Made it!

17th April 1935 – 17th April 2015.

There have been times when I thought I’d never make it, in twenty O five when I was diagnosed as having prostate cancer, and told that without an operation I had one perhaps two years left and then being told that it was to aggressive and was inoperable. Then thrown a lifeline with a relatively new procedure  (in Australia at any rate) and the doc who would carry out this procedure guaranteed me an extra 6 to 8 years.

Well that guarantee expired last June; and I’m still here.

Then in twenty eleven I had a small stroke, but a stroke nevertheless, and the good doctor who decided to operate on my carotid arteries told me that there was a one in ten chance that I might not survive the operations; (there were to be two of them), due to various factors, anyway as you can tell, survive I did and in October 2014 Doctor Adams gave me the all clear and said that I was good to go to 150 years of age and he didn’t need to see me again; which is a shame, we got on really well, our consultations consisted of 10%  medical talk and 90% chatting about books, authors and history, I miss the visits.

Now as we know I’ve been diagnosed with cancer once again, I have an excellent doctor/ general practitioner who has pushed me along to top specialists.

I’ll report the progress through the other blog because today is a day of celebration for me at least. I am the first member from my father and mothers lines to actually complete 80 years, as I said in the beginning of this ramble there have been times when I thought I’d never make it.

Well here I am           :roll:

Cancer v Me: Round 2,

and come out fighting   :roll:

Some weeks ago at the insistence of my wife and continued pressure from my Doc I agreed to undergo a top and bottom procedure / assault performed upon my aging carcass. I’ve been keeping my sister Carole, (who some of my readers have become aware of through these pages); up to date by email. Carole lives in France for some reasons or other which of course are a complete mystery to me. Why on earth would anybody choose to live there when they can live here in Australia?

Undoubtedly there’s reason for concern there           :P

I have been “Cc’ing” updates to some of my chums and buddies through my “BccChums”  list, and it dawned on me that I am neglecting some of my chums in the ‘WorldPress’ world so I’ve decided to bore the lot of you with the continuing melodrama, saga of my impending clash with a different cancer.

As I started to say in the first paragraph I finally agreed to get myself checked out, and my good doctor pressured the A W Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver Centre (attached to the RPAH) to get me checked out, he was worried by my increasing anemia. So he got me booked in for a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy and Gastroscopy on the 26th March; doesn’t that sound exciting   O_o

Armed with my book (P & P, only had a few chapters to go) I duly presented myself at the ‘Centre’ an hour or so early and I was prepped and ready  to go; naturally I’d done everything that I was supposed to do, so I thought, and when Nurse Kerry (not the wife) put a question to me and I answered in the negative I naturally put the whole schedule out for the afternoon and as a consequence of my own stupidity I got shoved to the end of the victims. I had been scheduled first to go at 1400 hours I think it was, but I didn’t get done ’til after 1600 hours. Mea culpa!   :/

When I came round after the anesthetic I got dressed had a delightful sandwich; I hadn’t eaten for 48 hours I’d had nothing but cups of tea and water since Tuesday evening.

In the interim they’d rang Kerry and asked her to come and get me and when she arrived they escorted me to the exit, probably pleased to see the back of me, and transferred me to her care and told me to come back on the 16th April to get the results of the FS&G thingy.

However, on the 2nd April the Thursday before Easter,  I got a phone call from the secretary/receptionist of a Professor S. asking if I could come in to see the professor on Easter Tuesday morning to discuss the results of the tests and she suggested 0800 hours, I explained that I couldn’t possibly make it and asked what was the latest and she suggested 1730 hours.

As I’d never heard of this Professor S before I naturally went online to find out what I could about him; it turns out he’s a Professor at the University of Sydney Medical School and you’ve guessed it, specializes in cancer; and liver transplants is a speciality.

So at 1730 on Tuesday Kerry ( that’s Kerry my wife not Kerry the nurse) and I went along to see the prof who prefers ‘Doctor’ to ‘Professor’ and what a lovely man he is, instilled instant confidence didn’t beat around the bush, told me straight out that I had a tumor in the oesophagus, I asked “is that cancer?’ and he said yes. He advised me that it was a very big operation with some risk to remove it but he’d had great success, having only ever having one patient die on him. This patient was a pretty old bloke of 84 and died 3 days after the operation from a stroke. I told him that I’d already had my stroke a few years back so no problems there and anyway I’m only 80.     ;)

Next day I get another call from the PET Department at the RPAH telling me that Doctor S had requested they contact me and make an appointment to come in for a ‘Whole Body FDG PET-CT scan”, that was on Wednesday and they booked me in for Friday the 10th at 1020 hours.

These medical people are not messing about wasting time or procrastinating, right on time at 1020 they had me weighed measured and prepped and then I sat in the most gorgeous comfortable chair for an hour whilst some stuff that they’d shoved into my veins could circulate, I fiddled with the butttons got so comfortable that I dozed off and they had to wake me up to go into the room for the scan.

It was all over by 1245 hours, I don’t have to check back with the Centre on the 16th, I just have another appointment with the good doctor/professor on the 16th instead, when I suppose he’ll tell me when he will operate. But I wouldn’t mind betting he sends me off to see a heart specialist first   ;)

It might be a good idea if I do any further update on proceedings here instead of cluttering up everybody’s email in boxes, you might let me know what you’d prefer   :idea:

I might include some pictures of me without skin on, then again I might not             :D

Operation Rimau

Why did they try this?

The success of Operation Jaywick encouraged it’s  leader  Major, now promoted to Lt Colonel Lyons to plan a larger attack on Japanese shipping in Singapore Harbour. Six veterans of Jaywick formed the core of the proposed assault party of 23, sailors and commandos and I think for this essay it’s necessary and important to list all members of the party for reasons which will become self-explanatory:

Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Lyon, Lieutenant Commander Donald Davidson, Lieutenant Robert Ross, Lieutenant Bruno Reymond, Sub-Lieutenant Gregor Riggs Major Reginald Ingleton, Captain Robert Page, Lieutenant Albert Sargent, Lieutenant Walter Carey,

Warrant Officer Alfred Warren, Sergeant David Gooley, Corporal Clair Stewart, Corporal Roland Fletcher, Able Seaman Walter Falls, and Lance Corporal John Hardy, Able Seaman Frederick Marsh, Warrant Officer Jeffrey Willersdorf, Sergeant Colin Cameron, Able Seaman Andrew Huston, Corporal Archie Campbell, Corporal Colin Craft, Corporal Hugo Pace and Private Douglas Warne.

Operation Jaywick succeeded in part through its simplicity,  Rimau was a much more sophisticated operation using15 motorised submersible canoes, known as SB’s ( Sleeping Beauties) fo the main attack on Japanese shipping, after the attack these SB’s were to be scuttled and escape made in the folboats which were used with great success on the previous raid.

The raiding party left Fremantle WA onboard the RN submarine ‘Porpoise’ on the 11th September1944 (9/11 in Americanized English). The initial plan was to establish a base with provisions for three months on a tiny island of  Merapus lying off the east coast of Bintan which was believed to be uninhabited. A periscope reconnaissance proved otherwise; so Major Lyon decide on a change of plan. Lt. Carey was to remain to guard the supplies, the rest re-embarked on the Porpoise and the plan was now to capture a native junk, which they did on the 28th.

Marapus

Seven members of the Rimau group took over the junk, the ‘Mustika’ the crew of which were transferred to the Porpoise and with one of the conducting officers a Major Chapman and returned to Australia, arriving back in Fremantle on the 11th October.

Four days later Major Chapman embarked on another sub the HMS Tantalus and they sailed for a rendezvous with the Rimau party on Merapus; there was no sign of the Rimau party and the site was a mess, scattered food and ration tins strewn around the place and it was estimated that whatever had happened there happened a couple of weeks earlier.

Nothing is known of what happened to the Rimau party except from the Japanese records, reports; the following is a condensed report taken from the Australian Navy history pages.

On or about the 6th October the ‘Mustika’ was off the west coast of Batam and insight of Singapore Harbour, whilst waiting for dark and preparing their SB’s the vessel was approached by what was thought to be a Japanese patrol boat but was actually a Malaya Police vessel, and the men on the ‘Mustika’ opened fire on this boat killing 4 of crew, whilst one escaped.

Having now lost all element of surprise Lyon decided to abandon the operation and scuttled the ‘Mustika’. they launched the folboats  split into four groups. Three of the groups met up on Asore a small island where on the 16th they came in contact for the first time with a  Japanese patrol, during the following action Major Lyon and Lt Ross along with 8 Japanese were killed, the rest of the group escaped but Lt Cmdr Davidson and Corporal Campbell had been seriously wounded. Their bodies were later discovered following another fight on the island of Tapai.

On the 4th November, four days before the scheduled rendezvous and extraction the Japanese found the operatives on Merapas in the fight which followed both Sub.Lt Riggs and Sgt Cameron were killed.

Over the next few weeks the remainder of the party were either killed or captured, a total of 11 were taken prisoner but AB Marsh died in captivity from malaria.

The remaining ten  Major Reginald Ingleton RM, Captain Robert Page, Lieutenant Albert Sargent, Lieutenant Walter Carey, Warrant Officer Alfred Warren, Sergeant David Gooley, Corporal Clair Stewart, Corporal Roland Fletcher, Able Seaman Walter Falls, and Lance Corporal John Hardy were held in gaol until the 3rd July 1945 when they were placed on trial before a military court, where all ten were sentenced to death.

On the 7th July 1945 one month before the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima these ten men, one English 9 Australians, were beheaded by the Japanese.

War crimes investigators adjudged that no war crimes had been committed as those decapitated had voluntarily deprived themselves of the right to be treated as prisoners of war by discarding military dress and posing as Malays.

Operation Jaywick in its simplicity a resounding success; Operation Rimau in its sophistication an abysmal failure.

Reference and thanks

My thanks to the following for most of the infomation contained in this post

 http://www.navy.gov.au/history/feature-histories/operation-rimau-tragic-sequel-jaywick

The “MV Krait”. A voyage to remember

Operation Jaywick

On the 2nd September 1943 the “MV Krait”, a 70′ 68 ton captured Japanese fishing boat, left the US Naval Base at Exmouth Gulf which is north of Carnarvon on the West Australian coast where it had called in for refuelling and some minor repairs with a motley crew of 3 British and 11 Australians and headed north for Singapore on one of the most daring and successful raids of WWII. The crew consisted of 2 naval officers and 2 army officers and 10 other ranks.

The overall leader of tis expedition was Major Ivan Lyon of the Gordon Highlanders, from a distinguished miltary family; and the “Krait’s captain was Lt. H.E Carse RAN, Lt D.M.N. Davidson RNVR and Lt R.C.Page was 2IC of the military detachment.

Part of the crew of Operation Jaywick
Part of the crew of Operation Jaywick

Just over three weeks later the boat arrived off the coast of Singapore and six members of the crew paddled their folboats some 50 kilometres (31miles) and established their base on a small island near the entrance to the harbour. During the night of 26th September they paddled into the harbour and attached limpet mies to several ships after which they retired to their hidey hole base on the nearby island.

Sometime after 05:00 hours the mines blew sinking and damaging seven Japanese ships, the six warriors stayed concealed on their island until the commotion died down and eventually returned to the “Krait” on the 2nd October and arrived back at Exmouth Gulf on the 19th.

The Japanese rounded up the local Chinese & Malay,believing the destruction was caused by pro-communist guerillas and commenced a round of arrests torture and executions

All members of this Z force returned to Australia unharmed, some were to go onto another raid code named ‘Operation Rimau’ which failed with disastrous consequences, I shall write a post on that episode over the next day or so.

There is much written regarding Operation Jaywick and can be found on the ‘net along with many photographs; for those interested and wanting more details here’s a couple of links to get you started.

The “Krait” is now a museum boat moored at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour Sydney; on rare occasions this vessel will be seen sailing around Sydney Harbour. It is kept in perfect running order by staff and volunteers at the Museum.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Jaywick

https://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/operation_jaywick/

http://www.navy.gov.au/history/feature-histories/krait-and-operation-jaywick

The attribution of the photograph of the Krait Plaque:  Krait at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons

It’s been a while now……

….since I did a blog.

It’s been more than three weeks since I made my last post and my reader (singular) might well be forgiven in the belief that ‘The Bugler’ may have well have blown it; “The Last Post” that is!

I’ve started several blogs it’s just that I haven’t got around to finishing them and they are all sitting nice and neatly in the draft folder. I did start a follow-up on the last post I made, the one “Dedicated to PT” as from comments made and the few e-mails that I received about this post suggesting that perhaps I might expand on what I had said, and I did start to write a lot of “what if’s” pure supposition of course but it makes sense to me.

I wonder why some people prefer to send me an e-mail and not just writing a comment; I don’t know, is it difficult to write comments to my posts?

There’s also a post that I really must finish; Teddy Roosevelt and his Great White Fleet, was he chicken-hearted when all’s said and done?  Another “Fear & Retribution” which I’m sure will upset some, says he thinking of PT, and the big, big mistake, well it is to my way of thinking: The ‘Washington Treaty’.

On a more personal note I’ve started and yet to finish the post on my early days in Sydney, and also the “Courting of Kerry” and “The Growing Up Years”.

Trouble is I’ve been so damned tired lately, there are times I’m sitting at my computer and I’ve just dozed off, how long some of these naps have lasted is anybody’s guess. My doc says I’m very anæmic and it seems to be getting worse, perhaps his assistant, the lovely Percy has been taking too much blood out of me for testing and there’s not much left; anyway he sent me off to see another specialist doctor who’s going to have a go at fixing me up;  problem is they haven’t got much left to work on. Such is life!

In the interim I shall attempt to finish some of what I’ve started, in what order/sequence from the abridged list I’ve outlined I don’t know your guess is as good as mine, any requests feel free to make ’em.         :roll:   O_o

Dedicated to PT!

Somewhat disappointing.

A few  weeks ago my comments on a blog were not only censored but actually blocked, which is the prerogative of the owner of the website. The owner of this site was in my opinion a top “Blogger” one of the best, an advocate of free speech, freedom of the press too I believe, well up to a point, who did state quite categorically to me that the publisher always retains the right to publish or not publish comments made on any article in the publishers pages, and that my comments were banned because they were considered denigrating to the United States of America. Which of course was absolute rubbish!

Now how and why did this come about? Well I shall try to explain.

It was during the aftermath of the massacre in Paris and when a large gathering of some of the so-called “World Leaders” and several hundred thousand mere mortals joined in a march which was basically against Islam, and the President of the United States of America, had the good sense (in my opinion anyway) to stay well away from this demonstration.  I do believe that the majority of these leaders were the very people despised by the writers editors and the slaughtered staff of Charlie Hedbo, who jumped onto what they saw as a bandwagon for some good free publicity aimed at terrorists (Muslims) and President Obama had the good sense and decency to stay well away.

This is a position that I took when commenting on the site which banned my comments, so far hardly denigrating the USA or POTUS, in fact the very opposite.

However, my comments didn’t agree with the site’s owner who believed quite sincerely that POTUS should have attended this rally and the reason given? France is the United States of Americas oldest ally, and I have no argument with that, they fought and gave aid to the US when they aligned/allied themselves during the American War of Independence in 1778. But why the President of the US needed to go to Paris in 2015 still eludes me. The French were not under attack, it was a very inconspicuous satirical magazine with a circulation of some 6000, who delighted in insulting all religions and governments. They aroused the anger and resentment of some religious fanatics and the rest is history.

But the attack was on this magazine NOT on France, it just so happened to be on French soil. Had this been an English magazine and this had happened in England, would it have been deemed okay for POTUS not to attend any rally as England was Americas oldest and original enemy?

So having this oldest ally reason given to me I then had the temerity to ask some questions which I considered fair under the circumstance. It concerned the two “World Wars”; of which I do know little. I asked where then was the USA between 1914 and 1917 when France was at war with Germany and were suffering gigantic losses, and also where were they between 3rd September 1939 and 7th Decmeber 1941 when once again France was under the German heel? Not unreasonable questions I thought under the circumstances after having been left in no doubt of the special standing France has in the eyes of Americans.

I was told in no uncertain terms that the US had made a great sacrifice in WWI with some 300,000 US casualties (there was no split up between dead and wounded, KIA some 116,000 I think; 204K wounded. I pointed out that Australia had lost around 62000 killed which was approximately 1·38% of the population of Australias 4·5million and the US losses were 0·13% of the US population of 92 million; I never went into the losses suffered by the French and all the forces from the British Empire as it then was, I never had the chance to enquire/remark  about WWII. I was barred.

Was I denigrating the US of A? Of course not; I believe the trouble is that Americans are not taught that the “World Wars” were actually  raging long before being dragged into them, first with the sinking of the “Lusitania” and the second the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was the cry “Why should we get involved and fight in Europe’s wars ” on both occasions, I suppose one could have answered ” because France is your oldest ally”. Let’s face it; would the US have joined in both wars without that provocation. I believe the answer must be NO!

And that is not denigrating the United States of America, I actually have a very soft spot for somethings American and have a great liking for the people, well all those I know and have met at least, I have not met one that is not 100% genuine, and on that note I’ll finish this post!

Beaten by Honesty & Integrity – Gina Rinehart

Takes her ball and goes home!

I must admit I do not like Mrs gina rinehart not because she’s obscenely rich, not that she started with nothing her father left her a fortune that would just have kept growing without any imput from her, but greed of course keeps driving her for more, and if it means using virtual slave labour she’s not particularly averse to that either, she likes to import slave labourers from 3rd 4th & 5th world countries (encouraged by the Liberal Country Party Government of Australia led by her puppet tony abbott)  and pay them next to nothing to keep her own coffers growing and help to assuage her never-ending hunger for more.

This woman along with her friend rupert murdock would like to control not only this country’s wealth they’d dearly love to control the media and the lives of all Australians,  neither of them  have any integrity or honour just greed and a lust for power. This woman has control of one of the country’s TV networks, how rupert would like that, she also had a stake in Fairfax Media, publishers of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age newspapers, two of the few honest newspapers left on this planet.

She was in fact the major share holder in Fairfax until last Friday night when she sold all her shares for some $306 million dollars, mere spending money for this billionairess, the richest person in Australia (got more than her chum rupert has too I believe).  

Why did she sell? Because she couldn’t have or buy her own way, she wanted a seat on the board of Fairfax, which is fair enough if you are the largest shareholder in the company; trouble is this money hungry, power crazy woman would not sign the Fairfax’s Charter of Editorial Independence, which obviously forbids the meddling of people like her in the freedom and independence that the editors, the reporters and the staff of a free press. She wanted control over what the editors had to say and what the reporters wrote and the board to their everlasting credit told her NO! 

So she’s sold out taken her ball and gone home; hopefully for good but I get the feeling that a person like rinehart so driven by avarice will try again; we can only hope that the future board members show the same courage honesty and integrity; something rinehart and murdock both lack.

http://www.theage.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/gina-rineharts-hancock-prospecting-takes-farewell-swipe-at-fairfax-media-20150206-138czi.html

Religion. My Mother & Me. In “The Rocks”

In, not on, “The Rocks”

My last post on this subject I finished by stating that I met a Scot moved to The Rocks a move that changed my life forever, so time to elaborate.

I actually didn’t know Sydney to well in 1974/75, true I’d spent some time travelling back and forth between Melbourne and Sydney in the period 1963/64 when I was working with Ansett ANA at Melbourne Airport, and usually for a party being held on the lower north shore, Mosman, Cremorne, Roseville  & Chatswood, where the younger flight crew members of Ansett liked to live, some of these parties could go on for days and I usually got an invite even though I wasn’t flight crew; as an STO I was on very good terms with many pilots and air hostesses, we still called them that back then. It was one of those parties that eventually cost me my top job with Ansett, it went on for about a week up around Chatswood and I forgot that I was due back to work on a Monday to handle the first flight out of the first jet in Australian domestic service. The party time is a blank!

To get back to the post, I met up with a young Scots bloke at a bar on George Street, I can’t recall the name but it was down below the Grace Bros store or Myers whatever on the corner of Market Street, anyway it’s really not important, the Scot was named Joe and Joe was 1) a drunk and 2) a high rise window cleaner 3) which was the reason for 1), Joe didn’t like heights in fact it scared the living daylights out of him, but window cleaning was all he knew and it was okay until the buildings started going up and up and he was required to go up with it. A complicated story and enough said about it here as it has nothing to do with what I’m writing.

Joe was pretty hard to understand, his accent was so thick you could cut it with a knife, and with a few schooners under his belt it was nigh on impossible to make head or tail as to what he was saying. Joe was living in a pub in The Rocks, it seemed that there was 13 pubs in the Rocks area of Sydney at that time all going full tilt, and I’d never heard of the place. The utter shame!           ^^’

His normal ‘watering hole’ was The Orient Hotel and to the Orient we quickly adjourned where upon he introduced me to the publican (always good to meet the publican), another Joe, Joe Hutchins, after a chat Joe told me that he had a room available for a semi-permanent guest and I was welcome to it If I wanted it and I thought “Why not” and took him up on it, went back to where I’d been staying collected my gear and moved into the Orient. I have no idea of the dates or even the time of year but think it must have been around March, April 1974, I’d stopped my infatuation with dates long before.

Naturally I started chatting with Joe the publican, it wasn’t always the busiest of pubs during the day, people would drift in have a quick beer and off and of course it got around to what I’d been doing and I told him about my experience in the pub business, and he asked me if I wanted a bit of casual work and I thought again, “Why not” and so I started doing a bit of work behind Joe’s bar now and then, as publicans went Joe was the laziest that I’d ever come across, he was actually an industrial chemist by profession and seemed to like sitting down in the cellar on a keg cogitating on who knows what.

A visit to the cellars soon convinced me that Joe really needed to get himself organized and I made a few suggestions to make his life a bit easier but he didn’t seem to like my interference even though he did impliment what I’d suggested so I never bothered again and let him battle on, he didn’t seem to care or worry, he lived in a world of his own. He also made a barrel of beer (a kilderkin 18 Imperial gallons) every couple of weeks which he’d slip into a bank and nobody noticed the difference after all it was probably industrial chemists at the brewery who were responsible for making the beer. It cost him next to nothing to make and he had 280+ middies of sheer profit. Joe was a very good, very devout Catholic as was Margeret his wife!

Being the publicans (I always had the impression that Margaret was the money) they were required to live on the premises and Margaret never did a stroke of work for or in the pub, Joe copped the lot; and she would sit in her parlor of a night and play her grand piano, and when she found I was fond of music invited me into her parlor to watch and hear her play, it made a break from reading in my room. 

Now Margaret was even a more devout Catholic than Joe (sometimes I wondered about Joe when it came to religion, but I’m not going into that) which was to come in very handy for me later. She would, with some friends have prayer meetings,  saying the rosary or some such thing, I’m not up on that subject and one of her very close friends was Mrs.Jean McGrory also a very devout Catholic who happened to be the Company Secretary to a company whose building was right next door to ‘The Orient’

This company was an “Artists Supply Company”, ( I’m omitting the name as there is now a Western Australian Company trading under the same name); and naturally enough after work The Orient was the watering hole for those that enjoyed a drink before making their way home,and one night I noticed a young woman with a couple of blokes; storeman/packers they may well have been from this next door company. From what I recall they struck me as a pair of scruffy individuals but anyway this young woman kind of took my fancy.

She was knee-high to a grasshopper, or perhaps a bit shorter, but perfectly proportioned so to speak, I think she was perhaps a wee but taller when sitting on a bar stool rather than standing at the bar. A blonde, natural, but with a tint whatever and if she weighed 7½ stone (105lb for those that don’t understand stones) when wet I’d have been surprised, she didn’t seem much of a drinker, a half Scotch ice and water looked about the size of it, and I quietly pegged her off.

What I liked was the way she acted with these men. I could see that when they were speaking she was watching and looking them in the eye and listening to what they were saying with interest, somewhat unusual and when she spoke she was definitely stating her piece it was obvious that she was saying what she thought  not what was expected. She was certainly different. 

I decided that it might be a good idea if I stuck around a bit longer!                    

Government Sanctioned Killing

Capital punishment in Indonesia.

In all probability two young Australian men will, in the very near future, be taken from their cell to some remote spot in the middle of the night and killed by a firing squad. A secret and you might say furtive operation. At the same time there will probably be another three of four men and or women shot alongside them.  Apparently the Indonisian Government prefer to have multiple executions take place at the same time, but for reasons known best to themselves not always in the same place or remote area. It all seems very grubby if that’s the word to use for such a violent obscene act as deliberately executing/killing fellow human beings no matter what crime they have been found guilty of commiting.

These two Australians were condemned for trying to smuggle 8.3 kgs of heroin OUT of Bali, Indonesia, not INTO Indonesia way back in April 2005, and the Indonesian authorities were notified by the Australian Federal Police that these two men and their 7 mules were about to try to get this heroin out of the country. Naturally the Indonesians moved in and caught the lot. The two men under sentence of death were of course the ringleaders and the rest of the gang have had their sentences reduced but for the ringleaders no such relief nor is any expected. They will be shot.

What is causing concern here in Australia is the action of the AFP in notifying the Indonesians of the attempt knowing perfectly well the policy in Indonesia as regards drug smugglers. Had they not informed Indonesia and allowed the gang to board their aircraft and return to Australia apprehended them as soon as they stepped off the plane these men would not now be preparing to die under a fusilade of bullets fired at them from a distance of 5-10metres, but be incarcerated for many years to come in an Australian prison. We in Australia have done away with the obscenity of ‘Capital Punishment” as have so many other civilized countries on this planet. 

But why, I ask, do the Indonesians carry out the executions in such a way. Taking the prisoners who are to be shot usually to some remote island or beach around midnight given the choice of either standing sitting or kneeling being blindfolded or not and then shot in cold blood. Why are they not killed in the prisons where they are being held? Why have they not got a set execution ground within the prison confines for carrying out their government sanctioned killings? Do they suppose that by moving out in the middle of the night to some remote spot to effect the executions makes it acceptable? That out of sight is out of mind perhaps?

I have no truck with drug smugglers / dealers / peddlers in death and destruction, they deserve nothing less than the full force of the law, and the laws must be strong to be an effective deterrent to any would be dealer. 

Of course the only real way to stop this insidious trade is to do away with the prohibition and to legalize the drug trade under strict supervision.

Will the execution of these two men and the other people on  death row in Indonesian jails stop fools from trying to buck the system? I doubt it. Will there be any backlash from Australians with their seemingly endless love affair with Bali and things Balinese? Will it stop the Aussie tourist heading for their most popular holiday spot overseas? It might for a week or two after the men have been shot but they will soon be forgotten and Bali will once again become the favoured holiday destination of Australians, then again it’s likely that it will have no effect whatsoever; which is my bet!

I doubt very much whether  many people will actually care after their death, although I’m sure my good chum Neill will feel some sadness, he was a teacher/master at their high school and they were two of his ‘boys’!

Suggestions To Keep From Further Pissing Off the World

LordBeariOfBow:

I think John says it all! Trouble is nobodyin a position to do anything ever listens to reason

Originally posted on Class War In America:

Quit making war and invading small countries.

The entire history of the US has been one of creating war, invading small countries, and meddling where we have no business, often with much loss of life. It started with Thomas Jefferson, whose policies ruined Haiti for a century and a half. We continue today. Obama more-or-less ended both of the trillion-dollar wars George Bush launched so heedlessly, but nonetheless, he is waging a not-so-secret war that has killed an unknown number of innocents, bombed from somewhere in the US as if they were figures in computer games.

I propose that a member of Congress be required to be continually present for the duration of hostilities in every place we are killing people, and to report to the American people every month on the numbers and details of deaths we cause.

Even after closing a number of military bases, we still have far too…

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W.S.Churchill Saint or Sinner?

Was Churchill really the villain?

The general consensus amongst Australians and Americans alike seems to indicate that Winston Spencer Churchill was a selfish, arrogant, lying, deceitful Pommy/Limey who didn’t give a damn about the War in the Pacific or the threat from the Japanese and was quite content to leave it to the Americans to sort out, who if we are to believe this would not  have been the least bit concerned had the Japanese invaded and taken Australia and was  quite prepared to lose this colony for the sake of the war raging throughout Europe.

Why did he think along these lines, obviously he was privy to an enormous amount of intelligence that we can still only guess at, but there are some actions on his part that makes me, at least, wonder why.

In June of 1940 shortly after becoming Prime Minister and the leading figure in the fight against the Germans and Nazism, he set up the SOE (Special Operations Executive) which I don’t intend to expand on here except to say that their primary role was in espionage, sabotage and covert raiding operations ( The Cockleshell heroes real heroes believe me- and the St Nazaire Raid come to mind). Remember back in 1940 Great Britain was standing alone; the German machine was over-running Europe, and the British were stretched to their absolute limits. Soon there will not be any left to recall those days.

In May of 1941 during our darkest times Britain had the greatest stroke of luck, the Royal Navy corvette the HMS Aubretia in company with HMS Broadway forced the U-110 to the surface and the subs crew abandoned  ship although technically speaking abandoned the boat, which didn’t sink like it was supposed to do. A boarding party from the HMS Bulldog which had come to join the party  were able to capture the ‘Enigma’ machine, at that time the greatest  most brilliant coding machine on earth. And the Germans never knew!                 

I am convinced during the 1930’s into the 1940’s the Germans were the most advanced nation when it came to preparing for war. The British had been virtually emasculated by the Washington Treaty, (and I’m not going into that what I believe  was a fiasco there) which the Germans were not subjected to, and any restrictions placed upon them were conveniently forgotten ignored and brilliantly bypassed when considering the pocket battleships they produced.

Germany also had brilliant scientists the one that springs to my mind always at first is  Wernher von Braun that rocket scientist who helped rain VI and V2 rockets upon London during WWII killing many innocent civilian men women and children and who after the war went on to become a great American citizen, that’s water under the bridge. Germany also had scientist working on another project which was given a much-needed boost when they took Norway, and jet propulsion for their aircraft.

The Germans were quite secure in the knowledge that the British had no idea what was going on, which was the case until the 9th May ’41 when they mislaid an ‘Enigma’ machine; from then on the whiz kids at Bletchley Park knew what they were up to, and as a result so did Churchill and his innermost sanctum. They were even reticient when it came to sharing with the USA once they came into the war.

It is believed that Churchill had advanced warning of the pending imminent attack on Pearl Harbor and that he shared this information with FDR, (remember that Churchill had a great love of things American being half American – his mother was a NY socialite) and it was Churchill’s great wish and hope that the Americans would join the fight against the German machine. It is also believed in many quarters that FDR did know and did nothing to prevent the attack knowing full well that it would take many lives because he realized that the free world needed the US involvement to stop the German machine.

The Japanese were not in the same league as the Germans when it came to power. They had a large army and navy but they did not have the scientist  working towards victory, they intended to win by conventional means, their navy was meant to destroy the US Pacific Fleet and their army to take on the American army and marines and did not pose as much as a threat as the Germans.

How much information was given and shared by the British Government with their new allies is anybody’s guess, but the secret of the Enigma machine was kept to themselves I do believe.

Churchill and Roosevelt knew that the mighty German machine had to be obliterated, Churchill was no doubt well aware of the Germans advances into the production of an atomic bomb/arsenal and he also had no doubt that Hitler would have no qualms about using such a weapon, he never showed any compunction about the slaughter of civilians with his blitzkrieg’s or reluctance to drop bombs! The Germans were well on the way with rocket science and jet propulsion, and Churchill knew, because the Enigma was the safe German way of connection within their empire and they didn’t know that the British were looking in on everything they said.

Germany was a frightening power to be reckoned with and Japan was not,  and this is why Churchill was prepared to let Asia go for the time being. The greatest most dangerous enemy had to be stopped first before it could get weapons of mass destruction operational. The Japanese were no where as advanced any losses were to be acceptable until Germany’s defeat. Hard fact of life.

How far advanced were the Germans when it came to nuclear bombs. Probably quite a long way, they had taken over the Norwegian heavy water plant in 1941/42 and Churchill’s SOE made plans to destroy the plant at Vermork, and to do this they recruited seven young Norwegians who’d fled Norway for England when the Germans took over their country , and signed them  up for espionage and sabotage work. These young Norwegians were trained and then dropped by parachute in the middle of winter in the remote part of Norway made their way with great difficulty and blew up this plant, and they got away with it! The Germans raised all hell deployed many many troops planes and were not able to catch thes fine young men who became known as :”The Heroes of Telemark”;  

As an amusing aside, Hollywood made a movie called “The Heroes of Telemark” and Kirk Douglas did the honours and went and blew up this plant and had a little fling with some young filly along the way, you know the usual Hollywood rubbish.

Here is a link to a BBC news report on the last of the heroes being honoured in London to mark the 70th anniversary of the raid which this man now aged 93 lead.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-22298739

and this is a very interesting link

http://www.hydro.com/en/About-Hydro/Our-history/1929—1945/1943-The-Heroes-of-Telemark/

So to conclude; was Churchill really so stupid, ignorant callous and any other villainous thing that we can think of; or was he a very well-informed frightened man? Frightened by what the Germans had what they were capable of having and not worrying about using, frightened for the peace and safety of the whole world. The Japanese were strong and they were ruthless but they did not have the power nor were they the threat to the world that Hitler and his scientists were. The Japanese only had plenty of fanatical manpower going for it, and little else, they could not have held on to any gains for very long.

As for me I shall give Winston Spencer Churchill the benefit of any doubt!. My comment section is open for abuse   :D   :roll:

 

 

Religion. My Mother & Me. Moving along!

A Jump In Time

I’m taking a big leap from 1960 to 1974, whether I get back to those missing years is anybody’s guess, some of that period has already been covered  but there are still several gaps to fill in.

After the disaster that was Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsular of the Northern Territory I made my way down to Sydney via Darwin for a few weeks, then  Mt Isa and  across to Townsville by rail, it was still the wet season and it was a slow train trip as sections of the track had been washed out. After a couple of weeks doing nothing in Townsville I headed south by road to Sydney. I wasn’t paying much attention to the dates or times, just a peripatetic Pommy wandering along having a good time. Money wasn’t short, I’d saved a bit whilst at Shay Gap!          

I didn’t know but I suppose it was late March maybe early April when I lobbed into Sydney and the weather was a bit on the chilly side for me. All of my clothing was for the warm/hot weather of the West and I needed to shop for some warm clobber, I hadn’t a clue how long I was planning on staying in Sydney or whether I’d make my way back to the West or even back to Melbourne, I suppose you could say I was drifting aimlessly.                 :roll:

Suitably outfitted from top to bottom I started to explore Sydney, I hadn’t been there for ten years or more and there was a few changes and I had some catching up to do so I hoofed it, which was a stupid thing for me to do. When outfitting myself I’d naturally bought some new shoes, now buying shoes has always been a big problem for me. I have very small feet, in fact they are ridiculously small, I can go to a children’s shoe store and get a better fit trouble is the style is for kiddies not grown men.

Anyway come late evening I was still wandering around and actually trying to find Chinatown I’d never been to Sydney’s Chinatown and being partial to Chinese food was looking forward to a feast. By this time I was virtually hobbling along my feet killing me but I was enjoying Sydney and so put up with it, I was approaching the Haymarket area so was getting pretty close when a gobble-up truck pulled up beside the kerb and a couple of policemen got out, one opened the back of the truck and the other told me to get in! True! I said “what for “, and the cop said “your drunk” and I said “I haven’t had a drink and my feet are killing me with these new shoes” he told me not to argue and to get into the gobble-up truck. 

Discretion being the better part of cowardice I did as instructed and climbed into the back and took the last seat, one doesn’t argue with big burly coppers who carry guns. I suppose they needed to get one more passenger to fill the truck to make up their number for the night and I was the lucky one selected. My companions on the trip around to Central were obviously used to the ride and warned me under no circumstances to argue or disagree with the police, I saw why a few hours later.

We were tipped out at the Central Police Station and shoved into the worse most disgusting cell/room I’ve ever had the misfortune to be in my life. Here I was, all dressed up in my nice new clobber, my feet killing me in my new shoes and I’m stuck in this monstrous cell with all the drunks and deadbeats imaginable and there’s absolutely nowhere for me to sit except the floor. And there was no way I’d sit on that floor, along one wall was an open urinal and the stench from booze and vomit would have normally made me throw up but I cringed and just stood and waited.

And I waited and waited forever, or so it seemed. We were kept in this “tank” for four hours, apparently it was the normal thing, the gobble-up trucks would pick up their quota and dump them at the tank where the miscreants were given four hours to sober up before being paraded before a magistrate I suppose he was, charged $1.00 for bail, yes one dollar, and allowed to go to appear in court the next day which was just a ruse and you forfeited the $1.00 for not turning up to waste the courts time!.                   >:(

Before going before the beak we had to go past the police sergeants desk and collect our wallets watches whatever and one of the blokes in front started to argue with the cop on duty that his wallet had contained quite a bit of money which was now missing, this poor bloke got a whack from behind with a night stick/truncheon or whatever the thing is called dragged out of line and taken off somewhere else. My turn came and the sergeant looked at me and said “what are you here for” I said “I’d been picked up for being drunk” he said “you don’t look like you’re drunk to me” and I said “I’m not and my feet are killing me with these bloody new shoes and all I was doing was trying to get to Chinatown to get a feed” , he said “sorry mate you’ll still have to pay the dollar” I said “fine now where can I find a restaurant open at this time”, it was now after 1 am. and he said “I doubt if you’ll find anywhere open now but good luck” , I said thanks very much and departed and made my way back to the pub where I was staying.

The following day I met a Scot in a bar in George street, moved out of the pub where I was staying, into a different pub in The Rocks and changed my life forever.