Monday, April 06, 2015

Mon Apr 6th 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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ABC investigates a brutal rape and murder on a bus in India. The killers, including a complicit bus driver, are sentenced to hang. It is appalling, but sheds no new light on the issue of domestic violence in Australia. The rape is an example of a misogyny. Even now, the bus driver uses words which exonerates him from everything but the crime. He says she should not have been on his bus at night without her family. When an ALP member was flagged for historical domestic abuse recently he did not justify it, but denied it. His problem is that he hadn't declared his past to the ALP and had gone to election without his party knowing of it. He should not be in parliament because he has not taken due diligence. And the ALP needs to demonstrate why it shouldn't be fined by the electoral commission for the failure to properly vet a candidate. How many ALP candidates or members have similar issues? The people of Queensland have been lied to. Meanwhile, the ABC will have a laser like focus on India. Imagine if that focus moved north to Pakistan or West to the Middle East? 

Augusto Pinochet of Chile was a right wing leader who overthrew a corrupt socialist government led by Allende. His government killed and tortured enemies, many of whom had come to Chile to fight or propagandise domestic issues. What he did is no less reprehensible than what Allende had done, or any of many left wing administrations in South America. So it is upsetting when BBC in a sub plot have a slimy Chilean diplomat claim he had been a simple trade unionist who was targeted by Pinochet. The program has come to its' last season. Hopefully that won't be the standard. Maybe they can guest star Jeremy Clarkson? The abysmal and partisan BBC are little different to the ABC. The example set for other networks is low. But one interesting point not challenged. Where in the world is there an example of a trades unionist who was ever anything other than a parasite? They shouldn't be allowed on a bus without their family. 
2014
Almost anything can be used as a reason for an action, almost anything can be used as a reason for a response. But not every reason is a good one. It is all very well to admire reason. It certainly beats the alternative. But not everything that is logical follows. On this day in 1327, a poet saw a beautiful woman. She was married. He was a Catholic Priest. But he loved her virtuously. He loved her virtue for twenty one years. Then she died (of natural causes, not pestered to death) and the poet loved her memory. Laura was probably the ancestor of the Marquis De Sade, but I doubt he was the result of this love. The poet Francesco Petrarca, is now known as the first humanist. He initiated the renaissance with his art and inquiry, and named the times of lost learning the Dark Ages. And so the spark of inquiry which brought forward Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Shakespeare, Moliere, Michaelangelo, Leonardo, Louis XIV and Anne Boleyn began with a priest falling in love with an unattainable, beautiful woman. 

But a day with such a spark has other enduring flames. The artist Rafael was born on this day in 1483, and died on this day in 1520. English King Richard I forgave the boy who shot him on this day (1199), shortly before dying from resultant blood poisoning. He gave his killer some coins and sent him on his way. Christian charity. What followed diminished the generous act of that king. Jealous courtiers tracked down the boy, and took the coins. And flayed him alive, until he died. And everyone had their reason. For mine, a terrible shot against reason happened on this day in 1994. An aircraft was shot down in Rwanda, killing a Rwandan President and a Burundian President. The black box recorder could have exonerated Tootsis from blame, but Kofi Annan misplaced it in his office for a decade, and the result was genocide, and promotion for Kofi to UN Secretary General.
Historical perspectives on this day 
In 46 BC, Julius Caesar defeated Caecilius Metellus Scipio and Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Younger) in the battle of Thapsus. 402, Stilicho stymied the Visigoths under Alaric in the Battle of Pollentia. 1199, King Richard I of England died from an infection following the removal of an arrow from his shoulder. 1250, Seventh Crusade: Ayyubids of Egypt captured King Louis IX of France in the Battle of Fariskur. 1320, the Scots reaffirmed their independence by signing the Declaration of Arbroath. 1327, the poet Petrarch first saw his idealised love, Laura, in the church of Saint Clare in Avignon. 1385, John, Master of the Order of Aviz, was made king John I of Portugal. 1453, Mehmed II began his siege of Constantinople (Istanbul), which fell on May 29.

In 1580, one of the largest earthquakes recorded in the history of England, Flanders, or Northern France, took place. 1652, at the Cape of Good Hope, Dutch sailor Jan van Riebeeck established a resupply camp that eventually became Cape Town. 1667, an earthquake devastated Dubrovnik, then an independent city-state. 1712, the New York Slave Revolt of 1712 began near Broadway. 1776, American Revolutionary War: Ships of the Continental Navy failed in their attempt to capture a Royal Navy dispatch boat. 1782, King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I) of Siam (modern day Thailand) founded the Chakri dynasty. 1793, during the French Revolution, the Committee of Public Safety became the executive organ of the republic.

In 1808, John Jacob Astor incorporated the American Fur Company, that would eventually make him America's first millionaire. 1812, British forces under the command of the Duke of Wellington assaulted the fortress of Badajoz. This would be the turning point in the Peninsular War against Napoleon-led France. 1814, nominal beginning of the Bourbon Restoration; anniversary date that Napoleon abdicated and was exiled to Elba. 1830, Church of Christ, the original church of the Latter Day Saint movement, was organised by Joseph Smith and others at Fayette or Manchester, New York. 1841, U.S. President John Tyler was sworn in, two days after having become President upon William Henry Harrison's death.

In 1860, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, later renamed Community of Christ, was organised by Joseph Smith III and others at Amboy, Illinois. 1861, first performance of Arthur Sullivan's debut success, his suite of incidental music for The Tempest, leading to a career that included the famous Gilbert and Sullivan operas. 1862, American Civil War: The Battle of Shiloh began: In Tennessee, forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant met Confederate troops led by General Albert Sidney Johnston. 1865, American Civil War: The Battle of Sailor's Creek: Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia fought and lost its last major battle while in retreat from Richmond, Virginia during the Appomattox Campaign. 1866, the Grand Army of the Republic, an American patriotic organisation composed of Union veterans of the American Civil War, was founded. It lasts until 1956. 1869, Celluloid was patented. 1888, Thomas Green Clemson died, bequeathing his estate to the State of South Carolina to establish Clemson Agricultural College. 1893, Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was dedicated by Wilford Woodruff. 1895, Oscar Wilde was arrested in the Cadogan Hotel, London after losing a libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry. 1896, in Athens, the opening of the first modern Olympic Games was celebrated, 1,500 years after the original games were banned by Roman emperor Theodosius I.

In 1909, Robert Peary and Matthew Henson reached the North Pole. 1911, during the Battle of Deçiq, Dedë Gjon Luli Dedvukaj, leader of the Malësori Albanians, raised the Albanian flag in the town of Tuzi, Montenegro, for the first time after George Kastrioti (Skanderbeg). 1917, World War I: The United States declared war on Germany (see President Woodrow Wilson's address to Congress). 1919, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi ordered a general strike. 1923, the first Prefects Board in Southeast Asia was formed in Victoria Institution, Malaysia. 1924, First round-the-world flight commenced. 1926, Varney Airlines made its first commercial flight (Varney is the root company of United Airlines). 1929, Huey P. Long, Governor of Louisiana, was impeached by the Louisiana House of Representatives. 1930, Gandhi raised a lump of mud and salt and declared, "With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire," beginning the Salt Satyagraha. 1936, Tupelo–Gainesville tornado outbreak: Another tornado from the same storm system as the Tupelo tornado hit Gainesville, Georgia, killing 203.

In 1941, World War II: Nazi Germany launched Operation 25 (the invasion of Kingdom of Yugoslavia) and Operation Marita (the invasion of Greece). 1945, World War II: Sarajevo was liberated from German and Croatian forces by the Yugoslav Partisans. Also 1945, World War II: The Battle of Slater's Knoll on Bougainville came to an end. 1947, the first Tony Awards were presented for theatrical achievement. 1957, Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis bought the Hellenic National Airlines (TAE) and founded Olympic Airlines. 1962, Leonard Bernstein caused controversy with his remarks from the podium during a New York Philharmonic concert featuring Glenn Gould performing Brahms' First Piano Concerto. 1965, launch of Early Bird, the first communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit. Also 1965, the British Government announced the cancellation of the TSR-2 aircraft project. 1968, in Richmond, Indiana's downtown district, a double explosion killed 41 and injured 150. Also 1968, Pierre Elliot Trudeau won the Liberal Leadership Election, and became Prime Minister of Canada soon after.

In 1970, Newhall massacre: Four California Highway Patrol officers were killed in a shootout. 1972, Vietnam War: Easter Offensive: American forces began sustained air strikes and naval bombardments. 1973, launch of Pioneer 11 spacecraft. Also 1973, the American League of Major League Baseball began using the designated hitter. 1974, the Swedish pop band ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Waterloo", launching their international career. 1979, Student protests broke out in Nepal. 1982, Estonian Communist Party bureau declared "fight against bourgeois TV"—meaning Finnish TV—a top priority of the propagandists of Estonian SSR 1984, members of Cameroon's Republican Guard unsuccessfully attempted to overthrow the government headed by Paul Biya. 1994, the Rwandan Genocide began when the aircraft carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down. 1998, Pakistan tested medium-range missiles capable of reaching India. Also 1998, Travelers Group announced an agreement to undertake the $76 billion merger between Travelers and Citicorp, and the merger was completed on October 8, of that year, forming Citibank.

In 2004, Rolandas Paksas became the first president of Lithuania to be peacefully removed from office by impeachment. 2005, Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani becomes Iraqi president; Shiite Arab Ibrahim al-Jaafari was named premier the next day. 2008, the 2008 Egyptian general strike started led by Egyptian workers later to be adopted by April 6 Youth Movement and Egyptian activists. 2009, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck near L'Aquila, Italy, killing 307. 2010, Maoist rebels killed 76 CRPF officers in Dantewada district, India. 2011, in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico, over 193 bodies were exhumed from several mass graves made by Los Zetas. 2012, Azawad declared itself independent from the Republic of Mali.
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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 Johnny Duong and Saron Youn. Born on the same day, across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
Deaths
Jan van Riebeeck
Your town is permanent. We have public safety and private enterprise. The 7th won. Nepalese climb the mountain. Cheers to peaceful removal. Let's party. 
Matches
Hatches
Despatches
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2015
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SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL HAPPENED

Tim Blair – Monday, April 06, 2015 (6:33am)

Kevin and Crystal O’Connor began last week as they’ve begun many weeks for the past nine years: as the father and daughter co-owners of a modest little pizza shop in the tiny American town of Walkerton, Indiana.
They ended the week more than $A1,000,000 richer.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL HAPPENED'
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ROWDY CROWDS

Tim Blair – Monday, April 06, 2015 (5:04am)

Canterbury Bulldogs fans may think themselves a tough lot, what with all their bottle-throwing and general idiocyfollowing Friday’s match against the Rabbitohs.
But they still have a long way to go before they match Australia’s greatest-ever example of sports crowd mayhem.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'ROWDY CROWDS'
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ISISISTERS

Tim Blair – Monday, April 06, 2015 (4:30am)

Islamic State’s chick-a-boom brigade swings into action
British police say a 16-year-old girl has been arrested on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts …
Police say she was arrested “on suspicion of engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism” as part of an ongoing investigation. 
And in the US
Two New York City women have been arrested and accused of planning to carry out a “terrorist attack” in the United States, according to a federal criminal complaint made public on Thursday.
Noelle Velentzas, 28, and Asia Siddiqui, 31, plotted to hit police, government or military targets based on their “violent jihadist beliefs,” according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.
It said Velentzas and Siddiqui were conspiring “to prepare an explosive device to be detonated in a terrorist attack in the United States.” 
These fragbats, of course, have nothing to do with Islam.
UPDATE
A Philadelphia mother of two who goes by the name of “YoungLioness” on Twitter was arrested by federal authorities Friday and charged with trying to support ISIS with money and resources.
Keonna Thomas, 30, appeared in court in full black dress with only her eyes showing just hours after her arrest …
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the videotaped beheadings of two American aid workers, two British aid workers and 21 Christians in Libya and burning alive a Jordanian Air Force Pilot in a cage. 
For the sackmo sisters, this isn’t a catalogue of terrorist atrocities. It’s a list of turn-ons. 
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PUNISHMENT PROGRAM

Tim Blair – Monday, April 06, 2015 (4:29am)

Fairfax readers rewarded: 
Fairfax Media has closed The Australian Financial Review’s rewards program after just five months due to low participation. 
“Low participation” is something of a trend at Fairfax of late. 
It is understood that, in a cost-saving measure, Fairfax is planning to offer AFR subscribers the chance to become part of an enlarged rewards program that will also include The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. 
Memo to Fairfax: that would not be a rewards program. It would be a hate crime.
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THE PIZZA THAT JUST KEEPS ON GIVING

Tim Blair – Monday, April 06, 2015 (1:31am)

CBS employee Alix Bryan was one of many leftists who gleefully leapt aboard the bash Memories Pizza bandwagon. At one point she even reported the Memories fundraising site for fraud – “just in case” – before hilariously claiming she had acted out of concern for the O’Connor family. She also complained that people were associating her spiteful tweets with her job, leading to this brilliant response
Don’t you hate it when your livelihood is threatened because of your opinions? 
Bryan – a part-time journalism lecturer (!) who knows all about crowdsourcing – is now under investigation by her employer. Meanwhile, the fantastically stupid pizza truther movement gains pace:



You might think this fellow to be the most paranoid and delusional person ever allowed to use a computer, but Lynyrd Skynyrd’s short bus roadie has some serious competition.
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Sneering at Reclaim Australia is easy, fixing Islam is hard

Andrew Bolt April 06 2015 (6:50am)

Islamism

IT is dangerously easy to sneer at the several hundred protesters who dared hold anti-Islam rallies around the country on Saturday.
Yes, laugh at these Reclaim Australia protesters waving their hokey Australian flags and homemade signs. Snigger at their exaggerated fears of sharia law.
Blame them for having thousands of socialist protesters push and punch them, spit on them and abuse them as “racists” and “c---s”.
It’s much easier for the smugly sanctimonious to ridicule the worried than admit there’s something serious to worry about. But, a warning: If interpretations of Islam are not reformed, we can expect two things: more terrorism, and angrier reactions from Australians feeling threatened and pushed too far.
Yet with the stakes so high, we also saw on Saturday more evasions — complaints from three Muslim “leaders” that the big problem was the Abbott Government.
As The Australian reported: “Federal Government efforts to combat Islamic State-inspired radicalisation have come under heavy criticism.”
Not enough money had yet been spent, especially on clerics and “community groups”.
“Several respected Muslim community leaders have ... highlighted the need to engage ‘firebrand’ clerics who have more reach and influence in the small groups that need targeting.”
(Read full article here.) 
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The Left’s war on free speech

Andrew Bolt April 06 2015 (6:39am)

Free speech, How the Left hates

YOU’D think that over Easter we might at least show respect for people speaking their minds.
After all, today would not be a public holiday if the Romans had believed in free speech for a preacher called Jesus and not nailed him to a cross for talking trouble.
Yet thousands of people chose Saturday to ramp up the Left’s sinister war on free speech.
Socialists, unionists and other self-proclaimed “anti-racists” could not bear to let several hundred protesters of Reclaim Australia peacefully demonstrate around Australia against Islam and its excesses.
Instead, they formed counter-protests to shut down the Reclaim rallies with threats, shoves and even punches.
In Melbourne, Socialist Party organisers boasted: “We were successful in driving them out of Federation Square, outnumbering them 3000 to about 300.”
What is this? Countering argument not with better arguments but with force?
Yet this outrageous intolerance of debate is becoming common.
(Read full article here.)
UPDATE
Isn’t there something hypocritical about “anti-racism” protesters burning an Australian flag? 
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Refugee intake at work.  Police warn Dandenong locals to run away

Andrew Bolt April 06 2015 (6:19am)

Here is Isaacs MP and Labor frontbencher Mark Dreyfus in 2013:
One third of Australians were born overseas and Greater Dandenong is home to citizens representing 150 different nationalities… Our community is a wonderful example to others of a modern, diverse and harmonious society.
It wasn’t true then:
Community leaders have joined police on regular patrols in Dandenong as the force tries to improve ties with troubled ethnic youths. The ethnically diverse city has crime rates almost 40 per cent higher than the state average… Pacific Islander and Sudanese community leaders were informed by Victoria Police last year that their populations were overrepresented in crime statistics.
And now more evidence that refugee programs have in fact helped make parts of Dandenong less safe for its residents:
TEENAGE gangs are believed responsible for four violent attacks in central Dandenong.
And police fear there could be more assaults and have urged people to move on if they see large groups of teens approaching… “If you see a large group approaching, get back in your car and go, or walk off — don’t hang around to see what they might do...”
The warning follows two violent assaults in Hemmings Park on March 27, the March 6 stabbing of a 15-year-old boy during a street brawl involving up to 60 youths [reportedly African], and the [related] beating of an 18-year-old Noble Park man with a baseball bat later that night.
The March 27 attacks began about 1am when a group of about 10 young men of African appearance, aged about 16 to 20, surrounded a 23-year-old woman and 18-year-old man, both from Dandenong, while the pair stood beside the woman’s car on the Princes Highway.
One of the youths stole the woman’s phone and car keys from the car roof, ran off into the park, then returned shortly afterwards with two other youths, who then brazenly got into the car…
About 9.30pm that day, an 18-year-old Dandenong man was walking through Hemmings Park when he was assaulted by five youths, also of African appearance and aged in their mid-to-late teens.
Dreyfus, incidentally, lives in Malvern, a safe suburb miles from his electorate, and too expensive for refugee accommodation. 
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Or maybe Bill Shorten doesn’t stand for anything at all, except immunisation, tax and slogans

Andrew Bolt April 06 2015 (5:48am)

Labor leader Bill Shorten’s first attempt was a train wreck:
FAINE
If you got your hands on the levers, people are asking, what would you do, what does Bill Shorten actually believe in?
SHORTEN
Well, the Labor Party believes in lots of things and it’s a great opportunity this morning to talk about some of them.  What I fundamentally believe and I think it was Martin Luther King who said this best, but it’s, I think true then and it’s true now, is everybody is somebody…
FAINE
So let’s turn that into policy ...
SHORTEN
It’s got to be about growth, it’s got to be about how we create wealth and then it’s ensuring we have a fair distribution of income…
FAINE
How do you pay for [it]?
SHORTEN
Well then we get to the area of how do you drive growth, full stop…
FAINE
Do you want to put taxes up?
SHORTEN
No well, the discussion we’re going to have is a bit longer than one liners ...
FAINE
But how do you pay for all of this is the fundamental question…
SHORTEN
Well, again, before I get to the latest question you ask, we’ve got to talk about what is happening in Australia…
FAINE
You’re at risk of repeating yourself, I’m asking you to explain how you pay for all of these things…
SHORTEN
Well you go to the next lever, if education is one lever that the national government can help pull to make this country grow…
FAINE:
... it’s very hard to understand exactly how you would propose to pay for better health care, better education…
SHORTEN
...What I’m doing this morning is I’m explaining to your listeners that the Labor I lead is thinking about the long-term…
FAINE
I’ve asked you many times, how do you pay for it?
SHORTEN
I will come to that, but I’m just
FAINE
Well why don’t you do that now?
SHORTEN
....What I’m doing here is articulating what Labor stands for...
Shorten tries again, on Channel 9 yesterday:
Host: Now you promised to voters during your first quarter as Opposition Leader that it will be a year of ideas. Now you have released a few policies in the past few months but a big criticism of you personally and your party is that voters really don’t know what you stand for. How do you overcome that?
Shorten: Well, interviews like today are a great opportunity. I’ve explained that we think that immunisations — parents should be immunising their kids. We’ve explained even today in this interview the challenge for child care is to make sure that it’s properly funded and we’ve indicated that we’re sitting down with the government to work on it. Other things which we stand for that’s fundamental, we want to make sure that we have an economy which is working for all people, not just for some. We want to make sure our young people are properly trained at TAFE. We want to make sure that our universities don’t charge $100,000 for degrees. Our challenge is jobs, you know, and how we make sure that every Australian child can get a job and be properly trained for the future. So I look forward to this year debating issues, and on tax reform we’ve made clear that what we think needs to be done is that some of the larger multinationals who aren’t paying their fair share, pay their fair share.
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Obama paves way for Iranian nuclear bomb

Andrew Bolt April 06 2015 (5:39am)

Greg Sheridan on a catastrophically bad decision by Barack Obama:

US President Barack Obama has now effectively guaranteed that Iran will eventually acquire ­nuclear weapons, in what will be a black day for the hopes of peace and stability for anyone in the world.
The Iranian government has out-negotiated Obama completely… Obama took a strong hand and played it very badly.
The Iranians ... have emerged with all the main elements of their nuclear program intact. In time, they will acquire nuclear weapons. Obama will go down in history as the president who made this possible…

Even the broad terms of the [Lausanne] framework as announced contain all manner of key concessions the Americans not so long ago said they would never make.
Among these, Iran gets to keep nuclear facilities, such as its underground Fordow plant, which it developed illegally, in secret, in defiance of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Similarly, it gets to keep its heavy water reactor at Arak, although it will convert it to a facility that for the moment cannot produce plutonium.
It gets to keep 6000 centr­i­fuges to enrich uranium of which 5000 will remain operational. There is no purpose in having these centrifuges other than to eventually produce material for nuclear weapons. It will also be ­allowed to undertake intensive ­research on building more ­advanced centrifuges that can enrich more uranium more quickly. It will not have to export its enriched uranium but merely convert it into a more benign form in a process that can be reversed. And almost all the notional restrictions on Iran run out in 10 years....
Now Obama has done everything he can to remove all the pressure on Iran. Once the deal is under way, the UN will remove all the nuclear-based sanctions on Iran. The UN Security Council will rescind all its relevant resolutions. Obama says these sanctions will “snap back” automatically if Iran ever breaches the deal. That is a joke. Effective sanctions are extraordinarily difficult to assemble and impose. And Obama has put this all in the hands of the UN, the very byword of procrastination and inaction…
The strategic triumph for Iran is enormous. It has to modify no part of its international outlook or behaviour, from sponsoring terrorism to declaring the annihilation of Israel non-negotiable.
It gets, for the first time ever, and this is crucial, international legitimacy for its nuclear program, which covers every part of the cycle. It gets sanctions lifted, which should help its economy dramatically. And from very early on, it will start cheating on the deal.
UPDATE
Bill Kristol says Congress must kill this deal:
Commentators have exposed how bad the Iran deal is in various ways; the point, however, is to kill it.
Why? Because the deal can’t be fixed. Even if sanctions relief were somewhat more gradual, even if the number of centrifuges were somewhat lower, even if the inspections regime were somewhat more robust—the basic facts would remain: Iran gets to keep its nuclear infrastructure, including the most sensitive parts of it. The sanctions come off. And the inspectors can be kicked out. So Iran, a state-sponsor of terror, an enemy of the United States, an aggressive jihadist power, a regime dedicated to the destruction of Israel, will become a threshold nuclear weapons state.
UPDATE
The “deal” so far is astonishingly sketchy - a page of notes.
And the US and Iran are already giving significantly different interpretations on six key points, suggesting someone is lying:
Ehud Ya’ari, Middle East analyst for Israel’s Channel 2 News and an international fellow at the Washington Institute think tank, said the six discrepancies represent “very serious gaps” at the heart of the framework accord....
Referring to Thursday’s American-issued ”Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” on the one hand, and the “fact sheet” issued Friday by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, on the other, Ya’ari noted that no deal was actually signed on Thursday, and that the leaders’ statements and the competing fact sheets were thus critical to understanding what had been agreed…
1. Sanctions: Ya’ari said the US has made clear that economic sanctions will be lifted in phases, whereas the Iranian fact sheet provides for the immediate lifting of all sanctions as soon as a final agreement is signed, which is set for June 30.
(In fact, the US parameters state that sanctions will be suspended only after Iran has fulfilled all its obligations: “US and EU nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps.” By contrast, the Iranian fact sheet states: “all of the sanctions will be immediately removed after reaching a comprehensive agreement.")
2. Enrichment: The American parameters provide for restrictions on enrichment for 15 years, while the Iranian fact sheet speaks of 10 years.
3. Development of advanced centrifuges at Fordo: The US says the framework rules out such development, said Ya’ari, while the Iranians say they are free to continue this work.
4. Inspections: The US says that Iran has agreed to surprise inspections, while the Iranians say that such consent is only temporary, Ya’ari said.
5. Stockpile of already enriched uranium: Contrary to the US account, Iran is making clear that its stockpile of already enriched uranium — “enough for seven bombs” if sufficiently enriched, Ya’ari said — will not be shipped out of the country, although it may be converted.
6. PMD: The issue of the Possible Military Dimensions of the Iranian program, central to the effort to thwart Iran, has not been resolved, Ya’ari said.
(The US parameters make two references to PMD. They state, first: “Iran will implement an agreed set of measures to address the IAEA’s concerns regarding the Possible Military Dimensions (PMD) of its program.” And they subsequently add: “All past UN Security Council resolutions on the Iran nuclear issue will be lifted simultaneous with the completion, by Iran, of nuclear-related actions addressing all key concerns (enrichment, Fordo, Arak, PMD, and transparency).” The Iranian fact sheet does not address PMD.)
(Thanks to reader brett t r .) 
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Too good an ABC policy for a joke

Andrew Bolt April 06 2015 (5:35am)

The Consternation meant this as its April Fools Day joke. On reflection, it has the makings of an excellent policy:
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull last night announced a halving of the ABC’s budget over 3 years. Mr Turnbull said community feedback has strongly shown that the national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, was delivering much more than what the taxpayers should be paying for and using taxes to compete against private operators in radio, TV and online.
The Minister said “The ABC’s budget will return to the 8 cents per day that was ample in the 1980’s. Reduced costs of technologies with their greater productivity should cover the costs of a synergistic online presence.” He added that his office had identified substantial operational savings with internal cost recoveries for the transition to a lean operating model that only fills the gaps in the broadcast landscape that are commercially unsustainable for private operators.
Sale of the Ultimo headquarters will more than cover the migration of key operations to the developing Badgerys Creek airport precinct. Similar moves in other capital cities; away from prime real estate; would nearly eliminate operational costs such as parking and airport taxi fares.
ABC funding would only be provided for: 

2 TV channels per viewing region
1 regional and one national radio station per “band” in any area
an Internet presence limited to that supporting broadcast programmes
local content production with export marketing potential with cost recovery
(Thanks to reader berfel.) 
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John Christy and Roy Spencer: 25 years as sceptical climate scientists

Andrew Bolt April 06 2015 (4:48am)

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It is 25 years since two scientists announced that their satellite data showed the world was not warming as fast as had been thought.
Professor John Christy, Director of the Earth System Science Center from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and Roy Spencer, climatologist and principal research scientist at the university, discuss their careers since as sceptics of the theory that man is heating the world catastrophically:

Spencer:  It wasn’t too long after [John] came here that we were at a meeting… We were discussing, Don’t we have something better than the thermometer data to monitor global temperatures? [UAH scientist] Dick McNider said, ‘What about the microwave sounders we have on the weather satellites?...”

AL.com: How do you respond to the perception that 97 percent of scientists agree on climate change? [The Wall Street Journal in 2013 reported on the “myth” of the 97 percent].
Christy: The impression people make with that statement is that 97 percent of scientists agree with my view of climate change, which typically is one of catastrophic change. So if a Senate hearing or the president or vice president says 97 percent of the scientists agree with me, that’s not true. The American Meteorological Society did their survey and they specifically asked the question, Is man the dominate controller of climate over the last 50 years? Only 52 percent said yes. That is not a consensus at all in science.
Then when you look at the core of that question, the core is do you believe that man has some influence on the climate. I don’t know anyone who would say no to that… Roy and I have both made the statement that we are in the 97 percent because we believe in some (man-made) effect…
Spencer: Whoever came up with that, it was very powerful.. It was very misleading, but it was a good idea… Adding CO2 to the atmosphere probably adds some warming. The science on that is pretty solid. But then the devil’s in the details. How much warming does it actually cause? It makes a huge difference.
AL.com: When you hear about the catastrophic effects of climate change, data from reputable organizations such as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or NASA is frequently cited. How do you respond to that?
Christy: NASA, NOAA, EPA, DOE, those are agencies. Agency leaders are appointed by the government, by the current administration. They do not represent objective independent scientific organizations. They can’t. They are appointed by the head. They try. People who come out with different views in their organizations are found to be squashed. There is an agenda in those agencies.. There are skeptics in NASA and NOAA, a good number. But they are quiet. They know in this administration, they don’t speak out.
Spencer: I know that they’re not unbiased. Most of them probably really do believe we’re destroying the earth. When I talk to scientists who should be objective over a beer at the end of the day, I will argue with them and their final position will always be, ‘Yeah, but we need to get away from fossil fuels anyway.’ Where did that come from? Are you an expert in alternative energy sources and what they cost? How many poor people are you going to hurt? How many more people are you going to make poor through energy poverty because they are paying five to 10 times as much for their energy?…
Christy: I am for any energy source that is affordable and doesn’t destroy the environment. If carbon dioxide was a poisonous gas, I’d be against it.... The world used to have five times as much carbon dioxide as it does now. Plants love this stuff. It creates more food. CO2 is not the problem…
There is absolutely no question that carbon energy provides with longer and better lives. There is no question about that… And to suppress, to me, is immoral.
AL.com: Why is your research using satellite data a more effective way of measuring climate change than surface temperature? ...
Christy: ...Where is the biggest response to greenhouse gases? It’s in the atmosphere, not on the surface. So if you want to measure the response and say that’s the greenhouse gas response, you would look in the atmosphere. That’s precisely where satellites measure it.
UPDATE
Now a “pause” in the Arctic melt, too. Graham Lloyd:
After shrinking 35 per cent over several decades, the low point reached in Arctic ice cover each year appears to have stabilised. This is despite a record low maximum ice extent this winter…
But the “pause” in summer ice melt extent has been widely ­conceded. A paper published in ­Nature by Neil Swart from Environment Canada said ”from 2007-13 there was a near-zero trend in observed Arctic September sea-ice extent, in large part due to a strong uptick of the icepack in 2013 which has continued into 2014”.
Climate scientists do not ­believe the long-term downward trend in Arctic sea ice has been broken, however.
The Swart et al (2015) paper said “cherrypicking” such short periods could be “misleading about longer-term changes, when such trends show either rapid or slow ice loss”. It says claims a pause in Arctic ice loss disproved climate change were not true.
Ed Wawkins, co-author of the Swart paper and a researcher at Britain’s University of Reading, said it was “quite conceivable that the current period of near-zero sea-ice trend could extend for a decade or more, solely due to weather-induced natural varia­bil­­ity hiding the long-term human caused decline”.
But David Whitehouse from the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation said similar arguments had initially been used to reject the surface temp­erature hiatus.
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Fracking fearmongering

Andrew Bolt April 06 2015 (12:01am)

Mark Latham on fire:
(L)ast month I saw Frackman at my local municipal hall – a taxpayer-funded film tracing the adventures of Dayne Pratzky in campaigning against coal seam gas (CSG) in rural Queensland.
Like most forms of left-wing propaganda, the event was hosted by a couple of B-grade celebrities: the Australian actors Michael Caton and Nell Schofield…

After 90 minutes of non-stop whinging and hysteria, the truth about Frackman’s complaint was finally revealed.
Having broken into the fracking company’s compound and stolen chemical samples, Pratzky arranged for one of his associates to test the material.
In a wonderful advertisement for the safety of CSG, the chemicals were found to be benign…
It was a fracking false alarm.
In a major public inquiry into CSG in 2013-14, the NSW chief scientist looked at 2.5 million wells around the world and couldn’t identify a single case of contamination. After watching Frackman, we can make that 2.5 million plus one.
The campaign against the industry is one of the most fraudulent, misinformed and irrational pieces of politics I have ever seen…
In the United States ... most environmentalists support fracking for its success in cutting greenhouse emissions – succeeding where the American political system has failed.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Ocean Beach Sunset Sometimes when teaching a class, things turn epic.
Posted by Matt Granz on Sunday, 5 April 2015

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Is this a problem in your household...?
Posted by Faakhir Mehmood on Thursday, 2 April 2015

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=== Posts from last year ===

Old tribal customs no excuse for crimes

Piers Akerman – Sunday, April 06, 2014 (6:11am)

WITH increasing regularity, Australian courts are accepting “cultural differences” as ­exculpatory or mitigating factors for more lenient sentencing or even to excuse the most abhorrent crimes.
Surely this is not the multi-culturalism that even the most avowed flag-waving, sandal-shod, inner-urban, Green-Labor voting wearers of tie-dyed rainbow garments believe in?
Though the Left has worked strenuously to denigrate the very notion that Australia has any culture whatsoever, ­attacking Anzac Day, sneering at the national enthusiasm for sport, attempting to airbrush all references from the education curriculum to our Anglo heritage which is the bedrock of our law and language and disparaging our debt to Judaeo-Christian values, it is patently obvious our culture and the economic opportunity it provides, is a beacon in an increasingly chaotic world. In the politically correct non-judgemental world of the kumbaya crowd, all cultures are equal and must be respected.
In 2013, Victorian Court of Appeal Justice Robert Redlich granted Esmatullah Sharifi, 31, who had pleaded guilty to the rape of an 18-year-old girl and a 25-year-old woman in the same week in December, 2008, the right to appeal against the cumulative 14-year-jail term he is serving.
When he was sentenced, Judge Mark Dean said Sharifi had gone hunting for vulnerable, drunken women to rape.
Judge Dean pointedly noted that his flight from the Taliban was no excuse.
“The offence committed by you was an extremely serious act of violence, and in my opinion you well knew the victim was not consenting,” he said.
Sharifi found the teen near a Frankston nightclub and ­offered to drive her to meet friends at a Mornington hotel. But instead he drove her to a dark street and raped her. “Your brutal conduct must be denounced by this court,” Judge Dean said.
In granting leave, Judge Redlich found Sharifi’s lack of insight into his offence and the fact that he had no appreciation that his conduct was wrong adequate reasons to support his appeal.
Sharifi succeeded in his ­appeal with the Full Court knocking one year and six months off his total sentence.
Even more strange was the decision of Magistrate Ron Saines to drop an attempted child-stealing charge against Ali Jaffari, 35, in the Geelong Magistrates’ Court saying he would have reasonable doubt about his guilt, citing “cultural differences” as one mitigating factor.
The case related to the ­alleged attempt by Jaffari in January, 2013, to lead a four-year-old girl away from a sports oval while her father and brother played cricket.
Police Prosecutor, Sergeant Brooke Shears said that while the child’s father was throwing the ball to his son in the nets, the little girl was playing with her own bat at the net opening.
She said Jaffari was walking around the oval, when he ­approached the child, removed the bat from her hand and ­rested it against a bollard.
“He then grabbed the child’s hand and began to lead her away before she looked up, saw it wasn’t her father, started crying and pulled her hand away,” she said.
“The victim’s father turned, saw what was happening and yelled at Jaffari, ‘What do you think you’re doing?’ The victim ran crying to her father and he comforted her while Jaffari walked off around the oval.”
After being awarded a permanent protection visa in early 2012 by the Gillard government upon arriving by boat, Jaffari was convicted of ­indecent assault on two boys aged 12 and 13.
The prosecutor said that, when interviewed, Jaffari told police: “For us is not an issue.”
Magistrate Saines said the prosecution case fell short of criminality and cited cultural differences as a possible mitigating factor.
But Sgt Shears insisted that the offending had nothing to do with cultural differences. After being awarded a permanent protection visa in early 2012 by the Gillard government upon arriving by boat, Jaffari was convicted of ­indecent assault on two boys aged 12 and 13.
Witnesses said he started grabbing and rubbing himself against them, cuddling and kissing them on the neck and telling one of the boys he was “sexy”. One of the victims said he followed them to the showers, cornered them and asked if he “wanted company”.
He received a two-year community corrections order with 300 hours unpaid community work and was listed on a sex offenders’ register.
Curiously, sex crimes, usually against women and not boys, attract far harsher penalties under Afghan law than they do here, yet it is one cultural difference our judges and lawyers don’t seem to embrace.
Playing to the minorities is a losing game as nations across Europe find to their cost. 
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Truth in advertising

Andrew Bolt April 06 2014 (5:22pm)

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Reader Dave:

The polling place is the Narrogin District Hospital complex in Narrogin, WA.
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The Bolt Report today

Andrew Bolt April 06 2014 (10:16am)

On the show today – Network 10 at 10am and 4pm....
The end of the world is nigh?
Labor’s Andrew Leigh, Niki Savva and former Keating Minister Gary Johns.  And on NewsWatch Rowan Dean cuts loose on Q&A and Liz Hayes’ scaremongering.
The videos of the shows appear here. 
UPDATE
A review of today’s show by a woman whose potty mouth we mentioned:
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Watch the repeat at 4pm to see if this simply confims a couple of points we made.
UPDATE
THE BOLT REPORT
6 APRIL 2014
INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW LEIGH, LABOR’S SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER 

ANDREW BOLT, PRESENTER: Tony Abbott may have dodged a bullet in yesterday’s re-run Senate election in Western Australia. Both the Liberals and Labor did have swings against them, with support going instead to the big winners - the Greens and Clive Palmer’s party. The Nationals are just about finished. Result? Well, it’s early days in the counting but the signs are no change from the original result last year. The Liberals get three seats, Labor and the Greens one each, and the last going to Palmer. But that third Liberal seat may yet go to Labor. Joining me is Andrew Leigh, the Opposition’s assistant treasury spokesman. Andrew, thank you for your time.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Pleasure, Andrew.
ANDREW BOLT: There have been three elections since you’ve lost last year’s federal election - the by-election for Kevin Rudd’s seat, the Tasmanian state election and now this Senate vote. Labor went backwards each time. Why is that? And what must change?
ANDREW LEIGH: Well, Andrew, as I read the results in Western Australia at the moment, we’re seeing swings away from both the Liberal Party and the Labor Party. A slightly bigger swing away from the Liberal Party than from Labor. I’m still confident we’ll get both Joe Bullock and Louise Pratt up, because I think they would both make excellent senators. And, you know, we have a challenge in rebuilding the party, but I’m really optimistic under Bill Shorten we’ll be able to do that.
ANDREW BOLT: But the fact that the vote’s gone down each time, you don’t read a warning sign in that?
ANDREW LEIGH: This is a very unusual by-election, Andrew. This - we’ve never really had a re-run of a Senate election and turn-out was always going to be a challenge. I think we’ve seen, possibly, the Liberal Party not getting a third Senator. If that happened, that would be the first time that happened in a quarter of a century. But we’ll see as counting proceeds.
ANDREW BOLT: How much do you blame yesterday’s result on your lead Senate candidate, Joe Bullock, who voters learned last week had attacked his running mate, Louise Pratt, for being a lesbian of the left, and told a meeting that the working class can’t trust Labor?
ANDREW LEIGH: I think Joe is a passionate warrior for the Labor cause. He is somebody who has had the interests of working people close to his heart throughout his career. So, I think this was an issue fought mostly over Tony Abbott’s secret cuts rather than over particular personalities of certain candidates.
ANDREW BOLT: Well, this is the gentleman in you talking, of course, Andrew, but I tell you what, if Tony Abbott had said that about a lesbian candidate, Labor would have had his guts for garters as a homophobe. How come you’re so - is Labor going to do any of this to Bullock?
ANDREW LEIGH: Andrew, I’m not sure that there’s great value in raking over issues that have been covered a lot in the media over the course of this week. These are two strong Labor candidates who are united in their view that Tony Abbott shouldn’t be allowed to do the same slash and burn nationwide that Colin Barnett’s done in Western Australia. You know, that cutting back of investment in the productive potential of the nation really worries me.
ANDREW BOLT: Can we talk about the nation’s finances? Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson warned this week that a decade from now we’ll each earn on average $13,000 a year less than what was once expected. Now, we’re just not getting richer as fast as we used to. Now, you’re a former economics professor. How much trouble are we in?
ANDREW LEIGH: Andrew, I think it’s important to look at these things from an international perspective. Australia over the last half-decade has fared very, very well. Coming through with an economy that’s about a sixth larger than it was at the start of the global financial crisis, keeping unemployment below 6% right through the Labor period, and having net debt levels which were around a tenth of our GDP, well below the average for most developed countries. So on the fundamentals, we’re very strong. But, of course, we need to keep on reforming and I thought the point of Martin Parkinson’s speech was how important it is to keep on investing in productivity, making sure that we’re open, that we’re investing in skills and education and in infrastructure.
ANDREW BOLT: Well, one problem that Martin Parkinson did point out - we’re getting older as a country. And he warns that pensions will go up over the decade by nearly $40 billion a year. I mean, that’s clearly unaffordable. Do we need to raise the pension age again to, say, 70?

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'The Bolt Report today'
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Can we afford a $30 billion blowout in age pensions?

Andrew Bolt April 06 2014 (5:45am)

We have some very hard decisions ahead - and one is to end the entitlement culture:
AUSTRALIA’S age pension is a budget time bomb according to Tony Abbott’s secret Audit Commission report, with payments indexed to rise faster than inflation. 
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the cost of the $40 billion-a-year age pension threatens to increase by 80 per cent in the next decade to more than $70 billion.
Warning of tough choices in the May budget for Treasurer Joe Hockey, the report calls for a review of the indexation arrangements and asks Australians to work longer ­before claiming a pension…
Mr ­Hockey has backed moves to phase in an increase in the pension age over time to 70.
Senior government sources have confirmed that Australians over the age of 70 are also almost universally securing free or discount medicine ­because they qualify for ­taxpayer-funded concession card schemes. 
A stunning 94 per cent of Australians over 70 qualify for either a pensioner concession card or a seniors health care card for self-funded retirees.
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Abbott dodges bullet, Labor shot, Greens and Palmer rise

Andrew Bolt April 06 2014 (3:43am)

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Numbers could change in this complicated count, but Labor would be very disappointed if these early indications are right: 

Projected results from the West Australian Senate election re-run show the Liberal Party has comfortably retained two seats, and Labor, the Greens and the Palmer United Party (PUP) will each have one seat. 
The ABC’s election analyst Antony Green said the Liberal Party also appeared on track to win the final seat.
“Our calculated prediction is pointing towards the Liberals winning the third seat,” he said. 
The overall balance between the two parties, it looks like it’s going to be exactly the same as it was last September,” he said.
This was effectively another by-election, in which governments almost always go backwards. The Coalition did get a swing against it, but so did Labor, in part because of a low turnout which usually works against the traditional, big parties. The Greens won a big swing and so did the Palmer United Party.
If the final numbers really have the Liberals with three seats, Palmer won, Labor one and the Greens one, then Abbott has dodged a bullet and Labor must really take stock.
There have been three elections since the federal election and Labor just has not benefited from any of the anti-Abbott sentiment and anti-cuts fears it would have predicted and which it has built its whole campaign on.
In the by-election for Griffith, Kevin Rudd’s old seat, Labor actually went backwards. In the Tasmanian state election it got hammered and in this re-run WA Senate election it seems to have gone backwards again, albeit with a lot of protest votes going to the Greens instead.
Stand by for lots of recriminations against Joe Bullock, Labor’s lead candidate, for his leaked comments claiming Labor could not be trusted to help working people and attacking his running mate, Louise Pratt, as a lesbian and poster girl for the Left.
Meanwhile, Clive Palmer’s huge investment in ads has kept his balloon afloat and makes him the critical power broker in the Senate, where he controls four Senators (including the Motoring Enthusiasts’ Ricky Muir) of the eight who now sit on the crossbenches. Abbott needs the support of six to break any Greens/Labor block, which means he must deal with Palmer.  
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Lol, the easiest way to make a small fortune is to start with a large one.
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Over clever jokes. <3 them all
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My husband and i were dressed and ready to go out for a lovely evening of dinner and theatre. Having been burgled in the past, we turned on a 'night light' and the answering machine, then put the cat in the backyard. When our cab arrived, we walked out our front door and our rather tubby cat scooted between our legs inside, then ran up the stairs. Because our cat likes to chase our budgie we really didn't want to leave them unchaperoned so my husband ran inside to retrieve her and put her in the back yard again.

Because i didn't want the taxi driver to know our house was going to be empty all evening, i explained to him that my husband would be out momentarily as he was just bidding goodnight to my mother. A few minutes later he got into the cab all hot and bothered, and said (to my growing horror and amusement) as the cab pulled away.

"Sorry it took so long but the stupid bitch was hiding under the bed and i had to poke her arse with a coat hanger to get her to come out! She tried to take off so i grabbed her by the neck and wrapped her in a blanket so she wouldn't scratch me like she did last time. But it worked! I hauled her fat arse down the stairs and threw her into the backyard....she had better not shit in the vegetable garden again."

The silence in the taxi was deafening.....

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Cover of the official report of the 1896 Olympics
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“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” - 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"On him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus."
Luke 23:26
We see in Simon's carrying the cross a picture of the work of the Church throughout all generations; she is the cross-bearer after Jesus. Mark then, Christian, Jesus does not suffer so as to exclude your suffering. He bears a cross, not that you may escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you from sin, but not from sorrow. Remember that, and expect to suffer.
But let us comfort ourselves with this thought, that in our case, as in Simon's, it is not our cross, but Christ's cross which we carry. When you are molested for your piety; when your religion brings the trial of cruel mockings upon you, then remember it is not your cross, it is Christ's cross; and how delightful is it to carry the cross of our Lord Jesus!
You carry the cross after him. You have blessed company; your path is marked with the footprints of your Lord. The mark of his blood-red shoulder is upon that heavy burden. 'Tis his cross, and he goes before you as a shepherd goes before his sheep. Take up your cross daily, and follow him.
Do not forget, also, that you bear this cross in partnership. It is the opinion of some that Simon only carried one end of the cross, and not the whole of it. That is very possible; Christ may have carried the heavier part, against the transverse beam, and Simon may have borne the lighter end. Certainly it is so with you; you do but carry the light end of the cross, Christ bore the heavier end.
And remember, though Simon had to bear the cross for a very little while, it gave him lasting honour. Even so the cross we carry is only for a little while at most, and then we shall receive the crown, the glory. Surely we should love the cross, and, instead of shrinking from it, count it very dear, when it works out for us "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

Evening

"Before honour is humility."
Proverbs 15:33
Humiliation of soul always brings a positive blessing with it. If we empty our hearts of self, God will fill them with his love. He who desires close communion with Christ should remember the word of the Lord, "To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." Stoop if you would climb to heaven. Do we not say of Jesus, "He descended that he might ascend?" So must you. You must grow downwards, that you may grow upwards; for the sweetest fellowship with heaven is to be had by humble souls, and by them alone. God will deny no blessing to a thoroughly humbled spirit. "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven," with all its riches and treasures. The whole exchequer of God shall be made over by deed of gift to the soul which is humble enough to be able to receive it without growing proud because of it. God blesses us all up to the full measure and extremity of what it is safe for him to do. If you do not get a blessing, it is because it is not safe for you to have one. If our heavenly Father were to let your unhumbled spirit win a victory in his holy war, you would pilfer the crown for yourself, and meeting with a fresh enemy you would fall a victim; so that you are kept low for your own safety. When a man is sincerely humble, and never ventures to touch so much as a grain of the praise, there is scarcely any limit to what God will do for him. Humility makes us ready to be blessed by the God of all grace, and fits us to deal efficiently with our fellow men. True humility is a flower which will adorn any garden. This is a sauce with which you may season every dish of life, and you will find an improvement in every case. Whether it be prayer or praise, whether it be work or suffering, the genuine salt of humility cannot be used in excess.
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Eliezer 
[Ĕli ēzûr] - god is my help.
1. The second son of Moses and Zipporah to whom his father gave this name as a memento of his gratitude to God (Exod. 18:4; 1 Chron. 23:15, 17; 26:25).
2. A son of Becher and grandson of Benjamin (1 Chron. 7:8).
3. A priest who assisted in the return of the Ark to Jerusalem (1 Chron. 15:24).
4. A Reubenite ruler in David's time (1 Chron. 27:16).
5. The prophet who rebuked Jehoshaphat for his alliance with king Ahaziah in the Ophir expedition (2 Chron. 20:37).
6. A chieftain sent with others to induce many of the Israelites to return with Ezra to Jerusalem (Ezra 8:16).
7. A priest who put away his foreign wife (Ezra 10:18).
8. A Levite who had done the same (Ezra 10:23).
9. One of the sons of Harim who had done likewise (Ezra 10:31).
10. An ancestor of Joseph, husband of Mary (Luke 3:29).
11. Abraham's chief servant, and "son of his house," that is, one of his large household. He is named "Eliezer of Damascus" probably to distinguish him from others of the same name (Gen. 15:2; 24).
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Today's reading: 1 Samuel 1-3, Luke 8:26-56 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Samuel 1-3

The Birth of Samuel
There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
3 Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD. 4Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb.6Because the LORD had closed Hannah's womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. 8 Her husband Elkanah would say to her, "Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?"

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 8:26-56

Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man
26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!" 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
30 Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"
"Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss....
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Knowing Him - An Easter Devotional

GREATER LOVE

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:9-13).
Jesus said, “they hated me without reason.” He was neither the first nor the last person to be the recipient of senseless rejection and persecution, but because he was the one perfect, sinless one, the hatred played out against him was the vilest the world would ever see. His haters called light darkness, they saw righteousness and called it wickedness. They even called the work of God the deeds of the devil.
We’ve heard of stories of brave sacrifices–a soldier throwing his body on a hand grenade, a firefighter charging into an inferno only to lose his own life. These are stirring, and they show humanity at its best. But Jesus’ sacrifice was not the impulse of a desperate moment. He moved with resolve toward his own end. There is no greater love. We can look through every page of history and every corner of the universe and we won’t find anything that comes even close. Jesus looked at his friends, told them he would be laying down his life, and then required one simple thing: love each other.
Ponder This: What do you have to say to Jesus who laid his life down for you?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Resources

About The Author - Mel Lawrenz serves as minister at large for Elmbrook Church and leads The Brook Network. Having been in pastoral ministry for thirty years, the last decade as senior pastor of Elmbrook, Mel seeks to help Christian leaders engage with each other. Mel is the author of eleven books, the most recent for church leaders, Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement.
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Today's Lent reading: Luke 15-16 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent....


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