the heart for healing

20160216-18

devotional post # 2143

Hosea 14:4-7

Hos 14:4 I will heal their defection; I will love them freely, because my anger has turned from them.
Hos 14:5 I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like the lily; he will take root like the trees of Lebanon;
Hos 14:6 his shoots will spread out; his beauty will be like the olive tree, and his fragrance like Lebanon.
Hos 14:7 They will turn and dwell beneath my shadow; they will flourish like the grain; they will blossom like the vine; their fame will be like the wine of Lebanon.

the heart for healing

God’s heart was for the healing and restoration of his people. That was what he wanted. He wanted them to turn, and he promised to restore them. He still has the same heart. Hew waits for those who have left him to return, no matter what generation it is.

LORD, show us how to turn to you utterly.

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take words with you

20160216-17

devotional post # 2142

Hos 14:1 Turn back, Israel, to Yahveh your God, since you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
Hos 14:2 Take words with you and turn back to Yahveh; say to him, “Take away every violation; accept what is good, and we will pay with bulls what we have vowed with our lips.
Hos 14:3 Assyria will not rescue us; we will not ride on horses; and we will no longer say, ‘Our God,’ to the work of our hands. In you the orphan finds mercy.”

take words with you

Hosea tells Israel that renewal and restoration begins with a simple act of repentance. If the people only take words with them, asking God to forgive them, and vowing to return to the covenant, God will honor that. But they have to stop riding the fence. They have to give up the hypocrisy of thinking they are okay, and they have to give up the foolishness of trusting in a foreign power to protect them.

LORD, we have nothing to bring you but words. We trust in your grace, because we have nowhere else to go.

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A Pattern of "Flakery"

Promoted to Incompetence

Matthew Hooten has rung the changes on Ms Jacinda Ardern, leader of the Labour Party.  He wrote a piece in the National Business Review, which was re-posted by David Farrar at Kiwiblog.

It speaks for itself:

In 2008, Republican Party operatives discovered when preparing vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin for her debate with Democrat Joe Biden that “she doesn’t know anything”. In 2017, New Zealand Labour may have similarly landed itself with a prime ministerial candidate without the basic background knowledge to be a credible candidate for high office.

Ms Ardern’s most obvious weakness is tax policy. …  What has really damaged Ms Ardern is that it has become clear she has never given tax policy any thought even in the broadest brushstrokes.
  Initially, she ring-fenced increasing GST and income tax from the Tax Working Group’s (TWG) work, except for promising to reverse the $1000-a-year cuts to income tax that National legislated for next year.  When asked by the Australian Financial Review, Ms Ardern later extended her commitment to company tax.

On the proposed capital gains tax (CGT), Ms Ardern ruled out including the “family home” – whatever that means in contemporary New Zealand – but was unable to answer whether the “family home” exemption would also extend to a land tax, seemingly not understanding the difference between the two. After a painful few hours, Labour moved to rule out all taxes on the “family home”, but that raises all sorts of questions about where the “family home” ends and the shop, farm or other business begins – or when a big urban backyard stops being a place for kids to run around and becomes land-banking. Maori might argue with some legitimacy that their marae is in some sense more the “family home” than where the whanau happens to live now.

The surprising thing is not that these can be difficult questions – exactly the sort of thing a TWG might be best to resolve – but that Ms Ardern seems never to have contemplated that they might even arise.

Tax could perhaps just be dismissed as not Ms Ardern’s thing, but there is a wider pattern of flakery.   The still-likely next prime minister has declared climate change “my generation’s nuclear-free moment” but her actual policy appears to extend no further than implementing the Emissions Trading Scheme as legislated and setting up a new Climate Commission.

Ms Ardern has said her “entire reason for being in politics is to rid this country of child poverty” but in nine years in parliament she has proposed not a single meaningful initiative to do so, other than launching a Child Poverty Reduction and Eradication Bill which would have established a new Child Poverty Reduction Board.

[The bill is here in case you don’t believe Matthew. It solves child poverty by setting up a board. Just as you solve climate change with a commission and solve tax with a working group.  David Farrar]

None of this suggests the prime minister-assumptive is the policy wonk she claims. The inadequacy of Labour’s policy positions is more indicative of a person whose experience is limited to moving from school, to a Bachelor in Communications Studies at the University of Waikato, to being a parliamentary staffer, and then a list MP.

After six weeks, even the daily left-wing media has now woken up to the fact Ms Ardern is indeed a flake. But the polls have already been open for five days as part of the Electoral Commission’s effort to attract the left-leaning “missing million” to vote, including by dropping in to gang headquarters.

In fact, by the time you read this, more than 200,000 people will already have cast their votes. By the time the final leaders’ debate is held on Wednesday night, the number may be over one million. It will hardly matter how badly Ms Ardern performs that night – with the help of the Electoral Commission, she may already have wrapped this one up.

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Daily Meditation

What of Earth?

C. S. Lewis

I believe, to be sure, that any man who reaches Heaven will find that what he abandoned (even in plucking out his right eye) has not been lost: that the kernel of what he was really seeking even in his most depraved wishes will be there, beyond expectation, waiting for him in ‘the High Countries’. In that sense it will be true for those who have completed the journey (and for no others) to say that good is every- thing and Heaven everywhere. But we, at this end of the road, must not try to anticipate that retrospective vision. If we do, we are likely to embrace the false and disastrous converse and fancy that everything is good and everywhere is Heaven.

But what, you ask, of earth? Earth, I think, will not be found by anyone to be in the end a very distinct place. I think earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself.

The Great Divorce. Copyright © 1946, C. S Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed 1973 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

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The Growing Degradation of the West

Pharaoh Has Lost All Memory of Joseph
We live in a mad, mad world–at least in the West.  Homosexuality and gender-bending is tearing the social fabric apart.  We came across a recent case in the United Kingdom illustrating the madness of our condition.

A ‘transgendered’ convicted double rapist, who is biologically male, has been put in isolation in prison after being moved to an all-female jail, where it is claimed they made advances on female prisoners.  [Liam Deacon, Breitbart London]

Apparently this rapist is a particularly nasty piece of work.

Sarah Callaghan, 44, who fell pregnant with Winfield’s first child when she was just 15 (below the age of consent) and they were in their 20s, branded the sex attacker “a danger to everyone around him”.  She said: “It seems the only person who ever gets any help is Martin – not all the people who have suffered because of him.

Another one of their victims described the fact her attacker was given a free sex change as “diabolical”. She said: “There are not enough words to describe him and the evil he has done.  “It is diabolical they have allowed him to have a sex change and diabolical that he could be freed this year. He may have changed physically but his brain is still the same.” 

Yes, you read that right.
 The National Health Service is funding a 10,000 pound sex change for Martin Ponting, now Jessica Winfield.  Once Ponting “identified” as a woman, he was transferred to a female prison–and then applied for surgical and hormonal adjustments to manufacture what he declared his identity to be.

The rapist began his sentence in the male-only HMP Whitemoor, Cambridgeshire, and is now in Europe’s largest female prison, HMP Bronzefield in Surrey.  According to the Daily Mail, Ponting (aka Winfield) made “unwanted sexual advances on inmates”; however, prison authorities have subsequently denied this.  An inside source told The Sun: “It beggars belief why a convicted double rapist like Jessica is allowed to mix with females despite still have her penis intact.”  Adding: “Prison bosses were worried she would try it on with inmates and their fears have come true.”

Incidentally, notice the Sun’s bizarre compliance with the enforced political correctness now oppressing free speech and thought in the United Kingdom:  It beggars belief why a convicted double rapist like Jessica is allowed to mix with females despite still have her penis intact.”  If one wanted one sentence to showcase the Orwellian Newspeak now brainwashing everyone in the United Kingdom, that particular example of propaganda-by-speech-control would serve well.

The degradation of the United Kingdom is neither illustrated nor proven by the existence of a repeat rapist, nor even by his self-identifying as a female.  Neither the state nor society in general can be held responsible for the depravity of some.  But the degradation and lostness of the United Kingdom is emblazoned upon the acts of state with respect to this case:

  • The state’s submission to and compliance with the convict’s personal sexual identity.
  • The state funding his sex-change operation, thereby facilitating an even greater evil and stealing from tax payers to effect the state-crime.
  • The state moving the prisoner into an all female prison.
  • The state requirement and complicity of media to engage in Orwelling Newspeak so as to perpetuate the deception and lies.

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

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no reason for rescue

20160216-16

devotional post # 2141

Hosea 13:14-16

Hos 13:14 Should I rescue them from the power of Sheol? Should I redeem them from Death? O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? My eyes see no reason for compassion.
Hos 13:15 Though he may thrive among his brothers now, the east wind, the wind of Yahveh, will come, rising from the desert, and his fountain will dry up; his spring will be parched; it will strip his treasury of every precious object.
Hos 13:16 Samaria will bear the punishment she deserves, because she has rebelled against her God; they will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.

no reason for rescue

The LORD knows that the Israelites are in danger of death and Sheol. It is the punishment they deserve. So, he refuses to acknowledge them because they had refused to ackowledge them. He knows their future, but will not rescue them because they will not ask him.

LORD, give eyes to see the need for your rescue. Save us from our own complacency.

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Has Jacinda Been Thinking? It Appears Not.

The Jacinda Tidal Wave Has Gone Out

Richard Prebble
NZ Herald  

This article first appeared in the NZ Herald on the 14th September.  Ironically, later in the day, Jacinda Ardern capitulated, and reverted to Labour’s tax position as it was before Ardern took over the leadership of the Labour Party.   

The author’s comments below on the command-and-control aspects of Labour’s economic policies, and the apparition of Communist economics that they resemble remain an accurate description of Labour’s position.  Ed.

What has happened to the Jacinda tidal wave? Jacinda who started the wave is the person who stopped it.

Labour’s policy under Andrew Little was to have a tax review. Labour would take any recommendations to the voters at the next election. Kelvin Davies set out the policy on TV only to be publicly slapped down by Jacinda.  In a “captain’s call” Jacinda changed the tax policy to say that a Labour victory was a mandate for Labour to introduce any new tax and at any rate that a nameless committee of “tax experts” recommended, just the family home is off limits.

Any tax? What about land tax? Yes. Tax on the family bach and boat? Yes. Water? Petrol? Nothing is off the table. Will the capital gains tax be 33 per cent? Maybe. The petrol tax 10 cents a litre? Probably. Water tax. Guess a figure. “Trust us” says Jacinda.

No party has ever asked for so much power.  It is too much power for any government to have.  What was Jacinda thinking?

Elections are a head rush. Inexperienced candidates get campaign-itis and fall for their own propaganda. They think they cannot lose. They overreach.  In this year’s British election an inexperienced leader, Teresa May, thought she could not lose. She added old Tory polices like fox hunting to her manifesto. She lost an unlosable election.

The left of the Labour Party wants to redistribute. Capital gains taxes is top of their wish list.  Before changing Labour’s tax policy Jacinda should have read the Bauer Media poll that says nearly half of us (49 per cent) believe the economy will do better under National. Just 29 per cent of voters think the economy will be better with Jacinda. In every campaign “It’s the economy, stupid” as President Clinton observed.

As a Labour strategist what do you do when adults think your leader cannot add? On TV each night you put Jacinda in front of schoolchildren who will not ask hard questions and cannot even vote.

Labour’s strategy is to get the half a million young people who did not vote last election to enrol and vote this election. The strategy may yet work. When you are 18 and living at home and Labour is promising you free stuff what do you care about a capital gains tax?

The commentators who are in the tank for Labour will be baffled by these polls. The decline in the Green and New Zealand First vote is explainable. The New Zealand electorate has no tolerance for politicians who help themselves to taxpayer money.  Incidentally it seems the Maori Party is ahead in two Maori seats.  This might be important.

Didn’t five economists say Labour’s fiscal plan adds up? Hasn’t Steven Joyce been discredited?

The economists and Joyce are both right. If you accept Labour’s assumptions, then Labour’s fiscal plan adds up. Among the assumptions is the claim a Labour Government will do no other new spending. All Governments have to undertake unexpected spending. A spectacular example was the Christchurch earthquake.

The big assumption is the economy will do as well under Labour as National. Who believes seven new taxes will have no effect? Can we declare war on agriculture, tourism and the international student sector and still grow the economy?

Tax and spend always, and I mean always, leads to bust. Steven Joyce’s $11.7 billion hole in Labour’s budget is conservative.

None of the economists were asked if they had examined Labour’s industrial relations policy. I was curious as to what the promised “fair pay agreements” are so I googled Labour’s manifesto. They are neither fair nor an agreement.  The Employment Relations Authority with “assistance from unions and employers” will issue decrees setting wages and conditions of work for a sector of the economy. So the authority can order the pay and conditions for say the transport industry or construction or retail.

Economists have a technical term for command economies, it is called communism. Central government fixing wages and conditions has never worked.

The rest of the industrial policy is a trade union wish list. Trade unions being able to force employers into multi-employer, multi-union agreements, no matter no employee wants to be in the union agreement. It is a recipe for strikes and industrial chaos.

I was so scared I early voted. For the first time in my life I voted National. Not my party vote, National is going to need a coalition partner.

• Richard Prebble is a former leader of Act.
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Daily Meditation

Riding on the Black Horse

I will sing of mercy and judgment.  Psalm 101:1

Faith triumphs in trial. When reason is thrust into the inner prison, with her feet made fast in the stocks, faith makes the dungeon walls ring with her merry notes as she cries, “I will sing of mercy and of judgment. Unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.” Faith pulls the black mask from the face of trouble, and discovers the angel beneath. Faith looks up at the cloud, and sees that

‘Tis big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on her head.

There is a subject for song even in the judgments of God towards us. For, first, the trial is not so heavy as it might have been; next, the trouble is not so severe as we deserved to have borne; and our affliction is not so crushing as the burden which others have to carry.

Faith sees that in her worst sorrow there is nothing penal; there is not a drop of God’s wrath in it; it is all sent in love. Faith discerns love gleaming like a jewel on the breast of an angry God. Faith says of her grief, “This is a badge of honour, for the child must feel the rod;” and then she sings of the sweet result of her sorrows, because they work her spiritual good. Nay, more, says Faith, “These light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work out for me a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

So Faith rides forth on the black horse, conquering and to conquer, trampling down carnal reason and fleshly sense, and chanting notes of victory amid the thickest of the fray.

All I meet I find assists me
In my path to heavenly joy:
Where, though trials now attend me,
Trials never more annoy.
Blest there with a weight of glory,
Still the path I’ll ne’er forget,
But, exulting, cry, it led me
To my blessed Saviour’s seat.

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Drunk and Drugged–With a Bren Gun

Labour High On Binge Taxing
The NZ Labour Party has dropped off the wagon.  It has always been a political party which reflexively wants to tax everything.  The secret mantra of Labour has always been:

If it moves, tax it.
If it continues moving, tax it more.
If it stops moving, subsidize it.

But this election, it has thrown electoral caution to the winds, and doubled down on pretty much every tax imaginable, as well as inventing half a dozen new ones.  Labour wants Jabba the State to sit as a bloated behemoth atop every citizen and business, squeezing the last corpuscle of blood and gasp of breath from their tortured bodies.  We have not seen in our lifetime such a tsunami of promised taxes.  We suspect that the Labour leader, Jacinda Ardern has been at the Kool Aid.

David Farrar at Kiwiblog has had a go at totalling up the blood that will pour out of taxpayers in the light of Labour’s bren gun “tax, tax, tax” ripping into every sign of economic life.

How much extra tax is Labour going to impose?

Been trying to add up the costs of Labour’s various taxes so people can get an idea of the cumulative impact on families and businesses. The ball park estimates for when taxes are fully implemented are:

  • Capital Gains Tax $3.7 billion/year if at 15% (Labour’s own estimates in 2014)
  • Canceled changes to tax thresholds $1.9 billion/year
  • Imposing ETS on Agriculture $830 million/year
  • Water Tax $200 million/year
  • Regional Fuel Tax $160 million/year
  • Tourist Tax $75 million/year

So in total the extra tax cost in New Zealand will be a massive $6.9 billion a year. Think about that for the size of our population. And that is leaving out any land tax or wealth tax which they have also not ruled out.

Rural NZ will be hit especially hard. Based on Labour’s previous CGT policy the rural sector would be hit with $1.3 billion from the CGT, plus the ETS change and the water tax for a total of $2.3 billion. This will significantly impact the competitiveness of the export sector.

It may of course be far worse than this. Labour refuses to reveal details of its planned Capital Gains Tax. We should not assume it would be at 15%, like their previous policy. This may be why they refuse to give details. They could well decide it should be at 30% or 33%, to match the main income tax rates. Is Labour likely to decide capital gains should be taxed less than income? So if they go for a 30% Capital Gains Tax (and again they refuse to reveal their tax plans) then the CGT revenue from families and businesses would be $7.4 billion and the total tax cost of Labour would be over $10.6 billion.

Jacinda was asked this week if Labour would reduce other taxes to compensate for the new taxes (as National did in 2010 with the GST and income tax switch). She wouldn’t say. So taxpayers are facing the greatest take hikes in history with Labour being the first party in recent history saying they reserve the right to impose new taxes if elected, but won’t give details before the election.

It will be a world of pain if Labour gets anywhere near the Treasury Benches.

STOP PRESS:  Jacinda backs up the Truck

Labour–facing an electorate backlash–has “promised” no new taxes would become law until the public has had a chance to see the beast up close and personal.  Therefore, new tax proposals, once specified and described, will, if Labour is elected, be held off until the next election.  This gives the public a chance to vote and either approve or reject the new taxes.

This is a small accomplishment.  However, excluded from this relief, are all the taxes Labour has already specified.  They would still go ahead.  So, we have:

  • The water tax
  • Income tax (reversing National’s forthcoming tax cuts for average-wage New Zealanders, which is already legislated.
  • Regional fuel taxl wouldn’t legislate to let him do it. The money would be used to fund Auckland transport solutions.
  • Emission trading scheme (ETS) 

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right time, wrong question

20160216-15

devotional post # 2140

Hosea 13:10-13

Hos 13:10 Where is your king now, can he rescue you in all your cities? Where are all your leaders– those about whom you asked, “Give me a king and princes”?
Hos 13:11 I granted you a king in my anger, then I took him away in my wrath.
Hos 13:12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is kept in store.
Hos 13:13 The pangs of childbirth come for him, but he is an unwise son, because at the right time he does not present himself at the opening of the womb.

right time, wrong question

The LORD appeals to the Israelites through Hosea, telling them that their sins have been bound up inside them, like an infant, waiting to be born. But, when the time is right for them to repent and be born again as a people of God, they insist on asking God for another king. They want a human solution. They want a conqueror who can defeat their human enemies, not a God who confronts them with their sins. Hosea describes them as an infant that refuses to present himself at the opening of the womb.

LORD, change us; make us new, so that we can change the world for you.

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