RIP Mates

We will remember

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.

 

Leyonhjelm,Day and ALP can’t read

CROSSBENCH senators David Leyonhjelm and Bob Day are threatening to withdraw support from the Abbott government if it pushes ahead with an element of its national-security laws which they fear will allow ASIO staff to torture suspects.

Senator Brandis denied that the new laws would give ASIO the capacity to torture.

“Under no circumstances has ASIO ever, or would ASIO ever, be authorised to torture,’’ Senator Brandis said. “This is not something that any Australian government agency, no matter what the circumstances, could ever do.

“No operation involving torture could ever be authorised under the ASIO Act.’’

Opposition legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus said Senator Brandis had a duty to make it clear that no Australian law could be interpreted as providing an immunity for the commission of an act of torture.

He just did Doofus.

Scotland forever

Even though I’m a bagpiper Scotland has never featured large in my life, but I’ve taken some interest of late as they look to secede from the UK.  I note 16 year olds are allowed to vote and although I like the demographic, the boys I deal with at the local college have little political sense.  I personaly would be worried if the future of my nation was dependant on teenagers.

I note also that of the 40 plus seats the Jocks have in the House of Commons only one is held by a conservative.  Wikipedia gives a reasonably positive take on their economy but as a stand-alone country with a socialist/Left wing voting record I would be less positive.

Let’s see what happens today.

And no, we don’t have to change our flag if Scotland secedes, as some idiot in todays The Australian’s letter page believes.  The Jack in our flag is historical and was the flag in use when we became a nation.

I’ll leave the final word on Scotland to PJ O’Rourke  who is quoted a s aying “It is a shit-hole … Cuba with chill-blains”

Personally I like the Jocks but I think, on this occassion, they are playing with fire .

 

AWU wants RET exemption

THE Australian Workers Union has called for the aluminium ­industry to be exempted from the renewable energy target, a move that will increase pressure on Labor to negotiate a bipartisan deal with the Coalition on changes to the scheme.

AWU national secretary Scott McDine warned that the RET maintained in its current form would lead to thousands of jobs shifting overseas with no ­environmental gain.

The closure of smelters at Kurri Kurri in NSW, Point Henry in Victoria and Gove in the Northern Territory have been announced in the past two years.

But….we always knew that.  Did they mention this fact to Rudd and Gillard as they beavered away at ridding Australia of its cheap power advantage at the Greens bequest.

No, not a peep as I recall.

The AWU don’t care about the environment, they just care about jobs.  But before we get all warm and fuzzy about unions looking after the workers, we are really talking about jobs that translate into membership fees that represent power and money for the union bosses.

So with the aluminium industry in serious decline due partly to the ALP’s insane ‘save the environment’ policies that didn’t and wont save the environment, we are still stalling over what to do with the RET.

Rabid dog Palmer, leader of the PUP pack has no investment in aluminium so has nor reason to  vote for reconsidering the RET policies.

He’s no help.

No change there.

Supporters of the RET say look at the figures.  Electricity demand is down.  Yes it is, but might I suggest that part of the reason for decrease is that people are getting stunned by their power bills and are switching off heating and bar fridges and stumbling around in the dark as they minimize lights.

The closure of three aluminium smelting plants has or will impact on that demand as well.

Mind you, aluminium smelting isn’t the only industry suffering from the ALP/Greens policies.  All industry is as we chip away at that useful cheap power advantage.

Insane.

UPDATE:  Read Alan Moran’s piece at Catalaxy Files where he asks should we phase down or abolish?

Sleep learning

LISTENING to revision tapes during sleep may sound like a slightly desperate revision tactic, but now scientists have found evidence that it may not be such a bad idea.

The study found that human brains were able to process the meaning of words while we sleep, suggesting that it might be possible to train the mind in particular tasks while we lie slumbering.

Sid Kouider, a neuroscientist who led the work at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, said:

“The sleeping brain can be far more ‘active’ in sleep than one would think. Far from falling into a limbo when we fall asleep, parts of our brain can routinely process what is going on in our surroundings.

grundigIn 1966 I was studying Bahasa Indonesia at RAAF Base Point Cook and still remember taking a huge reel to reel tape recorder back to barracks, setting it on ‘play’ before going to bed with a speaker under my pillow.

I qualified so maybe it worked but my experience with sleep learning was 9 years before Sid Kouider was even born proving again that what’s new, isn’t.

I might add one had to be young and fit to carry the old Grundig but it did work in a clunky manner.  If the Language School is still using sleep learning I guess there is an app for the students to load in their IPhone.

 

The more things change……

A century ago

Don’t you just love the consistency of the ABC.  They have never heard a rumour about Aussie diggers behaving badly that they didn’t broadcast.  Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Australian attack on PNG with the aim of silencing the German radio station there in what was then German New Guinea.

THE ABC claims that Australian troops in World War I took part in a “mass execution” of German troops following the battle of Bita Paka in New Guinea.

The broadcaster’s Radio National Breakfast program has obtained a single tape recording of a witness to the alleged slaughter, which the ABC says “appears to confirm the rumours” of prisoner executions.

Well good luck with that one ABC – all the article and recording prove is your anti-defence stand.

sydneyplateInvolved in that stoush and the early attacks on German radio stations in the SW Pacific was HMAS Sydney.  Sydney supported the landing and went on to sink the German cruiser Emden further north.

In the 80′s I owned an antique militaria business and one day a guy came in with a wooden plate. He said it was made by wounded Gallipoli veterans in therapy classes in Concord hospital, NSW.  It was a wooden plate with ‘soldering iron” art. Not good art, but art nonetheless. The wood came from the wooden decks of the Emden as she was salvaged by the Australian authroities

 

He eventually gave me the plate as he said I had better claim to it than he did. I told him that I had two great uncles in the first convoy from Albany in 1914 and they would have heard of the battle as HMAS Sydney was on convoy duties when it dealt with the Emden in November 1914.  My father served on the second HMAS Sydney during WW2 and I came home from my asian stoush on the 3rd HMAS Sydney.

My story got me bit of history and I have piece of the Emden in my study at home.

The plate and the inscription.

sydneyplatetag

Yesterday, a service was held on board the minehunter HMAS Yarra in the waters off Rabaul to honour the 35 men who disappeared along with Australia’s first submarine AE1.

Same expedition, same battle.  The submarine vanished without trace days after the Battle of Bita Paka and no sign has been found since.  Well, not quite.

According to News.com the RAN have found it.  According to an admiral quoted in the article it hasn’t.  Either way we must be almost able to close that part of our WW1 history.

AE1 had a sister ship, named, withoutout an iota of originality as…wait for it…AE2

My wife’s  cousin CDRE Terry Roach AM RAN Rtd was heavily involved in finding the AE2, the other submarine that had been sunk in the Gallipoli campaign.  I’ve had the pleasure of discussing the expedition that found the sub over a beer at a family BBQ.  It’s a great story.

From the AE2 website;

HMAS AE2 was the first Allied submarine to penetrate the Dardanelles in 1915 as part of the Gallipoli Campaign, on the very morning the ANZAC soldiers landed at Anzac Cove.  After five hectic days “running amok”, she finally fell to Turkish gunfire and was scuttled.  Her crew was captured and spent the rest of the war as Turkish POWs.  AE2 lay, unseen, until in 1998 she was discovered, intact, in 73m of water in the Sea of Marmara.  The SIA aims to ensure the protection, preservation and promotion of AE2, to contribute to an informed debate on her future and ensure that AE2’s contribution to the Gallipoli campaign is duly recognised by telling the story of her brave crew.

While good men and women commemorate the loss of men at war the ABC maintains its charter of denigrating the same men.

As a friend of mine says of the ABC; Sack ‘em, burn down the buildings and salt the ground.

Shorten hits Peak Stupid

shortenBill Shorten has no shame – during the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd debacle the government gutted the Defence budget in a vain attempt to balance Swan’s budget.  The budget didn’t balance and Defence aquisition programmes were put back years.

Now he has the temerity to attack Abbott over the fact that a Japanese sub is one of many being considered to replace the Collins class fleet. His populist statements at Adelaide yesterday reflect his fighting for the unions, including the criminal based CFMEU, that were involved in the Collins class subs and has nothing to do with the defence of the country.

One union idiot shouted “Last time we had Jap subs, they were in bloody Sydney Harbour” referring to the midget submarine attack in 1942. I hasten to add that neither Shorten, nor his audience were even born then.  It was another century and another Japan.  Today’s Japan is a major defence and trade partner who, with the US and Australia, constitute the main Pacific area defence pact.

Shorten goes onto say; “This is a government with a short memory,” he said. “In the Second World War, 366 merchant ships were sunk off Australia.”

Short memory!  From Wikipedia;

The 28 Japanese and German submarines that operated in Australian waters between 1942 and 1945 sank a total of 30 ships with a combined tonnage of 151,000 long tons (153,000 t); 654 people, including 200 Australian merchant seamen, were killed on board the ships attacked by submarines.

Even when he gives a speech he can’t get it right.  There were 18 more ships sunk but they were as a result of  surface raiders, both German and Japanese, but I presumed Shortens populist spray was directed at the Japanese only.

German….hmmn.  Their submarines are also in the mix for selection.  The cost of 12 German submarines would cost us  $20 billion,  The Japanese  Soryu Class submarine would come at a similar cost while should Australia go Shorten’s way it would cost us $50 billion.

$30 billion cheaper – you would have to consider it and think what you could do with that money.  Maybe it could go to paying off some of the debt Shorten’s mob have left us.

Due to the fact that the ALP killed Defence planning with their budget cuts we have a potential problem of having gap with no submarines at all.  For this reason, and considering costs, something the ALP never did, the Japanese solution looks like a winner.

Quicker and cheaper potentially eliminating the no-submarine gap.

The decision is due later this year and I’m sure that a lot of the work will be done in Australia if the project goes ahead but from my point of view, the less union involvement the better.

 

I whish Wilson would go away

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens Senator from Tasmania claims he served in the Royal Australian Army in his recent speech in the Senate

His service is as a cadet at ADFA and RMC.  He joined to fly choppers but according to him he was medically discharged.  Either way he didn’t serve in the Royal Australian Army as it doesn’t exist.  He simply served in the Australian Defence Force Army and then only as  a cadet.

He confirms his error on his Senate web site so one wonders how much he can be on top of his portfolio when he doesn’t know, or bother to look up, in what organization he actually served.

In his speach to an empty Senate as Green’s Veterans Affairs minister he mentions how he had been at the dinner the government hosted for the Japanese PM recently and was hoping to, and eventually did, give him a letter from Paul Watson, the Sea Sheppard pirate, anti whaling activist and general all round anti-west usefull idiot.

Click on the link to read about Watson but this quote gives an indication as to his character and ethics;

Watson feels that “no human community should be larger than 20,000 people,” human populations need to be reduced radically to “fewer than one billion,” and only those who are “completely dedicated to the responsibility” of caring for the biosphere should have children, which is a “very small percentage of humans.” He likens humankind to a virus, the biosphere needs to get cured from with a “radical and invasive approach,” as from cancer

For Wish-Wilson’s to mention Watson in his first speech as the Green’s Veteran’s Affairs spokesman says it all.

Dropkick!

Drone deliveries

tailsitterA Queensland farm on the Darling Downs has become the unlikely testing ground of one of the most technologically advanced Google projects that could see autonomous drones deliver anything from chocolate to life-saving medicines.

Google X, a division of the US-based technology company dedicated to making major technological advancements, tested Project Wing near Warwick earlier this month, the first time “non-Googlers” had been involved.

Google X director Astro Teller said Project Wing’s goal was ultimately to build a system for delivering small and medium sized packages within minutes to anyone, using self-flying vehicles.

“There’s no reason we should all have a power drill in our garage when, at any one time, the world is using one hundredth of a per cent of its power drills,” he said from the company’s headquarters in California.

“Also, there are situations like emergency response after a flood, or an earthquake, or a tornado, where bringing medicine or other supplies to people who are in need can be very valuable and time can be of the essence.

“We’re looking at the whole spectrum of value that can be delivered using self-flying vehicles.”

I wonder if they could deliver a carton of grog – you know, when your on a roll and run out. The farmer in the trial asked for some cherry ripes to be delivered.

C’mon mate – lift your game.

Read more

Vaughan Johnson

A QUEENSLAND politician has apologised for saying that Asian people don’t understand road rules.

LIBERAL National Party MP and chief government whip Vaughan Johnson told a radio host on Thursday morning that foreign drivers, particularly those of Asian descent, didn’t comprehend road rules.

Nowadays it isn’t smart for a public figure to say anything about any ethnic group to avoid screams of racism so Vaughan should know better but seriously has anyone driven in Asia recently?

The PUP has rabies

Clive Palmer on the Chinese on Q & A

“I’m saying that because they’re communist, because they shoot their own people, they haven’t got a justice system and they want to take over this country.

He then tries to backtrack on Twitter this morning;

My #qanda comments not intended to refer to Chinese people but to Chinese company which is taking Australian resources & not paying #auspol

Ah, so it’s Chinese companies that shoot their own people. Who’d have thought it?

Senator Corporal Lambie pitches in with her idea of diplomacy;

“If anybody thinks that we should have a national security and defence policy, which ignores the threat of a Chinese Communist invasion — you’re delusional and got rocks in your head,”

This is serious stuff. These people hold the balance of power and until they are gone or neutralized Australia is in danger. They exhibit a tyotal lack of consistency, swaying every which way on how they will support or not support the budget and people are saying Hockey isn’t doing a good job. What is he to do with these mental lightwieghts sitting in the Senate?

From day one Palmer showed his standards by saying he will support getting rid ofthe Carbon Tax so long as it is backdated. A move that would have saved his company millions of dollars. He is now using his position as an MP to attack the Chinese company who are asking serious questions about 12 Million dollars Palmer is supposed to have rorted from business accounts to run his campaign for election.

What is there to like about the man? He is coming across as a ethically challenged businessman and poltician and is doing serious damage to Australia’s economy and reputation with a major trading partner.

What were the voters of Fairfax thinking – or were they?

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