Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tue Jun 16th Todays News

Bolt report Instructions follow the publishing news. 
Jeb Bush enters Presidential race. He is the most snub nosed of Bush candidates so far, but the press are too focused on his last name to comment. Much has been made of his father and brother being absent from his campaign launch. But his mother was there. 

Has Shorten been set up over the pay for boat people scandal? Initially, reports were that some 8 boat people were paid $40k to turn around their boat. Since when did the navy have cash on hand? Some government ministers denied it, and some said no comment as it was an operational matter. Bill Shorten demanded that the Parliament be briefed on the issue. Journalists described it as a potential war crime. The Prime Minister pointed out that boats had stopped thanks to current government policy. Then it was declared the ALP government had paid boat people to stay away. Mr Shorten declares he cannot speak about security decisions made by the ALP in government. Then Shorten claimed the ALP had never paid a boat to turn around, which was a moot point because the ALP had never turned a boat around. It looks like Shorten has been spiked by his own party. 

In 363, Emperor Julian marched back up the Tigris and burned his fleet of supply ships. During the withdrawal Roman forces suffered several attacks from the Persians. Julian's decision to burn the supply ships proved fatal for him. While fighting with a sword, but not armour, in a skirmish, Julian was stabbed with a Saracen spear. The wound became fatal after three days, an irony lost on the apostate. 632, Yazdegerd III ascended to the throne as king (shah) of the Persian Empire. He became the last ruler of the Sasanian dynasty (modern Iran). He was 8 years old and nine years old when the first hostile Islamic negotiators threatened his kingdom. 1407, Ming–Hồ War: Retired King Hồ Quý Ly and his son King Hồ Hán Thương of Hồ dynasty were captured by the Ming armies. 1487, Battle of Stoke Field, the final engagement of the Wars of the Roses.

In 1586, Mary, Queen of Scots, recognised Philip II of Spain as her heir and successor. Her son, James VI of Scotland had been king of Scotland since 1567, so Mary's declaration was fairly empty, except as a political threat against her cousin, Elizabeth I of England. Mary's statement formed part, in legal eyes, of the Babington Plot, for which Mary was executed in 1587. 1745, British troops took Cape Breton Island, which is now part of Nova Scotia, Canada. Also 1745, War of the Austrian SuccessionNew England colonial troops under the command of William Pepperrell captured the French Fortress of Louisbourg in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia (Old Style). 1746, War of Austrian Succession: Austria and Sardinia defeated a Franco-Spanish army at the Battle of Piacenza. 1755, French and Indian War: The French surrendered Fort Beauséjour to the British, leading to the expulsion of the Acadians. 1774, foundation of Harrodsburg, Kentucky. 1779, Spain declared war on the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Great Siege of Gibraltar began. 1795, First Battle of Groix otherwise known as "Cornwallis' Retreat". Vice Admiral Cornwallis was heavily outnumbered and outgunned by the French (England had 5 ships of line and two frigates while France had twelve ships of line and eleven frigates). Initially, Cornwallis retreated and French pursued. But when two ships fell behind, Cornwallis imposed his force in their defence. His ships all made Portsmouth, damaged, but secure. 

In 1815, Battle of Ligny and Battle of Quatre Bras, two days before the Battle of Waterloo. 1816, Lord Byron reads Fantasmagoriana to his four house guests at the Villa DiodatiPercy ShelleyMary ShelleyClaire Clairmont, and John Polidori, and inspired his challenge that each guest write a ghost story, which culminated in Mary Shelley writing the novel Frankenstein, John Polidori writing the short story The Vampyre, and Byron writing the poem Darkness. 1836, the formation of the London Working Men's Association gave rise to the Chartist Movement. 1846, the Papal conclave of 1846 concluded. Pope Pius IX was elected Pope beginning the longest reign in the history of the papacy, over 31 years.

In 1858, Abraham Lincoln delivered his House Divided speech in Springfield, Illinois. Also 1858, the Battle of Morar took place during the Indian Mutiny. 1871, the University Tests Act allowed students to enter the Universities of OxfordCambridge and Durham without religious tests (except for those intending to study theology). 1883, the Victoria Hall theatre panic in Sunderland, England killed 183 children. 1884, the first purpose-built roller coaster, LaMarcus Adna Thompson's "Switchback Railway", opened in New York's Coney Island amusement park. 1891, John Abbott became Canada's third Prime Minister. 1897, a treaty annexing the Republic of Hawaii to the United States was signed; the Republic would not be dissolved until a year later.

In 1903, the Ford Motor Company was incorporated. Also 1903, Roald Amundsen commenced the first east-west navigation of the Northwest Passage, leaving Oslo, Norway. 1904, Eugen Schauman assassinated Nikolai BobrikovGovernor-General of Finland. Also 1904, Irish author James Joyce began a relationship with Nora Barnacle and subsequently uses the date to set the actions for his novel Ulysses; this date is now traditionally called "Bloomsday". 1911, IBM founded as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company in Endicott, New York. Also 1911, a 772 gram stony meteorite struck the earth near Kilbourn, Wisconsin damaging a barn. 1915, foundation of the British Women's Institute.

In 1922, general election in the Irish Free State: The pro-Treaty Sinn Féin won a large majority. 1924, the Whampoa Military Academy was founded. 1925, the most famous Young Pioneer camp of the Soviet UnionArtek, was established. 1930, Sovnarkom established decree time in the USSR. 1933, the National Industrial Recovery Act was passed. 1940, World War II: Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain became Chief of State of Vichy France (Chef de l'État Français). Also 1940, a Communist government was installed in Lithuania. 1944, at age 14, George Junius Stinney, Jr. became the youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th century. It was a miscarriage of justice typical of a Democrat state and a black youth. His parents were threatened and could not support him. There was no physical evidence tying him to the killings. A confession was suspiciously exacted from him. It was 83 days from the killings to the bungled execution. 1948, members of the Malayan Communist Party kill three British plantation managers in Sungai Siput; in response, British Malaya declared a state of emergency.

In 1955, in a futile effort to topple President Juan Perón, rogue aircraft pilots of the Argentine Navy dropped several bombs upon an unarmed crowd demonstrating in favour of Perón in Buenos Aires, killing 364 and injuring at least 800. At the same time on the ground, some forces soldiers attempt to stage a coup but were suppressed by loyal forces. 1958, Imre NagyPál Maléter and other leaders of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising were executed. 1961, Rudolf Nureyev defected from the Soviet Union. 1963, Soviet Space Program: Vostok 6 Mission: Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space. 1967, the Monterey Pop Festival began 1972, the largest single-site hydroelectric power project in Canada was inaugurated at Churchill Falls Generating Station. 1976, Soweto uprising: A non-violent march by 15,000 students in Soweto, South Africa turned into days of rioting when police opened fire on the crowd. 1977, Oracle Corporation was incorporated in Redwood Shores, California, as Software Development Laboratories (SDL) by Larry EllisonBob Miner and Ed Oates.

In 1981, U.S. President Ronald Reagan awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to Ken Taylor, Canada's former ambassador to Iran, for helping six Americans escape from Iran during the hostage crisis of 1979-81; he was the first foreign citizen bestowed the honor. 1989, Revolutions of 1989Imre Nagy, the former Hungarian Prime Minister, was reburied in Budapest following the collapse of Communism in Hungary. 2000, Israel complied with United Nations Security Council Resolution 425 22 years after its issuance, which called on Israel to completely withdraw from Lebanon. Israel does so, except the disputed Shebaa farms. 2010, Bhutan became the first country to institute a total ban on tobacco. 2012, China successfully launched its Shenzhou 9 spacecraft, carrying three astronauts, including the first female Chinese astronaut Liu Yang, to the Tiangong-1 orbital module. Also 2012, the United States Air Force's robotic Boeing X-37B spaceplane returned to Earth after a classified 469-day orbital mission.
David Marr rarely says anything worth worrying about. Insiders is a left wing love fest. I rarely learn anything from them, so I rarely pay much attention to them. So a throw away line by Marr on Insiders this weekend doesn't surprise me that it has passed without much comment, but his comment is surprisingly worthy of recognition. It doesn't matter who says something worthwhile. Marr said that the current situation in Iraq highlights what a good job had been done in the past. 

President Bush had done a very good job, and while he was President in the Whitehouse there was hope for prosperity in the Middle East. Enter Obama and multiple stuff ups and bad policy and now a former detainee is leading a charge to upend the troubled young democracy of Iraq. And Marr is right with this one comment on the issue. The current situation shows what a good job had been done in the past. Marr has shown in the past he is willing to choose his tribes he rejects. He dissed the gay community to attack Alan Jones. 

On this day in 1586 Mary Queen of Scots declared Spain to be her heir. Not everything is as you see it. Her own child inherited the kingdom and eventually became King of England too. In 1816, Lord Byron had some guests for dinner, including the poet Percy Byshe Shelley and his runaway bride Mary Shelley. They discussed the recently discovered phenomena of animal electricity. Mary wrote Frankenstein, and few will remember Percy's greater works, although some may point to the prescient work "Revolt of Islam", "Ode to the West Wind", "Ozymandias" to name a few. David Marr has a vision of the world every bit as valid and accurate as Mary Queen of Scots declaration of inheritance. 
Historical perspectives on this day
In 363, Emperor Julian marched back up the Tigris and burned his fleet of supply ships. During the withdrawal Roman forces suffered several attacks from the Persians. 632, Yazdegerd III ascended to the throne as king (shah) of the Persian Empire. He became the last ruler of the Sasanian dynasty (modern Iran). 1407, Ming–Hồ War: Retired King Hồ Quý Ly and his son King Hồ Hán Thương of Hồ dynasty were captured by the Ming armies. 1487, Battle of Stoke Field, the final engagement of the Wars of the Roses.

In 1586, Mary, Queen of Scots, recognised Philip II of Spain as her heir and successor. 1745, British troops took Cape Breton Island, which is now part of Nova Scotia, Canada. Also 1745, War of the Austrian Succession: New England colonial troops under the command of William Pepperrell captured the French Fortress of Louisbourg in Louisbourg, Nova Scotia (Old Style). 1746, War of Austrian Succession: Austria and Sardinia defeated a Franco-Spanish army at the Battle of Piacenza. 1755, French and Indian War: The French surrendered Fort Beauséjour to the British, leading to the expulsion of the Acadians. 1774, foundation of Harrodsburg, Kentucky. 1779, Spain declared war on the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Great Siege of Gibraltar began. 1795, First Battle of Groix otherwise known as "Cornwallis' Retreat".

In 1815, Battle of Ligny and Battle of Quatre Bras, two days before the Battle of Waterloo. 1816, Lord Byron reads Fantasmagoriana to his four house guests at the Villa Diodati, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Claire Clairmont, and John Polidori, and inspired his challenge that each guest write a ghost story, which culminated in Mary Shelley writing the novel Frankenstein, John Polidori writing the short story The Vampyre, and Byron writing the poem Darkness. 1836, the formation of the London Working Men's Association gave rise to the Chartist Movement. 1846, the Papal conclave of 1846 concluded. Pope Pius IX was elected Pope beginning the longest reign in the history of the papacy.

In 1858, Abraham Lincoln delivered his House Divided speech in Springfield, Illinois. Also 1858, the Battle of Morar took place during the Indian Mutiny. 1871, the University Tests Act allowed students to enter the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Durham without religious tests (except for those intending to study theology). 1883, the Victoria Hall theatre panic in Sunderland, England killed 183 children. 1884, the first purpose-built roller coaster, LaMarcus Adna Thompson's "Switchback Railway", opened in New York's Coney Island amusement park. 1891, John Abbott became Canada's third Prime Minister. 1897, a treaty annexing the Republic of Hawaii to the United States was signed; the Republic would not be dissolved until a year later.

In 1903, the Ford Motor Company was incorporated. Also 1903, Roald Amundsen commenced the first east-west navigation of the Northwest Passage, leaving Oslo, Norway. 1904, Eugen Schauman assassinated Nikolai Bobrikov, Governor-General of Finland. Also 1904, Irish author James Joyce began a relationship with Nora Barnacle and subsequently uses the date to set the actions for his novel Ulysses; this date is now traditionally called "Bloomsday". 1911, IBM founded as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company in Endicott, New York. Also 1911, a 772 gram stony meteorite struck the earth near Kilbourn, Wisconsin damaging a barn. 1915, foundation of the British Women's Institute.

In 1922, general election in the Irish Free State: The pro-Treaty Sinn Féin won a large majority. 1924, the Whampoa Military Academy was founded. 1925, the most famous Young Pioneer camp of the Soviet Union, Artek, was established. 1930, Sovnarkom established decree time in the USSR. 1933, the National Industrial Recovery Act was passed. 1940, World War II: Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain became Chief of State of Vichy France (Chef de l'État Français). Also 1940, a Communist government was installed in Lithuania. 1944, at age 14, George Junius Stinney, Jr. became the youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th century. 1948, members of the Malayan Communist Party kill three British plantation managers in Sungai Siput; in response, British Malaya declared a state of emergency.

In 1955, in a futile effort to topple President Juan Perón, rogue aircraft pilots of the Argentine Navy dropped several bombs upon an unarmed crowd demonstrating in favour of Perón in Buenos Aires, killing 364 and injuring at least 800. At the same time on the ground, some forces soldiers attempt to stage a coup but were suppressed by loyal forces. 1958, Imre Nagy, Pál Maléter and other leaders of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising were executed. 1961, Rudolf Nureyev defected from the Soviet Union. 1963, Soviet Space Program: Vostok 6 Mission: Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space. 1967, the Monterey Pop Festival began 1972, the largest single-site hydroelectric power project in Canada was inaugurated at Churchill Falls Generating Station. 1976, Soweto uprising: A non-violent march by 15,000 students in Soweto, South Africa turned into days of rioting when police opened fire on the crowd. 1977, Oracle Corporation was incorporated in Redwood Shores, California, as Software Development Laboratories (SDL) by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner and Ed Oates.

In 1981, U.S. President Ronald Reagan awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to Ken Taylor, Canada's former ambassador to Iran, for helping six Americans escape from Iran during the hostage crisis of 1979-81; he was the first foreign citizen bestowed the honor. 1989, Revolutions of 1989: Imre Nagy, the former Hungarian Prime Minister, was reburied in Budapest following the collapse of Communism in Hungary. 2000, Israel complied with United Nations Security Council Resolution 425 22 years after its issuance, which called on Israel to completely withdraw from Lebanon. Israel does so, except the disputed Shebaa farms. 2010, Bhutan became the first country to institute a total ban on tobacco. 2012, China successfully launched its Shenzhou 9 spacecraft, carrying three astronauts, including the first female Chinese astronaut Liu Yang, to the Tiangong-1 orbital module. Also 2012, the United States Air Force's robotic Boeing X-37B spaceplane returned to Earth after a classified 469-day orbital mission.
=== Publishing News ===
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.
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. 
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://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.
=== Bolt Report Items ===
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Happy birthday and many happy returns to those born on this day, across the years ..
June 16Bloomsday in Dublin, Ireland
James Joyce in 1915
Some win, some lose, some get married. Nay sayers remember. Variety is the spice of life. Barnacle entangled. Keep dancing. Let us party. 


Tim Blair – Tuesday, June 16, 2015 (12:58pm)

Greens leader Richard Di Natale
Stopping the boats is easy. The question is what price are we prepared to pay.” 
Under Labor’s border exposure policies, which were supported by the Greens, stopping the boats was impossible and the cost in lives and taxes was enormous. This man is a fool.
UPDATE. Greens leader Christine Milne in 2013, when stopping the boats was difficult: 
“You have to accept that deterrence does not work,” Senator Milne said …
There was no “solution” to stop the boats, she added.
“This is not something that’s going to end in the short term; it’s going to be with us for the whole century”. 
Try a few months.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, June 16, 2015 (11:18am)

David Marr and other leftists frequently cite pro-ABC polls
The public year in year out votes the ABC one of the most trusted and respected institutions in the country. 
But too much trust can be a problem
The ABC may have contributed to the death of thousands of Australians, according to a study that claims 60,000 people reduced or stopped their intake of cholesterol-lowering statin medications after a two-part Catalyst science program critical of ¬statins went to air.
The widely criticised program – removed from the ABC’s website a year ago after it was found to have breached the broadcaster’s impartiality standards – had an immediate impact, with 14,000 fewer people dispensed statin medications after the series went to air in October 2013 …
“In the eight months following the Catalyst broadcast, an ¬estimated 60,897 fewer people filled their statins prescriptions,” concludes the study, published in The ¬Medical Journal of Australia today. “If patients continue to avoid statins over the next five years, this could result in between 1522 and 2900 preventable, and potentially fatal, heart attacks and strokes.” 
Avoid the ABC – and live.

Labor just can’t save. UPDATE: Even Greens more responsible than Shorten; agree to cuts

Andrew Bolt June 16 2015 (6:39pm)

Labor simply refuses to accept that the money is gone and savings must be made:

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has announced that Labor will oppose the government’s proposed ... pension assets test ...
Not fit to govern.
Incredibly, even the Greens are now more economically responsible than Labor under Shorten. They have agreed to the Government’s pension assets test, cutting out millionaires who also own their own homes and shifting savings to top up pensions for the poorer.
We need to see the precise detail, though. Let us hope the Government hasn’t actually gone too Green and punished the prudent. 

No bids?

Andrew Bolt June 16 2015 (4:10pm)


Bill Shorten silent. Was he set up?

Andrew Bolt June 16 2015 (3:10pm)

How very, very funny. Labor spent all Question Time yesterday plus a censure motion attacking the Government for allegedly paying people smugglers to turn back a boat.
Today in Question Time, though, not a single question from Labor on this topic.
Why? Because these hypocrites actually paid people smugglers themselves.
And there was this very pointed warning to Bill Shorten from the Foreign Minister:
“I think you’ve been set up,” she says to Mr Shorten in relation to payments to people smugglers.
“Don’t rely on your frontbench ruling in or out intelligence matters.”

Balance, the ABC version. UPDATE: Every activist gets a ticket

Andrew Bolt June 16 2015 (12:32pm)

Of course the ABC is balanced and impartial. It’s sheer fluke that Q&A last night yet again had a panel stacked with Leftists, warmists and critics of the Abbott Government:
Reader Jenny:
Andrew,Not sure if you watched Q&A tonight but it was the “Gillian Triggs Show” - Tony was her lapdog, utterly embarrassing to watch, and Triggs had most of the air time. Luca (whatever) could not follow the line of questions towards the end; Noel was crying “poor Aborigines” who by the way get much more than the white fella; Bret thought he was in a courtroom talking legal jargon, and poor Bronnie most of the time being told by Tony “we are out of time” and have to go to the next question; and finally the audience was packed with the Left. Yet again, no balance whatsoever. Not our ABC anymore - it has been hijacked by Leftist terrorists.
Of course the ABC is balanced. It is just coincidence that Four Corners last night ran a huge PR job for renewable energy and against coal, taking as gospel that coal was a “dirty” power source that was heating the planet dangerously.
Of course the ABC is balanced. It is mere coincidence that ABC Radio National Breakfast host should have Paul Bongiorno as her commentator this morning, furiously agreeing how bad it was of the e Government to (allegedly) pay people smugglers to turn around.
Of course the ABC is balanced. It was just a bad mood that had Emma Alberici yet again heckling Finance Minister Mathias Cormann:
MATHIAS CORMANN:  Labor’s hypocrisy has been revealed, really, because when Labor and Bill Shorten were asked tonight to rule out that any such payments were made under the period of the Rudd and Gillard governments, what was the answer by Mr Shorten? That they don’t comment on security and intelligence matters. I mean, this is just the Labor Party creating a bit of hyperbole.
EMMA ALBERICI: Let’s talk about you rather than the Labor Party. 

EMMA ALBERICI: If you are concerned about discouraging people smugglers from making the journey, then isn’t it better to say there’s no way they’d ever receive money from our government rather than having the Prime Minister let this rumour stay out there that perhaps they may well be rewarded for their criminal deeds?
MATHIAS CORMANN: Well - but hang on. I mean, this government has actually stopped the boats. We came into government after a disastrous…
EMMA ALBERICI: Yeah, that wasn’t the question. With respect, let’s go back to the question.
MATHIAS CORMANN: Well, I’m actually answering your question.
EMMA ALBERICI: Was an important feature of your policy to do whatever it takes?
MATHIAS CORMANN: It’s a very important feature of our policy to implement our policy effectively. We came into government ...
EMMA ALBERICI: To do whatever it takes?
MATHIAS CORMANN: We came into government when there was a very serious problem at our borders. We said that we would turn around the boats. We said that we would do a range of other things and our ...
EMMA ALBERICI: You never said you would pay people smugglers.
MATHIAS CORMANN:  . But I point out again - I mean, you were not all that keen for me to make this point, but it is actually very telling. When Bill Shorten was asked to rule out that the previous government at any one point in time made such ...
EMMA ALBERICI: No, I think ...
MATHIAS CORMANN: Yeah, well, let me just please answer - let me please answer the question.
EMMA ALBERICI: I think Australians would generally find it unpalatable to pay people smugglers, whether you’re from Labor or whether you’re from the Coalition.
MATHIAS CORMANN: If I could just make my point for a moment. So Bill Shorten refused to comment one way or the other because he pointed to security or intelligence matters. So does that mean that I’m now saying that definitely payments - such payments were made under the Labor period in government? No, I’m not saying that because you can’t draw that conclusion. That is the only point I’m making.
When will the ABC be forced to comply with its legal duty to show balance?
Of course the ABC is balanced. It’s not the ABC’s fault that its Labor-created Factcheck unit keeps finding that the Abbott Government is a lying, cheating, spinning and stupid bunch of knuckledraggers, doing down the sinless Greens and well-meaning Labor:
From the ABC code of practice:
The ABC Board is required, under section 8(1)(e) of the ABC Act, to develop a code of practice relating to its television and radio programming, and to notify this code to the Australian Communications and Media Authority ("the ACMA")…
The ABC has a statutory duty to ensure that the gathering and presentation of news and information is impartial according to the recognised standards of objective journalism....


4.1 Gather and present news and information with due impartiality.
4.2 Present a diversity of perspectives so that, over time, no significant strand of thought or belief within the community is knowingly excluded or disproportionately represented…
4.5 Do not unduly favour one perspective over another.

How on earth can the ABC claim to be abiding by its own code of practice, as it must by law?
What steps is the Government taking to ensure it does?
Of course the ABC is balanced. It’s just that Q&A is a soft touch for a ticket for anyone who by sheer chance asks for a chance to attack a Liberal on air:

As Mohammad Ali Baqiri asked his question on ABC’s Q&A, the slogan on his T-shirt - “kids don’t belong in detention centres” - made a powerful comment.
Mr Baqiri spent three years in detention on Christmas Island and Nauru ... On Monday the 24-year-old shared his story with a live television audience and asked the panel why children were still detained in detention centres, denied the democratic rights enjoyed by Australians…
Mediating Mr Baqiri’s Q&A question on Monday, Tony Jones said he wanted to make it clear Mr Baqiri’s television appearance was “not a set-up”.
Mr Baqiri was a guest speaker at the End Child Detention Coalition’s demonstration on the lawns of Parliament House on Monday and asked to appear on the show, which was broadcast from Parliament.
Define “not a set-up”. 

Bravo Bronwyn

Andrew Bolt June 16 2015 (12:12pm)

I am not sure a supposedly unbiased Speaker should appear on Q&A as a political warrior, but Labor’s Anna Burke set that particular standard.
That reservation aside, Bronwyn Bishop made a very important point in calling out bias:
JULIE DOYLE: [Human Rights Council president] Gillian Triggs shared the stage with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Bronwyn Bishop and Ms Bishop set the tone early on.
BRONWYN BISHOP: When you’re a statutory officer you have to decide whether you are a statutory officer fulfilling that role with security of tenure or whether you wish to say I want to be part of the political debate and stand for office.
JULIE DOYLE: Later in the program Bronwyn Bishop issued the challenge to Gillian Triggs again.
This time it was during a discussion about children being held in immigration detention. The timing of the Human Rights Commission inquiry into children in detention has prompted much of the Government’s criticism as the inquiry was held after the Coalition won office.
Here’s how it unfolded, starting with Gillian Triggs:
GILLIAN TRIGGS: The purpose of the Commission’s inquiry was to examine the medical and physical conditions of the children of prolonged detention which has been the case for many of these children.
BRONWYN BISHOP: Gillian, if I can say, that report of yours was seen by many including me as one that was, if it was to be done, should’ve been done under the previous government when there were 2,000 children.
But you chose to do it afterwards and that made it very political. And it has made you a very political figure and therefore you are subject to criticism.
As I said before you have to make the decision. Are you a statutory officer carrying out an obligation with the protection of that office or do you wish to be a political participant?

The moral pygmies of The Age praise what kills, denounce what saves

Andrew Bolt June 16 2015 (11:46am)

Boat people policy

The Age in 2008 praised Labor for scrapping the tough border laws of the Howard Government:
YESTERDAY a stain was removed from the soul of this nation. That stain was the inhumane, barbarous stance towards asylum seekers that had presumed them guilty merely because of their existence and then condemned them to indefinite detention… This was more than shameful. It was a spineless creed cloaked in cheap, insensitive political posturing.
Yesterday the Federal Government took decisive steps in redressing the wrongs of the past.... The Government has not scrapped mandatory detention, but it has made fundamental changes in the processing of asylum seekers that switches the premise of the system from adversarial to humanitarian. ..
Labor says a secure border and a humanitarian approach are not mutually exclusive in dealing with asylum seekers. We agree. Yesterday, Australia began the process of restoring some of its lost humanity.
Seeming good, doing evil. The consequence of that change in policy, cheered by The Age, was the drowning of 1200 men, women and children; the luring over of 50,000 illegal immigrants; the crowding out of genuine refugees; the spending of $11 billion on processing arrivals and on border management; and the detention at the height of the crisis of 2000 children.
Never did The Age admit its error. Never did The Age flay Labor for costing so many lives and wasting so many billions. Indeed, for months The Age refused to even report the drownings.
Only now - now that the boats have stopped, the drownings have ended and almost all the children released - does The Age once more release its venom, but against those who ended the evil. And once again it rages at the seeming, rather than judge by the doing:
What murky and fetid waters has the Abbott government sailed this nation into now? When Fairfax Media reported claims last week by an Indonesian police chief and others that Australian authorities had paid the crew of a people-smuggling vessel thousands of dollars to turn around and head back to Indonesia, it at first seemed at first too preposterous to be true…
Mr Abbott has been offered every opportunity in the past week to quash the notion that the Australian government did, or might in future, sanction paying cash to people-smugglers. Instead, he has said the government will do “whatever is reasonably necessary” to halt people smugglers…
Perhaps, as former immigration minister Philip Ruddock suggested yesterday, it is cheaper to pay the smugglers than to process arrivals. But that would be expediency of the most diabolical type… It is a national disgrace. Paying boat crews wads of cash is just the latest step in the nation’s debased and morally bankrupt policies on dealing with asylum seekers and people trafficking.
Usually the way to confound someone of the Left is to simply ask: but what would you do?
But in this case we already know: The Age backed a course of “humanitarian” action that led to unimaginable suffering, death, fraud and expense, for which it has never apologised.  Now it rages against (hypothetical) policies which ended these evils, calling those policies “morally bankrupt”.
What moral planet do these people inhabit?   

Vidal vs Buckley

Andrew Bolt June 16 2015 (11:13am)

Spooky is how they look and sound like brothers, which may help to explain the sparks:
(Thanks to reader Kevin, who wonders whether Australia is capable of matching such debaters. But perhaps the real question is whether the ABC and the Left more generally would be game.) 

But not in Australia

Andrew Bolt June 16 2015 (11:05am)

Americans, of course, have a constitutional right to free speech:
The president of a chapter of a major US group advocating for the rights of African Americans has resigned, just days after her parents said she is a white woman posing as black.... The furore touched off fierce debate around the country over racial identity...
But not in Australia, thanks to the Racial Discrimination Act and activists prepared to use it to shut down such debates. 

Paying people smugglers: Labor walks into a trap. It once did what it now attacks

Andrew Bolt June 16 2015 (9:02am)

Labor is demanding the Abbott Government deny it did not pay people smugglers $40,000 to turn around, but refuses to give precisely the same denial when asked if it also paid people smugglers when in office.
Labor frontbencher and former immigration minister Tony Burke demands a denial:
Australian taxpayers have a right to know where their money is spent. Australian taxpayers have a right to know, in particular, if their money is going to the most vile trade that both sides of this chamber have made the strongest comments against....
The prime minister won’t be able to respond to this resolution with a three-word slogan but it could do with a one word answer, a one word answer will settle this.
A one word answer that Australian taxpayers have a right to know.
Labor’s hypocrisy exposed:
SABRA LANE: ... The ABC asked the Opposition if it could rule out the possibility that spies like ASIS agents made payments to people smugglers during the Rudd-Gillard years. Its response: it’s unlawful to divulge security or intelligence information.
Let’s not pretend to be surprised - and that includes Labor:
Australian spies and police working inside Indonesia have been involved in a secret war against people-smugglers since 2001, including using paid informers to help destroy the trade.
Australian authorities have paid Indonesians with close links to people-smugglers in return for information to identify the major syndicates as part of a larger covert war to cripple the industry.
Far from discouraging such practices, the Rudd Labor government in 2009 gave Australia’s overseas spy agency an extra $21 million over two years to step up its covert campaign to combat the boat trade to Australia.
The Abbott government yesterday declined to confirm reports that officers from the Australian Secret Intelligence Service might have been involved in paying people linked to people-smuggling to turn their boats around, as part of a classified operation to disrupt their movements.
And note again: Labor is making a huge issue about nothing at the cost of our relationship with Indonesia.
Trap sprung. How could Labor have been so stupid as to attack the Government for what Labor itself has done?:
Cash payments have been made to members of Indonesian people-smuggling rings by Australian intelligence officials for at least the past four years - including under the former Labor government, Fairfax Media has learnt.

Multiple sources have said that such payments have been part of successive governments’ tactics, though not always as part of boat turnbacks, which were not used by the previous government…

Labor has gone on the offensive over the claim. But at least one former Labor immigration minister knew of payments under his watch, it is understood.

Did that former immigration minister - Burke? O’Connor? Bowen? - warn Shorten not to attack so hard?
I’d bank on Bowen being the one who knew. Or may be it was one now out of Parliament - Chris Evans, say.
And note that Labor couldn’t even bribe properly. The boats kept coming.
Ha ha ha ha ha:
Opposition immigration spokesman Richard Marles ... accused the government of “playing politics” by shifting the focus onto Labor.

Did Shorten note the commissioner’s concern?

Andrew Bolt June 16 2015 (7:41am)

The question is why Bill Shorten as a union boss traded away overtime for cleaners in a 2004 deal, and what the union got (and gave) in return:
Bill Shorten, toiler’s friend. Andrew Leigh, Fairfax, yesterday: 
It’s clear that the government would like to use their royal commission as a political witch hunt, that’s been obvious from the outset and Bill Shorten will calmly and confidently stand behind his record of arguing for better pay and conditions for Australian workers…
Brendan O’Connor, doorstop yesterday:

We expect negotiations that culminate in enterprise agreements to be fair to workers and that has always been our position. There may be allegations going on at the moment, but let’s just talk about the facts.
Like this? Extract from the application by the Australian Workers Union, Victoria Branch, and ­another for certification of the Cleanevent Australia Pty Ltd Enterprise Agreement 2004 before Commissioner Mansfield, Australian Industrial Relations Commission, December 20 2004:

The Commissioner: There is little concern about flexibility provisions which improve conditions of employment, but to have an agreement which will allow an employer to give less by way of remuneration or conditions to employees without having to seek a variation of the agreement could be a problem and I just hope the parties will note that.
Peter Reith:

There is a question hanging over Bill Shorten about his behaviour in his time as an Australian Workers Union boss…
The background to Shorten’s desperation to find new members is not just about his personal ambition, but also the fact that unions have been losing members for years… Private sector union membership has fallen to about 12 per cent of the private sector workforce....

Shorten has a reputation for ruthless political opportunism… But even in the AWU he would do anything to sign up union memberships. The more members he could sign, the more power he would have. At one stage he even did a deal with the Victorian farmers to sign up chicken farmers who were in a battle with chicken processors. Did any of the chicken growers become members of the AWU? Who paid for their memberships? What deal was done with the Victorian Farmers’ Federation? Were the growers aware that they had joined the AWU? What did the Victorian government know of this arrangement? What money was passed around by whom and to whom?
And then there are the equally bizarre cases of jockeys and netball players. ... What did Shorten actually do for the jockeys? What did they get out of the AWU? Did the jockeys know they had joined the AWU? Who signed up the members?…
And what about the netballers? Who joined the AWU? Did all players know that they had joined the AWU? Did they have a choice? Or were they told to join? What monies passed between the AWU and the Players Association? What was Shorten’s role?…
The following internal AWU email from Mei Lin to John-Paul Blandthorn on March 13, 2014, is interesting, under the subject “Re: Membership”:  “It is the time to invoice Australian Jockey’s Association, Netball Players Association and Cleanevent for the yearly membership”.
It’s the sort of email that makes you think that there is more to this saga than someone wants the public to know.
Anthony Klan on one odd negotiation Shorten was involved with:
Bill Shorten was directly involved in labour agreement negotiations a decade ago that a competitor to cleaning company Cleanevent claims were used by officials in the Australian Workers Union to try to secure kickbacks.
In 2006, when Mr Shorten was Victoria AWU state secretary, Douglas Site Services attempted to obtain an enterprise bargaining agreement similar to that between Cleanevent and the union.
The royal commission into union corruption has heard that Cleanevent was permitted to pay wages at as low as 40 per cent of competitors’ rates under a deal struck with the AWU in 1999 when Mr Shorten was Victoria AWU state secretary and Cleanevent’s union representative.
Steven Hunter, the then owner of Douglas Site Services — which was placed in administration in part because the EBA negotiations were never finalised — says he believes the Victoria AWU under Mr Shorten, and later under embattled Victorian MP Cesar Melhem, would not sign the deal because he refused to “force” staff to become members or to make payments to the union…
Mr Hunter said the AWU provided him with a copy of Clean­event’s EBA and even drew up an almost identical EBA for Douglas Site Services, but refused to sign it, he says, because he would not “force my employees to sign up” to the union.
In an email dated November 6, 2008 — the year after Mr Shorten resigned as AWU national secretary and while Mr Melhem was head of Victoria AWU — [then Victoria AWU organiser John-Paul] Blandthorn wrote to Mr Hunter saying the AWU would allow the EBA only if Douglas Site Services entered “an agreement”.
“As discussed Cesar (Melhem) will only sign if we are guaranteed membership though some ­arrangement,” the email states.
Judith Sloan:
The fact his former colleague and successor at the AWU, Cesar Melham, has now stood aside from his position as government whip in the Victorian parliament is admission that there are important questions for [Bill] Shorten to answer…
The revelations the union did deals with bosses to dud workers in order to bolster membership numbers (without the knowledge of the workers) and receive financial kickbacks are explosive… Members equal money and power. Power equals influencing the Labor Party. Leadership, preselections and policies — these are the things that matter.
Who can forget the then national secretary of the AWU, Paul Howes, going on ABC television to tell us that his union had withdrawn its support from the prime minister, Kevin Rudd, and was now backing Julia Gillard?
(Thanks to readers Paul and Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Newspoll: Labor just ahead, 51 to 49

Andrew Bolt June 16 2015 (7:24am)

It is astonishing that the Abbott Government should be so very close after such a furious media assault, but it is sobering that it is still behind such a clearly unworthy Labor:
Bill Shorten’s approval rating has tumbled to a record low of 28 per cent, with nearly twice as many voters dissatisfied with the Opposition Leader’s performance, as Labor’s primary vote dropped to an eight-month low. 

But rising support for the Greens continues to keep Labor ahead of the Coalition in two-party-preferred terms, according to the latest Newspoll…
After a fortnight in which the government was on the backfoot over housing affordability, stepped up the debate over citizenship laws and faced allegations it paid people-smugglers to turn around an asylum-seeker boat, Labor’s primary vote fell three points to 34 per cent, the lowest since October as the ­Coalition dropped one point to 40 per cent. The Greens nudged up one point to an eight-month high of 14 per cent ...
In two-party terms, based on preference flows from the last election, Labor leads 51 per cent to 49 per cent but the gap has narrowed from ... 53 per cent to 47 per cent a month ago.
If I were Labor I would not count on the Greens actually getting a 14 per cent vote at the election. I’d suggest Labor’s future looks gloomier than the numbers suggest.
How good is Bill Shorten for Labor? Phillip Hudson:

Today’s Newspoll is grim reading for Bill Shorten....
Not so long ago 42 per cent of Australians were pleased with his performance, but in just four months that has been shaved by one-third to 28 per cent....
While Abbott has proven a leader does not need to be popular to win an election, the question for Labor is whether Shorten’s deterioration is also dragging down the ALP primary vote. It sits at an eight-month low of 34 per cent — basically the same as the primary vote of 33.3 per cent Labor received at the 2013 election defeat. 
That’s the most painful number for caucus.More than halfway to the next election, core support for Labor has not improved since the events that are now being reheated in the ABC TV series The Killing Season.
Notice how this polls are not getting the ABC coverage that was given to the IPSOS poll yesterday which showed Labor further ahead?
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill and others.) 

Rudd needy, says Gillard

Andrew Bolt June 16 2015 (7:20am)

I have to say I back Julia Gillard’s judgement here, but wonder why she backed this desperately needy man to be prime minister:
Ms Gillard also draws on Mr Rudd’s childhood and his desire for approval in her analysis of the damning polls for the then Prime Minister in the lead up to the challenge.
“Kevin was very fragile in the face of criticism, including the implied criticism that comes with bad polls or bad news stories. I mean, I think for him across his life, and perhaps some of this is explained by the hardship of his early years, but across his life he felt the need for himself to be filled by the approval of others. So clearly there’s a hole that needs to be filled by applause and approval,” Ms Gillard says.
To which Mr Rudd replies: “The first thing I’d say about that is I haven’t seen Julia’s university qualifications as a psychoanalyst.”
On the other hand, Gillard’s judgement about her own performance continues to be disastrously wrong-headed. She made a terrible mistake by playing the sexism card when she got into deep trouble over her performance, and that just insulted her critics and damaged her ability to address their concerns.
Now Gillard demands Clinton play that same fatal sexism card:
Julia Gillard says Hillary Clinton should “call out” the inevitable sexist attacks on her early in her run for president, because otherwise they will just get worse.
Speaking at a London ‘summit’ for successful women, Ms Gillard picked out her own handling of sexist and misogynistic attacks as “one thing I absolutely did get wrong” – in that she didn’t directly address it soon enough.
The minute Clinton does that she’s dead. 

This guy drew a blade to cuts in wood compensated for that allows a perfect fold. What do you think?
Posted by Engineering at its very best on Monday, 15 June 2015


Don't know about you guys, but i really want to live in these houses
Posted by Architecture & Engineering on Monday, 15 June 2015


Dealing with critics and more advice you'll need if you want to keep growing as a writer: http://bit.ly/1FHyhqe
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=== Posts from last year ===


Tim Blair – Monday, June 16, 2014 (2:43pm)

Like many of his ABC comrades, Radio National host Jonathan Green yearned for Barack Obama to humiliate Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Writing at the ABC’s Drum site, Green even offered the US President some advice ahead of last week’s meeting with the PM: 
Barack, you might like to try this as an opening gambit: “Tony, there are no jobs on a dead planet.” It might help break the ice, it might not. It’s entirely possible that our PM might just blink uncomprehendingly at first mention, but as with any decent slogan, repetition is the key, so keep nagging away, again and again until you think the thing is so worn with use that it might fall apart at the softest touch. Then say it again. 
Bear in mind, please, that Green is no teenage leftist idiot. He’s a retirement-age leftist idiot living off your taxes who recently bought a $1.4 million house in inner Melbourne. Let’s imagine how Green’s suggestion might have worked if it had actually been adopted by the US president …

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'REPETITION IS THE KEY'


Tim Blair – Monday, June 16, 2014 (2:28pm)

A friend recently joined the public relations arm of a major Australian energy company. She arrived at the job with a sound knowledge of all the major energy issues and upcoming projects.
What she didn’t expect, however, was the sheer ferocity and underhanded tactics of anti-energy activists. “They just straight-out lie,” she says. “They make things up. They put lies all over Twitter. They’re incredible.”

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'LIES LOVED'


Tim Blair – Monday, June 16, 2014 (5:27am)

Many Muslims slaughtered in Iraq: 
Gruesome photos posted online Sunday by an Al Qaeda splinter group show the summary executions of dozens of captive Iraqi soldiers in the group’s attack on a city in central Iraq and are believed to be authentic, military officials have acknowledged.
The release of the images by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, came amid violence elsewhere in Iraq. A string of explosions rocked Badghad Sunday, killing at least 15, according to the Associated Press. Earlier in the day, Agence France-Presse reported six people were killed when a recruitment center in central Iraq for volunteer fighters was hit by mortar rounds. 
Wissam Haddad, the head of Sydney’s al-Risalah Islamic Centre, sums up local reaction to Iraq’s bloodshed: 
“There’s a feeling of joy.” 

Shorten accused

Andrew Bolt June 16 2014 (7:40pm)

BILL Shorten became directly involved in elections of the troubled Health Services Union when he was a senior member of the Rudd government in 2009 by donating $5000 to a candidate’s campaign, it was alleged at the royal commission into union corruption today. 

Marco Bolano, a key ally of HSU corruption whistleblower Kathy Jackson, said he was “stunned” when he was told Mr Shorten was contributing to his campaign because the now federal Labor leader had been a supporter of his opponent. 

When Mr Bolano asked “why on earth” Mr Shorten would pay the money, he said his campaign manager Stephen Donnelly told him: “He’s having a bet both ways”.
The Labor leader today denied the allegation…
Mr Bolano said he wouldn’t know if the alleged $5000 from Mr Shorten came from “some fund” or Mr Shorten personally…
Mr Bolano said Mr Feeney arranged for Mr Donnelly, his chief of staff, to be Mr Bolano’s campaign manager for the 2009 HSU election.
He had learned afterwards that the tobacco company Philip Morris had contributed to his HSU election campaign and he was “perplexed” why a cigarette maker would want to contribute to the campaign of a health union election. 

Just one week in the world of Islam. What is wrong with this faith?

Andrew Bolt June 16 2014 (6:42pm)


What the hell is the problem with Islam? In the past week..
In Kenya:
At least 34 people have been killed after unidentified armed men stormed the coastal city of Mpeketoni, setting hotels, restaurants, banks and government offices on fire and spraying bullets in streets. 
Kenyan army spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir ...  blamed al-Shabaab, Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked militant group… “They were shouting in Somali and shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’,” he added, meaning “God is great”, in Arabic.

In Nigeria:
Suspected Boko Haram gunmen have reportedly kidnapped 20 women from a nomadic settlement in north-east Nigeria near the town of Chibok, where the Islamic militants abducted nearly 300 girls in April, most of whom are still missing.
In Iraq:
Sunni Islamist militants claimed on Sunday that they had massacred hundreds of captive Shiite members of Iraq’s security forces, posting grisly pictures of a mass execution in Tikrit as evidence and warning of more killing to come.
In Syria:
The Al-Qaeda-breakaway Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria has prevented food and medical supplies from reaching some neighborhoods in an eastern Syrian city, an activist group said Friday. 
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said ... an offensive by ISIS in eastern Syria against rival Islamic rebel factions has killed more than 640 people and uprooted at least 130,000 since the end of April. 
In Spain:
Spanish police arrested eight people in a pre-dawn raid in Madrid on Monday, breaking up a jihadist recruitment network led by a former Guantanamo Bay inmate, the government said… 
Spain’s government has said it fears battle-hardened Islamist fighters may return to Spain from Syria… Spain this year marked the 10th anniversary of the March 11, 2004 Al Qaeda-inspired bombing of four packed commuter trains in Madrid, which killed 191 people.
In Belgium:
The fourth person to die after a gunman opened fire on the Jewish Museum in Brussels was to be buried in a Muslim cemetery in Morocco. 
Alexandre Strens, whose mother is Jewish and father a Muslim Berber, was to be buried near his grandparents’ graves in the cemetery in Taza, north-east Morocco… A suspect, Mehdi Nemmouche, was arrested in Marseille, southern France, 11 days ago ...
In Indonesia: 
Radical Islamists in Indonesia have been celebrating and swearing allegiance to ISIS on line, raising concerns that more potential terrorists will be attracted to the conflicts in Iraq and Syria… Jakarta-based terrorism expert Sidney Jones says Indonesians are known to be fighting in Syria, and that Indonesians attracted to ISIS are more radical than the Bali bombers.
In Sudan:
The retired Libyan general Khalifa Heftar who is leading the military campaign dubbed as ‘Operation Dignity’ against Islamist militias accused Sudan directly of providing aid to these groups… Heftar says that these militias have wreaked havoc in the North African nation.
In China:
China today sentenced three people to death over a deadly attack at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square last October, state television reported, an incident blamed by the government on Islamist militants.... 
Five people were killed and 40 hurt when a car ploughed into a crowd at the northern edge of Tiananmen Square and burst into flames… All of those sentenced appeared to have ethnic Uighur names. Xinjiang is the traditional home of the mostly Muslim Uighurs, and China has blamed previous attacks on separatists… China has been on edge since a suicide bombing last month killed 39 people at a market in Urumqi. In March, 29 people were stabbed to death at a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming. 
In Australia:
ON a hot summer’s day earlier this year, a beautiful young Pakistani girl named Amina stood in the living room of her western Sydney home, listening in horror as her father explained how he planned to ­murder her. 

“I am going to kill you now, right here!” he shouted at the 16-year-old. “And no one will say anything about what I do to you. I am too powerful in the community.” Amina’s parents had promised her to a man 13 years her senior and she had made the mistake of refusing to marry him… 

For years, child marriage in this country has been hidden under layers of culture and tradition in tight-knit communities… Then came news of a 12-year-old girl who was “married” in January to a 26-year-old Lebanese university student in an Islamic ­ceremony at the girl’s home in NSW’s Hunter ­Valley, and the layers of secrecy began to peel away.  
In Britain:
The Prime Minister[’s] ....  stance appears to be a direct response to the ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal which revealed Islamist extremism in schools in Birmingham… 
The Trojan Horse scandal found some schools had enforced “a culture of fear and intimidation”, with Ofsted’s chief inspector for schools for England Sir Micheal Wilshaw, adding head teachers had been “marginalised or forced out of their jobs” in an “organised campaign to target certain schools"… Inspectors found boys and girls had been segregated and were told Christian celebrations including Christmas had been scrapped while Muslim festivals went ahead. At one school teachers told pupils they didn’t believe in evolution...
In Israel:
This past Thursday night, three Jewish teenagers — one of whom is a dual American/Israeli citizen — were abducted on the West Bank. The Israelis are certain that Hamas is responsible… 
For the moment, we can also observe the reaction of the Palestinian Authority, or the Palestinian authorities. Via the Times of Israel, we learn that the Fatah Facebook page features the image below. 

Obama fled Iraq - and the terrorists moved in

Andrew Bolt June 16 2014 (5:09pm)

Barack Obama pulled out the last US forces in Iraq in December 2011 and declared the war had been won:
We’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq with a representative government that was elected by its people. We’re building a new partnership between our nations. And we are ending a war, not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home. This is an extraordinary achievement, nearly nine years in the making.
But many Iraqis wanted those forces to stay, reports Dexter Filkins, a New York Times reporter who was based in Iraq for three years:
The leaders of all the major Iraqi parties had privately told American commanders that they wanted several thousand military personnel to remain, to train Iraqi forces and to help track down insurgents. The commanders told me that Maliki, too, said that he wanted to keep troops in Iraq. But he argued that the long-standing agreement that gave American soldiers immunity from Iraqi courts was increasingly unpopular; parliament would forbid the troops to stay unless they were subject to local law. 
President Obama, too, was ambivalent about retaining even a small force in Iraq. For several months, American officials told me, they were unable to answer basic questions in meetings with Iraqis—like how many troops they wanted to leave behind—because the Administration had not decided. “We got no guidance from the White House,” Jeffrey told me. “We didn’t know where the President was. Maliki kept saying, ‘I don’t know what I have to sell.’ “ At one meeting, Maliki said that he was willing to sign an executive agreement granting the soldiers permission to stay, if he didn’t have to persuade the parliament to accept immunity. The Obama Administration quickly rejected the idea. “The American attitude was: Let’s get out of here as quickly as possible,” Sami al-Askari, the Iraqi member of parliament, said.
Look what’s happened since Obama withdrew US troops:

A war that was indeed won was then lost. 

If it’s good enough for Kelly, why is it a gaffe for Abbott?

Andrew Bolt June 16 2014 (12:20pm)

 A shocking gaffe. Canadians must be horrified. Why is this woman allowed to host Insiders?
Or can we all agree the “Canadia” issue was indeed just one of those wild anti-Abbott media beat-ups?
(Thanks to reader Peter H.) 

Can we just get on with cutting the spending?

Andrew Bolt June 16 2014 (12:15pm)

Labor was too happy to spend, and is now to happy to stop the Liberals from saving. Mind you, the Liberals haven’t yet put some cuts to the Parliament:
The federal budget could be pushed further into the red with up to a billion dollars of proposed spending cuts and revenue-raising measures due to start on or soon after July 1 facing delays. 
A week after his first budget, Treasurer Joe Hockey lashed Labor for blocking up to $40 billion in savings and warned the Australian economy could ‘’fall apart’’.
But at least 15 measures requiring legislation have not even been introduced to Parliament. 
The measures face an uncertain future, with the current Labor-Greens-controlled Senate vowing to block some key savings - which are increasingly likely to not even come to a vote before July 1 - and the Palmer United Party threatening to play hard ball over measures such as the so-called ‘’petrol tax’’ when it takes a large share of the balance of power after July 1.
Laura Tingle:
The fate of $30 billion of budget savings remains unclear ahead of the last fortnight of parliamentary sittings before the new Senate is installed, with over $8 billion of cuts due to start on July 1 still to be legislated.... 
This is because, beyond a range of signature policies which are expected to be rejected by both the current and new Senate – including the Medicare payment and changes to pensions – there is uncertainty over other cuts because the government is yet to introduce law, so non-government parties are reserving their voting positions… Beyond the lack of legislation to consider, no party wants to deal itself out of negotiations by declaring its hand on all budget measures.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Their supporters are on our streets

Andrew Bolt June 16 2014 (8:55am)

In Iraq:
Sunni Islamist militants claimed on Sunday that they had massacred hundreds of captive Shiite members of Iraq’s security forces, posting grisly pictures of a mass execution in Tikrit as evidence and warning of more killing to come…
The group’s announcement was made in a series of gruesome photographs uploaded to an ISIS Twitter feed and on websites late on Saturday night. Some showed insurgents, many wearing black masks, lining up at the edges of what looked like shallow mass graves and apparently firing their weapons into young men who had their hands bound behind their backs and were packed closely together in large groups.
The photographs showed what appeared to be seven massacre sites, although several of them may have been different views of the same sites… 
The militants’ captions seemed tailor-made to ignite anger and fear among Shiites. “The filthy Shiites are killed in the hundreds,” one read. 
In Australia:
The head of the al-Risalah Islamic Centre in Sydney, ...  Wissam Haddad, said Muslims were rejoicing at ISIS’s stunning gains. 
“There’s a feeling of joy,’’ Mr Haddad told The Weekend Australian.
I believe our immigration policy has not been careful enough to screen out danger.
(Via Tim Blair and with thanks to reader Steve.) 

The US failure wasn’t going into Iraq but leaving it

Andrew Bolt June 16 2014 (8:23am)

Leftists gloat the the invasion of Iraq by terrorist forces proves George W Bush was wrong to topple Saddam Hussein. The ABC’s AM this morning covered this theory as if it were self-evidently true.
War historian Max Boot explains why is isn’t - and the real US failure was to pull out before the gains were secured:
Black-clad fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as Al Qaeda in Iraq has rebranded itself, stormed into Mosul last week and seized control....
ISIS, as the name implies, has spread across the border into Syria, where it has been showing increasing strength amid the chaos of the Syrian civil war, in no small part because the United States has done so little to aid the non-jihadist opposition to Bashar al-Assad....
Critics of the Iraq war affix blame to President George W. Bush’s decision to invade in 2003. But there is no guarantee that, even absent American intervention, Saddam Hussein would have had any more luck staying in power than other Arab despots. A civil war might well have broken out in Iraq anyway, as has been the case in Syria and Libya.
It is true that Bush’s mismanagement from 2003 to 2007 aggravated the situation… The “surge,” however, turned the tide and created an opening for a more stable and democratic Iraq. Al Qaeda in Iraq was decimated in 2007-08… Violence fell by more than 90 percent, and Iraqi politics began to function.
But that tenuous calm started to unravel the minute that U.S. troops pulled out at the end of 2011.
Freed of effective American oversight, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki gave full vent to his Shiite sectarian tendencies… Fearing that they no longer had a place in Iraqi politics, many Sunnis welcomed back ISIS as their defenders. The Iraqi military, in turn, was unable to effectively combat the growing terrorist threat because it had been deprived of American military support and because Maliki stuffed its senior ranks with incompetent party hacks beholden to him… Many soldiers now lack the confidence that they are fighting for Iraqi national interests rather than for a sectarian Shiite agenda…
It is hard to know for sure, but odds are Iraq would have continued making progress if at least 10,000 American military advisers were still present… 
So why aren’t U.S. troops still there? ... Obama did not try very hard to achieve a Status of Forces Agreement. He waited to start the negotiations until the middle of 2011 even though the last round of talks in 2008 took a year; he leaked word that, even if an agreement were reached, the United States would send only a tiny force of fewer than 5,000 soldiers that was hardly worth the trouble; he insisted that the Iraqi parliament would have to approve the accord even though Iraqi leaders told their American counterparts this was unlikely and unnecessary; he refused to get directly involved in the negotiations; and then he pulled the plug on the talks when they hit their first major obstacle. Obama’s heart just wasn’t in it. ...

In hindsight, the pullout from Iraq looks increasingly like the pullout from Vietnam a generation before.... Obama has helped restart the war.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop won’t criticise Obama - but neither does she deny he pulled out of Iraq too soon:
(Thanks to reader doc molloy.) 

Not all divided loyalties involve just soccer

Andrew Bolt June 16 2014 (8:06am)

I HAVE a secret that horrifies my sons. But I used to think it really more a joke than a warning.
See, I barrack for Holland. I can’t even rule out backing Holland against Australia in the World Cup on Thursday.
This appals my boys. After all, my parents were Dutch but I was born here. Where’s my loyalty?
I can rationalise some of this. I was a bit solitary growing up, and having saved my odd-job money for years, took myself to Holland at 17 and found there an unconditional love and acceptance.
And why should my divided loyalty hurt anyone else? Where else will Holland clash with Australia but in sport?
(Read full article here.) 

Abbott-hate is blinding journalists

Andrew Bolt June 16 2014 (7:45am)

How the Left hatesMedia

 MANY journalists despise Tony Abbott. And, boy, have these past two weeks proved their hatred corrupts their reporting.
Take the following examples from the extraordinary coverage of the Prime Minister’s trip to Europe and North America.
SOME TV outlets pounced on footage of Abbott standing on his assigned spot at a photo call for the D-Day commemorations — a metre to the side of other leaders.
Gloated ABC Insiders host Fran Kelly: “Just a little on the outer.”
It was this which prompted Labor foreign affairs spokesman Tanya Plibersek to mock Abbott as “Nigel No-friends”.
In fact, the full tape — not shown on the ABC — shows Abbott flanked seconds later by other latecomers, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko who chats with him.
CHANNEL 9’s Laurie Oakes announced Abbott had blundered by cancelling meetings with “the most important economic policy figures in Washington”.
(Read full article here.) 

So why is Labor still forcing us to pay a tax it can’t defend?

Andrew Bolt June 16 2014 (7:34am)

Labor is forcing us to pay a carbon tax it says may not be necessary - but which it refused to repeal:
Mr Butler said if the full carbon tax package was repealed by the Senate, as seems likely, “then we’ll obviously as an opposition have to take stock and over the next year or two build an alternative policy arrangement to take to the next election’’… 
Mr Butler was yesterday asked during an interview on the Sky News Australian Agenda program whether Labor was going to come up with an alternative to an ETS as its policy for the next election. Mr Butler said: “I’m not going to indicate one way or the other.’’
The Australian describes Labor’s climate contortions:
Having dropped a carbon price when it promised to introduce one, and then delivered a carbon tax when it promised not to, it went to the last election promising to “terminate” the very carbon tax it is now refusing to repeal because the Coalition plans to replace it with “direct action” rather than an ETS. Yet now we learn its commitment to an ETS is wobbly. This will make it increasingly difficult for voters to trust Labor on climate policy.

I’d have sued Gillard, former AWU boss says

Andrew Bolt June 16 2014 (7:25am)

The AWU scandal

Of course - and it’s no wonder Julia Gillard left Slater & Gordon once her secret work for her boyfriend was exposed:
JULIA Gillard and her former employer Slater & Gordon would have been sued over the AWU slush fund scandal if the union had known about it at the time, according to a document with the Victoria Police Fraud Squad. 
In a formal witness statement, obtained by The Australian late on Friday after a bout in the Victorian Supreme Court in Melbourne, former AWU national secretary Ian Cambridge told police he would also have taken his serious concerns about the legal conduct to the professional disciplinary body for solicitors, the Law Society.
Mr Cambridge, now a commissioner for Fair Work Australia, told police he was in charge of the AWU at the time, but neither he nor other union officials had knowledge of Ms Gillard’s role in giving legal advice to help her boyfriend set up secret slush fund the AWU Workplace Reform Association, which operated in the 1990s.
Mr Cambridge was unaware until 2012, when The Australian published a confidential transcript of a 1995 Slater & Gordon interview with Ms Gillard, that the former prime minister gave key legal advice and wrote to West Australian authorities to help start the fund for Bruce Wilson, who was her boyfriend and the Victorian head of the AWU at the time....
Mr Cambridge also expressed concern over the purchase of a Kerr Street, Fitzroy, property with slush fund money, and help from the law firm and Ms Gillard in 1993. He said it was wrong that the property was sold in 1996 with more than $200,000 dispersed without AWU knowledge. 
“I am unable to understand how Slater & Gordon, who were then acting for the Victoria branch of the AWU, could have permitted the use of funds which were obviously taken from the union, in the purchase of a private property of this nature … without seeking and obtaining proper authority from the AWU,” he says. 
But Labor’s media mates still see no evil, hear no evil...
Also on Insiders, Marr clears Julia Gillard of any wrongdoing over the AWU affair: 
THE case against Gillard has now, as I understand it, been stated before the royal commission. There is no evidence that money from the slush fund was used on her house.
Evidence to royal commission from Wayne Hem, former AWU employee: 
(BRUCE Wilson) took a wad of notes out of his pocket and he wrote on a piece of paper a bank account number. He handed me the cash and the piece of paper and asked me to deposit the cash into the bank account. He then wrote Julia Gillard on the piece of paper and handed it back to me. I asked him how much money there was. He said $5000. I then verified that by counting it out in front of him … I (went to the bank) and deposited the money into the bank account as requested.
Evidence of Athol James, retired builder who did renovation work at Gillard’s house: 
DURING the work I would deal with Ms Gillard in relation to any payment for the completed work. I’m certain she said Bruce (Wilson) was paying for it. I am certain I saw Bruce hand Ms Gillard a large amount of cash on two occasions. Ms Gillard said to me that as Bruce brought her the cash she would pay me by cheque.
Evidence of Ralph Blewitt, self-confessed AWU fraudster: 
AS I entered the house Ms Gillard was in the front room ... I went through the corridor ... Bruce Wilson then asked me to pay the tradesman the sum of $7000. I had more than $7000 cash in my possession from the (slush fund) account ... I then gave $7000 cash to the tradesman.


















Holly Sarah Nguyen
Things do not always go as expected, but if we hold on and have faith, we will see that there is a plan... And it will be better than we could have ever expected...
ɐɥɐɥɐɥ... spuodsǝɹ oɥʍ ǝǝs oʇ ƃuıɥɔʇɐʍ ǝq ןןıʍ I ˙snʇɐʇs ɹnoʎ oʇ ǝʇsɐd puɐ ʎdoɔ sıɥʇ pɐǝɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟI...ʇsod ı ʇɐɥʍ oʇ uoıʇuǝʇʇɐ ʎɐd spuǝıɹɟ ʎɯ ɟo ʎuɐɯ ʍoH
Larry Pickering

Obama and Cameron are preparing to arm rebels in Syria amid claims of chemical weapons being used by the Assad government. 

Interfering in other countries’ civil wars has only produced life-costly disasters and makes no more sense than if the Arab world had interfered in the US civil war. 

The West is a slow leaner.

While Iraqi civilians pray to Allah for another Saddam Hussein strongman to quell worsening tribal unrest, Obama is now planning to rid the Arab world of Syria’s strongman, Bashar al-Assad.

Libya’s strongman, Muammar Gaddafi, was brutally murdered at the behest of the West and a UN endorsed, and NATO activated, “No Fly Zone” yet the jihadist rebels it assisted promptly murdered four US diplomats in Benghazi.

Do we really believe those we try to assist like us?

Afghanistan’s Taliban is now emboldened, more active, and producing more opium, than when we went there to destroy it.

Al Queda has fragmented to North Africa, successfully establishing cells in every Western country.

The West gave comfort to Egypt’s Arab spring offensive only to see the Muslim Brotherhood take over. The “Brotherhood” was the creator of the terrorist organisation Hamas and has been linked to many political assassinations.

The Brotherhood gains broad acceptance by assisting the poor in the same way as did Chicago’s Al Capone and Colombia’s Pablo Escobar. It's a common tactic.

Obama realises the rebellious movement in Syria is backed by Al Queda which is attracted to any form of rebellion in the Middle East.

But, he says, we will only arm those who are not Al Queda.

“Hands up all those who have Al Queda links! Okay, now you guys aren’t allowed to shoot these weapons we give you. Promise?”
Crumbs are Western leaders really that stupid? Yep!

Syria’s Assad is militarily backed by Russia and Iran. Increased assistance from both is certain if rebels are armed by the West.

Arming disjointed rebel rabble (who have committed worse Islamic inspired atrocities than Assad's regime) will lead to a dangerous international tension.

All instances of interference by the West have left gaping holes for Al Queda jihadists to fill, and we eventually pay in civilian lives.

Australia is finally learning what Europe has already learnt: Islam, in all its forms, is an ideological rabble of tribal bastardry and it is impossible to placate it or confront it.

We should leave it to its own decadent devices... certainly not import it by picking sides in its wars.

Do you start your day with a cup of coffee or another caffeinated drink? You may be protecting your brain from memory loss, or even helping to stave off Alzheimer’s disease. In animal studies, mice given the equivalent of 3 cups of coffee were able to form new memories more quickly after a trauma than uncaffeinated mice. And in an even more promising 2012 study, older adults with mild cognitive impairment who regularly drank coffee were far less likely to progress to full blown Alzheimer’s disease than those who didn’t. Past studies have also shown that daily coffee drinkers have reduced risk for developing Type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer! Share this post if you love coffee, and use the link below to learn more.

Read more: http://bit.ly/10gFcrc

"As it was in Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, and Othello, so it is in life. Most forms of private vice and public evil are kindled and sustained by lies. Acts of adultery and other personal betrayals, financial fraud, government corruption—even murder and genocide—generally require an additional moral defect: a willingness to lie.
In Lying, bestselling author and neuroscientist Sam Harris argues that we can radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie. He focuses on “white” lies—those lies we tell for the purpose of sparing people discomfort—for these are the lies that most often tempt us. And they tend to be the only lies that good people tell while imagining that they are being good in the process."
"In a passionate argument for U.S. involvement in Syria, Anthony Cordesman, a security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, wrote Friday that "the ‘discovery’ that Syria used chemical weapons might be a political ploy."

The phrase was in an article that described strong strategic and humanitarian reasons for involvement in the crisis, particularly the recent involvement of the Lebanese group Hezbollah on the side of Assad."- excerpt from article

"Political ploys aka....diversion purposes, as well." - comment, Allyson Christy

Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=002_1371269929#ymMItEKYZmpETiKb.99

“A problem is a chance for you to do your best." - Duke Ellington

She Cant Fall Asleep

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June 16Bloomsday in Dublin, Ireland
Pope Pius IX
“The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.” Proverbs 23:24 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me."
Genesis 21:6
It was far above the power of nature, and even contrary to its laws, that the aged Sarah should be honoured with a son; and even so it is beyond all ordinary rules that I, a poor, helpless, undone sinner, should find grace to bear about in my soul the indwelling Spirit of the Lord Jesus. I, who once despaired, as well I might, for my nature was as dry, and withered, and barren, and accursed as a howling wilderness, even I have been made to bring forth fruit unto holiness. Well may my mouth be filled with joyous laughter, because of the singular, surprising grace which I have received of the Lord, for I have found Jesus, the promised seed, and he is mine forever. This day will I lift up psalms of triumph unto the Lord who has remembered my low estate, for "my heart rejoiceth in the Lord; mine horn is exalted in the Lord; my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies, because I rejoice in thy salvation."
I would have all those that hear of my great deliverance from hell, and my most blessed visitation from on high, laugh for joy with me. I would surprise my family with my abundant peace; I would delight my friends with my ever-increasing happiness; I would edify the Church with my grateful confessions; and even impress the world with the cheerfulness of my daily conversation. Bunyan tells us that Mercy laughed in her sleep, and no wonder when she dreamed of Jesus; my joy shall not stop short of hers while my Beloved is the theme of my daily thoughts. The Lord Jesus is a deep sea of joy: my soul shall dive therein, shall be swallowed up in the delights of his society. Sarah looked on her Isaac, and laughed with excess of rapture, and all her friends laughed with her; and thou, my soul, look on thy Jesus, and bid heaven and earth unite in thy joy unspeakable.


"He openeth, and no man shutteth."
Revelation 3:7
Jesus is the keeper of the gates of paradise and before every believing soul he setteth an open door, which no man or devil shall be able to close against it. What joy it will be to find that faith in him is the golden key to the everlasting doors. My soul, dost thou carry this key in thy bosom, or art thou trusting to some deceitful pick-lock, which will fail thee at last? Hear this parable of the preacher, and remember it. The great King has made a banquet, and he has proclaimed to all the world that none shall enter but those who bring with them the fairest flower that blooms. The spirits of men advance to the gate by thousands, and they bring each one the flower which he esteems the queen of the garden; but in crowds they are driven from the royal presence, and enter not into the festive halls. Some bear in their hand the deadly nightshade of superstition, or the flaunting poppies of Rome, or the hemlock of self- righteousness, but these are not dear to the King, the bearers are shut out of the pearly gates. My soul, hast thou gathered the rose of Sharon? Dost thou wear the lily of the valley in thy bosom constantly? If so, when thou comest up to the gates of heaven thou wilt know its value, for thou hast only to show this choicest of flowers, and the Porter will open: not for a moment will he deny thee admission, for to that rose the Porter openeth ever. Thou shalt find thy way with the rose of Sharon in thy hand up to the throne of God himself, for heaven itself possesses nothing that excels its radiant beauty, and of all the flowers that bloom in paradise there is none that can rival the lily of the valley. My soul, get Calvary's blood-red rose into thy hand by faith, by love wear it, by communion preserve it, by daily watchfulness make it thine all in all, and thou shalt be blessed beyond all bliss, happy beyond a dream. Jesus, be mine forever, my God, my heaven, my all.

[Bär'nabăs] - son of prophecy orconsolationSurname of Joses, Paul's companion in several of his missionary journeys (Acts 4:36; 9:27).

The Man Renowned for His Winsomeness

The features of this lovable man stand out in bold relief.
I. His magnificent generosity. The first recorded deed of this Levite of Cyprus was the selling of his property and the grateful sacrifice of the money secured to the common fund of the first Christian community ( Acts. 4:36). The Church has many on her ancient roll who knew what it was to be baptized with the baptism of Barnabas. His exuberant generosity inspired them to surrender their all.
II. His impressive personality. The Lycaonians named Barnabas Jupiter, the name of the emperor of gods in Grecian mythology (Acts 14:12 ). Evidently this "son of comfort" had a commanding, dignified, venerable appearance and his physical nobility added to his influence. The culture and consecration of a commendable physical personality is not to be despised. Also mentally and morally, Barnabas was a man among men.
III. His innate goodness. What triple grace this man possessed! "A good man and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith" (Acts 11:24 ). God-possessed, Barnabas was full of love, sympathy and faith. Vision and allegiance were his. Spirit-filled, he exuded the comfort of the Spirit. Dean Church says that Barnabas was "an earthly reflection of the Paraclete."
IV. His notable ministry. Barnabas had an inspiring influence (Acts 11:25, 26), was trustworthy (Acts 11:29, 30), was adapted to missionary work (Acts 13:2), encouraged converts (Acts 11:23 ), was a son of Christian prophecy in that he uttered God's messages, was a devoted toiler and self-supporting (1 Cor. 9:6).
V. His lamentable contention. It is sad to realize that such a captivating man as Barnabas was a party to a quarrel. How true it is that there are "surprises of sin in holiest histories." The doleful story of the sharp contention between Paul and Barnabas is told in Acts 15:36-39 . Perhaps both good men were wrong. Paul proposed to Barnabas that they should visit the brethren in every city where they had labored. Barnabas agreed and wanted to take Mark, his nephew, with them. Paul felt that Mark, having left them once, was not fit to accompany them, so they parted. Had Paul been too resentful against Mark? Had Barnabas been too eager to urge the claims of his relative? Was one too stern, the other too easy? It is good to know that they were afterwards reconciled.
There are also hints of a certain lack of firmness in Barnabas'otherwise strong character. Writing of dissembling Jews, Paul had to say that even "Barnabas was carried away with their dissimulation" (Gal. 2:13). Barnabas, like the rest of us, had some defective qualities. There has only been one perfect Man on earth - the Saviour Barnabas loved and rejoiced to preach about.

Today's reading: Nehemiah 1-3, Acts 2:1-21 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Nehemiah 1-3

Nehemiah's Prayer
The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:
In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire."
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven....

Today's New Testament reading: Acts 2:1-21

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them....

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