Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Tue Aug 9th Todays News

It is Census night in Australia and the government is asking for information and nervous nellies are hand wringing in protest. The process is available online for most. Exceptions being GLB peoples who are required to submit paper versions as the online version doesn't accept their answers. Also, a tenant living in a family home should not be put in first, unless the entire document has to be bodgied. After my details were entered first, the online system believed the Landlord was the tenant and kept asking if his wife was my daughter. So we erased my details, and inputed my details last. I don't think I'm the wife's daughter, but in 99 years you will know if I made a mistake. Or maybe Wikileaks will know first. I am an evangelical Christian, a very fast growing movement who are not included in the census response list. Pentecostal is close, but 'Other' and then 'Christian' is the best response to allow statisticians to know I'm not Anglican, Catholic etc etc who would otherwise get funding. It is why my church is currently searching for a home for her three hundred or so members. I do a lot of volunteer work, and the census needs to know that too. Please don't feed garbage to the census. Particularly if you don't want funding allocated in the mistaken belief that global warming has eliminated people like you. The global warming movement employ hyperbole. Don't make it seem real. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility.  
=== from 2015 ===
Correction to yesterday's post. Australian cricketers spent 4 months prior to the Ashes series practice with the Duke ball. However, the comments regarding the Australian team not playing with appropriate, practiced skill still stands. Only it isn't the coaches fault. Or the Captain. It was the players who somehow failed to play with skill, with the batting exceptions of Rogers, Smith and Warner. 

It is important to apologise and rectify mistakes when they are made. Andrew Bolt has apologised to Bronwyn Bishop for demanding she resign when the ALP prosecuting her case refuse to resign for worse errors of judgment. Expenses are a hard area to police. Bishop had behaved within the rules. But the media prosecuted her and excused the ALP, and continue to excuse the ALP. Tony Burke, who had no problem drowning people, so long as he could keep their names in a drawer on a post-it, does not seem aware of the hypocrisy of his position. Burke is willing to pay back $90 for a com car, but not the tens of thousands of dollars he has claimed for taking his children on holidays, business class. Burke can't raise the dead, but he might support a policy that works. 

Insiders interviewed Greens Leader Richard Di Natale but refused to challenge his obfuscations or lies. Di Natale claimed credit for opposing cuts to Education needed to ensure the provision of Education remains ongoing. Similarly he patted himself on the back for opposing a small fee of $7 for visiting a doctor, and a fund of $20 billion for science research. Doctors deserve the pay rise and health needs to be sustainable. It doesn't benefit poor people if Australia can no longer pay for health care or education. 
From 2014
 US is dropping bombs on Iraq. This policy will be to oppose the militants whom have been successful because the Obama and Iran backed regime have divided the nation. Money has funded the militants directly from banks they have robbed. Chemical weapons from Saddam's armoury are in their grasp. Civilians are being slaughtered in substantial numbers on any pretext. Some militants are from the west. Ironically, Obama sought to aid these militants last year with his desire to bomb Syria. Obama wanted to bomb Syria but Russia said 'no.' So bombing Syria would have helped these militants, while bombing Iraq will, apparently, oppose the militants. It is pertinent that Obama's plan to bomb civilians coincides with Truman's vaporising 39000 at Nagasaki. Truman's targets weren't military. They were soft. One feels that Obama has similar targets. Meanwhile, Russia is acting proportionately in her diplomacy and it is rattling the media. Russia is applying sanctions against industry, but not all. The UN has demanded that Russia stop supplying Ukrainian separatists with weapons. However, the UN is taking no action to defend those separatists from Ukrainian aggression, which has been evident while Australia and Holland were trying to extract victims of MH17 recently. Obama has sided with Ukraine, which is an illegitimate government that dumped the elected government on a corruption pretext. Ukraine's illegitimate government sparked the crisis by threatening Russia's access to her own naval port. The one unifying element to all of it is Obama. Obama is all over the place policy wise, but never showing wisdom or competence. Today is the anniversary of Nixon resigning. If Obama must copy mistakes of the past, let it be that.

On this day in history, in 48BC at the Battle of Pharsalus Julius Caeser comprehensively defeated Pompey. The battle had Caeser with 22000 weary veterans faced off against 45000 rested men. Pompey had the high ground and local support. Both formed three lines of men. Pompey's lines were ten men deep. A river (Enipius) was on one side and so Pompey and Caeser had their cavalry on the other side. Caeser short ranked his lines so as to place infantry in support of cavalry in a fourth line. Caeser's cavalry was smaller than Pompey, and when Pompey's cavalry ran through them, they met the fourth line and were crushed by close quarter pole arms. This allowed Caeser, leading his cavalry, to fall on the flank of Pompey's forces and routing them. Pompey fled, dressed as a peasant, and collected his gold before fleeing to Egypt. The Pharaoh executed Pompey and sent Caeser his head. That was a mistake, as Caeser had wanted to forgive Pompey and unify Rome. 

In 378 at the battle of Adrianople the Roman emperor Valens was killed fighting Visigoths who won the battle. It was a mighty turning point, and within a hundred years the empire would collapse. In 1173, the construction of what is now called the Leaning Tower of Pisa began. In 1483, mass was given for the opening of the Sistine Chapel. In 1854, Henry David Thoreau published Walden, a book reflecting on simple living in a natural environment as few people can. In 1892, Thomas Edison invented a two way telegraph. In 1930 Betty Boop debuted in Dizzy Dishes. In 1936, Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal at the Berlin Olympics. In 1942 at the Battle of Savo Island, US allied forces were defeated by the Japanese, just prior to the US invasion of Guadalcanal. In 1944 Smokey Bear was seen for the first time. In 1944 at The Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive, the Finnish held the Soviet Union to a stalemate. In 1945, Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki, vaporising 39000 people and the Japanese Government later gave an unconditional surrender. In 1965, Singapore became the only nation to be given independence unwillingly, from Malaysia. In 1969, Charles Manson went on a murder spree, killing among others, Sharon Tate, pregnant wife of Roman Polanski. In 1974, Nixon resigned rather than facing the Clinton style disgrace of impeachment. 
Historical perspective on this day
Not done
=== 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 you 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 am publishing a book called Bread of Life: January. 

Bread of Life is a daily bible quote with a layman's understanding of the meaning. I give one quote for each day, and also a series of personal stories illustrating key concepts eg Who is God? What is a miracle? Why is there tragedy?

January is the first of the anticipated year-long work of thirteen books. One for each month and the whole year. It costs to publish. It (Kindle version) should retail at about $2US online, but the paperback version would cost more, according to production cost.
If you have a heart for giving, I fundraise at gofund.me/27tkwuc
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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
Happy birthday and many happy returns Shadale Din, Sol LySlim GirlFat and Anna Urban-a. Born on the same day, across the years, as Izaak Walton (1593), Amedeo Avogadro (1776), Joseph Locke (1805), Robert Shaw (1927), Rod Laver (1938), Melanie Griffith (1957), John Key (1961), Whitney Houston (1963), Eric Bana (1968), Audrey Tautou (1978) and Caylee Anthony (2005). On your day, International Day of the World's Indigenous People
1483 – The first mass in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City was celebrated.
1902 – Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark were crowned King and Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
1971 – The Troubles: British authorities began arresting and interning (without trial) people accused of being republican paramilitary members.
1988 – Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings in one of the most controversial player transactions in ice hockey history.
2001 – Fifteen people were killed and 130 others were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his bomb at a Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem. 
The first mass in the Sistine Chapel wasn't an accident. It was made with great love. As were you.
Deaths
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NUCLEAR TRIGGER WARNING

Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 09, 2016 (4:18pm)

A reader reports that the following appeared on a federal government department’s intranet page: 
Members of the Medical Association for Prevention of War intend to hold a silent vigil between 8:00–9:00am on Tuesday 9 August 2016 outside [the Department]… The vigil is to commemorate Nagasaki Day and raise awareness about nuclear weapons.
The group is expected to comprise of 6–12 members with some to be dressed in nuclear missile costumes which are not intended to be threatening.
Australian Federal Police will be in attendance for the duration of the vigil. 
Generally speaking, actual nuclear missiles are extremely uncomfortable day wear.
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SOON

Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 09, 2016 (3:52pm)

A tremendous day of reckoning looms:

All will become clear in the fullness of time.
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TYPICALLY LABOURED

Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 09, 2016 (3:35pm)

Yesterday’s column wins a coveted thumbs down from Fairfax environment editor Peter Hannam. Peter would like everybody to know that he drives an electric vehicle.
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CIVILISATION’S FRINGE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 09, 2016 (2:59pm)

Racist commies insult Australia’s proud prison heritage
Chinese state-run media blasted Australian swimmer Mack Horton as immoral and his nation as a former “offshore prison” Monday, after he referred to homegrown star Sun Yang as a drugs cheat …
The Global Times newspaper, which is close to the ruling Communist party, published an op-ed Monday under a pen name associated with its chief editor blasting Horton’s “cynical smugness”.
Australia should feel embarrassed by the swimmer’s “disgraceful” victory, it said.
“In many serious essays written by Westerners, Australia is mentioned as a country at the fringes of civilisation,” it went on, referencing its “early history as Britain’s offshore prison”.
“This suggests that no one should be surprised at uncivilised acts emanating from the country,” it concluded. 
Well, that’s true, but there’s no need to rub it in.
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NSW: THE SQUISHY STATE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 09, 2016 (2:08pm)

Today’s Daily Telegraph editorial: 
On Saturday afternoon, immediately following the Sydney Swans’ demolition of Port Adelaide at the SCG, several Swans players received small, soft, replica AFL footballs from Swans coaching staff. This happens after every SCG match.
During previous seasons, the players would kick those squishy little promotional balls into the grandstands so that young fans could take home a treasured reminder of the game — and hopefully become Swans fans for life.
But on Saturday, as happens now at all AFL venues, the players walked to the boundary fence and as gently as possible handed those balls to children in the front rows. They’ve been warned that fines await anyone who kicks those harmless balls into the crowd. The AFL is worried that someone might be injured by a few grams of pliable foam and plastic.
Of course, there does exist the potential for injury — yet it is surely minor. Very few of the Brazilian muggers currently robbing tourists during the Rio Olympics, after all, happen to be armed with tiny Swans footballs.

Following some weeks of public debate, The Daily Telegraph has come to the view that the Baird government’s proposed greyhound racing ban, due to commence in July 2017, represents a similar example of regulatory overreach. In seeking a better and safer outcome, the government’s total ban simply goes too far. 
Read on.
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TUESDAY NOTICEBOARD

Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 09, 2016 (12:47pm)

“There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.” – Ayatollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in 1979.
“Authorities in Iran have banned the Pokemon Go app.” – Iranian tradition is maintained.
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On The Bolt Report and radio tonight

Andrew Bolt August 09 2016 (1:11pm)

On The Bolt Report on Sky News Live at 7pm tonight:
Editorial: How government-funded Leftists tried to destroy Bill Leak. And why they are now so exposed.
My guests:
Jeremy Sammut of the Centre for Independent Studies on the huge wave of children now being taken from their homes for their own safety. So why has a royal commission just said no to more adoption?
David Cay Johnston, author of a book accusing Donald Trump of being a liar and cheat with mobsters for business associates and a pimp for a grandfather.
On NewsWatch, Gerard Henderson.
The panel: former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop and former Labor Minister Craig Emerson. Is the Liberal Party’s NSW branch as open to corruption as Tony Abbott says? Is the census really a menace? Is Peter Costello right about the trouble we’re in, with a Parliament likely to do bugger all?
Podcasts of the show here. Facebook page here
On 2GB, 3AW and 4BC with Steve Price from 8pm.
Where are you doing your census tonight? Strangest place wins.

Listen live here. Talkback:  131 873.  Listen to all past shows here.
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Bill Leak was right. Where are his gutless accusers and smearers now?

Andrew Bolt August 09 2016 (12:08pm)

Bill Leak’s critics are not just enemies of free speech but allergic to the truth:
The NSW Aboriginal Land Council said the cartoon was racist and has filed a complaint with the Australian Press Council.
“It was absolutely disgraceful, absolutely disgraceful. I can’t believe The Australian, a national newspaper, would be so insulting to us as Aboriginal people,” the council’s chairman Roy Ah-See said....
Greens leader Richard Di Natale labelled the cartoon “disgraceful” and said it preyed on “the most awful stereotypes around Aboriginal people”.
He said he had written to the paper’s editors asking for an apology and would also ask the Australian Press Council to investigate.
Last night the ABC’s Media Watch also publicly vilified Leak, using taxpayers’ money:
[Leak’s cartoon] is extremely offensive and it arguably does vilify an entire race.... If ever a cartoonist went out of his way to offend, Bill Leak is your man…
But in the great tradition of free speech, which we defend, we offer you this take on Bill Leak’s work via Vice from artist Dan Drobik.

YOU’LL HAVE TO SIT DOWN AND TALK TO YOUR EMPLOYEE ABOUT PERSONAL RESPONSIBLITY YEAH RIGHTO WHAT’S HIS NAME THEN?
HUGE RACIST F***HEAD
— Vice.com, 4 August, 2016
And we take that as a comment.

But on the very same day that the ABC was smearing Leak, the South Australian royal commission into child protection released a report with the following statistics - statistics ignored by most of the media that would much prefer to smash a Bill Leak for forcing the same issue to their fickle attention:

...  Nationally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (birth to 17 years) are seven times more likely to be the subject of a substantiated report of child maltreatment than other children.
In South Australia, the figure is 10½ times.
A statistical analysis of longitudinal child protection data relating to South Australian children born in 1991 showed that when compared to non-Aboriginal children, Aboriginal children were more likely to:
- be the subject of a child protection notification, investigation and substantiation (40 per cent of Aboriginal children receiving a notification had abuse substantiated compared to 24 per cent of nonAboriginal children);
- be the subject of higher ranked (more serious) notifications of abuse; ...
A comparative analysis of children born in 1991, 1998 and 2002 showed Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children born in the later years were increasingly more likely to be notified. The rate of notification for Aboriginal children appears to have increased at a faster rate than for non-Aboriginal children. 
A terrible problem that’s only getting worse. But where are the hashtag moralists now who were so quick to damn Leak?
What is the worst crime now: to neglect or beat many hundreds of Aboriginal children or to draw a cartoon to draw attention to it? 
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360,000 more illegal immigrants invade Europe in past six months

Andrew Bolt August 09 2016 (7:51am)

Europe’s migrant crisis is barely reported now, which may make you think it is over.
True, arrival numbers are down, but, no, it’s not over:
Italy has overtaken Greece to become the country on Europe’s migration frontline, with about 750 people arriving per day, the head of the EU border control agency Frontex said on Tuesday.
Around 50 migrants per day arrive in Greece, which used to be the main point of entry for migrants.
Fabrice Leggeri said the flow of refugees had slowed since the EU-Turkey migration deal came into force, Reuters reports.
For the first six months of 2016, there were 360,000 illegal entries in the EU, which is higher than what we saw last year, but the influx has been diminishing since April,” Leggeri said…
Frontex said more than 1.5 million people tried to reach Europe last year...
Other numbers suggest arrivals so far this year are actually down to 253,000
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Can surgery fix what ails here?

Andrew Bolt August 09 2016 (7:19am)

Can someone that young truly know their own mind?:
The Family Court has given a 15-year-old child permission to have both breasts removed so she can feel more like a boy.
The decision is believed to be the first in which the court has ­approved major surgery for a child who wishes to change gender, ­before they have even started hormone treatment. The child, known in court documents as Quinn, was born female but has dressed as a boy since the age of four.
There is so much we do not know, not least about the family. But is surgery really the cure for this?
A second psychologist told the court that Quinn’s mental health would likely improve after breast ­removal, as her “history of anxiety, depression and self-harm” was linked to gender dysphoria.
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The Liberals drown in super

Andrew Bolt August 09 2016 (7:13am)

Judith Sloan on the Liberals’ super debacle:
The superannuation package Scott Morrison announced in this year’s budget is turning into a complete shemozzle. The Liberal Party’s membership is in revolt…

Turnbull and Morrison probably now realise they have been played for mugs by the bureaucrats in Treasury and Prime Minister and Cabinet who have long held the ambition to unwind what they see as the unjustifiable superannuation tax concessions. You have only to check out the highly erroneous but enormous values put on these concessions, as presented in the annual tax expenditure statement released by Treasury, to pick up the agenda that the activist bureaucrats have been running.
We also know that in 2014 Treasury advised Joe Hockey as treasurer to ditch the tax-free status of superannuation pension income and to impose much higher taxation on contributions using marginal tax rates minus a rebate, even though this latter piece of advice was essentially unworkable. Hockey had the sense to reject the advice…

Now Labor will seek to wave through most of the measures in the knowledge that it will be Turnbull and Morrison who will be politically damaged. And in the meantime the champagne corks will be popping in the boardrooms of the union-controlled industry super funds.
Does it get any better than this for Labor? Does it get any worse for the Liberal Party?
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Costello warns of Turnbull inaction

Andrew Bolt August 09 2016 (7:07am)

Peter Costello does not seem to regard Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership skills highly:

Speaking on the ABC’s Four Corners program on Monday ... (f)ormer Liberal treasurer Peter Costello cast doubt on Mr Turnbull’s ability to manage ... a one-seat majority in the House of Representatives, an unwieldy Senate, balance the budget and govern effectively.
Because of this, Mr Costello said he, too, feared for the nation’s AAA credit rating.
“This government can last three years, I have not doubt about that,” Mr Costello said.
“The question is what will be the quality of its legislation?
“Will it be able to do the big things like repair the budget, secure the financial position or will it just have to go along with events?”
He said if the political situation stopped the government from passing the cuts and tax increases needed to repair the budget, “that’s the time time we’ll get a downgrade”.
Mr Costello also suggested Mr Abbott was not done with yet. “I don’t think Tony, you know, plans to be a backbencher for the rest of his life,” he said.
I wonder how much longer it will take the media pack to realise there is no viable alternative to Abbott this side of the next election. And how much longer it will then take some journalists to get over their pride and publicly admit this.
I wonder how many of them were around back when John Howard, dumped again as Opposition Leader, was written off.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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A tribe that lost its mirror

Andrew Bolt August 09 2016 (6:56am)

An article in New Matilda protests that the “Right” is not alone in warning that identity politics is poisonous:

Don’t get me wrong, there are many smart members of the Left who have also raised concerns about the rise of identity politics....
Alongside this article is the author’s byline:
A Darumbul woman from central Queensland, Amy McQuire is the former editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine.
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Abused children and shattered care - signs of South Australia crumbling

Andrew Bolt August 09 2016 (6:23am)

South Australia’s royal commission in child protection reveals a society in decay, betraying its own children:

A damning assessment released yesterday of a system overseen by [Premier Jay] Weatherill, a former families and education minister, found it was the worst in the country for offering stable placements and for using private sector shift workers in residential care homes.
“...Of the children who left care in 2014-15, 13 per cent had more than 11 different placements during their period in care,” royal commissioner Margaret Nyland’s final report found.
Yet the numbers are rising to overwhelming levels
The Premier ... said there were now 3300 children in state care compared to a peak of 1200 [a decade ago] when he was the minister responsible.
There seems to be an assumption by the royal commissioner that it’s possible to find and pay for so many more caring staff for all these children - and at a time when we have so many more carers also needed for the aged and the handicapped and the dysfunctional and the jailed and the workless:
Margaret Nyland’s report ... highlights “a system overwhelmed by the volume and complexity of work, with notifications received every day relating to children living in dire circumstances who desperately need someone to take action on their behalf…”
Jay Weatherill today committed $200 million budgeted over the next four years to begin addressing the demands…
The report demands “wholesale reform of residential care"… This would not house children aged under 10, nor more than four children in any one facility at one time. Facilities currently cater for up to 12 children.
“Large units do not provide the homely environment that children need, and the warehousing of a large number of children with complex behaviours under one roof inevitably leads to residents learning new behaviours from each other,” Nyland argues…

Single-handed shifts by residential care workers should also be abandoned…
Child development minister Susan Close ... described the child protection system as “overwhelmed and underperforming"…
Nyland highlights the over-burdened and under-staffed Child Abuse Report Line… But again, she rejects the “perception that some of the overload of work at CARL is due to unnecessary reports”.
“To the contrary, many notifications screened out as not warranting a response revealed children left in unacceptable circumstances in which they needed help,” she writes…
The Call Centre should never be left unattended, she states, and telephone calls from notifiers must only be taken by “degree-level, tertiary qualified and experienced practitioners”. 
Some of the recommendations are incredible - in the sense that it defies belief that they even needed saying:
The report also recommends social workers no longer be ­allowed to close files because of a lack of resources and all child protection workers be subject to a public screening register.
But this recommendation concerns me:
Nyland ...  is less convinced about the call by state coroner Mark Johns, who last year concluded an inquiry into the death of Chloe Valentine, to examine a broadening of adoption provisions.
“The Commission is not persuaded that an increased emphasis on making children in care available for adoption is necessarily appropriate, when fundamental considerations of the child’s best interests are brought into account,” the report states.
No increased adoption, when so many more children are reported abused, are in care and are shuffled from temporary carer to temporary carer?
Conservative think tank the Centre for Independent Studies last night said it “defied belief” that the commission’s 850-page final report, The Life They ­Deserve, also recommended a new department to focus on early intervention and prevention strategies to help “bad parents”.
The centre’s Jeremy Sammut said this meant vulnerable children would “keep staying with abusive and neglectful families”.
“Chloe Valentine died because Families SA was obsessively ­focused on ‘family preservation’ at all costs and did everything it could to keep Chloe with her dysfunctional mother,” Dr Sammut said....
Four-year-old Chloe died in early 2012 after being forced to ride a motorbike that she repeatedly crashed while her mother and partner filmed the horrific scene. She was the subject of more than 20 notifications to Families SA.
And unspoken in all of this is how a society became so dysfunctional that many parents no longer bothered to give their children love and care. Add also South Australia’s economic decline, leaving it short of the cash to treat the human wreckage. 
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Book spins out in Galle

Andrew Bolt August 08 2016 (9:36pm)

My book at first lived large and wide, visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Santorini, London, Lake Como, Ithaca, Scotland, the Bay of Naples, Dubrovnik, Fiji, Aileron and the Andes, before attending a christening in Newcastlle.
But then it got down to work in Kalgoorlie and the coal seam gas fields of Condabri, Queensland, before invading Australia’s most Left-wing Parliament - an experience which convinced one reader of the need to conduct an experiment at the Katharine River Mango Farm - could even a donkey be taught to understand what’s in it?
After recuperating in Queenstown, New Zealand, the book shot over with reader Dennis to Galle Fort, Sri Lanka, before watching the destruction of the Australian cricket team:

To reward the sports lover in your life, go here. A second print run has now been ordered.
The fourth edition of the Bolt Bulletin, available to on-line buyers, will go out some time soon. 
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Why Tony ‘Perk’ Burke is a high-flying hypocrite

Miranda Devine – Saturday, August 08, 2015 (11:26pm)

WHEN Tony Burke was sitting up the pointy end of the plane with his three children, did he spare a thought for the poor saps walking past to the cheap seats who were paying for his indulgence?

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Why Tony ‘Perk’ Burke is a high-flying hypocrite'
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PM Tony Abbott must kick pollies off their gravy train

Piers Akerman – Saturday, August 08, 2015 (11:33pm)

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott should begin the new parliamentary session tomorrow with an apology to the public for the systemic misuse of the misnamed parliamentarians’ entitlement scheme by ­Coalition figures.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'PM Tony Abbott must kick pollies off their gravy train'
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HOPE AND CHANGE

Tim Blair – Sunday, August 09, 2015 (12:05pm)

The LA Times profiles a pair of middle-class Indonesians who plan to join Islamic State: 
When Rahmat and Afrian talk about Islamic State, their eyes widen, their speech slows, and their expressions soften into smiles. 
Those are only the first physical alterations Rahmat and Afrian are undergoing. Wait until after they arrive in Syria.
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GRANTED, IT’S NOT BETTER THAN SOME FROM AFRICA

Tim Blair – Sunday, August 09, 2015 (12:04pm)

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AUSTRALIA DOWN, CLARKE OUT

Tim Blair – Saturday, August 08, 2015 (11:31pm)

Following Australia’s Ashes-conceding Fourth Test defeat within two days and 40 minutes, captain Michael Clarke announces his retirement
“I’ll have one more Test and that will be the end of my career,” Clarke told Channel Nine after the loss. “I’m retiring from international cricket. I certainly don’t want to jump ship and leave the boys now, so I’ll play the last Test at The Oval, give it one last crack, but the time is right now.”
“You never want to walk away from the game but I think my performances in this series and the last 12 months have not been acceptable to me.” 
Clarke’s retirement ends a Test career that began in spectacular fashion 11 years ago.
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Submarines are to defend Australia, not create jobs

Andrew Bolt August 09 2015 (4:10pm)

To continue a debate on The Bolt Report today, I received this email from David Collyer, who served on the British Polaris submarines HMS Resolution and HMS Repulse:
I have just read with interest your article [on building submarines not to create jobs but defend Australia] and am in complete agreement with your comments and observations. 
As you rightly say, the Collins Class have been a disaster! Very rarely going to sea and certainly not operationally fit for service. Additionally, to the best of my knowledge, Australia has very few experienced submariners to operate the four Collin’s Class submarines that Australia has, which currently is not to much of a problem as I believe that only two of the diesel submarines may be operational, albeit only partially!
Additionally, were I believe these slow moving diesel submarines are based in the south of Australia, means that they are likely to have to travel 3,000 km just to get to the north of Australia before getting into the areas were they would be required to operate.
For Australia to consider building world class submarines, which can compete with other countries who have been building submarines continuously for many years is unrealistic. The ASC just does not the experience and I would imagine is not tooled up build the hull and structural components of any new class of submarine.
As you say, protecting the jobs of persons who have no current experience of building submarines in South Australia should not be the objective.
The object should be to provide the best affordable submarines to the navy, in order to firstly provide the best possible submariners for the navy and Australia’s submariners to operate and to defend their country with. Sending submariners out in submarines that are not suitable for the tasks that they will be required to undertake, against navies with superior vessels and equipment and most probably more experienced crews, is not justifiable!
I believe that the actual decision to develop diesel submarines, instead of purchasing nuclear submarines is itself very questionable, as the new diesel submarines will be required to cover large distances to get to their operational areas, and are considerably slower than nuclear submarines. Whilst operating these diesel submarines will require to recharge there batteries daily if running slowly and probably twice daily if travelling fast, which will require them to run diesel engines whilst close to the surface, and will expose them to ready detection by other vessels, planes and submarines.
Having worked for 22 years in submarines (nuclear) and been the Marine Engineer Officer of a nuclear submarine, which is capable of travelling submerge at high speeds, well below the thermal layers of the sea and to lurk around undetected for up to three months on patrol, I know how important it is for the crew to have confidence in their submarine and its associated equipment and for this equipment to operate efficiently and effectively!
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On The Bolt Report today, August 9. Includes a sorry to Bronwyn Bishop

Andrew Bolt August 09 2015 (6:54am)


On Channel 10 at 10am and 3pm (NOTE: this week the 3pm repeat is on ONE everywhere except Perth):

My guests: Labor’s Anthony Albanese; political scientist Jennifer Oriel; Bruce Hawker, former Labor campaign guru; and Greg Sheridan, foreign affairs editor of The Australian and author of the engaging new memoir, When We Were Young and Foolish:
Plenty to get stuck into: I apologise to Bronwyn Bishop; why won’t Tony Burke also resign, building dud subs, turkey Trump, and more.

The videos of the shows appear here.
UPDATE
From my interview with Anthony Albanese…
On the hypocrisy of Tony Burke not resigning as he demanded Bishop do:
ANDREW BOLT:  Let’s talk about double standards. Labor said Bronwyn Bishop had to resign. Why shouldn’t Tony Burke?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Look, I think the Bronwyn Bishop issue was pretty clear.

ANDREW BOLT:  What’s the difference?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Who gets a helicopter from Melbourne to Geelong?

ANDREW BOLT: Who flies… Who flies their family business class to Uluru on the school holidays?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: That was completely extraordinary. Bronwyn Bishop made the decision herself to resign along with the Prime Minister, and that has set off a whole range of inquiries about individual politicians and what they’ve done, and whether it’s within the rules or not.

ANDREW BOLT: So for you it’s…

ANTHONY ALBANESE: To me…

ANDREW BOLT: ..it’s completely an issue about what mode of transport she chose. So, for you, taking the helicopter, $5,000, is worse than taking your family business class - cost $8,000 - to Uluru? That’s… For you, that’s worse.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: No, there’s an issue about rules and what they are, and getting a helicopter.

ANDREW BOLT: So, Bronwyn Bishop broke the rules.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Getting a helicopter to a fundraiser from Melbourne to Geelong is clearly a problem with regard to the rules.

ANDREW BOLT: So, you think going to a fundraiser with a helicopter was against the rules?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, quite clearly, the Australian public responded…

ANDREW BOLT: No, you just said, “against the rules”, right? Going to the fundraiser.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, quite clearly you have to sign… As an office-holder, you have to sign saying, “This is for an official purpose.”

ANDREW BOLT: Alright, so if going to a fundraiser on the taxpayers’ dime is the offence that made Bronwyn Bishop different to Tony Burke, why are Labor politicians claiming to go to Labor’s Light on the Hill fundraiser in Bathurst?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, the Light on the Hill fundraiser, if you have a look, is advertised on the NSW Tourism website. It is… I’m speaking there next month. It’s $60 a head, Andrew, at Bathurst.

ANDREW BOLT: What’s the difference?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: It’s not about fundraising. It’s an event that pays tribute to Ben Chifley in terms of a great Bathurst citizen and a great Australian Prime Minister.

ANDREW BOLT: And a Labor person. You say it’s not…

ANTHONY ALBANESE: That’s right.

ANDREW BOLT:  OK.

ANTHONY ALBANESE:  But it’s open to everyone. It is an event in this community.

ANDREW BOLT: So was Bronwyn Bishop’s fundraiser.
On claiming expenses to travel to the Labor “Light on the Hill” fundraiser in Bathurst next month:
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, I think in terms of the chopper flight, that, I think, broke the rules in terms of what you have to do to claim. She claimed that as an office-holder, in terms of people going about their work, in terms of activity. What I’m doing is driving to Bathurst.

ANDREW BOLT: Are you claiming?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: The people… No, I’m not.

ANDREW BOLT:  You’re giving the speech next month. You’re not claiming?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Correct, because I’m…

ANDREW BOLT: Why is Bill Shorten claiming?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Because I’m driving there, because it is pretty difficult to drive from Melbourne to Bathurst. It’s a good thing that things are happening in Bathurst. He had other activities there as well as the lecture, and…

ANDREW BOLT: If it’s a legitimate party function that you should be able to claim for, whether you fly there. Wayne Swan chartered a plane to go there – alright, not a helicopter, but a plane at a greater cost, you’re not charging the taxpayer. So why would Bill Shorten and Wayne Swan… why are they doing it?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Because they don’t live in Sydney, Andrew.
The full interview:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'On The Bolt Report today, August 9. Includes a sorry to Bronwyn Bishop'
===

Burke should have told us Abdul’s name when Labor was in power

Andrew Bolt August 09 2015 (6:35am)

Miranda Devine on Tony Burke’s new projection of compassion:
Tony Burke ...  just couldn’t resist moral grandstanding at the ALP conference last month. His speech there was widely praised as both compassionate and tough, designed as it was to support Labor leader Bill Shorten’s belated embrace [sic] of asylum seeker boat turnbacks. 
Burke’s voice quavered as he spoke of a Post-it note he kept on his desk when he was immigration minister in the waning days of the second Rudd government. On it was written the name of Abdul Jafari, a 10-week-old baby who drowned when a boat capsized off the coast of Java on July 24, 2013....
“And I said: ‘Can you just tell them I don’t want to use it in the media? He was 10 weeks old. He died on my watch. I just want to know his name’. I was given his name on a Post-it note, and I kept that Post-it note on my desk until we lost office.”
Well, wow. Big deal.
Three weeks after Burke stuck that Post-it note on his desk, another boat capsized, on August 16, 2013, with 14 people missing, presumed drowned. On August 20, another boat, ­another five people missing. This happened with sickening regularity on Labor’s “watch”...The death toll for recklessly dismantling Howard-era border protections? At least 1200…
The only thing that stopped the deaths was the election of the Abbott government and the replacement of Burke by Scott Morrison and his much-mocked Operation Sovereign Borders… 
[Burke] should have delivered [his ALP conference] speech in July, 2013, when it might have saved lives and shamed the refugee lobby. He should have told the media little Abdul’s name. Instead, he kept it secret on his Post-it note for two years to use as political theatre to enhance Labor’s electoral prospects in Opposition.
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill:
What makes Burke’s July 2013 Post-it note epiphany on turnbacks story ring so hollow is what he had to say about the policy on 7.30 on 14 August 2013:
In terms of turning back the boats, you can’t take the policy settings that were used in 2001, photocopy them and think that in the intervening years people smugglers haven’t learnt anything. The boats now come ready for sabotage. And the moment you get the point of interception, they are very quick to turn it into a safety-of-life-at-sea operation. Now [Scott Morrison’s] previously said, and I believe him, that no matter who’s in power in Australia, we’re not the sort of nation that will leave people drowning in the ocean. That means that you’re not going to turn boats around because the moment it turns into a safety-of-life-at-sea operation, you’re getting people onboard. To pretend otherwise, to pretend otherwise presumes that people smugglers will forget everything that they’ve learned in the last decade.
===

Hockey did a Burke

Andrew Bolt August 09 2015 (6:02am)

Oh dear:
TREASURER Joe Hockey has proved the age of entitlement isn’t dead jetting his family to Perth on business class flights during school holidays at a total cost to taxpayers of $14,566. 
After accusing Speaker Bronwyn Bishop of failing “the sniff test’’ after she hired a helicopter at for $5,500 to fly to a Liberal fundraiser, Mr Hockey’s 2013 family trip to Perth is set to reignite a push to scrap taxpayer-funded business class flights for MPs’ kids…
In an unfortunate coincidence, Mr Hockey’s family trip to Perth on business class flights also marked the first anniversary of his landmark The End of the Age of Entitlement speech… 
It is believed Mr Hockey’s trip to Perth involved an actual family reunion for members of his clan, and “working meetings on everyday of his trip’’ including talks with the WA Premier Colin Barnett and the then Treasurer Troy Buswell.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

The Flanagan accusation: to defend this land is to hate it

Andrew Bolt August 09 2015 (5:25am)

Age writer Martin Flanagan believes this country is deeply racist and the catspaw of evil men summonsing millions of mindless minions to torment and to hate.
In contrast, I believe Australians are fundamentally good and welcoming, and have said so here and here and here and  here and  here and here.
So one of us clearly doesn’t feel at home here. One of us doesn’t love this land, expressing instead their fears and resentments of it.
The answer is obvious to Martin Flanagan (who, as you see from the links I’ve added, does not care to sully his theories with facts):
The most honest article Bolt ever wrote was the one in which he told of taking out a Dutch passport as a young man because he didn’t “fit in” in Australia. When does Bolt ever write with love for anything Australian – a figure, a placebooka paintinga footy game? Bolt is the alienated individual who gets to the centre of the culture by expressing his fears and resentment and acting as a conduit for the fears and resentments of others.
Resist moves to divide us by race and you’re a racist. Defend Australia as a tolerant land and you’re “alienated”.
Which of you is safe from the Flanagans?
PS: But he did pretty much get me on the books. I do wish there were more by Australians that I like as much as these that I’ve raved about
===

The arts are not therapies

Andrew Bolt August 09 2015 (5:12am)

When artists defending the grants system describe the arts as a form of medical therapy, disaster preparedness training or jobs service you can be sure they’re not talking about art at all. And you may well suspect why they’re hostile to a funding change meant to better reward artistic excellence. 
===

Labor turns hospital into political shrine

Andrew Bolt August 09 2015 (5:00am)

Seriously? Labor turns a hospital into a political shrine?
One of Victoria’s new hospitals will be named in honour of the state’s first female premier, the late Joan Kirner. 
Two months after Ms Kirner died after a long battle with illness, the $200 million Women’s and Children’s Hospital to be built in Sunshine will take her name as an ongoing tribute to her legacy… “Joan was an absolute inspiration to all of us and we want to honour her and her legacy,” [Premier Dan] Andrews said. “The Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital will deliver vital services to families in Melbourne’s west, a community Joan truly loved.” 
Kirner may have been a nice woman indeed, but she was not “an inspiration to us all”. She was not elected Premier but appointed, and once Victorians beheld her work she was defeated in a landslide after just two years. Labor won only 43.7 per cent of the two-party preferred vote.
Labor is trying to turn one of its least successful leaders into a public hero.
This is an abuse of power. 
===

ReachTEL: Labor ahead 47 to 53

Andrew Bolt August 09 2015 (4:50am)

I actually expected worse damage:
The new [ReachTEL] poll conducted on Thursday – three weeks after the Bishop scandal first broke and five days after she announced her resignation – finds the two-party preferred vote unchanged with Labor still comfortably ahead 53 per cent to 47 per cent based on 2013 preference flows… Mr Shorten is preferred by 58.5 per cent of voters to Mr Abbott’s 41.5… 
Bad, but not fatal.
That said, Tony Abbott has only a few more months before his leadership again becomes an issue - if those figures don’t improve. 
===

Donald Trump sinks to new low with Megyn Kelly insult

Andrew Bolt August 08 2015 (10:00pm)

Some readers complain that I’m not giving Donald Trump a fair hearing. After all, he must be connecting with voters if he’s so far ahead in the polls as preferred Republican candidate for President.
Well, there’s a reason I write him off. It’s the same reason I’ve written off other flash-in-the-pan, narcissistic, know-nothing populist braggarts, especially ones with wild wealth - or the appearance thereof.
The reason? These people are jackasses. They talk big and think small. They do not understand what they now seek to control. They will destroy what they promise to fix. Their desire is to have power, not offer service.
And some, like Trump, are simply nasty, never to be trusted with state power over free people.
Which brings me to this - Trump’s disgraceful attack on Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who’d asked him during the Republican debate to explain why he’d abused women as “‘fat pigs”, “dogs”, “slobs” and “disgusting animals”:
 After a day of escalating hostility, Trump took his attacks on Kelly to the next level on Friday night, apparently insinuating that the moderator had been menstruating when she questioned him during Thursday’s first Republican debate. You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever,” he told anchor Don Lemon during an appearance on CNN.
A president like that? You must be kidding. 
===

SMEARED AND THREATENED

Tim Blair – Saturday, August 09, 2014 (7:28pm)

If it weren’t for double standards, poor Margo Kingston would have no standards at all. Here’s the great frightbat in 2004, defending heroic whistleblowers
Why do they do it, these whistleblowers? Why do they dare speak out? Whether in the private or public sector, often they lose their livelihoods, and the strain can damage their health, end their closest relationships and smash their friendships. Almost always they are smeared, threatened and put under intolerable psychological pressure.
What do they get in return for their courage, their defiant insistence that one person can make a difference and must, when faced with a choice between right and wrong, look the powerful people in their world in the eye and say “No!”? 
Several people this week looked a powerful person in the eye and said “No!” This is Margo’s reaction:


Firstly, there was no leak. The Australian‘s Sharri Markson contacted the people involved and reported their stories. Secondly, is Margo actually calling for an anonymous source to be identified? What happened to her concern about whistleblowers being “smeared, threatened and put under intolerable psychological pressure”?


Mike Carlton wrote a column. Readers replied. Carlton abused them. Readers revealed the abuse. Aside from Carlton’s idiotic attacks, there is no ethical issue here at all.


Poor Mike’s mere five decades of media experience was no match for vicious “trolls” (Margo’s new word for whistleblowers) and their devious email trickery. 
===

TILT AND TILTABILITY

Tim Blair – Saturday, August 09, 2014 (5:29pm)

Deep in the Arctic, British luvvie Emma Thompson presents a Compassionate Head Tilt™ combined with a sublime Concern Face™:


Thompson’s daughter is named Gaia. Seriously.
===

MUSLIMS FOR MIKE

Tim Blair – Saturday, August 09, 2014 (2:17pm)

Furious Muslims demand Mike Carlton’s return
In a letter to Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood and editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir, the Australian National Imams Council, Islamic Council of NSW and the Muslim Legal Network NSW among others say they willboycott the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper unless the outspoken columnist is reinstated.
Mr Carlton resigned as a columnist for Fairfax over his use of offensive language towards readers complaining about a recent column and accompanying cartoon about the war in Gaza.
“As representatives of the Muslim community we have always regarded Fairfax to be one the more balanced media organisations in the country and where possible we have cooperated with your journalists on countless stories,” the letter said.
“But with the resignation of Mr Carlton from your publications we have now lost one of the very few voices advocating for the Palestinian cause in the country.” 
This cannot possibly become any more fantastic.
UPDATE. In solidarity with his fallen friend, John Birmingham has refused to take over Carlton’s position at the SMH. No, just kidding. Carlton Light’s first column appeared today:

===

The Bolt Report tomorrow, August 10

Andrew Bolt August 09 2014 (4:54pm)

On Channel 10 at 10am and 4pm…
Editorial: We’re muzzled, yet hate-preachers rant
My guest:  Labor immigration spokesman Richard Marles
The panel: Peter Costello and Michael Costa
NewsWatch:  The Australian’s Sharri Markson.  Mike Carlton’s fall, Media Watch’s silence and the perils of embed journalism from Gaza,
Plenty of talk on the Abbott Government’s communications disasters, Islamism and an even bigger disaster comes home to roost at the White House. Plus the most powerful speech I’ve heard in years.
The videos of the shows appear here.
===

A 100-year war against radical Islam? Then surely our immigration program must change

Andrew Bolt August 09 2014 (2:35pm)


If true, shouldn’t our immigration program be adjusted to keep us safe?
AUSTRALIA needs to prepare for an increasingly savage, 100-year war against radical Islam that will be fought on home soil as well as foreign lands, the former head of the army, Peter Leahy, has warned… 
“Australia is involved in the early stages of a war which is likely to last for the rest of the century,” he said. “We must be ready to protect ourselves and, where necessary, act pre-emptively to neutralise the evident threat. Get ready for a long war.” 
It is a betrayal of the national interest not to discuss immigration intakes if you seriously believe we’ll be fighting Islamist extremists on our own streets. And many experts do:
GREG BARTON, PROFESSOR, GLOBAL TERRORISM RESEARCH CENTRE: ... most of the Australians who went to Afghanistan through the 80s, ah, went on to become involved in violent extremism of some form or another, although, you know, most of them were thwarted. This time around the numbers are much, much larger. The rapidity of people being engaged is much faster and the level of violence people are seeing and experiencing is very much higher. So we just don’t know what’s going to happen but it’s, ah, it’s the biggest threat we’ve faced so far… This will be a problem that’s with us all through the next decade and probably likely well beyond.
And:
A BALI-STYLE terror attack on Australian soil is inevitable, a senior member of a parliamentary security committee has warned. 
LABOR MP Anthony Byrne, who is deputy chair of the joint intelligence and security committee, believes the threat to national security is accelerating. “One of the grave concerns I have ... is that eventually and inevitably in this country an event will occur on this soil of the magnitude of the Bali event,” he told parliament on Monday night. 
Please explain why an immigration program that let in such people is in our interests - and why it should not now be changed?
We’ve been chatting for a while when [Sydney Muslim Wassim Haddad] slants his phone screen our way. It’s a video sent by his good mate Khaled Sharrouf, 32, who went to school not far from here at Chester Hill High. Sharrouf, like Haddad, is Australian born, the son of Lebanese migrants. In the video, Sharrouf ... carries a pistol. On the ground in front of him is a row of kneeling men, their hands tied behind their backs with checked keffiyeh scarves. They are Iraqis — possibly soldiers, possibly police, possibly just government workers such as primary school teachers. 
Sharrouf walks up behind one of the men and points the pistol at the back of his head… Sharrouf, from Wiley Park, Sydney, pulled the trigger and blew the man’s brains out through his face. Then he sent the video to his mates in Sydney…
In the days after these photos were posted we are sitting in the Golden Bean in Bankstown talking to Haddad. He spoke to Sharrouf just a few hours ago. Sharrouf, he says, is happy, ecstatic. “He says that he loves what he is doing over there,” explains Haddad, who runs the hardline al-Risalah Islamic Centre in Bankstown, which Sharrouf and Elomar had attended. 
“He says he is doing the work of Allah in establishing an Islamic caliphate… Why wouldn’t he be happy? He is fulfilling his obligations to Islam. He pretty much called us (other Islamic youth in Sydney) cowards for not being there.” Dozens more would follow, Haddad reckons, but they have had their passports seized by ASIO....
UPDATE
The conflict escalates. Unbelievable, but we now have the Muslim lobby accusing theSydney Morning Herald of caving in to the Jewish lobby, and demanding it reinstate pet bigot Mike Carlton:
IN a letter to Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood and editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir, the Australian National Imams Council, Islamic Council of NSW and the Muslim Legal Network NSW among others say they will boycott the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper unless the outspoken columnist is reinstated. 
Mr Carlton resigned as a columnist for Fairfax over his use of offensive language towards readers complaining about a recent column and accompanying cartoon about the war in Gaza…
“...with the resignation of Mr Carlton from your publications we have now lost one of the very few voices advocating for the Palestinian cause in the country.”
The letter says the groups will consider notifying community organisations and spokespersons to cease cooperating with Fairfax journalists for media interviews…
In the letter sent to Fairfax on Saturday, the concerned Muslim community groups also condemned the cartoon that accompanied Mr Carlton’s column.
“It was indeed a racist cartoon that implicated the Jewish people in the actions of the Israeli state by using Jewish symbolism and stereotype,” the letter said. 
“However, the apology from Fairfax makes it clear that Fairfax has been put under pressure by the Israeli lobby.” 
===

Julia Gillard: questions to answer. UPDATE: About Essendon, too

Andrew Bolt August 09 2014 (12:18pm)

The AWU scandal

The story the ABC and so many senior Canberra journalists dismissed or refused to cover:
A FORMER top criminal defence lawyer has reviewed reams of evidence about the AWU slush fund scandal at the ongoing Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, resulting in his legal opinion that Julia Gillard has problems best resolved by a jury
Russell Hanson QC, who helped run several royal commission-style probes before his retirement, based his detailed review on sworn witness statements and oral testimony at the commission, as well as key documents including Gillard’s exit interview from the law firm Slater & Gordon in 1995…
“The evidence is overwhelming that the Workplace Reform Association (slush fund) was a sham from start to finish.
“There seems to me to be clear and apparently reliable evidence that Wilson was giving Gillard substantial sums of money for her (home) renovations. Where did it come from? From the (slush fund)? Did Gillard know this? What’s a married man with a family in Perth doing paying thousands of dollars for her renovations? Could she possibly think it was coming out of his own pocket? Tell it to the jury."…
The royal commission is expected to call Gillard, who has always strenuously denied that she did anything wrong in relation to legal advice she gave to her then boyfriend and client, Wilson, that resulted in the establishment of the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association. Wilson has supported Gillard… Gillard has insisted since 2012 that she paid for her renovations and that she did nothing wrong…
Hanson says he considered three key questions. Was the slush fund set up with the intention of operating it as a sham? If so, who was a party to that arrangement? Who knowingly participated in receiving the proceeds obtained by illegal means? “There is no basis in the evidence that I have seen for inferring that there was, at the outset, an intention to operate a legitimate organisation,” he says. 
Read on. Hanson goes through the allegations and the issues - and right through Mark Latham, too.
Again, Gillard insists she did nothing wrong and we have not yet heard her give her side of the story to the royal commission.
UPDATE
Julia Gillard responds without responding:
UPDATE
Gillard’s concern for legal process is so touching. So recent, too, to judge from today’s reports on how she intervened in the Essendon (alleged) doping scandal:
According to an affidavit sworn by former ASADA chief executive Aurora Andruska, prime minister Julia Gillard’s ­desire for the investigation to produce quick results was ­evident within days of the so-called “blackest day in Australian sport’’ when sports chiefs were called to Canberra on February 7, 2013, to stand with ministers for the release of an Australian Crime Commission report into the use of peptides in professional sport and links with organised crime. 
At a meeting in Canberra ­between AFL, Essendon and ASADA officials two days later it was made clear the “PM wants it to end’’, Andruska notes.
By the start of winter, sports minister Kate Lundy was feeling the heat from a partyroom fretting over an increasingly unwinnable election, and AFL deputy chief executive Gillon McLachlan was worried about the impact of the scandal on ticket sales for that season’s finals.
At a meeting in Canberra on June 4, Lundy’s departmental deputy secretary Glenys Beauchamp delivered ASADA officials instructions from the minister. According to notes taken by Elen Perdikogiannis, ASADA’s general manager of anti-doping programs and legal services, Beauchamp told them: “Min — her colleagues at her, or accusing her of hampering chances of re-election — you need an outcome.’’
Andruska’s notes taken from the same meeting spell out what that outcome would be: “Deal with AFL — support staff sacked, points off, players off.’’ Essendon coaches would lose their jobs, Essendon would be stripped of premiership points and dumped from the finals series and the players would escape sanction. 
This was the deal ratified by the AFL Commission three months later. 
(Thanks to reader Andrew.) 
===

Bob Day gives Liberals the chance to vote for their own reforms

Andrew Bolt August 09 2014 (11:38am)

Family First Senator Bob Day will embarrass the Liberals into declaring whether they truly meant their fine words about freedom of speech:
Senator Day has revealed he will introduce a private senator’s bill to remove what he describes as “chilling” restrictions on free speech after Tony Abbott this week abandoned plans to rework section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. 
“Someone has to champion the cause of freedom. You can’t allow yourself to be intimidated by any particular group,’’ Senator Day told The Weekend Australian.
The South Australian first-term senator said he was confident of winning support from his fellow balance-of-power crossbenchers.
This would mean any repeal of section 18C would be blocked only if the government failed to back Senator Day’s reforms.
“...I simply cannot stand by and watch a fundamental principle go un­defended,” Senator Day said. “...I did not intend to take the running on this but, when the government walked away, someone had to do it.” 
The government had proposed scrapping the protections making it unlawful to offend, insult, ­humiliate or intimidate other ­people or groups of people because of their race, colour or national or ethnic origin and replacing them with provisions making it unlawful to vilify or intimidate others on similar grounds. 
The two most eloquent defenders of freedom now in Parliament are the conservative Day and the libertarian David Leyonhjelm. Disenchanted Liberals should consider giving them their primary vote in future. 
===

US bombs Islamic State

Andrew Bolt August 09 2014 (11:03am)

A very little, and very late:
THE US unleashed a second wave of airstrikes in northern Iraq against militants of the Islamic State group amid a worsening humanitarian crisis. 
The bombing began with US Navy F/A-18 jet fighters and armed drones targeting jihadist positions in northern Iraq… The Pentagon said that air strikes have hit a vehicle convoy and two mortar positions near the city of Irbil…
Separately, four fighter jets struck a stationary convoy of seven vehicles and a mortar position outside Irbil, he said. The jets flew off the USS George HW Bush aircraft carrier and dropped a total of eight laser-guided bombs… 
The strikes comes as ISIS extremists took hundreds of women captive from a religious minority, according to an Iraqi official, while thousands of other civilians fled in fear.
What horror could have been prevented had this not been done much sooner?
UPDATE
Where are the UN peacekeepers? Note that it takes the Americans - not the UN or the Russians, Chinese or Arab League - to stop a genocide:
Iraqi militants seized control Thursday of the country’s largest Christian city—reportedly telling its residents to leave, convert or die—while members of another religious minority remained trapped on a mountain without enough food or water, circumstances that fueled calls for the U.S. and U.N. to get more involved. 
UPDATE
On another front in this war of self-defence, the BBC finally warns against taking casualty figures from Gaza on trust. More than half of the dead seem to be terrorists or unidentified men of fighting age:
In the Gaza conflict, most news organisations have been quoting from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)… 
Its recent report said that as of 6 August, 1,843 Palestinians had been killed and 66 Israelis and one Thai national since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on 8 July. Of those Palestinians, the status of 279 could not be identified, at least 1,354 were civilians, including 415 children and 214 women, the UN body reported.
So there were 216 members of armed groups killed, and another 725 men who were civilians. Among civilians, more than three times as many men were killed as women, while three times as many civilian men were killed as fighters…
Nonetheless, if the Israeli attacks have been “indiscriminate”, as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed so many more civilian men than women…
An analysis by the New York Times looked at the names of 1,431 casualties and found that “the population most likely to be militants, men ages 20 to 29, is also the most overrepresented in the death toll. They are 9% of Gaza’s 1.7 million residents, but 34% of those killed whose ages were provided.”
“At the same time, women and children under 15, the least likely to be legitimate targets, were the most underrepresented, making up 71% of the population and 33% of the known-age casualties."…
The IDF say they have killed at least 253 Hamas operatives, 147 Islamic Jihad operatives, 65 “operatives of various organisations” and 603 “operatives whose affiliation is unknown”, although they also stress that this is not a final number. 
Spokesman Capt Eytan Buchman told BBC News that “the UN numbers being reported are, by and by large, based on the Gaza health ministry, a Hamas-run organisation”. 
But the vilification continues. Charles Krauthammer:
When it comes to Europe, I think the overwhelming factor is raw, native, deep-seated anti-Semitism. This is 2,000-year-old anti-Semitism. Now for awhile they discovered that if you put the veneer of anti-Zionism—the cover of anti-Zionism—you can get away with it in respectable society. The veneer and cover are gone. You’ve got placards being carried in Germany of all places, ‘Hitler was right.’ Chants of Jews to the gas… 
In the United States, it is very different. Anti-Semitism is not a major factor here… What I think is the most important factor here is sheer, raw ignorance. They have no idea what Hamas is ... They have no idea, for example, that there is no occupation in Gaza. You’ll hear them talk about Gaza being occupied. The Israelis left in 2005. They tore out their settlements. There’s not a settler, there’s not a soldier, there is not a Jew left in Gaza. Do any of these people know it? No. Are they aware that just a few days ago the spokesman for Hamas in Lebanon said, on Arabic television, that the Jews lust for the killing of children, after all, they have always loved the blood of children in their mazahs on Passover? ... Are they aware to the fact that Hamas’ charter calls not for just the destruction of Israel but for the killing Jews everywhere in the world? This is a openly genocidal organization.
Media Watch Dog:
On Radio National Breakfast this morning ... James Carleton again used the taxpayer funded public broadcaster to state the case for the prosecution against Israel. Once again ... Mr Carleton declared that Gaza is occupied. This time he was corrected by Colonel Richard Kemp (the former commander of the British Armed Forces in Afghanistan) who told him that Hamas was running the joint.
(Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill, ed and Romanoz.) 
===

Sack the Press Council

Andrew Bolt August 09 2014 (10:55am)

Free speech

The Press Council has become too powerful, too arrogant and too quick to take up activists’ complaints, ensuring a punishment by process of conservatives in particular.
It has also subscribed too much to the deadening and oppressive view that words are so dangerous that they must be controlled.
Worse, it has also developed a Leftist agenda of its own, not least on global warming.
The Australian has had enough and today takes on this dangerously overbearing body:
THE chair of the Australian Press Council, Julian Disney, has been challenged to disqualify himself from adjudicating an editorial complaint against The Australian amid heightening tensions between publishers and the newspaper watchdog. 
The APC yesterday received a letter from The Australian’s lawyers that raised concerns over the conduct of a meeting of the APC’s adjudication panel this week which considered a complaint concerning coverage of the communist links of late Labor minister Arthur Gietzelt.
The complaint related to two articles on Gietzelt by senior writer Troy Bramston… Bramston’s articles, published six days after the former Labor minister’s death, referred to more than 40 years of archival material that related to ASIO’s surveillance of Gietzelt, who was long suspected of links to, or membership of, the Communist Party…
During last week’s hearing, the APC pursued accusations that Bramston harboured an ancient grudge against Gietzelt and was motivated by revenge over a failed local council preselection battle 15 years ago.
Yesterday’s letter to the APC said the inclusion of the ­accusation in the summary of ­issues before the panel, in the ­absence of any evidence, “constitutes a grave indignity on the reputation of a practising journalist”....
Yesterday’s letter from The Australian’s lawyers to the APC asked Professor Disney to excuse himself from considering the matter on the grounds of a potential conflict of interest arising from his own contact with Gietzelt during the 1980s. Professor Disney has defended his conduct during the adjudication panel meeting and rejected outright any assertion that he had a conflict of interest…

Last week’s adjudication meeting was conducted in a manner that was “markedly hostile” to Bramston and The Weekend Australian’s editor, Michelle Gunn, ­according to the letter sent to the APC by The Australian’s lawyers KellyHazellQuill.
“We are instructed that the questioning of Ms Gunn and Mr Bramston was unusually combative and argumentative, that our clients were interrupted on a number of occasions and that our clients were often prevented from giving complete answers to the APC’s questions,” the letter says. 
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Labor softer on travellers in jihadist areas than it was on bosses back home

Andrew Bolt August 09 2014 (9:11am)

Labor two years ago was happy to shift the onus of proof onto bosses accused of discrimination:
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has defended her plan to consolidate national anti-discrimination laws ... for business, organisations and individuals, she said… 
The draft bill will create a shifting burden of proof. Once a prima facie case has been established, it will have to be disproved by the respondent to the complaint.
Labor was last year happy to shift the onus of proof onto people accused of having unexplained wealth:
DREYFUS: We do have reverse onus of proof provisions and I think they’re better thought of as shifting onus… We are talking about the police bearing the onus of establishing at first instance of sort of prima facie case which says, we allege that this person has been involved in crime, that this unexplained wealth is the product of crime. And then it’s over to the person not to show that they’ve got it by lawful means, but simply to refute the proposition that they made this wealth by crime.
But Labor is not happy to now shift the onus of proof onto people traveling in jihadist areas:
[Attorney general] George Brandis flagged a radical overhaul of the law that would see Australians visiting Syria or northern Iraq or other conflict zones presumed to be in the country for “no good purpose” – rather than assumed to be innocent… The principle of reversing the onus of proof is likely to trouble Australia’s legal fraternity.... 
The opposition leader, Bill Shorten, said the government needed to maintain a “balanced approach” ... “ I think we have to be very careful in this complex situation about demonising Australians of Middle-Eastern backgrounds...”
Exactly how beholden is Labor to Muslim voters in its key marginals that it refuses to support a principle applying to travellers in jihadist areas that it was prepared to impose on bosses back home?  
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Correcting the anti-Abbott record

Andrew Bolt August 09 2014 (8:41am)

False, Mr van Onselen:
The Prime Minister even informed commentator Andrew Bolt of his backflip before his cabinet, the ultimate show of disrespect to the team charged with running the country.
In fact, I first knew the free speech reforms were dumped precisely because Abbott had informed his cabinet. 
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Putin bans milk, orders booze

Andrew Bolt August 09 2014 (8:23am)

Russian President Vladimir Putin bans milk:
Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree on the full ban for imports of beef, pork, poultry meat, fish, cheese, milk, vegetables and fruit from Australia, Canada, the EU, the US and Norway.
But Putin says da to to booze:
... his nation will continue to indulge in more than $4 million worth of Australian alcohol. 
The Saturday Telegraph can reveal alcohol is not on Mr Putin’s absurd list of sanctions… in response to tough ­sanctions imposed on Russia in the wake of the Ukraine conflict.
As usual, Putin gives his people what they want but not what they need:
The study, in The Lancet, says 25% of Russian men die before they are 55, and most of the deaths are down to alcohol. 
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Wrong again

Andrew Bolt August 09 2014 (8:14am)

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Pyne line

Andrew Bolt August 09 2014 (12:54am)

A nice line from the talented Mr Pyne:
A member of the so-called moderate wing of the Liberal Party, his brawls with the rival conservative grouping in South Australia are legendary. In 1984, he signed up for the university Liberal Club and the Young Liberal Party before darkening the door of a lecture theatre. Soon enough, he was running both shows. Ruthlessly (there’s that descriptor again) he purged right-wingers from the executive of the Liberal Club. When half of the 400-strong membership threatened to quit in protest, Pyne cheerfully collected the resignations. He had just learnt an enduring lesson in the dark arts of ­politics: “Never resign. It’s permanent.”
Hmm. He might have just changed my mind… 
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Not tortured but treated

Andrew Bolt August 09 2014 (12:22am)

I missed this the other day - more evidence that the ABC jumped to the most negative and absurd conclusion:
Interview records with five Operation Sovereign Borders personnel furtherundermine allegations aired by the ABC in January that asylum-seekers were deliberately abused by Australian personnel who forced them to hold on to their boat’s hot engine pipes…

One of the documents reads: “Burn to left hand ½ palm … Burn associated with attempt to light fire in engine room.” 

Another report indicates the officers applied first-aid to the wound, using field dressings to assist the wounded man.
Big surprise.
(Thanks to reader WaG311.)  
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Holly Sarah Nguyen
And without FAITH it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.~ Hebrews 11:6
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I feel that health insurance is to health what semiotics is to sign writing. You can study sign writing and learn the difference between signs posted by the Department for roads or railways, but that doesn't give you choice when you are standing on bitumen or tracks. Page has brilliantly illustrated a serious issue, not solved by mere money. ed
"So I asked, why are people so focused on keeping your medical history private? The answer is probably insurance. You’re very worried that you’re going to be denied insurance. That makes no sense! So we should change the rules around insurance, so they have to insure people. The whole point of insurance is that it insures everyone."

-- Google CEO Larry Page at this year's Google I/O in May
"Ben Schachter, McQuarrie: "How can you improve health care?"

"That’s a great segue from the previous question. I think it’s been difficult. We had Google Health, but we didn’t make that much progress on it. I think primarily we found that all the iss
ues were regulatory. It’s very hard to get technological leverage there. I was talking about how we’re one percent where we can be. That’s by doing real, amazing technological things. And, you know, we found in the kinds of things we were working on in health care, we weren’t able to move beyond that due to all the constraints that we were under. And so I think we’ll see amazing things in health care, but I think they’ll be things that have technological leverage, like DNA sequencing. We’re all going to have that. It’ll cost a dollar or whatever, you’re all going to have your sequence, and something amazing will happen.

I just disclosed yesterday my voice issues. I got so many great emails from people. And thoughtful advice. And I realized, you know, I kind of had the notion that stuff should be really private, but at least in my case I felt I should have done it sooner. And I’m not sure if that answer’s not true for most people. So I asked, why are people so focused on keeping your medical history private? The answer is probably insurance. You’re very worried that you’re going to be denied insurance. That makes no sense! So we should change the rules around insurance, so they have to insure people. The whole point of insurance is that it insures everyone.

So again, maybe we have a safe place where people can go and live in a world like that, where they make those kind of changes. We can see if they work, and then the world can learn from that and move on, but not everybody has to participate in it. Because I’m worried we’re not making some of the fundamental changes we need to make fast enough."

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How many facts can a fact checker check if a fact checker would check facts? ed
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<What sort of compassion is he talking about? Teaching kids, hell no! Being on an appropriate register for sex offenders and get a job unrelated to children.. maybe.>
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Holly Sarah Nguyen
Is taking a line from Christ Jesus "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do" when people try your nerves and upset you pray for them they NEED it!===
Life is too short .. But love lasts .. this breaks my heart and I have to ask Him why. I don't understand the answer. It seems incomprehensible. Jailan did not have much of choice or a chance. But there was love. And so There is God. - ed

Kidspot Social forum member, Chantal, recently shared the heartbreaking story of her nephew’s short life. Her family have allowed us to reproduce it here:
“On the 20th of April 2013 my sister went into labour three weeks early and my baby nephew was born at 1:30am on my daughter’s birthday.
“One week earlier my sister began having a few contractions so she went to the hospital. When a scan was performed the doctors noticed that the baby’s small intestine appeared to be blocked, so my sister was transferred to John Hunter Hospital. The surgeon said baby Jailan had bowel atresia and that when he was 12 hours old he would be sent to theatre to cut out the blockage and reattach the intestines. The doctor was confident, and assured us that he had performed this surgery numerous times with high success rates.
“We were upset that bub had to have surgery, but reassured that it was a relatively easy and fairly common operation. (more at the link)
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Pastor Rick Warren.
http://bit.ly/AbdVMy and also http://bit.ly/pyT8mK Sadly, not a single person who's spread the lie has ever contacted me personally to see if it was true. Not one.>
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Pastor Rick Warren
The easiest way to sabotage God's intended purpose for your life is to enter into a wrong relationship.
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<There are no words. Seriously, I can't take it. How can a United States Senator not know how bad the situation is in Egypt? It is his job to know. South Carolina, it's about time Senator Graham's job went to someone else.>
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Richard Nixon
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“For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.” Psalm 149:4NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning


"They weave the spider's web."
Isaiah 59:5

See the spider's web, and behold in it a most suggestive picture of the hypocrite's religion. It is meant to catch his prey: the spider fattens himself on flies, and the Pharisee has his reward. Foolish persons are easily entrapped by the loud professions of pretenders, and even the more judicious cannot always escape. Philip baptized Simon Magus, whose guileful declaration of faith was so soon exploded by the stern rebuke of Peter. Custom, reputation, praise, advancement, and other flies, are the small game which hypocrites take in their nets. A spider's web is a marvel of skill: look at it and admire the cunning hunter's wiles. Is not a deceiver's religion equally wonderful? How does he make so barefaced a lie appear to be a truth? How can he make his tinsel answer so well the purpose of gold? A spider's web comes all from the creature's own bowels. The bee gathers her wax from flowers, the spider sucks no flowers, and yet she spins out her material to any length. Even so hypocrites find their trust and hope within themselves; their anchor was forged on their own anvil, and their cable twisted by their own hands. They lay their own foundation, and hew out the pillars of their own house, disdaining to be debtors to the sovereign grace of God. But a spider's web is very frail. It is curiously wrought, but not enduringly manufactured. It is no match for the servant's broom, or the traveller's staff. The hypocrite needs no battery of Armstrongs to blow his hope to pieces, a mere puff of wind will do it. Hypocritical cobwebs will soon come down when the besom of destruction begins its purifying work. Which reminds us of one more thought, viz., that such cobwebs are not to be endured in the Lord's house: he will see to it that they and those who spin them shall be destroyed forever. O my soul, be thou resting on something better than a spider's web. Be the Lord Jesus thine eternal hiding-place.

Evening

"All things are possible to him that believeth."
Mark 9:23

Many professed Christians are always doubting and fearing, and they forlornly think that this is the necessary state of believers. This is a mistake, for "all things are possible to him that believeth"; and it is possible for us to mount into a state in which a doubt or a fear shall be but as a bird of passage flitting across the soul, but never lingering there. When you read of the high and sweet communions enjoyed by favoured saints, you sigh and murmur in the chamber of your heart, "Alas! these are not for me." O climber, if thou hast but faith, thou shalt yet stand upon the sunny pinnacle of the temple, for "all things are possible to him that believeth." You hear of exploits which holy men have done for Jesus; what they have enjoyed of him; how much they have been like him; how they have been able to endure great persecutions for his sake; and you say, "Ah! as for me, I am but a worm; I can never attain to this." But there is nothing which one saint was, that you may not be. There is no elevation of grace, no attainment of spirituality, no clearness of assurance, no post of duty, which is not open to you if you have but the power to believe. Lay aside your sackcloth and ashes, and rise to the dignity of your true position; you are little in Israel because you will be so, not because there is any necessity for it. It is not meet that thou shouldst grovel in the dust, O child of a King. Ascend! The golden throne of assurance is waiting for you! The crown of communion with Jesus is ready to bedeck your brow. Wrap yourself in scarlet and fine linen, and fare sumptuously every day; for if thou believest, thou mayst eat the fat of kidneys of wheat; thy land shall flow with milk and honey, and thy soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness. Gather golden sheaves of grace, for they await thee in the fields of faith. "All things are possible to him that believeth."
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Today's reading: Psalm 74-76, Romans 9:16-33 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Psalm 74-76


maskil of Asaph.
1 O God, why have you rejected us forever?
Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?
2 Remember the nation you purchased long ago,
the people of your inheritance, whom you redeemed-
Mount Zion, where you dwelt.
3 Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins,
all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary.
4 Your foes roared in the place where you met with us;
they set up their standards as signs.
5 They behaved like men wielding axes
to cut through a thicket of trees.
6 They smashed all the carved paneling
with their axes and hatchets.
7 They burned your sanctuary to the ground;
they defiled the dwelling place of your Name.
8 They said in their hearts, "We will crush them completely!"
They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land....


Today's New Testament reading: Romans 9:16-33


16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?" 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
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Rhoda


The Woman Who Was Called Mad

Scripture Reference - Acts 12:1-19

Name Meaning - Foreign born, this domestic servant of Mary the mother of Mark had a Greek name meaning "rose." Wilkinson remarks that as "Barnabas, Mary's brother, was of the country of Cyprus, it is a very reasonable supposition that the family had been resident there, and brought thence this maiden, who, like so many of her nation born in foreign parts, had received a Greek name." Although she carried one of the most beautiful names she was called by another not so pleasant. The saints in Mary's home called her Manias meaning, "a mad woman."
In the human episode in which Rhoda is the prominent character, nothing is said of pedigree. As a slave-maid she did not merit any genealogy. As a servant, she had no hours. The fact that it was long past midnight when Peter reached Mary's house, and that Rhoda the portress answered the door, indicates that she was willing to serve long and late. Mary, her mistress, also found in Rhoda a spiritual help. Doubtless she, too, was on her knees with the others praying for Peter, and hearing his knock went to the door. Perhaps we can break up the narrative in this threefold way. Peter knocked - Rhoda was shocked - The saints mocked.

Peter Knocked

The background of the record which Rhoda shares can be briefly cited. Mary of Jerusalem, a rich widow and mother of Mark the evangelist, owned a large and conspicuous house in the city which she placed at the service of the Lord. During the days of terrible persecution the saints in Jerusalem gathered regularly in her lovely home not only for the reading and exposition of the Word, but also to pray for afflicted saints. On the night in question the saints concentrated on the deliverance of a precious life, namely, Peter their leader. Herod's sword of persecution had fallen heavily upon the church in Jerusalem. James the Greater had already drunk the cup of martyrdom prophesied for him by his Lord, and the gathered intercessors had learned that Peter, imprisoned by Herod, was the next to be led forth to die. If their shepherd was smitten what could the sheep do. Such a crisis brought Peter's fellow believers to their knees in night-long intercession.

As the church in the house earnestly petitioned the Lord, their prayers were heard. In the prison the Lord, by means of an angel, miraculously freed Peter. Peter sped past guards and through opened doors, and came to the closed door of a house where he knew the saints were gathered together praying. Peter knocked at the door, but because of Rhoda's excitement, she failed to open the door. Peter continued knocking until the door was opened, not by angelic hands, as at the prison he had left, but by unbelieving human hands. Such a delay might have been dangerous, if the guards, discovering their prisoner had escaped, had tracked him down and found him standing at the closed gate of Mary's ancient house.
Rhoda Was Shocked
Peter not only knocked but also spoke, for we read that she knew his voice - the dear voice she had listened to so often expounding the sacred truths of the Word. But she was so stunned and overwhelmed at the answer to those midnight prayers standing there, that she failed to draw the bolts and admit Peter. "She opened not the gate for gladness." Such gladness would have been changed to sadness had Herod's soldiers appeared at that moment and taken Peter back to prison. We can understand Rhoda not opening the gate as soon as she heard the knock. "Never open a door in the dark until you know who is behind it." In those days when the saints were not sure who would be the next to join the noble army of martyrs, great caution was necessary. That knock might have been the summons of cruel Herod, making a fresh inroad on the little flock. But when Rhoda asked, "Who is knocking?" and received the muffled reply, "It is Peter, open quickly," she should have opened the gate before opening her mouth to others in the house about Peter standing outside. Knowing that for certain it was Peter, it was her duty as the maid to open the door. But stunned by the glad tidings she was momentarily thoughtless.
There are some characteristics of this maidservant who only has this one notice in Scripture, which are attractive. First, unbounded joy was hers. Luke, the beloved physician, who wrote the Acts, analyzes Rhoda's state of consciousness when the good news of answered prayer on Peter's behalf overpowered her presence of mind. She forgot herself - and her duty - and ran in to tell the intercessors to pray no more for Peter was at the gate. We can imagine how excitedly she shouted, "Peter is free! Peter is knocking at the door!" A spontaneous child of nature, she manifested her exuberance. Had hers been a calmer, less passionate nature, she would have opened the door when she knew it was Peter, and then gone in to tell the praying band that Peter was safe and free.
Further, when her good, glad information was scorned by the saints whose prayers for Peter had been interrupted by Rhoda's joyous outburst, "she constantly affirmed that it was even so." Her young heart believed in God and in the power of prayer, and knowing definitely that prayer had been answered, she would not suffer the praying band in the house of her mistress to browbeat her into silence. Although only the maid, she was not to be subdued by the sarcastic criticism of the large congregation present. She knew it was Peter, and nothing could move her from that belief. Rhoda wore the red rose of courage so beautifully as she persisted against opposition to constantly affirm the truth.
The Saints Mocked
How revealing was the reaction of those gathered together to Rhoda's excited announcement. First of all, they told the glad maid that she was mad . They accused her of insanity! But Rhoda was in good company because it had been said of the Saviour whom she had come to know and love, "He is beside Himself." Then, when Paul's eye kindled with the glory of his message, just as the face of Rhoda glowed as she told of answered prayer, Festus said of the Apostle, "Thou art beside thyself, much learning doth make thee mad." The prophet speaks about the spiritual man being mad (Hosea 9:7 ). Have we ever been thought mad for Christ, or fools for His sake? We are in the best of company if others sneer at us as we declare and live the message of God's power through Christ. But being told she had lost her senses did not deter Rhoda from the repetition of what she knew to be true.
Departing from their accusation, the band said, "It is his angel." Failing to move Rhoda from her persistent testimony, the saints treated her message as coming from the dead. It was a common Jewish belief that every true Israelite had a guardian angel especially assigned to him, who, when he appeared in human form, assumed the likeness of the man whom he protected. The continued knocking of Peter, however, stifled that interpretation of Rhoda's testimony because guardian angels are not prevented from carrying out their mission by closed doors. So, feeling that there was something insistently human about that constant knocking "they opened the door, saw Peter, and were astonished."
Astonished! How this description of their feelings revealed their unbelief! They had been praying for hours for Peter, yet when Peter stood at the door they did not believe it. Lack of faith was mingled with their intercessions, and so they were surprised at the miracle God had performed in Peter's escape from prison. Our Lord instructed His disciples to pray believingly. "When ye ask, believe that ye receive." Spurgeon once said, "If the Lord wants to surprise His people, He has only at once to give them an answer. No sooner do they receive an answer than they say, 'Who would have thought it?'" Mary of Jerusalem came to value her godly maid, Rhoda, more than ever because of the great assistance she had rendered that memorable day. And once in the house, Peter must have commended her for her persistence.
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Enoch, Henoch

[Ē'nŏch,Hē'nŏch] - teacher, initiated, dedicated.

  1. The eldest son of Cain, who had a city called after him (Gen. 4:17, 18; 1 Chron. 1:3).
  2. A son of Jared, a descendant of Seth and father of Methuselah (Gen. 5:18-23; Luke 3:37; Heb. 11:5; Jude 14).

The Man Who Was Missed


In some six verses the Bible sets forth the brief biography of this Old Testament saint - but what a biography! We know nothing of the rank or profession of Enoch. Two things of great interest characterize him, namely, his holy life on earth and his glorious exit from earth.
Enoch walked with God. Twice over we are reminded of this evident fact. The wicked are "without God." Enoch was at peace with God. Although born a child of wrath, he became a child of grace. He must have been at peace with God; two cannot walk together unless they be agreed (Amos 3:3).

Enoch enjoyed close communion with God . What a real union of hearts the repeated phrase, "walked with God" implies! What sweet hours of holy and happy intercourse God and Enoch must have had as they communed with each other. There was never a cloud between their fellowship. God was a pleasure to Enoch, and Enoch pleased God.

Enoch was separated from the world. This seventh man from Adam did not walk in the way of the sinners of his corrupt age. His character and conduct were a distinct rebuke to the godless around. Jude tells us that Enoch functioned as a prophet, declaring God's just judgment upon the unrighteousness of his time.

Enoch's life was one of progress . Walking with God implies a steady progress in his course. He did not walk for awhile and then stand still. Each day found him nearer the divine goal. In unbroken companionship with his Friend, he found himself more weaned from the world and more ripe for heaven. He did not attempt to walk alone to heaven. He walked with God, and as he took each step his eyes were fixed on his heavenly Companion.
Enoch had an unusually glorious end . He is the only one of the line of whom it is not said that "he died." He was not - God took him. "He was not" suggests that his friends sought for him. He was a missing person they could not trace. "God took him," which means he was translated that he should not taste death. Among the millions upon millions of men who have lived, only two out of the vast number never died - Enoch and Elijah! Andrew Bonar has the sweet suggestion that God and Enoch were in the habit of taking a long walk together every day and that one day God said to his companion, "Why go home? Come all the way with Me." Thus at 365 years of age - a year for every day of our year - God took His servant directly to heaven.
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