Monday, April 07, 2014

Mon Apr 7th 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?

It is her birthday today, and Janis Ian is no longer seventeen. It is an anniversary of Atila the Hun in 451 sacking a city in Gaul prior to his attempt at the big prize of Rome. In 1611, Maya had a victory of Palenque. We know of Palenque today because of their small, well preserved ruins. After the WA poll, it is also how we know of the ALP. For the Greens, Ludlum is proud of his malicious assault on Abbott spoken from the coward's castle of parliament. His popularity is not among people of good heart, which will limit future growth for the Greens. It should be noted that not every loser voted Green. PUP attracted a lot of votes too. The Nationals are a great party, but not differentiated enough from the Liberals to attract substantial votes in their own right. Shifting demographics mean they aren't attracting rural mining votes. 

There are few things more despicable than bureaucrats benefiting from suffering. Kofi Annan's career got a boost on this day in 1994 Rwanda. Eisenhower made his dominos speech in 1954. The internet had its foundation on this day in 1969. But my mind leaves politics to another thing, a death that happened this morning. Not unexpected, he was old. Rooney claimed he was the inspiration for Walt Disney in naming his mouse Mickey. Mickey could sing, dance and act. He grew up on stage, and was gracious to fans. In 2011, at the age of 91, he appeared on the Muppets and later in a celebrity ghost story where he recounted his dead father urging him to continue on stage. He had 9 children, and multiple wives .. never at the same time. It is a blessing to say someone died of old age, surrounded by family. Possibly not all those wives. The lord blessed you, Mr Rooney. Thank you for sharing so generously your gifts.
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns John TranWilliam Truong and Lepani Natuee. Born on the same day, across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you. As a child, they gave you wings. As an adult, they keep you grounded.
Matches
Despatches
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Arthur, how did it all come to this?

Miranda Devine – Monday, April 07, 2014 (10:49am)

WHEN Arthur Sinodinos took his seat in the witness box at the Independent Commission against Corruption on Thursday, all the elements of a Greek tragedy were in place.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Arthur, how did it all come to this?'
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FAIR JOE

Tim Blair – Monday, April 07, 2014 (4:07pm)

In a perfect world, Joe Hockey’s budget speech to parliament on May 14 would go something like this …

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'FAIR JOE'
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GREAT MOMENTS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIAN HISTORY IV

Tim Blair – Monday, April 07, 2014 (3:55pm)

Adelaide Crows ambassadors celebrate their team’s third consecutive defeat by quitting the AFL and taking up cycling:

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OCEANSINX

Tim Blair – Monday, April 07, 2014 (1:04pm)

Poor little Oceanlinx. Given millions in Labor grants, the plucky wave energy company repeatedly ran into Labor-like problems. One of its wave power generators was left rusting off the NSW coast in 2009. Another generator broke free of its moorings in 2010 and sank. Last month Oceanlinx attempted again to get some wave energy happening, but yet again it all went wrong
A $7 million wave energy unit has run into trouble in waters off the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide.
Wave energy company Oceanlinx says the unit, which is being towed by a tug boat, has suffered serious damage to the airbags supporting the 3,000-tonne structure, making it lean …
Oceanlinx says the unit has been towed to shallow water off Carrickalinga but witnesses in the area say it appears to have sunk. 
And now the company is bankrupt
KordaMentha has been appointed as receiver of wave energy developer Oceanlinx after it went bankrupt owing its secured creditors $7 million and investors a further $3m …
Ocenlinx’s web site says it received a $7.2 million grant from the Federal Government’s Energy Renewables Programme and had received a grant from the Australian Research Council. The web site says the company, formerly known as Energetech, had been named by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation as one of the top 10 renewable energy investment opportunities in the world. 
(Via Art)
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MARILYN CARLTON

Tim Blair – Monday, April 07, 2014 (12:24pm)

If I was desperate to be noticed, Michael, I’d do something hilariously stupid. Like dyeing my hair blond:

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WIPED OUT

Tim Blair – Monday, April 07, 2014 (11:57am)

Number four on Fairfax scientist-in-residence Fiona Johnson’s list of the ten ways you personally will notice the effects of climate change
High-speed windscreen wipers. 
(Via That Old Stone in the Shoe)
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REDTOP SWINGS AND MISSES

Tim Blair – Sunday, April 06, 2014 (7:26pm)

Father’s Day author Peter FitzSimons, the literary equivalent of patterned socks, sends a curious message to Gerard Henderson
Not sure if you are familiar with the stuff of Tim Blair on Iraq?
A great cheerleader for the whole thing at the time, he has totally ignored since the fact there were no WMD and delights in going on and on about the fact that while at one point the accusation was made that the Thanksgiving turkey that George W Bush was famously photographed serving to the troops was a plastic prop Turkey, it really was a REAL turkey!
And he might be right. But it is rather ... beside the point? 
Good call, raghead. I totally ignored WMD in 2003200420052007, again in 2007, and in 2011. As I’ve previously written, the presence of WMD in Iraq at the time of invasion was itself a little beside the point given Saddam Hussein’s earlier use of them and his enthusiasm for obtaining yet more of them. The no-WMD crowd would presumably acquit a proven killer unless he appeared in court still holding the murder weapon.
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Wave goodbye to more green dollars

Andrew Bolt April 07 2014 (5:36pm)

Global warming - general

2004:
Energetech [later renamed Oceanlinx] has been awarded a $1.21 million research and development grant and is on scheduled to commission its first full-scale wave energy generation plant at port Kembla by the end of the year… In 1999 the company was also awarded a $750,000 grant towards the Port Kembla plant from the Australian Greenhouse Office.
That taxpayer-subsidised prototype wave generator in 2012, rusting off Port Kembla:

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The “Mark 1” generator was installed in 2006, but was decommissioned in 2009. Since then, it has been slowly falling apart in shallow waters opposite the coal loader…
The wave generator was decommissioned as Oceanlinx plans to focus attention on the Southern Ocean.
More trouble with another Oceanlinx wave generator in 2010:
The landmark Oceanlinx wave energy system, the Mk3PC, sits underwater at the bottom of Port Kembla’s eastern break wall after heavy seas ripped the unit from its moorings.The 170-tonne structure, which was located 150m offshore, broke free of its pylons on Friday afternoon.Representatives from the Sydney-based company Oceanlinx immediately rushed to Port Kembla, but attempts to tow the structure to safety were hampered by heavy seas...
Despite those setbacks Oceanlinx was unbowed:
Meantime, (CEO Ali) Baghaei said the Government’s $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation was another fund that companies such as Oceanlinx would go to, to help reach commercialisation.
Indeed, in 2012 more funding for an Oceanlinx wave generator, this time off South Australia:
Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, today announced a $5.6 million grant for BioPower Systems Limited’s $15 million bioWAVE Ocean Pilot off the coast of Victoria and just under $4 million to Oceanlinx Limited’s $7.2 million Commercial Wave Energy Demonstrator off the coast of South Australia.
But now:
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A $7 million wave energy unit has run into trouble in waters off the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide.
Wave energy company Oceanlinx says the unit, which is being towed by a tug boat, has suffered serious damage to the airbags supporting the 3,000-tonne structure, making it lean …
Oceanlinx says the unit has been towed to shallow water off Carrickalinga but witnesses in the area say it appears to have sunk.
And now the green dollars we sunk into the company have sunk with the wave generators - and with the company itself:
KordaMentha has been appointed as receiver of wave energy developer Oceanlinx after it went bankrupt owing its secured creditors $7 million and investors a further $3m …
Ocenlinx’s web site says it received a $7.2 million grant from the Federal Government’s Energy Renewables Programme and had received a grant from the Australian Research Council. The web site says the company, formerly known as Energetech, had been named by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation as one of the top 10 renewable energy investment opportunities in the world.
Note: Labor and Greens have used their Senate numbers to stop the Abbott Government from scrapping the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation which invests your money into just such schemes.

Note further:  this is not the only taxpayer money Labor blew on this kind of technology:
The Defence Department will use wave technology to power its largest naval facility, south of Perth.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard is in Perth to announce the deal with Carnegie Wave Technology.
Wave power will be used to power HMAS Stirling’s electrical infrastructure at Garden Island.
OK, so much extra will it cost?

The project is supported by Australian Federal Government funding through the Australia Centre for Renewable Energy’s (ACRE) Emerging Renewables Program (ERP), and the Western Australian State Government through the Low Emissions Energy Development (LEED) fund. The Australian Department of Defence is a strong supporter of the project through a Memorandum of Understanding to provide power to HMAS Stirling.
Hmm. Lots of grants there, but still not a total cost. Let’s dig further:

- $10m Australian Government grant awarded to Carnegie for $31m Perth Wave Energy Project.
- $5.5m secured for Project from Western Australian Government.
- $16m equity funding secured to support Project funding…
The WA funds will come from Carnegie’s existing $12.5m State Government agreement. The combination of State and Australian Government funding also allows the project to proceed with approximately 50% Government funding.
Wow. So already taxpayers are on the hook for more than $15 million (and possibly $22 million) just to provide an alternative power generator for one naval base, using undeveloped new technology to produce limited power at a higher cost.
(Via Tim Blair and many readers.) 
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Race relations in Perth

Andrew Bolt April 07 2014 (5:26pm)

It would be a mistake to dismiss any racial element to this Perth riot, far from the first, and an even bigger mistake to keep preaching the politics of racial grievance and division:
Seven wedding guests were taken to hospital after a clash with 50 gatecrashers at a reception in Bicton on Saturday night.
WA Police said a large group of youths hit guests and threw bricks at the party as they tried to force their way into the Point Walter Cafe at 9.10pm…

The incident began with a small number of youths asking a guest for a cigarette earlier in the night she said…
Four men and three woman were taken to Fremantle Hospital for treatment after they were assaulted by the youths or hit by objects during the fight.
The youths are described as being mostly dark skinned males around 16 to 22 years old.
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Three assaults on women - and this “refugee” is still here

Andrew Bolt April 07 2014 (5:22pm)

Our refugee program is meant to save people from danger, not expose Australians to it. So back you go:
A REFUGEE rapist has been jailed for just six years for his third attack on women since arriving in Australia.

Alfons Pirimapun had already served a prison term for assaulting two women in Queensland before striking for the third time.

He was jailed for three years but on his release his visa was not revoked. He relocated to Victoria and struck again.
Authorities have still not guaranteed the serial sex offender will be deported after he serves his latest jail term…
He begged the court for mercy, saying he would be persecuted if he returned to his homeland of West Papua.
And Australian women risk persecution if he’s not returned. Our primary duty is to them, not him. He got his chance and betrayed us. 
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Why does the ABC assume all ethnic minorities are represented by the Left?

Andrew Bolt April 07 2014 (5:05pm)

Rita Panahi:
ONE of the perils of being a member of an ethnic minority, particularly one of a Middle Eastern background, is that your representatives in the media have a habit of completely misrepresenting you. It’s not just that these self-appointed spokesmen, invariably men, have certain agendas and attitudes that are often not compatible with modern Australian life but they are so utterly, predictably of a single political persuasion. 

The worst tend to be the religious representatives… And yet despite the more unhinged elements, it is the seemingly reasonable, rational commentators, who make a living it the media, who most consistently miss the mark… Among the non-ethnic population,… the only ethnic commentators given a voice, particularly on taxpayer-funded ABC and SBS, tend to belong to far-Left fringe-dwellers.

Take Waleed Aly, who in the aftermath of the Boston bombings described terrorism as a “perpetual irritant” before wrongly opining about the “very real suspicion that the perpetrators here are self-styled American patriots”.
Incredibly, a bloke who can dismiss terror attacks in which children are blown up as a mere “irritant” and “grotesque theatre” was sent into fits of conniptions in the Fairfax papers because the Abbott Government is sticking by its election promise to repeal section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Good for him, but please don’t think for a second that he represents me or others in our wider community. Frankly I find his views as deeply flawed and offensive as the redneck simpletons with the “we grew here, you flew here” mindset.
It’s a common mistake to assume all ethnic minorities must be on the same page on a particular issue. One would hope that author and journalist George Megalogenis would appreciate the complexities of the migrant population a little better than most, but not judging by a tweet he sent after the Abbott Government reintroduced knights and dames to the Australian honours system. Megalogenis wrote: “More than half of Oz population is either immigrant or Indigenous. Government introduces Imperial honours and bigots’ rights. Weird stuff.”
What’s truly weird is the assumption that migrants dislike the royal family and want their freedom of speech curtailed. The Queen is hugely popular with large sections of the migrant community…
It’s not just the ethnic commentators who misrepresent minority groups. As a migrant I’ve got an endless array of eternally outraged middle-class self-loathing white Australians from Fairfax and the ABC speaking for me…
The migrant population is not a homogenous body.... Research conducted at Australian National University has shown that while Asian migrants tend to support Labor, Eastern Europeans favoured the Coalition… The overriding finding into migrants’ voting habits showed the children and grandchildren of migrants have the same diverse range of political views as the broader Australian population.
Yet to find an ethnic leader who isn’t singing from the Labor/Greens hymn book is rare .
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The Greens not so triumphant as the ABC kept saying

Andrew Bolt April 07 2014 (8:38am)

Reader guardianangel noted a skew to the ABC’s coverage of the WA Senate election:

The ABC coverage of the West Australian election created a false impression through the night that there has been a massive increase in the greens vote.
I started taking notes from 11 PM to 1 Am when l saw a completely different set of figures and information coming directly from the AEC. The figures from the AEC were first preference votes. Their site was continuously updated every few minutes which was extremely helpful.
I observed that Antony Green kept saying these actual ‘raw’ votes should be ignored. What mattered he said were his theoretical projection percentages. It was only these projection percentages that were screened on the ABC throughout the night. Not actuals!
Because of this so called surge in Greens votes, they then interviewed numerous Greens people at length throughout the night and they spent a LOT of time on congratulating themselves on capturing WA and reasons for such.
Below is the blow by blow election and what the ABC CHOSE to spread to us, the viewing public, as fact, in the visual updated screen tile. All Greens figures are recorded in tandem precisely through the night:
11.00pm AEC 13.2%.  ABC 19.9%
11.03pm. AEC 13.44%. ABC 18.6%
11.06pm. AEC 13.33%.  ABC 18.6%
11.10pm.  AEC 13.4%.  ABC 18.8%
11.14pm.  AEC 13.11%.  ABC. 18.6%
11.20pm.  AEC 13.02%.  ABC18.2%
11.24pm.  AEC 13.37%.  ABC 19%
11.30pm. AEC 14.01%.  ABC 18.1%
11.36pm. AEC 14.25%. ABC. 18.1%
11.45pm. AEC 15.19%.  ABC 17.5%
12.00am AEC 15.48%. ABC 17.2%
12.15am.  AEC 15.78%.  ABC 16.3%
1230am. AEC 15.98%.  ABC 16.2%
1245am. AEC 16.18%.  ABC 16.4%

The ABC, by choosing not to put the actual percentages on their screen through the night, made it seem that the Greens were really coming up. They should be made to show the AEC results more precisely in election results and not their own running skewed version of reality, no matter how skilful the presenter is and his notion of anticipated projected results.
The Australian Electoral Commission now has the Greens vote at 15.88 per cent. with Labor at a disastrous 21.76. Even Clive Palmer managed 12.49.
Meanwhile, barely noticed, the Nationals slid further into irrelevance out West: just 3.1 per cent. Why do they bother? 
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Say no to racism. Say no to changing our constitution

Andrew Bolt April 07 2014 (8:22am)

Politics - federal, The politics of race

THE Prime Minister misspoke on Australia Day when he named footballer Adam Goodes “Australian of the Year”.
“Today, we celebrate the country we love and the values that underpin it,” Tony Abbott declared.
Really? Goodes is a good man, a passionate man, and has the power to unite us.
But here is how he has since celebrated “the country we love” — and I hope Abbott takes note.
Goodes last month denounced Australia as a country with a “very dark past, a brutal history of dispossession”, attacking “Europeans, and the governments that have run our country” for having “raped, killed and stolen” from Aborigines.
Last weekend he went further, and said our Constitution — Australia’s founding legal document — was “very, very racist towards indigenous people”.
“In Section 25 in the Constitution, the states can ban people from voting based on their race.”
Except, of course, they don’t and won’t.
I’ve written before how Goodes sells this country short. Our past was never so vicious. That Goodes is so successful — and so widely admired — should make him slower to believe the worst of us.
Nor should we feel a personal guilt or grievance for what some long-dead strangers allegedly did or suffered, simply because we share their “race”. That is stupid.
But Goodes’ latest attack is more dangerous because it is part of a campaign partially supported by Abbott to change our Constitution.
(Read full article here.) 
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The biggest loser is Labor

Andrew Bolt April 07 2014 (8:06am)

Politics - federal

THE Abbott Government may have dodged a bullet in Saturday’s Senate election in Western Australia, but Opposition Leader Bill Shorten got hit.
Both the Liberals and Labor suffered swings against them (and the Nationals scored a humiliating 3 per cent).
Bad for the Liberals, but far worse for Shorten’s Labor.
Governments usually suffer a swing against them in a by-election and the Liberals indeed lost skin.
Even so, the government is still likely to hang on to the three WA Senate seats it won at the last election, before it was declared invalid.
But Oppositions are meant to gain from protest votes, and yet again Labor did not. Humiliatingly, it lost votes, too, winning the support of just one in five West Australians.
That is the fourth slap voters have given Labor since its loss in the federal election, after Labor went backwards in the by-election for Kevin Rudd’s seat and in the Tasmanian and South Australian state elections.
(Read full article here.) 
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Shorten admits change is needed. Then start with the carbon tax

Andrew Bolt April 07 2014 (8:03am)

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten isn’t sugar-coating Labor’s failure in the Western Australian election:
BILL Shorten says Labor must face some “hard truths”, as he gears up to campaign for party reforms that he believes will lure back voters after the party saw its primary vote tumble to a historic low of 21.8 per cent in the re-run of the West Australian Senate election…
Mr Shorten believes Labor’s troubles go deeper than having an image problem or trouble selling its message.
“It is more serious than this,” he says in a rallying call to Labor supporters.
We need to change ourselves. We need to change our party… “
Mr Shorten had planned to deliver his message as a speech to supporters in Melbourne today to mark the beginning of his crusade to reform the party, but it was postponed last night after a death in his close family…
He will formally call for the removal of rules that make it compulsory for members to join a union, saying this is more than just a symbolic change.
“We must make it clear that Labor is not for one group of Australians or one sector of the economy at the expense of others.”
In the end, though, it’s the policies that must change. I can’t think of a bigger symbol of what needs changing than the carbon tax.
UPDATE
Labor is absolutely kidding itself if it thinks internal reform will save it. Sure, cut the influence of unions. Sure drop the insistence that party members be union members too.
All this may help, but it is no substitute for presenting policies that voters respect. Consider: Labor recently chose its first party leader through a ballot process in which members got half the say. So what has that reform actually achieved? The party just went backwards.
That leadership ballot was widely lauded as a huge success that kept the lid on any post-loss recriminations and tensions.
What it actually kept the lid on was the usual bruising but critical debate on the need for changes to the party’s policies, leaving Labor less electable.
Retiring Labor Senator Mark Bishop today lashes some of the real drags on Labor’s vote out west:
The mining tax and the carbon tax have been an ongoing problem… Why on god’s green earth we defend a failed (mining) tax that doesn’t raise money I will never understand.
Cutting union influence on Labor will not fix that. In fact, it could make Labor even more out of touch by handing it to the kind of Leftist activists who now run the Greens.
Nothing, but nothing, will do more to fix Labor than a serious debate about policies, and the more heated the better. Labor’s global warming policies are the key battlefront. Here is where Labor must confront its real enemies: those who put the green religion above workers and the poor, who put symbols before practical good, who put Nature before people, who put faith above reason, who honour the useful lie above keeping promises and who insist that the elite must dictate to the masses.
UPDATE
The global warming faith drove Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to declare global warming the “moral challenge of our generation”. The utterly predictable failure of the Copenhagen summit on climate change and Rudd’s subsequent failure to match his hype with an emission trading scheme were critical in destroying his popularity - and his leadership.
The global warming faith drove Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull to back an emissions trading scheme. That decision, more than any other, destroyed his popularity - and his leadership.
The global warming faith drove Prime Minister Julia Gillard to impose a carbon tax she promised she wouldn’t. That one lie destroyed her popularity - and her leadership.
The global warming faith now drives Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to stop the Abbott Government from scrapping the hated carbon tax, even though Labor promised to “terminate” it. That one decision, more than other, now threatens to kill his own popularity - and his leadership.
I think there may be a pattern here. 
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Remember this the next time Labor lies about Abbott’s “homophobia”

Andrew Bolt April 07 2014 (7:46am)

Labor senator-elect Joe Bullock on his running mate, Louise Pratt:
She’s a lesbian I think, although after her partner’s sex change I can’t be sure.
As I pointed out to Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh:
IF Tony Abbott had said that about a lesbian candidate, Labor would have had his guts for garters as a homophobe.
Andrew Leigh gives Bullock a pass:
Andrew, I’m not sure that there’s great value in raking over issues that have been covered a lot in the media over the course of this week.
But Labor had no trouble lying that Tony Abbott hated gays:
The posters [showing Tony Abbott], displayed inside the Sydney electorate office of Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek, carry the slogans: “I’m threatened by boats and gays. Gays on boats are my worst nightmare”
Any comment on Bullock, Ms Plibersek? 
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Ideology is not a dirty word. It is a guide

Andrew Bolt April 07 2014 (7:40am)

Good point by John Howard, although it presupposes wide reading and deep introspection by our politicians:
Both parties lack the ability to communicate in a compelling and persuasive way. “Sometimes the ideas are not very well articulated,” Howard says. “I don’t think either side, as frequently as they should, puts their differences in a philosophical or ideolog­ical context. I think it is enormously important that that happens.”
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Martin Ferguson offers to talk to commission about AWU scandal

Andrew Bolt April 07 2014 (7:28am)

Media, The AWU scandal

Two journalists lost their jobs trying to report this story, and Julia Gillard says senior press gallery journalists told here they were shocked anyone would bother:

Gillard later told biographer Jacqueline Kent: “Over the next two or three days I received phone calls from many of the biggest names in the Canberra press gallery expressing absolute disbelief that such things were said (by Milne).  “Nobody followed up the story. It just died.”
But the scandal is getting very serious, and Julia Gillard won’t like at all this development:
FORMER union boss and retired cabinet minister Martin Ferguson is offering to tell the national royal commission into union corruption his knowledge of controversial payments, key witnesses and other information in the AWU slush fund scandal that has dogged the Labor Party and Julia Gillard. 

Mr Ferguson told The Australian that, if asked under oath, he would provide information including details revealed to him recently by a former Melbourne builder, Kon Spyridis, payments to whom have been part of an ongoing investigation by Victoria Police’s Fraud Squad into hundreds of thousands of dollars that flowed in and out of the slush fund.
The money was corruptly ­solicited from companies as part of an organised scam and some of it was spent, at the direction of a union boss, on renovations at Ms Gillard’s house, according to ­former AWU official Ralph Blew­itt, who has admitted to police his own role in a fraud.
The former prime minister has insisted she did not have any involvement in or knowledge of the operation of the slush fund that she had helped to set up with legal advice to her then boyfriend and client, allegedly corrupt union boss Bruce Wilson. They have repeatedly and strenuously denied any wrongdoing.
Mr Ferguson, who was head of the ACTU when the slush fund was operating without his knowledge, said: “...I’m concerned about the ­operation of that fund — the way it was operated — and the people from the union and business who were connected to it… When the issues arose again (in 2012), I went and double-checked dates to check on certain things...”
Mr Ferguson said Mr Spyridis, a constituent in the parliamentarian’s Melbourne electorate of Batman until his retirement at the last election, had recently disclosed information about the work he had performed for the AWU and Ms Gillard. There is no allegation of wrongdoing by Mr Spyridis…
“He did raise with me the question of his previous involvement with the AWU and he indicated to me that he was being upfront about it, having done work on the AWU’s offices and some private work (at Ms Gillard’s house)...’’
[Gillard’s] former legal client, Mr Blewitt, a self-confessed corrupt union bagman, has told Victoria Police that he was directed by Mr Wilson to use slush fund cash to pay for renovations at her home. Bank records indicate that Mr Spyridis received bank cheques from at least one of the slush funds controlled by Mr Wilson. 
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Where’s the warming?

Andrew Bolt April 07 2014 (7:25am)

image
The RSS satellite measurement shows no global warming of our atmosphere now for 17 years and eight months.
My own take here:
(Thanks to reader Zeg for the cartoon.) 
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Kroger teaches Ludlam manners

Andrew Bolt April 06 2014 (7:53pm)

Michael Kroger tells Scott Ludlam exactly how foul his vilification of Tony Abbott was. 
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Renae Lawrence: Corby said she’d smuggled drugs four times

Andrew Bolt April 07 2014 (6:27pm)


Not sure the source is very credible, but the allegation doesn’t surprise me at all:
CONVICTED drug smuggler Renae Lawrence has delivered a startling confession from inside Bali’s Kerobokan Prison, saying that former friend Schapelle Corby “knew” she was carrying drugs into the country. 

In a secretly filmed video obtained by Network Ten ...  Lawrence, who spent eight years behind bars with Corby and is still serving her drug smuggling sentence, said she “wasn’t really sure” why Corby had confessed to her.

“She said that she knew the marijuana was in the body bag, but the person who was supposed to be at the airport at the same time didn’t turn up… But she told me and the other prisoner that she’d done it more than this time. She said she’d bought the drugs [into Bali] before three times,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence also alleged that Corby had told her she’d used drugs since she was a teenager, and that Corby had exaggerated the fragility of her mental state to garner sympathy while in jail.
“She acted crazy,” she said…
Ten’s Eyewitness News stated that Lawrence had been unaware she was being filmed at the time of the discussion, but having been made aware of the tape’s existence, had reportedly said she stands by her comments. The initial video comes as part of a larger interview with Lawrence that Network Ten have confirmed she was paid for.
The Corby family have released a statement denying Lawrence’s allegations which reads, in part:
“Schapelle denies ever making any such confession to Renae Lawrence or to anyone else. The further claims by Renae Lawrence that Schapelle had done so on many occasions are preposterous, maliciously false and a creation of her own fantasy.The actions of the Ten Network in procuring and presumably paying for this interview, are extremely hurtful and are causing Schapelle and our family great anxiety and distress...” 
I don’t think Lawrence should have been paid. 
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The God that Atheists don’t believe in doesn’t exist. It is a bizarre, impossible caricature. But the God of the Bible has a compelling story to tell which affects your life. He who shows Himself as real and is written of in the Bible is real.
The God that Atheists don’t believe in doesn’t exist. It is a bizarre, impossible caricature. But the God of the Bible has a compelling story to tell which affects your life. He who shows Himself as real and is written of in the Bible is real.
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From last year .. This weekend marks the anniversary of two pogroms.
First, the Kishinev pogrom. Kishinev was the capital of the Bessarabia province of the Russian Empire (now it’s Moldova). About one in three people living there was Jewish. The pogrom was triggered by the murder of a boy in the nearby town of Dubossary. The newspapers at the time claimed the Jews had killed him to use his blood to make matzo for Passover. The pogrom lasted for two days, the cops only stopped it on the third. The New York Times reported at the time: “The anti-Jewish riots in Kishinev, Bessarabia, are worse than the censor will permit to publish. There was a well laid-out plan for the general massacre of Jews on the day following the Russian Easter. The mob was led by priests, and the general cry, “Kill the Jews,” was taken- up all over the city. The Jews were taken wholly unaware and were slaughtered like sheep. The dead number 120 and the injured about 500. The scenes of horror attending this massacre are beyond description. Babes were literally torn to pieces by the frenzied and bloodthirsty mob. The local police made no attempt to check the reign of terror. At sunset the streets were piled with corpses and wounded. Those who could make their escape fled in terror, and the city is now practically deserted of Jews”.Significantly, this weekend also marked the 19th anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. In the following 100 days in this tiny country, more than one million people were murdered during ethnic strife. It left more than 300,000 orphans, half a million rape victims, thousands infected with HIV and anguish of incomprehensible proportions in this tiny nation of 11.7 million people.Lest we forget.
From last year .. This weekend marks the anniversary of two pogroms.

First, the Kishinev pogrom. Kishinev was the capital of the Bessarabia province of the Russian Empire (now it’s Moldova). About one in three people living there was Jewish. The pogrom was triggered by the murder of a boy in the nearby town of Dubossary. The newspapers at the time claimed the Jews had killed him to use his blood to make matzo for Passover. The pogrom lasted for two days, the cops only stopped it on the third. The New York Times reported at the time: “The anti-Jewish riots in Kishinev, Bessarabia, are worse than the censor will permit to publish. There was a well laid-out plan for the general massacre of Jews on the day following the Russian Easter. The mob was led by priests, and the general cry, “Kill the Jews,” was taken- up all over the city. The Jews were taken wholly unaware and were slaughtered like sheep. The dead number 120 and the injured about 500. The scenes of horror attending this massacre are beyond description. Babes were literally torn to pieces by the frenzied and bloodthirsty mob. The local police made no attempt to check the reign of terror. At sunset the streets were piled with corpses and wounded. Those who could make their escape fled in terror, and the city is now practically deserted of Jews”.

Significantly, this weekend also marked the 19th anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. In the following 100 days in this tiny country, more than one million people were murdered during ethnic strife. It left more than 300,000 orphans, half a million rape victims, thousands infected with HIV and anguish of incomprehensible proportions in this tiny nation of 11.7 million people.

Lest we forget.
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Music is like breathing
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The conversation between failed world leaders
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 ... With breathless anticipation huge crowd awaits unveiling of new Julia Gillard statue.
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=== Posts from last year ===
4 her, so she knows how I see her







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"I think people who truly can live a life in music are telling the world, 'You can have my love, you can have my smiles. Forget the bad parts, you don't need them. Just take the music, the goodness, because it's the very best, and it's the part I give most willingly." - George Harrison
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A Remarkable Address To The Recent Durban Conference In NY
These are the words of Simon Deng, once a Sudanese slave. He is addressing the Durban Conference in NY.
" I want to thank the organizers of this conference, The Perils of Global Intolerance. It is a great honor for me and it is a privilege really to be among today’s distinguished speakers.
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I came here as a friend of the State of Israel and the Jewish people. –I came to protest this Durban conference which is based on a set of lies. It is organized by nations who are themselves are guilty of the worstkinds of oppression.
It will not help the victims of racism. It will only isolate and target the Jewish state. It is a tool of the enemies of Israel . The UN has itself become a tool against Israel . For over 50 years, 82 percent of the UN General Assembly emergency meetings have been about condemning one state - Israel . Hitler couldn’t have been made happier.
The Durban Conference is an outrage. All decent people will know that.
But friends, I come here today with a radical idea. I come to tell you that there are peoples who suffer from the UN’s anti-Israelism even more than the Israelis. I belong to one of those people.
Please hear me out.
By exaggerating Palestinian suffering, and by blaming the Jews for it, the UN has muffled the cries of those who suffer on a far larger scale.
For over fifty years the indigenous black population of Sudan -- Christians and Muslims alike --- has been the victims of the brutal, racist Arab Muslim regimes in Khartoum .
In South Sudan , my homeland, about 4 million innocent men, women and children were slaughtered from 1955 to 2005. Seven million were ethnically cleansed and they became the largest refugee group since World War II.
The UN is concerned about the so-called Palestinian refugees. They dedicated a separate agency for them. and they are treated with a special privilege.
Meanwhile, my people, ethnically cleansed, murdered and enslaved, are relatively ignored. The UN refuses to tell the world the truth about the real causes of Sudan ’s conflicts. Who knows really what is happening in Darfur ? It is not a “tribal conflict.” It is a conflict rooted in Arab colonialism well known in north Africa. In Darfur, a region in the Western Sudan , everybody is Muslim. Everybody is Muslim because the Arabs invaded the North of Africa and converted the indigenous people to Islam. In the eyes of the Islamists in Khartoum , the Darfuris are not Muslim enough. And the Darfuris do not want to be Arabized. They love their own African languages and dress and customs. The Arab response is genocide! But nobody at the UN tells the truth about Darfur .
In the Nuba Mountains , another region of Sudan , genocide is taking place as I speak. The Islamist regime in Khartoum is targeting the black Africans - Muslims and Christians. Nobody at the UN has told the truth about the Nuba Mountains .
Do you hear the UN condemn Arab racism against blacks?
What you find on the pages of the New York Times, or in the record of the UN condemnations is “Israeli crimes” and Palestinian suffering. My people have been driven off the front pages because of the exaggerations about Palestinian suffering. What Israel does is portrayed as a Western sin. But the truth is that the real sin happens when the West abandons us: the victims of Arab/Islamic apartheid.
Chattel slavery was practiced for centuries in Sudan . It was revived as a tool of war in the early 90s. Khartoum declared jihad against my people and this legitimized taking slaves as war booty. Arab militias were sent to destroy Southern villages and were encouraged to take African women and children asslaves. We believe that up to 200,000 were kidnapped, brought to the North and sold into slavery.
I am a living proof of this crime against humanity.
I don’t like talking about my experience as a slave, but I do it because it is important for the world toknow that slavery exists even today.
I was only nine years old when an Arab neighbor named Abdullahi tricked me into following him to a boat. The boat wound up in Northern Sudan where he gave me as a gift to his family. For three and a half years I was their slave going through something that no child should ever go through: brutal beatings and humiliations; working around the clock; sleeping on the ground with animals; eating the family’s left-overs. During those three years I was unable to say the word “no.” All I could say was “yes,” “yes,” “yes.”
The United Nations knew about the enslavement of South Sudanese by the Arabs. Their own staff reported it. It took UNICEF – under pressure from the Jewish –led American Anti-Slavery Group -- sixteen years to acknowledge what was happening. I want to publicly thank my friend Dr. Charles Jacobs for leading the anti-slaveryfight.
But the Sudanese government and the Arab League pressured UNICEF, and UNICEF backtracked, and started to criticize those who worked to liberate Sudanese slaves. In 1998, Dr. Gaspar Biro, the courageous UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Sudan who reported on slavery, resigned in protest of the UN’s actions.
My friends, today, tens of thousands of black South Sudanese still serve their masters in the North and the UN is silent about that. It would offend the OIC and the Arab League.
As a former slave and a victim of the worst sort of racism, allow me to explain why I think calling Israel a racist state is absolutely absurd and immoral.
I have been to Israel five times visiting the Sudanese refugees. Let me tell you how they ended up there. These are Sudanese who fled Arab racism, hoping to find shelter in Egypt . They were wrong. When Egyptian security forces slaughtered twenty six black refugees in Cairo who were protesting Egyptian racism, the Sudanese realized that the Arab racism is the same in Khartoum or Cairo . They needed shelter and they found it in Israel . Dodging the bullets of the Egyptian border patrols and walking for very long distances, the refugees’ only hope was to reach Israel ’s side of the fence, where they knew they would be safe.
Black Muslims from Darfur chose Israel above all the other Arab-Muslim states of the area. Do you know what this means!!!?? And the Arabs say Israel is racist!!!?
In Israel , black Sudanese, Christian and Muslim were welcomed and treated like human beings. Just go and ask them, like I have done. They told me that compared to the situation in Egypt , Israel is “heaven.”
Is Israel a racist state? To my people, the people who know racism – the answer is absolutely not. Israel is a state of people who are the colors of the rainbow. Jews themselves come in all colors, even black. I met with Ethiopian Jews in Israel . Beautiful black Jews.
So, yes … I came here today to tell you that the people who suffer most from the UN anti-Israel policy are not the Israelis but all those people who the UN ignores in order to tell its big lie against Israel: we, the victims of Arab/Muslim abuse: women, ethnic minorities, religious minorities, homosexuals, in the Arab/Muslim world. These are the biggest victims of UN Israel hatred.
Look at the situation of the Copts in Egypt , the Christians in Iraq , and Nigeria , and Iran , the Hindus and Bahais who suffer from Islamic oppression. The Sikhs. We – a rainbow coalition of victims and targets of Jihadis -- all suffer. We areignored, we are abandoned. So that the big lie against the Jews can go forward.
In 2005, I visited one of the refugee camps in South Sudan . I met a twelve year old girl who told me about her dream. In a dream she wanted to go to school to become a doctor. And then, she wanted to visit Israel . I was shocked. How could this refugee girl who spent most of her life in the North know about Israel ? When I asked why she wanted to visit Israel , she said: “This is our people.” I was never able to find an answer to my question.
On January 9 of 2011 South Sudan became an independent state. For South Sudanese, that means continuation of oppression, brutalization, demonization, Islamization, Arabization and enslavement.
In a similar manner, the Arabs continue denying Jews their right for sovereignty in their homeland and the Durban III conference continues denying Israel ’s legitimacy.
As a friend of Israel , I bring you the news that my President, the President of the Republic of South Sudan , Salva Kiir -- publicly stated that the South Sudan embassy in Israel will be built--- not in Tel Aviv, but in Jerusalem , the eternal capital of the Jewish people.
I also want to assure you that my own new nation, and all of its peoples, will oppose racist forums like the Durban III. We will oppose it by simply telling the truth. Our truth.
My Jewish friends taught me something I now want to say with you.
AM YISROEL CHAI!
The people of Israel lives!
Thank you "
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Beachy Head, England!

for more WORLD of Inventions and Amazing Engineering like
 — with Amelia Nguyen and W Munir Hasyim.
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Main façade of the aula of Charles University in Prague
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“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” - 1 John 3:16
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp."
Hebrews 13:13
Jesus, bearing his cross, went forth to suffer without the gate. The Christian's reason for leaving the camp of the world's sin and religion is not because he loves to be singular, but because Jesus did so; and the disciple must follow his Master. Christ was "not of the world:" his life and his testimony were a constant protest against conformity with the world. Never was such overflowing affection for men as you find in him; but still he was separate from sinners. In like manner Christ's people must "go forth unto him." They must take their position "without the camp," as witness-bearers for the truth. They must be prepared to tread the straight and narrow path. They must have bold, unflinching, lion-like hearts, loving Christ first, and his truth next, and Christ and his truth beyond all the world. Jesus would have his people "go forth without the camp" for their own sanctification. You cannot grow in grace to any high degree while you are conformed to the world. The life of separation may be a path of sorrow, but it is the highway of safety; and though the separated life may cost you many pangs, and make every day a battle, yet it is a happy life after all. No joy can excel that of the soldier of Christ: Jesus reveals himself so graciously, and gives such sweet refreshment, that the warrior feels more calm and peace in his daily strife than others in their hours of rest. The highway of holiness is the highway of communion. It is thus we shall hope to win the crown if we are enabled by divine grace faithfully to follow Christ "without the camp." The crown of glory will follow the cross of separation. A moment's shame will be well recompensed by eternal honour; a little while of witness-bearing will seem nothing when we are "forever with the Lord."

Evening

"In the name of the Lord I will destroy them."
Psalm 118:12
Our Lord Jesus, by his death, did not purchase a right to a part of us only, but to the entire man. He contemplated in his passion the sanctification of us wholly, spirit, soul, and body; that in this triple kingdom he himself might reign supreme without a rival. It is the business of the newborn nature which God has given to the regenerate to assert the rights of the Lord Jesus Christ. My soul, so far as thou art a child of God, thou must conquer all the rest of thyself which yet remains unblest; thou must subdue all thy powers and passions to the silver sceptre of Jesus' gracious reign, and thou must never be satisfied till he who is King by purchase becomes also King by gracious coronation, and reigns in thee supreme. Seeing, then, that sin has no right to any part of us, we go about a good and lawful warfare when we seek, in the name of God, to drive it out. O my body, thou art a member of Christ: shall I tolerate thy subjection to the prince of darkness? O my soul, Christ has suffered for thy sins, and redeemed thee with his most precious blood: shall I suffer thy memory to become a storehouse of evil, or thy passions to be firebrands of iniquity? Shall I surrender my judgment to be perverted by error, or my will to be led in fetters of iniquity? No, my soul, thou art Christ's, and sin hath no right to thee.
Be courageous concerning this, O Christian! be not dispirited, as though your spiritual enemies could never be destroyed. You are able to overcome them--not in your own strength--the weakest of them would be too much for you in that; but you can and shall overcome them through the blood of the Lamb. Do not ask, "How shall I dispossess them, for they are greater and mightier than I?" but go to the strong for strength, wait humbly upon God, and the mighty God of Jacob will surely come to the rescue, and you shall sing of victory through his grace.
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Jehoiada 
[Jēhoi'a dă] - jehovah knows or knowledge of the lord.
1. The father of Benaiah and one of David's officers. Probably the priest and leader of the Aaronites who brought thirty-seven hundred men to David at Ziklag (2 Sam. 8:18; 20:23; 23:20, 221 Kings 1; 2; 4:41 Chron. 11:22, 24; 12:27; 18:17; 27:5).
2. The high priest who made Joash king, and possibly the husband of Jehosheba, whose presence of mind saved the infant Jehoash from massacre (2 Kings 11:4-17; 12:2-92 Chron. 23; 24).
3. A son of Beniah, son of Jehoiada, the third of David's counselors (1 Chron. 27:34).
4. A son of Paseah, who repaired "the old gate" (Neh. 3:6). Called Joiada in the R. V.
5. A priest in Jerusalem before the exile, but displaced by Zephaniah (Jer. 29:26).
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Today's reading: 1 Samuel 4-6, Luke 9:1-17 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Samuel 4-6

1 And Samuel's word came to all Israel.
The Philistines Capture the Ark
Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines at Aphek. 2 The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield. 3When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, "Why did the LORD bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the LORD's covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies...."

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 9:1-17

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: "Take nothing for the journey--no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. 4Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town.5 If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them." 6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere....
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Lent=Devotions-Header
Today's Prayer

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy;
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy;
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy;
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. -- Augustine

Today's Scripture Reading: John 6:4-15
4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered him, "It would take more than half a year's wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!"
8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, 9 "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"
10 Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world." 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
Today's Quote

A healthy Christian is one of the liveliest creatures on earth. When he is at work you may hear him sing. He cannot help it; do not blame him for a little noise. Let him sing, and laugh till he cries. Sometimes he cannot help it; he will burst if his soul may not have vent. When he begins to talk about his Lord his eyes flash fire. Some people hint that he is out of his mind; but those who know best assure us that he was never before so sane as now. Of course, the world thinks religion is such poor stuff that nobody could grow excited about it. To my mind, cold religion is the nastiest dish ever brought to table. True godliness is served up hot. Newness of life means a soul aglow with love to God, and therefore earnest, zealous, happy. Let the believing man have space for his larger life, swing for his grander joy. Nay, do not gag him; let him sing his new song. If any man out of heaven has a right to be happy, it is the man who lives in newness of life. Come, beloved, I want you to go home to-day with the resolve that the newness of life shall be more apparent in your walk. Do not live the old life over again. Why should you? What good would come of it? -- Charles Spurgeon, "Christ's Resurrection and Our Newness of Life"

Something to Think About

Are you overjoyed by Christ's gift of salvation? In the Spurgeon quote above, what sort of joy is he describing? Does it mean we should feel happy all the time? How is it different from everyday happiness?
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Knowing Him - An Easter Devotional

MARKETPLACE IN THE WORSHIP PLACE

Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said to them,’ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’” (Matthew 21:12-13).
Jesus entered Jerusalem to begin the last week of his life on earth (sometimes called Passion week) with incredible drama. What must his disciples have thought? He rode down the hillside path with throngs of people shouting his praise, and then, approaching the beautiful temple on the other side of the valley, he entered its courts and “cleansed” the temple. Sheep scattered through the courtyard, doves flew out of broken cages, coins rang out as they scattered on the stone plaza, and there was Jesus in the middle of it all, driving away the merchants who saw the temple courtyard as a great place to cash in.
Now Jesus had no problem with the sacrificial system. It’s in the Old Testament, and the principle of sacrificial giving is part of the plan of God. But when the din of human activity drowns out the prayers of the people of God, then it has gone too far.
The temple as “the house of prayer” was to be a place where the worshiper was caught up with awe for the Almighty. It was a place where the people could have an encounter with their Father and Lord. The hubbub of institutionalized religiosity was a poor substitute. And so, Jesus entered Jerusalem at the start of that important week, and smashed everything that did not fit with God’s character. Sometimes God can only build after he has torn down.
Ponder This: What part of your life might Jesus want to overturn, to cleanse, in order to start over?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Resources

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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Today's Lent reading: Luke 17-18 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
Sin, Faith, Duty
1 Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 So watch yourselves.
"If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying 'I repent,' you must forgive them."
5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"
6 He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.
7 "Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, 'Come along now and sit down to eat'? 8 Won't he rather say, 'Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'? 9Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty....'"


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