Thursday, April 12, 2018

Thu Apr 12th Todays News

Don't give up on hope. Malcolm Turnbull was challenged over the issue of immigration. He obfuscated badly, so badly it is a lie. Faced with the allegation that Dutton had recommended cutting immigration and Turnbull had stopped the recommendation, Turnbull used lawyer speak. Turnbull did not actually deny it. He just said the public wasn't at the meeting. The suggestion was that Turnbull had not opposed any such proposal. The fact is he had. That is a lie the PM has made to the public for no better reason than because he could. And that should not be tolerated. 

I want migration. I think it is healthy to have a high migration rate. The denunciations people make about migrants, aside from terrorism related to faux Islamic refugees, is the dominance of services like public transport and medical. I am aware of the number of Islamic women on busses with prams and children, or in welfare queues. But many of the reports relate to students and visitors, not migrants. Clumsily, people refer to language barriers and assimilation because terrorist ideology is apparently not legal to dispute under 18c. But Australia has been built on migration and will continue to be. What Australia really needs is appropriate infrastructure to allow absorption of those migrants. But an incompetent PM who cannot argue salient issues of state and resorts to lying to the public is not communicating the necessary vision. And without planning, migration filters into a few places when the nation is very big. One infrastructure that is happening, slowly, is Barnaby Joyce's 100 dams. That will give Australia sufficient water capital to home a population exceeding 300 million. It will also effectively cool the climate. But state ALP governments are opposing the development. The other needed thing is a plan to grow housing and public transport to meet the needs of migrants and students. Having students spend four hours a day on public transport is guaranteed to stretch resources. Students need work, and industry needs to be profitable with less regulation preventing employment. While state ALP governments are preventing necessary infrastructure, Liberal state divisions need to copy Victoria and explain their proposals which will deal with the issues. Part of great leadership is letting people know why proposals are good. Something a lying PM doesn't do. 

I feel a partnership with donor nations, like USA, UK, Vietnam, China, India and Indonesia could greatly benefit Australia and assist planning. 
I am a decent man and don't care for 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 Essay on Criticism

Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 -- 30 May 1744) was an eighteenth-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. He is the third most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson. Pope is famous for his use of the heroic couplet.

=== from 2017 ===
Some things should not happen, but they do. A Vietnamese ethnic doctor with a successful family and a following in Vietnam was ordered to give up his seat on a United Airlines flight under the premise of being overbooked. He refused, which had the flight been overbooked he had no right to do. But employees of United overstepped the bound of custom, assaulting the medico passenger, leaving him a bloody mess. Apparently, he had had patients he needed to attend to. Other passengers could have been bumped. And might have benefited from it. Turns out the flight had not been overbooked. The employees just wanted the first class seat. A muck file is released denouncing the medico of things his family can, and apparently have forgiven him. And this is only one instance, more are being raised of abuses regarding overbooking. Overbooking happens more in the US, than in Australia because Australian domestic trade laws tend to prevent it. But an assumption in the US of a percentage of booked passengers not showing sometimes results in overbooking where more show than the plane can fly. People are used to what can be an abuse of power. 

In Australia, Pauline Hanson has said she will not give interviews to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Some have said that that is a mistake, that the ABC has a strong reach in rural Australia. The ABC has campaigned against Hanson and lied about her. An ABC journalist has breached security which could have had Hanson killed. The ABC is too big, with many internet networks, tv stations and radio stations. The ABC is reliant on public funding, but her size dwarfs competitors who are totally commercial. The ABC is abusing her power. It is no mistake for Hanson to not subject herself to ABC lies and misrepresentations. Hanson supporters in rural areas would like the non political services that the ABC provides, but would not listen to the political news broadcasts anyway. People are used to the abuse of power, but it could be much better. Rural services need to be funded, but the political casts of the ABC needs to be privatised. 
=== from 2016 ===
We see what we want to see. A woman blames a drunken black man for stealing her toddler child which later turns up dead. Turns out the mother is charged with the child's death. A doormat stood by her philandering husband who was President of the US. Some say the doormat had strength. There is something wrong with admiring a hero's weakness. With celebrating incompetence. With promoting false values. It is good that anyone can be President of the United States. It is sad that the incumbent is not worthy. But a person that was not worthy was promoted to that exalted position. And it can happen again. If you are voting, don't throw your vote away on a Democrat. But remember, the opposition might not excite you either. In Australia we have the inept in Malcolm Turnbull and the corrupt in Bill Shorten. There is no value in installing the corrupt. 

For some, at the moment, the Sex Party has more credibility. 
=== from 2015 ===
Inoculation works and to not do so is not only utterly selfish, it is a threat to others in the community. Inoculation does not bestow autism on children, although that ridiculous claim is made by opponents of inoculation. The treatment of autism is improving, but the diagnosis is also improving. If Bill Shorten were born today he would be a different man. He would still have a stultifying enrichment program which was overwhelmingly socialist, but his #abbottphobia would be treated, with a number of counsellors working overtime to have him diminish the hatred by encouraging hatred of Howard, Thatcher and Reagan. It just so happens that the early age of diagnosis matches an inoculation schedule. It is not a cause, but a coincidence. Some advocates argue strongly for rejection of inoculation. They put their hands over their ears and call out "la, la, la" if one speaks reason to them. But they also gamble with the lives of their kids and yours. 

The story is similar for GM crops. Philosophers may fear crops that are hardy, disease resistant and capable of growing in a more diverse landscape, but they also fear childbirth and population growth. There is a belief that with more GM crops, the more likely an uber disease will wipe out the entire crop. Of course, that could still happen with weaker, non GM crop too. But the big threat, according to anti GM advocates, is that the disease would be powerfully ironic. As if achieving immortality from memorable last words was wrong. Another fear of the anti GM lobby is that someone will profit from GM crops. But farmers are supposed to profit from growing stuff. There is nothing wrong with a farmer becoming rich. 

In 1831, soldiers marching over the Broughton Suspension Bridge in England initiated mechanical resonance due to the timing of their march. The bridge collapsed, sending 40 men into the water. Twenty men were injured, six seriously. While the bridge was shaking, the men, some liking the sound, had begun whistling. In 1864, some Union soldiers had surrendered at Fort Pillow. The black ones were killed because of their colour. In 1945, FDR died in office, leaving the Presidency to the inept Truman. In 1955, Polio vaccine was announced to work. In 1999, President Clinton was cited for contempt of court for lying about a sexual harassment civil lawsuit. His doormat stood beneath him. 
From 2014
Some things can't be ignored. One might try to, but they grow. One such problem was the abduction of a three year old girl from a sofa she was sleeping on. An open window showed how the abductor obtained her. A large search included helicopters with infra-red body heat sensors. The girl turned up more than a day later opposite her house. Too young to make sense of her experience, or talk about it. But the community needs to know the abductor will never do it again. 

Another problem that cannot be ignored is journalist Greste. He is Australian and has worked for Al Jazeera. Australia values freedom of the press, even sanctioning the corrupt abuse of the ABC and Fairfax actively promoting crime and corruption. But, Egypt is beset with terrorists, and those who are closely aligned to terrorism happen to be journalists who work for Al Jazeera. And it isn't even a debatable point, Al Jazeera has shown the world the terrorist viewpoint which has inflamed activity throughout the world. It isn't censorship to want competence, to expect appropriate weight is given issues. But, when balanced reporting is irresponsibly put aside, there are tragic consequences. What Greste faces is appalling. So is the organisation Greste works for. Greste is currently under arrest in Egypt and facing a possible death penalty. His crime is being a journalist for a reprehensible body. My suggestion is the ABC and Fairfax cover the issue from a distance. 

From the Bolt Report Supporter's Group we also have a very difficult problem to navigate which we cannot ignore. The issue is Islamic Terrorism which must be faced and can never be accepted. However, some have for their own reasons, broadened the issue to make sensationalist claims. One notes that such irresponsible behaviour is modelled by the ABC and Fairfax press as legitimate debate when advocating leftist positions. But what the ABC and Fairfax press do is wrong, and should not be copied in opposition to them. Last night, some valued contributors to the group got booted after they made claims along the line that all Islamic peoples are terrorist, that UK is a Sharia nation, that Australia is threatened by Islamic peoples migrating. Terrorism is wrong. Allowing Iran a nuclear capability is wrong. Supporting terrorism against Israel is wrong. But, the UK is still a united kingdom with a queen as head of state and strong secular values of a democratic state. And those who feel that all Islamic peoples are terrorist are bigots by definition. We welcome debate in this group, and will not accept the abuse which some post. We act proportionately. Booting is a last resort when we cannot reason. We don't have to agree on everything, or anything, but we must be civil, or we are not discussing.
Historical perspective on this day
In 238, Gordian II lost the Battle of Carthage against the Numidian forces loyal to Maximinus Thrax and was killed. Gordian I, his father, committed suicide. 240, Shapur I was crowned as king of the Sasanian Empire. 467, Anthemius was elevated to Emperor of the Western Roman Empire. 627, King Edwin of Northumbria was converted to Christianity by Paulinus, bishop of York. 1204, the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade breached the walls of Constantinople and entered the city, which they completely occupied the following day. 1606, the Union Flag was adopted as the flag of English and Scottish ships. 1776, American Revolution: With the Halifax Resolves, the North Carolina Provincial Congress authorised its Congressionaldelegation to vote for independence from Britain.

In 1820, Alexander Ypsilantis was declared leader of Filiki Eteria, a secret organisation to overthrow Ottoman rule over Greece. 1831, soldiers marching on the Broughton Suspension Bridge in Manchester, England caused it to collapse. 1861, American Civil War: The war began with Confederate forces firing on Fort Sumter, in the harbour of Charleston, South Carolina. 1862, American Civil War: The Andrews Raid (the Great Locomotive Chase) occurred, starting from Big Shanty, Georgia (now Kennesaw). 1864, American Civil War: The Fort Pillow massacre: Confederate forces killed most of the African American soldiers that surrendered at Fort PillowTennessee. 1865, American Civil War: Mobile, Alabama, fell to the Union Army. 1877, the United Kingdom annexed the Transvaal.

In 1910, SMS Zrínyi, one of the last pre-dreadnought battleships built by the Austro-Hungarian Navy, was launched. 1917, World War ICanadian forces successfully completed the taking of Vimy Ridge from the Germans. 1927, April 12 IncidentChiang Kai-shek ordered the Communist Party of China members executed in Shanghai, ending the First United Front. 1928, the Bremen, a German Junkers W33 type aircraft, took off for the first successful transatlantic aeroplane flight from east to west. 1934, the strongest surface wind gust in the world at 231 mph, was measured on the summit of Mount WashingtonNew Hampshire. Also 1934, the U.S. Auto-Lite Strike began, culminating in a five-day melee between Ohio National Guard troops and 6,000 strikers and picketers. 1935, first flight of the Bristol Blenheim. 1937, Sir Frank Whittle ground-tested the first jet engine designed to power an aircraft, at Rugby, England.

In 1945, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt died while in office; Vice President Harry Truman, became President upon Roosevelt's death. 1955, the polio vaccine, developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, was declared safe and effective. 1961, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarinbecame the first human to travel into outer space and perform the first manned orbital flight, in Vostok 3KA-2 (Vostok 1). 1963, the Soviet nuclear-powered submarine K-33 collided with the Finnish merchant vessel M/S Finnclipper in the Danish straits. 1970, Soviet submarine K-8, carrying four nuclear torpedoes, sank in the Bay of Biscay four days after a fire on board. 1980, Samuel Doe took control of Liberia in a coup d'état, ending over 130 years of minority Americo-Liberian rule over the country. Also 1980, Terry Fox began his "Marathon of Hope" at St. John's, Newfoundland. 1981, the first launch of a Space Shuttle (Columbia) took place - the STS-1 mission.

In 1990, Jim Gary's "Twentieth Century Dinosaurs" exhibition opened at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. He is the only sculptor ever invited to present a solo exhibition there. 1992, the Euro Disney Resort officially opened with its theme park Euro Disneyland. The resort and its park's name were subsequently changed to Disneyland Paris. 1994, Canter & Siegel post the first commercial mass Usenetspam. 1998, an earthquake in Slovenia, measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale occurred near the town of Bovec. 1999, US President Bill Clinton was cited for contempt of court for giving "intentionally false statements" in a sexual harassment civil lawsuit. 2002, a suicide bomberblew herself up at the entrance to Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda open-air market, killing 7 and wounding 104. 2007, a suicide bomber penetrated the Green Zone and detonated in a cafeteria within a parliament building, killing Iraqi MP Mohammed Awad and wounding more than twenty other people. 2009, Zimbabwe officially abandoned the Zimbabwe Dollar as its official currency. 2010, a train derailed near MeranoItaly, after running into a landslide, causing nine deaths and injuring 28 people. 2014, a wildfire ravages the Chilean city of Valparaíso, killing 16, displacing nearly 10,000, and destroying over 2,000 homes.
=== 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 Cathy Tucker. You were an inspiration to me at school. I note in anticipation of you, Yuri Gagarin entered space, the first time any person had done so. Remember, birthdays are good for you. As a child, they gave you wings. As an adult, they keep you grounded better than the best coffee.
April 12Easter (Eastern Christianity, 2015); Yuri's NightCosmonautics Day in Russia
Stained glass portrait of King Edwin of Northumbria
Your glass is stained. Your effort is constant. Jamaica is safe. The navy is hungry. Our artists are dinosaurs. Let's party. 
Tim Blair 2018
Andrew Bolt 2018


Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 12, 2016 (8:04pm)

Nothing, but nothing, distracts the amazing hypnocat.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 12, 2016 (4:27pm)

Belgian government official Yves Goldstein considers recent developments
“Our cities are facing a huge problem, maybe the largest since World War II,” Mr. Goldstein said. “How is it that people who were born here in Brussels, in Paris, can call heroes the people who commit violence and terror? That is the real question we’re facing.”
Friends who teach the equivalent of high school seniors in the predominantly Muslim districts of Molenbeek and Schaerbeek told him that “90 percent of their students, 17, 18 years old, called them heroes,” he said. 
But despite all of that: 
The problem is not Islam, he insists … 
It never is. Whatever the problem may be, Goldstein believes it can be cured – as Breitbart London notes – by greater exposure to Andy Warhol: 
“These young people will never go to museums until 18 or 20 – they never saw Chagall, they never saw Dalí, they never saw Warhol, they don’t know what it is to dream,” Mr. Goldstein said. 
It’s just that easy. Paste a few of these around Molenbeek and Schaerbeek and all will be well.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 12, 2016 (2:37pm)

Daily Telegraph columnist Mark Latham seeks the reasons for a resurgence of political correctness: 
I can identify two causes: money and ideology. In the digital age, traditional media companies such as Fairfax are under severe financial pressure. Their response has been to chase clickbait – hits on their websites from exaggerated headlines about PC outrage (which then attracts extra advertising revenue).
Ideologically, on foreign and economic policy, Left activists have run out of issues on which to campaign – turning instead to “widespread cultural change” as a way of achieving their goals. Neo-Marxism’s credibility on foreign policy collapsed with the fall of the Berlin Wall.
On economic issues, the triumph of modern capitalism (especially in Australia with its 25 years of unbroken economic growth) has rendered the Left impotent. Twenty years ago it was talking about central planning and protectionism, but now these ideas are laughable. Trying to engineer cultural change is all it has left, a strategy exercised through influence in universities, schools, government nanny-state agencies and media outlets. 
Those entities are becoming increasingly difficult to separate. In the case of the ABC, it basically ticks every box.


Tim Blair – Tuesday, April 12, 2016 (1:22pm)

As obituaries invariably do, those written for Bob Ellis dutifully listed his surviving family: 
He is survived by wife, Anne Brooksbank, and children Jack, Jenny and Tom. 
But Ellis had another child, a second daughter. Born in controversial circumstances, Juliet was generally ignored in most Ellis obits. Damien Murphy mentions those circumstances in passing here, although Juliet is not named: 
In May 1999, a lawyer, Wayne Cooper, named Ellis as the father of a girl born to his wife, lawyer-turned scriptwriter Alexandra Long, in a birth notice published in the Herald.
Ellis denied paternity and the trio traded blows until he went on 2BL and revealed the essence of his rampant heterosexuality in a Kings Cross hotel.
“Penetration was briefly achieved,” he said in his trademark mumble. “ … bout of impotence … concluded by oral sex.” 
Ellis’s denial of paternity turned out to be yet another inaccurate prediction: 
Eventually Ellis acknowledged his daughter … 
Yet even Murphy’s piece concludes with a sad omission: 
Ellis is survived by his wife Anne Brooksbank and their children Jack, Jenny, and Tom. 

Should the mother’s claim really have been repeated?

Andrew Bolt April 12 2016 (7:58pm)

I thought media outlets should not have kept repeating what seemed to me both an unlikely and inflammatory allegation by the mother:
THE mother of slain toddler Sanaya Sahib has been charged with her murder. Sofina Nikat, 22, faced an out of sessions hearing this afternoon. 
The court heard she had made a “full confession” regarding the murder of her daughter…
Footage has emerged of a woman pushing an empty pram near Darebin Creek, where Sanaya was later found dead. The CCTV footage was obtained by Seven News. 
The 14-month-old’s body was found in Darebin Creek, Heidelberg West, early Sunday after Ms Nikat claimed a man of African appearance snatched her daughter from her pram at Olympic Park the day before.
Yes, I know that there was a very remote chance the allegation was true and police had to pursue all leads. But I’m on the side this time of those news outlets which didn’t repeat it.
Yes, a dangerous line, I know, and I should also note that the mother much be presumed innocent until proven guilty. But every mention of the claim made me flinch. 

Still a tie, says Essential poll

Andrew Bolt April 12 2016 (4:46pm)

Turnbull Government 50/50 with Labor.  That might disappoint Labor, given the Liberals’ last two weeks.   

Won’t next week be a good time to save some truckies?

Andrew Bolt April 12 2016 (9:00am)

If Parliament is being recalled next week, why not give the House of Representatives some real work to do - and some jobs to save?
Grace Collier:
In the truckie community, the carnage has begun. Bank managers are on the phone. Can loan payments be made? Has work dried up? Yes, customers are cancelling orders. No one can take the risk. Long relationships are fracturing, because the risk of a $54,000 fine has driven a wedge between them… 
Next week, the government will put legislation to delay the draconian “safe rates” order issued by the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, and then after the next election, presuming they win and presuming they have the numbers, legislation to abolish the RSRT will be put through.
What if the Coalition loses the election? ... Self-employed people do not have the means to suspend trading and just hang on without income for months. Their trucks will have been seized and sold.
You’d think the Liberal Party leadership would understand this. Instead, truckies are urged to drive to Canberra for a rally…
The Prime Minister cannot put legislation to abolish the RSRT next week, party hardheads say, because they don’t believe they have the support…
However, Queensland senator Glenn Lazarus ... next week ... will introduce a bill to abolish the RSRT. Behind the scenes, fed-up Coalition supporters have been lobbying the crossbenchers hard. This disparate group of people are uniting. It looks like the numbers may fall towards Lazarus. Even Labor hardheads admit the tide has turned. 
No matter where you sit, Turnbull’s strategy is difficult to back. To the supporter, it looks nonsensical and gutless. To the agnostic, it looks mean and tricky.
Actually, it looks like a way of dodging several days of Question Time, which now seems too dangerous to allow.
Robert Gottliebsen:
We have a Prime Minister who is playing blatant political games… 
The Prime Minister says there is no point in introducing legislation abolishing the tribunal because the crossbenchers won’t support it.
Well let’s put the legislation to abolish up and if the crossbenchers do oppose it — and I know of three who will back it — then it’s on their heads… 
But instead, as he did with the state taxes, our Prime Minister is once again playing games trying to have this as an issue at the election. He doesn’t realise that people are going to be bankrupted on the way.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Missing: the proper cost of Turnbull’s dream train

Andrew Bolt April 12 2016 (8:36am)

It was floated as a way to get a fast train on the cheap:
Government sources told The Australian the Coalition wanted the very fast train network to be built in stages by a private consortium that would be given access to a share of the potential uplift in land value resulting from the new infrastructure. This would minimise the amount of taxpayer dollars needed to get the much-vaunted project off the ground…
That is not so new and not such a gold mine, claim experts:
(T)ransport infrastructure expert Chris Hale warned politicians not to get carried away with how much revenue value capture mechanisms would contribute to the [VFT] project’s overall cost, arguing 10 per cent would be a win. The rail link’s cost was estimated in the 2013 feasibility study at $114 billion, which is more than twice the cost of building the NBN...< 
Dr Hale, a transport consultant, said value capture could only ever cover a fraction of a project as large as east coast high-speed rail, leaving governments to pick up most of the tab… "If we're talking from Melbourne to Sydney at $45 billion to $50 billion, $5 billion worth of value capture would be fantastic.”
Judith Sloan is sceptical:
How long have we been talking about very fast trains? I’m pretty sure I was still in pigtails when the conversation began… 
(W)hat’s to stop a private company stumping up more than $100 billion and simply investing in a VFT link between Melbourne and Brisbane? The answer is heaps, but fundamentally the economics of this dream project just don’t come close to stacking up, even with the biggest imaginable taxpayer contribution.
But we all know that the Prime Minister is one for dreaming and getting excited about innovation.... 
For one thing, governments don’t own much land apart from easements.
Simply put, value capture financing assumes that a railway line raises property values by improving accessibility at stations along the route, and this opens the doors for higher rates and taxes which can be shared with the train line’s investors. 
However, achieving that gain encounters a problem: the train must stop, and stop often, if it is to lift property values. This means a VFT becomes a MDFT, as in Much Delayed Fast Train… Not to worry. Innovative and agile trains are today’s thought bubble. Tomorrow there will be another, you can bet on it.
Michael Kozoil:
Turnbull[’s] ... plans to once again pursue a high speed rail link down the country’s east coast [is] a veritable favourite for Australian pollies under pressure. It’s a bit like our version of the Springfield monorail from The Simpsons - a transport project sold with great fanfare to an adoring public that turns out to be a bit of a pup… 
Indeed, the elusive fast train has now cropped up for three elections on the trot - great fun for headline writers and satirists, but doing very little to inspire public confidence in politics. Just 12 days out from the last election, a flailing Kevin Rudd announced plans to buy a rail corridor between Sydney and Canberra, and to reserve land for a line south to Melbourne
Michael Kroger does his best to excuse the lack of detail for yet another Turnbull plan:
Not sure all these references to Rudd are helpful.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.)  

How to make them go home?

Andrew Bolt April 12 2016 (8:27am)

This is a disaster for our finances, for community harmony and even for the boat people whose lives are in limbo, not to mention those who drowned. How can Labor be trusted after this?:
AUSTRALIA will be dealing with Labor’s asylum-seeker legacy for at least another decade following revelations only 638 of the 30,000 boat people the Coalition government inherited have so far been sent home
Adding to the growing calamity is a looming legal backlog, with a further 1600 refusal cases already before the Refugee Review Tribunal or under judicial or ministerial referral.
With the likelihood that only a few of the 30,000 will ever be settled permanently in Australia, the Turnbull government is bracing for a future flood of legal appeals…
Official data from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, obtained by The Daily Telegraph, has confirmed that, since the Abbott government was elected, there had been 1572 refugee claims refused so far out of the legacy cases that Labor left when it lost office in 2013. 
To date only 638 have been able to be sent back to their country of origin or a third country. Another 1073 have returned voluntarily, having given up hope of being allowed to settle here.

Labor ignored warnings on negative gearing scheme

Andrew Bolt April 12 2016 (8:19am)

Shouting “vested interest” is not answering the serious argument against Labor’s scheme:
Labor proceeded with its controversial policy of limiting negative gearing to new homes despite opposition Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen being warned last July that such a move would push down house prices and hit economic growth. 
The Australian has confirmed that accounting and financial advice firm Bongiorno & Partners last year commissioned BIS Shrapnel to conduct an analysis of the effect of limiting negative gearing to new houses and communicated key findings to Mr Bowen’s staff and then Labor financial services spokesman Bernie Ripoll.
BIS Shrapnel’s report — which found limiting negative gearing to new houses could lead to lower house prices, rent rises of up to 10 per cent, cost the budget more than it saved and cause unemployment to rise — sparked a political furore when it was publicly released last month. 
The identity of the firm that commissioned the report was not released at the time, prompting Mr Bowen to claim it was by “an anonymous vested interest”. 

Howard vs Bishop. And guess who’s right

Andrew Bolt April 12 2016 (7:36am)

I worry about this government’s liking for multinational bodies that eat at the sovereignty of democracies. John Howard seems to share some of my concerns:
Brexit. Bad. The Australian, April 2: 
Australia would prefer the UK remained a part of the European Union, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says. Ms Bishop says she informed British Prime Minister David Came­ron of Australia’s view during a meeting in Washington where she is attending the Nuclear Security Summit, ahead of Britain’s June 23 referendum on whether it will remain a member of the EU ... “A strong UK as part of the European Union would be in Australia’s interests,” she told reporters.
Others beg to differ. The Financial Times, Friday: 
John Howard … firmly favours a Bri­tish exit. “The European project is fundamentally flawed. I think its best days are probably behind it and there will be increasing tensions [over migration]. Britain can’t control its borders — it is ridiculous to say it can,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times. “If I were British, which I’m not, I’d vote to leave. You have lost your sovereignty …” Britain was hamstrung on several issues because of its relationship with the EU. “We [Australia] have just completed three trade agreements [China, South Korea and Japan] and Britain can’t do that ... it has to go through Brussels.”

I was wrong, says expert who popularised “Islamophobia” insult

Andrew Bolt April 12 2016 (7:17am)

Mass migration from the Muslim third world means colonisation by a hostile culture - as a former apologist now admits:
The former head of Britain’s Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), Trevor Phillips, has admitted he “got almost everything wrong” on Muslim immigration in a damning new report on integration, segregation, and how the followers of Islam are creating “nations within nations” in the West. 
Phillips, a former elected member of the Labour Party who served as the Chairman of the EHRC from 2003-2012 will present “What British Muslims Really Think” on Channel 4 on Wednesday. An ICM poll released to the Times ahead of the broadcast reveals: 
One in five Muslims in Britain never enter a non-Muslim house; 
39 per cent of Muslims, male and female, say a woman should always obey her husband; 
31 per cent of British Muslims support the right of a man to have more than one wife; 
52 per cent of Muslims did not believe that homosexuality should be legal; 
23 per cent of Muslims support the introduction of Sharia law rather than the laws laid down by parliament.
Writing in the Times on the issue, Phillips admits: “Liberal opinion in Britain has, for more than two decades, maintained that most Muslims are just like everyone else… Britain desperately wants to think of its Muslims as versions of the Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, or the cheeky-chappie athlete Mo Farah. But thanks to the most detailed and comprehensive survey of British Muslim opinion yet conducted, we now know that just isn’t how it is.”
Phillips commissioned “the Runnymede report” into Britain and Islamophobia in 1997 which, according to both Phillips himself and academics across the country, popularised the phrase which has now become synonymous with any criticism – legitimate or not – of Islam or Muslims…
Phillips says his new data shows “a chasm” opening between Muslims and non-Muslims on fundamental issues such as marriage, relations between men and women, schooling, freedom of expression and even the validity of violence in defence of religion…
“We estimated that the Muslim population of the UK would be approaching 2 [million] by 2020. We underestimated by nearly a million. We predicted that the most lethal threat to Muslims would come from racial attacks and social exclusion. We completely failed to foresee the urban conflicts of 2001 that ravaged our northern cities. And of course we didn’t dream of 9/11 and the atrocities in Madrid, Paris, Istanbul, Brussels and London.”
“For a long time, I too thought that Europe’s Muslims would become like previous waves of migrants, gradually abandoning their ancestral ways, wearing their religious and cultural baggage lightly, and gradually blending into Britain’s diverse identity landscape. I should have known better.”
Douglas Murray gives Phillips limited credit:
It was the mainstreaming of the fraudulent concept of ‘Islamophobia’ and the whole grievance-industry set up by Trevor Phillips, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission and their ilk that made Britain so incapable of answering this problem any earlier.  Even now Trevor Phillips remains principally helpful in waking up to things just a few years too late.  
And now that Phillips has reached this conclusion, shouldn’t he advocate the obvious next step?
In ten years time he will agree with people like me that the numbers matter, and that it is purest insanity to continue encouraging through migration the growth of a population which raises so many problems of integration once it is here. 

Muslim grievance is a self-serving excuse

Piers Akerman – Saturday, April 11, 2015 (11:11pm)

SELF-promoting self-professed “roving imam” Keysar Trad has mounted a rationalisation for the radicalisation of young Australian Muslims that should forever destroy what remains of his credibility.
 Continue reading 'Muslim grievance is a self-serving excuse'

How New Zealand PM John Key unlocked the Kiwi potential

Miranda Devine – Saturday, April 11, 2015 (11:08pm)

AS if we needed proof that Australia is losing its mojo, our cocky little cousins across the ditch are rubbing our noses in their success.

 Continue reading 'How New Zealand PM John Key unlocked the Kiwi potential'


Tim Blair – Sunday, April 12, 2015 (6:40pm)

Shenanigans in the she-pages! Senior Fairfax offence-taker Clementine Ford recently wrote a Daily Life columnclaiming Australian swimmer Nick D’Arcy had beaten up a British reality TV judge
Nick D’Arcy was removed from the Australian Olympic swimming squad for assaulting Simon Cowell. 
Of course, butterfingers Clem meant to write Simon Cowley, and the relatively minor mistake was quickly and quietly rectified. Then something weird happened. Cowley was cut and Cowell’s name returned.
Either someone at Fairfax is determined to preserve Ford’s errors for the benefit of an amused public, or they genuinely believe D’Arcy administered a beating to the annoying X Factor personality. In which case D’Arcy should never have been dropped from the 2008 Olympic squad. Indeed, he should have been our flag-bearer.
(Via sharp-eyed J.F. Beck)


Tim Blair – Sunday, April 12, 2015 (7:40am)

Via Tony Thomas comes the thrilling tale of Melbourne climate researcher Paul Yacoumis’s personal journey
Like many who watched Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, I became terrified by this thing called “global warming” and felt compelled to do something about it. So in 2006 I began researching it – first as a hobby, then as a university student. 
What’s the difference? 
There have been times when, under the weight of this research, I’ve felt like a mosquito attempting to bring down a herd of charging elephants. In my darker moments, I’ve even found myself hoping for some kind of global cataclysm – at least then the human race may have the chance to start anew. 
The fable of the cataclysm is a central component of the global warming religion. 
I decided that humanity does have another choice, and it sits firmly within our reach … we can start to shift the power away from this unsustainable economic system that’s caused it and build a better one in its place.
How do we do this? I go back my earlier point about consumerism and “enoughness.” We need to become active citizens, not passive consumers. We need to put our energy into nurturing local economies and community participation, not corporate power. We need to value the goal of “enoughness,” not growth. 
For Melbourne University lecturer Paul, this involves crawling around in rubbish: 
This year I will be further experimenting with self-sufficiency and minimising my participation in the corporate economy. I’m delving into urban foraging, trying my hand at dumpster diving and cultivating a small garden in my front yard – although the food gods have not been especially kind so far. I aim to mend rather than discard and buy second-hand rather than new. 
Good idea. Second-hand V8s provide excellent value. 
These are just some of the ways I have chosen to make an impact in my own search for “enough”. Of course what works for you, and what you feel is the most meaningful path to take, will probably look very different. But the important thing is that we take that first step. A good place to start is figuring out ways we may bring our personal and political actions better in line with our values. By imagining what kind of future we wish to see, we can get a sense for the kinds of choices we might make ... 
Very well, then. I’ll be buying some CSG shares and flying to the US to watch NASCAR.


Tim Blair – Sunday, April 12, 2015 (6:58am)

Indiana’s Memories Pizza is back in business: 
A northern Indiana pizzeria that closed after its owner said his religious beliefs wouldn’t allow him to cater a gay wedding opened Thursday to a full house of friends, regulars and people wanting to show their support.
“It’s a relief to get going again and try to get back to normal,” said Kevin O’Connor, owner of Memories Pizza. 
(Via Adam I.)

Jonathan Green shows the “cultured reason” he preaches

Andrew Bolt April 12 2015 (10:16am)

ABC host Jonathan Green, guru of warm hugs and peace:
Could be any day now ... the sudden indiscriminate smack of a terrorist attack. Our best defence is of course our cultured reason. Our tolerance. Our audacious confidence in the fundamental goodness of others. 
ABC host Jonathan Green, denouncer of rude talk:
It would be fair to say that their routine journalistic tone is hectoring, enraged and pugilistic ... these are the leitmotifs of a modern mass media… Hardly surprising then that those players dependent for their fortunes on old media hierarchies should be so keen to attack where they can, even if those same attacks see them treading on the verge of an almost bottomless pit of hypocrisy.
ABC host Jonathan Green, abusively foul-mouthed hypocrite, today shows that his “cultured reason”, “tolerance” and “audacious confidence in the fundamental goodness of others” is meant for headhacking Islamist terrorists, and not for  News Corp columnist Terry McCrann:
Enter Scrotum, the wrinkled retainer.  
Not for the first time I wonder if Green owns a mirror.  And if the ABC pays its staff to abuse conservatives in such foul terms. 

On the Bolt Report today, April 12

Andrew Bolt April 12 2015 (6:19am)

On the  The Bolt Report on Channel 10 at 10am and 3pm.

Guests:  Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, former diplomat and Victorian Liberal executive member Georgina Downer, former Labor campaign guru Bruce Hawker and Nick Cater, Australian columnist and Menzies Research Centre head.
On tax, boss bashing, boats, Iranians, failed states, how the Left hates, Barack Obama’s astonish global warming idiocy and the one word the ABC wouldn’t say at Easter.
The videos of the shows appear here.

Public rejects the man keeping Queensland Labor in power

Andrew Bolt April 12 2015 (6:02am)

Steven Wardill:
A Galaxy poll conducted exclusively for The Sunday Mail has revealed more than 60 per cent of Queenslanders believe [Cook MP Billy Gordon] should quit as an MP following a scandal involving previously unpaid child support, his criminal past and allegations of domestic violence levelled at him that he denies… 
Labor has not managed to overtake the LNP on a two-party preferred basis ... with the two parties remaining locked at 50 per cent each… According to the Galaxy results taken late last week, 62 per cent of Queenslanders believe the MP should quit while 26 per cent disagree.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Hang the bosses

Andrew Bolt April 12 2015 (5:56am)

Judith Sloan on the astonishing show trial of bosses:
What a week – of lying, misrepresenting, defaming, ignorance on a massive scale and abusing parliamentary processes.  It has been nothing short of a show trial. 
Senators Dastyari, Milne and Xenophon should be sent on a long boot camp only to return when they have woken up to their errors and realised that their evil motivations are causing significant damage to Australia’s national interest.
Where do you begin? [Sinclair Davidson], has been doing a great job broadcasting the lies and deceit. Don’t you just love the line: I am not suggesting you are doing anything illegal, just immoral/unethical? What does this even mean, but the nasty slur is made…
(L)et’s not forget that the profits derived by Apple, Google and the like are the returns to their intellectual property that is not created here; the costs of the actual physical or digital products are very low…
No doubt, Abbott and his team will be feeling panicked about being seen to be doing something and, in crazy talk, Hockey has raised the possibility of introducing a diverted profits tax – the so-called Google Tax – like the UK. Mind you, the UK doesn’t expect to raise much revenue.
For the Abbott government, this will be an act of seeming rather than doing because doing is essentially impossible. (Mind you, Labor can offer nothing else, lest the economic damage be huge and I don’t think Bowen and Leigh are that stupid, although Dastyari is ...) 
And what an unconvincing explanation of Rob Heferen, Treasury revenue head, about the possibility that a diverted profits tax, which he admits will raise no real revenue, will encourage affected companies to pay normal tax. Sure, mate.
Sinclair Davidson:
Treasury have consistently criticised the Tax Justice Australia Report – but Robert Heferen doubled down at the subsequent Tax Inquiry: 
Mr Heferen : The report Who pays for our common wealth? The tax practices of the ASX 200—I am pretty sure that is the report—was produced by United Voice and the Tax Justice Network Australia. This was produced last year. We had one quite extensive discussion at the Senate Economics Legislation Committee as a Senate estimates committee. I outlined a range of reasons why I thought the report was fundamentally flawed… The research presented here suggests that the tax planning activities of the ASX 200 allow Australia’s largest publicly listed companies to avoid up to an estimated $8.4 billion in corporate tax annually.  That is completely wrong. It has no merit… 
This report doesn’t have recognition of the fact that it has included trusts, and trusts are taxed at zero because they are flow-through vehicles. It doesn’t have regard for the fact that, where firms carry on research and development activities, there is a particular tax subsidy for that, designed and intended. It doesn’t include the fact that capital gains are taxed on realisation, but accounting profit is accounted for on an accrual basis. It doesn’t include the fact that, for an Australian multinational with overseas income—so it has a subsidiary overseas—that income is part of their accounting profit but would be taxed in the overseas jurisdiction and would therefore be exempt in Australia… 
I recall that, when it was released, there was press to say, ‘Here is $8 billion that governments could get at if only they would stop these things being claimed.’ It just goes to the point where this, in my view, has no merit. But then what it does is cloud the overall debate and so then could cast doubt on whether in fact the multinational issue is the same. In other words, would people then say, ‘If they say this about this sort of stuff, maybe this multinational issue is not such a big deal after all’? And I think that is a real concern.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Wilkinson has an anti-Abbott party to mark Benaud’s death

Andrew Bolt April 12 2015 (5:43am)

What a great idea! Use the death of Richie Benaud to kick Tony Abbott some more!
It’s the kind of crassness Benaud himself would have deplored.
(Thanks to readers Nathan, Marshy and Paul Murray.) 

New Zealand: the laugh is on us

Andrew Bolt April 12 2015 (5:37am)

Miranda Devine on being overtaken by New Zealand:
The New Zealand dollar is set to hit parity with ours, for the first time in 30 years. 
Its economy is growing 20 per cent faster. Its GDP per capita is rising while ours is falling.
Its competitiveness rankings have outstripped ours. Its unemployment rate is 5.7 per cent compared with our 6.3 per cent, and that’s with a higher participation rate. 
The NZ budget is heading towards a surplus while ours spirals further into deficit.
Some tips:
Key increased the GST in NZ to 15 per cent without a blip to his popularity. He did it by reducing the top marginal rate of tax to 33 per cent — compared with Australia’s uncompetitive 49 per cent — and he and English discussed their “tax switch” for 18 months beforehand… 
He created a clear narrative for his government, to fix the fiscal mess of his Labor predecessors and put NZ back on the path to growth.
He holds a daily press conference and does hours of talkback radio a week because he decided early on that he needed to dominate the news cycle.... 
He’s privatised just about everything, and has cut billions out of the welfare system, not by being punitive but by encouraging people on welfare back into the workforce. 

No, Big Government really is not the answer

Andrew Bolt April 12 2015 (5:07am)

Fairfax writer Gareth Hutchens has had enough of this criticism of Big Government:
We’ve been told ad nauseam that smaller government is good, by definition, and we should therefore want to keep reducing the size of government if we know what’s good for us… 
I raise this issue because a well-respected US economist, Brad Delong, ... argued that the “optimal size” of the public sector will be “significantly larger” in the 21st century than it was last century… He says people will need to be better educated this century to keep up with technological change, and that means there will be “a greater role for education”.
OK. Then let them pay more of it themselves. Why assume government must do it all?
He says we will see longer life expectancy, and thus a greater role for pensions.
OK, then encourage people to work harder, save more and only take pensions they need. Why assume government must do it all?
We will see an increase in health-care spending as a share of national income.
OK, then ask patients to contribute a little more themselves and take out more private health insurance. Why assume government must do it all?
And we’ll see “information goods”, such as the service provided by Google, sharing a much larger part of the total economic pie. 
Er, yes? Governments should have more control over “information goods”? Excuse me if I feel very nervous about Government doing that at all.
Then there is this astonishing claim: 
Delong argues that governments are better at servicing these things than the private sector because they all involve people making very long-term decisions. 
And people aren’t very good at making long-term decisions about their future health, or incomes, or education levels.
Pardon? Governments are good at making long-term decisions? Don’t think short-term at all, especially in election year?
Then explain the following Government programs:
The desalination plants in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, all mothballed. 
Fuel Watch
Grocery Watch
Carbon tax
Solar heating rebates
Free insulation from the Rudd Government
The NBN disaster
Labor’s overnight closure of live cattle exports to Indonesia
The $16 billion school halls spending spree
$900 “stimulus” cheques for dead people.
The Australian-built Collins class submarines, only one in four of which could be deployed at one time
The overpriced and underwatched Australia Network of the ABC, now cancelled.
The “success” of state-funded films vs Crocodile Dundee and The Castle.
The government-owned shipbuilder ASC, whose Air Warfare Destroyer ships are over budget and over time.
The government-owned electricity networks, whose costs have risen faster than the privately-owned ones. 
ABC 24 - comparing costs and performance to the privately-owned Sky News Australia.

The Lada 

OMG! Brand noticed us!

Andrew Bolt April 12 2015 (4:57am)

A celebrity idiot on the other side of the world twiddles his thumbs. He does not actually make a single bit of practical difference to anything, but The Age announces he’s a human rights crusader:

Baby cake

Andrew Bolt April 12 2015 (4:45am)

Cher Lair of Apex, North Carolina, has had six boys. Pregnant again, she throws a party and cuts a cake to reveal the gender of her seventh child.

“It’ll be a boy,” she says.

Meet the boss

Andrew Bolt April 12 2015 (4:38am)

Interesting assertion:
Prime Minister Tony Abbott will meet privately with the heads of the commercial television networks this week as he considers sweeping changes to media ownership laws likely to trigger a round of major mergers. 
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, currently overseas, is not expected to attend the meetings.
Posted by The Viewing Lounge on Sunday, 12 April 2015
When you have kids, it's no longer all about you.
Posted by Dr Laura on Saturday, 11 April 2015
Today I am pleased to announce the government will be introducing a new “no jab, no play and no pay” policy for...
Posted by Tony Abbott on Saturday, 11 April 2015
Having a slow or bad day? This will cheer you up :)
Posted by RebelsMarket on Wednesday, 19 November 2014
=== Posts from last year ===


Tim Blair – Saturday, April 12, 2014 (4:57pm)

It’s taken just 28 games to bring down the Blues:

UPDATE II. 3AW called it early.


Tim Blair – Saturday, April 12, 2014 (4:21pm)

The perfect Sydney Morning Herald reader offer: visit socialist wonderlands with George Negus! Cost: only $10,000.


Tim Blair – Saturday, April 12, 2014 (4:03pm)

Life in Barack Obama’s sweeter, kinder America
A few weeks ago, with no notice, the U.S. government intercepted Mary Grice’s tax refunds from both the IRS and the state of Maryland. Grice had no idea that Uncle Sam had seized her money until some days later, when she got a letter saying that her refund had gone to satisfy an old debt to the government — a very old debt.
When Grice was 4, back in 1960, her father died, leaving her mother with five children to raise. Until the kids turned 18, Sadie Grice got survivor benefits from Social Security to help feed and clothe them.
Now, Social Security claims it overpaid someone in the Grice family — it’s not sure who — in 1977. After 37 years of silence, four years after Sadie Grice died, the government is coming after her daughter. 
Seems a little unfair.


Tim Blair – Saturday, April 12, 2014 (3:07pm)

By strange coincidence, every area threatened by a mine, a popular restaurant or most any kind of development is always a gentle paradise untouched by greed or wickedness. The very ordinary suburban outpost of Tecoma, for example, was routinely described as a “village” during protests against a planned McDonald’s. Presumably the town features thatched roofs, a blacksmith and a communal well. And check this nauseating description of another menaced idyll: 
When Ros was growing up, Maules Creek was like an extended family. Even a few years ago, Boggabri “was a sleepy, laidback town, where you could go in to do your shopping and not bother locking your car. Where you could stop and have a yarn to almost anyone you passed on the street.” 
Frankly, this sounds like a hell on earth. Imagine jabbering busybodies cornering you every time you visit the shops. What are they asking about, anyway? They should mind their own damn business. 
Now the community is split between those who have sold up and done well out of mining and those who have been left to deal with projected impacts, like coal dust in the air and rainwater tanks, a diminishing water table, noise and, very probably, plummeting property values. “Because,” says Ros, “who wants to buy a farm up the road from a coalmine?” 
I might, if it gets me away from that creepy “extended family” in town. 
Town rents, conversely, have soared. “Older people who have lived in town all their lives have been pushed out of the rental market. Owners do up these houses and charge twice the rent to the miners.We don’t really know each other anymore. Mining has changed the character of the place.” 
Boggabri is now a teeming metropolis of more than 1000 people. No wonder the peaceful townsfolk are crushed by dehumanising feelings of alienation and anomie.


Tim Blair – Saturday, April 12, 2014 (1:19pm)

2012: Two Australian athletes pose with guns. Media panic ensues.
2014: NASCAR driver Tony Stewart poses with a rifle. Quite rightly, nobody minds at all:

Conclusion: NASCAR folk are more sensible and mature than the Australian press. 

The Bolt Report tomorrow

Andrew Bolt April 12 2014 (2:08pm)

On the show tomorrow – Network 10 at 10am and 4pm....
How Bob Carr makes Tony Abbott look even better. And how journalists tried to save Julia Gillard.
Guests: Employment Minister Eric Abetz, Janet Albrechtsen, Cassandra Wilkinson and Gerard Henderson.
The videos of the shows appear here.

La la la not listening

Andrew Bolt April 12 2014 (5:55pm)

Crazy Tim Blair seems to think I follow football. Wrong code, Tim. 

Marxism, the creed of rude children

Andrew Bolt April 12 2014 (2:00pm)

And this is what Marxism has come to, nearly 100 years after the Russian Revolution. Rude scrawls by kids on an Adelaide University wall to promote the biggest gathering of the year of Australian Marxists.
(Thanks to reader C.) 

Let’s all talk about awful Australia

Andrew Bolt April 12 2014 (12:36pm)

How the Left has hijacked our ABC ...
ABC 24 today demonstrates the very worst of the ABC. Waleed Aly introduces Chip Rolley (Anne Summers’ partner) who interviews Antony Lowenstein about our wicked boat people policies.
Dear God. That’s not debate but a group hug in a Balmain tofu shop.  

Greste just a pawn in a dangerous game

Andrew Bolt April 12 2014 (10:10am)

David Wroe:
In public there are calls for the Abbott government to do more to help free Peter Greste. 
But behind the scenes, officials face an extremely delicate task in lobbying for the release of the Australian journalist who has been caught in the middle of a region-wide struggle between the regimes in Egypt and Saudi Arabia on one side, and the Muslim Brotherhood and its perceived backers in Qatar – the home of Al Jazeera news network – on the other.
Publicly, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have made representations to the top levels of the Egyptian government. Australian ambassador to Cairo, Ralph King, has met with many senior officials, while consular staff are meeting regularly with Mr Greste…
An academic with extensive experience in the Middle East, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the situation, said ... it is a fine balancing act…
“From an Egyptian perspective, the case is clearly not about Al Jazeera and Greste; it’s about the contest within the region between the Saudi and Egyptian concept of where political Islam should fit and the contrary view that is held by Qatar and obviously the [Muslim] Brotherhood.” 
Australia needs to continue pressing home that it is deeply concerned about Mr Greste’s case – while making it clear that any decisions are Egypt’s alone and avoiding directly criticising Egypt’s judicial system.

Democracy in decline

Andrew Bolt April 12 2014 (10:01am)

Professor James Allan’s Democracy in Decline can be ordered now:
Democracy in Decline charts how democracy is being diluted and restricted in five of the world’s oldest democracies – the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. James Allan targets four main, interconnected causes of decline – judicial activism, the transformation and growth of international law, the development of supranational organisations, and the presence of undemocratic elites… 
Identifying tactics used by lawyers, judges, and international bureaucrats to deny that any decline has occurred, Allan looks ahead to further deterioration caused by attacks on free speech, intolerant worldviews, internationalisation through treaties and conventions, and illegal immigration. 
Former Prime Minister John Howard:
As a trenchant opponent of the so-called Bill of Rights approach to democracy, whereby ever-increasing decisions are handed over to unelected judges (oddly, in the name of expanding liberty), I have frequently been attracted to James Allan’s ideas on that subject.  His latest book Democracy In Decline is a thoughtful contribution to this debate.  It is disturbing that, even in the Anglosphere nations he discusses, too much power has been given to unelected and, in the case of the European Union, supra national bodies.  

Abbott was right: you don’t need to kowtow to win China’s respect

Andrew Bolt April 12 2014 (9:48am)

John Garnaut, a former Beijing correspondent, on Tony Abbott’s success in China:
It has become a rite of passage for Australian prime ministers to negotiate security and economic contradictions presented by rising China… China’s share of Australian merchandise exports has grown to a staggering 36 per cent… 
When Abbott came to power he immediately responded to China’s muscular advances over its maritime perimeter - oceans that carry as much as 65 per cent of Australia’s export shipments - by siding closer to Japan…
In early December China’s top foreign affairs official excoriated Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, with cameras rolling. Days earlier, ultimatums had been delivered by senior serving and retired Chinese officials at a forum this reporter attended in Canberra behind closed doors… (R)arely has there been such a pointed articulation of what the Australian National University defence strategist Hugh White calls ‘’the China choice’’.
Australia could no longer ‘’rely on the economy of one country and security of another’’, said an official. ‘’You must avoid getting into a corner you can’t get out of,’’ said another. ‘’If you don’t have China in future then your whole prosperity will be affected,’’ said a third.
These are the propositions Abbott set out to test this week…
Abbott gambled that he could ignore the torrent of warnings that he must start making hard choices between Australia’s reliance on the Chinese economy and dependence on the American security umbrella. It’s early days but, after his first major test, critics cannot say they have proved him wrong.

Call Richo

Andrew Bolt April 12 2014 (9:31am)

Graham Richardson, the former Hawke Government minister, could tell a thing or two about union slush funds and how they can be used to influence the political processThe Fixer suggests he’d make an interesting witness at the royal commission:
I of course make no allegation of impropriety against Richo, who I’ve come to like through our debates on 2GB.
(Via Michael Smith, who has more.)   

Don’t blame bosses for “donating” to slush funds when unions are free to intimidate

Andrew Bolt April 12 2014 (9:12am)

Jeremy Stoljar, counsel assisting the royal commission into union corruption, said employers who paid into slush funds were also targets:
If it were to transpire that a union official has received corruptly a sum of money or benefit, that is not the end of the matter… Corrupt receipt implies corrupt payment. Someone else must have been involved. This commission will look at both sides of the transaction — slush funds only operate if there are slush fund contributors. 
All true. But I hope the royal commission accepts their is usually a power imbalance that gives some employers no real choice but to hand over the cash.
That power imbalance is caused in large part by laws and institutions which do not protect businesses from unions acting unlawfully or unreasonably.
Today’s example of an employer being left defenceless (and, note, there is not the slightest suggestion here that Boral would even contemplate donating to a slush fund, or that the CFMEU has asked it to):
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission insists it does not have sufficient evidence to back building company Boral’s claims it is the subject of an unlawful union-led boycott. 
Boral claims the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has engineered a boycott of its concrete business in Melbourne as part of the fallout of the bitter dispute between the union and building company Grocon.
Boral says the boycott, which has been in place for more than a year, is costing it about $400,000 a week. Secondary boycotts are illegal under competition law and the competition watchdog has in the past decade pursued unions for breaches including the blocking of concrete deliveries.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the regulator had examined the case and had not found enough proof to mount a prosecution…
Boral is pursuing a tort case against the CFMEU for damages, and in detailed affidavits filed in the Victorian Supreme Court as part of the case, Boral staff claim customers had cancelled orders because of union action. 
Mr Sims said the ACCC had to have reasonable grounds to launch a prosecution and the sworn court statements from staff were “hearsay” evidence that did not provide the necessary basis for court action. Also, customers had not been prepared to back Boral’s claims of a boycott...
Boral CEO Mike Kane, 10 February:
Since the middle of 2012, the CFMEU has run an orchestrated and very costly campaign against Boral for one simple reason: we have refused to give in to demands by the union that we stop doing business with one of our long-standing clients, the Grocon group, in Melbourne… 
Over that time, our trucks have been stopped, our workers have been intimidated, some of our drivers harassed and threatened, and many of our clients in Victoria have had a “friendly visit” from union officials essentially warning them not to do business with us. Many of our clients have refused to toe the union’s line, for which we are eternally grateful, but it’s a tough call for many small operators.
The result is that on many occasions, our trucks have turned up at sites and have been barred from carrying on their lawful business by union heavies at the gates, supposedly on health and safety grounds. It also means there are many other occasions where we have simply missed out on work because our traditional customers don’t want to take on the union… 
When we have taken the CFMEU to court in relation to their boycott campaign, the courts have ruled in our favour. We had injunctions granted 12 months ago by the Supreme Court in Victoria, but these were simply ignored by the CFMEU – further proof that some in that union believe they are above the law.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Labor factions are brawling over power, not policies

Andrew Bolt April 12 2014 (8:59am)

Dennis Shanahan is right - Labor is losing because of its pathetic policies, not party processes:
THE time has come for someone to take the Labor Party by the scruff of the neck and shake it until it recognises reality, truly admits defeat, reorders its priorities and changes key policies that have failed it repeatedly at the ballot box… 
Logic and survival dictate that ... Labor has to do what Tony Abbott did to the legacy of John Howard’s Work Choices, and bury and cremate the mining and carbon taxes ...
(T)here are numerous signs that its parliamentary leadership has still not sufficiently grasped the gravity of the situation and ...  is being distracted by dangerous internal preoccupations and obsessions.
Labor faces the political horror of a base support in many areas of less than 30 per cent. If that is the case, it will be consigned to a future of almost perpetual opposition or reliance on a coalition with the Greens to return to government… 
Labor has convinced itself it cannot dump the carbon tax because it will be seen as not standing for anything after almost 20 years of fighting carbon emissions… But does refusing to repeal the carbon tax mean Labor will go to the next election with the same tax? Of course not. Then why not say: “The electorate has spoken and we will be back at the next election with a better solution.” 
The fact is that Labor’s debate about “reform” is in fact not a contest of ideas to present to voters but nothing more than a brawl for internal power. The Left wants to cut union influence on the party to give the far-Left membership more control. The Right wants to preserve the key source of its waning power.
Nothing more, nothing less.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

And now a word, but only one, from the Coalition

Andrew Bolt April 12 2014 (8:49am)

Readers CalJ and Antony watched a Lateline ”debate” between the Coalition’s much-interrupted Paul Fletcher on one side and Labor’s Ed Husic and the ABC’s Emma Alberici on the other.
Is there a reason the ABC should almost invariably be hostile territory for a conservative? 

How Latham slimes the messenger of the AWU scandal

Andrew Bolt April 12 2014 (8:39am)

Gerard Henderson, my guest on the NewsWatch segment on tomorrow Bolt Report, on Mark Latham’s latest attempt to play down the AWU slush fund scandal:
In last weekend’s ‘The Australian Financial Review’, Mark Latham argued that journalist Michael Smith should not be allowed to get “involved in the mainstream media"… 
The former Labor leader described Smith as a “nut job” who did not practise “journalistic impartiality” and who had exhibited a “virulent anti-Gillard bias"…
Latham is upset that, on March 22-23, The Weekend Australian published four articles totalling 8000 words that Smith co-wrote with Hedley Thomas. The articles documented the role of the Australian Workers Union in the Dawesville Channel project in Western Australia two decades ago. This was a $60 million taxpayer-funded project that was awarded without a public tender to Thiess, the building company that made payments of more than $300,000 to the slush fund..
The authors also focused on the operations of the AWU Workplace Reform Association, then controlled by the Perth-based AWU official Bruce Wilson. Wilson was, for a time, the boyfriend and legal client of former prime minister Julia Gillard.
Latham’s column did not contain one word of criticism of what Smith and Thomas wrote. Not one. His position was that Smith was a nut job…
It may be that nothing will come of the allegations concerning Gillard’s involvement with Wilson and the AWU slush fund. She denies any wrongdoing. But this is a legitimate journalistic story.
It is known that Gillard left Slater & Gordon following internal criticism of her involvement in providing legal advice to establish the AWU Workplace Reform Association… There is an ongoing Victoria Police Fraud Squad investigation ... and a royal commission has been established to probe union slush funds. 
But to Latham, it is not an issue… 
For Latham to answer genuine questions about a genuine scandal with the most vicious personal abuse of a journalist who first raise the issue is contemptible.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

It’s Labor’s Left that wants the unions to leave

Andrew Bolt April 12 2014 (7:51am)

This is not likely to please Right-wing power brokers such as Victorian Senator Steve Conroy - which I suspect is the whole idea. You can imagine the language if the profane Conroy publicly spoke his mind:
A SWEEPING overhaul of Labor Party rules to crack down on factional branch stacking and increase membership involvement in the ALP is central to the review of Bill Shorten’s Victorian branch. The review backs a marked increase in grassroots engagement and a more centralised approach to membership, including traceable fees, to be paid electronically by individuals rather than in cash, which will curb the ability of the factions to stack branches.
The Victorian overhaul will be a test run for next year’s ALP national conference…
The rule changes are contained in a document prepared by former Victorian Labor official Andrew McKenzie and are set to be debated at next month’s Victorian ALP conference.
If adopted, the review could see the steady erosion of the power of many local branches, traditionally the domain from which factional warlords draw their power. The review notes an increasing number of people signing up as “central’’ members rather than through local branches in the suburbs… 
A senior figure from the Labor Right attacked the decision to prevent members paying their dues in cash and warned that the McKenzie reforms went too far in dismantling party structures. “They are making the party a middle-class wank fest,’’ he said.
Such language! I doubt Conroy would say anything less pungent.
Needless to add, McKenzie is of the Socialist Left.
For conservatives the choice is this: to back a change to Labor rules that gives the party’s far-Left New Class more power over the more conservative unions and makes Labor less electable; or resist a change that makes Labor more dangerous if it does finally get back in power.
New Senator-elect Joe Bullock, a former union boss, spells it out:
UNDER-fire WA senator-elect Joe Bullock says he was surprised when a key union affiliated with Labor said he should step down over controversial comments, labelling the attack “wrong” and “silly"… 
Mr Bullock had told a Christian group in November that [fellow Labor Senate candidate Louise] Pratt was a “poster child” for gay marriage, adding that some Labor members were “mad” and that he saw himself as a bulwark against “every weird leftie trend”.
Today Mr Bullock said he was “absolutely” surprised United Voice WA secretary Carolyn Smith had denounced his comments as “inexcusable"…
“She’s on the left, you know… There are those on the left who believe the Labor Party belongs to the left, and there are those of us who disagree and say that the Labor Party can only be successful if it broadens its base to appeal to the average working person,” he said. 
“I believe that if the Labor Party excludes the likes of me, then it loses its opportunity to broaden its base.”

Greens candidate in a house with no mirrors

Andrew Bolt April 12 2014 (7:41am)

Greens candidate Iain Fyffe says we should not weaken a tough law that limits free speech given it ”fosters a well-mannered, tolerant and respectful society”:
Andrew Bolt, for example, could be made immune from prosecution, no matter what social mayhem he contrives. It’d be safer to remove the muzzle from a rabid pit bull in a kindergarten… 
Either Tony Abbott is supremely devious or he’s just plain thick. Given the big ears and the way he speaks so slowly at times strongly suggests the latter. 
The Greens really are beyond parody. 

Bob Carr and the diary of a tourist

Andrew Bolt April 12 2014 (7:21am)

Chris Kenny, for five years a media advisor and chief of staff to Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, sums up the achievements of another foreign minister, diarist Bob Carr:
Those things Carr claims as achievements — such as the small arms treaty, deepening relations with China and India — were set in train long before he landed the job, as was the crowning glory of Australia’s election to a temporary seat at the UN Security Council. 
Carr will cherish this slice of history but it belongs to Rudd and owes much to the prostitution of our aid budget and capitulation on Israel (the one policy on which Carr had a strong impact).
His thinking was guided by what was acceptable in Europe and what was politically saleable in the Muslim-influenced electorates of Sydney…
Remember Carr was crass enough to denounce Israeli settlements as illegal when speaking from the steps of the Lakemba mosque.  And he sent senior diplomats to Tehran to join a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement.
As foreign minister he was pained by being out of step with the overwhelming majority of UN nations — something he shouldn’t have given a moment’s thought.
It is illuminating that Carr was motivated to act on Israel while issues more vital to our national interest went begging.
Carr’s diary reveals the right instincts on border protection (voiced publicly after the election). But while the asylum-seeker issue was arguably the gravest foreign policy challenge during his time, he seemed to sidestep it. 
Carr travelled much more extensively than was required, tweeting selfies with his interlocutors. He had the perfect pretext, with the UNSC bid making a visit to any country or forum justifiable in the quest for votes. But it often looked like tourism.
Peter Hartcher is brilliantly devastating:
Carr’s new diary reveals a Don Quixote figure, where the great struggles and heroic deeds take place in his imagination.
Consider Carr’s thoughts as he sat at the table with the leaders of all the world’s major powers at the Group of 20 summit in St Petersburg last year. Carr, though only a foreign affairs minister among leaders, was representing Australia because his leader, Kevin Rudd, was immersed in an election campaign.

Carr summarises comments by Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the IMF’s Christine Lagarde, China’s Xi Jinping, India’s Manmohan Singh, Japan’s Shinzo Abe, Canada’s Stephen Harper, all speaking about the world economy.
“I look around,” writes Carr. “Twenty leaders here. Parliamentary careerists, technocrats, political buccaneers, clan chieftains, dynastic heirs. As Gore Vidal remarked looking down on the US Senate, ‘I cannot feel humble.’ Interested, curious, of course. Just not humble’.”
The great man’s attention wanders. He thinks about what might be cooking for dinner. He sings in his head a 1939 song, Watercolour of Brazil. It never fails to lift his spirits, we learn.
“Slightly delirious, I indulge a fantasy of the world leaders moving from behind these tables, linking one another in a conga line and led by Putin – with Obama clutching his hips…
“How disrespectful. But there’s little to inspire respect in the contributions I had just heard. Having privatised three big enterprises and fought excessive union claims and struggled with State budgets I didn’t feel that any here – amiable democrats though many of them are – could teach me much."…
These lesser leaders, you’d think, were surely lucky to have a man of Carr’s calibre at the table, available to offer his counsel…
Surely Carr, representing the incoming chair country, was preparing to summon his wisdom and experience to help guide the group purposefully towards their agreed goal of structural reform?
So much for what went on inside Carr’s head. This is what he actually did: Nothing. He said nothing. He did nothing. He went to dinner.
When the summit was over, the leaders preparing to depart, our hero had another chance to demonstrate his mastery. The international media gathered for the press conference that is always held by the incoming chair country, in this case Australia. Here was a chance for Carr to contribute towards the G-20 agenda for the year ahead, with ideas so compelling that the group would be sure to embrace them. 
What did Carr say? Nothing. He cancelled the press conference and left St Petersburg without explanation. He was mute. He had nothing to offer. No ideas, no words, not even a conga line. 
Labor MP Anthony Byrne:
If you ever wanted an example of the narcissism, self-indulgence and immaturity that ran through the Labor party during its six years in government, Bob Carr is it. 
















Yuri Gagarin

““He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”” - 1 Peter 2:24
Morning and evening by Charles Spurgeon


"I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint."
Psalm 22:14
Did earth or heaven ever behold a sadder spectacle of woe! In soul and body, our Lord felt himself to be weak as water poured upon the ground. The placing of the cross in its socket had shaken him with great violence, had strained all the ligaments, pained every nerve, and more or less dislocated all his bones. Burdened with his own weight, the august sufferer felt the strain increasing every moment of those six long hours. His sense of faintness and general weakness were overpowering; while to his own consciousness he became nothing but a mass of misery and swooning sickness. When Daniel saw the great vision, he thus describes his sensations, "There remained no strength in me, for my vigour was turned into corruption, and I retained no strength:" how much more faint must have been our greater Prophet when he saw the dread vision of the wrath of God, and felt it in his own soul! To us, sensations such as our Lord endured would have been insupportable, and kind unconsciousness would have come to our rescue; but in his case, he was wounded, and felt the sword; he drained the cup and tasted every drop.
"O King of Grief! (a title strange, yet true
To thee of all kings only due)
O King of Wounds! how shall I grieve for thee,
Who in all grief preventest me!"
As we kneel before our now ascended Saviour's throne, let us remember well the way by which he prepared it as a throne of grace for us; let us in spirit drink of his cup, that we may be strengthened for our hour of heaviness whenever it may come. In his natural body every member suffered, and so must it be in the spiritual; but as out of all his griefs and woes his body came forth uninjured to glory and power, even so shall his mystical body come through the furnace with not so much as the smell of fire upon it.


"Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins."
Psalm 25:18

It is well for us when prayers about our sorrows are linked with pleas concerning our sins--when, being under God's hand, we are not wholly taken up with our pain, but remember our offences against God. It is well, also, to take both sorrow and sin to the same place. It was to God that David carried his sorrow: it was to God that David confessed his sin. Observe, then, we must take our sorrows to God. Even your little sorrows you may roll upon God, for he counteth the hairs of your head; and your great sorrows you may commit to him, for he holdeth the ocean in the hollow of his hand. Go to him, whatever your present trouble may be, and you shall find him able and willing to relieve you. But we must take our sins to God too. We must carry them to the cross, that the blood may fall upon them, to purge away their guilt, and to destroy their defiling power.
The special lesson of the text is this:--that we are to go to the Lord with sorrows and with sins in the right spirit. Note that all David asks concerning his sorrow is, "Look upon mine affliction and my pain;" but the next petition is vastly more express, definite, decided, plain--"Forgive all my sins." Many sufferers would have put it, "Remove my affliction and my pain, and look at my sins." But David does not say so; he cries, "Lord, as for my affliction and my pain, I will not dictate to thy wisdom. Lord, look at them, I will leave them to thee, I should be glad to have my pain removed, but do as thou wilt; but as for my sins, Lord, I know what I want with them; I must have them forgiven; I cannot endure to lie under their curse for a moment." A Christian counts sorrow lighter in the scale than sin; he can bear that his troubles should continue, but he cannot support the burden of his transgressions.
[Jēhoi'a chĭn] - jehovah doth establish.
A son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, who was placed on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar, but only reigned for three months. He was carried away to Babylon and remained a captive until freed from prison by Evil-merodach and given palace favors (2 Kings 24:8, 12, 15; 25:272 Chron. 36:8, 9Jer. 52:31). Also called Coniah (see Jer. 22:24, 28; 37:1).
The Woman Who Wrongly Opposed Her Husband
Scripture Reference: Exodus 2:21, 22Exodus 4:24, 25Exodus 18:1-6
Name Meaning: A Midian name, Zipporah means "a little bird," "a sparrow." Wilkinson observes that "the feminine termination ah added to the common word Zippor, which is also the father of Balak, king of Moab." Such a name like "dove" or "lamb" would originally be a term of endearment, and thus the word passer - "a sparrow" - is used by the Roman poets. Passer is also being found as a Roman family name. The root of this word is an Arabic verb, signifying "to chirp."
Family Connections: Zipporah was one of the seven daughters of Jethro who is also called Reuel and Raguel (Exodus 2:18; 4:24, 25; 18:1-6Numbers 10:29 ). It was to the home of this shepherd-priest in Midian that Moses came when at forty years of age he fled from Egypt, and meeting the seven girls drawing water Moses assisted them. Arriving home earlier than usual they told how the Egyptian had helped them. Brought up as a son of Pharaoh, Moses must have looked every inch a cultured Egyptian. Invited home, Moses was content to live with Jethro's family, and married Zipporah, eldest of the seven daughters. Two sons were born of the union, Gershom and Eliezer. Some writers affirm, without adequate support, that the dark-skinned Ethiopian, "the Cushite woman" whom Miriam and Aaron were jealous over, is merely a description of Zipporah, and that therefore Moses was only married once. But the statement "He had married an Ethiopian woman" implies a recent occurrence, and that Zipporah, whom Moses had married 40 years previously, was dead. It is most unlikely that Miriam and Aaron would have waited all those years to murmur against Moses if Zipporah and the Ethiopian had been one and the same woman.
Zipporah, as a woman of Midian, did not share the spiritual values of her notable husband who found himself acting against the sacred tradition of Israel. This may be one reason why he named his second son Eliezer, meaning "The Lord of my father was my help." To keep the peace, Moses compromised with his unbelieving wife and withheld circumcision, the sign of God's covenant, from Eliezer. The Lord intervened, and as a sign of divine displeasure, Moses is stricken with a mortal disease. Both Zipporah and Moses became conscience-stricken over the profanation of God's covenant, and Zipporah yields. Moses is too prostrate to take a knife and circumcize the child, so his wife severed the boy's foreskin and, throwing it down before Moses said, "Surely a bloody husband art thou to me."
When Moses was restored to health relations in the home were not congenial, for he went on alone to Egypt, and Zipporah and the two sons went back to her home in Midian. Of this unhappy incident Alexander Whyte says, "There are three most obscure and most mysterious verses in Moses' history that mean, if they mean anything at all to us, just such an explosion of ill-temper as must have left its mark till death on the heart of Moses and Zipporah. The best of wives; his help meet given him of God; the most self-effacing of women; the wife who holds her husband in her heart as the wisest and best of men - under sufficient trial and provocation and exasperation, even she will turn and will strike with just one word; just once in her whole married lifetime."
When Moses became the mighty leader and law-giver of Israel, there was the episode when Jethro, his father-in-law came out to the wilderness to see Moses and brought with him Zipporah and the two sons. The union was devoid of any restraint for Moses graciously received them and neither disowned nor ignored his wife and sons. But after this visit during which Jethro gave his over-burdened son-in-law some very practical advice, nothing more is said of Zipporah. She disappears without comment from the history of the Jewish people in which her husband figured so prominently. "Neither as the wife of her husband nor as the mother of her children did she leave behind her a legacy of spiritual riches." How different it would have been if only she had fully shared her husband's unusual meekness and godliness and, like him, left behind footprints in the sands of time!

Today's reading: 1 Samuel 17-18, Luke 11:1-28 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Samuel 17-18

David and Goliath
1 Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Sokoh and Azekah. 2 Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. 3 The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.
4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. 5He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.
8 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me...."

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 11:1-28

Jesus' Teaching on Prayer
1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."
2 He said to them, "When you pray, say:

hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
4 Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.'"
5 Then Jesus said to them, "Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.' 7 And suppose the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need....
Today's Prayer

God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

-- the tax collector in Luke 18, who in his awareness of his own sin would not even look up to heaven as he prayed

Today's Scripture Reading: John 12:20-33

20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. "Sir," they said, "we would like to see Jesus." 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.
23 Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
27 "Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!"
Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
30 Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
Today's Quote

"My life afrights me. For when carefully reviewed, its whole course shows in my sight like one great sin; or at least it is well-nigh nothing but barrenness. Or, if any fruit is seen in it, that fruit is so false, or so imperfect, or in some way or other so tainted with decay and corruption, that it must needs either fail to satisfy God, or else utterly offend Him." -Anselm

Something to Think About

All of us have sinned--if we were without sin, Jesus' sacrifice would not have been necessary to assure us a relationship with God. This week, take time to identify the temptations and sins that you struggle with. Are there unconfessed sins in your life that you need to bring before Jesus?

Today's Lent reading: John 1-2 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
The Word Became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world....

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