Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wed Mar 26th 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 1812, The Boston Gazette printed a picture which accurately described the Electoral Commission's production of a South Australian Electorate. It was called a Gerrymander. The idea of a Gerrymander is to pack lots of voters into a small number of electorates who vote one way, and stack electorates which just favour another party. The result in South Australia is that the Liberal party can win 44.8% of first preference votes, but fewer seats than the ALP who got 35.8% of the vote with 91.9% of the vote counted. Two independents with 3.7% of the vote control the state. Electronic voting would not have changed the result, but could end rorting of the elections in future. But it is doubtful a corrupt and biased electoral commission would advocate it. Also, it is a condemnation of the press that this circumstance has arisen. There is no balance, although some occasionally make an effort, like News Corp. It isn't balanced to claim to be even handed by praising corruption of one group and good work of the other. 

Much has been said that is critical of Mr Sinodinos. He was chairman of a company that had exorbitant salaries and small staff. Had it been successful, he would have made many $millions. It failed. Sinodinos is being asked questions as a witness before the ICAC, not as an accused. It might be the case that the bid of the company failed because Sinodinos exercised due diligence. However, what is dodgy is the corrupt ALP figure of Eddie Obeid. And the ALP are saying that clearly while denouncing Sinodinos. According to the denunciations, it was obvious all along Obeid was corrupt. So why didn't the ALP address it long ago? 
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns Mark PeltonenBe a Ravensdale and Daniel Staniforth. Born on the same day William Caxton printed the first English translation of Aesop's Fables. Talented and fabulous
Matches
Despatches
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Dirty deals at heart of Houso brouhaha

Miranda Devine – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 (7:21pm)

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IT’S no egalitarian tribute to Sydney that its most precious triangle of north-facing harbourfront real estate, at the foot of the Harbour Bridge, is a run-down hovel.
It’s just a reminder of this city’s bad old days of greed, thuggery - and graft, for those in the know.
So when you hear Lord Mayor Clover Moore and Paul McAleer from the Maritime Union of Australia complain about the NSW government’s decision to sell off half a billion dollars worth of public housing in Millers Point, keep in mind the troubled history of this little patch of paradise.
Millers Point, from the northern end of Lower Fort St, through Argyle Place to Merriman St in the west, and down to the southern end of High St, is a decaying monument to the standover tactics of the wharfies and the defunct, deregistered, disgraced Builders Labourers Federation.
These belligerent unions helped keep Millers Point in the hands of their friends and family for generations, people who paid peppercorn rents, first to the Sydney Harbour Trust, then the Maritime Services Board from 1910, and finally, from 1970, to the Housing Commission (now Housing NSW).
The lucky few who managed to score a terrace house or apartment just passed those priceless tenancies down to their children.
My late uncle Brigadier Owen Magee, who ran the Rocks Redevelopment Authority in the 1970s, knew all too well the thuggery of the BLF and its fellow travellers as they sought to protect their patch under the guise of “green bans” and workers’ rights. Bomb threats, physical intimidation, work bans and a raid on his Wahroonga home eventually led to the deregistration of the union.
One of the problems he faced was the entitlement mentality of public housing tenants in Millers Point and The Rocks, as he wrote in his 2005 book How the Rocks Was Won.
“Ethnically almost exclusively Anglo-Celtic and united in the face of their common landlord, they accepted the many perks and privileges they enjoyed at taxpayer expense as their right.
“The spoiled darlings of the Maritime Services Board — no outsider need apply,’’ as one former resident put it.
“An all pervasive culture heavily influenced by its maritime connections and past slights, real or imagined, made it easy for a few dominant matriarchs to manipulate the rest.”
Millers Point today remains an aristocracy of hereditary housos, like Mr H, 39, who lives alone in a four bedroom house in Argyle Place, whose tenancy was passed on to him by his mother 12 years ago. He pays $271 a month when the market rent is $4000 a month.
Until the deceptively dainty Community Service Minister Pru Goward came along, no government had been game to touch this enclave of taxpayer-funded privilege, even while public housing waiting lists blew out and maintenance costs for the historic buildings soared.
She wants to capitalise on a buoyant real estate market and sell 293 public housing residences in Millers Point over the next two years.
On top of the $500 million windfall, the taxpayer will save $7 million in annual maintenance costs.
Goward promises to put every penny into public housing. For every sale, she says she can build four new houses for the 57,000 people waiting for public housing. She is offering Millers Point residents priority for new public housing nearby in the inner-city.
But Moore and fellow agitators slam the project as “social cleansing” and are determined to stop it, out of nostalgia for some mythical workers’ paradise in which the best property in town goes to the working poor.
That might have been the original idea of public housing, to help young couples get on their feet and save for their own house. It was never intended as a hereditary estate for a privileged few.
In the 1960s and 1970s, 70 per cent of public housing was occupied by couples with children and 85 per cent of adults were employed. Today in Millers Point 94 per cent of public housing residents live on Centrelink benefits.
Nostalgics who want to preserve Millers Point as a “working class suburb” don’t know what they’re talking about. Barely anyone has worked there for decades.
That sad statistic reflects the growth of the welfare state, and the change in public housing priorities.
Moore says: “Low income people have a much right to live in the city as rich people.”
But why should a Millers Point housing tenant score a taxpayer subsidy of $25,000 to $44,000 per year, compared to $7000 a year for a public housing tenant in Campelltown?
How one group of public housing tenants being treated like royalty at the expense of more needy people can be portrayed as a social justice issue is one of the enduring mysteries of the Left.
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WORK ON WEDNESDAY: THE WORKERS

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 26, 2014 (2:20pm)

Sydney council’s Christine Forster, sister of the Prime Minister, has her say:

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Nigel W. dropped by the ABC just before 7am. “Ghost town,” he writes. “They must be countering our protest by not turning up for work.”

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Icon Arrow Continue reading 'WORK ON WEDNESDAY: THE WORKERS'
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WORK ON WEDNESDAY: THE MARCHERS

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 26, 2014 (2:15pm)

“Don’t assume I work because I believe in the government,” demands Annette:

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We should probably also assume that Annette’s hand doesn’t have spellcheck. It appears we’ve interrupted Gillian F.’s lunch:

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Icon Arrow Continue reading 'WORK ON WEDNESDAY: THE MARCHERS'
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WoW UPDATE

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 26, 2014 (12:06pm)

Lots of images arriving from happy Work on Wednesday participants. They’ll be posted on the site as soon as I finish some … work.
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READY FOR WoW

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 (11:35pm)

Reader Carley K. is prepared for Work on Wednesday, beginning in less than 30 minutes:

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Throughout this day of celebration, please send your WoW pictures and stories to blairt@dailytelegraph.com.au. There may be occasional Twitterish updates here.
UPDATE. The great Jo Nova.
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GREAT MOMENTS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIAN HISTORY II

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 (11:03pm)

An inspiring tale of courage and endurance from Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph:

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OVERSTEERIN’ FOR ALLAH

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 (10:55pm)

Remember: these guys don’t drink. In other automotive news, F1 driver Fernando Alonso can open walnuts with his neck:

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Paul Barry’s bias is a sacking offence

Andrew Bolt March 26 2014 (7:04am)

Terry McCrann says Paul Barry’s obsessive bias against Murdoch newspapers requires the ABC to sack him:
THE ABC board and managing director Mark Scott are in breach of their statutory obligations for not sacking Media Watch host Paul Barry...
As early into his reign over the program — which, under truth-in-media, should have been retitled “The Australian and Daily Telegraph Watch” — as last October, he had already outed himself… in a soft interview, promoting his own (non-ABC) book…
Discussing the News of the World hacking scandal in the UK, Barry said that what had finally “cracked it” was the revelation that the paper had hacked into the phone of a schoolgirl who had gone missing and was subsequently found to have been murdered, Milly Dowler.
It “appeared News of the World (a Murdoch paper) had also deleted some of the messages on her phone,” Barry added.
Barry knew this was untrue.
While it was the original claim made by the Guardian newspaper, subsequently through the Leveson Inquiry, it became clear that the messages were almost certainly deleted by the phone company…
At no point in the interview did Barry point out that the original story turned out to be wrong. He left uncorrected his false statement that the News of the World appeared to have done the deletions…
it was blindingly clear that he was obsessed — negatively — with Murdoch and NewsCorp.
He should have been sacked then. He has to be sacked now.
What Barry’s defenders so often overlook is that the ABC is taxpayer funded and has a statutory duty to be balanced. 
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Did Abbott rule out these Knights?

Andrew Bolt March 26 2014 (6:27am)

Strange. Only last December Tony Abbott seemed to rule out what he’s now done:
HE restored an oath of allegiance to the Queen when he was sworn in as Prime Minister, but Tony Abbott has ruled out bringing back Knights and Dames in Australia
Mr Abbott said he did not support the idea, which would involve converting the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) to Knighthoods or reintroducing a new regal honour.
“It’s true that some people have said to me: ‘What about doing what New Zealand did’,’’ Mr Abbott said.
“But I don’t think it would be practical to just rebadge ACs. There was a rarity to their AC equivalent which made it easier for them to do this.”
I’m not sure, without seeing a transcript of the interview, whether Abbott indeed ruled out bringing back Knights and Dames or whether he was just dismissing the New Zealand model for doing so. He did add:
I don’t mind having Knights and Dames around. We’ve thankfully still got a few.
UPDATE
Malcolm Turnbull says he’s not losing sleep - while noting Abbott’s “surprise decision” and John Howard’s refusal to do the same thing:
As a former Chairman of the Australian Republican Movement many people have asked me whether I regard the Prime Minister’s surprise decision today to reinstate Knights and Dames in the Order of Australia as a slap in the face for republicans…
It is also important to remember that views about Knights and Dames in the Australian Honours system have not been driven by attitudes to the republic. Bob Hawke was not calling for a republic in 1983 and of course John Howard, a staunch monarchist, did not reinstate Knights and Dames during his time as Prime Minister…
As far as republics are concerned, most countries have an honours system and many of them have an order of knighthood. The Republics of France and Italy not to speak of the Republics of Peru, Argentina and Guatemala all have orders of knighthoods in their honours system. And so if a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur can be a loyal defender of the French Republic and if a Cavaliere di Gran Croce Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana can be a patriotic citizen of the Italian Republic, Australian republicans should not lose too much sleep over the Prime Minister’s decision today.
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A graph to plot Nanny Roxon’s great success

Andrew Bolt March 26 2014 (6:15am)


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A new study checks whether one of Labor’s big social engineering schemes - the 2011 laws to introduce plain packaging of cigarettes - made the slightest bit of difference to smoking rates among Australian children.
As expected, this social engineering, ushered in by Labor chief scold Nicola Roxon, achieved the same result as so many other Labor schemes. 
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People actually vote for Greens like Bandt

Andrew Bolt March 26 2014 (5:57am)

Terry McCrann on a sign of our intellectual and public policy decline:

GINA Rinehart ... has just successfully completed the financing for her Roy Hill iron ore mine in Western Australia, guaranteeing that the $10 billion project will now proceed.
This will create thousands of well-paid jobs, generate billions of dollars of future revenues for Australia, and over time send large annual tax cheques to both the federal and WA governments…

Yet ...  the Greens’ Adam Bandt ...  claimed [Rinehart] showed “breathtaking hypocrisy” by securing a $764 million loan from “American taxpayers” after urging (the Prime Minister) Tony Abbott to end the age of entitlement…
Bandt tried to drag the Prime Minister into it, demanding he end the “age of entitlement” at the big end of town.
In a rather short press release Bandt managed to demonstrate ...  he’s totally incapable of making any substantive or even semi-rational public policy comment. What, Abbott should make it illegal for US financial institutions to lend money to Australian companies, because that’s an exercise in corporate entitlement?…
Here we have a major project which will generate huge benefits for Australia and for ordinary Australians, and the only thing that Bandt can see in the story is a stick to try to beat Rinehart and Abbott over the heads with.
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The Sinodinos choice: the money or your reputation

Andrew Bolt March 26 2014 (5:37am)

Janet Albrechtsen is right to suggest Arthur Sinodinos may be finished in top-end politics. His chairmanship of Australian Water Holdings, with the lure of a $20 million payday, had him surprisingly blind to the sharks he was swimming with:
As chairman of AWH, a small company with 10 staff, is it too much to expect the chairman to know the identity of the company’s biggest shareholders? Sinodinos claims the deal to transfer a 30 per cent stake to [the disgraced Eddie] Obeid the day before Sinodinos became chairman was done without his knowledge. But what, if any, questions did Sinodinos as chairman ask about the company’s shareholders? He knew Obeid’s son worked for AWH in Queensland on a plump $350,000 salary. And as claimed at ICAC hearings last week, a few months before becoming chairman, Sinodinos was told by Rod De Aboitiz, whose family invested in AWH, that the company’s costs were out of control and solvency was a real issue. The company had few assets, no free cash in the bank, and was bleeding money — allegedly through exorbitant salaries to its employees, ritzy lunches and hefty donations to the NSW Liberal Party.
Let’s say it again: voters hate this stuff. Sinodinos says he knew nothing about a $75,000 donation to the Liberal Party by AWH when he was AWH director. Sinodinos was then also treasurer of the NSW Liberal Party. Should he, as a director, have asked questions about donations by AWH to his political party? Should he, and the other directors, have asked about all political donations by this company seeking a government contract that would make them all extremely wealthy? Voters will also hate reading that Sinodinos, who married late in life, had a new lifestyle to fund — a new young wife, children requiring private educations, $100,000-a-year in rent for a house with harbour views, leases on a Jaguar and a Mercedes…
And here’s the other political crime confronting Sinodinos: he sits at the centre of a company that’s accused of billing the big salaries, the posh lunches, the limousines, the political donations as “administrative costs” to the state-owned Sydney Water — all paid for by NSW taxpayers…
Once judgment has been badly tarnished, it’s much harder to justify a front bench position.
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We are not children to be silenced or monsters to be gagged. We can be trusted to police our manners

Andrew Bolt March 26 2014 (5:29am)

The Australian:
Attempts by Labor and others to portray the Abbott government’s changes to the Racial Discrimination Act as somehow giving a “green light to bigotry” are juvenile. Hypocrisy is another word that springs to mind given Labor just held on to power in South Australia partly on the back of racist material used against Liberal candidate Carolyn Habib…
Through opposition legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus, Labor continues to be wedded to an activist view of governing, where legislation is the answer to all of society’s ills. Whether it be passive smoking, overweight children, drunken teenagers or racial bigotry, there doesn’t seem to be a social problem that Labor believes can’t be fixed with a new law. Yet ignorance and prejudice can’t be legislated away. They are best tackled through example, education and discussion. Shutting down debate is likelier to foster resentment and generate a type of Hansonist backlash…
Bigotry must be confronted and defeated, not by laws but by reasoned debate, free speech and mature governance. Tony Abbott and Senator Brandis seem to understand where the state ends and community takes over.
UPDATE
Should the law also be used to silence the Left’s bigots, or should we just rely on free speech the shame the barbarians?
Mariam Veiszadeh, Canberra Times, yesterday:
THE Abbott government is intent on destroying Australia’s moral compass ... the simple, perhaps controversial truth is this — white middle aged men in powerful positions are not the ones … who regularly face discrimination. So why is it then that the proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act seek to protect this category of people ... who continuously spew hateful and misleading vitriol ...
ABC online Triple J, February 26:

GWAR frontman Dave Brockie ... (who) plays as the 43-billion-year-old intergalactic humanoid Odorous Orungus in the American horror metal band ... is part of the 2014 Soundwave Festival tour ... the band (has) decapitated life-size effigies of Abbott ... Brockie ... (said) “I think he probably deserves to have his f..king head cut off ... We would never have killed Tony Abbott (on stage) until in every single interview I had before coming here, every (press interviewer) I talked to told us: ‘You’ve got to kill Tony Abbott.’ We didn’t even know who he was. But I was just like: ‘Guys, we’ve got to get Tony Abbott and chop his head off, because apparently he’s like George Bush I ... We also chop off the queen’s (sic) tits and stomp on the royal baby ...”
Gary Kennedy, Newcastle Trades Hall Council secretary, March 16:

AND I want to talk about this filthy animal, Gina Rinehart. This despicable human ... talks about bludgers ... And we’ve got (Alan) Joyce from Qantas ... Another person who should be shot somewhere in the back of the head.
Mungo MacCallum, YouTube, December 19, 2013:

WE can keep Sophie (Mirabella) underwater for ... three years … we’d prefer cement ... Tim Wilson … a vicious spoiled little brat, an ideologue … pissing in the pockets of the rich and powerful ... there are those that would say that ... your violent, unnatural practices break the laws of god and man ... you will burn in hell forever.
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All the way with Thommo

Andrew Bolt March 26 2014 (4:25am)

Dastyari seems to lack judgement:
THE whistleblower who brought Craig Thomson to justice, Kathy Jackson, claims she warned former Labor general secretary Sam Dastyari before the 2010 election not to preselect Thomson because allegations that he had spent union money on prostitutes were true.
Ms Jackson, who had replaced Thomson as national secretary of the Health Services Union at the time of the meeting said yesterday: “Sam Dastyari came to see me in Melbourne before the second preselection to find out whether the (allegations) were true. I showed him what I had ... He went ahead and preselected him (anyway).”
Thomson was originally backed into parliament by former HSU NSW boss [and Labor national president] Michael Williamson, who himself will be sentenced for fraud on Friday. The HSU was also a major donor to the Labor Party.
Now-Senator Dastyari admitted yesterday he had met Ms Jackson but denied seeing any documents.
“Unfortunately, myself and others were taken for a ride by Craig Thomson who has proven a very consistent liar,” Mr Dastyari said…
Mr Dastyari later became embroiled in the saga when The Daily Telegraph revealed in 2011 he approved the spending of $300,000 of Labor Party money on Thomson’s legal fees for defamation action against Fairfax even after Thomson had been forced to settle that matter.
UPDATE
Mark Kenny:
(T)he real significance of the Thomson case was the window it provided on union and political power, its shadowy allocation, and its systemic abuse....
[Thomson] was dodgy long before being elevated to the final prize reserved for too many union leaders - a parliamentary sinecure. Evidence from others at the HSU suggests at the very least, suspicions were widespread about corruption, intimidation, and a culture of largesse among the HSU leadership while Thomson was in charge - all funded by the dues of some of the nation’s harder working yet least well-paid workers.
Labor says it was unaware of these matters prior to Thomson’s preselection and subsequent entry to Parliament in 2007. Yet even if this is to be believed, he was re-endorsed by Labor for the 2010 election, which was after reports by this newspaper that his union credit card had been used to pay for prostitutes and other assorted non-union expenses…
As a minority prime minister, Julia Gillard stuck doggedly to Thomson, terrified apparently that he would either abandon Parliament or else be rendered bankrupt by his legal expenses and thus be ineligible to remain. This did more long-term damage to the ALP than Thomson himself...
Roll on the royal commission into union corruption.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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It is neither balanced, nor even handed to praise the corruption of one group, and also the good things of another. The standard for praise must be to praise good things only, and that is balanced.
It is neither balanced, nor even handed to praise the corruption of one group, and also the good things of another. The standard for praise must be to praise good things only, and that is balanced.
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=== Posts from last year ===

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Happy birthday to Second Doctor Patrick Troughton!
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A narrow cobblestone laneway in Stockholm, Sweden 2001
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4 her. So she sees how I see her
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TWC came to me asking for a moonbow shot. That sort of made my day. I hope the show they need it for happens.

I'll be teaching Moonbow workshops with the Aperture Academy this June. I can't wait!
 — atUpper Yosemite Falls.
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Todd and I and our family send our best wishes this evening as Jewish people around the world celebrate Passover, commemorating their deliverance from bondage and their Exodus to the Land of Israel. This timeless and beautiful story reminds us of the universal human aspiration for freedom and that the Almighty hears the cries of a suffering people and fulfills His promises. Chag kasher V'Sameach. Happy Passover. And next year in Jerusalem.

And yesterday, Palm Sunday, was the beginning of the holiest of weeks for Christians. During this time, we honor the sacrifice of Jesus, reflect on amazing grace, and celebrate resurrection power!

“And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.” –Mark 11:8-10

- Sarah Palin

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I want all of us not just to survive hard days, but to come out with a new place to stand.
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The A-team ready for our Shockwave Comp!!!!
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Did you know that every part of your body has a sensory point in the bottom of the foot? If you massage these points you will comfort the pain and stress. Does it work for you?

** 10 Tips to Prevent Problems When Walking --

http://www.emaxhealth.com/21/816.html
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Professor Fritz Vahrenholt, one of the fathers of Germany's environmental movement and the one of Europe's largest renewable energy companies, has just admitted the IPCC are WRONG on global warming theory, and warned against the danger of an economic catastrophe from rushing carbon taxes and renewable energy schemes. 

This the greatest ‘mea culpa’ yet by the warmists, and a major turning point in the debate.

These are words from his recent speech;

“For many years, I was an active supporter of the IPCC and its CO2 theory. Recent experience with the UN's climate panel, however, forced me to reassess my position.

"……..the halt in global warming and is likely to continue for a while ……we should expect that by 2100 temperatures will not have risen more than 1°C, significantly less than proposed by the IPCC.

"The choice is no longer between ‘global warming catastrophe’ and economic growth but between ‘economic catastrophe’ and ‘climate sense’.”

Full speech available at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/9338939/Global-warming-second-thoughts-of-an-environmentalist.html

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Larry Pickering
GILLARD STILL NOT SAFE

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is a maxim Ms Gillard has ignored. She has ruthlessly dealt with challengers and they are now plotting to rescue their Labor Party. The Labor Party she has trashed.

Ten disgruntled ex-Ministers languishing on the back bench bear testimony to the extent of Ms Gillard’s purge.

If she expects them to be good little boys and wear their dunces’ hats in disgrace then her judgment is sorely astray once again.

Every move of Ms Gillard was made to protect Ms Gillard. Those who have challenged her have sought only to protect the Labor Party from destruction at their own selfless cost.

If she truly believes her challengers will be content to sit, staring out the window playing with their dongers for six months then she has a nasty surprise coming... and it will come in the budget session.

Gillard is not sympathetic to anything beyond the preservation of her own tenure.

Those she has killed off are concerned only with the penalty Labor will pay by retaining her.

They know the penalty will not be confined to the loss of a mere 20 or 30 seats. Oh no, the destruction wrought by the Gillard factor will run far deeper than that.

Rebuilding the Party will be a mammoth task. New Coalition members will be determined to keep Labor from returning to their hard won seats. Incumbency is a huge advantage.

Right now it needs just a few more Caucus numbers to rid the ALP of Gillard and the vanquished backbenchers will be lobbying hard to get them.

The Rudd camp is livid and hunting hard for the tigress but their choice will not be Rudd. There are better people who could save the Party from annihilation.

But another fearful scenario may play out.

Kim Carr was correct when he said the greatest danger to Labor was Abbott’s determination for a Royal Commission into union corruption.

Crumbs, now why would that be a danger I wonder?

Gillard was still a glint in her father's eye when, in 1954, the Labor Party split and the DLP was born.

The reason for the split? Roman Catholics, led by B. A. Santamaria, were incensed at the growing influence on the ALP of Communist trade unions.

The Movement grew quickly and cascaded through to State ALP Branches.

If Gillard survives, the powerful NSW Catholic Right will pick its way through the entrails of the Party looking for a solution.

The ingredients in that 1954 mix were ominously the same as today’s.

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The first cows brought to the Americas by explorer Christopher Columbus originated from two extinct wild beasts from India and Europe, a new genetic analysis shows.http://oak.ctx.ly/r/3bjo
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I recently had a wonderful chat with Jane Lu, founder of Show Pony Fashion. Here is our interview on Shoe String TV. https://www.shoestring.com.au/2013/03/founder-interview-jane-lu-show-pony-fashion/
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In a Stand-off?
http://bitly.com/StandOff

Mother/Daughter Rivalry?
http://bitly.com/MotherDaughterRivalry

Spouse Wish You Were Hotter?
http://bitly.com/MateHotter

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"Dear President Obama,

My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year. People meeting me for the first time don’t believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert.

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Bos’n Mate. Now I live in a “rest home” located on the western end of Pearl Harbor, allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country.

One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man.

So here goes.

I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do, but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish.

I can’t figure out what country you are the president of.
You fly around the world telling our friends and enemies despicable lies like:

” We’re no longer a Christian nation”
” America is arrogant”

– (Your wife even
announced to the world,” America is mean-spirited. ” Please tell her to try preaching that nonsense to 23 generations of our
war dead buried all over the globe who died for no other reason than to free a whole lot of strangers from tyranny and hopelessness.)

I’d say shame on the both of you, but I don’t think you like America, nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do, for the obvious gifts this country has given you. To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.

After 9/11 you said,” America hasn’t lived up to her ideals.”

Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British? Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man, that 500,000 men died for in the Civil War? I hope you didn’t mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around, because we stand for freedom.

I don’t think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination. You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.

Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man.

Shape up and start acting like an American. If you don’t, I’ll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue . You were elected to lead not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat their people like slaves.

And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don’t want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts , who was putting up a fight? You don’t mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don’t want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.

One more thing. I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life, but you’re the Commander-in-Chief now, son. Do your job. When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him. But if you’re not in this fight to win, then get out. The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you’re thinking of.

You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president.
You’re not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy. That’s not our greatest threat. Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now.
And I sure as hell don’t want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle…

Sincerely,
Harold B. Estes"

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Mesquite Dunes Memories

I was out of water and dehydrating fast, but the light was changing and so I waited. The payoff was nice, but it was a long dark thirsty trip back to the road.
 — at Stovepipe Wells.
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someone has narrowed my cat flap!!!
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4 Her
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"Downstream" ∞ Buderim, QLD - Australia

After the recent heavy rain in South-East Queensland back in January I thought it'd be an opportune time to re-visit one of the more accessible waterfalls in the area - locals will recognise this as Serenity Falls on the Sunshine Coast. Being a walk of only a couple of hundred metres makes this a fairly popular location, but that doesn't mean there isn't a good shot to be had! Check it out next time you're up this way, it's far from being the "gruelling bushwalk" that so many of the great SEQ waterfalls can be.

As always prints are available atwww.jasonasherphotography.com - check it out in the New Releases gallery!
 
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Evolution of memory
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Dirham copper coin showing Saladin
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Events[edit]

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Holidays and observances[edit]

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“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” - 1 John 1:9
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?"
Luke 22:48
"The kisses of an enemy are deceitful." Let me be on my guard when the world puts on a loving face, for it will, if possible, betray me as it did my Master, with a kiss. Whenever a man is about to stab religion, he usually professes very great reverence for it. Let me beware of the sleek-faced hypocrisy which is armour-bearer to heresy and infidelity. Knowing the deceivableness of unrighteousness, let me be wise as a serpent to detect and avoid the designs of the enemy. The young man, void of understanding, was led astray by the kiss of the strange woman: may my soul be so graciously instructed all this day, that "the much fair speech" of the world may have no effect upon me. Holy Spirit, let me not, a poor frail son of man, be betrayed with a kiss!
But what if I should be guilty of the same accursed sin as Judas, that son of perdition? I have been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus; I am a member of his visible Church; I sit at the communion table: all these are so many kisses of my lips. Am I sincere in them? If not, I am a base traitor. Do I live in the world as carelessly as others do, and yet make a profession of being a follower of Jesus? Then I must expose religion to ridicule, and lead men to speak evil of the holy name by which I am called. Surely if I act thus inconsistently I am a Judas, and it were better for me that I had never been born. Dare I hope that I am clear in this matter? Then, O Lord, keep me so. O Lord, make me sincere and true. Preserve me from every false way. Never let me betray my Saviour. I do love thee, Jesus, and though I often grieve thee, yet I would desire to abide faithful even unto death. O God, forbid that I should be a high-soaring professor, and then fall at last into the lake of fire, because I betrayed my Master with a kiss.

Evening

"The Son of man."
John 3:13
How constantly our Master used the title, the "Son of man!" If he had chosen, he might always have spoken of himself as the Son of God, the Everlasting Father, the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Prince of Peace; but behold the lowliness of Jesus! He prefers to call himself the Son of man. Let us learn a lesson of humility from our Saviour; let us never court great titles nor proud degrees. There is here, however, a far sweeter thought. Jesus loved manhood so much, that he delighted to honour it; and since it is a high honour, and indeed, the greatest dignity of manhood, that Jesus is the Son of man, he is wont to display this name, that he may as it were hang royal stars upon the breast of manhood, and show forth the love of God to Abraham's seed. Son of man--whenever he said that word, he shed a halo round the head of Adam's children. Yet there is perhaps a more precious thought still. Jesus Christ called himself the Son of man to express his oneness and sympathy with his people. He thus reminds us that he is the one whom we may approach without fear. As a man, we may take to him all our griefs and troubles, for he knows them by experience; in that he himself hath suffered as the "Son of man," he is able to succour and comfort us. All hail, thou blessed Jesus! inasmuch as thou art evermore using the sweet name which acknowledges that thou art a brother and a near kinsman, it is to us a dear token of thy grace, thy humility, thy love.
"Oh see how Jesus trusts himself
Unto our childish love,
As though by his free ways with us
Our earnestness to prove!
His sacred name a common word
On earth he loves to hear;
There is no majesty in him
Which love may not come near."
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Abednego 
[Ăbĕd'-negō] - servant of nebo or servant of light.
The name given by the prince of the eunuchs of King Nebuchadnezzar to Azariah, one of the four young princes of Judah who were carried away into Babylon. He was one of the three faithful Jews delivered from the fiery furnace (Dan. 1:7; 2:49; 3). How God honored the faith and courage of these Hebrew youths!
The Man Who Defied a King
There are at least four lessons to be learned from the dauntless, defiant witness of Abed-nego and his two companions:
I. God's dearest servants are sometimes called to pass through heavy trials.
II. God is able to deliver when help seems farthest off. He does not promise to keep us free from trouble, but that He will be with us in trouble.
III. God's permitted furnace purifies, but never destroys us. As we pass through the fire, He is with us and we cannot be burned.
IV. God's children must never be ashamed of Him. No matter how adverse the situation, we must be bold and unshaken in our witness.
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Today's reading: Joshua 19-21, Luke 2:25-52 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Joshua 19-21

Allotment for Simeon
The second lot came out for the tribe of Simeon according to its clans. Their inheritance lay within the territory of Judah. 2It included:
Beersheba (or Sheba), Moladah, 3 Hazar Shual, Balah, Ezem, 4 Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah, 5 Ziklag, Beth Markaboth, Hazar Susah, 6 Beth Lebaoth and Sharuhen--thirteen towns and their villages;
7 Ain, Rimmon, Ether and Ashan-four towns and their villages-- and all the villages around these towns as far as Baalath Beer (Ramah in the Negev)....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 2:25-52

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel...."
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Lent=Devotions-Header
Today's Prayer

Almighty, eternal and merciful God, whose Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, open and illuminate our minds, that we may purely and perfectly understand your Word and that our lives may be conformed to what we have rightly understood, that in nothing we may be displeasing unto your majesty, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. - the daily morning prayer of Ulrich Zwingli, from Gregg Alison's "Introduction to Historical Theology"

Today's Scripture Reading: Mark 8:31-38
Jesus Predicts His Death
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns."
The Way of the Cross
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."

Today's Quote


Let nothing disturb thee;
Let nothing dismay thee:
All thing pass;
God never changes.
Patience attains
All that it strives for.
He who has God
Finds he lacks nothing:
God alone suffices.

-- "Poem IX," from the Complete Works St. Teresa of Avila (1963) Vol. 3, edited by E. Allison Peers

Something to Think About

Today is the day that some Christian traditions commemorateAnnunciation, the announcement to Mary that she would give birth to the promised Savior. The story of Gabriel's visit to Mary is one we usually associate with Christmas, not Easter. Does your anticipation of Easter in just a few weeks give you a different perspective on the angel's joyous announcement?
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Today's Lent reading: Mark 7-9 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
That Which Defiles
The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus 2 and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.)
5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?"
6 He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
"'These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
7 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.'
8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions...."


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