Category Archives: Politics

Jane Fonda coming to Brisbane

Reader Pete Munro from Perth emails me this morning.

Hi Kev,

Just wondering if you had heard anything of a rumour that “Hanoi” Jane Fonda has been invited to host a luncheon at the Brisbane Convention Centre on November 11th?

Rumour started on a military forum I belong to, but I can’t find anything online about it.

Well I did and she is coming to Brisvegas and is hosting a lunch for the Courier Mail Book Club

Armed with this info I penned an email to the Courier Mail team and wait for their reply

Tammy Concannon
The Courier-Mail BAM Bookclub

Dear Tammy,

I note Jane Fonda is booked to appear at the Convention Centre via the auspices of the CM Book Club on 11 November, 2005 – the day when the sacrifice of Veterans is commemorated. As I’m sure you are aware, Jane is a very contentious lady amongst the Veteran community and I have already received emails and tele calls re the timing of her appearance. The editor of the CM printed a letter from Bernie McGurgan in today’s CM on the subject and I will be posting on the subject in due course in my blog,

I would like to think that the timing is due to factors other than it being aimed at the Veteran community although I recall last year on 11 November the CM carried an anti-defence piece by Luke McIlveen. I posted an article on that occasion and would like to think that the Courier Mail doesn’t have a bias against veterans and that the timing of this event is not part of a programme to denigrate Veterans. The article I wrote last years is here

Few Veterans would argue that Jane Fonda has the right to be heard. I have no problem with that but I do have a problem with the timing.

Could you please reassure me and my readers that the timing is coincidental and neither scheduled to maximize controversy nor aimed at denigrating Veterans.

Yours truly,

Kevin J Gillett,

Should you want to email the Editors of the Courier Mail, the list is here. Tammy Concannon’s email address is

Be polite now…you hear!

Bush and God

A letter in todays Australian

If Bush was on a mission from God to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, does that follow that he evolved from Intelligent Design?
Foster, Vic

Not at all, H.Casson but it does follow that you didn’t. Some people will believe anything so long as it is based on the premise that Bush is stupid. If you don’t question the motives of the BBC in posting such a story then you can hardly claim your brain is designed, let alone intelligently.

A translation of a translation quoted from Palestinian sources….yeah I can believe that.

Like hell.

Unions have to pay up

The union movement’s challenge to the legality of the Federal Government’s $20 million industrial relations advertising campaign has failed, and the High Court yesterday awarded costs to the Government.


Mr Combet said he did not believe that the costs, yet to be decided by the court, would be as high as $200,000.

Either way the sum is likely to only slightly dent the funds gathered by the unions for a campaign against the Government’s planned changes. It is understood unions have raised $8 million and plan to raise $30 million over three years.

That’s a lot of money to be washed out with the tide as the ALP and the union movement try and do a King Canute.

Look up the numbers in the Senate, guys. It’s happening…Australia’s IR laws are moving forward- not marking time or regressing as you would want.

Howard recognised as Statesman

And the left go ballistic.

Margo and her pixies are beside themselves with this news and have penned a letter to the Appeal of Conscience organization in New York

The Honorable John Howard will receive the World Statesman Award for his “inspiring leadership that has made Australia a beacon of democracy, religious freedom and human rights and for his courageous stand against international terrorism,” Rabbi Schneier said. Serving as Australian Prime Minister since 1996, Howard most recently announced Australia’s partnership in the Asia-Pacific Partnership On Clean Development and Climate, an enterprise devoted to addressing the challenges of climate change, energy security and air pollution in a way that strives to encourage economic development and reduce poverty in developing nations.

It’s not a big deal to me and most probably isn’t to Howard either but it is worth the effort and time involved just to read the left’s vitriol. Although, on reflection, the way Howard upsets the left should make him a shoe-in for the award.

Past recipients of the World Statesman Award include Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson, President of the Government of Spain José Maria Aznar, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Republic of Korea President Kim Dae-jung, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, Presidents Cardoso, Gorbachev, Havel, and von Weizsaeker, Chancellor Schroeder, as well as Prime Ministers Prodi and Thatcher.

A small quote from the letter;

Mr Howard’s anti-terrorism laws have targeted Australian Muslims. These laws give extraordinary powers which are intrusive and demonise the Muslim community.

I doubt if Rabbi Arthur Schneier, founder and president, would have bothered reading past this accusation.

NZ confirms it’s irrelevance

Like the cousins every family has that we keep under wraps. NZ has confirmed its irrelevance in the modern world. It would appear that Hulun Cluck is on the verge of taking power again even if she does have a reduced minority.

49% of Kiwis have voted left and I will now just leave them to their own devices. Talking to Kiwi friends in Australia I can only imagine that yesterdays vote is one of the main reason they, and so many of their countrymen are in Australia.

A reader at Tim Blair says it all

The sad thing is, NZ used to be an example about how we could be. Now it is being left behind. The wages gap, and the constant migration of skilled workers to OZ leaves it exposed to the risk of being nothing more than a retirement village used as a transit point for pacific islanders on their way to migrate to Australia.

Sad, but it’s their call.

The Latham Diaries

Early December two years ago I said;

If Martin Luther King had a dream, I have nightmare. Latham leading Australia to insignificence via embarrassment. I accept youth , vigour and aggression but the subject has to be house trained first.

Nothing has happened since that day to change my mind.

Latham was so second class I can only imagine most of the decent men in the ALP squirm when they think how they were snowballed into electing Latham as their leader.

His schoolboy utterences when he was leader are now being recycled without the benefit of any external editing. With vitriol in spades he attacks everyone he ever met, but whereas I don’t think the ALP team are winners, at least they are house trained.

A failed experiment, a blot on our history and an embarrassment. The press need to stop giving him oxygen – just let the whirlpool in his own small mind screw him from the scene forever.


From Janet Albrechtsen in todays Australian in an article headed Left unread on the shelf.

They still have not worked out that voters view tired old leftist policies much the same as Edward O. Wilson, an expert on ants, described Marxism:

“Wonderful theory. Wrong species.”

From Mat Price in the Sketch

Ignoring Beazley’s antics, the Treasurer read a blurb from Mark Latham’s forthcoming memoirs, which are said to be less than flattering about his ex-colleagues.

“Maybe you could read it to your children,” Costello suggested to the opposing benches.

Pure Irish Genius

Picked this up reading Samizdata It is very cutting.

As the full horror of Hurricane Katrina sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if this is the end of George Bush’s presidency. The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that every copy of the US Constitution was destroyed in the storm. Otherwise President Bush will remain in office until noon on January 20th, 2009, as required by the 20th Amendment, after which he is barred from seeking a third term anyway under the 22nd Amendment.

More at Slugger O’Toole

NZ Airforce sold

Hulun Cluck sells the NZ Airforce Strike Wing to US company for 150 million dollars.

Alice in Wonderland was never weirder.

Money received for the fleet would go towards the cost of regenerating and shipping the aircraft with the remaining $NZ120 million allocated for developing a “modern, relevant Defence Force”, Mr Burton said.

That should buy a few F18 Hornets.

The sale was not an attempt to ensure a strike force could not be revived, he said.


And there is a chance the Kiwis will vote her back in.

The Blame Game II

Have just been over to Tim Dunlop for my daily does of senseless vitriol. Aussie Bob is in full flight proving once and for all that no amount of facts will ever dissuade him and his kind from blaming Bush or Howard for perceived ills in our society.

Bob writes:

Imagine if Bush had gotten that bull horn of his (surely there’s one on AF-1), or even gone on TV before Katrina and said “Get out now!”. Like, just after the disaster was declared on the Friday before the storm. He’d have been an effing hero. But that was too easy…

No… he went a strummin’.

Well Bob, you can imagine it. In fact you can do more than that, you can actually read about how Bush got on the horn and tried to get the Loiusiana Governor to order an evacuation and call for federal help well before Katrina landed. She stonewalled and that hesitation added to the long list of stuff-ups.

You can read about it Bob but I know you wont so I won’t even post a link. The Blame Game doesn’t have any rules and facts are to be ignored.

Like most western societies there are laid down procedures for the US central government to adhere to prior to sending in the cavalry. The US laws do not allow the Federal government to just send in the troops, to order evacuations or to abitrarily impose Military Law.

The primary responsibility for dealing with emergencies belongs to local and state officials who are charged by law with the management of the crucial first response to disasters. First response should be carried out by local and state emergency personnel under the supervision of the state governor and his emergency operations center.

When the local authorities decide that the emergency is beyond their capabilities then a procedure exists to call for help. This procedure exists in Australia and we in the military call it Aid to the Civil Power. Well, we did in my time, whatever, the proceure will still exist.

I’m not trying to exhonerate the US Federal authorities. On the face of it the system didn’t work with suffient alacrity to match the size of the disaster and I’m sure subsequent investigations will improve on procedures and that, I might add, should be the aim of any investigation. It should not be an avenue for vested interests to allocate blame against their political foe.

Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagi have a lot of explaining to do as well but I note little critical assessment of their involvement in the tragedy outide of blogs.

Has anyone else noticed the presence of USN hospital and logistic ships now providing support in the disaster area and thought to ask themselves how many days sailing did it take to position these ships. I can assure you that ships of this size still have no “Beam me to NO, Scotty” facilities and thus would have had to have been put on notice well before the event.

I imagine this will be ignored along with the fact that even though the US has only 10% of the military in Iraq, detracters still believe that the US involvement in Iraq is part of the reason that troops were slow to get into the area and therefore this can be sheeted home to Bush as well.

Fine – call the federal agencies to task. They are after all, a part of the procedure, but in doing so look to the local agencies in the state and city administration as well. They too are a part of the procedure even if they are Democrats.

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