Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wed Dec 17th Todays News

Accounting and reckoning
Now is the time to address the issues. People are grieving, but to move forward we must not leave behind the lessons that may be gleaned from the tragedy of the siege in Sydney's Martin Place. First thing to note is that while it is part of the terrorist mould, it wasn't terrorism. It came from an Islamic person, but it wasn't an Islamic hit. It is acknowledged by ISIL death cult, but they did not organise or plan it. It came as a result of ALP foreign policy, but they won't acknowledge it. It came as a result of ALP legislation that is friendly to criminals, but they don't admit it. It happened after the gunman copied Christian outreach groups like Westboro Baptist Church, but they are unrepentant. It was excused by a host of leftwing groups which promote minorities over cultural assets, like Tim Costello, ABC, Fairfax Press, HRC lying about news and current affairs to promote a victim fantasy. Monis lived in a fantasy land where he was oppressed no matter how depraved or violent was his activity 

We know things now that were in the 'fog of war' during the siege. Monis was a refugee who came to Australia in 1996, well before the Pacific Solution introduced fairness to the migration system. He managed to obtain asylum, permanent residency and then citizenship. Iran complained to Australia that Monis had stolen $200k from clients as he had worked as a travel agent in Iran before coming to Australia. A meme being distributed by extremist right wing groups has it that Monis had changed his name and was cousin of the Chief Justice of Iran and connected to many Iranian influential people. Also he was said to be grandson to an Ayatollah who had been expelled from Iran by the former Shah, but had returned after the revolution in '79. We know that around 2002 Monis was working as an astrologer and sexual healer. That line of work is forbidden in Islam, but Jihadists seem excused from such restrictions. Following the murder of Monis' ex wife, investigations brought forth complaints of rape relating to that time. Apparently it was also how Monis met his wife. 

In 2008, Monis was writing letters to widows of servicemen who had died on duty. That appalling behaviour was not denounced by Islamic leaders of the time. Monis felt it came under freedom of speech. HRC seem to have approved of the behaviour. It was not deemed relevant to section 18C of the racial discrimination act 1975. In 2009, ASIO dropped Monis from their watch list. In 2011, Monis' ex wife applied for an AVO against Monis, claiming he had threatened to shoot her and had a gun license. Monis claimed he had had a gun license because he worked as a security guard, but it had lapsed. Late today, The NSW police chief, who under ALP had acted as a Police Minister, denied Mr Abbott's assertion that Monis had a gun license. But the obvious reality was Monis had had a gun. 

After Monis' wife allegedly murdered his ex at his urgings, making Monis an accessory after the fact, Monis was investigated. And the rape allegations surfaced. And Monis was bailed. Until an adverse finding a week ago, there was nothing to suggest the self styled sheikh was a terrorist. He was clearly manipulative and a fantasist when it suited him, he was as reliable as Craig Thomson. But for the land of his birth, he might have been President of the US, as a Democrat. But the serious nature of the murder charge and the rapes, and the clear character flaw related to the letters to widows, Monis should not have been afforded the privilege of bail. It beggars belief that he had retained a weapon from his days as a security guard with the amount of scrutiny he is expected to have been under. 

Did the ALP government in '09 have a policy change which got ASIO to drop Monis from their watch list? Did the former refugee status of Monis prevent NSW police from finding the weapon Monis used in Martin Place? Or was Monis given the gun by a sympathetic fantasist? The ALP, HRC and Islamic leaders have been very sympathetic to the lie that Australia was fighting for oil in Afghanistan and Iraq and killing (and torturing) Islamic peoples as a sideline. That lie fed Monis' fantasy. Monis, in preparation for his assault, had not been aware of the mistake he was making in using the Shahada as the Jolly Roger. Monis' every action on the day seems opportunistic. Wanting the PM as an audience to killing hostages, or the right flag as a justification. The response by the NSW Premier and police to the situation was superb. Something happened to let an opportunist fantasist get away with murder and hostage taking. And the role of ALP government in that atrocity must be examined. If only to 'exonerate' them as Craig Thomson has been, guilty, but unworthy of serving time. 

2013
Cronulla Rugby League Football club has been fined a million dollars without a player, official or club having done anything wrong. The fine is apparently to cover up Jason Clare's jaw which claimed that Australian sport was addicted to performance enhancing drugs. Cronulla had administrative problems at the time and so it is apparent ASADA has exploited this to smear them. Had a competent MD been in charge of the club, the claims would probably not have been inflated to this competition changing fine. Will Cronulla, which is not a rich club, move to another site? Queensland needs Sharks .. 

CIA involved with AGW alarmism? Or Walter Mitty? ACT game claims seem inflated. Brazil takes heavy burden of feeding plants around the world. McTernan, if you are reading this, you are not invited to lunch with me. Also, if you are not reading this. Daily Telegraph excels at cricket reporting without bias. 

Bolt is going on holidays, but this column will continue daily. Human rights commissioner will speak out for freedom. At last. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 497 BC,  the first Saturnalia festival was celebrated in ancient Rome. 546, Siege of Rome: The Ostrogoths under king Totila plundered the city, by bribing the Byzantine garrison. 920, Romanos I Lekapenos was crowned co-emperor of the underage Constantine VII. 942, assassination of William I of Normandy. 1398, Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud's armies in Delhi were defeated by Timur. 1538, Pope Paul III excommunicated Henry VIII of England. 1583, Cologne War: Forces under Ernest of Bavaria defeated troops under Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg at the Siege of Godesberg. 1586, Go-Yōzei became Emperor of Japan. 1600, marriage of Henry IV of France and Marie de' Medici. 1718, War of the Quadruple Alliance: Great Britain declared war on Spain. 1777, American Revolution: France formally recognised the United States. 1790, discovery of the Aztec calendar stone.

In 1807, Napoleonic Wars: France issued the Milan Decree, which confirmed the Continental System. 1812, War of 1812: U.S. forces attacked a Lenape village in the Battle of the Mississinewa. 1819, Simón Bolívar declared the independence of Gran Colombia in Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar in Venezuela). 1835, Great Fire of New York: Fire levelled lower Manhattan. 1837, a fire in the Winter Palace of Saint Petersburg killed 30 guards. 1862, American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant issued General Order No. 11, expelling Jews from parts of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky. 1865, first performance of the Unfinished Symphony by Franz Schubert. 1892, first issue of Vogue was published 1896 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's Schenley Park Casino, which was the first multi-purpose arena with the technology to create an artificial ice surface in North America, was destroyed in a fire.

In 1903, the Wright brothers made the first controlled powered, heavier-than-air flight in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. 1907, Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned first King of Bhutan 1918, Darwin Rebellion: Up to 1,000 demonstrators marched on Government House in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. 1919, Uruguay became a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty. 1926, Antanas Smetona assumed power in Lithuania as the 1926 coup d'état was successful. 1927,  Indian revolutionary Rajendra Lahiri was hanged in Gonda jail, Uttar Pradesh, India, two days before the scheduled date. 1928, Indian revolutionaries Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru assassinated British police officer James Saunders in Lahore, Punjab, to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai at the hands of the police. The three were executed in 1931. 1935, first flight of the Douglas DC-3. 1938, Otto Hahn discovered the nuclear fission of the heavy element uranium, the scientific and technological basis of nuclear energy. 1939, World War II: Battle of the River Plate – The Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled by Captain Hans Langsdorff outside Montevideo.

In 1941, World War II: Japanese forces landed in Northern Borneo. 1943, all Chinese are again permitted to become citizens of the United States with the repealing of the Act of 1882 and the introduction of the Magnuson Act. 1944, World War II: Battle of the BulgeMalmedy massacre – American 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion POWs were shot by Waffen-SS Kampfgruppe Peiper. 1947, first flight of the Boeing B-47 Stratojet strategic bomber. 1950, the F-86 Sabre's first mission over Korea. 1951, the American Civil Rights Congress delivered "We Charge Genocide" to the United Nations. 1957, the United States successfully launched the first Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile at Cape Canaveral, Florida. 1960, troops loyal to Emperor Haile Selassie in Ethiopia crushed the coup that began December 13, returning power to their leader upon his return from Brazil. Haile Selassie absolved his son of any guilt. Also 1960, 1960 Munich C-131 crash: 20 passengers and crew on board as well as 32 people on the ground were killed. 1961, Niterói circus fire: Fire broke out during a performance by the Gran Circus Norte-Americano in the city of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, killing more than 500. 1967, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared while swimming near Portsea, Victoria, and was presumed drowned. 1969, the SALT I talks began. 1969, Project Blue Book: The United States Air Force closed its study of UFOs. 1970, Polish 1970 protests: In Gdynia, soldiers fired at workers emerging from trains, killing dozens. 1973, thirty passengers were killed in an attack by Palestinian terrorists on Rome's Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport.

In 1981, American Brigadier General James L. Dozier was abducted by the Red Brigades in Verona, Italy. 1983, Provisional IRA members detonated a car bomb at Harrods Department Store in London, England, United Kingdom. Three police officers and three civilians were killed. 1987, Final Fantasy was released in Japan on the Famicon, marking the start of the Final Fantasy series and saving Square from bankruptcy. 1989, the first episode of television series The Simpsons, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", aired in the United States. Also 1989, Romanian Revolution: Protests continued in Timișoara, Romania, with rioters breaking into the Romanian Communist Party's District Committee building and attempting to set it on fire. Also 1989, Fernando Collor de Mello defeated Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the second round of the Brazilian presidential election, becoming the first democratically elected President in almost 30 years. 1997, the British Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997 came into force, banning all handguns with the exception of antique and show weapons. 2002, Second Congo War: The Congolese parties of the Inter Congolese Dialogue signed a peace accord which made provision for transitional governance and legislative and presidential elections within two years. 2003, the Soham murder trial ended at the Old Bailey in London, England, with Ian Huntley found guilty of two counts of murder. His girlfriend Maxine Carr was found guilty of perverting the course of justice. 2003, SpaceShipOne, piloted by Brian Binnie, made its first powered and first supersonic flight. 2005, anti-World Trade Organization protesters riot in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Also 2005, Jigme Singye Wangchuck abdicated the throne as King of Bhutan. 2009, MV Danny F II sank off the coast of Lebanon, resulting in the deaths of 44 people and over 28,000 animals. 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire. This act became the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and the wider Arab Spring.
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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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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 Geoff BrownEvelyn AgripaJoshua Cole and Kenny Tran. Born on the same day, across the years, along with 
Memorial to victims killed during the Polish 1970 protests
You sacked it. You were made President. You made your demands. You have the attention of the workers. We are roasting on an open fire. Let us party. 
Matches
Hatches
Despatches
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2014
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QUOTES OF 2014

Tim Blair – Wednesday, December 17, 2014 (12:01pm)

Presenting this year’s collection of notable quotables:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'QUOTES OF 2014'
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CHILDREN SLAUGHTERED

Tim Blair – Wednesday, December 17, 2014 (11:45am)

Unspeakable evil in Pakistan: 
Taliban insurgents have killed at least 141 people, most of them children, after storming an army-run school in Pakistan’s deadliest ever terror attack. 
Must be more of those “lone wolves” we hear so much about. A survivor reveals the killers’ depravity: 
Speaking from his bed in the trauma ward of the city’s Lady Reading Hospital, Shahrukh Khan, 16, said he and his classmates were in a careers guidance session in the school auditorium when four gunmen wearing paramilitary uniforms burst in.
“Someone screamed at us to get down and hide below the desks,” he said, adding that the gunmen shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) before opening fire.
“Then one of them shouted ‘there are so many children beneath the benches, go and get them’,” the student said. 
Imagine a belief system that can reconcile those two statements.
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CALL THEM OUT

Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 16, 2014 (4:45pm)

remarkably prescient 2009 piece on Man Haron Monis/Sheik Haron by the ABC’s Rachael Kohn:
Sheik Haron, as he calls himself, can seem a bit too loony to take seriously, but this is a mistake. The self-styled mufti is no shrinking violet when it comes to promoting hatred of the West and justifying violence in the name of Allah. Nor is he lacking funds to produce his elaborate propaganda.
I have been one of his targets, along with other public figures, including the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the Melbourne magistrate, Judge Peter Reardon, who presided over the case of five men charged with planning a terrorist attack against the Holsworthy Army base.
I have read the sheik’s faxes, letters on custom letterhead, and CDs in which he openly promoted the glorious calling of jihad against the West and celebrated the deaths of Australians in war and in the Victorian bushfires ...
In the many media conferences and interfaith meetings I’ve attended, Muslims have regularly complained that the media cast them in a poor light.
However valid that complaint may be, it loses all credibility when they don’t go after the radicals in their community.
If they don’t, the media will do it for them.
And in the case of Sheik Haron, he was really very hard to miss. 
Happily, NSW police discovered exactly the same thing earlier this morning.
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Why police wouldn’t let Monis speak to Abbott

Andrew Bolt December 17 2014 (11:08am)

One of the hostages forced by Man Haron Monis to pass on his demands on video seemed upset that Tony Abbott had not given in.
Here’s why:
On the face of it, the demands of hostage-taker Man Haron Monis seemed modest: an Islamic State flag and for the media to describe it an as Islamic State attack upon Australia. 

And, possibly, a conversation with the Prime Minister.

These might have been easier to grant than a million unmarked dollars and a helicopter to freedom, but NSW police negotiators would have rated them as very sinister requests indeed.

Queensland barrister Patrick Van Grinsven, who spent 21 years with the police and 12 years of them as a counter-terrorism-qualified specialist negotiator, said police would have been concerned it was providing him with the tools for a horror show.
“If he got the ISIS flag, he could use that to make a very dramatic statement indeed,” said Mr Van Grinsven, who has trained closely with the NSW negotiators on the scene at Martin Place.
A request to talk to the Prime Minister would also be ruled out…

Negotiators would be concerned that if they put Tony Abbott on the line, Monis could ratchet up his notoriety even further by using the moment to execute a hostage, an unacceptable risk for all.
Police knew this had happened in domestic sieges. “They say, I just wanted to speak to mum and dad, and then they can make very dramatic statements such as killing themselves or killing someone,” said Mr Van Grinsven.
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Taliban kills 132 children

Andrew Bolt December 17 2014 (6:16am)

  What creed licences such evil?:
TALIBAN insurgents have killed at least 141 people, most of them children, after storming an army-run school in Pakistan’s deadliest ever terror attack. 

Chief military spokesman General Asim Bajwa said 132 students and nine staff were killed in an eight-hour onslaught at the army-run school in the north-western city of Peshawar.

Witnesses described how a huge blast shook the Army Public School and six Taliban gunmen in government paramilitary uniforms went from classroom to classroom shooting children, some as young as 12.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the assault, calling it revenge for a major military offensive in the region.

2008 - and the media Left demonstrates its famed tolerance of totalitarianism:

Media coverage of the conflict in Afghanistan is failing to convey the “humanity of the Taliban”, a BBC presenter has said. 

Lyse Doucet, a presenter and correspondent on BBC World News, was speaking at a discussion of TV reporting of the war in the country.  
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Why was Monis free and not watched?

Andrew Bolt December 17 2014 (6:09am)

A good question about killer Man Haron Monis from the Prime Minister:
In the hours afterwards, however, Mr Abbott acknowledged Monis had not been on a terrorism watch list, despite being well-known to ASIO and police. “If I can be candid with you, that is the question we were asking ourselves around the national security committee of the cabinet today,’’ he told reporters. ”How can someone who has had such a long and chequered history not be on the appropriate watch lists and how can someone like that be entirely at large in the community? These are questions we need to look at carefully, calmly and methodically.’’
Mind you, it’s very easy to say everyone like Monis should be either locked up or monitored. Ask the ABC and the Greens how they’d react to the powers and reach necessary to do so. Indeed, ask a libertarian. 
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On denialism

Andrew Bolt December 17 2014 (5:33am)

James Taranto in The Wall Street Journal:
HOURS before the siege ended, the (Sydney) Morning Herald rushed out an editorial titled “Martin Place Siege Response Tests Our Humanity”. It’s a textbook example of what scholar Barbara Oakley calls pathological altruism. Much of it is inoffensive, if obvious ...
But the editorialists also sus­pect their countrymen of bad mot­ives: “The temptation will be to pursue vigilante justice ... The test of our humanity is to rise above the calls for exclusion and persecution.” Exhortations like this are obnoxious not because one disagrees with them — who’s in favour of vigilante justice, exclusion and persecution? — but … because one doesn’t, and the high-handed lecture seems gratuitous.

James Delingpole:
INDIVIDUAL acts of kindness ... are lovely. But when they mutate into Twitter hashtag campaigns they acquire a smug, bullying sanctimoniousness which not only demeans the original act but which, worse, skews the debate about Islamism ... One of the more notable facts about Islamist terror incidents in the West ... is how very little they have changed public attitudes to Muslims in general ... I’m sure you are lovely and caring and bloody great, all you #Illridewithyou luvvies. But you’re also — in my experience — so delighted by your own sensitivity, so certain that you hold the moral high ground that you feel it enables you to duck all responsibility for engaging with the Islamism ­problem seriously.
Psychiatrist Tanveer Ahmed:
… it would be wrong to dismiss Monis’s action as entirely that of a lunatic unrelated to broader ideas underpinning Islamic terrorism…
It certainly would be reassuring to think that Monis’s actions had nothing to do with Islam or Islamism. It is also somewhat comforting to grasp, amid the tragedy, that he acted alone, was poorly organised and had a long history of criminality and deviance.
But the power of groups such as al-Qa’ida and Islamic State lies not just in their organisational or administrative nous but more so in the memes and ideas they promote, like a brand.
In this respect, the Prime Minister was right in pointing to the symbolism of Islamic State as an inspiration for Monis’s heinous actions. But this symbolism exists in the psychic sphere, to be latched on to by all manner of individuals and groups, be it eccentric outcasts prone to conflating their personal grievances with politics or well-­organised groups.
A generation ago, the key marker of social protest against the existing order might have been symbolised by a Che Guevara T-shirt. Today, for many, social protest is conducted through the symbolism of Islam.
This can vary from the criminal converting to Islam in jail to a teenager wearing Islamic attire as an expression of not belonging in the school playground…
It would be easy to dismiss Monis as a clown. He was certainly a slimy murderer. But his life as an angry pest who could not stomach his own failure and imminent downfall is a good analogy for aspects of Islamism, which is fundamentally an ideology of resentful humiliation, unable to accept the reality of the weak place of Islamic civilisation and determined to act destructively, often self-destructively, believing domination is the birthright of the doctrine.
Of course Monis is not representative of most Muslims, who are horrified by the events, but it would be foolish to dismiss the attack as unrelated to Islamic terrorism, especially as we have the dubious honour of having among the highest recruits per capita to Islamic State. 
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Monis said his attack was for Islam. Why this refusal to believe him?

Andrew Bolt December 17 2014 (5:17am)


 MAN Haron Monis couldn’t have done more to make the deaf hear that the terror he unleashed in Sydney was in the name of Islam. 

As he walked into the Lindt coffee shop with his shotgun on Monday he wore a headband bearing the war cry: “We are ready to sacrifice for you, O Muhammad.”
The Iranian-born cleric had already fought for Islam by sending jeering letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
On his Facebook page he’d posted jihadist porn and pledged his allegiance to the bloody caliphate of the Islamic State.
And in that coffee shop on Monday he conscripted his terrified hostages at gunpoint into his personal jihad.
He ordered some to hold up against the window a black Shahada flag announcing: “There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”
He made videos of three of them reciting his demands, which included ordering police to fetch him an Islamic State flag and have broadcast this explanation: “This is an attack on Australia by Islamic State.”
And then he killed two captives.
I don’t know how much more explicit Monis could have been.
And I don’t know how more wilfully deaf some people can be.
(Read full article here.) 
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Is this really about not liking “white” Australia very much?

Andrew Bolt December 16 2014 (6:23pm)

The ABC promotes the compassion of Tessa Kum, who responds to a Muslim shooting non-Muslims by feeling compassion for Muslims:
Inspired by other acts of generosity that she’d read about on social media, Tessa Kum invited anyone wearing religious attire who was afraid for their safety to ride alongside her on public transport. In an emotional interview, she spoke with Ellen Fanning about the success of her hashtag, #illridewithyou.
What made you post the tweet?
‘It was very much a sort of breaking point for me. I sort of saw another tweet online indicating another woman’s act of kindness and I simply felt that there needed to be more of that in the world.
She’d done a very simple thing—she had seen a distressed Muslim woman on a train take off her hijab and had approached that woman at the train station and simply said, “Put it back on, I’ll walk with you”. That broke my heart a little bit.
It just seemed that a simple way of promoting that kindness would be to say if anybody catching public transport didn’t feel comfortable just because of what they were wearing, I would sit next to them, so they weren’t alone.
Tessa Kum showed more of her compassion last month - the kind of anti-racism that actually sounds to me exactly like the racism it condemns:
I’m learning about hate because I am coming to hate you, white person. You have all the control, all the power, all the privilege, and there is nothing holding you accountable. I hate the double standards and hypocrisy you display, the rank dishonesty of your conduct. I hate that you can harm us, when we cannot harm you. 
Some of those who respond to Muslim terrorism by demanding more sympathy for Muslims are well-meaning. Others remind me uncomfortably of the adage: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
UPDATE
Mark Steyn on the “I’ll ride with you” compassionistas:
Usually the Muslims-fear-backlash crowd at least waits till the terrorist atrocity is over. In this case the desiccated multiculti saps launched the #I’llRideWithYou campaign even as the siege was still ongoing - while Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson were still alive. Muslims are not the victims here. Ms Dawson and Mr Johnson are the victims. And yet the urge to usher Muslims into the victim chair and massage their tender sensibilities is now so reflexive the narcissists on Twitter don’t even have the good taste to wait till the siege is over and the corpse count is known.
(Thanks to readers King Coal of Newcastle and J.) 
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=== Posts from last year ===

CLIMATE FAKER BUSTED

Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 17, 2013 (1:12pm)

Big-dollar shenanigans at the US Environmental Protection Agency, a global hub of the climate change industry: 
The EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change deserves to go to prison for at least 30 months for lying to his bosses and saying he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan so he could avoid doing his real job, say federal prosecutors.
John C. Beale, who pled guilty in September to bilking the government out of nearly $1 million in salary and other benefits over a decade, will be sentenced in a Washington, D.C., federal court on Wednesday. In a newly filed sentencing memo, prosecutors said that his lies were a “crime of massive proportion” that were “offensive” to those who actually do dangerous work for the CIA.
Beale’s lawyer, while acknowledging his guilt, has asked for leniency and offered a psychological explanation for the climate expert’s bizarre tales. 
As opposed to the usual stories we hear from climate experts. Ahem. Like most high-profile warmies, Beale has a fondness for travel: 
Beale took 33 airplane trips between 2003 and 2011, costing the government $266,190. On 70 percent of those, he travelled first class and stayed at high end hotels, charging more than twice the government’s allowed per diem limit. But his expense vouchers were routinely approved by another EPA official, a colleague of Beale’s, whose conduct is now being reviewed by the inspector general, according to congressional investigators briefed on the report.
Beale was caught when he “retired” very publicly but kept drawing his large salary for another year and a half. 
These people are worse than the Romans. According to EPA Assistant Inspector General Patrick Sullivan: “There’s a certain culture here at the EPA where the mission is the most important thing. They don’t think like criminal investigators. They tend to be very trusting and accepting.”
(Via Adam I)
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STRAIGHT TO JAZZ

Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 17, 2013 (5:37am)

Thrilling chance cards from the timeless 1970s board game Canberra Visitor ("a game about our national capital"): 
• A friendly student invites you to a jazz concert at the A.N.U. Union. Go straight there.
• Most unusually it starts to rain. Shelter for a while. Miss one turn.
• Your transport breaks down but a friendly Canberran gives you a lift. 
Not available from the game’s options: “You are in Canberra. Kill yourself.” Readers are invited to update Canberra Visitor’s chance cards for 2013.
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GOAL!

Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 17, 2013 (5:34am)

Labor’s $6 billion carbon tax reduced Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions by just 300,000 tonnes over 12 months. Next year’s soccer World Cup will generate nine times that amount: 
FIFA says the 2014 tournament, which will require huge amounts of air travel to venues across Brazil, will produce the equivalent of 2.72 million metric tons of carbon dioxide … 
The World Cup runs for only one month.
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FUTURE IS PAST

Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 17, 2013 (4:50am)

This might be Fairfax’s best anti-Abbott headline yet:

image

Unless Tony Abbott has somehow generated $400 million in debt every single day since becoming Prime Minister, it’s difficult to imagine how he might be to blame for the forecast deficit. Peter Costello looks at another case of leftoid revisionism: 
When Holden announced last week it was leaving Australia one of the principle reasons it cited was the high value of the Australian dollar. Labor vented its outrage and blamed the Abbott government.
Later in the week Labor had a little party to congratulate itself on the decision to float the dollar about 30 years ago.
Apparently it dawned on no one that there could be any connection. Or, if it did, no one was saying. 
Do read on. Costello isn’t opposed to Labor’s economically sensible floating of the dollar and tariff reductions. He merely notes Labor’s narrow consideration of consequences.
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RIVER TO MY PEOPLE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 17, 2013 (4:11am)

Mumbrella‘s Nic Christensen – former colleague, nice guy – notices a traffic spike:

image

Can’t have been me. Everybody knows I’m largely unread. Speaking of Mike Carlton, here’s his current opinion of ex-Gillard advisor John McTernan: 
That dill McTernan. Never understood why anyone took him seriously in Canberra. He was a nonentity in the UK … he was also just not very bright. 
But earlier this year, Mike admitted seeking contact with Labor’s not very bright nonentity dill: 
I emailed McTernan last Christmas suggesting a drink or lunch … 
In a counterintuitive example of good judgment, McTernan didn’t reply.
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ONE BALL BETTER

Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 17, 2013 (3:27am)

Fairfax’s Greg Baum reviews two deliveries from yesterday’s Third Test: 
Consider these consecutive balls at the WACA Ground on Monday and the way they represent a microcosm of what has become of this Test match and series.
The first was from Jimmy Anderson, an England fast bowling great, to George Bailey, an Australian neophyte, who blithely drove it back over Anderson’s head for the third six of an over in which Bailey took Anderson for 28, equal to the most in Test history. It completed, to Michael Clarke’s satisfaction, Australia’s innings and Anderson’s humiliation.
The next ball was from Ryan Harris to Alastair Cook, renowned player of long innings, prodigious maker of Test centuries, and England’s captain. It swung, straightened and hit that grail of all seam bowlers, the top of off stump. 
The Daily Telegraph‘s editorial (not yet online) reviews three deliveries from yesterday’s Third Test: 
Three consecutive deliveries yesterday summed up the entire Ashes series between Australia and England.
The first two were bowled by England champion James Anderson to Australian Ashes debutant George Bailey. Both were sent back over Anderson’s head and the boundary for six.
With those gigantic shots Bailey brought up 28 runs for the over and took the Australian lead to beyond 500, prompting Aussie captain Michael Clarke to declare.
The next delivery in this brilliant match came from Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris to England captain Alastair Cook. For the first time in his long and impressive career, Cook was dismissed – clean bowled – by the first ball he faced. 
The Telegraph totally wins.
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Merry Christmas

Andrew Bolt December 17 2013 (9:04am)

Trying to have a break and blog at the same time isn’t working. I just wind up feeling guilty for not having blogged more - especially given the tsunami of anti-Abbott vitriol coming from Fairfax and, to a lesser extent, the ABC.
So that’s it until next year - unless there’s something truly compelling and satisfying to blog on.
Have a great Christmas and to all blog readers I say thanks. Your support has been marvellous. 
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Peter Wertheim’s council can fight this on its own

Andrew Bolt December 17 2013 (7:40am)

I’d normally say plenty in support of this article from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, but any body that backs the law - and verdict - that bans my articles must learn to get along without my voice. It wouldn’t want the support of a person deemed too nasty to speak anyway.
And to be honest, I’m a bit uneasy about the company that council head Peter Wertheim now keeps in his jihad against free speech.
UPDATE
I am worried that appointing a “freedom commissioner” to the Human Rights Commission is just adding to the number of bureaucrats whose power lies in making people do other than would wish - which is why any such Human Rights Council inevitably proves to be a danger to the rights it claims to protect. Notice how you are now actually less free to say what you wish, do as you please, hire whom you like and work as best suits?
So the Abbott Government should not try to “reform” the Human Rights Commission but scrap it.
Still, if you had to appoint a freedom commissioner, I can think of no better person than Tim Wilson - so sound that even I might come to think a Privacy Commissioner is a good idea in practice, if not in principle:
NEW Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson has pledged to put freedom on the offensive. 
Attorney-General George Brandis announced the appointment of the high profile public policy analyst and commentator to the role today.
Mr Wilson has spent seven years with the Institute of Public Affairs think-tank, where he has headed up its climate change policy and intellectual property and free trade unit.
‘’Human rights are important, consistent and universal and provide the foundations for a free society,’’ Mr Wilson told The Australian. He nominated free speech and media freedom as his two key priorities, saying both had come under attack under the last government.
‘’Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are essential for a free society,’’ Mr Wilson said.
‘’A free media is a direct extension of the importance of free speech and are one and the same in importance.
‘’We need to remove the restrictions that have stopped people saying what they think and believe. 
‘’Only through a contest of ideas will our society flourish,’’ he continued, condemning the proposals by the last government to change anti-discrimination laws to ban conduct that ‘’offends or insults’’.
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Paid activists can now do it on their own dime

Andrew Bolt December 17 2013 (7:24am)

Any race-based aid is an insult to our common humanity. But even more insulting is that we pay the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services to help poor Aborigines get legal help, but find we get paid activists writing windy reports on everything from the UN torture convention to disability rights:

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So excuse me if I don’t join in this wailing:
THE Abbott government will strip funding from the peak Aboriginal legal aid organisation and policy positions in its state affiliates, but has moderated the extent of cuts to at-the-coalface services following an outcry from the indigenous community. 
The Coalition today will announce the defunding of the peak National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and all law reform and policy officer positions within each state and territory affiliate, saving $9 million over three years.
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Brazil 9, Australia own goal

Andrew Bolt December 17 2013 (6:55am)

Brazil’s World Cup will in one month increase carbon emissions by nine times what it took Labor’s $6 billion carbon tax a whole year to cut. 
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http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/the_two_tims_why_the_abbott_government_cannot_compromise_with_those_now_sav/
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www.theaustralian.com.au
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/researchers-discover-small-dog-syndrome/story-fn3dxiwe-1226785180157
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www.theage.com.au
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/coalition-appoints-sophie-mirabella-to-board-of-governmentowned-shipbuilding-firm-20131217-2zj2n.html
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www.youtube.com
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I got the one thing they want. Me. - ed
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Don't let your health worry you - it will go away eventually.
If I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. - ed
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http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/tim-wilson-to-head-freedom-campaign-as-human-rights-commissioner/story-fn59niix-1226784792400
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“And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.” Luke 1:46-47, 49NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Come unto me."
Matthew 11:28
The cry of the Christian religion is the gentle word, "Come." The Jewish law harshly said, "Go, take heed unto thy steps as to the path in which thou shalt walk. Break the commandments, and thou shalt perish; keep them, and thou shalt live." The law was a dispensation of terror, which drove men before it as with a scourge; the gospel draws with bands of love. Jesus is the good Shepherd going before his sheep, bidding them follow him, and ever leading them onwards with the sweet word, "Come." The law repels, the gospel attracts. The law shows the distance which there is between God and man; the gospel bridges that awful chasm, and brings the sinner across it.
From the first moment of your spiritual life until you are ushered into glory, the language of Christ to you will be, "Come, come unto me." As a mother puts out her finger to her little child and woos it to walk by saying, "Come," even so does Jesus. He will always be ahead of you, bidding you follow him as the soldier follows his captain. He will always go before you to pave your way, and clear your path, and you shall hear his animating voice calling you after him all through life; while in the solemn hour of death, his sweet words with which he shall usher you into the heavenly world shall be--"Come, ye blessed of my Father."
Nay, further, this is not only Christ's cry to you, but, if you be a believer, this is your cry to Christ--"Come! come!" You will be longing for his second advent; you will be saying, "Come quickly, even so come Lord Jesus." You will be panting for nearer and closer communion with him. As his voice to you is "Come," your response to him will be, "Come, Lord, and abide with me. Come, and occupy alone the throne of my heart; reign there without a rival, and consecrate me entirely to thy service."

Evening

"Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened."
Isaiah 48:8
It is painful to remember that, in a certain degree, this accusation may be laid at the door of believers, who too often are in a measure spiritually insensible. We may well bewail ourselves that we do not hear the voice of God as we ought, "Yea, thou heardest not." There are gentle motions of the Holy Spirit in the soul which are unheeded by us: there are whisperings of divine command and of heavenly love which are alike unobserved by our leaden intellects. Alas! we have been carelessly ignorant--"Yea, thou knewest not." There are matters within which we ought to have seen, corruptions which have made headway unnoticed; sweet affections which are being blighted like flowers in the frost, untended by us; glimpses of the divine face which might be perceived if we did not wall up the windows of our soul. But we "have not known." As we think of it we are humbled in the deepest self-abasement. How must we adore the grace of God as we learn from the context that all this folly and ignorance, on our part, was foreknown by God, and, notwithstanding that foreknowledge, he yet has been pleased to deal with us in a way of mercy! Admire the marvellous sovereign grace which could have chosen us in the sight of all this! Wonder at the price that was paid for us when Christ knew what we should be! He who hung upon the cross foresaw us as unbelieving, backsliding, cold of heart, indifferent, careless, lax in prayer, and yet he said, "I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour ... Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life!" O redemption, how wondrously resplendent dost thou shine when we think how black we are! O Holy Spirit, give us henceforth the hearing ear, the understanding heart!
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Today's reading: Amos 4-6, Revelation 7 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Amos 4-6

Israel Has Not Returned to God
1 Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria,
you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy
and say to your husbands, “Bring us some drinks!”
2 The Sovereign LORD has sworn by his holiness:
“The time will surely come
when you will be taken away with hooks,
the last of you with fishhooks.
3 You will each go straight out
through breaches in the wall,
and you will be cast out toward Harmon,” declares the LORD.
4 “Go to Bethel and sin;
go to Gilgal and sin yet more.
Bring your sacrifices every morning,
your tithes every three years.
5 Burn leavened bread as a thank offering
and brag about your freewill offerings—
boast about them, you Israelites,
for this is what you love to do,” declares the Sovereign LORD....

Today's New Testament reading: Revelation 7

144,000 Sealed
1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea:3 “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
5 From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
6 from the tribe of Asher 12,000,
from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,
from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000....
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Eleazar [Ēle ā'zar]—god is helper.
  1. The third son of Aaron by Elisheba and father of Phinehas (Exod. 6:2325). He was consecrated a priest (Exod. 28:1 ) and was chief of the Levites (Num. 3:32).
  2. A son of Amminadab, set apart to care for the Ark after its return (1 Sam. 7:1).
  3. A son of Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three chief captains of David’s army (2 Sam. 23:91 Chron. 11:12).
  4. A son of Mahli, a Merarite, who had daughters only, who married their cousins (1 Chron. 23:212224:28).
  5. A priest who participated in the dedication of the rebuilt wall (Neh. 12:42).
  6. A son of Phinehas, a Levite (Ezra 8:33).
  7. A son of Eliud and an ancestor of Christ (Matt. 1:15).
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