Category Archives: General Musings

Typhoon before and after shots

You know the drill – just move your mouse over and see the devastation

See here

Remembrance Day

Terry Sweetman can’t keep ideology out of todays remembrance as he talks of  good  and bad wars in a piece entitled Remembrance day silence a time to contemplate the pointlessness of-war.

He starts;

We should think of lives lost, lives shattered, lives squandered, and lives given in service of what good men and women rightly or wrongly believed were good and just causes.

and I respond

Your article and the above quote makes me think the value of sacrifice of those who served in “bad”  wars is less than had they died in “good” wars.

You question why we served in earlier wars but the Maori Wars, the Boxer Rebellion, the Sudan War, the Boer War and WW1 were all fought during a period when most people in Australia thought of themselves as British Australians who were similar to British Canadians or British South Africans.  It was a case of Britian is at war, we are British, let’s go.

Who could argue about the good or bad of WW2.  Who would ever suggest we shouldn’t have contributed to the downfall of Hitler and Tojo. No one surely and the arguement that Japan was never really going to invade Australia was lost on my Father as he endured 64  Japanese bombing raids on Darwin.

Korea might be officially still under a truce but the communist regimes of China and North Korea didn’t take over the South and it has flourshed so that’s a win.

The Paris Peace Talks ended the Vietnam war in a truce as well.  All beligerants went home but while the West lost interest and political will the communists never did and North Vietnam, rearmed by the USSR, finally invaded.  It took them nearly 15 years to win the hollow invasion and it cost them dearly.  We held them up for all that time and sapped their economies so surely that’s a positive. Korea, Malaya and Vietnam were all battles of the Cold War and that was won in 1990 when the Berlin Wall came down.

The more recent “good ” and “bad” wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, are battles of the war against terrorism. Both have given the local populace an inkling of democracy, secular education, better health and education outcomes and some hope of a better future.  Al Qaeda and theTaliban are somewhat depleted, albeit not destroyed, and I think the point is, the whole affair is a generational campaign that will bear fruit in days to come.

The battles aren’t done and the war continues.

I’m tired of being told I fought in a “bad” war with 7RAR in Vietnam while the later 7RAR troops who fought in Iraq also copped the “bad” war service but the next rotation to Afghanistan of the battalion served in a “good” war.  We don’t see it that way.  The country called and we served under the rising sun, as did our fathers, in an apolitical manner.

I would rather the line quoted at the start be;

We should think of lives shattered and lives given in service of what good men and women believed were good and just causes.

Leave the “rightly or wrongly” and “squandered” to the politicians lest the words start appearing on gravestones and memorials.

In the meantime I await the news of my mate Percy who yesterday was given 24 hours to live.  Percy served in one of  the “bad” wars in an exemplorary manner and in doing so proved himself a better man than Sweetman ever will be.


1920s 4WD action

No wonder Dodge vehicles had a good reputation. This film was made by the Dodge Brothers in the 1920’s to promote their vehicle.

Try this in your modern SUV or 4WD; it wouldn’t be easy.

107 year old film

This film was “lost” for many years. It was the first 35mm film ever that has come to light. It was taken by camera mounted on the front of a cable car as it`s traveling down the street. You feel as if your really there, standing at the front looking down the street, amazing piece of historic film.

The number of automobiles is staggering for 1906. Absolutely amazing!

The clock tower at the end of Market Street at the Embarcadero wharf is still there. …. How many “street cleaning” people were employed to pick up after the horses? Talk about going green!

Great historical film!

This film, originally thought to be from 1905 until David Kiehn with the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum figured out exactly when it was shot. From New York trade papers announcing the film showing to the wet streets from recent heavy rainfall & shadows indicating time of year & actual weather and conditions on historical record, even when the cars were registered (he even knows who owned them and when the plates were issued!).. It was filmed only four days before the Great California Earthquake of April 18th 1906 and shipped by train to NY for processing. Amazing, but true!

No wonder there had to be laws created to regulate driving habits. This is insane. Good thing they couldn’t go very fast.

Look at the hats the ladies were wearing and the long dresses. Some of the cars had the steering wheels on the right side, I wonder when they standardized on the left? Sure was still a lot of horse drawn vehicles in use. Mass transit looked like the way to get around.. Looks like everybody had the right of way.

Perhaps the oldest “home movie” that you will ever see!

Good call Julie

From today’s The Australian ‘Strewth column;

DEMOCRACY is a precious gift. The incoming government is just loving it. It has the Labor leadership elections to milk — and boy, it is not going miss an opportunity.

Like Julie Bishop yesterday:

“Given that the last two Labor leaders were betrayed by one Bill Shorten, I guess the only way you stop that betrayal going on is for Labor to vote in Bill Shorten. I mean, he can’t stab himself in the back, can he?”

Seems about right to me.

It’s done

It’s not so much that the ALP are in denial when they say it was disunity that lost them the election, it’s that they say it and expect people to believe.

To help them with their debrief I give them some hint of why they were turfed out.

  • The Craig Thomson scandal and the alleged misuse of credit cards;
  • The prime minister openly defending and supporting Craig Thomson in parliament, an additional scandal;
  • Defending Peter Slipper’s behaviour with the hypocritical misogyny speech;
  • Killing the beef live export industry overnight;
  • FBT changes that hit ordinary workers;
  • Introducing vast amounts of red tape for business;
  • Demonising immigrant workers and using the ATO to hound immigrant workers;
  • New regulations that made child care costs skyrocket;
  • The Australia day race riot;
  • The AWU affair;
  • The suppression of reporting of the AWU affair;
  • The Finkelstein attempt to remove free speech;
  • 300 billion in debt with an annual interest bill for us taxpayers of over 10billion;
  • The numerous promises to deliver a surplus;
  • the announcements that a surplus had been delivered when it hadn’t;
  • The attacks on the most profitable sector of the economy and then surprise when that sector slowed down;
  • personal vilification of wealthy individuals such as Gina Rinehart;
  • The hiking of electricity bills;
  • The chaos of border protection;
  • The carbon tax lie;
  • Getting in bed with the Greens when they didn’t have to – the Greens would never have supported Abbott in anything; and
  • Any amount of other debacles.

(List mostly compiled from commenter DD at Catalaxy)

Rudd was out of step to the very end I didn’t hear him congratulate Tony Abbott but I did hear this;

It would be un prime ministerial of me to say Bill Glasson eat your heart out, so I won’t.

By far the strangest concession speach I have ever heard.

Be gone and be quiet Rudd.

Slipper got 920 votes in the election but more importantly, nearly 3,000 people voted for Craig Thomson in Dobel.  What the hell were these people thinking?

Worse still, over 29,000 people voted for Swan in my electorate Lilley, indicating they have no concept of debt.  I would hate to see their credit cards.

I look forward to a stable and competent government and the wailing of the children of the Left.

It will be music to my ears.



Interesting maps

I picked this up at Catalaxy. Worth sharing

40 maps that will help you make sense of the world


More boats…more drownings…more excuses

Listening to Home Affairs Minister Jason Claire on the ABC he said the issue of boat arrivals has become ‘poisoned by politics and;

‘’When people are dying the government should be given the power that it thinks it needs to stop this happening…”  

As in, it’s the Coalition and the Green’s fault – not the ALPs.

The government has the power Jason.  You had the power to stuff it up and now you have the power to fix it up

Gee, Rudd now thinks the UN refugee convention should be modernised to better cope with those most in need of asylum.  How long will that take  Kevin?  Years

Plans announced to maybe build accommodation at Manis Island or maybe near Port Morseby.  How long will that take Kevin?  Years

People are drowning today, not in the future when the UN  might or might not change things or buildings might or might not be built but until the government says things like – no papers – no visa and if you do have papers it is only temporary and if we say No then that’s it, then they will keep on coming and keep on drowning

You want to stop the boat people – then stop them.

NAVY insiders say there is “a growing and burning anger” among sailors on the frontline as they struggle to respond to the spiralling number of deaths and sinkings flowing from the government’s failed asylum-seeker policies.

There is also a “growing’ force of assetts tied up trying to manage Rudd’s stuff-up.  The seven patrol boats allocated to the problem have been supplemented by a mine sweeper and a frigate, argueably more naval forces than we deployed during the Vietnam War.


Rudd’s third week

Listening and watching the media it would appear Rudd is fixing some of the problems of Australia.  The fact that he is fixing the problems that he himself caused doesn’t appear to be clear in the mind of a lot of commentators.

He offers sympathy for the families of the drowned boaties without mentioning the fact that he caused the circumstances whereby their lives were put in peril in the first place.

On Sunday the tabloid papers were all screaming “Carbon tax scrapped” but of course he hasn’t scrapped it, he has just brought the change over to an ETS on sooner than previously planned.

No, hang on, he is talking about doing that.  As I understand it he has to take that to the House. Correct me if I’m wrong but it will need a vote and neither the Greens or the Libs would be onside for that one.

I hear Wong on the radio touting that bringing forward the change to an ETS will take pressure off family budgets.  I wonder how that can be when the ALP have been talking up how the Carbon Tax wasn’t placing pressures on family budgets.  Seems you can have it both ways if you ignore one or more truths.

As Abbott says;

Just ask yourself what an emissions trading scheme is all about. It’s a so-called market in the non-delivery of an invisible substance to no-one.

Carbon Credits is also questionable with nothing sold to someone mostly using government funds.

landowners can sell “carbon credits” if they can prove that they have reduced carbon dioxide by capturing it as humus in soil, or by planting forests, or by allowing re-growth of woody weeds, or by reducing feral animal emissions (shooting camels) or even by promising solemnly to NOT clear specified parcels of forest.

NONE of these processes are sustainable in the long run.

Viv Forbes at Australian Conservative says the scheme has bipartisan support.  That needs fixing.

So far Rudd ;

  • Promised to change the way the ALP elect, or kick out their leaders but that has to go to the ALP conference which isn’t happening until after the election so he has done nothing.  More words and the only reason he uttered them was to defang Abbott when he says “When you voted for Rudd, you got Gillard and when you voted for Gillard you got Rudd”
  • Hasn’t said how he is going to fix his “own goal” boaties dilemma and while they are still drowning of our coast reaching for the sugar he and Gillard put on the table all he can offer is sympathy.  He did go to Indonesia but in doing so handed over the security of our borders to Indonesia whilst promising another conference.
  • Hasn’t said how he is going to fix the economy and the huge debt he established.
  • Said he would get business on-side but  immediately attacked them with more 457 visa restrictions and has left the unions in charge of the economy with the Fair Work legislation.
  • Has gutted defence but in doing so promised dreamtime purchases that weren’t funded and were never going to get out of the conference process.  12 submarines for God’s sake!

So far, after three weeks, there are no answers to the myriad of Rudd caused problems – maybe next week he’ll say something we can bank on.


Ewen Mackenzie replaces arch enemy

THE great experiment with foreign sporting coaches is coming to an end and the Kiwis can go back to being our arch enemies.

Just weeks after South African Mickey Arthur was replaced by Australian Darren Lehmann as the nation’s cricket coach, Victorian-born Queensland Reds boss Ewen McKenzie is poised to take over from New Zealander Robbie Deans as the Wallabies coach.

It never sat easy with me that we would have an All Black coaching the Wallabies – a bit like Ho Chi Minh teaching me how to soldier.

Brett Harris, the journo, must be young when he says ‘the Kiwis can go back to being our arch enemies’.

They always were and always will be Brett.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter