Monday, December 08, 2014

Mon Dec 8th Todays News

A great thing about China becoming wealthy is that their rich and middle class that rely on efficient markets are not going to tolerate corrupt interference from the communist state. They will force reform, and bring the administration towards working for China's national interests. Not by stealing foreign land, but by commerce. But, consider the changing of the guard that has the US being placed second in their economy to China in the world. The last time that was the case, US Grant was President. Highly criticised as a President, US Grant nonetheless oversaw a US economy on the ascendant. Obama promised Change, and this impressive statistic won't be the only record of his Presidency.

Australia has a similar leader of a political party as Obama, Bill Shorten is leader of the ALP and in opposition to the government. Shorten has not got a policy or vision of Australia as a nation. Shorten is a lawyer and union hack who has a faulty memory which reliably protects him from charges of corruption. He cannot be trusted and has backflipped to remove previous ALP leaders while climbing the greasy pole of ambition. Shorten opposes policy like maternity leave for working women. He opposed the baby bonus which was to provide a kind of maternity leave for poor women too. One guesses he doesn't like women he doesn't sleep with and hates their families too. He is also popular with the partisan press.

There are reasons why the ALP is popular when it is shown to be corrupt and inept. When the conservative parties lean to the left. Conservative parties cannot lean far enough to the left to attract votes, ever. Neither should they. All they need do is assert a conservative vision which offer competence and growth. But South Australian conservatives have abandoned conservatism in embracing populist, feel good items that promote minorities at the expense of cultural assets. So SA Liberals lurch to left and lose a heartland seat.

Asked to cut 5%, ABC management panics and cuts their regional services. Only the regional services are the only reason for ABC being, it isn't a commercial venture, but something requiring government funds to operate. It turns out the plans to drop regional service predated the cuts. But now ABC personnel are facing the chop and panicking. Some hysterically call the ABC's process for culling employees similar to the Hunger Games. The panicking staff are striking. The over paid presenters, however, while their colleagues strike, are on paid annual leave.

Mr Howard was correct to call out Cate Blanchett over her overblown oratory for Whitlam's funeral. She lied about free education. Education is not free. Somebody pays for it. Whitlam's bad policy was unaffordable and did not last. Blanchett claimed that such poverty inducing failure was laudable. Mr Howard has corrected her.

Mr Abbott mentioned in interview when presented with polls showing his government was not popular that Prime Minister Howard, President Reagan and Prime Minister (UK) Margaret Thatcher all struggled early in polls. Mr Abbott's point is that those three administrations were all long and effective. However, the partisan press have run with Mr Abbott's words meaning that he compared himself favourably with those three. As if Mr Abbott was, as a person, like Howard, Reagan and Thatcher. Mr Abbott did not claim what was reported, he is a gracious man and humble and those partisans who abuse him are beneath contempt.

Mars curiosities appear as an image in a smooth expanse shows a different terrain in the shape of a circle. The geological formation is curious, and some tin hatted peoples are saying it is unnatural. What unnatural thing could it be? A galactic USB port? An iPhone recharger? LBJ's nuclear activation button? Here at the conservative voice, we welcome suggestions as to what it is. 

Historical perspectives on this day
In 395, Later Yan was defeated by its former vassal Northern Wei at the Battle of Canhe Slope. In 757, Du Fu returned to Chang'an as a member of Emperor Xuanzong's court, after having escaped the city during the An Lushan Rebellion. In 1432, the first battle between the forces of Švitrigaila and Sigismund Kęstutaitis was fought near the town of Oszmiana (Ashmyany), launching the most active phase of the Lithuanian Civil War. In 1560, the city of Guarulhos is founded. In 1596, Luis de Carabajal the younger, one of the first Jewish authors in the Americas, died in an auto-da-fé during the Spanish Inquisition in Mexico City. In 1660, a woman (either Margaret Hughes or Anne Marshall) appeared on an English public stage for the first time, in the role of Desdemona in a production of Shakespeare's play Othello.

In 1813, premier of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. In 1854, in his Apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogmatic definition of Immaculate Conception, which holds that the Virgin Mary was conceived free of original sin. In 1907, King Gustaf V of Sweden acceded to the Swedish throne. In 1912, leaders of the German Empire held an Imperial War Council to discuss the possibility that war might break out. In 1914, World War I: A squadron of Britain's Royal Navy defeated an inferior squadron of the Imperial German High Seas Fleet in the Battle of the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. In 1927, the Brookings Institution, one of the United States' oldest think tanks, was founded through the merger of three organizations that had been created by philanthropist Robert S. Brookings. In 1941, World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 7 to be "a date which will live in infamy", after which the U.S. declared war on Japan. Also, World War II: Japanese forces simultaneously invade Malaya, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and the Dutch East Indies. (See December 7 for the concurrent attack on Pearl Harbor in the Western Hemisphere.) In 1949, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East was established to provide aid to Palestinian refugees who left their homes during the 1948 Palestinian exodus.

In 1953, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his "Atoms for Peace" speech, which led to an American program to supply equipment and information on nuclear power to schools, hospitals, and research institutions around the world. In 1962, workers at four New York City newspapers (this later increases to nine) went on strike for 114 days. In 1963, Pan Am Flight 214, a Boeing 707, was struck by lightning and crashed near Elkton, Maryland, killing all 81 people on board. In 1966, the Greek ship SS Heraklion sank in a storm in the Aegean Sea, killing over 200. In 1969, an Olympic Airways Douglas DC-6 struck a mountain outside of Keratea, Greece, killing 90—the worst crash of a DC-6. In 1971, Indo-Pakistani War: The Indian Navy launched an attack on West Pakistan's port city of Karachi. In 1972, United Airlines Flight 553, a Boeing 737, crashed after aborting its landing attempt at Chicago Midway International Airport, killing 45. The crash was the first-ever loss of a Boeing 737. In 1974, a plebiscite resulted in the abolition of monarchy in Greece.

In 1980, John Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman in front of The Dakota in New York City. In 1982, in Suriname, several opponents of the military government were killed. In 1987, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed. Also, Frank Vitkovic shot and killed eight people at the Australia Post building in Melbourne, before jumping to his death. Also, the Alianza Lima air disaster occurred. Also, an Israeli army tank transporter killed four Palestinian refugees and injured seven others during a traffic accident at the Erez Crossing on the Israel–Gaza Strip border, sparking the First Intifada. In 1988, a United States Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II crashed into an apartment complex in Remscheid, Germany, killing 5 people and injuring 50 others. In 1991, the leaders of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine signed an agreement dissolving the Soviet Union and establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States. Also, the Romanian Constitution was adopted in a referendum. In 1998, Eighty-one people were killed by armed groups in Algeria. In 2004, the Cusco Declaration was signed in Cusco, Peru, establishing the South American Community of Nations. In 2007, three unidentified gunmen stormed an office of Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party in Balochistan. Three PPP supporters were killed. In 2009, Bombings in Baghdad, Iraq, killed 127 and injured 448. In 2010, with the second launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 and the first launch of the SpaceX Dragon, SpaceX became the first private company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft. Also, the Japanese solar-sail spacecraft IKAROS passed the planet Venus at a distance of about 80,800 km.
Soon, responsible adults in government will deliver a shock to ABC followers who are unaware that Slush funds have been used to embezzle the nations poorest workers, exploited by senior ALP members. The full extent of the corruption is not yet known. In all likelihood, Fair Work will have to be restructured. I feel a Fair Work VP like Graham Watson should be promoted to oversee the full operations. He has an ALP profile, but is independent having done excellent work in the past with Costello on the Dockside workers. I don't have inside information on him (he is a cousin of mine) but I do know neither Gillard nor Rudd did him any favours. 

Those that are badly abused for being conservative can't reply the same way. They just have to be better than their opponents. The result can sometimes be startling, as when Red Kerry took out Rudd's glass jaw with a simple question. Gillard subsequently rolled Rudd .. and the rest is history. Red Kerry stepped away from the 7:30 report. Still, the 7:30 report has not improved. But getting back to the point, the best way to deal with abuse is to be competent. Heckling can be destabilising and should never be encouraged. The demolition of Premier Nick Greiner is a shining example of how heckling can succeed to damage much. Hot heads are wanting to advise Mr Abbott. Better to allow Mr Abbott to do what is right. 

$6 billion did little to reduce Australia's production of plant food. Eiffel tower is beautiful, but the light tribute to Mandela has not yet happened. One suspects that a computer game will not overthrow capitalism, but cashed up developers are welcome to try. Just don't label it educational. Obama has now ruled it is legal to hunt endangered birds with a wind mill. Fairfax stereotypes the image of a female. ABC pays a woman less than any man. Lefties use children as fodder for marketing. Fairfax targets a female conservative with misogynistic heckling campaign. 

Friendly reminder. This is a discussion page, not a shared anger site. We argue ideas and politely disagree by providing substance. I note some have recently taken to posting abusive style material from ADL type sites. It is ok for you to hold those opinions, but the unsubstantiated abuse they spread isn't helpful for discussion. Before posting an item that states that Presbyterians are raping Martian Women because of their religious beliefs, ask yourself if you are posting something that is verifiable or merely outraged opinion. It will save me from having to direct my team to delete it .. and you.

Presbyterian youths aren't used to Martian customs .. they view their summer dress as a cat views its' dinner .. .. and yet they live among Martians, enjoying their lifestyle and income when it suits them, then go off to fight in Presbyterian wars that Martians have nothing to do with. There are basically two types of Presbyterians. One type believes in spiritual matters in which their central prophet will one day be restored to them, the other believe in very little, but are pragmatic in decision making. The spiritualists are more numerous around the world. The pragmatists tend to be excellent dictators in the fascist mould. I note some Martians praise some Presbyterians. "They don't kill many of us. The others are worse." Some say the US President was raised and remains a Presbyterian. Although there is pictorial evidence and a ghost written biography, most Martians feel he is really an apostate with atheist tendencies .. which is a perfect description for most Presbyterians who scuff Pork rolls, drink liquor and generally carouse with opposite gender animals they call pets when their youthful males aren't buggering each other. 

This column welcomes feedback and criticism. The column is not made up but based on the days events and articles which are then placed in the feed. So they may not have an apparent cohesion they would have had were they made up.
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

Or the US President at
or or

Mr Ball, I will not sign your petition as it will do no good, but I will share your message and ask as many of friends who read it, to share it also. Let us see if we cannot use the power of the internet to spread the word of these infamous killings. As a father and a former soldier, I cannot, could not, justify ignoring this appalling action by the perpetrators, whoever they may; I thank you Douglas. You are wrong about the petition. Signing it is as worthless and meaningless an act as voting. A stand up guy would know that. - ed

Lorraine Allen Hider I signed the petition ages ago David, with pleasure, nobody knows what it's like until they've been there. Keep heart David take care.

I have begun a bulletin board (http://theconservativevoice.freeforums.netwhich will allow greater latitude for members to post and interact. It is not subject to FB policy and so greater range is allowed in posts. Also there are private members rooms in which nothing is censored, except abuse. All welcome, registration is free.

Happy birthday and many happy returns to those born on this day, including
December 8Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Roman Catholic Church); Bodhi Day in Japan
John Lennon and Yoko Ono
You are first in battle. You are free. You make Hong Kong your own. You imagine. You are revealed. Let us party. 


Tim Blair – Monday, December 08, 2014 (12:23pm)

A moment of considerable global import occurred last week, to little or no notice. Brett Arends, from the US site MarketWatchreports
There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it: We’re no longer No. 1. Today, we’re No. 2. Yes, it’s official. The Chinese economy just overtook the United States economy to become the largest in the world. For the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president, America is not the leading economic power on the planet. 
That’s President Barack Obama’s legacy, right there. He’s overseen a national decline that has taken the US – in comparative terms – back to the days of Grant, who occupied the White House during the post-Civil War years from 1869 to 1877. When Obama promised change, this may not have been what his fans expected.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'LITTLE TROUBLE IN BIG CHINA'


Tim Blair – Monday, December 08, 2014 (11:31am)

Bring it on
ABC management is bracing for a possible strike before Christmas as the journalists’ union says it is not ruling out industrial action over forced redundancies.
As staff revolt over up to 300 forced redundancies and the digital direction taken by ABC management, Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance national secretary Christopher Warren said strikes were an option.
“There’s nothing planned or intended but we’re not ruling out industrial action,” he said. 
Please, go right ahead. One small problem: many of the ABC’s high-profile personalities are already on holidays. And how would it be possible to tell if Radio National’s notoriously workshy yoga chickens were on strike or just putting in their usual effort? 
ABC staff have compared the redundancy process to Hollywood movie The Hunger Games, in which contestants participate in a brutal fight to the death until only one remains …
Outgoing 7.30 host Quentin Dempster said these methods were not the right way to downsize the ABC.
“Any survivors of hunger games will be resentful and demotivated,” he said. 
Considering Dempster’s previous workload, he might not be the best person to speak to about strikes. He basically got paid $300,000 per year to be on one. 


Tim Blair – Monday, December 08, 2014 (10:14am)

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting around with a mate, not talking about anything in particular, when suddenly he turned uncharacteristically serious. “I’m turning into a …” he began, in a tone that suggested the next word might be woman, or even werewolf.
Composing himself, he finished the sentence. “I’m turning into a … weather nerd.” 

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'NICE WEATHER WE’VE BEEN HAVING'

Why are green carpetbaggers allowed to sponsor climate reporters in The Age?

Andrew Bolt December 08 2014 (7:59pm)

Once again, a completely unacceptable sponsorship of the news in The Age by deeply vested interests.
The Clean Energy Council, representing green businesses which profit from the global warming scare, gives a prize to a warmist reporter and then sponsors his trip to the Lima climate change conference, which he then reports on for The Age. Today’s report from Marcus Priest:
Lima conference: Stern pushes for new climate agreement to be not legally binding

The author of the ground-breaking 2006 Stern Report into the economics of global warming is backing a push by the United States to ensure a new global climate agreement is not legally binding…
And this disclaimer, which should actually be a disqualifier:
Marcus Priest was flown to Lima by the Clean Energy Council as the winner of its 2013 media award.
Would The Age think it acceptable if News Corp’s reporter at the talks was someone who’d been given a prize and an air fare by Big Oil? 

Australia wins Darwin Award

Andrew Bolt December 08 2014 (6:37pm)


Bad poll for Liberals, but not hopeless

Andrew Bolt December 08 2014 (8:29am)

The problem is severe, but the Fairfax poll could have been a whole lot worse for the Liberals after this ragged end. It’s still not lost - if there’s change:
At least Clive Palmer is crashing to earth.   

Liberals set to lose battle for heartland SA seat

Andrew Bolt December 08 2014 (8:17am)

The Liberal brand everywhere is on the nose - in part because there actually is no brand. Now the South Australian Liberals look likely to lose a seat in what should be their heartland:

SENIOR Liberal MPs concede a horror fortnight federally — and particularly the Defence Minister’s insult to the nation’s South Australian-based shipbuilder and its workers — was “largely” to blame for the state party’s disappointing result in the Fisher by-election

Labor is poised to take the southern suburbs seat, and with it majority Government, in a result that has surprised all sides of politics.

Labor campaigned hard on federal issues, including the comment by Defence Minister David Johnston less than a fortnight out from the poll that he did not trust Adelaide-based, Government-owned shipbuilder ASC “to build a canoe”.
Senior Liberals say the insult was damaging, lacked empathy and offended voters in an electorate deeply concerned about jobs.
I wouldn’t doubt for a second the federal influences. But explain to me the SA Liberal strategy of being even more Left-wing than Labor. One example from last week:
Members of the stolen generation could be compensated without going through the courts under a bill passed by South Australia’s upper house.
The bill, put forward by Liberal MLC Terry Stephens and supported by crossbenchers, would provide eligible members of the stolen generation with ex-gratia payments of up to $50,000.
Handing out compensation without requiring proof? Even Labor hasn’t ticked off on this. 

How losing Victoria could help save Abbott

Andrew Bolt December 08 2014 (8:01am)

THE Liberals’ humiliating loss of Victoria could help save Prime Minister Tony Abbott after all. 

All Abbott need do is become friends with new Premier Dan Andrews. Oh, and give him
$3 billion.
That’s the $3 billion Abbott promised Victoria before the election for the East West Link that the former Liberal government wanted to build and Labor promised not to.
Abbott says he won’t hand over the cash unless Andrews breaks that promise. It was for this massive road project or nothing, just like the Prime Minister said before the election.
I’d think again and, indeed, there are signs Treasurer Joe Hockey agrees with that.
(Read full article here.) 

Replace Joe Hockey? The three candidates considered

Andrew Bolt December 08 2014 (7:59am)

TONY Abbott doesn’t want to replace Joe Hockey as Treasurer. It would admit defeat and cause instability.
But what if the Prime Minister finally concluded the media attacks on Hockey, some unfair, gave him no choice, despite the Treasurer’s undoubted potential?
Many in the media (and their anonymous Liberal sources) say the obvious replacement is Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
(Read full column here.) 

Howard corrects Blanchett’s funeral ode

Andrew Bolt December 08 2014 (7:53am)

Time more conservatives followed John Howard’s lead and called out the poseurs who hijacked even funerals to deliver political spin:
FORMER prime minister John Howard has hit out at Australian actor Cate Blanchett, labelling her speech at Gough Whitlam’s funeral as “outrageous"…
“I am the beneficiary of free, tertiary education,” Blanchett said. “When I went to university, I could explore different courses and engage with the student union in extra-curricular activity. It was through that that I discovered acting.”
Mr Howard said Blanchett was a fine actor, but was wrong.
“That speech of Cate Blanchett’s was outrageous,” he said. “Cate Blanchett is a talented actor, I admire her talent, but to suggest that Whitlam introduced free university education is wrong.
“I went to Sydney University between 1957 and 1961, I didn’t get a good enough leaving pass to win a Commonwealth scholarship, but I did well enough at the end of my first-year law exams to win a scholarship from somebody who lost theirs for not doing well enough… The last three years of my university education were completely free and that was 11 years before Whitlam came to power...”
Mr Howard said 70 per cent of people in universities before 1972 had their fees covered by Commonwealth scholarships.
And, of course, Blanchett actually had to pay fees for studying acting at NIDA, thanks the Hawke Labor Government.  



















=== Posts from last year  ===

ABC audience in for a shock

Piers Akerman – Sunday, December 08, 2013 (1:19am)

EXPECT astonishment from the ABC’s vast national audience when the federal government places trade-union slush funds front-and-centre of a major inquiry in the New Year.
The rusted-on viewers and listeners will be bewildered because the taxpayer-funded state-owned broadcaster has imposed a regimen of strict censorship on the key element in the inquiry - the misuse of money from the AWU association which was established with the assistance of legal advice from former Prime Minister Julia Gillard when she was a partner in the Victorian Labor law firm Slater & Gordon.
Those who don’t take their news solely from the ABC would be well aware that the Victorian police are conducting a major inquiry into Ms Gillard’s role in the establishment of the Australian Workers’ Union Workplace Reform Association by her then boyfriend, Bruce Wilson and his AWU mate Ralph Blewitt in 1992.
Early last week, The Australian newspaper revealed that Fair Work Commissioner and former AWU boss Ian Cambridge has given sworn evidence of “gross irregularities” in the union slush fund that Ms Gillard advised on.
Wilson, who was in a long-term relationship with Ms Gillard in the 1990s is the target of a police investigation and Victorian fraud squad detectives have already seized files from Slater & Gordon, files which Wilson claims should be subject to client-lawyer privilege.
The detectives are seeking to establish whether the documents were created in furtherance of a fraud, which would render void the privilege claim and make them available as evidence.
The court heard Mr Cambridge had provided “substantial evidence” in his affidavit about misappropriation of union funds by Ms Gillard.
Lawyer Ron Gipp, representing lead fraud squad detective Ross Mitchell, said Mr Cambridge’s evidence “puts it beyond any doubt” that there were “gross irregularities” in the funding of the association, which Ms Gillard referred to as a “slush fund” in an exit interview before she left Slater & Gordon.
He said statements from Mr Blewitt - “essentially a full confession by a co-accused” - describe the slush fund as a “scam”.
Ms Gillard has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and said she had no knowledge of the fund’s operations other than it was a “slush fund” for the re-election of union officials.
Money from the fund was used to purchase the Fitzroy house in Mr Blewitt’s name at a 1993 auction, which Ms Gillard attended with Mr Wilson, who subsequently lived in the property.
Slater & Gordon handled the conveyancing and helped provide finance.
That’s the background for ABC fans who have been kept in the dark and goes someway to explaining why many other Australians not affected by the ABC’s news blackout are watching every legal move in this case.
In her exit interview with Slater & Gordon on September 1, 1995, Ms Gillard said: “It’s common practice, indeed every union has what it refers to as a re-election fund, slush fund”.
Whether every union does indeed have a slush fund is something the federal government should be looking into, and probably will, informed as it is by the material being developed by the ongoing AWU investigation.
Even without an official inquiry, it has emerged that money was used from a union slush fund known as the McLean Forum to finance campaigns in internal elections in the TWU’s Queensland branch and to bankroll candidates in the Flight Attendants Association of Australia and the Health Services Union’s NSW Branch.
Sums of at least $500,000 were reportedly spent in the TWU’s Queensland campaign.
It was reported in March that a fund known as Industry 2020 donated funds for HSU elections and a 2008 article in The Sydney Morning Herald noted that former Prime Minister Julia Gillard “was a guest speaker at the inaugural fundraising lunch for the Industry 2020 fund at Flemington racecourse, which generated about $250,000 with nearly half that profit”.
In that article it was also suggested that “two other fundraisers have been held for Industry 2020, including a small event at Melbourne’s Greek Museum in Melbourne last year attended by (current Opposition leader) Mr (Bill) Shorten”.
The Age reported in May that ASIC records in May showed that Industry 2020 was a registered company under Mr Cesar Melhem’s sole directorship. Mr Melhem was formerly the AWU Victorian Secretary but is now a Victorian Labor MP, a more recent search however indicated that two companies, Industry 2020 Pty Ltd and Industry 2020 Ltd are both under voluntary external administration.
Two weeks ago, The Age reported that the nation’s largest construction union, the CFMEU, had used a drug and alcohol charity to raise up to $1 million for union activities.
It has also been revealed that the Queensland branch of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Union has for a decade had an undisclosed internal slush fund - wrongly promoted to contributors as being tax deductible - to support union boss, Mr Chris Ketter’s, re-election as State Secretary of the union. Mr Ketter was the ALP’s lead Senate candidate in Queensland at the 2013 election.
The ongoing court case against former Labor MP and former HSU boss Craig Thomson over his alleged misuse of trade union funds has given added impetus to the need for a wider investigation into trade unions and their handling of members’ funds.
The establishment of slush funds, the practice Ms Gillard regards as “common place” and carried out by “every union” must be examined to ensure that such operations are held to the same exacting standards of governance as organisations which hold investors’ money.
Trade union members deserve to know who is responsible for holding their compulsory contributions and how their cash is being spent.
For too long, the union bosses have insisted that the Labor Party turn a blind eye to union activities.
Next year, the ALP must be given the opportunity to demonstrate it truly has the workers’ interests at heart.
It will send a disgraceful message if it doesn’t champion the broadest inquiry into the operation of slush funds and the union movement’s handling of members’ money more generally.
Surely it has nothing to hide?

Why the Left takes joy in foul abuse

Miranda Devine – Sunday, December 08, 2013 (1:20am)

SO Joy Burch, the Education minister of the ACT, publishes a tweet describing her federal counterpart Christopher Pyne as a c**t - and gets away with it.
Her excuse for retweeting the foul abuse is that she is inexperienced on Twitter, despite the fact she has been publishing her thoughts on the social media site for four years, during which time she has written 1161 tweets.
“I haven’t finessed my social skills, my Twitter skills on this,” she said, while considering an offer by the University of Canberra for remedial social media training.
In other words, Burch has published six tweets a week for the past four years and she still hasn’t worked out how to use Twitter.
Slow learner, much?
Her boss, fellow feminist and Emily’s Lister Katy Gallagher, the ACT Chief Minister, accepted Burch’s explanation that the tweet - which she later deleted - was a mistake.
“I also believe that she has done the right thing and accepted responsibility for what happened ... and has offered an apology to Minister Pyne,’’ she said.
We all make mistakes. But imagine if the roles were reversed. Imagine if Pyne had used the most obscene word in the English language, describing an intimate portion of the female anatomy, in reference to Burch. He would be crucified. Twitter would be ablaze! The destroy-the-jointers would be apoplectic. The entire Abbott government would be implicated.
“If I had done that, before my head hit the pillow [Thursday night] I would have resigned or been sacked,” Pyne says.
“If it was me saying such a thing, the howls from the left would be cacophonous.”
But there has been barely a peep against Burch, who also happens to be the ACT’s Minister for Women. Moving right along. No double standards here.
That’s the Left for you, hysterical overreaction when it suits them, benign tolerance when it doesn’t. If you’re on their side, anything goes. If you’re a conservative, a minefield of ‘isms lie in wait - sooner or later you will be accused of sexism, racism, elitism, homophobia and misogyny.
Of course, the upside is that conservatives become battle - hardened and vigilant while their establishment foes grow sloppy and complacent.
The truth is that Burch doesn’t like Pyne because he is an ideological enemy and a fearsome warrior.
In fact there are few politicians as tough. Pyne relishes combat. As the much-loved youngest of five children growing up in Adelaide, he learned his skills at a family dining table where vigorous debate was nightly sport.
The photograph that had Burch and comrades so furious that they called him “c**t” last week shows Pyne smirking, or, as one tweeter put it, “smugly loitering”, in the background of one of those ranting press conferences NSW education minister Adrian Piccoli held about Gonski funding.
This was supposed to be the moment when Pyne was on the ropes, chastised by the media for executing backflips, supposedly humiliated by Prime Ministerial intervention, and yet here he was looking exceedingly pleased with himself.
How infuriating for his enemies!
Having unwisely promised to match the extra billions pledged by Labor before the election under the so-called Gonski model of redistributing education funding, the Abbott government is stuck with it.
But don’t expect Pyne to capitulate.
He knows giving extra billions to the very state education bureaucracies that have presided over a decline in standards over the past decade of record funding increases is no answer to our woes.
The latest OECD rankings show Australian students have fallen even further behind their peers in 65 industrialised nations, dropping out of the top ten for reading, maths and science for the first time.
The test results released last week show Australian 15-year-old students ranked 13th in reading last year, down from 9th in 2009; 19th in maths, down from 14th; and 17th in science, down from 10th. An earlier report showed the reading skills of our Year 4 students are the worst of every English-speaking country tested.
This sorry result is despite the fact Australia increased spending on schools by more than 40 per cent last decade.
More money does not automatically mean better education.
In fact it can make things worse, if you are just entrenching the progressive education ideology that has infected teacher training for decades, and which fails disadvantaged children the most.
Pyne understands completely.
“The failing in education is not money,” he says. “[What’s needed is] an acceptance that what we’ve been doing for decades doesn’t work. Child-centred learning, whole language teaching of reading, acceptance of failure, is not going to get our students to the top of the tree around the world.”
The federal government doesn’t control what happens in schools. But what Pyne can control is teacher quality, the single biggest determinant of student success.
“We are going to intervene in the training of our teachers ... to ensure that [when they graduate]from university they are properly trained in how to teach students to read, and to do so from phonics, through orthodox teaching methods.”
He has lots of other plans too, from expanding direct instruction to ensuring principal autonomy, all of which is anathema to the progressive education establishment.
He should wear their foul abuse as a badge of honour.


Tim Blair – Sunday, December 08, 2013 (4:41am)

So much pain, so little gain: 
Labor’s $6 billion carbon tax reduced Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by less than 0.1 per cent
The official register of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions will reveal that in the financial year before the carbon tax was introduced Australia produced 546.2 million tonnes of emissions. After the carbon tax was introduced, the emissions dropped to just 545.9 million tonnes. 
For the planned removal of this pointless and destructive gesture tax, Ross Gittins apologises to his grandchildren. Who don’t exist. Meanwhile, distressed warmies may be calmed by snow in December.


Tim Blair – Sunday, December 08, 2013 (4:08am)

An illuminating note from Dylan Kissane in France: 
I saw your post on Mike Carlton’s Mandela fact-checking problems and looked over his Twitter stream. He also re-tweeted Lisa Wilkinson who was in awe of the Eiffel Tower in Paris being lit in South African colours to honour Mandela while Tony Abbott still wouldn’t even lower the Parliament House flag:


Thing is – and take it from someone in France – the news broke early morning here and the Eiffel Tower doesn’t light up during the day. The picture that Lisa was in awe of and that Mike fell for was frommonths ago. 
Dylan is right. The New York Times, which also fell for the Eiffel Tower story, now runs this correction
An earlier version of this article included an erroneous description of the Eiffel Tower in a reference to mourning for Nelson Mandela. The Eiffel Tower was bathed in white floodlights, not the colors of South Africa. (Photographs showing the Eiffel Tower floodlit in those colors, circulated via Facebook and Twitter and widely reported by news agencies, were from earlier dates, including July 18, 2013, Mr. Mandela’s 95th birthday.) The reference has been removed. 
We now await similar corrections from Lisa and Mike.


Tim Blair – Sunday, December 08, 2013 (3:52am)

He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right, that Mitchell Johnson completely destroys England in the Second Test:

Johnson’s delightful non-verbal farewell to first-ball victim Jimmy Anderson particularly amused teammate Ryan Harris:


Australia currently holds a 530-run lead with two days to play. England’s combined total from three completed innings in this series: just 481. Only a timely Mandela tribute can save England now. 


Tim Blair – Sunday, December 08, 2013 (3:42am)

Self-parody from the Guardian:


(Via PWAF, who observes: “This may be the most perfect Guardian headline ever.") 


Tim Blair – Sunday, December 08, 2013 (3:33am)

Fresh from its healthcare success, the Obama administration legislates for eagle purée
In a decision that highlights the clash between two cherished environmental goals — producing green energy and preserving protected wildlife — federal officials announced Friday that some wind power companies will be allowed to kill or injure bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty
[Vice president of public affairs for the American Wind Energy Association Peter] Kelley said the new regulations would “increase the protection of eagles and will help develop more wind farms, a leading solution to climate change, which is the No. 1 threat to all eagles and all wildlife.” 
They have to destroy the eagles in order to save them.


Tim Blair – Saturday, December 07, 2013 (11:39pm)

Fairfax’s favourite scowly lady makes a front page appearance in today’s Age;


TinEye search turns up a dozen or so Fairfax uses of the stern stock image woman, mostly in the SMH:




I blame sexism.

The case against Peta Credlin - three strikes and Fairfax is out of control

Andrew Bolt December 08 2013 (9:27am)

Here are some of the Fairfax media’s main criticisms lately of Peta Credlin, Tony Abbott’s chief of staff, now a hate figure of the Left that once decried the “misogyny” of critics of Julia Gillard.
At least three senior Coalition ministers have had key staff appointments vetoed by a committee run out of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s office.. The committee is chaired by Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews and includes Special Minister of State Michael Ronaldson, Mr Abbott’s chief and deputy chief of staff Peta Credlin and Andrew Hirst, and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss’s chief of staff, David Whitrow. 
Mr Hockey’s choice for a personal adviser on foreign investment decisions, former Victorian state MP Victor Perton, was overruled by Mr Abbott’s office in October...
Perton over-ruled? Good job, Peta.
The Prime Minister Tony Abbott has ordered ... all cabinet ministers to take personal responsibility for approving official travel by departmental officials, whether individuals or delegations, where the proposed cost exceeded $20,000. He directed that he must be consulted about any proposed travel, whether by an individual or a delegation, that exceeded $50,000… 
Coalition ministers, aides and senior public service executives have privately condemned the directive as “unworkable”, “ridiculous” and showing “a complete ignorance of the practical realities of government”.
Mr Abbott has already clamped down on travel by Coalition MPs who are required to seek approval from his chief of staff Peta Credlin at least four weeks before overseas study trips or sponsored travel… 
Coalition ministerial staff described the instructions as part of “the controlling tendencies of the Prime Minister’s office”. 
Cracking down on gold-plated travel and junkets? To the criticism of the same Fairfax media that for months tried to beat up expense “scandals” by Liberal MPs. Good job, Peta.
Fairfax Media has been told Mr Morrison, who has been running tightly controlled weekly briefings about the Coalition’s ‘’stop the boats’’ policy, Operation Sovereign Borders, was chided by Ms Credlin as they left a cabinet meeting last month. 
In the exchange Ms Credlin spoke about Mr Morrison’s poor performance during a recent news conference.
According to cabinet sources, Mr Morrison did not take the criticism well and expressed frustration that he was not allowed to say much at his press appearances. 
According to one source who witnessed the exchange, Ms Credlin shot right back at Mr Morrison with: ‘’We will tell you what you can say and what you can’t say.’’ 
Morrison’s performance was indeed below his best, as I said on 2GB recently. He’s since adjusted and is going very strongly. Good job, Peta.
But, wait.
Has Fairfax had to resort now to peddling false rumors to fill up this pathetic charge sheet against Credlin?
What is the paper’s evidence for alleging Credlin “chided” Morrison or for claiming Morrison “did not take the criticism well” before Credlin “shot back” that he should say what he was told?
Just anonymous “cabinet sources” plural or an anonymous “source” singular. (I suspect the singular source is the truth of it.)
Against the say-so of Fairfax’s one unnamed source we have this:
Mr Morrison’s spokesman said the account was ‘’complete rubbish’’. The office of the Prime Minister described the account of the meeting with Mr Morrison as “untrue”.
Morrison has insisted to me the story is “completely false” and the alleged incident “never happened”.
I’m calling bull on the Fairfax claim.
So the Fairfax case now against Credlin is that she has kyboshed a staff appointment for good reason, she cracked down on travel junkets and one anonymous source falsely claims she actually gave what would have been good and useful advice to Morrison.
This is a bad record? Some people seem to be having trouble with a strong woman - and it sure isn’t Abbott.
Fairfax is out of control. 

Naughty children: who’d be safe in a world led by such haters?

Andrew Bolt December 08 2013 (8:32am)

Bertrand Russell:
Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power. 
I wonder what the world would look likewere the child revolutionaries in our universities - licensed by their idealism to indulge in hatred, abuse and violence - ever given real power.  France during the Terror? China during the Cultural Revolution? The island in Lord of the Flies?:
Preaching tolerance, screaming abuse. 

Preaching morality, screaming abuse

Andrew Bolt December 08 2013 (7:57am)

Tell us again how poor Julia Gillard faced abuse and disrespect of the kind no Liberal or male PM would have to endure:
Protesters gathered at a hotel where Prime Minister Tony Abbott was due to speak have vowed to hold rallies every time the prime minister is in Melbourne. 
About 100 people stood outside the Melbourne Park Hyatt on Thursday night ahead of Mr Abbott’s address, shouting chants and waving signs to protest a raft of coalition government policies. Many of the protesters wore black T-shirts printed with the words “F*** Tony Abbott”.
Let’s see if any Labor MP stands near one of these T shirts.
PS: There are three great benefits of such shirts - much like those designed by an Age columnist and promoted by The Age. First, those wearing them advertise up front that they are just foul-mouthed haters with whom reasoning is pointless. Second, they’ll struggle to get on television - at least in family-friendly hours. Third, they’ll alienate more voters than they will attract.
So which kind of people would associate themselves with such an abusive and intolerant protest?
Another organiser, Roz Ward, said the group, Rapid Organised Anti-Abbott Response Network (ROAR), was a collective of union members and socialist groups that formed immediately after the election. 
“We oppose the whole Abbott agenda,” Ms Ward told AAP.
Well, not actually the whole Abbott agenda, obviously. For instance, Ward would quite support Abbott continuing to fund La Trobe University so she can keep drawing a state salary to go with the one provided by the Victorian Department of Education and Department of Health:
Ms Roz Ward 
Youth Program Coordinator, Gay and Lesbian Health, Safe Schools Coalition Victoria Faculty of Health Sciences
School of Public Health and Human Biosciences
Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society 
What is it with such people that they are most angry with those politicians most likely to create the wealth that supplies the taxes that supply their salaries?

(Thanks to reader John.) 

Joy Burch excused the abuse the Left would never take from a Liberal

Andrew Bolt December 08 2013 (7:49am)

Miranda Devine on an unusual “mistake” - and an unusual silence from the Left:
SO Joy Burch, the Education minister of the ACT, publishes a tweet describing her federal counterpart Christopher Pyne as a c**t - and gets away with it. 
Her excuse for retweeting the foul abuse is that she is inexperienced on Twitter, despite the fact she has been publishing her thoughts on the social media site for four years, during which time she has written 1161 tweets.
“I haven’t finessed my social skills, my Twitter skills on this,” she said… Slow learner, much?…
We all make mistakes. But imagine if the roles were reversed. Imagine if Pyne had used what I view as the most obscene word in the English language, describing an intimate portion of the female anatomy, in reference to Burch. He would be crucified. Twitter would be ablaze! The destroy-the-jointers would be apoplectic. The entire Abbott government would be implicated.
“If I had done that, before my head hit the pillow [Thursday night] I would have resigned or been sacked,” Pyne says."If it was me saying such a thing, the howls from the left would be cacophonous.” 
But there has been barely a peep against Burch, who also happens to be the ACT’s Minister for Women.  
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Labor will drown in all this slush

Andrew Bolt December 08 2013 (7:42am)

Piers Akerman predicts an inquiry:
EXPECT astonishment from the ABC’s vast national audience when the federal government places trade-union slush funds front-and-centre of a major inquiry in the New Year. 
The rusted-on viewers and listeners will be bewildered because the taxpayer-funded state-owned broadcaster has imposed a regimen of strict censorship on the key element in the inquiry - the misuse of money from the AWU association which was established with the assistance of legal advice from former Prime Minister Julia Gillard when she was a partner in the Victorian Labor law firm Slater & Gordon.
Piers very kindly helps ABC viewers who missed all the fun by explaining the latest twists of a police inquiry that would have been daily fodder for ABC news bulletins had it been held into an alleged scam involving Tony Abbott:
Victorian police are conducting a major inquiry into Ms Gillard’s role in the establishment of the Australian Workers’ Union Workplace Reform Association by her then boyfriend, Bruce Wilson and his AWU mate Ralph Blewitt in 1992. 
Early last week, The Australian newspaper revealed that Fair Work Commissioner and former AWU boss Ian Cambridge has given sworn evidence of “gross irregularities” in the union slush fund that Ms Gillard advised on…
The court heard Mr Cambridge had provided “substantial evidence” in his affidavit about misappropriation of union funds…
Lawyer Ron Gipp, representing lead fraud squad detective Ross Mitchell, said Mr Cambridge’s evidence “puts it beyond any doubt” that there were “gross irregularities” in the funding of the association, which Ms Gillard referred to as a “slush fund” in an exit interview before she left Slater & Gordon.
He said statements from Mr Blewitt - “essentially a full confession by a co-accused” - describe the slush fund as a “scam”. 
Ms Gillard has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and said she had no knowledge of the fund’s operations other than it was a “slush fund” for the re-election of union officials. 
(Thanks to reader lol.) 

Did Snowden know precisely the damage he’d cause the West - and not its rivals?

Andrew Bolt December 08 2013 (7:16am)

Reader Tabitha says new evidence suggests Edward Snowden is indeed a traitor who knew exactly what he was leaking - and what he would keep secret:
Rolling Stone recently published a largely sympathetic article on Snowden and [his journalist contact Glenn] Greenwald. But there is some interesting detail tucked in amongst it all. 
My bold throughout:
“ ‘How long had the source been planning this?’ Greenwald thought. Just the organization of the material alone would have taken months, if not longer. Each memory stick had an elaborate filing system. ‘On the front page were, let’s say, 12 files. You click on one of the files and there are 30 more files. You click on one of those files and there are six more, and finally you got the documents. And every last document that he gave us was incredibly elegant and elegant and beautifully organized.’ Greenwald had no doubt that the leaker had read every page; not a single one was misfiled. ‘It’s 1,000 percent clear that he read and very carefully processed every document that he gave us by virtue of his incredibly anal, ridiculously elaborate electronic filing system that these USB sticks contained.’ All the way to Hong Kong, over a 16-hour flight, Greenwald pored through the materials. ‘There was stuff on what’s going on in Iraq, in Afghanistan, with the drone program, spying on our allies, the technology of how this works, the intelligence budget – every possible thing, all completely secret, and I’m just reading through it at my leisure on the plane’.”
That actually DAMNS Snowden. Such meticulous organisation would mean that Snowden knew he for example ”stole 58,000 documents containing names and other personal details about British intelligence operatives, as well as information about this country’s [Britain’s] spying techniques and capabilities”. When you add that to the detail on Australia’s intelligence operations, and the detail on and attempts to harm the US (with leaks like the Swedes gathering intelligence on Russia for the US), the admission of an “elaborate electronic filing system” makes Snowden even more the traitor.

And here’s James Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) quoted two pages later in the Rolling Stone article: 

“ ‘This is a carefully constructed narrative,’ says James Lewis of CSIS. ’They’ve got documents pertaining to foreign spying against the U.S., but not a single one of those has been released. Instead, this is scripted to lead you to a certain outcome, that it’s just the U.S. doing this. The fact that they haven’t released these documents makes me very suspicious. They’re spinning as much as the U.S. government is’.” 
How much are the Left-wing papers publishing Snowden’s stolen intelligence mere pawns in a bigger game to damage the West? 

Labor’s $6 billion carbon tax made no difference

Andrew Bolt December 08 2013 (7:08am)

And by how much did the world’s temperature fall?
LABOR’S $6 billion carbon tax reduced Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by less than 0.1 per cent… 
The official register of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions will reveal that in the financial year before the carbon tax was introduced Australia produced 546.2 million tonnes of emissions. After the carbon tax was introduced, the emissions dropped to just 545.9 million tonnes.
In truth, the measurement is not quite fair. Would our emissions have in fact grown a lot without the tax?
But I have no trouble believing this tax made little real difference to emissions, given even Labor promised businesses that if they sat out the initial pain, the carbon tax would fall to Europe’s much lower price by 2015. So why change?
But once again, emissions is just a misleading proxy measure of the real game.The real question should be: what difference to the world temperature has our carbon tax made so far?
The answer? Indistinguishable from zero. All pain, no gain.
The fable of the Emperor’s New Clothes is nothing in comparison to this colossal exercise in collective self-deception. 

The AFL’s kind of justice

Andrew Bolt December 08 2013 (6:41am)

Sinclair Davidson notes two more passages in coverage of the AFL’s unravelling deal with Essendon which stink.
First, this allegation that the AFL has asked for a dodgy financial arrangement to prevent AFL boss Andrew Demetriou from seeming like he misled the public (again?) in insisting coach James Hird would not be paid during his suspension:
It is understood that in a bid to resolve the impasse, the AFL suggested to Essendon that it should pay Hird off the books. Essendon and Hird rejected the idea.
Then this suggestion of a recovered memory of an AFL warning to Hird:
AFL integrity officer Brett Clothier provided a detailed account of the August 5, 2011, meeting in an email to Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigators on July 17 this year. The account was included in ASADA’s interim report to the AFL two weeks later and relied on to establish Hird’s “early awareness” of substances at the centre of the supplements scandal. 
Mr Clothier’s evidence was added to the brief within hours of The Age publishing an allegation that Hird was warned by the AFL against the use of peptides in late 2011. … It is understood Mr Clothier’s relatively brief, contemporaneous notes taken of the meeting contained no mention of a warning. In his email nearly two years later, shortly after midday on July 17, Mr Clothier provided more expansive detail. 
Davidson is suspicious.

Faces of the #IDF: Private Daniella Lerman (19) is in combat training for the Caracal Battalion, a combat unit for both women and men in the Israeli army. “I chose this job because I wanted to utilize my skills to the fullest.”
Ah, Victoria. Besides annoying the commuter with train delays, long wait times, faulty readers and overpriced tickets, we now have the bonus of..unlawful infringement notices!
<"Here are seven quotes from the leader that are less likely to be published as his life is honored and his death commemorated in the mainstream media…..">
The New Mexico State Police officer who fired shots at a minivan full of children during a chaotic October traffic stop has been fired as its revealed that he was a mentor in a nonviolence program.> I'm on the cop's side .. momentary lapse. .. there are five children here in need of a responsible adult - ed
Read more: 
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Another great newsletter re Ocean Warming from Carbon Sense's Viv Forbes.



“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” John 11:25 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Base things of the world hath God chosen."
1 Corinthians 1:28
Walk the streets by moonlight, if you dare, and you will see sinners then. Watch when the night is dark, and the wind is howling, and the picklock is grating in the door, and you will see sinners then. Go to yon jail, and walk through the wards, and mark the men with heavy over-hanging brows, men whom you would not like to meet at night, and there are sinners there. Go to the Reformatories, and note those who have betrayed a rampant juvenile depravity, and you will see sinners there. Go across the seas to the place where a man will gnaw a bone upon which is reeking human flesh, and there is a sinner there. Go where you will, you need not ransack earth to find sinners, for they are common enough; you may find them in every lane and street of every city, and town, and village, and hamlet. It is for such that Jesus died. If you will select me the grossest specimen of humanity, if he be but born of woman, I will have hope of him yet, because Jesus Christ is come to seek and to save sinners. Electing love has selected some of the worst to be made the best. Pebbles of the brook grace turns into jewels for the crown-royal. Worthless dross he transforms into pure gold. Redeeming love has set apart many of the worst of mankind to be the reward of the Saviour's passion. Effectual grace calls forth many of the vilest of the vile to sit at the table of mercy, and therefore let none despair.
Reader, by that love looking out of Jesus' tearful eyes, by that love streaming from those bleeding wounds, by that faithful love, that strong love, that pure, disinterested, and abiding love; by the heart and by the bowels of the Saviour's compassion, we conjure you turn not away as though it were nothing to you; but believe on him and you shall be saved. Trust your soul with him and he will bring you to his Father's right hand in glory everlasting.


"I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
1 Corinthians 9:22
Paul's great object was not merely to instruct and to improve, but to save. Anything short of this would have disappointed him; he would have men renewed in heart, forgiven, sanctified, in fact, saved. Have our Christian labours been aimed at anything below this great point? Then let us amend our ways, for of what avail will it be at the last great day to have taught and moralized men if they appear before God unsaved? Blood-red will our skirts be if through life we have sought inferior objects, and forgotten that men needed to be saved. Paul knew the ruin of man's natural state, and did not try to educate him, but to save him; he saw men sinking to hell, and did not talk of refining them, but of saving from the wrath to come. To compass their salvation, he gave himself up with untiring zeal to telling abroad the gospel, to warning and beseeching men to be reconciled to God. His prayers were importunate and his labours incessant. To save souls was his consuming passion, his ambition, his calling. He became a servant to all men, toiling for his race, feeling a woe within him if he preached not the gospel. He laid aside his preferences to prevent prejudice; he submitted his will in things indifferent, and if men would but receive the gospel, he raised no questions about forms or ceremonies: the gospel was the one all-important business with him. If he might save some he would be content. This was the crown for which he strove, the sole and sufficient reward of all his labours and self-denials. Dear reader, have you and I lived to win souls at this noble rate? Are we possessed with the same all-absorbing desire? If not, why not? Jesus died for sinners, cannot we live for them? Where is our tenderness? Where our love to Christ, if we seek not his honour in the salvation of men? O that the Lord would saturate us through and through with an undying zeal for the souls of men.

Today's reading: Daniel 5-7, 2 John 1 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Daniel 5-7

The Writing on the Wall
1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them. 2 While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. 3 So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. 4 As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.
5 Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. 6 His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking.
7 The king summoned the enchanters, astrologers and diviners. Then he said to these wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck, and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom....”

Today's New Testament reading: 2 John 1

1 The elder,
To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth—and not I only, but also all who know the truth— 2because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.
4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. 5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 6And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love....
Issachar [Ĭs’sakar]—there is here orreward.
1. The ninth son of Jacob and the fifth by Leah. Of Issachar as an individual not a word is recorded after his birth (Gen. 30:1849:1415Deut. 33:1819).

The Man Who Couched Down

The birth of Issachar was regarded by his mother as a kind of payment from the hand of God, “God hath given me my hire,” said Leah, “because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar” (that is, hire). In Jacob’s blessing to Issachar, he is described as a “strong ass couching down between two burdens,” or “between the sheep-folds.” Two things are here mentioned as a pair, meaning they belong to each other; they are on either hand of Issachar, as necessary accompaniments to each other and to him. Between them his lot is cast.
When Israel was at war against Jabin, king of Canaan ( Judg. 4), Reuben was at ease among the sheepfolds (Judg. 5:16), but the princes of Issachar fought valiantly, jeopardizing their lives unto death (Judg. 5:18). Then it is said that the children of Issachar had an understanding of the times and knew what Israel ought to do.
The strong-boned ass used with the cart, because of its capacity for bearing heavy burdens, was the apt figure used by Jacob to represent Issachar’s great strength, a strength revealed on the field of battle. The love of ease, however, made the people of Issachar unwilling to use their strength at all times in the interests of their country. They couched down in luxury and the restfulness of a rural life. The tragedy overtaking many is their couching down when they ought to be rising up. Their prosperity induces indolence, and like the rich fool in the parable, they take their ease ( Luke 12:19). The voice from heaven still cries, “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion” (Amos 6:1).
2. A Levite doorkeeper of the Tabernacle in David’s time (1 Chron. 26:5).
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