Friday, December 30, 2016

Fri Dec 30th Todays News

The December IPA Review is out and Matthew Lesh has written “Terrorist Chic in the 1970s” based on the Jeffrey Tobin work “American Heiress.” Patty Hearst was kidnapped age 19 by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). The SLA were a BLM style group, composed mainly of white privileged young people. Of the seven, one styled himself as general. They were fans of Che Guevara. They had no plan for their actions. Patty was converted and participated in their activity. She later claimed she had been raped. SLA members claimed the sex was consensual. Technically, if you kidnap someone, sex cannot be consensual, but the prosecutors did not see it that way, or judges. After Jonestown claimed the life of a senator who was working to help her, John Wayne commented that it was “odd that people had accepted the fact that Jim Jones had brainwashed 900 human beings into mass suicide, but would not accept that a group like the Symbionese Liberation Army could have brainwashed a kidnapped teenage girl.”

Lesh, in setting the scene for Hearst’s kidnapping, laid blame partly at the feet of Richard Nixon and general feelings of betrayal experienced by Americans with peace culture violently expressing itself. Which is really unfair on Nixon as he acted to end the war the peace movement was opposed to, and his presidency was only claimed by entrenched FBI corruption including Assistant FBI Director Felt. In fact, the peace movement was largely funded and directed by Soviet interests. The malice of Che Guevara was clearly of greatest interest to the enamoured SLA. Lesh also mentions President Reagan when he means Governor Reagan. President Carter commuted Hearst’s conviction and Clinton forgave her. Obama was besties with friends of Hearst’s captors, the Weather Underground. Even when Hearst was in isolation in prison, on the day of the trial of two SLA members, a dead rat was left in her bunk. Much has been made about the remaining living SLA members describing Hearst as joining their cult. They would say that. Hearst could have helped them more. They could have been better to Hearst. The truth is they are terrorists who kidnapped a 19 yo and blamed her.
=== from 2015 ===
The 1987 death of the Fairness Doctrine in the US for broadcast journalism was a boon for the balanced Fox as well as CNN and other leftwing networks. Prior to the end of it, leftwing networks ganged up to beat up any other network, so that conservative content was hard to find. President Reagan's advisers opposed it on the principle it opposed free speech. Democrat congress supported it for partisan reasons. Reagan's presidential veto won. Now, with the rise of Fox News, and the collapse of left wing networks because nobody cares what they think, the left wing networks, championed by Bernie Sanders, want it back. Bernie Sanders worries about the temperature and doesn't check the records before declaring it is too warm. It was warmer in the past too. But that is weather. And facts don't matter to Climate Change worriers. They get paid to have their opinions. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility.
From 2014
2014 was not precisely as Blair anticipated it. A new look senate meant a continuation of ALP dominance when Clive Palmer's PUP party managed a block of four and ruinously opposed government policy. It threatens the Australian economy and gives PUP extraordinary power. But the power of PUP is illusory. PUP has broken and fractured, but still behaves like an obstruction, but will be shown to be impotent if the ALP ever choose to pursue a positive agenda. But the ALP have opposed almost everything, including their own policies. The press have responded by despising the LNP and inferring division which seems to have resulted through misplaced ambition. Division will be used to crucify the LNP. It doesn't have to exist for the media to inflate it. But the government has been effective where it has been able to act. The removal of the Carbon Tax was a great success for reason and will boost Australia's prospects. The foreign policy has been spot on. Success with boat people is stunning. Partisan bodies like the HRC and Climate Council have been exposed, although frustratingly held in place by the Senate obstruction. The smoking gun of union corruption is gradually being uncovered. In Queensland, there was the failure to prosecute the Heiner inquiry from an apparently partisan judiciary. The ALP have corrupted the public service wherever they are. Poor South Australia and Victoria will suffer much for some time yet.

Bolt celebrates Christians and artists and creation. He misses the point of Christianity because although the genius is beautiful in some of it's art, the power and majesty lies in the humble, not in the pride of meaning. Great artists have delved deeply to make music and build the majestic and sublime. And while that may inspire, that isn't what Christ instructed or Paul exhorted. Christianity is about worshipping God through Christ, and that motivates people differently. In WW2, it motivated a theologian who had been instructed by Nazis to go against faith, to walk into their noose and surrender his life. Christianity saw her own flame extinguished by Chinese communists .. and spontaneously relight so that China is the world's fastest growing Christian community. Pathetically, some Christians are motivated to lie and cheat, as Westboro Baptist have done. As a rule of thumb, a Christian is best evaluated in faith terms by their humbleness. If they are prideful, as some Jew hating ones are, then they are not close to God.
From 2013
Blair anticipates 2014. It will be different to 2013. The year will begin with an effective government, and mid year, will have a new look senate. Already, the economy is improving with a lower dollar and merchants reporting more business. But also substantial media opposition to successful outcomes. In 2013, media tried to blow up an effective relationship with Indonesia in the hopes that more people would drown and be exploited by pirates. That, in the mind of the left wing media would be a success for the ALP. Other successes for the ALP would be a failure of justice probes into corrupt union activity. Theft and exploitation of the poorest workers seems to be acceptable to the ALP, who protect a person who steals money from nurses to have sex with prostitutes, or funds an election campaign, or buys a house for a mate, or stands over a business to extort. Protection of those involved in destroying evidence of a child gang rape in detention is an appalling example of ALP government. It isn't bad that the press ask inappropriate questions, it is bad when they don't ask the right ones. 

What is deprivation to a Greenpeace warrior? Free food and board from a Russian government that he tried to harm, and an ungrateful Greenpeace terrorist complains that he didn't have enough vegetables. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. Something that AGW extremists trapped in summer ice in Antarctica may not have considered. Rescue ice breakers haven't been able to get through. No doubt, the report, the extremists will make, will say that they were unable to measure any warming abatement because of their predicament. Waleed Aly can count to three. That is good for an ABC presenter. Average age of the youth group called Get Up is 55, yet so immature. Trust Brandis to stand up for an independent and committed individual in Wilson. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 1066, Granada massacre: A Muslim mob stormed the royal palace in Granada, crucified Jewish vizierJoseph ibn Naghrela and massacred most of the Jewish population of the city. 1460, Wars of the RosesBattle of Wakefield. 1702, Queen Anne's WarJames Moore, Governor of the Province of Carolina, abandoned the Siege of St. Augustine. 1813, British soldiers burn Buffalo, New York during the War of 1812. 1816, the Treaty of St. Louis (1816) between the United States and the united OttawaOjibwa, and Potawatomi Indian tribes was proclaimed. 1825, the Treaty of St. Louis between the United States and the Shawnee Nation was proclaimed. 1853, Gadsden Purchase: The United States bought land from Mexico to facilitate railroad building in the Southwest. 1896, Filipino patriot and reform advocate José Rizal was executed by a Spanish firing squad in ManilaPhilippines. Also 1896, Canadian ice hockey player Ernie McLea scored the first hat-trick in Stanley Cup play, and the Cup-winning goal as the Montreal Victorias defeat the Winnipeg Victorias 6–5. 1897, the British Colony of Natal annexed Zululand.

In 1903, a fire at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago, Illinois killed at least 605. 1905, former IdahoGovernor Frank Steunenberg was assassinated at the front gate of his home in Caldwell. 1906, the All-India Muslim League was founded in DaccaEast Bengal, British India. It went on to lay the foundations of Pakistan. 1916, the last coronation in Hungary was performed for King Charles IV and Queen Zita. 1919, Lincoln's Inn in London, England, UK admitted its first female bar student. 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was formed. 1927, the Ginza Line, the first subway line in Asia, opened in Tokyo, Japan. 1936, the United Auto Workers union stages its first sitdown strike. 1943, Subhas Chandra Bose raised the flag of Indian independence at Port Blair. 1944, King George II of Greece declared a regency, leaving the throne vacant. 1947, King Michael I of Romania was forced to abdicate by the Soviet Union-backed Communist government of Romania. 1948, the Cole Porter Broadway musical, Kiss Me, Kate (1,077 performances), opened at the New Century Theatre and became the first show to win the Best Musical Tony Award.

In 1958, the Guatemalan Air Force sank several Mexican fishing boats alleged to have breached maritime borders, killing three and sparking international tension. 1965, Ferdinand Marcos became President of the Philippines. 1972, Vietnam War: The United States halted heavy bombing of North Vietnam. 1977, for the second time, Ted Bundy escaped from his cell in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. 1981, in the 39th game of his third NHL season, Wayne Gretzky scored five goals, giving him 50 on the year and setting a new NHL record previously held by Maurice Richard and Mike Bossy, who earlier had each scored 50 goals in 50 games. 1993, Israel and Vatican City established diplomatic relations. 1996, in the Indian state of Assam, a passenger train was bombed by Bodo separatists, killing 26. Also 1996, proposed budget cuts by Benjamin Netanyahu sparked protests from 250,000 workers who shut down services across Israel. 1997, in the worst incident in Algeria's insurgency, the Wilaya of Relizane massacres, 400 people from four villages were killed.

In 2000, Rizal Day bombings: A series of bombs exploded in various places in Metro Manila, Philippines within a period of a few hours, killing 22 and injuring about a hundred. 2004, a fire in the República Cromagnon nightclub in Buenos AiresArgentina killed 194. 2005, Tropical Storm Zeta formed in the open Atlantic Ocean, tying the record for the latest tropical cycloneever to form in the North Atlantic basin. 2006, Madrid–Barajas Airport was bombed. Also 2006, the Indonesian passenger ferry MV Senopati Nusantara sank in a storm, resulting in at least 400 deaths. Also in 2006, former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein was executed. 2009, a segment of the Lanzhou–Zhengzhou–Changsha pipeline ruptures in Shaanxi, China, and approximately 150,000 l (40,000 US gal) of diesel oil flowed down the Wei River before finally reaching the Yellow River. Also 2009, a suicide bomber killed nine people at Forward Operating Base Chapman, a key facility of the Central Intelligence Agency in Afghanistan. 2011, owing to a change of time zone the day was skipped in Samoa and Tokelau. 2013, more than 100 people were killed when anti-government forces attacked key buildings in KinshasaDemocratic Republic of the Congo.
=== 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
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 Steve JohnstonNhi Tori Tran and Lisa Morson. Born on the same day, across the years, along with 
December 30Rizal Day in the Philippines (1896)
José Rizal
Wakefield is ours. So is Castillo. Yours was not a rebellion. You preside. Your bombs end in cease fire. Let's party. 
Tim Blair


I am the happiest human on earth, because yesterday my pair of authentic Harambe gorilla shorts finally arrived.
30 Dec  


Indonesian police this year confronted more than double the number of Islamic terrorists they faced in 2015 – and killed 33 of them.
30 Dec  


Sydney judge Audrey Balla, who wouldn’t cop any freedom sack nonsense from Moutia Elzahed, has a rival for the title of 2016’s top legal figure.
30 Dec  


Donald Trump may have defeated Hillary Clinton and her many supporters, but he is yet to deal with the awesome powerforce that is Arizona meteorologist Eric Holthaus.
30 Dec  


The first lawsuits following San Francisco’s deadly Ghost Ship fire have now been filed.
30 Dec


Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 29, 2015 (10:14pm)

Just one of the many highlights in David Thompson’s 2015 review: 
The politics of ostentatiously non-conformist hair was explained to us in August, thanks to Annah Anti-Palindrome, a woman who channels her hatred of “everyone around me” into her feminism. 
One more: 
In November … the Guardian’s Osman Faruqi, a “Sydney-based writer and activist,” demanded that someone else – taxpayers on the other side of the world – should pay for his leisure activities. Specifically, by nationalising Twitter. Mr Faruqi was subsequently astonished to hear that many readers had assumed his article was a cunning satire of leftist entitlement. 
Please read on.


Tim Blair – Wednesday, December 30, 2015 (10:53am)

Palestinian education minister Dr Sabri Saidam is upset with an Australian delegation following a recent meeting
The “challenging” questions put to the Education Minister are understood to have related to the Palestinian Authority’s practice of naming schools in honour of Palestinian terrorists …
There are three Palestinian schools named in honour of Dalal Mughrabi, who led the most lethal terror attack in Israel’s history, a bus hijacking that slaughtered 37 civilians (including 12 children). Three more schools in territory under Palestinian control are named in honour of the mastermind of the Munich Olympics terror attack in which 11 Israeli athletes were tortured and killed by Palestinian terrorists …
A girls’ school in the Palestinian town of Tulkarem bears the name of Hamas suicide bombmaker Nash’at Abu Jabara, no doubt revered for his mastery of electrical engineering.
Students attending the Artas High School for Girls pass underneath the image of 18-year-old female suicide bomber Ayat Al-Akhras, described as “the heroic martyr”. 
Well, at least they haven’t named any in honour of Cecil Rhodes.


Tim Blair – Wednesday, December 30, 2015 (11:54am)

In 2006, Tim Flannery turned his celebrated predictive powers to the subject of oil prices
Just play a little thought game … It’s 2016 … Imagine oil prices twice or three times what they are today. 
Then again, imagine otherwise.


Tim Blair – Wednesday, December 30, 2015 (2:27pm)

Victimhood culture runs deeper than mere university activism, Brendan O’Neill
Rhodes Must Fall, the gang of spoilt Oxford brats who want a statue of the colonialist Cecil Rhodes removed from Oriel College, is being chalked up as another outburst of campus craziness. The media are having a field day mocking the hypocrisies and idiocies of the Rhodes-fearing students, one of whom is a Rhodes scholar — so he’ll take Rhodes’ cash but doesn’t want to look at his likeness — and all of whom describe walking past the statue as ‘an act of violence’.
At the end of a year in which students have complained that doing yoga is ‘cultural appropriation’ and reading The Great Gatsby can trigger PTSD, Rhodes Must Fall is being viewed as the latest loopy pursuit of bookish youth who inhabit a different moral universe to the rest of us.
But to treat Rhodes Must Fall in this way is to miss a trick. For this movement is in fact infused with some very mainstream ways of thinking. The true engine of Rhodes Must Fall is the culture of victimhood, the view of the self as a hapless object to which things happen, upon which wicked words wreak havoc, a creature easily propelled into trauma by ideas or images or experiences. And that’s an idea which exists far beyond the quad of Oriel College, Oxford. 
Indeed it does. On a similar theme, here’s Kevin Donnelly
The University of Sydney’s Religion State and Society Research Network best illustrates how those from the cultural left are seeking to attack and undermine Western culture.
Any curriculum that defends Western political and legal systems and way of life is attacked on the network’s website for replicating and reinforcing what is described as “the socially constructed concept of whiteness”. 


Tim Blair – Wednesday, December 30, 2015 (7:17pm)

At the Age, today’s biggest story isn’t the royal commission’s findings on union corruption. Far more important is a minor Canberra staffing issue:


Tom Harley’s apologia for Islam

Andrew Bolt December 30 2015 (10:41am)

What a curious piece on Islam in today’s Australianby Tom Harley, former Liberal vice-president and still chairman of the party’s think tank, the Menzies Research Centre.
Harley’s denialism, straw men and false analogies in defending Islam are plain, as is the apparent spite of this Turnbull supporter towards Tony Abbott, who as Prime Minister ruled that lobbyists should not hold Liberal party positions and Harley should go.
Harley denied then he was a lobbyist, and today denies there is anything inherently violent in Islamic theology.
There may well be a respectable argument to be made for Harley’s position, but, if so, why would Harley resort to one as deceptive and shoddy as this? Is this a reflection of the quality of reasoning that informs the Prime Minister’s own benign statements on Islam?

Linking Islamic State with mainstream Islam is exactly what it would like to have everyone ­believe. Yes, Islamic State claims to fight in the name of Islam, uses its terms, references variants of its ­beliefs in its propaganda and ­imposes the most extreme interpretations of Islam where it has taken territory. But, in truth, it is a group of ­opportunists filling a vacuum. The movement has received significant strategic direction out of Baghdad by Sunni Baath party commanders formerly loyal to Saddam Hussein. 
They once had been the ruling elite of Iraq and lost virtually all power when the Iraqi army and Baath party were disbanded following the US-led invasion in 2003… They are not pious ­Islamic clerics but whisky-drinking, disco-­visiting secular figures; they have used an extreme and perverted version of Islam to give themselves a standing, to mobilise supporters and to claim some form of respectability… Like many insurgencies, a charismatic front proselytises a cause while cynical hardheads amass power, wealth and influence.
Calling the Islamic State leaders whisking-drinking hypocrites does not actually get us far in diagnosing the appeal of the group’s Islamist message to tens of thousands of its fighters and hundreds of thousands of its supporters around the world. You could equally point out that Stalin was a murderous paranoiac and psychopath and Mao a power-mad sexual predator without having explained why communism appealed to millions, including many of our intellectuals.
Likewise, whether or not the Islamic State leaders are as Harley claims says nothing about Islam or the Islamic State’s appeal, which Harley begrudgingly concedes.
Islamic State has been highly ­effective in concocting an extreme and “pure” version of Islam to ­access and mobilise people who feel marginalised within their own communities or Western nations. Fanatical evangelical sects do the same thing throughout the world, garnering vulnerable people, making them feel empowered and confident, and giving them a standing in a cause in return for their submission to direction.
Here Harley actually begins to concede the point - that the Islamic State actually claims to preach a “pure” version of Islam, and it is this that resonates so strongly with so many Muslims, making them feel “empowered”.  Mind you, he tosses in some classic victimology about Muslims being peculiarly “vulnerable” and “marginalised”.
So Harley starts to relativise:
All faiths have done this; it is not an Islamic phenomenon. There are examples throughout Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism of ­extremists, building literal and figurative armies by collecting fringe dwellers and enlisting them to do things they would not normally do, and have them do the work of the political, not religious, aims of their leaders.
Really? Looking around, where do we find similar examples, of, say, Christianity inspiring “literal” armies as Islam does today?
Harley must stretch - all the way to the German city of Munster more than 400 years ago:
Jan of Leyden, the Anabaptist leader who took Munster in the 16th century, convinced the population they were running a holy war and used claims of divinely conferred powers to justify outrageous acts of barbarity, personal enrichment and polygamy. It all ended badly for him and everyone else. Waco, Texas, and Jonestown are more recent examples of the same phenomenon, albeit far smaller. 
True, every creed has it kooks. Every society has its men of violence. The health of those creeds and communities, though, is measured by the reaction to those extremists. Do the majority disown or expel them? Do the religious leaders take responsibility for reforming their faith and reclaiming it from those who use it to wage war?
In the case of the Anabaptists, actually a communistic cult, the armies of Christendom were ranged in opposition to them. Munster was besieged and the Anabaptists wiped out.
As for Waco and Jonestown, I defy Harley to name a single Christian preacher of note who thought the cult leaders had a point. I defy him to cite the New Testament passages which licensed what the cult leaders did. I defy him to demonstrate how the example of Christ’s own life could be used by the leaders of Waco and Jonestown to legitimise their own actions. In every way - in numbers, in theological justification, in the reaction of the mainstream - the extremists Harley cites are the wildest aberrations. illustrative of nothing in Christianity then or now.
But regard Islamism today - whether preached by the leaders of the Islamic State or al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, al Shabaab, Boko Haram, Jamah Islamiyah, al Nusra and the many other Islamist terrorism groups listed by the US State Department.  Note their numbers. Note that they are fighting now, not in the 16th century. Note how few Islamic clerics and leaders lead the fight against such groups, theologically or militarily. Note how these groups can and do quote the Koran and Surah to licence their terrorism. Note how then can point to the example of Mohammad himself in killing and enslaving unbelievers.
The scale of this religiously inspired or legitimised violence threat is beyond anything the world has faced from a faith in our lifetimes. For Harley to counterpoise this world-wide threat with Waco is simply ludicrous. For him to limit the examples of Islamist terrorism to merely the Islamic State is myopic. Yet he continues:
Note The worst possible thing to do is to publicly give such fringe dwellers and extremists the dignity of linking them to some mainstream organisation. It is exactly what they want and exactly what they must not have.
Just because the Islamic State wants to be seen as an expression of Islam is no reason to deny it is. In fact, its power has lain in being able to convince hundreds of thousands of Muslims that it is indeed Islamic.
It is an even more foolish step to then ­denounce the whole faith for the actions of people who want to claim to represent it; it merely gives the zealots further cause.
This is in part a straw man argument. Many critics I’ve read do not “denounce the whole faith” or all believers. They call for reform of the faith or more action from the faith’s mainstream representatives to combat the interpretations of Islam that Harley deplores.
And note that warning that is so typical of apologists such as Harley: that to criticise Islam as excusing violence will invite violence. That it “merely gives the zealots further cause”.
Why would criticising Islam be potentially lethal if Islam did not indeed legitimise a lethal response to those who attack the faith?
Again, let’s contrast. Have you ever heard a political apparatchik or journalist warn against criticising Catholicism or Catholic priests for fear of inciting Catholic extremists to kill?
Harley actually confirms what he seeks to deny. But he has a solution - of sorts:
The defeat of Islamic State is more a problem for the Islamic world than it is for the non-Islamic world and, for that reason alone, the solutions must necessarily be found within the Islamic leadership through the formation of coalitions and prioritisation of their enemies. 
Yes, yes - we keep hearing that the Islamic State is worse for Muslims. So why do so many Muslim countries refuse to fight it? And why does the West fear a victory over the Islamic State if that victory leaves the militant Iranian regime - itself a sponsor of terrorism - dominant in Iraq and Syria?
Declaring all of Islam as being accountable is wrong, as it by implication condemns Islamic leaders — within our own community and in the region — who want to reclaim their faith’s reputation from its hijackers.
Where are those Islamic leaders? What have they actually done to reclaim their faith’s reputation? What does Harley have to say of the likes of our own Grand Mufti, who initially responded to the Islamic State attack on Paris with a statement blaming it on the sins of the West? Is Harley describing what actually is or just dreaming of what should be?
Excuses follow for the inaction of the clerics that Harley has just claimed “want to reclaim their faith’s reputation”:

There is another flaw in making Islam the target: there is no such thing as an institution called Islam. Trying to call for its reform has the absurd, simplifying notion that Islam is a functioning organisation that is capable of being ruled. Unlike the unreformed Catholic Church, there is no pope, no single body of authority. Luther and Calvin could call for reformation ­because there was a pope and a college of cardinals plus a Holy Roman Emperor to do the job. Those authorities had the choice to accommodate the demands of the Protestants or to resist.
Again, a ludicrous analogy. When the Pope refused to reform his faith, did Luther then stop? Did the proto-Protestants pack up and go home? Did they simply leave their faith to the Pope’s care, or did they wrest it from him?
Many of the unattractive elements in various versions of Islam are not capable of remedy or ­recon­struction by a mufti, ayatollah, ulama, king or emir because no such authority exists. There is nothing even approaching a unified structure for Islam.
Nor is there for Christendom, actually. No single figure speaks for the Anglicans, Catholics, Protestants, Seventh Day Adventists, Methodists, Christian Scientists, Pentacostals, Maronites, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Copts and dozens of other Christian churches. That does not excuse the leaders of each church taking responsibility for the interpretation of their faith.
But Harley, having just claimed “no such authority exists” to reform Islam goes on to cite one of the many which actually could:
Uniting the Islamic world against Islamic State is extraordinarily difficult, as the Saudis’ most recent effort shows. The Saudis have pulled together a coalition of nations to fight terror and even have the support of one of the leading Sunni theological centres, Al-Azhar University in Cairo. 
So Harley actually accepts what he in the paragraph before denied - that institutions such as the “one of the leading Sunni theological centres, Al-Azhar University in Cairo” can indeed be deployed in disputing interpretations of Islam deployed by the likes of the Islamic State. Indeed, this was just the kind of theological work urged on Egypt’s clerics in January by Egypt’s president. And the muftis and ayatollahs listed earlier by Harley have the authority to attempt the same - should they wish.
Harley continues:
It is also a dangerous notion to lump all Muslims into one basket. 
Straw man. Who does what Harley claims? Apart from Harley himself, that is:
There are many Muslim communities that share the values we generally associate with liberal democratic Western society and repudiate sharia law — they ­believe in the secular life but still follow their own faith.
An exaggeration and denial of reality. Having just told us to not “lump all Muslims into one basket”, Harley himself does just that to assure us “many Muslim communities ... repudiate sharia law”. In fact, many Muslims may do that, but there is no such unanimity in their communities. Islam itself advocates sharia law, and - not surprisingly - polls suggest most Muslims around the world want sharia law. The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils has also argued for the adoption here of sharia principles.
Yet again I wonder, is Harley describing the world as it is or simply as he wishes it to be?
Then there’s yet another absurd analogy:
To hold Islam responsible for ­Islamic State is even more ridiculous than holding the Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury responsible for the IRA and the extreme Ulster Orange groups — worse in the instance of Islamic State as it has the risk of making enemies out of allies.
The Irish Republic Army was an avowedly nationalist - not religious - terrorist group. It killed in defiance of Christian teaching, not in accordance with it. It never quoted the Bible to legitimise its violence, as the Islamic State quotes the Koran. And the Pope indeed denounced it.
Why would Harley make this absurd analogy - if not to minimise the reality of Islamism?
And after this farrago of false analogies, straw men, exaggerations, excuses and denialism, Harley gets to what I believe is the whole point of his article - a barely disguised slur of Tony Abbott, who has called for the reform of Islam to the discomfort of Harley’s ally, Malcolm Turnbull:
It is not only ignorant but dangerous to oversimplify the ­issues into some glib catchcry of Islam versus the West. Care, intelligence and common sense are ­required, not indiscriminate belligerence. In all wars you identify the enemy and attack it without compromise. In this instance, the would-be knights and crusaders do not resemble Richard the Lionheart but Don Quixote.
Actually, Tom, you’ve hit on yet another dud analogy. Don Quixote actually saw things that were not there - things he wished were true but were not. But I won’t flatter you by calling you the real Don Quixote here. That role is actually filled by someone more senior, relegating you to merely his Sancho Panza.
But here is the real concern for me. Harley is not just a Turnbull ally but a director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University

Peak Flannery

Andrew Bolt December 30 2015 (9:43am)

Is there any field which Tim Flannery has not decorated with his dud predictions?
Peak oil. The Financial Times, yesterday: 
As a miserable year for the oil industry draws to a close … 2016 is shaping up to be even worse … The outlook was already dire a year ago. Since then, Brent crude has fallen a further 39 per cent, to about $US37 per barrel on Monday, and is trading at close to an 11-year low.
And peak Tim Flannery, Wired, March 15, 2006: 
Wired: Do you believe that we’re coming into the peak production of oil …? 
Flannery: All the projections suggests that we’re hitting it … Just play a little thought game … It’s 2016 … Imagine oil prices twice or three times what they are today.
Flannery seems to have a marked taste for the apocalyptic, leaving him in the curious position of being constantly disappointed by good news. 


Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 30, 2014 (10:59am)

Syria remains the hot holiday destination for jihad-jolly youngsters wanting to die. From Sydney
A Bankstown extremist identified as the latest Australian jihadist to be killed fighting for Islamic State’s terror army in Syria was last night being praised as a martyr by friends and supporters in Australia.
It is believed Ahmed Mohammed Al-Ghazzawi was killed by Syrian forces on Boxing Day. 
And from Melbourne
A young Melbourne woman has become one of the latest in a string of Australians to be seduced by the Islamic State death cult, sneaking to Syria to marry a Jihadi playboy.
Zehra Duman’s distraught parents say the 21-year-old has been “brainwashed” and they are desperately working with authorities to bring her home. 
It doesn’t sound like much fun: “Duman is mainly confined indoors while Abullatif spends weeks away fighting in conflict zones.”

Christmas, artists and the celebration of creation

Andrew Bolt December 30 2014 (3:50pm)

Personal stuff I'm glad I wrote

I’m no Christian, but was admiring a painting of Christ in a Melbourne gallery when the artist popped in to see how it was all hanging.
He’d painted this big blue picture 60 years earlier, when he was just 19, hoping to enter it for the Blake Prize for religious art, but when he’d finished he found he was too poor to pay for the postage.
So he just took it home, where friends, including the artists Albert Tucker and Arthur Boyd, had dropped in and admired it.
I asked what he thought of this vivid painting now, after so many years and so many other paintings, and he looked at it for a while before answering: “I don’t know how I did it.”
That’s the miracle of creation – and maybe part of what we celebrate at Christmas Day.
Richard Crichton didn’t know how he’d been inspired as a teenager to create.
But I’m guessing that he felt when painting it what I feel when I now see it on my wall – that, yes, there is something bigger than we can comprehend, which makes us feel part of something mysteriously larger than ourselves.
For me, Christianity is just a powerful metaphor for this sensation – an attempt to explain it and summon it, as well as to comfort and to guide.
Put me in a particularly fine service or particularly beautiful cathedral and I will get that sensation of the heart and the tears bursting free.  I felt it, for instance, listening to a Mozart mass for Epiphany in Vienna’s magnificent Stephansdom cathedral.
But other great acts of creation also suggest a mysteriously great force.
Michelangelo’s frescos in the Sistine Chapel or the glorious Transfiguration of Raphael hanging outside likewise seem works which come from some other place than that grey cauliflower of matter between the artists’ ears.
I suspect that’s why the death of Phillip Hughes last month seemed so unusually shocking. Such a great theft.
It wasn’t just that he was so young - just 25. Or that the accident was so random – hit in the neck by a ball.  Or that he died while being so fully alive – playing cricket.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Christmas, artists and the celebration of creation'



Tim Blair – Monday, December 30, 2013 (5:26am)

In accordance with ancient tradition, it is once again time to gaze into my crystal balls as we look forward to events in the new year.

Icon Arrow Continue reading '2014 FORETOLD'


Tim Blair – Monday, December 30, 2013 (5:20am)

This is beautiful
A Greenpeace campaigner claims he was forced to live on bread and water while being held in a Russian prison because it didn’t offer a vegetarian alternative. 
(Via jailhouse gourmand PWAF)


Tim Blair – Monday, December 30, 2013 (5:09am)

Professor Turney and his UNSW colleague Professor Chris Fogwill are leading a team of 60 scientists, including meteorologists, marine ecologists, oceanographers, ice-core and tree-ring specialists.
The research stakes are high because the Antarctic is one of the great engines of the world’s oceans, winds and weather, especially in Australia.
Already scientists believe there is evidence of climate change. 
Things haven’t exactly worked out as planned. Turney, the Professor of Climate Change at the University of University of New South Wales, is now trapped with his climate changey pals by gigantic masses of old-fashioned Antarctic ice. The activists seem mystified
Sea ice is disappearing due to climate change, but here ice is building up. 
Even rescue vessels can’t make it through the ice-loaded waters, leaving the activists to spend their time with puzzled locals:

Caption contest: what is that penguin thinking?


Tim Blair – Monday, December 30, 2013 (5:07am)

If the ABC is so worried about an AFL footballer using a camera while he’s driving, shouldn’t the ABC be just as worried about one of its own presenters doing the same thing?


Tim Blair – Monday, December 30, 2013 (4:59am)

Waleed Aly checks the numbers
This year, we’ve had three prime ministers, Victoria has had two premiers, the Northern Territory has had two chief ministers (and, while we’re at it, Catholics have had two Popes). 


Tim Blair – Monday, December 30, 2013 (4:39am)

The average age of GetUp! members is 55. The median age of ABC viewers is even older
The ABC is out to attract younger viewers to its main ABC1channel next year, with research revealing it has the oldest audience of any of the Australian TV networks.
Fusion Strategy figures show that the median age of ABC1viewers is 63 – much older than SBS (57) and channels 7 (49), Nine (45) and Ten (41). 
This explains why the ABC’s middle-aged comedy group are routinely described as “the Chaser boys”. Relative to their audience, they are. And then we have the radical youth wing of the CFMEU:

(Via Angus Black)


Tim Blair – Monday, December 30, 2013 (4:29am)

Humour makes us free. Which is why the authoritarian left hates it.

George Brandis on the enemies of freedom - and of Tim Wilson

Andrew Bolt December 30 2013 (11:37am)

Attorney-General George Brandis on Tim Wilson, the new freedom commissioner Brandis appointed to the Human Rights Commission:
More often than not, Wilson has taken a position in opposition to that of the Liberal Party. The list is long, but it includes issues as various as industry assistance, public broadcasting, renewable energy targets, tobacco packaging, industrial relations policy, health insurance, bikie laws and gay marriage, to name but a few. 
To describe a person who has been an articulate public opponent of the Liberal Party on so many of the issues which have defined the politics of recent years as a Liberal Party “partisan” seems to me, with all due respect to van Onselen, to be absurd.
I do think van Onselen has been particularly unfair on Wilson. And maybe conservatives have been unfair on Brandis, now revealing himself as a man up for the fight:
But some things never change, like the reaction of the claque of bilious pseudo-intellectuals who constitute what passes for a left-wing commentariat in this country. Mike Carlton, Catherine Deveney, Van Badham and their ilk were nothing if not boorishly predictable. 
They and their followers unleashed a storm of hatred and bile against Wilson on social media, the like of which I have never seen. The irony that these people pose as the enemies of “hate speech” was lost on them, if not on others.
I do think that if anything about Wilson’s appointment deserves comment it is the utterly vicious reaction to it by people so terrified of freedom that they unleash the hate speech they claim to condemn.
(Via Catallaxy.) 

Warmists trapped by irony off Antarctica

Andrew Bolt December 30 2013 (7:03am)

Explorer Douglas Mawson lands in Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica, in clear water in 1912. (Video here.)
Warmist scientists and reporters waiting for rescue after trying the same trick a century later.
Douglas Mawson was not worried about global warming even though his team landed on Antarctica on January 8, 1912, in fine weather:
The sun shone gloriously in a blue sky as we stepped ashore on a charming ice-quay-- the first to set foot on the Antarctic continent between Cape Adare and Gaussberg, a distance of one thousand eight hundred miles…
In landing cargo on Antarctic shores, advantage is generally taken of the floe-ice on to which the materials can be unloaded and at once sledged away to their destination. Here, on the other hand, there was open water, too shallow for the `Aurora’ to be moored alongside the ice-foot.... 
The day had been perfect, vibrant with summer and life, but towards evening a chill breeze sprang up, and we in the motor-launch had to beat against it. By the time we had reached the head of the harbour, Hoadley had several fingers frost-bitten and all were feeling the cold, for we were wearing light garments in anticipation of fine weather. 
A century later, global warming believers decide to retrace Mawson’s trip in the conviction the climate has got a lot warmer since, thanks to man. They are are accompanied by a journalist of the warmist Guardian who earlier this month reported:
This Sunday, scientists will begin a month-long expedition to retrace Mawson’s journey and examine how the eastern Antarctic, one of the most pristine, remote and untouched parts of the world’s surface, has fared after a hundred years of climate changes. “They collected a wealth of scientific data on this entirely new continent,” says Prof Chris Turney, a climate scientist at the University of New South Wales, Australia, and leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013. “As a result, it provides this incredibly good baseline – we’re going to repeat the measurements and see how much has changed over the last century… 
“We’re heading towards east Antarctica in an area that’s traditionally been thought of as very stable – you can do almost anything to it, environmentally and climatically, and it will just sit there. But in the last few years we’re realising that that’s clearly not the case. Parts of it are very vulnerable...”
The strange thing about this right from the start was how in denial Turney’s team was about evidence suggesting there was, if anything, long-term cooling of Antarctic - and certainly increasing sea ice around the continent:
First difference. Where Mawson found a bay with clear water, Turney found a bay choked with ice, forcing his ship to stop some 70 km short of where Mawson landed:
We had reached Commonwealth Bay in East Antarctica. To be precise, our ship, the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, was at the edge of an ice sheet that has been stuck fast to the entrance of the bay ever since a giant 75-mile-long iceberg, called B09B, grounded itself in the bay four years ago. 
Second difference. Turney’s ship is now stuck fast in the ice - an irony so obvious that theGuardian journalist on board avoids the phrase “climate change” in describing the expedition in his latest report:
Life has taken a turn for the worse since Christmas Day, when gusts of up to 70mph slammed into the hull of the MV Akademik Shokalskiy and snow circled its decks, making it impossible to stand up straight outside. 
Since then we have been stuck in pack ice. The Chinese icebreaker Xue Long has given up its attempt to rescue us as ice sheets continue to spread and thicken. Now Xue Long is waiting for the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis to join it in a joint bid to free our ship…
We were only two nautical miles from the ocean before Christmas, but that distance has now swelled to around 20 nautical miles as the blizzards and winds have continued. If the joint efforts of the Aurora Australis and Xue Long don’t work, the only other option will be to evacuate the ship by air, though this would be the absolute worst case scenario. 
I am with the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, led by climate scientist Chris Turney of the University of New South Wales. We are following a century-old expedition led by the British-Australian Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson, who landed in Commonwealth Bay in January 1912. We – a group of scientists and paying members of the public acting as science assistants – plan to repeat many of Mawson’s scientific measurements in order to understand how this pristine landscape has changed over the past 100 years. 
Here’s how it’s changed, boys. There is more ice.
Reader Adam:
I wonder what their carbon footprint will be if they are all lifted off by helicopter. Quite high I presume, if we use their own typically exaggerated measurements. With that in mind it seems only reasonable to hold them accountable with their own standards and leave them there. That way they could also accurately recreate Mawson’s voyage by sitting there for a year and waiting for the ice to melt. 
I predict a Lord of the Flies type scenario unfolding.
NOTE: The Aurora made it into Commonwealth Bay in three successive summers to land and pick up members of Mawson’s expedition.
Turney’s team is still in astonishing denial. It is stuck in thick ice off a continent that has more of it than usual, yet still it claims warming is melting more ice than ever:
Sea ice is disappearing due to climate change, but here ice is building up
This is pathological.
So what does a warmist like Turney do when he’s trapped in ice? Simple: blame global warming for not melting what global warming should have:
Q: Dr Adam Rutherford: The fact that it’s expanding, that - that sounds counter-intuitive, when we talk about the polar ice caps melting, as a result of global warming. 
A: Prof Chris Turney:  Yeah, well, it’s a fascinating thing, isn’t it, really. Ultimately, global warming covers a vast array of different responses by our planet. And one of the fascinating things that we’re seeing is suggestions that large parts of the oceans off East Antarctica are actually getting fresher. And yet you’ve got this expanding sea ice, and one of the ideas we’re testing out here is this idea that when you’re melting the sea ice around the East Antarctic coastal fringes, at depth - not from air temperature but from warmer oceans - what you’re doing is you’re putting that fresh water from the Antarctic ice sheets into the oceans. It’s lighter, it’s less dense than salt water, so it floats to the surface relatively, and then it’s more vulnerable to freezing. And hence you get an expansion of sea ice cover. So that’s one idea that we’re testing at the moment.
Like I said. It’s pathological.
Mind you, Turney has some strong vested interests in blaming warming for causing freezing where he predicted melting:
I am an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Professor of Climate Change at the University of University of New South Wales where my team and I are focussing our efforts on using the past to better understand the changes we are seeing today. To do something positive about climate change, I helped set up a carbon refining company called Carbonscape which has developed technology to fix carbon from the atmosphere and make a host of green bi-products, helping reduce greenhouse gas levels.
(Tim Flannery joins the Turney family on the Carbonscape Holdings share registry.)
And Turney once wondered why people didn’t take his warnings seriously:

(Thanks to readers AndrewS and Matt. More on this surreal expedition at Watts Up With That.) 

Still less efficient and less safe than nuclear power. Still less efficient than coal. - ed

He isn't measured for what he gets wrong .. that is grace. - ed

It needs to be named appropriately. "ALP bad government debt fee" it should be set at $500, but with a $495 rebate for pensioners and conservatives. - ed
Up at 5:30 this morning to get ready for carpet people. Expected 7:30 start. Arrives at 8:30 to tell me that he was expecting to work in an empty unit. Cancels day. FML - ed

The Chairman of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, admitted that in 1948, “Arab armies forced Palestinians to leave their homes (the PLO’s weekly, Filastin A-Thawra, March 1976).” On May 13, 2008, Al Ayyam, the second largest pro-Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian daily, claimed: “[In 1948] the Arab Liberation Army (ALA) told Palestinians to leave their houses and villages, and return a few days later, so the ALA can fulfill its mission.”


Calling the Pope an Anti-Semite
Calling the Pope an Anti-SemiteActions and words paint a sorry picture of the Vatican and Israel.Giulio MeottiI always had the feeling that Pope Francis would  be eager to engage in the presentation of a cordial dialogue with Di\aspora Jews and that if this occurred, he would   address the Holocaust



“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:1-3 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."
1 Samuel 7:12

The word "hitherto" seems like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. Twenty years or seventy, and yet, "hitherto the Lord hath helped!" Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honour, in dishonour, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, "hitherto hath the Lord helped us!" We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves; even so look down the long aisles of your years, at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness which bear up your joys. Are there no birds in yonder branches singing? Surely there must be many, and they all sing of mercy received "hitherto."

But the word also points forward. For when a man gets up to a certain mark and writes "hitherto," he is not yet at the end, there is still a distance to be traversed. More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; and then come sickness, old age, disease, death. Is it over now? No! there is more yet-awakening in Jesus' likeness, thrones, harps, songs, psalms, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the society of saints, the glory of God, the fulness of eternity, the infinity of bliss. O be of good courage, believer, and with grateful confidence raise thy "Ebenezer," for--
He who hath helped thee hitherto
Will help thee all thy journey through.
When read in heaven's light how glorious and marvellous a prospect will thy "hitherto" unfold to thy grateful eye!


"What think ye of Christ?"
Matthew 22:42
The great test of your soul's health is, What think you of Christ? Is he to you "fairer than the children of men"--"the chief among ten thousand"--the "altogether lovely"? Wherever Christ is thus esteemed, all the faculties of the spiritual man exercise themselves with energy. I will judge of your piety by this barometer: does Christ stand high or low with you? If you have thought little of Christ, if you have been content to live without his presence, if you have cared little for his honour, if you have been neglectful of his laws, then I know that your soul is sick--God grant that it may not be sick unto death! But if the first thought of your spirit has been, how can I honour Jesus? If the daily desire of your soul has been, "O that I knew where I might find him!" I tell you that you may have a thousand infirmities, and even scarcely know whether you are a child of God at all, and yet I am persuaded, beyond a doubt, that you are safe, since Jesus is great in your esteem. I care not for thy rags, what thinkest thou of his royal apparel? I care not for thy wounds, though they bleed in torrents, what thinkest thou of his wounds? are they like glittering rubies in thine esteem? I think none the less of thee, though thou liest like Lazarus on the dunghill, and the dogs do lick thee--I judge thee not by thy poverty: what thinkest thou of the King in his beauty? Has he a glorious high throne in thy heart? Wouldest thou set him higher if thou couldest? Wouldest thou be willing to die if thou couldest but add another trumpet to the strain which proclaims his praise? Ah! then it is well with thee. Whatever thou mayest think of thyself, if Christ be great to thee, thou shalt be with him ere long.
"Though all the world my choice deride,
Yet Jesus shall my portion be;
For I am pleased with none beside,
The fairest of the fair is he"

Today's reading: Zechariah 9-12, Revelation 20 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Zechariah 9-12

Judgment on Israel’s Enemies

1 A prophecy:
The word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrak
and will come to rest on Damascus—
for the eyes of all people and all the tribes of Israel
are on the LORD—
2 and on Hamath too, which borders on it,
and on Tyre and Sidon, though they are very skillful.
3 Tyre has built herself a stronghold;
she has heaped up silver like dust,
and gold like the dirt of the streets.
4 But the Lord will take away her possessions
and destroy her power on the sea,
and she will be consumed by fire.
5 Ashkelon will see it and fear;
Gaza will writhe in agony,
and Ekron too, for her hope will wither.
Gaza will lose her king
and Ashkelon will be deserted....

Today's New Testament reading: Revelation 20

The Thousand Years
1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years....

Nathan [Nā'than]—he hath given.
  1. The third child of David, born after he came to reign over Israel (2 Sam. 5:141 Chron. 3:514:4 ).
  2. The distinguished prophetduring the reigns of David and Solomon, who brought home to David the enormity of his sin. What a piercing arrow from the divine bow that was—Thou art the man (2 Sam. 7:2-17121 Kings 11 Chron. 17). Although the confidential adviser of King David, Nathan was unsparing in his condemnation of his monarch’s sin. Nathan also wrote a history (2 Chron. 9:29).
  3. The father of Igal, one of David’s heroes ( 2 Sam. 23:36).
  4. Father of Solomon’s chief officer (1 Kings 4:5).
  5. Son of Attai and father of Zabad, of the tribe of Judah (1 Chron. 2:36).
  6. Brother of Joel, one of David’s heroes (1 Chron. 11:38).
  7. A chief man with Ezra at the brook of Ahava (Ezra 8:16).
  8. A son of Bani who put away his foreign wife (Ezra 10:39).
  9. A chief man in Israel (Zech. 12:12).
  10. An ancestor of Jesus Christ (Luke 3:31).
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