Thursday, November 05, 2015

Thu Nov 5th Todays News

The press hatred for Republicans in the US was evident when a promising candidate, Carson, who happens to be a Seventh Day Adventist, was denounced in believing that pyramids in Egypt were grain silos. Except Carson does not believe that and did not say that. Carson was misquoted from a sermon he gave in church seventeen years ago based on the biblical story of Joseph. In the biblical story, Joseph is in charge of grain stores for Egypt and may well have used the pyramids at that time for that function. It doesn't change history as to what the pyramids were made for, or who made them. It is very hard for a minority protestant religious group like Seventh Day Adventists to produce acceptable candidates for conservatives. Their faith is Christian, but they worship God on the Sabbath, which is Saturday. Sunday is a day most associated with churches because Jesus rose on that day. But Saturday is in fact the Sabbath Day. Being a minority, Seventh Day Adventists come across as weird. Jeb Bush has issues too, for being Catholic. But both Carson and Bush are good, faithful men. Obama, meanwhile, slept through church where he chose to worship with people who wanted God to destroy America. The press haven't said what they feel Obama thought based on his religious experience. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility.
=== from 2014 ===
Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power
ICAC might now be successful in getting itself dissolved before it chooses to investigate the broad range of ALP corruption. The trigger has been the investigation of Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen SC over a malicious complaint made against her. While the ICAC has claimed two Liberal Premiers and ten Liberal members on an issue of election funding irregularities, it has turned a blind eye to ALP corruption which involves officers hiring hit men and funding jihadists and corrupt property deals worth many billions of dollars. The watch body that oversees the ICAC has reluctantly moved after Cuneen engaged it to force the ICAC to account for its decisions. The ICAC has declined to list its reasons for its behaviour, and now an investigation is to be opened by the overseer into the watchdog.

US Mid term elections have been completed and results show a healthy win by the GOP. Obama will retain a veto for the next two years, but the direction he has taken the US will change.

Former Chief Scientist misspoke when she claimed the world would end in five years. She meant we would all be dead, but Gaia would not have done the deed yet.

Mike Carlton, caught on a left travelling current, has been invited by his former employer SMH to get closer to their left wing journalists. By subscription.

Milne shown to be an incompetent Green leader. She has been incapable of working with tactically capable workers and engaging them with her strategic positioning on policy issues, according to former Green staffer Tim Hollo who still admires her.

Whitlam funeral. He was flawed, and it is difficult to point to anything he achieved as worthwhile. The funeral was touching if one ignored the boos for Liberals and the cold shoulder for Rudd. And the cheers for the questionable former PM Gillard. Gough gave Cate Blanchett a free tertiary education? Taxpayers paid for it.

PUP Senator Jacqui Lambie, who has refused to pass cuts to stabilise the budget, has called on Australians to turn their backs on remembrance day. She argues troops should have larger pay rises than beneath inflation. It seems inappropriate that a day to remember war dead is abused over a pay dispute.

Senator Muir struggling to retain staff. The Motoring Enthusiast is struggling to stand on any principle.

Two Islamic groups brag of raping women they captured through violence. ISIL and Boko Haram. How will mainstream media glorify it for young Islamic men?

Greens gone soft on Islamic state. As Andrew Bolt points out, quoting Bertrand Russell "Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power." It is an international problem for secular idealists embracing hatred ideology.

Thank you Australia
Medical volunteers have an arrangement to fight Ebola thanks to the Australian Government doing a deal with the UK to care for them if they succumb to the illness they help treat. Australia is too far away to have guaranteed that treatment.
From 2013
Horse dribble funding anti social activism? If it is, they are welcome to drown in it, but not use it. Today was the Melbourne Cup. A horse won a race. Some people are happy, some disappointed. What is disappointing is Anglican church billboard from Gosford which seems to suggest that it is wrong to prevent desperate people from being subject to piracy and drowning. Shame on them. Apparently the horse race attracts people because of the money. So it isn't only the dribble. 

If irresponsible kids in your area are throwing a party, it could be a global warming panic party. ABC and Fairfax may have written and spoken about it, but it is unlikely you heard or read it from them .. not many people do. Plain packaging seems to be working to expand the black market. We don't know who they are, inheriting the Al Capone riches, but my bet is they are ALP. 

New York is better for having cleaned up. Australia is worse off for those wind mills. I didn't watch it, but apparently Q and A was abysmal. One bite from what I have seen .. after the fighting is over. When the dead drape the scenery in their struggle over oppression and adversity. When the cost is clear in the wasteland of what was once homes to many with dreams of a better future. The post modernist will ask "Who gets to define success? Who gets to say what is right or wrong" Something worth pondering as you survey those tyrannies which killed millions of people and were supported by communists and socialists. 

Guardian article claiming Bush family funded Hitler. Meh, over stated on the Bush connection .. Bush's grandad stopped when it became apparent what Hitler was doing. Unions seemed to like what the Nazis had done, and what the Japanese had done. There is a western concept socialists don't get. It is the idea that a man is responsible for their own actions. Not their families. So at the end of the civil war, General Lee was allowed to live his life. His family was unmolested. His garden was made a graveyard .. Arlington. But, Lee's grand daughter, Harper Lee, wrote "To Kill a Mocking Bird" .. vindicating those who stopped short of eliminating the family, behind the deaths of millions, and in favour of slavery.
=== 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 AugustSeptemberOctober, 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. 

List of available items at Create Space
===
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.

Happy birthday and many happy returns Sarah Joerz and to those born on this day, across the years
Guy Fawkes
Guy Fawkes brought fireworks to parliament. Nicaragua is united! Beware of trains in need of maintenance. Good morning Ireland! A workplace accident is a terrible place when the cause yells Allahu Akbar! Let us party. 
Deaths
===

HUMAN vs BOGAN

Tim Blair – Thursday, November 05, 2015 (1:46pm)

Battle is joined in New Hampshire’s council elections
Two candidates are competing for the Ward 6A City Council spot in the Nov. 3 election – it’s between incumbent Donna Bogan and Rochester resident named Human …
Human, of 402C Portland St., formerly named David Montenego, had changed his legal name to “human,” all lower case, in 2012. His preference was to have the “H” in his name capitalized for this article. He said he changed his name as a way to let people know what he stands for.
“I’m a human being looking out for rights of other human beings,” he said.
Human describes himself as patient, intelligent, and a good problem solver who is knowledgeable about how the government operates …
He is currently unemployed. 
The election has now been decided. Did Human beat Bogan for that prize council gig? Or is Human still unemployed?

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'HUMAN vs BOGAN'
===

CHINESE ACCOUNTING ERROR

Tim Blair – Thursday, November 05, 2015 (12:52pm)

This morning’s Daily Telegraph editorial
The New York Times yesterday reported China has been burning up to 17 per cent more coal a year than the government previously disclosed. Considering the vast scale of China’s annual coal consumption, this is an absolutely gigantic correction.
As analysis by the Times revealed, that 17 per cent correction alone represents around one billion extra tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. To put that figure in a local perspective, China’s coal correction by itself generates nearly twice as much carbon dioxide per year than all Australian industries, factories, motor vehicles, power plants, mines and aircraft combined.
Many Australian green groups applauded the short-lived carbon tax introduced by ex-prime minister Julia Gillard because it reduced Australia’s carbon dioxide output by 17.2 million tonnes. The folly of that carbon tax is now fully exposed by China’s carbon correction, which adds nearly 60 times as much carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every single year than was subtracted by Labor’s pointless tax.
In other words, what appears to be an impressively large figure to Australian climate activists is just an accounting error in China. 
This is big news to every media organisation that previously thought China was totally honest.
===

NATIONALISE FAILURE

Tim Blair – Thursday, November 05, 2015 (12:44pm)

Just like the ABC, Twitter is infested with sad social justice warriors and loses tons of money. One Guardiancolumnist’s solution: just like the ABC, Twitter should be run by the government.
Naturally, the ABC immediately interviewed the confused fellow. In other Twitter developments, a brutal girly slap fight is underway between fellow leftists Jonathan Green and Clementine Ford:

image

You’d have to favour Clementine in this bout – mainly because Green is winless in just about every conflict he’s blundered into, except when he’s dressed like a lady and armed with a pack of dogs
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RAPE CAPITAL OF EUROPE

Tim Blair – Thursday, November 05, 2015 (12:34pm)

Pat Condell hammers Swedish journalists and the vicious rape culture they conceal:

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CONSIDER THE NUANCE

Tim Blair – Thursday, November 05, 2015 (12:22pm)

three-word slogan endures through the decades: 
From school assemblies to Friday prayers and city billboards, it is a slogan still ubiquitous in Iran: “Death to America!”
And Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has made it clear that the refrain will not leave the Islamic republic’s political lexicon any time soon.
“The slogan ‘death to America’ is backed by reason and wisdom,” the 76-year-old ayatollah said in remarks published on his website on Tuesday. 
But Khamenei would not want you to take that slogan out of context: 
“It goes without saying that the slogan does not mean death to the American nation; this slogan means death to the US’s policies, death to arrogance,” he said. 
(Via Adam I.)
===

GENTLE PEOPLE WHO REALLY DESERVE THEIR OWN STATE

Tim Blair – Thursday, November 05, 2015 (11:51am)

Outside the neighbourhood Hitler store, Gaza mannequins display the latest must-have fashion accessory for Palestinian youngsters – knives:

image
===

ANYONE FEELING SOLASTALGIC?

Tim Blair – Thursday, November 05, 2015 (11:34am)

Ten years ago, Australian academic Glenn Albrecht came up with the word “solastalgia” – a fancy synonym for “stupid”: 
It describes the feeling of distress associated with environmental change close to your home, explains Albrecht.
While at the University of Newcastle, he was contacted by local people concerned about opencast coal mining and power station pollution. “People would ring me at work pleading for help with their cause. Their distress about the threats to their identity and well-being over the phone was palpable.” 
Threats to their identity? Did coal try to steal their credit cards? 
These calls, and seeing the effects of mining on the landscape, led him to create the word. “Solastalgia is when your endemic sense of place is being violated.” 
Don’t you just hate it when that happens. 
Justin Lawson from Melbourne’s Deakin University explains solastalgia in less academic terms, saying The Eagles’ song No More Walks in the Wood can help people understand it, which laments the disappearance of a forest associated with powerful memories. “It really is about redefining our emotional responses to a landscape that has changed within a lifetime.” 
We now live in a time when Margo Kingston receives a doctorate in herself and Don Henley is cited by university lecturers. All arts faculties should be incinerated. 
Despite its meaning, the man who coined solastalgia isn’t despairing. “I am an optimistic person and I do a lot to reverse the push for development that will create more climate change and by implication, more solastalgia,” concludes Albrecht. 
Fifty bucks to the first reader who claims “solastalgia” on a sick leave application.
(Via Adam I.)
===

AN AFTERNOON OF PEACEFUL CONTEMPLATION

Tim Blair – Thursday, November 05, 2015 (11:18am)

To celebrate this month’s climate conference in Paris, on Saturday we’re going to the races at Sydney Dragway. After all, nitromethane is a sustainable alternative fuel source:

===

Shorten ally leaves town ahead of royal commission

Andrew Bolt November 05 2015 (5:18pm)

This smells:
Alleged branch stacker David Asmar, a close political ally of Bill Shorten, hurriedly left Australia a few days after being told he would have to appear before the royal commission into union corruption.
Counsel assisting the royal commission, Jeremy Stoljar, ...  said after Mr Asmar’s lawyer had been told on September 15 this year that Mr Asmar would have to appear as a witness Mr Asmar brought forward flight dates to Lebanon to leave just three days later.
Mr Asmar was then confronted at Melbourne Airport by Federal Police and served with a summons. But Mr Asmar now says he is sick - and has a medical certificate - so could not return to Australia for the royal commission hearing on Thursday..

Mr Asmar is the husband of Diana Asmar, secretary of the troubled Health Services Union No.1 branch in Victoria.
Embattled state MP Cesar Melhem has said he gave Mr Asmar tens of thousands of dollars from his union slush fund, Industry 2020… Mr Melhem said the money was used to fund Ms Asmar’s HSU election campaigns. Mr Asmar has denied the claims.
Mr Asmar is also a central figure in a massive branch stacking scandal engulfing the Victorian Labor Party. He is renowned in the party for his Lebanese “stacks”, and for being a close ally to the plumbers union.
Together they appear to be behind the purchase of more than 600 Labor memberships using anonymous gift cards
===

Beware the blasphemy police

Andrew Bolt November 05 2015 (8:22am)

This is ominous. How long before blasphemy again becomes a crime?
Muslim Australians experience discrimination and abuse on a daily or regular basis, according to a new report by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
But even though communities say the discrimination has been particularly noticeable since the Lindt Cafe siege last year, the research finds the Racial Discrimination Act has only a “limited” ability to protect Muslim Australians, because “religious identity” is not covered under the act.
Criticising someone for their beliefs is a critical freedom - even a critical means of defending our culture and wider freedoms.  But the enemies of free speech, I fear, sniff another opportunity to bully and silence and impose their preferred values.
(Thanks to reader Nick.) 
===

Aboriginal trust loses $34 million

Andrew Bolt November 05 2015 (8:01am)

There is no reason - other than culture - for some Aboriginal communities being poor. And no reason why the rest of us should dip in to our own pockets to make good losses:
It was millions of dollars in mining royalties that was meant to be spent for the benefit of the Groote Eylandt community.
Instead, tens of millions were spent on 156 cars and boats, fridges, a barge, gambling at the casino and charter flights…
A total of $34 million disappeared from the [Groote Eylandt Aboriginal Trust] coffers between 2010 and 2012, leaving just $400,000 remaining in the account.
While [GEAT’S former public officer] has pleaded guilty to a fraction of the missing millions, exactly what happened to the rest remains a mystery.
But those involved in the case said little of it appeared to have been spent on housing, education or the needs of the community.
Jacqueline Lahne was brought in as the interim operations manager at GEAT when the trust was put into administration in 2012.
“My initial impression was that there was a group of people [on Groote Eylandt] who were literally living like rock stars,” she said in an interview with the ABC.
“Chartered planes, vehicles waiting for them at airports, they owned multiple vehicles and boats themselves. They had access endlessly to cash for their lifestyles and then for their families.”
Groote Eylandt, a remote island off Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, regularly appears at the top of the Northern Territory’s richest postcodes.
It earns millions each year in royalties from the nearby South32 manganese mine.
Since its inception in the early 1960s, the trust has earned more than $200 million in royalties.
Read on. Shocking.
(Thanks to reader DaveR.) 
===

Labor’s carbon tax: the full folly exposed

Andrew Bolt November 05 2015 (7:47am)

So much pain for zero gain:
The New York Times yesterday reported China has been burning up to 17 per cent more coal a year than the government previously disclosed....
As analysis by the Times ­revealed, that 17 per cent correction alone represents around one billion extra tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. To put that figure in a local perspective, China’s coal correction by itself generates nearly twice as much carbon dioxide per year than all Australian industries, factories, motor vehicles, power plants, mines and aircraft combined.
Many Australian green groups applauded the short-lived carbon tax introduced by ex-prime minister Julia Gillard because it reduced Australia’s carbon dioxide output by 17.2 million tonnes. The folly of that carbon tax is now fully exposed by China’s carbon correction, which adds nearly 60 times as much carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every single year than was subtracted by Labor’s pointless tax.
Yet the warming pause continues.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

Triumph of the sceptics

Andrew Bolt November 05 2015 (7:14am)

Global warming - general

image

IT’S a miracle. Most Australians are now global warming sceptics, despite years of being misled by the media.
A CSIRO survey of more than 5000 people has confirmed it, even though warmist reporters tried to spin it.
For the first time since Al Gore’s 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth claimed man was heating the world to disaster, Australians who believe this scare are outnumbered by those who don’t. True, a worrying 45.9 per cent of Australians do still think man is mostly to blame for what warming we’ve seen over the past several decades.
But those believers are now outnumbered by people who think this warming is natural (38.6 per cent) or not occurring at all (7.9 per cent) — which means sceptics total 46.5 per cent. The rest don’t know.
In fact, even 19 per cent of Greens voters are sceptics. Yes, the shift is that huge. What a tribute to the good sense of Australians.
For nearly a decade, reporters claimed the vast majority of you believed man really was heating the world dangerously. And the media campaigned furiously to make sure you did.
(Read full article here.)   
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Turnbull is a taxer, not a cutter

Andrew Bolt November 05 2015 (7:12am)

The problem:
The Coalition has failed to reverse the former Labor government’s preference for fresh government spending, with new outlays ­exceeding tax cuts by a margin of four to one in this year’s budget. 

Spending has been rising as a share of total budget policy costs since the last budget statement of the Howard government in 2007…

Deloitte Access partner Chris Richardson says the drift to higher spending is now a long-running trend.
“Australia is de facto sliding ­towards a bigger government because we keep getting better at voting for extra spending and never voting to pay for it,” he said.
There are some big items in the forward estimates, such as the Nat­ional Disability Insurance Scheme and defence spending, that will keep this trend going.
We have a spending problem, then. Yet this is the answer of the Turnbull Government:
Opening the Rebuilding Foundations for Reform conference, sponsored by The Australian and the Melbourne Institute, the Prime Minister ... will call for a grown-up debate to deliver a tax system that sends “the right signals to generate growth”.
Two months after becoming Prime Minister, Turnbull still refuses to commit to any specific proposal. But all the hints are that he would like to increase pr broaden the GST, and use some of the savings to cut marginal rates of tax. But the key is the word “some”. He will also need to bribe the states to make them agree.
Result, our total tax take will rise. Our total spending will rise with it, since Turnbull shows not the slightest appetite for cuts.
And so the drift to big government continues.
UPDATE
The drift to a big and broke government continues, in fact:
Note that Turnbull isn’t even talking about fixing this:
The downturn in commodity prices, weak company profits and low wages growth have created a revenue shortfall, exacerbating the problems of cutting the $35 billion deficit and repaying $286bn in net debt. Over time, failure to improve our worsening fiscal position will threaten Australia’s triple-A credit rating, which other nations such as the US and France have already lost.
And then there’s this:
The Federal Government is being warned about potential cost blowouts in the $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The agency overseeing the NDIS said factors including the increasing prevalence of autism, workforce and supply shortages, and states shifting health costs could cause overruns.
UPDATE
David Uren says the GST debate has become a shambles, with everyone wanting a slice of this magic pudding:
The pride of place belongs to the magnificent cut-and-come-again pudding of the GST. There seems to be no limit to the hungry mouths it will feed.
The state governments are first with their hands out. They want more because exemptions to the current GST mean it has failed keep up with growth in the economy or their spending…
The states also want more GST to compensate for the cuts to grants for health and education imposed in the 2014-15 Abbott budget, reaching $20 billion a year by 2024-25. These cuts were from generous funding arrangements laid down by the former Labor government before it lost office — in just two years to 2016-17, they had provided for a huge 15 per cent increase in commonwealth funding to the states, so not everyone agrees they need a lot more.
The commonwealth will demand the states use at least some of the additional GST funding to get rid of inefficient taxes, with stamp duties on insurance, cars and house sales the worst offenders. The drag those taxes impose on the economy is equivalent to as much as half the money they raise…
Although all the GST goes to the states, the commonwealth will want its own large piece of it.... Scott Morrison says one of his key objectives is to lower the burden of personal income tax…
Business, meanwhile, is clamouring for a cut in the company tax rate which, at 30c in the dollar, is one of the highest in the advanced world.
And then there are the poor. If they’re going to have to pay more from their meagre incomes for most of their goods and services, including fresh food, they need compensation. Some of this would have to be delivered through increases in welfare payments, paid by the commonwealth. 
So far it looks like a tax that will cost more than it raises, once every one is paid off. Taxes rise, and spending with it.
(Thanks to reader brett t r.) 
===

Another union leader accused. Here we go again

Andrew Bolt November 05 2015 (6:47am)

From yesterday’s hearing of the royal commission into union corruption that the ACTU tried to shut down and that Labor tried to shout down:
Lavish “personal” spending on National Union of Workers credit cards — including visits to dating websites and a tattoo — has been alleged at the trade union royal commission amid claims powerful NSW branch boss Derrick Belan used members’ funds “to pay his bills”.
Union corporate credit cards in Mr Belan’s name were used to buy holidays, jewellery, bed linen, skateboards, sporting events and an assortment of other items worth at least $50,000 between 2009 and 2015, the inquiry heard yesterday.
It was also alleged Mr Belan transferred money to his niece, union book keeper Danielle O’Brien, by making cash payments to her PayPal account from his union credit card.
Ms O’Brien, who tearfully admitted to her own spending of thousands of dollars of union funds on toys, holidays, furniture and other “non-union” items, told the inquiry she used the payments from Mr Belan “mostly to pay his bills”.
Judith Sloan:
Labor politicians have three response­s to the proceedings of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corrupt­ion: it is a political exercise that should be ignored; there will be no running commentary on it; and there are just a very few bad apples­ in the union movement.
The last of these assertions — there are just a few bad union offic­ials, with the vast majority being honest and hardworking — is looking a bit thin.
To be sure, a concession is made that the behaviour of Mich­ael Williamson, Craig Thomson and Kathy Jackson, all officials of the Health Services Union, was a bit on the nose. But they are the exception.
The trouble is that many of the activities of the union officials review­ed by the royal commission look dubious, secretive, immoral and possibly illegal.
And bear in mind that the terms of reference restricted the commission to considering only a handful of unions.
UPDATE
Here is some of O’Brien’s evidence.
On one of many allegedly private purchases made with union money:
Q… the cost of the bin is $514 inclusive of GST?
A. Yes, I see that.
Q. And that was for your personal benefit, not Union business?
A. In regards to my address, yes.
Q. Why did you use Mr O’Donnell’s issued card for that?
A. I don’t know. Because I needed it and couldn’t afford it - I don’t know.
Q. What was your annual wage, Ms O’Brien, can you remember?
A. Oh, $85,000 or something....
Q. Did anyone ever make a comment as to the extent of your apparent shopping? ....
A. Everybody said something because I have a problem.
Q. What problem do you have?
A. I just like to buy things. I can’t help it. That’s why I can’t tell you what I have and what I don’t have because I don’t know.
On the $68,000 of wage payments allegedly for other union employees that she allegedly transferred to her own account:
Q. For example, did you ever record something in MYOB as a salary payment to, for example, Anthony O’Donnell, but in fact caused the payment to be put into your own personal account?
A. I hope not. Did I?
Q. Can you please turn to --
A. Oh my God.
Q.—page 43 of your Examination Bundle 2....
A. Oh my God.
Q. It’s bringing something back, is it, looking at these?
A. I can’t believe I would do this.
Q. Do what?
A. That says my bank. Did I do that?
Q. Well, you tell the Commission?
A. I don’t know.
Q. Right. We will take you through some of them. Can you turn please to page 56…
[A]: Oh, my goodness. Are these all payments that I made? All of these? All of these?…
Q. Do you see that amount going in; that is, $2,516.31?
A. Yes…
Q. Can you recall why you did that?
A. I can’t - I have no words. I really have no words. I don’t know what to say.
Q. You seem quite, to put it mildly, distressed by this evidence. Is that because you are just coming to recollect what you did today?
A. Maybe, yes.
Q. Maybe.
A. I don’t - I don’t remember doing that. I don’t know why I did that. I don’t remember doing it. I’m so sorry.... I just assume - I don’t know. I needed the money or something. I don’t know. I just—
Q. How is it that you don’t know? It’s only a few months ago.
A. I don’t know why I - I don’t know why I did it. Obviously I did it, but I don’t know why. I don’t know why. I have no reason, except that I’m from a poor family and I must have thought that I needed it, you know. I don’t know, I really don’t, even though the balance says that I have money. 
===

Islamic State now suspected of bombing Russian jet

Andrew Bolt November 05 2015 (6:32am)


The Islamic State may have stepped up the threat:
The British government has suspended all flights to the UK from the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh after declaring it believes the Russian plane that crashed over Sinai may have been brought down by an explosive device.
US intelligence agrees:
The latest U.S. intelligence suggests that the crash of Metrojet Flight 9268 was most likely caused by a bomb on the plane planted by ISIS or an ISIS affiliate, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter. The official stressed that there has not been a formal conclusion reached by the U.S. intelligence community. “There is a definite feeling it was an explosive device planted in luggage or somewhere on the plane,” the official told CNN’s Barbara Starr.
The assessment was reached, the official said, by looking back at intelligence reports that had been gathered before Saturday’s plane crash and intelligence gathered since then. The United States did not have credible or verified intelligence of a specific threat prior to the crash, however, the official said, prior to the incident, “there had been additional activity in Sinai that had caught our attention.”
Another U.S. official said the intelligence regarding ISIS is in part based on monitoring of internal messages of the terrorist group. Those messages are separate from public ISIS claims of responsibility, that official said.
This would be the Islamic State’s first bombing of a civilian plane and first big strike against any superpower, and it could have huge implications for the Putin regime:
A massive and inexcusable act of negligence that raises questions about the entire national aviation industry, or a vicious and bloody terrorist attack explicitly designed to punish Russia for the Kremlin’s intervention into the Syrian civil war…
Pollsters say Russian public support for the Syrian adventure, though high, is fragile… However, one reason for that ambivalence is that many Russians don’t really see Isil as an imminent threat to national security. If Isil’s claims of responsibility turn out to be genuine, it may actually boost public support for Mr Putin’s war in Syria - at least in the short term.
Either way, he and his government will come under massive pressure to respond, forcefully and visibly, against the perpetrators…
When the Kremlin launched military intervention in Syria just over a month ago, officials were at pains to stress that there would be no mission creep: it would be Russians in the air, but strictly Syrians, Iranians, and Hizbollah on the ground…
No one, however, starts a mission intending it to creep, and many of Russia’s most respected political experts warned that just such a dramatic act of terror could drag Russia deeper into the war in Syria than Mr Putin at first intended.
UPDATE
No doubt a tragic coincidence:
A Russian-built cargo plane with passengers on board crashed on Wednesday after taking off from the airport in South Sudan’s capital, killing dozens of people, witnesses said.
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This Cup belongs to us

Andrew Bolt November 05 2015 (6:29am)

JOCKEY Michelle Payne proved what really counts with the Melbourne Cup — and what we’ve all but given away to foreigners.
It’s the stories. Australian stories. Inspirational and romantic stories about local battlers, showing hope, loyalty, guts and passion.
Payne delivered on Tuesday in a way that last year’s winners — an English jockey riding the German-trained horse of German owners — never could. On Prince Of Penzance, she delivered in way the 2011 winners couldn’t, either — not with a French jockey riding the French-trained horse of an Arab sheik.
Who cared with those wins?
(Read full article here.) 
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Unfair fairness

Andrew Bolt November 05 2015 (5:40am)

All the talk of “fairness” in the tax system delivers what seems an unfair result:
2 per cent of individ­uals are collectively paying 22 per cent of all personal income tax.
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The ICAC inquiry finally forgot itself

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, November 05, 2014 (12:32am)

AT last the sleeping giant has stirred. The ICAC inspector, which oversights the powerful anti-corruption commission, has long been regarded as a useless rubber stamp, so irrelevant the role was left vacant for four months last year, much to the disquiet of current incumbent David Levine QC.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'The ICAC inquiry finally forgot itself'
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STEP TO THE RIGHT

Tim Blair – Wednesday, November 05, 2014 (1:20pm)

Follow the US midterm election results here.
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BLANCHETT EXPLAINED

Tim Blair – Wednesday, November 05, 2014 (12:55pm)

Come on, Cate. Let’s not play the blame game
Cate Blanchett, who was three when Whitlam was swept to power in 1972, paid tribute to his initiatives that shaped her generation.
“When I heard that Gough Whitlam had died, I was filled with an inordinate sadness, a great sorrow,” she said.
“The loss I felt came down to something very deep and very simple: I am the beneficiary of a free tertiary education.” 
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FIVE YEARS, TEN YEARS, FIFTEEN YEARS

Tim Blair – Wednesday, November 05, 2014 (4:19am)

Angry academic Patricia W. takes exception to Monday’s column
I’m afraid you have misrepresented the prediction of our former Chief Scientist, hopefully through ignorance, not deliberately. The point (hers and other scientists 5 years ago) was that this would be the “tipping point”, when the world could no longer prevent temperatures from increasing beyond 2 degrees higher. She was not predicting (nor was anyone else) that total disaster itself would be happening in 5 years.

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SYDNEY MORNING HATERS

Tim Blair – Wednesday, November 05, 2014 (3:20am)

Poor Mike Carlton is being tormented by his former employer:

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I wonder if the opening line was “Air hellair!” 
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HOLLO MEN

Tim Blair – Wednesday, November 05, 2014 (1:56am)

Former Greens staffers turned Australia Institute gabblers Ben Oquist and Richard Denniss are trying to destroy Greens leader Christine Milne, according to Milne loyalist (and former Greens staffer himself) Tim Hollo
Why has [the Australia Insititute] allowed the personal animosity that Richard Denniss and Ben Oquist hold towards Christine Milne to take the Australia Institute into dangerous territory, attacking the Greens … ?
Denniss has been writing op-ed after op-ed, doing interview after interview, attacking Milne’s political strategy …
Denniss’s attacks on Milne, painting her as the obstructionist head of a protest party, go beyond policy critique. By casting the Greens’ party room decision as belonging to Milne alone and hurling invective, Denniss turns it into a very deliberate tactic to undermine her leadership. 
Hollo is left to wonder what might have been: 
The real question here is, with Milne’s strategic mind and Denniss and Oquist’s tactical nous, how much could be achieved if the Australia Institute swallowed its pride, got over its bitterness, and agreed to productively collaborate with the Greens on the many issues on which they agree? 
Here’s an example of Milne’s great strategic mind at work. Prospective usurpers Sarah Hanson-Young and Raggedy Ann-faced rapper Scott Ludlam might now be considering their options.
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The Whitlam funeral

Andrew Bolt November 05 2014 (11:13am)

Nice touch at Gough Whitlam’s funeral - the full-throated singing of Advance Australia Fair, which Whitlam announced in 1974 was our new national anthem.
Interesting observation:  standing ovations for Paul Keating, Bob Hawke and Julia Gillard. Not for Kevin Rudd.
A concern: the state-funded ABC, Australia’s biggest media outlet, is again giving the funeral lavish and even loving coverage. The family’s representative on the podium, giving the first speech, is ABC presenter Kerry O’Brien, a former Whitlam press secretary.
UPDATE
The music chosen is wonderful: now the final chorus from Bach’s Matthew Passion. You can see why Whitlam inspires love. For many in the cultured Left he could reconcile high art with Australian identity. Think also Blue Poles. This, curiously, is something the Liberals have struggled to do, despite allegedly being the party of the upper classes.
UPDATE
Cate Blanchett praises Whitlam for giving her a free education and free medical care (huge cheers), but spoils the effect by saying it gave her more money to spare for going out to clubs or something. Then credits Whitlam for changing the culture to make possible her film Little Fish, actually made 30 years after Whitlam fell. The film gets a very long plug. The film, this tribute to Whitlam’s legacy, involves drug addicts from broken families lying to each other and then planning a drug deal that goes badly wrong.
UPDATE
Howard and Abbott were booed by the mob outside the town hall. Ugly.
Gillard, of course, was cheered.
UPDATE
Pearson then speaks in the biblical tones and cadences he’s now adopted for his oratory.
He savages Joh Bjelke-Peterson, and waves aside Whitlam’s chaotic mismanagement as simply the price to pay for inspiring reform. The crowd loves that.
He then says Whitlam had “not a bone of ethnic or gender prejudice in his body” and Pearson can “scarely point” to any leader since of whom that could be said. In front of him sit Bob Hawke, Malcolm Fraser, Paul Keating, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, who are all entitled to feel grossly insulted. Indeed, Abbott may well feel betrayed, having devoted so much time to working with and for Pearson and his Cape York initiative, and having adopted Aboriginal advancement as his most passionate social cause.

UPDATE
Tony Whitlam spoke with great dignity and warmth. One of the truest measures of a man is the love and respect given by his children.
UPDATE
More booing from the mob as Abbott leaves. There is a tendency among all collectives to not be satisfied with love. They also need to hate. Thus do trash boo at funerals.
Disgraceful.
UPDATE
The funeral was a great tribute to Whitlam. As a statesman he fell badly short. As a kind of poet, though, he was grand.
UPDATE
A funeral devoted to a Prime Minister praised for being more compassionate and tolerant than any other to come to mind. Yet the admirers boo and heckle conservative leaders who come to show respect.
Seeming, not doing.
The defining flaw of the Left.
UPDATE
Classiest performances:
Tony Whitlam for reminding those there the funeral was for a loved father as well as a politician.
Tony Whitlam for singling out Tony Abbott for praise for granting a state funeral. After hesitation, a partisan crowd applauded.
Bob Hawke for very publicly standing up in front of the crowd to talk with apparent friendship and intimacy to Abbott.
Many said Pearson’s speech was grand and inspiring. Even sceptics would have had some better appreciation of why Whitlam mattered to Aborogines.
Whitlam himself, for having a hand in selecting such fine music. 
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Lambie trashes November 11

Andrew Bolt November 05 2014 (11:10am)

No class:
In a move condemned by the RSL, PUP senator Jacqui Lambie has called on Australians, including veterans, attending November 11 ceremonies to “show their disgust” and turn their backs on any government MP delivering a speech in memory of Australia’s war-dead. 
Senator Lambie invoked the spirit of the Anzacs to back her campaign while acknowledging “I know ANZAC Day should never be politicised”. “I have one message to all Australians that will help our ADF receive a fair pay rise – with the spirit of the ANZACs, turn your backs,” Senator Lambie said in a statement.
If Lambie really wants more pay for soldiers how about she help find the savings to put the budget back in the black?
In the meantime she should reflect on whether a day to remember the fallen should really be hijacked for a pay dispute. 
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Warmist predicts “mass-death events” in 10 to 15 years

Andrew Bolt November 05 2014 (10:07am)

Global warming - propaganda

Hold on to this prediction:
Tony Abbott’s declaration that coal is good for humanity has been attacked by Australian National University academic Elizabeth Hanna, who warns thousands of people will be sentenced to death if Australia keeps exporting it. 
Dr Hanna, whose research was included in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, predicted Australia faced days hotter than 50C within 10 or 15 years under continuing global warming and this would dramatically increase the number of heat-related deathsIf that happens, “we are at risk of mass-death events in Australia, similar to the death tolls due to extreme heat overseas”, she said. 
As it happens, we have already had some over-50 days already since records were kept - but the worst of them occured 54 years ago, before man-made warming allegedly took off. It is silly assume we won’t get more such days in future, and it’s just as silly to assume the only reason we will is man-made warming.
Indeed, world temperatures have not actually risen for some 16 years or more. They might rise again, but I’d be checking the computer models in the meantime - models which the very same IPPC report which Hanna worked on admits are so faulty that for “the period from 1998 to 2012, 111 of the 114 available climate-model simulations show a surface warming trend larger than the observations”. That is: they exaggerated,
So who is Hanna to sow such alarm? A climate scientist? Meteorologist? Astrophyisicist?
Er, no. Her expertise:
Environmental And Occupational Health And Safety 
Environmental Sciences Not Elsewhere Classified
Environmental Impact Assessment
Epidemiology
Clinical Nursing: Primary (Preventative)
Public Health And Health Services
Intensive Care 
Other Medical And Health Sciences 
Yes, Hanna is an alarmist who takes as a given that man is catastrophically heating the planet, and our safety lies in denying the poor cheap and sometimes life-saving power:
Dr Hanna, the president of the Climate and Health Alliance, ... dismissed the argument that if Australia did not export coal then competitors such as ­Indonesia would fill the market gap. “So they would prefer the deaths on Australian hands ­rather than those deaths on Indonesian hands,” she said.
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Republicans poised for control over Congress. UPDATE: Win

Andrew Bolt November 05 2014 (9:23am)

The same is true in Australia. The further voters are from power and the media’s microphones, the more they support the parties of smaller government:

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Oh, and the map of Senate poll predictions also shows Republicans should finish today with control of both the Senate and the House, which at least gives Barack Obama an excuse for being such a lame duck:
In all, there are 13 states where Senate seats might change from one party to the other. Republicans need to win nine of them to attain a 51-seat majority in the Senate for the first time since 2007. On Monday, Republicans seemed to be leading, by a lot or by a little, in eight of those races. 
If the GOP wins all eight, they will need just one more win — one of the tossup races in Alaska and Kansas, or perhaps the runoff race that’s expected in Louisiana. 
From the Washington Post:
The week after his reelection, President Obama was a man full of promise and promises: His job-approval rating stood at 54 percent, the 2010 tea party wave that had knocked his first term off balance appeared to have receded, and he seemed as sober about the future as he was hopeful.... 
Obama acknowledged the dangers of “presidential overreach in second terms,” but he put forward an expansive, legacy-building agenda: a major fiscal deal, immigration reform and action on climate change.
Two bruising years later, he has registered progress only on addressing climate change, and a president who once boasted of a barrier-breaking liberal coalition is under fire from his own party as his Republican rivals are poised to make gains in Tuesday’s midterm elections…
“This is an administration that is very good at articulating some of its plans and responses and has delivered good speeches, but translating that into action has been a problem for the past six years,” said David Rothkopf, the author of “National Insecurity: American Leadership in an Age of Fear.” “Right now, the vast preponderance of evidence is that management is not one of the strong suits of this administration.” 
Obama’s list of second-term leadership crises is a formidable one: the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov; long waits at Veterans Affairs hospitals; Edward Snowden’s disclosures of the National Security Agency’s secrets; a pileup of foreign children along the southern border; Islamist terrorists marauding across Syria and Iraq and beheading foreigners, including Americans; and the arrival of the Ebola virus in the United States.
If the Washington Post paid closer attention to Australia - or even just the red states - it might seem less surprised by the failure of global warming policies to impress voters.
UPDATE
And with Iowa falling to a Republican woman, the Republicans have more than enough. They win big in the Senate.
And how good is this?
South Carolina voters have sent Republican Tim Scott back to the U.S. Senate, making him the first black candidate to win a statewide race since just after the Civil War.
Senate.
Obama’s magic has gone. All the media hype about negative Republicans counted for nothing.

UPDATE
Obama has added lustre to the Bush name:
Another George Bush is an election winner in Texas. George P. Bush, the son of potential 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush and nephew of former President George W. Bush won the land commissioner’s office in a landslide.
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Two Islamist groups boast of enslaving captured women

Andrew Bolt November 05 2014 (8:54am)

 A video, apparently from the Islamic State, that should attract hundreds of rapists to join up:
The footage was posted online by AlAanTV and claims to show IS fighters talking about ‘buying and selling Yezidi slaves”
While it can’t be independently verified, it appears to be shot on a mobile phone and shows dozens of men packed into a small room talking excitedly about the slave girls they will own, saying things like “today is the distribution day, god willing each one takes his share.”
“I swear I am searching for a girl, I hope I find one,” the unnamed men say to the camera.
“Where is my Yezidi girl? Everyone is free to do what he wants with his share,”
“I buy her for a pistol, the price differs if she has blue eyes,” says one.
Note particularly how the Koran is quoted to legitimise the enslavement and rape of the Yezidi women.
 Same pattern with the Islamists of Nigeria’s Boko Haram:
The leader of Boko Haram, a terrorist group that kidnapped more than 200 Nigerian schoolkids in April, ..., taunted the girls’ relatives in a video released Friday night. 
“If you knew the state your daughters are in today, it might lead some of you . . . to die from grief,” Shekau said.
Wearing a camouflage tunic and pants, and flanked by masked militants holding anti-aircraft weapons, Shekau continued with a sneer that the girls have all been converted to Islam and married off. 
“The issue of the girls is long forgotten because I have long ago married them off,” he said with a revolting laugh.
I can imagine only too well the kind of young men attracted by this version of Islam.
(Thanks to reader doc molloy.) 
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Five staff abandon Ricky Muir’s car

Andrew Bolt November 05 2014 (8:44am)

Ricky Muir has an astonishing record of having staff quit:
A fifth political operative [Fiona Marshall] has quit the office of Motoring Enthusiast senator Ricky Muir, marking an almost total exodus of staff in just three months. 
And former staffers have revealed Senator Muir is frequently undermined by Motoring Enthusiast Party founder Keith Littler, who repeatedly calls his party’s sole parliamentary representative “an oxygen thief"… A number of people who have worked in Senator Muir’s office have told Fairfax Media they believe Mr Littler is actively planning for a time when he will take over the Senate seat won by the Motoring Enthusiast Party.
(Thanks to reader Baden.) 
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Why the Greens are soft on the Islamic State - and must be resisted, too

Andrew Bolt November 05 2014 (7:44am)

Communism, fascism, jihadism and even the eco-extremists - all are manifestations of a totalitarian instinct that appeals particularly to the vain, the selfish, the frightened, the romantic, the stupid and the thuggish.
Some might protest that these are actually causes appealing to idealists, but as Bertrand Russell said:
Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power.
The far Left understands best the appeal of the Islamic State because both search for the great single cause that releases them from the agonies of doubt and choice, and licences their lust for power over others. That is why the far Left’s criticisms of this death cult are muted - muted, that is, by an unacknowledged respect or envy.
Note how some of the most hostile questioners of Attorney-General George Brandis on Monday’s Q&A were converts with a clearly Leftist world view. Note also how the far-Left makes common cause with the Islamist Hamas terrorists against free Israel.
The Turkish Nobel prize winning author Orhan Pamuk has noted this kind of sympatico:
Pankaj Mishra:… There is also a character in the book [Snow] who makes the journey from being a leftist to being a fundamentalist. 
OP: That’s someone who would probably be in Erdo?an’s party today.
PM: This is a journey a lot of people in Muslim countries have made.
OP: Especially poets. So many poets who were very harsh Marxists in their youth, who were admirers of Western civilization, switched to Islam.
PM: The pattern seems to show that secular ideologies had been exhausted. And at some point, a lot of these people made the decision to embrace— 
OP: The nation, the culture, history, the idea of belonging.
This may explain what puzzles former ACT chief minister Gary Humphries:
The moral hectoring has gone into overdrive over Australian involvement in the international coalition against Islamic State, or ISIS.  Despite acknowledging the “medieval barbarity” of ISIS, the Greens oppose Australian intervention in Iraq, saying the issue should be dealt with “diplomatically, cutting off the supply of weapons and money to ISIS”.
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This preference for staying out of the fight certainly fits the Greens’ pattern of reflexively siding with critics of the Coalition.  But it is not consistent, I contend, with Greens philosophy. Every fibre of a true Green’s nature ought to be calling for action against the depravity of what ISIS is perpetrating at the moment in the Middle East.  The inhumanity, the cruelty of what these madmen are doing makes any other injustice the Greens have condemned in the last decade pale into insignificance.  And yet, strangely, their recommended response to this is, in effect, do nothing.
All preachers of totalitarianism and The One Great Answer pose a danger. And in a famous essay  Isaiah Berlin explains why:
If you are truly convinced that there is some solution to all human problems, that one can conceive an ideal society which men can reach if only they do what is necessary to attain it, then you and your followers must believe that no price can be too high to pay in order to open the gates of such a paradise. Only the stupid and malevolent will resist once certain simple truths are put to them. Those who resist must be persuaded; if they cannot be persuaded, laws must be passed to restrain them; if that does not work, then coercion, if need be violence, will inevitably have to be used—if necessary, terror, slaughter. Lenin believed this… 
The root conviction which underlies this is that the central questions of human life, individual or social, have one true answer which can be discovered. It can and must be implemented, and those who have found it are the leaders whose word is law…
This is the idea of which I spoke, and what I wish to tell you is that it is false.... Men have always craved for liberty, security, equality, happiness, justice, knowledge, and so on. But complete liberty is not compatible with complete equality—if men were wholly free, the wolves would be free to eat the sheep. Perfect equality means that human liberties must be restrained so that the ablest and the most gifted are not permitted to advance beyond those who would inevitably lose if there were competition. Security, and indeed freedoms, cannot be preserved if freedom to subvert them is permitted… Justice has always been a human ideal, but it is not fully compatible with mercy…
My point is that some values clash… So we must weigh and measure, bargain, compromise, and prevent the crushing of one form of life by its rivals. I know only too well that this is not a flag under which idealistic and enthusiastic young men and women may wish to march—it seems too tame, too reasonable, too bourgeois, it does not engage the generous emotions. But you must believe me, one cannot have everything one wants—not only in practice, but even in theory.
The denial of this, the search for a single, overarching ideal because it is the one and only true one for humanity, invariably leads to coercion. And then to destruction, blood—eggs are broken, but the omelette is not in sight, there is only an infinite number of eggs, human lives, ready for the breaking. And in the end the passionate idealists forget the omelette, and just go on breaking eggs. 
(Thanks to reader MarkS for reminding me of Berlin’s fine essay.) 
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Treatment guaranteed. Medical volunteers to be sent

Andrew Bolt November 05 2014 (7:12am)

A more responsible way of responding than the send-and-hope rush-rush promoted by Tanya Plibersek:
Tony Abbott ... will back the deployment of Australian doctors and nurses to a new field hospital in Sierra Leone. 
The Prime Minister has resisted pressure to send medical personnel when there is no means of direct evacuation to Australia should they contract the Ebola virus. It is understood the government has reached agreement with a private contractor to manage the deployment, reportedly to a treatment centre to be built by the British in Sierra Leone, one of the nations at the centre of the emergency.
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So here's my "small" contribution to the Cakenweenie Project...
Meet General Bonesapart...a dwarf Napoleon-inspired skeleton from Corpse Bride. Having never watched the movie before this project, I chose him simply because I thought he would be a challenge to create...plus I really loved his ornate uniform and feathered hat!

He is a cake topper, all hand modelled from fondant. He has wires inside his legs and neck for support and the grey and black shadows were dusted and painted with edible colours for added depth and dimension. The gold piping around his coat and hat was hand piped with royal icing and later painted with edible gold lustre. He stands about 7 inches tall from his teeny tiny feet to his beautiful gold feathered hat!

He really was a challenge to create (his oversized hat gave me so much grief to dry in position!!) but I enjoyed every minute of it! I am so proud and honoured to be a part of this project with so many wonderful cake artists from across the world!

Please visit www.cakenweenie.com to view all 100 edible pieces!! You will be blown away!!

AND please don't feel left out...if you have an edible creation inspired by Tim Burton to share, please submit your photos through the website atwww.cakenweenie.com and your creation could be featured also!! #TimBurton #Cakenweenie

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Caroline Glick.
One of the as yet unremarked aspects of Obama's second term foreign policy is that all of his goals are antithetical to Israel's interests. 
I consider this and related issues in my column in tomorrow's Jerusalem Post, which was just posted online.
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Its-time-to-reassess-Israels-strategic-assumptions-330602
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The California Endowment, a private foundation, recently provided a $500,000 grant to ensure TV writers and producers have information about the Affordable Care Act that can be stitched into plot lines watched by millions.
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TheBlaze
Woman with cancer reacts to losing her 'world-class' coverage: "Take away people’s ability to control their medical-coverage choices and they may die. I guess that’s a highly effective way to control medical costs. Perhaps that’s the point."
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11/04/2013 
It’s Time to Reassess Israel’s Strategic Assumptions
By CAROLINE B. GLICK “All of Obama’s second term foreign policy goals are harmful to Israel. Everything that is good for Obama is necessarily bad for Israel” 
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Its-time-to-reassess-Israels-strategic-assumptions-330602
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Hamas cries economic hardship, no gas for electrical power. Gaza cities are without the basis of electrical needs , yet Hamas is in a military buildup phase
Tunnel on Egyptian border
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A Soldier's Mother
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This is a nice way to thank our soldiers. Henri Sebbane and his family have worked tirelessly for these wonderful men and women.

http://www.tsahal-pizza.com/prestashop/
http://www.tsahal-pizza.com/prestashop/
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Titled (in translation), “With Names, Identities, and Roadmap… El Watan Exposes Brotherhood Cells in America,” it’s written by investigative journalist Ahmed al-Tahiri,
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Slavery returns: the curse of trafficking

04 November 2013

Would you snatch an ice cream from a small child? Of course not! Yet consider how much worse it is for a young person to be robbed not just of confectionery, but of hope, life and purpose? That is what people trafficking does and that is why it is so serious.

Human trafficking is slavery under a new name. It is the illegal movement of people by force, fraud or deception, so that they can be exploited either financially or sexually. The victims of trafficking end up in prostitution or as cheap labour in factories, farms, restaurants and homes. It happens all over the world and it happens here. Many of us thought that slavery was extinct. We grew up with stories from the late eighteenth century onwards of committed and concerned people, many of them Christians, who fought hard to see slavery abolished. We thought that slavery was a battle that had been permanently won. But we were wrong. The reality is that in people trafficking, slavery is not just alive but thriving.

The trafficking of people is not something we like to think about. There are countless heart-rending stories of victims: innocent girls duped into contracts abroad as dancers and trapped into a life of the most revolting prostitution; of naïve young men seeking their fortune abroad but ending up crushed by endless labouring in fields or factories; of parents who believed their children had left for success abroad but now tearfully realise that the very worst has happened. Let me appeal to your imagination. Imagine what it must be like to be owned entirely by someone who is only interested in exploiting you. Give yourself a name – Natasha or Paul – because you are a real person. Imagine how you feel – being forced to labour until every muscle aches or being routinely mocked and abused as a sexual slave. Think about what it must be like to be continually degraded and humiliated by your owner. Try to envisage a life of permanent fear, hardship and poverty, working in inhumane, cruel and dangerous conditions. Try to conceive of a situation in which all your efforts are enriching those who hold you in their power; and if you fail to deliver what your traffickers want, you will be cast off and thrown onto the street. Imagine having the grim certainty that there can be no escape. This may give you an insight into the pain and despair of those who are trafficked.

People trafficking is a heinous crime. But what makes it worse is that it does not just involve a few people, it involves a lot – an awful lot. It’s hard to tell exactly how big it is because it is a world of darkness, anonymity, secrets and threats. And there are problems of definition: exactly how low does a wage have to go before a job becomes slavery? Precisely when does prostitution by choice become prostitution by necessity? Even if precision is lacking, everybody agrees that trafficking is a huge problem. The most recent and authoritative assessment is the US Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2013. There we get the cautious if horrific conclusion that as many as 27 million men, women and children around the world are victims of trafficking at any given time. Particularly telling is that the report’s authors have only been able to identify a fraction of these individuals. In other words, we only know the tiniest part of what is going on. Similar figures can be found elsewhere. There are chilling statistics that nearly two million children are currently in enforced sexual exploitation, that perhaps 80% of human trafficking is for sexual exploitation and that between 80 and 84% of trafficked people are women. It’s a ghastly trade.

People trafficking is also enormously profitable. A widespread and uncontested estimate is that globally people trafficking is worth $32 billion a year – only marginally less than arms dealing and drug smuggling. Unfortunately it is also relatively secure, in that only a handful of people are prosecuted each year. In 2010, for example, 21 European Union (EU) member states managed between them to convict just over 1,300 people for trafficking offences. In the current economic climate, the legal apparatus of every country is under pressure and the complexities of trafficking cases – different languages, multinational networks and victims who are unwilling to testify – mean that other things take priority.

Patterns of people trafficking are also very varied. Let’s look at three different countries.

Greece. At the edge of Europe and with long land mass and sea borders, Greece is a favoured entry point for traffickers into Europe. Get your victims into Greece and it is relatively easy to move them on into the wealthier countries in Western Europe. Trafficked people enter Greece by two routes. The Balkan route brings in people from the former Iron Curtain countries to the north, such as Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia and the Ukraine; the Eastern Mediterranean route brings in victims from Turkey and the Middle East. Some estimate that Greece serves as the ‘back-door’ entry point for close to 90% of the EU’s illegal immigrants and although Greece is a ‘transit stop’ rather than a destination for many traffickers, many trafficked people nevertheless stay in Greece for labouring work and the sex trade.

Cyprus. Cyprus is also an entry point into the EU, with people coming not just from the former Soviet bloc and the Middle East, but also from the rest of the world. Cyprus is also much more of a destination for traffickers than Greece. As a holiday island and a place of residence for rich emigrants from Eastern Europe and Russia, there is ample scope for the employment of trafficked victims in manual labour and in the sex trade. Human trafficking seems to be on the increase in Cyprus, which has resulted in the US State Department putting the nation on its watch list; the only EU state to be on it. There is also the specific problem that Cypriot culture is still dominated by issues of honour and shame, resulting in prostitution remaining unmentioned and unheeded. After years of importing large numbers of women as ‘artists’ to work in cabaret clubs, which were often little more than brothels, legislation was introduced that resulted in prostitution moving from the known and visible venues into hundreds of much less easily monitored settings. A new and increasing problem has also arisen with young people arriving in Cyprus from abroad to study but who, having misjudged costs, end up trying to pay off debts by working in the sex trade.

The United Kingdom. You would think that with its honourable history of opposing slavery the UK would be beyond reproach in the area of people trafficking. Unfortunately, the UK is the destination for a huge number of trafficked people. The scale is hard to assess; it is estimated that there are more than 5,000 victims in the UK. There are undeniably very large numbers of people from Eastern Europe working in the sex trade and the catering and agricultural sectors, or simply begging. How many of these are actually trafficked is unclear. Some authorities consider that trafficking into the UK is actually on the increase and for all its virtues, the complex and unwieldy British legal system does not deal well with the complex issues of people trafficking. Some of the changes that the government has recently proposed to the legal system may also have negative implications for trafficking victims. For example, if legal aid were only available to those who have lived legally in the UK for twelve months, most trafficking victims would inevitably be excluded. There is also the fact that cheap foreign labour is good for an economy in recession, because it keeps costs down.

The horror that is people trafficking exists in a variety of forms, everywhere. Some of the people we meet in our towns are trafficked. What can we do about it? I would suggest that the two great allies of the traffickers are ignorance and silence. The trafficking of people is a stealth crime, a quiet outrage committed in the shadows. By definition, its victims are men, women and children, but they are not our flesh and blood. We choose the easy option, deciding to be ignorant and – in the language of the parable of the Good Samaritan – to ‘pass by on the other side’. And if we do suspect something, it is tempting to stay silent; speaking out might mean that we have to do something. But I am reminded again of the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), where the two people who pass by the victim are decent and, I’m afraid to say, religious. It’s all too easy to have enough morality to avoid evil, but not enough to want to do something about it. We must avoid ignorance and silence; we must seek the facts, speak out about them and do something. At the heart of the Christian message is a God who neither ignores the mess of the world, nor condemns it, but who instead chooses to rescue it. That intervention costs him the cross. That costly intervention is the pattern that we must bear in mind when we look at people trafficking. God is a rescuing God; we can do nothing less.

Agapé,

Revd. Canon J.John
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“He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2 Corinthians 3:6 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"For my strength is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9
A primary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God's work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness. When God's warrior marches forth to battle, strong in his own might, when he boasts, "I know that I shall conquer, my own right arm and my conquering sword shall get unto me the victory," defeat is not far distant. God will not go forth with that man who marches in his own strength. He who reckoneth on victory thus has reckoned wrongly, for "it is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." They who go forth to fight, boasting of their prowess, shall return with their gay banners trailed in the dust, and their armour stained with disgrace. Those who serve God must serve him in his own way, and in his strength, or he will never accept their service. That which man doth, unaided by divine strength, God can never own. The mere fruits of the earth he casteth away; he will only reap that corn, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love. God will empty out all that thou hast before he will put his own into thee; he will first clean out thy granaries before he will fill them with the finest of the wheat. The river of God is full of water; but not one drop of it flows from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in his battles but the strength which he himself imparts. Are you mourning over your own weakness? Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give thee victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up.
"When I am weak then am I strong,
Grace is my shield and Christ my song."

Evening

"In thy light shall we see light."
Psalm 36:9
No lips can tell the love of Christ to the heart till Jesus himself shall speak within. Descriptions all fall flat and tame unless the Holy Ghost fills them with life and power; till our Immanuel reveals himself within, the soul sees him not. If you would see the sun, would you gather together the common means of illumination, and seek in that way to behold the orb of day? No, the wise man knoweth that the sun must reveal itself, and only by its own blaze can that mighty lamp be seen. It is so with Christ. "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona:" said he to Peter, "for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee." Purify flesh and blood by any educational process you may select, elevate mental faculties to the highest degree of intellectual power, yet none of these can reveal Christ. The Spirit of God must come with power, and overshadow the man with his wings, and then in that mystic holy of holies the Lord Jesus must display himself to the sanctified eye, as he doth not unto the purblind sons of men. Christ must be his own mirror. The great mass of this blear-eyed world can see nothing of the ineffable glories of Immanuel. He stands before them without form or comeliness, a root out of a dry ground, rejected by the vain and despised by the proud. Only where the Spirit has touched the eye with eye-salve, quickened the heart with divine life, and educated the soul to a heavenly taste, only there is he understood. "To you that believe he is precious;" to you he is the chief corner-stone, the Rock of your salvation, your all in all; but to others he is "a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence." Happy are those to whom our Lord manifests himself, for his promise to such is that he will make his abode with them. O Jesus, our Lord, our heart is open, come in, and go out no more forever. Show thyself to us now! Favour us with a glimpse of thine all-conquering charms.
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Today's reading: Jeremiah 32-33, Hebrews 1 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Jeremiah 32-33

Jeremiah Buys a Field
1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. 2 The army of the king of Babylon was then besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was confined in the courtyard of the guard in the royal palace of Judah.
3 Now Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him there, saying, “Why do you prophesy as you do? You say, ‘This is what the LORD says: I am about to give this city into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will capture it. 4 Zedekiah king of Judah will not escape the Babylonians but will certainly be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and will speak with him face to face and see him with his own eyes. 5 He will take Zedekiah to Babylon, where he will remain until I deal with him, declares the LORD. If you fight against the Babylonians, you will not succeed.’”
6 Jeremiah said, “The word of the LORD came to me: 7Hanamel son of Shallum your uncle is going to come to you and say, ‘Buy my field at Anathoth, because as nearest relative it is your right and duty to buy it.’
8 “Then, just as the LORD had said, my cousin Hanamel came to me in the courtyard of the guard and said, ‘Buy my field at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. Since it is your right to redeem it and possess it, buy it for yourself....’

Today's New Testament reading: Hebrews 1

God’s Final Word: His Son
1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
The Son Superior to Angels
5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son;
today I have become your Father”?
Or again,
“I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son”?
And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”
7 In speaking of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels spirits,
and his servants flames of fire....”
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Sacar

[Sā'cär] - hired or merchandise.
  1. Father of Ahiham, one of David's heroes (1 Chron. 11:35). Called Sharar in 2 Samuel 23:33.
  2. A son of Obed-edom, a Tabernacle gatekeeper in David's time (1 Chron. 26:4).
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