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.

Flowers at Martin Place
RIP Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson.

 

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?

Vietnam Veterans Day

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On 26 August we are ordered back to the east of Dat Do, specifically near the Ear (so called because it took the shape of an ear on our battle maps), to look for signs of the enemy. We patrolled all day on the 26th and 27th without cutting any sign but late on the afternoon of the second day we hit pay dirt, unfortunately. We were moving through the jungle looking for a safe harbour in which to hide and ambush for the night with the Platoon Commander, Staff Sergeant Col Rowley taking the lead. A little after 1600 Staff Sergeant Colin Rowley sights and fires on a fleeting glimpse of a Viet Cong soldier. It was such a good site for a lay-up that the enemy had also chosen it. They had been there for a fortnight on retraining when we arrived to add some reality.

As explained in the book Conscripts and Regulars by Mike O’Brien;

“On 26 August, the Reconnaissance Platoon had been detailed to search for signs of enemy activity around the feature nickname the Ear, midway between Dat Do and Xuyen Moc. It was so called because the shape of the map contours on a 1:50 000 map of the area was similar to an ear. The next day, the Platoon Commander Staff Sergeant Col Rowley was selecting a night harbour position for the platoon 1 km south of the Ear at about 1615 hours. He had been leading for about 25 m when he sighted an enemy soldier going to ground behind a tree. He opened fire on the enemy and took cover. The Viet Cong returned the fire; wounding the scout (Pte Ray Gladman and the section commander of the forward section (Lance Corporal Neil Richardson). The forward section deployed and returned the fire. Enemy fire was now coming from left, centre and right of this section. The second and third sections deployed into an assault and swept through the enemy position under Staff Sergeant Rowley’s command. The Platoon Sergeant (Sergeant Williams) and seven soldiers were detailed to care for the wounded. The assault group fought through a camp with accommodation for about fifteen men. While they were using spigot grenades to clear one of the huts, a further burst of fire detonated one of these grenades, wounding a further three soldiers – Private Pat Kelly, Private Neil Nitshke and Private Darrel Gillies – with shrapnel.”

Being second section in line I heard the rattle of the Kalashnikov and the screams of wounded men. My men all go to ground facing the direction of fire waiting for contact drills to click in place. They look to me but I don’t notice as I’m still dealing with the moment and waiting for the forward man to yell out something that would start contact drills. Leaves are clipped from the trees overhead and I hear the familiar crack-thump of incoming rifle rounds and think ” Oh, Jesus Christ, what now?” I know we’ve already taken casualties because I can hear Sergeant Williams (the Platoon Sergeant) call on the radio ” Zero Alpha, this is Six-One, CONTACT wait out,” then “Zero Alpha, standby DUSTOFF, out.” The “Stand By DUSTOFF” is the give away, we know we have someone down.

The enemy fight back with alacrity, as we appear to be taking fire from three flanks all at once. What’s left of the leading section is returning fire while the other two sections wait on developments. Staff Sergeant Rowley soon has things moving and we form up to move through the lead section onto the enemy camp. We are moving fast and blind, as there is no time for reconnaissance when you are under so much fire. We could all die where we lay if we stayed for too long. We assault forward for some 10 m when it becomes apparent the main camp is now to our right. Staff Sergeant Rowley orders me to bring my men round to the new line of assault and when we do, we can now see the camp better.

My blood is up, adrenalin surges through my body preparing for the onslaught. Our faces are white as the brain redirects blood to our torsos for the “fight or flee” actions. No fleeing here, only fight, we are Australian Infantry and trained to handle these situations. However, this is totally against everything the brain knows. The brains primeval thoughts, contained deep in the “Limbic system” that part of our brain that evolved long before we developed rational thought; where our basic, primitive urges and feelings reside; has no doubts that this is one of those “flee” moments. However training, repetitive drills, discipline from earlier days on parade grounds, the fear of letting your mates down and the fact that we have already taken casualties, all go to making it possible for a man to stand up and move froward towards other men firing machine guns. Another thought is, if you don’t fight and kill, you will be killed.

AK47 fire is still coming at us but hitting higher in the trees. I guess the enemy were panicking or, hopefully, firing blindly as they withdrew. Machine guns hammering, short bursts from M16s the solid crash of the SLRs and explosions from grenades fired from the end of rifles, all add to the cacophony of battle. As we come around to the right this leaves a clearing on my left. Not good but its the least of my problems.

As we straighten up the third section comes into line to my right and as they do I see Pat Kelly, kneeling with his rifle rigged for spigot. He had been firing the grenades from his rifle and was loaded ready for another shot. I place my men on the ground and shout at Pat through all the noise to wait until my men are down. Just as they are settled I touch Pat on the shoulder as a signal to fire the grenade.

Another burst of AK47 whips through the jungle aimed at Pat and myself (we were kneeling and just a bit more obvious) and if the thought that we were lucky that we weren’t hit was starting to form in our brains, it was stillborn. One of the AK47 rounds hit the grenade and it exploded. By the nature of our positions, myself to Pats left rear with my right hand on his left shoulder and with Pats rifle being in his right hand, butt on the ground and angling up at 45 degrees, I was protected from the shrapnel. Pat wasn’t. We both were blown through the air, myself being slammed against a tree and damaging my back. Pat wasn’t so lucky, his face and torso were shredded and bloody. He was in shock and the first thing I remember is Pat mouthing the words, “Help me!” I didn’t hear it actually; I was looking at his face looking for signs of life and lip-read the words. Even if I couldn’t lip-read I could have guessed that is what he would have said. The assault of noise and colour associated with close proximity to high explosives has a fearful effect on the body and mind. I’m totally deafened from the blast and I’m obviously in some sort of shock but self-preservation is a marvellous motivator. I have to keep functioning or it could become worse.

I look to continue carrying out my last order and as I look around I find two men as yet seemingly untouched by rifle or grenade. I gather these two and we assault further towards a visible tent form whence we reasoned the grenade detonating AK 47 burst had originated. Expecting further bursts we move fast, low and spread out with our rifles to our shoulders aimed at the tent with fingers having taken “first pressure” on our triggers. We get there without mishap and exploit forward past the tent to the edge of the clearing. Going to ground we look for movement but any movement is on the other side. They’ve fleeing! I give them 2 mags of 5.56 mm rounds to help them on their way, more in frustration than tactics, but I knew some of my rounds struck home.The pressure is off! I’m relieved at still being alive but now thoughts turn to the wounded and the tallying up of the price we have paid to the gods of war.

Leaving a soldier to cover the enemies withdrawal route on that flank, I doubled back looking to help with first aid and comfort. Seeing the Platoon Medic with Pat, I went to Blue Nitshke and placing my hand on his thigh for balance, asked him where he was hit. He paled significantly and said some unkind words about my ancestry. Taking the hint I took my weight off his leg and noticed, under my hand, disguised by the thick dirty greens, a red pulpy mass of multiple shrapnel wounds.

(To this day Blue refuses to come to any sort of reunion and I sometimes think my leaning on his wound has something to do with that.)

“Sorry mate!” was my weak rejoinder, as I started to cut the trouser leg to apply a shell dressing. We worked furiously to comfort Blue Nitshke and then Darrel Gillies (GSW to the chest) while the Platoon Sergeant got on the radio to relay the bad news, five casualties and no Charlie to show for it.

“Six-One, this is Dust-off. Is the clearing North of you clear?” Charlie was most probably still running, but if they weren’t, they would be lying on the other side of the clearing, in ambush, watching our every move.

“Blue, are you wounded?” I yell.

” No!” he replies.

” Then grab a rifle, double across the clearing and shoot any bastard you see!” I said. He was a machine gunner and as we couldn’t afford to lose a man and a machine gun he would have to take one of the wounded men’s rifle. I went on.

” You are security for the Dust-off, so keep your eyes open!”

Blue being a good digger doubled away. Maybe he was cursing me, but he did it.

With the North secure, so to speak, the Dust-off Choppers started landing and evacuating the casualties. This went well and within 30 minutes we were ready to settle in the harbour that had cost us so much. We dined well that night on rice and bamboo shoots that Charlie had cooked, and then left in his haste to avoid a fight. We found more than food there including documents indicating that Charlie was C2, D445 Battalion, our opposite number, so to speak. The enemy platoon had just about finished a two-week refresher course and was obviously very switched on to defending and fleeing. Hope the poor chaps got their course reports.

Seven in Seventy, the history of 7RAR in South Vietnam commented as follows;

“Meanwhile the Reconnaissance Platoon who had deployed with Support Company in the Long Green had been moved North into the area of NUI NHON At 5 pm on the 27th of August, contact was made as the platoon moved into harbour. When the Platoon Commander moved forward to conduct a reconnaissance he sighted and fired on one VC. The VC returned fire wounding the scout and the Section Commander of the forward section. The Platoon deployed and received enemy fire from the left, centre and right of their axis. The two rear sections under the Platoon Commander deployed into attack formation while the Platoon Sergeant tended the wounded. The attack was pressed home but the enemy had withdrawn.”

Short prose records another day at war. We spent the night on the position each thanking his respective God for giving him another day, and quietly suggesting another night wouldn’t be out of order either, as we were short manned and expected a counter attack or at least some mortars. Nothing happened and the next morning we made our way to an RV with the APCs that would ferry us back to the base. Have a sleep, a cooked meal, maybe a beer that night and a day or two off. No way!

When we got back to the Horseshoe we learnt that Neil Richardson died in-flight and we were gutted. The scout recovered but will never be the same, Pat lost an eye, has had a heart transplant and Doctors are still getting shrapnel out of his body. The other men wounded that day will always remember lying shocked and bleeding in a far off jungle for a short but very significant period of their lives. They’ll never be the same; none of us would ever be the same.

What did happened was a reissue of ammo, more rations, no reinforcements and “out on patrol lads, no time to lick your wounds!”

Mike O’Brien concludes;

” In this action, one of the documents captured by the Reconnaissance Platoon was the training program of C2 of D445 for the fortnight beginning 13 August. The program was translated and issued widely in the battalion on 30 August. It gives a good idea of the attention paid by the local enemy battalion to tactical, weapon and field craft training. The Operations Officer, Major Kevin Cole, prefaced the captured translation with the thought that the lecture on the afternoon of 27 August had been rudely interrupted by the attack of the battalion’s Reconnaissance Platoon. If the Viet Cong had conducted the course critique that afternoon as planned it must have been interesting”

The survivors of Recce Pl, 7RAR gather ever year on the weekend nearest to Neil Richardson’s death and on the actual day (the 27th August) we hold a memorial service.

With three killed on active service, over 20 wounded and 19 having gone to their maker since Vietnam from suicide, cancers and the general difficulties of life, from an initial deployment strength of 31 soldiers, there are not that many left but while there is two of us we will remember!

Lest we forget!

Not welcomed here

boyseveredheadDefence Minister David Johnston said he was disgusted by the picture.

“I’m obviously revolted,” he told ABC radio.

Senator Johnston said it underscored the importance of the government’s proposed counter-terrorism laws.

However, he stressed it should not be taken out of context and condemned the picture as a “shocking misrepresentation” of Islam and Muslims.

“I’m very upset about this sort of thing completely colouring our view of Muslims,” Senator Johnston said.

“The vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving and peaceful people.”

I’m a bit over the “peace loving Muslims” line. True, most Muslims aren’t homicidal physopathic maniacs but those that are don’t always come with a tattoo on their forehead identifying them as such and I seldom hear from those that aren’t, how furious they are, that some of their kind are jihadi maniacs.

David Johnstone needs to explain what he means by context. The only context I see is that a maniac with an Australian passport has gone overseas to fight for a foreign mob of radical maniacs. He also takes his son and takes a happy snap of him holding a severed head. There are apparently another 160 such maniacs involved in similar atrocities whilst travelling under an Australian passport and the luvvie brigade in Australia are talking about these guys being innocent until proven guilty!

Johnstone condemned the picture as a “shocking misrepresentation” of Islam and Muslims.  Personally I think it is a shocking representation of Islam and Muslims.  Read the papers, watch TV and tell me it isn’t so.

Don’t let them back in to Australia, cancell their passports now and send their families back with them. We don’t need this kind of rubbish fouling our society.

Queensland’s judges revolting

Queensland Supreme Court judges and many of the state’s elite barris­ters are expected to boycott today’s public “welcoming ceremony’’ for Chief Justice Carmody and new Supreme Court judge Peter Flanagan QC

The problem seems to be that Queensland’s judges and a majority of barristers are ALP voters and/or appointees and Carmody and Flanagan aren’t.

In his first public comments on the appoint­ment, high-profile barrister Peter Callaghan SC told The Australian the time had come for his colleagues to get back to work.

“I wish him (Chief Justice Carmody) well and it’s time to move on and return our attention to the legal carnage of the (Premier Campbell) Newman and (Attorney-General Jarrod) Bleijie government,” said Mr Callaghan, the president of the Law and Justice Institute.

Legal carnage of a duly elected government…hmmm I wonder which way he votes?

Newman needs to hold his ground and get rid of as many ALP appointees as he can and replace them with apolitical judges or, at the very least, not ALP card carriers.  Beattie and Bligh and completely changed the makeup of the courts so why can’t Newman?

And, in due course, can we have the judges investigated by the CJC.  They are, after all, campaigning to have a Chief Justice removed for ideological reasons and are showing extreme bias that must come across in their day to day operations on the bench.

Abbott and the Japanese

2010_jim_cairns_1973

On April 26, 1973, government minister Dr Jim Cairns (centre) shared a platform in the Sydney Town Hall with representatives of communist North Vietnam (whose visit to Australia he sponsored), surrounded by Viet Cong flags and a huge picture of dictator Ho Chi Minh.

Abbott, trying his best to engender a trade agreement for Australia’s benefit says in a speach;
Even at the height of World War II, Australia gave the Japanese submariners killed in the attack on Sydney full military honours. Admiral Muirhead-Gould said of them: “theirs was a courage which is not the property or the tradition or the heritage of any one nation…but was patriotism of a very high order”.

We admired the skill and the sense of honour that they brought to their task although we disagreed with what they did. Perhaps we grasped, even then, that with a change of heart the fiercest of opponents could be the best of friends.

And it goes feral. Abbott haters rush to point out the Japs were uncivilized and committed a host of attrocities and therefore Abbott should be ashamed of himself. Abbott was talking about the midget submariners who attacked Sydney and the fact that the Australian authorities at the time buried the Jap crews with full military honours. You’d have to think that these guys could be considered as just fighting for their country as that is how Australia thought at the time, but no The Abbott haters are bringing out every atrocity the Japs ever committed.

Can’t win, can he.  He was talking to the Japanese Prime Minister and Abbott’s speach writer tried to pick a uncontensious moment of WW2 history that wouldn’t upset the Abe or Australians.  One doesn’t set up trade agreements by pointing out to the other party that 70 years ago “you guys were a bunch of savages”.

He quotes a WW2 Admiral and the Abbott haters still castigate him.

Which brings to me to the picture showing one-time ALP Deputy Prime Minister Jim Cairns (centre) entertaining the enemy at Sydney Town Hall just months after Aussie troops withdrew from the war zone; (that’s months, not 70 years) while good friends of mine we still in hospital recovering from wounds, and two years before the invasion of South Vietnam and the end of the war.

Some months later Whitlam recognized China and 31 October marked our trade agreement with them. The Chinese, at this stage, were busy helping the USSR fund the North Vietnamese army’s invasion of South Vietnam.

That, apparently, is OK but for Abbott to try and set up a trade agreement a full 70 years after that war is not on.

Strange days indeed

Aint it the truth

From today’s Australian writing about Carmen Lawrence from Western Australia as she takes over as Premier in 1990

Like most socialists she labours under the misconception that wealth is fixed.  The creation of wealth seems not to bother her. Indeed it destracts from the business of spending….

That explains most ALP governments that have existed in my time.

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