Camped at Eagle Nest near Sharks Bay WA

You can just see the glow of my laptop where I was working on a clients web sIte in Tassie hosted through Rumcorps.net servers in Dallas Texas. As good an office as any!

Whales off the NW Coast

A pod of about 20 whales come fast from astern and passed either side of the yacht, frightening hell out of us.

Fire on the road

No flames apparent so I hardly slowed down until I had travelled a hundred odd meters with no visibility. About the time I started to panic I came out the other side.

Have a good one

 

Money for old rope

burningamition

The Olkola people are scattered across the country but Aboriginal elder Michael Ross wants them to come back home.

The cattleman is confident more of his people, a clan of about 500, will begin making that journey after the Olkola Aboriginal Corporation won a seven-year contract in the federal government’s first emissions reduction auction last month.

The corporation, which Mr Ross heads, plans to capture 65,000 tonnes of carbon each year through early burning — a ­method used by the elder’s family for generations — to reduce wildfires across its 766,272ha of land in central Cape York

“It’s not all about getting handouts. We have to make this land support the Olkola people for the journey home and put something back on to our country. It’s a great hurdle we’ve overcome.”

And the bottom line is:

The corporation could not disclose how much the government would pay it but under the average auction price of $13.95 per tonne it would receive $906,750 a year.

Who makes this stuff up?

Could someone explain to me how back burning bush to prevent dry season bushfires helps the ecology. I understand that small wet season fires could produce less ash and smoke than dry season events but seriously, paying someone nearly a million dollars to do it doesn’t seem like money well spent to me.

It seems like money for old rope to use an old saying

Bye, bye Gen Morrison

Outgoing army chief David Morrison says the focus on the white, Anglo-Saxon males of the Anzac legend has made it more difficult to recruit a diverse defence force.

Lieutenant General Morrison said that the “iconic narrative” of the Anzac story did not reflect the reality of modern Australia, nor the needs of a modern defence force.

“Some of the stories we tell ourselves about Anzac — overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male, overwhelmingly Anglo-Saxon — if those stories are given an undue emphasis then how do you attract in today’s ranks, men and women who aren’t male, who aren’t Anglo-Saxon, who aren’t rough-hewn country lads who never salute ­officers, particularly the Poms, and who fight best with a hangover?”

Maybe I’m being over sensitive here but I never fought with a hangover and always saluted officers where applicable. I think that’s a put down on today’s diggers

The ANZACS were overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male and overwhelmingly Anglo-Saxon and no amount of politically correct thinking or pushing gender equality and people of non-English speaking backgrounds is going to change that.

I might add that today’s diggers are also overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male and overwhelmingly Anglo-Saxon. The other people in our society overwhelmingly do not volunteer for military service. They are more into Friday’s mosque rantings and place religion above all else, particularly service to their new nation.

They are yet to assimilate into our society and considering too many of them support the Islamic sub-humans in the Middle East slaughtering Christians and Moslems or anyone that stands in their way, then I’m not sure when, if ever, they will consider themselves Australian and look at service as part of their civil responsibility.

From my perspective, I’m glad to see you go General Morrison.

UPDATE: An article by Ross Eastgate here

Bikie gangs back in business?

I just went down to the shops and passed about a hundred bikies all resplendent in their club colours and taking up about a kilometer of road.

I take it that under the new Queensland ALP Government crime gangs are once again free to consort and indulge in extortion, prostitution and drug running as in days of yore.

I haven’t noticed any press releases on the matter but it must be so.

It’s raining in Brisbane

Emptied the rain gauge at 3:00pm and went off to the club. It rained and when I phoned the bride to come get me she couldn’t. Roads were jammed in gridlock with people trying to get home. Cars were flowing down creeks where they crossed Sandgate Road. I spoke to one guy who just got out, locked his car and walked home figuring it was quicker.

I walked home and found it flooded throughout. We live at the top of a hill but it was raining so much it simply couldn’t get away. Wet carpets and wooden floating floor.

Hello Insurance company

I text the bride and say stay where you are. I’m home, I’ve had a shower and I’m having a rum with Chloe the black lab (She doesn’t drink much but keeps me good company.)

Just checked the rain gauge…190 ml and it’s just 8:0pm

The Beatification of Drug Dealers continues

Australian Catholic University has created two scholarships for Indonesian students to study in Australia named after Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

The scholarships will cover the full cost of tuition for up to four years and be awarded on academic merit as well as an essay on the theme “the sanctity of human life”.

“In a small but deeply symbolic way, the writing by Indonesian students on the sanctity of life would be an ongoing contribution towards the eventual abolition of the death penalty in Indonesia,” ACU vice-chancellor Greg Crav­en said in a statement. “The scholarships would be a fitting tribute to the reformation, courage and dignity of the two men.”

Ah, yes – “the sanctity of human life”. How does that play out with the four to five Australians who die of an overdose every day courtesy of dealers like Chan and Sukumaran.

Not well at all in my opinion.

Some other suggestions from readers at Catalaxy Files

I’ve heard that in recognition of the 20th anniversary, Oklahoma City University will be establishing two Timothy McVeigh scholarships; one for organic chemistry students and one for a student for postgraduate study into “making sense of terrorism denial”.

and;

The University of Western Sydney needs an Ivan Milat scholarship for overseas students

…puts the matter in perspective.

Drug Dealer compassion overload

A Sydney man facing the death penalty in China for alleged drug-smuggling has reportedly had his trial moved forward to next week.

New Zealand-born Peter Gardner, 25, has been detained in China on suspicion of drug-smuggling since he was arrested on November 8.

He is accused of trying to smuggle 40kg of methamphetamine out of the country after customs officials allegedly found the drugs in two bags during check-in at Guangzhou airport.

I wonder if we are going to go through the same gnashing of teeth, the flailing of our minds, the endless wailing, the candle lit vigils, abuse of Indonesia and thousands of tweets blaming Abbott and/or the AFP for the recent execution of two drug dealers in Indonesia?

Don’t think so.

Do I feel sorry for the two drug dealers? In a sense Yes. It always sad to hear of untimely deaths and wasted lives but seriously I have much more compassion for the three to four Australians who die every day from drug overdoses.

By the time my compassion is all spent on those who succumb to drugs, some of whom could’ve been supplied by the two dealers in Bali, all I can manage is a yawn and a move on, nothing to see here moment.

Listening to the ABC where a guy from some Human Rights organization said we should stop all trade with Indonesia. Way to go dipshit! Indonesia imports about $12 billion in cattle and beef from Australia every year. How many small to large businesses would cancellation of that trade kill. If we are going to stop trading with Indonesia then we should, to be consistent, stop trading with other nations that have the death penalty. The USA and China spring to mind.

Yep, that’s his answer. Totally destroy the nation’s economy because one of our trading partners topped a couple of drug dealers.

These people vote……most probably for the Greens.

Withdraw our Ambassador….reasonable thing to do. Tells ‘em we are not happy. Indonesia yawns and says “Yea, fair enough we do that from time to time as well”

Some time soon a shiny object off to the side, in the form of Kate Middleton having her baby, will distract the inane and insane Twitterverse and the ” executions were so last week” syndrome will apply and we will all move on.

Except for the Human Rights industry – they never move on.

As you may have gathered I don’t have much time for drug dealers and only a limited amount of compassion for drug addicts however, I have less time for those who say we should legalize all drugs and the problems will go away.

No they won’t. The economic basics of drug dealing will change and the number of addicts will increase. I recently note a comment at Catalaxy Files and found myself nodding in agreement as I read it.


There is no “war on drugs” to be lost, talking about it as a war is completely idiotic – there is no “war”. People still murder and rape and steal, but no one talks about having “lost the war against murder” or “lost the war against rape”. Should we decriminalise rape because people still rape and clearly we’ve lost the “war against rape”? Obviously not – there will always be rapists amongst us even if you brought in the cruelest punishments against it. Just as there will always be heroin or cocaine users amongst us – and just because people still take these drugs doesn’t mean the laws have failed and should be abolished.

I was once at a BBQ with a senior AFP guy who had spent some time in Argentina trying to nobble the South American link in the drug logistic chain to Australia. I said “We need a war against drugs”. He said “We have one”. I said “No we don’t. I’m talking about D Day at Normandy. Tanks, Naval gunfire, missiles, flame throwers, artillery and bombing and staffing runs. Having problems with drug plantations in South America? Then fill up the bomb bays of the F11As with napalm (the BBQ was awhile ago) and give them a Pilot Mission Brief of seek and destroy”

He smiled politely and started talking about how he liked his career and didn’t want to stuff it up by being proactive. He was posted to Canberra.

I wonder if Kate has had that baby yet?

ANZAC Day 2015

I gave this address at the National Memorial Walk in Enoggera Barracks at the Dawn Service. It was 5 years ago (how time flies) but is as relevant now as it was then. It is particularly relevant for Queenslanders as the 9th Bn AIF, a Qld Bn, were first ashore at Gallipoli

Good Morning – we are gathered here today to commemorate those who have gone before us – those who have paid the supreme sacrifice in service to Australia. As a nation we have been gathering on this morning for a very long time – in fact for the past 87 years as we remember the men of Gallipoli and events that happened ninety five years ago. We also commemorate events subsequent to Gallipoli and are reminded that in many places across the world, Afghanistan included, we have troops in danger.

Where and when did the custom of Dawn Service begin?

Reverend White was serving as one of the padres of the earliest ANZAC’s to leave Australia with the First AIF in November 1914. The convoy was assembled in the Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound at Albany WA, my homeport. Before embarkation, at four in the morning, he conducted a service for all the men of the battalion. When White returned to Australia in 1919, he was appointed relieving Rector of the St John’s Church in Albany.

It was a strange coincidence that the starting point of the AIF convoys should now become his parish.

No doubt it must have been the memory of his first Dawn Service those many years earlier and his experiences overseas, combined with the awesome cost of lives and injuries, which inspired him to honour permanently the valiant men (both living and the dead) who had joined the fight for the allied cause. “Albany”, he is later quoted to have said, “was the last sight of land these ANZAC troops saw when leaving Australian shores and some of them never returned. We should hold a service (here) at the first light of dawn each ANZAC Day to commemorate them.”

Thus on ANZAC Day 1923, 87 years ago this morning, he came to hold the first Commemorative Dawn Service.

As the sun was rising, a man in a small dinghy cast a wreath into King George Sound while White, with a band of about 20 men gathered around him on the summit of nearby Mount Clarence, silently watched the wreath floating out to sea. He then quietly recited the words:

“As the sun rises and goeth down, we will remember them”.

All present were deeply moved and news of the Ceremony soon spread throughout the country; and the various Returned Service Communities Australia wide emulated the Ceremony.

Almost paradoxically, in a cemetery outside the town of Herbert Queensland one grave stands out by its simplicity. It is covered by protective white- washed concrete slab with a plain cement cross at its top end. No epitaph recalls even the name of the deceased. The Inscription on the cross is a mere two words – “A Priest”

It is the last resting place of Reverend White.

In that original convoy were local Queensland boys from the 9th Battalion, 1st AIF. Their good name, Battle Honours and subsequent deeds are held in trust today by the 9th Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment. It is fitting that we in Queensland place due importance on our local lads for not only are they among us in spirit and with their descendants but they were the very first ANZACs ashore at Gallipoli on that terrible morning ninety five years ago.

If the 9th Battalion was first ashore as a unit then we may well ask who amongst the 9th battalion boys was first ashore

We can never know for certain. C. E. W. Bean, official historian, concluded it was probably a Platoon Commander, Lieutenant Duncan Chapman, 9th Battalion.

The Queenslander wrote home:

‘I happened to be in the first boat that reached the shore, and, being in the bow at the time, I was the first man to get ashore.’

One of his men later confirmed this. Chapman was killed at Pozieres, France on 6 August 1916.

Bean, Chapman and the guy in the boat have been generally accepted as correct and 33 years ago today, as a young subaltern, I stood at the bar of 9th Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment, and heard it from the horse’s mouth . I spoke to two other men who were in Chapman’s boat and they backed the claim. Jim Bostock and Bill Clever were both in their mid to late seventies and were discussing who among them was the first ashore after Chapman .

These two old soldiers, both taller than me, one with a DCM, and one, a Pl Sergeant to Chapman, drank schooners with rum chasers . Discretion became the better part of valour and I declined the rum and undertook not to mention Vietnam…..not ever…..at least not while I was in their company. How could I – I was literally standing between two pages of sacred military history – I could only be a listener, a bystander.

Neither was I as tough as some of the younger ANZACs

Pte Gray came to the Regimental Doctor saying that he had received a wound at the Landing and, though he had been to hospital, it was again giving a little trouble. He had endeavoured to “carry on,” but had at last been forced to see if the doctor could advise a little treatment.

The medical officer found that he had had a compound fracture of the arm, two bullets through his thigh, another through diaphragm, liver and side; and that there were adhesions to the liver and pleura. He was returned at once to Australia, where he was eventually discharged from hospital and, re-enlisting, returned to the front in the artillery.

In today’s climate there are many historians who with the ink fresh on their BA (Whatever) degree, rested from years at school and in an air conditioned office write of the Myth of Gallipoli. They write of the folly of the landing, the abilities of the British Commanders and the fact that we were fighting for another power and not our own sovereignty.

And they totally miss the point. It is not always about winning; It is not always about the commanders; but it is always about the men..their courage…their mate ship…their lives……their sacrifice.

If we follow our Queenslanders; on this morning 95 years ago 1,100 1st/9th soldiers landed at Gallipoli. In that famous first boat, along with LT Duncan Chapman was the CO Col Lee, Major Robertson, Major Salisbury, Captain Ryder, The Regimental Medical Officer Dr Butler , the aforementioned Jim Bostock and Bill Clever and others whose names history has misplaced.

The doctor was Kilcoy born and Ipswich grammar educated and he had lost some of his stretcher bearers in the deadly fire of the first couple of minutes and in Clarrie Wrenches book “Campaigning with the fighting Ninth” it is said that this fact made the doctor very angry.

So angry that he yelled “Come on men we must take that gun” and started climbing the cliff with his revolver in hand. Soldiers followed, the gun was spiked…….the Turks bayoneted.

This is the RMO we are talking about. The doctors assault force dashed from the disabled gun to the next trench, the line growing stronger as the troops caught up with the rampaging medico.

“On and on we went up the cliff to the summit where we had to pause “for sheer want of breath”

Looking below we saw the British ships shelling the Turkish positions, while the Turks replied by shrapnel over the landing place. Boat after boat was smashed under our eyes and the occupants mangled or drowned

The sight maddened us; “on Queenslanders” came the cry and with bayonets fixed we rushed for the Turkish position. Then we saw the enemy coming up in force. Taking advantage of every bit of cover available, we emptied our magazines into them again and again. The Turks fell like leaves but still more come. Men dropped and our numbers began to weaken.

Where are the others? Have we come too far? were questions in the minds of all

I don’t know about you but if that had been my first 30 minutes at war my reply to the first question would have been a resounding YES

After these first heady hours Dr Butler dusted off his Hypocratical oath and over the next five days treated or interred 515 Queenslanders.

In the lottery of life and death that was Gallipoli this figure was second only to the 7th for casualties at Gallipoli.

Not surprisingly the good doctor was awarded the DSO and a couple of MIDs

The 1st/9th went on to earn the following battle honours that generally read like the chapter headings of the official military history of the Australian Army in WW1

Landing at Anzac,
Anzac,
Defence of Anzac,
Suvla,
Sari Bair,
Gallipoli 1915,
Egypt 1915-16,
Somme 1916-18,
Pozieres,
Bullecourt,
Ypres 1917,
Menin Road,
Broodeseinde,
Polygon Wood,
Poelcappelle,
Passchendaele,
Lys,
Hazebrouck,
Amiens,
Albert 1918,
Hindenburg Line,
Epehy,
France and Flanders 1916-18

I have stood in the mess at Kelvin Grove and talked with the original Anzacs as they looked at the colours and described how they were won……..how their small contribution mattered……..how their mates are still there.

It will stay with me forever!

Over all, had our erudite scholar penning books on the myths of the 1st AIF followed the Queenslanders at Gallipoli and then on to the Western Front he may have had occasion to pause at the gravesides of 1,022 of their soldiers. They also suffered 2,093 wounded and 329 gassed leaving them with a terrible total of 3.453 battle casualties!

One battalion…….Some myth

To place these figures in perspective; this one battalion, the 9th Battalion, the 1st AIF, our local Queenslanders, suffered twice the number killed and almost the same number wounded as the entire ADF involvement in South Vietnam

That’s no myth

Today we will hear the traditional Ode from Laurence Binyon’s poem” To the Fallen” more than once, but a piece of verse that stuck in my mind over the years of remembering and commemorating was this verse by A.E.Houseman

Here dead lie we because we did not choose
To live and shame the land from which we sprung.
Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose;
But young men think it is,
……………………………..and we were young.

Lest we forget

Constitution change

James Patterson in The Australian

There is no place for laws that apply to someone because of their race in 21st-century Australia. Laws aimed at addressing disadvantage should apply because of the needs of the individual — not their skin colour.

He goes on to say;

The change Australia should make to its Constitution is to remove all references to race. The so-called “race power” in section 51 (xxvi), which gives the parliament the power to make laws for “the people of any race”, has no role in our modern, tolerant and diverse democracy. Section 25, which governs how to deal with state governments that restrict eligibility to vote on the basis of race, should also be removed.

That sums up my feelings exactly.

A lot of Australian’s are spending time and energy garnering support for the constitutional change that will not make Indigenous life one iota better. It will help some people, both white and black Australians, develop a warm inner glow but it will be of no practical use.

A warm inner glows does not create jobs, educate kids, protect women and kids from sexual and physical abuse or give the indigenous citizens a chance for a better life.

It will not get the young men motivated to refuse drugs nor will it develop a work ethic.

As Patterson says;

At best, it will recite historical facts no one disagrees with and contain aspirational platitudes everyone supports.

Anglican Primate’s Easter message

Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne Philip Freier calls for a conversation led by the people in his Easter message.  Most of his message is reasonable but then he raises his colours up the flagstaff.

He lists as examples of political failure to generate broad engagement the cases of Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs’s report on children in ­detention — “labelled partisan and biased” because it was uncongenial to the government.

I thought it was labelled “partisan and biased” because it was.  She certainly didn’t raise the issue when the previous ALP government had thousands of kids in detention – it was only when the current government had reduced this to hundreds  that she felt motivated to act.

I would have thought “uncongenial to the nation’s understanding of what is fair and reasonable” is a better fit.

The mark of a man

Qld Speaker Peter Wellington takes a novel approach to a confession by ALP MP Billy Gordon that he had a criminal record, was tardy in paying maintenance to his ex wife and, on occasions, he had abused her.

It has also become apparent that the ALP knew this some time back yet still run him as a candidate.

Peter Wellington blames the victim and anyone else involved in bringing the matter to the attention of the public.

There’s the mark of the man right there.  No balance, no ethics.

Meanwhile, another Qld ALP MP is under the spotlight for threatening language and refusal to pay a real estate commission.  Rick Williams mentioned his brother at the meeting who was a NSW hit man with some interpreting the statement as a threat, as you would.

There you have it, The Palaszczuk government’s first week in power.

 

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