The day the current war started

RIP all those poor souls

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 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.


Adelaide-Darwin Rail Link

How anyone can knock an addition to the national infrastructure such as the new Adelaide-Darwin 3000 km rail link offers is beyond me.

The link has been a long time coming, promised by politicians for 150 years, it is now a reality and the country’s export/import and defence ability is greatly adhanced.

Chris Corrigan from Patricks talks about the link having a return equivalent to a tick’s testicles and Tim Fischer rightly replies; some tick, some testicles.

Corrigan is a bean counting profit and loss motivated buisness man and would view any new project from a pure commercial view. Fischer, a politician and one time Deputy PM views such infrastructure from a national viewpoint.

The potential to open up trade between Australia, specifically Adelaide and Darwin, and our near norther neighbours is huge. Who gives a damn if it doesn’t show a profit for five or even ten years. In one step it alters the logistics of trade enourmously.

Don’t think of the link as a 3000 km rail link between two Australian cities. It is clearly much more than that. It is in fact the bottom end of a rail-sea link between Australia and all of our trading partners. Those long established partners; those being developed and those who have yet to sign up.

Defence is well served as well by the new link. When the Leopard tanks first come onto the ADF’s inventory, visionaries wanted to bring them north so Infantry (all situated in the North) and the tanks (all situated in the south) could get together for training. Too hard. The rail link between Victoria and Queensland couldn’t carry them. Rail tunnels alone prevented movement of tanks. This abysmal state of affairs has been rectified but the lesson always stayed with me. National Transport infrastructure should always be placed against a military template of needs during the planning stages.

I can recall in my last days in the Army commanding 100 vehicle convoys to Darwin as the ADF come to grips with the obvious need for a defence presence in the Territory. The logistics of such moves were horrendous on both vehicles and men and the trip could take up to 14 days while we waited for the slowest vehicle. Now they can all travell at the same speed, on flatbed rolling stock-overnight

Corrigan and his bean-counting type need to lift their thinking beyond ticks testicles and think on a national and global scale.

The completion of the rail link certainly ranks as one of the country’s great engineering feats. It involved the laying of 2.9 million tonnes of ballast, 2 million sleepers, 140,000 tonnes of rail and 8 million sleeper fastenings across its length. Perhaps the only comparable rail project being undertaken on this scale, albeit under vastly different conditions, is an 1100-kilometre line being built from Qinghai to Lhasa on the Tibetan plateau.

The link was completed in two years and after 150 years of promises from various Prime Ministers I am pleased to get up the nose of the Howard Haters by pointing out John Howard made it possible by supporting the project with 150 million dollars and talking it up so private enterprise entered the game.

Sex sells

INTERNATIONAL soccer boss Sepp Blatter has caused an uproar by suggesting

women players should wear tighter shorts to attract more attention to their sport.

The FIFA president said women’s soccer needed different sponsors from the men’s game and should seek to attract fashion and cosmetics companies by featuring “more feminine uniforms”.

I tend to agree with any gratuitous display of the female form but of course in the case of soccer I doubt the male players would look kindly to any inroads into their domain of acting, playing and looking like girls.

Marianne Spacey, manager of London club Fulham Ladies, said fans watched the women because of their ability to play rather than their looks.

Who’s does she think she’s kidding?

“People don’t come to watch what they look like and how they’re dressed,” she said.

Maybe not but I can promise you men always live in hope that some gratuitous sex will wander by or, at the least a sexually exciting vision will come into view.

“How can you wear tight shorts? It was proved 10 years ago when the footballers were running about, male and female, in tight shorts it wasn’t really conducive to a good spectacle on the eye.”

Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of Aussie men and woman who watch and play Australian Rules.

I can tell she is serious about her soccer and I applaud that stand but a quick study of the sexuality of the male of the species would indicate that not all spectators are there for the sport (of soccer) and that the FIFA President has a point.

More here if your really interested

Latham waves the wrong flag


Latham thinks the Eureka Stockade flag would be a great flag for Australia. So do the BLF and, according to Christopher Pearson in todays Australian, so does the Maoist Australian Independence Movement.

There’s still the related issue of the flag. As far as I can determine, he’s never resiled from his 1992 preference: “The Eureka model is a fine starting point and says a lot about the Australian ethos ? standing up for your rights and bearing adversity. It is time to reassess.” Indeed it is. Considering that the Eureka Stockade flag was the emblem for the Maoist Australian Independence Movement ? as contaminating an association as there ever was ? can Latham still seriously be entertaining the idea?

I too thought it could be a good choice until I noticed the BLF had beaten the country to it. How can a flag, that had once symbolised union thuggery, every be considered to be symbolic of the country overall? No way, I thought, and I put that issue aside as did the vast majority of Australians.

Go for it, Latham. We conservatives must encourage Latham in every stupid move he makes.



My daughter recently bought a Golden Retriever puppy that redefines ‘cute’
What do you reckon?

This is a test picture post.

Queensland Politics

When I was first posted to Queensland in the mid 70s I soon decided not to read the front page of the local Courier Mail. While Joe Bjelke-Petersen’s National Party were in power they didn’t seem to follow the Westminister system of government. With no Liberal Party presence I gave Queensland politics the flick and concentrated on complaining or commenting about national politics.

Although I didn’t like Joe’s manner I fondly recall his answer to striking electricity workers who held the state to ransome for some weeks or months.

Go back to work, he said, or I will publish all your names and addresses in the press and the people can tell you what they think of your stand.

It worked and Queensland got thier power back

Time marched on, Joe left and I resigned from the Army. No longer obliged to be apolitical I joined the New National Party and helped in the post 86 elections. I eventually left, disenchanted with the power plays and egos of those on the periphery of politics and abysmal standards of some aspirants.

I now reside in the state without thought to politics at least while Labour is in the ascendency and my beloved Liberals can hold their AGM in a telephone booth.

Beattie, the media tart, will get back in albeit with a reduced minority and I figure it will take at least two terms of government before the conservative side of Queensland politics can offer any sort of threat.

Until then, I’ll return to my original stand on local politics and avoid the first few pages of the Courier Mail.

Indonesia Complains

Or is it just The Age?

This article appears in todays Age but for the life of me I can’t find it in any on-line Indonesian press.

Australia’s decision to look at buying sophisticated warships armed with long-range anti-missile defences was clearly aggressive and would be considered by the Indonesian parliament, a leading opposition MP in Jakarta said today.

Djoko Susilo, a member of the Indonesian parliament’s commission for security, defence and foreign affairs, said Australia’s consideration of air warfare destroyers for the navy capable of shooting down ballistic missiles in space was an aggressive move.

The Jakarta Post doesn’t mention it. Go see. One would think if a local senior opposition politician critisized Australia it would make to the local press.

Antara, the Indonesian News Service doesn’t mention it. While you’re there look at the International section. Nope. Not a mention.

Tried Googling and although my Indonsesian is a bit rusty these days I cant find any mention of Djoko getting up Australia.

Went to AAP and if they mention the item, it’s well hidden.

The Age wouldn’t have an anti-Howard agenda, would they? No, impossible. Must be me, ‘getting old – can’t read’ or just maybe ‘getting old – getting cynical’.

Is there a Dog?

I like the old joke about the dyslexic insomniac who lay awake all night wondering if there really was a dog. To me, it makes more sense than wondering if there really is a God.

I came from religious household but war service and education that demanded rational answers set me on a different path.

I’m reminded of the joke and my turning from religion by a piece in todays Age by Tony Wilson that ends with his thoughts on the Iranian earthquake.

In Iran, of course, a great many more laws need to be rewritten to remove a fear of God that is actively cultivated by the Government. People will say that God provides hope. Atheists like myself say that knowledge and a rational liberal democratic system of government provide more hope. If God controls the universe, he has just saved a 97-year-old and killed 30,000 others. Yet for the believers, it all just adds to His mystique.

The ‘Opiate of the Masses’ has come along way since Jesus, a charismatic politician and heir to the throne of David started a movement in the first century that promised a lot based on little. Faith is all you need and here the faith is translated as live a good life, believe in miracles and a devine being and a place in heaven will be yours. I can imagine ‘Heaven’ being a good drawcard considering the terrible conditions these early converts endured but the whole deal was sold on no evidence.

The early church leaders decided that the best way to convert non-believers was to let them keep some of the old beliefs and festivals but to repackage them under the new order. To cut it as a religious leader and be marketable one had to have done the virgin birth bit, performed miracles and undergone death and resurrection all at prescibe times in the year that fitted with ancient beliefs.

The packaging worked for thousands of years and survives all over the world but is strongest where education isn’t.

The first century answer to today’s Saatchi & Saatchi would be beside themselves with pride at the way it turned out. Jesus, a man, is now Jesus, Son of God. They didn’t even have to produce God. Believe me folks, he just is.

I believe this is the way it is but I have no problem with those who believe otherwise. It’s a free world and if you get solace or meaning from your beliefs then good on you. But, and it’s a big but, don’t try and force your beliefs down my throat and more importantly don’t look to disadvantage me as a result of your beliefs.

A case in point; a lot of fundamental Moslems would kill me if they could because I don’t follow their God. Not that the Christian track record is unblemished. Early graveyards in the Old world and New offer millions of dead as testament to the Christian campaigns. More men have died under the banner of ‘my God is better than yours’ than for any other cause.

Check out Tony Wilson’s article.

Another Great Aussie dies

To prove I’m not Army-centric It is with regret that I announce that Air Commodore William Henry ‘Bull’ Garing (Rtd), CBE, DFC, DSC has died

One of Australia’s most respected World War Two Air Force commanders, Air Commodore William Henry ‘Bull’ Garing passed away on New Year’s Day at the age of 93. AIRCDRE Garing played a key role in the allied successes at Milne Bay and the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, which finally saw the threat to mainland Australia subdued.

Lateline mentions ‘Bull’ Garing in their treatment of The Battle of the Bismarck Sea.

Before the Pacific campaign he won a DFC in the Atlantic when he single handedly attacked 5 Luftwaffe Bombers that were attacking an unarmed merchant ship. He was flying a a heavy Sunderland flying boat at the time and any pilot or would-be pilot should know that attacking bombers with a Sunderland redefines aggression. More>>

Defence (RAAF) has an article on ‘Bull’ Garing here.

Once again he did it well and we owe him.

Tom Daly dies

General Sir Thomas Daly has died aged 90. The ABC have a brief report here. They mention his being a Brigade Commander at Tobruk during WW2 and Commander of the 28th Commonwealth Brigade in Korea. What they can’t bring themselves to mention is that he was commander of the Australian Army during the Vietnam War when the Army, under his very capable command, killed thousands of communists, the very people that the ABC were supporting.

All other news sources quote the following line.

?Sir Thomas period as Chief of General Staff, from 1966 until his retirement in 1971, covered the height of the Vietnam War,? Mr Anderson said.

The Australian has more details

None of these early sources give his post nominals. Daly’s full title is Lieutenant General Sir Thomas J Daly KBE, CB, DSO.

A man amongst men – Brigade Major at Tobruk, Brigade Commander in Korea and Army Commander (CGS) during Vietnam. This pretty well covers the last 60 years of Australian military history from such positions of power and responsibilty that few could even begin to imagine. He did it well and we owe him a lot.

Libya turned by a strong hand

Young Gaddafi says it how it is and takes away from the Left any chance of saying it was ‘diplomacy’ that turned Libya. The Left will deny for ever that Libya’s about face came about simply because Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was worried about a regime change al lah Iraq. Sorry guys, it was a case of “Bush is serious this time – lets think this through.”

Itis an old tactic of the Left – repeat a lie often enough and the uneducated swill will believe it and vote out Howard and Bush.

Read what young Gadaffi says about it all. He was there and should know.

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