Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Tue Apr 8th Todays News

It sounds like a joke, The War of Jenkin's Ear. But with 20,000 dead, wounded, missing or captured British and 407 ships lost over nine years, starting in 1739, similar casualties for the Spanish Empire, it was serious. Named over a hundred years later by essayist Thomas Carlyle in 1858, the war was over Britain asserting her right to extract profit from the Spanish slave trade in South America. Merchant Captain Robert Jenkins returning from West Indies on April 1731 was stopped by a Spanish ship. The Spanish captain told Jenkins to stop trading, and cut off his ear with a sword, saying the same would happen to the English King if they were found trading in the West Indies too. Jenkins took his complaint to the government. His severed ear was tabled in parliament. 

As wars go, it served a benefit in improving relations between Britain and Spain, so that Spain did not engage early in the seven year war, which is often described as the first world war. On this day in 1740, Three British ships captured the Spanish third-rate HMS Princess.  But amidst such seriousness, we have the joke. Three third rate Brit ships and one Princess. It was a tough battle. But, afterwards, the British had a ship which they used as a prison hulk. before scrapping her in 1784. It all seems so pointless. Much like the ALP's carbon tax policy. Officially, the ALP are opposed to the tax. They promised not to implement it in '10, and claimed they were forced to after. They claimed to have dumped it in '13, but they continue to oppose its removal. The carbon tax is the ALP Princess. Hard fought for, but ultimately only worth scrapping. 

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?

Happy birthday and many happy returns Leang TeaPascasie OmariGail MooreOtto Kephliski and John Tran's wife, and mother of his child, Kate Mai. The Lord has blessed you all mightily. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live ..


Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 08, 2014 (12:19pm)

The carbon farming fantasy
Scientists like Tim Flannery, the Wentworth Group, Professor Rattan Lal and the CSIRO’s Michael Battaglia agree that sequestration in soil and vegetation on a grand scale is essential to avoiding the worst effects of Global Warming as we transition to new energy sources for baseload supply.
If this is so, farmers have more leverage in this commodity market than any other and can be price-makers rather than price takers, their usual role. 
The carbon farming reality
It was meant to be a showcase of the former Labor government’s push towards carbon trading: the Northern Territory’s Henbury Station, destocked of cattle and turned over to producing carbon credits through regeneration …
The property is now being marketed as a cattle station … destocking the property has seen losses of $4 million to $5 million in the region as well as flow on social impacts on a local community that was heavily reliant on the station’s operation. 
(Via CL)


Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 08, 2014 (12:15pm)

In stunning financial news, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has discovered two previously unknown economic forces operating within the centre of our city.
Yesterday the Lord Mayor, upset by allegations in the Daily Telegraph that she was reluctant “to drive Sydney forward as a global powerhouse”, sent an email to our office. In that email, Moore claimed that “quirky laneways” and “small bars”, among other factors, were responsible for the inner city’s rapid economic growth.
Given that those “quirky laneways” existed for many decades prior to Moore taking office, it might be a little difficult for her to take credit. In fact, in this case credit should go to 19th century town planners whose visionary concepts for sewage access have somehow led to a 21st century economic miracle. Well done, old men in top hats.
As for those “small bars”, it’s also a little difficult to see how they could have had much to do with Moore’s claimed 2000 new businesses. Not that small bars are bad, of course. It’s just that they’re small bars and not massive incentives for international investment in Sydney. There’s a difference.
Come to think of it, if quirky lanes and small bars are the great economic powerhouses of our time, how come Greece and Spain are such total disasters? These joints practically cornered the market years ago in quirky lanes and small bars, but today they’ve got less real money than a Wayne Swan budget.
It might actually be that inner Sydney’s economic revival is despite Moore’s quirky smallness rather than because of it. This is just a theory, but it’s one that we can put to the test in a simple experiment.
Let’s close one of Moore’s quirky bicycle laneways and put small bars on it. If it works, do the same on all of the bicycle lanes. It’s very important. Sydney’s economic future is at stake here.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 08, 2014 (12:08pm)

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard reveals her government’s inner workings
I first felt the addictive power … when I was prime minister … the characters of my world were nowhere near as good looking ...
The staff who worked with me most closely talked in a language I didn’t understand … I binged on … one over three days on brief Christmas leave in 2012. I devoured the second and third as soon as I could.
Fiction and reality started to collide … What girl has not yearned for a few dragons when in a tight spot? …
Hair plaited in unusual ways, we poured our glasses of wine and settled in … the intrigue, the brutality and the passion continue unabated. 
Yep. That’s pretty much how we all imagined it.

Packer: Rudd damaged Asia ties

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (3:43pm)

So much damaged, so much still to fix:
BILLIONAIRE James Packer says Australia’s relationships with its key Asian neighbours went backwards under former prime minister Kevin Rudd.
The Crown casino boss is taking part in a trade delegation to Asia led by Tony Abbott, who last night signed a new trade deal with Japan.
“I think the truth is Australia’s relationships with China, Japan, India and Indonesia all went backwards over the last five years,” Mr Packer told Fairfax radio.
“When you go round and lecture people — I think you’d know who I’m talking about — some people don’t take it that well.”

Ban Bendigo Bank

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (3:10pm)

What a disgraceful and dangerous decision:
A bank is standing by its decision to close the account of a protest group which is fighting plans to build a mosque in the Victorian city of Bendigo.
The Bendigo Bank last week informed the Stop the Mosque group that it was closing the group’s account, saying the bank only wants to do business with organisations that share its values.
The group was raising funds for its fight against a mosque which is proposed for a site near Bendigo’s airport.
The bank’s decision has drawn criticism on social media, while local councillor Elise Chapman has accused the bank of trying to be the ‘moral police’.
“There’s a lot of other people - there’s murderers, paedophiles, criminals - everybody banks, and I’m sure that those people also have bank accounts at the bank,” Ms Chapman said.
Indeed, the Bendigo Bank should tell us who else will have their accounts closed - porn merchants, drug dealers, wife beaters, Islamist extremists, tax cheats, Greenpeace activists, vandals, hoon drivers, habitual drunks, thieves and people who spit on the pavement. Where does this stop? Where was the reputational damage for the bank in even maintaining the account? Who in the community protested, or was this just the work of some sanctimonious Bendigo Bank official who thought he or she could misuse their power to punish opinions with which they disagreed?
Ban Bendigo Bank until it allows its customers to freely engage in public debate. 

Big wage for some, lost business for everyone else

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (8:54am)

This kind of union militancy costs us all:

THE head of the US energy giant developing gas projects worth more than $US80 billion ($86bn) in Australia has attacked union influence in this country, pointing to data that showed wages for some tradespeople in the industry had soared to $400,000 a year…
Chevron Australia managing director Roy Krzywosinki called on the Abbott government to make urgent changes to the Fair Work Act, especially on right-of-entry provisions for unions.Mr Krzywosinski said Chevron’s $US54bn Gorgon gas project — Australia’s biggest resources development which is under construction in Western Australia — had been subject to almost 1000 “disruptive” right-of-entry claims from unions since 2009…
Mr Krzywosinski said unions had been able to leverage unsustainable wages and conditions. He noted that a barge welder now earned about $400,000 a year.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Palmer sued by candidate

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (7:16am)

Clive Palmer falls out with a former associate and party candidate:

ONE of Clive Palmer’s closest business associates is suing him, along with Mineralogy and Queensland Nickel, for more than $4.6 million, saying the businessman tricked him into signing a “sham” contract.
Former Palmer Coolum Resort general manager and ex-Palmer United Party candidate Bill Schoch left the business in December. According to a statement of claim filed in the Supreme Court, the long-time friend of Mr Palmer has fallen out with him over what he claims to be “misleading and deceptive conduct”.
Will he also fall out with some of the four senators he now allegedly controls?:

SABRA LANE: ... Given the commitment by Motoring Enthusiast’s Ricky Muir to vote with the Palmer United team, it means Clive Palmer’s bloc of four senators will share the balance of power with another four senators ... Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm ... doubts the Palmer team will vote as one.
DAVID LEYONHJELM: It’s difficult to imagine them all lining up and saying, “I agree with Clive Palmer on this issue,” and voting accordingly for the next three years, six years, whatever. I don’t think that’s likely to happen. And particularly when you look at the individuals involved. Jacqui Lambie in Tasmania is her own woman. She’s not anybody’s puppet.
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill nominates Lambie as the most likely wildcard, since she didn’t start her run for the Senate on the PUP ticket:
PALMER United Party (PUP) Senate chance Jacqui Lambie admits she turned to the mining billionaire because she was running out of money…
Ms Lambie began her Senate campaign as an independent before sending her veterans’ policy to party founder Clive Palmer.
But Palmer’s win in the WA election makes it harder for the Government to cut him out of any deal-making. To overcome a Greens-Labor bloc without Palmer’s support will now involve the Government winning the support of crossbenchers David Leyonhjelm, Bob Day of Family First, John Madigan of the DLP and Nick Xenophon as well as two rebels from Palmer’s alliance. That’s not impossible, but probably much harder than cutting a deal with Palmer’s four senators plus two of the others. The first involves making six agreements, the second three.
(Thanks to reader CA.) 

How Dr Zhivago went to war

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (6:23am)

Your favorite books, poems and music - and mine

Here is a marvellous story. If only all wars were fought by publishing great literature - or perhaps, in a way, they generally are....
First, some passages from Dr Zhivago:

It´s a good thing when a man is different from your image of him. Is shows he isn´t a type. If he were, it would be the end of him as a man. But if you can´t place him in a category, it means that at least a part of him is what a human being ought to be. He has risen above himself, he has a grain of immortality…

And now listen carefully. You in others-this is your soul. This is what you are. This is what your consciousness has breathed and lived on and enjoyed throughout your life-your soul, your immortality, your life in others. And what now? You have always been in others and you will remain in others. And what does it matter to you if later on that is called your memory? This will be you-the you that enters the future and becomes a part of it…
I hate everything you say, but not enough to kill you for it…

Oh, what a love it was, utterly free, unique, like nothing else on earth! Their thoughts were like other people’s songs. They loved each other, not driven by necessity, by the “blaze of passion” often falsely ascribed to love. They loved each other because everything around them willed it, the trees and the clouds and the sky over their heads and the earth under their feet. Perhaps their surrounding world, the strangers they met in the street, the wide expanses they saw on their walks, the rooms in which they lived or met, took more delight in their love than they themselves did…

And then the two basic ideals of modern man- without them he is unthinkable- the idea of free personality and the idea of life as sacrifice.
Next, this story of what the CIA did with it, as told in The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book, by Peter Finn and Petra Couvée:

[T]he Soviet literary establishment refused to touch “Doctor Zhivago."… In Washington, Soviet experts quickly saw why Moscow loathed “Doctor Zhivago.”
In a memo in July 1958, John Maury, the Soviet Russia Division chief, wrote ... “Pasternak’s humanistic message — that every person is entitled to a private life and deserves respect as a human being, irrespective of the extent of his political loyalty or contribution to the state — poses a fundamental challenge to the Soviet ethic of sacrifice of the individual to the Communist system...”
In an internal memo shortly after the appearance of the novel in Italy, CIA staff members recommended that “Doctor Zhivago” “be published in a maximum number of foreign editions, for maximum free world distribution and acclaim and consideration for such honor as the Nobel prize."…
As its main target for distribution, the agency selected the first postwar world’s fair, the 1958 Brussels Universal and International Exposition… Both the United States and the Soviet Union had built huge pavilions to showcase their competing ways of life. What was especially interesting to the CIA: The fair offered one of those rare occasions when large numbers of Soviet citizens traveled to an event in the West. Belgium had issued 16,000 visas to Soviet visitors.
....the CIA contacted the Dutch intelligence service, the BVD. Agency officials had been following reports of the possible publication of “Doctor Zhivago” in Russian by an academic publishing house in The Hague and asked whether it would be possible to obtain an early run of copies.... Walter Cini, a CIA officer stationed there, ... emphasized that there should be no trace of involvement by the U.S. ...
Two hundred copies were sent to headquarters in Washington… The largest package, 365 books, was sent to Brussels…
The Vatican pavilion was called Civitas Dei, the City of God, and Russian emigre Catholics had set up a small library “somewhat hidden” behind a curtain just off the pavilion’s Chapel of Silence, a place to reflect on the suppression of Christian communities around the world.
There, the CIA-sponsored edition of “Doctor Zhivago” was pressed into the hands of Soviet citizens. Soon the book’s blue linen covers were littering the fairgrounds. Some who got the novel were ripping off the cover, dividing the pages, and stuffing them in their pockets to make the book easier to hide.
The CIA was quite pleased with itself. “This phase can be considered completed successfully,” read a Sept. 10, 1958, memo… The CIA provided elaborate guidelines for its officers on how to encourage Western tourists to talk about literature and “Doctor Zhivago” with Soviet citizens they might meet…
Maury wrote in a memo in April 1959… “Travelers should be prepared to discuss with their Soviet contacts not only the basic theme of the book itself — a cry for the freedom and dignity of the individual — but also the plight of the individual in the communist society."…
Prompted by the attacks on Pasternak in Moscow and the international publicity surrounding the campaign to demonize him, the CIA’s Soviet Russia Division began to firm up plans for a miniature paperback edition… Two thousand copies of this edition were also set aside for dissemination to Soviet and Eastern European students at the 1959 World Festival of Youth and Students for Peace and Friendship, which was to be held in Vienna… When a Soviet convoy of buses arrived in sweltering Vienna, crowds of Russian emigres swarmed them and tossed copies of the CIA’s miniature edition through the open windows. 

How the IPCC report was doctored to scare you

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (5:57am)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has resorted to fraud. Shame on the media outlets which refuse to see or say, but all praise to Professor Richard Tol:
Prof Tol, from Sussex University, is a highly respected climate economist and one of two ‘co-ordinating lead authors’ of an important chapter in the 2,600-page report published last week by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
He has been widely criticised by green campaigners after he claimed that the much shorter ‘summary for policymakers’ – hammered out in all-night sessions between scientists and government officials over a week-long meeting in Yokohama, Japan – was overly ‘alarmist’.
In his view, the summary focused on ‘scare stories’ and suggestions the world faced ‘the four horsemen of the apocalypse’.
He said he did not want his name associated with it because he felt ‘uncomfortable’ with the way the summary exaggerated the economic impact of global warming.
To cite just one example - and how the exaggeration then drives media coverage:
Environmentalist Bill McKibben, MSNBC, March 31:  
LATE last night Yokohama time, the world’s scientists did once more what they’ve done so many times in the past: issued a thumping big report demonstrating that climate change poses the greatest danger our civilisation has ever faced … The latest summary, for instance, shows that … both drought and flood will keep on increasing, the number of refugees will climb sharply, and we risk “civil wars and intergroup violence”.
Yes, that’s what the summary says. IPCC’s Working Group II Summary for Policymakers:

CLIMATE change over the 21st century is projected to increase displacement of people (medium evidence, high agreement).
What the report actually says. Final Draft IPCC WGII AR5:

IT is difficult to establish a causal relationship between environmental degradation and migration … Many authors argue that migration will increase during times of environmental stress … and will lead to an increase in abandonment of settlements … Another body of literature argues that migration rates are no higher under conditions of environmental or climate stress … For (Cecilia) Tacoli (2009) the current alarmist predictions of massive flows of so-called “environmental refugees” or “environmental migrants”, are not supported by past experiences of ­responses to droughts and extreme weather events and predictions for future migration flows are tentative at best … Given the multiple drivers of migration … the projection of the effects of climate change on intra-rural and rural-to-urban migration remains a major challenge.
More astonishing examples:
Richard Tol:
Humans are a tough and adaptable species. People live on the equator and in the Arctic, in the desert and in the rainforest. We survived ice ages with primitive technologies. The idea that climate change poses an existential threat to humankind is laughable.
(Thanks to reader Albert and others.) 

In defence of Joe Bullock

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (5:27am)

If Joe Bullock, Labor’s new Senator-elect from Western Australia, were a Liberal the media would be screaming “homophobe” and Labor would be savaging him on every ABC show:

[Fellow Labor candidate Louise] Pratt, said Bullock, was “the poster child for the Left” and “a spokesperson for that persuasion”. And what persuasion would that be?
“Louise Pratt is, as some of you would know, a leading advocate of homosexual marriage and a lesbian, I think,” Bullock told the Dawson Society, “although after her partner’s sex change I can’t be quite sure. But I think she’s a lesbian.”
What would Labor do had, say Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi said that?
But Nick Cater warns it’s too easy to dismiss Bullock, who, for me, otherwise represents a less threatening Labor:
What we are witnessing in Western Australia is ... a battle between the workers and the intellectuals that began in the early 1960s and flared under Gough Whitlam, a prime minister who Bullock helped vote out of office in 1975…
The two wings were worlds apart on climate change and border ­security long before Julia Gillard signed a pact with the Greens.
By crossing the boundary between a legitimate debate about the Marriage Act and an intrusive discussion about Pratt’s domestic arrangements, Bullock en­sured that the home truths from the rest of his 50-minute session would be ignored.
That is a pity…
“Labor should be interested in regular people,” Bullock said.  “...The Labor Party hasn’t demonstrated that they are capable of being trusted to look after the interests of working people and their families. When they do, they will win and win and win and win and win....”
Bullock insists that without the union movement the ALP is finished. “It provides significant ­financial resources and manpower to the Labor Party. But, more importantly than that, ballast,” he said.
Branch-based members, the winners from Kevin Rudd’s leadership election reform, tend to be activists. In other words, said Bullock, they were “mad”.
Without unions, “the Labor Party would fly off in a dozen ­directions following every weird leftie trend that you could imagine and there’d be no party left. To the extent that the Left within the Labor Party dominates its policy formulation, those policies are out of tune with mainstream Australia and that does damage.” 

Abbott gets trade deal

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (4:52am)

Good for the Abbott Government, obviously, and even better for Australia:
EXPORTERS will add billions of dollars to Australia’s economic growth under a trade deal struck with Japan last night to give the beef, dairy, sugar and other industries far bigger concessions than they expected. 

Tony Abbott completed the deal with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last night…

Slashing barriers to Aus­tralian products, the Japanese government agreed to a dramatic increase in food imports ...  while clearing the way for stronger trade in resources and services.
Australia has given ground in return, cutting the price consumers pay for Japanese cars, auto components, whitegoods and electronics, most of which will be free of tariffs within a year of the trade deal being ratified…
[The deal] does include a sharp increase in the threshold for Japanese investments that must be cleared by the Foreign Investment Review Board, lifting it from $248m to just over $1bn for deals other than farm and agribusiness acquisitions…
Tony Shepherd, chairman of the WestConnex toll road authority and an adviser to Japan’s biggest bank, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, described the deal as “unbelievable news"… “We are the first major agricultural exporter to unblock Japan’s trade barriers"…
Japan will begin cutting its tariffs on frozen and fresh beef within a year to give Australian producers a level of market access unavailable to any other country. Australian beef exports to Japan are worth $1.4bn a year but are subject to a 38.5 per cent tariff.
The tariff on frozen beef will fall by 8 percentage points within a year and then drop to 19.5 per cent over time. The tariff on fresh beef will be cut by 6 percentage points in the first year and then fall to 23.5 per cent over 15 years…
Australian cheese exports are worth $372m a year but are subject to an annual quota of 27,000 tonnes; this will be expanded with a further 20,000 tonnes in stages over two decades.
There is also clearly an important deepening of bonds, too, with the democracy of Japan - bonds that include defence:
Senior sources said the signing of such a generous deal with Australia was part of a broader push by Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, to deepen the bilateral relationship to increase Japan’s regional strength.
Other gestures include recognising Tony Abbott’s trip as a full state visit, a private dinner as well as state dinner on his first trip, something not afforded previous prime ministers.
And less noticed:
Australia and Japan have begun talks on sharing defence know-how and jointly developing weapons and equipment as part of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s visit to Japan.
China, as well as economics and leadership, helped to push Australia and Japan closer together. Rowan Callick:
The deal will drive a crucial part of Tony Abbott’s economic strategy: to boost productivity by lowering trade and investment barriers, overseas and at home.
The Abbott government is looking to improve the performance of the economy by opening it up to high-quality investors and exporters from Japan and South Korea, as well as making it easier for Australian firms to invest in and export to Asia…
Leadership from the top has provided the crucial difference in clinching two of the three agreements the Prime Minister ambitiously said he would seek by the end of this year…
Japan’s economy, like ours, is highly dependent on China. Abe wants to limit that dependency by engaging more deeply with economies like ours.
There is clearly a personal bond between Abbott and Abe:
Abbott gave his counterpart an album of 32 photos from Australian archives showing Abe’s maternal grandfather, former Japanese prime minister Nobusuke Kishi, visiting Canberra in 1957 to sign an economic partnership with Robert Menzies.
Abe instantly opened the gift — a rare move in Japan — and leafed through the pictures. “This will mean a lot to my mother,” he said, according to sources.
The gift to Abbott was more practical than emotional: electric bicycle gears from Shimano, a flagship employer in Abe’s own electorate near Hiroshima.
The big cheese question gets asked on 7.30:
I’m so sorry to interrupt you, but let me just come in on the cheese question...

Newspoll: Coalition now leads

Andrew Bolt April 08 2014 (4:45am)

The Abbott Government pulls ahead in Newspoll even after the knights-and-dames ridicule and the Sinodinos embarrassment - and soon the royal commission into union corruption will put Labor under even more pressure:
Things are not getting any better for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten:
Satisfaction with Mr Shorten has dropped 13 percentage points since his peak of 44 per cent in December and dissatisfaction has risen from 27 per cent to 42 per cent during the same period. His net personal satisfaction rating — the difference between satisfaction and dissatisfaction — is now minus 11.
Mr Abbott’s voter satisfaction was unchanged on 40 per cent. Dissatisfaction fell from 50 per cent to a two-month low of 47 per cent. Mr Abbott’s net satisfaction rating is minus 7 per cent.










Sorry .. grumpy
Music time



G’day fellow political junkie,
The result in the WA Senate bi election was not so much a surprise but a lesson. The message is certainly to Bill Shorten’s ALP and that lesson is that the once great ALP is going the way of the Dodo fast if it continues to continue to align itself with corrupt unions and far left loonies like the Greens.
 A protest vote in a bi election can always be expected for the Government of the day, even one that has only been in power for 7 months. The loss of 6 percent is typical BUT what is not typical is that the protest votes should go to the opposition. In this case the Federal ALP had another flogging at the ballot box and the votes went to the minor parties instead. 
I guess protesting Labor voters weren’t able to vote Liberal, so they stupidly went Green and the WA conservatives who felt a protest vote was the way to go and couldn’t vote ALP, went to the Palmer United Party. The Nats weren’t even in the race!
Okay, so it appears now that after the new Upper House sits on July 1, that the Palmer United block of four will hold a commanding balance. This brings me to my biggest observation and point. Since the WA election was called, I have been listening to commentators from both the left & the right, shaking and quivering in fear that the PM now has to do deals with that loose cannon, Clive Palmer to get any mandated policy through!!! What a loud of rubbish!
If they had paid some attention to Palmers policies then they would know that he is almost on a  unity ticket with the Coalition and he most certainly campaigned to get rid of the Carbon & Mining Taxes.
 Say what you like about Palmers populist political style, yes it is a break from the politician mould that we are use to seeing, and heavy spending campaigning aside (nothing wrong with that either, if the message was heard and the people voted, that’s not undemocratic) and some of his progressive social leanings, he is basically centre right. Palmer is more of a TEA Partier, ie less taxation, less spending and smaller government but guess what, so is Tony Abbott and most conservatives I have ever known.
 I am glad that our PM is Tony Abbott, he is a great man and a great leader with much potential but I am also glad that the balance of power in the Federal Senate will be centre right……….. and I reckon the Prime Minister isn’t too worried about that either. 
I’m not scared of Clive Palmer, and I guess that’s because I’m not a crazy far lefty.
Still I am scratching my head about the size of the vote that the Greens got in WA, protest or not. I am not sure if it has anything to do with Liberal Premier, Colin Barnett because from what I know he is still very popular, I may be wrong as I am not a West Australian but in saying that, I still cannot see what my brothers & sisters in the West think that they are doing by voting for one of the most destructive Marxist movements ever? I really thought that the virus of the Greens would have died on the Nullabor Plain and the fact that it hasn’t does concern me greatly!
Freelance Editorial Cartoonist/Caricaturist

Serious explaining 









=== Posts from last year ===
4 her, so she knows how I see her


Big Sur Coastline. I took this picture as a reminder for an area I want to further explore in the future. This part of the coast is about three hours from where I live, so I need to take notes. Anyways, it turned out nice enough to share. Not epic by any means, but it's Big Sur… how can you go wrong?

Great Bend supercell as seen from 10 miles southwest. Wow!!


Dory Hayes www.outreachphotography.org
April 8Rama Navami (Hinduism, 2014)
Yi So-yeon




Holidays and observances[edit]

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” - Galatians 2:20
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame?"
Psalm 4:2
An instructive writer has made a mournful list of the honours which the blinded people of Israel awarded to their long expected King.
1. They gave him a procession of honour, in which Roman legionaries, Jewish priests, men and women, took a part, he himself bearing his cross. This is the triumph which the world awards to him who comes to overthrow man's direst foes. Derisive shouts are his only acclamations, and cruel taunts his only paeans of praise.
2. They presented him with the wine of honour. Instead of a golden cup of generous wine they offered him the criminal's stupefying death-draught, which he refused because he would preserve an uninjured taste wherewith to taste of death; and afterwards when he cried, "I thirst," they gave him vinegar mixed with gall, thrust to his mouth upon a sponge. Oh! wretched, detestable inhospitality to the King's Son.
3. He was provided with a guard of honour, who showed their esteem of him by gambling over his garments, which they had seized as their booty. Such was the body-guard of the adored of heaven; a quaternion of brutal gamblers.
4. A throne of honour was found for him upon the bloody tree; no easier place of rest would rebel men yield to their liege Lord. The cross was, in fact, the full expression of the world's feeling towards him; "There," they seemed to say, "thou Son of God, this is the manner in which God himself should be treated, could we reach him."
5. The title of honour was nominally "King of the Jews," but that the blinded nation distinctly repudiated, and really called him "King of thieves," by preferring Barabbas, and by placing Jesus in the place of highest shame between two thieves. His glory was thus in all things turned into shame by the sons of men, but it shall yet gladden the eyes of saints and angels, world without end.


"Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness."
Psalm 51:14
In this solemn confession, it is pleasing to observe that David plainly names his sin. He does not call it manslaughter, nor speak of it as an imprudence by which an unfortunate accident occurred to a worthy man, but he calls it by its true name, bloodguiltiness. He did not actually kill the husband of Bathsheba; but still it was planned in David's heart that Uriah should be slain, and he was before the Lord his murderer. Learn in confession to be honest with God. Do not give fair names to foul sins; call them what you will, they will smell no sweeter. What God sees them to be, that do you labour to feel them to be; and with all openness of heart acknowledge their real character. Observe, that David was evidently oppressed with the heinousness of his sin. It is easy to use words, but it is difficult to feel their meaning. The fifty-first Psalm is the photograph of a contrite spirit. Let us seek after the like brokenness of heart; for however excellent our words may be, if our heart is not conscious of the hell-deservingness of sin, we cannot expect to find forgiveness.
Our text has in it an earnest prayer--it is addressed to the God of salvation. It is his prerogative to forgive; it is his very name and office to save those who seek his face. Better still, the text calls him the God of my salvation. Yes, blessed be his name, while I am yet going to him through Jesus' blood, I can rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The psalmist ends with a commendable vow: if God will deliver him he will sing--nay, more, he will "sing aloud." Who can sing in any other style of such a mercy as this! But note the subject of the song--"Thy righteousness." We must sing of the finished work of a precious Saviour; and he who knows most of forgiving love will sing the loudest.
[Cā'leb] - bold, impetuous (also an animal name, meaning "dog").
1. A son of Jephunneh, usually so designated to distinguish him from other persons bearing the same name (Num. 13:6, 30).
The Man Who Desired a Mountain
Although Caleb was not an Israelite by birth, he was "an Israelite indeed." He was one of the chief spies sent out by Moses. He was courageous and persevered when the other spies became discouraged. He was invincible in driving out giants, completely devoted to God and vigorous in old age. Six times it is recorded of Caleb, "he hath fully followed the Lord."
His consecration was thorough. What magnificent adverbs are used to describe Caleb. He followed faithfully, wholly, fully. He never lowered his standards, but was perpetually wholehearted.
His courage was unfaltering. Giants did not disturb Caleb nor did those dastards who were ready to stone him.
His request was answered. To Caleb, whose life was woven of one piece throughout, reward crowned his faith and faithfulness. Through autumn winds and premonitions of snow, he brought forth fruit in his old age. When we come to the record of Caleb's personal inheritance in the land of Canaan we find him at eighty years of age asking of Joshua, "Now therefore give me this mountain." Caleb was a man of altitudes. He was not content with the average or the commonplace. He never thought in terms of fences or walled cities. It was the heights for Caleb, and although the mountain he wanted was filled with hostile Anakims, he refused defeat and claimed his inheritance. At long last a worthy recompense came to this noble man for "to patient faith the prize is sure."
2. The son of Hezron, a Judahite and father of Hur and grandfather of Caleb No. 1. There is some confusion about this Caleb (1 Chron. 2:18, 19, 42).
3. The son of Hur the son of Caleb No. 2 (1 Chron. 2:50).

Today's reading: 1 Samuel 7-9, Luke 9:18-36 (NIV)

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Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Samuel 7-9

1 So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD. They brought it to Abinadab's house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LORD. 2The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time--twenty years in all.
Samuel Subdues the Philistines at Mizpah
Then all the people of Israel turned back to the LORD. 3 So Samuel said to all the Israelites, "If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines." 4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 9:18-36

Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah
18 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?"
19 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."
20 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
Peter answered, "God's Messiah...."
Knowing Him - An Easter Devotional


The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:29-34).
Back at the beginning, before Jesus had even called his first disciples, there had been a moment of revelation. A wild-looking prophet named John who was baptizing people in the Jordan River and preaching about God reigning as king encountered Jesus of Nazareth. He looked at Jesus (who was John’s own cousin), and God opened his eyes to see that this was the one he had been prophesying about.
“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” is what John said. What he meant was: “Look! There is our salvation! There is the one whom all of the sacrifices in the Old Testament are pointing to. God has promised to take away our sin–and now that is becoming a reality!”
The dilemma that all of us face is: what can we do with all the mistakes, the transgressions, the shortcomings, the sins, that we commit? What does God make of us? Is it really possible that God is willing to forgive?
It is not merely that God forgives sinners–he “takes away” our sin. His forgiveness is so powerful, so complete, that it is appropriate to believe that our sin has been “taken away.” And the sign that God has really done that is that Jesus, like a sacrificial lamb, took our sin upon himself and carried it away.
Ponder What makes it hard for us to believe that Jesus has “taken away” our sin? Is it sometimes because we hold onto it? And if so, for what reason?


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.

Today's Lent reading: Luke 19-20 (NIV)

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Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a sinner...."

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