Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tue Apr 15th 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?

A lot can happen in a day or a moment. William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, went for a walk on this day in 1802. They saw a long belt of Daffodils and William wrote "I wandered lonely as a cloud." The first time I heard those words was when Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins sang the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. And so a simple walk inspires, hundreds of years later. 

On this day in 1817, the first school for the deaf in the US was founded. On this day in 1861, Abraham Lincoln asks for 75000 to fight for the Union. Four years later, on this day, he died, having been assassinated. In 1922, a congressman called for an investigation into GOP oil funding bribery known as the Teapot Dome Scandal. Over ninety years on, there are still finger pointers desperately afraid lest someone make a profit. 1923, and Insulin became generally available to people with diabetes. 

On this day in 1945 Bergen Belsen concentration camp was liberated. 1947, Jackie Robinson debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers. 1955, McDonalds was founded. 1970, during a civil war in Cambodia, 800 ethnically Vietnamese peoples bodies flow down the Mekong from Cambodia to South Vietnam. In 1989, Hillsborough, 96 Liverpool fans die in a crush. Last year, 2013, two terrorists kill 3 people and injure 264 others at the Boston Marathon. It was good to liberate the inmates of Bergen Belsen. It would be better to never again promote such terrorism as which put good people in that camp. 
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns Kiara Dyring and Jen Jen Chung. Born on the same day, across the years. The day Samuel Johnson published the first English dictionary. He noted Oats were good for horses, but in Scotland they sustained the people. Remember, birthdays are good for you. If Johnson kept celebrating his, he would be 304.
Matches
Despatches
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THOSE WHO SHRIEK

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (3:49am)

It’s always useful to consider the problems of others before we complain about our own. Hearing about difficulties faced by the less fortunate provides a sense of perspective and an appreciation that our petty personal travails, in the overall scheme of things, really aren’t much of a big deal.
So we’re all grateful for Bob Carr telling us about the time he missed out on complimentary pyjamas during a business class flight.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'THOSE WHO SHRIEK'
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TEARS FOR MARX

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (3:32am)

This may be the finest lefty selfie ever taken. It shows an authentic Australian academic and media ethicist putting on his very best little sad face … because he’s standing in front of Karl Marx’s grave!

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Dry your eyes, little one. Dear old Karl has gone to a better place.
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THE CERTIFICATE OF ACHIEVEMENT

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (2:50am)

Hey, ambitious young activists! Do you want to be a big wheel in the thrilling and cashed-up world of insane global warming alarmism? Then this is the way
Increase your understanding & open doors to further study with this course run by Climate Councillor Prof. Lesley Hughes, with Guest Prof. Tim Flannery. 
Yes! During the awesome Hughes/Flannery course, you’ll learn: 
• Why human activities are changing the climate
• How the changing climate is affecting, and will continue to affect, the incidence and impacts of extreme weather events
• How climate change is likely to exacerbate existing problems of social inequality 
Plus a whole lot of other crap! Excitement and bountiful employability is guaranteed: 
If you pass this course you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement. 
That’s right! You could possibly receive a actual genuine Certificate of Achievement! Aieeeeee! 
While this certificate isn’t a formal qualification or credit, you can use it to demonstrate your interest in learning about this area to potential employers or educational institutions. 
YES YOU CAN!
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SALE OF THE SMH CENTURY

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (1:09am)

Journalism didn’t work out, so the Sydney Morning Herald is becoming some kind of lifestyle retail site, attempting to sell $250 candles$588 watches$10,000 Cuban holidays and $100,000 atlases to wealthy and stupid people. But why stop there? The SMH has a whole bunch of current and former staff to harvest:
Thank you for voting!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Total Votes: 2,107
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Costello: breakfast with Bob Carr

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (5:28pm)

Peter Costello was in China last week and his thoughts turned to Bob Carr...
I was making my way to the Boao Forum for Asia. I saw Bob Carr there last year. I was trying to get breakfast in a very crowded hotel. Every table was occupied. When Bob walked in, a table was immediately vacated to let him sit down. At first I thought it showed how important he was. But it turned out his very considerate staff had got there early and reserved a place so he wouldn’t have to wait…
I chatted with Bob about some developments the Chinese had announced the day before on lending to Local Government. But I couldn’t interest him. He was highly agitated about the standard of the food in the breakfast room. It was almost as if he was there to record it all for some sort of subsequent travel diary. It was obvious he wasn’t interested in the conference.
Costello also draws a contrast:
The real thing that was troubling me ... was why countries like the United States do infrastructure so badly when places like Hong Kong do it so well. When I flew out of New York’s Kennedy Airport, the Airtrain wasn’t working. Passengers had to bus from one Terminal to another. People were squeezed in excess of safety limits, more like battery hens than human beings. The security staff were surly and difficult. The planes were late and the terminal was rundown.
Flying into Hong Kong was like returning to the developed world. The terminal is connected to the city centre by a fast rain. Massive purpose-built suspension bridges and tunnels link it by road. Hong Kong reclaimed the land to build the airport from the sea — just as it has for other major developments.
The difference:
The difference is that Hong Kong, like the rest of China, puts its priority on hard infrastructure — roads, ports, bridges, railways… Development of China is not just improving lives there. It is improving the standard of living here.
The spending priority of government in Australia, like most western governments, is quite different. Most of our taxes go on income support, pensions, benefits, health, education and the like… The East is pouring its money into investment and infrastructure. The West is pouring its money into consumption. It means that China is massively industrialising and narrowing the gap on living standards.  
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O’Farrell says no to Di Girolamo’s Grange

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (2:21pm)

Barry O’Farrell has some denying to do today:
PREMIER Barry O’Farrell was sent a $3,000 bottle of Grange to his home by Australian Water Holdings boss Nick Di Girolamo funded by AWH after he was elected Premier, Mr Di Girolamo has testified at ICAC.
If the claim by Mr Di Girolamo is true, Mr O’Farrell would have been required to declare the gift on the pecuniary interest register.
On March 6 this year, the Premier was asked by The Daily Telegraph if he had received a bottle of Grange from Mr Di Girolamo by text message: “did Nick give you a bottle of Grange when you became Premier?”
He verbally denied it and said by text message on March 6: “confirm no recollection or record of the alleged gift"…
An AMEX record of Mr Di Girolamo’s secretary showed a purchase in May of a $2900 bottle of Grange for Mr O’Farrell and his wife…
Mr Di Girolamo said the date of the wine was the year of Mr O’Farrell’s birth. He claimed the Premier rang to thank him for the gift.
UPDATE
Ugly:
Counsel Assisiting Geoffrey Watson has produced a courier receipt dated April 22, 2011, from the AWH head office at Bella Vista to Mr O’Farrells home at Roseville.
Mr Watson said ICAC had heard evidence the bottle was ordered from Vintage Cellars on April 20 that year and phone records showed a call from Mr O’Farrell’s mobile to Mr Di Girolamo on the evening of April 20.
But Mr O’Farrell said he knew nothing about the call, neither he nor his wife remember getting the Grange and he holidayed with family on the Gold Coast that Easter leaving Thursday morning.
“I wouldn’t know about this phone call duration 28 seconds,” Mr O’Farrell said. 
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Tears for Marx from journalism academic

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (1:58pm)

Why am I not surprised?  A fan of Marx - and of muzzles for journalists - teaches journalism in our universities.
UPDATE
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Martin Hirst, here paying homage to Marx, teaches journalism at Deakin, which presumably wants its graduates equipped to work for big media organisations such as News Corp. It presumably also wants its graduates trained to express themselves well and conduct themselves ethically.
And to help produce such graduates it for some reason employs Hirst:
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An alarmist’s evidence: 22 boiled eggs

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (12:49pm)

Global warming - propaganda, Media

I don’t want to teach journalism lecturer and Fairfax columnist Crispin Hull to suck eggs, but has he ever considered doing some research to back up his bog-standard warming alarmism?
First, note how Hull catastrophises a cyclone which merely forced him to boil 22 more eggs than he needed:
You cannot unboil an egg. I know the expression is supposed to be “unscramble an egg’’, and you would think that would be more appropriate in a discussion about Cyclone Ita, but we have 22 boiled eggs in the fridge right now at home in Port Douglas.
If a category five cyclone is bearing down upon you and you do not know if your kitchen will be unusable, or when the power will go off, or for how long, boiling eggs is a good precaution.
If, however, the cyclone peters out to a category one when it finally hits, and all you get is fallen branches, not fallen trees and roofs gone, then you have 22 boiled eggs in the fridge that you would very much like to unboil…
I only mention the eggs because they are a small example of the consequences of a major cyclone...
Small example is right. If that’s all we have to worry about, spare me the $8 billion a year carbon tax. And correction: a cyclone that’s category one at landfall is not major but minor.
But for Hull it’s enough for a global warming lecture:
The response to extreme weather events by climate-change sceptics and business-as-usual climate-change deniers is now down pat: ‘’Well, you cannot assert that the climate is changing on the basis of an isolated event (insert event: cyclone. storm, bushfire, flood, drought). We have had these things before, you know.’’ And scientists will generally agree.
But this mantra has to stop.
Er, why should we suddenly stop asserting a perfectly true corrective to alarmism - that one storm does not a climate trend make? On the basis of a single storm?
Well, yes:
For a start, with cyclones you can confidently say [clyclones] will now be more severe because of global warming.
This is insane. A category one cyclone at landfall is not evidence of more severe cyclones. It is not evidence of any trend. It is not reason to start panicking. And, indeed, what Hull now asserts - that we “can confidently say that they will now be more severe because of global warming” - is actually false.
Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year admitted there was only “low confidence” in claims cyclones had got worse thanks to global warming, and, in fact, the evidence suggested that cyclones were in fact decreasing in number.
From the IPCC report::
In summary, confidence in large scale changes in the intensity of extreme extratropical cyclones since 1900 is low… Over periods of a century or more, evidence suggests slight decreases in the frequency of tropical cyclones making landfall in the North Atlantic and the South Pacific… Callaghan and Power (2011) find a statistically significant decrease in Eastern Australia land-falling tropical cyclones since the late 19th century ...
But on Hull preaches, of the devastation caused by cyclones that are, er, actually decreasing in number:
Cyclone Ita is a good case study. Most of the physical damage was done at Cooktown – some roofs blown off and so on… But the great economic damage was done in Port Douglas and Cairns. The airport was closed and flights cancelled. All tourist tours were cancelled for two, three or four days depending on the trip....
Pardon, but have storms never happened before in that region? And doesn’t the Bureau of Meteorology confirm that cyclones in Australia have dropped off significantly?
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And to Hull’s thundering conclusion:
The voice of small business should rally on this. Much of big business likes a high carbon economy and it does not care about the consequences...
What consequences? Fewer cyclones? The 22 boiled eggs of an alarmist?
(Thanks to reader Geoff.) 
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Just Tutu much global warming hypocrisy

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (12:26pm)

Tutu wants a boycott of the industry that puts petrol in his car and fuel in his plane and ship:
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for an anti-apartheid-style boycott and disinvestment campaign against the fossil fuel industry for driving global warming, just days ahead of a landmark UN report on how carbon emissions can be slashed.
In an article for the Guardian, the archbishop writes: “We live in a world dominated by greed. We have allowed the interests of capital to outweigh the interests of human beings and our Earth… People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change. We can, for instance, boycott events, sports teams and media programming sponsored by fossil-fuel energy companies.”
The Nobel peace prize winner also called for investors to dump their fossil fuel stocks: “It makes no sense to invest in companies that undermine our future...”
No more flights for Tutu, then:
In 1996 he retired as Archbishop of Cape Town and was named Archbishop Emeritus. For two years, he was Visiting Professor of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia…
In 2007, Desmond Tutu joined former South African President Mandela, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, retired U.N Secretary General Kofi Annan, and former Irish President Mary Robinson to form The Elders, a private initiative mobilizing the experience of senior world leaders outside of the conventional diplomatic process. Tutu was named to chair the group. Carter and Tutu have traveled together to Darfur, Gaza and Cyprus ...
No more gassy visits to London like last November’s:
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah visited King’s on Tuesday 19 November to mark the refurbishment and new use of Tutu’s, the former KCLSU nightclub space in the Macadam Building at the Strand.
And certainly no more luxury cruises like last month’s:
Passengers travelling on the South African leg of a Holland America round-the-world cruise next year will get a unique insight into the struggle to end apartheid in the form of two on-board lectures by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former archbishop of Cape Town. The archbishop, best known for his outspoken criticism of apartheid and his tireless work for human rights, will address passengers on the Durban and Cape Town leg of Holland America’s Grand World Voyage …
I wonder, though, did Tutu raise this interesting idea of a boycott of the oil industry with Iran, one of the world’s biggest oil exporters, when he flew there three months ago to give the militant theocracy his support?
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu is part of a delegation with former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Teheran at a time when Iran is engaging in a more open relationship with Western countries and the international community…
The Elders said on their website, “The purpose of the three-day visit is to encourage and advance the new spirit of openness and dialogue between Iran and the international community, and to explore what could be done to enhance cooperation on regional issues.
Or is this proposed boycott just your standard anti-capitalist, anti-Western posturing from activists who demand others make the sacrifices they won’t?
(Thanks to reader Craig.) 
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Brendan O’Neill: Are we children, to let the state stop our ears?

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (11:45am)

Brendan O’Neill says we should have more pride than to let the state protect us from other people’s thoughts:
When I tell people I think Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act should be scrapped – not reformed, but ripped up – I always get the same response: ‘How can you defend the rights of racists?’…
But the reason I want Section 18C to be thrown into the shredding machine of history is not because I am committed to the right of racists to spout nonsense about minorities, but rather because I care for the rights of all Australians to know that such prejudices exist and to pass judgement on them.
Freedom of speech, you see, is only partly about the freedom of the speaker; it is also about the freedom of the audience, the reader, the man in the street, who should have access to all ideas and the liberty to make up his mind about which of these ideas has moral worth and which does not…
Section 18C doesn’t only limit the rights of racists to pump hatred into the public arena. More menacingly, it limits the right of the public to be the guardian of the public arena, and instead allows officialdom to decide on our behalf what we may hear and in essence what we should think. It reduces the public to the level of children, who must be guarded from certain ideas, presumably on the basis that we are incapable of working out for ourselves which ideas deserve serious attention and which should just be ridiculed into oblivion…
This was recognised by the great 18th century firebrand, Thomas Paine. When, in 1792, a court in England sentenced him to death in absentia for the crime of writing The Rights of Man, a fiery pro-democracy pamphlet, Paine said the verdict was a ‘sentence on the public, instead of the author’, because the public was being told ‘they shall not think, they shall not read’. The censorship was a ‘prohibition on reading’, said Paine, which did not only undermine his own right to write but also the right of the public ‘to reason and to reflect’....
Freedom of speech, in short, is as much about the freedom of the listener as it is about the freedom of the speaker. 
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Were the Sydney Olympics built on slush?

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (8:11am)

Paul Sheehan on what could have been the biggest slush fund of all:
Sydney’s Olympic Stadium was completed ahead of schedule in 1999, long before the 2000 Olympics. There were no delays, no disruptions and no blowouts in the $690 million budget. The question is, was the charmed life of this project built on a $500,000 bribe paid to the Labor Party?

Only two people would know for sure. One is Sam Fiszman, who was legendary in NSW Labor circles as the party’s chief fund-raiser. He allegedly solicited and received the bribe. But he is dead, so we don’t get his side of the story

The other is the man who says he paid the bribe: Ian Widdup, then a senior executive at Multiplex. He is alive, though struggling, and pleading guilty to corruption. Widdup gave his version of events to the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Wednesday, during a private interview with ICAC investigating officers. He has also spoken to me at length about this and other matters
For years Widdup has been paying bribes to the Construction Forestry Mining and Engineering Union, and giving donations to the Labor Party, above and below the table. 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Shorten to cut the strings that pulled him up

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (7:44am)

Bill Shorten will reform Labor by cutting the influence of the people who make him leader and handing more power to the Left. And I doubt any of it will give Labor one more vote:


Bill Shorten will announce sweeping Labor Party reforms that empower rank and file members, rein in powerbrokers’ say over candidates and call for fewer factional bosses to be pre-selected for the Senate…
Drafts of the opposition leader’s speech call for local branches with more than 300 members to be given a 70 per cent say over pre-selection for the House of Representatives.
State-based head office selection committees would have their influence reduced to a 30 per cent weighting.
Mr Shorten will also call for all pre-selections to move to a 100 per cent rank and file model in the longer term, in line with the NSW branch.  
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Even Holocaust denial should be debated into silence, not legislated

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (6:44am)

Nick Cater on attempts to fight defend the Racial Discrimination Act’s restrictions on free speech:
Among the more misleading claims made by opponents of change is that they will “open the door” to Holocaust denial. It was an argument put most recently by barrister Arthur Morris.
Yet, Morris would be well aware, Australia is not one of the 17 countries where Holocaust denial is implicitly or explicitly ­illegal. If he wants to argue that it should be, then let us have an honest debate, for Hansard makes clear parliamentarians never intended the vilification amendments to operate as a de facto ban on Holocaust denial when they were passed in 1994.
UPDATE
Finally an offer of compromise - albeit too little - but even more importantly an assertion of good will:
AUSTRALIAN Jewish community leader Mark Leibler ­believes the “offence” provision of the Race Discrimination Act should be removed to allow the federal government to broaden the right to free speech while ­entrenching strong laws against racism. 

Mr Leibler, a prominent lawyer who was accused of having too much lobbying influence over governments by former foreign minister Bob Carr in his new book, said yesterday the debate had wrongly created the impression that those pushing for free speech were “racists” and those against it were not prepared to be flexible…

“All I can say is those who want to make a change are not the devil and are not racist and they are not interested in promoting racism.
“...My own view is that if all the government wants to remove the word ‘offend’, I think at the end of the day everyone could live with that.”
Section 18C of the act makes it unlawful to offend, insult, ­humiliate or intimidate on the grounds of race, colour or ethnicity. Under draft proposals, the government would replace 18C with provisions making it unlawful to vilify or intimidate others on similar grounds, but with broad exemptions, including the right to offend.
Many within the Jewish community are fiercely opposed to the proposed change, arguing that it would allow Holocaust revisionists to air their views without fear of reprisals.
UPDATE
Here is one important argument Jewish opponents of the reform have not considered, in my opinion - a problem that might one day hurt them and the ability of Israel to even exist.
These proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act were prompted by the banning of two of my articles, in which I argued against the retribalising of Australia on “racial” grounds. The articles were banned in part because the judge said I’d made a mistake in suggesting certain people described as fair-skinned Aborigines had a choice to identify with one, all or none of the various ethnic or “racial” identities of their ancestors. The judge said those I described actually had no choice but to identify as Aboriginal, which of course made them perfectly entitled to claim privileges reserved for Aborigines.
Jewish defenders of a law that could stifle such a debate on identity should consider a very similar analogy. They should ask themselves how the law could be used to stifle debate on just who qualified for the “right of return” - a right claimed by Palestinians to return to lands in Israel.
Here is the context, as explained by Karma Nabulsi, lecturer in international relations at Oxford University:
Article 13(b) of the UDHR states: “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” Palestinian refugees are entitled to this binding universal right…
In spite of ill-founded - and quite frankly racist - arguments concerned with denying this universal right to them, the United Nations has frequently insisted on its particular applicability to Palestinian refugees, who constitute the world’s largest refugee population.
But who, some 65 years after 700,000 Palestinians fled the new nation of Israel, now qualifies for this “right of return”?
Ingrid Jaradat Gassner, director of BADIL, Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, explains:

The right to return is a right held by all Palestinians who were forced to leave their homes and properties, as well as their descendants. Two groups of Palestinians would exercise their right of return in what is today Israel: the so-called 1948 refugees who live outside Israel’s pre-June 1967 borders (approximately 6 million persons today), and Palestinians who have become internally displaced persons (IDP) since 1948 (approximately 300,000 persons today)…
In a scenario where the right of return is implemented, all 1948 Palestinian refugees who decide exercise their right to return are entitled to Israeli citizenship.
Israel, of course, would be essentially destroyed if millions of people claimed they were Palestinian refugees by descent and entitled to Israeli citizenship. Or it would be crippled trying to compensate them all in any final settlement. The country and its defenders would want to argue, among other things, that to identify as a Palestinian refugee on the basis that, say, one of your grandparents or great-grandparents was one would be stretching the definition.
See the analogy? The problem under our law?
Susan Akram of Boston University Law School makes the analogy even clearer:
Palestine might define as its nationals anyone whose parent, grandparent or great-grandparent was born on the territory of historic Palestine, or whose ethnic origin was Palestinian during any (defined) period.
To challenge that definition in respect to any Australian, say, identifying as a Palestinian with a right of return is to run a very real risk of falling foul of exactly the law that caught me. 
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Airport decision today

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (6:38am)

At last:
IT was first proposed in the ‘60s, promised in the ‘80s and then killed off in 1996. 

But today a second international airport for Sydney will finally be realised after almost 50 years of political inertia.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal a final submission to give the go-ahead for an airport at Badgerys Creek will go to a Cabinet meeting in Canberra today — with the Prime Minister’s endorsement…
It is believed approval will be given for an initial single runway configuration with a slow build-up of flights… The first flights in and out of the airport are not expected until the mid-2020s ...
By 2035 the employment boom generated by the airport will add 35,000 more jobs through the airport’s operations and associated businesses and industry… The projections outline an airport that by 2060 could be servicing between 70 and 100 flights a day ...
Some context:
Western Sydney’s population is greater than South Australia and greater than the combined populations of Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.
The region has experienced strong growth over the past four decades and this trend is continuing with the population forecast to reach 2.96 million by 2036.
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Carr, meet the Congo

Andrew Bolt April 15 2014 (6:30am)

Former Australian foreign Minister Bob Carr complains of first-world problems in his Diary of a Foreign Minister:
Business class. No edible food. No airline pyjamas ...
Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, foreign minister for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, teaches perspective in his own diary, discovered by Tim Blair:
Disappointed today to find no pyjamas in business class. Disappointed also to find no engine or wings. Basically very disappointed to find no actual aircraft, just a dead buffalo lying in the dirt. Disappointed that the jackals had already eaten it. 
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.. I get that, but from my position, recognising (not in relation to you) that the God that Atheists don't beleve in does not exist, but is a caricature, but that God can exist and does, but not in the way Atheists see it, but as the Bible presents it (It is ok to disagree with me, it is my position). I feel the same way about love .. not the hurtful, hateful thing Hollywood sells, but the love that God of the Bible entails .. which nurtures, which builds, which shelters and which respects. - ed===


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=== Posts from Last Year ===
4 her, so she knows how I see her




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Thank you for your outpouring love since Matthew's tragic death. Join Pastor Rick, Kay and the Saddleback family in our effort to raise awareness and lower the stigma of mental illness. Sign the petition here: http://bit.ly/11b7xfb 
-Saddleback Church
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'United with Israel' pays tribute to Israel's Fallen Heroes
www.unitedwithisrael.org
 
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It’s a pretty amazing view from the infinity pool on top of the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore. The 146m engineering marvel sits almost 200m up on top of the three towers.

The pool was built around four movement joints so as to withstand “the natural motion of the towers”. These joints give it an almost 50cm range of motion, so it and the towers can sway freely in the breeze.

As if having no edge wasn't bad enough – it also moves!
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What is a personal service record and how to apply to get a copy?

Personal service records are files created for individuals during their military careers. The contents and detail of service records vary in quality and amount from conflict to conflict. For most servicemen and women, this will be the only official documentation for them as individuals.

Copies of personal service records can be requested via the National Archives of Australia's (NAA) Record Search databasehttp://www.naa.gov.au/collection/search/.
Locate the details of the service record by searching the database using the individual's name and service number, and follow the grey request buttons.

Personal service records only provide basic events and dates. Unit histories and records provide the context of the individual’s service. Further information regarding unit histories are available via the Memorials website.
https://www.awm.gov.au/research/infosheets/service-records/

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Banana and Blueberry Bread ~ I think I fancy this for morning tea today! Nice and hot from the oven with some butter - yummo! http://www.stayathomemum.com.au/recipes/baking/banana-and-blueberry-bread/
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An all new episode of Vikings starts now on HISTORY. Click “LIKE” if you’ll be watching as Ragnar Lothbrok goes to eastern England looking for ransom in exchange for peace.
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I was just hoping to have a relaxing Sunday here in South Florida before catching a flight this evening back to LA, but my day took a turn after an outing at the shooting range, when I encountered the long arm of the law. Coming off the Florida turnpike at the PGA Blvd exit I pulled into the lane to pay my $1.10 charge. However, the fella had closed, so I looked in the rearview mirror and since I was the only one there, I backed up and shifted one lane over to pay my turnpike ticket. And then it happened, at 1:07pm, FHP Trooper M.A. Mickens flipped on his lights and pulled me over. He informed me what I did was illegal and I told him I just wanted to pay my ticket and there was no one else coming through any of the lanes. I figured this would be a warning since I did not see any danger presented, but to my surprise, he wrote me a citation for $166.00. I asked Trooper Mickens if I had placed anyone's life in danger and he responded "no, but you did something illegal." I asked him if he saw any other cars when I backed up, he responded, "no, but that was not the point." I explained to Trooper Mickens that I had served in the Army and this just did not seem like it passed a common sense test and why could I not be given a warning. He responded, "you have to get a citation and it explains your options." I am sure Trooper Mickens has served the Florida Highway Patrol with distinction in his 27 years, yeah, I asked. But this is what perplexes me, where has the ability to make a judgment call gone? Are we now just a nation of unthinking robots which cannot assess a situation in and of itself? I have a perfect driving record that will be tarnished because Trooper Mickens did not think I could make a decision on my own, which threatened no one. I have 30 days to pay the citation of $166.00 to the Clerk of the Court of Palm Beach County. Lastly, no, I never said who I was because I do not deserve any special treatment. This is obviously how we treat law-abiding citizens. Allan West
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Some pictures are so powerful that they capture a piece of what it means to be Israeli in an instant...this one of them.
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Together, we bow our heads in memory of all those killed in defense of our state. Today, as we stand at memorial ceremonies and as we walk through cemeteries, we remember what we have lost and we imagine what could have been.
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April 15Father Damien Day in HawaiiDay of the Sun in North Korea;Tax Day in the United States
Hillsborough disaster memorial at Hillsborough Stadium
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Holidays and observances[edit]

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“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” - 1 Corinthians 15:1,
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head."
Psalm 22:7
Mockery was a great ingredient in our Lord's woe. Judas mocked him in the garden; the chief priests and scribes laughed him to scorn; Herod set him at nought; the servants and the soldiers jeered at him, and brutally insulted him; Pilate and his guards ridiculed his royalty; and on the tree all sorts of horrid jests and hideous taunts were hurled at him. Ridicule is always hard to bear, but when we are in intense pain it is so heartless, so cruel, that it cuts us to the quick. Imagine the Saviour crucified, racked with anguish far beyond all mortal guess, and then picture that motley multitude, all wagging their heads or thrusting out the lip in bitterest contempt of one poor suffering victim! Surely there must have been something more in the crucified One than they could see, or else such a great and mingled crowd would not unanimously have honoured him with such contempt. Was it not evil confessing, in the very moment of its greatest apparent triumph, that after all it could do no more than mock at that victorious goodness which was then reigning on the cross? O Jesus, "despised and rejected of men," how couldst thou die for men who treated thee so ill? Herein is love amazing, love divine, yea, love beyond degree. We, too, have despised thee in the days of our unregeneracy, and even since our new birth we have set the world on high in our hearts, and yet thou bleedest to heal our wounds, and diest to give us life. O that we could set thee on a glorious high throne in all men's hearts! We would ring out thy praises over land and sea till men should as universally adore as once they did unanimously reject.
"Thy creatures wrong thee, O thou sovereign Good!
Thou art not loved, because not understood:
This grieves me most, that vain pursuits beguile
Ungrateful men, regardless of thy smile."

Evening

"Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him."
Isaiah 3:10
It is well with the righteous always. If it had said, "Say ye to the righteous, that it is well with him in his prosperity," we must have been thankful for so great a boon, for prosperity is an hour of peril, and it is a gift from heaven to be secured from its snares: or if it had been written, "It is well with him when under persecution," we must have been thankful for so sustaining an assurance, for persecution is hard to bear; but when no time is mentioned, all time is included. God's "shalls" must be understood always in their largest sense. From the beginning of the year to the end of the year, from the first gathering of evening shadows until the day-star shines, in all conditions and under all circumstances, it shall be well with the righteous. It is so well with him that we could not imagine it to be better, for he is well fed, he feeds upon the flesh and blood of Jesus; he is well clothed, he wears the imputed righteousness of Christ; he is well housed, he dwells in God; he is well married, his soul is knit in bonds of marriage union to Christ; he is well provided for, for the Lord is his Shepherd; he is well endowed, for heaven is his inheritance. It is well with the righteous--well upon divine authority; the mouth of God speaks the comforting assurance. O beloved, if God declares that all is well, ten thousand devils may declare it to be ill, but we laugh them all to scorn. Blessed be God for a faith which enables us to believe God when the creatures contradict him. It is, says the Word, at all times well with thee, thou righteous one; then, beloved, if thou canst not see it, let God's word stand thee in stead of sight; yea, believe it on divine authority more confidently than if thine eyes and thy feelings told it to thee. Whom God blesses is blest indeed, and what his lip declares is truth most sure and steadfast.
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Abram, Abraham 
[Ā'brăm,Ā'brăhăm] - the father of a multitude.
The original name of the youngest son of Terah was Abram, meaning "father of height." Abraham was given to him when the promise of a numerous progeny was renewed to him by God (Gen. 11:26; 17:5, 9).
The Man Who Was God's Friend
Abraham's place in the Bible's portrait gallery is altogether unique and unapproachable. He stands out as a landmark in the spiritual history of the world. Chosen of God to become the father of a new spiritual race, the file leader of a mighty host, the revelation of God found in him one of its most important epochs. In himself, there was not much to make him worthy of such a distinction. His choice was all of grace.
Abraham's life is given us in detail, and we know him as we know few men of the Bible. He was from the great and populous city of Ur, and therefore a Gentile although he became the first Hebrew. He was a rough, simple, venerable Bedouin-like sheep master. He uttered no prophecy, wrote no book, sang no song, gave no laws. Yet in the long list of Bible saints he alone is spoken of as "the father of the faithful" and as "the friend of God" (Isa. 41:8). Let us briefly sketch his story and character.
I. He was born in Ur of the Chaldees, of parents who were heathen. Little is known of him until he was seventy years old, a striking proof that he had yielded himself to God before he left his heathen home for the far-off land of Canaan.
II. He received a distinct revelation from God, and of God, but we are not told how and when. This, however, we do know: He gave up a certainty for an uncertainty and went out not knowing whither he went. Willingly he surrendered the seen for the unseen.
III. He was taught the lesson of patience, of waiting upon the Eternal God. It was many years before the promise of God was fulfilled to him - promises three in number - of a country, Canaan; of posterity, as the stars of heaven; of a spiritual seed, through whom all the families of the earth would be blessed.
IV. He believed as he waited. His soul fed upon the promises of God. He believed God in the face of long delay and also amid difficulties that seemed insuperable. This is why he is called "the father of all them that believe."
V. He was renowned for his active, working, living faith (Gen. 15:6). Abraham believed in God and it was counted to him for righteousness.
VI. He was subject to failures. His character, like the sun, had its spots. Abraham's conduct to Hagar on two occasions, in sending her away, is painful to remember. Then his departure from Canaan into Egypt when the famine was on was surely not an act of faith. The falsehood which on two occasions he told with regard to Sarah his wife gives us a glimpse into a natural character somewhat cowardly, deceitful and distrustful (Gen. 12:19; 20:2).
VII. He was called to offer up special sacrifices. The first is fully described in Genesis fifteen, where the five victims offered in sacrifice to God were symbolic and typical of the whole Mosaic economy to come. Then we have the offering up of Isaac, an act of faith on Abraham's part and yet a trial of faith (Gen. 22 ). What a demand God made! But Abraham did not withhold his only son of promise. What God wanted was Abraham's heart, not Isaac's life. So when the knife was raised to slay Isaac, a provided substitute appeared. After this sacrifice Abraham received the testimony that he had pleased God.
The Bible offers us many types of Christ, Isaac being one of the chiefest, but Abraham is the only type in Scripture of God the Father. Abraham so loved God as to give up his only son, and centuries before Christ was born entered into the inner heart of John 3:16. After serving God faithfully, Abraham died when 175 years of age.
There are many profitable lessons to be gleaned from the biography of this notable man of God:
Faith has always trials. Being a Christian does not mean that trial is impossible or unnecessary. The greater the faith, the greater the trial.
Faith shines through the cloud. How the patience and meekness of Jesus are manifest through His trials! Take away Abraham's trials and where is his faith? Faith must be tried, in order that faith may live.
Faith in spite of trial glorifies God. Abraham's story is written in tears and blood, but how God was glorified by his trials of faith! Abraham's obedience of faith earned him the honor, "Abraham My friend!" Truly, there is no greater rank or greater honor than to be described thus. Yet such is our privilege if ours is the obedience of faith, for did not Jesus say, "I have called you friends"? He also said, "Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you."
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Today's reading: 1 Samuel 25-26, Luke 12:32-59 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Samuel 25-26

David, Nabal and Abigail
1 Now Samuel died, and all Israel assembled and mourned for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah. Then David moved down into the Desert of Paran.
2 A certain man in Maon, who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy. He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing in Carmel. 3 His name was Nabal and his wife's name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings--he was a Calebite....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 12:32-59

Luke 12

32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also....
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Today's Lent reading: John 7-8 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
Jesus Goes to the Festival of Tabernacles
1 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. 2 But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus' brothers said to him, "Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
6 Therefore Jesus told them, "My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come." 9 After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee....
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Knowing Him - An Easter Devotional

SON OF DAVID, LORD OF DAVID

Then Jesus said to them, “Why is it said that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself declares in the Book of Psalms:
“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.’”
David calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?” (Luke 20:41-44)
Jesus had many ways of saying seemingly outrageous things about himself. He said that he was the Lord of the Sabbath, and so he could decide what he would or would not do on the Sabbath. He let people bow down at his feet and worship him. He forgave people their sins. He let them use names for him that were reserved for God. One must conclude that he was either a completely deluded person, or a charlatan, or he really was who he claimed to be. There really are no other alternatives.
He was and is the Lord of King David, and, more than that, Lord of heaven and earth.
He humbled himself and took a lowly spot, even though he is Lord of all.
Ponder This: If Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, how does that make you look at the world differently?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Medishare-March

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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