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East meets West

Mikhail Kalashnikov standing with an M-16 next to Eugene Stoner, the M-16's designer, who is holding an AK-47. According to arms control campaigners, the Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle is the world's favorite killing machine, and it will remain so for at least 20 years. Mikhail Kalashnikov the Inventor of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, widely known as the AK-47 Date of Birth: Current Age: 11/10/1919 86. He was an inventor amongst other things such as a Lieutenant General in WW11. He wants something done to curb the sale and manufacturing of copies of the weapon he designed. I fear it is rather late for that now sadly. Sadly Eugene Stoner has passed away Field: Inventing Info: Designer of the M-16 assault rifle used by the US armed forces, as well as other military weapons Date of Birth: 11/22/1922 Date of Death: 04/24/1997 Age at Death: 74 Around 100 million AK-47s and variations of its design are in circulation around the world, including in the state arsenal of at least 82 countries. AK-47s are used to "massacre, maim, rape and abuse, torture, and fuel violent crime in countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Britain, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Mexico, Sierra Leone, the US, Venezuela and Yemen. Produced in at least 14 countries across four continents, the AK-47, which can be fired at a rate of 600 bullets per minute, can be bought for as little as 30 dollars in parts of Africa. I presume POTUS knows this info and yet he still dithers over bringing his troops home knowing that an Iraqi insurgent could kill more of them with the Kalashnikov's and other horrific weapons. ````````````````````````````


I sure got a shock this arvo

Powered by Castpost I thought I would wander down to my convenience store today to buy a few things and guess what they sure have done some big renovations; I mean. I thought I was in Brisbane instead of some tiny town on the Sunshine coast. Nah just kidding I was trying out my digi cam in video clip mode. Better than not posting anything I reckon.


A German perspective: 'It's our heritage too'

I certainly agree with all of this stated in this edition of the BBC. I am not a warmonger but I can see why this Walk is being undertaken; It is also a part of our history and as we know other nations were dragged into this From The USA, Canada, Australia so many nations to name here really. Mario Zutt,shown above a 35-year-old accountant from Biskirchen, 100km north of Frankfurt, is going to France for the Somme commemoration He will walk alongside about 100 British men, half of whom had ancestors who would have faced his own great-grandfather, Jacob Zutt and his great-great-uncle Herman Emrich across the front line. Germans and British together will be dressed in their own reproduction uniform, set up Living History campsites along the way and share rations. The irony is not lost on Mario but he points out he has taken part in war re-enactments with former "enemies" before - "We have a very good friendship, we re-enactors are like family," he says. The real reason for the start of World War I well the main one was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, in the summer of 1914. Austria immediately accused Serbia of instigating the murders and issued an ultimatum, whereupon Russia declared her support of Serbia. Once the Russians ordered general mobilisation, the Austrian, French, and German mobilisation orders followed in quick succession, each triggered by the other in a domino effect. So it really started because of the conflicting national Interests; when the expansionist policy of Austria-Hungary conflicted with Serbian nationalism if you like. There were other reasons of course there was an Arms race between Britain and Germany mainly I think because of the immense Naval Power Britain had against Germany’s Naval Power. However for what ever reason the war started and now thanks to folk like Mario Zutt re-enacting the march for Germany and Neil McGurk an engineer who is re-enacting it on the British behalf it seems they are all friends which is as it should be. The pair of them along with quite a lot more from both sides who fought in this awful war has quite a march so no doubt a lot of conviviality will happen in the Five days of the march I reckon. My thanks to the BBC for both articles


The Aftermath...What aftermath

One should be prepared to read this report on Iraq following the 1991 Gulf campaign as it is not that clear cut as I thought and many other folk as well no doubt. Why Saddam was singled out must be looked at very carefully. Everybody now knows supposedly that it was because Kuwait was accused of slant drilling for oil in Iraq. This seems be true regardless of whether Saddam was considered a tyrant (I myself think he was) but it was also because Kuwait was a British protectorate; they still may be but I have noticed how the Brits and the American governments have always seemed to ally their selves with Moslem countries. Look at Saudi Arabia and the US government but the thing you have to ask yourselves is why; why all this. I personally think Saddam was an acute embarrassment to these two countries. In Iraq after Operation Desert Storm, in 1991, Saddam Hussein continued to receive and give credence to optimistic assessments of his regime’s prospects dished up by his top military officers. Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz described the dictator as having been ‘very confident’ that the United States would not dare to attack Iraq, and that if it did, it would be defeated. What was the source of Saddam’s confidence? You may well ask. From what I can glean, the single most important element in Saddam’s calculations was his faith that France and Russia would prevent an invasion by the United States. According to Aziz, Saddam’s confidence was firmly rooted in his belief that between the interests of France and Russia and his own strategic goals: both ‘France and Russia would each secure millions of dollars worth of trade and service contracts in Iraq, with the implied understanding that their political posture with regard to sanctions on Iraq would be pro-Iraqi. In addition, the French wanted sanctions lifted to safeguard their trade and service contracts in Iraq. Moreover, they wanted to prove their importance in the world as members of the Security Council so they could use their veto to show they still had power. Saddam remained convinced that, in his own words, "Iraq will not, in any way, be like Afghanistan. We will not let the war become a picnic for the American or the British soldiers. It appears he was correct after all. The coalition may have in the end won the battle for Bagdad and captured Saddam but lives are still being lost there day after day. The fact is that Iraq now has its own government and all coalition forces should be removed forthwith. The troops will be glad to return home I am sure and I think the average Iraqi for all the publicity photos and media reports we in the west see and read will be glad to see us depart. I must admit I found this article interesting as long as it is. The mind boggles after reading this report I was absolutely amazed to be honest. ---------------------------------


You gotta laugh at these surely! well not the first story of course.

A grand old lady Imagine living until you were 176 the mind boggles. Charles Darwin brought this giant Galapagos Tortoise back it seems from the Galapagos Islands way way back in 1835 holey moley that’s a 100 years before I was born. And it seems she was a neighbour of mine well I must admit I never noticed her at Australia Zoo but I wish I had as my Gran had a large Tortoise presented to her by my Grandfather. I was most likely interested in the Crocodile show there and missed her sadly. ``````````````````````````` This guy it seems is stealing the limelight from the soccer world cup and is wandering around Austria and Bavaria even sat down outside a Police station would you believe. Ah it is Italian and wandered into Austria and has killed a few chooks; well cripes he’s got to eat I mean we do. ````````````````````````````` The worlds largest Pub crawl and where was it held why good old Queensland of course; many sore heads I reckon. Of course a swoop by the Queensland licensing commission left a few sour grapes but then I guess they should not have done what they did: Yeah right just because it spilled out onto the streets; wowsers. ```````````````````````` Drunken golf buggy driver Lol this feller was arrested in the Northern Territory for doing doughnuts; even had a guy on the sunroof still I’d cut him some slack in court it was on a golf course not the highway even if he was over the limit but.


The pot calling the kettle black

There was a time years ago when I would have agreed with these countries opposing the Japanese PM’s annual visit to a war shrine; they were a cruel barbaric race to most western countries. BUT do we of the west not do the same thing on a grander scale? Well we do we celebrate war with ANZAC day, Remembrance Day, Memorial day. Then of course other nations like Russia, France, Belgium; I could go on of course but I do hope dear reader (that’s a hoot) that the message has got across. It is said it is because of the executed war criminals interred there that gets up some folks noses; so what if WW11 had ended in the Axis hands they would have put some of our military and such on trial and executed them as well. Believe me when I say that although Japan is a neighbour and ally now I did not like their policies on war down to wildlife. But that is in the past except for the whale issue, and I think Mr. Junichiro Koizumi has every right to respect his deceased compatriots' Still I notice it is only Asian countries that publicly whinge at this. Good heavens here in Cowra a small country town in New South Wales Australia we have built our own shrine to remember the 247 Japanese POW’s who were shot dead whilst escaping. Originally the Killed POW’s were buried in the Cowra War cemetery however in 1964 In a joint effort both the Australian and Japanese governments of the day co-operated and built a Japanese war cemetery for all Japanese nationals killed in WW11. There is also Japanese gardens there and I have been to them including a traditional Japanese Tea house; there is a friendship bell called the world peace bell situated outside the Council chambers. And this man is being Whinged at for attending his own shrine what rot; I was taught as a child that everyone is entitled to pray to who they like, religion is a personal thing. I applaud Mr. Koizumi for his doggedness on this issue.

One of those things

I do believe this sort of thing has been discussed and blogged about many times but in a strife and war torn Iraq as with any other nation who is using firearms and has fought a war with said nation; is as the Brits say quote “these things happen as it were” unquote. Just put it down to an accident or class it as killed in friendly fire. Mr.Iraqi trade minister you would not be the trade minister if Saddam was still in power; ok we should not in my opinion be in your country but it seems we are but here is some advice for free Andrew Downer and his underdog Vaile will not apologise and if perchance you get one it will only be to shut you up. We have plenty of other countries to trade with besides your country; the ADF is investigating wait until they declare a finding; theADF are investigating other things as well so you will have to join the queue or line as our American friends say. You are lucky I am not the Australian PM; if I was our troops would not be there at all.


Another gratis Cab ride

George you could make history here you know as the Austrians like the rest of us have sussed you out. So when are you going to do something about your chamber of horrors in the US Naval base of Guantanamo bay? The whole world awaits you while you dither about Iran but as a step towards being tactful and decent close the place mate. We the Western world and no doubt the East as well want the place closed. Never mind the Hungarian visit it won’t solve this problem; you as POTUS can save your taxpayers money there just send a minor official ok as this is much more important as all most of us want is the infamous camp closed the troops pulled out of Iraq, your successor can worry about the rest as it won’t be you thank Goodness. What’s all this about visa free entries to your country I thought you had enough immigrants as it is; illegal and legal immigrants. You have many far too many American born citizens to think of; why a horde of others to sponge off your system. Look to your own country is what I think as do millions of others. What about your nation’s children, and your senior citizens (lots of those served in several military campaigns) don’t they deserve better than they get at the moment? We here in Australia are sick of all this just as much as your own people; don’t your senior citizens deserve a tad of comfort in their twilight years? I think so old mate. Cripes even our bloke gave us older folk a bonus have you done that yet? If I were you I personally could not sleep at night with all the horrors you have condoned and in the name of democracy I might add. These talks with the head of the European Union bear considerable thought as to your actions. ~~~***~~~***~~~***~~~***~~~***~~~***


After all the knocking of our Federal Government that I usually do on my Blog I was amazed and pleased to receive a letter from The Honourable Bruce Billson MP Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence awarding all Older Australians’ a bonus. This bonus also applies to Older Australians’ who receive their pension from Centre Link (Formerly the Dept of Social Security) a huge amount of $102.80 when billions are being spent on war and such;(I could not help but put that in) I am truly still grateful Bruce and I will put it to good use I assure you once again thank you. *******************************************************************************


Leviathan’s on the warpath

Well done to the unnamed Nations that supported this motion rallied on by some South American and European countries and count me in; I mean Japan has a Whaling commissioner they must have if they have a deputy whaling Commissioner. He must come under the FRTS dept (food from the sea) this is a first surely. The sheer greed and gall of the Japanese doing this is absolutely unreal. To do it in the waters of the Antarctic really makes my blood boil; I for one thoroughly endorse Greenpeace on this one. So come on Great Britain, Australia and the USA start the ball rolling. Are these countries that wish to hunt the poor old Whale wondering if the Whales will attack good heavens all products from Whales are now synthetic, of course not all they want is the meat to eat. More are they wondering if the Whales have these moratoriums! Look out all pro Whalers they should have formed a HTH (hunt the humans) by now armed of course with just their tails lol. As a matter of interest Australia has a protected zone for Whales as shown by this Map below. ``````````````````````````````````````````


The thwarting of the Japanese on St Kitts

The Whale If you read the front page story of the SF Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth. A fisherman spotted her just east of the FarraloneIslands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her ... a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same. They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed gently around-she thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. Very touching I thought a heart warming story; this leviathan was obviously grateful indeed to his human helpers as you can see. And now we have the Japanese who have tried every trick in the book to get whaling in the Antarctic to resume and not just them I might add other countries are involved here who wish the very same thing. Still it seems that the Japanese did not get the votes required; did you know that on their so called scientific expeditions to hunt the whale they actually feed the meat to dogs and older folk. Japan is economically reasonably sound and can afford to buy other sources of protein besides these beautiful creatures and it seems almost human like as are dolphins and yet they try to drag us into it with lies about our Kangaroos; Kangaroos at time can be a pest and do need to be culled; the Whale is not a pest and the waters of the Antarctic should be left free for them and other native wildlife in the area. More yet it seems they are into whale burgers my goodness what are the Japanese thinking of I mean just lookee here at this.


Grandmother Bless her and Granddad

Memories of my Grandmother Bless her wherever she is. And Grandad who was Stern with my mother apparently but he was always ok to me. A little history about her first as much as I can recall at least. Her name oh gosh I have to dig deep here ah got it Emma Suzanna Guy, I can’t recall her maiden name sorry; she did tell me one night down the Pub as after Grandfather passed away who was also jolly just like Gran; she came to live with my parents; but sadly I have forgotten now She spent years in service it was called in her day just a live in underpaid servant for the idle rich really. Dusting, cleaning answering the phone; only the wealthy had phones then as it was a new thing; it was beneath her employer to answer a telephone it seems from what she said lousy jobs terribly underpaid but she got a room she said as I recall. On one of her days off which would have been rare she actually told me she saw Buffalo Bill or William Cody when he brought his Wild West Show to London, this was oh before the turn of the century 1887 I think so Gran would have been only a young girl but she lived to a good age I know that. I was only about 17 when she passed but by golly we had some laughs the pair of us. I lived in what was known in the UK as a rural country village then; she would never go out in the day; frightened of the livestock on the common as it was called she used to say but around 7 PM she was hankering me to take her to the Pub; I did not need to be asked twice in those days so off we used to go. I vaguely recall her in the war as well when we were being bombed, always cheerful way back then; but I digress a little as the first time I ever took her for a drink (frowned upon by my Mother) she always wanted a Scotch but I changed all that and got her on to Irish whiskey; from that day on she always had Irish. She would even come for a ride on my motor cycle in a sidecar about the only time I could actually persuade her to come out in the day amazing lady really always had rosy cheeks. She told me she was born within the sound of the Bells of Bow in London in 10 Chepstow mews which at once denoted her as a Cockney; how I recalled that address has me baffled. In the war I recall she had a huge tortoise which we both held up to the outside tap (faucet) for a drink, my grandfather got on one of his numerous trips over the world. Just like a Cockney she never lost her accent she married a sailor and went to Portsmouth still its only 70 miles by rail from London. I think I will mix the two together as I got on well with Granddad as well; the pair of them was so different to my other two on my Father's side He was in the Royal Navy for 39 years; served in the Mercantile marine when he left and actually was part of a skeleton crew that sailed warships to Japan prior to the war which Japan had purchased and he had a few yarns I can tell you. One I recall was that apart from being paid he also got a free trip back on a P&O Liner and you wouldn’t read about it he broke his Specs so six weeks on a liner and no reading drove him up the wall. On one of his trips overseas in the Royal Navy he met up with my not then Father in some Eastern country and I guess they celebrated prior to the war of course. I guess he was in WW1 that fact has just occurred to me. When the war began in Europe and the UK ports such as London and Portsmouth etc were being bombed he was a volunteer Air Raid Warden known as the ARP; I recall it quite well as it was the only time Mother went into the Air raid shelter as she wouldn’t at home; (see my memories of wartime Britain in the Archives of my blog) the jokes came fast from Gran who always seemed to defend me when I had done something wrong; I was a bit of a terror then I guess! Both of them were bombed out in Portsmouth so as far as I can recall they both moved across the harbour to Gosport, a worse spot in some ways as the Royal Navy had their Submarine pens that side. Gosport was also known as Turk town as a Turkish ship from WW1 was discovered in the harbour and sunk and was still visible at times depending on the tides. We lived that side then so maybe they decided to be nearer us as Dad was away naturally; the war saw to that. I recall fairly well stopping with both of them while Mother went into hospital in Winchester Hants in 1942 to have a brother of mine Tony sadly deceased now this year in Australia. I must have played up terrible as Grandad was always looking for me as I was out and about all hours so I guess they were relieved when Mother came back from the Hospital. On one of my trips to the UK in 1994 their house was still there in either 18 or 22 Anthony Grove Gosport Hants. (How I remembered that I just don’t know) although I did find the house Mother and I lived in at 42 Chancery Road Gosport Hants. I never had much trouble finding my way around either even though it had changed a lot. I had so many laughs with Gran when she came to live with us I know I had to help her home at times. She was game enough to travel on my Father’s Motorbike I know that; I really think she enjoyed it as well. I do hope my immediate family and my Nephews here read this as I do know that one of them was very interested; I was asked by his late father to tell him things like this but he lives so far away from me at the moment. I may do more on this if I recall it as I know a few folk who are interested.


Howard’s con job on Australians

THE proposed services access card is essentially identical to the Australia Card proposal for a national identity card overwhelmingly rejected 20 years ago. The image is a Brit one on the left. There are many pitfalls to this apart from the staggering cost as suggested by this article I read in this article. Personal info can be obtained just like that and by some unscrupulous people at that what is wrong with our present means of identification like a driver’s licence or passport nothing at all as far as I can see. Ok so you don’t travel and you don’t drive so what; I am sure that a means of some identification such as the ones who need it could be issued by centrelink after all they just issue a card for young persons as regards their age to go onto licenced premises free so why all this B/S? Who are you trying to kid? Can you envisage this happening well hopefully not but this is what it was like in Nazi Germany in WW11 "Show me your papers. Where have you been? Where are you going? What authorisation do you have to be here? Please come with me” An American nightmare? Yes and an Australian or British one as well. look at this Canadian one it chills my blood. But it will be far worse than that I assure you as ALL your personal info will be on it including bank accounts other monies you earn in fact your life will not be so sacrosanct as it is now; still that’s debatable I guess! But life will not be the same; I know this we will all be like this image depicts us below. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Guantanamo Suicides

Such concern George After my rant on my last post yesterday I see that it has finally happened. The reason of course is obvious they are sick of being illegally and inhumanely detained. Not classed as POW’s held up by the American legal system etc; is it any wonder this happened? No of course not. Come on Mr. President pull your finger out and do something about this, no good talking about it ACTION is needed from you; you are the boss the buck stops with you. ACTS OF WAR MY EYE. I seriously suggest you do some head hunting on this matter but there is a solution I think pull out from Iraq instead of wasting more of your people’s taxes by pursuing a draft; finally release the illegal detainees none of us in the west are wanted in Iraq don’t you realise this? Most of the world is waiting for this to happen to you but do the honourable think first Eh? *************************************************


Why the sudden interest use now?

How come you have taken so long Mr. Howard PM MP to finally admitting to discussing an illegal detainee in Guantanamo? Ah of course an election is looming silly me. Still you detain women and children here; is your conscience pricking you? It bloody well should be. All detainees at this facility whatever they are suspected of doing are being detained while awaiting the legal Jurisprudence of the USA regardless of race, gender or creed; they have all been treated appallingly. They are not even officially known as prisoners of war indeed they have been treated worse than dogs. Had a little chat with Donald did we? Not good old George then or Tony? He is as bad as you, the whole shebang of you, now let’s see I need a name, ah I have the very thing; THE FOUR UNJUST MEN, yes the U.S was provoked by 9/11 but good old George gung-ho as ever rushed blindly in and invaded Afghanistan and also decided to invade Iraq he actually said so and you aided and abetted him, without I might add the wishes of the majority of the Australian public or indeed most of the world. Now it seems that it is the American legal system at fault according to this report; not their elected head of state (BUT WAS HE FAIRLY ELECTED Hmm) and his minions. Meanwhile poor David Hicks is still incarcerated on that base off shore as are all of them really, and now you have the dammed hide to tell us that you had talks after all. According to this report he was not even a practising Moslem. Hows about you go have a jog as you’re good at that with your bosom pal George and bloody well DEMAND his release forthwith? I read once that he was not captured fighting at all merely training by this very same newspaper; think about that sport very hard ok. Get this BIG mess sorted out ASAP you won’t get my vote but then your party never has; bunch of hypocrites; You were of course supposed to govern this country fair and square and you haven't been have you? you lie through your teeth like all politicians. Bloody well retire will you and get somebody else to run Australia but not that Costello. You do realise I am often asked I quote "do you live in Abbot and Costello's country" unquote. You are Abbot has that sunk in yet? of course it hasn't you are too pigheaded for that. Once more get Hicks and all other Australians out of that hell, indeed ask your mentor to consider laying charges against every detainee there or RELEASE them. ____________________________


An open letter to Penny Cook National Trust

An open letter to Penny Cook National Trust You may wish to keep them but they are a bloody pest. Cane Toads have large glands upon their shoulders which contain poison. Many animals have died from this poison when they have tried to eat a Cane Toad. Eggs, tadpoles, juvenile and adult toads are all poisonous. Cane Toads are considered a pest in Australia because they: Poison pets and injure humans with their toxins Poison many native animals whose diet includes frogs, tadpoles and frogs' eggs Eat large numbers of honey bees, creating a management problem for bee-keepers Prey on native fauna Compete for food with vertebrate insectivores such as small skinks (a small lizard) etc Are you that anxious to keep your job wishing them to be our national icon? Our erstwhile Premier Beatty wishes them to be historical icons as IN GONE as do most Queenslanders and I am inclined to agree with him. I notice in this link I read that one hops by your door every night; I presume you are joking as I see lots of them most nights stealing pet food; the things will eat anything; you Maam are out of your cotton picking mind wake up to yourself. Not only that you are exporting them to other states without a permit I might add; think hard on this NSW is sick of them and now it seems they are in Western Australia; they are definitely in the Northern Territory in large numbers. Some have been deliberately released some may have made the lengthy trips by truck it is not certain I know snakes get carried to the south by truck. They were imported from Hawaii for the cane fields of Queensland but it was soon found to be a bloody pest. How the Hawaiians cope with them I don’t know but don’t waste the taxpayers hard come by cash to find out a simple letter will be enough I think even then it will only prove what we already know. Of course Queenslanders are different but not to the extent of having these pests in the state we are all sick of them and they are more numerous up in the tropical areas.


Some news Items

Aussie’s it seems are welcome the world over and I was amazed at how well they are received in Canada as well as other countries. These two so full of life and taken from the world before their time is sad. They were well liked in this area it seems. From opposite sides of Australia it seems and the community had taken them under their wing so to speak. On a peaceful mission as well just holidaying in the snow. Life can be so cruel at times. ------------------------------ Whilst realising that this event of a small rural towns pub burning down thankfully with no loss of life rest assured folks they will soon have a new watering hole. When there were serious bush fires some years ago in Tasmania; it was classed a national disaster area, the first thing rebuilt was the brewery hows that grab you? ------------------------------------------------- A bloody disgrace This is what I and no doubt a lot of Aussies will think after reading this. Fancy turning a woman away who was pregnant and her husband had to deliver the still born on the side of the road. To add insult to that they were then told to drive a further 270 kilometres to a hospital at Rockhampton; this mark you from a brand new hospital at Emerald. ------------------------------------------ A MAN accused of a Sunshine Coast road rage murder yesterday walked free from court after a jury took only 40 minutes to acquit him. Sounds a tad fishy to me. Not far from where I live either; too much of this road rage goes on here indeed I read on a blog that millions do this all over the world. Years ago it happened to me when I was trying without much luck to get into the left hand lane as I had to turn off; in the end I cut this joker off just to get into the lane I needed or travel another 70 kilometres before I could turn back; Because I put my foot down (those Fords have some herbs lol) he followed me and it almost came to blows; this one has resulted in a death. There was talk of cracking down on this outrageous behaviour but nothing much was done. Comments most welcome on all of my posts.


The lucky country

"The Australian Emptiness, The Australian Ugliness, The Lucky Country, The Land of the Long Weekend, The Great Australian Stupour, The End of Dreamtime" The first laughing kookaburra, spotted on a golf course gum tree perch Two solitary jokers with single irons were following their balls around in the evening This on a stroll across the peninsula to Bondi Beach through the ragged public course behind Rose Bay, improbably called the Royal Sydney As it were, no, as it is, Republic v. Queenie issues underlie a good many Australian realities A fresh, invigorating thing about Australia is that it is so un-English Nobody says "as it were" The seminal Australian divide all over again: the prisoner vs. the guard, the bolters and bushrangers vs. the onrushing suburbanite "More of Australia's history took place outside the law than within it, and more attempt was made to hide than record it" And that first kookaburra on the golf course gum had a slightly crossed bill Laughing kookaburras are big omnivore kingfishers Also called, alarm bird, breakfast bird, bushman's clock, settler's clock, shepherd's clock, brown, great brown, giant kingfisher, laughing kingfisher And Jack, Jackass, Jacko, Jacky, John, Johnnie, Kooka, Laughing Jack, laughing John, laughing Johnass, laughing Johnny, ha ha, and woop woop pigeon No fish at all, their main diet is snakes They take them by the head, fly to great heights and drop them for the kill Leaving the Rose Bay Ferry, two pelicans were preening on the piles Claret clear Behind the ferry landing a private girls' school field hockey practice was finishing up Most looked as though they could have run out South Head without breaking a sweat In deep dusk make it into Bondi over the top and down Beach Road to Campbell Parade And to the wide sand in front that's everything it's supposed to be The whole South Pacific, from the zenith to your toes, up against you there With that deep, all-powerful loom that the Oceanside has when night falls In failing coastal light there still are two realms But in the darkness, only the ocean, the land world left false until the dawn light Bondi is like Santa Monica before Santa Monica went chic and high-rise Like Manly on Sydney's North Harbour as you walk out Manly's Corso to the beach and Cabbage Tree Bay Before Manly went Key West Agape at the massive swells coming off winds built up between New South Wales and the coast of Chile Punta Toro just south of Valparaiso is exactly at Bondi's latitude 10,412 kilometres of open ocean away Nothing in between No land, no reefs, no rocks The Fatal Shore Australia as terra nullius Once there, you're there "...its historical immensity of blue heat, bush, sandstone and the measured booming of glassy Pacific rollers" Ocean, ocean, ocean Stooping to Sydney on the flight in from Fiji The Qantas 747 banked across Botany Bay and off the right wing in the turning parallaxes of brilliant glare was a flock of silver gulls The first birds seen in a new place are an emphatic ratchet click-up of understanding, the first of clearly something else The silver gull is Australia's universal gull Also turns up in New Caledonia, New Zealand and some of the sub-Antarctic islands, southern Africa, and around Norfolk Island Norfolk Island was Cook's second Australian landfall Leaving, Lord Howe Island was the final vision from that sublime trip The last Australian territory It looked like a steep, brown, cloud-brushed imaginary kingdom Glimpsed through the clouds Like a mountain crest at ocean level ten kilometres below Which of course it is Imprinted and registered like every remarkable incident, every emphatic awareness in the realm of new things, new places, new time, new light Travel nearly as free and wide as any standard issue just like an Aussie does it In kip claret Redbacks Up the old steps from Opera Quays to the Royal Botanic Garden and Government House In the great urban park of Sydney's lofty, open grandeur Big skies spread around water A city of extraordinarily direct people Travelers themselves, living in part by airport and airline codes Like EWR to LAX to NAN to SVU to VBV back to NAN to SYD to LAX The argot of worldly initiates who by whatever ruse or strategy manage promiscuous travel And who respect it and understand immediately those who feel the same Tolerance and openness are givens in an island continent with enough room for anything that comes to it over the curve of earth Time to venture only a couple of degrees of latitude, a trifling distance from Sydney to Canberra on the Melbourne road, but once off the freeway immediately on the land within rural New South Wales Merino country "Hopping kangaroos moved in scattered company, not in damaging single file like sheep and cattle... No other land has been treated so gently" Spotted quail-thrush, wonga pigeon, banded rail, grey goshawk Yellowish claret, originally the color of Arbois Now the familiar reddish violet A night on Goulburn's long Auburn Street off the Hume Highway Masked plover, pied currawong, black swan Goulburn's three-story blown-concrete Big Merino ram, eyes glowing red at night Australian emphatics and exaggerations Often see Australians with the countenances and body language of John Currin or Lisa Yuskavage people White Ibis,Sacred Ibis, dusky moorhen, Australian wood duck, magpie lark, noisy miner, black-faced cuckoo-shrike Temporary Member Pass 433434 to the Goulburn Workers Club Bistro meals, drinking, gambling and talk Southern giant petrel, pied stilt, black cormorant, whiskered tern, chestnut teal, chestnut-breasted shelduck West out of Goulburn in the dawn, ready, with the time, to cross the continent to Dampier and the Gorgon gas fields off Barrow Island southwest of Eighty Mile Beach and the Great Sandy Ready to drive to the Indian Ocean western limit, across it all Over the Dividing Range, across all New South Wales to Broken Hill, to the Flinders Ranges at the top of Spencer Gulf due north of Adelaide Ready to skirt Lake Eyre on past the Musgave Ranges, cross the Gibson Desert, then down the Valley of the Fortescue between the Hamersley and Chichester Mountains Into all of Western Australia, an infinity of coastline, roads, dry mountains And then comprehensively return another way, back to Sydney via all the rest South Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland, and then Tasmania The whole vital rest of it "The Aborigines' tracks laid the basis of the road networks, their campsites became homesteads and towns, their yam grounds became arable fields, and all their hunting grounds, so carefully tended by fire, became ideal pastures for sheep" Welcome swallow, common skylark, Australian raven, crested pigeon, masked lapwing, spotted turtle-dove, scaly-breasted lorikeet, Willie wagtail Coots floating on the Wollondilly River below a one-lane plank bridge A pair of galahs sitting obdurately and magnificently on the narrow range road from Goulburn to Grabben Gullen in the dawn Big crimson Rosellas brilliant beyond reasonable Northern Hemisphere imagination among the roadside gums, parrots at their most extreme Crimson rosellas are the substantiation of psittacine presence and grandeur "Flight fast and swooping, often with deep exaggerated wing beats, brassy cries" Crimson bodies, crimson rumps, flashing their two-toned blue wings and bluish-white margined tails Even bigger sulphur-crested cockatoos feeding on sheep paddock slopes Their sulphur crests nodding Imagine Australian roads with months to spend, imagine Outside Canberra walking slowly from a blacktop road toward kangaroos to stand among them in the wild Grazing on the fresh spring green of last January's burn From the immense bush fires around Sydney and Canberra early in 2003 Mount Stromlo Observatory near Canberra burned out, its equipment and telescopes, even some of its records and data, lost Whole communities of houses ravaged Right there months on placidly watching a mob of big greys virtually within the city limits of Canberra in the evening and then again in the dawn Winter fuzz still on their muzzles and their ears Against the low sun behind Greys about the color of white-tail deer that have lost their winter coats Kangaroos in NSW something like deer in Northeastern America Each member of every mob alert The males watch most carefully while the females go about their graze Their huge sharkskin tails, their front legs held praying mantis high With their rear legs they can disembowel a dog Now and then an amazingly large Joey leaves the grass to climb back into its mother's pouch Joeys can graze from the pouch beneath the chests of their grazing mothers "A female red kangaroo can produce one young approximately every 240 days as long as favorable conditions hold. Under such conditions most adult females examined in the field are found to have one quiescent embryo, one pouch young, and one accompanying young outside of the pouch" An ontogeny with reflective implications for the ethics of abortion As recently as the early 1990s there were probably more large kangaroos and wallaroos on the Australian continent than people The ratio may be reversed ten years on because of the current long-term drought Flush and drain, wax and wane, drought and rain Out in what was the backend of the British Empire "...having been shipped out of Britain as criminals, we were shipped back as cannon fodder; so that when peace came, the survivors could return to their real mission as Australians growing cheap wool and wheat for England" Shipped back to Sydney Cove, everything comes back to Sydney Cove The Rocks, George Street, Kings Cross, Darlinghurst, Paddington And Darling Harbor Parramatta's alluvial, on the river at the backend of Sydney Cove, the site of Australia's first successful farming The complexity of Aboriginal societies ignored and pushed aside The original Australians hung out to dry Redfern, virtually adjoining Sydney University, out Regent Street from Sydney's center and Circular Quay, the locale of Aboriginal public housing, has riots, has anger, has the Aboriginal future in its past Black America is a paradigm of social progress in comparison In Sydney, the Taronga Ferry and up the hill into the Taronga Zoo for all the Australian exotics, Tasmanian devils, wombats and all the birds Splendid wrens, Malurus splendens, inside their netted habitat move and feed like chickadees The laser turquoise blue of the males against the blue sky and fluffy spring cumulus over Sydney Cove is impossibly vivid Wrens, tiny wrens, may be the finest Australian sights of all From Taronga the flaring skyline of the city, capital of the South Pacific, inevasibly there Crisp and sure A world city barely two hundred years old Sydney even more visually exciting than San Francisco "A strange house, the Establishment: everyone enters it facing backwards" Strine "The much decried apathy of Australians is often a misnomer for sensible imperturbability" Broad and Flash "The Dream of Wearing Shorts Forever" ****************************************** My thanks to Nifty [a Premier of NSW was known by this nickname] for e-mailing me this; I take no credit for it at all; I thought it so true to life in Australia so I thought I would share it with the world Map courtesy of Google Images.

A day to remember in our history...D-Day June six 1944

Called Operation Overlord On June 6, 1944, a date known ever since as D-Day, a mighty armada crossed a narrow strip of sea from England to Normandy, France, and cracked the Nazi grip on Western Europe. During World War II, the Allied invasion of western Europe, which was launched on June 6, 1944 (the most celebrated D-Day of the war), with the simultaneous landing of U.S., British, and Canadian forces on five separate beachheads in Normandy, France. By the end of August 1944 all of northern France was liberated, and the invading forces reorganized for the drive into Germany, where they would eventually meet with Soviet forces advancing from the east to bring an end to the Nazi Reich. The supreme allied Commander allied forces General Dwight D Eisenhower giving out one of his pep talks pictured above known as Ike he was also to become a President of the USA after the war of course. Field Marshall Montgomery was the British commander; I did read that he and Ike clashed quite a bit; Monty did not like the idea of an American being solely in charge I believe! Not only American's and Canadian forces partook of this invasion as the Australians and New Zealanders all played their part mainly in the air. Listen to some of the folk who took part in or played a part in this the hugest armada the world has ever seen. Another shot of Ike giving orders to American paratroopers in England on June 6, 1944 Their flashes have been obliterated for security reasons; and with one of Monty in a tank. This day should be remembered and honoured as it was the turning point of the Nazi Regime’s hold on Europe. If it was not for the gallant efforts of the men and women I might add the world would not be quite the same; which does pose some questions I guess after 9/11 and the former USSR but whatever we should all be grateful. I do think that the UK owe the USA a great debt by the aide they were lent under a lease lend agreement which was erased as the UK could never have paid it back. Thinking a little more most of the Western world including the former Soviet Union owes them a debt which can never be repaid. Their manpower was remarkable and not only in Europe but in the Pacific and the loss of life was on a terrible scale for all participants including the enemy. I myself as a schoolboy saw the invasion forces and that was only in a few streets of Portsmouth. CREDIT: U.S. Army photograph, 1944 June 6. Library of Congress. the ABC (Australia) and Google images.


Dodging the real issues.

Before G.W.Bush decides to allow discussions re Gay marriages should he not look at the much more important problems? There are far more important problems than same sex marriages? In my opinion. 1-more crisis’s in Iraq. 2-the budget deficit which is to me horrendous. 3-his approval rating is way down. So what does he do? He is focusing his attentions on same gender weddings; now to my way of thinking the first two items should be dealt with at once the gay business is much more a secondary thing. I have a few suggestions for the man who is aspiring to become the worlds Police Commissioner. 1-solve the Iraqi crisis forthwith; easily done just pull out all of your military the Iraqi’s now have a Government they can decide their future not Bush or Blair; even our resident Clown is otherwise engaged at the moment and Rumsfeld wants to stick his big oar in there. 2-his people in a lot of cases are not getting decent medical attention; it must be FIXED he is the head of state. 3-food another item that needs to be FIXED. 4-fuel costs he needs to FIX it. 5-the budget he needs to fire the treasurer appoint a new one give them more powers to FIX things. To my way of thinking not that difficult; bring home the military and letting National Guard members go back to work, he could then prune the military why have so many? That will ease the budget a little. He has far too many hangers on that have to be paid he must FIRE them. If he stopped trying to outdo every other country and concentrated on the USA he could save heaps for the American people. For a start he could endeavour to get other countries to make the UN be Peace enforcers not the weak mob they are at present lobby votes for that; then they can do all these criminal acts he has done; gets him off the hook I reckon. Does he actually want to become the most idiotic U.S. President the world has ever known because that’s what most of us think of him. One has only to see all the idiotic cartoons of him to realise he is actually acting like one. All heads of state get lampooned I know but as much as G.W.Bush? I think the job has gone to his head and I sincerely hope he loses in 2008 and his party. Whether the other party is any better I don’t know but they surely can’t be any worse! Asking too much for him to resign I guess.


East Timorese interference

East Timor Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, the man at the centre of East Timor's current crisis, concedes only one mistake in the events that led to his young country's descent into chaos. When he fired almost half the country's 1,400-member defence force, he should have done it one by one, not all together, he told the media on Saturday. "In every country in the world, if soldiers abandon their barracks, they have to be sacked, but the process has to be done properly," said Alkatiri, 56, who is now guarded by heavily armed Australian peacekeepers. "The procedure was wrongly done," he said. Sacked my a** I disagree with his statement actually they should all be rounded up and court martialed for mutiny. There are now More than 2,000 peacekeepers from Australia, New Zealand, Portugal and Malaysia are patrolling Dili's streets. Though violence has eased, the capital remains unsafe. Now I hear that Rumsfeld wants to stick his oar in; I thought he had enough problems in Iraq we don’t need US troops there is my opinion; personally I don’t think the Australian government said this; utter baloney is MO. East Timor’s pacific neighbours have got together and are fixing the problem; butt out Donald, We don't need you bombing the place you have already messed up quite a few countries as it is. Our defence minister Brandon Nelson is an utter idiot on matters like this why he got the portfolio of Defence amazes me; not just me most folk here. I can’t get over this statement that we asked the US for assistance somebody has made a blue surely? Your Marines are needed elsewhere but not in our region of the world. The UN should keep out as well unless specifically asked; weak bunch they are. Comments most welcome Images by Google/Clusty ----------------------------------------------------------