Monday, May 05, 2014

Mon May 5th Todays News

There are many lauding Mary Kies for being the first US woman to get a patent on this day in 1809. She had developed a weaving process for straw and silk which was useful and popular. Other women had had good ideas which a few years before they had not profited from and had not got patents for. Intellectual property is important. Apple, Google and Amazon profit handsomely from it. Some drugs are extraordinarily expensive because of it, despite the cheapness of the ingredients. But,cynicism aside, it drives growth and invention. Sad to report, then that Mary died in poverty, never having profited from it. Making her, like Obama, another highly lauded symbol of groundbreaking achievement. 

Annoyingly, Wikipedia lists this day in 1865 as being the time and place of the first train robbery in the US at North Bend, Ohio, but it fails to list details. Luckily there is Google. It is rumoured to have been the work of Frank and Jesse James. About a dozen had torn up tracks and derailed the train. Then, gunmen had demanded cash and valuables from the passengers. Also they stole safes and opened them. The telegraph was used to alert authorities, but the culprits were never brought to book. A bit like the Obama Presidency as well. 

Tennessee representative John W Butler was sincere but did not know about what was eventually legislated with his name. The Butler Act denied permission to teach evolution in Tennessee schools. He had done so because as he later stated, "I didn't know anything about evolution... I'd read in the papers that boys and girls were coming home from school and telling their fathers and mothers that the Bible was all nonsense." American Civil Liberties Union made a test case, funding John Scopes, a science teacher to use a textbook which included a treatise on Evolution, Race and Eugenics. Interestingly, Race and Eugenics are discredited in science. While the dispute was between Christian Modernists who hold that science is not in opposition to faith and Christian fundamentalists who hold that science is irrelevant, the case is now pitched between faith and atheism. Defence attorney Darrow was agnostic. Except the way the case is now understood is widely different to what it was about. The Butler Act was stupid. It is disappointing that the defence brought it down with a treatise including Race and Eugenics. But it was 1925 and Scopes was arrested on this day. 

For twenty two years I have been responsibly addressing an issue, and I cannot carry on. I am petitioning the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to remedy my distress. I leave it up to him if he chooses to address the issue. Regardless of your opinion of conservative government, the issue is pressing. Please sign my petition at https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/tony-abbott-remedy-the-persecution-of-dd-ball
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns Nguyen Sa Tran. Born on the same date as Garibaldi set sail to conquer the kingdom of two Sicilies. Also Cy Young threw the first perfect game in professional baseball. So lots celebrate your day. Thank you.
Matches
Despatches
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CRAB BREAK

Tim Blair – Monday, May 05, 2014 (12:02am)

These two-hour working days (sometimes even two-and-a-half hours) have exhausted me. Also, Sydney is cold and I can’t find a decent crab sandwich, so I’ve fled to Queensland. Back in a week or so.
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ICAC makes even Hockey’s-fee-for-access look bad. UPDATE: Hockey to sue; Shorten snagged

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (4:46pm)


I think the times are rapidly changing and the public isn’t as tolerant of this kind of pay-for-access. That said, there is no wrongdoing unless anyone can show the money led to a favorable decision, and that is not even alleged against Joe Hockey - and I cannot believe ever would be:


Treasurer Joe Hockey is offering privileged access to a select group including business people and industry lobbyists in return for tens of thousands of dollars in donations to the Liberal Party via a secretive fund-raising body whose activities are not fully disclosed to election funding authorities…
The donors are members of the North Sydney Forum, a campaign fundraising body run by Mr Hockey’s North Sydney Federal Electoral Conference (FEC). In return for annual fees of up to $22,000, members are rewarded with “VIP” meetings with Mr Hockey, often in private boardrooms.
The North Sydney FEC officials who run the forum – which is an incorporated entity of the Liberal Party – say its membership lists and therefore the identities of its donors are “confidential"…
What little public information is available reveals members of the forum include National Australia Bank as well as the influential Financial Services Council, whose chief executive is former NSW Liberal leader John Brogden.
I’d just want disclosure.
UPDATE
The headline all over The Age and Sydney Morning Herald front page and on the Fairfax website - “Treasurer for sale” - seemed to me extreme and offensive. And not surprisingly:

JOE Hockey is seeking legal advice in response to Fairfax Media’s “offensive and repugnant” accusations that he was “for sale” to corporate donors…
In a statement, Mr Hockey today said: “Accusations made in Fairfax Media today are both offensive and repugnant.
“As the matter is now in the hands of lawyers no further comment can be made...”
UPDATE
Funny. Fairfax hasn’t headlined this story “Opposition Leader for sale”, or does it reserve defamatory attacks for the Coalition?

Labor is offering business leaders exclusive access to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in the lead up to the federal budget, but it comes at a high price – a cool $3300 for a board room lunch.
Disclaimer: I don’t accuse Shorten for a second of offering favors for that money, just as I don’t with Hockey.
UPDATE
Wonderful to get a bracing lecture from Greens leader Christine Milne on Sky News saying we needed a ban or a cap on donations to political parties.
Yes, the same Christine Milne:

The Greens received the biggest single political donation in Australian history in 2011 when Wotif founder Graeme Wood gave the party $1.6 million to fund a TV advertising campaign.
Sod did the Sydney Morning Herald report this donation as something sinister? Dress it up with a defamatory “Greens for sale” headline?
Hell. no:


Web millionaire bankrolled Greens
January 8, 2011
A MULTIMILLIONAIRE internet entrepreneur worried about climate change bankrolled the Greens’ federal election surge last year by making the largest single political donation in Australian history.
Wotif founder Graeme Wood, whose wealth is estimated at $372 million, gave $1.6 million to fund the Greens’ television advertising campaign, helping to significantly increase votes for the party in key states. The Greens will hold the balance of power in the Senate from mid-year.
Mr Wood’s benevolence helped the Greens, led by Senator Bob Brown, boost their national profile. They captured their first lower house seat and, with key rural independents, gained increased leverage over government policy.
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Is it worth this pain?

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (3:39pm)


Labor’s latest ad pounces on the broken tax promise Tony Abbott is contemplating. Why give Labor this gift to exploit for the two and half years until the election?
The attack should really be on Labor for making the pain necessary with its mad spending and its own broken promise to deliver a surplus. 
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Labor has nothing to lose but its socialist chains

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (9:48am)


It says something about Labor’s members that removing this reference is highly controversial - and Shorten is likely to fail:
BILL Shorten wants to restart debate on whether Labor should maintain its near-century-long commitment to democratic socialism and is open to removing the symbolic mission statement from the party’s constitution…

The socialist objective describes Labor as “a democratic socialist party” and binds members to support “the democratic socialisation of industry, production, distribution and exchange, to the extent necessary to eliminate exploitation ... in these fields”.
When Shorten says he wants Labor members to have more say in the party he’s talking about the members who’d defend Labor’s socialist objective. 
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Packer in fist-fight with Gyngell

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (9:34am)


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A bit unseemly:

Photographs that have hit the market this morning show billionaire James Packer in a fist fight with Nine Entertainment Group CEO David Gyngell
The former friends can be seen brawling on the street outside Packer’s multi-million dollar Bondi beach pad in Sydney. The stills show the men wrestling, before falling to the ground…
It is unknown what the fight was in regards to, but reports claim Gyngell was waiting outside the property for Packer to arrive from the airport.
Seems serious:
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Speculation:

Sources close to both men told PS this morning that their life-long friendship soured soon after Packer and his second wife, Erica, announced their shock separation six months ago.
It is understood Gyngell confronted Packer about his decision to walk away from his seven-year marriage that had produced three children, an approach to which Packer did not react kindly.
UPDATE
In a joint statement this morning, they said ”we have been friends for 35 years and still are”.
“In that time we have had our fair share of ups and downs. We respect each other and neither of us will be commenting further.”
UPDATE
Pictures. More. without the scribble, in tomorrow’s News Corp papers, including the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun.
UPDATE
In a way, the publication of the pictures is reassuring. Packer is from an old media dynasty, albeit now much, much smaller. Gyngell heads Channel Nine and is an old Packer mate, despite this. A good friend of Packer is Lachlan Murdoch, whose family’s interests include Australia’s News Corp papers. Yet:

Publisher News Corp obtained the exclusive set of photographs from Beirne’s agency Media Mode after outbidding Gyngell’s Nine Entertainment.
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Obama doesn’t find himself funny

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (9:22am)


It takes a big man to laugh at himself. Rip Curl didn’t see one at dinner:


Once a year, at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, the president drops in to deliver a short comedy bit heavy on self deprecation. President Reagan was a master, goofing on himself as a slow-witted Hollywood rube; George H.W. Bush stepped out of his stiff patrician bearing to hit himself with a few zingers… And George W. Bush was, frankly, a master. Derided like Reagan, a slow witted rube, but this time from Texas, Bush once brought an impersonator on stage to mock him nonstop, for everything from his marble-mouthed delivery to his low approval rating. Mastery.
But President Obama each year proves he just isn’t man enough to point his super-intellectual humor at himself....

“It is great to be back. What a year, huh? I usually start these dinners with a few self-deprecating jokes. After my stellar 2013, what can I possibly talk about?” he said right at the top of his 20-minute routine.
He was, of course, going to mock the dismal rollout of Obamacare. But in his very first joke, he did so not by targeting himself, but by going after 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“At one point, things got so bad, the 47 percent called Mitt Romney to apologize,” he said to applause and laughter from the heavily liberal crowd…
But he would go on to eviscerate his foes, bring up Kenya and “birthers” not once but twice, delight in charging Republicans with racism..., target two private citizens, the Koch brothers, and muse about “what did we do to piss off Chris Christie so bad?” (Classy.)
He seemed positively obsessed with the Republicans who are going to vie for his job...., apparently seeking to connect [Rand] Paul with embattled Nevada rancher [and racist] Cliven Bundy.
He targeted Sen. Ted Cruz too… And he took aim at Texas Gov. Rick Perry…
Throughout the monologue, the 2,500 people in the Washington Hilton howled their approval at the over-the-top attacks. Later, when comedian Joal McHale made a Nancy Pelosi joke, there were only groans.
But Obama knows that the highly partisan crowd at the annual event will eat up his vindictive diatribe, and each year, it does. So every year, Obama makes it all just a bit more vicious. Still, that seems to be just the problem: A man who can’t laugh at himself is a man devoid of humor, and nearly always, bitter and petty. 
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Gay bishop divorces

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (8:53am)


The problem with replacing what seem God’s laws - or sacred traditions - with man’s contracts is that keeping vows becomes far more optional:
The first openly gay Episcopal bishop, who became a symbol for gay rights far beyond the church while deeply dividing the world’s Anglicans, plans to divorce his husband.
Bishop Gene Robinson announced the end of his marriage to Mark Andrew… Robinson would not disclose details about the end of their 25-year relationship…

“All of us sincerely intend, when we take our wedding vows, to live up to the ideal of ‘til death do us part. But not all of us are able to see this through until death indeed parts us."…
Robinson, 66, had been married to a woman and had two children before he and his wife divorced.
Robinson became the model of a bishop for a Left that wants no God but themselves:
Robinson was also widely celebrated as a pioneer for gay rights, became an advocate for gay marriage and was the subject of several books and a documentary about Christianity, the Bible and same-sex relationships. He delivered the benediction at the opening 2009 inaugural event for President Barack Obama and, after retirement, became a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Democratic think tank with close ties to the White House.
If religion is in part to acquaint man with the eternal, Robinson is not its voice. 
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Why have we imported this danger? Why won’t the ABC discuss it?

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (8:26am)

Immigration

Is it fair on Australians to have imported such danger? Is it fair on Australians that our immigration program is deemed too sensitive to frankly discuss?

POLICE had to call in reinforcements after a group of hardline Muslims gathered at a Sydney police station clamouring for the release of a woman later charged with supporting terrorism.
The mother-of-four was arrested­ as she allegedly tried to board a flight in Sydney carrying­ cash and equipment — believed to include camouflage gear — for her husband fighting in Syria…
Three search warrants were also executed­ — two in Sydney and one in Brisbane.
Hardline supporters arrived at the police station after news of the woman’s arrest was posted on social media, with police forced to call for back-up to deal with them…
More than 100 Australians, many from NSW and mostly young men, have travelled to Syria via alleged terrorist support networks linked to Jabhat Al Nusra and State of Iraq and the Levant movements.
So we already have enough “hardline Muslims” supporting a woman charged with supporting terrorism to force police to call for reinforcements. Now imagine if their community was allowed to triple in size. How many more police would be needed at such protests? How many more Australians would be serving with terrorist groups?
These are tough questions, and check how far the ABC and official police sources go to avoid even suggesting them. Which religion? Which country was she heading to?

A mother of four has been arrested at Sydney Airport and charged during a police counterterrorism operation.
Officers from the joint counterterrorism team stopped a woman trying to board an international flight with her four young children on Saturday evening.
Police say the 29-year-old Brisbane woman was arrested and taken to Mascot Police Station in Sydney’s south, where she was charged with supporting incursions into a foreign state with the intention of engaging in hostile activities.
Police will not say where the woman is from or where she was intending to travel.
But even the Sydney Morning Herald is able to report what the ABC won’t:

A mother-of-four has been charged with supporting terrorism after she was arrested at Sydney Airport while trying to board a flight to Syria with her young children, police say…
The organiser of the Bankstown-based al-Risalah Facebook page claimed on Sunday morning that the woman’s passport had been confiscated.

UPDATE
Reader Ursus Augustus:


Let the spirit of RDA 18C be upon you all - or else.
(Thanks to many readers, including Straight Talk and annette.)  
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Column - What crisis? Shorten sells out our future

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (8:17am)



BILL Shorten is trashing our tomorrow for cheap votes today. And the shame is much of the public seem to be cheering him on.
Wake up! Thousand of Australians may pay for the Opposition Leader’s reckless politicking with their jobs, and millions could get poorer.
“We are not buying this argument that there’s some Budget emergency,” Shorten soothed voters last week.
“There is no Budget crisis,” echoed his Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen.
No, there’s no need to accept the cuts of the wicked Abbott Government. It’s all a Liberal hoax.
“The truth is they wanted to confect or manufacture a Budget crisis because these are the sorts of cuts they actually want to bring in,” sneers Labor’s finance spokesman, Tony Burke.
What makes this worse is that Shorten is kicking Abbott for trying to fix the disaster created by Labor.
(Read the full article here.)
UPDATE

And some context from the commission of audit:

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Let’s pretend spending isn’t the problem, and taxes are

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (8:08am)


The Left just wants more taxes, not less spending, and is torturing the truth to attack Tony Abbott’s plans:

A spending crisis? It’s the revenue, stupid. David Marr on ABC Insiders yesterday:


NOW they’ve got to get back the revenue stream and, politically, it’s ­really tough.
Host Fran Kelly jumps in, in furious agreement:


EVERYONE was thinking once we were through the global financial ­crisis it would come back and it has not come back.
Fairfax’s Phil Coorey interrupts with his dash of woe:


IT’S not going to ...
The Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2013-14, table D12, Australian government accrual revenue, expenses and fiscal balance, ­December 17 last year:


2013-14 revenue (estimated) $373,922,000. 2016-17 revenue (projected) $445,032,00.
Oz Fact Checker, The Australian, Friday:
THE Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, released in December, showed revenue growing by about 4.6 per cent in 2013-14 ... to about 7 per cent the following year ... Revenue growth is directly tied to the ­increase in nominal GDP, which at 3.5 per cent (in MYEFO) is barely half the trend pace but is expected to pick up in the next four years. The latest national accounts, for the ­December quarter, put nominal growth just under 5 per cent. At about these levels, revenue will grow between 5 per cent and 7 per cent. Revenue is not really the problem.
From the commission of audit’s report:
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UPDATE
Paul Sheehan on when the trouble really started:

Unusually, history offers a precise time and place, right down to the day, to appreciate why Australia has gone, seemingly suddenly, from a land of boom to a nation facing an austerity budget with sacrifices expected of all. The date was February 4, 2009.
The cause ... was the size and scale, and haste and dubious design, of six appropriations bills that Kevin Rudd’s government was about to ram through Parliament. These bills would transform the budget…
Rudd said Australia needed decisive action to avoid a recession. When the opposition caught a glimpse of what he intended it saw immediately that Rudd’s grandiosity was dangerously at work. We are now discovering in great detail, via the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Scheme, the extent of dysfunction of Rudd’s management vision...
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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I’m wrong, says McCrann. But he doesn’t get Abbott off the hook

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (7:41am)


TONY Abbott should drop his planned new deficit tax and say sorry for even thinking of breaking a promise.
The Prime Minister’s sorry could then force attention on to the real problem — which isn’t actually his plan for an extra 1 per cent tax on incomes above $80,000 and 2 per cent above $140,000.
True, my colleague Terry McCrann has elsewhere argued I’m wrong — Abbott never promised not to give us such a tax.
(Read full article here.) 
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17 years of no warming could soon end with a new record

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (6:43am)


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Christopher Monckton warns that 17 years of no warming could be about to end - kind of:


The RSS satellite data .... shows no global warming for 17 years 9 months.
Enjoy The Pause while it lasts. A Kelvin wave is galloping across the Pacific, and the usual suspects would be praying for a super El Niño… Already the well-paid extremists are predicting a new record annual mean surface temperature either in 2014 or in 2015.
Their prediction for 2014 will probably not come true. Four months without any warming make it difficult to imagine that this will be a record year for global temperature, though it is barely possible.
The notion of a new record temperature next year is less implausible, particularly if there is a strong or prolonged el Niño followed by a weak la Niña. As Roy Spencer points out on his hard-headed and ever-sensible blog, all things being equal one would expect temperature records to be broken from time to time, for CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere and some warming – eventually – is to be expected.
However, as the also hard-headed Dick Lindzen points out, the new record, when it happens, will be hundredths of a degree above the old, and it will be well within the natural variability of the climate. When warming eventually resumes, probably towards the end of this year, for El Niño is a seasonal event, it will probably not be much to write home about. And the following La Niña may cancel much of it. But that will not prevent the usual suspects from screeching that It’s Worse Than We Ever Thought.
When in fact any rise in global temperature is Much Less Than They Ever Thought.  
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What iceberg? What economic crisis?

Andrew Bolt May 05 2014 (6:35am)


No to cuts, a tax rise or even a tiny charge on doctors’ visits. Yes to giving more and more people the pension for 20 years.
What crisis?


An exclusive poll commissioned by The Daily Telegraph has revealed that 55 per cent of voters are opposed to plans to scrap bulk billing and to introduce a $6 co-payment to visit their GP.
Even more have rejected Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey’s proposal to lift the retirement age to 70, with 69 per cent claiming the government should leave it where it is…
The results come on the back of a poll by The Sunday Telegraph that revealed 72 per cent considered the government’s debt levy was a “broken promise”. 
Add an opportunistic Opposition Leader claiming the budget crisis doesn’t exist and isn’t worth fixing and we’re on the way to Greece.
UPDATE
Errol Simper is generous, given his politics, but also bemused:

Andrew Bolt’s The Bolt Report has improved considerably and can be pretty watchable… He can still be difficult to fathom. Why he — now apparently supported by the federal government — so regularly attacks (as again today) the concept of house owners getting an aged pension must be a mystery. House owners usually own houses because they’ve spent their working lives paying off stressful bank loans…
By Bolt’s logic, you should work your insides out to acquire what you fondly think of as an asset but accept that, in your old age, it has become a liability, which automatically bars you from an income. An aged pension should be everyone’s right, as is the case in Britain. By the time you reach pensionable age, your pension has been bought and paid for. It’s yours. It doesn’t belong to government. This federal administration, and commentators such as Bolt, should stop terrifying the aged.
At the risk of making an enemy the instant someone unexpectedly says a kind word, let me help Simper to fathom me.
1. Relax. The government will not include the family home in the assets test. It lacks the suicidal instinct.
2. I don’t attack “the concept of house owners getting an aged pension”. I attack the concept of well-off Australians getting paid a pension by people who are battling.
3. I don’t think owning your own home “automatically bars you from an income”. I think owning a relatively expensive home should only bar you from getting as much of the pension as we pay the poor.
4. Sadly, it’s not true that “by the time you reach pensionable age, your pension has been bought and paid for”.  Very, very few pensioners will have paid as much in taxes - after deductions for schools, roads, hospitals, defence, aged care and so on - as they claim in pension payments, which is on average $400,000 or more. The pension now takes 10 per cent of the government budget and rising, and it simply hasn’t been paid for.
5. Can we really afford to claim that “an aged pension should be everyone’s right”? Even a tycoon’s? Can this be afforded when the money is running out, when the average pensioner now lives 20 years on the pension, and when over the next 50 years there will be half the number of workers to support each pensioner?
I’m arguing against my own personal interests here. I am only 11 years off retirement age and I finally own my own home. It’s not that expensive, but I don’t see why taxpayers should be forced to pay me a pension to keep it when I could reverse-mortgage or sell it and pay more of my own way. 
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=== Posts from last year ===
4 her, so she can see how I see her


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Every day Australians see more barnyard antics from Labor that demonstrate the government is in a perpetual state of chaos, division and dysfunction.

Visit the website www.headlesschooks.org.au or go to http://lbr.al/headlesschooks to see more from the roosters, chicken Kev, and other headless chooks in Labor’s barnyard.
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Quick Pix: Randolph Scott w/video

http://independentfilmnewsandmedia.com/quick-pix-randolph-scott/

Randolph Scott (January 23, 1898 – March 2, 1987) was an American film actor whose career spanned from 1928 to 1962. As a leading man for all but the first three years of his cinematic career, Scott appeared in a variety of genres, including social dramas, crime dramas, comedies, musicals (albeit in non-singing and non-dancing roles), adventure tales, war films, and even a few horror and fantasy films. However, his most enduring image is that of the tall-in-the-saddle Western hero. Out of his more than 100 film appearances more than 60 were in Westerns; thus, “of all the major stars whose name was associated with the Western, Scott most closely identified with it.”
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So good! Handful of spinach, half a frozen banana, water and a spoon of peanut butter! #green #smoothie #yum #sogood #banana #spinach #peanutbutter
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The Gift Of Hope - Holly

Hope is a gift to grasp
A gift that we can give,
Hope is a very special treasure
To grant us strength to live.

We do not know its worth
Until our joy is lost,
We do not understand its power
Nor what its loss will cost.

When we are burdened down
With pain that is too great,
Then hope alone inspires our faith
That God rejuvenates.

There's much beyond our sight
We cannot comprehend,
But, God is working with design
And loves us as a friend.

He has a very special way
To bring His plan about,
If we have hope just like a child
His love will work it out.

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 Right now .. I sincerely believe I will try .. Seriously, what a splendid woman she is! Wisdom passion and compassion .. wrapped up in a stylish bow. Words have power and two public addresses today left me in awe of God who made her. - ed
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J.John preaching at just10 week 4 at KingsGate Community Church
His preaching convicted me in 1985 - ed
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That was one hell of a trip up to the North of England! 

Now join us as we take a peek behind-the-scenes of 'The Crimson Horror' in this exclusive video:http://bit.ly/11VppLQ
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One day Torchwood will return.
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May 5Yom Hazikaron in Israel (2014); Feast of Saint George(Palestinians); Liberation Day in Denmark, Ethiopia, and the Netherlands; Children's Day in Japan and South Korea; Cinco de Mayoin Mexico and the United States
1964 stamp commemorating the Battle of the Wilderness
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Events[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

Holidays and observances[edit]

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“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” - 2 Chronicles 7:14
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods."
Jeremiah 16:20
One great besetting sin of ancient Israel was idolatry, and the spiritual Israel are vexed with a tendency to the same folly. Remphan's star shines no longer, and the women weep no more for Tammuz, but Mammon still intrudes his golden calf, and the shrines of pride are not forsaken. Self in various forms struggles to subdue the chosen ones under its dominion, and the flesh sets up its altars wherever it can find space for them. Favourite children are often the cause of much sin in believers; the Lord is grieved when he sees us doting upon them above measure; they will live to be as great a curse to us as Absalom was to David, or they will be taken from us to leave our homes desolate. If Christians desire to grow thorns to stuff their sleepless pillows, let them dote on their dear ones.
It is truly said that "they are no gods," for the objects of our foolish love are very doubtful blessings, the solace which they yield us now is dangerous, and the help which they can give us in the hour of trouble is little indeed. Why, then, are we so bewitched with vanities? We pity the poor heathen who adore a god of stone, and yet worship a god of gold. Where is the vast superiority between a god of flesh and one of wood? The principle, the sin, the folly is the same in either case, only that in ours the crime is more aggravated because we have more light, and sin in the face of it. The heathen bows to a false deity, but the true God he has never known; we commit two evils, inasmuch as we forsake the living God and turn unto idols. May the Lord purge us all from this grievous iniquity!
"The dearest idol I have known,
Whate'er that idol be;
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
And worship only thee."

Evening

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible."
1 Peter 1:23
Peter most earnestly exhorted the scattered saints to love each other "with a pure heart fervently" and he wisely fetched his argument, not from the law, from nature, or from philosophy, but from that high and divine nature which God hath implanted in his people. Just as some judicious tutor of princes might labour to beget and foster in them a kingly spirit and dignified behaviour, finding arguments in their position and descent, so, looking upon God's people as heirs of glory, princes of the blood royal, descendants of the King of kings, earth's truest and oldest aristocracy, Peter saith to them, "See that ye love one another, because of your noble birth, being born of incorruptible seed; because of your pedigree, being descended from God, the Creator of all things; and because of your immortal destiny, for you shall never pass away, though the glory of the flesh shall fade, and even its existence shall cease." It would be well if, in the spirit of humility, we recognized the true dignity of our regenerated nature, and lived up to it. What is a Christian? If you compare him with a king, he adds priestly sanctity to royal dignity. The king's royalty often lieth only in his crown, but with a Christian it is infused into his inmost nature. He is as much above his fellows through his new birth, as a man is above the beast that perisheth. Surely he ought to carry himself, in all his dealings, as one who is not of the multitude, but chosen out of the world, distinguished by sovereign grace, written among "the peculiar people" and who therefore cannot grovel in the dust as others, nor live after the manner of the world's citizens. Let the dignity of your nature, and the brightness of your prospects, O believers in Christ, constrain you to cleave unto holiness, and to avoid the very appearance of evil.
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Achan, Achar, Achor

[Ā'chăn,Ā'chär, Ā'chôr] - troubleThe son of Carmi of the tribe of Judah (Josh. 7; 1 Chron. 2:7).

The Man Who Brought Trouble to a Nation

It did not take Joshua long to discover that his defeat at Ai, after a succession of victories, was due to some transgression of the divine covenant (Josh. 7:8-12 ). Thus, as the result of an inquiry, Achan was exposed as the transgressor, and confessing his sin in stealing and hiding part of the spoil taken at the destruction of Jericho, was put to death in consequence. In keeping with the custom of those days, Achan was probably stoned with his immediate relatives, and their dead bodies burned - the latter making punishment more terrible in the eyes of the Israelites.
Achan was put to death in "the valley of Achor" meaning "the valley of trouble" - the valley being called atter Achan who had been the troubler of Israel (Josh. 7:25, 26). Thus in 1 Chronicles 2:7 Achan is spelled as Achar. But "the valley of trouble" became a "door of hope" all of which is spiritually suggestive (Isa. 65:10; Hos. 2:15).
I. Covetousness means defeat. God had forbidden anyone taking to himself the spoils of Jericho, but one man, only oneamongst all the hosts of Israel, disobeyed and brought failure upon all. Achan's sin teaches us the oneness of the people of God. "Israel hath sinned" (Josh. 7:11 ). The whole cause of Christ can be delayed by the sin, neglect or lack of spirituality of one person (1 Cor. 5:1-7; 12:12, 14, 26).
II. The whole process of sin. Along with Eve and David in their respective sins, Achan also saw, coveted and took. James expresses the rise, progress and end of sin when he says that man is "drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (Jas. 1:14, 15 ). The inward corruption of Achan's heart was first drawn forth by enticing objects - desire of gratification was then formed - ultimately determination to attain was fixed.
III. Prayer was rejected for action. When the most unexpected defeat of Ai came about, Joshua fell on his face before the Lord, and earnestly asked for an explanation of the reverse. But God said, "Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? ...Take away the accursed thing" (Josh. 7:10, 13). God cannot hear and bless if there is sin in the camp. For often we acknowledge the greatness of our national sins, but fail to drag out our personal sins testifying against us. Once Achan was discovered and judged, Israel went forward to victory.
IV. The richness of divine mercy. When the accursed thing was removed and chastisement exercised, triumph quickly followed trouble. The valley of Achor became a door of hope. The locust-eaten years are restored. Confession and forgiveness open closed lips, quicken dormant energies and liberate power in the service of the Lord.
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Today's reading: 1 Kings 16-18, Luke 22:47-71 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Kings 16-18

Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu son of Hanani concerning Baasha: 2 "I lifted you up from the dust and appointed you ruler over my people Israel, but you followed the ways of Jeroboam and caused my people Israel to sin and to arouse my anger by their sins. 3 So I am about to wipe out Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat. 4 Dogs will eat those belonging to Baasha who die in the city, and birds will feed on those who die in the country...."

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 22:47-71

Jesus Arrested
47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"
49 When Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?" 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him....


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