Friday, May 12, 2017

Fri May 12th Todays News

John Roskam, IPA chief, has raised a very important issue when expressing anger over a primary school declining a visit from AFL players because they had not passed a working with children check. Not that they had done anything wrong, they simply did not have the documents. It is draconian and useless legislation that is not applied appropriately. Teachers who act loco parentis need the check. Players who are merely showing off the footy code are not a threat to children's welfare. But a compelling argument could be made that any ALP member should not be given a pass to work with children, and talk at schools, as they have an awful history regarding pedophilia. Be it a Tasmanian who was diabetic and claimed it led them to have inappropriate under age sex, or a Minister for Aboriginal Affairs in NSW, or a suicidal Northern Territory senator, ALP have an awful history of picking monsters. Children's sporting team coaches need a working with children check, but it is absurd that AFL players cannot be around to inspire children. 

Some things should not happen, but they do. I wanted some gatorade twenty years ago and they were promoting ARL. A new school I attended was successful at ARL and so I asked an ARL salesman if they wanted to visit the school. I would buy the gatorade. The player involved, an international, got cold feet. Nobody wants to be humiliated by children, but that was never going to happen. It is just a black eye for the entire code. I stopped pretending to follow the code after. It was around the time of Superleague, and St George deciding not to go with their fans to Superleague, but join with Illawarra instead. I care nothing if they win anymore. I feel resentment and anger. But then ARL is not a great sport like AFL. 

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 My Mother

Ann Taylor (30 January 1782 - 20 December 1866) was an English poet and literary critic. In her youth she was a writer of verse for children, for which she achieved long-lasting popularity. In the years immediately preceding her marriage, she became an astringent literary critic of growing reputation. She is, however, best remembered as the elder sister and collaborator of Jane Taylor.
Ann Taylor's son, Josiah Gilbert, wrote: 'two little poems"My Mother," and "Twinkle, twinkle, little Star," are perhaps, more frequently quoted than any; the first, a lyric of life, was by Ann, the second, of nature, by Jane; and they illustrate this difference between the sisters.' Both poems attracted the compliment of frequent parody throughout the 19th century.

Who sat and watched my infant head
When sleeping on my cradle bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed?
My Mother.

When pain and sickness made me cry,
Who gazed upon my heavy eye,
And wept for fear that I should die?
My Mother.

Who taught my infant lips to pray
And love God’s holy book and day,
And walk in wisdom’s pleasant way?
My Mother.

And can I ever cease to be
Affectionate and kind to thee,
Who wast so very kind to me,
My Mother?

Ah, no! the thought I cannot bear,
And if God please my life to spare
I hope I shall reward they care,
My Mother.

When thou art feeble, old and grey,
My healthy arm shall be thy stay,
And I will soothe thy pains away,
My Mother. 



=== from 2016 ===
I have moved to a good home. I leave behind the ice house. Dan Andrews would rather I lived with an ice addict, and that you should too. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
The deficit is dangerously high. The senate is blocking needed cuts. But, a recent lift in Iron Ore prices and a smaller than predicted unemployment figure have meant a smaller budget shortfall than expected. But while $45 billion debt will be higher than reality, it will still be over $40 billion and that is unsustainable. Eventually, if it is not addressed, Australia will lose her ability to fund essential services. One cannot own what they cannot afford.

The sliming of Mr Abbott is revolting. Fairfax have released a 'cartoon' portraying Mr Abbott in four faces, with a number on each forehead. The numbers represent each time Mr Abbott has referenced what each face is about. Death Cult has 346 references. Ebola has 68 references. Ice has 53 references. Domestic Violence has 43 references. The PM is a spokesperson whose job it is to refer to these issues. But Fairfax owns newspapers which are supposed to report, not spin, issues. How many times have the Fairfax mast-heads mentioned Mr Abbott negatively without reporting what he has been doing?

Literacy and numeracy tests begin today for about a million children around Australia, called NAPLAN. The three days of tests are very good at measuring achievement standards across schools, showing how resources can best be allocated. The tests are also god at tracking student progress, as the tests are carried out for years 3, 5, 7 and 9. The tests could also highlight teacher performance but teacher unions have opposed that. The ancient anti test lobby point out that the tests are no substitute for love and celebration of personal goals. While that has no relevance to the issues, it is, as it goes, right.

On this day in 304, Roman Emperor Diocletian ordered the beheading of the 14-year-old Pancras of Rome. Pancras' mother died when he was born. His father died when he was eight, and he was left in the care of his uncle. They became Christians and when Diocletian began his persecutions, Pancras refused to sacrifice to another God. At first amused, Diocletian ordered the beheading. In 907, Zhu Wen forced Emperor Ai into abdicating, ending the Tang Dynasty after nearly three hundred years of rule. 922, after much hardship, Abbasid envoy Ahmad ibn Fadlan arrived in the lands of Volga Bulgars. His writing of the expedition is an early written account of life among the pre literate Vikings. 1191, Richard I of England married Berengaria of Navarre who was crowned Queen consort of England the same day. As Queen, she never set foot on English soil.1328, Antipope Nicholas V, a claimant to the papacy, was consecrated in Rome by the Bishop of Venice. He is called Antipope because he was made 'pope' by order of the Holy Roman Emperor and not through traditional agency. 

In 1510, the Prince of Anhua rebellion began when Zhu Zhifan killed all the officials invited to a banquet and declared his intent on ousting the powerful Ming Dynasty eunuch Liu Jinduring the reign of the Zhengde Emperor. Zhou was eventually captured, and allowed to kill himself before being executed. 1551, National University of San Marcos, the oldest university in the Americas, was founded in LimaPeru. 1588, French Wars of ReligionHenry III of France fled Paris after Henry of Guise entered the city and a spontaneous uprising occurred.1619, Dutch statesman Johan van Oldenbarnevelt was sentenced to death for high treason. It was a tragedy, he had merely been a good diplomat. 1689, King William's WarWilliam III of England joined the League of Augsburg starting a war with France. 1743, Maria Theresa of Austria was crowned Queen of Bohemia after defeating her rival, Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor. 1780, American Revolutionary War: In the largest defeat of the Continental ArmyCharleston, South Carolina was taken by British forces. 1797, First CoalitionNapoleon I of France conquered Venice
From 2014
 Reg Gasnier was born on this day, 1939, and died the day before (2014). As a Rugby League player, he had great timing too. Called Puff the Magic Dragon, he was a centre for St George club, which had eleven consecutive titles, six under Gasnier. Also born on this day was a great lady who did her greatest work in bed, Florence Nightingale (1820). Florence had acted as a nurse in Crimea, and set up a battlefield surgery. It was a failure in implementation, but a successful concept. In later life, it was her missives that she made from her bed which secured her legacy. But for me, the most poignant birthday cheer is for German Swiss holocaust survivor businessman Otto Frank. His daughter, Anne, kept a diary at the place they were hiding, and he found it after the war, Anne had died. He kept her memory alive by publishing her work. He lightly edited the work because he hadn't thought it right that his daughter's hatred should be broadened to all Germans when it was Nazi atrocity. In writing the diary, Anne would not have known the end. None of us does, until it visits us. We should live our lives with that faith. And if our lives are so unfairly cut short, we can point to the achievement, and not be remembered as victim to the accursed. 

Bolt has a tendency to write in terms favourable to the ALP. Another NSW Lib has decided to step aside for the next election after saying he believes he does not have clean hands because his election funding may have been corruptly obtained. That is a far cry from the Liberal Party being corrupt like the ALP. All it means is that particular member is more principled than any member of the ALP. A moment's thought on the issue would restore public faith in Liberal Government. It isn't a good look, but it is an example of how anti corruption process can function .. under a Liberal government. Apparently, it can't function under the ALP. And that is something that should worry Bolt. 

Historical perspective on this day
In 254, Pope Stephen I succeeded Pope Lucius I as the 23rd pope. 304, Roman Emperor Diocletian ordered the beheading of the 14-year-old Pancras of Rome. 907, Zhu Wen forced Emperor Ai into abdicating, ending the Tang Dynasty after nearly three hundred years of rule. 922, after much hardship, Abbasid envoy Ahmad ibn Fadlan arrived in the lands of Volga Bulgars. 1191, Richard I of England married Berengaria of Navarre who was crowned Queen consort of England the same day. 1328, Antipope Nicholas V, a claimant to the papacy, was consecrated in Rome by the Bishop of Venice. 1364, Jagiellonian University, the oldest university in Poland, was founded in KrakówPoland.

In 1510, the Prince of Anhua rebellion began when Zhu Zhifan killed all the officials invited to a banquet and declared his intent on ousting the powerful Ming Dynasty eunuch Liu Jin during the reign of the Zhengde Emperor. 1551, National University of San Marcos, the oldest university in the Americas, was founded in LimaPeru. 1588, French Wars of ReligionHenry III of France fled Paris after Henry of Guise entered the city and a spontaneous uprising occurred.1619, Dutch statesmanJohan van Oldenbarnevelt was sentenced to death for high treason. 1689, King William's WarWilliam III of England joined the League of Augsburg starting a war with France. 1743, Maria Theresa of Austria was crowned Queen of Bohemia after defeating her rival, Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor. 1780, American Revolutionary War: In the largest defeat of the Continental ArmyCharleston, South Carolina was taken by British forces. 1797, First CoalitionNapoleon I of France conquered Venice.

In 1821, the first major battle of the Greek War of Independence against the Turks was fought in Valtetsi. 1862, U.S. federal troops occupied Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 1863, American Civil WarBattle of Raymond: Two divisions of James B. McPherson's XVII Corps (ACW)turn the left wing of Confederate General John C. Pemberton's defensive line on Fourteen Mile Creek, opening up the interior of Mississippi to the Union Army during the Vicksburg Campaign. 1864, American Civil War: The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House: Thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers died in "the Bloody Angle". 1865, American Civil War: The Battle of Palmito Ranch: The first day of the last major land action to take place during the Civil War, resulting in a Confederate victory. 1870, the Manitoba Act was given the Royal Assent, paving the way for Manitoba to become a province of Canada on July 15. 1873, Coronation of Oscar II of Sweden 1881, in North AfricaTunisia became a French protectorate. 1885, North-West Rebellion: The four-day Battle of Batoche, pitting rebel Métis against the Canadian government, came to an end with a decisive rebel defeat.

In 1926, General Strike: In the United Kingdom, a nine-day general strike by trade unions ended. Also 1926, the Italian-built airship Norgebecame the first vessel to fly over the North Pole. 1932, ten weeks after his abduction, the infant son of Charles Lindbergh, Charles Jr., was found dead in Hopewell, New Jersey, just a few miles from the Lindberghs' home. 1933, the Agricultural Adjustment Act was enacted to restrict agricultural production by paying farmers subsidies. 1935, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith (founders of Alcoholics Anonymous) met for the first time in Akron, Ohio, at the home of Henrietta Siberling. 1937, the Duke and Duchess of York were crowned as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Westminster Abbey.

In 1941, Konrad Zuse presented the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin. 1942, World War IISecond Battle of Kharkov: In eastern UkraineRed Army forces under Marshal Semyon Timoshenko launched a major offensive from the Izium bridgehead, only to be encircled and destroyed by the troops of Army Group South two weeks later. Also 1942, World War II: The U.S. tanker Virginia was torpedoed in the mouth of the Mississippi River by the German U-Boat U-507. 1945, Argentinian labour leader José Peter declared the Federación Obrera de la Industria de la Carne dissolved. 1948, Wilhelmina, Queen regnant of the Kingdom of the Netherlands ceded throne. 1949, the Soviet Union lifted its blockade of Berlin. Also 1949, the western occupying powers approved the Basic Law for the new German state: The Federal Republic of Germany.

In 1952, Gaj Singh was crowned Maharaja of Jodhpur. 1955, Nineteen days after bus workers went on strike in Singaporerioting broke out and seriously impacted Singapore's bid for independence. Also 1955, Austria regained its independence as the Allied occupationfollowing World War II ends. 1958, a formal North American Aerospace Defense Command agreement was signed between the United States and Canada. 1965, the Soviet spacecraft Luna 5 crashed on the Moon. 1968, Vietnam WarNorth Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces attacked Australian troops defending Fire Support Base Coral, east of Lai Khe in South Vietnam on the night of 12/13 May, resulting in heavy casualties on both sides and beginning the Battle of Coral–Balmoral.

In 1975,Mayagüez incident: The Cambodian navy seized the American merchant ship SS Mayaguez in international waters. 1978, in Zaire, rebels occupied the city of Kolwezi, the mining centre of the province of Shaba (now known as Katanga). The local government asked the U.S.A., France and Belgium to restore order. 1981, Francis Hughesstarved to death in the Maze Prison in a Republican campaign for political prisoner status to be granted to Provisional IRA prisoners. 1982, during a procession outside the shrine of the Virgin Mary in Fátima, Portugal, security guards overpower Juan María Fernández y Krohn before he could attack Pope John Paul II with a bayonet. Krohn, an ultraconservative Spanish priest opposed to the Vatican II reforms, believed that the Pope had to be killed for being an "agent of Moscow". 1986, NBC debuted the current well-known peacock as seen in the NBC 60th Anniversary Celebration. 1989, the San Bernardino train disaster killed four people. A week later an underground gasoline pipeline exploded killing two more people. 1998, four students were shot at Trisakti University, leading to widespread riots and the fall of Suharto

In 2002, former US President Jimmy Carter arrived in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro becoming the first President of the United States, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro's 1959revolution. 2003, the Riyadh compound bombings, carried out by Al Qaeda, killed 26 people. 2006, Mass unrest by the Primeiro Comando da Capital began in São Paulo (Brazil), leaving at least 150 dead. Also 2006, Iranian Azeris interpreted a cartoon published in an Iranianmagazine as insulting, resulting in massive riots throughout the country. 2007, Riots in which over 50 people were killed and over 100 were injured take place in Karachi upon the arrival in town of the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. 2008, an earthquake(measuring around 8.0 magnitude) occurred in Sichuan, China, killing over 69,000 people. Also 2008, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted the largest-ever raid of a workplace in Postville, Iowa, arresting nearly 400 immigrants for identity theft and document fraud.
=== 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 gofund.me/27tkwuc
===
Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with AugustSeptemberOctober, or at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/1482020262/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_dVHPub0MQKDZ4  The kindle version is cheaper, but the soft back version allows a free kindle version.

List of available items at Create Space
Happy birthday and many happy returns Eric KalemenOlivier Omari and Julius Jc.. You were born on the same day the oldest university in the Americas, The National University of San Marcos opened in 1551, in Lima, Peru. Apparently the Spanish needed personal trainers really quickly. Also, it was Mothers Day and you are a good boy.
Deaths
SS Mayaguez under attack
If you must kill all the dinner guests, win the revolution. Brownsville is no place for a fight. The rebellion is over. The occupation is over. The fight was not fair. Let's party.
===
Tim Blair

THE PHILBRICK FILES

During the mid-50s, a show called I Led Three Lives ran on US television. It told various tales of ad executive Herbert Philbrick – citizen, communist infiltrator, and counterspy for the FBI.
12 May
===
Andrew Bolt

===

ACTION! POWER! ENGAGEMENT!

Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 12, 2015 (5:03am)

An Australian academic is concerned about descriptions of Islamic State as a death cult
Professor Michele Grossman, a cultural diversity researcher from Victoria University, said it was dangerous to use a term that only reflected one small part of the reality of Islamic State.
“It’s too easy to overlook the elements of the IS narrative that focus on building a new world and a new order, promising action, power and engagement,” she said. “This holds enormous potential appeal, especially for the young.” 
Grossman may be overlooking the primary motivation of Islamic State recruits, which is simply to achieve an even higher beheaded body count than you’d find in an Adelaide episode of Storage Wars.
(Via Paddy M.) 
===

FAIR BET

Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 12, 2015 (4:26am)

I’ll be imprisoned all day in the budget lock-up. While I’m captive, readers are invited to amuse themselves by nominating the number of times variations on the word “fair” are mentioned in tonight’s 7.30 on the ABC.
===

ELECTION DRAWN

Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 12, 2015 (4:10am)

British psychotherapist Philippa Perry advises Guardian readers on how to recover from their election distress: 
It felt like a punch in the stomach when I saw the exit polls. It was a shock. I woke up at about 6am, looked at Twitter and couldn’t stop crying. I had allowed myself to get hopeful and these were tears of disappointment …
It may sound silly but after drawing faces on fruit with a friend on Friday morning, I started to feel a bit better … drawing, reading, knitting – do whatever it is you need to do to regroup and pick yourself up. 
Paint obscene messages on WWII memorials, for example. The luvvie community is similarly perturbed. And one polling company may never recover from an opportunity missed: 
The polling firm Survation admitted that its final poll showed the Conservatives with a lead of 37 percent to 31 percent over the Labor Party – almost the exact final result. The company’s CEO explained why he failed to publish the poll: “The results seemed so ‘out of line’ with all the polling conducted by ourselves and our peers – what poll commentators would term an ‘outlier’ – that I ‘chickened out’ of publishing the figures – something I’m sure I’ll always regret.” 
(Via Dan F.)
===

PREDICTABLE REACTION

Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 12, 2015 (3:36am)

Upset over yesterday’s column, Palm Beach predict-o-mong Bob Ellis responds
Tim Blair notes, correctly, that I was wrong about the UK election last week, about the Israeli election before that (faraway countries of which I know little) and the 2013 federal election. He errs when he says I got wrong the 2011 NSW election … 
Here’s Bob’s 2011 NSW election call: “I alone in all of Australia think Labor will hold government, in a perhaps hung parliament, in New South Wales.” He’s even wrong about being wrong. Ellis then lists all the elections he claims to have predicted correctly: 
I got the Queensland election of January right, and was the only commentator in Australia to do so. I got Victoria right last year right, though this was not too hard, and, astonishingly, South Australia right last year when it was said by all the pundits Labor had no chance. I got Barack Obama’s victory in 2012 right when Murdoch’s pollsters were even till midnight on election night saying he was gone. I got South Australia right in 2010, predicting a loss of one seat not two, when everyone believed Rann, much damaged by a sexual scandal, had no chance. I got Rann’s landslide in 2006 right, and his squeaker victory, with Independent help, in 2002. I got Obama’s win right in 2008, Rudd’s in 2007, Carr’s in 2003, Carr’s in 1999, Carr’s when it was believed he had no chance in 1995. I got Gallop’s right in 2001, Bracks’s in 1999, Bacon’s in 1998, Beattie’s in 1997, Burke’s in 1983, Keating’s when it was thought he had no chance in 1993. In the UK I predicted Blair in 1997, and Wilson, twice, in 1974. I got all of Hawke’s victories in 1983, 1984, 1987 and 1990, and Whitlam’s two in 1972 and 1974. 
Ellis does allow that he is occasionally mistaken: 
I did get a good few wrong, of course: 1996, 1998, 2001 and 2004 when Howard won (though in 1998 he won with less votes than Beazley), 1983 when Thatcher won, 1975 and 1977 when Fraser won. I got Wran’s victories right in 1976, 1978, 1981 and 1984. I predicted Unsworth would lose, and he did. 
Ellis mentions 40 or elections. In every single case he predicted victories for left-wing candidates, besides the solitary example of the NSW Greiner landslide in 1988. This isn’t analysis; it’s barracking. Ellis’s predictions are mere wishes. He’s a cheerleader. And why wouldn’t he be? After all, Bob’s brave Carr and Rann election calls were made when they employed him: 
Bob Ellis was a Mike Rann speechwriter for 13 years, made a film about him and performed a poem at his wedding. 
Rann subsequently divorced. Keep those predictions coming, salad man.
===

LUNCH AND A SHOW

Tim Blair – Tuesday, May 12, 2015 (3:28am)

A few weeks ago I happened upon a New York couple who were puzzling over a Sydney map while seeking their preferred harbourside restaurant. The joint they’d picked wasn’t great, so after setting them straight on directions I suggested they instead try Kingsleys at Woolloomooloo.
If only they’d been in town yesterday. Not only would that charming couple have enjoyed a wonderful meal, but they would also have been treated to a spectacular Sydney floor show.
===

Budget too soft, but no option with Labor and Greens such wreckers

Andrew Bolt May 12 2015 (8:44pm)

WE are in trouble. No one in Parliament will tell the truth about this Budget — that it is too soft to save us.
Yes, it is “fair” and politically smarter than last year’s, and should help the Government win the next election.
But this Budget still buries us in more debt, with years more deficits still to come, even if you believe the Budget’s happy claim that we’ll be back to 3.5 per cent growth in two years.
Worse, Labor and the Greens decided even before they studied it that even this Budget is too tough and key spending cuts may again be blocked in the Senate.

Yet the bottom line, as Treasurer Joe Hockey yesterday revealed, is that despite all the Abbott Government’s alleged meanness, it will still spend $96 million a day more than it is earning.
(Read the full article here.) 
===

Budget reactions - too soft, but sweeter

Andrew Bolt May 12 2015 (8:37pm)

Here is Joe Hockey’s Budget speech.
Terry McCrann:
SORRY, Joe, for the life of me I can’t see a “credible path back to surplus”. 
I do see a bloody great fiscal vacuum hose sucking up billions of ever-increasing dollars from the wallets and purses of every Australian. The central fact of Joe Hockey’s second ("Hell, let’s forget about debt and deficits and focus on me keeping my job and Tony Abbott his’’) Budget is the way it rides a $110 billion leap in annual revenues to get — to hopefully get — the deficit down close to balance by 2018-19.
Dennis Shanahan:
Joe Hockey has redeemed the political failures of the last year in his 2015 Budget by reversing unpopular measures and clawing back some savings… 
Left with nowhere to go politically after the 2014 debacle, Hockey and Tony Abbott had to cop billions in lost savings from measures that were listed as a “reversal” in the Budget documents.
Chopping and changing on pension indexation and entitlements, and child care and pharmaceuticals improved the Coalition’s political deficit but did little to help the Budget deficit.
In the long run, Hockey’s “better-than-expected” Budget deficit outcomes — down to just $6.9 billion in 2018-19 and a surplus the following year — is built on some modest savings reforms, bracket creep and optimistic forecasts. 
Simon Benson:
TREASURER Joe Hockey has banked Australia’s economic recovery on the most ambitious small business and jobs stimulus package in the nation’s history. 
With national gross debt set to soar to more than half a trillion by 2018, and deficits of almost of $100 billion still on the horizon, the Abbott Government has turned to the 2 million small businesses to get the nation back to work.
Ross Gittins:
This is the budget of a badly rattled government that has put self-preservation ahead of economic responsibility. It will do much to restore Tony Abbott’s political fortunes, but next to nothing to return the budget to surplus or hasten the economy’s return to strong growth.
===

Joe Hockey’s trump card: a lower deficit than tipped

Andrew Bolt May 12 2015 (12:32pm)

Treasurer Joe Hockey sounded good and happy at his doorstop this morning, and this could be his trump card:
Treasurer Joe Hockey’s second budget will report a deficit lower than the $41 billion predicted by financial markets. 
“We’re going to beat that and we’re going to beat it every year,” Mr Hockey told reporters outside Parliament House on Tuesday morning.
A lot better than the $45 billion predicted by Access Economics a couple of weeks ago.
The Australian had a good leak about this:
However, the spot iron ore price has bounced back in the past two weeks from its low of $US47.50 a tonne to a current price of $US62 a tonne… Commonwealth Bank chief economist Michael Blythe said unemployment had not risen to 6.5 per cent as anticipated by Treasury in December, resulting in lower benefit payments.
The deficit will still be dangerously high, and the Senate will still be blocking cuts it must pass.
But at least Hockey can offer some gain for the pain, and some hope that business tax cuts and rising optimism might just help save the economy - and the government.
UPDATE
Former Treasurer Peter Costello thinks the Government’s strategy is back on track:
Last week in Britain, David Cameron’s Conservative Party was re-elected with a majority in its own right....  In October ...the National Party in New Zealand was re-elected to a third term. 
...those two election results — in countries that have similar systems to Australia — show there is an appetite for tough economic management and, what’s more, an electoral reward for the parties prepared to pursue it.
That should be in the minds of the Coalition MPs tonight. Things are moving their way. Doing the right thing on the economic front need not spell electoral doom…
Of course neither Britain nor New Zealand has a pesky Upper House that can block budget measures. It makes things harder in Australia. But in the lead-up to this year’s Budget the Government is showing it has learned a thing or two about dealing with that…
The Government has also made it clear it is not going to try to close the Budget deficit with higher taxes. Joe Hockey said on Sunday: “You can’t tax your way to prosperity.” He’s right. That means the Government will have to address the Budget problem at its cause, which is overspending. 
In 2009 the Rudd government increased spending by 13 per cent… Rudd has long gone but Australia is still living with the debt he racked up… Our problem began when previous governments spent everything they paid and more. Dealing with that is the solution.
===

Poor Michelle

Andrew Bolt May 12 2015 (11:57am)

You would not think this whinger and peddler of poor-me victimhood was actually the pampered wife of the President of the United States. 
===

Herald’s latest pathetic attack on Abbott

Andrew Bolt May 12 2015 (11:49am)

How the Left hates

Last week the Sydney Morning Herald continued its hysterical campaign against Tony Abbott by suggesting - on false evidence - he was a homophobe.
Now its campaign has become desperate to the point of farce. Its reporters and cartoonists clearly have too much time on their hands:
The newspaper, already being sued by Joe Hockey for its astonishing ”Treasurer for sale” headline, is out of control. Liberal voters should boycott it.
UPDATE
So much time to count Abbott’s words, yet none to truly research.
The article claims:
Mr Abbott has since mentioned “death cult” in 103 of the 516 press releases, transcripts, speeches and videos released by his office… No other world leader has followed suit.
No?

Here’s British Prime Minister David Cameron:
You can have, tragically, people who have had all the advantages of integration, who have had all the economic opportunities that our countries can offer, who still get seduced by this poisonous, radical death cult of a narrative.  
Here is US President Barack Obama:
President Obama on Thursday described ISIS as a “brutal, vicious death cult” that commits “unspeakable acts of barbarism,” in some of his most emotionally charged rhetoric about the terror group.  
So not just trivial and spiteful, but wrong as well. 
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Does the CSIRO still stick by its prediction?

Andrew Bolt May 12 2015 (11:25am)

Do not question the science!
The warmist CSIRO, August 2003:
Simulations of future snow conditions in the Australian alpine regions were prepared for the years 2020 and 2050…
Conclusion: The low impact scenario for 2020 has a minor impact on snow conditions. Average season lengths are reduced by around five days. Reductions in peak depths are usually less than 10%, but can be larger at lower sites (e.g. Mt Baw Baw and Wellington High Plains). 
The high impact scenario for 2020 leads to reductions of 30-40 days in average season lengths.  At higher sites such as Mt Hotham, this can represent reductions in season duration of about 25%, but at lower sites such as Mt Baw Baw the reduction can be more significant (up to 60%)… 
We have very high confidence (at least 95%) that the low impact scenarios will be exceeded and the high impact scenarios will not be exceeded. 
Reality, 2015:  
Hopes of bumper season as 15cm of snow covers Perisher’s slopes with more falls predicted.
All around the world, warmists were once predicting the end of snow:
2000 - a prediction from the centre of global warming alarmism:
According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.
2000: a prediction from Professor Mojib Latif of Germany’s GEOMAR Heimholtz Centre for Ocean Research: 
Winters with strong frosts and lots of snow like we had 20 years ago will no longer exist at our latitudes.
2008 - another prediction: 
A study of snowfall spanning 60 years has indicated that the Alps’s entire winter sports industry could grind to a halt through lack of snow....
Ever since we’ve actually seen amazing snow dumps, especially in the US.
UPDATE
The Australian Antarctic Division gets more reason to doubt the polar-caps-are-melting scare:
Record Antarctic sea ice is forcing scientists to consider relocating research bases as they struggle to cope. 
Satellite observations show a new daily record being set for ­Antarctic sea ice every day for the past two weeks. Annual records have also been broken every year for the past three years.
Rob Wooding, general manager of the Australian Antarctic Division’s Operations Branch, said expanding sea ice was now causing serious problems. Last year, fuel supplies were flown to Australia’s Mawson base by helicopter because the harbour had failed to clear. Dr Wooding said the situation was “unsustainable"…
Seasonal growth in Antarctic sea ice is now under way and is expected to peak at another record level in September… Recent research had also shown the ice is thicker than previously thought.  
At least warmist scientist Chris Turney has stayed away this year, having learned that the world isn’t following his warming script:
IT began as a journey to “investigate the impact of changing climate” and to “use the subantarctic islands as thermometers of climatic change” but more than 70 global warming activists, journalists and crew, led by University of NSW professor of climate change Chris Turney, are now trapped by millions of tonnes of ice after their ship was caught in freezing conditions off the Antarctic coast.
(Thanks to readers Mark M and WaG311.) 
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The Lomborg scandal: Australia’s Scopes Monkey Trial

Andrew Bolt May 12 2015 (11:18am)


The University of Western Australia makes clear that the problem with Bjorn Lomborg is that he is a global warming heretic:
University of Western Australia vice-chancellor Paul Johnson says he walked away from establishing the Australia Consensus Centre because he felt he lacked the power to force his academics to work with controversial Danish professor Bjorn Lomborg.,, 
He said many academics believed Professor Lomborg took an “extreme view” on climate change and their criticisms of him became “quite personal”. The decision to back out of the centre has been celebrated by the university’s student guild and other critics of Professor ­Lomborg’s writing on global warming.
I have seen no more damning proof of the idiocy of academia generally or the religious zeal of global warming believers.
What makes both things even more obvious and scandalous is that this has occurred not at the height of the global warming panic but after 17 years of no warming, when it should be perfectly clear that the warming prophets exaggerated wildly and deserve all the very mild scepticism of a Lomborg.
This banning of Lomborg will be remembered in our history books as Australia’s version of the Scopes Monkey Trial.  The university should be renamed Bryan University to honor the academics responsible for closing down intellectual inquiry through religious bigotry:
It all began when the state of Tennessee passed a law making it a crime to teach evolution in public schools. A new organization called the American Civil Liberties Union .... placed an ad inviting a teacher to help test the law in the courts… Though he couldn’t remember actually teaching Darwin’s theory, [teacher John] Scopes believed in evolution and agreed to the plan. 
The trial quickly became a media circus… The famous politician and anti-evolutionist, William Jennings Bryan, volunteered to assist the prosecution…
“The town was filled with men and women who considered the case a duel to the death,” John Scopes later wrote. “Everything I did was likely to be noted."… 
The trial ended in a conviction. The judge imposed a fine of $100 and John Scopes spoke for the first time. “Your honor,” he said, “I feel that I have been convicted of violating an unjust statute. I will continue in the future, as I have in the past, to oppose this law in any way I can.” 
UPDATE
Nick Cater:
The withdrawal of UWA’s offer to host Bjorn Lomborg’s ­Australian Consensus think tank offers an insight into the ungovernable, undisciplined and unenlightened world of the modern university… 
In short, Lomborg is temperamentally ill-suited to contemporary academe, a fact the hipness of his T-shirts was never going to hide. He is cursed with an open mind that makes him reluctant to bow to conventional wisdom, as a successful academic must.
UPDATE
Terry McCrann warns the Pope not to pray at the altar of global warming faith, where human sacrifices are offered:
MORE than 100 of the world’s leading scientists, theologians, academics and commentators have written an open letter to Pope Francis urging him not to join the climate hysterics in their war on the fossil fuels that power the planet. 
Their plea is a simple but powerful one: if we cut back on the use of especially coal for electricity, we would directly condemn tens of millions of people to death; and at best, lock hundreds of millions of the poor — of the developed world as much as of the developing world — into endless poverty and misery.
The letter is specifically directed at Pope Francis as unquestionably the world’s most important spiritual and moral leader. It builds its plea to him on theological grounds, commending him “for your care for the earth and God’s children, especially the poor”.
But its argument is based on a hard-nosed rational assessment of the facts. These are broadly two: the facts — actually the failures — of the global warming thesis/hysteria; and the undeniable, utterly irreplaceable global use of coal, gas and oil.
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Mark Textor: Shorten is doing a Miliband

Andrew Bolt May 12 2015 (11:13am)

David Cameron won the British election with the help of Australian campaign adviser Lynton Crosby and his partner, Mark Textor.
Textor now gives some tips:
MARK TEXTOR: ... (T)he first few years for the Cameron and Osborne government were very, very difficult, but eventually they fine-tuned their message to focus on hardworking families and rewarding ... particularly ... through tax incentives [for] businesses that want to expand and to innovate and eventually what that did is expose the paucity of Miliband’s approach, which was just to appeal to his core vote and say no all the time. 
LEIGH SALES: ... (W)hat is the lesson from Ed Miliband’s performance in opposition and his defeat on the weekend for the Labor Party in Australia?
MARK TEXTOR: ... (T)here’s similarities between the two in so far as you can say there’s similarities between two countries 20,000 kilometres apart ... (B)oth are adopting a small target strategy. And I think when you’re in opposition and you’ve just been thrown out of office, you have to show that you’ve changed and Miliband didn’t show that he’d changed from the Gordon Brown era, which was to move away from the middle after Blair. So, he moved away from the middle. He and the media in the UK were obsessed with the very poor and the very rich, instead of that which makes a society strong, which is the middle. And we’ve not seen a lot of that from ... the Opposition Leader yet.
LEIGH SALES: So this idea that he hasn’t yet established how he differs from the previous Labour government, do you mean? 
MARK TEXTOR: Yeah, he hasn’t established that he’s not the toe-cutter he was during the Rudd-Gillard years and he hasn’t established that he’s prepared to end the politics of envy and to embrace middle Australia.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Paul Barry’s bias is showing when he attacks Murdoch’s bias for Labour’s loss

Andrew Bolt May 12 2015 (8:57am)

Paul Barry, the Murdoch-obsessed Media Watch host, had a tantrum last night, blaming the wicked Murdoch papers for helping to defeat the British Labour party:
Leading the cheer squad for David Cameron was The Sun, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which thereby extended its record of backing the winner in every UK election since 1979. 
Which it helped achieve with a series of front pages attacking Labour and leader Ed Miliband…
So why was The Sun so determined to keep Labour out? Well, at the height of the hacking scandal in 2011 Ed Miliband threatened to break up Murdoch’s British empire and slash News Corp’s market share…
And if you’re asking what does all this have to do with Australia, let me remind you that Mr Murdoch’s News Corp accounts for two-thirds of the city and national daily papers sold in this country.  
Booga-booga. According to Barry, then, British voters are mindless, voting against noble Labour simply because wicked Murdoch told them to.
This is such a comically simplistic, paranoid and arrogant analysis that I’m [not] surprised the ABC would offer this as the considered opinion of its premier program on the media.
But here are the key flaws in this ludicrous analysis.
Flaw one: The Sun sells fewer than 2 million copies in a country of 64 million people, who also read papers such as The Guardian and The Independent, click on Left-leaning Twitter and blogs, and are fed the Left-leaning BBC. To single out the Sun is paranoid and mere scape-goating.
Flaw two: The Sun’s readership skews working class and would include many people who actually vote Labour. The idea that all Sun readers do not have a mind of their own is arrogant and preposterous.
Flaw three: Labour gave voters many reasons to doubt it was ready to government, not least by preaching class war. I suspect this, more than Murdoch, explains its failure, and Barry is simply refusing to accept Labour’s manifest flaws.

Flaw four:
 knowing Murdoch reasonably well, I can assure Barry that when he talks politics more than 97 per cent of his concern is not how one party or the other will hurt or help his business but how they will hurt or help the nation. Nothing influences his judgements more, in my opinion. In this case, Miliband’s hostility to a free press - one which could criticise him - would only have underlined his unsuitability for high office.

Flaw five:
 Barry’s own bias is blatant and completely distorts his analysis. He rages at the anti-Labour bias of the Sun, but not at anti-Conservative bias of other media outlets, even though even he in passing makes two tiny references to two tiny examples of it in a five-minute barrage against Murdoch:
According to the Guardian, which supported Labour ... Murdoch’s best-selling tabloid [The Sun] went in harder than ever before...Professor Brian Cathcart ... pointed out that the Sun, Express, Mail and Mirror—which was rabidly pro-Labour—were all in breach of, their own editors’ code because they’d allowed blatant bias to pollute their news columns.
In fact, the BBC - with far greater reach than the Sun - campaigned for the Left, just as Barry’s ABC does in Australia, yet Barry did not even mention this bias, let alone condemn it, although Conservative MPs are furious:
The future of the licence fee is in doubt after David Cameron appointed one of the BBC’s biggest critics as Culture Secretary in a move that will be seen as an effective declaration of war on the corporation… 
Senior Conservatives said they were “furious at the BBC’s coverage” of the election campaign and accused the corporation of an “unforgivable pro-Labour bias"… Senior Tories repeatedly clashed with the BBC during the election campaign and were particularly infuriated by the corporation’s attempts to force David Cameron to take part in a head-to-head leadership debate…
Philip Davies, a member of the culture select committee in the last Parliament ..., accused the corporation of “dancing to Labour’s tune” during the run up to the election. 
He said: “During the election campaign the presenters barely even had the courtesy to hide their allegiances...”
And here is just some of the campaigning for Labour by The Guardian and Observer, editorials which Barry does not criticise either (and I won’t bother listing all the spin in their news stories):
Even Barry’s ideological allies - and fellow Murdoch haters - in Britain don’t share Barry’s conviction that the evil Murdoch stole this election. Peter Jukes, named Reporter of the Year on Twitter and a favored source for Barry, actually discounted the power of press attacks on Labour and claimed (just before the vote) that social media was the new force:
Perversely, the press’s negative coverage of Miliband could be rebounding on its authors. The British famously love an ‘underdog’ and the televised debates have seen a positive shift in Miliband’s favourability ratings… 
It’s the ground war, the getting out of the vote, which will determine the outcome of the general election now.
There is some sign that social media has played a role in that too. The comedian Russell Brand, who is followed by 10 million people on Twitter, and has a much watched news channel on YouTube, The Trews, was the broadcasting sensation of this election as he dropped his well-rehearsed opposition to endorse Ed Miliband as Prime Minster…
Election Prediction, which uses academic research into Twitter and news media analysis, confirmed there had been a noticeable shift in positive references to Labour in the last few days suggesting a possible ‘last minute swing’. 
Yet the swing went the other way instead.
Here is something for Barry to consider: maybe, just maybe, voters decide things for themselves on the basis of what politicians actually say or do.
In this case, Miliband in the last few days performed a stupid stunt by carving his anodyne promises on a tablet of stone, promised Muslims he’d criminalise criticism of Islam and clowned around with that idiot Russell Brand, and all this while Scotland threatened to tear the union apart.  Add his class war rhetoric and I am not surprised voters got cold feet. I certainly wouldn’t “blame” this swing on Murdoch, or criticise newspapers which warned against voting for a party led by a man so reckless, divisive and trivial.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill and many others.) 
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Too generous, they cried. Too harsh, they say now

Andrew Bolt May 12 2015 (8:54am)

Chris Kenny on the parental leave hypocrites:
The hypocritical outrage over the government’s move to end double-dipping in paid parental leave highlights the convoluted partisan approach to this entitlement… 
Many of the people (mainly women obviously) who have been double-dipping are public servants so it is an absurd indulgence and waste of money that they were able to hit up twice, while most parents make do on the basic scheme…
Many on the left opposed [Abbott’s PPL] only because it was being proposed by the Coalition, it was actually the sort of expansionist policy they love — don’t forget the Greens supported it. So Labor and their fellow travellers in the media opposed Abbott’s PPL on the grounds that it was too generous but now they squeal when double-dipping is eradicated.. 
.(I)t remains a scandal that public servants enjoy an extremely generous paid parental leave scheme funded by the very taxpayers who are lucky to have the government’s basic plan.Yet the public servants at the ABC and elsewhere are campaigning to keep two bites at the cherry — no complaints about that being overly generous or a burden on the budget.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Christian Porter - add him to a new Abbott team

Andrew Bolt May 12 2015 (12:51am)

How good was Christian Porter on Q&A last night? Fresh, plausible, straight-talking, pleasant.
Porter was Treasurer of Western Australia before switching to federal politics. High time he was shoved into the Government’s front lines. Look what a difference has already been made by the fresh faces in the Government’s economics and spending team - Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg.
Porter has been asked to help sell this Budget. You’ll see more of him. And a small reshuffle by the end of the year might be another step forward in the Government’s long march from the grave.
UPDATE
Did I turn off too soon? Reader Bob Gorovoi:
I thought he was good until he failed to rebut any of the global warming alarmist nonsense from the other panelists in response to a question that surely was asked by Christine Milne’s father. His weak defence of Maurice Newman was also disappointing.
Reader Joe Blow notes someone else who deserves more face time:
I saw backbencher Angus Taylor on one of the Sky shows last night and he was excellent too. He’s got a PhD in economics and is a Rhodes Scholar. 
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Did you ever think a trip to Disney World could benefit your writing? http://bit.ly/1Ewzdw3
Posted by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing on Monday, 11 May 2015
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Snowed in ShipwreckI have many more pics to come.  Hoping you don't mind.
Posted by Matt Granz on Monday, 11 May 2015
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I recently saw this on a friends page. Their year 3 teachers had written this lovely letter to all of their students to...
Posted by What's On 4 Australia on Monday, 11 May 2015
Well meant meme copied from US tests, it is misleading. NAPLAN is important so the state knows how to allocate resources. Parents and education authorities also use it as a diagnostic, but that is irrelevant and hypocritical when they don't use it to diagnose teacher performance.
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Fairfax fail. Officially beyond parody. I wonder how many times they've mentioned Abbott instead of domestic violence...
Posted by Miss Judgement - Rita Panahi on Monday, 11 May 2015

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Case in point.
Posted by Grammarly on Monday, 11 May 2015
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Bodie, SnowboundAnother lucky day of snow in the high country.  We could barely believe our ears when we heard the...
Posted by Matt Granz on Monday, 11 May 2015

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If anyone can write compelling stories, it's the folks at Pixar. Here are their 22 rules for storytelling: http://bit.ly/1J5DPiZ
Posted by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing on Monday, 11 May 2015

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Today in Mighty Girl history, one of Germany’s most famous anti-Nazi heroes, Sophie Scholl, was born in 1921. As a...
Posted by A Mighty Girl on Saturday, 9 May 2015

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I just received a piece of hate mail from somebody named Mathew Burstein.
"No one wants you to come to Houston. Just cancel your show and save yourself the embarrassment."
My response.
"I'm already in Houston and I've done three sold out shows. Only an angry, hateful person would start a Facebook fight with a total stranger. You seem like an angry, hateful person. I figured you were either a leftist, Islamist or a Ron Paul supporter. Most cultists get angry when I do not bow down to their god Obama, Allah or Ron Paul. Or maybe you just hate Jews. Either way, God bless and find better uses of your time than attacking total strangers."
Sure enough, this fellow is involved with a "Liberty Caucus," proving that these intolerant miscreants have no idea what "liberty" actually means. It means the right to disagree with them without being castigated. 
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THE PERCEPTION OF BIAS SHOW

Tim Blair – Monday, May 12, 2014 (11:50am)

Rumours abound of a possible conservative TV show on the ABC: 
Would be interesting to know if Jason Morrison 2GB shock jock turns up there too. They were focus grouping his name along with Tim Blair and Paul Sheehan at a session last week for a show hosted by a “expressed conservative commentator” to deal with the “perception of bias”. I was part of the research group. 
2GB’s Ben Fordham interviewed the prospective hosts last Friday. A distinct lack of enthusiasm was evident.
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LONG SLEEP

Tim Blair – Monday, May 12, 2014 (11:46am)

Vanessa Badham bids her readers good evening: 
Oh, twitter: may you march tonight into a gentle valley of green dreams. Bless you all. 
For once, Vanessa’s words were perfectly chosen: 
Known as “green dream”, NEMBUTAL is the drug vets use to euthanise animals. 
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MIKE KNOWS MONEY

Tim Blair – Monday, May 12, 2014 (11:41am)

The SMH’s Mike Carlton considers the appearance value of a former US president: 
I don’t think there’s a big demand for George W Bush … 
Think again, Michael: 
Former President George W. Bush has made good on his pledge to “replenish the ol’ coffers,” raking in a whopping $15 million in speaking fees since leaving office, according to a report.
No. 43’s standard speaking fee is reportedly between $100,000 and $150,000, and Bush has delivered almost 140 paid talks since leaving the Oval Office. 
By comparison, you can pick up some secondhand Carlton for just ten bucks.
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BUSINESS AS USUAL

Tim Blair – Monday, May 12, 2014 (10:38am)

Two years ago, one of Fairfax’s regional reporters suggested a journalistic innovation
As someone working in the media, I would love to see my fellow journalists and reporters put a ban on covering the views of climate change deniers. 
Many of the chap’s regional colleagues now face possible silencing themselves: 
More than 30 regional Fairfax Media newspapers, including the Illawarra Mercury, are under review for possible closure ...
The Australian has obtained details from two consultancy reports commissioned by Fairfax, which reveal between 30 and 65 of the company’s local and regional newspapers are on a “watch list” for closure …
A Fairfax spokeswoman yesterday confirmed the regional newspapers were under review but said no decisions had been made at this stage. “We announced that we were reviewing the structures of the regional business last year. We have made no decisions. It’s business as usual,” she said. 
A planned advertising campaign may also be cut: 
Fairfax asked some of its most senior journalists to take part in a new consumer brand campaign earlier this year.
Senior journalists Kate McClymont, Richard Baker, Nick McKenzie, Terry Durack, Anthony Dennis and Ardyn Bernoth were interviewed on camera about the values of Fairfax, the strength of its journalism and why they were so passionate about their jobs.
The campaign was classy and beautifully shot, involving about two dozen editors, writers and photographers.
But, sadly, at least two of this group, including travel editor Dennis, were last week told they needed to reapply for their positions, as Fairfax announced 70 redundancies. 
Just business as usual, folks.
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SCAMS SLASHED

Tim Blair – Monday, May 12, 2014 (10:11am)

Finally, some good news ahead of tomorrow’s budget: 
Among the biggest turkeys to get the chop will be the Labor government’s failed green schemes, many of which never got off the ground, all of which were a drain on taxpayers.
More than $1.3 billion will be saved when the axe falls on the preposterous renewable energy agency, which did nothing more than deliver more expensive power to consumers without any meaningful reduction in carbon outputs. The government will today announce its plan to chop the Australian Renewable Energy Agency which was created in 2012 by the Gillard government to provide taxpayers’ money to co-fund private sector renewable energy projects.
Another symbolic gesture to appease the Greens and members of Labor’s inner-urban branches but totally ineffectual. 
Further details here.
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ABC finally driven to report AWU scandal. UPDATE: Blewitt tells of cash for Gillard builder

Andrew Bolt May 12 2014 (2:15pm)

The dam has broken. The ABC’s AM program this morning reported at length on the AWU slush fund scandal which the ABC largely ignored.
The reason? Former AWU official Ralph Blewitt is to give evidence this morning to the royal commission into union corruption. Blewitt says he intends to say he was part of a fraud involving a slush fund he set up with Bruce Wilson, a former boyfriend of Julia Gillard, who gave legal advice on the creation of the fund.  (Gillard denies any wrong-doing and says she did not know of the fund’s involvement in any fraud.)
Watch Blewitt give evidence live here from 10am.
UPDATE
Odd. The early ABC AM report is not included on the program’s webpage.
UPDATE

Ralph Blewitt, speaking calmly, has told the royal commission he took out either $10,000 or $20,000 from the slush fund in September or October in 1994 on the request of Bruce Wilson, an AWU official and then boyfriend of Julia Gillard.
He flew with the cash from Perth to Melbourne and went to Gillard’s Abbottsford home. Blewitt said Gillard was at the front of the house and told him Wilson was at the back. Blewitt went through and saw Wilson with three workmen doing renovations to either the kitchen or the verandah or both. Blewitt said Wilson asked him to give one of the workmen $7000, which he did before giving the balance to Wilson.
Asked if Gillard was present, Blewitt said no: “She wasn’t present at the time that I handed over the money to the contractor or builder.”
Gillard has previously said she did nothing wrong in advising her boyfriend on the creation of his slush fund, and says she did not know how he operated it. She said she believed she paid for her renovations herself.
UPDATE
One of the great mysteries has been where all the slush fund money went. Here’s a clue.
Blewitt says when he and Wilson were driven out of the AWU Wilson bought the lease of Rumbrellas, a popular bar and restaurant in Northbridge, Perth, and poured $350,000 in doing it up. Blewitt said he helped out his mate at the restaurant but Wilson spent too much time nightclubbing rather than managing his restaurant, got “ripped off” and went bankrupt.
UPDATE
If true, a strange way for lawyers to behave, it seems to me…
Blewitt told the royal commission he was later involved in a defamation action handled by Slater & Gordon against other AWU officials over a dirt sheet. He says he gave no instructions to Slater & Gordon to start it or to later discontinue it. His sole involvement was to sign papers sent to him in Perth. He says the lawyer involved was either Gillard or Bernard Murphy, now a judge.
UPDATE
THE Queensland union and ALP “godfather” Bill Ludwig has been accused of receiving a secret slush fund cash payment of $50,000 from the former boyfriend of ex-Labor prime minister Julia Gillard… 
Mr Ludwig, who only recently retired, was the AWU’s Queensland secretary and national president, and a highly influential figure in the ALP when the $50,000 payment was allegedly made to him in September 1993.
Mr Blewitt alleged under oath today that he withdrew a cheque made out to $50,000 cash in September 1993 from the Perth bank account of the secret slush fund.
He said he then travelled to an AWU national executive meeting in Sydney to hand the money in person to Mr Wilson at the Camperdown TraveLodge hotel where the meeting was held.
When he asked Mr Wilson what the money was for, Mr Wilson told him that it was for Bill Ludwig – but did not give a reason…
Contacted by The Australian, Mr Ludwig said he had no comment to make today but would be issuing a statement tomorrow.
And:
Mr Blewitt also fleshed out detail of payments allegedly made to the slush fund by the Thiess construction company in return for workplace safety services never provided at the company’s Dawes Hill Channel project near Perth. 
In its first year of operation, the fund received a series of payments totalling $90,000 from Thiess after invoices sent by Mr Blewitt.
He said he knew the invoices were “false” but followed instruction from Mr Wilson at all times.
The commission also heard that money paid by Thiess was also used to buy a house in Melbourne’s Fitzroy on February 13, 1993, shortly before Mr Wilson moved to head up the AWU’s Victorian branch in 1993.
But Mr Wilson allegedly wanted to distance the purchase from himself and the AWU, so he allegedly required that the property be bought at auction in Mr Blewitt’s name.
The signatures of Mr Wilson and Ms Blewitt were on a document allegedly witnessed by Ms Gillard that handed power of attorney for the auction purchase to Mr Wilson… 
Ms Gillard attended the auction for the Fitzroy property bought in Mr Blewitt’s name and did conveyancing work. She has said she never lived at the property.
Gillard has also said she witnessed documents correctly.
UPDATE
Bruce Wilson makes sure reports of today’s hearings go to the front of tomorrow’s newspapers by taking on a photographer:
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Why are so many journalists of the Left?

Andrew Bolt May 12 2014 (1:56pm)

 I interview Roger Scruton, the foremost conservative philosopher today.
UPDATE
Hear Scruton speak at the following events:
Wednesday 14 May 2014
5.00pm for 5.30pm,
The Grace Hotel
77 York Street, Sydney 

Thursday 15 May 2014
5.00pm for 5.30pm,
Pullman Brisbane King George Square
Corner Ann & Roma Street, Brisbane 
NOTE: Bookings are essential and places limited. Go here for tickets.
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Another Liberal MP bites the dust

Andrew Bolt May 12 2014 (1:46pm)

Are the NSW Liberals no cleaner than Labor?
LIBERAL member for Newcastle Tim Owen will not contest the next election after admitting he “probably” received prohibited donations during his 2011 campaign. 
The announcement comes after Mr Owen was named in evidence given to ICAC in relation to alleged “payments under the table”, although the anti-corruption body didn’t identify him as a target. Mr Owen also said health issues had influenced his decision.
True, corruption in NSW Labor governments was of an unprecedented scale, but the Liberals have lost a moral edge. 
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Cheap art stolen. Age horrified

Andrew Bolt May 12 2014 (1:25pm)

Big story in The Age:
A tall, thin person with a ponytail broke into a display home on Smith Street, Collingwood and stole an artwork by the Melbourne artist known as Miso… 
The stolen work, titled Moon (Walking to all my friends’ houses in the world) I, was stolen on Sunday, May 4 at around 3.20am and its owner and creator are pleading for its return.
The ethereal work maps out every friend’s house that Miso - real name Stanislava Pinchuk - has walked to in the space of a year and was purchased from her solo show last year.
The 1.2 by 1.6 metre work was painstakingly created with thousands of tiny pin pricks on white paper. The National Gallery of Victoria holds its sister piece.
“It is not a work I can remake,” said Miso, who learned of the theft while receiving treatment in hospital for a broken arm… 
Andy Dinan, director of Port Melbourne’s MARS Gallery, purchased the work for $5500 after falling in love with it at Miso’s solo exhibition in October. 
Just $5500? For that size? Yet an artist with such little public demand has a work in the National Gallery of Victoria?
Reader Andrew has other questions:
This takes up a whole page!!!
But it has all the elements that appeal to the core readership of the Age.  A thief with a ponytail… Smith Street, Collingwood… a work of art ..  stolen… an enigmatic title “Moon (Walking to all my friends’ houses in the world) I,”!! ...  It is “ethereal” ... “thousands of tiny pin pricks on white paper” ...  an artist who doesn’t paint under her real name but is now named after a Japanese fermented soy paste.
And its worth $5500. 
Hell , about 20 Holdens worth at least $5500 are stolen every day in Epping or Broadie or Frankston or Noble Park ... but what does The Age care? 
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Labor dead to its duty

Andrew Bolt May 12 2014 (10:20am)

 SO let’s check what Labor has said about things the Abbott Government plans in Tuesday’s Budget to dig us out of this financial hole.
A temporary deficit tax on higher earners?
“Bad idea,” snaps Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. “Labor will have no part of it.”
A rise — maybe just 1c a litre — on the fuel excise, to help save us from the 10 more years of debt Treasury predicts?
It’s “regressive”, objects Labor’s Transport spokesman, Anthony Albanese, and a hit “bigger than the carbon price”.
Well, how about charging people maybe $6 for doctors’ visits, to stop health costs exploding by the projected 70 per cent over the next decade?
“Poorer people will be unfairly hit,” howls Shorten. “We do not support a new GP tax.”
Then how about slowing the boom in disability pensions — now costing $15 billion a year — by checking if younger pensioners can do at least some work, as the Government suggested on Saturday?
“Why would you be punishing them?” complains Labor’s health spokesman Catherine King.
Surely the Government should at least raise the pension age to 70 by 2035, as Treasurer Joe Hockey announced, with the pension bill now soaring past $36 billion a year?
“Unfair,” declares Shorten. “Don’t pick on the pensioners.”
(Read full article here.)  
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Gardeners like Mathias Cormann know how to prune

Andrew Bolt May 12 2014 (9:47am)

A fascinating detail from Phillip Hudson that points to a great thing about this country and the chances it gives:
THE last time a new Coalition government prepared a tough-love budget, union-led protesters smashed down the doors of Parliament House in an ugly riot…
Back then Tony Abbott was an ambitious parliamentary secretary. Joe Hockey was a fresh-faced backbencher. 
And Hockey’s wingman for this budget, Mathias Cormann, was a newly arrived ¬migrant with a Belgian law degree working as a gardener at Perth’s Presbyterian Ladies College.
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Too sensitive now for deep cuts

Andrew Bolt May 12 2014 (9:46am)

Henry Ergas puts the Budget cuts in context – but says our culture isn’t one that accepts much pain any more:
“IT was not intended to make anyone giggle,” treasurer Arthur Fadden said of his ‘‘horror budget’’ of September 1951… 
Slashing spending and increasing taxes, Fadden’s budget had shocked the economy back on track. Even by today’s standards, the fiscal turnaround was immense, all the more so as some 60 per cent of the change came from expenditure reductions; a spending cut affecting the same share of government outlays now would eliminate Labor’s deficit at a stroke.
The 1951 budget required extraordinary political courage, but Fadden’s Australia was a different country. Post-war prosperity had neither healed the scars nor eliminated the culture of sacrifice forged by years of depression and war. And with communism in Europe and Asia threatening a global conflagration, Australians were prepared for hardship. 
Today’s voters, in contrast, have been shaped by 23 years of continuous growth.  
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The price of hysteria

Andrew Bolt May 12 2014 (9:45am)

It’s too easy to sue and the demonisation of males has gone way overboard. Children now pay the price:
GROWING numbers of men are shunning teaching careers for fear of being falsely accused of child-sex offences. 
More than 50 South Australian schools had no male teachers last year ... Australian Education Union state president David Smith said members were reporting more reluctance from young men about joining the profession…

“Quite frankly, there are concerns about (men’s) safety regarding vexatious accusations...”
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The kind of racism the Left lets pass

Andrew Bolt May 12 2014 (9:18am)

The racism of a Labor speechwriter and friend of Bob Carr will, of course, be excused or ignored by the Left: 
Bob Ellis contributes to national harmony on his blog on Friday: 
THERE is growing evidence that Joe Hockey is the dumbest Australian politician ever … It is not his country, of course. Though born here, he has a Middle Eastern way of looking at things. He believes the heathens do not deserve help, and if the children throw stones, well, rubber bullets is what they will suffer in return. He believes inequality is deserved. It is in his DNA. If this is unfair, I am sorry. I do not wish to be unfair.
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It shouldn’t be this hard to call Boko Haram Islamic

Andrew Bolt May 12 2014 (8:51am)

 EXACTLY what do the Left think those Boko Haram jihadists are doing in Nigeria?
I thought it was as obvious as a bomb in a bus. Boko Haram has declared war on Christians and on Western education, and demanded all western Africa be put under sharia law.
It’s since murdered thousands of civilians, bombed churches, massacred schoolboys and enslaved girls, including more than 200 abducted from a boarding school last month.
And their leader insists his faith made him do all this, even sell girls as slaves: “Allah says I should sell.”
In other words, we have yet another Islamist terrorist group on our hands.
Even China now has them, with one group knifing 29 commuters to death in Kunming’s railway station two months ago, all of which suggests something in Islamic teaching may perhaps give its followers more licence to violence than is safe for the rest of us.
Take the selling of girls captured in a jihad. As the Koran consulted by Boko Haram says: “We have made lawful to thee ... those (slaves) whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war.”

But this latest kidnapping is so startling that many of the Left have finally had to notice a conflict that has risked them having to say hard things about Islam.
(Read full article here.)  
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Sea ice grows. What do alarmists say now?

Andrew Bolt May 12 2014 (7:33am)

Global warming - dud predictions

If vanishing sea ice was evidence of global warming, what does increasing ice mean? Can’t wait to hear the scaremongers explain this away:
ANTARCTIC sea ice has expanded to record levels for April, increasing by more than 110,000sq km a day last month to nine million square kilometres. 
The National Snow and Ice Data Centre said .... “This exceeds the past record for the satellite era by about 320,000sq km, which was set in April 2008,...” Increased ice cover in Antarctic continues to be at odds with falling Arctic ice levels, where the summer melt has again pushed levels well below the average extent for 1981-2010… [But] the April Arctic minimum was 270,000sq km higher than the record April low, which occurred in 2007. 
Together, that leaves us with above-average sea ice:
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Shorten’s web of money

Andrew Bolt May 12 2014 (7:25am)

How Bill Shorten built a web of power with union members’ money - legally, he insists:
BILL Shorten participated in the labour movement’s campaign donations carnival as a union boss, making payments to some key Labor figures aligned to his Victorian Right faction and an eclectic range of ALP politicians in other states. 
While some of those who ­enjoyed the Australian Workers Union’s largesse under the now Labor leader’s watch went on to become senior ministers or powerful numbers men, others became engulfed in scandal.
The Australian has analysed the political donation returns Mr Shorten signed and submitted to the Australian Electoral Commission when he was secretary of the Victorian branch of the AWU and the union’s national secretary…
In most cases, Mr Shorten specified the name of the candidate towards whose campaign the AWU made the donations, which ranged from $250 to $5000 and were made between 2002 and 2005. 
The list of Victorian state MPs comprises ALP former deputy premier Rob Hulls, former ministers Lisa Neville and Candy Broad, former Speaker Judy Maddigan, former parliamentary secretary Luke Donnellan, powerful numbers man Hong Lim, and Marlene Kairouz, all of whom are from the Right except Ms Broad, who is non-aligned.
Again, Shorten says this was legal. But the royal commission into union governance and corruption is bound to be interested in how all this kind of stuff works and why.
(Via Michael Smith.) 
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Super fund leaked personal information to union: claim

Andrew Bolt May 12 2014 (7:12am)

Utterly disgraceful if true, and another reason to distrust giving unions power over superannuation funds:
Industry superannuation fund Cbus allegedly leaked the private financial details and home addresses of hundreds of non-union workers to the ­militant construction union as part of an industrial campaign. 
The allegations will be forwarded to the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Privacy Commissioner by Lis-Con, the construction company targeted by the campaign.
A Fairfax Media investigation has obtained a leaked database with the private details of more than 400 Cbus superannuation fund members – most of whom are not union members – and which was allegedly given to the NSW Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) branch secretary Brian Parker without the knowledge of the workers involved.
A signed statutory declaration, provided to Fairfax Media by a union whistleblower who assisted Mr Parker after he allegedly obtained the leaked information, states that it was used to help formulate an industrial campaign against a company that had been fighting the CFMEU in legal cases in several states…
Fairfax Media has confirmed that the database was used by the NSW CFMEU to call the private phone numbers of employees of a construction firm, Lis-Con, who were living in South Australia, Queensland and NSW....
Relations between the company and the union became extremely hostile when the company’s management lodged defamation writs against the CFMEU in Queensland and Western Australia.
The union whistleblower told Fairfax Media: “They were a company the union wanted to squash. The leaked information was intended to put enough pressure on them so the word would get out that they were not a company contractors should use."The construction workers were quizzed about their entitlements in an effort to get them to put pressure on the company’s management… 
Fairfax Media is not suggesting the Cbus board knew of the leaking of the members’ details to the NSW branch of the CFMEU and a Cbus spokesman says the allegations would be the subject of an internal investigation.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Cutting the waste

Andrew Bolt May 12 2014 (7:08am)

Good:
MORE than 70 government agencies will be scrapped or merged in a budget plan to eliminate waste… 
The “smaller government” program acts on confidential findings by the Department of Fin­ance that the federal bureau­cracy has swelled to almost 1000 entities, ranging from big agencies to obscure committees. 
Better, because green means waste:
... the government will announce in tomorrow’s Budget that it will legislate to axe the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), created in 2012 by the Gillard government to co-fund private sector renewable energy projects…
It had originally been given the power to administer $3.1 billion in grants to help fund renewable energy projects, which was then reduced down to $2.5 billion. 
The government confirmed that $1 billion will be left in a fund to honour those projects that had already been committed and contracts signed, but the remaining $1.3 billion will be booked as a budget saving.
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Remembering what passed for a government under Labor

Andrew Bolt May 12 2014 (5:17am)

We’re meanwhile reminded of an alternative way to run a government: 
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd and his ministers Peter Garrett and Mark Arbib will be grilled on their role in the botched $2.8 billion insulation program from Monday…
Derided by critics as a Liberal Party witch-hunt against Labor, the royal commission has so far not unveiled any “smoking gun” evidence that implicates the upper echelons of the Rudd government for shortcomings in the program…
But there has been a number of questions that keep re-emerging following evidence of senior bureaucrats and representatives of the insulation industry. These include: why were safety standards for installers watered down before the roll-out of the scheme on July 2009?  And, more important, why were warnings about deaths in a similar scheme in New Zealand ignored?… 
Mr Arbib will give evidence on Monday, followed by Mr Garrett on Tuesday and Mr Rudd on Wednesday.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Norge airship in flight 1926.jpg
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Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

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“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” -Ephesians 4:32
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning


"I am with you alway."
Matthew 28:20

It is well there is One who is ever the same, and who is ever with us. It is well there is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life. O my soul, set not thine affections upon rusting, moth-eaten, decaying treasures, but set thine heart upon him who abides forever faithful to thee. Build not thine house upon the moving quicksands of a deceitful world, but found thy hopes upon this rock, which, amid descending rain and roaring floods, shall stand immovably secure. My soul, I charge thee, lay up thy treasure in the only secure cabinet; store thy jewels where thou canst never lose them. Put thine all in Christ; set all thine affections on his person, all thy hope in his merit, all thy trust in his efficacious blood, all thy joy in his presence, and so thou mayest laugh at loss, and defy destruction. Remember that all the flowers in the world's garden fade by turns, and the day cometh when nothing will be left but the black, cold earth. Death's black extinguisher must soon put out thy candle. Oh! how sweet to have sunlight when the candle is gone! The dark flood must soon roll between thee and all thou hast; then wed thine heart to him who will never leave thee; trust thyself with him who will go with thee through the black and surging current of death's stream, and who will land thee safely on the celestial shore, and make thee sit with him in heavenly places forever. Go, sorrowing son of affliction, tell thy secrets to the Friend who sticketh closer than a brother. Trust all thy concerns with him who never can be taken from thee, who will never leave thee, and who will never let thee leave him, even "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever." "Lo, I am with you alway," is enough for my soul to live upon, let who will forsake me.

Evening

"Only be thou strong and very courageous."
Joshua 1:7
Our God's tender love for his servants makes him concerned for the state of their inward feelings. He desires them to be of good courage. Some esteem it a small thing for a believer to be vexed with doubts and fears, but God thinks not so. From this text it is plain that our Master would not have us entangled with fears. He would have us without carefulness, without doubt, without cowardice. Our Master does not think so lightly of our unbelief as we do. When we are desponding we are subject to a grievous malady, not to be trifled with, but to be carried at once to the beloved Physician. Our Lord loveth not to see our countenance sad. It was a law of Ahasuerus that no one should come into the king's court dressed in mourning: this is not the law of the King of kings, for we may come mourning as we are; but still he would have us put off the spirit of heaviness, and put on the garment of praise, for there is much reason to rejoice. The Christian man ought to be of a courageous spirit, in order that he may glorify the Lord by enduring trials in an heroic manner. If he be fearful and fainthearted, it will dishonour his God. Besides, what a bad example it is. This disease of doubtfulness and discouragement is an epidemic which soon spreads amongst the Lord's flock. One downcast believer makes twenty souls sad. Moreover, unless your courage is kept up, Satan will be too much for you. Let your spirit be joyful in God your Saviour, the joy of the Lord shall be your strength, and no fiend of hell shall make headway against you; but cowardice throws down the banner. Moreover, labour is light to a man of cheerful spirit; and success waits upon cheerfulness. The man who toils, rejoicing in his God, believing with all his heart, has success guaranteed. He who sows in hope shall reap in joy; therefore, dear reader, "be thou strong, and very courageous."
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Pharaoh

[Phā'raōh] - sun, great house or the destroyer. This was a title used as the general description of the sovereign of Egypt, both with and without the personal name attached.Pharaoh is an Egyptian term derived from Phra, meaning the sun, to which the Egyptians likened themselves. This is why we often see them represented with a disc or figure of the sun upon their heads. The Pharaohs of Bible times are as follows:

  1. The one who took Sarah from Abraham (Gen. 12:15-20 ).
  2. The one who reigned when Joseph was prime minister(Gen. 37:3640-50).
  3. The one who was king of Egypt when Moses was bornand in whose palace Moses was brought up (Exod. 1and 2).
  4. The one who was king when Moses was fully grown(Exod. 2:15).
  5. The one who persecuted the Israelites, and whom Moses and Aaron challenged ( Exod. 3:10, 11; 4:21, 22; 5-18).
  6. The one who reigned in the days of Solomon and whose daughter Solomon married (1 Kings 3:1; 7:8).
  7. The one who was king in the days of Isaiah (Isa 19:11; 30:2, 3; 36:6).
  8. The one who was father of Bithiah, wife of Mered, of the tribe of Judah (1 Chron. 4:18).
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Today's reading: 2 Kings 13-14, John 2 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Kings 13-14


Jehoahaz King of Israel

1 In the twenty-third year of Joash son of Ahaziah king of Judah, Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned seventeen years. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD by following the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit, and he did not turn away from them. 3 So the LORD's anger burned against Israel, and for a long time he kept them under the power of Hazael king of Aram and Ben-Hadad his son....

Today's New Testament reading: John 2

Jesus Changes Water Into Wine
1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."
4 "Woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My hour has not yet come."
5 His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you...."


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