Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tue Mar 15th Todays News

Andrew Bolt is wrong to finger 99% of Muslims for being defined by Islamofascists. Because the root cause of the silence to Western ears is not the suffering of Muslims at the hands of Islamofascists, but the silence of Western media in the face of appalling excesses of the left wing. The left wing want a vicious Islamic imperative to give value to their impotent foreign policy. The terrible abuses of Daesh Death Cult have a perfectly legitimate response in the West which is capable of dealing with it. The West needs effective policing domestically and a virile armed force internationally. Russia gets it. Don't let a few artists face the atrocity alone. Medieval terrorism is easy to stamp out. Just don't expect Clinton or Sanders to want to. Andrew, it is the ALP mates you still admire, and about half the Liberal Party, who promote the atrocity by accepting it or appeasing it. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
Miranda Devine writes on the hypocrisy of the gender movement in highlighting a case which doesn't shows what the movement wants. It is no different to US race baiting in which people are highlighted who weren't racially judged but resisted arrest. 

Piers Akerman writes on the lies embedded in the ALP campaign for NSW. It is of concern the ALP could be elected in NSW without the mainstream press examining their lies. 
From 2014
The coup which claimed the life of Julius Ceaser on this day in 44 BC was serious. But after the murder, and after all the murder that followed, nothing much changed. Julius was remarkable, and possibly satisfied at his own assassination, happening before he lost the strength of youth. He never had to be graceful and indulgent to get by, as those who are elderly must learn. The Roman Republic was still a republic, and although the individuals wielded extraordinary powers, the business of empire remained. The infighting that a dictator was supposed to prevent was not prevented. Lots of people dead, lots of money spent, nothing much changed .. it resembles ALP government. 

Fittingly, on this day, in 1672, Charles II issued a royal indulgence. One guesses he was getting old. Before the law could become real steak and vegetables, parliament opposed it. It would have allowed into public service people who believed in transubstantiation. Today, no one is supposed to discriminate on religious grounds. Meaning that public servants back then were supposed to be bigots. In all probability, knowledge of transubstantiation might preclude someone of becoming a public servant today, as a well educated person might not be willing to walk over victims in jack boots. And so one sees the truth that regardless of law, everything remains the same. It is a libertarian view that much legislation is meaningless. But today, you can be convicted of saying so. 
Historical perspective on this day
=== 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.
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I am moving from Sydney to Melbourne and am desperate for funding. If you have a heart for giving, I fundraise at gofundme.com/abeueaec
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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
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For twenty two years I have been responsibly addressing an issue, and I cannot carry on. I am petitioning the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to remedy my distress. I leave it up to him if he chooses to address the issue. Regardless of your opinion of conservative government, the issue is pressing. Please sign my petition at https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/tony-abbott-remedy-the-persecution-of-dd-ball

Or the US President at
https://www.change.org/p/barack-obama-change-this-injustice#
or
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/change-injustice-faced-david-daniel-ball-after-he-reported-bungled-pedophile-investigation-and/b8mxPWtJ or http://wh.gov/ilXYR

Mr Ball, I will not sign your petition as it will do no good, but I will share your message and ask as many of friends who read it, to share it also. Let us see if we cannot use the power of the internet to spread the word of these infamous killings. As a father and a former soldier, I cannot, could not, justify ignoring this appalling action by the perpetrators, whoever they may; I thank you Douglas. You are wrong about the petition. Signing it is as worthless and meaningless an act as voting. A stand up guy would know that. - ed

Lorraine Allen Hider I signed the petition ages ago David, with pleasure, nobody knows what it's like until they've been there. Keep heart David take care.


I have begun a bulletin board (http://theconservativevoice.freeforums.netwhich will allow greater latitude for members to post and interact. It is not subject to FB policy and so greater range is allowed in posts. Also there are private members rooms in which nothing is censored, except abuse. All welcome, registration is free.
Happy birthday and many happy returns Thanh Vo and Steve Barbuto, old friend. Born the day after Pi's birthday. Although you have forgotten many of them, the blessing of each birthday grows. So that the more you have, the longer you live. Your backstabbing friends taught me that. Be where in the Ides of March.
March 15Ides of MarchLaetare Sunday (Western Christianity, 2015); National Day in Hungary (1848)
The Death of Julius Caeasar by Vincenzo Camuccini
Come and stand in front of us and get your reward. Celebrate your success in crusade. Use cardinal numbers. You are capturing industry. You know, but you don't spy. Let's party. 
Deaths
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EVERY TIME, EXCEPT THIS TIME

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 15, 2016 (6:26pm)

The Victorian Greens in 2015:

image

That offer evidently does not apply at a federal level: 
The Greens have shot down debate and a possible Senate vote on an issue close to their heart – marriage equality …
“If they are willing to walk away from marriage equality, what won’t they jettison?” [Senator Leyonhjelm] said in a statement.
Opposition Senate leader Penny Wong, who is in a same-sex relationship, was scathing of the stance taken by the Greens.
“It’s an act of political cowardice unworthy of a party that used to be led by women and men of principle,” she said. 
(Via James Morrow.)
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BEST BUSINESS MODEL

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 15, 2016 (2:28pm)

Chris Kenny recalls an amusing discussion from his recent visit to Jakarta: 
We catch up with some Australian foreign correspondents for lunch, gazing down on this Southeast Asian megacity from the 46th floor. One of my new Fairfax friends — who knew love media types were so loveable — triggers unintended guffaws when he delivers a pronouncement to the ABC’s director of news, Gaven Morris, who is sitting beside me. “I think the best business model,” says our companion from the digital-first land, “is the ABC’s.”
Once we pick ourselves off the floor, he corrects himself. “Well, OK,” he blushes, “I should leave out the word business — the ABC’s got the best model.”
He is right, of course. If the government wants to send you $1.2 billion in annual funding with few direct performance indicators and little accountability, that would be a pretty good model. When I recount the exchange to The Daily Telegraph’s Tim Blair he suggests this is roughly the same model as being on the dole. 
Except our dole bludgers are more diverse, less expensive, and probably more useful around the house.
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MAN BRINGS AXE TO GUN FIGHT

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 15, 2016 (1:11pm)

Today’s good news story comes from sunny Seattle, where an alert citizen responded in a timely manner: 
A masked man burst into a 7-Eleven near Seattle early Sunday morning, swinging a hatchet and slicing the store clerk.
Before the masked man could seriously hurt anyone, however, a customer who had been drinking his morning coffee pulled out a concealed weapon and fatally shot the attacker.
Authorities did not name the attacker or the customer, but they did hail the concealed weapon owner as a hero. 
Beautiful summary from a local police officer: 
“This could have been disastrous,” King County Sheriff Sgt. Cindi West told KIRO 7. “Had this guy not shot, who knows what would have happened. We might have a dead clerk right now, and instead we have a dead bad guy.” 
And a half-finished coffee. A free refill may have been in order.
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JUST GIVE US THE DATE ALREADY

Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 15, 2016 (12:33pm)

The current debate over the next election date is the lamest since Kevin Rudd decided three years ago that September 14 had girl germs all over it and changed it to September 7.
UPDATE. Further election date trouble for Prime Minister Turnbull: 
The Greens have made an “in principle” decision not to support any move by the government to recall the Senate to vote on the re-establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission, potentially upsetting the Coalition’s plans for an early election …
“We made in principle decision that we wouldn’t support additional sitting hours to facilitate the government’s agenda, which is clearly at the moment in chaos,” Greens leader Richard Di Natale said after his partyroom meeting today.
“If they want some help from us in doing that we’re not going to give it to them.” 
Chaotic and undecided. That’s our Malcolm.
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False claims: Tim Minchin would be a coward not to say sorry to George Pell. UPDATE: No guts

Andrew Bolt March 15 2016 (5:52pm)

Tim Minchin should know how desperately unfair and cruel he is.
Here the comedian again attacks Cardinal George Pell - the man he called “scum” and a “coward”. Note that Minchin’s excuses for this vile abuse are based on a series of cartoonish untruths about Pell’s role in handling the the pedophile priests scandal:
I’m really, really sad that he couldn’t say, ‘This was terrible, we were wrong, it (child sexual abuse) was systemic and endemic and we’re trying to improve and I was wrong with the Melbourne Response’.
“He doesn’t have to hang himself out to dry. He just needs to look them (victims) in the eye ... he doesn’t have it in him. He doesn’t have the intellectual sophistication or the self-awareness to know how to help.’’
In fact, Pell has done everything Minchin implies he has not, and more.
“This was terrible, we were wrong”
Pell has said this repeatedly. Here is what he told the royal commission only two weeks ago:
The Church has made enormous mistakes and is working to remedy those, but the Church in many places, certainly in Australia, has mucked things up, has let people down...I’m not here to defend the indefensible…
[Allegations of abuse] were dismissed and sometimes they were dismissed in absolutely scandalous circumstances. They were very, very, very plausible allegations made by responsible people that were not followed up sufficiently… There’s tendency to evil in the Catholic Church too and sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse but for good or for ill the Church follows the patterns of the societies in which it lives.
“We’re trying to improve”
Pell has spent years not just saying that but achieving it. Nearly 20 years ago Pell initiated the church reforms which virtually wiped out child sex abuse by priests in Australia. A fortnight ago he repeated:
All the leadership of the church in Australia is committed to avoiding any repetition of the terrible history of the past and to try to make things better.
“I was wrong with the Melbourne Response”
There isn’t that much Pell could actually be sorry for, since that response was the first by any church leader in Australia, and, while making the inevitable mistakes of a pioneer, nevertheless led the way.. But Pell has indeed admitted to mistakes, for instance:
[Victim John] Ellis had asked for $100,000 after he first came forward with a complaint through the Catholic Church’s Towards Healing pastoral and redress scheme in 2002. He was offered $30,000 - a sum Cardinal Pell has previously described as “grotesque”.
Claims that the Melbourne Response saved the church many millions, demanded victims sign confidentiality agreements and stopped victims from going to the police are all untrue. It would help if Minchin actually spelled out what Pell did wrong.
“He doesn’t have to hang himself out to dry”
In fact, Pell has not been shy of taking blame for what he did or failed to do, while continuing to deny claims - none proved - that he was was warned of pedophile priest or wilfully blind to them. For instance:
He himself had made mistakes, Cardinal Pell said, including to accept the advice of others, and to not more closely supervise the actions of his subordinates and the church’s lawyers. “Right through, I was keen to do the right thing, whatever errors were made,” he said.

And, discussing his attempts to get his then boss to deal with an abusive priest:
In retrospect, I might have been a bit more pushy with all the parties involved.
And this:
Now I might have put the church first for a while, rather than the victims, but I’m certainly not here to put myself first. We’re not into that.
He has apologised for his role in defending a compensation claim from one victim, John Ellis:
I want to acknowledge his suffering and the impact of this terrible affair on his life. As the then Archbishop, I have to take ultimate responsibility, and this I do. As former Archbishop and speaking personally, I would want to say to Mr Ellis that we failed in many ways, some way inadvertently, in our moral and pastoral responsibilities to him.
Cardinal George Pell… I want publicity to say sorry to him for the hurt caused him by the mistakes made, admitted by me, and some of our archdiocesan personnel during the course of the Towards Healing process and litigation.
“He just needs to look them (victims) in the eye ... he doesn’t have it in him”
This is simply untrue. In fact, Pell has met many victims over many years. He does indeed have it in him. He has met them privately and publicly. He had also three times given evidence to an inquiry or royal commission in front of victims. I met him in the Vatican after a private meeting with more victims, including David Ridsdale, and found him elated it had gone so well. On TV he told me he had been “moved”.
“He doesn’t have the intellectual sophistication or the self-awareness to know how to help”
I suspect Pell has far more intellectual sophistication and self-awareness than does Minchin - and certainly more fidelity to evidence and the truth. Pell actually created the Melbourne Response, the first scheme in Australia to deal with complains from victims of child abuse and to offer them compensation without going through the courts. Some 97 per cent of claims were accepted. He has repeatedly offered victims other help. I was there when he was dictating another request to Vatican officials for victims to meet (at their request) with a high-powered Vatican committee involved with dealing with child abuse.
In short, Minchin bases his case for the damnation of Pell on one untruth after another. Not one of his excuses for vilifying Pell stands up.
If Minchin had the integrity he demands from Pell, he would apologise and make good the hurt he has caused.
But is Minchin actually as honourable as Pell? Let his deeds speak for his character.
Only a coward would not say sorry.
UPDATE
Minchin on The Project responds to the criticism saying it’s confronting to be attacked (isn’t it hard when you get back the merest taste of the savaging you gave Pell, Tom?) and that he was generally “diametrically opposed” to his critics anyway (so it’s the side not the principle, after all). These are yet more arguments of a man of no real intellectual integrity or moral courage.
The point should not be the side or or the vibe. It should be the facts: did Minchin criticise Pell on false grounds?
The answer is plainly yes, and an honest man of integrity would admit as much and apologise.
I’ve apologised in the past for misjudging people on faulty evidence or logic - the last time just two weeks ago - so I am not asking Minchin to do anything I would not do myself.
When you are wrong, say sorry. Or live forever in the knowledge that you betrayed the truth and your best self.
Tim. know that whenever you urge your children to be honest and make good a wrong that you will forever know you failed that test yourself.  
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Savva hit-run smear too much even for Media Watch

Andrew Bolt March 15 2016 (3:25pm)

Credit to Paul Barry of Media Watch for turning on the tribe:
Niki Savva’s judgment is ... under scrutiny, after ... decid[ing] not to approach Tony Abbott or Peta Credlin for comment.
And we think she got off lightly, as she did on the ABC’s Insiders when Barrie Cassidy raised the issue.

BARRIE CASSIDY: Now Niki, you’re not only an author but you’re a journalist and they did make the point, Peta Credlin made the point, that you didn’t contact either one of them and directly put these allegations to them. NIKI SAVVA: No, that’s quite right, and what I decided was that Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin any day, any night, can get out there and give their version of events, and their version of events often differs very widely from everybody else’s and there are people who have been abused for years during that administration who suffered in silence and I thought they should be given the chance to tell their story. And that’s what I tried to do and they’ve very bravely gone on the record, so many of them, to explain what happened.
- ABC, Insiders, 6 March, 2016
And that, believe it or not, was it.  Neither Barrie Cassidy nor Laura Tingle nor Andrew Probyn opted to pursue Savva on her decision. And nor did most other journalists.
And we think that is pathetic…
Peta Credlin ... on the front page of The Australian ... [said] quite rightly:
It is one of the golden rules of journalistic ethics to provide a right of reply to anyone you’re going to criticise ... to not want to hear the other side of the story is extraordinary.
- The Australian, 8 March, 2016
We’d agree with that. And we find it remarkable that so few of Savva’s colleagues pressed the question. Almost all asked it … then just as quickly moved on…
NIKI SAVVA: I didn’t trust the responses.
- Sky News, 7 March, 2016…
That is an extraordinary defence.  If you’re recording the downfall of a government and pinning the blame on two central characters you surely can’t deny them the chance to defend themselves.
As for the disgraceful smearing of Credlin, well, that would require a whole episode of Media Watch.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Defending Trump from the race-baiters, handout merchants and Leftist thugs

Andrew Bolt March 15 2016 (3:15pm)

A black Trump voter confronts the Black Lives Matter extremists:
I’m voting for Trump because I want jobs, not welfare. I don’t want to be a slave any more. I want a job. I want to work for my own money. I want to have a house. I want to pay for my own stuff with my money that I made. I don’t want handouts. I want freedom. I want actual freedom.
By the way, aren’t you sick of the smug gloating of journalists jeering that Donald Trump flinched when a far-Left activists tried to attack him. Aren’t you sick of their hypocrisy when they blame Trump for the violence the Left has deliberately unleashed on his supporters, and which leaders of the Left - notably Bernie Sanders - refuse to condemn?
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Aren’t you also sick of the double standards when they criticise Trump for his bellicose rhetoric, yet forgave this from Obama?:

If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.
(Thanks to reader John.)  
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Greens threaten Turnbull’s plan for an early election

Andrew Bolt March 15 2016 (12:43pm)

Oops. Might Malcolm Turnbull’s elaborate plan to rush to a double dissolution election in July 2 - before the public sees through him - come unstuck?
Turnbull’s plan is to move the Budget forward by a week - to May 3 - to allow one more week of Parliament. He’d then get the Senate to reject for a second time his bill to set up an Australian Building and Construction Commission - the legal excuse for calling a double dissolution of parliament.
But now the Greens are hinting they will not give Turnbull that extra week - and thus the time to create his election trigger:
Greens leader Richard Di Natale has strongly indicated his party would resist moves to recall the Senate to reconsider the Australian Building and Construction Commission legislation.
The Senate has already rejected the draft law once and a second “failure to pass” the bill would allow it to be rammed through a joint sitting of parliament that would follow a double-dissolution election.
However the Senate schedule appears unlikely to accommodate further debate on the bill, given its top priority will be to pass electoral reform to diminish the power of unrepresentative microparties.
Senator Di Natale strongly indicated the Greens would oppose moves to recall the Senate.
“The notion of bringing the Senate back a week early, I think, relies effectively on a vote of the Senate — the Senate issues its own instructions,” the Greens leader told ABC radio.
“That’s a discussion for our party room, but … my personal view is we won’t do anything that would facilitate the passage of legislation like the ABCC which we think is bad legislation.”
If there’s no early election, Turnbull will look even more clueless. And he might have to get down to governing. 
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The Age gets tough: pretends it never hid the problem with Sudanese refugees

Andrew Bolt March 15 2016 (12:01pm)

I applaud the Age’s editorial today, but where is this admission of guilt? Where is the admission that it encouraged the kind of policing and look-away blindness it now condemns?
Where is the admission that it demonised the few of us who warned against the policies that brought exactly the dangers that now shocks even The Age into sdaying things it once damned as racist and divisive?
It is like The Age has published an editorial by a completely different newspaper with completely different views.
The Age today:
Hundreds of hooligans, of African, Pacific Islander and other backgrounds, swarmed into the city on Saturday evening, intent on wreaking havoc…
Nothing about the handling of these riots gives us confidence that senior police are on top of the problem, that they understand the depth of gang activity and mobilisation in Melbourne....
Why is this? We suspect it is because Victoria Police have swung too far in the direction of appeasement, especially after the force was sued over racial profiling in the Flemington and North Melbourne areas.
Targeting people on the basis of race is despicable. But gangs have established themselves along broadly racial lines – gangs of African youths of Sudanese, Somalian and Eritrean descent, Islander gangs and more – and that demands concerted attention....
These gangs have not emerged suddenly. They have been acting with ruthless and violent intent for years. Two years ago, on New Year’s Eve, hundreds of youths of African appearance launched into similar brawls, assaults and property damage in the city....
Race itself is not the issue. Culture is. If a cohort of people – yes, a gang of Sudanese or Somalis or Pacific Islanders or any ethnic or religious group – indulge in group-based violence and anti-social behaviour, then there is a failure in terms of parenting or mentoring by the respective community. We also believe government authorities and some agencies have been over-indulgent towards some communities, without those same communities taking up the responsibility that rightly belongs with them.
Police must act swiftly to bring the offenders to court. Ultimately, for those on visas who are found guilty, the government must consider if the circumstances warrant deportation.
Great.

But here is The Age in 2007 savaging Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews for warning that Sudanese refugees were more prone to criminal behaviour and the intake should be cut to protect Australians:
Given “some groups don’t seem to be settling and adjusting into the Australian way of life as quickly we would hope”, Mr Andrews said, “it makes sense to put the extra money in to provide extra resources, but also to slow down the rate of intake from countries such as Sudan.” This is an unpleasant and inflammatory statement that effectively singles out one ethnic group as deserving not just extra help, but punishment of sorts…
Precisely how “quickly” should “we” expect people who come from such severe deprivation to adjust to the so-called Australian way of life? We take our refugees as we find them, which is not to absolve any group of civic responsibility.
But here is The Age in 2007 vilifying Andrews as possibly a racist for warning of crime levels among African refugees:
Yesterday on this page, The Age referred to the remark by Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews — “some groups don’t seem to be settling and adjusting into the Australian way of life as quickly as we would hope” — as unpleasant and inflammatory, and aimed specifically and unfairly at Sudanese refugees who have fled a land of war and famine.
This was Mr Andrews’ explanation for the Government’s cuts in the African quota of refugee places from 70 to 30 per cent. Since then, the minister has said the Government will not accept any new applications from Africans until mid-2008, with no guarantee of acceptance even then. The same reasons apply. This puts things beyond the pale.
Why has the Government waited until now to impose this restraint? Are its reasons justifiable or are they designed, in the face of an election, to arouse a predictably base reaction from those sensitive to immigration on racial grounds? 
But here is The Age in 2007 attacking “hysteria” about Somalian and Sudanese refugees turning to crime and terrorism, and assuring us our resettlement services would fix things:
AUSTRALIA has a fine tradition of absorbing and integrating migrants… Somali refugees who have come to Australia to start a new life inevitably face enormous challenges. Coming from a tribal structure of clans and sub-clans that were largely nomadic until recently, Somali refugees must deal with deep culture shock, learn a new language, battle through alienation and unemployment and navigate their way around the cultural signposts of a society very different from their own… It is to be expected that some may stumble when confronted with Australian ways.
Yesterday The Age reported warnings by an international Islamic scholar and leader of Sydney’s Somali community that young Somali men were being drawn in by supporters of terrorism in Somalia and might even be used for attacks in Australia…
In the face of conflicting claims it is important to maintain perspective. Evidence shows that terrorist-related activity in Australia has so far been “homegrown” and not shipped in from overseas.... The Federal Government has indicated that this year’s budget would include measures to help African refugees. Currently, $50 million a year is spent under the humanitarian settlement scheme on refugees in their first six months here, and a further $30 million a year for their first five years.
Moves are afoot. African migrants in Dandenong are offered a unique driver education program in response to a spate of incidents, including drink-driving. And in a move unrelated to the Somali community, Victoria Police is planning a three-week trip to Sudan to learn about the culture that informs the experiences of a traumatised community. This knowledge could help foster a better relationship between police and the Somali community.
The signs so far are good and there is certainly no need for hysteria or panic with regard to the resettlement of migrants from Africa. 
But here is The Age just two years ago attacking the police - unfairly - for racial profiling of Africans:
Victoria Police has responded in a positive and decisive manner to end the ugly practice of racial profiling in its ranks… This [police] inquiry was part of the agreement reached in February when the historic Haile-Michael case - in which six African-Australian men alleged racial discrimination by police in Flemington and North Melbourne between 2005 and 2009 - was settled the day before it was due to begin in the Federal Court.
While [chief commissioner] Lay stopped short of saying racial profiling was an institutional problem, a belief that might be disputed by some, he said that ‘’some of our members have actually engaged in that process’’…
There are six people in particular who deserve lasting gratitude: the young African-Australian men who courageously and tirelessly sought justice for what they rightly saw as a threat to their basic rights… It is a salutary reminder that, but for the determination of these six men, racial profiling in Victoria Police may well have remained an insidious practice.
Even until this very day, The Age was guilty of evasion and constructive deceit over the riot by a largely Sudanese mob in Melbourne on Saturday. Its news report on Sunday avoided any mention of “Sudanese” or “African”. Its news report on Monday - on a topic galvanising public discussion - was buried on page 6. Nor does The Age today mention or explain why it did not cover the Sudanese riot on New Year’s Day in 2014 that it mentions now:
The Age said nothing then, and attacked the few of us who did.
And now there’s this frank talking - too late! - with no apology for having stifled debate in the past and cheered on the dysfunction we now witness.
At the very least, The Age owes us an explanation. 
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Turnbull considers yet another tax grab

Andrew Bolt March 15 2016 (11:36am)

There is something pathetic about the Turnbull Government’s frantic search for new tax rises to pay for tax cuts:
THE price of a packet of cigarettes could soon soar to $40 if the Turnbull government copies a Labor plan to help pay for income tax cuts by slugging smokers.
A senior government source confirmed to The Daily Telegraph that a proposal to increase the tobacco excise in the May Budget would be taken to the Expenditure Review Committee.
It is understood Treasury has already costed various options and Labor has claimed that its proposed tobacco excise increase would raise $47 billion in revenue over 10 years.
How about paying for tax cuts by cutting spending?
True, this shift can be sold as improving health and incentives to work, but it also does nothing to tackle the bloated government spending.
UPDATE
Tony Abbott actually suggested this as an attack against Labor - and good one it would have been, too:
TONY ABBOTT: Five new taxes. There will be a housing tax in the shape of changes to negative gearing. There will be a wealth tax in the shape of changes to the capital gains tax regime. There will be a seniors’ tax in the shape of more taxes on super. There will be a workers’ tax because he’s going to slug smokers. And then of course, they want to bring back the carbon tax.
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill:
Abbott, of course, was talking about Labor under Shorten. Granted, Morrison’s housing tax might be dumped in the end, but for all intents and purposes Abbott might as well have been talking about the Liberals under Turnbull.  
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Eyewitness to the new evil

Andrew Bolt March 15 2016 (8:52am)

Another insane mass murder by people with Allah on their lips:
Gunmen from al Qaeda’s North African branch drank beer at a beachside bar before launching a shooting rampage at an Ivory Coast resort town that left at least 18 people dead, the group’s third major attack in West Africa in four months.
Earlier this month suspected Islamic State killers murdered nuns and others at Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity Convent in Yemen.  The four nuns killed were from Rwanda, Kenya and India. Here is what happened, as recounted to the General superior of the Missionaries of Charity:
image
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The fight is against evil. Full stop. 
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Honour above leaking: Liberals must pick Jim Molan

Andrew Bolt March 15 2016 (7:43am)

What do the Liberals stand for?
Honour, loyalty, courage and service to the nation?
Or treachery, leaking, double-dealing and crawling to the boss?
Liberal pre-selectors really have no choice if they want to build a party that represents their best selves. Jim Molan must replace Concetta Fierravante-Wells at the top of the NSW Liberals’ Senate ticket:
NSW senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells faces the prospect of a ­preselection protest vote against her because of her comments to ­author Niki Savva about perceptions of an affair ­between Tony Abbott and his chief of staff, Peta Credlin.
While Senator Fierravanti-Wells has a reference from Mr ­Abbott, The Australian understandsit was written before the publication of Savva’s book, The Road to Ruin…
The comments by Senator Fierravanti-Wells, who was last month promoted to the ministry by Malcolm Turnbull, are viewed by some in her right-wing support base as “unforgivable” because they brought “Margie and Tony’s daughters into the fray”.
“It’s like she tried to defect (from the Right). She’s part of Team Malcolm now. It’s gone down like a lead balloon,” one ­Liberal said…
A candidate being talked up as having a chance to scoop up a right-wing protest vote is former senior army officer Jim Molan, who helped Scott Morrison in ­opposition design the Operation Sovereign Borders policy. He is seen as a respected figure who is not factionally aligned. Mr Molan has references from Mr Abbott, the Treasurer and the executive director of the Ethics Centre, Simon Longstaff.
As I noted a week ago:
What on earth was Concetta Fierravanti-Wells up to when she gave this salacious anti-Abbott gossip to Savva, a known Abbott hater? ...
Whatever, it’s a warning: anyone having a private conversation with Fierravanti-Wells must realise that every detail could appear in the next slag-off book by some hostile journalist. If you see her coming towards you, shut up.
Even Abbott-hater Peter van Onselen draws the line here:
What is worse than violating someone’s trust and disclosing a private conversation about sensitive information you raise with them? How about seeking a reference from that same person before they know you have breached their confidence?
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells has done exactly the above to Tony Abbott.... ‘
As The Weekend Australian reveals today, the senator obtained a reference from the former prime minister for her preselection contest, doing so before Abbott became aware she had gone on the record disclosing a private conversation the two had last year, in which she told Abbott the perception among colleagues was that he was having an affair with his chief of staff, Peta Credlin. I wrote yesterday there is nothing wrong with having such a conversation in private. But leaking it (not to mention confirming its veracity on the record) should be a sackable offence. At the least, it’s conduct unsuited to receiving a character reference, much less from the very person whose confidence has been violated.
Then there was this ludicrous exchange last year, as Fierravanti-Wells tried to please her new boss by denying the truth about the murder of Curtis Cheng:

Bolt: Why is Malcolm Turnbull – and Julie Bishop and Andrew Scipione –calling what happened politically motivated violence when the boy was shouting “Allah” when he shot the unfortunate police accountant?
Fierravanti-Wells: Well, Andrew, I think the Prime Minister today in an interview and perhaps I misheard it referred to it as politically motivated and then said “and that’s terrorism”.
Bolt: Yes, the word that is missing here is ‘religious’.
Fierravanti-Wells: Well, Andrew I think there will be things that are going to come out as part of the inquiry …
Bolt: I find it amazing that he’s gone to a mosque, the mosque is raided, the police are looking at which preachers he may have heard, there is a potential links to it Islamic State, note the word Islamic, and also Hizb ut Tahrir, which is an Islamic group, and yet the government keeps calling it a politically motivated attack and not a religious one and I just want to know why.
Fierravanti-Wells: Well, I think Andrew that this is an ongoing investigation.  I’m sure that there will be a whole lot of details that are going to emerge and when those details emerge I think that picture will be clearer.
Bolt: So you think it is political, not religious.
Fierravanti-Wells: I’m just saying to you, Andrew, that this is just the initial phase of that investigation.
Bolt: Sure, but you still say it’s political.
Fierravanti-Wells: The Police Commissioner has made certain comments and we will wait when the NSW police have completed their investigation and then we will see very much what is the motivation. Look, there is no doubt that the motivation is very important issue. People want to know what motivates a 15-year-old boy to walk down a street…
Bolt: Shouting “Allah”.
Fierravanti-Wells: …shouting whatever he is alleged to have shouted.
Bolt: You see, you can’t even say what he is alleged to have shouted. He shouted Allah.
Fierravanti-Wells: He shouted what he shouted and did this and it is really important that we do understand what is the motivation.
Bolt: It seems to me that the Government is desperate not to mention Islam.
In contrast, there is retired general Jim Molan, who was chief of operations for all Allied forces in Iraq when the Sunni uprising was defeated, and later helped the Abbott Government to stop the boats.
Here is what Simon Longstaff, head of the St James Ethics Centre, says of him:

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The silent 99 per cent let the terrorists define them

Andrew Bolt March 15 2016 (7:16am)

Hussain Nadim, a doctoral candidate at Sydney University, attacks the victim narrative of many fellow Muslims:
I have been asked one question over and over again during my research with Muslim communities living in the West: why is it that Muslims are negatively portrayed by some parts of the media? Given that such a tiny proportion of Muslims choose to take the path of violence, one wonders why is it that the larger Muslim community gets labelled as part of the problem.
A typical answer from Islamic leaders is that the “West” hates Islam because it is a threat to their evil ways…
But the reason we, as Muslims, are labelled in a particular way might have more to do with the inaction and apathy of Muslims to provide a counter narrative… The remaining 99 per cent of Muslims have been a silent majority and have done very little to resist or change that perception
The question, though, is why that “99 per cent” is silent.
Clive Kessler is emeritus professor of sociology and anthropology at the University of NSW.:
Among Muslims worldwide today, about ... 10 to 15 per cent are militant, radical, extreme and potentially active in violent forms…
The question is: what is the relation of the views of the radical extreme to those of the centrist mainstream?… Increasingly, the militants and the mainstream share a common mindset and set of attitudes. The difference is that those in the mainstream tend to accept and go along with them habitually, while the radical Islamist ideologues take those framing ideas seriously and literally, and seek to affirm them actively…
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Lies, damned lies and Luke Foley’s campaign

Piers Akerman – Sunday, March 15, 2015 (1:11am)

LUKE Foley, the Labor Party and its trade union supporters are running one of the most dishonest election campaigns in the 191-year history of the NSW legislature.

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Neurosurgeon case is a real headache

Miranda Devine – Sunday, March 15, 2015 (1:09am)

NEUROSURGEON Dr Caroline Tan’s decade-old sexual harassment claim has been seized by victim feminists as a weapon against the crumbling edifice of patriarchal privilege.

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AL QUILTER

Tim Blair – Sunday, March 15, 2015 (12:48pm)

Islamic State fans recently hacked a speedway website. Now the prophet’s supporters have gone after an even bigger target
Small businesses across the country are slowly finding that their websites have been hacked and the terrorist group ISIS is taking responsibility. Everything from Goodwills to gas stations have reported their website being taken over by a screen that reads “hacked by the Islamic state...We are everywhere.”
It’s a message that appeared on the Wisconsin Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum’s website Monday morning. The message is now gone. 
Take that, decadent Western infidels! Meanwhile, Islamic State mutants are feasting on McDonald’s
McDonald’s fast food has been smuggled across from Turkey to accommodate for ISIS fighters’ love of the hugely popular American chain.
A delighted fighter, known only as Ghareeb, posted a picture of a McDonald’s bag on his social media page.

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One of his friends, according to him, allegedly managed to bring in a bag full of five cheeseburgers when they traveled into Syria. 
News of a McDonald’s supply line will be of great interest to Australia’s waddle squad
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LOCK THE RECORDING STUDIO

Tim Blair – Sunday, March 15, 2015 (2:45am)

In the modern protest song tradition of Bad Day on the BayThe Ballad of Tecoma and – my personal favourite – My Name is Palestine, here’s Lock the Gate:



I know. Sorry. By contrast, pro-mining tunes are upbeat and rockin’
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THEY USED TO BE TOUGH

Tim Blair – Sunday, March 15, 2015 (2:13am)

Good call from Instapundit: “These days incompetent beings who require protection is a pretty good description of feminists.”
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JOKE GRABBED

Tim Blair – Sunday, March 15, 2015 (1:57am)

We’ve already seen what millionaire American warmist Jon Stewart looks like when his religion is mocked:

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This is the expression Stewart employs when his show uses someone else’s joke:

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LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE

Tim Blair – Sunday, March 15, 2015 (1:47am)

Seriously, for the sake of your car insurance premiums, just let them lie.
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NSW Labor scares up votes to help hurt the state

Andrew Bolt March 15 2015 (9:38am)

Labor’s disgraceful and ruinous anti-privatisation scare is working: 
Privatisation is hated by swinging voters in western Sydney, who aren’t listening to the Baird Government’s pitch that leasing the electricity network will bring $20 billion for infrastructure including new roads…
Focus groups conducted for Fairfax Media by Visibility in the second week of the campaign found traffic and road congestion were raised spontaneously by voters as major concerns...The focus groups, comprised of people who switched their vote to Liberal in 2011, suggest there will be a swing back to Labor, driven by privatisation and a “natural return” of voters.
Privatisation is the main rationale people give for returning to Labor… Voters are equating privatisation with higher prices at a time when they are sensitive to cost of living pressures. This is despite the regulator determining that prices will fall over the next five years…
The participants showed a spontaneous recall of “facts” from Labor and union attack ads. There was confusion about whether the privatisation was a sale or lease, and little awareness that the Baird Government had proposed a 49 per cent lease… 
(W)hen the researchers pointed out the electricity privatisation would release money to spend on transport infrastructure, it only helped to a point – many swinging voters remained unconvinced.
But Tony Abbott will be blamed for the swing. Watch.
UPDATE
Piers Akerman:
LUKE Foley, the Labor Party and its trade union supporters are running one of the most dishonest election campaigns in the 191-year history of the NSW legislature. 
The lies are blatant… They have been repeated in advertisements and in speeches and interviews and although they can be easily disproved, they are in danger of being swallowed by a generation of lazy voters…
The biggest lie of all is that electricity prices will rise in NSW if the government leases the electricity network. Take it from Rod Sims, the independent chairman of the consumer body the ACCC, that prices will be lower under private ownership…
[Foley’s] policy is repudiated by senior Labor figures who endorse the leasing of the poles and wires…
David Borger, a former Lord Mayor of Parramatta, former NSW Minister for Roads and Housing in both the Rees and Keneally Labor governments just last month said: “Using the proceeds from the lease of the metropolitan ‘poles and wires’ is the preferred method for funding essential transport, health and other infrastructure projects.”
As did former Labor Premier Morris Iemma: “The alternatives to (asset recycling) are taxation...”
And he was only echoing former NSW Labor Treasurer Michael Costa, who last June said: “Mike Baird’s proposal for a partial privatisation is moderate, sensible and the right thing to do."…
(F)ormer premier Bob Carr was on the money in August, 2010: “This would have been a terrific deal for NSW taxpayers.” 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Will Sydney University tolerate this thuggery and abuse?

Andrew Bolt March 15 2015 (9:23am)

 From a letter from Colonel Richard Kemp to the vice chancellor of Sydney University about an anti-Israel protest that stopped his lecture - and about a “peace” studies lecturer who brandished money in the face of a Jewish member of the audience:
I was invited to speak to students at the University of Sydney at lunch time on 11 March 2015… My subject was ethical dilemmas of military operations in relation to recent conflicts… 
Shortly after I had introduced my talk, covering the principles of necessity, proportionality and discrimination as they apply under the laws of armed conflict and giving examples from my experience in Northerrn Ireland and Afghanistan, the event was disrupted by the forceful entry of a group of students.
They entered the room aggressively and noisily. They had a loud speaker set at full volume into which one of the students was screaming abuse directed at me. The other students were chanting the same abusive words and some were waving banners and placards. They were shouting: “Richard Kemp, you can’t hide, you support genocide”. This group was joined in their chants by a few in the audience who had apparently positioned themselves in the room previously in order to join in the planned protest.
The protesters imposed themselves between the audience and me. This, combined with the loudness of their screaming and shouting, made continuation of my lecture impossible until after they had left. I observed the audience, and many of them, including some elderly visitors, were clearly intimidated by the aggression of these protesters.
Several members of the audience appealed to the protesters to leave to allow the lecture to continue and these were met with even greater aggression including personal verbal abuse. In some cases I saw the protestors deliberately and aggressively invade the personal space of members of the audience, including at least one elderly woman.
University security officers who were already present in the room asked the protesters to leave. When they abusively refused to do so, the security officers attempted to physically move them out. They resisted and pushed and shoved the security officers, impeding them from doing their jobs…
Associate Professor Jake Lynch, the Director of your Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, and Dr Nicholas Riemer, one of your senior lecturers, who were both apparently leading and encouraging the protesters, screamed at the security officers to desist. This seemed to be a clear attempt to impose their own authority as faculty members, thereby hoping to intimidate the security officers into allowing the abusive demonstration to continue.
At one point I observed Associate Professor Lynch waving money in the face of a Jewish student, a clearly aggressive and insulting act that seemed to invoke the stereotype of the ‘greedy Jew’. Although not Jewish myself, I found Associate Professor Lynch’s behavior deeply shocking and offensive.  

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I felt the language directed against me to be abusive and insulting. I have never supported a genocide nor the killing of civilians of which I was also accused by the protesters. In fact I have devoted my entire working life as a British soldier to defending my country and the countries of friends and allies; to preventing killing, terrorism and ethnic cleansing; to peace-keeping and to humanitarian operations. I have frequently risked my own life to do so. I have often served alongside troops from your own country. Surely it is not right that I, as a guest of your university and a visitor to your country, should be subjected to such gratuitous insults and slander.
... many of the audience members undoubtedly felt threatened and intimidated by the naked aggression shown to them by these students. I ask you if it is right that students, members of staff and visitors to your university, including elderly people, should be subjected to this form of abuse? From my observations of the audience I have no doubt that some of them were greatly and understandably traumatised by this experience.
Many members of the audience were Jewish and I am sure the demonstrators knew this and set out with the intention of intimidating Jews at the University of Sydney. This of course is nothing other than anti-Semitism and it compounds the acts of intimidation by the protesters… Can it be right that members of your university staff should indulge in such disgraceful action?… 
I would add that you have a particular responsibility in respect of the racist, anti-Semitic nature of this protest.  
Lynch claims he held up the money to an elderly Jewish woman he claims assaulted him, to warn her against the cost of being sued.
(Thanks to reader WaG311.)
The full letter:

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By-election whack to Andrews Government

Andrew Bolt March 15 2015 (9:17am)

Ominous for the struggling Victorian Labor Government:
NATIONALS upper-house Victorian state member Danny O’Brien has been elected to replace former party leader Peter Ryan in the Gippsland South lower-house by-election.

Mr O’Brien had won almost 75 per cent of the votes, two-party preferred, at 9pm… 

He beat Liberal candidate Scott Rossetti and Greens candidate Andrea Millsom, who had claimed about 25 per cent of the votes on a two-party-preferred basis with more than half the votes counted. 
Reader Jeff:
This is a stunning rebuke of the Andrews government, just 105 days into their tenure. Whilst it’s true that the ALP did not stand a candidate, you would have expected the 7,819 people that voted 1 for the ALP last November would back either the Green candidate or the independents. 
At the close of counting last night - with a very impressive 84.9% turnout for a by-election - the combined Liberal-National vote was 71.96% of the primary vote, up from 57.26% at the November 29 election. That’s a 14.7% swing to the coalition on primary vote in just 15 weeks of State Labor government. Of the 21.9% people who voted Labor in November, 6% switched their vote to Green. The other 15.9% either went independent (up 1.2%) or directly to the Liberal party (up 14.7%).
Staggering!
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Steak scare overcooked

Andrew Bolt March 15 2015 (8:57am)

Global warming hysteria has become a joke: 
A good old Aussie BBQ may not taste quite as good for future generations, according to new research. A study of the impact of climate change on 55 foods grown in Australia, found the quality of beef and chicken may plummet, eggplants may look weirder than they already do and carrots could taste worse.
So far, all that warming has seen the world grow more crops than ever, an important and reassuring fact somehow not mentioned in this report:
The 2014-2015 season’s soybean and wheat crops are on track to set records, while rice and corn look poised to be more in line with last season’s record crops.
Aren’t scientists and journalists growing embarrassed at peddling these cheap scares?
(Thanks to reader red breast.) 
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A weekend of spite and malice from Fairfax

Andrew Bolt March 15 2015 (8:03am)

Fairfax newspapers have set new lows this weekend in their manic crusade to destroy Tony Abbott.
Unable to beat up more stories about imminent challenges to Tony Abbott’s leadership, they are now reduced to publishing  stories threatening far-distant challenges instead:
Restive Liberal MPs believe they have missed their chance to bring down Prime Minister Tony Abbott before the budget, conceding he’s unlikely to face another leadership spill until at least the middle of the year.
Despite another difficult week for the Prime Minister – marked by controversy over his “lifestyle choices” comments on Indigenous communities and a messy about-face on car industry funding – Abbott loyalists and dissidents alike agree that only a catastrophic blunder could put the leadership back in play before the May 12 budget.
One respected member of the government says the consensus in the party room is that Mr Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey should be given the “final chance” of bringing down their second budget and selling it to the Australian people.
Like the word “respected” to puff up the unnamed minister’s credentials? Chances are it means “respected by Fairfax journalists”.
A second frustrated Fairfax writer takes up the very same theme - that the pack failed to kill Abbott this time, but will get him one day, just you wait:
Although Prime Minister Tony Abbott seems relatively safe at present from the dagger wielders in his own party, any old soothsayer worth his or her salt, and pointed finger, would be warning him to beware – all the time. Perhaps he should stay in for the next couple of days and watch the cricket. It might be, given his comments and backflippery of late, an exercise in the “lifestyle choices” of the political survivalist.
Meanwhile Fairfax this weekend continued to publish whatever abuse of Abbott it could hook out of the cultural sewers. No mockery is too infantile for Fairfax. No offence-taking too absurd:
The Prime Minister has once again left onlookers shocked, and probably a little confused, but for once it wasn’t what was coming out of his mouth, rather what was going into it. 
While on a tour of a produce farm in Tasmania, Tony Abbott was seen to be munching on a raw onion - skin and all. 
Then came this juvenile abuse, written, believe it not, by a prominent barrister in Fairfax’sSydney Morning Herald:
After finishing off the traditional owners, by punching them out of the ring and out of their land, he takes on the feistiest enemy of all to a Pom, the fighting Irish on a video for St Patrick’s Day. In a flurry of patronising punishing jabs from his onion-breathed mouth, he, Englishman, accused them of been the dumbest of the Brits: “The English made the laws, the Scots the money and the Irish the songs”, knocking them out with “ there is (only) one day when it’s good to be Irish”. 
In Tasmania, he won the entire bout, every round, the belt, the Crown by eating an onion raw, straight off the conveyer belt, like an orange. 
The Sydney Morning Herald’s bombastic political editor, Peter Hartcher, was so deranged by hatred and drunk on sanctimony yesterday that he constructed a fantasy monster - a horrendous pinata which he called “Tony Abbott” and accused of monstrous crimes:
... delivered a scripted, studied slur ...  calculated to offend ... knowingly sowing discord ... waged a furious assault on anyone daring to speak in defence of refugees ...  become a serial abuser of one minority after another ... gone from unifier to divider ... conducting serial provocations of Australia’s minorities ...  temper tantrums ... a continuously dismaying symbol of disunity ... a demoniser in the service of the basest of politics.
All these pieces are just from this one weekend’s offerings from Fairfax.
How to understand Fairfax publishing this stream of vicious and unreasoning hatred - this seemingly implacable campaign to destroy the Prime Minister?
Perhaps these scenes from a court case in Sydney this week help to put this spite in context:
[Treasurer Joe] Hockey is suing Fairfax after the Herald and The Age ran a story on May 5 last year under the headline “Treasurer for Sale” on their front pages, claiming the North Sydney Forum charged annual membership fees of up to $22,000 for perks including “VIP” meetings with Mr Hockey. 
Mr Hockey claims the articles falsely implied he accepted bribes to influence his decisions [and] corruptly sold privileged access to businessmen and lobbyists…
Note the seeming spite from Fairfax:
Mr Hockey has claimed the May 5 story was an act of revenge after the SMH was forced to apologise for a March 21 story about repayment of political donations.
The court has heard Mr Hockey’s media adviser rang SMH editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir at 2.15am and demanded a correction to the story about $33,000 in membership fees paid to the NSF by a company linked to Labor power broker Eddie Obeid.
Text messages read in court show Mr Goodsir told Mr Holden and other senior journalists at 6.35am the same morning that Mr Hockey’s office had “a f***ing hide” waking him in the middle of the night…
THE editor-in-chief of the Sydney Morning Herald ... was quizzed on a series of emails in which he openly declared he “dreamed” of a headline attacking the treasurer.
In an email with senior journalists and Age editor-in-chief Andrew Holden, [Darren] Goodsir wrote: “Given what Andrew (Holden) and I endured last week with Hockey, I want to have this nailed to the cross in more ways than one....
“I have long dreamed (well, actually only since last Friday), of a headline that screams: Sloppy Joe! I think we are not far off, but perhaps even more serious than that."…
Mr Holden also complained about the government “freezing us out” ... “Amazing they freeze us out and then think they have a relationship that allows them to call in the middle of the night.” 

(Thanks to reader John.) 
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DISHING IT OUT

Tim Blair – Saturday, March 15, 2014 (2:56pm)

The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Mike Carlton is angry about Chris Kenny’s legal action against the ABC: 
Kenny’s behaviour is pathetic. There is an ancient convention that if you have your own media outlet, you don’t sue. You are able to hit back. But this is typical of the ratbag right, which dishes it out but can’t take it. 
Kenny was obscenely defamed by a program broadcast nationwide. His response seems, to me, to be proportionate. But what sort of person threatens legal action over a relatively minor Twitter feud? Well, take a look at this, from just last month:

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Carlton’s behaviour is pathetic. So is his spelling of “off”.
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ABC FAIL

Tim Blair – Saturday, March 15, 2014 (1:58pm)

hand-wringing confession from the ABC’s Drum editor: 
Here at The Drum website we are aware that, despite our best efforts, we have failed to achieve gender parity in our own editorial line-up. 
He should fire himself, obviously.
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YOU’RE A TERRIBLE INTERVIEWER

Tim Blair – Saturday, March 15, 2014 (1:03pm)

If you think Piers Morgan got a hard time from Brett Lee, it was nothing compared to the treatment dished out byChelsea Handler:

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Something you’d have never read under Labor

Andrew Bolt March 15 2014 (9:45am)

Boat people policy

For three months, no boats. And once again, we’ve had a week in which more boat people have gone home than turned up:
Operation Sovereign Borders Joint Agency Task Force update (9am Friday 7 March to 9am Friday 14 March):
During this reporting period there were no illegal maritime arrivals transferred to Australian Immigration authorities.Twenty illegal maritime arrivals were transferred to the offshore processing centre in Nauru.
Eight illegal maritime arrival transferees were voluntarily returned to their country of origin after electing to go home from an offshore processing centre— five to Lebanon, two to Iran and one to Sudan.
Two illegal maritime arrival detainees were voluntarily removed—one to Iran and one to Pakistan. 
As at 9.00am Friday 14 March 2014, there was a total of 1314 people on Manus Island, 1136 people in Nauru and 1707 people in the Christmas Island facilities.
Labor should explain. Why could they not do this? Why did they claim it could not be done?
Meanwhile, artists (the lesser ones, of course) are so furious with this result that they are even biting the hand that has fed them.
(Thanks to reader Peter.) 
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Can the ABC apologise to a conservative?

Andrew Bolt March 15 2014 (9:37am)

Piers Akerman is right. The challenge now is to the ABC. Will it issue an apology and correction?: 
The [ABC Chairman Jim] Spigelman approach dances around the real issue that was on display on Q&A;Monday night, when my colleague Andrew Bolt was subjected to a torrent of abuse from academic Marcia Langton, who falsely claimed he was a “fool” who believed in “race theories” and had subjected one of her colleagues to “foul abuse … simply racial abuse”, arguing that the colleague “had no right to claim that she was Aboriginal” and that he had hurt this colleague to such a degree that she “withdrew from public life”. 
Langton apologised to Bolt. No apology to Bolt had been posted on Q&A;’s website when I checked yesterday.
When the ABC’s Leftists thought I might have offended prime minister Julia Gillard by stating the obvious about press gallery gossip about her relationship with Tim Mathieson after the topic was introduced by Insider host Barrie Cassidy, the ABC removed the segment from its website and sent out letters to viewers casting doubt on my professionalism. Can we expect the ABC to respond similarly? 
Of course not, and that’s why Spigelman should offer his resignation.He is defending the indefensible, just as surely as the ABC is defending the indefensible by spending taxpayers’ money trying to justify its disgusting vilification of The Australian’s columnist Chris Kenny.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.)
UPDATE
On Tuesday night I sent Q&A the following email - with a copy to ABC boss Mark Scott - asking for an apology and correction:

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A call to jail climate sceptics

Andrew Bolt March 15 2014 (9:33am)

Jail sceptics for pointing out the global warming science isn’t actually settled, argues Lawrence Torcello, assistant professor of philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology:
What are we to make of those behind the well documented corporate funding of global warming denial? Those who purposefully strive to make sure “inexact, incomplete and contradictory information” is given to the public? I believe we understand them correctly when we know them to be not only corrupt and deceitful, but criminally negligent in their willful disregard for human life. It is time for modern societies to interpret and update their legal systems accordingly.
This demand for the criminalisation of doubt appears in The Conversation, a media outlet run for academics and paid for by Australian taxpayers.
The closing of the academic mind…
UPDATE
The Old and Unimproved Dave quotes Henry Lawson:
Twist and tangle and mystify, bully, and weep and bluff;
Marry the truth to a glaring lie, and say it is good enough;
Boast of your vice and villainy — in your virtue rant and bawl — 
But that great waiting silence is over the people all!
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Class is not a marker of a class system here

Andrew Bolt March 15 2014 (9:14am)

Far more interesting than the fact Barnaby Joyce rang in as a Radio National talkback caller is what he actually said about class in this country:
Introducing himself as “Barnaby from New South Wales”, he argued there was no class system in Australia and said he was not sure whether “bogan” was “a pejorative or an accolade”. 
“If people honestly believed there was a class system (in Australia) then it would be clearly identifiable as you walk down the street,” he said.
“And I think even the discussion today between, these pejorative or an accolade – bogan and what would otherwise be middle class – and I think in many instances that’s just a consumer choice.
“We can have people who are obviously vastly wealthier who are so-called bogans than other people in the middle class.”
One member of the radio talkback panel, academic Christopher Scanlon, suggested there was a visible class system in Australia because tradespeople were easily identified because of there high-vis work gear.
But Mr Joyce hit back: “They probably earn more than you.”
Mr Joyce took a swing at the station, saying it attracted “elitist” listeners and wouldn’t be popular on building sites. 
“I would presume that on many worksites at the moment that people with tool-bags are probably unlikely to be listening to this program, even though it’s a great program,” he said.
Joyce is right. To some extent, the class system we have is more one of taste than of income.  Without doubt one of the biggest bogans I even had misfortune to meet was the host of a party in Toorak. The very walls - expensively decorated with tat - screamed bogan.
Among the true gentlemen I know are a taxi driver and a builder. One of the greatest ladies I ever met didn’t even have the money for airconditioning. She left me a bust of one her favourite composers, minus the tip of his nose, and it sits above my CDs in the cupboard on my left as I write.
Again: judge the individual by the content of their character and not their class ... or “race”. 
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The ABC has a chance to improve its diversity

Andrew Bolt March 15 2014 (8:11am)

Will Radio National Breakfast finally be entrusted to someone who is as much of a conservative as Fran Kelly is of the Left?

RADIO National breakfast host Fran Kelly will host the Sunday morning ABC1 panel show, Insiders, from April 27. 
Kelly, who has been a regular panellist on the program and is a former political correspondent for ABC Radio and The 7.30 Report, will replace long-time host Barrie Cassidy, who is taking long-service leave to write another book… ABC Radio is yet to announce a replacement for Kelly at RN breakfast.  
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Now we’re told the missing plane was flown towards the Andaman Islands

Andrew Bolt March 15 2014 (7:48am)

Who knows what really happened or which claim to trust?
MALAYSIA Airlines Flight MH370 was deliberately flown across Malaysia towards the Andaman Islands, military radar-tracking reportedly suggests. 
Two sources told Reuters that an unidentified aircraft that is believed to be Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was following a route between navigational waypoints — indicating it was being flown by someone with aviation training — when it was last plotted on military radar off Malaysia’s northwest coast.
The military radar’s tracking system last plotted the unidentified plane heading towards India’s Andaman Islands, a chain of isles between the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal… 
A third source familiar with the investigation told Reuters inquiries were focusing increasingly on the theory that someone who knew how to fly a plane deliberately diverted the flight, with 239 people on board, hundreds of kilometres off its intended course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. 
But Cameron Stewart sums up what we know - which is almost nothing - from the publicly available information:
The only certainties as of last night were that there is still no sign of the plane, not even wreckage. There were no distress calls, no warning and still no clear proof of the plane’s last movements. Terrorism, sabotage or pilot suicide are all still possible causes, but so is structural or mechanical failure or simple pilot error… 
But this key claim that the plane flew off course for hours remains hotly disputed. Unnamed US officials were quoted by both Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal claiming the plane was sending signals to a satellite four hours after it went missing, but Malaysian officials continued to insist yesterday that there is no clear evidence that the plane strayed from its intended course or stayed in the air longer than the time it vanished from radar. Even so, White House spokesman Jay Carney said: “It’s my understanding that based on some new information that’s not necessarily conclusive, but new information, an additional search area may be opened in the Indian Ocean, and we are consulting with international partners about the appropriate assets to deploy.” 
And then there is this possibility:
2003.
By mid-week, Malaysian authorities ... said publicly that their investigation was now also looking at whether the crew or passengers had personal or psychological problems which could be to blame for the aircraft’s disappearance. 
In other words, the terrifying notion of pilot suicide was now being considered…
Over the past 20 years at least three commercial flights have crashed due to suspected pilot suicide. The best known was the crash of EgyptAir flight 990 in October 1999 during a flight from New York to Egypt when the first officer used the temporary absence of the captain to cut the plane’s engines, causing the plane to plunge into the Atlantic Ocean killing all 217 on board. 
Pilot suicide was also suspected on SilkAir Flight 185 from Jakarta to Singapore in December 1997 when the plane inexplicably dived from its cruising altitude to the ground in less than a minute and investigators found no obvious mechanical fault.
A list of pilot suicides.
UPDATE
No more likely than any other theory:

Police investigating the backgrounds of all 239 people aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight are paying “special attention” to a 35 year-old Chinese Uighur man who undertook flight simulation training, according to a report in a leading Malay language newspaper in Kuala Lumpur. 
The Uighurs Muslim ethnic minority group from the north-western Chinese province of Xinjiang have been battling for independence since they were brought under Chinese control in 1949, claiming they are oppressed by China’s authoritarian government and face religious restrictions and widespread discrimination.
Earlier this month the Uighurs, who make up 45 percent of the population of Xinjiang, were blamed for a violent attack at a Chinese train station.
(Thanks to reader David.) 
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Qantas unions seem to want us to fly Virgin instead

Andrew Bolt March 15 2014 (7:22am)

Qantas unions have a bizarre method of saving their members’ jobs. Right now it involves persuading the public that Qantas planes are unsafe and filthy:


Qantas aircraft sent for maintenance in Asia have been found with corrosion on the wings, multiple cracks, faulty engine indicators and, in the case of a 747 jumbo, three of four engines not held on properly, the aircraft engineers’ union has alleged in a dossier detailing a litany of errors… 
In a bid to stop the government from relaxing the Qantas Sale Act, the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers’ Association’s federal secretary, Steve Purvinas, has used parliamentary privilege to release the dossier detailing errors on Qantas planes following heavy maintenance in Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.
And:
The Transport Workers Union Queensland claims Qantas plans to reduce interior plane cleaning crews from six to three, and to restrict cleaning to first and business classes and the first nine rows behind them. 
“This management has turned this company upside down, and now they want their paying customers to sit in an uncleaned space,” TWU Queensland state secretary Peter Biagini said.
It’s like Qantas unions would rather we flew Virgin, but kept their Qantas members in jobs with subsidies. 
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More Wilkinsoniasm

Andrew Bolt March 15 2014 (7:11am)

No mirrors in the house on the Left. The perfect example:
An event meant to celebrate diversity and combat racism at a Washington state community college has been cancelled after a flier emailed to guests said white people weren’t invited. 
UPDATE
To explain the headline, this from Q&A:


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SCROTAL RECALL

Tim Blair – Friday, March 15, 2013 (6:49pm)

Reader Waxing Gibberish asks: “Why didn’t Tim Flannery warn us about this?” 
Large kangaroo scrotums are in short supply for a souvenir-making taxidermist after the continuing rain drove kangaroos beyond the range of shooters. 
Good question. But at least Flannery warned us about the impending poley extinction
Polar bears will be extinct within 25 years as global warming shrinks the ice cover they depend on for feeding and giving birth, says a renowned Australian scientist.
The Arctic ice cap is shrinking by eight per cent a year and polar bears are already showing signs of severe stress, says Tim Flannery …
“Polar bears are going to go with the ice cap. They’re not going to actually last that long,” Flannery told a news conference Friday. 
That was seven years ago. Poleys are doing fine.
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HIDDEN IMAM

Tim Blair – Friday, March 15, 2013 (6:54pm)

The imam of Makkah, whoever he is, cancels his local appearance: 
An event billed as Australia’s largest ever Islamic peace conference is set to begin at Melbourne Showgrounds, but the mystery imam billed as the star attraction will not be there.
The Australian Islamic Peace Conference, which goes until Sunday, promises interfaith dialogues, musical performances and more than 20 local and international speakers, some of whom will appear over the internet.
However, organisers now say key speaker, the “Imam of Makkah”, will not attend for “personal reasons”. 
Maybe the imam of Macca’s could take his place. Or perhaps Mark Steyn could visit to tell the story of 70-year-old Lars Hedegaard: 
The other day in Copenhagen, he answered his doorbell and found a man in his early twenties who appeared to be “a typical Muslim immigrant” pointing a gun at him. He fired from a yard away, and, amazingly, missed. The bullet whistled past Lars’s ear, and the septuagenarian scholar then slugged his assailant. The man fired again, but the gun jammed, and, after some further tussling, the would-be assassin escaped. He has yet to be found.
The attempted murder of an “Islamophobe” is part of the scene in today’s Europe. Among those targeted have been such obvious “right-wing extremists” as secular feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, gay hedonist Pim Fortuyn, and coke-snorting anti-monarchist Theo van Gogh. While I was in Copenhagen paying a visit to Lars’s Danish Free Press Society, a young Chechen jihadist opposed to all this outrageous Islamophobia prematurely detonated while assembling his bomb in his hotel room, and we all had a good laugh. But sometimes, as on Lars’s doorstep, the jihad wannabe is less incompetent and gets a little closer. 
It was a one-man peace conference, after a fashion. Steyn continues: 
As I said, Lars is 70. But I would rather have him fighting my corner than the young, self-neutered eunuch-men of a cowed media, watching the lights go out on free speech and slipping easily and painlessly into the accomplices of thuggery. 
“The young, self-neutered eunuch-men of a cowed media.” Perfect.
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NERD INDICTED

Tim Blair – Friday, March 15, 2013 (6:37pm)

Someone might be going away
The deputy social media editor for Reuters has been indicted by the US Justice Department for allegedly conspiring with members of the hacktivist movement Anonymous. 
According to the Guardian: “Keys has worked at Reuters just over a year. He has a widespread following on Twitter among journalists.” 
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STAND UP AND SAY THE RIGHT THING

Tim Blair – Friday, March 15, 2013 (12:33pm)

Shrieking greenist Clive Hamilton discusses threats to freedom of speech – in 2007: 
I think there’s a huge role in history for courageous individuals who stand up at the right time and say the right thing. A lot of the doubts and worries that others are having suddenly crystallize and people shift …
There are powerful political forces exerting influence in various ways, and that has meant that people realize the consequences of resisting or speaking out are much more serious, potentially. It only takes one or two people to be made examples of – everybody gets the message pretty quickly ...
I suppose, even with McCarthyism, what we’re experiencing now in Australia doesn’t get close to that. There are certainly some similarities, but in terms of the intensity of it, the U.S. in the 1950s was a very scary place for any sort of independent thinking. The fact is that in Australia alternative opinion still can be expressed, although often at some cost to the critic.
Some of the laws restricting free speech that have been introduced recently go too far and represent a significant threat to our civil liberty. 
Via Tony Thomas, who asks: “Clive, you’re a good man, a brave man. Now go tell all this to Stephen Conroy!
UPDATE. Finally, a valid reason for greater press control: zombies!
UPDATE II. Conroy fans get active.
UPDATE III. Time for another Australian media inquiry
Four journalists have been arrested on suspicion of phone hacking at the Mirror group in the UK, Scotland Yard says.
Three men, aged 40, 49 and 46, and a 47-year-old woman were arrested at separate addresses in south London at 6am on Thursday morning. 
Let’s hear some hard questions.
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Gillard abandons child

Andrew BoltMARCH152013(3:54pm)

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When I pointed out this transparent and ridiculous spin, I received an angry text of complaint. But now I see Gillard has misplaced her child in her latest Twitter incarnation. How careless of her:
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One year before Iran crosses Obama’s “red line”

Andrew BoltMARCH152013(9:58am)

So what will he actually do about it? 
Iran is about a year away from developing a nuclear weapon and the United States remains committed to doing everything in its power to prevent that from happening, President Barack Obama said in an exclusive interview aired Thursday on Israeli TV…

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March 15Ides of MarchPurim begins at sunset (Judaism, 2014); National Dayin Hungary (1848)
Blank map of Maine
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“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” - 2 Peter 1:5-8
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
March 14: Morning

"Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." - 1 Corinthians 10:12
It is a curious fact, that there is such a thing as being proud of grace. A man says, "I have great faith, I shall not fall; poor little faith may, but I never shall." "I have fervent love," says another, "I can stand, there is no danger of my going astray." He who boasts of grace has little grace to boast of. Some who do this imagine that their graces can keep them, knowing not that the stream must flow constantly from the fountain head, or else the brook will soon be dry. If a continuous stream of oil comes not to the lamp, though it burn brightly today, it will smoke to-morrow, and noxious will be its scent. Take heed that thou gloriest not in thy graces, but let all thy glorying and confidence be in Christ and his strength, for only so canst thou be kept from falling. Be much more in prayer. Spend longer time in holy adoration. Read the Scriptures more earnestly and constantly. Watch your lives more carefully. Live nearer to God. Take the best examples for your pattern. Let your conversation be redolent of heaven. Let your hearts be perfumed with affection for men's souls. So live that men may take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus, and have learned of him; and when that happy day shall come, when he whom you love shall say, "Come up higher," may it be your happiness to hear him say, "Thou hast fought a good fight, thou hast finished thy course, and henceforth there is laid up for thee a crown of righteousness which fadeth not away." On, Christian, with care and caution! On, with holy fear and trembling! On, with faith and confidence in Jesus alone, and let your constant petition be, "Uphold me according to thy word." He is able, and he alone, "To keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy."
Evening
"I will take heed to my ways." - Psalm 39:1
Fellow-pilgrim, say not in your heart, "I will go hither and thither, and I shall not sin;" for you are never so out of danger of sinning as to boast of security. The road is very miry, it will be hard to pick your path so as not to soil your garments. This is a world of pitch; you will need to watch often, if in handling it you are to keep your hands clean. There is a robber at every turn of the road to rob you of your jewels; there is a temptation in every mercy; there is a snare in every joy; and if you ever reach heaven, it will be a miracle of divine grace to be ascribed entirely to your Father's power. Be on your guard. When a man carries a bomb-shell in his hand, he should mind that he does not go near a candle; and you too must take care that you enter not into temptation. Even your common actions are edged tools; you must mind how you handle them. There is nothing in this world to foster a Christian's piety, but everything to destroy it. How anxious should you be to look up to God, that he may keep you! Your prayer should be, "Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe." Having prayed, you must also watch; guarding every thought, word, and action, with holy jealousy. Do not expose yourselves unnecessarily; but if called to exposure, if you are bidden to go where the darts are flying, never venture forth without your shield; for if once the devil finds you without your buckler, he will rejoice that his hour of triumph is come, and will soon make you fall down wounded by his arrows. Though slain you cannot be; wounded you may be. "Be sober; be vigilant, danger may be in an hour when all seemeth securest to thee." Therefore, take heed to thy ways, and watch unto prayer. No man ever fell into error through being too watchful. May the Holy Spirit guide us in all our ways; so shall they always please the Lord.
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Gog 

[Gŏg] - a roof or a mountain.
1. A Reubenite, and grandson of Joel (1 Chron. 5:4).
2. A prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and not the mystic character of Revelation 20:8-15. Who is this dominant figure Ezekiel pictures as leading a great host of Northern nations against Israel? Ezekiel 38:2, 3, 14, 16, 18; 39:1, 11 are passages to be closely studied.
The Man of the Future
Gog is mentioned as the son of Shemaiah, in the line of Reuben, as above. Here in Ezekiel Gog appears as the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and is foretold as being defeated and five-sixths of his army destroyed as he comes up from "the north parts" and invades "the mountains of Israel."
There are those who affirm that Gog merely represents a title of royal dignity, similar to the Egyptian word Pharaoh. It has also been suggested that as Ezekiel represents Gog as being accompanied in his invasion of the land of Israel by the Persians, Ethiopians, Libyans and others, that the term may be a general designation for all the enemies of Israel. Those who hold this theory find confirmation for it in Revelation 20:8-10 where Gog and Magog are linked together as if they were persons who seem to symbolize all the future foes of Israel. This may be the reason why various writers in the seventh century identified Gog with the Antichrist.
Historically, Gog may have been an actual ruler of a non-Semitic nation over against the north of Palestine and Asia Minor, Armenia, Syria or Scythia.
Prophetically, Gog is to be the chief prince, the fearsome force in the great Northern Confederacy in which Russia will play a prominent part.
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Eunice

The Woman Whose Son Became a Famous Evangelist
Name Meaning: Eunice implies "conquering well," and was a name expressive of a good or happy victory, and in its origin doubtless commemorated some such event. Nice or "nike" was a favorite ending of female names in the Macedonian age. Eunice lived up to her name for she conquered in the effort to bring up her son in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Family Connections: Eunice was the daughter of Lois whose name is of Greek origin. Scripture is silent as to the identity of her father. A Jew, Eunice married a Gentile, and as nothing is said of him it can be assumed that he was dead by the time Paul contacted the family.
The commanding feature of the Scriptural record of Eunice and her mother is their religious influence upon Timothy who, from childhood days had known the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:14-15). These two godly women had trained him up in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6). How gratified they must have been when Timothy set out to do the work of an evangelist! 2 Timothy 4:5 ). His name, Timothy, means "one who fears God," and must have been chosen by his Jewish mother, and not by his Gentile father who probably had little leaning Godward. Evidence seems to point to the contention that Lois, Eunice and Timothy were won to Christ by Paul on an earlier visit to Lystra where the family lived Acts 14:6-7 ). Although Lois and her daughter were women and well-versed in Old Testament Scriptures, and taught the child Timothy the same, it was Paul who brought them to see that the One who died upon the cross to save sinners was the long-promised Messiah. That the Apostle led Timothy to Christ is proven by the way Paul speaks of him as his "beloved son" and his "son in the faith." How grateful to God Eunice must have been when Paul chose her much-loved son to be his companion in his evangelistic work! How she would appreciate the word of Solomon, "She that bare thee shall rejoice" Proverbs 23:25).
Hereditary piety and personal faith are implied in Paul's reference to the unfeigned faith which first dwelt in Timothy's grandmother, Lois, then in his mother, Eunice, and then in himself also. While one parent's faith can sanctify a child 1 Corinthians 7:14 ), it is a personal faith in Christ that saves the soul. Notice is taken of the faith of Timothy's mother, but not of his father. After Paul's reference to Lois and Eunice in his second epistle to Timothy, they are not mentioned again. There may be a veiled reference to them, however, in what Paul had to say about widows and the children of widows 1 Timothy 5:4-5).
The important feature we glean from the record of Timothy is that of the value of a positive Christian training in the home. Paul seems to be saying to Timothy in effect, "That you have always been schooled in the Scriptures represents an inestimable grace, for which you ought always to thank your God." We can be sure that Timothy constantly praised God for a home wherein His honor dwelt. Augustine always confessed the debt he owed to his saintly mother, Monica. Not all children have godly parents and the safeguard of a Christian home, but those born into a home where Christ is its Head are privileged and grow up to bless God for their spiritual heritage. Alas, the heartache of godly parents is to have a child or children who, as they come to the age of accountability, spurn the Christian influences of the home created for them!
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Today's reading: Deuteronomy 22-24, Mark 14:1-26 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Deuteronomy 22-24

If you see your fellow Israelite's ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. 2 If they do not live near you or if you do not know who owns it, take it home with you and keep it until they come looking for it. Then give it back. 3 Do the same if you find their donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost. Do not ignore it.
4 If you see your fellow Israelite's donkey or ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help the owner get it to its feet....

Today's New Testament reading: Mark 14:1-26

Jesus Anointed at Bethany
1 Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. 2 "But not during the festival," they said, "or the people may riot."
3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, "Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor." And they rebuked her harshly....
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Today's Lent reading: Matthew 13-14 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
The Parable of the Sower
1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "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. 5Some 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. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear...."
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Today's Prayer

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan; Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. -- Book of Common Prayer

Today's Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 3:18-22

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 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits-- 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand--with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Today's Quote

The Lord, though he was God, became man. He suffered for the sake of those who suffer, he was bound for those in bonds, condemned for the guilty, buried for those who lie in the grave; but he rose from the dead, and cried aloud:

"Who will contend with me? Let him confront me. I have freed the condemned, brought the dead back to life, raised men from their graves. Who has anything to say against me? I," he said, "am the Christ; I have destroyed death, triumphed over the enemy, trampled hell underfoot, bound the strong one, and taken men up to the heights of heaven: I am the Christ."

"Come, then, all you nations of men, receive forgiveness for the sins that defile you. I am your forgiveness. I am the Passover that brings salvation. I am the lamb who was immolated for you. I am your ransom, your life, your resurrection, your light, I am your salvation and your king. I will bring you to the heights of heaven. With my own right hand I will raise you up, and I will show you the eternal Father." --Melito of Sardis, 2nd century church father

Something to Think About

As we begin the second week of Lent, what is on your heart? Has God placed on you any special concerns, convictions, or reminders?



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