Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tue Sep 20th Todays News

My name is David Daniel Ball. I am an evangelical Christian but I am running on a secular platform, wanting all to prosper. I am running for Greater Dandenong, Redgum Ward. I am not a Liberal Party person, but an independent Conservative with Libertarian leanings. Unlike some Libertarians, I am for zero tolerance on drugs. That means I feel that drug users should not have access to illegal drugs, and need and deserve appropriate support in getting off drugs. Not the same philosophy as the Philippine President. But my 'compassionate' colleagues vying for local council seats are willing for people to die or be killed through risk minimisation which fails to address the actual scourge. 

I am Libertarian, and I am for free speech. Not because I enjoy abuse, but because I know I can face criticism and address it in debate. I am uncomfortable with restrictions on free speech which prevent open debate but instead promote group think. I proudly wear a name tag with IPA (Institute of Public Affairs)  badge I got from a conference because they stand for free speech. I don't agree with the IPA on everything, but I don't have to. 

I wish that my home were open for business. I want local business to employ local people. They want to. But they want their costs to be cheaper to allow them to trade. I want forklift drivers to go to work and not face OHS failures from corruption. When council fails through inappropriate legislation everyone suffers. We have inappropriate recycling procedures that are expensive and problematic. We have at least one neighbourhood which cannot get internet access unless individual households negotiate with Telstra. We have a need for better and more parking. The Greens are claiming they are opposed to overdevelopment. Yet nowhere is Dandenong overdeveloped, but there are needs. Public transport is good, and problematic too. Local Council has a role in making public transport better through better routing and better, more appropriate facilities. 

Facilities for worship are needed. Churches don't raise commercial amounts of money, but are good citizens. Or can be. One evangelical church, New Life, is looking for a new home and better facilities. Chisholm on Cleeland St has been a good host, but now needs the territory New Life has used for the better part of a decade. Three hundred members may not have a place for worship, yet they are an international church with a presence all around the world. If there is not a place that is available (without handouts) then clearly local council has failed in her planning duty to her constituents. Worth thinking about on voting day, when Greens claim that land is over developed and they are needed to prevent more. 

So long as Turnbull is in the position of leader, Liberals will underperform.

Why are the left wing trumpeting their diversity using intolerance as a tool?

My father did not drink much ever. He suffered from gout. Yet he was called too old for a kidney transplant and died before he should have. Hinch is taking much for granted.

I stand for free speech. But I seem to be in opposition to the leader of the Liberal Party, Malcolm Turnbull.

Thing is, Trump described the culprit before he was known. Trump was right. Hillary and the NYC Mayor prevaricated over the identity and motive of the perpetrator before he was known. They were wrong. Hillary Clinton is campaigning on her skill of making decisions seem hard. It keeps her in touch with youth.

=== from 2015 ===
Now that Turnbull has stopped undermining the Liberal Party, he is finding it hard to change. There needs to be healing and the impetus to move forward. By hitting Knights and Dames, Turnbull does neither. The criticism of Mr Abbott's 'Captain's picks' was hysterical and unedifying. The order of Knights and Dames was relatively free and had the virtue of being cultural assets. We need cultural assets. Mr Abbott knew that. Mr Turnbull saw it as a cheap shot. And it still is a cheap shot. By delegating it to cabinet, Turnbull is rubbing the noses of the cabinet in it. Another act which isn't healing. 

Hockey is leaving politics and some in Cabinet have been sacked by twitter. That isn't classy either. Turnbull now has an opportunity to do something right. The IPA have published a list of a hundred ideas that Turnbull could do to improve Australia. Some of them have already been done by Mr Abbott, but the senate, with Turnbull's encouragement, have opposed many of them. We need cuts to spending which will cripple us if they aren't made. We need to stop funding the NBN and let market forces run the internet. We need transport infrastructure and water from the northern rivers sent inland. We need state governments to run curriculum. We need freedom of speech. We need to maintain secure borders. We need to decide who comes to Australia. We need Japan to build our submarines so our forces have the world's best equipment. We need to stop funding left wing opposition through the ABC. We need to end union corruption. We need work choices. We need the judiciary to be independent of the ALP. We need to remove the climate change commission and the human rights council. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility.
From 2014
An impudent journalist keen to inflate claims by terrorists that detaining any of them is a crime against Islam was smacked down by Mr Abbott who took the microphone from a policeman who had been given the question. Abbott reminded the journalist of Churchill circa 1926  "I refuse to be impartial between the fire brigade and the fire." Mr Abbott continued to remind the journalist of the true situation. Two minutes from ignominious beginning to glorious end. And the truth is that brilliant, hard working people are working over time to make sure that terrorists don't follow through with their plans. They do a great job and we are lucky to have them. It must be confusing to journalists as Obama launches a war that could take decades to finish. Obama has failed to support friends or engage responsibly or with much thought on foreign affairs. Some academics who speak for Islamic peoples and advise their leaders feel that terrorists are Islamic. Meanwhile an Islamic leader is heard making a terrorist bomb threat. 

The bad nightmare of Scotland leaving the union is not completely over. Having promised too much, the Scottish First Minister is resigning, but there are street riots among those confused by the lies given in support of separation. Meanwhile Bob Ellis, who has a perfect record of not calling an election correctly, continues with Scotland. Ellis is a highly respected ALP adviser and dumb drunk. It is a salient reminder when eight members of a team trying to raise ebola awareness have been killed by local villagers tired of being told what to do. People resent socialist tendencies to big government overriding personal freedoms. Al Gore's microphone failed while invoking God. Even He dislikes socialists overplaying regulation. 

Lambie abuses an image of a dead woman by tweeting a generic burqa image of a policewoman with gun and claiming all such women are oppressed. Only the policewoman was murdered in '08 and was not oppressed by the dumb uniform, but by the Taliban who killed her for being an employed woman. Lambie found an iconic woman she should have supported but instead cheaply disparaged her. It highlights yet again that a constitutional apartheid involving Australian Aboriginals is not a good idea. Meanwhile institutionalised corruption involving the ALP and unions must be opposed. We cannot accept protection rackets in public service or private practice. 
From 2013
Four people are dead from three house fires. We will have many reminders of the abysmal ALP government for years to come. But the media are spinning now, hoping people will forget. Saying there is no need to further punish the ALP who have learned their electoral lesson. But there is no evidence the ALP have learned why it is they are not in government. On election night, Rudd claimed pride in his efforts which resulted in the lowest primary vote for the ALP in over a hundred years. Gillard took pride she hadn't campaigned against the incompetent government. The two campaigning for leadership have no plan to change policy on any issue, claiming the party needs healing. Trumpeting a campaign of ideas, neither Shorten nor Albanese differ. Each claim the other is all right should they lose their bid. Some are concerned in the press that Shorten does not pronounce Albanese' name very well. Neither does the Albanese supporter whom Shorten would make deputy. 

One clear divergence from ALP policy which the public wants and voted for is an end to the climate change shenanigans the ALP carried. Flannery was sacked from his $180k a year part time job. It is likely that had that not happened on Abbott's first day as PM, Flannery would have been diligently exercising his duty by claiming the fires were related to Global Warming. It is apparently the scientific method to claim anything that happens as supportive of personal belief. In many ways, twelfth century monks had much to teach scientists of today. Flannery is a throwback to such mastery. It is doubtful he will become poor, despite the loss of his part time job. It is also doubtful he will be silenced, often offering opinion for free. 

On the world front, a broad focus is coming to Iran and US relations. Some say Iran has a moderate in charge. The moderate has asked for more time to develop nuclear weapons without prying eyes. Obama is dithering. 
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 Luke Lukasz, LienBa Nguyen, Hendra TanLinita SournJenny Dang , Mathew Owens and Michael Krogh, born on the same day, across the years, as Kan B'alam I (524), Arthur, Prince of Wales (1486), Giuseppe Matteo Alberti (1685), Benjamin Franklin White (1800), James Dewar (1842), Kenneth More (1914),  Sophia Loren (1934)George R. R. Martin (1948), Gary Cole (1956), Maggie Cheung (1964), Todd Blackadder and Henrik Larsson (1971) and Sammi Hanratty (1995)
You fought the earls, left a tribute to the tsunami, left Nicaragua on Irene, saw Cosby and broke the Don't ask, don't tell rule. You are ready to partay! 
Deaths
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Andrew Bolt


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Only Turnbull can lose the election now

Piers Akerman – Sunday, September 20, 2015 (12:59am)

MALCOLM Turnbull delighted his supporters with his withering attack on Bill Shorten during his second Question Time in his new role as Prime Minister but he exposed a vulnerability that begs ­exploitation by both Labor and conservatives during his prime ministership.

 Continue reading 'Only Turnbull can lose the election now'
===

Why Tony Abbott failed

Miranda Devine – Sunday, September 20, 2015 (12:56am)

PHOTOGRAPHS of a lithe Margie Abbott in gym gear, moving herself out of Kirribilli House last week, should have sent a sword of remorse through the nation.
The Abbotts were the most unassuming, down-to-earth family, despite their considerable accomplishments. They were unfailingly courteous, loyal and kind to everyone who served them. The spontaneous applause from the RAAF crew as the former prime minister bounded up the steps of his jet for the last time said it all. 
And yet, Tony ­Abbott failed.
Herewith some observations on his leadership:
STYLE
Abbott worked the prime ministership like a bad game of golf. In golf, when you try too hard, your body stiffens up. Your wrists and ankles lock as you try to muscle the ball down the fairway. You never achieve the slow, easy swing that’s needed to send the ball flying with a satisfying thwack.
Instead, the try-hard golfer grips the club for dear life and starts topping the ball or hooking it into the rough. The whole game becomes a grim battle for survival. You look awkward and goofy and everyone is embarrassed for you.
In Abbott’s preferred sport of cycling, the input metric is the opposite. The harder you try, the better you go. Cycling is effort, discipline, commitment and heart.
That was Abbott’s leadership — pure self-flagellation. Unfortunately for him, politics more resembles golf than ­cycling.
He never made it easy for himself, using a seven iron (Joe Hockey) when he should have used the driver (Scott Morrison), forever playing out of the rough, staggering between crises, hitting some brilliant drives but fluffing the easiest putts.
In the end, he got a bad case of the yips, and no wonder, with an assassin stalking his every play.
Speaking of Malcolm Turnbull, what kind of golfer would he be? Would he repair his divots? Would he drop a fresh ball after a bad shot? Would he record fewer strokes than he hit?
LOYALTY
Abbott could have saved himself had he heeded repeated advice to ditch Hockey and chief of staff Peta Credlin.
Yet his loyalty to Hockey did crumble in the end, when he offered the deputy leadership and thus the Treasury to Morrison hours before the ballot. Absurdly too late. Morrison was never invited into Abbott’s inner sanctum, ­because the praetorian guard were jealous. He wasn’t even asked to help work the phones that last day. 
For Abbott then to demand he self-immolate on his behalf was unreasonable. Morrison voted for ­Abbott and that’s as far as his obligation extended. The only reason he will be Treasurer now is because he’s the best man for the job.
JOHN HOWARD
In all the talk of who is to blame for this latest round of the yips to hit our polity, John Howard doesn’t rate a mention. Yet the former PM popped up to claim a stake in the Turnbull prime ministership, using rhetoric remarkably similar to Turnbull’s own. Howard’s former chief of staff, Arthur Sinodinos, was the chief strategist of Turnbull’s coup.
But Howard’s involvement began much earlier, in 2004, when he helped Turnbull ­unseat the sitting member for Wentworth, Peter King.
The then-PM looked on ­benevolently as Turnbull’s first act was to undermine heir ­apparent Peter Costello by publishing a tax paper. The leaking from Cabinet before the 2007 election, including pressure on Howard to resign, was blamed on Turnbull.
One insider believes Howard used Turnbull to shore up his own leadership, as a check on rivals.
Well, Costello quit and then Turnbull destroyed Brendan Nelson’s leadership in less than a year before imploding spectacularly himself, never having laid a glove on Kevin Rudd.
When he lost to Abbott he decided to quit politics. But within a month Howard had persuaded Turnbull to stay. 
Abbott had the chance to close preselections for Wentworth but failed to take the advice.
Many regard Howard’s intervention as an unforgivable act of betrayal. Turnbull only ever came back to become PM.
So Abbott’s entire reign was haunted by an expert takeover merchant. Whichever way the Turnbull experiment turns out, we have Howard to thank.
LEGACY
Abbott was like the soldier on D-Day who threw himself on barbed wire so others could go over the top. He did the dirty work that Turnbull never would have been willing to do. 
History will be kind to him.
POLLS
Turnbull has not justified the drastic removal of a first-term prime minister on policy grounds. The only excuse he gives is that Abbott lost 30 Newspolls in a row. In fact ­Abbott lost 29 of 30. The Liberal leader who lost 30 Newspolls was Turnbull.
Thus, our new PM defines the fickle parameters of his own success. 
Live by the sword, die by the sword. 
===

JOE GOES

Tim Blair – Sunday, September 20, 2015 (5:11pm)

Former treasurer Joe Hockey quits federal politics
Joe Hockey says he will leave parliament for the sake of his “young family” but has not clarified whether he will serve out the rest of his term or exit before the next federal election by forcing a by-election.
The outgoing Treasurer issued a statement saying he had decided to step down after serving voters in North Sydney for nearly 20 years, including 17 on the frontbench.
“I advised the Prime Minister that I did not wish to continue as a minister in the Government and that it is my intention to resign from the House of Representatives,” he said. 
Hockey may not have been the greatest communicator, but he was and remains a decent man. And he remained loyal to Tony Abbott when others fled. Hockey’s replacement as treasurer: Scott Morrison.
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MALCOLM’S MASTERS

Tim Blair – Sunday, September 20, 2015 (4:49pm)

Now that George Brandis has been dumped from the arts ministry, as demanded by a hyphenated Australian collective, professional theatre practitioner Matthew Peckham believes that the “Arts community might vote Lib.”
Turnbull possibly believes the same thing.
UPDATE. NSW Greens MP Jenny Leong is overjoyed: 
Farewell Brandis!!! The arts are free! 
Translation: “free” in this context means “will receive more of your taxes”.
UPDATE II. Happy days for Ben Eltham
I am already receiving ecstatic emails and messages from arts industry figures about Turnbull sacking George Brandis as Arts Minister. 
Note: not artists. “Arts industry figures”. 
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SATANTIC SAUCE

Tim Blair – Sunday, September 20, 2015 (11:57am)

Man vs Food host Adam Richman generally puts up an impressive fight against whatever culinary challenge he faces. In 2009, however, Richman confronted the world’s wildest wings:

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SENSE OF NATIONHOOD DESTROYED

Tim Blair – Saturday, September 19, 2015 (3:17pm)

The ridiculous exaggerations and howling sense of entitlement in this open letter from Australian literature luvvies, all embedded in thudding Soviet-style bureaucratese, show exactly why writers should not receive any government funding at all: 
We call on you, Prime Minister, to take the opportunity of this weekend’s cabinet reshuffle to undo some of the damage caused by the Senator’s George Brandis’ non-evidence based changes to arts funding and to find a suitable candidate within your party.
As currently demonstrated in the ongoing Arts Inquiry hearings around the country, he has alienated the vast majority of constituents within the arts landscape through reforms that are not tangibly grounded in any concrete evidence about which funding models work, how arts funding is linked to future outcomes for practitioners, or how audiences for the arts in Australia are formed.
We will not stand by as the Minister for the Arts continues to wreck a fragile yet essential part of the Australian people and sense of nationhood. 
It goes on and on and on like this, building up to a wonderful threat: “We will no longer stand, under any government, further cuts being made.” Do your worst, babies! Readers are invited to enjoy the list of signatories, which features some of the finest Adelaide names ever minted:
• Lefa Singleton Norton
• Bleddyn Butcher
• Francesca Rendle-Short
• Bridget Lutherborrow
• Shane Jesse Christmass
• Izzy Roberts-Orr
• Jen Jewel Brown
• Anna Kelsey-Sugg
• Stephanie Van Schilt
And, of course:
• Sarah Holland-Batt
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PODCAST RETURNS

Tim Blair – Saturday, September 19, 2015 (2:42pm)

Forget five Prime Ministers in five years. Joe Hildebrand foresees a time when Australia will have five Prime Ministers in just five days.
More from Joe (and me) in this week’s Accidents Happen podcast, named in honour of everybody’s favourite Greens senator.
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DER SMOGGLEWAGEN

Tim Blair – Saturday, September 19, 2015 (1:57pm)

VW is accused of installing tricksy software across its diesel range: 
Volkswagen will have to recall 482,000 cars in the U.S. after it seemingly deliberately violated Clean Air Act emissions laws on its TDI diesel models, according to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency.
On 2009 through 2015 Jetta, Beetle, Golf, and Audi A3 TDIs and 2014–2015 Passat TDI models, Volkswagen installed software that allows 10 to 40 times the allowable level of nitrogen oxide, a predominant exhaust gas from diesel engines.
The EPA, after receiving a tip from transportation researchers at West Virginia University, found “a sophisticated software algorithm” referred to as a “defeat device” that let the vehicles exceed lawful NOx emissions levels on the road while blocking them when the car detected it was undergoing EPA emissions testing. 
VW’s software strategy seems to be a high-tech version of traditional methods for beating emissions regulations. When I bought an old VW Beetle in LA 25 years ago, I passed the required smog test by taking it to a shop and leaning out the fuel mixture so much that it was barely burning any fuel at all. After the test, everything was quickly reset.
The company’s current problems may not be so easily dealt with, either technically or legally. VW faces fines of up to $US37,500 for each vehicle found in violation, which comes to a potential maximum total of $US18 billion. Yowza.
UPDATE. Obviously, VW diesel owners should surrender to the authorities and confess their earth-murdering complicity: 
Volkswagen called them “clean diesels,” branding them as the fun-to-drive alternatives to hybrids as it dominated the U.S. market for the engine technology.
Turns out the increasingly eco-conscious buyers of the sporty German cars have been unwittingly pumping smog into the air — because of software VW installed to cheat on U.S. emissions tests …
“It’s pretty ugly,” Kelley Blue Book analyst Karl Brauer said. “Volkswagen has far outstripped everyone else in selling diesel cars. This challenges everything they’ve been saying about those vehicles.” 
It may become even uglier when other regions and jurisdictions become involved: 
California is separately probing the auto maker … Questions will be raised in Europe. 
Back in the US, there is already talk of eco-crime charges: 
The Justice Department is likely to open a criminal investigation, if it hasn’t already. 
And then there are other legal issues
Volkswagen was sued Friday in federal court in San Francisco in a consumer class-action case alleging that the defeat device has caused vehicles to lose value. 
Diesel do-gooders are not happy. Not happy at all.
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THEN AGAIN, DOESN’T EVERYTHING?

Tim Blair – Saturday, September 19, 2015 (1:26pm)

Presenting your headline of the week
Naked Spanish clowns anger Palestinians 
(Via Art.)
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Turnbull freshens Cabinet without swinging to the Left

Andrew Bolt September 20 2015 (4:54pm)

Malcolm Turnbull has reward his key plotters with Ministerial positions. Young Wyatt Roy is even made an assistant minister for services rendered. Key Abbott loyalists and conservatives Kevin Andrews and Eric Abetz are out, as is Joe Hockey, who quits Parliament.
But it would be wrong to say there is an ideological shift in the team. Turnbull has promoted conservative Christian Porter, as well as Abbott spearthrower Josh Frydenberg. Abbott loyalists Matthias Cormann, Greg Hunt and Peter Dutton are all retained, and the talented Frydenberg promoted into Cabinet.  Kelly O’Dwyer and Michaelia Cash go into Cabinet, too.  Marise Payne gets Defence. George Brandis, who turned on Abbott, has lost his arts portfolio, but keeps his Attorney General role.
So the team looks more modern and is stronger in sales, and resentments are kept to a minimum.
It is a gamble to have plotter Arthur Sinodinos made Cabinet secretary (a position Abbott failed to exploit), given ICAC is yet to report on his time at the Australian Water Holdings. It is also a setback to have yet another Defence Minister, to go through the whole learning curve again when major acquisitions must be made. And losing Bruce Billson does not seem smart.
But overall, Turnbull has done a good job.
UPDATE
Another good move:
Mr Turnbull, a former head of the republican movement, will scrap knights and damesfrom the Australian honours system...
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On The Bolt Report today, September 20

Andrew Bolt September 20 2015 (6:12am)

On Channel 10 at 10,30am and 3pm.
My guests: Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi, NSW Labor Treasurer Michael Costa, Judith Sloan, and Nick Cater, head of the Menzies Research Centre and Australian columnist.
The Turnbull coup. Was it worth it? The Canning byelection and more. Plus Turnbull’s speech denouncing treachery.
The videos of the shows appear here.
UPDATE
From my interview with Cory Bernardi:
ANDREW BOLT: Now, what party should conservative Australians vote for now?

CORY BERNARDI: Well, Andrew, I’m committed to upholding conservative values… But Andrew, I’ve said for many years now that, unless mainstream political parties reflect the views of the silent majority, and the concerns of people out there who are not part of the elites, then alternatives will spring up. I’m determined that the Liberal Party will reflect mainstream views, and reflect the views of the silent majority, and – but if we don’t, there’s a warning. It’s got to be clear. An alternative will arise, just like it has all around the world....
ANDREW BOLT: The Canning by-election result yesterday. Now, the Liberals’ candidate, former SAS Captain Andrew Hastie, won by 56-44. And last week, Liberal polling predicted, though, internal Liberal polling, predicted that would be about the result, or perhaps even – there would be an even better result under Tony Abbott. There has been no bounce to Malcolm Turnbull.

CORY BERNARDI: Well, Andrew, ...  the internal Liberal Party polling, you’re quite right, was 55, 56, 57, going the Liberal Party’s way. And when that, I think, leaked out to those who weren’t sympathetic to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, they brought forward their coup. Because, you know, what’s worse? To say the Liberal Government’s doing terribly, and then it gets a really good result. So, you know…

ANDREW BOLT: Do you see, in these figures, any sign of a lift in the Liberals’ vote as a consequence of moving to Malcolm Turnbull?

CORY BERNARDI: Not based on anything I knew beforehand. I was advised beforehand where the polls were, and, you know, we’re running line ball, so – and we had a great candidate there, make no mistake about that. But I do think, over the long-term, we’ve damaged the Liberal Party brand, and that concerns me more than anything…
ANDREW BOLT: [H]ad Tony Abbott won by the result that we see today, which the internal polling suggests he would’ve, would there have been a Turnbull coup, do you think, ever?

CORY BERNARDI: I wouldn’t have thought so. We would have been happy, we would have celebrated that this was a good result.... I did see, Andrew, that the government, the previous government, was getting, you know, its act together internally. They were starting to focus on the things that mattered to the people out there. And I called it the green shoots of recovery. And I was convinced, absolutely convinced, that we could have won the next election with Tony Abbott as prime minister, and I think he should have had the chance to do that.

ANDREW BOLT: And in fact, Cory, the first two national polls this – since Malcolm Turnbull took over shows the Government just getting to 50/50, or at best 51/49. That doesn’t seem a big reward in this honeymoon period.

CORY BERNARDI: Well, it’s going to be interesting to see how sustainable that is. What I do know is that Bill Shorten is desperately unpopular out there, and I’m sure this will put some pressure on the Labor Party. But, you know, I think we would have all expected a bit bigger bounce....
ANDREW BOLT: No. Quickly, Scott Morrison was the conservatives’ big hope, I guess. How much trust has he destroyed by refusing to help Tony Abbott survive this Turnbull challenge?

CORY BERNARDI: Well, Andrew, you know, I don’t want to focus on individuals particularly. But there’s a lot of mistrust now amongst some colleagues, people who – you make friends and you lose friends in these sorts of circumstances. But ultimately, the only thing you’ve got going for you in this business is your credibility and your integrity. And if you give that up cheaply, it’s very, very hard to get back, and I think some people have given it up pretty cheaply this week…
ANDREW BOLT: Is Julie Bishop’s reputation also damaged?

CORY BERNARDI: Andrew, I’m just going to say I don’t think anyone’s come out of this particularly well. I’ve used terms like treachery. I think there has been disloyalty, there’s no question about that.  
The full interview:

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'On The Bolt Report today, September 20'
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On the loyalty of Julie Bishop

Andrew Bolt September 20 2015 (5:50am)

Labor makes a target of Julie Bishop:
Daniel Meers in the Daily Telegraph:
As deputy leader, [Julie Bishop’s] role is to loyally serve the boss. Loyally serving the boss would have been to put the brakes on a move by Malcolm Turnbull to take over the leadership, or resign as the deputy. 
Ms Bishop did neither. She sat by and waited until Mr Turnbull had the numbers before she texted the Prime Minister, who was flying into Canberra around midday on Monday after an announcement in Adelaide…
After a meeting was arranged by text, Ms Bishop walked into his office and told him he no longer had the support of the party. She informed him Mr Turnbull was likely to challenge.
The Foreign Minister opted not to make any public comment of support for her boss. She chose not to talk people out of the spill…
Conservative colleagues are angry because Ms Bishop knew last week that Mr Turnbull’s supporters were plotting, but didn’t tell Mr Abbott…
For some time Mr Abbott had believed Ms Bishop was not 100 per cent loyal, his office had also blamed her for some of the cabinet leaks that crippled the Prime Minister. 
Ms Bishop has always maintained she does not leak.
There sure was a telling pattern of leaks, but Bishop would argue she was being set up. She also argues that she did warn Abbott he was in trouble, and when Turnbull told her last Friday he had the numbers and would challenge she did not believe him.
I think she made a mistake right there not to let Abbott make that call himself. If mistake it was.
Peter Hatcher is the journalist who wrote that false and damaging story, leaked from somewhere in Bishop’s ministry, that Abbott had snubbed the gay partner of our Ambassador to France.  This time Hartcher repeats information from private briefings from Liberals, including Bishop::
(T)wo of the plotters, Mitch Fifield and Scott Ryan, both junior members of the Abbott executive, decided to appeal for Julie Bishop’s help. Together with a third junior, Michaelia Cash, they met Bishop last Thursday in Parliament House to see if she could be enlisted to help bring down Abbott. She would not agree to back any move against Abbott or to stand in her own right… “The numbers are coming to me, I’ve got the numbers,” [Turnbull] announced to Bishop on Friday by phone...
Bishop seriously did not think any of this was worth passing on to her boss, as his deputy? And if she is so loyal, why did the plotters feel they could trust her by informing her of their plans and the part they wanted her to play?
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Media class expels a Prime Minister who dissented

Andrew Bolt September 20 2015 (5:44am)

Brendan O’Neill on the coup of the media elite:
A coup has two parts: the hidden skulduggery and the public justifications for such skulduggery. It’s only by considering both that ... something very interesting - and worrying - starts to emerge: a feeling that Abbott was dumped not because he was an ineffective leader but because his world view failed to conform with what political and media insiders consider to be proper and progressive… 
(I)t also feels like a chattering-class coup, the exiling of a leader for daring to think things that opinion-shapers consider heretical…
(O)ne consistent message takes shape: a key problem with Abbott was that he was “out of touch” on certain issues, most notably climate change and gay marriage. This has shaped the coverage of the coup around the world… The judgment of Turnbull and Abbott via the green-gay gospel was repeated across the media, from CNN to The Sydney Morning Herald. CNN ran a piece headlined “Five things to know about Australia’s new PM”. No 1 was that he had challenged Abbott before. Guess what No 2 and No 3 were? Yep, “He’s strong on climate change” and “He supports same-sex marriage"… The mantra of “He supports same-sex marriage” - uttered everywhere - is the new way of saying: “He goes to church every Sunday.” It marks him out as “one of us”, unlike Abbott… 
Whatever the internal Liberal machinations that led to the ousting of Abbott, the public mythologisation of his removal is revealing and terrifying. It speaks to the new intolerance, where anyone who refuses to buy into chattering-class orthodoxies can expect ridicule, and maybe even the termination of their careers.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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What Turnbull bounce?

Andrew Bolt September 20 2015 (5:00am)

The result in Canning - Liberals 55 to Labor 45, and a seven per cent swing to Labor. This is worse than the 57 to 43 that the Liberals polling a week ago said was possible, under Abbott. Is Malcolm Turnbull not the Messiah?
But the ABC pushes the line for the ABC’s Liberal leader:
Former SAS Captain Andrew Hastie wins the Canning by-election, retaining the West Australian seat for the Liberal party after Malcolm Turnbull’s prime ministerial coup helped defuse voter dissatisfaction with the Coalition Government.
The reporters have not the slightest evidence to back their hunch - or wish - and they offer none.
Had Abbott got this same result, I guarantee the ABC would have led on the scary size of the swing against him.
The pre-polling might tell a more complete story.
ABC election analyst Antony Green said he expected the final swing after preferences to slip back towards 6.5 per cent after postal votes were counted.
As Michael Kroger pointed out on my show last week, such a result would actually be good under either leader. The late Don Randall had a huge popular vote and an outside and atypical swing to him at the last election. Some correction was inevitable, especially with unions running a massive scare campaign in the seat to destroy the China free trade deal.
UPDATE
Work to do for the Liberals:
Labor and the unions campaigned hard on the perceived risk to local jobs of the China-Australia free trade agreement. A ReachTEL poll in The West Australian newspaper showed the strategy worked, with 52.5 per cent of voters worried about the deal. 
UPDATE
Senator David Leyonhjelm damaged the brand, I suspect, by preferencing against the then Abbott-led Liberals:
The Liberal Democrats finished last…
UPDATE
Peter Fitzsimons, a Leftist and friend of Turnbull, would prefer to trust journalists spinning Turnbull’s weak “bounce” than the voices of voters themselves:
Listening to Ben Fordham’s 2GB Drive Program on Tuesday afternoon, nearly 24 hours after the end of Tony Abbott’s Prime Ministership, I was bemused by how caller after caller lined up to attack both Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Party. Turnbull was a treacherous wretch, and the Liberal Party as a whole had not only lost the plot, it had lost them, for good. They would never vote Liberal again. They felt disenfranchised. My friend Ben tried to hold them back a little on the grounds of reasonableness, and managed it for a bit, but finally there was no stopping the mob. We then cut to the 5pm news. It was enormously positive for Turnbull. Record turnaround in poll-numbers! Huge approval surge! Huge fall for Shorten! Canning by-election likely to be saved! Liberal Party back on track! 
The lesson? Whatever else, it emphasised the new disconnect between the world of talkback and the real world.
The talkback callers aren’t real?
UPDATE
I am assured by some that the Malcolm Turnbull described here by Rebecca Wilson has learned and reformed since this dinner chat in 2009 between Turnbull and two media couples:
Turnbull talked at us for several long hours over the dining room table. He did not draw breath and did not ask anyone else what they thought of his ETS policy or the disaster that we could all see was looming. 
He told us he was right and he told us in 100 different ways why. The only gaps in the conversation were filled by media man Westfield, agreeing with his boss.
Turnbull showed that night a month ago that you may be able to take the man out of the courtroom, but that it was impossible to take the barrister out of the man. He is in the business of talking and talking and talking. He is not a listener, simple as that.
That night, he was almost fanatical in his belief that the ETS had to be forced through parliament and that he was the only Liberal party member who could deliver on that promise.
The guests at the table looked sideways at each other throughout the evening. We all knew what Turnbull just couldn’t see - that he was in deep, deep trouble and his own pig-headedness and arrogance were the very reasons he could not last.
He did not ask a single question of anyone for the entire night. He did not ask the really obvious one either - the one that goes like this: “What do you guys think?”
This was a dead man walking, but he just kept talking.
Former federal treasurer Peter Costello put it succinctly this week when he said the Turnbull era was always doomed and that the party now had to put it behind them.
He went even further than that and said Turnbull was a terminal belittler. Costello must have been a fly on the wall at our dinner, because Turnbull had relished any chance to put down his own party members.

People can change, can’t they?
(Thanks to reader Alan RM Jones.) 
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Canning: no better than expected under Abbott

Andrew Bolt September 19 2015 (9:46pm)

Not really good enough to justify the coup, since Malcom Turnbull is on his honeymoon and the Liberal polling showed Tony Abbott, even sabotaged by the leakers, would have won the seat by around 57 to 43:
With about 16 per cent of the vote recorded tonight, comprising 18,215 votes counted, Labor had a 6.1 per cent two-party-preferred swing to it, according to the Australian Electoral Commission....The AEC share at the 16 per cent mark tonight was [Liberal Andrew Hastie ahead] 56-44. The primary share was Liberal 45.5 per cent and Labor 36.3 per cent.
Sure, the later booths could lift this to a 57 to 43 result. But no lift for Turnbull?
UPDATE
Or less. The latest counting has Hastie ahead 55.68 to 44.32.  
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RECORD INTACT

Tim Blair – Saturday, September 20, 2014 (2:27pm)

recent prediction from Bob Ellis: 
Scotland will win its independence on September 18 by a margin of 52.2 to 47.8. 
Thus Ellis continues his remarkable record of getting everything – particularly state and federal elections – completely wrong. He really is the George Costanza of Australian political commentary:

Ellis should spend all of next year going against his beliefs. He’ll become the most accurate pundit Australia has ever known. Remember, Bob: if every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.
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A SIGN FROM ABOVE

Tim Blair – Saturday, September 20, 2014 (2:14pm)

Al Gore is silenced by the Almighty – just as he reaches a crucial word:

(Via Matt Z.)
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The Bolt Report tomorrow - on terrorists, apologists and fools. UPDATE: note time changes

Andrew Bolt September 20 2014 (10:55am)

On The Bolt Report on Channel 10 tomorrow at 10.30 am and 4pm for eastern states, and 10am and 4pm for everyone else.
Editorial:  Terror raids - have we woken up yet? Naming some names…
My guest:  Major General (ret.) Jim Molan, chief of the allied operations which a decade ago captured Mosul, now held by the Islamic State.
The panel: Australian columnist Niki Savva and Sean Kelly, press advisor to both Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd.
NewsWatch:  Nick Cater, columnist and head of the Menzies Research Centre, on journalists playing down the Islamist threat.
And lots more, including has Tony Abbott gone too far on changing our constitution?  Ministers facing the chop. And one in line for promotion.
A little about Waleed Aly, too....

The videos of the shows appear here.
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He has a little list

Andrew Bolt September 20 2014 (9:53am)

Chris Kenny:
[Abbott] needs to start to contemplate who to promote and will need to push hard to encourage some senior ministers to move on to make room. This is likely to involve urging as many as possible from the following list to move on: Bronwyn Bishop, Kevin Andrews, Andrew Robb, Ian Macfarlane, Michael Ronaldson, David Johnston, and Nationals leader Warren Truss. 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Third world problem (for now)

Andrew Bolt September 20 2014 (9:43am)

Disease meets poverty and ignorance, creating a crisis:
Eight members of a team trying to raise awareness about Ebola have been killed by villagers using machetes and clubs in Guinea, officials say. 
Correspondents say many villagers are suspicious of official attempts to combat the disease.
The discovery comes as Sierra Leone imposes a three-day curfew to let health workers find and isolate cases of Ebola, in order to halt the spread of the disease.
(Thanks to reader Rocky.) 
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Abbott educates journalist

Andrew Bolt September 20 2014 (8:59am)

 Tony Abbott has, as I’ve said, become a real Prime Minister. This magisterial slap-down of a journalist is just one evidence of it.
(Thanks to reader John.) 
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This war will last decades

Andrew Bolt September 20 2014 (8:26am)

University of NSW strategic expert Alan Dupont:
I think that for some time most of our elites have failed to understand what we are confronting. This is not some terrorist group attempting what terrorists usually try to do. This is part of a global struggle between the forces of fundamentalism and the forces of tolerance and cosmopolitanism. It is a contest of ideas. It is a generational struggle like the Cold War. This conflict is only going to get worse. We will be fighting this for another 20 years. 
UPDATE
But still we see the Left desperately trying to miss the point.  Gerard Henderson gives an example:
Melbourne University Public Policy Fellow ... and former Victorian ALP secretary Nicholas Reece on Paul Murray Live [on Thursday] ... on the terrorism related arrests in Sydney ... : 
...I kind of think of ISIL to Islam as being like the Ku Klux Klan is to Christianity. And just as these ISIL guys, you know, don’t represent what Islam stands for as a faith – nor does the Ku Klux Klan stand for what Christianity really is as a faith…
God only knows what Mr Reece teaches his students at Melbourne University about “THESE ISIL GUYS”. But his comments on Paul Murray Live ... were hopelessly wrong. Here are some facts: 
ISIL or ISIS or IS (the so-called Islamic State) advocates the imposition of Sharia Law. In other words, IS acknowledges no division between religion and politics and regards itself as a religious organisation. 
Currently IS controls large parts of Syria and Iraq. 
Contrary to Nicholas Reece’s claim, the KKK was never a Christian church or a Christian organisation. Nor did it even control large parts of the United States. Moreover, the KKK did not claim to be a religion. Rather, the KKK was a secular organisation which advocated discrimination against African-Americans, many of whom were Christians… 
ISIL is a significant, albeit minority, part of the Sunni Muslim faith. ISIL is currently fighting a religious war aimed at the so-called kafirs – including Sh’ia Muslims, Christians and Jews.
...What Nicholas Reece was up to on Paul Murray Live ... was moral equivalence. No more, no less. Rather than condemn the adherents of IS in Australia as supporters of an Islamist organisation, Mr Reece attempted to fudge the issue by pointing to the (alleged) Christianity of the KKK which has played little role in America for eons.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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I’d worry more about the threat than the siren

Andrew Bolt September 20 2014 (8:04am)

One thing said on the day of the anti-terrorism raids: 
Wassim Doureihi, a prominent member of the group, told the crowd that the community was deeply upset by the raids… 
Let me say clearly even if a single bomb went off even if a thousand bombs went off in this country all it will prove is that Muslims are angry.”
Another thing said on the day of the raids:
Note burqa wearers in some of the houses raided this morning? This shroud of oppression and flag of fundamentalism is not right in Aust(ralia),” Senator Bernardi tweeted.
Which of those two comments - only one of which represents a clear menace to public safety - is damned by Muslim leaders and Labor?
UPDATE
The ABC is suddenly out of like for Palmer United Senator Jacqui Lambie for posting this picture:
The ABC this morning ran a long piece blasting Lambie’s insensitivity:
The photographer who took the picture of an Afghani policewoman, which has been used in an online campaign to ban the burka, ...  says she is shocked and appalled the photo she took of Malalai Kakar in Afghanistan has been used out of context and without permission… 
Lana Slezic ... said she believes Ms Lambie’s actions are an insult to Lt Col Kakar who died fighting Taliban extremists.
“I’m shocked… I cannot believe how Malalai’s image has been really desecrated on Jacqui Lambie’s Facebook page....” 
Ms Kakar is believed to be Afghanistan’s first female policewoman who the Taliban gunned down in her car in 2008. 
But isn’t that actually Lambie’s point? Who can tell whether under that burqa is a policewoman or a terrorist?
The ABC should actually be backing Lambie’s other argument:
Jacqui Lambie has backed calls for burkas to be banned in public… “The burkas are obviously designed by men who have an obsessive need to have extreme control and power over women...”
But the culture card trumps the gender card these days… as well as the free speech card, of course.
(Thanks to reader D.) 
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No good will be done for Aborigines by dividing ourselves by “race”

Andrew Bolt September 20 2014 (8:02am)

Greg Sheridan is right, and I believe many Australians will come to see the proposed referendum as racist and dangerously divisive:
AUSTRALIA stands on the brink of making a terrible mistake. That mistake is introducing ethnic distinctions into our Constitution and inevitably into the nature of our citizenship.

It would be a grievous error for Australia to pass by referendum a new preamble to the Constitution that acknowledges Aborigines while it does not similarly acknowledge all the other Australians; it would be a mistake to set up a new Aboriginal consultative body under the Constitution; and it would be an absolute disaster to establish racially or ethnically reserved seats in parliament… 

I am not someone who denies historical injustice done to Aborigines. But you cannot redeem historical injustice by creating ethnic divisions for the descendants of that injustice in a society based on equality of citizenship.
Say no to racism. Say no to racist division. Say no to this change to our constitution.
UPDATE
Resistance to the inherent racism of this proposal is only just dawning on its proponents?
AUSTRALIANS want to address inequality in the Constitution but are wary of giving “special treatment” to one group of people on the basis of race, says Tony Abbott’s indigenous recognition advisory panel.
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No place for union protection rackets

Andrew Bolt September 20 2014 (7:50am)

Judith Sloan on slush funds, a racket that badly needs controlling:
LAST week, former prime minister Julia Gillard ... answered a number of ­questions put to her at the hearing of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption… 
Here was a fund set up with the Australian Workers Union in its title, masquerading to undertake certain activities. By extorting money from a company in return for guaranteeing industrial peace, union members and company shareholders were sold down the river…

The most benign form of trade union slush fund operates on the basis of voluntary salary deductions of certain union officials to fund their re-election campaigns… But from the evidence given to the royal commission, it is obvious there is an altogether more sinister form of union slush fund in which money is effectively extorted from employers to maintain “good relations” with the union…
Take the case of the Industry 2020 fund, set up by Cesar Melhem when he was the Victorian secretary of the AWU. (Melhem is now a Victorian Labor parliamentarian.) The first fundraiser for this fund was held in August 2008, and the keynote speaker was none other than the then deputy prime minister, Gillard.
With tickets for the lunch costing $550 a head or $5000 for a table of 10, the event was a sell-out, with invited employers buying tickets, perhaps reluctantly, to maintain “good relations” with the union. Evidently, it is not uncommon for companies to buy a table but send no one to attend. It is also not uncommon for the industry superannuation fund linked to the union to purchase a table or two…
Another fundraising event took place in August 2012 when the then workplace relations minister, Shorten, was the keynote speaker. By this stage, the price of individual tickets has been hiked to $750, with a table selling at $5500.
The commission heard that Industry 2020 turned out to be quite an earner, and with Melhem elected unopposed, he decided to hand over some cash to help the re-election of factional ­allies in other unions, including the Health Services Union and the CEPU (plumbing division)…
And then we come to the example of the National Union of Workers and the slush fund that goes by the name of IR21… Keynote speakers at these events have included Kevin Rudd, Gillard, Shorten and businessmen Elmo de Alwis and Michael Byrne. 
Gillard insists she did nothing wrong and did not know how her boyfriend would - and did - use the election fund she helped him to set up.
UPDATE
Grace Collier on Bill Shorten, union boss, apparently treating workers like mushrooms in a deal uncovered by the royal commission:
In 2003, an Australian mushroom farm, Chiquita, employed between 500 and 600 workers, with, at most, 40 per cent union membership.
At that time, Chiquita had two enterprise bargaining agreements with the AWU. EBA requirements meant Chiquita was compelled to employ a minimum of 277 mushroom pickers directly, in permanent jobs. All other pickers were able to be employed through labour hire firms of Chiquita’s choice…
Because Chiquita had a poor safety history, the WorkCover premium for its staff had blown out to $6 million a year… By contrast, the 200 labour hire staff had their WorkCover premiums covered by the labour hire company. Additionally, with labour hire, there is no such thing as lost hours because labour hire people are simply replaced. So for Chiquita it was far cheaper to hire people through labour hire firms.
The only thing that stood in its way was the pesky 277 jobs rule…
A Chiquita executive said ... he met Shorten [the AWU state secretary] in late 2003… Shorten said something along the lines of, “We will see what we can do about that."… By August 2004 two new EBAs had been made. The 277 jobs rule was gone and replaced by a 120 jobs rule ...
Chiquita had written union sanction to sack 157 pickers by force if it had to… The jobs were to be outsourced to a labour hire company mandated by the AWU. The new labour hire company, nominated by the union, paid about $4000 each month to the AWU thereafter, as “union fees” for all its workers…
AWU official Frank Scott gave evidence that the only person in the AWU authorised to sign EBAs was the secretary… 
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We are funding preachers and apologists for Islam?

Andrew Bolt September 20 2014 (7:24am)

There comes a point where the desire to understand seems indistinguishable from the desire to excuse - at which point we legitimise what we should condemn.
Note that the family friend - an academic - in the report below does not add to his list of explanations the violent teachings of Islam or any character flaws or inadequacies of the man arrested in the anti-terrorism raids:
The three men held under preventative detention orders cannot be named, although one is a relative of Milad Bin Ahmad Shah al-Ahmadzhi, who was sentenced to nine months in jail last month after threatening to kill an ASIO officer. Court documents show Ahmadzhi told the officer “I’m gonna crack your neck” and “come near my family again, I’m gonna slit your throat, pig”. 
A family friend, Mehmet Olzap [sic], said the young man ­became radicalised in part by the experience of seeing Ahmadzhi being subjected to ASIO surveillance, and subsequently arrested in May last year. “The whole family felt it was really unfair, but when you have a young impressionable mind, it has a huge effect,” said Mr Olzap, an associate professor at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, NSW.
The young man, who was also a member of a street gang, had subsequently fallen under the thrall of radical Islamic material produced online by groups including al-Qa’ida and Islamic State, he said.
“There is a deep-seated anger, with these people, to the point of rage,” Mr Olzap said. 
He is angry because of what was done to (al-Ahmadzhi). He is angry because he is part of a youth gang and, thirdly, he is angry about what is happening to Muslims around the world.”
All our fault, then? Seriously?
Hmm:
Associate Professor Mehmet Ozalp.. 
Director, CISAC
Faculty of Arts , Charles Sturt University…
Mehmet Ozalp is an author, academic and community activist…
Mehmet has been teaching religious and Islamic studies since 1992… Mehmet has lectured in Islamic courses as part of Sydney University’s Continuing Education Program from 2003 to 2008. He has also lectured on Islamic theology, culture and history at the University of Newcastle…
Since 2008, Mehmet has been serving as a director on the board of Auburn Gallipoli Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Australia. In 2009, Mehmet founded ISRA Australia, an educational and research organisation. He is currently the President and Executive Director of ISRA. Mehmet serves as the Muslim Chaplain in the University of Sydney and Macquarie University. 
Are our state universities, ostensibly secular, now paying Muslim preachers effectively to proselytise and propagandise?
Ozalp was one of the first in the Muslim community to teach Islamic courses in English. He believes the course helps combat damaging perceptions about the Islamic world. 
‘’This course is very brave work in addressing extremism and radicalism in Australia,’’ he says. ‘’The Muslims created a brilliant civilisation . . . science, technology, commerce, even legal terms, some of the norms that Europe eventually learned from, used to develop western civilisation – a lot of people don’t know that.’’
This really does sound like a theology college:
Mehmet Ozalp, an adjunct lecturer of Australia’s first master of Islamic studies qualification through Charles Sturt University (CSU) said. “Firstly, it is about gaining a deeper understanding of the Koran and the Islamic texts, many of which are from the classical period” 
“Secondly, it is about students thinking more deeply and developing a unique contemporary Australian perspective, understanding the context of Islam so religion makes a positive difference”. 
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The Islamist group of Hamas has announced plans this week to produce a film about the kidnapping and swap of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, a Hamas official told the Chinese newsagency Xinhau
According to a reportfrom Mohammed Al-Ar'ir of the ministry of culture, the Hamas movement has allocated $100, 000 to produce the film, set to take place in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The film will be produced by Al-Wataniya, a local media company.
The movie will not focus on or reveal any new details about how Hamas held Shalit for more than five years in Gaza since his capture in 2006. Rather, it will focus on "violent resistance," which Hamas says is "the best option and only hope to free Palestinian lands and over 8,000 Palestinianprisoners still captive in the Israeli occupier's prisons."

Shalit was freed in October 2011 in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian Authority prisoners, one of which was recently killed in theKalandiya riots in August when some 300 Arabs violently attacked IDF troops with firebombs. Of the three casualties, two were identified as known terrorists. 
"The film's production stems from the ministry's desire to take part in social and cultural activity, and to spread and implement the resistance culture and the spirit of sacrifice in order to strengthen national Palestinian identity in the cultural sense," the culture ministry expressed in an announcement.
According to Al-Ar'ir of the ministry of culture, "Capturing Shalit is an important event in the history of the Palestinian people and their resistance. That's why we fete it in movies."
The filming will begin in the coming days in Gaza to "boost Palestinian cinema production and because Gaza was the original time and place of the real scene," Al-Ar'ir said. 
Iran, Hamas' main financial backer until 2012, was supposed to cover the budget of the movie, but the Iranian government refused to pay the money due to Hamas refusal to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in repressing the ongoing rebellion in his country, Al-Ar 'ir said.
Hamas celebrates terrorism - ed
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Glenn Beck and Mark Levin are two of the most-listened to radio hosts in the country, yet they have never actually had a conversation — that is, until Levin appeared on Beck’s radio program on Thursday.
The two couldn’t speak highly enough of one another’s work at combating out-of-control government, focusing primarily on the solutions proposed in Levin’s most recent #1 bestseller: “The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic.”
“We live what I call a post-constitutional period,” Levin began.  “You’re well familiar with Woodrow Wilson and the Progressive movement — we have to accept the fact that they won…and this utopian statism and constitutional Republicanism cannot coexist.  And they don’t coexist. And the circle of liberty around every individual is shrinking and shrinking and shrinking.”

Some people just toss words around. A few years ago people were saying the financial world was ending due to the GFC. Because it wasn't true, they have less credibility now. The fact is, things are difficult because the President is bad and the Democrats are not a good party. The problem is not the structure of the US, but the structure of the Democrat party, artificially supported by a compliant media. - ed
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During a radio segment that aired on The Tom Joyner Radio Show, CNN host Don Lemon delivered a thought-provoking monologue about gun violence — but he took the opposite viewpoint than some might expect from a mainstream journalist.
Rather than flatly speaking out against firearms, Lemon noted that a recent study has actually changed his views on guns. Citing the Center for Disease Control’s research that was released this summer, he implored listeners to consider that the results might also challenge their own perspective.
“It just might make you rethink your stance, your view, on the issue,” said Lemon. “It did for me. It’s making me rethink it.”
So, what, exactly did this apparently transformational study claim? Here are just a few of the bullet points, as assembled from Guns & Ammo Magazine:
1. Armed citizens are less likely to be injured by an attacker:
2. Defensive uses of guns are common:
3. Mass shootings and accidental firearm deaths account for a small fraction of gun-related deaths, and both are declining
And those are only a few of the findings — data that Lemon found more than compelling.
In the past, Lemon has taken a staunch view on firearms and gun violence, as evidenced here. In a fascinating dialogue with TheBlaze’s Will Cain following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last year, Lemon went after AR-15s.
“Who needs an armor-piercing bullet to go hunting?  Who needs an assault rifle to go hunting?  You can’t even use the prey that you kill with an assault rifle if you indeed do it,” he said at the time. “No one needs an assault rifle to go out and shoot a deer. No one needs an assault rifle that’s capable of shooting 10, 20, 30 rounds off at the same time to shoot a duck, or to shoot quail.  It does not make sense.”

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Fox News
Breaking News: House passes bill to slash $40 billion from food stamp programs.
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"The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules," Francis said. "The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all." 
This is not a change .. except for the bigots who dislike the church
David Daniel Ball IMHO This is not a change .. except for the bigots who dislike the church .. it is a reordering of how the church defends itself from criticism. Interesting to see how it effects change in Ireland and Poland which have strong laws related to these issues.
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The U.S.-led drive to force Syria's beleaguered regime to surrender its chemical weapons has raised questions about the arsenal of chemical and biological arms Israel has reportedly stockpiled and the activities of the secretive Israel Institute for Biological Research near Tel Aviv.
Israel signed the Chemical Weapons Convention on Jan. 1, 1993, when the treaty took effect. But it has never ratified it, which would have committed the Jewish state to international inspections and refraining from violating the treaty.
Syria, which reputedly has one of the world's most extensive chemical weapons arsenals, never signed the convention, but under international pressure now says it's prepared to do so.
Amid the international controversy over Syria's alleged use of deadly nerve agents the United Nations says killed more than 1,000 civilians Aug. 21, The Jerusalem Post reports the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is preparing in case Israel is asked to submit to inspection.
The Israelis have never admitted or denied having chemical weapons, and have maintained that ambiguity amid the furor over Syria's chemical arms.
Haaretz quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Vigal Palmor as saying Israel would not ratify the convention as long as other states in the region that have chemical weapons arsenals threaten it.
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Allen West
Today I am proud to give my endorsement of The American Health Care Reform Act (AHCRA) developed by my former colleagues in the Republican Study Committee. Unlike the onerous, convoluted, and oxymoronic Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the ACHRA is a commonsense free market solution to improve an American healthcare system by ensuring individual liberty and sovereignty are promoted. Healthcare is a very personal choice for individuals, but the PPACA violates that basic premise. President Obama can attempt to accuse Republicans of extortion, but the proof of his theft of the American dream for future generations is obvious by way of his socialist concept of wealth redistribution. As well, Obama is guilty of bribery as he grows the welfare nanny-state by promising more largesse from the public treasury in order to expand the dependency society for his own liberal progressive political designs.

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Did the massively popular game show “Wheel of Fortune” cheat a contestant out of a chance to win a million dollars? That’s what some are wondering after what happened recently on the show.
It appears that a curious pronunciation of the phrase “Corner Curio Cabinet” is at the center of the controversy.
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With no significant warming for 17 years, the Arctic ice cover increasing and certainly not disappearing as was predicted for this year, and a leaked admission by the IPCC that its computer models have exaggerated predicted increases in warming, surely it is time to wonder why public policy killing off jobs, imposing some of the highest electricity prices in the world and burdening the taxpayers is still in place.
It is of course time to kill the carbon dioxide tax. But isn't it time to review the Renewable Energy Targets? As to the Renewable Energy Target, we cannot put it better than Viv Forbes of Queensland does in the following letter sent to CANdo under the heading Abolish the Unreliable Energy Targets":

"Killing the carbon tax is not enough to restore sanity to Australia’s energy policies - the Renewable Energy Targets must also be abolished.
No matter what laws are passed in Parliament, wind/solar power can never supply reliable economical grid power - their fundamental flaws are too numerous.
Their low energy density means that large areas of land must be blighted to collect a significant quantity of power.
Moreover, their intermittent supply pattern means that they cannot maintain a predictable electricity supply.
And even if some magic cheap storage system is invented, the expensive wind/solar generating facilities will remain under-utilised for more than 60% of the time, and up to 30% of any energy stored will be lost in transfers.
Finally, without storage, green power needs full backup from reliable generation plants (which must also operate intermittently).
Germany is proving that an advanced society cannot survive on wind/solar energy, even with support from French nuclear power, Swedish hydro-power, Russian gas and Polish coal.
For too long, green dreamers have forced their daft ideas on Australia’s power supply network. We need to employ real power engineers and grown-up energy technology.
The Renewable Energy Targets should be renamed “Unreliable Energy Targets” and abolished immediately."

@profdavidflint

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"If you hunger for righteousness, you will be filled through me." -Jesus
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Larry Pickering
“SORRY TONY, I STUFFED UP!”

WA Premier, Colin Barnett, made the same mistake as the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd Government; he believed the mining bubble would never burst and spent accordingly. 

A savage S&P credit write-down was due to a ballooning $18 billion in debt (heading for $26 billion) and Mr Barnett believes Abbott will now have to revisit the GST. 

Sorry Colin, there is more chance of me turning poofter and marrying a bloke in Canberra this weekend, with my golfing mates as bridesmaids.

Abbott will not do a Gillard and reverse a solemn pre-election commitment for the sake of a Barnett mess of his own making.

Not that Tony could do that, even if he wanted to, because the GST is a States’ tax and all States would have to agree. Not likely with elections looming.

Abbott is preoccupied with Federal cuts and there is still $40 billion of fat still on the bone. But that won’t help Barnett, not without a substantial State’s grant and even that won’t decrease the Premier’s debt.

The perennial headache with Howard’s GST is the carve-up... there is only one cake (with unequal slices) and Barnett wants one of the bigger slices. That can only happen at the expense of other hungry Premiers.

If Abbott either increases or broadens the base of the GST without first taking that proposal to an election, he will become the same subject of ridicule as Gillard and her, “There will be no carbon tax...”.

No, Mr Barnett, you will have to stew in your own mess for a while yet.

The modern economic climate is far too fluid to base infrastructure spending on four-year forward estimates.

Better pray that God looks kindly on China.

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Scientists at a British university say they are confident they found evidence of life that originated in space.
Researchers at the University of Sheffield sent a scientific balloon into the stratosphere — often described as the edge of space — during a Perseid meteor shower, which collected small organisms they believe are not from Earth.
“Most people will assume that these biological particles must have just drifted up to the stratosphere from Earth, but it is generally accepted that a particle of the size found cannot be lifted from Earth to heights of, for example, 27km. The only known exception is by a violent volcanic eruption, none of which occurred within three years of the sampling trip,” professor Milton Wainwright said in a statement.
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When it comes to whether the economy has recovered from the Great Recession, many Americans are optimistic. After all, consumers are spending more, there are fewer home foreclosures, and an average of 180,000 jobs were added each month in 2013; all of these are good signs. But what about the other aspects of the economy, like the length of unemployment or the national debt? Are they back to where they were in 2008, before the recession? Here are 16 stats that show that our economy still has a long way to go before it can truly be considered healthy again.
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World’s "top climate scientists" told to ‘cover up’ the fact that the Earth’s temperature hasn’t risen for the last 15 years

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2425775/Climate-scientists-told-cover-fact-Earths-temperature-risen-15-years.html#ixzz2fN17tbF8
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TWO HIV-positive porn actors have called on the industry to require condoms on all adult films, and say new rules requiring HIV tests every two weeks is not enough.
Porn actor Cameron Bay tested positive for HIV in August, sending fears through the industry and prompting a moratorium on porn filming in Los Angeles.
Now it has emerged that four porn actors have HIV, as filming is set to resume on Friday despite the outbreak. The actors have criticised the new tests every 14-days and are urging the industry to require condoms to protect workers.
Now, more actors have come forward to say they have HIV, including Bay’s boyfriend Rod Daily.
The pair learned just days apart that they were HIV-positive.
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/porn-actor-cameron-bay-boyfriend-rod-daily-and-two-more-porn-actors-have-hiv-call-for-more-tests/story-e6frfmq9-1226723188242#ixzz2fPLmM2hI
There was a lot more that they were missing from their lives .. and it isn't the end for them. It could be a blessing. But they are unlikely to continue to profit from more sexual performances. - ed
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Above: “I knew I shouldn’t have pressed the snooze button”—Tony Abbott on his way to his first Cabinet meeting
.by Joe Hildebrand
As some people might have noticed by the spike in depression rates in Newtown and Northcote, Tony Abbott is now Prime Minister of Australia.
But what will he really be like? As usual, it is left to me to reveal the truth. In yet another extraordinary exclusive, the Joe Hildebrand column has obtained the top secret daily itinerary of Tony Abbott, Prime Minister, as written by the man himself.
Its contents, as always, will shock and amaze…
3.45am: Wake up. Figured given it’s my first day as PM I’d allow myself a bit of a sleep in. Must not make a habit of this.
3.46am: Hit the gym. Lucky I always sleep in my lycra – hate to think of the time other people waste getting out of their Maggie Thatcher jimjams and into the old fruit basket. Bludgers.
3.48am: Done 90 push-ups, 300 sit ups and 180 preacher curls. Time to hit the rowing machine. Think I’ll set it to “Murray-Darling”.
4:01am: Go for a quick bike ride.
4:27am: Coffee in Newcastle.
4:51am: Back home for breakfast.
5:06am: Ready to start the day. Wonder if it’s too early to scrap the carbon tax? Oh that reminds me.
5:07am: Sack Tim Flannery.
5:15am: Call the Deputy PM. What’s his name again? Warwick something?
5:42am: Walter maybe? Waldo?
6:07am: Wayne? No that’s that other bloke. Bloody hell.
6:08am: Call Barnaby.
6:30am: Just went for a surf and got dumped by a monster. Fisherman in a tinnie motored up to see if I was okay and I told him to turn his boat back. Made me laugh anyway.
7:06am: Girls are up. The three of them ran up to me and gave me a big kiss but I told them there were no cameras outside so they went back to bed. Good to see the kids have learnt something.
7:10am: Cycle into the office.
7:11am: Arrive at office.
7:15am: Phone call from some guy called Warren wanting to talk about emergency powers or something. Don’t know why reception lets these cranks through.
7:27am: Day’s dragging on a bit. Wouldn’t mind a workout.
8:44am: Back from my marathon. Bit sluggish.
8.45am: Need to get started on my economic policy. I wonder if Joe’s up yet? Oh who am I kidding.
9:00am: Time for my first proper Cabinet meeting. Should be fine as long as Julie sits next to me. The rest I can just call “mate”.
10:00am: Cabinet went okay. I had this idea of shortening all the names of the departments but in the end I had to compromise. Now we’re calling the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education just “Department of Industry” instead of my original idea, which was “The Department of How Does Get @#$%ed Sound”. Still, some progress.
10:14am: Had to share a lift down with Malcolm. Still got that smug look about him. Bet he doesn’t bench press 90 kilos when he’s sunbathing at Icebergs.
11:00am: First press conference. Must remember not to say anything.
12:00pm: Presser went okay. Love it when the ABC journos have to call me Prime Minister. One of the online chicks nearly choked on her soy latte.
12:27pm: Is it okay for a Prime Minister to have 12 Weet-Bix for breakfast and lunch? Only one way to find out.
1:00pm: I wonder if Hockey’s up yet. Maybe just send him a text.
1:37pm: Treasury just brought in the costings for the Paid Parental Leave scheme. They had to use a wheelbarrow. This one might be tricky.
2:05pm: The Indonesians just called. “Something, something, something, you can’t do this, something, something, something, we’ll go to war, something, something.” Yeah, whatever.
2:18pm: Finally got a hold of Joe. Apparently there’s no Budget black hole – bastards declared all the crap before the election. Looks like I’ll have to do PPL after all. @#$% me.
3:06pm: This Labor leadership stuff is fun to watch. Got one bloke pretending to be in charge while two other blokes keep saying how much they agree with each other. It’s like watching an episode of The Circle but without any hot chicks.
3:32pm: Actually I hope Albo gets it. We can smash each other up and then have a beer afterwards. Good times.
4:07pm: Now I’ve got some lunatic on the phone pretending he’s the Deputy PM. Calls himself “Warnie” or something? Must speak to reception about this.
5:00pm: Home time! Not bad for a first day. Still, wouldn’t mind something to do. Might have time to squeeze in a run. 
.
If you want to do a quick 20 reps with Tony follow me on Twitter here: @Joe_Hildebrand
If you want to hang out with Barnaby instead join my new Facebook page here

All those depressed people. Those people upset by Abbott's win, and the axing of the Climate Change department. Call me. Let me hear you. Those tears are like healing balm for my wounds. - ed
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Anyone of good sense, or with a political sensibility placing them to the right of Lenin, couldn’t help but celebrate on Saturday 7 September. Electoral defeat of a disintegrating and duplicitous Labor government was a glorious event. But for Australians whose souls burn with the flame of liberty, that day delivered an additional and more important victory: the election of David Leyonhjelm to the senate.
The real significance of the Liberal Democrat’s senate seat win was lost in the media furore. Stories and interviews hammered home a few points: the novelty of new independent parties achieving representation; the preference deals that got them there; the ‘donkey vote’ position of the Liberal Democratic party on the ballot; the confusion of some voters who may have mistaken the Liberal Democrats for the Liberals.
The only Liberal Democrat policy repeatedly referenced by the media — always out of context — was the party’s support of the right of citizens to own firearms for self-defence. This has long been dismissed by most Australian pundits as some loopy idea imported from the US by home-grown ‘gun nuts’. But when America’s Founding Fathers drafted the second amendment to the US constitution — unlike most of today’s commentariat — they were not operating in an historical nor an intellectual vacuum. The Founders were aware that the right to keep and bear arms was an ancient one, long established in British common law, and finally codified in England’s 1689 Bill of Rights. They had read Aristotle, Locke, Machiavelli and scores of other western thinkers who all understood that this right was indivisible from the absolute right of the individual to self-defence. Moreover, America had just won a war of independence, a conflict sparked by the British Empire’s attempt to disarm American colonists at Concord and Lexington. The Founders knew first hand that abdicating force to an overreaching government would spell the death of liberty.
What struck me when I spoke to senator-elect Leyonhjelm this week was that like America’s Founders, he too was not living in a vacuum. His political philosophy had taken decades of thought — and decades of real world experience — to form. In youth, his nascent distaste for authority was further informed by the Vietnam era draft. Imbued with the bright-eyed socialistic leanings shared by many young men and women, he’d travelled behind the Iron Curtain and to communist countries in Africa. Witnessing the hideous realities of collectivism soon cured him of leftist delusions. Later in life, the works of free-market economist Milton Friedman helped cement his philosophical move to classical liberalism.
While the Liberal Democrats’ firearms policy is unique in this country, so is their entire platform. They are the only party upholding the ideals of classical liberalism. They support your right to smoke what you want, marry who you want, gamble when you want, own what you want, trade with whom you want, run your business the way you want, defend yourself when threatened and pay as little tax as possible (so don’t worry Libs, Leyonhjelm won’t oppose the scrapping of carbon, mining, or any other taxes). The party’s website outlines an extensive platform, informed by a powerful philosophy: folks should be free to live unhindered by senseless and despotic government regulations.
If you believe in liberty, you can’t pick and choose rights. You can’t just support those individual rights that complement your temperament and taste, but spit on those that don’t. Denying the freedom of others makes you a tyrant. This applies even in a democracy. Even if you are in the majority, if you disagree with a certain right and your vote helps outlaw it, that doesn’t make you justified, it just means you belong to the tyranny of the majority. Shame on you if you do. More so if you pay lip-service to the ideals of liberalism.
Being a true liberal — today the term libertarian better reflects this position — means that you are often embattled by both the Right and Left establishment (intrusive government is a blight long nurtured by both sides of mainstream politics). It also means yours is a voice of reason in a world where ‘bipartisanship’ has become code for a two-party duopoly introducing overreaching policies that only benefit power-broking special interests and a control-hungry bureaucratic machine. In a recent internet panel discussion, Julian Assange recognised this trend in America: ‘The only hope as far as electoral politics is concerned in the United States presently is the libertarian section of the Republican party… It will be the driver that shifts the United States around. It’s not going to come from the Democrats. It’s not going to come from Ralph Nader. It’s not going to come from the co-opted parts of the Republican party.’
This resurgence of libertarianism among Republicans owes much to Ron Paul. The retired Texas congressman’s steadfast philosophy was marginalised for decades, but paved the way not just for his son Rand Paul (Republican Senator from Kentucky, and 2016 presidential hope for liberty-minded Americans), but a growing cadre of other libertarians.
Leyonhjelm acknowledges the influence or Ron Paul on Liberal Democratic policy. Indeed, when the senator-elect speaks — ‘There are two guiding principles that determine our approach to legislation: We would never vote for an increase in taxes and we would never vote for a reduction in liberty’ — you can hear the spirit of freedom channelled not just from Paul, but from centuries of liberal thought. All too often Australia’s Liberal party loses sight of this original mandate. ‘The political middle ground is now left of where it once was’, Leyonhjelm tells me. ‘We have to shame the Liberal party into moving in our direction.’ And while aware he is now just ‘one voice’ in the senate, the Liberal Democrat’s ‘aspiration’ is that his will be ‘the first of many’.
Just as the once solitary figure of Ron Paul paved the way for what is now the only alternative in American politics, David Leyonhjelm may well spark a libertarian renaissance here. This is the real significance of his election to the senate. As George Washington once recognised, ‘Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.’
This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated 

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Sep. 18, 2013 — Her name was Amica, and her name and footprint are embedded in a terra cotta tile belonging to an ancient Roman temple. The signed tile is a rare find because Amica was a Roman slave, and her footprint survives. For the most part, the slaves of the well-preserved city of Pompeii still remain largely "invisible" in history, according to the University of Delaware's Lauren Hackworth Petersen.
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The timing for the scandal just couldn’t be worse for Germany’s third largest political party, the Greens. Only three days before Germany’s national elections, and it is now exploding out of control.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/10312930/Germanys-Green-Party-leader-regrets-campaign-to-legalise-paedophilia.html
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The world must not be deceived by the moderate statements made by Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday night, in response to anNBC interview with Rouhani broadcast Wednesday. 
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J.John
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
=
When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people. Abraham Heschel
=“@CJMilo: @Canonjjohn where can we get your Halloween booklet?”http://t.co/kvymE7gwWe
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I am interviewing Lord Michael Hastings a unique man. Join us and hear his story on 9th October in Chorleywood
http://t.co/LSKqva856e
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Pastor Rick Warren'
Sweet wine comes from crushed grapes. If you want God's anointing on your life, expect to be crushed
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Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.](John 16:33)

No matter what you are facing today, remember, faith pleases God and opens the door for His supernatural favor, strength and wisdom. Don’t settle for defeat because you are preprogrammed for victory. Choose to thank Him for what He is doing in your life and for the victory that is on the way. Be strong, be bold and take courage today because God has overcome the world.
When trials and tribulations come, as children of the Most High God, we can take courage; we can be confident, and we can have perfect peace. Why? Because perfect peace doesn’t come from the world. Courage doesn’t come from the world and neither does confidence. These things come from a relationship with Almighty God. We can have hope in challenging times because God has promised us victory. As long as we stay in faith, as long as we put our trust and hope in God, we will stay in victory.Amen.
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Satellite image of Hurricane Irene–Olivia
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“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”Ephesians 4:29 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning


"The liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free."
Galatians 5:1
This "liberty" makes us free to heaven's charter--the Bible. Here is a choice passage, believer, "When thou passest through the rivers, I will be with thee." You are free to that. Here is another: "The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee"; you are free to that. You are a welcome guest at the table of the promises. Scripture is a never-failing treasury filled with boundless stores of grace. It is the bank of heaven; you may draw from it as much as you please, without let or hindrance. Come in faith and you are welcome to all covenant blessings. There is not a promise in the Word which shall be withheld. In the depths of tribulations let this freedom comfort you; amidst waves of distress let it cheer you; when sorrows surround thee let it be thy solace. This is thy Father's love-token; thou art free to it at all times. Thou art also free to the throne of grace. It is the believer's privilege to have access at all times to his heavenly Father. Whatever our desires, our difficulties, our wants, we are at liberty to spread all before him. It matters not how much we may have sinned, we may ask and expect pardon. It signifies nothing how poor we are, we may plead his promise that he will provide all things needful. We have permission to approach his throne at all times--in midnight's darkest hour, or in noontide's most burning heat. Exercise thy right, O believer, and live up to thy privilege. Thou art free to all that is treasured up in Christ--wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. It matters not what thy need is, for there is fulness of supply in Christ, and it is there for thee. O what a "freedom" is thine! freedom from condemnation, freedom to the promises, freedom to the throne of grace, and at last freedom to enter heaven!

Evening


"For this child I prayed."
1 Samuel 1:27

Devout souls delight to look upon those mercies which they have obtained in answer to supplication, for they can see God's especial love in them. When we can name our blessings Samuel, that is, "asked of God," they will be as dear to us as her child was to Hannah. Peninnah had many children, but they came as common blessings unsought in prayer: Hannah's one heaven-given child was dearer far, because he was the fruit of earnest pleadings. How sweet was that water to Samson which he found at "the well of him that prayed!" Quassia cups turn all waters bitter, but the cup of prayer puts a sweetness into the draughts it brings. Did we pray for the conversion of our children? How doubly sweet, when they are saved, to see in them our own petitions fulfilled! Better to rejoice over them as the fruit of our pleadings than as the fruit of our bodies. Have we sought of the Lord some choice spiritual gift? When it comes to us it will be wrapped up in the gold cloth of God's faithfulness and truth, and so be doubly precious. Have we petitioned for success in the Lord's work? How joyful is the prosperity which comes flying upon the wings of prayer! It is always best to get blessings into our house in the legitimate way, by the door of prayer; then they are blessings indeed, and not temptations. Even when prayer speeds not, the blessings grow all the richer for the delay; the child Jesus was all the more lovely in the eyes of Mary when she found him after having sought him sorrowing. That which we win by prayer we should dedicate to God, as Hannah dedicated Samuel. The gift came from heaven, let it go to heaven. Prayer brought it, gratitude sang over it, let devotion consecrate it. Here will be a special occasion for saying, "Of thine own have I given unto thee." Reader, is prayer your element or your weariness? Which?
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Today's reading: Ecclesiastes 1-3, 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Ecclesiastes 1-3


Everything Is Meaningless

1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:

2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.”
3 What do people gain from all their labors
at which they toil under the sun?
4 Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.
7 All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full....

Today's New Testament reading: 2 Corinthians 11:16-33

Paul Boasts About His Sufferings
16 I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. 17 In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. 18 Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. 19 You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! 20 In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face. 21To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that!
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Ephraim

[Ē'phrăĭm] - doubly fruitfulThe second son of Joseph by Asenath and founder of a tribal family (Gen. 41:52; Num. 1:10). Also the name of a town (2 Sam. 13:23), a city (John 11:54), a gate of Jerusalem (2 Kings 14:13), and a wood (2 Sam. 18:6).

The Man Who Represented Fruitful Pruning

In Jacob's prophetic blessing of his sons the prominent feature of Joseph's portion was that of fruitfulness, a prophecy receiving its fulfilment in the double tribe springing from Joseph, namely, Ephraim and Manasseh, like two branches out of the parent stem. Joseph himself was "a fruitful bough" because he had been so well pruned. The sharp knife of adversity led to the sweet fruit, and the fruitful bough ran over the wall. Ephraim and Manasseh were the heads of most fruitful tribes. The Book of Hosea, however, reveals how the blessings showered upon these tribes were ill requited.

Joseph named his second son Ephraim because as he said "God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction." Here Joseph, although a Hebrew, speaks as a Gentile. Ephraim was the fruitfulness of his father in the land of Egypt as a Gentile prince, and Jacob rightly calls his seed "the fulness of the Gentiles," when he adopts him on his dying bed.

The representative man of the tribe of Ephraim is Joshua. No other like him arose afterwards in this tribe. Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, founder of the kingdom of Ephraim, was the exact opposite to Joshua in faith and conduct.

The significance of Ephraim's name must not be lost upon us. What Joseph said of him indicated that God had brought good out of evil, privilege out of pain, triumph out of tragedy. In spite of any affliction that may be ours, do we remain fruitful in every good work? To Joseph the birth of Ephraim came as luscious fruit after the severe pruning of ill-treatment, slavery and prison. See John 15:1-8.
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Priscilla


The Woman Who Was Foremost in Service
Scripture References - Acts 18:218,26Romans 16:3Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19

Name Meaning - Priscilla is the diminutive of Prisca, feminine of Prisca meaning "primitive," hence, "worthy, or venerable," as belonging to the good old time. This name is also found as a family name in the earliest Roman annals, and appears in the form "Prisca" in Paul's Second Epistle to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:19 ). Cruden says Priscilla means "ancient, old-fashioned simplicity." It is also interesting to note that Aquila, Priscilla's husband, had the family name of the commander of a legion, for it means "eagle" - emblem of the Roman army. Both names are Roman. From the prominence given in Roman inscriptions and legends to the name Prisca it is concluded that she belonged to a distinguished Roman family.

Family Connections - Of Priscilla's background and parentage Scripture is silent. Doubtless, like her husband, she was born in Pontus. Both were Jews of Asia-Minor, and as such were expelled by Claudius from Rome, and in Corinth, Priscilla and Aquila became the honored and much-loved friends of Paul. In fact, they were the most distinguished among his fellow-helpers in the cause of Christ.

As Priscilla is always paired with her husband, Aquila, it is difficult to separate her and place her on a pedestal of her own. Their two hearts beat as one. Harmoniously, they labored together in the service of the church. They walked as one for they had mutually agreed to put Christ first. In the six references where both are mentioned, the name of Priscilla comes first in three instances, and Aquila first in the other three. They are never mentioned apart. Is there any significance attached to the fact that Aquila is not named first every time, but equally shares mention with his wife? A number of conjectures have been put forth why Priscilla comes first at all in the references to them both. Some writers suggest that she was the more energetic of the two, and perhaps had the stronger character. Dinsdale Young thinks that Priscilla may have been a believer before her husband, and that she won him for the Lord by her "chaste conversation," or that perhaps hers was a primacy of character and service, or a more conspicuous intellectual ability, or that she may have been of nobler birth and social quality than Aquila.

Personally, we see no reason at all for Priscilla's name coming first in half of the Scripture references to her, even though she may recall the wonderful prominence of women in early Christianity, and in martyrdom and service for Christ. If, in any way, Priscilla outshone Aquila, he must have praised God for such a precious gifted wife. Charles Kingsley makes one of his characters in Westward Ho! say, "In her he had found a treasure and knew what he had found." This must have been Aquila's sentiment also. Let us now look at the many fascinating facets of the union existing between these two old-time saints.
They Were One in Marital Bliss
What romance, love and blending of personalities are associated with such an ordinary phrase as "Aquila ... with his wife Priscilla." How interesting it would be to know where and how they met, fell in love with each other and married! As nothing is said about any children that through the years came to grace their lovely home, we can take it that Priscilla was childless. From the record we have of Aquila and Priscilla their story is a beautiful idyll of home life. Together from the time of their marriage they are always named together, and were inseparable. What a pleasant picture of wedded love they present! To these two, wedlock was a divine ordinance and indissoluble union, and one which halved their sorrows and doubled their joys. They were not unequally yoked together but joined in the Lord.
In the truest sense, Aquila and Priscilla were "no more twain but one flesh," and all that they covenanted to accomplish together from the hour of their marriage vows was realized as the result of the perfect unity of the spiritual, nature of purpose, and of aim. As twin stars, Aquila and Priscilla were "bright with borrowed rays divine." They moved in one orbit and were united in all their labors as well as in their love. With Nabal and Abigail we have a sad illustration of husband and wife who had nothing in common, who were diametrically opposed to each other in character, and in whom sordidness and sublimity were associated. But with Aquila and Priscilla it was so different, for like Zacharias and Elisabeth they, too, were "both righteous" and like them, manifested a union, idyllic in its full-orbed loveliness and charm. Because the Bible is everybody's Book, it is the married people's Book revealing how the Aquilas and Priscillas can live happily together.
They Were One in the Lord
Further, this Christian couple were one in their experience of God's saving power, and so became one in their holy zeal for the Saviour, and in their service for His church. They were partners in faithful endeavors, not only to present Christ by lip, but also in the excellency of their walk and conversation. The supreme need of our critical time is not for more preachers, but for more lay workers like Aquila and Priscilla ready to exemplify Christ in the common round of life. Paul first discovered this godly pair when he came to Corinth from Athens where they had been driven by the edict of Claudius against the Jews. What an arrestive phrase that is, "Paul found a certain Jew named Aquila ... with his wife Priscilla" (Acts 18:2). What a find that was! Fewer, grander discoveries have ever been made. "Paul was a wonderful discoverer. He was always finding, now a truth, now a grace, now a personality. He was ever finding because he was ever seeking." How many have we found for the Lord?
Just when Aquila and Priscilla became the Lord's, Scripture does not say. Had they been unconverted when Paul found them it would have been impossible for them to remain so, with Paul living in their home for eighteen months, and their contact with the Apostle's constant teaching of the Word of God in the nearby synagogue. The inference is that when Paul met them they were firmly established in the Christian faith, and that in them he found two saintly souls after his own heart. Both Aquila and Priscilla as Hebrews were drenched in Old Testament Scriptures and had found in the promised Messiah, their Saviour and Lord, and were thus able to enter into Paul's remarkable ministry during his stay in Corinth. With honored Paul as their guest, what times the three of them must have had together in prayer and meditation upon the Word. What spiritual knowledge Aquila and Priscilla must have acquired from the Early Church's greatest Bible teacher. Theirs must have been a thorough theological course.
They Were One in Secular Occupation
Luke informs us that "by their occupation they were tentmakers" (Acts 18:3 ). This must have added to Paul's delight in living with Aquila and Priscilla for he was of the same craft, and at times supported himself in this way (Acts 20:34;1Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8 ). When not preaching and teaching we can imagine Paul, Aquila and Priscilla sitting together in Aquila's shop as they plied their needles and fashioned or repaired tents. Aquila and Priscilla shared the duties of their workshop. They were not ashamed of manual toil. Proud of their craft, we can believe that the product of their joint labors was known for its excellent quality. The tents from their establishment made of honest goat's hair, sewn with honest thread, seamed and disposed of at an honest price, gave Aquila and Priscilla a wide reputation. They were in the tent business first of all, for the glory of God.
As Jews, Paul, Aquila and Priscilla were taught the tent trade when they were young, for the teaching of rabbis was that the father who failed to teach his son a trade educated him to be a thief. Jesus Himself was taught a trade and was thus known not only as "the carpenter's son" but also as, "the Carpenter." We are thus shown the dignity of labor. The craft of Aquila and Priscilla may have been a common one, but it was approached in an uncommon spirit. Their toil was honorable and they honored God in their toil, even as Jesus did when for long years He worked at the bench. Do we turn our particular craft to good account for the Lord? "A particular craft will throw one into association with a particular class of persons, and if one is alert and always about the Master's business, he may find in his particular calling a special opportunity for testimony from which others, not of the same craft, are circumstantially excluded."
They Were One in Their Friendship for Paul
As we read the references to Aquila and Priscilla we cannot fail to be impressed with the affection they had for Paul, and of the way he held them in high esteem. Of all the Apostle's co-workers none were to prove themselves as loyal and helpful as these two. As a lonely man, and in constant need of friendship and comfort, none cared for Paul as that home-making couple provided for him. Their oneness in spiritual things made Aquila and Priscilla so precious to the heart of Paul who designated them "my fellow-workers in Christ Jesus" (Romans 16:3asv). They were workers notshirkers in the divine vineyard, and their labors with and for the Apostle were not in vain, seeing they wrought "in Christ Jesus." They shared Paul's itinerant ministry. They went to Ephesus and to Rome assisting their friend in every way. As missionaries they scattered the good seed of the Gospel wherever they went (Acts 18:18Romans 16:32Timothy 4:19).
This is why Paul was generous in his recognition and acknowledgment of indebtedness to these godly souls, who, for love of Christ labored with him so devotedly in the Gospel. When Paul left Corinth after a residence of a year and a half in the home of Priscilla and Aquila, they left with him for Ephesus. After some time he "left them there," and sailed to Jerusalem. Being "left there" was in the providence of God as we shall see when we come to their contact with Apollos there. In the furtherance of the Gospel Paul tells us that Priscilla and Aquila laid down their own necks for his sake, earning thereby not only his heartfelt gratitude, but also that of all the Gentile churches which Paul had founded. Moule translates this passage, "For my life's sake submitted their own throats to the knife" (Romans 16:34) - referring to some stern crisis otherwise utterly unknown to us but well-known in heaven. In some way or another, possibly during the great Ephesian riots, they had saved the man whom the Lord consecrated to the service of the Gentile world.
The way Paul describes their readiness to sacrifice themselves on his behalf conveys the thought that they had been exposed to martyrdom for his sake. He never forgot the self-sacrifice of Priscilla and Aquila who, for the most part of their lives worked at their trade as tentmakers but who were capable of noble deeds equal to the occasion. In perilous circumstances they exhibited a martyr-like self-sacrifice, and thereby emulated the example of the Master whom they so faithfully served. Can we say that we are ready to lay down our necks for apostolic causes? Must we not confess with shame our effort to save our necks as much as possible.
While the last mention of Aquila and Priscilla is to be found in Paul's Second Epistle to Timothy where they were back at Ephesus about the year a.d. 66 (2 Timothy 4:19 ), there is a tradition to the effect that they ultimately laid down their lives for Christ's sake. The 8th of July is the day set apart for them in the martyrology of the Roman Church when it is said the faithful couple were led out beyond the walls and beheaded. If this is so it is not difficult to fill in the details of the pathetic picture. Aquila and Priscilla had loved each other through the years, and together had served the Lord so loyally. Now with eyes so full of unfading love, as if to say to each other "Farewell, fear not!" they were ready for the flash of the blade that sent them home to God, and to eternal fellowship with Paul, Apollos, and others they had so signally helped.
They Were One in Their Profound Knowledge of Scripture
One of the most impressive aspects of the spiritual influence of Priscilla and Aquila was the way in which these two simple souls with a deep knowledge of Christian truth were used to open the eyes of a great Alexandrian divine to the reality of the Gospel. The eloquent and fervent Apollos with all his brilliance and power suffered a sorry limitation as a preacher. He knew only "the baptism of John" (Acts 18:2526). He knew nothing of salvation through the cross and the accompaniments of salvation. The larger truths of the Gospel of Redemption were as yet unknown to him. Priscilla and Aquila followed the crowds who went to hear this most popular and persuasive preacher.
As they listened, Priscilla and her husband detected the negative defects of the preaching of Apollos. He taught no positive error, denied no essential of the faith. What he preached was true as far as it went. Apollos knew the truth, but not all the truth, and so in the quiet way, with all humility, Priscilla and Aquila set about correcting the apparent deficiency of Apollos. Inviting him to their home they passed no word of criticism on what they had heard him preach but with consummate tact instructed him Biblically in the truth of the crucified, risen and glorified Saviour. "They expounded unto him the way of God more carefully" ( asv)
What was the result of that Bible course which Apollos received from those two godly, Spirit-enlightened believers? Why, Apollos became so mighty in the Gospel that he was called an apostle. In fact, he became so effective as a true gospel preacher that some of the Corinthians put him before Peter and Paul. But all that Apollos became he owed, under God, to the quiet instruction of Priscilla and Aquila. In Apollos, Christ gained a preacher whose spiritual influence was second only to Paul himself. Says Alexander Whyte in his chapter dealing with Aquila, Priscilla and Apollos -
I admire all the three so much, that I really do not know which to admire the most; Aquila and Priscilla in their quite extraordinary wisdom and tact and courage, and especially love; or Apollos in his still more extraordinary humility, modesty, and mind of Christ.
If we cannot be great, by God's grace we may be the means of making others great. Quiet, unobtrusive Andrew little knew when he brought his brother Peter to Christ that he would become the mighty Apostle to the Jews. As husband and wife, and humble tentmakers, Aquila and Priscilla greatly enriched the ministries of Paul and Apollos whom God, in turn, used to establish churches.
They Were One in the Service of the Church
Paul gives us a still fuller insight into the passionate desire of Aquila and Priscilla to bind the saints together in fellowship. To the Corinthians he wrote, "Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church in their house." In Romans, the Apostle sent his greetings to them and to "the church that is in their house." At stated times they gathered the followers of Christ for worship, meditation and remembrance at the Family Altar, and thereby invested "the domestic circle with a peculiar sanctity as the germ of that great organism which we call the Church of God."
In those apostolic days, poverty and persecution made separate buildings for worship almost impracticable, and so private, sanctified homes became the house of God. Aquila and Priscilla consecrated their home to God, as a gathering place for the saints. Because of this they became doubly sanctified by the Word of God and prayer. If such a dedicated home is "the masterpiece of the applied Gospel," should we not be careful that nothing enters our home to "unchurch" it? Perhaps the church of God could become a mightier spiritual force in the world if she could return to upper chambers and churches in the home.
As we take farewell of Aquila and Priscilla we remind ourselves that in the history of Christianity the truly great characters have always been simple and humble men and women. The God who made the mountains also made the valleys, and both are needed. Paul, ever conscious of his indebtedness to inconspicuous persons, paid just tribute to Aquila and Priscilla. Whether we are prominent or otherwise, may we be found serving God to the limit of our ability. How much we owe to the quiet and useful lives of the world's Aquilas and Priscillas, as well as its more conspicuous saints we shall never know this side of heaven! The humble tentmakers we have thought of are, "a bracing and cheering study for Christians of every type and condition. They are especially a pertinent ensample for Christian husbands and wives. It will be a true loss if we neglect to contemplate this spiritually-minded pair who walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, blameless."
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