Thursday, May 01, 2014

Thu May 1st Todays News

There are many reasons to beat up the LNP over policy and activity. But as the press gleefully engage in it, it should be remembered it might not be fair or right. 

At the moment, many are tut tutting Abbott over broken promises for something he has not yet done, but which he probably should do; cut spending in numerous areas. Will he cut elements of the ABC budget? Has he promised he wouldn't? The ABC could prosper, were it allowed to, through partial privatisation, or full privatisation. It won't be less unbalanced. The recent attempt by the ABC to undermine government policy in Indonesia cannot be allowed to continue. However, that could happen in the next term of an Abbott government. The campaign regarding election promises then comes into play. The ABC and their 'friends' could claim they are confused about any cuts. As with the GST, they could campaign against it until the ALP are in government. Hockey promised to cut waste. So did Abbott. The hate media will ignore one promise, and hold onto another. 

The Gillard broken promise over a carbon tax was a betrayal of the Australian people. It should be remembered that the Carbon tax will never benefit Australia as a policy. It has not shrunk the production of Carbon Dioxide and it has curtailed industry. However, should Mr Abbott break a 'no cut' election promise, there will be immediate benefits to all Australians. The question is, and this is what confuses the hate media, was the ALP lie the betrayal, or the bad policy? Even if the issue of AGW is real, we cannot afford to do expensive empty gestures .. 

Another case of clear media bias on an issue where criticism may be legitimate is the case of former NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell. There are no suggestions, yet, O'Farrell has done anything wrong, but he looks bad for his association with hucksters who had been well placed after sixteen years of ALP rule. But, it doesn't matter who is in government, they will have a limited pool of talent. The issue of corruption is serious and things need to be transparent. It is clear the ALP ran a corrupt government and fostered corruption. It is a truth of management that anyone can be corrupt, but it is important to limit their ability to be corrupt. It requires eternal vigilance. As sad as the O'Farrell case is, it shows anti corruption process for the libs is working. But it also exposes the libs to hyper criticism. And the disturbing thing is that there may be truth to the barbs. But the scrutiny has not been applied to the ALP and that is not balanced. Mr O'Farrell would have been a fool not to speak to talented, involved individuals. Shame on those individuals for being corrupt. It is a legacy of bad ALP government. A fabulous way to celebrate the life of the corrupt Neville Wran is to recognise how bad he was in office. One valid question of O'Farrell is to do with his support for the appallingly bad legislation of racism and censorship on the federal books. Mike Baird is a supporter of the bad legislation too. The fact is, the law does not protect those who are victims of bigots, but can be used by racists to silence valid public enquiry. It isn't moral to support such bad law. 
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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 Cele D'or and Tommy Nguyen. Born on the same day, across the years. The same day the Illuminati was founded in 1776 in Bavaria. I like chocolate Bavarian. Thank you.
May Day may sound ominous .. but the call, which is apocryphally said to be for help, was to do with French WW1 pilots calling out "Mai dez" which translates to "Help me!"
Matches
Despatches
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FOR WHOM THE BELL DOESN’T TOLL

Tim Blair – Thursday, May 01, 2014 (12:54pm)

When she’s on her bike, the Sydney Morning Herald‘s Elizabeth Farrelly fights with truck drivers. When she’s on foot, Farrelly fights with cyclists
Anzac Day, mid-morning. A quiet street on quieter day. I’m poodle-walking. 
Of course you are, dear. 
Behind me comes the jolly yet peremptory “tring!” of a bicycle bell. Ignore it. 
Warning bells are for other people. Elizabeth steps aside for nobody. 
Beside me, the road is empty, as is its designated cycle lane.
“Tring! Tring!” The bell is closer now, more insistent. A (young, female) voice sings, “Excuse me!” 
Them’s fighting words to Queen Elizabeth. Most people would endure without complaint the barely-measureable inconvenience of making room for a bike, regardless of cycle lane proximity. Cities are crowded places. You’re always making room for someone or other. Reluctantly, Elizabeth complies: 
I let her pass, contenting myself with the obvious. “There is a road right there.”
“This is a cycle path,” she retorts, cycling off.
“Actually, not,” I inform her retreating back.
This is a matter of fact, not opinion. 
It all took place within mere seconds, yet Farrelly is still seething about this nearly a week later. Elizabeth now generates another 875 words on the Great Footpath Wronging of 2014: 
There’s a cycle lane clearly designated on the road beside us. Yet at the top of the hill she stops, shouts back, “Don’t be so rude, lady!” 
Thus the cycling community and Sydney truck drivers find common ground. 
This exchange is not so much about who was correct. It’s not about the right-to-cycle, which I strongly support. (So strongly, in fact, I’d put it nearer obligation than right). It’s not even about the sweet paradox that it’s the entitlement generation that has decided urban – the most etiquette-dependent of living patterns – is hip. No, my exchange with the footway cyclist is about power relations in a tight spot. 
Or it could be about someone wanting to ride past a slow-moving poodle lady. Just a theory. 
Managing the power relations of proximity is, of course, what manners are for. 
Go tell it to the truck driver, Liz. 
Etiquette. Protocol. Rubric. As increasing numbers of cyclists, male/female, young/old, appear on city footways, our need for a protocol intensifies. 
Doesn’t it just? Only the other day, a supermarket shelf-stacker’s stock cart delayed my shopping for a full 1.7 seconds. As I rained cans down on the poor man’s head, I couldn’t help but feel the intensifying need for a protocol. 
Today’s footway cyclistas are sufficiently bold to risk rain and rage but insufficiently bold to take their rightful place in the traffic. In other words, it’s a relatively timid, safety-focused denomination. This in itself reveals much about just how intimidating our road traffic is for cyclists. And it should concern us all, since anti-cycle sentiment is an accurate measure of social primitivism. 
It’s all they’re talking about in Somalia. 
Friendly is not how it feels to have a bell rung at you from behind. Impatient is how it feels. Superior. Peremptory. Out of my way. 
Quite so. Cyclists stuck behind Liz and her poodle should use this instead. 
The footpath is the walker’s home ground. It is a place – often the only public place – where you can meander, drift, dream, window-shop, phone-check, randomly dance, take photos, guffaw, tie shoelaces and generally shilly-shally with impunity. 
The last time I checked Sydney’s official footpath protocols, random dancing was prohibited under Section 3C, sub-ruling 17i. 
There’s no doubt that, in the long term, bikes belong on on-road cycleways. But until that system becomes credible, prohibition will not stop foot-path cycling. So a code of conduct is required. 
So we’re already ditching the protocols? 
Something, perhaps, like this. Bikes will be tolerated on footpaths only where the road conditions are unsafe. Bikes must travel no faster than comfortable walking speed (say 5km/h) especially when overtaking pedestrians. They do not ‘tring’ peremptorily but hang back until passing is easy. They say thank you. Too much to ask? 
All of this could have been avoided if only Elizabeth had worn that poodle on her head, as usual.
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TWITTER FINDS A DOG

Tim Blair – Thursday, May 01, 2014 (11:02am)

James Morrow discovers a way to tame Twitter
How do you turn Twitter, which is universally acknowledged as a hateful time-wasting sewer with the collective IQ of dishwater and more trolls than an Icelandic bridge crossing, into an engine of sympathy and genius?
Simple. Just tell it your dog is missing. 
Do read on.
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FROM MOD SQUAD TO F-TROOP

Tim Blair – Thursday, May 01, 2014 (10:57am)

In 1973, Mod Squad star Michael Cole scandalised television viewers when he said “shit” during the Logies broadcast.
Times change. These days that word is more likely to be used as a description of the Logies broadcast, while other shows have moved on to more extreme terms.
For example, on the ABC’s Q & A last month guest Mona Eltahawy repeatedly used the word “f—k” in the sort of conversational way you might hear in a pub. “We are well and truly f—ked,” was Eltahawy’s concise summary of life in her Egyptian homeland.
Host Tony Jones didn’t seem to mind. Perhaps this points to a new ABC style guide, which should at least make future weather reports more interesting.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'FROM MOD SQUAD TO F-TROOP'
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THEY’RE ACTUALLY GOING TO DO THIS

Tim Blair – Thursday, May 01, 2014 (10:48am)

Labor yesterday announced it would start its own online news service, calling on party members to fund a $95,000 editor who would “write useful, interesting articles for the site on issues like cuts to pensions and the Commission of Audit.”
In an email to party members, ALP National Secretary George Wright said the Labor Herald would provide “handy facts, interesting articles and video.”
But the proposed news service immediately became a nationwide joke, with social media users ridiculing the concept by suggesting possible Labor Herald correspondents:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'THEY’RE ACTUALLY GOING TO DO THIS'
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ONLY THE BRAVE MAY VIEW

Tim Blair – Thursday, May 01, 2014 (10:06am)

Yesterday I asked the Daily Telegraph‘s John Tiedemann to draw promise-breaking Tony Abbott as Julia Gillard, in one of the ex-PM’s more celebrated moments. The result is disturbing and should be restricted from general publication.

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BOB HOSKINS

Tim Blair – Thursday, May 01, 2014 (9:24am)

Pennies from Heaven star Bob Hoskins has died at 71:

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Commission of audit: ending the age of entitlement

Andrew Bolt May 01 2014 (2:18pm)

No to the age of entitlement. Yes to that old Australia that prized self-reliance:
The ... National Commission of Audit ... calls on the Abbott government to retreat from health and education and other services to avoid duplication with the states while warning against the cost of new initiatives like the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which it seeks to delay by three years.
It sets out 10 major asset sales including short-term proposals to sell Snowy Hydro and Defence Housing Australia, along with long-term plans to sell Australia Post, the Royal Australian Mint and the Australian Rail Track Corporation…
Rejecting Mr Abbott’s signature paid parental leave policy in its current form, the audit commission calls for the payments to be capped at average earnings of about $57,500 a year.
This would limit payments to $28,000 for the wealthiest new parents, available to all with no means test, rather than Mr Abbott’s new limit of $50,000 announced in recent days.
Family Tax Benefit B, which goes to families with partners who do not work, would be abolished while Family Tax Benefit A would be drastically curtailed so the payments would start falling once a household exceeded $48,837 in annual income.
As revealed in The Australian today, the report calls for the family home to be included in the asset test that determines the size of the age pension.
The pension change would not take effect until 2027-28 and would only limit the payments to coupled pensioners with homes worth more than $750,000 in today’s dollars…
Treasurer Joe Hockey has already signalled an increase in the retirement age to 70 by 2029, compared with the commission’s suggestion of 2053.
Unemployment benefits would be taken away from young people aged 22 to 30 who do not have dependents or special exemptions and are not willing to relocate to “higher employment areas” after getting the benefits for 12 months…
Healthcare is a major target for reform in the audit report, which calls for a $15 co-payment on visits to GPs, compared with the government’s plan for a $6 charge, with the cost falling after 15 visits a year…
The audit report shows that government spending would rise to $690 billion by 2023-24, compared with $409 billion today in a “business as usual” scenario that is central to the claim — rejected by Labor — that the nation faces a “budget emergency” and must slash services.
There are no detailed costings of individual measures, with those on the commission arguing it is hard to be precise, but the full suite of 86 recommendations is estimated to produce savings of $60 billion to $70 billion by 2023-24.
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Gerry Adams arrested over IRA murder of widow

Andrew Bolt May 01 2014 (9:26am)

Good news:
Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams on Wednesday over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army’s 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of a Belfast widow…
Police long had been expected to question Adams about the killing of Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of 10 whom the IRA killed with a single gunshot to the head as an alleged spy…
“I believe that the killing of Jean McConville and the secret burial of her body was wrong and a grievous injustice to her and her family,” Adams said. “...I am innocent of any part in the abduction, killing or burial of Mrs. McConville."…
Adams was implicated in the killing by two IRA veterans, who gave taped interviews to researchers for a Boston College history archive on the four-decade Northern Ireland conflict. Belfast police waged a two-year legal fight in the United States to acquire the interviews, parts of which already were published after the 2008 death of one IRA interviewee, Brendan Hughes… [T]he second IRA interviewee, Dolours Price, ... died last year.
Both Hughes and Price agreed to be interviewed on condition that their contents were kept confidential until their deaths.
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A broken promise could break Abbott

Andrew Bolt May 01 2014 (9:16am)

Politics - federal

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TONY Abbott wants to break a promise, after all. But his deficit tax would break the wrong one and risk killing his Government. 

The Prime Minister before the election promised “tax cuts without new taxes”.
That’s good. But he also promised a six-month parental leave scheme that’s wildly generous, even after maximum payments were cut this week from $75,000 to $50,000.
Now, having to fix Labor’s financial disaster, Abbott seems to have decided one promise must go.
But wait. Why is Abbott planning a new tax that will be jeered when he could instead scrap his $5 billion leave scheme — hated even by many Liberals — and be cheered?
Why is Abbott planning a new tax that the Senate would likely block when he could scrap a parental leave scheme the Senate may not pass either? Why create a second Senate headache when he could save himself both?
But why is Abbott thinking about breaking any promise at all?
The answer is depressingly simple.
(Read full column here.
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Not all broken promises are bad

Andrew Bolt May 01 2014 (9:08am)

Reader mozza sums up:
The difference between Ms Gillard and Tony Abbott? Ms Gillard broke a promise she should have kept. Mr Abbott must break at least one promise he should never have made. Nothing could be simpler.
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Savva, Sheridan and Kennett: the case for the deficit levy

Andrew Bolt May 01 2014 (8:59am)

Niki Savva says Tony Abbott should not have promised so much, but has no option now but to break his promise and impose a deficit tax:
This will be vital to the integrity of the budget as an equity measure — given the Medicare co-payment, and mooted changes to welfare and pensions — as well as a revenue raiser.
Unpalatable as it may be, as unpopular as it inevitably will be, it will happen. It must…
“We have to be able to look pensioners and low-income earners in the eye and say everybody will be making a contribution,” one senior source said…
Trust has always been an issue. It is not more important now than it was. That short-term pain for long-term gain applies as much to the government as it does to voters, who ultimately pay on results. The government will not be rewarded for standing by every word of every pledge if it fails to fix what is wrong.
I may differ with Niki on the importance of keeping promises, but totally agree on this:
Bill Shorten deepens the rot at the heart of the Labor Party by ratting on two prime ministers, serving in an outfit that wastes billions, fails to keep its word, leaves deficits of epic proportions, then refuses to accept or admit responsibility for what ails the party and the economy.
Labor’s response to the Government’s attempts to fix what Labor smashed is grotesque. It pretends there isn’t a Budget problem or, if there is, it’s created by Abbott. It blocks savings it once promised and fights tax rises. It is peddling poison to voters - a fantasy that there is no Budget crisis and nothing worth doing to fix it.  It is like the captain of the Korean Sewol ferry.
UPDATE
Greg Sheridan agrees with Niki:
Our gross government debt, at $360 billion, is more than 22 per cent of GDP. This is modest by some international comparisons, but we have jumped into that debt at an astonishing and alarming rate, and the debt is rising rapidly. In one year, from 2011 to 2012, we nearly doubled our net debt. Yet there was no net debt when Labor came to office in 2007…

The Abbott government is telling us with maximum honesty that we face a serious and growing budget crisis that is immediate and long-term… Already, because of the debt incurred under Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, we pay $12bn a year in interest on government debt… At $12bn, interest payments are more than twice our aid budget, nearly half our defence budget. Is it progressive to let that debt payment rise to $20bn or $30bn?…
Abbott should not have promised in opposition to maintain spending in so many areas, but he is going to make a start now…
But he also may share the sacrifice by imposing a temporary levy on high-income earners.
Jeff Kennett:
So here we are in a country which has ... a massive debt and the levers that should be available to our government today are simply not available because they themselves have withdrawn them. So you tonight talk about backflips, others will talk about broken promises, which mean the chances of there being a very short, sharp fix to the deficit - not the debt, but the deficit - is less likely to occur and therefore the pain over the years ahead will be extended because no-one’s got the courage to do what’s required right now…
[T]he last people who should be criticising is the Labor Party. They created this mess…
[W]hat’s more important? A backflip, a broken promise or the country’s long-term interest?
UPDATE
This tax is more to sell the cuts than fix the deficit - although it will help there, too:

The Commission of Audit today will recommend deep cuts across the government but won’t advocate an increase in income tax…
Mr Abbott is being pulverised for breaking a no-new-tax promise and people close to him counselled the government may still drop the tax hike plan and opt for another solution.
UPDATE
I doubt the deficit tax will be dropped:
Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, hit the phones on Wednesday to explain the proposal telling backbench MPs it was not a “new tax” but merely an increase in existing taxes and temporary at that.
They told the MPs it was not being done for fun but to restore the fiscal balance and could be fully justified to voters as the best way of ensuring that not all of the burden of restoring the budget is left on the shoulders of welfare recipients, and the low paid.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann effectively confirms there will be a deficit tax:
We’re not doing any of this out of fun. We’re not doing any of this, we are not considering any of these measures because it gives us any pleasure. We’re doing it because in our judgement we need to consider some of these things to strengthen the country…
[I]f we went to repair the budget and if we think that we need to make a special immediate effort before structural savings can properly kick in, then there’s two ways that you can do it: You can cut spending, or you can increase your revenue.
Now, in terms of cutting spending, that necessarily is targeted at those that receive government payments…
Now if we were to do as Bill Shorten appears to be suggesting, and that is exclusively focus on spending, then what he really is asking us to do is to force lower income families to carry the whole burden of the budget repair job ahead of us....
Now, higher income earners, the only we can effectively insure that higher income earners carry their fair share of the burden is through well targeted, time limited measures through the tax system. 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Living overseas off a bad back

Andrew Bolt May 01 2014 (8:48am)

This is how some people use the taxes taken off me?
...7313 disability support pensioners are living overseas, costing $99.9 million a year.
The most popular destination is Greece, where 1242 live; Turkey has 849…
Social Service Minister Kevin Andrews said he was seeking clarification on the residency requirements for such pensioners… The Federal Government now disallows the pension for those who are overseas for more than six weeks…
Michael Urdzal kept his disability pension despite living in Bali for almost nine years and returning on day trips for Centrelink appointments.
The AAT ruled last month that although he was not an Australian resident, he was entitled to the pension because of the severity of his disability
Paul Ray, who’s travelled to Bali 18 times since being granted a disability pension in 2003, and who has started a family there, also successfully appealed against a departmental move to strip him of the pension over breaching residency requirements.
Mr Ray, who grew up in Port Melbourne, told the tribunal he suffered a back injury in a car accident in the late 1980s and his doctors had suggested a warmer climate would provide some relief.
(Thanks to reader CA.) 
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Greens against a higher tax on the rich because Abbott proposed it

Andrew Bolt May 01 2014 (8:25am)

The hypocrisy of the Greens - and their AbbottAbbottAbbott hatred - is astonishing.
Two years ago Greens leader Christine Milne suggested an increase in the top tax rate:

TAX is not a dirty word. A suite of ... proposals (including) a fair increase in the top marginal tax rate for millionaires to 50 per cent could raise many billions more.
Two months ago Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt demanded the rich pay more tax:
I’m sick of billionaires telling us that the only way we can make ends meet in the country is if ordinary people pay more and people like Gina Rinehart herself pay less.
The government’s revenue is decreasing and it’s threatening our ability to fund the services Australians expect. We’ve got two choices: we can either say people like Gina Rinehart ought to pay a fairer share, or we can start cutting back on health and on schools.... Australia, comparatively, is now taxing at a relatively low rate, certainly lower than what it used to. And even if we just increased tax back to where it was under John Howard - hardly a radical move - we would be in a much better position to afford healthcare that people deserve and to afford schools ...
But now that Tony Abbott indeed proposes a new tax on the rich, the Greens are against:
I’M not prepared to support a deficit levy of this kind.
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Leave the fight against racism to the people, not the police

Andrew Bolt May 01 2014 (8:08am)

Free speech

PAUL Weston quoted Winston Churchill on Islam outside a town hall last weekend and was arrested for being offensive. That was in Britain, which has laws against free speech as stupid as our own. 

Meanwhile, Donald Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers basketball team, was taped ordering his girlfriend not to bring black people to his games. No one arrested him and no one could. That was in the US, home of free speech, which has no law as restrictive as our Racial Discrimination Act.
Now decide which country is healthier. But wait — don’t give in to our enthusiasm for banning stuff until you hear what happened to Sterling.
That enthusiasm is exactly what got Weston arrested as he read aloud from Churchill’s The River War, about a war in Sudan in which Churchill served. Parts of the book sound strong now we’re so proudly multicultural that we fear a rude word might cause a race riot.
But they appealed to Weston, chairman of the nationalist Liberty GB party, who quoted Churchill’s dim view of Islam.
(Read full article here.) 
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We shouldn’t pay pensioners to keep their mansions

Andrew Bolt May 01 2014 (7:33am)

Of course the family home must be considered in pension assets tests:
In a deeply controversial finding, the [Abbott Government’s audit] commission identifies billions of dollars in savings from including the family home in the eligibility test for the age pension, arguing it is unfair for ordinary workers to subsidise pensions for the wealthy.
The Australian has learned that senior ministers have already dismissed the idea of including the family home in the assets test as politically impossible, forcing them to search for savings and revenue measures elsewhere.
Why should taxpayers fork out pensions to people living in mansions? Or if we must, then at the very least give the taxpayers equity in the house, to be recovered on its sale or the death of the pensioner.
UPDATE
Another Budget time-bomb left by Labor:
THE Coalition’s Commission of Audit will today recommend the Abbott government cap the cost of the national disability insurance scheme and slow down the timetable for its full rollout to control its ballooning cost to the federal budget. 

The recommendations come after Amanda Vanstone, one of the authors of the Commission of Audit’s report, which will be unveiled today, told a political breakfast yesterday that the designers of the scheme were “criminally negligent” and its costs were out of control.
(Thanks to reader PaulC.) 
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A refugee program should not import danger

Andrew Bolt May 01 2014 (7:22am)

In Melbourne yet another brawl involving members of this new immigrant group, largely brought out here as refugees for safety:
A vicious brawl involving up to 40 African men in Docklands has been caught on security cameras.
One man was stabbed to the face with a fork and another was hospitalised with head and spinal injuries.
The fight erupted after the group stepped off a boat cruise in Central Pier.
Examples of previous brawls in Melbourne here and here.
I am not certain aspects of our immigration and refugee policies are working to the advantage of Australians. 
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I just want them to be competent. 
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Jerusalem, Israel
"I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, And give Him no rest till He establishes And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth."
Isaiah 62:6-7
 
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June 8, 1961 - The world was introduced to the voice of Marvin Gaye with his debut album: The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye.
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Oysters tenaciously attach to a ROCK larger than themselves. Then no punishing wave or violent storm can sweep them away.
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An old man was going for a walk on the beach, when he noticed a little boy feeding a thin, shaggy looking dog with bits of bread.

He went up to the boy and asked him why he was sharing his bread with the dogs.

The little boy answered, "Because they have nothing. No home, no family, and if I don’t feed them they will die."

“But there are homeless dogs everywhere," the old man replied. “So your efforts don’t really make a difference”

The little boy looked at the dog and stroked him. “But for him, for this little dog, it makes all the difference in the world.”

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1911 - Puck Magazine - "Senatorial Courtesy": Illustration shows Uncle Sam standing behind a group of legislators and businessmen who are bowing before a large hog labeled "Greed" with its front feet in a trough labeled "Wall Street".
Caption: "Those who know the term but not its meaning may find enlightenment above."
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Same kind of misleading statements said my energy bill would rise less than 1% if I chose renewable energy .. ed
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Spectacular new images from a NASA spacecraft orbiting Saturn have captured the most detailed views ever of an enormous hurricane churning around the ringed planet's north pole. See more images and a great video that explains the vortex here: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/4jql
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Philociraptor wisdom at its finest
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This week's blog isn’t a nursery rhyme you’ll want to tell the kids: http://www.corybernardi.com/2013/05/old-mother-hubbard.html
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Thank God Ninos Khoshaba didn't get his way with the former compromised motion, the motion, which was passed by the NSW Parliament reads as follows: 

Whereas the NSW Parliament passed a motion in 1997 recognising and condemning the Genocide of the Armenians, this House recognises that Assyrians and Greeks were subjected to qualitatively similar genocides by the then Ottoman Government between 1914 -- 1923: and

(a) joins the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks communities of New South Wales in honouring the memory of the innocent men, women and children who fell victim to the first modern genocides;

(b) condemns the genocides of the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks, and all other acts of genocide as the ultimate act of intolerance;

(c) recognises the importance of remembering and learning from such dark chapters in human history to ensure that such crimes against humanity are not allowed to be repeated;

(d) condemns and prevents all attempts to use the passage of time to deny or distort the historical truth of the genocides of the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks, and other acts of genocide;

(e) recalls the testimonies of ANZAC prisoners-of-war and other servicemen who were witness to the genocides of the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks;

(f) recalls the testimonies of ANZAC servicemen who rescued Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks genocide survivors;

(g) acknowledges the significant humanitarian relief contribution made by the people of New South Wales to the victims and survivors of the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks; and

(h) calls on the Commonwealth Government to condemn the genocides of the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks.

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May 1International Workers' DayBeltane in Ireland and Scotland;Law DayLoyalty Day, and National Day of Prayer in the United States (2014)
Stephen BáthoryAnna Jagiellon
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“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” -Ephesians 4:15
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"And all the children of Israel murmured."
Numbers 14:2
There are murmurers amongst Christians now, as there were in the camp of Israel of old. There are those who, when the rod falls, cry out against the afflictive dispensation. They ask, "Why am I thus afflicted? What have I done to be chastened in this manner?" A word with thee, O murmurer! Why shouldst thou murmur against the dispensations of thy heavenly Father? Can he treat thee more hardly than thou deservest? Consider what a rebel thou wast once, but he has pardoned thee! Surely, if he in his wisdom sees fit now to chasten thee, thou shouldst not complain. After all, art thou smitten as hardly as thy sins deserve? Consider the corruption which is in thy breast, and then wilt thou wonder that there needs so much of the rod to fetch it out? Weigh thyself, and discern how much dross is mingled with thy gold; and dost thou think the fire too hot to purge away so much dross as thou hast? Does not that proud rebellious spirit of thine prove that thy heart is not thoroughly sanctified? Are not those murmuring words contrary to the holy submissive nature of God's children? Is not the correction needed? But if thou wilt murmur against the chastening, take heed, for it will go hard with murmurers. God always chastises his children twice, if they do not bear the first stroke patiently. But know one thing--"He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men." All his corrections are sent in love, to purify thee, and to draw thee nearer to himself. Surely it must help thee to bear the chastening with resignation if thou art able to recognize thy Father's hand. For "whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons." "Murmur not as some of them also murmured and were destroyed of the destroyer."

Evening

"How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God."
Psalm 139:17
Divine omniscience affords no comfort to the ungodly mind, but to the child of God it overflows with consolation. God is always thinking upon us, never turns aside his mind from us, has us always before his eyes; and this is precisely as we would have it, for it would be dreadful to exist for a moment beyond the observation of our heavenly Father. His thoughts are always tender, loving, wise, prudent, far-reaching, and they bring to us countless benefits: hence it is a choice delight to remember them. The Lord always did think upon his people: hence their election and the covenant of grace by which their salvation is secured; he always will think upon them: hence their final perseverance by which they shall be brought safely to their final rest. In all our wanderings the watchful glance of the Eternal Watcher is evermore fixed upon us--we never roam beyond the Shepherd's eye. In our sorrows he observes us incessantly, and not a pang escapes him; in our toils he marks all our weariness, and writes in his book all the struggles of his faithful ones. These thoughts of the Lord encompass us in all our paths, and penetrate the innermost region of our being. Not a nerve or tissue, valve or vessel, of our bodily organization is uncared for; all the littles of our little world are thought upon by the great God.
Dear reader, is this precious to you? then hold to it. Never be led astray by those philosophic fools who preach up an impersonal God, and talk of self-existent, self-governing matter. The Lord liveth and thinketh upon us, this is a truth far too precious for us to be lightly robbed of it. The notice of a nobleman is valued so highly that he who has it counts his fortune made; but what is it to be thought of by the King of kings! If the Lord thinketh upon us, all is well, and we may rejoice evermore.
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Today's reading: 1 Kings 8-9, Luke 21:1-19 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Kings 8-9

The Ark Brought to the Temple
1 Then King Solomon summoned into his presence at Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the LORD's covenant from Zion, the City of David. 2 All the Israelites came together to King Solomon at the time of the festival in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month.
3 When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark, 4 and they brought up the ark of the LORD and the tent of meeting and all the sacred furnishings in it. The priests and Levites carried them up, 5 and King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 21:1-19

The Widow's Offering
1 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. "Truly I tell you," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."
The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times
5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 "As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down...."
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Knowing Him - An Easter Devotional
Hello, friend!
I was blessed to have so many people like yourself follow along with the Knowing Him Easter devotional—and blessed to read so many of your comments at thebrooknetwork.org.
But this email list will come to a close now because the Easter devotional is over.
But I'm thrilled to be able to collaborate with Bible Gateway in offering you a brand new weekly devotional called "Everything New." In Revelation 21:5 Jesus says: "I am making everything new!"
Every person I know wants something to be new in his or her life. A new beginning. A fresh start. But how does Jesus make marriages new? Attitudes new? Relationships new? Jobs new? Families new? Hearts new?
How about churches made new? Workplaces made new? Culture made new?
If you'd like to receive this once-a-week devotional from me at the start of your week, you must sign up for the "Everything New" devotional here. You will not receive it otherwise.
I hope you will!
Blessings,
Mel Lawrenz
P.S. I know there are people in your life who need the God who makes all things new. Please consider telling them about this, or just forward them this email with a word of friendly encouragement.
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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