Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wed Mar 18th Todays News

On Bolt Report an ongoing policy is that any Islam post can only be on the pinned leader. Normal rules apply in that if it is merely foul and abusive it will be deleted. Otherwise comments are welcome.  
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As the NSW election nears, the ABC moves on from obfuscating over the Israeli election. There is still a lot of horse trading to be done, but at first blush the conservative Likud under Netanyahu has won handsomely. The ABC have worked hard to suggest the so called centre left would defeat the party they call right wing. Such rhetoric is telling and misleading. Likud is conservative. There are right wing parties, Likud is not one of them. There are left wing parties, but none are centre left. The main opposition to Likud is populist left. Similarly in Australia, The Liberal Party is conservative. They aren't right wing, and there are a few parties that get little recognition that are. The ALP are not centre left, but populist left. In Australia, under Bill Shorten, the ALP have no policy on any issue, which is why they cannot negotiate with the government on any issue. Shorten has a mental illness which is clearly expressed in his speech, and which the partisan press label as 'zingers' but which are in fact a clear inability to understand the issues of the day. Now the ABC obfuscates over the NSW election. A partisan ICAC which has been unable to present a finding of corruption against the Liberals has claimed scalps through what can only be described as corruption on the part of the ICAC. They have failed to clarify the depth of corruption clearly visible of the NSW ALP. ABC have drawn attention to what are rumours and innuendo in order to turn the public's eye from the excellent NSW Lib Government and it's responsible budgets and public works. 

On this day in 37, Caligula managed to have Tiberius' will annulled and was made Emperor. Tiberius had been abysmal as Emperor, a threat to any wealthy Roman. Caligula was worse. In 1741, poor people and slaves were said to be burning buildings in NYC. They wanted freedom? A few were hanged and gibbeted, while others were sent away. In 1765, The UK parliament ended the stamp act, but couldn't stop the developing resentment which became the Revolution of 1776 to 1783. In 1834, six trade unionists were sentenced to be transported to NSW from Dorset. Had they been hanged instead, maybe there would be no ALP? In 1850, American Express was founded by Wells and Fargo.  In 1892 in Canada, former Governor General Lord Stanley ordered a silver cup be made for ice hockey, for the best team. In 1921, another peace treaty was signed in Riga between Poland and the murderous Soviets. In 1922, Mohandas Ghandi was sentenced to six years in prison, but only served two, for civil disobedience. In 1942, a Democrat President established an authority to place Americans in concentration camps if they looked Japanese. In 1946, diplomatic relations were established between Switzerland and the murderous Soviets. In 1959, GOP President Eisenhower signed a bill which would welcome Hawaii as the fiftieth US state. In 1985, the first episode of Neighbours was broadcast. In 1990, former communist Germany voted in a democratic election. On the same day in the US art thieves stole twelve paintings worth $300 million. In 1992, South Africa voted to end Apartheid. 
2014
American Express was founded on this day in 1850, making the world a little smaller and better for travellers. The world is very big. So big that when Tiberius died, the Senate amended his will by making Caligula emperor. Caligula was what the press now call a popular choice. Caligula would treat the roman Senate with the same contempt of a Craig Thomson addressing the parliament. Still, Rome was capable of correcting her mistakes, as they did on this day in 235 with Alexander Severus and his mother. In 1834, England made a big mistake sending 6 trade unionists to Australia. The suffering continues. On this day in 1922, Ghandi was sentenced to 6 years prison for civil disobedience. He served two. Today, we suffer from similar sentencing issues. Had it happened today, no doubt Willessee would bargain on behalf of Seven in an attempt to let Ghandi trade on the fame garnered by civil disobedience. For his part, Ghandi might have to wear a "fuck you Tony" T-shirt. To paraphrase Hawke addressing the UN, fucking Gillard would be first prize of a lottery. Tickets given to ALP backbenchers. Multiple entry winners. The silly old bugger. 

Winning the longest ever hide and seek game, on this day in 1989, was a 4400 year old mummy found near the pyramid of Cheops. Their prize seems similar to Hawke's one, the brain matter scooped through a hole in the nose, and then covered up. East Germans got to vote for unification with a richer, better state on this day in 1990, echoing Crimea today. But the glory went to a white man in South Africa who had the grace to offer a vote in 1992. It seems sad and nasty that divisive socialists have not honoured the graciousness. But there is hope that there never was under apartheid. 
Historical perspectives on this day 





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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/4124406September https://www.createspace.com/5106914October 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 Phuc Le and Jorge Rodas. Born the same day Neighbours was first broadcast in 1985, although a different year for you? Actually, Phuc's birthday is belated, he could turn US dollars green, yesterday. 
March 18Flag Day in Aruba (1976)
Current version of the Stanley Cup
We evacuated everyone except the communists. We made the cup. Stay clear of the tornado, it won't take you to a yellow brick road. Everybody needs good neighbours. The feeding tube is gone. Let's party. 
Matches
Hatches
Despatches
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2015
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Jihadis fill atheist void

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, March 18, 2015 (6:18am)

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JIHADIST Jake Bilardi is a symptom of the ­spiritual anorexia of the West. He was a lost boy looking for ­meaning in life and finding it in the worst possible place.
The youngest of six children in suburban Melbourne, Bilardi lost his father to divorce when he was nine, and his mother to cancer when he was 15. Brought up an atheist, ­highly intelligent, he had no anchors in his life at a time when he was seeking spiritual nourishment.
He converted to Islam shortly after his mother died, before dropping out of school in August to run off to Syria and join Islamic State.
Last week he blew himself up, aged 18, in a suicide bombing in Iraq.
After his death, IS propagandists ­proclaimed he “originated from an atheist family & ended up selling his soul to Allah for a cheap price.”
Bilardi was taught to believe in nothing and ended up a fanatical believer in something very bad.
That is evident. But when I wrote about this last week and pointed out that Bilardi’s life is a warning of the “inevitable trajectory of the West’s cultural nihilism”, the torrent of abuse on Twitter was insane, even by the standards of that sewer of human discourse.
The extreme reaction proved one thing, that militant atheism is synonymous with an unhinged hatred of religion. It also suggests that bien pensants have internalised the horrors of totalitarian Islamist ideology, not with ­Islamophobia, but with ­"Christophobia" and anti-Semitism, a paradox, if ever there was one.
Some examples:
“Belief in #God is an ­admission of mental ­incompetence.”
“What has mainstream ­religion given us — peadophiles [sic], Spanish Inquisition, ­ethnic cleansing, destruction of indigenous cultures?.”
“Most Christians suffer from neurosis and that’s a mental disorder.”
“The time has come to put the boot into evil vicious journalists who use their power to bully others about ?#god.”
“Your moral slime is as ­turpid as the brainless act of ­violence committed by that idiot Jake.”
“Parents divorced when I was 12, and I’m an atheist. Therefore I must want to blow myself up for religion.”
“You need to speak to atheists. We raise our children not to be self serving hypocrites.”
“Miranda, atheists have beliefs — beliefs in nature, wildlife conservation, community, anti CSG for instance”. ?
“Religion is an illness — get well soon.”
There is no understanding here of the effect a vacuum of spiritual belief has on vulnerable adolescents, or the role religion has played in human flourishing, and a feeling of connectedness.
In fact, Bilardi’s conversion from atheist child to jihadi is not so uncommon. When the Paris-based Centre of Prevention of Sectarian Derivatives last year investigated Islamist radicalisation, it ­interviewed 160 families of young jihadists and found 80 per cent described themselves as ‘atheist’.
I’ve spared you the foulest insults of my Twitter feed, but it’s important to be aware of what passes for thought online because this is the seedbed which radicalised Jake Bilardi.
In fact, the politics of his “manifesto”, a blog explaining his trajectory from “being an Atheist school student in ­affluent Melbourne to a soldier of the Khilafah preparing to sacrifice my life for Islam in Ramadi”, could be from any left wing blog.
At about age 13 he starts reading about international politics online. He is angered by injustices he discovers, identifying with underdogs from the street gangs of South America, to the Taliban and Palestinians. He blames the United States, Israel and Western democracy for the ills of the world, and then starts to relate to Islam’s ­victim narrative.
“Slowly but surely I began being drawn towards the ­religion and it was no longer a political interest for me but the truth I had been circling around for years.”
For adolescent psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg, Bilardi’s case is nothing special. He has treated plenty of lost boys like him, the sort who join gangs, or cults or who, in America, become school shooters.
“Because there was nothing in his life he became ­obsessed with a range of global issues and he simply self-activated,” Carr-Gregg said ­yesterday.
“Initially, there was spiritual anorexia. Then there was this idea of how terrible the West is and that is the cause I can jump on.
“His personalisation of injustice sped up and was exacerbated by the personal events in his life (parents’ divorce and mother’s death) and ultimately he came to believe it’s OK to use violence as a problem-solving device.”
A lonely adolescent like Jake Bilardi, with no parents, no anchors, and no other consolation or meaning in his life, could not afford to be an atheist, because all that could provide was despair.
His “soul” as his IS ­recruiters found, was easy prey. This is what educated, comfortable, happy atheists fail to comprehend.
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JE SUIS TIM POWELL

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 18, 2015 (3:38pm)

I furkan derya to find a better name than Tim Powell:

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I don’t know this Powell guy, but he’s obviously a brilliant columnist who deserves a huge pay increase. Here’s a more accurate piece by Metro‘s Rob Waugh, and don’t miss previous commentary from Mark Steyn and Matthew Hayden.
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IT’S A HIT

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 18, 2015 (2:35pm)

Fairfax is now claiming its festival for nobody was actually a huge success: 
Fairfax has told Mumbrella that “9,000+ people” attended Spectrum Playground over the weekend … 
Er, sure they did. Maybe Peter Hartcher was counting those attendees. Then again, it is possible Fairfax is right, and that nearly 10,000 people did in fact visit the first of their Spectrum parties. After all, who could resist this sort of lure
Step beyond the printed page to meet the people who write and edit The Sydney Morning Herald arts and entertainment coverage each day, every week. The Full Spectrum is a fiesta of talks, confessions, discussions and debate, created and hosted by Fairfax journalists. It’s the chance to see our cultural heroes live on stage, eavesdrop on creative pillow talk and turn the tables to ask your own questions. 
Alternatively, you could just park a truck and wait for SMH staffers to come to you.
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BIBI BACK FROM THE EDGE

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 18, 2015 (1:01pm)

Mike Carlton predicts
That thug Bibi Netanyahu teeters on the edge of oblivion. Hooray. 
Mike may wish to temper his excitement. The Economist reports: 
The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has once again confounded the pollsters. In 1996, opinion surveys predicted he would lose against the then Labour prime minister, Shimon Peres, but he came out on top. This time around he had been trailing behind his main challenger, Yitzhak Herzog, the leader of Zionist Union, for much of the campaign. But when polls closed on March 17th, the exit polls found he had drawn level with Mr Herzog, and he may yet secure a fourth term. 
Good. Further from Andrew Bolt and the New York Post.
UPDATE. It’s now looking even better for Netanyahu: 
The Israeli elections took a dramatic turn in the early morning hours on Wednesday as official tallies from nearly all precincts indicate that Likud has opened up a significant lead over Zionist Union, a far cry from the virtual dead heat that television exit polls had reported Tuesday evening.
With nearly 90 percent of precincts reporting before dawn on Wednesday, the Likud holds a major edge over Zionist Union in the distribution of Knesset seats. 
The Bibi-sitter is back in town.
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MUSTAPHA READ

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 18, 2015 (11:39am)

Mark Steyn reviews a continuing online debacle. As does Matthew Hayden.
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Netanyahu leads in Israeli election. Let the media weep

Andrew Bolt March 18 2015 (11:35am)


Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have won the Israeli elections, despite fierce media attacks - not just at home but abroad - and the open hostility of President Barack Obama:

Israeli parliamentary elections ended Tuesday in a virtual deadlock, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party appearing to hold the upper hand in forming the next governing coalition.
Exit polls conducted by the country’s three major TV stations late Tuesday gave mixed results, showing an extremely tight race between Netanyahu’s Likud Party and opposition leader Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Union.
All showed the centrist newcomer Moshe Kahlon with enough seats to determine who will be the next prime minister. Kahlon, a Likud breakaway, has not said whether he favors Netanyahu or Herzog…
Two polls showed the parties deadlocked with 27 seats each, and a third gave Likud a slight lead of 28-27…
Since the parties all fall short of the required 61-seat majority in parliament, the country will now head into weeks of negotiations as they try to form a coalition… The left wing appeared to have slightly more seats, but would rely heavily on a new Arab list that has said it will not sit in a coalition.
That gives Netanyahu and his right-wing allies the upper hand. But Kahlon, who has already demanded control of the Finance Ministry, is likely to drive a hard bargain before agreeing to join the government.
UPDATE
The final results are even better for Netanyahu than the exit polls - let alone the pre-election polls - suggested. Barack Obama has a slap in the face:


With nearly all votes counted, Netanyahu’s Likud party has at least 29 seats in the 120 seat Knesset, according to unofficial numbers from the Israeli election committee.

Main rival Zionist Union has 24 seats, it said.  
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Rising tribalism: how did the Armenian massacre become an election issue in NSW?

Andrew Bolt March 18 2015 (11:25am)


This is very ugly and shame on any Liberals who may be stoking old ethnic hatreds to defeat NSW Labor leader Luke Foley:


Two months later, it appears his Liberal opponent - longtime local councillor Ronney Oueik - is winning the recognition race. Oueik’s posters outnumber Foley 10 to one around the electorate and the Labor leader also faces problems trying to placate local sensitivities over his past predilections.
Some say the Turkish community is less than impressed with Labor foisting on them a man who is a member of the Armenia-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group and Foley’s endorsement of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel has not endeared him to the Arab community.
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Smothering the argument

Andrew Bolt March 18 2015 (11:17am)


Bizarre. Fairfax is so anti-Abbott that it now reports Labor’s response before it mentions the Tony Abbott argument Labor is attacking:


Labor has condemned Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s claim that Australia was heading for a “Greek-style economic future” as inflammatory, irresponsible and capable of harming economic confidence.

Mr Abbott made the remark during a radio interview in which he pledged he would not fix the federal budget this year at the expense of households but predicted a “broad budget balance” within five years.


“Under the former Labor government we were heading to a Greek-style economic future,” the Prime Minister told 2SM host Grant Goldman. 
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Abbott cannot be blamed for the damage Labor wilfully does

Andrew Bolt March 18 2015 (9:15am)


It is popular to blame the Abbott Government for the Senate’s spiteful refusal to pass legislation to stop the debt blowing out to even more dangerous levels.
But why is it the Government’s fault that Labor, the Greens and some independent Senators categorically refuse to fix Labor’s disaster? Why demand the Government do a better “sales job” when Labor should need no sales pitch to know its duty?
Result: Labor is now being rewarded for its cynical wrecking job in the Senate. It blocks but Abbott gets blamed - which is Labor’s strategy exactly.
This cannot keep going:

A worse-than-expected decline in the iron ore price since December has forced the federal government to downgrade revenue predictions by another $1.8 billion a year…
(S)ources said the decline in the ore price to $US56 ($73), below the conservative annual average price estimate of $US60 in the mid-year budget update, has forced another revenue downgrade in the forthcoming May budget…
The budgetary situation is being compounded further by the government’s politically unpopular measures. In recent weeks it has junked the $3.6 billion in Medicare charges, performed a $200 million backflip on defence pay, made available at least $105 million in car industry assistance, and faces the defeat of measures at the hands of what Mr Abbott called a “feral Senate”.
[Note: all these backflips were actually forced on the Government by the Senate.]
On Tuesday night, the Senate, by 34 votes to 30, killed off the higher education policy which ... was worth more than $4 billion in savings over four years…
The change to [the aged pension] indexation is not due to begin until 2017 and had only a small budgetary impact in the four-year period. But over 10 years, the indexation change to the aged pension alone would save more than $22 billion
The recently released Intergenerational Report said the budget – currently facing a $40 billion deficit – would only achieve balance in five years if every budget measure announced last year, or something equivalent, was passed.
It found that if the 30 or so measures still stuck in the Senate and which are worth more than $20 billion over four years, stayed stuck, the budget would be in deficit for another 40 years.
Why is the Government being blamed for being unable to persuade a Senate that is actually determined not to be persuaded at all? Unless the media takes on Labor (forget the irredeemable Greens) the country will slide inexorably to some economic crisis. Surely damaging the hated Tony Abbott is not worth this terrible price.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Victoria’s Labor Government will save the planet from global warming. Never mind the cost!

Andrew Bolt March 18 2015 (9:05am)


The madness is back. More millions to be wasted to make no difference at all to a global warming that’s now paused for some 17 years:
Climate change is back on the political agenda in Victoria, with the Andrews Government considering going it alone with a state-based greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.
In a symbolic but significant gesture, Environment Minister Lisa Neville has ordered bureaucrats in her department to “call it what it is - climate change”, banning the phrase “climate variability” preferred by the former Napthine government.
The idiocy is astonishing.  This, mind you, is from the party that last time around built the hideously expensive and now mothballed desalination plant on the false assumption that global warming would stop the rain.
(Thanks to reader mem.) 
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Senate damns Abbott for wanting to fix the Aboriginal disadvantage it won’t

Andrew Bolt March 18 2015 (8:37am)


One of Tony Abbott’s mistakes is not to do a Keating - to go in harder when challenged by fools, rather than keep quiet and give the impression he’s been rightly pinged.
A classic example came last week, when Abbott was vilified for saying something true and important about the folly of spending so much money to house Aborigines were there were no jobs or schools. Abbott should have taken on the outrage brigade rather than lapse into silence, as if saying “lifestyle choices” was really the gaffe so many young journalists happily assumed, and not the blunt truth that some prominent Aborigines have acknowledged, either deliberately or accidentally.
But here’s a new chance for Abbott to defend his “lifestyle choices” comments and expose the destructive pieties of the sanctimonious Senate:

WA Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has secured Senate support in her bid to get Tony Abbott to apologise over his comments that remote Aboriginal communities are a “lifestyle choice”.
The Prime Minister said last week “it’s not the job of the taxpayer to subsidise lifestyle choices” in regards to the WA government’s plans to close almost half of the 270 remote aboriginal communities in the west.
The Prime Minister’s comments have been universally panned by indigenous leaders around Australia.
Ms Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues, moved a motion on Tuesday, calling on Mr Abbott to apologise immediately for his “insensitive” remark.
The WA Senator’s motion also called on the Abbott government to reinstate the Municipal and Essential Funding for WA and the Barnett government to kybosh its plans to close Aboriginal communities…
“Community and Aboriginal leaders concede remote Aboriginal communities are important to cultural, emotional and social wellbeing and should not be shut down for the sake of short-sighted budgetary measures,” she said.
Reader John:

Siewert went home yesterday thinking she had accomplished something.  She made a speech in Canberra. That’s her entire contribution. Mission accomplished. 
But she accomplished nothing other than make herself feel good about herself, which is the only measure by which the Greens measure success.
Fact: it makes no sense to spend $85,000 per person per year to service micro-communities of around eight people each in areas where there are no jobs or schools.
Fact: Aboriginal health, education and employment standards are all worse in these micro-communities than they are among Aborigines in the cities.
Fact: generations of other Aborigines have put their duty to their children above their connections to the land and moved to where there are jobs and schools, and have done so without being any less Aboriginal. And without actually feeling any less bonded to their traditional lands.
Fact: Aboriginal poverty and welfarism will never end while children are raised where there are no schools and no opportunities to work - or even examples of people earning a living.
Fact: we spend twice as much per person on Aborigines than we do on non-Aborigines - and that has still not ended Aboriginal disadvantage. In fact, in the last Labor governments, spending shot up but results generally worsened or failed to improve. We are simply reinforcing failure, and more money is not the answer.
Fact: what the Senate demands will perpetuate the Aboriginal poverty that the likes of Siewert will then moralise over. 
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Yes, Senator Lambie, the Senate is indeed feral

Andrew Bolt March 18 2015 (7:42am)


What Tony Abbott actually said:

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the coalition joint party room meeting on Tuesday the government was facing what he called a “feral Senate”.
What the ABC’s Sabra Lane to Senator Jacqui Lambie what Abbott said:

On the Government handling in the Senate, the Prime Minister told a meeting of the joint party room today that the Senate crossbench were “ferals”. How do you respond, how do you respond to that? Do you feel like ferals?
An adjective becomes a noun, with a nastier connotation. The object in changed from the Senate generally to eight cross-benchers personally. Your ABC at work.
Lambie arcs up at this terrible insult:
Well, I think this: obviously if the man’s coming out and saying that - which I find absolutely quite disturbing and really disrespectful to the crossbenchers - is he’s now getting desperate. 
Yet Lambie, so upset by this “disrespect”, is herself the most abusive politician in Parliament:
Just in the past six months, Senator Lambie has publicly described Mr Abbott as a “political psychopath” and a “barefaced, uncaring liar”; called him and Treasurer Joe Hockey “nothing less than a pair of deceitful, lying, political politicians” on national television. She also claimed Mr Abbott put his daughters at risk by “parading” them around during the election campaign.
More hypocrisy from Lambie:

If [Abbott is] not used to attacks by now then you probably shouldn’t be in that position… You’ve got one of two choices. You can run and hide or you can say to yourself `here’s a bucket of cement - toughen up’.
But does Lambie have any consistency at all, including in the decisions she makes on the future of this country? Here is how she last night justified voting against a bill that would stop governments telling universities what fees to charge - a bill that every single vice-chancellor in the country bar one has urged the Senate to pass:


Yeah, I think [the vice chancellors] want reform. But what I’m hearing is they didn’t ask for a deregulation. So I’m going to double-check on that…
But you know what? These [vice chancellors] are supposed to be the brains of the country. Why are we telling them how the universities should be run? So it’s about time they stood up, they stood tall and they help come up with the solution.
Lambie is actually demanding what she’s actually voted against - and asking for the advice she’s actually got.
Heaven help this country.
But Lambie is a symbol of the feral Australian Senate today - a Labor, Greens and independents shambles that is recklessly opposing what is in the national interest, motivated more by spite and political advantage than serious calculation of the public good.
And, like Labor, the Greens and several crossbenchers, she refuses to accept the money is gone and savings must be made. Last night again, rather than appeal for more cuts she demanded more spending:


But the other problem is: spending 0.6 per cent of our GDP on our higher education is just not enough. Even back in 1995 we were spending 0.9 per cent. So I say: let’s at least spend one per cent of our GDP.
Given our GDP is around $2,000 billion, Lambie last night just demanded new spending of $8 billion a year just on universities. That, when we’re already borrowing $110 million a day.
Yes, the Senate is feral. Exhibit A: Jacqui Lambie.
Yet hear the ABC this morning (Michael Brissenden on AM, for instance) blame the Government for the Senate’s bloody-minded refusal to pass what it should.
UPDATE
Reader Rogue Bull has a challenge for Labor and the Greens:


So we have 40 out of 41 University Vice Chancellors agreeing that the Higher Education sector needs deregulation.
That’s 97% of the experts agree there is an existential threat. A solid, provable 97%.
Who are the deniers now?
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Would you buy a policy from these koalas?

Andrew Bolt March 18 2015 (7:35am)


First NSW Labor used fluffy kittens to sell its policies - even policies on national parks.
Now it hides behind koalas - and makes like a Green:

LABOR has turned a deep shade of green — promising a koala summit and reservation, more wind farms and ­reaffirming the party’s ­uranium ban — in a huge gift to the Greens after the two parties struck a preferencing deal in a raft of key state ­election battlegrounds. 

Opposition leader Luke Foley, already firmly in the pocket of the unions, jumped into bed with the Greens yesterday as he unveiled Labor’s environment policy, including plans to “save” the koala, which has a conservation ­status of “least concern” from the International Union for Conversation of Nature ­because of its “presumed large population”.
These people do not deserve to be within a cooee of the levers of power. 
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The spill that wasn’t

Andrew Bolt March 18 2015 (7:14am)


Here is a handy list of the journalists who predicted Tony Abbott could be gone in the spill that never came. Check their output from now on to see if they try to make their dud predictions of Abbott’s fall come true. 
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Abbott’s recovery continues, despite all the media’s attempts to deny it

Andrew Bolt March 17 2015 (5:23pm)


I’ll say it again - Tony Abbott’s recovery is slow but real, and even more extraordinary for occurring despite a furious media campaign to destroy him.
From today’s Essential Media poll, a result better than the consensus of recent polls:
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To misquote a certain windsock:
To those who mocked the “stunning recovery” line last week what now?
Imagine how much more remarkable this recovery would be were Malcolm Turnbull loyal and the ABC fair?
Fair-minded commentators should at least cut Abbott some slack and let him fail or succeed on his merits, without fearing that they’ll be left looking silly for defending a man far better than his feral critics allow. And certainly without hoping to make their predictions of his fall come true. 
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It worked. Chuck did it.
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=== Posts from last year ===

PUT IT ON A SIGN

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 18, 2014 (12:13pm)

As succinctly as he is able, John Birmingham describes the March in Marchers: 
… a gathering of the randomly but deeply aggrieved to give voice to the anger of people increasingly feeling themselves to be utterly powerless in the face of the social and political re-engineering of their country to serve the interests of powerful corporations and the true elites … 
The full sentence includes another 41 words.
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TURN IT UP

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 18, 2014 (4:18am)

Formula One’s new eco-tech engines sound like sad robots working in an industrial laundry. It’s an unappealing sonic combination of dull mechanical racket and Dyson testing lab. And the volume is weak
The boss of the Australian grand prix is threatening legal action against the governing body because he thought Sunday’s event “wasn’t loud enough” …
Australian Grand Prix chief executive Andrew Westacott is threatening legal action and claims that because the new Formula One cars with V6 engines are quieter than previous years, there is a potential breach of contract.
“It’s about getting what you paid for, and we don’t believe what he got there [at the Albert Park] was what we paid for,” he told Neil Mitchell. 
Readers were warned of this three years ago when F1 first proposed an engine shrinkage.
UPDATE. Hear for yourselves:

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ANTI-PSYCHOTIC DONUT

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 18, 2014 (4:16am)

Several of these might come in handy at the next family dinner. And that’s just for me.
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CLARISSA DICKSON WRIGHT

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 18, 2014 (3:55am)

The wonderful Clarissa Dickson Wright, last of the Two Fat Ladies, has died at just 66.
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ENDLESS LOVE

Tim Blair – Monday, March 17, 2014 (10:59pm)

Naturally, the Holy Gillard Choir receives taxpayer funding:

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Voters tell Abbott: keep your word and we’ll cop it

Andrew Bolt March 18 2014 (5:25pm)

The real winner in last Saturday’s elections in Tasmania and South Australia? Tony Abbott, says Terry McCrann:
I know, as politicians and commentators claim repeatedly, state elections are not about federal issues…
[But] let’s take Labor at its word. These elections were all about Abbott: South Australian voters backed him 53-47 per cent; and Tasmania even more resoundingly with 53 per cent of first preferences. Labor and the Greens were shredded.
Also, add that to the Griffith by-election where the Prime Minister (and true, a very good local candidate) scored a rare by-election swing to the Government — and they did so, against Labor’s imprecations, and the easy option of being able, to ‘send a message to Canberra’, and to Abbott in particular…
Now, he’s proved such a ‘successful’ focus of Labor attack, that he’s managed to ‘lose’ Labor every state and territory government, bar the ‘beltway cocooned ACT’, and if not also South Australia, only because of an outrageous gerrymander ...
We’ve already seen ... the government’s ‘tough decisions’ to refuse SPC and Qantas what they wanted… What’s again got lost in the hysteria, is that Abbott’s tactical instincts proved best. To have taken the all-too easy path of handing SPC $25 million and Qantas a ‘costless’ debt guarantee would have undermined the necessary tough decisions those companies had to make…
The big thing that flows from all this, is that the Prime Minister has gained an increasingly powerful mandate to take tough and decisive action.
The two state elections and the Griffith by-election have given him the most useful mandate of it all — one where the voters have had a second, and all-too easy, chance to fall prey to scare campaigns, and instead increased their support.
Clearly, the success in ‘stopping the boats’ has been of huge, huge, benefit to the Government and to Abbott in particular, in winning post-election respect and confidence. 
The message is twofold: deliver on your promises, and we’ll cop the tough decisions. 
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Will power destroy these independents as it did Windsor and Oakeshott?

Andrew Bolt March 18 2014 (5:23pm)

Two independents risk becoming the Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor of South Australia:
VOTERS in the electorates of two independents who loom as kingmakers overwhelmingly want them to deliver a Liberal government in a likely hung State Parliament. 
Exclusive Advertiser-Galaxy polls taken last night show a combined 60 per cent of respondents in the seats of Fisher (Happy Valley) and Frome (Port Pirie), want a conservative government.
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Who is selecting our immigrants? Are they doing a good job?

Andrew Bolt March 18 2014 (10:28am)

Not for the first time do I doubt our immigration program - and refugee intake - is working in the best interests of Australians: 

TWENTY-SEVEN people have been arrested in major pre-dawn police raids targeting a Middle Eastern organised crime syndicate in Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs. The raids, executed after investigations by Santiago Taskforce, involved 44 properties in suburbs including Altona North, Campbellfield, Truganina and Sunshine.
Note: all those arrested are entitled to the presumption of innocence. 
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No case yet for Sinodinos to step aside

Andrew Bolt March 18 2014 (10:13am)

Yes, something about Australian Water Holdings smells to high heaven and needs investigating, but at this stage what is the specific allegation against Arthur Sinodinos?:
ASSISTANT Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos stood to gain up to $20 million if a deal between a private infrastructure group in which he held shares and the publicly owned Sydney Water went through, the NSW Independent Commission against Corruption has heard. 
On the first day of hearings into whether former NSW Labor MPs Eddie Obeid, Joe Tripodi and Tony Kelly misused their positions to favour Australian Water Holdings, it was revealed that Australian Water Holdings tried to seek favours from both sides of politics and paid donations to the Liberal Party out of the money it overcharged Sydney Water Corporation…

Asked if he would step aside as Assistant Treasurer, a spokeswoman for Senator Sinodinos, a former chief of staff to John Howard while he was prime minister, said he would be a witness and was looking forward to assisting the ICAC.
Labor – through a backbencher - says this alone requires Sinodinos to step aside:
Labor backbencher Kelvin Thomson said the Senator should step aside while the matter is investigated. 
“These are very unsatisfactory arrangements,” he said.
“It’s clear that the Liberal Party understands that these are dodgy dealings.
“It’s handed back the campaign donation it received as a consequence of the dealings. 
“I think that it’d be in the best interests of the integrity of the system if Senator Sinodinos were to step aside.”
But what precisely is alleged to be Sinodinos’s offence? That he got himself a well-paid job with a big success fee is no crime. And other than that, nothing at all improper is alleged against him.
Sure, more may emerge and I do not deny everything about this company needs investigation.
But right now there is not even an allegation of impropriety against Sinodinos, let alone proof of one.
There are no grounds for Sinodinos to step aside, and it should be beneath Labor to suggest there is. 
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SBS gives Abbott an opening in the culture wars

Andrew Bolt March 18 2014 (9:39am)

Culture warsMedia

The Abbott Government has a chance to redress bias at SBS, with the three members of the board - one a former Labor adviser - not winning reappointment, and two of the four-member board selection committee appointed by Labor needing replacement.
I have some hope that this Government has a sharper understanding of the culture wars and a more comprehensive black book than was obvious with the Howard Government. Tony Abbott, George Brandis and Chris Pyne seem particularly adept at this kind of work. 
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A dilemma for many Greens voters

Andrew Bolt March 18 2014 (9:38am)

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Worse even than the French?

Andrew Bolt March 18 2014 (9:17am)

Britain’s mighty James Delingpole concludes:

...there’s no lefty quite so despicable as an Aussie lefty.
Discuss. 
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Repeal Day: digging us out from under a mountain of laws

Andrew Bolt March 18 2014 (8:56am)

Maurice Newman, chairman of the Prime Minister’s business advisory council, on cutting the paper chains that bind us:
If Australia’s labour laws are largely off the table for the time being, and if the Senate is mindlessly hostile to urgent reductions in energy costs, the Abbott government’s options are restricted. One it will pursue is Repeal Day, on March 26. 
Initially this will involve axing 8000 regulations, some going back 100 years, said to save at least $1bn annually. Repeal Day will be annual… What seems clear is that it will be more difficult to repeal the Coalition’s 8000 regulations than it was for the Labor government to introduce 21,000 of them in the past six years.  
Judith Sloan on the paper tyrants:
WHENEVER Anthony Albanese, former government leader of the House of Representatives, bragged about how many bills had been passed by parliament during Labor’s terms in office, I would break out into a cold sweat. 
Take this boast: “as of December 2011 the government had passed 254 bills through the parliament compared to just 108 bills in the first year of the Howard government.” ...
Many of these regulations were ill-considered, badly drafted and, in some instances, completely unworkable. 
Both Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, when in the top job, were only too happy to exempt new legislation from the requirement for a Regulation Impact Statement. There were some 80 exemptions and missing statements during the Labor years of government.
In the hit list for Repeal Day:

- Removal of the need for medical practitioners to have multiple provider numbers; 
- Streamlining of the approval for the prescription of certain drugs by the Department of Health;
- Dramatically reducing the reporting requirements on universities;
- Altering the coverage and content of gender equality reporting by private businesses;
- Reducing the regulatory reach of the Therapeutic Goods Administration, particularly with regard to over-the-counter medicines; 
- Streamlining environmental approval processes based on partnerships between the federal and state governments.
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Watching them towed back, I actually felt relief

Andrew Bolt March 18 2014 (8:44am)

Boat people policy

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I do not criticise the ABC at all for the way it presented a video made by boat people who were towed back to Indonesia by our navy. I am simply surprised that the boat people behind the video thought this was a good way to get public support for their bid to enter Australia illegally:
GEORGE ROBERTS: After Arash Sedigh was refused entry to Australia through the skilled migration program, they came to Indonesia to apply for resettlement as refugees, but gave up waiting and turned to people smugglers. 
ARASH SEDIGH: We decided to go there in illegal way, to make them accept us… When Customs come inside our wooden boat, I just ask them, “Please, please help us. Would you please take us in a safe place?” They just shouted on me, “Shut up, shut up, sit down!”
GEORGE ROBERTS: Arash Sedigh became angry after demanding a doctor to treat sick passengers and a pregnant woman.
ARASH SEDIGH:  ... I couldn’t tolerate. I told them, “I will kill you if you don’t take us to that ship. I have nothing to lose. I will kill you. Believe me....”
GEORGE ROBERTS: As their boat foundered, the asylum seekers were taken onboard the Australian Customs ship the Triton…
ARASH SEDIGH: They pushed us, they punched us, when we were just asking for our rights. They just told us, “Shut down, shut down - sit down, shut up. Sit down, shut up.” And ...
GEORGE ROBERTS: Is that because asylum seekers were protesting or being violent?
ARASH SEDIGH: Yeah, sometimes protesting, sometimes asking for some rights… 

GEORGE ROBERTS: Australian Customs had deployed a new weapon in the campaign: a fleet of high-tech orange lifeboats… 

ARASH SEDIGH: After that, they took me from the water, they pushed me into the orange boat…
GEORGE ROBERTS: On the morning of 5th February, the Triton towed the orange lifeboat towards Indonesia… As they got closer to Indonesia, the Australians cut them loose… Arash Sedigh provided a running commentary on the journey [on the video].
ARASH SEDIGH (on asylum seeker boat): They put us in this f**king orange boat and sent us back to Indonesia. And the Navy was escorting that ship until today. ... F**k Australia. ... I said to them, “You are criminals”. If later on you said why they do that to America on September 11, you should know the cause of it is your very deeds. Remember 9-11 for United States. All the world should know why. Australian Government, Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison, Immigration - all of them are the smugglers.
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MAN (on asylum seeker boat): F**k Australia!
I understand the extreme disappointment at being turned back, but why the threats of another September 11? If Sedigh and his fellow passengers were allowed here, would they make such threats again if denied anything else, such as a job or welfare or loan?    
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Even Labor and the Greens never meant these laws to muzzle us as they now do

Andrew Bolt March 18 2014 (8:44am)

Free speech

Nick Cater says no one predicted that racial discrimination laws would actually be used to silence legitimate debate simply on the grounds of offence:

AUSTRALIAN magistrates have always tended to take a dim view of people who threaten to throw bricks through other people’s windows. Nevertheless, Paul Keating insisted the law should go further. 
“Why do we need a racial hatred bill?” John Laws asked the then prime minister in 1994.
“Because basically having people running around saying ‘I’m going to throw a brick through your window or burn your building down because of your race’ should be an offence,” replied Keating....
Importantly, however, in Keating’s view racial vilification was explicitly linked to an act of physical violence to a person or their property.
There was no suggestion that the provisions could be used to redress hurt feelings or against the likes of Andrew Bolt.... If the 1995 amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act had reflected these sentiments there would be little reason to repeal it....
The Keating government was expressly warned by the then Human Rights and Equal Opportunity commissioner, Irene Moss, not to legislate against the causing of offence.
In her influential 1991 report on HREOC’s National Inquiry on Racist Violence, Moss advised against following the model adopted in New Zealand where section 9C of the Race Relations Act had been “widely used and even abused by individuals complaining of insults or remarks of a relatively trivial nature"…
As it turned out, the proposed amendments to the Crimes Act were a step too far even for the Greens, who sided with the Coalition to block them in the Senate.
“It will create a crime of words,” the Greens’ Christabel Chamarette told the Senate.
“This will take the legislation across a certain threshold into the realm of thought police.”
The changes to the RDA were passed, however, with the shoddily worded section 18C unamended. Thus, for the past 19 years, it has been a civil offence “to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” a person or group on the grounds of national identity.
It is a legislative dog’s dinner that Attorney-General George Brandis is now obliged to clear up.
Read on. Cater discovers Tony Abbott’s concern with such laws dates from his maiden speech. And Cater, like me, is heartened by signs the Government will not back off from its proposed reforms, although Labor and the Greens seem set in the Senate to keep us muzzled. 
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Human rights lawyer Burnside loves the thought of drowning Abbott

Andrew Bolt March 18 2014 (8:28am)

Celebrity “human rights” lawyer Julian Burnside says people who send rude messages have something wrong with them:
It occurred to me then that the passion which drove their initial hostility was the mark of people who were alienated from the community: they were accustomed to being ignored, so they fall to shouting abuse as a way of getting attention. Just once listen to them, and they quickly fall back to observing the ordinary rules of civil behaviour. 
This is not just an argument for good manners: I think it goes much deeper. Too many people in our community feel alienated from it and that alienation is unstable: it tends not to self-correct, but to amplify itself… There are many reasons why members of the community become alienated from it. They may have been dealt a bad hand: they have been born poor, they have been badly educated, they have a mental or physical disability, they have bad luck in employment, they make bad choices which lead them into a hopeless life. 
Does Burnside suffer a mental disability or lead a hopeless life? I ask because of some of his recent tweets, including one nominating his favorite anti-Abbott sign at last weekend’s “March in March” festival of hate:
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And, of course, this was this infamous little “joke”, followed by an unconvincing apology:
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Not for the first time I wonder whether the houses of the Left have mirrors
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ABC makes the smallest apology it could get away with

Andrew Bolt March 18 2014 (6:53am)

The ABC’s apology did not go far enough, failing to include a specific acknowledgement that claims I’d subjected Dr Misty Jenkins to “foul abuse” and driven her from “public life” were utterly false.  But it is a start:
THE ABC last night apologised to Daily Telegraph columnist Andrew Bolt over claims from Aboriginal academic Marcia Langton on Q&A last week that he was racist. Host Tony Jones made the apology for comments accusing Bolt last week of racial vilification during a discussion about racial discrimination laws. 
“Marcia Langton publicly said she did not think he was a racist. As a result the ABC apologises for broadcasting her comments,” Jones said last night.
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Just two days to design a $2 billion disaster which killed four men

Andrew Bolt March 17 2014 (6:53pm)

This just screams of Kevin Rudd in every detail:
KEVIN Rudd’s department gave two environment department staffers just two days to secretly cost and assess the risks of its scheme to deliver pink batts to every uninsulated Australian home. 
Environment Department Assistant-Secretary Mary Wiley-Smith ...  told the commission she’d received a call late on the Friday of the Australia Day long weekend in 2009 from a Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet staffer. She was told she and another environment department official had to cost and consider the risks of two massive government programs by the Monday — which was a public holiday.
This, too, is pure Rudd:
Ms Wiley-Smith ... also confirmed she and her fellow bureaucrat were told to keep the matter confidential and they could not ring industry representatives to seek advice.
The rush, the thought-bubble process, the lack of consultation, the lack of consideration for staff, the lack of process - exactly what also gave us the NBN white elephant, Grocery Watch, Fuel Watch, overpriced school halls, an underfunded school computer program, unbuilt superclinics and more than 1000 dead boat people. 
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March 18Flag Day in Aruba (1976)
Adolphe Thiers
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“A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” -Psalm 23:1-3
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
March 17: Morning
"Remember the poor." - Galatians 2:10
Why does God allow so many of his children to be poor? He could make them all rich if he pleased; he could lay bags of gold at their doors; he could send them a large annual income; or he could scatter round their houses abundance of provisions, as once he made the quails lie in heaps round the camp of Israel, and rained bread out of heaven to feed them. There is no necessity that they should be poor, except that he sees it to be best. "The cattle upon a thousand hills are his"--he could supply them; he could make the richest, the greatest, and the mightiest bring all their power and riches to the feet of his children, for the hearts of all men are in his control. But he does not choose to do so; he allows them to suffer want, he allows them to pine in penury and obscurity. Why is this? There are many reasons: one is, to give us, who are favoured with enough, an opportunity of showing our love to Jesus. We show our love to Christ when we sing of him and when we pray to him; but if there were no sons of need in the world we should lose the sweet privilege of evidencing our love, by ministering in alms-giving to his poorer brethren; he has ordained that thus we should prove that our love standeth not in word only, but in deed and in truth. If we truly love Christ, we shall care for those who are loved by him. Those who are dear to him will be dear to us. Let us then look upon it not as a duty but as a privilege to relieve the poor of the Lord's flock--remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Surely this assurance is sweet enough, and this motive strong enough to lead us to help others with a willing hand and a loving heart--recollecting that all we do for his people is graciously accepted by Christ as done to himself.
Evening
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." - Matthew 5:9
This is the seventh of the beatitudes: and seven was the number of perfection among the Hebrews. It may be that the Saviour placed the peacemaker the seventh upon the list because he most nearly approaches the perfect man in Christ Jesus. He who would have perfect blessedness, so far as it can be enjoyed on earth, must attain to this seventh benediction, and become a peacemaker. There is a significance also in the position of the text. The verse which precedes it speaks of the blessedness of "the pure in heart: for they shall see God." It is well to understand that we are to be "first pure, then peaceable." Our peaceableness is never to be a compact with sin, or toleration of evil. We must set our faces like flints against everything which is contrary to God and his holiness: purity being in our souls a settled matter, we can go on to peaceableness. Not less does the verse that follows seem to have been put there on purpose. However peaceable we may be in this world, yet we shall be misrepresented and misunderstood: and no marvel, for even the Prince of Peace, by his very peacefulness, brought fire upon the earth. He himself, though he loved mankind, and did no ill, was "despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." Lest, therefore, the peaceable in heart should be surprised when they meet with enemies, it is added in the following verse, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Thus, the peacemakers are not only pronounced to be blessed, but they are compassed about with blessings. Lord, give us grace to climb to this seventh beatitude! Purify our minds that we may be "first pure, then peaceable," and fortify our souls, that our peaceableness may not lead us into cowardice and despair, when for thy sake we are persecuted.
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Lamech 
[Lā'mech] - overthrower, a strong young man or who is stuck.
A son of Methusael of the race of Cain, who had two wives, Adah and Zillah. It is not difficult to trace in the moral character of Lamech a close resemblance to Cain. We can detect the same haughty spirit, the same self-confidence, the same disregard of human life, the same absence of reverence for God. His address to his wives is that of one who glories in his self-strength and vigor (Gen. 4:18-24).
A son of Methuselah, and father of Noah. This antediluvian was of the race of Seth (Gen. 5:26-31) and an ancestor of Christ (Luke 3:36).
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Today's reading: Deuteronomy 30-31, Mark 15:1-25 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Deuteronomy 30-31

Prosperity After Turning to the LORD
When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back....

Today's New Testament reading: Mark 15:1-25

Jesus Before Pilate
1 Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.
2 "Are you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate.
"You have said so," Jesus replied.
3 The chief priests accused him of many things. 4 So again Pilate asked him, "Aren't you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of."
5 But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed....

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Today's Lent reading: Matthew 19-20 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
Divorce
1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"
4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' 5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? 6So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate...."



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