Friday, January 06, 2017

Fri Jan 6th Todays News

Few things are sadder than lives wasted. A good man who was doing his duty has been convicted of manslaughter. He killed a terrorist on a stabbing spree. The terrorists family are now pursuing legal action over wrongful death. A case could be made putting this soldier into Obama's security detail. The soldier deserves a pardon. There needs to be judicial oversight of such killings. But it is absurd that a soldier doing their job should be convicted of manslaughter, and it sets a precedent. Will soldiers hesitate in future? But I didn't set out to write a column on this IDF soldier. I intended to write about the futile deaths of 6 irrational Hillary Clinton supporters in the middle of a Seattle freeway. They were part of a larger group blocking the freeway with linked arms. They had earlier allowed traffic through, but reformed. A delivery truck that had no warning slowed from 80 mph to 45 mph, and impacted the six side on. Clearly the driver had attempted to avoid the linked idiots. They had been chanting anti Trump slogans. The survivors are now claiming the truck driver, a Democrat supporter, had intentionally run them over. The end of Obama's USA cannot happen soon enough. 
=== from 2016 ===
I contacted the Big Bash League near the anniversary of the 1979 December event of Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee being caught by Englishman Willey, bowled Dilley. Back in the day it was something one could say with a smirk. It sounded dirty but wasn't. The BBL team duly repeated it in subdued tones on tv. It was announced there was anther similar one "The bowler is Holding the Batsman's Willey." I had raised it because Willey's son was playing. No one was hurt. Uber talented Chris Gayle has walked away from the Big Bash League. He had done nothing wrong. But his endorsements disappeared and he was fined $10k for politely sweet talking a girl. Some are saying the response is racist. But that is not the issue. A normal heterosexual relationship relationship between consenting adults was suggested, but not stated. She refused callously. As she is allowed to. The criticism was over the top and the response of the fine and criticism was unwarranted. BBL have smeared Gayle for no reason. The Fairfax group have withdrawn his column. I hope he sues for damages. It may have ended his international career. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility.
=== from 2015 ===
Queensland Premier Newman has given Queensland a gift of a short election with a stark choice. Striking Victorian Tramways illustrate that choice. Sensible, responsible government which operates within its' means, or corrupt ALP governments which promise more than they can deliver and spend more than they have. Daniel Andrews praised industrial peace under his government. A little unfair as his party had supported the industrial action against a good Napthine administration. And then ALP addressed Victorian strikers complaints by offering the same as what Napthine had. Perhaps Queenslanders have forgotten how Bligh had forgotten to pay for insurance before drowning some Queenslanders in her purpose made flood that was never supposed to happen under AGW theory. Queenslanders are supposed to be good with crushing cockroaches. Curious to see where ALP money goes? Check out Quentin Dempster's winged house in Tasmania. Built by money sourced entirely from child labour?

ALP are panicking about being locked out of the senate for six years and are aiming for a double dissolution to break the nexus. Independents have so far played to that rule. The longer the conservatives can hold off calling one, possibly not calling one, the better it will be long term for all of Australia. 

Neo-Nazis marching in Germany. They make claim to represent Judeo Christian values .. probably shouldn't have killed so many, then. One demands of the leaders of Islam they disown jihadists. One also hopes that Christian leaders despise the Neo-Nazis too. One Times journalist who was pregnant went to 'Palestine' and had to be scanned on leaving or searched. She objected to both, clearly not believing in the terrorism media encourage and got upset after she was scanned three times. 

Some people claim that there are reasons to not vaccinate their children. They are liars that should not be trusted and should possibly be jailed if they fail to vaccinate. Vaccines are a public health issue which affects the entire community. Failing to vaccinate will allow the spread of disease. So called Libertarians who oppose vaccination on Libertarian ideals are no different to anarchists of the nineteenth century. Still, one must be reasonable about things and should not over regulate. So, turning our backs while anti vaccine campaigners commit seppuku is an acceptable alternative. Otherwise they will vote ALP or Green.

Media campaign against conservative government is ever present. One article has the members chosen book purchases for member libraries as including AGW skeptic volumes, and so the media claim that the government is charging taxpayers for skeptic campaigns. By way of contrast the AGW movement has misdirected over $2 trillion from tax payers world wide. That would buy a lot of books which could have informed debate. 

In Northern Ireland a two million pound windmill failed in light winds. 

Australia's BOM Claims this year was the hottest ever .. In NSW. Proof again that the world is not warming. 

Another article about the end of the world coming from rogue stars in the Milky Way Galaxy coming to our local neighbourhood. The first such menace is predicted to arrive in under a million years from now. Luckily the Greens have a plan to push us to the stone age and get us to smoke pot. 

The twelfth day of Christmas has passed. And an inflatable Santa was shanked in New Hampshire. 
From 2014
The Guardian headline reads Who's Less Free: Andrew Bolt or Children in Detention? It then lists facts like there are over 1000 children locked up and asserts they are in need of an Australian Human Rights Commission, more so than a powerful commentator. The article is better than that, but the issues surrounding the headline deserve to be explored and fallacies exposed. I will not entertain abuse of the writer, but focus on the rhetoric. 
It is a false comparison between Bolt and children in detention who have come to Australia by boat without going through migration channels. The children are not responsible for their parents choices. So they should not be jailed. Luckily they aren't. They are detained pending UN immigration processing. As should be the case because it is important to maintain strong borders so as to have a fair immigration program. The exploitation of people by people smugglers is modern piracy and unacceptable. Also, it is wrong to drown people who merely wish to lead a better life. Also, Bolt is neither jailed nor detained, but he has had his right of free speech removed. Also, others have been restricted in their free speech too. This is intolerable in a modern democracy that requires free and fair and fearless investigation. To suggest Bolt has had less freedom lost than children in detention is to admit that he has been aggrieved, an admission that demands that wrong be removed. 
From 2013
not done
Historical perspective on this day
In 1066, Harold Godwinson (or Harold II) was crowned King of England. 1118, ReconquistaAlfonso the Battler conquered Zaragoza. 1205, Philip of Swabia became King of the Romans. 1322, Stephen Uroš III was crowned King of Serbia. 1355, Charles I of Bohemia was crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy as King of Italy in Milan. 1449, Constantine XI was crowned Byzantine Emperor at Mystras. 1492, the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabellaentered Granada, completing the Reconquista. 1540, King Henry VIII of England married Anne of Cleves. 1579, the Union of Arras was signed. 1661, English Restoration: The Fifth Monarchists unsuccessfully attempted to seize control of London, England. 1690, Joseph, son of Emperor Leopold I, became King of the Romans. 1721, the Committee of Inquiry on the South Sea Bubble published its findings. 1781, in the Battle of Jersey, the British defeated the last attempt by France to invade Jersey.

In 1809, Combined British, Portuguese and colonial Brazilian forces began the Invasion of Cayenne during the Napoleonic Wars. 1838, Alfred Vail demonstrated a telegraph system using dots and dashes (this was the forerunner of Morse code). 1839, the most damaging storm in 300 years swept across Ireland, damaging or destroying more than 20% of the houses in Dublin. 1853, President-elect of the United States Franklin Pierce and his family were involved in a train wreck near Andover, Massachusetts. Pierce's 11-year-old son Benjamin was killed in the crash. 1870, the inauguration of the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria. 1893, the Washington National Cathedral was chartered by Congress. The charter was signed by President Benjamin Harrison.

In 1900, Second Boer War: Having already sieged the fortress at LadysmithBoer forces attacked it, but were driven back by British defenders. 1907, Maria Montessori opened her first school and daycare center for working class children in Rome, Italy. 1912, New Mexico was admitted to the Union as the 47th U.S. state. 1912, German geophysicist Alfred Wegener first presented his theory of continental drift. 1921, formation of the Iraqi Army. 1929, King Alexander of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes suspended his country's constitution (the January 6th Dictatorship). Also 1929, Mother Teresa arrived in Calcutta, India to begin her work among India's poorest and sick people. 1930, the first diesel-engined automobile trip was completed, from Indianapolis, Indiana, to New York, New York. 1931, Thomas Edisonsubmitted his last patent application. 1941, United States President Franklin D. Rooseveltdelivered his Four Freedoms speech in the State of the Union address. 1947, Pan American Airlines became the first commercial airline to schedule a flight around the world.

In 1950, the United Kingdom recognised the People's Republic of China. The Republic of China severed diplomatic relations with the UK in response. 1951, Korean War: An estimated 200–1,300 South Korean communist sympathizers were slaughtered in what became the Ganghwa massacre. 1953, the first Asian Socialist Conference opened in Rangoon, Burma. 1960, National Airlines Flight 2511 was destroyed in mid-air by a bomb, while en route from New York City to Miami, Florida. Also 1960, the Associations Law came into force in Iraq, allowing registration of political parties. 1967, Vietnam WarUnited States Marine Corps and ARVN troops launched "Operation Deckhouse Five" in the Mekong River delta. 1974, in response to the 1973 oil crisisdaylight saving time commenced nearly four months early in the United States. 1978, the Crown of St. Stephen (also known as the Holy Crown of Hungary) was returned to Hungary from the United States, where it was held after World War II.

In 1992, President of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia fled the country as a result of the military coup. 1993, Indian Border Security Force units killed 55 Kashmiri civilians in SoporeJammu and Kashmir, in revenge after militants ambushed a BSF patrol. 1994, Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the knee at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, Michigan. 1995, a chemical fire in an apartment complex in Manila, Philippines, led to the discovery of plans for Project Bojinka, a mass-terrorist attack. 2000, Celia, the last Pyrenean Ibex was found dead after a tree had landed on her. 2005, American Civil Rights MovementEdgar Ray Killen was arrested as a suspect in the 1964 murders of three civil rights workers. Also 2005, a train collision in Graniteville, South Carolina, released about 60 tons of chlorine gas. 2009, Israel conducted an assault on Gaza. Operation Cast Lead
=== 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 Carol P. Grilletto. Born on the same day, across the years, as
January 6Epiphany (Gregorian calendar); Little Christmas in Ireland and Scotland
Maria Montessori
Hail to Harry. Careful of that step. View work philosophically. Remember, 'who smelt it, dealt it.' EMI knows good behaviour. Let's party. 
Tim Blair


The yay-for-Hillary Washington Post attempts to promote an anti-Trump women’s march – but uses a male gender symbol instead of the symbol for women.
6 Jan  


Remember ABC tax incinerator Barrie Cassidy’s US election-day claim that “America faces the biggest stock market crash since 9/11”? It followed his earlier declaration that “Trump cannot win.”
6 Jan  


After their last lawyer grandma goddess proved a ballot box failure, distressed Democrats have found a new elderly legal leftist to lead them into the abyss.
6 Jan  


Not quite a truck, maybe, but definitely truckish. Toyota’s hefty HiLux is 2016’s Australian sales winner, ending years of success for hatchbacky runabouts and the like.
6 Jan


Tim Blair – Wednesday, January 06, 2016 (5:46pm)

Following Cologne’s New Year’s Eve depravity, the city’s mayor issues a set of demands – to German women
The Mayor of Cologne says women should adopt a “code of conduct” to prevent future attacks following trouble on New Year’s eve when women in the city centre were subjected to sexual assaults by hundreds of men.
Henriette Reker attended an emergency meeting with police and other officials on Tuesday to discuss how best to deal with the crimes that occurred when 1,000 men, “of Arab or North African appearance”, took over the area around the main station.
Dozens of women reported being touched and groped. There was also one case of alleged rape.
The proposed code of conduct includes staying an arm’s length away from strangers, remaining within your own group, and asking bystanders for intervene or to help as a witness.
Such a code for young women and girls was designed “so that such things do not happen to them,” said Ms Reker, who added that it would soon be available online.
Her words immediately provoked anger among those who said she appeared to be blaming the victims for the attacks.
However, she also said that visitors from “other cultures” should also be educated on acceptable conduct. 
Other “cultures”, plural? I wonder what cultures they might be.


Tim Blair – Wednesday, January 06, 2016 (5:03pm)

Seriousness ensues:

And then the cashier said: “Fries with that?” 


Tim Blair – Wednesday, January 06, 2016 (2:03am)

Talented media studies graduate Antigone Anagnostellis covers the arts funding debate in a brief work featuring some of Australia’s more intriguing tax-grabbers. These include a young woman who enjoys punching herself in the face, the spectacular Dancers Demanding Other People’s Money and some elderly Fleetwood Mac Skeletor lady:

I make a brief appearance at 9:30 or so in appropriately sinister semi-darkness, but the real stars of this show are the artists and their grant-lovin’ buddies. The only time they provide entertainment is when their cash supply is threatened. 


Tim Blair – Wednesday, January 06, 2016 (12:48am)

It turns out that Gaza wasn’t the worst place on earth to celebrate New Year’s Eve: 
German police have described a series of sexual assaults against women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve as “a completely new dimension of crime.”
Officers received numerous complaints from women who said they had been assaulted around Cologne’s main train station next to the western German city’s famous cathedral on the night from Thursday to Friday.
Cologne police chief Wolfgang Albers says witnesses described the assaults as coming from a group of up to 1,000 men whose appearance indicated they were of “Arab or North African origin.”
Some 60 criminal complaints have so far been filed, including one allegation of rape. 
The BBC reports
What is particularly disturbing is that the attacks appear to have been organised. Around 1,000 young men arrived in large groups, seemingly with the specific intention of carrying out attacks on women.
Police in Hamburg are now reporting similar incidents on New Year’s Eve in the party area of St Pauli. One politician says this is just the tip of the iceberg. 
Germany’s immigration intake might be described the same way.
UPDATE. Further from Andrew Bolt.


Tim Blair – Wednesday, January 06, 2016 (12:27am)

“Clementine Ford a righter of wrongs?” asks J.F. Beck. “Hardly. She’s a writer of wrongs.”


Tim Blair – Wednesday, January 06, 2016 (12:21am)

John Cleese is no fan of religion. Logically enough, he is therefore no fan of science fundamentalism
I would like 2016 to be the year when people remembered that science is a method of investigation, and NOT a belief system. 
(Via Waxing Gibberish.)


Tim Blair – Wednesday, January 06, 2016 (12:06am)

If you were born after May 1995, not once in your life has a Formula One race featured a full grid of 26 competitors.

German borders down, women attacked

Andrew Bolt January 06 2016 (6:32am)

Germany allows in hundreds of a thousands of young men - illegal immigrants from a culture which subjugates women. The inevitable happens, to the professed shock of BBC journalists:

The mayor of Cologne has summoned police for crisis talks after about 80 women reported sexual assaults and muggings by men on New Year’s Eve
The scale of the attacks on women at the city’s central railway station has shocked Germany. About 1,000 drunk and aggressive young men were involved.
City police chief Wolfgang Albers called it “a completely new dimension of crime”. The men were of Arab or North African appearance, he said.
Women were also targeted in Hamburg.
But the Cologne assaults - near the city’s iconic cathedral - were the most serious, German media report. At least one woman was raped, and many were groped… 
What is particularly disturbing is that the attacks appear to have been organised. Around 1,000 young men arrived in large groups, seemingly with the specific intention of carrying out attacks on women.
One man described how his partner and 15-year-old daughter were surrounded by an enormous crowd outside the station and he was unable to help. “The attackers grabbed her and my partner’s breasts and groped them between their legs.” 
A British woman visiting Cologne said fireworks had been thrown at her group by men who spoke neither German nor English. “They were trying to hug us, kiss us. One man stole my friend’s bag,” she told the BBC. “Another tried to get us into his ‘private taxi’. I’ve been in scary and even life-threatening situations and I’ve never experienced anything like that.”

One of the victims, named only as ‘Katja L’, gave a harrowing testimony of her ordeal. 
‘When we came out of the station, we were very surprised by the group that met us there’. She said the group was ‘exclusively young foreign men,’ she told Der Express.
‘...There was an alley through [the men] which we walked through.’
She described the moment she ‘felt a hand on my buttocks, then on my breasts, in the end’.
‘I was groped everywhere. It was a nightmare. Although we shouted and beat them, the guys did not stop. I was desperate and think I was touched around 100 times in the 200 meters,’ she said. 
‘Fortunately I wore a jacket and trousers. A skirt would probably have been torn away from me’. 
Many in the political class respond in the way that’s only too common - by showing more concern for the reaction from Germans than for the threat from the immigrants:

Integration commissioner Aydan Ozoguz warned against putting foreigners and refugees, hundreds of thousands of whom have entered Germany largely from Middle Eastern war zones, under “blanket suspicion"… 
“Events like that in Cologne foster xenophobia,” said Roland Schaefer, head of Germany’s association of towns and localities. 
And there’s this denial:

The justice minister warned against linking the crimes to the issue of migrants and refugees.
Why? How else do so many of these men enter Germany?
And let’s not pretend these developments are unprecedented:

Iraqis, Iranians, Turks and Somalis are dramatically overrepresented among convicted rapists in Denmark. More than half of convicted rapists in 2010 have immigrant backgrounds, according to official data from Statistics Denmark… In the last seven years, more than one out of three convicted of rape was either an immigrant or a descendant of immigrants: 156 of the 450 convicted rapists since 2004 has an immigrant background. Immigrants and their descendants account for only ten percent of the Danish population.
And In Sweden, which took in more than 100,000 illegal immigrants last year:

Twenty-one research reports from the 1960s until today are unanimous in their conclusions: Whether or not they measured by the number of convicted rapists or men suspected of rape, men of foreign extraction were represented far more than Swedes. And this greater representation of persons with a foreign background keeps increasing: 

- 1960-1970s – 1.2 to 2.6 times as often as Swedes - 1980s – 2.1 to 4.7 times as often as Swedes 
-1990s – 2.1 to 8.1 times as often as Swedes 
- 2000s – 2.1 to 19.5 times as often as Swedes
It’s not just women who face an extra danger. Ask France’s Jews:

To reassure the community, 700 soldiers have been deployed to patrol outside synagogues, schools and community centres.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 06, 2015 (3:47pm)

Check out Quentin Dempster’s luxury Tasmanian pad, known as “The Winged House”, which is available to common folk for a mere $360 per night – which seems a little steep, considering that common folks’ taxes have already paid for the joint. The holiday rental market must be down this summer, because poor ex-ABC staffer Quentin has lately been complaining about money trouble.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 06, 2015 (2:59pm)

An inflatable Santa is shanked in New Hampshire: 
Owner Chris Semko said that whoever slashed the Santa committed an uncalled for and disturbing crime. 
“It’s sad,” Semko said. “I mean, there’s some anger management out there either against Christmas or against inflatable Santas or something.” 
This is clearly a lone elf attack.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 06, 2015 (12:53pm)

This is beautiful
A 328-foot tall wind turbine worth more than £2 million has buckled and collapsed on a mountainside in Northern Ireland.
Unconfirmed reports suggested the blades of the turbine had spun out of control – despite only light wind speeds – before the structure came crashing to the ground on Friday.
Locals claimed the sound of the turbine hitting the mountain could be heard up to seven miles away ... 
(Via Dan F.)


Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 06, 2015 (12:34pm)

According to an idiot, the Daily Telegraph is “coy about condemning anti-vaxxers because the movement is so popular with readers.”
This is a lie. In 2013, the Daily Telegraph launched a campaign against the anti-vaccination movement:

We’ve also published many opinion pieces and news stories condemning the stupidity of vaccination opponents. The most recent of these ran only a few days ago. Coy? Give me a break. Meanwhile
The ABC’s 7.30 has come under fire after airing a story on US vaccination rates that failed to declare one of the interviewees was a high-profile anti-vaccination campaigner and head of a “natural” health care business. 

In remembrance of things eaten

Andrew Bolt January 06 2015 (5:26pm)

I’d have never thought I could be so gripped by a book on memories by a bludger who spends pages even recalling the taste of a madeleine:
Many years had elapsed during which nothing of Combray, save what was comprised in the theatre and the drama of my going to bed there, had any existence for me, when one day in winter, on my return home, my mother, seeing that I was cold, offered me some tea, a thing I did not ordinarily take. I declined at first, and then, for no particular reason, changed my mind. She sent for one of those squat, plump little cakes called “petites madeleines,” which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. And soon, mechanically, dispirited after a dreary day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory - this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, contingent, mortal. Whence could it have come to me, this all-powerful joy? I sensed that it was connected with the taste of the tea and the cake, but that it infinitely transcended those savours, could, no, indeed, be of the same nature. Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? 
I drink a second mouthful, in which I find nothing more than in the first, then a third, which gives me rather less than the second. It is time to stop; the potion is losing it magic. It is plain that the truth I am seeking lies not in the cup but in myself. The drink has called it into being, but does not know it, and can only repeat indefinitely, with a progressive diminution of strength, the same message which I cannot interpret, though I hope at least to be able to call it forth again and to find it there presently, intact and at my disposal, for my final enlightenment. I put down the cup and examine my own mind. It alone can discover the truth. But how: What an abyss of uncertainty, whenever the mind feels overtaken by itself; when it, the seeker, is at the same time the dark region through which it must go seeking and where all its equipment will avail it nothing. Seek? More than that: create. It is face to face with something which does not yet exist, to which it alone can give reality and substance, which it alone can bring into the light of day.
And I begin to ask myself what it could have been, this unremembered state which brought with it no logical proof, but the indisputable evidence, of its felicity, its reality, and in whose presence other states of consciousness melted and vanished. I decide to attempt to make it reappear. I retrace my thoughts to the moment at which I drank the first spoonful of tea. I rediscover the same state, illuminated by no fresh light. I ask my mind to make one further effort, to bring back once more the fleeting sensation. And so that nothing may interrupt it in its course I shut out every obstacle, every extraneous idea, I stop my ears and inhibit all attention against the sound from the next room. And then, feeling that my mind is tiring itself without having any success to report, I compel it for a change to enjoy the distraction which I have just denied it, to think of other things, to rest refresh itself before making a final effort. And then for the second time I clear an empty space in front of it; I place in position before my mind’s eye the still recent taste of that first mouthful, and I feel something start within me, something that leaves its resting-place and attempts to rise, something that has been embedded like an anchor at a great depth; I do not know yet what it is, but I can feel it mounting slowly; I can measure the resistance, I can hear the echo of great spaces traversed.
Undoubtedly what is thus palpitating in the depths of my being must be the image, the visual memory which, being linked to that taste, is trying to follow it into my conscious mind. But its struggles are too far off, too confused and chaotic; scarcely can I perceive the neutral glow into which the elusive whirling medley of stirred-up colours is fused, and I cannot distinguish its form, cannot invite it, as the one possible interpreter, to translate for me the evidence of its contemporary, its inseparable paramour, the taste, cannot ask it to inform me what special circumstance is in question, from what period in my past life.
Will it ultimately reach the clear surface of my consciousness, this memory, this old, dead moment which the magnetism of an identical moment has traveled so far to importune, to disturb, to raise up out of the very depths of my being? I cannot tell. Now I feel nothing; it has stopped, has perhaps sunk back into its darkness, from which who can say whether it will ever rise again? Ten times over I must essay the task, must lean down over the abyss. And each time the cowardice that deters us from every difficult task, every important enterprise, has urged me to leave the thing alone, to drink my tea and to think merely of the worries of to-day and my hopes for to-morrow, which can be brooded over painlessly.
And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom , my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it; perhaps because I had so often seen such things in the meantime, without tasting them, on the trays in pastry-cooks’ windows, that their image had dissociated itself from those Combray days to take its place among others more recent; perhaps because of those memories, so long abandoned and put out of mind, nothing now survived, everything was scattered; the shapes of things, including that of the little scallop-shell of pastry, so richly sensual under its severe, religious folds, were either obliterated or had been so long dormant as to have lost the power of expansion which would have allowed them to resume their place in my consciousness. But when from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, taste and smell alone, more fragile but more enduring, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, remain poised a long time, like souls, remembering, waiting, hoping, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unflinchingly, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection.
And as soon as I had recognized the taste of the piece of madeleine soaked in her decoction of lime-blossom which my aunt used to give me (although I did not yet know and must long postpone the discovery of why this memory made me so happy) immediately the old grey house upon the street, where her room was, rose up like a stage set to attach itself to the little pavilion opening on to the garden which had been built out behind it for my parents (the isolated segment which until that moment had been all that I could see); and with the house the town, from morning to night and in all weathers, the Square where I used to be sent before lunch, the streets along which I used to run errands, the country roads we took when it was fine. And as in the game wherein the Japanese amuse themselves by filling a porcelain bowl with water and steeping in it little pieces of paper which until then are without character or form, but, the moment they become wet, stretch and twist and take on colour and distinctive shape, become flowers or houses or people, solid and recognizable, so in that moment all the flowers in our garden and in M. Swann’s park, and the water-lilies on the Vivonne and the good folk of the village and their little dwellings and the parish church and the whole of Combray and its surroundings, taking shape and solidity, sprang into being, town and gardens alike, from my cup of tea. 
Yes, I know I should have read this masterpiece decades ago. 

It's ok .. taxpayer will cover it .. or their children .. 
If you chase God, then you'll know Him and He'll give you the things that are right for you at the right time in the right proportion.

It is what fireworks are supposed to do, but not what those fireworks were meant to do.


Tim Blair – Monday, January 06, 2014 (12:43pm)

Sensitive Network Ten warmist Stephen Spencer is reallyreally unhappy that the Sunday Telegraph used “warmists”in a headline. What should have been used instead?
Thank you for voting!

Total Votes: 3,224


Tim Blair – Sunday, January 05, 2014 (4:35pm)

An Ashes whitewash ends with a commonly misheard lyric.
Who's less free: Andrew Bolt, or children in detention? | Rachel Ball
Rachel Ball: Over 1,000 children are still locked up. They are more in need of the attention of the Australian Human Rights Commission than a powerful commentator

It isn't the date they are looking for .. but the year .. ed
Joseph Campbell
"People feel panicky at the thought that we might all have something in common, that they are giving up some exclusive hold on the truth. It is something like discovering you are a Frenchman and a human being at the same time. That is exactly the challenge that the great religions face in the Space Age."

Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor
More like a birthday cake for Shatner .. ed

Idiot commentator fails to grasp that sectarian violence is Obama's plan. It requires no maintenance or thought. It is ancient. It is what happens as the US retreats from engagement. Calling the GOP arrogant for effective policy is to misunderstand the consequences of Dem policy. - ed

Pax terrorism? - ed

Lol, she can work out over here .. ed

Tinder tryst not the full Monty. Yet another failed attempt at a maiden. Won't retire hurt. - ed
Andreas Herrmann
Stimme aus dem Publikum: "Darf ich mir was wünschen?"
Antwort vom Podium: "Ja, aber nicht laut aussprechen, sonst geht's nicht in Erfüllung ..."

Answer from the podium: "Yes, but do not say out loud, otherwise it's not true …">

My favorite story involving a music professor talking to freshman students in the mid 1800's. "You will love Beethoven's music. It is far better than it sounds."
A friend of mine is a piano tuner. I will not go where he will not go. It wouldn't sound right. -ed


Tony Abbott
I congratulate Michael Clarke and the Australian cricket team on a stunning Ashes victory.

Winning the Ashes five-nil is a historic triumph.

Each of our players had the hopes of the nation on their shoulders and they performed with distinction to achieve this extraordinary victory.

Australians are incredibly proud of them.

To win so comprehensively after disappointment earlier last year shows tremendous character.
Watershed event .. there will be change .. ed
===“Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” -Isaiah 1:16-17
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

January 5: Morning

"And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness." - Genesis 1:4

Light might well be good since it sprang from that fiat of goodness, "Let there be light." We who enjoy it should be more grateful for it than we are, and see more of God in it and by it. Light physical is said by Solomon to be sweet, but gospel light is infinitely more precious, for it reveals eternal things, and ministers to our immortal natures. When the Holy Spirit gives us spiritual light, and opens our eyes to behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, we behold sin in its true colours, and ourselves in our real position; we see the Most Holy God as he reveals himself, the plan of mercy as he propounds it, and the world to come as the Word describes it. Spiritual light has many beams and prismatic colours, but whether they be knowledge, joy, holiness, or life, all are divinely good. If the light received be thus good, what must the essential light be, and how glorious must be the place where he reveals himself. O Lord, since light is so good, give us more of it, and more of thyself, the true light.

No sooner is there a good thing in the world, than a division is necessary. Light and darkness have no communion; God has divided them, let us not confound them. Sons of light must not have fellowship with deeds, doctrines, or deceits of darkness. The children of the day must be sober, honest, and bold in their Lord's work, leaving the works of darkness to those who shall dwell in it forever. Our Churches should by discipline divide the light from the darkness, and we should by our distinct separation from the world do the same. In judgment, in action, in hearing, in teaching, in association, we must discern between the precious and the vile, and maintain the great distinction which the Lord made upon the world's first day. O Lord Jesus, be thou our light throughout the whole of this day, for thy light is the light of men.

"And God saw the light." - Genesis 1:4
This morning we noticed the goodness of the light, and the Lord's dividing it from the darkness, we now note the special eye which the Lord had for the light. "God saw the light"--he looked at it with complacency, gazed upon it with pleasure, saw that it "was good." If the Lord has given you light, dear reader, he looks on that light with peculiar interest; for not only is it dear to him as his own handiwork, but because it is like himself, for "He is light." Pleasant it is to the believer to know that God's eye is thus tenderly observant of that work of grace which he has begun. He never loses sight of the treasure which he has placed in our earthen vessels. Sometimes we cannot see the light, but God always sees the light, and that is much better than our seeing it. Better for the judge to see my innocence than for me to think I see it. It is very comfortable for me to know that I am one of God's people--but whether I know it or not, if the Lord knows it, I am still safe. This is the foundation, "The Lord knoweth them that are his." You may be sighing and groaning because of inbred sin, and mourning over your darkness, yet the Lord sees "light" in your heart, for he has put it there, and all the cloudiness and gloom of your soul cannot conceal your light from his gracious eye. You may have sunk low in despondency, and even despair; but if your soul has any longing towards Christ, and if you are seeking to rest in his finished work, God sees the "light." He not only sees it, but he also preserves it in you. "I, the Lord, do keep it." This is a precious thought to those who, after anxious watching and guarding of themselves, feel their own powerlessness to do so. The light thus preserved by his grace, he will one day develop into the splendour of noonday, and the fulness of glory. The light within is the dawn of the eternal day.
[Shăm'gär] - cupbearer or a surprised stranger.
The Man Who Was Ready When Need Arose
Shamgar was the son of Anath, and third judge of Israel after the death of Joshua. His spectacular deliverance of Israel from the Philistines is suggestive (Judg. 3:31). Shamgar the son of Anath was ready to serve God in the common working day.
When he drove his oxen out that morning he did not dream that before nightfall he would accomplish a memorable deliverance for his land. But the call came and he was ready.
Another lesson to be learned from Shamgar is that God can be served with unlikely instruments. "What is that in thy hand?" In Shamgar's hand was an oxgoad with which he slew six hundred Philistines.
We may not have genius, brilliance, gifts of speech or song, but if we are in the hand of Christ, He can take foolish things to confound the wise.

Today's reading: Genesis 13-15, Matthew 5:1-26 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Genesis 13-15

Abram and Lot Separate
So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. 2 Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold.
3 From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier 4 and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the LORD....

Today's New Testament reading: Matthew 5:1-26

The Beatitudes
1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth....

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