Friday, March 25, 2016

Fri Mar 25th Todays News

Dealing with the mentally ill is very hard. And authorities aren't paid to be sympathetic. A person close to my home has been drinking and drug taking and is spiralling out of control. Last night, he invited a former share house mate home. There was supposed to be a BBQ recently bought by Stiffler (as he will be called, but has not got that name or anything like it). The guy came and was set up so Stiffler could punch him, breaking his glasses, accusing him of having been a thief. The guy did not deserve the treatment, but would probably hesitate calling the police, whom Stiffler claims are friends. Stiffler then went to the city, drank two bottles of Jack Daniels and was arrested for drunkeness. One night in jail. $750 fine and $250 taxi later, and he comes home and is obnoxious again. Has lost his family through bad behaviour. Has lost long term friends and is now losing his home. But he still likes drugs and drink. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
A tragedy in France sandwiched two remarkable events around the world which illustrated cultures and what is valued. In New Zealand, a World Cup Cricket semi final between South Africa and New Zealand, rain affected, saw New Zealand win with a six with one ball to spare. The game was breath taking and swung wildly as highly skilled players fought hard to be the nation that made the final. Sometimes it is said that in such sport there is only one winner. But the sport of Cricket won as well, as a South African born NZ player who hit the winning runs comforted the world class bowler he hit it from. Humbleness elevates to great heights what would otherwise be routine. South Africa's score should have shut out NZ, who are reliant on good bowling to win their matches, but have a few outstanding players who bat too. The rain break lifted the South African score under the Duckworth Lewis system to nearly 300 runs off 43 overs. Challenging for any team not facing the excellent bowling of South Africa. The NZ captain got a good start, breaking the run chase down with a quick half century, but NZ batsman kept failing. Until with six wickets down, five runs were required with two balls remaining and one of the all time greats bowling. And one six ended the match.

In France, a routine flight of a passenger jet ended in tragedy as 150 died in the Pyrenees. Victims include a class of school children on exchange, a talented opera singer, and many others, all of whom will be missed. There are as yet no answers as to why it happened. One black box voice recorder is said to be damaged. The unit recording flight data is missing. But regardless of what happened, it will be small comfort for the grieving loved ones. We need to know why it happened. Was it a terrorist hit? Was it an accident from sudden catastrophic decompression? Was it pilot failure? All that we know for certain is that the victims are dead, taken too soon.

In Bangladesh, a mentally ill woman who was devoutly Muslim was murdered by a lynch mob after being denounced for burning a Koran. She hadn't. She had been arguing with a fortune teller. The fortune teller escalated the argument by calling her a Koran burner. They could have called her a global warming believer, but that would not have engaged so many in winning the argument. She was beaten, stoned to death and her body was dragged to a river and dumped near Bangladesh's biggest Mosque. Several police stood by. Many people took video and posted on social media. There are so many alternatives that could have been done to her in punishment. She could have been sent to Australia by boat. ALP view that as compassionate. She could have been treated for mental illness. She could have been jailed for her crime, if she were found guilty by a court of law. Instead she was lynched by a mob where police and religious authority was nearby and did nothing, or possibly aided the mob. Such lynchings are not uncommon. It is yet to be shown to be illegal, although 26 have been arrested in relation to the outrage. Lynch mobs seem to be approved of by the UN. The UN did nothing when a PLO authority killed a man suspected of being Israeli a decade ago. The UN did nothing when two Israeli police were lured to their lynch mob deaths by PLO fifteen years ago. But in Bangladesh one religious authority has attempted to excuse the atrocity, claiming it is wrong to burn the Koran. Similarly a Minister of the Bangladesh government has claimed the same. Is Allah impotent, so that his cowardly followers must abuse basic standards of justice?

Today saw the founding of Venice in 421 when it is said San Giacomo dedicated the first church on the Rialto river. The place was a hard to defend lagoon which was over run, in history, by Hun and German invaders. Putting Venice in the lagoon made a good place for tourists to invade instead. Tourists pay more. In 1199, Richard I was fatally wounded by a crossbow fired by a boy who, expecting death, told Richard he had done it because Richard had killed his father and brothers. Richard forgave the boy, and gave him a hundred shillings. However, following Richard's death on April 6th, a mercenary captain Mercadier found the boy and flayed him alive and hanged him. In 1811, Percy Bysshe Shelley was expelled from Oxford for publishing the pamphlet "The necessity of Atheism." The foolish Oxford authorities could learn from modern Bangladesh for the correct way to treat such youthful excess (satire/sarcasm warning). In 1911, the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in NYC changed the way buildings were made in modern cities, allowing for fire escapes and emergency stairs. In 1931, Some white kids on a train decided to accuse some black kids of raping some girls who hadn't been attacked. It was Scottsboro Alabama, a Democrat state where blacks were not on jury since the turn of the century. Even George Wallace recognised the injustice, later pardoning one of the boys. Originally charged with offences that would get the death penalty, four court cases tried the boys. Even though the alleged witnesses recanted, some of the boys remained jailed for decades. One was shot in jail and permanently disabled. Bangladesh could teach Alabama how to handle such. In 1971, during the Bangladesh War of Independence, Pakistani soldiers targeted civilians. Maybe they had burned the Koran? On the same day in Vietnam the South gave up attacking the Ho Chi Minh trail.
From 2014
The meaning of free speech is being debated in Australia's parliament. The government view is that freedom of speech means bad things can be said, and debated, so that bad things can be exposed. The ALP claim they are confused by this and seek to clarify with the government, asking if that means the government endorses bigotry or racism. It was the ALP position that freedom of speech is bad, that the idea that, good arguments can be fairly made, is optimistic. That position has been maintained by the Australian Human Rights Commission. I believe the ALP position is not tenable with modern democracy. I point out that the current legislation has not protected anyone but is open to abuse of process. I point to how Andrew Bolt has been incorrectly labelled following the travesty of the court case involving him. When an outspoken law professor has had to apologise for misunderstanding the law, it is clear that the government position is best. 

The Australian Human Rights Commission has sent me a letter headlined "inquiry team visits distressed children on Christmas Island" With all due respect, the term 'distressed' can be applied to children everywhere. It is up to parents, not nations, to address it. Anecdotally, not all of them are children. They are undergoing UN processing to ascertain how they should be treated. There are refugees waiting in camps around the world. Luckily, these children survived the possible drowning that compassionate ALP policy threatened them. Their parents spent much money entrusting them to the care of pirates. I don't believe the authorities are wilfully mistreating them, and if they are, I would like to be told about it. Should current government policy be maintained, there will be no children on Christmas Island being processed for refugee status. That should relieve the distress. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 421, Venice was founded at twelve o'clock noon, according to legend. 708, Pope Constantine succeeded Pope Sisinnius as the 88th pope. 717, Theodosios III resigned the throne to the Byzantine Empire to enter the clergy. 1199, Richard I was wounded by a crossbow bolt while fighting France, leading to his death on April 6. 1306, Robert the Brucebecame King of Scotland. 1409, the Council of Pisa opened. 1555, the city of Valencia was founded in present-day Venezuela. 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh was granted a patent to colonize Virginia. 1634, the first settlers arrived in Maryland. 1655, Saturn's largest moon, Titan, was discovered by Christiaan Huygens

In 1802, the Treaty of Amiens was signed as a "Definitive Treaty of Peace" between France and the United Kingdom. 1807, the Slave Trade Act became law, abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire. Also 1807, the Swansea and Mumbles Railway, then known as the Oystermouth Railway, became the first passenger carrying railway in the world. 1811, Percy Bysshe Shelley was expelled from the University of Oxford for publishing the pamphlet The Necessity of Atheism. 1821, (Julian Calendar) Traditional date of the start of the Greek War of Independence. The war had actually begun on 23 February 1821. The date was chosen in the early years of the Greek state so that it fell on the day of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, strengthening the ties between the Greek Orthodox Church and the newly founded state. 1865, American Civil War: In VirginiaConfederate forces temporarily captured Fort Stedman from the Union. 1894, Coxey's Army, the first significant Americanprotest march, departed Massillon, Ohio for Washington D.C. 

In 1911, in New York City, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire killed 146 garment workers. 1914, Aris was founded in Thessaloniki. 1917, the Georgian Orthodox Church restored its autocephaly abolished by Imperial Russia in 1811. 1918, the Belarusian People's Republic is established. 1924, on the anniversary of Greek IndependenceAlexandros Papanastasiouproclaimed the Second Hellenic Republic. 1931, the Scottsboro Boys were arrested in Alabama and charged with rape. 1941, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia joined the Axis powerswith the signing of the Tripartite Pact. 1947, an explosion in a coal mine in Centralia, Illinoiskilled 111. 1948, the first successful tornado forecast predicted that a tornado would strike Tinker Air Force BaseOklahoma. 1949, the extensive deportation campaign known as March deportation was conducted in EstoniaLatvia and Lithuania to force collectivisation by way of terror. The Soviet authorities deported more than 92,000 people from the Baltics to remote areas of the Soviet Union. 1957, United States Customs seized copies of Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl" on obscenity grounds. Also 1957, the European Economic Community was established with West Germany, France, ItalyBelgiumNetherlands and Luxembourg as the first members. 1958, Canada's Avro Arrow made its first flight. 

In 1965, Civil rights activists led by Martin Luther King, Jr. successfully complete their 4-day 50-mile march from Selma to the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. 1969, during their honeymoon, John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their first Bed-In for Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel (until March 31). 1971, Bangladesh Liberation War: Beginning of Operation Searchlight by the Pakistani Armed Forces against East Pakistani civilians. Also 1971, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam abandoned an attempt to cut off the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos. 1975, Faisal of Saudi Arabia was shot and killed by a mentally ill nephew. 1979, the first fully functional space shuttle orbiter, Columbia, was delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for its first launch. 1988, the Candle demonstration in Bratislava is the first mass demonstration of the 1980s against the communist regime in Czechoslovakia

In 1990, the Happy Land fire was an arson fire that killed 87 people trapped inside an illegal nightclub in The BronxNew York City. 1992, the Pakistan national cricket team won the 1992 Cricket World Cup at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Also 1992, Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalevreturned to Earth after a 10-month stay aboard the Mir space station. 1993, Warrington Bomb victim Tim Parry died five days after an IRA bomb detonated in Warrington, Cheshire on 20 March 1993 in the second of the Warrington bomb attacks. 1995, WikiWikiWeb, the world's first wiki, and part of the Portland Pattern Repository, was made public by Ward Cunningham. 1996, an 81-day-long standoff between the anti-government group Montana Freemen and law enforcement near Jordan, Montana, began. 1996, the European Union's Veterinarian Committee banned the export of British beef and its by-products as a result of mad cow disease (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy). 2006, Capitol Hill massacre: A gunman killed six people before taking his own life at a party in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. Also 2006, protesters demanded a new election in Belarus, following the rigged Belarusian presidential election, 2006, clash with riot police. Opposition leader Aleksander Kozulin was among several protesters arrested.
=== 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.
===
Thanks to Warren for this advice on watching Bolt
Warren Catton Get this for your PC or MAC https://www.foxtel.com.au/foxtelplay/how-it-works/pc-mac.html Once tou have installed it start it up and press Live TV you don't need a login to watch Sky News!
===
I have moved from Sydney to Melbourne and am desperate for funding. If you have a heart for giving, I fundraise at gofundme.com/abeueaec
===
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 a free kindle version.

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 Joe Pulsar Lee and Heejin Tran. Born on the same day, across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you .. but on this day they Pass Over .. ?
King Faisal of Saudi Arabia
We see it, now. We have ended hostility. We have autocephaly, otherwise no one would be in charge. Faisal should not have burned that. Wiki recorded it. Let's party. 
Deaths
===

IMAGINE THERE’S NO EUROPE

Tim Blair – Friday, March 25, 2016 (10:23pm)

Following the Brussels bombings, Mark Steyn observes: 
We have untold battalions of tilty-headed wankers wielding hashtags and candles and flowers and teddy bears and unending reprises of “Imagine”. 
We also have dumb Swedish chicks in hijabs, who for the time being are allowed to wear them voluntarily. For the time being. All of this softheaded solidarity doesn’t seem to be working
The French Interior Minister has said an arrest in a Paris suburb this morning has thwarted a fresh attack on the capital.
Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has told local media that an anti-terror operation sealed a section of General Delambre Boulevarde in Argenteuil. Residents were evacuated as masked police swarmed the area.
One person ‘with ties to a terror organisation’ has been arrested. 
Another six were arrested overnight in Brussels.
===

FOUR DAYS OF NEGRONIS AND CHEESE

Tim Blair – Friday, March 25, 2016 (3:01pm)

James Morrow reviews the Great Fairfax Strike of 2016: 
The morning after Fairfax journos down tools, I am all at sea. I am suddenly unsure if I’m shampooing my hair correctly or which ten kitchen gadgets I can’t live without. There is a hole in my heart that can only be filled by knowing which reality TV star shut down racism in one epic tweet and which Hollywood celeb’s dress is ‘everything’. I know I should be angry at Tony Abbott and feel ashamed to be Australian but I cannot put my finger on why. 
Read on
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BANDANA BOY BLOWS IT – AGAIN

Tim Blair – Friday, March 25, 2016 (2:41pm)

Peter FitzSimons’s sensational losing streak continues. The ragheaded republican was convinced New Zealand would discard its flag, but New Zealanders thought otherwise
Kiwis have voted to keep the current New Zealand flag. 
“Much closer than the polls predicted,” declares Peter, seeking consolation.
UPDATE. Ray Martin was also certain that a new flag was on the way: “Later this year they’re going to ‘formally, carefully and respectfully’ consider a range of new designs and then choose one which will be put up against the current flag and voted on by every Kiwi in a referendum. No doubts about the result.”
===

MACLOLM

Tim Blair – Friday, March 25, 2016 (2:12pm)

He’s been Prime Minister for six months, but the Age still doesn’t know how to spell his name:

image

That headline has since been repaired
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GARRY SHANDLING

Tim Blair – Friday, March 25, 2016 (12:44pm)

Comedy great Garry Shandling has died at just 66:

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DEATHS DELETED

Tim Blair – Friday, March 25, 2016 (12:25am)

The ABC erases 3000 murders:

image

Further from Andrew Bolt on the left’s desperation to minimise Islamic terror, and Douglas Murray on the left’s standard terrorism response.
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Trump on Israel. More to hope for than the West’s surrender

Andrew Bolt March 25 2016 (11:57am)

I don’t trust Donald Trump. But I can’t deny his speech on Israel gives me more heart than anything said on the subject by Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton:
UPDATE
I don’t trust Trump. But I can’t deny that he (and Ted Cruz) give me more hope of an end to the suicidal weakness of the West, more inclined to weep sentimentally over a terrorist attack than to seriously prevent the next.
Brendan O’Neill describes just how weak that West now is:
Here’s a sobering fact for you: yesterday in Brussels, Isis sympathisers killed five times as many civilians in one hour as British airstrikes have killed or injured Isis fighters in Syria since December. At the last count, in late February, British airstrikes over Syria had killed or hurt just seven Isis fighters in three months. Seven. Not even 10; seven. In Brussels, a small gang of Isis fanboys killed 35 civilians…
[T]here’s no doubting the chasm that now exists between our leaders’ rhetoric about Isis and the action they’re willing to take against it. They describe Isis as a colossal, existential threat to Western values, yet they send no men, no ground troops, to wage war against it. Just the occasional manned flight or some flying robots…
This is the defining feature of the Isis era: the West has the military might to fight Isis, but not the moral conviction. It has the machinery, the men, but it lacks the thing every warrior needs: a deep belief in what he’s fighting for, in this case the idea that our enlightenment values, our free, open societies, are superior to their backward way of life. We in the West agree that we hate Isis, but we don’t agree that the Western way of life is something worth defending, or even something we should be especially favourable about anymore… Laws and codes against Islamophobia represent the institutionalisation of relativism, the suppression of loud and proud defences of the virtues of Western life and thought.
For instance, note the mockery of the Twitter Left and completely over-the-top authoritarian intervention of the British police:
A man who posted a Twitter message about confronting a Muslim woman over the Brussels terror attacks has been arrested by police.
Matthew Doyle is being questioned on suspicion of inciting racial hatred after the purported encounter in Croydon, south London.

A message posted on his Twitter page on Wednesday morning said: “I confronted a Muslim woman yesterday in Croydon. I asked her to explain Brussels. She said ‘Nothing to do with me’. A mealy mouthed reply.”
The tweet went viral and was widely mocked on Twitter, with many users choosing to parody it.
UPDATE
Paul Zanetti asks the urgent question on Twitter:
image
UPDATE

But this is so low rent from Trump. Not at all presidential:
Ted Cruz has branded Donald Trump a “snivelling coward” as the feud between the Republican presidential contenders over their wives took a nastier turn.
After an earlier and vague threat to “spill the beans” about Heidi Cruz, Trump stoked the spat on Twitter when he retweeted side-by-side images of Cruz’s wife, with an unflattering grimace, and his wife, Melania, in a glamorous pose…
The row with Mr Trump was set off this week when a group that opposes him released an ad before the Utah presidential contest raising questions about the propriety of Melania Trump becoming first lady. The ad showed a provocative, decade-old magazine photo of her when she was a model and before she married Mr Trump.
Mr Trump wrongly attributed the ad to the Cruz campaign and warned on Twitter: “Be careful, Lyin’ Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!”
image
(Thanks to readers Rod, WaG311 and Roger.)  
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Now Malcolm Turnbull snaps at Tony Jones

Andrew Bolt March 25 2016 (10:54am)

Not one week into his 15-week campaign and Malcolm Turnbull is already tripping over his fragile ego.
First he triggers a demeaning brawl with Tony Abbott by querulously claiming credit for what isn’t his, and now he gets shirty with ABC host Tony Jones for not treating him with a jovial respect common to the ABC when it wanted him to knock off Tony Abbott:

When Lateline presenter Tony Jones asked to throw “one final question” at Malcolm Turnbull during Thursday night’s Lateline interview, a clearly unimpressed Prime Minister quipped back.
“One final barb” he said....

Things got off to a tense start when Jones asked the Prime Minister about cabinet secretary Arthur Sinodinos being caught up in accusations that the NSW branch of the Liberal Party deliberately concealed the identify of major donors to the 2011 election campaign.
Five questions in, Turnbull started complaining about the lack of airtime for national security (which had also been allocated five questions), so Jones moved on to another unhappy subject for the Prime Minister – that he accidentally copied a slogan made up for political sitcom Veep specifically because it was so meaningless.
Jones: “Are you going to change your slogan ‘continuity and change’ now that you’ve realised how silly it is?”

Turnbull: “Well, it’s not a slogan and I’m certainly not into slogans… I’ve not used that slogan. I’ve subsequently learned that there was a slogan used in the American sitcom Veep – change with continuity or continuity with change.”
Jones: “Which they chose incidentally because it was the most meaningless election slogan they could think of. Does this reflect on your own choices?”
Turnbull: “Well, it really reflects on your choices that we’ve spent so little time on national security and now we’re talking about an American sitcom”.
The next topic was “the ghosts of governments past” – more specifically named Tony Abbott, and the pair again spent time arguing if the issue was one that should be given extensive airtime.

UPDATE
Former Treasurer Peter Costello on Malcolm Turnbull:

Turnbull began well. He promised to promote Liberal unity and told the party it could win under him....

Turnbull had used the polls as a weapon [to win the leadership]. This is a two-edged sword. It will come back to haunt you if your own polls turn for the worse. At first, Turnbull did better. But ...Turnbull’s satisfaction rating plummeted....
As he plunged in the polls, Turnbull needed to carefully reassure and cultivate the party base. Liberal supporters who work in the branches and hand out the cards on election day will compromise on policy if they think it will lead to government and the chance to implement bigger political objectives. But they do not see it as much of a trade to betray their policy beliefs in a losing cause…
A political leader cannot take his base for granted. He must give voice and confidence to the party… Turnbull promised to promote unity. But it is hard to think of any step he took to implement it. It is hard to think of any time when the party has been so deeply riven.... I have never seen a Liberal leader attack senior colleagues in the way Turnbull did.
Oh, I forgot to add that Costello wrote that in 2009. But never mind. It’s timeless.

(Thanks to reader Brad.) 
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Hatred among the tears: Muslims tear and hide Israeli flags as a memorial for the Brussels dead

Andrew Bolt March 25 2016 (10:32am)

Even two of the Muslim mourners in Brussels are a warning of the hatreds being imported:
This is the shocking moment a woman removes an Israeli flag from a Brussels memorial and rips it up, before hiding the pieces away underneath another flag.
A French-language station captured the footage at the shrine set up at Brussels’ Place de la Bourse.
During the clip, which is just over one minute long, a woman wearing a hijab, a brown coat and a scarf picks up a Palestinian flag from the candle-lit vigil, at Brussels’ Place de la Bourse, and takes it over to an Israeli flag
She bends down to pick up the blue and white Israeli flag and begins ripping it up. She then places the pieces beneath another flag, which looks as though it could be the symbol of Georgia.
The woman then walks off out of shot, with not one of the many onlookers approaching her to question her over her shocking actions.
A man then covers an Israeli flag with a Palestinian one:
This will not end well.

(Thanks to reader John.) 
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Burning the Catholics’ church

Andrew Bolt March 25 2016 (9:40am)

The desire now seems to be to destroy the church - first by burning churches and then by objecting to their rebuilding:
A Bayside church linked to historical clerical abuse and destroyed by an arsonist last year will be rebuilt at an estimated cost of $20 million – almost double the total compensation paid by the Archdiocese of Melbourne to 326 victims of paedophile priests.
The decision to restore St James Church in Gardenvale to its former glory has incensed victims of Father Ronald Pickering, who preyed on more than a dozen boys while he served at the church from 1978 to 1993 before fleeing to Britain…
The project to rebuild the heritage-listed church will include the replacement of the choir loft, organ, stained glass windows and mosaics all destroyed by the deliberately lit fire days before Easter last year.
“It’s disgusting they want to rebuild this place after what happened,” said one of Pickering’s victims, who received an ex gratia payment $50,000 from the Melbourne archdiocese.
Note that The Age chose to publish this on the eve of Good Friday, the most solemn day of the Christian calendar.
Don’t forget the cheers when the church was burned, devastating the parishioners there who have devoted so much time to prayer and good works:
Actress Rachel Griffiths says she and other former parishioners of a Melbourne church which was gutted this morning are relieved the “haunted house on the hill” has been destroyed…
It had been the home of priest Ronald Pickering, who was found to be a pedophile by the Catholic church but was never brought to justice before his death.
Griffiths told 774 ABC Melbourne she went to visit a friend a few doors down from the church when she heard the news this morning.
“I was quite elated, like many of my generation, when I heard the news this morning,” she said.
“It’s always been a difficult building for us to drive past because there’s been so much tragedy and complicated feelings, I guess...”
A question for Griffiths. Should the BBC be burned down for the sins of Jimmy Saville? Should we torch the ABC and the Sydney Opera House for the crimes of Rolf Harris? 
===

Football’s genius dies

Andrew Bolt March 25 2016 (9:19am)

The great Johann Cruyf, the genius who played football with his brain as well as his boots, is dead.
His commentary became oft-quoted classics: “Every disadvantage has its advantage,” “You can’t win without the ball.”
As a coach he had 242 victories in 387 matches, with 75 draws and 70 losses. Cruyff was heavily involved in tactics from the start of his career. Along with Rinus Michels, his coach at Ajax and Barcelona, he helped develop Total Football.
Under the strategy, players pass the ball frequently to seek advantage, and switch positions seamlessly to adjust to the flow of play....
With Cruyff on the field, Ajax won the European Championship for three consecutive years from 1971-1973 before he moved to FC Barcelona midseason in 1973 and led the middle-of-the-table team to its first national title in a decade…
Cruyff’s oracular pronouncements on the game skirted the line between Zen profundity and nonsense.
Criticizing overly defensive play, he once said: “Italians can’t beat you, though you can lose to them.” Other much quoted lines were: “You can’t score if you don’t shoot,” and “Before I make a mistake, I don’t make it.”
A great player, coach, theoretician and teacher:

Though footage from the past often gives a false impression – goals seem haphazard, defending non-existent – Cruyff’s presence is dazzling, even by today’s standards.
He lures defenders into the very traps they thought they’d set for him. He scores where there is no shot to take. Double-teamed one moment, he’s suddenly free the next.
Then there’s the passing. The dribbles. The step-overs. The feints. His own patented “turn” still remains the most effective method of tricking a defender – some 50 years after he invented it as a teenager.
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Drugged society

Andrew Bolt March 25 2016 (9:15am)

A sign of decline. Where is the self-respect? The self-control? The sense of shame? Remember: these are men tasting success, not burying some pain:
A QUARTER of Collingwood’s playing list recorded positive tests to illicit drugs over summer.
The Herald Sun yesterday confirmed that up to 11 Magpies had tested positive to drugs over the off-season, despite two teammates — Josh Thomas and Lachie Keeffe — last year being rubbed out for two seasons after being caught with illicit substances in their systems…
Industry sources say at least two other clubs recorded worse drug-test results than Collingwood, while several other clubs’ results were said to be close to those of the Magpies. 
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Yet another Islamist plot thwarted

Andrew Bolt March 25 2016 (9:12am)

Yet another attempt by Muslim extremists to murder innocent non-Muslims in the West:
THE French Interior Minister has said an arrest in a Paris suburb this morning has thwarted a fresh attack on the capital…
One person ‘with ties to a terror organisation’ has been arrested. Minister Cazeneuve said the arrest was not related to the Brussels attack. Instead it was part of an operation that had lasted ‘several weeks’.
The French Interior Ministry has released a statement saying the suspect arrested in the Argenteuil raid is believed to have been ‘involved at a high level’ of the terror network planning this attack.
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What part of ‘no’ doesn’t this guy undertstand?

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, March 25, 2015 (12:58am)

SENATOR David Leyonhjelm is the latest in a long line of same-sex marriage lobbyists who can’t take no for an answer.

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High-flying time with radio Bairdman

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, March 25, 2015 (12:57am)

THE man with the hopes and dreams of the Liberal Party on his shoulders wears his burden lightly.

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TOP WORK

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 25, 2015 (7:40pm)

CBS reports
BBC has fired Jeremy Clarkson, presenter of popular talk show “Top Gear,” after an internal investigation found that he assaulted a producer over steak and chips. 
This seems premature. No other outlet is confirming the sacking - including CBS’s own video.
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OUR OIL, OUR PLACE

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 25, 2015 (1:19pm)

Welcome to Our OilOur Place, this site’s superior artistic response to a bunch of government-funded crap currently on show in Sydney.
The curator is deeply thankful to the many Australian and international artisans working in various oil mediums who have contributed to this display. Due to the large number of high-quality submissions, a second exhibit will run later this week. 
(Note: no taxpayers were harmed in this production, which makes Our Oil, Our Place unique in the modern history of Australian art.)

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FRIGHTENED BY APPLAUSE

Tim Blair – Wednesday, March 25, 2015 (4:24am)

The tweet of the week, from Britain’s National Union of Students women’s conference:

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(Via A.R.M Jones)
UPDATE. After asking audiences to carry on like minstrels, they then demanded that gay men stop acting like black women
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GARBAGE SCHOOL

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 24, 2015 (4:12pm)

Adelaide’s latest education program
Residents in a group of Parkside housing trust units littered with waste will be taught how to properly use rubbish bins as part of an education program.
KESAB, Unley Council and Housing SA will work with residents of the Rosslyn Court complex to teach them how to correctly dispose of general waste and recyclables. 
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STRONG ARGUMENT

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 24, 2015 (4:09pm)

Did you know that US conservatives support slavery? It’s true, according to New York historian Harold Holzer’srecent ABC interview: 
Keeping slavery, you know, limiting rights of people of colour, voting rights certainly – is more like the right wing of today’s Republican Party. And you see that in the voting patterns because in 1860 the south voted solidly Democratic, the more conservative party and since the 1970s and 80s the south has voted solidly Republican – you know, with the exception of Florida, which is a unique case – but solidly Republican, which is the conservative party. So I think you can make the strong argument that there has been a switch – not in the values: it’s just the party of Lincoln is not the party of Lincoln anymore. 
(Via Andy M.)
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Oily Laming

Andrew Bolt March 25 2015 (2:07pm)

Liberal Andrew Laming, a mighty warrior for Labor and a Malcolm Turnbull tip for a ministry, has been suspended from Parliament for a day for a stupid stunt - pouring oil on his hands, his desk and the floor of the Federation Chamber:

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His own side voted to kick him out. With pleasure, I suspect. 
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Clarkson to be sacked. BBC slips a gear

Andrew Bolt March 25 2015 (9:23am)

Top Gear with no Clarkson? Really?
TOP GEAR PRESENTER Jeremy Clarkson is be sacked tomorrow according to reports tonight. 
Tomorrow’s edition of The Daily Telegraph says Clarkson will be ‘thanked for his work on the popular motoring show, but will be told that such behaviour cannot be tolerated’. Clarkson had been suspended by the corporation for two weeks after allegedly punching a producer… It’s also been alleged that Clakson called Tynon a “lazy Irish c**t” as part of the incident which newspapers claim was about a lack of hot food after filming.
UPDATE
It’s hard to stop laughing at the sheer triviality of much of the list of Clarkson’s sins compiled by the Age. My God, but are Fairfax journalists hair-trigger swift to take offence:
Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear have for years traded on sneering at “political correctness”, tacitly supported by the BBC. However Clarkson’s antics put the station in an increasingly difficult situation in recent years. 
2004 Top Gear damages a tree in Somerset by ramming a truck into it. Then a few months later reportedly causes ecological damage in Scotland with a four-wheel-drive… 
2008 Clarkson drives a truck and makes the comment: “What matters to lorry drivers? Murdering prostitutes?” 
2009 Clarkson calls former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has vision in only one eye, a “one-eyed Scottish idiot"… 
2011 Top Gear offends the Mexican ambassador when all three presenters make offensive comments about his country. James May describes Mexican food as “like sick with cheese on it”. The BBC apologises. 
2012 Clarkson calls Britain “a nation of 62 million complete and utter bastards” after he tweets that his dog has died and people responded unkindly in a “non-stop tirade of abuse”. 
Clarkson insults “short people"… “When you’ve finished using a car, put the f---ing seat back, so humans can use it afterwards.”  
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One of the greatest

Andrew Bolt March 25 2015 (9:19am)

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Great, great game. Great sportsmanship. But how did South Africa drop this one? 
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No, the Gulf Stream isn’t about to stop like the horror movies claimed

Andrew Bolt March 25 2015 (8:42am)

Global warming - propaganda

 Alarming stuff, straight out of a Hollywood script, and reported by the warmist Sydney Morning Herald as indisputable fact:
Gulf Stream water currents in the Atlantic Ocean have slowed to the weakest in as long as 1,000 years, threatening shifts in US and European weather, as well as coastal sea levels including in New York and Boston… 
Researchers have for years raised concerns that shifts in the Gulf Stream may change the climate in Europe. ... Climate models should be updated as they underestimate the effects of the temperature swings and ice melt, Pennsylvania State University’s Michael Mann said in the statement.
But wait! Michael ”Hockey Stick” Mann?
There’s a warning right there.
In fact, other climate scientists can’t see what Mann and co-author Stefan Rahmstorf are describing:
Climate scientist Martin Visbeck of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel sees Rahmstorf’s interpretation of the results critically: ‘The study’s focus on the sub-polar part of the Atlantic and the spectral analysis are interesting,’ he says. But there are other AMOC assessments that point to a completely other development. The paper does not offer any strong indication of the development of the AMOC during the past fifty years.”

[AMOC is the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, the larger circulation system of which the Gulf Stream is a part.]
Meanwhile, Watts Up With That notes that reader Jaime Jessop asked Mann an inconvenient question on his FaceBook page, quoting a study indicating the change in AMOC is due to “natural variability”. Mann first answers, but then deletes. Here is the screen shot:
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Anthony Watts isn’t impressed:
As WUWT reported on a peer reviewed paper last year, H. Thomas Rossby says: URI oceanographer refutes claims that climate change is slowing pace of Gulf Stream saying in a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters: 
“The ADCP measures currents at very high accuracy, and so through the repeat measurements we take year after year, we have a very powerful tool by which to monitor the strength of the current,” said Rossby. “There are variations of the current over time that are natural — and yes, we need to understand these better — but we find absolutely no evidence that suggests that the Gulf Stream is slowing down.”
Of course, Rahmstorf and Mann don’t list Rossby’s study in their references, nor seem to use the “highly accurate” ADCP data. Instead they use a model along with [proxies, reconstructions, and] the highly interpolated GISS data to come to the conclusions they want. So, it isn’t surprising they are chasing phantoms in their study. They claim (in Figure 1 from their paper) that this cold spot south of Greenland is caused by meltwater from Greenland and it is evidence of a slowed circulation…
And then there’s this other problem; Greenland’s ice mass seems to be on the increase so far this year and above the 1990-2011 mean:

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Just in case you still trust what the Sydney Morning Herald writes on global warming. 
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ABC gives a pass to NSW Labor’s lies

Andrew Bolt March 25 2015 (7:59am)

The lies told about privatisation by NSW Labor leader Luke Foley and the unions in the NSW election are so brazen that even senior Labor figures have damned them.
LABOR veteran Martin Ferguson ... [called] on the ALP to rethink its “economically irresponsible and extremely damaging” position on the sale of the state’s electricity poles and wires… 
“The Foley campaign has been tarnished by rank opportunism and blatant scaremongering...”
And:
FORMER Labor treasurer and union supremo Michael Costa has launched a blistering attack on his ex-comrades, accusing them of running a campaign of “desperate lies” and costing the taxpayer billions.
So with lies so obvious, so damaging and so central to the election campaign you would think this is a job for the ABC’s FactCheck unit.
But, no. The only interest that FactCheck - set up with funds from the Gillard Government - has shown in the NSW campaign has been in trying to prove NSW Premier Mike Baird wrong about something or other invoivlng public transport.
Too transparent.
(Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill and WaG311.) 
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Bishop vs Plibersek, and the fatal question for Labor: but what would YOU do?

Andrew Bolt March 25 2015 (7:48am)

Labor keeps stumbling over the bottom-line question when it attacks spending cuts: what would Labor then do to fix the Budget.
But few Labor MPs have tripped themselves up so badly as Tanya Plibersek did yesterday, with very elegant help from Julie Bishop:
WANNABE foreign minister Tanya Plibersek would have tried to hit taxpayers with an $18 billion bill to fund struggling nations under a proposed Labor foreign aid policy. 
Treasury modelling reveals Labor planned to spend $44.2 billion in aid between 2013-14 and 2018-19 compared with the government’s $25.1 billion. The figures emerged as Australia pays $1 billion a month to service debt.
Ms Plibersek slammed the Abbott government’s $11 billion cut to foreign aid… 
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop attacked Ms Plibersek, ­declaring aid had to be cut to cover for debt left by the previous government… Ms Plibersek, who has previously referred to the continent of Africa as a country, said Australia’s foreign aid policy was losing credibility.
That doesn’t quite capture the Bishop smackdown:
Ms PLIBERSEK (Sydney—Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:10): My question is to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Has the minister been given a guarantee that there will be no further cuts to her portfolio?… 
Ms JULIE BISHOP (Curtin—Minister for Foreign Affairs) (14:10): ... Yes, the Australian aid budget is under pressure. There is one reason it is under pressure—the Australian Labor Party. While Labor was wasting billions of dollars on $900 cheque giveaways, on pink batts, on an $11 billion blowout in our border protection, was there any concern about the sustainability of the Australian aid budget? When we have to find $1 billion a month just to pay off Labor’s debt—just to pay the interest on Labor’s debt—do we hear any concerns from Labor about our aid budget? Spare me the crocodile tears. Labor is responsible for the pressure that the aid budget is under. If Labor is so concerned about the aid budget, why is Labor not passing the $5 billion in savings that Labor itself identified? If you are concerned about the aid budget, look into the mirror. You are the ones that are putting the aid budget under pressure.
The Deputy Leader of the Opposition maintains that an $11 billion has been cut from the aid budget. I call upon the Deputy Leader of the Opposition: come to the dispatch box and confirm that Labor will put $11 billion back into the aid budget, and then say where you are going to find the savings. Then say what you are going to cut for the budget. Schools? Hospitals? Education? Training? Where are you going to find the $11 billion? 
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Dob in those who dare doubt mass immigration works

Andrew Bolt March 25 2015 (7:32am)

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The first conclusion seems at least arguable on recent evidence, and the second seems to be a belief more prevalent among some immigrant groups indeed struggling to assimilate:
A [Darebin] council survey of more than 300 people found that while 89 per cent of residents supported cultural diversity, 40 per cent said that some groups didn’t fit into society and 13 per cent were opposed to marriage outside one’s racial, cultural or religious group.
So this seems a dramatic and draconian response, and one which - if fairly applied - is more likely to be applied the very immigrant groups the council purports to defend:
INNER-city residents are being urged to dob in racists after an inquiry showed a large minority of people believe some multicultural groups don’t fit into Australian society. 
The City of Darebin is the first municipality to become a “reporting place” for racism in co-operation with local police and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission…
Victims or witnesses of racism are encouraged to report incidents at places including Preston Customer Service, certain police stations, the equal opportunity commission and the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service.
Former Darebin mayor Cr Gaetano Greco was reluctant to dub it a dob-in-a-racist campaign.
I believe in confronting racism, yes, and other forms of rudeness. But dob-in campaigns encouraging anonymous denunciations? With no clear distinction between racist views and simply inconvenient observations?
If immigration demands such punitive policing do we want it?
(Thanks to reader viviencja. If you’re wondering about the illustration, it’s the postbox put up at the Doge’s Palace in Venice for those wishing to secretly denounce. It used to be a symbol of past injustice, not present reality.)  
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Where does our halal money go?

Andrew Bolt March 25 2015 (7:01am)

It is fine if products are made halal-compliant and advertised as such. It is not fine if consumers are forced to donate to a religious group:
A more recent petition [to federal Parliament] with more than 900 signatures wants a “user-pays” system for halal certified products and bans on certifiers from collecting fees. 
It demands “freedom from forced religious donations” and says halal products not labelled as such amount to misleading or deceptive conduct.
But:
Halal Australia, a company that certifies halal food, flatly denies supporting terrorism, in a post on its website. 
“The service fees paid to Halal Australia for halal certification and accreditation are used to maintain the normal costs of running a registered business in Australia.
“Halal certification profits DO NOT go towards supporting any terrorist activities or violent politically motivated religious organisations. 
“Nor do we have anything to do with any organisation or group anywhere in the world that incites violence and are not aligned with our values of freedom, egalitarianism, equality of opportunity, and mutual respect and tolerance.” 
Fine, but its website says virtually nothing about where the fees go and who exactly collects them.
This might be best resolved by the Government setting up its own certification system, with its own employees.
(Thanks to reader WaG311.) 
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Bill Shorten searches for his beliefs

Andrew Bolt March 25 2015 (6:40am)

Janet Albrechtsen on one of the worst interviews given by a mainstream political leader:
When ABC radio host Jon Faine asked him: “What does Bill Shorten actually believe in?” the Labor leader said he believed that “everybody is somebody”. 
Shorten sounded as if he were about to do an impersonation of Dean Martin, except that the 1950s crooner sang that everybody loves somebody sometime. Turns out Shorten coined the phrase from the Gilbert and Sullivan opera The Gondoliers. Even the full quote — “when everyone is somebody, then no one’s anybody” — offers no insight into what Shorten believes in.
Shorten was a union leader, then a Labor MP, then a shadow minister, then a government minister, now he is leader of the ALP. He has had plenty of time to distil a coherent set of values. 
Sadly, Shorten’s interview with Faine echoed the same shallowness he expressed in an interview with Leigh Sales on the ABC’s 7.30 program last year. The transcript reads as if there are bits missing as Shorten tries to convince us he can fix the budget with “inclusive growth”. It’s the kind of sweet expression of nothingness, along with “social justice” and “community values”, favoured by the intellectually lazy, dense or tricky.
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97 per cent of climate scientists look shifty

Andrew Bolt March 25 2015 (6:27am)

Richard Tol, a former leader author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says the famous paper claiming that 97 per cent of scientists back global warming tells us only that the climate community is red hot:
Now almost two years old, John Cook’s 97 per cent consensus paper on anthropogenic global warming has been a runaway success. Downloaded more than 300,000 times, voted the best 2013 paper in Environmental Research Letters, frequently cited by peers and politicians from around the world, the paper seems to be the definitive proof that the science of climate change is settled. It isn’t…

Cook and colleagues argue 97 per cent of the relevant academic literature endorses that humans have contributed to observed climate change. This is unremarkable.... In popular discourse, however, Cook’s finding is often misrepresented. The 97 per cent refers to the number of papers, rather than the number of scientists. The alleged consensus is about any human role in climate change, rather than a dominant role, and it is about ­climate change rather than the dangers it might pose. 

Although there are large areas of substantive agreement, climate science is far from settled. Witness the dozens of alternative explanations of the 18-year pause in warming of the surface atmosphere. The debate on the seriousness of ­climate change or what to do about it ranges even more widely.
The Cook paper is remarkable for its quality, though. Cook and colleagues studied 12,000 papers, but did not check whether their sample is representative for the scientific literature. It isn’t. Their conclusions are about the papers they happened to look at, rather than about the literature. Attempts to replicate their sample failed: a number of papers that should have been analysed were not, for no apparent reason.
The sample was padded with irrelevant papers. An article about TV coverage on global warming was taken as evidence for global warming. In fact, about three-quarters of the papers counted as endorsements had nothing to say about the subject matter…

Cook’s hand-picked raters disagreed on what a paper was about 33 per cent of the time. In 63 per cent of cases, they disagreed about the message of a paper with the authors of that paper… Cook’s employer argued that releasing rater identities would violate a confidentiality agreement. That agreement does not exist… Time stamps reveal that ... one of Cook’s raters inspected 675 abstracts within 72 hours, a superhuman ­effort…
Cook’s team may, perhaps unwittingly, have worked towards a given conclusion… The entire study should therefore be dismissed.
This would have been an amusing how-not-to tale for our students. But Cook’s is one of the most influential papers of recent years. The paper was vigorously defended by the University of Queensland (Cook’s employer) and the editors of Environmental Research Letters, with the Institute of Physics (the publisher) looking on in silence. Incompetence was compounded by cover-up and complacency…
If you want to believe climate researchers are incompetent, biased and secretive, Cook’s paper is an excellent case in point.
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WORKERS HAPPY, MARCHERS FURIOUS

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 (1:40pm)

Adorably-named (and impressively-qualifiedMedia Watch junior thought-crime detective Flint Duxfield joins theWork on Wednesday movement: 
I do plan to Work on Wednesday. I may even ask more questions as part of that work....gasp. 
That’s the spirit, champ!

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WHAT DOES PAUL BARRY MEAN?

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 (12:37pm)

Readers fluent in absolute rubbish are invited to provide a translation:

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THE OLD WAYS WERE OFTEN THE BEST

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 (4:23am)

H. L. Mencken explains the ancient punishment of outlawry, last applied in England 155 years ago: 
Certainly it is simple enough in its workings. A man who deliberately chooses the career of an outlaw is made one officially. From that moment he has no rights whatever. Any citizen may beat him, wound him and even kill him without challenge. It is a misdemeanor knowingly to conceal him, or even to feed him. He is thrown into the exact position of the victim he assaults and robs, and is paid off in his own coin. 
(First published in the Baltimore Evening Sun, January 28, 1924.)
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JOHN PILGER vs GENEVIEVE JACOBS

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 (4:04am)

Lefty warfare between John Pilger and ABC radio host Genevieve Jacobs: 
No audio has yet been posted – nor seems likely to be – on the ABC 666 website of the fiery interview with crusading journalist John Pilger on March 6, an unhappy encounter morning host Genevieve Jacobs tactfully describes as a “train wreck”. 
According to Jacobs: 
“From almost the start of the interview, Mr Pilger spoke over the top of me constantly, was patronising, arrogant and dismissive – for no apparent reason I could discern, other than I had actual questions to ask him …
“The listeners were horrified – there was a deluge of texts from people who said how spectacular it was to watch him shooting himself in both feet at the same time, completely and wilfully misunderstanding the point of the interview.
“One listener rang in tears, another sent me flowers from her own garden the next day.” 
Reader Marcus V. happened to catch this audio battle and sends a review: 
Anyone who actually heard the interview will know Ms Jacobs’ account to the CityNews is an incomplete version at best. Ms Jacobs thinks she was steamrolled by a nasty man who didn’t want to play nice.  And, according to Ms Jacobs, her listeners were also so upset with Pilger that they shared tears and homegrown flowers with her! Good grief!
Fact of the matter is, she was ill-prepared for the interview, and Pilger does not suffer fools gladly.
In the interests of transparency, all Ms Jacobs has to do is simply post the audio to her website, and let people judge for themselves. It would be standard procedure to do that, unless you don’t want the world to hear what a trainwreck it was. And it was paid for by the taxpayer, after all. 
It might be the best thing ABC radio has run all year. Let it be heard!
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DESTROY THE CORRUPT GAIA COALITION

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 (3:20am)

The intriguing plot of sci-fi anime movie Space Pirate Captain Harlock
2977: For many years a mighty battle has been raging across the galaxies as 500 billion humans, whose forebears were exiled from Earth, plan to return to what is still called home. Forced to flee a ravaged Earth, humans have now depleted the corners of the galaxy to which they fled. Earth has now become the most valued and precious resource of all, controlled by the corrupt Gaia Coalition which governs the human race across the different galaxies. Having been exiled and vilified during the battle of the Homecoming War, Captain Harlock and his trusted crew of the Arcadia battle cruiser are the only hope mankind has of discovering the secrets that the Gaia have kept hidden. 
Nearly 1000 years on, and the Gaia are still keeping secrets. Good luck to you, space pirate man.
(Via Waxing Gibberish)
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THE SILENCE OF THE CIVIL WAR

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 (3:17am)

US warmist/journalist David Appell, during a fantastic meltdown post (now deleted): 
Maybe I’m just living in the wrong time. When I was a kid growing up in southwestern Pennsylvania, I went on several trips to Gettysburg. In a way I can’t explain, I’ve often thought I was meant to live in that time, in the mid-1800s, and I still think that. It was simplier. It was quiet. 
Mark Steyn replies: 
I don’t think Gettysburg was that quiet in the mid-1800s. 
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MIGHTY FALLEN

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 (1:17am)

Before March in March there was Occupy. Basically the same deal except slightly less mobile. And they’re back in Sydney, according to reader pinot, who says they “appear to be gearing down for Work on Wednesday. Yesterday’s effort was for the birds. Health concerns anyone?”

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ABC urges sympathy for boat people who just let four others drown

Andrew Bolt March 25 2014 (10:51am)

Boat people policy

A strange inconsistency in the ABC’s latest attempt to breathe life into allegations our sailors tortured boat people:
7.30 last night:
GEORGE ROBERTS: The restriction on passengers going to the toilet infuriated some of the asylum seekers. When a female passenger was prevented from going, four men stormed the engine room to try to force their way to the toilet. 
YOUSIF FASHER: When she start crying, the young people, they say, “No, we have to go by force to the toilet."… GEORGE ROBERTS: Yousif Fasher says he witnessed the deliberate burning of three men.
Let’s compare this to the story told to The Australian’s Peter Alford in February:
Yousif Fasher … insist(s) three asylum-seekers on the January 6 boat were “tortured” in that way… 
Faisal [Hussein] said the sailors had refused to allow the 45 passengers to use the lavatory any more than once a day “so people used force to try to get to the toilet"… He thinks, but cannot say for sure as he was not at the scene, that that was when four or people, including a women [sic], were burned. Yousif says the woman was his wife, Mariam Ahmed, and he agrees she was not deliberately burned, but fell against hot machinery when pushed by a sailor as the boat rocked.
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill:
It appears Mariam was in the engine room at the time of the alleged deliberate burning of hands in the account Yousif gave Alford. However, she appears absent from the scene in the account he gave Roberts. Although both Yousif and Mariam were interviewed for 7.30’s story last night, there was no reference to her alleged accidental burns at all.
Reader Sigmund has questions for the ABC:
‘Forcing these people to sit in the sun for hours’? They’d already been in the sun for days, if not weeks before our Navy got to them. Did they expect sun-shades to be erected, or sun-tan lotion? How silly is that? 
‘One chap attacked a Navy officer, was pushed back, fell and burnt his hand.’ Bad luck! ‘Three more were tortured in this way.’ They were filming all this, but no one thought to turn the sound on? No sound of any abuse, of torture? 
I was more struck by the ABC asking us to feel sympathy for - or give credibility to - boat people who said they didn’t turn back their boat to save four passengers who fell off:
GEORGE ROBERTS: By morning on 1st January, The Riski was entering Australian waters north of Darwin. It was then the weather deteriorated according to the passengers. Sudanese man Yousif Fasher was onboard with his wife, Mariam Ahmed. 
YOUSIF FASHER, ASYLUM SEEKER: So big wave is like two, three metres come, then it hit the boat and then both boat is been shaking. That time, there is four people, they are sitting and Abdullah, he was sitting up at that time too. Four people fall down on the water and we don’t have a jacket, life jacket.
GEORGE ROBERTS: Emad Abood says his brother was one of four men who fell into the ocean and disappeared.
EMAD ABOOD (subtitle translation): ... I was not aware at that time, until the morning when the sun came up that my brother was one of those people who were lost.
GEORGE ROBERTS: Another Somali, Saed Yislam, says his brother also went overboard.
SAED YISLAM, ASYLUM SEEKER (subtitle translation): We were sleeping together on the deck. I screamed and screamed. The man did not stop the boat.
GEORGE ROBERTS: Yousif Fasher used a satellite phone he was carrying to call the international emergency number, 112. 
YOUSIF FASHER: We call them, they answer us, we told them our problem, we told them we have a four people fell down already on a water. We don’t have life jacket. He said where are we exactly? “We need your position.” We give them the position. He said, “OK. Try to keep be strong until someone will come to you.” So we are continue.
What? The 45 passengers did not insist the two or three Indonesians sailors turn the boat around to save the four allegedly swept overboard? Really? Remember: these are the same boat people who said they’d later grappled with Australian sailors trying to turn their boat back to Indonesia.
So not surprising, then, to also hear this:
SARAH FERGUSON: .... This evening, Australian Customs and Border Protection provided a further statement on the claims that four passengers were lost overboard. They say the weather conditions at the time were benign and that they interviewed people onboard the boat, including the master, who indicated no-one had fallen overboard. They said they conducted an extensive air and sea search and did not locate anyone from the vessel.
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Thomson to serve just three months

Andrew Bolt March 25 2014 (10:34am)

Craig Thomson is jailed for just 12 months, nine months suspended. So he’ll be out in just three months. Imagine if he’d actually done something serious.
The former HSU national secretary had faced up to five years imprisonment after he was convicted of more than 60 theft and dishonesty offences… 
Mr Rozencwajg last month found Thomson guilty on charges of obtaining financial advantage by deception and theft, ruling he had used HSU credit cards to pay prostitutes more than $5500, withdraw more than $6000 in cash and pay for his wife’s travel expenses. He also found he had spent $1981 of union money after taking his seat in parliament. Thomson has agreed to pay $24,538.42 in compensation to the HSU, representing the total sum illegally taken...
UPDATE
March 2014: 
A THIEF who stole a bag containing $450 of church money at the Wodonga post office was labelled a “hopeless” crook yesterday. 
Wodonga magistrate John O’Callaghan was sentencing Dylan Crichton, 23, to 12 months’ jail, with a minimum non-parole period of six months.
November 2013:
An 84-year-old widower has spoken of the heartbreak inflicted by his grandson, who stole the couples’ beloved $140,000 jewellery collection and sold it to feed his craving for drugs and alcohol… Mr Lauritsen said Walker was entitled to a significant discount for his previous good character and that his guilty pleas were evidence of remorse… Mr Lauritsen jailed Walker for 18 months and ordered that he serve a minimum of six-months.
October 2013:
A man who used stolen credit cards to buy fast food during a month long crime spree across the [ACT] has been jailed for more than six yearsJoel William Heard, 29, appeared for sentence in the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday having pleaded guilty to burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, and riding in a stolen car.
October 2013: 
A 45-year-old Blayney woman with a gambling problem was sentenced to four years in prison in Bathurst Local Court after pleading guilty to more than 50 fraud charges… 
Magistrate Roger Prowse ... said the accused claimed she had a gambling addiction concerning poker machines and he believed that is where the money, more than $30,000 of it, went. 
August 2013:
A man who was denied police aid after bikies threatened to kill his family unless he gave them $14,000 has won a reduced jail term for robberies he committed to meet the demand… 
Last week, he won an appeal that sliced a year off his five-year jail term after the judges agreed his police co-operation and the danger it brought him had not been given enough weight.
June 2013:
An accountant who stole almost $1 million from his employer over three years and spent it on gambling and booze has been jailed for five yearsAdi Narayan, 51, of Forde, pleaded guilty in the ACT Supreme Court to five charges relating to 106 different occasions he illegally siphoned money into accounts controlled by him or his friends.
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Koo Wee Rup too “shabby” for a Human Rights Commissioner wanting a taxpayer-subsidised party

Andrew Bolt March 25 2014 (10:27am)

The Australian Human Rights Commission says it wants to stop ”discrimination, harassment and bullying based on a person’s ... social origin ...”
But note its defence of blowing $60,000 on a party last December, some of the cash coming from taxpayers’ money meant to help the poor:
The “not to be missed” awards night at the Museum of Contemporary Art was dominated by problems such as poverty, homelessness and disadvantage… 
The function made an $1800 loss, despite $10,000 in sponsorship from the Department of Social Services and $25,000 from other sponsors… Commission president Gillian Triggs said ... “I really do take umbrage at the idea that somehow because you’re a human rights body you’ve got to do things in some sort of shabby way… We don’t want to be in a village hall in Koo Wee Rup just because we haven’t got a lot of money.”
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We should ask the shabby people of shabby Koo Wee Rup whether the Human Rights Commission is too full of its own importance and too empty of concern for the shabby people whose taxes it is spending:
UPDATE
Reader Lisle:
Words fail me! Did Ms Triggs select Koo Wee Rup because of its cute name without doing any research? Does Ms Triggs realize that it is an important food and dairy area of Victoria? Does Ma Triggs realize it is an area where a large number of Italian immigrants settled? I am sure the good folk of Koo Wee Rup would have welcomed Ms Triggs to their town. No doubt the CWA would have assisted with catering, and I caN assure Ms Triggs that from my experience, country folk know how to turn on a great do.Ms Triggs has done her position great harm with these throw away lines
Reader Lin:
We accidentally spent a night in Koo Wee Rup when we got lost in Victoria - had never heard of it before but will never forget as the hospitality and assistance we received was wonderful, including a spectacular breakfast at a local bakery. Not shabby at all and that is a shameful comment which Triggs should be made to apologise for. Then again it served well to expose where the interests of these people really lie.
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Barry out of control. Will the ABC protect its brand?

Andrew Bolt March 25 2014 (9:50am)

Media

If Paul Barry were just a private citizen or, say, Guardian journalist he would be entitled to attack Murdoch newspapers every day.
But he is a host of the taxpayer-funded ABC, which is obliged by its charter to be balanced:
ABC Media Watch host Paul Barry’s obsession with News Corp Australia publications, including The Australian, demonstrates he is unfit to host a program that is supposed to provide an impartial analysis of the media. Mr Barry has a conflict of interest. His unremitting bias against News Corp Australia is barely disguised. His book, Breaking News: Sex, Lies & the Murdoch Succession, is regularly promoted on Twitter. Next month, he is scheduled to appear with well-known News Corp Australia haters David McKnight and Rod Tiffen for an “analysis and discussion” about Rupert Murdoch’s “influence” and “power”. Independent media analyst iSentia reviewed Mr Barry’s Twitter feed for any sign of bias. It found more than half his tweets in the past month — 30 out of 54 — related to News Corp and were frequently hostile. 
Mr Barry is entitled to write and say whatever he likes. But any fair analysis would question how an incessant critic of one media organisation can host a program that is meant to be a watchdog on the media. Media Watch proclaims itself to be “Australia’s leading forum for media analysis and content”. But every program this year has attacked News Corp Australia mastheads while providing scant scrutiny of other media organisations such as Fairfax. Yet News Corp Australia publishes only one-third of Australian newspaper titles. It does not own a television network or a radio station.
We do not pay public money for an ABC host to pursue private ideological jihads, and especially not ones that may benefit them personally:


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MEDIA Watch host Paul Barry’s possible breach of the ABC’s conflict of interest policy by his anti-News Corporation book may be raised at the next ABC board meeting on April 3.
While acting as an independent arbiter of the media in his role as Media Watch host, Barry continues to promote Breaking News: Sex, Lies and the Murdoch Succession, in which he attacks the character of Rupert Murdoch.
Barry has criticised News Corp Australia publications in 11 out of 19 segments since he took the reins at Media Watch on February 3, and, an independent analysis found almost two-thirds of his tweets, from his official account, were about News Corp.
The ABC’s conflict of interest requirements, derived from section 1 of the ABC Editorial Policies on Independence, Integrity and Responsibility, state that external activities of individuals undertaking work for the ABC must not undermine the independence and integrity of the ABC’s editorial content. It also contains a standard that states editorial decisions should not be improperly influenced by political, sectional, commercial or personal interests…
On the evening of April 3, Barry, in his dual roles as ABC’s Media Watch presenter and author of Sex, Lies and The Murdoch Succession, will join a discussion panel on the topic, “The Murdoch Press and its Influence on Australian, British and American Politics” at the Harold Park Hotel in Glebe, Sydney…
While he is not being paid for these speeches, Barry is on the books of a speaking agency and charges up to $5000… 
The Australian understands it will be surprising if the issue is not raised at the next ABC board meeting on April 3.
But ABC managing director Mark Scott himself seems to breach ABC editorial policies in his desire to attack Murdoch publications or columnists, promoting a commercial product which attacks them.
Chairman James Spigelman needs to stop the damage:
A Barry or a Scott or a Jonathan “Pinata” Green may protest they are only returning fire against Murdoch papers and columnists who attack the ABC over its bias. But while this argument may appeal to the partisan, this anti-Murdoch onslaught actually exposes the ABC’s great failing. 
It is one thing for privately-owned papers which are avowedly conservative or Right-of-centre to criticise the taxpayer-funded ABC for a bias that is against its charter. But for the publicly-owned ABC to respond in kind, with such hostility and vehemence, simply confirms that bias. It signals that the ABC is indeed as much to the Left as the Australian is to the “Right”. Is Spigelman comfortable with that positioning? After all, it doesn’t just invite more criticism from Murdoch writers; it justifies it. 
UPDATE
Paul Barry’s Media Watch last night brings the total to 12 out of 22 items attacking Murdoch papers and clearly demonstrates his bias, now of the most cartoonish kind.
Barry tries to dismiss the glaring failure of the ABC to even mention, let alone criticise, the highly abusive and even threatening signs at the March-in-March anti-Abbott rallies, and instead attacks Murdoch papers which denounced them. He also dismisses the obvious hypocrisy in the ABC ignoring even a “killAbbott” sign after making such an enormous fuss over a “ditch the witch” sign at an anti-Gillard protest.
Note some of the tricks Barry uses:
- to make the contrast less glaring, Barry fails to even mention the worst example of hate-speech at the March in March, of Newcastle union boss Gary Kennedy even saying Qantas boss Alan Joyce should be ”shot somewhere in the back of the head”. Newcastle police thought that so disgusting that they interviewed Kennedy. The ABC thought it so boring they did not mention that, and nor did Barry despite reading of it in a column of mine he attacks.
- Barry says the difference between the anti-Gillard signs and the even worse anti-Abbott ones was ”because Tony Abbott delivered his speech to that rally standing in front of two now notorious signs”.  They could not be overlooked. But Barry is being mischievous. Abbott was clearly ambushed by signs he did not see, did not endorse and later dissociated himself from. The ABC, though, used the signs not just to discredit him but the protesters in a way it did not do to the anti-Abbott protesters.
- Barry says “another big difference is that Mr Abbott and other senior opposition politicians were supporting the protesters”, suggesting Labor (and the Greens) did not support the anti-Abbott March in March protests.  This is false. March in March rallies were attended and promoted by politicians including Labor’s Sue Lines and Louise Pratt and the Greens’ Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters.
- Barry claims the ABC may just have been exercising good taste - ignoring the “lunatic fringe” - by publishing 43 of the anti-Abbott signs it liked while excluding any that might discredit the rallies.  Yeah, right. The ABC has good taste. It does not publicise the lunatic fringe. Spare me.
- Barry ignores the even more indefensible hypocrisy of the Fairfax media attacking the “ditch the witch” signs at an anti-Gillard rally while some Fairfax columnists  cheered “kill the politicians” signs at the anti-Abbott rallies and sell their own “F… Abbott” shirts.
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No to bigots, but yes to free speech - and our right to denounce them

Andrew Bolt March 25 2014 (9:41am)

I would put this a bit differently:
THE Attorney-General, George Brandis, yesterday robustly defended the right of Australians “to be bigots”, prompting cries from Labor that he has given racism the green-light…
Senator Brandis defended the Coalition’s plan to change the Racial Discrimination Act, even if it led to bigotry. “People do have a right to be bigots, you know,” Senator Brandis told the parliament. 
In a free country, people do have rights to say things that other people find insulting or offensive or bigoted.”
Labor’s reaction is just a mix of gotcha opportunism and puritanical authoritarianism. If we were going to lock up every bigot the jails would be full of March in March protesters.
Here’s how I’d put it: yes, indeed, we have the right to say what others might claim is bigotry.  But we also have the right to denounce what we find is bigotry, and even a duty. You can be a bigot, but I can call you one. In fact, I will.
No to racism, yes to free speech. 
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We are individuals, not representatives of some “race”

Andrew Bolt March 25 2014 (9:13am)

Former Labor Minister Gary Johns on the insanity of the new retribalisation of Australia:
INDIGENOUS leader Mick Dodson reckons that if the Australian Constitution is to have any relevance to Aborigines, it has to “affirm our basic identity as human beings”. So, Aborigines are not human beings unless they are recognised in the Constitution. No one else is mentioned in the Constitution, so presumably all Australians are not human beings. Such is the mind-numbing nonsense of Aboriginal recognition.
Dividing us on the spurious grounds or “race” leads to individuals being treated as anything but:
Unfortunately, recognition has been used to seek advantage over others and to ­excuse behaviour tolerated in no other citizens… 
The Family Law Act 1975 states that, in parenting orders, a child has a right to enjoy his or her Aboriginal culture. Should a child of Aboriginal descent spend more time with the Aboriginal father or the sibling, the child of a non-­Aboriginal mother?
This dilemma faced a Family Court judge in Sydney in 2012. The Aboriginal father lived in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. He wanted weight given to his heritage. The mother’s heritage was not considered.
The court ­effected a practical solution. It decided that the child should live with the mother, to “bond with the new sibling”, and visit the father on the weekends, for “culture”.
At present, courts are able to take such matters into account. Should the Constitution include Aboriginal culture, the rights of others may be curtailed.
Why are we doing this to ourselves, forcing people to become mere “racial” constructs?
In the Supreme Court in Victoria in 2012, a sister of a deceased ­Aboriginal woman applied to take her sister’s body to be buried at Lake Tyers. The Dandenong & District Aborigines Co-Op advised that it would be culturally appropriate to return the body of the deceased for burial on traditional country at Lake Tyers Reserve. 
The trouble was that the woman did not wish to be buried among her own. She wished to be cremated at Lake Tyers near her foster parents at Bunurong Cemetery. She considered her foster parents her real parents.
The Coroner’s Act ensures that different cultures should, where appropriate, be respected.
The case was determined on the basis of the hierarchy of claim, which was in favour of the de facto husband. But the lesser claims of the Aboriginal community were heard. 
Recognition in the Constitution would lend weight to lesser claims, to which this Aboriginal woman owed ­little allegiance.
The new racism is an insult to our individuality. 
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Labor leads

Andrew Bolt March 25 2014 (9:10am)

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Ahmed is just the man for the BBC

Andrew Bolt March 25 2014 (8:38am)

The most bizarre thing is that people actually think NASA, actually a space agency, is equipped to prophesy the collapse of the “global industrial civilisation” thanks in part to “unequal wealth distribution”:
Nafeez Ahmed, The Guardian, March 15: 
A NEW study sponsored by NASA ... has highlighted the prospect that ­global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution … Motesharrei and his colleagues conclude that ... “collapse is difficult to avoid”.
Ahmed tweets on March 18: 
MY NASA study exclusive has not just gone viral, it’s gone global and is making headlines in national newspapers all over.
NASA statement, March 20: 
MEDIA reports crediting (NASA) with an academic paper … (by) Safa Motesharrei (are erroneous) … NASA does not endorse the paper or its conclusions…
Mathematical ecologist Robert Wilson blogs on March 22: 
NAFEEZ Ahmed appears to have jumped the shark, if such a thing is possible in his case … You would think that Mr Ahmed would have taken a step back when NASA ­publicly ­distanced themselves from the claim they supported the study, but no ... (he) comes out with guns blazing, claiming NASA did fund the study. This is truly bizarre ­behaviour. At this point someone at The Guardian should step in … hand him a dictionary, and require that he takes basic journalism training.
Letter to the editor, Vanity Fair, Nafeez Ahmed, January 21, 2010:
CHRISTOPHER Hitchens reduction of me to “conspiracy-mong­ering” and as having a “one-room sideshow” institute is contrasted by the fact that I’m an academic at the University of Sussex; my book, The War on Freedom, was used by the 9/11 commission; I’ve testified before the US congress.
Hitchens responds, January 21, 2010:
ANY bloody fool can testify anywhere, but nobody has yet been fool enough to accept his argument the ­attacks on New York and Washington were part of a prearrangement involving the US government ... On a re-reading of his “book”, I would change my original article and remove the word “risible”. A more apposite term for both the ­author and his illiterate pages would be “contemptible"…
From Nafeez Ahmed.com:
NAFEEZ ... has appeared on BBC Newsnight, BBC News 24, BBC World Today, BBC World News with ­George Alagiah, BBC Radio Five Live, BBC Asian Network.
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The union’s muscle in our parliament

Andrew Bolt March 25 2014 (8:23am)

Samuel J at the Cat demonstrates how Labor is now simply the political arm of the union movement:
SENATORS – 31 Labor Senators presently in Parliament, 18 of which have held positions in unions 
Catryna Bilyk, ASU
Mark Bishop, SDAEA
Doug Cameron, AMWU
Jacinta Collins, SDAEA
Stephen Conroy, TWU
Don Farrell, SDAEA
Mark Furner, TWU
Alex Gallacher, TWU
John Hogg, SDAEA
Sue Lines, United Voice
Joe Ludwig, AWU
Kate Lundy, CFMEU
Gavin Marshall, ETU
Anne McEwen, ASU
Claire Moore, CPSU
Lisa Singh, AEU
Glenn Sterle, TWU
Anne Urquhart, FPU and AMWU
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES – 55 Labor MPs presently in Parliament, 23 of which have held positions in unions 
Chris Bowen, FSU 
Anna Burke, FSU 
Tony Burke, SDAEA 
Mark Butler, LHMU 
Terri Butler, AWU 
Nick Champion, SDAEA 
Lisa Chesters, United Voice 
Pat Conroy, CFMEU 
Michael Danby, SDAEA 
David Feeney, TWU 
Laurie Ferguson, FMWU 
Alan Griffin, Union organiser 
Chris Hayes, AWU 
Ed Husic, CEPU 
Stephen Jones, CPSU 
Richard Marles, TWU and ACTU 
Brendan O’Connor, ASU 
Graham Perrett, QIEU 
Bernie Ripoll, ETU 
Amanda Rishworth, SDAEA 
Bill Shorten, AWU 
Warren Snowdon, NTTLC 
Matt Thistlethwaite, AWU and Unions NSW
Proportion of federal Labor politicians who were union officials: 48 per cent.
Proportion of Australian workers who are union members: 18 per cent
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This would not be execution but slaughter

Andrew Bolt March 25 2014 (8:21am)

This is frightening:
Egypt’s judges have risked new international outrage after handing down the death penalty to 529 people accused of rioting in a mass two-day trial condemned as violating legal norms. 
The judge, in the central Egyptian city of Minya, brought the case to a close after just two sessions. Lawyers said he refused to allow the defence to complete their cases.
The sentence, if it were carried out, would be the biggest mass execution from a single case in the recent history of Egypt, or anywhere else in the world. 
Legal experts say it is likely to be overturned on appeal, rejected by the Grand Mufti, to whom all death penalties are referred, or commuted by the president - not least because of the international consequences of such an event. 
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Theiss payola for peace

Andrew Bolt March 25 2014 (6:12am)

The AWU scandal

More on the scandal some press gallery journalists assured Julia Gillard was a non-story:
JEFF Kennett wants building giant Thiess to explain publicly why it paid more than $110,000 into a slush fund run by allegedly corrupt union boss Bruce Wilson, after Thiess had won a lucrative contract from a public utility, Melbourne Water. 
Mr Kennett said he was surprised and annoyed at learning from The Australian of the secret deal, brokered while he was Victorian premier in the early 1990s…
Key documentary evidence in a current Victoria Police Fraud Squad investigation shows that Thiess paid more than $110,000 in Melbourne Water-related “consultancy fees” into the slush fund, known as the AWU Workplace Reform Association....
In addition, hundreds of thousands of dollars were paid by Thiess for non-Melbourne Water “services”, with the money going to the same “workplace reform association”.
The AWU established the association with legal advice from Mr Wilson’s then girlfriend, Julia Gillard, a solicitor at Slater & Gordon and legal adviser to the AWU.
Ms Gillard subsequently told her senior colleague, Peter Gordon, in a tape-recorded interview that it was really a “slush fund” to raise money for union elections. The former prime minister and Mr Wilson have strenuously denied any wrongdoing, with Ms Gillard saying she had no knowledge of the fund’s operations.... 
Fraud Squad detectives have been told Thiess achieved industrial peace from the AWU and had few industrial concerns while payments to Mr Wilson’s slush fund were being made.
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Why does the ABC hire so many vulgarians?

Andrew Bolt March 24 2014 (6:06pm)

Culture wars

I’m constantly surprised by the gulf between the self-perception of ABC fans and presenters on one side and the ugly reality on the faraway other.
I mean particularly this kind of thing:
Former Labor speechwriter Don Watson says critics of the ABC’s Leftist biasare simply not as cultured as, well, Leftist Watson himself: 

The so-called “conservatives” who berate the ABC are not conservatives but heretics, radicals, vulgarians ... 
The ABC’s critics are the vulgarians?  Unlike ABC TV, say? 
image 

Last week the ABC broadcast a Photoshopped picture of Chris Kenny, a conservative critic of the ABC, showing him with his trousers around his ankles while copulating with a dog, under the sign that said “Chris ‘Dog F---er’ Kenny"… 

Here, instead, is the ABC’s official excuse for the shot, screened on The Chaser’s The Hamster Decides: “While strong in nature, the segment was… in line with the target audience ...”
Unlike the ABC’s Triple J?
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Unlike ABC 24?:
Unlike the ABC’s New Year’s Eve coverage? 
The three-and-a-half hour telecast leading up to the midnight fireworks was littered with references to penises, vomit and offensive comments about Prime Minister Tony Abbott, numerous other Australian politicians, the Pope and even the Duchess of Cambridge… 
In a segment reviewing events of 2013 references were made about Mr Abbott having “duck feet” and “cocktail frankfurts” as a photo was displayed of the PM wearing budgie smugglers on the beach… 
Unlike the ABC’s science presenter and global warming evangelist Robyn Williams?
What if I told you pedophilia is good for children, or that asbestos is an excellent inhalant for those with asthmatics, or that smoking crack is a normal part and a healthy one of teenage life, to be encouraged? You’d rightly find it outrageous, but there have been similar statements coming out of inexpert mouths, distorting the science. 
Unlike ABC book critic Marieke Hardy?
Tony Abbott, I hope your cock drops off and falls down a plughole. 
Today, another ABC host, Wil Anderson, demonstrates his inner vulgarian with a viciously abusive re-tweet about Paul Howes:
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Last week it was Julian Morrow:
Morrow appeared on KIIS1065’s Kyle and Jackie O’s Sydney breakfast radio program this morning to talk about the many possible theories on the disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. 
The breakfast radio hosts ...were stunned by Morrow reeling off a list of wan gags about those responsible for the missing plane, including Lara Bingle and Tourism Australia’s Where the Bloody Hell Are Ya? Campaign, Oprah Winfrey and Coles.
Sandilands proved to be the smartest guy in the room, chiding Morrow’s lapse in taste and saying he expected a serious discussion about the topic.

“I didn’t have any jokes written down, it’s way too soon,” Sandilands said. “We don’t even know where this plane is.” 
As Morrow ploughed on, Sandilands said “All of these things are terrible.”
“Vulgarian” cannot mean what the dictionary tells me it means.
(Thanks to reader Avi.) 
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When Facebook locked me out of my account and demanded a copy of my government-issued ID
http://daoddball.tumblr.com/post...
“I was calm, at first, when I saw that Facebook had locked me out of my account this week. I figured I would just need to change my password, or answer a security question, and the whole thing would…”
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Widow of Errol Flynn dies in Jamaica
http://daoddball.tumblr.com/post...
“PATRICE Wymore Flynn, a Hollywood actress and cattle rancher who was the widow of Australia’s swashbuckling screen legend Errol Flynn, has died at her seaside home in northeastern Jamaica. She was...
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Craig Thomson joins a small and inglorious list of Australian politicians sent to jail
http://daoddball.tumblr.com/post...
“CRAIG Thomson joins a small and inglorious list of members of an Australian parliament who have been put away for crimes.” One area the ALP have overachieved in
One area the ALP overachieve in - ed
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Not a threat to helicopter the building .. a good suggestion to hold the function
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"As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you."
~ Mere Christianity
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Yum-O! Never lose this recipe - Just click "SHARE" to save this to the "photos" section of your page!

Chocolate Eclair Cake!!!
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 large box (5.1 ounces) vanilla instant pudding
3 cups milk
1 8 oz. container cool whip (you won’t use the whole container) or one batch of homemade whipped cream
chocolate syrup or homemade chocolate sauce

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease a 9″X13″ glass baking pan.
Eclair Crust: In a medium saucepan, melt butter in water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in flour. Mix in one egg at a time, mixing completely before adding another egg. Spread mixture into pan, covering the bottom and sides evenly. *If the sides of your pan are too greased you won’t be able to get the mixture to stay up the sides so make sure to just lightly grease.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown (Mine only took 25 minutes.) You may want to check it occasionally-you don’t want to overcook the crust, it will ruin the cake! Remove from oven and let cool (don’t touch or push bubbles down).
Filling: Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl. In separate bowl make vanilla pudding. Make sure pudding is thick before mixing in with cream cheese. Slowly add pudding to cream cheese, mixing until there are no lumps. Let cool in fridge.When the crust is completely cooled, pour filling in. Top with layer of cool whip however thick you want it and serve with chocolate syrup. *If you want to make this even better use homemade whipped cream.

Recipe: http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2009/06/chocolate-eclair-cake.html

Check out www.pamperedchef.biz/dawnnabours for more recipes and ideas there!

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Tactics watch - the Labor Party is recruiting for "word of mouth" spreaders of spin for its tele-marketing campaign
This email from Sam Dastyari today about Labor's plans to ruin your dinner and favourite TV shows with phone calls about how tough Julia is.

This is going to be a tough election for Labor.

More than ever, the efforts of volunteers, giving up their time to knock on doors and phone their neighbours, will be critical to returning local Labor MPs to Parliament.

Will you help by giving just two hours a week?

If you live in or near Sydney, we encourage you to join us for the launch of Operation Word of Mouth at the new Parramatta HQ this week:

When: 6pm, Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 March 2013
Where: Level 5, Gough Whitlam Plaza, 20-24 Whitlam Plaza, Parramatta

The only way to get Labor's message across is by word-of-mouth, and that's why we need the help of our valued members and supporters at our new phone bank.

Just a few hours of your time can make a real difference in electorates that will come down to the wire.

Whether you live in the country or close to our new headquarters in Parramatta, please let us know if you can help by signing up here.

Sam Dastyari
GENERAL SECRETARY

P.S. Please forward this email to your friends and neighbours who support Labor!

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Did Gillard whisper “misogynist” to her Easter Bunny?

Andrew Bolt March 25 2013 (7:59am)

Julia Gillard after falsely vilifying Tony Abbott as a misogynist:
When I see sexism and misogyny I’m going to call them for what they are,
Hypocrite:

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FOR a woman who can spot a misogynist at 10 paces - “misogynist Tony is back”, she muttered across the parliamentary chamber last week - Julia Gillard is spending a lot of time in the company of Kyle Sandilands. 
The radio DJ who questioned a 14-year-old rape victim on-air about her sexual experiences, and who called a journalist a “fat slag” without enough “titty” to carry off a low-cut blouse, is fast becoming a favourite with the Prime Minister.
On Friday, Sandilands and his 2DayFM offsider Jackie O landed one of only two radio interviews given by Ms Gillard after the Labor caucus had re-endorsed her leadership the day before. 
Yesterday, she fulfilled a promise by inviting him to her official Sydney residence, Kirribilli House, to take part in an Easter egg hunt for a children’s charity, even posing with the DJ, who was dressed as a giant Easter Bunny, for “selfies” pictures that she later posted on Twitter.
Yes, so proud of posing with the “fat slag” hater that she tweeted this picture:

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(Thanks to reader Jason.) 
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Who’s that with the terrorist?

Andrew Bolt March 25 2013 (8:32am)

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Astonishing. Barack Obama holds a joint press conference in Ramallah under a giant banner featuring Yasser Arafat:
Arafat, as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting has noted, “is known to many as the “father of modern terrorism.” Below is a timeline of some of the key events of his life and terrorist acts with which he was associated.” 
CAMERA notes, “In fact, groups under Arafat’s direct or indirect command – including Fatah, Black September, Tanzim and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade – were responsible for hundreds of bombings, hijackings, assassinations and other attacks, including the 1972 murder of 11 of Israel’s Olympic athletes in Munich, the 1973 murder of the American ambassador to Sudan, Cleo Noel, and the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruiseship (resulting in the murder of wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer).”
Obama gets a lesson on the hatreds that make dreams of a peace just ... dreams:
Mr Obama was met with a colder welcome as he arrived in the West Bank this morning after his effusive reception in Israel yesterday. 
Palestinians tried to wave away his helicopter, Marine One, as it landed in Ramallah. Around 150 demonstrators chanted anti-American slogans, saying they wanted weapons not presidential visitsEarly this morning, two rockets fired by militants in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip hit southern Israel.
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Reds under the lecterns

Andrew Bolt March 25 2013 (9:29am)

 It is astonishing that 24 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we still have people demanding Marxism be given another try.
Note how many speakers at the Marxism 2013 conference are warehoused in our universities:
Gary [Foley] lectures in history at Victoria University… 
Antony Loewenstein is ...  a board member of Macquarie University’s Centre for Middle East and North African Studies.
Jeff Sparrow is ... editor of the left wing journal Overland [sponsored by Victoria University].
Rick Kuhn ... is a Reader in Politics at the Australian National University.
Diane Fieldes ... teaches at the University of New South Wales.
Tom Bramble has been a socialist activist since the late 1970s. He is a senior lecturer in industrial relations at the University of Queensland.
Max Lane … is a now a member of the Revolutionary Socialist Party [and is a lecturer at Victoria University].
Roz Ward is a delegate in the National Tertiary Education Union at La Trobe University.
Jane Kenway is a Professorial Fellow with the Australian Research Council, a Professor in the Education Faculty at Monash University and an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences; Australia.
John [Passant] has been a socialist for over 30 years. He has worked in the Australian Tax Office and academia. [He tutors at the Australian National University.] 
Susan Price is the current national co-convenor of the Socialist Alliance… A member of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) for over 13 years, Susan was NTEU Branch President at the University of NSW from 2006-2008 and has been Branch Secretary since 2010
Such people teach our young.

(Thanks to reader Rod.)
UPDATE
At an earlier, spontaneous conference on applied Marxism - one attended not by university lecturers:

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Five feminist reasons to not eat meat - or, rather, to avoid our universities

Andrew Bolt March 25 2013 (2:00pm)

I’ve read Fairfax writer Alecia Simmonds’ article twice to check for the slightest sign - other than the sheer loopiness of the arguments - that it is satire rather than serious. But, alas:
Here are five reasons why feminists should try to eliminate meat: 
1. Eating meat is associated with male power in its most vile and repugnant forms… In rejecting meat, feminists – both women and men – are rejecting a potent symbol of patriarchal power.
2. The ill treatment of animals makes the abuse of women tolerable. Following on from my first point, if men get to eat the meat, then women, alas, are consigned to the less savoury role of being the meat. A woman can be hunted like a “bunny” and pursued like a “vixen” or “fox”. Women exist as prey… When women are likened to animals it means that they exist as objects to be possessed and consumed.
3. Vegetarians, like feminists, care about language. Violence is made possible through euphemistic or derogatory words that distance us from the feelings of the victim. Just as calling a baby cow “veal” makes it more appetising, so too does calling a woman “slut” make it easier to abuse her… Feminists have also spent decades explaining that rape is violence, not sex.
4. Feminists and vegetarians share a common project of ending discrimination based on arbitrary distinctions. We are all, at our base, animals. So why should one animal species be outside the realm of our compassion?… 
5. Feminists and vegetarians believe that the personal is political. Just as we tell male partners that the minutia of who unpacks the dishwasher each night really matters, so too do we need to remind ourselves that what goes into our mouths also matters.
Oh, my goodness.
Prick with a Fork analyses the arguments and uncovers use of a dodgy survey.
Other Simmonds opinions help to explain not just why Fairfax but our entire civilisation may be in decline - and why more than a decade at university can really stuff up your thinking and your prose.
Simmonds shares “a teary, passionate love affair” with the earth - in this case a near barren part of Kimberley coastline selected for a $34 billion development - for which it ”is worth breaking all the rules to defend”.
Simmonds believes choice and capitalism conflict with feminism: “Choice is the language of capitalism and individualism and as such sits uncomfortably with a feminism based on collective rights.”
Simmonds also opposes the right to free speech of people whose opinions she doesn’t like. Not only can they be vilified, they should be jailed: “Imagine if Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt could be thrown in prison and charged money for vomiting venomous racist bile in public. Seriously… I think it’s high time that Jones and Bolt were sent to the clanger, but for their misogyny as much as their racism.”
Simmonds suggests only snobs prefer to learn French or Italian to Walpiri, and are making choices that hurt locals: “I’m all for us being an outward-looking, cosmopolitan society that draws talent from around the globe. But it shouldn’t be at the expense of people here. ... Why is speaking French or Italian any better than speaking Walpiri or Indonesian? Why do we lament not being able to find a good croissant outside of France but say nothing of the difficulties of finding tagine outside of Morocco?” (Simmonds herself does not speak Walpiri.)
So who is this person, so alarmingly keen to vilify and censor, so quick to assert the collective over the individual, and so slow to support the means by which we live lives comfortable enough to give windy lectures to a chop?Simmonds explains: 
Back in the late nineties, when raving meant dancing and sun-dried tomatoes meant culinary sophistication, I joined a group at university called ‘The Activist Left’. It was the obvious choice for someone who had spent their high school years weeping over woodchips. I believed another world was possible but had no faith in parliamentary reform. Revolutionary overthrow sounded infinitely more exciting ... 
I do believe I did detect the blight of a university education at the hands of the kind of people attending the Marxism 2013 conference (see post below). I do believe her writing places her squarely in a place and time - Australian universities teaching second-hand Derrida and deconstruction theory around a decade ago, with Greens rampant. Simmonds is not so much an individual but a cultural artefact, as instantly dated as Derrida himself.
Now Simmonds despairs that the new “spirit-crushingly boring” generation does not share her instantly-outmoded concerns:
All I know for certain is that there is nothing more tragic than a generation without spirit.
Oh, but there is. It’s a generation without brains. 
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MRS RABBIT

Tim Blair – Monday, March 25, 2013 (5:03am)

Julia Gillard rages against claimed misogyny, but look at her new Prime Ministerial photo buddy:

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The apparent doom clown cosying up to the Prime Minister is none other than creepy radio loadKyle Sandilands, a fellow whose delicate feminist sensibilities are widely known.
UPDATE. “Even the world’s dumbest media advisor would have known that being photographed with that clown will only erode any remaining credibility,” comments Milton G. “Why didn’t 2DAY FM warn Sandilands?”
UPDATE II. Caroline Overington
Is that the same Julia Gillard who made headlines around the world with her stand against misogyny?
Why, yes it is.
And the fellow in the fluffy suit, that’s the Easter Bunny, right?
No, actually. That’s 2DayFM’s Kyle Sandilands, dressed up as the Easter Bunny.
That’s right, it’s the same Kyle Sandilands who last year found himself in a world of pain after telling a female reporter to “watch your mouth, girl, or I’ll hunt you down”.
Who said of the same young woman: “What a fat bitter thing you are. You’re a piece of s**t.”
Who added: “You little troll ... you should be fired from your job.”
And yes, that’s the same Gillard said of Tony Abbott:
“I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man.”
Who said:
“What I will never stand for is the Leader of the Opposition coming into this place and peddling a double standard.”
Who also said:
“This kind of hypocrisy must not be tolerated!”
Who said:
“Sexism should always be unacceptable.” 
UPDATE III:

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UPDATE IV. 3AW’s Neil Mitchell
The prime minister considers me a lower life form than that appalling piece of work, Kyle Sandilands.
Now, while I am banned by the prime minister for being sexist, grubby Kyle Sandilands is her best mate.
She is massively hypocritical. But what else is new? 
UPDATE V. Ten’s stupid Stephen Spencer finds an excuse for Gillard: 
2Day organised it. Gillard didn’t choose Kyle, 2DAY chose Kiribilli. 
Because that’s the way government works in Australia. Radio stations hold authority over the Prime Minister’s residence.
UPDATE VI. Feminist Clementine Ford last week attacked Sandilands and other male media identities who “have only been rewarded for their brutishness”: 
Kyle Sandilands, whose glass jaw led him to launch a tirade against another female journalist after she reported the negative audience response to a TV show he was involved in. In his tirade, Sandilands called her a ‘fat slag’ who needed ‘more titty’ to fill the clothes she was wearing. Then there was that stunt involving the interrogation of a 14-year-old girl, which had Sandilands responding to her disclosure of rape with the line, “And is that the only experience you’ve ever had.” Sandilands, or ‘Vile Kyle’ as he has been christened by members of the public, remains employed by the Austereo network. 
And he remains a pal of the Prime Minister.
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Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire
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“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 6:23
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning


"He was heard in that he feared."
Hebrews 5:7

Did this fear arise from the infernal suggestion that he was utterly forsaken. There may be sterner trials than this, but surely it is one of the worst to be utterly forsaken? "See," said Satan, "thou hast a friend nowhere! Thy Father hath shut up the bowels of his compassion against thee. Not an angel in his courts will stretch out his hand to help thee. All heaven is alienated from thee; thou art left alone. See the companions with whom thou hast taken sweet counsel, what are they worth? Son of Mary, see there thy brother James, see there thy loved disciple John, and thy bold apostle Peter, how the cowards sleep when thou art in thy sufferings! Lo! Thou hast no friend left in heaven or earth. All hell is against thee. I have stirred up mine infernal den. I have sent my missives throughout all regions summoning every prince of darkness to set upon thee this night, and we will spare no arrows, we will use all our infernal might to overwhelm thee: and what wilt thou do, thou solitary one?" It may be, this was the temptation; we think it was, because the appearance of an angel unto him strengthening him removed that fear. He was heard in that he feared; he was no more alone, but heaven was with him. It may be that this is the reason of his coming three times to his disciples--as Hart puts it--

"Backwards and forwards thrice he ran,
As if he sought some help from man."
He would see for himself whether it were really true that all men had forsaken him; he found them all asleep; but perhaps he gained some faint comfort from the thought that they were sleeping, not from treachery, but from sorrow, the spirit indeed was willing, but the flesh was weak. At any rate, he was heard in that he feared. Jesus was heard in his deepest woe; my soul, thou shalt be heard also.

Evening

"In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit."
Luke 10:21
The Saviour was "a man of sorrows," but every thoughtful mind has discovered the fact that down deep in his innermost soul he carried an inexhaustible treasury of refined and heavenly joy. Of all the human race, there was never a man who had a deeper, purer, or more abiding peace than our Lord Jesus Christ. "He was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows." His vast benevolence must, from the very nature of things, have afforded him the deepest possible delight, for benevolence is joy. There were a few remarkable seasons when this joy manifested itself. "At that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth." Christ had his songs, though it was night with him; though his face was marred, and his countenance had lost the lustre of earthly happiness, yet sometimes it was lit up with a matchless splendour of unparalleled satisfaction, as he thought upon the recompense of the reward, and in the midst of the congregation sang his praise unto God. In this, the Lord Jesus is a blessed picture of his church on earth. At this hour the church expects to walk in sympathy with her Lord along a thorny road; through much tribulation she is forcing her way to the crown. To bear the cross is her office, and to be scorned and counted an alien by her mother's children is her lot; and yet the church has a deep well of joy, of which none can drink but her own children. There are stores of wine, and oil, and corn, hidden in the midst of our Jerusalem, upon which the saints of God are evermore sustained and nurtured; and sometimes, as in our Saviour's case, we have our seasons of intense delight, for "There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of our God." Exiles though we be, we rejoice in our King; yea, in him we exceedingly rejoice, while in his name we set up our banners.
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Obadiah 

[Ōba dī'ah] - servant or worshiper of jehovah.

Among the Semitic peoples many names, such as the one before us, were common, occurring frequently in the Old Testament. Little or nothing is known about the Obadiahs of the Bible, but the name has also been found on an ancient Hebrew seal.

1. The pious governor of Ahab's palace who hid one hundred of Jehovah's prophets (
3. A man of Issachar of the family of Tola (1 Chron. 7:3).
4. Son of Azel, a descendant of king Saul (1 Chron. 8:38; 9:44).
5. Son of Shemaiah, a Levite of Netophah (1 Chron. 9:16).
6. A Gadite who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chron. 12:9).
7. Father of Ishmaiah, prince of Zebulun in David's time (1 Chron. 27:19).
8. A prince of Judah, sent by Jehoshaphat to teach the people (2 Chron. 17:7).
9. A Levite, one of the overseers of the workmen who repaired the Temple in Josiah's time (2 Chron. 34:12).
10. Son of Jehiel, a descendant of Joab who returned from exile with Ezra (Ezra 8:9).
11. A priest who, on behalf of his father's house, sealed the covenant (Neh. 10:5).
12. A Levite, founder of a family of sanctuary porters (Neh. 12:25).
13. The prophet of Judah who lived over 550 years before Christ (Obad. 1).
The Man Who Prophesied Disaster
This Minor Prophet cannot be identified. His book, the briefest in the Old Testament, gives his name, but there the record ends. Pusey says, "The silence of Scripture as to Obadiah stands in remarkable contrast with the anxiety of man to know something about him." His origin, age, life, country, parents and grave are all unknown. His is the voice of a stranger. He has been identified with the Levite of the same name sent by Jehoshaphat to teach in the cities of Judah [See No. 8]. He has also been linked with the pious Obadiah of Ahab's house [See No. 1]. Of the prophet's personal history not a single incident or even tradition has been preserved. The work is more important than the worker.
It would seem as if the prophet lived and labored between the taking of Jerusalem and the destruction of Idumea, since he speaks of "foreigners" entering Jerusalem and the day of Judah's destruction and distress (Obad. 11-14). Although his book is the shortest in the Hebrew Canon, consisting of only twenty-one verses, yet it demands more of our attention, proportionately, than any other book. Looking at it from the aspect of size, it is little, but weighty. Multum in parvo.
Obadiah's prophecy has always been a favorite one with the Jews. It is principally from Obadiah that they learned to apply the name Edom to Rome. "Edom" stands as the typical designation for all the deadliest foes of the House of Israel.
Edom was descended from Esau, the brother of Jacob, and thus the people were akin to the Children of Israel. Since the days of the Exodus there has been frequent conflict between the two races. The Edomites had shown themselves unfriendly to Moses and the Israelites, refusing them passage through their territory when marching towards Canaan, and this bitterness still continues, accounting for the present animosity of the Arab world toward the Jew.
Obadiah's style in writing is full of individuality. It is animated and vigorous, abounding in appeals and having the preponderance of interrogation of great point and vehemence. His language is simple and pure, with utterance often highly poetic.
The lessons to be gathered from Obadiah's description of the character and career, the downfall and doom of Edom; are clearly evident:
I. The similarity of sin and punishment.
II. God will not cast off His people forever.
III. Greed and cruelty are hateful to God.
IV. Pride goes before a fall.
V. The ultimate kingdom is the Lord's.
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Today's reading: Joshua 16-18, Luke 2:1-24 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Joshua 16-18


Allotment for Ephraim and Manasseh

1 The allotment for Joseph began at the Jordan, east of the springs of Jericho, and went up from there through the desert into the hill country of Bethel. 2 It went on from Bethel (that is, Luz), crossed over to the territory of the Arkites in Ataroth, 3descended westward to the territory of the Japhletites as far as the region of Lower Beth Horon and on to Gezer, ending at the Mediterranean Sea.
4 So Manasseh and Ephraim, the descendants of Joseph, received their inheritance....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 2:1-24

The Birth of Jesus
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them....
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Today's Lent reading: Mark 4-6 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
The Parable of the Sower

1 Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water's edge. 2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 "Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times...."



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