Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thu Apr 17th Todays News

I sent my petition to Mr Abbott's office yesterday after Barry O'Farrell resigned. I got an immediate reply which passed responsibility to the Australian Minister for Justice. So, I looked to get in touch with that department. I need to send them a fax. I will do it .. maybe on Good Friday. A reminder that my blog is every day of the year. I'm proud of that, although I don't profit from it yet. I once got three payments of $12 US in 2008 and so started a business with what the insane call encouragement of Centerlink. Mr O'Farrell is copping some criticism, but the truth is he ran an effective and clean government. Mr Baird has big shoes to fill, but I believe he can do it. The entire conservative team has more honour individually than the ALP collectively. 

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

There is gathering impetus for those questioning the existence of the ICAC. We need them. We need them to be competent. 
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns to all those born on this day, across the years, along with
Matches
Despatches
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O’Farrell gambled and lost, so no use whining

Piers Akerman – Wednesday, April 16, 2014 (7:21pm)

SOMETHING smells on Macquarie Street and it does not have the bouquet of a vintage Penfold’s Grange Hermitage. Former premier Barry O’Farrell told ICAC on Tuesday that neither he nor his wife Rosemary remembered receiving a bottle of the 1959 Grange from anyone, let alone AWH boss Nick Di Girolamo.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'O’Farrell gambled and lost, so no use whining'
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Liberals’ brightest stars line up for the top job

Miranda Devine – Thursday, April 17, 2014 (1:17am)

MIKE Baird, the man most likely to succeed Barry O’Farrell as premier, started the work day at 7.30am Wednesday at a high powered business breakfast at the Shangri-La Hotel with his friend the Prime Minister.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Liberals’ brightest stars line up for the top job'
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Steyn on the great shut-up

Andrew Bolt April 17 2014 (6:16pm)

Free speech

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In this week’s Spectator, always a must-read, the great Mark Steyn - fighting for a freedom too many Australians won’t defend:
These days, pretty much every story is really the same story: 
• In Galway, at the National University of Ireland, a speaker who attempts to argue against the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) programme against Israel is shouted down with cries of ‘F..king Zionist, f..king pricks… Get the f..k off our campus.’
• In California, Mozilla’s chief executive is forced to resign because he once made a political donation in support of the pre-revisionist definition of marriage.
• At Westminster, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee declares that the BBC should seek ‘special clearance’ before it interviews climate sceptics, such as fringe wacko extremists like former Chancellor Nigel Lawson.
• In Massachusetts, Brandeis University withdraws its offer of an honorary degree to a black feminist atheist human rights campaigner from Somalia.
• In London, a multitude of liberal journalists and artists responsible for everything from Monty Python to Downton Abbey sign an open letter in favour of the first state restraints on the British press in three and a quarter centuries.
• And in Canberra the government is planning to repeal Section 18C — whoa, don’t worry, not all of it, just three or four adjectives; or maybe only two, or whatever it’s down to by now, after what Gay Alcorn in the Age described as the ongoing debate about ‘where to strike the balance between free speech in a democracy and protection against racial abuse in a multicultural society’.
I heard a lot of that kind of talk during my battles with the Canadian ‘human rights’ commissions a few years ago: of course, we all believe in free speech, but it’s a question of how you ‘strike the balance’, where you ‘draw the line’… which all sounds terribly reasonable and Canadian, and apparently Australian, too. But in reality the point of free speech is for the stuff that’s over the line, and strikingly unbalanced. If free speech is only for polite persons of mild temperament within government-policed parameters, it isn’t free at all. So screw that.
But I don’t really think that many people these days are genuinely interested in ‘striking the balance’; they’ve drawn the line and they’re increasingly unashamed about which side of it they stand. What all the above stories have in common, whether nominally about Israel, gay marriage, climate change, Islam, or even freedom of the press, is that one side has cheerfully swapped that apocryphal Voltaire quote about disagreeing with what you say but defending to the death your right to say it for the pithier Ring Lardner line: ‘"Shut up,” he explained.’
A generation ago, progressive opinion at least felt obliged to pay lip service to the Voltaire shtick. These days, nobody’s asking you to defend yourself to the death: a mildly supportive retweet would do. But even that’s further than most of those in the academy, the arts, the media are prepared to go. ...
I’m opposed to the notion of official ideology — not just fascism, Communism and Baathism, but the fluffier ones, too, like ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘climate change’ and ‘marriage equality’. Because the more topics you rule out of discussion — immigration, Islam, ‘gender fluidity’ — the more you delegitimise the political system. As your cynical political consultant sees it, a commitment to abolish Section 18C is more trouble than it’s worth: you’ll just spends weeks getting damned as cobwebbed racists seeking to impose a bigots’ charter when you could be moving the meter with swing voters by announcing a federal programmne of transgendered bathroom construction. But, beyond the shrunken horizons of spinmeisters, the inability to roll back something like 18C says something profound about where we’re headed: a world where real, primal, universal rights — like freedom of expression — come a distant second to the new tribalism of identity-group rights.
Read it all.
And don’t miss this Speccie event:
Joe Hockey, with Spectator publisher Andrew Neil
The ‘world’s greatest treasurer’ Wayne Swan bequeathed a whopping national debt and federal deficit. How will his successor tackle these challenges in his first budget on May 13?
Join the federal Treasurer Joe Hockey and Andrew Neil, publisher of The Spectator and BBC politics host, on Wednesday 23 April at the Doltone House, Hyde Park , Level 3, 181 Elizabeth Street, Sydney
Hit the link to book. 
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To all those critics who say Murdoch dominates the media…

Andrew Bolt April 17 2014 (6:10pm)

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Remembering O’Farrell’s present-giver

Andrew Bolt April 17 2014 (8:19am)

Barry O’Farrell didn’t just forget the Grange:

The obfuscation began early on, when Mr O’Farrell gave the impression that he barely knew Nick Di Girolamo, a big wheel in the Liberal Party, a major fund-raiser and also head of Australian Water Holdings (AWH).
Last year ... Mr O’Farrell told the Australian Financial Review he had attended only one meeting with Mr Di Girolamo on AWH, with then finance minister Greg Pearce, in May 2011…
In fact, the Premier had attended three private fund-raising dinners before the election, been photographed with Mr Di Girolamo at an Italian function, attended West Tigers functions with him and it turns out accepted a $3000 bottle of Penfolds Grange.
Soon after the gift, Mr O’Farrell’s chief of staff recommended Mr Di Girolamo be appointed to the board of the government-owned Water Corp. He was also granted a meeting with the Premier and his finance minister, Greg Pearce, to discuss AWH’s contract with Sydney Water…
Nine months later, AWH was awarded a 25-year contract worth $100 million. The awarding was done by Sydney Water, not cabinet.
Then there are the calls they made to each other, and the thank-you note O’Farrell sent Di Girolamo for the Grange:
The note read: “...Thanks for all your support. Kind Regards, Barry and Rosemary.”
More to come as ICAC opens another investigation:
By March 2012, Mr Di Girolamo had become a lobbyist for Kores, which owns the highly controversial Wallarah 2 coal mine on the central coast. The project was denied approval by the former Labor government…
As opposition leader, Mr O’Farrell and his central coast spokesman, Mr Hartcher, had held a rally in 2009 opposing the project. “The next Liberal-National government will ensure mining cannot occur here ... no ifs, no buts. A guarantee,” Mr O’Farrell said.
In January 2012, Kores resubmitted its plans ... Earlier this year, the NSW Department of Planning announced it was recommending the approval of Wallarah 2, subject to strict conditions.
AWH has also been revealed as one of the major contributors to a slush fund, Eight by Five, operated by Mr Koelma [a Hartcher staffer].
People who know O’Farrell say he’s as honest as the day is long. 
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O’Farrell quits over gift, Labor frontbenchers don’t

Andrew Bolt April 17 2014 (7:39am)

Barry O’Farrell resigns as NSW Premier over an undeclared gift worth nearly $3000:
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has resigned in the wake of controversy over his appearance at the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Mr O’Farrell revealed during a surprise press conference on Wednesday that a note thanking Liberal fundraiser Nick Di Girolamo for a $3,000 bottle of wine, which he had claimed he never received, would be presented to the corruption watchdog…
It was never declared, as required, on his register of pecuniary interests.
Two federal Labor frontbenchers have not resigned over an undeclared gift worth nearly $3000:
FEDERAL Environment Minister Tony Burke and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy ...  received free holiday accommodation from allegedly corrupt former state MP Eddie Obeid.
Both ministers were last night forced to amend their entries in the federal parliamentary pecuniary interests register, following revelations they accepted freebies at the Obeid family lodge at Perisher Valley in the NSW ski fields, on one occasion staying there together…
Apartments at the Stables can cost as much as $2690 for a weekend during peak season. Mr Burke said in a statement last night: “...I declare two separate stays at this accommodation in the period 2004 to 2006...”
Senator Conroy ... volunteered a similar statement, saying he stayed in the apartment once in either 2005 or 2006.
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A time for integrity in politics. UPDATE: Baird is Premier

Andrew Bolt April 17 2014 (7:33am)

Miranda Devine on Mike Baird, the man most likely to succeed Barry O’Farrell as premier:

Baird, 46, is Liberal party royalty, the blond, sporty, firstborn son of former state Liberal minister Bruce Baird and wife Judy… Baird grew up in Canberra and Bonn, Germany, where his father was assistant trade commissioner…
When Baird was nine his father was posted to New York, and the family settled in bucolic Rye, in Westchester County, where young Mike became a star baseballer who was popular with the girls.
Back in Australia he attended the Kings School… He became involved in Anglican church fellowship, where he met his wife, Kerryn, whom he married at age 21.
After finishing an economics arts degree at Sydney University, he joined the National Australia Bank on a graduate program and specialised in corporate finance.
His investment banking career was flourishing at Deutsche Bank when he began to wonder: “Is that all there is? Should I be just about accumulating money?”
So in 1994 he told Kerryn he wanted to go to Bible college and within a year they were in Vancouver at Regent College, a graduate school of Christian studies. Ironically it was there he realised his true calling was politics. He went back to investment banking and was posted to London with his young family, and then to Hong Kong.
But in 2007 he gave it all up for politics, winning a bruising preselection for Manly, where he forged a friendship with his federal counterpart Tony Abbott. The pair run, surf and bike together…
A year later Baird was NSW shadow treasurer… He worked hard and formed a formidable partnership with NSW Treasury secretary Phil Gaetjens. Within three years the pair had turned around the state economy, adding 127,000 jobs and taking NSW from the slowest economic and jobs growth to the strongest.
I think voters are desperate for values in politics - and integrity. That Christian thing, and Abbott’s friendship, does it for me.
UPDATE
Mike Baird is the new premier of NSW, elected unanimously. 
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In defence of O’Farrell - and against ICAC

Andrew Bolt April 17 2014 (7:33am)

I have been very critical of NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell for:
- accepting a $3000 gift from a lobbyist.
- not declaring it
- not telling the truth about it, especially under oath.
But others have a more forgiving take, and are more critical of ICAC for trapping O’Farrell:
Chris Merritt:
THE wrong man decided to resign yesterday over the ludicrous investigation into Barry O’Farrell’s recollection about a bottle of wine…
Geoffrey Watson SC, counsel assisting the Independent Commission Against Corruption… has said there is no suggestion of corrupt conduct by O’Farrell. So, if that is the case, what point did he hope to make by testing O’Farrell’s recollection about whether or not he was given a bottle of Grange?…
Despite Watson’s denials, ICAC did ambush O’Farrell — and it did so over an issue that appears to have no relevance to the commission’s statutory responsibility…
The ICAC Act gives the commission a clear direction that, “when exercising its functions, the commission is, as far as practicable, to direct its attention to seriou­s corrupt conduct and systemic corrupt conduct and is to take into account the responsibility and role other public authorities and public officials have in the prevention of corrupt conduct”.
Nick Greiner, former NSW Premier:
I accept [O’Farrell’s] recollection of the events. The normal thing would’ve been to send it somewhere and to put it on a register, but I don’t think one should ascribe any great thought or motivation to this. This was a period a week after an election ...
SARAH FERGUSON: It doesn’t really pass the smell test, though, does it? He did know that Nick Di Girolamo and his company were lobbying for a lucrative contract. Would you have accepted a bottle of wine under those circumstances?
NICK GREINER: Yes.
SARAH FERGUSON: You would?
NICK GREINER: Of course. And you would put it on the register and if he’d had an organised office, he would’ve. Look, I think the media and the community can get its knickers in a knot quite unnecessarily about that sort of thing. I mean, this is about a political judgment, a failure of memory. There is not a - there is no scintilla of suggestion that Barry’s corrupt. There’s no scintilla of suggestion that he’s other than very honest. In fact in my personal dealings with him I’d say he was honest to a fault and even beyond a fault.
Gerard Henderson:
We’re supposed to be dealing with the Independent Commission Against Corruption. They’ve had two big victims in 25 years. One was an honest reforming premier in Nick Greiner and the other was an honest reforming premier in Barry O’Farrell. This is not a great record of achievement. I mean, the idea that you would lose your job because you accepted and probably drank a bottle of wine, which you didn’t try to sell and you didn’t even try to pawn it, you probably drank it,… is not the idea of campaigning against corruption when the ICAC was set up about a quarter of a century ago…

I wouldn’t know the cost of a bottle of Grange. I would have no idea it was worth $3,000. If someone gave it to me, I’d probably drink it and I may or may not forget about it. But what’s ICAC doing with this? ...I’m interested in consequences. Australian Water Holdings got nothing out of the O’Farrell Government… So where’s the corruption?…
We’re having this ridiculous conversation, in my view, where a premier’s gone down who was a reformist, honest premier and a very efficient premier, over a bottle of wine. This is pretty farcical… He’s had a memory failure and everyone’s on him. 
Tony Abbott:
A bottle of Grange is pretty special, no doubt about that. But given that premiers and other senior politicians have very crowded, busy lives, I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect everything from some years ago to be front of mind.
Peter Hartcher:

Even before the O’Farrell bombshell, another federal cabinet minister had said privately to colleagues: “ICAC is a kangaroo court. It’s destroying the lives of innocent people. The moment they’re named in ICAC, they’re finished, even though there is no accusation, no evidence, nothing.”
That minister can now rest his case after the accidental political murder of O’Farrell at the hands of the ICAC.
But he will not rest it. The ICAC has created a backlash against itself.
Another member of the federal cabinet said: “It’s just ridiculous. Here’s ICAC pulling down a second completely clean Liberal premier” – Nick Greiner was the first – “and what’s happened to Obeid and Macdonald and the whole cabal of corrupt Labor politicians? Why have no charges been laid against Eddie Obeid?”
Obeid and Ian Macdonald have been disgraced, yet they remain free men, without any charge brought against them. His implication? That the ICAC has failed to produce enough hard evidence for them to be brought to trial in a court…
ICAC has set back its own cause by seeming diverted by trivial pursuit when it should be uprooting serious corruption.
UPDATE
Even ICAC is suspicious about how it’s being used:

The barrister leading the Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry has raised questions about whether the information leading to Premier Barry O’Farrell’s resignation was strategically leaked to the media to bring him down…
Former Australian Water Holdings chief executive Nick Di Girolamo, a Liberal Party fund-raiser and an associate of the Obeid family, was asked whether he had told the former Liberal energy minister Chris Hartcher about [his] gift of a $3000 bottle of wine…
‘‘Who in the world did you tell that you’d bought Mr O’Farrell the bottle of Grange?’’ counsel assisting, Geoffrey Watson, SC, said.
‘‘I don’t believe I told anyone that I’d bought the bottle of Grange, other than [wife] Jodie,’’ he replied.
‘‘Did you tell another politician, a fellow called Hartcher?’’
‘‘I don’t believe so,’’ Mr Di Girolamo replied…
The inquiry has heard allegations that Mr Di Girolamo had arranged for AWH to make ‘‘regular payments’’ to a slush fund linked to Mr Hartcher in exchange for favourable treatment from the minister.
Mr O’Farrell’s resignation followed his unequivocal denial on Tuesday that he had received the $3000 bottle of wine from Mr Di Girolamo shortly after the election.
Overnight, Mr Di Girolamo discovered a thank you note he had received from the Premier… Later in the day, Mr Watson moved to quash speculation that the commission had sat on the note in order to trap Mr O’Farrell, saying the information was received at 9.17am in the morning from Mr Di Girolamo’s barrister.
Piers Akerman:
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The Daily Telegraph’s ace state political roundsman Andrew Clennell was tipped over a month ago there was a definite link between a bottle of Grange and O’Farrell.
One of Clennell’s trusted sources prompted him to ask O’Farrell then whether he had ever received a bottle of Grange at the beginning of his premiership in 2011.
He put the question to O’Farrell in a series of text messages that ricocheted back and forth between him and the then-premier on the afternoon of Thursday, March 6.
“Sorry about this, just one more. Did nick give/send you a bottle of grange when you became premier?” Clennell texted O’Farrell at 12.28pm…
O’Farrell replied: “Confirm no recollection or record of the alleged gift.”
It seems O’Farrell was brought down in part by Liberals.
UPDATE
About Chris Hartcher, in 2012:
Premier Barry O’Farrell demanded Mr Hartcher, his energy minister, quit cabinet after his Central Coast and parliamentary offices were raided by the Independent Commission Against Corruption over an investigation into alleged illegal donations…
ICAC is understood to be investigating claims tens of thousands of dollars in illegal donations were raised from developers and others for a slush fund by one of Mr Hartcher’s former staffers in a scandal which has drawn in fellow Central Coast Liberal MPs Chris Spence and Darren Webber.
(Thanks to readers Matt, lol and Peter of Bellevue Hill.)  
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Step forward, the politicians we can trust

Andrew Bolt April 17 2014 (6:57am)

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WHO can trust our politicians after the humiliating resignation on Wednesday of NSW premier Barry O’Farrell?
Has trust in our political system ever been so low?
Here’s a premier who resigns for misleading corruption investigators about a $3000 bottle of Grange — a dodgy gift from a contract-seeking grafter that he failed to declare and falsely claimed on oath that he never received.
On Wednesday— snap — the trap was shut, with the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption revealing O’Farrell had in fact sent the grafter, Liberal fundraiser and Australian Water Holdings head Nick Di Girolamo, a handwritten thank you.

On its own, maybe small beer — or wine — if you buy O’Farrell’s highly improbable claim that he couldn’t remember getting a gift so memorable, a Grange from his birth year.
But what about all the rest?
(Read full column here.)   
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Mark Scott’s apology is a threat

Andrew Bolt April 17 2014 (6:53am)

Culture wars, Media

MARK Scott has apologised for the ABC being too vicious. But how he apologised shows it’s also too big.
Scott, ABC managing director, took seven months to finally realise this week he should apologise to an ABC critic, Australian columnist Chris Kenny.
It should have taken just seven seconds to realise the ABC’s The Hamster Decides last year crossed a line by broadcasting into hundreds of thousands of homes a doctored picture of Kenny sodomising a dog, under a sign: “Chris Kenny, dog-f---er”.
Why Scott has now suddenly said sorry is not explained.
(Read full article here.
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What Pratt’s word is worth

Andrew Bolt April 17 2014 (6:38am)

Louise Pratt, second on Labor’s WA Senate ticket, on running mate Joe Bullock before the election:
I’m delighted to be here with my future Senate colleague, Joe Bullock… We’ve got a lot more in common than we would ever have that’s different.
Louise Pratt, Pratt, defeated, on running mate Joe Bullock yesterday:
Replaced in the Senate by someone who I have known for many years to be deeply homophobic, to be anti-choice and has recently emerged disloyal to the very party he has been elected to represent.
Somehow the more Labor attacks Bullock, the more I warm to him. 
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But if China trusts the ABC…

Andrew Bolt April 17 2014 (6:08am)

On the face of it, a coup for the ABC:
The ABC has won permission from the Chinese government to have its Australia Network content made available to the entire Chinese population - the most extensive access afforded to any Western broadcaster…
The deal allows the network’s content to be distributed by a web portal and rebroadcast by Chinese television networks…
Britain’s BBC World Service and America’s CNN International are the only other Western broadcasters with landing rights in China. But their rights limit broadcast to certain international hotels and diplomatic compounds.
Australia Network, run by the ABC, has secured rights through Shanghai Media Group, China’s second-biggest media company, to host ABC and other Australian content on a web portal that anyone in China can use.
Yes, this “soft diplomacy” could help Australia project itself into China. But I have concerns:
- China has clearly decided the ABC’s content is no threat. That is not something to boast about.
- Will the ABC consider China to be one of its audiences, and will that further influence its at times anti-Western flavour?
(Thanks to reader Damien.) 
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=== Posts from Last Year ===
4 her so she knows how I see her







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Lt. Col. Allen West, Michelle Fields and John Phillips close out "Next Generation Today" by sharing their initial thoughts on the tragic explosions at the Boston Marathon: 

http://www.nextgeneration.tv/s/GEZDIMBY
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While photographing a property yesterday in the foothills of the Sierra mountains a nice little storm hit us. While everyone stayed under shelter I took a stroll. — with Darvin Atkeson in Plymouth, CA.
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An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the kids that who ever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that as one could have had all the fruits for himself they said: ''UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?''

'UBUNTU' in the Xhosa culture means: "I am because we are"
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PERFECT TIMING FOR CAVIAR Larry Pickering

The owners and Peter Moody deserve cigars for what must have been a hard decision. But it was the right one, she has not a thing left to prove. 

She will always be known as the best sprinter the World has produced and her record of 25 straight will never be beaten.

Now you can chomp on some yummy green grass and let-down to a prospective beautiful mum for the breeding season.

All I can say is thanks ol’ girl for raising the hair on the back of my neck each time I watched you.

I will never forget you, and your babies will be just as beautiful as you are.

Thankyou.

It used to be said the only foolproof gambling technique was to find the favourite and bet against it. If you lose, double the bet next time, against the favourite. Following that pattern, the gambler would have lost .. big time. - ed
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Sunset over the vasting field of sunflowers - Buenos Aires, Argentina
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The prime minister is currently in London and will shortly be leaving to attend the funeral of Margaret Thatcher. Due to the missile attack on the city of Eilat, the prime minister talked with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and Eilat's Mayor, Meir Yitzhak Halevi. Prior to this he held a security consultation to discuss how to respond to the firing
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I thought "this is a trick, but I won't fall for it. I can see right through it" Then I realised there was pizza behind the picture .. and I fell for it.
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HAMAS SAVAGES NOW ACTIVE IN SOUTH AFRICA !
Pro-terror activists attack and terrorize peaceful Jewish event in Johannesburg.
http://m.news24.com/news24/MyNews24/Yom-Haatzmaut-disrupted-20130416
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April 17Maundy Thursday (Christianity, 2014); Evacuation Day in Syria (1946)
Minas Geraes' superstructure and bow guns, with wing turrets flanking the superstructure
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Events[edit]

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Holidays and observances[edit]

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“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” - Romans 13:8
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"The precious blood of Christ."
1 Peter 1:19
Standing at the foot of the cross, we see hands, and feet, and side, all distilling crimson streams of precious blood. It is "precious" because of its redeeming and atoning efficacy. By it the sins of Christ's people are atoned for; they are redeemed from under the law; they are reconciled to God, made one with him. Christ's blood is also "precious" in its cleansing power; it "cleanseth from all sin." "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." Through Jesus' blood there is not a spot left upon any believer, no wrinkle nor any such thing remains. O precious blood, which makes us clean, removing the stains of abundant iniquity, and permitting us to stand accepted in the Beloved, notwithstanding the many ways in which we have rebelled against our God. The blood of Christ is likewise "precious" in its preserving power. We are safe from the destroying angel under the sprinkled blood. Remember it is God's seeing the blood which is the true reason for our being spared. Here is comfort for us when the eye of faith is dim, for God's eye is still the same. The blood of Christ is "precious" also in its sanctifying influence. The same blood which justifies by taking away sin, does in its after-action, quicken the new nature and lead it onward to subdue sin and to follow out the commands of God. There is no motive for holiness so great as that which streams from the veins of Jesus. And "precious," unspeakably precious, is this blood, because it has an overcoming power. It is written, "They overcame through the blood of the Lamb." How could they do otherwise? He who fights with the precious blood of Jesus, fights with a weapon which cannot know defeat. The blood of Jesus! sin dies at its presence, death ceases to be death: heaven's gates are opened. The blood of Jesus! we shall march on, conquering and to conquer, so long as we can trust its power!

Evening

"And his hands were steady until the going down of the sun."
Exodus 17:12
So mighty was the prayer of Moses, that all depended upon it. The petitions of Moses discomfited the enemy more than the fighting of Joshua. Yet both were needed. So, in the soul's conflict, force and fervour, decision and devotion, valour and vehemence, must join their forces, and all will be well. You must wrestle with your sin, but the major part of the wrestling must be done alone in private with God. Prayer, like Moses', holds up the token of the covenant before the Lord. The rod was the emblem of God's working with Moses, the symbol of God's government in Israel. Learn, O pleading saint, to hold up the promise and the oath of God before him. The Lord cannot deny his own declarations. Hold up the rod of promise, and have what you will.
Moses grew weary, and then his friends assisted him. When at any time your prayer flags, let faith support one hand, and let holy hope uplift the other, and prayer seating itself upon the stone of Israel, the rock of our salvation, will persevere and prevail. Beware of faintness in devotion; if Moses felt it, who can escape? It is far easier to fight with sin in public, than to pray against it in private. It is remarked that Joshua never grew weary in the fighting, but Moses did grow weary in the praying; the more spiritual an exercise, the more difficult it is for flesh and blood to maintain it. Let us cry, then, for special strength, and may the Spirit of God, who helpeth our infirmities, as he allowed help to Moses, enable us like him to continue with our hands steady "until the going down of the sun;" till the evening of life is over; till we shall come to the rising of a better sun in the land where prayer is swallowed up in praise.
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Today's reading: 1 Samuel 30-31, Luke 13:23-35 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Samuel 30-31

David Destroys the Amalekites
1 David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, 2 and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way.
3 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 5 David's two wives had been captured-Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel.6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 13:23-35

23 Someone asked him, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?"
He said to them, 24 "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.'
"But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.'
26 "Then you will say, 'We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.'
27 "But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!'
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Knowing Him - An Easter Devotional

BOASTING ABOUT THE CROSS

Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised.... May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. (Galatians 6:12-15)
Paul wrote this letter we call “Galatians” to certain Christians who had begun their new spiritual life with faith in Jesus, but then were told by others that Paul’s message was horribly incomplete and probably dangerous. It is not enough to believe in Jesus and follow him, you must also continue to observe those hundreds of regulations in the Old Testament. Even if you are a Gentile, you should still observe the dietary laws, the sacrifices, and circumcision, they said.
Paul saw this as a spiritual emergency and wrote this letter to warn these believers not to be bewitched by those legalists.
There is one way to God. Let things in your life that should die, die. Let strivings die, let legalism die, let love for the world die, let personal spiritual pride die. Resign it all, give it all over, let it be crucified as Jesus let himself be crucified, and then you will be free.
Then we will have something to boast about. We will brag about Jesus Christ. We will shout his name to the world around. We’ll fill up with a pride not in ourselves, but in him. And we will look at his cross and see it as a moment of glory, not of shame.
Ponder This: Are there things you have been boasting about in your life? What needs to happen for you to boast only of Christ?
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: John 11-12 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
The Death of Lazarus
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick."
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it."5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7and then he said to his disciples, "Let us go back to Judea."
"But Rabbi," they said, "a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?"
9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world's light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light...."


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