Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Wed Oct 5th Todays News

The statistics are stark, but the labelling is confusing. The table is marked "Rate per 100,000" but they look like raw incidents, which makes more sense. Dandenong is a hub of much, but personal experience in Casey suggests crime is more significant. In two months in Hallam I had an ice addict who wanted to kill me and SWAT arrested a troublesome drug addict known to police. In Dandenong I see a loving family doing their best to eke out an existence. I have done over 200 km walking through Dandenong in the last two months. I don't believe there are twice as much crime per resident in Dandenong. But even so, the table illustrates failure from council planning. A 30% rise in crime since the last council election. And it is like a hockey stick. To be fair, Dan Andrews restrictions on policing do not help. One cannot hire enough to make up for the current ones being tied up and prevented from actively policing. 

Don't accept excuses for councillors not addressing the issues. Crime is not the fault of any one thing. A suite of policies are needed to address it. Youth unemployment is too high. Business needs to have red tape cut. Public transport could be better. Garbage collection could be cheaper. Planning could be more effective. Dandenong is not over developed, or over policed. Shop workers do not feel safe. Car parking is restricted in zones reliant on trade.
=== from 2015 ===
Malcolm Turnbull claimed the Liberal Leadership with more than a few lies about Tony Abbott's administration. But now he has to make good on his promise of what he can achieve. Turnbull won't be impressive by rolling back good policy. He needs to be fearless on tax, as much so as Mr Abbott was on immigration. Turnbull won't be popular by being populist. Worryingly, he seems to be walking down that road. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility.
From 2014
Terrorism Issue
#FightNotNegotiate means Islamo Fascists do not care if they are portrayed by western media as bloodthirsty. They are not interested in peace deals. They feel their dream of a subjugated people is close, and so they need only behave as they wish to, to live as they want to. They kill and torture Islamic peoples, but they take pride in killing and torturing others. This is what the UN has fostered over decades of opposition to Israel. It would surprise the leaders of ISIL to have extreme Western opposition to be sustained. They have had their bloodthirsty behaviour rewarded too much and excused. How many times were terrorist acts legitimised by governments? Should Israel have hit the Ugandan Airforce to extract hostages? Wasn't Israel wrong to have assassinated Munich terrorists who ordered the hit? Didn't Obama order Israel to release terrorists who had killed for peace? Hadn't Obama ignored military advice to abandon Iraq? In Australia Hizb ut-Tahir sides with terror against Australian involvement against ISIL. Greens vote in Australia is less than opposition to war. Will Islamic leaders who endorse terror endorse Greens? Also, 'Ban the burqa' cries obscure the actual issue of addressing terrorism. The burqa is not Islam, but terrorists want to fight and are looking for excuses. 

Mixed issues.
Fairfax lie to attack Murdoch. Fairfax in SMH and Age make a false claim that Murdoch pays no tax on his business in Australia. Fairfax is corrected, but fails to correct their front page headlines. Fairfax is vile to Abbott, but ignores Gillard's corruption. Fairfax prints obscene, near pornographic denunciations of Mr Abbott but refuse to ask basic questions surrounding what would be needed to show Gillard is not corrupt. In fact Gillard is corrupt, so that is why her champions are silent on those questions. But nothing excuses their treatment of Mr Abbott. It isn't balanced. A lefties' vision of hell embraces the dead boat people their compassion killed as seen in some art works depicting the afterlife. Are mobster's wives a fitting subject for reality tv? Clearly tv is comfortable with corrupt ALP figures, so it seems a small extension to include mob boss wives. Congratulations to Argentina's Rugby team defeating Australia. We played our best. You were better. Also congrats to Aboriginal Icon Rabbitohs defeating Islamic Icon Bulldogs in the ARL grand final. New research shows the Congo was the home of aids.
From 2013
Obama got lost on his way to the Asia Pacific conference and sent Kerry instead. There is no news of Kerry demanding Australia free its captured jihadists for peace. There is also no news of Obama doing anything useful while he is collecting his pay checks during the government shut down in the US. Panicking that he would never break into this news cycle, NSW Opposition leader John Robertson, publicly stated he refused a bribe from murdered businessman McGurk shortly before McGurk's death. It is alleged that an ALP donor ordered the hit on McGurk. Robertson is claiming he was offered $3 million for the sale of Currawong, something Robertson did not own. Robertson then proceeded not to tell the police or the ICAC. But, Robertson gushes, he was shocked at the offer he didn't report. Small wonder Robertson was shocked. Eddie Obeid is alleged to have been behind $500 million in corrupt dealings. Why would the union man accept a corrupt pay cut?

No one knows where corruption in the ALP will end. Or when. However, there needs to be an inquiry into AGW alarmism which has cost the world many trillions of dollars. How is the ALP involved in it? How is the ALP involved in the corruption of the immigration process? Is the ALP safe from accusation that it is not profiting from corruption involved in identifying as Australian Aboriginal? Think of the ALP corruption for a moment, and extend it to the US and ask if Obama has made Libyans safer with his shelling of Libya?
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.
Thanks to Warren for this advice on watching Bolt
Warren Catton Get this for your PC or MAC Once you have installed it start it up and press Live TV you don't need a login to watch Sky News!
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
Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with AugustSeptemberOctober, or at Amazon  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 David DanhMiriam SosinPerdomo AldoAcutegems India  and Thu Vo. Born on the same day, across they years, along with
1338 – Alexios III of Trebizond (d. 1390)
1641 – Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan, French mistress of Louis XIV of France (d. 1707)
1713 – Denis Diderot, French philosopher (d. 1784)
1858 – Helen Churchill Candee, American author and journalist, survivor of the Sinking of the RMS Titanic (d. 1949)
1864 – Louis Lumière, French director and producer (d. 1948)
1901 – John Alton, American cinematographer (d. 1996)
1936 – Václav Havel, Czech politician, 1st President of the Czech Republic (d. 2011)
1943 – Steve Miller, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Steve Miller Band)
1951 – Bob Geldof, Irish singer-songwriter, actor, and author (The Boomtown Rats)
1967 – Guy Pearce, English-Australian actor and singer
1975 – Kate Winslet, English actress and singer
1991 – Betty Who, Australian singer-songwriter
The Women's March on Versailles (unknown artist)
You are emperor. You eat cake. You are first justice. You make waves. You've run home. Party hard. 
Tim Blair

Andrew Bolt



Tim Blair – Monday, October 05, 2015 (3:48pm)

Malcolm Turnbull’s more conciliatory approach to the Muslim community doesn’t seem to be working
The teenage gunman who executed a NSW Police Force employee has been lauded as a “hero of the Islamic people” on a tribute page set up on social media …
A Facebook page has since been established in the North Parramatta teen’s memory, labelling him the “hero of Parramatta”.
“Hero of the Islamic peoples he will be gratly (sic),” one post read.
“Death to the evil police state of Australia who killed this young child all he is guilty of was being muslim!!
A photo of Farhad’s face with a screen grab of footage captured outside the police HQ of him holding his gun above his head is accompanied by the statement: “Inshallah we will kill all the infidels”.
Another post states: “It is no secret that Australia seeks to destroy islam and there is no choice for followers of allah but to defend themselves.” 
I’m not sure, but this might qualify as some of that divisive rhetoric Mark Kenny is always crying about. And check the line from Nick Kaldas: 
Asked about the page, NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas said it was disappointing.
“Just as disappointing as the right-wing extremist material,” he said. 
Sure, Nick. Because right-wing extremists always rejoice online when one of them murders a police employee.
The page has posts calling for the Australian flag to be burnt and calls Australians “the real terrorists”.
Another post speaks of hate for Australia and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. 
It’s another win for inclusiveness!


Tim Blair – Monday, October 05, 2015 (5:02am)

The instant response of normal people to acts of Islamic terrorism is horror and grief. The instant response of our leftist friends, however, is a desperate attempt to play down or outright conceal any Islamic component to those acts of terrorism.
A second strategy is to sympathise with the terrorist’s fellow Muslims. As Mark Steyn noted, Twitter leftists launched a love campaign before last December’s Martin Place siege had even ended.
“Usually the Muslims-fear-backlash crowd at least waits till the terrorist atrocity is over. In this case the desiccated multiculti saps launched the #I’llRideWithYou campaign even as the siege was still ongoing — while Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson were still alive,” Steyn wrote.
“Muslims are not the victims here. Ms Dawson and Mr Johnson are the victims. And yet the urge to usher Muslims into the victim chair and massage their tender sensibilities is now so reflexive the narcissists on Twitter don’t even have the good taste to wait till the siege is over and the corpse count is known.”
Similar tactics were employed last Friday following 15-year-old Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar’s cowardly murder of NSW police accountant Curtis Cheng, shot in the back of the head as he left work. Parramatta real estate agent Edwin Almeida spotted the killer and offered this perfectly accurate description to reporters: “I saw the man wielding a handgun, dressed in black robes.”
This newsworthy line was deliberately omitted from the Guardian‘s online coverage, presumably because the murderer’s clothing may have hinted at a certain unmentionable faith. “I won’t go into reports about what the man identified by eyewitnesses as carrying a gun was wearing or what he looked like,” the Guardian‘s Calla Wahlquist decreed, which is an unusual approach to journalism.
If clothing and appearance are deemed Islamic identifiers and therefore now off-limits, what might be next? Australia’s violent Islamic extremist community tends to be male, armed and from Sydney’s west. A future Guardian report could run something like the following:
“A person with a non-specific grievance has taken actions causing injury to another person in an area of Australia noted for its vibrant multiculturalism.” And then it could end with this evasion, from one of the earliest ABC reports on Friday’s murder: “The ABC understands that the incident is not terror-related.”


Tim Blair – Monday, October 05, 2015 (4:23am)

A brilliant Australian image. Daughter Frankie kisses her father Johnathan Thurston after his kick won last night’s NRL Grand Final for the North Queensland Cowboys:

Thurston’s kick was remarkable not just for its accuracy but its timing. The Cowboys captain allowed his team to absorb multiple tackles before he finally worked himself within range. Then he calmly sealed the game. (Incidentally, Thurston’s cut eyebrow occurred after the match, during celebrations. He’d previously endured 80 minutes of rugby league with barely a scratch.)
Another great Australian image. Nine’s composed and charming Yvonne Sampson interviews defeated Brisbane Bronco Sam Thaiday sitting on the ANZ Stadium grass, because he’s too exhausted to stand:

Thaiday has a gift for quotable, almost preacher-like lines. His summary of the Grand Final, which many already rank as history’s finest: “That was surely a tough old game.” Testify! Yesterday, NRL beat AFL.


Tim Blair – Monday, October 05, 2015 (4:01am)

Deep thoughts about Curtis Cheng’s killer from Sydney Morning Herald journalist turned lawyer Tim Dick
We may discover why he killed, but we may not. It is possible the only person who knew why a child took an innocent life lies in the morgue …
The biggest risks for child offending are family violence and unemployment, abuse and neglect, mental ill health and intellectual disabilities and, abominably, the fact of being removed from family dangers and put into care …
Even without knowing the motive and influences behind the Parramatta killing, surely that message of intervention and help is one way to find anything positive to come from this. 
Mate, he was shouting “Allah, Allah”. Reckon there just might be a clue in that. And now it emerges that gunboy Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar may have a very recent Hizbie history
A teen gunman who shot and killed a police employee on Friday did so after he heard a lecture by the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, Seven News has reported.
However, the group has downplayed the claim as “speculation”.
Seven News said Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar was at a lecture given by Hizb ut-Tahrir at Parramatta Mosque on Friday, before he donned a black robe and killed finance worker Curtis Cheng outside NSW Police headquarters in Parramatta. 
Martin Place murderer Man Haron Monis was another Hizbie hanger-on. Hizbie leader Sheik Ismail Alwahwah is now imitating Sergeant Schulz
When asked about the 15-year-old’s execution of police finance worker Curtis Cheng, he would not comment about what happened in Parramatta on Friday. “Why not Saturday, Sunday or Monday? I know nothing,” he said. 
Other Hizbies – who should all be mailed to Syria, by the way, in thousands of 10cm by 10cm packages – yesterday held one of their little Hizbie parties
One of the speakers at the rally, Hamzah Qureshi, said Hizb-ut-Tahrir would “stand with the Muslims of Syria”.
“The day is not far where we will witness a world where our children and our grandchildren will once again see the light of Islam as the world saw for centuries before,” he told the protest. 
A world of ZZ Top tribute bands, minus the music and girls. Bet the kids can’t wait.


Tim Blair – Monday, October 05, 2015 (3:38am)

Just like her tax-funded ABC colleague Emma Alberici, Leigh Sales is concerned about the gap between rich and poor: 
The Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan thinks Australia can learn some lessons from the songs of American rocker Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen sings about the struggles of the American working class and the gap between rich and poor. 
And just like Emma, Leigh is increasing that gap – using money from people who earn less than her: 
Current affairs heavyweight Leigh Sales cashed in on the spring property market on Saturday, selling her family home in Glebe for $1,705,000.
The ABC host was reportedly “very happy” with the result, scoring $200,000 above reserve. 
Market forces are friendly to people whose jobs are not subject to market forces.


Tim Blair – Monday, October 05, 2015 (2:08am)

One minute I was bright and sparky, zapping around the internet in search of fascinating facts. The next minute I was out like Andrew Johns at an airport.
I’d made the error of clicking on Elizabeth Farrelly’s Thursday column in the Sydney Morning Herald, and my resultant snap coma is a reminder to never attempt this before a Johns-style level of medication. Following treatment, I resumed. 
Elizabeth was going on about the global population, a favourite topic for those who never consider the helpful option of leaving it. “Of course population is an issue,” she wrote. “Few things are as scary as watching the world population clock tick in real time.”
Stand by for Stephen King’s next thriller, featuring nothing but numbers. The Counting is sure to be a big hit among the easily-spooked Farrelly demographic.
Elizabeth’s musings led her to describe two “classic solutions” to over-population. “First – which these days I hear roughly once a week, usually from someone male, educated, older – is compulsory birth control.”
Could this bloke please leave Farrelly alone? You’ve made your point, pal. Now move on. The lady has thinking to do.
(Continue reading The Counting.)

Germany now tips 1.5 million illegal immigrants this year - with families to follow

Andrew Bolt October 05 2015 (6:31pm)

Germany faces an existential threat:
German authorities expect up to 1.5 million asylum seekers to arrive in Germany this year, the Bild daily newspaper said in a report to be published on Monday, up from a previous estimate of 800,000 to 1 million… 
The authorities’ report also cited concerns that those who are granted asylum will bring their families over to Germany too, Bild said. Given family structures in the Middle East, this would mean each individual from that region who is granted asylum bringing an average of four to eight family members over to Germany in due course, Bild quoted the report as saying.
German Jews are again worried:
Josef Schuster, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, expressed fear about increased anti-Semitism due to the attitudes of Muslim migrants entering the country. 
“Many Syrians and Arab migrants grow up in an environment in which hostility to Jews and Israel is common practice,” he told Hesse radio on Wednesday… The Central Council of German Jews has 100,500 members. Germany has more than 4,000,000 Muslims, most of whom are of Turkish origin.

Shorten goes in harder than Turnbull on Muslim extremism

Andrew Bolt October 05 2015 (6:22pm)

Malcolm Turnbull has dialled the rhetoric on Islamist terror to weak and flabby.
Labor leader Bill Shorten dials up his own, which Australian workers may well appreciate:

The Opposition Leader said he had “no time for organisations fomenting dangerous” ideas amid reports the 15-year-old who shot dead a police employee in Sydney on Friday attended the Parramatta Mosque before the murder, including for a service associated with the controversial political group Hizb-ut-Tahrir. 
Farhad Khalil ­Mohammad Jabar is believed to have been radicalised through worshippers he met at the mosque where other teenagers are known to have sympathies for the terrorist group Islamic State.
Asked about the reports and if the government needed to take a new approach to this type of violent behaviour, Mr Shorten said: “If there are organisations in this country preying upon vulnerable young people, filling their heads full of murderous crazy nonsense, then those organisations are breaching their social contract with the Australian people. 
“I have no time for organisations fomenting dangerous, criminal thinking in vulnerable young people. These organisations preying upon young people are a sort of political or a terrorist version of the pedophiles who prey upon young people too. It is just unacceptable.”
But for all this talk - and talk of talking - what will any of these politicians actually do? 

Shorten: penalty rates for private schools

Andrew Bolt October 05 2015 (4:11pm)

Labor leader Bill Shorten, a former Xavier College student, makes an interesting argument for penalty rates:

For people on $40,000 and $50,000 and $60,000 dollars a year, penalty rates are the difference as to whether or not they can afford to send their kids to a private school. 
Poverty isn’t what it used to be. Nor is the class war. 

He shouted “Allah”. So why do Turnbull and Bishop call this “political” violence?

Andrew Bolt October 05 2015 (10:58am)

The Turnbull Government has made a concerted attempt to deceive us about the murder of a police official by a Muslim boy shouting “Allah, Allah”.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull:
This appears to have been an act of politically motivated violence...
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop:

When a 15-year-old boy can be so radicalised that he can carry out a politically motivated killing or an act of terrorism, then it’s a time for the whole nation to take stock. 
Even the NSW Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, repeats this deception:

We believe his actions were politically motivated and therefore linked to terrorism.
This evasion of the plain truth treats the public like idiots. No, this was not an act of political violence but of religious violence. Of Islamist violence.
True, Islam has a political agenda, insisting that citizens should live under shariah law. But that is a key problem with this faith, right there. For Turnbull, Bishop and Scipione to treat this as a crime motivate by politics rather than religion deliberately mistakes the effect for the cause, which they do not want to discuss.
Bottom line: the boy shouted “Allah” as he killed. To pretend he had actually had politics on his mind is dishonest.
Still just “politically inspired” terrorism? From one of a ”very, very small” minority of Muslim extremists?  And is “the Australian Muslim community ... especially appalled and shocked”?
A fact check on Turnbull’s rhetoric:
SUPPORTERS of teen terrorist Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar have taken to social media to back the heinous streetside Parramatta murder. 
Less than 48 hours after the execution-style slaying of NSW Police IT worker Curtis Cheng, a page called “RIP Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar” appeared on Facebook.
A post on the page hails Jabar, 15, a martyr and says all he is guilty of “was being Muslim” and that he should rest in peace for his “sacrifice in the face of racist bigotry”.
“hero of the Islamic peoples he will be gratly (sic) missed death to the evil police state of Australia who killed this child all he is guilty of was being muslim,” another post reads. 
Photographs of Jabar have been made into memes, one with the words “inshallah we will kill all the infidels” and a gun emoji aimed at a picture of a police officer alongside a photograph of American president Barack Obama.
Anyone heard yet from the Grand Mufti, who was once so quick to condemn Tony Abbott? 

Paynefull spinning

Andrew Bolt October 05 2015 (9:21am)

This spinning is so brazen:
NEW Defence Minister Marise Payne has hit the ground running, handing a new billion dollar contract to Thales in Bendigo to build more than 1000 light utility vehicles. 
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Senator Payne will be in Monegeetta in northwest Melbourne Monday morning to announce the deal which guarantees hundreds of jobs at the regional Victorian facility.
Does anyone seriously believe that Payne in just two weeks has investigated and proposed this contract, asked for tenders and decided between competing bids?
Fact: this decision was made by the Abbott Government’s national security committee two months ago, and only needed the contracts finalised before this announcement.
Can we please stop this pathetic spinning?
Payne is praised by News Corp journalists for having ”hit the ground running” by announcing a decision actually made by her predecessor, Kevin Andrews.
But Andrews is attacked by News Corp journalists as ”disgruntled” for welcoming the decision he himself made:

Disgruntled former defence minister Kevin Andrews has taken to Twitter to claim credit for the Turnbull government’s major Defence announcement to equip the army with 1000 or more Australian-designed and built blast-proof armoured vehicles… 
“I read that the acquisitions of over 1000 new #Hawkei protected mobility vehicles for the @AustralianArmy will be announced today,” he writes.
“This is the culmination of years or work, capably led by @DeptDefence and the @AustralianArmy #auspol #Hawkei. 
“I was pleased to take the #Hawkei submission to the NSC (National Security Committee) some months back, at which point it was approved.”
Coincidentally, I am today reading the novel Fear, from Anatoly Rybakov’s brilliant Children of the Arbat trilogy on Stalin’s Russia, which deals in large part with how Stalin had functionaires such as NKVD boss Nikolai Yezhov removed from the planet - and history:

How dare this government ban an opponent of abortion

Andrew Bolt October 05 2015 (8:47am)

 It is unbelievable to see a Liberal government ban a man for simply expressing the opinion that abortion is murder.
Miranda Devine:
SO AUSTRALIA has become one of those countries that ban people whose views are not acceptable to the feminist establishment, and then locks them up. 
This is the stunningly illiberal position of the new Turnbull government which banned American anti-abortion campaigner Troy Newman from coming to Australia last week.
He arrived on Thursday, anyway, to begin a speaking tour to Right to Life groups around the country, and was promptly detained by Border Security officers at Melbourne airport before being transferred to Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre pending deportation.
Newman has no criminal record, is not a threat to national security or to good public order. 
He just has an opinion the “#ShoutYourAbortion” crowd don’t like. He believes abortion is murder.
A WANNABE glamour model had an abortion so she could get a nose job to achieve her dream of becoming a porn star. 
Dubbed Britain’s most shameless woman, 25-year-old Josie Cunningham terminated her pregnancy at 12 weeks after surgeons refused her cosmetic surgery while she was pregnant.
“I’m having this nose job no matter what gets in my way,” the single mum-of-three said. 
“Pregnancy was a major obstacle and an abortion was the answer to it — so that’s what I did...”
Cunningham will be free to tour Australia. Newman isn’t. 

The problem wasn’t Abbott or us. It’s Islam

Andrew Bolt October 05 2015 (8:42am)

IslamismMalcolm Turnbull

 LAST Friday morning — just before Curtis Cheng was murdered — Malcolm Turnbull revealed he would be more sensitive in tackling terrorism.
Gone would be “the blunt and often divisive language used by his predecessor Tony Abbott”, The Australian reported, clearly briefed by our new Prime Minister or his team.
Abbott’s rude talk had just “alienated many in the ­Islamic community”, and “Mr Turnbull will adopt a new, more inclusive tone”.
This was just what the media Left had claimed to want when it was looking for excuses to kick Abbott.
How those journalists had savaged Abbott for what they gleefully claimed was his politically motivated scaremongering about terrorism and his “inflammatory” and “divisive” language — language that actually seemed plain common sense.
How dare he alienate Muslims by asking them “to be part of Team Australia”?
How dare he suggest Muslim leaders did not condemn Islamist terrorism strongly enough, even saying that although Islam a religion was of peace, “I wish more Muslim leaders would say that more often and mean it”?
And how crass to keep referring to the headhacking Islamic State death cult as, er, a death cult?
See, phrases like “death cult” just upset Muslims, protested journalists and Labor.
And Turnbull whispered that, too, as he privately white-anted Abbott.
Sometimes Turnbull didn’t just whisper it, either. In July, he shouted it in a speech, warning people “over-estimate” the jihadist threat.
“It’s easy to sensationalise these scoundrels, these criminals, and we need … to be careful that we are not amplifying their own work, their significance,” he said loftily.

But he wasn’t talking about Abbott, he protested.
But he was, of course, which Friday’s news story now proves.
Well, let’s go back to Friday.
That afternoon, 15-year-old Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar went to his Parramatta mosque.
(Read full article here.) 

Witnesses to be grilled on strange donation to Shorten’s union

Andrew Bolt October 05 2015 (8:36am)

Labor leader Bill Shorten could soon be in even deeper strife:

Eight executives from construction giant Thiess John Holland have been called to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Union Corruption over a controversial mid 2000s deal with Bill Shorten… 
Other notable witnesses include Ted Lockyer whose company, Unibuilt, bankrolled Mr Shorten’s entry into parliament through an in-kind donation of a campaign manager, Lance Wilson…
The first two days of the AWU hearings starting 12 October will be on Thiess John Holland and likely focus on $300,000 in payments to the AWU as part of a deal over the $2.5 billion EastLink project.
In June, Fairfax Media revealed payments by Thiess John Holland to the AWU after a ground-breaking workplace agreement that cut standard industry conditions established by rival, the CFMEU, and delivered savings of as much as $100 million to the builder…
Mr Shorten was questioned in the royal commission in July about the payments with counsel assisting Jeremy Stoljar asked the opposition leader: “Do you say that you had discussions with Mr Sasse or, indeed, anyone else during those negotiations about a proposal pursuant to which an amount of $100,000 a year plus GST would be paid at any stage?” 
Mr Shorten told the commission he did not “particularly remember” such discussions, later refining his evidence to acknowledge he may have raised the idea of the AWU providing training “and the like”. 

Demonising Credlin creates a hazard for Turnbull’s new media man

Andrew Bolt October 05 2015 (8:20am)

Sharri Markson on Malcolm Turnbull’s new media advisor, who’s already tripped over one hazard caused by the Turnbull camp’s whiteanting:

Less than one week into the job and already Turnbull’s new media adviser, former Ten political reporter Matt Moran, has been counselled for giving an interviewwhich boasted of his new role. 
Excited about his new job, he reportedly called WAToday to give them an interview where he spoke about how amazing it was a “boy from Boya” in Western Australia could end up being press secretary to the PM.
“A few weeks ago I was standing outside Government House, doing a piece to camera on him becoming Prime Minister as he drove out the gates after being sworn in,” he said.
“Now it’s me driving inside those gates with him.”
The interview was ridiculed by his former colleagues in the press gallery with David Speers, Latika Bourke and Ten colleague Adam Todd among those tweeting about it. Some pointed out that media advisers were supposed to take a background role, particularly after Peta Credlin’s public profile caused consternation. 
Diary understands Moran did not request permission to do the interview and has been counselled that the role of staff is to promote the PM rather than themselves.
Turnbull’s team whipped up a hate campaign against Peta Credlin, exaggerating wildly her alleged desire for publicity. Now they must live by the absurd standards they set. 

The Abbott come-back

Andrew Bolt October 05 2015 (8:14am)

Rowan Dean dares to dream:
COULD Tony Abbott make a comeback? ... Abbott will never enjoy that sort of mass appeal, but as he fades from the headlines both the public and the media will re-evaluate his time in office. Seen from a less frenzied perspective, the many impressive achievements of his brief stint in power will stand in stark contrast to both his predecessors and, quite possibly, to the Turnbull Government. 
Respect for Abbott as a “doer” as opposed to a “waffler” is likely to grow.
If he stays in Parliament and carries out his duties as a backbencher with dignity and enthusiasm over the coming years, respect for him will grow dramatically…
Forget about Abbott doing a Rudd or Turnbull and scheming fiendishly behind the scenes to get his old job back – it’s not in his nature. No, if Abbott comes back to lead the Liberal Party it is because the Libs will be in Opposition and in dire need of a strong, unifying leader.
If – or rather when – the Turnbull “All things to all people” experiment fails, there will be a great deal of finger pointing, acrimony and confusion within the party. For a sugar hit in the polls, the Liberals will have sacrificed many of their key conservative values. Scott Morrison was Abbott’s heir apparent ... The coup did him no favours – he probably would have been Treasurer by Christmas anyway – and the economic summit, in which he “listened to” a motley crew of union hacks and do-gooders instructing him to tax our super, does not bode well. 
If Labor were to win convincingly in four or seven years’ time, the Liberal Party post-Turnbull will be a shambles in desperate need of someone capable of reuniting the liberal and conservative strands of the party. One thing is for sure: it won’t be Julie Bishop, Arthur Sinodinos or Wyatt Roy they turn to. However, sitting patiently, on the backbenches ...
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

From the But-If-It-Were-Abbott file

Andrew Bolt October 05 2015 (7:49am)

 Not mentioned in most media reports was the booing Malcolm Turnbull received at the NRL grand final. Had Tony Abbott received it, though, it would have been the excuse for another tsunami of thumb-suckers about his unpopularity.
News used to be defined as what some people don’t want you to know. Now news is what journalists want you to think.
Troy Bramston lays the praise of Turnbull on thick:

His approach is reminiscent of a philosopher king — a comparison Turnbull’s ego would no doubt embrace. Plato envisaged the ideal leader to be the philosopher king who would harness their intellect and wisdom to rule for the common good. 
Wow. What evidence is there for calling Turnbull a philosopher? What is his vision for Australia? What is his take on the world’s great cultural clashes? What is his view on how we should live? No doubt he has some ideas, being a smart man, but where has he expressed them in terms memorable or influential?
Sure, Turnbull can speak at length, but is this really the measure? Bramston continues, projecting rather than describing:

It has been a long time since Australia had a prime minister who could consistently speak in fully formed sentences, articulate a coherent narrative… 
Chris Kenny:
(T)he ABC’s current adoration for [Malcolm Turnbull] is no more or less representative of the wider electorate than was its froth-mouthed antipathy towards Tony Abbott… 
On the morning of his meeting with economic reform summiteers last week, [Turnbull] told RN Breakfast’s Fran Kelly that he wanted “open” and “thoughtful” discussion and debate — no more rule in/rule out scenarios and “gotcha” journalism. Kelly thought about that for a nanosecond before enthusing; “I agree with you, a rule in/rule out sort of game is really vacuous and not much use."…
The waging of heavy peace on Turnbull has not, however, diminished the attacks on Abbott. These wagings seem to go hand in hand. The former prime minister has been roundly condemned for daring not to go away, and for conducting interviews with — wait for it — supporters rather than enemies....
The ABC’s Barrie Cassidy has joined this Abbott pile-on with an article on The Drum suggesting ousted leader’s “self-indulgence” and “vindictiveness” was going to be an ongoing problem for the government ...
“Neither is Turnbull doing most of those long-form interviews,” wrote Cassidy of Turnbull’s three or four interviews so far, “with cringingly supportive mates who never test or genuinely inquire, but rather advocate for their own precious narrow causes.” 
Perhaps Cassidy can be forgiven for missing the Kelly chat on Radio National cited above. But he surely has exposed himself as someone who doesn’t care to watch political interviews on ABC TV’s flagship current affairs program 7.30. No one who saw the Leigh Sales interview recounted in this column last week could have written that Cassidy sentence. Just as Julia Gillard forced a dictionary revision as to what constituted misogyny, Sales could well force lexicographers to adjust the meaning of obsequious.
(Thanks to readers John, Peter of Bellevue Hill and Turtle of WA.) 

Just some enigmatic dude

Andrew Bolt October 05 2015 (7:32am)

Initial reports noted that a man wearing black robes and shouting religious slogans (in fact “Allah, Allah") had shot dead a police official in Parramatta. The ABC goes into its standard mode when reporting Islamist attacks:
Parramatta shootings. Fran Kelly, Insiders, ABC television, yesterday: 
It didn’t immediately take on a terrorist tinge, this story, the way it was reported and it got a bit lost in the whole grand final cycle, but it remains an enigma.
Not helped by reporting such as this. ABC News website, Friday:
The ABC understands the incident is not terror-related…
Fairfax’s Mark Kenny describes the gunman, also on Insiders:
This dude.
But it’s not just journalists and politicians who are reluctant to tell you the full truth about Islamist terrorism.
Sharri Markson:

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione was evasive to the point of misleading the media on basic facts relating to Friday afternoon’s shooting in Sydney’s Parramatta during his press conference that night. The media were trying to ascertain if the shoot-out, which killed police employee Curtis Cheng and the gunman, was an act of terror or a targeted crime. 
When asked by a reporter what the gunman was wearing after eyewitnesses described “robes,” Scipione said the man was wearing trousers and a flowing top.
When asked which team was taking the lead in the investigation, Scipione indicated it was being treated as a murder by homicide and downplayed the counter-terrorism squad. He also did not mention the age of the gunman, later revealed to be 15. Most misleadingly, when journalists asked if the police officer was deliberately targeted, Scipione said that he was. This opened the possibility that the murder was a revenge attack, rather than one motivated by ideology. 
Both Fairfax and The Australian were, therefore, cautious not to link the crime to radical Islam. You have to wonder how it is helpful to keep facts from the public.
What else are you not being told?


The Turnbull Government dodges the problem with Islam

Andrew Bolt October 05 2015 (6:22am)

The Turnbull Government is evading the real issues behind the latest Islamist killing in Sydney. In fact, its response could make things worse.
For instance, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop deliberately mischaracterises the incident to strip it of an Islamic character:

When a 15-year-old boy can be so radicalised that he can carry out a politically motivated killing or an act of terrorism, then it’s a time for the whole nation to take stock. 
No, this was a religiously motivated killing by a Muslim shouting “Allah” - a believer in a faith which denies any separation between faith and politics.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull minimises the problem:
We must not vilify or blame the entire Muslim community for the actions of what is, in truth, a very, very small percentage of violent extremist individuals.
But it’s not so very, very small at all, as I note in my column. And in this case, there’s again a network of influence that’s not so very, very small:

The 15-year-old who shot dead a police employee in Sydney is believed to have been radicalised through worshippers he met at one of the city’s mainstream mosques… 
Farhad Khalil ­Mohammad Jabar would regularly skip school to pray at the Parramatta Mosque… Jabar had been seen there before his attack, only hours after imams leading the day’s service included one associated with the controversial political group Hizb-ut-Tahrir.

Several other teenage worshippers at the mosque are believed by authorities to privately support Islamic State… While these views are not endorsed by the mosque’s administration, several of its worshippers have also come to the attention of police involved in counter-terrorism operations in recent years… The group released an internet video in June apparently showing two of its fighters assassinating uniformed officials using an unprovoked pistol shot to the head — the same technique used by Jabar… 
While Jabar had not previously come to the attention of police, it is understood a close family relation had contact with another Sydney man who has been charged with recruiting others to travel to fight in Syria. Jabar’s sister is also being investigated after leaving Australia for Turkey a day before the shooting, with police considering the possibility she may have since travelled on to Syria or Iraq.
And if the proportion of Islamist radicals were really so “very, very small” this would not be needed:
VICTORIAN police have been instructed to be extra vigilant about security in the wake of Sydney’s police station killing. The police union wants long-awaited security measures at stations fast-tracked to prevent a similar incident — saying the risk to officers has never been greater.
Turnbull suggests that no one is more appalled by the killing than Muslims:
The Australian Muslim community will be especially appalled and shocked by this...
Yet note how few Muslim leaders have spoken out publicly about it. Nothing from the Grand Mufti, so quick to publicly damn Tony Abbott. Nothing from the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils. Nothing from leading Islamic clerics, other than someone from the Parramatta mosque, where the boy worshipped. The most vocal person is, once again, Jamal Rifi, who is a doctor, not an imam, and is the media’s go-to guy.
The only other prominent Muslim figure to speak is Keysar Trad, making claims for Islam which to most people seem patently false and contradicted by so much Islamist terrorism:

My message is always very, very clear – that our religion promotes friendship and love and goodwill
Rifi notes a difference between the approaches of Turnbull and Abbott in the phone hookup yesterday with Muslim community leaders - a difference implying Australia must change, not Islam:
They listened to us.
But is this really an issue where Australian politicians must hear the demands of Muslim leaders - or the other way around?

Muslim representatives and journalists have also praised Turnbull for using more inclusive and less “divisive” language than did Abbott, yet even now the language used is being criticised by some Muslim organisations:
But there was disquiet, too, among many Muslims about the language of terrorism that had followed Friday’s tragic events… Bilal Rauf, a barrister and member of the Muslim Legal Network, said...:"It has the effect of polarising."… It was “unfortunate” the NSW Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, and the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, had used terms like “terrorism” and “radicalised” before all the facts were in, he said.
A Muslim academic still suggest it’s our language, not her faith, that’s the problem:
Curtin University associate professor Anne Aly, an expert in counter-terrorism, says the 15-year-olds of today were born at the time of the 9/11 terror attacks and have grown up with the rhetoric of the “war on terror”.
There is a dangerous reluctance here to discuss what is clearly a key factor in this murder – and in so many other terrorist attacks and plots in Australia.  Yes, Islam.
Instead, the conversation is too quickly steered to problems not with Islam but Australia.
For instance, the Turnbull Government claims young Muslim extremists are “disenfranchised”, but  Henry Ergas says that is not the real problem at all:

According to senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs in the Turnbull government, the young Muslims who are being drawn into the extremism that led Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammad to murder a NSW Police Force employee last Friday feel “disengaged” and “disenfranchised”. 
No doubt. But it is also worth recalling the realities. And none is more important than the fact that Australia provides its young Muslims with opportunities that are outstanding…
[I]n Australia, secondary school retention rates are no lower for second-generation Muslims than they are for the youth population as a whole…
The achievement is even more remarkable when outcomes for second-generation Australian Muslims are compared with those of their parents. For example, a study of Sydney’s Lebanese Muslim community found that 45 per cent of the parents had left school before the equivalent of Year 10; in contrast, virtually all their children had completed upper secondary school, with the majority continuing to TAFE or university. Moreover, ... while barely 3 per cent of the parents were in the professions, some 20 per cent of their children have professional jobs.
To emphasise those outcomes is not to ignore the problems. However, at least some of them reflect choice rather than necessity: the combination of very low rates of female labour force participation and relatively high birthrates — which then leads to strains on family budgets and welfare dependency — being a case in point. As for the other problems polls highlight, such as the perception of being in a job that falls short of one’s qualifications, they are by no means unique to young Muslims…
What is different about young Muslims is where those problems lead: to a sense of being hard done by, which others are responsible for and must redress.
For example, only 13 per cent of Australian-born Lebanese Christians strongly believe governments need to do more to advance the position of migrants; but 54 per cent of Australian-born Lebanese Muslims do…
It is that chasm between opportunity and grievance which needs to be explained; but its causes are not hard to find.
To begin with, young Australian Muslims, especially those of Middle Eastern extraction, are twice as likely as their Australian peers to have an identity in which religion plays a key part — and that religion, as practised in many Australian mosques, all too often preaches that Muslims are victims of grave injustice.
At the same time, they are highly likely to live in areas where a 30 per cent or higher proportion of the population shares their identity… The result is an echo chamber that does not merely confirm misperceptions but magnifies them, allowing dissatisfaction to meta­stasise, in extreme cases, into jihadism…
There are, in that respect, lessons to be learned from Malek Boutih, a French politician of Algerian extraction who prepared the official report on last January’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
Boutih finds no evidence that radicalisation was related to disadvantage: rather, many French jihadists come from well-off backgrounds.
And he has long argued that the policy of promoting community-based Islamic organisations has proved counterproductive, legitimising the perception that French society is structured on religious lines and strengthening young Muslims’ sense of segregation and victimhood. 
The consequence of “communitarianism”, Boutih contends, has been to make radicalisation more, rather than less, likely.
Yet that is exactly the route the government is taking, blaming Tony Abbott’s “divisive” rhetoric, talking about “disenfranchised” youth, negotiating with Muslim leaders and avoiding any criticism of Islam, and any debate of its role in a multi-faith, secular democracy. 

Burqa ban bunfight covers up real issue

Miranda Devine – Saturday, October 04, 2014 (10:40pm)

THE ban the burqa barney is ­barmy. All it’s done is to give hashtag feminists another way to showcase their superior morality and added fuel to the fake ­Islamophobia narrative.
To be honest, I find the burqa confronting. You can’t see the woman’s face. If she leaves the house she walks around inside a portable prison, with a small ­crocheted grille over her eyes.
The niqab is slightly less oppressive, with a slit for the eyes. The clothing is a visual reminder that radical Islam regards women as deficient, weak-minded chattels. 

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Islamic State keeps expanding. Our war isn’t working

Andrew Bolt October 05 2014 (2:02pm)

When the US claims to lead an international coalition comprising British, Canadian, Australian, European and Arab states against the Islamic State, you’d expect results better than this:
Islamic State militants have taken control of key cities in Iraq’s western province of Anbar and have begun to besiege one of the country’s largest military bases in a weeklong offensive that’s brought them within artillery range of Baghdad. 
The Islamic State and its tribal allies have dominated Anbar since a surprise offensive last December, but this week’s push was particularly worrisome, because for the first time this year Islamist insurgents were reported to have become a major presence in Abu Ghraib, the last Anbar town on the outskirts of the capital. A diplomat in Irbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region, said an Islamic State presence in Abu Ghraib would put Baghdad International Airport within artillery range of the militants.
In Iraq:
Islamic State fighters stormed a town in Iraq’s western Anbar province on Saturday, its latest conquest in the desert region where it has chalked up a string of victories, a military official and people fleeing the scene said. 
Islamic State seized the town of Kubaisa two days after the fall of the nearby town of Hit as the group sought to consolidate control in towns west of Anbar’s capital Ramadi.
In Syria:
Kurdish fighters supported by US-led air strikes held back jihadists attacking a Syrian border town Saturday, following an international outcry at the murder of a British hostage by the Islamic State group… 
Fighting raged Saturday as IS militants attempted to seize a strategic hilltop that would give them access to the town, activists said.
You can’t win wars from the air alone. This conflict is showing not the strength of Obama’s US but the weakness. 

Fairfax suffers another bout of Murdoch Derangement Syndrome - and anti-capitalist hype

Andrew Bolt October 05 2014 (10:30am)

Terry McCrann:
A NEWSPAPER which had any sense of its integrity would have published a public withdrawal of and apology for running a story that was so completely false and viciously defamatory as the one on purported company tax avoidance last Monday, splashed across the front pages of the Fairfax Media duo, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. 
This needed to be an apology directed at both the companies which the Age and the Herald, collectively and individually and without the slightest shred of substantive evidence, falsely accused of massive and sustained tax avoidance; and to their readers for feeding them such provocative and simply untrue nonsense…
Anyone who had even the vaguest understanding of tax should have instantly realised the story and the so-called report on which it was based, were quite simply complete and utter rubbish…
(T)he report from the union United Voice and the collective of odds and sods, the so-called Tax Justice Network, purported to analyse the effective tax rates of the top 200 companies listed on the ASX over the last ten years, as against the 30 per cent company tax rate.
It purported to find that the average effective tax rate (ETR) of the 200 companies over the ten years was just 23 per cent. It then concluded that the failure to pay 30 per cent had cost tax revenue of an average $8.4 billion a year or a staggering $84 billion in total.
The report — and the guileless Age and Herald — listed the key ways big companies could avoid tax: by routing income through tax havens, by ‘transfer pricing’ with overseas affiliates, and by loading up the local company with debt to get a tax deduction.
So did they then specifically identify the use of these techniques by any — all — of the 200? Not a bit of it; all the report did was add up the reported pre-tax profits and tax provisions of the 200 over the last ten years, divide the second by the first, and out popped that 23 per cent ETR. And the conclusion of massive tax avoidance…
Astonishingly, the report claims and the Age/Herald breathlessly retailed that News Corp (now 21st Century Fox) underpaid an extraordinary $16 billion of tax in total over the ten years — fully 20 per cent of the tax purportedly avoided by the entire 200!.
Even more astonishingly, the report just made that figure up. The annual reports of News Corp show that it recorded a total profit of $US36 billion over the ten years and provided $US8.3 billion in tax. That’s an effective tax rate of 23 per cent, somewhat higher than the claimed 1 per cent. 
The authors and the Age/Herald seem unaware that News Corp was a US company over the entire ten years; that something like 90 per cent of its business and quite normal profits — and so any tax payments — were in the US. So even if that completely fictitious figure of $1.6 billion a year was tax really lost, it would have been tax lost to the US internal Revenue Service and not to the ATO, as both the report and they claimed. 

Panetta: Obama weakened US credibility, abandoned Iraq

Andrew Bolt October 05 2014 (10:25am)

Barack Obama’s former Defence Secretary agrees - the president has been a weak leader:
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is criticizing President Obama for leaning toward, then deciding against military action against Syria for its use of chemical weapons.
“By failing to respond, it sent the wrong message to the world,” Panetta says in his new book…
In August 2012, Obama said the U.S. would reconsider its opposition to military involvement in the Syrian civil war if President Bashar Assad deployed or used chemical or biological weapons. “That’s a red line for us,” the president said....
But even after Assad used chemical weapons, killing hundreds of Syrian civilians, Obama planned a Rose Garden address in which it was widely expected to announce airstrikes against Assad, Obama instead said he would consult with Congress.
“President Obama vacillated, first indicating that he was prepared to order some strikes, then retreating and agreeing to submit the matter to Congress,” according to an early copy of the book purchased by The Associated Press. “The latter was, as he well knew, an almost certain way to scotch any action. By mid-2013, a majority of Congress could not agree on what day of the week it was, much less a resolution authorizing the use of American force in the Middle East.
“The result, I felt, was a blow to American credibility. When the president as commander in chief draws a red line, it is critical that he act if the line is crossed. ... Assad’s action clearly defied President Obama’s warning.”
Panetta’s book, titled “Worthy Fights,” is scheduled for release next week…
On Iraq, Panetta chided Obama for not keeping a residual U.S. force behind, which he said could have helped provide training and security to Iraqi security forces and blunt the Islamic State group’s recent takeover of parts of northern and western Iraq.
“My fear, as I voiced to the president and others, was that if the country split apart or slid back into the violence that we’d seen in the years immediately following the U.S. invasion, it could become a new haven for terrorists to plot attacks against the U.S.”
(Thanks to reader brett t.r.) 

Fairfax’s vileness exposes Gillard’s self-pity

Andrew Bolt October 05 2014 (10:16am)

Mark Latham on Julia Gillard’s whingeing about sexist abuse:
Gillard ... writes of how: “even if you are the single most powerful person in your country, if you are a woman, the images that are shadowed around you are of sex and rape.”
John Birmingham, Sydney Morning Herald: 
Tony Abbott ... a middle-aged white man who seems to revel in confronting a captive nation with his favoured form of weekend attire; tiny red porno trunks that serve only to draw the unwilling eye directly to the most horrifying aspect of this hairy, dripping wet horror when it is thrust prominently and repeatedly into our slack and traumatised faces.
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill is right:
There is no question the fringes of the blogosphere and the gutters of social media published vile depictions of PM Gillard - just as they publish vile depictions of PM Abbott. 
But I doubt PM Gillard would ever have opened the pages of a major Australian newspaper and read anything like what Fairfax published from Birmingham about PM Abbott.
More on this in tomorrow’s column. 

Defenders of evil

Andrew Bolt October 05 2014 (10:12am)


Abbott wins from war, but needs votes from peace

Andrew Bolt October 05 2014 (10:04am)

The Abbott Government will still need to find a domestic agenda which appeals  as much as does its foreign agenda: 
An exclusive Galaxy poll commissioned by The Sunday Telegraph has found that a clear majority — 62 per cent — of voters support Australia’s decision to commence air strikes in Iraq against “death cult’’ Islamic State.
But an even higher number — 75 per cent — believe the threat of a terrorism attack on Australian soil is real…
According to the Galaxy poll, support for the Coalition has also jumped for the third successive survey since the May budget with the primary vote increasing by three points to 42 per cent… Labor Party is still leading on a two party preferred basis of 51 per cent to the Abbott Government’s 49 per cent. But the gap has diminished since an angry backlash to the tough May budget. 
Support for the Greens has also jumped from 8 per cent in last year’s federal election to 12 per cent.Clive Palmer’s PUP party has taken a beating however, slumping from 8 per cent in May to 4 per cent in the latest Galaxy poll.
Labor should be scared at being propped up by a Greens vote that seems brittle.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Shead meets Dante in Australia

Andrew Bolt October 05 2014 (9:06am)

In a new exhibition Gary Shead tackles one of the greatest works in literature, Dante’s Divine Comedy:
Strange, but Hell doesn’t seem half so awful when it’s in Australia. In contrast, Dore’s famous version:
William Blake:
And I note Shead avoids - perhaps wisely - doing what Dante dared, peopling his rings of hell with near contemporaries, named and eternally shamed.
The start of Clive James’ new translation:
At the mid-point of the path through life, I found 
Myself lost in a wood so dark, the way
Ahead was blotted out. The keening sound
I still make shows how hard it is to say
How harsh and bitter that place felt to me—
Merely to think of it renews the fear—
So bad that death by only a degree
Could possibly be worse. As you shall hear,
It led to good things too, eventually,
But there and then I saw no sign of those,
And can’t say even now how I had come
To be there, stunned and following my nose
Away from the straight path. And then, still numb
From pressure on the heart, still in a daze,
I stumbled on the threshold of a hill
Where trees no longer grew. Lifting my gaze,
I saw its shoulders edged with overspill
From our sure guide, the sun, whose soothing rays
At least a little melted what that night
Of dread had done to harden my heart’s lake—
And like someone who crawls, half dead with fright,
Out of the sea, and breathes, and turns to take
A long look at the water, so my soul,
Still thinking of escape from the dark wood
I had escaped, looked back to see it whole,
The force field no one ever has withstood
And stayed alive. I rested for a while,
And then resumed, along the empty slope,
My journey, in the standard crofter’s style,
Weight on the lower foot. Harder to cope
When things got steeper, and a mountain cat
With parti-coloured pelt, light on its feet,
In a trice was in my face and stayed like that, 
Barring my way, encouraging retreat. 

Putting trash on a pedestal

Andrew Bolt October 05 2014 (8:24am)

Let’s make being a mobster’s moll seem glamorous! A short-cut to fame! Who could possibly object?
The wives, girlfriends and lovers of Australia’s criminal underworld are set to become the subject of a new reality TV show based on the hit US series, Mob Wives.
It says something that even some mobsters’ partners have more taste than the TV execs:
The show, likely to be called Mob Wives Australia, is understood to have the backing of influential US film and TV studio the Weinstein Company, which controls the rights to the US franchise.... 
Danielle McGuire, who was involved with murdered Carlton Crew member Alphonse Gangitano, and has been involved with Tony Mokbel and former Bandidos sergeant-at-arms Toby Mitchell, denied she had been approached about the show. “There’s no way I’d do anything like that,” she said.  
=== Posts from last year ===

Dutch firm terminates Jerusalem sewage plant project

Royal HaskoningDHV, a Netherlands-based firm, recently announced it was pulling out of a sewage treatment project in Eastern Jerusalem. The company, which also has offices in the UK and US, released a statement noting that the project would no longer move beyond its planning stage. In an official press release, the firm pointed out that it had a high regard for "integrity" and "compliance with international laws and regulations." It added that "in the course of the project, and after due consultation with various stakeholders, the company came to understand that future involvement in the project could be in violation of international law. This has led to the decision of Royal HaskoningDHV to terminate its involvement in the project." Anti-Israel organizations, along with the Dutch government, reportedly pressured Royal HaskoningDHV to make this decision. The company has 8,000 employees.
Sadly, Dutch leftism gets past the dyke - ed

Barack Obama is sacrificing Israel on the altar of the deal he wishes to broker with Iran.
The Jewish State should unilaterally act against the Iranian nuclear program, as Prime MInisterNetanyahu warned in his speech at the United Nations on Tuesday, October 1, but it is currently more probable that Ayatollah Khamenei will arm himself with nuclear bombs.
Because Obama's damage to Israel's deterrence has already been immense.
Under the possible deal with Washington, Teheran will preserve the 20 per cent level of uranium enrichment that will turn Iran into a "nuclear threshold state".
Obama will accept that. Obama's record against Israeli Jews is long and abundant. He is the most anti-Semitic US president ever.
The Obama Administrations fomented a war on Jerusalem and treated Israel like a banana republic. Israeli-American relations are the worst they have been in memory.


J Street has gone over to the dark side. It claims to be "a pro-Israel, pro peace lobby." It has now become neither. Its Executive Director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, has joined the off key chorus of those who falsely claim that Israel, by refusing to make peace with the Palestinians, is placing the lives of American soldiers at risk.
This claim was first attributed to Vice President Joe Biden and to General David Petraeus. It was quickly denied by them but continued to have a life of its own in the anti-Israel media. It was picked up by Steven Walt and John Mearsheimer, Pat Buchanan and others on the hard right and hard left who share a common disdain for the Jewish state. It is the most dangerous argument ever put forward by Israel bashers. It is also totally false.
It is dangerous for two reasons. First, it seeks to reduce support for Israel among Americans who, quite understandably and correctly, care deeply about American soldiers being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel has always understood this and that's why it is one of the few American allies who has never asked the United States to put its troops in harm's way in defense of Israeli citizens. If Americans were to believe the falsehood that Israel were to blame for American deaths caused by Islamic extremists in Iraq and Afghanistan, support for the Jewish state would suffer considerably.
It is also dangerous because its implication is that Israel must cease to exist: the basic complaint that Muslim extremists have against Israel is not what the Jewish state does, but what it is: a secular, non-Muslim, democracy that promotes equal rights for women, gays, Christians and others. Regardless of what Israel does or doesn't do, its very existence will be anathema to Muslim extremists. So if Israel's actions were in fact a cause of American deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan--which they are not--then the only logical solution would be Israel's disappearance. This might be acceptable to the Walts, Mearsheimers and Buchanans of the world, but it is surely not acceptable to Israel or anyone who claims to be pro-Israel.

The benefits from Google's acquisition of Waze aren't just going to Waze's shareholders. Or rather, Waze's shareholders may include some people you didn't expect. Through a charity that asks early-stage companies to contribute shares, many of Israel's poor will benefit from the Waze acquisition
Waze contributed options to Tmura, an Israeli public service venture that receives grants of stock from companies and uses the proceeds from successful “exits” – a public offering, acquisition or sale of shares on the market – to fund charities for education and youth-related causes in Israel. In 2011, Tmura cashed out of its Waze options to the tune of $1.385 million.
“We are excited by this opportunity to make a real difference in the community,” said Waze CEO Noam Bardin. “Tmura’s model enabled us to involve Waze employees in the allocation process and this has truly been an inspiring experience for the entire company.”
Amos Gaver, chairman of Tmura’s Grants Committee, was equally as ecstatic. “Non-profits are continually faced with fundraising challenges, making it difficult to plan from year to year,” he said. “With these grants, we hope to alleviate at least some of this burden and help these organizations with their planning for the coming years.”
Tmura says that it will allocate the money to five separate charities chosen in cooperation with Waze. They are:Chinuch L’Psagot, Israeli Rett Syndrome Foundation,Knafayim Shel KremboTel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center, and Tzeva.
 Maybe they should have held on longer.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday said his nation is ready to discuss "details" about its disputed uranium enrichment program in upcoming talks with six major governments, the Associated Press reported.
Tehran has insisted it is only refining uranium for peaceful purposes, but it has not successfully made its case to the five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany. Israel, the United States and other nations suspect the Persian Gulf power is secretly pursuing a nuclear-arms capacity.
Rouhani said his government has prepared a "precise plan" to discuss with the six negotiating powers at their next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 15-16 in Geneva.
He stated: "Iran’s enrichment right is not negotiable but we must enter into talks to see what would the other side proposes to us about the details."
Iran intends "to keep doors of our nuclear facilities open to IAEA inspection," Rouhani added. "We have nothing to hide. Our record is clean and our hands are open."
He played down Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Tuesday admonishments to the U.N. General Assembly on Iran's recent diplomatic outreach.
The Iranian president said "such remarks show that we are moving in the right direction."
“When Israel sees that its sword doesn’t work and that wisdom has prevailed in the world and that the Iranian people’s message of peace is heard ... they definitely get angry,” he said.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday said Netanyahu did not appear to be "suggesting that we are being played somehow for suckers."
"I understood it to be a warning, don’t be played," he told reporters in Tokyo.

Popular American craft store chain, Hobby Lobby, is refusing to sell Hanukkah-related items, leading to an internet campaign against it and calls for boycott, according to The Times of Israel.
Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma-based chain of over 500 stores that, according to its website, operates “in a manner consistent with biblical principles,” is privately owned by Evangelical Christian businessman David Green.
Last week, blogger Ken Berwitz posted that neighbors were reporting that a New Jersey branch of Hobby Lobby didn’t have any Hanukkah or Jewish-themed merchandise for sale. He said workers asked about the omission replied, “We don’t cater to you people,” meaning Jews, and that including Jewish items would be against the values of the chain’s Christian owner.
Following the blog post, a groundswell on online outrage has broken out, including a substantial call to boycott the chain. The story has been picked up by a number of news agencies, including the Daily Kos, who reported on Monday that Hobby Lobby was monitoring its Facebook page to remove any posts about the issue.
A local news site reported Monday that a Hobby Lobby representative wrote to the mayor of Marlboro, New Jersey, where the store in question is located, and said that ”alleged comments made by employees are currently being investigated and will be addressed accordingly. These comments are in no way indicative of Hobby Lobby culture, the owners and the operators.”

00 stores that, according to its website, operates “in a manner consistent with biblical principles,” is privately owned by Evangelical Christian businessman David Green.> I won't buy from them - ed

IF Bill Shorten's pitch for the leadership is any guide, the Labor Party hasn't learned any lessons from the federal election.
Recently the "Bill for Labor" campaign released its "Party. Policy. People" manifesto outlining Shorten's case for the worst job in politics.
Mixed among endorsements for his candidacy, Shorten flagged consideration of "quotas for sections of our community that are under-represented in our parliaments, including indigenous Australians and the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) community".
Progressive ideas may play well in far-left political circles, but they're completely disconnected from the attitudes of average Australians who identify as individuals, not with group identities.
Progressivism isn't about progress. Progressivism is designed to completely reorient the structures of our society.
Liberal democracy is built on the principle of the dignity of the individual and that society is governed from the citizen up.
Progressivism seeks to achieve equitable outcomes imposed on individuals from the government down.
In that spirit, Shorten's proposal aims to extend to minority identities the 40 per cent quota to preselect women candidates in "winnable" seats.
It is reminiscent of a fad that used to be prevalent in early 2000s far-left university politics.
At events run by the kaleidoscope of left-wing student political factions, "progressive speaking lists" were adopted during discussions to decide the order that participants got to speak.
At any normal function, the speaking order is based on the order that a participant gets to the microphone or puts their hand up. A progressive speaking list sought to correct any racist, sexist, hetero-normative or any other form of established "ists" and "isms" that ensured minority groups weren't being heard.
In place of a first-come, first-served speaking order, progressive speaking lists applied equity rankings to speakers based on their group identity, so marginalised groups were prioritised depending on the extent of the victimisation.
Women got to speak before men; gay men before straight men; but because gay men still benefited from patriarchy, straight and lesbian women spoke before them.
It didn't end there. Australians who identified as indigenous got to speak before any other ethnic identity and, with the September 11 terrorist attacks being a recent memory, Muslims followed as a recently marginalised group.
But if your ethnic background was Asian, you were essentially classified as white because you'd been sufficiently assimilated and no longer suffered sufficient victimisation.
- See more at:

The first warships have made their way into Sydney Harbour for the International Fleet Review as hundreds of keen ship gazers gather around the foreshore.
PLAN Qingdao from China, Singapore's RSS Endeavour and the Royal Malaysian Navy's KD Jebat will enter the harbour by 8am this morning under grey but clearing skies.
Twenty warships from international navies including France, Spain and India will enter Sydney Harbour between 6am and 4pm (AEST).
Today's arrivals will be greeted with more favourable conditions than the gusty rain that accompanied 17 tall ships on Thursday.
Sydney Harbour is a buzz of activity with Maritime Police patrolling the waters, jet skis skirting through towering ships and ferries negotiating their way to Circular Quay.
Crowds have already started to gather along the harbour and at Circular Quay, where many are expected to jump on cruises for a closer look at the international fleet.
The Navy Helicopter Display Team and RAAF Roulettes will put on a show over the harbour between 9.45am and 10.15am and a contingent of Royal Australian Navy ships, including HMAS Sydney, Darwin, Bundaberg and Perth, will perform a 21 gun salute adjacent to Bradley's Head at 10am.
The RAN and visiting military band will perform at the Opera House Forecourt, Martin Place, Darling Harbour and Maritime Museum throughout the day.
But Saturday will be the main event with more than 60 aircraft, 10 military bands, 8000 sailors and a huge fireworks display, as well as an appearance by Prince Harry.
Extra buses will run throughout the day on Friday and spectators are urged to leave their cars at home.
The Transport Management Centre says ferries are expected to be delayed as warships arrive and travellers should allow extra travel time.
Special event clearways will be in place in the city and along the northern and southern sides of the harbour from 6am until 8pm.
The review commemorates the arrival of the Royal Australian Navy fleet in Sydney for the first time 100 years ago, in October 1913.
The International Fleet Review is expected to draw 1.4 million people to the city.


MOTHER of eight children was on Thursday found guilty of killing her four-year-old son whose starved body was found in a mummified state in a cot.
Amanda Hutton, a 43-year-old alcoholic, showed no emotion as she was convicted of manslaughter by a jury at Bradford Crown Court in northern England.
The court heard that her son Hamzah's decomposed and insect-infested body was found in Hutton's bedroom almost two years after he died in December 2009.
Photographs of the house showed a scene of squalor, with clothes and waste piled up in many rooms.
The foreman of the jury made clear that they had convicted her on the basis that she was grossly negligent by failing to provide adequate nourishment for Hamzah.
Hutton will be sentenced today.
The jury heard that Hamzah's body was found in the house, where five other school-aged siblings were living.
Hutton has admitted a charge of child cruelty in respect of each of these children, who were aged between five and 13 in 2011.

Drunks don't make good parents - ed

THE wife of a New York man savagely beaten by bikers has lashed out at the attackers, calling them "a mob of reckless and violent motorcyclists."
The New York Post reports that Rosalyn Ng, wife of Alexian Lien, believes her husband and their 2-year-old child were "placed in grave danger" while out celebrating their anniversary on Sunday afternoon.
"Our plan last Sunday was to celebrate our wedding anniversary by having a nice family day out with our 2-year-old daughter," Ms Ng’s said in a statement released through the family’s lawyers.
"Unfortunately, instead, we were placed in grave danger by a mob of reckless and violent motorcyclists."
Her hubby, she said, "was forced under the circumstances to take the actions that he did in order to protect the lives of our entire family" and should not be blamed for running over and injuring one of the bikers.
"We know in our hearts that we could not have done anything differently," Ms Ng said.
"Our fear for our lives was confirmed when the incident ended with the ruthless and brutal attack on my husband, me, and, most importantly, our 2-year-old child."

The idiot bikers were lucky their victims weren't armed - ed

FORMER Channel 10 MasterChef contestant Jay Huxley has brought his cooking skills and knowledge to Canley Vale as the new chef and operator of Hux Bistro at Richards on the Park.
Mr Huxley, who grew up in Western Sydney, came 15th in the 2011 season.
"It was pretty intense because you lived, breathed and did everything related to food for 24 hours a day," he said of being in the competition.
"What I got from it was a confirmation that being a cook was what I wanted to do as a career.
"I've always had a passion for cooking and once you have an interest in something you build on your skills.
"Eating is something you have to do every day so it's a good interest to have because you're going to utilise it every day.
"It's a pleasure making a meal and people enjoying it is a satisfying thing."
Mr Huxley, 34, enjoys working in Cabramatta.
"One of the first things I'll do before starting work is duck across the road for the pho or to the bakery for a pork roll," he said.
"It's great that those foods are so readily available to us."
Hux Bistro, opened a few weeks ago, serves quality pub food.
Mr Huxley said his aim was to source and showcase the best Australian ingredients he could get his hands on.
"I source all the meats for the restaurant as well as the vegetables," he said.
"More than 95 per cent of our ingredients are sourced in NSW.
Guess how many people have enrolled in Louisiana’s largest Obamacare plan? ==>

Predicating Israel’s “Survival” On the Establishment Of A PA (Terror) State: Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s Bludgeon…Commentary By Adina Kutnicki

DESPITE all the wild fires consuming the Mid East, Barack HUSSEIN Obama hasn’t paused a beat in his laser-focused charge to “rearrange” the Mid East. And those who still insist that his missteps are happenstance are whistling past countless graveyards to stand by their assertions. They too will bear the onus as willing accomplices, even if only by their silent assent. As is said, “to be silent is to agree.”
IN the midst of the above ravages, along comes the heretofore leader of the free world warning the world body: 
Yet, this site is ahead of the curve in citing the Islamist-in-Chief as an ultimate weapon of destruction towards the Jewish State, so much so that too many commentaries prove said charge.


Pope Francis has praised Jews for keeping their faith despite the Holocaust and other “terrible trials” throughout history, and reaffirmed Judaism as the “holy root” of Christianity.
In a letter, published on the front page of La Repubblica Italian newspaper, the Pope writes that "since Vatican Council II, we have rediscovered that the Jewish people are still for us the holy root from which Jesus germinated".
As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio had celebrated Rosh Hashana in local synagogues, he had voiced solidarity with Jewish victims of Iranian terrorism and co-written a book with a rabbi, Avraham Skorka. He attended a commemoration of Kristallnacht, the wave of Nazi attacks against Jews in November 1938.
But as this new letter shows, one of the grave dangers in the Vatican's dialogue with Judaism is the Church's attempt to drive a wedge between the “good” and docile Jews of the Diaspora and the “bad” and arrogant Jews of Israel.
Pope Francis has never addressed the Israelis in his messages, nor has he openly defended the Jewish State since he was elected by the college of the cardinals. It seems that there is no room for stubborn, faithful Zionists in the Pope's lenient smile. In his speeches, Jewish national aspirations are ignored, if not denigrated.
The definitive proof is in Washington.

Is CNN Conducting PR Campaign for the Iranian Regime?

Is CNN actively engaged in PR on behalf of Iran? Is the global media outlet involved in a campaign to launder the Iranian regime's history of anti-Semitic rhetoric and actions?
First, CNN's Christiane Amanpour mistranslated the comments of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to imply that he, unlike his Holocaust-denying predecessor, publicly acknowledged and condemned the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews.
And more recently, a CNN report by Reza Sayah presented a utopian portrait of a tolerant and benevolent Islamic Iranian regime whose Jewish citizens enjoy the same religious freedoms as those living in the Jewish state of Israel. “Sure, it may seem like we're in Israel,” Sayah says, “but in fact we're in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
The report, which seemed more like a promotional advertisement for Jewish life in Iran than a news investigation. omitted all controversial and unpleasant historical facts regarding the treatment of Iran's Jews since the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution. For example, there is no mention of the 1999 arrest of 13 Iranian Jews in Shiraz on charges of spying for the "Zionist regime." There is no hint of the fact that more than 17 Jews were executed since the Revolution, mostly on charges of spying for Israel and the U.S., including Jewish community leader Habib Elghanaian in 1979, and businessman Ruhollah Kadkhodah-Zadeh, hung in 1998 for allegedly helping other Iranian Jews emigrate to Israel.  There is no mention of the previous Iranian president's Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic rhetoric. There is no attempt to look beyond the rosy picture of Islamic tolerance that is presented and no effort made to provide viewers with a fuller picture of the Islamic regime's attitude toward Jews over the past 35 years.
Sayah not only ignores the hostile rhetoric and actions of the Iranian regime over the years, but downplays even its enmity toward the Jewish state, referring merely to “bitter rivalry” between the two states. The reporter interviews Siamak Morasedgh, Iran's only Jewish parliamentarian, who, as it happens, was part of President Rouhani's delegation to New York and who has been on the media circuit condemning Israel and Zionism and trying to persuade the West that the Islamic Republic is exceptionally tolerant toward Jews.  The CNN reporter helps him along throughout the video, posing simplistic questions but making no attempt to probe beneath the surface. Under authoritarian regimes like Iran, there can only be one correct response to the type of questions asked by the reporter, and the Jewish parliamentarian responds dutifully:
Sayah: “Are you happy in Iran?”
Morasedgh: Of course we are happy in Iran.
Sayah “Are you under any pressure to stay in Iran?”
Morasedgh: “There is no pressure…”
Sayah “Would you prefer to live anywhere else other than Iran?”
Morasedgh: “I only prefer to live in Iran.”
Later, Morasedgh is called upon again to reject allegations of Iranian anti-Semitism and to condemn Israel and Zionism. He goes so far as to assert that “in the history of Iran, you cannot find even one time that there was any organized anti-Semitic phenomenon.” In a voiceover, the reporter declares:
Morasedgh says that what Iran opposes is the Israeli government's Zionist policies and occupation of Palestinian land.
One might well wonder whether Jewish leaders under an authoritarian regime, especially one that serves in Iran's parliament, might feel compelled to praise Iran's leaders and publicly condemn Israel and Zionism.
Indeed, other journalists have displayed skepticism about the statements of Iran's Jewish leaders. For example, Iranian-American journalist Karmel Melamed, who reported earlier this year on an increasing trend in the murders of Jews in Iran  has frequently written about how Iran's Jewish community leaders are used as part of the regime's propaganda campaign. (See here and here.) 
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” Proverbs 27:1 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"At evening time it shall be light."
Zechariah 14:7

Oftentimes we look forward with forebodings to the time of old age, forgetful that at eventide it shall be light. To many saints, old age is the choicest season in their lives. A balmier air fans the mariner's cheek as he nears the shore of immortality, fewer waves ruffle his sea, quiet reigns, deep, still and solemn. From the altar of age the flashes of the fire of youth are gone, but the more real flame of earnest feeling remains. The pilgrims have reached the land Beulah, that happy country, whose days are as the days of heaven upon earth. Angels visit it, celestial gales blow over it, flowers of paradise grow in it, and the air is filled with seraphic music. Some dwell here for years, and others come to it but a few hours before their departure, but it is an Eden on earth. We may well long for the time when we shall recline in its shady groves and be satisfied with hope until the time of fruition comes. The setting sun seems larger than when aloft in the sky, and a splendour of glory tinges all the clouds which surround his going down. Pain breaks not the calm of the sweet twilight of age, for strength made perfect in weakness bears up with patience under it all. Ripe fruits of choice experience are gathered as the rare repast of life's evening, and the soul prepares itself for rest.

The Lord's people shall also enjoy light in the hour of death. Unbelief laments; the shadows fall, the night is coming, existence is ending. Ah no, crieth faith, the night is far spent, the true day is at hand. Light is come, the light of immortality, the light of a Father's countenance. Gather up thy feet in the bed, see the waiting bands of spirits! Angels waft thee away. Farewell, beloved one, thou art gone, thou wavest thine hand. Ah, now it is light. The pearly gates are open, the golden streets shine in the jasper light. We cover our eyes, but thou beholdest the unseen; adieu, brother, thou hast light at even-tide, such as we have not yet.


"If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
1 John 2:1
"If any man sin, we have an advocate." Yes, though we sin, we have him still. John does not say, "If any man sin he has forfeited his advocate," but "we have an advocate," sinners though we are. All the sin that a believer ever did, or can be allowed to commit, cannot destroy his interest in the Lord Jesus Christ, as his advocate. The name here given to our Lord is suggestive. "Jesus." Ah! then he is an advocate such as we need, for Jesus is the name of one whose business and delight it is to save. "They shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins." His sweetest name implies his success. Next, it is "Jesus Christ"--Christos, the anointed. This shows his authority to plead. The Christ has a right to plead, for he is the Father's own appointed advocate and elected priest. If he were of our choosing he might fail, but if God hath laid help upon one that is mighty, we may safely lay our trouble where God has laid his help. He is Christ, and therefore authorized; he is Christ, and therefore qualified, for the anointing has fully fitted him for his work. He can plead so as to move the heart of God and prevail. What words of tenderness, what sentences of persuasion will the anointed use when he stands up to plead for me! One more letter of his name remains, "Jesus Christ the righteous." This is not only his character but his plea. It is his character, and if the Righteous One be my advocate, then my cause is good, or he would not have espoused it. It is his plea, for he meets the charge of unrighteousness against me by the plea that he is righteous. He declares himself my substitute and puts his obedience to my account. My soul, thou hast a friend well fitted to be thine advocate, he cannot but succeed; leave thyself entirely in his hands.

Today's reading: Isaiah 20-22, Ephesians 6 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Isaiah 20-22

A Prophecy Against Egypt and Cush

1 In the year that the supreme commander, sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it— 2 at that time the LORD spoke through Isaiah son of Amoz. He said to him, “Take off the sackcloth from your body and the sandals from your feet.” And he did so, going around stripped and barefoot.
3 Then the LORD said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush, 4 so the king of Assyria will lead away stripped and barefoot the Egyptian captives and Cushite exiles, young and old, with buttocks bared—to Egypt’s shame. 5Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be dismayed and put to shame. 6 In that day the people who live on this coast will say, ‘See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria! How then can we escape?’”

Today's New Testament reading: Ephesians 6

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.
9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him....


[Nāthăn'a el] - the gift of godA native of Cana in Galilee whom Jesus called an Israelite in whom there was no guile (John 1:45-49; 21:2).

The Man Who Was Guileless

Nathanael is supposed to be the same as Bartholomew the Apostle. The name of Nathanael occurs in John but in none of the other gospels. He is introduced at the beginning and at the close of Christ's ministry. His doubt of Christ's Messiahship vanished when he met Him, and he was one of the seven to whom the risen Lord manifested Himself at the Lake of Galilee.

It may be that he bore a double name and is referred to as Bartholomew, whom John never mentions, just as the other evangelists never mention Nathanael. The name Bartholomew stands in conjunction with that of Philip. If the rule is accepted that Andrew and Simon are put together because the one led the other to Christ, there is a presumption in favor of Bartholomew of the first three gospels being the same as Nathanael of John's gospel, from the fact recorded by John only, that it was Philip who brought Nathanael to the Saviour. We reject the tradition that he was the bridegroom at the Cana marriage, or one of the two disciples on the Emmaus road.

Profitable aspects to be developed are these:
I. Nathanael owed his introduction to Jesus to a friend. Have you introduced others to Him?
II. Nathanael was prepared to listen to conversation about Christ. He readily received the witness of one who had found the Messiah. Have you found Him, and are you telling others the story?
III. Nathanael's hopes were realized in an unexpected way. Often joy and rest come to us from the least expected quarter.
IV. Nathanael accepted the sure test of truth and the sure cure of prejudice. "Come and see," "Taste and see."
V. Nathanael's faith rejoiced the Master, and secured for him the promise of a growing blessing.
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