Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tue Apr 26th Todays News

Changes to negative gearing will not benefit Australia or the budget. Any change is likely to force a market correction where the average home owner will lose $20k. Any losses are likely to be felt most by renters. Yet a desperate political class are seriously entertaining the bad idea, because the Senate Cross bench are as irresponsible as the ALP and Greens. If changes are made and the market corrects, no one will be able to change it back and capture the lost money. It will be gone. The idea of taxing to prosperity is bad. The best way to achieve prosperity is to cut spending and remove trade restrictions that are counterproductive. Some will point at politicians and say they should cut their salaries by $20k. But a good politician is worth much more, and any bad politician will be too expensive if they are paid a dollar a year. The important thing is to vote wisely. Vote for a conservative. Sadly, there may not be a conservative in some seats. National Party gets my support. I want the Liberals to win government. But I don't like the Liberal Leader at the moment. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
Many thousands of years of recorded history, and one expects to be able to find somewhere what works and what doesn't for any of many things. Compass, on ABC channel 2 puts forward a labyrinth as a healing sculpture. All one need do is toddle from beginning to middle to end. It is different to a maze, gushes the voice over. A maze might not end, but have traps and dead ends. Others have religion, but the secular ABC has a labyrinth. One wants to give hope for the terminally ill. Finding God can do that. Following a labyrinth may be comforting, like waiting in a dole queue, only not as rewarding. Petrarch's great achievement on this day was to climb a mountain. But he had another achievement, which was to platonically love a virtuous woman, Laura. Thought to be Laura de Noves, Petrarch first saw her when she was 17 and he was 23. She died age 38, and he was grief stricken. He wrote poetry about her, not persuasive, so as to succumb to him, but exalting. And the renaissance began when a religious man fell in love. And he didn't get lost in the labyrinth of unrequited love. And the renaissance possibly ended in an ABC Labyrinth. 

Nepal has needs, and has been struck by an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale. People are missing, buildings damaged, but there are remarkably many who are safe. Even so, at least 1900 have known to have died. The mountain has tragedy and inspiration, even today after Petrarch first noted it in 1336. Petrarch noted a mountain in Europe, not Nepal, but the great height and achievement remain. Give generously to Nepal. ABC Insiders presents three journalists none of which understand the conservative position on any policy. They accept, without question the most specious statements made by the opposition shadow health minister. There is no need to give public money to the ABC. They need to earn it by setting a good standard. 

On this day in 1478, The Pazzi, a banking family, attack Lorenzo De Medici and kill his brother Giuliano during High Mass. Banking was serious back then too. Shakespeare was baptised on this day. It might mean he was born six days earlier. In 1802, Napoleon allowed former nobles to return to France. It was to help him secure his imperial crown. In 1803, thousands of meteor fragments fell in France, convincing scientists that meteors exist. No one knows what it will take to convince the religious regarding AGW hysteria. In 1865, Union soldiers found John Wilkes Booth in a warehouse and killed him there. In 1923, The Duke of York, and future king, married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the Queen's Mother. In 1937, the German Luftwaffe bombed Guernica in Spain. In 1942, the Benxihu colliery accident killed 1549 Chinese miners. In 1944, a heroic operation resulted in the capture of German General Kreipe in Crete. In 1945, some US and Filipino troops were liberated. They used their freedom to fight Japanese forces under General Yamashita. In 1956, the first successful container ship, SS Ideal X, sailed from NJ to Texas. In 1963, the Libyan constitution allowed women to vote. In 1965, a Rolling Stones concert shut down after 15 mins due to rioting. In 1981, the world's first open fetal surgery was performed. In 1982, an utterly selfish police officer in South Korea killed 56 people, including himself. He had been worried by what people thought about him. In 1986, the worst ever nuclear accident occurred at Chernobyl. Nuclear power stations today are far safer. 
From 2014
Success, they say, has many fathers. One event, said to have raised the spirit of Renaissance, happened on this day in 1336 when Petrarch claimed he climbed Mont Ventoux with his brother. The claim was made in a six thousand word letter he wrote almost fifteen years after the event, claiming he had composed the letter as he went on his journey. At the peak, he opened Augustine and read "People are moved to wonder by mountain peaks, by vast waves of the sea, by broad waterfalls on rivers, by the all-embracing extent of the ocean, by the revolutions of the stars. But in themselves they are uninterested." Regardless of the voracity of the claim, the renaissance is real. People nowadays climb mountains just for the view. 

Today is the birthday of Shakespeare, Marcus Aurelius, Marie de Medici, Wittgenstein, Jessica Lynch and Jet Li. Today is the date that includes the last moments of Srinivasa Ramanujan, Count Basie and Lucille Ball. Today is the day the White House announced the G7 agreed to move swiftly in applying sanctions to Russia over claims by Ukraine that Russia wants a world war. It will be a long time before the truth of the situation is known, but prima facie, Putin did a deal with Obama allowing Russia to seize part of Ukraine. It looks like Ukraine secret agents are killing people so as to smear Russia in retaliation. For world peace, it would be good for Obama to step aside. Because, after climbing Mont Ventoux, one goes down. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 1336, Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) ascended Mont Ventoux. 1478, the Pazzi attack Lorenzo de' Medici and kill his brother Giuliano during High Mass in the Duomo of Florence. 1564, Playwright William Shakespeare was baptised in Stratford-upon-AvonWarwickshireEngland (date of actual birth is unknown). 1607, English colonists made landfall at Cape HenryVirginia. 1721, a massive earthquake devastated the Iranian city of Tabriz.

In 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte signed a general amnesty to allow all but about one thousand of the most notorious émigrés of the French Revolution to return to France, as part of a reconciliary gesture with the factions of the Ancien Régime and to eventually consolidate his own rule. 1803, thousands of meteor fragments fell from the skies of L'Aigle, France; the event convinces European science that meteors exist. 1805, First Barbary WarUnited States Marines captured Derne under the command of First Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon. 1865, American Civil WarConfederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered his army to General William Tecumseh Sherman at the Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina. Also the date of Confederate Memorial Day for two states. Also 1865, Union cavalry troopers corner and shoot dead John Wilkes Boothassassin of President Lincoln, in Virginia.

In 1903, Atlético Madrid Association football club was founded 1923, The Duke of Yorkwedded Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at Westminster Abbey. 1925, Paul von Hindenburgdefeated Wilhelm Marx in the second round of the German presidential election to become the first directly elected head of state of the Weimar Republic. 1933, the Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, was established. 1937, Spanish Civil WarGuernica (or Gernika in Basque), Spain is bombed by German Luftwaffe. 1942, Benxihu Colliery accident in Manchukuo left 1549 Chinese miners dead. 1943, the Easter Riots broke out in UppsalaSweden. 1944, Georgios Papandreou became head of the Greek government-in-exile based in Egypt. Also 1944, Heinrich Kreipe was captured by Allied commandos in occupied Crete. 1945, World War IIBattle of Bautzen: Last successful German tank-offensive of the war and last noteworthy victory of the Wehrmacht. Also 1945, World War II: Filipino troops of the 66th Infantry Regiment, Philippine Commonwealth Army, USAFIP-NL and the American troops of the 33rd and 37th Infantry Division, United States Army were liberated in Baguio City and they fought against the Japanese forces under General Tomoyuki Yamashita.

In 1954, the Geneva Conference, an effort to restore peace in Indochina and Korea, began. 1956, SS Ideal X, the world's first successful container ship, left Port NewarkNew Jersey for HoustonTexas. 1958, final run of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Royal Blue from Washington, D.C., to New York City after 68 years, the first U.S. passenger train to use electric locomotives. 1960, forced out by the April RevolutionPresident of South KoreaSyngman Rhee resigned after twelve years of dictatorial rule. 1962, NASA's Ranger 4spacecraft crashed into the Moon. 1963, in Libya, amendments to the constitution transformed Libya (United Kingdom of Libya) into one national unity (Kingdom of Libya) and allowed for female participation in elections. 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge to form Tanzania. 1965, a Rolling Stones concert in London, Ontario was shut down by police after 15 minutes due to rioting. 1966, an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 destroyed Tashkent. also 1966, a new government was formed in the Republic of Congo, led by Ambroise Noumazalaye. 1970, the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organizationentered into force.

In 1981, Dr. Michael R. Harrison of the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center performed the world's first human open fetal surgery. 1982, fifty-seven people were killed by former police officer Woo Bum-kon in a shooting spree in Gyeongsangnam-doSouth Korea. 1986, a nuclear reactor accident occurs at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union (now Ukraine), creating the world's worst nuclear disaster. 1989, the deadliest tornado in world history struck Central Bangladesh, killing upwards of 1,300, injuring 12,000, and leaving as many as 80,000 homeless. Also 1989, People's Daily published the People's Daily editorial of April 26 which inflamed the nascent Tiananmen Square protests 1991, seventy tornadoes broke out in the central United States. Before the outbreak's end, Andover, Kansas, would record the year's only F5 tornado (see Andover, Kansas Tornado Outbreak). 1994, China Airlines Flight 140 crashed at Nagoya Airport in Japan, killing 264 of the 271 people on board. 2002, Robert Steinhäuser infiltrated and killed 16 at Gutenberg-Gymnasiumin ErfurtGermany before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot. 2005, under international pressure, Syria withdrew the last of its 14,000 troop military garrison in Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country (Syrian occupation of Lebanon).
=== 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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Thanks to Warren for this advice on watching Bolt
Warren Catton Get this for your PC or MAC https://www.foxtel.com.au/foxtelplay/how-it-works/pc-mac.html Once tou have installed it start it up and press Live TV you don't need a login to watch Sky News!
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I have moved from Sydney to Melbourne and am desperate for funding. If you have a heart for giving, I fundraise at gofundme.com/abeueaec
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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 Lisa Le and Vinh Nguyen. Born on the same day, across the years. The same day as Chernobyl nuclear reactors went steaming explosive in the worst radiation disaster since the Japanese Tsunami caused a radiation leak killing no one. The same day as Marcus Aurelius and William Shakespeare. You are that awesome.
Deaths
SS emblem
Enjoy the theatre. Trust good people. No one wins war without sacrifice. We know what you own. It is buried somewhere. Let's party. 
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SAUCE SANDWICHES JUST TWENTY CENTS

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 26, 2016 (8:57pm)

We had it all back in the 1980s.
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MARGO GETS IT

Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 26, 2016 (3:48pm)

Readers will recall Andrew Bolt’s acute observation that “the difference between a conservative and the Left is often just time.” Keep that in mind as you read the latest from Margo Kingston:

image

Her followers aren’t happy: 
What racist garbage from you Margo.
That’s really unfair. Pluralist values are the way to go. Not ‘western’ or ‘Muslim’.
have you been hacked?
Whoa! I was hoping that was satire.
What does that mean even mean?
Jesus Margo! WTF! Refugees seek asylum where they can.
what evidence do you have that refugees don’t respect our values and culture?
You’ve lost me Margo. The only universal ‘western value’ I can think of is Imperialism.
WOW are you stroking out?
are you okay? i expected better from you
disappointing.... thats all I can say.
sad to see this.
can’t believe you said that
I expect better from you.
I think your account has been hacked. Or your mind has been taken over by aliens. Or both. 
UPDATE. In related news
Bangladesh police say a top gay rights activist and editor at the country’s only LGBT magazine is one of two people who have been hacked to death.
Since February last year suspected militants have killed several secular or atheist writers and members of religious minority groups. 
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THEIR TWITTER ACCOUNTS WEREN’T TOO FLASH EITHER

Tim Blair – Monday, April 25, 2016 (8:23pm)

The Guardian‘s Paul Daley is upset by diary entries written by Australian soldiers in World War I: 
We don’t talk about the pejorative references to Indigenous Australians in the diaries and letters of these men – attitudes that informed their poor view of the indigenes of the Middle East. 
Wait until Paul discovers what they thought about gay marriage and transgender toilet access. Those men were animals.
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BOJO MEETS BOZO

Tim Blair – Monday, April 25, 2016 (7:08pm)

The look on Boris Johnson’s face:

image
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Robbing home owners of $20,000? What’s the problem?

Andrew Bolt April 26 2016 (2:07pm)

No worries!
Experts have issued a warning that restrictions to negative gearing would knock $126 billion out of Australia’s housing market and drop property prices by an average 2 percent…
Labor has declared they will scale back negative gearing if they win the next election, making only new homes eligible and reducing the capital gains tax discount from 50 percent to 25 percent starting July 2017.
Despite the hit on the housing market, the Grattan Institute report backs negative gearing reduction...
But wait: that means costing people with a $1 million house $20,000.
UPDATE
The Financial Review sees little hope of rescue from our financial decline:
In 2007, Labor Treasurer Wayne Swan inherited a $21 billion budget surplus. Six years later he left a $48 billion deficit. The global financial crisis came in between, but so did the greatest investment and trade boom in Australia’s history.
Mr Swan’s “temporary” post-GFC deficit – which he failed to even mention in his 2009 budget speech – remains on track to last for more than a dozen years and total $400 billion or so.  A capital-importing nation with no commonwealth government debt at all just over a decade ago now risks being stripped of the AAA sovereign credit rating.
It all amounts to a massive and repeated fiscal failure as both sides of politics allowed too much of a temporary national income boom to be embedded in ongoing political spending promises…
Delivering his first budget a week from today, Scott Morrison is the fourth Treasurer to confront Australia’s modern fiscal failure. Mr Morrison correctly portrays the root of the problem as excess spending – jacking up taxes would by and large crimp economic growth and so be self-defeating. Yet his mid-year update in December allowed the project deficit to extend into the 2020s…
Announcements since then ... have added to the red ink.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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12 French subs for Adelaide

Andrew Bolt April 26 2016 (1:59pm)

Malcolm Turnbull has promised to build 12 new French submarines in Adelaide, with Australian steel.
And so a project to defend Australia has become a project to employ Australians. The estimated extra cost of building each submarine here will be 30 per cent, excluding the software. In other words, we could have got 16 for the price of 12 if we’d just bought overseas. 
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Bramston gives Fairfax too much credit

Andrew Bolt April 26 2016 (9:47am)

Curious. The only remotely conservative part of the Sydney Morning Herald is its editorials. For the rest, the likes of Elizabeth Farrelly, Mark Kenny, Peter Hartcher, climate catastrophist Peter Hannan and Charles Waterstreet run riot.
Over at The Age, it’s even worse, of course. Not for years has this paper, once allegedly the paper of the capitalist class, had an on-staff conservative columnist.
Former Labor staffer Troy Bramston fails to note these curious facts about Fairfax, but does note something else - with a touch of bitterness and maybe a little myopia:
Congratulations to The Sydney Morning Herald on reaching its 185th anniversary… These days the Herald proudly proclaims it has been “Independent Always”. In its self-reverential tributes, the paper boasts “185 years of independent journalism”. In truth, this is utter rubbish…
The Herald has been until relatively recently a bastion of the conservative political, social and economic establishment.
The paper’s political enemy for much of its history has been the Labor Party. In fact, when Labor was formed 125 years ago this month, the Herald said it represented “our greatest peril” as a ­nation…
With this editorial frame it is not surprising that the Herald never recommended a vote for federal Labor until 1961. During an economic downturn, the paper ­argued that the policies of Robert Menzies’ government had failed and that Arthur Calwell would do better. It was a bizarre editorial position.
How on earth the Herald could not bring itself to endorse the popular wartime government of John Curtin is beyond belief. Nor did the paper support Gough Whitlam in 1972 or Bob Hawke in 1983. It was only in 1984 that the Herald could bring itself to support Hawke’s re-election, a view it kept in 1987. But it was a long time between drinks.
The Herald’s editorial line on NSW politics is even more astonishing. Although Neville Wran was one of Australia’s most popular politicians — his approval rating climbed above 80 per cent — the Herald never recommended a vote for Labor under his leadership… [I]t took the Herald 112 years to back NSW Labor at an election. How is this “Independent Always”?
This history has been whitewashed from the Herald’s anniversary coverage. I for one would like to hear the inside story of how the paper thought, for example, that Billy McMahon and Billy Snedden deserved strong support in election editorials.
Many left-leaning Herald readers today would be shocked to know the paper supported John Howard’s election and re-election. The Herald didn’t support Paul Keating in 1993 or 1996. It did back Kevin Rudd in 2007 and Julia Gillard in 2010.
But last year, the Herald called on Bill Shorten to “consider his ­future” as Labor leader.
I think we can consider the rot really set in at the SMH with Rudd. But how Bramston could consider a refusal to back Whitlam as a source of shame beats me.
But he draws an interesting constrast:
The Australian, founded as an anti-establishment paper, marked its 50th anniversary in 2014… [I]t recommended votes for Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser, Hawke, Howard, Rudd and ­Abbott. The Australian didn’t recommend a vote against Keating in 1996 — it left it up to voters to decide. This paper has a record of supporting both sides of politics far more than any of the Fairfax mastheads.
I think Bramston’s piece tends to urge readers to what would be a bizarre conclusion: that the Fairfax papers are more pro-Liberal (and anti-Left) than The Australian.
(Thanks to reader brett t r.) 
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Here we go again: reality worse than the Budget claimed

Andrew Bolt April 26 2016 (8:09am)

That the Budget can consistently exaggerate the health of our future finances suggests desperate politicians have had more influence preparing the forecasts than they should:
Scott Morrison has warned that next Tuesday’s budget will be hit by economic forces beyond the government’s control, as a leading analyst predicts it will show a $16 billion blowout in the deficit.
The Treasurer told The Australian last night that ... the budget would reveal the changes in the economic forecasts since the mid-year update released before Christmas. “These are estimates beyond the government’s control,” he said…
The latest private sector forecasts show there will be another big shortfall in company tax ­receipts and weaker personal income tax revenue than Treasury had predicted. Treasury’s predictions late last year for Australia’s economic growth and inflation are seen as too optimistic and are expected to be downgraded.
Ominous:
The government’s budget position has deteriorated $21 billion in the past four months, despite the resurgent iron ore price, a new analysis has found.
The Deloitte Access Budget Monitor finds that a higher than expected dollar, more sluggish than expected wage growth, and new spending commitments have detracted more from the budget position than the higher iron ore price will add.

The starting point for the 2015-16 budget deficit is $38.6 billion, rather than the $33.7 forecast in the last official update in December.
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Straight white male blinded by beam

Andrew Bolt April 26 2016 (7:56am)

Straight white male Brad Chilcott seems blind - even a little racist - when it comes to demonising those with whom he disagrees:
There’s no more perfect example of cognitive dissonance than straight, white conservative males using the platform of their privilege to protest the oppression of straight, white conservatives in Australia…
One can only imagine how truly vulnerable communities would yearn for the elevated platform given to the conservative worldview through the likes of former-prime minister Tony Abbott, current deputy prime minister, numerous senators and MPs, Andrew Bolt, denominational leaders, religious institutions and well-funded lobby groups.
This is the conservative Australian I interviewed on The Bolt Report last night:
image
Meet Senator Joanna Lindgren, Brad, grand-niece of the first Aborigine elected to Parliament. 
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Terror suspect was in deradicalisation program

Andrew Bolt April 26 2016 (7:49am)

Culture counts more than finger-wagging:
A Sydney teenager accused of planning an Anzac Day terror ­attack was participating in a ­government-funded deradicalisation program at the time of his ­arrest, after failed attempts to ­involve him in another plot less than a year ago.
In revelations that will raise fresh questions about the effectiveness of programs designed to deter young people from extremist ideas, the 16-year-old arrested yesterday had been working with police for almost a year before he allegedly tried to source a gun as part of an alleged attack…
He was referred to the NSW Police intervention program. He was given a gym membership, taken to English-language sermons at a mosque and received regular visits and phone calls from community contact police who checked in on his welfare.
Outwardly, the boy appeared to be thriving.
Although he dropped out of school, he got a job and appeared happier and less withdrawn.
The boy’s Lebanese family is ­religious, but quietly so.
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Building up a dirty government deal

Piers Akerman – Sunday, April 26, 2015 (12:06am)

TheThe southern states and the federal government could learn a lot from the manner in which the Northern Territory is starting to drain the swamp of Labor crocodiles.
Last Sunday NT Labor ­Opposition Leader Delia Lawrie resigned after police plans to establish a special unit to ­investigate her for possible breaches of criminal law relating to an underhand property deal were revealed.
The scam was a simple plan.
On its last day in power the former NT Labor government gave Unions NT a 10-year, rent-free lease to a $3 million Darwin property for $442 (GST included) despite objections from the Lands Department, which wanted the site to be put to tender.
Known locally as Stella Maris, the name of the former mission to seamen which existed there prior to 2007, the scandal has not only sunk Lawrie, it has brought into disrepute the outgoing president of the NT Bar Association, Alistair Wyvill, the former president of NT Labor, and ALP Senate candidate Matthew Gardiner (who was reportedly involved in the Syrian conflict), another former president of Labor NT Cathy Spurr, former lands minister Gerry McCarthy and a raft of Labor MPs and advisers and strategists.
The particularly smelly deal was investigated by Commissioner John Lawler, former CEO of the Australian Crime Commission, and a former federal police officer.
He was scathing in his findings, noting inter alia, that the Lands Department “believed there was an expectation to make the lease offer before the pre-election government caretaker period commenced on 6 August, 2012, and, given the ­official Cabinet direction, acted with undue haste in processing Unions NT’s flawed community land grant application.
“This led to the department breaching its own processes for dealing with community land grants,” he said in his findings.
“The grant application the department processed was ­inaccurate, three years out of date and did not document Unions NT’s true intentions for the site.”
He then went through each minister, finding McCarthy did not act with accountability, ­responsibility or with proper consideration of those likely to be affected by his decision.
Lawrie, he said, acted with bias towards Unions NT “over many years”.
Indeed, he said it was ­"unlikely the submission would have gone to that Cabinet meeting or that the letter of offer would have been made on 3 August, 2012, without minister Lawrie’s intervention”.
Nor did he miss Unions NT, which he said submitted an ­application to McCarthy and Lawrie which “did not have a proper factual basis, was misleading and exaggerated” and also misrepresented the relationship between the Seafarer’s Union and the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS), which had run the site between 1979 and 2003.
Instead of copping it, Lawrie protested to the NT Supreme Court that she had been ­denied fair process by Commissioner Lawler.
Lawrie lost that one, too, with Justice Stephen Southwood rejecting that view in the strongest terms.
In his findings he accepted that “Lawrie and her lawyers engaged in a deceptive strategy to ignore, disengage and discredit” the Lawler inquiry.
He found Lawrie approved the sending of a letter to Commissioner Lawler containing material that was “deliberately and knowingly false”.
The former president of the Law Council of Australia dismissed Lawrie’s claims. The former journalist and former media union officer was found, with her lawyers, to have ­engaged in a “conscious and deliberate strategy” to make “false” and “completely baseless allegations” against Commissioner Lawler to discredit the “ugly” report that was to be the end result of his inquiry.
But it was the land deal at the heart of the Stella Maris case that revealed the nature of NT Labor — a scheme with benefits for the trade union movement with similarities to the Centenary House “rent rort” that Labor ran in Canberra for more than decade, and the relocation by the Gillard government of the Commonwealth Parliament’s Sydney offices, again to the benefit of the union movement, which should ring bells for readers.
Centenary House, owned by John Curtin House Ltd, was the subject of two royal commissions before being sold for around $35 million in 2005.
The first commission, set up by Labor prime minister Paul Keating, found the rents to government departments, including the Audit Office, were not excessive. The second, set up by Liberal prime minister John Howard, found the original ­inquiry was inadequate.
It found the rent was excessive and should not have been entered into by a prudent ­government.
Commissioner David Hunt, QC, said the lease was $42 million above market rates and that, while there was “no undue influence, unfair pressure or unfair tactics” over the rent deal, the terms of lease to the Audit Office were “exceptionally beneficial” to the ALP, not “reasonable or prudent”, and out of line with the market.
He also criticised the Audit Office and Department of ­Finance for their failure to investigate the Centenary House lease before it was signed.
In August, 2011, Gillard cut the ribbon at the opening of 1 Bligh Street, one of the Sydney’s most expensive office towers, and moved the Commonwealth offices into the building, part-owned by the construction union’s super fund, Cbus.
Real estate experts said the move would at least double the rent paid by the taxpayers to about $6 million a year.
There was nothing wrong with the government’s former Phillip St accommodation but neither Labor nor the union movement had a cut of the rent.
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THE RAIN WILL NEVER FALL

Tim Blair – Sunday, April 26, 2015 (5:15am)

Fairfax cartoonist Cathy Wilcox – another who believes Islamic State extremists are the same as Anzacs – thinks she’s drawn a global warming denier. But she’s actually drawn an extremely accurate image of  Tim Flannery, minus his beard and usual costume
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ANZACS = JIHADIS

Tim Blair – Sunday, April 26, 2015 (4:47am)

The Age‘s Gina McColl
It’s a dangerous idea, drawing parallels between the idealistic recruits who left Australia for Gallipoli and World War I and young jihadis leaving to fight with Islamic State in Syria and Iraq today. And potentially incendiary on Anzac Day in its centenary year.
But think for a moment. Young men, many from migrant families who came to Australia seeking a better life, going to the Middle East to fight in a war that shows their fellowship with an international brotherhood, fighting for Empire. Exploited as fodder in battle and put into unwinnable situations. The parallels have their limits but they are compelling. 
McColl is out of her mind. And over at SBS, soccer reporter Scott McIntyre believes Australia shares responsibility for the largest single-day terrorist attacks in history
Not forgetting that the largest single-day terrorist attacks in history were committed by this nation & their allies in Hiroshima & Nagasaki 
Even SBS’s managing director isn’t prepared to cop that.
UPDATE. Add another name to the list. McIntyre has been sacked.
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GAS BILL

Tim Blair – Sunday, April 26, 2015 (4:17am)

Victimhood-pleading US environmentaloid Bill McKibben in 2008: 
Gas at $4 a gallon means we’re running out … 
What does gas at $2 a gallon mean, Bill? Further from crazy McKibben in 2009
All it took to end the SUV era forever was six weeks of $4 a gallon gasoline. 
As usual, a climate catastrophist prediction is incorrect. Here are last year’s sales figures
As gas prices dropped and automakers rolled out a slew of new and significantly redesigned SUVs, more than a million American buyers bypassed fuel-efficient hybrids and small cars in favor of larger, more capable SUVs.
Sale of SUVs in 2014 exceeded prerecession levels; when final 2014 figures are announced Monday, they should show SUV sales surpassed 1.5 million for the first time since 2007, when automakers sold 2.2 million. Sport utility sales, according to AutoData Corp., were up 64 percent from their low of fewer than 1 million in 2009; and they were up 7.6 percent compared to November 2013. 
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The Bolt Report today, April 26

Andrew Bolt April 26 2015 (6:52am)

On the  The Bolt Report on Channel 10 at 10am and 3pm.
Guests:  Environment Minister Greg Hunt, Human Rights Commissioner (the very sensible one) Tim Wilson, former NSW Labor Minister Paul McLeay and Daily Telegraph columnist Piers Akerman.
On Anzac Day confounding its critics, the ABC defending Tim Flannery, Christine Milne’s great seeming, Labor’s great taxing and the Liberals’ great softening.
The videos of the shows appear here.
UPDATE
Scott McIntyre, discussed in the show today, has now been sacked by SBS.
From SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid and Director of Sport Ken Shipp: 
Respect for Australian audiences is paramount at SBS.  
Late on Anzac Day, sports presenter Scott McIntyre made highly inappropriate and disrespectful comments via his twitter account which have caused his on-air position at SBS to become untenable.

Mr McIntyre’s actions have breached the SBS Code of Conduct and social media policy and as a result, SBS has taken decisive action to terminate Mr McIntyre’s position at SBS, with immediate effect.
At SBS, employees on and off air are encouraged to participate in social media, however maintaining the integrity of the network and audience trust is vital. It is unfortunate that on this very important occasion, Mr McIntyre’s comments have compromised both.
SBS apologises for any offence or harm caused by Mr McIntyre’s comments which in no way reflect the views of the network. SBS supports our Anzacs and has devoted unprecedented resources to coverage of the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. 
UPDATE
From my interview with Environment Minister Greg Hunt:

On Climate Council chief Tim Flannery:

ANDREW BOLT:  Tim Flannery, head of the Climate Council. As I said before the break, he predicted that even the rain that falls isn’t going to fill our dams and river systems. Now, after the NSW floods, more floods, are you surprised the ABC still treats this man as a guru? 
GREG HUNT: Well, let’s put it this way, everybody’s entitled to their opinion, but what’s absolutely clear is that because of the views of certain people literally billions of dollars was wasted on desalination plants in Melbourne, in Sydney, on the Gold Coast and Adelaide.  All of which were put in by Labor governments. Wasted infrastructure which could have been spent on roads, which could have been spent on hospitals, which could have been spent on schools, and none of them, none of those, are operating…
On believing the warmists’ exaggerated claims: 

ANDREW BOLT: Greg, I’m entirely with you, but the whole point is that they were built on the presumption of the global warming cutting the rain, that, you know, the rains would never again fill the dams. Are you saying, then, that they fell for exaggerated claims? That global warming hasn’t worked out as was predicted?

GREG HUNT: Well, what is absolutely clear is that the people who designed and built them, State Labor governments overwhelmingly, got it wrong in terms of the need for that public infrastructure. 

ANDREW BOLT: No, no, no. But they were following the advice of the alarmists.
GREG HUNT: Let’s not go back to this old debate between you and I. You and I have been debating this for years. I do accept the science, but I reckon that these people…
ANDREW BOLT: Yeah, but that was the argument of these governments. They accepted the science of people like Flannery.
GREG HUNT: But they wouldn’t build new dams. They wouldn’t do practical things. We’re very supportive of new dams. This idea that was run around here in Victoria that dams don’t catch water was one of the most absurd and ludicrous public policy ideas I’ve ever heard of. 
On sponsoring Bjorn Lomborg:
ANDREW BOLT:  Flannery this week also attacked your Government, right, for giving $1-million a year for a new global warming think-tank at the University of Western Australia that will star Danish Professor
Bjorn Lomborg. Now, Lomborg doesn’t doubt that man is warming the planet.
GREG HUNT: Correct.
ANDREW BOLT: But he does say it’s not smart to spend billions of dollars on schemes that don’t actually make any difference, real difference to the temperatures....  But do you accept his argument that we should look at, for all that money, is it worth the gain in terms of temperature? That’s his argument. 

GREG HUNT: Well, here’s the second point and the answer-
ANDREW BOLT: -You’re spending $600 million on cutting emissions. By my calculations, that will avert the temperature by the end of the century by 0.0005 of a degree at the most. Do you agree with my calculations?
GREG HUNT: OK, so the response to that is-
ANDREW BOLT: -Do you agree with that calculation?
GREG HUNT: Look, I’m not going to try to play that game with you because we’ve been doing this for…
ANDREW BOLT: It’s not a game. 
GREG HUNT: …three, four, five, six years but the real point, we’ve just reduced emissions at 1.1% of the cost of doing so under the ALP’s carbon tax, 1.1%. So I do care, deeply, passionately, absolutely, about value for money for taxpayers… As a whole, working with other countries, you then achieve an international outcome.
On The Age comparing Islamist State terrorists to Anzac soldiers:
ANDREW BOLT:  The Age yesterday ran an ANZAC Day article, Greg, asking whether Australian soldiers going to Gallipoli were like Australians Muslims going to Syria to fight for the Islamic State, and it said some of the parallels were striking [actually “compelling"]
GREG HUNT: Now, this piece was stupid but deeply offensive, and I find it extraordinary that the editors would run junk like that on ANZAC Day. And they ought to explain themselves as to why they would run a piece with zero intellectual merit, which was deeply offensive to the vast bulk of Australians and was frankly a foolish piece, which had no place. Now, it’s a free country. They can write what they want, but they have to have responsibility for what they publish.
Full transcript here:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'The Bolt Report today, April 26'
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Kirner in a suit

Andrew Bolt April 26 2015 (6:02am)

John Ferguson on the latest political disaster to hit Victoria:
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews ... finds himself in the uncomfortable territory of being dismissed in business and conservative political circles as a 2015 incarnation of Joan Kirner in a Collins Street suit. 
The comparison comes as the prospect of a Kirner clone — she was premier between 1990 and 1992 — starts to infect editorial page cartoons and pollute the air of talkback radio amid debate about the axing of Melbourne’s $7 billion East West Link road and tunnel project…

Killing the road has rallied the Liberal Party base, alarmed big business, raised the spectre of sovereign risk among foreign powers and left Victorian taxpayers with a bill that will be as high as $800 million, depending on the way the impost is calculated....
Even then, the pre-election decision to scrap East West was made without the immediate backing of shadow cabinet or consultation with party headquarters, a prospect that seems almost ­unbelievable.
“We never knew. It wasn’t put to us. It’s all Dan’s,’’ a cabinet minister tells The Weekend Australian…
Since the election five months ago, sections of the Right have been slightly bemused about the manner in which Andrews has lurched to the left, adopting policy lines that were at times to the left of Kirner…
(H)e has abolished the building construction code designed to crack down on militant unions, added a public holiday the state doesn’t need, banned cattle grazing in a trashed section of the Victorian alps and scrapped plans for a private hospital inside the new $1bn Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre. The cancer hospital decision was almost certainly on ideological grounds.
Tellingly, in the first week of being elected, Andrews struck a sweetheart deal with the recalcitrant ambulance union, and later left open the option of expanding the Victorian public service at the same time as populating key positions with old Labor mates.
He has refused to take a stand against the criminality of the Victorian building division of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union. Indeed, he embraces their work…
Asked on ABC radio about his views on taking on more debt, Andrews was pretty clear this week; it’s well on the agenda… 
As far as the business community is concerned, the May 5 Victorian budget had better deliver, with not a single major project under way in Victoria — further evidence that the East West Link decision is acting as a handbrake on the state… 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Is that all, Michael?

Andrew Bolt April 26 2015 (5:57am)

An SBS sports journalist marks Anzac Day with these comments on all those who died fighting for his freedom and that of so many others:
image
I don’t think the SBS managing director can just tweet this and think his job is done:
image
If McIntyre’s abuse was directed at, say, refugees or some “race”, I am guessing the reporter would be out of job.
UPDATE
He now is. Ebeid writes:
Mr McIntyre’s actions have breached the SBS Code of Conduct and social media policy and as a result, SBS has taken decisive action to terminate Mr McIntyre’s position at SBS, with immediate effect. 
UPDATE
ABC host Jonathan Green declares himself on the McIntyre side of the debate. Is the ABC happy with that?
image
(Thanks to readers John and Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Amnesty too busy to fight Jew-hatred

Andrew Bolt April 26 2015 (5:44am)

Some forms of bigotry are actually too fashionable among the Left for a charity to risk tackling:
Amnesty International has rejected a motion to tackle the rise in antisemitic attacks in Britain at its annual conference. 
The motion was tabled by Amnesty member Andrew Thorpe-Apps in March who said it was defeated at the International AGM on Sunday by 468 votes to 461.
Mr Thorpe Apps said: “It was the only resolution to be defeated during the whole conference.”
Amnesty International UK press officer Neil Durkin said: “After a really interesting debate where everyone condemned discrimination against all ethnic and religious groups, our membership decided not to pass this resolution calling for a campaign with a single focus. 
“Amnesty International fights against discrimination in all its forms, and will continue to do so.”
Amnesty then refined its excuse:
We condemn all forms of hate crime and discrimination. Unfortunately we can’t campaign on everything.
But the resolutions which did pass at the conference:
Amnesty International’s stance on Abortion: Pro - Choice
Addressing impunity in Guatemala
Violations of the rights of Colombian activists including trade union leader Huber Ballesteros
The United Kingdom: Rendition and Torture
Asylum detention in the UK -AIUK will undertake research into the wrongful detention of torture and trafficking victims in British detention.
(Thanks to reader David.)
guess Amnesty International  
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Greece wants more handouts to pay for repaying the last

Andrew Bolt April 26 2015 (5:33am)

Greece was hooked on handouts before, and is hooked on even bigger ones now. This is welfarism at its absolute worse:
Greece’s failure to negotiate a bailout deal has provoked fury among its supposed European partners, who refused a request for an emergency bridging loan as the country heads towards bankruptcy - and out of the single currency… 
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the chairman of eurozone meetings of finance ministers, could barely contain his anger at the failure of Greece to table any proposals towards meeting conditions to allow the country to receive another euros 7.2 billion in loans…
Without the EU loans, which are tied to demands for Greece to cut pensions, reform labour markets, privatise state companies and to increase VAT, the Greek government is expected to go bankrupt next month.
[Greek finance minister] Varoufakis has enraged other eurozone countries by not implementing austerity measures and, in an interview yesterday, threatened to leave the euro if Greece were bullied… 
Mr Dijsselbloem and other eurozone ministers angrily turned down a request from Greece for an emergency bridging loan to see it through the next three weeks, during which the government must pay back euros 970 million to the International Monetary Fund; euros 200 million of it on May 1, and the remainder on May 12. 
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Modified panic

Andrew Bolt April 26 2015 (5:25am)

No, the science isn’t settled, and only a denier would ignore the latest evidence that warmists’ predictions were exaggerated:
Global warming hasn’t happened as fast as expected, according to a new study based on 1,000 years of temperature records. 
The research claims that natural variability in surface temperatures over the course of a decade can account for increases and dips in warming rates.
But it adds that these so-called ‘climate wiggles’ could also, in the future, cause our planet to warm up much faster than anticipated.

The study compared its results to the most severe emissions scenarios outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
‘Based on our analysis, a middle-of-the-road warming scenario is more likely, at least for now,’ said Patrick Brown, a doctoral student in climatology at Duke University…
‘Our model shows these wiggles can be big enough that they could have accounted for a reasonable portion of the accelerated warming we experienced from 1975 to 2000, as well as the reduced rate in warming that occurred from 2002 to 2013.’ 
‘Statistically, it’s pretty unlikely that an 11-year hiatus in warming, like the one we saw at the start of this century, would occur if the underlying human-caused warming was progressing at a rate as fast as the most severe IPCC projections,’ Brown said. 
===
Say goodbye to getting stitches in and getting them out again. Israelis have invented a new system that seems to work...
Posted by The Jewish Standard on Thursday, 4 December 2014
===
In the first video of a "new voices" series, libertarian writer Carey Wedler asks, READY FOR #HILLARY?#HillaryClinton #Hillary2016
Posted by Dinesh D'Souza on Tuesday, 10 March 2015
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PRAYERS FOR ADAM

Tim Blair – Saturday, April 26, 2014 (1:45am)

Long-time reader Missred emails: 
I don’t normally ask for favours but I know a good young man who could use prayers. Adam is Hayley’s boyfriend and is in the hospital with cellulitis. While they finally have him on pain meds that work, he really isn’t improving as far as the infection is concerned. So prayers for healing would be greatly appreciated. He also needs prayer for he is frightened he will lose his leg.
Hayley is my daughter. 
Missred includes a shot of Adam and Hayley at their prom:

image

Please leave messages of support and encouragement in comments. All of our best to Adam, from everybody here.
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On the Bolt Report tomorrow

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (11:26am)

On Channel 10 at 10am and 4pm.
Bill Shorten’s real problem.
Labor immigration spokesman Richard Marles on budgets, boats and more.
Our hot-shot panel - Peter Costello and Michael Costa on the Budget crisis and Tasmanian Governor peter Underwood’s astonishing attack on the Anzac legend.
And on NewsWatch: BBC presenter and  Spectator chairman Andrew Neil. How did the royals charm the media?
Your Say and more.
The videos appear here.
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Dodging cuts won’t give us a surplus in four years

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (10:39am)

No surplus within five years unless Treasurer Joe Hockey is as tough as the Commission of Audit:
The [Commission of Audit’s] report, due to be released next Thursday, will contain 86 painful recommendations to trim and restructure social security, cut corporate welfare, and boost fees for government services that will prompt shrill outrage from Labor and practically every lobby group and rent-seeker in the country. 
On the commission’s reckoning, implementing all the recommendations would see the federal budget — on track for a $47 billion deficit this financial year — break even in the 2018-19 financial year before reaching a surplus equal to 1 per cent of GDP in 2023-24, as per the Coalition’s election promise and the commission’s terms of reference.
While the government has already flagged more means testing, co-payments for health services, including a $6 fee for GP visits, and big cuts to the $5bn annual corporate welfare bill, the Treasurer stressed he wouldn’t accept all of the recommendations… 
Already the government appears to have quarantined the biggest, and most politically sensitive, government payment, the age pension, the annual cost of which is scheduled to grow by 6.2 per cent a year across the next decade from $39.5bn to $72.3bn. To what extent the government curtails welfare to asset-rich over-65s, even prospectively, will be the real test of the government’s political mettle. Lifting the pension eligibility age further from 67 to 70 by 2034 appears tough, and may be prudent, but it will have no impact on the budget, or any voter, for more than a decade. 
Joe Hockey apparently believes he has won the battle within the Government for big spending cuts. Well, let’s see how real they are - or whether voters are just been trained to think they’ve dodged a bullet when the Budget comes. 
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Lucky Joe Hockey might get billions more of savings in this climate

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (10:36am)

Even more good news for sceptics and critics of government waste:
Tony Abbott’s “direct action” climate change policy is almost certain not to pass the Senate in its present form – even if the Palmer United Party were to change its position and vote for the plan. 
Independent senator Nick Xenophon said on Friday that he would not vote for the Coalition’s policy unless there were substantial changes, including measures to ensure companies comply with the scheme…
Other crossbench senators-elect Bob Day, of Family First, and David Leyonhjelm, of the Liberal Democratic Party, have indicated they would not support the policy. 
It means that even if the four Senate votes aligned with Clive Palmer were to support the scheme, it would fail while Labor and the Greens are opposed. The government needs six of the eight crossbenchers to ensure its legislation would pass. 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

Peter Underwood is not fit to be Governor of Tasmania

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (10:31am)

Tasmania’s Governor should not be invited to next year’s Anzac Day ceremony. Indeed, Peter Underwood should be quietly removed from his position, having so abused his office yesterday:
Tasmania’s Governor has used his Anzac Day speech to urge Australia to spend less time paying homage to the Anzac legend and more time examining the causes of war and Australia’s involvement in conflicts. 
Peter Underwood spoke about the cost of conflict while addressing the crowd at Hobart cenotaph.
“We should spend less time studying Simpson’s donkey and more time looking at why we were fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for so long,” he said.
He poses the question of how next year’s centennial anniversary of the start of World War One should be commemorated.
“Much has been said, and will be said, about the Anzac spirit, but I venture to repeat the caution that I have sounded before on this day against glorifying war with descriptions of the mythical tall, lean, bronzed and laconic ANZAC, enthusiastically and unflinchingly carrying the torch of freedom in the face of murderous enemy fire,” the Governor said.
“Australia needs to drop the sentimental myths that Anzac Day has attracted,” he added.
The Governor called for this centennial year of the start of WWI to be declared the year of peace. 
“In this year of peace, Australia should establish a centre for the study of peace, conflict and war,” he said.
Let’s go through Underwood’s boorish behavior.
First, he’s the Queen’s representative. No one elected him and his role is to unify. To instead preach politics on Anzac Day is arrogant and impertinent.
Second, Underwood was at a ceremony attended by people who wish to pay their respects to the dead and to those who served their country in war. He should not have abused his position or hijacked the event to suggest they shouldn’t be there or that some of the soldiers they honoured had just wasted their time. That is crass and unfeeling.
Third, at the ceremony I went to and at those I watched on television I saw no such celebration of some “mythical tall, lean, bronzed and laconic ANZAC”. Among the marchers I saw in Melbourne were female officers leading platoons, an African-Australian soldier with his mates, and children honouring their dads and grandfathers. I saw soldiers of every kind, including a Sikh in the Australian uniform and a bearded Orthodox Jew.  I saw no one “glorifying war”, only men, women and children - including my youngest son - honouring sacrifice and thanking those who have served their nation. To so grossly caricature this event is contemptible.
Fourth, to ridicule the idea of our soldiers “enthusiastically and unflinchingly carrying the torch of freedom in the face of murderous enemy fire” is to ridicule what in fact has so often been the truth. How else would you regard our involvement in World War 2 but a struggle for freedom? What else could you say of our intervention in East Timor? Somalia? Korea? Vietnam? How dare Underwood also demean what we’re done in Iraq and Afghanistan - deposing one of history’s bloodiest dictators and repelling one of the world’s worst terrorist movements in a country that has just held a successful presidential election and transfer of presidential power? The sneer at those achievements is the mark of a modern barbarian.
Fifth, Underwood suggests that rather than mark Anzac Day we should devote the year to thinking of peace. It’s as if he believes he, alone among all the crowd, is thinking of peace and not war. In fact, I dare say almost every man and woman listening to him would just as fervently prefer peace and some put their lives on the line to protect our own.  The difference between them and Underwood is that they know that, odd as this may sound to absolutists, our peace is protected in part by people prepared to fight for it if it is threatened.  For Underwood not to understand all this is another sign of arrogance and a foolish misreading of history and the nature of man.
Sixth: it’s not his place as Governor to tell a Government what to fund and what not. If he wants to get political, let him resign his office first.
Underwood continues:
...how about diverting some of the millions of dollars that will be spent on the Anzac Festival to provide proper support for the University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. 
What a disgraceful suggestion.
The reason?
Here are just some. This misleadingly named Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies promotes an essentially racist boycott of Israeli Jews to punish Israel from defending itself against movements that wish it destroyed. It has held talks with the leader of Hamas, which maintains a terrorist wing. It is so far to the Left that until recently its staff included the then head of Australia’s Communist Party and now a member of its central committee.
Incredibly the Centre which Underwood recommends includes on its academic staff Johan Galtung, whose bizarre anti-Jewish rants include claims that “the Jews control U.S. media, and divert for the sake of Israel”, “six Jewish companies control 96% of the [US] media”, “seventy percent of the professors at the 20 most important American universities are Jewish” and Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik had ties to the “Freemasons” organization “which has Jewish origins” and Mossad might have given Breivik his orders, so “it will be interesting to read the [Norwegian] police report on Israel, during the trial”.

Galtung has even claimed “terrible Auschwitz,” had two sides. “[It was] not unproblematic that Jews had key niches in a society humiliated by defeat at Versailles”.  “In no way, absolutely no way, does this justify the atrocities. But it created anti-Semitism that could have been predicted.” Oh, and Mao’s China, responsible for the murder and man-made starvation of between 40 million and 70 million people, was in fact ”endlessly liberating when seen from many other perspectives that liberal theory has never understood”.
The Centre’s president, Ken McNab, claims America’s war on terrorism is largely a hoax: “...a largely artificial, politically inspired, illegally conducted, ineffectual and counter-productive campaign”. And so is ours: “ASIO Director General David Irvine warned that ‘the threat of terrorism remains real and persistent’. Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?” The war in Iraq was just a fight for capitalism: “Violence and war became more openly than ever before the tools with which to defend and extend American capitalism.” In fact, war is just a tool to make capitalists money” “Quite apart from its vanguard role for capitalism, war itself is highly profitable for capitalists.” (Really? So Socialists, Fascists, dictators and religious extremists don’t start wars?) We should subcontract part of our foreign policy to the Australian members of any tribe we confront: ”Including the Iraqi peoples in Australia [on reaching peace in Iraq] intends to give them a voice and to allow them to take ownership of the process.”
Perhaps worst of all, the Centre, through its Sydney Peace Foundation, has given its annual Sydney Peace Prize to John Pilger, a man who once urged us to support Sunni militants, al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in Iraq who fought our soldiers in Iraq - soldiers Underwood was meant to be honouring on Anzac Day:
Here’s a taster of the inspiration for peace and justice that Pilger provides, from an interview he gave to the Australian Green Left Weekly in 2004:
‘Do you think the anti-war movement should be supporting Iraq’s anti-occupation resistance? 
‘Yes, I do. We cannot afford to be choosy. While we abhor and condemn the continuing loss of innocent life in Iraq, we have no choice now but to support the resistance, for if the resistance fails, the “Bush gang” will attack another country. If they succeed, a grievous blow will be suffered by the Bush gang.’
Evidently the Sydney Peace Foundation resolved that it wasn’t going to be choosy either. 
That is the Centre that Underwood wants us to give “millions of dollars”.
Peter Underwood is not fit to be Governor of Tasmania.
UPDATE
 In contrast to Underwood’s behaviour as the Queen’s representative at Anzac Day, observe the behaviour of the Queen’s grandson and our likely future monarch:
THE Duchess of Cambridge placed a posy near the Unknown Soldier’s tomb with a heartfelt handwritten note, before they left Australia. 
Nestled in each of the posies was a small wooden commemorative cross with a handwritten message from an Australian school child.
The neatly written message in Kate’s posy read: “In every second of every day, you will be remembered for your courage and your bravery. Thank you for your sacrifice and for what you have done for us. For that, I am truly grateful."…

Following the national Anzac Day ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge planted an Aleppo Pine sapling derived from seeds gathered after the battle of Lone Pine…
Before planting the Aleppo Pine, they solemnly walked past the Pool of Reflection with Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and his wife Lynne and paused for a moment before entering the tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier…
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge gently placed small posies of rosemary and Australian natives including Kangaroo Paw on the verge of the tomb, which was scattered with poppies. 
Silently they reflected on the grave before solemnly, and in unison, bowing their heads. It was an intimate moment as they paid their respects.
Silently paid their respects.
UPDATE
Good on Senator Eric Abetz for publicly contradicting the Governor, who managed to turn a moment of unity into an argument:
Federal Employment Minister and Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz told the ceremony Australia could walk both paths. “Simpson and his donkey is a wonderful story of selfless service, putting yourself in the line of fire and ultimately dying for your mates,” he said. “It is part and parcel of Australia’s history and it should continue to be taught and talked about every single Anzac Day, indeed every day of the year.”
UPDATE
Underwood’s full speech here.  If anything, it is worse than described.
UPDATE
The speech seems to have been removed. I took screen shots and here they are - with the speech in full:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Peter Underwood is not fit to be Governor of Tasmania'
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Left appalled by call for debate

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (10:18am)

A round-up of the shock and dismay caused by Attorney-General George Brandis when he suggested sceptics shouldn’t just be silenced.
UPDATE
Brendan O’Neill:
It’s one of the most curious developments of the modern era: the Left’s ceding of the terrain of freedom of speech to the Right… 
Just look at the section 18C debate. It is the newspapers that lean more to the Right that have loudly demanded reform of this legal restriction on what people can say, while papers that lean Left insist section 18C must stay.
Guardian Australia says reforming section 18C would be “morally repugnant” because it would “give Australia’s racists free rein”. In short, we need censorship to keep the peace, to maintain social order, to prevent the mob from running riot.
Is it just me or is that the kind of thing stiff right-wingers used to say, while the Left would have fiercely challenged it? ...
In the 20th century ... left intellectuals articulately defended the freedoms to think, speak and press one’s ideas. George Orwell decried the fact “anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness”, and said freedom of speech was essential if one was to “criticise and oppose”. Today, in a tragic turnaround, it is usually the Left who “silence with surprising effectiveness” anyone who “challenges the prevailing orthodoxy”.
What went wrong? How did the Left go from championing to fearing free speech, from opposing censorship to cheering it? 
In essence, it lost its faith in everyday people, in the man and woman in the street whose rights it would once have defended… The Left no longer believes people should be protected from “tyrannies”, but rather than we must be protected from ourselves and our base instincts. 
I’m not certain at all that the Left’s totalitarian instinct is new. Its previous (intermittent) support of free speech strikes me more as a battle for tactical advantage than for a principle.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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No wonder Di Girolamo wanted to toast the O’Farrell Government

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (10:04am)

The wine may be small beer compared to the reputational damage about to be wrought: 
FORMER NSW resources ­minister Chris Hartcher travelled to South Korea with then Liberal Party fundraiser and lobbyist Nick Di Girolamo to meet the chief executive of ­Korean miner Kores to discuss the development of a controversial $800 million coalmine on the state’s central coast.
Mr Di Girolamo was lobbying on behalf of Kores, which has since been given initial ­approval by the NSW ­Department of Planning to develop the Wallarah 2 project at Wyong on the NSW central coast. Mr Hartcher and former premier Barry O’Farrell were fiercely against the mine in ­opposition and promised the project would not proceed in government, although the mine is still awaiting final approval from the Planning Assessment Commission.
Mr O’Farrell resigned as premier 10 days ago after he gave misleading evidence to the ICAC about a gift of a $3000 ­bottle of wine that Mr Di Giro­lamo sent him in 2011. 
Mr Hartcher was forced to ­resign as energy and resources minister in December last year over an investigation by ICAC into a Liberal Party campaign slush fund.
UPDATE
Di Girolama sure had an amazing web of contacts spreading out from St Patricks, his old school. He seems a lot more intimately connected to the Liberals and then Premier Barry O’Farrell than O’Farrell at first let on.
Roll on the next ICAC inquiry. 
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Shorten to change process. But no word on policies

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (9:57am)

Bill Shorten’s generalities are correct, as generalities usually are. Troy Bramston writes:
In an exclusive interview for a new book, Rudd, Gillard and Beyond, the Labor leader spoke frankly about the Rudd-Gillard years, ... [Shorten] said the party must turn its back on class warfare rhetoric and policies, and described an “us versus them” approach to politics as unhealthy… 
He offered six lessons the party must heed from the Rudd-Gillard years....
The first is to “treat people with courtesy and respect”. Aware of how coldly Mr Rudd often treated ministers, bureaucrats and staff, which fuelled discontent, Mr Shorten said he wanted to be an inclusive leader.
The second is not to “launch a thousand ships, a thousand ideas (and) a thousand thought bubbles”. The Labor government often struggled to prioritise policies and was hampered by dysfunctional administration. “Do some things and do them really well,” Mr Shorten said…
The third is to focus on policy implementation. Labor was heavily criticised for the delivery of many policies, from the school-building and home insulation programs to the National Broadband Network and the mining tax.
“Whatever our ideas and however well-intentioned, test their implementation with experts,” the Opposition Leader said. “We probably tried to do too much on too many fronts and didn’t adequately prepare the ground enough.”
The fourth lesson is to build a good relationship with business....
Fifth is to be a “no surprises” government. “Business and the community want consistency,” Mr Shorten said… 
The final lesson was to communicate with voters more effectively. 
All fine, but this is all about process, not policies. So what of Labor’s disastrous policies - the carbon tax, the mining tax, the wild spending, the welfarism, its green follies, its industry handouts, its workplace restrictions?
Ah:
In the interview in December, he did not offer any specific policy criticisms of the Rudd-Gillard governments.  
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The West falls, but not quite as far as some fear

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (8:44am)

The West - or its leaders - may no longer believe wars are worth fighting.  Unfortunately, the world is full of others who do.
John Hulsman describes the consequences:
WHATEVER the final outcome of the violently simmering crisis in Ukraine, ...  the greatest global political risk can’t be found in Kiev, eastern Ukraine or any of the other hotspots that get the media so excited. It lies in the perception of Western weakness among those countries that find themselves dissatisfied with the current global establishment. For them, the enfeebled state of the West, as laid bare in Ukraine, means the possibility of expansion… 
Russia and its associates can now see that what once looked like [Obama’s] sensible, limited, pullback of US forces after the promiscuity of the Bush era was instead a run for the exits....
Of course, the US is still dangerous, remaining by a long way the most powerful country in the world…
But as they see it, the real ace up the sleeves of the dissenting powers – for the Americans will bounce back, as they always do – is the total collapse of Europe as a global force… The euro crisis has left Germany isolationist (focusing only on the immediate survival of the EU) and increasingly neutralist (those 300,000 jobs directly dependent on trade with Russia help). Without German leadership, nothing happens, as Britain is hollowing out its defense forces and the French know their day is over… 
As seen from Moscow, Beijing, Pyongyang, Damascus and Tehran, this is the inspiring, hopeful narrative of Western decline. These countries know they must be careful not to miscalculate, not to press too hard as the lessons of this calamity for the West slowly dawn. But in the medium term, it looks like Iran’s nuclear programme is safe, that Assad can soon pop the corks in Damascus, that for North Korea, torturing Seoul at the edges looks like a no brainer, and as for China, well, the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands await. With time, and after Putin’s groundbreaking efforts, the way history is moving couldn’t be clearer. The West simply doesn’t exist anymore. 
Mark Steyn describes Barack Obama’s strategy for peace - to allow America’s rivals to have their head:
“Mr Obama,” writes Peter Baker in The New York Times, “seems intent on not letting Russia dominate his presidency.” Which, as Mr Putin well understands, is a polite way of saying Mr Obama seems intent on letting Russia dominate anywhere it wants to dominate. 
Mr Obama likewise seems intent on not letting Syria dominate his presidency, or Iran dominate his presidency, or China dominate his presidency. “We want to continue to encourage the peaceful rise of China,” said the President blandly, on a visit to Japan, whose outlying islands Beijing is presently threatening to seize Crimea-style. Mr Obama also wants to encourage the peaceful rise of Iran, so they’ll get their nukes while he steers clear, intent on not letting any atomic ayatollahs dominate his presidency. Nor is Bashir Assad going to dominate his presidency. Sure, Obama drew a red line, but he then cannily stood there wringing his hands and all but pleading for someone, anyone - Congress, “the global community”, Putin - to erase it for him. And so Assad is in Damascus for keeps, and Russia is back in the Middle East in a big way.
Americans are weary of the world, and weary of war… But the alternative to hard power used foolishly is soft power used smartly. And what’s the likelihood of that? The funniest line in that New York Times piece is the very first sentence: 

WASHINGTON — Even as the crisis in Ukraine continues to defy easy resolution, President Obama and his national security team are looking beyond the immediate conflict to forge a new long-term approach to Russia that applies an updated version of the Cold War strategy of containment.
You don’t say. Only 18 months ago, President Obama unleashed what The Huffington Post called a “Seinfeldian zinger” at Mitt Romney and his worries over Russian expansionism: 
The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.
Mitt Romney is now calling to ask for his foreign policy back. And who seriously believes Obama can “contain” Russia? More importantly, does Vladimir Putin believe it? At the very front of America Alone ...  I quote Donald Rumsfeld way back in the Nineties: “Weakness is provocative.” The “red line” climbdown was a signal not only to Assad but to Putin, Beijing, the mullahs, Kim Jong-Un, the Taliban and every other tinpot thug. Inaction has consequences.
Some of this analysis is just too neat. I agree Obama has projected a deadly weakness. I agree his Middle East strategy has overall been a joke, and his appeasement of Iran a disaster. But the shopping list of his sins is padded with dubious examples..
For example, Syria was a problem without a solution - a choice between a tyrant and terrorists. Obama’s mistake was to draw a line he had no intention of enforcing. Russia could intervene because it’s not the country to care about poison gas attacks. The real question, I guess, is whether the West should be more brutal in the exercise of realpolitik and support Assad itself.
Russia’s seizure of the Crimea is also not a clear-cut issue. Ukraine did, after all, depose its elected president, further dividing the country on ethnic grounds and leaving Russian-dominated Crimea, a “present” Khrushchev gave Ukraine in 1954, feeling unrepresented and vulnerable. Are Obama’s critics seriously suggesting the US should have militarily resisted Russia’s takeover of traditionally Russian territory with an overwhelmingly pro-Russian population just across its border? Not even the US at the zenith of its power would have even dreamed of such a thing. Indeed, the US then did nothing militarily to save Czechoslovakia and Hungary from Russian invasion, and few of Obama’s critics would accuse the US of having then made a mistake.
As for the Senkaku islands, Obama has now declared they are Japan’s and the US is committed to defending them (against China).  He said more than many expected, and not less than any hawk could hope.
(Via Catallaxy.) 
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Tasmania not getting the NBN it was promised by 2016

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (8:29am)

The $41 billion National Broadband Network was always a ludicrously expensive idea with farcical timelines, and it was delivered with all of Labor’s incompetence:
THE National Broadband Network rollout in Tasmania — which Labor promised would be the first state fully connected to lightning-fast internet services — has been “so shambolic” and failed “so abysmally” to meet its targets that urgent political intervention is needed. 
The Weekend Australian can reveal the state’s peak IT business group ... has warned there is “no realistic chance” the project will be completed by the end of 2015, as once promised by former communications minister Stephen Conroy and NBN Co.
The Tasmanian ICT sector peak body, known as TASICT, says ... the rollout is still not back on track, but backs Mr Turnbull’s move to trial the use of overhead cables on Aurora’s power poles as ­potentially faster and cheaper. and a way to have more direct fibre connections....
But the submission says the connection process in Tasmania has been “farcical” ... [and] up to 50 per cent of appointments with customers are being missed by NBN contractors…
Last year an asbestos shutdown delayed the project. Also, there were disputes ­between ­Visionstream — lead contractor on the island — and subcontractors over pay. While there were 20,065 premises passed by the NBN by June 1, 2013, the rollout all but came to a complete halt over the following months. 
By December 2, there were 32,271 passed. For the week to April 21, there were 36,117 brownfields passed. In December, ­Visionstream said it was accelerating its rollout of fibre to more than 200,000 premises.
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Madigan sets example. Says other politicians should in the Budget

Andrew Bolt April 26 2014 (8:23am)

A very Christian gesture:
A FEDERAL MP has presented $21,000 of his own money to Victorian schools in his quest to give away his $44,000 pay rise. 
Victorian DLP senator John Madigan has so far bought several drills, a car hoist, building material, shearing handpieces, scaffolding and a kiln for seven regional high schools to help students who are interested in careers in agriculture or manufacturing.
Realising he could not give back the pay boost — which last year brought a backbencher’s salary to $190,000 — the former blacksmith decided to pour it into Australian-made equipment for teaching.
He said he wanted to give back to those in the community “working their guts out"… 
Senator Madigan said he hoped that Treasurer Joe Hockey would consider ...a five-year freeze on MP pay rises, which are now determined by an independent tribunal, and a requirement that all MPs fly economy class domestically.
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I have cracked it! I now know why it is that 'all the evidence' which shows global warming resulted in cooling. Remember that statistic of every nation around Russia cooling while it was heating? Remember how airports have a heating issue? The reason why the globe began cooling after the late '90s was because Steve Jobs went back to Apple and produced the iPod. It was seriously cool. Then the iPad which was cooler. In Russia, they didn't have trade for awhile .. something to do with security. Also, iPods and iPads get turned off in airplanes .. not cool. - ed
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This song, sung by a gospel singer and a chorus of people attending Reverend Dexter's sermon, is a real song based on biblical text (Revelation 6:15-17).

No hiding place, down here
No hiding place
There's no hiding place
Down here
No hiding place
And they went to the rock to hide their face
But the rock cried out
No hiding place
There's no hiding place
Down here
And the sinners are gonna be running
At the knowledge of their fate
They'll run to the rocks and the mountains
But their prayers will be too late
They forgot about Jesus
Not knowing the end was near
At the end they'll try to find a hiding place
When it comes their time to die

No hiding place in the mountains
No hiding place in the waters
No hiding place
Down here
No hiding place
And they went to the rock to hide their face
But the rock cried out
No hiding place
There's no hiding place
Down here

Can't you see old gambler running
Saying 'Lord, save my soul'
Saying 'Lord, Lord, have mercy, won't you save my soul'
Saying 'Lord, Lord, have mercy, won't you save my soul'


No hiding place, down here
No hiding place
There's no hiding place
Down here
Yeah
I went to the rock to hide my face
But the rock cried out
No hiding place
There's no hiding place
Down here

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The Parliament of Dreams

Sung by G'Kar while he's preparing dinner.

A slightly different version of the song appears in the episode Convictions.


I'm thinking of thinking of calling her right
after my afternoon nap.
I'm thinking of thinking of sending her flowers,
right after Bonnie gets back.
So many fishies left in the sea,
so many fishies - but no-one for me...

I'm thinking of thinking of hooking a love,
soon after supper is done.

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April 26World Intellectual Property DayFeast day of Our Lady of Good Counsel (Roman Catholic Church); Easter Saturday (Christianity, 2014)
Flag of Tanzania
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“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:” -Colossians 1:27-28
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning


"Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away."
Song of Solomon 2:10

Lo, I hear the voice of my Beloved! He speaks to me! Fair weather is smiling upon the face of the earth, and he would not have me spiritually asleep while nature is all around me awaking from her winter's rest. He bids me "Rise up," and well he may; for I have long enough been lying among the pots of worldliness. He is risen, I am risen in him, why then should I cleave unto the dust? From lower loves, desires, pursuits, and aspirations, I would rise towards him. He calls me by the sweet title of "My love," and counts me fair; this is a good argument for my rising. If he has thus exalted me, and thinks me thus comely, how can I linger in the tents of Kedar and find congenial associates among the sons of men? He bids me "Come away." Further and further from everything selfish, grovelling, worldly, sinful, he calls me; yea, from the outwardly religious world which knows him not, and has no sympathy with the mystery of the higher life, he calls me. "Come away" has no harsh sound in it to my ear, for what is there to hold me in this wilderness of vanity and sin? O my Lord, would that I could come away, but I am taken among the thorns, and cannot escape from them as I would. I would, if it were possible, have neither eyes, nor ears, nor heart for sin. Thou callest me to thyself by saying "Come away," and this is a melodious call indeed. To come to thee is to come home from exile, to come to land out of the raging storm, to come to rest after long labour, to come to the goal of my desires and the summit of my wishes. But Lord, how can a stone rise, how can a lump of clay come away from the horrible pit? O raise me, draw me. Thy grace can do it. Send forth thy Holy Spirit to kindle sacred flames of love in my heart, and I will continue to rise until I leave life and time behind me, and indeed come away.

Evening

"If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him."
Revelation 3:20
What is your desire this evening? Is it set upon heavenly things? Do you long to enjoy the high doctrine of eternal love? Do you desire liberty in very close communion with God? Do you aspire to know the heights, and depths, and lengths, and breadths? Then you must draw near to Jesus; you must get a clear sight of him in his preciousness and completeness; you must view him in his work, in his offices, in his person. He who understands Christ, receives an anointing from the Holy One, by which he knows all things. Christ is the great master-key of all the chambers of God; there is no treasure-house of God which will not open and yield up all its wealth to the soul that lives near to Jesus. Are you saying, "O that he would dwell in my bosom"? "Would that he would make my heart his dwelling-place forever"? Open the door, beloved, and he will come into your souls. He has long been knocking, and all with this object, that he may sup with you, and you with him. He sups with you because you find the house or the heart, and you with him because he brings the provision. He could not sup with you if it were not in your heart, you finding the house; nor could you sup with him, for you have a bare cupboard, if he did not bring provision with him. Fling wide, then, the portals of your soul. He will come with that love which you long to feel; he will come with that joy into which you cannot work your poor depressed spirit; he will bring the peace which now you have not; he will come with his flagons of wine and sweet apples of love, and cheer you till you have no other sickness but that of "love o'erpowering, love divine." Only open the door to him, drive out his enemies, give him the keys of your heart, and he will dwell there forever. Oh, wondrous love, that brings such a guest to dwell in such a heart!
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Sennacherib 

[Sĕnnăch'e rĭb] - the moon-god, sin (the moon-god) hath increased the brothers or destruction of the sword.

A son of Sargon who succeeded to the throne after the murder of his father (2 Kings 18:13; 19:16, 20, 36;2 Chron. 32Isa. 36:1; 37:17, 21, 37).

The Man Who Built Nineveh
This Assyrian king saw his boasted army destroyed in one night. He himself was slain by two of his sons in Nineveh in the Temple of Nisroch (2 Kings 19:37). Sennacherib's great achievement in this area was the creation of Nineveh as a metropolis of the empire. It was he who built the wonderful palace of Konyungik and the great wall of Nineveh.
The Assyrian king's invading hosts marching through Judah leaving destruction behind them were vividly described by Byron in The Destruction of Sennacherib:
The Assyrians came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Fear seized the heart of Hezekiah as he faced the threats of Sennacherib and Rabshakeh, but the courage and faith of Isaiah were a strong tower to the troubled king and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The prophet reminded Hezekiah that Jehovah, and not the horses, material force and human cleverness, was the hope of Judah. Jerusalem was God's city and He would preserve it (Isa. 37:33, 35 ). As we know, the city was saved by a remarkable providence. God commissioned one angel to slay one hundred eighty-five thousand Assyrians. If He can do that with one angel, what is He not able to do with a legion of the angelic army?
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Herodias

The Woman Responsible for the Murder of a Preacher

Scripture Reference: Matthew 14:3-12Mark 6:14-24Luke 3:19, 20

Name Meaning: As a member of the Herodian dynasty, perhaps the most despicable dynasty history has known, the name Herodias is but the female form of Herod, the royal name for the political rulers during the time of Christ and the apostles. It was under the vile and cruel orders of the Herods that Jesus and His followers were often persecuted and punished. Herod means "heroic"-not very applicable to the Herodian family, the majority of whom, particularly Herodias, were more hellish than heroic.
Family Connections: Herodias was the daughter of Aristobulus, son of Herod the Great and Mariamne, daughter of Hyrcanus. Her first husband was Philip I, son of Herod the Great and Mariamne, so she married her own uncle, by whom she had a daughter, Salome, whom she used to destroy John the Baptist. When Herod Antipas visited Rome, he was entertained by Philip and Herodias. Herod abducted his royal brother's wife. His own wife, an Arabian princess, was an obstacle to an illicit marriage, so he divorced her, and Herodias became queen in her stead, and with her daughter was installed in the palace. "The corroding immorality of Herod's race shows itself in his marriage with Herodias his brother's wife and the wanton offense thereby given to Jewish sensibilities."
Among the female characters in God's portrait gallery, surely Herodias stands out as one of the most vile and vicious. Amid the putrefying influence of the palace, however, there was one man who knew no fear, John the Baptist. Herod "feared" him and regarded him as "a just man" and whom "he heard gladly." Herod found music in the preacher's message until John sternly rebuked the king by saying of Herodias, "It is not lawful for thee to have her." But such a warning bell was to toll John's doom. For his faithful rebuke of Herod's sin, John was cast into prison, and the evil, scheming mind of Herodias began to work. She was stung by the arrow from the preacher's quiver and hated him for exposing her shame. "For Herodias' sake" he was imprisoned and thus the greatest of the prophets was sacrificed for this vicious and scheming woman. But the hatred of such an unsavory creature was more to be desired than her affection (Matthew 10:23; Luke 6:26). Herodias, with her conscience in turmoil because of her accuser, planned to silence John. She did not want Herod to listen too closely and constantly to John's forceful preaching. She feared her illegal husband-for her first husband was still alive-might repent, and her position as queen, imperiled.
Herodias knew Herod only too well. He easily succumbed to sensual excitement, and as his birthday drew near her foul design was hatched. On the day when drink freely flowed, Herodias used her own daughter to inflame Herod's passions. She was willing to sacrifice her child's modesty in order to bend Herod to her will. Herod was overcome by Salome's form seen through the flowing flimsy garment she wore, and influenced by the act of the dancing girl, he took a rash and foolish oath to give her whatever she asked, even to half of his kingdom. Approaching her mother, Salome said, "What shall I ask?" Without hesitation Herodias, the female hyena, replied, "Ask for the head of John the Baptist." Returning to Herod, Salome presented her demand, and Herod was extremely sorry at such a request. Yet, because of his oath's sake, he sacrificed the preacher whom he regarded as just and holy, and all because of his guilty love for a vile woman. No wonder he was smitten with fear when he heard of the fame of Jesus, thinking it was John the Baptist risen from the dead to torment his conscience further. One wonders how Salome felt when the gory dish of the preacher's head was handed to her?
Herodias' Old Testament counterpart was Jezebel. What Herodias was to Herod, Jezebel was to Ahab. Both Ahab and Herod were wicked, and in both cases the woman was more wicked. Both Jezebel and Herodias fostered hate that became deadly against a prophet of God. Jezebel hated Elijah and sought to kill him-Herodias hated John the Baptist, the New Testament Elijah, and succeeded in his murder. What was the end of Herodias? Since she was the source of Herod's sin, she also became the source of his shame. According to Josephus, Herodias' ambition was the ruin of Herod. Jealous of the power of Agrippa her brother, she prodded Herod to demand of Caligula, the emperor, the title of king. Agrippa saw to it that this demand was refused, and Herod was banished and ended his days in shame and exile. The pride of Herodias forced her to be faithful to her husband in the disgrace and misfortune she herself had caused.
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Today's reading: 2 Samuel 21-22, Luke 18:24-43 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Samuel 21-22


The Gibeonites Avenged

1 During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the LORD. The LORD said, "It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death."
2 The king summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were survivors of the Amorites; the Israelites had sworn to spare them, but Saul in his zeal for Israel and Judah had tried to annihilate them.) 3 David asked the Gibeonites, "What shall I do for you? How shall I make atonement so that you will bless the LORD's inheritance?"
4 The Gibeonites answered him, "We have no right to demand silver or gold from Saul or his family, nor do we have the right to put anyone in Israel to death..."

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 18:24-43

24 Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
26 Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved?"
27 Jesus replied, "What is impossible with man is possible with God."
28 Peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you!"
29 "Truly I tell you," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life...."

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