Saturday, April 26, 2014

Sat Apr 26th Todays News

Success, they say, has many fathers. One event, said to have raised the spirit of Renaissance, happened on this day in 1336 when Petrarch claimed he climbed Mont Ventoux with his brother. The claim was made in a six thousand word letter he wrote almost fifteen years after the event, claiming he had composed the letter as he went on his journey. At the peak, he opened Augustine and read "People are moved to wonder by mountain peaks, by vast waves of the sea, by broad waterfalls on rivers, by the all-embracing extent of the ocean, by the revolutions of the stars. But in themselves they are uninterested." Regardless of the voracity of the claim, the renaissance is real. People nowadays climb mountains just for the view. 

Today is the birthday of Shakespeare, Marcus Aurelius, Marie de Medici, Wittgenstein, Jessica Lynch and Jet Li. Today is the date that includes the last moments of Srinivasa Ramanujan, Count Basie and Lucille Ball. Today is the day the White House announced the G7 agreed to move swiftly in applying sanctions to Russia over claims by Ukraine that Russia wants a world war. It will be a long time before the truth of the situation is known, but prima facie, Putin did a deal with Obama allowing Russia to seize part of Ukraine. It looks like Ukraine secret agents are killing people so as to smear Russia in retaliation. For world peace, it would be good for Obama to step aside. Because, after climbing Mont Ventoux, one goes down. 

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 Lisa Le and Vinh Nguyen. Born on the same day, across the years. The same day as Chernobyl nuclear reactors went steaming explosive in the worst radiation disaster since the Japanese Tsunami caused a radiation leak killing no one. The same day as Marcus Aurelius and William Shakespeare. You are that awesome.
Matches
Despatches
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PRAYERS FOR ADAM

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 26, 2014 (1:45am)

Long-time reader Missred emails: 
I don’t normally ask for favours but I know a good young man who could use prayers. Adam is Hayley’s boyfriend and is in the hospital with cellulitis. While they finally have him on pain meds that work, he really isn’t improving as far as the infection is concerned. So prayers for healing would be greatly appreciated. He also needs prayer for he is frightened he will lose his leg.
Hayley is my daughter. 
Missred includes a shot of Adam and Hayley at their prom:

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Please leave messages of support and encouragement in comments. All of our best to Adam, from everybody here.
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On the Bolt Report tomorrow

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (11:26am)

On Channel 10 at 10am and 4pm.
Bill Shorten’s real problem.
Labor immigration spokesman Richard Marles on budgets, boats and more.
Our hot-shot panel - Peter Costello and Michael Costa on the Budget crisis and Tasmanian Governor peter Underwood’s astonishing attack on the Anzac legend.
And on NewsWatch: BBC presenter and Spectator chairman Andrew Neil. How did the royals charm the media?
Your Say and more.
The videos appear here.
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Dodging cuts won’t give us a surplus in four years

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (10:39am)

No surplus within five years unless Treasurer Joe Hockey is as tough as the Commission of Audit:
The [Commission of Audit’s] report, due to be released next Thursday, will contain 86 painful recommendations to trim and restructure social security, cut corporate welfare, and boost fees for government services that will prompt shrill outrage from Labor and practically every lobby group and rent-seeker in the country.
On the commission’s reckoning, implementing all the recommendations would see the federal budget — on track for a $47 billion deficit this financial year — break even in the 2018-19 financial year before reaching a surplus equal to 1 per cent of GDP in 2023-24, as per the Coalition’s election promise and the commission’s terms of reference.
While the government has already flagged more means testing, co-payments for health services, including a $6 fee for GP visits, and big cuts to the $5bn annual corporate welfare bill, the Treasurer stressed he wouldn’t accept all of the recommendations…
Already the government appears to have quarantined the biggest, and most politically sensitive, government payment, the age pension, the annual cost of which is scheduled to grow by 6.2 per cent a year across the next decade from $39.5bn to $72.3bn. To what extent the government curtails welfare to asset-rich over-65s, even prospectively, will be the real test of the government’s political mettle. Lifting the pension eligibility age further from 67 to 70 by 2034 appears tough, and may be prudent, but it will have no impact on the budget, or any voter, for more than a decade.
Joe Hockey apparently believes he has won the battle within the Government for big spending cuts. Well, let’s see how real they are - or whether voters are just been trained to think they’ve dodged a bullet when the Budget comes. 
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Lucky Joe Hockey might get billions more of savings in this climate

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (10:36am)

Even more good news for sceptics and critics of government waste:
Tony Abbott’s “direct action” climate change policy is almost certain not to pass the Senate in its present form – even if the Palmer United Party were to change its position and vote for the plan.
Independent senator Nick Xenophon said on Friday that he would not vote for the Coalition’s policy unless there were substantial changes, including measures to ensure companies comply with the scheme…
Other crossbench senators-elect Bob Day, of Family First, and David Leyonhjelm, of the Liberal Democratic Party, have indicated they would not support the policy.
It means that even if the four Senate votes aligned with Clive Palmer were to support the scheme, it would fail while Labor and the Greens are opposed. The government needs six of the eight crossbenchers to ensure its legislation would pass.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Peter Underwood is not fit to be Governor of Tasmania

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (10:31am)

Tasmania’s Governor should not be invited to next year’s Anzac Day ceremony. Indeed, Peter Underwood should be quietly removed from his position, having so abused his office yesterday:
Tasmania’s Governor has used his Anzac Day speech to urge Australia to spend less time paying homage to the Anzac legend and more time examining the causes of war and Australia’s involvement in conflicts.
Peter Underwood spoke about the cost of conflict while addressing the crowd at Hobart cenotaph.
“We should spend less time studying Simpson’s donkey and more time looking at why we were fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for so long,” he said.
He poses the question of how next year’s centennial anniversary of the start of World War One should be commemorated.
“Much has been said, and will be said, about the Anzac spirit, but I venture to repeat the caution that I have sounded before on this day against glorifying war with descriptions of the mythical tall, lean, bronzed and laconic ANZAC, enthusiastically and unflinchingly carrying the torch of freedom in the face of murderous enemy fire,” the Governor said.
“Australia needs to drop the sentimental myths that Anzac Day has attracted,” he added.
The Governor called for this centennial year of the start of WWI to be declared the year of peace.
“In this year of peace, Australia should establish a centre for the study of peace, conflict and war,” he said.
Let’s go through Underwood’s boorish behavior.
First, he’s the Queen’s representative. No one elected him and his role is to unify. To instead preach politics on Anzac Day is arrogant and impertinent.
Second, Underwood was at a ceremony attended by people who wish to pay their respects to the dead and to those who served their country in war. He should not have abused his position or hijacked the event to suggest they shouldn’t be there or that some of the soldiers they honoured had just wasted their time. That is crass and unfeeling.
Third, at the ceremony I went to and at those I watched on television I saw no such celebration of some “mythical tall, lean, bronzed and laconic ANZAC”. Among the marchers I saw in Melbourne were female officers leading platoons, an African-Australian soldier with his mates, and children honouring their dads and grandfathers. I saw soldiers of every kind, including a Sikh in the Australian uniform and a bearded Orthodox Jew.  I saw no one “glorifying war”, only men, women and children - including my youngest son - honouring sacrifice and thanking those who have served their nation. To so grossly caricature this event is contemptible.
Fourth, to ridicule the idea of our soldiers “enthusiastically and unflinchingly carrying the torch of freedom in the face of murderous enemy fire” is to ridicule what in fact has so often been the truth. How else would you regard our involvement in World War 2 but a struggle for freedom? What else could you say of our intervention in East Timor? Somalia? Korea? Vietnam? How dare Underwood also demean what we’re done in Iraq and Afghanistan - deposing one of history’s bloodiest dictators and repelling one of the world’s worst terrorist movements in a country that has just held a successful presidential election and transfer of presidential power? The sneer at those achievements is the mark of a modern barbarian.
Fifth, Underwood suggests that rather than mark Anzac Day we should devote the year to thinking of peace. It’s as if he believes he, alone among all the crowd, is thinking of peace and not war. In fact, I dare say almost every man and woman listening to him would just as fervently prefer peace and some put their lives on the line to protect our own.  The difference between them and Underwood is that they know that, odd as this may sound to absolutists, our peace is protected in part by people prepared to fight for it if it is threatened.  For Underwood not to understand all this is another sign of arrogance and a foolish misreading of history and the nature of man.
Sixth: it’s not his place as Governor to tell a Government what to fund and what not. If he wants to get political, let him resign his office first.
Underwood continues:
...how about diverting some of the millions of dollars that will be spent on the Anzac Festival to provide proper support for the University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.
What a disgraceful suggestion.
The reason?
Here are just some. This misleadingly named Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies promotes an essentially racist boycott of Israeli Jews to punish Israel from defending itself against movements that wish it destroyed. It has held talks with the leader of Hamas, which maintains a terrorist wing. It is so far to the Left that until recently its staff included the then head of Australia’s Communist Party and now a member of its central committee.
Incredibly the Centre which Underwood recommends includes on its academic staff Johan Galtung, whose bizarre anti-Jewish rants include claims that “the Jews control U.S. media, and divert for the sake of Israel”, “six Jewish companies control 96% of the [US] media”, “seventy percent of the professors at the 20 most important American universities are Jewish” and Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik had ties to the “Freemasons” organization “which has Jewish origins” and Mossad might have given Breivik his orders, so “it will be interesting to read the [Norwegian] police report on Israel, during the trial”.

Galtung has even claimed “terrible Auschwitz,” had two sides. “[It was] not unproblematic that Jews had key niches in a society humiliated by defeat at Versailles”.  “In no way, absolutely no way, does this justify the atrocities. But it created anti-Semitism that could have been predicted.” Oh, and Mao’s China, responsible for the murder and man-made starvation of between 40 million and 70 million people, was in fact ”endlessly liberating when seen from many other perspectives that liberal theory has never understood”.
The Centre’s president, Ken McNab, claims America’s war on terrorism is largely a hoax: “...a largely artificial, politically inspired, illegally conducted, ineffectual and counter-productive campaign”. And so is ours: “ASIO Director General David Irvine warned that ‘the threat of terrorism remains real and persistent’. Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?” The war in Iraq was just a fight for capitalism: “Violence and war became more openly than ever before the tools with which to defend and extend American capitalism.” In fact, war is just a tool to make capitalists money” “Quite apart from its vanguard role for capitalism, war itself is highly profitable for capitalists.” (Really? So Socialists, Fascists, dictators and religious extremists don’t start wars?) We should subcontract part of our foreign policy to the Australian members of any tribe we confront: ”Including the Iraqi peoples in Australia [on reaching peace in Iraq] intends to give them a voice and to allow them to take ownership of the process.”
Perhaps worst of all, the Centre, through its Sydney Peace Foundation, has given its annual Sydney Peace Prize to John Pilger, a man who once urged us to support Sunni militants, al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in Iraq who fought our soldiers in Iraq - soldiers Underwood was meant to be honouring on Anzac Day:
Here’s a taster of the inspiration for peace and justice that Pilger provides, from an interview he gave to the Australian Green Left Weekly in 2004:
‘Do you think the anti-war movement should be supporting Iraq’s anti-occupation resistance?
‘Yes, I do. We cannot afford to be choosy. While we abhor and condemn the continuing loss of innocent life in Iraq, we have no choice now but to support the resistance, for if the resistance fails, the “Bush gang” will attack another country. If they succeed, a grievous blow will be suffered by the Bush gang.’
Evidently the Sydney Peace Foundation resolved that it wasn’t going to be choosy either.
That is the Centre that Underwood wants us to give “millions of dollars”.
Peter Underwood is not fit to be Governor of Tasmania.
UPDATE
In contrast to Underwood’s behaviour as the Queen’s representative at Anzac Day, observe the behaviour of the Queen’s grandson and our likely future monarch:
THE Duchess of Cambridge placed a posy near the Unknown Soldier’s tomb with a heartfelt handwritten note, before they left Australia.
Nestled in each of the posies was a small wooden commemorative cross with a handwritten message from an Australian school child.
The neatly written message in Kate’s posy read: “In every second of every day, you will be remembered for your courage and your bravery. Thank you for your sacrifice and for what you have done for us. For that, I am truly grateful."…

Following the national Anzac Day ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge planted an Aleppo Pine sapling derived from seeds gathered after the battle of Lone Pine…
Before planting the Aleppo Pine, they solemnly walked past the Pool of Reflection with Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and his wife Lynne and paused for a moment before entering the tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier…
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge gently placed small posies of rosemary and Australian natives including Kangaroo Paw on the verge of the tomb, which was scattered with poppies.
Silently they reflected on the grave before solemnly, and in unison, bowing their heads. It was an intimate moment as they paid their respects.
Silently paid their respects.
UPDATE
Good on Senator Eric Abetz for publicly contradicting the Governor, who managed to turn a moment of unity into an argument:
Federal Employment Minister and Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz told the ceremony Australia could walk both paths.
“Simpson and his donkey is a wonderful story of selfless service, putting yourself in the line of fire and ultimately dying for your mates,” he said. “It is part and parcel of Australia’s history and it should continue to be taught and talked about every single Anzac Day, indeed every day of the year.”
UPDATE
Underwood’s full speech here.  If anything, it is worse than described.
UPDATE
The speech seems to have been removed. I took screen shots and here they are - with the speech in full: 

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Peter Underwood is not fit to be Governor of Tasmania'
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Left appalled by call for debate

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (10:18am)

A round-up of the shock and dismay caused by Attorney-General George Brandis when he suggested sceptics shouldn’t just be silenced.
UPDATE
Brendan O’Neill:
It’s one of the most curious developments of the modern era: the Left’s ceding of the terrain of freedom of speech to the Right…
Just look at the section 18C debate. It is the newspapers that lean more to the Right that have loudly demanded reform of this legal restriction on what people can say, while papers that lean Left insist section 18C must stay.
Guardian Australia says reforming section 18C would be “morally repugnant” because it would “give Australia’s racists free rein”. In short, we need censorship to keep the peace, to maintain social order, to prevent the mob from running riot.
Is it just me or is that the kind of thing stiff right-wingers used to say, while the Left would have fiercely challenged it? ...
In the 20th century ... left intellectuals articulately defended the freedoms to think, speak and press one’s ideas. George Orwell decried the fact “anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness”, and said freedom of speech was essential if one was to “criticise and oppose”. Today, in a tragic turnaround, it is usually the Left who “silence with surprising effectiveness” anyone who “challenges the prevailing orthodoxy”.
What went wrong? How did the Left go from championing to fearing free speech, from opposing censorship to cheering it?
In essence, it lost its faith in everyday people, in the man and woman in the street whose rights it would once have defended… The Left no longer believes people should be protected from “tyrannies”, but rather than we must be protected from ourselves and our base instincts.
I’m not certain at all that the Left’s totalitarian instinct is new. Its previous (intermittent) support of free speech strikes me more as a battle for tactical advantage than for a principle.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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No wonder Di Girolamo wanted to toast the O’Farrell Government

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (10:04am)

The wine may be small beer compared to the reputational damage about to be wrought:


FORMER NSW resources ­minister Chris Hartcher travelled to South Korea with then Liberal Party fundraiser and lobbyist Nick Di Girolamo to meet the chief executive of ­Korean miner Kores to discuss the development of a controversial $800 million coalmine on the state’s central coast.
Mr Di Girolamo was lobbying on behalf of Kores, which has since been given initial ­approval by the NSW ­Department of Planning to develop the Wallarah 2 project at Wyong on the NSW central coast. Mr Hartcher and former premier Barry O’Farrell were fiercely against the mine in ­opposition and promised the project would not proceed in government, although the mine is still awaiting final approval from the Planning Assessment Commission.
Mr O’Farrell resigned as premier 10 days ago after he gave misleading evidence to the ICAC about a gift of a $3000 ­bottle of wine that Mr Di Giro­lamo sent him in 2011.
Mr Hartcher was forced to ­resign as energy and resources minister in December last year over an investigation by ICAC into a Liberal Party campaign slush fund.
UPDATE
Di Girolama sure had an amazing web of contacts spreading out from St Patricks, his old school. He seems a lot more intimately connected to the Liberals and then Premier Barry O’Farrell than O’Farrell at first let on.
Roll on the next ICAC inquiry. 
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Shorten to change process. But no word on policies

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (9:57am)

Bill Shorten’s generalities are correct, as generalities usually are. Troy Bramston writes:
In an exclusive interview for a new book, Rudd, Gillard and Beyond, the Labor leader spoke frankly about the Rudd-Gillard years, ... [Shorten] said the party must turn its back on class warfare rhetoric and policies, and described an “us versus them” approach to politics as unhealthy…
He offered six lessons the party must heed from the Rudd-Gillard years....
The first is to “treat people with courtesy and respect”. Aware of how coldly Mr Rudd often treated ministers, bureaucrats and staff, which fuelled discontent, Mr Shorten said he wanted to be an inclusive leader.
The second is not to “launch a thousand ships, a thousand ideas (and) a thousand thought bubbles”. The Labor government often struggled to prioritise policies and was hampered by dysfunctional administration. “Do some things and do them really well,” Mr Shorten said…
The third is to focus on policy implementation. Labor was heavily criticised for the delivery of many policies, from the school-building and home insulation programs to the National Broadband Network and the mining tax.
“Whatever our ideas and however well-intentioned, test their implementation with experts,” the Opposition Leader said. “We probably tried to do too much on too many fronts and didn’t adequately prepare the ground enough.”
The fourth lesson is to build a good relationship with business....
Fifth is to be a “no surprises” government. “Business and the community want consistency,” Mr Shorten said…
The final lesson was to communicate with voters more effectively.
All fine, but this is all about process, not policies. So what of Labor’s disastrous policies - the carbon tax, the mining tax, the wild spending, the welfarism, its green follies, its industry handouts, its workplace restrictions?
Ah:

In the interview in December, he did not offer any specific policy criticisms of the Rudd-Gillard governments.  
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The West falls, but not quite as far as some fear

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (8:44am)

The West - or its leaders - may no longer believe wars are worth fighting.  Unfortunately, the world is full of others who do.
John Hulsman describes the consequences:
WHATEVER the final outcome of the violently simmering crisis in Ukraine, ...  the greatest global political risk can’t be found in Kiev, eastern Ukraine or any of the other hotspots that get the media so excited. It lies in the perception of Western weakness among those countries that find themselves dissatisfied with the current global establishment. For them, the enfeebled state of the West, as laid bare in Ukraine, means the possibility of expansion…
Russia and its associates can now see that what once looked like [Obama’s] sensible, limited, pullback of US forces after the promiscuity of the Bush era was instead a run for the exits....
Of course, the US is still dangerous, remaining by a long way the most powerful country in the world…
But as they see it, the real ace up the sleeves of the dissenting powers – for the Americans will bounce back, as they always do – is the total collapse of Europe as a global force… The euro crisis has left Germany isolationist (focusing only on the immediate survival of the EU) and increasingly neutralist (those 300,000 jobs directly dependent on trade with Russia help). Without German leadership, nothing happens, as Britain is hollowing out its defense forces and the French know their day is over…
As seen from Moscow, Beijing, Pyongyang, Damascus and Tehran, this is the inspiring, hopeful narrative of Western decline. These countries know they must be careful not to miscalculate, not to press too hard as the lessons of this calamity for the West slowly dawn. But in the medium term, it looks like Iran’s nuclear programme is safe, that Assad can soon pop the corks in Damascus, that for North Korea, torturing Seoul at the edges looks like a no brainer, and as for China, well, the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands await. With time, and after Putin’s groundbreaking efforts, the way history is moving couldn’t be clearer. The West simply doesn’t exist anymore.
Mark Steyn describes Barack Obama’s strategy for peace - to allow America’s rivals to have their head:
“Mr Obama,” writes Peter Baker in The New York Times, “seems intent on not letting Russia dominate his presidency.” Which, as Mr Putin well understands, is a polite way of saying Mr Obama seems intent on letting Russia dominate anywhere it wants to dominate.
Mr Obama likewise seems intent on not letting Syria dominate his presidency, or Iran dominate his presidency, or China dominate his presidency. “We want to continue to encourage the peaceful rise of China,” said the President blandly, on a visit to Japan, whose outlying islands Beijing is presently threatening to seize Crimea-style. Mr Obama also wants to encourage the peaceful rise of Iran, so they’ll get their nukes while he steers clear, intent on not letting any atomic ayatollahs dominate his presidency. Nor is Bashir Assad going to dominate his presidency. Sure, Obama drew a red line, but he then cannily stood there wringing his hands and all but pleading for someone, anyone - Congress, “the global community”, Putin - to erase it for him. And so Assad is in Damascus for keeps, and Russia is back in the Middle East in a big way.
Americans are weary of the world, and weary of war… But the alternative to hard power used foolishly is soft power used smartly. And what’s the likelihood of that? The funniest line in that New York Times piece is the very first sentence: 

WASHINGTON — Even as the crisis in Ukraine continues to defy easy resolution, President Obama and his national security team are looking beyond the immediate conflict to forge a new long-term approach to Russia that applies an updated version of the Cold War strategy of containment.
You don’t say. Only 18 months ago, President Obama unleashed what The Huffington Post called a “Seinfeldian zinger” at Mitt Romney and his worries over Russian expansionism:

The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.
Mitt Romney is now calling to ask for his foreign policy back.
And who seriously believes Obama can “contain” Russia? More importantly, does Vladimir Putin believe it? At the very front of America Alone ...  I quote Donald Rumsfeld way back in the Nineties: “Weakness is provocative.” The “red line” climbdown was a signal not only to Assad but to Putin, Beijing, the mullahs, Kim Jong-Un, the Taliban and every other tinpot thug. Inaction has consequences.
Some of this analysis is just too neat. I agree Obama has projected a deadly weakness. I agree his Middle East strategy has overall been a joke, and his appeasement of Iran a disaster. But the shopping list of his sins is padded with dubious examples..
For example, Syria was a problem without a solution - a choice between a tyrant and terrorists. Obama’s mistake was to draw a line he had no intention of enforcing. Russia could intervene because it’s not the country to care about poison gas attacks. The real question, I guess, is whether the West should be more brutal in the exercise of realpolitik and support Assad itself.
Russia’s seizure of the Crimea is also not a clear-cut issue. Ukraine did, after all, depose its elected president, further dividing the country on ethnic grounds and leaving Russian-dominated Crimea, a “present” Khrushchev gave Ukraine in 1954, feeling unrepresented and vulnerable. Are Obama’s critics seriously suggesting the US should have militarily resisted Russia’s takeover of traditionally Russian territory with an overwhelmingly pro-Russian population just across its border? Not even the US at the zenith of its power would have even dreamed of such a thing. Indeed, the US then did nothing militarily to save Czechoslovakia and Hungary from Russian invasion, and few of Obama’s critics would accuse the US of having then made a mistake.
As for the Senkaku islands, Obama has now declared they are Japan’s and the US is committed to defending them (against China).  He said more than many expected, and not less than any hawk could hope.
(Via Catallaxy.) 
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Tasmania not getting the NBN it was promised by 2016

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (8:29am)

The $41 billion National Broadband Network was always a ludicrously expensive idea with farcical timelines, and it was delivered with all of Labor’s incompetence:
THE National Broadband Network rollout in Tasmania — which Labor promised would be the first state fully connected to lightning-fast internet services — has been “so shambolic” and failed “so abysmally” to meet its targets that urgent political intervention is needed.
The Weekend Australian can reveal the state’s peak IT business group ... has warned there is “no realistic chance” the project will be completed by the end of 2015, as once promised by former communications minister Stephen Conroy and NBN Co.
The Tasmanian ICT sector peak body, known as TASICT, says ... the rollout is still not back on track, but backs Mr Turnbull’s move to trial the use of overhead cables on Aurora’s power poles as ­potentially faster and cheaper. and a way to have more direct fibre connections....
But the submission says the connection process in Tasmania has been “farcical” ... [and] up to 50 per cent of appointments with customers are being missed by NBN contractors…
Last year an asbestos shutdown delayed the project. Also, there were disputes ­between ­Visionstream — lead contractor on the island — and subcontractors over pay. While there were 20,065 premises passed by the NBN by June 1, 2013, the rollout all but came to a complete halt over the following months.
By December 2, there were 32,271 passed. For the week to April 21, there were 36,117 brownfields passed. In December, ­Visionstream said it was accelerating its rollout of fibre to more than 200,000 premises.
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Madigan sets example. Says other politicians should in the Budget

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (8:23am)

A very Christian gesture:
A FEDERAL MP has presented $21,000 of his own money to Victorian schools in his quest to give away his $44,000 pay rise.
Victorian DLP senator John Madigan has so far bought several drills, a car hoist, building material, shearing handpieces, scaffolding and a kiln for seven regional high schools to help students who are interested in careers in agriculture or manufacturing.
Realising he could not give back the pay boost — which last year brought a backbencher’s salary to $190,000 — the former blacksmith decided to pour it into Australian-made equipment for teaching.
He said he wanted to give back to those in the community “working their guts out"…
Senator Madigan said he hoped that Treasurer Joe Hockey would consider ...a five-year freeze on MP pay rises, which are now determined by an independent tribunal, and a requirement that all MPs fly economy class domestically.
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4 her, so she knows how I see her
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=== Posts from last year ===

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I have cracked it! I now know why it is that 'all the evidence' which shows global warming resulted in cooling. Remember that statistic of every nation around Russia cooling while it was heating? Remember how airports have a heating issue? The reason why the globe began cooling after the late '90s was because Steve Jobs went back to Apple and produced the iPod. It was seriously cool. Then the iPad which was cooler. In Russia, they didn't have trade for awhile .. something to do with security. Also, iPods and iPads get turned off in airplanes .. not cool. - ed
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This song, sung by a gospel singer and a chorus of people attending Reverend Dexter's sermon, is a real song based on biblical text (Revelation 6:15-17).

No hiding place, down here
No hiding place
There's no hiding place
Down here
No hiding place
And they went to the rock to hide their face
But the rock cried out
No hiding place
There's no hiding place
Down here
And the sinners are gonna be running
At the knowledge of their fate
They'll run to the rocks and the mountains
But their prayers will be too late
They forgot about Jesus
Not knowing the end was near
At the end they'll try to find a hiding place
When it comes their time to die

No hiding place in the mountains
No hiding place in the waters
No hiding place
Down here
No hiding place
And they went to the rock to hide their face
But the rock cried out
No hiding place
There's no hiding place
Down here

Can't you see old gambler running
Saying 'Lord, save my soul'
Saying 'Lord, Lord, have mercy, won't you save my soul'
Saying 'Lord, Lord, have mercy, won't you save my soul'


No hiding place, down here
No hiding place
There's no hiding place
Down here
Yeah
I went to the rock to hide my face
But the rock cried out
No hiding place
There's no hiding place
Down here

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The Parliament of Dreams

Sung by G'Kar while he's preparing dinner.

A slightly different version of the song appears in the episode Convictions.


I'm thinking of thinking of calling her right
after my afternoon nap.
I'm thinking of thinking of sending her flowers,
right after Bonnie gets back.
So many fishies left in the sea,
so many fishies - but no-one for me...

I'm thinking of thinking of hooking a love,
soon after supper is done.

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Is this why they call it Greenland ?

See: Guide to Iceland
 
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And this is why we love Doctor Who
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Why did the shelf cloud cross the road?
To blow away a chicken!
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April 26World Intellectual Property DayFeast day of Our Lady of Good Counsel (Roman Catholic Church); Easter Saturday (Christianity, 2014)
Flag of Tanzania
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Holidays and observances[edit]

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“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:” -Colossians 1:27-28
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away."
Song of Solomon 2:10
Lo, I hear the voice of my Beloved! He speaks to me! Fair weather is smiling upon the face of the earth, and he would not have me spiritually asleep while nature is all around me awaking from her winter's rest. He bids me "Rise up," and well he may; for I have long enough been lying among the pots of worldliness. He is risen, I am risen in him, why then should I cleave unto the dust? From lower loves, desires, pursuits, and aspirations, I would rise towards him. He calls me by the sweet title of "My love," and counts me fair; this is a good argument for my rising. If he has thus exalted me, and thinks me thus comely, how can I linger in the tents of Kedar and find congenial associates among the sons of men? He bids me "Come away." Further and further from everything selfish, grovelling, worldly, sinful, he calls me; yea, from the outwardly religious world which knows him not, and has no sympathy with the mystery of the higher life, he calls me. "Come away" has no harsh sound in it to my ear, for what is there to hold me in this wilderness of vanity and sin? O my Lord, would that I could come away, but I am taken among the thorns, and cannot escape from them as I would. I would, if it were possible, have neither eyes, nor ears, nor heart for sin. Thou callest me to thyself by saying "Come away," and this is a melodious call indeed. To come to thee is to come home from exile, to come to land out of the raging storm, to come to rest after long labour, to come to the goal of my desires and the summit of my wishes. But Lord, how can a stone rise, how can a lump of clay come away from the horrible pit? O raise me, draw me. Thy grace can do it. Send forth thy Holy Spirit to kindle sacred flames of love in my heart, and I will continue to rise until I leave life and time behind me, and indeed come away.

Evening

"If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him."
Revelation 3:20
What is your desire this evening? Is it set upon heavenly things? Do you long to enjoy the high doctrine of eternal love? Do you desire liberty in very close communion with God? Do you aspire to know the heights, and depths, and lengths, and breadths? Then you must draw near to Jesus; you must get a clear sight of him in his preciousness and completeness; you must view him in his work, in his offices, in his person. He who understands Christ, receives an anointing from the Holy One, by which he knows all things. Christ is the great master-key of all the chambers of God; there is no treasure-house of God which will not open and yield up all its wealth to the soul that lives near to Jesus. Are you saying, "O that he would dwell in my bosom"? "Would that he would make my heart his dwelling-place forever"? Open the door, beloved, and he will come into your souls. He has long been knocking, and all with this object, that he may sup with you, and you with him. He sups with you because you find the house or the heart, and you with him because he brings the provision. He could not sup with you if it were not in your heart, you finding the house; nor could you sup with him, for you have a bare cupboard, if he did not bring provision with him. Fling wide, then, the portals of your soul. He will come with that love which you long to feel; he will come with that joy into which you cannot work your poor depressed spirit; he will bring the peace which now you have not; he will come with his flagons of wine and sweet apples of love, and cheer you till you have no other sickness but that of "love o'erpowering, love divine." Only open the door to him, drive out his enemies, give him the keys of your heart, and he will dwell there forever. Oh, wondrous love, that brings such a guest to dwell in such a heart!
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Sennacherib 
[Sĕnnăch'e rĭb] - the moon-god, sin (the moon-god) hath increased the brothers or destruction of the sword.
A son of Sargon who succeeded to the throne after the murder of his father (2 Kings 18:13; 19:16, 20, 36;2 Chron. 32Isa. 36:1; 37:17, 21, 37).
The Man Who Built Nineveh
This Assyrian king saw his boasted army destroyed in one night. He himself was slain by two of his sons in Nineveh in the Temple of Nisroch (2 Kings 19:37). Sennacherib's great achievement in this area was the creation of Nineveh as a metropolis of the empire. It was he who built the wonderful palace of Konyungik and the great wall of Nineveh.
The Assyrian king's invading hosts marching through Judah leaving destruction behind them were vividly described by Byron in The Destruction of Sennacherib:
The Assyrians came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Fear seized the heart of Hezekiah as he faced the threats of Sennacherib and Rabshakeh, but the courage and faith of Isaiah were a strong tower to the troubled king and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The prophet reminded Hezekiah that Jehovah, and not the horses, material force and human cleverness, was the hope of Judah. Jerusalem was God's city and He would preserve it (Isa. 37:33, 35 ). As we know, the city was saved by a remarkable providence. God commissioned one angel to slay one hundred eighty-five thousand Assyrians. If He can do that with one angel, what is He not able to do with a legion of the angelic army?
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Herodias
The Woman Responsible for the Murder of a Preacher
Scripture Reference: Matthew 14:3-12Mark 6:14-24Luke 3:19, 20
Name Meaning: As a member of the Herodian dynasty, perhaps the most despicable dynasty history has known, the name Herodias is but the female form of Herod, the royal name for the political rulers during the time of Christ and the apostles. It was under the vile and cruel orders of the Herods that Jesus and His followers were often persecuted and punished. Herod means "heroic"-not very applicable to the Herodian family, the majority of whom, particularly Herodias, were more hellish than heroic.
Family Connections: Herodias was the daughter of Aristobulus, son of Herod the Great and Mariamne, daughter of Hyrcanus. Her first husband was Philip I, son of Herod the Great and Mariamne, so she married her own uncle, by whom she had a daughter, Salome, whom she used to destroy John the Baptist. When Herod Antipas visited Rome, he was entertained by Philip and Herodias. Herod abducted his royal brother's wife. His own wife, an Arabian princess, was an obstacle to an illicit marriage, so he divorced her, and Herodias became queen in her stead, and with her daughter was installed in the palace. "The corroding immorality of Herod's race shows itself in his marriage with Herodias his brother's wife and the wanton offense thereby given to Jewish sensibilities."
Among the female characters in God's portrait gallery, surely Herodias stands out as one of the most vile and vicious. Amid the putrefying influence of the palace, however, there was one man who knew no fear, John the Baptist. Herod "feared" him and regarded him as "a just man" and whom "he heard gladly." Herod found music in the preacher's message until John sternly rebuked the king by saying of Herodias, "It is not lawful for thee to have her." But such a warning bell was to toll John's doom. For his faithful rebuke of Herod's sin, John was cast into prison, and the evil, scheming mind of Herodias began to work. She was stung by the arrow from the preacher's quiver and hated him for exposing her shame. "For Herodias' sake" he was imprisoned and thus the greatest of the prophets was sacrificed for this vicious and scheming woman. But the hatred of such an unsavory creature was more to be desired than her affection (Matthew 10:23; Luke 6:26). Herodias, with her conscience in turmoil because of her accuser, planned to silence John. She did not want Herod to listen too closely and constantly to John's forceful preaching. She feared her illegal husband-for her first husband was still alive-might repent, and her position as queen, imperiled.
Herodias knew Herod only too well. He easily succumbed to sensual excitement, and as his birthday drew near her foul design was hatched. On the day when drink freely flowed, Herodias used her own daughter to inflame Herod's passions. She was willing to sacrifice her child's modesty in order to bend Herod to her will. Herod was overcome by Salome's form seen through the flowing flimsy garment she wore, and influenced by the act of the dancing girl, he took a rash and foolish oath to give her whatever she asked, even to half of his kingdom. Approaching her mother, Salome said, "What shall I ask?" Without hesitation Herodias, the female hyena, replied, "Ask for the head of John the Baptist." Returning to Herod, Salome presented her demand, and Herod was extremely sorry at such a request. Yet, because of his oath's sake, he sacrificed the preacher whom he regarded as just and holy, and all because of his guilty love for a vile woman. No wonder he was smitten with fear when he heard of the fame of Jesus, thinking it was John the Baptist risen from the dead to torment his conscience further. One wonders how Salome felt when the gory dish of the preacher's head was handed to her?
Herodias' Old Testament counterpart was Jezebel. What Herodias was to Herod, Jezebel was to Ahab. Both Ahab and Herod were wicked, and in both cases the woman was more wicked. Both Jezebel and Herodias fostered hate that became deadly against a prophet of God. Jezebel hated Elijah and sought to kill him-Herodias hated John the Baptist, the New Testament Elijah, and succeeded in his murder. What was the end of Herodias? Since she was the source of Herod's sin, she also became the source of his shame. According to Josephus, Herodias' ambition was the ruin of Herod. Jealous of the power of Agrippa her brother, she prodded Herod to demand of Caligula, the emperor, the title of king. Agrippa saw to it that this demand was refused, and Herod was banished and ended his days in shame and exile. The pride of Herodias forced her to be faithful to her husband in the disgrace and misfortune she herself had caused.
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Today's reading: 2 Samuel 21-22, Luke 18:24-43 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Samuel 21-22

The Gibeonites Avenged
1 During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the LORD. The LORD said, "It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death."
2 The king summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were survivors of the Amorites; the Israelites had sworn to spare them, but Saul in his zeal for Israel and Judah had tried to annihilate them.) 3 David asked the Gibeonites, "What shall I do for you? How shall I make atonement so that you will bless the LORD's inheritance?"
4 The Gibeonites answered him, "We have no right to demand silver or gold from Saul or his family, nor do we have the right to put anyone in Israel to death..."

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 18:24-43

24 Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
26 Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved?"
27 Jesus replied, "What is impossible with man is possible with God."
28 Peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you!"
29 "Truly I tell you," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life...."

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