Monday, April 28, 2014

Mon Apr 28th Todays News

Reading is a joy and it is important to challenge yourself to get the most joy. one such challenge is the Douglas Hofstadter work "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid"  which I was given as a textbook in Pure Mathematics in 3rd year university. Gödel, was a mathematician whose contribution rivals any of the greats. His two theorems of incompleteness have been used by idiots to claim God does not exist, and by logicians to show that the consistency of axioms can not be proven within an infinite system. He was born on this day in 1906. As for the book, I have bought it four times and never once finished it or completed many of the exercises, but it is awesome. 

Love and hatred are primal emotions and are often involved in times of war. In the US, the civil war was divisive, and people made choices on conscience with profound consequence. Robert E Lee was head of the US military at the beginning of the schism, and from the south. He chose to fight for the south and so many millions of Americans died in four years of bloody fighting. Brothers were pitted against brother. What value the ethics that had Lee make his choice? And when it was done, an unhappy victor turned Lee's backyard into a cemetery, now called Arlington. Any soldier of the US who dies may be buried there. Powerful is vengeance, yet the West is different to the East. When, in China, a dynasty fell, all the bureaucracy that supported it was burned. When Mohammed died, his entire family was eliminated to the last child by his followers. But in the US, a mourning, angry US allowed Lee and his family to live. On this day in 1926, Harper Lee was born, great grandchild to General Lee. She is 88 years old, and has been given the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work To Kill a Mocking Bird, and for her mentoring, including Truman Capote with his work "In Cold Blood." Love has not raised from the dead those who perished in the Civil War, and yet love heals, tends to the wounded and grows to support those who survive. Love is the only answer to hate that addresses the wounds of survivors. 

For twenty two years I have been responsibly addressing an issue, and I cannot carry on. I am petitioning the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott 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 https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/tony-abbott-remedy-the-persecution-of-dd-ball
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns to all those born on this day, across the years, including 
Matches
Despatches
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WORLD THREATENED, AGAIN

Tim Blair – Monday, April 28, 2014 (6:23am)

According to America’s Global PostTony Abbott is ruining Australia and threatening the whole world
From his rolling back of green initiatives and his disregard for climate change to his hardline stance against asylum-seekers and promotion of social conservatism, it sometimes feels like Abbott is taking Australia back into the dark ages … 
The Boston-based author is perhaps unaware of Australian history. It’s rather difficult to take Australia back into the dark ages considering we were never there in the first place.
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DONKEY DOLLARS

Tim Blair – Monday, April 28, 2014 (6:11am)

One of Julia Gillard’s final acts as Prime Minister was to give an extra $10 million to the ABC, a local community-based broadcasting outfit struggling to get by on a mere $1.2 billion every year.
That additional cash helped the ABC to fund an elite fact-checking unit ahead of last year’s election. Sadly, the ABC’s fact-checkers have since made little public impact. Their biggest success may have been crowding another truth-seeking bunch, the privately-funded PolitiFact Australia, out of the market.
But over the Anzac Day weekend the ABC’s fact-checkers finally hit their stride.

image
Simpson, now with bonus donkeys. (Note: image is digitally altered)

Armed with reams of detailed research, several interviews with historians and ninja verification skills, the checkers revealed the shocking truth about celebrated Gallipoli stretcher-bearer John Simpson Kirkpatrick and his donkey, which he used to rescue fallen Australian soldiers from the battlefield.
It’s probable, the ABC reported, that there was more than one donkey

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BASHCAR

Tim Blair – Monday, April 28, 2014 (5:39am)

Post-race NASCAR conflicts generally feature lots of yelling and shoving, plus the occasional flung helmet. Actual punches are rare. Australian Marcos Ambrose ramped things up on Sunday in Virginia after being pushed around by Casey Mears:



Take a closer look here. Mears started it. Ambrose ended it. Impressively, NASCAR Vice President of CompetitionRobin Pemberton is taking things easy: 
It doesn’t seem to be much, but we’ll take our time Monday and Tuesday and look at it some more. 
At the same event, Nelson Piquet Jr. kicked rival Brian Scott, recalling a clash involving his father 32 years earlier:

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BIAS IS UNPROFESSIONAL

Tim Blair – Monday, April 28, 2014 (5:31am)

The SMH’s Julia Baird pines for a long-lost era of political impartiality: 
It’s time to recall the forgotten figure of the mugwump. The non-partisan observer of politics. Most journalists are mugwumps, though you might not know it from the way we are often described as ideological warriors salivating over opportunities to pursue foes. (A prospect as exhausting as it is fictional).
This does not mean they do not have private views – journalists do vote – but that journalism is a profession and bias is unprofessional. As ABC journalist Jonathan Green put it: “Journalism tainted by conviction just isn’t. That’s the simple truth of it.” 
Baird might have chosen a better mugwump example than Green, who only qualifies as one syllable of that noun. Green is, you’ll recall, Alene Composta’s mug, and he’s featured in several other taint-by-conviction incidentsbesides. Late last year this beacon of journalistic non-tainterhood described death-dealing asylum seeker smugglers as merely “small business people”. Good call, Julia.
(Via James In Footscray)
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HARRY FIRTH

Tim Blair – Monday, April 28, 2014 (4:43am)

Australian motorsport legend Harry Firth has died at 96. I remember reading – in the mid-1970s, long after Firth had quit racing to become a team manager – a magazine article mentioning that he still did some track testing. No helmet, from memory. And he ran close to lap records.

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HISTORY REPEATS

Tim Blair – Monday, April 28, 2014 (3:46am)

Bill Shorten recently met the Duke of Cambridge. It wasn’t the first time royalty had encountered a member of Shorten’s family, as the Labor leader revealed to a reception audience.
“A couple of years ago, some relatives of mine who run a small hotel on the Isle of Mull on the west coast of Scotland, sent me an old photograph of Prince William’s great-grandfather George VI, at the launch of a ship at Newcastle upon Tyne, circa 1931,” Shorten said.
“Just two guests, perhaps three guests to the right of the then Duke of York, stands a bowler-hatted gentleman, proudly watching on, my great-grandfather, a Tyneside dockside worker. It has only taken us 83 years for our families to catch up again, but it is a distinct pleasure.”
There is another historic echo here. The then-Duke of York later became King George VI, whose debilitating st-st-stammer was successfully treated by Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue.

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TWELVE YEARS WORK, NO PAY

Tim Blair – Monday, April 28, 2014 (3:30am)

Papua New Guinea’s National reports a slight teacher payment problem:

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That’s bad enough, but some teachers are doing even worse:

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Via Dave in PNG, who writes: “Don’t know if I would keep working without being paid for 12 years. Eleven, okay, everyone makes a mistake, but I doubt 12.” Still, those long-working but never-paid teachers give Dave encouragement: “This is one of the reasons I hold out hope PNG will eventually make it. People like this.”
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WAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE

Tim Blair – Monday, April 28, 2014 (3:23am)

A “good-natured open leftist” seeks a shared apartment in Berlin: 
I’m searching for an apartment that is 100% shared by women who are active against terror, war, racial madness, fascism, chauvinism and US cultural imperialism. I am myself a vegan and think that long-term living together makes sense when absolutely no animal-based products find a place in my apartment …
In return for a room (20-30 sqm) I offer work in the household, repairs and discussions (also therapeutic). Money is the lever of the powerful with which I cannot identify with …
Moreover it would be super if there was already a washing machine. 
In the end, it’s always about the washing machine.
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FAST AND SLOW

Tim Blair – Sunday, April 27, 2014 (10:41pm)

Just look at all the planet-smashing, Gaia-crushing, CO2-making metal magic at the 2014 Iowahawk Earth Week Cruise-In. This year’s event features four-year-old hydrocarbon princess Ava:

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The earth doesn’t stand a chance. In other automotive news, friend Kae sends a note: 
Mum – 79 in July – has bought a Prius.
12 months old. Just 4k on the clock. Only $21k.
A. Prius.
Gah!
She reckons it will see her out. 
Kae’s mum has made a fine choice. A used Prius is the perfect vehicle for the not-so-young. For a start, they won’t be startled by anything unexpected, like acceleration. And all of the Prius’s controls are edgeless and mild; it’s the automotive equivalent of mashed vegetables.
Plus, check out that retiree-friendly depreciation! A new Prius runs to around $40,000. These things drop faster than soccer players.
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  • Palmer becomes even more of a menace

    Andrew Bolt April 28 2014 (2:35pm)

    Clive Palmer’s wealth has already given him a huge advantage in building power. For him to also use it to sue critics into silence makes his brand of money politics even more sinister:
    FEDERAL MP Clive Palmer says… he will sue Campbell Newman after the premier alleged the mining magnate turned MP had tried to “buy” Queensland’s Liberal National Party government…
    Mr Newman yesterday attacked Mr Palmer following his announcement that indigenous former Country Liberal members Alison Anderson, Francis Xavier Kurrupuwu and Larisa Lee would join the ranks of his Palmer United Party.
    “This is a guy who tried to buy a government, my government, and we said ‘go away, we’re not for sale’,” Mr Newman said.
    “As a result, he’s gone on a rampage around Australia, trying to buy other people and buy people’s votes. We’re seeing that in the NT today. I ask: what inducements were offered to these three MPs, what promises, what inducements were offered for them to jump ship?”
    Mr Palmer ... warned the claim of vote-buying was “highly defamatory” and “attacking my integrity"…
    “He will get his day in court,” Mr Palmer told AAP.
    There’ll be no settlement, no negotiations, the matter will go to trial,” Mr Palmer told ABC Radio.
    “To make it clear we offered (the indigenous MPs) nothing … There’s been no inducements been offered to them at all....”
    No inducements offered, yet Anderson sounds strangely seduced:

    Ms Anderson, a former minister in successive Labor and Country Liberal governments, said there was no written agreement with Palmer United and issued a statement last night strongly rejecting Mr Newman’s claims.
    “We were not offered any inducements to join...”
    She said the trio had decided in the past week that it was “impractical” to set up their own party and that they had joined the PUP for “financial support,” security and a party platform.
    Is “financial support” not an inducement, then? 
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Now it’s the NSW Liberals’ turn to disgust us

Andrew Bolt April 28 2014 (2:10pm)

Sounds like it’s not just a Labor disease but a NSW one:
MORE than $400,000 in hidden donations was funnelled through a Liberal party slush fund run by former minister Chris Hartcher — including from a developer who hosted Mr Hartcher and now energy minister Anthony Roberts on a luxury yacht in Hamilton Island, the ICAC heard today…
The first day of the Operation Spicer inquiry at the Independent Commission Against Corruption has begun with sensational allegations levelled against Mr Hartcher and fellow right wing central coast MPs Darren Webber and Chris Spence, that they have been involved in “the systematic subversion of the electoral funding laws of NSW” through sham company Eight by Five…
The slush fund had three principal donors — Australian Water Holdings, ... major Newcastle developer Buildev, and Gazcorp — which was the subject of a previous ICAC inquiry about its shopping centre at Orange Grove…
The inquiry has heard Mr Hartcher and Energy minister Anthony Roberts, the current leader of the hard right faction, were guests on a luxury yacht called “Octavia” in Hamilton Island in 2007, which was owned by the Gazal family, the owners of Gazcorp when the pair were in opposition.
[Counsel Assisting the inquiry Geoffrey Watson SC] said the “proper inference” drawn from the payments from Gazcorp to slush fund Eight by Five is that Mr Hartcher agreed “to assist the Gazal family and assist Gazcorp in relation to Orange Grove”.
“Gazcorp got its desired outcome,” he said.
I’ll say:

Gazcorp, the proponent of the controversial Orange Grove shopping centre development in Liverpool, paid $137,000 to the fund, while the Obeid-linked infrastructure company Australian Water Holdings paid $183,000.
Orange Grove was given the green light after the Liberal Party won the state election.
Even more important in this fetid climate that Tony Abbott - himself a cleanskin - keep his promises. There is right now a huge integrity deficit in politics that needs repairing.
UPDATE
First casualty:
NSW Premier Mike Baird has asked Liberal MP Marie Ficarra to step aside as parliamentary secretary…
Counsel assisting the inquiry, Geoffrey Watson, SC, said ... Ms Ficarra, the former parliamentary secretary to then premier Barry O’Farrell, was part of the [slush fund] scheme and had solicited a $5000 donation from property developer Tony Merhi just days before the March 2011 state election. The inquiry heard her explanations about the donation were not credible.
Shameless:
And billionaire Harry Triguboff, who as a property developer was prohibited from making donations, used a Liberal party foundation to make donations to the NSW Liberals… The Free Enterprise Foundation had been used as a way of laundering a substantial part of $700,000 of donations from developers to the Liberal Party.
Liberal fundraiser Paul Nicolaou admitted that he solicited and washed donations from developers through the foundation.
Mr Watson said that a company called Eightbyfive, operated by former Hartcher staffer Tim Koelma was used a vehicle to launder donations from property developers in contravention of electoral funding laws.
Nathan Tinkler’s Buildev group made $66,000 worth of payments to Eightbyfive when it wanted to develop a coal loader in Newcastle. It received some favours from Mr Hartcher, but did not get its coal loader approved, ICAC heard.
The Gazals’ company Gazcorp paid $137,00 for fake services from Eightbyfive.
The money was used to fund Tim Koelma as an additional staff member of Mr Hartcher’s staff, as well as pay Chris Spence and Darren Webber so they could give up their jobs and work full time on their election campaigns.
Mr Koelma was paid $265,000, Chris Spence $105,000 and Darren Webber $50,000.
And Mr Koelma used his brother to make a maliciously false allegation against the head of Sydney Water, Dr Kerry Schott, in an attempt to ruin her career and further the interests of Australian Water Holdings, which wanted a deal with the NSW government.
Mr Nicolaou also tried to get Sydney radio personality Alan Jones to make allegations against Sydney Water.
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Some racists are too mighty to defy. UPDATE: Wrong

Andrew Bolt April 28 2014 (8:46am)

This is the LA Clippers NBA team:
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This is the owner of the LA Clippers, Donald Sterling, telling girlfriend V. Stiviano, who is part black and part Mexican, to stop bringing African-American friends to Clippers games and posting Instagram pictures of them:

- “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” (3:30)

-- “You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want.  The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games.” (5:15)
-- “I’m just saying, in your lousy f******* Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people.” (7:45)
-- “...Don’t put him [Magic] on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me.  And don’t bring him to my games.” (9:13)
Astonishing. Why is this girlfriend even with him?
Oops. Silly question.
UPDATE
Too powerful to punish?
The ...  Los Angeles Clippers ...  are in the midst of a competitive first-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors. Despite some calls to boycott the playoffs, coach Doc River said he is against it and called the Sterling audio recording a ‘distraction.’…
Reports also have it that everyone on the Clippers roster were pissed with the comments of their owner, even the team’s lone white guy JJ Reddick.

Center DeAndre Jordan, who has stepped up his game in the playoffs, posted a square black image on his Instagram account with no comments whatsoever.
Meanwhile, Clippers superstar Chris Paul declined to comment about Sterling’s words. But he issued a statement on behalf of the National Basketball Players Association, where he serves as president. Per LA Times:
“On behalf of the National Players Association, this is a very serious issue which we will address aggressively. We have asked [Sacramento] Mayor Kevin Johnson to extend his responsibilities with the NBPA to determine our response and our next steps.”
He added: “As players, we owe it to our teams and our fans to keep our focus on our game, the playoffs and the drive to the Finals.”
UPDATE
But this should help Sterling survive, because, as you know, only conservatives can officially be racist:
According to records obtained by the independent data research tool Littlesis.org – maintained by the Public Accountability Initiative – the owner of the LA Clippers embroiled in controversy has only donated to Democratic candidates.
Between 1990 and 1992 Donald Sterling made a $2,000 donations to the former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley, a $1000 donation to current Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, as well as a $1000 donation to the recalled former governor of California Gray Davis. Despite having a 100% track record of donating to Democrats, Littlesis.org has no records of him donating to either of President Barack Obama’s election campaigns.
UPDATE
Much better news:
Los Angeles Clippers players have staged a silent protest and worn black apparel during an NBA playoff game in the wake of racist remarks attributed to team owner Donald Sterling…
Players gathered at centre court in Oakland before a pre-game warm-up, removed their team warm-up shirts and left them on the floor, working out wearing shirts that were inside out and did not display the Clippers name or logo.
In what was the fourth game in their best-of-seven series with Golden State, the Clippers wore black socks, shirts, wristbands or armbands.
UPDATE
President Barack Obama says Donald Sterling has a right to make bigoted statements, even though Obama rightly denounces them as “incredibly offensive”
When people — when ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk. And that’s what happened here.
The issue will be far better resolved through discussion than legal action - and would probably happen here are under offensive Racial Discrimination Act. It is healthier to see Sterling being condemned by his community than silenced by a judge.
(Thanks to reader Alan R.M. Jones.) 
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ABC’s shock finding:  Simpson switched donkeys

Andrew Bolt April 28 2014 (8:12am)

Tim Blair on the ABC’s fact-checking unit, created with some of a special $10 million handout from the dying Gillard Government:
Their biggest success may have been crowding another truth-seeking bunch, the privately-funded PolitiFact Australia, out of the market.
But over the Anzac Day weekend the ABC’s fact-checkers finally hit their stride.
Armed with reams of detailed research, several interviews with historians and ninja verification skills, the checkers revealed the shocking truth about celebrated Gallipoli stretcher-bearer John Simpson Kirkpatrick and his donkey, which he used to rescue fallen Australian soldiers from the battlefield.
It’s probable, the ABC reported, that there was more than one donkey.
Gosh. Who knew?:
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Palmer United: Not a party but a feeding trough

Andrew Bolt April 28 2014 (7:24am)

This is not a political party but a lender of last resort, charging only a loyalty fee:

RENEGADE indigenous politician Alison Anderson joined Clive Palmer’s party after one meeting and a brief look at his policies, in the hope of using a share of his millions of dollars to win the balance of power in the Northern Territory parliament.
Ms Anderson is now expected to become leader of a new PUP parliamentary wing in the Territory, encompassing herself and her two indigenous backbench colleagues, Francis Xavier Kurrupuwu and Larisa Lee…
She said the trio had decided in the past week that it was “impractical” to set up their own party and that they had joined the PUP for “financial support,” security and a party platform… She acknowledged that they had flirted with joining the Katter Party first, but later settled on the “more powerful” PUP.
And in return Clive Palmer will suddenly discover the Aboriginal cause, as defined by Anderson, just as he suddenly discovered the orphan cause, as defined by Jacqui Lambie.
UPDATE
Palmer’s very late and opportunistic conversion to Aboriginal issues have left him no time for study:
Palmer wades into Northern Territory politics and displays his local knowledge on ABC TV’s Insiders yesterday: 
ALISON Anderson will be the first parliamentary leader of the — of any parliamentary party as an indigenous person ...
Host Fran Kelly interrupts:

EXCEPT for Adam Giles, who is the Chief Minister there in the Northern Territory.
Palmer has something to say about Giles:

ADAM Giles is just a liar.
Palmer represents something dangerous in politics. Voters might see this better if Labor hadn’t already trashed the brand so completely.
UPDATE
Exactly what does Anderson stand for other than herself?
...she contested the central desert seat of MacDonnell for the Labor Party in the 2005 Northern Territory election, and won it with a strong majority. She was appointed a Minister in the Labor government…
In the wake of the ensuing political crisis she sat as an independent for two years before joining the opposition Country Liberal Party.
And now she’s a Palmer United Party leader in her fourth political incarnation.
UPDATE
I thought it a mistake at the time, but the Liberals at least dodged a bullet in 2012:
TONY Abbott has failed in a radical bid to get high-profile Aboriginal politician Alison Anderson into federal parliament.
An excess of enthusiasm from Abbott back then:

There is the marvellous and charismatic and inspirational Alison Anderson who is quite simply one of the most striking human beings it has ever been my pleasure and privilege to meet. 
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The Prince’s tour of conquest

Andrew Bolt April 28 2014 (7:17am)

Culture wars, Political things


PRINCE William smashed it out of the park. Or maybe it was his ever-smiling wife or their baby, George, the republic-slayer. Not since William’s grandmother first came here 60 years ago has a royal tour been such a success.
Sure, Charles and Diana scored big headlines in 1983, but their crowds seemed more dazzled than charmed.
This tour was warmer — and more politically decisive, which has prominent republicans weeping.
“A triumph,” admitted novelist Thomas Keneally.
“I have thrown in the towel,” sighed former Labor minister Graham Richardson.
But some republicans are crying foul. “It is a classic case of emotion defeating logic,” complained academic Nicholas Reece, former senior adviser to prime minister Julia Gillard.
“Forget the compelling rationale for change, a new generation of voters love the glamour and image of the young royals and could not give a hoot about the republic.”
But what did logic ever have to do with royalty?
(Read full story here.) 
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Anzacs shouldn’t be so insulted at a Dawn Service

Andrew Bolt April 28 2014 (7:12am)

Culture wars

MANY insults are flung at Anzac Day but none was so savagely timed as Peter Underwood’s last Friday.
And none has been such a betrayal. Underwood should resign as Governor of Tasmania for his Dawn Service speech.
First, some background.
This Anzac Day was of the kind that most seems to appal the likes of Underwood.
It was one of those Anzac Days that millions of Australians rescued from the contempt of the elites with their reverence, grief and gratitude.
There were record crowds again this year. Melbourne had four times more people at its Dawn Service than 16 years ago.
These are crowds the alienated Left cannot stand.
ABC presenter Jonathan Green, for instance, marked Anzac Day by protesting it showed “our collective quest for a military history that we can drape around us”.
Such sneering is not new. How can second-rate intellectuals feel superior unless they hate what the “mob” loves?
How can the cheaply refined men of letters show their class than by despising the soldier?
But different now is that such sneerers have wormed into positions of authority over a tradition we expected them to guard.
Academic Peter Stanley was a senior historian at the Australian War Memorial yet mocks our “Anzackery” and claims that to commemorate the Anzacs is “peculiar at best and grotesque at worst” given more people have died in car accidents or suicides.
Dr Lindy Edwards, another academic teaching our soldiers, even claims they are part of “a long tradition of firing up fighting men by invoking their shared ability to sexually degrade women”.
These critics of Anzac Day, at least, don’t have the authority to deliver their attacks from a Cenotaph during the very celebration they seek to undermine.
But Underwood did.
(Read full story here.) 
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Weak growth tipped. So which idiots blew the surplus?

Andrew Bolt April 28 2014 (6:56am)

Proof of the utter stupidity of Labor blowing the budget during a mining boom:
TREASURY is expecting the most sustained period of weak growth in Australia for at least 50 years, with the economy forecast still to be feeling the pain of falling commodity prices and weak income growth in 2020.
Treasury’s outlook is considerably more pessimistic than those of private forecasters, who suggest the economy could be $70 billion bigger than Treasury expects within three years.
I worry about a deficit levy - actually a tax increase. Is this just politics? Surely the best way to cut the deficit is to cut spending, not raise taxes - which have already gone up effectively through several years of bracket creep. Is a deficit levy just a quick “hit the rich” exercise, easier to sell than a hundred cuts to programs - starting with, say, the Human Rights Commission?
The government is considering imposing a “deficit levy” similar to the Gillard government’s flood levy, according to a report in The Sunday Telegraph yesterday…
Deloitte Access Economics partner Chris Richardson said yesterday that a levy of 0.5 percentage points on the top three tax brackets would raise about $2bn a year… Mr Richardson said that $2bn raised by the levy could add to $6bn in spending cuts, improving the budget position by $8bn in the coming year. This would still leave a large deficit for 2014-15 in excess of $20bn.
UPDATE
My suspicion grows:
Chris Richardson… [said:] “The smoke signals coming out of Canberra’s Expenditure Review Committee are indicating that the government is finding it hard to achieve the sorts of cuts that budget repair requires… [And] that means that a feared negative to the economic outlook – savage cuts from Canberra – is unlikely to occur.”
(Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill and whatthe.) 
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The real disability was in Labor’s management skills

Andrew Bolt April 28 2014 (6:52am)

Typical Labor bungling and waste:

A SECRET report handed to the former Labor government before the National Disability Insurance Scheme was launched in 2013 warned the sector was drastically underprepared for the massive rollout task.
The report, written for the Gillard government in 2012 by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers, and obtained by News Corp, sounded the alarm, warning organisations were “not currently prepared for the significant changes that will be required in transitioning to an NDIS"…
(T)he PwC report reveals the former government was cautioned as early as November 2012 that the sector faced serious challenges and was not yet equipped to adjust to an NDIS model.
The NDIS looks like the NBN of the welfare sector.
UPDATE
Yet another:

THE federal bureaucracy is ­incapable of managing complex programs such as the National Rental Affordability Scheme, ­according to Labor senator Mark Bishop, who has criticised the Rudd government’s implement­ation of the scheme…
Responding to revelations in The Australian that the rental scheme rollout had been a fiasco in his home state of Western Australia, Senator Bishop said the necessary leg work had not been done when Kevin Rudd took the scheme to cabinet in 2008.
The Australian revealed last week that two firms in Western Australia that received more than half of that state’s subsidies — Questus and Yaran — had built a fraction of the 3000 homes promised.
The West Australian fiasco comes after revelations that the scheme had been exploited by developers and universities to build student accommodation…
The $4.5bn NRAS scheme was introduced in 2008, but its viability was damaged from the start because the Australian Taxation Office took more than two years to rule on the tax status of investments discouraging large-scale private-sector investment, Senator Bishop said.
“When Rudd took it to cabinet a lot of the work hadn’t been done,’’ he said…
The problems in Western Australia centre on Yaran Property Group, which secured more than 1100 incentives in the third round of the program but has built just 82 houses with them, according to the latest federal figures.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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We must reform the Senate, but will the Senate allow it?

Andrew Bolt April 28 2014 (6:28am)

The trouble is that the micro-parties now have crucial votes in the Senate and could cripple a government which tried to reform the electoral laws:
THE major political parties are poised to engineer the biggest electoral reforms since the 1980s, including moves to limit preference distribution from micro-­parties

Upper house elections in NSW, Tasmania and in the ­Senate have been the target of ­orchestrated gaming of preferences among tiny parties formed for the sole intention of harvesting preferences from each other and sneaking into parliament.
The Liberal and Labor parties are putting formal submissions to the joint standing committee on electoral matters today, in which they are expected to argue for a percentage of a minimum quota for a Senate seat to be set that parties must reach before preferences are distributed to other parties.
In NSW Legislative Council and Senate elections minor parties and so-called micro-parties have gamed the system by ­creating dozens of parties and then swapping preferences to be elected with a tiny first-preference vote.
The major parties have been considering seeking a minimum percentage of 1.4 per cent in first-preference votes before any preferences could be distributed. They have also been seeking limits on how tiny parties are formed, with the view that any person can only be the registered officer of one party at a time to prevent a proliferation of small parties using the same personnel.
These changes are critical. Voters now have little control in choosing who ends up winning the critical last seats in the Senate and have accidentally elected a couple of Senators at the last election who are clearly not up to the job.
(Thanks to reader whatthe?) 
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Two IPCC insiders tell: key document corrupted by politics

Andrew Bolt April 28 2014 (6:24am)

Two insiders last week confirmed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been corrupted. “Consensus” was never how science was done, and now know it’s just politics.

Dr. Robert Stavins, an IPCC Co-Coordinating Lead Author: 
Over the past 5 years, I have dedicated an immense amount of time and effort to serving as the Co-Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) of Chapter 13, “International Cooperation:  Agreements and Instruments,” ..... of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)… It has been an intense and exceptionally time-consuming process, which recently culminated in a grueling week spent in Berlin, Germany, April 5-13, 2014, at the government approval sessions, in which some 195 country delegations discussed, revised, and ultimately approved (line-by-line) the “Summary for Policymakers” (SPM), which condenses more than 2,000 pages of text from 15 chapters into an SPM document of 33 pages.  Several of the CLAs present with me in Berlin commented that given the nature and outcome of the week, the resulting document should probably be called the Summary by Policymakers, rather than the Summary for Policymakers…
Over the course of the two hours of the contact group deliberations, it became clear that the only way the assembled government representatives would approve text for SPM.5.2 was essentially to remove all “controversial” text (that is, text that was uncomfortable for any one individual government), which meant deleting almost 75% of the text, including nearly all explications and examples under the bolded headings. In more than one instance, specific examples or sentences were removed at the will of only one or two countries, because under IPCC rules, the dissent of one country is sufficient to grind the entire approval process to a halt unless and until that country can be appeased.
Professor Richard Tol, a convening lead author of the IPCC for which he’s worked for 20 years:
In the earlier drafts of the SPM, there was a key message that was new, snappy and relevant: Many of the more worrying impacts of climate change really are symptoms of mismanagement and underdevelopment.
This message does not support the political agenda for greenhouse gas emission reduction. Later drafts put more and more emphasis on the reasons for concern about climate change…
I reckoned that putting my name on such a document would not be credible – my opinions are well-known – and I withdrew.
The SPM, drafted by the scholars of the IPCC, is rewritten by delegates of the governments of the world, in this case in a week-long session in Yokohama. Some of these delegates are scholars, others are not. The Irish delegate, for instance, thinks that unmitigated climate change would put us on a highway to hell, referring, I believe, to an AC/DC song rather than a learned paper.
Other delegations have a political agenda too. The international climate negotiations of 2013 in Warsaw concluded that poor countries might be entitled to compensation for the impacts of climate change… This led to an undignified bidding war among delegations – my country is more vulnerable than yours – that descended into farce when landlocked countries vigorously protested that they too would suffer from sea level rise.
Many countries send a single person delegation. Some countries can afford to send many delegates. They work in shifts, exhausting the other delegations with endless discussions about trivia, so that all important decisions are made in the final night with only a few delegations left standing. The IPCC authors, who technically have the right to veto text that contradicts their chapter, suffer from tiredness too.
This shows. The SPM omits that better cultivars and improved irrigation increase crop yields. It shows the impact of sea level rise on the most vulnerable country, but does not mention the average. It emphasize the impacts of increased heat stress but downplays reduced cold stress. It warns about poverty traps, violent conflict and mass migration without much support in the literature. The media, of course, exaggerated further…
The IPCC does not guard itself against selection bias and group think. Academics who worry about climate change are more likely to publish about it, and more likely to get into the IPCC. Groups of like-minded people reinforce their beliefs. The environment agencies that comment on the draft IPCC report will not argue that their department is obsolete. The IPCC should therefore be taken out of the hands of the climate bureaucracy and transferred to the academic authorities.
(Via Watts Up With That, which has more. Thanks to reader fulchrum.) 
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INFORMED AND CIVIL

Tim Blair – Monday, April 28, 2014 (3:02pm)

So this is how Q & A works. If you call Prime Minister Julia Gillard a “witch”, you’ll be the subject of anguished discussion: 
Bill Shorten: I saw those signs of “Ditch the witch”. You just have to go to some of the disgusting far right, blogosphere websites to see the sort of crazy, rancid attacks ... 
But if you call Prime Minister Tony Abbott a “lying, sexist c-nt” whose “hatred of women is palpable”Q & A will book you for the show, fly you to Sydney and put you up in a hotel – all at taxpayers’ expense.

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It’s a funny old world. Seeking some clarification on Q & A‘s booking procedures, last week I sent a few questions to Peter McEvoy, the show’s executive producer. His unedited reply: 
Q & A aims to provide a platform for as wide a variety of views as possible. The point of the program is to generate an informed and civil discussion where ideas can be examined, weighed and debated. By necessity this means some guests will have views others might object to.
Other discussion based programs take a similar approach, including on Sky where Van Badham has been a guest previously just as you have been a guest on Q & A.
Next Monday’s panel includes a diverse range of viewpoints including Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Shadow Human Services Minister Doug Cameron, conservative British editor and broadcaster Andrew Neil and The Daily Telegraph’s opinion editor Sarrah Le Marquand, alongside Van Badham who describes herself as an anarchist.
As executive producer I would expect Van Badham will be challenged and tested on her views by other panellists and by our audience members as well as being scrutinised by host Tony Jones.
And as Q & A requires all panellists to be in one location, we will fly Van Badham to Sydney and accommodate her in an inexpensive hotel. 
I’ll take that as a comment. In the great tradition of ABC PR stuff-ups, however, McEvoy’s reply also featured an attached note from Q & A host Tony Jones, obviously intended for eyes other than mine: 
Why do we have to say “inexpensive” hotel. It sounds a bit like we have designated cheap accommodation for her. What about “the same nearby hotel that all our panelists stay in” or some such.
You don’t want to upset the talent. Who knows what dear little Van might say.
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PROPERTY ISN’T THEFT AFTER ALL

Tim Blair – Monday, April 28, 2014 (2:54pm)

A commie copyright battle in the UK: Marxist publisher sues over property rights.
(Via Jeb)
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=== Posts from last year ===
4 her, so she knows how I see her

Monet's Garden in Giverny



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Is time real, or the ultimate illusion? Most physicists would say the latter, but Lee Smolin challenges this orthodoxy in his new book, "Time Reborn" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2013), which he discussed here Wednesday (April 24) at the Rubin Museum of Art. http://oak.ctx.ly/r/4ewj
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38th ANNIVERSARY OF THE FALL OF SAIGON

Great honour to be given the privilege to give an address at the Vietnam War Memorial in Canberra today to mark the 38th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon with my good friend Liberal Senator for the ACT Gary Humphries.

Following is a transcript of my speech. 

• Today we gather on the 38th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, to honour the more than 500 Australians and 250,000 South Vietnamese servicemen and women that sacrificed their lives for the principles of freedom and democracy in the Vietnam War.

• We also honour the many thousands more that were wounded or were victims of illness.

• And we further honor the families and the relatives of the many South Vietnamese, that following the fall of Saigon were deprived of access to the basic necessities of food, clothing, & shelter, and who found communist persecution so unbearable, that they took to the high seas in anything that floated.

• Now like all wars, the Vietnam War, was a war in which tragic mistakes were made – but we were fighting for a just and honourable cause.

• Therefore, it is to our nation's eternal shame, that confused by ‘protest rhetoric’, that we failed to give those who fought and served in Vietnam the due and proper recognition that they rightfully deserved when they returned home.

• And it is now with the hindsight of time, that it is now evident that those who served in Vietnam did in fact achieve the long-term strategic objectives that our nation set out to accomplish – to halt the spread of communism.

• And that success demonstrates that those Australians and Vietnamese did not fight or die in vain, and that our veterans of Vietnam War are deserving of honor and gratitude, and that the ideals of freedom and democracy were, and are, worth fighting for.

A battle within the Cold War

• For although Vietnam was a war with it all its horror, its bloodshed and its death - it was a battle in within the broader Cold War.

• A war that was fought to ultimately determine the question of; whether humanity’s best hope for peace and prosperity, lies with the authoritarian rule of a centrally planned communist state – or - ……… whether humanity’s best hopes lie with a free market democracy, with freedom on the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of movement.

A dangerous time

• So, it must never be forgotten, that when Australia first became involved in Vietnam, the world was in the midst of the Cold War, when the ideological confrontation with communism was at its height.

• It was a time when Eastern Europe was one great concentration camp - its people captives behind a concrete wall, topped with barbed wire and guards armed with machine guns.

• It was a time when the communists had taken control of the world's most populous nation—China.

• It was a time when Soviet Union imperialism was on the march, with the intent of dominating the world by using subversion or military power to convert countries to communism …….when Khrushchev had warmed the west; “We will bury you" The domino theory was real.

• These were dark days, days when the very future of; freedom, liberty and democracy were under the gravest of threats.

Strategy of Containment

• So Australia’s support for South Vietnam and our American allies was part of a grand strategy of containment - the goal of which was to hault or slow the spread of communism.

• And let us never forget, and we must be forever grateful - that this grand strategy was ultimately successful.

• And let us never forget that the success of containing the spread of communism, and winning the Cold War was not achieved through policies of appeasement.

• It was achieved by what became known as the ‘Kennedy Doctrine’: a promise to pay any price, to bear any burden, to support any friend, to oppose any foe - to assure the survival and success of liberty.

A holding action for democracy

• So the 10 years of Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War, when we fought alongside our American and South Vietnamese allies, was a ‘holding action’ fought for the survival of freedom and democracy in the war against the spread of communism.

• And during these 10 years, we played an important role in halting the communist advance, a time which allowed the Western democracies and other ASEAN nations to grow strong enough to outlast the enemy.

• For it was also during this 10-year period that the growing contrast in the standard of living between West German & East Germany - and North & South Korea became undeniable.

• The policy of containment gave Communism time to fail, fail because countries which followed an ideology of a centrally controlled economy, with inefficient planned manufacturing and collectivized agriculture, run by party bureaucrats concerned with protecting their own power and privileges - saw their economies stagnate.

• And Communism failed - because the individual freedom in Western democracies encouraged entrepreneurial activity – the driver of; innovation, experimentation, and fresh innovation - a system which produced the new medicines, the modern cars, the personal computers and new business models that created a growing prosperity – simply did not occur in centrally planned economies.

• It was that 10 years of containment of communist expansion during the Vietnam war that allowed time for the west to ultimately triumph in the global battle of ideas – the idea that mankind’s best chance for peace and prosperity lie in a free market democracy, with freedom on the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of movement is today globally accepted.

• So there was a 'domino effect' following the Vietnam war, but not the one that we rightly worried about in the early 1960s. The domino effect that occurred after the Vietnam War was when countries saw how their neighbors that had rejected communist ideologies and instead followed the principles of free and open markets prospered and grew strong — and those countries followed.

Today’s Vietnam

• So today we can celebrated that communist economic ideology has been rejected throughout South-East Asia and also the majority of the world. And we see the Vietnamese economy, having significantly departed from the old Stalinist-Maoist model, now prospering from free-market incentives through the encouragement of private businesses and foreign investment, which has lifted millions of Vietnamese out of poverty.

• For that we have our troops' service in Vietnam to thank for being a crucial part of an honorable and ultimately successful struggle for freedom and prosperity.

Jobs not yet finished

• However ‘free markets’ are only one half of the ideals of a true democratic society; ……. a free peoples, with free political expression, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press -are the other half – and over time, you can’t have one without the other.

• And although the Vietnamese leadership, out of necessity, has abandoned its Marxist-Leninist ideal of command and control economic collectivism. It still today continues to cling to political control - restricting freedom and democracy.

• And there can be no doubt that the principles of freedom have been grossly violated by the current Vietnamese communist regime.

• So the same vigilance & pressure that dragged Vietnam onto the path toward a market economy, now needs to be applied to weaken its grip on totalitarian authority.

• And I have no doubt, that one day soon, freedom and liberty will finally win, and the people of Vietnam will finally enjoy full freedom and democracy, peace and prosperity – and when that day does come, we will eternally gratefully to those that made countless sacrifices during the Vietnam War.

• Lest we forget.

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Selecta DNA Pistol System Product Launch 

A new tool that would allow law enforcement to prevent criminals from running away or disappearing into a crowd before arrest was highlighted last week at The SHOT Show in Las Vegas. 

The High Velocity DNA Tagging system by the U.K.-based security company Selectamark was introduced with police officers in a riot situation in mind. Coming in both pistol and rifle form, the tool would allow police to remain 30 to 40 meters from the target and tag them with a SelectaDNA High Velocity pellet that contains a unique DNA code to ensure the correct person is apprehended later.

DNA pellets used by law enforcement officers will tag individuals with a unique SelectaDNA code from a distance. “On contact with the target the uniquely-coded SelectaDNA solution leaves a synthetic DNA trace mark that will enable the relevant authorities to confirm or eliminate that person from their involvement in a particular situation and could ultimately lead to arrest and prosecution,”
Selectamark Managing Director Andrew Knights said in a statement.

Watch the product launchhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Roon2DwZGfQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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Happy birthday to Jenna-Louise Coleman! We made her a soufflé, but it was too beautiful to live...
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Pink Floyd appeared at Mothers Club in Birmingham, England today in 1969, and parts of the show were used on the Ummagumma live album. BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel said that the show sounded "like dying galaxies lost in sheer corridors of time and space". Here's a rare surviving poster from the show:
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This incredible photo marks the end of Matador Torero Álvaro Múnera’s career. He collapsed in remorse mid-fight when he realized he was having to prompt this otherwise gentle beast to fight. He went on to become an avid opponent of bullfights. Even grievously wounded by picadors, he did not attack this man.

Torrero Munera is quoted as saying of this moment: “And suddenly, I looked at the bull. He had this innocence that all animals have in their eyes, and he looked at me with this pleading. It was like a cry for justice, deep down inside of me. I describe it as being like a prayer - because if one confesses, it is hoped, that one is forgiven. I felt like the worst shit on earth.”
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sharing this ~FurretTails:
I went to the mall, and a little girl called me a terrorist. 

My name is Ela. I am seventeen years old. I am not Muslim, but my friend told me about her friend being discriminated against for wearing a hijab. So I decided to see the discrimination firsthand to get a better understanding of what Muslim women go through. 

My friend and I pinned scarves around our heads, and then we went to the mall. Normally, vendors try to get us to buy things and ask us to sample a snack. Clerks usually ask us if we need help, tell us about sales, and smile at us. Not today. People, including vendors, clerks, and other shoppers, wouldn’t look at us. They didn’t talk to us. They acted like we didn’t exist. They didn’t want to be caught staring at us, so they didn’t look at all.

And then, in one store, a girl (who looked about four years old) asked her mom if my friend and I were terrorists. She wasn’t trying to be mean or anything. I don’t even think she could have grasped the idea of prejudice. However, her mother’s response is one I can never forgive or forget. The mother hushed her child, glared at me, and then took her daughter by the hand and led her out of the store.

All that because I put a scarf on my head. Just like that, a mother taught her little girl that being Muslim was evil. It didn’t matter that I was a nice person. All that mattered was that I looked different. That little girl may grow up and teach her children the same thing.

This experiment gave me a huge wakeup call. It lasted for only a few hours, so I can’t even begin to imagine how much prejudice Muslim girls go through every day. It reminded me of something that many people know but rarely remember: the women in hijabs are people, just like all those women out there who aren’t Muslim.

People of Tumblr, please help me spread this message. Treat Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, Taoists, etc., exactly the way you want to be treated, regardless of what they’re wearing or not wearing, no exceptions. Reblog this. Tell your friends. I don’t know that the world will ever totally wipe out prejudice, but we can try, one blog at a time.

Also, fat people are 2nd class citizens - ed
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Thank you so much Hedy for wifi.
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These Sugar Cookie Tacos with fresh fruit and whipped cream look so yummy

Sugar Cookie Tacos
Ingredients:
1 Package 18oz refrigerated sugar cookie dough
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar

2 cups of your favorite fruit cut-up



1. Preheat oven to 350. grease 2 baking sheets. Cover rounded forms such as rolling pins or cardboard tubes from paper towel roll with aluminum foil.

2. cut cookie dough into 16 half inch thick slices. Press each slice on a slightly floured surface into a 3 inch round sprinkle with cinnamon.

3. Bake cookies until lightly golden, but still soft, 7-9 min. Gently remove cookies from baking sheet and IMMEDIATELY drape over rounded forms (I found it easier to invert the forms, instead of laying it on top of the rounded form I put 2 rolls next to each other and draped the tinfoil over them pushing down in the middle, then I place the cookie in the middle, they did not break that way.... Clear as mud???? sorry)

4. Cool cookies until firm about 2 min. gently remove.

5. Beat whipping cream and sugar in large bowl with mixer on high until stiff. Fill each cookie with about 2 tablespoons and your favorite fruit

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Snow Spa, Gothenburg, Sweden
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Assyrian/United Kingdom memorial project update.
The design of our monument is a replica of another Monument built by Agha Petros and the British commandant of Baqubah in 1919 to honor Assyrian casualties; this was later destroyed by Arabs and no trace of it can be found today.This design having historical value to the Assyrians is so far accepted as meaningful and cost effective by the Assyrian Levies Association, the RAF Regiment, and the Arboretum.The date for unveiling will be the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces Day, Saturday 24th June 201, The Head Stone will be four sided as the original; the changes to the original will be in Text, Carvings and material.
All enquiries to; gabykiwarkis@gmail.com
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A Wonderful Life: Jimmy Stewart, Actor and B-24 Bomber Pilot

http://independentfilmnewsandmedia.com/a-wonderful-life-jimmy-stewart-actor-and-b-24-bomber-pilot/

“It may sound corny, but what’s wrong with wanting to fight for your country? Why are people reluctant to use the word patriotism?” ~ Jimmy Stewart
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DARK TIMES

Tim Blair – Sunday, April 28, 2013 (2:19pm)

Phillip Adams considers the Boston bombings
This must be a very, very dark time for American Muslims. 
Just a theory, but it may be a slightly darker time for American non-Muslims currently mourning their dead, having shrapnel picked out of the faces and bodies, or being fitted with prosthetic limbs. Further on these dark times from Mark Steyn: 
The Tsarnaevs’ mom, now relocated from Cambridge to Makhachkala in delightful Dagestan, told a press conference the other day that she regrets ever having gotten mixed up with those crazy Yanks: “I would prefer not to have lived in America,” she said.
Not, I’m sure, as much as the Richard family would have preferred it. Eight-year-old Martin was killed; his sister lost a leg; and his mother suffered serious brain injuries. What did the Richards and some 200 other families do to deserve having a great big hole blown in their lives? Well, according to the New York Times, they and you bear collective responsibility. Writing on the op-ed page, Marcello Suarez-Orozco, dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and Carola Suarez-Orozco, a professor at the same institution, began their ruminations thus:
“The alleged involvement of two ethnic Chechen brothers in the deadly attack at the Boston Marathon last week should prompt Americans to reflect on whether we do an adequate job assimilating immigrants who arrive in the United States as children or teenagers.” 
Quite so. Americans should have given these kids educations and jobs and places to worship and … oh, wait.
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NOTHING TO SEE HERE

Tim Blair – Sunday, April 28, 2013 (2:28pm)

Damian Thompson on the media circus that is not surrounding a certain trial: 
One of the most disgusting serial killers in American history is standing trial in Philadelphia at the moment – and, since it’s happening in the US, where reporting restrictions are light, the media are free to discuss his case.
Only they haven’t – at least, not until recently, and even when the crimes are reported, they haven’t merited many headlines. Which is horrifying, when you consider what the killer is accused of. I’m going to leave out the nastiest details – but, seriously, if you don’t want to feel sick to your stomach, look away now. 
Sadly, much of the media is following that exact instruction.
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Nichiren Daishonin Hakii Portrait.jpg
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Events[edit]

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Holidays and observances[edit]

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“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”” - Luke 19:10
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"God, even our own God."
Psalm 67:6
It is strange how little use we make of the spiritual blessings which God gives us, but it is stranger still how little use we make of God himself. Though he is "our own God," we apply ourselves but little to him, and ask but little of him. How seldom do we ask counsel at the hands of the Lord! How often do we go about our business, without seeking his guidance! In our troubles how constantly do we strive to bear our burdens ourselves, instead of casting them upon the Lord, that he may sustain us! This is not because we may not, for the Lord seems to say, "I am thine, soul, come and make use of me as thou wilt; thou mayst freely come to my store, and the oftener the more welcome." It is our own fault if we make not free with the riches of our God. Then, since thou hast such a friend, and he invites thee, draw from him daily. Never want whilst thou hast a God to go to; never fear or faint whilst thou hast God to help thee; go to thy treasure and take whatever thou needest--there is all that thou canst want. Learn the divine skill of making God all things to thee. He can supply thee with all, or, better still, he can be to thee instead of all. Let me urge thee, then, to make use of thy God. Make use of him in prayer. Go to him often, because he is thy God. O, wilt thou fail to use so great a privilege? Fly to him, tell him all thy wants. Use him constantly by faith at all times. If some dark providence has beclouded thee, use thy God as a "sun;" if some strong enemy has beset thee, find in Jehovah a "shield," for he is a sun and shield to his people. If thou hast lost thy way in the mazes of life, use him as a "guide," for he will direct thee. Whatever thou art, and wherever thou art, remember God is just what thou wantest, and just where thou wantest, and that he can do all thou wantest.

Evening

"The Lord is King forever and ever."
Psalm 10:16
Jesus Christ is no despotic claimant of divine right, but he is really and truly the Lord's anointed! "It hath pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell." God hath given to him all power and all authority. As the Son of man, he is now head over all things to his church, and he reigns over heaven, and earth, and hell, with the keys of life and death at his girdle. Certain princes have delighted to call themselves kings by the popular will, and certainly our Lord Jesus Christ is such in his church. If it could be put to the vote whether he should be King in the church, every believing heart would crown him. O that we could crown him more gloriously than we do! We would count no expense to be wasted that could glorify Christ. Suffering would be pleasure, and loss would be gain, if thereby we could surround his brow with brighter crowns, and make him more glorious in the eyes of men and angels. Yes, he shall reign. Long live the King! All hail to thee, King Jesus! Go forth, ye virgin souls who love your Lord, bow at his feet, strew his way with the lilies of your love, and the roses of your gratitude: "Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown him Lord of all." Moreover, our Lord Jesus is King in Zion by right of conquest: he has taken and carried by storm the hearts of his people, and has slain their enemies who held them in cruel bondage. In the Red Sea of his own blood, our Redeemer has drowned the Pharaoh of our sins: shall he not be King in Jeshurun? He has delivered us from the iron yoke and heavy curse of the law: shall not the Liberator be crowned? We are his portion, whom he has taken out of the hand of the Amorite with his sword and with his bow: who shall snatch his conquest from his hand? All hail, King Jesus! we gladly own thy gentle sway! Rule in our hearts forever, thou lovely Prince of Peace.
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Today's reading: 1 Kings 1-2, Luke 19:28-48 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Kings 1-2

Adonijah Sets Himself Up as King
When King David was very old, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him. 2 So his attendants said to him, "Let us look for a young virgin to serve the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm."
3 Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 The woman was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no sexual relations with her.
5 Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, "I will be king." So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him. 6 (His father had never rebuked him by asking, "Why do you behave as you do?" He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.)

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 19:28-48

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 "Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' say, 'The Lord needs it.'"
32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?"
34 They replied, "The Lord needs it...."
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Bildad

[Bĭl'dăd] - son of contention, lord adad or old friendship. One of Job's three friends, a Shuhite, descended from Shuah, Abraham's son by Keturah (Job 2:118:118:125:142:9).

The Man Who Made a Speech

Bildad's name is an interesting study. One meaning of it is "Lord of Hadad" and "Hadad" means to shout. Studying the speeches of this second speaker who came to comfort Job, one can see how apt the name is, for Bildad was inclined to be loud, insistent and boisterous in his declarations.
This Shuhite, in a vehement fashion, implied as he continued the discussion opened by Eliphaz, that all the extraordinary misfortune overtaking Job were the certain proof of hidden and exceptional crimes of which Job must have been guilty. Doubtless Bildad thought his speech was rich in ideas. But he is before us as the religious dogmatist whose dogmatism vested upon human tradition. With proverbial wisdom and pious phrases, abounding throughout his discourses, Bildad sought to illustrate the principle that Job suffered because of his sin.
With philosophy, wisdom and tradition gathered from the fathers (Job 8:8), Bildad sought to convince Job of his wrongs. But the mystery of Job's sufferings was not to be unraveled in that way. The wisdom of man and tradition has its limits. What has been handed down and accepted by each succeeding generation as truth, is not necessarily so. Every man must be fully persuaded in his own mind. The mysterious dealings of God can only be revealed by God Himself. He is His own Interpreter.
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Knowing Him - An Easter Devotional

JESUS IS RISEN! NOW WHAT?

Jesus is risen from the dead! Now what? The life and teachings of Jesus give us a whole way of living–putting together all the pieces (and broken pieces) of life.
You are invited to an online book discussion with Mel Lawrenz in late May using Putting the Pieces Back Together: How Real Life and Real Faith ConnectOrder your copy today and we’ll send you the details.
And for Bible Gateway users, for a limited time you will receive the DVD companion video study FREE.
When the storms of life tear your world apart, only God can put the pieces back together again. When you have more questions than answers, only God can give you a vision of the grand pattern of wholeness he has designed for your life.Putting the Pieces Back Together is a journey into the key concepts of the Christian faith that will help you build-or rebuild-your life upon the solid foundation of God's purposes.
Dr. Mel Lawrenz says, "Faith and life should connect. They do connect. Our beliefs about God and his ways in the world, about human nature, about the afterlife, and about everything else must cohere if they are true. And they are the building blocks with which we can build a faith we can live in."
Putting the Pieces Back Together explores the major themes of Christian belief as they intersect with the issues and questions you face every day. Each chapter touches on a point of human need and shows how a solid faith can lead to reconciliation and the integration of the whole person. Questions for discussion at the end of each chapter help groups and individuals apply the insights to personal living. Topics include:
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Who am I and how can I reflect the whole and complete character of God?
How can I know God and discover a reality larger than I have yet comprehended?
What does it mean to live in an earthly kingdom and a heavenly kingdom at the same time?
$14.95 Hardcover, plus the DVD teaching guide (a $20.00 value) FREE for a limited time.
About The Author - Mel Lawrenz serves as minister at large for Elmbrook Church and leads The Brook Network. Having been in pastoral ministry for thirty years, the last decade as senior pastor of Elmbrook, Mel seeks to help Christian leaders engage with each other. Mel is the author of eleven books, the most recent for church leaders, Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement.
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Lent=Devotions-Header
Thanks for reading the Bible Gateway Lent devotional. We hope it helped you focus your thoughts on Jesus throughout the Easter season.

This was the first time we've put together a Lent devotional, and we'd love to hear what you thought of it--what you liked, what you didn't, and how we can do better next year. We've put together a very short survey where you can share your thoughts:

Tell us what you thought about the Lent devotional!

We truly appreciate your feedback; positive or negative, it will help us improve the Lent devotional for next year.

Thanks again. We hope you had a blessed Easter--and that you will carry the joy of the Resurrection with you through the rest of the year!

Sincerely,
the Bible Gateway team

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