Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Tue Feb 3rd Todays News

Two Australians, part of the Bali 9, are to be executed soon. The Australian government under Mr Abbott has done all that it can, but the ABC cut Australia's legs out from beneath her last year over ALP era espionage issues, and so Australia's negotiating advantage has been limited, and so these two will die. 

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan are guilty as charged, and the charge has the death penalty. They had an opportunity to have their charges mitigated when they were first arrested, but the Australian legal team worked overtime to save Renae Lawrence and Scott Rush. Also, Myuran and Andrew were leaders who had co opted the others. Initially, they threatened the others to silence and stonewalled over those not caught who had supplied them. Because of that, anything they have done since means little, they will be executed. Apparently they have reformed their character, but that is not relevant to the charge and investigation. They were caught because of choices they made, and they will be executed because of choices they made after they were caught. It is a tragedy that they will be executed. But, Andrew Chan has become a Christian and if he holds to his faith he will rest in the Lord's arms. Now is the opportunity for him to declare he is not defeated, but alive and willing to serve until he goes home. Death is not the worst thing. Snivelling, cowering, regretting that one was caught from harming and killing others is much worse. Send flowers to the ABC who have organised this killing. 

Meanwhile, an Al Jazeera Journalist has been deported from Egypt, where he had been convicted and sentenced for seven years for serving the Islamic Brotherhood. Greste had argued it was preposterous for him to have served the Brotherhood. However, the network he supported (Al Jazeera) and their content were undeniably favourable to the Brotherhood, and so, in Egypt's eyes, the case was water tight. The crime is not a minor one. People have died from the propaganda which arguably brings Islam into disrepute, but certainly lies about Israel. 

In 1377, the Pope Gregory XI had different authority to the Pope of today. It included a standing army which he employed to sack Cesena, killing 3000 people on this day. Gregory would move from Avignon back to Italy and die there the next year. In 1534, Thomas Fitzgerald, second cousin to Henry VII, was executed by order of Henry VIII. Silken Thomas had misunderstood what was happening when his father was sentenced to be executed, and revolted against Henry VIII in Ireland. Thomas had captured a priest who acted as intermediary and had him executed, and so lost any allies to his cause. But he was a 'Cause Celebre' in Ireland after he was executed. In 1913, income tax was approved across the US from the 16th Amendment. In 1917, Germany's decision to resume submarine warfare resulted in the US breaking relations with Germany. In 1947, the lowest temperature ever recorded in North America was recorded at Yukon (-63.9 centigrade, -83.0 °F). 1959, music died with Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper. In 1967, Ronald Ryan was the last person to be executed in Australia, he was worthy of the sentence, having killed a serving officer. In 1969, terrorist Yasser Arafat was appointed head of the PLO. In 1971, NY Police officer Serpico was shot, probably by corrupt police officers, during a drug bust. In 1998, under Clinton's presidency, a low flying US plane accidentally cut a wire cable supporting a wire cable car, killing twenty people in Italy. 
2014
Another outstanding decision by the Abbott government is being opposed by many. Seventy Million Dollars has been allocated towards giving public schools more independence in decision making. South Australia has not signed on yet because of an impending election campaign. News limited has reported that the outstanding decision is controversial and will be opposed by unions. It was important that the unionists were told that, or they might not have known. One might have thought that it is in union interests that their members do a good job and inspire children to achieve much. 
The paper writes
 The plan, which aims to get 25 per cent - or about 1500 - of government schools on board nationally over the next three years, will give principals more control over key areas such as staffing and budgets and reduce the power of teacher unions.
Precisely why the union powers are reduced from effective changes is not explained. Is it because unions control who works at the moment? Is it because unions decide how money is spent at the moment? If that is true it is outrageous, and must stop immediately. I want money to be spent on an excellent education for children, not on mindless power plays by unions. Which are the educational services that unions are diverting funding from? Why doesn't the paper tell us? 

I have been illegally prevented from finding work in my profession for several years. Is it the unions behind that? If so, it would be a kindness for them to tell me why, and allow me, if I've offended them, to make amends. Natural justice suggests I should be allowed to exact compensation if they have not acted justly regarding my search for employment. It is nice, for all, that adults are running the shop. As Bolt mentioned today, one who does not show their love for family may be suspected when they claim to love all. 
Historical perspectives on this day 
In 1112, Ramon Berenguer III of Barcelona and Douce I of Provence married, uniting the fortunes of those two states. 1377, more than 2,000 people of the Italian city of Cesena were slaughtered by Papal Troops (Cesena Bloodbath). 1451, Sultan Mehmed II inherited the throne of the Ottoman Empire. 1488, Bartolomeu Dias of Portugal landed in Mossel Bay after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, becoming the first known European to travel so far south. 1509, the Portuguese navy defeated a joint fleet of the Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Venice, the Sultan of Gujarat, the Mamlûk Burji Sultanate of Egypt, the Zamorin of Calicut, and the Republic of Ragusa at the Battle of Diu in Diu, India. 1534, Irish rebel Silken Thomas was executed by the order of Henry VIII in London, England.

In 1637, Tulip mania collapsed in the United Provinces (now the Netherlands) as sellers could no longer find buyers for their bulb contracts. 1690, the colony of Massachusetts issued the first paper money in the Americas. 1706, during the Battle of Fraustadt Swedish forces defeated a superior Saxon-Polish-Russian force by deploying a double envelopment. 1781, American Revolutionary War: British forces seized the Dutch-owned Caribbean island Sint Eustatius. 1783, American Revolutionary War: Spain recognised United States independence. 1787, militia led by General Benjamin Lincoln crushed the remnants of Shays' Rebellion in Petersham, Massachusetts. 1807, a British military force, under Brigadier-General Sir Samuel Auchmuty captured the Spanish Empire city of Montevideo, now the capital of Uruguay. 1809, The Territory of Illinois was created by the 10th United States Congress. 1813, José de San Martín defeated a Spanish royalist army at the Battle of San Lorenzo, part of the Argentine War of Independence. 1825, Vendsyssel-Thy, once part of the Jutland peninsula that formed westernmost Denmark, becomes an island after a flood drowns its 1 km wide isthmus. 1830, the sovereignty of Greece was confirmed in a London Protocol. 1834, Wake Forest University was established. 1852, Justo José de Urquiza defeated Juan Manuel de Rosas at the Battle of Caseros. 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing voting rights to citizens regardless of race. 1897, the Greco-Turkish War broke out.

In 1900, Governor of Kentucky William Goebel died of a wound sustained in an assassination attempt three days earlier in Frankfort, Kentucky. 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, authorising the Federal government to impose and collect an income tax. 1916, Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada burn down. 1917, World War I: The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Germany a day after the latter announced a new policy of unrestricted submarine warfare. 1918, the Twin Peaks Tunnel in San Francisco, California began service as the longest streetcar tunnel in the world at 11,920 feet (3,633 meters) long. 1930, Communist Party of Vietnam was founded at a "Unification Conference" held in Kowloon, British Hong Kong. 1931, the Hawke's Bay earthquake, New Zealand's worst natural disaster, killed 258. 1943, the USAT Dorchester was sunk by a German U-boat. Only 230 of 902 men aboard survived. The Chapel of the Four Chaplains, dedicated by President Harry Truman, is one of many memorials established to commemorate the Four Chaplains story. 1944, World War II: During the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign, U.S. Army and Marine forces seized Kwajalein Atoll from the defending Japanese garrison. 1945, World War II: As part of Operation Thunderclap, 1,000 B-17s of the Eighth Air Force bombed Berlin, a raid which killed between 2,500 to 3,000 and dehoused another 120,000. Also 1945, World War II: The United States and the Philippine Commonwealth began a month-long battle to retake Manila from Japan. 1947, the lowest temperature in North America, −63.9 °C (−83.0 °F), was recorded in Snag, Yukon.

In 1957, Senegalese political party Democratic Rally merged into the Senegalese Party of Socialist Action (PSAS). 1958, founding of the Benelux Economic Union, creating a testing ground for a later European Economic Community. 1959, deaths of rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. In 1960, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan spoke of "a wind of change", an increasing national consciousness blowing through colonial Africa, signalling that his Government was likely to support decolonisation. 1961, the United States Air Forces began Operation Looking Glass, and over the next 30 years, a "Doomsday Plane" was always in the air, with the capability of taking direct control of the United States' bombers and missiles in the event of the destruction of the SAC's command post. Also 1961, a protest by agricultural workers in Baixa de Cassanje, Portuguese Angola, turned into a revolt, opening the Angolan War of Independence, the first of the Portuguese Colonial Wars. 1966, the unmanned Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft made the first controlled rocket-assisted landing on the Moon. 1967, Ronald Ryan, the last person to be executed in Australia, was hanged in Pentridge Prison, Melbourne. 1969, in Cairo, Yasser Arafat was appointed Palestine Liberation Organization leader at the Palestinian National Congress.

In 1971, New York Police Officer Frank Serpico was shot during a drug bust in Brooklyn and survived to later testify against police corruption. Many believe the incident proved that NYPD officers tried to kill him. 1972, the first day of the seven-day 1972 Iran blizzard, which would kill at least 4,000 people, making it the deadliest snowstorm in history. 1984, John Buster and the research team at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center announce history's first embryo transfer, from one woman to another resulting in a live birth. Also 1984, Space Shuttle program: STS-41-B was launched using Space Shuttle Challenger. 1989, after a stroke two weeks previously, South African President P. W. Botha resigned as leader of the National Party, but staid on as president for six more months. Also 1989, a military coup overthrew Alfredo Stroessner, dictator of Paraguay since 1954. 1995, astronaut Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot the Space Shuttle as mission STS-63 got underway from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 1998, Karla Faye Tucker was executed in Texas, becoming the first woman executed in the United States since 1984. Also 1998, Cavalese cable car disaster: a United States Military pilot caused the death of 20 people when his low-flying plane cut the cable of a cable-car near Trento, Italy. 2007, a Baghdad market bombing killed at least 135 people and injured a further 339.
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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/4124406October https://www.createspace.com/5106951, or at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482020262/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_dVHPub0MQKDZ4  The kindle version is cheaper, but the soft back version allows the purchase of a kindle version for just $3.99 more. 
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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 Barry Ngo and Josh Sweeney. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
February 3Setsubun in Japan; Feast day of Dom Justo Takayama in Japan and the Philippines; Four Chaplains' Day in the United States
Alfredo Stroessner
It is our island now. Our victory was largely symbolic. The people protest. The coup brought light. The cast was heavy. Let's party. 
Matches
Hatches
Despatches
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2015
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Abbott ridicule just a distraction from Labor’s economic mess

Piers Akerman – Tuesday, February 03, 2015 (1:19am)

IN the great sum of political stuff-ups, Tony Abbott’s captain’s calls to reintroduce dames and knights and giving Prince Philip an Australian award, just don’t make the cut.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Abbott ridicule just a distraction from Labor’s economic mess'
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TALK TO THE HAND

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 03, 2015 (2:39pm)

Memo to Mohamed Elomar’s wife, shown leaving court today: your face is already covered, dear.

image

Fatima really isn’t keen to be seen
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SPRINGTIME FOR HANSON

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 03, 2015 (12:26pm)

Pauline Hanson has made a handy little career out of losing elections. But now, in a  Producers-like twist, Hanson’s lucrative business model is in danger of collapse
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson may be set for a political comeback, as she leads the Queensland election count in the seat of Lockyer by more than 300 votes. 
Winning must be the last thing Hanson wants. For a start, it would stop her running (and losing) in other elections.
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STRAIGHT TO THE FORGETTERY

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 03, 2015 (10:52am)

The excitement of appearing at some kind of Sydney frightbat forum causes Julia Gillard to lose her memory: 
It was billed as an event focusing on education, but the presence of a former prime minister once ousted in a counter-coup – Julia Gillard – led to the inevitable question being asked.
“Why did you fight to not knight Prince Philip?” asked state Labor candidate Verity Firth in front of about 250 people packed into a Sydney bar on Monday night.
“I had this clearly eccentric idea that Australian honours should be for Australians,” Gillard replied with a cheeky grin, as the crowd – which included federal deputy opposition leader, MC Tanya Plibersek and social commentator Jane Caro – roared with laughter. 
Flashback to 2012, when then-PM Gillard awarded an Order of Australia to Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar
The Prime Minister revealed the rare honour during a visit to New Delhi, where she met with children in a slum playing cricket.
“This is a very special honour, very rarely awarded to someone who is not an Australian citizen or an Australian national,” Ms Gillard said.
“(It is) a very special recognition of such a great batsman.” 
Gillard’s “Australia for Australians” rule also did not apply in the case of her personal communications director.
(Via Mr RI)
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CLASH OF THE TREASURY TITANS

Tim Blair – Tuesday, February 03, 2015 (3:22am)

After his performance last night on Q & A, it is easy to imagine former Rudd and Gillard treasurer Wayne Swan ending his days as a sandal-wearing suburban marketplace failure selling sad self-published books to confused hippies. Which raises the vital question: 
Thank you for voting! 
 
 

Total Votes: 3,751
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Interest rates cut. Economy weak

Andrew Bolt February 03 2015 (2:46pm)

Guru Terry McCrann on January 29:
AFTER 18 months of keeping its official interest rate unchanged, the Reserve Bank will almost certainly cut the rate at its first meeting back for the year next Tuesday.
And indeed, the Reserve Bank today announces:
At its meeting today, the Board decided to lower the cash rate by 25 basis points to 2.25 per cent, effective 4 February 2015.
Good for Terry, but largely because there’s bad news for the rest of us. The Reserve Bank explains that economic trouble forced its hand:
The US economy continued to strengthen, but the euro area and Japanese economies were both weaker than expected. Forecasts for global growth in 2015 envisage continued moderate growth.
Commodity prices have continued to decline, in some cases sharply. The price of oil in particular has fallen significantly over the past few months. These trends appear to reflect a combination of lower growth in demand and, more importantly, significant increases in supply. The much lower levels of energy prices will act to strengthen global output and temporarily to lower CPI inflation rates…
In Australia the available information suggests that growth is continuing at a below-trend pace, with domestic demand growth overall quite weak. As a result, the unemployment rate has gradually moved higher over the past year. The fall in energy prices can be expected to offer significant support to consumer spending, but at the same time the decline in the terms of trade is reducing income growth. Overall, the Bank’s assessment is that output growth will probably remain a little below trend for somewhat longer, and the rate of unemployment peak a little higher, than earlier expected.
At least dumping Labor’s madness has helped consumers:
The CPI recorded the lowest increase for several years in 2014. This was affected by the sharp decline in oil prices at the end of the year and the removal of the price on carbon.  
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Liberals dump leader, but it’s not Abbott. UPDATE: Farce results

Andrew Bolt February 03 2015 (2:41pm)

Tony Abbott is telling colleagues it’s dangerous to dump a leader. But members of the Northern Territory Country Liberal Party disagree:
NORTHERN Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles has been dramatically dumped in a late-night leadership coup after fallout from the Queensland election shocked his disgruntled partyroom colleagues into action.
Former minister for primary industries Willem Westra van Holthe has been made the new leader and former attorney-general John Elferink is the new deputy.
Disquiet had been growing for some time about Mr Giles’s “arrogant” leadership style and tendency to ignore or overrule other members of his party and cabinet… Some of his colleagues were also angry about a reshuffle in December that stripped several ministers of their favourite portfolios, seemingly in a bid to shore up Mr Giles’s position. 
A pity. Giles struck me as visionary and energetic. I also admired his insistence on being judged as an individual, rejecting the “first Aboriginal chief minister” tag.
Side note: this is the first time any state or territory government has had a leader and a deputy both with Dutch ancestry (although van Holthe was actually born in New Zealand).
UPDATE
The CLP promptly shows the federal Liberal party the danger of a hasty change of leaders in one of the most comical coups in our history:
ALISON Anderson and Larisa Lee are believed to have farcically rejoined the CLP in order to prop up the ailing new leadership team.
The rebels stormed out of the party, alleging racism, less than 12 months ago.
Willem Westra van Holthe “anointed” himself the Chief Minister last night after securing nine caucus votes. But he was forced to cancel a swearing in ceremony this morning when it became apparent that incumbent Adam Giles would not resign.
Mr Giles is refusing to stand aside until the rebels can prove they can get an absolute majority. That would mean the 13 votes necessary to run parliament and not simply a majority within the CLP party room.
It is understood an envoy has been sent to court independent Gerry Wood’s vote in the event Mr Westra van Holthe falls a number short in parliament.
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Give Gillard a medal for hypocrisy

Andrew Bolt February 03 2015 (9:48am)

Why didn’t the Sydney Morning Herald point out Julia Gillard’s rank hypocrisy?
“Why did you fight to not knight Prince Philip?” asked state Labor candidate Verity Firth in front of about 250 people packed into a Sydney bar on Monday night.
“I had this clearly eccentric idea that Australian honours should be for Australians,” Gillard replied with a cheeky grin, as the crowd - which included federal deputy opposition leader, MC Tanya Plibersek and social commentator Jane Caro - roared with laughter.

Really? Has Gillard forgotten that she gave an Order of Australia to Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar?
The Prime Minister revealed the rare honour during a visit to New Delhi, where she met with children in a slum playing cricket.
“This is a very special honour, very rarely awarded to someone who is not an Australian citizen or an Australian national,” Ms Gillard said.
“(It is) a very special recognition of such a great batsman...”

(Thanks to reader RI.) 
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Why did the media not vilify Kim Sears as they did the 13-year-old who abused Adam Goodes?

Andrew Bolt February 03 2015 (9:18am)

Explain these double standards.
First, the persecution of a 13-year-old girl who abused Adam Goodes at a football game:
Adam Goodes ... heard insults directed at him, one of which was ‘ape’.  Able to identify the culprit, he pointed her out and security removed the girl from her seat and gave her a lecture for a few hours.  The media seized, the family were shamed, branded and humiliated, and ignorant people everywhere patted themselves on the back that their vitriolic revenge was justified in the name of stamping out racism in this country… It was a 13 year old girl.  A child. ... No name she called anybody justifies the treatment she received.  Those involved in the public shaming of this girl did not take a stand against racism, they frightened a child repeatedly, and made judgements about her family in public. 
In contrast, take the admiration last week of Kim Sears for abusing Tomas Berdych at a tennis match: 
Kim Sears is proving a hit after wearing a hilarious shirt, just days after her foul-mouthed spray went viral. 

Sears appeared in the stands during Murray’s Australian Open final on Sunday night against Novak Djokovic wearing a black shirt with the words, “PARENTAL ADVISORY. EXPLICIT LANGUAGE.”


The glamorous 27-year-old Brit made headlines around the world on Friday after she was filmed appearing to say: “F***ing have that you Czech flash f***” towards world No. 7 Tomas Berdych during Murray’s tense semi-final victory.
The 27 year old was not escorted out of the stands, interviewed by police, damned by every media outlet, vilified as a racist and forced to issue a public apology. But she is beautiful, I guess.
UPDATE
Note that the girl says she didn’t shout “ape” at the (bearded) Goodes to mock his race:

I didn’t mean it in a racist way and I’m sorry to the club and the AFL,” she said.
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How can Abbott get his message past these gatekeepers?

Andrew Bolt February 03 2015 (7:48am)

One of Tony Abbott’s problems is that the press gallery is largely hostile and Left-leaning. For instance, compare and contrast Channel 7 correspondent Mark Riley’s treatment of Julia Gillard at the National Press Club with his treatment of Abbott yesterday:
Via Michael Smith, who observes:
Mark must have forgotten to ask Tony Abbott how he felt about the F**k Abbott T-Shirts - or how the media could do more to help Tony.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Next: scrap the scary stuff and new taxes

Andrew Bolt February 03 2015 (6:35am)

Former Howard Government Minister Peter Reith on the next steps Tony Abbott must take to save himself and the Government:

The abandonment of the paid parental leave policy will take some of the sting out of the current backbench worries about losing their seats a la Queensland. It was wrong in principle for numerous reasons and to keep pushing it until his leadership was actually under threat was a very bad look… And until we know if he is still going to impose more tax on the business community and we can see the proposal in detail, the saga of the PPL is still not quite over.
I presume he did not drop some of his other problems until he had a meeting of cabinet colleagues. Peta Credlin should not be at that meeting…
There should be no change to the pension index because it could cost the government a lot of votes..
I still don’t understand why Abbott says he wants a discussion about the GST, but nothing will be done unless everyone agrees to GST reform – including Bill Shorten. There is no way that Shorten will agree to a change to the GST design so why leave the door open? The GST was an issue in the Queensland election and it will remain a problem while Abbott keeps it alive as an issue.
UPDATE
More good advice from former Treasurer Peter Costello - drop the command and control style and don’t punish MPs who think for themselves:

If the [paid parental leave scheme] had been discussed in the party room, before it was announced, it would never have become policy. If the idea of Knighthoods for Royals had been floated with MPs, the leadership would have been saved from embarrassing itself. Command and Control is not helping the Liberal Party, it is strangling it.
MPs who conscientiously listen to their electorates and think about policy are assets, not inconveniences. They are worth a lot more than those who toady up to the media with the latest line approved by the leadership.
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Defiant Abbott won’t go without a fight

Andrew Bolt February 03 2015 (6:32am)

A DEFIANT Tony Abbott yesterday told his MPs he won’t quit and it’s not their right to sack him.
The Prime Minister’s speech to the National Press Club — passionate, defiant and determined — should save his job in the short term.
Supporters of leadership rivals Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull, without the numbers for a direct challenge, have pushed the fantasy that Abbott could just resign.
Forget it. First, Abbott bluntly ruled out resigning and insisted he was the best person for the job.
Perhaps he meant to underline just that when, earlier, he noted: “The Abbott Government has scrapped the carbon tax — and only this government will keep it scrapped.”
The unspoken question: Wouldn’t making the warmist Turnbull PM rob the Liberals of this point of difference?
(Read full article here.) 
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Memo to Abbott’s conservative critics: he’s better than the others

Andrew Bolt February 03 2015 (6:00am)

Dennis Shanahan says conservative critics of Tony Abbott are starting to realise that alternatives Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull would be worse:
Conservative MPs and Liberal Party members felt Abbott had ­betrayed them by not taking tougher stances on freedom of speech, economic policies, gay marriage and abortion. This is the real problem for Abbott within his own ranks.
But after griping and grumping from the sidelines, the conser­vatives now realise they may contribute to removing Abbott and promoting Bishop or Turnbull…
In his “make-or-break” speech yesterday, Abbott went some way to appeasing his conservative critics with an emphatic rejection of his “signature” paid parental leave scheme, a small business tax cut, a family package, continuing hard lines on stopping illegal boats and security, while pledging to address the deficit through spending cuts…
The particular point about the Coalition — the Nationals included — fighting the next election against Bill Shorten who wants a “carbon tax” was not lost on conservative MPs who rebelled against Turnbull and his support for Rudd’s emission trading scheme.
(Actually, I doubt abortion is much of an issue at all in this disenchantment. Try the pushing of racial division through a change to the constitution instead, and more besides as I warned last year.)
But just in case Abbott really is gone:

Victorian conservatives are talking about a “safe pair of hands” and naming Andrew Robb, who once planned to stand against Turnbull as opposition leader, or Leader of the House Christopher Pyne as compromise candidates.
Greg Sheridan:
The biggest underlying problem for the government is not ­Abbott’s leadership style, but the simple fact that every constituency in the community wants more government money spent on it, and there is less money to spend.
A new Liberal leader would have to confront exactly the same underlying political reality. And he — or she — would do so presiding over the rabble of a shattered and hopelessly divided party.
The best option for the Liberals remains the hard one. But there are no easy options. It is to rally around Abbott and emulate the give ‘em hell Harry Truman campaign in 1948 and win an election no one thought was winnable.
Nick Cater says Tony Abbott is battling a vicious group think that refuses to acknowledge his many successes:

Here are just a few of the Abbott government’s accomplishments, in no particular order:

- Electricity bills have fallen by 10 per cent, the biggest drop ever recorded. - Jobs have been created four times faster than in the period before Abbott came to power and the economy is growing at 2.7 per cent.
- Peak debt has been sliced by $150 billion.
- People are still dying to come to Australia but no longer die on the way.
- The live cattle trade is running again and the price of cattle has gone through the roof; ditto sheep and dairy cows.
- The free trade agreement with Japan has cut the price of Mazdas, Subarus and Toyotas by up to $1000.
- Roads are being built and fuel, despite the return of petrol excise indexation, is cheaper in real terms that it has been since 1998.
One could go on, but the Abbott-haters have made up their minds; to them the bloke is un­electable, even though, self-evidently, he is electable.
How would psychologists explain this reaction to a leader who is barely 16 months into the job and displays the instincts of a genuine reformer?
Psychologists speak of confirmation bias, the tendency to interpret information to fit a preconceived view. A related phenomenon is the ostrich effect, the act of burying one’s head in the sand to avoid evidence that challenges a mind made up.
Abbott’s detractors also appear to be suffering from reactive devaluation, the tendency to dismiss a proposal because your adversary thought of it first: paid parental leave, for example.
In fact, Abbott could be forgiven for thinking that his hostile band of tweeting, Facebooking, column-writing critics are a pretty screwed-up bunch. Yet their influence is insidious. They run in a pack and tweet in flocks, creating what social psychologists describe as an availability cascade — a self-reinforcing process by which an idea gains plausibility through repetition.
UPDATE
But on it goes:
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has repeatedly refused to deny claims his deputy Julie Bishop has refused to promise she would not challenge him for the leadership.

Mr Abbott appeared on the Sunrise program on Tuesday and was asked several times whether a Sky News report claiming Ms Bishop refused to rule out a challenge during their meeting at Sydney’s Kirribilli House on Sunday was accurate…
“Did you ask her not to challenge and did she refuse?” asked Sunrise host David Koch.
“I think people find all that insider Canberra stuff so boring,” he said.
“Did you ask her not to challenge and did she refuse?” Koch asked again.
“I meet with Julie Bishop all the time…the public elected me as Prime Minister to end Labor’s mess. We’re not going to go back to the chaos of the Labor days,” Mr Abbott replied.
“Can you just answer me, did you ask Julie Bishop not to challenge and did she say no?” Koch persisted.
“I’m not going to play these Canberra insider games,” Mr Abbott replied.
UPDATE
Bishop could have acted earlier, but better late than never:
Sky News has published a statement from Ms Bishop, in which she denies “campaigning for the job of Prime Minister”.
“I am not campaigning for the job of Prime Minister, I am not ringing the backbench asking for support,” she is quoted as saying.
“I am not counting any numbers, I will not challenge the leader.”
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David Bowles
Here's the deal: I have friends, coworkers and family members who are (deep breath) gay, straight, Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Buddhist, Hindu, Protestant, Pagan,agnostic, atheist, transgender, educated and working class (etc.). If you feel the need to hurt any of them, to gloat over their hardships, to gleefully condemn them to hell or some other sort of perdition, please understand: I won't be having anything to do with you. Poking a little fun, legitimately asking probing questions about their positions? That's all good. Just don't be cruel to the people I love, not if you want any respect from me.Thank you David .. I agree .. me .. a Christian conservative .. (peeks out of burrow, smiles, time to come out into the sun) .. (pulls face, goes to garden creature slithering along) .. "Hello, I'm a wide mouthed frog" .. (last words uttered were beautiful) - ed
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Joel Osteen Ministries
Disappointments are inevitable, but misery is optional. No matter what kind of setbacks you face, no matter who does you wrong, don’t stay defeated. Thank God that favor is coming your way.===


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=== Posts from last year ===

GOBLET OF FIRE

Tim Blair – Monday, February 03, 2014 (3:51pm)

Former public servant Michael Mazengarb finds a way to cope after quitting Canberra’s climate bureaucracy: 
The new government despises the policies I worked to implement. They have been in power for a little under five months and literally no piece of renewable energy or climate change policy has been left untouched, replaced by tokenistic policies no one in the industry expects will achieve anything other than to provide an easy ticket to industry and the incumbent fossil-fuelled power stations.
The reason this is problematic is the impacts of climate change necessitate government action. Those who are worst impacted by climate change are both least equipped to respond to it and the least responsible for its cause. The impacts of climate change effectively act as a regressive tax imposed by the planet on our severe dependency on fossil fuels.
But Harry Potter provides guidance. 
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HOT ABC HIT

Tim Blair – Monday, February 03, 2014 (6:30am)

The ABC’s propaganda war against the Royal Australian Navy is a shameful waste of public funds in pursuit of a dishonest and destructive agenda.
But let’s look on the bright side. It’s also the funniest ABC production for decades.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'HOT ABC HIT'
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DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT Q & A

Tim Blair – Monday, February 03, 2014 (6:11am)

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service CEO Mike Pezzullo – earlier seen coping with Sea Patrol Sarah – delivers the quote of the year:

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PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

Tim Blair – Monday, February 03, 2014 (6:09am)

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has been found dead of a drug overdose in New York.
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SENATOR SARAH SEA-PATROL

Tim Blair – Monday, February 03, 2014 (5:57am)

We’ve all had our moments of embarrassed conflusterment. Mine generally occur when I’m stopped for speeding.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'SENATOR SARAH SEA-PATROL'
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ASPIRATE FOR ADELAIDE

Tim Blair – Monday, February 03, 2014 (5:52am)

Adelaide’s new tourism campaign encourages people to breathe. Not easy when you’re in a barrel:

Note also the soundtrack: INXS’s Never Tear Us Apart.
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SHE’S WORKED US OUT

Tim Blair – Monday, February 03, 2014 (5:48am)

The Guardian‘s Katharine Murphy has a feeling: 
I have a feeling the prime minister didn’t really want a fight with the ABC, but he’s under increasing pressure from inside his partyroom and from News Corp (which wants the ABC out of digital publishing and out of international broadcasting) and from the rightwing culture warriors to Do Something becausethey miss the cold war. 
You’re right, Katharine. This is nothing at all to do with garbage journalism, smearing Australian servicemen, obscene bias and an annual disgraceful waste of taxpayers’ money, and everything to do with a global ideological conflict that ended two decades ago. And here’s something else about the cold war, Katherine: we won.
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WHAT IS THE SADDEST THING?

Tim Blair – Monday, February 03, 2014 (5:44am)

Maybe it’s this. Maybe it’s this. Maybe it’s this. Or maybe it’s this, from our friends at the Global Mail.
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WING IT

Tim Blair – Monday, February 03, 2014 (12:26am)

Here’s your traditional Super Bowl Buffalo wing recipe, courtesy of Roger B. By the way, Seahawks to win.
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People smuggler admits what Labor and its allies wouldn’t

Andrew Bolt February 03 2014 (3:36pm)

What astonishes me is that so many Labor MPs, Greens and journalists claimed this wouldn’t work:
A convicted people smuggler believes the Abbott government’s hard-line policy of turning back the boats is working as a deterrent for both people smugglers and those seeking passage by boat to Australia. 
Dawood Amiri spoke to Fairfax Radio’s Neil Mitchell by phone from his jail cell in an Indonesian prison ... said people smugglers and their clients were being put off by the prospect of being turned back at sea by the Royal Australian Navy.Asked if he believed the Abbott government’s controversial policy of “turning back the boats” would work, Amiri replied: ”Of course it will work, it is working...” 
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Mark Scott’s lousy defence

Andrew Bolt February 03 2014 (11:37am)

Media

ABC managing director Mark Scott offers this ludicrous defence of his oversight of the ABC’s extraordinary bias: 
I am fully committed to the role and I operate with the strong support of the ABC board and our staff... The only places where I hear voices that I should move away come from News Corporation editors, but there is a proud tradition of that.
Could there be a more explicit admission of staff capture? If the ABC collective approves of the boss he must be doing the right thing?
And why wouldn’t they approve of Scott? A biased ABC would indeed support a boss who not only allows that bias but refuses to publicly admit it even exists.
But Scott most gives himself away by falsely invoking the Murdoch bogeyman. The unease at his refusal to make the ABC follow its charter obligation to offer a diversity of voices is felt by far more people than a dozen or so “News Corporation editors”.. Scott should talk to Liberal MPs, Liberal Party members, prominent conservatives and members of conservative think tanks.
The ABC is out of control and its boss simply attacks its critics.
UPDATE
Maybe Scott will hear the criticism instead from Paul Sheehan, actually of Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald:
But the ABC has been worse than dull. It chose to knowingly damage Australia’s relationship with Indonesia by publishing Edward Snowden’s leaks of Australian spying in Indonesia. It then chose to knowingly damage Australia’s reputation in Asia by running for an entire week with accusations of torture by Australian navy personnel, despite not having a shred of corroborating evidence, and despite a super-abundant pattern of false claims made by asylum seekers who have destroyed documents, scuttled ships and claimed abuse… 
The problem with the ABC over the asylum-seeker issue runs far deeper than bias. The ABC has been unhinged by the issue. It is obsessional. It is not the content of stories and comment which is the main problem, but the sheer scale of its coverage. This brings into question the judgment of the news and current affairs division, and its self-perpetuating, cultural proclivities at the most basic, granular and reflexive level.
An ABC boss who can’t see this problem becomes the problem.
UPDATE
The ABC’s bias is more likely to drive a Liberal to ring the boss to complain:
JOE Hockey has revealed he personally phoned the ABC’s managing director to express outrage about what he saw as bias by the public broadcaster… 
The phone calls were made before and after the Coalition came to power in September… “There have been moments when I have rung Mark Scott to say ‘this is outrageous.’’
In a way, this is another reason to fear such a massive state media. What if some future government didn’t just ring to complain but to order?  
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Usual suspect not arrested

Andrew Bolt February 03 2014 (8:13am)

Note the one startling thing about this report:
Starfish have been mysteriously dying by the millions in recent months along the US west coast, worrying biologists who say the sea creatures are key to the marine ecosystem.
Yes, not once is global warming mentioned as a suspect. The intellectual climate is changing. 
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Why does the Human Rights Commission get stroppy only when the boats are stopped and lives saved?

Andrew Bolt February 03 2014 (8:02am)

When the Howard Government was struggling to stop the boats and empty the detention centres the Human Rights Commission announced an inquiry into children in detention.
When Labor Governments for six years filled to overflowing the detention centres the Howard Government had emptied, the Human Rights Commission held no inquiry at all into children in detention - then at record numbers.
Now that the Abbott Government is again stopping the boats and emptying the detention centres, the Human Rights Commission once more moves in:
On 3 February 2014 the President of the Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, launched an inquiry into children in closed immigration detention… The inquiry will investigate what has changed in the ten years since the Commission released A last resort? the report of the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention in 2004.
It seems the Human Rights Commission is never more active than when a conservative government is actually stopping the boats bringing the children. And never more quiet than when a Labor Government is luring them over, including dozens to their deaths. 
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No one hates here like the Left, and it’s dangerous

Andrew Bolt February 03 2014 (7:27am)

How the Left hates

The Left like to scream about the thuggish Right, yet so often the worst threats are made against conservatives:
PREMIER Campbell Newman and his wife Lisa have been targeted with a sickening Facebook threat to “slit their throats’’. 
Police swooped on a Caboolture home on Friday and arrested a 26-year-old man over the threat, made through a fake Facebook account.
The demonising of Newman has been a disgrace. Likewise the savage rhetoric against Tony Abbott and his family from the Left, much of it too disturbing to repeat here. 
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The curious case of the ABC’s selective scepticism

Andrew Bolt February 03 2014 (7:00am)

Media
ABC presenter Barrie Cassidy says it’s not the job of the ABC to be sceptical:
SAVVA: I think they should have shown a bit more scepticism about the allegations [by Somali boat people of torture by our Navy]. 
Cassidy: It’s not for the ABC to be sceptical or make a judgment in this sense.
Yet former ABC host David Marr once insisted it was indeed the job of such media organisations to be sceptical, and only the Left could do it:
The natural culture of journalism is a kind of vaguely soft left inquiry, sceptical of authority. I mean, that’s just the world out of which journalists come.  If they don’t come out of this world, they really can’t be reporters.  I mean, if you are not sceptical of authority – find another job.  You know, just find another job.
How to resolve this seeming contradiction? Well, by being sceptical of conservative authorities but not of Leftist causes.
So the ABC is not sceptical of warmist authorities or the warmist faith, as the ABC’s Audience and Consumer Affairs branch explains: 
Given the overwhelming majority of the world’s scientists agree that AGW is real and needs to be addressed and the overwhelming majority of the world’s government’s and the UN acknowledge the reality of AGW and the need to address it, the ABC pursues a balance that follows the weight of evidence on this issue.  The ABC’s coverage of this issue has well and truly moved on from the debate as to whether or not AGW is real. 
Likewise, the ABC refused to be sceptical about Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard:
For instance, here’s part of one ABC letter to a viewer: 
Reporting that the prime minister of the nation is under police investigation is an enormously significant call to make. It cannot be made on supposition, on rumour, or on hearsay…
According to The Australian they’ve been collecting files but you would expect any police investigation to gather up this sort of primary documentation. That does not mean Ms Gillard is under investigation. For all we know, the investigation could be into Ralph Blewitt, or Bruce Wilson or Slater & Gordon or any number of other individuals and entities.
Here’s another: 
The ABC is aware of these statements but we do not at this stage believe it warrants the attention of our news coverage. 
To the extent that it may touch tangentially on a former role of the Prime Minister, we know The Australian newspaper maintains an abiding interest in events 17 years ago at the law firm Slater & Gordon, but the ABC is unaware of any allegation in the public domain which goes to the Prime Minister’s integrity.
But the ABC was very sceptical of Gillard’s media accusers - more sceptical that it’s been of Somali boat people:
ABC presenter Jon Faine dismissed the scandal as “just an obsession for those who work for Rupert Murdoch” and was so hostile to Smith and Baker that the ABC reprimanded him. 
So it’s a funny thing about the ABC’s scepticism. The ABC seems most sceptical of claims against Leftist causes and heroes, and least sceptical of claims against conservatives.
Now why would that be...?
UPDATE
Barrie Cassidy: 
It’s not for the ABC to be sceptical or make a judgment in this sense.
But reader Ken remembers:

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Not a great time for Shorten to seem soft on bad unions

Andrew Bolt February 03 2014 (6:32am)

Not a terrific time for Labor to be led by a former union boss, backed into his job against the wishes of 60 per cent of Labor members:
A Fairfax ReachTEL opinion poll found 52.5 per cent of respondents agreed Labor should ‘’distance itself from the union movement’’ - twice as many as those who backed the status quo.
All the more reason for Bill Shorten to call off Labor’s opposition to a royal commission into union corruption - including the scandal involving his own Australian Workers Union.
And this related point could become a serious fault line within Labor:
But the latest scandal has revived discussion of democratic reforms within Labor, with some wondering whether Mr Shorten will take on union power in favour of the rank-and-file membership.
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It’s not the taxpayers’ job to pay for union featherbedding

Andrew Bolt February 03 2014 (6:23am)

Judith Sloan says the Prime Minister was absolutely right to tell SPC Ardmona to fix its staff costs before coming for a handout:
I’D never heard of a bright can allowance - but that’s what some of the workers at SPC Ardmona get, according to their 2012 enterprise agreement. Then there is the wet place allowance and the cold allowance and the container allowance and the allowance for holding a first aid certificate. 
And then there is the redundancy payment of up to 104 weeks’ wages… And then there are the 20 days of unused sick leave that can be cashed out by retrenched workers, specified in the agreement - contrary to the information put out by the ABC’s Barrie Cassidy on yesterday’s Insiders program.
Then there are overtime payments .... and rostered days off - a condition imported from the construction industry…
Let’s face it, SPC Ardmona is a union shop....
There are eight union representatives who are entitled to five days of paid leave each to attend trade union training annually. 
... the union’s footprint is imposed on every aspect of the day-to-day running of the operation.
And they wanted taxpayers to subsidise this? 
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How the ABC campaigned to stop Abbott

Andrew Bolt February 03 2014 (6:19am)

Boat people policy

YOU’D think the ABC would cheer. In six weeks, not one boat of “asylum seekers” has turned up and not one boat person drowned.
Not in six years - since Labor scrapped our tough border laws and lured more than 1000 boat people to their deaths - has there been such a pause. Think what this means. Lives have been saved. Hundreds of millions of dollars won’t be wasted. Real refugees won’t be pushed out of the queues here by fakes.
Yet here is what’s so damning of the ABC, which takes $1.2 billion a year from taxpayers under an agreement not to be biased.
(Read full article here.) 
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What kind of foolish ABC reporter assumes the very worst of this country?

Andrew Bolt February 03 2014 (6:13am)

TONY Abbott said no more than was natural - that he’d like ABC reporters to have “some basic affection for the home team” and “not leap to be critical” of their country.
In fact, the only thing astonishing about the Prime Minister’s appeal last week for the respect Australia deserved was how savagely it was misrepresented and mocked.
ABC host Jon Faine compared it to President Vladimir Putin’s muzzling of Russia’s media.
Former ABC managing director David Hill, once a Labor candidate, called it “laughable” and “dangerous”, falsely claiming Abbott was telling the ABC to “censor and withhold information”.
Even Abbott’s own Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull refused to defend Abbott’s comments, assuring the ABC “there is nothing in (its charter) that says that it should be nationalistic”.
But Abbott wasn’t just making the conservative point that Edmund Burke so famously expressed two centuries ago: “To love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections.” That a man who doesn’t love his own family is hardly to be trusted when he says he loves mankind.
(Read full article here.) 
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However, as it is written:

"What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived"--
the things God has prepared for those who love him...
 - 1 Corinthians 2:9

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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
February 2: Morning
"Without the shedding of blood is no remission." - Hebrews 9:22
This is the voice of unalterable truth. In none of the Jewish ceremonies were sins, even typically, removed without blood-shedding. In no case, by no means can sin be pardoned without atonement. It is clear, then, that there is no hope for me out of Christ; for there is no other blood-shedding which is worth a thought as an atonement for sin. Am I, then, believing in him? Is the blood of his atonement truly applied to my soul? All men are on a level as to their need of him. If we be never so moral, generous, amiable, or patriotic, the rule will not be altered to make an exception for us. Sin will yield to nothing less potent than the blood of him whom God hath set forth as a propitiation. What a blessing that there is the one way of pardon! Why should we seek another?

Persons of merely formal religion cannot understand how we can rejoice that all our sins are forgiven us for Christ's sake. Their works, and prayers, and ceremonies, give them very poor comfort; and well may they be uneasy, for they are neglecting the one great salvation, and endeavouring to get remission without blood. My soul, sit down, and behold the justice of God as bound to punish sin; see that punishment all executed upon thy Lord Jesus, and fall down in humble joy, and kiss the dear feet of him whose blood has made atonement for thee. It is in vain when conscience is aroused to fly to feelings and evidences for comfort: this is a habit which we learned in the Egypt of our legal bondage. The only restorative for a guilty conscience is a sight of Jesus suffering on the cross. "The blood is the life thereof," says the Levitical law, and let us rest assured that it is the life of faith and joy and every other holy grace.

"Oh! how sweet to view the flowing
Of my Saviour's precious blood;
With divine assurance knowing
He has made my peace with God."
Evening
"And these are ancient things." - 1 Chronicles 4:22
Yet not so ancient as those precious things which are the delight of our souls. Let us for a moment recount them, telling them over as misers count their gold. The sovereign choice of the Father, by which he elected us unto eternal life, or ever the earth was, is a matter of vast antiquity, since no date can be conceived for it by the mind of man. We were chosen from before the foundations of the world. Everlasting love went with the choice, for it was not a bare act of divine will by which we were set apart, but the divine affections were concerned. The Father loved us in and from the beginning. Here is a theme for daily contemplation. The eternal purpose to redeem us from our foreseen ruin, to cleanse and sanctify us, and at last to glorify us, was of infinite antiquity, and runs side by side with immutable love and absolute sovereignty. The covenant is always described as being everlasting, and Jesus, the second party in it, had his goings forth of old; he struck hands in sacred suretyship long ere the first of the stars began to shine, and it was in him that the elect were ordained unto eternal life. Thus in the divine purpose a most blessed covenant union was established between the Son of God and his elect people, which will remain as the foundation of their safety when time shall be no more. Is it not well to be conversant with these ancient things? Is it not shameful that they should be so much neglected and even rejected by the bulk of professors? If they knew more of their own sin, would they not be more ready to adore distinguishing grace? Let us both admire and adore tonight, as we sing--

"A monument of grace,
A sinner saved by blood;
The streams of love I trace
Up to the Fountain, God;
And in his sacred bosom see
Eternal thoughts of Love to me."
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Elisha 
[Ĕlī'shă] - god is saviour.
The son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah, of the tribe of Issachar, the companion and successor of Elijah (1 Kings 19:16-192 Kings 2-13).
The Man Who Was a Model Leader
There is a striking difference between Elijah and Elisha, both of whom labored in the Northern Kingdom. Elijah's name means, Jehovah my God and suggests the Law while Elisha's name speaks of grace - Jehovah my Saviour.
Elisha left a peaceful occupation to become a model spiritual leader. Elijah prepared Elisha for his commission (2 Kings 2:1-14), and the two became devoted to each other. Elisha's character is marked by mercy (2 Kings 2:21), disinterestedness (2 Kings 5) and toleration (2 Kings 5:19). He earned a wonderful posthumous influence (2 Kings 13:20, 21 ). What a victorious death was his (2 Kings 13:14-19)! Summarizing the life of this prophet who spoke with the authority of an oracle of God (2 Kings 3:16, 17), we see him etched as:
A man of indomitable faith (1 Kings 19:20-212 Kings 1-18).
A man of swift action (2 Kings 2:12-18).
A man of spiritual power (2 Kings 2:19-22).
A man of dauntless courage (2 Kings 3).
A man of deep sympathy (2 Kings 4:1-7).
A man of God (2 Kings 4:8-37).
A man of willing help (2 Kings 4:38-41).
A man who merited blessing (2 Kings 4:42-44).
A man of clear understanding (2 Kings 5:1-19).
A man of force and might (2 Kings 6:1-7).
A man who knew secrets (2 Kings 6:8-23).
A man of remarkable foresight (2 Kings 6:24-33; 7).
A man of unerring counsel (2 Kings 8:1-6).
A man of tears and sorrow (2 Kings 8:7-15).
Elisha suggests the ministry of Christ. On the whole, Elijah's work was destructive - he was the prophet of fire. Elisha's task was more merciful and beneficial. He had double the power of Elijah (2 Kings 2:8-9, 15), and consequently performed twice as many miracles as his former master. The following contrasts between these two prophets can be noted:
Elijah was a prophet of the wilderness; Elisha was a prince of the court.
Elijah had no settled home; Elisha enjoyed the peace of a home.
Elijah was known by his long hair and shaggy mantle; Elisha by his staff and bald head.
Elijah was mainly prophetical; Elisha's work was mainly miraculous.
Elijah's ministry was one of stern denunciation; Elisha's task was that of teaching and winning.
Elijah was a rebuker of kings; Elisha was a friend and admirer.
Elijah was a messenger of vengeance; Elisha was a messenger of mercy.
Elijah represented exclusiveness; Elisha stood for comprehension.
Elijah was fierce, fiery, energetic; Elisha was gentle, sympathetic, simple.
Elijah was a solitary figure; Elisha was more social.
Elijah had an extraordinary disappearance from earth; Elisha's death was ordinary.
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Today's reading: Exodus 29-30, Matthew 21:23-46 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Exodus 29-30

Consecration of the Priests
1 "This is what you are to do to consecrate them, so they may serve me as priests: Take a young bull and two rams without defect. 2 And from the finest wheat flour make round loaves without yeast, thick loaves without yeast and with olive oil mixed in, and thin loaves without yeast and brushed with olive oil. 3 Put them in a basket and present them along with the bull and the two rams. 4 Then bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the tent of meeting and wash them with water....

Today's New Testament reading: Matthew 21:23-46

The Authority of Jesus Questioned
23 Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. "By what authority are you doing these things?" they asked. "And who gave you this authority?"
24 Jesus replied, "I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 John's baptism--where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?"

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