Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Wed Mar 8th Todays News

International Mirror Morals Day? Where instead of celebrating Women we make false claims of victimisation. And ALP in Victoria are crashing in the polls. There are lots of reasons for them to crash. Putting aside the obvious rorting of expenses. The claim is both sides do it, then when that fails it is claimed conservatives are richer than ALP. Until one counts the slush funds. Putting aside the throwing away of a billion dollars to not build a road that is needed. Putting aside sending trucks through back streets to avoid exorbitant tolls. Putting aside badly managed infrastructure which is so badly planned that people are inconvenienced for months as central Melbourne escalators and elevators don't work at busy railway stations. Putting aside the debacle of closing down a needed coal power station in favour of unreliable renewables and reliance on states that use coal power. Putting aside a bungled order for water that is not needed from a desalination plant that was supposed to run on wind power but instead will use diesel generators. And still we take water from farmers. Putting aside the government neutering volunteer CFA prior to the fire season. Putting aside rising youth crime and conditions unfavourable for youth employment. Putting aside Dan Andrews making police work more difficult and encouraging vigilante action. Dan Andrews has participated as Premier of Victoria. He has no control over his own party. It isn't his fault. The job is too hard for any one idiot. 

Got on a late train from Parliament Station to Dandenong. The 8:10 ran twelve minutes late. It was packed. Standing room only. My fifty year old 200 Kg frame was forced to stand, holding a back pack and a cooler shopping bag. I couldn't even find a wall to lean against, and stood in the centre of the carriage with an arm raised over my head to hold a rail for balance. Four pretty girls and a young man reading a book were sitting in the priority seating immediately in front of me. The girls were absorbed with their phones, playing games matching colours, or listening to music. The guy had a blood bank t shirt, was built like a soldier just returned from Syria. He was reading a Koran. Dan Andrews is fixing things so there was no escalator access from the street. Thank you Dan Andrews. You might not be popular, but I was not alone in standing for you. But none of those pretty girls would. Or the guy reading the Koran. 

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 Free Speech, it is our voice 

This is a fan vid for the IPA ( ). They don't know about it.

I was raised as an Atheist. I learned, after reading the Bible, that God loves me, and you. This is his song for you too. He loves you, and wants to be with you.

All the elements are me and mine. ARIA ISRC number AUAWN1507109

=== from 2016 ===
I told Joe Tripodi about my concerns regarding a bungled pedophile investigation and the death of schoolchild Hamidur Rahman. I was being targeted by people involved possibly with both incidents, and if they couldn't discredit me they might choose to kill me. Joe said he would help represent my interests to parliament. He sent me a letter saying he had contacted the education Minister. Then he sent me the Minister's advice. The minister was fighting to improve teacher salary. The reply was innocuous, but the meaning was sinister. The next year an old school friend of mine who worked for disgraced ALP attorney general Jeff Shaw drafted the NSW Teachers Code of Conduct and applied it to force me to delete my writing. All of it. Millions of words and images. The ALP were hiding the death of a school child and covering up a bungled pedophile investigation. 

For some at the moment, the sex party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
The greatest predictor of behaviour is past behaviour. Or in the ALP's case, current behaviour. The Queensland and Victorian governments are doing much to show how a corrupt NSW Victorian government will behave. In Queensland,  unready Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has told her Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath to overturn the bikie laws Newman championed. That frees up drug running and terrorist linked communications. D'Ath had chaired the Australian Federal Government's privileges committee which found nothing wrong with Craig Thomson's misappropriating union money from the poorest workers to pay for prostitutes. In her defence, Craig Thomson had no problem with it either. In Victoria, Premier Andrews has moved to scrap the building code preventing corrupt unions from standing over businesses and establishing slush funds. The threat is not imaginary. Recently, the superannuation fund CBUS leaked the home addresses and details of 300 employees of builders to the CFMEU. There is no record of anyone being killed as a result. Yet. Andrews is also giving away money to avoid building a needed road. 

International women's day, but the press seem confused, and actually seem to laud things which hurt most females, mothers. A radio boss gives away condoms to prevent their female employees falling pregnant. Work life balance is a catch phrase for business management and it isn't friendly to mothers very often. But everyone has or has had a mother. Children are resilient, but good mothering can help a child carry that resilience into adulthood. It isn't an accident when it happens. It os true that many extraordinary women juggle work and family. Many happy women choose the life of work over family. But most women become mothers and a day that celebrates them should not demean them. 

Meanwhile federal ALP are campaigning on Green issues using kittens. It is a distraction from the fact that Bill Shorten has no policy on any issue. In one advert, a praying kitten in a park asks for no coal seam gas. Coal seam gas is safe to extract and very good for the environment. But the kitten opposes CSG because it doesn't want cheap energy to support poor people. Just like the ALP. Who knew that the largest killer of Australian native fauna voted ALP?
From 2014
Northampton County of Virginia Colony in 1655, the law recognised the right of a black man to own a black man. John Casor had argued he was not a slave, but a freedman working as an indentured servant. The premise being that he would one day be free to own his own land. His former master disagreed, and the court ruled John was a slave for life. Although he would never own a tobacco farm, his hope of freedom was smoked. One hundred and twenty years later, a paper was written asking for abolition of slavery. Another ninety years after that, the first GOP President made sure that slavery was abolished. Justice is slow. From Lincoln, one had to wait until Nixon for equal rights. Maybe freedom would have come faster if there were no Democrats. We will never know. 

Kepler's brilliant third law "The square of the orbital period of a planet is proportional to the cube of the semi-major axis of its orbit."was discovered on this day in 1618. It tells us how long a year would be for a planet with a known orbit. It was an insight as powerful as any of Ramanujan's, but explicable. Kepler was a rational, religious man. His mother had been denounced as a witch in 1615, but Johannes managed to have her freed. If she had cast a spell, she never did it again.
Historical perspective on this day
1010Ferdowsi completes his epic poem Shahnameh.
1126 – Following the death of his mother Urraca, Alfonso VII is proclaimed king of Castile and León.
1576 – Spanish explorer Diego García de Palacio first sights the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Copán.
1618Johannes Kepler discovers the third law of planetary motion.
1655John Casor becomes the first legally-recognized slave in England's North American colonies where a crime was not committed.
1658Treaty of Roskilde: After a devastating defeat in the Northern Wars (1655–1661), Frederick III, the King of Denmark–Norway is forced to give up nearly half his territory to Sweden to save the rest.

1702Queen Anne, the younger sister of Mary II, becomes Queen regnant of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
1722 – The Safavid Empire of Iran is defeated by an army from Afghanistan at the Battle of Gulnabad, pushing Iran into anarchy.
1736Nader Shah, founder of the Afsharid dynasty, is crowned Shah of Iran.
1775 – An anonymous writer, thought by some to be Thomas Paine, publishes "African Slavery in America", the first article in the American colonies calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery.
1777 – Regiments from Ansbach and Bayreuth, sent to support Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, mutiny in the town of Ochsenfurt.
1782Gnadenhutten massacre: Ninety-six Native Americans in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, who had converted to Christianity are killed by Pennsylvania militiamen in retaliation for raids carried out by other Indian tribes.

1801War of the Second Coalition: At the Battle of Abukir, a British force under Sir Ralph Abercromby lands in Egypt with the aim of ending the French campaign in Egypt and Syria.
1817 – The New York Stock Exchange is founded.
1844 – King Oscar I ascends to the thrones of Sweden and Norway.
1862American Civil War: The Naval Battle of Hampton Roads begins.
1868Sakai incident: Japanese samurai kill 11 French sailors in the port of Sakai, Osaka.
1910 – French aviator Raymonde de Laroche becomes the first woman to receive a pilot's license.
1914 – First flights (for the Royal Thai Air Force) at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok.
1916World War I: A British force unsuccessfully attempts to relieve the siege of Kut (present-day Iraq) in the Battle of Dujaila.
1917 – International Women's Day protests in St. Petersburg mark the beginning of the February Revolution (February 23rd in the Julian calendar).
1917 – The United States Senate votes to limit filibusters by adopting the cloture rule.

1920 – The Arab Kingdom of Syria, the first modern Arab state to come into existence, is established.
1921 – Spanish Prime Minister Eduardo Dato Iradier is assassinated while exiting the parliament building in Madrid.
1924 – A mine disaster kills 172 coal miners near Castle Gate, Utah.
1936Daytona Beach and Road Course holds its first oval stock car race.
1937Spanish Civil War: The Battle of Guadalajara begins.
1942World War II: Imperial Japanese Army forces gave ultimatum to Dutch East Indies Governor General Jonkheer Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer and KNIL Commander in Chief Lieutenant General Hein Ter Poorten, to unconditionally surrender.
1942 – World War II: Imperial Japanese Army forces captured Rangoon, Burma from British.
1947 – Thirteen thousand troops of the Republic of China Army arrive in Taiwan after the February 28 Incident and launch crackdowns which kill thousands of people, including many elites. This turns into a major root of the Taiwan independence movement.
1949Mildred Gillars ("Axis Sally") is condemned to prison for treason.
1949 – President of France Vincent Auriol and ex-emperor of Annam Bảo Đại sign the Élysée Accords, giving Vietnamgreater independence from France and creating the State of Vietnam to oppose Viet Minh-led Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

1957Egypt re-opens the Suez Canal after the Suez Crisis.
1957 – The 1957 Georgia Memorial to Congress, which petitions the U.S. Congress to declare the ratification of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution null and void, is adopted by the U.S. state of Georgia.
1957 – Ghana joins the United Nations.
1963 – The Ba'ath Party comes to power in Syria in a coup d'état by a clique of quasi-leftist Syrian Army officers calling themselves the National Council of the Revolutionary Command.
1965 – Thirty-five hundred United States Marines are the first American land combat forces committed during the Vietnam War.
1965 – DPR/MPR building in Jakarta, Indonesia formally opened.
1966 – Nelson's Pillar in Dublin, Ireland, destroyed by a bomb.

1971 – The Fight of the Century between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali commences. Frazier wins in 15 rounds via unanimous decision.
1974Charles de Gaulle Airport opens in Paris, France.
1978 – The first radio episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, is transmitted on BBC Radio 4.
1979Philips demonstrates the compact disc publicly for the first time.
1983 – While addressing a convention of Evangelicals, U.S. President Ronald Reagan labels the Soviet Union an "evil empire".
1985 – A supposed failed assassination attempt on Islamic cleric Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah in Beirut, Lebanonkills at least 45 and injures 175 others.
2004 – A new constitution is signed by Iraq's Governing Council.
2014Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, carrying a total of 239 people, disappears en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
2016 – A total solar eclipse occurs, with totality visible from Indonesia and the North Pacific.
=== 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 Lucy Sun and Benedetto Bruno. Astronomical significance of the day .. Johannes Kepler discovers the third law of planetary motion in 1618. And although the day will end, the promise of a new one is punctuated with a dawn. The dawn of this day in 415 BC saw the last of Hypatia, daughter of Theon. She was chief librarian of Alexandria, and she invented the astrolabe. She rocked. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
Johannes Kepler
You finished your poem. You made your discovery. It is sad. Take a bath. Take flight. Let's party. 
Tim Blair


Check out Human Rights Commission behaviour enforcer Gillian Triggs, all gussied up during Saturday night’s Sydney Mardi Gras.
8 Mar 
Andrew Bolt


Why does the ABC hire and promote Muslim women in headscarfs, but not ones with hair free? And why is it exploiting Yassmin Abdel-Magied, who is surely too young for this? The ABC employs her on what seems an implicit understanding: that she is its Muslim. It straitjackets her at an age when she should be exploring her identity, not freezing it.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 08, 2016 (5:28pm)

Daddy Cool guitarist Ross Hannaford has died following a battle with cancer: 
Hannaford, a founding member of Daddy Cool, 65, passed away in Melbourne today.

The guitarist had continued to perform and record music through his illness, with his last official gig being last December at the Caravan Club in Oakleigh. 
Turn those speakers up as loud as they can go.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 08, 2016 (4:33pm)

Fragile Vanessa Badham’s fadoobadas are all a-tremble because those nasty old boogeymen filled her with fear
Van Badham unfortunately knows a lot about trolling. The columnist and writer has pretty much experienced it all.
In her workplace – which also happens to be the online space – it happens every day.
“It is a war of attrition,” she told Fairfax Media.
“And the effect is cumulative. When it is happening every day in different forms and different ways it is insidious. The way the online space has enabled people to feel entitled to carry out this abuse is shocking.” 
Please tell us more, gentle Vanessa, about all of this shocking abuse. As Matt Hayden once noted about the Guardian‘s commie hypocrite: “Presenting herself as the wronged one in every situation is her favourite tactic. She’s taken it to an almost zen-like level!”


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 08, 2016 (2:51pm)

A press release from Charles Sturt University: 
Dr Andreia Schineanu from CSU’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences in Wagga Wagga said 8 March 2016, International Women’s Day, is the perfect time to speak out about the important issue of gender equality.
“Because words are expressions of our thoughts, they can be used to reinforce reality even when it is sexist,” she said.
“For example it makes a difference if I think of myself as the ‘girlie’ a plumber once called me or the ‘woman’ I actually am.” 
Yep. That’s one important issue there.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 08, 2016 (2:33pm)

You can always pick the educated protester:



Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 08, 2016 (1:02pm)

There’s so much cultural appropriation going on here that everyone involved should be deported. Probably to Nauru.
(Via J.F. Beck. Slightly NSFW.) 


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 08, 2016 (12:34pm)

Columnist and anti-Abbott author Nikki Savva in 2016
Savva says she did not bother going to Ms Credlin and Mr Abbott because she had learned from “bitter experience” that the pair lied when previously asked for their version of events. 
Savva in 2010
“As a journalist I lied often, usually about my sources, but about other things, too. Journalists can and do get away with lying; politicians and staff can’t. Nor should they.” 
(Via Alan R.M. Jones.)
UPDATE. Much more from Andrew Bolt.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 08, 2016 (3:32am)

After six months as Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull is at a five-month low
Voter confidence in Malcolm Turnbull’s performance has tumbled to a five-month low and dissatisfaction with the Prime Minister has reached the highest level since he seized the leadership from Tony Abbott in September.
The latest Newspoll, taken exclusively for The Australian, also shows that despite stronger than expected economic growth figures last week and the release of its defence white paper, the Coalition has failed to lift its standing, remaining deadlocked with Labor at 50-50 in two-party terms.
Bill Shorten has posted the third consecutive rise in his stocks … 
Turnbull has some explaining to do.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 08, 2016 (3:11am)

“I took on Hizb ut-Tahrir. And I won.” Australian journalist Alison Bevege’s tremendous story
Tweets called me a racist. An Islamophobic bigot, a liar and a whore.
It was a swarm.
Hizb ut-Tahrir fans were enraged by an opinion piece I wrote for The Daily Telegraph in 2014 that shamed the Islamist group for sending women to the back of the room at their public lecture on the war in Syria.

Readers support Alison’s campaign.

I wrote that it was as terrible as Mississippi blacks being sent to the back of the bus in segregated America. And it is.
People should be judged for their character, intelligence, ideas and abilities – not their skin colour or gender. 
Read on to learn of Alison’s long, difficult and ultimately successful one-woman quest. And please donate.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 08, 2016 (1:52am)

Sydney taxi driver Pierre Chahoud was recently hit with a $100 fine by NSW police for wearing brown shoes to work, leading to one of the most oddly compelling news photographs ever taken:

Chahoud’s brown shoe penalty was eventually withdrawn after the Daily Telegraph pursued the story. Not that Pierre’s justifiably furious wife Sofia was inclined to pay the ridiculous fine: 
“It made me angry. Go out and get criminals, not a family man with four kids who wakes up at 2.30am to go to work and sometimes doesn’t even bring home $100.” 
Well said.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, March 08, 2016 (12:34am)

One of the University of Oregon geniuses who devised the ice-tacular feminist glacier theory turns out to be Australian
Alessandro Antonello is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon.
At the University of Oregon he is continuing his research into contemporary Antarctic history and international environmental history.
He recently graduated with a PhD from the School of History, Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University in Canberra. It was also at ANU that he completed his undergraduate degree in history as well as a graduate degree in museum studies and curatorship. Before undertaking his doctoral research, he held curatorial positions in the Research Centre of the Australian War Memorial. 
Ice is our war. Water is our dreaming.


Tim Blair – Monday, March 07, 2016 (7:14pm)

Bob Ellis, the Great Predicto, delivers his 2016 election forecast
It is likely, now, not certain, that Shorten will win. 
Which means, of course, that Malcolm Turnbull is now absolutely unbeatable. Ellis also makes this call on Scott Morrison: 
I predict he will not be Treasurer when the Budget comes down. 
Job for life.
UPDATE. One of Bob’s few accurate predictions
“[Malcolm Turnbull] will collude with his friend Julie Bishop, who will bring on a spill, and become Prime Minister in September.” 
Too bad he made this prediction in 2014. Missed it by that much, Bobby.

Mercy for George Pell. UPDATE: Media Watch punishes me for telling the truth

Andrew BoltMARCH082016(3:31am)

Peter Craven has the courage to tell Age readers that George Pell is the victim of a witch hunt:
Last week we saw Cardinal George Pell cross-examined for about 20 hours at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, with the 74-year-old prelate speaking via video link from Rome. Afterwards there was a meeting with victims who were pleased to hear he would try to set up a centre for survivors of abuse.

In an hour-long interview on Sky with Andrew Bolt, Pell said he wasn’t so stiff on the inside and, at one point, he appeared to weep. Yet none of this cut the mustard: from much of the response to Pell’s testimony, both during and after it, you would imagine he is personally responsible for the sins of the Church.

Why? Because we were witnessing a show trial. A week before the hearing began, the Herald Sun published a leak from Victoria Police that investigations were under way into possible crimes of the cardinal. No new lines of inquiry were offered, no reliable source was indicated and the one specific matter referred to allegations which had been laid to rest in 2002 when they were examined by Justice Southwell....

When Pell initiated the Melbourne Response in 1996 he went further than any bishop had gone to fixing the problem [of child sexual abuse by priests]. Yet a lot of people want to blame him for the horrors that were perpetrated for no better reason than they see his formidable, take-no-prisoners manner as the embodiment of the attitude of an arrogant and heartless church.

So, when he says that as a young priest in Ballarat he heard of a brother not only using excessive discipline but behaving dodgily with boys and he spoke with the chaplain who said the Christian Brothers were attending to the problem, this is met with derision.
When he says that Sir Frank Little, then Archbishop of Melbourne, and the Catholic Education Office left him in the dark about accusations against clergy he is told by the head of the Royal Commission and the Assisting Counsel that this is “implausible”.
A lot of people seem to want Pell to bear personal responsibility for the sins of the Church, sins against the innocent which have ruined lives, for no better reason than that they don’t like him.

It’s ironic but it’s precisely because Pell was a tough customer that he was liable to be left in the dark. As he indicated to Bolt (never mind that you hate Bolt too), a lot of people in the Church couldn’t stand him, both before and after his appointment as Archbishop of Melbourne…
He was the opposite of a conciliatory, namby-pamby ecclesiastic. He was a muscular, confrontational sort of Christian… And, yes, he was politically conservative – close to Tony Abbott, a climate change sceptic and an admirer of B.A. Santamaria. He did not get on with the mild-mannered Frank Little and he said in the Royal Commission of Bishop Ronald Mulkearns of Ballarat, “his repeated refusal to act is, I think, extraordinary.” Of Little he spoke of an “extraordinary world, a world of crimes and cover-ups and people [who] did not want the status quo to be disturbed.” 
Should we be surprised that these “merciful” bishops might have wanted to keep Big George, the bull in the china shop, out of the picture? ...
It’s unfair because in his blunt, tough way he did more to stop it than anyone, even if the Melbourne Response was radically imperfect. Just at the moment he’s in charge of cleaning up the skulduggery in the Vatican that drove Pope Benedict to abdicate. It is not a job for the faint-hearted but no one has ever accused Pell of being that.

Although he shrugged off the suggestion, there was a witch-hunt against him. There was a show trial.. 
The ABC’s Media Watch claims its role is to punish sins against journalism, of which I’d rank telling untruths the worst.
In fact, it regularly demonstrates that its primary role is actually to punish ideological dissent even when that dissent is against a falsehood popular with the Left, such as apocalyptic man-made warming..
So many untruths and smears have been told against George Pell in what is clearly a media witch hunt. Someone even leaked - to several outlets - the inflammatory news that Victoria Police was investigating claims that Pell himself had sexually abused between five and 10 boys. (Never mind that these claims are suspiciously imprecise, uncorroborated, unchecked and almost certainly false, with not a single one of the alleged “victims” speaking to the royal commission.) 
We’ve also had media outlets play on high rotation a song smearing Pell as “scum” and falsely accusing him of being a “coward”. Journalists last week repeated without question false and damaging claims by some victims that Pell had insisted they sign confidentiality agreements and come without supporters before he would meet them in Rome. Others have treated as fact claims by some victims that they’d warned Pell of child abuse - even after those claims were show in evidence to be inherently false (Pell either having been out of the country at the time, or living at a different house).
So what in this river of poisonous coverage did Media Watch last night single out for implied criticism and mockery?
It was my public admission that I had made a mistake, and for some hours had gone with the media pack in misinterpreting one of Pell’s horribly mangled answers. I said I had reviewed the transcript, considered the context, and no longer believed what I had in the heat of the moment believed - that Pell had confessed to having no interest in children who’d been raped by a colleague.
Exactly why Media Watch host Paul Barry was critical of my admission of error he did not say.  
But here is my point: Media Watch did not attack me for having gone wiith the mob in savaging Pell on a false assumption. It attacked me only for being the one journalist to confess to this error and put the record straight.
Conclusion: tt seems Media Watch does not care if Pell is attacked with falsehoods, but it punishes those who defend him with the ttruth.
That says something sick about its values, and about the use Paul Barry is making of the platform taxpayers have given him.
As Peter Craven warns, this is a witch hunt.

Credlin on being smeared by Savva

Andrew BoltMARCH082016(3:06am)

Niki Savva has smeared Peta Credlin with suggestions that she slept with her boss, Tony Abbott, in what she keeps calling a ”weird” relationship.
[Savva’s] book Road to Ruin is billed as “explaining” why the man elected by the Australian people as their prime minister was removed from office. Yet we all know that’s a farce. The book is an attempt to justify the coup. That’s clearly evidenced by her refusal to speak with me or Tony Abbott. This is only one side of the story and in time, the other side should be told.

Sadly it seems that modern politics is gossip from unnamed sources. Stories about personalities and the Canberra insider view are much easier to pull together than detailed analysis of a government’s recent policy, or lack of it…

When I was working long days in the prime minister’s office, doing my part to stop the boats, repeal the carbon tax and respond to growing terrorism threats, did anyone in the real world care that I was a tough operator, that the prime minister expected results or wanted ministers under pressure to spend taxpayer dollars wisely and deliver on our election promises? ...

I am proud of the Abbott office and the extraordinary people I worked alongside. We worked together to take Labor to a draw in 2010 and helped to win government in 2013. By the time he was summarily removed from office, the majority of Abbott’s staff had worked for him for more than six years, including me. That’s not a sign of dysfunction: staff don’t stay and opposition leaders don’t become prime ministers if they don’t have a good team.
I’ve never claimed that I got it right every time, but you don’t survive 16 years in one of the toughest working environments around if you’re not up to the job or don’t have a good reputation…

I know I am not the first woman to face offensive and false rumours about the nature of her professional relationships but, sadly, I doubt I will be the last. 
And again I ask: why does the ABC’s Insiders promote Savva for recounting false rumors about the sexual relations of a Prime Minister when it sacked Piers Akerman for doing the same? At least Piers made clear that the rumors he was discussing about Julia Gillard - and had not himself raised - were false and offensive.
So why the double standard?
Nicholas Reece, a former senior advisor to Julia Gillard, is a man of integrity. His reaction to this smear strikes me as spot on:
How could the ABC elevate this trashy gossip into a lead item on the news? Would it have done the same to Julia Gillard?
Even 60 per cent of the ABC’s own audience think Savva’s claims are just “scurrilous gossip”, according to an ABC internet poll.

The Australian
’s Hedley Thomas, the award-winning investigative journalists, criticises The Australian’s Niki Savva for reporting such a smear without even bothering to go to Abbott and Credlin for comment.
(Thanks to readers Brian and Aaron.)

Liberals deadlocked with Labor after six months of nothing

Andrew Bolt March 08 2016 (3:00am)

In six months Malcolm Turnbull has done nothing but fritter away the popularity he could have used to fight for something important - besides himself:
Voter confidence in Malcolm Turnbull’s performance has ­tumbled to a five-month low and ­dissatisfaction with the Prime Minister has reached the highest level since he seized the leadership from Tony Abbott in ­September. 
The latest Newspoll, taken exclusively for The Australian, also shows that despite stronger than expected economic growth figures last week and the release of its defence white paper, the ­Coalition has failed to lift its standing, remaining deadlocked with Labor at 50-50 in two-party terms.
I wouldn’t believe Turnbull could be this weak were Paul Kelly not reporting it:
Imagine this for a political farce: Malcolm Turnbull calls a double-dissolution election for July 2, keen to exploit ALP weakness, but does not include the Australian Building and Construction Commission bills on his list of blocked bills
The Prime Minister would have little credibility to campaign on the lawlessness of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union…
If you think Tony Abbott, the conservatives and much of the Liberal rank and file have been noisy in recent times, this would pale compared with the furore if the Coalition betrays years of effort and expectation buttressed by the royal commission report and ditches the chance to resurrect the ABCC by its omission from a double-dissolution list.
Yet this may well happen.
Having said last December when the Heydon report was released that he was prepared to fight an election on the issue, Turnbull would look weak on the most decisive test for a Liberal leader: fighting trade union lawlessness....
Greens leader Richard Di Natale has foreshadowed a major victory for the government’s opponents. He said the absence of the ABCC bills from the list for the Senate sitting next week means the Turnbull government “could not use it as a double-dissolution trigger and that is a good thing"…
The only way a re-elected Turnbull government can be sure of legislating for the ABCC is through the joint sitting mechanism for double-dissolution bills…
The manager of government business in the Senate, Mitch Fifield, said on ABC’s Insiders on the weekend that, given its arrangement with the Greens on voting reform, the government could only deal next week in the Senate with bills the Greens were “comfortable” with. Obviously, the ABCC bills fail that test. 

When Savva believes even Bronwyn Bishop it’s time to call her out

Andrew Bolt March 07 2016 (7:48pm)

It says something about Niki Savva’s predisposition to believe the unlikely worst of Tony Abbott that she actually credits this self-serving rubbish:
Former speaker Bronwyn Bishop wanted to make an immediate apology for the use of taxpayer money to charter a chopper for a Liberal Party event but was told to hold off by Tony Abbott’s office, a new book says. 
The account, which is being disputed by several sources in the former prime minister’s office, is contained in a book by political commentator Niki Savva, The Road to Ruin: How Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin Destroyed Their Own Government.
It cites sources who said Ms Bishop wanted to apologise immediately for claiming travel allowance for the return chopper ride between Melbourne and a golf course near Geelong for a Liberal Party function. 
In the end it was 15 days before Ms Bishop made a public apology. 
Did the Bishop who fronted a press conference days after the choppergate story broke sound like a woman eager to apologise?
A defiant Ms Bishop said she was entitled to catch the helicopter from Melbourne to Geelong for a Liberal Party fundraiser, because her speech discussed the role of parliament…
At a press conference in Sydney, Ms Bishop was asked if she would like to apologise directly to taxpayers but refused…
Ms Bishop also took a swipe at colleagues who have been critical of her spending, including Treasurer Joe Hockey.
“Joe says some funny things sometimes, doesn’t he?” 
“I think he said poor people don’t drive cars or something.”
When Bishop finally did resign, another two weeks later, it was only after Abbott had privately threatened to publicly call for her resignation if she did not go voluntarily. A Prime Minister cannot unilaterally sack a Speaker, but Abbott made clear he’d shame her out of her job if she didn’t go. Bishop still argued the toss, even then, but Abbott insisted.
But look how Savva spins it. 

What did Keneally know? Why didn’t she speak up?

Andrew Bolt March 07 2016 (6:59pm)

A very good and humbling analogy from Miranda Devine:
Kristina Keneally, the former NSW premier and self-described “Catholic feminist”, ... wants to know why, as a junior priest in Ballarat, [George Pell] didn’t know what [pedophile priest Gerald] Ridsdale was up to and didn’t stop the negligent (at least) Bishop Mulkearns moving him between parishes.
Yet, in 2003, when she was an upwardly mobile MP in the NSW Labor Party, her colleague Milton Orkopoulos was grooming and sexually assaulting boys, at least once in Parliament House during a 2003 Christmas party.
Orkopoulos was eventually jailed for 13 years in 2008 for child sexual abuse. (Keneally had no involvement in Orkopoulos’ activities.)
Applying the same criticism she made of Pell, why didn’t Keneally know about Orkopoulos when she was a junior MP? She became leader of the party that protected him and sacked and victimised the whistleblower, his secretary Gillian Sneddon.
“I was treated like I was the scum of the earth, for being a traitor to the Labor Party,” Sneddon said after winning a $440,000 judgment against the government in 2012 for bullying and harassment.
“Not one person in a position of power in this state ever took responsibility for what was always, obviously a clear wrongful act.”
In fact, two of Orkopulos’ former colleagues testified on his behalf.
So when Keneally became premier in 2009, what did she do to investigate this recent history of child sexual abuse in her party?
Did she, like Pell, act swiftly to right past wrongs? Did she inquire into how Orkopoulos could become minister for Aboriginal affairs with access to the most vulnerable children in NSW?
And what about the rampant child sexual abuse in indigenous communities and welfare traps under the nose of the Department of Community Services when she was Premier? Did she investigate the systemic failure of the state apparatus which her party had controlled for 16 years? 
I’m not suggesting, as she has of Pell, that Keneally was a paedophile protector. But I am highlighting the hypocrisy and unrealistic standards of the Pell-haters. 
Then there’s the media ...  

Labor power fosters state of thuggery

Piers Akerman – Saturday, March 07, 2015 (11:50pm)

Pssst. Want to know what NSW would look like under a Labor government?

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Why bosses secretly hate mums

Miranda Devine – Saturday, March 07, 2015 (11:54pm)

HEARD the one about the radio boss whose idea of helping staff with work-life balance is giving them free condoms to stop them having babies? 

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Why bosses secretly hate mums'


Tim Blair – Sunday, March 08, 2015 (1:46am)

“Want to know what NSW would look like under a Labor government?” asks Piers Akerman. Well, according to the Kitty Litter Party’s latest online election campaign ads, it’ll look like a bunch of cats:

There are one or two issues here – primarily that any adorable prayer kitten detected within a national park would probably be identified as an introduced-species invader and shot.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'KITTY LITTER PARTY'

On The Bolt Report today, March 8

Andrew Bolt March 08 2015 (6:56am)

On the  The Bolt Report on Channel 10 tomorrow at 10am and 3pm. (Note the earlier start of the repeat.)

Guests: Polling guru Mark Textor, Judith Sloan, former Labor minister Gary Johns and Piers Akerman, laughing at the press corps.
On Abbott’s revival - is it real?- and much more, including the Greens, Labor denialism, fluffy kittens, a Mark Riley prediction and the silence of the gay lobby about the worst persecution of gays in modern times.
The videos of the shows appear here.

Interesting jail fact

Andrew Bolt March 08 2015 (6:03am)


How to please union thugs and bikies. Vote Labor

Andrew Bolt March 08 2015 (5:56am)

Piers Akerman warns NSW to check out what happens when other states turn to Labor:
(T)o know what NSW would look like under a Labor government ... (l)ook no further than Queensland or Victoria where the newly-elected Labor Premiers Daniel Andrews and Annastacia Palaszczuk are rolling over to please their militant trade union supporters. 
On Friday, Premier Palaszczuk barnstormed border seats with NSW Labor leader Luke Foley telling voters she was delivering a “very simple message: it can happen here in NSW as well.”
She was referring to her defeat of former LNP Premier Campbell Newman and the prospects of NSW Premier Mike Baird being dumped but smart voters should wonder whether she was referring to gladhanding Labor’s trade union mates.
Palaszczuk has already signalled her intention to dump her promise not to sell state assets and has told her Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath to scrap the Newman government’s mandatory laws against criminal bikie gangs, which the unions opposed…
Queensland’s bikies will be cheering the new Attorney-General on, just as they are applauding in Victoria, where they are in league with the rogue CFMEU.
There, Premier Andrews moved quickly to scrap the state’s building code, which includes drug and alcohol testing on construction sites in a huge payback to the CFMEU, which supports his Socialist Left faction…
Union [spokesman] Derek Christopher exemplified the CFMEU’s rogue element when he told demonstrators outside the Myer Emporium construction site in 2012: “There’s 11,000 coppers in the country or in Victoria and there’s 30,000 members of the CFMEU and greater among the other unions when we call on their support, so we’re up around the 50,000 mark, so bring it on we’re ready to rumble.”
Make no mistake, the unions own the ALP — and increasingly, the Greens. Australian Electoral Commission records released last month showed donations by CFMEU divisions to federal and state ALP branches were estimated at about $1.2 million. 
The Greens $360,000 from the Electrical Trades Union and $125,000 from the CFMEU’s construction division. That would explain why Labor and the Greens last week voted down government legislation in the Senate which would have made union officials abide by the same rules which apply to company officials. 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Shock. Another Rudd plan too expensive to be delivered

Andrew Bolt March 08 2015 (5:43am)

I’m amazed that anyone - especially a Liberal premier - ever thought this mad Rudd scheme for state and federal governments to fritter away yet more borrowed billions would ever be delivered:
The Andrews [Victorian] government faces a furious backlash from teachers and parents after refusing to guarantee that billions of dollars worth of funds earmarked for schools in the final years of the original Gonski deal would still be delivered
Only weeks after accusing Tony Abbott of short-changing students for not honouring the last two years of the six-year agreement, state Education Minister James Merlino has been unable to provide his own clear commitment that Victoria would also fully fund the scheme in years five and six.
As revealed in an Auditor-General’s report last month, the original deal signed by former prime minister Kevin Rudd and former premier Denis Napthine would have provided schools with about $4 billion from the Commonwealth in 2018 and 2019 – the final stages of the scheme when most of the cash kicked in – and more than $3.2 billion in state funding over the same period. 
But asked repeatedly if Victorian schools would still get the state’s share – regardless of Canberra’s decision to only fund the first four years – Mr Merlino told The Sunday Age the matter was now “the subject of future budget considerations” ...
Rather than demand government’s meet an unaffordable promise, journalists should demand to know why anyone credited such profligate promises in the first place.
Next reality check: that national disability insurance scheme, also agreed to by Liberal premiers too scared to say no to a Labor spend-frenzy. 

The most pathetic politcal ad Labor has ever run

Andrew Bolt March 08 2015 (5:24am)

This ad confirms NSW Labor is tragically stupid on so many levels:
This mawkish appeal to sentimentally is what now passes for intellectual debate in today’s Labor party. Yes, this is what Labor has come to: shutting down an important source of cheap power by flashing pictures of cute kittens.
And then there’s the ignorance. Only urban greenies would think a cat is a symbol of national parks rather than a menace to them.
All that this cat is praying for is a dinner of native birds and possums.
(Thanks to reader Alan RM Jones.)
It seems a crazy cat lady is now running NSW Labor’s entire campaign.

How many prostitutes to turn a parlour into a brothel?

Andrew Bolt March 08 2015 (5:19am)

This is bizarre. Why must it be so difficult to clean up a neighborhood?
A Sydney council has lost a landmark legal battle against a massage parlour it alleged was operating as an illegal brothel, after a court ruled the council failed to prove there was enough sex being provided on the premises
Hornsby Council paid a private investigator to go undercover inside the parlour and have sex with a prostitute as part of a bitter, year-long legal battle to have the operation closed. The business operates directly next door to a tutorial centre for primary school children - and 50 metres away from Hornsby Girls’ High School.
But in a benchmark decision, a judge has dismissed the case, ruling that council’s evidence of sex being sold on the premises fell short of the NSW’s specific definition of the term “brothel” - which requires more than one prostitute to be providing services onsite…

Cr Nick Berman confirmed the council spent upwards of $100,000 “trying to do the right thing - and lost”. To have to invest ratepayer’s money to pay private investigators to have sex with prostitutes is, in itself, ludicrous. But to now have to send two, three, even four men in is bordering on the unbelievable.”

Bolt Report tomorrow

Andrew Bolt March 08 2014 (11:31am)

The Bolt Report tomorrow - all the better for being an hour long.
Joining me - Labor’s Anthony Albanese, Michael Kroger and Cassandra Wilkinson.
And our new NewsWatch segment, this week with Rowan Dean.
Among the topics:  Abbott’s religious war, the Green’s religion mocked, Qantas, the ABC’s expensive cluelessness and how Obama was blind-sided by Putin.
On Network 10 at 10 am and 4pm.

The videos of the show appear here.

The Press Council should just publish its own paper

Andrew Bolt March 08 2014 (11:20am)

Free speech

Gerard Henderson on the dangerous overreach of the Australian Press Council, a body that seems too keen to interfere in free speech - especially that of conservatives:
On February 27 this year, the APC issued an adjudication in what is commonly called the case of Ashby v Slipper. In December 2012, Justice Steven Rares of the Federal Court threw out a sexual harassment claim brought by one-time political staffer James Ashby against his former employer, Peter Slipper… 
An examination of evidence before the Federal Court suggested that Ashby had a strong case. Yet Rares threw out Ashby’s claim. He found that Ashby’s predominant purpose in taking this action was to pursue a political attack against Slipper and that Harmer had engaged in an abuse of process…
And then along came left-wing activist and former Fairfax Media journalist Margo Kingston, the author of Not Happy John! Defending Our Democracy. Enough said. Kingston, who had no standing in the matter, complained to the APC that The Daily Telegraph’s report of the Rares decision - which appeared on page 17 of the newspaper on December 13, 2012, under the heading “Court rejects Slipper case” - was not prominent enough.
A reasonable person, whether or not legally trained, who read Rares’s judgment should have come to the conclusion that Ashby’s appeal had a reasonable chance of success… But Disney and his colleagues at the APC seemed to assume that Rares’s judgment, at first instance, resolved the matter. In its adjudication of February 26, 2014, the APC upheld Kingston’s complaint…
On the day of the APC’s decision, the Federal Court comprising justices John Mansfield, Antony Siopis and John Gilmour delivered its decision in relation to Ashby’s application for leave to appeal. Mansfield and Gilmour upheld Ashby’s appeal and awarded him costs… The court found that “the primary judge” had made numerous errors…
The Daily Telegraph reported the Federal Court’s decision to grant Ashby’s application for leave to appeal on page 17 (on the right side of the paper) - the same page on which it had reported Rares’s decision to dismiss Ashby’s initial application as an abuse of process…
The APC’s decision in this case amounts to an improper intrusion into the right of an editor to cover a story in accordance with editorial judgment on the day in question. Moreover, it is unlikely that Kingston would have got involved in such a way if the target of sexual harassment complaint was a politician supportive of a Coalition prime minister. 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Vulgarians break through the ABC gate

Andrew Bolt March 08 2014 (10:28am)

I was surprised by Don Watson’s complacent claim that the ABC is the home of the cultured:
Former Labor speechwriter Don Watson says critics of the ABC’s Leftist bias are simply not as cultured as, well, Leftist Watson himself: 
The so-called “conservatives” who berate the ABC are not conservatives but heretics, radicals, vulgarians ... it is their fate to feel marginalised, denied, unfulfilled ... like fringe-dwellers excluded from something essential at the centre of Australian life - namely ... the ABC.
It’s true that the ABC should be at the centre of Australian life and a reproach to vulgarians. But this week came more evidence that the vulgarians have stormed the gates.
Example one:
THE NSW Supreme Court has given The Australian’s columnist Chris Kenny the green light to sue the ABC for defamation over a segment that depicted him having sex with a dog… 
Kenny launched defamation proceedings against the ABC, presenter Andrew Hansen and production company Giant Dwarf after they refused to apologise for the segment, which included a photoshopped image and the caption “Chris ‘Dog F . . ker’ Kenny”. Supreme Court judge Robert Beech-Jones said the image and caption were “massively disproportionate” to the show’s criticism of Kenny’s call for ABC funding cuts and exposed him to “extreme ridicule”. 
Example two, via Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch Dog - this week especially excellent:

 What a thrill, then, when The Book Club on ABC 1 got around to discussing smells – or sniffs – towards the end of the program last Tuesday.  
As usual, Jennifer Byrne was in the presenter’s chair and the panellists were comedian Kate Langbroek, The Age’s literary editor Jason Steger, author and commentator Marieke Hardy (who is always telling us that she is the – meaning “a” – granddaughter of the one-time Stalinist Frank Hardy) and crime fiction writer Michael Robotham.
Kate Langbroek was invited to kick off the “favourite book” segment. She chose Chandler Burr’s The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York (Picador, 2009)…
As the discussion continued, the tone lowered. Let’s go to the transcript: 

Michael Robotham: [The Perfect Scent] …. did lead me to one of the most entertaining afternoons of my life at the David Jones perfume counter. 
Jennifer Byrne: Well, there you go. 
Michael Robotham: Where I was talking to these women – I nearly got myself arrested when I said to a woman did she think this perfume had an undertone of fresh sperm? 
[Much mutual laughter] 
Eventually Ms Hardy got to read the really sought after bit: 
Marieke Hardy: Can I please, please read it? Please can I read it? I’ve read this aloud to so many. I would call up strangers and read this. I would get arrested next. Okay, this is about an animalistic scent. “It is one of the most astounding smells you will ever experience. It is, to put it most precisely, the rich, thick scent of the anus of a clean man combined with the smells of his warm skin, his armpits sometime around midday, the head of his ripely scented uncircumcised penis, a trace of ammonia and the sweetish, nutty, acrid, visceral smell of his breath. There’s simply no other way to describe it”. I don’t want to smell like that. I mean, I’m sure it’s delicious. But I – 
Jennifer Byrne: And that’s one he liked! 
Marieke Hardy: Yeah, he loves that. 
Jennifer Byrne: He loves that. 
Marieke Hardy: It’s a rich, clean anus. 
Kate Langbroek: That’s not a surprise, is it? 
Jason Steger: He does say later on, he does say : “The smell of clean anus turns out to be extremely helpful in perfume”. 
Marieke Hardy: He loves it. Yes. 
Jason Steger: And let me go on: “In trace amounts it deepens and enriches floral scents, it fleshes out green scents Jacques Guerlain – this is a man who was creating perfumes as recently as the 1950s – famously said that all of his perfumes contained, somewhere inside them, the smell of the underside of his mistress. He was referring to all three holes.” 
[Much mutual laughter] 
Jason Steger: I mean, what a way to write about – 
Marieke Hardy: I know! That, I think, is quite sexy. But straight after that it says: “The smell of shit is crucial to any high quality chocolate scent.” 
Kate Langbroek: Okay, so now try and tell me you didn’t freaking’ enjoy the book! 
[Much mutual laughter] 
Kate Langbroek: Oh my God. You [Jason Steger] had to punctuate that by taking your glasses off. 
Jason Steger: Well, they were steaming up. 
Jennifer Byrne: I’ve gotta say -
At this stage, everyone started talking over everyone else – and the discussion got even worse. Some highlights: 
- Kate Langbroek declared that “all these people slothing around in a pair of thongs trying to cover up the stench of their unfreshly washed anus – it’s amazing.” [Much mutual laughter]
Don Watson says those who criticise the ABC are “vulgarians”. So what does that make those I’ve criticised here?
It’s the ABC’s critics who are the vulgarians, playing with their privates and sniffing anuses?
(Thanks to reader Ed.) 

Labor losing the Qantas argument because we’re not that dumb

Andrew Bolt March 08 2014 (9:57am)

One of those deeply reassuring moments when you realise good policy can beat rank populism, after all.
Jacqueline Maley:
It is too early to know whether [Opposition Bill] Shorten’s job-killer theme will hit its mark with voters, but MPs on both sides report privately that (possible) greater foreign ownership of Qantas is not something their constituents are clamouring about… 
At times Shorten sounded like he was clutching at reasons for his opposition to the [Qantas Sale Act] changes (which many on his side have supported in different forms and at different times). He risked sounding mired in the 1950s, out of step with a population that has come to accept a fast rate of change when it comes to matters social and economic… But during question time this week, arguing for opening Qantas to great change, [Prime Minister Tony Abbott] looked like a man for the times, as opposed to a man behind the times. It was disconcerting for some, not least the opposition.
Dennis Shanahan:
AUSTRALIA’S political and economic debate is caught in a unreasoned bout of iconomania - where something is granted icon status and therefore entitled to special treatment, unbridled taxpayer funds and emotional defences based on misplaced nostalgia… 
After cabinet’s decision to amend the Qantas Sale Act to change foreign ownership levels, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said: “I think Australians, whether or not they fly Qantas ... believe that it is important that Australia, an island continent, the 12th largest economy in the world, is capable of supporting a majority Australian owned business. They will understand that when Australians were stuck in Bangkok or Beirut, it was the flying kangaroo that came to their rescue...”
In addition to Qantas there has been a relay of emotional, but hollow, defences of icons that have come under stress because of poor performance: GM Holden, SPC Ardmona, unions and the ABC. Tony Abbott has adopted a tough-minded approach on industry assistance and an end to corporate welfare, an insistence on the return of the Australian Building and Construction Commission and a royal commission into corruption in the building industry, and demands for higher standards at the national broadcaster…
The difficulty in criticising the Coalition government’s agenda on taxpayer-funded assistance to Qantas, GMH and the car industry generally, on union organisation and on the ABC in cultural “iconic” terms is that the emotional political argument does not reflect economic reality or the attitude of large sections of the electorate. On many of these so-called iconic issues, Labor is on the wrong side of reason and community and consumer views.
The simple point is that all of these areas under pressure from the Coalition to improve performance are fundamentally in trouble because the Australian people as voters and consumers have delivered adverse judgments by simply not buying the product.  
Henry Ergas: 
...if Qantas’s costs remain too high, its position could unravel.... That makes it crucial that Qantas be given the best chance to compete, which requires repealing the sale act. 
Unfortunately, Qantas’s stubbornness about its line in the sand is rivalled only by Labor’s grim determination to keep its head in the sand on the sale act ... (W)hat Labor wants (is) a corporate landscape of evolutionary leftovers, sheltered on their way to extinction, providing taxpayer-funded fodder to its union mates. Nothing could be further from Abbott’s vision; nor could anything be further from what is needed to protect jobs and prosperity. 
(Thanks to reader Peter.)
Simon Benson:
[Shorten] presents, however, as a leader lacking not just a sense of conviction but an absence of any comprehensible ideology. The question starting to be asked is whether he is suited to the role of leading the modern Labor Party… 
One of Shorten’s own factional colleagues lamented privately on Tuesday after emerging from a caucus meeting that it was like watching a “theatre of the unwell”.
“We are not now at risk of being viewed as pre-Hawke Keating, we are not even pre-Whitlam. We are looking more like a pre-Calwell Labor party,” he decried…
He was referring to the economic nationalism and protectionism which Labor appears to have adopted as the language of the new economy. It started with the auto-industry and reached a crescendo this week over Qantas…
Labor in opposition has historically gravitated back to the Left. But this natural cycling has become demonstrably more pronounced since the post election structural changes to the party — primarily the decision to allow the party branch members a potential veto over caucus in the election of the party’s leader… Shorten is confronted with a new internal constituency often dominated by social misfits, union hacks and members of the Socialist Left… 
Labor’s recast policies on asylum boats, climate change, energy policy and industrial relations are all a consequence of this new paradigm. They may make sense to his internal constituency but makes no sense to the majority of Australians. 
(Thanks to reader Brett t r.) 

Wages of sin: Greens could beat Labor in Tasmania

Andrew Bolt March 08 2014 (9:47am)

They supped with the green devil and must pay:
TASMANIAN Labor is on track to suffer the ignominy of not only losing office but also ceding official opposition status to the Greens. 
An analysis of the latest opinion poll, published in Hobart’s The Mercury today, suggests the Liberals will win a clear majority of 14 seats in the 25-seat House of Assembly at the state election next week. But there is worse news for Labor, with the electorate breakdown of the ReachTEL poll of 2680 voters showing it is on track to lose up to half of its 10 seats and will be reduced to five or six seats. The same figures suggest the Greens will win at least four, probably five and potentially six seats, while the Palmer United Party may take one. 
If Labor suggests the Greens are just Labor’s purer selves, only less practical, it will be destroyed the minute it proves that it’s not practical, either.
Senator-elect David Leyonhjelm:  
A good summary came in an article by Jonathan West, director of the Australian Innovation Research Centre and a resident of Tasmania, who described the state as follow: “Tasmania ranks at the bottom among Australian states on virtually every dimension of economic, social, and cultural performance: highest unemployment, lowest incomes, languishing investment, lowest home prices, least educated, lowest literacy, most chronic disease, poorest longevity, most likely to smoke, greatest obesity, highest teenage pregnancy, highest petty crime, worst domestic violence.” 
Tasmania is also a mendicant state, highly reliant on the rest of the country. It generates about a third of its state budget, the rest being GST allocations and specific purpose payments from the commonwealth. GST and income tax originating within the state fall well short of what it receives, meaning the government effectively receives welfare from the rest of the country. When the NSW economy goes into recession, one of the consequences is less money for Tasmania.
(Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill and Bob.) 

Abbott gets a growth spurt

Andrew Bolt March 08 2014 (8:50am)

Lucky for the Abbott Government, given Labor and the Greens have stopped it in the Senate from implementing many of its big changes, including the scrapping of the carbon tax and the cutting of billions in spending:
THE Reserve Bank believes the economy is on the cusp of a revival that would boost the Abbott government’s stocks in its first year in office. 
RBA governor Glenn Stevens said he was optimistic Australia could still achieve a growth rate of better than 3 per cent, but he warned that the government still faced a medium-term challenge in bringing the budget under control.
“If growth is starting to firm now, within a few months one should start to see leading indicators respond to that,” Mr Stevens told a House of Representatives economics committee hearing in Sydney yesterday. “As I say, we have had some signs of that already.”
Other signs: GDP growth last quarter up (albeit still not enough to create jobs) and retail growth up a lot - three times more than expected. But unemployment still rising slightly, it seems, and business investment falling. 

A Labor tax - costing more than it raises

Andrew Bolt March 08 2014 (8:47am)

A symbol of the Gillard Government’s astonishing ineptitude - a tax which drove away investment without actually raising much money:
THE mining tax that was originally forecast to produce $4 billion in revenue this financial year has raised just $232 million, despite Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group posting collective profits of more than $US14 billion from their West Australian iron ore mines. 

Artists win, protesting policies that have stopped the dying

Andrew Bolt March 07 2014 (9:57pm)

Australian artists demonstrate the collective instinct that distinguishes the mediocre, the intolerance of difference that distinguishes the totalitarian and the contempt for consequences (as in the death of 1100 boat people thanks to policies they never protested) that distinguishes the adolescent. In other words, the Left has won: 
The Biennale of Sydney has announced it will sever ties with its founding partner Transfield, caving into pressure from artists angered by the company’s links to Australia’s offshore detention centres.
The board of the Biennale of Sydney also announced on Friday that Luca Belgiorno-Nettis had resigned as chairman, less than two weeks before the event is scheduled to begin. 
Mr Belgiorno-Nettis’s resignation after 14 years and the severing of ties with Transfield represents a huge win for artists and refugee advocates and an embarrassing backdown for the Biennale board, which claimed the Biennale could not exist without Transfield and pledged its loyalty to the Belgiorno-Nettis family two weeks ago.








































No Crean, says Conroy

Andrew BoltMARCH082013(9:48am)

Simon Crean was the leader Labor should have picked last year so it could show it could govern calmly. Now the only option left is the sugar hit of Kevin Rudd.
But no, says Stephen Conroy, who has reportedly tried and failed to get Bill Shorten to stand: 

“Julia Gillard overwhelmingly won a vote last year for the leadership, she retains the majority support of the parliamentary Labor Party and she’ll take us to the next election,” Senator Conroy told ABC Radio in Melbourne.

Too many speech police for our safety

Andrew BoltMARCH082013(8:31am)

Earlier this week I argued the Australian Human Rights Commission - agitating for tougher controls on free speech - should be scrapped and its functions devolved to the many state commissions doing much the same anti-discrimination work.
Save money, preserve our freedoms.
Professor Patrick Parkinson now gives further evidence that a whole layer of “anti discrimination” bossiness could be removed for little cost and much gain.
He says the Gillard Government’s proposed Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill isn’t just an appalling attack on free speech but massive and oppressive duplication:
The proposed law contained 18 different grounds on which someone could complain of discrimination and sue in court if mediation failed. In addition, the Fair Work Act 2008 provides that an employer must not take adverse action against an employee or prospective employee “because of the person’s race, colour, sex, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin”. The states and territories have comprehensive anti-discrimination laws as well. Tasmania has 20 different grounds on which you can sue for discrimination.

No one in government seems to have asked whether we actually need all these laws and why the federal parliament and the states have to compete in demonstrating who is more committed to “equality”.
Read it all. Parkinson is surely right about the bill’s astonishingly impertinent attempt to control the free speech of most of us: 
Hitherto, federal anti-discrimination laws mainly prohibited discrimination by persons possessing responsibility, authority or power in areas such as employment and education. The draft bill ...did not just apply to the normal domains of paid employment, education and the provision of goods and services but to membership of and the activities of clubs and associations. That even included informal groups gathering for social and literary purposes… The bill also applied to “participation in sporting activities (including umpiring, coaching and administration)” and to voluntary and unpaid work. Neighbours who help one another are volunteers. Stay-at-home mothers do unpaid work.
The sheer arrogance of Labor wanting to give officials such power over what we say and do. It is utterly disgraceful.

How the ABC pushes the NBN, another taxpayer-funded monster

Andrew BoltMARCH082013(8:13am)

Telecom consultant Kevin Morgan is not the first to fact-check Nick Ross, the ABC’s in-house propagandist of the Gillard Government’s NBN:

Under the heading “politics” in his January 23 blog on the ABC technology website, Ross makes no bones about his objective: “With it being election year, there is a great deal to be done in informing the public about the current NBN policy and the consequences of ditching it in favour of a Coalition alternative.”

There we have it, an ABC employee sees absolutely nothing wrong in using the ABC website to sell government policy at the expense of the Coalition objectivity. And factual accuracy can go begging given Ross’s mission.
Read it all and marvel.
How utterly ironic. Communications Minister Steve Conroy, who has proposed tough new controls on journalists and bloggerspunished media critics , had an inquiry set loose against conservatives and sceptics and agitated against Channel 10 showing my program has this morning complained on the ABC that the ABC has disciplined Ross.
AN ABC journalist has been disciplined by the broadcaster’s management over concerns that his online posts about the National Broadband Network failed to meet its “standards of objective journalism”.
You’d laugh if you weren’t throwing up at such hypocrisy.
If Conroy thinks Ross should be free to propagandise to the Coalition’s advantage - and on the public’s dime - he should be just as adamant that the rest of us be free to speak our minds, too.
Nick Ross denies: 


If that’s campaigning, go back to governing

Andrew BoltMARCH082013(7:59am)

Apart from the fact this trip was doomed from the start, the conduct of it ensured more bad publicity. Her office seemed to be terrified that the Prime Minister might meet an ordinary citizen in an unscripted circumstance. Here she was, staying next door to one of the largest registered clubs in Australia, and she sought to avoid it like the plague…

She could find time for a dinner with the mummy bloggers who seem increasingly influential but she failed to do the obvious. Particularly for a Labor leader, the chance to dine in the bistro with ordinary punters you would have thought would be one not to miss. An $8 chicken schnitzel with the mob while sipping a cool beer would seem to be a no-brainer. Not for our Julia, though… Sure, she avoided the inevitable ugly confrontation, but she left voters believing that she thought she was above them or that they who had put her in her job in the first place were too dangerous to be trusted.

Then there is the mad, unfocussed spending of money Labor doesn’t actually have: 
Not only will Gillard and Wayne Swan have to find $15 billion worth of cuts just to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the Gonski reforms, Gillard announces another billion or two almost every day. She kicked off her week in the west with a huge promise to raise the height of Warragamba Dam. Within hours of the promise being made it became apparent that she expected the state government to pay for almost all of it and in any event the cost of the exercise had been significantly underestimated.

The problem for her is that the promises come and go so quickly. Virtually no one believes her, so within 24 hours of a promise being made the press drops off and what was supposed to lift Labor’s flagging heartland vote disappears as well.

Gillard pays her AWU dues with employers’ money

Andrew BoltMARCH082013(7:41am)

Julia Gillard pays her union dues to keep the union support she desperately needs to save her job. How the AWU will be pleased with the woman it helped to install - and how pleased, too, with Shorten, its former secretary:

Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten yesterday briefed employers and union leaders on the proposed changes to the Fair Work Act that address a series of long-standing union demands.

Sources said the changes meant that unions would be able to secure arbitration of their long-running dispute with bionic ear-maker Cochlear, which has spent six years refusing to strike a deal with unions.

Employers accused the government of trying to re-impose “compulsory arbitration” on companies ...

Unions would also benefit from increased right-of-entry provisions that will allow them to meet employees in their lunchroom during meal breaks.

The proposal has been fiercely resisted by resource employers who assert non-unionists should be allowed to take their meal breaks without potentially being harassed.
Er, wait. The Age says the opposite:
Union officials face limits on the number of visits they can make to factories and worksites under the latest changes by the Gillard government to the Fair Work Act.
Although there’s this important caveat:
It is believed the changes will also give unions greater rights as to where they can meet workers.

Swan slimes Costello for a diversion

Andrew BoltMARCH082013(7:23am)

Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan wants an inquiry into potential conflicts of interest stemming from Peter Costello’s ownership of a lobbyist firm and his role overseeing an audit of Queensland’s finances.

Mr Costello is chairman of Queensland’s Commission of Audit, which has recommended that the Queensland government privatise its energy sector and outsource government services, including health.

Mr Costello’s private company ECG (Espstein Costello Gazard) Advisory Solutions has, at the same time as the audit, been registered as a lobbyist for energy company SP AusNet, Primary Health Care, ASG Group and Serco Asia Pacific. All could potentially benefit from the recommendations of the audit report.
Costello is merely offering advice. It is the Government which decides whether to accept it - whether to sell assets and to whom, through independent bodies. That is where questions of any conflict of interest properly arise.
Costello’s former client list may indeed seem an invitation to criticism and jeering. But demands for inquiries are absurd and an exercise in vindictive, partisan politics:
The Brisbane Times news website is reporting the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) has received a complaint that Mr Costello’s report could benefit some of his clients as a lobbyist.
What low rent politics, especially given this: 
On Thursday ECG Advisory rejected claims that it represented companies that could benefit from recommendations of its chairman and co-owner, Mr Costello.

The company said: ‘’ECG has no current business relationship with SP AusNet, Primary Health Care or ASG. These relationships concluded before the audit made its 28 February, 2013, recommendations. Serco is represented in Queensland by another firm.’’

Attacking legal workers to excuse letting in welfare cases

Andrew BoltMARCH082013(6:58am)

Is this confirmation that Julia Gillard’s attack on temporary workers - invited here to do needed work Australians can’t do - is just to divert anger at her having lured tens of thousands of boat people who come here without passports and claim welfare (in most instances) for at least the next five years
JULIA Gillard is facing dissent in the cabinet and caucus over her attack on 457 visa rorts…

Internal fears are being raised, including by some Gillard supporters, that the move has subjected Labor to claims of xenophobia and failed to ease anger in western Sydney over the influx of asylum-seekers. 
Dennis Shanahan says that’s sure how many Labor MPs, including Gillard’s own supporters, see this disgraceful diversion:
There is a widespread view Gillard’s inflated criticism of the 457 visa program is not directed at a policy outcome; undermines Labor’s economic management; is code for “doing something” about the intractable public concerns about illegal boat arrivals and asylum-seekers’ release into the community; is not having a positive political impact in western Sydney where there are lots of “foreign workers”; is damaging our attempts to sell the Asian Century; and is only being done to shore up the PM’s personal support among key union blocs ahead of the last parliamentary sitting before the budget…

The suggestion of a “crack-down” is a diversion from the fact the 457 visa program has hit record levels under the Gillard government… Australia needs 457 visa workers, it’s a great pathway to immigration and vast sectors of our community services will collapse without them.
Let’s compare.
The vast majority of boat people say they are from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Sri Lanka, and these are exactly the refugees most likely to be unemployed and living on welfare, even after five years [according to an immigration Department report].

Just 9 per cent of Afghan adults have a job and 94 per cent receive benefits… It’s the same story among Iranian adults, just 12 per cent of whom work. Sri Lankans have a better employment rate—34 per cent...
This class of visa allows businesses to bring in skilled workers temporarily where no local workers can be found…

Sixty-five per cent of all people who received a 457 visa in the last six months are either managers or professionals… Their average 457 salary is $90,000 a year.
THE Italian company that has the $300 million contract to manufacture and supply the ribbon fibre-optic cable for the National Broadband Network says production would have stalled if it weren’t for skilled workers on 457 visas…

A spokesman for Prysmian Group Australia ... said the technology was so niche the company needed workers on 457 visas…

The NBN Co uses four “prime” contractors that manage the rollout across all states and territories. A senior source within one of these companies said his firm did employ workers on 457 visas…

Experts said they believed a number of the companies contracted to help build the NBN had or continued to employ workers on 457 visas, often doing highly skilled work.

Greens propose another tax on your savings

Andrew BoltMARCH082013(6:27am)

The Greens never saw a profit earned by someone else that it they didn’t want for their own big-spending schemes.
In this case, they don’t understand that the $11 billion they’d like to claw from the banks is money the banks will have to pass on to borrowers or to gouge from savers if they want to stay safe and sound: 
A mining tax-style levy would be imposed on the big four banks under a radical Greens policy to make banks surrender a slice of their earnings in exchange for protection from insolvency…

The policy would mean a 20 basis point - or 0.2 per cent - levy, on all bank assets above $100 billion and would thus apply exclusively to ANZ, NAB, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank, which among them have loan books worth $1000 billion.

Deputy Greens leader and banking spokesman, Adam Bandt, said the plan had been fully costed by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office which found it would raise $11 billion over four years. 
Which, of course, makes this a tax on the savers and investors of this country, to flow to the coffers of the Greens wasters and splurgers. 
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” - Psalm 139:23-24
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

March 7: Morning

"Have faith in God." - Mark 11:22

Faith is the foot of the soul by which it can march along the road of the commandments. Love can make the feet move more swiftly; but faith is the foot which carries the soul. Faith is the oil enabling the wheels of holy devotion and of earnest piety to move well; and without faith the wheels are taken from the chariot, and we drag heavily. With faith I can do all things; without faith I shall neither have the inclination nor the power to do anything in the service of God. If you would find the men who serve God the best, you must look for the men of the most faith. Little faith will save a man, but little faith cannot do great things for God. Poor Little-faith could not have fought "Apollyon;" it needed "Christian" to do that. Poor Little-faith could not have slain "Giant Despair;" it required "Great-heart's" arm to knock that monster down. Little faith will go to heaven most certainly, but it often has to hide itself in a nut-shell, and it frequently loses all but its jewels. Little-faith says, "It is a rough road, beset with sharp thorns, and full of dangers; I am afraid to go;" but Great-faith remembers the promise, "Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; as thy days, so shall thy strength be:" and so she boldly ventures. Little-faith stands desponding, mingling her tears with the flood; but Great-faith sings, "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee:" and she fords the stream at once. Would you be comfortable and happy? Would you enjoy religion? Would you have the religion of cheerfulness and not that of gloom? Then "have faith in God." If you love darkness, and are satisfied to dwell in gloom and misery, then be content with little faith; but if you love the sunshine, and would sing songs of rejoicing, covet earnestly this best gift, "great faith."


"It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man." - Psalm 118:8

Doubtless the reader has been tried with the temptation to rely upon the things which are seen, instead of resting alone upon the invisible God. Christians often look to man for help and counsel, and mar the noble simplicity of their reliance upon their God. Does this evening's portion meet the eye of a child of God anxious about temporals, then would we reason with him awhile. You trust in Jesus, and only in Jesus, for your salvation, then why are you troubled? "Because of my great care." Is it not written, "Cast thy burden upon the Lord"? "Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication make known your wants unto God." Cannot you trust God for temporals? "Ah! I wish I could." If you cannot trust God for temporals, how dare you trust him for spirituals? Can you trust him for your soul's redemption, and not rely upon him for a few lesser mercies? Is not God enough for thy need, or is his all-sufficiency too narrow for thy wants? Dost thou want another eye beside that of him who sees every secret thing? Is his heart faint? Is his arm weary? If so, seek another God; but if he be infinite, omnipotent, faithful, true, and all-wise, why gaddest thou abroad so much to seek another confidence? Why dost thou rake the earth to find another foundation, when this is strong enough to bear all the weight which thou canst ever build thereon? Christian, mix not only thy wine with water, do not alloy thy gold of faith with the dross of human confidence. Wait thou only upon God, and let thine expectation be from him. Covet not Jonah's gourd, but rest in Jonah's God. Let the sandy foundations of terrestrial trust be the choice of fools, but do thou, like one who foresees the storm, build for thyself an abiding place upon the Rock of Ages.
[Hĕze kī'ah] - jehovah is strength or a strong support is jehovah. Also given as Hizkiah, Hizkijah, Ezekias.
1. Son and successor of Ahaz as king of Judah (2 Kings 16:20). He is referred to in well over one hundred references in 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Jeremiah, Hosea and Micah. The Man Who Asked for Added Years
Hezekiah was one of the best kings who ever sat upon the throne of Judah, and is distinguished as the greatest in faith of all Judah's kings (2 Kings 18:5). Sincere and devout, he was not a perfect man by any means, nor outstanding because of any brilliant gifts he possessed. This good king, however, is to be admired when one remembers his family background. Having such a wicked, apostate father as Ahaz, the wonder is that his son became the noble king he did. He had no pious training, but only a heritage of weakness in his moral fibre, for which God graciously made all fair allowance.
With Hezekiah's ascent to the throne at the age of twenty-five there began a period of religious revival in which he was encouraged by the noblest and most eloquent of the Hebrew prophets, Isaiah, who knew how to carry his religion into his politics.
I. Hezekiah was a man who prayed about the difficulties and dangers overtaking him. What faith and confidence in God he revealed when he spread Sennacherib's insolent letter before the Lord. Both Hezekiah and Isaiah defied mighty Assyria, God using one angel to slay one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp.
The king knew how to pray about personal matters as well as military dangers. When smitten with a fatal illness, he turned his face to the wall and prayed. Isaiah, his friend and counselor, came to him with a message from God that he would not die but live. "I will add unto thy days fifteen years." Hezekiah asked with all his heart that he might live, and God continued his life.
But the question arises, why did Hezekiah desire the removal of his illness and the continuation of his life? What object did he have in mind? Was the king anxious to live in order to promote the glory of God, or was he actuated by some personal motive? It is apparent that Hezekiah was afraid of death and loved life in itself. Death was not the same to Hezekiah as it was to Paul, who had a desire to depart, seeing death was far better than life.
At the time of his sickness, Hezekiah had no son, and this fact possibly added to his desire to live. Three years after his recovery Manasseh was born, who became a curse upon the earth and an abomination in the sight of the Lord. Here, then, was one of the results of Hezekiah's answered prayer. It might have been better for Judah if Hezekiah had died without such an heir. Many prayers we offer are mistakes. God graciously grants our requests but "brings leanness to our souls" (Ps. 106:15). Perhaps Hezekiah's sin began in his unwillingness to go to heaven when God sent for him ( 2 Kings 20:1-3).
II. Hezekiah's simple faith in God was the source and secret of his strength. He believed God ruled among the armies of heaven and of earth. His faith was the intuitive perception that God was near - a real Personality and not a mere tendency making for righteousness. The loss of faith is ultimately the loss of moral power. One of the main lessons of Hezekiah's life is, Have faith in God.
III. Hezekiah lost favor with God because of pride. After all the divine blessings showered upon him, he allowed his heart to be lifted up with pride. Vanity and self-sufficiency led the king astray. His heart became obsessed with his household treasures. He turned from God to goods. "Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem" (2 Chron. 32:24-25). Sin never ends with the person committing it.
The four crises Hezekiah faced were:
The crisis of choice, and he chose to forsake the idols of his father and purge the kingdom of idolatry (2 Kings 18:22).
The crisis of invasion (2 Chron. 32:1-19). Prayer brought deliverance (2 Chron. 32:20-21).
The crisis of sickness. Obedience furnished the foundation of the king's prayer for healing (Isa. 38:1-5).
The crisis of prosperity. Alas, Hezekiah manifested pride when he displayed his treasures to the ungodly (Isa. 39).
2. A son of Neariah and a descendant of the royal house of Judah (1 Chron. 3:23).
3. An ancestor of the prophet Zephaniah (Zeph. 1:1). Given in Common Version as Hizkiah.
4. An exile, descendant of Ater who returned from exile in Babylon (Ezra 2:16Neh. 7:21).
Scripture Reference: Romans 16:1,2
Name Meaning: Pure or radiant as the moon
We know nothing of this pious female who delivered Paul's "inestimable packet"--The Epistle to the Romans--to Rome. We just have the brief mention of her name and service. Phoebe, a devout Christian, bore without change and without reproach the name of the Moon-Goddess of the Greeks. The goddess Artemis, known by the common epithet "Phoebe," was supposed to have been identified with the light of the moon. But the Phoebe whom Paul so highly commended shone as a light for Jesus, the "Light of the World." That she must have been a woman of some consequence appears from the fact that she planned a long journey to Rome on business of her own, and offered to convey to the saints there Paul's letter--"an inspired masterpiece of logic which struck the keynote of orthodoxy for the universal Church through all the succeeding ages."

In some fifty words Paul gives us a beautiful cameo of this saintly servant of Christ for whom he urged the saints at Rome to do their utmost. The importance of her visit is indicated by the appeal of Paul to the Romans to "assist her in whatever matter she had need of." Phoebe was--
A Sister
As used by Paul, this designation implies a spiritual relationship. He calls the believing husband and wife, "the brother and the sister" ( 1 Corinthians 7:15; 9:5). Young Timothy was his "son in the faith." Phoebe, then, was a member of a spiritual family in which the relationship is based upon the redemption of Christ and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 4:4-7 ). Apart from natural relationships, no woman is my "sister" unless she shares my experience of God's saving grace through which alone we are made members of His redeemed family. How or when Phoebe became a Christian and a sister in the Lord, we are not told. What is evident is the manifestation of her sisterly love and labors among her sisters and brothers in Christ. "Our sister" is a term indicating her Christian status.
A Servant of the Church
Phoebe was not only a member of a spiritual family, but likewise a member of the visible church at Cenchrea when Paul arrived there on his third journey and from where he wrote Romans. Phoebe was not merely a confessing and active believer, she was also "a ministrant of the Church." The word for "servant" is diakonos , from which we have "deacon" or "deaconess." It is not certain whether such an official female Order as "Deaconess" was in vogue at that time. Phoebe, however, occupied such a position in the church, and as such could be a teacher of all female inquirers of the faith, and be active in the relief of the temporal needs of the poor among the flock. We can safely assume that Phoebe was one of the first, if not the first, of the noble band of deaconesses in the Christian Church. If hers was not an official ministry, it was certainly a most gracious and effective one, and she was indeed one of the forerunners of the vast army of women who have rendered such loyal service to Christ and His Church.
A Succourer of Many, and of Myself Also
The word Paul used for "succourer"--prostatis --is a most expressive one. It literally means "one who stands by in case of need." It is classical Greek describing a trainer in the Olympic games, who stood by the athletes to see that they were properly trained and not over-trained and rightly girded when they lined up for the signal. Moule translates the phrase, "She on her part has proved a stand-by (almost a champion, one who stands up for others) of many, aye, and of me among them." Phoebe was the unselfish, liberal helper or patroness of the saints, conspicuous for her works of charity and also hospitality. To quote Moule again--
She had been a devoted and it would seem particularly a brave friend of converts in trouble, and of Paul himself. Perhaps in the course of her visits to the desolate she had fought difficult battles of protest, where she found harshness and oppression. Perhaps she had pleaded the forgotten cause of the poor, with a woman's courage, before some neglectful richer "brother."
As for the personal touch "a succourer ... of myself also," it has been suggested that Paul had in mind the visit he paid to Cenchrea and, shaving his head took a Jewish vow ( Acts 18:18). "The vow seems to point to a deliverance from danger to sickness in which Phoebe may have attended him." Because of her saintliness and practical works, Paul urged the believers in Rome to "receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints."

Today's reading: Deuteronomy 1-3, Mark 10:32-52 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Deuteronomy 1-3

The Command to Leave Horeb
1 These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the wilderness east of the Jordan--that is, in the Arabah--opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab. 2 (It takes eleven days to go from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road.)

Today's New Testament reading: Mark 10:32-52

Jesus Predicts His Death a Third Time
32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 "We are going up to Jerusalem," he said, "and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise...."

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