply abusive. Now, just to take one instance, there was a young woman who was the victim of his abuse ... Dr Misty Jenkins ... the victim of foul abuse from Bolt now, nothing that he said about her was political. It was simply racial abuse. He argued that she had no right to claim that she was Aboriginal and, like most fools who put this argument in public, we are expected to deny our parents and our grandparents because somebody believes in race theories. So, I absolutely refute ... that this has to do with … (the) suppression of political debate.
Foul abuse? Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, May 21, 2008:

MELBOURNE University has a record that illustrates my theory that state-funded institutions tend to lean to the cultural Left ... Read the latest issue of ... the university’s alumni magazine ... the cover story argues that the mainly black murderers (in the Deep South) ... are victims ... Page two promotes Kevin Rudd’s apology ... Page three announces that Davis has picked … global warming alarmist Ross Garnaut, as one of his Vice-Chancellor’s Fellows. Page four has a feature on Dr Misty Jenkins, a blonde and pale science PhD who calls herself Aboriginal and enthuses: “I was able to watch the coverage of Kevin Rudd’s (sorry) speech with tears rolling down my cheeks ... Recognition of the atrocities caused by Australian government policies was well overdue.” “Independent”? “Nonpartisan”? Pages six and seven boast that the university hosted Rudd’s “first major policy conference” … There are even … pictures of Rudd ... Wayne Swan, Nicola Roxon and Kim Carr. “Independent”? “Nonpartisan”? You get the message.
Read on as The Australian does a fact-check.
I don’t yet dare link to my full article, but a simple Google search will find it.
UPDATE
The Herald Sun on free speech:

An opinion as to some people using their ethnicity to their advantage might have been offensive to some, but should that have prevented Bolt from saying as much? The Herald Sun says the answer to this is an emphatic “no’’....
No, it’s not, and the Racial Discrimination Act, Section 18C, is an Act too far… It is offensive to tell people they must not voice their opinions…
The underlying problem with the ill-considered effects of Section 18C is that if someone says they have been offended or humiliated, who is to challenge them? That is not what freedom of speech and the right to fairly voice your opinions is about.
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Iranian commander warns: Islam gives Iran power to destroy Israel

Andrew Bolt March 12 2014 (8:43am)

Sure, the West can trust Iran with a nuclear bomb. What could possibly go wrong?
The air force commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps was quoted by Iran’s Fars news agency as saying Tuesday that Iran’s military has its finger on the trigger to destroy Israel as soon as it receives the order to do so.
In an article headlined “IRGC Commander: Iran’s Finger on Trigger to Destroy Zionist Regime,” Fars wrote that Brigadier General Hossein Salami had declared that Iranian military commanders are prepared to attack and destroy the Zionist regime of Israel as soon as they receive such an order. “Today, we can destroy every spot which is under the Zionist regime’s control with any volume of fire power (that we want) right from here,” Fars quoted Salami as telling a conference in Tehran Tuesday ...
Islam has given us this wish, capacity and power to destroy the Zionist regime so that our hands will remain on the trigger from 1,400 kilometers away for the day when such an incident (confrontation with Israel) takes place,” he was also quoted saying in the speech.
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Australia faces its China Syndrome

Andrew Bolt March 12 2014 (8:31am)

Terry McCrann says our economic future depends largely on China - and the sudden drop in iron ore prices tell us we could be in for serious trouble.
First, here’s how China was our Tattslotto:
The China boom centred on iron ore, which for the previous 30 years had been the solid, unspectacular, anything-but glamorous commodity.
BHP Billiton’s numbers tell the story. In 2003 BHP shipped off 76 million tonnes and received $US2 billion ($2.2 billion) in revenue.
In 2008, at the peak of the pre-GFC boom, its iron ore revenue had more than quadrupled, to $US9 billion, with its exports up to 124 million tonnes.
Then China really kicked in: by 2011 its iron ore revenues had more than doubled again, to $US20 billion. This was driven by a modest further increase in volumes, to 135 million tonnes; but much more by a surge in the iron ore price to $US151 a tonne.
Last year, it held the revenue figure, by shipping more — 170 million tonnes — at a lower price, $US118 a tonne.

Same kind of story with the other miners.
Now, what if we got both lower prices AND lower volumes?
The immediate fear and loathing was sparked by some spectacularly negative figures out of China.
Its monthly trade bottom line recorded a mammoth turnaround from a $US32 billion surplus to a $US23 billion deficit. Thanks to an equally mammoth — and completely unpredicted — 18 per cent fall in exports.
We’ve got used to double digit growth each year in China. Their government is now talking about it ‘easing’ to 7.25 per cent.
Let’s hope we could be that lucky. What if it fell to 6 per cent? Or lower?
China is like a shark that might be in the process of suddenly not going forward. All sorts of things can start to unwind.
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Greens try to do to the country what they’ve done to poor Tasmania

Andrew Bolt March 12 2014 (8:19am)

Great column today by Peter Costello:
THERE’S one group of people who should be cheering the closure of Ford, Toyota, and Alcoa’s Port Henry aluminium smelter.
Heavy industries like those use a lot of electricity ... which throws off enormous amounts of carbon dioxide — the stuff the previous government used to call “carbon pollution"…
But they’re humble folks, those Greens. They don’t boast about their successes… The carbon tax is working the way it was intended: taxing heavy emitters out of business…
If you want to see what a place looks like after years of those policies, visit Tasmania… Tasmania has de-industrialised. You won’t find car workers in Tasmania. But it is a clean, green state. Per head of population, Tasmania generates much less “carbon pollution” than New South Wales or Victoria.
Tasmania also has the highest unemployment of any Australian state… Unemployment would be much higher still if Tasmania hadn’t perfected the art of extracting financial subsidies from the rest of us. Tasmania sends 12 senators to the Commonwealth Parliament, the same as every other state. But since the population of Tasmania is so much smaller, a Tasmanian senator needs about one-tenth of the votes a Victorian senator needs to get elected. A very small group of Tasmanian voters has been sending Greens like Bob Brown and Christine Milne to Canberra for decades with the aim of doing to the whole country what they have done to their own state: to de-industrialise it.
But there is one big difference. No matter how much damage Tasmania does to itself, it will always be able to call on federal subsidies to cushion the blow.... But ... there is no great international benefactor that is going to step in to give Australia money to save it from itself.  
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What does Malaysia really know about the missing flight?

Andrew Bolt March 12 2014 (7:33am)

First we were told the missing Malaysian jet, carrying 239 people, was last tracked two hours out of Kuala Lumpur, near Vietnamese air space:
Malaysia’s flag carrier said flight MH370 disappeared, without giving a distress signal, at 2:40am local time on Saturday (18:40 GMT Friday), about two hours after leaving Kuala Lumpur International Airport....
Al Jazeera’s Florence Looi, reporting from Kuala Lumpur, said that the search teams concentrate rescue efforts on the area where contact was last made with the aircraft.
“There are more than a dozen Malaysian planes involved in the search and rescue mission and about nine ships from the same country. Singapore and Vietnam are also involved in the mission. And the US is sending two ships,” she said…
A report by China’s Xinhua news agency said contact was lost with the plane while it was near Vietnamese airspace.
Now we’re told the Malaysian air force may have tracked the jet hundreds of kilometres away from the initial search zone - or maybe not:
Malaysian authorities now believe that a jetliner missing since Saturday may have radically changed course around the time that it stopped communicating with ground controllers…
On Tuesday, the fourth day after the plane disappeared while on an overnight flight to Beijing, the country’s air force chief, General Rodzali Daud, was quoted in a Malaysian newspaper saying the military had received “signals” on Saturday that after the aircraft stopped communicating with ground controllers, it changed course sharply, from heading northeast to heading west, and flew hundreds of kilometres across Peninsular Malaysia and out over the Strait of Malacca, before the tracking went blank.

The Strait of Malacca is far from where it last made contact with civilian air traffic control off the country’s east coast
The air force chief did not say what kind of signals the military had tracked. But his remarks raised questions about whether the military had noticed the plane as it flew across the country and about when it informed civilian authorities… According to the general’s account, the last sign of the plane was recorded at 2:40 am, and the aircraft was then near Pulau Perak, an island more than 160 kilometres off the western shore of the Malaysian peninsula…
Adding to the confusion, Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad, spokesman for the prime minister’s office, said in a telephone interview that he had checked with senior military officials, who told him there was no evidence that the plane had recrossed the Malaysian peninsula, only that it may have attempted to turn back…
“As far as they know, except for the air turn-back, there is no new development,” Mr Tengku Sariffuddin, adding that the reported remarks by the air force chief were “not true.”
Malaysia Airlines, meanwhile, offered a third, conflicting account. In a statement, the airline said authorities were “looking at a possibility” that the plane was headed to Subang, an airport outside Kuala Lumpur that handles mainly domestic flights.
Without specifying why, the Malaysian authorities vastly expanded the search area to the west on Monday… 
First we were told five passengers did not show up for the flight and had their bags unloaded:
Malaysian authorities say five men checked in for the flight but did not board, raising the possibility someone may have planted a bomb on board. But Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, head of Malaysia’s civil aviation, insisted that all the baggage loaded on the plane had been properly checked, and any bags belonging to no-show passengers had been off-loaded — apparently without significantly delaying the plane’s departure.
Then we were told all passengers turned up, or maybe they didn’t:
Khalid Abu Bakar, the inspector general of the Malaysian police, said previous reports by Malaysian officials that five passengers had failed to board the flight and that their baggage had been removed were false. “Everybody that booked the flight boarded the plane,” he said.
But Malaysia Airlines later issued a clarification, saying that there were four passengers who booked tickets on the flight but failed to check in at the airport or check any bags for the flight.
Malaysia first hinted two men boarding the flight with false passports were black:
Asked by a reporter what they looked like “roughly,” he said: “Do you know of a footballer by the name of (Mario) Balotelli? He is an Italian. Do you know how he looks like?”
A reporter then asked, “Is he black?” and the aviation chief replied, “Yes.”
Then we learn the two men were Iranian:
Two men travelling with stolen passports on a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner were Iranians who had bought tickets to Europe and were probably not terrorists, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.
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Clockwork orange
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=== Posts from one year ago ===

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US burger chain Carl's Jr plans to open 300 stores in Australia over the next ten years. Will you welcome a new fast-food chain to the country?http://bit.ly/ZgA9BY
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Got my ass kicked by 8 year olds in a springroll eating competition. ..totally underestimated those little ninjas...#lol #welldone #springrolls #instadaily #tweegram #kitchenninja
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UFO over Shasta 
Early morning lenticular cloud formation.
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4 her so she can see how she looks to me
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Exactly what in this boat people disaster is good?

Andrew BoltMARCH122013(12:35am)

Former Labor minister Gary Johns describes a classic case of the Left’s besetting weakness - to judge by the seeming, not the achieving: 
I once watched a former vice-chancellor preening himself in front of a UN cheer-squad audience of academics and public servants in Brisbane on the refugee question. He cited the poem Mending Wall by Robert Frost, which underscored the unkindness of fences as barriers to neighbours. The vice-chancellor spent his address criticising the Howard government’s refugee policy.
He cited the ancient proverb “good fences make good neighbours” and Frost’s romantic interpretation of it. In a great flourish the vice-chancellor declared, “Good fences make good neighbours: the hell they do!” and strode from the stage to rapturous applause. There is more wisdom in the western suburbs than in the elite.
Since Labor scrapped those laws lashed by the vice-chancellor we have seen: 
- a huge rise in boat people arriving, with a record 17,000 coming last year alone.
- at least 1000 boat people lured to their deaths.
- boat people sent out from choked detention centres on bridging visas, forbidden to work, to live in empty offices and abandoned houses, sometimes sleeping on the floor.
- taxpayers forced to pay $5 billion to handle the influx.
- relations with Indonesia damaged by the bungling.
- genuine refugees denied places here by queue jumps.
- Labor defending itself by demonising legally-arrived foreign workers instead.
Where is that vice-chancellor now with his poem and cheap theatrics?
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How low can Latham get?

Andrew BoltMARCH122013(8:15am)

Former Labor leader Mark Latham has said many low and contemptible things. His attempt to vilify the Opposition’s finance spokesman. Andrew Robb, over his battle with depression is astonishing. Vile.
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Muslim conference in strife, despite excuses for the radicals

Andrew BoltMARCH122013(8:30am)

Keysar Trad tries his old “out of context” excuse:
THE imam of the Grand Mosque of Mecca, who has called for the annihilation of Jews, is scheduled to give the keynote address at the Australian Islamic Peace Conference in Melbourne this weekend…
Sheik Sudais, who has called for violent jihad, has been denied entry to the US and Canada after describing Jews as “the scum of humanity” and “pigs and monkeys"…
Federation of Islamic Councils assistant secretary Keysar Trad said there was no comparison to be made between calls for Dutch anti-Islam activist Geert Wilders to be denied a visa on his recent visit to Australia, and similar calls regarding Sheik Sudais.
“One person may have made comments in anger. The other has made it his personal mission to go around the world telling lies about Muslims,” Mr Trad said…
“People can change and sometimes they say comments out of anger which they would retract when they calm down,” he said.
What lies? And show me where Wilders has ever abused Muslims as Imam Sudais has abused Jews, even calling for God to “terminate” them.
But it seems the ”largest ever Islamic conference in the history of Australia” which I wrote about last month is in trouble, which may be a tribute to the moderation of most Muslims here.
An observer writes (no link):
A large conference planned for next weekend at the Melbourne Showgrounds is facing chaos, financial ruin and possible cancellation. The 1000 volunteers needed for what is billed as “Australia’s biggest dawah conference” have not materialised. [Dawah is the Arabic term for ‘Islamic propagation’].  Last Sunday around 300 turned up to Melbourne University for the final planning meeting for the conference.  Waseem Razvi, the normally confident and charismatic president of the Islamic Research and Educational Academy (IREA) which is organising the conference, struggled to keep control of the crowd, sometimes shouting at them to be quiet. Many left without registering as volunteers. Ticket sales are low… Only 1 in 5 of the 200 marketing and commercial stalls have been rented.
Razvi has been rattled by recent revelations about a previous planning meeting in which he declared the real intent of the conference to a Muslim audience: “We don’t accept every religion. We are there to convey the message that Islam is the only right religion.” Razvi’s list of invited speakers was leaked to the media.  Among them was Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, the controversial Imam of Mecca. Al-Sudais gained notoriety by calling for the annihilation of the Jews, declaring them to be “rats of the world” and the “offspring of apes and pigs”. IREA is so embarrassed by these remarks that they are trying to conceal his identity. Advertisements for the conference, displayed on banners and posters put up around Melbourne this week, show a man at a microphone with an Arab headscarf pulled over his face. He is called the “Imam of Makkah” [Mecca], but the same photo on the official Mecca website has Arabic text underneath which identifies him as Al-Sudais. It is unclear whether his visa, questioned by the Department of Immigration, has been issued. Other visas of listed speakers have apparently been denied…
The mainstream Muslim community will not be represented at this conference. Those absent from the list of speakers include moderate Muslims such as the ABC’s Waleed Aly, or Melbourne University scholar Professor Abdullah Saeed. Instead, perhaps in an attempt to avoid more visa refusals, the conference plans to video live-stream two American preachers with questionable histories. Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, who taught the ‘Christmas Day Underpants Bomber’ at his Al-Maghrib institute, refuses to openly condemn militant jihad, saying ”My hands are tied, and my tongue is silent.” Sheikh Yusuf Estes advised a group of Muslim men on how to deal with disobedient wives: ”Roll up a newspaper and give her a crack. Or take a yardstick, something like this, and you can hit.”
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Is this the best way to lead our Test team?

Andrew BoltMARCH122013(8:49am)

Imposing discipline is all very well, but a great leader leads by inspiration and motivation, not dictatorial fiat. I suspect Michael Clarke will find his team playing with less pleasure under him, and with less passion.
With fewer good players, too:
Watson, James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson were all dumped for Thursday’s third Test for failing for a minor disciplinary breach - not completing an assignment by team management on how to make improvements in the team…
“Any time you are suspended from a Test match, unless you have done something unbelievably wrong and obviously everyone knows what those rules are - I think it is very harsh,” he said.
Without a doubt, there will be fault on both sides. But the question remains whether the cure will actually kill. 
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Is this the true face of Islam?

Andrew BoltMARCH122013(9:09am)

This is not the action of a “tiny unrepresentative minority” but of the government of Iran: 
Five Iranian Christian converts who were detained late last year will reportedly begin trial in Iran’s Revolutionary Court this week, according to a human rights group following the case.

The five men were among seven arrested in October when security forces raided an underground house church in the city of Shiraz during a prayer session. They will be tried at the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz’s Fars Province on charges of disturbing public order, evangelizing, threatening national security and engaging in Internet activity that threatens the government, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a religious persecution watchdog group.
No doubt Foreign Minister Bob Carr will protest....
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Clarkson does what we no longer dare

Andrew BoltMARCH122013(9:24am)

Nick Cater says we need Jeremy Clarkson on TV here because we’re too scared to make his kind of jokes ourselves: 
YOU only have to read The Sydney Morning Herald to see how easy it has become to take offence and how difficult it is to crack a joke. On Friday the tabloid devoted two mirthless pages to the semantic crimes of Jeremy Clarkson, who was reprimanded for sexist, racist and homophobic humour.
Clarkson’s most egregious expressions were published in a handy list. He described one car as “very ginger beer”, which, as you won’t be amused to learn, is slang for a gentleman who is good with colours. He declared Romania was “Borat country, with gypsies and Russian playboys”, and proposed a design for “a quintessentially German car” with Hitler-salute turn signals and a “satnav that only goes to Poland”.
None of that should be considered the least bit funny; we can be sure that these are verbal blunders with no satirical or ironic intent because they are printed under the headline “Foot in mouth”. Nanny blogger Mia Freedman wagged a finger in all the right places, telling the Herald that Clarkson and his fellow Top Gear presenters were “dialling up sexism under the guise of ‘aren’t we being naughty boys’.” Indeed they are, Ms Freedman, and therein lies the program’s charm.
Australians, as we know, don’t make anything any more. We can’t even make people wince in a way that once came naturally; we are forced to import British television programs to satisfy our need for umbrage.
A generation ago, Australia was a net exporter of semantic subversion. The trade peaked in the early 1970s when The Adventures of Barry McKenzie introduced the upright Poms to the one-eyed trouser snake…
A year earlier, Richard Neville, then editor of the satirical magazine Oz, was charged with “conspiring to produce a magazine containing divers lewd, indecent and sexually perverted articles, drawings and illustrations”.
But now? In the age which gave us Nicola Roxon, with her proposed laws against giving “offence”?
Politics has become a bland and humourless business in these cheerless, roxinated times. It is an offence not only to crack a joke, but to be in the proximity of the cracker. As The Australian reported in October: “Treasurer Wayne Swan admitted poor judgment yesterday for not objecting soon enough to an offensive joke.” 
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Polite men are actually sexists who like big breasts

Andrew BoltMARCH122013(9:45am)

Turns out, the findings also revealed that the more sexist a man is, the more likely he’ll be drawn to women with bigger breasts… Study co-author Viren Swami explains: “Benevolently sexist men may perceive larger breasts as ‘‘appropriate’’ for feminine women; in other words ... a feminine and submissive woman is likely to be someone with large breasts.”
Ironically, this means it’s the ‘nice guys’ who pride themselves in holding open car doors, offer to pay for dinners and believe ladies are to be ‘admired’ and ‘put on a pedestal’ who are most likely to buy into traditional beauty ideals – like having a ‘feminine figure’ in this case.
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An apology, not silence, would suit warmist Dr Karl better

Andrew BoltMARCH122013(10:31am)

What Britain’s warmist Met Office actually said about warming since 1997:
The linear trend from August 1997 ...  to August 2012 ...is about 0.03°C/decade, amounting to a temperature increase of 0.05°C over that period
What ABC science presenter Dr Karl repeatedly claims the Met said:
MET office data of static warming for last 16 years is a misconception? @JWSpry @25outsidefifty Yup, world has warmed 0.3C in last 16 years.
Dr Karl repeat his false claim: 
Reader JW Spry tries again to get ABC science presenter Dr Karl - a denier of the 16-year pause in warming - to correct a blatant error
image
That exchange ends abruptly when Dr Karl is (again) given a link to the Met Office document he repeatedly misquotes, showing the warming trend since 1997 is one sixth of what Dr Karl claims. In fact, statistically insignificant. 
And still no correction or retraction from this warmist.  When will the ABC demand its science presenter acknowledge clear errors?
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Gandhi and Sarojini Naidu
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“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” - Deuteronomy 7:9
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
March 11: Morning
"Sin ... exceeding sinful." - Romans 7:13
Beware of light thoughts of sin. At the time of conversion, the conscience is so tender, that we are afraid of the slightest sin. Young converts have a holy timidity, a godly fear lest they should offend against God. But alas! very soon the fine bloom upon these first ripe fruits is removed by the rough handling of the surrounding world: the sensitive plant of young piety turns into a willow in after life, too pliant, too easily yielding. It is sadly true, that even a Christian may grow by degrees so callous, that the sin which once startled him does not alarm him in the least. By degrees men get familiar with sin. The ear in which the cannon has been booming will not notice slight sounds. At first a little sin startles us; but soon we say, "Is it not a little one?" Then there comes another, larger, and then another, until by degrees we begin to regard sin as but a little ill; and then follows an unholy presumption: "We have not fallen into open sin. True, we tripped a little, but we stood upright in the main. We may have uttered one unholy word, but as for the most of our conversation, it has been consistent." So we palliate sin; we throw a cloak over it; we call it by dainty names. Christian, beware how thou thinkest lightly of sin. Take heed lest thou fall by little and little. Sin, a little thing? Is it not a poison? Who knows its deadliness? Sin, a little thing? Do not the little foxes spoil the grapes? Doth not the tiny coral insect build a rock which wrecks a navy? Do not little strokes fell lofty oaks? Will not continual droppings wear away stones? Sin, a little thing? It girded the Redeemer's head with thorns, and pierced his heart! It made him suffer anguish, bitterness, and woe. Could you weigh the least sin in the scales of eternity, you would fly from it as from a serpent, and abhor the least appearance of evil. Look upon all sin as that which crucified the Saviour, and you will see it to be "exceeding sinful."
Evening
"Thou shalt be called, Sought out." - Isaiah 62:12
The surpassing grace of God is seen very clearly in that we were not only sought, but sought out. Men seek for a thing which is lost upon the floor of the house, but in such a case there is only seeking, not seeking out. The loss is more perplexing and the search more persevering when a thing is sought out. We were mingled with the mire: we were as when some precious piece of gold falls into the sewer, and men gather out and carefully inspect a mass of abominable filth, and continue to stir and rake, and search among the heap until the treasure is found. Or, to use another figure, we were lost in a labyrinth; we wandered hither and thither, and when mercy came after us with the gospel, it did not find us at the first coming, it had to search for us and seek us out; for we as lost sheep were so desperately lost, and had wandered into such a strange country, that it did not seem possible that even the Good Shepherd should track our devious roamings. Glory be to unconquerable grace, we were sought out! No gloom could hide us, no filthiness could conceal us, we were found and brought home. Glory be to infinite love, God the Holy Spirit restored us!

The lives of some of God's people, if they could be written would fill us with holy astonishment. Strange and marvellous are the ways which God used in their case to find his own. Blessed be his name, he never relinquishes the search until the chosen are sought out effectually. They are not a people sought today and cast away to-morrow. Almightiness and wisdom combined will make no failures, they shall be called, "Sought out!" That any should be sought out is matchless grace, but that we should be sought out is grace beyond degree! We can find no reason for it but God's own sovereign love, and can only lift up our heart in wonder, and praise the Lord that this night we wear the name of "Sought out."
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Amasai 
[Ămăs'aī] - burdensome.
1. A descendant of Kohath, son of Levi (1 Chron. 6:252 Chron. 29:12).

2. A chieftain who joined David at Ziklag and became one of his captains (1 Chron. 12:18). Perhaps the same as Amasa, No. 1.

3. A Levite who helped in the return of the Ark from the house of Obed-edom (1 Chron. 15:24)
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Today's reading: Deuteronomy 13-15, Mark 12:28-44 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Deuteronomy 13-15

Worshiping Other Gods
If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them," 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul....

Today's New Testament reading: Mark 12:28-44

The Greatest Commandment
28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 31 The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
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Today's Lent reading: Matthew 7-9 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
Judging Others
1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye....
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Lent=Devotions-Header
The Easter season is often marked by spectacular displays of art and public worship--we might sing beautiful Easter hymns at church, attend moving Easter pageants, or participate in public acts of prayer, fasting, or devotion. Today's Scripture reading reminds us that in the midst of these outward displays, however appropriate they are, we are called to humility, self-sacrifice, reflection, and quiet suffering.

Today's Prayer

O Lord, who hast mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of thy Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone,
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore Thee,
a heart to delight in Thee,
to follow and enjoy Thee, for Christ's sake, Amen.
-- Ambrose of Milan, 4th century bishop

Today's Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:1-6,16-21
Teaching about Giving to the Needy
"Watch out! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give to someone in need, don't do as the hypocrites do-blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3But when you give to someone in need, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
Teaching about Prayer and Fasting
5 "When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
16 "And when you fast, don't make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
Teaching about Money and Possessions
19 "Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

Today's Quote 

"When your heart is thus established in Christ, and you are an enemy of sin, out of love and not out of fear of punishment, Christ's sufferings should also be an example for your whole life, and you should meditate on the same in a different way.... If a day of sorrow or sickness weighs you down, think, how trifling that is compared with the thorns and nails of Christ. If you must do or leave undone what is distasteful to you: think,how Christ was led hither and thither, bound and a captive. Does pride attack you: behold, how your Lord was mocked and disgraced with murderers. Do unchastity and lust thrust themselves against you: think, how bitter it was for Christ to have his tender flesh torn, pierced and beaten again and again. Do hatred and envy war against you, or do you seek vengeance: remember how Christ with many tears and cries prayed for you and all his enemies, who indeed had more reason to seek revenge . If trouble or whatever adversity of body or soul afflict you, strengthen your heart and say: Ah, why then should I not also suffer a little since my Lord sweat blood in the garden because of anxiety and grief?

"One can thus find in Christ strength and comfort against all vice and bad habits.... And they are called true Christians who incorporate the life and name of Christ into their own life, as St. Paul says in Gal 5, 24: "And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof." For Christ's Passion must be dealt with not in words and a show, but in our lives and in truth.... But this kind of meditation is now out of use and very rare, although the Epistles of St. Paul and St. Peter are full of it. We have changed the essence into a mere show, and painted the meditation of Christ's sufferings only in letters and on walls." -- Martin Luther, "How to Contemplate Christ's Holy Sufferings"

Something to Think About

As Easter approaches, are your words and actions marked by humility? Whatever you're doing to prepare for Easter, are you doing it to honor Christ, or to be noticed by others?

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