Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thu Jan 12th Todays News

Caroline Glick has posted on it but few are picking up on it and its' importance. A four star general, Marine General James Cartwright, the former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has faced a sentencing hearing where prosecutors asked he faced two years jail for leaking a damaging secret which harmed the US's relationship with Israel. Only the general is not guilty. 

 Glick writes "Cartwright, whom the article says was once considered "Obama's favorite general" was convicted of lying to FBI investigators. ..Cartwright's crime was that he told FBI investigators that he didn't confirm the New York Times' and Newsweek's exposes of the Stuxnet story, when in fact, he did.

Those stories exposed the US-Israeli program of using the Stuxnet computer virus to sabotage Iran's nuclear program. Its publication removed a significant obstacle to Iran's nuclear advancement. In other words, those articles directly assisted Iran's nuclear program.

After that action, which took place in 2012, Israel's continued trust in its intelligence ties to the US under Obama made no sense whatsoever, but that's a different story."


What happened was Obama was behind the leaks and the general was brought in after the fact to be a fall guy. 

It is inconceivable that the President face justice. But it is an abuse of power for which there needs to be answers if we are to be convinced the swamp has been drained. Instead of going for a two year sentence, prosecutors should be offering immunity if the President is implicated. 
=== from 2016 ===
A story is emerging that Hillary Clinton considered using contacts to get Palestinians to protest, to embarrass Israel into accepting a bad deal. We know this from a 2011 email she made. It is publicly available. And considering what has happened since, it is despicable. Israel has offered peace for decades. And the UN has forced Israel to negotiate with terrorists for that peace. Clinton had planned to use those terrorists to get Israel to back down from their security position. Clinton tried to have Israel as exposed as Benghazi. Israel is the only functioning democracy in the Middle East. Clinton has tried to work with terrorists to destroy Israel. It would be illegal to attempt something similar on US soil. What illegal activity has Clinton done in the US? 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility.
=== from 2015 ===
 Irritated the Australia Post left a card in my mail box advising me that a parcel I had not expected was not delivered although I was at home, and I needed to go to the post office to collect it. I had been home and isolated for a week, so they had no excuse for failing to deliver it. I have contacted Australia Post and made complaint regarding previous deliveries not being delivered. I have been assured that my issue is being looked at. So I went to the post office and lined up in the queue marked "For parcels" not the general queue. One other with child was waiting in the general queue. She had letters for collection. When she reached the customer service officer, after a long wait as parcels queue was faster, she was rudely informed that she had been in the wrong queue and would not be served. I offered my space, but she refused. The service at Cabramatta Post office is abysmal. 

Community Channel (Natalie Tran) is under siege for a throw away comment of hers regarding religion, which she doesn't have anything to do with. Several followers got upset. We live in a culturally diverse land. It is fine for someone to say they want nothing to do with any religion. I don't feel that way about it, and I have reasons for my stance, but Natalie is welcome to her view. I'll still support her. 
From 2014
We need to have a discussion. A New York Time article on a Father’s Day address delivered by President Obama said: “We know the statistics - that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioural problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundation of our community is weaker because of it.” But we haven't been able to discuss it because of the preciousness of the left who don't argue, but abuse those who wish to bring their thoughts to the discussion table that are different from the left's. Bernardi has made many reasonable statements on this issue and on the issue of abortion, but instead of arguing them, the left have lied, making extravagant claims. A mother, father and their children are the basic family unit. It is a desirable model. A natural model. There is such thing as diversity, there are also cultural assets that need to be strong and maintained. 

Because celebration of cultural assets is not welcomed by the press, the passing of Ariel Sharon may not be well understood by many in its' significance. He had been in a persistent vegetative state for eight years, and his last work was unfinished. He had split the conservative party, Likud, in forming a unity type party of Kadima. He had the luxury of working with a conservative White House offering a 'peace' opportunity which respected Israeli security. Arafat refused. Later, Fatah and Hamas were engaged in civil war and so there was no partner for peace. Sacrifices were made and the opportunity passed. Sharon had been one of Israel's finest soldiers and generals. The sacrifice without gain will not be forgotten by the victims. Sharon's service should not be forgotten either. He found eternal rest on a Saturday. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 1528, Gustav I of Sweden crowned king of Sweden. 1554, Bayinnaung, who would go on to assemble the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia, was crowned King of Burma. 1616, the city of Belém was founded in ParáBrazil by Francisco Caldeira Castelo Branco. 1777, Mission Santa Clara de Asís was founded in what is now Santa Clara, California. 1808, the organizational meeting that led to the creation of the Wernerian Natural History Society, a former Scottish learned society, was held in Edinburgh, Scotland. Also 1808, John Rennie's scheme to defend St Mary's Church, Reculver, founded in 669, from coastal erosion was abandoned in favour of demolition, despite the church being an exemplar of Anglo-Saxon architecture and sculpture. 1848, the Palermo rising took place in Sicily against the BourbonKingdom of the Two Sicilies. 1866, the Royal Aeronautical Society was formed in London. 1872, Yohannes IV was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in Axum, the first imperial coronation in that city in over 200 years. 1895, The National Trust was founded in the United Kingdom. 1898, Itō Hirobumi began his third term as Prime Minister of Japan. 1899, thirteen crew members and five apprentices were rescued from the stricken schooner Forest Hall by the Lynmouth Lifeboat when the former foundered off the coast of Devon.

In 1906, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's cabinet (which included amongst its members H. H. AsquithDavid Lloyd George, and Winston Churchill) embarked on sweeping social reforms after a Liberal landslide in the British general election. 1908, a long-distance radio message was sent from the Eiffel Tower for the first time. 1911, the University of the Philippines College of Law was formally established; three future Philippine presidents were among the first enrolees. 1915, the Rocky Mountain National Park was formed by an act of U.S. Congress. Also 1915, the United States House of Representatives rejected a proposal to give women the right to vote. 1918, Finland's "Mosaic Confessors" law went into effect, making Finnish Jews full citizens. 1921, acting to restore confidence in baseball after the Black Sox Scandal, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was elected as Major League Baseball's first commissioner. 1926, original Sam 'n' Henry aired on Chicago, Illinois radio later renamed Amos 'n' Andy in 1928. 1932, Hattie Caraway became the first woman elected to the United States Senate. 1942, World War IIPresident Franklin D. Roosevelt created the National War Labor Board.

In 1959, the Caves of Nerja were rediscovered in Spain. 1962, Vietnam WarOperation Chopper, the first American combat mission in the war, took place. 1964, rebels in Zanzibarbegan a revolt known as the Zanzibar Revolution and proclaimed a republic. 1966, Lyndon B. Johnson stated that the United States should stay in South Vietnam until Communistaggression there was ended. 1967, Dr. James Bedford became the first person to be cryonically preserved with intent of future resuscitation. 1969, the New York Jets of the American Football League defeated the Baltimore Colts of the National Football League to win Super Bowl III in what is considered to be one of the greatest upsets in sports history. 1970, Biafra capitulated, ending the Nigerian Civil War. 1971, the Harrisburg Seven: Reverend Philip Berrigan and five others were indicted on charges of conspiring to kidnap Henry Kissinger and of plotting to blow up the heating tunnels of federal buildings in Washington, D.C. Also 1971, All in the Family The famous situation comedy premieres on CBS 1976, the United Nations Security Council voted 11-1 to allow the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate in a Security Council debate (without voting rights).

In 1986, Space Shuttle program: Congressman Bill Nelson lifted off from Kennedy Space Center aboard Columbia on mission STS-61-C as a Mission Specialist. 1991, Gulf War: An act of the U.S. Congress authorised the use of military force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. 1998, nineteen European nations agreed to forbid human cloning. 2001, Downtown Disney opened to the public as part of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. 2004, the world's largest ocean linerRMS Queen Mary 2, made its maiden voyage. 2005, Deep Impact launched from Cape Canaveral on a Delta II rocket. 2006, A stampede during the Stoning of the Devil ritual on the last day at the Hajj in Mina, Saudi Arabia, killed at least 362 Muslim pilgrims. Also 2006, the French warship Clemenceau reached Egypt and was barred access to the Suez CanalGreenpeace activists boarded the ship. 2007, Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) reached perihelion becoming the brightest comet in more than 40 years. 2010, the 2010 Haiti earthquake occurred killing an estimated 316,000 and destroying the majority of the capital Port-au-Prince.
=== Publishing News ===
This column welcomes feedback and criticism. The column is not made up but based on the days events and articles which are then placed in the feed. So they may not have an apparent cohesion they would have had were they made up.
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I am publishing a book called Bread of Life: January. 

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

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

List of available items at Create Space
Happy birthday and many happy returns Dione HortinColin J Ely and Amy Tran. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
January 12Coming of Age Day in Japan (2015); Zanzibar Revolution Day in Tanzania (1964)
Joseph Smith, Jr.
All hail the Burmese. Smith laboured hard on his feet. We have trust. The tanks are rolling. Someone upset the supper bowl. Let's party. 
Deaths
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Tim Blair

THE DAY THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME

For meat marketers, January 26 is no longer Australia Day. It’s just … Day.
12 Jan  

THURSDAY NOTICEBOARD

Today’s noticeboard is brought to you by Donald Trump’s accurate description of Buzzfeed.
12 Jan  

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH

Or a free multifaith government dinner, for that matter.
12 Jan  

AUSTRALIA IN 2017

Four Anzac Day marches in NSW were cancelled yesterday because nobody could agree on who should pay to protect crowds from Islamic terrorists.
12 Jan
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YOUNG WOMAN GETS TATTOO

Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 12, 2016 (3:19pm)

Morgan Curtis, “a storytelling climate activist”, tells her astonishing climate activist story
I never imagined I would get a tattoo during the U.N. Climate Summit in Paris. Yet here it is, newly healed and permanently inked on the inside of my right wrist.
The tattoo is three numbers and a symbol: “355<" in 25-point font, styled as if from a typewriter. It’s my commitment to the people of the climate movement, to listening to and sharing their stories of climate justice.
When I was born in October 1991 … 
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold it right there, Irene. Seeing as you’re 24 now, there hasn’t been any global warming worth a damn since you were just six years old. What kind of climate justice stories can you get from that? The one time your Blue Bunny MiniSwirl melted in winter? 
This is a turning point in my life. 
No. It’s a tattoo.
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GERMANY IN THE LAST CHANCELLOR SALOON

Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 12, 2016 (3:16pm)

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat on Germany’s dire demographics
In terms of immediate civil peace, family formation or unification offers promise, since men with wives and children are less likely to grope revelers or graffiti synagogues or seek the solidarity of radicalism.
But it could also double or treble this migration’s demographic impact, pushing Germany toward a possible future in which half the under-40 population would consist of Middle Eastern and North African immigrants and their children.
If you believe that an aging, secularized, heretofore-mostly-homogeneous society is likely to peacefully absorb a migration of that size and scale of cultural difference, then you have a bright future as a spokesman for the current German government.
You’re also a fool. 
Douthat’s conclusion: “Angela Merkel must go — so that her country, and the continent it bestrides, can avoid paying too high a price for her high-minded folly.”
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ROGER MELLIE AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS

Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 12, 2016 (2:23pm)

Among his many other qualities, David Bowie was a devoted reader of the excellent British social inquiry journal Viz.
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BOMBSHELL

Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 12, 2016 (1:53pm)

A total of 34 Essendon players have been banned from football for an entire year over violations of the AFL’s anti-doping rules: 
Twelve current Bombers stars including skipper Jobe Watson, Dyson Heppell and Michael Hurley have been banned until November meaning they will miss the entire 2016 AFL season …
Seventeen of the 34 players are either retired or delisted but still face the loss of their livelihoods in suburban leagues where many are still playing or coaching. 
The 2012 Brownlow medal may also be in question. Any men aged between 18 and 50 with clean supplements records who are capable of remaining upright for 120 minutes are urged to send their resumes to Essendon Football Club, PO Box 17, Essendon 3040, Australia.
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WEAK PEAK

Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 12, 2016 (1:41pm)

Whatever is the opposite of peak oil – valley oil? – we’re at it
Crude-oil prices plunged more than 5% on Monday to trade near $30 a barrel, making the specter of bankruptcy ever more likely for a significant chunk of the U.S. oil industry.
Three major investment banks – Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. — now expect the price of oil to crash through the $30 threshold and into $20 territory … 
Someone once predicted this, although other factors have since become involved.
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NOT HAPPY, LAMB

Tim Blair – Tuesday, January 12, 2016 (12:22pm)

Take a quick look at this Australia Day lamb ad and see if anything might be considered offensive:



Nothing at all, right? Wrong
Not everyone is happy with the latest lamb ad from Meat and Livestock Australia …
One particular scene has already been the subject of dozens of complaints.
It shows a team of special agents breaking into a New York apartment and using a blow torch on a table when the occupant protests that he is vegan. 
The complaints are about violence towards kale.
(Via J.F. Beck.
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SILENCE OF THE DOGS

Tim Blair – Monday, January 12, 2015 (4:19am)

It was a close-run thing, but in the end an Australian leftist came up with the single most pathetic and cowardly response to last week’s Islamic terrorist atrocities in France.
But before we hand our winner his coveted yellow sash and official white feather medallion for outstanding achievement in the field of full-body trembling, let’s take a look at the entry from runner-up Francois Hollande, who – when he isn’t desperately avoiding obvious facts – has a part-time gig as the French president: 
Those who committed these acts have nothing to do with the Muslim religion. 
Apart from the vengeance against Charlie Hebdo magazine for offending Islam. And the screams of “Allahu Akbar” as the Islamic terrorists advanced on their victims. And the cry of “we have avenged the prophet” following the shooting of an injured policeman. And the armed invasion of a Jewish supermarket. And the terrorists’ wishes, communicated to authorities as they were trapped near Charles de Gaulle airport, to die as martyrs.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'SILENCE OF THE DOGS'
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EVIL KICKS IT UP A NOTCH

Tim Blair – Monday, January 12, 2015 (2:17am)

A change of strategy for Boko Haram – instead of merely kidnapping and enslaving young girls, now they are blowing them up:



The piece continues: 
A top federal police official in the capital, Abuja, who once worked in Maiduguri, said Saturday that the terrorist group appeared to have embarked on a new path.
“It’s something quite new, and it’s disturbing, using these young, young girls wearing hijabs,” the official said, referring to the Muslim veil.
“Now, one has to be suspicious of any lady wearing a hijab – whether it’s a young lady, or an old lady,” said the police official, who asked not to be quoted by name because of concerns about his position. 
Nothing at all to do with Islam, of course. And in Germany
Arsonists have firebombed the offices of a German newspaper which printed cartoons from the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, police in Hamburg said.
The Hamburger Morgenpost had, like many German media outlets, published images from the satirical weekly in the aftermath of a terror attack that saw 10 of its journalists killed on Wednesday. 
(Via Adam I.)
UPDATE. Further child suicide attacks by Boko Haram, which I think is Nigerian for “this is nothing to do with Islam”:
Two suspected child suicide bombers blew themselves up in a market in north-east Nigeria on Sunday, witnesses said, killing three people in the second apparent attack in two days using young girls strapped with explosives. 
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WE ARE ALL (SUBJECT TO THE APPALLING RESTRICTIONS OF) 18C

Tim Blair – Monday, January 12, 2015 (1:33am)

Via Morph, the Australian translation of a currently-popular French phrase:

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GENTLE BEN

Tim Blair – Monday, January 12, 2015 (1:12am)

Sydney Morning Herald deputy editor Ben Cubby, a global warming cultist, last week reached out to those of us who aren’t convinced the planet is on the verge of destruction.
Well, it wasn’t quite a reaching-out as a promise to reduce our eventual punishment when we are dragged before the Court of Cubby (located, presumably, within the Cubby House). “I propose an amnesty,” he offered, “on those still engaged in the divisive name-calling and facile arguments.” 

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'GENTLE BEN'
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TEACHERS BLAMED

Tim Blair – Monday, January 12, 2015 (12:36am)

The best review of last week’s column
Obviously not smart enough to write something intelligent. A disgrace to his educators. 
Take it up with my old headmaster, lady. Alan L. sent this note: 
As a retired member of the ADF I take exception to your comments under “April”. Whilst they were “the enemy” in WWI the Turkish people have proven to be very honourable. This can be seen at Gallipoli with the quote from Mustafa Kemel Attaturk inscribed on the monument. There is no humour in what you said which at the very best could be described as tasteless. If you want to take pot shots at the ABC, which seems to be the point of your column, then use some real humour if your owner will allow it. Whilst the ABC has some problems in your view being somewhat to the left, your paper could be described at times as so far to the right that it makes Genghis Khan look like a socialist. Perhaps you might like to have the “letters editor” publish this as a rebuke. 
Perhaps if he’d written this as a letter to the editor, Alan might have had a chance. An unemployed man with an interest in naval history also spoke up
Yup. That’s what he’s hired for: to dance for the knuckle-draggers... 
never dance. Well, not any more. Not since the incident.
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ABC doesn’t believe in Right to free speech

Piers Akerman – Saturday, January 11, 2014 (11:20pm)

THE left, be they from the ALP or the ABC, oppose free speech when it is their ideology which is under scrutiny. 

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'ABC doesn’t believe in Right to free speech'
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www.theage.com.au

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www.smh.com.au
JJJ is so alternative it is unlistenable .. I did work experience with them (JJ) in '82 (Jonathon Coleman was there, and I did a comedy thing with him) and they had these discussions then. They basically preach to their converted. - ed
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www.news.com.au

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She was PM .. she accepts no responsibility for her choices - ed
Aus newspaper story Kevin & I mandated curriculum themes dead wrong. Experts not politicians wrote the curriculum. http://bit.ly/1eo3VxX JG
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Anthony Cox reveals the false science behind the latest from Abrahams and Nuccitelli.


theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com

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www.jewishpress.com
Palestinians cheered his death for a reason. He dedicated his life to Israel and I won't fault him for that. I disagreed with his splitting the conservative movement, but point out that the left had been so dissociated that a desperate move was called for .. the assassination of one Jew by another was the result of the left divorcing itself from reality and putting out insane rhetoric .. by moving the conservatives to the centre, Sharon worked to strengthen Israeli unity. It is hard to make good choices, except in hindsight. He made military decisions and he has been Israel's greatest military mind to date. - ed
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My thanks to Barbara Ginsberg and Moshe Schwartz
MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari offered an uncompromising appraisal of Sharon's life, saying that "history judges the results."

"When Ariel Sharon stands before the heavenly court and good and bad angels empty the cases on the scales of judgement, there will be great tension," wrote Ben-Ari on his official Facebook page. "The scales will waver wildly from here to there," as initially his military accomplishments in defending the country will tip the scales in his favor, opines Ben-Ari.

"But then will surely come the 26 destroyed communities in Yamit, flowering greenhouses, vibrant communities, and they will tip the scales against him," writes Ben-Ari. "Expelled residents of Yamit who grew old and wrinkled with the memory of their destroyed efforts, refugees of Gush Katif in Nitzan and Nitzana, waiting for the fulfillment of the promise of 'a solution to every resident,'" he said, alluding to the plight of the refugees of Gush Katif, many of whom remain without permanent housing or employment more than eight years on, despite government promises at the time.

"All these will come and shed their tears and affronts on the scales against him, and again the scales will waver, this time to the left," according to Ben-Ari.

In Ben-Ari's analysis, there is "Sharon the man and Sharon the phenomenon," namely a seemingly right-wing leader who doggedly defends Israel's security but in the end brings tragedy and disaster to Israel by turning left politically.

Ben-Ari continued by saying he was issuing his criticism "because I must, because the danger is crouching at our door, for there are many others in the 'right-wing' figure of Sharon. Declared right-wingers to all appearances, who suddenly flip on us."

In particular, Ben-Ari pointed the finger at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, former Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert and Menachem Begin, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon for following the same path of initially pushing for Israeli security only to change suddenly in making concessions.

"When the right-wing ideology is security-based, that's its end," warns Ben-Ari. "Our hold on the land of Israel isn't a matter of security, but rather faith. Rabbi Meir Kahane (Hy''d) said of this: 'I don't want to lose my land, not in war and not in peace.'"

"Sharon, who was a hero in war, brought on us destruction and dangers in 
the hallucination of peace," concludes Ben-Ari. "A pity over his old age that shamed his great acts."

Sharon - one of the great builders of Israel, and its greatest destroyer
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www.algemeiner.com
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unitycoalitionforisrael.org
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unitycoalitionforisrael.org
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www.nowtheendbegins.com

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www.jpost.com
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www.thecommentator.com

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www.israpundit.com
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<..For all this, Mr. Kerry could succeed in his efforts, just as Frank Kellogg did: When the diplomacy of great powers becomes unstuck from reality, sometimes it's easier for the smaller powers to go along with the fiction now and take advantage of the facts later. But the world won't live in illusions forever. Too bad the same probably can't be said for John Kerry>
calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.se
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www.breakingisraelnews.com
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www.breakingisraelnews.com

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www.timesofisrael.com

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blog.thecst.org.uk
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“When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” - Psalm 118:5-6
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Morning and Evenings by Charles Spurgeon

January 11: Morning

"These have no root." - Luke 8:13

My soul, examine thyself this morning by the light of this text. Thou hast received the word with joy; thy feelings have been stirred and a lively impression has been made; but, remember, that to receive the word in the ear is one thing, and to receive Jesus into thy very soul is quite another; superficial feeling is often joined to inward hardness of heart, and a lively impression of the word is not always a lasting one. In the parable, the seed in one case fell upon ground having a rocky bottom, covered over with a thin layer of earth; when the seed began to take root, its downward growth was hindered by the hard stone and therefore it spent its strength in pushing its green shoot aloft as high as it could, but having no inward moisture derived from root nourishment, it withered away. Is this my case? Have I been making a fair show in the flesh without having a corresponding inner life? Good growth takes place upwards and downwards at the same time. Am I rooted in sincere fidelity and love to Jesus? If my heart remains unsoftened and unfertilized by grace, the good seed may germinate for a season, but it must ultimately wither, for it cannot flourish on a rocky, unbroken, unsanctified heart. Let me dread a godliness as rapid in growth and as wanting in endurance as Jonah's gourd; let me count the cost of being a follower of Jesus, above all let me feel the energy of his Holy Spirit, and then I shall possess an abiding and enduring seed in my soul. If my mind remains as obdurate as it was by nature, the sun of trial will scorch, and my hard heart will help to cast the heat the more terribly upon the ill-covered seed, and my religion will soon die, and my despair will be terrible; therefore, O heavenly Sower, plough me first, and then cast the truth into me, and let me yield thee a bounteous harvest.

Evening
"I have prayed for thee." - Luke 22:32
How encouraging is the thought of the Redeemer's never- ceasing intercession for us. When we pray, he pleads for us; and when we are not praying, he is advocating our cause, and by his supplications shielding us from unseen dangers. Notice the word of comfort addressed to Peter--"Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat; but"--what? "But go and pray for yourself." That would be good advice, but it is not so written. Neither does he say, "But I will keep you watchful, and so you shall be preserved." That were a great blessing. No, it is, "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not." We little know what we owe to our Saviour's prayers. When we reach the hill-tops of heaven, and look back upon all the way whereby the Lord our God hath led us, how we shall praise him who, before the eternal throne, undid the mischief which Satan was doing upon earth. How shall we thank him because he never held his peace, but day and night pointed to the wounds upon his hands, and carried our names upon his breastplate! Even before Satan had begun to tempt, Jesus had forestalled him and entered a plea in heaven. Mercy outruns malice. Mark, he does not say, "Satan hath desired to have you." He checks Satan even in his very desire, and nips it in the bud. He does not say, "But I have desired to pray for you." No, but "I have prayed for you: I have done it already; I have gone to court and entered a counterplea even before an accusation is made." O Jesus, what a comfort it is that thou hast pleaded our cause against our unseen enemies; countermined their mines, and unmasked their ambushes. Here is a matter for joy, gratitude, hope, and confidence.
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Zephaniah 
[Zĕpha nī'ah] - jehovah is darkness or god hides.
The Man of Moral Earnestness
1. A son of Cushi, who prophesied in the days of Josiah (Zeph. 1:1). The prophet Zephaniah gives us a most minute account of his genealogy - a rare thing for a prophet! Possibly he pursued this course for two reasons:
To distinguish himself from three others of the same name, mentioned below.
To point out his relation to the great monarch, Hezekiah. The Hizkiah of Zephaniah 1:1 is identical with King Hezekiah. Zephaniah was therefore of royal descent.
The prophecy of Zephaniah, ninth among the Minor Prophets, is one of reproof and judgment. George Adam Smith said of it, "No hotter book lies in all the Old Testament." What a graphic picture of Judah's spiritual pride this prophet of judgment paints! Worshippers of God were found sprawled on their housetops worshiping the moon and stars (Zeph. 1:4, 5). The spirit of practical atheism had possessed the people (Zeph. 1:12), and their religious leaders had lost their moral seriousness ( Zeph. 3:4).
Zephaniah sees no way out of such departure from God but judgment, so he announces the day of the Lord, denounces idolaters, waverers and apostates and pronounces doom on wrongdoers (Zeph. 1:7, 8). Much that he predicted has been partially fulfilled, but ultimate fulfillment is still future.
The Lord is "in the midst" for judgment (Zeph. 1-3:8).
The Lord is "in the midst" for salvation (Zeph. 3:9-20).
The present value of the Book of Zephaniah must not be lost sight of. We have:
I. The revelation of social and moral conditions.
II. An earnest moral tone and deep sense of sin.
III. The disciplinary value of suffering (Zeph. 3:7, 11, 13).
IV. The comforting doctrine of Providence.
V. Are we God's Zephaniahs - His sheltered ones (Ps. 17:8; 27:5, 7)?
Other men with the name of Zephaniah are:
2. A Levite of the family of Kohath and of the house of Izhar, who is mentioned among the ancestors of Heman the singer (1 Chron. 6:36-38).
3. A priest, the son of Maaseiah, who ministered in Jerusalem in the reign of King Hezekiah and the prophet Jeremiah. This Zephaniah had the oversight of the Temple and was put to death at Riblah (2 Kings 25:18-30Jer. 21:1; 29:25-29; 37:3; 52:24-29).
4. The father of one Josiah who lived in the day of Zerubbabel and the prophet Zechariah, and into whose house in Jerusalem the messenger from the Jews went (Zech. 6:10-14).
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Today's reading: Genesis 27-28, Matthew 8:18-34 (NIV)

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Today's Old Testament reading: Genesis 27-28

1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, "My son."
"Here I am," he answered.
2 Isaac said, "I am now an old man and don't know the day of my death. 3 Now then, get your equipment--your quiver and bow--and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. 4 Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die..."

Today's New Testament reading: Matthew 8:18-34

The Cost of Following Jesus
18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."
20 Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
21 Another disciple said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
22 But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead...."

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