Sunday, December 06, 2015

Sun Dec 6th Todays News

The final episodes of the Bolt Report and Insiders aired for the year. Insiders got things totally wrong by not analysing Australia's soft response San Bernardino. They were too keen to laud the backlash against the Liberals in Joe Hockey's former seat. Bolt Report covered all the salient points and more. A subdued Peter Costello refused to accept that Malcolm Turnbull has failed as PM. The two programs are very different. Insiders shows the appalling bias of left wing journalism by being it. The Bolt Report is a balanced current affairs program. Reports are coming in that Malcolm Turnbull has mismanaged the NBN and wants to privatise it. Maybe he should build two and privatise both? And all he need do is get pet food companies to pay the pets of rich people to try their products, and tax them. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility.
=== from 2014 ===
Obama matters
Friends of Obama give him too much credit, as Claire Harvey recently gave an example. The late Peter Harvey's daughter claimed Obama deserved credit for Killing Osama, brought healthcare to many more poor people, ended the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, ended discrimination against gays in the military, pivoted US defence towards the Pacific, oversaw a rapid recession recovery and fast reduction of budget deficit and a staggering boom in US gas and oil production. It is worth fact checking these claims. 
  • Killing Osama Bin Ladin. Obama definitely gave the order to kill, not capture, Bin Ladin. Capturing Bin Ladin was potentially much better in terms of addressing jihadism and opposing it worldwide. His knowledge of his network would have been valuable, as would be the image of justice meted out by due process. However, Osama's close connection to Pakistan suggests he knew about Obama's missing years between being a druggie and groomed for office. Probably Obama needed Osama dead more than he needed justice. 
  • Healthcare to the poor. Just as Gough Whitlam is given many kudos for his short term policies which were unaffordable and later dropped, Obama has made no worthwhile long term change for poor people. 
  • Ended the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The ending was planned by President Bush who had, as a lame duck, provided for an extraordinary surge with General Petraeus in charge. Once the surge was successful, troops were drawn down. However, against recommendations, Obama totally withdrew, and now has to start more wars to address his failed foreign policy. 
  • Ended discrimination against gays in the US military. Technically, the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy had done that. By ending that policy, Obama has reintroduced discrimination on an ongoing basis. Why do fighting men and women need to know the sexual orientation of their fellow soldiers?  
  • Pivoting US defence towards the Pacific. Not by pulling out of Japan and Korea. But if a single base in Australia is what Claire means then her words were too broad. 
  • Oversaw a rapid recession recovery and fast reduction of budget deficit. Only borrowing half a trillion dollars last year is only a fast reduction in deficit in terms of Obama's extraordinary borrowing in the past. Under Obama US has borrowed more than all other administrations combined in history. And he isn't yet finished. 
  • Staggering boom in US gas and oil production. As Blair has pointed out, Obama is on record opposing it, many times. 
The doormat tries to empathise with terrorists. If anyone has the skills, Hilary Clinton has them. But it doesn't address the threat. It was just a small speech, but it should set the tone for any presidential campaign the doormat might pursue. 
Australia's federal government
Senator Hanson-Young is outstanding in her grief on discovering children won't be in detention by Christmas. She had held the children hostage for years for political ends. Those children that hadn't drowned. She is the definition of a sociopath. Blair posts video of her speech on the issue. Human Rights Commission complains now that children are being freed by a policy they opposed. 

ALP hurting universities to hurt Mr Abbott. The need for reform is recognised by all parties concerned, but the ALP are blocking it because they can. They are blaming Mr Abbott for not reforming what they are blocking. 

Clive Palmer in bed with Greens but they aren't really getting it on. Palmer has leaked onto the barrier reef, meanwhile uncritical greens have dumped fuel in a protected area. Maybe, if they only eye each other, no one will notice? 

Federal Australian Government must save more by cutting spending. Expect Mr Hockey to be criticised for saying that truth. Normally, he would be lauded as a threat to Mr Abbott's leadership, but as that cannot happen while the press are criticising him, they are instead calling for his sacking. 
Victoria voted
A week after ALP win in Victoria, CFMEU shut down a building project. Aldi are building a new site and some of the project involves off shore professionals building to Aldi's higher standard. Many workers are CFMEU related, but the union shut it down for no reason. This will cost the contractor lots for which there is no compensation. Fairwork have launched an investigation. 
Reporting issues
SMH journalism involves using Twitter to find memes providing confirmation bias. Which explains why they are so often wide of reality. 

Rolling Stone rape story does not pass basic journalistic checks. But then Rolling Stone, in accusing others of rape, had bragged they hadn't investigated the claims. Now they are distancing themselves from the article. Sorry for those who unjustly are accused. A rolling stone gathers no moss. 

"An American spaceship designed to go to Mars has splashed down in the Pacific." reports ABC news at 7pm. One guesses they will have to redesign it then. Many had hoped it would proceed flawlessly to the objective. 
From 2013
A great man, 'Nelson' Mandela died today. He had been a terrorist for much of his life, but he eschewed terrorism and became a statesman. He achieved a transformation that Arafat had failed. But Mandela never relinquished his socialist ideology. He was ungrateful to those who had worked to free him. He leaves behind a nation divided differently to that of his youth, but with the hope of a future that would have been unimaginable during his incarceration. He died old and blessed. He had family and a legacy that inspires hope in the world of overcoming adversity through stoic defiance. He had been a terrorist, but he embraced love. 

Mandela was old, and his loss is not as substantial as Steve Biko. But his life is the more powerful testimony. Fred Hollows is highly lauded in Australia by many of the same now applauding Mandela. I once met a man who had died in one of Africa's homicidal orgies of violence. The man, whose broken body had been left with others in the half shell of a burned out church where he had rotted for a week. One arm had withered. But after a week, he awoke, and found God. He toured the world, speaking of his experience, and came to my church in Cabramatta with his testimony. Because I am so fat, he had a picture taken, with me, to show his African friends how Australians might live. He related how he had met Mandela when Mandela had been suffering prostate cancer, and he blessed him in the Lord's name. And Mandela was cured. I remember thinking that the Lord could have done better with a child who could give more. But I was feeling uncharitable. Mandela's life, not his petty feelings, means much to Africans and the world. Mandela's legacy is one of hope and love. Forgiveness and redemption. Who hopes for more, that has not sold themselves short? 
Historical perspective on this day
In 1060, Béla I was crowned king of Hungary. In 1240, Mongol invasion of Rus'Kiev under Daniel of Galicia and Voivode Dmytro fell to the Mongols under Batu Khan. In 1534, 
1534 – The city of Quito in Ecuador is founded by Spanish settlers led by Sebastián de Belalcázar.
1648 – Colonel Thomas Pride of the New Model Army purged the Long Parliament of MPs sympathetic to King Charles I of England, in order for the King's trial to go ahead; came to be known as "Pride's Purge". In 1704, Battle of Chamkaur: During the Mughal-Sikh Wars, an outnumbered Sikh Khalsa defeated a Mughal army. In 1745, Charles Edward Stuart's army began retreat during the second Jacobite Rising. In 1768, the first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica was published. In 1790, the U.S. Congress moved from New York City to Philadelphia.

In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, banning slavery. In 1877, the first edition of The Washington Post was published. In 1884, the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., was completed. In 1897, London became the world's first city to host licensed taxicabs. In 1904, Theodore Roosevelt articulated his "Corollary" to the Monroe Doctrine, stating that the U.S. would intervene in the Western Hemisphere should Latin American governments prove incapable or unstable. In 1907, a coal mine explosion at Monongah, West Virginia, killed 362 workers. In 1916, World War I: The Central Powers captured Bucharest. In 1917, Finland declared independence from Russia. Also, Halifax Explosion: A munitions explosion near Halifax, Nova Scotia killed more than 1,900 people in the largest artificial explosion up to that time. Also, World War IUSS Jacob Jones was the first American destroyer to be sunk by enemy action when it was torpedoedby German submarine SM U-53.

In 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed in London by British and Irish representatives. In 1922, one year to the day after the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the Irish Free State came into existence. In 1928, the government of Colombia sent military forces to suppress a month-long strike by United Fruit Company workers, resulting in an unknown number of deaths. In 1933, U.S. federal judge John M. Woolsey ruled that James Joyce's novel Ulysses was not obscene. In 1941, World War II: The United Kingdom and Canada declared war on Finland in support of the Soviet Union during the Continuation War. In 1947, the Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated. In 1953, Vladimir Nabokov completed his controversial novel Lolita. In 1956, a violent water polo match between Hungary and the USSR took place during the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, against the backdrop of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. In 1957, Project Vanguard: A launchpad explosion of Vanguard TV3 thwarted the first United States attempt to launch a satellite into Earth orbit. In 1967, Adrian Kantrowitz performed the first human heart transplant in the United States. In 1969, Meredith Hunter was killed by Hells Angels during a Rolling Stones concert at the Altamont Speedway in California.

In 1971, Pakistan severed diplomatic relations with India following New Delhi's recognition of Bangladesh. In 1973, The Twenty-fifth Amendment: The United States House of Representatives voted 387 to 35 to confirm Gerald Ford as Vice President of the United States. (On November 27, the Senate confirmed him 92 to 3.) In 1975, The Troubles: Fleeing from the police, a Provisional IRA unit took a couple hostage in Balcombe Street, London, beginning a six-day siege. In 1977, South Africa granted independence to Bophuthatswana, although it was not recognized by any other country. In 1978, Spain approved its latest constitution in a referendum. In 1982, the Troubles: The Irish National Liberation Armybombed a pub frequented by British soldiers in Ballykelly, Northern Ireland. It killed eleven soldiers and six civilians. In 1988, the Australian Capital Territory was granted self-government. In 1989, the École Polytechnique massacre (or Montreal Massacre): Marc Lépine, an anti-feminist gunman, murdered 14 young women at the École Polytechnique in Montreal.

In 1991, in Croatia, forces of the Yugoslav People's Army bombarded Dubrovnik after laying siege to the city since May. In 1992, the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, India, was demolished, leading to widespread riots causing the death of over 1,500 people. In 1997, a Russian Antonov An-124 cargo plane crashed into an apartment complex near IrkutskSiberia, killing 67. In 2005, several villagers were shot dead during protests in Dongzhou, China. Also, an Iranian Air Force C-130 military transport aircraft crashed into a ten-floor apartment buildingin a residential area of Tehran, killing all 84 on board and 44 more on the ground. In 2006, NASA revealed photographs taken by Mars Global Surveyor suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars. In 2008, the 2008 Greek riots broke out upon the killing of a 15-year-old boy, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, by a police officer.
=== 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 Stralia DukeSrey Keang and Vincent Powerhouse Tran. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
Bust of Béla I of Hungary
You are the champion. You freed the slaves. You respect OHS. You are gold. You fight for what is right. Let us party. 
Deaths
===

Warmists are holding us to mad ‘greenmail’

Piers Akerman – Saturday, December 05, 2015 (11:37pm)

AS predicted, the great Paris global warming conference has turned to custard.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Warmists are holding us to mad ‘greenmail’'
===

Baird must tell ICAC chief it’s time to go

Miranda Devine – Saturday, December 05, 2015 (11:35pm)

DAYS before ICAC seized their phones illegally, investigators were spying on crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen, her partner Greg Wyllie, their son and his girlfriend.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Baird must tell ICAC chief it’s time to go'
===

On The Bolt Report today, December 6

Andrew Bolt December 06 2015 (6:10am)

My guests: Attorney General George Brandis, former Treasurer Peter Costello, former NSW Treasurer Michael Costa and Rowan Dean, columnist with The Courier Mail and Financial Review, and editor of Spectator Australia
Malcolm Turnbull in strife, Liberals at war, Green hypocrites and more.
The videos of the shows appear here.
More car races today, so please note the changes to screening times:
Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane/Adelaide: 10am on Ten and 4pm on One
Darwin: 9:30am on Ten and 4pm on One
Perth: 10am on One and 4pm on Ten
Last show of the year. 
===

Trust schools to teach about Arab autocracies, jihadists and Islam?

Andrew Bolt December 06 2015 (5:50am)

Something makes me suspect the way state schools would teach Middle Eastern politics might not actually help:
SCHOOLS would teach kids about moderate Islam and Middle Eastern politics, under a plan to counter the messages of radical Muslim preachers who are inspiring a generation of homegrown jihadists.
State and federal Education Ministers will be asked to approve a suite of new measures to combat the radicalisation of Australian school kids at this Friday’s Education Council meeting.
It might actually help more if schools stopped teaching children that Australia has a genocidal, child-stealing past. Sticking to the truth might build up more loyalty and resistance to extremism. 
===

Swing against Turnbull’s Liberals worse than against Abbott’s Liberals, Coverage kinder

Andrew Bolt December 06 2015 (4:59am)

With Tony Abbott, the swing in Canning was going to kill him off:
The ABC, September 13:
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has dismissed suggestions that a bad showing for the Liberal Party in next weekend’s Canning by-election could cost him his job...A poll last month showed the Government could face a 10 per cent swing against it, pointing to a close contest, and some Coalition MPs have previously said they believe the result will be a test of Mr Abbott’s leadership.
Samantha Maiden, September 13:
FRONTBENCH plotters pushing for Malcolm Turnbull’s return to the leadership have declared a challenge inevitable as a new poll predicts the Prime Minister faces a savage 10 per cent swing in the Canning by-election…
A senior Liberal MP said: “The Prime Minister’s future is done and dusted. Malcolm is the solution. The bottom line is it cannot go on.’’…
Fairfax’s Mark Kenny, September 14:
Tony Abbott’s prime ministership is again in doubt as Liberals brace for a severe anti-government swing in this Saturday’s Canning byelection, potentially kick-starting a fresh attempt to install former leader Malcolm Turnbull in the job.
So fractious is the mood within the government that in one high-risk scenario being discussed, a move to bring things to a head could arise this week…
Fuelling the anxiety is a new Fairfax-Ipsos poll of 1003 respondents taken over the weekend that found ... a swing in the order of 10 per cent.
The Canning result, after Malcolm Turnbull’s coup:
Turnbull’s Liberals won the by-election in Perth by less than Turnbull would have hoped — 55 per cent to Labor’s 45 per cent after preferences. The swing against the Government is 7 per cent.
This was the by-election the media had once claimed was the referendum on Abbott that would finish him....
Internal Liberal polling a week ago tipped ... up to 57 per cent [for the Liberals], more than Turnbull got.
With Malcolm Turnbull, the bigger swing in North Sydney is no big deal:
The ABC today:
The Liberals’ Trent Zimmerman has won the federal by-election in North Sydney despite a swing of about 13 per cent against the party… Mr Zimmerman said he was pleased with the result…
“I have no doubt the result tonight owes a large deal to the way in which Malcolm Turnbull is providing leadership to our country....”
Fairfax’s Sun-Herald today:
Liberal Trent Zimmerman has won the North Sydney byelection, holding on to former treasurer Joe Hockey’s seat despite a significant swing against the party…
The result represents a 13.4 per cent swing against the Liberals on first preferences based on Mr Hockey’s 2013 result…
ALP National Secretary George Wright will write to the Australian Electoral Commission over corflute posters of a grinning Mr Turnbull – on display across the electorate as voters went to the polls – with no clearly visible party authorisation.
The Australian:
The primary vote swing against the government of 13 per cent is in line with gloomy predictions and three times the 4.15 per cent primary vote swing against the Liberal Party in the Canning by-election in Western Australia in mid-September…
While the Electoral Commission did not calculate a two-party-preferred result tonight, Mr Zimmerman said the Liberal Party calculated ... a swing of about 7 per cent against the party, which was close to the two-party swing against the Coalition government of 6.55 per cent in the Canning by-election.
UPDATE
Reader Jeff notes that the swing against the Liberals didn’t go to the Left:
There is more than one story to tell in the North Sydney by-election.The first story was not unexpected; a BIG drop in primary vote for the Liberals - many Conservatives have indeed spoken, and abandoned the party in protest.
The second story is what happened to the 20% of people who gave their primary vote to the ALP in 2013? That 20% of votes DIDN’T go to the Greens.
Some percentages may change once postal, absentee and provisional votes are counted, but as it stands with counting finished for Saturday night these are the key points:

- Liberal primary vote down 13.44% (Important note: in Canning the Liberal primary vote was down only 4.15%; some of which would have been cast whilst Abbott was still PM) - Green primary vote up only around 0.5% in spite of no ALP or DLP candidate standing.
- AEC was expecting a Liberal V. Green run-off but Independent Stephen Ruff has out-polled the Greens by more than 2.5%.
- Of the 12 candidates to stand; the candidate/party with the least number of Primary Votes is PUP’s Robert Marks with just 0.47% of the primary vote, down 1.17% on 2013. The PUP has crashed and burned.
UPDATE
Frantic spinning:
Senior NSW Liberal and Defence Minister Marise Payne described the result as “fabulous”.
The government will blame the 13 per cent swing on anger at [Joe] Hockey for causing the poll, controversy in Liberal ranks about the preselection process, prominent local issues such as council mergers, and the fact the election will have no consequence in affecting the government’s majority in Canberra.
It is a hit for the party, which campaigned heavily on the profile of the Prime Minister, and Liberal strategists will be trying to assess what impact there was in the final days of the campaign. The last week was dominated by senior Liberal MP Ian Macfarlane defecting to the Nationals and the controversy in parliament surrounding Special Minister of State Mal Brough.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

Bolton: the US Congress won’t pray in this warmist church

Andrew Bolt December 06 2015 (4:36am)

ABC Radio National’s Tom Switzer broadcasts a defiant dissent from the ABC’s global warming orthodoxy. Switzer’s guest is John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the UN:

SWITZER: How likely will [the global warming talks in Paris] reach a binding deal that is enforceable and verifiable? 
BOLTON: There is zero chance that will happen. Don’t misunderstand: at the end of this conference, they will declare victory. They will present it as a magnificent accomplishment because politicians never fail when something like that is on the line. In actual terms, this is more like attending a church service than it is a serious international negotiation. What they will agree to is that every nation has a plan and they endorse every nation’s plan – and then nobody will pay the slightest bit of attention to it.
SWITZER: Will that agreement mean that the US Congress has to ratify it? ...
BOLTON: Indeed, this is widely unpopular idea in the United States, especially because if you look at the carbon emissions from huge economies like china and India they’re not constrained at all. A few weeks ago China admitted it had been understating its carbon emissions by just a small 17 per cent. It shows there is no enforcement mechanism.
SWITZER: What about this $100 billion green global climate fund, the UN proposal to help developing nations decarbonize their economies and embrace cleaner energy. That presumably means Congress has to cough up a lot of tax dollars for this, correct?
BOLTON: And that will never happen.… It’s just another excuse for foreign aid… and government control of the economy. … This is a religious movement.
Tom’s show, Between the Lines, is broadcast on Radio National every Thursday at 7.30pm, with repeats on Sundays at 10am. 
===

NOT TERRORISM

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 06, 2014 (6:06pm)

sackbat is arrested for murder: 
Authorities in the United Arab Emirates have arrested a woman they say is responsible for the stabbing death of a U.S. teacher in an Abu Dhabi shopping mall and placing a crude bomb at the apartment door of an American doctor, the Persian Gulf nation’s interior minister said Thursday.
Sheik Saif bin Zayed al Nahyan said the unnamed assailant is a U.A.E. citizen and called Monday’s murder of the 47-year-old teacher from Colorado, identified as Ibolya Ryan, “an unprecedented heinous crime” and an insult to the country’s values.
The victims were targeted “because of their nationality only,” Sheik Nahyan said … 
Despite the frightbag’s apparent motivation for both the murder and the attempted bombing,UAE officials “weren’t classifying them Thursday as terrorist incidents.” Hmm: 
Ms. Ryan’s killing took place in the early afternoon when a person whose face and body were cloaked in traditional women’s garb walked into a mall …
CCTV footage released by authorities shows the person talking to a security guard, picking up a free magazine from a rack and entering one of the mall’s bathrooms.
An hour-and-a-half later, the figure emerges from the bathroom, apparently having stabbed Ms. Ryan with a kitchen knife and leaving a trail of blood on the bathroom floor. She had three children, including 11-year-old twins.
After leaving the scene, the suspect planted a small bomb in front of the apartment of a 46-year-old American doctor of Egyptian origin, said Sheik Nahyan, the interior minister. 
(Via A.R.M. Jones)
===

BEAST AWOKEN

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 06, 2014 (4:04pm)

There is no boffin better than a British boffin. Observe as a team of British engineers rebuild a 104-year-old monster Fiat, and the classically understated British reaction when the beast’s engine is ignited for the first time in more than a century:



Imagine driving this thing. The chassis distortion can be measured in yards, even when the Fiat is merely idling.
===

PROSPECTS CHANGED

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 06, 2014 (3:28pm)

Hillary Clinton goes the full FizSimons
“This is what we call smart power,” Clinton said to a small audience at Georgetown. “Using every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security. Leaving no one on the sidelines. Showing respect even for one’s enemies. Trying to understand, in so far as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view. Helping to define the problems, determine the solutions. That is what we believe in the 21st century will change - change the prospects for peace.” 
Thus continues a long tradition of leftists taking a gentler approach to murderous Islamic fundamentalists than they do towards even moderate right-wing politicians. She may have just changed the prospects for a Clinton presidency.
===

CREDIT UNDESERVED

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 06, 2014 (1:59pm)

My Telegraph colleague Claire Harvey slams Barack Obama’s critics: 
They’ve spent Obama’s entire presidency looking for new reasons to despise a man who, in a century from now, will be regarded as the one who utterly transformed America: who brought healthcare to many poor people who were shut out of the system, who ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who finally killed Osama bin Laden, ended discrimination against gays in the military, pivoted American defence interests towards our own Pacific region, oversaw a rapid recession recovery and fast reduction of budget deficit and a staggering boom in US oil and gas production that utterly rebalanced geopolitics. 
Many of those achievements are open to dispute, to say the least, but let’s take a particular look at Obama’s recordon that staggering oil and gas boom: 
It was just two years ago that President Obama said “we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices” in a speech bashing Republican calls for more drilling …
“Well the American people aren’t stupid,” Obama said in a speech in Miami. “You know that’s not a plan – especially since we’re already drilling. … You know there are no quick fixes to this problem, and you know we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices.” 
No, we can’t? Oh, yes we can
Obama may want to change his tune, however, since the average gasoline price is now $2.71 per gallon and the price of oil is under $70 per barrel …
While weaker than expected economic growth has put some downward pressure on prices, the main story is booming production thanks to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. 
Credit in this case, then, goes to advances in fuel exploration and recovery and to the Republicans who encouraged them. To Obama, not so much.
UPDATE. Sarah Palin was way ahead of the curve.
===

HER BEST EFFORT YET

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 06, 2014 (12:09pm)

Senator Accidents-Happen cranks it up:

===

Get ready to get a whole lot poorer

Andrew Bolt December 06 2014 (6:06pm)

Terry McCranns warns:
IT’S OVER… The near quarter-century era of sustained economic growth and continually rising prosperity ... has ended… 
This was the real import of the September quarter GDP figures… We continued to record positive if insipid growth in output, but national income fell in both the June and September quarters…
Now the obvious cause of our latest two successive negative quarters was, of course, the big plunge in commodity prices, especially of iron ore… But to see this only in those narrow terms, of a sharp fall in commodity prices, or even in perhaps the broader context of the “end of the resources boom”, missed, in my judgment, the still bigger and more seminal story.
This is not going to be just about “adjusting” the non-resources sectors to pick up the slack. So that “conventional”, if painful and so tough-to-implement policy — further cuts to interest rates, tax reform, aggressive implementation of a productivity agenda, increased spending on infrastructure, cuts to government spending, getting the budget back to balance etc — can, indeed will, restart both output and income growth.
It is more fundamental than that. Sure, all that becomes even more necessary, but we are going to discover that the past near-quarter century was the aberration, was the “time-out”, so to speak, from history.
The first half, the 1990s, was driven by the felicitous combination of Australia emerging, chrysalis-like from the Hawke-Keating reforms of the 1980s and the recession “cleansing”, just as the developed world embarked on its extended period of the “Great Moderation” — broadly, solid growth, low inflation, easy money and rapidly rising asset values.
It all really took off in the second half, the 2000s, as that continued ...  and was joined by the full flowering of China…
The key question, then, is whether this is only temporary, a necessary cleansing process. Provided we are prepared to take the necessary reform steps — a pretty huge question — we can then reclaim our growth in output and income.
I simply don’t think so. We can’t go back to the amazing prosperity growth we experienced in the 2000s, because China can’t go back to the rate of expansion of that period, and the developed world can’t reclaim the Great Moderation dynamic. 
The second was really built on sand, while the first has now hit the non-negotiable reality of the finite bounds of geometric progression. If this is correct, we are really only at the start of a very different, poorer future.
===

More problems for Clive Palmer. Where are his Greens allies?

Andrew Bolt December 06 2014 (7:46am)

What Clive Palmer says:
In understanding climate change we must remain ever vigilant and be aware of how Australia as part of the international community is doing and more importantly what the global community could do together to make the lives of all those inhabit this planet more secure.
What Clive Palmer does:
CLIVE Palmer’s nickel business has been charged with six counts of environmental breaches ­because of toxic sludge that has poured from his vast storage dams on the edge of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The Weekend Australian can reveal that Queensland Nickel, which is owned by the leader of the Palmer United Party, faces fines of up to $1.1 million for each charge if found guilty of mismanaging the hazardous contaminated water.
A preference deal with Clive Palmer got Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young re-elected. Have the Greens denounced Palmer’s spill?
Mind you, there’s a reason the Greens might not want to talk of spills:
[A] ship owned by conservation group Sea Shepherd dropped up to 500 litres of diesel into the Trinity Inlet. The environmental organisation, whose Australian arm is chaired by former politician Bob Brown, yesterday pleaded guilty to the marine pollution offence in the Cairns Magistrates Court.
(Thanks to reader Dave.) 
===

Rolling Stone falls very sensitively for rape hoax

Andrew Bolt December 06 2014 (7:31am)

The politics of victimhood is trampling over both common sense and justice:
On Nov. 19, the [Rolling Stone] magazine ran a story of “Jackie,” an unidentified UVA. student who says she was gang-raped at a party at the [University of Virginia] house of Phi Kappa Psi in the fall of 2012. Her shocking story, with vivid details from the night of the incident… deeply embarrassed the university and launched an investigation by school officials and local police… 
[Managing editor Will] Dana said. “Because of the sensitive nature of Jackie’s story, we decided to honor her request not to contact the man she claimed orchestrated the attack on her nor any of the men she claimed participated in the attack for fear of retaliation against her...”
Pardon? Report such a damaging allegation and deny the accused the chance to respond?
I hope the damages the magazine now pays are crippling:
Rolling Stone magazine said Friday it found discrepancies in its controversial story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia and had lost faith in the piece… 
Erdely’s story said [accused rape ringleader] Drew was a lifeguard at the time of the attack in the fall of 2012. But the fraternity said it couldn’t find a record of a member who worked at the aquatic center in 2012. ..
Jackie claimed that she was raped by the men at a party at the fraternity house that took place four weeks into the school year. But the chapter said it didn’t have a social event or a date function during the weekend of Sept. 28, 2012. 
“Our Chapter’s pledging and initiation periods, as required by the University and Inter-Fraternity Council, take place solely in the spring semester and not in the fall semester...”
===

On The Bolt Report on Sunday, December 7

Andrew Bolt December 06 2014 (7:26am)

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On the year’s final The Bolt Report on Channel 10 tomorrow at 10am and 4pm.
Editorial: Call out the wreckers
My guest:  Christopher Pyne, Education Minister and Leader of the House
The panel: former Labor campaign guru Bruce Hawker and Janet Albrechtsen of The Australian
NewsWatch:  Sharri Markson, media editor of  The Australian.
The real battle and who’s ahead. The Palmer United Senator who could surprise. Is the Senate a time bomb? Who flopped and must go? Joe Hockey in strife.

The videos of the shows appear here.
===

A week after Labor wins Victoria, the CFMEU shuts down a project

Andrew Bolt December 06 2014 (7:21am)

Here we go already. The CFMEU celebrates Labor’s win in Victoria by deciding which businesses may operate:
THE CFMEU shut down an Aldi supermarket construction site, the militant union flexing its muscle just a week after Labor won power in Victoria. 
The Herald Sun saw CFMEU representatives block the site at Millers Rd, Altona, refusing access to trucks carrying building materials.
CFMEU representatives allegedly told subcontractors: “There’ll be no work here today."…
The Herald Sun has been told the construction company does not have a union-endorsed enterprise bargaining agreement. 
It also understands the CFMEU has taken issue with Aldi’s use of overseas contractors. Building industry sources said the union has had a long-running battle with Aldi over its use of international experts, which are brought in to oversee the German company’s specific method of laying its concrete floors to provide extra strength.
And so the CFMEU takes it on itself to tell other people they may not work.
The supplier said he was “shattered” to see his union hurt his business. 
“It’s just frustrating and expensive,” he said. “I’m paying my blokes to be doing nothing out there. And the builder holds our payment because we’re not performing to contract.”
Is this Victoria under Daniel Andrews? Send in the police and clear the road.
(Thanks to reader EJ.) 
===

Don’t talk “cuts” but “savings”, because taxes must come down

Andrew Bolt December 06 2014 (7:16am)

Hockey is right, of course: 
The Treasurer is holding out against proposals for new tax measures to fill a likely $10 billion hole in his plan to scale back the federal deficit, insisting on the need for “tax stability” for companies battered by years of reform.
But there are doubts over the Coalition’s plan to cut the company tax rate by 1.5 percentage points next July, with economists saying it is “inconceivable” for the government to cut the rate at the same time as a deficit blowout.
The Weekend Australian can ­reveal that Mr Hockey has rejected proposals to lift tax rates or scale back some tax concessions in response to the deepening deficit, ruling they would hurt business confidence… 
Grattan Institute director John Daley said it was inconceivable that the government would offer a big company tax cut while it was battling a blowout in the deficit.
All the more reason to cut spending then - and to stress the link between savings and money in taxpayers’ pockets. The language, then, should be less of “cuts” and more of “savings”.
UPDATE
No option but to save more, not spend:
(T)he mid-year budget update, expected next week, will show Australia has no hope of balancing the federal books by 2018, as projected in May… 
Slowing economic growth and tumbling iron ore and coal prices have cut chunks of revenue from the budget in the short to medium term. Economist Chris Richardson reckons these will knock $35 billion from the budget’s bottom line in the next four years…
Labor and enough crossbench senators appear to be diametrically opposed to ... major reforms ... add(ing) a further $21bn to the deficit blowout across the next four years,…
[Yet] tax revenues have grown at more than 6 per cent a year since 2008, excluding the two difficult years in the eye of the global financial crisis. Meanwhile, commonwealth spending jumped $96bn a year between the last Howard government budget and Wayne Swan’s last budget, almost twice as fast as revenues. Moreover, Australia is not an especially low-taxed compared with other OECD countries, contrary to popular perception…
“When the Senate says no to paying more at the doctor or for university fees, it means future governments won’t be in a position to grant the tax cuts to stop the 1.3 million Australians currently on incomes from $30,000 to $37,000 from seeing a near doubling in their marginal tax rates,” Richardson says, echoing the concerns of outgoing Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson, who in repeated speeches has noted average weekly earnings will soon surpass the threshold at which the second highest 39 per cent marginal tax rate cuts in. 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.)                      
===

What kind of journalists rely on Twitter’s trolls for political analysis?

Andrew Bolt December 06 2014 (6:30am)

One of the laziest forms of modern journalism is to base a story on the reaction of Twitter. You might just as well use the graffiti in a public toilet as comment on public affairs.
The ABC’s Chris Uhlmann is rightly scathing of the Sydney Morning Herald’s latest effort - reporting that trolls on twitter were furious that Leigh Sales didn’t savage Tony Abbott in her interview this week:
TYPICALLY tragic piece in Fairfax on Sales interview with PM. Once proud media organisation outsources analysis to pinheads on Twitter.
What makes the SMH’s habit of quoting Twitter trolls particularly pathetic is that it is so transparently needy and deceptive. It is nothing more than trawling for comments that fit the pre-conceptions or bias of the reporter.  And for the Left, Twitter is the ultimate echo chamber. 
===

Labor destroying the universities just to hurt Abbott

Andrew Bolt December 06 2014 (6:23am)

The real problem isn’t the Abbott Government. It’s Labor.
Paul Kelly is in despair:
HERE is a snapshot of Australian democracy: as national accounts show living standards in decline, the Senate this week — in a display of contempt by the Palmer United Party and sabotage by the Labor Party — voted down the most important university reform for a generation rather than negotiate an acceptable outcome. 
What is bizarre about this week’s events is the reluctance to highlight the chaos and irresponsibility before our eyes in the parliament. PUP leader Glenn Lazarus had refused to even meet Education Minister Christopher Pyne, then accused the frantic minister of offending his sensibilities by harassing him with text messages.
PUP refugee Jacqui Lambie merrily blackmails the government by voting down everything it proposes without reference to legislative merit. Refusing to negotiate in good faith is now presented as a virtue by Labor and the Palmer party…
The key to Pyne’s position is the support for an amended package by Universities Australia, representing our 39 universities. For months its position has been shouted from the rooftops: “The status quo is not an option."…
The reason the status quo is not an option is elementary — given the huge expansion in university numbers no government, Coalition or Labor, will meet from the public purse the demands of higher education, given the long-run budget crisis facing Australia and the superior electoral claim of health, welfare and schools.
The obligation on the Senate — Labor, Greens, Palmer and remaining crossbenchers — was to act in the national interest and negotiate with a minister who was desperate to negotiate. The hypocrisy of the Senate majority was astonishing: after declaring their concern was fairness, they refused to make the package fairer. Despite its protestations the Senate put neither the interests of universities nor students first. This was an exercise in ideology and cynical politics....
The PUP has an excuse: it is just ignorant, apart from the courageous Zhenya Wang, who openly split with Clive Palmer after the vote and called for reform.
In years to come this debate will stand as an epic in Labor’s repudiation of its reformist past. It runs on the phony horror of $100,000 degrees and claims that fee deregulation will stop students attending university. The claim does not stand up… 
Bill Shorten wants to turn this into an election issue — that’s his motive. It reminds again how easily cheap politics can ruin essential reform.
Bill Shorten is getting away with this because, in part, too many in the media want him to succeed against Tony Abbott. His destruction of good public policy is being rewarded. 
===

On The Bolt Report today, December 7

Andrew Bolt December 06 2014 (6:18am)

On the year’s final The Bolt Report on Channel 10 tomorrow at 10am and 4pm.
Editorial: Calling out the wreckers
My guest:  Christopher Pyne, Education Minister and Leader of the House
The panel: former Labor campaign guru Bruce Hawker and Janet Albrechtsen of The Australian
NewsWatch:  Sharri Markson, media editor of  The Australian.
The real battle and who’s ahead. The Palmer United Senator who could surprise. Is the Senate a time bomb? Who flopped and must go? Joe Hockey in strife.

The videos of the shows appear here.
===

Human Rights Commission complains only now, when the Liberals are freeing the children

Andrew Bolt December 06 2014 (6:14am)

The Human Rights Commission delayed calling an inquiry into children in detention until Labor was out of office and those nasty Liberals were in power. Now there’s not only the inquiry but protest songs and emotion reporting.
Chris Kenny wonders why the Liberals are being attacked for ending the misery Labor created:
Labor’s child detention record is history… To be clear: there were almost 2000 kids in detention just over a year ago, and it will be down to less than 300 within weeks — yet now we have the songs and inquiries. The new laws also see the humanitarian quota increase by 7500 so that, if the boats remain at bay, 18,750 places will be available for refugees selected, not by people-smugglers, but on the basis of need. 
For more than 30 years, since the peak of the refugee intake from Vietnam, Australia will not have done any better than this.
===

A rather silly argument against Peta Credlin

Andrew Bolt December 06 2014 (6:00am)

There’s a lot of self-destuctive tit-for-tat scapegoating going on, and here’s another one - aimed at Tony Abbott’s chief of staff - that sounds unfair: 
A CAMPAIGN to destabilise Joe Hockey has been undermined by revelations that Tony Abbott’s ­office made a crucial decision to delay telling voters about the full extent of the nation’s financial problems. 
The government’s budget sales job was weakened from the start because Mr Abbott and his ministers argued over when to reveal the grim scenarios outlined in the National Commission of Audit, forcing a delay that wrecked their message. The Prime Minister’s office ­insisted on shelving a sweeping budget review for 10 weeks when the Treasurer and other ministers wanted to provoke a national ­debate on the need for deep cuts to government spending.
There is in fact a difference between educating the country about the state of the books and revealing a laundry list of dramatic cuts. So why the delay in the release?
Others said yesterday that the government had good cause to delay the audit report until after the April 5 special Senate election, which resulted in the ­Coalition retaining three senators from WA when there were fears they could lose one.
Had the Government given Labor lots of material for a huge scare campaign before the re-run election, can anyone doubt the Government would have struggled to save that third seat? And how would it have looked now, with one more vote against it in the Senate?
In short, pathetic criticism.
It’s ironic that MPs complaining about damage done are doing such damage with their complaints.
That said, changes must be made. The Government can’t simply flag a reset without giving a substantial sign that there is one. Indeed, changes of substance must be made to ensure better performance.
UPDATE
Good:
SENIOR ministers have thrown their support behind Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin, in an unprecedented move to shut down a nasty whispering campaign about her influence on the Government. 
Education Minister Christopher Pyne called out colleagues for anonymously criticising Ms Credlin, saying they should confront her directly or let her get on with her job.
“I do think my colleagues should have the courage to front up and say what those concerns are, or let people get on with running a good government,’’ Mr Pyne told the Herald Sun.
The intervention from Mr Pyne, Treasurer Joe Hockey, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann follows a fortnight of dissent within the Abbott Cabinet…
Mr Pyne told the Herald Sun Ms Credlin was being “poorly treated’’ by the Canberra press gallery and unfairly blamed for “things that others do, or are responsible for”.
The problem for the Government isn’t that it has Peta Credlin. It’s that it doesn’t have enough Peta Credlins. 
===

Labor Left right out of matters of security

Piers Akerman – Thursday, December 05, 2013 (6:49pm)

HISTORY would indicate the Left cannot be trusted with our security.
===

CHRISTMAS BLOB

Tim Blair – Friday, December 06, 2013 (11:57am)

This site’s ABC mole, located deep within Ultimo headquarters, forwards an email sent today to ABC staff: 
Dear All,
The 2013 Christmas e-cards are ready for you to download from the intranet.
Our Christmas e-cards are environmentally friendly, quick to download and look wonderful thanks to the talented and creative contributors at ABC Open and ABC Science. 
Sounds promising. Let’s take a look:

image

“We Zarkxalonians From the ABC Galaxy Come In Peace!” writes our man inside the billion-dollar broadcaster. “Give Us State Subsidies or Be Ex-ter-mi-nated! Here Is A Photo Of Our Leader!”
Others may observe that the ABC’s official Christmas peace creature is both spineless and brainless. Appropriately, it does have tentacles.
UPDATE. The ABC’s charter examined.
===

NELSON MANDELA

Tim Blair – Friday, December 06, 2013 (11:13am)

Among one or two other accomplishments, the late Nelson Mandela inspired this toe-tapping tune:



UPDATE. A clear-eyed view from the Wall St Journal
The bulk of his adult life, Nelson Mandela was a failed Marxist revolutionary and leftist icon, the Che Guevara of Africa. Then in his seventies he had the chance to govern. He chose national reconciliation over reprisal, and he thus made himself an historic and all too rare example of a wise revolutionary leader …
He started his life sentence at Robben Island prison near Cape Town a would-be Lenin. He walked out of jail on February 11, 1990—at age 71—an African Havel.
Age mellowed him. Times changed … Mandela became the biggest of African men by refusing to act like a typical African “Big Man.” He transcended his party’s history of Marxism, tribalism and violence. The continent and world were fortunate to have him. 
===

THEY DON’T LIKE SHOPS

Tim Blair – Friday, December 06, 2013 (10:57am)

Here’s your headline of the week:

image 
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THE CHICAGO WAY

Tim Blair – Friday, December 06, 2013 (2:47am)

One crim aims to replace another
Former Chicago Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Al Sanchez, convicted on federal charges of rigging hiring to benefit political foot soldiers, filed Monday to run for the Cook County Board seat previously held by William Beavers — who is headed for prison. 
(Via Iowahawk)
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Palmer should explain if he snowed Parliament

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (9:22am)

I do hope Bronwyn Bishop investigates whether Clive Palmer misled Parliament, as Hedley Thomas’s evidence suggests:
WHEN father-to-be Clive Palmer formally asked for a paternity leave pass from federal parliament, few realised it was to give him time to hob-nob at the birth of a vanity project - the “World Leadership Alliance” at his Sunshine Coast dinosaur park. 
As political foes and friends alike endured another long parliamentary sitting in Canberra yesterday, Mr Palmer zipped between a beach club, lunch, cocktails and a fancy dinner at the beachside resort, sharing the prestige of his exalted roles as the alliance’s “secretary-general”, as well as “president of the World Economic Council”.
Bemused staff, who leaked the confidential internal diary of his day to The Australian yesterday, said Mr Palmer owed the Speaker, Bronwyn Bishop, an explanation for potentially misleading the house… 
When Mr Palmer issued his plea to the Speaker on Tuesday afternoon for an early mark from parliament, it was for the birth of his fourth child… “On indulgence, Madam Speaker, I request leave from the house to be absent from tomorrow for the birth of my child next week,” Mr Palmer said.
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The Liberals must restore free speech. That freedom defends all, regardless of faith or ethnicity

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (9:11am)

Free speech

(POST BUMPED FROM YESTERDAY, WITH POSTSCRIPT)
Professor James Allan: 
THIS government’s commitment to repeal at least parts of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, the so-called anti-hate speech laws that were used against Andrew Bolt, raises at least four crucial issues.
First, any commitment to free speech is a commitment to allowing people to say and write things you may not like, that you may detest, that you may disagree with and find offensive. If the words spoken are words we all agree with and find congenial, then there is no need for any commitment to free speech…
The next point about the repeal of these existing hate speech provisions is that they were grossly misused in the Bolt case…
The whole Bolt saga was an embarrassment to Australia’s liberal credentials…
Next, there is the democratic issue. Tony Abbott and the Coalition went to the September election with a major pledge to repeal all or most of section 18 of the act. So it is right that, having won a big majority, they do what they promised…
The fourth issue relates to the prudential aspects of running a newly elected government. George Brandis, our new Attorney-General, made plain his commitment to free-speech principles before the election. And he is clear that he will proceed with some sort of repeal… 
This repeal needs to go ahead. All four aspects of this provision, the ones aimed at offending, insulting, humiliating and intimidating, they need to go. A half-hearted repeal would hardly make Brandis or the Coalition defenders of free speech and liberty. Honour your campaign pledge, Senator Brandis.
I have been particularly disappointed to be treated as collateral damage by Jewish community leaders and political players who have been demanding these illiberal laws be kept. Several have privately assured me they found the case against me a misapplication of the law or even an injustice. But not one publicly said so. Every one of them knows what a supporter I have been of the Jewish community, not just in print, yet not one publicly protested when a Jewish QC told a Jewish judge in my case something far more foul than anything I had written - that my thinking resembled that of the Nazis who drew up the Nuremberg race laws.  That obscene slur struck me as a legally sanctioned defamation.
I do, however, single out Danny Lamm for offering to speak on my behalf. I am grateful to him.
But I believe the Jewish community - or those members involved in public advocacy - should reflect on whether principle here has been trashed for advantage by representatives who should know better.
POSTSCRIPT
I have been warned that some people are taking offence at my mentioning the religion of the judge and the barristers for the complainants. One Jewish community leader has even had the hide to wonder in an email to me if I was suggesting a “Jewish conspiracy”.
It should be clear - and would be to those who know me - that the reference is made to suggest just how much an insult was meant by the Nazi reference and how explosive it was in the context of the case.
There will be some who will nevertheless want to take offence and portray me as something I’m not so they can distract attention from the real argument. To them I say this: I have risked my reputation to defend Israel from calumnies before a mob and a media only too keen to hear and spread them, and on national television:
Please do me the courtesy of not now trashing my reputation by smearing me as some kind of enemy of Israel or Jews just to win a debating point. I’ve dared say more in Israel’s defence in public than many Jews with a public profile. Drag me down in this debate and you only undermine one of Israel’s greatest supporters in the media. And you win only trash in doing so - laws even worse that the kind activists used to try to stop me from saying what I did below (from 2:45) about anti-Israel boycotts:
UPDATE
I understand Jews fearing that too much free speech will unleash anti-Semitism - and I understand even better how much they have to fear from such racism, given the history of the last century.
But they are drawing the wrong lessons from the rise of Nazism. The Nazis did not flourish because they had too much free speech. They flourished because their critics had none.
Indeed, Germany had laws against Nazi hate-preaching before Hitler’s rise to power, and they made not the slightest difference (although, yes, they were weak and even more weakly applied). For instance:
The [Völkischer Beobachter] was originally founded in 1887 as a four-page Munich weekly, the Münchner Beobachter. It had become a daily anti-Semitic gossip sheet with a circulation of about 7,000 when it was bought by Adolph Hitler in 1923 to serve as the propaganda organ of his Nazi Party. In 1941 its circulation had passed 1.1 million. 
Publication of the Völkischer Beobachter was suspended three times in the early 1920s by the pre-Hitler German government because of anti-Semitic articles and attacks on government policies and officials.
Or even more often:
VB was chiefly a purveyor of anti-Semitism and radical propaganda. [Publisher] Amann later bragged that after passage of the Law for the Protection of the Republic, it was banned thirty-four times for harassing the “Weimar system.” 
An example:
July 15, 1931 
BERLIN (Jul. 14) The Voelkischer Beobachter, Adolf Hitler’s personal organ, was suspended by the Munich police today for three weeks. The suspension is the result of the paper’s virulent attacks on the German government in connection with the Hoover moratorium plan and the publication of an allegation that Karl Severing, Prussian minister of the interior, was heading an organized massacre of Hitlerites by Communists.
Hitler even boasted of being censored to win support:
image
Once the principle of such censorship was accepted, it was turned against everyone - and none more than the Jews of Germany:
image
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Nelson Mandela dies

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (8:46am)

Former South African president Nelson Mandela has died, aged 95. 
===

Not a whistleblower but an idiot and tool of Russia

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (8:38am)

Not a “whistleblower” but a traitor. Edward Snowden, given asylum in Russia, helps Russia’s PR war:
Swedish signals intelligence agency FRA spied on Russian leaders and shared the data collected with the US, local media report citing Edward Snowden leaks. 
Mark Bowdenaug isn’t buying the “whistleblower” line, either:
Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden ... are young people at war with the concept of secrecy itself, which is just foolish. There are many legitimate reasons for governments to keep secrets, among them the need to preserve the element of surprise in military operations or criminal investigations, to permit leaders and diplomats to bargain candidly, and to protect the identities of those we ask to perform dangerous and difficult missions. 
The most famous leakers in American history were motivated not by a general opposition to secrecy but by a desire to expose specific wrongdoing…
Manning and Snowden are wholesale leakers. I can’t know this for a fact, but I suspect they were not completely aware of all they carried off. It isn’t just that they didn’t completely understand what they were leaking; they literally did not know what all of it was. Computers enable individual operators to open floodgates. Out spills everything, the legitimate along with the illegitimate. It’s easy, and it’s irresponsible. It proceeds from a Julian Assange-influenced, comic-book vision of the world where all governments are a part of an evil plot against humanity…
There have been a few things in the Manning and Snowden leaks that might have warranted taking a principled stand, but the great bulk of what they delivered shows our nation’s military, intelligence agencies, and foreign service working hard at their jobs—doing the things we the people, through our elected representatives, have ordered them to do. It came as no surprise to me that America has been aggressively collecting massive pools of data in order to discover and derail terrorist attacks in advance, an enormously difficult thing to do, and yet the very thing Americans demanded after 9/11…
Snowden ... has turned himself into an enduring symbol of idiocy by fleeing the oppressive grip of Barack Obama for the open arms of that great civil libertarian, Vladimir Putin. 
Both Manning and Snowden strike me not as heroes, but as naifs. Neither appears to have understood what they were getting themselves into, and, more importantly, what they were doing
(Thanks to readers A.B. and Tabitha.) 
===

ABC tells children Abbott isn’t sorry like nice Rudd was

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (8:31am)



Miranda Devine notes the ABC is so saturated by its Leftist bias that even children’s programs preach its politics:
With a cheery youth-friendly style, [Behind The News] promotes the soft-left line on everything from asylum seekers to gender equality to big government spending.
[Tuesday’s] episode of BTN began with a story about Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s “broken promise” on Gonski funding.
Next was “Why sorry seems to be the hardest word over the Indonesian spy scandal”, complete with footage of Kevin Rudd making his Stolen Generations apology. Praise for Rudd was cleverly delivered using Tony Abbott’s words.
“So it seems Tony is a fan of people who say sorry too. Well, he was.”
That is, until the Indonesia spying scandal erupted. No mention that the spying occurred during Rudd’s sainted reign… 
A scan of other BTN stories this year finds similar examples of loaded commentary: “The new PM Tony Abbott hasn’t repaid some money that he claimed for going to a few running and cycling events. The fitness freak says they were genuine community events, so it’s OK for the taxpayer to help foot the bill.” 
(Thanks to readers Whatthe and watty.)
UPDATE
A petition is circulated:
To the President and members of the Senate 
We the undersigned request that the Senate:
1) Conducts a complete review into the Australian Broadcasting Corporations Act 1983 and strengthens the ABC’s charter to remove any ambiguity; 
2) Evaluates whether the ABC with its expanding media and online presence is making it impossible for independent media to compete; 
3) Evaluates whether the ABC is suitably servicing the contract to run the Australia Network; 
4) Reviews whether the ABC board including the Chairman is abiding by the charter; 
5) Evaluates whether the Managing director of the ABC, Mark Scott, conducted himself appropriately when he decided to promote the Guardian’s spy allegations. Especially since it has emerged that the ABC refused requests from intelligence agencies to redact the material in the interests of national security.
Sign here.
UPDATE
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill:
An insightful interview with Donald McDonald on The Drum- watch vid from 9.20 to 30.43. 
He was asked (at 21.24) by host Julia Baird should the ABC have published the August 2009 Snowden leak. McDonald: “I personally would have left it to The Guardian.”
===

Abbott fixing what Rudd, Snowden and the ABC broke

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (7:41am)

The Abbott Government is making good progress in fixing up Labor’s mess:
THE Abbott government has accepted Indonesia’s six-step process for restoring the bilateral relationship in the wake of the Australian spying scandal... 
Importantly for Australia, which is braced for the release of further secret material stolen by Mr Snowden, a former US security contractor, about its espionage activities in the region, [Indonesian foreign minister] Dr Natalegawa said Indonesia did not want the revelations causing any further crises. “What I have suggested not only to Australia but to other colleagues in our region, to be honest, is that we must ready ourselves for what’s to come in future revelations, not (just) about Australia but whomever,” he said.
===

And now for the firm smack of leadership

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (7:26am)

Dennis Shanahan is right about the problem and right to suggest the fix is already in:
Abbott’s genuine humility at being elected Prime Minister needs an injection of pride in achievement to demonstrate who is in control and to develop a less supine position. 
He needs to become more openly assertive and responsible—not just for public consumption but for internal reasons. There is evidence in Abbott’s actions, such as the surrender of the forlorn and dangerous plan to save $1.2bn in school funding, and in his behaviour—the marked stepping up in his parliamentary performance directed at Bill Shorten and the previous Labor government—to suggest he is preparing to take the field.
===

Professor Reuter’s next job: to apologise in Indonesia for sliming his country

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (7:02am)

On Tuesday I accused Professor Thomas Reuter of spreading incendiary anti-Australian propaganda in an article in the Jakarta Post claiming Australian troops occupied Bali for the Dutch during the independence struggle and were involved in massacres.
It turns out he just made that bit up:
The University of Sydney’s Adrian Vickers, a historian of Indonesia whose father was among the Australian troops in the region just after the war, ... said it was simply not true that Australian troops had occupied Bali during the early period in which Allied forces were seeking to hold positions for the returning Dutch. 
And he said there was no evidence of Australian involvement in atrocities against Indonesian independence fighters.
“I have seen nothing (before) that even alleges this,” he said. Professor Vickers said research suggested that “many of the troops were sympathetic to the Indonesian cause"… 
Last night, after Professor Vickers complained to The Conversation, Professor Reuter backtracked and the website posted a correction. Professor Reuter said the passage was “poorly worded”, admitted Australian troops did not occupy Bali, and was “clarifying the nature of the information on which I based my statement of alleged Australian involvement in actions against local supporters of Indonesia independence”. 
This is scandalous. And what of Reuter’s other claims in his poisonous article? Where’s the evidence for his claim that Australia is guilty of “attempts to assassinate Sukarno”? Where’s the evidence for his claim that there was “applause” from Australia for the massacre of up to 1 million Indonesians in the power struggles in the 1960s?
What else is Reuter teaching at Melbourne University? What other dangerous stories is he telling in Indonesia?
At the very minimum Reuter has a responsibility to publish a retraction of his claims in the Jakarta Post. And Melbourne University should hold an inquiry into his activities. The taxpayer-funded Conversation should also explain how it came to run something making such preposterous and dangerous claims.
This correction on Reuter’s article raises more questions than it answers and does not address other clear errors Reuter has made:
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that “Australian troops participated in the occupation of the outer islands, including Bali, and were involved in massacres”. Elements of these claims cannot be verified and have been removed.
===

Proof: Holden doesn’t want to be saved - or some Ministers don’t want to save it

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (6:46am)

Holden may have saved the Abbott Government the trouble of deciding whether to give it yet another handout: 
The Australian understands that General Motors was poised to announce it was ending its Australian manufacturing operations in 2016 as early as yesterday, but a decision in Beijing the night before has delayed the decision. Sources say that General Motors is delaying the announcement for commercial reasons… It is understood some Coalition ministers, including Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, have not been advised of General Motors’ decision, because the company “does not want to be saved”, sources told The Australian last night. 
Of course, such comments may come from Ministers keen to turn off the tap but just as keen not to get the blame for Holden closing down:
Mr Macfarlane said last night it was not his understanding that General Motors’ had already made a decision to pull out of Australia.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said last night Mr Macfarlane had told him he had spoken to Holden and the company had denied the reports. 
“What is happening now is that federal government ministers are briefing against their own colleagues, exposing the deep divisions in the Liberal Party over the auto industry’s future,” Mr Weatherill said.
But maybe the rumor is true:
A Holden spokesman last night declined to “respond to speculation”.
UPDATE
More resistance to calls for a bailout:
SENIOR Abbott government ministers are resisting a quick bailout of Qantas, despite the airline flagging plans to sell down key assets such as its frequent flyer program and Jetstar as it heads for a predicted pre-tax 12-month loss of up to $860 million. 
Joe Hockey and Transport Minister Warren Truss yesterday turned pressure back on Qantas to take steps to improve its fortunes as the airline flagged 1000 job losses in a disastrous profit guidance to the market, predicting it would make a loss of between $250m and $300m for six months… Qantas has been desperately lobbying the government and conducting a campaign against rival Virgin Australia in an attempt to get debt guarantees to help it avoid the downgrade.
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Sarah Palin
Is there any doubt it's imperative to protect the heart of Christmas? Take a look at this article about an elementary school in Texas banning Christmas trees and the colors red and green from a “winter” party. Just like I write about it “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas,” every day we see stories like this one, and we need to stiffen our spines, say “enough is enough,” and hold on to REAL hope, America! The real hope that IS the message of Christmas. We can remember and capture that spirit of true hope during this holiday season and commit to live it out every single day. I promise you, it works!

See the article here:
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/12/05/school-bans-christmas-trees-colors-red-green/

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Stephanie Ann
While people argue about whether Mandela was a hero or a terrorist, I will reflect on the words of two different men... and I know which one I choose to support.

Here's the difference between two men!

“As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr., 1956

“At the end of the day… violence was the only weapon that would destroy apartheid.” ~ Nelson Mandela, 1959
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http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/i-have-the-support-of-qlders-newman/story-e6frfku9-1226776849155
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http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/ses-boss-accused-of-trying-to-hinder-icac/story-e6frfku9-1226777054685
Former NSW State Emergency Services deputy commissioner Tara McCarthy was fired after doing her job too well and alleging to her boss that his good mate had engaged in potentially corrupt behaviour, an inquiry has heard.
I'm unimpressed because the ICAC did not examine the issues surrounding the death of Hamidur Rahman. Had they looked at my issue in '01, Rahman might not have died in '02. - ed
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http://www.news.com.au/world/asia/girl-10-seen-beating-baby-yuanyuan-left-in-lift-then-throws-him-off-balcony-in-china/story-fnh81fz8-1226776556580

My heart goes out for that mum and the toddler. - ed
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http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/12/05/state-department-hit-for-leaving-abedini-out-iran-deal-as-condition-worsens/

Governing for all? - ed
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http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/12/05/mummy-mystery-multiple-tombs-hidden-in-egypt-valley-kings/?intcmp=features

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John Tran LOLOLOLOLOL lolz!!! Borats Lalich! I remember at the voting booth when a guy hands me Lalich's leaflet, I said no thanks, he sees me Asian so was surprised and said "really, not Labour?" I said "Piss off, please", he looks sternly at me, I said "I did say please and remember it's non of your business who I vote, and remember you might be breaking a law here."
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http://www.couriermail.com.au/questnews/city/brisbane-fat-heffalump-blogger-kath-read-speaks-out-against-online-bullies/story-fni9r0jy-1226776171069

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http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/govt-opposition-deny-holden-pull-out-plan/story-e6frfku9-1226776625199
Union has destroyed car industry - ed
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http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/face-transplants-thriving-two-years-after-operations/story-fnixwvgh-1226776581108

one day, eyes .. ed
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http://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/model-to-serve-4-yrs-for-killing-gary-mara/story-e6frfkui-1226776655925
Model years count more .. ed
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http://www.news.com.au/travel/world-travel/ten-abandoned-places-and-why-they-were-left-behind/story-e6frfqai-1226776647271

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http://www.news.com.au/world/nelson-mandela-has-died-aged-95/story-fndir2ev-1226661220399

A reformed terrorist, an ongoing bigot, a humble man and a statesman. Nelson achieved much in his life, and inspired many. He rests now. But his legacy uniting a nation should be marked by being kind to others. - ed
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http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/12/05/teachers-complain-common-core-linked-lessons-little-more-than-scripts-to-read/

I'm sure there is much to criticise, but some of the criticism is OTT. Unless critics stick to the truth, they devalue their currency. - ed
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http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/its-a-big-golden-holden-bailout-as-julia-gillard-comes-to-the-rescue-of-motoring-giant/story-e6freuzr-1226307685399

.. she said 10 years .. ed
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http://www.smh.com.au/business/aviation/qantas-cuts-1000-jobs-mulls-future-of-jetstar-and-frequent-flyers-20131205-2ys00.html
The easiest way to compile a small fortune is to start with a large one. - ed
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http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/cricket-great-jeff-thomson-slams-mp-craig-thomson-for-adopting-his-name-during-alleged-dalliances-with-prostitutes/story-fni0cx12-1226775479018
but the prostitutes remember he was very fast
.. the honourable member of the privileges committee .. I couldn't make that up, write and call it believable fiction - ed

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http://www.theage.com.au/national/a-nation-reborn-at-anzac-cove-utter-nonsense-keating-20081030-5enw.html

Keating is being offensive. - ed
John Tran He is. Though I do understand the argument that too much significance is being placed on ANZACs, the idea that a nation found an identity out of immense grief and tragedy, and realisation that's it's own path can be forged much better without it's masters.. is unique and unpretentious. More so, that it does not glorify war and commenrate a revolution, or the murdering of brothers or neighbours in civil war. It signifies a simple agonising respect, but somewhat sensible awakening. Though you can also be a self centred, obnoxious whining indolent attention seeker like keating.. and call a dumb failed military expedition, without really able to see beyond that is troublesome from a former PM
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http://dontpkethebear.com/25-funny-auto-correct-fails/
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Eric Hoffer: "The Jews are a peculiar people: Things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people, and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it. Poland and Czechoslovakia did it.Turkey threw out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchmen. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese--and no one says a word about refugees. But in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world."
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http://sarahhonig.com/2013/12/06/another-tack-a-tale-of-two-notes/

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www.israellycool.com

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http://jeremyrosen.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/death.html
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http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1213/stratfor120413.php3#.UqFR64zfNAY.facebook
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http://zoa.org/2013/11/10220685-zoa-supports-israeli-pm-netanyahus-firm-repudiation-of-pres-obamas-dangerous-deal-sought-with-iran-in-geneva/
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http://zoa.org/2013/11/10222272-zoa-iranian-appeasement-deal-is-our-eras-munich-obama-the-new-chamberlain/
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http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1213/Teddy_Roosevelt_Menorahs.php3#.UqFPVBULMTc.facebook
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http://israel21c.org/social-action-2/top-10-great-reasons-to-love-the-pomegranate/

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<There is a question puzzles me that I permanently thinking about it why there are some people do not recognize the state of Israel in spite of the culture Cabalasraúala and civilization and its superiority in many areas of intellectual, scientific, you answer it state made itself and a permanent research in the advancement and promotion in its state and its people, they're just like any other peoples of the world have the right to that have their state and identity>
I would argue that Israel is widely recognised, but that it is part of the politics of the left to embrace bigotry which unites them .. remember, US Democrats have a proud history of exalted leaders who killed Indians, supported slavery and exploited Blacks. Frther, a conservative position is often different to that .. therefore, the left have to support such bigotry to be different. The left don't have to be consistent in their bigotry, they merely have to be united in their opinion which devalues cultural values and assets. - ed===
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http://www.timesofisrael.com/palestinians-reject-kerry-layout-for-peace-plan/

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http://rubinreports.blogspot.com.au

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 “ISRAELI SETTLEMENT FACTS AND FALSEHOODS”

1. JUDEA AND SAMARIA (JEWISH ROOTS) OR WEST BANK (ARAB ROOTS)?

“Judea” (יהודה) is the origin of the term “Jew” (יהודי). Judea and Samaria are the cradle of Jewish history, religion, culture, holidays, ethos, language and yearnings. The official name of the area was “Judea and Samaria” from Biblical times until April 1950, when Jordan occupied/annexed the area, renaming it “West Bank,” as distinguished from the east bank of the Jordan River. Judea and Samaria was the official name used by the 1922-1948 British Mandate of Palestine, as well as by the U.N.

2. ARE JEWISH SETTLEMENTS IN JUDEA AND SAMARIA AN OBSTACLE TO PEACE?

Jewish settlements were established in Judea and Samaria after the 1967 War. However, it was pre-1967 Arab terrorism which annihilated the Jewish communities of Hebron, Gush Etzion and Gaza and raged in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Galilee during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s — Arab terrorism aimed at preventing the establishment of an “infidel” Jewish state in the “abode of Islam.” Several Arab armies, and Palestinian terrorists, raided Israel in 1948 and persisted in anti-Jewish terrorism before the 1967 establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

3. IS THE STRATEGIC GOAL OF MAHMOUD ABBAS TO UPROOT THE JEWISH SETTLEMENTS IN JUDEA AND SAMARIA?

Mahmoud Abbas is the chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which supersedes and oversees the Palestinian Authority. The PLO was established in 1964, three years before the establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. The 1964 Covenant of the PLO referred only to the pre-1967 area of Israel. The current PLO Covenant targets Judea, Samaria and the pre-1967 area of Israel for “liberation.”

Abbas is, also, the leader of Fatah, which was established in 1959, eight years before the establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. The August 2009 Sixth Convention of Fatah called for the continued struggle “to eradicate the Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.” The strategic goal of Abbas is to uproot the Jewish state and not, merely, the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

4. WOULD THE UPROOTING OF JEWISH SETTLEMENTS ADVANCE PEACEFUL COEXISTENSE?

Peaceful coexistence on the one hand, and the uprooting of Jewish or Arab communities on the other, constitute an oxymoron. The 1.6 million Arabs, among 6 million Jews, within pre-1967 Israel do not constitute an obstacle to peace; nor do the 350,000 Jews, among 1.7 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria. The uprooting of Arab communities in pre-1967 Israel would be as immoral as would be the uprooting of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. “Judenrhein areas” contradict peaceful coexistence. In fact, the litmus test of Palestinian/Arab intent is the acceptance or rejection of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

5. DOES JEWISH CONSTRUCTION IN JUDEA AND SAMARIA PREJUDGE THE OUTCOME OF NEGOTIATION?

Palestinian construction in Judea and Samaria — which is dramatically larger than Jewish construction there — presents facts on the ground, just as Jewish construction does. Western tendency to single out Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria, while ignoring Palestinian construction, prejudges the outcome of negotiations! Opposition to Arab presence in pre-1967 Israel should not be tolerated; so, too, should the opposition to a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria. Israel’s government razes illegal Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. Israel should, also, raze the 1,100 illegal Arab homes built annually in Jerusalem and the thousands of illegal Arab homes in Judea and Samaria.

6. ARE JEWISH SETTLEMENTS IN JUDEA AND SAMARIA LEGAL?

Judge Stephen Schwebel, former president of the International Court of Justice, determined that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria was rooted in self-defense and therefore did not constitute “occupation.” Eugene Rostow, former dean of Yale Law School, former undersecretary of state and co-author of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which sets out the criteria for Israel-Arab peacemaking said U.N. Resolution 242 does not call for withdrawal to the pre-1967 boundaries; Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai amounts to a 90 percent withdrawal from post-1967 areas; the legality of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria “cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors, and perhaps not even then, in view of Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, ‘the Palestine article,’” which upholds the 1922 British Mandate for Palestine. This 1922 international legal instrument considered Judea and Samaria part of the Jewish national homeland: “Jews have the same right to settle [in Judea and Samaria] as they have to settle in Haifa.” The 1993 Oslo Accord does not prohibit the construction of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

The campaign against Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria is based on gross misrepresentations. It is not a peace-enhancer; it is an appeasement-enhancer, fueling terrorism and undermining the pursuit of peace.
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http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/12/05/as-kerry-visits-jerusalem-pa-police-arrest-outspoken-businessman-for-calling-for-abbass-downfall/
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http://www.jta.org/2013/12/04/arts-entertainment/german-satirical-novel-about-hitler-to-become-movie
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http://www.timesofisrael.com/american-studies-association-endorses-israel-boycott/

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“Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:7, 9-10NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Ask, and it shall be given you."
Matthew 7:7
We know of a place in England still existing, where a dole of bread is served to every passerby who chooses to ask for it. Whoever the traveller may be, he has but to knock at the door of St. Cross Hospital, and there is the dole of bread for him. Jesus Christ so loveth sinners that he has built a St. Cross Hospital, so that whenever a sinner is hungry, he has but to knock and have his wants supplied. Nay, he has done better; he has attached to this Hospital of the Cross a bath; and whenever a soul is black and filthy, it has but to go there and be washed. The fountain is always full, always efficacious. No sinner ever went into it and found that it could not wash away his stains. Sins which were scarlet and crimson have all disappeared, and the sinner has been whiter than snow. As if this were not enough, there is attached to this Hospital of the Cross a wardrobe, and a sinner making application simply as a sinner, may be clothed from head to foot; and if he wishes to be a soldier, he may not merely have a garment for ordinary wear, but armour which shall cover him from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. If he asks for a sword, he shall have that given to him, and a shield too. Nothing that is good for him shall be denied him. He shall have spending-money so long as he lives, and he shall have an eternal heritage of glorious treasure when he enters into the joy of his Lord.
If all these things are to be had by merely knocking at mercy's door, O my soul, knock hard this morning, and ask large things of thy generous Lord. Leave not the throne of grace till all thy wants have been spread before the Lord, and until by faith thou hast a comfortable prospect that they shall be all supplied. No bashfulness need retard when Jesus invites. No unbelief should hinder when Jesus promises. No cold-heartedness should restrain when such blessings are to be obtained.

Evening

"And the Lord shewed me four carpenters."
Zechariah 1:20
In the vision described in this chapter, the prophet saw four terrible horns. They were pushing this way and that way, dashing down the strongest and the mightiest; and the prophet asked, "What are these?" The answer was, "These are the horns which have scattered Israel." He saw before him a representation of those powers which had oppressed the church of God. There were four horns; for the church is attacked from all quarters. Well might the prophet have felt dismayed; but on a sudden there appeared before him four carpenters. He asked, "What shall these do?" These are the men whom God hath found to break those horns in pieces. God will always find men for his work, and he will find them at the right time. The prophet did not see the carpenters first, when there was nothing to do, but first the "horns," and then the "carpenters." Moreover, the Lord finds enough men. He did not find three carpenters, but four; there were four horns, and there must be four workmen. God finds the right men; not four men with pens to write; not four architects to draw plans; but four carpenters to do rough work. Rest assured, you who tremble for the ark of God, that when the "horns" grow troublesome, the "carpenters" will be found. You need not fret concerning the weakness of the church of God at any moment; there may be growing up in obscurity the valiant reformer who will shake the nations: Chrysostoms may come forth from our Ragged Schools, and Augustines from the thickest darkness of London's poverty. The Lord knows where to find his servants. He hath in ambush a multitude of mighty men, and at his word they shall start up to the battle; "for the battle is the Lord's," and he shall get to himself the victory. Let us abide faithful to Christ, and he, in the right time, will raise up for us a defence, whether it be in the day of our personal need, or in the season of peril to his Church.
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Today's reading: Daniel 1-2, 1 John 4 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Daniel 1-2

Daniel’s Training in Babylon
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.
3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service....

Today's New Testament reading: 1 John 4

On Denying the Incarnation
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood....
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Mary, Mother of John Mark

Among the Marys mentioned in the New Testament, Mary, the mother of Mark who wrote the second gospel, is spoken of but once (Acts 12:12 - read 12:1-19), yet this brief description of her is suggestive of her life and labors. She was probably the aunt or sister of Barnabas, the one-time companion of Paul (Colossians 4:10), and such a relationship accounts for Barnabas' choice of Mark as his companion - a selection over which Paul and Barnabas parted. Further, being related to Mary would account for the leadership among the saints gathering in her spacious home. Evidently the family belonged to Cyprus, hence the choice of such by Barnabas as the first station in his journeyings (Acts 4:3613:4 ). Sir William Ramsay holds that the narrative of Mary in the Acts was by Mark, which would account for the details of his mother's large house becoming a well-known center of Christian life and worship. There is a legend to the effect that this same house was the scene of a still more sacred gathering when, in its upper room, Jesus observed the Lord's Supper on the night of His betrayal.
It was to Mary's home that Peter found his way after his miraculous escape, for he knew that a company of believers had gathered there to pray for his release. Peter had a peculiar affection for the godly home. He called Mark, "his son" ( 1 Peter 5:13) - a spiritual son, having led him to yield his life to the Saviour. The way in which the saints met in Mary's home bespeaks her tried steadfastness and the bond of intimacy that existed between them. That Rhoda was one of the maids indicates that the household was considerably large, implying that Mary was a widow with means to maintain such a commodious home. As Barnabas her relative gave up his land for Christ, Mary gave up her Jerusalem home to be used as an infant church.
Mary was a woman of sterling qualities and was loyal to her Christian ideals. At that time Christians were a persecuted sect, yet she faced the consequences of yielding up her home as a center of spiritual power and influence, and was self-sacrificing in time, effort and money to serve the Lord. It has been suggested that young Rhoda who went to open the door for Peter was hesitant thinking perhaps it was the soldiers of Herod who had come to arrest some of the homeless Christian friends whose benefactress and patron Mary had become.
As for Mark the evangelist, her son, he was deeply attached to his mother which was probably one reason why he returned to Jerusalem from Perga (Acts 13:13). He wanted to be nearer the one who had meant so much in his life. Doubtless he derived something of Mary's straightforward and decided character so prominent in the gospel he wrote portraying Jesus as the lowly servant of God.
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Amram [Ăm'răm]—exalted people orinexperience.
  1. A grandson of Levi, son of Kohath and father of Aaron, Moses and Miriam. Amram died at 137 years of age (Exod. 6:1820).
  2. A son of Bani, who married a foreign wife during the exile (Ezra 10:34).
  3. A son of Dishon and grandson of Anah (1 Chron. 1:41). This name should be Hamram or Hamran.
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