Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Wed Jan 4th Todays News

The December IPA Review is out and Sinclair Davidson has written "Natural Resistance" about Calestous Juma's "Innovation and its' enemies."In 1860 the French government asked for a substitute for butter which was expensive. At the same time, in the US, dairy markets expanded through cheap transport. So when margarine was invented, it solved a need, but the market put political pressure to have it not displace butter. So politicians did things to regulate margarine, like plain packaging and even colouring it unpleasantly. Similar to when the ALP introduced plain packaging for cigarettes. It must have worked, because butter is still around today. Often, government regulation is the enemy off innovation. Often so as to protect vested interests. Governments rarely innovate well. For example, NBN doesn't connect Australia when it could, because it is fixated on one expensive technology instead of a range that is more appropriate. Compare railroads in Australia with those of the US. Governments made Australian ones. Including different Australian states using different gauge tracks. 

The Liberal Party in Australia is conservative, not like the left wing monolith of the ALP. So Liberal party members have a range of opinions and skills they bring to office, not just being hack labor lawyers. Two worth examining are Cory Bernardi and George Christensen. Christensen in a QLD LNP member and former journalist. He is a 3rd generation sugarcane farmer from Mackay. Christensen has been outspoken on issues, supporting the concept of a death penalty for some crimes, calling to repeal the bullying safe school policy and opposing AGW hysteria and Islamic terrorism. Cory Bernardi is a South Australian Senator for the Liberal Party. Cory's dad was an Italian migrant who came to Australia in 1958. Cory is an accomplished athlete. Cory is Roman Catholic and has spoken out on matters of faith that need defending. Cory has started a conservative think tank, which is needed and could potentially do for conservatives what the IPA does for Libertarians. Only, some people are hoping that Cory's conservatives split the Liberal party because Turnbull is awful and won't walk and because Shorten is awful and needs help. 
=== from 2016 ===
This year Obama won't win the white house and hopefully, in Arizona, Alex Meluskey gets into Congress. US needs a flat tax and the world will benefit from it. Instead of tax lawyers doing the work of common people, we need people to have ownership of their future, and that means smaller government and simpler, fairer tax laws. And it looks like the pragmatic Trump will be an obstacle to that. Trump says many words, some fine, but the people with follow through, like Ted Cruz, are the ones the US needs. Calvin Coolidge is the model to follow. Some may like the secrecy of Carter's corrupt administration, or Clinton. Where affairs of state were mixed with ordinary affairs disgracefully. Where an ignorant US people voted in a President who gave WMD to Saddam Hussein. Or when a President desperate to be remembered sparked a second intifada. Hoover was not natural politician and got walked over by his Dem opponents. We don't want Trump to fail the same way. We don't want Hillary. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility.
=== from 2015 ===
The ALP wants an enormous public service. And the public service likes to splurge public money. And the ALP likes to complain about the splurging of those public servants too. And the press let the ALP have it each way, depending on what is temporarily useful for them. And then conservative commentators suggest that the LNP is divided because they have internal debate about issues. Mr Abbott can be criticised for choices he makes, but the criticism should be balanced. It isn't balanced to criticise merely for the sake of balance. The LNP has a lot of talent, and many have a lot of ambition. To compare them with the ALP where over ambition is not matched by talent, is to not compare like. 

Sometimes it takes a long time for a lefty to see the truth. Like the anarchist bombings of the late 1800's being similar to terrorism today. But somewhere in the brain of the lefty, it can look like one justifies the other. 

Richard Flanagan was lauded by Mr Abbott. But Michael Hoffman sees through Flanagan's cheap prose. Mr Abbott is a far better PM than a literary critic. To be fair, Flanagan has chosen a side and a tribe and is incapable of the empathy required to see further. But Flanagan's myopic offering is impressive. 

The racist 'we' applied by Oprah Winfrey to race issues is fashionable but ultimately divisive. Race is not a cultural asset of a progressive society. Instead, it would be better for Oprah to describe the examples of what falls short of racism as not being racist. She should not bemoan the lack of leadership over the issue when the examples don't support the issue. The reason why she hasn't shown leadership is because the examples haven't warranted it. If the examples aren't fitting the allegation, then they aren't good examples.

The fatwah placed on archaeology is something that Islamic leaders need to address. Otherwise the destruction of archaeology by ISIL and related jihadists will get worse. Already priceless artefacts are gone forever and learning opportunities regarding the world's past are lost. 

A slight decline in car-b-ques on NYE in France seems related to the boys joining ISIL. Still way too many when it happens to one car. The vandalism should not be sanctioned by Islam, and if it is the activity of jihadists then it should be declared such by Islamists.

An irresponsible leftwing government in Italy has initiated a rising tide of desperate boat people and people smugglers. Typically, many boat people are dying from the left wing compassion. By failing to acknowledge the deaths of such people, we fail to acknowledge the work of the worst serial killers of our times. The ones who kill compassionately with a pen and a bad policy. 
From 2014
The year 2013 has been labelled by AGW advocates as the hottest ever. I say they are lying. I can point to record cold spells, which those paid advocates claim is merely weather, not climate. The assertion is true as far as it goes, but the definition of climate precludes change. So, by referring to climate change, AGW advocates are referring to the same thing science fiction writers refer to when they oscillate the manifold projectors in the forward section of their space ship, or when they reverse the polarity of the manifolds (fyi, the forward manifold of a ship is probably better known as a section of a hull, as would be a rear manifold or side manifolds). This highlights the biggest issue of AGW alarmism, that it is not a scientific theory which can be measured and falsified, but a mantra related to religious spiritual assertion. Consider, what would be a disproof of AGW alarmism? If nothing could disprove it, it is not falsifiable, and therefore not a scientific theory. 

So AGW alarmists are locked in an ice bound ship in the middle of summer. They announced their journey over a month in advance, purposed as to measure thinning ice in the Antarctic in summer. It was to be analogous to thinning ice in the North Pole, but it is different, as Antarctica is land, not water. But the world is not heating as AGW alarmists would have people believe. The world is still coming out of the last ice age, but the cold weather events are not explained by their models, while hot weather events are. 

Australian media claimed the journey was proof that AGW claims are real. But when they became ice locked, media described the journey as mere tourism and those trapped as tourists. Note well, there is a heat wave in Australia at the moment. It is summer. The dry central lands get very hot during the day and the heat dissipates by going out to sea, on the East coast. The heat waves could be ended with a Bradfield scheme to flood central Australia, and has nothing to do with Global Warming.
From 2013
not done
Historical perspective on this day
In 46 BC, Julius Caesar defeated Titus Labienus in the Battle of Ruspina.  871, Battle of ReadingÆthelred of Wessex fought, and was defeated by, a Danish invasion army. 1490, Anne of Brittany announced that all those who would ally with the King of France would be considered guilty of the crime of lèse-majesté. 1642, King Charles I of England sent soldiers to arrest members of Parliament, commencing England's slide into civil war. 1649, English Civil War: The Rump Parliament voted to put Charles I on trial. 1717, the NetherlandsGreat Britain, and France signed the Triple Alliance. 1762, Great Britain declared war on Spain and Naples. 1798, Constantine Hangerli arrived in BucharestWallachia, as its new Prince, invested by the Ottoman Empire.

In 1847, Samuel Colt sold his first revolver pistol to the United States government. 1854, the McDonald Islands were discovered by Captain William McDonald aboard the Samarang. 1863m the New Apostolic Church, a Christian and chiliastic church, was established in Hamburg, Germany. 1865, the New York Stock Exchange opened its first permanent headquarters at 10-12 Broad near Wall Street in New York City. 1878, Sofia was emancipated from Ottoman rule. 1884, the Fabian Society was founded in London, England, United Kingdom. 1889, the Oklahoma Land Run opened 2 million acres of unused Oklahoma Territory to first serve first come settlers on April 22. 1896, Utah was admitted as the 45th U.S. state. 1903, Topsy, an elephant, was electrocuted by the owners of Luna Park, Coney IslandThomas Edison's movie company shoots the film Electrocuting an Elephant of the execution. 1912, The Scout Association was incorporated throughout the British Commonwealth by Royal charter. 1944, World War IIOperation Carpetbagger, involving the dropping of arms and supplies to resistance fighters in Europe, began. 1948, Burma gained its independence from the United Kingdom.

In 1951, Korean War: Chinese and North Korean forces captured Seoul. 1955, the Greek National Radical Union was formed by Konstantinos Karamanlis. 1958, Sputnik 1 fell to Earthfrom orbit. 1959, Luna 1 became the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon. 1965, United States President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed his "Great Society" during his State of the Union address. 1966, a military coup took place in Upper Volta (later Burkina Faso), dissolving the National Parliament and leading to a new national constitution. 1970, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck Tonghai County, China, killing at least 15,000 people. 1972, Rose Heilbron became the first female judge to sit at the Old Bailey in London, England. 1974, United States President Richard Nixon refused to hand over materials subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee. 1976, The Troubles: The Ulster Volunteer Force shot dead six Irish Catholic civilians in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. The next day, gunmen shot dead ten Protestant civilians nearby in retaliation. 1987, the 1987 Maryland train collision: An Amtrak train en route to Boston from Washington, D.C., collided with Conrail engines in Chase, Maryland, killing 16 people. 1989, Second Gulf of Sidra incident: a pair of Libyan MiG-23 "Floggers" were shot down by a pair of US Navy F-14 Tomcats during an air-to-air confrontation.

In 1990, in Pakistan's deadliest train accident an overloaded passenger train collided with an empty freight train, resulting in 307 deaths and 700 injuries. 1998, Wilaya of Relizane massacre in Algeria: over 170 were killed in three remote villages. Also 1998, a massive ice storm hit eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, continuing through January 10and causing widespread destruction. 1999, former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura was sworn in as governor of Minnesota. 2000, two trains on the Røros Line collided in Åsta, Norway, resulting in an explosive fire and 19 deaths. 2004, Spirit, a NASA Mars rover, landed successfully on Mars at 04:35 UTC. Also 2004, Mikheil Saakashvili was elected President of Georgia following the November 2003 Rose Revolution. 2006, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel suffered a second, apparently more serious stroke. His authority was transferred to acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. 2007, the 110th United States Congress convened, electing Nancy Pelosi as the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. history. 2010, Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, was officially opened. 2013, a gunman killed eight peoplein a house-to-house rampage in Kawit, the Philippines.
=== 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 PhiLip Smi-Le Nguyen. Born on the same day, across the years as
January 4Perihelion of the Earth (06:36 UTC, 2015); Independence Day in Burma (1948)
Artist's concept of Rover on Mars
Today we are closest to the sun for the year. We have assumed the throne. It was nice to give young horses to Texas Rangers. Every Briton needs a boy scout. We have soul. Spirit is roving. Let's party. 
Tim Blair


Victorians protest when McDonald’s tries to open a new venue. So how do Victorians react when someone opens an independent burger joint – the exact opposite of a McDonald’s?
4 Jan  


After decades of global warming panic, the NYT finally discovers what everyone else already knew. Cold weather is deadlier than hot weather. Der.
4 Jan  


Post Brexit and Trump, leftist since birth Jeff Sparrow wonders why the left keeps losing.
4 Jan  


Today’s noticeboard is brought to you by the quaint French New Year’s Eve tradition of the car-b-que, which this year roasted 17 per cent more vehicles than last year.
4 Jan 


Tim Blair – Monday, January 04, 2016 (3:13am)

Gather around, friends, because it is once again time to gaze into my crystal balls and foresee the major events of the next 12 months:
UN officials condemn conditions at Nauru’s detention centre as “bleak, hostile and frightening” with many asylum seekers in a state of “suicidal desperation”. It later emerges that the officials had mistakenly visited Adelaide.
An innocent bushwalk for Adam Goodes turns ugly when the retired Sydney Swans champion is booed in Aberdare State Forest. An owl is subsequently evicted.
Feminist Clementine Ford dons a burqa to investigate mistreatment of Muslims on public transport, but her cover is blown when an elderly gentleman offers his seat and the Fairfax columnist responds with seven solid minutes of obscene abuse.
Angela Merkel’s widely-anticipated speech on Islamic refugees and multicultural harmony is delayed when she cannot find a male relative who will give permission for the German chancellor to leave her house. 
Under pressure from Labor’s left faction, the party alters its controversial “turn back the boats” policy. The modified arrangement calls for asylum seeker vessels to be turned around a full 360 degrees before continuing to Australian territorial waters. “Tough but fair,” declares Tanya Plibersek. 
“Islam is a peaceful faith. Islam brings the peaceful glory of Allah to the world,” Muslim activist Muhammad Mo Momo tells the first-ever all-Islamic extremist episode of Q & A. “You make a very good point,” replies presenter Tony Jones via video link from his remote armour-plated underground hosting capsule. 
Media outrage in the US following Donald Trump’s blackface appearance during the first presidential debate. “Lordy, Lordy, Lordy!” hollers white-gloved, hand-waving Trump as opponent Hillary Clinton attempts to discuss healthcare reform. The Republican candidate immediately soars to a 60-40 poll lead.
“In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best form of words,” admits Greens leader Richard Di Natale, who saw his party achieve only two per cent of the election vote under the slogan: “Vote Greens or Die in the Infernal Hellscape of Climate Change Denialism, You Stupid Bastards.” 
To commemorate Grandma Wally Wurkanurgle’s three-hour welcome to country ceremony at the MCG, the AFL presents a brief football game.
Greens senator Scott Ludlam’s hair gel fire enters its 50th day.
Jarryd Hayne shows impressive early form operating the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. “It’s just a matter of time before he understands the subtleties of particle physics,” announces European Organization for Nuclear Research director general Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer.  
Departing US president Barack Obama finally admits why he has never released his college records. “I ain’t never been to no college,” laughs the president. “In fact, I ain’t never been to no school neither!” Boarding Airforce One with his entourage, Obama yells a final farewell over his shoulder: “Thanks for all the good times, whitey.”


Tim Blair – Monday, January 04, 2016 (2:14am)

The Rudd government was defined by the gigantic gulf between its ambition and its ability. Rudd came to power aiming to save the world. In the end, he couldn’t even save our savings. For that matter, nor could the Rudd government save Rudd.
Behold, then, the architectural symbol of the Rudd years: a structure that perfectly contrasts Labor’s post-2007 aims with its dismally low achievements. In Kendall, NSW, this is the Rudd government memorial toilet, complete with a proud “Economic Stimulus Plan” notice:

That’s Rudd’s legacy, right there. It also symbolises what he and Wayne Swan did to our budget. Little wonder Rudd has chosen this particular path to UN leadership.
(Via Gem.)
UPDATE. The cost:

(Via AP.) 


Tim Blair – Monday, January 04, 2016 (1:37am)

The team at McLaren know quality machinery, as is shown by their choice of street vehicles. Project engineer Richard Jones owns a beautiful blue Clownshoe
“It scared me when I first drove it, but that was a good thing. This is a true icon,” he says. 
They will scare you. Yet a Clownshoe is remarkably docile when you’re not provoking it, largely thanks to BMW’s now-primitive but extremely efficient early variable valve timing system. Until you kick things above 3500rpm or so, the Shoe’s straight six is just a lazy, undersquare, traffic-friendly torque generator. Above 3500rpm and far beyond, well, life becomes a little more interesting.
(Via Given Middle Surname.)


Tim Blair – Monday, January 04, 2016 (12:05am)

As part of the government’s ongoing brilliant handling of the Jamie Briggs Hong Kong bar debacle, immigration minister Peter Dutton sends an abusive text message to exactly the wrong person.
UPDATE. The ABC’s Emma Alberici misquotes a mistake.

PM Tony Abbott should focus on communication

Piers Akerman – Saturday, January 03, 2015 (9:02pm)

US politicians from John F.Kennedy to Richard Nixon have trotted out the trope that the Chinese expression for crisis is made up of two characters, one representing danger, the other, opportunity.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'PM Tony Abbott should focus on communication'


Tim Blair – Sunday, January 04, 2015 (5:55pm)

It’s time to privatise the public service
People dealing with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection may expect to receive a response more sensitive to their emotional needs after it took out an $88,000 contract for its employees to improve their emotional intelligence.
Documents published on the AusTender website show the department has a contract with Blue Visions, which promises workshops that give participants insights into their unique emotional strengths and weaknesses and provide an “emotional intelligence framework”. 
All of that improved emotional intelligence means nothing if your yoga isn’t up to scratch: 
IP Australia – an agency in the Department of Industry – is helping pay for its employees’ yoga classes. It has a $10,900 contract with Canberra instructor Swami Yogamanas Saraswati to help its employees improve their downward-facing dog and other yoga poses during their lunch break. 
Let’s give them longer lunch breaks. Much longer. And unfunded.


Tim Blair – Sunday, January 04, 2015 (1:52pm)

Actress Donna Douglas, who played Elly May Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, has died at 81: 
Chosen from more than 500 other actresses, Douglas said she felt at ease playing the role because, like her character, she grew up a poor Southern tomboy. Her childhood in Pride, Louisiana, came in handy when she was asked during her audition to milk a goat.

“I had milked cows before,” she recalled in a 2009 interview with The Associated Press. “I figured they were equipped the same, so I just went on over and did it.” 


Tim Blair – Sunday, January 04, 2015 (12:48pm)

In an attempt to minimise the horror of Islamic State’s beheading campaign, local Muslim leader Mustafa Abu Yusuf last year came up with this brilliant diversion
“The beheadings, it’s an abhorrent act, don’t misunderstand me. But what about the British in Malaya in the 1950s?” 
Melbourne leftist Jeff Sparrow now reaches even further back. His latest column basically says this: “Terrorism, it’s abhorrent, don’t misunderstand me. But what about the anarchist bombings of the 1890s?”


Tim Blair – Saturday, January 03, 2015 (7:16pm)

Survivors look on as Victorian merino farmer David Coad prepares to bury thousands of sheep killed by massive bushfires:

Many properties in South Australia and Victoria are destroyed and many others threatened. A woman has been charged over 40 deliberately-lit fires in Victoria’s north. 

Michael Hoffman on Richard Flanagan. Tony Abbott he’s not

Andrew Bolt January 04 2015 (5:10pm)

The Prime Minister overruled the judges to have Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North share his award for best fiction.
Here are two passages from the book:
Dorrigo Evans is not typical of Australia and nor are they, volunteers from the fringes, slums and shadowlands of their vast country: drovers, trappers, wharfies, roo shooters, desk jockeys, dingo trappers and shearers. They are bank clerks and teachers, counter johnnies, piners and short-price runners, susso survivors, chancers, larrikins, yobs, tray men, crims, boofheads and tough bastards blasted out of a depression that had them growing up in shanties and shacks without electricity, with their old men dead or crippled or maddened by the Great War and their old women making do on aspro and hope, on soldier settlements, in sustenance camps, slums and shanty towns, in a 19th-century world that had staggered into the mid-20th century.... 
Even when he was away from her he could see her, smell her musky neck, gaze into her bright eyes, hear her husky laugh, run his finger down her slightly heavy thigh, gaze at the imperfect part in her hair; her arms ever so slightly filled with some mysterious feminine fullness, neither taut nor flabby but for him wondrous.
Here is what poet and critic Michael Hoffman made of them and the book. Hoffman felt no call to demonstrate his political magnanimity, of course. 

Lesson in humility

Andrew Bolt January 04 2015 (4:51pm)

Lesson one - as Qorik Mangli kept insisting - “focus on the object”. It is astonishing how little I really see of things. Lesson two - mere reproducing nevertheless is still not creating.
Contradiction resolved by genius.
Observation - a blank piece of paper is terrifying. 

The racist “we”

Andrew Bolt January 04 2015 (4:42pm)

It is such a desperate shame that even for Oprah Winfrey the fashionable “we” is defined by race:
Key organisers of the wave of recent US protests over police treatment of African-Americans have criticised Oprah Winfrey over comments she made to People magazine criticising their movement as “leaderless.” 
“I think it’s wonderful to march and to protest and it’s wonderful to see all across the country, people doing it,” she said in a video interview posted on the magazine’s website. “But what I’m looking for is some kind of leadership to come out of this to say, ‘This is what we want. This is what we want. This is what has to change, and these are the steps that we need to take to make these changes, and this is what we’re willing to do to get it.’”
The danger is even greater when Winfrey legitimises a racist movement that the likes of her, of course, would never lead. The more dangerous collectivist movements almost always are led by those who better understand and exploit the mechanics of mass hatred - more a Sharpton than a Winfrey. 


.. the Coffee Party mislead about the Pope because he is conservative .. don't trust their memes, question them.






Tim Blair – Saturday, January 04, 2014 (3:09pm)

Chris Turney, patriarch of Antarctica’s stuck dynasty – he was joined on his ice-surrounded global warming adventure by wife Annette and children Kara and Robert – is now free
“It’s 100 percent we’re off!” Chris Turney, a professor and a leader of the scientific expedition, said on Twitter with a link to a video of the Snow Eagle landing. 
The New York Times declines to give Turney his full, hilarious title: professor of climate change. It’s become aninconvenience, you might say. As for his “100 percent!” exultation, you’d think events of the past week might have taught Turney a thing or two about faith and certainty. While Australia’s carbon choir is now liberated, their rescuers are trapped, as Ross Clark reports: 
The havoc created by Professor Chris Turney’s Antarctic expedition has since increased.  The Xue Long, the Chinese ship which provided the helicopter to airlift Turney and his colleagues from the Akademik Shokalskiy to the Aurora Australis, has itself now become stuck in ice …
Our friend Tracy Rogers, Turney’s colleague at the University of New South Wales, has been commenting on her rescue.  ‘The Chinese captain is an incredible ambassador for his country,’ she said today. She is very lucky that China, which normally incurs the wrath of the climate change lobby due to its fondness for new coal-fired power stations, has chosen the path to wealth – which includes ships and helicopters able to rescue scientists in distress – rather than a path to carbon-free enlightenment. Whatever the carbon footprint of the average Chinese person, it is a long, long way short of that of Chris Turney and his colleagues this week. 
Laughing boy can also thank Australian taxpayers
Taxpayers will foot a $400,000 bill for the rescue of a group of climate scientists, tourists and journalists from a stranded Russian research vessel – an operation that has blown the contingency budget of Australia’s Antarctic program and disrupted its scientific work. 
Other scientists are not amused


Tim Blair – Saturday, January 04, 2014 (3:07pm)

“You can’t win a game designed by your opponent,” advises Van Badham. “Never meet an enemy on their terrain.”
This is why I avoid the Badham residence whenever the cheese toasties are a-flyin’.


Tim Blair – Saturday, January 04, 2014 (3:04pm)

The Guardian reports
Tony Abbott’s political opponents have seized on confirmation that 2013 was Australia’s hottest year on record, arguing it should compel the prime minister to abandon his plans to scrap the nation’s carbon pricing laws. 
Why should we keep a tax that is plainly causing these elevated temperatures? Scrap the tax and save the nation, that’s what I say. In other climate developments, the SMH finds a global warming angle where none exists: 
Streets in Tempe and Haberfield were flooded and water splashed onto the wharves around Circular Quay as king tides hit much of Australia’s coastline on Thursday morning.
The king tide, an informal name for an especially high tide that happens naturally and predictably a couple of times a year, reached its peak between 9am and 10am.
They are not caused by climate change but they can provide an image of what coastlines could look like in the future, the CSIRO says. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects sea levels to rise by between 18 and 79 centimetres this century. 
Householders can create the same futuristic vision by simply turning on the hose in their yard.


Tim Blair – Saturday, January 04, 2014 (3:01pm)

Routine car-b-q action in France: 
By French standards, it was a peaceful New Year’s Eve.
Only 1,067 cars and vans were destroyed by arson, a “significant” reduction of more than 10 per cent compared to the number of vehicles set ablaze last year, according to Manuel Valls, the Interior Minister.
All things considered, it was a “positive result”, Mr Valls told a press conference on Wednesday. 
Who’s responsible? Some blame young revellers. Others point the finger at youths: 
Car-torching has been adopted as a modern New Year tradition by some young revellers in France. The practice reportedly began in earnest amongst youths – often in poor neighbourhoods – in the 1990s in the region around Strasbourg in the east of the country. 
Car-b-qs are also popular in Sweden.


Tim Blair – Saturday, January 04, 2014 (1:14pm)

The correct steak/salad ratio is 2:1, as demonstrated by lunch:



Tim Blair – Saturday, January 04, 2014 (1:11pm)

It is possible to fully recover from catastrophic brain injuries.


Tim Blair – Saturday, January 04, 2014 (12:21pm)

The mysterious case of Prague’s detonated diplomat is described in familiar terms: 
Neither the police nor the BIS counter-intelligence service have information indicating that the Wednesday blast was a terrorist act.
According to the Palestinian authorities, it was probably a work-related injury. 
(Via J.F. Beck)


Tim Blair – Saturday, January 04, 2014 (11:14am)

Reasonably enough, a Google search for “stationary” immediately turns up a map of Sydney’s roads:
C. H. Spurgeon
Sin is not a splash of mud upon man’s exterior, it is a filth generated within himself.
“I am favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible.”
― Milton Friedman
David Bowles


Some tough medicine..and voila..
Isn't this a plot of a Hollywood movie? It should be.
Good idea in principle. Though implementing it might be a problem.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,”Titus 2:11-12 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"I will give thee for a covenant of the people."
Isaiah 49:8
Jesus Christ is himself the sum and substance of the covenant, and as one of its gifts. He is the property of every believer. Believer, canst thou estimate what thou hast gotten in Christ? "In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Consider that word "God" and its infinity, and then meditate upon "perfect man" and all his beauty; for all that Christ, as God and man, ever had, or can have, is thine--out of pure free favour, passed over to thee to be thine entailed property forever. Our blessed Jesus, as God, is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent. Will it not console you to know that all these great and glorious attributes are altogether yours? Has he power? That power is yours to support and strengthen you, to overcome your enemies, and to preserve you even to the end. Has he love? Well, there is not a drop of love in his heart which is not yours; you may dive into the immense ocean of his love, and you may say of it all, "It is mine." Hath he justice? It may seem a stern attribute, but even that is yours, for he will by his justice see to it that all which is promised to you in the covenant of grace shall be most certainly secured to you. And all that he has as perfect man is yours. As a perfect man the Father's delight was upon him. He stood accepted by the Most High. O believer, God's acceptance of Christ is thine acceptance; for knowest thou not that the love which the Father set on a perfect Christ, he sets on thee now? For all that Christ did is thine. That perfect righteousness which Jesus wrought out, when through his stainless life he kept the law and made it honourable, is thine, and is imputed to thee. Christ is in the covenant.

"My God, I am thine--what a comfort divine!

What a blessing to know that the Saviour is mine!

In the heavenly Lamb thrice happy I am,
And my heart it doth dance at the sound of his name."


"The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."
Luke 3:4
The voice crying in the wilderness demanded a way for the Lord, a way prepared, and a way prepared in the wilderness. I would be attentive to the Master's proclamation, and give him a road into my heart, cast up by gracious operations, through the desert of my nature. The four directions in the text must have my serious attention.
Every valley must be exalted. Low and grovelling thoughts of God must be given up; doubting and despairing must be removed; and self-seeking and carnal delights must be forsaken. Across these deep valleys a glorious causeway of grace must be raised.
Every mountain and hill shall be laid low. Proud creature-sufficiency, and boastful self-righteousness, must be levelled, to make a highway for the King of kings. Divine fellowship is never vouchsafed to haughty, highminded sinners. The Lord hath respect unto the lowly, and visits the contrite in heart, but the lofty are an abomination unto him. My soul, beseech the Holy Spirit to set thee right in this respect.
The crooked shall be made straight. The wavering heart must have a straight path of decision for God and holiness marked out for it. Double-minded men are strangers to the God of truth. My soul, take heed that thou be in all things honest and true, as in the sight of the heart-searching God.
The rough places shall be made smooth. Stumbling-blocks of sin must be removed, and thorns and briers of rebellion must be uprooted. So great a visitor must not find miry ways and stony places when he comes to honour his favoured ones with his company. Oh that this evening the Lord may find in my heart a highway made ready by his grace, that he may make a triumphal progress through the utmost bounds of my soul, from the beginning of this year even to the end of it.

Today's reading: Genesis 7-9, Matthew 3 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Genesis 7

1 The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2 Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, 3 and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. 4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”

5 And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.

6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. 7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 8Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, 9 male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
13 On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. 14 They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings.15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.
17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. 21 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.
24 The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.

Genesis 8

1 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. 2 Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. 3 The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, 4 and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.5 The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.
6 After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark 7 and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. 8 Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. 9 But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. 10 He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. 11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. 12 He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.
13 By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.
15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 17 Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.”
18 So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. 19 All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on land—came out of the ark, one kind after another.
20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
22 “As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”

Genesis 9

God’s Covenant With Noah
1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. 3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
4 “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.
6 “Whoever sheds human blood,
by humans shall their blood be shed;
for in the image of God
has God made mankind.
7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”
8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”
The Sons of Noah
18 The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the whole earth.
20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. 21When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.
24 When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said,
“Cursed be Canaan!
The lowest of slaves
will he be to his brothers.”
26 He also said,
“Praise be to the LORD, the God of Shem!
May Canaan be the slave of Shem.
27 May God extend Japheth’s territory;
may Japheth live in the tents of Shem,
and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.”
28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years. 29 Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died.

Matthew 3

John the Baptist Prepares the Way
1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”
John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Abijah, Abiah, Abia [Ăbī'jah,Ăbī'ah, Ăbī' ă]—jehovah is my father orfather of the sea.

  1. A son of Jeroboam who died in his youth (1 Kings 14:1).
  2. A priest in David’s time who was head of the eighth course in Temple service (1 Chron. 24:10). See ABIAH.
  3. Son and successor of Rehoboam whose mother was Maachah, Absalom’s daughter (2 Chron. 11:2022;12:1613 14:1). Called Abijam in 1 Kings 14:31. SeeABIA.
  4. A priest who sealed the covenant made by Nehemiah and the people to serve the Lord. As further references are encountered to this act, it will be borne in mind that it represented the re-dedication of the people to the worship and work of God after their return from the Babylonian captivity.
  5. Another priest who returned from exile. Perhaps the same person as the preceding Abijah (Neh. 12:1-412-17). Also the name of the mother of Hezekiah, king of Judah (2 Chron. 29:1 ; she is also called Abi, 2 Kings 18:2).
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