A legend has died. Full story here.
RM will be sadly missed, a man amongst men he also made the best boot around.
Letters in today’s press
Regardless of the issue of weapons of mass destruction, what a glorious moment in history to see some Iraqis welcome liberation and celebrate the downfall of another despot. What have the French, Simon Crean, Bob Brown and the mob who run Greenpeace got to say for themselves now?
Hugh Steele, Mt Barker, SA
Where is Senator Bob Brown? Where are the “millions” of dead Iraqi citizens he so confidentially predicted would eventuate? How does he explain the jubilation and gratification on the faces of the Iraqis for whom the age of tyranny and repression is coming to a close?
Nathan Gillespie Norman Park, Qld
This letter from RDM Cotgrove is worth quoting in full
Putting civilian deaths in context
REFERENCES to the war in Iraq frequently use terms such as “carnage”, “massacre” and “slaughter” to describe the number of civilian casualties.
Last Tuesday night’s SBS news bulletin quoted the official figure after 3 weeks of war as 600 civilian deaths. These casualty figures need to be put into perspective.
The authoritative 2000 World Development Indicators published by The World Bank compares demographic statistics for 1980 with 1998, the latest year for accurate figures.
The period spans the time after Saddam Hussein came to power in Iraq following a military coup in 1979. During the 1980-1998 period Iraq was one of a very few countries in the world where the infant mortality Rate (IMR), the proportion of infants who die before reaching their first birthday, and the crude death rate (CDR), the proportion of the total population dying during the year, actually increased.
For the world as a whole, IMR dropped from 80 per 1000 live births in 1980 to 54 per 1000 in 1998, and during the same period CDR dropped from 10 to 9 per 1000 population.
In Middle Eastern and North African countries (the Arab world) the rates dropped from 95 to 45 and from 12 to 7 respectively.
In 1980 Iraq, with a population of 13 million and a crude birth rate (CBR) of 41 per 1000 population, had rates of 80 and 9 respectively for the two indices. By 1998, when Iraq had a population of 22.3 million and a CBR of 32 per 1000, the rates had increased to 103 and 10 respectively.
Had Iraq, by 1998, been able to reduce its IMR and CDR to those of other Arab countries, ignoring the fact that in 1980 it outperformed them by considerable margins, infant deaths would have been about 32,100 and total deaths 156,100.
Instead, Iraq had the appalling statistics of 73,400 infant deaths and 223,000 total deaths.
The despotic reign of Hussein could therefore be said to be responsible for an extra 41,300 Iraqi infant deaths and an extra 66,900 total Iraqi deaths in 1998 alone, than would have occurred had the country performed as well as its fellow Arab states in these crucial indices.
And this, despite Iraq’s significantly better performance prior to Hussein’s grab for power. Against these statistics the civilian deaths of the current war, 600, pale into insignificance. Hyperbole gone mad? You betcha!
University of Tasmania
This from Rosemary Neill in the Australian’
THIS week, a Sydney council rejected a development application for a Muslim prayer centre, partly because it was not “in accordance with the shared beliefs, customs and values of the local community”. On the eve of Christmas, it seems that praying is an affront to community values if your holy verses, your God, are not the same as those of the Christian majority.
Good One. Rosemary. Another way putting it is “On the eve of Christmas it appears it is an affront to murder thousands of innocent civilians because my god is better than yours”. Rosemary, it is an affront to think like Islamofacists and until we, as a nation, are convinced that the ordinary Muslims in Australia are definitely, 100%, dinky di, cross my heart against the terrorists then excuse us for being just a little concerned. Praying is not an affront to community values but inciting people to join the jihad is. Particularly when it comes from the pulpit of Muslim prayer centres here in Australia and in other countries populated by us hated infidels. Give us a break, Rosemary, the people are frightened and would gladly exchange your politically correct , warm and fuzzy, BA (Liberal Arts) writings for a little security.
Marxists running the Indian state of Bengal are denying miracles
“We believe that the tribal woman Monica Besra’s stomach tumour was cured by prolonged medication in two hospitals, not by any miracle. Doctors who treated her at the hospitals have already supported our claim,” Mr Mishra said. “We are ready to accept the works of Mother Teresa, but not the miracle theory.”
Gee, that’s radical.
I don’t think there is any denying Mother Teresa’s good work but to put it down to a miracle as the process of beatification demands is 12th century rubbish. We demand Islam joins the 21st century while The Vatican clings to yesterdays standards.
Not often I agree with Marxists but it happens.
I don’t know why. he just gave me $30,000 says Peter Barron.
A former political advisor to Hawke and Wran has been drawn into the Swiss banking scandal, admitting he received a $30,000 gift through a secret account linked to stockbroker Rene Rivkin.
Peter Barron said yesterday he had been given $30,035.86 by his friend, former Labor minister Graham Richardson, as a one-off gift while he was holidaying with his family in London in December 1998.
Happens to me all the time. Here Kev, here’s $30,000. No, you don’t have to do anything..enjoy. What rubbish.
Lesson in lfe #368. There are no free dinners. If Barron has received $30,000 then it is for services rendered. Richards, devoid of ethics as he is, would not give away 30 grand for nothing. What did Barron do to earn it and why was it handled through a Swiss Bank Account.
What else are you hiding Richo?
Newspoll have Howard up, Crean down and the Greens getting more irrelevant. In todays Australian the headline reads ‘Howard surges on Bush and Hu.’
The visits would have had some impact on poll results but there are other considerations. Howard is doing a fairly good job but in this case I think he is aided and abetted by Crean and Brown doing a terrible job. Notwithstanding ABC and general media bias, Brown is accepted as an embarrassing idiot by most Australians and Crean as a ‘no-show.’ I would think the near vertical climb in Newspoll for Coalition support is due more to Browns childlike antics than anything else. Thanks Bob!
I’m dissappoined to think that, as Newspoll suggests, 6% of Australians think Brown is doing a good job. Of those 6%, most probably 4% think Brown is all about the environment when he is clearly just plain old anti-capitalist and anti west.
Meanwhile Wayne Swan, my local member, says it’s all because Howard was deliberately manipulating national security issues to camouflage domestic security issues.
There’s a war in progress, terrorists are infiltrating Aussie everywhere and Labour, the Democrats and the Greens are fighting tooth and nail to make it harder for ASIO and the AFP to do their job and Howard is manipulating? The voters read and know security is an issue. If there is any manipulating it is done by the terrorists, not Howard. He just tells it as it is.
No wonder we are leaking like a sieve. Our soveignty is repeatedly thrown on the alter of human rights in the church of the United Nations whose parishioners consist of a few left wing fools who think giving the vote to despots in South Africa and the Middle East as the UN does, will keep the world a beautifull place. It wont.
Mark Osbourne from WA asks; Australia 17 Ireland 16. Is that all you’ve got?
Good question. I’d like to think Eddie Jones is playing ‘setting the odds’ and ‘not telegraphing punches’.
I certainly hope so but at times on Saturday night I was worried. In fact I was worried up to the final whistle.
Oh, the stress!
Could I possibly live with Australia not being the best at something?
But there is hope. The sports pages also headline “The All Blacks also look vulnerable.” In their match against Wales the All Blacks looked several shades of grey as a spirited Welsh team gave them a big touch up.
Most readers would be aware that I’m a retired Army officer and may be surprised when I say I agree with Carr in his criticism of ‘Colonel’ Kelly. When I first read of the ‘Colonel’ I was embarrased that a professional Officer would put aside his duty to be apolitical and publically critisize a politician. What is the world coming too? I ask myself. Next we will have military officers critisizing the Government about the conduct of the war.
Todays letters in the Australian make much of this matter with statements like “Soldier should stay clear of politics” and “what is serving army officer like Colonel Mike Kelly doing sending a letter…….?
Norm Barnwell from Merriweather says, and I quote in full;
When we have professional soldiers meddling in political affairs we have serious problems. As a lesson Colonel Mike Kelly should be brought home and made to face either a court martial or at the very least be returned to Duntroon to learn the politically correct behaviour for a soldier in Australia’s army
Norm is dead right……except it is unlikely that Colonel Kelly is a professional officer, he is a lawyer. Lawyers don’t graduate from Duntroon, they don’t even go to Duntroon. They get their law degree from a main stream university and then volunteer for a commission. They do an extremely short course that teaches them how to salute and how to wear a uniform and are then let loose on the soldiery with all their uni days baggage.
Notwithstanding this, he is expected to act as if he was a professional officer and he has made a professional gaffe. He should be brought home and his resignation called for so he can be free to stay with the ALP (he is a member) and play politics at the bar and at the club on friday night.
Having said all of the above, there are exeptions to the rule and I do know of officers who have graduated from Duntroon and then subsequently studied for a law degree. You will never hear from these guys as they are professional officers first.
The latest deaths took to ‘X’ the number of soldiers killed by hostile fire since May 1, when Mr Bush announced an end to major combat operations. That is ‘Y’ more than were killed during the six week military campaign to oust Saddam Hussein.
Is any one else getting sick and tired of this template? Fill in the figures to denigrate the soldiers service or to make Bush/Howard/The Great Satan etc look bad.
So far in the war against terror, in the Iraq theatre alone, 288 Coalition soldiers have paid the supreme sacrifice so journalists and editors are free to use their deaths to take cheap shots at Bush/Howard/The Great Satan.
Update: From reader Kev Metcalf;
“So far in the war against terror, in the Iraq theatre alone, 288 Coalition soldiers have paid the supreme sacrifice so that, on averge, x number (currently 33450) of Iraqis, could not only live, but live in relative peace and freedom”.
The Washington Post reports the US Senate has voted to limit US aid to Malaysia.
The Senate voted yesterday to restrict military aid to Malaysia in response to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s assertion that Jews control the world through their influence over major powers.
No link available without divulging your age and country so I’ve quoted the relative paragraphs in full
Voting without dissent, the Senate amended its foreign aid spending bill for next year to make aid to Malaysia contingent on a determination by the secretary of state that Malaysia’s government “supports and promotes religious freedoms, including tolerance for people of the Jewish faith.” The secretary could waive any restrictions for national security reasons.
The amount of money involved, $1.2 million for military training, is relatively small but constitutes the bill’s entire amount for Malaysia, Senate aides said.
Mahathir, scheduled to retire this week after 22 years as prime minister, triggered an international outcry earlier this month when he told an Islamic conference that “Jews rule this world by proxy” and urged Muslim nations to unite to avoid being “defeated by a few million Jews.”
His remarks were “dangerously wrong” and “play directly into the hands . . . of radical Islamic extremists,” Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told the Senate yesterday. “This is not an issue of free speech. . . . His anti-Semitic remarks lend credence and legitimacy to the hateful messages of local terrorists [who] seek to sow mayhem throughout the region.”
Fires a Dreamtime payback, say blacks.
Aborigines are claiming that ferocious central Australian bushfires are being driven by a wind called Piriya, which is exacting Dreamtime payback for the siting of the exclusive six-star Longitude 131 safari camp resort near Uluru’s sacred north face.
They seem to have a dreamtime word for everything that goes wrong. In the realtime it’s either a bushfire or inter tribal warfare over the lucrative receipts from tourists.
I wonder if the dreamtime has a word for education. Most probably not.