Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sat Nov 26th Todays News

Thanksgiving 2016 has given us a gift with the untimely death of Fidel Castro. The former Cuban dictator was not just responsible for the deaths of many Cubans, he exploited the Cold War and incompetence of JFK and was a thorn in the side of successive administrations of Presidents of the United States. Rumour had Castro behind the assassination of JFK, but the likely truth was that JFK was killed by an accidental discharge of a secret service gun. Lee Harvey Oswald was probably a KGB agent who couldn’t believe his luck as he cowered in a movie theatre. The Cuban missile Crisis was the high point in word affairs for Castro, where he almost succeeded in ending the world by nuclear conflict. The only thing preventing war was the bravery of US servicemen in the face of indomitable stupidity of JFK, and a statesmanlike Khrushchev in charge of the Soviet Union who had had to directly work with Castro. Khrushchev was rolled as a result. But after the Bay of Pigs and depravity of Che Guevara, Castro’s world influence waned. Cuba was left a broken basket case as communism collapsed world wide. Only North Korea and a compromised Chinese administration embracing some trade freedoms remain. Fidel’s brother will follow. And one day, a better Cuba will leave behind the corrupt and murderous excuse of government communism bestows.
=== from 2015 ===
Obama has been playing a sick game where he protects some jihadists. Russia has been attacking them in Syria. One jihadist camp is located close to Turkey to provide air cover. A Russian fighter is shot down by Turkey, allegedly for flying through Turkish airspace. Turkey's action is a breach of international law. US journalists, keen to protect Obama, claim that the jihadist camp is a refugee camp which Russia kept targeting. Nothing is produced to verify such claims, suggesting Obama was born there. However, we know the ground was so hostile that one pilot and one rescue helicopter pilot were killed by these so called refugees in a peaceful zone which Russia 'should not have attacked.' Just as with Ukraine, Obama has over reached and exposed the world. And journalists protect him with their mantra of not understanding. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility.
From 2014
Phil Hughes is still fighting for his life after being hit by a cricket ball during a match. Only twenty five years old, his potential loss to the sport is a terrible blow and all matches have been called off while administrators and players work out how to move forward. God loves you and has blessed you, Phil. May he hold you now, but return you healed. 

Daniel Andrews' plan for Victoria is to make it corrupt. He wants to sack Ambulance but take away legal shackles preventing union corruption. 

Clive Palmer has said he is the victim of an international conspiracy. Julia Gillard's defence that her word is better than an honest person's has been denied by a judge. 

The NRL have a history of failing the public and players. They were very quick to side with then Minister Jason Clare over the ASADA accusations that were demonstrably untrue on all points, where the players had been accused of taking performance enhancing drugs and wide scale endemic cheating. The NRL were equivocal in their support of Manly Captain Stewart over a rape allegation. Some ARL idiot thought excessive drinking was acceptable by players, and so a drunken Stewart had no defence against the allegation until the girl was medically examined. Now, the ARL have found a young man who had pled guilty to domestic abuse and had been judged to have been remorseful and rehabilitated, and they sack him faster than the ABC would a low paid regional worker. Maybe Auva'a will take up a real sport like AFL. 

All the commercial news media organisations have made cuts in recent years because of falling revenue from advertising as most of their work goes online for free. And now the ABC are being asked to make an efficiency dividend of only 5% and it fails. ABC protects the inept and cuts instead regional service which is its reason for being. And then ABC redirects the regional resources to compete with commercial companies in areas that aren't part of the ABC charter. One such online offering, Buzzfeed, is complaining of the cuts and the mental anguish felt by those competing for jobs with their colleagues. Tim Blair brilliantly describes the mercenary process made challenging by incompetent management. The ABC is not biased, but she is partisan, and fighting viciously those she is supposed to also support. 
From 2013
ALP love media are confused. Prior to the election, Libs promised no worse deal than the ALP. It turns out the ALP had cut spending buried in their documents. Libs will proceed, and love media are calling it a broken election promise and Lib cut. Even were that true, no program which will be cut for not being funded is essential. All essential programs are paid for. All that might happen is some teachers will have to do what they are paid for. The world will not end. But the ALP love media are confused. 

Paul Barry is paid for his credibility. He is now on three month vacation. Maybe he will learn to read? Great tyres are worth the cost. More on the slaves to marxism. I am waiting for Andrew to pay me. ABC fact checkers mistake on fact. Abbott solves ALP problems. AGW hysteria dying more slowly than Iago in Othello. Jenna Price gets snippy. Mark Scott, ABC guy, should resign.

An argument has been made claiming that Israel is partly responsible for some of the terrorist activity against it. The argument employed scans to the ignorant eye. A person who knew little, might feel it is balanced and Israel may in fact bear some responsibility. The truth is simple, that Israel is exemplary as a modern democratic nation deserving a prosperous future. But the lie excusing the atrocities committed by generations of terrorists is tempting to the ignorant because the alternative is that the ignorant have been complicit. And they have been. Ignorant people are responsible for terrorist activity. Including the Christians who become victims and some left wing Jews. Calling Iran's attempt to make an atom bomb 'peaceful' will not make it so. One of the few positives I can see from the agreement is that there is apparently bipartisan support (in the US) opposing it. Kerry isn't Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain was a conservative who chose a path of least resistance because he didn't anticipate evil. Kerry is duplicitous. Kerry supports a socialist ideal. Israel doesn't fit in that ideal.
Historical perspective on this day
In 783, the Asturian queen Adosinda was put up in a monastery to prevent her kin from retaking the throne from Mauregatus. In 1161, Battle of Caishi: A Song dynasty fleet fought a naval engagement with Jin dynasty ships on the Yangtze river during the Jin–Song Wars. In 1476, Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) defeated Basarab Laiota with the help of Stephen the Greatand Stephen V Báthory and becomes the ruler of Wallachia for the third time. In 1778, in the Hawaiian Islands, Captain James Cook became the first European to visit Maui. In 1784, the Catholic Apostolic Prefecture of the United States established. In 1789, a national Thanksgiving Day was observed in the United States as recommended by President George Washington and approved by Congress

In 1805, official opening of Thomas Telford's Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. In 1825, at Union College in Schenectady, New York, a group of college students form the Kappa Alpha Society, the first college social fraternity. In 1842, the University of Notre Dame was founded. In 1863, United States President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed November 26 as a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated annually on the final Thursday of November. (Since 1941, it has been on the fourth Thursday.) In 1865, Battle of Papudo: A Spanish navy schooner was defeated by a Chilean corvette north of Valparaíso, Chile. 

In 1917, the National Hockey League was formed, with the Montreal CanadiensMontreal WanderersOttawa SenatorsQuebec Bulldogs, and Toronto Arenas as its first teams. In 1918, the Montenegran Podgorica Assembly voted for a "union of the people", declaring assimilation into the Kingdom of Serbia. In 1922, Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvonbecame the first people to enter the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in over 3000 years. Also, The Toll of the Sea debuted as the first general release film to use two-tone Technicolor. (The Gulf Between was the first film to do so, but it was not widely distributed.) In 1939, Shelling of Mainila: The Soviet Army orchestrated an incident which was used to justify the start of the Winter War with Finland four days later. In 1942, World War IIYugoslav Partisans convened the first meeting of the Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia at Bihaćin northwestern Bosnia. In 1943, World War II: HMT Rohna was sunk by the Luftwaffe in an air attack in the Mediterranean north of BéjaïaAlgeria. In 1944, World War II: A German V-2 rocket hit a Woolworth's shop on New Cross High Street in London, United Kingdom, killing 168 people. Also, World War II: Germany began V-1 and V-2 attacks on Antwerp, Belgium. In 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the constitutionpresented by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.

In 1950, Korean War: Troops from the People's Republic of China launched a massive counterattack in North Korea against South Korean and United Nations forces (Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River and Battle of Chosin Reservoir), ending any hopes of a quick end to the conflict. In 1965, in the Hammaguir launch facility in the Sahara Desert, France launched a Diamant-A rocket with its first satelliteAsterix-1, on board. In 1968, Vietnam WarUnited States Air Force helicopter pilot James P. Fleming rescued an Army Special Forces unit pinned down by Viet Cong fire. He was later awarded the Medal of Honor. In 1970, in Basse-TerreGuadeloupe, 1.5 inches (38.1 mm) of rain fell in a minute, the heaviest rainfall ever recorded. In 1977, an unidentified hijacker named Vrillon, claiming to be the representative of the "Ashtar Galactic Command", took over Britain's Southern Television for six minutes, starting at 5:12 pm. In 1983, Brink's-MAT robbery: In London, 6,800 gold bars worth nearly £26 million were stolen from the Brink's-MAT vault at Heathrow Airport. In 1986, Iran–Contra affair: U.S. President Ronald Reagan announced the members of what will become known as the Tower Commission.

In 1990, the Delta II rocket made its maiden flight. In 1991, National Assembly of Azerbaijanabolished the autonomous status of Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of Azerbaijanand renamed several cities back to their original names. In 1998, Tony Blair became the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to address the Oireachtas, the parliament of the Republic of Ireland. In 2000, George W. Bush was certified the winner of Florida's electoral votes by Katherine Harris, going on to win the United States presidential election, despite losing in the national popular vote. In 2003, Concorde made its final flight, over Bristol, England. In 2004, Ruzhou School massacre: A man stabbed and killed eight people and seriously wounds another four in a school dormitory in Ruzhou, China. Also, the last Poʻouli(Black-faced honeycreeper) died of avian malaria in the Maui Bird Conservation Center in Olinda, Hawaii, before it could breed, making the species in all probability extinct. In 2008, Mumbai attack by Pakistan-sponsored Lashkar-e-Taiba. In 2011, NATO attack in Pakistan: NATO forces in Afghanistan attacked a Pakistani checkpost in a friendly fire incident, killing 24 soldiers and wounding 13 others.
=== 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.
===
I am publishing a book called Bread of Life: January. 

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

January is the first of the anticipated year-long work of thirteen books. One for each month and the whole year. It costs to publish. It (Kindle version) should retail at about $2US online, but the paperback version would cost more, according to production cost.
If you have a heart for giving, I fundraise at gofund.me/27tkwuc
===
Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with AugustSeptemberOctober, or at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482020262/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_dVHPub0MQKDZ4  The kindle version is cheaper, but the soft back version allows a free kindle version.

List of available items at Create Space
Happy birthday and many happy returns Uncle Jack, Binh NguyenNoel SouthidetNathan Lam and Greg Smith. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
November 26Feast day of John Berchmans (Roman Catholic Church)
The "Golden Dome" of the University of Notre Dame's Main Administration Building
Your alliances last. Ignore my hunched back. Beware Molotov Cocktails. Keep on broadcast. Avoid the anti social. And let's party!
Deaths
===
Tim Blair


===
Andrew Bolt


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You, at least, are better than this, Michael

Andrew Bolt November 26 2015 (7:07pm)

 I’m disappointed that even Michael Keenan is repeating the Turnbull camp’s deceitful spin to imply Tony Abbott wants a “unilateral” deployment of Australian troops to Iraq or Syria.
Bravo, Alan Jones and Graham Richardson, for calling him out. 
===

Memo to Turnbull: Abbott isn’t the enemy

Andrew Bolt November 26 2015 (3:38pm)

Dennis Shanahan warns Malcolm Turnbull against giving in to his paranoia and anger over Tony Abbott:
The jibes about machismo were directed against Abbott and former defence minister Kevin Andrews, who publicly advocated, from the backbench, a greater military presence — SAS forces on missions — in Syria. 
Turnbull’s public putdown added to a growing atmosphere of paranoia and resentment between thwarted conservative Coalition MPs and those who supported Turnbull’s seizure of the leadership ten weeks ago… It’s also clear that leaks to the media and conspiracy theories about secret lunches, including Abbott bringing a chocolate cake; complaints on Abbott and his colleagues speaking out; and potential damage to Turnbull’s standing on security are growing into dangerous divisions which can become entrenched and corrosive.
More reaching out to conservatives - rather than publicly and privately abusing them - would help Turnbull plenty. It is better to reach out now when you are strong than to beg for support when you are weak.
UPDATE
Complete bull, and I know it for a fact:
Malcolm Turnbull has scoffed at suggestions of a Tony Abbott-run insurgency against his leadership, claiming he has “not noticed” numerous MPs speaking out publicly against his positions… 
Sales continued: “Well, how do you intend to manage the detractors in your party? We’ve had a number of people in recent weeks publicly speak out against positions that you’ve taken.” Mr Turnbull replied: “I haven’t noticed that.”
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No but yes: Dreyfus denies comparing jihadists to Catholic/Protestant rivalry

Andrew Bolt November 26 2015 (9:37am)

On the ABC yesterday, Labor’s Mark Dreyfus backed off an idiotic comparison after being called out by the Liberals’ Josh Frydenberg. And that wasn’t his only evasion:
DREYFUS: I didn’t read the piece by Peter Costello but if he in fact said that Islam was the problem then that is a tremendously wrong-headed approach. What we have here is Islamist extremists, or to be even more precise, Salafi jihadist extremists and it’s not Islam, it’s not the religion. This is a political ideology claiming to be based on aspects of a religion but it’s very distinct from the whole religion. We’ve got to be very, very careful not to have sectarian strife. There would be a lot of listeners who would remember a period in Australia where we had sectarian strife between two sects of Christianity, between Protestants and Catholics. Happily, it ended about the time I hit primary school in the 1960s and that’s a very good thing. ... [T]his idea that politicians in Australia should constantly be poking at Muslim leaders is also quite wrong. What I’ve heard from Muslim leaders across Australia for years now is complete condemnation of this extremist Islamist ideology… 
FRYDENBERG: Raf, I just have to say, with the greatest respect to Mark, he is wrong to characterise what we are dealing with today as being akin to the schism between Protestants and Catholics…
DREYFUS: No, no I wasn’t…I was talking about sectarian strife in Australia.
FRYDENBERG: You made a number of points that I need to rebut. The first is don’t put on the same page what happened between Catholics and Protestants with what we’re dealing with now. We’re dealing with a global terrorist threat that we face significantly here at home. The second point is leaders of the Muslim community, including the Grand Mufti, did not condemn the attacks in the way…
DREYFUS: That’s wrong… I don’t accept that…
FRYDENBERG: He did not condemn the attack in the way that he should have and that has been a very big sore point, right… 
DREYFUS: I’m not seeking to minimise the nature of the threat at all… Josh is wrong to suggest that I was comparing the Catholic and Protestant strife in decades past in Australia with any current situation.
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This is a war?

Andrew Bolt November 26 2015 (8:22am)

A metric of Barack Obama’s disastrous weakness:
Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney ... spent 35 years in uniform and rose to the role of assistant vice chief of staff, the number three position in the Air Force.... 
He said the first step is for Obama to admit the U.S. currently has no strategy… “He just has not exhibited any desire to take ISIS out ... “
In the military realm, McInerney said it starts with a relentless air campaign of 500-1,000 sorties a day, compared with recent statistics showing the U.S. drops 18 bombs per day. In comparison, the U.S. averaged 1,100 sorties per day during the Gulf War and 800 per day during major combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Saudis sentence poet to death for blasphemy

Andrew Bolt November 26 2015 (7:44am)

 Saudi Arabia is on the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. It is also a deadly enemy of free thought:
A Saudi court sentenced a Palestinian man to death for apostasy on November 17, 2015, for alleged blasphemous statements during a discussion group and in a book of his poetry. 
The accused, Ashraf Fayadh, 35, ... was born in Saudi Arabia and is a member of the British-Saudi art organization Edge of Arabia, and has curated art shows in Jeddah and Venice…
The religious police went to the café after a man reported that Fayadh had made obscene comments about God, the Prophet Muhammad, and the Saudi state. The man also alleged that Fayadh passed around a book he wrote that allegedly promoted atheism and unbelief.
After Fayadh was arrested, the court documents indicate, the religious police discovered on his phone photos of Fayadh with several women, whom Fayadh said he met at an art gallery....
Prosecutors charged him with a host of blasphemy-related charges, including: blaspheming “the divine self” and the Prophet Muhammad; spreading atheism and promoting it among the youth in public places; mocking the verses of God and the prophets; refuting the Quran; denying the day of resurrection; objecting to fate and divine decree; and having an illicit relationship with women and storing their pictures in his phone… 
The defense witnesses said that the man reported Fayadh following a personal dispute, and that they had never heard blasphemous statements from Fayadh. Fayadh also said that his book, Instructions Within, published a decade before, consists of love poems and was not written with the intention of insulting religion. 
UPDATE
And demonstrating her complete lack of perspective:
The erosion of fundamental freedoms and overreach of ministerial discretion is leaving Australia increasingly isolated from international community standards, the president of the Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs has warned. 
Gone are the days when we could say, ‘How dare Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Libya criticise Australia’s human rights record,” Professor Triggs said in a speech on Australia’s asylum seekers and refugee policies. 
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If ISIS is weak, what is strong?

Andrew Bolt November 26 2015 (6:33am)

I NEED another dictionary. Either that, or we’re not being told the truth about Islamic State. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told us this week IS was “fundamentally weak” with “many more smartphones than guns”.
Waleed Aly, television host and lecturer at Monash University’s Global Terrorism Research Centre, agrees IS is “weak”.
Associate Professor Rodger Shanahan, from the National Security College, assured the ABC of “the inherent weaknesses of Islamic State”. And US President Obama told us IS is “contained”.
Yet this “weak”, “contained” terror organisation, with “many more smartphones than guns”, has in the past two months:
(Read full article here.) 
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No, Charles, the Islamic State wasn’t caused by global warming

Andrew Bolt November 26 2015 (6:25am)

 AT least give Prince Charles credit. He’s tried to stop next Monday’s climate talks in Paris from seeming a farcical irrelevance.
Just think: some 140 world leaders and 40,000 delegates will gather to complain about the kind of gasses they just blew out the back of their jets.
They will pretend to save us from a global warming that’s killed no one, while 30,000 French police and soldiers guard them from Islamist terrorists who’ve butchered thousands.
That’s what our leaders have come to — moralising about a fantasy threat rather than tackling a real one. After all, where’s the world conference on Islamist terrorism?
Why aren’t 140 world leaders discussing the malevolent ideology that in just the past two months has had its followers massacre civilians in Paris, Beirut, Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, Syria, Iraq, Mali and Nigeria, as well as bring down a Russian passenger jet, frighten Brussels into a four-day lockdown and drive masses of asylum seekers into Europe?
Hmm. Too hard. Too divisive. No, much easier to assure voters the Islamist threat is no big deal really.
And so Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday claimed the Islamic State “is in a fundamentally weak position”.
(Read full article here.) 
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No warning from Turkey, says Russian pilot

Andrew Bolt November 26 2015 (6:23am)

Russia won’t forgive Turkey’s aggression in a hurry, and won’t forgive:
ONE of the Russian pilots of a fighter jet shot down by Turkey on the Syrian border told state media that there was no prior warning from the Turks
“There was no warning, not by radio exchange nor visually. There was no contact at all,” Konstantin Murakhtin told Russian journalists at Moscow’s base in Syria after being rescued by special forces…
Russian President Vladimir Putin described Turkey as “accomplices of terrorists” whose action was a “stab in the back,” before warning of serious consequences. 
On Wednesday, he ordered the deployment of the S-400 missile system to the Hemeimeem air base, a Russian air base, in Latakia, off the Syrian coast and near Turkey’s border.
===

Sheridan: Turnbull not that different to Abbott on security

Andrew Bolt November 26 2015 (6:04am)

For balance. Greg Sheridan defends Malcolm Turnbull - to a point:
Turnbull’s national security statement in most respects could have been delivered by Abbott. There is no change in substance and only a minor change in tone. 
There was a bigger difference between Turnbull and Shorten than between Turnbull and Abbott. Nothing indicates a leader’s ideological proclivities as clearly as where they stand on the root causes of terrorism.
Here is Turnbull: “The root cause of the current threat we face is a perverted strain of Islamist extremist ideology."…
Whereas Shorten, like the US Democratic presidential candidates, could not bring himself to name the ideology that motivates terrorism, taking refuge instead in labelling terrorist behaviour irrational and describing it as “psychopathic crime”....
Turnbull also said there would be no reduction in Australia’s military effort in Iraq and Syria,,,
I think there is no case for Australia to do any more. I don’t even think the case for special forces assisting our airstrikes is at all convincing.
But Sheridan gently objects to the straw-man attack on Abbott:
Both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten rejected the idea of a large Western army liberating Syria from Islamic State, or the unilateral insertion of Australian ground troops. This was widely interpreted in the media as a slap at Tony Abbott. 
Here’s where I get confused. For Abbott did not suggest a big Western army, he suggested a big international intervention involving Sunni states Turkey, Egypt and Jordan, as well as some Western states. And he did not suggest unilateral deployment of Australian ground forces.
And he just as gently wonders in what important way the Islamic State could be said to be weak:
The only partial disagreement I have with Turnbull is in his assessment that Islamic State is operating from a position of weakness. This is partly true if Islamic State is considered only as a conventional military force operating in Syria and Iraq. It has suffered some territorial reverses recently and does not possess big economic res­ources or massive weaponry.
But if you consider the full spectrum of Islamic State and its range of ambitions, and that it came from a standing start a couple of years ago, it has been startlingly effective, especially in spreading its essentially violent jihadist ideology all over the Middle East and North Africa and to Western nations as well.
More dramatic balance. Niki Savva writes a column attacking Tony Abbott. As before. 
===

Budget worsens, but spending won’t be slashed

Andrew Bolt November 26 2015 (5:51am)

Malcolm Turnbull won’t risk his popularity in saving Australia from financial crisis:
Malcolm Turnbull has vowed there will be no “slash and burn” of public spending in next month’s budget update, despite a downgrade in Treasury’s growth outlook raising fears the budget may never return to surplus… 
A predicted surplus of $16 billion in 2021-22 could be virtually wiped out.
The Prime Minister last night emphasised that spending cuts would have to bear the burden of narrowing the deficit because raising taxes would undermine efforts to create an “enterprising, dynamic 21st-century economy"…
“This doesn’t mean we should just go out and slash and burn, cutting individual spending programs irrespective of their benefits to the community.”
And with Labor actually promising to increase spending, we have a consensus for economic decline. 
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Kiss for the union boss

Andrew Bolt November 26 2015 (5:46am)

The union movement really hasn’t come out of this looking good:
NATIONAL Union of Workers NSW secretary Wayne Meaney’s union credit card was used to pay $7740 for a box at a KISS concert. 
Mr Meaney, who replaced Derrick Belan in a bid to clean up the union, also spent $4872 on the union card for his family to spend New Year’s Eve at the harbourside Shangri-La hotel and $1554 on a flight for his wife to Hong Kong.
Mr Meaney yesterday said he had paid back the Hong Kong flight and the other spending was with the ­approval of Mr Belan, who has been accused in the trade union royal commission of his own financial misappropriation over a tattoo, dating websites and other spending. Mr Belan ­denied he approved Mr Meaney’s spending.
Three other union leaders are also now embroiled in the NUW mess, with Mr Meaney yesterday confirming Rail Tram and Bus Union secretary Alex Claassens was given $5000 out of the Derrick Belan slush fund, as was CEPU secretary Jim Metcher…
Mr Meaney said the payments were all “above board” and the money was probably used for elections. He later said: “That was from the slush fund but it was just a loan.” 
When asked about the fund payment to him, Mr Claassens said “I can’t talk to you about it”, while Mr Metcher did not return calls.
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The real victim of NRL hypocrisy

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, November 26, 2014 (1:10am)

NOW that everyone has jumped on the domestic violence bandwagon, stand by for lots of chest-beating, money spent on awareness campaigns, plenty of Twitter hashtags and nothing of much use coming out of it all.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'The real victim of NRL hypocrisy'
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The ABC still gets it far too easy

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, November 26, 2014 (1:09am)

I’M sorry that 400 ABC staff are losing their jobs. You don’t wish that on your worst enemy.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'The ABC still gets it far too easy'
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THE QANDA GAMES

Tim Blair – Wednesday, November 26, 2014 (3:25am)

According to Buzzfeed, ABC staff are now in a brutal tooth-and-claw battle for employment: 
Australian Broadcasting Corporation management came under fire on Monday for pitting journalists against each other to fight for jobs, in what staff have internally called “a sick version of The Hunger Games”. 
As one commenter notes: “The Hunger Games is a book about children who must fight each other to the death. Wouldn’t this be a tame version of The Hunger Games?” True, but read on: 
BuzzFeed News has obtained documents showing the public broadcaster has put reporters into competitive “pools” and asked them to prove their “merit” to the organisation, challenged to hit benchmarks against their colleagues, or face the sack …
“The morale right now? Zero,” one ABC News Sydney reporter told BuzzFeed.
“People knew cuts were coming but we had no idea how bad it would be or that managers would be this sociopathic.” 
None of us had any idea, which is why we’re so upset that this isn’t being televised. Come on, ABC! There’s no sense setting up a brilliant reality show and then concealing it: 
The dramatic events began shortly after Scott’s speech to staff on Monday morning, with emails arriving in reporters inboxes telling them they had been placed in “pools” based on salary and expertise.
Each pool then had its own meeting and were told that members would be assessed against each other in a four week personal “skills audit”. They would then be given, as one manager referred it: “a score on a ladder”. 
And the losers get booted: 
At a Sydney meeting, 25 senior broadcast reporters were told that six among them would be sacked. In South Australia, 16 editors were told that five of them would go. The most brutal cuts appear to fall on the nationwide current affairs unit, where managers told a meeting of four junior producers they would be fighting for just one job.
“They are creating a culture of fear, pitting person against person, friend against friend and it’s insane,” one reporter told BuzzFeed News. 
It’s ratings gold, is what it is. 
The mini tournaments will take place in every state newsroom over the next four weeks: with only the winners surviving beyond Christmas. 
Only the winners survive. Perfect.
(Via jaki)
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VEGETARIANISM IS A SIGN

Tim Blair – Wednesday, November 26, 2014 (2:32am)

This isn’t an original observation, but you never, ever see an unhappy butcher. Staff at vegetarian or vegan joints, on the other hand, usually seem sad. Or too happy, in a creepy, medicated kind of way. These views are now supported by research
Australian vegetarians might be healthier than meat-eaters but they are unhappier and more prone to mental health disorders, new research suggests …
Dr John Lang, who developed the wellness index for preventive healthcare company Alere, says the adoption of a vegetarian diet can sometimes follow the onset of mental disorders. 
Makes sense.
(Via J.F. Beck)
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WIN THIS FIGHT

Tim Blair – Wednesday, November 26, 2014 (1:05am)

Batsman Phil Hughes began yesterday fighting to regain his place in the Australian Test cricket team. He ended it fighting for his life.



Farmer’s son Hughes remains in a coma following his shocking injury at the SCG and subsequent surgery. Doctors say there will be no update on his condition for 24 to 48 hours. If you are the prayerful kind, you know how some of those hours might be spent.
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THE WHITE BRONCO IS A NICE TOUCH

Tim Blair – Wednesday, November 26, 2014 (12:33am)

One or two readers may already have seen this:



(Via Futureproof) 
===

Should Hockey step aside?

Andrew Bolt November 26 2014 (8:07pm)

Janet Albrechtsen gives very tough love:
The need for Abbott to step up his own performance is even more critical, given murmurs within Liberal Party ranks are growing louder about Joe Hockey’s lacklustre job as Treasurer. It’s a tough but inevitable comparison to say Peter Costello and Paul Keating set the gold standard as treasurers. Too many voters and Liberal MPs have lost confidence in Hockey as Treasurer. He appears to have lost confidence in himself. His friendly demeanour was always going to make the transformation into hard-headed warrior Treasurer unlikely. And a few good speeches don’t get you there. 
With growing acceptance that Hockey is making Abbott’s job harder, a reshuffle is needed sooner, not later. How about giving Scott Morrison the gargantuan task in Treasury? No prime minister likes this sort of advice. It risks digging them deeper into inaction. But something has to change if the Abbott government is to regain community respect. 
===

No, the ABC isn’t biased. Aren’t Greens preaching revolution and racial division the new normal?

Andrew Bolt November 26 2014 (10:48am)

The ABC biased? Of course not.
ABC presenter Fran Kelly this morning interviews a US academic, Rosa Clemente, about the Ferguson riots, in which violent black mobs are destroying shops and cars because a jury cleared an innocent white policeman of having a case to answer of murdering a black thief.
In her unbiased way, Kelly allows the academic to make the following comments unchallenged.
- “the destruction of property to me is not a violent act”
- police are “an occupying force”
- black Americans have “grown up under occupation” by police
- blacks are “slaughtered in the streets” by police
- the riots in Ferguson, in which the mobs are looting, burning and shooting, are actually “organised struggle”.
Not once does Kelly question this defence of mindless mob violence, this race-based narrative, this vilification of police, this baseless assumption that justice was perverted, this lurid picture of police as an occupying army, this refusal to acknowledge that the greatest victims of black violence are other blacks.
But at the end the penny drops. Kelly reveals she’s been talking to a former Greens Party candidate. Would a fascist with a similar program have got this kid-glove treatment?
Frightening.
UPDATE

Here is evidence that the grand jury heard and which Kelly did not put to her Greens guest:
Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9, revealed in grand jury testimony a month later that the hulking teenager attacked him with the look of a “demon” and attempted to take his weapon during a scuffle inside his vehicle. 
In his chilling account before the Grand Jury on Sept. 16 of what led to Brown’s death on Aug. 9, Wilson described Brown as belligerent, petulant and showed no respect for his authority as an officer of the law. Wilson, who describes himself as 6-foot-4 and weighing approximately 210 pounds, [Brown was a little taller and a lot heavier] explained that when he first tried to defend himself against Brown he was forced to grapple with the teenager’s incredible strength.
“… When I grabbed him, the only way I can describe it is I felt like a 5-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan. … That’s how big he felt and how small I felt just from grasping his arm,” said Wilson.

He further explained that during a fight with Brown inside his patrol vehicle, Brown dared him to shoot him and he was worried that a third punch from the teenager could have killed him.
“He grabs my gun, says ‘You are too much of a [expletive] to shoot me.’ The gun goes down into my hip and at that point I thought I was getting shot. I can feel his fingers try to get inside the trigger guard with my finger and I distinctly remember envisioning a bullet going into my leg. I thought that was the next step,” Wilson said of the struggle…

“ I was just so focused on getting the gun out of me. When I did get it up to this point, he is still holding onto it and I pulled the trigger and nothing happens. It just clicked. I pulled it again, it just clicked again,” he noted.
The gun eventually goes off after a third attempt.
“...When it went off, it shot through my door panel and my window was down and glass flew off my door panel...,” Wilson said. “When I see the glass come up, it comes, a chunk about that big comes across my right hand and then I notice I have blood on the back of my hand."…
He said he then saw Brown’s hands and demon-like face coming toward him and he shielded his face as Brown hit him. That attack forces him to fire his gun without even taking aim…
“When I look up after that, I see him start to run and I see a cloud of dust behind him....”
At this point, Wilson said he decides to go after Brown…
“He turns, and when he looked at me, he made like a grunting, like aggravated sound and he starts, he turns and he’s coming back toward me… When he does that, his left hand goes into a fist and goes to his side, his right hand goes under his shirt in his waistband and he starts running at me,” he continued…
“As he is coming toward me, I tell, keep telling him to get on the ground, he doesn’t,” Wilson continued.
“I shoot a series of shots. I don’t know how many I shot, I just know I shot it… I remember having tunnel vision on his right hand, that’s all, I’m focusing on that hand when I was shooting,” he noted…
“… I tell him to get on the ground, get on the ground. He still keeps coming at me, gets about 8 to 10 feet away. At this point I’m backing up pretty rapidly, I’m backpedaling pretty good because I know if he reaches me, he’ll kill me,” said Wilson.
He said Brown then leaned forward toward him as if he was getting ready to tackle him, despite being shot already. 
UPDATE
Great family. Brown’s step-father exhorts the mob to “burn this bitch down, burn this bitch down, burn this bitch down”:
Epic rant from Johnathan Gentry, sick of the poor-me victimology, the lies, the black racism, the aggressive helplessness and the mindless violence:
(Thanks to reader Seth.) 
===

Who turned the ABC into a sheltered workshop?

Andrew Bolt November 26 2014 (10:47am)

How often do we hear ABC stars saying they don’t choose to work at the ABC for the money?
In fact: 
THE ABC spends vastly more of its budget on wages than its commercial counterparts, reinforcing the government’s belief that the public broadcaster should be able to extract 5 per cent through efficiencies rather than programming cuts. 
A breakdown of costs at the ABC — contained in the unpublished Lewis efficiency review, commissioned by the Coalition — reveals the public broadcaster spent 46 per cent of costs on wages last year, compared with 10.7 per cent for the free-to-air commercial television industry…
SBS spent 31.2 per cent of its budget on wages, according to the leaked IBISWorld report, published last December…
The ABC’s annual report reveals its spending on wages and salaries rose 6 per cent — twice the rate of inflation — to $368.1 million in 2013-14 despite total staff numbers rising just 0.3 per cent, to 4679 full-time equivalent positions....
As government agencies, the majority of ABC and SBS employees are members of various Public Service Superannuation schemes, which can pay more than the 9.5 per cent provided to most private sector workers.  The ABC and, to a lesser extent, SBS employ a significant proportion of staff on the more generous defined benefit PSS and CSS schemes. These schemes have superannuation employer contributions of approximately 17-20 per cent.
UPDATE
Miranda Devine: 
Last year, after more than 1000 jobs had been slashed from Fairfax and News Corp, Julia Gillard ... found an extra $10 million for Aunty on top of the $1.1 billion it gets from the taxpayer every year.
“There is no better place to be if you’re a journalist than the ABC,” news director Kate Torney declared at the time.
Ain’t that the truth…
Of course, the government’s modest “efficiency dividend” has provoked the usual hysteria from ABC luvvies. Quentin Dempster railed about “Tony Abbott-Rupert Murdoch bastardry” and ABC News 24 has been tweeting what look like paid ads for the ALP, which is promising to increase funding. 
So the lesson for the Abbott government is this: You are going to be smashed just as much for making little cuts as you are for big ones, so stop pussyfooting around and cut the ABC budget by 10 per cent, like John Howard did.
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill makes a good point:
Shouldn’t Dempster be railing against Mark Scott’s ‘bastardy’? The loss of 7.30 NSW is a result of Scott’s diversion of funds from programming to digital, not the result of the ABC funding cut. 
Even if all ABC funding was restored, it wouldn’t bring back 7.30 NSW under Scott’s plan.
===

Government getting act into gear. Here are more tips

Andrew Bolt November 26 2014 (10:14am)

Another welcome sign of change:
THE Coalition has prepared the ground for a deal on the budget as Tony Abbott assures his colleagues he will clear the “barnacles” from the government within weeks to lift its fortunes in the year ahead… 
Mr Abbott revealed yesterday that defence force pay levels were “under close review” as he prepares for a likely meeting with independent senator Jacqui Lambie, who wants a concession on the issue before she votes for any government bills.
The statement in parliament indicated the scope for negotiation as Education Minister Christopher Pyne holds talks with crossbench senators to secure an amended version of his $5 billion cut to university outlays… 
Family First Senator Bob Day circulated amendments to cut the interest rate on student loans, a change that would sacrifice up to $3bn from the reforms.
More on the paring back of the agenda to the can-do:
The federal government is poised to dump the $7 Medicare charge and water down its paid parental leave scheme as it seeks to clear itself of ­problems before Christmas and begin the new year on the front foot… 
Despite pleas by colleagues to dump the paid parental leave scheme, Mr Abbott remains wedded to the policy but is prepared to scale it back so, as one source said, it could no longer be dubbed a “Rolls-Royce” scheme… (T)he government has also decided to start muscling up to Labor and this included reminding voters of the chaos and dysfunction of the Rudd and Gillard years.
More welcome - albeit disputed - hints:
According to one government insider, some ministers believe a shake-up of the front bench will happen within a fortnight, allowing Mr Abbott to reward and “re-task” strong performers such as Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, while stripping out those who would be unlikely to recontest their seats or make the cut after the next election 
Dennis Shanahan on the new toughness, which needs to be tougher yet:
After losing the budget message at sea and being on the back foot and evasive in parliament over the ABC budget cuts, Abbott demanded Shorten say where Labor would cut. The ABC questions to Shorten are just the first in the campaign to pressure Labor on where its budget cuts will come, given it has opposed so many… 
He also demonstrated his ruthless streak when he picked up Shorten on an across-the-table comment about Labor’s savings in government.
All good - other than the fact that the crossbenchers tend to want fewer spending cuts when the Budget deficit is in fact growing.
Some more suggestions:
- the fight against Labor’s Budget wreckage needs facts as well as passion, and third-party endorsement.
- the scaling back of the paid parental leave scheme should be part of a compromise deal with cross benchers to give both sides a win - and the taxpayers some further savings. Unilaterally scaling it back is just an admission of defeat.
- driving down the cost of the Renewable Energy Target by including hydro power may well get the backing of enough backbenchers, Lambie included, and would help cut power prices (the point that repeatedly needs stressing). In the end, the Government is finished if business doesn’t boom.
- the Government has lost the debate over broken promises and should stop wasting time and credibility denying the obvious, especially on the ABC cuts. Best be honest about broken promises and turn the debate into something else - like your opponents’ reckless spending. And make your own promise-breaking part of a narrative of ruthless action to save the country from going broke.  Strong and sneaky has to be better than weak and sneaky. Stop wanting to be liked: being the hard bastard, but fair, is a better fit with the public image.
UPDATE
Paul Kelly is right. The promise argument is lost and should be changed to one about a higher duty - to rescue the country by hook or by crook:
TONY Abbott ... is running a losing proposition on promises. His problem is the power of television — the clip of Abbott saying the night before the election: “No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS.” This may become the most played clip of Abbott. For his critics it constitutes the clinching evidence: Abbott is not to be trusted… 
On Monday he told the parliament: “What we said before the election was that we would scrap the carbon tax, we would stop the boats, we would build the roads of the 21st century and we would get the budget back under control, and that is exactly what this government is doing"…
Abbott’s record on delivering his core promises looks impressive. This is his difference with Gillard. The problem, however, is the negative proposition looks stronger when judged by the political optics…
The government cannot get traction because it falls at the first hurdle — another broken promise…
Abbott needs to concede he has broken some promises. This is a test of his integrity and judgment. It is called political realism: if the public knows it, then Abbott cannot win by pretending the opposite. Sooner or later, the damage will become too great. 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
===

Thank cross-bench senators for putting wind farms under scrutiny

Andrew Bolt November 26 2014 (10:05am)

Reader Foehn is liking the cross-bench senators we’re told are a rabble:
Senators Leyonhjelm, Day, Madigan, Xenophon and Liberal Senator Chris Back have successfully moved a motion to set up a Senate inquiry into wind turbines. Senator Bob Day has agreed to forego his Committee Chair’s fees to reduce the costs to the Senate. 
At last, the disinfectant of sunlight will be cast upon the nonsense spruiked by the Industrial Wind Shysters. No prizes for guessing who tried to stop the committee being formed. Of course, it was Christine Milne, the great, uncritical friend of the wind industry. 
Excellent. I hope the inquiry does not shun the most basic question: what difference to global warming are these wind farms making? And at what cost? 
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Daniel Andrews’ plan for Victoria: give it to the unions

Andrew Bolt November 26 2014 (9:01am)

Daniel Andrews is from Labor’s Socialist Left. It shows and Victoria will pay.
Scrap laws that limit CFMEU power:
Employment Minister Eric Abetz has hit out at Daniel Andrews for his plans to rip up a hard line building industry code that keeps costs down. 
The Victorian code — which came in last month — introduces mandatory drug testing, bans the flying of union flags on sites and restricts companies from signing union-friendly pay deals.
“The Andrews/CFMEU policy to abolish the code would ensure that the Victorian building industry returns to the days of rorts, delays and cost blowouts that characterised the industry under the former Government,” Mr Abetz said. 
The Victorian code guidelines this year covered 79 projects, with a total value of $15 billion.
Help the far-Left fire-fighters’ union take over the volunteer Country Fire Authority:
Volunteer firefighters’ have slammed Labor’s plan to recruit 350 extra career firefighters to the Country Fire Authority, warning it will have a “disastrous” effect on volunteers. 
In a letter sent to all MPs on the eve of the state election, the board of the Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria said Labor’s policy had the potential to destroy the CFA because it would hand over undue control to the United Firefighters Union.
The VFBV is a non-profit organisation established under the CFA Act to represent the interests and concerns of volunteers…
The volunteers’ association is worried that Labor policy will undermine the role of volunteers in the CFA and give the union power over decision making by the chief officer. 
“Make no mistake – this policy is a direct attack on CFA as a statutory volunteer-based fire and emergency service where volunteers are supported by sufficient paid staff as expertly determined by the chief officer and who form a fully integrated workforce to deliver CFA services,” the cover letter to MPs says.
Help the far-Left ambulance union dominate the Ambulance Victoria board:
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews also said he would sack the Ambulance Victoria board on Monday if elected… 
“I have no confidence in an Ambulance Victoria board that sits by and hides ambulance response times, sits by and sees ambulance response times get worse and worse.”
The Labor leader also pledged to send the paramedics’ long-running pay dispute to the Fair Work Commission for arbitration, in an effort to bring the wages in line with other states…
[Health Minister David] Davis hit out at Labor for promising “zero” additional paramedics, and claimed the pledge to sack the Ambulance Victoria board was ordered by unions. 
“This declaration amounts to a union takeover of Ambulance Victoria,” he said.
===

Kennett unexcited: best thing to say about Victorian Liberals is that Labor would be worse

Andrew Bolt November 26 2014 (8:51am)

Former Liberal Premier Jeff Kennett is right. The Victorian Liberals are emptied of vision - which party heavies scorn as “ideology” - and have failed to excite:
The Coalition is fighting the election on the phrase Building a Better Victoria. But that is a slogan, not a vision. 
The ALP seems not even to have a slogan. Sadly, no grand vision has been enunciated by either party. I think this lack of vision, lack of narrative, is in the main why the public juices have not been stirred. We have nothing to buy into. No points to either party.
The Liberals are in the weak position of arguing only that Labor would be worse - which is true but a dangerously lazy and self-satisfied pitch:
I am very worried about the reliance of Daniel Andrews on the rogue CFMEU. I have no doubt that should Labor win, the IOUs of the CFMEU would be exercised in full. 
A small example of that is that Mr Andrews has already said he would scrap the Victorian Building and Construction Industry Code.
===

Johnston left in a canoe without a paddle

Andrew Bolt November 26 2014 (8:05am)

Defence Minister David Johnston on the ASC, which built the trouble-plagued Collins submarines and is now $350 billion over budget on three air warfare destroyers:
I wouldn’t trust them to build a canoe.
Here is a typical Abbott Government moment, of the kind it faced with comments such as the “poor don’t drive cars much” and “if bipartisan on Iraq, then be bipartisan on the savings”.
If the extreme statement is part of a defensible argument, and even highly illustrative of it, then go in even harder if you are criticised. Do a Keating.
But apologising just signals another mistake was made.  And this Government apologises an awful lot, lacking confidence in its ability to prosecute an argument in the media.
Memo: It is better to be attacked for being blunt and aggressive than despised for being weak and ratty.
Mind you, it’s better to speak wisely in the first place, and Tony Abbott believes it’s best to clear away the broken glass rather than defend Johnston:
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has since released a statement saying the ASC plays a vital role in supporting the Royal Australian Navy... 
“Whilst ASC has had challenges meeting the Government’s cost and schedule expectations of the Air Warfare Destroyer programme, we are working closely with ASC on a reform strategy to improve shipyard performance and productivity.
“It is early days, but the Government is confident that ASC and its partners will successfully turn the corner on this important build.” 
UPDATE
Johnston has apologised in the Senate. 
===

Palmer says he’s the victim of a vast international conspiracy

Andrew Bolt November 26 2014 (7:05am)

With his civil trial starting today over a missing $12 million, Clive Palmer says he’s the victim of a massive international conspiracy:
“The coalition of News Limited (publisher of The Australian), the Liberal Party and the Chinese state-owned enterprise working in unison on these matters demonstrates a political agenda.” 
Mr Palmer has previously ­accused Rupert Murdoch’s former wife, Wendi Deng, of being a spy, the CIA of sponsoring the Greens as spies, and his now-­estranged senator Jacqui Lambie of having been planted in PUP on a secret mission to damage it. His statement said that a “coalition of a Chinese state-owned enterprise (Citic Pacific) and the WA Government taking on an Australian citizen is most disturbing, especially when the WA police hold no jurisdiction over this matter”.
===

Julia Gillard’s defence dismissed

Andrew Bolt November 26 2014 (6:58am)

Jeremy Stoljar rejects the “do you know who I am” defence of Julia Gillard:
JULIA Gillard has suffered a ­setback in her bid to demolish ­allegations she received “wads of cash” from a corrupt union boss boyfriend in the 1990s, after the evidence of two key witnesses was accepted as reliable. 
The counsel assisting the royal commission into union corruption, Jeremy Stoljar SC, yesterday dismissed the former Labor prime minister’s argument her evidence should be given more weight than that of Wayne Hem, a former Australian Workers’ Union staffer, and Athol James, a retired builder who helped to renovate Ms ­Gillard’s home…
Sticking with his view that Mr Hem and Mr James were telling the truth, Mr Stoljar yesterday gave “no probative force” to Ms Gillard’s request in a submission this month “to give significant weight to (her) good character and reputation” and to consider that the commission had little or no evidence about the character and reputation of two witnesses with accounts that conflicted with her account. 
The counsel assisting said that while Ms Gillard was someone who had “enjoyed a long and immensely successful career in public life”, the inference could not be drawn that because Mr Hem and Mr James were “private persons” without power and influence that they were “not of good character and reputation”. 
 ===
Our world: The goal of Obama’s foreign policy
By CAROLINE B. GLICK
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Our-world-The-goal-of-Obamas-foreign-policy-332993
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http://networkedblogs.com/Rqkq3

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http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/174425

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http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/174424#.UpSOraWLNa8

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http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/174447#.UpSP_aWLNa8

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http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/174438

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http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/174449

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http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1113/phillips_1938_again.php3#.UpNMjD-SJ5o.facebook
Except Obama isn't really Chamberlain. Chamberlain was a decent person facing evil. Obama is getting what he wants, just like When Gillard was forced to lie about a carbon tax for Greens .. even afterwards, without Green alliance, she held to her lie.  - ed
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http://newsblaze.com/story/20131124161327nurg.nb/topstory.html
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First thought that came to mind when I heard about the agreement was George Orwell's line: "The quickest way to end a war is to lose it."
More in my Tuesday Jerusalem Post column.
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From Caroline Glick:

" I was on the Steve Maltzberg Show today, talking about the Iran deal.

Here's the video "
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http://newsblaze.com/story/20131108165040nurg.nb/topstory.html
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http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/abject-surrender-united-states_768140.html?nopager=1
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/21/gaza-city-sewage_n_4315803.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

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http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/the-un-global-warming-hoax-is-slowly.html
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http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/prisoners-released-after-state-chemist-fakes-drug-tests/story-fn5fsgyc-1226767807292

Bad management .. the girl is only a symptom. - ed
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http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/family-guy-kills-off-major-character/story-e6frfmyi-1226768183812

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http://www.smh.com.au/business/world-business/is-bitcoin-more-than-a-passing-fad-20131126-2y79p.html
Anything that is valued is valuable - ed
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http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/highway-of-hell-brazils-child-prostitution-scandal/story-fnixwvgh-1226768519546

They were precious in God's eyes before they were born, and at their lowest. I could cheerfully torture those who exploit them. But I'd rather they had a life offering hope, not vengeance. This evils what Francis works so hard to end. - ed
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http://www.news.com.au/world/inside-the-home-of-sandy-hook-shooter-adam-lanza/story-fndir2ev-1226768697177

"Train your brain to get happy" .. is it a good book? - ed
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“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"To preach deliverance to the captives."
Luke 4:18

None but Jesus can give deliverance to captives. Real liberty cometh from him only. It is a liberty righteously bestowed; for the Son, who is Heir of all things, has a right to make men free. The saints honour the justice of God, which now secures their salvation. It is a liberty which has been dearly purchased. Christ speaks it by his power, but he bought it by his blood. He makes thee free, but it is by his own bonds. Thou goest clear, because he bare thy burden for thee: thou art set at liberty, because he has suffered in thy stead. But, though dearly purchased, he freely gives it. Jesus asks nothing of us as a preparation for this liberty. He finds us sitting in sackcloth and ashes, and bids us put on the beautiful array of freedom; he saves us just as we are, and all without our help or merit. When Jesus sets free, the liberty is perpetually entailed; no chains can bind again. Let the Master say to me, "Captive, I have delivered thee," and it is done forever. Satan may plot to enslave us, but if the Lord be on our side, whom shall we fear? The world, with its temptations, may seek to ensnare us, but mightier is he who is for us than all they who be against us. The machinations of our own deceitful hearts may harass and annoy us, but he who hath begun the good work in us will carry it on and perfect it to the end. The foes of God and the enemies of man may gather their hosts together, and come with concentrated fury against us, but if God acquitteth, who is he that condemneth? Not more free is the eagle which mounts to his rocky eyrie, and afterwards outsoars the clouds, than the soul which Christ hath delivered. If we are no more under the law, but free from its curse, let our liberty be practically exhibited in our serving God with gratitude and delight. "I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds." "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"

Evening


"For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."
Romans 9:15
In these words the Lord in the plainest manner claims the right to give or to withhold his mercy according to his own sovereign will. As the prerogative of life and death is vested in the monarch, so the Judge of all the earth has a right to spare or condemn the guilty, as may seem best in his sight. Men by their sins have forfeited all claim upon God; they deserve to perish for their sins--and if they all do so, they have no ground for complaint. If the Lord steps in to save any, he may do so if the ends of justice are not thwarted; but if he judges it best to leave the condemned to suffer the righteous sentence, none may arraign him at their bar. Foolish and impudent are all those discourses about the rights of men to be all placed on the same footing; ignorant, if not worse, are those contentions against discriminating grace, which are but the rebellions of proud human nature against the crown and sceptre of Jehovah. When we are brought to see our own utter ruin and ill desert, and the justice of the divine verdict against sin, we no longer cavil at the truth that the Lord is not bound to save us; we do not murmur if he chooses to save others, as though he were doing us an injury, but feel that if he deigns to look upon us, it will be his own free act of undeserved goodness, for which we shall forever bless his name.
How shall those who are the subjects of divine election sufficiently adore the grace of God? They have no room for boasting, for sovereignty most effectually excludes it. The Lord's will alone is glorified, and the very notion of human merit is cast out to everlasting contempt. There is no more humbling doctrine in Scripture than that of election, none more promotive of gratitude, and, consequently, none more sanctifying. Believers should not be afraid of it, but adoringly rejoice in it.
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Today's reading: Ezekiel 24-26, 1 Peter 2 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 24-26



Jerusalem as a Cooking Pot

1 In the ninth year, in the tenth month on the tenth day, the word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, record this date, this very date, because the king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day. 3 Tell this rebellious people a parable and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
“‘Put on the cooking pot; put it on
and pour water into it.
4 Put into it the pieces of meat,
all the choice pieces—the leg and the shoulder.
Fill it with the best of these bones;
5 take the pick of the flock.
Pile wood beneath it for the bones;
bring it to a boil
and cook the bones in it.
6 “‘For this is what the Sovereign LORD says:
“‘Woe to the city of bloodshed,
to the pot now encrusted,
whose deposit will not go away!
Take the meat out piece by piece
in whatever order it comes....

Today's New Testament reading: 1 Peter 2

1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
The Living Stone and a Chosen People
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame....”
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Naaman [Nā'aman]—delight, pleasant or agreeable.
  1. A son of Benjamin and founder of a tribal family (Gen. 46:21).
  2. A son of Bela, son of Benjamin (Num. 26:401 Chron. 8:4).
  3. A son of Ehud, or Abihud, grandson of Benjamin (1 Chron. 8:7).
  4. A Syrian captain in the army of Ben-hadad, king of Damascus. This able commander was cured of leprosy by Elisha the prophet ( 2 Kings 5;Luke 4:27).

The Man Who Was Valiant But Leprous


What a blight Naaman’s leprosy must have cast on his path! Successful, valiant, noble, yet a leper. His loathesome disease must have haunted him day and night. As there was no physician in Syria who could help him, he had the dread of going to the grave with his foul ailment. But God has a way of using little things to achieve His beneficent purpose. Among the captives brought from Israel to Syria was a girl chosen to act as maid to Naaman’s wife. This slave maiden loved the Lord and was not ashamed to own Him. Thus when her mistress bemoaned the disease and despair of her husband, the girl sang the praises of Elisha. We can imagine how she would relate the miracles of the prophet, and, since her life was consistent with her testimony, the captive girl was believed.

With faith in the witness of the maid, Naaman went to Samaria, but felt rebuffed when Elisha would not see him, and instead sent his servant to the captain with the order: “Go wash in Jordan seven times.”
How angry Naaman was to be told to wash himself in the muddy Jordan! Away he went in a rage, simply because his pride had been hurt. Elisha was indifferent to Naaman’s honor and wealth, and also to the virtue of the better rivers in Damascus. But Naaman’s excellent servant wanted his master cured of his dread disease, and influenced by him, Naaman obeyed the word of Elisha and was made whole. For the minister this old-time miracle bristles with forceful application.
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