Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wed Mar 22nd Todays News

I have been harsh recently on Peter Reith. I felt he was protecting people from appropriate sanction after they ineptly allowed the previous Liberal President of Victoria to steal over a million dollars. Reith's judgement has been poor, and he is a highly respected media analyst and had been a very effective government minister. Peter has an aneurism in his brain and he has withdrawn from his opposition to Michael Kroger as Victorian President. This is sad news for Peter, and we wish him well and a speedy recovery. But it is great news for Victoria in that Kroger's agenda can proceed before April 1st. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. We want to make Victoria victorious. So long as Dan Andrews and the ALP are running things, bad things will happen. Not because Andrews is evil, but because corruption is entrenched in ALP ranks. They oppose free speech on the grounds that it means that they can be racist. They cannot build railway bypasses without creating expensive authorities and stopping people getting to work. They encourage crime and feel deeply entitled. A bit like those opposing Kroger's new agenda. 

I am very good and don't deserve the abuse given me. I created a video raising awareness of anti police feeling among western communities. I chose the senseless killing of Nicola Cotton, a Louisiana policewoman who joined post Katrina, to highlight the issue. I did this in order to get an income after having been illegally blacklisted from work in NSW for being a whistleblower. I have not done anything wrong. Local council appointees refused to endorse my work, so I did it for free. Youtube's Adsence refused to allow me to profit from their marketing it. Meanwhile, I am hostage to abysmal political leadership and hopeless journalists. My shopfront has opened on Facebook.

Here is a video I made Afterwards 

Thomas Hardy, OM (2 June 1840 -- 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet of the naturalist movement, although in several poems he displays elements of the previous romantic and enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural.

=== from 2016 ===
If you speak to a left wing sympathiser they will defend to the death their view that the Obama Presidency is beneficial and progressive. They would similarly defend Bill Clinton's Presidency. But, Bill Clinton, while trying to promote his wife has correctly noted “‘we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us”. That is what the next Presidential election is about. And lazy thinking assimilationists like Trump appeal to the same people as the ALA in Australia, I despise the message of assimilation because that is not the issue. The issue is law and order and that is the solution to the international issue too. The international left wing movement have made law and order difficult for decent people. How much harder is it for the dysfunctional? What of the examples of Irish? Greek? Italian? I feel those focused on assimilation have skipped the step of law and order .. and misquote history. And usually misrepresent their own faith. Defend Obama and Clinton if you must, but acknowledge they made things worse and blamed the GOP. Their failed policy is not GOP fault. And it is lazy to say that 'all politicians are the same' when that fact has not been established, but the failure of Clinton and Obama has. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
Compass (ABC TV, sometimes called Moral Compass) compered by Geraldine Doogue (Catholic) discussed Blasphemy with a panel comprising David Marr (commentator), Sheikh Wesam Charkawi (Muslim chaplain and founder of the Abuhanifa Institute), the Venerable Thubten Chokyi (Buddhist nun and international director of Liberation Prison Project) and Rabbi Zalman Kastel (National Director of the Together for Humanity Foundation). The stimulus was Piss Christ and Stephen Fry's hypothetical of how he would address God. Typically, Charkawi said Charlie Hebdo cartoonists had blasphemed, but denied that the killings were right. Charkawi lacked erudition and hinted darkly that there were things he could not say. He gave as an example insulting an Aboriginal Elder. He went on to say it was important to stop sarcasm and mockery. Only Rabbi Kastel spoke sensibly pointing out the idea of law regarding Blasphemy and the practice of mockery were different things. Marr claimed insulting the gay community was blasphemous from his atheist point of view. But the issue of Blasphemy is much broader than the half hour program could focus on given that the panel was too weak with Marr and Charkawi being unaware of issues regarding cultural assets. The Charlie Hebdo attack was terrorist and had nothing to do with blasphemy, although jihadists feel it does. Piss Christ was offensive but not blasphemous. Fry has spoken to God, he just hasn't heard the answer. 

Lots of things get called blasphemous. It is an easy charge to make, like raising the issue of the holocaust or telling a scientist that Gaia isn't real. Generally no one will care unless a conservative does it. Marr's sensitivity to homophobia did not extend to collegial support for Alan Jones when it was suggested Jones' homosexuality had meant he was a bad teacher. Virtuous mother of 18, Anne Hutchinson was booted from Massachusetts Bay Colony on this day in 1638. She had been giving commentary in bible study on sermons so that she had listed some religious leaders as being working under the covenant of Grace, or working under the covenant of works. So one guesses the religious leaders' report card of her was "Must try harder." Even so, Anne had not blasphemed, and neither had the pastors. In 1622, Powhatan tribes attacked Jamestown, killing a third of settlers. Chief Powhatan hadn't done such a thing because he felt it would end badly for him. Then Pocohantas had arranged a truce through marriage. Powhatan's fears came true, following the attack the settlement grew through military acquisition and selective bargaining. In secular terms, the atrocity most approximating blasphemy on this day occurred in 1943, when the town of Khatyn in Belarus was burned with every single inhabitant by the Nazis. 
From 2014
School reunions happen. Tonight is the thirtieth anniversary reunion. I didn't expect to get that old. I'm looking forward to seeing people, but more than a little intimidated too. Public transport means my journey each way will be a little under three hours. I will only spend about 90 minutes at the venue. I got lice, and am feeling lousy. I don't fit my clothes well atm because I've cut my medication and am more reliant on less insulin .. if the event were delayed half a year it'd be better for me. But it isn't about me. They are good people. They will have their own issues. And they bring a history, a memory of my youth I don't entirely despise. So, I'm getting this column done before I leave home. 

I'm a little worried at meeting that old school friend again who used to work in the Premier's office. Twenty years ago I turned to them for advice, and followed it. Ten years ago they initiated a conversation that was both innocent and terrifying. But I view it as I view family. They are what I call an inheritance. God has placed them on my path. I don't know what God wants me to do. I don't see how I fit in their space. But, I'm determined to make of it what I can. If only to spread the lice .. 
Historical perspective on this day
In 238, Gordian I and his son Gordian II were proclaimed Roman Emperors. 871, Æthelred of Wessex defeated a Danish invasion army at the Battle of Marton. 1508, Ferdinand II of Aragoncommissioned Amerigo Vespucci chief navigator of the Spanish Empire. 1621, the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony signed a peace treaty with Massasoit of the Wampanoags. 1622, Jamestown massacreAlgonquian Indians kill 347 English settlers around Jamestown, Virginia, a third of the colony's population, during the Second Anglo-Powhatan War. 1630, the Massachusetts Bay Colony outlawed the possession of cards, dice, and gaming tables. 1638, Anne Hutchinson was expelled from Massachusetts Bay Colony for religious dissent.

In 1713, the Tuscarora War came to an end with the fall of Fort Neoheroka, effectively opening up the interior of North Carolina to European colonisation. 1739, Nadir Shah occupied Delhi in India and sacked the city, stealing the jewels of the Peacock Throne. 1765, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act that introduced a tax to be levied directly on its American colonies. 1784, the Emerald Buddha was moved with great ceremony to its current location in Wat Phra KaewThailand.

In 1829, in the London Protocol, the three protecting powers (United KingdomFrance and Russia) established the borders of Greece. 1849, the Austrians defeated the Piedmontese at the Battle of Novara. 1871, in North CarolinaWilliam Woods Holden became the first governor of a U.S. state to be removed from office by impeachment. 1872, Illinois became the first state to require sexual equality in employment 1873, a law was approved by the Spanish National Assembly in Puerto Rico to abolish slavery. 1894, the first playoff game for the Stanley Cup started.

In 1906, the first England vs France rugby union match was played at Parc des Princes in Paris 1912, the State of BiharIndia was formed out of the State of Bengal. 1916, the last Emperor of ChinaYuan Shikai, abdicated the throne and the Republic of China was restored. 1920, Azeri and Turkish army soldiers with participation of Kurdish gangs attacked the Armenian inhabitants of Shushi (Nagorno Karabakh). 1939, World War IIGermanytook Memel from Lithuania. 1942, World War II: In the Mediterranean Sea, the Royal Navyconfronted Italy's Regia Marina in the Second Battle of Sirte. 1943, World War II: the entire population of Khatyn in Belarus was burnt alive by German occupation forces. 1945, the Arab League was founded when a charter was adopted in CairoEgypt. 1954, closed since 1939, the London bullion market reopened. 1960, Arthur Leonard Schawlow and Charles Hard Townes received the first patent for a laser 1963, The Beatles '​ first album, Please Please Me, was released in the United Kingdom.

In 1972, the United States Congress sent the Equal Rights Amendment to the states for ratification. Also 1972, in Eisenstadt v. Baird, the United States Supreme Court decided that unmarried persons had the right to possess contraceptives. 1975, a fire at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant in Decatur, Alabama caused a dangerous reduction in cooling water levels. 1978, Karl Wallenda of The Flying Wallendas died after falling off a tight-rope between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 1982, NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia, was launched from the Kennedy Space Center on its third mission, STS-3. 1984, teachers at the McMartin preschool in Manhattan Beach, California were charged with satanic ritual abuse of the children in the school. The charges were later dropped as completely unfounded. 1989, Clint Malarchuk of the Buffalo Sabres suffered a near-fatal injury when another player's skate accidentally slit his throat.

In 1992, USAir Flight 405 crashed shortly after takeoff from New York City's LaGuardia Airport, leading to a number of studies into the effect that ice has on aircraft. Also 1992, Fall of communism in Albania: The Democratic Party of Albania won a decisive majority in the parliamentary election. 1993, the Intel Corporation shipped the first Pentium chips (80586), featuring a 60 MHz clock speed, 100+ MIPS, and a 64 bit data path. 1995, Cosmonaut Valeriy Polyakov returned to earth after setting a record of 438 days in space. 1997, Tara Lipinski, age 14 years and 10 months, became the youngest champion women's World Figure Skating Champion. 1997, the Comet Hale-Bopp had its closest approach to Earth.

In 2004, Ahmed Yassin, co-founder and leader of the Palestinian Sunni Islamist group Hamas, two bodyguards, and nine civilian bystanders were killed in the Gaza Strip when hit by Israeli Air Force AH-64 Apache fired Hellfire missiles. 2006, three Christian Peacemaker Teamhostages were freed by British forces in Baghdad after 118 days of captivity and the murder of their colleague, American Tom Fox. 2013, at least 37 people were killed and 200 were injured after a fire destroyed a camp containing Burmese refugees near Ban MaeThailand. 2014, at least 35 people died in BalochistanPakistan, in a collision between a petrol tanker and two buses. Also in 2014, forty-three people were killed in a mudflow near Oso, Washington. Also 2014, Turtle Canyon was opened in Newport, Kentucky.
=== 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 Jane Lam and David Rufful. Born on the same day, across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
1765 tax stamp
Don't stamp your feet. Everybody like Holden. They finished the construction. We top the league. We return serve. Let's party. 
Miranda Devine

Gay marriage activists are strangely illiberal

For a group pursuing equality and freedom, LGBT activists have a gaping set of double standards when it comes to Christians, writes Miranda Devine
RENDEZVIEW 21 Mar  445 comments
Andrew Bolt



Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 22, 2016 (6:30pm)

Reported explosions at Brussels airport. Little else is known at this point.
UPDATE. NBC reports multiple casualties following an explosion at the airport’s check-in zone. Possibly related: suspected Paris terrorist Salah Abdeslam was recently arrested in Brussels.
UPDATE II. Scenes from inside and outside the airport.
UPDATE III. An unconfirmed report claims 11 people have been killed.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 22, 2016 (5:31pm)

A state Liberal with principles
Controversial Liberal Upper House MLC Peter Phelps has given up an extra $20,000 a year in salary and resigned as government whip over the “dog” laws forcing service stations to sell ethanol.
The government unexpectedly brought on the biofuels legislation in the Upper House today, despite several Liberal Party members warning they could not support it …
Dr Phelps gave a speech in the Upper House resigning from his whip job, which involves getting MPs to vote for government legislation.
He said that while doing his job he has had to “whore out” some of his principles, but that the legislation from Better Regulation Minister Victor Dominello was “such an egregious breach” of what the Liberal Party believes in that he had to resign. 
Only two per cent of fuel sales in NSW are ethanol. This legislation aims to make people buy something they don’t want from people who don’t want to sell it.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 22, 2016 (2:28pm)

These kids ain’t right
A boy who turned 15 just a month before arriving in Syria is the youngest known Australian to have voluntarily joined Islamic State, with the Melbourne teen’s details among leaked personnel details that shed light on how young people have ended up with the terror group.
Documents obtained by The Australian list Erdem Yanar, in Arabic, as “Abu Khaled al-Turki”: a would-be computer engineer who claimed to have worked as a “personal bodyguard” and “mail distributor”.
His level of religious knowledge was listed as “learner”. If he is still alive, he is now aged 16. 
At 15, his level of knowledge for everything would be “learner”. Also in Syria, a 14-year-old Australian-born mother is single-handedly raising a batch of Mobabies: 
The orphaned daughter of terrorist butcher Khaled Sharrouf has revealed the nightmare of living in the Islamic State stronghold in Syria, where there are constant threats against her life …
In a series of conversations with The Daily Telegraph, 14-year-old Zaynab Sharrouf said she was struggling with the “stress” of being the sole protector of her newborn and four young siblings following the death of her parents and husband. 
Blame your dead daddy, girl. In Melbourne, another teen jihadi took his religious advice from someone even younger: 
Numan Haider told a friend that anyone who offended the prophet Mohammed deserved to have their head cut off, an inquest into his fatal shooting by police has heard.

Ali Torkmanyer, a teenage friend of Haider who helped him obtain weapons shortly before he attacked two counter-terrorism detectives at a suburban police station, said it was the last time the pair discussed religion before his death. 
They “discussed religion”. 


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 22, 2016 (12:24pm)

From today’s editorial in the Daily Telegraph
Ahead of the 1974 federal election, a young second year law student teamed up with his law lecturer to present an argument to the High Court. The pair believed that a planned double dissolution election conducted on existing boundaries would be unconstitutional.
The High Court rejected this line of thinking and a double dissolution election was duly held on May 18, which saw Gough Whitlam’s two-year-old Labor government returned to power with a reduced majority.
The name of that young law student was Malcolm Turnbull, who now finds himself in a very different situation regarding a looming vote for both houses of parliament. 
This time the double dissolution might actually happen
The PM has all but written off the chances of the Senate passing workplace laws, after crossbenchers accused the government of a cynical ploy to force an early election.
Mr Turnbull appeared to talk down the possibility of the Australian Building and Construction Commission bills passing, forcing his hand to a double-dissolution election.
“Regrettably, they seem to be even less supportive of the bills this year than they were last year,” he said today. 
Bye bye, crossbenchers.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 22, 2016 (2:08am)

On Saturday I made fun of striking Fairfax pansies by comparing them to impoverished 1899 New York newsboys. It turns out their union believes such a comparison is valid:

Yep. That’s your typical Fairfaxer right there, battling through the day to earn a few scant dimes. So he can buy negronis and cheese.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 22, 2016 (12:14am)

A timely comic intervention restores harmony to the warehouse:


Trump’s enemies are the more dangerous

Andrew Bolt March 22 2016 (2:37pm)

This kind of people needs to be defeated - and I’m talking not of Trump but the fascists:
Donald Trump’s older sister, federal appeals court judge Maryanne Trump Barry, received a threatening letter in Philadelphia on Friday, one day after the GOP front-runner’s son received a suspicious piece of mail containing white powder, authorities said. 
The letter sent to Trump Barry contained no white powder, NBC News reported, but the threat was similar to one sent to Eric Trump, a source familiar with the investigation said.
As was the case in Chicago last week, thousands took to the streets of New York City on Saturday to protest Donald Trump, and dozens more shut down a highway in Arizona at the same time… 
In New York, the four-hour march began a stone’s throw away from the Republican presidential candiate’s iconic Trump International Hotel and Tower in midtown Manhattan, and Newsweek reports that the throng stopped at three of Trump’s properties, with at least two arrests…
Meanwhile, at about the same time in Arizona, protesters shut down highways for at least two hours in protest of a planned Trump rally there, leaving hundreds of cars stuck on Shea Boulevard or forced to drive into oncoming traffic to get around the barricade. 
Protesters stood in front of the cars chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!” and several cabled themselves to their cars to keep them from being towed, but were arrested.  
Age columnist Nicole Hemmer is just making things up:
During his primary campaign, Trump has wielded political racism and political violence to build his coalition. He has shown disdain for the democratic process, heaping praise on dictators and threatening riots at the convention. 

In fact, most of the political violence has been waged by the left against Trump, not for him.
Trump is not a racist, although, true, he has spoken very crassly and offensively about Mexicans, and has made a wild demand that Muslim travel to the US be frozen. And that is as close to the truth as Hemmer gets in this extraordinary paragraph of Leftist fantasy.
Trump has shown no disdain at all for the democratic process, and, in fact, has insisted on it. He’s got a lot more people to vote in the primaries and is challenging the Republican grandees not to fix the result.
Trump does not praise dictators as a model of behavior. Hemmer is completely wrong to suggest this. He only noted how the Korean dictator wiped out his rivals and generals who threatened him, and did so not to praise this but to warn that this man was a threat. Yes, he praised Vladimir Putin, too, but Putin is not a dictator. Moreover, Trump praised Putin for being smart and a strong leader - both indubitably true - while also condemning Putin’s brutality. Again, Trump mentioned Putin’s smarts to emphasis America needed a leader to stand up to him, not emulate him.
Trump has not “threatened” riots at all. He only warned of them if Republican bosses try to thwart the democratic will at the convention, and he’s said he’d oppose them.  But the closest thing riots we’ve seen so far are those actually organised by the Left against Trump.
I am not a Trump supporter. I would rather Ted Cruz win. But this kind of poisonously inaccurate caricature has no place in a serious newspaper.
And a warning: the media demonisation of Trump is more dangerous than Trump himself. The hatred being whipped up is grossly irresponsible. The threat of an assassination attempt would, I suspect, be extremely high.
(Thanks to reader WaG311.) 

Bill Clinton on the “awful legacy” of Barack Obama

Andrew Bolt March 22 2016 (12:57pm)

 Bill Clinton whacks Barack Obama by insisting that with wife Hillary in charge instead “‘we can put the awful legacy of the last eight years behind us”. 

The Senate will block Turnbull’s bill and give him his July 2 election

Andrew Bolt March 22 2016 (11:52am)

Paul Kelly praises Malcolm Turnbull for allegedly outsmarting everyone by telling the Senate to pass his bills next month to crack down on rogue unions or else face an early double dissolution election:
There are only two scenarios: the Senate crossbenchers can take flight to coward’s castle to save their political necks and pass the industrial bills or Labor, the Greens and the crossbenchers will reveal the sheer extent of their ­appeasement of the CFMEU by opposing the bills to restore law and order to the construction ­industry.
Sure, this is a good issue for Turnbull - although the strategy was prepared by Tony Abbott from the the moment he called a royal commission into union corruption. Turnbull is merely putting in play the Abbott re-election strategy while persuading journalists it was all his own brilliant work. (Abbott, though, would not have done it with all this unhelpful drama and would not have called what’s essentially a 15-week election campaign.)
But don’t fall for the spin that it’s all about getting the union bills through and that the Senate may yet pass them, denying Turnbull the legal trigger for a double dissolution election. Turnbull is banking everything on the Senate blocking them for a second time, and he knows it will.
Bear in mind that the Government badly wants the double dissolution election so won’t want to compromise to get its bills through.
Note also that to get the ABCC bill through the Senate, the Government needs six of the eight crossbenchers to back it. Just three rejections and it’s sunk.
So on present indications the bill is indeed sunk and the election will be held on July 2:
John Madigan is a no:
Yesterday’s announcement regarding the ABCC and Registered Organisations Bills must be taken with a grain of salt. I have no confidence the government intends to negotiate in good faith for the passage of these Bills… More broadly, the government’s strategy is longstanding and uncomplicated. It involves a relentless smear campaign against unions in the hope of damaging the ALP, weakening the union movement and giving itself a mandate for industrial relations reform after the election.
Jacqi Lambie is a no:
Jacqui Lambie has confirmed she will not support the government’s push to re-establish the building industry watchdog, saying it has “more holes in it than the target at the shooting range.” 
Speaking on the ABC’s Q&A program, the independent Tasmanian senator added she would not be “blackmailed” by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s surprise move to recall parliament in order to force the senate to vote on the Australian Building and Construction Commission bills. “I will be voting no to the ABCC,” she said. 
Glenn Lazarus is a no, demanding radical amendments which the Government yesterday ruled out:
Senator Glenn Lazarus said the Prime Minister’s announcement felt like a threat. He said he would not be “blackmailed” or “bullied” into a making a decision and he did not support the ABCC legislation in its current form.
Leyonhjelm is probably a no:
Leyonhjelm said he could be persuaded into supporting the legislation, if amendments were added, but claimed he wouldn’t be strong-armed: 
“If it’s a take-it-or-leave-it attitude, then I’m going to leave it.”
Ricky Muir is a possible no:
Senator Muir was less defiant and signalled he may be open to supporting the ABCC if it is amended to address sham contracting and phoenixing. He said it would pass either way, laying the blame at the Greens for their support for Senate electoral changes. 
“Whether or not the Senate votes for the ABCC legislation, it’s going through ... that’s at the hands of the Greens. They went for the power and they’ve already seen unintended consequences,” he said.
Nick Xenophon, whose personal popularity means he’d benefit big-time from a double-dissolution election, is a probable no if the Government refuses his amendments:
Senator Xenophon, who has previously supported the bills, accused the government of “underhanded” tactics and said he would be pushing for workplace health and safety amendments.
Xenophon today ups his demands to include a broader anti-corruption body included in the bills. The Government has already ruled this out. So make Xenophon the fourth no.
A double dissolution would also suit him down the ground. He actually has four years to go on his term, but a DD election would turf him out, too. The gain for him is that he then is on the Senate election ticket under his own name, which will attract more votes to the candidates on his ticket. He could come back with two Senators and a critical blocking vote - and maybe one or more lower house seats as well. In fact, Xenophon has Senate candidates in every state. 

Vote against the Liberal cronies, insiders and lobbyists who sabotaged Jim Molan

Andrew Bolt March 22 2016 (11:21am)

The NSW Liberal factional bosses have shamed their party by keeping out a star candidate who would not kiss their backside. They instead defended their boys club, marked by the kind of insider trading that should be outlawed.

Catherine McGregor:
“WE are not run by factions,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull assured the State Council of the NSW Liberal Party last October. 
Despite being delivered with a poker face his claim was greeted by an outbreak of laughter and audible groans from his audience… [Turnbull] blundered on: “Well, you may dispute that, but I have to tell you, from experience, we are not run by factions, nor are we run by big business, or by deals in back rooms. We rely on the ideas and the energy and enterprise of our membership.”
Lobbyists tend to be energetic and enterprising people. And a couple of them were happy to work overtime last weekend to help out with the preselection for the Liberal party Senate ticket for NSW....
The brazen efforts of lobbyists Michael Photios and Nick Campbell in influencing Saturday’s Senate preselection may well be the subject of legal challenge or internal party appeal. Suffice to say they delivered the prime spot on the NSW Coalition Senate ticket to Hollie Hughes. In so doing they have created a mess which the NSW Liberals will need to unravel promptly ...
To appeal to the statewide constituency, the No. 1 candidate should ideally be someone with high name recognition and the potential to serve in the ministry. Hughes has neither.
Even she seemed to grasp this yesterday when she offered to swap with [Minister Concetta] Fierravanti-Wells and accept the No. 2 spot…
Ominously, the self-styled moderate [sic] faction defied the Prime Minister’s personal direction that the incumbent Senator, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, be allocated the No. 1 position. Evidently they had become concerned that a third candidate, Jim Molan, was gathering support among conservatives still smarting after the coup to remove Tony Abbott, and incensed at revelations that Fierravanti-Wells had divulged private conversations with Abbott to journalist Nikki Savva…
[Molan] is an impressive and talented man whose life has been dedicated to public service as a senior military officer. No Australian soldier since WWII has exercised such command responsibility in a theatre of war as he did in Iraq in 2004… He would be an asset to the Senate and the government… 
Molan secured third place on the Liberal ticket and the fourth on the Coalition slate… A double dissolution will afford Turnbull an opportunity to prevail on the moderates to .. [ensure] that Fierravanti-Wells and Molan fill the first and second spots on the ticket.
I endorse every single word. Molan was the standout candidate in every way, but was sabotaged by the most astonishing backroom shenanigans by Photios and company.
Who the hell is Photios? What’s his game? Who benefits from his meddling? Who are these Liberal sheep who cravenly do as he says?
Tony Abbott is right: this fix needs to be overturned and the likes of Michael Photios and his cronies given the boot:
“As I understand it, what happened on the weekend is that someone who is banned from sitting on the executive because he’s a lobbyist suddenly subbed in for a member of the executive and then acted as a floor manager for the Senate preselection,” Mr Abbott said. 
“Now I don’t know if this is in accordance with the party’s constitution or not but certainly it’s highly improper… “Now, my understanding is that if we are in fact moving to a double dissolution election the whole thing may be reopened because we obviously have more than three potentially winnable positions, so that might be an opportunity to revisit this in a much fairer way...”
And how is it that the majority of the NSW Liberal state executive have been busy snatching safe seats for themselves:
The Liberals stand damned and discredited while Molan is denied a winnable spot on the NSW Liberal Senate ticket. A party like that is not worth voting for. Clearly its main purpose is not to promote good ideas or good talent, but - it seems to me - to advance the unknown interests of unknown figures as well as the personal ambitions of insiders who are trading on insider advantage.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Tim Flannery’s council vanishes an inconvenient woman

Andrew Bolt March 22 2016 (10:36am)

What else is Tim Flannery hiding when his council makes a woman disappear?
Tony Thomas on the convenient disappearing of the inconvenient Judith Curry:
Mandrake the Magician has nothing on Tim Flannery & Co when it comes to vanishing acts, from geothermal investors’ equity to those frothing predictions of endless drought and “ghost cities”. But the excision of sceptic Judith Curry from a list of female climate experts takes the cake… 
Flannery is Chief Councillor of the crowd-funded [Climate Council], which is dedicated to “accurate and authoritative information on all aspects of climate change”.
His Council website has this item: “19 climate champions, who also happen to be women… To celebrate International Women’s Day, here’s a list of nineteen women kicking goals in the climate change debate — from scientists to politicians, diplomats, community organisers and more. (My emphasis).”
It begins, “This article originally appeared on the International Council for Science’s Road to Paris website.”
Click through to that site (a spin-off from the International Council for Science, ICSU) and you find the original was not about 19 women but was headed, “20 women making waves in the climate change debate”.
Even more mysterious, the Climate Council website has a Facebook prompt headlined:
Kicking goals: 20 climate champions, who also happen to be women…From scientists to politicians, community organisers to diplomats – here are 20 women fighting for climate action around the world.
But click it and the original 20 women suddenly become the Climate Council’s 19. 
So what’s going on? The ICSU’s 20 women were meant to reflect women’s contribution to the “diversities of the climate debate”. The 20 included distinguished scientist Dr Judith Curry, who doesn’t toe the doomsters’ party line on climate. The Climate Council simply couldn’t bear to list her – even though she has a peer-reviewed publication list of 150+, dwarfing that of the other women cited in the top 20 (or top 19).  So the Climate Council simply clipped her from the list, notwithstanding the ICSU’s copyright. 
Here’s a recent sample of Curry’s work - a reflection on RSS satellite data showing a big spike in temperatures last month:
The climate models project strong warming in the tropical mid troposphere, which have not been borne out by the observations.  The new RSS data set reduces the discrepancies with the climate model simulations. 
[Rival UAH satellite project team leader] Roy Spencer’s comments substantially reduce the credibility of the new data set… There is a legitimate debate on how to correct for the diurnal cycle, but based on my assessment, the UAH empirically based approach seems better. 
With regards to the ‘pause.’ The ‘pause’ in warming has generally been assessed using the lower tropospheric temperatures, which aren’t yet available from the new dataset.  So it is not yet clear what impact the new data set will have on our interpretation of the pause.
With regards to the Feb 2016 spike, I think Bob Tisdale gets it mostly right.  While a spike from the El Nino is expected, the Feb 2016 seems anomalous and largely associated with a warm spike in the Arctic (of ‘weather’ origin).  I would expect a few more months of anomalously warm temperatures before the El Nino fades.  I’m not sure what to make of the ‘re-emergent blob’ scenario.
We won’t know what the 2016 El Nino spike looks like until the end of the year.  Then we can compare the 1997/1998 temperatures with 2015/2016 temperatures in a (cherry-less) apples to apples comparison, to assess the underlying trend in temperatures from 1998-2016.  The trend will undoubtedly be positive, but most likely it will remain substantially less than the trend predicted by the climate models. 
And what of the years following 2016?  Will we see cooling and then a continuation of flat temperatures?  Or continued warming?  I suspect that there will be some cooling and continued flatness.  I’ve stated before that it will be another 5 years before we have the appropriate prospective on the current temperature fluctuations and whether or not the early 21st century pause is over. 
(Thanks to reader fulchrum.)  

More signs of stress in the Turnbull Government - like humiliating Morrison and dissing Abbott

Andrew Bolt March 22 2016 (10:36am)

Not telling the Treasurer the date of his Budget is changing is to show an astonishing lack of trust. Morrison revealing this breach is to reveal a deserved lack of trust himself:
Turnbull met Scott Morrison in the Prime Minister’s office of Parliament House [on Thursday] to discuss what had been rumoured for weeks: an early federal budget and a rare double-dissolution election to clear out the Senate. 
Morrison was made aware of the Prime Minister’s broad thinking about the options for the election and the budget, even though the final plan was yet to be decided.
But a key question — whether to bring the budget forward from May 10 to May 3 — was left as an option rather than a certainty.
That changed yesterday morning when Turnbull called a snap meeting of federal cabinet to sign off on his move to recall parliament on April 18, hold the budget on May 3 and set his course for an election on July 2.
Morrison was taken by ­surprise. The Treasurer is the ­central architect of the budget, which will include a tax reform package that will be crucial in the coming election campaign, but he was left out of talks over the weekend that settled the strategy....
Other ministers were part of the inner circle as Turnbull made his decision. He had been talking to George Brandis for weeks as the Attorney-General looked at ways to recall parliament. As usual, Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sino­dinos was a key source of advice. Julie Bishop, as Liberal Party deputy leader, was part of the talks… Barnaby Joyce, the Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister, was consulted at the weekend… Over dinner at The Lodge in Canberra on Sunday night, Turnbull discussed the battle-plan with Brandis and Michaelia Cash… 
The Treasurer’s frustration was on display in his icy response to journalists about why he had not known of the change to budget day until the cabinet meeting at 10am [Monday]… Morrison is being put in his place — and the government is heading into an election with a fracture in its polished marble foundations.
A sudden squeamishness adopted when challenged:
And when will Turnbull figure out that rubbishing Tony Abbott always invites a response? Take this effort last night: 
LEIGH SALES: ... (W)hat was the point of [replacing Tony Abbott] because there’s been very little policy change? MALCOLM TURNBULL: ... Well that’s - that’s quite untrue ... (W)e dealt with Senate voting reform. That was not on the agenda
Abbott to me:
False. My plan was to do it as the last measure the current parliament considered.
Lenore Taylor confirmed it a year ago: 
Abbott government ministers have started private informal consultations about highly sensitive changes to the Senate voting system
Tony Abbott tells Sky News the Turnbull government is “the Turnbull Government is running on the Abbott Government’s record”.
Abbott is right:
About 80 per cent of bills introduced by the Turnbull government are based on Abbott government policies and decisions, according to new research conducted by the parliamentary library. 
Of the 104 bills introduced by the Coalition since the September 14 leadership change, only 19 have been based on Turnbull government decisions… And even some of those bills were heavily based on earlier Abbott government bills.The vast majority of the remaining bills - 79 of 85 - were based on policies or decisions made prior to Mr Turnbull’s takeover. The other six bills were considered minor or technical, or the “usual business of government”.
Graham Richardson:
An elaborate and extensive trick has been played on the electorate. The government’s complete failure to manage its legislative program has been rewarded by the Governor-General’s intervention… 
This cynical use of power will drag the PM’s numbers down even further…
The PM has also brought forward the budget without notifying the Treasurer; Scott Morrison is becoming the PM’s fall guy. If it goes badly, it is the Treasurer’s fault. To have Morrison telling Ray Hadley’s radio audience that the budget would go ahead as scheduled at the very time the cabinet was involved in a phone hook-up to bring it forward was as calculated an insult as I could contemplate. Following on from taking “off the table” the option for an increase in the GST and reform of negative gearing, which Morrison had been sent out to champion, it is clear that anyone around them, even the Treasurer, can be thrown under the bus on a whim and without thought.... 
To quote Turnbull, in reference to a previous prime minister, “this is all about the job security of one man and one man only”.
Turnbull is a fool to keep trying to diminish Abbott. This is unworthy:
Mr Turnbull also played down Mr Abbott’s repeated promotion of his government’s record on stopping the boats, pointing out it was a policy established under the Howard government. 
“So whether it is Howard as leader of the Liberal Party, Abbott or Turnbull, we’ve had the same policy on border protection,” Mr Turnbull said. “This is not something that was invented by Tony Abbott, this has been a continuum and we maintain the same policy commitment.”
I doubt there’s a single Liberal who truly believes that Turnbull as leader would have campaigned so hard on a “stop the boats” promise and would have been tough enough to deliver.
Just as Treasurer Scott Morrison if he’d have had the support as Immigration Minister from Turnbull that he had from Tony Abbott.
(Thanks to readers John and Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Pushing the transgender fashion

Andrew Bolt March 22 2016 (7:55am)

Camille Paglia can’t believe there are suddenly so many transgender people:
Best-selling feminist author, social critic and self-described “transgender being” Camille Paglia said in an interview last month that the rise of transgenderism in the West is a symptom of decadence and cultural collapse. 
“Nothing… better defines the decadence of the West to the jihadists than our toleration of open homosexuality and this transgender mania now,” Paglia said during an October 22 interview on the Brazilian television program Roda Viva.
“Paglia also said during the interview that “transgender propagandists” are overstating their case.
“I think that the transgender propagandists make wildly inflated claims about the multiplicity of gender,” she said. 
“Sex reassignment surgery, even today with all of its advances, cannot in fact change anyone’s sex, okay. You can define yourself as a trans man, or a trans woman, as one of these new gradations along the scale. But ultimately, every single cell in the human body, the DNA in that cell, remains coded for your biological birth.”
(Thanks to reader fulchrum.) 

Sinking Turnbull’s desperate 15-week scramble to a poll

Andrew Bolt March 21 2016 (9:34pm)

Malcolm TurnbullPolitics - federal

FORCING the Governor-General to recall parliament next month shows how desperate Malcolm Turnbull is for the early election he needs to save his skin.
On the day that Newspoll showed his popularity in free fall, the Prime Minister announced parliament would be forced back to sit from April 18.
But he was really announcing the election campaign has now started and will last a dangerously long 15 weeks. Poor you.
Sniffing badly, making him look even shiftier, Turnbull declared three weeks of extra sittings from next month were needed to force the Senate to reconsider two Bills it has blocked that are designed to clean up union corruption and lawlessness.
Be clear: these changes are needed. Turnbull has right on his side and finally looks like he has an agenda. He even looked strong.
One Bill brings back the Australian Building and Construction Commission that did so much to crack down on the rogue CFMEU and improve productivity in the building industry.

The second forces union officials to be as accountable as directors of public companies. It is a scandal that Labor and the Greens, along with a couple of feral crossbenchers, have so far blocked these Bills in the Senate.
These two parties are effectively running a protection racket for their union mates and donors, not least the giant CFMEU, which has 100 of its officials and delegates now before the courts.
If the Senate next month blocks the Bills again, Turnbull will have his legal trigger to call a double-dissolution election for July 2 — months early.
So cleaning up crooked unions is an important issue, but how much does it really matter to Turnbull? Is it just an excuse?
Consider: Turnbull has for six months as Prime Minister said little about union lawlessness. He wanted to seem less “confrontational” than former prime minister Tony Abbott.
Worse, the government last week even blocked the Senate from debating the ABCC Bill it now says must be debated in special sittings.
No, Turnbull’s real problem is that support for him and his government has been falling over the past six months.
(Read the full column here.) 

Luke Foley opens door to toxic Victorian mate

Piers Akerman – Sunday, March 22, 2015 (12:46am)

VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews joins the NSW election campaign today but you can bet he hasn’t brought his friends from the rogue Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) with him.

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How about we stop screwing marriage?

Miranda Devine – Sunday, March 22, 2015 (12:48am)

AS libertarian crossbencher David Leyonhjelm launches the latest bid this week to legislate same-sex marriage, you have to ask how much more can our most important institution bear.

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Tim Blair – Sunday, March 22, 2015 (2:19pm)

It’s game over at Media Watch for trained and qualified voiceover grumpycat Will Colvin:

Stand by for Will’s next video appearance – outside ABC headquarters


Tim Blair – Sunday, March 22, 2015 (1:22pm)

The joint is a public service death trap
Canberra’s Parliament House has emerged as Australia’s most dangerous place to be a public servant.
Official figures reveal that riding a desk on Capital Hill with the Department of Parliamentary Services is riskier than battling crims with the Australian Federal Police or taking to the high seas with the Customs service.
The data from federal workplace insurer Comcare shows parliamentary officials get work-related sicknesses and injuries at more than four times the average rate of similar sized departments. 
For safety’s sake, Parliament House must be closed.


Tim Blair – Sunday, March 22, 2015 (12:40pm)

More sixes were scored during yesterday’s World Cup match between New Zealand and the West Indies than were scored during the 15 matches of the 1975 World Cup – 31 to 28.

The Bolt Report today, March 22

Andrew Bolt March 22 2015 (6:28pm)

On the  The Bolt Report on Channel 10 at 10am and 3pm.
Guests: Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the great Michael Kroger, “preference whisperer” Glenn Druery and Sharri Markson, media editor of The Australian.
Nailing hypocrites, ferals and wreckers.
The videos of the shows appear here.
22 MARCH 2015
ANDREW BOLT, PRESENTER: It’s been another week of fake outrage over something Tony Abbott said.
TONY ABBOTT, PRIME MINISTER: The Dr Goebbels of, of economic policy. I withdraw, Madam Speaker. I withdraw.
ANDREW BOLT: Yes, another week of hypocrisy from Labor and its media mates. Take Labor’s Mark Dreyfus.
MARK DREYFUS, LABOR MP: Even in the robust environment of the Australian Parliament, this is inappropriate language from a Prime Minister.
ANDREW BOLT: But wait - this is the same Dreyfus who in an article in the Age himself compared Goebbels, the old Nazi propaganda chief - his style to Tony Abbott’s. Same hypocrisy with many other Labor MPs, like former treasurer Wayne Swan, who called Abbott’s reference outrageous, even though he’d used the very same Goebbels insult in Parliament, against John Howard. No media outrage then, but when Abbott does it, wow!
Here’s ABC host Jon Faine insulting Abbott in an interview.
JON FAINE, ABC MORNINGS HOST: Prime Minister, for a Rhodes Scholar, how come you say so many stupid things?...But why do you have this foot-in-mouth disease?...What credibility do you have on bullying? You’ve been accused of it so often yourself.
ANDREW BOLT: Joining me is Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who has what seems a new role as the Government’s attack dog. Thanks for joining me. Josh, you’re Jewish too, just like Dreyfus. Did the Prime Minister make a mistake with that Goebbels reference, or has Labor just been cynically exploiting the politics of outrage?
JOSH FRYDENBERG, ASSISTANT TREASURER: Well, Andrew, I do think Holocaust analogies are inappropriate, and I am glad the comment was withdrawn.
ANDREW BOLT: It’s not a Holocaust analogy.
JOSH FRYDENBERG: But I don’t like the use of Goebbels in terms of political discourse. That being said, I think Labor has engaged in mass hypocrisy here. As you point out, Wayne Swan has made that comment, Mark Dreyfus has made a similar comment, Bernie Ripoll, Graham Perrett, Simon Crean, Jill Hall - the list goes on. In fact, even Bill Shorten last year talked about the “book burning instincts” of the Coalition. We all know that has a reference back to 1933 Germany.
ANDREW BOLT: What about all the climate - global warming believers who deliberately use the word “denier”, to make an analogy with Holocaust denial.
JOSH FRYDENBERG: Absolutely, I think that’s inappropriate too. I mean, the list is as long as your arm when it comes to the Labor Party, and they have to be careful about their hypocrisy.
ANDREW BOLT: Now you heard some snippets of that Jon Faine interview on the ABC. And there’s also - you know, the incredible rudeness, very personally insulting the Prime Minister to his face. Recent reports on 7:30, also on the ABC, the Four Corners thing - is the ABC at war with this Government?
JOSH FRYDENBERG: I certainly think that members of their commentariat don’t like this Government, and I think - you know, Jon Faine’s becoming the new shock jock. I mean, I was on Q&A the other day, Andrew, and I found the disrespect to the highest office-holder in the land a bit uncomfortable.
ANDREW BOLT: Now, the abuse makes me think of Malcolm Fraser, who also copped a hell of a lot of abuse in his time. Now, he died this week. He started as a Liberal hero, of course, ending the Whitlam chaos, getting the books more in order. The left loathed him, but in the past couple of decades, in retirement, he’s become a fierce critic of the Liberals, and a hero of the left. Complete switch. Now how do you read the story of his political trajectory? Is it in part the abuse made him switch to the left?

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Charity workers sue government over “coaching” slur

Andrew Bolt March 22 2015 (6:02pm)

Not surprising:
Nine charity workers who were removed from Nauru amid now-debunked claims that they encouraged detainees to hurt themselves are suing the federal government.
The nine Save the Children workers were ordered off the island after the Immigration Department received complaints about them.
But a government report issued on Friday exonerated the workers, prompting the chief executive of the organisation to say his staff deserved an immediate apology.
The workers were accused of encouraging self-harm among detainees on Nauru, as well as facilitating protests and making up allegations of assault - all claims that were found on Friday to be unsubstantiated.
This may put a small stick in the wheel of leadership aspirant and former Immigration Minister Scott Morrison. Watch out for leaks against him.
Reader Relevance Please notes:
This is an ABC article re the Moss Report. At the end of the article is the following disclaimer: 
Editor’s note (20/3/15): This story has been updated to clarify that former immigration minister Scott Morrison did not make allegations Save The Children employees acted inappropriately.
However, forge on good lefties and never let the facts get in the way of a good story.  
Reader Rod notes something about this charity now suing the Abbott Government. Check some paragraphs from the biographies of its executive team::
Save the Children Australia – Executive Team

CEO – Paul Ronalds 

... Prior to joining Save the Children, Paul was First Assistant Secretary responsible for the Office of Work and Family in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. In this role, Paul provided advice to the Prime Minister of Australia [Julia Gillard] ....

Director of Policy and Public Affairs – Mat Tinkler
...Previously, Mat has worked as a Chief of Staff to a senior Cabinet Minister [Bill Shorten] ... 

Galaxy: Baird cruising to comfortable 54 to 46 per cent win

Andrew Bolt March 22 2015 (5:34pm)

The NSW poll numbers don’t seem to be shifting:
Mike Baird is set to lead the Coalition to an election victory on Saturday despite more than 40 per cent of voters opposing his plan to privatise poles and wires. 
An exclusive Galaxy Research poll commissioned by The Sunday Telegraph has found ... the Coalition was heading for a clear victory with 54 per cent support over 46 per cent for Labor.
Abbott should be safe if this result is repeated at the polls next Saturday. And Baird’s courage and policy virtue will be rewarded. Labor’s shame, having tried to win an election with lies and scares against genuine reform, will be complete.
If that does occur, I suspect more critical attention will switch to another Labor leader trying that tactic - federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten.
That margin seems the consensus:
As the Premier launched the Liberal Party’s official campaign in the Sydney CBD on Sunday, the Fairfax/Ipsos poll shows the Coalition leading Labor by 54 to 46 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Tweet off: Media Watch drops young Colvin

Andrew Bolt March 22 2015 (4:15pm)

A caution to young tweeters. What you think sounds edgy, up-yours, in-your-face and sticking-it-to-the-man in the hours before dawn is up there for good, to be read by future employers for decades to come.
Second point: smart-arsery from the young often sounds to older people - like bosses and other adults - as plain mean and stupid. And what seems daringly transgressive to the tweeter is to most normal people simply disgusting, the behaviour of a person never properly acquainted with the consequences of crude and selfish behaviour.
Result? Job gone.
Ask Wil Colvin, now too hot even for his dad’s ABC, even after deleting his vilest tweets. 

United Nations becomes the capital of Jew-hatred

Andrew Bolt March 22 2015 (6:47am)

This vilification of Israel suggests the United Nations has become the centre of world anti-Semitism:
The UN Commission on the Status of Women approved a resolution Friday blaming Israel for “the grave situation of Palestinian women.” 
Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor denounced the resolution saying it was further proof of the UN’s bias against Israel, as it was the only country singled out by the 45-member commission.
Anne Bayefsky calls out this farce:
Guess who is the number one violator of women’s rights in the world today?  ... 
Not Saudi Arabia. Where women are physically punished if not wearing compulsory clothing, are almost entirely excluded from political life, cannot drive, cannot travel without a male relative, receive half the inheritance of their brothers, and where their testimony counts for half that of a man’s.
Not Sudan.  Where domestic violence is not prohibited.  There is no minimum age for “consensual” sex.  The legal age of marriage for girls is ten. 88% of women under 50 have undergone female genital mutilation. And women are denied equal rights in marriage, inheritance and divorce.
Not Iran. Where every woman who registered as a presidential candidate in the last election was disqualified.  “Adultery” is punishable by death by stoning.  Women who fight back against rapists and kill their attackers are executed. The constitution bars female judges. And women must obtain the consent of their husbands to work outside the home.
Not Syria. Where government forces routinely employ rape and other sexual violence and torture against women as a tactic of war. Where in 2014 the Assad regime starved, tortured and killed at least 24,000 civilians, and three million people – mostly women and children – are refugees.
In fact, not only is there no possibility that the UN Commission on the Status of Women will criticize Iran, Iran is an elected member of CSW.  Sudan – whose president has been indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity – is currently a CSW Vice-Chair....
The 2015 CSW resolution on Israel will repeat, as it does every year, that “the Israeli occupation remains the major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development of their society…”
Not Palestinian men.  Not religious edicts and traditions. Not a culture of violence. Not an educational system steeped in rejection of peaceful coexistence and of tolerance. 
Instead, the fault for a UN statistic like this one – an average of 17% of Palestinian women are in the labor force as compared to 70% of Palestinian men – lies with the Jewish scapegoat.  
(From reader Mary.) 

It’s get-real time

Andrew Bolt March 22 2015 (6:41am)

A little more realism about the more likely sources of terrorism would be welcome:
MUSLIMS say they are being unfairly targeted in the counterterrorism crackdown at Australian airports, with a South African businessman and his son-in-law speaking out about their treatment. 

More to come

Andrew Bolt March 22 2015 (5:56am)

I suspect there will be another fierce and serious debate about certain issues involving the man charged with the murder of Masa Vukotic - but not yet:
Sean Price ... lived in a flat held by Yarra Community Housing… On Tuesday, it is alleged, he went to Doncaster — a suburb on the other side of the city but one he knew because he had lived in neighbouring Donvale as a teenager. 
There, a court will hear, he attacked the teenage schoolgirl as she walked in a local park, leaving her dying as he ran from the scene.
The suspected killer was caught on security camera as he ran past a local school, and again by the closed circuit camera on the bus he took to Collingwood.
The clear images captured on the bus would lead to his arrest — but not until he allegedly committed a string of crimes before walking into Sunshine police station to give himself up minutes after allegedly raping a woman in a nearby Christian book shop…
A court will probably eventually decide Sean Price’s guilt or innocence of murder, rape and other violent crimes. It may have to decide if he is mad or bad — or both. Or neither.
Until the accused has his day with a judge and jury, there are more things that cannot be said about this case than can be.
For legal reasons, the fact Sean Price is charged with Masa Vukotic’s murder and other violent offences cannot be put in any context.
I’m afraid more cannot yet be said. But it will be. 

No, Fraser’s refugees didn’t come by boat

Andrew Bolt March 22 2015 (5:41am)

Yes, Malcolm Fraser did let in many Vietnamese refugees after Gough Whitlam’s shameful slamming of the gate:
Mr Fraser came to power in 1975. At the time of his election fewer than than 400 Vietnamese lived in Australia. By the end of his Prime Ministership, more than 55,000 Vietnamese would be recognised as refugees. 
Mr Fraser’s establishment of a substantial refugee policy was an act of political leadership that confirmed Australia had moved beyond the White Australia policy and opened its arms to Asia and the rest of the world.
But, wait. This Fairfax reporter then fudges, giving the impression we’re talking about boat people here like the ones Tony Abbott has stopped:
The first boat carrying Vietnamese refugees from the country’s brutal war, a 17-metre wooden fishing vessel piloted by five bedraggled sailors, beached at Darwin in 1976. 
Over the next five years, 56 more boats arrived, and by 1981 Victoria’s Vietnamese-born population had swelled to 12,000.
Gerard Henderson dealt with this long ago:
On RN Breakfast ... (o)n Tuesday [6 September 2011] ... Fran Kelly ... remained mute when Senator [Bob] Brown made the following (false) claim about asylum seekers during the time of Malcolm Fraser’s Coalition government: 

Bob Brown: What would have happened if Malcolm Fraser had said “Turn back the boats” at the time of the Vietnamese people escaping the war in their country and coming to Australia. How much better off is this country because of that Vietnamese influx?
Senator Brown made two historical howlers in a mere 40 words – and Fran Kelly corrected neither…
1. Saigon fell to the conquering North Vietnamese Army – which was supplied by the communist dictators in the Soviet Union – on 30 April 1975…
The Indo-Chinese refugees, mainly Vietnamese but including Cambodians and Laotians, did not come to Australia as a result of “escaping the war in their country”. Not at all – since by 1976 the wars in Indo-China were over and the communists had gained power in all of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos....  Rather, [the Vietnamese refugees] were escaping from the communist dictatorships which had been set up following the communist victories ...
2. Very few of the Indo-Chinese refugees who arrived in Australia between 1976 and 1982 came by boat. These are the official figures for unlawful boat arrivals in Australia during the Fraser years… 

1976 – 111 
1977 – 868 
1978 – 746 
1979 – 304 
1980 – 0 
1981 – 30 
1982 – 0
A total of 2059 asylum seekers arrived in Australia by boat during the entire period of the Fraser Government – i.e. around 300 a year… Malcolm Fraser’s Coalition government generously accepted tens of thousands of Indo-Chinese asylum seekers. However, the overwhelming majority of these refugees were processed off-shore by the United Nations in such places as Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore and hand-picked by Australian officials. Moreover, all these refugees arrived in Australia by air with valid visas.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: reform Islam now

Andrew Bolt March 22 2015 (5:21am)

 From the Somali-born former Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose new book Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now will be published next week by HarperCollins:
“ISLAM’S borders are bloody,” wrote the late US political scientist Samuel Huntington in 1996, “and so are its innards.” Nearly 20 years later, Huntington looks more right than ever before.
According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, at least 70 per cent of all the fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims.
In 2013, there were nearly 12,000 terrorist attacks worldwide. The lion’s share were in Muslim-majority countries, and many of the others were carried out by Muslims…
Not all of this violence is explicitly motivated by religion, but a great deal of it is. I believe that it is foolish to insist, as Western leaders habitually do, that the violent acts committed in the name of Islam can somehow be divorced from the religion itself.
For more than a decade, my message has been simple: Islam is not a religion of peace…
As I see it, the fundamental problem is that the majority of otherwise peaceful and law-abiding Muslims are unwilling to acknowledge, much less to repudiate, the theological warrant for intolerance and violence embedded in their own religious texts.
It simply will not do for Muslims to claim that their religion has been “hijacked” by extremists. The killers of Islamic State and Nigeria’s Boko Haram cite the same religious texts that every other Muslim in the world considers sacrosanct.
Instead of letting Islam off the hook with bland cliches about the religion of peace, we in the West need to challenge and debate the very substance of Islamic thought and practice…

Islam is at a crossroads. Muslims need to make a conscious decision to confront, debate and ultimately reject the violent elements within their religion…
What needs to happen for us to defeat the extremists for good? Economic, political, judicial and military tools have been proposed and some of them deployed. But I believe that these will have little effect unless Islam itself is reformed…
Here are the five areas that require amendment:
1. Mohammed’s semi-divine status, along with the literalist reading of the Koran…
2. The supremacy of life after death. The appeal of martyrdom will fade only when Muslims assign a greater value to the rewards of this life than to those promised in the hereafter.
3. Sharia, the vast body of religious legislation. Muslims should learn to put the dynamic, evolving laws made by human beings above those aspects of Shariah that are violent, intolerant or anachronistic.
4. The right of individual Muslims to enforce Islamic law… 
5. The imperative to wage jihad, or holy war. Islam must become a true religion of peace, which means rejecting the imposition of religion by the sword.
HARMONY DAY ....... my speech in Parliament just before Question Time yesterday..........

Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (13:56): I rise to speak on this wonderful day of Harmony Day—a day when we can all come together and hold hands and sing Kumbaya! Let the sun shine in! 

But, on this Harmony Day, what a rabble and a farce we are seeing on the other side of the House. 

But the problem is not with the personalities; the problem is with the policies.

We have seen the most disgraceful array of policies from that side of the chamber, from GroceryWatch to the carbon tax.

We have seen Australian families and small businesses putting up with almost a doubling of their electricity prices under this government.

We have seen a loss of control of our borders.

We have seen the pink batts tragedy.

We have seen the overpriced school halls, the mining tax, the live cattle disaster, the set-top box fiasco—the list goes on and on and on.

And now we are going to see the most farcical question time in the history of this chamber.

It is time for this government to finally call it off—to go. The public have had enough. Your time is over.

It is time for an election, to give the public their say, to get rid of the most incompetent and untrustworthy government in our nation’s history. (Time expired)
Well well well, an interesting development in the LACK of Greenland ice melt.

This is an interesting admission:

The melt extent algorithm used by Greenland Ice Sheet Today has been overestimating the melt extent, and as a result, daily images posted on this site in February and March may have indicated melt where none occurred.

This makes you wonder what other kinds of issues remain undetected in the satellite data. NSIDC has had to issue corrections in the past, when it was pointed out that their data and reality didn’t match. – Anthony

From NSIDC: An early spring re-calibration for melt detection

The algorithm for the Greenland Ice Sheet Today daily melt extent has been revised to account for unusually warm winter snow layers and residual meltwater deep in the snow. Meltwater from last summer’s intense melt season did not completely re-freeze through at least mid December. The adjusted algorithm shows greatly reduced melt extent for early 2013. This much lower extent is more consistent with available weather and climate records.

See here for NSIDC statement :

FOr more information here :

Had Abbott succeeded, he’d probably have failed

Andrew Bolt March 22 2014 (11:35am)

A reverse can be just what you need to succeed:
Monday night, November 26, 2007, Victorian Liberal conservative leader Kevin Andrews was given the task by a meeting of right-wingers of telling Tony Abbott he would not have their support in his publicly declared ambition to run for party leader following the defeat of the Howard government.  
Abbott today:
As someone who I know well said to me afterwards: ‘Much better to be the last leader of the opposition than the first!’ It’s a blessing in disguise. 

The Bolt Report tomorrow - with a special emphasis on some hypocrites

Andrew Bolt March 22 2014 (10:16am)

On the show:
Unwanted boat people - and a little chat about activists who cry “racist” only when it suits them.
Guests Josh Frydenberg, Peter Costello and Bruce Hawker.
In NewsWatch, Sharri Markson on the ABC’s weird war against the Murdoch media.
Plus Your Say - and a few hypocrites exposed.
On Network 10 at 10am and 4pm. 

In other distressing news about ethnic identity

Andrew Bolt March 22 2014 (9:53am)

A team that scores 193 at nearly 14 runs an over? Should Australia worry?
Goed zo.
(Thanks to reader Tim Blair, who courageously returns to reading sports results.) 

Dependent and disarmed against a Russia on the march

Andrew Bolt March 22 2014 (9:15am)

Rupert Darwall on Russia’s theft of Crimea and how the Greens sapped our will to resist: 
Until the crisis over Ukraine, there was an inbuilt tendency in Germany to embrace closer ties with Russia… 
Friendships aside, the most significant driver of German energy-related foreign policy has been its powerful Green Party… Germany’s Greens first emerged as a political force at the end of the 1970s at a time of acute East-West tension. In response to deployment of Soviet midrange SS-20 missiles, NATO decided to station Pershing missiles in Germany. Massive, sometimes violent, demonstrations against nuclear power and nuclear missiles swept Germany. Whether consciously or not, the protesters were doing the Kremlin’s work in trying to split the Atlantic alliance.
The protests turned the German left into the voice of radical environmentalism—a historical shift. Old Nazis and neo-Nazis had been the bearers of Germany’s culture of ecological politics, which had been marginalized with Hitler’s defeat. German environmentalism was antidemocratic and anticapitalist. The Nazis were Europe’s greenest party, passing laws to extend protected forests and banning animal vivisection while performing hideous experiments on human beings.
In October 1980, Germany’s Green Party was formed to stand in parliamentary and state elections. Eighteen years later it entered government in a Red-Green coalition with the left-of-center SPD and in 2000 successfully pushed for the gradual phaseout of nuclear power. 
The Greens’ biggest triumph came with Germany’s adoption of its Energiewende, the transition to renewable energy. The policy is a long-term bonanza for [Russia’s] Gazprom. It means that Germany will buy more and more Russian gas because it cannot depend on electricity from unreliable wind and solar to power its industries and keep the lights on.
Disarmed and dependent. Brilliant.
As for the US…  Charles Krauthammer on a deceptive or deluded Obama Administration:
Why, after all, did Obama delay responding to Putin’s infiltration, military occupation and seizure of Crimea in the first place? In order to provide Putin with a path to de-escalation, “an offramp,” the preferred White House phrase. 
An offramp? Did they really think that Putin was losing, that his invasion of Crimea was a disaster from which he needed some face-saving way out? And that the principal object of American diplomacy was to craft for Putin an exit strategy?
It’s delusional enough to think that Putin — in seizing Crimea, threatening eastern Ukraine, destabilizing Kiev, shaking NATO, terrifying America’s East European allies and making the West look utterly helpless — was actually losing. But to imagine that Putin saw it that way as well and was waiting for American diplomacy to save him from a monumental blunder is totally divorced from reality.
(Thanks to reader Alan RM Jones.) 

Where’s part 2 of the ABC report which accidently discredited boat people?

Andrew Bolt March 22 2014 (8:52am)

Here’s a puzzle. On Monday ABC’s 7.30 ended a report on boat people towed back to Indonesia with this promise:
We’ll bring you part two of our investigation later this week. 
Part one, as I noted, accidentally demonstrated exactly why these boat people should not be let in:
How could these 34 people from Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal — mostly Muslim countries that are neither war-torn nor famine-struck — think that threatening to kill our sailors, shouting “f--- Australia” and warning of another September 11 would make us unlock our hearts and our door? 
And, strangely, part two of the report was not shown. Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill:
As best I can tell, there’s been no explanation given as to why part two failed to make it to air during the week. It will be interesting to see if it’s just been bumped to next week. But if it fails to appear, is it safe to assume part two has been canned? If it has been canned, it would be interesting to know the reason(s) why.

They are too white, protests a Fairfax columnist. Will she, too, be banned?

Andrew Bolt March 22 2014 (8:37am)

Fairfax columnist Ruby Hamad attacks members of a State Library of New South Wales panel for being too white. Will she, too, be dragged before the courts and have her article banned?
Last night the State Library of New South Wales hosted a panel event called ‘Multiculturalism: What are we afraid of?’ ... [T]he ‘distinguished panel’ was to consist of renowned human rights and refugee advocate Julian Burnside, Director of the Edmund Rice Centre Phil Glendenning, actor Jack Thompson, activist Imogen Bailey, and photographer Louise Whelan…
Comedian Aamer Rahman linked to the event’s webpage on his Facebook timeline yesterday morning, writing, ‘Four white people will be on a panel talking about ‘Multiculturalism: what are we afraid of?’ Apparently we are afraid of letting people of colour discuss race in a public forum.’…
Not surprisingly, the State Library received a deluge of complaints about the lack of diversity on a panel designed to promote diversity. This prompted organisers to update the event just hours before it took place adding a sole person of colour to the events information page, community organiser Isaac Kisimba....
... those of us from ‘different cultures’ are not specimens to be dissected and discussed by Smart White People....  white people .... a panel of white people ...  white people ...  distinguished white people ... predominantly white people ... 
Yet I doubt this column, fixated though it is on skin color, will be banned because it lacks one critical element.  As I wrote recently:
The country’s most notorious racist today is someone whose most infamous article, now banned by the Federal Court for the offence it gave “fair-skinned Aborigines”, actually argued against divisions of “race” and the fashionable insistence on racial “identity”. 
It ended with a paragraph the court does not let me repeat, but which I will paraphrase as precisely as my lawyer allows: Let us go beyond racial pride. Let us go beyond black and white. Let us be proud only of being human beings set on this country together, determined to find what unites us and not to invent racist excuses to divide.
We have a law which licences bullies more than it punishes them:
[Race Commissioner Tim] Soutphommasane, The Sydney Morning Herald, yesterday: 

IT is regularly said that section 18C serves to protect hurt feelings at the expense of free speech ... (but) unlawful conduct must cause “profound and serious effects, not to be likened to mere slights” … One other thing is troubling ... much of the debate has centred not on how the vilification laws have actually worked during the past two decades.
Racial Discrimination Act complaints, conciliated outcomes:

1996-97: The complainant alleged he was denied the opportunity to apply for an advertised position because of his accent … The respondent denied the allegations but provided $5000 as an ex-gratia payment ... Both parties watched a video developed by the commission called Accents are Everywhere. 1996-97: An Aboriginal couple claimed that the property manager followed up arrears in payment of rent more ­energetically than with other tenants … the property manager was counselled … and chose to leave her employment. The real estate agency agreed to pay the couple $900 compensation for hurt feelings. 1998-99: The complainant claimed that during the telephone interview the manager said ‘You have an accent and I find it difficult to understand you’ ... The manager denied making the comment … the matter settled … (with) a written apology for any hurt feelings.
(Thanks to reader Shane.) 

Media Watch upset Daily Telegraph wasn’t nice to Abbott-haters

Andrew Bolt March 22 2014 (8:18am)

Media Watch continues its obsession with Murdoch newspapers, and now complains that not enough nice things were said about the March in March hate-protest against Tony Abbott:
THE ABC’s Media Watch program has fired an astonishing series of questions at The Daily Telegraph, continuing a long-running taxpayer-funded attack on the newspaper’s columnists. 
Former ABC rural reporter Flint Duxfield emailed six questions about The Daily Telegraph’s coverage of the March in March protest last Sunday.
The nationwide event was marked by placards attacking Prime Minister Tony Abbott as a “racist, sexist, elitist, homophobic, fascist”. A speaker addressing Newcastle marchers said Qantas chief Alan Joyce “should be shot somewhere in the back of the head” Protesters also brandished placards depicting the Prime Minister as Adolf Hitler and wore t-shirts emblazoned with slogans such as ‘F**k Tony Abbott’’.
The ABC and Fairfax’s muted coverage of the placards at the event was in stark contrast to the display both media outlets gave Tony Abbott when he spoke in front of “Ditch the Witch” placards about then Prime Minister Julia Gillard at an anti-carbon tax rally.
Duxfield questioned the Telegraph’s allocation of reporters to the March in March story on the day and the decision by the newspaper’s columnists to write about the protest in their columns during the week....
The questions ABC asked:

1. Did the Daily Telegraph send a reporter to the Sydney March last Sunday?
2. Why did the Daily Telegraph not see fit to cover this event as a straight news story, on Monday given it was of sufficient interest to justify four comment pieces?
3. Can you point us to any comments the Daily Telegraph has published which are supportive of these marches, as we haven’t been able to find any. 
Can Media Watch instead explain why the ABC chose not to report a shocking speech at the rallies by union boss Gary Kennedy vilifying mining boss Gina Rinehart as a “filthy animal” and calling for Qantas boss Alan Joyce to be “shot somewhere in the back of the head”? Can it explain why the ABC promoted 43 of the protest signs on one puff piece, excluding any that might discredit the rallies?  Can Media Watch explain why it’s so concerned to defend the reputation of this disgraceful rally? Can Media Watch explain why it is not instead concerned by the role Fairfax journalists played in promoting the rallies, participating in them, cheering calls to kill politicians, and selling and promoting “F..k Abbott” t-shirts?
But when the ABC is headed by Mark Scott, who can be surprised that its bias is out of control?
(Thanks to reader Brett t r.) 

No mirrors in Gary Kennedy’s house, either

Andrew Bolt March 22 2014 (7:55am)

 Union boss Gary Kennedy is outraged by alleged assassination threats against Julian Assange, but then suggests an assassination of Qantas boss Alan Joyce.
It is astonishing that he still has his job, even though he’s since apologised for saying Joyce should be shot “somewhere in the back of the head"”:
‘My comments were well below community expectations of acceptable language and sentiment,’’ he said in a statement… He said he had been abused and threatened since giving the speech, and had spoken to the police after they contacted him.
(Thanks to reader marg from nambour.) 

Gillard’s then boyfriend, accused of fraud, “threatened” WA premier

Andrew Bolt March 22 2014 (7:53am)

The AWU scandal

The AWU scandal seems to be far more significant than many journalists allowed themselves to believe possible: 

A UNION boss accused of major fraud in the AWU slush fund scandal had intimidated and threatened to destroy the political career of a premier, Carmen Lawrence, according to a mining executive. 
One of Australia’s most respected resources-company leaders from the era, Hugh Morgan, the former chief executive of Western Mining, said that Dr Lawrence had confided the threats to him when she was the West Australian premier…
An investigation by The Weekend Australian into the delivery by Dr Lawrence’s cabinet of a $60 million building job to Thiess Contractors without a public tender has raised concerns about taxpayer-funded contracts that are likely to be part of the royal commission’s probe.
After receiving the $60m contract following a late change that prevented a public tender process, Thiess paid more than $300,000 into [AWU official Bruce] Wilson’s slush fund over the course of the building works. The slush fund, the AWU Workplace Reform Association, had been set up and registered with the legal advice of Wilson’s then girlfriend, Julia Gillard, who was a solicitor at Slater & Gordon. The former prime minister has strenuously denied any wrongdoing.
Mr Wilson’s trusted AWU ally, Ralph Blewitt, has told The Weekend Australian and police that Mr Wilson used his powerful union influence to threaten key ministers in Dr Lawrence’s Labor government that they would not receive preselection or support if Thiess did not get the job.
Asked for comment about the claims of Mr Blewitt and Mr Morgan, Dr Lawrence said yesterday: “This does not ring true."…
Mr Morgan said he became aware of Mr Wilson’s remarkable hold on the then Labor government when he had a meeting with Dr Lawrence amid a backdrop of AWU strife at WMC. 
“Bruce had done everything he could to avoid signing an (industrial) agreement,” he said. “But finally, we got him to sign. I went to Carmen Lawrence and she said to me very directly, ‘Hugh, I cannot fulfil that because Bruce has informed me that if I go ahead with that agreement he will ensure that I do not get my preselection for the next election’… It seems remarkable that you can threaten the preselection of a premier...” 
The AWU scandal, dismissed and ignored by so many senior press gallery journalists, could be far more serious than even I suspected:
Hedley Thomas and Michael Smith:
[Ralph] Blewitt, whose credibility as a witness was helped by a ruling from Victoria’s Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen three months ago, is adamant that the corruption he engaged in was not limited to alleged fraud perpetrated in the now infamous slush fund that Julia Gillard, as a solicitor at Slater & Gordon, had helped to set up… 
The slush fund into which Thiess paid the money and the Dawesville Channel project that Thiess developed - on time and on budget thanks to the toil and the industrial peace of [Bruce] Wilson and fellow official Blewitt’s AWU members - were always inextricably linked…
The project was a $60 million engineering triumph, almost wholly funded by taxpayers. It was handed to Thiess in late 1991 by WA’s then fragile Labor government led by Carmen Lawrence.
Blewitt will tell the royal commission that the project, the Dawesville Channel south of Perth ... was the ingenious opening gambit in Wilson’s scam…
“[Wilson] lobbied the Labor government to give the contract to Thiess. He had a double-edged sword - he would say to Thiess, ‘I will get you the contract, but I want the (slush fund)’, and he would say to the Labor Party, ‘We will support you in preselections and in the upcoming state election, but you have to award this contract to Thiess.’...”
The Dawesville Channel project was strikingly different from other significant taxpayer-funded projects - despite it being one of the biggest and costliest ventures commissioned by the Labor government in that era, there was no public tender. There were no competing bids. This was unusual. Thiess had it sewn up. 
Julian Grill, a minister in the WA Labor government of [Brian] Burke and Peter Dowding, tells Inquirer that he regards it now as “extraordinary” that Thiess got the contract from Lawrence’s government with no public tender…

“I’m genuinely shocked to hear it. What is the explanation?”
Julia Gillard has repeatedly said she did nothing wrong and did not know what her then boyfriend did with the slush fund she helped as his lawyer to set up.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Bandt promises Qantas workers he’ll make their business suffer

Andrew Bolt March 22 2014 (7:31am)

Greens MP Adam Bandt poses with employees of a company struggling to survive crippling union restrictions and a carbon tax bill of more than $100 million a year - both of which he supports:
Incredible: oppose what could save Qantas, support what cripples it.
A tweet like that explains why the Greens, once given a taste of power, turn the electorate against them.
(Thanks to reader Piper.) 

Brendan stars at the ball game

Andrew Bolt March 22 2014 (7:19am)

The Herald Sun asks, with some justification:
Is 8-year-old baseball fan Brendan the nicest kid in Australia? 














Amerigo Vespucci
““But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”” -Jeremiah 17:7-8
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

March 21: Morning
"Ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone." - John 16:32
Few had fellowship with the sorrows of Gethsemane. The majority of the disciples were not sufficiently advanced in grace to be admitted to behold the mysteries of "the agony." Occupied with the passover feast at their own houses, they represent the many who live upon the letter, but are mere babes as to the spirit of the gospel. To twelve, nay, to eleven only was the privilege given to enter Gethsemane and see "this great sight." Out of the eleven, eight were left at a distance; they had fellowship, but not of that intimate sort to which men greatly beloved are admitted. Only three highly favoured ones could approach the veil of our Lord's mysterious sorrow: within that veil even these must not intrude; a stone's-cast distance must be left between. He must tread the wine-press alone, and of the people there must be none with him. Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, represent the few eminent, experienced saints, who may be written down as "Fathers;" these having done business on great waters, can in some degree measure the huge Atlantic waves of their Redeemer's passion. To some selected spirits it is given, for the good of others, and to strengthen them for future, special, and tremendous conflict, to enter the inner circle and hear the pleadings of the suffering High Priest; they have fellowship with him in his sufferings, and are made conformable unto his death. Yet even these cannot penetrate the secret places of the Saviour's woe. "Thine unknown sufferings" is the remarkable expression of the Greek liturgy: there was an inner chamber in our Master's grief, shut out from human knowledge and fellowship. There Jesus is "left alone." Here Jesus was more than ever an "Unspeakable gift!" Is not Watts right when he sings--

"And all the unknown joys he gives,
Were bought with agonies unknown."

"Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?" - Job 38:31

If inclined to boast of our abilities, the grandeur of nature may soon show us how puny we are. We cannot move the least of all the twinkling stars, or quench so much as one of the beams of the morning. We speak of power, but the heavens laugh us to scorn. When the Pleiades shine forth in spring with vernal joy we cannot restrain their influences, and when Orion reigns aloft, and the year is bound in winter's fetters, we cannot relax the icy bands. The seasons revolve according to the divine appointment, neither can the whole race of men effect a change therein. Lord, what is man?

In the spiritual, as in the natural world, man's power is limited on all hands. When the Holy Spirit sheds abroad his delights in the soul, none can disturb; all the cunning and malice of men are ineffectual to stay the genial quickening power of the Comforter. When he deigns to visit a church and revive it, the most inveterate enemies cannot resist the good work; they may ridicule it, but they can no more restrain it than they can push back the spring when the Pleiades rule the hour. God wills it, and so it must be. On the other hand, if the Lord in sovereignty, or in justice, bind up a man so that he is in soul bondage, who can give him liberty? He alone can remove the winter of spiritual death from an individual or a people. He looses the bands of Orion, and none but he. What a blessing it is that he can do it. O that he would perform the wonder tonight. Lord, end my winter, and let my spring begin. I cannot with all my longings raise my soul out of her death and dulness, but all things are possible with thee. I need celestial influences, the clear shinings of thy love, the beams of thy grace, the light of thy countenance; these are the Pleiades to me. I suffer much from sin and temptation; these are my wintry signs, my terrible Orion. Lord, work wonders in me, and for me. Amen.
Rebekah, Rebecca
The Woman Whose Favoritism Brought Sorrow
Name Meaning: Rebekah is another name with an animal connection. Although not belonging to any animal in particular, it has reference to animals of a limited class and in a peculiar condition. The name means a "tie rope for animals" or "a noose" in such a rope. Its root is found in a noun meaning a "hitching place" or "stall" and is connected with a "tied-up calf or lamb," a young animal peculiarly choice and fat. Applied to a female, the figure suggests her beauty by means of which men are snared or bound. Thus another meaning of Rebekah is that of "captivating." If, then, Rebekah means "a noosed cord," the loop was firmly around Isaac's neck. When Isaac took her as his bride he forgot his grief for his dead mother, and lived happily with his wife for twenty years during which time they had no children.

Family Connections: Rebekah is first mentioned in the genealogy of the descendants of Nahor, Abraham's brother (Genesis 22:20-24). When the pilgrims set out from the Ur of the Chaldees, Nahor was one of the party, and settled down at Charran where Terah, his father, died. Among Nahor's sons was Bethuel who, by an unknown wife, became the father of Rebekah, the sister of Laban. Rebekah married Isaac the son of Abraham, by whom she had two sons, Esau and Jacob.

The story of Isaac and Rebekah as a love lyric full of romance and tender beauty has been retold times without number, and is a charming record that never loses its appeal. Such an idyllic narrative is almost too familiar to need rehearsal, and too simple to require comment, yet because it constitutes one of the most romantic scenes in the Bible, its "moving scenes, so fresh and artless in their old world simplicity" have a pertinent appeal for present-day society. Ancient Bible histories with their arrestive characters and remarkable sequence of events and fortunes never fail to leave an indelible imprint on our hearts. The chapter recording how a wife was found for Isaac (Genesis 24) presents a link in the chain of events leading up to-

That far-off Divine event

To which the whole creation moves.
Through the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah, Abraham saw that day of Christ in which the church should become the Bride of Christ.
Almost two millenniums after the days of the patriarch whom God spoke of as His "friend," there were those who considered it a privilege to belong to the race having Abraham as its fountainhead. To be "a son of Abraham" or a lineal descendant of such a grand, great old divine was an honor, but Isaac enjoyed a still greater advantage for Abraham was his own natural father. What a rich dowry of blessing must have been Isaac's because of such a close relationship. He had the inspiration of his father's godliness, and the benefit of his prayers and wise counsels-even in the matter of securing the right kind of wife.
Abraham's opposition to idolatry is seen in his request that the partner for his son, Isaac, must not be "of the daughters of the Canaanites" (24:3). As he had refused a grave for his wife, Sarah, amongst the sepulchers of the Hittites (Genesis 23), so a wife for their son must not be sought among their daughters. Thus it came about that Abraham's trusted, godly servant, Eliezer, was divinely guided to Haran where Nahor, Abraham's brother settled. Too feeble to make the journey himself, Abraham gave his servant the most careful instructions, and impressed upon him the solemn significance of his mission. Confident as to the result of the search for a suitable wife for Isaac, Abraham assured the earthly seeker that he would be guided by God's angel. Eliezer, the intelligent, prudent, obedient and praying servant went forth. Seeking a sign of divine guidance, not to prove God's faithfulness, but for his own direction in the choice of a woman of character as a wife for his master's son, the servant came to Nahor's well at Nahor, and saw in Rebekah who had come to draw water the answer to his prayer and quest.
Eliezer lost no time in telling Rebekah who he was, and from whom he had come, and the purpose of his search. He revealed his tact in the way he wooed and won the heart of Rebekah. The gifts he bestowed upon her and the good things he said of his master, secured the favor of Rebekah's family who gave its consent to the proposed marriage. Faced with instant departure from her dear ones, Rebekah is given her choice-"Wilt thou go with this man?" Without hesitation, feeling that she, too, was following the leading of God, as Eliezer had, Rebekah replied in a firm voice, "I will go."
The caravan set out for Abraham's home, and now we come to a superb touch in the romantic story. Isaac was out in the fields at eventide for his usual period of meditation. He saw the approaching camels and sensed the success of Eliezer in the choice of a wife. Reaching Isaac, Rebekah, according to custom, veiled her face, and the end of this exquisite poem of the meeting of bride and bridegroom is stated in most expressive terms-"Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her."
Marrying "sight unseen" is a most dangerous venture, but in this case it was successful because "the angel of the Lord" had directed the events leading up to the union. When Rebekah saw the handsome, mild-mannered and meditative Isaac, her heart went out to him. As for Isaac, a man of forty, and some twenty years older than Rebekah, he instantly loved the most beautiful woman he beheld, and she remained his only love. Some matrimonial matches have been described as "Lucifer Matches," because of clash of temperament and temper, but the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah was certainly one "made in heaven." There would be fewer broken homes if only young people looking for partners would seek the guidance of God as the servant of Abraham did. We agree with Alexander Whyte when he says of the ancient record of the circumstances leading to the securing of a wife for Isaac-
A sweeter chapter was never written than the twenty-fourth of Genesis.... The picture of aged Abraham swearing his most trusty servant about a bride for his son Isaac; that servant's journey to Padan-aram in the far east; Rebekah, first at the well, and then in her mother's house; and then her first sight of her future husband-that long chapter is a perfect gem of ancient authorship.
As with other pairs in the Bible, it is hardly possible to separate Isaac from Rebekah whose lives were so closely knit together. Yet let us see if we can sketch a portrait of Rebekah herself.
Her Character
As a damsel, that is, a maiden around twenty years of age, Rebekah was "fair to look upon," meaning that she had an unaffected beauty. She was a virgin, and had a childlike simplicity. There was no trace of wantonness in her. As with her mother-in-law, Sarah, beauty carried its dangers. During his sojourn in Gerar, Isaac feared lest the physical charms of his wife might excite the desire of the king of Gerar and so he lied. Thus Isaac passed Rebekah off as his sister-a course of action which might have had dire consequences (Genesis 26:6-16). He fell into the same error as his father before him. Andrew Fuller says, "The falls of those that have gone before us are like so many rocks on which others have been split; and the recording of them is like placing buoys over them for the security of future mariners." But in the story of Isaac the buoy served no beneficial purpose.
Beautiful Rebekah had been taken by Abimelech, but one day as he looked out of the window he saw Isaac caressing Rebekah, and he knew that he had been deceived. Isaac's untruthfulness was discovered, and the heir of God's promises was rebuked by a heathen king for his lying and deception. In the providence of God, Abimelech, an idolater, was made the protector of the child of promise (see Psalm 17:13). As "an amiable and lovely girl," as her name suggests, she was industrious, for although she was a member of a family of standing she was not afraid to soil her hands. The hard work of drawing and carrying water, the provision she made for Eliezer's camels, and the meal she prepared, speak of Rebekah as one who did not shun domestic duties. That she was a woman of faith is evident from what Paul says of her as being the recipient of a direct revelation from the Lord regarding universal blessing through her favorite Jacob (Romans 9:12).
Rebekah's best qualities come out in the simple yet heartwarming narrative describing her response to Eliezer's approach, in her service to him, and in her willingness to believe and act upon all he had told her. In his remarkable cameo of Rebekah, George Matheson uses the following terms or expressions-"a fine manner"-"remarkable tact"-"a sunbeam to her household"-"a very beautiful young woman, with the gift of physical charm which was apt to produce self-consciousness"-"the gift of intellectual sympathy"-"Rebekah's morning ray is a ray of sympathetic insight."
Modest and meek, frank and open, ready kindness, great energy and faith, graciousness matching her physical charm, describe Rebekah. When she became a mother she revealed how masterful and clever she could be-a direct contrast to Isaac who was probably more simple, slow of wit, and mild of manner than his wife. The lines of Wordsworth can express Isaac's feelings when for the first time he gazed upon the lovely Rebekah and came to experience her comforting love as she filled the empty place in his heart because of his mother's death.
She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair,
Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair.
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn. A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.
I saw her upon nearer view,
A spirit, yet a woman too!
Her Children
Motherhood came to Rebekah somewhat late in life when Isaac was an aging man. For twenty years she had been childless, and conscious of God's promise that the Abrahamic Covenant could not be broken, Isaac entreated God that his long barren wife might conceive. He graciously answered his earnest intercession (Genesis 25:19-34). As his prayer was in the line of God's purpose, it was sure of an answer (1 John 5:14). The years of waiting on the part of Isaac and Rebekah show that God has His own time for the fulfillment of His purpose.
Like coral strands beneath the sea,
So strongly built and chaste,
The plans of God, unfolding, show
No signs of human haste.
In an age of almost universal polygamy, Isaac took no handmaid, concubine, or second wife. Rebekah and he were bound together by the bonds of a mutual affection, and although childless, yet became the parents of two sons who were destined to be the progenitors of different nations. But when Rebekah became the mother of twins-the first of two Bible women mentioned as giving birth to twins-the other was Tamar (Genesis 38:27)-somehow she changed and was a different character from the young bride who rode south so gaily to meet her lover in Canaan, as our next glimpse of her will show.
The opposite characters of Rebekah's twins, Esau and Jacob, brought into sharp focus the dark side of their mother. As Esau was the first to emerge from her womb he had the precedence and was thus the heir of two things, namely "the sovereignty and the priesthood, of the clan-the birthright and the blessing. The birthright was the right of succession.... The blessing was something to be given during the lifetime of the father." We learn that as the boys grew, "Esau was a cunning (skillful) hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents." At the time of their birth, Jacob seized his brother's heel-an incident prophetic of the day when he would supplant Esau. Often in children there are characteristics predictive of the manner of adults they will be.
The divergence of Rebekah's twins in temperament, inclination, occupation, and religious aspirations is most apparent. Esau was wrapped in a raiment of hair, a rough man of the wilderness, a clever hunter with something of a wild daring spirit. Jacob was the opposite of his brother. He preferred a fixed abode, to dwell in his tent rather than roam the desert. Esau was probably more brilliant, attractive, forceful, daring than his twin brother. Jacob, in spite of his weaknesses and mistakes was the finer character, and on the whole truer to the Lord and more fitted to possess the blessing of the birthright. Further, there was the difference of regard on the part of Isaac and Rebekah toward their two sons that resulted in sorrow and separation.
Isaac loved Esau, but the love was somewhat sensual. He loved his son "because he did eat of his venison." Such love is of a carnal nature, for love in its highest sense has regard not so much to what the loved one gives as to what he or she is.
Rebekah loved Jacob, not because he was more of a "homebody" than his brother, or possessed a more loving nature than he, but because Jacob was the Lord's preference (Romans 9:13). Esau thought so lightly of the birthright that he was willing to sell it for a mess of pottage, and be guilty, thereby, of the sin of profanity (Hebrews 12:16). Jacob, however, recognized the solemnity of the birthright and wished to possess it. Esau thought of it as of no more value than a mouthful of food, but Jacob knew something of the sacred significance of the birthright and was therefore a more fit channel through which the blessing of God could flow to the seed of Abraham.
As Rebekah is often blamed for the partiality or favoritism she manifested for Jacob, it may be profitable to consider the matter of preference in family life. When parents single out one of their children as a favorite and shower more love and attention upon that one than the rest, such an unwise and unnatural course inevitably results in jealousy and strife. Although Isaac found "in Esau that strong practical nature, and energetic character which distinguished the woman he so dearly loved; and Rebekah saw in the gentle Jacob a replica of the father who had so strangely attracted her that first day when she met him meditating in the fields at evening," the partiality was absolutely indefensible and led to lying and deception on Rebekah's part.
What else can be expected but confusion and trouble when there is a crossing of purposes between parents concerning their children? Was the root-cause of Rebekah's unnatural and unmotherly preference of Jacob over Esau and her treatment of Esau as though he was not, the lack of deep love for her husband, and that union of moral and spiritual ideas and ideals characteristic of every true marriage? We are certainly told that Isaac loved Rebekah, but not that she loved Isaac. Somehow we feel that if husband and wife had been one in all things in that ancient home, Rebekah would have been more concerned about Jacob's character than his prosperity. But Isaac was partial to Esau and Rebekah partial to Jacob-which favoritism resulted in Esau leaving home, and Jacob fleeing from it. Rebekah's record therefore shows that while Isaac was faithful to her, she was unfaithful to Isaac in a twofold way. First, she cheated Esau, her oldest son, and Isaac's pet out of his birthright. Then she cheated Esau out of his father's blessing, which prerogative had the effect of a testamentary bequest.
Comparing the chapter of the romantic meeting of Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 24) with its perfection of writing, and the dark chapter of Rebekah's deception (Genesis 28), Alexander Whyte says, "That the ship was launched on such a golden morning only the more darkens the surrounding gloom when she goes to the bottom." Then dealing with the secret alienation that developed between Isaac and Rebekah, the same renowned expositor adds-
When the two twin-brothers were brought up day after day and hour after hour in an atmosphere of favouritism, and partiality, and indulgence, and injustice, no father, no mother, can surely need to have it pointed out to them what present misery, and what future wages of such sin, is all to be seen and to be expected in that evil house.
One result of Rebekah's preference for Jacob was the spite and the sight of Esau going out and grieving his parents by marrying two ungodly women. Esau was forty years old when he did this -the same age at which Isaac married Rebekah. His parents must have seen in the foreign wives he brought home the firstfruits of the devil's garden they had sowed for themselves. "Their great grief would seem to have been almost the only thing the two old people were at one about by that time." Esau had seen little in his mother to admire and respect; therefore he was never in any mood to please her. What a different story would have been written if Esau's home had been "without partiality"!
Her Chicanery
Chicanery is described as the act of one who deliberately deceives, and this was Rebekah's sin. The destiny of her favorite son, Jacob, was strongly influenced by his mother's strong-mindedness, and thus she became the authoress of the treacherous plan to deprive Esau of his father's blessing. Isaac is old, feeble and blind, and informs the members of his household that the time has come to give Esau, officially, what was left to him after selling his birthright, namely, the blessing which carried with it the recognition of his headship, the ratification of the birthright. So Isaac told his favorite son to take his bow and arrow and go into the fields, hunt for his much-liked venison, and make a savory meal. At that time, a meal taken together was a common symbol of a saved pledge when father and son partook together. In such an hour of sacred fellowship the father bestowed upon the elder son his rank and place.
Rebekah overheard, and her deceitful heart was stirred to action. She set about to thwart her husband's purpose. Her favorite son must not be displaced, and her hopes for him dashed to the ground, by the impetuous hunter whom Isaac loved. Cunningly she devised the plan of impersonation. While Esau was out in the fields hunting, Rebekah told Jacob to go to a flock nearby and bring two kids for her to dress and cook and pass off as venison. While cautious about his mother's duplicity, he had no conscience against it. What made Jacob hesitant was the fact that his brother was a hairy man, while his own skin was smooth, and that if his father felt him and sensed the deception, he would not bless him, but curse him.
Rebekah, however, was equal to this fear of Jacob, and he followed the counsels of his treacherous mother. He put the skin of the kids upon his hands and upon his neck, thus making himself feel and smell like Esau, and so deceived his aged, blind father. Doubtless Rebekah stood nearby in convenient concealment to see how her ill-conceived ruse would succeed. Smelling Esau's clothes, and feeling the false hairy hands, Isaac was a little doubtful and said, "The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau." But reassured by the repeated lies of Jacob, the deceived father bestowed the unalterable blessing upon his son, and Jacob, by fraud, became the father of Israel's race. To his discredit, he played the role successfully which his mother had drilled into him with masterly skill. Covetous of the sacred, patriarchal blessing for her favorite son, Rebekah felt she had to resort to duplicity to gain her ends, and in doing so she prostituted parental authority. "My son obey my voice" (Genesis 27:8), and Jacob the misguided son obeyed, and in his subsequent career bore the bitter fruit of his conduct when Laban deceived him regarding Rachel.
A deceiver Jacob was
Full of craft and guile;
Thro' long years he bore his guilt,
Unrepentant all the while.
Samuel Morely once said, "I am much what my mother has made me." It was so in a wrong sense in the life of Jacob, for as in the case of Athaliah, "his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly" (2 Chronicles 22:3). The thoroughness with which Jacob carried out his mother's plan of deception is surely one of the worse features of the narrative. Fearful of the failure of his mother's plot, Jacob said, "I will bring a curse upon me and not a blessing." But Rebekah replied, "Upon me be thy curse, my son, only obey my voice." The future scheming life of Jacob, however, was but the extension of the deceitful qualities of his mother, and both suffered as the result of adopting false methods to accomplish right ends.
When Esau found that he had been robbed of his blessing through the cunning scheme of his mother, he became a remorseless avenger and swore the death of his brother who was forced to flee for his life to Haran, some 500 miles away. Rebekah never saw the face of her much-loved son again. To add to her reproach she had to endure the grief of seeing her other son marry heathen women. Esau's heathen wives caused Rebekah to be weary of her life (Genesis 27:46). Esau received a promise from his father that he would be the progenitor of a great nation-the Edomites-and much misery accrued to Israel because of Edom. The wrath of Esau's enraged blood boiled in the blood of Herod the Idumean on the day he reviled the Man of Sorrows.
There are some writers who try to justify the actions of Rebekah by saying that she was prompted to take the course she did concerning Jacob because of the prediction that, "the elder shall serve the younger," but God had no need of trickery and deceit to fulfill His promise. Ambitious for her son, Rebekah sacrificed the love of her husband, the loss of the esteem of her elder son, and the peace of her soul, for the idolized son whose face she never saw again. Without doubt, Jacob was the divinely-appointed heir of Abraham (Genesis 25:23), and Rebekah seeking to overrule the purpose of Isaac in his blessing of Esau, resorted to deceit to accomplish the will of God. Her guiding principle was, "Let us do evil that good may come" (Romans 3:8), but wrong is never right (James 1:20). Esau had sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, and Rebekah catered to Isaac's carnal appetite in order to accomplish a divine purpose. Had she laid aside "all guile, and hypocrisies" (1 Peter 2:1), and reasoned with her husband about the solemn issue at stake she would have been saved from the disgrace which her worldly policy brought upon her own head and from the sorrow others had to endure.
Almost the last picture we have of Rebekah is when she tearfully witnessed the hasty departure of her favorite son. "A strong-minded, decisive girl had grown into an autocratic matriarch," and ends her days a brokenhearted woman. When she died we are not told. Isaac, although much older than Rebekah, was still living when Jacob returned to Canaan over 20 years later. It is assumed that she died during Jacob's long absence, and was buried in the cave of Machpelah near Hebron (Genesis 49:31). A fitting epitaph for her grave would have been, "Died of a broken heart." The only monument Rebekah has is to be found in the Anglican marriage service of The Book of Common Prayer where we read-
That as Isaac and Rebekah lived faithfully together, so these persons may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant betwixt them.
While she may have been faithful during the first 20 years of marriage while she was childless, Rebekah, by her unjustifiable treacherous and wholly inexplicable intervention for her favorite son, stained her solemn marriage.
Reviewing Rebekah's life and character what are some of the warnings to heed? Are we not forcibly reminded that love which seeks success at the cost of truth and righteousness is of the earth, earthy? The devil's maxim is, "Nothing succeeds like success." But from God's standpoint nothing succeeds which does not follow the way of truth and honesty. Then, while she had physical beauty, her domination of Jacob and her scheme to deceive her husband revealed the lack of the beauty of a godly character. Further, Rebekah is a warning to all parents that there should be no favorites in the family; that all alike should be dear to them. If there is partiality for any in a family, it should only be for those who are weak and helpless.
Another warning bell is that when a wife conspires against her husband, or vice versa, they are guilty of a baseness which language cannot describe. When one partner finds that he has been betrayed by the other, the world becomes a blank.
The mind has a thousand eyes
The heart but one,
But the light of a whole life dies
When love is done.
There is one beneficial application we can make of Rebekah's prompt decision to follow Eliezer to meet her future bridegroom, Isaac -I will go! In connection with the higher betrothal of the soul to the heavenly Bridegroom, He comes to the sinner saying as Eliezer did to Rebekah, "Will you go with Me? Will you follow Me into that country where saints immortal reign?" When hearts respond to such an appeal, "Yea, Lord I will go. I will follow Thee, whithersoever Thou goest!" they are twice blessed.
[Ĕlī'am] - god is one of the family or god's founder of the people.
The father of Bath-sheba, wife of David (2 Sam. 11:3). Called also Ammiel.

Today's reading: Joshua 7-9, Luke 1:21-38 (NIV)

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Today's Old Testament reading: Joshua 7-9

Achan's Sin

But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the LORD's anger burned against Israel.

2 Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, "Go up and spy out the region." So the men went up and spied out Ai.
3 When they returned to Joshua, they said, "Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary the whole army, for only a few people live there...."

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 1:21-38

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 "The Lord has done this for me," she said. "In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people...."

Today's Lent reading: Matthew 25-26 (NIV)

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The Parable of the Ten Virgins

"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 "At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'

7 "Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'

9 "'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves....'

Today's Prayer

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Your arrows have pierced me, and your hand has come down on me. My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. Do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God. Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior. --Psalm 38:1,2,4,21,22

Today's Scripture Reading: Genesis 22:1-14

1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.
2 Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, whom you love--Isaac--and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you."
3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you."
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?"
"Yes, my son?" Abraham replied.
"The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
8 Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.
9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.
12 "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."
Today's Quote

"[Jesus] died not as a martyr but as the representative of a sinful race. Although God loved him infinitely, still, as the representatives of a sinful race, in his displeasure he poured down upon him the vials of his indignation. The death of Christ was intended to make an impression upon the universe, and all the circumstances attending it show what a wonderful effect it had. When he was nailed to the cross the sun refused to look on, and the heavens were clothed with sackcloth; the whole universe seemed shaking to its foundations. Heathen philosophers observed it, and said, Either nature is being dissolved, or the god of nature is dying . The dead could not sleep in their graves, the earth trembled, and the tombs opened, and those who had been dead issued forth, and walked into the city. The veil of the temple was rent in twain. God made a mighty impression upon the entire universe, when, in order that sinners might be pardoned, he thus made a fearful demonstration of his hatred against sin." -- Charles Finney, 19th century revival preacher, in his sermon "Christ the Mediator"

Something to Think About

Was it "fair" or "just" for Jesus to die for our sins? How does Jesus' death and resurrection change your relationship to God's law?

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