Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sat Dec 27th Todays News

As the Danish city of Aarhus embraces migrants who have gone to fight ISIL, we find out what happens to boys, some as young as eight years old, who accompany family on their journey to ISIL to kill Muslims. They don't miss out on school. One seventeen year old describes a class where students are in a circle. Teachers brought in three frightened Syrian soldiers who were jeered and forced to their knees. Then volunteers were chosen in the activity of cutting off heads. The seventeen year old described it as being like chopping an onion. Afterwards, the severed heads were passed around. And when those students return to their adopted land of Denmark, they can expect to be greeted by therapists and counsellors keen to prevent them from choosing radical Islam. 

A nice idea had wave powered power generators generating power for Australia. Oceanlinx built two. Heavily subsidised by $4million from their $7million cost. One failed in situ, another sank on the way. Oceanlinx has folded without their good idea generating power for Australia or anyone else. 

ALP poll well on press support for their no policy stance. 

NK responds to US shutting down their internet with racist slurs. Obama is wrong to target ethnic groups for government. The US needs adults. 
2013
What is in a name? The issue came home to me when I was watching a cricket match on Boxing Day and a Pakistani all rounder, thirty one years old was bowling. He was quick and compact. But what struck me was his name. He was named after terrorist leader Yasir Arafat. 

People who follow the news might not be aware of Arafat's achievements. Born in Egypt in 1929, Arafat founded Fatah in 1959. It was a National Socialist (Nazi) style revolutionary party based in a civil war in Jordan. 

In the late 1960s, tensions between Palestinians and the Jordanian government increased greatly; heavily armed Arab resistance elements had created a virtual "state within a state" in Jordan, eventually controlling several strategic positions in that country. After their victory in the Battle of Karameh, Fatah and other Palestinian militias began taking control of civil life in Jordan. They set up roadblocks, publicly humiliated Jordanian police forces, molested women and levied illegal taxes – all of which Arafat either condoned or ignored (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatah)
Fleeing Jordan to Syria, a splinter group of Fatah called itself the Black September Organisation. The targeting of Israelis seems cynical political, rather than ideological. Just as Hitler used genocide to garner support by attacking a minority, Arafat used the same minority the same way to garner popular support without offending or targeting Christians. Among innovations and early adoptions of Arafat's terror include hijacking planes and killing Israeli athletes at Munich Olympics in '72. 


Egypt's peace deal with Israel limited support for Arafat, who fled Syria for Lebanon, and then fled Lebanon when a civil war he inflamed led Israel to invade to defend herself. Arafat was behind the first and second intifada. Given UN patronage, Arafat lost the support of the Soviet Union with her collapse, Arafat was offered the choice of giving up terrorism and becoming a statesman late in his life. He embraced terror, rather than accept a peace deal. UN support had made him a very rich man. 

He called himself Muslim. He called himself Palestinian. There is no evidence he was ever anything he called himself. 

A 1982 born Pakistani cricketer with that name is no threat to world peace. But it is not a name to be proud of. 
Historical perspectives on this day
In 537, the Hagia Sophia was completed. 1512, the Spanish Crown issues the Laws of Burgos, governing the conduct of settlers with regard to native Indians in the New World. 1655,  Second Northern War/the Deluge: Monks at the Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa were successful in fending off a month-long siege. 1657, the Flushing Remonstrance was signed. 1703, Portugal and England signed the Methuen Treaty which gave preference to Portuguese imported wines into England.

In 1814, War of 1812: The American schooner USS Carolina was destroyed. It was the last of Commodore Daniel Patterson's makeshift fleet that fought a series of delaying actions that contributed to Andrew Jackson's victory at the Battle of New Orleans. 1831, Charles Darwin embarked on his journey aboard the HMS Beagle, during which he will begin to formulate the theory of evolution. 1836, the worst ever avalanche in England occurred at Lewes, Sussex, killing eight people. 1845, Ether anaesthetic was used for childbirth for the first time by Dr. Crawford Long in Jefferson, Georgia. Also 1845, journalist John L. O'Sullivan, writing in his newspaper the New York Morning News, argued that the United States had the right to claim the entire Oregon Country "by the right of our manifest destiny".

In 1911, "Jana Gana Mana", the national anthem of India, was first sung in the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress. 1918, the Great Poland Uprising against the Germans began. 1922, Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō became the first purpose built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world. 1923, Daisuke Namba, a Japanese student, tries to assassinate the Prince Regent Hirohito. 1927, Show Boat, considered to be the first true American musical play, opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Broadway. 1929, Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin orders the "liquidation of the kulaks as a class", ostensibly as an effort to spread socialism to the countryside.

In 1932, Radio City Music Hall, "Showplace of the Nation", opened in New York City. 1939, Erzincan, Turkey, was hit by an earthquake, killing 30,000. Also 1939, Winter War: Finland held off a Soviet attack in the Battle of Kelja. 1942, the Union of Pioneers of Yugoslavia was founded. 1945, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund were created with the signing of an agreement by 29 nations. 1949, Indonesian National Revolution: The Netherlands officially recognises Indonesian independence. End of the Dutch East Indies. 1966, the Cave of Swallows, the largest known cave shaft in the world, was discovered in Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, Mexico. 1968, Apollo program: Apollo 8 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, ending the first orbital manned mission to the Moon. 1978, Spain became a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship. 1979, the Soviet Union invaded the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.

In 1983,  Pope John Paul II visited Mehmet Ali Ağca in Rebibbia's prison and personally forgave him for the 1981 attack on him in St. Peter's Square. 1985, Palestinian guerrillas killed eighteen people inside the airports of Rome, Italy, and Vienna, Austria. 1989, the Romanian Revolution concluded, as the last minor street confrontations and stray shootings abruptly ended in the country's capital, Bucharest. 1996, Taliban forces retook the strategic Bagram Airfield which solidified their buffer zone around Kabul, Afghanistan. 1997, Protestant paramilitary leader Billy Wright was assassinated in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. 2001, China was granted permanent normal trade relations with the United States. 2002, Two truck bombs killed 72 and wound 200 at the pro-Moscow headquarters of the Chechen government in Grozny, Chechnya, Russia. 2004, Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reached Earth. It is the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet. 2007, former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a shooting incident. Also 2007, riots erupted in Mombasa, Kenya, after Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of the presidential election, triggering a political, economic, and humanitarian crisis. 2008, Operation Cast Lead: Israel launches 3-week operation on Gaza. 2009, Iranian election protests: On the Day of Ashura in Tehran, Iran, government security forces fired upon demonstrators.
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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.
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Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with August https://www.createspace.com/4124406
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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

Or the US President at
https://www.change.org/p/barack-obama-change-this-injustice#
or
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/change-injustice-faced-david-daniel-ball-after-he-reported-bungled-pedophile-investigation-and/b8mxPWtJ or http://wh.gov/ilXYR

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.
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Happy birthday and many happy returns Tony Saxon. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
Hagia Sophia
Our building will last millennia. The Beagle carries us. It is our anthem. We have elite guards. We would never lie about our clones. Let's party. 
Matches
Hatches
Despatches
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2014
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TERRAIN IN SPAIN

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 27, 2014 (3:40pm)

The furthest city from Sydney is sunny San Cristobal de La Laguna in northern Spain. Might be worth a visit.
(Via Jalopnik)
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THE JOY OF POINTLESSNESS

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 27, 2014 (2:29pm)

According to the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, Labor’s carbon tax reduced carbon emissions by 0.8 per cent during its first year and by 1.4 per cent during its second year. In other words, it cut Australia’s 1.3 per cent global carbon dioxide contribution by next to nothing.
And the cost of this minimal reduction? $7.6 billion. Labor’s Andrew Leigh evidently believes this was money well spent, and is upset that carbon generation has now returned to the same level it was in August 2013. In other Labor-related climate news, our  old friends at bankrupt alternative energy firm Oceanlinx are still making an impact
Salvaging a damaged wave generator sunk off Carrickalinga beach will cost about $3 million, but there is currently no firm timeline for its removal.
The Oceanlinx wave generator sunk on March 2 this year while it was being towed from Port Adelaide to Port Macdonnell.
The 3000 tonne piece of machinery was being towed by a tug boat when it experienced problems with the airbags keeping it afloat, and sunk in 16m of water 1500m offshore.
It has remained there ever since, with an exclusion zone around it and a flashing light to warn off boats …
The $7 million project received a $4 million Federal Government grant, but following the sinking off Carrickalinga the company running the project, Oceanlinx, collapsed, and this month was placed in liquidation.
Another of the company’s prototypes is stranded off Port Kembla in New South Wales. 
That particular pile of junk has been rusting since 2010. At the time, Labor’s Jennie George predicted: “I’m sure Oceanlinx will overcome this setback.” Well, considering how Labor has turned things around, anything is possible.
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WELCOME BACK, KILLERS

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 27, 2014 (12:03pm)

The Danish city of Aarhus takes a cuddly attitude to returning jihadists: 
“We see this as crime prevention,” says Jorgen Illum, the police commissioner who’s in charge of Aarhus’s rehabilitation program for young jihadis. “We want to prevent young people from becoming radicalized to an extent that they might be a threat to the society.”
Around 100 Danish men – out of a country of just five million – have gone to the Middle East to fight, and more than a third of those fighters are from Aarhus alone. Illum says the city has recruited a network of psychologists, mentors and social workers to try and ease the returnees back into Danish society.
Rather than jail time, they’re given medical care for their wounds, a therapist for post-traumatic stress, and even help with homework and job applications. Their parents are also offered counseling. 
They’ve already signed up with Islamic State. It’s a little late to be worrying about them becoming radicalised.
(Via Adam I.)
UPDATE. Bring on the therapists
Jomah, a 17-year-old Syrian who joined Islamic State last year, sat in a circle of trainees for a lesson in beheading, a course taught to boys as young as 8.
Teachers brought in three frightened Syrian soldiers, who were jeered and forced to their knees. “It was like learning to chop an onion,” Jomah said. “You grab him by the forehead and then slowly slice across the neck.”
A teacher asked for volunteers and said, “Those who behead the infidels will receive gifts from God,” recalled Jomah, who didn’t want his full name revealed. The youngest boys shot up their hands and several were chosen to participate. Afterward, the teachers ordered the students to pass around the severed heads. 
Some cultured reason will sort this lot out.
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There is no suffering,
no beginning or end,
no path or wisdom,
nothing to attain.
And since there is nothing to attain,
those who seek enlightenment
in order to help others
can abide in this perfect understanding.
Their minds find no barriers,
so they feel no fear.
Passing beyond illusion,
they become one with all. 
—from the Heart Sutra,
an important Buddhist scripture
(my translation)
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A tradition of promising too much exists today too .. ed
In huel mochān in māxcāpan in monemacpan ōmpa in tōnatiuh īchān in ilhuicac. (Your true home, the place of your riches and rewards, is there in the home of the sun, in heaven.)
—said to young Aztec warriors before they entered battle for the first time
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Scott Morrison faces tough job stopping the welfare
Adam Creighton Economics Correspondent AUSTRALIAN 27, 12 , 2014 
THE government’s new Social Services Minister, Scott Morrison, is likely to find stopping the welfare considerably more difficult than stopping the boats.
By sheer dollars spent, social security — mainly cash payments for the aged, disabled, parents, unemployed and indigenous Australians — will amount to $149.9 billion this year, or a little more than 35 per cent of federal spending, according to the latest budget update.
That equates to almost $6400 a person or about 25 per cent more than the New Zealand government spends per person (converting to a common currency).
It seems likely Australia spends more than is necessary. Indeed, New Zealand, a country with a similar quality of life to Australia, doesn’t have states; NSW alone spends a further $5.4bn a year on social security and welfare, or another $730 per resident.
More worrying than the aggregate, though, is the growth rate.
Population ageing and the National Disability Insurance Scheme, in particular, are conspiring to make social security and welfare the fastest growing public expense.
Back in May the total was projected to rise, in real terms, by almost $12bn across the next three years, which is about four times as much as federal health costs. But even that was too optimistic.
The latest budget update, a mere seven months later, has scaled up the growth by $13bn across the next three financial years.
By 2018 total social security and welfare spending will rise to $171.6bn, 14.5 per cent higher than this year and 36 per cent of total.
In short, reining in welfare spending has to be part of any attempt to repair the budget.
But it will be very difficult politically: taking away benefits promised in the future, let alone reducing current payments, elicits shrill complaints.
The government’s plan to index the age pension to prices rather than wages from 2017, among its largest mooted savings, has foundered in the Senate.
In any case it would do little to limit the number of recipients. If the government needs to find other or additional savings, “upper-class welfare” is a politic­ally astute place to start.
Outgoing social services minister Kevin Andrews has already made some progress — restricting Family Tax Benefit Part B and the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, for instance. And state governments have sensibly gutted the first-homebuyer grants so they apply only to new homes.
But torrents of welfare — let alone tax exemptions and offsets — are still directed to Australians who don’t need it.
The National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) calculates that households with net assets greater than $1 million will receive, this financial year, cash welfare of almost $5.7bn.
More scandalously, more than $500m of that will go to households with net assets above $2m and $134m to those with net assets above $3m.
That so much support flows to households that clearly do not need it stems mainly from the exclusion of the principal residence, the largest source of wealth for most people, from the age pension means test.
Its cost is scheduled to rise from $42bn to $75bn a year by 2024, when still more than 80 per cent of retirees will receive at least a part-pension.
It wasn’t always so: for the first four years of the age pension from 1908, the value of the family home was included. Indeed, an early 20th-century Victorian parliamentarian remarked that the age pension was “for people who have discharged their obligations as citizens and now find themselves unable to obtain a livelihood” — a far cry from reality today.
“There is little doubt that considerable savings can be made on the aged pension via a more equitable means testing arrangement,” says Ben Phillips, a senior researcher at NATSEM.
The National Commission of Audit suggested the value of homes of more than $750,000 could be part of a revamped means test.
The median dwelling price in Australia was $562,000 and $705,000 in Sydney in November, so such a measure would exclude the vast majority of retirees. Yet the government was quick to dismiss the idea.
“The current system encour­ages families to invest heavily in their own home to maximise their aged pension, which acts as a disincentive for pensioners to downsize to what may be more appropriate housing,” says Phillips.
“Some argue that such income testing would disadvantage ‘asset rich, income poor’ households but financial products are available, such as reverse mortgages that allow homeowners to draw down on the value of their home over a period of time,” he adds.
This is the crucial point: no cash-poor retirees need move from their home; rather, the equity can be drawn down to finance their lifestyle with a commensurate encumbrance on their estate.
The principle that rich people shouldn’t have access to welfare is a far more important one than changing the method of indexation. It would be better than poorer people having slightly higher pensions than rich people
Projected to grow 25 per cent to $8bn across the next three years, federal spending on childcare is another area where benefits could be distributed more tightly.
About 750,000 families receive both of the two existing payments — the childcare benefit and childcare rebate.
The first is not linked to whether a parent is working but is means tested. The second, a maximum payment of $7500 a year per child, is conditional on work but isn’t means tested.
More than 220,000 families receive only the childcare rebate, which implies their incomes are above about $149,600 for one child, $155,000 for two and (somewhat bizarrely) $175,040 for three.
Meanwhile, another 97,000 families receive only the childcare benefit which, because it is rare for the benefit payment to cover the full cost of childcare, suggests they are ineligible for the rebate and therefore not working.
Reflecting the society security system’s fetish for income over assets, childcare payments also ignore the value of households’ assets.
Sensible people may debate whether working parents are entitled to some form of publicly subsidised childcare. But why should taxpayers fund childcare for a family where at least one parent isn’t working?
Rather than advocating cutting unemployment benefits for the under-30s for a relatively meagre saving, which is sapping the government’s political capital, it could save more serious dollars by better means testing the age pension and childcare payments.
Morrison’s task also extends to reducing the system’s complexity. The federal Department of Human Ser­vices administers 34 welfare payments and another 38 ‘‘supplements’’ with various asset and income tests and eligibility ­requirements.
Including Centrelink, the department has more than 30,000 staff.
The biggest pressure on social security spending will be the NDIS. It’s a sad reflection on democratic processes that the seriously disabled have been among the last group in society to obtain adequate support from the society security system.
The budget projects spending on the NDIS will jump 160 per cent to $11.6bn across the year to 2018, as the scheme nears full capacity. The total cost will grow to more than $26bn by 2024, according to the Parliamentary Budget Office, more than the federal government will spend on schools or public hospitals.
And that will be on top $25.8bn that will be spent on the disability support pension.
1/ New Minister for Social Services Scott Morrison with his daughters Lily and Abbey at Government House in Canberra. Source: News Corp Australia
2/ Spending growth by sector. Source: TheAustralian
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From a clothes horse to a veteran war horse

Piers Akerman – Thursday, December 26, 2013 (6:05pm)

THE eventual appointment of General Peter Cosgrove as Governor-General will be a relief to almost everyone, except those employed in the garment industry.
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REMEDY OFFERED

Tim Blair – Friday, December 27, 2013 (12:01am)

Apologies for the lack of posts. I’ve been distracted by work and also by worry over a recent item.
My criticism of Guardian columnist Van Badham resulted in condemnation from many feminists – and from many men who felt that I’d stepped over a line. Contrary to impressions, I do consider the opinions of my ideological opponents. In this case, I wondered if in fact they might be right.
Following several days of thought, and long conversations with women who are important in my life, I’ve re-evaluated my Badham item. Following that sometimes-difficult introspective process, and looking at all available options, I may possibly have found a way forward.
I won’t pretend that it’s a complete solution to all of the anger we’ve seen. Events have already moved far beyond that point. It’s more of a remedy, offered in good faith and with the hope that future arguments might involve more helpful light and less destructive heat.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'REMEDY OFFERED'
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Full name Yasir Arafat Satti
Born March 12, 1982, Rawalpindi, Punjab
Current age 31 years 289 days
Major teams Pakistan, Scotland, Barisal Burners, Canterbury,Dolphins, Kent, Khan Research Labs, Lancashire, Otago,Pakistan Reserves, Rawalpindi, Redco Pakistan Ltd, Somerset,Surrey, Sussex
Also known as Yas
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast
http://www.espncricinfo.com/big-bash-league-2013/content/player/43654.html
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mises.org
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Love isn't lost, although the lover passes. There will always be, always have been, every milestone along the path. And in his kingdom, the path continues. - ed
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One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

MORAL :
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.

2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happens.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less from people but more from yourself.

You have two choices... smile and close this page,
or pass this along to someone else to share the lesson

Jason FoNg Wrong, wrong, wrong. If I were the donkey, I'd swear vengeance on the farmer for abandoning and trying to kill me. 5 years later when he least expects it, I'll jolt him off the cliff. Who's laughing now, huh??* 

*OK, that might be a little psycho. I'll stop now.

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Join us as we go behind the scenes of 'The Time of the Doctor' and the filming of Eleventh Doctor's final adventure and regeneration (don't watch this if you haven't seen the episode yet!): http://youtu.be/JgE1dkJanEc

=
SPOILERS! If you haven't seen it yet - here's the moment we bid farewell to the Eleventh Doctor, and welcome the Twelfth. Watch the regeneration here:http://bbc.in/1lhJ9Ax
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On New Years Day 1578 Gregory signed into law a tax forcing Jews to pay for the support of a “House of Conversion” to convert Jews to xtianity.

On New Years 1581 Gregory ordered his troops to confiscate all sacred literature from the Roman Jewish community.

Thousands of Jews were murdered in the campaign.

Throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, January 1 - supposedly the day on which jeZEUS’ circumcision initiated the reign of xtianity and the death of Judaism - was reserved for anti-Jewish activities: synagogue and book burnings, public tortures, and simple murder.>

www.simpletoremember.com
http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/newyearshistory/
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On the issue of evil support in favour of terrorism, here is Canada's largest Christian church. There is plenty of material from the Palestinian peace rockets fired into Israel daily. Ignored is the fact that Palestine is a Roman name for Jewish lands. Palestinians have land in Jordan, where they have been part of a civil war dating back to the '50s when Arafat created Fatah.
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" Wow, the Washington Post has opened its oped page to opponents of brit mila. 
Money quote, "Religious practices deserve the most profound respect — but not when they result in irreversible harm to children."
Yes, every Jewish male from the time of Issac has been irreversibly harmed. 
Disgusting. Appalling. Frightening. " - Caroline Glick.
http://wapo.st/K68H7S
www.washingtonpost.com
Meanwhile female genital mutilation is ok for these people? So, a child has a right to not be circumcised, but has no right to life if a mother feels she wants to abort? - ed
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WHEN A FLY FALLS INTO A CUP OF COFFEE - OY VEY

The Italian - throws the cup against the wall, breaks it and walks away in a fit of rage!

The German - carefully washes the cup, sterilizes it and makes a new cup of coffee.

The Frenchman - takes out the fly and drinks the coffee.

The Chinese - eats the fly and throws away the coffee.

The Russian - drinks the coffee with the fly, since it came with no extra charge.

The Israeli - sells the coffee to the Frenchman, sells the fly to the Chinese, sells the cup to the Italian, drinks a cup of tea and uses the extra money to invent a device that prevents flies from falling into coffee.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian - blames the Israeli for the fly falling into his coffee, protests the act to the UN as an act of aggression, takes a loan from the European Union to buy a new cup of coffee, uses the money to purchase explosives and then blows up the coffee house where the Italian, Frenchman, Chinese, German and Russian are all trying to explain to the Israeli that he should give his cup of tea to the Palestinian!

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“Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”” Luke 2:28-32 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"The last Adam."
1 Corinthians 15:45
Jesus is the federal head of his elect. As in Adam, every heir of flesh and blood has a personal interest, because he is the covenant head and representative of the race as considered under the law of works; so under the law of grace, every redeemed soul is one with the Lord from heaven, since he is the Second Adam, the Sponsor and Substitute of the elect in the new covenant of love. The apostle Paul declares that Levi was in the loins of Abraham when Melchizedek met him: it is a certain truth that the believer was in the loins of Jesus Christ, the Mediator, when in old eternity the covenant settlements of grace were decreed, ratified, and made sure forever. Thus, whatever Christ hath done, he hath wrought for the whole body of his Church. We were crucified in him and buried with him (read Col. 2:10-13), and to make it still more wonderful, we are risen with him and even ascended with him to the seats on high (Eph. 2:6). It is thus that the Church has fulfilled the law, and is "accepted in the beloved." It is thus that she is regarded with complacency by the just Jehovah, for he views her in Jesus, and does not look upon her as separate from her covenant head. As the Anointed Redeemer of Israel, Christ Jesus has nothing distinct from his Church, but all that he has he holds for her. Adam's righteousness was ours so long as he maintained it, and his sin was ours the moment that he committed it; and in the same manner, all that the Second Adam is or does, is ours as well as his, seeing that he is our representative. Here is the foundation of the covenant of grace. This gracious system of representation and substitution, which moved Justin Martyr to cry out, "O blessed change, O sweet permutation!" this is the very groundwork of the gospel of our salvation, and is to be received with strong faith and rapturous joy.

Evening

"Lo, I am with you alway."
Matthew 28:20
The Lord Jesus is in the midst of his church; he walketh among the golden candlesticks; his promise is, "Lo, I am with you alway." He is as surely with us now as he was with the disciples at the lake, when they saw coals of fire, and fish laid thereon and bread. Not carnally, but still in real truth, Jesus is with us. And a blessed truth it is, for where Jesus is, love becomes inflamed. Of all the things in the world that can set the heart burning, there is nothing like the presence of Jesus! A glimpse of him so overcomes us, that we are ready to say, "Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me." Even the smell of the aloes, and the myrrh, and the cassia, which drop from his perfumed garments, causes the sick and the faint to grow strong. Let there be but a moment's leaning of the head upon that gracious bosom, and a reception of his divine love into our poor cold hearts, and we are cold no longer, but glow like seraphs, equal to every labour, and capable of every suffering. If we know that Jesus is with us, every power will be developed, and every grace will be strengthened, and we shall cast ourselves into the Lord's service with heart, and soul, and strength; therefore is the presence of Christ to be desired above all things. His presence will be most realized by those who are most like him. If you desire to see Christ, you must grow in conformity to him. Bring yourself, by the power of the Spirit, into union with Christ's desires, and motives, and plans of action, and you are likely to be favoured with his company. Remember his presence may be had. His promise is as true as ever. He delights to be with us. If he doth not come, it is because we hinder him by our indifference. He will reveal himself to our earnest prayers, and graciously suffer himself to be detained by our entreaties, and by our tears, for these are the golden chains which bind Jesus to his people.
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Today's reading: Haggai 1-2, Revelation 17 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Haggai 1-2

A Call to Build the House of the LORD
1 In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest:
2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the LORD’s house.’”
3 Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
5 Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it....”

Today's New Testament reading: Revelation 17

Babylon, the Prostitute on the Beast
1 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. 2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”
3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries....
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WOMAN WITH ISSUE OF BLOOD

The Woman Who Was Healed by a Touch

Matthew 9:20-22Mark 5:25-34;Luke 8:43-48

This sick, anonymous woman must have been emaciated after a hemorrhage lasting for twelve years, which rendered her legally unclean. She could not throw herself, therefore, at the feet of Christ and state her complaint. Her modesty, humility, uncleanness and pressure of the crowd made close contact well-nigh impossible, hence her eagerness to touch in some unnoticed way the hem of His garment. Who was this woman of faith? The primitive church, feeling she was entitled to a name, called her Veronica, who lived in Caesarea Philippi, but in the gospels she is enrolled in the list of anonymous female divines. There are several aspects of her cure worthy of note—

She Was Cured After Many Failures

What this poor woman really endured at the hands of the medical men of the time is left to the imagination. What a touch of reality is given to her story by the knowledge that she had suffered many things of many physicians and was no better but rather “grew worse.” Where men failed, Christ succeeded. Down the ages men and women which no agency could reclaim have been restored by Christ. What is not possible with men is blessedly possible with God. Her disease was of long standing yet she was swiftly healed, for as soon as she touched the hem of His garment, “straight-way the fountain of her blood was dried up.” If a person suffers for a while from a complaint and seeks no medical advice, but in the end goes to the doctor, he invariably says, “You should have come to me sooner.” But it is the glory of Christ that He can heal those who come late to Him.

She Was Cured With the Utmost Rapidity

Mark’s favorite word, “straightway,” which he uses 27 times in his gospel, is in most cases related to Christ’s rapid cures. How swift He was in His relief for the suffering! As at creation, so in His miracles of healing, “He spake and it was done.” Spiritual parallels of His instantaneous power can be seen in the conversions of Matthew, Paul and the dying thief. Many of us, too, can testify to the fact that He can transform character in a moment of time. The term Jesus used in addressing the nameless sufferer suggests that she was still young, though wasted and faded by her malady which made her look older than she was. But the nature of her disease and the age of the one afflicted made no difference to Him in healing the sick and saving the lost. As Jesus passed by the withered fingers of the woman brushed the border of Christ’s sacred dress, and all at once her thin body felt the painless health of her girlhood return. A strength she had not known for 12 years renewed her being, and she knew that Christ had made her whole.

She Acknowledged Receipt of the Benefit Bestowed

As soon as the woman touched Christ’s garment, He felt that “virtue had gone out of Him,” and turned about and said, “Who touched me?” The disciples mildly rebuked Jesus by saying, “Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?” Perhaps her touch had been unnoticed by the eyes of those around, and she must have been one of many who touched the Master that day as he proceeded on His errand of love, but a touch of faith could not be hidden from Him. Quickly the Physician saw the patient, and trembling with self-consciousness but too glad and grateful to falter, she confessed to her touch of His robe. “She told him all the truth.” She experienced that open confession is good for the soul. What a glow of gratitude her countenance must have had, as she publicly stated that her burden for twelve years had rolled away!

She Was Commended for Her Faith

The crowd who listened to her confession also heard the Saviour’s benediction, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” As a true daughter of Abraham (Luke 13:16), her faith is crowned by the Master. Hers was not faith without a touch, or a touch without faith. Believing, she appropriated and was healed. “Daughter,” was an endearing term for Jesus to use. Some tender insight of His own must have prompted Him to use it. As Theron Brown puts it so beautifully—
The restored sufferer would never forget the friendly benignity that assailed her with one indulgent epithet or the sympathy in that endearing term by which the Messiah of Israel recognized her as His own.... She cherished her debt to the Man of Galilee.

She Has a Place in Legend

It is said that this woman who was healed of her plague walked with Jesus as He went to His cross, and that seeing His blood and sweat, she drew out her handkerchief and wiped His brow. Later on, as she reverently caressed the piece of linen, she found the image of the blood-stained face of Jesus imprinted on it. Face cloths for the Roman catacombs alleged to hold the impress of His features were called Veronicas. About a.d. 320, Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea and a dependable historian records that when he visited Caesarea Philippi, he heard that the woman healed of her issue of blood out of gratitude for her cure had erected two brazen figures at the gate of her house, one representing a woman bending on her knee in supplication—the other, fashioned in the likeness of Jesus, holding out His hand to help her. The figure had a double cloak of brass. Eusebius adds this explicit statement as to these figures, “They were in existence even in our day and we saw them with our own eyes when we stayed in the city.” The well-known Sankey gospel hymn recalls and applies the story of the nameless woman whom Jesus healed—
She only touched the hem of His garment,
As to His side she stole,
Amid the crowd that gathered around Him,
And straightway she was whole.
It is encouraging to know that His saving power this very hour can give new life to all who by faith take hold of His skirt (Zechariah 8:23).
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Jezreel [Jĕz'reel]—god sows.
  1. A descendant of the father of Etam (1 Chron. 4:3).
  2. The symbolic name of Hoseathe prophet’s eldest son, who was so named seeing God had avenged the blood of Jezreel (Hos. 1:45). Also symbolic name of Israel (Hos. 1:411), and the name of towns ( Josh. 15:561 Kings 21:23).
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